Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bits and Pieces #16

School is out for me and my grade schoolers, and my high schoolers have just one day left of finals tomorrow.  Woohoo!  Being at home so much has been AWE. SOME.  We have had some family in town and have been visiting, wrapping, baking and shopping.  It's been great so far and I can't wait to enjoy the rest of our two weeks with a slower pace!  

  • I have been playing a game of Toilet Paper Russian Roulette this week.  I noticed we were perilously low about two days ago, then forgot for about maybe 12 hours, then remembered again.  I quickly got onto Amazon and upped my subscribe and save shipment (what - you don't use subscribe and save?  Give it a whirl!  I use it for all sorts of sundry items!), and was informed it would arrive on Thursday.  Could I make it until then without buying any more?  I wanted to gamble, but thought I should buy just a small package today while at Walmart.  But as luck would have it, just as I was about to steer my two boys down the TP aisle, they noticed the Lunchables, asked for one for lunch, and I promptly forgot about our urgent need.  Tonight I have assessed that we have one half-ish roll per bathroom.  The delivery will not be here until Thursday.  We have seven people in our house (and will have two overnight guests tomorrow night).  I fear the odds are not with me. 
  • Two nights ago, I was in a gift wrapping frenzy.  Santa brings three gifts per child to our house and we give three gifts, and that equals a lot of wrapping.  But I was on a roll and knocking out this dreaded delightful job.  I remembered I should get out a gift my in-laws are giving our kids but that I had purchased for them.  It is a relatively expensive gift, since they are buying it for all the boys (but it was purchased on Black Friday with multiple discounts at Kohls, so it was practically like we stole it).  Anyway, it is kind of a big deal gift and I wanted to give it to my in-laws so they could take it home and wrap it. Aaaaannndd - I couldn't find it.  For about an hour, I looked in the basement, my room, the dining room. . .I retraced my steps and walked through the day I got it. . .and couldn't find it.  I forced myself to stop thinking about it, knowing I would find it eventually.  About half an hour later, I went to the basement again for another check and this time found it.  Whew!  I am so good at hiding gifts!  I could hide my own presents from myself - skillz!
  • I recently bought a wood sign with the words "Do small things with great love".  I believe it was Mother Theresa who first said this phrase, and I have loved it ever since I heard it.  Oh the number of small things I do in our house -- often without great love and instead with great grumbling.  What a wonderful reminder that loving others needn't always involve a grand gesture, but instead can be many small things added together.  And as I handle the minutiae of family life, I need to be reminded of that sentiment often.  What a gift it is to be able to serve the people in my home!
  • The kids have been watching old Christmas video clips on the computer and they are fabulous.  I adore watching the kids open their presents and remembering how sweet and little they used to be!  We all are oohing and ahing over how cute they all were.  Watching them is such a good reminder of the value of pictures and videos!  These will be treasured for years to come!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Laundry with a Side of Awesome

Last Saturday, after all of our Thanksgiving company left, the belt on our dryer broke.  I was standing amid a laundry room full of sheets, towels and general clothing, and no dryer to make it all disappear.  I was frustrated and tired from the weekend and not really wanting a major expense/hassle/pain in the rear broken dryer.

Enter my husband.  He also did not want any of those things, but regardless, began youtubing (is that a word?) how to replace the dryer belt.  He ordered the belt on Amazon (and new roller thingies and another part too) and over the weekend commenced to taking the whole thing apart (and down from on top of the washer) in preparation for repairing it when the new parts came in.

Let me tell you some things about my husband.  He is not the kind of person who grew up taking things apart and fixing things.  He doesn't have a "natural" inclination to repair items.  He also has little to no free time.  But -- he is very smart and has a let's-get-it-done-attitude, and is not afraid of a challenge.  He has an ability to look at a task and break it down to get it figured out.  And of course, he has youtube!

So that's what he did.  I emptied the laundry room into the dining room (it was a good time to clean the laundry room anyway), and he took the whole dryer apart.  When the parts came in from Amazon, they were not all the correct ones, so we had to make another order from a local place.  By Wednesday night (after Advent worship), he had all the pieces he needed, and by midnight, he had it all put together and had cleaned out the dryer vent in the basement.  By Thursday morning, I was back in the laundry business.

The upside to not doing laundry for seven people all week is not doing laundry all week, but the downside is the ginormous amounts of laundry awaiting me.  I started the laundry on Thursday, but by Thursday night wasn't feeling well and ended up staying home sick on Friday, and doing no laundry whatsoever until today.  Therefore, I have done very little laundry in a week (save a few loads I air-dried and a few loads I ran to the laundromat to dry on Sunday).  When I don't do laundry for that long, my kitchen island looks like this:

So.  We all have clean clothes now and will not be scantily clad this week.  And I have a husband who is awesome, and once again saved the day.