Sunday, July 28, 2013


I am not a big follower of blogs.  They can take so much time and I have so many other things to do.  But there are a few that I follow regularly.  One of them recently decided to completely disconnect from all things Internet for 40 days.

Another one I watch is in grad school so her posts aren't as frequent as they once were.  And I get it.  Especially when I look at my blog and realize that it's been 12 days since I posted something.

Wow!  I'm sorry folks.  I'd say I've been slacking but not really.  I have just been busy doing things other than blogging.

For example, I've been doing things for work of course (showing houses, inspections, and trying to help hold deals together so they will close in the near future).  I've been prepping and planning for the next school year (and yes, I'm probably more excited than my kids).  I've been shuttling my kids to and from VBS and martial arts camp.

And I've been getting ready for my in-laws to visit for a week.  Yep.  We are going to have 8 people in our house.  Technically 6 will be sleeping in the house.  Hubby and I will be sleeping in our camper in the yard.

And I've also gotten hit by the knitting bug again.  Just about every evening I've been knitting baby hats.  I've been using different size needles just to see the differences in sizes they create.  I may sell one (with a baby blanket I made a while ago), but the rest will for the local hospital.

So, why the title of my blog post today?  Because I'm giving you a heads up to let you know that for the next week or so I will most likely not be posting anything.  Instead, I will be focusing my efforts on spending time with all the family that will be at our house.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Shift in the Wind = Trouble

This morning my kids went to VBS at our church.  After lunch, they asked if they could go swimming.  Being that I want them to sleep well tonight, I said yes.  I knew they wouldn't have too long becuase I could see on the radar that rain was coming.

And boy was I right.  I saw dark clouds rolling in but when the wind picked up suddenly, it was time to hop out.  Just after they got out I heard what sounded like a tarp flapping in the wind.  It was coming from the pole barn in our back yard.  Hubby has kept some things tarpped in the area so I figured it was just that flapping in the wind, till I noticed this....

Apparently a tree next to the pole barn fell over in the wind.  That caused the roots to crack the slab the barn was built on.  That in turn caused the cement blocks that were stacked just inside the pole barn to fall in.

When I made it inside to see what was damaged (a few broken cinder blocks is all I could find) I noticed that the slider door panel had almost been blown off the slide.

The Tyvek to the left of the door is the flapping noise I heard.

This was certainly not something we expected to deal with today.  Our concern now (aside from the fact that we're not sure we can finish the pole barn like we wanted), is that it would appear from how easily the tree was knocked over that our ground is saturated.

If we get more rain and wind, we are afraid we will loose an even bigger tree and we have 2 of them that are next to our house.

Change is Good

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a planner.  I like to know what I'm going to do today, tomorrow, and the rest of the week.  As such, I am not a big fan of change.  I like routine.

One year ago today, change hit me with little notice.  One year ago today, I officially started my new career as a Realtor.  For those who don't know the story of why and how I became a Realtor click here.  Needless to say, it came out of necessity, but looking back on it, I've seen God through everything.

The work itself has provided us the ability to pay our bills which of course was the goal, but it's also given my hubby some time with our kids.  It's given me some time away from the kids, which makes me appreciate the time with them more.  And it's helped my husband realize he likes to cook and teach (and I will add, he's good at them too).

Honestly, I can't believe it's been a year already.  How could I possibly be in the position I am after only one year as a Realtor?  You see, I recently sold my 12th house.  That's an average of 1 per month!  That's pretty much unheard of for a new Realtor.  To say God has blessed me in my new career is an understatement.

Has the last year been easy?  Certainly not.  Juggling work, family, church, and homeschooling isn't remotely easy and I'll be honest there are times when feel like I'm failing, but I haven't encountered anything we as a family haven't been able to handle.  Are there times when I've cried out to God and asked for His help?  Regularly.  Are there days when I hid in my bathroom and cried because I wanted to quite because of a really nasty client?  Yep, that too.  But God put this in my path.  He made it evident that it was where I need to be right now, and I have no intention of giving up. 

Have all the trials been worth it?  Definitely!  My family would not be who we are today.  And I kinda like who we've all become as a result of the last year.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Important Things in Life

The purpose of our trip to Virginia a few weeks ago was to help my parents pack up and move.  However, we made a point to see all our other family that lives in the area too.

We made a trip to see my brother-in-law and his family.  After all, my nephew is growing up so fast we had to make a point to stop by. 

The last time we saw him he was about a month old.
It was great seeing my kids playing with their cousin. 

My nephew attached himself to my daughter, probably because they are closer in age and size. 

It reminded me how how I attached myself to my slightly older cousin while I was growing up.  My cousin happens to live in Florida and his kids are the same ages as mine so we've gotten together a few times since we moved here.  I hope my kids have that with their cousin some day.

And one more visit we HAD to fit in was a trip to see my husband's grandparents.  For the most part, they are both doing great.  They are both in their 90's and are still living in their own home.   However his grandfather had recently had pneumonia and has been on dialysis close to 3 years now.  We haven't seen them in almost 2 so we decided it was long overdue.

We had a great time.  We got to talk to both of them for a while and also help them around the house a little. 

Gan was showing my daughter her Great-Uncle's artwork.

LOVE this picture!

Stupid auto flash.

Auto flash for the win again.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Back to the Grind

Recently my family spend almost 3 weeks either traveling to or from, and spending time in Virginia.  Thankfully during that time, I didn't really have many things to deal with for work and I didn't have any clients who wanted to see a house (kind of a hard thing to do when you are close to 1000 miles away).

That all changed early last week.  I'd been home for a little over a week and then I started getting calls from my clients.  I had one person contact me saying she was coming into town and wanted to see as many houses as we could fit in.  So on one day we saw 18 houses and the next day I showed her 4 more.  I only showed her 4 houses that day because before I met her, I had previewed 2 houses for one client, and showed another client 5 houses.  I think it's safe to say that 18 houses in one day is my record.  How did I do it?  Planning had a lot to do with it, but I've learned mostly it was because my client knew what she wanted and knew that in order to get through all the houses that we could only spend a lot of time in the houses she really liked.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I met with another client after church.  Initially I was going to show them 6 houses and figured we could get it done in about 2 hours.  Before we could see them, 2 of the houses went under contract so we ended up seeing 4 houses.  And it took us 3 hours.  Why the difference? It was all about the client.  They are looking for an investment property so every house is a potential purchase.  At each house they would make a detailed lists of things to do for each house to make it rentable.

This was certainly a learning experience for me.  I have learned that when dealing with an investor give them more time.

Oh, and one more thing... I had a meeting with one of my partners recently and it looks like I might start handling rentals too.  That means if I sell my investors a house, I could be handling their rental too.  It means I'll be a little busier, but my mantra has always been, "I'd rather be busy than bored."