Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas aftermath

            Christmas was great!  No, I did not get the end of year letters out this year, but after all, it is still before Valentine’s Day right? 
            Not too long before Christmas I overheard my kids talking.  Oldest was explaining to the younger ones, ““It’s better to not have so much.  That way we can appreciate what we have more.”  My heart melted as I realized he is fully aware of the lack of funds in our home and I recognized another tidbit of how gratitude works.  I have to count my blessings.  I have been given some great kids.
            The lesson went over well.  “This is the best Christmas ever!” could be heard for days while they played with their “best gifts ever” that cost a whopping $10-$15 each from Wal-mart on Black Friday.  Proof we don’t have to spend a ton of money to make the kids happy.
            I was glad for the effort made in keeping to the budget when I short time after Christmas our furnace stopped putting out heat.  We all camped out in the front room with several space heaters surrounding us.  Though it snowed that night, it was not as cold then as it is now. 
We spent four days doing this just before school started up again from the winter break. By the time the furnace was repaired, the kids were saying, “This is great!  Even on a school night!”  While hubby was saying, “This can’t go on much longer!” and trying not to pull his hair out.
I guess we covered our tempers well enough.  One child reported he liked it better when the furnace was broken better than when the pipes were.  I agreed!  Our pipes did not actually break but they didn’t work right. 
The kitchen sink is in an overhanging window area.   The pipes freeze here every year.  The rest of the house has working water so I thought little of it other than, “This is annoying.”  
It made for the most exciting dish washing.  Even though we had tried to stick to dish-less meals like sandwiches, dry cereal, and pizza, after nine days we had run out of paper plates.  I could hardly stand the pile of pans in the sink.  The time had come to do the dishes. 
We filled the sink with water from the bathroom and set up an assembly line.  I washed and the kids took the dishes to the bathroom where Daddy helped rinse and then the kids took the dishes back to the dishwashers to dry.  When their dish as safely in the drying area, they got back in line for their next run around.  It was the most cooperation in our history of house cleaning.
I shared my rather brilliant experience with a friend who’s eyes got wide with worry and she said, “Your pipes are frozen?!?  You better get home for when they break!  It will flood your house!  I can’t believe your pipes haven’t broken yet!  Everyone’s pipes break when they freeze.” 
When I opened the door I was greeted with the sound of rushing water.  Oh no!  They broke!  Grateful once again for sticking to the budget I ran to find… Oh, nope.  Never mind.  That’s just the sound of rushing water from pipes that are no longer frozen.  Hooray!
Our kitchen pipes are a flexi-type pipe, not like normal pipes.  Sigh of relief, followed by sigh of frustration.  I wish we had left the water turned on more so they would have stayed unfrozen.  The constant dripping in the back ground is driving me crazy.  I definitely liked it better when the heater was broken instead of the pipes.
I expect my lesson in patience to be ending soon.  A storm is expected to blow through tomorrow bringing a heat wave with it.  Temps should finally get about 25 degrees.
In other news, my baby is growing up.  I know, not a big surprise, but my oldest is now 11 years old and has been invited to an open house for the up coming junior high kids.  No turning back now.  Kids will grow. I am debating whether or not to let my hair go gray or continue coloring it.  Do we have to get older just because they do?
We have been sledding only once with all the cold weather it is too cold to make the trek to the hill and back home again.  I am looking for a fabulous hot cocoa recipe.  I think when I find it there will be cause to brave the cold again. 
Keep making your challenges your blessings!  Have a marvelous day!