Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in a Nutshell!

I can hardly believe today is the LAST day of 2013! This year we have had so much fun and have grown so much! Here's a look at what the Pouliot's did this year! :)

We got to take a trip to Utah in January to visit friends and family! It was an amazing experience to visit and also enjoy the mountain views, something you just can't get in Kansas.

Baby Michael got to meet Kaiya for the first time! Can you believe they were ever this small??

Aunt Emily

It was so awesome to be reunited with my friends!
Jessyka and I on the long drive!
After being cramped in our tiny car all the way to Utah, we set out to find a more roomy travel vehicle and purchased a 2002 Ford Explorer. For Valentines day, we got new tires put on it! (Romantic, right?) Actually it was a ton of fun because we had to wait for a couple of hour just hanging out together. Also, we took this gem of a picture... which is one of my favorites!

In the Spring, we decided that we wanted to start looking for a house. It took some time and a lot of hassle, but we finally purchased a beautiful house that we have LOVED turning into a home!

Once we moved in, we started on many projects. One, was a quote wall in our living room. It was a crazy task that I underestimated significantly. It took about 2 weeks of work, but we finally finished it! Also, we started finishing the basement. It is still a work in progress, but we are taking it nice and slow!

Here is a picture of the wall. It is only the top half because we didn't want there to be furniture blocking any

What we have finished in the basement.
This summer we had the chance to go to a family reunion at Eleven Mile State Park! I LOVED it there.
Poor kid got sunburnt

Michael with some of his Aunts

On top of the world!
Then it was holiday time! Michael dressed up as Robin Hood for Halloween!

We had a great Thanksgiving, but sadly I did not take any pictures.

Christmas was so great this year! I loved seeing Michael open presents and spending the day with my family!

We are looking forward to what 2014 has to offer! :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cute picture ALERT!

Having a blog has taught me something about myself... I am TERRIBLE at blogging. The only time I really blog is when I notice someone else has. I then think, "oh, hey, I have a blog... maybe I should put something up." So here I am, blogging...

This past week the weather here has been AMAZING to say the least. Baby Michael wants to spend the whole day outside... in fact, today he through a huge fit when it was time to come in for lunch! 

I was sitting outside on the computer while Michael played and my neighbor came out and informed me I was missing great photo opportunities. TOUCHE! I went inside and grabbed my camera. 

For your enjoyment:

This little expression cracks me up!

Michael is now 14 months! He seems to be growing bigger and more independent each day. 

Facts about Michael:

-I go to bed each night in my crib (normally without a fuss) as long as I have my stuffed horse to cuddle with.
-I love to play with my popper always, but especially when Mommy is trying to focus.
-Outside is my favorite place to be.
-I am very good at saying bye, momma, daddy, no, and please. (Mommy is proud of that last one, even if it comes out "peas".)
-I can now climb up AND down the stairs.
-I know cows say "moo" and I can moo too if you don't try and video tape it. 
-The new iOS7 operating system is no match for me. I learned in 2 days how to unlock mommy and daddy's phones. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Seven Things to Teach a Boy About Being a Man

Today I read a great article on important things to teach your daughters. I encourage you all to read that article here. It was very inspiring since I hope one day to have a little daughter that I can teach and love. But, the this article was very one-sided and failed to mention the things we need to teach our sons. The world can only change so much if only one gender is being taught the right way to live. That still leaves around 50% of the population to live poorly. It is just as important to teach our sons about how to treat a woman, and how to live a respectable life. So I decided to come up with my own ideas.

Now I may not be an experienced parent yet, and I know I may sing a different tune when it comes time to teach my son these things, but I do feel like they are important and you can take what you will from them.

So here it goes:
Seven Things to Teach a Boy About Being a Man:

1. You are a child of God and His opinion of you is the only one that matters.
I hope I can instill in my son that he is a child of a loving Heavenly Father. I hope he realizes that it necessary for him to do what the Lord has asked of him. Others may not support him (Although I hope this is never the case, I may not support him), but doing the right thing will always leave you more fulfilled than doing what will make others happy.

2.  Integrity and Charity will get you farther in life than a Mustang and nice home.
I don't want to teach my son that money is bad (in fact, I hope to teach him the important principles of saving and investing), but I do want him to know that if he puts others before himself, he will never be in want.

3. Being a gentleman requires both ACTION and ATTITUDE.
It is not enough to teach our sons that they should open the doors for their sisters, girlfriends, wives, and or any other lady for that matter. Being a gentleman means finding the balance being being humble and having confidence in yourself. It means treating women as the Daughters of God they are, with the utmost respect for their feelings as well as their bodies.

4. Hard work is the most rewarding kind.
One of the many things I have learned from my husband is the joy that comes from working hard for something you want. Life cannot always be handed to you and taking the easiest way is most likely only going to lead you to an unfulfilled life.

5. Never be afraid to show your emotions.
To often I hear "boys don't cry, suck it up." And though I want my son to be strong, I hope that when he is sad, he will show it. When he is excited, I hope he shows that, too.

6. Self-control is hard, but it is necessary for success in life.
I want my son to know that some of the important things we need to learn in this life do not come naturally and are thus very difficult to learn. Self-control is one of these things and many men and women have all but given up on this important life lesson. I hope to teach my son that immediate gratification is never as rewarding as what you will get with a little bit of patience,

7. Your mother and father love you and will always be there for you.
I think, most of all, I hope my son never questions this. I hope I can show him every day how special he is to me. I want to teach him that through good and bad, I will always be there to listen, support, encourage, or simply give a needed hug. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Wonderful, Exciting, Terrifying Process of Buying a Home

March 11, 2013:

Recently Michael and I have been in the process of buying our first home!! It is such an emotion-filled process. There is so much that goes into buying a house that I would have never guessed! Luckily, I have watched my fair share of home-buying TV shows that it wasn't all a shock.

We started by talking with our local bank to get pre-approved for a mortgage. For those of you who have never done this, it is basically a lot of paperwork and faxing and stress. Our bank declined us. It was such a bummer to hear that news, but we decided to press on. We had heard some things about QuickenLoans, so we applied there and were pre-approved (Keep reading to learn about our experience with them). So the process started...

Because I was home a lot, I didn't think we needed a Realtor because I could look up houses myself! BAD IDEA! I scheduled a whole Saturday with different selling agents to view house after house with no real candidates. About halfway through the day we met with Kelsie Keleher. We loved her right away and decided to sign her as our agent. And thank goodness for it! She showed us a few houses that Saturday and one we were prepared to put in an offer, but I didn't feel ready. I couldn't describe why I didn't want the house, but to me it didn't feel right. At that time we were waiting for our bank to go over a mortgage pre-approval with just Michael since I have some student loans. I told him we should wait for that because the house was a little over our budget. 

Then it snowed... two feet of snow... in a week. And our bank took FOREVER just to tell us we had been denied again! So I talked to our Realtor and set out to look at MORE houses. We found a house that day that I fell in love with. And here it is: 

The outside is stucco

I am so excited to have a porch!

Living Room

Looking from the Dining Room into the Kitchen

Back porch! LOVE these arches!


Basement needing to be finished...Michael's project!

The master bedroom is HUGE... this is only half of it!
After viewing it, I called Michael to come and see what he thought! He really liked it (and it's price) and I loved the house and the neighborhood! We decided to put an offer in on this house and after a little negotiation we got it... under ONE condition: We couldn't use QuickenLoans! BLAH!

This was on Friday, which meant we had to wait until Monday before we could even meet with someone to talk about getting another pre-approval. We decided to go through US Bank because we also have an account with them and we hoped that because they are a bigger bank they would finance us... and they did... and it literally took them 2 hours to do the application! (Way better than 2 weeks) 

At this point, I began thinking that we had a house! But then I remembered we were just getting started! And so now, we are in the inspection period! BLAH! We had our first inspection last Friday (a sewer camera). And so the bad news began! Apparently he went out to do it and found that because of how the house was done, it would cost $1000 just to do the sewer camera and required digging up the yard! EEK!!! Well, today we got the news that our Realtor fired him. He was being so unprofessional and couldn't get his story straight. Did I mention he wanted $100 just for driving out to the house!?!! YEAH RIGHT! So today RotoRooter is coming out to give a FREE estimate as to what may need to be done.

On the same note: This weekend Michael and I were praying and stressing about what we should do. We really love this home, but we are putting a lot of money into it already as a down-payment. And then guess what! Michael checked his email last night and he was awarded a $1000 scholarship for his good grades! What a blessing!

I am confident that this house is the house for us and I am super excited to make it into our home! Tomorrow is the full home inspection and I am so nervous that it is going to cost us more... but that's the life as a home owner I supposed! Then there is appraisal and the FHA inspection, and if those go well... it is ours!! YAY!! :) 

March 13, 2013: 

Well our inspections were yesterday, and overall, it wasn't too bad on our part! I was most worried about structural issues only because the house is older and that tends to be a common problem. Luckily there were NO structural issues! WOOT!! What we did find was that there were three gas leaks! That is so scary for the homeowners living there now. Luckily, it is something that is not too hard to fix, and it will be done before we move in. There we also a few electrical things that needed updating to meet current fire codes. We have asked the seller to complete these as well.

RotoRooter did come out and were able to get their sewer camera in and everything checked out there! We were really glad that it wasn't as big of a deal as the first plumber said.

Appraisal was yesterday, but we haven't heard anything back yet.

Now all that is left is the FHA inspections and if that goes well... the house is ours!! One more month til closing!!

March 22, 2013:

Well, some good and bad news came last week about our house. The bad is that for some reason the seller tried to lie and hide the fact that he had $21,000 on liens against the title of the house. After hearing this and feeling like my heart was going to break, I was comforted with the fact that because he was caught, he will have to pay for this and therefore we will not be held accountable. The good news? It will take 60 days to process this because he now has to deal with a lawyer. Why is that good news? Well, now that is 60 less days that we have to pay a rent and a mortgage! YAY! I have little hope that we will procrastinate closing until our lease is up, but hey, that is two more months we save!

Also, the appraisal came in at $14,000 over what we are paying for it! YAY! And apparently the FHA inspections were done at the same time and to my knowledge we didn't have any problems except getting a sink fixed, which is in our contract anyways.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Update for Chelsea

Well blogging world, I seemed to have let another almost 3 months pass me by. It is nearly midnight now and I am so exhausted. It is amazing how much such a small child can wear you down. Baby Michael has been pretty sick (as the rest of the house has) and it has been a rough few days. It is probably the worst feeling being so helpless when your child is so upset over a stuffy nose.

So starting in December, Michael and I were called to serve as the eleven-year-old scout leaders. It has been pretty fun, but until last week we only had one scout. :( BUT, now we have FOUR!!! I was so excited to have more boys to teach and interact with. This month we are learning about Citizenship. It is actually great since I am taking a Government class this semester and am all freshened up on USA knowledge. Since today was the first of the month we just introduced the flag and talked picked a service project to do for later in the month. For all the boys this will be their FIRST service project. I am so excited to teach them the blessing serving is. They decided that they wanted to spend an hour picking up trash at the park. Although I think this is great, I am sure there attitudes are going to change 10 minutes in when they realize that is a long time just to pick up trash. Still, we told them they could decide and I will stand by that.

Anyways, as something to do while we were talking, I had the boys construct their own American Flags and I wish I had their pictures because they were trying so hard to make them perfect and then they just threw them out when we were picking up. I kept mine, because I worked hard on it! Here is a picture... not too bad I'd say...
So... in other news, we sold our little blue car. It was a great car, but I have been BEGGING Michael for a van or SUV...

After some looking, we finally found an SUV that we liked and BOUGHT IT!!! I was so excited, but apparently not excited enough to take a picture... so you'll have to wait for those in my next post (in four more months probably)

Baby Michael had his 6 month appointment where he got a cool book about Trucks that has turned into a chew toy. I wasn't sure if I should be happy he loved his book so much, or just a little worried that he likes to eat it. He is weighing in about 18lbs which is AWESOME! In other news, he is SO close to crawling and being able to pull himself up to a stand. I caught him twice today pulling himself up. I can hardly believe just how much he is growing. I am so excited for him to reach the milestone of being able to crawl and then walk, but I am DREADING baby-proofing our house.

Alright, I hear a pillow calling my name...

p.s. Chelsea, if you are reading this... I miss you so much and am sorry my life is boring and my crafts are not near as fun to look/read about as yours!!