Thursday, March 29, 2012

More detail...

... a little at a time.

I haven't had time to really sit down and blog about our experience with this move, but I really want to try to get it all down before I forget it all.

So instead of overwhelming you with it all at once, you will get tidbits here and there.

Remember how Sister would always say "I want to go home!" even though we were at home in our old house. And then she would say it at my mom's house referring to her new house. Well, we have only been living in this home for 6 days now, but she has not uttered (or screamed) that phrase once... which is a huge deal since she, usually, would say it half a dozen times a day or more.

Baby just seems to be right at home and really enjoys her room and her new big girl bed. We realized at my mom's house that she was ready to move into a regular bed and she has (mostly) been sleeping through the night. I think we only had one rough night because it was her first night and she seemed a bit disoriented.

Brother is loving the stage in his bedroom and has given it a lot of use already. With the little karaoke machine Grandma Judy gave him and his High School Musical microphone he thoroughly entertained/entertaining.

I was SO nervous for both Brother and Sister's new placements in their new school and I didn't really take she time I should have to prepare them for the transition. But, miraculously, the morning of their first day at their new school they we bouncing off the walls with excitement and anticipation. They could hardly wait. I think that their previous teachers did really well preparing them so I can't take any credit there. Both teachers also had their classmates put together some very sweet letters and pictures for Brother and Sister to remember everyone by and I think that REALLY helped.

It just goes to show that the love of a teacher goes a LONG way and that is why, eventually, I started feeling so good about the classrooms they would be in because I could tell that their new teachers would love them just as much as the previous ones had. And that is saying a lot.

Both Brother and Sister have come home everyday so happy with how their day went and I haven't even had to do sensory input when Sister gets home.

Things are going so well I am just trying to enjoy every moment. Hopefully these moments accumulate into a lifetime of them.

Marc and I love our neighbors and feel so at home in our house and neighborhood.

Now we have had a few setbacks, but only financial ones.

After we bought the house we found out we needed a new furnace so we got one. (It's times like that you wish you would have bought the home warranty.) We've had some plumbing that needs to be fixed and the electrical was quite an extensive job. It's a 1975 home with the original 1975 roof, so that needs to be replaced—SOON.

But not a single one of these things have made us feel like maybe this wasn't right. We feel so good about it all and we have learned to have faith in God AND his timing that we know it will all be well. We love it here.

We miss friends and family, but we truly feel like this is home.

Sister seems to think so too. (smile)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Couldn't be happier...

Sister introduced herself to the neighborhood by dawning her super hero outfit!
You can not go wrong with red cowboy boots, a red cape,
Power Ranger gloves and camo shorts.  How could she not just make you smile?


My mom is so happy that we are settled in our own place and that the kids are so "at home" in our new house. (OK, so maybe she is just happy she has her own house...)


And Baby is happy as can be as Brother takes her
on his 4-wheeler around the new yard.

We are all so very happy in our new situation.

I have SO much to tell you but,
I really haven't had time and didn't even have internet up until yesterday afternoon.

It is late tonight so I won't give all the details now, but just know that things are going so well I have to keep pinching myself to make sure I am not dreaming. 

The kids LOVE school! They love our new home! 

They have been sleeping at night! 

They are happy!

I can't wait to give you all the details, but for now just enjoy the happy pictures...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Short Legs, Warm Hearts, Tired Arms and Floppy Hands

The day after we closed on our new house I went into the City Offices to have everything put in our name for the house. While I was busy filling out paperwork and answering the secretary's questions, Baby was doing her own secretarial work...

The secretary and I got some pretty good laughs as we watched Baby play "big girl" at the computers and phone. She jabbered away as if she was really in charge. Her little legs were so cute dangling over the office chair but my phone just couldn't handle the cuteness and only gave me half the image... bummer.

Then we went to the new house to get things cleaned up and ready for paint and such. Baby kept her self busy with the toys I brought for her but her favorite was taking off the vent covers and standing in the, then available, hole.

She looks really short... if a 2-year-old can be anything but short.

And when it comes to warming my heart, not only the people who helped us get the house, but the people who have come to help us clean, paint (which included taping, priming, and edging), clean some more, watch my kids, paint and caulk closets and the other things in between. But, I do have to say that the two people I was most excited about were the unexpected friends who showed up at a moments notice. It was fun to talk to one of my good friends yesterday as we painted Sister's room and left me with a warm feeling all day because of the sacrifice that she made to come all the way up to our new house and bring her happy-to-help teenage son. And then, today, another good friend who is actually the daughter of my good friend came in between he work and school schedules to help me. When I thank her over and over again for making the sacrifice to serve she said, "I know that if we still lived by you that my mom would be right over and dragging all my sisters along to help, so I thought I should help you." That really touched me heart to hear how much a young woman admired and respected her mom for the example of service she is.

My arms and my body are tired from all the painting but I LOVE the colors. It is all such a big change from our old house. Our themes and colors are very different. I will post before and after pictures when I can.

And finally the "floppy hand."

My mother-in-law, Lynne saw that the girls were getting quite restless while we were working on the house so she improvised and used some of the plastic gloves and blew them up into funny balloons. They were hilarious. A big round ball with 5 digits poking out..

Well, you know how every time you blow up a balloon it doesn't seem to last more than a few days..

That's was happened with the "hand ballon

It shrunk.

I scared my Uncle Slade (who is there doing a lot of finish wotk and plumbing)

He then thought it would be funny to hang it out of the trunk of my mom's car. When it was time for her to leave Slade and I ran to the front window to get her reaction. She laughed pretty hard and it startled her a little bit. We all had a good laugh.

I wonder what people driving by thought.

What would you thnk?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Maybe I get it from her...

I was reminiscing through some old photos tonight looking back on fun times as a kid and came across this photo that reminded me of all our Easters with my mom's side of the family.

I don't remember who it was but it seemed like every year there were one of these suckers in our Easter bags we would find at our Easter Egg Hunt in the mountains. They were the coolest and lasted forever... really they did, they didn't taste all that good but, they looked cool so you'd take  couple of licks and then set it on your dresser to come back to later... This is me and 3 of my cousins after we found our Easter bags, From left to right: me, Teresa, Dawna and Bottom: Melissa

Then as I started looking at more of the old pictures I started to admire my Grandma Ruby as I always do. No matter how many kids in the picture with her (she had 15), no matter where they are she always has her hair curled and a pretty dress on. She is so beautiful! I remember always wanting to be and look like her. She was always so sweet, yet funny and a bit sassy.

I had to laugh though because I ran into this picture:
For Pete's sake, she was in the hospital and still had to make sure her hair would be curled for the next day.

My grandma always taught her daughters to dress pretty, curl their hair and always look their best. My mom always passed on that advice too. In fact when it was so in style to always have your hair stick straight it drove her crazy because girls, to her, never looked like they were all prettied up like she had been taught.

I try to make sure that I am put together when I go out places. And when I curl my hair it must be extra special (smile). I just love dressing up like I have someplace to go, just like my Grandma Ruby always did and my mom still does.

Then I looked at more of the pictures, many of which my Grandma Ruby took, and noticed that she loved to take pictures of the funny things, the cute things, and the just ever day things. She kept a journal and she would put these pictures in and write down her thoughts.

My grandma would tease my mom by placing her bottle of milk far from the crib because she wanted it so bad and would stretch as far from her crib as possible just to get her hands on the stuff. "Click" my grandma takes a picture and then writes about it in her journal.

This is my mom with her twin and once again Grandma has found something funny about the situation. Everybody has to have at least one picture of themselves getting messy at the table...

I have to say that maybe I do have a bit of my grandma to me in that I love to take pictures of all the cuteness of life and children and then write it down so I can share my joy with everyone.

I hope I do her proud.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I can't believe I haven't posted about this yet!

I just realized that I have not even told you all about Sister's prayer.

Two weeks ago we were really wondering whether or not we would get the house we had been hoping and praying for.

My mom has a lot of faith in prayer and is always encouraging everyone to pray, but this time it was a little bit sweeter.

She could see that Sister was really falling apart and anxious about moving forward but not being able to move into her own house and start her new life. So my mom told Sister that Heavenly Father really listens to children when they pray because they are so cute and sweet. Sister was pretty intent while listening, but then, quickly ran went back to her playing and running about.

Then a short while later Sister ran to my mom in the kitchen and informed her that she had said a prayer all by herself!

My mom was so excited and then escorted Sister into the front room where Marc and I were sitting and told Sister to tell us what she had just told grandma.

"I said a prayer my self," she stated with her huge, cheeky grin.

We were so proud of her.

Getting our children to pray at dinnertime doesn't happen and when we say family prayers they are shy and try to hide under the furniture.

But, she prayed by herself.

Marc asked her what she said in her prayer.

She smiled and then quickly knelt on the floor next to him, put her head down on the floor next to her knees with her arms folded and said in a muffled carpet voice, "A Father. Thankful day. Bless our house. Get it done. Name Jesus Christ. 'men."

Sweetest prayer I have ever heard.

And here we are two weeks later, the proud owners of our house.

Sister prayed for it.

God got it done.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Long End of a Short Sale

Last Friday we got the news that the second mortgage holder of the short sale house we have been waiting on finally was taking a look at our offer and may approve it that day. (This was weeks after the first mortgage holder had already approved our offer.) We were told we needed to get things moving so we needed to get and inspection ASAP. We didn't think we'd be able to get a professional one done so quickly so we just thought we would do it ourselves. Problem was we couldn't get in to do our own quick inspection because there was no key box and the listing agent didn't know what the renters did with it. So our plans were foiled and we went home after a long wait hoping that we would be able to locate a key.

Monday we hear about getting the second  mortgage holder to approve our offer and we need to get inspection by the next day so we can have the appraisal done by Wednesday so we can close by next Wednesday the 14th.

How on earth can we possibly get a professional inspector who just happens to be free the very next day? And how are we supposed to get the inspector in when we haven't even located a key yet to get into the house?

I just felt like it would all work out so I called the inspector that we had met when he inspected our old house for our buyers and he called back and said that he just happened to have a cancellation the next morning at 9 am.



I informed him that our Realtor, Denise, would meet him at the house and we didn't know how he would be getting in, but that the listing agent would get a locksmith over to the house if she was not able to locate the key.

Tuesday morning Denise and the inspector meet at the house and still no key. They call the listing agent and nothing. They start searching under the flower pots in the front flower beds. (Why didn't we think of that Friday?) They find the key under one of the pots... thank you to the previous occupants who decided that was a safe place to hide our key and then NOT tell anyone where it is... anyway...

We meet our inspector after he is done with the inspection and it doesn't sound good so I lose faith and feel sick to my stomach confused about why we had been led to this house if it wasn't the right one. We thank the inspector, gather the papers and chocolates (smile) he gave us and get the key so we can give it to our Realtor.

Marc and I spent some time together in his office after the inspection worrying about the news we heard on the house—plumbing, electrical, roof, etc. I call our lender to inform him that I am not sure about what to think of how the inspection went and then the lender worries it may not pass appraisal so I start to cry and I start looking at other homes while Marc talks with his good buddy about all the issues with the house.

None of the houses jump out at me, but I am wallowing in my misery of thinking I had misunderstood the promptings for this home, thinking of how my kids seem to be falling apart at the seems anticipating a new life at a new house, and think I just need to find something NOW.

Marc and I take a drive to some of the homes I thought were passable and in our price range and we don't feel good about any of them—wrong neighborhood, wrong yard, wrong street, wrong house, wrong, wrong, wrong... We feel so discouraged because we felt like we were being led to this home all along. I ask Marc to drive by "our" house again, just because, and I start to cry as we pass it because I feel such a good feeling about the home and the neighborhood and say, "Marc, I just know this is our home. I just don't understand what is happening and why we would be led to a house that has so many issues."

I start to wonder why everything seems so confusing and think maybe we can talk to Denise about it when we go to her office to give her the key to the house.

On our way the lender calls and he is able to get an appraiser to look at the house for free as an initial "will this make appraisal" look. He just happened to be in the area and is 20 minutes away and will come look at it. I inform him that I have the key and he can look inside if he wants. He does so we turn around to meet the appraiser back at the house. I let Denise know the plan and she comes to meet with us.

When she gets there she reminds us that the inspectors have to tell you every single teeny tiny fault and sometimes it scares the buyers a bit. She was worried about what was brought up at the inspection and thinks that it is a great buy and will be a great investment, but to reassure us she calls a trusted electrician to see if he can come give us an estimate on the work that would be need to be done in the house. He just happens to have time right then and comes over to check out the place while we are there. He goes through and says that the electrical work is mostly minor things, it won't be too expensive and can work on it next week after we close!

Right after that news, our lender calls and says the appraiser reported nothing major with the house and will have an appraisal ready by noon Wednesday!

That good feeling we had before about the house comes back and we are full of excitement. We know for sure this is the house we are supposed to buy and inform our lender we want to move forward, but we are still a bit nervous, hoping we can close in one week. Our lender tells me he is very confident that we will close by the 14th!

Next day we are signing papers to get things moving forward and it is a whirlwind of phone calls, faxes, emails, and signings. But, now we are waiting.

Waiting to here if we will close by the 14th.

I am nervous to hope too much, but after seeing all those little blessings happen in order to pull all this together I just can't picture it working out any other way.

Here's a picture of the house on the first day we saw it, the first day it came on the market as a short sale, the day we made our offer back on November 9, 2011.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

She complains a lot


She has a little bit of... well... hypochondria-ism...

I really never know when she is actually sick or hurt because she always has something to complain about.

When she doesn't want to go to school, "Me leg hurts."

When she doesn't want to go to school after I tell her that she has to go to school, "My heart hurts."

After she has had a cold, is completely over it and still doesn't want to go to school, "I have a cough."

When she doesn't want to go to church, "I have a hedik (headache)."

But sometimes, we get funnier ones like,

"Mom, I have a swallow in my throat."


"Mom, my knee/head/tummy/hand/foot/eye/hair hurts I need a 'Profin (Ibuprofin)."


"Mom, I got a skeeto (mosquito, which in her terms means it itches) I can't go to church."


"Mom, a have a rrrrrrash (she rolls her r's like that girl on 'Ratatouille' - it's hilarious)."


"Mom, I can't walk. I need a cough drop."


"Mom, my bum itches, I need a cough drop." (bwa ha ha ha ha, on of my favorites)

I get excited to hear what excuse or ailment she has for me every morning, and guaranteed there will be one.

Feeling Young and Dating

Marc and I are blessed to have a local volunteer group who provide respite care for our kids. It usually works out to be twice a month. This is our opportunity to get out and reconnect with each other. It's been fun because the last few times we have had a night of respite we have had friends invite us to join them on a group date!

One night we decided to try Indian Food. Our friends, Susan and Jared, new a great place and boy, was it fun. I didn't love the food so much, but the atmosphere was a blast.

The picture above is at the ice cream shop afterwards... I decided I needed to refresh my mouth with some good ol' American dessert. It was a cute little ice cream shop packed with college students. I felt so cool going to the local "hangout." So we had to have Jason and Amy take a picture to commemorate our youngness. (smile)

Then a few weeks later Jason and Amy invited us to their house for food and games. We were laughing like we were a bunch of teenagers.

It was awesome.

We played a game where you write something down, fold it, pass it to the person next to you, then that person draws a picture of what you wrote, then they pass it to the next person making sure that the line you wrote is covered and all they can see is the drawing and they have to write down what the picture is of.

It. Was. Hilarious!

Here are a few images:
This one I HAD to take a picture of because I was so impressed with Marc's drawing skills! Not to mention, it just has to be hard to draw a tap dancing dog... just sayin'

This was the image Amy drew after my line of "What would Marc do if he worked out too much?" That's me saying "hubba, hubba!" Just in case you thought that was Amy... 'cause that would be weird...

I know this is sideways, but I am too lazy to worry about fixing it, so tip your head... anyway... this is my drawing for, "What if Susan learned how to weld." I couldn't figure out why the saying after my drawing was, "What if Susan took a welding class?" I got a few repercussions for drawing to well... (smile)
Then we played a game called Niagra. I thought it was going to be one of those take-forever-and-finally-get-bored-and-quit games, but it was actually a have-fun-and-get-competative-so-you-can-win-it games! Really fun! My brother, Daniel, really should get this one! Seriously... I'm serious.

See the little beaver on the bottom right of the game board? Right...........  there !

Anyway, Marc decided that he needed a little newspaper hat so Jared obliged.

Moral to this post:
Keep dating while your married. It is so important to your relationship, which, in turn, is important to your children.

"...retain the joy in your marriage. God intends us to find joy in life. ... Most marriages begin with joy, and those that succeed retain it. When a marriage loses its happiness, it becomes weak and vulnerable. Find a happy home, and you will find a joyful couple at the helm. Husbands and wives who no longer laugh and play together are losing their love for each other and their capacity to stay together. True love includes a joyful, almost childlike quality. In other words, have fun." —Hugh W. Pinnock

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Miracle of Reading

Some parents may not understand quite what I mean by "miracle" when it comes to reading.

Some do.

When my dad started reading with Sister while we were in Florida I was touched by his efforts and smiled knowing that she would probably enjoy hearing him read, but not actually read herself, at least, not yet. I mean, Brother didn't start reading until he was about 8 and that was only for his teachers. He was learning to read using the "whole word" method, which is where they learn the entire word and memorize words because he doesn't understand how to sound words out.

So here was my dad sounding out words with Sister and I was happy for his efforts but felt inclined to warn him that his efforts may be in vain.

My dad didn't give up. He saw something in her—an interest, a desire.

Then one night I walked in to see this:

I cannot express the joy in every success my children have.

All mothers out there know what I am talking about.

That moment of pride.

But, for a mom of a special needs child it is not just pride, but awe that envelope you when you see success.

It reminds you of that the moment you heard that your child would be challenged mentally or physically in life you had given up any hope or dream you had for your child and then challenges you to dream differently.

So to all parents who have children with any special challenges to not stop dreaming, just dream different.

There's a line in one of my most favorite movies of all times, Charly (based on Jack Weyland's book), where the main male character in the story realizes that the girl he has fallen in love with was not the girl he had been dreaming about. At one point in the movie, when he thinks he's lost her, he calls out, "I had the wrong dream!"

To me that line not only has to do with love, but with any dream we may have had, and our life, instead, took a different turn.

Today I am reminded that I am just fulfilling new dreams.

Better ones.