This is going to be an entry of random disjointed thoughts and memories. So be prepared:
Just now Caitlin waddled across the room to me. She was walking very slow and carefully. It appeared that she was suffering from a severe case of painful elephantiasis. As she got closer I realized she was rattling and jingling. She had stuffed about 20 toys in her footie pajamas. So she had about 10 balls, rattles, princesses, cars and plastic food items in each pant leg. It's definitely what I would expect if an elephant mated with Dick van Dyke and his one-man-band get-up from Mary Poppins. It was too too funny.
It reminded me of the time in Provo in our Franklin Park apartment when I lost my cell phone. I looked everywhere. I searched the entire apartment so that I could plug my phone in before I went to bed. Brandon kept calling it over and over again. I was so frustrated. Finally I opened the door to the girls's bedroom. Paige was sound asleep. And little 15 month old Hailey was standing in her crib shaking her leg and screaming her heart out. Her foot was vibrating and glowing because of the cell phone that was stuck in her little footie jammie foot. I don't know how my phone had gotten in there. But she did NOT appreciate Brandon calling it repeatedly at 11 or 12 at night. It was a rude wake up call to say the least. My little lady was terrified!
So we have been living at my parents house since the first week of August. It has been a lot of fun and I have been grateful for the generosity they have shown. We have been able to pay off some of our debt and get a little bit saved up to buy our own house. We filed our 2012 tax return last night and I cannot wait to be able to pay off the last of our credit card debt and put the rest into an account for a down payment. Having 6 kids (including Dwight) claimed on our taxes makes for a really really big number on our return. Not that I need money from the government to make me appreciate my amazing kids. But a big tax return makes anyone feel a bit better about their financial situation.
We are also feeling a ton better about finances because Brandon started his FIRST TEACHING JOB this week!!!!!!!!!!! It's been 4 days since he started, and 11 days since his job offer was official, and 17 days since his interview, but I am still freaking out excited. He is in his element and he is loving it. He is teaching at William Penn High School which has a reputation for being the roughest high school anywhere nearby. He had spent the three months before he applied subbing fairly regularly at The New Castle School. This is the alternative high school to William Penn. He and I both figured out that if he could handle the kids who had been kicked out of Penn that he should be able to handle the kids who are still at Penn, right? He is teaching behavioral/resource classes. So his class sizes are really small. And it's kind of the personality type that he is used to from Utah. Plus he only has these kids for about 90 minutes. And at the end of the day they go home and he goes home. So its a far cry from the relationship he had with them in Utah where his home was practically their home and his responsibility for them extended way beyond 90 minutes. But like I said, he is loving it after week one.
And this brings me to the house hunt we are currently embarking on. My friend (Noelle Maher) put me in touch with a Realtor this week. We thought we knew what our budget was. I had crunched and re-crunched the numbers and we were finding lots of good homes in areas we liked. Well, after talking to a mortgage officer it turns out that my income doesn't count as income! Because I am mostly dependent on tips, banks don't consider that to be dependable income unless you can show 2 years of consistency with it. So we got preapproved for about 100,000 less than we had hoped for. I am working very hard to get the numbers to look a little different. And hopefully we will be able to make something work out. While I am excessively grateful for my parents and their willingness to house a family of 7 for so long, I am also excessively ready to move on to the next phase of life. And owning my own home, and having my belongings back out of storage (out in Salt Lake City) is part of that desire.
So that's about it for our last couple of months. A ton of things have happened. And we are loving nearly every day and every new adventure. Hopefully I will update again sooner so that I can record some of the more "everyday" kinds of happenings. But I needed to get some thoughts down while they are all swirling in my head.
And now to get myself and the rest of the 7 dwarfs ready for church....