Found and Lost and Found

We found The Awesome One yesterday. We promised ourselves that we wouldn't fall in love with a house but OOPS, it happened. In a way, that's a good thing because the first day we were having issues with Max loving one and me hating it or me loving one but Max hating it.

The Awesome house has many wonderful features: all hardwood floors, super energy efficient because of the top of the line AC unit and the double paned windows, 3 bedrooms/2 bath/2 car garage, FANTASTIC neighborhood, beautiful landscaping and fenced backyard just to name a few.

That evening we put in an offer. When we got home, we looked up the address on zillow and it told us that the house was already pending sale. Max and I were crushed, to put it mildly. We emailed our realtor but had little hope. We had a back up house that was almost perfect, but it wasn't The Awesome One, you know?

The next morning, our realtor called us and said, yep, come on over this afternoon and we'll look at more houses because this one is taken. So basically any hope we may have had was gone. Max was very upset (it's a money-saving house....he was in love!) and we both were quite sad. We went about our day's errands (fingerprinting for my new job and visiting Max's new school) feeling quite subdued. I was praying the whole time that Max especially would have peace about this unfortunate situation.

We were in the truck, and I asked Max how he was feeling. He quite calmly said that he was starting to feel okay about this whole situation, feeling like it was all going to be alright anyway. No sooner had the words left his mouth when our agent called!

She told us the house was still available. [Excuse me, can you repeat that? I'm not quite sure I heard you correctly over the traffic!] Apparently the buyer had committed loan fraud! So the seller was kind of back at square one.

To say we were shocked and overjoyed is a bit of an understatement. I believe Max cheerfully cried: "God's MESSING with us!!"

After our offer, her counter offer, our counter counter offer, and her counter counter counter offer, we accepted. Then she accepted our acceptance. Then there were rainbows in the skies, it rained down candy, and unicorns frolicked in the fields.

So barring any other catastrophe, we are going to be PROUD homeowners! We cloae in mid-August so keep praying and keep your fingers crossed! Pics are up on Facebook for family :)

We'll take The Awesome One

The last three days have been the longest and sweatiest of my life. Day 1, we drove over thirteen hours to a hotel in Arkansas in the hillbilly-pickup-with-no-air. By the time we got out of truck, I could have wrung out my underwear and created a nice salty pond on the side of the road. Day 2, we drove about 7 or 8 more hours until we found our storage unit, at which point we spent three hours unloading 90% of our earthly belongings from the truck. In the middle of the day. In the sweltering heat. There was a short moment of panic when we were wondering whether the couch would fit into the storage unit, but we made it work!

Today we spent all afternoon looking at houses with our very nice realtor in her very nice air conditioned car. We saw twenty houses. I would say about eight to ten of them, we walked in and then walked right back out. A piece of crap is a piece of crap; it's that easy to tell. Many of the homes we looked at were between 20 and 40 years old, 3 bedroom, 2 bath. We saw so many houses, took so many notes, that it started to all blur together. We started dubbing houses by their characteristics: The Smoky One, The Eighties One, The Moldy One, The Wheelchair Accessible One, The Wood Paneled One, The Busy Corner One .... the list goes on!

Tonight, we are going over some paperwork and thinking about our top three choices. Tomorrow we'll meet with the realtor again to go revisit our top three, and then she'll show us the next set of houses. I don't know if there will be twenty houses in this set (I imagine not), but she's been great in working with us to maximize our time here!

Despite the heat, this is definitely shaping up to be an exciting time for us!!

It is WAY past my bedtime

The pickup truck is packed to the hilt (and not everything fit!). We've nailed down the tarp as best we could. Now, all that's left is a very short night's sleep before we attempt to drive at least 12 hours down South (we'll still have about 8 more to go on Day 2) driving a contraption that looks suspiciously like the Beverly Hillbillies!! No air and no cruise control either. Should be fun.

But hey, at least we get to do some serious house shopping when we get there and after we unload all of our stuff in a storage unit! So that will definitely make up for the trip :)

Sometimes I wish I was a cat

Because cats don't have to pack. In fact, cats don't have to do anything except eat, drink, sleep, and poop. Max and I, however, have been very busy with putting things in boxes. And then putting more things in more boxes. It never seems to end!

Here is how Mrs. Hufflepuff has been helping out:

And if you're really a cat lover, you'll enjoy this one too:

I can hear you go "Awwwww..." all the way over here!

Moving On

I've been mildly enjoying my summer vacation. I say mildly because Responsibility sneaked up on me outta nowhere and bit me on the butt. I have a final paper due this Saturday for my grad class. I have to go back to school and hold another meeting to finish up an IEP on Thursday for this girl. That has great potential to be World War 3, but I'll keep you posted. On top of that, we are attempting to pack up about 87% of our stuff so we can bring it down to Texas next week when we go house hunting (we'll be dropping it off in a storage unit). Nothing stresses me out more than seeing this:

Packing up and moving is a tiring, back-hurting process! And I shudder to think how many times my dear mom packed up a family of five to move us across the country, and across the Atlantic.

But I do have some fun things to look forward to. Lunch out with friends! House hunting! Visiting with family! A trip to Europe! I guess it's all about perspective...

Stick a fork in me...

.... I'm DONE!

And to celebrate, I went to a local park with lots of my colleagues and ate pizza and ice cream and cake. Then we all went mini-golfing (I even made a hole-in-one! By bouncing the ball off of three different sides! So totally planned!).

For round two of celebrations (have I mentioned I like to milk celebrations??), Max and I went to see "Star Trek" at the movie theaters because I had won free tickets from a radio contest a few months ago. Max was very annoyed with me when I couldn't seem to say "trek" and always said "track" ("It's 'treeeek', 'trEk'!!!) After that, we went to the Melting Pot for some very yummy cheese fondue. And the grand finale? Ice cream at Cold Stone!!!

I wish every day was the last day of school!

Can I Crash a Bonfire Somewhere?

All week, I've been stalking the lunch ladies. Not because I'm hungry all the time (that is completely unrelated), but because they are the ones with the steady supply of boxes. And I'm in desperate need of cardboard boxes as I am packing up my classroom AND the apartment. So I've been lurking in the hallways, and snatching up box after box before any other teacher can take them. I'd created a literal TOWER of boxes in the corner of my office, waiting to topple over at the slightest sneeze.

Tomorrow is the last day of school, and all week I've been procrastinating on filling those boxes. Today I finally forced myself to pack up... and it was surprisingly easy! I didn't realize how little of my stuff I had actually brought to the job as this particular resource room had a lot of resources already there! So I ended up filling seven boxes, then cramming most of the rest of the empty ones into our car. I made sure I could see out the windshield and the rear-view mirror, but other than that, my long drive home was PACKED! Haha.....

On a related note, now that I am leaving this job behind me for good, what's a girl to do with 997 business cards??!?

Say It Like It Is

I have a little first grade boy with autism on my caseload. Let's call him Tommy (I know I've written about him before, but I can't remember what fake name I gave him!). Tommy has a full time aide to help him successfully mainstream in his general education classroom. You should also know that Tommy has a very powerful imagination and he will frequently make up stories or exaggerate what is going on.
Yesterday, Tommy came to school with mosquito bite on his forehead. This, of course (as anyone who works with kids on the autism spectrum might know), was devastating. It completely paralyzed him from getting any of his morning work done. Miss W (his aide) decided that some quiet time in his bean bag chair with an ice pack on his head may be just the cool down time he needed in order to start his day. So there he was, holding a blue bean-bag-type of ice pack on his head, calming down. Miss W was sitting off to the side with her back to him as she completed some paperwork.
Suddenly, Tommy says: "The ooze monster is here! The ooze monster is here!!"
Miss W responds (without turning around): "We're not telling stories today, Tommy. Please sit quietly while your classmates are working"
One minute later, Tommy pipes up again: "No, Miss W, I'm SERIOUS! The OOZE MONSTER IS HERE TO GET ME!"
Miss W finally turned around, and when she did, she saw that the ice pack had exploded and there was indeed OOZE all over the poor kid's face and shirt!
And that is why SOMETIMES we should take kids seriously....

Five more days until pee-pee freedom!

It's the beginning of the end.
And I've come to realize that I am very thankful that I'm in the type of job that has a clear beginning and ending. Our occupational therapist, who works part time in the hospital setting when she's not at school with us, said how lovely it is to have a job that ENDS. At the hospital, it's constant; sure, there may be patients that are discharged, but there are always other patients waiting to take their place. There is no automatic vacation. Nothing depends on the seasons.
Gosh, it must suck to have a "real" job....
Then again, when you are doing the potty dance in front of all your students, you start to envy all those other people in those other jobs who have the luxury of peeing whenever the thought occurs to them.

Hoarse as a Horse

Today was Field Day. Why we don't save Field Day for the last days of school, I will never understand, but there you have it. All the teachers are now wondering what they are going to do with their students for the next six days of school...
I was recruited to be in charge of the 4-square station. Remember 4-square? It was huge when I was a sixth grader. Anyways, we had K-2 rotating through all the stations this morning, and grades 3-5 rotating this afternoon. Each station lasted between 9 and 15 minutes. This means that I yelled out directions (you know, to be heard over all of the other field day events) TWENTY-ONE times to twenty-one different classes. So you can imagine I'm pretty hoarse.
It was pretty amazing to see the progression of physical coordination that each grade/age was capable of. For the Kindergarteners, the directions were simply to "bounce the ball to your friend"... but even that proved to be too difficult when I realized that some groups weren't playing because LOOK I SAW A CATERPILLAR or LOOK I HEAR AN AIRPLANE!! The first and second graders weren't that much better--they even had trouble running after a ball when it was hit out of bounds to go pick it up. It was almost like watching a cartoon: a child would run to get it, but just as they were picking it up, they would inadvertently kick it further, until they were halfway across the field!
As soon as I got the third through fifth grade groups, there was a big jump in physical ability. But then it I had to shout out complicated directions about what constituted an "out" because they were SO COMPETITIVE. The fifth graders were downright cutthroat--they had NO mercy!
After a full day of standing and walking around, sun exposure, and yelling out directions, I am BEAT!

Almost Summer

Is anyone else out there having trouble focusing on the tasks at hand instead of anticipating all the glorious things you'll do once summer break is here!?

Kids Gone Wild

Only two weeks (nine more days) until the end.
It's that time of year where the kids forget every rule and procedure you've taught them since September. No one can sit still or keep quiet. Kids are jumping up from their seats like popcorn and blurting out more often than bidders at an auction. Teachers are walking around looking tired from the strain of staying patient. Teachers are scrambling for any activities that would pass the time and at least are semi-educational. Administrators are strongly encouraging us to "stay strong until the end" and cram all the learning we can in these last few days (ha!).
This final whirlwind of activity with field trips, field day, and packing up the students' work and projects, and boxing up the classrooms will all end on June 12th with one collective sigh of relief from teachers and students alike (not parents though... let's face it, some of them may be mourning that day!). 
I, for one, CANNOT WAIT !!!!!!!!!! 
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