Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Playing Catch Up - Our last weeks in Indiana and the Drive

I'm so behind on the blog right now it almost feels like there is no point in even trying to catch up but here I go.  So one of the things I loved about my house was that we were only a 1/2 a mile away from a little branch library.  It was right in our neighborhood.  We could walk or bike there easily.  Honestly it was easier than getting to the kids school because there was a side walk the whole way.  This library was tiny but super cute and every summer my kids had a good time doing the summer reading program.  They had great prizes like tickets to the country and state fair, free bowling, and baseball tickets, tickets to the Children's Museum haunted house and then my favorite books.  They also had lots of cheap prizes like erasers, jelly beans, stamps, bath toys, finger flashlights extra.  I'm not going to even bother with having you guess which ones my kids preferred although there ultimate favorite this year were these Iwako puzzle erasers.  They collected every one they could find and even now my older kids have theirs displayed in their rooms.  Peach has to keep hers hidden because Cheetah has eaten all the ones she had and is looking for more to chew on.  I was a little concerned about doing the summer reading program this year since we were only going to be in the state for a month but I should have worried.  Three weeks in Peach and Cheetah had earned their full 600 points.  The forth week, right before we moved Captain E and Gigi (who I only let get points for books they had read to themselves) had completed the summer reading program as well.  Every kid who gets 600 points gets to put their name on the library walls.  By the end of the summer the walls will be completely covered but at this point in the summer this column was the only place with kids names.  Congrats kids on being some of the first ones done. 

While we are talking about books have I mentioned the Who Was series of books.  Here in our house we call them the Bobble Head Biographies.  I started picking these up while I was doing homeschooling but the kids like them enough that they now pick them up on their own.  They are awesome and my experience is while they might not go into all the bad details in someones life they don't candy coat everything either.  A great introduction to biographies for younger readers!

We only had four weeks of summer and then we packed our whole house up to move cross country.  Getting the house ready to sell was extremely stressful for me.  Dr. J and I redid the floor in our bathroom and also in the kitchen and bathroom downstairs.  We used those stick on vinyl tiles and grouted them.  People they looked amazing and it was totally a job that inexperienced DIYers could accomplish.  I don't know how well the floor will hold up long term but it looked so much better than before.  We also painted everything.  Cleaned our yard up, packed up a bunch of stuff and got rid of anything extra.  I can't tell you how many loads I took to Goodwill (It was a lot!) and how many clothes I gave away, but there was probably two months where every time I saw friends or went to church I saw clothes that my kids used to wear.  After all that work we put our house up on the market.  We went with a real estate agent who had sold two friends houses.  He gave us a deal where he only took 1.5%.  Add that to the buyers agent's cut and we were at 4.5%.  It seems like a lot but it has actually become pretty common for agents to split 6-9% off the house sale.  People it is nuts how much money is made on the sale of a house.  There is inspections, appraisals, title searches, closing cost (which as far as I can tell is money your bank makes to give you the loan).  Closing cost are like 3-5% and people I think they are insane.  I pay someone that much money to make out a loan who is going to make a ton of money off my in interest (I mean a ton) over the life of my loan.  Here is the thing that bothers me the most about that particular cost, banks make that when they make the loan and then lots of banks immediately sell off the loans they make.  So they get paid to make a loan and then don't have to cover the risk of the loan they made.  Of course the housing market bubble happened.  The incentivizing there is just too much.  But now I'm on a tangent I'd rather avoid.  So we put the house on the market.  We did it over a Holiday three day weekend.  Have no idea what we were thinking there.  No one came and looked over the holiday.  The day after the holiday though we had someone look.  Then the next day someone else.  The day after someone else and within the week our house had sold for full asking price.  People I couldn't even believe it.  Turned out our house was going to be gone exactly when we needed it to be.  My mother in law flew out to help me pack up the rest of the house.  My brother in law (who happens to be a plumbing apprentice now but at the time was a mover) flew out to help us pack the truck and drive it out and like that we were gone! 

 I had this grand plan of taking pictures of each state we went through but honestly that lasted one state.  Bye bye Indiana where I had my youngest daughter and spent the last four years of my life.  Bye bye Illinois where I had my first three children and spent eight years of my life.  You states have been good to us but I'm glad to be moving closer to family.

These are some of the only pics I got from the trip.  One night we stayed at a hotel where they were doing a car show.  We saw some awesome cars!   We also stopped at this weird truck stop where there was an arcade and a ton of weird alien costumes in glass.  The kids of course loved it!  For the most part the drive was uneventful.  I was lucky enough to have my mother in law with me.  I think this is the fourth time she has driven this drive with me.  Can we just say she is a great lady!  J and his brother Ta drove the truck.  So glad I didn't have to do that.  For the first two days they made pretty good time.  The last day when they hit the mountains things got pretty slow for them.  Luckily that day they had taken Captain E along.  It was super quiet in my van after that and apparently was super quiet in their van.  This family of guys just aren't big talkers but we had fun traveling together.  Each night we'd stop at a hotel with a pool and let the kids swim out the kinks while the adults sat in the hot tub.  People I highly recommend this for any long distance traveling. 


  1. I'm so glad your house sold quickly! I understand your frustration on all the fees associated with selling a house...whew! Last year we went through that although we didn't move to another region of the country as you did.

    I'm glad the move went well. And congrats to your kids for meeting their reading goals!

    Are you homeschooling this year? Maybe you cover that in future posts...I'll catch up later.

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