Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thoughts on Moving

For an awful moment there it looked like the appraisal of the house would cause us to have to renegotiate the whole thing. The appraisal was coming in too low. Somehow it got fixed. We're still booked to close on the 27th.

That meant today was probably the last time we attended our ward before moving. Next week is the dedication of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple and our stake has suspended regular church meetings in order to allow people to attend the dedication. It wasn't something I'd realized before Husband got up to announce it in Sacrament Meeting, that this was kind of "it." My friend, Andrea, has been praying fervently and steadfastly that somehow we would not move. She's very upset with me at the moment. With all the other good-byes and well-wishes I got today, I nearly cried and wanted to back out of the whole thing.


There's still that thrill of new beginnings, of a change and a new challenge. Admittedly, I'm not fourteen, like Sian, and don't have to start attending a new high school and make new friends. The kids are having definite second thoughts these days, now that it's all coming to the point of no return. But I can't help but be quite excited, despite my sadness to leave behind family and friends. We're only 40 minutes away. It's not like we're moving to a new state or even a new country.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Conspiracy (?)

Joseph's head is healing just fine, but will leave a little scar. Gabrielle's mystery picture remains a mystery. The house buying continues. The sellers are building a new house and may need to rent the house from us for a little while as their new house is being finished, so now I'm in a quandry about whether or not to enroll the kids in the new school district and then drive them up and back (70 mile round trip every day) until we officially move. I need more information in order to make that decision.

My brother sent me this via email.

Hubby and I watched it last night. It's long (nearly two hours) but very interesting. I suggest you get some popcorn and settle in. Yes, it's a political piece. And yes, I happen to agree with the premise. I don't even think I'm necessarily a right-wing wacko involved in some sort of collaborative Republican underground movement.

Okay, I actually KNOW I'm not Republican -- or Democrat. I'm not registered with either, although I am fiscally and socially conservative. I am an at-home mom with six kids and some college education. I don't own a gun (yet) and I haven't even considered running for any office. I don't have a membership in any political organization, I allow my kids to go to public school -- although I have tried home-schooling twice -- and I've never lived on an encampment in northern Idaho with other people who think the government's out to get them.

In other words, I'm pretty normal. Average, even. But I read. I read and I read. I think any person with average intelligence and a desire to do some research will come to the conclusion that people in power wish to stay in power. People with money wish to keep the money and the power it brings; and not only do they want to keep the money and power, they want to expand. Some other people, who may or may not also have money and power, think they are smarter than everyone else and should tell the rest of us what to do. When these two groups get together, one group uses the other to further its dreams for ultimate rule. That's not too far-fetched, is it? It's only happened over and over throughout history. A little reading will show you that.

So when I can believe in a massive global conspiracy to rule the economy of the world and exploit the general population as animal resources -- along with the other natural resources, I think I have sufficient basis to do so. Most people poo-poo this particular conspiracy theory. The argument is that if such a conspiracy existed, it would be too massive to keep a secret; therefore, since they haven't heard anything about it, it's a product of the paranoid mind.

Newsflash: the people who want to rule the world have been very open about it for decades. They've written books and papers, left memos behind, funded very nasty people like Stalin, Lenin and Hitler, bragged about it. It's all there. You just have to dig a little. Also, you just have to have an objective view of all politics and politicians. If you go in with the opinion that career politicians sooner or later become corrupted (sooner, usually), you won't be often disappointed. Also, if you assume that most of the power players in Washington are bought and paid for by the shadow government, the group that wants to rule the world economy, you also won't be often disappointed.

Cynical? I don't know. But read the Book of Mormon, for instance. Firstly, it's a book that gives hope because it's another testament that Jesus Christ truly is in charge and is the actual and literal Son of God. Secondly, it's a warning. Why did Mormon include pages and pages of politics? Because, as he states openly, what happened to the Nephites is exactly what happens to any nation that forgets God. Also, it's a warning specifically to us, who live on this continent. Read Ether 8, where the clever, beautiful and very nasty daughter of Jared (not, of course, the original Jared, who was good, kind, and wise) re-introduces the awful secret combination that has been around since Cain killed Abel. That secret combination eventually brought down the Jaredite nation. One single person of that mighty empire survived the unspeakable slaughter of millions, and then he died an ignoble death amongst the new group of people who arrived on the South American continent.

The Gadianton robbers resurrected that same secret combination amongst the Nephites and infiltrated every level of government and society. In the end, that's what brought down the mighty Nephite nation.

That secret combination is what Mormon was warning us about. He tells us that we have to be always vigilant about finding and rooting it out, and that this secret combination isn't going away. It's Satan's plan. It's Satan's counterfeit of God's plan. It's been around since Adam and Eve. It's not going away. Yet.

Anyway, enough said. I do tend to rant. Sorry.

Just think about it. That's all I'm asking.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

House Hunting

Hello, friends. It's been a while. I've been busy. How? I'll tell you.

We've been house-hunting.

When we had prayed about it before, we always got the answer "No, stay where you are." Then suddenly, one day, it was, "Okay. Time to move. Now." We weren't bothering the Lord about it, honestly. The answer just changed one day. But, as anyone who can read the news knows, it is an excellent time to buy a house -- especially if you're not also trying to sell one.

Our house-hunting began with the help of our neighbor, former bishop and real estate agent, Carlos. Husband would look up houses on the MLS listings, send the MLS numbers to Carlos, and then we'd see five or six houses in a day. It was exhausting, and none of the houses presented everything we wanted. Most of them in our price range were quite worn out and needed some serious TLC before being acceptable.

Then we got the bright idea of looking outside our city. We concentrated on a group of three smaller cities -- towns, really -- about 25 to 35 miles north and west of where we live now. A whole new vista of possibilites opened up for us immediately. Homes that were new or nearly new -- or, if we wanted, not even built yet -- were well within what we could afford. We have now selected a lovely home that was built in 2000 and has five bedrooms and a huge backyard with plenty of space for a garden, and we are under contract. Husband's commute will be longer, of course, and the kids will be an entirely new school district, but it's a great area and the house is big enough, in great condition, and beautiful. We don't have anything to do to make the house perfectly acceptable. The owners, who were living in the house, had it so immaculately put together and staged that it was very easy to walk through the house and imagine ourselves living in it. It even has fruit trees! And a hot tub!

Note to self for the future, if we ever sell the house: Keep the house immaculately tidy for showings or move out before selling. We saw so many houses being sold privately that were so messy that it was hard to envision living in the house. Also, don't lock key doors, such as the master bedroom and storage rooms. That makes prospective buyers (people like us) very suspicious.

The front of the house. It has a very nice front yard, which is perfect for someone like me. I can weed and mow, but having to come up with landscaping ideas is beyond me.

View into the kitchen from the living room. There isn't much room for dining, so with eight of us eating dinner, we're going to have to get creative with seating.

Part of the backyard. At the end of the long yard (which is fully fenced, yay!), is a dirt area that will be a garden. It even has a gate in the fence so we can dump lumber and dirt for the square-foot-gardening frames right into the yard from the street and not have to carry it through from the front yard.

In other news, Little Gary dropped a large pot on his prone and unsuspecting older brother. The rim of the pot hit Joseph on the forehead and gashed it open a little. He doesn't need stitches, but we had to put a butterfly bandage on it and there was lots of crying.

As Husband was searching the internet for trampolines and doing some research, he went to a website for Aeroball tramps. Lo and behold, there was a picture of our own Gabrielle in the advertisement. I kid you not! She's on the right, the second to last picture from the bottom. We had no idea her picture had been taken and used in someone's advertisement. Isn't that illegal or something? Apparently, it happened while she was with a friend and his mother playing Aeroball at some sports center or other. That was about two years ago. At least her name, age, address and phone number are completely lacking. I don't know how her picture got on an ad for an Arizona company.

Little Gary's new favorite song is "I Can Sing a Rainbow." Argh. Sian loved that song when she was that age, as well. She used to scream in the car until we sang it over and over and over. And over. She can now sing it in sign language and she's not so fanatical about it at fourteen.