Thursday, January 27, 2011

We are still in the running

I received an email this morning from our Realtor and it seems that the bank is still actively considering our offer, even though we offered almost $20 thousand below the other family! I'm really not sure what to think at this point. We had pretty much accepted that we weren't going to be purchasing that house so we've been looking around again and found a house in our area that we are going to go and take a look at.

I'm pretty conflicted. We have moved several times from Molalla to Newberg to Scappoose and then to our current home in Lafayette. It didn't seem scary then, now it does. We'll have to find a new church, new doctors, and new friends. We'll have to change our shopping habits, and our "quickly running into town for something" habits as well:) My children were born in this area and I'm having a hard time with the thought of pulling them from their school (Which we love!!!) and their friends. I know that they will adapt much more quickly than Chad and I will. I still worry that we may not be doing the right thing at the right time.

I ask that you pray with us regarding the next step in our lives. Do we stay in our comfort zone or do we venture out a bit and move to a new area? Actually not so new since Chad and I went to high school there:) But it does feel kind of like a foreign country:) Have you ever had a conversation with someone from Molalla? It's a whole different ball game:)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

She's Famous!

Early this winter, Kyla was one of 55 winners chosen from her school district in an essay contest sponsored by the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. The prize was a trip to the museum and the opportunity of a life time, a live video chat with the United States astronauts up at the International Space Station! On Tuesday, 20 students from Wascher Elementary adventured to the Imax and were able to ask questions of our US astronauts. Gavin and I were able to watch the live feed from the ISS on our local public broadcasting channel. What fun it was to watch them try to eat jelly beans and do flips while holding conversations.

Fox news was even there and they had a good length clip that you can enjoy here. And by here I mean at the museum, not in space:) Let's play a little game...How many times do you see Kyla in the clip???

I'm not sure if this experience has sparked an interest in space travel in our gal, but she sure had a great time and couldn't stop talking about it when she got home.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

So Far

1. I have a crick in my neck = The ceiling is painted.

2. I have primer permanently stuck to all my phalangies = the banister is primed.

3. One paintbrush in the trash = forgot to get mineral spirits:)

1 + 2 + 3 =
A gathering room that is a third of the way done!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Keeping Busy

So while we wait to see what Bank of America chooses for our future:) I am trying to keep busy. I needed something big and labor intensive to keep my mind from whirling about. So I decided to paint our gathering room. At the top of our stairs, we have a large open area, AKA the Gathering Room, that really serves no purpose. I'm not sure why we even call it the gathering room, it's not like we actually gather there. Anyway, it's a glorified hallway at this point. We keep lots of books there, and other random things that don't seem to have a home. I've always dreamed of having a reading nook or a guest area. At this point, I don't want to spend a lot of money on this area but it's been needing to be painted since we moved in. Eight years later, I'm up to the task:)

I spent the afternoon moving furniture (Okay, so Chad moved what furniture there is) and washing walls....and doors...and windows...and banisters. Our banister was not up to code when we moved in, the rungs being too far apart for safety. Can you just imagine all the body parts that Gavin could have gotten stuck in there?:) We made it safe many years ago, just not so pretty. Chad dragged out his router and prettied it up and I sanded it nice and smoothish. Now remember, our house is old and has "lots of character":)

We rolled the carpet out of the way and found three or four different floor colors and even some raw wood, one hundred year old wood flooring. Unfortunately, it's not the one hundred year old wood that is amazingly beautiful and well preserved:) I have plans for it, just not at this phase of the project.

I really wanted to paint the ceiling tonight, but it gets pretty hard to see at night once you take the light fixture down. So I will settle on having the entire project ready to go tomorrow. Ceiling paint, trim paint and then the walls. Hmmm, maybe just ceiling and trim:) Who really knows how much energy I'll have tomorrow.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Still Waiting

We received an email on Wednesday morning stating that we had become part of a multi-offer situation on the house. We had the ability to change our bid or keep it the same. We raised ours to our highest point. We later heard that the other offer is above ours by almost 20 thousand $$. Yeah, that's a nice chunk of money:) The bank hasn't accepted either offer as of Thursday afternoon, but if the bank is just going on how much they can get, the situation is looking pretty grim for us:) I trust that whatever is supposed to happen will indeed happen. We have been praying constantly through this whole transaction that God make it perfectly clear for us. Twenty thousand dollars seems pretty clear to me:)

Now we wait to see what the bank decides. We are still hoping that this is the house for us, but are at peace no matter how the situation unfolds.

Monday, January 17, 2011


It's been a busy week. Rather, a busy last couple of months. This summer, Chad and I discovered some property out near both of our parents that fit the title of "The Riddle Family's Dream Property. " Now this property was not actually for sale at the time (it was in the process of foreclosure) and way out of our price range as well. But it got us started thinking about our dream of moving out to some property, having space of our very own where our kids (and us) could run and play out in the open. We love living where we do so we first started looking around us, in Yamhill County. I'll interrupt this re-telling with random pictures of our handsome know for comic relief.

We live in a beautiful part of Oregon, surrounded by vineyards, hazelnut orchards and large farms. We are close to the beach but close to several large cities as well. It pretty much is perfect. Except for the fact that our family lives about an hour away. We've lived here for eight years now and the drive just keeps feeling longer and longer. After looking and finding really nothing that we liked and could afford or liked and couldn't afford, we widened our search area to include the county where we both grew up.

We decided on the Canby area after hearing great things about the Canby school district. We checked out a couple of properties with our Realtor and spent hours online searching. We would find houses that we liked but the property was either too small, to big, or all field or all forest. We would find great property but it had a mobile home on it or a ranch house (I won't get it into it much, but the thought of living in ranch house makes my soul wither) or the house needed to be torn down and a new one rebuilt.

We got to the point where we decided to put our search on hold and take up looking again sometime later. Then I was talking to my mom on the phone and she mentioned that they house that we looked at last summer, aka the dream property, had a for sale sign up still. When the house went on the market in the late summer it was way out of our price range and in a different school district but I decided to check on it anyway.

Our Realtor dug up the info that it was now bank owned and had been sale-pending for a while but the sale fell through and had just gone back on the market the day before. Wow, what timing! They had even lowered the price, right into our price range! We made an appointment to see it the very next day.

We took a long look at the house and property on Thursday afternoon, braving torrential rains and the fear of utter disappointment. This had become the dream, what if it turned out to be not so dreamlike? To our delight, it lived up to it's title and we put an official offer on the house/property on Friday morning. Now we wait...and wait for the bank to respond.

We've been keeping busy, dreamed a bit of how it would all work out, and constantly checked our phone and email accounts praying for an early response:) We should hear back by the end of this week (Fridayish). Our fingers are crossed, our prayers said, and our breaths held as we await to see if this is next in God's plan for our life. I'll be sure to keep you posted. When I'm not hyperventilating into a paper bag or chewing off my fingernails:)

Monday, January 10, 2011

On The Train

Back in November, Gavin and I took a train adventure. My brother invited us up for a that I think about it, I may have invited us:) Whatever the situation was, Gavin and I purchased Amtrak tickets and prepared for his first train ride.

My mother-n-law and Kyla dropped us off at the station in downtown Portland and we waited impatiently until it was our turn to board.

We found our seats and got settled in. I had planned on Gav and I enjoying all the beautiful views of the Columbia Gorge on our way East but night fell before we had made it out of Portland.

We explored our eastbound train and found the dining and observation cars nearly empty. We snagged a table and played to our hearts content. This coincided with our hour of waiting for an oncoming train. Waiting...while standing still...for an hour...with a three year old. Need I say more?

During our ride, I had little presents for my traveling companion to open to help pass the time. The coolest was the hat, made out of glow sticks. Yeah, you know you want one:)

After that one hour wait, we were behind schedule. Gav listened to his veggie tales, ate a snack and then eventually fell asleep much to my dismay.

About 30 minutes after he fell asleep, our stop came. I carried him, our bags, and the car seat off the train. Have you ever been on a double-decker Amtrak train? Have you tried to go down the narrow little stairs? With a sleeping child?

My snl was there waiting for us and we made it to there house with all our bags, body parts and most of my sanity intact. Invited or not:)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Quiet Creativity

I've been quietly sewing and crafting during our long, cold days. My sewing area happens to be in the coldest part of the house (and the messiest) making it a bit unappealing to work on projects. Braving the clutter and cold toes, I have finished a couple of projects for some special people in our lives.

I have a wonderful niece who recently celebrated her birthday and she made it known that she was hoping for a bag to keep her knitting in. I say "made it known"...she looked me straight in the eye and said that she would really like me to make her one:) No mixed signals from that gal:)

Kyla's school ended with a big bang right before Christmas. Her teacher, Ms. Morton, has a great talent for making her students enjoy learning and being excited about all that goes on around them. For such a special teacher, a special Christmas present needed to be made. Kyla choose a holiday apron on the last Tuesday before be given that Thursday for the holiday party. No pressure there:)

I had my first commission work this past month as well. A good friend of mine just recently had her third little girl and had in mind the perfect bumper for this new little one. The problem was that she couldn't find that dream bumper in her price range. After she found the fabric, she got a hold of me and we were able to make that dream come true...yes, my sewing makes dreams come true! (can you hear me snickering?)

I had one last gift to make for my boisterous nephew. I've been saving up this tutorial to use for the perfect time and it finally came. I used a sheet from Walmart and some pvc pipe from Lowes. A couple hours of sewing and Gabe now has a fun place to play and hide. (Notice my handsome model trying it out before we had it hand delivered to Central WA)

I have lots more projects ready to go...I just need a bit of gumption to conquer the mess and the chilly floor. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just a slice at a time

A slice of life, that is. The holidays were wonderfully busy, full of fun, memory making, and with just a bit of heart ache thrown in.

The month of November and December brought visits from my dad's side of the family. My cousin, who lives in Indiana, came out and stayed with them with the hopes of starting fresh.

It was both fun and weird to have family close. For all of my growing up years, extended family has been msome far away ideal. A group of people we see once a year at best. I married into a wonderful family so I have/had cousins, an aunt and uncle, and grandparents close by to share life with as an adult. Nathan ventured out to Oregon by bus no less and stayed for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, he decided that he wasn't ready to make some hard changes and left in sad circumstances. I am thankful for the weeks that we had with him.

In December, my sweet (and often bothersome) father turned 5o. In celebration we asked his mother (my grandmother) and one of his sisters to come out and celebrate with us. They also made the long trek from Indiana to Oregon (on a jet plane :) ) and we had a fun filled weekend over at my parent's stuffed-to-the-seams house. My brother and his family came down to add to the grand melee and we ate lots of food, chatted about life, got dive bombed by small helicopters, played some fierce crazy eight games, and generally had a great time.

I was there so of course we took pictures...

You just can't beat a long weekend with a loving family. Well, maybe a nice, quite weekend someplace tropical:)