Saturday, November 16, 2013

Christmas shopping—finished!

I just finished Christmas shopping for the kids and it's not even Black Friday yet! (Although I still might need to find some new pants for Benjamin since I think he's entering that age of boyhood where pants end up too thrashed to pass down. I just went through our box of awaiting hand-me-downs and found approximately ten thousand shirts that would fit him but only a handful of pants. So I might still have to do a little shopping...but not much (and certainly not on Black Friday)).

I've been diligently checking Craigslist for about a year now, trying to find a swing set that would fit our budget. Many of the ones posted are far too expensive for a second hand swing set ("We bought this swing set ten years ago for $700 and totally trashed it—we'd like to sell it for $600. This is an extremely good deal! You must dismantle yourself. It might need a little TLC, a few new boards, and a couple new swings. Don't pass up this opportunity!") and all the ones that were within our budget (that weren't junky) would be gone by the time I replied.

This morning I found a darling swing set posted in the free section! And the post was only six minutes old! I immediately replied, and then I held my breath and waited.

Eventually I had to exhale because there was no response.

I knocked off a couple of things on my to-do list before checking my email again. Still no response.

I checked the posting again to see if it was there and it wasn't. It had been removed.

"I guess we didn't get it," I said sadly to Andrew.

"Oh, well," he said. "We'll keep trying."

But then I saw a message pop up on my screen. It was the owner of the swing set, offering it to us!

I almost cried. Literally. There were tears welling up in my eyes.

"Andrew! We got it!" I squealed.

I called and talked to the owner, who said the swing set came with the house they just moved into but that her kids are too old for it and they just don't need it. We've arranged a time to pick it up when her husband is home (so that he can help Andrew take it apart).

Andrew's going to take it to our home teacher's house, who said we can store it on his property until Christmas. I'm not sure exactly when we'll manage to set it up without the kids knowing. So far the plan is to do it on Christmas Eve. Andrew said "after they're in bed" but then I pointed out that it will be dark on Christmas Eve after they're in bed, so we've yet to work out that little detail.

I almost feel like I'm counting the chickens before they hatch (since we haven't exactly picked it up yet, but the woman promised it was ours and we have a pick-up time scheduled (and I know we're not going to flake out on this deal)) but I'm just so excited about it!

Now we just have to wait six weeks—I can't wait to see the kids's faces! 


  1. I love when things like that happen!!!! So glad you found one!!! and its free!!!

  2. Aw, yay! Can't wait to see pics of the kids enjoying it! :)

  3. That is awesome, but a little prewarn here they can take a long time to take apart and put together. The more pieces you can keep joined, the better!

    1. Oh, boy. :/ Hopefully we'll be able to finish in the time frame we set aside for this project! We'll try to keep it as together as possible...

  4. Wonderful! This is your big fat secret!