Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Under Contract in Cookeville!

When we didn't get the house that we had made an offer on we were disappointed. But then I remembered that we were disappointed about the job in Greensboro and God had something even better planned for us (Cookeville). So I called our realtor and scheduled to look at some more houses yesterday. It was the last day that my mother-in-law would be here to watch the kids so I needed to find something unless I wanted to take 2x as long and drag the kids with me.

We looked at several houses that were nice, but I found an older home in a really nice neighborhood. It was built in the 60s and had only had one owner. It has approx 1 acre of fenced in back yard with a shop building for Jon's Model A and workshop area. The house is 3 bedroom 2 bath w/ approx 2000 sq ft. It needs quite a bit of cosmetic work, but it was priced to sell so we made an offer that if accepted would allow us to pay cash for the home.

They accepted this morning and we are under contract. We are super excited. It isn't the prettiest home right now, but I've seen a ton of homes over the past week and have lots of ideas to incorporate into our home. And since we won't have a mortgage we will be able to start work immediately.

Front view of home.
View of back yard from the patio.
I'll take more pictures when we return from Canada.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

While we wait!

My kids have been adjusting very well to the changes we've had lately. They have found a ton of ways to entertain themselves.

This is Dominic's guitar. He's getting pretty good. =)
Dominic has been enjoying emailing all of his friends. He will dictate to me what to say and then type underneath in his "own words". He will place his hands on the keys and try to type just like me.
 One of the perks of living in a hotel is the elevator - at least for Dominic. He has learned to operate the elevator and will ride up all by himself while we ride the other one. He's quite proud of himself.
Watching the helicopter take off next door.
Caitlin's palate is much larger than Dominic's. Dominic will eat the same thing every time we go to Taco Bell (or any other restaurant). But Caitlin seems to want different things. Since she loves vegies we ordered some sides and she had a little salad. She was happy and ate the whole thing. Dominic had his bean burrito that he has every time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Starting again!

The strangest thing happened with the home that we had made an offer on. Jon and I had really prayed that if it was God's will we would get the house. This morning our realtor called and said that they had taken away part of the acreage and came down on the price $1000. They also wanted to close 2 weeks later (leaving us in this hotel for about 7 weeks). Turns out they didn't want to negotiate and had turned down another offer that was $2000 less than list price. In this market that is crazy! Their realtor wasn't happy with them either.
So. . .we are back to square one. But I'm sure that we will find the most amazing house and be very glad that we didn't get this one. Only problem is my mother-in-law is leaving tomorrow evening so I only have one more day of child free looking. Maybe I'll find something tomorrow. =)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Offer on House

My dad came up today to check out the house that we liked. After he gave his stamp of approval we went to the realtor office and made an offer. I'm sure they will counter, but it gets the process started. We are excited about this house and I have been mentally decorating it. Not a good thing to do, I know. =)
If we get a contract I'll post some pictures. In the mean time please pray!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Our temporary home

Our hotel is a pet hotel. Since we have a cat they put us up in a place that accepts pets. When you walk into the lobby it smells like a vets office. Not the best smell, but one I can live with to prevent poor Tolkien from being alone and stressed in a kennel.
But the main problem with the hotel is the moisture. Apparently the hotel was built on a swamp. So there is water dripping from the air vents and the carpet is moist. I put the dirty clothes on the floor and a few pieces molded. A paper brought into the room will soon become limp. Add this to the small spaces and us eating out for every meal and we are very ready to be in our own home.

My mother-in-law has been watching the kids in the afternoon during their quiet time while I look at houses. Because of my extensive internet searching, I had narrowed down the list of homes to look at. So I only had twelve homes to look at over two afternoons. The first day I found a home that I really liked. It was one that I didn't think I would care for and almost took off the list, but figured it wouldn't hurt to look at it. I walked in the door and felt at home. I had Jon come back that evening and he liked it as well.

So tomorrow my dad comes over to give us his professional opinion and if they (Jon and Daddy) can't find anything wrong with the home we will be making an offer. I'm super excited!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Safe and Sound

We are finally here in Cookeville, TN. We (my mother-in-law, the kids and I) drove over on Wednesday. The kids were really good. The battery was dead on Dominic's dvd player. He was so disappointed, but handled it very well.
The only problem that we had the whole way there was with our phones. For some reason no one could call us. I did wonder why Jon hadn't called to check on our progress through out the day. Turns out he (along with several other people) had been trying all day to get a hold of us.

The past two afternoons I have spent with the realtor. She has shown me some beautiful homes. But I walked in the door of one and fell in love. It wasn't the one that I was expecting to like the most. It's not the typical style that Jon and I would have gone for, but the home is gorgeous inside and it feels like home.
I called my dad and he's coming over on Sunday to check out the house and give us his professional opinion.

We are staying in a decent hotel, but would really like to be in our own home so we are praying that this house is the one that God wants us to have and we can proceed.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Forward Facing Carseat

The law in NC states that a child must be 1 yr old AND 20 lbs before facing the car seat forward. Poor little Caitlin is 19 months and 19 lbs. But since Jon was taking the Accord so he could haul the motorcycle and kitty I didn't have a choice. Our little Acura doesn't accommodate rear-facing car seats. So Caitlin had her 1st time (we put her forward 1x before when we tinted the windows in the Accord, but it was only for a short ride.) facing forward. As you can tell from the pictures, she loved it.
It's a little difficult getting the kids into the back with a 2-door car, but it's only until we get to TN and then we can put the car seats back. I'm tempted to put her car seat in rear facing again. It's safer and since she can see Dominic she hasn't really minded so far. We'll see what happens. Also if you look closely you can see the top of Dominic's head is almost over the top of his car seat. So he's almost ready for a booster. He's growing up so fast. =(

Moving Out

I think the stress of the move is getting to the kids. At least Dominic seems to be affected by it. Today he mentioned several times that he didn't want to leave our home, that he was going to miss our home so much. In the very next breath he's starting to cry because he can't wait until we get to TN so he can see Daddy. Poor little kid is worn out and confused. I haven't seen him cry this much. Caitlin seems blissfully unaware of what is happening, but is so sensitive that if Dominic is crying she'll cry too even if she has no clue why.

Jon left on Sunday so he could start his new job today (Monday). He was pretty loaded down with stuff, but said he didn't have any trouble getting there. Kitty and a plant made the trip with Jon to TN. I will be bringing the kids and the other plant that we decided to keep.
The packers came today. They did an amazing job and actually got some things loaded on the truck already. So I'm hoping that they will be finished tomorrow before I go to pick up my mother-in-law from the airport in the afternoon.
My temporary barricade for the stairs. They packed my gate.
I've had some interesting moments because I forgot things. Today I forgot to get the hair dryer before it was packed and that is what I had intended to blow up my air mattresses for tomorrow night with. But I'm hoping my neighbor has one I can borrow.
Also I had intended to keep out some paper/plastic eating items in case we wanted something here at the house. Somehow I forgot again. So when I went to get the ice cream out of the freezer (I'm trying to eat as much as I can before we leave and I give the leftovers to my neighbor) I realized that I didn't have anything to eat it with. I found a bowl and a slotted serving spoon that the movers forgot to pack. It was difficult, but doable. =)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Only 5 more days

Only 5 more days until I'm in TN. The movers came today and loaded up the Model A. I was glad that Jon was here for that. Tomorrow we go to church and say our final goodbyes. We are having lunch and supper with more friends who want a last goodbye. And I've got to tell you - I'm really glad. We don't really have any food in our house. =)
The kids seem to be taking all of this in stride. Dominic is very aware of what is going on. He mentions being excited about moving to TN and living in a new place. He has a few requests for our new home. He wants a dog, a porch swing and his own room with bunk beds. All things that we can get him thankfully.
Jon leaves on Sunday morning and then the kids and I will wait until the house is packed and loaded on the truck before heading out ourselves. I am a bit nervous about that. And I think the only reason is because of all of the horrific stories that people feel called upon to tell us. Mostly stories of never seeing our things again. Sigh! Such loving friends. =)
But on a good note, we are really excited about our new adventure. God's hand is in this move and we can't help but be excited knowing that He wants us in Cookeville.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mrs. Brickle

We were eating cereal this morning and Dominic pointed to my bowl and said,
"I had that kind of cereal when Mrs. Brickle was here."
Me: "Who is Mrs. Brickle?"
"She came to our house."
"What does she look like?"
"She's the same color as us and has tan hair shorter than yours to her shoulders."

That didn't help me very much so I kept asking questions. Maybe you can help me figure out who this lady is.

"She is shorter than you when you are both standing up. She came to our house before a long time ago when it wasn't my birthday and she didn't bring any kids or husband with her."
"Did Daddy and I meet her?"
"Daddy wasn't here, but you were."
"Mom, don't you remember? She wore blue shorts and a pink shirt and came upstairs and walked around talking to you. She has rectangle shoes that look like boots only they have lines on the bottom"
"Dominic, is this lady real?"
"Dominic, tell me more about this lady."
"That's it, I'm done."

Still haven't figured out who Mrs. Brickle is, so if anyone has any clues I'd appreciate it. =) Apparently I've met her and in my old age have forgotten. Very sorry, Mrs. Brickle!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fun Times

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with toys. My kids have been missing most of their toys for a week now since we moved them to the garage to clear out space.

Dominic pulled his air mattress cover out and was pulling Caitlin around on it. She loved it even when she fell off.
Caitlin takes forever to eat. Most of the time we have finished eating and she's still working on her meal. So often if we are in a hurry to get somewhere we will leave her sitting there and finish getting ready for the day. I came back to check on her and found her sitting on the table with her hand in the cereal box. She jumped and gave me a guilty grin. Guess I forgot to buckle her into her seat.

Squirrels & Cute Kids

We are trying to do all of these things for the "last time". So a couple of days ago we went to the aquarium with Jon one more time. I think we could go every day and the kids would have fun. 
They have a new section up that encourages the kids to feel everything. Caitlin liked this part the best.
After we were finished we sat at the tables outside and had our lunch. This little squirrel came right up to us and I threw it a cracker. I know I'm not supposed to, but he came so close I was afraid he was going to jump in Caitlin's lap. 
He took the cracker and ran off. A few minutes later he was back again and wouldn't leave. He just ate the food right there. The kids loved him.

Mine! All Mine!

Caitlin has shown no interest in talking until this last week or so. Then she started trying to imitate everything we said. She's pretty good at sign language so it hasn't really been an issue, but we were wondering if she'd ever be interested in communicating with us.
This past week she's gotten pretty good at saying a few words. She's also something of a diva. Today when I was cleaning her up from breakfast I grabbed her sippy cup and gave it a swipe with the cloth. Caitlin pointed to the cup and then herself and said very clearly "Mine!"
On one hand I'm so proud of her. On the other I'm a bit scared for the future if that is one of her first clearly spoken words. =)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Under Contract

After only seven days on the market we are officially under contract. We are set to close in August if everything goes as planned. God is so awesome! Now we can focus on finding another place that we can love as much as we loved this one.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Marriage plans

Dominic thinks this girl at church is beautiful. Several times he's told us how beautiful she is and how much he likes her.

Yesterday we were discussing marriage. He wanted to know if he could marry Caitlin since they already slept in the same room. Apparently this is the requirement for marriage to him. =) I told him no, he would have to pick someone else.

"Mom, how old is Sierra?"
"I'm not sure, I think she's 9 yrs old."
"Okay, when I'm 10 then I'll marry her, because then I'll be older than her."

After I got done laughing I told him that you didn't have to be older than a girl to marry her.
"Well I'm still going to wait because I want to be older than 3 when I get married."
Thank goodness for that! =)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Waiting Game

I feel like we are now in a holding pattern. The packers and movers are scheduled. The house has been decluttered and cleaned for the realtor. The pictures have been removed from the walls and nail holes filled, the rugs cleaned and rolled up.
So now we wait. For two more weeks I will be trying to keep the house clean - not an easy task with my two kids - and trying to be patient while I wait for the days to go by.
We've been spending a lot of time with friends that we won't be able to see as often once we move. So that is nice.
We were also able to see Jon's cousin Melinda and her daughter Amanda this past weekend. They were visiting family and Melinda was sweet enough to drive an hour one way with a baby just to spend some time with us. 
Amanda is a little doll.
Caitlin liked Amanda, but wasn't sure what to do with her.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The rest of our 4th

We had a really great day on the 4th. We had been invited to a friend's BBQ. So after our flight we headed over there. They had a great back yard for kids. Dominic's friend Anna was there and they had so much fun in the water. He will miss her so much when we both leave for different places. (They are moving up north.) They were soaked and tired when we left.
After quiet time we stopped at Taco Bell for our supper and headed down town for the airshow. It wasn't as major as the one on Cherry Point, but the kids really enjoyed it.
We ended up with a perfect spot for watching the airshow and the fireworks. It had a nice rocking chair for me =) and plenty of space for the kids to walk around while we waited between shows.
We brought the headsets for the kids in case the fireworks were too loud. Dominic enjoyed wearing them for about 5 minutes and then took them off. It was 2 hours after Caitlin's bedtime by the time the fireworks started so she just laid there in my lap and watched. Every once in a while she'd ooh and aah and clap.
I won't bore you with a ton of firework pictures, but they had several of these smiley face fireworks and Jon captured this one perfectly. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Flying high!

The weather has been beautiful so we had planned to go flying this morning. The kids and I hadn't gone up in the airplane since Jon got his pilot's license. Jon and I were very curious how the kids would handle it.

Getting ready to leave.
Waiting on Jon to do his pre-flight stuff. 
Dominic thought his red "head phones" were the coolest. 
Caitlin wasn't quite so sure. She's so small that they don't fit very well yet. In this picture, Dominic had just pinched her cheeks. And it made her mad. =)
They both did very well. I think the voices in the headsets were fascinating. Dominic kept talking and then saying "Over".
Took some pictures of Jon and I even though we don't have pretty colors on our headsets. =)
New Bern is beautiful with all of the lakes and rivers going through it.
We headed over to our house to see if we could get some pictures. Thought it might be cool to have some air shots for the realtor. Doubt she'll use them, but we'll try.