Mission Not Impossible

The goal is to get my family in a house of our own by Christmas! I've got an imaginary board of directors to help and I'm willing to do whatever is legal and moral to make this happen! If a guy can get a house with "One Red Paperclip," I think I can do it too!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Just recommitted myself... 3 posts a day. Then "IT" hits the fan. Kids home and doing damage to each other..... more later.... much later.... like when they go to BED! vs

Yellow Submarine Lunchbox

When I was in elementary school I got a yellow submarine lunchbox with thermos to take my lunch in. I loved it and no one else had the same box at our school. Here's an ebay listing of what it looked like: Lunch box picture I guess that's where my kids get their artistic tastes- from ME! How this came up? My daughter is singing Yellow Submarine in her music concert. I just had to google and show the kids what my old lunch box looked like :) vs

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sunset on Steriods....

Crazy busy with getting things done..... I like all the colors we've chosen but Jacob's room kind of blows my mind. Way too orange for my taste but we'll see when he starts painting the trees.... to me it looks like a sunset on steriods...
This is not really true to color but I'm lucky to even get this uploaded... always,Vickie

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Very Good Friday

Amazing. I woke up this morning to a spring blizzard. Not the most pleasant spring vacation for my kids but it's wonderful because our farmer/contractor  and staff area are all over at the new house working up a storm.  My oldest Jessica is home for spring break.  She and I removed nails from baseboards and removed the remaining old paneling.  All old carpet is removed and  hanging out in the garage until it goes to the dump or ???

Waiting at home for a call from the flooring guy. In the mean time we've boiled up 6 dozen eggs, made hot hoagie buns and a batch of breakfast bars, and done laundry.

Can hardly wait to try out that fireplace!

Have a wonderful Easter!;

Friday, March 30, 2012


Just crossed paths with our real estate agent while running errands in town. The listing agent will be delivering our keys at 2pm!
This is so different from all our other closings in the past. John was off Wednesday and when we called the title company that morning the papers were ready to go. We'd gone to the trouble of getting a power of attorney for me to sign in case everything came together and he couldn't get off work to sign documents. I was so grateful we didn't need it and we could be together for this very important moment in our lives.
Every other time we've closed we've signed papers and been handed the keys. This is also the first time we've bought a home that we expect to keep and not just turn around and move or trade up.
Now comes the hard part- fixing it all up! Something I've always wanted to do and never had the chance. I love make overs and now I'm ready to begin mine.
PS Have an Amazing Palm Sunday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

One Week Five Days....

I looked at the calendar and got a shock last Friday. It was two weeks until closing! Yikes! The main thing left is to choose some tile to go in front of the wood stove insert to protect the flooring from heat and also from the wood that will inevitably get dumped on occasion. The tricky part is matching all the flooring to the tile and the brick fireplace as well. Maybe the right slate? Another thing to consider is that later we'll be tearing into the tile raised area downstairs for a second wood stove. What tile do I want on that huge expanse of floor and wall? John does't like the cobblestone river rock look that is very popular around here. My brain just gets tired with all the decisions it's having to make lately and under a pretty tight time frame. Good thing flooring is the last major one. Paint you can change any old time but tile if done right will last forever.... always, Vickie

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Plethora of Painting Possibilities...

Our first bid for a complete inside paint job was $7,000. Our next bid by another professional painting buddy was $4,300 based basically on $1.45 a square foot. I'm assuming that's based on the rough figure of 3,000 square feet of home space I quoted him. Both are more than we're going to be able to spend. Our budget was $3,900 but I'm guessing that's closer to $2,000 after our contractor added some cushion to our other bids. Reading back over this, it is sounds so boring! Paint isn't boring it's exciting! All those fun and fanciful colors grace the displays in hardware stores and are irresistible to those of us seeking an affordable pizzazz in our lives. Cool names like Dover Grey and Wedding Veil adorned our last house with Mallard Green for the shutters. I think those were from Benjamin Moore but I'm not quite sure. After all it's been a good ten years since we've done a major painting project. We're figuring that we'll probably end up doing some painting ourselves. We're doing the carpet removal and some floor prep. I'm a pretty good masker and general painting assistant. Renting a spray gun is about $65 and we should be able to spray the house in one day if everything is taped and masked and ready to go.... The sweetest deal I've found so far is a basic paint light cream or on the brown side for $8 a gallon in bulk. This is good Sherwin Williams Paint from a painting company that mixes together all their leftovers and wholesales it to selected parties. We happen to know the right people and can take advantage of this amazing price! Even with this super sweet deal it's not cheap to paint the whole interior. Our painting buddy estimates it'll take 60 gallons of paint which comes to $480 and another estimate was maybe twice that. Looks like we might not get fresh paint on the ceilings but they really don't get very dirty and the former animal smell is fading as visitors come and the place airs out more. We will be rolling on the primer for a couple of very dark brown walls. I'd probably just do a fancy glaze on them but John can't stand that particular color so it's going to be eliminated post haste. So much for paragraph breaks that won't show up! Thanks for visiting and I can't wait start really working on things! Vickie

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Our Laminate's on sale

This is a link/picture of the laminate flooring we like. Be sure to click on the room view button to see what it looks like installed! It's called Bourbon Street Applewood. We want yellow walls but not mustard yellow like in this picture...maybe white glossy trim...... always, vickie

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Last Bid

Hurray! Last night we got our final bid! A1 Stove and Fireplace Shop owner and son came out and evaluated our new house from the inside to see what they could do for us and how much that would cost. The final recommendation was to get a Lopi ( low- pie) insert to replace what we thought was a wood stove insert in the fireplace upstairs. What we had wasn't even really an insert but a "face" that just made the fireplace a bit more efficient and they even found a crack in it so it's basically useless. FYI the life expectancy of a wood stove is about 15 years. It's a shame the hearth downstairs isn't big enough or even the best place to place a wood stove to get the most bang for our buck. We'd have to dismantle the wall tiles, and dig back in hoping there'd be a nice alcove to set the stove in and then the heat probably wouldn't circulate up to the bedroom wing. Big project and so we'll think about what do to with that whole area sometime in the future. It will be lots simpler to pop in the Freedom Insert by Lopi and have them run new piping up the existing chimney for now. The one in the picture looks pretty good and it has a nice 7" wide shelf for a cook top. I doubt that we'll be able to get a small enough dutch oven to fit but we'll be doing some research to find some appropriate back up cooking accessories for emergencies. Any suggestions? Our contractor took his computer into the shop last night :( so I typed up all the bids and will have to stop by the library to get copies as our printer still is on the fritz. If everything passes his approval they'll be signed sealed and delivered firsts thing in the morning. Then Wells Fargo can schedule the appraisal. Gotta Go! always, Vickie

Friday, February 24, 2012

Freakout Time Yet?

So we're waiting on two more bids; the flooring guy as his bid is now different now that the kitchen had water issues and that flooring will have to be dealt with, and the fireplace specialist can't come until Tuesday (he came a different day but our agent was out of town and he couldn't get into the house). Firm bids are back from the electrician, general contractor, and plumber. Our contractor would love to get things going by March 19th so that he can get things done and start on his farming projects..... The bids have to be in and then we move forward......patience is not my strong point at this moment in time! Looks like all appliances will be used as the money is going to all go into basic needed house repairs. Just hoping the Appraiser doesn't come up with too many unexpected additions to the needed repairs... so distracted I forgot to even sign off... sending love your way, always, Vickie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jumping Through Hoops....

Can't believe it's been a week since I posted. It's getting busier around here with getting all the bids together and figuring out all the paperwork and hoops our lender wants us to jump through for this "special" 203K FHA loan plus helping my son finish up his eagle paperwork. We stopped by Friday but the fellow who reviews the forms was sick. The secretary did a quick once over and we headed home to fix the two details she pointed out, and to add the photographs from his eagle project we had sitting on the table back home. I'm having a hard time remembering every stinkin detail of late! Today all the kids are back in school after their Presidents Day vacation. I was able to mail the eagle forms instead of drive them back down- travel time 1 hr each way and $20 in gas saved. I did stop by the library and make copies in case of a mail snafu, and paid for a special envelope and sent mail confirmation- under $10 and I got to keep those 2 hours for other stuff. Got the plumbers bid and was pleased. It was about a thousand less than I'd expected, but that is an estimate. This will include flushing all the gunk out of the galvanized pipes, installing the shower in the downstairs bathroom, and repairing the leak in the kitchen floor. Oh and we'll get our hot water line converted from 3/8 inch to 3/4 inches. YES! One can never have enough hot water :) Was sad that my real estate agent wasn't in town when I got a last minute call from the wood stove specialist/installer. He was able to stop by and see the irrigation pipe used for the old wood stove but wasn't able to evaluate the current insert in the upstairs fireplace. We had considered purchasing a used wood stove but the new ones are so efficient that it'll be worth it to buy new and use less than half the wood we'd need with an older model. I'd much rather use 4 cords of wood per winter than 8-12! I also like the idea of only having to clean the chimney once a year instead of more frequently. Well I'd best get busy with chores again. I've taken out the trash, shoveled the steps, ran errand, cooked the dried beans, and washed whites for starters. Plus I made phone calls and worked online. Can't believe it's about time for the kids to walk in the door. Have a great day, always, Vickie

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Dan from Pillar to Post in Idaho Falls did our home inspection yesterday. We've used him exclusively for inspections since we've move to Idaho. He does excellent work and we trust him. He finished the home inspection at 2:30pm and I had the report in my email box first thing this morning :)

The House!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Water vs The Countdown

Count Down:  8 weeks and 1 day till closing

Monday the power was turned on.  The water was also supposed to be turned on but  it's not working.  The guess is that the pipe is frozen between the house and the box from where the city turns it on. Outside temperature in town was 13 degrees.  I saw the guy dig down close to one of the two matching big blue spruce trees in the front yard and turn it on from the city's end.    We lent the other agent (not ours) our space heater- the kind that costs about $350 and they advertise on TV all the time.  It's currently pointed at the wall where the water pipe accesses the basement.

My son is suggesting we start putting videos up on YouTube so you could all see what we're talking about and perhaps get some extra cash for fixing things up.   Our budget is going to be kind of tight since we can't use our very economical contractor friend Kyle who let his license expire.  We have to come up with a new contractor by the end of the week.  The first one we contacted gave us a rough estimate of $30-40,000 to get the house up to snuff. We only have $25,00 currently budgeted in.  Time to set priorities and figure out which priorities we're the most passionate about! And see what FHA will require......


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Price Was Right....

Yes our price was right this time around.  The bank accepted our offer but now we have to coordinate on a closing date.  They want it to be March 23 but our loan officer says it will take the full 60 days.  We don't want to pay that daily penalty of $100 for closing late so we're suggesting the first week in April.  We could officially be in possession of the property before Easter!   I can hardly wait to start posting pictures and let you all in on more of the property details that I've been keeping undercover. 

Bad news is we are pretty sure we can't use the contractor we wanted.  He was waiting to renew his expired license until  we got approval on this project.  The loan officer says he not only would need a current license but also show that he's been actively working - using the license.  Waiting on the license would take an additional couple of weeks we don't have at this point.   It's going to be close on pulling this all off in the 60 days due to all the paperwork and "stuff". 

One cool thing is that perhaps we'll be able to make this work by  the "real Christmas", April 6th. Some theologians  believe Christ was born in the spring because of the shepherds being out in the fields. Not looking for a debate but I thought it was an interesting  and amazing coincidence that according to modern day prophet Joseph Smith the actual day of Christ's birth is April 6th.    I said I wanted a house for Christmas.... and things are coming together not how I imagined it but in a very unique special way. 

Thought you'd all enjoy a head's up and hang in there.... I"m sure we'll have more news a bit more often now that we've agreed on a price :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

No Word.....yet....

We're still on hold while we wait to hear from the bank.  But it's a new year and I'm tired of sitting around waiting.  While I wait I can work on getting my current house in order and  prepare our family for an easy move.  Cleaning is not my forte.  I don't mind cleaning, I just don't like to keep cleaning the same items over and over and over........I want to clean something and have it stay that way :) 

I've also noticed that keeping track of my progress and accomplishments no matter how small they may seem makes me feel better.  So far in 2012, I've only missed on day of shining my sink.  I'm not going to beat myself up over goofing one day out of the month or even the year.  Last year I started shining my sink consistently in about June and now I've hit my 6 month benchmark.  Yeah Me! 

Today I made a form that shows the main rooms in the house that I'm responsible for keeping clean- kitchen, living room/dining room combo, master bedroom, bathroom and the younger kids bedroom.  Now I can mark if those areas are getting better or worse each day.  Is my house getting cleaner and better organized each day?  There are no neutral days around here with our large family.  Doing nothing is falling behind.  I"m trying to no only do something but to do enough that we are headed for a clean and beautiful home where ever that may be.  


Friday, January 13, 2012

Why would they bother.......?

So our financing is back on track thanks to Wells Fargo and their 203k in house loan program.  I'm excited that they even have a renovation specialist- oooh cool!  There were other banks willing but this loan is supposed to be a royal pain so an experienced helper will be most appreciated. 

We had to initial five additional pages of  addendum legalize stuff about how we wouldn't hold anybody liable and if our house inspector gets hurt they're not liable and if anything happens, they're not liable and ... etc adnauseum.   We read everything, asked questions and just went for it.   We even resigned and dated our offer so everything is current and clean.

I'm figuring if they're taking the time to request new paperwork, talk to "Management"  and such, we're headed in the right direction!  or why would they bother?  It sounds like maybe they're really wanting to sell finally and that perhaps they're a little nervous since getting a 203K loan is getting harder and harder to get.

Good news is the longer they take on getting this all worked out, the closer we are to getting our tax refund and the closer we are to spring and low or non existant heat bills for at least 3 months out of the year..... 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bad News?

Tuesday we finally heard from the listing agent and the bank wanted a new pre qualification letter.  I thought that was a little strange but when I contacted our mortgage broker I found out that his investors had temporarily suspended the program.   He did give me a referral to someone who he thought could help.  I called her first thing but she was out of the office until late in the afternoon. 

While I was waiting to hear back I made a lot of  phone calls.  The people who got back to me were Zion's bank, and they also are no longer able to do  203K FHA loans  and Dave Ramsey's preferred provider Dave out of Portland, Oregon.  He said he is the preferred provider for all of Oregon and Idaho.  I did talk to a nice lady out of Missouri but I prefer to deal locally if I have the option. 

Once Ashley called me things got rolling and hopefully the paperwork will be on her desk ready to go this morning.  I"m  glad our broker was able to get us to someone who really can do 203k FHA loans and is good it it.   Getting closer to our goal every day :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Unhappy Homeowners...

 Just checking my emails, surfed around and found this link.  I think you can probably relate.  We buy a house and we "love it".  It meets our needs and we are happy.  Then we start comparing and lose our gratitude.  We want MORE and BETTER and .... we DESERVE it..... 

Do we really deserve anything?  I remember an  article in the Saturday Evening Post by CS Lewis- at least I think it was by Lewis and I think it was in the Post.  The article talked about someone getting a divorce so she could be happy.  At least by getting a divorce she thought she would be happy.  He talked about the "right to happiness".  He said that we don't have a right to happiness.  The Constitution does not guarantee us  the right to happiness.  It guarantees us the right to the pursuit of happiness.  Big difference.  The right to the pursuit of happiness would mean the ability  to even own a piece of property no matter how humble or how grand.  That is one of the great privileges of living in American currently. 

Yesterday I read a couple of articles about Tiger Woods ex-wife.  She's in the news because she just bulldozed an apparently perfectly good home that cost $12 million dollars.  We live in America where we have the privilege of doing whatever we want with what we have for the most part.  It sounds like she intends to build something bigger and better and with a $100 million dollar divorce settlement she can afford it.  I can't even imagine owning a $12 million dollar house let alone demolishing it to start over.  I wear it out, use it up and often do without.  My needs are pretty basic.  Not that I don't like really nice things but I can do without them especially if I can't afford them.
This is a sports site that shows the pictures of before and after.  I don't know who   posted the article originally but  this has the good photos. I just don't recommend reading the comments as they are vulgar.

What do you think about all this?
Have a great day!
always, Vickie

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Not Shocked...

Well here it is January 3rd and still no answer about if the bank will accept our offer.   The way I look at it is at this point if they continue to delay things, there's an awesome chance we'll end up not having to pay TWO heating bills!  Plus we'll probably have our tax return money by then, be debt free... for  who knows how long...

Well until we buy a house and/or invest in the next stage of orthodontics and dental work for the son who got his tooth knocked out in PE class with a hockey stick or whoever else is next in line there's a current jockeying of position.

If you're into contests  you can enter to win a free house at  http://www.hgtv.com/dream-home/hgtv-dream-home-2012-master-bathroom-tour/index.html

I used to win all kinds of stuff from a king sized mattress, books, tapes, etc..  I'd be concerned to win the above mentioned house as I'm guessing it comes with a huge tax bill and a life time of indebtedness with huge property tax bills.  I'm off to put my home in order after the Christmas break and hoping your New Year is looking as promising as ours. Blest wishes from all of us to all of you.