Saturday, September 8, 2007

Enough is Enough

OK, I try hard not to complain too much because I don't want to be "that person." But we can only take so much. We've had the craziest time lately with stuff. I'm going to go ahead and ramble about our adventures with appliances and vehicles. Back in April our gas dryer stopped working. We were able to convince it to work on and off, here and there for a little while after it smelled like a burned engine, but it finally gave up. We were very blessed to have some friends of ours give us a new electric dryer. I guess the people they bought their house from left it behind, and they had no use for it, so they gave it to us. It's only been used for about 6 months by that previous owner. So Mike got it home and the sister missionaries helped him take it downstairs in the basement and we found that the plug was a different shape than the outlet. So we called in the pros...Bro. Schneider from church. Well, long story short, we can't plug it in down there because there's no outlet, and we can't get one without replacing our entire fuse box, which is very expensive. His advice was to sell this electric one and then get a gas dryer. So, that's our plan. Meanwhile, I've been hanging the majority of our laundry on the clothes line, and we've done a couple loads at my in-laws house, which was great. So, I actually was trying to clean our house on Wednesday since it was the day before school and we figured it would be good to have a nice clean start to the school year, and the kids could keep up with their rooms, you know the drill. Well in the middle of vacuuming Brooke's room the vacuum caught on fire! There were actual flames and everything. Fortunately I was able to act quickly and turn it off and unplug it and I brought it outside (it was raining, so I figured the water couldn't hurt). I'm not terribly sad that the vacuum is broken, it's just one more thing if you know what I mean. So here's the fun part. A couple days ago we got a flat tire on our van. We really need to have a van because with 4 kids it's really the only way we can get our whole family any where. So Mike checked out tire prices in a couple places and found out that whoever put the tires on the van the last time put the wrong ones on. So we couldn't find a place to replace the blown tire because they can't put the wrong tires on, even though the difference is minimal. The fun part of that is that we can't just fix our flat tire, now it turns into a $250 job to replace all 4 tires. The debate begins. There comes a point in the life of every vehicle when you have to decide how much money is it worth putting into it knowing it's just going to die soon. There are some other things that we know we need fixed on the van, brakes, ball joint, now tires and we're over 105k miles. Mike and I decided it's time to suck it up and buy a new van, because that front end stuff could get pretty pricey, and it's not worth it. So we put the dummy tire on the van last night and drove around to some van dealers to get an idea of what's out there. We also did some research on the Internet when we came home last night. Our big plan today was to go to some more places and compare what we've seen. Here's the fun part, we decided to take the car today so we weren't stressing the dummy tire, so we loaded up the kids in Mike's car (McKee was at his dad's house, so we were able to squeeze the other 3 into the back seat) and took off. We had a couple stops to make before we got to the first dealership, and then we were hungry and it was lunch time so we stopped at the McDonald's drive-thru. Just after we got our food we noticed that it wasn't the van in front of us that smelled like burning anti-freeze, it was us! It was confirmed by the smoke that started coming up from under the hood. Mike parked us and popped the hood and sure enough there was "stuff" spurting out from the reservoir tank. At this point Mike and I just laughed. Here we were in our crappy car looking for a new van because it just keeled over, and now the car died too! It was pretty funny. The other funny part was that before we set out, Mike actually filled the gas tank on the car, he hasn't done that in a long time because he just takes it back and forth to work. So now we have a full gas tank on a car that really shouldn't be driven because it over heats. After talking to Damon (McKee's dad) he fixes cars and is pretty good at it, we came to the conclusion that there's a good chance that it's the head gasket which is a big job and can be pretty pricey. I think the whole situation is pretty funny. What are the chances of both of our vehicles dieing in the same 2 days? So the moral of the story is...don't do laundry...don't vacuum...and don't drive around! :) I'm just joking, but it would be nice if someone told me I didn't have to clean anymore! Does anyone have any suggestions for a type of van that you like. We're not looking necessarily at a brand new off the lot van, used is fine, but we're making an investment, so we're not looking for the cheapest thing out there either. We currently have a Plymouth voyager. Anyway, that's been our fun lately. Wish us luck and maybe wish us to find some money on the sidewalk or something! :)


PandinaFamily said...

WOW! I have a few suggestions...first for car shopping, Nick and I have discussed that our next auto will probably come from Simmons-Rockwell. It's a dealership in Bath, NY that only marks up their inventory like $500. Check out their site.

PandinaFamily said...

Ok-next, sometimes I see scratch and dent appliances at Lowes...we don't like to shop at Home Depot.'s hit or miss, but they reduce the price b/c it either has a dent, scratch or was misordered for a's worth a try.

PandinaFamily said...

Last but not least...I bought my Dyson on ebay - it was brand new...but still a lot less than if I bought it in a store.