Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Major Change in Plans

So as many of you know, we were supposed to be moving to North Carolina a few weeks ago. However, after a lot of debate, and some unplanned surprises, we decided that it would be best for us to stay in Houston. Dan will attend the University of Houston where he will work with some of the top researchers in his field.

Since we decided to change our plans the day that the girls and I came back from Idaho, we had a lot to do. We stayed in Houston at Dan's parents for a few days trying to find a place to live, but after little success decided we should hurry home and pack up the house and clean so that we could be out in time. Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Megan, we were able to leave Kate for 5 days that we had left to move. We took Sarah home with us however, since we knew she wanted to see her friends before we moved.

Each day we were there Sarah was able to go and play with friends. The first day was interesting. She went and played at her friend Timmy's house. Well, although Sarah is potty trained, she had an accident and pooped all over their floor. That wouldn't have been too bad in and of itself, but they also have a little boy, Ben, who is Kate's age, who found the poop before my friend Michelle, the mom, did. I can see your imaginations rolling, and yes, Michelle found Ben hunched over eating Sarah's poop. When I found this out I felt horrible! I can't believe that happened. I would have thrown up if I had seen it. I feel so bad! Sorry Michelle and Neal, I hope Ben is okay! Thanks for dinner too, your pizza was great!

Anyways, as we were trying to get the house ready to leave, we figured we also better make sure the Aurora was in working condition so that we could bring it with us to Houston. This was 2 days before we had to be moved out. First, we figured we should make sure that it would start. . . And it didn't, so we tried to jump it . . . And it wouldn't jump. So Dan took the battery into AutoZone, who was having computer problems, to get the battery tested. The charged the battery for an hour and told him that it was completely dead, but that they couldn't look up the warranty information because their computers were down, so just to take the new battery! That was lucky. When Dan got home he put the battery back in the car (which is so conveniently located under the back seat, thats right, you have to take the back seat of the car out every time you want to jump or replace the battery and fuses), and the car started right up. Great, right?

Well, the battery kept dying because the lights kept flickering like every 10 seconds (as if the hazard lights were on, only they weren't, even while we were driving). So, the next day (the day before we were supposed to move) we drove to another car parts store, O'Reily's, or something like that. We told them the situation and asked if it might be a shorted fuse, and if they might be able to check it. They couldn't check fuses there, so they sent us next door to a car repair shop to ask the guy there if he would look at it for us. After about 5 hours we called to see what was wrong and he informed us that the lights kept flickering because their is a short in the computer system. He said he would try to find us a used part (that would still be at least a hundred dollars just for the part). However, after he called around everywhere he found that there wasn't a part anywhere that would work for the car. So . . . he told us that he would put it back together and we could go pick it up the next morning.

Since we couldn't do anything more about it, we just went and picked up our moving truck so that we could pack up the truck that night. We got to the rental place, and they didn't have any 22' trucks. They offered to give us a 26' truck for the same price but we figured that would be way too big, and decided to go with a 16' truck instead. Bad idea. We get back to Nacogdoches, and some guys from church came to help pack up the truck. After filling the truck halfway they could tell that their was no way that we were going to fit all of our things in the 16' truck, and by this time the rental place had been closed for a few hours. Now what! I was so stressed I couldn't even think about what we should do. So Dan got on the phone and got it all lined up with his family, that his mom would drive down his sister's van early the next morning so that we could go rent a uhaul trailer and put the rest of our stuff in that. Well, after we got the truck filled as much as possible, a couple of my great friends, Taiya and Leah, stayed until midnight to help me get my upstairs clean (Thanks girls!). They were such a great help, I couldn't have done it without them.

The next morning (the day of our move) we went over to the parts store to get stuff to try to recharge the air conditioner, and to get a switch to put on the battery (and idea a friend gave us so that our battery wouldn't die all the time. The switch would turn the battery off so that the lights couldn't flicker.) After we got everything that we needed, we went back over to the car repair place, and asked Jon, the guy who looked at our car, how we would put the switch on. After looking at our car he determined that the switch wouldn't work for our car for two reasons. One, the battery was under the back seat, so it would be extremely unsafe, and two, the main connector to the battery also connects to the fuses, so we couldn't have connected it right for some big long reason I don't know how to explain. So we went back to the part store, where we returned the switch, and they attempted to look for the next 30 minutes for where we should put the recarge kit for the air conditioner. They thought that our car only had two high pressure valves unstead of one high and one low. So finally, after forever of looking, they told us to go ask a car repair place. We felt stupid to have to go back to Jon, so we went down to a place a little further down the street. By this point we were extremely frustrated because the 30 minute trip to go pick up our car had turned into what at that point was more like 2 hours. This of course was super stressful for me seeing that although my upstairs was spotless, the downstairs had barely been touched cleaning wise.

So we got to another repair shop, and they showed us that the valve was in fact a low pressure valve and showed us what to do. After 15 mintues, the AC still wasn't working right, and some friends from church stopped at the repair shop and talked with us. They were so great to give me a ride home so that I could start cleaning (since by this point it was already almost 11 AM). Dan's mom was already almost to Nac. and she was going to go pick up the Uhaul and then come help me clean. Dan was going to go get more freon and get some drinks from the store, then come home and load the trailer. Well, Dan stopped at Brookshire Brothers to get the drinks, and when he came back outside, the car wouldn't start at all. And it wouldn't jump. Great.

So Dan took out the battery yet again, and waited for his mom to come pick him up from the grocery store. They took the battery back over to AutoZone who told him that the battery was fine, and that wasn't the problem. So they got some lunch and brought it back so we could eat, since it was already after 1:00. Elaine helped me clean while Dan loaded up the truck, and when Taiya got off work she came and helped clean too.

We finally finished cleaning around 4:30, and Elaine took Sarah and they went back to Houston. Dan and I went back over to Brookshire Brothers (BB) and for the next 2 hours preceded to try and figure out if we could get the car to start so that we could get it out of the parking lot to somewhere we could keep it. But to make an extremely long story at least a little bit shorter, we couldn't figure anything out, and got permission from BB to leave the car there.

We got to Houston at about 11:30 pm Thursday night, and Saturday morning unloaded our truck/trailer into Dan's family's garage. Now, we are just trying to find a place to live, so we can move our stuff yet again!

P.S. Just to say, our Aurora didn't make it, and is still sitting in the parking lot of Brookshire Brothers in Nacogdoches!

Packing and moving was definately not a fun task, but thanks to some great friends we were able to get out in time, and should be getting back our full deposit! Thanks to the Doug, Bro. Ault, Cory, Bro. Dormady, and the new family (sorry I don't know your names) that helped us load the truck; Michelle, Jill, Leah, and Nila for watching Sarah; and Leah, Taiya, and Nila, and Elaine for helping me clean, and Carol for the fabulous homemade onion bagels! I coudn't have done it without you guys!