Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hey, it's my birthday month already, which means perhaps we are less than a month away from kissing this snow goodbye for another winter.
Enjoy reading the posts! simply read down till you see the word February, then you know you are all caught up
(unless you didn't read last month)


Thomas is now 14 years of age! He is just a shy shorter than me (the Christmas picture I sent you relatives is a total lie, I am standing in a hole).
This year the heart shaped cake had to be "not pink" which I totally can live with, I am just touched that he still allows me to do the heart shaped cake for his valentines birthday.
He got the x-box 360 for his big day. We pitched in all of the money that we normally spent on a gift, and then he gave us all he had saved up and his birthday money and we wrote down what he still owed on a sheet of paper, for him to pay down as he works with his dad evenings on the renovation home.
I know some people who would have just given him an x-box, but we are not that family, we live within our means, and our means do not allow us to simply give a 200 dollar gift to each child for their birthdays.
We also believe in the value of hard work, and learning financial responsibility, the x-box was a perfect opportunity to hlep teach just that.
Anyways back to Thomas' big day. He spent the morning playing Halo, on his new x-box. We had cake early, just before Jack left for work at 11. Then me and the three kids drove up to Fort Wayne to allow Thomas some time to stroll around his favorite bookstore, followed by ice-cream at coldstone creamier, and a movie at the last run theatre. After that it was pizza at Little Cesar's and 2 hrs playing games at Chucky Cheeses.
(and yes we used coupons at every location, cause you know I am that woman!!)
We finished the evening off with a triple down the video aisles at Target, before heading home for bed.

Our flooring deal

This is the flooring we got from Lumber liquidators, our favorite store for flooring deals. If you remember from reading about our last renovation home we got 1600 sq feet of laminate, and the padding for underneath for just under $2600 dollars and its the 12mm stuff. Which I am still very happy with almost a year into us living in that home. Its got a few scraps but it has held up fabulous for this "very rough on homes" family of five.
So naturally we returned to the website of Lumber Liquidator's when we purchased our current renovation home. This time we wanted something cheap yet very durable for renters. Well God provided just that at rock bottom prices, President's Day , the store had a sale on resilient flooring for .39 cents a sq foot, we got just over 1000 sq feet with new sub flooring and glue for just under $900.
It is essentially a lino flooring cut into wood like strips, but should be very durable. I am looking forward to seeing it all installed BUT not to the headache the glue will give me. I am thinking of wearing our respirator mask that day, I am very sensitive to glue smells, total migraine trigger for me.
My job that day will be cutting with essential y this industrial grade paper cutter, Jack will be marking and sticking, I am sure by the end of several days we will be both hobbling over clutching our lower backs and aching knee's like a couple of 70 yr olds!

Cause I do more than paint!

Me stapling in the sub floor!
Work at the Reno, is going slower than we wanted, as usual. BUT, it is not that we have slacked off at all on our part. The furnace that was suppose to take a week to arrive took over 2 weeks, and then man that was installing it, well his truck broke down and he couldn't get there when originally planned so that took another week. With no furnace, we had no steady supply of heat, and we soon ran out of things we could do without a steady supply of heat.
But as of this Monday heat has been successfully turned on and we can now return to working at full speed.
I often get the impression from people that they think all I do on the job is run to the hardware store for parts, or prime and paint walls . Jack and I figured perhaps it was because I take all the photo's so you only ever see Jack at work, cuase it's hard to take a photo of oneself. ( which explains the photo of me in the post below which was taken using a mirror to view the preview screen on the camera).
In our Reno projects, Jack is the foreman and I am the laborer, I do whatever he needs me too, and I am willing to try almost anything.
(I totally drew my skirmish girl, card on ripping up the old sub-floor around the strange toilet EWWWWWW)
Anyways I do more than keep the books, paint and visit hardware stores, I pound out plaster, lift 50lb bags of concrete, help mix conrete, carry in 100's of boards of drywall, pound nails, pull out nails, stable sub-floor, rip out flooring, and sometimes, he even lets me cut (although he thinks I take too much time to make an accurate cut so not often).
God gave me a talent for woodworking, and I love that I am able to dust off a bit of that talent whenever we work on these homes together. I want Courtney to grow up knowing, that a woman can have what is viewed by the world as a "man talent" and still not lose her womanhood.


Right now I have just started a 12 week test on the "power of Scope Whitening". Now this test began all because of my dear 7 year old daughter. This is the same daughter who once told me, "mommy why do you have white streaks in your hair?" (which led me to my first dye job) who is a sister to the same son who told me "mommy are you growing a moustache?" (which sent me to the beauty parlor for a wax job) . Yes my children love asking questions that are better left unsaid, but truly I love their honesty, cause who knows how long other's whom I call my friends, have thought the same things about me but never said a word!!

So it only seems fitting that this child should start me on a quest to whiten my yellowing British gene teeth with her comment of "MOMMY WHEN DID YOU START PAINTING YOUR TEETH YELLOW!". Thank you Courtney for your honesty, mommy loves you, and I cannot wait to return the favor, when you become older.
Here is a horribly blurry pictures of these "yellow painted" teeth, I will take another month to see if we notice any difference.

Monday, February 8, 2010

February Update
There are 4 postings to read this month, including 2 on our new project. I love working side by side with my husband, we have so much fun together. He truly is my best friend.
Thomas is helping out on this big project too this time, and enjoying the extra cash that we are paying him.
Speaking of Thomas, the boy turns 14 next week, and is now as tall as his dad. I spent 6hrs shopping with him just 2 Saturdays ago, to outfit his new tall physic. It was hard to find pants that long yet that small in the waist, good thing belts and showing a bit of boxer's is an in look. Poor guy! Yes I do feed him.
Enjoy the posts.

Family Tradition Returns

For the past 2 years I haven't hosted our "Sugar Cookie Decorating Party". The first year because it was my first Christmas with out Mom to call and share all sorts of excitement with and I just wasn't up to baking her cookies and sharing them with others.

The second year, our ceiling had lost most of its plaster, and more was falling every day, so I did not think it wise nor sanitary to invite a few dozen children into my home that year, but my redheaded friend was kind enough to host it at hers.

This year marked our first Christmas in our newly renovated home, and the children were itching to have their friends all over to once again enjoy decorating giant cookies in their own home.

We had just over 40 children and their mom's come in and decorate 2 giant cookies each, and it was a blast. Loud at times, for sure, but enjoyed by all whom attended.

I spent close to 6 hours in my new kitchen baking up all the cookies in anticipation, and loved every minute of it, with the Christmas music going, and updating my facebook friends as I went.

I am already looking forward to the Christmas Cookie Decorating Party of 2010.

I did it! Now What?

In October of 2009, I finally did it, I ran a full 26.2 mile marathon. Well I ran 19 miles of it, then I walked mile 19, then I ran a song, walked a song, all the way to the finish line, which I reached in just under 5 hrs.

I know I didn't exactly break any records for a 35 year old female, but I am very happy with myself. Running for me has become more than a great way to burn off all those calories from my king size sweet tooth. It is a time to share with friends (mostly the friendship of my redhead runner whom isn't yet ready for a marathon, but I sure do love her company). It is also a time to clear my head, of worries, frustrations, stumbling blocks, and an awesome problem solving time.

I am already looking forward to trying another full marathon in the fall, this time I want to make it past the 20 mile mark before I break into a walk/run pattern. I am also doing a 1/2 marathon this May (with my redhead runner) and I want to finish that one under 2 hrs, and am kicking my own butt, each week on the treadmill with speed training to do my best to make that goal.

I would really like to try a triathlon, too, but I am waiting to see when my varicose vein surgery will be booked, it really has grown this last year, and its time for it to go, but it means 3 weeks off my running (but I can walk with no incline and swim so that will keep my shape up). Still till its booked I cannot know what dates will be good to try a Tri!

Forgot To Tell You One Major Thing!!

As you read the article below on our new home you will see that I said the home just needed flooring and painting and a furnace. However, when you look at the outside pictures, you are probably thinking!!! OH MY WORD who would rent that!!! Yeah we are getting new sage green siding in just a few weeks which will cover over all the boarded up gone long ago windows and the horrible chipping paint!!!

We bought another one!!!

We are now owners of not one, not two but three homes. After much prayer and crunching of numbers, we decided it best to hold off on the repairs on our prior residence, and purchase another home. Here is our reasoning.

1.Our prior residence, is technically rented to one of Jack's friends for our holding costs (he has the main floor) The agreement was he got cheep rent in exchange for having to put up with our dust, but he is covering our months to month costs on the home plus keeps it safe by occupying it.

2. The school district we live in is going through some really tough times, making decisions that many parents are not happy about. However, a neighboring school district is excellent, thus rentals in that district or hard to come by and high in price.

3. Housing prices right now are at all time lows with Bank Repo's being the norm for the area. If we spend our money fixing Spencer now, by the time we are ready to look for another home, chances are good we will be paying more for it.

With all that said. We started looking around Thanksgiving, but homes in the school district we wanted were being snatched up before they were even listed.

We truly thought we would just put down a sizable down payment on good solid home and do minimum repairs. Then we saw this home in the area we wanted, listed at $29,000. Its not much to look at, but the inside is in great shape, EXCEPT THE PREVIOUS OWNER TOOK THE FURNACE. Without a furnace the home is not considered eligible for a mortgage. So we put in a very low offer, which they refused, we then put in all the money we had minus what we would need for basic repairs (which was $15,000) and they took it!!!! WE GOT IT FOR 1/2 PRICE!!!.

Demolition is now complete, simple this time, just pulled up some carpet and old lino, then spent 2 full days stripping wall paper (which is a huge pain I may later share with you but now just makes me bitter).

Today we are expecting the furnace to arrive, then this weekend it will be installed, and then putting it back together happens, which requires painting all rooms neutral and putting in new flooring and one new window. We hope to have it all done by the end of March and rented by April 1st.