More pics

Okay, the inspection is done and everything is looking good. Bear with me on the pictures. My darling husband allowed me to buy this house without ever seeing it for himself. So I am mostly posting so he can get online and see his new home. Thanks honey for trusting me to this decision - I love you so much and can't wait for you to get here!

Trinity out behind the house. Nice shot of the windmill. :)

Back corner, looking at the house.

Other corner looking toward house.

Back corner looking to road.

Corner by road.

Open end of the barn with hayloft over top.

Main area in barn.

Second room in barn. Also a closed room on the right with the step ladder up to hay loft.

Behind closed room in barn.

Our new truck! Dan (the owner) was going to have this hauled off to the junkyard. He said he hasn't run it in a year and it has a flat tire. He just didn't want to be bothered with it. I told him we would take it and he would have one less thing to deal with. So for the price of getting it running, a new tire, and $200 a year for basic insurance we now are the proud owners of a 1989 Ford F250 4x4. :)

Mirror and lights in bathroom.


Living room - there's our new sofa and recliner! The sofa has recliners on both ends.
That's Dan in the picture. He is such a nice guy. We have enjoyed visiting with him. He also let me go ahead and store the toys and stuff from our van in the upstairs so I won't have so much to haul in on Monday when I am by myself with the girls.

The other end of the main living area.

Looking from the kitchen out to the front door.

One end of the kitchen. Our lovely new fridge!

View coming into the kitchen from the back door. To my right are the stairs down to the basement where we have loads more storage area and the laundry hookups.

Looking out the back door.

The kids half bath upstairs. You can see the built in drawers. There are also 2 built in shelf areas.

Looking left from the doorway of the kids bath.

The main room upstairs which will be the girls bedroom.

Looking from the stairs into the first room upstairs. There is a closet to the left not in the picture, and one of the built in shelf areas is along the wall to the right. This will be the playroom.

So there you have it. Our new home. I didn't take a picture of the bedroom b/c it is stuffed full of big furniture so hard to really get a feel for it. But it's just a basic room. It's next to the bathroom which is off the hallway by the kitchen.

 Hello from Iowa!

What an adventure we are having. Some things are not working out, and others are working out beautifully. We drove by the Victorian house in Pleasantville on our way in and decided somebody has mastered the art of touching up digital photos - the house did not look anything near as nice as the pictures and I did not find Pleasantville to be pleasant at all!

On to Knoxville where we were to stay for the month. The large home we were renting a room in was in a state of disrepair as they are in process of updating. Our room was on the second floor, but they had torn apart the bathroom on the second floor, so there was a half bath on the first floor and a shower in the basement. The idea of lugging a 2 year old and 8 month old up and down huge flights of stairs just to use the restroom was overwhelming. Not to mention the "live in nanny" turned out to be a male friend who was helping them renovate the home. Of course, we didn't find this out until I had unloaded the van and carried everything upstairs. So I had to carry everything back out and we headed into Des Moines to a hotel for the night. (where I got to unpack the van yet again!)

Tuesday morning we looked at homes in Carlisle with our realtor, Jo. I absolutely love Carlisle. It is literally 2 minutes to the Des Moines bypass and is such a lovely little town. The homes are all well kept and seems to be full of families. The fourth home we looked at I fell in love with. I used to joke that I must be a redneck at heart after hearing Jeff Foxworthy's joke, "If the directions to your home include the phrase, turn off the paved road, you might be a redneck." Well, this house is off the paved road. It's on just under an acre, but there is nothing but fields and woods past our property. Yes, I said our property. The owner came by while we were there and he and I basically talked everything out so that I submitted the offer that night and it was signed off on in less than 2 hours. We are getting the new stainless steel refrigerator that wasn't included in the listing plus the leather living room furniture. Also we get to move in next Monday and pay no rent until the house closes on the 20th.

We met the one neighbor with the closest house to ours. They have five horses and just had a colt. They also have tons of fruit trees and a plethora of kittens which Trinity enjoyed chasing around. She (the neighbor) was telling us that the road gets plowed quickly in the winter b/c it is on the bus route. The school bus stops at the corner just down from our front door.

The house is small, but just what we need for now. We can always add on later when the girls are older and need more room. The masterbedroom is on the first floor next to the full bath. The upstairs is where the girls bedroom and playroom will be. It has a half bath with a child sized toilet and sink in it separating the two rooms. There are built in dressers and book shelves and closets just the right size for kids.

Today we drove around the bypass and figured out that we will be within 10 miles of a mall with theaters, a super Walmart, and just about any eating establishment and shopping need we might have. We are also only a couple miles from the Carlisle aquatic park and a little further to take out pizza. (these things are important to know!) I know the big question is - how much does all this cost? We are buying the home for $114,900 which is $3k less than the assessed value. :)

It's the perfect blend of country living with big city conveniences close by. We will be back there tomorrow morning for the inspection, so I will get more pictures posted tomorrow. But for now, here are some pics of the property.
This is the front of the house from the street.

This is from what I thought was the corner, although when I talked to the owner he said the property line actually is about another 10 feet past the power line.

This is looking down what I thought was the property line to the back. You can see the small fence which will be lovely with some sort of flowery vine growing on it as soon as I get the chance. It offers a little privacy to the back porch from the neighbors.

This is on the other side of the house, by the garage. You can see the propane tank which is for the furnace and the hot water heater. Also in the picture is what is known as "the barn." On the assessors page it is called the chicken coop. It is going to be interesting to get the history on this property!

There is my mom traipsing around back to get pictures on her camera. The structure you see is the working windmill and the water pump. There are actually a couple of hand pumps on the property. There is a well, but it does not furnish the water to the house.

As you can see, even past our fence line, there is just more open fields and woods. This gives you a flavor of the property.

 Iowa Bound

Well, tomorrow morning I am off to Iowa with Barbara-Mom, Trinity, and Angelina. I am working furiously trying to get all paperwork caught up and everything left in good standing for David. He will be staying here until we close on the house on June 18th, then packing up a Uhaul with what we have left after the big purge, and heading out to meet me in Iowa.

I do not feel prepared or organized enough for this trip, but I am sure it will all work out fine. I have a job interview for an accounting job next Wednesday at 10am. I managed to pick up a couple skirts, pantyhose, and pumps at Walmart today, so all I need now is a blouse or two and I will be ready for interviewing. (all my "WORK" clothes have long since been donated away) Tomorrow we just drive to Albuquerque and stay with a girlfriend through Sunday morning. She has arranged for a bunch of my old friends to get together Saturday for an early evening bbq before heading to Calvary to listen to Pastor Skip teach. I look forward to being in my home church where I first attended after accepting Christ - such warm memories of that place. :)

Tuesday morning we will be meeting with my realtor, Jo, at a home in Pleasantville, which is SE of Des Moines. David and I are seriously considering purchasing this home.

It is a foreclosure so is sold as is - and from what my realtor tells me, 'as is' translates into a lot of work. But she also said, if we were willing to do it, we would be getting a lot of house for the money. The house has 5 bedrooms and 2 full baths in the 2,550 sq ft above ground. There is also an attic and a 1200+ sq ft basement. It all sits on a .67 acre lot. The list price is $81k and we are shooting for being at that price AFTER repairs and updating. We are thinking of offering $30-40k. We will see how close we are after getting it inspected and repair estimates.

Okay - that's all for now. I will write again next week from Iowa!

 I Want Jesus!

Today, Trinity was pointing up at the stack of dvds next to the tv saying "watch, watch." I asked her if she wanted to watch a show and she said yes. So I asked which one did she want to watch and started pointing at the different dvd's: Veggie Tales, Little Einstiens...
"No, No!" she said. "I want Jesus!"
So I pointed at The Nativity and she beamed and nodded her head.

What precious words to hear from such a little one. It really warmed my heart and reminded me of what we should be saying everyday - I want Jesus!

 Houston, we have lift-off!

Hey, we have a signed contract on our house - Yikes! We are now in fast motion. I have been job searching and applying via the internet for Iowa jobs. Our plan is for me to take the girls and head out to Iowa on the 25th, arriving the 28th. I have located a place for us to rent. It's perfect actually. $350/month gets us a furnished room, one hot meal a day, and they used to run a licensed daycare center in their home so they have a huge playroom and big fenced in yard. They have a 3 and 5 year old too, so Trinity will have playmates. They have a live in nanny, so I may even be able to just pay her extra to watch the girls while I go on job interviews. Once I get a job, then we can get financed and buy a house. David will come out once he has a job secured or we have a house to move into - whichever comes first.

So, now we have a week and a half to pack up the house, discard, donate, and sell off.

Keep praying for us - we need it! This is a very stressful time for our family.

 God is Good!

"And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!" Matthew 6:28-30

That was the verse in grace mail this morning. Very appropriate for us. We appear to have our house sold. We received the offer yesterday from the couple that came to see our home last week. It was a very decent offer, but of course we countered. :) Whatever they come back with, we are done. Closing date is to be June 18th, so now we are stressing out - how do we buy a house, what are we going to do for work, do we sell off everything or take it all with us? The verse today was the perfect reminder that God is directing our steps in this and is going to continue to work all things out. I just can't accept that He would work out a buyer for our business, a buyer for our home "as is" in this market, and then leave us high and dry for a job. I just keep praying that God would help me to cast all my cares on Him.

We have several properties in mind. They are all bank owned properties so we are planning on bidding at about 70% of the asking price. That may seem crazy, but we have seen plenty of bank owned properties go for about that rate. One property we were interested in just sold last week - asking price was $155k and it sold for $105k. I was kind of bummed b/c I really liked the location of that home - right across the street from a huge forested park. But I know God has the perfect home already picked out for us. :)

 Being a Mom

In honor of mothers day, I thought I would post some reflections on being a mom:

Baby giggles - never enough!
Twinkle, twinkle, little star sung over and over by 2 year old - too much!
The crazy things you hear yourself saying, like "Don't lick your sister!"
Utter exhaustion.
How any show, commercial, anything having to do with a child in danger has me in tears.
The feel of a limp, sleepy child pressed against you with their arms and legs dangling as you carry them to bed - so precious!
Hearing "I do it!" about 100 times a day.
Impressing yourself with your staggering ability to continue to come up with answers to "why."
Baby and toddler having laughing fits with each other - wonderful!
Amazing love - really, something you just can't even imagine until you have a child.
And the sudden corresponding realization of how much God loves you.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

 So cute I had to post it!

Okay, if you haven't had enough pictures yet, here is another! lol!

Be praying for us - we posted our home on craigslist yesterday and had a couple come look at it today. They are very interested and wanted us to come up with an AS IS price. (we advertised it at the completed price less realtor fees) We calculated what it would cost us to hire someone to complete the work on the house and deducted that from the price. So now we just wait and see if they accept our price or counter.

From today's Grace mail:

Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.  Matthew 6:32b-33

And my God shall supply ALL your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19, NASB

Those were definitely words I needed today!

 Remembering Dad

I have to admit, this has been a hard time for me lately. My birthday last year was the last time I saw my dad alive, essentially. He was still "alive" when I saw him in the emergency room, but unconscious. No more words of wit or wisdom from him at that time. I wanted to post a couple pictures that are dear to me now. The first is me and dad when I was a baby. Sorry for the picture quality - it's an OLD photo!

The second picture is my dad baptizing me after I accepted Christ. This took place on my 31st birthday - nine years ago.

Yesterday would have been Dad's 69'th birthday - a testament to the fact that he left us far too young. I love you and miss you, dad. Give Jesus a hug for me, okay?

 More Pictures

We'll start with our little camera ham - Miss Trinity. Sunday morning at church, she got up on stage before class started and got the microphone and started singing. Fortunately, it wasn't on, so her little babbling singing was cute and not ear piercing! It was really sweet and she has an adoring audience in the young married's class. :)

In these next pictures, Angelina got up on her knees holding onto Trinity and knocked her over - revenge for all the times Trinity has wrestled her down to the ground!

Big grin!

Trying to crawl

Sweet smile :)

Oh, yeah. I did spot that second tooth today - David is right. She has the one on the bottom and one coming in on top. Also, thinking about our little American Idol on stage at church last Sunday, I don't know how many of you follow the show American Idol, but one of the final four is a young lady from our church. Her name is Jordin Sparks and our pastor has asked for prayer for her and her family during this time where she is being catapulted into the public eye. So please be praying for her. It's been really fun for us watching the show this season actually knowing one of the contestants. Amazing that she is still on with only a few more shows til the winner - wow!

 Mid life? Me?

Yes. It's true. I turned 40 last week. I thought about posting on my birthday, but decided against it. Best to let some things just pass without too much fuss. :)

Meanwhile, I finally found our battery charger and so I have an updated picture of our little Angel to post. She is working on tooth number two (so says Daddy - I haven't spotted it yet) and so close to crawling, I'm sure I'm going to miss the actual first time event! This is her flashing us one of her ever ready smiles. What a love bug!

The latest on the Iowa front: David called about the job with the City of Des Moines on Friday. The guy said he is so backed up with paperwork, he hasn't even looked at the applications yet for that position. So we are still in the waiting mode. We also had a showing of our house to friends of friends last Saturday morning for a possible AS IS sale. They opted not to make an offer though, so David will get to work on the kitchen on Wednesday.

That's all for now!