Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our Two Houses

Started this a few months ago.  We worked over two months almost every weekend.  So, posted on Facebook but I'm sure you figured out some of it on here by now.  We have two homes.  One is the one we live in.  One is the house we used to live in.  It was under contract for rent to own.  We'll leave it at that and won't elaborate a lot on here.  Long story short, we are having to fix up the home after tenants moved out.  We have gone every weekend for almost a month now.  It is not easy by any stretch as that was our home.  The place we took pride in and took care of.  The place we raised our children in.  The place we loved.  But, we have to move on from that and do the work that has been placed in front of us.

First time we went to see it, we had to leave.  We could not bare the thought of working on it.  Nor could we bare the stench coming from our home.  We decided to leave, left my cousin there to take down the pool that we gave them.  Under insurance, pool had to come down.  Could not have it here due to the way our septic lines run so very thankful we found a great home for it where I know they'll use it for years to come.

None of these pics are from the first time we saw the house.  Just can't see those.  Even now.  This was the second time we went.  Pool had been taken down.  Pavers are being cleared this weekend and brought here to use since there is no pool and it would look stupid leading to nowhere.

Kids looking at where the pool once was.

We had started the work already when the picture was taken.  Yard work.  It was hard to see the blatant lack of care.  When we first arrived, one weed in the front yard was literally over my head.  Weeds as far as the eye can see, no hedges trimmed, yard trimmed, no lawn mowed, no trees pruned, nothing done. And I mean nothing. Trash piled high.  The inside videos and pictures the first day we arrived are something else.  We took well over four trailer loads to the dump!  Probably more than that but those are the ones I remember.  Trailer piled high with trash.  Coming from a place we once loved.  Neighbors told us of bonfires at the house where they thought the trees were going to burn down.  Also told us many other details I will leave out.  Unreal.  Out of a tv show almost.  Trust me, you do not want to see pictures.  The smell was something else. 

I have never been more proud of the kids.  They went every weekend with us and worked their butts off to clean up someone else's mess.  Lots and lots of mess.  Let's see what had to be done and I'm sure I'll miss a lot.  Refit all air conditioners, paint all baseboards, clean floors over and over and over, clean house, deodorize, steam clean carpets, windows, replace all screens, pull up bathroom floor, replace bathroom flooring, fix tons of stuff, all new door locks, rip down blinds, clean all ceiling fans, mow, trim trees, pull piles of weeds, move fridge to our house, clean old fridge out (dead bugs and all), and list could go on forever.  But, we did it.  Things got done.  I was SO, SO proud of my kids.  They gave up being able to play sports this semester, gave up going pretty much anywhere this semester, and learned great life lessons.  This process cost us more than you can imagine.  A lot more.  So much so, we honestly thought we might have to foreclose.  It was beyond difficult and just being honest.  We do have people back in there again thank goodness.  And hopefully, they will take care of it like we did.  time will tell. 

Despite all the bad, we also got to see good in people.  Friends willing to help, bringing us pizzas, fresh lemonade, visiting us to chat, etc.  During this time, our dryer at this home broke.  A friend online bought us a new dryer!  Kids watched it arrive like watching an ice cream truck.  We wer not going to let what happened to our old home or being taken ruin our spirit as people.  Some time bad things just happen.  You don't know the reason.  I think it brought our family closer together and definitely makes the kids want to take care of this house.  Those are both good things.  We learned to look at the silver lining for sure. 

Well, wanted to finish this one up.  Have a lot of half finished posts coming.  Off to the library this morning for story time.  More to come later. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Blast from the Past

We're going back to October of 2004.  We used to have annual Halloween Parties for our kids.  Mummy wraps, bobbing for apples, pinata, and of course goodies.  Most the time the kids just hung out and played.  Really was a lot of fun.  May have to get back into this again. 

Some of the blondies back then.  Hard to imagine we only had 4 kids at one point in time.  

Alex looks a little strained and Max seems forced into participation. LOL.  

 They all seemed like such babies here!  My how they've grown over the last 11 years.

Even Warren got in on the fun!  Poor guy.

And, I did not escape the tp either. 

Max being goofy.  Honestly, I'm not sure how he ended up doing this with the limbo stick. 

I know I haven't posted about Yana in awhile.  And many have asked.  I will write a post in the next week or so regarding all that.  Some times, life throws  you curve balls.  For now, enjoy the blast from the past pictures.  I know I have.  Nik was wondering where he was.  Trying to get him to understand he hasn't always lived here. 

More posts forthcoming.  LOTS to say.  Trying to find the right words.  It will be hard.  Meanwhile, we're off to 4-H club and then homeschoolers volunteering at a retirement home.  Busy day but good as the sun is finally shining in NC. 

My Subscription Box

I dabble here and there w/ subscription boxes.  Walmart's & Target's are just $5 IF you can catch them.  Only caught each one once.  Well worth the $5 that you'd spend anyhow.  Now, girls and I have tried the Fab, Fit, Fun box.  Yes, it's $50, however, it only comes 4 times a year.  In addition, first box there is always a code for floating around and it's $40.  I think this is our third time.  $357 this time worth of stuff for $50. 

Arrives in a nice box.

Packaged so neatly and the girls and I are always dying to know what's inside.  Like a mini Christmas every time.

This was the load this time.  What you can't really make out is that $75 gift card for canvas which is what i was going to do anyhow at Christmas time for a family portrait.  Was thrilled to see that.  Battery charger will come in handy and boy, the umbrella was of course much needed here recently. So many neat things and we will use them.  Yes, a $15 gift card to Reeds Jewelers.  I looked for super discounted stuff and ended up only paying $3 for a necklace that one of the girls will get for Christmas.  Not bad.  We all love it and for us, has been worth the money.  And, if we stop liking it or stop using the stuff in it, we will cancel which we can do any time.  Currently, it's the only box we get.  We're going to use the gold masks this week.  Kinda of an at home spa day for the girls when we get this stuff.  Boys have asked for a boys' subscription box.  They have them.  Just haven't tried them yet. 

My Nerd, Bojan

Bojan has always been and always will be our nerd, geek, bookworm or whatever else  you want to call him. Just who he is and we're proud of that fact.  He devours books and it shows.  The other day he came home and I called him a nerd b/c he had his pens in his pocket.  He said, I'll show you nerd:

He tucked his shirt in and got the 'look' on his face.  Told me to hang on.

A more relaxed nerd.

Then, he grabbed Nik's glasses.  Yep, he fits the bill perfectly.

But in all seriousness, proud of him.  We received a letter saying since he is one of the top 15 in his class, he was selected to go to the ethics and leadership conference in November.  He's going. He also tries to help out with the younger kids. 

Manic Monday

Wow, have I been slack!  Or just busy. We're going to say busy just so I don't seem lazy.  Today is Monday so it's that time again.

  • Here in NC, there will be sun on Tuesday!  We missed it so much
  • We faired well with all the flooding and nothing happened here
  • Roof leaks here
  • Called roofers, no return calls
  • Under the house is leaking
  • Boys painted their room
  • Need to order curtains (they're tired of girl stuff)
  • Changing up bedroom stuff for Alyona, Summer and Sofie
  • We're blessed w/ a beautiful rug for their room
  • Warren still likes his car
  • My car looks like it was in a derby
  • Kids are safe from hit the other night on way home from church
  • Therapist out of town this week
  • Limited therapies this week
  • 6 of mine volunteering at a retirement home
  • 4-H this week
  • Youth group & AWANAS this week
  • Cancelling an ortho appointment for Nate.  Just no need to go
  • I have a check up
  • Irina's ear surgery rescheduled for next week as doc wouldn't be there
  • We organized today
  • Going through kids clothes seeing where the gaps are
  • Need to sell some items this week
  • Dogs are okay
  • Think Digby is going deaf and possibly blind
  • Doing yard work this week
  • Making dinner for another family this week
  • Doing some Pinterest crafts this week
  • Miracle League
  • Mattress Fundraiser for Bojan's school
  • Need mattresses desperately ironically
  • Ready to make it to church this weekend
  • Think we may have found a little way to help Nate sleep
More going on but I need to get to bed as Nate just fell asleep.  Technically,it's Tuesday now.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Friday Fun Day

Every Friday, the kids and I have decided to do art via Pinterest.  Some are more school related than others.  Usually pick three things to do.  This coming Friday we are doing Sea Art and making salt dough fall decor.  Want to make a volcano as we're studying those but we'll see if time allows.  But, this past week, I did a Pinterest project while they did art.  Making Vick's shower vapor disks. 

Got ingredients together which was so simple.  When I do 'crafty' things, I never use my more 'pure' (aka expensive) oils.  Just b/c usually the quantity is quite a bit and hate to waste it if it doesn't work out.

Started out really clumpy.

They said keep adding water until it is more a putty consistency.  At first mine was like cottage cheese. LOL.  Eventually, it got there.

You let them dry overnight.  Mine never really dried that well until after I put them on top of the fridge.  Dried right away.  

So, they smell great.  But, put them in the shower and it's not that powerful a scent at all.  Plus, leaves a white mess in the shower till completely dissolved.  Also, makes the shower floor uber slippery so beware if you try it.  This is on our list of not trying again.  Just wasn't worth it.  Easy to do but really did nothing for us.  More Pinterest crafts coming this weekend.

Manic Monday

Way too much going on around here.  Guess I'm more sporadic than I thought I'd be catching up.

  • Speech, OT, PT this week
  • Irina has an audiogram on Wednesday
  • Irina started working full time
  • Van needs fixing
  • Discovered roof leak at new house
  • Discovered wall leak at new house
  • Discovered leak under house at new house (see a pattern here???)
  • Calling roofers to get estimate on repair of said leak
  • Nate still not sleeping right
  • Kids like their church
  • New tenants at old house moving in
  • One last thing to fix at old house and then done
  • Spent small fortune fixing it up but glad it's done
  • Been raining all this past weekend
  • Kids have Miracle League this weekend
  • Story time still happening
  • AWANAS this week
  • Girls struggling with learning verses but trying
  • Need to go to DMV
  • Need to find a groomer (we just can't do it ourselves)
  • Kids are working on volcanoes in school now
  • Bojan's school has the idea that we're going to pay for overnight trips to colleges (more on this topic!)  We'll be taking him ourselves.
  • Waiting to hear back from school on hand controls for driver's ed class
  • Warren has classes at work this week

Lots and lots going on and I haven't even touched the surface really.  More all to come soon, soon , soon.  I do better at FB nowadays.  Short bits everyday.  Stephanie Spencer Boyd.  Someone was asking and figured I'd put it out there.  Nate is still up.  It's 11:20 now.   Nights are just so long with the sleepless wonder.