Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Holy House Appraisal, Batman

As many of you are aware, I have been in the process of getting my house refinanced. This process is pretty straightforward and in layman's language, I am basically buying the house from myself and taking the profit to pay off debt. The whole thing depends on my house being appraised for more than I owe on it. The deal is made or broken on an unbiased person coming in to my house, looking around, taking measurements, comparing my house against similar houses in my neighborhood and tellingme what he/she thinks it's worth. If it appraises for not much more than I owe on it, the whole refinance cannot happen because there is not enough equity (the difference between what it's worth and what you owe) to off-set the cost to file the paperwork and fees. My whole financial future (and as an off-shoot, the preschool) hinged on this one thing: my house being valued significantly more than I owe. I just got off the phone with my mortgage person and, drumroll please!

It is worth almost $100,000 more than I owe.

Yes, that number is correct, you are not mis-reading it, I did not type too many zeros, my computer has not been infected by a virus that adds numbers randomly. HOLY CRAP! I was thinking that if it came in $30,000 more I would be in hog heaven...but with this amount!? I don't know what I am going to do with myself. This does not mean that I will take the whole $100,000 out. In fact, it would be very wise of me NOT to do so. However, this amount is way more than enough to pay off my car AND my student loan AND have a nice big fat chunk in the bank in savings or to invest.

As much of a pain as it has been to own a house (read: there is no landlord to call when things break/go wrong) that is 80 years old, it is the BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE WITH MY MONEY! Seriously. I got into the Tacoma real estate market when prices were reasonable, and they have done nothing but skyrocket since. My house has almost doubled in value in three years. Man, when the Lord provides, He provides. I am doing the happy, happy dance over here right now and I cannot believe it. How in the world did I get so blessed?!!


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Well, after my bee sting last weekend, my foot swelled up over the weekend and got itchy so my roommate Jackie took me to Urgent Care on Sunday. The lady seemed to think it must be an infection because part of the stinger might have gotten stuck in the wound. So, I am on antibiotics and they are messin' with my digestive system in a royal way. Anywho, the foot feels better and the swelling/redness/itching are going away. It feels almost normal today.

Life is simplifying-up on me. I am done with the following things: piano lessons for a few months (piano teacher is closing up shop and taking a break for a while), editing Freedom Resource book (finished it up this week), seminary (don't think I will be able to affford to/have time), and small group/Thurs. night church (for the rest of the summer). The small group will probably start back up again in September, but for now, we are on a break. So, that means, drumroll please, all I have on my regular agenda is: House night, and preschool planning! That's it! I actually have had time this week to get some other stuff done like a haircut (haven't had one since November. Yes, November.) and lots and lots of prayer for housemates. This is probably part of why life is being simplified so much...because I am pouring into more people in a relational way and things are ramping up with the preschool.

At any rate, I am the house refinance is going along well. I have signed and filled out some paperwork, but don't know when the funds are coming through. When the refinance happens, I will have enough money to pay off my car. What an answer to prayer. My mortgage payment is not going up much at all, and in fact is more than made up by having a fourth person in the house. So, all in all, I am not going to need much money to live off of at all. All I'll have a need to pay each month will be my portion of the mortgage, one small student loan, car insurance and utilities. That's it. Not much at all! Woo hoo!

Weight Watchers is also well. When I very first posted waaay back in Sept. that I wanted to lose 40 pounds I thought I would never get there. And, as of last week, I am 0.4 pounds from the 40 pound total loss! As I have gotten closer, I have revised my original goal several times over. At one point it was going to be 44 pounds, which is about 4.4 away. But, as I am inching even closer to that goal, I am thinking I may end up just going all the way to the 50 pound total. I am not 100% sure yet. I kind of want to wait and see how I actually feel when I hit the 44 mark. I mean, at that point, six more pounds is hardly anything. We'll have to wait and see, I suppose.

At the end of Sept. I am making ANOTHER trip out to London/UK. This time, however, I am going strictly for visiting purposes. Not a single ministry happening. I am going to Jess and James' wedding and then probably visiting some other countries while I am over there. Perhaps staying with friends in Dublin Ireland for a while and getting to see some other folks in Scottland and Wales. It is the only way to travel, if you can....getting to stay with people you know is the best and only way to go, in my opinion. If you really want to know what life is like in another country that is the way to do it. You learn things that you just cannot learn by staying in a hotel.

Well, that's it for now. Blessings to you.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Pics from the Reception

A few Wedding and Bachelorette Pics

I've Got Sunshine, on a Cloudy Day

Do you ever have what I call an "overcast" kind of day? You know, things aren't horrible (like a rain-storm) but they aren't beautiful (like a sunny day). They are just kind of blah, like an overcast day. I woke up this morning and just have been in a bit of a funk today. I can't quite pinpoint it. I am just slightly off-center. I think I am under attack in retrobution of the enemy because I stayed up very late last night working through some stuff with my one of my roommates (praise the Lord, I am not too tired today, though). When I got up this morning and looked out at my pond and saw the state that it was in thanks to a raccoon raid, I think that just started my day off on the wrong foot. I had forgotten to plug my electric fence back in after using the extension cord for something else yesterday....how do those critters seem to KNOW that it isn't plugged in? Seriously! .....I even had a split second thought last night as I went to bed about going back out there and plugging the fence back in. Totally the Lord, but did I listen? Nope. I think I am just mad at myself for not listening to that still small voice. This is the second time in three days that something like this has happened. On Monday I was walking around my yard barefoot and as I started walking through a patch of clover I had a thought, "You'd better watch where you step, there are probably bees in this clover." And then zap, I stepped on a bee and got stung. What causes me ignore the Lord when He whispers stuff like that to me? I know I don't ignore Him all the time, as I have been saved from stuff like that in the past, I am sure. It makes me angry with myself that I can still just keep on with what I am doing as though I haven't heard.....three days in a row now.

There has to be a lesson in here somewhere, but I am not sure what that is other than "LISTEN." I know it could literally save my life some day, but yet I still need to work on it!

I would like to believe that the raccoon "attack" on my pond is the only thing bothering me today, but that is probably not the case. I am not sure exactly what is going on 100% other than I am just feeling like a bit of a cloud is following me around today. Bleah.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Mrs. Part Deux

Well, now we have another one off and married. This wedding went a lot smoother than Sara's. I am not sure why. Perhaps Chantel was a little more organized? I think, really, she just had more help. Sara only had herself and a few of us gals. Chantel had her mother and sister, plus a few members of the wedding party who took time off work to help. At any rate, I can't think of a single thing that went "wrong." It was a very hot and steamy day inside that church, and I was dripping with sweat, but it was a beautiful wedding. VERY unique. They took a lot of Biblical components. For example: Psalm 45 speaks of the bridesmaids following behind the bride; so, we bridesmaids entered behind Chantel. It was strange to have everyone standing as we walked in (they were standing for Chantel, but since we were in behind her, they stood for us too). Chantel and Garrett also had a chuppa (see chuppa pic above)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuppah due to Garrett's interest in all things Jewish. There was also a LOT of singing and special music, including a gospel choir! Very fun. I don't have a lot of pics from the wedding because my camera's batteries ran out, but I do have some of the rehersal and the getting ready time in the morning. I'll try to upload those later.

I also had a five-day weekend this past weekend. VERY resting and relaxing. I managed to sunburn myself, but got to sleep in on Friday, Sunday and Monday (and a little on Tues the 4th as well). Had lunch with my good friend Bryna on Friday before the rehersal dinner, spent all day Sat. with wedding stuff. Hung out with new roomie Jackie on Sunday before church, worked in the yard Monday and spent a relaxing day on Tues at home with all four of my new roomies on before heading over to Bruce and Paulette's house for the rest of the 4th.

I am enjoying having four of us at home.....even though it is a little cramped upstairs, it just feels nice and full. Hardly strange at all to have that many of us there. It actually feels pretty normal. We had a good house time for the first week, and are all getting along great so far.

Preschool stuff is still plugging away. We should know by Thurs. what the final verdict regarding funding will be. I am at peace with whatever happens!

House refinance is also going well....just waiting on the appraisal and some final paperwork, but excited about that!

Not a whole lot else new right now. Have a blessed week.