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.