Sunday, November 16, 2008


Well, I have two posts that I never finished. One was on Jonathan breaking his arm about 5 weeks before summer was over. The other was on my FIRST worship leading experience...leading... from the piano... in front of over 100 ladies. Well I never really finished those posts so there ya go.... maybe I'll go back in time at some point and finish those.

On to new news. Ok we'll start with the back story... the way back story, but I'll simplify it.
*when james and I got married we wanted 3 kids
*after having Ian (my baby that screamed for 9 months due to digestive issues) we put that plan on hold
*we then decided to look into adoption
*that led us to foster care... for a while
*after foster care we decided to open the door to more biological kids
*2 years later we still just had the two boys, totally content with either 2 or more children we didn't really mind either.
*We had decided after a while to schedule an appt to make things permanent, we didn't really want to keep things in limbo forever.
*I had a recurring bad dream that led us to cancel that appt about a week before it was to happen.
*About a month after that we were at church for a meeting about the womens retreat and the boys were playing. They went outside and locked themselves out. When they came back inside Ian told me proudly that he prayed a lot outside. He then said "mommy I prayed for you to have a baby".... we laughed.
*3 Weeks later..... two little lines appeared .

I can't describe the emotions I felt looking at that test. I laughed and cried all at the same time. I couldn't beleive it... really. I told James later that day. I was shocked to find out that he was really excited... I wasn't sure how that would go. So a while later we took the boys to yogurtville. I reminded Ian of his prayer and said well God answered your prayer... what do you think he said. Jonathan pipes up "No" in a sort of disappointed way. I say "no try again" A light goes on over Ians head and he says "YES?!?!?!" I confirm. Then a second light goes on and his eyes get even bigger and he says " BUT MOMMY I PRAYED FOR TWO!!" to which I explained sometimes God answers yes to some of our prayers and no to others. We'll let time confirm that one.

So here I sit somewhere in my 9th week of this pregnancy. I've managed to avoid most of my morning sickness thanks to a zofran prescription. I've been looking back on my previous pregnancy journals and things seem to be progressing along just as they have for the last two.

A couple things make this one different. First, Jonathan will be 8 and Ian will be 6 when this baby is born ... YIKES. They are so excited though and it has been so much fun to share the experience with them. Second. I have only ONE thing left from the boys. A pack and play. I had also picked up one of those high chair things that sits on your own chair for when I was watching a friends kids at my house. So I have two things. Everything else is starting from scratch. In some ways I guess maybe I'm glad. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to wear my maternity clothes from 8 years ago.. HA! And the crib we had broke while we were taking it apart for the last time. Thank goodness for Divine Consign and Craigslist.

SO that is the latest from the Asplunds.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The boys
Jonathan with a friend Alex at yet another pool
Backyard fun.
Jonathans 7th birthday party at "going bonkers".
Updated pic.
Ian WATCHING all the kids in his class go off the diving board.
Swim lessons. Too lazy to go back and rotate this one.. maybe another day.

Some recent photos.

lazy days

Most basic of water shooters.
You're not going to get me to smile.
Well ok but only a little
Ian being thrown into the pool (underwater during swim lessons)
Jonathan jumping into the deep end.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Simplify... sounds easy ..HA!

After recently moving into a new house and having half of my earthly possessions in storage for a year I've come to learn a few things. First off is I'm utterly ashamed, embarrassed, disgusted and frustrated with the amount of utter crap we have collected, shipped and stored and that was after getting rid of HUGE amounts of things before we left. I feel as though I could fill a garbage truck myself!

The message for our lives for the past year has been simplify. When we first moved into the house we only brought in what we needed for times sake. I was so content to have just those things. Then I would open the garage door to find a garage filled to the brim with only a walking trail through it of STUFF! I was surprised at the heaviness that I felt as soon as it all arrived at the house. So we have systematically been going through boxes and either, keeping, trashing or goodwilling many many items. The range of emotions that goes through my mind vacillates between all the emotions listed above. It is a very draining process. The idea is that in the end we will have only what we need or have a need of in the foreseeable future. And to take that a step further would be to not purchase, acquire or accept things that we don't need.

I've been trying to employ the reduce, reuse, recycle model in our going through items, at least on the big items. I feel that we have done a pretty good job of re tasking items that we already own so we don't need to buy new furniture or get rid of things in order to just go buy something similar but different. For instance.... we put our bedroom armoire in the living room. We also put our big huge long dresser in the living room with mirror above it... this has proved to provide some great storage space in a living room that would have limited storage or decorative furniture otherwise. And to top it off due to our fairly consistent decor theme it all blends in perfectly with our current living room set. I'll have to post pictures next time I get a chance. (read: too tired to do it right now).

So that has pretty much been my last 24 hours for ya.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lots and Lots of Odds and Ends

This week has been all about getting our apartment back into shape so we can turn our keys in with minimal charges... we'll see. This included painting back all the "accent" walls to the blah that they were when we moved in.

Timing.... Apparently about a week after we started sleeping in the new house the covered parking at the apartment that we pay for and the van usually sat under collapsed on a few cars... thankfully we were no longer living there, weren't visiting and I don't believe anyone was hurt.

High winds at sea. The last couple weeks have been in the 90's so we have been enjoying the pool in the back yard, for a few days now we have been in a wind advisory so steady winds in the 20's and justs into the 40's. This has been so weird because we are so used to wind coming from an icy gorge (Columbia that is). The wind here is just as warm as the day. So we get in the pool and about every 10 mintues when a floaty flies out of the pool Ian runs and gets it and then hops back in the pool. Fun times.

Garden. So while I was at Wal-mart picking up some groceries I decided to try my hand growing a few myself. I guess I figured any previous attempts (and subsequent failures) will most likely be overcome by the use of an automated sprinkler system. (and some super hot southern exposure in the back yard). So this year making an anticipated appearance in the backyard are several cherry tomatos, strawberries, zucchini and watermelon. In the fall we'll try our hand at some cold weather crops, lettuce, cabbage, and a few others. I'm not sure when those are harvested but I think sometime in late late fall.

Hindsight. Ever look back and wish that you hadn't bought about 50% of the things you have. I face that dilemma as we speak. My house has pretty much everything in it that it needs. (minus the huge wall storage thing from Ikea that we want to get for the boys room that will take the place of 4 current pieces of furniture (bookshelf, 2 plastic dressers and a real dresser) leaving us with even more stuff to get rid of. So the garage still has no less than 2 dozen boxes of stuff out there. Now I have to cut myself some slack, some of that is Christmas items but even that! We have 2 full size fake trees... who needs two? On top of that we have several mini's and a set of 3 that we used for our trees this year. We also have all of our garage and yard care/maintenance stuff in boxes still. (weed trimmer, leaf blower/sucker, tools etc.) So all in all yeah we have a lot of stuff we need to get rid of but most of all I just don't want to deal with any of it... bottom line!

Let the sleep resume! Since 3 days after arriving in Texas Jonathan has been in Kindergarten. School starts for him at 8 and he would catch the bus at 710. Since we moved he gets taken to school at 730 but seriously... we have to wake up between 630 and 7... just for him, James doesn't have to leave for work until like 850 most days. On good days we can sneak Jonathan out of his bedroom without waking up Ian. Today was a close call, I looked down at Ian just in time to see him let out a belly laugh and a big toothy, dimply grin. I was sure he was awake but upon further inspection, nope, he was just laughing in his sleep. That was at 7... it is no 9:33 and he is still asleep! Those must be some good dreams! All that to say, today is the last day of school and we are ALL looking forward to it getting out!

Surprise surprise. I'm not sure who all reads this so i hope I'm not ruining anything here BUT James' parents are coming for a visit in July (not the surprise). We last saw them when we drove to Georgia for Christmas. I have to say I was at my all time heaviest in my life when we saw them. Sad but true that must not have been a great sight. BUT! When they come this time I will be down about 50 to 55 lbs !!! Won't that be fun, as far as we know they don't have a clue.

Jonathan's turning 7!
He his so excited to have his birthday at Going Bonkers, this is similar to a place called Kids Club Fun and Fitness that we used to frequent. They have this HUGE play structure with all kinds of fun stuff in there, it is more open than the one we were used to, rather than the structure being in a corner it is in sort of a U shape with seating in the middle and a second floor "quiet" room for parents with free wifi!. It also has a second level with video games and a first floor with food party rooms etc. We are doing our first party package and I pray all his friends that we invited don't show up (last year every last one of them did!). This year was supposed to be a small birthday year but how do you invite just a few? I have a feeling the bill at the end is going to be a bit bigger that we had planned on.

Neighbors. We have met some terrific neighbors, sadly the ones right next door that also have a 4 and 6 year old are moving July 4th. But there is still a boy that was best friends with the 6 year old next door right down the street. So Hopefully Jonathan and he will hit it off.

Ok I think I've rambled on about 4x too long but I hadn't posted much in a while so time to catch up I guess.

Till next time!

Friday, May 30, 2008


There are stories and explanations for most of the pictures below... when it isn't almost midnight and we don't have an all day track meet tomorrow I'll do some explaining .

Around the yard.

Just a few moments from the last few weeks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So much going on, so little inspiration to blog.

Like the title says. This feels a little more like an obligatory update that if I don't make I will feel so far behind there will be no recovering.


Jonathan, 6 almost7, had his first track practice yesterday. He had a blast! He was one of about 7 kids that fell into the 6-8 age bracket. He did pretty well. He ended up running about 3 times around the track and various drills on the field. At one point they were doing the drill where you run to a first line then back to the beginning and then to the second line and back to the beginning. During this drill he decided he wanted to run next to his friend... on the other side of the field. So, imagine what it looks like when everyone else is turning to run back toward him and he is running criss-cross to his friend. At one point he runs into this older kid and quickly says with a chuckle... "tag your it!" and runs off. There were a few things like this throughout the practice. We were so proud of him, he ran his tail off and still wants to keep going with it. This is a huge commitment for us since it is 630-8pm tues, wed, Thursday. Then meets all over the metroplex on saturdays. It should be fun for sure.

Summer 08 unplugged.

We decided that we are going to go unplugged for the summer. What this means for us is that we won't have cable, the internet will be for email and bill paying and not much more. This will translate into more family time, more outdoor time, and generally spending our time more deliberately. To that end we bought Jonathan his first chapter book that we all thought he might enjoy... (without comics or pictures). To our amazement he finished all 86 pages within the first 2 days we had it. Then we picked up another one with 36 pages and he finished that one in a day. So public library here we come!


Ian has been having a great time with school and is eagerly anticipating the classes that he is taking this summer. He will have a gym class with all the trampolines and foam pits, that should be entertaining. Both boys are also taking a cooking class and swimming lessons. They are so excited. I think the thing we are all most excited about is not having to wake up so early over the summer.


In 2 days we will be closing on our first Texas home. We have been so wrapped up in other goings on it has almost been an after thought. We also will have an extended move in over the next few weeks due to not wanting to pack everything and also I have about a week more of childcare duties that the new house won't be ready for.

It will be fun to get into our long term storage and see what we felt we needed to keep so bad but could live without for a year or so. We already know that we will be paring down our belongings even more. Our first house was a moderate size , our second was about twice our first (which we rapidly filled all the way up!) and our third is slightly smaller than our first (at our choosing!). One word sums up the direction our lives are attempting to go SIMPLIFY!

What we observed while living in a big house.

1) big house = big utility bills
2) big house = more of everything to buy for it, furniture, window coverings, etc
3) big house = costs more to change anything, windows, carpet, countertops
4) big house = endless cleaning
5) big house = more taxes
6) big house = more maintenance
7) big house = costs more

our conclusion... big house was not for us.

So we will gleefully move into our new house and get rid of anything that doesn't fit!


This is such a personal and big thing that is going on in my life but it doesn't really seem appropriate to blog about it. So lets just say, I'm in a very cool place with the Lord right now. My worship times are far more intense and intimate that they ever have been. My hearts desire is to see others come to a place where they can enter the presence of the Lord in the same way and be free to express there devotion to Him in new ways. To be free to worship the Lord extravagantly as Darlene Zschech puts it in her book. This is everyday worship in what we do but also in our quiet times with the Lord as well as corporate worship expressions. Lately I've been so overtaken by my desire to express my worship I find my self not being able to raise my hands high enough, sing loud enough, I want to scream like you would if you were excited at a football game. Have you ever noticed how excited people get at sports. It is also interesting to notice that when people get excited they raise their hands and scream, that seems to be our automatic response. Almost like we are programed to do that. Hmmm, interesting.

O.k. I think that is enough for now, I've got to get back to living the life I will later blog about.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I got to see this...or something just like it on the other side of town.

After small group James needed to spend a few minutes inside talking with someone after I had left to go get the boys. So when I pulled back up to the house we were meeting at with the boys we decided to stay in the car and watch the show. Here is an example of some of what we saw minus the tall buildings. INCREDIBLE!

1308 Silver Maple Dr (pictures from listing)

These will become the "before" pictures which I will update after we are settled. (why is everything I'm typing showing up underlined! argh! I added a link a while back but the line WON'T GO AWAY!

Consequences of a missed day of school.

Jonathan is in Kindergarten. Words cannot express how proud I am of how he is doing in school. After a bumpy start he is just thriving. Jonathan gets mostly "great", "terrific", and stars written by his teacher on his work. The other options are check and check minus which usually are followed by "Jonathan I know you color better than this" or something like that. This usually follows a day where he is just tired of doing the same stuff over and over again.

He also remains in pretty good health most of the time so he hasn't missed much school.Tomorrow we will be taking him out at lunch time since we are leaving for a camping trip with our small group!!! woohooo! This makes me think of the last time he missed a day of school I think it was in January or February. The following picture is a result of that single missed day...Take special note of how nicely he has drawn the lines between the numbers and how carefully he colored the nice brown hair. Yeah, I'll admit that the last g needed to be a little lower. So it seems to me that the only reason that he got a check instead of a star would have to be his choice of skin tone? Peach.... could it be that he missed a key lesson here in that one missed day of school? I can't tell you how long and hard we laughed upon opening his folder and seeing this picture. How do you tell your son you got a check on your work because you colored this guy the wrong color... He does have nice red lips though don't you think?

T - 21 days and counting...

.. until we close on our new house! I just need to take a moment and explain what type of woman is selling this house to us.

1) A tree branch fell in the front yard during a storm a week ago. She reassured us that it would be cut up and picked up by the city and she would have someone come out and clean up the break so that the tree would heal properly. Who does that on a house that is practically already sold.

2) I asked if she had any sort of regular pest control company that she used and would she recommend them. She mentioned that she treats it herself 2x per year and usually that is in November and May and this has always taken care of anything on the outside of the house and kept out anything from the inside. I just received an email stating that she just treated it. Now all this is post contract, so she has no obligation to do any of these things.

3) She has also stated that she will be cleaning out the gutters, if she has time she will fertilize the yard. She is facilitating and paying for half of a brand new roof, before we move in!

4) She is also going to take the time to show us around the house and answer any questions we have (we did this on our last house and it was HUGELY beneficial).

So anyway, all that to say we think she rocks!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thunder Rolls.

I can't begin to describe what last nights thunder storm was like but I will attempt. Most of the evening/ night you couldn't go more than about 45 seconds between flashes of light and there was almost a steady stream of thunder. We were suddenly awoken when a flash of lightning that must have either been directly overhead or landed somewhere near by, this was simultaneously accompanied by the loudest thunder I have ever heard. It startled us both awake, it shook the building and set our car alarm off... twice. I of coarse was so impressed, I love it. Jonathan was not quite so impressed. I went to his room after hearing him call my name and as I got closer to the bed he lept from his top bunk and clung to me like a monkey. I didn't even need to hold on to him (although I did) as we made our way back to my bedroom where he was nestled in between mommy and daddy with his hands firmly squished up against his ears. Ian on the other hand our light sleeper (jonathan being the heavy sleeper) didn't make a peep and slept through the entire thing, which I account only to the fact that he was soooooo tired from the previous day.

I didn't mention the hail. Before we headed to bed we heard the unmistakable pounding of hail outside on the car ports which just reminds us that we only have one covered space and the van is currently in it. So James puts his heavy coat on (in 70 degree weather mind you) to protect himself from the hail and braves the worst of it to go move the car to a vacant covered spot. All the while there are flashes overhead and thunder pounding. What a shame it would be to get hail damage a month before we move to a house with a garage. The hail we received last night was about 1/2-3/4 of an inch. Apparently they consider it large if it is 3/4 of an inch or bigger. I was starting to think that it wasn't large unless it was golf ball or softball size which we have heard of nearby recently, but have yet to see with our own eyes.

Well needless to say I'm a bit tired today but my day begins at 5:30 whether I like it or not. I'm hoping to sneak in a nap when the little ones nap today but we'll see.

Enjoy the day!

So there you have it that was our night, oh and the power blinked so my bright idea to use our cell phones as alarms last night was brilliant (pat pat pat on my back). So I read the forecast for the next couple days and it does say more of the same except with the addition of tornado's which for some reason doesn't scare the tar out of me like it used to.

Moving Forward. A New Roof Over Our Head, Another Year Goes By

I'm sitting at my computer listening to the midnight thunder roll through. I have always loved the sound of thunder, we rarely had it in the NW however, when we did you could always find me perched at a window waiting to see the next bolt of lighting.

Today marked the end of our option period on the house, so up through today we could have backed out of the deal and lost only our $100 option fee as opposed to the $1600 that is our earnest money. Before the day was over we were able to negotiate a new roof for the house we are buying. The one thing on the house that wasn't quite up to snuff. Now that being said, there wasn't really anything wrong with it, it was just old. Older than much else on the house. We have chosen the company, product and color and the seller will have the work done. Woohoo! It is even going to look more fantastic. It has new or newer carpet, countertops, cherry kitchen cabinets, windows!, pull out shelves in the kitchen, sprinkler system, landscaping etc etc etc. It is a modest house that has been well taken care of in a nice neighborhood. I'm hoping, Lord willing, that we will be able to settle here for a while.

James and I met the roofer there on Monday to get an estimate and it was the first sunny day we had seen the house. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Even more in the sunlight. With the last house we were looking to buy, each time we would go there I would have more and more questions and hesitations. With this one I have just noticed more and more things that I like. I'm sure reality will come crashing down on me at some point but for now I'm blissfully overjoyed.

I celebrated my 31st birthday yesterday. I have to say it was a terrific day. It seems that with each passing year I become a little more content with my life. Right now I can honestly say I'm 31 and proud of it. I'm happy with where my life has taken me and I'm happy to see it going where it is. I'm blessed to have a wonderful family, great friends near and far, a church I love to serve in and be a part of and relatively good health that is getting better by the day. I'm also thrilled to see that this season holds some new challenges and opportunities to possibly work but more exciting is an opportunity to help influence the women of the church in worship. I have a passion to see them free to praise there king with reckless abandon. To be free from the bondages of self doubt and pride. I want to share with them some things that the Lord has revealed to me about worship and how to get ourselves out of the way so we can be changed by His presence in a more consistent and real way.

Ok seriously this is a HUGE lightning store... IMPRESSIVE!!!!!! Better get off the computer is blipping.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

1308 Silver Maple Drive.

Well our offer was accepted and the inspection is scheduled for tomorrow. I don't anticipate anything big coming up but we will see. I'll see if I can take some additional pictures while we are in there for the inspection. Not sure how that works with the seller still living there.

More on all that later.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Scratch that. House buying take 2.

Last week we exercised our option to not buy the first house we were looking at. While the payments would have been a dream, it just had too many issues under the surface that the seller was not willing to work with us on. And, since it had a nice little crack in the brick work on one side it was going to need a structural engineer report at which point the odds were that it would need to be addressed before purchase and the seller wasn't willing to do that so we would have wasted about 2k at that point and we wanted to cut our losses and move on.

We set out Saturday morning to look at 3 houses in the next 10k category.First one was in a great neighborhood but the floor plan looked like something a child had put together... it just didn't work. The second one was in a great neighborhood, nice curb appeal, impeccably maintained, new cherry wood cabinets, wonderful landscaping with little gardening surprises around every corner etc etc etc. So we loved this one, it even had all the little pull out shelves in the kitchen. There were little extras throughout the house. So we put an offer that was just slightly below asking price since it was priced a little higher than the other previously sold homes in the neighborhood. So how did they respond? ... they flat refused the offer, no counter with a higher price. well hm! So we wrote up another offer for full price and sent it off Saturday night. And we waited, waited and waited. We hadn't heard anything as of noon Monday so we checked in with our Realtor and at the same time she was checking in with the sellers Realtor. Turns out despite the fact that the offer was faxed and emailed... it was not received. The sellers had been thinking that since so many people were looking over the weekend that they would get other full price offers. As of Monday noon, we were the only one and they had refused it... imagine the mental turmoil that must be going on in their heads! hahahaha. OK so we resent the offer Monday and it is currently Tuesday morning. We'll see what today brings.

There was a third house we looked at that day, but after seeing the second one we didn't spend more than about 2 minutes walking around it.

In the meantime, a friend who is looking to get in on a sweet pre-forclosure deal may need to sell in a hurry and just happens to be in a neighborhood we have been looking in and is a touch larger than the house we put an offer on. So it all seems to be some pretty interesting timing but we'll wait it out and see.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Flash Flooding.

I have heard the warnings about flash flooding but I've never really experienced it until today. After dropping James off at work so my parents could take the van to downtown for a visit to the jfk muesum I was on my way back and it really started to pour. It was hard to see, lightening was pretty constant (love it), the thunder was there but not as loud as I've heard it before. I decided to drive to where the house is and take a look to see where we might want to add some gutters, oddly enough many of the homes here just never put them on... they NEED them!. So getting down the alley was interesting since they shape them with a real big dip in the middle of them so you kinda straddle the water as you go down the alley. I pulled into the driveway.. there is a garage and a car port that looks like it was built to industrial standards. This is actually a great feature since if there is ever a time where you can't get both cars in or you have a visitor and it starts to hail you can just use the carport. So essentially we have 4 covered spaces. We pulled all the way under so we could have a repreave from the sound of rain pelting the car. It gets so loud you can't even hear each other.

Once we headed back we have to go over a few hills and I use the term "hills" lightly. More like mounds. At the bottom of one as I drove up to an intersection I noticed a car stuck in the mud of the median. I thought he had gotten into an accident but as I looked further he was just trying to go around the upcoming flood. I got up to the intersection and there were no less than 4 cars flooded and stuck there. Soon after the police showed up and blocked off the road (I'm sitting just 1 car back so I've got a great few. Some cars are making it through and some arent so the police decide not not let anyone. The officers wade over to my side of the intersection and I notice that they are wading THIGH HIGH! YIKES! Glad I didn't try to make it in the car. Once the rain slowed a bit I was able to do a u turn but thanks to the cars large turning radius I had to correct my turn half way through to avoid the stuck car. It was fun, the boys were all excited since they have been watching hot wheel movies where they drive in water. So it was a very fun and educational experience as well as exciting with the news of our offer being pretty much accepted while we were driving around.

Update to my update...

We heard back today that the seller is choosing to "work" our offer. He is just asking that we pay for the Survey instead of them ($400) , not really a big deal. Other than that we are good to go. So barring finding out something terrible about the house I think we are a go! I can wait to go inside and measure to see if the square footage is right on this one or on the other one we looked at (same floor plan but listed as 200 more sq footage.) You better believe we aren't going to mention that before closing. Doesn't really matter I suppose one way or the other. We like the house no matter what it says.

Monday, March 17, 2008

House Update...

This is the front view. Windows on the left are the dining room, entry door is to the left of the two center windows that look into the living room and straight through to the patio in the back. I promise this house is really cute in person... it just isn't all that photogenic. The inside pictures also don't do it justice. This is a shot of the living room into the dining and kitchen, The kitchen runs from the right of the picture to the far left side of the fireplace. This has a lot of great places to put all my christmas stuff! How cute would stockings look from that.
This is a shot from the corner of the master bedroom looking out onto the patio and into where the master joins near the kitchen (not through the kitchen).
And this is the patio looking into the living room, if the blinds were open you could see clear to the front yard. This makes it look VERY open on the inside. The doors on the right of coarse are the master bedroom and the door in the far right is leading almost all the way into the kitchen and the garage is on the left. This is the patio that Ian was laying on in my last post.

The offer we put in was placed the same time as another offer. Our realtor thought that our best bet would be to get a pre-qual. letter to include with the offer and shorten up the time to close making it April 30 instead of May 15. We also will need to go conventional instead of FHA since it was a flip and they would have to wait until they have owned it for 90 days before we could close and it looks to be a pretty quick flip.

The offers were presented to the seller tonight sometime. Our realtor is in Galveston on an anniversary trip but we spoke by phone about 4x today already. It is late and we anticipate hearing something back tomorrow. Hopefully. While we feel great about this house, we have surrendered the situation into the Lords hands. If it is not in our best interest we will not be too disappointed. God has saved us from some horrific situations in the past and he has even tried to save us and we stubbornly pressed on instead of listening to his gentle promptings. That lead to disaster. So we patiently wait.

Today was also St Patricks day so with my parents we had corned beef and cabbage along with some festive margaritas to top off the day. Hoping tomorrow brings good news.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

And now we wait.

Two days ago I finally picked up the phone and dialed a Realtor that I had been in email contact since before we moved to Texas (so we would occasionally email back and forth for about 10 months). I have been looking near daily at the listings of new homes on the market, price reductions, and offers again since before we even moved here. I finally saw a house that brought be to a point where it was time to look even if that meant that we would pay rent on an apartment and a house for a few months. So I made the call.

We set up a time Saturday (today) to meat at Starbucks and then go looking. I had mentioned to her 3 homes I was interested in and told her the 5 elementary schools (which just represent the neighborhoods I want to live in) and asked if she noticed anything that stood out to her in those areas. She came with 5 houses (all of which I had driven by in the day that I waited for the appointment). We tossed one out right away, it was in a great neighborhood but ugly street. The first house we looked at was a newer home, it had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, but the living space was a little to small downstairs and the yard was a bit to cramped.

The second house was in a great neighborhood but needed WAY too much work. The 3rd home, WE LOVED! It was a flip but a great one. It looked terrific. Light bright, open, large kitchen with lots of counter space. The appliances were a bit dated but in perfect condition, they literally looked brand new just 20 years old. It had split bedrooms, gas starter fireplace. The front looks funny in pictures but cute in real life. It has beautiful large crape myrtles on both sides of the front of the house, they have this amazing barkless trunks that I LOVE. Very large living area with windows to the tiled patio that is between the house and the garage (in the rear- we get an ally like on king of the hill ;-) that is just amazing. It also had brand new paint inside and out as well as new carpet. Nice ceiling fans and light fixtures too. Ok so just loved this house. Then we went to the last house which was the exact same floor plan but wasn't as nice. Now this last house was listed as having about 200 more sq ft as the one I loved. (even on the tax records). But the house was the exact same size. Soooooo which one is right. They are priced as though they are 200 sq ft different. So long story short....

We placed an offer tonight on the one we love! Our offer was a full price offer (house only on the market for 8 days) of $129900! Can you believe that that is 10k less than our first home 10 YEARS AGO! Houses here are still priced fairly reasonably in some neighborhoods so they do fly off the market pretty quickly if they are in good shape.

The house is on Stein Way... yes this is a play on words the whole neighborhood is musical names... alto avenue, sonata lane, cello court, Stradivarius lane, Bach Blvd... you get the point. So we wait. To see what they say. It is a solid offer, the only thing that they could really take issue with is that we are pushing the limits of the closing date. We are wanting it out as far as possible ... so 45 days from the end of the 10 day option period would make it May 9th... we pushed it to may 15th. The reason for this would be so our first payment would not be due until July 1 making it only 1+ a partial month of rent left on the apartment lease. WO0HOOO! Oh and this is a picture of Ian "Camping out" on the patio that can be seen clearly through a bunch of windows in the living room as well as french doors from the master bedroom. Needless to say the boys LOVED IT too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Clothing shift

So as most people know and have experienced as you lose or gain weight you incrementally change your wardrobe up or down sizes. My wardrobe currently contains items in 7, count 'em, 7 completely different sizes. This is using the misses/womans, not WOMENS, and not junior sizing. So that is even numbers only. That 7 sizes represents about 60-75 lbs. With that said I think it is time for an update.

Do you ever start a diet and think, this is going to be it! Then by about 5 days in you have forgotten all about it? What makes those "other" times different, when it does work? I'm not really sure, but gratefully, I do find myself in one of those times. I've been following my plan for 3 weeks and have lost a total of 17 lbs and can now rid my wardrobe of 2 of those 7 sizes. I think I'm the most excited about summer. I want to wear shorts! I don't want to be fat, hot and miserable. When we moved to Texas I told myself that the hot weather would be a factor in me losing weight because I just can't stand to be hot and fat at the same time! Just doesn't work for me.

Maybe that is why this time is different, or maybe it is just that life has settled down enough for me to really be in a place to tackle what the inner problems are. Our actions are really just the physical manifestation of what is going on in our minds. So if our minds are sick, not thinking right, food focused, me focused or just plain unfocused so the body will go also. We are called to live lives of focus and discipline. To reign in our flesh and make it subject to our spirit. While also focusing our Spirit on the one who created us. Then, if our bodies just follow our minds we should be acting the way we were created.

So what about emotional eating. This could be for many reasons: stress, celebrations, feeling sad, hurt, angry, bored. It seems that our hearts are crying out for something and our bodies interpret it as food. When the reality is that our hearts aren't crying out for something , they are crying out for someone. Turning to just another person would only pacify the situation. Those people will untimatly let us down. We need The Perfect One to fill our needs in this area. When we ache God longs to bring comfort, when we are angry He wants to hear all about it, when we are bored He wants to tell us what he wants us to do. When we are stressed He wants us to build our faith and trust in His love for us.

This makes me think of "mindless eating". In light of the concept just mentioned, what does that mean. Our bodies don't just pick up food without our minds knowing it. It is in an indication of that lack of focus and lack of living a deliberate life. If we want to make a difference with our life and truly live up to all that God has called us to we must live with intention. Paying close attention that all we do, what we spend our time doing and THINKING! What we think plays such a vital role in who we are and what we end up doing. So In keeping with that, I have some things that I need to go do now.

Go , have a blessed intentional day! Live on purpose!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Apparently I'm not the only one that needed to confess.

(see my confession a couple of posts below)

The news just reported that in Dallas County 15% of the Registered Republicans voted for Hillary Clinton because they thought she would be easier to beat!!!!!

Looks like it will be a late night here in Texas waiting for the final results. And since the whole process is a bit convoluted with the Texas Two Step process with voting then caucusing in addition to that, there will no doubt be some legal issues and challenges if it is close at all. (and no I won't be waiting up to find out).

Happy election year!

Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White ...March 3rd????

Ok so Saturday it was 80 and right now everything is covered with a blanket of snow and there is that hush that comes from snow cover. It just muffles every sound. The cars, the roads the grass all covered! I wasn't sure I would see any snow when we moved here. They told us they usually just get ice... guess we lucked out!

Unfortunately I don't have the camera (it is in south dallas with james on a retreat) so I don't have any pictures. I may try to catch some on my camera phone in the morning since it doesn't get bright enough to catch any of it at all.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Weird weather!

Beautiful Sunny 80 degree day

75 clouds increase today thanks to Gulf moisture pouring into North Texas. A wind advisory is in effect for south winds at 25-35mph with gusts near 40mph. A few thunderstorms may pop up this afternoon, but all of us get wet tonight. ***Update now it is a tornado watch... this just keeps getting more interesting. Since James is out of town on a staff retreat I'm going over in my head where we would go in the apartment if a tornado actually hit. Hmmmm. However this isn't the first time they have had a watch since we've lived here.

45 Thunderstorms will be widespread tonight into Monday morning. Many storms will be severe with damaging winds, large hail and heavy rainfall. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect through midday Monday. Behind the front Monday, winds will be very gusty out of the north. Temperatures will fall into the 30's, with wind chills below freezing. Light snow is expected in our Red River Counties and it looks like a rain/snow mix will affect the DFW area. ** Update (755pm sunday) It is now a Snow Advisory meaning it is falling or is going to soon. And next week we'll have 70 and sun all week. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone. Good thing my parents are visiting next week not this one!

58 (official election day) Everything clears out for election day. Expect full sunshine and mild temps on Tuesday.

I can only remember once in a blue moon when you would wake up and the temperature was already at the high that it would reach for the day and would go down from there. This seems to happen here any time a cold front moves in. You do have to check the weather or you could send your kid to school in shorts since it is 70 in the morning and have them come back freezing because it is in the 30's. I'm having fun learning about all the new and different aspects of the weather here in Texas. Oh and apparently 4 days of 70's and and 80 bring the crickets back. chirp chirp!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Passion Island - our shore excursion from the Cruise

And it was sooooo much fun!
Check out the color of that water

The Corona shot (this is the island they shot those commercials on)

My confession.

Ok so we are proud Republicans. Not ashamed one bit. While we don't always agree with the far Right side we definitely are Right without a doubt.

Today we did something that we never thought we would do....

We voted for Hillary Clinton.

Now you might be thinking. Are you out of your mind you just cast a vote for a totally unelectable candidate, she would never win the election if she is nominated....


I have to say I only had one moment of doubt. That was when we realized that when you go to a primary they make you choose democrat or republican. Then they call it OUT LOUD! Now we had been talking to several others in line (for an hour) and frankly would be totally embarrassed to say we were Democrat. But we bit the bullet for the cause.

This evening. ...

My dinner! Vanilla with raspberry mmmmm!
Well it is no sausage pizza but I am down 11.5 so far!