Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Worry ends where faith begins.... (WARNING: LOOOOOONG POST AHEAD!)

Dave and I have been praying for a bigger house for quite some time. We currently live in a small 3 bedroom ranch home that we bought in October 1999. We have LOVED this house from the day we laid eyes on it. No, it's not perfect. It's not a "model" home by any means. But we have put so much love and work into it! We have done most of the major things, from the furnace to the roof! Most of the inside has been updated over the years and we have made it our own! The "smallness" of our house has bothered everybody else more than it has bothered us. We have really truly been happy living here. Usually we are all in the same room anyways, so space is only an issue when it comes to "stuff". I have always believed the motto..."Love grows best in little houses." But with adding Nolan and Nevin to our crew, and knowing that we would like to have more children someday, we knew that we would need to have more space. So we started searching. We came upon many houses, but didn't feel right financially about them. We also had put an offer in on a house, only to have the sellers back out at the last minute. We had also at one point, sold our house. Then right before signing, the buyer did not get the job transfer they were hoping for and had to back out on their offer. We knew that God had a plan, but could not figure out just what it was. So we decided to take the "sit back and pray" approach.

My mom had been "eyeballing" a house in Georgetown for a while. It was a big house that had been sitting empty for over a year. We tried to call the court house to get information on it, but there was no information on record. That was in March.

In June, I picked up a small local newspaper, which I read about once every six months. I opened it to the "houses for sale" section and happened to glance over on the opposite page at the Public Notice section. That is when I noticed an announcement for a "Sheriff's Sale" on that EXACT Georgetown house! For those of you who don't know, a Sheriff's Sale is an auction sale of a foreclosed property held by the sheriff to sell the property to pay a court-ordered judgement. You buy the property...sight unseen. AS IS. You must have 10% cash down at the time of the sale, and the remainder within 24 hours. It is a big risk, but also a way to get a really great bargain!

So I started making phone calls and scouring the internet for information. I hit all kinds of dead ends. The internet was no help because laws vary by county. Everyone that I called and talked to had no information on the house besides what the taxes were and who had last purchased the home. We really had no idea on what took place at a Sheriff's Sale. It left us feeling clueless! We prayed....

We decided to take matters into our own hands one day....we snuck through the window of the house and looked around for ourselves! The house was filthy. It stunk. It had garbage and junk left in it. It needed so much work. And I LOVED it! Dave was not convinced as easily as I was. I have always been the type to look at something rough and see potential. Dave said he had to think on this one. After discussing it for a few days, we decided to just think on it and see what happens. We prayed....

We moved forward to try to get financing. We have excellent credit, which helped us, but only one income! We got approved, but it was for about $10,000 less than what we thought we would like to buy the house for. Well, we needed to sign the loan papers in order to take the cash to the sale. So basically, if the auction went for HIGHER than what we could pay, then we would have to immediately take our cash back to the bank and pay off the loan. BUT we would have to pay all of the loan fees out of pocket, which ended up being about $500. So there was a chance that we would walk away with no house and also lose $500. Wow...not comfortable with that, but was it a chance we should just take? We prayed....

The sale was to take place at the courthouse on August 7th at 10:00 a.m. We had gone through with the loan paper work and the only thing left was to sign the papers. My dad came up and helped with the kids and my mom and I took the loan papers down to Dave's work to have him sign them. We were pushin' for time and I needed to get the papers back to the bank in order to get the money. The sale was going to start and at 9:45, we decided that $500 was too much to lose and we changed plans. We kept the loan papers on us and decided to take a chance and go to the auction with just the proof of the loan and no cash. We prayed...

We (my mom and I...Dave was at work) met with the sheriff and a few lawyers in the lobby and the sale began. We asked the Sheriff if it would be ok to just have the proof of funds. He said he wasn't sure because he did not usually do this. He happened to be filling in for someone who was normally in charge of Sheriff's Sales. He said that since we seemed trustworthy, he would let us slide by as long as we had the cash to him within the next couple hours.

When it came time to bid on our house, there was only one other bid....which was an absent bid from the bank that had owned it.....and all we had to do was bid $1 over that bid!!!! It was actually almost $10,000 less than what we were approved for! What an answer to prayer! The paperwork and process went really smooth and we knew God had a hand in it all along!

The house is twice the size that we have now. It's a beautiful older home with tons of character! It used to belong to a popular attorney that lived in town. Everyone in town seems to have a "story" about the house. My grandma even spent the night there quite a few times when she was a young girl! Another lady shared how she took piano lessons there and always thought the house looked like a mansion. It's a shame that someone let the house go, but it worked out great in our benefit! We had to redo all of the plumbing, but the electrical and the furnace were both in great shape! We were thrilled with that! We are in the process of doing some major things to the house and that will be in posts to come!

Our "hope" is to be able to add an addition onto the house. We would add 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. We have had the estimate done and we are waiting to see how the rest of the house goes..financially speaking. If it ends up that we can not do the addition, we are totally ok with that! It's just another aspect that we are leaving in God's hands! I can honestly say that I have not stressed out AT ALL! That is a work of God! My husband has not stressed much either....that is an even BIGGER work of God! (He is generally the one that worries!)

The kids have been a HUGE help (more on that to come) and so have my mom and dad! My mom has been so generous to watch the kiddos if we need her to and my dad is right there with us doing all the major remodeling! I am blessed with wonderful parents!

In the meantime, here are some pictures to update you. They are not the best quality, but will have to do for now. DON'T PROCEED IF YOU GET SCARED EASILY! HA!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Girls' Room...this room looks way better in the pic than it does in real life. It just needs some TLC and it will be cute as a button!

This is Ashton and Bryson's Room. It's hard to get a good angle in this room! It does have 2 on either side of the room. It's a cute room and just needs some paint and carpet/rug. These are hardwood floors, they are just currently painted.

This is Nolan and Nevin's Room. Needs some major lightening up! We are going to decorate with a cowboy will be so cute!

Upstairs's been slightly updated. It needs a little work, but will do the job for now!

The front of our house

The side yard

The back yard

The door that goes down to the creepy basement...

Dave going upstairs...hesitantly....

All of the kids' rooms have walk-in closets...BONUS!...

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The Dining Room....this rooms needs the least amount of work. Just some paint and flooring and we are good to go. It already has new drywall and windows....

If we don't do an addition, this will be our master bedroom. It will have a bathroom and closet put in. It currently has a fireplace, but that will be torn out in order to make room for the bathroom. This room is connected to the dining room now but won't be for long! If we do the addition, this will be a toy/craft room. YaY Me!

This is the Family Room and it is huge! It doesn't look big in the pics for some reason??? But it is so much bigger than what we are used to now! This room basically needs paint and flooring and a leak fixed in the ceiling. We are on that project now! The fireplace and a few of the window panes need some attention as well.

This is the other part of the Family Room. It is an "L" shape. (Note the fireplace to the left of the picture.) This "area" will be used for toys and kids stuff. I am DYIN' to get some light paint on these walls and brighten this room up! SOOOO much potential!

The Kitchen...the scariest room of all! We knew that this room would be financially the biggest challenge! We have this room well under way and I will be posting soon on it's progress! We did debate on tying to save the cabinets, etc....but NAH....if we are going to do it, let's do it right!!! (this pic was taken while standing by the back door)

Another view of the Kitchen. I don't have pictures of the other side, but it is actually pretty spacious! You will see soon enough! ; )

This is a small, inconvenient Bathroom off of the kitchen. Yuck.

This is a big homemade "bar" type thing that is in the kitchen. Ugly.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Favorite Blog....

Ok...I have to let ya'll know.... I soooo enjoy reading It is absolutely my favorite blog to read and has been since about 6 months ago when I came upon it. (Thanks to Devin on that one!) God has worked some crazy amazing miracles in their life and Mckmama is an encouraging Christian Mom! I have sent many prayers up God's way for her little guy, Stellan!

So she is having a contest, and of course, I want to win it! She gives away some crazy cool stuff. Just to let you know, I have tied for 12th place on one of her contests! It doesn't sound THAT impressive, but I was proud of myself! So head on over and check out some good, clean, Christian fun at!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I can NOT figure this out!!!!

I have absolutely NO idea where Bryson got his GOOFYNESS from.

Maybe from his Father?
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Vegetable of Trees

It's one of those things, when your kids are little and they say things wrong, and it's just too cute to correct. Now I will admit that most of the time, we do correct the children. I mean, I am married to a Journalist, with an English degree! I was also raised by my mom....aka Mrs. Reinier....the High School English Teacher. So needless to say, most of the time, we make sure they use correct grammar, etc. DUH?!?! Hopefully most intelligent parents do this!?!? But every now and then, the kids say something so cute and funny, it's hard to correct! That brings us to "The Vegetable of Trees".... In our area, we have a big event called "The Festival Of Trees". The girls have ALWAYS thought it was The VEGETABLE of Trees. I think last year was the first year they didn't call it that. BUT of course, Dave and I will know it as no other now.....

"The Festival of Trees" is a Christmas program where the area schools and businesses donate hundreds of decorated trees to put on "show" at our local Civic Center. Then the beautiful themed trees are put up for silent auction. There are also different things going on each night/day of the week. Everything from school choirs singing to Breakfast with Santa. It is usually fun to go and kick off the Holiday Season! We have gone every year since the kids were little. We usually see a lot of people we know and just enjoy the laid back atmosphere. The kids get SOOO excited about it every year. This year was no different. They were counting down until the evening that we went. They even gave up their School Skating Party to go to "The Vegetable of Trees"!

NONE of the kids were scared of Santa this year...that's a first! We usually have at least one cryin' off to the side!
(Nolan was terrified of Ronald McDonald though....Go Figure?!?!)

Check out Nolan eyeballin' the candy canes! Forget Santa...give me the candy!!! Which he did get and made a very sticky mess of!

Daddy and his girls. They have SOOO got him wrapped around their little fingers!

Bryson LOVED the train that was wrapped around a HUGE tree in the middle of the arena. He is a BIG train fan anyways, so this was where he spent most of the night! He couldn't get enough!!!

Me and Ash...watching the Westville High School Choir

We really enjoyed the evening and it made us look forward to Christmas time that much more! How we are truly blessed!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

A Day Late and A Dollar Short...
I know, I know...I'm a little behind on this one.... I wanted to post the pics of my Halloweenie Kids so that I can remember what they were dressed as this year.... Not the best pics...but I need to slap them on here while I am thinking about it.....

Our 3 little guys....Bryson as Batman, Nolan as Chewbacca, and Nevin as Darth Vader...

Our Angel/Devil Duo....
Taelyn and Mariya

Ashton as Squanto
my nephew, Chance and Ashton as
Halloween Birthday Boys!

Happy 14th Birthday Chance!
Happy 10th Birthday Ashton!

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Priviledge Fridays

We are trying to set up a system with the kiddos that will encourage and recognize good behavior throughout the week. This system rewards them on Fridays with something special. Anything from family movie night to "make-our-own" sundaes snack!

Last night was a priviledge night in which each of the kids (the older 4) got to chose where they wanted to sleep. It had to be in a bed and everyone had to be in agreement. This is the first time we have tried this. Our kids are on a fairly strict schedule and honestly, all 6 of them LOVE their own beds! This wasn't always the case, but for the last couple years, it has been. So we told them that they could swap beds for the night. We also gave them the option of sleeping 2 to a bed. (For those who don't know, we have two sets of bunk for the girls, one for the boys.) To my surprise, they all wanted to cram in one room together. We ended up with Mariya and Ashton in her bed, and Bryson and Taelyn in the top bunk. So here's all these kids squished in these little beds. We told them they could whisper quietly for 15 minutes and then they had to stop and be absolutely quiet. They were so cute, laying there, whispering amongst themselves. They all enjoyed it and slept really well! Bryson was wanting Ashton to sleep with him tonight, so we had to explain to him several times, that we don't do that EVERY night! =)

I love that they are close. They all have such a special bond and each individual friendship has it's own unique qualities. That's the advantage to having a big family and a little house! We are in such close proximity, that they have no choice but to play together! They have grown up being best buddies. Sure, they get frustrated with each other at times. Sure, they tattle on each other. If they didn't, I would be worried! It is so fun to watch the way each of them connect.