Fruit Basket Turnover

For the past few months, we have been in the process of trying to find a home to buy. We are really hoping to find a house with 4 bedrooms so that each of the kids will have their own room, and have found that there just aren’t many homes with 4 bedrooms here that don’t come with a really big price tag. The search goes on…

In the meantime, we are living in a Wayland faculty / staff house. As far as staff houses go, it is a pretty nice one. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious kitchen and dining room, a large living room, a sunroom, and an office. So, the boys share a room and we have been using the office as a play room.

Until today …

There was an incident on Thursday night / Friday morning that caused Timothy to end up in our bed really early. Too early. So early in fact that Scott and I revisted the idea that we had been throwing around to move one of the boys’ beds to the playroom. We’d had mixed feelings about this. We figured there were definitely advantages — 1) They may actually sleep at night and would not wake the other up if they need something, 2) Fewer fights about someone messing up someone elses bed (Timothy is really picky about the way his things are kept, Zachary …. isn’t)… — but we just weren’t sure if we wanted to make the move yet. Both boys had told us that they wanted their own room, but we weren’t convinced how happy they’d be to be apart. They have shared a room since Zachary was about 6 months old, so we’ve been concerned about how they would react…

Well, after thinking about it in the wee hours of Friday morning, we decided to go for it. Last night, we moved some things out of the playroom and moved Timothy’s bed, dresser, and a handful of toys in there.

Not being ones to do things the easy way, we decided to have Emily and Zachary switch rooms as well. Emily has a daybed, a 9 drawer chest, and a desk with a hutch (not to mentioned all her toys, art supplies, dress up clothes…she’s a bit of a packrat). Zachary has a twin bed, a 4 drawer dresser and two rubbermaid tubs full of toys that he and Timothy share. Because they were sharing a room, the boys had the 2nd largest bedroom. Emily’s was probably half the size of theirs.

After breakfast this morning, we got back to work. First, we got some more things moved to Timothy’s room and cleaned out the closet and cabinets in there. Then, Emily and I started moving things from her desk and closet into her new closet. Scott moved her desk and dresser into there and moved Zachary’s dresser and bed into the living room while we continued clearing out Emily’s things. We finally got everything moved in just before lunch.

The whole process was actually pretty pleasant, which isn’t generally the case when we are doing projects like this around the house. So far, we are very pleased with the results. All the furniture seems to fit like the rooms were made for them!

We’ll see how tonight goes and the days to come go before we can call this a success. I don’t know about everyone else, but I feel like I could sleep for a week after all that we’ve done!



Construction Saturday

Today, after mowing I put together the canopy that we bought with our new lawn furniture. Lori helped me finish it off after she finished putting together the boys’ new dresser (the dark one).

Construction Saturday 001    Construction Saturday 006 Finished! Lori bough AND built this today. Old dresser

The Alero Mystery

Last Friday, my 2002 Olds Alero began behaving badly. Shortly after Lori returned home with the car from having taken it to the church, I attempted to leave the house and found out that it would not start. About eight months back we had a similar problem that ultimately ended with a new fuel pump at a final cost of $500. I dreaded the fact that it was going to have to go back to the shop.

The following Monday, we gave a call to the mechanic who worked on it last and they came and picked it up. They had tried to start it before they left and to no avail. By the way, it would turn over but never fire. I checked spark plugs, banged on the bottom of the gas tank, and even pushed the car to a more level surface, all in hopes to convince it to start. Well, here’s the mystery. When the car arrived at the shop after being towed, it started right up. They couldn’t figure out what caused it to fail to start. No matter what they tried, it would stop working again. I had them service the car, changing oil, oil filter, air filter, and the inspection sticker. Still worked fine. So I decided to go pick it up.

When I arrived, I noticed it was still in the garage. I assumed it would have been moved out since it was working fine and they knew I was coming to pick it up. I sent my ride on home and went inside to find out that it had stopped working again. They finally decided that it had something to do withe Passlock II system. Apparently, there is some theft deterrent system on my vehicle that will cause the engine to not fire when there is an error in “reading” the key. I’m not sure of all the details. In other systems there is a chip in the key, but for my system, it is simply using some sort of magnetic field to “read” the shape of the key. In the end, it was receiving the wrong information and not starting.

At first, they thought they’d need to replace the ignition cylinder but eventually decided that it could have been one of two different parts. They hunted and hunted to determine which part it was. During the hunt, the car began miraculously working again. Unfortunately, as long as it works, they can’t determine what is failing. Their best guess is wiring involved in the Passlock II system.

After reading some forums online, I realized that this is not an entirely uncommon problem and their is a (relatively) quick fix that explains the mysterious healing. When it misreads the key and disables the ignition of the vehicle, you can force the car to re-learn your key. Leave the car off with no key for 10-20 minutes. Insert the key and turn to On. Leave in the ignition for 10 minutes. Then it should start. It is likely this will happen again, but at least we have a solution. I just hope it doesn’t happen at a time when I am in a hurry. For now, I guess we are waiting for it to fail again. In the meantime, I’ll drive it around until it fails.

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The Treehouse

We bought the “big” family Christmas present for this year. The kids are very excited and I was happy to be able to do it for them. Check it out:

A new project

If you’ll remember, over Spring Break I had a few projects. The last one completed was the cleaning of the garage. A followup project was to actually use the space to do some work, such as refinish the coffee table. Unfortunately, over the course of the last few weeks the garage had deteriorated to a slightly messier state. But, since the cleaning had established a place for everything, it was merely the problem that things weren’t in their proper place. Before spring break, nothing had a place but just a pile. So tonight, I was finally motivated enough to clean my mess and start the next project. I’ll try to keep it updated here.

Sanding has begun.