Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Is October over?

I am not going to lie. This mom of 4 is ready to be done with October. I am over it. O V E R it. Yes, yes, I am bitter sounding, I know. Normally I want October to last and last. I love Fall. I love Halloween. This year I just feel like I haven't gotten to enjoy any of it. I know, boohoo.

I am ready for this:
Free Printables at Inviting Printables

and this:

I just think that is gorgeous, don't you? I busted my youngest son singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" yesterday. :)
How cool is that? Apparently, upside down trees are all the rage.
and this beauty... WOW. I got this off of Pinterest, but when I looked at the link, it brought me to this http://www.ourhomesmagazine.com/ I am not sure if it is valid or not. I couldn't find the picture on their website. So I hope I am not doing something illegal, but like I said, I got that on Pinterest. I'd like to give credit where it's due, if I knew for sure. :) Thank you Pinterest! SO many ideas out there. I am looking forward to decorating my house in a few weeks. What are some ideas that some of you have? What is your favorite decoration to put up?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gas Hot Water Heater--Appliances hate me cont'd.

Have I mentioned that Hubs is not "handy"? lol.  Love him. But he isn't "handy". After spending hours looking up and looking at different water heaters, we lucked out and found a Mom and Pop shop that carried the same brand that we had. We had looked into getting a Whirlpool one, but weren't sure and Lowe's had NO ONE around in that department. NO ONE. It was annoying.

We headed out to St. Peters and the owner of this Plumbing Supply company was EXTREMELY helpful. We got a 50gallon heater to replace the 40 gallon. He made sure we had the right tape (Teflon) and the bolts, too. Just a side note: we realized that a 40gal is really only good for 3-4 people. We have 6 people in our family and technically our house has 4 bathrooms, including a garden tub (which holds 40 gallons itself), 3 showers and 2 tubs. (2 showers have a tub, too). At some point in our house, it is possible that 4 people will be showering or bathing. (I will have teens in a few years. I hope they shower!!)

The difference in price was only $40. SO WORTH IT. Hub's cousin came over on Saturday and they spent about 4 hrs putting the new one in. They accidentally flooded my storage area (grrr) but I forgave them. HA! I mean, in the end, a little water is a small price to pay when we just saved $600. Oh, and I had to make the cousin a bologna and cheese sandwich. :)

For someone who is handy or knows what they are doing, 4 hrs would probably NOT be a typical time. This was a gas one, too. They were extremely careful and took their time to make sure there wouldn't be gas leaks or anything else.

Needless to say, this was still an expensive weekend, but easily HALF the amount of what we would have spent if we hadn't done it ourselves. The heater is working great, in fact, we had to turn it down a bit because I burned myself when we turned the water on. ouch.

Youtube is your friend. I am telling you, it's what helped me fix my shower leak a few months back and what helped us hang our kitchen light when it crapped out, too, this year. :) If only it made ACs. Haha!

I wish I could give you a step by step, but I stayed away. They had blow torches out at one point because the old unit had a piece that would not come off and so they heated it up to loosen it. Or so they say. We all know how boys get around their "toys". Any excuse to use a blow torch!

The Appliances Hate Me

This past week my cell, my oven and my hot water heater crapped out on me. Thank you to At&t who let me do an upgrade 3 months early. (Their suggestion, not mine). Can you believe it???

Then came the bad part.... we had 2 estimates done on Friday for the hot water heater. One company said $1150. Another company said $1000. I then called Lowe's and Lowe's said $820ish. HomeDepot said $950-1150. I screamed and then I screamed some more. I broke out in hives on my neck. NO joke. I was a mess. A MESS. What the fudge, people? In a matter of 7 days, I needed $2k. Fuuuuuddddddge.

Let me tell ya, google and youtube are.your.friends. I googled "oven won't heat up" and a few other little plays on that and basically it said it is USUALLY one of 3 things. The baking element, the control panel or the broiler element. Well, hubs had already said he thought it was the baking element. I called a local appliance place and they had a NEW baking element in stock. YES! $50? Ok! Sold. When I called Marcone's, they wanted $76 plus shipping. Um...no.

We get home with the element, hubs takes the backing off the stove and we see burn marks on the insulation. Again, WTFudge???

 So we both looked at each other and thought oh crap, we are going to need a new stove. I called my notso generally handy around the house dad and he said no problem, probably can be fixed, I have done this before and had to pull back a few wires or what not.  I was seeing hope. Real hope.
This is the part that broke.

Hope was good. My dad came over today and said ours looked a lot better than his ever did. *insert angels singing* Within 15 mins he had replaced the baking element and the stove hit 350* in no time. *HUGE sigh of relief* (Can you feel the stress start to leave????)

This is it's $50 replacement. :)
Tools! Must have tools to remove it!

Do'nt mind the dirty oven, we cleaned it after we got this out. 
ETA: See those silver connetors? My dad accidentally dropped one in the trash can and we couldn't find it. Lowe's and HD carry a packet of like 16, for cheap. CHEAP. So hubs and dad ran over there really quickly and grabbed a pack. 

I have pics: will post them tomorrow. It was a bit scary as to what we saw on our stove and I want you to see it, too. Not going to lie, we were thinking that it was shot and that there was going to be some sort of electrical fire. Apparently, this is normal.

to be continued... (plus, I will need to tell you about the hot water heater)
ETA: Updated with pics!  Oven is clean and is working just in time for all of the holiday baking.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Frogs, Snakes and Grasshoppers

Good morning! We had a WONDERFUL weekend this past weekend. Saturday we went to Grant's Farm's Halloween shindig. It was a blast. I especially like the part at the end where each adult got their choice of 2 "samples" of AB/Inbev beer. :) I had Shock Top. YUM YUM YUM. The sample sizes were probably a good 10 oz. if not 12. Again, yum.

On Sunday my husband came up with the idea to have a picnic at one of our nearby favorite parks. This park has a beautiful creek. See how pretty it is????

Monday was our 2nd son's 8th birthday. He loves fried chicken, catching frogs, fishing, etc. He is ALL boy. :) I went and picked up some fried chicken for him and some juices and we headed to the park/creek. (they had no idea we were going)

Here he is, happily eating chicken. lol.

Then it was time to catch all of those fun boy things...

Eeeeew! But the kids had fun and that's what it was all about. We spent roughly 3 hrs there and there was NO FIGHTING!!! Can you believe it? NO fighting???? I about fainted. It was FANTASTIC.

What did you do this weekend?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leaving the Mom's Group and Cutting Ties

So for quite some years I belonged to a Mom's group. It was really great in the beginning. Everyone got along and it didn't feel clique-ish or anything. In the beginning. Obviously when you get a group of 20 women together it doesn't stay that way for long. People left, some stayed, some new ones came. Things were changing constantly. I decided I didn't like where it was going and I left.

Then a year or so ago, I decided to rejoin. My 3 boys were in school and it was just me and my baby girl. At one point some of the originals (like me) left. So then it was me and a handful of other moms. Some of the moms that were left were...drama filled. I am just going to put it that way. 2 of the moms always rubbed me the wrong way. I never got a good vibe off of the one, for sure. They quit the group and then it was down to less than 10 moms. At this point, I was just plain aggravated. Things got better for a while and then at the end of the last school year...well, it started to go to hell again.

I think I am just in a different spot again. I don't NEED this group and I don't want to put up with some of the petty BS that goes on. Some women seem almost possessive of our friendships and it has gotten really hard for me to deal with. I don't like that. I think I have just outgrown it. Really. So I left. However, there's this thing called Facebook....somehow we seem to "invite" one another (or all 5 or so) to go to the park or go to dinner, etc. Some people seem really sensitive right now that if you don't reply within their certain time frame, then they get upset. They get upset if you write on someone else's board or go do something with someone else. In the meantime, they are doing that as well. My thought is that you can't have it both ways.

It's just become a pissing contest, in my opinion. It's very sad that we all seemed to have this tight bond and then POOF. It's gone. Things won't be the same. I am all for POSITIVE changes. I am. I have made some for myself this year, as a matter of fact. I don't feel like I need a million "close" friends. I am good with having a handful. I am also fine with staying at home with my family.

But how do you let go of some of the friendships when Facebook is involved as well? I am in a different spot than I was last year. I like a lot of these women, don't get me wrong. However, things have changed. Do you limit what they can see on your wall? Do you leave FB the same? What do you do? How do you move on without being mean or hurtful?