Thursday, December 31, 2009

House Update: December 30, 2009

It is Wednesday night and we are back at the house to finish up the kitchen floor. When Myron pulled the stove out, we found what we believe is the original floor pattern and cabinet color. All the colors made sense once we saw it all together like this.

Myron went straight to scraping. This little bit was much tougher to get up than the previous night's work. All the spots are where the wood either peeled up or Myron gouged up the floor with the scraper. He was trying to be careful but he had to use a bit of force to get underneath a flooring that has been down for 50 years. But we got it done.

Now, on to the carpet in the rest of the house. We should be able to get that done over the long weekend ... oh, after we go to the house in NC and clean the fish tank out. We have reason to believe the fish died during the 2009 snow storm that went through the weekend before Christmas. We found out our house was without power for at least 4 days. Myron does not believe the fish could have survived such cold temperatures without heat. It will be very sad if they did not make it.

House Update: December 29, 2009

On Monday night, we went to Lowe's to try to find a tool that would cut through the final layer of flooring faster than a hammer and crowbar. Myron went straight to the power tools (Aaaarrrhhh). I asked someone for help and he showed me the floor scraper. So we left with the least expensive tool and thought "well, we will try it. If it doesn't work, we will go back for the power tool."
It is Tuesday night and we went over to the house to do a little work. We took the wii with us so the girls would be entertained. Who would have thought it could entertain them for 2 hours. Myron started in with the floor scraper. The pictures below show what we were able to accomplish in about 2 hours verses the very small section we had finished prior to Christmas with the hammer and crowbar. The scraper was much, much faster. Although, it did scar up the floor more.

Just a little bit more to do.

This is what the floor looks like where the clothes washer sat. It was a different flooring and was glued down instead of tarred.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Whirlwind Christmas Tour

Myron and I left Wednesday after lunch and headed to Opelika, AL. We showed up much earlier than we had planned and was able to have dinner with my family before the girls went to bed.

We left early Thursday morning to Myron's family. We arrived there a little after lunch. We were able to unload our car and visit with Grandma for a few minutes before we headed over to Grandpa Lonnie and Becky's house for lunch. Becky cooked up a delicious pot of lasagna.

We then headed back to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Christmas Eve dinner with the other side of the family.

Santa came that night. The girls were lucky he was able to find them all the way in Elberta, AL.
Santa brought Sarah a telescope and Bethany a sewing machine. He also brought them the Wii and Polly Pocket Roller Coaster.

House Update Tuesday, Dec. 22nd

Tuesday evening, we finished pulling ALL the plywood up and exposing the 2nd layer of linoleum.

Once, the plywood was up the swinging door actually would swing through instead of being stuck open in the dining room.

House Update for Monday, Dec. 21st

I know, I know ... a whole week late. On Monday, we were still not feeling very well so we tried to keep our renovation to a minimum. But I just HAD to know what the hardwood looked like under all that wetness. Unfortunately, the bottom layer is not coming up as easily as the plywood. It just chips away. It is going to take FOREVER to chip all that flooring away. This was as far as we could get in a little over an hour.

Here is the hardwood floor. You can see it did get wet but it isn't soft.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Proud Homeowners

It is official. We are the proud owners of this 1949/50 house.

Front Porch
Fireplace in Living Room.
Living Room

Looking into the Dining Room from the Living Room.
Swinging door that leads from the Dining Room to the Kitchen.
Unfortunately, it doesn't swing because of the layers of flooring in the kitchen.

Looking down the hallway from the Living Room.

Telephone "booth"

The Red Room. The appraiser said that even though this room has a closet, it is too small to be a bedroom. If we can get a bed in here, it will be Sarah's room.

The Red Room closet and storage area

The Blue Room. This is the room Bethany wants ... why you ask? ... because it is BLUE! Little does she know that the whole house is going to be painted one color.

The Blue Room closet and storage area

The Master Bedroom. The bathroom is off to the left.

The Master closet and storage area.

The Master Bathroom. Does it say 1950 to you?

This is where the clothes dryer goes.

Shower in the Master Bathroom.

Hallway Bathroom. There are NO outlets in this bathroom. Wonder why that is?

Hallway Bathroom

Looking into the kitchen from the Dining Room. The cabinets are yellow. Even the hinges are painted. The back splash is green laminate ... u-g-ly.

Kitchen sink. The clothes washer goes to the right of the sink. Remember, I mentioned that in a previous post.

As you can tell, there are LOTS of cabinets in this small kitchen. But did you see a dishwasher? I think I missed that.
My parents came up this past weekend to see the girls perform in a Christmas Violin and Piano Recital. My Mom joked on Facebook about taking the girls back with her when she left. Little did she know that we would agree. Myron and I took advantage of the time and spent a few hours on Sunday cleaning up and pulling up carpet. Here are some things we found. We knew there was hardwood floors underneath the carpet; we just didn't know the condition of them.

Our first view of the floor in the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room.

A view of the Dining Room after the wallpaper was peeled off and the carpet removed. We then moved onto the kitchen. Here is what we found:

That black spot is ... HARDWOOD FLOORS!!! Yippee!!! We were very excited to find that. But we weren't excited to find this....

The CULPRIT ... a leaky refrigerator water valve.
Oh the joys of home renovations. Although it is a little exciting ripping out and tearing up, it is NO fun finding little problems like these.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sigh of Relief

We hired a painter two weeks ago tomorrow. He started on the house that Friday, the 4th. He worked pretty much every day that wasn't raining. Only I don't think he put in a full day. Hiring a painter for a house you don't live in has proved to be very difficult. The Sellers were calling my realtor, Felicia, complaining that he wasn't working fast enough and worried things were not going to work out. Then she would call me and get me ALL worked up. I finally went by the house to check on progress on the following Friday. What I found was that he only had two more windows to do on the house and then he could move to the garage. I didn't see the problem. Oh then I found out the problem ... Old Man (Seller) wanted the final inspection (by the appraiser) done before the packers came in on Wednesday, the 16th which meant he had to come on Tuesday. So I called Felicia and asked her to schedule the inspection as late as she could on Tuesday afternoon. When she spoke with him, he said the one thing he would be looking for was the paint chips. He said if he found any paint chips on the ground, he would deny it. The pressure was on. I informed the painter of this on Monday. He said he would stop what he was doing and get them up then. I knew I was going to have to go by there on Tuesday to make sure they were all picked up.

Three of my friends came down from Asheville on Tuesday to spend a few hours with me. I was so grateful for the distraction. I so enjoy their company. We had one friend that wasn't able to come because she is going through chemo and her body is very weak right now. She was missed very much.

After they left, I headed over to the house to check on the paint situation. Sure enough, the painter had gotten most of them up but there were still a bunch visible. I set out to pick them up. The ground is very wet and I wasn't prepared to be digging in the dirt. I spent an hour frantically picking up as much of the chips as I could. I made two trips around the house. I finally just stopped and said "I can't do anymore. I have done all I can." Then I said, "God it is in your hands. Your will be done." I got up and walked away.

I was late picking the girls up that day. I grabbed them at school, went to Bi-Lo for a snack, then to violin lessons. They had their Christmas program at school that night so I ordered dinner from Papa John's. There was NO way I was going to have time to cook.

On our way back home from picking up the pizza, my cell phone rang. It was Felicia. I answered the phone, "Please give me good news. I need to hear good news right now." Sure enough, the appraiser had called and approved the house. We were a "GO" for closing on Friday. What a relief! I felt SO good. I couldn't wait to tell Myron. I felt like finally something was going our way for once. My understanding is that we went so late in the day that it was starting to get dark and he didn't have a flashlight ... DARN!!!

Friday at 2 p.m. we will be the proud owners of a 1949/50 house. By the way, I need to make a correction of a previous post. I was describing the house and mentioned that the dryer was in the kitchen and the washer was in the master bathroom. I stand corrected ... by the Hubby. The washer is in the kitchen and the dryer is in the bathroom. I just had the machines switched.

I have gone on long enough. I am so pooped right now. I really want to go to bed. My parents are scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I have a few things I need to get done before the girls get out of school and the parents arrive. But I do want to leave on a thankful note: What am I thankful for tonight? Good friends (old and new) and most importantly, a DEVOTED God. Although I may not feel is presence every moment of every day and I have to remind myself that He is there, HE IS THERE!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I feel like all I ever do is get on here to complain. In fact, I think I have posted that same exact line before.

This house buying business is going to send me to the loony bin, and I believe I will happily go. We got the inspection and appraisal done last week. Everything came out okay but with a few areas of concern. Nothing that should keep us from moving forward. UNTIL..... the bank got a hold of the appraisal. One of the problems the house has is the paint is peeling on the exterior of the house and garage. Because it was built before 1978, there is a possibility of lead paint ... which isn't a problem unless you eat it. I think we are smart enough to not do that. BUT the bank wants it fixed before we can close because of the potential hazard. This is something we were going to fix ourselves once the house was officially ours ... you know, save on the labor. Now it has to be done immediately. Trying to get quotes on having the work done has not been too easy with it raining so hard today. The ones I have gotten are all over the place ... ranging from $550 to $4000.

I am trying to find peace in the midst of all this madness but am finding it very difficult. On top of the house situation, Bethany has to participate in a Science Fair at school. We missed one of the deadlines today due to procrastination on my party really. I don't want to do it ... I mean, honestly, I do NOT want to help her but I know she can't do it by herself. Then there is still Christmas to be bought. Plus, homework and studying for tests with the girls. I am feeling very overwhelmed. I know God says He will not give us more than we can bear. I think He is testing my limits.

The girls are doing very well in school with A's and B's. But it is very discouraging when Bethany brings home a 72 on a math test ... which is a D NOT a C. She still has an A in math but it is barely hanging on. So she has lost computer and TV AND has to do extra work in the afternoon. She also had a comprehension test last week that she made a 56 on AND the story was on the first page. There is no reason she couldn't have flipped back to the story to check her answers. So she is having to do extra work in comprehension also.

Well, Myron is finally home tonight. I am going to bed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

So I spent ALL day yesterday and most of this morning cooking and preparing for our Thanksgiving feast. I think it took us 15 minutes to eat. Luckily we had plenty of leftovers for tonight. Sometimes it seems like such a waste to do all that cooking for such a short time of eating. I have to say that everything turned out very yummy. Even my turkey was very moist.

After cleaning up, we went for a stroll around the apartment complex. It was such a beautiful day. I watched the weather today and saw that Madison County, NC is under a Winter Weather Advisory. They could get up to 2 inches of snow tonight. That is where our house is in NC. We are heading up there tomorrow. Hopefully we can get up the driveway. I would hate to have to carry all the dirty clothes I have to wash up the driveway.

We are meeting the house inspector tomorrow at the Little FSBO House. Myron will get to see what is or isn't wrong with the house. Hopefully we will hear about the appraisal also tomorrow morning. We are very anxious to know how that went on Tuesday. The pest inspection was done on Wednesday and everything was clear. A little good news in all this mess.

Today is a day to remind ourselves of all the wonderful people and things in our lives. I would like to list a few of them out for you:
1. God. I am so grateful that He sent His only Son to die for me. He is with me through all the good and bad times.
2. Myron. What a wonderful, supportive husband I have. I am very grateful for him.
3. Bethany and Sarah. Although I complain about them, I truly love them with all my heart.
4. Pop and Nana. I love my parents very much and am grateful to still have them in my life.
5. Family. I can't name everyone. I have a wonderful extended family.
6. Friends. I have some great friends who have been with me for a long time and some a short time. I could not survive without my friends.
7. Roof and food. I am very thankful to have a roof over my head and food on the table.

Okay, I could go on but seven is my favorite number so I will leave it there.

I hope and pray everyone has had a thankful and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another House Update

My goodness... I didn't realize I haven't updated since we walked from the other house. Here it goes:
We put an offer on the For Sale by Owner that Myron felt all warm and fuzzy about. The very one I didn't get the warm and fuzzy feelings about. But you know what .... I am tired of looking. Every house I find that I like and feel I can live in, Myron finds something wrong with it and vice versa. I am NOT at fault in that area. I found lots of faults with FSBO.

Here is the description:
It is a 50 year old, 1250 sq ft house with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths with a fenced in backyard. It sits on two lots which totals about 1/2 an acre. There are pecan trees and a walnut tree. There is also a two story detached building that is a one car garage, workshop and storage area. It is probably bigger than the house. We do know there are hardwood floors under the carpet. Here is the drawback and they are drawbacks for me NOT Myron ... 1. there is NO dishwasher (well, except Myron) 2. there is a place for a dishwasher but the clothes dryer currently occupies that space 3. there is a place for the clothes washer ... want to guess where it is? NOT beside the dryer like you would think ... that would be the back door on one side and the kitchen sink on the other. The washer is (drum roll please) .......... down the hall, around the corner, through the Master bedroom into the master bathroom behind the door. Did you get that? That is right Folks the washer is in the Master bathroom and the dryer is in the kitchen. LMBO!!!! Myron just keeps telling me that we will laugh so hard about this one day. I just look at him and say "Honey, I am laughing NOW!"

I am being all down about this house. But really I am not. I will just be so excited to get out of this apartment. I am starting to feel some love for this little house and it's location. It is on the same street as the girls' school. It is still about a 10 minutes drive which works for me. And Myron is a little closer to I-85 so his travel time should come down a little.

The people who currently own the house is an older couple. They are trying to move to Oklahoma to be closer to their family.

Scheduling the inspections and appraisal has been a struggle here lately. Myron wants the appraisal done before any inspections. He would rather walk if it doesn't appraise than to be out the appraisal and the inspection. Of course, if something comes up on the inspection we don't like then we still have the option to walk and will still be out both. I guess he is just afraid it will not appraise at the selling price. I don't think we will have that problem. I am more worried about the inspection showing something we will NOT want to fix. And the couple want us to get the inspection done before Thanksgiving because they have a trip planned to OK to find a house. If the house doesn't pass inspection, then they have no need to go to OK since we walk away from the deal. CRAZY CRAZY ... I tell ya! I am just about done.

Plus, on top of all that chaos, I am trying to get my Christmas shopping done. Which brings me to a whole other topic of which I do not feel like going into right now.

I will try to post pictures once the sale has been finalized which will be on December 18th.

I hope everyone is having thankful thoughts as we approach Thanksgiving next week. I'm still trying to find some. If you could share some of yours, I would most appreciate it. ;)

Friday, November 6, 2009

House Update

We got the counter offer yesterday from the Seller's. They upped the price to accomodate for the closing costs we had asked for. This puts us over what we feel comfortable paying at closing and on a monthly basis. So we are walking away from this deal. We found three more houses last night to look at. Hopefully, we can see those this weekend.

The joys of house buying.....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Thursday Thoughts

So, I got up this morning thinking ... "I don't think I will go to the fitness center this morning. I have already missed three days being home with Bethany. I am not going to be able to go on Friday because I have to be at the school most of the day. So, why go?" Then I put my newly washed jeans on and realize why I need to go to the fitness center. Granted, my jeans are NOT going to fit any different today because I went to the fitness center, but my attitude will be different. I will feel better for having gone. And I DID burn some calories.

Now, I am off to baking a pecan pie, from scratch, and pumpkin muffins, from scratch. I also have to make labels listing the ingredients for them and package them for the School's bake sale on Saturday.

There are more house updates but I am not in the mood to go into all those. I will say we put an offer on The Little House on Tuesday. They countered on Wednesday. We countered on Thursday. I have yet to hear the results. **Prayers to God and fingers crossed**.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Busy Weekend Ahead

We have lots of activities going on this weekend starting Friday. I hope to get lots of pictures posted next week. Friday the girls will be participating in the All Saints Day parade at school. All the kids have to dress up as a Saint. Bethany chose St. Rose of Lima and Sarah chose St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. I have been frantically trying to get their costumes together. I finally finished with everything last night ... Whoo hoo!!!! Luckily, I didn't have to buy too much. We already had some things at the house in NC that will work just fine.

Saturday, the girls have a Halloween Recital where they will be wearing their costumes and playing some scary tunes. Plus, we get to see the Children's Museum which should be very exciting. And of course, trick or treating that night.

Sunday, we are going to look at two possible houses. Please pray for us.

Crazy Hat Day

Last Friday was Crazy Hat Day at school. I guess it was a fundraiser for something ... I have no idea. All I know is that the girls had to pay $1 to wear a crazy hat for the day. They were judged by the Student Council and prizes were awarded. Unfortunately, neither of my girls won but here are their hats.




Wednesday, October 28, 2009

House Hunting Update

Well, the Little House fell through for now. A long story short: there was a contract on the house some time back. The Buyers applied for an FHA loan through an internet source. The FHA appraisal came back really low; therefore, the Buyers were not able to get the loan. That is on file now. So anyone who is wanting to finance with an FHA will have difficulty doing so. Anyway, from what we gather the Home Owner is the Realtor. She is not willing to budge much from the asking price.

So, we moved on. I spent Tuesday looking at 10 houses. What was I thinking? That was a lot for one day but well worth it. I have come up with another little house. I think I will name it The Little Blue House. Oh my ... is it blue. Can vinyl be painted? If not, we are going to have to do some major updating on the outside. It is blue vinyl siding with burgundy shutters. Definitely, the shutters have to go. This house is a little bigger than the other but the lot size is smaller. It has a fenced in backyard and a fireplace.

Myron and the girls are going to look at it on Sunday. Hopefully, things will work out better with this one.

None of the houses really "shined" for me. I still go back to the original Little House. That one I could really see myself in. But life goes on and so must I. Hopefully, the Blue House will grow on me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Up State Update

We have been here in South Carolina for 4 months. Our house in North Carolina finally started having some activity last week but came to a screeching halt. Our Real Estate agents hosted an Open House on October 11th where we had one couple come through. Then the following Friday, a showing was scheduled but eventually cancelled because they ran out of time. Then on Sunday, there was a showing. The feedback was that "the house was not their style". Well .... I can understand that. There have been plenty of houses here in the Up State that have "not been our style".

We are moving on. We have two more months on our lease here in the apartment. We have to turn in a written 60 days notice of when we are moving out. If we stay, our rent will jump up $200 ... FORGET that!!! So we have decided to find a smaller, less expensive house to purchase. That way when our house in NC does sell, we can use it as a rental if we want.

I think I have found the smaller, less expensive house. I am taking Myron and the girls to see it today. It sits on 1.1 acres and is close enough to everything. I will still only be 10 minutes from the school which I am all about. Plus, it puts Myron 4 minutes closer to work. This is all according to Mapquest. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Supposedly, new carpet was put in yesterday. We will know in a few hours. The tile in the kitchen and bathrooms will be replaced. For some reason, they used a light colored tile and a very dark brown grout .... UGLY!!! And of course, PAINT!!! There has got to be color on the walls. Oh and did I mention there is a little front porch? Just big enough for a little swing. I think I will start calling it the Little House.

It's funny .... after we moved to NC and bought a 2000 square foot house then finished the basement to add another 500 square feet, we talked about how nice it was to have such a small house in FL and how we missed it. Well ... welcome back!!! Our house in FL had 1450 square feet ... The Little House has less than 1400 square feet. Here is the listing. Hopefully it will work.

Sarah is doing very well socially in her class. The teacher informed me the other day that she has made lots of friends. Academically, she is suffering a little but only Reading and Math. Her report card sported 5 As, 1 B and 1 C (Math). So she has been banned from TV and computer after school. She now has to do extra Math work to help reinforce whatever they are doing. Right now, she is working on counting money. It's weird ... one day she gets and another day she doesn't. I have found a few websites that have interactive games for her to play. But that is the only way she can get on the computer.

Bethany got all As. She was close to having 1 B but was able to pull it up at the last minute.

Our school has a website where we can go on and see their grades on a daily basis. Plus it automatically averages them so we can always see where they are academically.

Bethany is suffering socially. She just has not connected with anyone in her class YET!!! I am going to have to make that a priority here pretty soon. She still talks a lot about Asheville and all her friends there ... well Mason anyway.

Next week is All Saints WEEK!!! Oh My!!! And on Friday, every student has to dress up as a Saint. I hate I have put off dealing with this. Now I am under pressure to get TWO costumes ready before Thursday night. And this week is a FULL week. We have something every afternoon except Friday. Plus, the girls have a violin recital on Saturday where they will be dressed in their Halloween costumes at the Children's Museum in downtown Greenville.

Well, I have got to get breakfast ready. Everyone is finally up for the day. We have a busy weekend ahead of us. We still have to get to Asheville to wash laundry and cut the grass. UGH!!! Please Sell That House!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

House Selling/Hunting Update

We have still had no lookers at our house in NC. Although, the realtor did tell me last week that someone called about it but didn't look at it because it is in Madison County and her kids are already attending school in Buncombe County. ... bummer! At least people are looking at the listing.

I have to say though, that houses are looking up here in the Upper State. I have found a few that would most definitely work for us. Although, the perfect house was not located on the perfect lot, the perfect lot house could work in so many ways. A three bedroom, two bath house with a bonus room on almost 5 acres would definitely fit for this family of 4. So we will watch this one and wait it out. Hopefully it will still be available WHEN our house sells. If not, God will open a window for us to crawl through with another house just as nice to move into.

I sit here and try to figure out what it is God wants me to do to make all this right for our whole family ... or what do I have to do for God to make all this right for our family. What is it that God wants of me? I think sometimes it is my feelings towards this move that is keeping us in this rut ... that maybe I have to find happiness where I am right now. Sometimes, I think I have done that. I do love being so close to everything : school, church, shopping, library, etc. But then, I get down because of something that happens or doesn't happen.

The girls are doing so well. I can't tell you how they have just taken to this move. Although, they do make comments sometimes about why did we have to move even though we have explained it NUMEROUS times.

I pray God's will be done in our lives. I have to remember it is HIS time not mine that matters here. Maybe it isn't time for the the right buyer to come along (I guess that would be the obvious).

I guess it is time for me to head to the fitness center. If I sit here long enough, I won't have time to go which subconsciously I think I am trying to do. That is another topic that has me down right now too. But I must not give up. I must keep pressing on and trying harder to make the pounds melt off instead of stick.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Communion Portraits

I finally had Bethany's picture taken in her Communion dress. Here are some of the results.