Monday, July 21, 2008

Continuing A/C Saga

Hi, this is Dave with today's news.

Kathy, in all her bargain-hunting magnificence, found someone in Taylorsville who was selling a central A/C unit, including the coil, for $425. After about a half-dozen calls about whether it would work with our system and whether it was available (first it was, then it wasn't, then it was, etc.), I convinced the lady I was serious and would bring her a check.

Then we had to find a truck. Fortunately, I tracked down my friend Brent and he loaned us his truck - added bonus: it runs on Natural Gas, so the fuel to fill up his tank was $.80 / gallon and to fill the tank only cost me $10! Sure beats paying for 110 miles round trip @ 15 mpg * $4.20 / gal = $30 just for the gas I actually used! Jordan helped me unload the unit from the truck.

The installer came over and said he had decided to do it tonight - so if all went well, we'd have air back before going to bed. After looking at the unit (which was an Amana, 12 SEER, 4-ton) he said we got an "awesome deal," especially considering that he would be installing it, including new refrigerant, for under $500 or so, so we essentially got a new, more efficient, more powerful, power-saving A/C for under $1000. Sure beats the $3 grand we had planned on spending.

Then the bad news: the installer blew out the electricity and fuses for the whole house (but mostly recovered) and even worse, our system has a "blockage in the orifice" or something like that. No wise cracks. He says he can fix it tomorrow, and worst case will just install the other coil that came with the A/C we bought. So we have one more night of sleeping without air and only one more day of sweating. That's just a temporary setback - after it's working, with the new efficiency, plus the solar reflection Kathy put in the windows, and the two turbines (attic fans) Kathy had installed on the roof, I expect our electric bill to be significantly reduced. Watch this space to learn how much. We'll report in a month.

So congratulate Kathy for the SUPERHUMAN bargain-hunting and household recovery program she's been doing. New dishwasher, fixed stove, and new cooling in our home - all while preparing for this weeks reunion which she's responsible for!

That's my girl!

Bad news/Good news!

The bad news: It's been about 3 weeks now since our air conditioning broke. We've had several guys out to look at our system, and we've been told that we basically need a complete air conditioning system. Yikes! We're trying to figure out what to do to limp through the rest of the summer till we can hopefully replace everything next spring. In the mean's what things look like around our house:

A mild 86 degrees :)
Jordan attempting to keep cool
Good news: Remember our dishwasher that kept breaking? Well, after 4 service calls in 2 months, the repairman slapped this sweet tag on our waranteed lemon:
Authorizing us to get a replacement dishwasher

Our new machine

With the allowance they gave us for our old machine, and the new one being on sale, we got a great, brand new upgraded machine for a mere $19. Happy day!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pretty Fun Tag

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. (Kathy)

Keeping Cool Without a Pool

Emily was invited to join some friends of ours for a water gun fight in the park. It was 100 degrees outside, so keeping cool was a bit of a priority. They had a great time while I got the lawns mowed. The lady in the striped shirt is my good friend, Paula, who took care of Chipper while we were in D.C. She loved him so much she almost didn't give him back!

Gearing up for the fight

Ready, aim, fire!

Emily WANTED to get dunked in the water :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Parade Fun

Dave's family usually gets together for the Provo 4th of July parade, but this year everyone was kind of doing their own thing. Since we're parade diehards, Justin, Jordan, Emily, and I kept the tradition and headed over for some parade fun. I was in a hurry so didn't grab any lawn chairs, but luck was with us as we found a great spot and someone offered us their extra chairs! There was cloud cover, so it was perfect weather for a parade! Later we joined some of Dave's family for a barbecue and everyone took a much needed rest time.

Love these smiles!

Our budding photographer took this shot - not bad!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Picture Tag

I've been tagged twice, so thought I'd better get something up here! Either our camera has something wrong with it, or I've forgotten how to use it because some of the pictures have a blue or yellow tint to them.....

1. A current project you're working on:

We had an organizing lady come help us, but she left before we were finished. This is only part of what we still have left to sort and put away, and it's sitting in my main floor family room! (but we can park in the garage now) :)
2. The oldest thing you own:

This is an LDS Hymn book that my Grandma Danes owned as a teenager. She wasn't LDS, but was dating an LDS boy. The copywright on it says 1909. Definitely old and a treasure too.

3. Your worst pair of shoes:

I'm a barefoot person through and through, but when I have to wear working shoes, I wear these. I mow the lawn, garden, and paint in them, and they're easy to kick off as soon as I'm done!

4. Something from your childhood:

Okay, here's something really random - my banner from my Merrie Miss days! (10-11 years old in Primary). Each of the round glass stickons is for memorizing an article of faith, and the saying at the bottom is stitched with navy blue and yellow yarn. Navy blue - still my favorite color.

4. Your three favorite movies:

You've Got Mail (sorry to copy, Nicia, but it really IS one of my most favorite), Radio (a true story - I love the true story movies - usually very inspiring), and Anne of Green Gables series. Definitely feel-good movies! The first time I saw the Anne series, I was visiting Karen and was very sick. She had to leave and left me with the 4 video cassettes. I figured I would maybe watch one while she was gone. I ended up watching all 4 videos right in a row and have loved them ever since. Whenever I'm sick, I want to watch.....Anne of Green Gables.

Your key chain:

Nothing too fancy, just your basic key chain. I did add the picture of Emily recently though which makes me smile whenever I get my keys out.

Your favorite edible treat in the house right now:

Low carb ice cream bars. Okay, I know these don't look very appealing, but it was either these or the sugar free popcicles. Honestly, those are the ONLY treats in my house right now. (unless you count fruit rollups) Sorry! They're not too bad, though!

Something in your home you are proud of:

Okay, I'm not going to lie - I'm a proud missionary mom of an awesome missionary! I love it when people notice the chart when they come in my home. Look at the stickers - she's on the downhill slide now! Love you, Caitlin!

Your favorite wall hanging:

The wall hanging is this "Love is Spoken Here" picture that my sister, LaNita, painted and made for me. I love the whole grouping though, which sits in my front foyer. Each piece is special to me. I love the clock - splurge purchase from Levinworth, WA, the tile was given to us just after Michael passed away ("Heaven Seems Closer When Someone You Love is There"), and the bowl and pitcher were made by my sister, Karen probably close to 20 years ago.

Something in the yard that makes you smile:

Michael's garden - it's doing really well, and I especially like that there are daisies. If you look closely on the left, you can see the first daisy is blooming (between the frog & the sign), with many more coming soon!

We'll keep the fun going - I tag Annette and Melinda!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Senior Grad Trip to D.C.

The weeks have flown by without any blogging, but I'm trying to get back on track. June 17 we were privileged to take Jordan and Andrew on a senior graduation trip to Washington D.C. for a week. We wanted to see as much as possible while there, so we really kept moving - wore the boys right out, but I think all in all it was an awesome trip! So much to tell and so little time to tell it, but here's small recap:

After arriving in the late afternoon, we started out at the Arlington Cemetery where it was hard to imagine how many people have died throughout the years, in defense of our country's freedom. Over 200,000 service men and women in this cemetery alone - rows and rows of small headstones as far as you could see. We were able to see the changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier, a somber must, if you ever go. Sorry these pictures didn't turn out so well.

A neat story: While leaving the cemetery, a gentleman came up and was trying to give us 2 tickets. We explained that we had 4 people, and he said, "just a minute my neice has 2 more tickets." Long story short, these people had 2-day tickets to ride the double-decker open-top tour bus all over D.C. They had used the 1st day and had to leave town and wanted to give us their tickets for the 2nd day ($32/each). We were so excited! As it turned out, the gentleman had been a marine paratrooper in World War II, so it was awesome to talk with him for a little bit and be able to thank someone first hand for what he had done for our country.

Andrew & Jordan with World War II Marine Paratrooper

The next morning we took the double-decker guided bus tour all over D.C. - we all loved it! Even when we had to duck to keep from hitting head-on with tree branches! Definitely a extra unexpected blessing for us.

On top of the double-decker bus - US Capitol in the background

We had arranged to have a staff-led tour of the US Capitol that afternoon - really a once-in-a-life-time experience. Here's the ceiling of the rotunda:

Dave & Kathy inside the Capitol rotunda

The next morning we got up extra early to stand in line for tickets to go to the top of the Washington Memorial, and tour the Bureau of Engraving and Printing where our money is made. Both were really worth the wait!

Washington Memorial with sun directly behind it

Jordan with $1,000,000 in $10 notes (don't get any ideas Jordan!)

We walked to and visited all of the different memorials there - Lincoln, Jefferson, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War, Theodore Roosevelt - all were inspiring, and I can't do justice here to describe my feelings as I read placques and contemplated all the events that have taken place over the years to create and preserve our great country.

Andrew cuddling up to George Mason

Posing with another World War II Vet at the World War II Memorial
These gentleman were so sweet and got teary-eyed as we thanked them
for their contributions to our freedom. A touching experience...

We didn't want to come to D.C. and not see the actual documents that helped make everything happen. The National Archives was another treat. The documents are looking worse for the wear, but the lights are kept dim, and the air is very controlled with anti-pollutants & right temperature to help preserve them as long as possible.

We even made a quick trip to the scene of the crime where Andrew was born - right in D.C.:

(Not sure what that emergency is, Dave) :)

One day we headed south a little ways to tour the National Marine Corps Museum. It was awe-inspiring too, and had a section for each war that had been fought. The displays in the front foyer were life-size and very life-like, even down to the skin on the soldier statues, which looked very real.

Famous flag that was erected by soldiers when they took over Iwo Jima -
notice how tattered it is after just a short time of being flown.

Some fun mixed in with all the sightseeing.....

These two bro's are tight :)

We made sure we went to see the DC temple. It was just as majestic as I remembered from many years ago. We relaxed a little and watched a movie in the visitor's center before heading out to eat at a local place called Booeymonger's - fabulous philly cheesesteak sandwiches and fries! Loved the name - kept saying it after we had left.

On Sunday we visited Dave's old ward in Maryland which was nice. We spent that afternoon in Gettysburg, another somber, but very worthwhile tour.

We're standing on what is called the "high water mark" or Cemetery Ridge where the final hours of the battle were fought. It was near the end of the trip, and you can tell that the boys were all camera'd out!

We're so grateful we had this opportunity to go with Jordan and Andrew to view all these historic sites and feel of the strong patriotism of so many others before us. We owe so much to our forefathers! At church today we sang America the Beautiful and The Star Spangled Banner, and I couldn't help getting teary-eyed during both of them. I love my country and feel very blessed to enjoy so many freedoms in this great land. Thanks for a great trip, guys!