Friday, June 26, 2009

Finally Here!

Just a few shots I got in before the madness happened! The painting is not done, but we ran out of time and sunlight. We'll continue to touch up in the next month or so. We are in and we are hooked up, but I'm taking the weekend OFF!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Back in April my husband's dad told him that buying/selling homes were some of the most stressful times in his life. At the time, I was thinking it was all pretty easy. HA! We gave ourselves 6 extra weeks from closing date to the end of our lease. Plenty of time... unless your closing gets pushed back 5 weeks. Usually when we move I'm able to call weeks ahead and arrange to have the electricity, gas, water, and cable switched over. This time I had to do it on Tuesday evening for a Friday move. The cable company is coming tomorrow while the movers are here packing up. The electric and gas companies told me it would be Monday. That was fine until the seller of the house had the electric and gas TURNED OFF TODAY! While the house is half-painted and we have to move tomorrow. I think I managed to get it taken care of .. actually my absolutely awesome real estate agent, Kim, got it taken care of. I'm wishing we could have afforded a bigger house so she could have made more money because she MORE than earned her commission!

Hopefully all will be painted and we'll be set to go tomorrow. The desert heat helps the paint dry very quickly so as long as it gets on the wall, we should be good. Meanwhile, I'll be unplugging the computer soon and re-plugging in tomorrow. I hope to be back soon with pictures!

Until then....I'll see you on the flip side!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We're In!

I really wanted to have some pictures for you, but I just didn't get around to it yesterday. Our agent called yesterday around 3 PM to tell us we could GET THE KEYS! But, of course, the baby had JUST gone down for a nap and we never wake a sleeping baby. So I went and got the keys and we took the rest of the family up after dinner to do some laundry and put some paint samples on the walls.

We'll be painting for the next two days before the movers come on Friday. I promise to take before and after pictures! After years of living with white walls, it was really hard to pick out color!

Thanks for all of your support and encouragement. This has been quite a ride, but we never dreamed we'd be in a position to purchase our first home so soon so we are truly blessed and thankful for this opportunity.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Still Waiting

We are still here. By "here" I mean our old dwellings, not the new shiny ones. We signed all of our documents and handed in our check a week ago and we still do not have the keys to our new place. The causes of the delays are numerous and entirely created by our lender, which is beyond frustrating. Unfortunately we do not have the option of taking our business elsewhere at this point or I would have switched banks yesterday when they told us there was a problem with the appraisal. The appraisal they had done by their appraiser well over a month ago. The appraisal that no less than 4 people have looked at since then.

We had been planning to paint before we moved, but we had also planned to move a week ago! I know that in the long run I will be much happier if we paint before moving, but we are living amongst boxes with almost everything packed and three kids, one of whom is only here for another few weeks and we won't see her again for months!

The entire situation just stinks and I am well beyond frustrated. Here's hoping we actually get our keys today!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Three generations of Gabel men: My father-in-law, my husband, and my son

Family Camp at Bass Pro Shops

If you live near a Bass Pro Shop, I would highly recommend their weekend "Family Camp" going on every Saturday and Sunday through July 5th. Our girls had a fabulous time making crafts, fishing, shooting guns and bows/arrows, and learning lots of fun outdoor info. Plus, the amazing fish they caught....!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Christmas in June

Remember my obsession with pom pom garland? I never quite got around to making them with a newborn in the house (gee... I wonder why!). Today during the little kids nap time, Sarah started working on the garland for me. She thought it was a little funny to be working on Christmas stuff in the summer, but hey, I'll take the help when I can get it! So far it's looking great!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm Back!

This is where we've been for the past few days!

My husband took Miles to New York to visit family -- the one year anniversary of his mom's death is next week and he is going to say good-bye. He didn't get to the funeral so he took this opportunity to introduce Miles to his paternal family (including his grandpa -- Miles is the first grandson after five granddaughters!), pick up Sarah and see where his mother is memorialized.

Meanwhile, my sister and I took Ella to Disneyland to meet the Princesses. It was awesome! We spent today (our second day in Cali) at Huntington Beach and then drove home. It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

I got news on Friday that we officially have an appointment to CLOSE ON OUR NEW HOME on Tuesday (hours after hubby lands from New York!). The plan is to move all the "big stuff" next weekend -- yikes! I have a lot of packing to do!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eating on the Road

The Gabel family is on the move this week. Mitch and Miles are flying to New York for a family event and to pick up Sarah (WOO HOO!!). My sister and I are road tripping from Vegas to Anaheim (about 4 hours) with Ella for a day at Disneyland (Ella' first time; our gazillionth time). I needed to pack everyone munchies and lunch on the road for us. For the snacks I made Homemade Granola Bars and Peanut Butter Balls. I add 1 cup Raisin Bran and omit the 1/2 cup dried fruit and 1/2 cup flax seed.

For lunch I made up some chicken salad, put it in tortillas and made wraps. Ella will have a peanut butter sandwich. We also have raw veggies and dip and fruit to snack on. We're planning to stop at a park to eat and let Ella run a bit half-way through the trip. She's not used to driving for more than 20 minutes at a time so it ought to be fun!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Surgery Day

Our little guy had surgery this morning. Everyone (including the surgeon) I talked who has had kids have this surgery assured me it was an easy in and out procedure. Their kids were all back to their normal selves later in the day. I was fairly confident when I scheduled the surgery for today -- only two days before he is scheduled to fly out to New York with his Daddy.

It turns out that the issue was a bit more complicated than originally thought AND that Miles does not do well on anesthesia. I think he was totally freaked out and now won't let us put him down. The doctor told us that he'll keep Miles under observation for A YEAR and that another surgery may be needed. UGH, UGH, UGH!

Here's hoping he is rebounded tomorrow!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The New Cable

As I have mentioned we are tentatively planning a move to our new condo. I say tentatively because I won't believe it until we have the keys in our hands! Real estate is finicky! As we will (hopefully) be moving in to a more permanent place, we are debating what to do about our cable, internet, and phone services. Right now our cable is included in our rent, which is the only reason we even have it because I think it is the most overpriced, unnecessary bill we would have. After two years with cable, though, there are definitely shows I would miss, but the cost is just not worth it (to me!).

I found the answer to overpriced cable when I was perusing my husband's Facebook page. I noticed one of his friends uses a combination of bunny ears (soon to be obsolete, but there is still free TV with the digital gear), Hulu (we watch "24" on Hulu and love it) and Netflix. Brilliant! Even at $16.99 for the most expensive Netflix plan we'll be saving tons of money over basic cable starting at $40.00.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

We have been experiencing some unseasonably cool weather (we're loving it!). Yesterday and today it has been around 80 degrees. It can easily be over 100 by now! Ella was outside playing in the evening and came in demanding a coat. She insisted on wearing this one. Ella in a winter coat in Las Vegas on June 5!

Miles with Mimi

The other day all of us fell asleep for a late afternoon nap. My sister stayed up with the kids until they fell asleep. Here she is with Miles in a self-portrait!

The Whirlwind Begins

Monday is my husband's, the teacher, last day of school. I am obviously very much looking forward to having him (and the car!!) around over the summer. You would think that Monday would signal a down shift in our life. Not exactly. On Tuesday Miles is having surgery (Tuesday morning); on Thursday Hubby and Miles are leaving for NYC for 5 days where they will visit with family and pick up Sarah; my sister and I are taking Ella to Disneyland Thursday through Saturday (she turns 3 in July so this is my last chance to get her in for FREE); and somewhere in that mess we're HOPEFULLY closing on our condo. Most likely we'll close just before Hubby gets back from NY which means I will have the pleasure of signing papers and closing on our first home purchase alone.

After Mitch, Miles, and Sarah get back from NY we'll continue packing and moving. We have to be out of our current apartment by July 1st. I was hoping to have all that done before Sarah arrived, but I read in this book that often kids in divorce situations miss out on these kind of "big" changes. One person in the book talked about how unsettling it was to leave and come back to a new place to live, new furniture or even just new paint! So I'm glad Sarah will be here to experience the move and make that change with us.

It's going to be a busy week if not few weeks so bear with me if my posting is a bit sporadic!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


We FINALLY got word yesterday... two months later... that our financing for our new condo has been approved. Now we're scrambling to get all the updated documents together so we can hopefully close next week (only 30 days late!). A thousand things could still go wrong so we won't rest easy until we have the keys in our hands!

We are planning to paint most of the condo (it's all dirty flat white paint right now) so I've been keeping my eyes peeled for coupons to buy paint. You used to be able to get Home Depot coupons in the change your address envelopes at the post office, but apparently they don't offer those packets anymore.

Today I signed up for the Home Depot "Movers" website and will get a 10% off coupon. Bonus! You can sign up here, whether you're moving or not, to get a coupon for your Summer projects!

I'm an affiliate for the program so if you sign up through my link you are helping to support my blog. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Satisfying the Craving at Home

On Sunday I picked up a Reese's Peanut Butter cup at the grocery store. I like to have some chocolate in the house -- just in case. A craving hit on Monday and unfortunately Ella was around so I had to share (one of the few down falls of Motherhood -- sharing the goodies). Once the cups were gone, I still wanted more. Ella then found a Jell-O pudding cup in the fridge, which prompted me to investigate homemade pudding recipes when it hit me -- couldn't I make a pseudo Reese's Peanut Butter cup at home?

Yup. I can (I could make Buckeyes as well). You can also make homemade Oreo cookies,or even Snickers Bars (or fudge that resembles them).

My friend Megan makes a lot of her goodies from necessity because her kids have mega food allergies. Everything Megan cooks is Vegan, but I'm sure you can substitute "real" ingredients. She made Girl Scout Thin Mints, Cracker Jack Caramel Corn, and Cadbury Cream Eggs.

Next time I have a craving, I'm heading to the kitchen rather than the store!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Going Paperless

The pile of paper napkins in the house is dwindling and I started getting nervous because we are switching to cloth napkins...only I don't have any. Well, I do, but they go with a gorgeous tablecloth I bought in Damascus (as in Syria) and we are NOT using those. I just kept debating whether to buy them or make them. I've read some posts on making cloth napkins out of old sheets and while that my be inexpensive it's...BORING. Who wants boring white napkins? Not me! I looked on Etsy and there are lots of cute ones, but yikes are they pricey!

And then I took a serendipitous trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for a laundry rack and I found these beauties:

There are 12 in a pack (two of each color) and they were $9.99. BUT! I have a huge collection of 20% off coupons (BBB will take them regardless of the expiration date) so the napkins cost me $8.00 for 12 or $.67/each. Not bad! I'm thinking I may go back and get 2-3 more sets just so we can all use the same color at the same time. Good thing I have a few more coupons around here!

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