Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Plumbing Update


The general contractor was here this afternoon and he put the grout around the toilet, stretched and re-tacked the carpeting and installed the baseboards. All we have to do now is wait for everything to dry, steam clean the carpet and do a thorough cleaning in the bathroom and hopefully everything will be behind us. Yea!!!!


Yesterday the General Contractor that did the remodel and his new plumber came over around 1:00. They raised the toilet up a little higher to increase the slope and installed tile over the wood fitting to prevent mold from growing and so far, no leaks. The plumber also installed a new seal on the shower and tested it and said there is no leak. After I finish this blog, I'm going to go in an thoroughly clean the shower and we'll resume using it for the next few days and check for any leaks. We've been using the toilet since yesterday afternoon and everything is dry as a bone, yea!!!! The contractor will come back next week after we've tested everything for a few days and if everything is still dry, he's going to install grout around the toilet fitting and install new baseboards behind the toilet, in the bedroom and in the hallway and stretch the carpeting and tack it back down in the bedroom. We also need to contact the insurance company and explain everything in detail and cancel our claim and return the funds. Jay's trying to get the contractor to pay the expenses we have from the original plumber and contractor that came over last week, but so far he hasn't had much success. We'll see what happens, but the most important thing is that everything is fixed and we have our bathroom back in working order. Hopefully this will be the end of our plumbing problems. I don't know about you, but I just don't appreciate having a working bathroom enough! Only when it's not working and is fixed to I fully appreciate the beauty of functioning plumbing!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

God by Kendall Ketchum

October 18, 2007


I know we have been having a rough time in this world. The kids are making fun of the famous people. I want the bad words out of the world because God thinks you're showing off. I feel like around the world that we are one big happy family. It doesn't matter if they are from another country, it's just that God wants all of us to get along. Why? Because God is father, He is our king, He is our master, He is Jesus. So, if you are lazy, don't sit there doing nothing. Get off of your bums and read a Bible, pray, and go to church. If you listen to rock, yelling is ok with God, but singing bad words is not ok with God. If you want to go to heaven, you have to go to church because He's telling you to go to church. If you want to know, look at the Bible because it knows everything like a dictionary. If you need help, pray, because God can heal people. So it is time to rise up to Jesus Christ so He can read our hearts, our minds, and our souls. Why? Because get a Bible and read Isaiah 40:11. He was born with a king, but not king Harod, Mary and Joseph had earned that gift because they had found favor with God. We call Him Jesus as we pray. Amen!

This was a hand-written essay that Kendall wrote on her own and showed me this afternoon.

Plumbing Nightmares

Ok, so most of you know that we had our master bedroom/bathroom completely remodeled before we got married and I moved into the house. The old bathroom was tiny and had tons of mold and was not only asthetically unpleasing, but probably a health hazard as well. Jay found a general contractor to do the remodel (bedroom, walk-in closet, bathroom) who was licensed and seemed to be a decent guy. Apparently, the contractor we hired had a "friend" who was a plumber and did not know what he was doing. This "friend" also did the electrical work, which Jay had to repair after the remodel was complete. Jay is not a plumber, but he is an electrician and knew enough about the electrical work to get it up to code. We went along just fine for about 2 years and then back around July/August the toilet flusher broke. We discovered this was no fault to the plumber, it was just a lousy design by the manufacturerer. We pulled the paperwork and discovered that the toilet was under warranty for 10 years. Great! No money out of pocket, what a relief! Well, when we called to order the part, they told us one of the parts we needed (a seal of some sort) was on backorder. It took well over a month for us to finally get that part in and get the toilet fixed. But, the part eventually came in and we got the toilet up and running again and we had our bathroom back. Until.......on Sunday, October 14 I noticed some water on the carpet in the bathroom. I just figured Jay had splilled something or hopped out of the shower soaking wet and streaked through the bedroom and it hadn't dried yet. I noticed it still damp on Monday, but didn't think too much of it. Then on Tuesday, it was much worse. Jay and I were getting ready to go to Jeannie's funeral and I brought it to his attention. He thought the leak was coming from the shower and decided we needed to call a plumber. We called Lanini's plumbing who had helped us out before when we were having other plumbing issues. Jake from Lanini's called us right away from his cell and was in the area and stopped by and took a look. He said that the shower drain was not installed properly and to fix it we would have to have the entire shower pulled and the plumbing fixed and to do that we'd have to have a general contractor come in and do the work. He said that he has a general contractor that he works with that used to work for the insurance companies and comes highly recommended. He mentioned the guy's name and I was instantly relieved. I happen to know him from church from working in the children's ministry and he is one of the nicest men I've ever met. He gave Joe a call and Joe came over and told us that we had a homeowner's insurance claim and to contact the insurance company and he guided us in what to tell them. Jay called the insurance company and filed a claim on the phone. We finished getting ready for the funeral, went to Walmart and got a box fan to dry the carpet and padding and went to the funeral. We continued drying the carpet over the next few days while we waited to hear from the claims adjustor that the claim was approved and noticed the carpet was getting wetter and wetter, even though we weren't using the shower. Fortunately, we have 3 bathrooms in this house, so Jay and I had moved all of our shower stuff into the spare bathroom. We looked around the toilet and noticed that water was leaking from the toilet. Great!!!! So, we called Joe and he and Jake came by again and Jake pulled the toilet and discovered that the way the slope was under the toilet was not up to code and that they had installed the toilet over a piece of wood about an inch above the flooring and mold was growing on the wood and he said that we needed to have the slope increased and we needed to go after the general contractor that did the original remodel. Now what???? We have this outstanding claim with our homeowner's insurance, we've had a plumber and a contractor out for two house calls and now we have to go after this guy who we don't even know is still in business. So, Jay called Joe and he checked online and the guy is still licensed so we called him and left a couple of messages. He came out this morning and had his *new* plumber (even he knew the guy that did the original work was not reputable) come out and take a look. What the new plumber discovered was 1) the shower drain is a mess and he has to come back and do some tests and if there is a leak we need to move forward with the claim and 2) the slope issue is due to the way that the sewage line was installed and he can't increase the slope by going under the slab, there isn't enough room, so he's going to raise the toilet further by installing tile under it which will be more sanitary than the wood and will **hopefully** stop the leak. So, that's where we're at right now. Both the original contractor and his plumber are coming back this afternoon to see what can be done. Here are some photos of the mess. To be continued...

Happy Birthday D1

On Saturday, October 20 we drove down to Santa Barbara to meet my Dad and Valerie for lunch to celebrate my Dad's birthday. October 20th is his actual birthday, so it was nice to be able to celebrate with him on his special day. We met at The Palace Grill on E. Cota and had a fabulous lunch. If you've never been there, I highly recommend it! It's a New Orlean's style restaurant with award plaques covering the walls. My Dad and Valerie were very adventurous with their ordering. My Dad ordered a crawfish pasta and Valerie had a soft shell crab po boy. I stuck with what I know and had a blackened chicken po boy and Jay had an artichoke po boy. Kendall had a spicy pasta with Italian sausage and a cream sauce. The weather was spectacular and after lunch we walked down State Street and did a little window shopping. I was under the weather and Jay wasn't feeling too hot either, so we had to cut the afternoon short, but it was a nice visit and most importantly, we got to celebrate with the ones we love.

October Update

Jay is working his tail off (as usual) and always makes me proud not only of his character and determination, but his commitment to the country and his position in the Air Force. I'm still getting used to the fact that he does not have a "normal" job. His job carries over very much into our personal lives and it's a sacrafice, but I do believe it's worth it. He has a job that matters to all of us, not just to our family and I'm so grateful for men like him who are willing to make such a sacrafice for the freedom of all Americans. Nicole is doing well in school and is playing on a volleyball team. Their team has not won many games yet, but she enjoys being on a team and being able to do something that she enjoys. I only wish she lived closer so that we could go to her games and see her in action! We are so excited for her to come and visit in November. She turns 10 this month, which is really difficult for me to grasp. I'm sure that is the case with all parents as they watch their little ones grow up. Kendall is in Junior High school and has made the transition beautifully. She works so hard with her studies and is becoming more socially active. She attended her first school dance a couple of weeks ago and is regularly attending youth group at our church. We are so proud of both of our girls! I am still enjoying my break from work and have spent the last few months doing work on the house, getting us more organized, volunteering at church, spending time with friends and getting caught up on some much needed rest. I'm looking for work right now and there isn't much out here, but I know that I will find just the right position when the time is right. In the meantime, we cut coupons and recycle bottles, stick to our budget and pray!

We miss you Jeanie

In loving memory of Jeanie Martin. You will be missed every day. Thank you for the gift of love that you gave to everyone who knew you. For the laughter, for your gift of hospitality, for making everyone who walked through your door feel like family.


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