Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Starting a New Scout Year

The start of a new school year means the start of a new Scout year.

I have been serving as the Palm Springs Ward Cub Master for almost a year, now...and I LOVE working with the Scouts. One of the saddest parts about me moving is that I will no longer have that calling. I have committed to stay with the pack until the end of September...hopefully giving me time to finish projects that I started earning with "my boys", but also time to train a replacement.

This week is our first Pack Meeting of the new Scout Year, and we're starting things off by having a party...a POOL PARTY!! Yeah!!!

This year, my Girl Scout Troop has graduated to the Junior level of Scouting. We started off the year last week by starting to earn their first Junior badge...the Pet Care badge. The girls brought their pets to the troop meeting and presented them to their fellow Girl Scouts. They had to research their pet...finding out about it's ancestry and traits, calculating the cost of caring for it, diseases that it may contract, etc. etc. They really did a great job researching and presenting. They also had to commit to care for their pet for 2 weeks, and record the activities they did and the amount of time each activity took.

Then, the other night, we met at Pet Supermarket, and the girls had to go inside and pick their dream pet, and then find out about everything they needed to care for it and what each item cost. They had a GREAT time at Pet Supermarket...they got to hold kittens, ferrets, and parrots...see reptiles and fish up close and personal, and go on an imaginary shopping trip for their dream pet. Afterwards, we hopped across the street to Chik Fil'A for a treat. The girls had a great time!!

Abi and Oriana meet a parrot...

Amanda talks to Ms. Karen about Angelfish. Kaliayah told Ms. Karen that she looked like Kim Kardashian...but with shorter hair!!

Jessica poses by a particularly cutie-pie bunny rabbit...

...while Oriana is more intersted in the ferrets...

watch Out, Amanda!! You have an African Grey Parrot on your head!!

Danya and Kalaiyah meet and greet our colorful little friend...

Not to be outdone, Savannah and Katherine try out Parrot love, too...Savannah got a GREAT shot of the parrot kissing Amanda on the cheek!! You'll have to check it out on her blog at Tropical Peaches .

We had the COOLEST associate helping us out...she answered questions, let us hold pets, and was enthusiastic about letting the girls learn!!

Savannah got up close and personal with a fuzzy ferret...she didn't like their musky odor!!

All the girls really loved petting the kittens...

It's so great to see both my Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts growing and achieving. I think Scouting is such a great program...there is so much to see and learn and do!! I'm really excited about this years Scouting adventures!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Letter To The Judge

I am running out of options AND time with this whole house thing. My crocked landlord's attorney just filed a motion to evict us immediately because our response to previous eviction summons didn't include a request to waive rental fees. I didn't know that I had to do that, and that means, that per Florida Statute 83.60 I have " absolutely waived my tenet defenses" and that the "landlord is entitled to an immediate default judgement for removal of the tenet with a writ of possession ti issue without further notice or hearing thereon."
Are you flipping KIDDING me?
I can't afford a lawyer, and afford to move. And since every lawyer we've spoken to tells us we have NO RIGHTS WHATSOEVER, I opted to put my money on moving.
But if she gets to kick me out BEFORE my move-in date...
Or what if the judge allows her to sue us for the last two months rent PLUS her legal fees? We don't have THAT, either...
And to think...the law is on HER side...
...this is why people don't trust government. It protects the WRONG people!!
So, with nothing to lose, I am trying to appeal to the judge's sympathies, and wrote a letter to him personally. I am asking that all my friends and family do the same.
PLEASE...if you like us even a little bit...PLEASE write a personal letter to the judge telling him who you are, how long you've known us, and that you think it is unfair to be forced into this situation. Tell him you'll miss us when we move away. If we already live away from you, tell him about our character, and that we don't deserve this.
Tell him ANYTHING...but PLEASE help us plead our case. We are DESPERATE!!!
You have to do it fast...I only have a few days. And you have to snail mail it...there is no e-mail. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE...take a few minutes and write a letter, and send it to:
Ms. Linda O'Niel
Judicial Assistant to the Honorable Robert W. Lee
Broward County Courthouse
201 S.E. 6th Street
Room 331
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
This is a copy of the letter I wrote:
August 24, 2009
Honorable Robert W. Lee
Ms. Linda O’Niel
Broward County Courthouse
201 S.E. 6th Street
Room 331
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Case No: 09-010368 53
Case: Nubia Hernandez vs. Jason & Shannan Johnson regarding property at
18651 SW 15th Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33029
Your Honor,
My name is Shannan Johnson. My husband, Jason, and I rent 18651 SW 15th Street from Nubia Hernandez. We have rented the home for 2 years, and live there with our 5 children. Our rent is $2,175.00 a month, and we have ALWAYS paid our rent on-time. Ms. Hernandez came personally, or sent one of her sons, to pick up our rent checks every month. We never had any more contact from her than that…she changed phone numbers frequently and it always seemed that when we needed to contact her, the number we had was not a working number. A couple times she had a friend call us who spoke English (Ms. Hernandez English is limited).

Jason and I have not been renters since we were newlyweds over 12 years ago. We have moved all over the country with his employment, and have always bought our own homes. When we moved here in June 2007, home prices were so high that we could not afford them. Unwilling to take advantage of “easy money loans” that we knew we could not afford, we chose to rent.

Several months ago, we started receiving notices in the mail, or attached to our front door and garage, from different businesses offering foreclosure assistance. We also started receiving recorded solicitation calls from law firms and credit counseling agencies. When Ms. Hernandez would come and pick up the rent, we would question her about the notices and calls. We have several friends in the area whose landlords went into foreclosure and didn’t tell them, then “disappeared”, leaving them to be evicted by the bank. We were scared to lose our home. Ms. Hernandez assured us that nothing was wrong and that we had no need to worry…the calls and notices were just advertisements. Despite warnings from our friends who had previously been through similar ordeals, we chose to believe and trust in Ms. Hernandez.

This went on for several months…we talked with her repeatedly about the notices…even when certified letters came to the house…she assured us that they weren’t for her, but for her sister. We discussed renewing our lease in July.
In June 2009, Ms. Hernandez came as usual to collect our rent. We were leaving on an extended vacation to visit our only family, located in the West. I told Ms. Hernandez that I would leave the July rent at a neighbor’s. Our lease would technically be up at the end of June…and we wanted to renew…but Ms. Hernandez didn’t seem to be in a rush to sign new paperwork. She agreed to pick up the rent at the neighbors. I figured we would sign a new lease when we returned.
A few days later, a man came to my door to serve us a foreclosure summons. Upon reading the summons, we found out that Ms. Hernandez had not paid her mortgage since January 2009. We were given 20 days to respond, so we wrote a response, and included copies of our lease and copies of all the cleared checks we had written since June 2007, and delivered it to the courthouse and to the banks’ attorney. We were terrified. This was our worst nightmare…to be forced from our home with our children and have no where to go.
We were committed to our vacation, and having done all we knew to do regarding the foreclosure, and unable to contact Ms. Hernandez, we left. While on vacation, I received a phone call from Ms. Hernandez friend, asking me which neighbor I had left the rent with. I told the friend that I had been served foreclosure papers on the house, and that I would not pay rent until I knew that the home was secure. I asked that Ms. Hernandez resolve her delinquency and contact us so we could work together to solve the problem. I never heard from her, or her friend, for the rest of vacation.
My husband returned to Florida earlier than the kids and I to resume work, and received a certified letter in the mail from Ms. Hernandez. In the letter, she stated that she was getting her mortgage modified, and that it was none of our business what she did. She demanded we pay her the money and leave, stating that we were out of the lease (which I thought was ironic, since she didn’t seem to care about the state of the lease when she called to collect the rent).
Jason and I had no desire to continue renting from her, and as soon as I returned home, we started the process of looking for a new home. We figured that with her in foreclosure, there was no way we would get our last months rent/deposit back from her. We figured we had a least 2 months to find a house…one of which was already used as we had been out of the state on vacation.
On August 7, we received an eviction summons from Ms. Hernandez, giving us 5 days to respond…which we complied with. In our response, I addressed that we have been good tenets, always paying our rent and caring for the house as our own home. We bemoaned the fact that in order to move, it was going to cost us first and last months rent, and up to 2 months security deposit to stay in the area…possibly $8,800 dollars. Not only that, but there were new utility deposits, moving expenses like boxes and renting a truck, and if we moved into a new gated community, fees for pool keys and barcodes.
Not only are their financial repercussions, but emotional ones as well. What about my children leaving their home, and the friends they’ve made? What if they have to change schools? We have moved enough to know that these things can be traumatic for small children…now we have kids in high school and middle school, as well as elementary and preschool!! We had promised that we would not move again for a long time…now we were being forced to move because of someone else’s’ bad choices.
After furious searching, we have finally found a place to move to. We have to increase the amount we spend a month in rent to stay in the general area…which is something we are very nervous to do…being such a large family on a single income means watching every penny. Our entire savings (including our Christmas budget) has to be used to move. We saved the two months rent we have not paid Ms. Hernandez to put down on the new home…but it was not enough. We had to buy a washer and dryer, as the new home didn’t come with one, adding to the cost.
Although we are in the area, we were not able to find a home in our children’s school boundaries. My children are forced to change schools. Not only that, but we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon), and our church is organized in such a way that you attend services depending on where you live…a group of people living in one area are organized into a “ward”, and there are so many “wards” in a “stake”, and so many “stakes” in an “area” (much like cities, counties, and states). We had to move out of our ward’s AND stake’s boundaries, and have to attend a whole new ward. My children are devastated to leave their friends at home, school, AND church. My husband and I are sad to leave the friends that we have adopted as “family” (since we are so far away from our own family) as well.
All of this could’ve been avoided if Ms. Hernandez had been honest and forthright with us. We kept our end of the contract faithfully, and expected her to do the same. For 6 months she has collected a monthly $2175.00 rent from us, totaling $13, 050.00…all the while jeopardizing my family. Even after we had been served, she still tried to collect rent. In fact, she is STILL trying to collect rent from us. She doesn’t seem to have any concern for what she has put my family through, financially or emotionally. She only cares about lining her pockets.
I know from looking on-line that she has other properties, and that several have gone into foreclosure. I am sure that she is trying to “modify” them all. Has she been collecting rent from all those properties as well, while not paying those mortgages? Can you imagine the income she has received if that is the case? I thought the stimulus package was to help hard-working people who lost their job, or had an income reduction, or an illness to keep their homes…it wasn’t meant for people who took out careless loans they couldn’t afford to take advantage of. But it appears that that is JUST what is going on.
We are moving into our new home next month. We will b e out of Ms. Hernandezs home as of September 10, 2009.
I received a letter on the 21st of August from her attorney stating that because we had not specifically requested to have our rent waived in our response to the eviction summons, that our rights were waived. Your Honor, we don’t have an attorney. How can we afford one when we’re being forced to re-locate our family? So perhaps I didn’t answer the summons EXACTLY right…

…but I am asking now…Ms. Hernandez has taken our money under false pretenses. She has no problem extracting more. We do not want to live in her house any longer, and ask only to be allowed to leave with no further financial penalty. We promise to be out of the house on September 10, and Ms. Hernandez can keep our deposit /last month rent. At that point, the house will no longer be our home, and return to the care and upkeep of Ms. Hernandez.
I humbly ask that our family not be made to suffer any further.
Thank you for your time,
Jason and Shannan Johnson

Please, please, please write to the judge in our defense. It is our only option now.
Love you all,

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School INSANITYl!!!

Today was officially the first day of school for MOST of our kids...Joseph actually started on the 12th of August.

It's going to be SUCH a crazy year...I have Kaitlyn attending the IB magnet in Miramar at Miramar High. Joseph is attending the Science & Pre-Engineering magnet in Hallandale Beach (poor Joseph has to be on the bus at 5:30 in the morning!!), Savannah and Brigham are at Sunset Lakes (for a while...I'm not sure if they'll let us stay there after we move...), and Nicolette is attending World of Knowledge Preschool. Five kids in four different schools...and not just all over the city...all over THE COUNTY.

Wait...what's that you say?

Oh...yeah...didn't I tell you?...Nicolette started PRESCHOOL!! She is SO EXCITED!! She has finally joined the school club. She gets to wear a uniform, and pack a lunch, and go off to school for 3 hours a day. Not only that, but her little friend from Ms. Mellyn's Music Class, Alexa, is in the SAME class as her!! Isn't that LUCKY?

This morning was a comedy of errors...we found out seminary didn't start for two more days, so Jason was excited not to have to get up early and take Kaitlyn to school. Kaitlyn, however, had other plans. She didn't want to take the bus...she wanted to be driven. Now...keep in mind that her high school is in a whole other city...and on the FAR SIDE of said city. We were thinking how lucky it was to have two more days to not drive her...since we HAVE to drive her to school when seminary is in session, although she rides the bus home. Anyway...Kaitlyn didn't want to get up early to catch the bus...she wanted two more days to sleep in. And she didn't want to ride a dirty bus in her new clothes, and didn't want the wind from the outside to mess up her hair and the humidity to make it frizz. She was literally in TEARS...crying like a baby because she had to ride the bus.

"It's not fair!!!" she kept whining.

Frustrated, I said: "WHY? Why is it not fair Kaitlyn? Is it fair that we sacrifice to drive you out there every morning to a participate in a program you swear you want, but practically flunked out of last year? Is it fair to the other kids, who are littler and don't have the option of riding a bus, to go to their first day of school alone because we're busy taking our 15-year-old BABY to school? Seriously? Explain to me why it's not fair!!"

"It's just nooot!" she whined between gulping sobs and sniffles.

And this is why Kaitlyn is a spoiled brat who will never reach her potential...because I gave in and agreed to take her. When you find her at 40 years of age working in some crummy little retail hole, spending all her money on fake nails and home highlighting kits and living in a trailer with some loser can be assured in the knowledge that it is all her mothers' fault for always giving in and allowing her to waste all the opportunity that has been shamelessly showered upon her but never truly earned.

I got up to drive Joseph to his bus stop (Joseph, by the way, rode the bus on his first day of school, although his bus-ride is an hour and half long and takes him to a city 25 miles away, and although he has never ridden a bus before. He has ridden it every school day and from school, with no complaints.) at 5:30...
his bus was late and didn't get there until I had to RUN home and wake kids up and make lunches. Jason hadn't gotten up because he didn't expect me to be nothing was done. I walked in and Kaitlyn assaults me at the door to help her with the curlers in her hair. I explain that I don't have time...she's 15 and she can do her own hair. I get a big: "FINE!!!" and she stomps off. Savannah and Nicolette are up and Savannah is dressed, with her bed made, and is making Nicolette breakfast (Thank God for Savannah...), so I go wake up Brigham.

Brigham has a good amount of Kaitlyn in him, and doesn't want to get up (he's NOT a morning person...much like her)...he's tired...and he doesn't want to go to school. I don't have time to play games like this (because I have to leave in 10 minutes to get Kaitlyn to school on time), so I yank the covers off him and yell: "GET UP!!!" So, he gets up crying...and of course he can't find his shirt, and his socks feel funny, and it's too hard to make his bed, and he doesn't like orange juice for's clearly a bad morning for Brigham.

Oh!! I forgot to tell you that I am also trying to make this special treat for my kids for their first day of school (because I really do want to be a good mom...really and truly)...this easy little warm danish called Blueberry Cheese Rolls. It's easy...but does require I am pleading with Brigham, and trying to pack lunches, and arguing with Kaitlyn, and trying to bake breakfast, and threatening Jason that if he doesn't get his @$$ out of bed I'm going to file for a divorce.

Brigham comes out pouting and in tears because the new Sketchers we bought him for school are too big and slip off his feet when he walks. I look at them...and they ARE too then I say: "Well - you're the one that tried them on and said they fit. Now you'll just have to deal with it." So he gets mad and tries to run off to pout, but the shoes are so big that he falls down and bangs his knee, so he curls up in the middle of the floor and just cries that he hates school, and he hates his shoes, and nobody cares about him.

Kaitlyn emerges from her room in a cloud of perfume and stands in the doorway tapping her feet impatiently because she wants to leave.

I ignore Kate, and sit next to Brig and tell him to wear the shoes today, and I'll try and return them at Kohls after he comes home. Then the oven timer goes off, so I rush in to pull out the blueberry rolls. While they cool, I run back to get Nicolette in uniform, and then run back out to serve the rolls and pack lunches, all the while begging and pleading for Brigham to get up off the floor and finish getting dressed and ignoring the impatient sighs and foot-tapping originating from my soon-to-be-sold-into-hard-labor-teenager. I don't know where Jason is...I think he's in the shower...and I curse him in my head because I got up at 4:45am to make sure that I got a shower and still had time to get the kids together. I holler at Kaitlyn to PLEASE put Nicolettes hair up in pigtails, and she does that huge exasperated expelling-of-breath thing and stomps her foot and says: "I'm gonna be late!!!"...and I yell: "Then you should've taken the damn bus!!" which point all the kids stop running around and stare at me with their jaws open because mommy just swore, and if mommy swears, then people are about to get spanked.

Kaitlyn, realizing she's the most likely candidate to be on the receiving end of some serious stressed-out-redhead-temper, yanks Nicolette into the bathroom to do her hair, muttering under her breath the entire time. Nicolette emerges teary-eyed from Kaitlyns less-than-gentle treatment, but otherwise unscathed and absolutely ADORABLE. I finish lunches, throw them in backpacks, grab Nicolette and tell Kate to get in the car...and we take off...leaving Jason with the responsibility of making sure the elementary school kids brush their teeth and get to school on-time.

I drive Kate to school...hitting EVERY red-light and school-zone between here and there...and manage to pull up right at 7:22am. She gleefully jumps from the car to meet her friends with nary a backward glance, wave, or "thank you"...slamming the door in my face as I lean across the seat to wish her a "Have a good first..." SLAM!!! "" I end up muttering as I pull recklessly from the drop-off zone, daring one of these high school delinquents to step in front of my car...

Now I'm driving as fast as I can red-light-school-zone-bad-luck maintaining it's stressful hold on me the whole way back (because God wouldn't find it so funny if it was easy for me). I round the corner of our community only to see Jason riding with the kids to school. I look at the car's 7:52...they have 8 minutes to get to school. They're going to be late on the first day. Why the heck are they only just now leaving? Why can't that man handle getting them to school on time? I mean, compared to what I've been through, what the hell has HE been doing?

I still have to get Nicolette to preschool by 8, so I run home, grab her bag and school supplies (silly me for leaving them at home while I took Kaitlyn to school...thinking I'd have enough time to get back, kiss my elementary schoolers good-bye, and STILL get Nicolette to school on-time!! What was I smoking?), and drive as fast as I can to the preschool...which is (thankfully) just around the corner. I get there at 7:59am. I walk her in to her class, where she immediately finds Alexa, and they run off to play with toys at one of the little tables. I snap a couple pictures, and since she's obviously not plussed to see me leave, I take off.

I get home just as Jason does, and manage to control my ire to ask how the rest of the morning went. He rolls his eyes dramatically and says one word: "Brigham..."

"What else happened?" I asked.

"Well...we got ready to go, and he said his bike felt weird. And it was because his shoes were too big. And then he couldn't find his I said to wear Josephs helmet, but he burst into tears that Joseph's helmet was too big. So we tore apart the garage and found his helmet somewhere completely random from where it should have been, and then he can't get on his bike because his backpack is too big, and it bumps on his seat, and he's all upset because we shouldn't have bought him the shoes OR the backpack."

"HE'S the one who wanted those shoes and backpack!" I remind Jason (a bit defensively).

Jason puts his hands up in surrender or defeat...I can't tell which. "I know! I know!" he says. "I TOLD him that. But he wouldn't stop crying. I finally told him that if he went to school bawling like this that everyone would see and call him a baby...and is that what he wanted?"

"What did he do then?" I asked.

"He stopped...but he mumbled and grumbled the whole way to school. And then of course his teacher changed classrooms, and he has to walk farther, and that wasn't fair. And you packed Savannah a different Capri Sun drink than him, and THAT wasn't fair. And he was mad that you weren't there to kiss him good-bye."

I sighed...utterly defeated. "Yeah...I know." I said.

"Don't feel too bad, " Jason said. "I missed Nicolettes first day. I've never missed any of our kids first days...not even Kaitlyns...and especially not the first day of preschool. And today I missed Kaitlyn AND Nicolette."

"Well - Kaitlyn is a little big for parental escort on the first day, although apparently she doesn't seem to realize don't worry. But I am sorry you missed Nickels."

"Kaitlyn IS too big for this crap...if she just would've taken the bus, it would've made everything a lot easier. I mean - she's had her day in the's the littler kids turn to get some undivided attention."

"I's my fault, too. I'm the one that gave in. I'm sorry. This morning was just'll get better."

"It'd better..." Jason said as he grabbed his keys to head for the gym, "or I'm gonna let you home school them after all." that a reward...or a punishment?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sweetie-Pie Savannah Turns 9!!!

With all the chaos of the last several weeks...with vacation, my surgery, and our landlord losing our house to foreclosure... not to mention the normal Countdown to's very easy to forget that my Sweetie-Pie Savannah was having a birthday.

We wanted to have a swim party in our pool, like we did for Joseph...but the association changed the gate codes, and with our landlord in foreclosure, they would not re-issue us new keys. So then I tried to have the party in Sunset Lakes pool, with one of my friends "sponsoring" the shin-dig...but Sunset Lakes changed their pool policy to allowing each resident only 4 additional guests, which is DEFINITELY not enough for a party.

Come to think of it...that's not even enough for MY family...

So as you can see...the drama is infecting every area of our lives...

I was really worried about not being able to have a party for Savannah...I already feel so bad about my kids having to move and change schools and wards and leaving all their friends. It's almost worse that it is something that I cannot control...a poor choice made by someone else that causes my kids to makes me feel helpless that I can't prevent or protect my kids from greedy people. Anyway - I didn't want Savannah to miss her birthday because of this fiasco, too.

Then, my very good-good-sweet-sweet friend Tina offered to let us use her pool in her new home. I was really hesitant to take advantage of someone like that...but in the end her kindness (and my lack of viable options) won out and I conceded.

We had a GREAT time. It really was the perfect pool party...
...the kids swam and swam...
...there were enough kids to have friends for every age group, and the adults got to sit in the shade and munch on watermelon and Subway sandwiches and chat for a few hours. Instead of cake, we had lots and lots of Popsicles, which was PERFECT for a hot hot jungle day. Savannah got some great gifts...things to wear...things to make...things to use...she felt VERY special.

She REALLY wanted a cat for her birthday...but with the move and everything...she got her second choice...her VERY OWN CAMERA!!! She is already taking pictures and has decided to start blogging (like mother, like daughter). You can check her out at: Tropical Peaches

After the party, she got to go play at her friend Kyeli's for the rest of the afternoon (while I went and shopped for a new washer and dryer).

We are still waiting for Yaya's gift...which we know to be another AMAZING quilt...I guess I'll have to post about that later.

I have seen so many changes recently in Savannah as she grows. A lot have to do with independence...she wants her own room, and wants to express her own style. She gets frustrated about the four-year-old shadow that imitates her every step...I try to explain it's hero worship...but Savannah just wants to be her own girl. It's funny that she gets so frustrated with Nicolette "copying" her, and yet she imitates Kaitlyn more and more every day. She is much more conscious about her appearance...taking care to match earrings to outfits, and completely thrilled to be wearing a *gasp* training bra.

(She had Kyelis Mom and Dad, Ms. Bobbi and Mr. Niel, in stitches at dinner the other night as she explained to Kyeli, who is a couple years younger than Savannah, that she was growing up and had to wear a training bra now. When Kyeli asked if she could wear a training bra, Savannah said something like: "Well, first you have to grow in certain areas, and then you get one". The funny thing is that Savannah IS NOT growing in those areas...yet...but I started wearing a bra in 4th grade, so when we went uniform shopping, I tried one on Savannah. At first, she was all embarrassed and affronted. But after we left, she kept asking and asking about when she would get her bras. She bugged me so much that I told Jason that I was just going to go buy her some so she'd stop. So the fact that she really feels like she NEEDS them is hilarious to us).

She still LOVES Scouts and doing projects...she loves keeping journals and has already taking a whole bunch of pictures. Maybe she'll also be like Kaitlyn in that area? Who knows? She still has the sunniest smile, and is still always the first to help out around the house. Now she is more into learning how to be "grown-up"...from clothes and make-up (don't worry...she only wears lip gloss), to learning to cook and sew... she loves to sing and dance, rocking out to Hannah Montana, Taylor swift, the Jo Bros, and Demi is fun to watch Savannah grow and try new things and new ways of being...

no matter what...she'll always be my "Peaches"...sweeter than sweet to the very last bit...

...Happy Birthday, baby!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Soon-To-Be New House...

Most of you know that we've been in the market for a new home. Not because we necessarily WANT to move, but because our landlord is a crook who is going into foreclosure.
Don't get me wrong...there are lots of people who are really struggling, but who are otherwise honest and hardworking, who are stuck in the downward spiral known as the "housing market". They may have a job loss, or wage decrease, or simply be overwhelmed by underwater houses. Those people are not crooks.

But my landlord collected rent from us for 6 months and lined her pockets with it while ignoring her financial obligations on her mortgage. She's losing her house, and trying to evict us because we won't pay her rent while she does.

Some say we're in the wrong because like it or not...we're in her house, and therefore owe her matter if she pays her mortgage or not. Then there are others who say that we're right, and should not pay her to get kicked out of the house we've called home for two years by a bank.

No matter what side of the fence you sit on during the doesn't change the fact that we need to find a new home, and we need to find one quick.

We've spent the last couple weeks looking at houses, trying to find one in our price range, big enough for our family, and in the area we want to live. It's been a very tall order, and we've had to make some concessions...specifically on location.

After fruitless searching and making offers, we finally found a place in our price range and big enough for our family...but out of our designated area. We're still in the same town, but we'll have to change schools, wards, and even STAKES.


Nevertheless - it's our only choice...and I can't help feel that we were guided to that particular home...though I'm not sure why.

But that's no surprise. I'm never sure why. Heavenly Father and I constantly butt heads over His plan versus mine (well...HE doesn't butt heads...I do. Against big concrete walls. Again...and again...and again. I'm very stubborn that way).

Anyway...we signed the lease this morning, and get to start moving in on the 1st of September. We wanted to start moving in right away, but they wanted to prorate the rent, and it just wasn't worth it, since we have to buy a washer and dryer and are paying a slightly higher monthly amount anyway...

As it is...we start moving in September 1st. I think it will take about a week to move completely in...since Jason has to work, the kids are in school, and we can only afford a truck for one day. it means I'll be driving back and forth with lots of small loads all week long...which might give me plenty of time to clean and organize things the way I want them. I might even get to paint a little (my kids will trash the bright white flat contractor paint that currently adorns the walls in the home).

Here are some pictures of our soon to be new home...
This is the view from our backyard...we are on the water...
The view is equally pretty from the upstairs windows...

This is the little screened porch where we will sit and avoid mosquito's...

This is the front "living room". It's been a while since we've had a living'll be nice to have an entertaining place available that I can keep clean all the time, while letting the rest of the house go to pot...(yah, right)...

This is the formal dining room that is destined to become our office space...

This is the master bedroom. It is downstairs and has sliding glass doors to the little patio and views of the lake...
This is the opposite end...looking into the master bath...

This is the stairs...with Savannah standing at the top...

This is the little alcove at the top the stairs. The owners used it as an office...but we'll probably use it as an...alcove. (Very original, huh?)
This room is destined to be Katies room. She gets it because she is the only one who doesn't have to share, and it is the smallest room. it doesn't have a lake view, though...and she's very put out about that...

This room will be the boys room. it is the biggest...and has a lake view...
This is going to be the girls room. It also has a lake is where I took that picture of the lake from above...ya' know the one with the tacky "Security Device" sticker that gives away that I'm shooting through a closed window?
Oh, yeah...that one.
All the cages belong to the owners...they had a rabbit and two hamsters. The kids are thoroughly disappointed that renting the house doesn't include renting the pets as well.
This is the upstairs bathroom. It's pretty small, and I'm sure that with 5 kids sharing it, there are going to be conflicts. I guess we'll deal with those as they happen...

This is another shot of the front of the house. You'll notice that I didn't take pictures of the kitchen, family room, or casual dining area. that's because these areas are SO SMALL...that I couldn't bear to spend a week stressing about where everything is going to fit. It is the MAJOR DRAWBACK to this otherwise delightful home...and one I will worry about incessantly all week long. *Sigh*

Not being able to use this week to transport our stuff from this house to that one sets us back a bit...we really wanted to be OUT and DONE by the 1st of September...but I'm sure there is a plan in that, too. I just don't see it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm On A Roll...

Wow...isn't it different now?
Shannan with no camera = No Blogging

Shannan with NEW camera = Excessive Blogging

When will it end?

I don't know...

But in my defense, I'm trying to catch up. This next post is about our countries birthday...the Fourth of July.

This year, we had a GREAT Fourth of July. We went to our wards party, which was hosted by the Browns. They live on a swimable lake...and the kids had a FANTASTIC time jumping from the dock into the lake...
and swimming out to the raft docked a bit off-shore.
At night, the surrounding neighbors lit off fantastic fireworks over the water...and the kids all laid on the giant raft and watched the fireworks go off above their heads.

What a great day!!