Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Day, Another Dollar...

And more furniture leaving the house.  The girls' bedroom furniture sold last weekend, and Steve delivered the remainder of the set on Saturday morning.  Shanan's room is officially empty, save all her clothes strewn on the floor since she removed them from the drawers before loading the furniture in the truck.  We delivered the grill and office chair and visited with old friends on Saturday evening.  And Sunday, the formal dining table and chairs sold.  All that remains furniture-wise, and appliance-wise that isn't spoken for is our master bedroom set and our family room leather sofas.  Everything else either stays with the house as part of the negotiating compensation for the windows that were flagged on inspection, or it is already spoken for with a deposit and will be picked up sometime in the next two weeks.  Which basically leaves us with a lot of stuff we'd like to ditch at a moving sale or donate, stuff to get packed up for later & of course get all of that into storage, & the final bits to take to the RV for life after April 28th.

Update...Steve called from work today & told me our master bedroom set is now sold.  He'll deliver this weekend.  Not sure why this one bothered me, except that of all the furniture we've sold, we've owned this one the longest.  It's kind of like this one was symbolic somehow of our marriage, of our life together.  Kind of like the ficus tree we've owned for most of our married life.  Reflecting on that brought back memories of hours spent walking through furniture stores trying to figure out what we even liked, if we could find furniture that we both liked and was within our budget.  Did I mention hours??  I realized that when this is done, we'll be totally starting over, and while that can be exciting, that can also be a bit sobering.  I realized that we had taken the last eight and a half years especially to establish our home, and while it was a lot of work, we did it.  We replaced every floor, repainted every wall minus a few closets, and decked it out with furniture we liked.  I'm not second-guessing our decision, just reflecting on the sacrifice, I guess.  Doesn't the song say, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got till it's gone"?  It's not gone, but it is all on its way out, and it certainly does make me reflect on the blessings of this chapter of our lives.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The option period is now over...or not, as it turns out, because it isn't over until it's over.  Yeah, it's complicated...appraisal has to come back free & clear and since the buyers are using an FHA loan, that has to be technically, (and no, I don't completely understand it), the option period isn't over despite the fact that 10 days have come and gone since they put the offer on the house.  Appraisal happened this morning.  We were trying to get the house "show ready" for that while simultaneously keeping tabs on our dog Belle who just had cherry eye surgery yesterday.  This morning she was throwing up; apparently some of the meds didn't agree with her.  "Show ready" and puking dog don't exactly mix; add four children to the mix, & I have to admit that I lost my patience & raised my voice. Fortunately, Belle seems to be getting an appetite again & the little bits of food that we've offered have stayed down over the last hour and a half.  And the appraisal is done, so I can let my guard down on the housecleaning front.

After the appraiser left, I went out to get the mail and noticed that the sign in front now says "SOLD."  And I am feeling sad.  I knew it would happen, but still...I will miss this house of memories, I will miss this neighborhood, & I will miss our neighbors.  God has truly blessed us here.  Not saying that we haven't had trials & troubles in the last 8 1/2 years, because I could surely name a few.  The blessings have far outweighed the trials, for sure though.  We have had truly awesome  neighbors here, the kind that bring you fresh cookies & brownies when you move in, the kind that don't hesitate to call you when they're missing an ingredient for a recipe and the kind that always have the dish or pan that you need for the recipe you want to make, the kind that borrow your tools and lend you theirs, the kind that bring you dinner & share their homemade jams & jellies, even the kind that loan out their vacuum cleaner when your house goes on the market & yours spontaneously breaks.  We have had three children here, we've lost two babies here, and we have spent all but 18 months of our child-raising years here.  We even gave birth to our last two in the master tub upstairs...priceless memories!  We've weathered storms here, both literally & figuratively, and while we didn't always feel stronger for it at the time, I can look back & say with confidence that we've grown closer to each other & to God because of them.  We've cried out to God here, and we've heard Him speak here, too.  Yep, we've truly lived LIFE here!  Bittersweet as I meditate on all that we've often taken for granted & amazed that we've been called to something so radically different.  Trusting you, Lord, for the journey ahead.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Truck

I wanted to have a link that talks about what truck we had to pull our fifth wheel.   When we were researching options I looked through blog after blog mainly to see how they were setup in their on the road adventure.   After much research we decided to get a new Dodge 2500 diesel long bed.   Here are the reasons why we got what we did.

  • The used prices for full size diesel truck are very high (great if you need to sell one).  It didn't make sense to us to buy one with 75,000 miles to save $8000 off of the price of a new one.    If you buy new, you have the warranty and aren't buying someone else's problem.  The rates for financing a new vehicle are also better than a used.
  • We went with Dodge really for the price.   We paid about $39000 after taxes and the dreaded "dealer added options."    I have always been partial to Chevy but the prices are substantially more.   The Fords are as much as the Chevy's but not as good IMO.  I am happy with my decision.
  • We bought the longbed because there is no way the RV can touch the cab of the truck.   I know about slider hitches, but I didn't want to ever worry about that.
  • We were able to get a ST model that we wanted.   Most lots only carry the SLT, but I don't believe that the extra cost justifies few extra options and nicer interior.   The only option we needed but didn't have was keyless entry, which cost be $200 installed after market.
  • We had to buy from a dealer 75 miles away to get what we wanted for the price we paid.
  • For the RV that we have the diesel is required, no exceptions.
  • For the 2010 Rams, the 2500 and 3500 are essentially the same.   I don't need a duelly so I didn't buy one.
  • We needed a six passenger truck, and our Ram fits the bill.   The cabin is huge, we really need it to be with six of us and a dog. 
  • To get the best deal, we bought on the last Saturday of the month.

The Biggest Detail Resolution Process

Sooo...a lot of work, keeping the house cleaner than I know was really possible in my own strength, and trusting God for the process...  The house went on the market on Tuesday (in MLS), one showing on Wednesday, one showing on Thursday, three showings (one a repeat) on Friday, two showings scheduled for Saturday.  The first showing on Friday(our third showing) results in a full-price offer on the house by Friday afternoon.  I'm still a little stunned, honestly!  

When I asked Steve how much he hoped to get for the house, he gave me a price that he'd be happy with.  When we sat down with the realtor just a couple days later, she started out by telling us that based on comps for our neighborhood, we should expect to get about $25,000 less than the price Steve told me he'd be content with.  To say that Steve was shocked would be an understatement.  We discovered that part of the reason for the discrepancy was an inaccurate record of the square footage of the house; the tax records our Realtor had said the house was 23-something, & we thought the house was 24-something.  A call to the mortgage company resulted in an appraisal that was 2540 square feet (insert happy dance), so we were able to ask close to what we were hoping for originally.  Still...we didn't know what to expect, and I kept praying that there wouldn't be too many showings, just the right ones, and asking that God would bring the right buyer at the right time.

So, here what is so uncanny about it all.  Clearly, not too many showings, as the offer came in on the fourth day the house was on the market.  The offer on our house was the exact amount that Steve had told me he would be happy with, and did I mention it was a full price offer???  Unheard of, really, especially in this housing market!  And the requested closing date...April 28th.  Guess how far we we're paid through for RV storage...April 27th!  Wow is all I can say.  We're still in the mode of not counting our chickens before they hatch, but the details on this are looking very good and like something only God can orchestrate.  I've felt like we've had lots of confirmation in this journey, but for sure, the sale of our house in a timely fashion is our biggest confirmation.  It feels good is priceless to have favor in this journey.

Oh, and speaking of confirmation & fortune cookies, we went out for dinner at Pei Wei on Friday night, after accepting the offer.  After dinner, the girls distributed fortune cookies for all of us.  Guess what mine said..."you don't have to know where you're going to be headed in the right direction."  Now this one wasn't one of those "sock you in the gut/know that was just for you" ones, but nonetheless, it was somewhat ironic.  We don't truly know where we're going, but all of those little details, & big ones too, have us very much at peace that we're headed in the right direction. :) Again, priceless!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Biggest Detail

In many ways, the biggest detail that must be taken care of in order for this adventure to happen is the selling of our house.  And so we have arrived at the juncture of the biggest detail.  Our house went on the market this week...two showings so far.  And, coincidentally, the 14 year anniversary of our engagement was this week, as well.  Who could have known the adventures we'd face together in 14 years??  We've walked through fantastic times, good times, bad times, and just plain hard times, too, but we've managed to hang in there & grow closer together & to God.  So in this next & final phase, I trust that it will all be okay.  I don't know how long this phase will last, and I admit that I'm specifically praying that it won't last too long because it sure is a challenge enjoying being in this house full of memories while keeping it show ready.  Seeing our house all cleaned up, spiffed up, and set to lure potential buyers reminds me that I really DO still like this house, but most of all, I am fond of the life we've lived here, and memories can be made anywhere and can go anywhere, thank goodness! So here is just a reminder that God is in control, and I choose to trust his sovereignty over our lives, which means I trust HIS timing for the sale of our house.