Saw a decent house yesterday ... Matt loves it because it's close to work and right in the middle of everything.  When I say in the middle, I mean literally in the middle of two neighborhoods of monstrous houses.  I don't love it on the outside, but the inside is quite beautiful.  It's very roomy, and the back yard is already set up for a couple of horses.  We saw it in dim light, so I need to see it again to see if I can work with it.  My big fear is that we'll be the fun house where all the kids in the adjoining neighborhood run.  The pool would have to be reworked (inground, hopefully), and the yard needs some maintenance.

Just letting you come along for the ride ...


If I had an appropriate place to wear these ...

Is there such thing as immodest boots?  :-)

Hey, is this turning into a fashion blog?


I know bathing suit season is over, but I'm still there in my heart.  Isn't this a cute suit?  I like the tops of her thighs too, but I'm afraid the suit won't give me those, I'll have to start working out again to get those back.  I haven't worked out in months!!!  Now that our house is sold (all negotiations are over anyway ... we're just waiting for closing) I suppose i can start to focus on something else.  Oh yeah ... that would be a new house either to rent or buy before Nov. 1.  Yikes!











Golden boy.


Here are some of my "nature shots" that I'm fairly proud of.  First time trying!

OK, so I need a little practice noticing my backgrounds.  But it's great, yes?!

Can you spot the monkeys in the trees?


Noelle took this shot!



Our "Vally Park"

 Over the course of the next few days I will post some of the 120 photos I took at the park yesterday, both because there are too many for one post and because I will need something easy to post as I frantically search for a place to live.  WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!  But first about the park ...

We had a VERY last minute showing yesterday (pat us on the back for getting it together in very little time), so we headed to the park with our school books in tow.  We ate a fast-food picnic, played, and did our school work on the most perfect day of the year.  I took along my camera and experimented, with some fairly good results.  This, of course, is not hard to imagine when you know how photogenic my kids are.  But I am also quite proud of a few of my nature shots.  Who knew, including me, that I had an interest in photography?  It was such fun for me.

And now for the house news:  Pat me on the back for forcing my family (kids in tears, husband in disbelief) to show the house in an hour and a half.  Usually we get more notice than that; and keep in mind that life was not exactly normal around here due to the widespread power outtages that still persist.  BUT ... get it ready we did, and within a couple of hours we had an offer.  We've since countered and agreed on terms, and are still in a state of shock that we have to be out by November first.

Are you wondering why I've now made an announcement twice that we've sold our house?  Well, the first contract is contingent upon the sale of their house, which is priced too high.  Their contract was a beautiful thing: it did not cause our house to go "pending", in which case no one would take a second look at our place.  The other great thing about it was that it was "sudden death" -- it required no notice to them if we accepted another offer.  So we are in business with these new folks.  Their only contingency is a contract that they are not "officially" out of due to a failed inspection (mere paperwork).  Their house is sold, and they are impatient.  Two houses they've tried to buy have failed an inspection, so they are ready to go.  This also explains the expectation of moving in at closing.

Our heads are spinning, and we don't know what we are doing.  Nothing out there seems to have all that we're looking for (3000 square feet or more, 5 acres, not UGLY, not out in the middle of nowhere ...)  We might be forced to rent an executive home for a few months so that we are not pressured to "settle" simply because we're out of time.  This is a good problem to have ... I'm not complaining.    As I've said from the beginning, God will show us the way!

Want to know what's out there to rent for a family of seven?  Much ... in a market like this.

And now for my beautiful family ...


Indian boy.

Mia the peanut.

Cute boys in cool tones.


Noelle in cool tones.

I know.  She looks like Julie Z.  I hear it all the time.  :-)

Julia in sepia tones.


That’s what it sounds like around here when the power goes back on.  It’s a welcome sound, let me tell you …  We hardly ever lose power here, and it’s sorta fun for the first few hours … candles to go upstairs, handwashing dishes, an excuse not to do laundry (as if I need something this serious to prevent me from doing it!).  But after 24 hours, it gets a little wearing.  Thankfully we are back on the grid.


It was harrowing around here catching the backside of Ike’s anger.  See what happened at our house?  Thankfully it fell in the right direction.  During the big wind, we were actually on our way to a homeschool group picnic, but it became clear just as we got there that this wasn’t going to happen.  Branches were falling and tiles were coming off roofs.  Matt could hardly keep our Suburban on the highway, and I was stressed about the possibility of other cars getting blow into us.  God is good.  We are all safe.


More later …


Why won't they ANSWER me?


It’s been a busy couple of days, so I’m late giving you my opinions of the houses. Basically all thumbs down … it’s funny how I don’t always know that until the next day.

This house could be beautiful if someone were willing to give it a serious facelift.  It was very large.  It doesn’t have a nice view, however, as it backs up to a winery.  You’re looking at what looks like barns and equipment.  The acreage isn’t appropriate for horses either …

This one was very pretty on the inside, but it was just a minor step up.  If we weren’t looking for acreage, the private setting would be soooo appealing.  But I don’t want to go through all this trouble for just a minor step up.  I want space!!!

This house was pretty ugly, but HUGE.  The whole time I was walking through it I was wondering how I could rip up the outsides and put on a different porch or other structure to make it look less modern.  The inside could use some pretty serious cosmetic help too.  Matt was predictably impressed with it, because he isn’t as concerned about styles.  He likes space and the clean lines of modern.  I could do without it!  If the land were perfect, I probably would give in and work with it.  Unfortunately, all the acres were wooded.

So that leaves me with one choice ... keep moving on.  I guess there's no problem there, since our buyers still have no buyers!


We had our parish priests over for dinner tonight.  It's a nerve-wracking thing, unfortunately, when you have so many uncontrollable factors involved.  Seven, to be exact.  J  It’s too bad, really, that my reaction is to be a little nervous … I mean, the priests are of goodwill on all fronts.  They were most grateful and cordial, of course … most endearing qualities in any guest.


The meal began with it’s usual clamoring for this that and the other thing.  I told them to brace themselves for dinner our way.  They both love children, it’s obvious, and seemed quite pleased and at home at our table.  It was especially enjoyable to hear them reminisce about the “old times” with Matt, whom they have known for more than 25 years.  He lived with them for a while, taking care of boys that boarded in order to attend the parish school … I guess that explains his obvious lack of nervousness and his ease with them.


At first Matt had proposed taking them out to dinner, but I was glad when it turned out otherwise.  Having them at our own home was a great opportunity to show the children what an honor it was to have them here, to show them that they aren’t scary, and to give them the opportunity to show off their hostessing/table manners.  I was very impressed with all the kids’ behavior!!


In other news …(not so exciting stuff, I know, but I’m trying to stick to my new school year resolution to keep you in the loop).  We have a showing tomorrow and an open house on Sunday.  We are seeing the following three houses on Sunday.  No news means … no news.  Nothing’s happening.  I feel like that woman in “Best in Show” that’s just standing by eating and “waiting for a signal”.