Sunday, September 30, 2012

18. Go to a Cubs game as a family

Hannah: "I can't wait until we get to go to the Cubs game!"
Melissa: "Are you excited that they are playing the Pirates too?"
Hannah: "You mean that we get to go to a Pirates game?"  (to Maddie screaming)  "Maddie, we get to go to a Pirates game!"

My kids have some competition for fanhood from Melissa's family who are life-long Pirates fans, but I think they were won over by their experience cheering the Cubs to victory.

Charlie had a great time.  He had this grin for most of the time there.

This picture makes me smile so much!

Who's excited?

All three kids got a certificate to remember their first trip to Wrigley Field.

Charlie and one of his best buds!

I think Hannah began asking for cotton candy when we pulled out of our driveway.  We went to 8 different concession stands until we finally found one that had it.  Also if you are one to discect every part of the picture (Mom), you can see Charlie in the background crying because Hannah is hogging the cotton candy.

One happy family (at least 83% of us) enjoying a day at the ballpark.

We aren't even on the highway yet and they were out.  I would say that they had fun.

41 goals down!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

78. Go to a Fair

We went to the Sandwich Fair a few weeks ago.  Melissa did a good enough job detailing our trip so I will just leave this picture:

And post this link.

40 goals down!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dryer broken? Change the coils.

I need to start this post off by thanking my dad for giving me the ability to look at a problem and not get scared by it. I grew up thinking/knowing that he could make or fix just about anything. I never saw him work on a dryer, but attempting to fix it with very little knowledge of how to fix it seems like something he would have done. So doing things like this doesn't scare me.

One day last week our dryer stopped working. The problem we had was that after the dryer was going through a whole cycle, but wasn't drying the clothes.  The first thing I thought was that the dryer vent was clogged, but after getting this pile out of the hose it still didn't work.

Then I went down to Leonardi's.  They have been fantastic with past issues I have had and even took me down to the basement when we had a washer issue last year and showed me what was wrong and how to fix it.  They went as far as having me take one of their old ones apart and fixing the part that was broken on my washer.  They did this just to make sure that I would know what I was doing when I went home.  They are great there.  My problem was the same as I did a few years ago.  Actually, when I went in there I suggested it was the same problem that I had awhile ago and the guy looked it up and it turns out that on August 21, 2007 I did this same fix on the same dryer.  He said the parts generally last for about 5 years.  How about that!

FYI, nothing too exciting about this one.

Here's the before picture with one of my beautiful models.

Maddie needed me to take a picture of her as well.

The first thing I had to do was take the top off.  I took two screws off the control panel and removed it only later to realize that wasn't necessary.  Then I took these two screws off by the lint trap.  They hold the top on.

After removing the screws, I just shoved my screwdriver into this crack and snapped the top up and off.

Like this!

Next I unplugged the switch that tells the motor that the door is closed.

Then I found out that no one was watching Charlie and he was playing dress-up.  Man that boy needs a better male role model in his life!

Last time I did this I was as far as I needed to be as far as taking the dryer apart.  That wasn't the case this time because I couldn't get my screwdriver on the screws to remove the old coils at this point so I had to take the drum out.  That part really stunk!

That black thing is one of the coils.

Here are the replacements:

Here is the dryer without the drum.  There were no pictures of the removal because that part needed 3 or 4 more hands than I already had.  It was not as easy as I had hoped.

Removing the cover off the old broken coils.

Replacing the coils.

Looking at the drum and hoping that it will just put itself back on with the belt wrapped tightly around it.

Success!  This is a picture of the flames going inside the dryer.  The coils are doing their job!

What a good sight!


I did 4 loads tonight after fixing the dryer.  We really needed that thing fixed!

As promised, nothing exciting in this post, just a description of a job that I wouldn't have the ability or ambition to attempt without my Dad doing projects similar to this while I was growing up.  Thanks Dad!

Friday, September 7, 2012

11. Take the kids out on the canoe

Mike came over today and we took the canoe out.  First I had to do some repairs.  I had some pretty big cracks and holes that needed repairing.  I was going to do a post on repairing the canoe, but I realized that what I was doing was really not the way that it was supposed to be done, so I didn't do it.  Instead, here are some pictures of how bad it looked.

This is about what you could expect out of a 35 year old fiberglass canoe. The outer surface is really chipping away.

Pieces flaking off.

Loading up the car was easy with Maddie's help!


Charlie helped too.

Heading down to the river.

Ready to go.

While waiting Charlie wanted to throw rocks.  I couldn't resist the urge either and skipped a few rocks too.

Here we go.

Aside from when this picture was taken, Charlie had a good time.
A view from the river of the new concert theater being built.
I love Hannah's face in this picture.

Lucy hung out with Melissa on the shore as we went out.  I'm sure it was pretty boring for them.

Pretty big sweat marks from the life vest.

Hopefully we can do this again because the kids really did have fun out there.  Hannah and Charlie's favorite part was scaring the geese and Maddie's was seeing a pumpkin floating in the water.  Fun stuff indeed.

39 goals down!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oliver! > Oliver Twist

Back when Melissa was still pregnant we had our girl name picked out (Lucy or Audrey) and our boy name (Oliver).  I started to read Oliver Twist.  That was back in March.  It is September and I just finished the book this week. The story line from the movie is there, but man is that book wordy. That was why I really struggled to get through it.

Last week I watched the movie Oliver! which is based on the book.  When people use the line that the book is better than the movie I usually agree.  Books tell stories a lot better, but the book just dragged on way too much.

A couple more classic novels and I will be done with that goal.