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!