Happy Belated Easter

We had a fabulous weekend.  My parents were here, and on Saturday we colored eggs, we chatted, we took a tour around our house and checked all of the plants coming up this spring.  We ate and ate and ate, it was wonderful.   On Sunday morning we did church and then the kids found their Easter baskets, we had an egg hunt (with $ in the eggs), and we had our feast at 1pm.  It  was a very busy, but wonderful day.  Sometimes it works out like this, and other times it doesn’t.  I’m really glad this was an up year, it seems as if they have been mediocre lately.

Here are some photos of our weekend.

L's first time coloring eggs.  She loved it!

L’s first time coloring eggs. She loved it!













T is getting too big to color a lot of eggs, but he did dip a couple :)

T is getting too big to color a lot of eggs, but he did dip a couple 🙂













S with his favorite egg.

S with his favorite egg.













A with her favorite colored egg.

A with her favorite colored egg.













L with her colored hands.  I just love the green and yellow hands !

L with her colored hands. I just love the green and yellow hands !













Me and my husband on Easter Sunday.

My husband and me on Easter Sunday.













Me, my mom, and the girls.

Me, my mom, and the girls.

A and L easter 2014

Easter Day with 2 beautiful girls.

kids sharing candy

The kids enjoying some Easter candy after finding their baskets.

marg easter 2014

My mother-in-law enjoying a cup of coffee after dinner.

leo easter 2014

My father-in-law eating Easter dinner.


I hope you all had a glorious Easter, we did!

And The Cleanup Continues!

We are still cleaning up around here!  The nesting continues…but not as strongly as before.  It may be because the kids started back to school and I am their local bus service.  We have a Kindergartener this year, so that means I am to school 3x per day.  Morning, noon, and after school.  I love doing it, but it makes it harder to get things done around the house.  All of the bigger projects have to be on the weekend.Anyway this week I was able to get some kitchen cabinets cleaned out and I was able to do my 5 things in the evening that has been doing a series on for the past two weeks.  My 5 things to do before going to bed to make my morning smoother are:  1.  Clean kitchen 2.  Sweep kitchen floor.  3.  Run dishwasher…you don’t know how many times I load the thing and forget to turn it on!  4.  Get the coffee pot loaded and on the timer to start in the morning. and 5.  Take a nice hot bath and relax for a few minutes before bed.  I have been pretty faithful with the chores and it is helping make my day a LOT better and more relaxed first thing in the morning.

Also, my husband has been on the bandwagon with me.  He went through a big stack of boxes and condensed it down to a couple of boxes.  This stuff has been in our basement since shortly after we built the house.  My MIL wanted all of his stuff out of the house and would bring loads of stuff every day until it was all gone from her house and dropped off at ours.  It has been sitting in our basement ever since…about 15 years!

Yesterday he went through the entire stack.

Here are the before and after pictures.

Our hallway before cleaning the mess up!

After the project was cleaned up! I am so happy to have this stuff cleaned up! A big thank you to my wonderful husband for cleaning that stuff up!

We are making good progress, but with school in full swing, I am sure it will slow down, but I am thankful to get the stuff that we have done taken care of.  I will try this week to clean out our entry closet and our game closet.  That will be enough to get done.  I will try to remember to take pictures of before and after.  I hope you have a great and productive week!

Crazy, Crazy Couple Of Weeks

The kids got out of school for the year on June 1, just 3 short weeks ago.  It feels like a couple of months ago because there has been so much going on around here.

My MIL had knee surgery scheduled for June 6.  She is 82 and had a total knee done about 7 years ago.  She slipped getting out the bath tub and tweaked her knee.  We took her to the doctor who said that the pad in there was dislodged and would have to be re-glued (best case scenario) or the total knee would have to be replaced (worst case scenario).

On June 6 I got up at 4:15 a.m., picked her up at 5:00 a.m., and got her to the hospital at 5:45 a.m. for her 7:45 a.m. surgery.  No problems.  They get her I.V. in, no problems.  The nurse comes in to make sure she hasn’t had any aspirin products for the past 10 days.  Problem.  She has been taking Aleve, for some lung inflammation.  She didn’t realize that was on the “banned” list.

We wait for the surgeon to come in to talk about our options.  Basically, he says it is up to us.  It won’t bother the surgery, because she would have a tourniquet on during the procedure, but the after surgery complications could make recovery take longer.  We opt to wait and do the surgery the next week.  Both my MIL and I agreed that she didn’t need any problems with recovery.  She is 82.

Fast forward a week.  She had the pad glued in as planned.  She stays in the hospital for 3 days.  She is up and moving.  She can use the bathroom on her own.  I think everything is getting better.  My older boys have been rotating being up at their house (next door) during the day and spending the nights, just to make sure there are no problems getting to the bathroom, getting out of her chair etc.

After being home 48 hours, my SIL calls me and tells me that my MIL can’t move.  Her knee had been killing her all night, she couldn’t get out of the chair because she couldn’t put any weight on the leg or foot and that she had my FIL get a roaster pan for her to use as a bedpan because she couldn’t get out of the chair.  They got in touch with the doctor first thing in the morning and he told her to come in to have him look at it.  He tried to manipulate it and could tell that the glue job didn’t work.  They admitted her back to the hospital right then and scheduled her for a re-do total knee the next day.

She had that done and now seems to be on the mend.  She has been somewhat difficult during this process.  She forgets that she is 82 and thinks that she can take care of herself.  We have kind-of forced her to go to my SIL’s house for a week as we will be on vacation.  She wanted to stay home and take care of herself and my FIL who has dementia.  Don’t think so.  I had to threaten to cancel our vacation, which I would do in a heartbeat, if we had no options to keep them well taken care of, but my SIL is a nurse practitioner who is more than qualified to take care of them.  My MIL is so sweet at times  and does not want us to cancel, so she agreed to go with my SIL for a week until we get back.

It has been a trying time, but hopefully this will be the end of the saga.  Here’s to a full recovery for my MIL.  She’s the best MIL you could have.  She would do anything for me or our family.  We are blessed to have her.

MIL recovering after the first surgery.

Fixing Your Own Stuff–A Real Life Example

My mother-in-law called at 9:00 p.m. to tell us that she had no hot water.  She said the temperature was between ice cold and luke warm.

Since they didn’t need the hot water last night and we visit each Sunday morning it was okay to wait until this morning to look at the problem.  My husband and son measured the voltage to the water heater.  There was no voltage. The breaker was popped, so they reset the breaker.  It started working, but the old dirty contacts started glowing red  melting the plastic thermostat housing.  Over time dirt or oxidation gets in the thermostat and increases the resistance.  It glows red because the contacts gets so hot and stays hot that they get stuck together and  can’t turn the heating element back off.  He knew from the glow that the thermostat was damaged.  It took 5 minutes at most to locate the problem.  He turned the breaker back off.

Off he went to Lowe’s and for $14 dollars he got an new thermostat.  Since he was going out we hot White Castle coffee too.  Yum!

He returned and put the new thermostat in in 5 minutes   The water was hot before we were finished with our usual weekly visit.

This saved a service call at $75.  Then they would have charged another $50 for the new thermostat and labor (this is a total guess as we have never had a service call).  So $125 to do a 30 minute job including the trip to Lowes, which was most of the time involved.

Total savings: $125-14=$111.

My husband wanted to say that it is a good idea if you keep a spare thermostat and heating element about $25 (smaller units) or 2 thermostats and heating element $35 (larger units) and keep them handy you can do your own repairs anytime day or night without a trip to the home improvement store.

So Busy

I’ve been kind of sporadic in my posts this week.  I have had a lot going on here recently.

I have been taking my MIL to Pulmonary Rehab on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  She is 82 and we don’t want her driving on the interstate.  We have been going for 6 weeks now.  Three more weeks and then she will be on to phase 3 which is partially on her own. I wanted to take her for the entire lenghth of the rehab as she is really weak, hates exercise, and will manipulate to get off easy on the exercises.

We are looking into elderly services to get her there and back for the Phase 3 part.  I think it would be $1 per trip each way.  So for $2 on Tuesday and Thursday or $4 per week, I would save gas money (I have a 12 passenger van), 6 hours of my time, and she will gain independence, and hopefully the realization that exercise has to be a part of her life from now on.  The same people who are with her doing the therapy will be overseeing her exercise.

I will keep tabs on her, but not be running around so much.  I run around quite a bit with 6 kids.  Doctors, dentists, orthodontists, etc, it is exhausting.

I am also trying to prepare for a half-marathon in the beginning of May.  I must exercise 5-6 days a week if I want to do well.  I am trying to beat my time last year which was at 2:32:00.

My daughter is in Pre-K so I am getting her M,W, and F in the middle of the school day.  She is in ballet on Thursday morning.

Add in laundry, cooking, cleaning, food shopping etc.  I am a little overwhelmed.  I hope it eases up soon!

My oldest had his last orthodontist meeting on Thursday.

Last picture with braces!

They asked if we could come in on Friday to get his braces off…he was so excited…me not so much.  Another appt. this week!  Well, at least we don’t have to go again for another month to get his permanent retainer.  Our Orthodontist is great.  He had several baskets of “stuff” that they weren’t allowed to have while in braces like gummy bears, fruit snacks, gobstoppers, gum etc. and they each got a bag to take with them.  Of course they also had toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.

Our Orthodontist and my son J getting a last picture together

My daughter has a Pediatrician appointment on Monday.  Then rehab with MIL Tuesday and Thursday…next week insn’t looking any better.