So, last week was my birthday, I turned 31. It was a pretty good week overall, and I had a lot of fun on my birthday with Michael.
I remember when I turned 30 last year: It seems like being 30 (instead of being in your 20s) is a big deal to some people. And for someone who had been in their 20s for the last nine years, 30 does sound a little old. But I remember when I turned 30 my friend, Jolene, said she loved being 30, that it was even better than 20. And since then I've decided I agree. My 30s have been nice so far -- I don't feel old at all, but I do feel more grown up than I did 10 years ago. And we're in a good place right now in our lives, with our boys all old enough to do fun activities together (and all potty trained -- it's official, Courtland has been done with potty training since around Christmas, so I think we're finally there!!!), and with Michael finally finishing all the schooling/training and starting a real job. I suppose I'll feel just a bit more grown up once we move out of my parents' house and get into our own place, but that should happen before too long. :)
Actually, on my birthday last week we went and saw a house that we were very interested in. It had 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, was in our ideal neighborhood -- just down the street from the boys' elementary school (and within walking distance of the high school and where the new middle school is being built), and had a decent sized back yard for the neighborhood. The house had all the nice finishes, and they were all what I would choose -- nice dark hardwood floors, dark kitchen cabinets, and nice granite, a large island that would actually fit enough stools for all 5 of our boys, a pretty fireplace, an upstairs laundry room, a nicely finished garage with built in storage, a walk in pantry, a little built-in desk area in the kitchen, etc. Even the paint on the walls was all the right color, except the pink and purple bedrooms that wouldn't be hard to paint. Basically everything we wanted, except for the fact that it wasn't on a cul-de-sac street and it was an attached house (it shared one wall with the house next door, even though you couldn't really tell that it was two houses from the street -- they designed it really well so it didn't feel like an attached house). Oh, and I don't think I could have fit a long dining table in the kitchen (I have a dream of having room for an 8 or 10 foot long table to fit our whole family plus plenty of guests), but it had plenty of room for a normal good-sized table. Anyway, we were really going back and forth, since we really need 2 or 3 more months before we will have saved up enough to cover a down payment and closing costs, but we were thinking about borrowing some of that and just making it work, and we almost made an offer, but we ended up praying about it and just not having a good feeling about going forward with it, so we decided not to. On one hand it's a little sad, because the house seemed to fit so many of the things we are looking for, and we may not find another house in that neighborhood (in the same price range) with as nice of a back yard, but on the other hand it would have been a pretty big strain financially to have the house payments, plus be repaying a loan if we needed to borrow some extra money for it, so I think it was a wise decision.
Anyway, since then we've continued to add to our little "house savings" account, and we've been keeping a close eye on the MLS listings. The biggest thing is that we've been planning to use an FHA loan when we purchase a house because it has the lowest down payment requirement (3.5% down) and we want to get into something quickly while the house prices are still relatively low and the rates are low). But we found out last week about an announcement that the FHA loans are going to change -- I guess in the past you had to have mortgage insurance when you get an FHA loan, but at some point during the loan you had the option to remove the mortgage insurance once you paid off a certain percentage of the loan or something. But they announced that they are not only increasing the amount of the mortgage insurance, but making it so that you have to continue paying the mortgage insurance for the entire life of the loan. Which basically means that if you wait until after that change is made to get an FHA loan, you may be better off going with a conventional loan and finding a lender that offers lender paid mortgage insurance. But the down side of that is that you need at least a 10% down payment (which means we'd have to save longer and we couldn't get into a house as soon as we had planned), and there is a limit on the purchase price of the home with a conventional loan. The thing is no one knows exactly when this change will happen. It could be next month, or it could be several months from now. Anyway, the person who has helped us get pre-approved for a mortgage said that if you make an offer on a house you get a number assigned to the offer for the FHA loan, and as long as you get that number assigned to the offer before the change is made to the FHA loan you will be grandfathered in under the old FHA rules, even if the house doesn't end up closing until after the FHA changes take effect. So, to make a long story longer, that's why we're kind of hoping to get an offer in on a house sooner rather than later.
So, this post ended up being more about house buying than about my birthday week. Oh well. Anyway, last week Courtland was stick all week, pretty badly sick. He had a high fever off and on for almost the entire week, he was coughing, had a runny nose, and he still looks terrible (even though he's been over the fever for days now), because his lips got chapped pretty badly and cracked on one side and his nose has a little sore where we kept wiping it, and so his little face doesn't look very good, but I think he is actually getting better. Since then Lijah had to come home from school Friday because he had a fever, but luckily he only had it the one day. And now Camden has had a low fever yesterday and today. My parents have been quite sick the last week, and my brother and Michael have both been wondering if they are getting it the last day or so. I just keep hoping that each day is the last day of it for our family, and everyone is starting to get over it. We'll see.
Oh, I started my new calling last week. At church they asked me to be one of the new Bear cub scout leaders, so I am excited to be one of Kolby's leaders. (Plus, I'm pleased that since I no longer teach in primary in church on Sundays I get to go to the women's class at church again -- I am looking forward to getting to know some of the other women at church better now). And Michael got called as the Webelos cub scout leader, so he will be Kolby's teacher when Kolby turns 10 (as long as Michael still has the calling next year). We have pack meeting tonight. I think these will be fun callings.
Michael got his new book last week -- the last book in his Wheel of Time series that he's been so excited about, and he just finished it a couple nights ago. He really liked it.
The boys continue to enjoy school, piano lessons, and Kolby has enjoyed his school chorus. The boys and I started listening to a new series of audio books on our daily car rides called The 39 Clues, and it's a really fun series that is interesting for the kids (and I like them too), but there's nothing that's not age appropriate for the boys. We just finished book 3, and Kolby asked me yesterday if he could have a 39 Clues birthday party next year. :)
On my birthday last week my mom took me, Grandma Faun, and a couple of the boys out to lunch at Panera Bread, which was really fun. And then we went and saw that house. Then that evening my mom watched the boys while Michael and I went and tried out a new Greek restaurant and saw the new Lincoln movie (the movie was good, but I think we'll need to watch it again in the daytime -- Michael and I were both so tired that we kept having trouble keeping our eyes open). We were also making phone calls to the realtor and the mortgage guy while we were at dinner and driving to the theater, and trying to make a decision about that house, before we finally decided against it.
On Friday Kolby had a couple doctor's appointments at Children's Hospital that went really well, and then Lijah came home sick, so that was a pretty busy day. And then on Saturday afternoon I went to my favorite store, Plato's Closet, and used some of my birthday money to get a few new shirts, a skirt, and some cute grey shoes. That was fun. Then I came home and we had salmon for dinner, and a yummy homemade angel food cake topped with whipped cream mixed with fresh strawberries -- don't I have the best husband ever?
Well, I'd better run pick up Isaac from school, then we're going to drive by and see if we can maybe get in to see a house that just came up on the market today.
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