Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Finally, over a week ago, they came through with a written offer. Low, but it was a starting place and we knew that one way or the other, we could close the books on these buyers. We countered back the following Monday, in addition to seeing a house for sale where we want to live that had good potential. That same weekend I was also informed about another house that would be coming for sale on Friday (which was this past Friday, the 26th). The house is owned by friends of a friend...the owners go to my parents' church...their oldest daughter is in Elise's class at school...her son went to my mom's preschool...good people. Anyway, the house sounded perfect and the owners were gracious enough to let me in to see it before it was officially for sale.
It has everything we want, (except maybe lights in the ceiling in the family room), and is priced right. It's in a good neighborhood. It's very close to school. It's close to my parents' house. It feels like us.
Our buyers countered back to us during this time and we decided to accept that counter, as it was very close to where we wanted to be and because I had seen a house that we could afford and that I loved. We waited for them, again, to finish up one bit of paperwork, which they did only 90 minutes before the deadline. Eek! That made us pending on our house here and so I took Ed, my parents, and all the girls except for Sarah to go see this house that wasn't yet for sale.
And everyone loved it! (Ed took video for Sarah and she loved it, too!)
Does this all sound like very coincidental timing? We get an offer the same weekend we find out about another house that is available that is perfect for us? Maybe. But I've known in my heart that if it was God's will for us to move, He would provide everything to be just right in His time. I've been a little afraid that it wasn't God's will for us to move...but He is now providing and orchestrating every detail. I have no doubts that He will continue to move in mysterious ways and I just pray that His will IS what it LOOKS LIKE IT IS.
The day that house went on the market, we made an offer. We waited a few days for them to sign because our buyers needed to solidify their loan in order for them to feel comfortable going pending on their house...but just now, that happened! We're not out of the woods, because there are still two inspections to be completed and two loans to "close"...but today was a huge, huge step in the right direction! Praise the Lord!!
Monday, October 29, 2012
The 3rd Ball girl recently turned 9. She had a fabulous birthday, as evidenced by the following pictures…
Enjoying our oddly-off-tune rendition of “Happy Birthday” at breakfast before church…we had cinnamon rolls with sprinkles and a candle.
Opening the cute purple & green felted wool purse from Great-grandma…I think she likes it!
Spot-It Game was also a hit, especially after playing it with cousins this past summer!
Money to the American Girl Store from her grandpa…she was SHOCKED. She’s been pouring over the catalog that comes with the gift card for the last two days…
I think she likes the pillow pet from G&G!
Lots of smiles during the 2nd not-so-off-tune rendition of “Happy Birthday” of the day…but no eye contact with the mama’s camera lens.
And here she is seriously pondering her “wish” before blowing out the candle…
Oh, how that girl makes me laugh and fills my heart with joy! Happy birthday, Becca! Looking forward to your birthday dessert out someday soon!!
Sunday, October 28, 2012
I’m just a little behind on this blog right now…again. There’s a lot to tell, but there’s not a lot I can say…just yet. Stay tuned for updates on our house situation, cross country, and birthday celebrations. I will try to get things posted in a more timely fashion.
This past Thursday Bethany had a 7th/8th grade music chapel and her orchestra sounded great! It’s a small orchestra, but they have a TON of fun and they are learning a lot. Soli Deo Gloria!
Thursday, October 18, 2012
The season is just about over…well, Bethany’s actually IS over. Sarah’s got one meet left for sure…Tri-Districts. IF the girls’ team can place in the top six, then there will be a trip to the state tournament. Honestly, I get choked up just thinking about it. I’m telling you, if someone produced a movie about a small town high school girls’ cross country team trying to make it to the state meet, I would bawl through the entire thing. Generally I can hold it together during a race because I’m busy cheering and taking pictures. But as soon as one of my girls crosses the finish line and there’s all this relief and joy and pride, well, then, I get a big ole’ lump in my throat and I have to kind of gulp and reprimand myself for being so sentimental. It’s just so strange because I’m SO NOT INTO SPORTS. But when you start talking about school pride and teams that this year my girls are blessed to be part of…well…you might as well grab me some kleenex.
Anyway, enough about ME. This is to show off some more Cross Country photos of my amazing running daughters!
practicing their start at the Peace Arch meet – high school XC coach is behind them as the middle school coach couldn’t be there that day
That’s some stride! But this is still in the practice start and they’re having some fun.
Tell the truth. You have a lump in your throat, too, right?
It was such a beautiful day out at Peace Arch. It’s a pretty course, too.
Coming in to the finish. She passed that Trojan in front of her just before the finish!
At the dreaded Vista meet. This is the toughest middle school course. A loop they repeat 3 times, with a super long uphill and then a super long downhill. Nasty. Coaches are told to expect to add one minute to everyone’s average time. Bethany was not looking forward to this meet at all and was SO happy when it was over! Sarah had a bad race here once and pretty much scared Bethany half to death about how awful it was. Thankfully, while Bethany didn’t have a great race, she did just fine and is no longer scared of the dreaded Vista meet.
Coming in to the finish. And again, she passed that Trojan!
At the final home meet, where she tied her PR for the year and where I didn’t get any finish line pictures because people were standing literally IN THE COURSE and I couldn’t see Bethany at all. But she had a great finish once again! I don’t think she was racing anyone at the end this time, but she finished strong.
The start of Wednesday’s Northwest Conference Championships…this is an important meet only in that it’s the last one for anyone not running Varsity. It’s the last one for them. It’s also “bragging rights” for those who win the meet, both in individual and team standings.
Sarah was looking strong throughout the course.
It appears Sarah has some kick at the end, too! She passed that girl in the purple/white and see that girl in the yellow and black shorts on the bottom right of the picture? She passed her, too!
This picture is from the school photographer, whose niece also runs. I borrowed it from the school Facebook page. It’s a great shot and Sarah looks so strong. She PR’ed, running a full 5K in 20:52.
On To Districts!
Monday, October 15, 2012
Every fall all the 3rd graders in the county participate in “Chalk the Walk” around town. During the annual Harvest Festival, the sidewalks of downtown and the Fairway Shopping Center are covered in chalk squares of fall scenes drawn by all the local 3rd graders. I had to sub on the day Becca’s class participated, but a few friends sent me some pictures, plus I took one later when I went to go check out Becca’s artwork!
As you can see, this was all during our Indian Summer weather that lasted well into October. We ended up with 81 days without rain…a record, of course. And now the rain & wind have begun and suddenly I am wondering (only a tiny bit) why I wanted the rain to come…especially as I anticipate a Cross Country meet both Tuesday & Wednesday this week. On the other hand, it’s a good excuse for a cup of coffee and sitting by the fireplace wrapped in my favorite fuzzy blanket after the race…plus, a XC meet is relatively short in the world of sports. I’m glad neither of them are playing soccer or fast-pitch…
Saturday, October 13, 2012
I often have the pleasure of taking school photos for my friends’ kids. I always love doing this and it’s especially fun when the mom thinks the kids aren’t cooperating at all and yet a picture turns up that the mom just loves! I didn’t do all the families I normally do this year, and I didn’t even do my own since we had family photos taken this summer, but I just wanted to share a few of my favorites…
My friends are encouraging me to considering taking pictures of other kids…those outside my “circle”. I think I could do this, but I don’t know how to decide whether someone is a close enough friend that I just do it as a favor, or if they’re just a friend of a friend and I should charge them or barter for something. That’s the dilemma. What if *you* thought you were my friend and then it turned out I expected payment? I’m conflict-avoidant, so I am not sure I want to go there just yet. I’ve had family of friends and friends of friends ask if they could pay me $XX amount or trade photos for ______ (fill in the blank) and that has worked out well so far. So, if you know someone who wants me to take their pictures, just tell them to email me and offer me something in trade and I’ll probably go for it.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Normally by the time the first week of October rolls around, I’ve written a blog post about fall and how much I love it. And normally by the time the first week of October rolls around, we’ve had quite a fair bit of fall-like weather and activity.
This year is anything but normal.
August was the driest August EVER on record. September was the 2nd driest September EVER on record, being wetter than the #1 driest September by about 1/100th of an inch. I think it rained one night. A little. The ground wasn’t even wet in the morning.
So far October is having the same trend.
Now, that’s not to say we aren’t seeing some signs of fall…we are. The leaves are changing, the nights are cool, we’ve had foggy mornings and even a couple mornings with a tad bit of frost. But it’s really warm during the day – in the 70’s warm. This past Thursday we went to Bethany’s XC meet out at Birch Bay (quite possibly the coolest spot in western WA without going into the mountains because of the wind off the water) and Becca was playing in shorts and a tank top. And the fire danger…well…it’s dangerously high. Wildfires in Eastern WA are claiming a lot of land, and causing serious air quality problems. I’ve seen two small brush fires in the past week here in western WA and I’m pretty sure I’ve NEVER seen one before.
So, I still love fall, and I’m not going to complain about the sunshine. But we could sure use some rain. And a couple more days of frost ought to send those spiders in my shrubs “underground” so that I can do some trimming. And some cooler temperatures would make those brown sugar cinnamon mochas at my favorite coffee shop a lot more appealing. I’d love to wear some sweaters and jeans with boots and be comfortable in them all day, instead of sweltering in them for two hours in the afternoon. Is that complaining? No…just looking forward to what will inevitably come.
This past week the girls had off from school for teacher’s convention, so I convinced Ed to “work from home” on Friday so that we could have some family fun for a couple hours. We headed out to our favorite apple-picking-farm (30 cents/pound!) to pick some apples…but the lack of rain had been hard on the apples. Really dry. Small apples. Very little foliage. Brown spots. We managed to find a sackful of good ones, but had to walk 5 rows to get that many. Then we headed to a new farm locale, Bellewood Acres! We didn’t experience everything they have to offer, (I’d definitely like to go back with some of my girlfriends and enjoy some more leisurely but it was nice to be there during the week instead of on a weekend – not nearly as many people! We had some lunch…this heavenly Harvest Mac & Cheese was so rich and creamy…
I could have eaten the entire bowl. But I shared it with my family. We also shared a Grilled Cheese with aged white cheddar that was also incredibly rich and creamy. I love cheese.
The girls also shared a PB&J with Bellewood’s homemade peanut butter (which is absolutely the best peanut butter ever made in the world) and homemade raspberry jam on homemade bread. I don’t eat PB&J sandwiches, but if I was going to, that would be the one I would eat.
We walked around the store, bought some apples (which made an amazing apple crisp today for Sunday dessert), and let the girls pick out pumpkins.
Can you imagine a more beautiful setting for a pumpkin patch? What a gorgeous day it was!
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
This past Saturday was a day of blessings. It was a blessing to wake up to a foggy morning that gave way early to clear blue skies. It was a blessing to work with Bethany’s friend and her mom to finish setting up for the Haiti Water Project fundraiser. It was a blessing to see so many people…family, church family, friends, teachers, and community members…come together at one place, at one time, for one purpose. It was a blessing to count the donations and discover that Bethany & her friend (together with those who came and donated) raised OVER $6000, enough to drill two wells! It was a blessing to watch the smiles on Bethany’s face all morning long and to see her and her friend enjoy the moment that they felt called by God to work towards. And it was a blessing when the event was over and we could all go home and feel proud of what had been accomplished…and the glory that God received in the process.
Please take the time to look at our pictures…there are just too many to have them all posted here, but you will get a much better feel for the day if you check them out and read the captions! Thanks to all of you who came, walked, donated money, bought crafts, or generally supported the event. It means the world to those girls.
Soli Deo Gloria!