Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Little Blue Chair

When Cooper was a toddler, Jason's grandmother gave him this little blue armchair and I bet she had no idea how much pleasure it would bring him and the next two Gadman boys. Its been in two houses and either our bedroom or the den for prime TV watching. I think Campbell has enjoyed and used it the most. We've had it 10 years now, and it is NASTY! Its starting to fall apart and there are so many stains on it from food, accidents, and leaking diapers, but I just can't bring myself to get rid of it. Cade is sitting in it as I write watching TV. It will break my heart one day when I have to chunk it. I threw away the Blue's Clue potty seat last week and did not shed one tear. I almost wanted to have a party to celebrate, but the chair is different. Here are my favorite pictures of the little blue chair. My most favorite you will see is Cade sleeping in it. The really funny part is we were selling our house in Plano and someone called to come see it, but I refused to wake him (you never wake a sleeping toddler) so they walked right by him sleeping in that chair. They thought it was so cute! I don't think that's what sold the house, but I am sure it didn't hurt. My other favorite memory is the video below. Campbell taught himself how to walk using the chair. I have proof! Enjoy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Kisses From Katie"

I just finished reading Kisses from Katie, written by Katie Davis who lives in Uganda where she has adopted 13 daughters that she is raising on her own. She gave up her comfortable American life with a boyfriend and college to be obedient to the Lord and move to Uganda. She had no idea where the journey would take her, but I am so glad she chose to share it with her readers.

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I can't talk enough about how meaningful it was to me. Jason asked me if it was making me want to adopt, but that's not what I got out of it at all. Mostly I was convicted and encouraged about being a good mom. She describes each one of her daughters with such details about their personalities that it convicted me about spending more time with my three sons. She considers each mess she cleans up to be a blessing from the Lord. She still finds time outside of her home to minister to so many other people in the community and takes her daughters with her to show them how to be hands and feet of Christ. She says she is not a perfect mother, but her main goal is to teach her girls about Jesus both in word and deed. She gets so dirty, literally, as she parents and ministers to so many sick and messy people, but she never complains and considers each person she meets as an opportunity to be obedient to God. I am so selfish and spoiled. I want to live an adventure but am I willing to get that messy? Am I willing to sacrifice everything to be obedient to my Savior?  I don't know if I'm there yet. For the time being she has encouraged me to be a better mother. One step at a time.

Please read this book.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Huge Mess!

I don't want to complain. We have a house and we have home owner's insurance and not technically a flood like some people in other parts of Houston. I know we have a lot to be thankful for, but I would like to have a small pity party and let you all partake in the mess my house is in. There is no way to describe it, so here, for your viewing pleasure, is a quick tour of the downstairs of our home.

I'm sure you are saying, "Oh no, all that rain flooded their house!" Nope. Completely unrelated. Here's the story. Phase One: Monday, July 2, when we came downstairs in the morning and stepped on the laminate wood floors we heard a squeaking, squishing sound. We walked around for awhile and finally noticed water coming out of the cracks in the floors in our entry way. Great! It had rained a lot the day before so we assumed it was rain that came under the front door, so we decided to soak it up as best we could and then pray for a miracle that the floors wouldn't buckle. So all day I would walk by the spots and squeeze water out and wipe it up. We left the next morning for my mom's and the water was still there. We had no idea what we would come back to but assumed the water would dry up and we would deal with the damage when we got back.

We got back on Friday at 4:30, the worst time to get back. We came in and just as much, if not more, water came out of the cracks and indeed the floors were beginning to buckle. At that point we decided maybe it wasn't rain so we called our home warranty people and asked for a plumber to come out and called our insurance company to report the damage. The plumber comes out, and of course its the weekend now so its extra, and spends an hour looking all over our house and cannot find anything wrong with the plumbing. He's at a loss. Nice. He says to get the floors pulled up and dried and then maybe we could see where the water was coming from. So on Saturday, again the weekend so it costs extra, the water restoration people come out and begin to rip up the laminate wood floors that we worked so hard to put in ourselves 4 years ago. It was very painful to watch. The water line extended from the bottom of the staircase to the front door. We asked them to look at our kitchen floors because we saw a spot there that looked like it was buckling, but they said it wasn't wet and probably wasn't related. (Ha!) So they agreed it was rain water and set up 4 fans and a dehumidifier. Those stayed at our house until Monday afternoon. You would think the sound of fans would just be white noise but no, REALLY loud! Can't hear a thing.

At this point everyone has told us it was rain water so we filed a claim with FEMA, figuring they weren't going to cover anything, but it couldn't hurt to ask. They were scheduled to come out on Wednesday afternoon. We talked to our home owner's insurance adjuster and he said since the plumber said it wasn't plumbing there was no reason to come look because they don't cover rain issues. I began to panic at this point. Nothing is going to be covered and there is no way to repair the floors that are missing, we are going to have to replace all of the wood floors downstairs. And did I mention that when they pulled the floors up we see a huge crack all the way through the foundation? We thought we might be having foundation issues, but who doesn't in Texas, so we had avoided making that call. But it seemed like a good time so we've had one foundation estimate so far and the right side of our house is an inch lower than the left side. We need 18 piers. Cha ching.

Phase Two: Wednesday morning we come downstairs, and behold, a water spot at the bottom of the staircase! Not coming in the front door and it has been raining for three days straight and no water coming in the door! It was the most beautiful water spot ever! So we call the plumbing company back and they don't want to send him back out because he said it wasn't plumbing, they wouldn't send him back until Thursday and it would be a separate issue so another charge. I don't think so! I was proud of how I handled that call. Plumber was at our house at 2. Oh, yes, I see that its not rain. Thanks. He cuts a hole in the sheet rock under the staircase and it is full of water. But he can't tell anything. He cuts another hole behind the fridge, can't tell anything. At that point the FEMA adjuster comes by even though we had called and told him it wasn't rain. He walks in the kitchen and says "Can't you see the stream of water coming off the supply line to the fridge?" Thank you FEMA adjuster. The plumber isn't convinced that was enough water to make all that damage, so he cuts another hole in the bathroom. He then decides there is a leak in the toilet. He fixes the toilet, turns off the water to the fridge, and after two and a half hours and three holes in our walls, declares he "thinks" he fixed the problem.

Here is the funny, our God is humorous, part of the story. Up until this point I have been making all these phone calls, but I just couldn't make another one, so I give Jason the name and number of our insurance adjuster and ask him to call him back and make him come out and look at this mess before we go any further. He looks at the name and says he recognizes the name as one of the coaches from the last team Cade's all star team played a few weeks ago that ended our run. He agrees to come out and arrives on Thursday morning with another adjuster he was having a meeting with. Jason walks in from the garage and they both stop and stare at each other. It wasn't just one of the coaches, it was the manager of the team and he had been an ... well, not a nice person at that game. He began to profusely apologize for his behavior at the game. He was in shock that he came to our house and even said "This is from a higher being that I am here. I have felt so bad for how I behaved at that game and wanted to apologize." God is so funny sometimes! He says that everything will be covered by insurance once we pay our deductible! THANK YOU GOD! And he calls the water restoration people while he is there to come back out and test again for moisture. And then he started talking baseball again. The other adjuster said he has 3 girls and has no idea what they are talking about.

So the water restoration people come back out Thursday afternoon. This time the owner comes and immediately says he is going to rip out some of the sheet rock because it is already growing stuff. I show him the kitchen floors, that by now are really buckling and he says he will remove them too. I tell him that I asked the guys the time before to look at those floors but they didn't. He was NOT happy. So he ripped out all of the kitchen floors and half the dining room. The water went through part of the kitchen and that half of the dining room. He called for reinforcements and they cut out more sheet rock out of the bathroom. So the video above is after they left. Eight fans and 2 dehumidifiers. Craziness.

So ahead of us is first fixing the foundation, and then letting insurance step in. We've already had a floor guy out to measure and today a contractor to look at everything that has to be fixed. So the good thing is we'll have all new floors and new paint job and a new desk and bathroom cabinet. But its going to be a long journey to get there. The fans were picked up today so at least I can hear everything. I can cook on concrete floors but I could not function with those fans everywhere. The boys were at the in-laws for most of this fiasco, but they got back on Thursday. They are being troopers. Patience will be a virtue for the next few months I think. The floor guy and contractor lady (yes, lady) both said the baseball manager adjuster that came by is a big wig that usually doesn't even come out to houses. Hugh. Coincidence? I think not.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Review of "By Faith, Not by Sight"

Its no secret that I am an American Idol fan and love when people of faith make it far each season. I really enjoyed getting to know Scott MacIntyre during Season 8, but reading this book let me in on so much more of his life journey and I am even more in awe of him and his determination to succeed. By Faith, Not by Sight is his story of being born blind and learning how to not only survive but flourish with his disability. God blessed him with so many other gifts including his mind and his musical ability. But he was also blessed with a family who would go to the ends of the earth to help him become all that God intended him to be. They supported him not only through his childhood as he learned to live with his blindness, but as an adult when he was diagnosed with a life threatening kidney issue.
I was inspired by Scott's life, but was also encouraged by reading about all that his mother did for him. As a mother I hope I have the strength to do for my children all that Scott's mother had to sacrifice for her son. I was in awe reading about all that he dealt with growing up and how he didn't use his disability as an excuse to not work. He worked even harder than most people. As an Idol fan, I loved the last part of the book as Scott described his journey through Idol and how he strived to use that platform to bring glory to God. I would encourage any American Idol fan to read this book but also anyone who loves to read about inspiring people. Scott MacIntyre has an amazing journey that can teach us all life lessons.
I received this book from Booksneeze in exchange for a review, but was not obligated to give it a positive review.