On Friday of last week Jeffrey and I went on an 8 hour date. It was awesome. Also, to date, it was our most expensive date ever.
We decided to leave Keith and Faye home as we thought we would only be gone 3 hours or so, and we took the other 3 to Jeffrey's parent's house. We then drove down to the city and began a day date. Do you remember those? The activity before a dance that was incredibly fun? Only this wasn't quite as fun as those were, mostly because we aren't teenagers anymore and we weren't in a group.
First we went to Ikea for lunch. Because we're classy like that. I mean, Swedish meatballs in a meal for $4? Yes, please!
And then. THEN! We drove across the street and walked into the most laid back car dealership I have ever encountered. Millennium in case anyone is interested. We walked in and bought a new van!! I had found the one I wanted, researched it, and all that was left was to go and test drive it. Basically, we love it.
Why did we feel the need to move past our trusty and reliable Toyota Sienna? Well it is 18 years old, and while it never before have us troubles, we knew it was time to move on. At our last oil change (2 weeks ago) we were told we have 3 leaks in the Sienna, and it was just tired. I mean , it is a 2000.
The kids are crazy excited for the new van. It is a lot more spacious than our old one. Beth's and Faye's primary teachers stopped me after church today to ask what kind of can we have. Apparently the girls were crazy excited and couldn't stop talking about it in their respective classes today. Beth said it is blue and beautiful and the doors open on their own and it has two TV screens in it!!!
So we have christened it the TARDIS and we took it for a spin that first day. I got home from the dealership in the van while Jeffrey drove the car home. I beat him and so scooped up all the kids and we went for a drive. Keith brought along a DVD of Darkwing Duck and they may have died just a little bit out of sheer excitement.
Now, let's talk about Keith and Faye. 8 hours is a long time for them to have been home alone. Especially for the first time as in Faye's case. Although we don't have a phone at home, i had set Keith up with an email account and we stayed in constant contact through Google Hangouts. Faye got a little scared which is understandable. And they, being kids, completely destroyed the house. Also, Faye burned Ramen Noodles. She may never live that blunder down now. When I got home, all of the windows were open and it was smokey in the house. They forgot to turn off the AC before opening the windows. All in all, i think they did great, though. Not that I will ever leave them home alone for quite that long again, but they stayed alive, and didn't burn the house down. Just barely.
That was Friday.
Saturday was another busy day. See, the previous owners of our house had decided to make a little alcove for the TV downstairs. It's nice because its location keeps it away from any glare from the windows. There are 2 nice sconces, one on either side of the alcove which provide dim light and no glare. We call it the TV coffin because the paint they used is dark and horrible. It looks like an explosion of black mold on the walls and ceiling. However, to make this alcove, they cut into a load bearing wall, and all that that implies.
Jeffrey noticed the hall floor felt a little soft. There was give to it when we walked down it. After time, we noticed a crack between the floor and the wall. It kept gradually getting bigger. We then noticed the ceiling in the basement was beginning to bow...
Time to call in a contractor. Our Shaun, in our case. Yesterday he came over and together, Jeffrey and Shaun began to lift the ceiling, "with our bare muscles!" as Shaun put it. And they did! Using boards they were able to raise the ceiling a good half inch. The crack between the wall and the floor upstairs had diminished significantly and is almost non existent. And then they framed in the alcove and turned it into a closet. Yay! My house is no longer falling down! Jeffrey just has to dry wall it now. And maybe I will get to paint my basement because while i love the colors the previous owners choose for the living room and hall, the rest of the colors are terrible and need replacing. Downstairs the walls are a bleak grey blue. I need something light reflecting to make it brighter down there, not dreary.
Our next big project is the roof. Whenever these shingles were put on, they were put on wrong, and so the soffit board has rotted and the rain gutters have fallen off. Last Sunday there was a glorious wind storm, but it pulled almost all of the soffit off beneath the overhang. That will probably be a job for next week, or the week after. And then a decent fence will be put up, and then... then we have plans to get a dog! I'm pretty excited about that and am honestly having a hard time waiting.
But first, the repairs.