Thursday, July 29, 2010

It hates me!

I'm convinced our Geo metro hates me. It drives fine when Joe drives it, but when I'm driving, it decides to break down. So today I trecked up to Bonham to drop off our home contract at the title company. As I got there I noticed that the A/C wasn't working well. I though it was just because the car was idling. However, after my business at the title company was done, I got back in the car, and the A/C was not working. So I glanced down to the thermometer. The last time I drove this very same geo into the ground I failed to do so. Sure enough, the temperature was way high. And after checking under the hood, I discovered freon all over the place Not again! I pulled over, and started making phone calls. At this point I was very happy to be right by Bonham. My friend Dee was my hero today. She picked me up, and drove me all the way home! It's nice to have good friends!

After I got home, I saw the following post on Facebook by Joe:
"So I'm sitting in a auto repair shop (because I blew a radiator hose & I need it fixed asap) and Jessica calls to tell me her radiator is leaking too. I didn't have the heart to tell her where I was... I ended up walking out of the mechnic shop (now waiting @ Napa for the part to come in) after the shop owner threw my keys back @ me refusing the work unless I let him change BOTH radiator hoses for well over $200. Something about liability & getting sued when the other one goes out....always nice to get a good solid kick to the groin when you're down."

What a day for cars!!

If yes, If no

And the sorting begins......

Each item that passed through my hand gets the following questions:

-Do I want to store this for X amount of time? This is the hardest question, because we don't know what that "X" will be. It could be 16 months. Or it could be 6 years. It all depends whether we find a job in Europe after school is over.

if yes: put it in a box, and place it in the dining room- the designated room for items we will keep.
Unless I will need it for the next month.

if no:

-Is it valuable enough to sell on craigslist? ->Take pictures and place a craigslist ad
-Is it valuable enough to sell on ebay? ->Place it in Joe's office- ebay central
-Would someone in my family or friends like/need it? -> Contact them and ask whether they want it

if not:
-write it down on my donation list and set a market value for it, and put it into Winter's old bedroom. That's the new designated room for items "for sale" or "to be donated"
Unless I will need it for the next month.

So as you can see this can get kind of complicated. Some stuff can get donated right now. Some can get boxed right now. Other stuff needs to stay "out" so we can actually function in our house until we close.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Turn around

Okay, never mind. Everything is okay. After the Frenches looked at other properties, they accepted our counter offer. We are SOOOO excited. I almost can't believe that we will really move to Holland. Of course we're still a little bit in limbo, since anything can happen between now and August 31st. The buyers have 10 days to back out of the contract for no reasons, and of course there will be an inspection. We are confident in the good status of our house, and the buyers seem very serious and excited, so I am feeling good about all of this going through.

Now I start with the mad dash to try and sell most of our furniture. Sort thing, donate, sell, and pack up things. I started in Winter's room. The only thing out of her room that will go into storage is her bed frame, some sewing supplies, and harp strings (she never really moved into that room- it just had her bed in it, as well as a bunch of miscellaneous office items.
Well, my worst nightmare came true. The Barnhursts totally backed out, and now the previous buyers have moved on to looking at other properties. But hopefully not all is lost yet. We made a counter offer to them last night, and are really hoping that they will consider it. There is also another couple who is coming to look today. The husband came last week, and the wife will come today.

But for now I am still a nervous wreck, and have no clue whether moving to Holland will actually happen.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Is it possible?

I need to do a little updating.

We received an official offer on Friday from the Frenches. It's kind of low, and their financing is not very solid.

The Barnhursts sent their realtor on Friday, and need a few business days to talk to their bank.

We told the Frenches we'd need until Wednesday of this week to respond to their offer. We also told them we had another option. After replying to all my communication right away in the past, he now hasn't responded back for the past 48 hours. I'm a nervous wreck. What if they back out? What if they find another house?

At the same time, we are very hopeful that we'll get an offer from the Barnhursts so we can pick from 2.

Crazy, right? But it gets crazier. Last week someone else came to look at the house. I told the realtor (with Ebby) that we had an offer. Now the spouse wants to come back to see the house as well.

I can't even imagine what would happen if we ended up with 3 offers on the table on Wednesday. Or if all 3 offers fall through. I'm the worst in terms of thinking of the worst case scenario. For so long we had hardly any interest. Sure, we had plenty of showings, but rarely any follow-up viewings. Now we have 1 offer in hand, 1 likely coming, and 1 more possible. I feel so blessed!

Friday, July 23, 2010

What to do with the "stuff"

We have an official offer! I'm so excited that this Holland thing is really going to happen! The Barnhursts are also interested, so we're hoping to see an offer from them as well by tomorrow. We never would have imagined that we would have 2 offers to choose from! This is a true blessing.

Now we just have a gazillion things to do before we can move out. I have furniture to sell, things to donate, sort through everything, and ask myself about every single little thing: is it worth storing for 1-4 years? Most of our big furniture that we want to keep, is going to family and friends, to be housed in their homes. Most of the small furniture will be sold. And hopefully the rest will fit in a 10x10 storage unit.

The hardest thing to figure out, is what to do with those things that we don't want to keep, but are too small for craigslist or ebay. Items like my hand mixer, breadmaker, plates, lamps, and silverware. We could do a moving sale, but the disadvantage of that, is that we'll end up having tons of leftovers, plus people will try to haggle the prices down. Another option is auctioning it off. With that option you never know how much you'll get for it, plus the auctioneer takes a big (25%) chunk of the profits. The third option I've considered, is to donate it. When you donate to a place like Goodwill, you will get 30% of the value back in your tax return. And that might be more than what you could get for it at a garage sale. It would certainly be the least amount of work!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More of the same

Our summer is going by better and quicker than I could have hoped for. The kids are a little more independent, especially when it comes down to swimming in the pool. They are all great swimmers and don't need 100% supervision anymore. The weeks just go by one by one, and I know that school will start again before we know it.

The house selling is also going well. We had some very interested people on Saturday, whom I'm expecting an offer from this week. On top of that, some people from the ward are interested in the house, and we have some more viewers coming this afternoon.

I know my blog posts seem a little redundant and boring, but that's pretty much all that's going on here this summer; swimming, cleaning, working, swiming, cleaning, working etc.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Funny coincident

God does answer prayers. This morning, I prayed that today's house showing would go well. Today's viewers are moving down from Tulsa area. They have horses, he works from home, they are used to living out in the sticks, they have chickens, and they seemed to like the house a lot.

Then the funniest thing happened. While we were still showing the house, a couple came to the door. They had gotten their truck stuck in the ditch across the road. Then they confessed that they were really driving by to look at the house. But they were just doing a drive-by. They were about to get their binoculars out when they got stuck. So they came to us for help. While the first viewers were still in the house, the second viewers looked around outside. Once the 1st left, the 2nd also checked out the house.

I'm not expecting an offer from the 2nd viewers, but I have high hopes for the 1st. They don't have a realtor, and were asking: "if we decide to make an offer, how would we go about that? Are there some forms we can fill out?" We sent them home with a contract document, and with a small expectation that they might come back tomorrow to take another look at the house. And that is after spending 2 hours here today. I even have blisters on my feet from walking to all 3 sheds in my new loafer shoes.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


This summer is the first time we've tried out Vacation Bible School (VBS). My cousin Catherine has gone in previous years, and recommended it to me. Since I've been working whole weeks with grandma Benac, it's been nice for the kids to get out in the mornings and learn a few things about Jesus and the bible.

The first bible school they attended was well organized. The classes were fairly small. The group leaders seemed to have it together. The kids learned about the bible. They learned songs, and stories.

This bible school isn't quite the same. They have yet to learn 1 thing about the bible. But they've learned about recycling and exercise instead. Everything seems to have been thrown together. They do the same craft practically every day (decorating a little foam cross). The one good thing: they are in it with the Morphis kids. So at least they get to spend time with their cousins.

Since we see Catherine every day, we've been able to do some kid swapping. It's been really fun for the kids, especially Ginger. Her and Sabina have become the bestest friends. They play horsies together, and play in general cuteness. I wish I would have captured some of their moments on camera. But I'm working with grandma... so I don't really spend too much time with the kids.

Weeks like this make me wish we lived closer in town. Close enough to visit family for an hour or two. Close enough to swim at the waterpark for a few hours. Close enough to go to the movie theater with my mother-in-law. I love our farm, but I also miss the conveniences of live in town.

30 Celebrations

We had some great 30th birthday celebrations. They just kept on going. We started early on July 5th, with a big 4th of July/birthday bash. Uncle Bill pulled out all the stops with a roast lamb. Roasting a lamb on a spit has been an Benac family tradition for the past 60 years. Joe's grandpa is originally from Croatia, where lamb roasts are part of life. It seemed a little ironic not to have a lamb from out in the country (Bill got it in a downtown Dallas butcher shop) but all the same, it was delicious. Somehow between the carving table and the serving table, only about half of the meat was left.It was great to have a big group of family together. Several Benac cousins came, as well as married-on extended family. We also made some great new friends, since both Bethany and Katie brought some friends. On top of all that family, Lenore and Sean Robinson were visiting from Hawaii. Lenore and Joe go way back. They were in the same ward and high school together, back in 1993. There are some fun stories from back then, but they would need their own post!We enjoyed the pool, good food, each others company, and of course the lake. We love to take our old beater boat to the middle, and jump off the boat for a good swim. I don't think we've ever had that many people in the lake in one dayAnd the boat is good for fishing too!
Of course we celebrated on my actual birthday Saturday. As a family we went to the movie theater, and that night Joe pulled together my greatest birthday dinner surprise. Earlier in the day I had nonchalantly told Joe that all I wanted for my birthday was to go out to dinner with my friends the Morphises and Sparks. It was a long shot, because the Sparks were just driving back from Florida that day. They showed how much they love me by coming home, and running right back out the door for dinner with us. We also had the bonus attendance of cousin Annie from New York.We had dinner at my new favorite restaurant. It's a Thai restaurant called "noodle wave". I'd only been to the other location in McKinney, and when we got to the little strip mall where the restaurant is located, we weren't sure if it was safe to get out of the car. However, the restaurant is very nicely decorated inside, of course the food was delicious, and the company even better. It's so great to be surrounded by people who love me, and accept me for all that I am.

Finally we had our traditional birthday dinner at mom's house on Sunday. She made wonderful roast beef, and we had delicious red velvet cake for desert.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Last week of my twenties

Another week of summer over. I watched grandma, sewed 3 bags for the kids, enjoyed the rain, hosted a humongous 4th of July party, and taught a Relief Society sewing class. I could have blogged about all of these in great detail. But to write blog posts, I like to write smart and witty, and i'm just not feeling it right now.

Tomorrow I turn 30. It doesn't scare me too much, in fact, all my close friends are in their 30s or even 40s. Most of them are wiser, and none of them had their world collapse on them. I look forward to the next 10 years. Hopefully they will be full of change and adventures. I hope to live in Europe for a good chunk of it. I will learn to stand more firmly on my own two feet. And find joy in my family life. It's weird to think that these next 10 years will be crucially important for my relationships with my kids. They won't be babies, toddlers, and small children anymore, but young teenager adults instead. That scared me more than the number 30 could ever scare me!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Electric Theater

The nature and science museum has a special water exhibit, as well as a fun electric theater show for the 4th of July weekend. It has been a few months since I made the trek down to the south of Dallas, so this was the perfect time.

Electric theater was all about electricity and magnetism. I even learned a few things.
Winter got to help on stage
My favorite part was the big conductor that made lightning. I was holding a fluorescent bulb, which lit up!
The kids are still a little too young to read all the placards on the walls, but the nature museum has some handy little sheets to give bits of information about their stuffed animals. Sterling really took an interest in that.

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