Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our Foreclosure Journey: Part 7 - Good-byes and Hellos

Here's my disclosure before I get into what will totally sound like bragging (it's actually gratitude): All good things are from the Lord. All praise and thanks go to God, our Provider, Comforter, and Firm Foundation. Although this particular story has a happy ending (compared to where we started out), God needs to be given glory and thanks in all situations. He is in Control and His purposes are for our benefit and His glory.

Moving after 11 years with 4 children is no small feat. I didn't realize what a task it was until it was all done. Wow. I can't offer enough gratitude to the friends and family that helped us move (included tons of last minute packing and LOTS of heavy lifting -- we kept our appliances!)!!

June 30th we were able to move our first truckload in the evening. We started out just after 7 am on July 1st and took 6 more Budget Moving Truck loads plus 3 pickup loads and stuffed my van full a couple times.  I went back several times to get a few remaining items and to clean. 2 truckloads were dropped off at a thrift store (with tons more to donate still) and several truckloads went to the dump.

I didn't realize how big the old house was until it was empty and I had to REALLY REALLY clean it for the sale. Wowza. That was not fun to do all by myself. Ran out of vacuum bags for the Kirby halfway through even!

The closing for the sale was July 11th to a very sweet couple getting married this weekend! They are gutting and remodeling it before they move in - and have kids. Mr. Buyer was very excited about having kids to fill the home soon! :)

BTW my real estate agent is a shark. Seriously, a-maz-ing. If you are buying, selling, under water, having trouble paying your mortgage, building, etc. I have a recommendation for you!! Thanks Ravit for your hard work!

Good-bye Goodrich Road in Bloomington, Minnesota! Our first home - Purchased when I was only 19 and pregnant with my 2nd child.
This is just one example of the many messes needing cleaning -- one of my children had been hiding food and candy wrappers in the crack of the stairs. They did not want to take their meds and would throw them down here and sneak candy and gum too. It took some effort to clean and they will still need to replace carpeting and pull down walls with mold (we bought it with mold unknowingly).

 We celebrated the 4th of July at our new place - even the neighbors came over for fireworks. The kids love having other kiddos next door to play with! The driveway is on a bit of a hill and smoke bombs rolled down it nicely!

 First "home improvement" project (we're renters, we can only do so much): Replacing the tattered, worn, faded, ripped flag with a beautiful brand new one to honor our country on Independence Day! Now we get to have a proper flag burning ceremony to retire the old one, which will be pretty cool.

Some of the awesome people we spent July 4th with, including our fun new neighbors all 3 of our our PCAs. 
I'm gonna give you a tour of sorts, since I am just so jazzed about our new place, but please don't judge me for the mess. Unpacking those 11 years of boxes (while still running to all the appointments and raising the kids) is going to take some time!

Welcome to our new home on Elm Lane in Burnsville, Minnesota. The home is really beautiful and I cannot believe I live here! Really great owners and we like the rental agency too.  I also love that when we moved in to a broken AC the agency had to fix it - and the oven and the drain clog in the laundry room. Renting has some perks for certain!

 This photo of the backyard is from May when we went to look at it and sign the paperwork. I love it even more now with all the trees! I have a boatload of raking ahead of me this fall though!
 We've been parking all the Cozy Coupes along the side of the shed.  The gate opens to a church parking lot and the girls LOVE riding their bikes there! So do the neighbor kids!

 Side of the house -- we are on a corner lot and lots of people walk by on the sidewalk, which is neat. I love that the view they get of the place is a pleasant one! :)

This is eventually going to be our mud room -- we've got bins (black plastic storage carts) for each person's shoes and smaller bins for their winter gear. The command hooks for coats, bags, and purses are not up yet, but those will go just about the shoe bins in the garage.
I never envisioned being so excited about a garage. A GARAGE. No lie, it may be my favorite feature of the home!! With a family of 9 plus a couple kiddos we babysit regularly and some PCAs we needed another fridge and upright freezer.  Brought these with us and they work nice in the garage in front of Beth's parking space. The garage is finished - heated, lit, fan, shelving, sooooo beautiful and clean.

So I really love the school room. It is bright and open and fun! Totally NOT unpacked and set up yet, but if you can see past the clutter it is a great space for the kids. I love the archways. The kids love the games - and a table to play them on. Sooo much easier to keep games put away when not in use with the table right by the shelving!

School room from the other side of the room.
 A makeshift kids snack table in our dining room.
 We decided to use the 4-season porch as a dining room. We ALL LOVE this space! The table is huge (garage sale score) and the mismatched chairs give it character. We leave the twinkling lights on all the time and spend most of our time in this room, even when we are not eating, because of all the sunshine and cheer.

 Right outside one of the porch windows in a bush is this nest. There are now 3 eggs in the nest and a diligent mama bird sitting on them. The kids run to the window to observe nature's progress a dozen times a day. It was cool to see a nest one day, an egg the next, and 3 eggs the 3rd day!

We don't know what kind of bird it is and it is driving the kids crazy - they are researching online and in Minnesota bird books!
 I scored this really heavy Bad Boy on Craigslist this week to use as additional cupboard space and as a serving buffet. Food is set out on here and we dish up and sit at the table. I love having that extra space!
 First family game night in our new living room. We were playing Beat the Parents - and they did!

The downstairs has some work to do -- a large portion of it is unfinished. The first section is a TV and Wii with space to play Just Dance, a train table, Dean's big blocks and foam letter mats, toys, a bookshelf, and a puppet stage and stuffed animals.  

The next section of the basement is our Occupational Therapy area. There is still unpacking to be done and we need to get the carpet laid down, but it is already shaping up to be wicked awesome. 3 mini trampolines, a ball pit, 2 crash pads, bean bag chairs, seesaws, rocker, slide, a punching bag and treadmill, etc. It's where the kids can get their crazies out! Especially useful in Minnesota Winters.

The girls have their own bathroom and we changed the little storage/dressing area IN the bathroom to be a walk in closet for them. Just tension rods and Ikea shelving units we already owned.

 The girls have a play room special for just them - the most "finished" room in the basement. Since their bedroom has just enough room for 2 bunk beds we wanted to give them an area to keep their Big Kid toys safe from the Little Kids. Also, the bunk bed makes a great fort or a guest bed! :)
 I've converted the spacious laundry room into a pantry (yes, a SECOND pantry. I buy paper towels in bulk!), a sewing room, and the girls dressing area - dressers and free standing wardrobes. It's a mess now as they live out of boxes but I WILL get to finishing this task soon!

I'm seriously tired and can hear Bruce crying in his crib (yes, he sleeps in his crib now - but still wakes at night) so I'm concluding this post without a clever wrap-up of any kind. (Oh and Dean is sleeping in his bed in his own room too! Whoot Whoot!)