Friday, July 31, 2009
After a thorough inspection of all our areas where gas runs into the house, the inspector found a tiny gas leak in the basement gas fireplace. The leak was so small, we had never smelled it, and it most likely was there since we moved in, but 10 times the odor really amplified it! Well, gas is lighter than air, so it had filtrated through our entire house. The gas guy said that he shut off the gas to the fireplace and it should not get any worse until they came and fixed it. We slept with all the windows open that night, and yesterday (Thursday) morning it was just as bad, if not worse. Eric had a headache from sleeping in the smell and I felt nauseous. We opened the rest of the windows in the house and I called builder to see how soon we could get the guy to fix the leak over here.
Finally, around 12:30pm, the person came to fix the leak. It took him awhile to find it because it was so small. After fixing the leak, he helped air out the entire house and get out the smell. He was very helpful...I think he was truly sorry about how bad it smelled too. I was sure it had to be something more, so he tested everything again. Amazingly enough, that little leak was all that was making ALL THAT SMELL! I have never known such as small leak to smell SO horrible. Poor Laura Richards when she came to drop-off and pick-up the kids was getting ill (it didn't help that she's pregnant). I felt bad for her.
The good news is, as of last night around 6pm, the smell was competely gone. It's funny how we take the simple things for granted like smelling clean air, until we have something go wrong, and then we appreciate it so much more. Today, I'm grateful for breathing stench-free air! :)
Alex said it was hard taking care of the boys, but it didn't look too hard when they were all playing Legos and Wii together. It was so cute when they were all telling Alex what character they wanted to be and asking him questions at the same time. He was very patient though and his expression gave it away that he liked every minute of it. At one point, he went upstairs, and the boys went up begging him to play with them some more. They melted his heart and easily convinced him to play some more.
The girls started out playing "Littlest Pet Shop".
Now, they are playing Wii. Levi and Landon wanted to be the "swransformers"(Transformers). It was so cute how they said it. Alex made Jarem be Peach (by accident he said) and the twins were saying, "Look, the princess won". They weren't making fun, they were just noticing that. Poor Jarem was embarrassed to be the princess. I made Alex change his character after that.
The girls watching princess movies now.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
A few years ago, we decided there was no use buying him Lego sets to build something specific, because he just wanted pieces to make his own things. He wanted, of course, the cool pieces and guys though (which don't come in the basic sets), but not a set to build something specific. So, one Christmas, I started searching on ebay and found a huge lot of legos that were several mixed sets all mixed together including lots of guys and cool pieces. That was what we needed, so I bought it.
Anyway, my point is, he has spent many hundreds of hours creating things with Legos and now, all the kids go down to the basement room and play Legos for hours at a time. It is the one thing they can all play together without fighting. Of the days that we've been home this summer, the kids have spent some part of everyday playing Legos. They each have their own section on the table for displaying their own creations and they have so much fun together with the Legos. Of all the toys I've ever purchased, I think the Legos have been my most worthwhile investment. So many other toys just lasted a few months or a year, but the Legos have stood the test of time.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
So far, she's learned to make a few things, and she has gotten very good at following a recipe. She will make mac n' cheese quite often for lunch all by herself and it turns out great. Her favorite thing to make is dessert, of course. She made this cake from a cake mix, frosted it, and decorated it 100% on her own. I think she did a good job. It was cooked perfect and tasted very yummy. She took this picture and asked me to put it on the blog. Anyway, I'm glad that she is learning to enjoy cooking.
Monday, July 27, 2009
The kids next to the Aquarium Restaurant after lunch.
The one thing that Gabby really wanted to do was ride the manatee on the carousel, so I was glad that she got to do that while she was here. Here's a few more shots of the kids on the carousel.
We were tired after shopping and walking around the mall, so we saved the Opryland Hotel until the next day. Saturday morning, before heading to the airport we spent a couple of hours at the Opryland Hotel. I always enjoy all the gardens and the atmosphere there. Susan and I have always been "gardening friends", so we enjoyed admiring and trying to identify all the plants, discussing which ones we should plant in our own yards, and the plant selection layout.
Susan and Gabby with Sunny G, the hotel mascot bear
The next morning it was raining pretty hard. We decided to spend the day indoors so all of us went to see a free movie "Space Chimps" at the Great Escape theatre. I thought it was extremely lame, and wouldn't recommend it, but the kids seemed to enjoy it. Even considering the fact that it was free, I still don't think it was worth watching, but at least we had good company. We stopped after and got pizza at Little Caesar's and that made it a little better.
Later on we walked through some new construction houses in our neighborhood and then Susan took me to see "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince". I had seen it already, but it was Susan's first time, and it was good enough to see again.
The girls just before we headed to the pool Thursday morning.
Thursday, we took them to Swan Lake pool for some swimming. Alex couldn't find his swim pass, so he conveniently got to stay home (he didn't want to go anyway). The water has been the perfect temperature all summer, but because of the week or so of cooler weather, it was SO cold (not that I'm complaining about the cooler weather though). It felt good when the sun was shining. All in all, it was a good time swimming.
Later on, we went shopping at Wal-Mart for a few things. We don't usually have many drink choices at our house, milk and water are usually the extend of it. But, I was feeling bad for Susan because I know how much she loves Coke, so I went to buy she and Gabby something to drink. While we were there, Gabby and Jesikah found matching backpacks for school. It was just chance that the backpacks matched their outfits too. And, yes, I have proof now that Susan shops at Wal-Mart! :)
That afternoon, more good friends from Washington, the Park family, stopped by on their way through moving to Georgia. It was great to see them again. They have been travelling and vacationing all month and were finally getting close to their final destination...their new home in Georgia. We're happy they will be closer to us now.
That evening, all the kids hung out at the house while Mike, Nikki, Eric, I and Susan had dinner at The Cracker Barrel. (The above picture was taken outside Cracker Barrel after dinner). It was the Parks first time to Cracker Barrel, so we were happy to be part of that momentous occasion. :)
Susan mixing eggs for brunch casserole to be for breakfast the next morning.
Above in the picture (l to r) is Nikki, Alex, Paige, and Gabby. Alex and their daughter, Paige, have always been hot and cold in getting along, but Alex admitted after they left that the day they were here was one of the highlights of his summer in addition to Scout Camp and our trip to Washington.
My best picture of the deer I think.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
One the first day, the boys chose their tents and bunk mates and the leaders put up their tents. Our tent had air conditioning, courtesy of one of the leaders. Here we are relaxing after a busy morning. This is Alex and Matt's tent. Ty Parsons is also in the picture.
While Loren can be a nice guy most of the time, every once in a while his darker side gets the best of him and he succumbs to trickery as evidenced by the rabbit ears. My expression shows that I was onto his little game.