I Like This One!

As I said in my previous post, we had an appointment to see a house this afternoon. The house is just what we are looking for. The lady is even willing to rent to own if it works out. It is ranch style with no basement, 4 bedroom, 1.75 bath, 1 car garage, living room, family room, and big kitchen. It has a fenced in yard and is in a quiet neighborhood with kids. No stairs to climb, so I won’t have to worry about my knee bothering me too much to get anywhere in the house. Yay! There are a few parks nearby. One has a huge play area. We got up there too early for the appointment, so we went to that park and let Christine play a bit before going to the house.

We gave her all the information she wanted before we left and she’s going to check stuff out, then she’s going to call us and let us know if she will let us rent the house.

Please pray with us on this.

One for One

Well the one appointment for tomorrow may have been delayed, but I called another that came out later today and we have an appointment to see that house tomorrow. I found this one on Craigslist and she said she had just posted it about an hour or so before I called. We are the first to see it. Things seem to be looking up a little more right now.

Another House to Look At

We have a rental that we’ll be looking at tomorrow. I called about a few others and am expecting an e-mail with pictures from one of them and another sounded busy and said he’d get back to me later. I called two others, but one phone was so staticy and they hung up quickly and the last one just redid all of the house except for the kitchen and doesn’t feel comfortable having children there. Fine with me, but why have a 4 bedroom house for rent and not want a family in it? Anyway, I guess that one is out.

I hope one of these pans out. I’m having a hard time right now.

Edit: I got the e-mail with pictures in it and called the guy back. We have an appointment to go see that house on Saturday.

Edit #2: The appointment on Saturday is being rescheduled. The house is being moved out of this weekend and the occupants are not cooperating with the landlord, so he is embarrassed to show the house while they are still there. He said he will call me on Monday to make another appointment, hopefully for an evening during this next week. He’s been great at communicating with me, so I’m optimistic about this house.

I went without Jeremy to see the house today. It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but inside it was nice. I had a great talk with the lady who is living there now. She is a Christian and we talked about salvation and Bibles and modesty and how we each coped with losing a child and having a child born 2 months early. I need to call the landlord of that house and get the application. I’m not worried about what she’ll tell him because we got along so well. I would really enjoy talking with her more.

Christine’s Special Sunday

Remember when I told you that Christine had prayed to receive Jesus as her Saviour? Well, this Sunday, she was finally able to get baptized. Since James left for NC with my Mom the day after she was saved, we decided to wait until he was back up and we were all able to be at church. We had it scheduled for last week, but the van problems caused us to delay it a week. Grandpa Wall had the honor of baptizing her. She did very well. She’d been practicing in the bathtub the last month. The only thing the she wasn’t ready for was that when she sat down, the water came all the way up to her shoulders.

After church, we went the our family’s favorite restaurant, a great Chinese buffet place. Everybody likes something they have there, so we get our moneys worth out of it. Christine received her first cross necklace. It was a gift from Grandma Wall. It has a clear crystal piece in the middle, which if you look at closely (very closely), you can see the Lord’s Prayer engraved on the back of it. She is delighted with her gift.

Pictures are up at Flickr.

Play Ball!

Last Friday, we got tickets to the Gary SouthShore RailCats minor league baseball game. It was so much fun. They had a family fun time before the game out in the parking lot with bounce houses, batting cages, and a huge blow-up slide. They also had souvenir stuff, they took pictures to make your own baseball card, a photo as if you are on Life magazine, and a photo with the mascot of the railcats (which Noelle kept saying was a bear.)

During the game, they had something going on at the end of every inning. There were contests out on the field of people they pulled out of the fans, things like shirts and soft baseballs were thrown into the stands, and twice they did silly dances. To me, it was so much more fun than a major league game. James and Noelle enjoyed themselves the whole time. James was a little disappointed that he didn’t catch any of the things thrown into the stands, but in the end, he was okay with that. Jeremy got himself and James long sleeved t-shirts because it got really cool and neither of them had jackets. Noelle got one of those little souvenir bats which she says is a bat just her size. She tried it out on my mouth. Ouch.

It was just really fun and we’d like to do it again sometime.

I’m Not Really A Rollercoaster Person

So, can I get off of this one?

The woman with the house had told us that she wanted us to come this last Saturday to look at her house. When I talked with her, she had said that we would talk again before the day to set up a time since she wasn’t sure what might be going on so far ahead of time and she’d give us directions and so on then as well. She never called back. I called on Wednesday and left a message and then again on Friday. I tried calling on Saturday morning, but it would ring and then have two beeps and hang up, kind of like an answering machine that was full. When she didn’t call after a while, we went on down to see the girls we didn’t have with us.

We did have a good Sunday though. I’ll tell you about that in another post. I need to upload some pictures to go with it. I also need to post about last Friday as well. It was a fun time at the ballpark. At the moment, I just had to get this frustration out of me and I’m sure you all understand.

Our Van

On Saturday, we had an appointment for our brakes to be done at 1:00. We thought it would take an hour or so and then we could drive on down. Wrong! First, they didn’t even get to it until 2:00. Between 1 and 2, we had eaten lunch and walked over to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream. We got back around 2:15. About 5 minutes later, the guy came in and asked Jeremy to come take a look at the van. He used that voice that makes your insides shudder because you know it’s something that will be expensive. Anyway, after lots of talk and looking at different estimates and what the van had to have done, we left around 3:30 with nothing done to our van. We just couldn’t afford it, even the minimum. We came to the hotel and just started talking about our options. We decided the best option was another van.

There is a CarMax close by the hotel and so we looked up their hours (open until 9 on Saturdays) and gave them a call about 4:30. The guy said to look up cars that they have in stock there online and then write down the listing #s for any we wanted to test drive and look at in person. They have pictures from all kinds of angles on there, so you get a decent view of the vehicles. They also have a lot of information listed. We found an ’03 Dodge Caravan with only 24K miles on it that we liked the look of. We called him back and he said he’d get us approved for a loan, so we waited at the hotel for him to call us back on that. He called us back around 5:30 or so and told us what we’d need to purchase the van. We gathered up everything we needed and headed in. He had all the paperwork drawn up and ready. We just needed to test drive the van and make sure it was as good in person as online. We still liked it, so Jeremy sat down to sign everything and call our insurance to add the van on. I took the kids to a playroom they had available while this was going on. Finally, it was OURS! We were ready to drive off the lot by around 7:30. Jeremy drove the new van and I drove the old one. We dropped the old one off at the hotel and then went to get something to eat since we hadn’t any groceries left at the hotel. We were done for the day by 8:30 and were so exhausted that a 3 hour drive south wasn’t recommended, so we stayed up here this weekend instead.

Pray for us this week. We have an appointment with a lady about renting her 4 bedroom house on Saturday. We’re the first ones to see it. Jeremy met her on the train when she mentioned she had to move out and wanted a family to enjoy her home. Also, my right shoulder is bothering me. Since my left shoulder was out of commission for 9 months after Noelle was born 3 years ago until I had my surgery, it’s become natural for me to use my right arm for many things, especially reaching up for the higher things. (I’m left-handed so it wasn’t normal until that time) Unfortunately, my right arm won’t let me lift my elbow above shoulder height, so I’m having to re-train how I do things once again. I’m hoping that since I’ve noticed this now, I can rest it and let it get better and not have to have surgery. My ortho told me that my right shoulder would need the same surgery sometime, but I keep praying that it will be able to wait a while still.

Last Week with James and Noelle

Monday: We went to the mall and they rode the carousel and then played in the play area. Noelle was a little nervous on the carousel and didn’t sit on an animal, so she sat on my lap on a chair that rocked back and forth.

Tuesday: We stayed at the hotel and cleaned up the room.

Wednesday: We had planned on going to the beach, but it was just too cool, so we walked around the mall and then played in the play area again.

Thursday: We rode into Chicago and went to the Farmer’s Market and then to Art of Play Chicago. First, we played a game of Sorry while Noelle slept in her stroller and then we played Hungry, Hungry Hippo. There is a Spiderman Pinball machine there and they have it free, so James and I played on it while Noelle played beside us with two dinosaurs.

Friday: We stayed at the hotel again and cleaned and did laundry.

Saturday: We had planned on driving back down and seeing the other kids, but the van needed break work, so we took it in. Never got it done and never got down. More on that in another post.

Sunday: We talked about some Bible stuff with James and then went to Walmart for groceries. All of us took a nap that aftenoon. Afterward, we went for a small drive to find a regular playground. After letting the kids play for a while, we decided to go to the beach. It was getting close to sunset and knew the beach wouldn’t be open for long and it wasn’t to play in the water, just to walk on the beach a little and see the sunset over the lake.

Yesterday: Another drive to see if we could find a regular playground around here. We found two swings and a slide at one place, but that’s not much of a playground. We found a soccer park, but no play area at it. Finally saw a playground, but it was starting to sprinkle a little, so we just went to the mall to play a little while.

Now you are caught up with us, except for the van stuff. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow, I think.

Family Reunion #1 2007

My Dad’s family had a family reunion starting July 4th and going to the 8th. I think that most everybody except for us were there from Wednesday. Since Jeremy started a new job, he didn’t want to ask off for too many days at once. He had Wednesday off for the Holiday and Friday off as part of something the company does for it’s employees. They are allowed to have one Friday off a month. They pick which one as long as it is the same one each month, they’d like and Jeremy picked the first Friday of the month which coincided with both this reunion and the one we’ll go to with his family in August. I went and dropped the cats off at a friends’ house and picked up the girls from Grandma Wall’s house on Wednesday while he stayed at the hotel with AnnaBeth. He didn’t get Thursday off, so we left after he got off work on Thursday afternoon. It was about a 5 hour drive, so we got there really late. A few people were still awake to greet us and help us find the cabin we were sharing with my sister and her family.

Friday morning, it was so good to see James again. I’ve really missed him while he was with my parents. On Friday, during the day, some of the people did frisbee golf and later most of the family went on a cave tour. On, Saturday, in the morning there was a hike to an overlook of the Ohio river. I mostly just visited the whole weekend. I didn’t go on any of the outings, but just relaxed at the camp and talked.

On Friday night, we had a talent show. It was a lot of fun. James and Jeremy showed kung fu stuff. The girls showed ballet moves. I sang. My mom and James did a puppet show which the little kids thought was extremely hilarious. We have some weird talent in the family. It was quite amusing. After that, most people headed to bed, but you all know that I’m a night owl. I stayed with the girls until the went to sleep and then joined other night owls in a game of Balderdash.

I did go to the pool when we went on Saturday afternoon. It was like a miniature water park. I’ll have to show you pics when they come out. Everybody went, some went at 2 pm and some went at 4 pm. The pool closed at 6 pm. Our little family went at 2 and most of us stayed until it closed, but Jeremy had to take Noelle back for a nap. Noelle wasn’t sure about the water too much anyway. It was a little too crowded and splashy for her taste. James and Amie went on the big blue twisted slide. I finally climbed up all the stairs to go on it as well and enjoyed it so much that I did it over and over. There was a straight green slide, but the three of us didn’t want to try it. It had a steep drop. Amie was hesitant to even go on the blue slide for a while until James showed her how the water at the bottom was only three feet deep and you were going slow enough that you could put her feet down and not have to get your head wet if you didn’t want to. She enjoyed it a lot after that, but still wanted an adult to go before her to make sure they could help her move out of the way in time. About 20 minutes before closing, the lifeguards had their last shift change and the one on the slides was letting the people go a bit closer together than before. When he told me I could go after James, I thought it was a bit too quick, so I hesitated a bit before going. I got down to the bottom and let myself go under the water this time. As I got up and turned toward the way out, I got slammed by the next guy… right in my bad knee. I’m sure he was hurting way worse, since I think he straddled my leg. I was also told there had been a crash on the green slide just before that. Because our family made up about 90% of the people going down the slides at the moment, I just told an uncle what had happened and they all started waiting a few seconds after the lifeguard told them to go before sliding. It made for safer slides, but not for me, I sat out the rest of the time. AnnaBeth and Christine enjoyed the kid section. Amie was there most of the time before she finally braved the slide. It had fountains, big water guns, and spritzes. AnnaBeth really enjoyed herself quite a bit. She had no problem with all the splashing and all. I watched the little ones first, then my mom, then me for a little longer, then Jeremy, then my cousin was pulled into playing with AnnaBeth over there. Last was my uncle, who got some great shots of her before she fell and scraped her arm just before closing time. She enjoyed making sure every person at the reunion saw her boo boos.

After dinner, I went down to the game hall and sat with some cousins while they played a two person card game while Jeremy stayed with the kids who were in bed. He had planned on coming down after they were asleep, but fell asleep himself. We started thinking of a group game we could play that night. I suggested a game of spoons. Not regular spoons where the loser is eliminated. Silly spoons where the loser has to do something that the winner thinks of. Guess who lost about 75% of the time… ME! It was a blast. My uncle videotaped some of it. No, I won’t show you. I had to do my best monkey imitation, sing “I’m a Little Teapot” (done with a southern belle twist), do the hokey-pokey, serenade someone, and sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” while dancing ballet. I got serenaded by my uncle as well. My serenade was done second and I wasn’t told HOW or WHO to serenade, so in a sweet voice and using my great brother-in-law, I sang… “Robert, I abhor you. Oh, Robert, you disgust me. Robert, your words are like poop to my ears. Oh, Robert, why don’t you just leave me alone.” No, that didn’t get videotaped. Too Bad… It was hilarious!

On Sunday, we had a family church service. I don’t think there is a single person in the family who can’t sing. It was great singing praise songs with all of them. We shared different verses we’ve come across in our daily Bible readings or favorite verses. Even Amie and James got into it and told their favorite verses and shared some things. It was a really good discussion time.

We had to leave after that. We were going to stay until after lunch, but we had to be out of the group camp area by noon and it took us longer to find a picnic area to eat at than planned, so we had to leave. We had a six hour drive this time, with two three hour parts. We took Amie, Christine, and AnnaBeth back to Jeremy’s parents’ house. We rested a little bit there while I sorted out their dirty clothes from the rest of ours. Then we picked up our cats and visited with our friends for a short time. We finally got up here to the extended stay hotel that night and dropped to sleep.