Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Christmas to all from our family to yours! Again, a day late...

The camera cord has been found (along with the bathroom scale, but we won't talk about that). So here are some photos of my gang from Christmas morning.

First we have Nate opening his Smart Cycle. This has to be one of the coolest things. An exercise bike disguised as a video game. I want an adult version. Would it be fun to ride a bike on the freeway dodging traffic without fear of actually being killed? Ok, I would rather pedal allow by a gently flowing river or through mountains, but I want to control the steepness, lol, and have the temperature control of my own living room. Anyway, here's Nate:
Then we have Jacob with the hit gift of the season. The only thing he asked for was a Nintendo DS, and lo and behold Santa came through. He's had a pretty good year, between getting his own bedroom, which was pretty cool and now his DS, he's a pretty happy camper. He's a pretty easy going and doesn't ask for much. But, it's really fun to see him excited. Here's Jacob:
Lastly, but certainly not least, we have Joshua, who at 16 doesn't all the excited about anything. Notice the t-shirt says something about sarcasm. He really is a great kid though, I'll keep him. He got some nice stuff. Although, the only thing he asked for was his driver's permit, which he hasn't got yet. Not for lack of desire for him to have it, just lack of time (and maybe a secret fear of him behind the wheel. Not really) Here's Joshua:

Finally, here is our family picture for 2007. Yes, our tree is proudly displayed in the dining room because the floor in the living room is currently concrete, wince we pulled up the poorly done wood floors only to discover we cannot repair them but have to have them re-done altogether. But, that's a blog for another time. Also, I took this picture with the timer on my camera and I could not see in the tiny window that none of the kids were smiling. Seriously, this appeared to be the best of several at the time in that we were all looking the same direction. It was also taken impromptu after putting up the tree last week. We look like a ragamuffin family. Here's The Family:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Birthday to my sweet baby boy! Five years ago today, our Christmas season kicked off with the birth of a third son. Nathaniel Joseph. We brought him home of Christmas Eve. I wish I could find the cable to attach my camera to the computer; I would share some pictures of my little guy. For now I will just have to share some Nate birthday conversation.

From last night:
Dad: Nate, what's tomorrow?
Nate: Birthday (he wasn't in a talking mood)
Dad: Whose birthday?
Nate: Mine
Dad: How old are you going to be tomorrow?
Nate: I don't know, ask Mom.

Mom: What would you like to have for your birthday dinner?
Nate: Cheetoes
Mom: What would we have with the Cheetoes?
Nate: Sandwiches. You guys can have the sandwiches. I will eat the Cheetoes.

So, today I tried again.
Mom: Nate what would you like to have for dinner tonight?
Nate: Birthday cake
Mom: What should we have before the cake?
Nate: We'll have cake first
Mom: Then what will we have after the cake?
Nate: Cheetoes

Happy birthday Nate. We'll have a proper celebration for you in January, after we are all settled into our new house and mom regains some sense of organization. For now, we'll eat Cheetoes and cake. Because really, that's what it's all about. I love you!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

WE ARE HOMEOWNERS! First time homeowners. As of about 4:30 last night. What a crazy day it was. We were supposed to close yesterday, but our loan agent is an idiot. He could not get anything done on time and was asking us for stuff up to Thursday still. Our real estate agent told me yesterday morning that we had reached the point that there was no way it was happening that day. The loan guy had not sent the documents to the title company. There was no way we could get the papers signed and get the money wired in time to close the same day. Besides, it was Friday and we know how hard people work on Fridays.

Then the title company person called, about 9:30, and said we have the papers and you guys be here by 10 to sign. Um, let me call Brian, who is a teacher, and see if he can drop everything and get across town in less than a half hour. "Yeah, we'll be there." We were, and had the papers signed by 10:20. I have no idea what we signed, but I have a huge stack of papers to read when I can't sleep.

I called my realtor and told her we had signed the docs. She was still pretty convinced that we were working toward closing on Monday, because we still had to wait for the money to be transferred. I told her the lady at the title was buzzing to get this done (seriously, caffeine overload). My realtor called me later and said that the title company lady had 12 home loans to close and she "bound and determined" that one of them would be ours.

All day, I jumped every time the phone rang. And finally, at about 4:30, I got THE call. "Congratulations, you are a homeowners!" My eyes welled up. Was this for real? Finally. Yes. My realtor said she needed to get the keys and we could meet at "my house" about 6:00. And so it was. We met. We walked through. There was no water. At 6:30 on a Friday night. The heater also was not working. But, it's ours!

My agent has a call in to the other agent to find out about the heater. It's probably some quirky thing or a switch that we don't know about. Ah, the joys of getting to know a our new house. And the water will be turned on MONDAY!

So, tonight we are staying at my sister's again for a hot shower and a warm place to sleep. But we are HOMEOWNERS!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It only gets better (sarcasm). So, we finished cleaning out the rental house on Sunday, to turn it over on Monday. Being the oh so organized person (control freak) that I am, I had packed a Ziploc big bag for each family member with clothes and such to get us through the week that we would be "homeless" since our house is not set to close Escrow until Friday. I also packed a bag with my textbooks and notebooks that I needed to finish my finals and assignments this week. They were all to be put in my car.

Monday night, at my mother in laws, I asked Brian to get the bag out of the car. He could not find it. I went to look myself. IT WAS NOT THERE! My brother in law, who had helped us on Sunday, said he saw a bag of books in the POD. It was one of the last things to go in. That was it. The last straw. I'm done. I give up. Just shoot me already!

I had a final paper due on Wednesday (today). I had started it and fortunately it is was saved on my laptop. However, the actual assignment sheet is in the book, which is in the POD, which is in a storage unit WHO KNOWS WHERE, until Friday when it will be delivered to our new house. HYPERVENTILATE!

BREATHE! THINK! FAST! I emailed my professor at 10:30 Monday and told him what happened (everyone is aware of my house woes this semester) and asked him to email me the assignment. He responded in no more than 5 minutes. Dr. H. you rock! Then I spent all day yesterday at the university library with a borrowed copy of the text. But, I got it done. Actually, I finished it this morning and printed it (in the library, since my printer is also in the POD) and made it to class only 5 minutes late. Time to breath? HA!

Only two more papers. One really big! One smaller, which I also do not have the materials for. Fortunately, it is not due until next Wednesday and I will have my stuff on Friday. Guess what I will be doing this weekend? And one in class final next Wednesday. Then I can breathe. In my new house.

Friday, December 07, 2007

I spent the morning at the boys' elementary school today, playing social worker, along with our awesome principal. One of our wonderful, very active families had a fire in their apartment last night. Fortunately, it was contained to their bedroom, doing no structural damage. However, they did lose their bed and bedding and carpet to the fire and their other furnishings and clothes to the "firefighting" and smoke. The "stuff" that comes out of a fire extinguisher apparently makes a huge mess and is really hard to clean up.

The principal got on the phone with the complex manager, who wasn't planning to do anything at all. Mrs D set them straight and told them that she was calling the fire Marshall. She did. I went to the fire dept, to find out from the "pros" how to clean up this stuff, as this family could not afford a service to come in and clean. The firefighters were very helpful (and HOT). When I returned, I found Mrs D had gone to the apartment complex and they were getting a service to clean the apartment. Go Mrs. D! The red cross was also called and is putting the family up in a hotel until it's cleaned up. We collected money from the staff to help them with food and whatever they need in the mean time. It was awesome to work with a group that was so diligent to see that this was taken care of. I love this school it's like a big family.

I also got to spend a lot of time talking to the parents today. Dad was very distraught as he felt he put his family at risk. Actually, his efforts to put out the fire before the fire dept got there, probably saved their home and their neighbors. It was nice to feel that I could be of help to them in just listening. Social workers do not always get to see the results of their efforts. It was nice to know that this family is going to be OK, in a small part due to my efforts.

It also puts my little problems into big time perspective. Sometimes you just need a reality check to realize how good life really is. My prayers tonight are with my friends, in their hotel room. I hope they get a good night sleep tonight, after movie night, which they promised to attend and help. You guys are crazy, but you ROCK!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wow, has it really been a week since I posted? The week is gone; the month is gone. Where did they go? Before we know it year will be gone too. Then I will have to learn to write 2008 on my checks, well, not that I use checks very often, but you know how it is.

So lets see what has transpired since my last entry? Packing and writing and packing and writing and packing. Did mention packing and writing? Oy. What a week. I had to call in the big guns for the packing: The mother in law. Now for me packing and moving means sorting and purging. I have gotten rid of a lot of clothes, mine and the kids. And went through their toys; got rid the broken ones and ones not played with. With Christmas coming and Nate's birthday in a couple of weeks, I don't think they will miss anything. Now, however, I have reached the point that I cannot finish going through everything and keep up with my school work (three big final papers due in the next two weeks).

So, enter mother in law, packer extraordinaire. She can pack up the Gates mansion in a weekend, so I know she can handle us. So, today she shows up with her husband and son in law. I showed them what needed to be done. Leave my bedroom and bathroom alone and everything else can be packed. Then I headed off to class. Four hours later, I get home and my house is virtually empty. So empty it echoes (I have four boys in a house that echoes!) Even the garage is empty. And there is enough room in the POD for the rest of our meager belongings. They should start their our moving company!

So what is left for me to do. Packing my bedroom and bathroom. Then it's off to live with the in laws for a week. YAY! (sarcasm) And I have three papers to write. I may not be the best house guest this week. Guess I need to come up with something really good for Christmas.

Hopefully, by the end of next week we will be homeowners. We have had quite the adventure with people along this journey that really do not seem to know what they are doing, but that is a blog for another time. Right now, I am thinking positive thoughts.