Thursday, August 27, 2009

The "Closing" of another chapter

I assumed that the end of our chapter in Texas was a few months ago when we moved away... I didn't know how sad I would feel after today and our official closing on our house that makes us no longer property owners in the great state of Texas...but more importantly...on "the loop." We have moved around some...enough to know what a fabulous neighborhood is and can be. Each 'hood we have lived in has been the BEST for what I have needed at the time. In Utah, our 'hood helped me grow in the motherhood department. We had a neighbor right next door, Leanne, who taught me so much about being a mom and what a good mom does. She started me running and working out more regularly, and for that I will ALWAYS be grateful. I got to be Primary president and learned much more from that calling than I have EVER learned anywhere else. Given, I was really young at that time and needed to learn a lot too...

Our second 'hood was in Mansfield and the neighbors there were beyond what I could have ever imagined. Not only the ones on Austin St, but the ones we met at church. I learned that you can make "family" anywhere you live. I learned how much I loved going to my mom's house for Sunday dinner, and how much fun it was to swap dinners with the Ellsworths and other friends in the area. I learned that there are SO many more Christian people out there then I could have ever imagined...who are just good. I learned that friendships don't end with an address change...they just change. We also learned that our family, meaning our little family unit, is strong and we can do anything as long as we are together.

Our third 'hood is the one we just left... "the loop" is a magical place. It was hard to put a value on my house there, because what you get when you live on that street is worth far more than what money can buy. There are neighbors there who care and love you and don't judge. They pull your weeds and mow your lawn when you aren't there to do it yourself. They watch out for the lady down the street, who's husband is in Iraq. They walk your kids to school when you are too lazy to get out the door and go yourself. They drop by with a little gift just to let you know they care and are thinking about you. They invite you to dinner when your husband is gone. They coach your kid's soccer teams...they don't hate you because your dog barks all the time. They take you out for your birthday and any other special occasion that gives you a reason to go out. They give you "non-going away" parties. You get about 25 kids going door to door all dressed up asking for candy...and the parents trying to run ahead to make sure someone is home. But best of all...they are just good people helping one another and trying to get by as best they can. How can you put a price on that? So, today as I signed all the papers and essentially "paid" to leave this 'hood, I can't help but be a little sad. Don't get me wrong..Arkansas is fabulous and we have made some great friends already and I know the next neighborhood will be fabulous too...but today I am mourning the loss of what we had in our past 'hood. I feel bad for anyone who doesn't get to live on the loop and today that person is me...

So, as far as the house goes...who cares...the house was great, but the location is what made it special. I will miss the paint...heaven knows without Livia down the street I will never do another nursery like Walker's was. I will also miss a few other things like the extra bathroom and maybe having the kids upstairs....but that can all be replaced. The loop cannot!

Here's a photoshow of our TX we say goodbye...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Eighth Birthday Tarin!!

Nana made this cute photoshow of Tarin's life. I had to post it. She is getting so big and is so mature. .and responsible. Sometimes, I feel like I have a 12 year old rather than an 8 year old. There is no task to big or no challenge to great for her. She is a smart girl, great student, wonderful big sister and takes care of everyone in this house. In so many ways I look up to my little girl. I can't believe she will be getting baptized soon. Tarin, we love you! Have a very happy birthday!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of School was the first day of school for the kids here at their new school in AR. Tarin is going into the 3rd grade and Ella is in Kindergarden. It has been fun to see their excitement about what they are going to wear and their new teachers and meeting new friends and the whole package that comes with moving and starting over in a new place. Ella has been trying to wear this outfit every day for the past three weeks...ever since Grandma took her shopping to buy it. Tarin did great. If she was nervous, it didn't show. She made new friends and has decided that she might just be able to handle riding the bus's her mom that's not. Because we got here so late...they didn't get into the school that is close by our house, so they would have to make a bus transfer to get to their school. They would have to leave at 6:55 AM and wouldn't get home until 5 PM. That seems like a bit too long of a day for a 3rd grader and a kindergartner. So...we may try it a few times...but I don't know if we are willing to make that kind of thing happen. Here are some pics to document the event.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

EZ Cheese

So, this is the craving as of late. I have gone through two cans in the past week. Sick...i know, but it tastes so good and keeps me from puking....Seriously...who eats this stuff? I guess some people must because it is still for sale in the stores..I am civilized when I eat it though..always on crackers or pretzels..none of that squirting it right into my mouth.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"Summery" 2009 - It's a LONG ONE

WOW! This summer has been one to go down in the history books for our little family. We started in June with Plan A...moved on to plan B and now I do believe we are on plan XYZ....
Plan A was to sell our house, the original close date was on June 16th. We left Texas on June 4th and headed out to Utah to stay with my mom for the summer...and save money to get ourselves establised in Arkansas. June 5th we pulled out of Pflugerville very teary eyed but happy to be onto our new adventure....plan was to move to Hot Springs AR...anywho.... June 8th we found out that the contract was not going to close on our house. June 9th was our 10th anniversary and also the day Dan's grandpa died. Talk about a week....on to plan B

Plan B was to now re-list our house....still go on a house hunt trip and see where that took us. Had a few the house...but in the mean time we decided against moving to Hot Springs for a bit and decided on Northwest Arkansas. Hot Springs was beautiful and tons of lakes...but Northwest AR just made more sense for the stage we are in right now. Start looking for houses in Bentonville, Rogers, and Bella Vista....

Plan C - List our house with a realtor - excluding one family that had been looking for a while and were just firming up financing. Realtor gives us more exposure...just cost a little more money. We had a few offers on the house...but none we could take yet. At this point we are into July. Still having to pay all our bills in Tx....meaning not saving as much money as wanted in Plan A. Nonetheless....still okay with plan C....Maybe we will just rent. Oh yeah, and i find out I am pregnant....AAHHH!

Plan D - Dan goes house hunting by himself in AR to get us a house. He looks at a few rentals and decides that isn't the life for a few offers on a few houses...and one gets accepted in Bella Vista. Big house, for a great price. We move forward and pay for inspections, appraisals, etc. In the same week...we get an offer on our house in TX that we can accept from the family that we excluded from the contract with our realtor. Get all the loan stuff going and we are headed in the right you think. Got the kids registered in the school they are supposed to go to (which you wouldn't think is a big deal, but AR schools are Wierd...and that is a whole other story). Call the bishop, and find out which day we will be baptizing Tarin because they do stake baptisms....everyone buys plane tickets for Oct. 10th...which will be baptism day..and we are on our way to Bella Vista.

Plan E - the mortgage comany calls....three weeks later...and says...sorry we won't fund this loan until your house closes in TX. We had gotten pre-approval letters and they had all our income information for three weeks. We were one week away from closing when they decided this. ANGER starts to seep in...we shouldn't have gotten to this point if we weren't going to close. The people we are buying the house from agree to let us move in a few weeks early and then close after our house in TX closes. Well...then we started thinking...what if our house in TX doesn't close? Then, what? Three weeks after we move in we have to move out and find somewhere to live...change the kids schools because they start here Aug 19th.....NO WAY! We used to be risky type people, now we aren't.

Plan F - Decide to Rent......(5 days before we are supposed to leave) Find a house on craig's list. In a good a girl in Utah at the park who lives here in Bentonville. Get her phone her and check things out with her to see about area's etc. She seems to think we will be in her ward....since that decision to rent..EVERYTHING has fallen into place. Because the girl I met at the park knew we were coming, she called the ward and the bishopric members were waiting for us. The 2nd counselor in the bishopric called a few days before we left and welcomed us and made sure we had his number in case we needed anything. The landlord had shown this house to a bunch of couples, and then decided to rent to us. I am literally calling on our drive through Wyoming to set up utilites and make sure the kids can get into school somewhere. I got it all figured out on the second day of our drive as we left Nebraska and headed down Missouri to Arkansas. The day we moved in the neighbor next door came over and invited us to the pool. I left my mom and Dan unpacking and took the kids to the pool (I know, rude, huh?) The cute neighbor next door set up a playdate for this week....and introduced me to running friends. Turns out a group of girls meet at 6AM three times a week to run...and a couple of them are actually in our new ward...I met them today. WoW! I really thought the people in Tx were friendly....I CANNOT believe the kindess of people here in AR. Even the lady just hooking up our utilites was so sweet and kind and helpful. You just don't luck into stuff like this...we feel VERY blessed and VERY happy. Although I did have to change the kid's school..and they didn't get into the school close we have a big drive every day now.....everything else seems to be working out.

So, here we are...six plans later all settled into this little rental house. We had to get a storage unit. It is hard going from the space we used to this, but we will all learn to love the coziness of it. You are all still welcome to visit...just know that there is a bunch less space, but we will fit you in...anywhere we can. It will be exciting.

So, what we've learned is that plans Change...and that is okay. I guess our plan just needed to be more aligned with His plan for us.....and it all worked out. Church today was amazing. The people are more kind than any ward we have ever been in. It was reminiscent of our first Sunday in Mansfield. We just feel so blessed....and now we can get settled in.

In my next post I will post pics of all the fun we had this summer at my mom's. Walker felt so free. He could go outside and play at his will. He learned how to ride a bike. The girls and I helped my mom make rasperry jam, apricot jam and bottle beans. They took swimming lessons, played with their cousin Taylor and had sleepover after sleepover. Tarin loved going to her Aunt Carin's house to help with the boys. Livia came to visit. Ella got to play with her cousin and learned how to sleep by herself at night. We got to go on the boat with Jen and her mom...Got to see Jill and the kids in Salt well as Bogans from the loop. We had a truely amazing summer amidst all the turmoil and changing plans.