Friday, June 30, 2006

Kansas Trip Post #1

We left this morning at about 7:30 am for a little vacation to Kansas. Right now we are in Springfield, Missouri, visiting some friends of my in-law's. The just opened a restaurant and we got to sample the food tonight. It was very good!!! They serve mainly steaks. We are headed off to Kansas tomorrow, with a stop in Kansas City, McPherson and then on to my parents house. That's all for now....

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Newest House Developments

Andrew and I met with an appraiser from the bank today at noon. He asked us several questions about our house plans, our lot, etc. He cost a pretty penny. We also found out from the people drawing up our plot plan, that our lot has never been surveyed. This, unfortunately, means that we will probably have to have it surveyed, which could cost us a $1,000. We'll see what happens. We are hoping that the guy we purchased the lot from has some information on it that will help us to avoid this cost. I was so excited about the cost savings in the septic system and the plot plan and now we are hit with this expense. Many times I just feel like throwing my hands in the air and quitting. It is so much easier to just buy a house, instead of build however . . . . . . . I have been learning that taking the easy route in life, isn't always the best (despite what the 'world' will tell you). Trial builds character. Right now, all I feel it is building is my blood pressure. I am not one who can easily see the big picture. I am more the detailed nature. That is why Andrew and I work so well together. Good thing that my better half is a big picture kind of man. He reminds me that when all this hard work is over, we will have a simple, modest, yet comfortable home that we can easily (and cheaply) expand, if we need. I have been praying that this house project is God's will for our lives and not just a selfish dream that we are chasing after. Sorry for the slightly depressing post. I guess it is time for a little vacation. Good thing, since we will be on our way to Kansas tomorrow morning for a visit. Feel free to comment. You know how I LOVE getting comments! :)

Monday, June 26, 2006


Andrew, in his boredom from lack of school work, decided to count my blog entries. I am at number 216. . . therefore the title of this post. Andrew also requested that I let all of you know we are listening to Poncho Sanchez's song "Yumbambe." He can sing it for you upon request with a pretty convincing accent. It is part of his latin jazz collection . . . yes, I said latin jazz.

My Day!

Well, my day certainly ended up better than it started. I began the day, yesterday, by forgetting my purse next door, at my in-law's house. The problem was that I didn't remember until this morning right as we were leaving for work. Andrew had to come back and drive me next door to get my purse and then drive me home. When I got to work, I realized that I had forgotten my cell phone AND the list of numbers I needed to call today for the house project. Thankfully, I was able to get the numbers again with just one phone call to the county! It was pretty quiet and slow today at work. I was able to get a lot done with preschool scheduling, attendance, and VBS. I am going to be gone on Friday on my way to Kansas (yeah!!) for a family visit. So, I worked ahead a little on the newsletter so it will be ready for the person covering for me on Friday.

I have one voice lesson tonight and then my efforts will be concentrated on getting our little area of the house cleaned up. It seems that the paper clutter in there has just exploded. I need to get my filing system back into shape after the move. It should be cleaned up quickly after that. I also need to get myself a little bag I can tote around that contains all of our house information. That is just sitting in a pile and sometimes I need it! :) Anyway, not really much news to share. I want to mention how much I miss people posting comments on my blog. The comments don't need to be deep or profound but I enjoy hearing from people. Anyway, just a side note. Hopefully, I'll know more about our septic system designer tomorrow.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Little House on the Prairie Soil

Our perc (aka soil evaluation) test went well. We met at our land and waited about 15 minutes before the soil specialist arrived. He walked around and tested for about 45 minutes, while we chatted. Then he gave us a report. He said that the soil up by the house was pretty heavy clay (not good) but . . . we had a strip of land about 30 feet behind our trees (means we get to save our mature trees) that is called Prairie Soil. It is good soil to host a septic system. What does that ultimately mean for us? A savings of about $10,000 on our septic system! We are getting things built just in time because starting January 1st, the county is setting new standards for septic systems, which means every one has to get the more expensive kind.

The next plan of action is to call a septic design engineer and having him draw a plan of where our septic system will go in. We have two in mind and we will decide on one this weekend. After he draws the plans then we will need to get a permit from the health department at the county.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Percs, Permits, Plots, Plans Part #2

I'm not sure I got the title exactly right but I wanted to give a house update. I feel like we are finally moving along. I heard from UBI (UBuildIt) today and they gave me a list of things to do before we are able to actually break ground. I have already started on many of them and we are waiting on other things (soil test, sewage plan, plot plan, and permits) before we can move ahead. I feel I can the the end (well, the beginning anyway) in site to starting our house. I still haven't heard back from our kitchen designer. We are up in the air with that. I will have to call and bug him. I don't think these people know what is coming when I get involved with a project! :) I like to be very nice but since I enjoy being organized and efficient, I just feel like other people should as well!

It may be expensive to live in Butler County, Ohio, as I'm sure we will soon find out, but their offices at the county have been very helpful. I have had to call the health department twice to clear up misunderstandings on my part and they have always explained things patiently, and have returned my phone calls promptly. So far (knock on wood), they have been very easy to get along with. After all this is over, I think that I will feel like starting a UBI franchise on my own! :) Ha ha, just kidding. After this is over, I don't think I will want to think about home building for a long time! I have also been getting an education in tire disposal. Who knew it would be so hard to get rid of a bunch of old tires that were left on our lot? It was going to be so expensive to get rid of but I found a landfill that will take them for $3 for unrimmed and $5 for rimmed. That is the cheapest I could find. I wish I could recycle them but I can't find anywhere that will do it. I've looked! Ah, the weird things an adult has to know. Now, why didn't I enjoy the innocence of childhood more?!

In other news: Andrew has taken an accidental six week break from classes. He didn't get registered for a class during this next six week period. He probably could have gotten into one, but I encouraged him to take a break, even though it will take him six weeks longer to finish. He has been working so hard and even though the house isn't ready to be worked on, I still think he needs a break. I am helping with VBS at our church tonight. I'm not sure what I am doing, but I guess I'll find out. They just called me up and asked me to help out on Thursday night. I think it is mainly following kids around to each station.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Blog

No, I am not going to quit writing this blog. I doubt that my frequency will decline any either, but I have decided to start another blog as well. I recently started the Lose It For Life program. I just need a more private place to track those results so I started a private blog. I would like some of you to be able to read it and have a place to share your thoughts (the joys of a support group). So, if you are interested in being part of my weight loss blog, please email me and I will send you a link.

Andrew mowed more of our land last night. He and his dad are going to work on planning out the lot tonight and possibly staking where the house is going to be. I feel like we are actually starting to move on things now. I would imagine that our detailed budget report will be ready in the next two weeks or so. Then we will be working on getting a building permit and other government permits so we can begin building. Yeah! I actually rode my bike out to our land last night, and back. It is about 5 miles. It seems to get easier every time I do it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Permits, Plans, Percs, and Plots

Well, we continue to work hard on our house project, even though it may not seem like it to the outside world. I feel like a fish swimming upstream at best! I am now dealing with things like soil tests and septic plans and I have NO EARTHLY idea what I am doing!!!! The majority of the time, when I am talking to these people, it is like they are speaking a different language. I am trying to look on this as an opportunity to learn (more than I ever want to know) about the building industry. At least we will have a house in the end, it just may not be built quite as soon as we had hoped. At times, I feel as if I am carrying that house by myself, on my back, uphill in the snow! I think that my guess of breaking ground in a month was totally unrealistic. My best estimate is now that we will break ground in late August/early September. We have to have so many things squared away by the time we begin with actual construction. I just wish I had a guide book. I would do so much better with a little direction! I apologize if this post seems a bit over the top but I am just pretty frustrated right now. It is good that I have been so diligent in my exercise lately. It is a GREAT stress reliever. I feel like running several miles right about now! I'll have to wait until tonight! Oh, also I am giving two voice lessons tonight. Yeah and yikes! I seriously doubt my skills at a time like this. (now I sound like Napolean dynamite when I say skills). Ok, I'll stop rambling now, I think . . . . . . . .

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Grandpa and three granddaughters (we're missing Rachel)
Jaime, Grandpa, Jenny, and Laura
Thanksgiving 2005

Many of my fond childhood memories come from visiting my Grandpa Walter in Downs, Kansas. Many of my earliest memories are of holiday's spent there, visiting Grandpa's welding shop and getting peanuts and pop, and fun times playing with my cousins.We always had a good time at Downs because Grandpa would take us around doing all of the things he enjoyed. Some of our favorite included going fishing with him in his boat on Waconda Lake, going out for coffee break, going to Rose Valley Church to Sunday School and Church. There we got to see many third cousins and other distant relatives. My cousin, Laura and I, have many fun memories of the weeks we would spend there together in the summer. One of our favorites was the time that someone dropped us off at the Downs pool . . . without our shoes!!! We decided to walk home after a while and devised a scheme to lay down a towel, walk across it, and then pick up and lay down the other towel. Grandpa eventually found us walking home in this manner!! I always looked forward to Grandpa visiting us in St. John for sports events, birthdays, and concerts. He made a huge effort to attend our events, even though he had to drive 2 1/2 hours to be there. Of all the wonderful fun and wonderful memories I have of my Grandpa, I am most grateful for his Christian example that he set for the entire family. He was always willing to help and he was known to break the law by piling too many children in his van to take them to church. Right before he died, he won an award for evangelism from the district Methodist conference, and I cannot think of a better person. These words don't really express the gratitude I feel of having known such a wonderful Christian person, who was always chipper and positive, even when having serious health problems. I certainly miss my Grandpa, but I feel so happy to think that he is in heaven, rejoicing with Jesus. I can only hope to pass along such a strong and wonderful Christian heritage to my kids someday!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


After I reach a goal, I give myself these little rewards. When a person is trying to lose weight, I have heard that it is a terrible idea to reward yourself with food, so I have had to be pretty creative to come up with ideas of things to get that 1) aren't too expensive; 2) will make me feel rewarded; 3) will motivate me to keep going. My first goal was to walk for 30 minutes for two weeks (14 days to be exact) and then I would receive a new pair of athletic shoes. This is an especially good goal, since I haven't replaced my athletic shoes since my tennis days in high school!!!! I am off, in a few minutes, to go shopping for some new athletic shoes. I have my next goal set, which is just another little baby step in the right direction, and my next reward chosen as well.

Here We Go

I received my first call last night for voice lessons. It is strange since I placed the add back in May. My first lesson is next Monday night! I need to work on updating my cards and my forms.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Sorry for the delay in posting. I have been wanting to create a nice post about my Grandpa but our laptop is on hold for the time being. The power cord went bad so there is no battery to speak of. We have one ordered but it hasn't arrived yet. I'll update again soon! Until then my search continues for the Sandi Patty songbook, Hymns Just for You. My mom has a copy but it is now out of print and I want one for myself. I even called the publisher! Nobody has one!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Harvest Time Blues

I'm not sure whether it is because it is harvest time or because I was just in Kansas that I am feeling pretty homesick for my home state. Many of my favorite childhood memories are centered around harvest. My siblings and I would spend hours riding the combine with Grandpa and Dad, listening to our Adventures in Odyssey tapes! I would plot how I could get my cousins to come and ride the combine with me. I'm sure I brought my dolls along to play with. We also rode on the tractor's while they were disking after a wheat field had been harvested but that would always bang your head against the glass of the back window whenever the driver changed gears. The combine had a nice comfy padded seat. I haven't spent much time in Fairchild Farms' new combine but I understand it has some pretty fancy computerized equipment now as well. I will always treasure the moments out on the combine. One of my favorite memories was when my Grandpa shared his supper with me. I'm sure he was tired and hungry after a long day out on the combine but he shared his ham sandwich (with real Mayo . . . I remember it being so good) and a peach with me! I also remember chewing on the wheat right out of the combine bin, just like it was chewing gum. I never knew how lucky I was to experience those days. It taught me a lot about hard work and devotion. It makes me sad to think that my kids will not grow up on a farm because it was a great experience for me. More to come . . .

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I have received five sympathy cards and . . . . . ALL of them have come from members of the church where I work. Have I said it enough that I love my job? More later . . .

Monday, June 05, 2006

Some tributes

As some of you know, my grandfather passed away last week. We have been in Kansas for the funeral. I have been wanting to write about him but the memories have just been too much right now. Two of my blogging friends, one my cousin, Laura, and the other my third cousin and childhood in habitant of Downs., Edie, have written about him. So for now, I will give you links to what they wrote. Right now we are in the Kansas City airport waiting on our delayed flight to leave (in about an hour). More later!