Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Move

It's official.  The old house has sold.  We signed papers on the house we are buying, and it should close tomorrow.  It was iffy up until the very end.  We ended up needing to "reimburse the time for missing work, and driving time" (aka bribe) the estranged husband of the lady buying our old home to sign a paper saying she could purchase the house on her own.  The title company told the Evil Mortgage Company two months ago that a paper would have to be signed and nothing was done.  When the papers were submitted to the title company, the title company reiterated and we were scrambling to get it done.  This estranged husband picks cherries in The Middle of Nowhere, Montana and it was tricky trying to track him down.

I feel like I should feel euphoria and relief.  But I'm not.  Every. Single. Time. I got really excited, and felt like "this is really happening," reality checked in and knocked me down emotionally.  We were 40 days past our closing date, which itself was a 40 day contract.  We've been on this emotional roller coaster since mid-June.  I'm tired.  I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Now, at this point in time, it would be extremely unlikely that it falls through.

But what if it does?  

Anyhoo.  Now that we've moved on from the old house FOR REALS, I'll post pictures from the move.  Ryan's mom suggested we take lots and lots of pictures, so I did my best, along with packing, parenting and everything else.

Packing:  (check out my awesome parenting skills- movie time...)
The toy room was full of boxes most of the summer; short on fun.
Elizabeth enjoyed decorating the boxes.
Moving day was last Thursday.  We weren't even certain we were going to actually move that day.
We let the girls go to friends' homes for the afternoon and evening, and away we went.  6 pm we started.
By 9:15 we were saying goodbye to all our wonderful helpers.  We had 5 or 6 pick-up trucks.  And then we were left were the aftermath.  Holy Moly.
Earlier this week, we let the kids say goodbye to the old house.  Emma has been a little emotional about leaving her old home.

What I Wore Wednesday

While we were in the process of moving, I had to admire my utterly stylish outfit.
Gray shoes and dark brown shorts.  I was totally stylin'.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Saturday morning Ryan took all 4 girls with him to make relish for the upcoming fair.  The Lamb Growers Association always do lamb burgers, and have this fabulous relish that Ryan wants the recipe for.  This is the first year they offered to let the FFA help, and then Ryan would know how to make it.  Due to school beginning late in the year, Ryan brought his children instead of his students.  He figured he'd be home after lunch time.

Around 11 am I heard the door being opened.  I thought to myself, "Wow, the kids must not have been good if he's home already."  I walked towards the door, but it wasn't Ryan entering my house.


I was past the kitchen- no knives readily available to grab.  Uh oh.

It was our old bishop from church.  I guess that's ok.  I didn't have to fight or fly away.

Unfortunately, the first words out of his mouth were, "I didn't see your van.  I thought I needed to watch the kids while you took Ryan to get stitches."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Stitches?

His phone dings, he looks down and sees another text from my Dear Sweet Spouse saying I didn't know yet, and to not tell me.

Too late.

I eventually pieced together the story.  (I chewed Ryan out over the phone, once I got the fact he wasn't in mortal danger.)  Bro. Ricks called Ryan while driving up to our house.  He was looking for a particular item and thought we might have one.  Ryan didn't answer, but texted back saying he was getting stitches.  Bro. Ricks thought it was a call for babysitting and the front door was unlocked.  (Darn Dear Sweet Spouse didn't lock it on the way out.  Like he's supposed to.)

As for how the stitches came to be- Ryan was cutting cabbages by the dozen with a big knife.  One rolled, the knife slipped and Ryan tried to take off his hand.  He looked down at the cut and decided it was going to need stitches.  He called 1, 2, 3 people before finding someone who could give him stitches.  Paying $300 for an ER visit was going to be a last resort.  So he drove over to the guy's house with all 4 children in tow, picked him up and proceeded to drive to the doctor's office the next town over.
He was very lucky.  He didn't cut any major veins, tendons or nerves, and no surgery was required.  He does look almost suicidal, however.  This summer has been rough, but not that bad.

First Day of Preschool

Annie and Maddie started their preschool today.  They were SO excited, especially since they were starting school before their big sisters.  (Due to the high school construction project still underway, we are not starting until after Labor Day.)  They were not enthusiastic to come home again.  Good thing they get to go twice a week.

Monday, August 20, 2012

(Almost) A House Update

I realize it's been a while since my last post about our housing debacle.  Truthfully, there's not a lot of progress that has been made in the last two weeks.  This has been the summer of "hurry up and wait" while most of our stuff is packed away.  It really stinks.  I'm frustrated, angry, and depressed.

Ryan says it's like we "broke up" with our house back in June when we signed the papers saying we had an accepted offer.  Now we are just living with our "ex" and can't move on.  Every day we are here is a reminder of our unsuccessful attempt to move on.

Last week was a tough one.  I was supposed to go to BYU education week with a friend.  I have yet to have time to myself that lasts more than a few hours since becoming a mom 9.5 years ago.  I was really looking forward to being a student again and having a big break.  And it didn't happen.  For the last 40 days, the possibility of signing papers to close the house sale is supposedly a few days away.  So I was stuck at home, in a house I am ready to be done with, with some kids who are not exactly happy with the way their summer has gone.

I can't say I blame them.

Thursday night I was so angry, I wrote a scathing review of the buyer's mortgage company.  I didn't actually post it on the internet though.  Instead I looked up their corporate website and wrote a mostly polite email, asking them to look into our particular office and mortgage.  They've been dishonest, rude over the phone, and glacially slow.  We've been in the loan underwriting (which was supposedly a "rush") for over a week.

Friday our real estate agent called the vice president of the whole company to do the same thing.  He seems to have made some progress.  Today we were told that the loan was "conditionally" approved.  I suppose this is progress, and I should be glad that the corporate office is now involved.  They are hopeful of signing papers this week.

Like I've never heard that before.

When this is all over, I intend to post that scathing review as many times as I can.  And if it does close this week, I will consider sweeping and doing some other basic cleaning before handing over the keys.  Maybe.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Swim Lessons

For the last two weeks the kids have been attending their annual session of swim lessons.  Last Friday was the test, and once that was done, it was FUN TIME.  

I love that one of the sections of the "guppy" class was blowing bubbles in the water.  Everyone passed their classes.

The kids were off to the water slide.  I made collages of all the pictures I took of their progression  down the slide.  

 Elizabeth also enjoyed the diving board.  The jump in the middle cracks me up.  She looks like she's going to take out her teacher.  (But she didn't.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How The Years Fly By

Ryan and I were at Sea Galley last night, eating our salads.  It was our 11th anniversary, and we found a babysitter so we could have a date.  I was chewing a bite of my caesar salad when something caught my eye from across the table.  I looked up, and Ryan was stabbing various greens with his fork and coming awfully close to... was that a fly?

On the drive to dinner (we went all out and left our small town), we were talking about various things we've done for our anniversary.  I remembered our 9th anniversary, where we had Costco hotdogs (which you can read about here).  Last year we went to a nice B&B in Portland during "Grandpa Camp" while the kids spent some quality time with their grandparents and cousins, but we couldn't remember what we had done on our anniversary itself.  I'm pretty sure we went on a date, but I guess it just wasn't that memorable.

Well, my mouth was full of food and I couldn't safely say something (I've got to use my manners when I'm on a date, after all), but Ryan needed to be warned.  I reached across the table, grabbed his hand, and pointed to the fly.    He looked at me, and the we stared at the fly.  Every once in a while, it would twitch.  It was not entirely dead.  Ryan pushed his plate to the middle of the table, and we started giggling.  By now, you could safely say the salad was 2/3 of the way gone.

"I've only ever heard of something like this happening to someone.  I didn't think it would happen to me," Ryan said.

I agreed.  "It's not even all dead.  Just 'mostly dead, which means he's slightly alive.'"  We started making jokes about Miracle Max and the Princess Bride.

I offered Ryan some of my salad (as it was caesar and not the tossed green kind like his was), but he said he'd pass.

Our server came back and started to clear our salad plates.  Ryan pointed to the unsavory morsel on his plate.  "Oh my gosh.  I'm not prepared for something like this.  Would you like another salad?" our server asked.

Ryan said he was finished with salads for the evening.  When the server left, Ryan cursed his lack of creativity.  He thought he should have asked what the fly was doing on his plate, so the server could have said something like, "Well, looks to me like the backstroke."  I said I didn't think our server was that quick on her feet.

Ryan was cautious throughout the rest of his meal, looking for any suspicious add-ins.  After our server asked if the meal was ok and left, Ryan said to me, "Yep, fly-free.  Just how I like it."

At the end of the meal, the server left the receipt.  No apologies, no discount on Ryan's meal, no free dessert.  We were not impressed.  So Ryan paid for our meal, but left no tip.  Ryan wanted to make a fly out of the zero on the tip area of the receipt, but I thought that might be a little much.

In any case, we left laughing.  This will definitely make the memorable anniversary date list.

Be careful what you wish for.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fair Time

I can heave a sigh of relief.  The fair is over.  It takes over the whole week, even though it only runs 4 days.  Monday night is fair clean up and setting up the animal pens with the educational displays, Tuesday is FFA display set up and swine weigh and haul in, and from there- the fair completely takes over our lives.  

Thursday was the market show.

Zeus got 5th place in his class, and a blue ribbon.
 Watching kids "show" their animal only keeps sisters so entertained...

The first blue ribbon!

Friday was showmanship.  Swine showmanship is frankly kind of strange.  Emma didn't like to nudge her pig very hard with the cane, but thankfully (for the most part), Zeus responded to her gentle taps.  As the show went on, the pigs started to get pretty grumpy so the pig boards and hair spray came out.  (I'd never seen hairspray used to distract pigs, but it did work...)

 Again, we had lots of time to fill.  Elizabeth refused to make anything but a silly face for the camera.

Thursday night my in-laws came, and both of Ryan's sisters came early Friday morning.  Everyone was really excited to see the first grandchild show her first 4-H animal.  Another generation begins!

Ryan had told me Thursday night that Emma would probably show around 8:30 or 9 am.  I got up, and was getting the other 3 ready to go when Ryan called.  The classes got changed around and she would be showing soon.  Very, very soon.  Elizabeth is not a go-getter in the morning, so I literally dressed her along with the twins, drug them away from their breakfasts (no breakfast for me), and drove 85 miles per hour on the freeway (I passed the guy ahead of me coming out of the on-ramp onto the freeway), parked inside the fairgrounds (had a parking pass this year- yes!) and ran, dragging children along to arrive at the end of Emma's showmanship class.  The kids had a great case of bed-head going on.  But I was there, and witnessed the last 3 minutes of her show, all before 8 am.
 One of the other local ag teachers brought along his "train" to the fair.   Ryan drove the kids around for a while.
Ryan's display.  We all helped him this year.
 Saturday was the sale.  Ryan thought it would be Emma's turn between 10:30 and 11 am.  Ryan went in with the Emma early, and I brought the rest of the crew in at about 10:15.  And we waited.  And we waited. And we baked in the sun.  We had the free lunch provided for exhibitors and buyers.  And we waited.  The swine were not the 2nd after the sheep like Ryan thought.  They were last.  And Emma was midway through the list.  Around 2:30 Ryan and Emma washed Zeus.  And we waited some more.
(Jordy, Kaylie and Emma)

 She lined up about 4 pm, ready to go.
 (Also seen in the picture is Megan- the girl who thought Emma should show a pig.)

The boys running the swine auction arena are used to roughing up the pigs a little to get them to move.  Well, they whacked Zeus to get him to move forward, and boy, was Zeus mad.  Emma ended up just trying to move out of the way and let the boys handle their mess.
Emma got $1.70/lbs for her pig.  Zeus was bought by our local orthodontist.  I assume he's trying to bribe us into coming to him when the kids are ready for that phase of their life. :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

More (Mis)Adventures in Home Selling

I'm sure this isn't interesting to the rest of the world, but this is the life that is encircling me right now.  When I say "encircling," what I really mean is- utterly and completely stressing me out in a big way.


Our realtor called Ryan this morning.  As the buyer's realtor isn't doing his job in following up with anything at all, our realtor finally connected with the appraiser.  He asked her why he hadn't been over to do the final check.  He replied that he would- as soon as the lender's bank gave him the order.

I'm sorry- what?  That order was supposed to go out last Tuesday.

(And here I've been silently cursing the appraiser.  Whoops.)

So our realtor called the buyer's bank, told the receptionist lady she'd darn well better get the dude out of the meeting and talk with him.  Now.

Hopefully the bank got around to ordering the follow-up appraisal today, or at the latest, tomorrow.

I'm angry.  I'm having severe junk food cravings.  I'm stressed.  I have a shorter fuse around my children.  I will be so very glad to finally be done with this house thing.  If and when the other lady's lender and realtor will get off their sorry behinds and do something.

Now excuse me while I go make some voodoo dolls, and dig my sewing pins out from in the packed up boxes.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cookin' on the BBQ

It was hot today.  As in 100+ degree hot.  We cooked dinner on Ryan's grill.  Yes, it's hot outside, and you have to be outside to cook.  But, it does not warm up the house by turning on the stove.  That's a good thing when you have one little wall unit air conditioner.

After dinner, we were having a hankering for cookies.  Ryan suggested we try to cook them on his grill too.  
It worked.  They didn't even taste smoky.  Ryan just kept an eye on the thermometer, and kept it roughly in the 375 degree range.

Cookies on the barbeque.  Who knew?

Rising Make-up Artist

And here I was thinking just yesterday how it's been a while since anyone stole any of my make-up.  At least I can be thankful it was just on her face and not all over the bathroom.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Waiting Game Continues

Well, here we are.  Two weeks after our original closing date on our house, and we are still here in the house.  We still have a giant pile of boxes, and most of our stuff is unavailable for day to day use.

The appraiser (this time a live one) came last Friday.  We left the house so the fellow could poke around and do his job without us staring him down.  We were patient and waited for the report to come back.  Tuesday our realtor told us the bank has graciously deemed the house worthy of the new loan.  Unfortunately, the appraiser couldn't find the hole to lead down to the crawl space and would need to come back to check the status below the house.


Now, what kind of idiot whose job it is to find things like that, can't find one in our tiny laundry room?  Or, can't manage to use a phone to ask?

Ah yes, the idiot who can use any excuse to come back and charge for it.

So now we are waiting for on the appraiser to come back.  Once that happens, and we get his stamp of approval, it shouldn't be long.  Supposedly when that happens, the title company will call us to sign papers, and in 3 days time we can be done.  Closed.  Finis.

But for now, we are just waiting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Ryan and I spent Monday in Seattle.  We dropped the kids off with Ryan's parents and were FRRRRREEEEEE!  We don't go on many dates or anything, so we really relish Grandpa Camp time.  

We started off at the Seattle Center, where we parked the car.  At those prices, we were not moving the car for anything until we were done for the day!
We looked at the map Seattle Center provided and decided we could easily walk to Pike Place Market.  So we did.

On the way there, some random guy stopped Ryan and asked if he was a Vandals fan (as Ryan was wearing a Idaho Vandals polo shirt).  Ryan said, yes he was.  The random dude proceeded to kick off one of his flip flops and show us the Vandals logo on his flip flop.  Hm.  Thanks for sharing?  Go Vandals!

(Can you pick me out of the above picture?  I've got my arms folded.  For some reason, the whole world didn't stop so I could get my picture taken.  Sheesh.  How rude.)

Then we walked down to the waterfront, and had lunch a lunch of halibut and "chips" (the french fry kind) at the Crab Pot.  It was really yummy and really hot!
We had papers to sign with the mortgage company for the house we are buying.  They are in Seattle, and we figured- hey we can walk there.  Our agent said it was just a little past Safeco Field.  Well, we could see Safeco field; the walk couldn't be too bad....
Well, there's Safeco Field.  Evergreen Mortgage is just a little past that if you are driving.  It's more like a half mile past, and you definitely notice every step when you've been walking that far in flip flops.  Obviously I do not plan ahead very well.  We spent about 45 minutes signing papers and asking questions.  Afterwards, our lovely agent offered to drive us back to Seattle Center, and we gratefully accepted.

(Funny story- as we were walking to the mortgage place, we walked past a couple of Green Peace kids who wanted a couple minutes to talk about saving the rain forest or some such thing.  My high school Environment Science Teacher spouse refused to talk to them.  I sensed a little irony.  But hey- we were already doing our part by walking instead of taking the car, right?)

The King Tut exhibit is currently at the Pacific Science Center.  I wanted to see it, and Ryan wasn't against it.  He'd never been to the Pacific Science Center, so- we went!  It was really cool.
I thought this guy had the most distinctive face:
And I had to take a picture of this guy:
"Man Eaten By Chair"  (Ok, that's not really what it is)

Our couch is getting old and has lost much of it's "umpf."  Nearly every time Ryan sits on our couch, he always complains how his feet feel like they are higher than his rear, and how he sinks in, etc. etc. etc.  The "Man Eaten By Chair" dude just reminded me of Ryan.
One of the many "Shabti" found in King Tutankhamen's tomb.

A lid of a container that once held some of King Tutankhamen's mummified organs, with his likeness on the lid.
He had gold finger and toe covers on his mummy, with real gold sandals.

After we were done with the King Tut display, we checked out the exotic butterflies.

And then wandered around the rest of the Science Center until it closed at 6 pm.
Then we hit the road again.  We stopped for dinner at an Indian restaurant in Bellevue.  Neither Ryan or I have ever had Indian food before, but we didn't have the children with us and were feeling adventurous.  When we opened the menu, we kind of wondered what we had got ourselves into.  How do you pronounce that, and how on earth do you eat those extra thin cracker thingys they give you as an appetizer?  I'm sure our bumblings made us stick out like a sore thumb, but the food was soooo good.  Ryan, who had been especially apprehensive, left enthusiastic to come back.

We got back on the freeway to head home.  And found this on the pass:
Rock blasting closed the roads for an hour.  Ryan got out of the car and chatted with a partially toothless, Spanish speaking truck driver.  The truck driver (who also spoke some English) had told some hot-shot Camero driver that the road closure would last 5 hours, and was laughing to himself when Ryan came along. But then this truck driver found another truck driver preparing his dinner, and was bragging about how he was cooking up some rice and beans and tortillas in the back of his cab.  Turns out, all he had was a bowl of Cheerios.  Truck drivers are an odd group.

Eventually we got home.