Sunday, March 28, 2010

Three Reasons

Above could have been a scene from the garage sale we had this Saturday. Plus the two ladies who taught me how to bargain last time I had a garage sale. It was a beautiful day, perfect to be spent outdoors doing things as a family. It was also a perfect Spring day to have a sale. I have neither done a lot of "garage saleing" nor hosted a sale my self in the Spring. So I wasn't sure how it would turn out. But , I could think of at least three reasons to justify doing a garage sale during the nontraditional (which is summer, here in the NW) season:
  1. No competition within miles in radius
  2. No need to sit in a stuffy garage or cook in the sun
  3. Anxiousness of one to get rid of the junk in the house, garage AND in the storage=satisfaction of the Spring cleaning fever
We had probably over 50 cars stop by last Saturday for the garage sale and collectively (with a few relatives of mine) made about $300 in that one day. Two cars pulled up before we posted the signs. They used the craigslist address which I posted late the night before. People are obviously garage sale hungry already. So c'mon, get your junk together and feed the masses!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

And the answers are....

...yes, no, a partial yes, a big fat no, and no.
A while ago, I wrote a post about waiting for certain things. You can read about it here. Read below if you care to know the answers!

1) I got a $5000 grant towards my master's degree!!! I am so exited! All this took was a letter from my principal and a short grant application. is awesome!
2)We didn't get our temporary child. Yet. It looks like we will get one sometime in September. More details to come then.
3) Some of Peter's client paid him. We did get a letter from one's lawyer notifying us of bankrupcy. Peter has worked for this particular client over the course of 10 years doing various projects around his two houses. And they always paid, often ahead of time. We hold no grudge against them, but feel bad this has happened to them.
4) A reply from our mortgage company regarding the modification of our loan was a NO! We are not behind on our payments. To qualify, one must be! They actually told us that in a written form. Apparently we make too much money for modification and too little for refinancing. We are stuck in the middle.
5) I did not get the two week teacher exchange trip. I can think of many reasons for that. One (which hurts my ego least) being that I am not a full time teacher and one must be.

As the old saying goes, "The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm." It is good to remind oneself of this when most of the answers to your pleas are NO.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Because This is How We Do It.

How do you plan weekend getaways? This is how we do it. We fix the car, go shopping for snow gear, pack clothes, pack food, and arrange our stay all in ONE day. Did I mention that we often decide whether or not to go on the same day we do everything else? This IS as fun as it sounds. Those of you who plan family outings 2 years ahead may gasp, right about here.

For as long as we've been married, we have been really bad at planning things ahead of time. Maybe its the uncertain nature about my husband's job or the anticipation of something else coming up in the future that might force us to cancel our trip. I am not sure why we do it like that, but we just do. Only eight years ago, it was quite easy. Everything we needed used to fit in one gym bag and we were on our way in less than an hour. Usually. Now, with three little ones tagging along, an impromptu trip preparation is just not as fun as it used to be.

This particular trip was decided on the same morning. On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon we decided to go down to the coast. I quickly packed up extra clothing and threw whatever food we had in the cooler. We were on our way to the coast and were supposed to arrive in an hour and a half. BUT not before my husband stops by and gives this lady and estimate on her projects. Because you see, the house was on the way to the coast and the appointment not like this trip, was made a head of time.

The appointment took longer than he planned, and the lady while spotting my bouncing off the car kids, kindly suggested we drive down to the park that was close by. It turned out that this nameless park was perfect for my kids. Nestled in the middle of this upper-middle class neighborhood, it had two big playgrounds, a paved road that led around a huge pond and lots of beautiful blossoming trees.

With the weather in the high 60s and sunshine that actually delivered warmth, this was a perfect place to be. Kids were exploring and I, just sat on the bench and received pleasure from watching them navigate through a new to them playground. Notice the rubber boots. These were planned to be worn at the beach, of coarse.

Some of you may have guessed the end of my story already. I'll validate your suspicion and say that we did not make it to the beach that day because when we all got into the car to go get Peter, the car would not start. This happens about once a week to us. The car does not start for about 20 minutes and then it miraculously does. Just like that. It is truly puzzling. When we loaded everbody for a two hour trip, we just hoped that today would not be that day. Very educated reasoning, I know.

Me trying to start up the car while Peter was hitting certain car parts with a metal rod.
photo taken by Abby

While we sat there like this and contemplated whether to call towing or not, one nice mane offered us a ride home. He must have assumed we lived in the neighborhood because if he knew that we lived 40 minutes away, he would have to be SUPER nice to do that.
Anyhow, the car started just as we were about to call towing and we buckled up ourselves for a trip home.

We ended up doing things outdoors around house the rest of the day. We even managed to hit another playground by our house. It was wonderful and rare!for the five of us to be together for an entire day, outdoors. Though things didn't turned out the way we had in mind, we were together as a family--happy, healthy and well and that's all that mattered to all of us.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Let the Girl Dream!

Going to Europe for a family vacation has been a dream of mine since, well, my little family was created. I got a one week glimse at that world treasure good ten years ago when I traveled to Germany with a good friend of mine. A very nice Russian family showed us around Germany and even helped us get on a train to Paris. Then, at nineteen years old, I remember thinking, "Wow, this and this and that is incredible! Where have I been all my life!"

Fast forward to 2010, I find myself still dreaming about coming back to this place. I want to explore more of it. I want to chill on the beaches of Spain and Italy and visit the countryside of France. Oh, and I cannot forget Greece. Ahhhhh, Greece. I want to hit many museums and historic places and go backpacking. All this, I want to do with my family, meaning a husband and three little children. Usually, this fancying dies quickly. All I have to do is look up the checking and saving balance and wolah! Back to home my wondering mind returns. Everyone knows that Europe is expensive. Some of us, just need to be reminded of that from time to time. quote an old cliche, there is always more than one way to skin a cat! I have recently discovered a way that may actually one day turn my dream into reality. I read about and really hope I can participate in a year or two. Basically, this is a home exchange program where a family can exchange their house with a different family in a country of their choosing. The exchange can be stimultanious, meaning they will be using your house while you will be using theirs. This company has been around since 1953 (I have no idea how they did this before internet) and is legitimate.

Do you realize how many thousands of dollars this can save you? I do, and I am sold on this! Too bad this summer is not a good summer for us due to lack of several thousands of dollars for things like air and food for five persons, but as soon as we have enough saved up, it would be simply be a dream come true. But for now, let the girl dream, would ya?

(I really hope some of you will be able to participate in this. Just remember to write me back and tell me how cool your experience was:).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


"You look first!"

"No, I think you should do it!"

"Look at that, ITS everywhere!"

"Gross! Disgusting! I can't believe they got it here!"

Above is a summary of a dialog between me and the teacher with whom I share a room. Yes, these expressions were made in our classroom. Yes, we are referring to a mice trap, mice and their (excuse the imagery) droppings. They most exciting thing we have to look forward to is explaining these visits to our students, enforcing the no food/drink rule and cleaning the inside cupboards of our desks. Oh ye, and if someone can PLEASE give us some ideas of how to be proactive to the possibility of seeing a mouse or two running across the room during a lesson, please let me know. As if teenagers are not distracted enough! I think that it is safe to say that the rest of school year will be awesome.