I have debated about writing this blog. I am not much of a show-off. I am proud of my kids and like to show off their gifted personalities and qualities that exemplify true character. I don’t mind writing about them but what about material goods? A friend of mine told me about a friend of hers (with no kids) that wrote a Christmas letter and about ¾ of it was about her new boots that she adored. That story made me chuckle. I don’t want this blog to look like that but I have a joy that I am just busting at the seams to share with everyone!! It’s about…….
Our New House!!
When you travel, do you look from side to side at all the houses and land and make comments about what is just right and appealing about them? Or is that just me?? My entire life, as our family travelled to Ohio or New York and back, my sister and I would stare at all the cute little towns, the vast green plains of crops and farm houses, mansions, cattle, hills and beautiful Fall tree’s. We pictured ourselves living in all of these places and imagined what our life would be like.
For the past 10 years, as my family kept getting larger and larger, this imagination became more of a real possibility. In a secular world where broken families is the new normal and Catholic bashing is just as accepted as bad Spelling, I had a great desire to move where we could be free to be who we want to be. We want to be unashamed, moral, principled and crazy Catholic’s. We want to lie on our roof and look at the clouds without the neighbors knocking at my door to tell me that the kids are on the roof again. We want our neighbors to be nature….tree’s, squirrels, owl’s, geese, ponds, streams, creeks and critters that only boys could love (or shoot with a BB gun).
For 2 years, I have been seriously looking for the perfect property. I am so picky! This is what constituted the perfect property……
1. The street was quiet enough for my kids to play in
2. The land would be wooded in some parts and clear in others
3. We would still have neighbors that can hear me scream if I needed help
4. It would be within 10 minutes of a Catholic Church
5. At least one creek
6. Have at least 5 acres
7. A hill for sledding
Bonus* - A cemetery close by for Mary Kate to visitJ
I looked and looked and I was falling in despair. I was certain that the perfect house was not out there, would never come up for sale, be bought out from underneath us, be too far away or be too expensive.
For nearly that whole 2 years of searching, a family friend from Cub Scouts kept asking me to look at her house. She was sure that it was perfect for us. For some reason, since I had been to her house before, I just wasn’t interested. Finally, I decided that it couldn’t hurt to take another look at it. Roy was in Afghanistan so I invited my parents to tag along with me. The husband, Bob, showed me the entire house and all of the property. I fell in love. My mom was eyeballing me with this look that said, “Poker face! Poker face!” She was a real estate agent in her former life and knew that if I looked like I couldn’t live without this house than there would leave little room for negotiating. Fortunately, the owners were not one bit interested in cleaning it up to put on the market just to lose 7% of the selling price and they were perfecting willing to wait for us to get our act together, get Roy back home from oversea’s and move in whenever we were ready. WHAT A DEAL!!!! Not only did I find the house and land of my dreams but the owners were ONLY going to sell to us. We had NO pressure of it being sold to anyone else and the owners were happy to just sit and wait!!! Could that be a better blessing?? In my opinion, that gift is unheard of.
In my excitement, I packed up everything that I didn’t think I would need in the next year and had an ongoing bon fire in my back yard to burn everything that was burnable in the house that I didn’t think a thrift store would want. I loaded up the back of the truck about 5 times full of trash and items that were too big for my bon fire or too ugly for the thrift store and waited patiently for the Grandview clean-up weekends to come along. I regrouted my kitchen floor (which is back to its original ugliness. But hey! I learned something new and am ready to do it again!). I painted and made repairs and cleaned like a machine. I was SO ready to put the house on the market when Roy came home for his 2 week R & R. Much to my dismay, there were too many internal problems that needed hired help to fix before we could sell our house. I was faced with the realization that we were going to have to move and own both houses at the same time. Thanks to Dave Ramsey and Roy’s deployment, we had saved a good chunk of money to be able to own them both for quite a while.
I know God has a plan for everything but I couldn’t figure out why I did all of this work around the house and packed up nearly everything when it turned out to be entirely too early. Even my 20 pound weight loss and burst of energy all seemed to fit into this serious packing and purging, fixing and repairing just perfectly. What could have been God’s plan??? Well, guess who became almost utterly useless when moving day finally arrived thanks to a first trimester pregnancy?! ME!! And guess who already packed up the house months before when I was at my peak of energy? ME! Oh, God is so good. He knows. He really knows!! I was lying on the floor and moaning my normal “Roy ruined my life for the 9th time” whoa’s, while dozens of boxes flowed from the attic and onto the trailer to the new house. I had already done my job and didn’t even realize it.
So, here I am at 15 weeks of pregnancy, feeling much better and staring out my massive window that overlooks the Longview Lake creek that’s big enough to kayak on, our bunnies and chickens, tree’s with ropes to swing on and a sledding hill that beats all the sledding hills we have ever been on before. To my left is our stocked pond with geese and frogs.
So, how does this house compare to my list? This is my new perfect list….
1. We are the last house on a dead end street. Not only is the street safe for the kids to play on but it’s empty of cars since we are the last house.
2. The back of the house faces the street so NO ONE can see the front of the house and our 11+ acres of land. We can totally trash this place and no one would know.
3. We have too many creeks to count
4. Our land is surrounded by Army Corp of Engineer property. Not only will no one ever build on it but we are allowed to roam on it too.
5. Our neighbor on the North is the Longview Lake walking/biking trail. There is a hiking trail that goes from our house to the trail.
6. Our neighbor on the South has a Bobcat that he loves as much as Roy loves driving his truck in 12 inches of snow. He is cutting out even MORE 4-wheeling trails for us. Those 4-wheeling trails will also be a Stations of the Cross walking path sometime in the future.
7. Our neighbor to the East is hundreds and hundreds of cleared out land (with more 4-wheeling trails that we are probably not allowed on….;)
8. We have 2 ponds (at least one is stocked full of fish)
9. The front porch has 3 sliding glass doors that all slide open. Thunderstorms in 65+ degree weather are breathtaking with those doors open.
11.A tree with the longest vine that is perfectly placed with no obstacles for the kids to swing as fast and as high as possible.
12.A laundry room upstairs and downstairs
13.The kids can ride their bikes throughout the spacious house and hardwood floors
14.The dining room as PLENTY of room. We could put three 12 person tables in there but, thankfully, we only need one.
15.A kitchen upstairs and downstairs
16.Custom built house. Not too big. Not too little. Not your cookie cutter house. You’ll get lost.
17.Not only is there a Catholic Church 3 minutes away (not 10), but its MY Church! We only moved 3 minutes away from our old houseJ
18.It’s an old house. We don’t have to worry about scrapes on the trims and doorways. They are already there. YES! This is a gift!
This house couldn’t be more perfect for us. There is a plot of empty land at the beginning of our street. If that becomes a new cemetery, I swear…….I swear…..I will let you all touch me so you can be healed. Lol. Really, I feel so blessed, it is unimaginable. I don’t deserve this. I would give it all up if God would bless me with another child….and guess what….:))) I have that too. I truly feel like I have it all. And I truly feel like many of you are wanting to punch your computer screen to get me to shut up. To all things, there is an end. This time in my life is fleeting. This feeling I have is momentary but this time is now and I want to share the joy while it is still here.
That's Bens first little fish that he caught in the pond. He tripped and fell on top of it as he ran to show me:)