Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our Christmas Card

Pretty Pattern Christmas Card
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We just love this picture I took of the girls at my friend's wedding reception back in August. The girls haven't changed any at all and it is SO hard to get them both to look great in one picture that we decided to just turn this one black and white, crop a little closer, and slap a Merry Christmas to it. After all, my husband and I both believe they are our greatest accomplishments period so we take every opportunity to show them off. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When DIY Goes Horribly Wrong!

Let me begin by explaining the saga that is my life. I over analyze EVERYTHING! It is a fault that I am working on daily. However, because of this issue it takes me forever to make decisions regarding important purchases. For example, we were given a dishwasher about 2 1/2 years ago by one of my mother's neighbors when she purchased all stainless appliances. There was nothing wrong with the dishwasher it was just younger than our own hideous one that came with our house when we purchased it. Our house is 16 years old so the original dishwasher was 13 1/2 when it was replaced.

The dishwasher from our friend lasted the 2 1/2 years before it finally gave up working. During that time, we had repairmen out once to fix a worn out part but that this point it had broken pieces and rarely washed a load of dishes where they all came out clean.
You can see part of the dishwasher here. This was taken in October before our youngest daughter's birthday party.

We had been debating whether to replace our stove (which is acting funny and not in a ha ha sort of way) or the dishwasher when the dishwasher made the decision for us. We shopped around a lot. By WE I mean I scoured reviews from Lowes, Home Depot, Amazon, Best Buy, HH Gregg, etc. All the dishwashers with the hidden controls had horrible reviews where the control panel motors had all been replaced 2-3 times and people warned potential buyers away like a proverbial lions' den.

After looking at all the sites over and over again, I decided to check out the Black Friday sales which may or may not have something I want. I found a Maytag dishwasher from Lowes with great reviews and an even greater price point. The only thing it had that I didn't want was controls you could see. Oh well, it was still stainless, it had an all stainless tub and I could actually fit pots into it? I was sold! I purchased it online with a few coupon codes on Thanksgiving Day and VOILA! for a reasonable price it was going to be delivered to my home on Black Friday!

The delivery men were amazing and came exactly when they said they would. I unboxed my beautiful new appliance and set off installing it. Problem number one. I had never heard of a strain relief for electrical wires and thought it isn't necessary according to the directions so I just won't use it. Then the new dishwasher did not come with wire connectors but I just used the ones from the old dishwasher. They worked so we were great! After about an hour and a half I had a beautiful dishwasher in my kitchen!
Then, we ran it. It worked very well the first time Friday night. Saturday we were a flurry of working on organizing the garage and finishing up the laminate floors in the girls' rooms (more on that later).  On one of the trips back in to the house from the garage we smelled a noxious odor that made you want to throw up/cry/scream all at once! I thought it could possibly we the battery we were charging for the drill as our drill is old and trying to die. We immediately unplugged it and also turned off the dishwasher just in case. We spent an hour trying to figure out what was making the smell. We decided to turn off the breaker for the plugs in the kitchen and the dishwasher just in case. We took the kids out of the house and to the store for 2 hours just to make sure the smell was gone. When we came home I smelled the odor coming from the little vent in the dishwasher (see photo top left).  I was immediately horrified and decided not to mess with it before I hurt myself or the dishwasher. I have been working on Christmas candy, laundry, lesson plans, wrapping presents and just life for the last 2 weeks and have ignored the lovely dishwasher. In the meantime, our kitchen has become a cesspool or disgusting dishes as since I am making the Christmas Candy my husband is in charge of dishes. He is slacking BIG time!
Pardon the horrible lighting, this is an early morning picture. My floor is still also nasty as we haven't decided whether we are doing tile or hardwood, so there is still a nasty stripe of sub-floor in front of our beautiful cabinets. Of course we also have Christmas candy carnage presents everywhere!
Finally, last night I decided to tackle the problem head on. I pulled the dishwasher out and left all connections in place (remember the breaker is off at this point).  Everything looked fine until I pulled out my connections. Don't ask how but one (only one of two) wire connectors decided to melt. This had nothing to do with the strain relief but apparently with the wire connectors. So, it is off to Lowes to buy both a strain relief (just in case) and a new set of wire connectors. UGGGHHH! At least it wasn't worse and I can salvage the wires and fix it. I am not sure exactly what happened but it will be fixed so I can reclaim my kitchen and my beautiful new dishwasher.

On a side note, both girls' floors are finished and so is a new shelf and all decorated for our Christmas Eve party.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Working on Christmas

I'm in the process of finishing up some great things around the house but I stopped to decorate a little for Christmas. Of course, as a teacher, this is my favorite time of year as winter brings snow and can possibly brig unexpected days off with my family. Here is a new shelf we hung in the kitchen last night. I just love looking at this while making my cookies!


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