Thursday morning, my in-laws came into town - Ginny and Roy drove in from Arizona, and Chris and his boys (I shouldn't say boys - they're in their 20's now), Red and John, drove in from New Mexico. They were here until Tuesday morning, and my brother Bryan who lives nearby was here almost the whole time they were. You won't believe all that they accomplished in the short time they were here...
Friday, they all got to work. Chris is a licensed plumber and owns his own business in New Mexico, and Red and John work for him. They replaced all the plumbing in the house, the faucets in the bathroom, and put in a new water line.
My brother insulated the attic which is about a foot and a half of crawl space, and less in some places. Anyone who has an ounce of claustrophobia would never be able to do this job. At one point, he told me he had to exhale all his breath, squeeze himself through a small space and then fill his lungs again once he made it through. For the first part of this project, my mother-in-law Ginny was standing on a ladder and feeding him the insulation with a stick through the cold air return. Fortunately, my nephews finished up most of the plumbing quickly enough to be able to give my brother a hand in the attic the next day, and they finished the whole thing. My poor brother was covered from head to toe with fiberglass sparkles and sweat for two days.
Friday night, we all stayed at a hotel since the water was off in the house. Chris, Red and John shared a room, and Ginny, Roy the kids and I shared a room next to them with two queen sized beds, and I had Jacob and Sydney in bed with me. Sleep was elusive with my squirmy kids; especially Sydney who flips from head to foot every five minutes, and was crying for me to cover her up or find her "baby" for her. At one point, her crying woke up Jacob who said to her, "You messed up my dream!" Ginny, Roy and I all got a big kick out of that one! It's nice to know he's having good dreams, too. I wonder what he was dreaming about...
My father-in-law Roy dug the front yard so Chris and the boys could replace the water line, and with him doing that, it saved a ton of time on that part of the project. He did it so neatly, too, that you can barely tell anything was done in the yard.
Red and John also had to dig pretty far down to check the sewer pipe, and they discovered that it had been replaced recently, so it wasn't necessary for them to replace that, thank goodness. The issues with the sewer pipe are probably from where the new pipe ends and the old one begins from the sidewalk to the street, but to replace that would cost thousands of dollars. It'll save money just to have a plumber come out and snake it once a year. I'm almost positive that's what most of my neighbors do, too.
Jacob had a blast working side by side with his uncles, cousins, and grandparents, and it did my heart good to see that. He used to work side by side with Matt with nearly every project he took on around the house, and I miss that for Jacob. I could tell that he has missed that, too.
When Roy was done with digging and patching the front yard, he started right in on the back deck. It's a wooden deck, and the table and chairs (that the previous owners so graciously left for me!) are also wood. The wood was very worn, thirsty and was in desperate need of sanding and staining, which Roy did. Ginny and Jacob helped with that, too. The majority of that work was done while Chris, Red, John, Bryan and his kids Maddy and Daniel and I went to Magic Mountain for a day off.
I only rode the Goliath and the Superman (and maybe one other one I'm forgetting about), but it was such a gorgeous day, and it was such a wonderful break for me to just be able to hang out for the day and not be chasing two small kids around. Ginny and Roy are SAINTS.
Roy also put a little shingle roof on the playhouse in the back yard that Matt built for the kids. That'll help preserve it from the hot California sun.
Ginny helped everyone with just about everything they were doing, and also managed to help me with the kids. She also cooked, baked, and did the laundry. She's amazing.
In spite of all the work that everyone did, we all managed to have a great time in the process. Lots of Coronas were consumed, good food eaten, and laughter all around. These people know how to work hard and play just as hard. It's so comforting for me to be around them, too. It makes me feel closer to Matt. I can hear his laughter in his mom's laugh, and I could catch glimpses of him through his brother and dad.
Just as fast as they all came, is as fast as the work was done and they were gone. I miss them already. Thank God for awesome family with skills, heart and stamina! I know where Matt got it from, that's for sure.