Saturday, August 21, 2010

Catch-up Post #1

(not to be confused with Ketchup, Ashley's 5th food group)

We Have a New Home
subtitled: a New Project

Here are the stats:

  • 1/2 acre
  • community well
  • 2,000 sq. ft. or so main house
  • 550 sq. ft casita
  • vacant for a year
  • not one single window left intact
  • comes complete with artwork provided by neighborhood kids

Sounds like a dream doesn't it!!!

I had been looking for about 8 months. My friend/realtor hooked me up with a sweet daily listing of any mls properties that were under $50,000 and I believe the longitude line was north of Alta from west to east. I have to admit I'm a west-side girl, but the majority of the properties tended to be center to east.

It became my bedtime habit-- brush my teeth, say my prayers, check the mls listings. We had a small budget and the goal was to get something inexpensive that we could just hang out in until the economy improved, maybe five years.

So one night I saw this little gem. Oh, the possibilities. And to have it be a half acre--bonus. (ron comes with lots of trailers) I had looked at thousands of properties that were under 1,200 sq. ft. on small lots, and needed to be rebuilt on the inside. Having to rebuild the inside was pretty much a given. I occassionally would drag Ron out to look at prospects. But when this beauty showed up, I couldn't believe my eyes!

It will definately take a few years and a few phases to rearrange things on this site, but when we're done, I think it will be perfect. First up is building a garage building. We're in line to go before the Planning Commission for a variance in size and height (for the current size/height of the home, if we waited to build it with the remodel, it would have been o.k., but we kind of need this building first.) Next we have a cosmetic freshening up of the casita. Then we will live in the casita and have a garage while we 'remodel' the main house.

The main house is expanding in all directions: sides are moving wider, the rear is moving deeper, the ceilings rising upwards, and we're even going deeper with a basement.

Is it the 'perfect' neighborhood? no, not my first choice area (remember - I'm a west-side girl), but it's fine. I'm renting in a pretty nice neighborhood right now and have been broken into/things stolen several times. My last house was in a nice neighborhood - broken into, shots fired (and I'm not talking about the shooting park). So if people think it's dangerous I just remember all the nice neighborhoods and previous experiences and smile.

This property perfectly fit our needs right now, so I'm excited. But you're more than welcome to bring on the comments, because I've already heard them all. And through them all I just keep thinking of that bumper sticker you sometimes see on clunker cars: Don't Laugh - It's Paid For.

Stay tuned for the progress updates.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

You've had a BIRTHDAY, Shout Hoo-ray!

Brad celebrated being another year older and wiser too on Friday.

Sunday was Hallie's 3rd birthday
Brad & Kara & Hallie, meeting Parker last March.

Hallie spends lots of time at the beach. Lucky girl. You can read about her fabulous so cal life here. Her birthday party this week is a Fancy Nancy themed soiree {that's fancy for party}. I can't wait, I think it will be a hoot to watch.

Sunday was also Ashley's birthday.
We gathered for dinner and cupcakes.
Happy birthday, to you.

Rebekah joined in on the party via skype. Drew and Charlie thought it was neat to talk to her on the computer.

Mr. Chill Parker found his voice tonight. He just wanted to be with everyone at the table being part of the fun. I gave him a taste of icing. He loved it.
This is the Ashley that was not having a birthday. Ashley Barnes, you made the blog. If we can trick her into staying around for awhile, I will celebrate her unbirthday on June 25th. I decided that today.
A very Happy Birthday to our August birthdays.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again

This morning Ron got this picture on a text message:
"Grandpa, I'm all ready for Shark Week, I've got my shark onesie on."
We're gathering tonight for terrifying tacos, shark week t-shirt craft, and more amazing shark rescues. Then we'll send the scared little ones home and let their parents deal with them not being able to sleep.....