Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ten years ago

We became parents at this moment 10 years ago. I became a mother exactly 10 years ago.

Our daughter was born at 12:43 a.m. Friday, July 9, 1999. She entered the world flamboyantly, and has lived the last 10 years in that exact same manner. How we do love her passion, her enthusiasm, just her.

Parenthood has been the most incredible, wonderful, challenging, and downright difficult thing I've ever done, as pretty much any good parent will tell you. There have been a lot of lows, but I like to think that the highs greatly outnumber them, and I like to think that we are raising a loving and respectful person. Though I have often struggled to understand her, I have never had any difficulty loving her and accepting her just as she is. She is a beautiful human being and I am proud to be her mother.

Growing in parenthood with my co-parent has been a delightful experience as well. Watching him interact with our daughter through all her confounding moments and all of the moments that are just HER has been truly a privilege. I knew that he would be a good father, but never did I imagine that he would be quite the father that he is.

We were entrusted with the responsibility of caring for and loving unconditionally a little human being 10 years ago. We have made many mistakes along the way, and have often felt that we are making it up as we go. We have often been perplexed and wonder which way we should guide her. She has understood this all with a remarkable maturity and has pardoned us for our inexperience and accepted our attempts at directing her life. She is growing into a young lady with all the hopes and dreams that a young girl who is loved, safe, and happy would have. I only hope that the next 10 years of her life fill her with the realization that she is indeed loved and secure no matter what.

We have been parents for 10 years, an entire decade. It seems nearly like an eternity yet a fleeting moment at the same time.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ketchup the Siamese fighting fish

The kids want a dog, they ended up with a betta fish (Siamese fighting fish) today.

They've asked for a dog forever, and I keep saying no as there is no way I can take care of all of them and a dog too. We don't even have a fully-fenced yard. The neighbor has beagle mix puppies he's trying to give away and I had to be just downright mean about it the other day. NO!

We all went to Wal-Mart this morning to get tires for my daughters $2 yard sale bike, and my husband walks straight back to the fish and announces that we are getting a betta fish. (If you know him you know that he has thoroughly researched this in his own way and has been thinking about it for a while.)

We got two red fish, one for our kids and one for our nieces, plus bowls, food, and water de-chlorinator. We took our nieces' fish right to their house, and he was promptly named Prince Ruby Fin. Our girls named their fish Ketchup. He has a bit of purple on his side but Prince Ruby Fin is solid red.

Ketchup loves his bowl and his live philodendron, too. His water has to be from 78-82 degrees, which is what our house usually is during the spring/summer but I just read that water gets cooler than room temperature. These fish are native to Thailand and prefer warmer water. Now I'm wondering how to keep his water warm.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Character of the Month

My fourth-grade daughter was honored as the "Character of the Month" from her class at school today. She got to eat lunch on the stage with a guest (well, two guests, her baby brother and me) and a friend from her class.

The character word for the month is "contemplation," and her teacher said it was very fitting for her since she's so thoughtful in her schoolwork. (That's just about it, otherwise she doesn't think about anything first!)

I just figured out something with the Character of the Month honor, they let the new kids be Character of the Month first.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I'm impressed

We had a houseful of kids last night (ours plus our two nieces) so I employed my no-nonsense bedtime routine. I was preparing to employ my no-nonsense morning routine but my 10-year-old niece and nine-year-old daughter informed me that they were setting their alarm and they were going to get up early to work on some projects. Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn't. At any rate I have to get up earlier because I have double the kids to get out the door, and two of them leave the house at 7 a.m. on the bus. That's early!

At some point around the time my alarm went off this morning I saw a glimpse of my niece's face and heard her say, "We're already up." Okay great, so I snoozed for 10 more minutes. Then I realized I had one more niece to wake, the one who has to have her blood sugar checked before she leaves for school. The bed was empty, though, all the beds were empty.

All four of the girls were downstairs, dressed in matching uniforms -- red tops and navy skirts -- doing crafts! They'd eaten! They'd brushed their teeth! Blood sugar had been checked! They had shoes on! WOW!

"Who are you children and what did you do with MY kids?" I teased. They just smiled and explained that they were making cards and other crafty gifts for their teachers and some other teachers. My older niece's teacher from last year is getting a card with a stuffed long-armed monkey wrapped around it!

Since it was 6:40 a.m. and the only thing I had to do in the next 45-50 minutes was comb two heads of hair, I laid back down with the baby for a few minutes.

These children will probably never return to my house but it was nice while it lasted!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Two weeks, seriously?

My fourth-grade daughter hopped in the car after school today and promptly announced that she and her entire class have two weeks of detention for talking in the cafeteria today, starting tomorrow.

Two weeks, seriously? Come ON. That's a bit excessive for talking, I thought, but I have been in the cafeteria quite a bit and they do talk QUITE a bit. But this year they have changed cafeteria monitoring styles, using one quite effective male to keep everyone in line instead of three or four nearly useless women who have to spend the entire lunch period making threats. I'm not sure why the ladies were overseeing lunch today but evidently they weren't able to control the kids, who talked so much that they landed in detention for TWO WEEKS. My daughter did point out, though, that her class stopped talking once they reached the three DAYS in detention mark; the cafeteria lady must have heard Mrs. So-and-So's class talking.

Now, I'm one to be honest with my children. If I think two weeks of detention (or any punishment) is a bit much (or not enough) for a particular crime, I say so. They already know it anyway. BUT, we are working very hard to teach them to be respectful and obedient, so I always encourage them to accept what is handed to them and be mature about it, and learn from it. I wasn't upset about the two-week punishment since it was obviously out of line, so I just noted that it was a bit excessive for talking and moved on to the positive points, of which there are many!

When you are in detention, you must miss your recess (which is right before your lunch) and go sit in the cafeteria and read or do school work. (This is a bit traumatic for a child like my daughter who very rarely gets in trouble and on the rare occasion that she does, it's usually the result of a misunderstanding.) My daughter has gotten a bit behind in some of her work because of going to her advanced/gifted and talented class, so I said, "Oh! What a GREAT opportunity for you to catch up on all your reading or even get ahead! Think of all the reading you can do every day for two weeks!"

She agreed and thought that detention wouldn't be so bad, especially since it wasn't even her fault, it was the entire class who got in trouble. We have talked many times about how innocent people have to take punishment along with the entire group they are with. They should be mature about it, taking their punishment and letting it build their character. So that's another positive aspect of the situation.

I explained how sometimes bad situations turn out to be very positive (lots of reading, strong character building for the young people in detention) and even a blessing sometimes.

After this lovely discussion my first-grade daughter piped up and said HER whole class has detention tomorrow for talking in the cafeteria. (*sigh* why can the cafeteria ladies not keep order??) Oh well, reading time!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Summer break creeping ever closer

I am already dreading summer break. I mean really, really dreading it. As in near-tears, tummy-hurting dreading it. I'll be smacked with it in about a month and although I'm already anticipating it I'm afraid it's going to leave me gasping for air like an unpleasant surprise that I wasn't prepared for.

Last summer was horrible, so frustrating and overwhelming with so many children to take care of all day long. (There are five of them, maybe not a lot to some people but definitely a lot to me.) The endless cooking, cleaning up after them, trying to keep them from getting too unruly, taking care of a baby and a sick child, and attempting to get some paid work done was just more than I could handle most days. Mondays were the worst, since I had had some help from my husband on Saturday and Sunday, and was again left alone with all of them while trying to get my work week started. By Tuesday mid-day I wondered how I was ever going to get through the week. This cycle continued pretty much all summer; by the time I figured out (with the help of a younger sister, thank you so much dear!) that I could spread my paid work out over the entire week a bit more instead of trying to do so much of it on Mondays, my first day along with all the children, it was almost time for them to return to school.

My plan had been so simple: work at the beginning of the week and take them somewhere fun at the end of the week. We had had a very good summer the year before, which was my first summer with our new baby and with taking care of my diabetic niece. I had thought that summer would be really tough, but since it turned out to be really nice I got my hopes up pretty high for having a good summer last year.

All my hopes came crashing down very quickly. I got behind the second week into summer and never caught up; there were several weeks where they didn't get to go anywhere at all. I was so behind, so exhausted from all the cooking, cleaning, maintaining, trying to get through the hours until another grownup showed up, and just so mentally and emotionally tired that I couldn't bear to think of all the preparations necessary for an outing. With a baby and a sick child you can't just stick your feet in your shoes and walk out the door. And you can't just send the kids somewhere for the day or weekend either. I tried pretty hard to arrange some times when they could all be gone but it never really worked out; other people have jobs, illnesses, and lives of their own.

I surely don't mean to be a whiner and a complainer, and I love every one of them so much I could just pop wide open. Spending time with each and every one of them in their all-too-fleeting childhoods is a privilege I cherish every single day. I just don't like summer break being dumped on me. I'm gonna pull myself up by my boot straps and try to be a big girl about it but I do not have high hopes at all.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I'm pretty disappointed right now. I just found out we didn't get into ARVA (Arkansas Virtual Academy), the home-based public school we wanted our daughter to attend starting in fifth grade, next school year. Well, we're number 103 on the waiting list, so that's the same as not getting in.

I actually wanted to start her in sixth grade since her elementary school goes through fifth grade. But her dad wanted me to apply and go ahead and get her in for this school year.

I've been very interested in it since it started, which was the year this child went to kindergarten. It's public school, so it is free, and they give you everything you need, lessons, materials, even stuff for projects, and they reimburse you for an Internet connection. You have a certified teacher available if you need one, and you do conferences every two weeks. I like that it is public school, which I love, and free, which I love, and that you aren't left alone to figure out curriculum and how to do stuff. I know traditional homeschoolers like that, but I'm not all for traditional homeschooling here ... I need some backup! There are a certain number of hours you are supposed to spend each week on lessons and it works out to about 4-6 hours a day. You can customize lessons so that she can work on whatever level she's on and not just stick to grade level. I think it pulls the best of public school and the best of home school and puts it together, but of course I haven't tried it so I don't know for sure. Looks like it'll be another year before we can try.

I'm pretty nervous about scheduling since I work in the mornings; and also working with her one-on-one for extended periods of time. I get very impatient with her on her homework sometimes, especially math, because she doesn't want to understand, and I have trouble understanding it. But we can work all that out and put her dad on teaching math in the evenings.

Maybe we'll get in for sixth grade. If they have this much interest maybe the program can be expanded soon. They have a lottery system for choosing students; basically they put all the names "in a hat" and draw applicants until there are no more slots left. They don't have any information about grades or anything so it's totally fair to everyone. if anybody wants to read up on it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The performances have begun!

Today was the first day my fourth grade daughter's performing group went out for a show. It's a singing and dancing group that concentrates on building character. You must have good grades and behavior to be asked to try out.

They normally perform at other school's but today's show was at an education seminar. Here's the group performing Mitchell Musso's "Lean on Me." My daughter is fifth from the left on the front row. A friend of ours took this photo. His son is first on the left in the front row.

The baby and I will be groupies for their performances; there will be a few more before school is out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Testing, testing!

The kids are all testing in school this week and next week. My daughter in first grade and my niece in kindergarten tested this week, and the older girls will test next week. All four of them will help bring their schools' scores up!

My daughters' school was put on "school improvement" a few years ago, and they have to score well for three years in a row to come out of it. My older daughter helped pull scores up last year and the year before, and I have a feeling her school will do well again this year and will be able to come out of school improvement! All four girls went to school there last year and got to enjoy a big party because of the school doing well on the tests for the second year in a row.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Report cards

Our girls got report cards last week and this week and are all on the honor roll. My daughters got theirs last week and my nieces got theirs yesterday. Everyone had mostly A's and a B or two.

My first grade daughter has all A's and one B in math; it's one point away from being an A! She has a 100 in reading. My fourth grader has a B in math but brought another B back up to an A. Another A in science went down several points to a B, so she has to work to get that one back up. My fifth grade niece has mostly A's with a couple of B's, and my kindergarten niece has all P's, which means proficient.

Everyone made the honor roll and also qualify for good behavior parties ... my daughters' school calls it a behavior bash and my nieces' school calls it good citizens' day.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

She's famous!

My nine-year-old daughter is now famous, as the kids like to say, since her picture was in the paper today and Friday for the store ad. She had on the long green dress and the two-piece outfit in Friday's ad, and is wearing the pretty green and purple dress in today's ad.

The ad was publicizing a sale on the dresses, and we went yesterday to take a look and get one for each of them for the upcoming Memorial of Jesus Christ's death on April 9. They picked out so many and the older one couldn't decide so I picked one out for her ... the long green one from the ad! Her sister picked out one that wasn't in the advertisement but tried on several that were.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spelling bee

Today was the much-awaited (by me) spelling bee day for my daughter in the fourth grade. My daughter lost her enthusiasm for studying early on and decided she didn't want to be in the spelling bee. We told her she couldn't quit, gave her some tips and tricks, and encouraged her to try to beat her performance from last year. She was eliminated in the third round last year and I thought she could certainly beat that this year.

The kids dropped like flies in the first round this morning, and my little girl was one of the ones eliminated. Her word was "ballot," and she spelled "ballet." She was disappointed but quickly overcame it since I let her sit with me and help me keep her baby brother quiet. Last year's champion (a fourth grader in my daughter's class) defended her title against a fifth grader.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Photo shoot

My nine-year-old daughter had a photo shoot today and her photo is scheduled to appear in a department store ad in the newspaper the 27th and 29th of this month.

Her sister had a photo shoot on her sixth birthday and the photo appeared later that month in a department store ad in the newspaper. (Same department store, same newspaper.) Her little brother had a photo shoot this time last year and his photo was greatly enlarged for an in-store display (same department store) that stayed up for a good while.

She got her hair washed the night before and was quite excited about the prospect of getting her makeup done. She modeled a light green long dress, another dress she'd seen in the store already (bright green and purple) and a two-piece yellow and blue skirt and top set. She looked so pretty and really enjoyed herself. She went to school afterward and wore her makeup for everyone to see.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Character of the Month

My first grade daughter is the Student of the Month -- or as they say at her school -- Character of the Month -- in her classroom. She got to eat lunch on the stage today, so everyone got to literally look up to her as she was eating lunch and watching a movie.

I missed out on the honor because I didn't know about it. I didn't receive a note from school like I normally do. I was terribly disappointed because I always try to come out to the school for activities like that and have never missed a character lunch before. Turns out an invitation to lunch was made out for me but didn't make it home. My darling first grader not only didn't tell me she was the Character of the Month but didn't bring my lunch invitation home, either.

I'm proud of her anyway.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Clinic visits

My son gets to spend two days in a row in testing at children's hospital clinics. Today's visit was for allergy testing and tomorrow's visit will be for lung testing, a science guinea pig sort of thing.

It was our first visit to the allergy clinic so we didn't really know what to expect. We answered a lot of questions, and the doctor found out my son is healthy as a horse except for his bad eczema breakouts, possible seasonal allergies, and possible allergy to peanuts.

Then came the actual testing but it didn't turn out very well. He has had at least two doses of allergy medicine in the last week when I should have stopped all of it five days before the clinic visit. (When the doctor/clinic sends you paperwork about an upcoming visit, you should read everything and then keep up with it. Just FYI.) They put a histamine in his skin that should have made him break out but his medicine was still working. (Bad for the testing appointment but very good to know otherwise.)

They couldn't do the skin testing but drew some blood and will test it for allergies to peanuts, tree nuts (I'm allergic to brazil nuts) and other things and will let us know the result.

He didn't cry or even flinch when he got his blood drawn and of course the nurses thought he was adorable. The doctors enjoyed him too and commented on how nice-looking and well-behaved he is. My son just enjoyed the fish tank out in the waiting room and the Nemo sticker he got for letting the nurses take his height and weight.

The lung test tomorrow is part of a long term lung function study; we've participated in it before. We come in to the clinic and the baby gets something to make him sleep. The doctor and nurse use a breathing machine to observe and record how his lungs function. It takes a couple of hours during which I can come and go, and we are usually finished by 12:30 p.m. or so. We hope to make it out in time to attend his sister's quiz bowl competition.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

After-school tutoring and other school activities

My fourth grader started after school tutoring today. It's more like homework/snack time after school. It's on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from the time school lets out until 4:30 p.m.

She really enjoyed herself today. The teacher she was assigned to for tutoring wasn't there, so she went to another teacher, who happens to be my first grader's regular teacher. She sat at her sister's desk and noticed that it was really messy inside (no surprise there). She worked on multiplication tables (good!) and had a snack.

The other kids and I walked to school after it was over to pick her up.

After school tutoring started back in November for any child in the school but I didn't sign her up. She's at school all day every day -- I figured that was enough and besides, her staying up there means I have to make another trip to the school two afternoons a week. That's not an easy thing when you are taking care of four to six other kids. But her dad suddenly announced last week that he thought after school tutoring would be a good thing for her. Boy was she happy to hear that. She's been wanting to go ever since it started.

She's been busy with other school things lately too. Her performance group has stepped up rehearsals to three times a week in preparation for their "tour" to other schools at the end of the school year.

She's got a quiz bowl competition this week. All of the students are participating. There is a heavy emphasis on African-American history (yay, I love it!). Her sister and I have been helping her study and we know the answers pretty well.

She's got a spelling bee next week; she'll start studying for that after the quiz bowl is over. She didn't do as well as she could have in last year's spelling bee so she's determined to advance further this time. I think she can at least make it to the final round this year. The words are fairly easy or will be if she'll study. Time will tell!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's snowing! Wait, what? It's snowing?

It's finally snowing in our part of the world! Yay! This is our first snow of the winter I believe.

The bad part is (well there are several bad parts) that it waited until nightfall to snow, that it waited until the 28th of February to snow, and that it isn't sticking because it has been nearly 70 degrees two days in a row. Yes, it has been so pleasant here that I've had the windows open for two days and have walked the kids home from school.

Now no one can enjoy it. :(

The weather forecast this morning called for a 30 percent chance of snow, but I didn't believe them. The big round snowflakes outside proved me wrong. I just wish I had been proven wrong earlier in the day, maybe even earlier in the winter!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Field trip!

My daughters went on an honor roll school field trip to the movies today! They saw "Bolt" at the dollar theater, and my son and two nieces and I went with them.

The students who made the honor roll got to go to the movies. My two nieces — they are also on the honor roll but go to a different school — were home sick with me but not sick enough to make me miss this field trip, so they got to go too. I've missed so, so many field trips taking care of one child or another, mostly the baby and our diabetic and I really, really wanted to go on this one.

They rode to the movies on four buses and got a snack box of popcorn, a drink, and a stick of candy as they came in. We all enjoyed the movie and made plans to come back again to see it again before it leaves the theater. My girls went back to school on the bus and the rest of the kids and I went home for lunch.

That was it for my kids' field trip, but right in the middle of our lunch some important papers for my husband came in the mail and it was almost his lunchtime, so we took them up to him at work and went with him to tend some business. When the kids and I got back it was nearly time to pick my girls up from school, so we just went early and checked them out. We got to sit on on my older daughter's practice session for her school's performance group. The kids are chosen based on their behavior and grades and they go to a few other schools to sing and dance.

Believe it or not, my girls squeezed in two tests each at school, in between going to the movies, doing a practice session, and checking out early!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Report on parent-teacher conferences

The parent-teacher conferences from yesterday went really well with good reports for both girls. My first grader has straight 100s so far this grading period, and is reading on a second grade level. She's one of seven first graders who have a book discussion club and she gets other extra work as well.

My fourth grader has A's and B's; her grades have dropped even from the last grading period, when she had her first ever B's on her report card, but her grades are still good. She is capable of better so we'll keep working with her and encouraging her. It's not that she doesn't understand, it's mostly a matter of not paying attention to directions and details. She sometimes skips problems or does them incorrectly because she didn't pay attention to the directions or the details, and sometimes they throw in trick questions. I can look and see right away what happened, so I can see that it's not that she doesn't understand. Her teacher also pointed out that spring in the fourth grade is a time when "love" blooms ...

All the kids came with me to the school of course, and they played in the first grader's room while I talked to the teacher. My son loves it in there because there is pint-sized furniture in the reading corner and all sorts of things to dump in the floor in the math corner. They went to the pre-k room while I went to the fourth grader's class; they painted, played with blocks, played in the sandbox, and had all manner of fun. None of them wanted to leave when I finished so I had to gently encourage them to wrap things up so we could head home for lunch. They were very well behaved so I was proud of them for that.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Parent-teacher conferences

All the kids are here today since school is out for parent-teacher conferences today, and I have several conferences to attend. I don't think we are going to make all of them though. The girls' teachers want to see me at 10:50 a.m. (yes, both of them, wow that's cool that people think I can be in two different places at the same time) so I'm going to go to one of them a few minutes before that. Both of the girls are in a pull-out program for advanced students, and that teacher wants to see me at 9 a.m. for the first grader and 9:30 a.m. for the fourth grader. I'd really like to talk to her but I doubt I can get five kids fed and ready by that time, and I really don't want to think about keeping them under wraps for two hours, from 9-11 a.m. They'd be just fine, but I'd be nuts.

I'm expecting good reports for both girls as usual. They both have excellent grades and behavior. I hope to find out some ways we can help them improve.

I had planned on walking to the school with them, taking snacks and letting them have a picnic and play outside at school, but it turned cold again during the night. There is plenty for them to do inside the school building though. They like to visit their old teachers and go in the preschool room and play.

School is out again tomorrow for teacher's meetings, so all five will be with me all day tomorrow too. We'll just hang out at the house and maintain, and I do have some work to do.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Almost two!

My son is 22 months old today ... It's so hard to believe he's almost two years old. He's talking a lot now and loves to read books. He's a big handful but he's so entertaining and brings joy to everyone who sees him. We just thoroughly enjoy having him around.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another lover of books in the family!

My son has joined the *We Heart Books* portion of the family! Right now his favorites are "Green Eggs and Ham" and pretty much everything by Dr. Seuss, "Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman (he thinks this one is by Dr. Seuss too), one called "My First ABC Book" and another one called "What is My Shadow Made Of?" The part he likes in the shadow book is the part about airplanes.

His first book that he loved (to death almost) was "Ten Little Fishes" AKA "FISHIES!!!" but then he tore it up and ate it. *sigh* I have to get him another one.

He wants everyone to read to him all the time. It's so cute to see him sitting in his *big* big sister's lap, the two of them reading together. His *little* big sister also reads to him, and is reading easy chapter books herself!

Here he is in my bed reading one of his sister's books. It's called "Sugarplum Princess" or something like that. Right now he doesn't care if the book IS pink and about a princess!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

House off the market

Our six-month contract with the realtor expired on Monday and he came this morning to pick up his sign. He worked really hard for us but there are so many problems with the market right now.

We've made a lot of adjustments in our already tight budget and have identified some financial/budget patterns. Our kids still have a roof over their heads and that is all we are worried about, so the current plan is to keep doing like we are doing. We would still like to sell and are most likely going to list it for sale by owner for now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back to school and work!

The kids have been out of school since last Wednesday and their dad has been off work since last Friday, but they all had to get back to normal today. They were all slightly reluctant but went to their destinations without much complaint!

My husband spent most of this short vacation working on our vehicles. He still has some more work to do and one more vacation day next week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another school break coming up

The kids just finished up winter break and here comes another one! They are out of school Monday (Jan. 19) for the holiday and the school has teacher workshops tomorrow and Friday, so they are now officially out of school "on break" until Tuesday.

I didn't check the school calendar so I wasn't aware of these two days they have out this week until they went back to school after winter break. If I had realized they had these two days plus the holiday after the weekend I could have tried to help my husband coordinate his time off work. He just took a vacation last Thursday and Friday plus this past Monday, the same days the kids are out of school except for a week ahead. He does have this Monday off on vacation so they'll all have one day off at the same time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update on the house-selling situation

Just as suddenly as our house became popular on the house-showing circuit, its popularity died down! After that rash of house showings a couple of weeks ago we haven't heard anything on interest or more showings.

Our realty contract is up this coming Monday; we've heard from the realtor and he'll be coming to pick the sign up. We have a "For Sale" sign with our phone number on it left over from the last house we sold that we'll most likely put up in its place. I'm looking into a few FSBO (for sale by owner) websites for possible listings. On a few of them you can list your house and put up a photo for free; for a really reasonable fee you can list the house for a year with up to 20 photos, plus they send you yard signs. We are talking about doing the one with the 20 photos and yard signs, and I'll probably look into some other avenues of low cost advertising.

We're still talking about what to do; right now the plan is to keep doing like we are doing and be patient.

As usual, my husband is making home improvement plans. ;)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Winter break almost over

The kids' winter break from school is almost over. It was actually quite pleasant as two weeks with a house full of kids is much easier to manage than two months. We had fun sleeping late, eating homemade pancakes (from scratch, Ma's recipe!) at noon, and playing outside.

The kids had a list of things they wanted to do (visiting family mostly) and it looked like it would all get done this weekend until a few relatives turned up sick. :( We hope everyone gets better soon and we'll try to visit everyone after they start feeling better.

My husband tried to take some time off work while the kids were on break but it didn't work out. That would have been great if they could have spent more time together. He was off two days during their break and we did enjoy some quiet family time together. He has a day off work in January that corresponds with a day out of school. Some days off work while they are in school means he can visit them at school, which they always love!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

More house showings!

Suddenly our house is so popular. Hmmm ...

The preparation work for Monday night's showing went really well. I got the house clean Sunday night and the next morning I got the kids up early and took everyone over to my SIL's house before one dish could be dirtied or one toy pulled out of place! Other than it being a long day (the showing was set for 5-6:30 p.m.), it worked out wonderfully.

The next day we had not one but TWO showings! The realtor called my husband, who in turned called me at about 9 a.m. to let me know about the 1 p.m. showing. I had the kids be as un-messy as possible while I fed them and supervised them getting ready. My husband came from work to pick us up at 11:30 a.m. and we went with him to run errands. He treated us all to lunch at Burger King for our trouble. We were returning him to work at around 1:15 p.m. when the realty appointment office called to schedule an appointment for 4:45 p.m. that same day. Of course that was fine. That just meant that we would need to stay at my SIL's house a little longer, until it was time to pick my husband up from work.

We haven't heard back on the Tuesday showings, but we did hear Monday night that the person looking at the house decided against it. No word usually means the same thing.

Since then we haven't had any more requests but we are (read: I am) trying hard to keep things to where I can straighten up quickly and gather kids and leave quickly, just in case.

Our realty contract expires mid-January; we are still discussing the options.