Day 15: The dishwasher, she is still broken, yes she is…

This month so far we’ve had two trips the the repair shop with our horrid dishwasher..
Trip #1- they replaced the element and charged almost $100. At home the dishwasher piddled on the floor– a new injury, it seemed.
Trip # 2- they replaced the gasket for $40. Got home and now the control panel is wonky. Twice it ran when John pounded– pounded — on it. Now, no dice. This is also seemingly an injury that happened related to the ‘fixing’. $140 later and still the kids are washing by hand, sighing heavily as they scrub.

Do we bring the thing to the shop again, with complaints about their work, hoping they’ll fix it for free and not charge us even more to revive the dying beast? That would be my vote– especially if it did not result in more charges. Granted, a gamble, one that John is not inclined towards. So for the moment we have decided to do nothing. Appropriate during 30 days of nothing, I suppose.

Maybe in October we will look to buy a new dishwasher. Or maybe sooner if our resolve declines. What we need is an all-metal something-or-other. This is the second dishwasher we’ve owned that went into a rapid decline after its plastic door-handle had to be replaced. Something about changing the handle ruins the seal and then water gets into the circuit board and then the dumb things get about as reliable as a slot machine in Vegas.

Anyway, along with dishwasher trauma, I had a full and utterly exhausting day of school. Children griping about having to write a misspelled word 5 times. Children shooting me looks of poison when I told them to untangle the vacuum cord. At least one 10 year old pretending that a 3 letter word was too hard to read. (That child’s brain woke up real nice after 5 laps around the house, thankyouverymuch.) And– a child who wrote as an answer to a math problem, “see lesson”– meaning of course that I’d left the answer key just a tad too handy…


A bright bit of the day was going out to dinner with our newly-minted 13 year old daughter, which I felt justified in doing as dinner out with mom and dad is one of the perks of the birthday week at our house.

Another nice thing was the discovery of 10 pounds of sugar stashed in the back of the pantry. We can put off that trip to WalMart for a few more days!

Meals Today

Breakfast: Pancakes with applesauce (one jar of yesterday’s applesauce didn’t seal)
Lunch: Homemade tomato/zucchini/cabbage/shell mac/beef soup, along with a few leftover burgers from yesterday at McDonald’s.
Dinner: Leftover peanut chicken, lentil stew, and grapes.

This evening Eldest is making apple cinnamon yeast bread– her own recipe– and I am canning about 10 more quarts of applesauce. Who knows why I started THAT task at 9 pm….I am very much regretting it now at 10:30 pm. I am also scheming about fun camping food for a camping trip we have planned later this month. Yummy, treat-ish, but using mostly what I’ve got at home. That’s my plan.


  1. Oh I HATE that ‘pretend to not be able to do it’ game. I take one of two tactics with it, depending on how crabby I am. Usually I say, “Oh is it too hard? You must be so tired. Let’s try again after a nap.” or “Does whining and crying really help you? I’d be happy to do some whining and crying with you if you think it helps. – BIG GROUP WHINE & WHIMPER – okay we did a lot of whining and crying, show me know how much it helped.” Kid either starts performing or protests that whining and crying didn’t help. “Oh, really? What does help?” Kid: “More trying.” Me: “Great idea!”

    Actually I just do the nap one when I want a nap. ;0

  2. Having been both an in-school teacher and a home-schooling mom, I can tell you from experience that they glare at you no matter if you are just their teacher or their mom. The only difference is they don’t go home to a different person after 3 pm πŸ™‚

    It’s all good.

    Oh and considering the size of your family, say the heck with it and you folks need a commercial type dishwasher or resign yourselves and your kidlets to endless dishwashing — and honestly, as inconvenient as that is it isn’t the worst thing in the world!

  3. With 5 kids I know how many dishes accumulate so I would say this is a case of some serious praying and begging God for a replacement! I love the answer “see lesson” because I home school and have had an 8 and 10 year old that I feel are stretching every possible fiber of my being. I totally love that I am not the only one:) I also have made kids run around the house. Have you read the book Parenting With Love and Logic. If not, go read it(there is one for teens that I have not read) You would love it. It is so full of natural consequenses like if a kid slams a door you make them stand there 30 minutes and open and close the door. If they are late for school they have to pay for a taxi to come take them.

  4. I’ve lived 22 measly years on this Earth…never had a dishwasher. Granted, I didn’t grow up in a family of 12, but your kids are lucky to have only had this short period of dishwashing duty! My Dad would always say he had a dishwasher, and then promptly point to his two children. haha

  5. Oh my what a day! We had that kind of school day Friday. One of those where eventually you stop fighting and just day – “GO!” I guess we’re still getting used to routine around here, but some days – oh some days! Sorry about that dishwasher mess. My friend has a bosch “dish drawer” that she paid a fortune for, but she’s seriously in love with it (like I think she might need therapy in love) and it’s nearly indestructable – and best of all – SILENT – nearly completely SILENT!

  6. Sorry about the dish washer. Here the repair man always comes to the house to fix dish washers. Of course, it probably costs more. Guess I got lucky with my dish washer problems last summer when it healed itself@! Thank you God!

    Don’t you hate when the week starts out rotten. Hopefully it will get better soon.

  7. I had one of those homeschool days, too yesterday. Needless to say, I’m not really looking forward to today’s schooling.

  8. That sounds like a very full day indeed! I love the dinner out with mom and dad birthday tradition. Fun.

  9. Ah, dishwasher woes. Ours just went through a phase of spitting and laughing at me when it came time to work. Then it just about died.

    We got a new one that I love a lot. My suggestion? A stainless steel tub. (Not exterior) More efficient and definitely a bit more sturdy.

    Good luck!

  10. Dishwashers are a love /hate relationship : love em to death when they work but not so much when they don’t !!! My Mom used to go to the outhouse when it was time to do dishes, until the time her Mom saved the dishes and was having a cup of tea waiting for her return. She had to do the dishes all herself… after that helping her mother beat doing them herself.
    I homeschooled our youngest son, and the stares are enough to stop you in your tracks. Running around the house is a nice touch! (You have to think of things to keep one step ahead of
    them at all times, nice to have ideas in reserve…)
    I just got my internet back up and running. It has been down for about 3 weeks. I have been doing a canning marathon also. I was canning green beans and my canner blew the safety seal – now what to do – I called my daughter who lent me 3 SMALL

  11. mary,
    That is too funny about the laps around the house. I also use that attitude adjustment technique in my 8.5 yr old and it works every time. πŸ™‚

  12. sounds to me that your dishwasher is about to die, if you fix it again something else will go wrong and eventually it will pack up, buy a new one πŸ™‚

  13. Ack…no dishwasher! That is quite traumatic for me, and I only have four children! I had to do without it for a week when we first bought this house, and I felt like I was drowning in a sea of dishes.

  14. Mary, I think it’s the full moon. Yes I do. My kids are out of sorts too. 12 year old is so over the top, he’s got some consequences coming to him after school today!

  15. Have you tried I fixed my stove and dryer by myself well my husband too.

  16. My 11-year-old developed a better appreciation for remembering his homework after running 10 laps around our home!

  17. Try freecycling a dishwasher. I have gotten 2 that way, people were just getting rid of because they wanted a different color for kitchen updates. Nothing wrong with them at all. One I passed on already but the other we kept. Just because I prefer white and they are pleased with the black. Then you only expend gas until you can afford a new one!

  18. I would totally insist that the dishwasher repair place fix my dishwasher! Especially since it keeps coming up with new problems! I would refuse to pay any more, and just ask them to fix it! We went through this with a car one time, where the repair place kept screwing it up. I lose my patience quickly when repair people are incompetent. πŸ™

  19. OH, the woes of dishwashers! I think every family has a tale (or several) to tell. We have very hard water so it’s always been a trial to get one to last but last time we were convinced to go to the top of the line model and it has made a world of difference. I think you might like this one, with the number of dishes I’m sure you have after every meal! It’s an LG (Korean company – Life’s Good) stainless steel inside, black on the outside with a digital control panel on the front. Inside it’s a tall tub that can accomodate 14″ charger plates – or cutting boards or cookies sheets :)) The motor is completely enclosed underneath so it’s very quiet (you barely hear it filling or washing). I used the quick wash cycle for preparing my canning jars and there are several choices for cycles. I could go on! but you should check it out. We paid $1000 for it here in Canada but I imagine you could get it for considerably less where you are. It seemed extravagant but I hope I won’t have to replace it for a good long time.

    That seems like a lot of words to spend on a dishwasher but I really wanted to tell you that there is hope. There are so many things to do in life besides wash dishes (you’ll still have some to do) – for you and for your children!

    And I hope the schooling goes better today.

  20. I thought we were the only ones who made our kids run around the house. LOL Comes in really handy when they get all wound up too and think the living room is a wrestling mat or gymnastics floor.

  21. We just bought a new dishwasher. After we had to replace the floor with the leak, and then no water. Grrrrrr.

  22. Oh please send me some of those sheme-ing recipes for camping. We are also headed out for a trip at the end of the month. So, I think I will try the run around the pool four times next time I get a little lip for some attitude problem with writing the spelling words or messy handwriting. Hmm…thanks for sharing.

  23. I am sure you will have extra jewels in your crown . . . ten kids and no dishwasher. . . I thought I was hard done by having two with no dishwasher. This is America.

    Anywho, I am loving reading about you and your family!

  24. I don’t know how you do it – homeschooling 8 kids at once. I am worn out at the end of the day from helping just ONE with homework! Oh, and I like the “5 laps around the house” idea to wake-up the brain. πŸ™‚

    BTW, I would totally take the washer back to the repair shop and have them either fix it again for free, or refund the last “fix”.

  25. You run a tight ship.
    Hope the dishwasher’s fixed soon.
    You’re like me, the thought of paying that much for something to stay broken is enough incentive to go back and get them to replace the darn thing for you.
    p.s. I’ve found great deals on dishwasher’s on craigslist. People are practically giving them away after remodels. (however, this was before the housing crisis… not sure how many remodels are currently taking place.)

  26. I just wanted to thank you for your inspiration. I froze carrots today and have been looking for ways to save and consolidate. I figure if you can do it with your crew, I sure can get back on track with mine.

    Thank you!

    PS I’m doing ok with the diswasher, but my fridge is making some wierd noises.

  27. I have gotten the old “stink eye” from the kids when they are doing school work as well, so you are not alone! Mine also run laps and it works!

    Your child’s “answer” had me laughing, as one of mine wrote “answers may vary” to one of his workbook questions! We are still laughing over that one!! AND, I am more careful about where I leave the answer key!!

    But, yes, the full moon is upon us and the kids are kind of kooky. I took a break from it all and took all 10 of them to the zoo. They were more excited over the nuts on the ground than the animals. Seemed kind of appropriate to me! πŸ™‚

  28. I don’t know if this would work in your area, or if you have a Sears store at all. My sister had a washing machine she had since she was married, I’m guessing at the time maybe 8 years? She called Sears repair department (although orignially purchased at lowes) and they gave her two options, she could purchase a repair warrenty for the year, which would cover the repairs for the entire year for approx 250. Or she could just get the single service call. She ended up getting the one year warrenty and the single service call would have been 225 anyway. The next month or so the washer broke again and they came out to repair it but it was not something they could repair. In turn they gave her the credit of 250 towards a new washer/dryer. The figures are only ball park but it might be worth the phone call to see if they can help. Goodluck!