Monday, July 27, 2009

If walls could talk...

I am blogging today as an official homeowner. On July 17th, Derek and I closed on our new house. Since the road to closing took SO long and planning for the upcoming changes began long ago, the attitude was more of "It's about time..." than maybe the typical, "Woo Hoo! A House!!"

And because Derek and I are just absolutely crazy, we decided to buy a HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) home- essentially, it is a government foreclosure. With a quick look around the place, it is not hard to figure out that the previous owners were not so happy about their house being taken away. The kitchen cabinet doors are missing, along with all of the electrical outlet covers, and all of piping underneath the kitchen sink.

But really, those are the smallest issues in the house. To start, the basement wall has a crack. Well, maybe we should call it a canyon. It is leaning in about 12-18 inches from where it should be standing straight. The original plan was to just fix the crack (canyon), but it has now been decided that re-pouring a whole new wall would be best. And next, is the electrical. Part of it can be attributed to the house being over 50 years old. The second part is that well, someone thought that they were an electrician, but they clearly were not. I never know what switches turn on what lights and I swear it always changes. Many of the outlets have three prongs, which might indicate that the outlets are grounded, but they are not. Lastly, many components of the house are original. While "original" sometimes is a positive attribute, in this case, it just means "old." The door from the basement was painted with lead paint, the siding is rotting in places, and the windows won't even open.
View of basement (mold on ceiling)

The infamous crack

Alas, we knew what we were getting into. And the only reason we "got into" this ginormous task was because my father is a general contractor and can guide us throughout the project. We got an unbelievable deal on the house and we just couldn't pass it up. The house is really a perfect house for us (pending updating and repairs)-- three bedrooms, two full baths, full and finished basement, a huge yard with privacy fence, and it is a fantastic neighborhood. My favorite room in the house is the mater bedroom. I just love it. The room is spacious, has beautiful hardwood floors, two huge closets, a built in cabinet, and sliding glass doors to the back yard. Oh, and the master bath has a jetted tub. Heck yes! There is a park across the street and the city swimming pool, too. Not to mention, we are now about 1 minute away from church.

Dining room looking from living room.
Front door on left, basement door on right

Master Bedroom

View of half the backyard from the roof

The work on the house actually started before we closed... Ssshhh! Don't tell. But the mold was worsening so we went in and sprayed bleach and started running some fans to keep it from spreading. We've been over there several times now cleaning up the bricks in the back yard, changing the locks, installing a new basement door, and painting closet doors. But primarily, we've worked clearing out the basement- the ceiling and the paneling- to rid the place of mold. And I just have to include that when Derek and Forrest were tearing out the basement ceiling, drug paraphernalia came falling from the sky: 17 needles, 2 metal spoons, 2 beer cans, and a pack of cigarettes, to be exact. When I called to tell Dad he laughed and said, "If only walls could talk... " and I replied, "I'm not sure what they'd say, but if they could run... I am sure they would have run long ago without looking back!"

More Pictures Here

Monday, July 20, 2009

Eight Months

I am finally getting around to posting Jackson's eight month pictures. He looks so cute in his little Royals uniform! He loves playing with the baseball!

My little cutie!!

He's on the go!

This is how he looked at the camera the whole time.
The little stinker hardly smiled at all!

Isn't he precious? He was checking out the baseball.
Look at those eyelashes!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Videos and Pictures

I still couldn't find what I needed to upload pictures from my camera to my computer, so I just went out and bought one! And-- my new one is pink! :)

Here is video of Jackson and me playing with his baseball toy.

Here is a video of Jackson crawling.

It is kind of a long video, but along with the army crawl and climbing, it has some "Classic Jackson" in it. First, the crossed ankles. Unless his toes are in his mouth or he is standing up, his ankles are crossed. Second, you can hear him pant like a dog. He gets this from his Grandpa who pants back at him. Third, is standing up and bouncing. If someone would let him balance on them, he'd stand and bounce forever and ever. Sometimes, it is exhausting. And Fourth, is the babbling. This kid has a lot to say sometimes!!

Here are a few recent pictures:

Here is Jackson with my Grandma Trickel. This is a great picture!

And here Jackson is so excited to meet his cousin Gabe

Jackson is enjoying one of the best joys of summer-- Strawberry Icecream!

Jackson celebrates the 4th of July

Click here for more pictures. And remember, the newest pictures are at the end of the album.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's July... already?!?

Jackson has grown in leaps and bounds this past month. He is now crawling, pulling up, and feeding himself! He started saying Da-da right around Father's Day- perfect timing! In fact, Jackson has turned in to quite a Daddy's boy. When Derek is home, he wants to be with him and he doesn't want much to do with me!

A couple of months ago, I wrote about a time Jackson got into the cookie container and was most excited to find napkins and didn't even touch the cookies. Well, he found a cookie and managed to eat the whole thing, while smashing chocolate chips into the carpet and all over his new, white shirt. I'll be sure to add a picture once I find the cord to upload them to my computer. He was a MESS! But, he was happy.

Jackson has been swimming several times and he still loves splashing and kicking in the water. We went to a Royals game in the middle of June. We lost, but seeing the new stadium was cool. Plus, I got a really cute, pink (with rhinestones) Royals hat.

Our 3rd Anniversary was June 10th and to celebrate, Jackson's little cousin was born. Jackson was pretty intrigued by little baby Gabe when we went down to visit. He loves looking at babies and older kids. It's so crazy to think back to the time when Jackson was brand new and teeny-tiny. It wasn't even that long ago and now he is a babbling, crawling, busy little man!

One weekend in June, Jackson spent the night with my mom while Derek I went down to the lake with friends. My mom loves having Jackson spend the night and Derek and I had wonderful conversation on the drive. It was such an amazing weekend. It was relaxing and fun, despite being achy for a week from skiing.

At the end of May, we put an offer on a house in Belton and the contract was accepted in the beginning of June. This house is in dire need of TLC, but we are very excited about having a house of our own! We got an excelent deal on the house. It was a HUD foreclosure and has some pretty big issues to fix, but it's all do-able. We will close on the 17th of July, but we won't be able to move in right away. There is just too much to do. I am hoping that everything will be finished by October, but we definitely plan on moving in as soon as its liveable. Some of the work to be done: removing mold (which has gotten worse since we bid on the house), fix the crack in foundation, new siding, major plumbing work, grouding all electrical outlets, new cabinet doors, new widows... just to name a few. Call if you are extra eager to help! :)

We had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. On Friday, we went to my parents and Derek's parents joined us that evening. We had a good time all hanging out together. It is SUCH a blessing to have our families close by and that they not only get along, but enjoy the others company. Derek and I were FINALLY able to go Transformers on Saturday. I swear we were the last to see it. Pretty good, thought I still like the first one better. Saturday evening, we grilled at Derek's parent's place and ended up watching the neighbors fireworks from the roof-- it's a great view up there! We finished out the weekend over at a friends house on Sunday evening. Fellowship with friends is such an enjoyable time!!


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