Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

 Whether you have been naughty....

Madeline and Jonathan - "Naughty"

Or Nice.......

Madeline and Jonathan - "Nice"

From our family to yours......



We wish you a very Merry Christmas and nothing but love, health, wealth and happiness in 2012.

David, Amy, Madeline and Jonathan

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Almost Home

House - Round 2
For those of you that regularly follow my blog, you will know that we previously placed a bid in on a house.  As it turned out, there were multiple bidders on that house.  Evidently, we weren't the highest bidder and so we lost the first house we bid on.  No problem....obviously that house was not meant to be ours and so, we went back to the drawing board.  We continued to keep our eyes open for new listings and reconsidered some houses that we previously viewed.    After another look, David and I decided that we wanted to bid on a house that we had previously seen. 

We placed our offer.  The house is a foreclosure that has been on the market for a long time.  As a result, we came in very low with our offer (what the heck, right?).  After very little negotiations with the bank, our offer was accepted.  We are extremely lucky that we are able to take advantage of a "perfect storm" in the home buying world. Interest rates are super low, the MSP market has hit rock bottom (we hope), we are buying a house in winter and the house is a foreclosure that has been on the market a long time. We were able to get the deal of a lifetime.

My family and friends that have been our cheerleaders throughout this entire relocation process have been anticipating more info/pictures of the house.  And so, I have included them in this blog post.  The next step is our home inspection on December 30th.  Assuming all goes well in that department, we would close on the house approximately February 15th.  The house has very private "guest quarters" and so, I look forward to visitors who will help build memories and thus, make this house a home.
A view from the family room

Bar in the basement

Part of the rec area in the basement. Not sure if this would be a TV area or a kids' play area

A view from the family room into the dining room


Foyer - looking into kitchen and to 2nd floor

Family room
Bathroom in the basement (guest area)

Guest bedroom

Guest bedroom.....we'll even furnish it with a bed so, come and visit!!

One of the kids' rooms

Kitchen (open area in island is a space for a wine fridge)

Development's lake is cleared off for ice skating (a much larger lake is just around the corner and is supposedly good for fishing)

Laundry room

Bathroom off of master bedroom
Entrance into master bedroom

Master bedroom

Upstairs hall - I am walking out of bathroom. Another kids' room to right

Work area on 2nd floor


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Thanksmas!

Jonathan's First Thanksgiving
Thanksmas?!?!  That's right, the combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas! Yes, I did it again.  Even though I promise myself that I will not take so long between blog posts, this seems to be a regular occurrence for me. Where on Earth do the hours in a day go???  So much is going on in our life right now.  I simply want to keep this blog updated because it is a great diary/time stamp for me and my family.  I often refer back to my blog as a reference or to simply just reminisce.  Therefore, I need to just catch up before my diary of the adventures of Mama-Dirtyfoot are too far behind that they are too far gone for blogging.  Doing so will hopefully (gosh, I hope not wishful thinking) motivate me to blog more regularly.  My kids are getting so big, so quickly and I do not want their childhood undocumented.

Our life has been busy since we've moved here.  Aside from getting
acclimated to a new area, unpacking (if only temporarily) in our house rental, settling Madeline in kindergarten, and house hunting, we have also celebrated Thanksgiving (Jonathan's first!), enjoyed the annual sisters' Christmas shopping weekend (this time not in Baltimore, but rather right here in the Twin Cities) and got busy with Christmas preparations (Jonathan's first Christmas too).  I have a lot of pictures and this blogging program is a PAIN for moving and rearranging pictures in the blog text.  So, in order to make things quick and get me on the road to an updated blog, I will simply load the pictures here.  How ever they load will be the order in which they will be seen in this post (not necessarily in chronological order)  Hopefully my photo captions will fill in the gaps of what has gone on since I last blogged.  Enjoy......

Madeline is so proud that she now lost her SECOND tooth!

Jonathan doesn't mind tubby time - he is also learning about splashing.

Tub time over and nice & warm in robe from Aunt Sue

I was busy making dinner and asked Madeline to play with her brother.  She buried him in toys!

Licking the bowl clean after helping Mama make pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving

Jonathan modeling an adorable penguin outfit from his cousin Becky
Gobble, gobble, gobble - getting in the Thanksgiving mood

A very lazy Thanksgiving day

A Thanksgiving dinner in our Minnesota house rental

Madeline is in the Thanksgiving spirit

We made our first trip to the Mall of America.  There is an amusement park in the center!!

Getting silly at the MOA
Madeline and I rode rides at the mall.  So glad we saved the water flume for the last ride before we left the mall - we got soaked!

The kids get a meaningful ornament each year.

Marysia and Margaret visited in the beginning of December.  Bloody Mary lunches at the Mall of America were the theme.

Matching PJs were also the theme

The 3 sisters met our cousin, Judy, for dinner.  Judy lives only 40 minutes away.

Jonathan just before he tried cereal for the first time
Jonathan is diggin' the cereal and baby foods.

Madeline is an AWESOME big sister!

Madeline thought this hat and the restaurant she got it (Dicks Last Resort) was hysterical.

Jonathan is flirting with his mama.

Madeline joined Daisies - she loves it

Madeline was playing dress up in her room and came downstairs dressed up like Mary.
Madeline was being naughty in the car.  I told her that the green light on my rear-view mirror meant that the "Santa-cam" was on and Santa was watching her at that exact moment.  Her behavior changed immediately.

Our first Christmas in Minnesota

Visit with Santa

Ugh, I think I waited until Jonathan was too hungry before trying food. 

Madeline is LOVING our membership to the Minnesota Children's Museum.  David took the kids when my sisters were visiting.

Madeline at the Children's Museum. This also represents Madeline's speed in getting ready in the morning on school days.
Papa took the kids to the Holidazzle parade (large (almost) daily Christmas parade) in downtown Minneapolis

I love this picture.  Jonathan looks like such a little dude.

The first time we attempted a visit with Santa he was just on his way out to dinner.  He was gracious enough to stop for us.

Since we haven't set up with a sitter yet, our idea of a date is for David and I to occasionally go to breakfast after dropping Madeline at school.  Although we still have a 4 month old in tow it is as close to a date as we can get right now