Friday, August 19, 2011

A Huge Sigh of Relief ...

It is finally over ... we closed on our new home TODAY!!  Because the seller had significantly different decor than I, the next several days will be spent painting.  We plan to move out of our temporary housing within the next 2-3 weeks. 
We had some very tense moments on Tuesday this past week.  The underwriters had some questions regarding the appraisal report and then they rejected our farm & ranch insurance.  By early afternoon it was looking like there wouldn't be any way to meet the buy/sell contract deadline.  But because of the army of people who've been praying for us, God came through in a mighty way. 
The appraiser responded to the questions promptly.  Our insurance agent contact her corporate office where she was given the name and number of a supervisor in the underwriter's office.  In turn, she convinced the underwriter to accept the farm & ranch insurance, which, by the way, saves us nearly $1,000 per year in insurance premiums.  After moving these mountains, God continued to show His mercy, grace and power.  Our loan officer contacted us for a faxed signature to "lock in" our interest rate - which turned out to be lower than originally quoted!  After that, our loan officer, real estate agent and the title company representative worked like tornadoes to get everything completed so we could close at 11:00am today.
I don't know why, but I am astonished at how God brought everything together so quickly when it looked like it would never be possible.  I am embarrassed to admit that I became very discouraged.  But, He's proved to me, again, that ALL things are POSSIBLE with God.

So, which house did we purchase?  Well, the farm house on 25 acres, of course.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Asking & Believing

photo courtesy of
 First, I want to thank everyone who has been praying for the purchase of our new home.  I am confident your prayers are what is moving this process along AND helping me keep my cool.  I've never in my life heard of, or known anyone, who had so many delays in the purchase of a new home.  Our situation has certainly turned out to be unique.  Remember, our home in Texas, once we finally got it on the market and accepted a fair offer, it took only 6 weeks from the signing of the buy/sell contract to the closing.  That sell went so smooth, I guess I became a little spoiled.  Regarding the new home we are purchasing, it has been 3 months since we signed the buy/sell contract.

"Gary" the appraiser FINALLY submitted the appraisal report at approximately 8:45am this morning.  Our loan officer immediately sent it to the underwriting department marked EXTREMELY URGENT.   She has also talked with the person handling our contracts and that person has agreed to make ours a top priority.  So, we are now waiting, yet again, this time for an approval from underwriting.  An approval this afternoon would be optimal, but realistically tomorrow afternoon is most likely.

Everyone is really under a time crunch with this deal.  We are currently operating within the automatic 15 day extension period on the buy/sell contract.  The seller is so frustrated that, at this moment, she is unwilling to agree to any additional contract extensions for the closing.  Our deadline for closing on this property is 5:00pm, Monday, August 22, 2011.  We, our realtor, the seller's realtor and our loan officer have done everything that can possibly be done in advance to get this sell to closing before the contract deadline.

So, I find myself asking you dear readers for additional prayers.  Our prayer is that everyone involved, from this moment forward, understands the urgency of this transaction and works diligently to complete and submit their portions of this transaction so that we close on our new home BEFORE the deadline.

I look forward to reporting, with a shout of praise, that our Lord moved the mountain!  This time next week, I look forward to sharing the good news with you - that our family is packing up and moving to our new home.

Thank you all for your continued prayers.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Lovely Week ...

Despite the worrisome news regarding the purchase of our new home, (and the prospect of loosing quite a bit of money that has been pre-paid for various fees, inspections, etc. - you know 1 1/2 yr. ago we lost a bit on a previous home purchase when we discovered the owners had an IRS lean on the property and were not legally capable of selling at that time .... GRRRR!) I think it is important to acknowledge the lovely blessings the Lord has poured upon me this week.

My first blessing came when we decided to let OG & EJ attend vacation Bible school at the church we've been attending while in our temporary home.  OG & EJ have been involved in church their entire lives, but this week's VBS was first for them.  It just seems as if we've always had something else scheduled or planned when VBS time rolled around, thus negating their involvement.  VBS actually provided several blessings for our family - God really knows how to get a 2 for 1 out of His blessings! 

Since OG is now 12 and about to enter 7th grade, (did I just type 7th grade?  I ask, yet again, where have the years gone?) she had the privilege of working as a helper.  She LOVED it !!  AAANND, I enjoyed all the nice compliments and positive feedback she received - it has been a terrific boost to her self perception.  Being so far away from her friends in S.E. Texas, and still apprehensive about making friends here because we are planning to move very soon,  this opportunity has been wonderful for her. 

VBS provided EJ with a very constructive and active routine.  He is the "poster child" of little boys and the busier we can keep him the better every one's day.  There were far more boys in his age group than girls.  Another blessing.  For some reason, we are the parents of 4 boys and 1 little girl, yet the majority of our friends and acquaintances have always had daughters OR if they do have boys there seems to always be a HUGE age gap in their ages.  EJ had such a terrific time playing, learning, crafting, singing & dancing with lots of other boys his age.  It was such a joy to see how excited he was to attend VBS.

I was blessed by a unique situation through VBS.  I did not volunteer.  I did not attend.  I dropped OG & EJ off @ 8:30 am and picked them up at 12:20 pm everyday.  Since Mr.B and my dad were at work, I then came home to quiet.  The living room box was not blaring non-stop bla, bla, bla.  No one knocked on the door while I was in the bath.  I didn't have to stop in the midst of painting my toenails to get fetch anything.  I opened a box of zingers and didn't have to share my little cupcake!  I made lunches and no one said, "What are you making?  Oh, I don't like that."  I got to meditate on the Lord without anyone interrupting ... Until this week, I've never had daytime hours that did not belong to others.  Prior to becoming a stay at home mom, my mornings were spent rushing the boys off to pubic school and me racing into work.  When I left the workforce and came home full-time, I had a newborn, a toddler and a Jr. high homeschooler.  VBS provided me with a blissful break.  I am so thankful the Lord gave me this gift, this memory is one I am sure I will cherish for quite some time.

The crescendo of blessings this week culminated in meeting a fellow blogger - in person!!!!  Mrs. SP and her beautiful children met us at one of our local parks yesterday.  I had an incredibly wonderful visit with her!  I am so excited about getting to know this sweet sister in Christ better.  Long story short,  I began reading her blog, Oh, I guess a little more than a year ago??, and through reading a few of her post, I began wondering if she lived close to where Mr.B and I had been trying to move.  I inquired, she e-mailed and Yes! she did.  So, since we are now moved to the area, earlier this week she and I made plans to meet each other in person.  She was friendly and welcoming and her children were precious and lovely.  I look forward to seeing her and her family again, very soon.

Regardless of how our housing situation turns out, I must remember and focus on the abundant blessings the Lord has showered upon me this week.  He reminded me of how much He loves me.  He reminded me of how important I am to Him.  I am so grateful He chose this particular week to shower me with love.  (insert:  deep breath and sigh).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fervent Prayers

photo courtesy of
Hello my sweet and faithful blog readers.  A couple days ago I e-mailed a prayer request to most of my e-mail contacts.  Today, I have decided to share that request with you, my dear readers.

As you all know, I've been very excited about the home we are in the process of purchasing.  You also know that we have been waiting a VERY long time for the appraiser to submit his report.  We've been waiting too long - more than 3 weeks.  Our Buy / Sell Agreement stated that were were supposed to close on Monday, but has an automatic 15 day extension clause.  Because the appraisal report was not in before Monday, and still isn't in, the closing did not happen.  All this is COMPLETELY out of our hands.  Although the buyer has to pay for the appraisal, the lender's underwriter chooses the appraiser.  State law prevents the buyer and seller from having any say in who does the appraisal work.
As of today, the seller is at her breaking point.  These delays have wreaked havoc in her plans to move out of state and she is madder than a nest of hornets.  She has voiced the ultimatum that if the appraisal report is not turned into the lender by Monday morning, she will break the buy / sell contract and withdrawal from the sell.
I know it is hard for most anyone to believe, but there is a severe housing shortage in this area.  We've met entire families living in RV's and tents - not because they don't qualify for mortgages or lease agreements, but because there simply isn't any available housing.  Our lives have been on hold for 2 years and 9 months.  I honestly don't know how much longer I can continue in this situation.
My realtor spoke with the appraiser early this afternoon.  "Gary", the appraiser, promised he'd have the appraisal report turned in early Monday morning.  However, please note that he promised to have the report turned in by the end of July, then by Aug. 5th, then by Aug. 10th and has not yet submitted anything.
I ask you, dear readers, please join me in fervent prayer.  I pray this appraiser keeps his word this time.  With tears streaming down my face I pray that this trial comes to end - that our family can be settled and begin moving on and living our lives.
The Bible tell us, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;  For everyone one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened"  Matthew 7:7-8 KJV
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive".  Matthew 21:22 KJV
"He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them"  Psalms 145:18 & 19 KJV
"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."  Jeremiah 33:3 KJV
"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."  Mark 11:24 KJV

Although this appraiser has given me three occasions to NOT trust him, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,  has given me every reason to Him.  I realize that in the natural things look very dismal, but I serve the Living God of the supernatural and He is able to move mountains when necessary.  Our family's desire is that we close on this home next week so we can give God ALL THE GLORY for bringing it to pass.
Dear readers, thank you so much for joining me in prayer.  Thank you for believing with me that our Lord will be glorified with  a shout of praise when we close on this house.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Floor Plans

Question:  An open great room OR a segregated kitchen?

After many years of living in apartments and trailer homes with segregated kitchens, I always dreamed of having a large open kitchen, dining, living room combo, aka the great room.  When I purchased our previous home nearly 16 1/2 years ago the kitchen was segregated.  So, the dream of a great room where I would not be isolated from gatherings while preparing snacks or meals continued to be a dream.

During this relocation process our desire for a great room configuration continued.  But we've never eliminated looking at homes that have segregated kitchens because, after remodeling our old house, we've discovered that we could always knock down a couple walls if necessary.  Four months ago, the littles and I moved into our temporary housing with Mr.B.  We are currently living in a three bedroom, 2 bath trailer home that has the great room configuration we've always dreamed of.  While working in the kitchen, I am "right in the middle" of everything going on in the living room area.  A dream come true, right?

NOT !!!  Mr.B has, in my opinion, an addiction to television.  If he is awake and a television is present, that noisy box is blaring.  True crime shows, political debate programs, newscasts, hunting/fishing shows ... on and on it goes - a never ending barrage of blah, blah, blah (he doesn't even turn it off when we have guests).  Now, those of you who know me personally know that I can go days, even weeks, without turning the "box" on.  I like and enjoy silence.  I have many interests that keep me occupied and thus, I have do not have a need to be entertained by the television.  Please don't get me wrong, I do enjoy watching an occasional movie and generally, when living in S.E. Texas away from Mr.B I did make a point to catch a news broadcast every 7-10 days.  Because of newspapers and free newspaper reading via the internet, I've never found a t.v. to be a necessity.

During the past 4 months, I have discovered that while a great room configuration would be nice for social gatherings, it is not practical for our family's day-to-day living.  We home school at the kitchen table - the noise of the television is a constant distraction.  I spend a lot of time working in the kitchen - the television is a constant distraction and annoyance.  If I want to read a book, I have to isolate myself in the bedroom, if I want to read some blogs or post on my own blog, I have to wait until Mr.B is gone, so the television is not a distraction.  When trying to talk with the children or have a Bible lesson, we have to isolate ourselves in a bedroom, because, again, the television is a huge distraction.  And my #1 "nails scraping a chalkboard moment", trying to enjoy a nice family meal while Mr.B and the little's heads are turned to stare at the box! - I've given up trying to have a mealtime conversation.

This has been another lesson to me that we need to think through very carefully the things we wish for.  I have been the driving force behind our family's desire for a great room configuration, but now that I'm living with one - I've learned that I did not realize the full implications of how negatively that type of floor plan would affect our daily lives.  It is ironic that I am now very happy that the home we are currently purchasing has a large segregated eat-in kitchen.  I'm confident I will find myself isolated during a few social gatherings, but regarding day-to-day living, I will welcome the quiet and isolation as the littles and I work on our daily tasks.  Most of all, I will, once again, welcome daily family meal times without that blaring box.

When we first put an offer on our new home, 3 months ago, I thought this home was a 9 out of 10 because of the segregated kitchen.  Now, because of the segregated kitchen, I expect our new home to become a perfect 10!

Friday, August 5, 2011

& More Waiting ...

Can you believe it?  Come Monday, we will not be closing on our new home.  The appraiser finished his appraisal 3 weeks ago, BUT has yet to submit his report.  Everything else is completed and all is ready to go to closing.  However, the closing can not and will not happen until the appraisal report is submitted.  I am baffled as to why this relocation process has been SOOO drawn out.  Not only am I perplexed, I am also exhausted.

My prayer:  "Lord, move upon the hearts and minds of the appraiser, and everyone else involved in this home purchase process, to complete their tasks in a timely and professional manner.  Lord, bring our wait to an end, settle our family into our new home so that we and our children will have a peace and security and we may go forth and begin serving you within our new community.  In Jesus name, Amen."