Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
-
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rejoicing...

I have to share my joy. It seems that watching my diet has paid off at the doctor's office. I had my regular glucose test on Thursday of last week....I was 26 weeks and that's about when they normally test for Gestational Diabetes. I called for the results today and was informed that my numbers were 'normal'. Yay! I'm so glad that the test was not positive. I plan to continue following the 'diet' they have me on.....I do have some things occasionally that I shouldn't as far as sugar content is concerned, but it really doesn't have a negative effect since I'm eating right the majority of the time. I'm so thrilled...and thanks so much to all of you who have kept me in your prayers and sent encouraging words my way. It means so much. ;) Now, we just wait until my 35 week checkup when they'll do another ultrasound and check the size of the baby. At that point, we will need to decided whether we're going to have a natural birthing experience again or a c-section. I'm praying things will progress in a manner that is conducive to the former rather than the latter. Despite the extreme discomfort, I think I would much rather go with what I know than with what I don't! So I'm asking for prayers again, that God will continue to have His hands on this baby and help her to grow at the perfect rate for her.....and that we can have a birth that does not require surgery. Thanks so much to all of you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Our run-in(s) with the 'law'...

Most of you who know me at all probably know that I'm kind of a rule-follower. I am not one who crosses the street when the crosswalk sign says DON'T WALK or who will sled in a park/swim in a lake if I see a sign posted that says it's not allowed. I don't speed, litter, drink and drive, etc. I obey whatever rules/laws there are (even if I don't like them) and remedy the situation as soon as possible if I mistakenly break a rule/law. I make sure that my children follow the rules too. So, it has been quite an eye-opener for me over the last few months during which we've had several run-ins with the 'law'.....the HOA police to be exact. Don't get me wrong, I like rules....I've posted more than once about how I've had to lighten up over the years. If you have ever lived in a community governed by a HOA or know anything about them at all, you will understand that they have LOTS of rules. The purpose is so people who live in the community can come home to a nice, safe, clean neighborhood...I SO get it, I am all for that. However, living two doors down from a Nazi ex-board-member has it's definite drawbacks. Our first week here Logan put out the trash and recyclables (that's been his job for some time now). He put both out on Wednesday and the recycle guy only comes on Saturdays. Karl and I did not realize he had done so or we would have told him to bring them back in. A very short time after Logan took everything out Karl got a call from our property manager, stating that he had "received a call" about our recycle bins and could we please take them back in. (our ex-board-member neighbor) No problem, we don't want them out if they aren't supposed to be. A few months go by....Logan is taking the trash out once again. He is approached by "some man" as Logan described him who asked him "Can I show you something?" Well, even our sheltered, home schooled kids know the answer to that question is a big, fat "NO!" The man went on to explain to Logan that he was placing our trash can in the driveway the wrong direction. Really? I mean, really? Did any of you know that there IS a right direction? I did not. Okay, very strange and annoying but we corrected the situation. From then on our trash can has been positioned properly in our driveway every week. It turns out it was the same neighbor and apparently our trash blows into his yard when the truck picks it up if it's not facing the right way....how he knows this I don't know unless he stands at his window watching everything on the street every day! Anyway, not ones to cause problems unnecessarily, we changed it and moved on. A few weeks later I was leaving the house with the kids, headed to the library. As I pull out and head down our street a lady in a van gets out and flags me down. Huh? She seemed okay, so I stopped and rolled the passenger side window down. She did not introduce herself....she just asked me if I was the owner or renting our home....I told her we are renting and she asked, "Do you know if it's your responsibility or the owner's to fertilize the lawn?" I thought this a strange question.....she went on to say that it has not been fertilized. Hello? How would you know? I actually had to say, "And you are?" before she bothered to tell me she was the president of the HOA....still no actual name, by the way. I'm not sure why she did not just call the owner of the house, but I assured her it was the owner's job and that I would contact him to let him know what she had said. (He takes care of all the lawn maintenance for us.) We went on with our day, and though I thought it very odd and quite rude, I tried to put it out of my mind. We did tell our landlord and he was not very happy about her harassing me on the street. Since that day, we have received several more 'complaints'. I will list them for you:
  • A letter from the property manager stating that we will be fined $50 for each time our trash can is within sight on days it is not 'trash day'. We did leave it out after our vacation to GA because it was NASTY and we still had to buy a hose to clean it. We didn't want it stinking up the garage. Our fault, but I did take it in immediately upon receipt of the letter. We received another letter two days after the first one telling us the same thing, even though it had been taken inside.
  • A letter was received about pressure-washing the roof of the house, or we would be fined $50 if it was not done. Consequently, when that was completed it killed some our grass along the edges of the house...I fully expect to get another letter about the fertilizing of the grass.....due to the dead grass because of the chemicals from the pressure-washing.
  • Also, a letter was received stating that our hedges were too tall and needed to be trimmed....again a $50 fine would be assessed if not taken care of....that was actually the lawn guy's fault. He wasn't doing it each month, I'm not sure why. That problem has been corrected, thankfully.
  • We received another letter telling us that our mailbox needs to be painted or we will be fined $50. Both of these last two things is not our responsibility, but the owner's. Upon returning from a trip to the grocery store a day or two after that, I noticed that each mailbox post actually holds TWO mailboxes. Now tell me how they know it's our responsibility and not the owner of the house next door?! In any case, we will not be getting out the paint and brushes...waiting for our landlord to handle it.
By the way, after the pressure-washing incident, our landlord went by the office and told them to stop harassing his tenants. He's very nice and was really perturbed that they have been hounding us over things that are his responsibility. I don't think they listened....you will not believe what came next, just last week.

  • Thursday, the moving truck from NY arrived with the remainder of our things. They were here about three hours unloading boxes and putting together a table, etc. The entire time, cars and trucks passed by, neighbors were outside occasionally, but no one stopped by to find out what was going on.....were they getting a new neighbor, were we leaving? No one cares, I guess. Apparently, that's untrue. About 30 minutes after the truck left there was a knock on the door. When I opened the door the lady informed me of her name, saying she is the new property manager. (Karl had just been by her office the day before to complain about the constant letters, asking her to call our landlord....AND she had actually just been on the phone with him about his complaint before she came to our home) She told me "I got a report that there was a moving truck here..." I confirmed that, and she said that someone told her "another family was moving in." WHAT!? I assured her no other family was moving in, its just us. I went on to tell her I didn't know who had a problem with us but that it is very disturbing that we keep getting all these letters, etc. Anyway, she said, "Well, when I get a call like that I have to check it out." then went on her way. I was, and am, offended by the entire incident. Karl went back to the office Friday to tell her to call him anytime she gets a call about us...to please leave me alone....did she "really think we were harboring illegal aliens?" Hopefully she will do as he asked. The real 'kicker' is this.....whoever called told her that they had been over and asked about this 'family' and that we told them "they're only going to stay a few months." WHY would someone want to spread lies about us? I have no idea what the deal is...we stay pretty much to ourselves, not bothering anyone....
Needless to say, I have so had it with this place. It's nice, but I am over the whole HOA thing. I am praying that God will lead us to a home, a SAFE place that we can afford, but that IS NOT in a HOA. Will you pray with me? I have not had to deal with such childishness since I was in middle school. Seriously. I won't do it, but it makes me want to start making 'reports'....like about the guy who is having a party tonight and has about 30 cars parked up and down the street, across the sidewalk, etc.....but it doesn't bother me as long as they're not in my driveway. The only thing that does bother me is that someone is choosing to cause trouble for us...so maybe pray about that too, that it won't bother me so much and that they'll just stop.

All right, I'm gonna stop my rant, get off my soapbox...I just had to share this with all of you. I'm sure you're just as amazed as I am....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Latest...

A link to today's happenings.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Change....

I am the first one to admit that I have had a hard time, over the course of my life, with change. I have always been one who likes routine, has the 'need to know', and does NOT like it when plans fall through, etc. Being married, having children, and just living life in general have all taught me to loosen up a little. I still have MUCH to accomplish in that area, but I'm thankful that God has helped me to see that things don't have to be 'just so'. Over the last 5 years we have moved 5 times....that is some change! We've had another baby and are expecting yet another....both big adjustments for the family. Though we have struggles at times through it all, I am excited about what is happening in our lives. God has used and IS using our circumstances to grow us, to strengthen us....even when we may question how any of this can do that, He knows. He has a plan for us....I can't wait to discover the next step, to see where He wants to take us. Right now, we know it's Miami....nothing else is clear. I am content with that, at least for now. There have been times and I'm sure there will be more, where I will be frustrated or angry or just plain weary, but He is always my strength. He gets me through.....I am still learning to trust in the process from the beginning. Though we were all sad to leave our home and friends in NY, now that the details are coming together and the closing draws near, I am getting very excited about our move. We've kind of been in a holding pattern here. Nothing has kept us from getting involved really, except our reluctance to do so....due to various trips out of town and the feeling that we don't want to say good-bye again.....that keeps one from wanting to get too connected. But once we move, we should be there for a while. We don't think we'll stay...it's not a 'forever home' but home until He moves us on. I'm looking forward to finding a church...there are several good options, just asking that God directs us to His place for us. We're also seeking to get involved with some sort of group through the church so we can meet people, make friends, ideally find some Christian mentors...that's been sorely lacking over the last several years. We've met lots of wonderful Christian people, so don't get me wrong, but no one that we really got close to that we felt we could go to and learn from, get advice, seek Godly counsel....we need that. So please, keep us in prayer, that the Lord will lead us in all these things. We want to make Him central to everything, and it's often a struggle as many of you know. Looking forward with anticipation to what is to come.....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Random musings...

I haven't been spending a lot of time blogging here....so I apologize for that for those of you who are trying to stay up to date on what we're doing. We really haven't been doing a whole lot besides schooling. So if you find nothing here when you check, please do go to our home school blog. I post there daily or at least every other day. We're trying to tie up loose ends for the past year and beginning some things already for the new year, so there is quite a bit there, though mostly to do with what the kids are learning and doing school-wise.

We have been dealing off and on with paperwork for the sale of the house in NY...so far things are going well. If nothing happens, closing is July 23rd. Only about a week away...yay! Then we can get serious about finding a home in Miami. Karl will be meeting the movers in NY this week to let them in the house to pack the rest of our things and load the truck. That delivery will be here sometime near the end of next week I think, so we do have a lot of unpacking, sorting, and purging coming up soon. We'll probably take a break from our studies for a few days while we work on that, though I expect we'll still have the kids do math and English. Once we get everything in order it will be back to work for all of us.....Karl mostly in Miami and the rest of us with the house and school work. The baby's arrival sometime in October will have us taking more time off, not to mention whatever time we take when we move south, so we have to get our schooling in now before all the chaos ensues! Hopefully, we can get in a field trip or two before then, maybe to the zoo or one of the water parks here. We'll see how things develop.

So that's it. As things happen, I will post, but most of our info. is to be found on the other site for now.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Latest happenings

A link to today's post on our home school blog.

Our house-hunting trip yesterday went very well. We were actually home by about 2:30 p.m. and Emma was able to get in a decent afternoon nap. All the kids behaved very well, and we were able to look at 6 houses. Emma was over her illness so that was a wonderful thing, too. We didn't find anything we are ready to make an offer on just yet....we can't anyway because we need to close on our NY house first...but we did see a few with potential. There were two in particular that we liked a lot. Prices are kind of 'up there' so that's definitely a consideration. But we're hoping the extra money we've saved from Karl's field assignment, plus what we get from the sale of our NY home, will be enough to put down and get a decent chunk cut out of the mortgage. We'll see. There will have to be a few more trips down to look at other homes. The realtor is going to send us another link to homes in some other areas, so we can see what is available. I'm so thankful that everyone was well and we were able to go. Please continue praying that we will be directed to the home God has for us. Thanks so much!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Changing my email address

I just had to blog about this...

If you ever receive/have received emails from me or send/have sent emails to me you will most likely get a quick note from me telling you my new address. I have had my hotmail account FOREVER and it has always been frustrating. Several weeks ago Karl helped me set up a new account through a different provider and so far I like it much better. I've been meaning to send out a note to everyone to notify of an address change and haven't gotten around to it...until tonight. I became very motivated when I was emailing a friend, responding to a recent email from her, and I LOST the email because hotmail decided to update the site while I was composing my message. Soooo....it disappeared into cyber-world...and I immediately typed up a little letter to all of my contacts about my new address. Frustration is as good a motivator as any, I suppose. SO, please send any emails to the new address. Thanks. ;)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Our weekend

I don't have a lot to share today. I just wanted to say that we're enjoying a long weekend at home...Karl even has Monday off so it will be nice to just hang out with him.

Tuesday we are meeting our realtor in Miami to look at some homes. We decided to go ahead and start looking. We've been searching online occasionally but thought it would be a good idea to physically go see some of them. We're planning to take all the kids, so prayers that they will be pleasant and cooperative...and that we will be patient with them.

That's really it....hope everyone has a great and safe 4th.