Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do you have one of these yet?

I was VERY reluctant to get a Kindle.  I mean, I love getting a book and turning the pages and looking at them on my bookcases, blah, blah, blah.  That was BEFORE I actually got one.  I got one in May last year as a present from my Aunt Deborah who thought she was buying me an IPad :)  She is not very technology savy but I still benefit, so who cares!
Let's just say, I am hooked.  Millions of books at my disposal.  I can finish a book and find another one immediately.  No looking at the grocery store, book stores, drug stores, etc. when I am already pressed for time.  And now that Borders closed, where was I really going to get any book that wasnt in the current top 20 sellers that Kroger had? 
As much as I like reading, I also like the deal.  I mean, I really had to be certain about the book before I spent $7.99 on a paperback that I can read in just a few hours.  But now, holy moly, there are books for FREE!!!  Nothing is better than that!  I follow a few Facebook pages that alert you on books that are newly reduced or free-- "Kindle on the Cheap" "Kindled Hearts" and "Casting Pearls".  I have set a limit if $2.99 unless it is a new release that I have been waiting for.  Because of this new obsession, I currently have 192 books downloaded on my Kindle.  Some I read a few pages into and I realize it is not for me--nothing lost, just move on to the next one.  I have also found a few older authors that I would have never read before.  I will probably never get to all of these books in this lifetime!!  Anybody have any good sites that they use for cheaper books?  Any good book suggestions?

But I do need to say, for Christmas I asked for one thing.  I wanted a "real" book.  I have every Nicholas Sparks book in hardback and there is something about crying through one of his books that just can't compare.  Bear came through :)  and "The Best of Me" sits on my bedside table awaiting me. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Meet our new house....

I already gave you a brief synopsis of how we got into buying a new house but not to the extent of how extremely difficult it was to actually own the house.  Being a short sale property, we not only had to deal with owners but the banks also.  After going through this process I have learned, you either want to deal with one or the other!

 After our offer was accepted and we did inspection, we had an appraisal done.  A few days after the appraisal, the owners, who lived out of state, came back to the house to get the belongings and clean up.  When they got to the home, the WHOLE bottom floor was flooded.  We have no idea how long it had been that way, but fingers started getting pointed in every direction as to who was at fault.  The source was a faulty pipe in the half bath downstairs that was noted on out inspection, however the owner's did not disclaim the leak but had the water cut off to the bathroom.  Hmmmm, makes you wonder what else could be covered up!  Thankfully, the bank had upkept the owner's home insurance policy and they agreed on a set payment to repair damages.  You think we would have walked away by this point.  Oh no, we wanted this house.  You would think that the owners would have it repaied and we would just make sure it was acceptable and done deal...right?!  Never that easy.  Basically, our fabulous realtor took over, lined up the workers and added bonus was that we got to pick the floors!  I decided to upgrade on the floors and blew the budget ;) but who really needs paint on the walls!?!

This is what a house looks like when it has been flooded completely.  Did you know that you can just cut sheetrock up to a certain level and just have it replaced.  I had no clue!  The sheet rock in the whole bottom floor was cut 18in up from the floor except in the actual bathroom and adjoining closet which was closet to the water.  It had to be cut 48in up from the floor.

We have lots of plans for every light fixture, every paint color, and even a few walls will be coming down.  But right now we have beautiful distressed Hickory floors next to brand new two-colored painted sheet rock.  Just homey if you ask me!

Seriously, I am overwhelmed at where to begin.  Bear thought I would be in heaven getting to decorate a whole house, so did I.  But right now, I am so commitment phobic.  I have painted the kids rooms and our master bath (pics to come soon) just because these rooms are easy.  All the other rooms require fabrics ,curtains, rugs, light fixtures, etc.  I haven't quite gotten there yet, but soon it will come to me...........I hope!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bedtime prayers...

Kinson is really good getting in his bed and starting his prayers.  But as any other kid that I know he can kind of get long winded.  So I have started generalizing a few of his favorites--- he would name EVERY SINGLE kid in his class, so now we just say we are thankful for our friends, EVERY SINGLE toy that he owned, now we just say we are thankful for ALL of our toys to play with.  You get my drift. 
Well the other night he started veering a little after thanking God for food to keep him growing.  He then goes into, and I am thankful for mama's brand new refrigerator to keep it all in!  He really listens doesn't he!  The first 3 weeks in our new house we did not have a refrigerator indoors.  We had very shallow counters that required a special counterdepth refrigerator that no one kept in stock.  So we had to use our garage refrigerator until our came in.  Needless to say, we ate out alot and I think we all lost a few pounds because we were all too lazy to go outside or way too cold.  So when the fridge finally got here I literally praised God that we could be normal again.  Not only normal but it is soooo nice and I am in love with it!!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Birthday wishes...

Kinson turns 5 in just 3 short weeks!!  Can you believe it!?!  Neither can I.  As I came home early today and spent the afternoon with the kids, we addressed his party invites and talked about his ever growing list.  Things included piggy banks, fireman walkie, talkies, and the never ending list of train tracks that he does not have yet.  Later this afternoon he came to me and said he remembered one thing he wanted.  And I asked why, only half listening to the answer.  But then he mentioned "little brother."  I asked him to repeat what he said and he replied "Momma, I want a little brother that can talk to me."  It broke my heart. 
I have always complained that my kids don't get along but lately things have gotten somewhat better.  She will attempt to play with him and he doesn' kill her.  They will chase each other around the house screaming at the top of their lungs and stop and laugh.  He has even started telling her "good night" and "I love you, CoCo."  As much as Cohen has progressed, it takes a lot of patience and training to understand when she talks to you.  Yes, I said that she has started "saying" so much more, but only those closest to her actually know what she is saying.  So in Kinson's mind she still isn't "talking."  What do you say to a almost 5 year old when he asks repeatedly why can't she talk? or calls her a baby because in his mind only babies can't talk?  He understands how people are different, heck he even knows why I am different and why Cohen wear's little ears.  But those are all tangible.  He just can't grasp why she can't talk to him.  Any advice on this matter as to what to say or books to read to him would be greatly appreciated.

I stole this from a friend on FB but it really spoke to my heart. 

Mark Kelly speaking about his wife Gabby Giffords..."Most of us have contemplated what it would be like to be blind or deaf. But until Gabby was injured, I had never once considered how disabling it is to be unable to speak."

No one truly understands disabilities until you are faced head on by one......

And to answer his question, he will probably be getting a piggy bank and a nerf gun, and a DS game, and a new train but NO he will not be getting a little brother :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011.......where did the year go??

It has been awhile for me and I can give many excuses as to why I never blogged but really they are not excuses........it was just life.  And our life has been a roller coaster over the last 6 months and I feel like until this day, we have not been able to take a deep breath.  Things have settled down dramatically!!  Hopefully I can just pick up from this time and keep it going.

However, I would like to recap a few highlights from 2011 for me to remember--the good and the bad.

A few days after the last post I wrote, I got a phone call from my mom that shook our world.  Literally my world stopped and life shifted. 3 weeks later the news was confirmed-- my mom had ovarian cancer.  She had a total hysterectomy and went through 6 rounds of chemo.  She handled it better than the rest of us and is the strongest woman I have ever known.   December 22 we learned that she is CANCER FREE!!!
I will use this post to let woman know to be proactive in their health.  My mom's cancer was Stage 1C-a fairly early state.  Ovarian cancer is a silent cancer with usually the only side effects being GI issues and because of this, when it is diagnosed the percentage of survival is very low <10%.   My mom was persistent and her dr listened.  Luckily it was found early.  My eyes have also been opened and spoken to my drs about my family's history of breast and ovarian cancer.

Cohen started a new class in August that has she has flourished in.  Cohen has been challenged in ways that have made her successful but has also pushed her.  She is still severly delayed in her verbal communication but has demo great improvements.  She has started to say "I want ___" and "Thank you, ___".  She puts several words together but is a struggle for us at times to understand fully what she is saying.  She has ALOT to say, it is just the pronuciation of it that she is struggling with.  With this struggle comes a new wave of behaviors.  Behaviors that we did not experience with Kinson--or we did but it was short lived.  Cohen is acting out due to her frustration and has also learned that her acting out gets her things.  So part of us has to realize that not all "fits" are frustration rather than typical toddler behaviors that require discipline.

Kinson will be 5 years old next month!  Can't believe it.....  He is truly the smartest kid ever and so inquisitive.  I can not make up answers to his questions when he asks because he will always remember verbatim what I said.  He played another season of soccer, this time at Brandon city league.  We were worried because he was going to play with kids he did not know and we did not know but he did great.  He ready for Spring soccer but we are playing NWRankin this time.  He has also asked to play tball, tennis, karate, and piano.  And if we can find time he wants to take swimming lessons all the time!!  I am struggling with this because it all takes up so much time, time that we can spend together each night.  But now when a child starts a sport or class at age 6-7, they are already behind everyone else!  We are hoping to take karate this spring with hopes that it will build a since of self discipline and concentration in him.

Throughout all of this we decide that it would be a great time to move!  yeah, really, what were we thinking right?  It started the weekend before my mom has surgery and I was worried and stressed and Bear suggested we go our riding and look at houses-- I love to do this!  We found a house that we liked and for the fun of it called our realtor friend, it had a contract on it already.  While in the hospital, our realtor sent us a few houses to look at that fit our criteria.  We quickly realized we couldnt afford what we wanted.  So we found a home a few miles away and put in low ball offer and was rejected.  Well once you start offering things just snowball.  So then we decide maybe we should just put our house on the market and see where it goes.  In the meantime, 1/2 mile down the street in our neighborhood, we found out a house was about to go into foreclosure and was listed as a short sale.  Bear loved the house immediately, I knew it need a little TLC but could make it something that we could normally never dream of.  Because of short sale, we had to deal with a bank and owners.  So we offered them and put our house on the market.  I have never been so stressed in my life.  The bank accepted our offer, had a 38 page inspection list that we okayed, and 3 weeks before closing the whole bottom floor flooded due to a leaky bathroom faucet.  What should have been a 4 week pocess took exactly 3 months.  We had to have the whole bottom floor flooring and sheetrock replaced  before we could close.  While all this was being done our house had to stay spotless because we had tons of showings.  How easy is that with 2 toddlers running around!?!
Finally it came time to close on our new house and by a miracle of God, we got an offer on our house as we were signing the papers.  They wanted to close in 3 weeks!!  A few back and forths and sleepless nights and the time finally came where we were a single house family again. 
I have lots of construction pictures to post so anyone can fully understand the meaning of "gutted the whole bottom floor!"

So 2011 was a memorable year and i am sure that I left out so much over the last few months but we have been consumed with life and just doing what we do.  Hopefully I can keep up with this now that we are out of boxes and Christmas decor is up!