Sunday, September 28, 2008

House Hunt

We heard from the Realtor on Friday. We are pondering whether to negotiate more on the price on the house we made an offer on last week. We offered him his full price, but asked him to pay the closing costs. He didn't like that. We might meet him halfway; we're still thinking about/talking about it. I was fully prepared for Michael to say that we needed to just walk away. I even told the Realtor that on the phone. "I think we'll probably just have to walk away." But, Michael said, "We'll think and pray and talk about it and make him wait a few days."

Today, we went to visit Kimberly, Dewayne, and Nathan and figured out that moving to Lakeside Highlands would cut our driving time to them in half. That's a BIG plus.

We've only had one more call (today) on our house. Still no appointments to see it, though. We are running an ad in a local paper this coming week. We will see what happens with that and then make the decision on listing with a Realtor.

Laikyn and I went into town yesterday to get some curtains for her room. She did have some sheets up on the windows to keep the light out on the weekends. While in town, we rode to a new park in Florence. It is a very pretty park and while there, I realized something. When we first moved to Florence, we did a lot of outdoor activities. I realized that we haven't done even half of what we used to do since we've moved out of the city limits. A lot of times, we just can't justify going to town and using that gas up. Especially now with the gas prices!! If we do go to town, it's usually to take care of some business, etc. We don't go much to do recreation type of things.

While we are not a family who thrives on busyness and going, going, going, it did make me a little sad when I realized how few things we do outdoors now. We moved out to the country because we thought we would love it, we wanted to have a piece of property, etc. Now we know that the country life isn't for us. However, if God says He wants us to stay here, I'm content enough to do that. Although, I will say that we have been seeing things through different eyes lately and often when that starts to happen, it means that change is coming for us.

We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

House Hunt Continues

We made an offer on the house in our old neighborhood yesterday. We haven't had any word yet from the seller.

We put up a for sale sign for our house on Sunday. We have had three calls, but no appointments set yet. We are deciding if we want to list with a Realtor.

I know that if the seller refuses our offer, then it's God's will. But I'll still be a little disappointed. Even though the house is really nice, my disappointment will come from something else. We drove by the house on Sunday again. While in the neighborhood, we drove down to the community park and boat launch. I had forgotten (or didn't realize) how much I missed living near the river. When we lived on the other side of Lakeside Highlands, we were around the corner from Veteran's Park, which is on the Tennessee River. We often walked to the park and down the river when we lived there.

Even when we were living through the difficult months of Michael trading online from home, we would walk down to the park and God would bring us such peace there.

While we were at the community park Sunday, I was enveloped with God's peace again.

Being near the water again is a big selling point for the house we put an offer in on. It's like having waterfront property without having to pay for it!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Finally!





I finally get to post a picture to my blog --- because it's only of Nathan's hand. Isn't it adorable???

For those of you who aren't yet grandparents, I have to tell you --- you are in for such a treat!! I have never been so in love. :-)

Friday, September 19, 2008

September Weigh-In



Well, I'm plugging along, still going to the Y for 2 hours Monday-Friday. The results this month are less-than-stellar. I seem smaller when I look in the mirror, though.

No change in the weight on the scale this month. I've lost a total of 7# since June 18.

This month, I lost 4.5", which is better than the measly 1.25" last month! That brings me to a total of 13" since June 18. Woo Hoo!!!

Some days, I feel like I can increase the weight I lift on the machine with no problem. Then, there are days like today when I feel absolutely drained and I have to bump it back down to get through the workout. I feel the most increase in muscle in my quadriceps. That feels great!

I have been able to do more strenuous walking on the treadmill, though. When I first started, if I tried to walk too quickly, my knee would start to hurt and I'd have to slow down. I've been slowly increasing the intensity and my knee usually doesn't hurt.

Laikyn and I are still taking Pilates classes and water aerobics, each two times a week. I feel like I could benefit from more frequent Pilates classes, but our current vehicle situation won't accommodate it. No matter how much I stretch, I can never seem to rid my lower back of its tightness. It's chronically in a knot.

The Dreaded Asthma Struck Again

Laikyn has been doing so well lately with her asthma. She has hardly had to use her rescue inhaler. Yesterday, we were at the Y working out and she came to me on the treadmill and said, "I'm having trouble breathing. I just did my inhaler." I told her to go get some hot coffee. She did and then came back a few minutes later and said, "I drank the coffee, and it's not getting any better. I'm starting to get light-headed."

I got off the treadmill and we rushed out and to the doctor's office, which was just around the corner. When we got to the counter and I told the receptionist Laikyn was having a severe asthma attack, she said, "I don't have a doctor. They're gone at 4:30." It was about 4:40.

I said, "Is there a nurse that can give her a breathing treatment???"

She said, "Let me check."

We sat in the lobby and Laikyn said her hands were starting to tingle. The nurse came and got us and brought us to the back, stopping to weigh her on the way!!! (Sometimes I wonder what these people at this doctor's office are thinking; I think I should look for another doctor for her.)

They put her in a room and took her blood pressure, etc. All the while, she's struggling to breathe and nobody is getting the breathing treatment ready. Finally, another nurse came in and asked the one attending to us what the doctor had said. The attending nurse said, "He wants y'all to get the treatment ready." ARGH!! BTW, the doctor was there still. :-0

As the nurse was finally getting the machine set up and the medicine poured in, etc. I could tell Laikyn was starting to panic. She looked like she was about to pass out. She started crying. I started tearing up. I hate this stupid disease! Is there anything more scary than not being able to breathe? Is there anything more frustrating than to see your child not being able to breathe? So absolutely helpless feeling!

She said later that she started to panic because everything was starting to go black.

The breathing treatment helped, as it always does. I finally got him to write a prescription for us to get a machine for home. We picked it up today. It will go in its little travel case along with a power converter and in the car with us whenever we go out anywhere.

Both times this has happened this year (back in May and this week), we've been really close at missing the doctors. I had no idea what time they left the office, so I drove there instead of the hospital since it was closer. What if they had been gone for the day? She probably wouldn't have made it to the hospital.

Last time in May, it was very early in the morning. She was at work, so I had a co-worker drive her to the doctor's office and I met them there. I had no idea if the office was even open, but it was closer than the hospital from work. I tried calling, but you can never talk to an actual person when you call there. All I got was an option to leave a message for a particular doctor's nurse.

Why is it so hard to make the decision to look for another doctor? I don't think about it until things like this happen and the professionals there infuriate me with their lackadaisical attitude. They aren't all that way, but NONE of them should be that way.

I also hate the thought of all the steroids she has to take. There has to be something natural that will work. I've read about salt inhalers. When we were considering a trip up to some caves in Kentucky last year, I wondered if it would be dangerous for her to go in the caves. I researched and found out that there are actually speleology treatments for asthma sufferers. The air in the caves is good for them.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Search Continues

Our house search has heated up this week! :-) Laikyn and I looked at a total of 6 houses Wednesday. The gas has been eating us up driving to look at only a few each day, so I decided to spend the day in town looking at numerous ones. (We did look at only one yesterday. We didn't look at any today. I'm worn out!)

After the last tour was over, I called Michael and said, "I just looked at a house that I want you to see and I seriously want to make an offer on it."

It's in the neighborhood we first lived in when we moved to Florence. We would like living there again. The neighborhood is 5 minutes from the main shopping area of our city. It's also right around the corner from Veteran's Park. Plus, there is a neighborhood boat launch and park that residents can use for an optional fee of $35 a year. Michael is already planning to take Nathan down there to fish. (And Dewayne, too!)

The house is very nice, and the best part is that we wouldn't have to do much in the way of fixing, changing, etc. Really, the things that are wrong with it are minor issues. At least, what we can see on the surface of things. The other properties we've looked at have, for the most part, been fixers. There are three that we've seen that wouldn't need a lot done to them. This is one of them.

It has really nice curb appeal.

It's on a corner lot and the lot across the street will never be built on. It's just woods across there. (Translation for me: BIRDS!!)

Here's a shot of the dining room, but the picture really doesn't do it justice. All three of the houses that are real possibilities for us have a dining space. That's really important to us. If a house doesn't have that, it doesn't score high in our book.


We took Michael to look at it last night and he liked it as well.

The square footage is around 1600, but it feels larger. I guess the layout is right. For a house this size, it has a large master bathroom as well as a REALLY large hall bathroom. Michael said he thought the master bath was small, but Laikyn and I informed him that it isn't. Most of the houses we've looked at in this size and prize range either don't have a master at all or only have a 1/2 master bath.

The downside to this house is that it's listed slightly above what we wanted to spend. The guy seems pretty firm on his price. Someone made an offer on it this week a little lower than what we're planning to offer, and the owner countered with an offer only slightly lower than his asking price.

However, we have crunched numbers and we know what we HAVE to sell our house for in order to bring that note down far enough to make the move worthwhile for us. So, I am confident that we can make an offer high enough that he will accept it, contingent on our selling our home, of course. If we don't get the offer on ours that we need, then we'll just have to let this house in Lakeside Highlands go. :-(

I would hate for that to be the case, but we want to be where GOD wants us most of all.

Anyway, all this running around and not sleeping well at night has worn me out. I slept good until about 3:15 last night, then I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep until around 5:00.

We had a realtor come to do a market analysis on our house and the news was really good. We have room to negotiate with people on the selling price and still have enough to put down on another house to make our monthly output low enough for more comfort in our finances.

I had written before that we weren't opposed to getting something that needed a little fixing. Well, I found out this week that with the current housing/mortgage crisis in our nation, lenders aren't so apt to give "rehab loans." That means we would have to find something that only needs minor updating that we could do as we go along. We won't be able to look at anything that needs major work, because we won't be able to borrow anything over the sell price. One good thing about that is that it made our focus a little sharper.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

House Hunt Continues

Laikyn and I viewed 4 houses today--the two that I showed pics of the other day plus two others. The green cottage was SOOOO cute and I absolutely LOVED it, but the kitchen was tiny and the washer and dryer were in the tiny kitchen, too! The dining room was small also. I was trying to think of things we could do to remodel, but the price isn't really conducive to our remodeling it as well. Of course, we could make an offer for lower than what they're asking, but for now we're just going to keep looking.

We aren't opposed to getting something that needs some updating *IF* the price is right, because it would allow us to make the home into what we want.

The stone cottage also would need some adjusting of the layout. I didn't love it enough to even seriously consider it and it also was not at a price conducive to remodeling.

On the way to one of the other houses we looked at today is a yellow ranch-style house that I commented on each time we passed by it. It was really cute and I LOVE yellow houses. Well, today when I got the new home finder book, the yellow house was in it!! I was so excited!!! The neighborhood was one that we really liked the feel of and it was a house that caught my eye each time I passed it. I never noticed a for sale sign in the yard, but the other one we looked at on the same street didn't have one either. I immediately called the realtor, and to my great disappointment, it has sold already. :-(

One house we looked at has serious settling problems, so it was nixed! It is owned by what the realtor called "an eccentric fellow." He wants to sell the house and all the contents and move to Las Vegas. There was SO MUCH stuff in that house!! So much storage in it, and almost every closet we opened was filled with nice, plush, white bath towels!! Funny!

The other one was really a LARGE house, but it needs updating terribly. The owner wants an offer, though, so it's one to consider. The realtor is checking on what is under the carpets. If it has hardwoods under the carpet (which a lot of these mid-century homes do & it just KILLS me), then the floors wouldn't have to be replaced, maybe only refinished, maybe only uncovered. The kitchen needs to be gutted, though. The bedrooms were all HUGE and each had TWO closets!! There was a nice-sized laundry room with lots of cabinets for storage. The living room was enormous and there was a large-sized dining room off the kitchen. It has a lot of potential, but it didn't scream, "I'm it!" to me. ;-0

I've spent most of the evening looking through the new home finder book and on the computer at realty sites. I requested appointments for several properties. One excellent thing taking place through all this is that I'm finally learning some of the areas in our very-spread-out town. I still have barely scratched the surface, but I'm learning what areas are acceptable and which ones aren't so when I look at property addresses, I can make a judgement call about it without having to drive by most of them to check it out.

As a side note, does anyone else INSIST, like I do, on spelling "judgement" with an "e"? I know the spell-check says it's wrong, but the dictionary says it's an acceptable spelling. "Judgment" just DOES NOT look right to me!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

21

Kimberly turned 21 yesterday!! I honestly don't know where the years have gone; they have flown past.

I gave her a table runner "in progress." With making Nathan's dedication gown, I didn't start her table runner early enough to have it done by her actual birthday. Hopefully, it will be done by the end of this month. I am hand quilting it. I'll post a pic when I'm finished.

She and Dewayne and the baby came over for supper and cake last night. She requested homemade cake, and I tried to comply. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but rarely do my cakes come out of the pans in tact. These were exceptionally terrible, so I had to revert to a boxed mix made into a sheet cake that stayed in the pan. (Yes, I butter and flour my pans!)

At least the icing was homemade. The icing was like nothing I'd ever made before. It was from a Betty Crocker Chocolate cookbook and called "Marshmallow Frosting." It had the consistency of some merinque cookies we make. Since I'd doubled the recipe to ice a two-layer cake, I have a lot left. I am going to bake it up like we do the merinque cookies.

I was told by Laikyn and Michael that the homemade cake was better than the boxed cake. Too bad the layers didn't come out in one piece! One layer actually came apart nearly in half --- half out of the pan and half in!

Dear Mr. Obama

It always peaks my interest to hear a soldier's take on the Iraqi War.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Adjusting & Contemplating Change

Kimberly, Dewayne, and the baby moved out late last week. I'm happy for them because they now have MUCH more room than they did here in Kimberly's old bedroom, but we sure do miss having them here. They came for a visit today. Laikyn said it looked like Nathan had gotten fatter in just a few days! :-)

He's got a double chin and rolls on the back of his neck. Too cute! I'm soooo in love!!!

Since we now have two bedrooms more than we need here, we are contemplating moving into a smaller house (with a smaller note) back inside the city limits of Florence. I, for one, have really missed living in town, closer to shopping, etc. I've missed having the services in town, too, like curbside recycling and large trash pick-up (limbs, etc.).

Laikyn and I spent yesterday morning and part of the afternoon driving by some properties for sale. Even after living here nearly five years, we still don't know all the different neighborhoods. We have appointments to see two properties tomorrow. Here's one of them:

Here's one that I am most eager to see later in the week.


The street that this one is on has another house for sale that we will also see tomorrow. The street is a cute, quiet cul-de-sac that is very wooded. That means lots of birds, which is right up my alley!

Please remember us in your prayers if you think about it and the Lord leads you to. We pray that everything falls into place --- for us to sell our home, find something else in the right place, at the right price and right size.