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Monday, March 31, 2008

This weather is for the birds

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Conversations with an insurance agent

One of the things on my to-do list is to get renter's insurance. I called Progressive on Thursday and asked them to transfer me to the company they work with to provide other types of insurance. Here's how it went:
Me: I am calling to get renter's insurance on the home we'll be moving into May 1st.
Agent Man: Can I have your first and last blah..blah...blah...
Agent Man: Will there be any firearm's on the property?
Me: Do BB guns count? (remember those pesky woodpeckers?)
Agent Man: Um no, but I do need to disclose that we'll be doing a claim check though.
Me: A what?
Agent Man: We'll do a search to see if you've filed any claims in the last five years.
Me: Hey Brian! What year did that guy die in our bedroom and the tree fall on our house?
Agent Man: What?
Brian: 2002
Me: Oh good. That's outside of the 5 year window.
Agent Man: Someone died in your house?
Me: Hmmm? Oh yeah. We rented out our house one summer and learned the week before we were suppose to move back in that the gentleman had died in our bedroom a week prior. "Thankfully" we weren't the ones to find the body, but by the time the man's friends found him three days after he died in the middle of a heat wave, our hardwood floor was ruined and need to be refinished. The man's family came in, cleaned out his personal items (fine - wish they would have cleaned the house too), took some of our furniture (not fine - took me forever to track it down), and put what they couldn't fit in their truck out on the curb. (That's a whole other post.)
Within two weeks our neighbor's 100 year old elm tree fell on our house so we had to drop our home owner's claim on our stolen furniture to avoid losing our home owner's insurance completely.
Agent Man: Wow. That was a run of bad luck!
Me: You could say that.
Agent Man: Just a few more questions and I'll be able to get you a quote. Will there be any business conducted on the property?
Me: No. (Sadly I will not be able to do (paid) photo shoots in our new home because of the contract we signed. I'm hoping the grounds are not off limits and I'll still shoot on location.)
Agent Man: Will there be service people working on the property?
Me: I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you're asking.
Agent Man: Will there be a nanny or a housekeeper?
Me: I wish!

That was actually kinda fun to check that chore off my list. Who would have thought!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

another one bites the dust

I was up to my elbows in Boston Brick in Sam's new room when Brian called to say that he has succumbed to the sickness that is working its way through our home. I hurried to get at least some Cup of Cocoa on the walls in Julia's room before calling it a day. Wish me luck as I try to put some Pumpkin Butter in the library with two kids in tow tomorrow. I think I'm going to need it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Making up for lost time

Winter -
2 bouts with the stomach flu
a couple colds per person

Spring -
4 trips to the doctor in the same week
1 case of croup
1 case of strep throat
1 case of Fifths Disease

Maybe I'm not in such a hurry to get to Summer after all.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cleanup in aisle seven

We have jammie day around here at least once a week. It's tradition. It's easy. It's warm and cozy. This week it also proved to be embarrassing. Sam had been a little "off" Tuesday afternoon but it wasn't until bedtime that he spiked a fever of 102.9. That's when I started wondering if the multiple trips to the bathroom meant he had a bladder infection. Brian takes the car on Wednesdays so if I was going to have this checked out I had to do it that night. So off to UrgentCare we we went. We got in within 15 minutes and 15 minutes later learned that he had strep. Didn't see that one coming.
The nearest pharmacy closed in 10 minutes so I hustled my tired and feverish boy off to get some amoxacilian - in his jammies and not just any jammies....but green jammies...covered in.....pink flowers. It seemed wasteful to not use hand-me-down pajamas that were the right size just because they were meant for girls. Nobody was looking at them anyway when he started puking all over me while we waited for our prescription to be filled.

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

movin' on up


"This is the biggest room I've ever seen!"Sam said as he explored the 5 bedroom house we will call home in only 6 short weeks.

It will be more than a home though. We are going to be caretakers of a 200+ acre park in exchange for most of our housing expenses. The financial benefits are incredible, but it's the amenities that sold us on the place. The job requires that we be on the property most of the time in case we are called upon by a park visitor so it's really nice to have so many things to do our our front door. It all seems surreal right now and very overwhelming. I have two garage sales to prepare for, a move to coordinate, a second car to purchase, a van to repair, a house to pack up, another to unpack, and some painting and floor refinishing to tackle. I love a challenge!!!

As promised, here are some photos of the house:
You'll want to click on the collages to get a closer look.

Top left: Main door is to the left of the dishwasher
Top right: set of steps are to the left of the refrigerator
Bottom left: The stove top in the island makes me a tad nervous. Has anyone ever seen a cover for those things?
Bottom right: to the right of the frig is the laundry room. Julia is attempting to open the door to the breeze-way.

1st photo: Already I'm rethinking the room assignments. You'd think with 5 bedrooms it wouldn't be so difficult, but I'm trying to keep in mind noise levels, proximity to bathroom, amount of room needed to position furniture between radiators, closets, and windows.
2nd photo: I think we're going to need to start using the baby gates again with two sets of steps. 3rd photo: The kids had a blast running around from room to room. They checked out every nook and cranny. The hundreds of carpet nails along the edge of the upstairs rooms and hallway made it difficult to focus on getting good pictures.




TL: This window let in lots of light on the beautiful stairwell. (I think I posted a picture of it last week.)
TR: For an old house, the closets are huge. This is the smallest one.
BL: I don't even know which room this is. sorry.
BR: This will probably be the playroom instead of Sam's room as I originally planned. I liked the idea of putting the kids on opposite ends of the house, but the more I think about the things that could go in the playroom, the more I think the 2nd biggest room should be the playroom.

TL: Not only do I have main floor laundry, but I have plenty of storage for cleaning products and things we stock up on at Sam's Club.
TR: This is one of the four entrances into the house. On the left is a huge set of cabinets that we'll store camping things and our large collection of games. The picture doesn't show it, but this breeze-way is big enough to hold our small chest freezer too. No more running down to the basement!
BL: what can I say except that I love that there is tons of storage in this kitchen.
BR: See that little space off to the left between the living room and yet another "front" door?
That space is just the right size for my changing table to stay hidden out of the way. There are shelves tucked in the back too. Each room in the house has a door except into the laundry room. I can even shut the door to the upstairs from the kitchen if I want too. Won't that be nice for muffling sound? There are beautiful pocket doors and an antique mirror on the back of one of the regular doors.

TL: This is the view out the upstairs bathroom window. That road leads to the beach, tennis courts, baseball field, and one of the playgrounds. A cool safety feature that I really appreciate is that the windows can be opened from the top - meaning I don't have to worry about the kids pushing the screens out or stifling heat in the summer.
TR: Not the double sink we are used to at our current house, but still ample storage and counter space for us.
BL: Speaking of storage, this linen closet is right outside the bathroom. Love it!

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the mini tour

Here's my attempt at showing a bit more of the layout of the home.
The cabinet on the left is the cabinet to the right of the laundry room entrance (follow that?). You are seeing a glimpse of my favorite room in the entire house. I'm not kidding. I've been longing for a second bathroom for years. I was almost convinced we should move to a house that didn't have a working kitchen just so we could have a second bathroom.













If you were standing at the kitchen sink and then turned to your left and walked down the hall, you'd enter this huge dining room
From there you go through to the library. Turn left and go into that entryway I talked about in the photo about the changing table. The stairs are right in front of you. Go up the stairs and turn right. The next picture is what you'll see, that is, if you aren't lost.











The room you can't see on left edge of the photo will be the playroom. The next door on the left is the master bedroom. Across the hall from that is Sam's room. On the other side of the linen closet is the bathroom and then there's the stairs down to the kitchen. Across from the steps is Julia's room. Way back at the end of the hall where I took this photo from is my office. It overlooks the park entrance which will be handy for keeping an eye out for visitors.

The entire upstairs will be recarpeted before we move in. I even got to offer my opinion on the carpet color!










Remember that picture of Julia in the laundry room? This is the door she had her hand on. The bottom right of this photo is the basement. If you look closely on the left you can see the doorknob of the door into the garage.


Hopefully you aren't dizzy from all the twist and turns of this little mini tour. We feel so blessed to have been selected for this job. Thank you to everyone who's been praying for us!!!

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Do you know what time it is?

Written as a mom, not a book consultant. Just wanted to make that clear.
I purchased flashcards designed to teach kids how to tell time from Usborne three weeks ago but didn't pull them out until last week. We went through them about 5 times and are also talking about the concept of time whenever we see a clock. To be honest, I had been nervous about how I was going to teach Sam to tell time. The task seemed daunting. Not anymore. I'm already seeing results from using the fun flashcards. This morning I asked Sam what time it was and after careful thought he slowly said, "It's quarter after nine!" That's my boy!

Monday, March 24, 2008

friends house with benefits

Pictures of the house are in the works. Until I can get them all sorted I'll share some that I took of the property the house sits on.










To the left of this second playground is the tennis courts and behind where I'm taking the picture from is the beach, fishing pier, hiking trail, and disc golf.











Here's the baseball field. I can't wait to see what it looks like without snow!









It might sound silly, but I'm pretty darn excited about having a two car garage.
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......plans to give you a future and a hope.

All these months of uncertainty have finally come to end. I never imagined we'd be living in a home with such unique features such as this built-in hutch. There are many other unique features of our new living situation. Stay tuned....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hop-hop Hunting




We've been practicing finding eggs all week so it was a surprise this morning for the kids to hear the rattle of cheddar bunnies in the plastic eggs.

You wouldn't know it by the smile on Sam's face, but he didn't sleep well last night and ended up in bed with me at 10:30. Then morning came very early with our church's sunrise service starting at 6:45. We've made it a tradition to go to the sunrise service and attend the breakfast that follows. It's important to us to start this day off focused on Jesus and the sacrifice He made for all of us.

The following is the text from one of my favorite books to read this time of year and our take on the Easter bunny and the commercial side of this Holy Day:

"The little bunny hops, hops, hops. Is this what Easter means?
Is it about the Easter eggs
All filled with Jellybeans?
Is Easter about hunting eggs?
I do that every year.
Does it mean eating chocolate stuff?
I ate my bunny's ear.
Is it about the baby chicks?
They're fuzzy, and their fun!
I saw some Easter chicks for sale.
I really wanted one.
Is it about the Easter toys?
They're really fun, I think.
One time a bunny came to me.
His little nose was pink.
Is it about my brand-new dress?
And my new Easter hat?
Does it mean wearing shiny shoes?
I really do love that!
Is it about a big parade
With lots of pretty floats?
Is it about the Easter choir?
They sing the highest notes!
NO! That's not what Easter means.
Easter means much more than that.
It's all about God's son.
See, God sent Jesus down to earth
To die for everyone.
He had to die upon a tree to save us from our sin.
But he was only dead three days,
And then he rose again.

Now, that's what Easter really means!

It's quite a special day.

Jesus our Savior rose again.

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Today, he sits right next to God

In Heaven up above.

He wants to live inside you too

And fill you up with love!

Okay, now I get it.

The Easter Bunny is okay,
And Easter eggs are fun.

But Easter's not about that stuff...

It's all about God's son."



After snacking on a few crackers and reading their new books they found with their Easter baskets, we all took a nice long nap before spending the afternoon at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Easter Finery

Like Mck Mama, this post is mostly about capturing what the kids looked like this year at Easter. Of course our fondest memories will be of what they did, not what clothes they had on. (I can't help but be a tad proud of the fact that I dressed both the kids for only 20 bucks with some good finds from the consignment shop.)

There were kissing cousins...


stealing a moment for a family photo in between running and giggling with cousins...


...the chance to meet a third cousin as in Brian's second cousin's, daughter. Welcome Abby! You are a beauty!


and then it was time to release them from their Easter finery and let them get some fresh air...
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thumbs up!

A snowy Easter can be fun after all!


Hope you all had a hoppy Easter!
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Have a good morning!

It's back to school season and whether your kids start before or after Labor Day new routines are on every mom's mind these days. T...