Please excuse the broken picture links on the blog. I'm in the process of moving all of my pictures from photobucket to smugmug and it's taking a lot of time. thanks for your patience!

Monday, June 30, 2008

New used minivan

We traded our van a few days ago. We only had it for a year-right after we got it (it was used-a 2004 Freestar) the brake drums/disks/whatever needed to be replaced. About 3 weeks later we left on our vacation, driving across the country. The first day, the transmission light came on. Luckily we were close to Des Moines, and had easy access to a couple of Ford dealers and plenty of shopping and things to do. We took it in to the dealer the next day and were told that the transmission needed to be replaced or rebuilt. To save money we opted for rebuilt but it still cost about three thousand bucks and put us back a day and a half on our trip. Kind of put a crappy start on our vacation. It was fine the rest of the time.

A few months after we got the Ford I noticed an annoying whining sound pretty much all the time. It got louder when the accelerator was pushed (which is just about the whole time you're driving, ya know?) and I had to have the radio on all the time to block out the sound, although I could still hear it even above that. I have pretty sensitive hearing though.

So then a few months ago the cruise control suddenly quit working right. We would have to push the button about 10 times for it to come on and eventually it took about a hundred pushes (yes, I counted). Then all of a sudden it started working again. Weird.

Then last week or maybe the week before, I heard a high pitched beeping. Not a regular beep though but it was definitely there. Steve could hear it if we were all very quiet. It was there. Then he said he was worried about the transmission again. I don't know why and I think he didn't know either but we both knew the warranty on that repair job was long over. So he started to really talk about trading it.

I found a few online that we could go check out. We drove forever to one dealer where we wanted to look at a 2004 Toyota Sienna. It had a lot of miles but I convinced my Ford-loving husband that it would still be a better car and more reliable than Ford. At least I hoped so. We got there and saw that van (which was gold-not my top pick of colors but you can't be too choosy with a used car) but the dealer had also just gotten in a 2003 Honda Odyssey that had about 15K less miles than the Toyota and about 30K less than our Freestar. It didn't have quite as many options as the Toyota did (both same price) but Steve decided for the same money, it would be wise to go with less mileage, even though it was a year older. I think he liked the color better too but he probably wouldn't admit that.

So he made an offer, and they said no, the price was firm. So he made a slightly higher one and they still said no. We said ok, see ya and left. We had some lunch and then, being persistent as always, Steve called them to see if they had decided to go any lower. Keep in mind this was about 20 minutes later. They talked for a while and made him an offer. The offer was less than the #2 offer he made. I think they thought he had already included tax in his offer which he had not. So it ended up being a decent deal. He kept saying it was more than he wanted to give but he says that every time. So we drove the two hours home in our new used Honda Odyssey:

Keeping in mind that this is a HUGE step for him. He has always 100% owned Ford vehicles. Always.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Daisy!

Today, the 18th (it's past midnight), was Daisy's first birthday. We bought her a tire with a rope on it. Jenny stuffed two dog biscuits inside and wrapped it up. After a little help Daisy managed to unwrap it and took off running with it. She wasn't letting anyone play with her toy-it was too new. In a couple days she'll be sharing. Here's a picture of her with her new toy. Probably won't be a favorite because it doesn't squeak but she seems to like it.

Oh and for a comparison here is a picture of her just last August at 10 weeks old.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sketch Challenge

I decided to do Beate's sketch challenge. I really should do this every week-I'd get a lot of cards done. Anyway I am not sure I'm happy with this and I know I'm not happy with my photography skills but here it is. I might try to take a better pic later. I didn't do it as a thumbnail because it's not a very big file size, plus it's late.

Stamps: Stampin Up
colored with Copic markers
ink: brilliance
jewels: prima
paper: all from Stampin Up except the white, which is from Paper Trey Ink.
die cutter: Nestabilities (long rectangles)
punch: SU ticket corner punch

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's official-I'm spoiled

I think I've decided I'm pretty darn spoiled. Well I have been all my life I guess so why should it be any different now? In the past few months I have gotten a new dryer (not a fun thing but it's a lot more fun than hanging towels over a wooden rack and then trying to actually USE the crunchy things once they dry), a new cooktop (again, not fun but more fun than cooking on a stove that shuts itself off every 2 minutes), a new laptop (technically this is so that all three kids can do lessons at once but when they aren't working on lessons, it is mine, all mine), a new nintendo ds (mother's day gift), Wii fit, and the most exciting of all-DSL!! It isn't the fastest DSL there is but when you've dealt with dialup for more than eight long years, any DSL is great. When we crunched the numbers we found it would only cost us an extra $2.50 per month. Plus we needed it to be able to easily network the computers (another thing for lessons). I can't believe we didn't switch a long time ago.

Yep, I'm spoiled.

Scrapping old pictures

It's a lot more fun to scrap new pics. But hey, those old ones need to be done too right? So I grabbed a page protector that has pics and papers that I picked out years ago. At the time I tried to match papers and then put the pictures and the papers, and a sketch if I had one in mind, in page protectors to make it easier to scrap them. I guess it was my lame attempt at some organization. Since I only did about three of them it didn't last long. So anyway I decided I was in the mood to do a layout tonight. I didn't have any new pictures picked out so I just picked one of those page protectors. The paper is a bit....old. And I didn't use all that I had picked out. But I was able to put this together in just a few minutes using my computer for the journaling and my cricut for the letters (did I ever mention how much I love my cricut??). I originally journaled right on the patterned paper but it was nearly impossible to read so I redid it on vellum (in keeping with my "old supplies" theme) and pasted it on top with some vellum glue dots. Even though it looks a bit "yesterday" I thought it came out ok and the main thing is, it's done! Here's a pic of it-click on it if you want to see it bigger.

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