Thursday, March 6, 2008

Back on Track

Well, our weekend was sort of demoralizing, and Monday was like a hole had sprung in our bank account. On the flip side, the kids were really well behaved and got oodles of schoolwork done.

I bet you're wondering how our at-home car repair went, aren't you? Everything was ready to go on Saturday, and my husband started right when the sun came. We inevitably ended up running to Wal Mart to find a wrench. There is about 73 wrenches in our garage, but apparently they aren't metric. Go figure. Wal Mart doesn't have it, so we go to Home Depot. They only have a set for $50. Eeek. Okay, so now the sun is high in the sky and it has turned unseasonably warm, like sweaty hot summer warm. The baby needs to eat and the kids are sick of running errands. We go home to regroup. Hubby stays at home and tries to find another thing he can work on. Baby goes to sleep and Child #1 "helps" work on the car. I get to take Child #2 to some more stores to find the elusive 18 mm combination wrench. Along the way, my husband calls to tell me we also need a Really Big pair of channel locks and a very specific socket. After going to about three stores, I am successful in finding only the wrench. (Sidenote: Auto Parts stores are not good places to take a three year old. They do not have shopping carts, and no matter what you think, it will not just be a quick stop. You will have to stand there for at least ten minutes staring at hundreds of things that look the same, but each has it's own special number and function. And only one will work for you. Three year olds don't like to wait while you look. They like to pick up that anvil and see what it does or maybe that ball pen hammer. Because that is what they put right next to the floor in an auto parts store. You will also probably need to ask an employee for help, and the three year old that is trying to run away while you hold the shirt collar, will defenitely distract the employee from answering your question.) The whole day sort of went like this, but somehow by sundown, we had all the required tools and the left side completed. Sadly, it meant he still had another side to do. We were so sapped of energy that we all went straight to bed. Thank goodness the kids were as tired as us! Sunday was a different story. He had the right side done in two hours. What a difference experience and the proper tools makes. I kept waiting for a tire to fall off, but it actually drove. The total including parts, tools, Gatorade, and new windshield wipers (I'm still not sure how that relates to fixing the wheel alignment) was $250. According to our the estimate, Christian Brothers Auto is charging 350% markup on the same parts. Unless they have those parts custom-made in Luxembourg and plated in platinum, which I guess is possible. Another funny point, they charge $100 per hour for their labor rate, which is more than the $75 per hour average rate that avionics service companies charge to work on multi million dollar jets. That's right, they charge more to work on our junky minivan, than most companies charge to fix a millionaire's Gulfstream.

As it turns out, it's a good thing we saved $650 fixing the car because that is exactly how much it will cost to get rid of the termites we discovered on Monday. Thankfully, it is a very minor infestation, so we can kill em all and set up a perimeter. I love how pest control always sounds like war. Chemical warfare, I'm told, is costly but effective. Oh, and I forgot to include the new tires, but I'm sick of talking about all the money going out.

Tuesday, I stayed up way too late tagging 93 items for the Second Blessings consignment sale (at Stonebridge Church on Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday - Half Price Day! 7am to 10am). They are being really picky with what they accept and all toys must have working batteries, so it is a fantastic place to find great deals that are like new! Check it out here:

So that is why I have been away from my blog. I was really tired and bummed. But I got a rebate check in the mail today, so I am feeling better. I think things are on the upswing again. Also, I need all recipes by March 17, so I can work on organizing, etc. What's up with all you people who haven't sent one yet?? I figured I needed to give you a deadline to motivate you :)


Anonymous said...

Things go in cycles. Don't worry, good things come too, and look at how the money you saved was earmarked for something else you needed. Otherwise you would have to go in debt more than usual. Despite all appearances, God is still in control. That means its all good.
Spring is coming and I will be there to visit! Plan your escape.
The Nanny

Lynn said...

Hi I found you on the adoption yahoo group. We used to live in the Woodlands and now we live in Doha, Qatar. A long way from home. I loved going to all the thrift stores and shopping bargins at Kroger and Randalls. Congratulations on your future adoption! I have a blog at
We are hoping to adopt, too, but have not formally announced it.