Happy 2 Year House Anniversary

Today marks our 2nd anniversary in our home here in Spring Hill.

 

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We are so thankful for this house. We didn’t know what the next two years would look like when we bought it, but God did. Since we are going through giving our MN house back to the bank, that puts us in a position of not being able to finance a house for probably 7 years. So, had we waited, we would have been stuck renting in a very expensive rental market for a long time.

This is the first time in our 9 years of home ownership experience that we’ve owned a home that is worth more than what we owed on it. Houses in our neighborhood are selling for $35,000 more than what we purchased our home for 2 years ago. We are thankful that we are not buying now.

On a related financial note, we’ve been plugging away on getting our 3-6 months of expenses saved for our emergency fund. We’re getting close. We are unsure about if there will be tax ramifications from the deed in lieu. Most of the problems that we have run into with this fiasco have been due to the fact that it has not been our primary residence and that also may make it more likely that the debt write off will be taxable. So, we need to do what we can to make sure we are as prepared as we can be for that.

Humid!

We have a 76.2 degree dew point right now. I just googled “comfortable dew point and this is what I learned: 65-69 is somewhat uncomfortable for most people at the upper  edge. 70-74 is very humid and quite uncomfortable. 75-80 is extremely uncomfortable and fairly oppressive.  Over 80 is severely high and dangerous for those with asthma related illnesses.

So, we’re in the “extremely uncomfortable and fairly oppressive” zone. We had a 106 degree heat index today. We’ve stayed cool inside, but our A/C has had a little trouble in the late afternoon with the afternoon sun that comes in through the window above our front door and shines directly on the thermostat. So, the central air will be working hard to cool the house and most of the house will feeling really cold to me because of the moisture in the air, but the upstairs hall is warm enough that the thermostat keeps sending the signal to keep cooling down the house.

Things could be much worse!

Because of the jungle-like weather, or grass and shrubs have been growing like crazy. We had this bush cut down to less than half this size in April:

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I haven’t updated you on our house issues in MN lately. It sounds like we’re just waiting on the bank to send up some legal forms to sign to relinquish the property. As soon as they figure out our address (which seems like it shouldn’t be that difficult, but has turned out to be a giant problem for them), we should get the forms. Then we can start the clock on not having the deed in lieu on our record. I am looking forward to no longer paying a city utility bill every month for a home we don’t occupy.

Back To School!

Today is not really our first day of school (it’s our 1oth), but it’s our first full week of school. So, I took photos 🙂

 

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Ethan- 5th Grade!!

He is going to rock this year!

Things you should know about Ethan:

He has a super sensitive spirit to others that are sad. If his brother is sad, Ethan goes into action to do whatever he can to fix the situation!

He loves strategy games and can defeat his father sometimes.

Every night, at just the moment, he is supposed to turn off his light, he comes and finds up and says, “goodnight.” Sometimes we take the opportunity to have some fun conversations with just him.

He is teaching his brother square roots.

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Audrey- 3rd Grade!!!

This is going to be a great year for Audrey.

Things you should know about Audrey:

If you give her a list of things to do, she will do it. You won’t have to ask her again.

She is working on watching every show on Netflix that has to do with dogs or horses. Fiction or nonfiction!

Her favorite thing to do is to go swimming.

She loves to bake.

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Isaac- 1st Grade!!!

We are going to see a huge growth in Isaac this year. I can’t wait to see how much he learns.

Things you should know about Isaac:

He gets hurt a lot. We’re not sure how he does it, but he manages to find ways to smack his head into things that no one else can even see!

He loves to say the blessing before we eat our meals. He is very long-winded. If you want to know what we did during the day, have Isaac pray before supper. Everything will be listed in his list of things he is thankful for!

He wants to spend his tooth fairy money on tick tacks.

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These kids make my heart full. They need hair cuts desperately. Isaac’s hair needs to be combed! They have more energy that I can understand. They are growing too fast. I am so glad I get to be their mom. This is the start of my 6th year of homeschooling. I’m hoping to get some sort of 6 year award if I make it through the year 🙂

Wrapping Up Our Summer Break

Today we start school full time again. Summer goes so quickly around here. All the public school kids will be back at it next week. This area has a “balanced calendar for school”. It’s more breaks throughout the year and about 2 months in the summer as opposed to three months.

Anyway, I bet you’re wondering how our week went. Let me tell you!

Audrey and Nathan went to camp for the first half of the week. I mentioned being nervous about it before they left, but they ended up having a marvelous time. Audrey spent most of her time with a girl from our church named McKenna.

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McKenna is the blonde girl. You wouldn’t know it from looking at them, but seeing the two of them together is like having them look at themselves in a mirror. They are so similar– even down to their mannerisms and way they talk.

It was a hot, hot week. It was perfect timing for a beach and bbq day for Ethan’s Sunday School class. The whole family was invited (that’s why you see kids and adults that aren’t in 5th and 6th grade in this photo).

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Max was happy to have Audrey back home.

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We went to a birthday party for a friend.

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And Isaac lost his second tooth. It had been hanging by a thread and freaking me out. So, yesterday, I said, why don’t you just wiggle it until it falls out? So, he did.

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Those were our highlights. I hope to post a bit more regularly soon.

Sunday, Week in Review Post

A friend of mine had a baby this week! She was a couple weeks shy of her due date, but this was her third baby. It is a different world to be out of the “having babies” stage. I’m 6 years removed from that stage!! I am now in the “bring meals” stage 🙂 In fact, I received 3 meal train requests this week. Yikes!

Sometimes I just pick up rotisserie chicken at the store and a veggie tray. That’s is the easiest meal to bring to someone who is on a low-carb, dairy-free, gluten free, Whole 30 diet. It’s easy and I don’t have to stress about it. However, this week, I made poppyseed chicken. It’s the perfect comfort food. It would not fit the bill for a “clean eating” family, but this time it didn’t need to! Hooray! I picked up some artisan bread and cookies accompany the main dish. I’ve decided that I’m over needing to make it all homemade. What really matters to the family is that they have something yummy to eat and that someone cared about their family.

I’m halfway through the summer Bible Study I’m doing with the ladies at our church. It’s called Choose Joy by Kay Warren. It has been super easy because there is no homework to fill in. I just have to read a few chapters. So far, I’m staying caught up.

We did a few more pool days because it’s summer, the heat is crazy and why not make the most of our time off?!

On Friday, Audrey and I went and picked up some things at the store that she needed to have for camp. And this morning, at 9:00, all the camp kids and sponsors (Nathan is one of them, actually) loaded up and headed out to White Mills Christian Camp in Kentucky. Audrey did almost all the packing on her own and I heard from my source that she was one of the first kids to set up her bed when they got there (not at all shocking if you know Audrey!).

Our sponsors have posted a few photos and I am so happy to see that they are having a great time!

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It reassures me that Nathan is there for Audrey’s first camp experience. He wont be hanging out with her and he’s not there in the girls’ dorm :-), but knowing he is nearby is a good feeling for me. I’m sure there is a Biblical principal in there somewhere 😉

So, it’s just the boys and me until Wednesday afternoon. We’ll see what trouble we can get into with out Audrey. Ha

Play Date at the Splash Pad

It was another really hot day yesterday. I had the kids work on their school work in the morning. Isaac was excited to read a story called, “Jam”, to me. He is so earnest and has to work so hard. It’s a sweet reward to hear him reading. I spent a little time helping Audrey remember the difference between a noun and a verb. 🙂 And, Ethan has started reading The Bronze Bow and I made sure he understood what it was about (he was a little confused by trying to remember all the characters).

After lunch, I got a call from a friends’ daughter saying that they were going to the splash pad park. I had told her mom that I would try to meet up with them. Grandma was watching them. So, I met up with the grandma and the kids at the park. I had met her briefly before and we ended up having a fun time chatting while the kids ran around.

I took a selfie of us for so that my friend, Heather, could see that we were having fun.

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I learned my lesson last week and wore my swim suit. I knew I was going to be sweating a lot. I figured wearing a swimsuit would help it not feel so uncomfortable. I also snapped a photo of the kids having a fun. This is Stephanie with Isaac. She is in Ethan’s grade.

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I’m really hoping for a low key day at home today. Today is “Dress Like a Cow Day” at Chick Fil A. We have participated the last 3 years, but I’m planning on ignoring it this year and hoping the kids don’t notice! I just don’t feel like dressing up everyone like cows. In other news, tt sounds like there is a risk of severe storms. They will probably miss us, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the weather.

A Week In The Life

So, where did we leave off? Independence Day!

I was concerned that last week would be rough after having Nathan home for 3 days in a row, but our re-entry into normal life went smoothly.

I’ve been having the kids do 3 days of school a week this month. I snapped a photo of Isaac hard at work.

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The week was HOT! I noticed that the weather in MN was super hot as well.  We went to the pool on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and today. We also went to the splash pad on Friday morning before we went to the pool. The kids had two different play dates that day. Their social calendar is very full 😉

Early in the week, I got a letter from Be The Match. It’s a bone marrow registry. A year ago, a woman from our church who was going through cancer treatments, encouraged people to sign up to be a part of the database. So, I read up on it and decided it wouldn’t hurt to join. They sent me a little kit with directions on how to swab my cheeks. I followed the instructions and mailed back my kit and promptly forgot about it. Until last Monday when I got a letter.

Evidently, there is a person who needs bone marrow that might be a close enough match to me that I could help them. So, I spoke with the Be The Match representatives and they answered some questions for me. I will find out in the next 1 -2 months if this is something that will be moving forward. The process isn’t as invasive as it was in the past. In fact, one of the ways it is done, is sort of like dialysis. They give you 5 days of injections to increase the blood cells and then they do the procedure. Anyway, it might happen. It might not happen. Some folks have to travel to do this, I doubt that would be the case for me because Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville has the ability to do all of this. We would appreciate prayers over this situation. Someone is very sick and it’s sobering to think about it.

In other news, a week from today Audrey goes to camp for 3 days. She is excited! Nathan is going to help out at that camp that week, but he wont be hanging out with her. So, it will be a great opportunity for her to get confidence in herself and to have lots of fun. I’ll be nervous for her, but I know it will be a good thing. It will be a growth opportunity for me too 😉

Our 4th Of July Celebration

We had a pretty low-key morning. I ran a little over a mile to start out the day and we played some games. Audrey and I tied in Ticket to Ride!

Our big plan was to go to Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork for their big event. They do free bounce houses and kids  stuff and have a concert and fireworks. We expected lots of folks to be there so we went early to get parked and settled. We had to walk a bit to get the area where they had the festivities.

See? Sitting and eating some supper and waiting to go play!

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When 6:00 rolled around, we set the kids free to run and play on the inflatables. They had a blast running, and jumping and climbing. We were expecting it to rain. So, we had brought a few umbrellas and one poncho. We figured a little rain wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Well, it started to sprinkle. And then I took the kids back to our little area where our chairs were. Our friends were with us there too. Nathan went to see what Ethan was doing– he was in line to do some game.

And then it started to pour. Audrey tried to fit under the umbrella with me. Isaac put on the poncho. We just stood there hoping the rain would stop pouring. It had to stop soon, I thought. Our friend, Brian took at look at the radar and relayed the news that were not not going to see a break in the weather for quite a while. Then it started to thunder and lightning. The rain kept coming harder and harder and the umbrella wasn’t helping much.

Nathan and Ethan came back and we all decided we needed to find a way to get back to our vehicle with the three soaking kids and 5 chairs that were currently collecting water. Remember how we had to walk a way to get from our car to the event area? Yeah, it was a bit of a hike to get back. Audrey had been crying for a bit because she was soaked and wasn’t a fan of that. Nathan told us to just go and he would figure out a way to get the chairs to the van.

So, the kids and I took off. We were using the umbrella, but still, we were completely soaked. Water was pouring in from all over. There was a creek that ran through the property and it was low lying. All of this combined to create crazy flooding.  We had to walk through puddles that were over our shoes. We took refuge about halfway to our van.

Yep. This is what wet looks like.

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Here is a view of the parking lot.

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And that field with all the inflatables? Shortly after we left it looked like this:

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I’ve never been in an area that flooded so quickly. As we drove out, we drove over water flowing over parts of the parking lot. The road that we had to take when we left the church had lots of areas that were flooded. We drove through it carefully, and were thankful we left when we did!

We met up with our friends later and played some games and watched fireworks in their neighborhood.

We made some memories today!