Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh Man!

So Nora and I found out today why there are so many dang landscaping companies here in Arizona. It is because you should never, never, never do it yourself. Dirt here is totally different than dirt in Utah. It does not turn to mudd when wet, it turns to clay and clay and flip flops don't mix. We planted rye seeds in the backyard because apparently that's what you do here and hopefully soon we will have grass in part of the yard. We also planted a palm tree and 4 bougenvilla bushes. It just about killed me but Nora thought it was great. I wish I could have taken pictures at the same time but we were covered in clay, head to toe. Nora finally layed down and rolled in the clay. I took off her diaper and sprayed her down with the hose when we were all done. Normally this would not be a nice thing at the end of October, however here in AZ the hose water is luke warm and it is still in the high 80's. I keep forgetting that it is fall. I should have taken before and after pictures of the yard because hopefully it will be awesome. It will take a miracle because I can't grow a dang thing!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Well, even though we only live 20 miles from Matt's work, it still takes some time to get there and a lot of gas in the van that he was driving. Last weekend we went looking at cars and bikes and here is what we ended up buying. It is the first brand new transportation that we have purchased and I have not even been on it yet! It is a 2008 Suzuki Burgman 400. It only had 4 miles on it when we bought it! I think it's pretty cool and I plan on doing some riding as soon as things settle down here. I will admit I am still a little nervous that he is riding it but a lot of drivers here are driving these. There are more scooters and motorcycles on the road here than cars!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We're here!

We are in our new home for three days and counting and we are loving it! We are sleeping on air mattresses for now and we are living out of our suit cases but we are so happy to be here. There is just so much space. You would not know it however because the children, especially Nora insist on being in the same room with us all the time. I imagine it will be that way until they get used to living in a new house. It doesn't help that I set off the security alarm twice and they had no idea what it was. It scared them so bad. Claire started telling people that she hates this house because it's loud. What she fails to mention is that I ended up being the hero of that story by breaking into the master box and figuring out the code to turn it off. On another note, I met one of the neighbors before we moved in and she and her husband have 5 children. They have one for each of our children's age. Today we walked down and introduced ourselves and the kids are so excited to play tomorrow. My mom comes on Friday and we are so excited! We are counting down the days. We miss home very much but all is well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

There's a light...

There's a light at the end of the tunnel and contrary to the usual for us, it is not a train! We signed the papers on our house today. The seller signed his as well and so the money is being wired first thing in the morning. It will record tomorrow as well which means that tomorrow night we will be in our new home. We will be camping out but we are soooo excited!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Final Walk-Through!

Tomorrow is the final walk-through on our new house! It looks like we will be signing the papers tomorrow as well and we could potentially be in by tomorrow night! If we are not in by tomorrow it will be Thursday. I am so excited. Our movers are not coming until Nov. 1 so we are without everything! We went to IKEA and bought some dishes and other necessities but we are going to have to go buy some air mattresses to sleep on. WHO CARES!!! We are so excited! I am trying to get internet up and going as soon as possible at the house so that I can keep in contact with the outside world! Cross your fingers for us!

Monday, October 20, 2008

One day down and counting...

So this morning was an especially hard morning with the kids but we had some good news. It looks like we are going to be able to sign documents for the house on the 22nd and they are going to table fund so we can be in the house by Wednesday night or Thursday. I am so excited but I realized one thing in my excitement. Although I knew that the movers are not going to be coming until Nov. 1st I did not realize that my washer and dryer were going to be with them...I sure hope there is a laundry mat in Queen Creek and if not then I am glad that our underwear is the only thing we don't have a month's supply of. People laughed at me when I packed our whole closets to bring with us to the hotel but I just felt like I should. Well, now I know why. This afternoon was much easier because we spent a few hours at "the snake park" as my kids call it. It is a huge park that has statues of huge snakes and other creepy things that apparently spit water in the summer. It's their favorite place to go and despite the 90 + weather we went. Nora fell off of the very top of the big kids playground and all I can say is thank goodness for sand. If it hadn't been sand below her we could have had a real problem on our hands.
We are beginning our official count down until we get into the house. Worst case senario we get in on the 30th, best case senario we get in on Wednesday...let the counting begin.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More Pictures of Our New Home

We were able to spend a couple of hours in the house last week while we had the inspection. The kids were thrilled to have so much space to run around in. We were so glad to be there and did not want to leave. I even offered to pay the inspector to inpect it a second time so we could stay another couple of hours. Well, here are the pics from our time in the house.

I'd Give Anything to be Catholic Today...

Oh good hell. I cannot even begin to describe how overwhelming it was to go to our new ward today. Don't get me wrong, everyone was so nice and many had roots in Utah. One of the members of the bishopric even had a cousin that worked for Hanjin in SLC. I never would have imagined that we would find someone in common with the people down here. Today however I really would give anything to be Catholic. I think the thing that was so overwhelming is that first we went to the wrong ward house because the meeting locator on the church's website is of no help and then when we got to the right ward house, there were a million and one people in our ward. There are not only 6 nurseries, there are 4 CTR 4 classes. It was mass chaos. They have got to build a new ward house because I know for a fact that with all four wards meeting in that building that we are exceeding the maximum capacity level. I was really overwhelmed. It didn't help that Ivan was running the halls for a good portion of the time and pulling things off of the bulletin-boards (which by the way are all scrap booked!). I just have a feeling that it's going to take a long time to get used to this kind of thing.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Starting to Wear on Us...

The past two days have proved two things...Our luck has gone bad and this whole situation is starting to wear heavily upon our little family. Yesterday was a bad day for me from the start. Our tiny little hotel room flooded and I rear ended a car on the freeway. Luckily there was minimal damage to the other car and no damage to my van. Our room was another story. We were lucky that only the stuff that we had on the floor of the bathroom was damaged but the kitchen and carpet were covered in a half inch of toilet water. It even ran through the floor and came out of the lights in the lobby below us. Did they shampoo the carpets in our room or even offer to move us to another room? No, they shop vacuumed the water up gave me some towels and left. Claire is having a very, very hard time. She has missed her friends in Tooele so badly. Tomorrow we are going to go to our new ward even though we have not moved into our house yet. I am hoping that she can find a friend and know that she will be able to see them and play with them again soon. She is incredible, she has such an easy time making friends. It breaks my heart when we have to leave the mall or the park because she always says she wants to play with her best friends. She is desperate to be able to play with the same friends everyday. I am desperate for space. I cannot believe we have made it this long in this tiny room. We have been told that our house will most likely close this next Friday instead of the 30th and we are hoping so much that it will. We are not praying for it however because the Lord has already given us so much that we feel it would be a little selfish to keep asking for the date to be pushed up. I am so grateful that we found a house when we did. I know that we can last in this hotel room for another week or so but we could not move from here to an apartment, it would kill us. I think this situation will help us to appreciate what we had and what we will have so much more. We are glad that we came, but we will be glad when this inbetween time is over.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our New Home

So, I realize that it is not technically ours until we close on the 30th of October, but this is the house that we have under contract here in Arizona. It is about 45 minutes from Matt's work which is a bummer but we are going to be getting a small car or a motorcycle for him to commute with. The kids and I drove out to the house today just to take a look at the outside again. We stopped at the local park and played for quite a while. We also met the neighbor that lives 2 doors down from the house. She was so nice. She has 5 children, two of which are very close in age to Claire and Ivan. She was LDS and so she could tell me a little bit about the ward that we will be attending. All I have to say is that it has 6 nurseries. That explains everything. No, seriously we are so excited to move into our new home. So far everything is going smoothly. The appraisal is tomorrow and our inspection is Thursday and after that it is just paper work. We are counting down the days!

We will be living in the Castlegate community!

Above is the first park that you come to when you drive into the community. It is about 4 blocks from our home.

Above is the park that is literally behind our house. If we were to climb over our fence we would be there.

Above is a picture of the elementary school that you can see from our back yard. It is the school that Claire will be attending next fall.

Above is the front view of the house!

Above is the view down the hall as you walk into the formal living room. The room at the end of the hall is the family room that adjoins the kitchen.

Above is a partial view of the formal living room.

Above is a picture of my kitchen! I am so excited about the fridge that they are leaving me! It also has a flat top range, built in microwave and tile floors!
Just behind the kitchen is a half bath for visitors.

Above is a picture of the family room that ajoins the kitchen. I am so excited to have a family room and a living room so that when people come over they won't walk straight into our mess!

Above is a picture of the upstairs loft which will be primarily the play room for the kids. There is 3 bedrooms off of the loft and a master bedroom with it's own bathroom and walk in closet. There is also a full bath off of the loft for the kids.

On Thursday when I am in the house again, I will get some pics of the bedrooms for those who care to see them!

Monday, October 13, 2008

We Won!

We found out about 30 minutes ago that our offer was accepted for the house that we wanted and we will be in it by the 31st of October! We are so excited and thankful to the Lord for everything that he has blessed us with. Keep checking the blog as there will be an abundance of photos of our new house by the end of the week!

We Are Quickly Going Crazy....

So I thought you might be interested in seeing the room that we are staying in. There is no need to explain them, the pictures speak for themselves. Hopefully at noon today we will get the answer we need and we will be in a house by the end of the month!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Round Two!

So Matt and I put an offer down on a house the other day and within 24 hours someone else made an offer too. This caused our offer to be rejected. We found out today that it was because we asked for closing costs to be paid and the other people did not. The owners rejected our offer and countered the other offer. Well, we got a call tonight from our realtor saying that the counter offer had not been accepted yet and that we can still submit another offer. We are trying not to be excited but we are submitting another offer tonight and it sounds like ours will be the better offer. Today was a good day before this happened too. We went to church and then spent the day inside just resting. The ward that we are attending for now is a very welcoming place. I even bore my testimony which is not something that I do often at all. I am so thankful for the things that the Lord has blessed us with because of our obedience. We gave up so much to come here but we are gaining so much as well. We are becoming closer as a family and our faith is increasing by leaps and bounds. Even if we submit this second offer and it is not accepted, the Lord has given us hope and faith and above all comfort which is what I fasted for today. I have gained a huge testimony of the power of prayer and fasting. It seems as though everytime we have fasted for the last few months, we have had a miracle happen that same day. We should know by tomorrow at noon whether we have a house to move into by the end of the month. Now the trick is not to think about it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Superstition Farms

Today was free Friday at Superstition Farms here in AZ. The kids and I spent the morning with the animals and Claire and Ivan even fed and rode some of them! It was a great time to be had by all!

Moving Day

So I realized today that I did not share with all of you exactly what moving day looked like at our house before we left. It was insane. I wish I could have had someone document the entire experience from start to finish because it would keep me from ever moving again. The experience started at 9am and finished at 10:30pm when the movers finally pulled out of the driveway headed for California with almost everything that we own. They tried to tell us that the truck would not fit anymore but that they would be back in the area the next week and they could pick it up then. Luckily we had the head honcho's number at Hanjin and he was able to set them strait. They went with Matt and got a UHAUL to gather the rest of our belongings. And then we were off to Arizona!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We Made an Offer!

Just when things were starting to look very bleak, we found a home today that is not lender owned or short-sale and we made and offer! It is currently 10:54pm and our realtor just left our hotel with the signed documents. By Saturday at 10am we will know if it is accepted or not. It is a beautiful home and it is a whopping
2,302 sq.feet which is bigger than any home we have had before. The layout is perfect and it just felt like home. If this is meant to be, it is truly an answer to prayer. Please, if you are reading this, pray pray pray for the next 24 hours that our offer will be accepted and we can close on the requested date of Oct. 30, 2008.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's that Time!

For some reason it didn't even dawn on me that it was flu season again. Perhaps this is because it is still close to 100 degrees here in AZ. So today I stopped to transfer some prescriptions at the local CVS Pharmacy (which is so awesome btw. I recommend it to anyone who has access to one!) and surprised my kids with flu shots! We were headed to the mall to play and the condition was that they got the shot first. I am mean, I know. But to make it fair, I got one too. Nora also got some new shoes at the store and now her new favorite word it "Shews!" It sounds so funny the way she says it. She stops as she is walking just to admire them and scream "Shews!" (I spelled it the way she says it, just in case my mom is reading this I want her to know that yes I can spell :) )!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Swimming in October!

Swimming out doors in October is something I think I've never done before! Even though it was over 90 degrees outside, the water was freezing! The kids didn't seem to care though!

What a day!

Today was still a busy one but it did offer a bit of a break from the recent hustle and bustle. The kids and I were out the door first thing for breakfast at McDonald's (yay...) and from there it was off to buy our deluxe edition of Sleeping Beauty which according to our television will never be released on DVD again. What it failed to mention is that a year from now it will be released again (I'm sure) on blue-ray or whatever new technology has surfaced. Advertising is great isn't it??? While we were out we were able to get ourselves a Wii! This is the greatest invention ever. Forget the wheel man, this one is going to save our bacon for the next month. The kids and I were actually able to stay in the hotel room for over an hour without anyone getting seriously injured, spanked or crying! That was awesome because we have been on the go trying to keep them entertained so that none of the above would send us to the crazy house. Tonight we went to dinner at Claire's new favorite restaurant called "5 and Diner." She says it's her favorite because they have French Toast. This is ironic because so does "Jack in the Box" and she wouldn't eat it after we ordered it for lunch. We got some great news today and that was that the house in Utah is right on track and we will be closing on time if not sooner. We have 3 houses here that we are considering but we are also considering renting a house for a while. At any rate, we are probably in it (here at the Extended Stay America) for the long haul. At least we are not living in the car although it may have more square footage.

Nora finally got that job we insisted on. I'm pretty sure the bottle violates some sort of health code though...

Tons O' Fun!

Hooray for Chuck E. Cheese! I never thought I would be so thankful to a mouse. This was our family home evening for the week and we will never be able to top this one. I don't know how we will ever go back to normal dinners at home after eating out at places that only Hanjin can afford to send us every night!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hooray for the Mall!

The Mall here in Chandler Arizona was designed by a genius. Not only can you not get out of there without spending a ton of money, they have an awesome play place that has kept us out of our hotel room and out of the crazy house! Here is a picture of the kids in action (Nora insists on playing with the big kids and not in the baby area) and then a picture of the desired results of their play!