Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Different Kind of Christmas

For the last couple years my family has been trying to keep Christmas about the birth of Jesus and less about the gifts.  We typically accomplish this by giving practical gifts on Christmas (clothes, toothbrushes, books, etc) and the fun stuff on "Loot Day" - aka New Years Day.  A day our family uses to celebrate American materialism  ;-).

This year we got a little help.  The last couple days a stomach bug has been going through the house which has meant that any shopping we normally would have done (which to be honest is not much) didn't happen.  I was able to send hubby on a last minute run yesterday (he and my mom are the only ones who have not been hit), but it was for supplies for the sick ones (you know, ginger ale, 7-up, etc).

The only gifts that we had to open today were given by out-of-town family members and my parents.  They were obviously going to be primarily fun gifts, but we decided that under the circumstances that was ok.  Before we opened the gifts we discussed the reason for Christmas and the significance of gift giving at Christmas.  And my kids got it!  How happy was I?  Extremely. 

And to top it off... although my kids didn't get much, they were happy.  They realize the quantity of gifts isn't what matters.  It's the thought that matters.  And the most well-thought out gift imaginable is the gift of Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas everyone!  God bless.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Week of Surprises

This week we surprised the kids twice.  The first was a trip to Busch Gardens on Wednesday.  We have passes that expire Dec 31 and with schools being out for the next 2 weeks we decided to go when it would be less crowded.  Less crowded was right.  The longest line was 10 minutes for the front seat in the most popular coaster in the whole park.  Normally the wait for ANY seat on the coaster is 45 minutes or more. 

The second surprise started when my parents contacted me on Tuesday asking if they could show up today.  Hubby and I decided not to let them know Grandma and Grandpa were coming.  The surprise and joy on my daughter's face when they walked through the door was priceless (my son was in a different room).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Breathing Easier

I have a client that I've been working with for 2 months.  They have been looking for a house though for 9 months total now.  They were getting to the point where they were thinking maybe they should stop looking.  I have put in a total of 5 offers for them and until today all of them had been turned down.  Usually because someone else offered to pay with cash.

Today their offer was accepted and we hope to close by the end of January.  To say they are happy is an understatement.  They are still guarded in their excitement, and rightly so considering all they've been through, but it's still nice to know they have attained a step they haven't before.

I got into real estate because we needed the money, but part of the reason I chose real estate rather than something else was because I wanted to be able to help people.  It's so rewarding to see the happy faces of a new home buyer.  And I hope next month they will be among them.

Some of my friends and family are aware that yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me.  That was because I had a deal close.  You would think that would be a good thing, but some documents surfaced at the last minute that surprised me and my buyers and made things a bit dicey to say the least.  The deal is closed and I think things are ok (I haven't heard anything today to the contrary anyway).

The deal closing yesterday and my clients having an offer accepted is certainly making today a much more relaxing day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Time4Learning Review

I was recently given an opportunity to review Time4Learning.com free of charge for 30 days.  Well, those 30 days are up so here is my review.

My 6 year old daughter enjoyed the website.  In fact, it was hard to get her off.  The problem is that she was on my computer which I need to work.  Because of that, she was not able to use it as often as I would like, certainly not enough if I were paying for access.

My 8 year old son on the other hand was less than enthusiastic.  I think the primary reason for that is that his grade level seemed to require a lot more reading than he likes to do.  He is what I call a reluctant reader.  I was hoping that Time4Learning would have short snippets of reading followed by games and or videos, but we never got that far.  There seemed to be large sections of reading which just bogged him down.

Would I actually pay for Time4Learning?  Perhaps, but just for my daughter for now.  If I had a dedicated computer for her that is.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


This morning I'm up bright and early so that I can take the two kittens we have been fostering to the vet to be fixed in preparation for their adoption. 

It brings my thoughts back to a summer day many years ago when we were watching a friend's cat for the summer while he took a summer job and couldn't take his cat.  While the cat was in our charge he asked us to have her declawed.  So here starts the memory, taking a cat that is not ours to the vet to have a procedure.

On this particular occasion, the vet convinced me that I should get the cat a pain patch.  It wasn't my cat and I couldn't reach her owner so I agreed (out of guilt I suppose).  Anyway, the pain patch came with instructions.  Very specific instructions.  Such as, don't touch it or you could get violently ill and die.  Don't let it stay on the cat for more than 2 days or it could get violently ill and die.  Not what I was expecting when I agreed at all.

The time for the patch would have expired while we were at work and I knew my hubby would either forget or would be running late for work himself so I decided to do it before I got in the shower in the morning.  That way if I touched it I could immediately wash any remnants off (and not die).

Anyway, I took the cat to the bathroom so I could take the patch off and dispose of it in the toilet (per the instructions).  The cat didn't like it, but she didn't scratch at me or anything so I figured we were ok. 

I guess I was wrong.  The cat really didn't like having a 2 X 4 patch of hair pulled at so what did she do?  She hopped on my bed and peed on my sleeping husband.  What a way to wake up!  Needless to say, he got in the shower while I cleaned up the mattress. 

For years that cat hated my husband (not sure why since I was the one to remove the patch).  Today she is living with us again (her owner moved overseas and couldn't take her) and doesn't seem to hold it against us any longer.  Not that we let her near our mattress (just in case).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Over Analyzing

I'm not sure if it's a result of my type A personality, but I tend to over analyze.  Especially when things don't go the way I think they should.  I wonder if I could have changed things.  If I caused the issue.  Whatever the case, it's left me a bit sleep deprived lately.  I'm finding it hard to fall asleep and then when some strange noise wakes me up in the middle of the night I start thinking about it again, thus making it hard to fall back asleep.

Do any of you find yourself in similar situations?  If so, what have you found that helps you stop analyzing and get on with life?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Hilly Ride

Today's day has looked something like this to me

UP:  The kids had a field trip to make pizza's at a local pizza shop.  I was able to go, but had to leave a little early because I had a closing.  Yep.  I officially sold another home!

DOWN: After that I had to race over to a house to be there for an inspection.  Until I got into the house I wasn't sure it had power (when I checked it yesterday it didn't). 

UP:  Thankfully the power and water were both working. 

DOWN: Unfortunately, the gas was turned off so the water heater, stove and ovens couldn't be tested. 

UP:  Good news... the buyers were planning on replacing those things anyway so not a big deal.

DOWN:  Had a client who was scheduled to see one property decide while we were there that he wanted to see another.

UP:  Although the property was occupied we were able to get in with only 30 minutes notice.

DOWN: Starting after the kids field trip, I found out one of my buyers wants to back out of a deal.  I'm not sure why and I tried finding out all day.  It may be something I said was misunderstood, it may be that their expectations of how a short sale process works was not what they expected, or it may be buyers remorse... I'm not sure because I've not been able to get them to say anything that makes sense to me.  Whatever the case, multiple people have tried contacting them and all we've been able to get is that they are not going to proceed.

It has definitely been a roller coaster of a day.  Which brings me to my last

UP: The kids and I are meeting their Oma in Orlando and are going to Sea World tomorrow.  Oh, and with Oma there, I will get to ride the coasters with my son.  Those are the kinds of ups and downs I like.