So as usual, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a public blog, so we’ve got a lot of housekeeping to do.
We held my mom’s memorial service about a month ago in Tucson. While I know she would not approve of us gathering and remembering her, it was good. I got to learn a few things I didn’t know and also got to meet a lot of the people that she got to know in Arizona. We drove her van back to sell it and also to bring back home a treadmill that will never get used in this house.
I managed to survive through the last few weeks of school. Even more exciting, I managed to survive without walking at my graduation! I was starting to feel some pressure, but it seemed like everyone forgot (or just gave up) when the time got closer. I am still waiting for the grades to come in, but I could very well be officially done with school for now. I certainly hope so anyway, because I would hate to have to take government accounting again.
I was called as Sunday School President about six weeks ago. I think I am finally figuring out what it is I am supposed to be doing, although I think I am still missing some of the pieces. We called a new teacher two weeks ago. Shawn taught his first class today and I think did a wonderful job. The class was very involved and I hope was able to take away some useful items from the lesson on being more child-like, forgiving and loving. We called a new teacher today. I am anxious to get him going and then maybe we can work on building the program.
I spent my first week out of school installing a domain controller at GT. Things went much better this time over last, but I still ran into a few kinks. Most things have been worked out, but I think I still have some tasks to accomplish.
I actually went to the branch activity this week for the first time. It was movie night, so I figured it was right up my alley. Of course, this happened to be on the one day that I wasn’t already in Murrieta, but I drove up there anyway. It was good to get out and spend some time with other members.
I was pleased to find out today that our branch is starting to host a Sunday evening branch prayer meeting at the home of one of the shepherds. That and the sweet swap that followed was one of those little things that just made me feel so much more at home when I was in Idaho. Of course, it was a lot easier in Idaho when we all lived within a two minute walk of each other, but I’m anxious to see how this works here. It is of course hard for me living in Fallbrook, but maybe I can solve that problem in the next few months.
I spent some time Friday morning, as well as all of Saturday afternoon house hunting in the Murrieta area. I really liked North Oaks townhouses, but my dad has talked me into buying a house as he believes it will appreciate more than a townhouse because the land will appreciate faster than the buildings. So, we re-evaulated the budget and I dragged Nathaniel along with me Saturday to go looking at houses. We came home exhausted after looking at probably 40 new model homes. It’s so hard to remember anything now, but we saw some things we liked, some things we didn’t and some really expensive houses – at least they were out of my budget!
I’m kind of leaning towards the Winchester/French Valley area, but there are two things that I have to figure out. First off, I would be limited mainly to 79/Winchester Rd as the way to get to a freeway. This could take 15 minutes on a good day, or much longer on a bad day. The good news is that I’d probably only be looking at a 10-15 minute drive to or from the office as it’s only about four miles. I might even be able to ride my bike to the office if I could find a way to avoid 79.
The second question, deals with the future… What school district would the house fall in? One group of houses falls into Hemet, while ones just to it’s south are part of Temecula Unified. I guess I need to figure out if there are major differences in the educations in case I end up staying in this house for a while. Some of these houses certainly were big enough to stay in for a while. If I was able to find a renter or two to help share the cost, I might even be able to afford the house too!
I found it interesting as we were looking what became the items I was looking for. I couldn’t stand walking into a house and being in the dining room. That just seemed really weird to me, even though it is really that way in our Fallbrook house. You are presented with four choices from the entry in our house now, East hallway (morning room), Dining room, Living room or West hallway. Many of these houses, you were just in the dining room and I felt it should be the living room one walks into first. I really liked one house we looked at that had stain glass like clear windows between the living room (front) and formal dining room. It had nice access to the kitchen from the dining room as well, but it was really separated. Of course, I don’t remember which one of the houses this was at this point, but maybe I could find it again…
The other thing that turned out to be a major pet peeve, and I don’t have a clue why, was walking through the laundry room to get in from the garage. I realize this is the most common way of getting in, but it really seems to bother me. Some were better than others and some just put the laundry upstairs (where it seems to make more sense to me) to solve the problem all together. Of course, it also seemed that some put the garage door miles away from the kitchen which could be a pain when bringing in groceries.
One thing I found myself looking for, but had never thought of putting on a list before, was having a breakfast bar kind of area in the kitchen. Just being able to sit at the island and eat seems really nice to me. Now, that would mean there are three places one could eat without even considering an unofficial eating place, such as in front of the TV, but I think this all revolves around my love of food…
We looked at one house that had a sitting room in the master bedroom upstairs. (You got into it via double doors and then the room broke off to the bathroom and bedroom which could be separated with doors if wanted.) I had this vision of holding family home evenings or family prayers in this room and sending the kids off to bed. It was really kind of odd. Along the same line, we looked at some houses that had “retreats” or exercise rooms off the master bathroom, but I thought it was very odd to have a room that one could only get to through the bathroom. (I also don’t understand why everyone puts the alarm system control panel and house wiring in the master bedroom closet – wouldn’t the garage be a great place for these things?)
I also found a bathroom feature I fell in love with. Instead of the typical Jack & Jill bathroom, it has what I came to call the zig-zag bathroom. Each bedroom had it’s own sink which was then connected with with the toilet/shower between. I thought it was cool and helped give each person some more personal space, but it also keeps things more separated as opposed to the straight through approach.
Nathaniel seemed to really love the bonus rooms in some of the houses, but all I could think about was furnishing them! I like the idea, but it also seems like a hassle to have another room. We already have a family room and a living room, why do we need a third room to never use? A lot of the houses we modeled with pool tables and such in there, so I guess it could be more of a game or theme room, but I would feel inclined just to have another bedroom. One can never have enough bedrooms or bathrooms in my opinion.
There is also the possibility of houses just off the 15 at Clinton Keith in Wildomar. I like the freeway access and that it appears this would make it about 15 minutes to most of the places I would be headed, but I don’t know that I would want my kinds going to Lake Elsinore HS. I don’t know why, I guess I just have a bad impression of it for some reason. I need to do some school research. I also could just not worry about that far down the road and assume that when I get married I’ll end up having to move because my leading lady won’t like the house I’ve picked out.
I also looked at some places in practically Menifee, but I really don’t think I want to live that far out there. But then I question if Winchester/French Valley isn’t just as far out there, or maybe even father. Nathaniel suggested figuring out where I wanted to live and find the best house available. i seem to be doing things the other way around. Find the best house and see if you can make it’s location work. We all knew there was more than one screw loose with me already, right?
Then there is the whole possibility of a “pre-owned” home. I have nothing against this route, it just seems impossible for me to find one I like. I’ve searched a few sites and it seems that either the seller hasn’t figured out prices have gone down in the last year or that they just don’t appeal to me. However, I could be a bit picker about location going that route and might have more options to choose from.
I guess I need to focus on getting the house in Arizona sold before I worry too much about buying a house out here, but that is actually this weeks task. I’m hoping to start getting things rolling on making the house look presentable and figuring out what needs to be done so that we can get it on the market in the next month if at all possible and get it sold quickly thereafter. I would love to have escrow closed before the end of August.
First problem… Anyone want some dogs? I’m thinking craigslist.