I declared it cleaning day.
Today I finished three loads of laundry (all folded and put away), helped the boys clean their room, Audrey cleaned the kids’ bathroom, I vacuumed and dusted the master bedroom, and I swept and dusted the dining room and family room and Ethan vacuumed the upstairs hallway. I have more on my list, but still have time to get to it.
I’m back on track with my eating too. It’s been a disaster. Really, really bad. I’m determined that today I’m turning it around. Baby steps!
Now, it’s time to clean the kitchen and vacuum the stairs. Doesn’t that sound fun?!
Two things I read on twitter sum this up:
From Jon Acuff: “The only thing Nashville has more of than hipsters is pollen.”
From Christy Nockles: “”I think the kids and I will head to the park and make pollen angels…”
That also means the return of the red wasps that love the pollen from the holly bushes. The holly bushes happen to be planted near the front doors of all the units in our HOA. Hmmmm….. interesting planning. It makes entering and exiting the house like a scene out of Mission Impossible. Also, they love the van. Getting in and out of the van without screams and terror is near impossible. I watched a wasp fly into a car that was sitting in front of me at a stop light today. It exited out the other window after much commotion.
My friend, Kimberely, visited us this week. She was here from Wednesday night until Saturday morning. I took the opportunity to drop the kids off at a friends house on Thursday and take in some historical places in town with her.
You may or may not know that the town we currently live in was a site of a very bloody battle during the Civil War. Sometimes I forget too, but I’m reminded when the traffic is backed up and I realize that it’s because Civil War reenactors are marching up one of the main streets in town! My other reminders are the brown signs all over town that say, “You are now entering the battlefield of Franklin”.
Kimberely and I toured the “big three” historical sites in Franklin that are associated with the battle: The Carter House, The Lotz House and Carnton Plantation. Of the three, the Carter House tour was the most interesting. Imagine getting a knock on your door one day and finding Union Soldiers who are there to announce they are taking over your home as their headquarters for a battle. The family and neighbors hid in the cellar while the battle raged around them. 5 hours after the battle started over 6,000 soldiers had been killed.
Living here has increased my interested in Civil War history.
Now I just need to visit all the major Nashville sites and I’ll really feel settled in here!
We rearranged again. Now the dining room table is in the middle of the family room. The couch, chair and TV are in the Dining Room! We’re wild and crazy like that, evidently.
I felt the need to move things around. I couldn’t get our family room size and furniture to arrange in a way that I felt was cozy. And the dining room table felt too big for the dining room. I’ve always loved switching up how furniture is arranged. Some of it is that it feels like I have a new place when it’s done. The other aspect for me is that in recent years I usually do that when I need to feel better about the place where I’m living. If I feel restless and discontent, moving the furniture usually helps.
I have definitely been feeling restless and discontent. I’ve been praying a lot about it lately. Getting the paperwork to list our home was sobering. If we get what we owe (which is WAY above market value), we need to bring $11,000 to closing. If we get what our realtor thinks we’ll get, we need to bring $33,000 to closing. It feels like an impossible situation.
Our plan to save up enough money for a down payment for a house here seems so far out of reach too. The medical costs keep coming. Within the next month, we’re going to be spending more than $700 just to get xrays and teeth cleaning for the 5 of us. And I know that at least two of us will have cavities. That will be an additional expense. We have some saved up for medical expenses and we can reallocate money saved for different things. We can pay the bills, thankfully! The problem is that between saving for travel to see family, medical expenses, car repairs and for house repairs and a possible empty house in Winsted (depending on if the tenants decide to move), there is little left to save for anything else.
The truth is, when we do our budget, we have not been able to allocate money for things that we really should because of our mortgage in MN. We’re at a point where we need to set a date that is really soon for when we’re done with our home in MN and/or we need to find an additional source of significant income.
I’ve been quiet on the blog because I’ve felt sad about this, but I didn’t know how to express it. I don’t want it to seem like we’re in poverty. We’re not. And I don’t want it to seem like a request for money. I’m not asking for money.
In the meantime, I’m rearranging furniture.
Daddy Daughter Ball
A local church had a Daddy Daughter Ball on Friday night. Nathan and Audrey got dressed up and went dancing! They also got lots of candy, made necklaces and Audrey won a $10 gift card to Sweet CeCe’s. They had a great time.
We talked to our property manager tonight. We had been waiting to hear if our tenants wanted to buy our house, but we have not heard anything from them. So, it’s time to list the house. It sounds like it will probably be listed once we sign an agreement this week. The current lease is up at the end of April. We’re praying that they will renew.
Please be in prayer for us. The last month has really taken a toll. Having the house issue up in the air is hard. I’ve also been dealing with homeschool stress, Nathan’s face is hurting again and now I’m experiencing some physical things that I’m going to need to get checked out. The muscle under my left eye has been twitching since Friday (off and on for over two days now– anytime I pay attention to see if it’s happening, it is) and now it just feels weird in general. It’s probably stress related. I’m trying to figure out a way to not be anxious, but it’s hard. I’ve been praying about it. I wish God would just take away the anxiety.
It feels like we’re under attack. We would really appreciate the prayers.
Ethan was invited to the rehearsal of the Veggie Tales Live! show that is going to be happening in Nashville soon. It wasn’t open to the public, but family members of employees could go. So, our friends invited Ethan to join their family for the afternoon. That was yesterday. He had a great time and from what I can tell, he behaved himself!
This is unrelated, but too good to keep to myself. I was in the car with the kids and a song came on that has been on the radio for several years and Ethan was listening to the lyrics. Then he asked me “What are lobster lonely people?” He was hearing “lost and lonely” as “lobster lonely”. Hee hee I hope there are no lobster lonely people reading this post.
I have declared today to be Teacher Appreciation Day! I notified Nathan of the fact as he was leaving to get some groceries for me. I can’t wait to see what he comes back with
The last time I posted about our house, I was so confident and sure of our “plan” for this year.
A day later Nathan ended up in Urgent Care ($100), the next day he was in the ER ($200?), then he needed prescriptions ($80) and a follow-up doctor appointment ($94 — amazingly great deal!), then Audrey needed to go the doctor ($not sure the price of that yet), and she needed meds ($100) then our property manager called to say that the dishwasher was needing fixing and possibly needed to be replaced ($200?), and yesterday she called again and said that the washing machine wasn’t draining and we needed to have someone come and look at the drains and clear out tree roots that were probably causing issues and we need decided to also have him take a scope/camera down and give us pictures of what is really happening so we can figure out what we need to do to keep everything draining properly ($300).
Our big plan to save for a down payment for a house doesn’t look so easy now. It’s probably unlikely that we’ll have $1000 in unexpected expenses each month, but it has still been discouraging. Thankfully, we had some money earmarked for house expenses and another fund for medical expenses. I had been allocating a little to each of those funds each month. I’m very glad that I did.
Our tenants might be interested in seeing if they can get approved for a loan to buy our house. That would be great, but we don’t want to give them a steal just because they are renting from us. We want the best price we can get for the place and if they can’t offer enough money so that we can avoid a short-sale situation, we wont be able to sell to them because a short-sale means no one will give us a mortgage for 3 years.
I’m not even sure what the next step is in that process. I imagine will find out next week.
I know God is in control and I shouldn’t be discouraged, but I am.
It doesn’t seem like having a cold should derail me so completely. Sore throat, alternating stuffy and running nose, sinus pain, and lots of sneezing. I want to stay in bed, but life isn’t stopping for me! I went to the store and stocked up on Zicam and Emergen C. I need to kick this thing because Ethan and Audrey need to do school and laundry needs laundering and dishes need washing.
To add to our excitement, we’ve just started doing the online K12 school for Ethan. I wanted to check it out for the second half of this year to see how Ethan does. I needed a little more structure and some way to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. We also want to transition to Ethan to the local public school system in the next year or two and I want to make sure that he is ready when that happens. I’m waiting to talk to the teacher that is working with us. Ethan just passed the second semester Math assessment and I’m not sure what he is supposed to be doing next.
Nathan is staying busy with fun work projects. His love and skill with the Ruby programming language has put him in a unique position at Lampo as they are just adopting that language. He has been able to be on the ground floor in setting up some basic practices and he’s been given more leadership opportunities. Still no change in the Bell’s Palsy. We have some leads to follow with chiropractic care.
I fell off the wagon with keeping Audrey off bread and sugar. It was more work! I need to stock up more on fresh fruits and veggies and try again.
We fled the frigid cold of MN when we moved to TN, but we got some crazy weather in return.
I’ve never lived in a place that could have tornadoes one day and a chance of snow the next. That’s been how things have gone this week.
During the day on Tuesday I had been reading reports that we could have severe thunderstorms and a good possibility of tornadoes late that evening/early Wednesday morning. I woke up at 3:00 am Wednesday morning and realized I was hearing tornado sirens. I grabbed my tablet and pulled up my twitter feed because I follow the posts of a guy who is a meteorologist and lives really close to us. He said “grab your kids and your shoes and go to a safe place.” So we woke the kids and all of us camped out in the half bath on the main level of the townhouse. We stayed until we got the “all clear”. It was almost 4am at that point. I was a little frightened because the wind was really strong, but the kids did really well.
Franklin did get hit with a tornado. It was a couple of miles from us and thankfully, everyone was safe. It was only a mile long and lasted only a minute. There was some building damage and there are trees down throughout the town. Our next door neighbor’s shutter ended up under Nathan’s car. There were at least 13 tornadoes confirmed from that storm!
Tonight I’m hearing there is a chance of snow.
In Nathan news, he saw a doctor today to follow-up from the ER visit. Nathan was thoroughly checked over. There is nothing new to report. All the stuff Nathan is feeling and experiencing is “normal” for someone suffering from Bell’s Palsy. The doctor said it could take a long time to get better and that it’s possible that he could get better with weeks or that it’s a permanent thing that he has to deal with. That’s where we are at with that.
This is the right half of Nathan’s face reporting in!
My right. Not yours. It’s like a game! Put your hand over the right half of the picture to see how I’m feeling!
Amy’s been keeping everyone appraised of what’s been going on, but I figured I should report in as well. I’m learning about Bell’s Palsy the hard way!
Some surprisingly problematic things with half a face:
- Whistling. Nope. Completely impossible.
- Spitting. Not gonna happen. Best you can do is open your mouth over the sink and let the toothpaste drip out like a foaming, rabid dog.
- Drinking out of a water bottle. Somehow I did this earlier today, but I’m honestly not sure how….
- Eating yogurt or anything off a spoon. Not impossible, but really humorous to watch.
- B’s, P’s, V’s, and especially the dreaded F’s. You need to close your lips to make these sounds, and I get a buzz or a pbfbfbfbfbt sound instead…
- Peanut butter. It gets stuck in your cheek and although you may not notice it, you tense up your cheek when you try to get at it with your tongue.
- Licking off your fingers. Same pfbfbfbfbfbt sound!
- Wild wings. I leave that one as an exercise for your imagination!
My face is about the same as it was on Saturday. My eyebrow, eyelid, lip, and nose will occasionally start twitching but nothing major. (I’m not sure if that’s a good sign or not, but it’s kinda fun.) I’m getting better at keeping eye drops in, so my eye isn’t drying out as much as it was Sunday and Monday. I’m settling into a routine and starting to get used to things as they are…
The right side of my face is a little less sore today, though my neck muscles are still doing some weird compensating that leaves them tight and sore. They, too, are less sore than they were yesterday. I must be unconsciously compensating and working muscles in strange ways.
My spirits are up. I was pretty down yesterday night when I realized this could be a long process, and I just couldn’t find a good way to tape my eye shut and things seemed so frustrating.
Today, it’s not so bad. I have an awesome wife and a great family. I have friends at work that will laugh with me. All in all a good life, even if I only have half a face to enjoy it with right now.