Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Buy My House. Please!

After the long, hot summer we just endured Hubby and I decided we'd really like to have a pool in our backyard. The problem is we cringe at the $45k price tag installing a pool comes with. So the subject of selling our house came up. After sitting around wondering whether or not to sell, we finally put our house on the market. What do we have to lose?

Let the good times begin*! I've gone through closets and packed up boxes. I've spit and polished just about all I can. We hired a handyman to fix odds and ends. It is show ready just about twenty four hours a day. 

It's been a couple of weeks now and it's been a roller coaster. Our realtor gave me access to the comments that the realtors who come through have. It comes to my email after each visit. 

This is the time I'm going to take out my frustration on all of you ignorant realtors out there. 
1.  Comment: beautiful drive-up, but the den is too small and the bedrooms are all on the same side of the   house. 
     Well, I can't do anything about that one. You and your kids are too old for this neighborhood. It needs  
      young blood. I can't change the floorplan. It is what it is. For this area you either need small children or  
      be empty nesters. 
2. Comment: beautiful drive-up, clients favorite of the day. Will discuss an offer. 
     Please. Don't insult us with ridiculous offers. We want to move. We don't have to move. We're not          desperate. 
3. Comment: Clients are looking for more contemporary. They would need to decide if they would want to  remodel. 
     Contemporary? Had the client or the realtor looked at any of the pictures online they would have known  that there is nothing contemporary about this house. There's plenty of contemporary crap out there. We've seen it. 
4. Comment: Client thought the house was beautiful. They are moving here from Brazil and this would be their first time to buy a house. The only thing they didn't like was that the fireplace was too big. 
     Seriously, if that's the only flaw you can come up with you don't need to be buying a house in this area. We don't use it either, but it's just there. I didn't know that fireplaces came in different sizes. 
5. Comment: Beautiful drive-up and fabulous colors on the inside. They liked the updates then saw some of the paneling and wondered why we stopped updating. 
     Look here beyotch, had we not stopped updating we either wouldn't be selling or it would be priced much higher. We've put in granite in the kitchen and painted over a TON of pathetic wallpaper. We've put in a fence, new a/c, new hot water heaters. We've stained the cabinets to rid this house of the deplorable golden honey cabinet color that was popular in the 80's. All of our light fixtures and ceiling fans have been updated and there's no sign of the gold fixtures that again, the 80's dumped on us. Did I mention the buttload of energy efficient windows we put in a few years ago. Cha-ching!! We've seen houses priced much higher than what ours is and we've done much more than they have. We've made the necessary changes. The rest isn't broken. It still works just fine. It may not be the latest and greatest, but that's for someone else to change if they see fit.

Yes, people are entitled to their opinions. But so am I. This has been a short road that in some ways seems like it's already lasted forever. There are some moments when I think, "What are we doing?". The market is saturated with houses for sell. There's always the springtime. Hopefully someone will come along and think this is the perfect house for them. At one point, we thought it was perfect for us. Who knows? 

God knows.  It's in His hands. I have to be okay with that.

One realtor we met at an open house said not to get discouraged. "People are moving all of the time" is what she said. Here's to people to moving all of the time! Here's to hoping what she said rings true. 

*sarcastic tone intended here

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mother Tucker II

Our rescue dog, Tucker, is definitely part of the family now. He came home with us on December 4, 2010. He was an underweight Golden Retriever found wandering the streets. When we first brought him home we studied up on all things that could make a dog sick. We still make sure that the kids never give him chocolate, raisins, and grapes. We've gotten him play toys and he even adopted one of the girls blankets. He drags that blanket all around the house when he wants to show off. 

Along with making sure he doesn't get fed all of the wrong things, this house is on high alert to keep socks away from this dog. We used to blame the dryer for missing socks. But no more. Tucker will find a sock*, eat it then he disposes of it in the backyard. He disposes of it through his rear end. 

Let me get this straight, chocolate causes dogs to have high heart rates and vomiting. And grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. But, socks passing through a dog's digestive system isn't fatal? We're at a loss as to why he hasn't learned not to eat socks. 

I could almost understand if he wants to chew on it. But then leave it on the floor and move on. What about a sock even tastes remotely good enough to swallow??? He must have a stomach made of steel to be able to pass these things through! I wish this dog could talk to me and explain his silly infatuation with socks. Then I could knock some sense into him to where he wouldn't eat socks any more. 

This dog is a part of the family. He's a goob. I guess I need to get used to buying lots of socks. And hopefully finding less and less of them in the backyard as time goes by. 

*obviously I can't be vigilant enough to make sure every stinkin sock finds its way to the laundry bin

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hand In Hand

It only took about three weeks before we had our first early release day at school this year. No biggie. My oldest was off at fifth grade camp and it was just me and my baby*. She was bored silly without big sister around. She soon noticed my bookshelf with my scrapbooks and wedding photo album in it. One by one she gets them down from the shelf. Asking questions and making funny comments about some of the pictures. 

Then lastly, she got my wedding album down and started thumbing through the pages. Then I hear, "Mommy! You cheated on Daddy?!" I emphatically said, "NO" and went over to see what picture she could have been talking about.

 My father died when I was eighteen, so I knew early on that I would always ask my oldest cousin to walk me down the aisle. My baby was looking at the picture of me and my cousin about to walk down the aisle and I burst out laughing. I explained that my cousin had represented my family in giving my hand in marriage to Daddy. 

It was all better after she saw that yes, Daddy was there and he and I walked out of that sanctuary hand in hand. 

She cracks me up with most of the things she says. She has such a personality that it's hard to keep a straight face. I love her for it!

*1st grader, but she's still my baby

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Asking and Giving Forgiveness

 "Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive."
  Luke 17:4

Can we all admit that asking for someone's forgiveness is one of the hardest things in the world to do? It takes humility, and it takes courage. It takes the power of God.  It especially doesn't help when the person you're asking foregiveness from reminds you of your crime and won't let it go.

Someone I was talking to mentioned that she had asked forgiveness from someone. The person basically threw it back in her face and reminded her of her abomination. If you knew my friend, it would break your heart. She is the kindest person on the face of the earth.

I admit, that part of our conversation stuck with me for the rest of the day. It bothered me. It bothered me as much as if I was the one asking for forgiveness. It made me think that it's no wonder why people don't ask more often for forgiveness. When someone asks for forgiveness they are laying their heart out. Making themselves vulnerable. It is our choice to forgive as we have been forgiven by God. Each and every day.

Is it maturity? Could be. Whether it's mental or spiritual maturity, some prefer to dig their heels in and be right. They will stand their ground and when it's all said and done who wins? No one.

After I had just graduated high school I had my first love, of course I was head over heels. He was the be all and end all. Shocker. It didn't work out after a couple of years*. But when it didn't work out and he was dating a "friend" I'll admit that my behavior was atrocious. It was shameful. It was definitely something I wish I could take back. I didn't have the mental maturity or the spiritual maturity to handle the situation.

After several years had passed I put a note in the mail to them both. I wanted to apologize for my actions. I wanted to clear my conscience and fir them to know that I was truly sorry. I wanted to let go of the guilt once and for all.  When I received a note back from the girl, she asked what my intentions were. What was my motive? Then she reminded me of what I had done and how I hurt them both**. I was well aware of what I had done. But I was not alone in this stupid little triangle. But I asked for what God gives me everyday. Forgiveness. 

The weight of sin is so heavy only the shedding of Jesus' blood can atone for it.

When we sin against someone who has no relationship with Christ, it's as if Satan himself is steering the other person in not letting go. It's a self-focused, resentful way of living. I'm not sure it's really living at all. Jesus is the best friend we could ask for. If you don't have a relationship with Him, seek Him out and there will lie your hope and salvation.

Ephesians 4:31

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

In the world of raising kids, there is a lot of saying, "I'm sorry". Whether it's between the siblings or from parent to child and vice versa. I'm not a fan of saying, "That's okay" after someone says, "I'm sorry". I know we should forgive seventy times seven, but I also want to promote a sense of appreciation for the act of asking forgiveness.  I encourage my kids to say, "Thank you" to one another after they have had to apologize to each other. 

 Some people are ready and willing to forgive. I said some. When some people accuse you of doing something, then they do the same thing shouldn't both parties be asking forgiveness? Not just one? That's when I have to call to mind, Matthew 6:14. "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you". 

Forgiveness is the greatest gift.  Whether we feel forgiveness in our hearts or not, we are under obligation to obey God. As we obey God, He will supply the feelings.

Asking and giving forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do in this world. Thank you, God, that this world is not eternal.

God, I pray for the vulnerability to always ask for forgiveness when I need it. I pray that it is received with an open and pure heart as it is intended. And when someone asks for my forgiveness that You will supply the feeling of acceptance and that I will not let anger stand in the way.

*No harm no foul. We kiss a lot of frogs before the prince comes along, don't we? My prayers were answered when Hubby and I finally crossed paths. 
**Oh please, it was nothing physical. They got married, then she cheated on him and divorced him.