Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New home keeps you busy

We have our officially accepted offer on our new home and are now going through all the hoops and red tape before we can close. Yesterday we made our own inspection and had a professional come inspect our new home. I was nervous as we are getting this home for a really good price and so was worried that something was wrong with it. But our home inspector could not find any major issues, which was wonderful news.

Now we are trying to see how much it would cost for new carpet and a new paint job, plus some new appliances. With the amount of snow on the ground at this part of town. I have decided that I will need to purchase a snow blower. Having a RV pad as well as a driveway also encourages this purchase.

We are excited as can be and just can't wait until we are moved in. We are projecting a move in date of Saturday January 17th. We will send an official invitation when the date is firmly set. But we hope many of our friends and family will be available to help. The move will be very simple. We only have an apartment to pack up and load up. The rest will be in a Pod that we will have delivered just before move in time. With the help of the Pod people, our move will be much easier.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A snowed in Christmas

Christmas has come again and like many parents, Jen & I spent much of Christmas Even wrapping presents and getting ready for "Santa's" visit. Karen was so excited for Christmas that she came out of her room a few times while we were preparing and we had to quickly get her back in bed to preserve the surprise. On Christmas morning we were woken by a very excited Karen who informed us that Santa had came and she wanted to start opening presents. After some persuasion from Karen, we all got up and began Christmas morning. An hour later the kids had more toys that they could play with, Jen had a new computer game and dagger. And I got the 20th anniversary box set for MST3K and a really cool UofU shirt.

Now we are spending the day playing with our new toys and watching "A Christmas Story" on TV. We were planning on going to my parents house to enjoy the day with them. But we have a large storm hitting the state today and the roads look terrible. I had been checking the Internet to see if the weather would let up so we could travel, but I don't think it will be worth the risk. So we are enjoying a snowed in Christmas. But seeing the kids enjoy their new toys makes this a very happy and enjoyable time.

See ya next year

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Finally. After months of searching, and pinching our budget so much that if it was coal it would have turned into a diamond. We found our new home and made our best offer on it. Yesterday we learned that our offer on the home was accepted! We now have our new home and could not be happier. The home is on the very western border of Riverton, but Herriman would be a more correct description of where it is.

We could not ask for more with this home. It has a finished yard and is fully fenced. It has a nice sized kitchen, fire place, enough room for us all to live on the main floor. The basement is unfinished but over time we can add more bed rooms, family room, storage and a bathroom.

I will need to be like my brothers and father and will now have a longer commute to work in West Valley. But with gas prices back down, it should not be a major issue and thankfully Banganter highway is very close.

We look forward to having our offer officially accepted on Monday and then creating a time line towards taking possession of the home. We also look forward to being able to show the home to friends and family.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Were going home...once we find it

Our exhausted search from the new Stark family home has taken us all over the valley and into every kind of neighborhood out there. We have seen most every type of rambler home that has been built. We finally feel like we had found some homes that we could enjoy and on Wednesday we put a bid on 2 of them. But right after we made those two offers, Jen found the best house we had ever seen . We fell in love and put an offer on that home too. So we now have 3 offers made on 3 different homes. We are optimistic that by the end of the year we will have one of them.

With these offers I finally feel like we are progressing in our home search and we can now sit back, relax and try to enjoy the holidays. We should receive within 3 days a response for 2 of our offers. Until then we will wrap presents, watch Holiday movies and treat ourselves to hot chocolate and scones from Winder Farms.

The physical toll for searching for our home has been exhausting. Poor Michael came down with a fever and I'm sure us running from house to house has not been helpful. But we have agreed to suspend our house search for the holidays. We surly could use the break.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Wonderland of a weekend

7 years ago yesterday I was blessed to take a beautiful bride to the temple and start our lives together. Now our family consists of both of us and 2 cute and very happy children. I am certainly blessed to have such a wonderful family. Jen has given me so much that this year's anniversary I wanted to take charge and try to treat her.

We celebrated our anniversary on Friday by getting a baby sister for the kids and then headed downtown. I had forgotten how busy downtown gets, especially during the holidays. But we eventually got our car parked and we enjoyed dinner at the Lion House Pantry. I was impressed with the place and really enjoyed a good steak. Then I surprised Jen and took her to the Christmas performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra. They had special guests Brian Stokes Mitchell and Edward Herrmann. The performance was wonderful. We enjoyed numerous holiday favorites and some new songs that we had not heard before.

Brain Mitchell sang a song that was from the perspectives of the animals who were in the stable on Christmas eve and what they gave to the Christ child. He sang with different voices for the donkey, cow, sheep and dove. It was a wonderful song and was sang again during music and the spoken word on Sunday. I enjoyed it both times.

Edward Herrmann narrated a story of how the song "I heard the bells on Christmas day" was made, while the choir sang in the background. That was a delight as well.

We enjoyed the evening and look forward to another 7+ years together.

The remainder of the weekend was spent surviving the snow storm, attending a ward Christmas party, looking for a home and spending time together. I enjoyed it and feel that we are close to getting our new home.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Going bowling

The Utes fantastic season continues with a BCS bowl and high quality opponent. Last night we learned that Utah will be going to the Sugar bowl for a game with Alabama. I would have preferred the Fiesta bowl as more Ute fans could travel to that game. Instead we will be playing at a site full of Alabama fans. But I am OK with it. I am just thankful that this BCS bowl will give the Utes a true BCS opponent. Last time we were stuck with a un-ranked big east team that was a complete joke of a team. We had to go undefeated to earn the right to play in a BCS bowl and Pittsburg was able to coast in with 3 losses. Now we get a team that was number 1 and undefeated (like us) until just last Saturday. This should be a tough but good game and win or lose, I am excited for our team and the mountain west conference.

BYU will be returning to the Las Vegas bowl, but our 10-2 team will be playing a 7-5 team from Arizona. Kind of a disappointment but the Las Vegas bowl has always had a problem getting a high quality opponent from the Pac-10. At least the poinsettia bowl will be a good game. a 10-2 TCU team from the Mountain West will play a 12-0 Boise State team from the WAC. That will be a BCS type of match up and I am looking forward to watching it.

Now my favorite season begins. The Christmas/Bowl season. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Its life jim....but not as we know it

Not much to say about this week. Disappointment on the housing search. Interest rates took a dive around Thanksgiving which got us really excited as we could now afford more and so increased the price range in our housing search. But we have yet to find that house that screams out at us. We have a bid on a short sell, but the bank seems to think that there is no decline in housing prices and so is hesitant to sell us the home for a price lower than what they think it will get. So we continue to enjoy the comforts of our apartment and hope that our house will show up soon. I am sure it will, but the waiting is the hardest part.

I am looking forward to all the Christmas activities we have planned. Looking at the lights at the zoo, scones at Winder Farms, choir concert by my mother, ward Christmas party and the main holiday itself is always fun. I really should start on my shopping.

Jen & mine anniversary will be next week and I've got something special planned. Last year Jen surprised me by taking me to a bed and breakfast for the weekend. We had a lot of fun and a nice break from being parents. This year I am surprising Jen. It will not be a cool as what she did for us last year, but I am excited for it and we will have fun.