Saturday, February 28, 2009

How About Something GOOD for a Change?

Well, we signed some papers on Thursday, and they were received yesterday, a large check for us is in the mail, keys have changed hands and WE HAVE A RENTER/BUYER FOR OUR HOUSE!!!!
They can't get financing until January 7, 2010, but they want the house bad enough, and we're desperate enough, that everyone agreed that renting until then was the way to go. HOORAY!! They are responsible for pretty much everything as well, so no more emergency trips three and a half hours north for us!! There are still one or two details to iron out, and they are not smallish but largish, but I think we can all work together to find a solution. In the meantime, we have income coming in, instead of a steady and horrible drain going out, and they get the house they fell in love with. Everybody wins. Let's just hope and pray the next ten months goes smoothly, and that we actually close in January, like the contract says.
Also, here are all the pics of Jonni's birthday as promised. Six years old! Due to the interrupted nature of her birthday this year, we just opened the last present, from her aunt and uncle Virginia and Apollo, and cousins Wren and Lark. I don't have pics of all the presents since I was not present for all the openings this year. So here's what I have! I rather think she liked the extension of her birthday, lol! Enjoy!
The Almighty Liz

Here's Jonni hiding her eyes because she didn't want to see the cake until it was lit and in front of her.

Lit up cake!

Blowing out the candles.

Her first present; her first journal from Mommy and Daddy!

She got to open Grandma and Grandpa Bryan's and Uncle Patrick's presents about a week later.

She LOVES the cd player.
She just as ardently loves the cd that came with it.

Here's one more from Aunt and Uncle Virginia and Apollo and Wren and Lark.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Enough Excitement for One Day

Well, I'm done for the day.
I had to go get blood drawn today, so John came home early for lunch to watch Erik so I could go. I have been to this particular lab once before, and the woman in charge is a nutcase. Seriously. She talks to herself, laughs at thin air, and is just one of those characters that will draw weird looks wherever she goes. As the person about to draw your blood she does not inspire confidence. Truly, the idea of giving her sharp objects to wield at innocent, unsuspecting people is a cause for more than mild alarm. Having been in her clutches once, I was not enthusiastic to be thus vulnerable again. I prayed that someone else might be working today.
Fate was not with me.
At our last encounter, she declared that a freckle I had over one of my veins was the best spot because "Moles never lie." I spent the next week and a half with an inch-long bruise because she had to really dig for that vein to prove her point. Today was different only in that it was much, much worse.
She dug, she wiggled that needle, she explained again why this was the best spot, (even after I refreshed her memory in how badly it had gone last time), and she was going to prove it. It was horrific. She dug for at least thirty seconds. To anyone as accomplished as I am at getting blood drawn, this is definitely more than excessive. It's torturous. Not comfortable to begin with, being stuck is okay, as long as they don't dig. You can imagine what it's like to be stuck with a needle, and then to have that needle moved side to side, and in and out like someone was doing needle point...! This on top of the fact that I had been fasting since dinner the night before, and it was now noon, was too much for me. I fainted.
I was out a good five minutes too. She was truly alarmed when I came to.
My arm is still sore. I expect it will be for a few days, curse that woman. I'll take pictures of the bruise I can feel forming, but hasn't flowered to the surface yet. I'm sure it will be one of my most spectacular, even taking into the account some of the beauties I had after I fell down the stairs at our extra house a couple of weeks ago.
I came home understandably shaky, and John made my lunch for me. I must have looked a bit pinched still. He went to work when he was satisfied that I wasn't going to immediately keel over, and I settled Erik in for his nap, and then gratefully, finally!, settled myself in for a much deserved slumber of my own.
It was short lived.
Jonni's school called to tell me she had puked during computer lab, and could I please come get her? Immediately? I could have...if my car battery wasn't dead! So I had to call John out of a meeting at work to go get his sick daughter from school. She's still lying down, and I'm thinking a movie might be the order of business tonight, since John will have to work late due to his extended lunch, and his dash to save Jonni.
At least we don't have to drive three and a half hours north to take care of some uber disaster. There is something in that.
The Almighty Liz

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Not Quite as Long as the Last Long Post...

Well, we are back from the extra house, and have completed repair and cleanup of the latest disaster. Good and bad news on that front; the water was worse than last time. The sump pump hose outside the house froze because it was on level ground and not draining, and the pressure became too great inside the house, so the hose inside exploded, causing the sump pump to pump all the water that normally seeps into the house to go nowhere. So there was a lot of it when we got there. Also, in the middle of this vast swimming pool of icy cold water was our brand-new, less than two weeks old, $200 top-of-the-line dehumidifier that we got on the ultra cool basement guy's advice. It's ruined. Ask me how peeved I am about that. VERY.
We patched the hose in a very red-neck way (and I will give all that credit where it belongs; to my brilliant husband) to get the water pumped out so we could change the hose. There was no way we could do it with all the water; setting aside the fact that we couldn't see beans under the water (which was where the sump pump was, and the hose attachment), that water was freezing cold (since it was freezing cold in town) and we couldn't keep our hands in it long enough even to determine where the hose attached to the pump. It took all night to pump out. Hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water.
Soaked and weary (John much more so than I), we met with the people who want to buy our house in January when they are eligible for financing, and rent it until then. They are delightful. We got along right away, and were so thoroughly on the same page that the wife and I were finishing each other's sentences. I think this relationship is going to work out fine. We talked over the contract, added some things, took some things out, and our realtor got it back to us today all prettied up with our changes inserted. We both want a 2 or 3 days to really read and absorb everything, to make sure it's exactly what everyone wants, and then we'll sign. Hallelujah! Please toss up yet a couple more prayers that everything will go smoothly, now and in the next ten months.
After they left we thought showers, dinner and bed were definitely needed, and in that order. Unfortunately, the water heater's pilot light was out, and we couldn't get it lit. So, dinner (which was absolutely heavenly as we were famished), another unsuccessful try at the pilot, and we collapsed into bed.
Up the next day, and finally got the pilot lit, too late to do any good. We cleaned the basement to the best of our ability, replaced the damaged hose, got the outside hose running as downhill as we could, did some mild cleanup, and rushed home for Jonni's first ever school music class concert. Quick showers, quick dinner, the grandparents (all but my mother in law who stayed a couple of days at the house and watched the kids so we could go take care of our emergency) and some assorted aunts and uncles showed up, and off we went to the concert.
It was way cute. They did some stuff with bells and one poor little boy got clobbered right in the ear by his neighbor. He cried, and my heart bled for him. He was tough though, and went back to doing the concert. Jonni, to no one's surprise, was awesome. She knew the words to every song. She's been really nervous for a couple of weeks, and wouldn't even talk about the concert. After, we found out why; she'd been under the mistaken impression that she was going to have to perform all those songs and hand gestures and bell playing all by herself! What a relief to her it was when she found out she was wrong!! My poor baby, lol! Also, she's the tallest one in her class. Big shock there that she's tall, but the tallest? I was a little suprised by that.
I do have pics of her birthday and present opening and such, but I'm going to post those tomorrow as I'm tired now. I'm still recovering from two visits to the disaster house in less than two weeks, and all the adherent hard labor that accompanied those visits. I know you all are dying to see them, so I promise not to take too long.
Until then,
The Almighty Liz

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oh, Come ON!!

My realtor just called because she was showing the house, and heard water running in the basement. The sump pump hose exploded, leaving three ginormous holes in the hose right above the pump. What the crap?! I mean really?! Do we get a break? EVER?!! The friends we have taking care of this kind of thing say that this is well outside of their skill set. So that means we hire someone to fix it (gah!) or we go fix it ourselves. In the next couple of days. Which means, what on Earth do we do with Jonni? She has school and all. ARGH!
The Almighty Liz

Many, Many Updates

Well, to forewarn you, this is going to be long. I will be telling you how the last week and a half or so of my life has gone, and honestly, it could've been stretched out over a month and I would have been way happier. Much easier to deal with it all that way. I would have posted all this last week in more sizeable chunks, but I was super drained and recovering for all of the week. So, here we go!
As you all have deduced, (because you're smart like me or you wouldn't be my friends and family), we had an emergency at our extra house last week. The water meter ruptured. Our basement flooded, the sump pump turned the yard into a lake, and some of the water froze in cracks in the basement. We drove into town expecting the worst. We saw the yard first, and a lot of the water was already dried up, which was a good sign. We went into the basement, and a lot of the water had been pumped out, much to our vast relief. There were still a few inches in the lowest room in the basement, but all in all, not too horrible. Something we didn't plan on dealing with (or we'd have brought a saw) was that up north they had had an ice storm, and we had several ginormous limbs down in the yard. We piled them up, and that pile would easily have filled my living room. And these were not little twigs people. Some of the limbs were a good six to eight inches in diameter. Huge. So we were faced with the question of how on Earth we were going to get rid of it all...? So we started calling people we know in town, hoping someone could give us a lead on someone who could possibly want all this wood. The very first person we called had fireplaces and that was the main way they heated their house. They wanted it all, and they came that night and took it away! Hooray for Candy and Joseph!
That was Saturday. On Sunday, we got ready for church, and went out to our car, and saw we had an almost-flat tire. So we had to find some change (which we stole from the friends we were staying with, after they had jokingly told us as they were going out the door to not touch as it was their vacation fund or something) and found a gas station, and aired up the tire. We were very late by this point; about a half an hour. As it was cold, and the parking lot was filled to bursting, and I was uber tired from the day before, John dropped me off at the entrance. I got halfway up the walk when Jessica, a super cool senior in high school in that ward, came running out to meet me. I got a huge hug, and we walked arm-in-arm into the building, where most of the teen population of the ward was waiting to meet John and I. It was way cool. There was lots of hugging, and a couple of tears, and it was one of the best welcomes I've ever experienced. We got to see all of our old friends (well, truthfully, it's a small and elite group of people there, and you know who you are; you wouldn't be reading this if it wasn't you!), and hang out and have lunch with some, and then it was time to go home. John and I really stuttered over this for some reason. We just couldn't seem to reconcile in our heads in the right way the decision to go. We prayed three or four times. We called everyone who needed to know to tell them we were leaving. We gassed up the car. We were on the road headed out, and we just felt awful about it, so we decided to stay, and work on a few more things at the house on Monday. We felt immediately better. Calm. Peaceful. We didn't know why, but we needed to stay an extra day. So we called everyone back, and said, "Erm, never mind, we're staying tomorrow too."
So on Monday, I slept in a little to recover some stamina, and we headed to the house. John had called a guy from a contracting company that our friend Candy had given us a reference for, who specialized in basements and water damage and things like that. He told John that he didn't have time to meet with us that day, and we were severely disappointed. We really needed some answers, and we really wanted to meet this guy, but we were going to have to let our realtor meet him instead. The morning wore on. We went to the house and started analyzing what we needed to do, what supplies we needed, what we could get done that day and so forth. After we had made a priority list, and a supply list, we still hadn't heard from the meter repair people either. We were getting worried. These were the main reasons we felt we needed to stay an extra day. We decided to pray about it. We asked Father for a miracle, that we would be able to be here and somehow meet with the people we need to meet with. We finished, and I prepared to make a supply run, while John stayed to clean up the yard a bit more. (I have to insert here that the weather on the days we worked at the house was awesome. Saturday and Monday were beautiful, but on Sunday, when we weren't working outside, it was freezing. Thank you Heavenly Father) Five minutes, literally, after we prayed, our cell rang. It was the contractor guy. Someone had just cancelled on him, and if it was convenient for us, he could be at the house in fifteen minutes. Hallelujah! Five minuted after he called, the meter repair lady called us to say she was on the front porch, and nobody was answering the bell, were we home...? We had been in the basement and didn't hear her. Such immediate answers! It was nice to know The Big Guy was still aware of us. And the reason we needed to stay on Monday? To talk to the basement guy. He was awesome. He gave us so many affordable, workable solutions to try to make the basement better and less wet, so we could sell it, and so much good advice, that I will sing his praises forever. He didn't even ask for a consult fee. There was nothing for him to do for us, but he just stayed and worked scenarios with us until everyone felt we had a doable plan of action. For the first time ever, I feel like there's something tangible I can do to make the house more sellable. How unbelievably awesome to know that my family has not been abandoned after all. That God really is still fighting on our side. What a relief, lol!
We need to go back and finish up some things in the next few weeks, and get the ball rolling on our plan of action. The reason I'm not hopping to it right away is because the people who wanted to buy the house but couldn't get financed are interested in renting until they are eligible for a loan. We are trying to work that out with them, so I'm just waiting to see what happens. If that falls through, then full steam ahead! Hopefully, though, that works out. It seems on the surface the perfect solution for them and us. We'll see.
So, in other big news, Jonni turned six!! Her birthday was February 3rd, just a two days before we got news of the Big House Disaster, so it got sort of swallowed up. She still has some presents to open, so I will post pics of those all together. We'll probably finish up the present opening tonight, so I can post it all tomorrow. For those who were wondering, yes, I made the cake this year, and yes, it turned out perfect. Another miracle.
Also this past week, our stake held a Winter Ball. I wasn't sure if we were going, so I didn't get one of my many bridesmaid's dresses dry-cleaned, I just wore what had been in my mind for a back-up dress since I found out about the ball. I got it at a shopping trip with Timpani months ago, but hadn't worn it yet for some reason. I was glad of that though, because I got to Wow everyone, lol! We went to dinner with some other couples from the ward beforehand, and we had a blast! The people in this ward are so welcoming and fun! I just can't get over it. We made fast friends with them, and most of them I had never met before that evening. It was great.
By the time we made it to the Ball, I was exhausted, so I didn't do much dancing. However, there were some truly really stellar dancers there, so I had almost as much fun just watching them. Made me want to go take some classes and brush up. Maybe after I work on my endurance a little....
Trent, John's little brother, spent the night to watch the kids for us for the Ball. The kids had a way fun time with Uncle Trent, and John had a way fun time hanging out with his brother the next day. I had a way fun time watching everyone have a way fun time. I was super tired, lol!
So that about sums it up. I will post pics now of myself all dressed up. My mom did my hair. She's a friggin' genius. I looked great to everyone but John. He didn't give me one compliment until I had undressed, taken off my make up, and was taking my hair down. Then he tells me I look gorgeous. Weirdo.
The Almighty Liz
Okay, this picture above, and this one below are of the hair. These were taken at my mom's house before I could put on make up and good clothes. I just wanted everone to get the full impact. It was gorgeous!

Seriously, was I HOT or what?! Thanks, I thought so too.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Okay, for those of you who don't know it, we had a buyer for our car. He backed out at the last minute this week. Blow #1. We also had a buyer for superfluous house. We found out on Tuesday that they won't qualify for financing until October, because they filed for bankruptcy a few years ago. Blow #2. Then yesterday, we found out the water meter on said extra house exploded. The yard is a lake, the basement is a swimming pool, and the water has leaked in through some cracks in the basement and froze in the cracks. Mighty Blow #3. The water company informed me this morning that it is our fault the meter ruptured, so we will have to pay for it, even though the meter belongs to them. How is this our fault? I ask. The little man says because we didn't insulate it enough. How the flip he knows this when NO ONE from the water company has been to the house is beyond me. He says the repair guy will assess and judge on Monday, then send us a bill. So we not only have to repair the damages to our house and clean up ourselves, but we have to pay the water company to fix their property as well. Blow #4.
We're going to see the house this weekend to try to head off getting rooked by the water company.
I know I've said this a lot, but more prayers, please? Every little bit helps at this point. Also, while you're tossing up those platitudes to the Man Upstairs, send one up for my sanity. It's not doing so well at the moment.
The Almighty Liz