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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

For Bloggers, and those exploring Blogging

One of the things I like about having my blog page here is the freedom to connect with other blogging communities. Blogoria is an opportunity to connect with other bloggers in my area of writing, meet potential advertisers, and promote my personal site.

You know your kids are wierd when...

You are sitting at the Kitsap County Shrine Club dinner listening to a Christmas Caroler Band and all you can think of is the twisted version of Jingle Bells.

All I could hear in my head was: "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. The Batmobile broke a wheel, and the Joker got away."

I can't think of the real words for the life of me. This is so wrong. They say insanity is hereditary; you get it from your kids.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm trying to think positive, I really am.

Just because most of Western Washington was flooded two weeks ago, doesn't mean my life to has to become a flood as well. The last few weeks have been a very difficult time for our family. We have finally received the closing checks from the mortgage loan we applied for over two months ago. We found a mortgage company through Lending Tree that was willing to service our delicate housing situation. That loan was supposed to close prior to Halloween. As underwriters like to take their time, and drag their feet, we were finally signing papers December 11th. The final checks were cut yesterday at the title office. I had to drive the necessary twenty minutes into Silverdale to pick them up. This was not a drive I was looking forward to since this is the Christmas season.

Silverdale, for those of you outside of Kitsap County, is three square miles of unincorporated SHOPPING MALL. The bulk of Silverdale is commercial development resulting from a certain City of Bremerton that twenty years ago decided to write some very lousy tax codes for businesses. Anything commercial at that time decided to move out of city limits. Henceforth, we have the sprawling developments of East Bremerton and Silverdale. Sprawling development of Kitsap County has caused continued spreading of suburbia as well as an overgrown, under maintained, wacko highway system. Did I mention the public transportation system isn't exactly convenient here? You can't get from Port Orchard to Silverdale by bus in less than three hours. You can't even get from Bremerton to Silverdale in less than two hours. Driving is much easier and faster. from our house in Gorst to Silverdale, we normally only have to account for twenty minutes. In December, however, we have to give the drive almost an hour.

Picking up these checks should have been exciting. This should have been a moment to sing praises over. Instead, I'm ready to wish everything real estate involved out of my life. This last straw came with the title company changing the previous mortgage payoff by $2000. I called my loan officer at Castle Point to ask about this, and she couldn't believe what she heard. Not once did the title office call her office to verify numbers. Title called the financier of my old loan and changed the changed the numbers without telling my mortgage company. This is highly illegal. Castle Point now has to send me new HUD documents because I told them about the change made by the title office.

Prior to this, I was ripped by the appraiser who did the evaluation on our house. Not one of the properties used in his comparison ratings even comes close to the specs of my property. I didn't even know what was in the appraisal until my loan officer sent me a copy of his work the day we closed. Our appraisal was nowhere in the closing papers. I would have never seen what he said or did if she'd not sent me the appraisal. I can't stand King County appraisers. I've never known one to get anything right in Kitsap County.

In addition to lowering the value of my property, he decided in his paperwork, to make mistakes about the market statistics. First, he said the house was not recently on the market. Later, he said the house had been on the market, but had been taken off. This is a big problem for mortgage companies. You aren't supposed to qualify for a loan when a house is on the market. Recent removal from the market changes the qualification ability for a loan.

Since the processing department at Castle Point caught this error, our loan had to be approved by the investor. This became a fun situation. They decided to ask for copies of payments for the last twelve months. Castle Point had a problem with this. We are Fannie Mae approved. Asking for anything more the day before closing was unacceptable to them. I've never heard of one underwriter chewing the butt of another.

Between everything we have been through with this, I'm ready to remove lenders, appraisers, title officers, and real estate anything from my life. Trying to find the goodness in this is not happening right now. I know there is a difference between God's time and our time here on Earth. Why this is happening in our time, I don't understand. This whole situation makes me angry. I'm really trying to stay positive. I'm runnin gout of time here at the library. I have other stuff going on tonight, so going home to post a blog was not happening.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Oh, his aching back let me play SuperMom

We spent a less than eventful weekend at home. Plans changed at the last minute due to the aching back dear hubby has. Sunday morning, should have been much different. I should have been up at the crack of dawn making breakfast and getting three kids ready to travel to Mountlake Terrace. We should have boarded the 10:50 ferry from Kingston to Edmonds for the annual Nile Kids Christmas Party. Hubby was supposed to work this party in face along with several other Nile Clowns.

All of this means I was supposed to take pictures of the event and post them today.

None of this happened.

Instead, I woke up at the crack of dawn, made breakfast, piled three kids in the car, and went to church. Leaving hubby home alone was not something I really wanted to do. Under the circumstances I ended up in, I'm glad I left him at home. I got to be SuperMom!

I took my two kids, and the three-year-old child we babysit to church. I actually found space in the sanctuary for the beginning of service. Took them downstairs for Sunday School after children's time, and took over my husband's job at Fearless Fourth Grade Leader. Blessed as we are, this is Advent. Sunday School lessons aren't normal during this time of year. As a Sunday School teacher, I didn't have to plan anything. I just had to show up and reduce the adult:child ratio.

SuperMom really came into play during the final church service of the day. On a regular basis, hubby works this service as an usher and sound geek. I sit with our two kids (and the babysat third during Advent) in the pew closest to the production crew.

As we are all good Lutheran's in our family, the closest pew to the production crew also happens to be the pew closest to the coffee pot. We never sit in the front or anywhere near the front. Even at Christmas Eve services, we sit in the back. Typically the next to last pew will be filled with Herstads.

Yesterday, however, I got to do all the good things he normally does. I ushered the service, while holding the three year old. I ran the sound board with the three year old on my lap. I serviced communion cups holding the hand of the three year old. My kids, however, got to play the role of good Lutheran. They acolyted the service, sat in the back, closest to the coffee pot (and mom), SAT QUIETLY as good children should, and worked the communion as cup receivers.

After service, they even helped clean up. I love watching Bigfoot as he takes Squirt around having her help him. One of the jobs the kids have taken on at the end of services is turning off the big screen at the front of the sanctuary. I think it's awesome he allows her to flip the light switch that controls it.

BeadGirl is something else as well. She is now the youngest member of the First Lutheran Alter Guild. I've only been working with Alter guild for a few months, but she has helped set up and clear enough services, she knows where everything goes. She's such a kick at the end of a service. The first thing she does is walk up front, and begin clearing the altar. She knows how to load the Communion trays, clean the flower urns, and stuff the pew pockets. I haven't let her fill candles yet. I won't let her take on that role yet. The last time I filled the candles, I had the wicks all over the counter in pieces. I had oil all over my hands, as well as the counters and sinks. I'm pretty sure the ladies who set up the week after that incident were scratching their heads.