Monday, June 29

This Could Be Our Future

We have been looking for a while to move to West Hills, a nearby neighborhood where we would be within walking distance from the elementary school and the park. This is a neighborhood of 50's era houses, many of them ranches (like the one we are trying to purchase), where everyone knows their neighbor (we actually know the neighbor of the house we are looking at) and kids play in the front yard while the parents sit on the front porch. It makes me nostalgic for a simpler life of the past just thinking about it.
Anyway, our current house went under contract tonight and we have a verbal agreement on a house in West Hills contingent on the sale of our current house. Now we just have to make it through home inspections on both houses, loans going through, appraisals coming out right and the rest of the stuff that goes with home sales.

Friday, June 12

Summer is here!

Don't miss the previous post just below this one.

Somehow, between visitors in May, getting ready for vacation, and trying to buy a house/get ours on the market, I forgot that June was on its way and with it comes summer - meaning endless empty days needing to be filled with activities planned by ME! Not that this is a bad thing, it just requires some effort and thinking ahead. So, I spent the other day making a list of things we can do every day that are either free or pretty cheap. Yesterday morning I attempted to take the kids to one of these super fun planned activities (indoors, as it was threatening rain) only to be misled by incorrect information on the web. We were going to try open play time at Gym Bugs only to find it closed that day. We headed over to Smart Toys instead just to look around and play a little and found that we were there in time for their weekly storytime. We sat in on that for a while until Owen got bored. We all ended up having a good time despite our initial disappointment. The afternoon still seemed to drag by, but that's just the way it goes sometimes.

Backing up, yes, our house is on the market. It's a long story including a great house that we put an offer on hours after someone else. But, it got us set in motion and it is a great time to buy, if you can find what you want. Selling, however, is another matter. Our house has been on the market for three weeks now and we haven't had one showing. Our realtor was also in the hospital for a bit of that - it's been a crazy ride so far!

Our garden is coming along. I think we have a few plants that are usurping all the sun/water/nutrients and leaving the others a little weak, but it's interesting to watch things take off. We've been enjoying some tasty salads with our lettuce, which I expect to bolt soon due to the warm weather. Kate even tried the lettuce from the garden! She'll be the first to tell you she doesn't like "salad", but she said she liked it. You can see a small speck at the corner of her mouth as proof that she tried it. :)

More vacation photos

I didn't take very many pictures over vacation. We usually had our hands pretty full either with Kate in the water or making sure Owen was entertained. One beach day we somehow left the camera in the car and it had been such a trek that we didn't want to go back for it (too bad, because Fort De Soto was a beautiful beach). We saw people with wagons carrying either the stuff or the kids - we had to carry stuff and a kid and it was pretty rough! We might invest in a beach wagon next time! Once we were on the beach we stayed for a while. Nonetheless, we had a fabulous time at the beach and the pool (which was about 100 feet from our door) and we'll have more fun biking, kayaking, visiting parks, etc. as the kids get older. Great job on the condo, Grandma!! We can't wait to go back!

The pictures from this post and the previous one were of our first beach day at Honeymoon Island. This is how crowded the beach was that day (Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend and one of the first sunny days in a week).

And that's at a paid access State Park! I can't imagine how crowded it must have been down in Clearwater! This beach was still very nice, despite the crowds! Our beach neighbors offered me use of their chair and umbrella while Owen took a nap. We had a nice conversation while he snoozed (and we got an umbrella and a chair for our next beach day!).

When she wasn't in the water riding the waves, Kate was busy playing in the sand. I don't remember what she was doing here...

James was very proud of this tower Kate engineered out of beach rocks with mortar of sand and grass...

The pool was a great place for Kate and Owen to play. It had a nice surrounding ledge and shelf and really wide steps so Owen could just cruise in or out of the water!

We didn't have to worry about that one jumping in! I just noticed that he always had one hand on the top ledge. Oh, and this was our last day, so this was AFTER he had built up his confidence. A very cautious kid, that one!

I forgot to mention that we pretty much had the pool to ourselves most of the time, save a few sunbathers. It was so nice! Maybe we can sneak in one more week at the end of the summer...