May 30, 2012

Pine Wood Derby 2012

David has been so excited for this year's pine wood derby races.  He got his car packet about a month ago and started designing his car right away.  He enlisted the help of Brother Norman Anderson to help him cut the car to the appropriate shape.  After that he sanded, painted and finished the car himself.  Then he took some money he earned mowing lawns and bought himself the perfect set of stickers.  Then, on the day of the race, he put the wheels on and added the extra weight to hit 5 oz.  He has been so proud of his car and was excited about his chances of winning this year's races.

David's car did excellent and everyone that participated were great sports about the races.  David didn't win every race but it was still fun to watch.
In the end, David took 2nd place after having a 4-race tie-breaker.  It was intense but added to the excitement of this year's races.  And David was still excited to get his little 2nd place trophy.

May 21, 2012

Sprinkler Repair Takes All Day

I wanted to get our sprinkler system working without the leaks that have developed since last fall.  I don't know how they happened but I definitely know that they are leaking.  The big problem has been in front by our shut off valve.  Anytime we turn the main valve for the sprinklers on we get Lake Jones in our front yard.  We've used the sprinklers occasionally and simply swim to the valve when were done to shut it off.  We called a handyman to help but he's so booked up with other properties that he didn't have time for us.  So I decided to tackle this one myself today.

I started with a nice little section of grass removed.  Then I started digging.  David wanted in so he tried digging for a while.  By the time we hit 5 feet we had a deep narrow hole that I would never be able to work in and we still didn't know where the actual problem was...we hadn't even gotten down to the pipes yet.

In order to find the direction of the leak (so I would know which was to dig) I turned the water on.  As the hole began to fill with water I detected the source was somewhere close by and on the north side of the current hole.  So, after cutting out more sod, we continued expanding the hole.  Our wonderful neighbors to the north, the Dukes, notice the construction project underway and wandered down to see what was going on.  After explaining the problem he took my shovel and started hauling dirt out of the hole for me.  We traded off for a while but we were starting to slow in our progress.  The hole was bigger but it wasn't deeper yet and we still hadn't found the offending section of pipe!

While we were digging another northern neighbor, Carl, walked by and stopped to take a gander.  He was impressed by the hole and offered some sage advice before continuing on his walk around the neighborhood.  It was lunch time so I stopped to eat and Don had other appointments and obligations to attend to so he promised to stop by later and check on our progress.  I ate lunch but didn't want to go back outside.  I think it was then that I noticed that the temperature was already 90 degrees!

I continued shoveling and finally made a hole big enough for me to get in and still do something.  So, with a hand trowel and a small bucket, I started clearing out the bottom of the hole to create some working room and discover what was causing the leak.  It didn't take long after that to find to break in the pipe.  The break was between the stop and waste valve and the pvc pipe connection.  How that one broke is still a mystery. 

It took me three trips to Home Depot to get the various parts and pieces to put this pipe back together.  Finally, the main connection to the sprinkler system was finally put back together.  We did a quick pressure test and the pipes seemed to hold up so hopefully there will be no more problems there.  We have one more major leak and a faulty automatic sprinkler valve that are still on the fix-it list but they'll just have to wait until next week.  I'm done with sprinklers for today!

May 8, 2012

Gidean Eats Smoothies

Since Michelle has put everyone on a green smoothie diet we've included Gidean as well.  After all, he needs his vitamins and minerals too.  So we mix up enough green smoothie for each boy to have a cup full; Gidean simply gets his green smoothie a spoonful at a time.

After he finishes his smoothie he eats a bowl of cereal, has a piece of bread or something of that nature to finish filling him up (no small challenge). 

May 5, 2012

Blentec Blender is Alive!

Michelle just got her new Blentec blender.  The blender was her Mother's Day gift but she got it a little bit early.  Michelle was so excited to try it out she decided to mix something up right away.

After a quick review of the owner's manual she put some food in the blender.  The boys were just as excited as Michelle to see this blender work it's magic.  With the push of a button the blender roared to life and pulverized everything inside.  I think Michelle is going to have a lot of fun with her new kitchen toy!