Wednesday, March 25, 2009

loan commitment....

so we're well on our way to closing.....termite, county occupancy, and building inspections are all scheduled for friday. kalen got the loan commitment today, and he's locked in at 5%! we're getting a storage unit for a month or two, so we can start to move stuff outta here so i have room to really get down to the nitty-gritty. i decided tonite the older girls are gonna have to earn their bedroom. we were gonna spend about 3k on building their bedroom and bathroom, but after what i found in their current bedroom i refuse until they can show me they appreciate the expense and effort!! so when we move in they'll be bunking w/ kyndal and kamdyn until they earn their way outta the room!!

ended up in the ER w/ alexa and kamdyn last nite. kamdyn fell and hit her head and lexi apparently had an allergic reaction to the amitriptyline she started last nite for her migraines. both girls are fine.

andre'a and alexa got to go the cirque de whatever it is at the Fox this evening w/ their Bigs. they had a blast. i'm so glad they got to go. a lil jealous, but glad! **wink**

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

we are under contract!!!!!!

we are officially under contract! closing is tentatively scheduled for april 24th. we have our building inspection on fri. i'm calling in the morning to get the county inspection, hopefully for friday as well. we're on our way!!!

check out our new home!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

and so.....

well, let's see....househunting....SUX!

we've seen so many properties. we made an offer on one last weekend and were outbid. we saw more yesterday and were about to make an offer on it today although there is already an offer in on it. BUT i realized when i woke up this morning that there are still like 10 houses we haven't viewed that we were interested in. so instead of going to sign an offer we're gonna go see some more properties.

kids are well.

i had a scare w/ stroke symptoms but turned out to be a mutated migraine and now i'm on maintenance meds for them.

only have a minute so that's the general update on the fam.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

house hunting week 2

ok, so last friday kalen's aunt who is our acting "agent" picked us up since our car was still in the shop and we went to see a few houses.

well, let me backtrack and say that we've been advised to use a local lender and for one of our state's down payment assistance programs we have to use one of their certified lenders. so it's between pulaski and us bank. us bank offers a program called the american dream mtg which doesn't include mtg ins so it's supposed to save you money on your mtg payment every month....tara if you have any insight on that i'd appreciate it cuz not having mtg ins just doesn't sound very smart to me. there are income and credit limitations/restrictions so if we don't qualify for that we know we're good on a fha. we have a homebuying class from 9a-4p on the 21st. anyhow, we're waiting on kalen's tax transcripts since i can't find some of the tax info for the life of me.

anyhow, we went looking and it hit me that this is not gonna be as easy as i thought it'd be. it's one thing to sit here and scour the internet and look at pics and read descriptions but actually stepping across some of these thresholds is like stepping into the twilight zone.

the first house we saw was listed at 89900 down from 99500. 3 bedroom/2 bath, large backyard, large rec room in the basement. yes, we need 4 bedrooms but if there is enough space in the basement we're willing to go that route. so we walk in and there's a "cozy"...real estate talk for was like a livingroom/kitchen combo! we won't even go there on the outdated cabinets and appliances. three very COZY bedrooms, the "MASTER" BATH was hilarious...i had to turn sideways to get in there and i'm like 5ft 135lbs! the basement, well, when we went down there the carpet was pulled back from the wall and there was literally a pond of they put in a sump pump but didn't pour the concrete. ok, it was quickly crossed off the list, but the backyard WAS HUGE.

the second house would be great if we didn't need something more move-in ready. the copper had been stolen off the water heater. the vent duct was damaged and hanging from the basement ceiling. both of the plumbing stacks were all copper, kalen said that's a rarity, but one of them, had been sawed thru. the sliding door was secured w/ a wooden stick angled against the jam to deny entry, but the door wouldn't even slide shut completely. other than that that basement was huge. the hardwood floors were shot. but the layout was pretty cool. nice size livingroom/dining room combo...the kitchen....WOW. i swear the cabinets were the handi-work of keebler elves drunk off whiskey trying out for the team in front of big poppa elf, and NOT making the team. off the kitchen, so back to back w/ the livingroom was a family room. there was built in shelving thru-out. on the other side of the first floor were two bedrooms. one that accessed the main floor full bath. a nice double coat closet and two linen closets. upstairs were 3 more bedrooms and another full bath. the bedrooms were pretty good sizes, too! and there was water damage was clear it needed a new roof. ugh.

on to house #3, we walked in, sped thru it and walked back out...the house had been broken into...the back door was boarded up...the floors were sinking around the toilets (thank you, syndi!) of the bedrooms i swear, was really a walk in closet.

moving #4....i actually liked house #4....kalen hated house #4. it had no basement. there was an add on room that was not cooled by the central air. and the other bedrooms were "cozy". you could be on one side of the house and look clear thru to the other. ok, fine it was super cozy. and it had no gutter.

house #5....again, no basement. the "family room" was about as big as the closet i call a bathroom in our current apt. it had the best looking bathrooms we'd seen. a floor to ceiling fp in the livingroom. the kitchen was soooo tiny. i mean you could stand on one tile and reach everything, stove, sink, microwave, pantry, etc. and there was standing water in the backyard.

yaaaawn, i'm exhausted just thinking about it! we're taking a week off and we're supposed to go back out on monday and tuesday of next week. right now, a cardboard box is looking pretty inviting and a lot less stressful!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

our journey to homeownership....

i figure i'll keep a journal (yeh, right cuz y'all know i'm no good at keeping up w/ my blogs) of our experiences as we make our way to purchasing our first home.

for reasons beyond our control (long story some of you already know) we're needing to purchase a home sooner than later. apparently this is a good time to do it since everything we read and everyone we talk to say it's a "buyer's market".

so far, we have a pre-approval on kalen alone. we have decided although we're approved for more, our max budget is 90k. we need a 4bd 2bth house to fit everyone comfortably. of course, dre'a and lexi would love a 5bd so they can have their own rooms, but they'll get over it.

we had to first decide what area we want to live in. our biggest deciding factor is joshua. if we stay in certain parts of the city then the girls could remain in their kirkwood schools, but joshua would be suffering. he's in the city public schools (because kirkwood can't take a full time special needs student from the city)...and the city SUCKS! our best bet to get joshua the services he needs and are entitled to are to either move to the county so he's serviced thru the special school district or remain in the city and pay for him to go thru the archdiocese. sooo, with that being said, county it is. we can't afford a mtg and a school tution. the girls have stopped crying and are excited about the move now. they'll be happy to have a backyard and more space.

we were focusing on the spanish lake area since that's where my in-laws live and a couple of my closest friends, but it dawned on us that they're subject to move at any time so we need to just get across the county line where it best suits us.

we'd found a prospect in spanish lake that seemed promising. we went to view it saturday and omg! i think the house was built in 1976 and has NEVER been updated! if it were a case were we had to move like w/in 30 days, we'd take IS doable...however since that's not the's on the list but has moved out of the top spot.

we welcome feedback along the way since we are new to this. any tips, things to look for, things to avoid, etc...please share.

this is house the only house we've seen so far...the price has been reduced from 99,900. it was last appraised at 127k. it's apart of the deceased's estate now. it's not BAD but it needs help. they replaced the plumbing stack last week once they found a leak in it. like i said, if we had to move NOW it'd be ok...omg the microwave! i've never seen anything like it. you know those clocks were the numbers like scroll upwards..almost like a stamp where you change the date on it, you scroll it around,'s one of those...i mean all original here!

video of kalen and stef's nuptials

link to video of kalen and i getting married.

i think!

mercury in corn syrup...

mercury in corn syrup
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 10:32pm | Edit Note | Delete
Studies find mercury in much U.S. corn syrup
Tue Jan 27 18:15:03 UTC 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Many common foods made using commercial high fructose corn syrup contain mercury as well, researchers reported on Tuesday, while another study suggested the corn syrup itself is contaminated.

Food processors and the corn syrup industry group attacked the findings as flawed and outdated, but the researchers said it was important for people to know about any potential sources of the toxic metal in their food.

In one study, published in the journal Environmental Health, former Food and Drug Administration scientist Renee Dufault and colleagues tested 20 samples of high fructose corn syrup and found detectable mercury in nine of the 20 samples.

Dufault said in a statement that she told the FDA about her findings but the agency did not follow up.

Dr. David Wallinga, a food safety researcher and activist at the nonprofit Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, said he followed up on the report to find mercury in actual food.

"When I learned of that work, I said that is interesting but we don't just go out and eat a spoonful of high fructose corn syrup," Wallinga said in a telephone interview.

"We went and looked at supermarket samples where high fructose corn syrup was the first or second ingredient on the label," he said. These 55 different foods included barbecue sauce, jam, yogurt and chocolate syrup.

"We found about one out of three had mercury above the detection limit," Wallinga said.

The Corn Refiners Association challenged the findings.

"This study appears to be based on outdated information of dubious significance," the group said in a statement.

Wallinga and colleagues said they believed the mercury got into the food during manufacture, at plants that use mercury-grade caustic soda produced in industrial chlorine plants, although his team was unable to show this.

"Our industry has used mercury-free versions of the two reagents mentioned in the study, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda, for several years," Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, said in a statement.

Wallinga said the studies were based on samples taken in 2005, the most recent available.

Many studies have shown that fish can be high in mercury. Wallinga said consumers should know about other potential sources so they can limit how much they eat. "The best mercury exposure is no exposure at all," he said.

"Even at low levels methylmercury can harm the developing brain. The last thing we should intentionally do is add to it," Wallinga added.

He said his team did not test foods that did not contain corn syrup to see if they were also high in mercury.