Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Storm and House Update

Monday brought storms...the kids were released from school early and we took in our friends Foreign Exchange Student since they were out of town.

The kids were quite nervous about the storms given this was occurring one day after the anniversary of the horrendous storms three years ago...and they have been terrified of storms since the terrible storms three years ago. Strangely enough, the tornado that did hit a few miles west of us took about the same path as three years ago and another tornado about a year and a half ago. Some of the victims from three years ago had just moved back in their house after rebuilding/repairing the previous damage...and here we are again. The area got its third tornado in three years. Alfa Insurance canceled the policies of homeowners after the tornado of 2011. Our State Farm Friend was out helping them to get insurance in 2011. We haven't seen him in a few years so I don't know if State Farm kept the homeowners after Tornado number 2...and now with a third one...I am not sure if the homeowners will ever have insurance at this point. I am guessing that selling their home would be impossible. (This area also was hit in the 80s or 90s, the Anderson Hills subdivision must sit in just the wrong spot for tornadoes.)

Thankfully, after 9 pm, the rest of the evening for us was quiet. Yesterday, we got another storm, full of wind, lightning, and rain. No tornadoes as predicted. Praise God.

Now, about the house...the owners of the house which agreed to sell over the weekend are having second thoughts. They hadn't actually signed the contract, just a verbal agreement with our Realtor.  So...I told Greg, we have a tent...we can go live under I565 with all the other homeless people.

The Realtor was out all day showing the home owners properties but I don't think anything sparked the owner's interest. Stay tuned...this is going to be interesting...Will the Bices find a single story dwelling or live under an overpass?

Monday, April 28, 2014

House Update, Part 2

This post could be a non-issue given we are under a tornado watch. Our house could blow away, the new house could blow away...who knows? The Wizard of Oz could be just around the corner.

The house I wrote about earlier is now out of the picture. We put a bid on a second house and it was accepted. Here is what happened:  The first house (see pics below) had some moisture problems (confirming my drug dog nose is still amazing.) The owners are replacing the shower tray and doors but wanted to add the price of replacing into the purchase price. My husband is not a fan of paying for repairs they need to make so he was hesitating. Lauren found another house in the same area so we went and peeked in the windows (it was empty, don't worry, no bail needed for us) and our Realtor arranged for us to see it. Worse floor plan ever and in need of some TLC if you could live with the floor's a repo so it was a good price but I just wasn't bonding with it. THEN our Realtor said "You know...the house across the street was up for sale and the owners took it off the market...let me see if they are interested in selling. The next morning our Realtor had a key, I loved the house. Greg loved the house...we made an offer, they accepted, now we just have to work out the logistics of closing/moving dates. In fact, it was so easy you kind of wondered if they know something we don't.  BUT I didn't smell mold. In fact, I didn't smell ANYTHING  and they have two dogs. You could not tell the family had pets, the floors didn't even give away the dogs...only the backyard gave that away. However, I would rather improve a backyard then take out a bazillion ugly cypress trees. Trees will have to be added since the view is the housing area behind this one but that's okay. I can do that.

So, providing the house passes inspection, we can get closing dates settled for the domino closing...we will be moving. Most likely in July with house furniture going in storage for a few weeks...the house we are buying wants to close either June 11 or July 1. Our only fear of closing on June 11 (which would make moving a whole lot easier is if something happened with the purchase of our house,closing June 19) is ending up with two mortgages. Not good.

There you have it, a single story dwelling for two old parents of young people...providing we survive the storms.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Selfie (not me)

I found this on one of the Social Media sites after my favorite eldest daughter got a new 'do. I thought it was pretty so I took a screenshot.


I couldn't find H last weekend...then I found her on the back porch. She looked like this. I joined her with my tea...she never came up for air (she had the iPad under there).

My Garden

My gardens are looking quite spiffy (we won't discuss the state of my eyes with all this pollen in the air).

I will miss my Spring flowers. I didn't see any azaleas, gardenias or Yoshino Cherry trees or redbuds at the new place...or bulbs...or phlox...sigh...I guess you can't have it all.

House Update

Things are moving a little slow on the house purchase...we haven't heard from our Realtor much this week (Missed texts, emails and all that) so Greg sent an SOS ASAP email yesterday and she will be over tonight at 5 (God willing). This house is sold but things are moving slow on the purchasing of the new house. The current owners were out of town and they have countered, etc. Now, to be fair, they weren't planning on selling until next Spring when he officially retired so they aren't very motivated to Greg's adherence to what homes in that neighborhood (yes, he averaged the cost per sq ft and offered them that price and they want $3 more per sq ft) etc.

Our house closes on June 19 so that adds a little challenge to moving since we need the money from selling our house to purchase the house so where do live and store stuff in that little window. We need to book movers in a very busy moving that needs to be addressed. This was the purpose of my text to our Realtor. We need some ideas because I am sure she encounters this challenge often given her line of work.

The other problem...when I looked at the house I smelled a musky/mold smell...(I have a phenomenal sense of smell, I could be a drug dog if I believed in reincarnation) and sure enough Greg said our Realtor said the house was damp under the house and the owner was replacing the shower pan and glass doors but was going to increase his asking price to cover the cost. His timing in telling me this not great. Roo and I had spent the day cleaning and sorting the garage. Greg didn't seem to appreciate all of our hard work so I was a bit snippy when he passed this information on to me. I told him we would have to discuss the counter/counter later. So here I am, homeless in 6 1/2 weeks. No real plan...just purging.

A few of the things I gave away had to make me smile and tear up...the little red Radio Flyer tricycle that Matthew would fly around the the curving sidewalk in front of our house...he went soooo fast on that thing. He didn't put it up one day and I didn't see the wheel sticking out just a bit and ran over the back right tire. It bent. He moved up to a bicycle and the tricycle was put up and away in the loft Greg built. I thought about keeping it but I figured some other little boy could put a smile on his mother's face or fear if he rides as fast as Matthew. I also gave away his little John Deere wheelbarrow. He loved that thing and when the guys came to deliver mulch, he would grab his wheelbarrow and help them unload it off the truck. He also used it to help spread the mulch or work in the garden. That kid cracks me up.

It is amazing how much junk you can collect in eight years. I can't imagine how much stuff I would have if I stayed in one place these last 26 years of marriage. Military life is good for constant purging and cleaning under refrigerators, washers, and dryers. Now if I just knew for sure if I had a place to put the stuff I am keeping. I need to pray about the counter to the counter...cuz we need a plan. Fast.

Here are some pictures of the house we are putting an offer on.

By the way, I hate cypresses...any evergreen with needles...this backyard has way too many of those icky evergreens.

M's Turn

Two Years ago, Miss Hannah was inducted to the National Elementary Honor Society and this year it was Matthew's turn. On Monday, Matthew came home from school excited about the Induction Ceremony that evening but more importantly, he wanted to know if we were going to take him to Outback for dinner...he reminded me that we did that for Hannah after her ceremony. Kid has a mind like a steel trap. Nothing slips away...especially if it is something his sister got that he wants too! (I had completely forgotten about going to Outback and I probably would not have remembered were it not that we ran into some friends we hadn't seen in awhile that night so the memory had not completely escaped my foggy old brain.) 

Here he spiked (Roo had to bribe him with a dollar to accomplish giving him hair with swagger) getting inducted, eating his Outback celebration dinner including the free Monday bloomin' why we had to go to Outback for him to eat mac-n-cheese, I'll never least Hannah ate steak.

Let them eat Cake

Hannah went through the Southern Living magazine circling things she wanted for Easter. Roo just happened to take the magazine home with her and saw the desires of her little sister's heart. She showed up Saturday with all the ingredients to make this fabulous Strawberry Lemonade cake using gluten free flour in place of the the all purpose flour. Isn't it pretty. It was so good. A light lemony cake with a fluffy whipped icing. It was perfect for an Easter Celebration.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ice Factor

The Skating School is putting on a production called The Ice Factor. This is H modeling her costume. The ears are her own special touch. The routine uses a music medley of Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend and Beyonce's Put a Ring on It.

Matthew is skating to Like Me. It's really cute, he is skating with 3 girls and acting very cool. I'm trying to put the outfit together...He has to have 3 layers to reveal different characters. It is going to be really fast changes so I think I am going to need some velcro...

Hopefully, Greg will get some successful video and I can put a little bit on here.

Vocabulary Parade

Matthew's class had their "Vocabulary Parade" this past Monday. His word was "muttered." The object of the parade is to have the kids dress as their word...How do you dress for "Muttered?" I have no idea. I posted on Facebook for help. No ideas except to have him dress as a teenager. I emailed the teacher saying "Help!" She suggested a student "studying." Now that the travel hockey season has ended Matthew has been focusing on Cub Scouts. He has been doing a lot of memorizing so he decided to dress as a Cub Scout and read from his handbook.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Mr. Matthew is going to be in a children's book. The photography session is next Friday, April 18. A past teacher from his school has written a children's book (rather a series of books called the Love it Out Series). The series consists of a teachable thought and a truth to the tale. Most of the stories come from his own life experiences as a teacher. In fact, he was Hannah's Favorite teacher (and still is).

Matthew's class drew names for the 5 parts and Matthew was one of the names drawn. I will keep you updated!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

House Update

Here is what is happening with the house. Last Wednesday night, I told my husband that I am done with showing the house. I am perfectly content with our neighborhood, we can always hire someone to do the lawn and get a chair to ride up the stairs when the time comes. I made an appointment for Saturday to formalize pulling it off the market. Thursday, we got an offer from a family who has never even seen it but found it online. They live in MD. AND the Realtor was asked by her neighbor to look at his house (one story 4 BR, 3 Baths) next Spring but would take an offer earlier. The Realtor gave me the address and I drove over to look at the outside and take a picture with my phone to send to Greg. The owner walked out so I skeedadled (from embarrassment) but I wanted to see the other side of the I drove back around...he was pulling out of his drive in his big white pick I turned down a street (embarrassed) and it was a cul de sac. I turned around and he penned me in with his pickup...he thought I was up to something ( I look so threatening in my blonde ponytail and yoga pants driving a white mini van) Anyway, he was very nice and let me look at the house. I did a really quick looksie (again embarrassed) and it is perfect except the backyard. That's's very small, has cypresses (I hate cypresses) and the grass is abysmal from the dog.However, I come home and look at my blooming forsythia, redbud, and cherry and think...I am good with my house if the offer falls through...the one story doesn't have any flowering trees. My Realtor is convinced this is from God....I keep praying because sometimes we like to think it is from God and it turns into a nightmare.   So, after last night. We have sold the house pending all the little details like appraisal, inspection, etc with a June closing. Husband wants to look at other house one more time before making an offer. Given that the owner doesn't have to sell, he can be pretty picky about the price...should he desire. We could end up in an apartment. I guess that would give us a chance to sock money away for all the kid's skating...I am beginning to think I could sponsor a family in Africa for the amount of money we spend in a month...or Cuba...I heard the pay for doctors in Cuba is $67 a month!!! Okay...I usual.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Look! Roo is famous!

I went to Bible Study today and my friend gave me this magazine. The Space and Rocket Center had a masquerade ball. Doesn't she look pretty. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Thanks, Roo

I mentioned to Roo that I missed the local coverage of Hannah's Be Ready Camp...she sent me the link to one of the station's coverage (isn't she lovely?)

Now if I can just figure out how to get the little clip of the med evac helicoptor flying off of her instagram...

Oh lookie! An article from