One thing I failed to mention in the blog last week is that when we went out to the van to go over to Dave and Julie’s for dinner last Sunday the van didn’t crank.
It is certainly overdue since it has been so steadfastly reliable. I have been hoping it would last until somehow we could finagle a new car/van payment and get a chance to sell it.
And of course it comes several days after I’m told that I’m going to be getting a bonus at work (I wish they would give those things out at Christmas time, rather than wait until March, but this time it worked out rather well).
We put the van in the shop and it had quite a few issues with it.. the fuel pump, new brakes, transmission pan leak, rear pinion something-or-another leaking, power-steering pump, and it has never had a tune-up. We chose to fix some of the items and will wait until the economic stimulus payment to get the rest.
Here’s another timing element… the economic stimulus payment should come the day we get BACK from Disney. That’s fine, because we can use it to finish off the van repairs.
The van is back to road-worthy, anyway.
We had just gotten my car out of the shop earlier that week, when I had put it in for some brake work (it needed new calipers, and because of that a new rotor). The girl (woman? lady? … is proof that I’m getting older that it feels weird to call women that are quite a bit younger than me ladies, or women? I’m sure she’s in her 20’s… she might take offense at being called a girl) who calls the customers and gives them the bad news knows me by my voice.
It’s extremely good timing that this happened at the beginning of the year which is the time that tax rebates, and corporate yearly bonuses come in. It would be disastrous if it would happen in November, or December.
We had Dave and Julie over Friday night and it turned into a slumber party for the boys. I had reserved a bit of my bonus for some discretionary spending, and so I bought them a new game for the Wii (Smash Brothers Brawl.. where you can be just about any Nintendo video game character and fight other characters). Zack came over, David DiPetrio (son of Tracey, another fixture at the homeschooling impromptu-gatherings/parties), and the neighbor, Alex and they all spent the night. They had fallen asleep before I went to bed (around 2am) but they must have woken up shortly after. Tyler was so worn out on Saturday he fell asleep about 5pm and slept through until 10am the next morning.
Saturday Kelley and David came over. I had tried to organize a poker night, but there were schedule conflicts and lack of interest so they came over and we played Spades and Hearts instead. It was a lot of fun. Tyler was asleep, and Gabriella (their 6-year old) played with Cameron and they watched The Bee Movie.
We’re going camping in a couple weeks, so I also used this weekend to pull out all our camping stuff and see what still works. I found a tent-pole repair kit in Wal-Mart so I was able to repair that… and I repaired a hole I made in a pavilion-tent that we had gotten for my 40th last year. Getting everything ready! They also had the camp-fire fork stands you can use to hold your (long)fork steady over the camp-fire! I loaded up on a bunch little camping things, using up the last of my discretionary bonus fund.
We’re going to be camping for FOUR nights, and most of the homeschool group is going, sharing four sites. Should be a lot of fun.. 🙂