Thursday, December 30, 2010

Promised Pictures

So it's taken a while, but here are the pictures I promised! We have taken a lot recently, but they have mostly been with Jon's camera and neither of us know how to upload pictures from it yet. The quality puts my pictures to shame though, so those will be worth the wait! To tide you over:

Ella with her friend Tayler (they've been friends since they were 18 months)

After the first snow of the season, Jon and Ella made a mini snowman

First night sleeping in big sister's big girl bed

Marking our progress- the Great Box Wall continues to grow and take over the office.

Cookie making party with Katie and Erica

From scratch!

Silly girl 1

And her partner in crime, 2

After the furniture arrived a week late

This is how our living room looked for 4 days (over Christmas) while we moved out the old stuff to make room. Pictures of our bunkbeds and the dining room table all set up, to come!

Taking Christmas pictures

Christmas morning

Tiana footie jammies

Opening presents

Daddy and EllaBelle

Daddy and LilyBug

Marshmallow pops from aunt Kristyn (I managed to get Lor mid bite)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a good Christmas! Ours was busy, of course, but a lot of fun.

To update everyone on the home front- our offer was rejected. We did not realize the seller had to pay a real estate fee equal to our closing costs, so it makes sense that she could not afford to pay the closing costs as well. Unfortuantely, that is all we were approved for since we do not have enough cash for a 20% down payment and 6% closing costs. We looked for other homes in the area, but there just were none in our price range. Winter is a really difficult time to move and I guess that is why a lot of people do not bother to try to sell their home until spring.

That being said, our lease is up in a month so we have to move asap. Jon is on break from school for the rest of this week but he is trying to get caught up on his classwork. Our plan is to rent an apartment in Wexford, keep saving as much as we can and keep our eyes open for the right house. Hopefully, Jon will have a little more job stability and we can try again this summer.

I am bummed about it, but truthfully, we were trying to make this second choice work. It really felt like God was thwarting our every effort, so we are just trying to keep the faith that He has something better planned for us.

We felt a little silly because it turned out that we did not need to scrimp and save as much as we did the last two months, since we did not end up needing a down payment next month, but it all worked out because I had some very expensive car problems right before Christmas. In the end, we learned our lesson and decided that it just wasn't worth some of the sacrifices we were making.

We are really looking forward to a fresh start in a new home this year and can't wait to see what 2011 has in store!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Everything else

Apart from the home situation, things have been good! Busy, but good.

I've been loaded up with end of term projects and tests, but two of my three finals were canceled, so as of last night I officially survived my first semester back at school. I won't get my grades for another week but I feel pretty comfortable. God was extremely merciful and Jon was an amazing support system for me. I am glad it's over, though. It was not fun; I enrolled 4 days before classes so I had to scrape from the bottom of the barrel. Next semester, I'm looking forward to taking classes I actually have an interest in.

Jon is really enjoying Seminary. It's been a lot of reading so far, but we're use to that, and it makes him really happy. He got a seasonal job at Target, part time, and just had another interview for a part time position at Home Depot. The hours are kind of crazy and we're relying on a lot of help from family with babysitting to make it work. We're looking forward to a point in time when things slow down, even just a little, but we can't really forsee when that will be, so for now we are just trying to enjoy the ride.

My bible study is on break until January, so I've had a little extra time to myself. This has been used for packing and moving out furniture and little else.

Ella had her Christmas program yesterday, which was just about the cutest thing. I'm sorry I don't have pictures of it. It's been so snowy here lately and I was so focused on getting there on time that I completely forgot the camera. She was dressed as an angel and kept staring off into space watching the TV screens with the pictures, except the last song, which I've heard her singing to herself at home: "Good News." Ask her to sing it if you see us over Christmas. It's crazy to think that next year Lily will be up on that stage with her.

The girls got to see Santa at Phipps Conservatory. Lily asked for a "real puppy" and Ella asked for "a baby brother or sister." What happened to kids asking for barbies or toys??

This past weekend, we took Ella and my brother Dallas to see The Nutcracker. It was kind of long and Ella lost interest a couple of times, but she got so excited to see the Sugar Plum Fairy. She's been asking to wear her tutu for days now and constantly performing parts of the ballet for us, so I'd rate it a success!

I promise I'll get some new pictures up here soon!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sorry, sorry!

It's been two weeks. I know, I'm sorry. I had a feeling this would happen with finals and everything, but if it's any consolation there hasn't been much newsworthy to share. Here's an update on the housing front:

We went in on Wednesday (12-1) to make a formal offer. The seller was going to be out of town until the following Monday and the agent wanted us to fax it to her immediately. We tried to decline because we wanted our agent to be there at the presentation of the offer to explain why it was so much under the asking price and also to get a feel for what to expect. The seller said she did not want our agent involved at all and insisted we send the offer right away. So we did. That weekend went by with nothing, which we found really odd since her agent had been harassing ours for two weeks asking if we were going to put in an offer and when. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nothing.

Wednesday (12-8), we went to look at two more townhomes in the McCandless area, as a back up. One was very, very small and completely outdated. The other was even smaller and in shambles and disgusting. We asked our agent what was reasonable to expect in terms of a timeline for our offer. He told us it varies, but Friday would be fine. So he called their agent and told them we needed an answer by Friday night. They blew us off. Saturday night, our agent told us they decided to accept another offer. We believe they were using our offer to make the other person increase theirs. Although, why they had to keep us waiting for almost two weeks was completely beyond us. It kind of left a bad taste in our mouth. But we got back on the horse.

Last night we went to look at two more townhomes: a new one, out of our preferred area (uneventful), and the first back up again. This time we tried to imagine it as ours. It would need a lot of appliances and carpet replaced and it is still very small, but we love the location and that neighborhood sells fast so we think it would be a good starter home for the next few years. We asked our agent to make an informal offer for us and we're going in tomorrow to draw up the papers for a formal offer. We're not taking any chances though, because we are running out of time. We have a month and a half 'til our lease is up.

We're going to look at 2 more this weekend that are out of the area we wanted but still pretty close. And we'll be putting in offer for all three if we like them, and just take whichever bites first! They are all very similar, in terms of size, price and everything, so we're just leaving the rest up to God at this point.