Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nothing Like Getting a New Washing Machine

Today has been a beautiful day because today was the day that our new washing machine and dryer were delivered and installed! If you've spent quality time with 25+ year old washing machines and dryers then you'll probably understand my excitement. We've been the proud owners of our old washer and dryer since 2003 when they were passed on to us by David's brother Sam who got them from my inlaws when they upgraded their washing machine sometime around 2001. Sam had them in a house on well water in Moscow, ID which means the inside of the washing machine drum is permanently stained a rust color. Attractive. I can't complain because they were free and they did the job.

It's been our radar that we'd possibly need to replace our washing machine and dryer for the past year or two but when the washing machine all of a sudden stopped during it's regular cycle a month ago my heart almost stopped along with it. Thankfully I was able to restart it but that's when the tax refund got redirected to the oh so glamorous New Washing Machine & Dryer Fund. We made a cursory trip to Best Buy a few weeks ago to get an idea of cost. Then we came home and I did some research on what brands were the best. After all, we only plan on buying a washing machine and dryer once every 20 years and we'd like a good one during this next 20 years that will see the most use!

Going into our search we assumed that Maytag and Whirpool would be the best options. Much to our surprise that wasn't necessarily the case. Brands that we would have never considered 10 years ago for a washing machine are now dominating the field. I would have never guessed that Samsung would make a good washing machine but according to numerous websites, reviews, and the illustrious Consumer Reports they do.

After my research I spent a day in Salem price comparing with both kids in tow. Can't say how much fun it is to try and negotiate with salespeople while my children refuse to stay within my line of sight. I visited Lowes, Kelly's Applicances, Sears, and Best Buy. Out of all four Best Buy had the best deal and I even had a coupon. You know how I love coupons. So the next day I drove back into town and made the big purchase.

Here's the Laundry Room with the old machines:

I find it amusing that the old washing machine is advertised as "energy saving"

And finally the new machines! Look how shiny they are! My husband's favorite part? The fact that the laundry baskets can fit on top so he no longer has to kick laundry baskets out of the way of the door to the garage. If you don't get 6 loads behind in your laundry on a regular basis I don't want to know about it.

On closer inspection the buttons and dials look very much like a complicated computer. Is that a big power button? Good lord I hope I'm tech-savvy enough to run this thing. So far I've done one load of laundry and it seems to have come out okay. I even used my homemade laundry powder and I think it worked just fine. The only surprise so far has been the musical nature of the machines. Looking at them at the store they're not turned on so I didn't get to see/hear the sounds it makes. It sings. I kid you not. Both the washing machine and the dryer play a tune at the end of the cycle instead of beep. And it's not a short tune either. I'm pretty sure I'll be digging through the manual very soon to figure out how to switch from the creepy music to a regular old BUZZ.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This week's Photo Challenge was "Smile!"

I'm a little too late to enter the I Heart Faces photo challenge this week, but since I have the photo picked out and edited I will share it with you all anyways. I took this photo of Ethan almost a year ago and I love his huge grin! And thank goodness we're no longer teething...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Memorial Day Baseball & Barbecue is coming up!

Just a reminder to our local friends and family that this year's Memorial Day Baseball & Barbecue is coming up! We're trying to decide what day to have it on and I thought I'd check with you all to see if Saturday, Sunday, or Monday (May 29, 30, or 31st) would be best. Vote in the poll on the right or leave a comment!

We're thinking about A League of Their Own for this year's movie...what do you guys think? Last year we watched The Sandlot which was a perfect end to the day!

Here's some photos from last year:

For more photos you can check out last year's posts on the baseball and barbecue.

I ♥ Faces Week 16: "Collages"

This week's I Heart Faces Challenge is "Collages". I looked through some old collages I've put together and decided to go ahead and make a new one. I chose last year's Memorial Day Weekend Baseball & Barbecue for my theme because it's time for me to start planning this year's party!

For more fun collages click on the icon below:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunflare Progress

I know you're all wondering how my progress on mastering the art of sunflare in photos is going. I have to say that I'm getting better but I still have room to improve. Maybe by the end of the summer I'll have had enough chances to practice to get the technique down pat! Tonight I practiced on Ethan swinging which was moderately difficult since he was a moving target. Of course he wasn't moving very fast because he's new to the "big boy" swing. The focus on the eyes is what I need to work on, the rest I'm feeling pretty good about!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gearing up for Kindergarten...Already?!?

Last week we signed Grace up for kindergarten. I can't believe the tiny baby girl I swear I just gave birth to is turning five this summer and then marching off to kindergarten this September. Where has the time gone? Is she really ready? Am I?

Filling out the mountain of paperwork at registration I came across one form that was fishing for more then just the basic information about my child. It asked how she interacted with other children and asked me to list any concerns I might have. Surely they should know better then to only leave a half inch of space for me to list my concerns! Like most parents sending their first child to school I have a LONG list of concerns. Will she like school? Will she pick up a love of learning? Will she make a friend or two or will she feel lonely? Will her attention span ever improve? Will she get picked on? Will she learn to be confident in herself and not to always follow the crowd? The list could go on and on.

Thankfully I have several months before I have to send her to her first day of kindergarten. I'm mostly excited for her as we prepare to embark on the long road of public education, but it's still a little scary. As I think about how excited I am for Grace I think of how all too quickly my baby boy will be starting kindergarten and that makes me want to cry. I'm pretty sure the day my baby starts school will be super emotional for me. Time flies so fast and I know the three years I have left as a Mom of a Preschooler will be gone before I know it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter 2010

I finally finished editing photos from last weekend's Easter celebration. We dyed our eggs on Saturday afternoon which the kids really enjoyed. I put down a huge stack of newspapers and made them both wear bibs before we got down and dirty. They were very patient waiting for their eggs to turn bright, though I made the mistake of buying a dye kit that didn't include the color Pink so we just fished a few eggs out of the red dye early in order to have a few pink ones. Ethan did slurp a whole spoonful of orange dye despite my repeated warnings not to. If he turns out kind of weird as a teenager at least I'll know why.

The Easter Bunny visited our house Saturday night while the kids were asleep and left them plenty of art supplies, new place mats, and recycled candy from the previous week's egg hunts. It's not that the Easter Bunny is cheap, she just doesn't think we need more random chocolate candies. They did receive one small package of Peeps and a small chocolate bunny apiece (do you know how hard it is to find a single package of Peeps and not a package of 25?!?). And the Easter Bunny is super brilliant to leave a Mommy and Daddy basket full of Mommy and Daddy candy. Mmmmmmm.

My Mom came down Sunday morning and joined us for the egg hunt and crafts before church. Somehow I forgot my camera so you'll just have to imagine it. Basically a lot of preschool kids and a bazillion plastic eggs covering the sanctuary. We have enough candy to last us until the 4th of July! After church we had a yummy Easter ham dinner and finished it with coconut cream and lemon meringue pie (because I couldn't pick just one!). We eat holiday dinners for lunch so that we don't mess with nap time and also because then we get to eat the leftovers for dinner...who passes up the chance to eat a holiday dinner twice? Not me!

I didn't get a chance to take the kids' Easter pictures before Easter and the weather didn't cooperate/I got too busy to do it this week. We'll see how next week goes, if it doesn't happen I'm not going to sweat it. I did get at least one halfway decent one of Grace, but Ethan's photo shoot was a lost cause. He had just woke up from his nap and was fussy so I bribed him with a blue sucker which he insisted on eating prior to the photos. I did get cute photos of him in his Easter shirt eating a blue sucker, but by the time he was finished it was dark and raining so that was what I got.