Tis the season for Mini-van Transmissions to Stop Working

I noticed on Jon Barlow’s blog that they were concerned about the transmission in their mini-van. Well, yesterday after Mark and the boys had been at the home of church friends receiving help on their pinewood derby cars for scouting, they got in the van to head home. Low and behold, Reverse didn’t work. So, this morning, we took it to our local mechanic, and it is sitting in his back lot over the holiday weekend. He couldn’t start work on it today because he is waiting for us to determine if the transmission is under warranty. We had it replaced about 14 months ago when we were still living in OK. The replacement transmission was rebuilt, but it had a 2-year, 24K-mile warranty on it. So the mechanic here had to find a number on the transmission that we could relate to our mechanic in OK who would then pass it on to the company that manufactured the rebuilt transmission. We feel sure we haven’t passed the 24K mark, but we are a little leary about whether we will actually be able to get the manufacturer to follow through on the warranty. We have had a bad experience with this sort of thing in the past, so we’re a little gun shy. We’ll see.

The good news is that the same friends who were helping with the pinewood derby cars are loaning us their minivan for a couple of days so we can at least make it to church this weekend. Our car doesn’t accommodate the whole family, plus I need to be at church a bit earlier than the rest for choir. So this is a great help for which we are really thankful.


The day before Christmas Eve–I can’t believe the year is nearly over! The final 4 months of 2005 have been frenetic for me. Adjusting to new work schedules, school schedules, and life in general has been a challenge. Sometimes I have been up to it, and other times I haven’t been. Laundry, housework, homework, doctor visits, Brownies, Webelos, Wolf Scouts, Bibls studies, choir, freelance work . . . all of it has contributed to a busy household. Much of the time I’ve felt frazzled. Getting ready for Christmas has only made things a little more crazy!

However, I am pleased to say that I wrapped most of the children’s presents last night, and I am trying to simplify things on the cooking end of things. My goal is for the weekend to be a little more relaxed than the 48 hours surrounding Christmas have been traditionally in our family. We will see.

I hope to have a new photo added to my blog in the next couple of days. Perhaps some of the Christmas Day shots will make it up too. I don’t want to pressure myself though 😉

Despite my somewhat stressful life, I have much to be thankful for and it is all because Jesus humbled Himself and became a man to suffer and die on the cross for my sins. Keeping that in perspective helps me remember that my stress is not so much to handle. Until my next post, I wish all who stop by here a Merry Christmas.

Something to Blog About

After a bit of a dry spell, I at last have something to blog about. Our 4th grade boy, Calvin, had his acting debut yesterday at his school’s 3rd-4th grade musical. The name of the show was “The S Files.” “S” is for solutions, as the plot centers around a group of kids who find solutions to mysteries that are sent to them via e-mail.

The show had a very simple set with a desk and computer on the stage and a large screen down the center where the computer screen was projected so the audience could read their e-mails and also where background video could be played. The main actors (the kids who “solved mysteries”) were on the stage. Then, to the right of the stage, there was a large choir who sang upbeat fun songs in between each scene on the stage.

The mystery that the group had to solve came from Thomas2000 who wrote to ask about the real meaning of Christmas. They proceeded to investigate by searching the Scriptures and comparing the real meaning of Christmas to some of the more popular cultural practices of celebrating the holidays like shopping. It was pretty typical for a church-type children’s musical, but the children really worked hard and did a great job pulling it together.

Calvin played one of the solution seekers who acted on the stage. As a completely unbiased mother, I must say, he did a great job. All of the children did really well at remembering their lines and following cues. I was amazed at how well they did. It really went so well because the teachers and parent volunteers were organized and thorough and very patient with the children.

I liked the experience for Calvin for lots of reasons, but one thing that stood out to me was that none of the children were singled out. The recognition at the end did not place higher significance on the actors than on the choir, and the children didn’t seem to either. It was a real team effort, and I think the teachers and volunteers worked at making that the attitude among the kids.

On Monday, the kids take the show on the road to a local nursing home. I am also pleased with this as it gives Calvin an opportunity to reach out to the community.