just a little longer....

the usda called again asking for more info - so I am getting that in the mail right now, and then she says we will finally be approved!

edited to add - we got the call from the NNHC a little while later and he said that she did approve us, and he sent me some papers to sign, and I have e-mailed them back to him. So we got the lot we wanted and the house plan.

Still no idea when we will start building - he says there are others who have applied, but no one that is for sure, so he has to wait for them to be approved. So we need 3 more families to get thru that long application and approval process before we will even have an idea of when we will get to start building.
(AJ and Jessie, by the way, have only one more family that needs to be approved and then their group can get started - so they will possibly start building in a few weeks. They have their lot and house plan all picked out as well.)

here is a picture of about where our lot is - it's not a good shot, because I took this before we knew that we could have that spot, and it was not even started being developed yet - so in a week or so, I will go back out to Corinne and take an actual picture of it. but I LOVE that there will not be any homes build behind us, so we will have a nice view of the mountains - our house will face south, and the backyard is north.



that is the house plan we have decided to go with - we got to walk thru the one in Nibley yesterday (thanks to Jessica and her cousin for helping us with that!). (sorry, the pictures are not great).
After we walked thru the house, we went to Lowes and looked at paint and lighting. It was fun to see what Tyson and I agree on and what we have totally different ideas on.
we agree already on what we want on the exterior - we want gray siding with black trim and the gray stone/brick like on this house....

We got the paperwork sent to the USDA, so by next week we sould be all approved and hopefully they will know how soon we will get to start building. They were talking about starting at the end of march and the end of april - but obviously that didn't happen, so who knows. The sad part is that there is no way that we will be able to get the houses done before the end of the year, so we won't be able to take advantage of that "first home buyer" tax refund of $8,000 :( SO unfair.


Earth Day!

I think I have always been an enviromentalist at heart. This is a picture of me about 12 years old - I made the poster collage behind me. I had joined an eco-club and since we lived in Germany at the time, our family was really big into recycling (german law).

Since yesterday was earth day, and wednesdays are our family home evening days, we taught Thomas about how Heavenly Father and Jesus made this beautiful world for us.

I just wanted to blog about the things that I do to be earth friendly:
*we recycle - I have to haul it to a recycle bin in the center of town, but that doesn't bother me at all. We have one bin for cardboard, one for papers (magazines, junk mail, newspapers, etc.) and then we can also recycle plastic. I am amazed at how much packaging we can send to be recycled instead of it ending up in the landfill.
*we use rechargable batteries whenever possible
*and we have a bin that we toss dead batteries into, so they don't end up in the trash - and then we take that to radio shack where they send them off to be disposed of properly

*I use lots of containers again - like the picture above - I like to alter things scrapbooky style, to make them into gifts and stuff. And when we were going thru a huge container of yogurt a week, I used those plastic containers to sort Thomas's toys, and crayons, etc.
*we are switching our lightbulbs to the new cfl bulbs
*we started using cloth napkins instead of paper towels or napkins - at first Tyson and I were a little bit skeptical (I got the tip from mommysavers.com - so it was more about being frugal than about saving trees or whatever) - but we love it.

and I have to add that I was impressed a few months ago when I went to the store to pick up some laundry detergent, and at first I thought they didn't have the size I wanted, but when I looked more closely, I was stunned to see that the smaller container had enough to wash the same loads (32).

someone shared this info on a message board - I thought it was interesting and informative, so I wanted to share it here too:
If you are interested in how long it takes the items we toss into our landfills to decompose, I found the following illuminating. Read on:

Paper ………………. 2 to 5 months

Orange peels ………… 6 months

Milk cartons ………… 5 years

Filter-tip cigarettes … 10 to 12 years

Plastic bags ………… 10 to 20 years

Leather shoes ……….. 24 to 40 years

Plastic containers …… 50 to 80 years

Disposable diapers …… 75 years

Tin cans ……………. 100 years

Aluminum cans ……….. 200 to 500 years

Styrofoam …………… Never

next year will be the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day
Goals for next year:
I am thinking about composting, the house we will be building will have all energy star appliances, and we plan to plant a garden. And I am also thinking about getting those reusable grocery bags. since I recycle bags, i can't decide if it's worth it or not yet.


house news

at our meeting on Friday with the NNHC, we got a bit of good news. They decided that they would open up the new lots to us, so now instead of just the lousey 5 to choose from, we had about 15 - which also means that we could also have whichever floor plan we wanted. . After all the frustration of the previous week, all the heartache and the second guessing, we thought we had it all figured out as we walked into the office, only to be turned on our heads again.

so we still decided that we liked the Dover plan (one we hadn't even concidered before) over the Evanston (our original choice) and it was really really tough deciding which lot we wanted the most. we had driven out there on Thursday and really studied out the 5 lots and thought we knew what would work for us out of those 5, so to suddenly have so many more options took us quite by surprize. The new lots were so many different sizes as well - the 5 were about 11,ooo sq. ft. - but the new ones ranged all the way up to almost 19,000. We decided on a mid range size about 14 -15,000, but as a third choice we picked one of the small ones just in case the prices (which we don't know yet) were too high.

and there is still a last catch - we still haven't gotten final approval of our loan from USDA - mostly because we just bought another auto - but also because we had to sign a paper saying that I was not going to be working this year (since I did last year, and that is reflected in our tax return) and mail that back in.

we thought we were third in line so far, but the second family thinks that they might want to build in Nibley instead, so as soon as we get approved that puts us second, not that it really matters anymore since they opened everything up. there is only 1 other Dover house built and that is in Nibley --- we tried to see inside it, we went and knocked on the door, but nobody answered, so we still have no idea how it actually looks, just seen the floor plan on paper - and that is a little frustrating, since we actually walked thru 2 Evanston houses, both of which were slightly modified.


slideshow - a walk down memory lane

Happy Anniversary!

He said / She said:

I asked Tyson to fill out this questionare to help us celebrate our 5th Anniversary.

He said:
1.Where did you meet? At work, she was my boss. Very sexy!

2. How long did you date before you got married? 5 years if you count the 4 years it took me to get her to go out with me

3. How long have you been married? 5 wonderful years

4. What is your favorite feature of Hers? Her gorgeous eyes

5. What is your favorite quality of hers? The fact that she even puts up with me

6. Does she have a nickname for you? Lancelot

7. What is her favorite color? Green

8. What is her favorite food? Chocolate

9. What is her favorite sport? Anything besides football (she doesn’t like competition lol)

10. When and where was your first kiss? My mom’s house, on my couch after we watched Ice Age

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? (isn’t this a silly question on someone’s anniversary, wink)

12. Do you have any children? 2 super fun boys

13. Does she have a hidden talent? Her ability to put up with me

14. How old is she? 17

15.Who said "I love you" first? Me, I loved her for years

16. What is her favorite type of music? Depends entirely on her mood, but mostly Country

17. Did you go to the same school? Yes just not at the same time, boy how I love my older woman

18. Who asked who out? Well I asked her out first, but when we actually went on a date she asked

19. Where was your first date? Her apartment (I got there on the first date^^)

20. Who hogs the bed? She does, don’t let her tell you different

21. Who wakes up earlier? She used to, but I do now

22. What do you admire the most about her? The fact that she even puts up with me

23. Do you think she will read this? Probably, since she made me do it lol

She said:
1.Where did you meet? Working at Wendys. He was one of my “minions” - one of my favorites, he always did what I asked him to do (I was the boss ;) )

2. How long did you date before you got married? Our first date was in 99, but I don’t count that as dating. When he joined the military and I went on my mission we wrote letters to each other, but I don’t count that as dating either. We talked on the phone after that, but I still don’t count that as dating. So I say our official “courtship” started in 2003 when he came home on leave to see if he had a chance with me.

3. How long have you been married? 5 wonderful years today!

4. What is your favorite feature of His? Do I have to pick just one? I love his eyes, his smile, and his shoulders are very hunky J

5. What is your favorite quality of his? Determination. When he makes up his mind to do something, he does it. (kinda like when he decided to get me to go out with him J )

6. Does he have a nickname for you? While we were dating he called me “crazy” and “sweetie” -but since we got married we just call each other babe, well, we did until that was what Thomas thought our names were LOL

7. What is his favorite color? Black

8. What is his favorite food? Anything - but especially anything mexican

9. What is his favorite sport? FOOTBALL - can’t get enuf. he plays in like 9 or 10 fantasy football leagues, and even tried out doing fantasy football for college football and he was crushed when the Arena Football league took this year off because of the recession.

10. When and where was your first kiss? At his house after watching Ice Age.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? “nothing”. we love doing “nothing” together, meaning everything we do no matter how big or how small. Being together is our favorite thing to do.

12. Do you have any children? We have 2 terrific boys, Thomas Tyson Jr. and Grayson Gordon. They are the light in our lives.

13. Does he have a hidden talent? We are sill unburying them LOL - I will say he has a talent at playing his favorite board game Heroscape, no one can beat him at that.

14. How old is he? He will be turning 27 this year.

15.Who said "I love you" first? I think he did, although, I cannot exactly remember when. But I could read it in his eyes for years before he said it out loud.

16. What is his favorite type of music? Rock

17. Did you go to the same school? Technically yes. We just didn’t go at the same time LOL - I had graduated by the time he was a sophomore.

18. Who asked who out? For our first actual date - I did the asking - I can still see the shock on his face J

19. Where was your first date? He came to my house and we played Monopoly and watched Dragon heart (still one of my most favorite movies)

20. Who hogs the bed? He does

21. Who wakes up earlier? Depends, I wake up to feed Grayson at all hours of the night, but he gets up with Thomas and I try to sleep in.

22. What do you admire the most about him? Everything. He is hard working, and loves relaxing too. He always makes me laugh, and knows just how to comfort me when I am sad. He is a fantastic father, and loves to use the kids as an excuse to be the kid he really is LOL. He is a wonderful husband - and I do believe he “completes” me, and keeps me balanced.

23. Do you think he will read this? Yeah he will read it, cuz we LOVE to reminisce about our 10 years together.


.... money money money...........

Woah - $300 to register our suv - I had no idea it was going to be so much - I am even happier now that I was able to talk him down on the price, we needed that extra $400 just to be allowed to drive the thing.
I still didn't get my turn to drive it. Tyson took it to get it inspected then registered, and then had to go to work. So only one carseat was put in it (Thomas went with him - He demanded to go ride in the "silver SUV" ) Plus it is a cold rainy day, so I don't really even feel like going out of the house.

Tyson and I think that we have settled on a new house floor plan that we think is going to work for us - the garage is smaller, and the bedrooms are all different sizes, but they are ok sizes, so we think it will work. We go back on friday to turn in our paperwork, we still don't know which lot we'd want (like I said they are all a little "scrappy") but I bet that we wouldn't even get the one we really wanted anyway since we are third in line right now.


we finally have a second vehicle. It has been over 3 years since we went down to just one car, and I know I am a stay at home mom, but some days it can be a little frustrating to be stuck at home. But I am so used it to. It will be excitingly weird to have the new freedom of not being trapped. We can, perhaps, go to the park, or over the mountain to see family even on days when Daddy has to go to work.

Here she is: a 98 Honda Passport

Only one owner, he said they bought it with only 25 miles on it! It has been well taken care of. I just hope it will stay in good condition for many more years to come. It has 4 wheel drive for Utahs snowy winters. It has a towing package, so when it comes time to move, we can just haul a trailer with all our stuff (and Dad will try to talk us into hauling a camper the next time we take a family camping trip). He left the nice new stereo/cd player in it too.

I was pretty proud of myself, cuz I was able to talk him down on the asking price. Hi blue book value was $3,950 and low value was $3,110 - He was asking $3,600, which was just about right on - but I offered him $3,200 and he said that seemed fair enuf. I just hope that doesn't mean there is some hidden problem that he knew about and knew it wasn't worth his asking price. But he was so very open and seemed completely honest, so I hope that is not the case.

It will take me a little getting used to, to drive an automatic, since I have driven a standard car ever since I learned how to drive (except for the cars I drove on my mission). Tyson drove it home from Ogden, and he called me on the cell and said "I keep putting my left foot down to push in the clutch, but it isn't there." LOL I am sure I will be doing the same thing. it will be even more weird if I go back and forth from driving one to the other. I will have to stop and think "is this the one with the clutch or not?"

After we get it registered I want to take my turn taking it for a real spin. I have only driven it for about 5 minutes, cuz we bought it around 7pm, and then tyson drove it home, and then we had to get the boys to bed. I wanted to go out for a drive after Grayson went to sleep, but he did not cooperate. He slept in his carseat the whole time we were out, and that got his sleep schedule messed up. So now it's 1am and he is finally sleeping, so I had better get to bed myself.

Wahooooo! I now own an SUV!



Bitterly disappointed

We had an appointment with the NNHC today.

I went in the office with over excitement and optimistic.

I left sad, bitter, angry, disappointed, resentful and pessimistic.

What I thought was going to be an easy choice was made so much more complicated than I could ever imagine.

There were 11 house plans to choose from. We had done our research already, and already knew exactly which one we wanted. Well, we go in, and he tells us we need to choose our top 3 favorites. I said that I didn't need 3 choices I already knew the ONE I wanted. I told him which one and he basically said "well, you can't choose that one because there are already 5 of those built in that development, so we won't build any more of those. Look thru these plans and pick a different one."

I don't want to pick a different plan I want the one I chose first.

Now I am just kinda blown away at how abusurd the way this seems to work.... you rank your top 3 favorite choices for your floor plan - THEN you also pick your top 3 choices for the lot you want (there are only 5 to choose from by the way) and it goes by who gets their loan approved first - we seem to be third in line at the moment - 2 families have already been approved and we are still waiting to get our approval, but it is possible that someone else could still get approved before us (he wouldn't say how many people had applications in right now).

There is another catch. You cannot build 2 homes next to each other that have the same floor plan. So the 5 lots we get to choose from (that seem to be the unwanted leftovers to me) are kinda mingled around homes that have already been built. So if we decided that we wanted floor plan A - we would really only have 2 lots to choose from because the other 3 are too close to other plan A homes that have already been built.

The whole thing seems so unstable to me. Why would I want to put my money and time into building a home that was not my first choice - and if we are really unlucky - why would I want to build a home that was my THIRD choice down the list on a lot that was third on my list. And it seems that the unfortunate family that is picked as the 5th in the group, will have almost NO choice or say in where they will build and will be severely limited on which house would be allowed on that lot.

They gave us a binder with the map of where the lots are located and all the house plans and the paper to rank our top 3 plans and lots onto. We have an appointment next Friday to turn this stuff back in. So we have a little over a week to decide what we are going to do.

Do we really want to put our money and hard work into building a home that is not the one we wanted? If we scrap this idea, we would be back to house hunting - so we looked at the MLS online when we got home, and there is still nothing good in our price range. And how would picking an old run down house be better than building a brand new home that isn't quite what we wanted, but still has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a 2 car garage? Tyson said that at least he would have spent all that time building it himself.

Another option could possibly be that there is a second group that will be building in Corinne. But when we asked about waiting to build with that group he said he didn't have an answer for that yet, but he was going to find out from his superiors and should be able to let us know by our next appointment. This would offer us the chance to build the floor plan that we wanted and in a better location. He tried to explain that he couldn't tell us how long the wait for the second group would be, since the second group wouldn't be able to even start until the first 5 had already been approved and started to build and THEN we'd need to get 5 more families to get approved before starting. He also hinted that he couldn't tell us that we could wait for the second group because those 5 lots that are ready now HAVE to be bought and used before they will even concider starting the next 5. Which makes those lots sound even less desirable - the crappy scraps leftover that noone wanted. It's making me wish that our loan would take MUCH longer to finish going thru the approval process. Then maybe we would be #6 on the list - which would make us # 1 in the second group instead.

I am going to see if I can use baby Grayson as an excuse to wait for the second group. Because maybe if we wait a little longer then he will be older and eating solid foods - not exclusively breastfeeding, and that would make it easier for me to leave him with a sitter, so I can work on the house more frequently.

Anyway, I am still going to at least look thru the plans several more times to see if maybe compromising wouldn't be as horrible and awful as it seems right now after my disappointment. who knows, maybe this is some kind of blessing in disguise or something. (rolling my eyes)