Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fun Fun Fun!

Can I just say how much I love church rummage sales? They have the absolute COOLEST things because they are mostly run by old ladies who donate sweet vintagy stuff. Here's what I got:
Colorful scarves, costume jewelry, 3 melmac plates, Tupperware lunchbox, metal measuring cups (which you can never have too many of!), and a little Osterizer mini-blend lidded container.
Lots and lots of sundress patterns from the '70's and '80's, so cute! 2 1/2 balls of finely handspun wool, 12 cloth napkins and several books (not all pictured). I'm going to start buying the Sat. paper so I can make sure I hit all of the rummage sales this summer!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dishwasher Conqueror!

Makin' Do without a handyman!
When we bought our washer and dryer, we decided to splurge on a new dishwasher as well since the rebates we'd be getting back would more than cover the cost. And, well, Moriah needed some help since she does all the dishes for the family. Angela's handy husband did a great job helping us install the last one (which was a piece of crap and only lasted a couple of months. We bought the cheapest one available, you get what you pay for!) We haven't had much luck with dishwashers in this house, we're on our 4th in the seven years we've lived here. We've gone without one for a long time, but once you've gotten used to perfectly clean dishes it's hard to go back to hand washed, no matter how good your daughter is at it!

Needless to say I wasn't all that keen on paying someone to install a machine which most likely wouldn't work for very long, although, it is a new Maytag which should be pretty good. So since I didn't want to bother Keven again, and Patrick has no time, or really any desire to do it, and given the fact that I like to learn to do new things, I decided that I would try my hand at it. It couldn't be too difficult, right?

First I pulled out the old washer and laid it on it's back next to the opening in the cabinet, leaving all hoses and wires attached. Then I unboxed and laid the new washer on its back adjacent to the old one so I could see how the old was hooked up and how the new needed to be attached. Then I pulled out the installation instructions and read it through, discovering in the process that the new washer did not come with two essential parts. So off I went to Lowes to get the parts. When I came home I discovered that both the instructions and the sales associate were wrong, so I went back to Lowes to get the right parts. I really dislike leaving the house at all anymore, so having to go out to the same place twice in one day made me kinda grouchy. But if you've read this post on my other blog, you'll see how I am learning to fight those bad, bad feelings!

Now that I had the right parts, and read the directions, I turned off the water and the electrical power to the kitchen. So important! That was the only thing that really scared me, getting electrocuted. Anyway, there were really only 3 things that needed to be attached to the new machine; the drainage hose, the water hose, and the electrical wires. The first thing I attached was the drainage hose which seemed fairly easy, just pop it off the old machine onto the new and screw the clamp tight.
Then I attached the new fitting for the water hose onto the new machine, laid a towel on the floor, and unhooked the water hose from the old machine and screwed it onto the new one, soaking myself, the floor, and the machines in the process. I'm not sure how that happened, I'm positive I shut the water off, but maybe there was residual water in the hose that I should have drained out first. I'm not that smart!
After I dried everything really well with a towel I proceeded onto the next, most scariest part, electrical. First I carefully removed the wires from the old machine and inserted them up through the hole in the new.
Then I carefully grounded the wires onto the screw provided.
Once I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to burn to a crisp in front of my children I became more confident and screwing the wires together was a breeze! Black together and white together. Tug on each one gently to make sure they're secure, and voila! The electrical was done!
Woo hoo! Next I turned the machine upright, careful not to pinch the hoses, and taped down the insulation because it would be a tight fit under the counter.
Next I shoved it in and adjusted the feet to raise it snugly under the counter.
Now that was a job and a half! It was actually the hardest part of the whole installation because I had to lay on my belly on a filthy floor while holding the machine up with one arm to take the weight off the foot screws so they would turn easy. Somehow I managed to jam one of the screws so it wouldn't adjust properly and ended up shoving balsa wood shims from my dollhouse (which I'll be blogging about soon Lord willing!) underneath it for stability. Stability is important!
Once the height was adjusted properly I was able to anchor the top of the machine under the top of the counter.
After that I took all the packaging out from the inside and turned it on for a test run.
And miracle of miracles! It ran perfectly with no obvious leaks!!! This morning Moriah filled it up and ran the first full load and it still ran great! I'm pretty excited about it, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Although it took me an entire afternoon, what with running back and forth to Lowe's and all, it was still worth it in order to save $100. And I now have sweet new dishwasher installing skills!

Fashion to Figure Guest Giveaway

Fashion to Figure Guest Giveaway
Woo hoo! Pretty dresses for big girls! I love the blue one, but I'd like the orange one more if it wasn't orange. Maybe green, I like green.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Blog

Well I finally did it, instead of just elaborating on depression on this blog I started a new one wholly devoted to the topic. With that blog I wrote some pages to help others understand what depression is, and I also intend it to be sort of a journal where I can record some of the things that I am encouraged by and maybe others can be encouraged as well. If you are a follower of this blog or if you know me personally, please please don't feel obligated at all to follow my new one! But if you do know someone who might benefit from it please pass it on.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Week of Clothes

Ever since we got our new machines I've been washing clothes like a mad woman. We've had dirty clothes knee-deep in our hallway for many more months than I'd like to admit. But we've finally got it all done! The next logical step for me was to go through every article of the kids' clothing, sort out the winter stuff, and give away as much as possible. I try to do this every spring and fall, but I didn't do a very good job last time and it got outrageously out of hand fast.

Well, you see that pic above? (My 9 year old Abi is there to give perspective.) In case you can't tell from the pic that's about 5 cubic square feet of clothes. And that's JUST winter stuff! I had already sorted out the summer items into 5 separate bins, one for each girl. And that pic was taken after I had sorted out 8 garbage bags full to give to the thrift store and 4 bags to give away to friends. I'm exhausted to say the least but so happy to have it done.

Before you think I spend a fortune on clothes let me direct you here where I wrote about how I keep our clothing cost to a minimum. I decided early on that I don't want my girls to get used to over-priced mall shopping or think that they are somehow entitled to have the trendiest outfits. There's no way we could ever afford that! I do have a couple bins of clothes that need to be mended or altered, (mostly small repairs like missing buttons or pin holes), and I have a few ideas on things I can do to "cute" them up a bit as well. Like strategically placed cloth flowers over ketchup stains! I'll post about it when and if I actually get around to doing it. But for now, I'm going to beg Patrick for a back rub!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

HUNBABA Mei Tai Baby Carrier Guest Giveawayy

 So cute! If I win this it goes to Rachel!

Laundry Room Renovation, pt. 2

They're here! I'm so stinking excited! My new washer and dryer are WONDERFUL! Our old dryer died months ago, of course during the rainiest season of the year. I had to wash 8-10 loads each week (minimum!), bag them up, then take them down to the laundromat to dry them. At $1-$1.25 per load I was spending at least $10 a week, which frankly I can't afford. And then my washer started making funny noises, like I was washing a load of rocks or something. Both the washer and dryer had been repaired several times in the last couple of years, and since we were hoarding our tax return for some other vague purpose, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase new machines. I'm so happy I did! I'm coming to realize that our old washer sucked at getting the clothes clean. I didn't know what clean clothes were till I used my front-loader for the first time! And it uses less detergent than before.

Moving on... here's the before pic of one side of the old laundry room. Gross! I had no shelves so everything collected on the floor long enough to mildew so that I had to throw it away. (There's one way to get rid of laundry! ;) I didn't take a pic of the other side of the room, because frankly, I'm too embarrassed at the nastiness of it. Try not to use your imagination.
And here are the painted, shelved, new machine after pics! TA-DA!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Anniversary Honey Love

 Happy Anniversary Sweetheart! I love you so much more now, 14 years into the marriage, then I ever have. And you're still the handsomest man I know! I'm so grateful to the Lord for giving you to me to spend my whole life with. I love you Honey :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Baby Goats!

Our goat Daisy had babies! Well, she did a couple weeks ago. But I couldn't let the chance to blog about them slip away. They are just SO darn cute with their long airplane ears! I spared you the gory pics  ;)
1st baby- Flora   
Kinda wobbly.
2nd baby- Fauna
I found it!
Two pretty little girls.
Piggy back.
Patient momma.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Laundry Room Renovation, pt. 1

Here are 8 things I've learned during the past couple of days as I've been renovating my laundry room:
1. Old duct tape on a scary looking outlet is there for a reason. Leave well enough alone or you will be shocked. Really.

2. Rats can chew through thick stucco. Apparently they love to line their holes with old dishcloths as well, (mystery solved.)
3. Sometimes it's better to leave rotting drywall alone as well. Otherwise you will keep making the hole bigger in an attempt to patch it.
4. Spackle covers a multitude of sins. It's pretty much my best friend.
5. Measure 2-3 times, cut 5-6 times. (See #4)
6. New paint makes a HUGE difference.

7. Unattended orphans gravitate towards water, especially the muddy kind underneath the trampoline.
8. I didn't need that pig off of Freecycle after all.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

8th Grade Graduation

Yep, my baby is now in High School. I'm not sure that it's sunk in yet. Yes I feel older, but somehow disconnected from it at the same time. Sometime in the next couple of weeks we need to sit down and chart out what classes she wants to take over the next four years to make sure she gets all her credits done, then order the curriculum. I'm not too worried about it, the teaching and all. She is very independent that way and can pretty much teach herself without me hanging over her shoulder the whole time. What a blessing to have an oldest child like this! If she needed a lot of hand-holding I don't know what I'd do, I'm just not that kind of mom (sorry girls! ;) After she graduates she wants to go to culinary school which suits me just fine! She can live at home for as long as she likes!
I love my daughter, she is so extremely helpful around the house and with her sisters. It's like having a live-in cook and nanny, for free! (Well, as long as I throw some book money her way now and then ;) Congratulations Moriah, you're one special girl!