Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Dylan!












My letter to Dylan

My baby is 2 today. I can hardly believe you are that old. It seems like yesterday we found out we were expecting you and now you are a two-year-old full of personality and opinions and a funny little sense of humor. I love watching your personality evolve each and every day. It seems like over night you have grown from a baby to a little man, even though you'll always be my baby.

You have the sweetest smile. It is even sweeter because you don't give glimpses of it often. Not that you aren't a happy little man. Just reserved with your emotions. It usually starts with a smirk and then turns into a full-fledged smile that melts my heart every time I see it.

You also have your mischievous grin that comes a bit more freely. I can always tell when you are up to something by that look on your face. That and watching you search me or Dad out to make sure we are watching. You want to be old enough to do whatever your three older brothers are doing RIGHT NOW! Even though you are a petite little man still, you can keep up with Tom and Logan and Ethan, most of the time. You don't mind too much when they bounce you down on the trampoline as long as you get your turn to bounce too. You want to be in the middle of every wrestling match, ball game, bike ride, and trip to the park.

The past few months we have been able to watch your relationship with Ethan grow as you moved from a crib to a big-boy bed. I have found the two of you snuggled up together on more than one occasion with the Leapster or Nintendo DS between you. It's fun to watch both of you interact more with each other.

Every day you are also talking more and more. You have so much to say and you have such strong opinions for such a little guy! Favorite blanket, favorite cartoon, favorite book of the day, you are attached to things more than your brothers before you but, since you are my baby, I don't seem to mind as much when you want to carry your blanket around with you or take the matchbox car where ever we are going. It's just fun to watch you play and experience new things.

I love you Dylan and I am so glad you are part of our family!

Love,
Mom

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our New Home

First things first. The new school mascot. The boys were pretty impressed that they would now be the Grand Canyon Phantoms!

This is the front of the house. You've got to love the tree cut-outs in the shutters and the railing. We're definitely in the Forest Service now! I think the bushes out front are short lived. We call those "spider-hiders" and I really, really don't like them. I've got to figure out what sort of desert flower to plant in it's place.

This is the view out the front window. If you notice, this isn't really the grass you mow and keep neat and tidy. It's more of a mountain grass that grows in little bunches.


The backyard comes furnished with a swing set and two fire pits as well as a shed and cement pad that we think someone put a hot tub on at one time. It may be the new sand box location. We also have bunnies that live out here and a patch of cactus that is on the removal list.

This is just one of the three or four HUGE trees that are in the backyard. I can't believe we have trees this big! Gary is already talking about a tire swing and which tree would be the best option. I'm talking about which trees to string a laundry line between. Fun or dirty laundry? I may be out voted on this one!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Think I'm Going to Like it Here

We are sitting in the Flagstaff airport waiting to fly home to Idaho and I think I'm going to like living here. There isn't one particular thing that has made it seem like a great new place to call home. It isn't that I don't love living in Chubbuck. It isn't that I've suddenly decided that I don't like to plant flowers and have lush green grass out front. There is something about this place that gets under your skin.

The people are all so happy and friendly and excited we are going to join the community. The landscape is stunning with the red rock and the towering Pondersas. Even the commute to get groceries in Flagstaff is a scenic drive that is full of beautiful trees and rock.

Yesterday, Gary and I spent the day kicking around Flagstaff, looking for a selection of lactose free food for Dylan and Ethan. We had lunch with an old friend from the Forest Service who lives and works here and had a great lunch talking about the differences of Northern Arizona and the Wasatch Front where she also moved from. Later in the afternoon, we took a short drive into Sedona to have dinner. The weather was beautiful and the shops were fun to look through. We had dinner out on the deck of this little restaurant and had amazing views of the red rock the area is famous for.

From the "hippie mall" where we found the best selection of lactose free cheese, milk, yogurt, and even sour cream that we had ever seen, to the towering pine trees found right in our back yard, Northern Arizona is definitely growing on me. I'm starting to research plants that grow well with minimal water and full sun and thinking about the paint colors to make the house we're going to live in more of our home and it's becoming more and more exciting.

In a few short weeks, we'll be on the road and within a few more weeks after that, we'll be part of a great new community. It's amazing how fast it all happens and we can't wait to welcome visitors into our new neck of the woods.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The House Hunt

Just a quick post about our trip to Arizona to look at houses. We looked at the house they have for us on the compound - yes they call it that! Am I entering a cult? - on Monday and it was about half the size of our house now but it did have tons of storage possibilities in two sheds and a storage room on the carport. It was in pretty good shape and the back yard, although in need of some love, was big and open and home to a swing set and several VERY VERY large Ponderosa pine trees just screaming for a tire swing. Everyone was incredibly nice and welcoming. I lost my voice on the trip down so I was the mute wife passing notes to my husband but oh well.

Yesterday we met with a realtor to look at houses on the market up to $240,000. Every house we saw was a manufactured home. There are NO "stick built" homes in that price range on more than a tiny city lot and closer than one hour away from Gary's office. All I can say is, "WOW" homes are expensive. The landscaping down here is all natural because there is no water. In fact, each of the houses we looked at have hauled water which means a truck comes out and fills your underground water tank in order to have water in your house. Definitely a change. All the houses were also on cindered roads which are basically dirt roads with little rock cinders spread on top of them. Driveways were the same way and only one had any hint of a garage. No bike riding at any of those homes!

I told Gary that I think it would be better for me to live on the compound because I like rural but I think most of those houses skipped rural and went for REMOTE. I'll post some photos when I get back and have my cables for my camera.

The funny thing is that even though we went into the park to check out the school - which I love, love, love - I never did look out over the Canyon while I've been here! I guess there is plenty of time for that in the coming years.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Signs

There are signs all around that we really are moving. The most obvious is the real estate sign in the yard. Our house is finally listed with Premier Properties and Kim Brown. The listing is now on the MLS and the fliers showed up yesterday too. We have various things like a junior size basketball hoop and dog igloo on the front lawn with a for sale sign and plan a yard sale later in the month to get rid of all the stuff that we don't need and won't fit in our Tusayan home.

I thought I was handling all this pretty well but yesterday the movers came to do the walk through to see how much space on the truck we would need and how much our stuff would weigh - there is a weight limit I guess. When he was walking around and telling us the stuff they wouldn't move, I started to get a bit anxious. After he left, I sat down with the folder of information he left and started to read. There were lists of things to do at six weeks, four weeks, two weeks, and up to the day we leave and my anxiety level increased. It's a bit surreal still that we are really packing up in about six weeks and traveling south and it isn't for vacation.

Gary also booked our trip down next week to look at housing and schools and the office and everything else we are wondering about. I think by this time next week, I will feel a lot better because there won't be so much that is unknown. We will be able to answer some of the boys questions better too.

So, if you know anyone in the market for a great house in a great neighborhood, send them our way. Here is the link to the online listing:

http://www.kimsbrown.com/results.php?mls=534248&Submit=Submit