Boy I tell ya. You've all heard the expression "When it rains, it pours.". Well, it's been one hell of a week that came way too close to that saying for my comfort.
First, all our pipes froze leaving us with no water. Later that first night, Steven had gone down under the house and plugged the heat tape in. Well, that can take quite awhile to work, so we were without water for 2 days. Right after the water came back on, the hot water pipes froze...and again into the saga of no water. By this time, we're all kinda starting to get a little rank as this is day 3 with no shower. We turned on all the heaters extra high in the hopes that it would help. On day 4 with no hot water (but at least we had cold, right????), I decided I just couldn't take it anymore. I don't yet know how smart or how stupid this decision was, but I took a shower....a COLD SHOWER. It was 4 degrees outside, so that'll give you an idea of how nasty that shower was. I think I could have won the gold medal for the quickest shower ever. I was in there for about 4 minutes. In that 4 minute venture into hell (cuz it had definitely froze over), I hyperventillated and almost passed out. In my dizzy stupidity, I got out of the tub and slipped, hitting my leg on something (I still don't know what it was) and got a small cut. But hey, I was the only clean one in the house *lol*. Everyone else was pretty rank, but not me. In retrospect, I think I should have just blended in with the natives cuz when in Rome and all. I told Steven about the torturous ordeal when he came home from lunch. I even showed him my owie and everything (of course fishing for some pathetic sympathy). He was such a sweetheart. He went to work and borrowed one of the space heaters and put it under the house to help thaw the pipes out. I NEVER go down there because the big, hairy, gnarly spiders live down there, and I'm askeert. So that night (still in day 4), we get hot water back. I made the two little ones take a shower. The 2nd kid, who I usually have to make get out after 20 minutes, was out and dressed in jammies in 3 minutes. She said the water wouldn't get warm. A few minutes later, the two youngest came running upstairs saying they heard water running, but Steven and I thought it was the washer (yeah, being overjoyed at having water again, I started some laundry) so we just stayed upstairs watching Netflix on the computer. Little did we know that they were right. Steven went downstairs for something and came back up saying he heard water RUNNING. We both looked at each other and said "crap" at the same time. The pipes thawed out allright, but a valve blew and the basement was FLOODING. It's not a full or finished basement or anything. It has a dirt floor. Dirt floor and water. Starting to get the picture yet? Steven came back inside, a little wet and a little dirty. He couldn't find the shut off valve for the water main (sp?). So here it was midnight and I'm calling the landlord. He comes over and they both pretty much had to wade through a foot and a half of water. Now remember the space heater under the house?? That thing sorta imploded on itself and melted. We're very very lucky that the house didn't burn down or all the circuits short out or something horrendous. Today is day 5 in the Great Drought of 2008. We got water back this evening but still have no hot water. Hopefully the landlord can find the new valve in the next town over tomorrow. It would be really nice to wash some dishes as it took 5 people 5 days to use every clean dish in the house...and there are no take out places in town...so if we don't get water back tomorrow, I guess we're all having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner.
So we have all this drama going on with the water, right? Everyone's tempers are running a bit short because we can't do dishes or laundry or cook or shower (you don't even want the details about the bathroom). It's been a week I tell ya. This hits keep coming too. Tonight, Allie's hamster died right before she had to leave for their Winter Concert. She was heart-broken and had to go perform in front of a crowd. The poor thing. We are having the funeral for Sammie tomorrow, provided the ground isn't too frozen to dig the hole.
For the past month, we've been working out all the plans to surprise the girls for Christmas. We wanted to take them to their Grandmother's. Their Uncle and his fiance will be there. We've managed to keep it a secret so far. In order to do it though, we would have to take both cars because there's 5 people, two dogs, about 150 Christmas presents (most of them are small *sheepish look*...okay, so I went a little nuts this year), and clothes for a week. There's no way all that would fit in the car. Well, we're supposed to leave in 3 days, and his mom called him today telling him that part of the road we have to go on is closed and another part has made it mandatory to have snow chains. Well, we only have one set...so that means there goes the plans out the window. The only way I could figure to salvage any of it was for me to stay home and Steven take the girls. While it would kinda suck for me, at least the other 7 people involved would still get Christmas together. I told my sister what I was thinking. She said either all of us go or all of us stay. I didn't want everyone to miss out though. When Steven came home, I told him what I had thought of. He immediately said no, no way...we all go or we all stay. He had the same reaction as my sister. We talked about it back and forth, both having very valid points and neither one of us willing to budge really. His mom just happened to call and he told her. She said absolutely not was I to stay here alone. She's buying another set of snow chains for us so that we can take both cars and all of us go. How sweet is that? She's gonna order them and he just has to go pick them up tomorrow.
This first layout is of the girls' stockings in 2007. We had so much stuff in there, they were too heavy to hang on the wall. The girls get a Christmas Bear from their grandparents every year, so we kinda put a bunch of stuff together in front of the couch.
Poor John Wayne hit the catnip a bit too hard Christmas morning. He crashed and had a nice little kitty nap.
This is Trish opening her fuzzy posters. She loves the things, and I managed to find some with horses.
This was my first holiday season beginning with a family of my own. I've been incredibly busy with that, so it's taken me awhile to get these 3 layouts done. These are my latest 3. All were done with the Colorful Thankies megakit designed by Addie's Designs and can be found at Cool Scraps Digital
This first layout is of Allie and her Daddy, Steven. The kitten is Bob. I have no idea why she made the face she did, but it always makes me smile. She's so expressive in the faces and voices she makes.
This layout is of Allie again. She was playing around, and I just happened to have the camera handy.
This layout is of Trish and her kitten Seastar. Sadly, he simply never came back one day after going outside. He was so cute with her. He would hug her as she carried him around.