Tuesday, April 21, 2009

She's Coming!

The Start of Yard Sales

Can I just say how much I love the start of yard sale season? When people want to get rid of things they've had all winter but aren't just junk? We actually got up and out of bed and out the door by 7:30 last Saturday in order to hit a few that looked promising for baby furniture. =) And by the end of a couple hours and a couple trips to haul it all, we had brought home a crib (complete with mattress, mattress pad, three sheets, and a comforter set), a twin-sized daybed, a baby bouncer chair, and a deluxe bunk bed set with desk and drawers and closet built-in! (The lower bunk is actually a trundle that gets shoved away during the day.) Wow! The bunk bed set was a little more than I'd planned on spending at a yard sale, but this way I can confiscate the little girls' dresser/changing table and they'll still have a place for clothes . . . not to mention a chance to actually sleep in their own beds instead of sharing a queen (which still may take some doing -- even at Mom and Dad's, the girls would end up in one bunk or the other!). Oh, and the closet section may turn into a fort instead of a closet, but hey! I think I'll really like this new piece of furniture, especially when I looked online and saw what comparable beds retail for (think $1700 and up). =) And no, none of this had been put up yet since with any luck in about two weeks we'll have a new address. Yay!

And the house? Looks like they're actually having the electrician doing the repairs required (think major problems with code compliance in the basement and with the sump pump), though now there's a little water stuff we have to look at and decide if it's just their fault for not keeping things like the pump serviced or if we need to back out (oh please, no!!). So hey, keep us in your prayers! It still feels right, so here's hoping!

Oh, and I've got add one more thing. We had a April Birthday Family Bash yesterday for all us April birthdays in the house. I made a huge double layer chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and raspberry filling and a smaller lemon cake with lemon cream cheese icing with lemon zest in it. (Crisha's trying not to have chocolate this week.) Yum! The lemon actually turned out to be the winner, lol! We also gave Jenero his present early since he'll be at his mom's house on his actual birthday and we're having a party for him with friends on Thursday . . . at the skate park. Well, he didn't know what we were planning, but since he had to be able to tell his friends to bring their boards, we decided we'd better give him his present early. A skateboard, of course! He's wanted on so badly that he'd even made one himself out of a two-by-four and some wheels before! You should have seen his face, though, when he opened the box and pulled out an 18-inch kiddy skateboard! It was priceless! He so thought we were serious! (Actually it was one that Santa had left over after Christmas so he sent it to us seeing if the other little kids wanted to skate while Jessie practices on her dragon one. Well, that's what we told the kids -- really, when I bought Jessie's online, they shipped an extra as a special promo. Say what? So yes, it's been under my bed ever since to not take away from the special-ness of Jessica's.) So after I got a picture of one of his faces (the little ones were crowding around too much for me to get the first reaction), I pulled out the real skateboard for him, a Tony Hawk skateboard, no less. (And for those of you who don't know, Tony Hawk is like the KING of skateboarding.) And then we let him know where his party would be on Thursday. I think he just might have liked the whole thing!! Just maybe. =) Kind of like Sim when he got his Legoes and t-ball set.

And for those of you who read this quickly, I'm trying to post pics later, but for now, I've got to run and go see if baby is going to cooperate, lol.

Friday, April 17, 2009

And the winner is . . .

Verizon! Yes, after debating and pricing and pitting retailers against each other, we decided to go with Verizon for our new cell phone company. It was really kind of funny. The booth in the mall that used to be Qwest (the company that ditched us) now sells Verizon and they offered us good phones to switch to (comparable to the ones we'd had, not the bottom line) . . . but my friend said her dad could get us just as good a deal but he'd get the commission. So not feeling any loyalty to that other booth (grin!), I was cool with that . . . except then when we went to the actual Verizon booth in the mall (yes there are now two that sell the same thing in our mall that is so small it's laughable) to look at other phone choices, and there the manager offered such a killer deal to beat the other booth that we agreed that even family loyalty probably couldn't match it. And somehow, when Steve and I went back, instead of taking the killer deal we'd been offered before, we ended up with a different killer deal, lol. So we got LG Chocolate phones (Steve black, me blue) that normally are about 100 to 150 each, for 20 each . . . not to mention a 35 debit card that's coming for our switching our lines to Verizon this month. Not too shabby. Especially since our phones (which we use a lot as just mp3 players) have a 1GB capacity for songs just on the phone and can handle a 8GB card, a jack for regular headphones, a little better camera than most (though still not great), and my favorite -- a built-in fm transmitter so we can play our mp3 over our car or van radio without a plug in! We tried it out already and it's MUCH nicer than trying to juggle cd's on the Provo trip or such! So yes, we splurged, but when you realize we paid, oh, about ten bucks total in the end, it's my kind of splurge!! =) Happy birthday to us!

So calling all Verizon customers . . . make sure I know who you are, ok? I'm loving how many of my friends and family already I can call for free on both ends!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ode to a Sprintime Ramble

Okay, so I'm trying to be more regular here, who'd have thought? Today is the end of the kids' spring break, so I'm taking advantage of some of the last Sim-free hours for a while. Not that I don't love having a ball of energy around all the time, but it's easier to get things done. I can't believe with all I've done this morning it's only 10:30 now. Wow, I may still be able to work on my quilt top AND exercise. Gasp!

I love that spring weather is finally here! I love that Marina's Monster Paws didn't completely die (meaning that I didn't completely kill it -- I salvaged cuttings, sprouted them in water, and replanted them in a pot today). I love that Jessie also has a plant that you can take cuttings from (so that when siblings break half of it with random flying pillows I was able to to stick a couple starts in the soil and a few weeks later, viola! Planty is still alive and kicking). I love that my pumpkins and herb starts are taking off (especially the pumpkins). I love that with any luck, Steve and I will actually have a house and garden in time to do most of our summer planting this year. There's just something about dirt under the nails that feels like spring and summer. (Ever notice that even with gloves, dirt always finds its way to your nails anyway?) And I love that I can occasionally feel baby kicking me now and again. And that the kids by and large have stopped calling baby "Fig." =) I love Baby Animal Days (though AGAIN I was unable to go with the kids). AND I love that our cat is now fixed and now I can look at her and think, "What a great thing to have a good mouser" instead of, "When are her next kittens due and how on earth am I going to find homes for them all this time?" Oh, and I love that a group of homemade cleaning products found in Simple Mom's new e-book work really well! (http://simplemom.net) (Who'd have thought that baking soda and vinegar together mixed with water actually works? You'd think things would cancel out! And though the book was pretty basic, still I like how she divides spring cleaning up into managable portions with definite tasks.) There's a lot that I love right now, but I'll admit to two I don't -- waiting on the whole house thing, and having my stomach pop out a lot faster than ever before with a baby. I feel like one of Valerie's whales minus the lump on my forehead. =) AT LEAST I've only gained 8 pounds so far -- not too bad for being halfway there.

And guess what? I just copied all my blog posts and stuck them in MS Word documents (one for each year). I figured out that my journal was mainly spiritual and emotional things, but the newsy things were mostly here (and e-mail -- but more here). I joked to Steve that my journal was like the small plates of Nephi and my blog was like the large plates of Nephi. But hey! Now I have copies of both that don't depend on my internet being up. So yay! There's one more thing done on my list. And it's still only 11:07. (Grin!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Awesome April (or at least busy)

So here comes April, the month of four different birthdays in my immediate family alone. Then when you start adding in more extended family, it just explodes! Sorry, all, can't buy gifts for everyone, but hey! Know that I'm thinking of you, all right? =) Now Steve and I get to go shopping for the Sim bug and Jenero. And I get to figure out what to get for the man who swears he doesn't need anything (except a 4X4, a shop, tools to go in the shop, improvements for the 4X4, etc.), since Steve's birthday is a few days after Sim's. Happy happy joy joy! Normally I'd love shopping for birthdays, but did I mention we're buying a house? Yeah, that sucks the cash out of the pocket pretty efficiently, lol! But we'll figure stuff out. We always do! Besides, once you add on a couple of kids' doctor appointments, an ultrasound in a couple weeks, spring break, Easter, and goodness knows what else, there's no time to worry about anything but keeping that smile in place! Oh, and purging our house. After General Conference, Steve and I decided our videos and some of our music probably should be thinned out a little.

So far things are going pretty smoothly on the house thing. We'll know better this week, probably, if there will be any hiccoughs or such, but we're keeping our fingers crossed. We know we were so lucky to find this house, and the kids even approve (gasp!). We took them to see it on Friday afternoon (right before the owners came home for the weekend), and it was great to actually hear positive comments coming from the kids downstairs while Steve and I were upstairs signing more paperwork (the kids, of course, had strict instructions not to touch anything . . . and please someone be in charge of Sim!). They loved the yard, too, with a huge tree on one side (looks like it's right on the property line so it's probably shared with the neighbor, but I'm sure Jenero can work something out for using the tree!), a cemented - in firepit, a raised garden with strawberries, another section of gated-in garden with a few berry bushes and lots of available dirt (I could see Sim itching to go and grab a shovel), and lots of room to run around. The kids also hope the owners will leave the playground set that looks pretty much a part of the yard, but no promises there. The kids had an impromptu game of tag in the backyard while we were there (with the little ones making sure to run in as much of the leftover snow as possible, lol), and it just felt right. And good.

So for all you busy people out there who actually took the time to read all these ramblings, all I can say is WOW! And please, what's your secret to actually getting up in the morning when you know you should? (Since you've got time, obviously you got up before I did at 7.) I just can't seem to get up at five or even six like I keep planning to get my exercise in. And as much as I want to blame it on my pregnancy, that feels like a cop out. Any suggestions? =) Oh and guess what? THE SNOW IS MELTING!!!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wow! Eeek!

Hey we got it! Well, after a bit of doing. Turns out there were a few offers that all came in at the same time for the house we wanted, so then the sellers came back and told everyone to give their last, best offer and they'd choose from those. Ugh. Hate that, because you have no idea if your offer would have won as it stood or if you need to change it. So going with the advice of our realtor, we changed it, and it came out the winner. Of course, now I at least am second-guessing myself and wondering if we really want this house (YES!) in this neighborhood (maybe not) at this price out of pocket (maybe - we'd known it was alwasys a possibility). Aaaagh! I wouldn't mind nearly completely depleting savings so much if I could just feel some peace here. Enter the temple tonight. Funny how nothing can change there except my feelings and suddenly everything will not only be all right, but completely wonderful. Assuming this is the best place for us. So things are still not quite settled, but if we want this place, it 's ours. What a fast change in life. We only SAW the place last Thursday!

So without more pictures than the one listed on the web, here's a bit about this place we're deciding over. It's in Richmond, a few miles north of Smithfield. It's in kind of an older type neighborhood with cows and a barn across the street (not unusual even in Smithfield) and a brand-new subdivision going in a block or so down the street. The street seems to be relatively quiet, but we're not sure about potential neighborhood kids. It's about two blocks from the elementary school (a K-5 here) and a few blocks either way from the middle school (6-7) and the 8-9 center (yes, that's 8-9 grades). So the only kids who'd have to be bussed are those going to high school (and early morning seminary when it applies . . . break out the family bus, lol!).

The house was built in 1996, has 3234 sq ft with a garage on about a third of an acre. It's really nice inside. It has a nice sized living room off the entry way, and then a nice big, open kitchen area in the back. It has a bar area, kind of at an angle with chairs attached, leading to a dining area with a bay window. There's also a small family area off the kitchen area, and then three bedrooms on the main level (including the master bedroom and bath . . . which has a nice deep jetted tub). Downstairs was built as a mother-in-law apartment, so it has a door at the bottom of the stairs (can you say nice for lowering sound?). There's a nice large game room and a separate area for the TV, complete with a tiny former kitchen (no cupboards or cooking area anymore but still a sink, counter, and mini fridge). There are two bedrooms downstairs, one of which is large enough that it just shouts, "Three girls right here!" Nice big windows in the walk-out basement, and ceiling fans in the rooms (that are staying since there is no AC). There are no vents in this house, so it'll be nice not to be able to hear quite as clearly what's going on in a room directly above or below you. And heating? This is one that I've never had before. This place has hot water heating in the floor. It's supposed to be nice and efficient with very even heating, and I know at least that it keeps the floors from freezing your feet (we looked at the place with our shoes off). Outside, there's a shed, a garden with a little picket fence around it, and a firepit. There's also room for a shop for Steve sometime in the future. =) Jenero likes the great big tree to one side of the yard that has the broken ropes of a former swing still attached. So if we did a swing, best get rope that won't break this time, lol!

So who knows? I THINK it's the right place for us, but fortunately, if I cannot settle down with all this, there's still ways built in our offer to get out. Am I wishy-washy or what? More later. =)