Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Florida Roller Coaster Ride...


I know I am lacking in the blogging department. Bare with me as I live out this roller coaster we are on. I have been wanting to post these kitchen pictures since Saturday, but I haven't gotten around to it. First we left from SC on Saturday around 8:30am. Why? Well, there is this Halloween thing up at the park right by our house. We have always taken the kids even way back when we only had Timmy at it was at City Hall. It was a lot smaller then. Now it is a pretty big deal. You buy a $5 wrist band and there are a ton of those jumpy blow ride things. That makes it a big deal, but that is NOT what made it A HUGE DEAL for Savannah. We have been telling her we are moving all year. She feels all the stress just like we do. One little piece of no stress is that for everyday we don't move, she is still here with her friends. A lot of her friends go to this Halloween thing and she wanted very much to be there. She was going to stay home from SC just to go with her friends for the "last time". Then she could decide if she could stay with Grandma and let us go. There were lots of tears and I felt bad for her. I know what is like to very much want to do two things and not be able to decide. We decided to just come home on Saturday so she could go with her friends. Yes, I do think I deserve some "GREAT MOM" award for driving 8.5 hours straight, hopping out of the car, getting the kids in a costume, making hot dogs and chips, walking up to the park and spending the next 4 hours trick or treating and going from jumping balloon to jumping balloon and then coming home to clean for a house showing the next morning. I was tired, but I was happy. Savannah's friends' squealed when we arrived and they were all so happy together. It made it worth it without a doubt! As for my title - the kids watched 2 different Lilo and Stitch movies on the way to and from SC. You know the "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" song from it? I really like that song. I kept thinking that suited our life right now as I listened to it. Then when they said "Ohana Means Family and Nobody Gets Left Behind or Forgotten" - I was reminded of how great my family is. It has been a tough week - who am I kidding - a tough year. My family has been great! My kids have put up with their lives being on hold, my mom was ready to cash in her life insurance if Tim needed surgery. my sister, Michelle, would do anything to help me, my other sister is trying to help me with some job possibilities and then there is my husband. He is really hurt and he is still hanging in there. In the end, it all comes down to my family.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Feast

Appetizer
Name a great website you would recommend to others.

Well Trained Mind Message Boards This is a homeschool message board, but I have learned way more things on this board than I think any other message board. Not just homeschool stuff. House stuff, health stuff, budget stuff. The women there are great and have such a vast array of information.


Soup
On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?

10 - I dream every night.

Salad
Did you have a pet as a child? If so, what kind and what was its name?

Yes, we had dogs. Beggar and Sassy. Beggar was some sort of terrier, I think. Sassy was a pekashnoodle - pekingese, schnauzer and poodle.

Main Course
If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?

I have no idea. I would never want to be on TV. It would be weird to see myself! It is too early in the morning for me to think of something I would want to promote. Sorry!

Dessert
What is your favorite kind of hard candy?

I am not really a hard candy person. I guess if I have to pick one it would be Jolly Ranchers especially the Green Apple kind.

Praise!

About five minutes after I wrote my last post, I went to look in our mailbox. I have been avoiding the mailbox here. It has not brought us any good news since we bought this house. We were assessed a lien for a dam on the lake we knew nothing about. Then there has been past due dues on the lake that I can't get anyone to send me the info on, etc. The mailbox has not been a happy place. But, I bit the bullet and checked the mailbox. There was my property tax bill! Oh JOY! I knew what the taxes on this house were last year. I assumed they would go up because that is usually what happens when you purchase a house. I knew this and was prepared for it. That doesn't mean it wasn't a cause of my hyperventilating over money issues when I realized Tim was going to be off of work for two weeks. I told him we had to pay the house taxes soon and it was just a weight on my mind. Anyway... what am I trying to say? God provides! I opened my tax bill with dread only to find that it was 40% LESS than last year's tax bill! YES - I said LESS! I kept reading it over and over. You know what else? The amount that it was less is just about EQUAL to his two weeks off without pay! Amazing, huh? I didn't post about this when it happened, but now seems like a good time to put it in this post. Remember when I said our AC was stolen and few other things were damaged? We had to turn that in on our home owner's insurance. They ended up paying for the AC and then there was payment for the repairs. Tim will do those repairs, so we came out ahead and that is what has kept us afloat waiting for the house to sell. Again, our needs were provided for. Amazing! We are nowhere near out of the woods with all this house stuff yet. We still need to sell our house and fast would be great, but somehow it seems to keep working out. I am trying really hard to keep believing it will work out. Just keep praying for us!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A recap or something like that...

Here is the recap of my crazy week. Last Wednesday night, Tim was riding a mini-motorcycle. It went out of control and he crashed. He got quite a bit road rash and little did we know - he had broken his collar bone in 3 places. He did not tell me he was that hurt. He went to work on Thursday and Friday without really saying much. His boss was away those two days, so they really needed him (small mechanic shop). He didn't say a whole lost during the weekend either. Here and there, he would gasp with pain, but not a lot. Back up to that Thursday, Sebastian woke up vomiting. He threw up every hour on the hour. I had an appointment for a realtor to come that we ended up hiring. I also had another realtor be a no show for a showing. It was a stressful day! We did end up hiring the realtor. Now a week later - I am not sure what good that is doing. Just will cost us more money later. I guess we can only wait and see. Are you seeing the stress from this past week? On Monday, Tim went to work and his boss when nutso because of his injury. He demanded a doctor note saying he could only work light line, etc. We no longer have health insurance since I lost my job. So, off to get an x-ray and then he called his general doctor to see what he suggested. The x-ray showed a pretty bad break. We made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor for Tuesday morning. Now here is the blessing in this... she only charged him for a general office visit to the price of $72 and even gave him the back brace for free. If she had put in as a broken collar bone, it would have been more than $500 up to $800. That was great and an answered prayer. The bad news is he will have to be off for 2 weeks without pay. Not exactly what we need at this point with 2 house payments, but what are we going to do? The blessing is that he didn't need surgery! Since, he had to be off of work he wanted to come up to the house here in SC. We loaded everyone up and took off. We were supposed to stay in a hotel and make the rest of the trip on Wednesday, but the kids were so good and I wasn't tired. I just drove all the way with the help of Jessica (my sister-in-law) chatting with me on the phone. We haven't done a whole lot since we have been here. Just visiting with family. We did head out and get knobs for our cabinets today and plan to put all the doors on. Maybe he will be able to get the trim and baseboards on the cabinets too. We will see. Then I will post pictures. I am going to go paint a second coat on Timmy's floor now. I am trying to decide if I want to strip the paint off the front steps or just paint them again. Decisions, decisions... Anyway, it sure was a rough week. I am glad we have gotten away for a bit. We still need to really, really sell our house soon and he really, really needs to heal well. Please pray for all of these things to work out. We would really appreciate it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Absent...

I am sorry I have not blogged. My life has been crazy and not the kind of Crazy Everyday Blessings I would like to post about. A quick and short version until later when I have time to write goes like this... Tim broke his collar bone in 3 places. He was riding a mini-motorcycle and crashed. He has to be off of work for at least 2 weeks. So... we loaded up Savannah and Sebastian and headed to South Carolina yesterday. We got in around 1am and got to see our WONDERFUL new countertops. There are many more details of my last week that I would love to share. Right now I need to get a shower and go say hi to our family. They didn't expect us to be here until today. We surprises them by driving all the way last night. Please come back later because I could sure use some positive thoughts and prayers.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Feast

Appetizer
If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?

I think a Labrador. When we go walking we always see our friend, Eli. He is a gentle (but a little skittish) black lab. I love the way he smiles at us as we come around the corner. You can really see it on his face that he is so happy we have come to visit him. He will ever so slowly meander up to us and then I gently put my open hand down below him. He will come and let me pet him for just a second. It really makes me happy and Sebastian loves to see him. When he doesn't want to go for a walk with me, I will ask him if he wants to go see Eli. He almost always decided he wants to go.

Soup
What does the color purple make you think of?

At first glance of this question I would say it made me think of the movie The Color Purple! Funny, huh? The actual color purple is making me think of concord grapes.

Salad
Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning?

This is a tricky question. Does it mean how long does it take me to get a shower, dress and fix my hair? Me - personally - just me... I can get a shower, dressed, and hair done in about 30 minutes. Does this question mean how long would it take me to wake up and immediately get myself, Savannah and Sebastian ready to go? Bare minimum, I would need an hour. I just told my mom, yesterday, that I am constantly forgetting to build in the 10 minute tantrum time. Sebastian has been having a sort of rough few weeks. For some reason every time I want to leave the house, he has a meltdown of some sort. I don't remember to build in the 10 minutes it takes for me to convince him to keep his shoes on, stop laying in the driveway, etc. And then there is another way to look at this question - believe it or not. Generally, I don't wake up and "get ready". I wake up and check email, blog, etc. I don't drink coffee or eat breakfast, so this is my wake up time. I spend about a half hour (okay maybe an hour) on my laptop. Currently, I have been spending it on the porch swing - trying to convince myself it is cool and fall - it is NOT though. It is an illusion. Then I will go shower - takes about 10 minutes. I get dressed and begin cleaning or school or whatever. I let my hair air dry. Eventually, I make it back to fix my hair and do all that pretty stuff. Sometimes it is fairly quickly and sometimes it is not until lunchtime that I am officially "ready". There you have it - way more than you ever probably wanted to know about me getting ready, huh?

Main Course
How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them?

I have to count this one out. Ummm... I have 3 cousins from my dad's side. I have not talked to any of them in years. I do know what is happening with two of them because my mom talks to my aunt. I have 2 cousins on my mom's side. Again, I haven't talked to them in years. Occasionally, I will hear about one of them because my sister and her are not just cousins, they are friends. When I was a kid I watched this particular cousin's children. Becky and Charlie. They were like my first cousins more than my real first cousins because I saw them all the time. I don't really have contact with them now, but I get updates every once in a while from the grapevine. Now if this question was how many cousins to MY KIDS have... oh my... that sure is a big number!

Dessert
Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for. (Example: SFO = Sweet Funny Otter)

KLC = Kari Loves Chocolate

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

House sale prayers please...

UPDATE: They picked another house... I guess we have to keep praying for the right people to buy my house.

I am a superstitious person by nature. I don't really know why. Maybe it has something to do with my OCD personality. I will throw salt over my shoulder if I spill it. I don't like people to open umbrellas indoors. If I drop a spoon, I will say a child is coming to visit (a fork means a woman and a knife means a man... a LARGE spoon means a large child - you get the idea). We are forever knocking on wood around here. We even joke that I bought my car with the fake wood interior just so I could knock on wood. I have many little quirks. One of them is feeling as if I will jinx something if I talk about it. I am finding that the more I am more comfortable with asking for prayers that I have to let go of the feeling that I am jinxing myself for speaking the things I would like prayers for. Silly, I know. I really do know this and it is a huge leap for me to write about how odd my mind sometimes works. Anyway, a nice couple came to see our house yesterday. They seemed so nice and like they would fit here very well. I called their realtor this morning to get some feedback. She said they really liked our house, but the pool was a little smaller than they had wanted. They are supposed to look at a few more houses this afternoon and make a decision in the morning. We are on their list of possibilities. So... here is me saying what I feel like may be jinxing this - please pray that these are the people to buy my house. I am so ready for these people to be the right ones!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Savannah's birthday party - finally!

It has been busy here as usual. I spent a lot of time trying to market our house at the end of last week and then decided to ditch it all and go to Busch Gardens on Friday. On Saturday, Tim and I took the two younger ones and went to a few garage sales. It was fun to be outside on such a nice day. We even brought back a few treasures! Anyway, I know I have been abscent from blogging again. Not for lack of things to write about, just lack of motivation to actually write it. Onto Savannah's party. She wanted a Harry Potter themed party this year. Normally, I spent MONTHS planning all the activities for her party. I am not kidding! Months! She had a Cinderella party once. I printed, cut, and laminated a whole set Cinderella themed paper dolls. I think we also did the styrofoam wands that year too. Another year we had a Dora party. We made special Dora bookmarks with the laminator and smiley beads, coloring books, treasure hunt clues and a huge homemade sun pinata. I start months ahead of time searching on the internet for ideas on games, gifts, crafts and decorations. Did I mention that I love planning things? I would even buy things on clearance all year around to give as gifts at her party, etc. But then THIS year happened! You see - I really didn't think we would still be here for her birthday. I thought we would be moved. I figured it would take her awhile to make friends to invite to a party. I figured this birthday would be a family birthday. Not that it would be a small occasion because our family that will live all around us consists of like 20 people! It just wouldn't be the traditional "girl party" she has always had. The thing is that we didn't move! So, I had to come up with a party and a plan. Of course my mom and my sister helped. Savannah first said she wanted a pinata. She always does want a pinata. We couldn't find one that went with Harry Potter in the store and I was too cheap to pay $7.95 SHIPPING to order one. My mom said she would make one with her! GREAT! Then she said she wanted a craft - she always does want a craft! Somehow it popped into my head to let them decorate their own cakes. That took care of the cake and the craft all in one thing. She loved that idea and my mom ordered some special Harry Potter cake stuff. Then we happened to make playdough and Savannah said she would really like to make a lot of playdough and have time to play with that at her party. At the last minute we came up with a treasure hunt, but we never really got to it. They had fun just playing and we didn't really need a whole lot of games. I think they all had a great time even if realtors kept invading the party. As much as I was happy she got to have one more birthday with her friends, I really, really hope we are moved by next year!


Homemade Voldemort Pinata

Savannah takes her turn.

Sebastian takes a turn.

Looking for something over the fence - I have no idea what!



Playing with homemade playdough!

Decorating their mini cakes.

Opening presents.

Singing Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Faith...

I know I am supposed to be posting birthday party pictures and I will... I promise. They are stuck in my camera and I am sitting on the swing outside. Sebastian is sitting in the swing next to me. He slept pretty lat this morning - till 9:30! I think he is coming down with bug Savannah is getting and many of our friends have. Anyway... that is not what the Faith title is about. Although I do have faith that I will survive if they both get sick. I won't like it, but I will survive. What is my title about? Some things I have been tossing around in my mind over and over and over again. Yesterday, it had been ONE YEAR since I lost my job. Yep, it went that fast. I half expected the phone to ring and hear I sold my house and then that Tim had got the SC job. I was literally hoping that this particular day would prove to be the end of this long road. Not surprisingly, no phone calls came with that information. A year ago today, I was sitting freaked out on my porch swing. What the heck were we going to do if I didn't have a job? How would we afford to live? How would we get our house ready to sell? So many scary questions. I was so completely freaked out! And yet here I am today sitting on my swing. I am still freaked out, but I can also see that everything has been provided for. We didn't starve and we haven't had to claim bankruptcy just yet. I don't know when we are going to sell this house. Nothing makes sense in the housing market these days. I don't know when we will move. I just know that I have faith it is all going to work out. This brings me back to when I was up in South Carolina working on the house. I was putting Savannah's border up in her new room. All of a sudden, my memory went back to when I was putting her border up in her Florida room. It was a few months before Sebastian would be born. My mom and I painted and put up a new border for the room they now share. I was in there alone and looking at the border when I was just overwhelmed with grief. This was the first room I had decorated since Debi had died. We had always gone over color options and border options and just decorating together. We would plan and talk about every detail. I sat on the floor and sobbed. It felt so horrible to be decorating a room without talking to her about it. So, here I am decorating another room for Savannah and now it is RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the house that Debi lived in! How strange is that? If you had told it to me when I was decorating the Florida room over 3 years ago - I would have said you were nuts! Somehow God led me to buying this house in South Carolina. I guess His plan could change and we could never even move into that house, but I really don't see that as the plan right now. I know that for some reason that is where we are supposed to be. I guess I am rambling. I have so many things I am not really that sure of. I spend alot of my day questioning every decision I make. I have to remind myself to just have FAITH. It is not in my timing, but in God's timing.



Savannah's Florida Room


Savannah's South Carolina Room without furniture.

Her border up close.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Maybe this will be IT...

UPDATE: The first realtor came and went. Not sure what to think of it. Then another realtor called during the party and brought a couple that had been to one of our open houses. Who would of thought that I would have not one, but two showings during this birthday party? Not me! Anyway, I will post more party details and pictures tomorrow.

Today we are having Savannah's birthday party with all her friends. It is here at our house. I haven't had a house showing all week. Not a one! This morning as sure as you could bet on it - I got a call from a realtor wanting to show the house between 3 and 4. I told her that was fine, but that we wouldn't be able to vacate since we were having a birthday party at that time. She was REALLY NICE about it and said not to worry. Her client is only in town for the weekend and very much would like to see our house. No mind you - every time we have a showing - I take the kids and dog to Grandma's and make my house METICULOUS! Needless to say, there will be kids here and somehow I doubt my house will remain all that clean in the time they are here. Oh well! It is up to God now! If this is who He has chosen to buy my house, then they will love it no matter who or what is going on when they see. I sure hope they are the ones!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Have you ever seen an ELEPHANT dance?

We have! We went to Busch Gardens on Savannah's birthday. After we finished off our much needed funnel cake - we walked past the elephants. At first I thought he just "looked" like he was dancing from the distance. As we got closer - we realized there were speakers with music right by him. He was dancing and he had great rhythm. I told Savannah he was dancing because it was her birthday! She sure got a kick out of that. Anyway, I took some video on my regular camera just so you could say that you have indeed seen an elephant dance!

video

We also stopped along the way and took a picture with the pretty fall decor. This was the ONLY pretty fall decor we found - the rest was covered up Halloween Horror night decor. Not so pretty to say the least.

Next we went to Timbuktu and road the rides that they love there. Savannah really likes this one ride, but Sebastian is too small and I am a ride wimp. She got to ride this one all by herself - LITERALLY! There was nobody else on the entire ride. Just her - you guessed it - because it was HER BIRTHDAY! video

Finally, this is what my kids look like after a busy day of riding all the rides they wanted at Busch Gardens. I want to get back there on a cool day and actually see all the wonderful animals they have there. Hopefully before we move (if we ever really move)!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sebastian's Birthday

Sebastian celebrated his 3rd birthday two days before Savannah. Yes, it is a busy birthday time for us. He was actually due on Savannah's birthday, but I was induced two days before so I could be home by her birthday. How is that for being a planner? We celebrated with Pizza Hut - one of the few things he will actually eat and chocolate cake! He really liked being sung to and sorta enjoyed opening presents. My mom and Savannah wrapped each of his Cars toys that were on his cake. He wasn't all that happy about having to open each one. He kept telling Savannah "You do it!" I keep saying he is different then my other two and this just further proves it! The others liked to open as much as they could. He just wanted to open a few. Anyway... this was his first birthday where he was really excited about it. We were telling him for the past week that he would have a birthday soon. He would tell me that we would sing Happy Birthday and then would making a blowing out the candles sound! Too cute! Helping with presents!

They are trying to convince him that he wants to take the bows off and tear the paper.


Blowing out those candles!

Me and my baby boy!


Probably not my most exciting decorating on a cake, but it was what he really liked!

Savannah's Birthday

Savannah celebrated her 9th birthday this week. We spent the day at Busch Gardens (a post about that later). My mom made Savannah's favorite chicken and dumplings for dinner. Savannah picked out an ice cream cake from Publix! Yum! Presents!
A much wanted Webkinz horse from Grandma!

Yummy!


We had to light the cake and sing twice because my mom forgot to hit the record button on the video camera! We all had quite a good laugh singing twice!


Me and my baby girl!

Monday, October 01, 2007

This is where I grew up...


I was talking with my best friend the other day. Tricia (Patty) and I grew up together living right next door to each other. We met when we were 2 years old. I don't remember meeting her. She was just always there in my life. Anyway, she still lives in Illinois. She said she was by our old neighborhood and drove past where we grew up. She saw that my old house was for sale. Together we pulled it up online. I lived in this house from the time I was 2 until I was 18. We have been here in Florida for 17 years. This was the house that makes me feel like home. I loved where I grew up. I loved our house and I loved our neighborhood. My sister, Michelle, probably doesn't agree with me about where we lived. For me... it was perfect. So many good things in my life started right there in that house or somewhere very close to it. It doesn't really look the same at all except the layout. It is AMAZING to see all the changes they have made. Here is the funny thing... just recently I had a dream about this house. Savannah and I were visiting Illinois and I took her by this house. I was bold enough in my dream to walk up and stare into the front window trying to get a glimpse of the inside. In my dream, the owners pulled into the driveway. Oops! They had caught us looking in their windows. I explained that I had grown up in that house and was trying to show my daughter. I thought they might be really nice and let us in. They didn't and that was where my dream ended. I woke up and told Tim all about. Then I found out it was for sale and thought I may be able to find pictures of the inside! Wow! There they were! Very neat! I like most of the updates, but it doesn't really even look like I remember it. I guess that may be because that was the 70's and 80's look that I was used to! Anyway, here is the link to the virtual tour if you really want to see it more in depth. It was fun getting to visit my old house all from the comfort of my home in Florida.


Tricia says the trees are so much bigger than she remembers.


Other than the fact that the kitchen is still the same size and the sink, fridge and stove are in the same place - this looks nothing like how it used to be. We didn't have a dishwasher either! Well, for awhile we had one that you wheeled over to the sink and hooked up. How fun!



We didn't have a sliding glass door there. We had a window and then there was an air conditioner below it. The days BEFORE most people had central air.



I like the walls and floor better, but not so much the furniture and curtains. I was just telling Savannah how I would pull the curtains around me at the window. The heat vent was right by the window. I would close the curtains and hold in all the heat while I watched the snow fall at night. I can still see it so clearly in my mind.



My mom had wallpaper on the whole wall. I don't want to think what it took to get the two layers down.



This was my mom and dad's bedroom. It was white back then too, but they had bigger furniture or something. It just looks different.



The basement. It used to be yellow and had carpet that was a whole bunch of rectangles put together. Each rectangle was a different type of carpet. Lovely, huh? Then my parents spent the big bucks and redid the whole thing. It had dark wood paneling and new carpet, etc. It was really nice for the time. I do like the lighter and brighter look though.


The person that took this pictures was standing in "Kari's Korner". I shared a room with my sister until I was 12. She was 8 years older than me. She didn't much want to have my stuff in her space. So my mom invented "Kari's Korner". It was a pretty good sized part of the basement. I had all my toys and things there. I loved it! I guess it is not there anymore, but it still in my memories. My mom was so good at doing things like that.