Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lake Weekend 2015

You can obviously see how much is going on with how often the posts are coming.

Every summer, we visit the lake, and I notice I write about it every other year, so I am due to share.

This year, the boys decided life jackets were not worth crying over. They gladly wore them.

The weather was COLD this year! We had a bad storm come through on our first night and it made things cold. It was so much warmer to be in the water.

Both boys don't like the idea of just floating and not touching the bottom. I forced Mr. Brigglesworth to float with me. He came up with all kinds of excuses to get out. My favorite was, "I'm really tired. I want a nap." Ha! Not at 10:30, buddy!

They both loved the boat. Mr. Briggleworth wanted to drive.

Auntie Julie let him!

And she let Little JCrew drive too!

They loved going under the bridge to honk the horn at trolls.

We had a great group that always goes with us. The kids were so cute eating watermelon. Even mine decided to try it!

Mr. JCrew is the resident kid entertainer. They think he is so funny! He tackles them and plays this "attack game" with a large stuffed fish. It's funny to hear the kids screaming. And something as little as fizz out of a coke can turns into a laughing session.

Little JCrew gets shy now when I take pictures of him. He covers his face.

While we were getting breakfast ready, the kids had fun with chalk.

They started making outlines of themselves.

The boys had me write their "letters" on them and Little JCrew made a smiley face on his.

After they were done, it looked like a crime scene.

I love this little tradition we have started. It's all about spending time with a great group of friends and making memories that will last our lifetime!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Good-bye Maple Grove

Today we officially say goodbye to our old house.

Last year, we put our house on the market to sell. Our first viewer made us an offer. It was not the typical offer, so we had to think about it. It was a lease-to-purchase contract.

A lease-to-purchase was unfamiliar to me, so I had to research and see if I was comfortable. Our buyer would start off as our tenant. He would pay monthly rent and a portion of that rent would go towards the equity in the purchase price of the house. Or the portion of rent money could be used towards his closing costs.

In our agreement, the tenant could keep renting for a whole year and at anytime during that year he could decide to go through the purchase. If he did not exercise the option to purchase, he would lose the money he paid in rent. He originally said he'd purchase in November, and his back-up date was March. This was all based on when he gets his bonus from work.

November and March passed and I didn't get worried. I could have, but I knew God had a plan and He would help me figure out what to do.

I look back and realize how smoothly it all went. We had a great tenant that paid on time and kept the house in great condition. Now I don't care what he does with it! Although, I know he has plans to upgrade the kitchen and install a pool!

My mom has an acquaintance that has a lease-to-own contract on their house, and the tenant has stopped paying rent. Currently, they are having a hard time evicting the non-paying renter because of the lease-to-own contract. I feel bad and realize how scary of a risk you are taking.

June 29th is a great day!So excited to move on and only have two houses to take care of. Then we will list my mom's townhouse and get back down to one house! Hallelujah!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Garage Doors Installed

We've had our garage doors ordered since April! I stopped by and picked out my doors on a day it snowed back in March.We finally got them installed last week.

The doors I originally wanted did not fit in the budget. They were beautiful carriage doors that would go with our tudor trim. Besides price being a down side, they came two-tone. I talked with three different companies and they all only offered them where they had to be painted two different colors. I wanted the whole door to be one color. One company did offer the single color option, but it came with a price.

Dream Doors!

I thought I had picked a simple design, but it was still three times more than I could spend. I chose a simple door that had some detail to it. I picked out hardware and was able to place it where I wanted.

I had six colors to choose from and I picked the brown. I really like it. Having it come in a color and not having to paint it will help with the lifetime warranty of no painting! Luckily, our doors are not facing South, so we won't have the sun fade them. The trim around it will be painted our medium color, Gargoyle by Benjamin Moore.

Many contractors always want to be the last to install their stuff. The cabinets want to come in after flooring. Garage doors want to be after painting. We just really wanted to get our doors up so that the material we were storing in the garage wouldn't be tempting to people to steal. We can manually lock the doors and the door that goes into the house from the garage now has a deadbolt so we can keep our material safe.

Before the garage doors could be installed, the trim carpenter had to install 2x4's around the openings.

We had some 2x12's left over on site, so he ripped those down and used them. They got that done early Tuesday morning and the garage door company came to install the doors.

They got two our of the three doors installed on Tuesday because of the late start. When they came back Wednesday, they hung the final door, the hardware and the openers.

Now I was picky about the garage door openers.I have a draft blog post I never finished back from September of 2013 about the new garage opener we installed at the old house. Little JCrew's room backed up to the garage, and we had a chain drive. Every time you opened the door, it could be heard in his room. We upgraded to Chamberlain's Whisper Quiet Belt drive and loved it. I don't necessarily need the quiet operation for the new house, but I did request one feature... timer-to-close! You can set the door to automatically close after you have accidentally left it open. It can be one minute, five or ten. I never had to worry if I left the door open. We also had a remote opener located on the outside of the door to punch in a code in case the door ever closed while I was outside doing yard work. I actually liked that it did that. If I was in the back yard mowing or on the side of the house, I didn't have an open garage tempting someone to come in while I was occupied out of sight.

So our new openers are not the super-dooper opener, but they do have this timer-to-close feature and I am really excited.

And I'm really excited I can lock up my material. One step at a time, we are getting there!
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