Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Season of The Bulls

This has sure been a great football season for us. Here are some highlights.

September 8th- Beat Auburn at Auburn.

September 22nd- ranked 23rd in the nation. First time to ever be ranked.

September 25- Play West Virgina at a sold out Raymond James Stadium. First ever sell out game. Beat West Virginia.

October 7th- Bulls move up to #5 in AP Poll.

October 13th- Bull beat UCF in with second sell out crowd. Longest undefeated season run 6-0.

October 14th- Bulls #2 in BCS rankings.

November 24th- First win in temperatures below 45 degrees (Although some disagree when you factor in wind chill.) Ended the season 9-3. Ranked 25th in the AP poll and 20th in the BCS poll.

We are waiting for that bowl invitation!!

New Tradition??

Last year my classroom parents organized a parent night at the local pottery place. The other kinder teacher and I went too. It was fun talking, painting, looking at everyone's work. It was interesting to see what piece of pottery they choose, the colors they used, and the decorating style.

While I was there I noticed that they had ornament shapes. It made me think of the plaster angel ornaments we made with my mom forever ago. I thought it would be nice to have the kids make an ornament for our tree and then when they got older they'd have a special ornament that they had made.

Of course the youngest one was thrilled with the idea. The oldest didn't want to go. Not an option! I even suggested that he bring his girlfriend along so she could make something for her parents. He still wasn't receptive. Since this was not an opt out event he stated that he would not sit with us if he had to go.

The hard part was finding an evening where we could all go at relatively the same time. I chose Friday the 16th, two for one night. The youngest finishes dance at 5:30. We could go out to eat and then head to the pottery place. It was almost perfect. Unfortunately the youngest had to go back to the dance studio for a rehearsal for a special promotional performance the next day. We ate, went to the pottery place, received basic instructions for pottery painting, and selected items. The youngest then had to go back to dance, luckily the studio is only a couple of miles from the pottery location. Doug was chauffeur since he wasn't interested in painting something.

The oldest settled in with us at the same table (no girlfriend). He painted two ornaments; one for the family tree and one for his girlfriend. The youngest son painted a light bulb for the family tree (I was wanting an ornament bulb. Miscommunication??) and a dragon for himself. The youngest painted a snowflake ornament when her rehearsal ended and Doug brought her back. I painted a large plate/platter in honor of The Season of The Bulls. (That's what I'm calling our football season this year.) Doug was needed to select the correct Bull's colors and give advice. Good thing he was there because those were not the shaded I would have chosen. Since he is a college t-shirt collector, he has an eye for athletic colors.

The oldest finished up and Doug took him home. Doug returns and the youngest boy is now finished and ready to go home, so he takes him home. The youngest and I were left still painting away. Doug came back and selected some add-ons for the plate. He did paint the basketball. Closing time came and I still wasn't quite finished so I had to return the next day to finish the football add-on.

It takes about a week to get your items back, after they have been fired in the kiln. We were eager to pick up our works of art Saturday. I have to say that each ornament is so reflected of my children's personalities.

The oldest paints a snowman and snowflakes on a flat circle ornament. The snowman is small and made of two balls and has no hat. This seemed to take him quite a bit of time although it looked like more effort went into the girlfriend's ornament. I have to say that he did enjoy himself and got into the project.

The youngest son painted the light bulb pear green with sprinkles and wrote X-mas 2007. I say, "That's so pagan." He says, "Oops, my bad. There wasn't enough space to write Christmas."

The youngest rag painted her snowflake, adds six add-on tiny snowflakes in various shades of blue/purple to the spokes of the snowflake. She then writes her name and the year in a shade that won't show up against the blues and purples. Doug points this out and suggests a couple of other colors, but oh no she knows best.

We are all pleased with our creations. My youngest thinks this should be an annual tradition. Saying this several times over the course of the evening. I agree with her. Tune in next year to see if we return. All we need now is the tree. Actually we have the tree. All we need is the box with the ornament hooks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Basement Floor

In February we had another home emergency. Our sunk pump over heated because there was frozen water in the line and it was trying to pump melting water away from the house. On a Sunday morning we woke to find the basement floor coated with a thin layer of water. We immediately called our plumber, the one who replaced our water line from the house. (The beginning of my blogging.) He was definitely working over time. We were one of numerous people who encountered the same problem that weekend.

Doug and I tried to remove the water ourselves from the basement. After about an hour and backaches with little suctioned water to show for the amount of work, we called the professionals. They dried out the basement and removed the old red carpet we had. Luckily the new bedroom carpet for the oldest did not have to be removed. They were able to salvage it because of the pad underneath.

Of course the sunk pump situation was not an easy fix. The plumber rigged up a temporary solution that dumped water in the backyard and created a river in both our yard and the neighbor's. The plumber came back with what was suppose to be the final strategy but it didn't work. We still had water pouring out into the backyard and not out the old route that went along the side of the house. Doug came up with a potential solution. The plumber liked it and it worked.

We then had to haggle with the insurance people for the appropriate coverage of the damage. Luckily the group we hired to dry out the basement were familiar with this type of damage and costs. They hounded the insurance people and helped us know what was fair and reasonable. Unfortunately fair and reasonable didn't cover the replacement of the basement flooring (because of its age and condition). As a result, since February, we had been living with the concrete slab as the floor. We had some remnant carpet pieces that we strategically placed on the floor for some level of comfort when we were down there. The concrete floor made the basement look so dark and gloomy.

In October we were able to buy and have our new flooring installed. I was amazed by how much brighter the room looks considering we have a darkish carpet. It is so nice to have a soft flooring. Our old carpet didn't even have a pad underneath so we were pretty use to hard flooring.

We used the flooring to divide the room. From the stairs down into the TV area we have a dark tan carpet and then the back half that leads to the oldest's bedroom we had industrial tiles put in (they remind me of school tiles). This is our multipurpose area. I use it for crafts, the little one uses it as a play and dance area, Doug uses it for part of his collection, and the boys have not found a specific use for that space.

What a chore it was moving our belongings completely out of the room so the flooring could be laid. It's become a great space. See what you think. We use the basement area for guest sleeping too.