Sunday, April 28, 2013

Laugh AND Cry

There has only been one movie (Steel Magnolias) where I wanted to laugh AND cry at the same time. Then recently, at church, there was a lady teaching a lesson, where (because of her great sense of humor) I wanted to laugh AND cry at the same time. Now at our house- it is one of those laugh AND cry at the same time moments- the Petes are gone. We are sad, to miss their family- miss the bedtime hugs, miss Mason's happy face, miss watching Daniel diligently go off to Houston traffic and work every day- miss Ashley's great example of a mothers patience. (Ashley truly is an awesome example of total patience and kindness with the kids. Those kids will never totally appreciate her :) We are missing all of the family dinners and sitting together at church. (several people noticed today that we were "all alone") But... we are happy for their new adventure and we are happy to "move back into our house" :) It's going to take some "getting used to", that's for sure.

 The room that Jaden and Hailey had.

 The room that Ashley, Daniel, and Mason had.
This room is now my tile-carpet-wood floor-samples-room :)

 Only two towels hanging in the bathroom- and they are mine and Ron's :)

 I moved my clothes back into one of the empty closets.

 This picture is difficult to see- but we have a black TV sitting on my black sofa table, instead of the "OLD wooden entertainment center". That piece of furniture went in the garage sale not on the truck. Taking that out of our office, makes the room seem much larger. Plus, since I have no sofa to put the sofa table behind- it works pretty well, to have the TV sitting on it. The other thing that makes this room seem bigger is having two small end tables where a black chair, piled with stuff, was sitting.

So our house is empty- in more ways than one :)

Bandera Trip April 26/27

On Friday evening we took mom, and headed for San Antonio. (This was the first time that mom has been to the property in quite a while. And her first time to see anything on the progress on the house) We stopped for dinner at a German restaurant in Columbus. (We have decided that by the time the house is finished, we will have tried every restaurant, along I10, between Katy and San Antonio). We stayed in a LaQuinta, near Helotes on Friday night. Then went on to Bandera on Saturday morning. We thought we were going to watch them pour the foundation, on Saturday morning, but that got postponed because of chances of rain. Even though they probably could have poured it and finished on Saturday, it was better to error on the side of caution, than to take any chances. That is a HUGE piece of cement- it needs to be absolutely correct, in one pour without any complications. Here are a few pics- all of the foundation frame work is done, plumbing and electrical- that needs to be in the foundation done, all metal bar in place, all fill is bagged and in place. They will probably actually pour the cement some time this next week. I don't recall the exact number of cement trucks it will take, but let's just say....many.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Truck Headed to Utah

Ashley, Daniel, and Mason left this morning. A 26 foot truck, towing the a car. The only person that I could get pictures of was Mason. Ashley has done a great job during the past week sorting and packing! They took some furniture from our house (if it is not going to Bandera, it either went with the Petes, went in the garage sale, or went in the trash.) I still have more sorting to do- but we have a great start on clearing out our house. I was teasing Ron that he will have to sit on the baby toy car to watch TV,
 now that the sofas are gone :)

Bags of Rock

The foundation for our house consists of cement- metal bar- and bags of rock. Under the black plastic is more bags of rock than we can count- let's just say that there are 58 truck loads of rock under there. It's all "bagged"- the metal bar is being put in- the plumbing and electric is in- they will pour the cement next Saturday.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hand Me Another Kleenex

Just about the time we think we have things "all figured out"- then everything changes! It has taken us 6 months to settle into a normal (?) routine with the Petes living here- at least we had a working bathroom schedule figured out :) The adjustment of Daniel going off to work everyday and Ash staying home with 3 kidos was accomplished. Since November- the adjustment of Ron being retired was made. Mom made it through her rigorous schedule of her chemo and surgery with flying colors. The store...well lets just's been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs...and a few tears... but thanks to Nicki... things are moving along there and "coasting" to a close. Then in a couple of quick weeks, life as we have known it changed. Daniel, Hailey and Jaden left for Utah on Saturday. Ashley and I are trying to sort stuff out, get ready for garage sale, and get their things all packed up. There is a new job opportunity in Logan, Utah, for Daniel. Mom's doctor appointment schedule has dramatically tapered off. I still have to show up at the store about 3 days a week. And...Ron went back to work today :) (As soon as Daniel is not in the shower in the morning, Ron is. hehe)
Ron will be back at ConocoPhillips at 60%- probably Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. He will be at the office for now, but eventually working from home. (never fear, I will post more about him later :)
Here is the only picture we were able to get on Saturday, right before the kids left. Sorry, it was the best we could do. And, hand me another kleenex :(

Gotta go- I'm hauling stuff out of the attic today. I'm going to try to put Alison's stuff on the truck that will be going to Utah! Plus, remember, we are moving later this year, too. I'm only having 1 garage sale- so huge sorting project- it's either going to Bandera or not!! All of the "not" stuff is either trash or garage sale, now :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

This Week

You will need to get used to "house updates"- sorry but that seems to be the major project (if you don't count- the store, the Petes moving, and Ron going back to work part time :) This week, they finished the forms for the foundation and put in the plumbing. (Looks like they might be pouring the foundation about April 22 and starting the framing about a week after that.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11

Today...I am still celebrating my Dad and missing him. I'm really wishing he was here to help on our house building project. I hope he is proud of it when we are finished- although he wouldn't appreciate how much money we are spending :) I think he might appreciate our builder though, maybe a carpenter after his own heart. After we move in, I'll have one of Dad's cowboy hats hanging near the front door. I'll be missing him every time I drive past a golf course, near Bridlegate. And I'll be missing him as we enjoy the wildlife, trees, and river there. (Of course that area is "Texas style" nature instead of "Red Feather Lakes style" nature :)
Dad would have been 82 today.

Monday, April 8, 2013

No Turning Back Now :)

We had a great weekend! They started putting up the forms for the foundation of the house. We had an official ground breaking ceremony, thanks to the Andersons, and including the Petes. We spent the weekend in Bridlegate, Bandera, Texas. I had lots of pics. to share, so I put together a few collages, to save space :)
(Remember, you can click on the collages, to make them bigger)

 They started, Saturday morning, building the forms for the foundation. 
(the foundation won't be as tall as some of those forms :)

 Saturday morning, at the property with the Andersons.

 A few pictures from the ranch house that we stayed in. It had four bedrooms- four bathrooms- two queen beds and three sets of bunk beds. (Two of the bunk beds had a full size bed on the bottom and twin size on the top.) There is also a tennis court there and exercise room. On Saturday, with the kids, we played Easter egg hunt, tennis, bubbles, swimming, and some other outdoor games. Ron and I went to Wal Mart on Friday evening and came out with a cart full of toys for Saturday. We also met Sam and Audrey at an HEB and came out with two carts of groceries. Saturday was a great day, just staying there in Bridlegate, so that some of the kids and grand kids could begin to experience, what will be, our new neighborhood.We had a yummy dinner on Saturday night, including steaks (that Sam cooked), mashed potatoes, cole slaw, and watermelon. Ron got to wake up each morning to Don Williams music playing and bacon cooking.
(He said, "You can't get any better than that.")

 A few other pictures of Bridlegate. 
There is a park where the river flows- but still no water behind our property :(

 The Andersons planned an official ground breaking ceremony- 
complete with gold shovels and sparkling juice.

It was a happy weekend. 
(The only chance for the Petes to see where we are moving, before they move :)
(And the Andersons need to find the shortest route between Wylie and Bandera :) 
So that they can come back often.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It's Official

We have a builders sign in the front of the lot.

And we are the proud owners of 113 pages of official "legal terms", for a construction loan. (No thought of saving paper from Fema, the government, or the bank :) For took 2 pages, just to say that we will actually live in the house, after it is built. It was one of those documents that no one can actually read all of it, just sign it and then find out what's in it :) 
It's kind of funny to get a loan, for money that we already have- but if we actually get our money to use, the government takes more than a third of it for taxes. Our money can actually earn more money, than the interest rate on the loan. We also had to buy flood insurance, since part of our property is in a flood plane. Keep in mind that only a small part of the property has river on it- some times the river is completely dry and the house will actually sit about 40 feet above any flood area. But we still had to pay money to get an official elevation certificate, then buy flood insurance, then later, we will pay money for a second survey, then file a form saying that we don't actually need flood insurance on the home, then get reimbursed for the flood insurance that we had to buy, that we don't really need. (Does this give you an idea of how Fema and our government functions? :)
Anyway... the official time for the builder to begin is 7 am on Thursday, April 4. (we had to get yet another form notarized, with an exact start time on it :) Yesterday, Ron spent some time breaking up some rocks with a sledge hammer, while I went to San Antonio, to shop for floor and wall tile. (Ron and the builder also met with a gentlemen to figure out details on a geothermal heat and air system)
Sam, Audrey, and Eli are meeting us there this next weekend for an official ground breaking ceremony. hehe

Easter Fun

 Here are a few pictures from Easter weekend- 
colored eggs, plastic egg caterpillars, egg pictures, sugar cookies, and Easter baskets. I did most of these activities with Hailey and Jaden on Friday. Ashley didn't get a whole day to herself, but at least she spent a little time shopping with just Mason. Ron also had the kids plant flower seeds in the yard. And they spent alittle time in the wading pool. Ron didn't want to eat any Easter eggs that were looking at him :) We glued little google eyes on them after the coloring festivities :)
Mason especially enjoyed his Easter bucket. He is at a fun age, where he can sit up and play with many of his toys now. He also loves to eat his cereal, veggies and fruits. He almost always has a big smile on his face.

Here are the cookies that I frosted...

Here are the cookies that the kids frosted....
 or maybe it was the other way around. hehe