Monday, July 27, 2009

Yup...that says 111 degrees. In Portland. After that winter and this summer I pose this question: Which is better: snow with or without plows for the roads? also is it better to have 105 degree weather with air conditioning, or 111 degree weather with no air conditioning? hmmmmm?

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Thursday, July 16, 2009


I was going to put this at the bottom of my previous post, but it deserves its own. Last Saturday was 7-11, so we went and got our free 7.11 oz slurpees! The kids were incredibly excited to get their own! We get things like that sometimes, but rarely their own. I'm constantly trying to explain to them that it's a much better deal to buy one 44 oz slurpee than two 22 oz ones. They always whine about it. So it was a fun treat to get their own, even if they were little! And Katy, who had probably never had her own, was the most excited of everyone!

One problem - no lids. So we sat in the parking lot to drink them, no way are three kids taking open slurpees in my car!

Keep reading, I also just posted about my race earlier that day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I can run fast!

Last year I visited my parents in June for Danny to go through the temple, and after a weekend of Nadine & Miriam doing a Marathon while Danny & Hannah ran the Meridian Mini-Marathon, I decided to take up jogging. My first jog was June 9th, so just over 13 months ago, and I really struggled to do maybe a mile. Well, after working hard for a year, I just ran in my first race! It felt good to have something to do that is all for me. I mean, running isn't exactly the most fun hobby in the world, but it works.

closing in on the finish line...I can do it!
But this is me less than a minute later. Not looking as happy! Oh, and I thought they told me to take off my number, not just rip off the bottom. Newbie mistake. I like how nice and flat my tummy looks - thank you, gravity!
My goal was to make 28 minutes, I'd been finishing around 28:15-28:30. I made it in 27:36!!! That's an 8:54 mile, maintained for 3.1 miles! And, mostly as a result of small age ranges and apparently not many 25-29 year old females, I got 2nd place in my division!!! The first place was in the 20 minute range, but we won't think about that. Second place, woohoo!

Here's me with Bryan Cook. Our families have been friends for as long as I can remember. He got second place too! Of course, he had to run a lot faster to place in a men's division. Boys can run fast. The first place guy was in the 16 minute range! Holy cow!

My mom ran too! Yay Grandma!

I feel very good about accomplishing this. I'm not exactly sure what to set as future goals though. I still can just barely do 3.5 miles, I guess I'll work on distance. And in a month and a half when both boys are in school it'll be easier, not so much running in circles. Well, there's a 5K this Saturday for our Stake that I'm planning on doing, maybe I'll shoot for 27:30. I can do it!

an update on the Morrills

I just took a little nap, and woke up thinking that I needed to blog about everyday life stuff that I'll want to remember. So here's a little update on each of the kids.

See the crazy look in his eyes? Holy cow, this kid is a handful! We stopped giving him his ADHD meds 3 1/2 weeks ago to allow his body time to catch up any growing it's missed. I wish I had measured him to know if it's been worth it. It's gotten really hard! I thought it was something that ran out of his system by bedtime and was gone, so the first day without pills would be the same as the 25th day (Which is what today would have been had I not gave in and medicated him). But it didn't seem that way, it seemed like he was getting progressively more and more impulsive. I babysat for a friend's 5 and 3 year old boys today, and they had been here maybe 5 minutes when David tried to kick the 5 year old in the privates! He's also really, really noisy unmedicated, both talking and just random sounds. He needs to have a basement or backyard to go to if he's going constantly be making noise! I need to not have David just be ADHD, but it probably is a useful thing to have recorded. I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow, if we'll keep him unmedicated for more of the summer. If he had a physical disorder we wouldn't think twice about treating it, why is a mental disorder so hard?

The other new thing with David is that he reads chapter books! Out of the blue one night last week (he gets to stay up and read for a while after Ryan goes to bed) I found him with an 83 page Pokemon book, and he said he was on page 51! He'd been upstairs on my bed reading for probably 45 minutes, and when we went through and asked him questions he got them all right. So I don't know if he did some skimming or something, but he knew a lot of it! I've got him started on Flat Stanley now, and he's read a few chapters. What a smart little 6 year old!

Sweet little Ryan turns 5 tomorrow. He's getting so big, but in some ways is still so little! I love that he still can't say his Ls, Rs, and THs. I know he should stop soon, but it's so cute! He's also a nice little cuddler. We went to see Horton Hears a Who for free yesterday, and partway through he asked "Can I sit on your wap (lap)?" Of course! Oh, and last night when I was reading to the boys Ryan saw a owie on my hand and asked "Did that huwt when you go it?" I told him that it did, then kept on reading. He kind of said "Hmm," and that was that. Sweet little guy!

Then, there is Katy. Beautiful, wonderful Katy. This is how she is right now, crowded in her full bed. Clockwise from bottom left we have her blankey that Grandma Smith made for her, Big Puppy that the boys gave her for Christmas, a baby Grandma Morrill gave her for her 1st birthday, a sippy cup of water, Pretty Bear that Great-Grandma Smith took her to make for her brithday this year, Little Puppy that she found for herself at Great-Grandma Maughan's house after her funeral, a book I got for her (I took a picture on the real camera that I took last night of her asleep with that book spread across her chest), and her Lambie Lovey that I got for her before she was even conceived. From time to time I'll take things out of her bed (Pretty Bear and her blankey and the most constant), then she'll find things and add them. She also often remembers Little Puppy and the baby if I take those out. It gets so crowded in there, but it's hard to argue when all those things represent someone who loves her!

I also have to say that I think Katy was meant to go to Aunt Miriam's family. I'm grateful for the mix up, but it's really funny! There's the curly hair (mine is straight as can be), the dislike of most fruit (there are only a few Katy will tolerate, and even those only occasionally), and her utter girliness, wearing dresses and skirts and jewelry whenever possible (you were like that as a little one, weren't you Miriam?). Then last night she was in the kitchen while I made dinner, and started crying because she stepped on a crumb. Then she started yelling at me about the floor being messy! Holy cow, rude two year old! But really, really funny too! Oh, and when we went into her room for naptime today she saw some toys on the floor and said "Oh no, so messy!" So we cleaned up before she went down. Silly little Princess!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

House Drama!

Buying a house is a lot different when you don't just have it built.

Middle of last month we found out that we qualify to buy a home even with our other one not sold because we have renters in there. So I looked on the mls online, found tons of possibilities, and one that we absolutely loved. I tried calling the agent listed, he gave me the number of the owner. I tried calling them, there was no answer, and their weird answering machine didn't work right (it never beeped!). So finally we just decided to drive buy it and see if we could find out more about it.

So I'm walking around the front yard, trying to figure out if we can get into the back or something, and a car pulls up. The guy rolls down his window and says "Do you want to see that house?" He lives just down the road, and was on his way out with his family, and is a real estate agent!

He couldn't get us in that day, but was able to the next. We liked it. We thought about it, and had Grandpa Smith come out and check it out with his perspective from working in construction. He liked it. So that night we made an offer.

That was June 15th. It was a short sale (which is anything but short!), so we set a "reply by" date of July 6th. There are multiple levels that need to approve a short sale, and it made it through 2 of the 3. One of the banks wanted a higher percentage or something. Rude.

So last weekend we thought it was time to start looking again, so we'd be ready to make another offer shortly after the short sale one ran out. We drove buy a bunch, and sent Aaron (who is now our agent, serendipitously) 4 mls numbers. All turned out to be short sales, and there were offers on 3 of the 4 already. The other one he took us to, and it had a ridiculous backyard. There was a trampoline, and I swear it was touching the house and the back fence at the same time. So that was out.

He drove us to a horrible one with 70s everything, and we started to think he must not think very much of us!

Then he took us here:

It doesn't look like much (although it's way way better than the same house on street view, before being newly painted!), but it has new: paint, carpet, travertine tile, hardwood floors, cabinets, granite counter tops (kitchen and bathrooms), appliances, septic system, grass, and really beautiful deck. We took a couple days to think about it (mostly me, not being sure about the area after thinking we were going to live in a new neighborhood), and made an offer on it.

So did two other people, and they offered more. But Aaron knows the guy, so he convinced him to give us first crack at it. He countered at $20K more than we had offered ($5K more than the listing price), and we said no. So he came back and asked what was the most we'd be able to do. We told him honestly what we were approved for, and said we really would like/need some closing costs. So he answered that with our full approval amount, no sellers concessions.

That would maybe be possible, but not without selling Dan's tuba and/or getting "gifts." And it just felt rude, that he was trying to get the absolute most he possibly could. I guess that's always the idea, but it just seemed rude. So we went and saw it again, and decided we liked it, but not THAT much.

In the meantime, we've driven all over Vancouver and Camas to scout out possible houses. And we've found that most of the time there's a pretty house that we can afford, it's two streets over from a mobile home park or something like that. Aaron showed us 4 yesterday, and there was only one was wasn't kinda awful. It should be a clue to us that something is wrong when they only have pictures of the outside and the kitchen...

So then Aaron gets back to us that the first home, the short sale, has officially foreclosed. So now the bank owns it. And they've ordered the appraisal, then will put it back on the market, most likely "aggressively priced." And - this is awesome! - their new agent will be one of the other agents in Aaron's office! She will give us first crack at it!

So now we sit and twiddle our thumbs for about a week and pray that the bank decides to price it where we can afford it. If they do, yay! If not, well, back to the drawing board. Fun, fun!