Merry Christmas 2015

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Merry Christmas from the Tennessee Fritz family!

Our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were filled with family, easy traditions and way too much sugar. ๐Ÿ™‚

We started Christmas Eve day feeling a bit hung-over from the excitement of the previous evening. We had tornado warning and spent a little time huddled in our bathroom.

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5 people and a dog in a half-bath. It’s not an ideal situation, but we made the best of it. There were no tornado touch-down in our town, but several people did lose their life in Spring Hill. They were out driving in the storm and ended up rolling their car. So sad for their families. This article indicates that 15 people lost their lives from this storm system. It’s scary not to have a basement to escape to and every time a big storm comes through, I wonder about the cost of installing a storm shelter in the floor of the garage. (I just googled and found one for $5,000. . . hmmmm).

Back to Christmas Eve!

The kids were so excited all day. Honestly, Nathan and I were excited also. We played our new board game, Ticket To Ride Europe! Let me tell you, it’s very difficult for all of us to read and pronounce all the city names on the board! I’m sure this will help our geography skills.

We went to a friends’ house for appetizers before our Christmas Eve service.

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The girl in the red sweater is Alisha and the one in the green is Sara. Both of these women are friends I met through helping lead the Moving On Bible Study for women who have recently moved. Alisha and her husband move from California. Her husband works at Ramsey Solutions along with Nathan. He works in the creative department. Sara and her husband moved to TN from Sioux Falls, SD. I’m so grateful for their friendship and it’s been so fun to see them get settled into life here.

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We went to our Christmas Eve service at 4:00. Having the kids with us in the service is my favorite part of Christmas Eve. The service is always more noisy and disrupted than normal because of all the kids, but that’s real life and I love it!

When we got home, we had our traditional wild rice soup. Now that we’re several years into this tradition, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to offer an alternative soup for my children who have yet to acquire a taste for wild rice. ๐Ÿ™‚ Three of the five of us really like it. The other two try valiantly, but aren’t loving it. Next year, I’ll have another option!

Then we watched Muppet Christmas Carol!

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Christmas morning came bright and early. We opened our stockings, had cinnamon rolls, opened our presents, and spent the day playing with them We had a late lunch/early dinner with some friends and then came back and played some more with our new things ๐Ÿ™‚ With he money that we received from Dave for Christmas, Nathan and I got newer tablets. This freed up our old tablets and we already had one that the kids used. Nathan had ordered new cases for them and loaded them with things for the kids and now all three of them have their own tablets (Isaac has a kindle and Ethan and Audrey have our old Nexus tablets).

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Isaac got this brush bot set from Nana and Bumpa! So fun. He spent a lot of the day playing with this.

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Ethan sunk Nathan’s battleship with his new game ๐Ÿ™‚

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The v-tech watch was a huge success!

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Thank you grandparents and Brian and Missy for the fun gifts for the kids. They loved them! I have more photos I’m planning to send to your way so you can see the fun they are having with everything.

I hope your day was full of joy! We love you all and consider our greatest gifts our family and friends!

House Update

Last week we received an update that our file had finally made it to the USDA and they had made the determination that they would not accept the offer on the house because they decided that our situation did not qualify us for a short sale. So, it wasn’t a problem with the offer. The bank that holds the mortgage was okay with the offer, but our loan is back by the USDA because it is a rural FmHA loan. So, the USDA has the final say.

We were shocked. Our realtor was shocked. She has done other short sales with the same exact loan situation that we had where a family relocated due to a ย voluntary job change and the USDA okayed the short sale. The only difference she can see if that those people, when they decided to move, immediately started the short sale process. We didn’t do this. We really wanted to do the “right” thing and keep paying for the house and decided to rent it out. It seems that the government basically sees us people who lost our investment income. Any other hardship we have had in owning that house is not their problem.

It was a huge blow and we now are working through the emotions that go with having our home foreclosed. In the end, it probably wont impact us anymore than having a really big hit on our credit and it would put us in a position of not being able to buy another house for 7 years. It just feels really terrible. It’s humbling, embarrassing, and stressful. ย We don’t have any other options at this time.

We’ll sign the cancellation with our realtor today and have her notify by the buyer that we are unable to sell it and I will contact the utility companies and tell them the house will be bank owned and to shut off the utilities. At this point, I just want the bank the move forward quickly so that the foreclosure can officially happen with the sheriff’s sale and get the clock ticking on having this behind us.

Thanks for praying for us and supporting us through this.

Wrapping Up This Season of Bible Bowl

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Ethan and his team had their last round robin tournament of the season yesterday. Ethan studied hard and he did really well. I was very proud of him. Nathan and Audrey and Isaac came and watched as well. I know that Ethan loved that!

They ended up winning 4 and losing 2 yesterday. One of the rounds they won in over-time with Ethan answering the question correctly! Yay!

They took 2nd place for the month!

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3rd Place!

Ethan’s Bible Bowl team took 3rd place in the April Round Robin!

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He got to bring home the trophy and keep it for a bit. It goes back to be awarded to the appropriate team next month ๐Ÿ™‚

Easter Egg Hunt

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Yep, there is food in Isaac’s mouth. Crazy kids.

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Bringing Halloween baskets to an Easter egg hunt. Sometimes you can’t find the right baskets when it’s time to go. Oops.

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More Park Photos

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Another Update On Our Short Sale Process

In case you’ve been wondering what is happening with our house, I thought I would update you. ๐Ÿ™‚

As I mentioned previously, the person who had made an offer on our house at the end of the summer backed out. I don’t think he had any funds at all and when the bank didn’t agree to pay his closing costs, he decided he didn’t want the house. Thankfully, we do have a back-up offer. This person offered right after we accepted the other offer and is still interested in the house.

They did a walk-through again the other day and noticed that the heater wasn’t running. Uh oh. When I heard that, I was discouraged. I thought for sure it was going to be another expensive fix (that we were not going to do) and it would bring an end to this offer. But today we got good news. The only problem was that the thermostat needed a new battery. It has been fixed and the heater is running fine.

We signed an addendum to the initial offer acknowledging that this buyer wants out of his agreement if his offer isn’t approved by the bank by March 16.

So, now we wait and hope that the process doesn’t drag on too long.

Kindergarten Milestone

Isaac finished one of his workbooks today.

Look at this sweet face.

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We’re so proud of his hard work! Shortly after I took this picture he came to me in tears. He thought that finishing the book meant that he didn’t get to see his friend Ziggy the Zebra anymore. Lucky for him, I had already planned to keep using Ziggy in his reading lessons. He was very relieved! Who would have thought a puppet would be such a hit with him.