Sunday, December 13, 2009

Temptation Abounds

So we continue to trudge along in our little duplex. Trudge really isn't the right word - I am actually really liking the layout of the new place. I like the fact it isn't so large, because it makes it so much easier to keep clean. (Drop by...our house is probably clean!)

And I've given a lot of thought to what I like and dislike so I can figure out next time around what I want in a house.

Firstly, the fact I have to walk past the kitchen dining room to go anywhere is really nice. This means the constant mess of the kitchen absolutely bothers me until I clean it. I simply can't help myself. Every night I actually clear the table and wipe it down. Weird - but I never did that at our old house. And the conclusion I've come too is that in the old house, I could go to another part of the house and ignore it. That went for the whole house really. If something was messy, I'd move on...until the whole house was messy. ;-) Then you can't avoid it and have to clean.

The fact I don't have much storage place or places to stash things is also really nice. It prevents me from letting laundry pile up. I have no place to simply let the laundry lay around without seeing it. :-P Therefore, laundry has been getting done very regularly from start to finish. I've been taking it straight from the dryer and folding it. Crazy - I know.

So I guess you could say the maintenance of this house is great. And I hope to keep it around next time. Having a ranch house I think really helps, and therefore I'm not sure I'll buy another two-story. I'll never say never, because I just really don't know until I get there!

I do miss having my own bathroom, but not very often. William's parents haven't visited yet. I have a sneaky suspicion that during their next stay I'll really miss it.

I also do not miss having a larger room. As crazy as this sounds, I like our new bedroom than the old. Isn't that crazy? The only thing I can figure out so far is that maybe I like it more because I spend more time in it. At first, I spent time in it because we didn't have a couch ...so it was one of the few places you could go for comfortable seating. But we have a couch now. I still go in there to do things like fold laundry or read. I only ever slept in our old room. I never just hung out in there. No reason too, there were so many other places too I guess.

Right now the only thing I really miss is the yard. I'm not liking the smaller yard, especially with a large dog. Large dogs put out...large messes. And every time I go out there to clean the yard I end up stepping in a mess. (I blame the grass - it was longish, making it difficult to see.) And Solomon sometimes runs out of yard...or something...and poops on the porch. I *really* hate that. Our old view and yard though were just so absolutely perfect. That was why we bought it anyway - not the house itself.

I also don't mind too terribly living in a duplex itself. I suspect that is really related to the fact our neighbor is so incredibly quiet. You NEVER hear her over there except for the occasional phone ring. I feel bad for her in a way. We certainly are not quiet. And there is no way we can be and still let the kids be kids. I do try to reign them in - no yelling before 9:00 AM on weekends for example. ;-) I don't let them scream in the bathroom (kinda echoes in there)...and I try to limit screaming in general. If you want to get technical - that last part is more for my ears but we can pretend that it is purely for hers can't we? And our lovely neighbor has never complained. Ever. And I appreciate that so much. I wish there was something we could do for her. I've been keeping my eyes out. I'm certain we'll figure something out eventually to maybe bless her back.

I know I've been writing a lot about how blessed we are, I do feel utterly blessed in so many ways. But I feel compelled to mention some of the attacks we have been under lately. It hasn't phased us at all, and is almost humorous. But when you are doing what God wants you to do and making tough choices, The Evil One certainly isn't going to sit idly by. Therefore, I feel like I need to mention this so that maybe I can encourage someone else who might be going through something similar? William and I look at these attacks and go "Yep, that was definitely a good choice." And I don't know who to tell you the difference between an attack and a Godly timeout. I've been in both. The difference is in the heart really - when you are in a timeout you usually know you aren't doing what you are supposed to be doing!

Anyway - on to the attacks. About 3 or 4 weeks ago the computer that we keep all...and I mean all our pictures on wouldn't boot up. William tried several things, to no avail. We had two hard drives, and so we were certain the pictures were safe. But every year we put together a calendar for all the grandparents. They love it - and it has become the "expected" gift. There would be a lot of disappointment all around if we didn't get the calendar completed.

The issue with the computer was either the main hard drive where the OS was installed, the mother board or the processor chip. We ruled out the main hard drive, leaving the motherboard or chip. This was a home built computer, and unfortunately we couldn't simply replace the motherboard or chip - because both had been discontinued. So we had a choice to make - buy a case to put the hard drive in or buy a new motherboard/chip. The hard drive case ended up being like $15, and that is the choice we made. But we discussed all sorts of things...we use this computer to watch netflix in the basement, process movies and other things. It was used regularly. So coming to the conclusion to not fix it right now was pretty difficult. But we did it - and it was a good choice. The cost will be between $100-300 depending on the route we wanted to go. None of it budgeted right now of course.

So strike one - The Evil One of course did not get his way. I can picture him pacing, spewing expletives and plotting his next move. And his next move he did make.

Our beloved 60 inch TV is having problems. Sometimes it will not turn on. William rushed out to Best Buy, because we knew the warranty was either up or about up. Turns out - it was up. It expired Nov. 21 - just 20 days ago. William pleaded with the manager, but the largest issue is the price of TVs have come down SO MUCH we could have walked out with the most expensive one with no cost to us. Leaving the store to swallow it. He did tell William he'd give us a good deal on a new one (after hearing that William bought it with an employee discount).

Of course the good deal is alluring. New TV...queue salivation here. What to do what to do...we are told that fixing TVs tends to be more expensive than worth. And the technology that has come out lately! NEW TV!!!

We talked about it quite a bit. This decision was NOT easy. I have to say, it took some will power on both our parts. But our logic went something like this...

- We still have a TV.
- We could buy a large (but smaller than we have) TV for much less, but it still would probably not be healthy towards our goals...something would have to give.
- We could look at getting it fixed possibly - the dad of a friend of mine does fix TVs.
- Worst case - we simply just use the 1 TV we have.

So we talked ourselves down, and again made a good choice. William is going to call our friend's dad soon...just to see what he has to say. If it is too much, of course we will again make a good decision. (Since I just typed that to the world and everyone is watching - I guess I feel extra obligated. ;-)) No really...William and I really did groan and giggle at the entire thing. How can you NOT laugh at something so absolutely ridiculous?

Then today...William tried changing the channel on the little TV upstairs and it went blank. It said "Please wait..." and wouldn't do anything more. He turned it off and on with the same results.

With me yet? Really? I mean - electronics is our biggest weakness. We are gadget people. William was so excited about this house, because he GOT TO KEEP HIS TV...we'd actually HAVE room for it! (Many of the places we looked at would not hold our TV!) So the decision to NOT replace that TV was tough enough!! But to take away the second one?

You know all these things were running through our heads. I did the unthinkable...I unplugged the little TV, waited a couple minutes and then plugged it back in. It began working again. Whew - crisis averted...at least for now.

So there you have it...while I continue to be blessed in so many ways, we are in fact under constant attack. And these ARE attacks. They just feel like attacks. But we have been keeping our eyes on our goals, on the instructions God has given us and the direction we know we are to take. If all of electronics go kaput - then I guess we'll save up for something very modest so as not to affect our goals. Sorry - I know many people live without a TV...but we just couldn't do it! LOL Especially since we just bought the New Super Mario Brothers Wii game! And really we could replace our smaller TV for very little money. So that is completely a viable option (you know - after we save up!). But that doesn't mean loosing our big TV wouldn't hurt.

We will endure. We will make good decisions. We will continue to be attacked. And it just proves to us further that we are making good decisions, which fuels our fire to continue. I'm sure that isn't what The Evil One had in mind. And I'm certain this isn't making him happy - I can just picture him throwing a chair across the room in anger at his foiled plans...

And in all of this, I call ourselves blessed.