Friday, October 30, 2009

So much drama

Another week brought so much drama in the housing mess.

After a week, we are now at 6 liens totaling $20,000.
We still do not know if they are legal liens after consulting with several real estate attorneys. The NE construction Lien Act is to protect homeowners from such liens...but who knows.
We interviewed with Mike McKnight with channel 6 news regarding our story. We are not sure when the story will air as it is still developing.
The seller of the home is meeting with the builder Monday morning. If the builder does not pay up, the seller is pressing criminal charges against him that will take away the builders real estate license and more. The builder has more or less sold many homes that he knew he did not pay the contractors on. I believe that is theft by deception or something. Anyway, the builder is to pay these liens or face a criminal suit. Good luck Don Fuller...
Meanwhile, Chris, his Dad, and I went and looked at 2 back up properties today. Chris fell in love with an acreage, but I was not happy about updating it. It was out of our price range, too. If we could find THE property - we would back out. But right now, we are just not finding it. We have 2 homes that we will offer on first if this corner lot home falls through. Not sure how long we will wait.

So, how much do we have invested that we will lose?
* $2000 deposit that we should get back because the seller can not provide a clear title. We can walk at anytime.
* $500 for our loan lock that will expire the end of November
* $590 for our inspection (YIKES!)
* Then we will have to pay another amount of money for an additional loan lock, additional inspection on another home.
Additionally, we have the money we are throwing away in this apartment - rent through Nov. 1, November's rent, apartment down payment, and then all the fees to transfer utilities for one month. I told Chris that I will refuse to live here longer than November 30! I just can not sleep on an air mattress and put our kids through life without toys or their clothes (they are in storage someplace). We could not even have a Christmas tree here! Where would we put it?! Not to mention the stress of being homeless for longer.

So, that's where we are at. Stressed out, homeless, going to be on TV for being utterly stupid in entering this crazy housing market. There are deals to be found everywhere you look - but they come with a rather big price! As we were being interviewed by Mr. McKnight, Addison asked why we could not go inside the house. As we left the driveway, Addison cried for her room - she missed her room she said. Both Addison and Alivia cry for their beds. They are in separate pieces all over the garage someplace.

So, we are still in waiting, hoping, praying this will work out at some point.Can someone please turn on the light for us?

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Halloween Eve

Let's see...night in the small apartment or go trick or treating a night early? Hum...not to tough to decide!

We took the kids out for a little trick or treating fun at Westroads. Chris and I have had several high stressed days, but the kids needed a fun night. They had fun in spite of the crowds. This year, Alivia is a good witch, Addison is a black cat, and Asher is a Little Biker Boy. They had fun, and Chris and I were exhausted!

Alivia in the Standing Bear ParadeAlivia with her class

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Little Beautician Addison?

Asher's poor poor hairAddison's cut to AsherOur Baldy boy

Yesterday, Addison decided to play beautician. She found some scissors of grandmas in these drawers that Alivia brought back from Grandmas house (Bad mommy did not check out what was inside of them! There were 2 plastic scissors and this nice, sharp, silver pair that Addison found...ooops!). After lunch yesterday, I was cleaning up while Addison and Asher went into the walk in closet to play with the few toys we have are kept (the closet is nice sized - it is much bigger than Asher's room actually!). Anyway, after I cleaned up I went in to see what they were up to and caught hair dresser Addison standing over a very patient Asher as he got his hair chopped! Addison had cut down to the scalp in some areas. So, I quickly got on the phone so I could take him to get it fixed. They had to shave his little head. :( I am quite sad about this as I wanted it long for his 2nd birthday next month. But, it is what it is.

As for Addison's future in a salon...I think she should stick to sitting in the chair herself and give the scissors to Jamie (our hair dresser!)

* I will try to post pictures soon!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Back to the Future

August 26, 2009

I feel like we are trapped in a time machine going backwards. Today, Chris and I signed a lease to an apartment! I guess it is better than nothing. We can not burden Chris’ parents by living at their home. Afterall, his mom just retired and then we moved in. Nice retirement, eh? So, we are now settled, or as settled as we can be, in our little apartment.

Today was a total nightmare! We started the day by driving to Alivia to school. The kiddos asked to drive by our house. I could not take it anymore and burst into tears when I saw that the shutters were turned differently than I had left them. I would have been fine, I think, if we were settled into our new home. But, we are not.

After dropping Alivia off at school, I called a couple apartments about month to month leasing and was turned down. We went back the original apartments we had looked at on Thursday, Hillsborough Pointe on 144th and Maple behind Home Depot, and got ourselves an apartment month to month with washer/dryer in the apartment included. Whew! My parents, who were in town for a doctor’s appointment, met up with me to pick up some things at Chris’ parent’s home. I had more than had it by this point and was again crying. I guess I could not believe we were moving things again. This was 3 times in less than a week (to the garage, to Chris’ parents house, to the apartment). The kids were confused as to what we were doing. Addison and Asher could not figure out why all Mommy does is cry and yell at them. I am on the brink of crazy, if I am not crazy already. I felt bad that my parents were burdened with our problem, and that Chris’ parents were burdened with our problem. Chris and I are quite independent and hate asking for help. But, I am at the place where I can not physically or emotionally do it anymore.

Anyway, my parents helped me load up the cars and move some things to the apartment. They unloaded the cars while I unloaded everything inside, set up the beds, and kept the kids occupied as much as possible. It was nuts though. Addison and Asher were crazy, screaming, and probably beyond tired as they have skipped naps a lot in the last several days. By the time I had to leave to pick up Alivia from school, the apartment was set up for the night.

The apartment is not all that bad. Asher has his own little room, the girls have their own room, while Daddy and I have our own space. It will have to work. We are paying a lot of money for this little pad when it is all said and done though. Ugh! We do not have cable TV or internet, so my blogs may be less often. But we have running water and heat, and we have each other.

All we have to say at this point is that our new home better be worth it. It has been a difficult road to travel down, and we still see a lot of bumps and wild turns ahead. We are hoping eventually it will end at a home. At this point, a home is all we are asking for. Amen!

The Master Suite :)The Girls' RoomDinner Anyone?

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bye Bye Home

On Saturday, October 24, 2009, Chris and I had to say goodbye to our home of 9 years. As I woke up that morning just before 6am, resting on the floor in the dining room, I realized that most of our personal belongings were in somebody else's garage while I lay sleeping in someone house. It was not a good feeling. I was sobbing as I brushed my teeth and woke Chris so we can get out of the house quickly.

After having packed the car the night before, we raced some last minute things over to his parents, then over to the garage with more stuff, before returning "home" to pack up the remaining items with my parents. I took last minute pictures and remembered all the good memories of our home. I remember walking through the home after it became ours - how excited Chris and I were. Even without our things inside of it, I could see our kids running through it in a circle chasing each other, screaming. I could see them playing in the backyard. It was unbearably sad to walk away from those memories that I could see just looking around. Perhaps it would not have been so bad if we were in another home, but we would not know that.

We cleared and cleaned up, took last minute pictures and videos, and were out. Chris rode his motorcycle over to his parents to leave until we got everything unloaded at the house. The drive away from the house was so hard. But, as I turned the corner after taking one last picture, the neighbors pulled up at the stop sign. Through my tears, I knew even homeless this is the best thing. We have to think that at least at this point.

Chris took his bike to my parents house for the winter and we all spent the day at their house yesterday, returning to his parents' home for the night.

Today, reality is sitting in for all of us. As I sat in Mass this morning at the Church across the street from Chris' parents house, I just broke down in tears. Father was asking us what we would ask God for...fame? fortune? All I want is a home!! In the midst of my braking down during Mass, Asher kept asking me if we could go home.

That brings me to the kids. They all have had problems with all of this (who could blame them!). Alivia has been naughty and teary. Addison has also been disobedient and asking to go home and sleep in her bed. Asher just asks to go home a lot. It is hard to explain to them that our home sold and we are left without one. What kind of parents are we?

As for now, we are just adjusting. Tomorrow we will find an apartment. Next weekend we will go back to looking for houses. We have to have a back up plan in case this house does not work out. How long can we possibly go homeless anyway?

Leaving our "Home"Empty Family RoomEmpty Dining Room

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Friday, October 23, 2009

It's Almost Over

It's almost over. We decided to put our stuff in the 4 car garage that we hope will be ours someday. It was an exhausting day to say the least. The 4 car garage is busting at the seams with our stuff after 2 trips with the big old 26 foot uhaul truck, 2 trips with my dad's flatbed, and filling all the cars each trip. It rained and was cold all morning, drying during the later afternoon hours. We worked from 6am-1am.

Tonight, Chris and I are resting at our house for the last time. It is so sad, but we want to enjoy having a home while we have it. Tomorrow morning we will make one final trip with out stuff and be homeless.

In the meantime, I had a run in with the neighbor next door at HyVee where she works. She thought I had time on the day we were moving away from them to stop into her workplace to harass her. As if! It was not pretty, but helped me be reassured that homeless may be better than living in a home next to THOSE people.

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Moving Day

Moving DayPacking UPGarage BeforeStuffed Full

Today is a bitter (not sweet) day for Chris and I. We have everything packed up and ready to load into the truck. It has been so rainy, that we have yet to begun. Today it has to be done no matter what Mother Nature has in store for us.

Now, as we pull away from our house, we are still unclear where we will move our things. The homeowner of the Ponderosa Home agreed to allow us access and use of his garage. There would probably be enough space in the 4 car garage for our things. However, if the house falls through for whatever reason, we would have to move our things out and into storage and then back to our home, eventually. That is a lot of moving. We have storage lined up. As of 4AM, Chris and I were leaning towards the storage. We fear that getting too much more involved in the Ponderosa home commits us more. As of now, we can back out anytime because the seller can not provide a clear title. He is taking the people with now 5 liens on the home to court in 30 days. So we are homeless for sure for 30 days.

We looked at one apartment yesterday that offered month to month or a 3 month lease. It offered the space we needed, but it smelled like an ashtray, was on the second floor, was filthy dirty, and cost nearly what our mortgage was of this home! It is one thing to pay a mortgage which is towards your home, and a completely different story to be throwing away money in a yucky rental. We will keep looking for apartments and for other homes once we get our stuff out of this home. In the meantime, Chris' parents have graciously allowed our loud family of 5 to stay with them for the short term. 

Alivia will continue to go to Standing Bear until we find suitable housing. So, in the meantime, I will have to truck it the 30 minutes or so from Millard to school twice a day. That I am not looking forward to. The worst part will be driving by this house everyday knowing it is no longer ours and that we have no home.

It is 6am. Time to wake up the hubs and get rolling here. We both slept maybe 3 hours, so this will be an even more exhausting and emotional day. Wish us luck! We definitely need something to go right for us!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

Yesterday, we were possibly moving into the home on Ponderosa and hoping the title would soon be cleared.

Today we packed up the house in boxes to move to a storage unit. We have one selected, the truck is on rental, and now to get our of our home. We have until Saturday at 2pm. Then it will be official - we will be homeless. I am not being over dramatic, either. We have found that we can no way purchase the home with the title with liens on it, obviously. To get those titles off will take some time, time we may not have now that we have no place to go. We are now pondering going back to the drawing board, selecting yet another home. Meanwhile, while I was making out Addison's bed today, Addison came and kept saying "Asher, Asher..." I knew something was not right. Sure enough, Asher stood at the bottom of the stairs with a large serrated knife in his mouth that he had gotten from the dishwasher, I would assume. Luckily, Addison told me in time and no harm was done. But, seriously...what more can go wrong here?

Tomorrow morning after finalizing the storage unit, I hope to make some calls about an apartment. We are hoping to get back into the apartment that Chris and I were at prior to living in this home. It is only 1 mile from our home allowing Alivia to stay in school until we find another home. We most certainly do not want to take her out of school twice. Most apartments do not allow month to month, but we are hoping something goes right for us here. I also hope to put in a call to the people that have liens on the Ponderosa home. I am just going to put a friendly bug in their ear that we are planning on taking them to small claims court for money lost during this transaction since the liens placed on the home are not legal. They should be against the builder, not the current homeowner. If we have to walk away from the home on Ponderosa, we will be walking away from time, lots of money, and will lose our 4.75% loan lock. I will try very hard to keep the conversation friendly, but I will tell them that their actions have in turned put a family with 3 small kids homeless. So, they will be out more money - the money they lost from the work done on the Ponderosa home and the time and money they will lose when we take them to small claims court. We hope to file something next week - after we move, find storage for our things, and find a place to live.

And what will the next day bring?

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Time to Move

Great article on why NOW is the time to buy a home: ARTICLE.

We concur...rates rock! Our rate is 4 something!! How fabulous is that! However, we have no house to go with that fabulous rate. The article fails to mention the risks in this market. Out of the homes Chris and I looked at, many were in foreclosure, near foreclosure, are on the market after the builder went bankrupt, or the builder went bankrupt after the sale like in our case. There are MAJOR risks involved in moving in this market, obviously.

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It all comes back to Them

I hate to go back to this, but with every problem we have had with moving - it all goes back to our neighbors. I mean, Chris and I may have had many reasons to move to begin with. But, we got a real estate agent after pulling the FSBO sign because of the neighors. We are pulling Alivia out of school and away from her new friends because of the neighbors. Is all of this that we are going through God's way of telling us that we were just supposed to have stayed and LOVED THE NEIGHBOR? We have asked ourselves many times through these last few months, "What would Jesus do?" Chris always said, Jesus would stay and be nice. Well, Jesus did not have 3 kids The neighbor's 5 year old boy called Alivia a butthead a couple weeks ago. Looking around, of course, there were no parents in sight. It was the neighbor boy and another 5 year old boy from up the street. Generally, there are no parents supervising their children...just Chris and I. And, the neighbor Mom has actually yelled at me for not rescuing her daughter when she fell down in the street once. COME ON! I am watching my own 3 kids and did not see her fall. "You watch your kids and I will watch mine," I told her. Anyway, the priest in confession (yes, I have been so upset over them I have gone to confession!) told me to ignore them as much as we can. Be civil but do not interact if possible. Tried that, and the hotdogs and dog poop kept flying. I do, however, continue to wave at them like they are my long lost friends. I get nauseated every time I wave at them.
I have spoken with one of the neighbors and flat out told her that I can not forgive her. I have really tried, but with all that is going on no thanks to the neighboring bullying, I just can not bring myself to forgive just yet. I would like to give the poop throwing neighbors one last piece of my mind, too. I would like to see her stand there lying to me again, crying about how bad she feels (she is such a good actress). I would just like to ask them, "Who are you going to gossip about and throw hotdogs and poop at when we are gone?"

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As the title of this blog implies, the Austin 5 is now on the verge of being homeless. Gotta love real estate! The buyers of our current home are insisting on closing on Friday. They are not budging. So, Chris and I have no choice but to move. But move to where? 

First some updates. Our real estate agent, Michael Jenkins, called Don Fuller, the real estate agent and builder of the home we thought we were moving into on Friday, and asked permission to call Mr. and Mrs. Seller. Don gave permission, so Michael called each of them. Mrs. Seller had not been able to get a hold of Mr. Fuller for 3 weeks (since the home sold) and did not know about the liens now on the home. She was just waiting for Mr. Seller to sign some paper saying she could have the money from the sale of the house (which comes out to like $400). After that paper is signed, she agreed to sign the deed. Whew, one less thing to worry about here. Mr. Seller was very angry (as he should be) about these liens being placed on the home. He agreed to allow us to early possession of the home since he would be out of the home Wednesday. Both parties are motivated to move forward and get this taken care of. They are both victims here, too, we have to remember.

So, being homeless come Friday, Chris and I are stuck in a very sticky spot. Do we take early possession of the home locking us into that home and any future mess that it may include, or do we shop for storage units and find some crazy family to allow us to bunk there indefinitely.
After some discussion, Chris and I have decided on a couple of further contengencies on the Home we are to buy..

1. We will not close on the Ponderosa home until the liens are actually free and clear.
We got the impression (and I could be wrong) that the Seller's lawyer wrote a letter stating that they are getting the liens cleared. That letter is going to help close the home sooner, perhaps as soon as Friday, if NP Dodge Title is okay with everything. However, the liens are not actually going to be is just in the process of getting cleared. If that is the case, we are not sure how motivated Mr. Seller would be to get the liens cleared if WE now have the liens on OUR home. So, WE will not be closing on the home until the liens are actually cleared, and the title is actually clean and clear - not just some letter from some attorney saying they are going to be cleared. 
2. We will be willing to take early possession, but it would be contingent upon:
* Rent free and/or other fees free (considering we are homeless because of this mess and we can find someplace else to stay. A mortgage is a payment towards your loan. Rent, in this circumstance, would be money going towards nothing.
* The early possession is in writing, legally binding
* With a timeline to close eventually (within 30 days for example). We want to know that they are going to be motivated to get this house closed, too, in a timely fashion. Afterall, we can not make any changes to the home until it is ACTUALLY ours. We have people lined up to come and install a closet, put in shutters, etc.
3. Time is important here as we are loan locked for only a short period of time, then we will be out another $500 for the loan lock we have now. We are leaning more towards giving them less time than more time on everything to get cleared up because we have an awesome rate that we do not want to lose that will add up to big $ for years  if we have to go with a higher rate.
We are pondering the early possession because we have no place to go, obviously. Our buyers are so kindly kicking us to the curb - physically. However, if we move into the home, we feel more committed to tolerate whatever may be thrown into this mix. With that said, if Mr. and Mrs. Ponderosa Seller do not agree to the above, we will obtain a storage unit and stay with family. If in a timeline (10-14 days or something) this mess is not cleared up - we have the option to back out of the Ponderosa home and purchase another home, hopefully keeping our $2000 good faith deposit since this is not our fault here. We, of course, DO NOT want to do this. But, we also do not want to live with family since we are not even sure any family wants us living with them for however long. We can not get an apartment for such a short period of time, so we are trapped. With this said, we are leaning towards this route at this point only so we are not trapped in this possible legal trap.
Chris and I are quite concerned about this property and the possibility of any future liens, lawsuits or the like. We just want to live in a home peacefully without any house stress for once! This home on Ponderosa is now looking like a scary investment unless things quickly change. Considering our condition, that of homeless come Friday, we think 10-14 days from Friday is more than enough time to get this cleaned up or we walk and find ourselves a no stressful, lien less home to move into (do they exist?). 
Michael, our real estate agent, has done a lot to try to keep things moving toward closing on Friday. Today he went to the Floor Store (on of the places with a large lien on the home) to see about having them clear the lien. They, of course, just want to be paid and are not removing the lien. They think, probably, that Mr. Seller will just pay the lien to get out of this mess. However, I wouldn't if I were Mr. Seller. He already paid for the floors once! Michael also called and talked to both Mr. and Mrs. Seller (more or less doing Don Fullers job as a real estate agent) finding out what was going on from their end. Guess they are not speaking to one another at all, so that makes this all the more difficult. And, Michael has been on the phone with Chris and I a few times trying to ensure us that he is trying to get this fixed.
I have a feeling this is not going to be over until its over. So profound!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Thinking that we were moving on Friday, I sold the refrigerator and had it set to be picked up on Wednesday evening. Well, now that moving on Friday is not going to happen, we were going to be without a refrigerator! So, my parents brought a little dorm sized fridge for us to put a few of our things in. I packed up most of the items into their cooler and they took them home (I would have just kept them in the cooler if we were moving forward with the original plans).

A family of 5 now living out of a dorm sized refrigerator. Like the downsized look?

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DinoQuest & Forest October Visit

After we dropped off the girls at school and preschool, Asher and I wanted to get out of our cramped home and into the forest! It was a nice day for it too. It may not have been sunny, but the temperatures were comfortable with a light jacket. Asher loves the dinosaur exhibit, and I wanted him to get to see it before they were gone.

We walked the boardwalk on our dino quest adventure. Asher just loves the dinos and touching the touch and feel things on the signs. We played a little bit at acorn acres before heading out. Next on the list was to stop in and say hi to Daddy. Asher really liked seeing him, but he was not so happy about saying goodbye.

Asher and I love the alone time we get on our 2 mornings a week, and Dinoquest in the forest was a great way to spend this morning!

Don't Feed (or touch) the Dino!Forest with Fall ColorsMore Fall Forest ColorsAutumn River ViewRunning Asher

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Monday, October 19, 2009

The Austin Curse?

This morning I had to call Michael, our real estate agent, about scheduling our pre closing walk through of our new home and I wanted to know when the buyers of our current home were going to do their walk through. Michael was like, hey, just got off the phone with Don (the builder AND real estate agent of the home we are buying) and he reported that there may be a couple liens going on the home we want to buy. Okay, let me point out that this is new construction, BUT someone has lived in it for 3 months (they closed on the home July 2, 2009). Don pointed out that he believed these contractors that put the liens on the home were paid up (from the builders point of view). Anyway, the owners of the home paid for the home and purchased the home in July clear of liens at time of closing, so these liens should have been against Don Fuller, the builder not the current homeowners who purchased the home with a clean and clear title. I called Chris and reported what Michael had told me. Something was not adding up here and it did not look good for our Friday move day.

Don Fuller, the owner of Lifestyle Homes (who is also a real estate agent), had not been good about returning phone calls, emails, or showing up to appointments we had scheduled about building a home with him or about the home we are now trying to buy (he was the listing agent and builder for the home). I, personally, did not find him to be a honest man. Chris was worried that he was up to something, and hoped Mr. Fuller did not have any surprises prior to closing.

Well, then there is the Austin Curse (that only effects Chris and I). There are 2 liens on the home (so far) that will prevent us from closing this week because Lifestyle Homes declared bankruptcy on Friday. Nice. Oh, and that is not all. Mr and Mrs. Seller of the home - they are getting divorced. I guess it was a surprise divorce for Mrs. Seller. She was to sign over the deed today after their divorce court date. However, their divorce court date was changed to NEXT Monday. Mrs. Seller did not feel comfortable signing over the deed until the divorce court date. UGH! So, just another reason the closing and moving will not happen this week.

In summary - WE ARE NOT MOVING THIS WEEK AS PLANNED! All the boxes are packed and jammed into our garage and main level of our home, the refrigerator is sold and being picked up on Wednesday, our address was changed and all the utilities were set to go on at the new home Friday. So, back on the phone cancelling all that work. The TV stand we ordered online was to be delivered on Friday, so we paid to have the delivery changed to our current address (great...just another thing to move if we ever get to move). How long are we seriously going to have to live like this? And, Alivia was to start at her new school on Monday - but we will still be here! So, that is back on hold. Just when we can see the light, it goes back off.

Now, we wait. We wait to hear if the buyers of our home are willing to patiently wait or will we just be homeless come Friday. We wait to see if we will be able to buy this home or will we forever be threatened with liens. We will continue to have to live in our home that looks like that of a hoarder on the main level with everything we own in boxes and will soon be without even a refrigerator! Alivia does not even know when she is starting her new school. How hard is that!

We hope to break this Austin curse soon. In the meantime, we will wait and see where we will be living and when! 

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Beautiful October Day at the Zoo

Today was such a beautiful day that I thought it was a perfect day to go to the zoo! With temps in the upper 60's, the weather was fabulous! We arrived about 11. We started at the usual desert, moving to the butterfies, giraffes, and onto the picnic. We sat and  watched the sea lions for a while. Mommy was spent after working Saturday and Sunday night with just a 3 hour catnap on Sunday. I was dragging. We stuck to the outdoor exhibits and animals today so we could enjoy the weather. About 2:15, Addison asked if we could go home. Unfortunately, we could not go home until 4 because of the radon mitigation install and termite inspection. UGH! So, we went to the Stone Creek Park to chill until it was time to pick up Alivia.

We had a fun day at the zoo. Addison liked the butterfies and Asher liked the bears. This time...I just liked being outside on this nice day with my kids, even though I really could not keep my eyes open for it!


October Zoo DayWhat are you looking at?Eating by the giraffesHungry?Lil Spiders

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Change can be good

Since it has gotten cold, dreary and wet, I have been driving Alivia to school. I have been driving her every Tuesday and Thursday and dropping her off at the Kindergarten line just as the bell rings so I can see her walk inside. Today she asked if I could just drop her off to wait in line (instead of walking her in) so she can wait with her friends. She got out of the van and ran to her friend, Sophia, who gave Alivia a hug! What a big girl! Although it was a tear jerking moment for many reasons, I was proud of her as I watched her grow up before my eyes.

After taking Alivia and Addison to school, it was just Asher and I. We played soccer! Asher dribbles really well. He is so funny as he TOUCHES the ball to get it in the right place before kicking it! We played catch, too. He is really good at throwing, but I have to really keep my eyes on the ball. He wings it at me!

When Asher and I picked up Addison today, I told Addison how much we missed her and turned to Asher and said, "Didn't we Asher?" Asher responded, "No!" I think he had too much fun playing ball!

Back at home after preschool, Addison and Asher have adjusted to not having picky Alivia home at lunch. This week we have had 3 new things including fish sticks and cheeseburger macaroni (made with soy burgers!) and they asked for seconds! Seriously, every week I am buying new things and watching Addison and Asher eat them. It is amazing what they will eat when Alivia is not there saying how disgusting everything is!

So, change can be least this kind of change!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Price of Moving

Everyone knows, when you move or move up, there are costs involved. There are the obvious costs - the increase in the mortgage, or the hidden costs, such as the fact that taxes get higher with the value of the home (more so in the tax me state of Nebraska!).

We have uncovered the big costs of moving, and here are some of them:
$20-$160 fees for moving or starting utilities (from cable, water, trash, etc - they all are charging a fee to disconnect and reconnect).
$40 +: Moving truck is $40/day plus 70 cents a mile! Yikes! We are moving far away too!
Commission: Our real estate agent gets a negotiated 6% commission from the sale of our home. He has done A LOT to earn that, too. Our real estate team is awesome, though, for having put up with Chris and I!
Inspection: Our home inspection on our home 9 years ago was $250. This time it was nearly $500! Seriously! That is crazy!
Radon testing: $140!

These things are just price of moving in dollars. In talking last night, Chris reported that he is probably the most stressed out that he has ever been. I would have to say that I would concur. I may have been stressed before, but not for this long of a period of time. I also think that one is more level headed in a clean environment, and our home is chaos right now! Nobody can help being stressed with stuff all over the place. And, when the kids yell, my head fills like it is going to explode as their screams echo off of all our our stuff!

And then there are our kiddos. With each thing getting packed up in their rooms, there are tears. They do not understand that it will be in their new room in the new house. Addison burst into tears when her dresser was taken out. Grandma Bet somehow calmed her down. Addison has been packing her favorite things into backpacks since I started clearing out in February! She has backpacks and Dora coolers full of toys. And, Addison has gone back to her taggie (And, as I have mentioned, if it would make me feel better - I would have a taggie too!). Alivia has done okay so far. She does not clearly understand that she has to leave Miss Moran and her classmates behind, though. I think she will miss playing with Kazia next door, too. And then there is Asher. He has been more clingy lately, not really knowing what is going on, either. I think he may be the first one to sleep in our new house as I am not sure he will sleep anyplace but near Mommy and Daddy! His room looks pretty much the same minus the things in his closet and his bookshelf. But, the rest of the house is noticeably not the same, even to a 22 month old little boy.

Give us a few months - and we are sure we will be right at home in our new home. We look forward being settled and having all of this behind us. It will be nice to look out of door at geese instead of what we see now. And, that will make this move more than worth it!

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The Moving Zone

Dining roomFamily RoomEntry wayDining roomOur Favorite Garage!
Wanna move? Check out the Austin Moving zone first! Seriously, we have to live like this! It looks like a house of a hoarder! "Mess" Asher says. So, if you want to move, be prepared for the moving zone to enter your home and take over (unless you are hiring it done - which perhaps would have been a better idea!). Can you imagine the faces of the new owners on their walk through 48 hours prior to close? YIKES!

Chris and I carried most of the furniture to the garage or main level by ourselves! I know, I am stronger than I look (or at least I am stronger than I think I am). My parents helped with the packing and carrying of the extremely heavy armoire, Addison's dresser, and of course, that playset! Thanks Mom and Dad!

More Garage!Addison's nearly empty roomAlivia's room with just her bedOur room (without a bed!) and a piece of luggage for a nightstand

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Boppa Bill

Last night we celebrated Boppa Bill's birthday a day early. They arrived right after naptime, just in time to help us with some heavy lifting of the last of the furniture to reach the main level (seriously, I will have to post pics of the mess!). Then, it was time for Mama's Pizza and cake! After filling up our tums, the kids were more than wild. There is seriously no place for them to go on the main level without bumping into something. Their screams just echo, causing one's head to throb! I'm sure Boppa (and Grandma) were more than ready for a quiet ride home from our house!

Boppa got an exciting present: A new faucet for the bathroom remodel at their lake home. WOOHOO! Can't wait to see that finished project next summer (or maybe sooner!).

Happy Birthday Boppa...& Many more...

Present TimeAddi & Boppa

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where's Fall?

We woke up this morning and Alivia said, "What happened to fall? It looks like winter out!" Asher said, "Rain!" and Addison wanted to go out and play in the SNOW! Yes, it snowed overnight on October 10! The average temperature for this time of year is 70, but this morning it was 30 with tonight's low to be 22! At least we got to see it snow at our home one last time. All I have to say is that I hope it warms up before we move or Brrrr!

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Date Night

Last night was date night at the Austin House. We got our babysitter and set out. We first went to Nebraska Furniture Mart to look for a TV stand for the new house, look at TVs (but we can not buy one because we do not have the measurements), etc. After striking out there, we went to Old Chicago for dinner. MMmm! It was nice to sit through a meal uninterrupted. We ran a couple errands picking up a little surprise for the kids (Alivia and Addison got Strawberry Shortcake socks and Asher got Snoopy ones) before making our way home.

This may be the last time we get to go out for a while because our babysitter will be so far away. She did say she still wanted to watch our kids after we move, but we don't think she knows just how far away we will be. We will sure miss Miss Alyssa!

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Alivia's Family Presentation

Alivia presenting to her classMiss Moran and Alivia

A few days ago I posted Alivia's poster for her family social studies project. Well, today Alivia presented her poster and we were invited to see it. Unfortunately, Addison and Asher had bad colds and could not come along. So, Grandma and Grandpa stayed behind and watched them for a bit.

Alivia did an awesome job! She was, of course, quite quiet as she told about her family, the Adventurous Austins, and all the fun things we like to do and places we like to visit. The kids then asked Alivia questions, like her favorite color (pink and purple), her favorite season (summer), what she wants to be when she grows up (a Dr or a mommy - and that changes a lot, but Miss Moran thought she would be good at either because she is so caring of others!). It was fun to see Alivia in action. She will miss her classmates and Miss Moran. Miss Moran is amazing! We will miss her too

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Bigger Yard?

DuringMessAll clear!Bigger Yard?

Today was the day...the big day...the day the playset came down in preparation for the big move in a couple weeks. We were worried how the kids would take it, but they did okay. I think it helped that Grandpa Bill was taking it down!

Grandpa started his work right way in the morning. It was an extensive project, but he got it done. Look at the results! Wow! The yard look so different, and bigger! We can't wait to see the playset all installed in our new yard. That may be a bigger challenge (not that taking it down was easy or anything!).

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