House Hunting Adventures

For those who don’t know… we’ve moved… again.  Get comfy. This is quite a story!

It all started about a year ago, when Alan and I decided we wanted to move out of CA.  We knew we wanted to leave this state, and asked God to open doors in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, or Kansas. (Just get us out of here!!) We took a trip to OK in July and fell in love with the area. We just needed a job for Alan. He applied for about 30 different jobs in the midwest. And we waited… and waited. Nothing ever came of it.

Ok, God… so perhaps an out of state move is not in your plans for us. But we were really looking forward to having more land, a garden, maybe some chickens?  Alan would love a place to work on cars. Perhaps we can find something like that here in Tehachapi?

We began looking for a house with land and a workshop for Alan (or space to build one).  Alan found a 4 bedroom house  on 1 acre with a huge, no, HUGE workshop. We went to look at it… built in 1980 and needed a lot of work!  We looked at 2 other houses that day, and Greg said the first one was his favorite. We poked fun at him for liking the “ugly house”.  We looked at about 10 other houses…. some more than once. Last laugh was on us, as we kept coming back to the “ugly house”.

We decided to put in an offer. It was bank owned, so we knew it could take a while. We still needed to list our house in town, and that could take 6 months to sell. If we got the “ugly house”, we knew we’d be making double house payments for a while until the other house sold.

We listed our house for sale on a Friday afternoon. We were so excited to have a showing on the following Monday, but nothing came of it.  On Thursday, there was another showing — and on Thursday evening, we got an offer?!

It took a few days to agree on a price and particulars, but our agent was notified by phone that our counter offer was accepted by the buyer.  Guess what was coming in on his fax at the same time?  Notification from the bank that our offer to buy the “ugly house” had been accepted.  How’s that for timing?!

Long story short (Not sure that is possible with me)… we closed escrow on both houses in 45 days. We are now living in the guest house on the new property while we transform the “ugly house” into the “lovely house”.

There are so many details of this adventure that have God’s signature all over them.

1. In a dismal real estate market, with foreclosures and short sales all around our neighborhood, God sold our house in 6 days. I guess we were trying to move in the wrong direction before!

2. As a newbie homeschool mom, God spared me the stress of keeping a perfectly clean “model home” for a long listing period.

3.  Due to state testing, the kids did not have homeschool assignments during the week of our move!

4. One evening, we needed to sign a document for the escrow company. Alan received it in a email and we needed to print it on 8 x 14 paper and return the next morning, or risk delaying the escrow. I went to Kmart at 9pm only to find they don’t sell  8 x 14 paper. Our only office supply store is not open until morning, and Alan has to go to work! The lady stocking the shelves at Kmart goes to the back and brings me about 10 sheets… says they don’t use it anymore for the their store flyers and gave it to me for FREE.  I am certian I would not have found it anywhere else in town that night.

5. We received boxes from neighbors, friends, and businesses…. and had plenty!

6. Several wonderful friends volunteered to watch our children so I could pack. Some came to help pack and clean on moving day. My parents were gave 110% and helped the move go smoothly.

7. I’ve been wanting to create this blog post for days!  Our internet was scheduled to be hooked up Wednesday. Here we are, Monday night… and it’s up and running already!

There have been a few bumps in the road, but I have total confidence that God orchestrated every detail for our good. I’m still shaking my head in amazement that He would do this for us. I’m anxious to see how we can serve God in our new home, as He writes the next chapter of this adventure!

Home Sweet Home

Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Beginnings…

We’ve starting a lot of new projects for the new year! The biggest will be homeschooling Greg and Camille. Today should have been our first homeschool day, but snow closed all schools today so we can not get into the charter school office to pick up our books and schedule. Tomorrow for sure 🙂

Next on my list is to change the size of our family! No, we’re not pregnant… but I have been longing for another baby. Alan is not quite on board with this…. so in the mean time, I’ll be working on size reduction (as in MY size!!!) I’d like to lose 10-15 pounds, unless God blesses me with a reason to gain 40!

I’m also thinking about spring… and pondering a garden this year. We’ve never had much luck with one, but I’m hoping this year will be different. I’m sure it will be a lot of work, but I am hoping with the kids home, they can help.

These are the main goals. Hopefully I can make some progress in them and then see what else I can add to the agenda. Being a good wife, mother, and teacher will surely consume the bulk of my year… and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Published in: on January 4, 2011 at 7:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2010! I remember stocking up on canned goods and bottled water 10  years ago, wondering what would happen when the calendar rolled over to the year 2000. Wow. Was that really 10 YEARS ago?! Was I really that paranoid? (yes, I was.) Have I really finished college, gotten married, quit my job, birthed 4 children, moved 5 times? (yes, I have!)

What’s my plan for the next 10 years? I wish I knew!! I really felt much more in charge 10 years ago. I knew what I wanted. I had my goals set. Today, I feel like if I have a dinner plan before 3pm, I’m doing great! But, I am realizing I need some kind of vision for the next 10 years, because they’ll be gone as quickly as the last 10! My ‘baby’ Greg will be 17 years old, nearly a man. Woah! Does that sting the heart? (for this mama, it does!)

So, while I don’t know all the details of my “10 year plan”, I do know it will include preparing my kiddos for adulthood. Sure, that’s what we all do as parents, right? But, I only have a decade left to prepare Greg. Just a decade. (dun, dun, dun) Seriously, though, I already feel like someone hit fast-forward on the last 10 years.  I know I don’t have extra time to waste in the next 10.

I have read several blogs this week that suggest choosing one word for the new year… and focusing on that word… instead of making hasty committments and resolutions that often get forgotten. My word was going to be PANIC! But, that’s not very motivational, is it?

I’ve been reflecting on what I want for my kids, my family, myself…  And my ‘word for 2010’ is health.

No, we’re not sick. But, I really want to focus this year on establishing healthy habits. The habits they are forming now will either stick with them — or be really hard to change. I can think of a few from my childhood I am still working on! (please don’t look under my bed!) I want my children to be healthy: physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Yes,  this is what every parent wants for their child…. but this year, I want to be deliberate and intentional and focused on guiding them (and myself) into healthier habits.

Just a few of my ideas for January… changes for myself to set a good example to the munchkins (maybe some of you can help keep me accountable….)

Physically: No more DAILY McDonald’s visits for Diet Coke. I realize it is bad for me… so do the kids. I want to show them I can cut back, or give it up. I want to show them I care about my health and my body. While I can’t promise to never drink it again, I can cut back! My goal: one soda a week!

Mentally: Ok, Diet Coke deprivation is going to effect my mental health for a while!  But checking email and facebook all day is also turning my brain to mush. I want to show my kids reading and learning can be fun! They’re not buying it when they never see Mom open a book. I sure Greg sees the hypocrisy of limiting his video gaming, while I sit behind the computer. Different screen, same mind numbing result. My goal: Email/Facebook checks once during the day… then after they go to bed.

Spiritually: Do my kids know I love Jesus? Need Him? Enjoy Him? Sure.  Do they know I love Jesus… even more than I love them? If I want Jesus to be their #1, I need to show them He’s MY #1. I know my words say that to them, but I need my actions to. I love this song the kids learned at VBS last summer, “You walk talks and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks!”  There’s nothing like Proverbs for ‘walking instructions’! I will read the Proverb that corresponds to the date (Jan 5 = Proverbs 5) and share with the kids. Greg and Camille can grasp this! My goal: Read Proverbs DAILY with my children, and study the Word more consistently on my own.

I’m sure for a lot of people these seem like easy objectives! But, I’m feeling rather off course right now… and sobered by the thought that 2020 is right around the corner. You only get one chance to raise your kids. This is just the start of my list. I have so many ideas for this year, but I know I need to start small… and I know if I start with myself, they rest are more likely to follow. So, with that, I wish you a Happy and Healthy 2010!

Published in: on January 6, 2010 at 2:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Merry Christmas!

For those who we missed or did not have addresses for, Merry Christmas! Although the holiday season has passed, I hope we will all continue to celebrate Jesus all year long!

Published in: on January 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Camille’s 5th Birthday

Camille turned 5 on December 17th!  (Yes, I know it is January 5th, but give a busy mom a break!) Camille really wanted a birthday party with her friends, so we planned a tea party luncheon. We borrowed some cake pans from Grandma and made a cake fit for a princess!

Awaiting her guests

Make a Wish

Blow!

Published in: on January 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

8 months old!!

Little Wesley is 8 months old today. It’s hard to believe how fast time flies!  He is crawling well…. and also pulling up on anything he can reach. He’s is certainly keeping us on our toes. Last weekend, he cut his first tooth, learned to clap his hands and crawled up the stairs…. it was a busy couple days in his little world!   I put him on the scale this morning and got 18.4 lbs. I thought it had to be an error, as I’ve been getting a low battery warning for weeks. I did it again and he was 18.5… what a chunk!  I think Greg was 18 lbs at a year and Joyce is 22 lbs at 2 1/2.   Wesley is a very happy and healthy little (um, big) man.

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Our family took a family portrait last month.  Just got the prints in 🙂  I sure love this bunch!!

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Published in: on November 14, 2009 at 5:46 am  Leave a Comment  

6 months old!!

For the 2 people who still check our blog, here is some recent video of Wesley. He is 6 months old today, and wants to crawl SO bad!!!   He’s growing up so fast!! Love him more and more every day 🙂

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(Yes, we are still waiting for both hair AND teeth to sprout!)

Published in: on September 14, 2009 at 12:39 pm  Comments (1)  

Recent Kid Pics

I know, I’ve been a terrible blogger! I have been uploading most of our pictures to facebook, but I forget that some people only know us on the blog. Here are some recent pictures of the kids and what they have been up to.

Greg graduated from Kindergarden. He is enjoying summer vacation to the fullest, but is also looking forward to 1st grade.

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Camille is recovering from a bad “Mommy-Inflicted” hair cut. It has grown out some, and we are learning to style it  🙂

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Joyce will be 2 next week!  Hard to believe time has gone so quickly, but her age is definitely reflected in her ATTITUDE!  Wow! I have a feeling this next year won’t go as fast!

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Wesley is 3 months old now, and starting to sleep on a better schedule. Tonight, he was in bed by 9:00 (which is the only reason I was actually able to get on here and update the blog!) He had 2 nights last week where he slept 6 hours… I hope that trend will continue!

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Here is the whole mess of them. They’re goofy kids, but I love them. I feel like I am enjoying them more every day. Yes, I am tired. Yes, they are a lot of work. And, oh yes, are they loud!  But, I love my life and would not want it any other way 🙂

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Published in: on June 15, 2009 at 1:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Christmas 2008

We had a wonderful Christmas and hope you did too!  We got up Christmas morning and had Alan’s parents over for some yummy quiche breakfast. The kids opened their gifts and spent the morning playing. Joyce was a little confused about how to unwrap, but she did eventually figure it out. We tried to keep Christmas simple, with 1 gift per child and 1 gift for them to share with each other… however, the grandparents arrived with a laundry basket and bag full of goodies and gifts. Greg was excited to recieve 2 new stuffed monkeys for his ‘collection’.

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We went to my parents house for the afternoon to visit with both my sisters, parents and my great aunt Barbara. She is 80, and still loves to play with little dolls. She and Camille really get along!  I’m glad Camille has chosen her as a special friend… I think it is great for both of them 🙂  My sister, Kim and her husband also had some exciting news to share. They are expecting their first baby in July, 2009. 

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It started snowing while we were at my parents… and it was a long, slow drive home! We made it though… and discovered our power was out when we got here. What an adventure, unloading all the kids in the wind and snow into a cold, dark house. Fortunately, the power came back about an hour later and Alan and I were able to watch all 5 hours of Pride and Prejudice after the kids went to bed.

Friday, we went back to my parents house for dinner. Last summer, they won a raffle for 6 live Maine Lobsters! They could have the lobsters delivered anytime they chose… so they decided to get them for Christmas! WOW !! What a treat!  They were delicious, but a lot of work to crack the shells and find the meat. Greg liked the taste, but had more fun playing with the empty shells. I made the mistake of giving him a head and telling him it could be his buddy. He was pretty devastated at the idea of throwing “Buddy” away after dinner. He kept asking to take it home to play with some more. Grandpa convinced him to put it in a ziploc in the freezer until he visits again. Hopefully, Greg will forget about it by then.

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Well, that’s a recap of our Christmas: Too many presents, too much food, and two days until we do it all again. We are meeting with Alan’s family on Sunday night in Bakersfield.  And after we recover from this long weekend, we can look forward to moving next weekend!

Published in: on December 27, 2008 at 1:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Winter in Tehachapi

Well the winter weather is in full swing here in Tehachapi.  Last night we got about 8 inches of snow.  It is cold enough right now that I think it will stick around a few days.  Most winters we get one or two good snow falls, so far, this winter is right on track.

Published in: on December 19, 2008 at 9:45 am  Leave a Comment