Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Done Deal

So we closed on our house today. I thought I'd be way more excited, but for some reason I'm indifferent. Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet. OR maybe it's because the sellers were horrible and we just about walked away from the whole thing. I think that's what it is.

Man, it was bad. As you know, one of the conditions of the contract was the repairs to the crack in the foundation. The sellers tried and failed twice to fix it. We asked that they put aside money in escrow to allow us to get it done properly. We requested a rather high figure to ensure that we wouldn't have to fork out any extra money. They low-balled us and wouldn't budge. The guy kept saying that he wasn't going to give us his "open check book." He kept twisting it around and trying to blame us. Then the wanted to push back settlement. We left the room to make some phone calls and talk with our main man Phil Geising. We weren't interested in pushing back settlement any farther. As far as I was concerned, I was ready to walk right then and there. I wanted nothing more to do with the guy. As we were talking, the title guy came out and said that the sellers were ready to walk unless we came to some sort of agreement. Now let me explain once again that WE were ready to settle today. We had done everything that was required of us in the contract. THE SELLERS on the other hand failed to meet the requirements they agreed to in the contract, and THEY were ready to walk. We would have said, "Ok." and walked if they didn't quickly offer $3000 cash-no escrow-just in our pocket today and we'd be done. I think they threatened to walk to pressure us into taking their low-ball deal. What they probably weren't expecting was us to just say ok. In the end, we took their money and made the deal.

As we waited for all the paperwork and financing stuff, the realtors and sellers chit-chatted. (Scott and I kept our mouths shut!) The more the guy talked the more irritated I got with him and the whole situation. He bragged about his FOUR, count 'em FOUR vacation homes, a 500+ acre ranch in WY, a house on the beach in Ocean City, a house in VA and another on the beach in FL. He just happened to mention that he just bought a 1967 Mustang convertible and a Harley. He owns so many properties across the country he said, and I quote, "my wife doesn't even know about some of them. He owns a number of businesses including a roofing business, real estate, and contractor-ing. Now let me ask you this...WHAT WAS HE MAKING SUCH A BIG DEAL OVER $2000 FOR IF HE IS THAT LOADED!?!?!?! I just don't understand people like that. They need power and money and more power. I'm unimpressed by both. We were ready to walk away from this deal, because we are confident that God has and will continue to provide for us. We put our trust and our lives in His abundantly capable hands. The sellers threatened to walk as a way to manipulate the situation. Money brings power and this guy is used to getting what he wants. We would have let them walk. His manipulation would have only served to make him lose a couple hundred thousand dollars.

Anyway, that's why I'm not shouting and dancing with glee. My spirit is grieved over the situation and this guy. He has everything this world could offer him, but when he dies, it's gone and he'll spend an eternity wishing he had what we have. So I have been praying for him and his wife all day. Tomorrow is a brand new day and a fresh start. My joy comes in the morning. I am going to dance tomorrow... and buy some paint.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Contunuing Saga of Our Indoor Water Feature...

So we went to the house this morning to check and make sure that the crack in the foundation had been fixed properly. As I told you the other day, the grading appeared to have been fixed, but what we found today is that they just pushed more soil and mulch up over the crack. In the basement the repair was made, but not well enough because the wall was still wet after yesterday's storms. Here a few pictures that I took of what we saw.

The dark gray color is the filler they used to cover something. But you can see the wetness around it.

Here you can see the damp puddle where the water was pooled up the last time we went to check on the repairs.

Instead of replacing the icky insullation they placed new sheeting over the top.

We aren't quite sure yet what we're going to do next, but I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Can You Hear Me?

Ok, so some of you may have already been aware of this great feature available on Blogger, but I just discovered it tonight. It's AudioBlogger. I can call this number and record a message or thought and it will automatically post on my blog. Now, not only can you read all my ramblings, but you will also be able to hear all of my babblings too. Aren't you so pumped? I think it will be cool though to be able to record Natalie. She is so chatty these days. Check it out and please let me know what you think. I'm also sending out an email to everyone in my address book to check it out.

this is an audio post - click to play

Terri's Choir Concert

Last night we went to Terri's choir concert. Terri Lowe is our adopted daughter and Natalie's best friend. We were so proud of her and I was the typical "mom" and took lots of pictures. As you all know, it's really hard to take nice pictures at concerts because you always seem to get the bald guy's head in your shots. Well, my pictures are typical concert pictures, but at least you can see Terri pretty good. She is the second one in from the end in the second row. Isn't she pretty?

Also, I just had to show you this...
On Sunday Natalie wanted to wear her "round and round dress." Any dress that flares when she spins is called a "round and round dress." This is her favorite one. It's her Easter dress. Anyway, on Sunday while I was getting ready I heard her playing with her baby. When I looked out the bathroom door to see what she was doing this is what I saw.

I was instantly reminded of something I had seen once before when I saw her so I ran to get the camera before she moved. The way she was sitting, the way her dress poofed around her, the way her hair was piled on top of her head... This is what she reminded me of...

The sight was so precious to me. Like Mary, i treasured it deeply in my heart.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Seems to be fixed

So we went to Terri's concert tonight, (I'll tell you all about it tomorrow) and on our way we drove past our house to check the progress on the repairs. As soon as we drove up we could tell that they had been there and taken care of re-grading the front flower beds to allow proper drain off of excess water. So we were happy. We will still double check the work done on the inside to make sure everything is as we want it before we close on Tuesday. But it looks as though they actually did something this time. We are moving in the right direction. Anyway, just thought I would update you all.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

On Vacation?!

So remember last week when I told you all about the drama with our cracked foundation? Well, our realtor has been working very hard for us trying to get in touch with the sellers. He's been really great about the whole thing but now here we are 5 days from closing and we are no closer to having the crack repaired than we were 3 weeks ago. Why? You ask. Well, you see, our sellers are on vacation till who knows when. We may have to walk into closing still threatening to walk away from the whole place. I am not happy that we are in this position, BUT I am well aware of the fact that a situation such as this is a wonderful place to be, because it is in these places where we can do nothing that God is free to do everything. So while I am irritated by this, I have put my trust and this house into the hands of Someone who is far more capable at handling it than I am. I don't believe that we will walk away, and I also don't believe that the sellers have been intentionally careless about this crack. I don't know what's going on. But as Jehoshaphat so eloquently put it, "we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you." (2 Cronicles 20)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Instant Home Equity

Last week we had an appraisal done on our new house. It came back $5000 above what we paid for the place. We instantly made $5000. We were pretty excited by that because we plan on finishing the basement and doing a few other changes that will further increase the home's value. We still haven't heard back about the status of the repairs to the foundation, but I am confident that all will be taken care of in time. Eight days till we close and are officially homeowners!

Until then, I'm off to clean this place. I should probably start packing at some point. Anyone want to come pack for me? I'll give you $10 to do it all.

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Wall Sconces Are Here!!

Ok, so I won these Pottery Barn sconces on ebay the other day, but wasn't totally sure that I LOVED them. I really liked them, but was kinda afraid they'd be chinsy looking. I don't know why I bid on them originally. They were a good price and I just kept bidding. (You see, my problem is that I hate being out bid even if I'm not that into what I'm bidding on. So even something like these sconces that I wasn't totally sure about, I will coninue to bid if I get out bid. It is really hard for me to walk away. That's why my husband has previously banned me from ebay. I'm the least competetive person you'll meet, so this is so strange that I behave like this. Ebay brings out the competetive spirit in me!) Anyway, they came today and I LOVE them. I am not sure exactly where they will end up, but it'll be in one of the bathrooms.
Here are the pictures of them from ebay.

They are wrought iron and the leaves are green glass. They are 33" long and have 3 votive holders each. NWT--New With Tags--gotta love that!

Also earlier today we met our realtor at our new house to check out the repairs that were to be done since the inspection. There were three major issues we wanted addressed, on of them being a deal breaker if it wasn't fixed. 1. The door from the master bedroom into the bathroom was missing, 2. Smoke detectors weren't working, and 3. The deal breaker--a crack in the foundation at the front of the house. 1. The door was replaced, but was missing the middle hinge--not just the pin mind you, but the entire hinge. It wouldn't be that big of a deal if the other things had been fixed properly, but 2. the smoke detectors hadn't been touched and 3. the crack had barely been touched. When we pulled up we noticed immediately that the exterior crack hadn't been touched. There was to be some re-grading done to the front flower beds to correct the water drainage problem that caused the crack originally. That was totally untouched, and when we went downstairs, water was dripping from the crack and running down the wall. (It rained all last night.) It had been sort of patched up and the insulation had been replaced, but was only duct taped up. We had specifically asked that a licensed contractor do the repairs. It was obvious that a weekend warrior had done them instead. Our realtor got on the phone with the sellers' realtor and put down his foot. It was so fun listening to him. He was all over him, which you'd never guess Phil to do if you ever met him. He's so soft spoken. We gave the sellers one more chance to fix everything properly. If they don't we're asking that they give us the money at closing to have it done right, or we walk! YIKES!!! Hopefully that will get a fire going under their behinds and get them to act! I wish I had some pictures of it, but I don't.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Cleaning Lady...

The other night we went to a great new coffee shop a friend of ours is opening up. Scott will play accoustic music there from time to time in the future. Anyway, we were there most of the evening. When they began to clean up, Natalie wanted to help, so Wendy (the owner) got her a spray bottle and some paper towels and put her right to work.

The funny thing is that the spray bottle actually had window cleaner in it. Natalie just kept spraying and spraying. They won't need to use any cleaner on that door for weeks!

(The best part of all is that shortly I won't have to do any cleaning. I'm grooming her to take over. That is why we have kids, isn't it? To do the stuff we don't want to do?)

The name of the coffee shop is Fa-Sol-Latté, like do re mé FA SOL LE TE do. Isn't that clever? Everything is a musical play on words (the drink sizes are 1/4 note, 1/2 note, and whole note). The walls are covered with music and even the furnishings have a music theme. It's so cool. The next time I'm up there I will take more pictures. That's the only downfall to the great little coffee shop. It's a good 20 minute drive in light traffic. It will be worth the drive though.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Natalie's Birthday Celebrations

Natalie turned 2 on April 25. We had a couple of different parties for her. Here are some pictures from them all.

This was the first party on April 23. It was at Tim and Suzie Pope's house. We were all there for home fellowships anyway so I brought a cake and we had an impromptu party.

These pictures were taken on her birthday. Scott and I got her a bunch of Veggie Tales stuff and a Tryke! She loved it. Later that evening, Chris and Terri stoped by with a piano for Natalie. She quickly forgot the tryke.

My parents came into town late afternoon on Natalie's b-day. The next day we carried on a birthday tradition we started last year. A birthday donut!

(As we took pictures, we kept telling Natalie to say cheese and this is what she looked like saying, "CHEESE!")

When we were in Ohio last week, we had yet another party for her. Here are some great pics from it.

Scott and his Aunt Debbie.

Scott and Paw.

Scott and Maw.

Scott's best friend, Chad and his girlfriend Bria.

Scott and his dad.

Natalie loves to clean (thank you Jesus!!!) and this was the ultimate present! She vaccumed the grass, the driveway, and everything else she could!

Some kids get ponies at their birthday parties, but only the really special kids get to take birthday rides on a lawn mower!!!


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Natalie and Happy

We went to Ohio last week to visit Scott's family. We were there just a few minutes and Natalie was already taking off to see Happy, the next-door neighbor's dog. They have been buds since Natalie first came here almost two years ago. Here are a few pictures Neighbor Man Mark took.

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