Friday, May 15, 2015

Our Written Approval (Thank the Lord)

Yesterday was a very good day! We received our written loan approval for the house!

It came with 2 pages of conditions! But the conditions all seem very doable! Lots of paperwork to file and lot of copies to make. We have to take a first-time home buyers course (on line) and print out a certificate of completion when we have finished it, that has to be in our file when we go to closing. They are asking that we pay off 4 things

IRS - back taxes that we have been making payments on since January
Department store credit card -used to buy Tyler a computer
Visa - got just so we could rebuild our credit
An old account that I managed to get taken off 2 of our credit reports but not the third so it must be paid off

All total it equals about 3,000 dollar and we have until the beginning of July to have it all paid off. So the money we were working on saving up for closing costs will have to go to paying off these debts and then we can start saving up for our closing costs again. And since we ended April with a little over $1,400 dollars in our house fund we are almost half-way to having the debt paid off! Thank you Jesus!

Now that we have a written approval we should start to see some progress down on the land! We are hoping to have our pre-construction meeting by the end of May so that they can begin working on the house in June! The BEGINNING OF JUNE! We hope! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Our Home has a Name

I know it's kind of strange, but hey we are kind of a strange family (as if you didn't already know that).

I knew from the minute that we started looking into building a new home that I wanted my home to have a name. You know like Tara or Green Gables. Don't all great houses with great stories have great names?

And so I have thought and prayed about what to "call" our home, I wanted a name with meaning to our family, I wanted a name that would be pretty painted on a sign. But most of all I wanted a name that would tell the world what a blessing and gift from God this home was to our family.

I thought it might be nice to use a Hebrew word but the problem with that is I'm not very good at pronouncing things in a foreign language! I was destroying a beautiful language and I also knew after looking up the words I was thinking of using I was never going to be able to spell it either! Having a name for the house that I could neither spell nor say was just not going to work!

In December of 2014, I determined that 2015 was going to be our family's Year of Jubilee (it's from the Old Testament). Every 50 years, in Jewish culture, is the Year of Jubilee. In this year, debts are forgiven, land and homes are restored to the original owners, and those that have been enslaved are set free.

I began to seriously pray and ask God for restoration, for Jubilee! I begged him to give back to our family all that was taken from us a few years ago. On my list of things that I felt we had lost was our Joy, our Peace, our Faith, and our Home.

And so after many failed attempts at naming our home I think my husband and I have come decided upon one....

Port Jubilee

Port is because the name of our model is the Port Royal and also because I would like to think of our home as a port of safety and comfort from the world. A place that my husband and my children can rest and take shelter. And of course Jubilee because I declared this our Year of Jubilee. And God has honored and answered our prayers and restored to us more than we lost.

So what do you think?


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

31 Days to Clean - Day 1

On Day 1 of 31 Days to Clean Sarah Mae asks 

"Why do you want a clean home?"

And all kinds of reasons came to my mind, 

so that others don't judge me 
so that I can open up my home to family and friends and not be embarrassed 
so that the voices in my head that tell me I'm not enough will be quiet 
so that I am not ashamed when people stop by unannounced 

And as I ran through this list I realized something...

these reasons have always been my reasons and obviously they are not enough because hear I sit in a house that is far from clean! And I had an epiphany, fear and embarrassment DO NOT motivate me. They actually make me less motivated in the fact that they remind me that I will NEVER be able to do it all. 

So I realized I needed to come up with much better reasons to keep my home clean. And I realized that while fear and embarrassment do not motivate me, LOVE for my children and my husband DOES! And when I looked at keeping my home clean through the eyes of a mother and wife here are the reasons I came up!

Why Do I want a clean home?

I want to create a place that Micah and the children want to be! I want our home to be a safe haven from the world outside our door. I want this home to be a place of comfort and calm for them. A beautiful place that makes them happy and lets them see God’s hand in their life. From the minute they walk in the door I want them to feel, know, and see the love that I have for them and breathe a sigh of relief in their soul that they are “HOME”! 


Monday, May 4, 2015

31 Days to Clean - Introduction

Today I am starting the 31 Days to Clean book written by Sarah Mae. I am very excited to start this book because I really need to get my house, life, and time under control before we move into our new house.

I am determined to keep the new house as clean and tidy as possible! And I know that means having a schedule that works for my life before we ever move in to the new house. I know myself well enough to know that if I don't have some routines and habits already in place before we move I will become overwhelmed and things will quickly spiral OUT-OF-CONTROL!

Sarah Mae confesses in the first paragraph of her book that

"I struggle with managing my home well. Cleaning does not come naturally to me; in fact I think my DNA is allergic to it. "

and from that sentence on I knew that Sarah Mae and I were kindred spirits!

I have been married for 20 years and I have struggled with keeping my home clean, decluttered, and organized since the very first day. I have gotten MUCH better over the years but it's still a daily struggle to do all that I feel I should be doing. Finding a balance between housework, family time, homeschooling, and cooking/baking has always seemed an impossibility to me.

And then when Sarah Mae wrote,

"The heart of our home is not in the ability to keep it perfect at all costs; the heart of the home is love."

I knew that this book was written to my very feeble, insecure, imperfect heart. See, I want a perfect home, decorated just so, spotless with everything having a place and everything in its place. I also want to cook 3 meals a day from scratch, make my own bread and whip up a special treat that my family will love. I want my laundry to be caught up, my children to have the most amazing education possible, my husband to be amazed at his Proverbs 31 wife, and I want to always be there for anything that my family or friends need.

Unrealistic dreams... ABSOLUTELY! But just because I realize they are unrealistic does not mean that I stop having them and unfortunately that also means that I do not stop beating myself up because I cannot achieve them!

My prayer is that this book will help me, not only to better maintain my home, and set me up for success in keeping the kind of home my family desires to have and I desire to give them. But more importantly teach me to show my family Jesus every single day. Whether that be by taking on the heart of a servant and washing floors, or by taking on the role of a teacher and sitting with a child until they understand a hard math concept, or by taking the role of comforter and listening to a broken-heart.

Because I am fairly certain that my children and my husband will focus less on the mess and more on the message that Mama is showing/living/teaching everyday. 

Linked-up With: Titus-2sdays

Saturday, May 2, 2015

We Finally Got Our Anwer (at least a verbal one)

Thanking Jesus for the Miracle!

The last 3 months have been grueling.
Some days I have been so worried and depressed that I had to force myself to get dressed and comb my hair.
There have been days when I have walked down to our "land" 3 and 4 and 5 times, just so I would not give up all hope and bury myself under the covers and refuse to speak or eat or shower.
Seriously, there have been some really hard days in the last few months.
And the reason for my anxiety, a home loan that seemed as if it was not going to happen!

We signed the contract on our house on February 15, 2015. We signed our mortgage application on February 23, 2015. And since then we have waited, and waited, and then we waited some more!

Now while we were waiting, ever so impatiently, I was faxing things over to the mortgage company, and praying, and writing letters of explanation, and praying, and e-mailing, and praying, and calling, and praying, and then praying some more!

Every day seemed longer than the last. And there were some false hope days (those were the worst), days when we thought we would have an answer by Friday and when Friday came, no answer!

There was one point where our loan was suspended, because they could not verify my husband's income and my heart almost broke in half!

Then there was the day that our loan was denied, yep, DENIED! And I was actually happy that day, because NO ONE and I mean NO ONE thought that the "first" lender would ever approve our mortgage but they were pretty confident that the "second" lender would. So when we got the denial, I was relieved in thinking that now the loan would be passed down the line and we would actually have a chance at being approved! Only our loan officer called us back that evening and said that her management team wanted to keep working on getting us approved through the "first" lender! ARE YOU KIDDING? Nope! Not kidding!

And so we went back to waiting! And Praying!

And then yesterday, it happened! We got the call we thought would never come, our loan has been approved by management and is being sent to the underwriters for written approval!

We are beyond excited! And so very thankful to God that he has answered our prayers in BIGGER ways than we ever dreamed. Because you know who approved us.... the "first" mortgage company, the one no one ever thought we could get approved through!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Financial Goals for May and an Update on our April Goals

Our April Goals:
  1. Pay all of our April bills 
  2. Pay our last 500 dollar payment to Ryan Homes! (that will be all of our Good Faith Money paid in full a month early!) 
  3. Save another 500 dollars toward our closing costs (which we estimate to be around 1800 dollars)
How we did on our April Goals:

  1. We paid all of our April bills 
  2. We paid our last 500 dollar payment to Ryan Homes on April 10! More than a month before our scheduled payment date! We are so thankful that God has blessed Micah with a second job so that we can meet these goals and not just meet them but exceed them! #BlessedBeyondTheTelling
  3. We saved 1,423 dollars toward our estimated closing costs! Almost triple what we were hoping to save! 
 Our Goals for May:

  1. Pay all of our May bills
  2. Finish funding our closing cost account (we only need 377 dollars)!
  3. Start saving money for all the "EXTRA" things we are going to need when we move into the house (movers, truck, refrigerator, mini-blinds, ceiling fans, and Tyler new bedroom furniture, at the very least a new bed for him). We would like to have saved 1,000 dollar by the end of the month. I know this is a HUGE goal but I believe that we can do it! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Menu Plan for the Week of April 13

Homemade Pizza Crust

Monday April 13
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Spaghettios/Bread/Canned Fruit/Candy
Dinner: Homemade Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets/Roasted Potatoes/Homemade White French Salad Dressing
Baking: Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

Homemade Pie Crust

Tuesday April 14
Breakfast: Pigs in a Blanket/Hashbrown Casserole
Lunch: Pasta Salad
Dinner: Hawaiian Fried Rice/90 Minute Rolls
Baking: Bunny Bait

Amish Peanut Butter Pie

Wednesday April 15
Breakfast: Simple Pancakes/Bacon Hearts
Lunch: Pizza/Salad/Pudding

Dinner: Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken/Scalloped Potatoes/Cornbread
Baking: Banana Bread

Thursday April 16
Breakfast: Pop Tarts
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets/French Fries/Yogurt/Pudding
Dinner: The Best Lasagna Ever/Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits (Copycat Recipe)/Salad
Baking: Cream Egg Brownies

Friday April 17
Breakfast: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Lunch: Fish Sticks/Soup/Cheese Curls/Applesauce/Brownies
Dinner: Pepperoni Pizza/Cheese Pizza (Made with Homemade Pizza Crust)
Amish Baked Chicken
Baking: Caramel Popcorn

Saturday April 18
Breakfast: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Lunch: Sandwiches/Potato Chips/Fresh Fruit/Snack Cakes
Dinner: Amish Baked Chicken/Mashed Potatoes/Bread Machine Buttery Rolls/Fresh Corn Casserole/Noodles with Sauce
Baking: Amish Peanut Butter Pie (With Homemade Pie Crust)