what's up weekly.

This week we got back into the grind after taking a week off from school.  It was great to get some structure back into our days, although I will say that it wasn't without some whining from all involved.  But before I get into whining about the whining, let's back up.

Our most major news of note this week is that ROCCO TOOK HIS FIRST INDEPENDENT STEPS!  I don't have photos, since my hands were busy trying to keep him from cracking his head open in an inevitable drunk-fall, but trust me: it happened.  And it felt like the best day of my life.  That's the funny thing with kids: every time they do something new, it's like it's the first time you're ever seeing it happen.  It doesn't matter that you walk every single day of your own life without thinking twice about it; it doesn't matter that you've seen X-number of kids before this one take their own first steps.  It is just so exciting to see them hitting those tiny major milestones.  And it is just as exciting every single time, with every single kid.  I'm so glad I get to be here for these moments!

In other, less major news, we started off the weekend with an adventure at Lowe's, where the boys got to build fire boats.  After that, we stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up our grocery order, and uh, hello: ordering online and having someone just deliver it straight to the van was a game-changer.  I will be doing it that way from here on out, forever and ever, amen.  Between the thing at Lowe's, our stop at Walmart, and our bi-weekly trip to Aldi, we were still only gone for about two hours.  MIND BLOWN.

Saturday night, a couple of girls from Cedar Falls came and stayed the night, and came to church with us on Sunday.

On Monday, we hopped back into the swing of school, refreshed and (mostly) ready for it.  The kids don't really mind school; it's the other stuff about structured days they sometimes get worn down by - namely, chores.  When school is on break, chores tend to be on break as well.  So it was a sad, sad day in the Van Voorst house when I told them it was time to deep clean their rooms and strip their sheets on Monday morning.

Monday afternoon, I popped all the sheets into the washer, and then moved them to the dryer.  I'd been noticing that the washer hadn't been draining properly lately, but I figured I could live with it.  Then, when I went to add a second load into the washer for the day, the washer died.  Like, it spit out a little water, and then it rolled over onto its back and its eyes turned to "X"s and its tongue lolled out of its mouth.  It was a really excellent moment for me.

See, I've been hand-washing dishes for the last three weeks, since our dishwasher is also dead.  So I'm already kind of on the outs with our appliances.  But the thing is, I'm capable of hand-washing dishes.  Not so much with hand-washing dirty laundry.  For one thing, I don't have one of those scrubby washboard things (unless my abs count), and I'm fresh out of lye soap, so hand-washing seven people's laundry is not really an option for me.  Having a functioning washing machine is kind of a big deal around here.  But we just dropped serious cash on the (yet-to-be-delivered) dishwasher, so...

I was, um... unhappy.  So I spent Monday night pouting and crying and not sleeping and trying to force the washer to resurrect.  And then I spent Tuesday praying for my obvious total depravity, as displayed in my ingratitude and temper tantrums, and also trying to force the washer to resurrect.  And then Wednesday, Todd lined up a friend with a truck to go with him to Menard's to buy a used washer, and half an hour before he was set to leave, I decided to try the washer one last time, just for kicks.

And do you know what that stupid, stubborn, prankster of a washer did?  It started up just fine.  It ran cold water.  It ran hot water.  It drained properly.  It acted like the most medicated of problem youths.  And I was ecstatic.  Slash ticked off.  You know, how a person gets.  So, long story short, our washer is (tentatively) back in my (skeptical) good graces.  I forgive it, but it's currently having to work hard to regain my trust.

And other than that, the rest of this week has been pretty normal.  On Wednesday, we headed to the used book sale at the library, which sucked, but we got a schedule for the upcoming sales, which seem like they "should" (HEAVY EMPHASIS) be pretty decent, so I'm crossing my fingers.  I may even have to get a babysitter for the kids so I can browse, singularly-focused and uninterrupted, the upcoming Classics sale.  (Nicholas Sparks books should probably be part of that one, right?)

Eeeeeeenywayz, that's all I've got to show for the week.  Tomorrow is October, you guys.  October.