Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Child's Dress

Since moving WA and not having a job, one of my most enjoyable tasks has been sewing!  I already blogged about making baby clothes, but today I finished a dress for my dear friend Nolie's eldest daughter.  When we stopped in Leavenworth to visit them on the way to Colville, her daughter gave us a fashion show and confessed to me that she would love to wear dresses every day but all of her dresses are fancy and need to be dry cleaned.  I told her that I would make her a dress that was easy to wash.  Unfortunately I didn't have my measuring tape handy (it was somewhere in a box buried in the truck).  Nolie told me that she wears a size 9 or 10 kids. 

On to Joann's I went (although I try not to support corporate whores like Joann's, when you need a pattern, it's hard to beat $1.99).  I wanted a long sleeved dress and that was surprisingly hard to find.  I ended up choosing McCall's 6594 and because I wasn't sure on the fit, decided not to do all the putzy embellishments.  The pattern (and all the patterns I saw) only went to size 8, so I looked at the spacing between sizes on the pattern and drew the pattern one size bigger.  While at Joann's I saw that they were having a 50% off clearance fabric sale, so I bought enough fabric to make 3 of these dresses. 

The dress and the neighbor's cat in the corner.

Today I am sending the dress off to my friend, so that her daughter can try it on and see if it fits.  If it fits, I will make another with all the embellishments. 

I also think I need to start working on Christmas presents.  I won't be going to Minnesota for Christmas this year, but we will probably go to Las Vegas to see Jason's parents.  I need something that I can send to MN for the major players (mom, grandma, godson) and then something for Jason's family.  If you have any ideas, let me know!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Joys of the Short Sale

So last Tuesday Jason and I made an offer on the only property around that had everything on our "must have" list.  There are other properties that could work-but they would need a lot of renovation.  There are only two problems with the property, first there was already an accepted offer contingent on the buyer selling their home.  That offer was accepted more than 6 months ago and according to our realtor, they won't be able to sell their home without putting a lot of work into it.  The second issue is that it's a short sale.  A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from selling the property will fall short of the balance of debts secured by liens against the property and the property owner cannot afford to repay the liens' full amounts, whereby the lien holders agree to release their lien on the real estate and accept less than the amount owed on the debt (wikipedia).  The owners moved to Kentucky a year ago. 

On Wednesday Jason and I were driving to Oregon so that Jason could go to a class and our realtor called us at 9:01am to tell us that the seller accepted our offer.  Our realtor had told us that probably the earliest we would hear something was Monday, so we were excited to hear so quickly.  The next step, according to our realtor, was to wait and see if the bank accepted the offer and then the previous buyers (the ones with the contingency) would have 48 hours to decide if they wanted to buy the house even though their house hasn't sold. 

Fast forward to this week...On Monday our realtor called us and we had to sign a bunch of paper work that basically said that we aren't related to the owners or going to give the owners any money.  Then the mortgage broker called, the pre-qualification letter wasn't strong enough and the bank wants to see that we can actually afford a mortgage.  So with 24 hours notice we had to get together: 2 years of taxes and W2s, 2 months of pay stubs, 2 months of statements from every bank account, a quote for homeowners insurance, and copies of our driver's licenses.  Here's the silly part-when I put all of our stuff in storage, I put my filing cabinet with all of my tax information in storage.  Luckily for me I had pdfs of my taxes and most of my previous employers quickly emailed me W2s, but I am still waiting on the flakey English institutes that I worked at in 2010.  Luckily the mortgage broker said that he can submit the paperwork and wait for them to ask for those W2s (if they notice they aren't there). 

So now it's a waiting game.  We're waiting to see what the bank says. 

In the meantime on Thursday we move into an apartment while we wait for this all to go down.  It will be tough the leave Hillary and Mark's basement because it's nice to have friends around and a year-old baby to play with.  But at the same time it will be nice to unpack a little, even if we will only be there for a few months. 

If anyone has any tips for dealing with a short sale, please let me know!  We want to get started creating Happy Bear Farms!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Big Move

It has been a busy fall!  In August Jason was offered a job in Colville, WA (only 30 miles from Canada).  After a lot of deliberation, we decided to take the job and work on our dream of starting a homestead.  We moved up here October 10!  Right now we are staying with friends while we look for a home.  On November 1, we will move into a furnished one-bedroom apartment because the friends we are staying with are moving away.  It has been kind of a whirlwind.

Most of our stuff on our driveway while the movers categorized and organized it.  Gotta love the Transfer of Station from the USDA!

I had to quit my job teaching.  :(  As a teacher it's always tough to leave your students, but I feel like I abandoned them since it's so close to the beginning of the year.  As far as I know, the administration still hasn't filled my position and my students have been acting out for the subs.  :(  So far Washington won't let me apply for a teaching credential because I don't have a permanent address.  Once we move into the apartment, I can finish the application and get fingerprinted.  I am not sure about my teaching prospects up here-there IS a population of Russian immigrants but not a lot of ELLs in the schools.  Also it's pretty rural-Colville has 4,000 people and Kettle Falls (where we'll probably buy the homestead) has about 1,000.  I have heard from 2 people that the Spanish teacher may be retiring at the end of the year.  If I can't get a permanent job, I can always sub and work hard at being self-sufficient on the homestead.

Maybe we'll get a yurt for the homestead!

In the meantime, I have been sewing up a storm!  Before the move I made a few dresses and right now I have been making baby pajamas (so many friends having babies) and I am sewing a dress for the 9-year old daughter of a good friend.  Most of our belongings are in storage, but I kept out the sewing machine and some notions.  I will let you know as soon as we get our homestead and let you know about the progress.

Baby pajamas from Amy Butler's Little Stitches.
In the meantime, if you have ideas for what I should do to meet people and not go stir crazy without a job, please let me know!