Buried Alive in Boxes!

Don’s on vacation this week to help unpack and get things straightened out…and to enjoy the first week in our new home…but instead of unpacking, we’ve mostly been fielding calls and running around trying to help Wells Fargo finally get our mortgage file complete and to closing today. It took an executive complaint – after our third loan officer left (this time for jury duty), I spammed ever single board member and executive that I could guess an email for – and one of my pleading emails got through. The VP and Regional Manager who called us the next day had not heard about the mess from their minions…and one of them mentioned she wished it had come “up” from below instead. She said they received it as an executive complaint. I hope upper management realizes what a mess this North Houston and Woodlands office of Wells Fargo Mortgage is. We think it would be wonderfully ironic should the manager who couldn’t get anything done had to show up to closing today since all of those who have been finally getting our file done are too far away. We HOPE to let you know. Still planning on 1 p.m. signing today…wish us luck prayers! We could certainly use them. I have to say, though, with the attention we’re finally getting that Wells Fargo is trying to make things right and those in authority certainly can get things done…they’re reimbursing us first month principal and interest in a check to any non-profit we name plus no underwriting fee, processing fee or loan origination charge. Plus, an additional credit on the survey (over $2,000 in apologies, basically) to help offset the cost of having to pay the sellers for the week of the lease. We still don’t know the final numbers but I am so relieved they’re making it right…we stepped into a hornet’s nest and a soap opera chain of events behind the scenes at Wells at the Woodlands office and we didn’t know it until it was too late!

Settling In…

I’m too tired to even post a picture though I have a few really good ones of piles of boxes. The boys had an 11 or 12 foot tall fort created with boxes IN THE ENTRYWAY so that we couldn’t even get to the door if we wanted to.

We love this house. It feels like a little bit of heaven. We love the paint colors. We love the layout. I adore the kitchen and master bedroom – it is so big that Cole claims we could cut it in half and give him some extra yard outside! I am a bit afraid to go upstairs and see how the boys have unpacked their things! Back to the kitchen…I’ve been there for 2 days straight…it’s not a gas stove or a double oven (both were on my “must have” list) but I am so happy with what is here. I love the tile and the cabinets. I want to paint the inside of them Martha Stewart bluish green (probably the same color the previous owners used on the wainscoting in the laundry room which is DREAMY). Not only did the previous owners leave us a welcome basket of CHOCOLATE (dark, too!), she labeled all the house color paint cans with the room it was used in AND THE YEAR/DATE it was used…seriously, I wish everybody could buy a house from people as nice as we did. We were extremely blessed to meet them. Our own house “touches” will come in good time…I’m going to just enjoy our family being in a home again for awhile first.

The Zellmers really took good care of their home. The only hitch we’ve run into is our fridge won’t fit in the laundry room. Well, it fits in the slot but there is a windowsill in the way…not sure what we’re going to do about that yet. Our chest freezer was going to be sold but now Don thinks maybe that will fit instead. Let’s see…what else do we love? The kids love the big tub in the master bath. It’s not as big as our old one (nor is it a Jacuzzi) but they were all very pleased and seemed to like it more. I think not being a Jacuzzi is a plus.

The dog is in heaven. She keeps trying to sneak off into the field by our home. I bought a new rug for the kitchen today and she has claimed it.

The movers will need to replace 4 things: 1) Ben’s bunk bed headboard/footboard got lost before they even hit Texas (was never received in the warehouse) and 2) The loaders in Gretna damaged a big dresser on industrial wheels that we used to store the boys’ toys 3) my jogging stroller got damaged, and 4) a miscellaneous box of blankets was lost. Not too shabby for 20,720 lbs of stuff, I think. The only thing that breaks my heart is Ben is sleeping in Alex’s old room on the floor for now until his bed can be replaced. It’s okay, though, he is snuggling in blankets and the carpet is very soft. Hmm…as I type this he is sleeping in my bed. Not good.

I hear sawing upstairs. The older boys have taken my serrated kitchen knife and are building cardboard forts in the playroom. They asked for duct tape about an hour ago while I was preparing a lesson for church and I didn’t put two-and-two together…I’d better go take some pictures and see if anybody is bleeding!

More later when we’re coherent again.

Back to School Shopping

So it’s time for back-to-school shopping and I am not ready. Not even close to ready. I probably will hope that when we unpack on Friday that relatively new clothes, socks, and underwear will magically appear in my boys’ rooms and they’ll be ready. And shoes? Haven’t even thought about them (well, okay, so I thought about it but only long enough to write it down here!). All I can think about is making sure we have enough cash for closing on our new home on Friday which means not another dime will be spent until after then. Since the mortgage guy quit last week and every good faith estimate has gone up and up in final cash at closing cost per subsequent revision, I think we’d better sit tight until we know the final numbers! Our file has been in limbo-land and we are hoping and praying (and triple checking) to make sure that we don’t fall through the cracks. Friday is 2 days away, people!!! I think I’ll be too tired this weekend but maybe next weekend we can replenish the skivvy drawer if need be for school.

p.s. The jeans above are L.L.Bean’s Katahdin jeans on sale for $12.99. Not bad for the quality! Although, I hear Old Navy has some for $10 this week. Happy online shopping for those of you with the funds!!

Contract Signed – Prayers for Closing!

clematis nice

We have a signed contract and signed counter offer. Now, pray that all goes smoothly (don’t you think we deserve some of that smoothness?) through closing. It has been a rough year. We have learned much about our limitations, of which there are many. Showing a large house with 4 boys for 10 months has been no easy task, and the last month without hubby has been lonely. Those who love me best outright lie and say that I’ve handled it very well. I highly doubt that, but my only real benchmarks are: nobody’s dead, the house did get clean enough to sell and we all made it to church on time most of the time. Even if one week Ben was in his camoflauge rain boots (it was National Rain Boots Week, didn’t you hear?). I am now in MESS mode – living proof that we do have lives and we don’t have to clean all the time!!! I will NEVER apologize for a messy house again – I will be proud to LIVE there with my complicated, busy life. Socks and shoes strung out all over the mudroom means that my kids are here, alive, healthy and playing and remembered to take their shoes off – good kids that they are. Books and magazines strewn about means we have a little time to sit. And think. And ponder. And perhaps even learn something. It’s only day one but I have high hopes for days 2, 3 and beyond…here comes SUMMER!!! I say, bring it on!!!

p.s. The clematis pic is from our backyard deck – we will miss some of the plants we have babied for six years. Don found a replacement “vine” in Texas but it was a little too Little-Shop-Of-Horrors looking for me!

Kid Funnies: Jack & Texas, Gabe & the Furnace

We were talking about how diverse the kids’ new school district will most likely be when we move to Houston as compared to Gretna, Nebraska. Jack proclaimed with much disappointment, “We’re going to be Texans?!? I wanted to be German!” He then went on to proclaim “No, no…I really wanted to be Egyptian!”

Cole informed me that when Gabe walked in from school he proclaimed, “Oh, yeah, baby! The furnace is working!” Cole thought it was funny because most of the time people only say anything about the furnace when it’s broken.

Where do they come up with this stuff???

Deck Staining is…FUN!

We are actually enjoying this process. The bid for getting our deck spray/stained was $650 so we decided to do it ourselves. And it has taken a long time. And we really haven’t had any help from anybody (even though we’ve asked some people who shall remain nameless…). And we haven’t died. Yet. We are so excited and actually having fun! We power washed it a couple of weeks ago, cleaned the floor with cleaner and then sanded last week and then today we got the upper rails and most of the stair rails completed. Monday or Tuesday night we’ll finish the floor and stair treads and beams. Yeah for us! Hard work feels good…now if only the “red cedar” semitransparent oil stain we picked out didn’t look like dirty pink…oh well there’s no going back now! We hope it will look sophisticated to our prospective buyers! God can change the color in their eyes if we pray hard enough, right! Just kidding…maybe the fumes were too strong…

Click HERE to see a page with the color of Red Cedar that we chose – looks great, right! We thought so, too. Well, lesson learned: always sample on your actual wood (which, is actually cedar). I’ll post pictures in the light when it’s all done – it’s really not bad!

Houston…We Have A Problem!

So the only real problem is Donnie and I both despise the heat but it looks like our attitude needs to change quickly because we’re headed to Houston instead of Hotlanta (yeah, and we thought Atlanta was going to be hot). I’m sadly looking around at my favorite winter coats, pullovers and jackets and can’t even conceive of life where it’s Omaha-Summer-Humid-Hot ALL YEAR LONG. Yikes. We’re going to need more than a few prayers in our behalf for this adventure! I keep telling myself this is what I said about Sandy, Utah before we lived there and it became one of our favorite places in the world. Well, at least maybe I can sweat off those last few pounds…just looking on the bright side!