Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spring in February?

Well, if I remember correctly, that darn groundhog SAW his shadow, and it was predicted that we would have six more weeks of winter. Hmmmmm......someone forgot to tell OREGON that. We have had FOUR days of blue skies and sunshine. It was so gorgeous this weekend that Tina and I decided to take the kids to the beach (minus Elizabeth....she stayed home with daddy).

We went to the beach where you can drive your car, and headed up to a non crowded spot. It was so glorious. A bit windy for the first half hour or so, but after that the winds died down and it was seriously PERFECT. Tina and I sat on a blanket and watched our babes play in the sand. The boys and Tina actually braved the water, but Sabah and I chose to watch from the break line. OK, IIIIIIIIIII chose to watch. Sabah just got stuck with me. She did get her toes wet, but that's it. We then set out to build the most spectacular sand castle. I got a little too involved with the planning and delegating, that Elijah became bored and decided to climb the sand dune instead. Once he ventured to the dune, Ethan and Sabah diligently followed.....while I continued building my...oh, I mean OUR sandcastle.

After a few hours at the beach, we headed to DQ for an ice cream treat and then back home to relax before work tomorrow.

THIS is what weekends are all about.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More House Pictures

OK, so I found the little disc adapter thingy. Sabah put it in with the bathroom stuff. Thanks for "helping" honey.

Anyway, here are a few more downstairs pictures. After I finish Sabah's room, I will post upstairs pictures.

Because there is ONLY one place to put my piano, it really limits where I can put my couch and TV. I have the TV in the little nook next to the fireplace mantel. Most people would put their tv on the mantel, but I DO NOT want the tv to be the focus of the room (plus, it's only 26inch, so it looks silly up on the huge mantel). Because the tv is here, the couch has to be shoved over to the left side of the window. Looks kinda silly, but it's really the only option I have. Watching tv is not actually all that comfortable....which is fine by me....we don't watch much anyway. It's hard to be a couch potato when you aren't completely comfy (but believe me, I have plenty of uncomfy couch potato moments).

My kitchen table is the BOMB! I love it. It is so heavy and sturdy. I'm sure Sabah and I will have it for years and years to come. You can see the pictures I bought in Ethiopia in one of the pictures. Someday I will actually get them framed...but for now, my cash envelope is saying "yeah right chica....maybe next month".

Monday, February 8, 2010

Home ownership.........


Of course, I haven't paid my first mortgage payment yet, so check back with me on March 1st after I write that very large check. :)

Seriously though, I am lovin my house. There is just something so fantastic about coming home knowing that it is MY home. MINE. ALL MINE (oh, and Wells Fargo too).

One thing that I really have to get use to is being on a strict budget. I never really had to be on such a tight budget before so this will be quite an adjustment for me. Every payday, I take x amount of dollars out of the bank, put it in an envelope, and that cash is ALL I GET until next payday. This does not include groceries, gas, utilities, or other bills, but anything above and beyond. If I want to go out to lunch, that comes out of the cash envelope. If I want a new pair of comes out of the cash envelope. Those new curtains I want for the bedroom? Outta the cash envelope. It REALLY makes me think about what I'm willing to spend my money on. I'm surprised at how well I'm doing. Of course, it's only been one week, but still. It's a bit easier to be conservative with your money when you know you have a mortgage to pay.

The house is pretty much all put together. As mentioned above, I do have some curtains I need to buy for all the upstairs bedrooms. I'm thinking about making Sabah's, but I've never made curtains before. I do already have the material, so the new cheapskate in me is leaning toward giving it a try.

I've taken a few pics of the inside of the house, but I can't find the little disc adapter thingy that will allow me to download them (thank you Sabah). As soon as I find it, I will post them.

I did get some pictures of my new fireplace mantel (before and after pics) from my flip video. Here is what it looked like when I moved in:

The previous owners painted the two walls GREY! Now, I don't really have anything against grey, but it really did not look good in here.

I decided to go with a nice deep olive green, and this is how it turned out......

SOOOOOOOOOO much better looking in green (my opinion of course). When I find that disc thingy, I will post more pics of the living and dining room. I painted one wall of the dining room red and left the rest in tan. When I was picking Sabah up in Ethiopia, I purchased two oil paintings that I LOVE, that are in a red base with some orange (think sunset). They are fantastic paintings and they look GREAT on my red wall. I then purchased an AWESOME dining room table off of Craigslist (I LOVE craigslist). When I went to pick it up, the lady selling it happened to be African and she was shutting down her African restaurant because of slow business. She had purchased several of these dining table and chairs for her restaurant because they were actually made from African wood. So, the dining room has sort of turned into an African themed room. I have two other African pictures with red frames that I have up, and will also be displaying some other items I purchased in ET. I LOVE my dining room.

My house has a two car garage with back of the house entrance with no driveway, as do all the houses in my immediate area. I LOVE having a garage....especially a two car garage. The only downside to this is that EVERYONE comes and goes through their garages. I've been here a week and have yet to see any of my immediate neighbors.....not even a chance to wave hello. Once the weather gets a bit better and we spend more time out front playing, I hope to meet a few of them.
The neighborhood is filled with children and is soooooo diverse. Sabah will definitely not be the only black child in her class. The majority of the neighborhood seems to be equal mix of black and white, with a little bit of Asian and Hispanic. I LOVE the diversity.

I must say, this house has certainly been the best decision I have ever made. ERRRR, back up....the SECOND best decision I've ever made. Sabah was the BEST. Now, please excuse me while I go check the couch cushions for some extra change to put in my cash envelope! ;)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sabah at the piano

Sabah LOVES playing the piano. She will sit here like this for about 20 minutes and just quietly play. No banging on the keys....she likes to play nice and soft. I can't WAIT for her to start piano lessons.

Please excuse my "mommy squeaky voice"......

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm back to blogging

Well, after shutting down my blog for just over a month, I’ve decided to start blogging again. Facebook is great, but status updates only allow for so much detail. I can’t promise I will be consistent with this blog, but will try to update at least two or three times a month (maybe more, but I’ll start small).

A lot has happened since my “final” blog post. On the adoption front, I had to make a very difficult decision and decided to put the adoption of “H” on hold. It broke my heart to call up my adoption agency director and tell him to put her back on the waiting child list. I never officially received her referral, but she WAS the girl I was planning on making my daughter. When I met “H” back in October I immediately came back and was very gung ho about starting the process. Unfortunately I was acting strictly on emotions rather than logic. I finally had to acknowledge that this just wasn’t the right time to bring another child into our family. I have every intention of adopting a second child… will just be one or two years down the road before I begin the process (which was always the original plan).

For some exciting news…..I am a first time homeowner!!!!!!! After searching for a house for over a year, and having an offer on SIX different houses, I finally got smart and stopped putting offers on short sales and made an offer on a bank owned home. The home was originally out of my price range and I didn’t even want to go look at it. But, thanks to my fabulous realtor, I was “persuaded” to take a look. I fell in love with it immediately and was a bit mad at her for talking me into seeing it, knowing it was out of my price range (ok, not actually mad, just disappointed cause I didn't think I would ever be able to get it). Because it was bank owned though, she said we could offer whatever I was comfortable paying and seeing where it goes. Well, after 7 days of negotiating back and forth, we got the house for $2,000 less than my MAXIMUM price, AND got the bank to pay a HUGE portion of my closing costs. I can’t tell you how excited I was that this house was going to be MINE (and Sabah’s of course). It was the 7th house I had an offer on, but
most definitely the best house. It was built in 2006, so there are only small cosmetic repairs that need to be done. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and is a two story house. I LOVE IT. Sabah and I moved in last weekend, and are currently keeping busy unpacking and figuring out where to put everything.

Oh, and I just did my taxes. I LOVE THE 1st TIME HOMEBUYERS CREDIT! That, coupled with the remainder of the adoption credit I had from 2008, and, well, I’m one happy momma!

I've been a huge slacker in the picture department so I don't have much to post tonight, but I will get some pictures of the house up soon. Oh, and some of Sabah as well. The only pic I have of the house is from the listing...