Saturday, August 28, 2010

There is Beauty All Around....even in Casper, WY

This is Geneva giving me a
It's bright, a bit warm, and I wanted this picture.  I'm guessing they won on this one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

House Hunting

Do you know how many houses we looked at?  A lot.  I've never been more thorough.  We discovered houses to be quite expensive here.  Since we still own our home in Rexburg and it will probably take a couple years before we can make any money on it, we are renting.  We started looking in May but quickly found that it was pointless.  All the homes were available right away.  We tried realtors; funny, you don't make a lot of money from renters, so most just waved us off.  All except one realtor...Ed Toohey.  He sent out emails to other realtors and we got a lot of great leads but nothing that worked for us.  So, we settled on a townhouse and worked to finalize the deal.  A week before we were to move, the deal fell through and we had nowhere to live.  We quickly called Ed and he offered us a home that was under contract.  A home he owned.  He offered us a great deal on the rent and was very accommodating.  When we do buy, we will use him.  However, since the house was under contract, that meant we would have to find something more permanent soon.  So we looked...and looked...One house we loved was fairly new and had an unfinished basement.  Three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  It was great except one of the bedrooms had been made into a formal dining room with french doors.  Doesn't make for a very private bedroom.  AND it cost $1900/month.  It was a nice home, but in the end, not that nice.  I thought of the amazing homes we could find in Utah for $1900.  Oh, well.  We looked at another home that was great...except there was carpet in the dining room and it was a twin home.  Another home had NO dining area. Some were on busy streets. One was an older home with steep (scary) stares and a non-existent kitchen. I'm sure you all LOVE reading about our househunting experiences, but really, we've never struggled this hard looking for a home. The one we are in now is great with a big kitchen, open living room, and master suite. The kid's rooms are large and we can keep this place clean. However, there is the carpet in the bathroom and the steep driveway...and the horrible, sand filled yard with the scattering of desert weeds.

We love this house, but the neighborhood is...well, we are eager to move on. A couple weeks ago, we were school shopping. Shem has decided to go all cowboy now that we're, you know, in Wyoming.

So, we went to Boot Barn.  Everything is so expensive in there.  I sat on a chair and allowed Shem to wander the store (with my eyes locked on him) in his content bliss.  Chris and Todd joined us, Chris looking scuffy with his lack of shaving (going on 2 weeks), cut-offs, and a BYU-Idaho shirt.  It's that shirt that led us to our home.  Another family came up to us and asked about the shirt and a long story short, they were members and they had a home right across from them that just went  up for rent.  That weekend, we decided to take a look and the next week, we signed a lease.  We move in September 1st.  It's not our dream home, by any means, but we know that kids live nearby, that we'll have good neighbors, and that we are one step closer to that dream home.  This will be our 10th home.  with all the houses under our belt, we know what we don't want in a home (small yards, retired neighborhood, no closets, etc) and what we can't live without (a decent kitchen, walk-in closets, a master suite, yard). 

 I look forward to settling down, but in the meantime, I feel like I'm getting to try out a variety of homes.  I will tell you, NO CARPET IN THE BATHROOMS OR DINING ROOM for us!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Didn't They Say How Fun Moving Could Be?

I am back to the blogging world. Without my own internet, I've had to make a few life adjustments--like missing out on what my friends and family have been doing.  If I wanted to know, I had to (gasp) call them.  Now that my computer is working and I've gotten my internet baby back, I feel closer to complete.

This was my home for a year.  The yard is spectacular.  Greenery reaches every view from the inside....even in the winter.  I've taken some great pictures here.  This is me saying, "goodbye" by taking a picture from the car.  I was to exhausted to give too much emotion.  That was until Chris called to tell me about the envelope he found in the driver's seat of the moving van.
In this envelope was a note (Oh, where did I put that note?!!) with the kindest words and with that note, a large sum of money.  That was enough to make me cry.
I'm exhausted, I'm sweaty...and now I'm crying.  I put my keys to the house on my lap (so I can return them), turn on the car, and head north..thinking all the while, I hope I can be that good of a person someday.  Then I make it to American Fork.  It's hot, I've left the air conditioning off (not in the mood to overheat my car) and realize the keys are still in my lap.  That's when I call my sister and tell her I'm going to be late meeting her to pick up my kids and I turn around...on the hot, miserable day.  The drive back to Provo is horribly slow.  Really?!! Construction in the middle of the day?!!  Isn't that what the middle of the night is for?  I get back, drop off my kids, and cannot wait to be out of there.  I pick up my kids at Ikea.  I'm a bit sad about this, because I love Ikea and it's over 7-hours away from my new home.  A new couch is not worth the drive (deep...sad....sigh).  I make the hour and a half hour drive over tall mountains (definitely no AC for this part of the drive) and winding valleys.  At least it's pretty.  Almost to my first days destination and I receive a call.  I decide to take it since I will soon be out of cell phone range.  Looks like our home in Rexburg is having septic problems.  We get to pay to have it pumped and find out the drain fill is broken.  What will that cost us?!!  I'm surprised to arrive at my parents and not see a moving van.  I call Chris.  Turns out the trailer carrying our van disconnected in Provo Canyon.  Of course it did.  Luckily, some kind citizen helped to make sure it was secured this time.  1/2 hour later, Chris walks in the door and says he's stuck.  I think he's just being silly and I can fix the problem myself.  I walk out there and this is what I see:
See where that guys is?  That a deep ditch...or ravine  See the middle of the moving van?  That is where the van is wedged into the cattle guards and can't for forward or backwards without scraping.  The back of the truck has an ugly tilt to it.  We have a neighbor/friend try helping us, but he's afraid to do too much more thinking the truck could tip at any moment.  I am sick at this point.  I can't handle any more at this point.  We call a tow and hope for the best.
I've got to admit, it was just a welcome sight to see the tow guy from Moore's arrive.  I don't understand the physics of it, but he was able to lift of the back of the truck and scoot it back onto the driveway.  For added measure, he picked up the trailer and moved that over as well (we had already decided it would be better to take the van off).  Chris pulled out the envelope that had been given to us and took some of that money out to pay Moores.  Thank our wonderful friend/neighbor in Provo who had no idea we would meet this obstacle today.  To add to the...comedy...of the day; we had to unload the van a bit to make room for a driver.  Computer, lamp, legos, etc...I had packed it in tight.  I walk back to the stuff we had set at the side of the road to find my parents sweet neighbor putting it all into the trash; trying to help.  I let him know that it wasn't trash and he apologized for the next 10 minutes while we dumped the trash can and put everything into a vehicle.  It's amazing what alcohol can do to a person....and sad.

Lucky for us, we made the rest of the trip in peace,  I was able to use the AC for the majority of the drive to Casper, and nothing broke down.  I did find out that to fix the drain pipe at our home in Rexburg would be VERY expensive.  VERY.  Time has passed.  I recovered from that shock.  Now I'm in Casper, WY, preparing to move into another home in just 11 days.
There will be plenty of good things to come!  Besides, seeing my 8-yr-old back to his cowboy roots makes every minute worth it.