Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday… not really wordless, but at least it’s Wednesday



The amusing thing about this picture is that I have one of each of my boys doing this, reaching for a Cheerio that dropped.  This is the G-man, the one I have of TRMinator is an actual picture on real photo paper.  It was taken before the days of digital cameras.  Here’s a history lesson for all you youngins out there, there was a time that we actually had to take film to the store to be processed!  If you were feeling rich, you could pay extra to have it back in an hour, otherwise you had to wait a day or two before you could see your pictures.  I know, crazy, huh?!?  It’s a good thing those dark ages are past!  Phew!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The case of the missing ring pops

I’ve got another funny G-man story.  (I’m trying to distract myself from the whole house hunting situation.)

Last summer G-man went to Cub Scout day camp for the first time.  They have a trading post there where they can buy cheap crap as souvenirs if they want.  I gave him $5 to spend.  When TRMinator went the month before I gave him the same amount of money and he bought stuff to give to his brother and sister.

Well, when G-man got home from camp, I asked him how it went, if he had fun, and what he did.  After his answers of “Good, yep, and lots of stuff,”  I asked him what he got from the Trading Post.  He said that he got ring pops, (his favorite candy) one for him, one for TRMinator, and one for the Princess.  When I asked where they were, he said that when he was eating his, he dropped it in the dirt, so he decided to eat TRMinators since his was ruined.  Then he didn’t want to bring something home for the Princess and not TRMinator, so he ate hers too.  I just laughed!  That would be my G-man!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Just bottom-line it for me

Have you ever noticed that when politicians or celebrities are interviewed (mostly politicians) and they are asked a point blank question, they usually answer with a round about answer that never actually answers the question they were asked?  That really annoys me.  I’m the type of person, that if I ask you something, tell me what I want to know.  Don’t give me a bunch of stuff that I didn’t ask for.

I’m having a few issues with the G-man’s teacher right now.  When I logged onto the school district’s website this morning, I looked at his grades and saw about 5 or 6 missing assignments.  This is not a new occurrence, nor is the fact that I haven’t gotten any notes about missing work, I had to discover this little fact all on my own.  Most teachers send a note home every week saying if there is missing work, or not, and if there is, what it is that they are missing.  I don’t believe that we have even had one of these notes this year from G-man’s teacher.

When I have discovered this before, I sent in a note saying that G-man has some missing assignments, and asked for those to be sent home so we could do them.  What came home was just a mess of stuff from his desk, none of which were the actual missing assignments.  So the last time, I thought I would try a different tactic.  Thinking I needed to be more specific, I printed out the page of his scores and highlighted the missing work, and asked for those things to be sent home.  Well, the same thing happened.  So today, I am going to have to go in and talk to her after class and try and pin her down.  She’s usually very vague in what the assignments are, and sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with her thought process, no wonder the G-man is struggling.  Very frustrating!

We are going with our soon-to-be real estate agent (we still haven’t actually signed a contract) to look at some houses this afternoon.  There is one house that we are going to look at that is in a fabulous area, has great square footage and is at a fantastic price.  The problem is that it is a short sale.  In case you’re not sure what that is, a short sale is when the owners of a house owe more than what they can sell the house for and the bank is willing to take a loss just to sell the property.  Usually you can get a great deal when you buy short sales, the problem is, they can take forever. 

What we know, because we have done our homework, is that most of the time, the listing price for a short sale is completely arbitrary.  The agent and homeowner can list the home for whatever they want.  That doesn’t mean that the bank will actually take that price.  The bank will usually take about 88% of what is owed on the home.  Which, in this case I’m sure, can be a far cry more than what is listed as the asking price.

When I was talking to our agent this morning, he was going on about what a great opportunity this house could be and what a great deal it is.  He seemed a bit surprised when I didn’t share his enthusiasm quite as much.  I told him that I wanted him to get me a realistic number for that house because I knew that the asking price wasn’t.  They have been dropping the price just so they can get an offer to stall the foreclosure process.  I think our agent will find out soon enough that I am not interested in his fluff and his sales pitch.  I want the bottom line numbers.  I want to know exactly how much it is going to cost me.  I don’t put a lot of stock in conjecture, I want solid numbers.  I don’t care how much I like a house, if I can’t afford it, then that’s it.  There’s no such thing as “stretching ourselves” in my book.  It will be interesting to see how this whole house hunting process goes!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Breaking up is hard to do

If you are a loyal reader of my blog (and really, who isn’t?) you know that we have been thinking about putting our house on the market and trying to find something bigger.  We have been scouring the market, (really, I think I have looked at every house in our price range online at least 3 times) and we have finally taken the plunge… almost. 

One of our neighbor’s is moving out of state and just listed their house, so I asked them who their agent was.  They told me and said that he has sold several of the houses in the neighborhood, so I gave him a call.  He came and looked at our house and gave us all the comparables  and told us what he thought we should list our house for.  I was a bit disappointed in the number, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was realistic for where the market is right now.  I also realized that the houses that we are looking at buying have come down in price way more than ours has, so hopefully it can even out.  When we left our meeting we told him that we didn’t want to sign any contracts yet, that we needed to think about it for a couple of days.

Well, Hubby wasn’t completely sold on using him as our agent, so our mortgage guy gave us the names of several agents that he recommends, and we gave one of them a call.  The other agent came and met with us, and told us about the same thing number wise, but offered a much better deal on his commissions.  Hubby wanted to go with the second guy.  I said that was fine since he could save us some money, but that meant that we had to call and tell the first guy that we weren’t going to go with him!  AAHH!!  Since I’m a marshmallow, I felt really bad that we were going to have to tell agent #1, “Thanks, but no thanks”.  #1 called several times the day we met with the agent #2, to see what we were going to do, and each time I didn’t answer.  I didn’t want to break the bad news to him.  I made Hubby answer one of the times and tell him. 

I think I’m over the break up now, because #1 did something that kind of annoyed me.  When we were first talking to him, he told us that he had some military people that were being transferred here that were coming in this weekend to look at houses that were in this price range.  He wanted to bring them by because he thought they would like the house.  After we broke the news to him, we told them that if he would like, he could still bring them by.  (there’s still a 3% commission for the buyers agent on the table!  He’d still be making money!)  He told us that if he did, he would want the full 6% for the buying and selling agent.  I may not know the proper realtor etiquette, but that ticked me off.  I thought why on earth should he get a full 6% for basically doing nothing?  He wouldn’t have done any advertising, or anything to try and sell our house.  We told him he could have 5%, but it still annoys me.  I guess breaking up is hard to do…until that person ticks you off.  Then good riddance!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bust out the cootie spray, it’s Valentine’s Day!

It is time once again to celebrate the holiday of love.  If you have a preteen in your house, you know just how terrifying this particular holiday can be.  It’s fun to get candy and have school parties, but there’s no way you want to actually acknowledge the opposite sex. 

Now that the TRMinator is in 6th grade, he picks out his Valentines very carefully for several reasons.  The first of which, he doesn’t want any that are too cartoony, because he’s too old for that.  The second is, he doesn’t want any that are the least bit mushy, in case any of the girls get the wrong idea, and think that he might possibly like them. (heaven forbid!) 

To solve both those problems, he made his own this year.  We bought the blank cards, got a Valentine stamp, foam heart stickers and we had a little assembly line putting together cards.  When his friend came over to play while we were in the middle of it, he even got in the action and helped out. 

This year’s holiday went even better because the big scare of having a Valentine dance was avoided. (phew!!)  For some reason the school decided not to have one.  Maybe they knew they would have a mutiny on their hands when all the 6th grade boys would inevitably start playing games and wrestling with each other rather than even talk to any of the girls that they normally wouldn’t think twice about talking to, because on regular days they are friends, but since it’s a dance a normal conversation might be misconstrued into meaning something more.  Ahhh, it’s hard to be 11!

The G-man’s life isn’t nearly as complicated.  (yet)  He got some Star Wars Valentine’s, and he probably would have let me address them too, except that I made him do it.  He didn’t even look at the cards to see which ones were going to girls and which were going to boys, although Star Wars Valentines don’t get too mushy.  As of right now, I can’t imagine G-man getting as freaked out about these things as the TRMinator.  You never know, though, the G-man is a hard kid to read.

I’m sure this was TRMinator’s last school Valentine party.  I bet he is breathing a sigh of relief!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hmmm, what would you do?

Let me start off by saying, Friday was a rather hellish day.  I started the day by spending about an hour and a half going through pages upon pages of bank statements trying to balance the checkbook.  I realized Thursday that I thought that we had about $100 more in our checking account than the bank said that we had. 

I usually try to reconcile our bank statement with my register about once a month.  When I realized that we were off, I couldn’t remember for sure the last time that I had done that, so I printed off 2 months worth of statements to go through.  After about 10 pages, and still not finding anything, I decided that maybe it was just in my adding and subtracting.  So I flipped 6 pages back in my register and started going over my calculations again.  Lo and behold I found it!  I subtracted something wrong.  And the real kicker was that I only did it a few days ago.  I started re-adding and subtracting everything starting about mid December, and I found the error on Feb. 1.  If I hadn’t been so relieved that I found what in the heck I did, I would have been pretty ticked that it was so close to the end!

After I solved the missing money dilemma, the Princess and I went to the grocery store- mind you, the boys were early out that day, and I was already on a bit of a tight schedule, so I wasn’t thrilled that it took me so long to figure out the stupid checkbook thing.  To keep her happy and hurry the process of going to the store along a bit, I told her that she could bring one of her favorite Barbies.  The store that we went to have what my kids call the racecar carts.  The ones with the cars on the front of the carts.  I feel a bit like I’m driving a bus when I steer these down the aisles, but it makes the kids happy, so whatever. 

Well, we got our shopping done, I got the Princess loaded up in the car and we went home to unload groceries real quick before we needed to go get Hubby and go to lunch.  As I’m getting her out of the car I realize that her Barbie isn’t there.  I asked her if she left it in the cart and she said, (whining on the verge of tears) “Yes!!”  I realize (now) at this point I should have run right back to the store to see if it was still there.  Instead I called them.  The very nice lady at the store went and checked the carts for me, and when she couldn’t find it, she took my name and number and told me she would call me if anyone turned it in.

I went back to the store later to see if maybe someone took it out of the cart and laid it on a shelf or something, but no such luck.  So here’s my question for you: If you or your child found a Barbie or some other toy in a cart, that another child obviously left behind, would you turn it in, or would you say, “good for you little Susie, you got yourself a new toy!”  Now, living in the state of Utah, where the predominant religion is the LDS religion, and LDS people are supposed to be honest, you wouldn’t think it would be a problem to have a lost Barbie be found and turned in.  Well, apparently it is, because we haven’t seen the Barbie, and I think it is gone for good.  I also think that I might be taking this a bit harder than the Princess.  I guess it just really bugs me because honesty is a trait that I highly value.  It’s something I try to instill in my kids everyday, and it really bothers me when other people aren’t honest, or just don’t care enough to try and do the right thing.  /rant.  That’s the way computer nerds end their rants.  Let’s face it, I’m probably more of a computer nerd than I’d like to admit!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mmmm, it smells like meadows and rain!

I’m sitting here in my living room admiring my handiwork of the last several days.  My baseboards are a gleaming white again!  Since we’ve decided that we are (most likely) going to put our house on the market, I’ve made it my mission to repaint those dinged up hunks of wood that separate my walls from carpet called baseboards.  I’ve also been cleaning said baseboards (prior to painting them!) and walls.  I’ve been using Mr. Clean with Febreeze freshness in meadows & rain scent.  And by golly, it smells pretty good in here.  I don’t think I would go so far as to say that the scent is so accurate that I am imagining myself in a meadow with  freshly fallen rain, but I’ll give it to the  Mr. Clean people that it smells pretty good.

I’ve also been cleaning out rooms.  Mostly the kids rooms.  I love that when my kids see their rooms clean, they a) appreciate the fact that it is clean, and b) they don’t automatically assume that I  threw away a bunch of stuff to get it to that point.  My kids have lived with me long enough that by this point in their lives, when they can’t find something, usually one of the first things they ask is, “Mom, did you throw it away?”  Nine times out of ten the answer is yes- not that I admit to it that much though!  So I find it very amusing that when they see their rooms clean they don’t jump to the conclusion right away that I threw some of their stuff away.  I think that can only mean that they don’t miss whatever it is that is now gone!  Which is why I only clean out their rooms while they are gone.  If they were here they would swear up and down that they play with that stupid, broken Happy Meal toy, and that they are really going to use that notebook that only has a handful of clean pages left.  My theory is, what they don’t know, doesn’t hurt them!  If only I could get away with throwing half of Hubby’s junk away!  I can dream!  Maybe while I’m in the meadow with rain!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

(Is it really Wednesday already?)

Easter07cruise 129

Aaaahh, good times.

Since I really suck at being wordless, I’m going to go ahead and tell you what this picture is.  This was the plate of nachos that Hubby ordered at Margaritaville in the Cayman Islands when we were on our cruise.  I was a bit embarrassed to pull my camera out and take a picture because I didn’t want to look too touristy, but those had to be documented!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I’ve got nothin’

Sorry, I really don’t have anything exciting to blog about.  The idea of putting our house on the market and probably moving is kind of all-encompassing for me right now.  I say probably because the last time we put our house on the market we chickened out and took it off before it sold. 

I have so many worries associated with moving.  Like, I love my neighbors and ward so much right now, how could we possible get as lucky somewhere else?  My children would most likely have to change schools.  I’m scared for them to have to start over and make new friends.  Can we afford a higher house payment?  Will the new ward have a good 11 year old scout program so that TRMinator can complete the scout stuff that he is on schedule to finish by the time he turns 12?  What happens if we sell our house and can’t find one that we like in time?

Then there’s trying to get this house ready to go on the market.  I’m noticing every little scuff on the walls and ding in the woodwork.  I feel like we have to make this house as perfect as it can be so we can make enough money to make a move worth it.  I’m trying really hard not to dwell too much on that mark on the wall, or that spot on the molding and am trying to remind myself that this house is 10 years old and isn’t going to be perfect.  Otherwise I will run myself ragged trying to make it so.

So, sorry I don’t have something fun to blog about.  My brain is a little full right now.  Hopefully I’ll be able to settle down about this soon, but I don’t think you should hold your breath!