Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Well, howdy!

Just popping in to say hello, and I'm alive. I have been sick and cranky and so low in energy that I'm just barely able to get through the day, let alone do any blogging. I missed blogging oddly enough. 
St. MatthewWe've been having urgent meetings with accountants and tax lawyers and doing a lot of praying and asking St. Matthew to intercede for us. Apparently, God has heard our prayers because it appears there was an error on our tax return but it was in our favorBill is so scrupulously honest about things like taxes that I had no doubt it would all work itself out, but I dreaded going through the audit process. Now I can say it and mean it, "Thank you God for letting us get audited!"
To add to the general excitement and my anxiety level, the Nanny that had been coming to help me in the afternoons just up and quit on me with no notice. {Something about not wanting to pay income tax....well, thanks a lot.} The kids and I had really started to get attached to her and liked her quite a bit, I could not believe someone would do me like that. I really expected more from her. In any event, I've started interviewing new candidates, and I hope to have a new Mother's Helper lined up by the end of May. Oh, and just for kicks, Bill got the stomach flu and was out of commission for 2 days this last weekend which was no fun for anybody.

In the last three weeks, we also had two kids birthdays to celebrate and I tried to get some Origami Owl orders in. 

Origami Owl is so swamped that their system is not able to keep up so I wasn't able to get all my orders in and be assured that they would be processed and charged properly. They really were not prepared for how much demand and how much growth they would experience so quickly. It's one of those good and bad things. I hope things calm down a bit so they can bring their customer service up to par. The product is adorable, but they have to get the systems in place to support their designers in giving great customer service to the ultimate client. Right now a lot of designers are frustrated, but everyone is trying to help each other out to get orders filled which is great to see. Instead of worrying about "the sale" they are worrying about satisfying the customer. I haven't posted anything about the lockets lately because I'm not confident I can deliver the product in a timely manner. 

We celebrated the two big kid birthdays quietly at home, and they've agreed to do a joint birthday party next month. They've decided on a Miniature Golf party which will work out great for boys and girls and for a wide range of ages. It was fun to have two 9 year olds in the house for 10 days; now they are 10 and 9 years old! 

Time flies, sort of. But it also drags on and on. Depends on the day.

We're still hoping our friend Vanesa will be able to visit from Argentina next month. I haven't heard from her in a while and I hope she's okay. She had gotten mugged while in Calcutta. She was still enjoying her time with the sisters at Mother Teresa's convent and racking up lots of cool lifetime memories. 

Last weekend we went to a neighborhood party at our old house. We had started a spring soup party tradition in our old neighborhood that had gotten quite popular over the years, and the new owners agreed to keep the tradition alive and invited us over to the soup party.

It was fun to see everyone again for one last hurrah. The house still looks great. It definitely has the new owner's stylistic touch now, but it still looks like the same "bones."
Sweetpea getting her hair done for the Soup Party

We were all surprisingly unemotional after the experience. I thought the kids would be weird about it, but they weren't. They were so excited to play with their old neighborhood friends and to be remembered. I think that's what they worried about, that people wouldn't remember what we had done for that house and for that town. But they do, and they will, for a long time to come. 

But now I'm more than ready to invest emotionally in our new neighborhood. We've met some nice families on our street and our next door neighbor is the best.neighbor.ever. Super helpful and friendly without being intrusive. If there were an award for best neighbor, I would nominate him for it.

The kids had a great time at Toto's Hit-a-Thon on Saturday. He had the shortest hit, but the biggest smile. He has an amazing personality, always so happy to be participating. He raised quite a bit of money by asking for pledges door-to-door. I was really proud of him for doing that, few kids do that anymore. I get requests on Facebook from parents all the time, but I rarely see the kid actually making the "ask." The Hit-a-Thon event itself was really well laid out; the kids could go wandering about safely, with lots of activities for them all to do at different ages and ability levels.
Toto upside down on the Velcro Wall

Trying to dunk Coach Ben

Markie getting red, white, & blue crazy hair - because Toto plays on the Cubs.

video
Here he is dancing with Daddy.
Each of the big kids won enough coupons at the pitching booth that we won $ 6 off our lunch bill! We were all pretty happy about that!

Needless to say, we stayed much longer than I had anticipated. I tend to hate those types of events, but this one was a lot of fun for all of us.

Our chickens are getting huge! They are great fun to watch and we've now let them out to roam at the same time as Stuart the rabbit and they get along just fine.
video

The Cabana project is really starting to come together. We had our first inspection, the fireplace and the windows are in, and the front door stoop is framed out. It really makes it look like a little cottage. It is turning out great. Bill has already got the TV and audio hook-up all wired and decked out of course. 

I've been having a heck of a time finding a pool contractor. I was really excited about one that my neighbor recommended, he's from Argentina and everything, but we can't even get a call back from him. Business must be good if you don't have to return calls from potential clients! But I have to keep trying. 

I promised the kids chickens, a play structure, and a pool of our own when we moved {the three things we couldn't have at our old house} and so far I've got two out of three in flight. I need to get the pool project going so we can use it this summer. It is already HOT here. It was 89 today, yup, on May 1st. It's supposed to be even hotter this weekend. I'm not complaining, I like it hot and not humid, so it's perfect for me. 

Happy Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker today
If you have a job, be grateful for the blessing of your work, and if you are looking for a job, blessings on your search. 

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