Life at our House

Toddler Rules
If it is on, I must turn it off.
If it is off, I must turn it on.
If it is folded, I must unfold it.
If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.
If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.
If it is high, it must be reached.
If it is shelved, it must be unshelved.
If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.
If it has leaves, they must be picked.
If it is plugged, it must be unplugged.
If it is not trash, it must be thrown away.
If it is in the trash, it must be removed, inspected, and thrown on the floor.
If it is closed, it must be opened.
If it does not open, it must be screamed at.
If it has drawers, they must be rifled.
If it is a pen, it must write on the refrigerator, monitor, or table.
If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied.
If it is empty, it will be more interesting full.
If it is a pile of dirt, it must be laid upon.
If it is stroller, it must under no circumstances be ridden in without protest. It must be pushed by me instead.
If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.
If Mommy's hands are full, I must be carried.
If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone.
If it is paper, it must be torn.
If it has buttons, they must be pressed.
If the volume is low, it must go high.
If it is toilet paper, it must be unrolled on the floor.
If it is a drawer, it must be pulled upon.
If it is a toothbrush, it must be inserted into everything but my mouth.
If it has a faucet, it must be turned on at full force.
If it is a phone, I must talk to it.
If it is a bug, it must be swallowed.
If it doesn't stay on my spoon, it must be dropped on the floor.
If it is not food, it must be tasted.
If it IS food, it must not be tasted.
If it is dry, it must be made wet with drool, milk, or toilet water.
If it is a car seat, it must be protested with arched back.
If it is Mommy, it must be hugged.

This came to me via email and it was just too pertinent not to share!

 Grace Mail

I am reprinting the grace mail from Calvary Community Church for the day - I thought it was a particularly good reminder for all of us!

“This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25
Our usefulness to God and for God is not derived from our abilities, but upon God’s power!

When God wanted to choose a couple to be the founders of a mighty nation, whom did He choose? Significantly, not Mr. & Mrs. Fertility, but Abram and Sarai, a childless couple, struggling with infertility issues.

When God wanted to deliver His chosen people from Egyptian slavery He didn’t pick someone from Pharaoh’s palace, that’s what we would have done. Instead He chose an 80 year-old fugitive! Moses was looking after sheep in the wilderness.

Another God-pick was David. When God chose David to be Israel’s second king He passed over all those “most likely to succeed” and anointed the youngest son of Jesse, a boy who was tending sheep, a boy whom his family even forgot they had! [1 Samuel 16].

Are you beginning to get the idea that God’s way isn’t our way. He doesn’t think like we think, He sees potential in the impossible and advantage in weakness. God loves to work in ways and through people who, in their very use, bring Him glory!

“Father, I’m going to stop thinking of why you can’t use me to serve you. I give you the things that I think disqualify me or make me the least likely to succeed. I’m available, I’d do anything I knew you were asking me to do. In Jesus’ good name I pray. AMEN!”

 Job Opening

I am nervously excited tonight. The City of Des Moines just posted a full time painter position. This is EXACTLY what David was hoping to get. The pay is amazing - $23.15/hour to start and they are looking for someone with at least 2 years experience. David has 8 years full time experience and also supervisory experience, so hopefully that will help him stand out from the crowd. (although there probably isn't the crowd of applicants in Des Moines like there would be here in Phoenix) The position is open for applications until April 20th, so it might be awhile before we hear anything. Please keep this opportunity for us in prayer and for us to have patience in waiting. Thanks!

 Scoby Adoption

Well, we heard back from the investor company and they were beyond insulting with their offer. It was only $18k more than we paid for the house before the big spike in home prices. So, we spent yesterday afternoon inventorying the cabinets we bought last year for our kitchen. After measuring the kitchen and looking over our inventory, we realized we had enough shorter cabinets that we won't have to tear out the soffit (sp?) after all. That will make the remodel a little easier. Hooray! We are going to stack two of the taller cabinets to create a pantry - a feature currently missing from our home. It should be a lovely kitchen when we are done. I should get a before shot while half of the kitchen is still intact.

The other news is that we discovered a Kombucha tea drink at Sprouts last week and have become fans of the stuff. I searched the Internet to see if we could get it cheaper online and discovered that you can make the stuff at home for next to nothing. (we were paying $2.50/bottle on sale!) The deal with Kombucha is that you put the scoby, ("Scoby" - symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) which looks a bit like a pancake, into the tea to brew for 5-7 days. The scoby feeds on the sugar in the tea and in return puts all sorts of good stuff in the tea for you - like probiotics, enzymes, tons of beneficial acids. You bottle the tea in glass containers and let it sit for a few days in the fridge before drinking. It creates a lovely natural carbonation that is a great substitute for sugary soft drinks, which we are trying to avoid in our household.

I found a website called the International Kombucha Exchange which lists people you can get the kombucha starter from. We are picking up our new little scoby tomorrow morning in Tempe. I have the tea brewing even as I type so it can cool overnight and be ready for our new addition to the family tomorrow. :) We started a detox last week, and the k-tea should be a great way to continue to detox our systems on a regular basis after we finish our detox kit.

That's the latest at the Case house. Oh, yeah. Angelina is teething and none of us are getting much sleep anymore. We would gladly take all prayers for good rest in our home!

 Walk the Talk, Please!

I found this on while looking up an email I had received. I don't know why this surprised me....


HOUSE # 1: A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern "snow belt," either. It's in the South.

HOUSE # 2: Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville,Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as "the Texas White House," it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

 Waiting Game

We are waiting to hear back from the investor company we contacted about our home. Their local representative came by on Tuesday. He did a thorough examination of the house, taking measurements, pictures - inside and out, and even testing the level of the floor in each room. He said he would get the report written up and submitted to the home office in Texas and we should hear back no later than Thursday with their offer. So here it is - Thursday. I am trying not to be anxious and to cast all my cares on Jesus, but there is so much riding on this offer, it is really hard.

Meanwhile, David has made arrangements for his brother to come over tomorrow and start doing some work on the kitchen. So we are prepared to begin the remodel on our own. I just can't help but hope against hope that we can just sell as is and not have to do all the work ourselves.

Well, Angelina is calling for another bottle so I best be getting it!

 Full Steam Ahead!

Well, we survived our whirlwind trip to Des Moines Iowa. We were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it was. We were picturing a city rising up out of the flat corn fields. But the reality is that it is set in rolling hills and is quite scenic. We really loved the city and after 2 days of looking at homes and areas, we narrowed down where we would like to buy a home. We like Norwalk, which is just south of Des Moines, and we also like Des Moines South. Both of these areas are very peaceful, large yards, lots of trees, rolling landscapes.

We learned how to read the listings correctly - any square footage under ground level (as in basements, split levels, etc) are not listed. That cleared up a lot for us! We also learned that most of the older homes are 1 to 1 1/2 baths. To find a 2 bath home, you start paying for it with a much higher home price - at least in the areas we liked. And definitely forget having a large master bedroom. We have decided our game plan is to find a home with a basement where we can create a master suite complete with full bath and walk-in closet.

So now the focus is on getting our house sold. We have 2 options:
1. Go ahead with all the renovations/updates we had planned on and list our house by the end of April
2. Get bids from investment companies which pay cash for your home, renovate and resell them.

I am leaning towards the second option. We wouldn't have to sink any more money or effort into the home, we wouldn't have to try to keep our house in show condition with 2 kids, and the sell date can be predetermined. It would definitely be worth giving up some of the profits for the ease factor. (although not paying realtors commissions lessens that difference) We have in mind what our bottom line is for a cash price but we aren't going to disclose that figure and just take bids for our property. God has been paving the way so far and I believe that He is going to continue to amaze us with how easily things are going to fall into place.

Here's what I think is going to happen: (or should I say what God is going to make happen!)
We will sell our house to a professional house flipper and be living and working in Iowa by June.

Stay tuned to find out!