Broken Water Pipe

The other day our sweet neighbor came to the door to let me know that there was water pouring out of the driveway. Huh?

Sure enough I walked outside and this is what I saw.

Water was bubbling up out of cracks in the driveway.

And seeping out of the sidewalk seams.

Making big puddles of water along the street. That's a lot of water.

We called the town and told them there was a break in the water pipe. A very nice public works guy came out. He turned off the water at the point where the city line meets up with our line. The flow of water stopped. Poop! That meant that the break wasn't on the city line but in in its our problem. I may have become a bit flustered (i.e. panicked) about what I was supposed to do next. The public works guy said that if Stuart could find the break in the line and if it was in an easily accessible area then I could call him and he would come back out later that night to help Stuart repair it on his own. Yes, I may have been a little flustered and the poor guy felt bad for me.

Unfortunately, when Stuart dug all around he could not find a leak. He dug around the driveway edges and found water leaking out from under the driveway. Under.The.Driveway. That doesn't sound like something that my handyman husband can fix. And that sounds expensive. And it was.

The concrete work alone (removing and replacing) was $1700.

The repair work was another few thousand. They replace the broken line with a newer more up to date version. Since we know that this area has shifting soil, we decided to go ahead and have them replace the rest of the water line all the way up to the house with stronger stuff that hopefully won't break again anytime soon.

We had to live with caution tape across the front of our house for many days.

There was the 4th of July holiday that delayed work but the plumbing company had to wait on a town inspector to check the work before the concrete and soil could be replaced.

It cost a small fortune and a bit stressful but it has all been repaired now and things will be back to normal as soon as the grass grows back in.

Staying at the Grandparents' House

We stay at Stuart's parents' house when we go to Baton Rouge.  The kids love spending so much time with their grandparents but I know his mom goes out of her way to make sure everything is just perfect before we arrive.  She shampoos the carpet, turns her office into a guest bedroom for Nicholas, and makes everything so welcoming for us.

She loves to read to the children at bedtime.  She does all the silly sounds and voices that bring a story to life.

She plays with the kids.  We especially love that she plays with the kids when they get up in the morning so we actually get to sleep in a little.  Wow what a treat!  Thank you, Grandmother!

Here is Grandmother's office...with a twin bed in the middle of it.  I'm not sure where she stores this bed when we aren't there but Nicholas loves having "his bed" set up for him when we arrive.

I couldn't help but take pictures of him but he started waking up and making a grumbly face at me :)

Rachel has slept in the room with us and one time she slept in a toddler bed that was set in Grandfather's office.  But this time she insisted on sleeping in "Nicholas' room" so we put a mattress on the floor and they had a little slumber party in there.  She rolls around a lot in her sleep and was half way of the mattress my morning!

There is always wonderful food.  It helps a little that Grandfather works at a bakery and brings home gigantic Texas-sized cinnamon rolls for us to have at breakfast.

I'm always amazed at Grandmother's patience with our kids.  Nicholas found a little gecko and decided to keep him for a pet.  He put him in a box and even put toys in it for the gecko to climb on.  Grandmother didn't complain although I'm sure she wasn't excited about the extra visitor staying in her house!

Playing in the Rain

If there is one thing you can count on in Baton Rouge is a little surprise rain shower. 

Of course, kids are attracted to water so the next thing we knew they were all completely drenched....and having the time of their lives!

There is a bit of a crater in their grandparents' driveway so this made for an awesome little pond for them to jump in.

They found pieces of styrofoam to float in the water and use as scoopers.

Scoopers then became vehicles for throwing water at each other!

Then as the rain drops stopped falling, they decided to "wash" Uncle Steve C.'s car with some wash cloths they found.

They scooped up the dirty ground water to re-wet the car.  Sorry Steve!

They were all working very hard and so proud of the job they were doing.  They also decided that they should ask Steve to pay them $50.00 for it.

It was fun watching Rachel who was very meticulous about the way she folded her washcloth.

She had so much fun!

Alyssa came out for a while and Aunt Donna let Rachel push her around in the wheelchair.  Rachel loves spending time with Alyssa and she is very proud when she gets to do things to help Alyssa.

Back to the giant puddle, Rachel found an empty water bottle and started scooping up water from the driveway.

She thought it was cool to look at all the dirt floating in it.

The kids then devised a way to try to filter out the water by letting it flow through a wash cloth over another container.  I love watching Discovery Learning in action!

The kids were wet but they weren't clean.  They had bits of leaves and dirt stuck to their wet clothes.  Grandmother tried her best to hose them off but they were awfully wiggly!

I absolutely love this picture of the cousins sitting together.  I'm just sad that Alyssa wasn't outside when I took it.

Taking Flight with Granddad

Dad offered to take us up for a plane ride.  What a cool opportunity!  But there wasn't room for all of us to go up and I don't really like flying in little passenger planes so I offered to sit this one out.  Instead Rachel and I would go hit some antique shops in Denham Springs.

We dropped the boys off at Grandad's house.  Nicholas was excited just trying on the headset.  I think he wore them for the whole drive to the airport. 

I had to get a picture of my three favorite guys in the world.  Have fun!

Stuart took the camera along to get pictures for me.  This is the plane Dad rented for their ride. 

Grandad took Nicholas around the plane with him as they checked it out. 


Here are a few videos Stuart got of their flight.  If you are reading this in the email update then you'll have to click over to the actual blog to see these.

A touch and go

I was really excited that Nicholas got to do this with Grandad. It was a neat experience for him but it was also cool that we just finished up studying about the history of flight and how planes work back in the Spring as part of our Konos study of Trust.

Visiting with Granddad

I love just sitting around talking with my Dad. It's kind of hard for me to have much of a real conversation with him with the kids around because they want all of his attention. And that's ok too because I love watching them together.

Rachel was acting silly and giggly and wouldn't just look at me to take a picture.  Granddad copied her and then of course she straightened up and looked at me.  It made for a cute picture of Granddad though :)

The TV was on while we were visiting and Rachel had a piece of Trident gum.  She noticed a rectangle on the screen, put her piece of gum in it and said they were the same!

We usually go out for some good Cajun food when we hang out with Dad and we can usually get my brother to come along too.  The kids love their Uncle Steve.

I love this guy too - scruffy and all.

Hugs all around.  Nicholas really likes Uncle Steve and thinks he is cool.  I love that Steve acts like a big kid around Nicholas and that they can have fun just playing together.

All the visiting and eating can wear a little girl out.  There are always lots of quick naps in the car while we run from one place to the other in Baton Rouge.

Oh, one of the treats the kids always like at Granddad's is watermelon!  Sweet and messy, just the way they like it.