Friday, July 29, 2005

What else could go wrong?

This house of my mom's is a beautiful home...but there have been a few problems from the time that they have moved in. A leaking roof, an unusable fireplace, a vermin feces infested attic, a ton of other little things and now that we have moved into the basement, the basement toilet started spraying last night out of the pipe that brings the water to it. We turned the water off to the toilet but the only way to stop the leaking is to turn the water off to the entire house so that the pressure is let off that leek. Oh, and did I mention that the bathroom that they put into the basement has crooked walls? We have tried putting in 2 shower doors in the shower stall only to find out that the reason that the first one didn't fit was because the bottom of the shower is 3 inches small than the top! And the plumbing in that particular shower is so messed up is that there is only one setting that you can turn it to so that you aren't scalded or frozen while taking a shower! So, the contractor that supposedly did all of this wonderful work just got an ear-full from my mom and John can't even stand to be around the guy so he's gone - I guess he's afraid of what he might say or do to him! Things have been rough. But we are really looking for God to come in the clouds, that's what our pastor has been telling us in the last 2 services. And this family - including my mom and step-dad - has definitely been seeing some clouds lately! :) But, according to our pastor that is a good thing because the only way that God can fully reveal himself to us is in his clouds, because if he did it on a bright shiny day, we wouldn't be able to fully see him, because it would be too much. So he buffers himself with the clouds.
So, for the sake of God, I will try to take pleasure in the clouds. I will continue to look for him in all and through it all, and expect to find him.
Oh, and by the way, just in case you were wondering, none of our stuff got wet except for a box of bathroom stuff that was on the floor in the bathroom. Not even the toilet paper that was on the floor next to the box got wet, thanks to that wonderful plastic packaging! So there's God, right there! Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

House Update...

Well, we have put in bids on a couple of different places, though I don't really understand the process, neither seem to be going anywhere! It's a bit frustrating! We found a couple of other places - both farther away from here than the 2 we bid on - but still within a few minutes. After we are more firm on where exactly these first 2 are going, we may make a couple of bids on the second two. Confusing, I know, I think about that fact daily! Frustrating? You bet! We are STILL living in my mom's basement! We can't wait to get out and find a place of our own. At this point we are beginning to lose hope that we will ever find that "ideal" place that we have been looking for and just have to settle for something close for now. That part is pretty disappointing, but we know that God only has the best for us in mind - even if it's not what we have in mind!

Lets see if I can find some pictures of these houses that we are checking on...
The first one that we bid on is in Lake Station, about 15 minutes away from my mom's here. It's a Cape Cod style house that really has only 2 bedrooms. But they converted the attic into a small bedroom and sitting room - kind of like a family room, and they put a "master bedroom" in the basement with a small room attached to it that they have their kids in right now but it's more like an office since there isn't a closet in it. The kitchen is EXTREMELY small. There is a sink, an oven, and a fridge. Very little cupboard space and only a small counter top area. If we got this house we would have to knock down a wall that is between the smallest bedroom and the kitchen and expand the kitchen. Which would leave us with a bedroom. Upstairs, one downstairs, and on in the basement. We weren't thrilled about this prospect of having Jozie and Luke so far from us - esp. in case of a fire - but the price is right (89,000) and it has a huge fenced in back yard (with a smaller fenced area for a dog!) and a garage. Everything we asked for, only not ideal...

The second house that we have put a bid in on is across the street from my moms! Maybe too close some days, but I will take it over being in the basement! :) It is also a Cape Cod (that seems to be a recurring theme in this area!) but quite a bit larger than the previous one. Upstairs there are 2 bedrooms, one being the master bedroom, and a bathroom. Both of these rooms have that old 60's style peel and stick felt type carpet. :P The master bedroom is bright orange and the other bedroom has a darker green - but not quite forest green. Both rooms have a full box of replacement squares so the price of replacing these 2 floors is nonnegoshiable because there is plenty of replacement pieces to fix any damaged or loose ones. (This is probably the first thing I would do is to get rid of these felt squares! I don't know how long I could live with a bright orange floor in my bedroom!)
The main floor also has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom (both bathrooms are full baths). This is where we would probably put the kidos, they both have hardwood floors and would only need paint. The living room is pretty large but also needs new flooring - we would probably take out the old sculpted 60's carpeting and finish the hardwood and extend it into the area where it's just plywood. The kitchen leaves something to be desired decoratively - a lot of browns and oranges and large flowers! But a ton of cupboard space and plenty of counter tops. IT is an eatin kitchen. The seller said he would do nothing to this room because it needs nothing! It would be second only to the floors! There is a full basement - dry and very large and open - a lot of potential for finishing it. All the appliances stay with the place - fridge, gas stove, washer and dryer. Bob says they look like they were all first off the assembly line - probably new when they bought the house in '53. But the seller says that if we wanted to use our own appliances we would have to upgrade the electric because it's all on 100 amp. Which apparently is old and outdated anyway - one of those things I don't understand! It was a very nice house overall and I really do love it - it also has an attached garage and a large yard - though not fenced but that is unnecessary in this neighborhood.

So those are the 2 that we bid on...they are both for sale by owner so I don't have any pictures of either of them. I might run across the street and take a picture of that one though! But the other one was being lived in and I didn't want to violate their privacy by taking all sorts of pictures.

Here is the last one that we looked at:

It is actually a pretty nice little place. The fireplace is in the kitchen - it may actually be the "dining room" but it appears more to be an eat-in kitchen. The bedrooms are a little small but livable. There is a full basement but there are no windows in it and it's very dark. The whole house is actually very dark! There are those glass bricks in all the windows - the only place that the windows open is in the living room where there are some smaller windows next to the plate glass window. And the lighter brick in the picture is actually kind of like a little porch - if you can call it that. All of the exterior windows have wrought iron bars on them and all three of the doors - front, back, and basement - have iron gates on them! I can't tell if the people who did this were trying to keep other people in or to keep someone else out! The inside was also pretty dark. It was broad daylight out but we still needed flashlights inside (the electricity was off) to see our way around! There was dark paneling on all the walls AND ceilings - except for in the living room where it appeared to be painted an off white. This house would also need some work as soon as possible if I were to move in here! :) It's very pretty and the brick is quite solid. The yard is fenced in but, as Bob put it, it is a concrete jungle! If you look at the picture you can see a kind of stone and concrete planter with a tree in it in the left foreground. Well, there is another one of those to the right of that one out of the picture and the back yard has about 4 of them - 3 with some kind of fruit trees and 1 as a firepit. The back yard was pretty much fully paved with white bricks and there is a huge outdoor grill that was the same stone and concrete that was about 4 feet wide and 7 feet tall - at least! Plus there was a fountain made of the same stone and concrete that was almost as tall as the grill with some gilded lions on top and 2 pink baby boys that apparently had water that flowed out of their...ah...wieners...that they were holding onto! It too had a garage, which had a work room in it. It was a very interesting house but also livable with some updates. It would take some getting used to all that concrete - or Bob said that maybe he would just buy a jackhammer and use it to take out his frustrations on the backyard! He said the pink babies would be the first to go!

And we looked at this place that was in desperate need of repair!

It was an ok size but had a rather large yard and a deck in the back off the kitchen. There would have to be a ton of work done even before we moved into this place - like plumbing and electrical updated, cleaning, new kitchen cupboards, sink, and counters, the yard cleaned of all junk and mowed, paint and flooring throughout. The only thing right about this place is the price, which was a very low $49,000 but the sellers lived in PA and want to get rid of the place so they were very willing to come down. It would probably need about $20,000 worth of repair but in the end it would be a nice place to call home and would be all the more worth it because we would do all the work ourselves (Except for plumbing and electric). Oh, it's also really only a 2 bedroom house because the third bedroom is in the basement and is bigger than the rest of them but would probably need to be redone completely. The red windows in the basement that you see there have a door right to the right of them that leads into a family room of sorts in the basement. The basement is only partially finished - those 2 rooms - and there is a half bath down there also.

So, that is where we currently are. We are actively seeking a new place to live - with new places every week. Sorry this post got so long, just wanted you to share in our experiences and know how we are doing! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Fun with Cousins!

While we were in Michigan, we had the chance to spend some time with my cousin and her 3 children. They had a great time playing together - esp. in the pool! Even the baby had a great time. With 5 children in a pool that size, who wouldn't have fun! Even us parents, who were sitting next to the pool to keep a handle on things, got a little wet in the process! But it was a hot day, and dispite the cameras, I don't think any of us really minded! It was a fun afternoon, thanks, Jamie! :) BTW, where are all of the pictures from you new digital camera? You must be pretty busy as well! :)
Hannah, pink; Josiah, center standing; Jozie, blue;
Luke, trying to squirt the baby with water!; Gabe, the baby!


Well, there has been a reason for my almost month long silance...we HAVE been very busy with moving and all but my page isn't archiving monthly - I told it to in the settings but it's not happening that way - and for some odd reason, when I write a post, it either won't post or else it will change the last post to a draft, taking it off my blog, and replacing it with the new one...I don't understand what the problem is but I will keep trying to figure it out - it may be this off-the-wall template that I have chosen so maybe I will try changing, until such time I can get it fugured out, please bear with me! :) Thanks! :)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Blasted Car Seats!!! (Thanks Jamie! :)

I will definately second that! Here in Indiana, we just found out Friday, that they passed a new law that says that children have to be in booster seats from the age of 4, to the age of 8!!! Can you believe it?! Jozie has been out of her car seat for almost a year and a half, and Luke for almost a year - except for when we travel on long trips. Fortunately, we do still have them in Michigan but Jozie's is too small and Luke's is getting there so now we are going to have to invest in larger ones that will fit for hopefully the next 3 years! And we also, will have to have the anchor system put in our van! Will this ever end?! Can you imagine taking a carfull of 3rd graders on a field trip but you can't fit more than 4 of them in your VAN because there aren't enough sholder seatbelts (you can only use a booster seat with a sholder belt)!!!