Saturday, August 30, 2008

being welcomed in . . .

So this is the "yucky " house in the country that I was talking about. This is the view from the road, at a later time I will upload a photo of where it sits in the middle of the planted fields. Turns out, it is not so "yucky" at all! I guess, from the first visit, and comparing it to houses we wanted to purchase, it seemed bad. However, the day we moved in, it had a whole new feel to it. I have actually thought about ways that I could change it if we purchased it.

So many changes have happened over the two week period that it is hard to limit what to share. I am going to just highlight some of the major events and maybe go into more detail on a later post.

  • School started and it is Great. Large room, small class sizes, good kids. Sure there is the occasional "BOZO" but they are mostly rural children in attitude.
  • I am able to visit my family members. It is nice to connect with them again. My nephew goes to the school I am working in.
  • I am developing connections with staff members, students, and people in our farm community already. (As a reception, four families came to our house last night for a belling! Around 9:30 they walked up the lane in the dark and then all 27 people started BANGING on pans, pots, drums, and "stuff" to call us out of our home. When we came out, they greeted and welcomed us to the "neighborhood" with snacks and drinks. We all socialized for an hour or so, and then they returned home. I nearly cried from the warm welcome of such caring, giving people.
  • We are mostly moved in and our eagerly anticipating finding the homestead. We looked at a place the other night that could quite possibly be "the place."
Thanks to all of you who have prayed for us, commented and helped us in our decision-making, and have continued to befriend us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Going back to donkey Dial-Up is going to take a bit to get used to. :) I am sure we will survive. Here's a photo from the dining room window the first morning. It was pretty shocking, and slightly overwhelming as well.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

how to spend your birthday day . . .

Today was Macy's 11th birthday. Normally on birthdays in our home, the birthday child chooses all the meals of the day, and in the evening we celebrate by eating some kind of sweet dessert and giving them a couple of useful gifts. Today however looked a little different. Today was full of packing and moving. We got a truck from the ABF Moving Company and everyone chipped in packing and loading the truck. We got 1/2 of the truck loaded and tomorrow we finish the truck off, and if we need, get another truck. It is great to watch the children get dirty and work, and it is equally nice to have them do a great job! More and more I am able to trust them to do just as good as I would do something. Rarely do I have to go back and change anything. During the later part of the work today Nolan made a comment that scared me. He said "hey dad, we should start a moving company!" I was stunned for a minute, and then pretended like it was a great idea. I guess I could OWN a moving company but I sure would NOT like to work moving homes like I have done these past few years.

Here's a picture of Gresham after rubbing his hands on the wheels of the truck, rubbing his face, and having been neglected all day. He probably felt like it was a great day where everyone left him alone to play the way he wanted. I did have to tell him a couple of times to not play in the street. :)We did have the meals Macy wanted so her birthday day turned out to be somewhat familiar.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

which way do we go . . .

The blue one, the green one, no the blue one, or maybe the green . . .

I feel like the last three weeks of our lives I have changed my mind more than I have in my entire life! Deciding where to live, if we should rent first, where to rent if we do, and what it is we are actually looking for is all becoming extremely VEXING! (in the words of Mrs. Bennett)
WE are so close to moving and still have not completely decided on if we should purchase the house we love, or hold out for the country home with lots of land. Here's the rundown and all of you can post your thoughts to help us in our decision.

1. Big beautiful house, (we love it) only 3 acres, no chance for more land later. Carry a little mortgage on it.

2. Move to a YUCKY rental next to our friends while we look for houses together as a family. It is a decent rental price, we don't have to sign a contract. As soon as we find the place, move. If we don't find a place, move to the house in number one above.

3. I leave and go to Ohio to work, live, and look for houses. Ildi and the children stay here in NC until I find a place. I don't find one, we move to the house in number one by November.

Here is some other information to help in the decision-making process. This sort-of feels like reality TV getting the audience to join in on the decision.

~The house here in NC is twice the rent, but it is a brand new home. We have the internet, utilities, and everything already in place. Don't have to move things twice. Pitfall, I will be away from the family, we have one vehicle, I would have to drive down on the weekends to stay. When I find a house I will want Ildi to look at it so i would drive down to get her to come up and look at it.
~The rental house in Ohio is half the price, no internet, (did I mention it was YUCKY) no lease or commitment, and we are all together with all our junk. We can look at properties together after I get home from school, we can visit friends, places to get online, and visit houses in the area. We could also set a tent out in the yard and "Camp" if we wanted. I don't have to drive 8 hours back to NC and 8 hours back to Ohio to work after the weekend.
~Just agree to the term of the landowners now. They only want to give up three acres and it is straight back to a forest the width of the property. Since it was this hard to arrive at this layout, there is probably no way we can get more land later. As well, it is 100k more than we were thinking of spending. But did I mention it was a beautiful home! 3100 sq. ft. new everything, we move right on in! And a full basement.

Please give us your input to help us on the decision process. I promise we won't hold you responsible. :) Here's the survey with a yellow circle around the land

Sunday, August 10, 2008

packing boxes can be fun . . .

This is the beginning of the packing process. The mounds and mounds of packing, loading, and unloading that I am SO looking forward to. As we were getting the boxes out of the garage, the children wanted to use them to make houses. My initial response was no. Boxes all over the house, more stuff to clean up, an overall mess. After a few minutes of thinking about the original no, I realized that we need to make moving as fun as possible, and I could deal with a mess of boxes for a day or two.
This year the packing will go a bit easier since we are not trying to sell a house at the same time. In addition, we have some boxes already packed from last summer's move. We are working on making packing as easy as possible, so, we first started on packing all the books. From our earlier moves we have learned a few things about moving boxes from place to place.
1. Pack books in very small boxes. Even though you move many of them, they are easier to handle and don't fall apart.
2. Use blankets, sheets and towels as packing material. It's nice to keep things together, but when moving dishes and breakable things, nothing beats cloth to wrap them in.
3. Pack refrigerators and freezers with boxes. This saves on room when you are renting a moving truck.
Over the next few days we will take things off the walls, pack the clothes we are not currently using, break the beds down, and then pack the kitchen last. Hopefully we will be able to move all of it quickly and efficiently this time.

Friday, August 8, 2008

country LIVING . . .

Here is an aerial shot of the property we are trying to buy. The house is located in the country and sits next to an old farm house. The house we want is a fairly new build (2002) and is around 3100 sq ft. Seems awful big, but we have a large family that is still growing. The relatives that own and farm the land around it have agreed to add five additional acres to the house (which will make around 6 acres total) so I took a snapshot of the land on Zillow and drew in what I wanted the lay of the land to look like. My hope is that in the future they will want to sell us some more land that will reach back and include the woods. We are in the last stage of negotiation and only need one of the family members of the trust to agree to sell the land. It's all exciting to watch unfold. However, I am so UNMOTIVATED to pack this house. I have been extremely lazy this summer, sleeping in and staying up late, that I don't want anything to do with work. Once we get the O.K. that the deal is done I am sure that they energy to pack and MOVE OUT will surge, and the motivation to work will return. For now, I am just going to sit around and enjoy the break.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

family dynamics . . .

During our stay in Ohio, we have two families that we have become friends with over the past year or so, and on this visit, split the time we stayed at each home. One is a family of 9, where the father is a Presbyterian minister, and the other a family of six, where the man of the house farms. It is such a pleasure to be friends with such diverse people and we find that having relationship with both families, however different, is such a blessing.

During the first two days we stayed with the family that closely resembles us. The children play well together, the adults stay up way too late drinking coffee and having snacks, and we talk about the ins and outs of a large, young family. Our visits are filled with bonfires, talking, and planning for our futures.

The last three days we stayed with our farming, plain friends. These are the people who are actually making a living doing what we want to do. The days are filled with lots of work, but the pace of the work is not rushed. Mornings are always early, and we try hard to stay up to talk more in the evening. With this family we generally don't see the children much because they are off on the farm either milking or riding a cow, chasing the cats in the barn, riding the horse, or the other myriad of chores that need to be done.

Both Ildi and I find ourselves somewhat in the middle of these two types of family dynamics. I think that's why we enjoy them both.

Monday, August 4, 2008

finding the right home . . .

What a WHIRLWIND of house hunting! Last week we spent the entire week driving in, around, and near Lima, Ohio to look for a home. We probably saw 20 homes altogether, and finally settled on one that we want. (or think we want) There are some catch 22 situations with it and we are offering a little more than we wanted to spend, but isn't that always the case when shopping for what you want? We always think it will take less time than it really does, cost less than it really does, and be easier than it really is.

We drove up Monday, and after driving by a few houses in the country, arrived at some friend's home by the early evening . On Tuesday, we spend the morning looking at homes, broke for lunch and then spent the evening looking again. We had two realtors and they split the workload by showing us property; one showed us the south/west parts in the morning, the other the north/eastern part in the afternoon. We then returned to our friend's homes to discuss all the places we saw that day. We followed that same itinerary for Wednesday and Thursday, and by Friday were exhausted. We went to a few homes on Friday just to get a few more looks in on what was available.

We put an offer on a house that sits on one acre and have yet to hear back from the family if they will accept the offer or not. We are also trying to purchase some land from the relatives of the family to be a total of 6 acres for us to do our work we are planning. It looks like we will not know for a few days, and I will need to talk to the father who owns the farmland that surrounds the house to purchase it without the realtor. Seems a little sticky but we are going to try. If this doesn't work, it will be another trip to Ohio to secure a dwelling.