Sunday, October 26, 2008

From bar hopping to church hopping

I was sitting here this afternoon reading The Dirt by Motley Crue and started thinking about how much things have changed since i've moved.

The couple weeks before I moved, when the kids were already up here and I was alone I spent a few evenings out with friends, 'making memories' before I moved...aka bar hopping.

Today, we went to our regular church for services, then it was ministry Sunday so they had a lunch after services that we stayed for.

After that we headed home for an hour and a half before we headed down the street to the skating rink for a 'Holy Rollers Skate Party' that another church in town was putting on and roller skated for a while. (Yeah, that wasn't pretty)

After that, we went to yet another church in town for chicken wings and to see a christian rock band perform.

There have been plenty of nights that i've been in three bars in one night, but i'm pretty sure this is the first time i've been to functions with three different churches in a day.

I think these are changes I can live with !

Saturday, October 25, 2008

building charachter.

I am so proud of my boys this weekend.

They are in Boy Scouts now, so for all the home football games they have been raising the flag as the high school band plays the National Anthem.

It was COLD last night, and pouring down raining and I tried and tried to convince them that we should stay home and skip the game, but they wouldn't have it. They were supposed to be there and they were going to be there!

I bundled up in my pink hello kitty pajamas, jeans, a sweatshirt, coat, heavy socks, boots, gloves and a hat and hauled them all down there. I froze my buns off while they hoisted the flag up in the rain.

We skipped most of the game because I had to drop a check off for the new place and I was hoping to just go home, but they made sure on the way home we stopped for the last quarter so they could help lower the flag too.

"Mom, if we don't go there might not be enough people and the flag could touch the ground...could you live with yourself THEN?!?"

Don't you just love a good guilt trip from your kid? haha.

Today we had to be in town at 9am for Scout Achievement day. There were 8 stations to complete, including first aid, bow & arrow, bb guns, slingshots, and a special station for the Bobcat badge.

The guns and slingshots were a blast of course, (for them, i was a nervous wreck!) , the arts & crafts ones were fun, but Jordan decided he wanted to earn his bobcat badge. He worked SO hard on it! He had to memorize and recite the BoyScout motto, pledge, and the pact law.

When we got there we got split up into groups and I ended up being the 'leader' of his Wolf pack. We had ten second graders and by the end of the day every one of them learned everything and recited it and qualified for the badge.

I'm so proud of them, 1. for completing the requirements and 2. for helping their friends who were taking a little longer to help them finish instead of whining about moving on to the next station.

It was a fun, fun day, but i'm glad to be home where it's WARM!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Furniture shopping.

So i'm looking on Craigslist for cheap-o furniture and i'm finding a ton of stuff, but nothing that is quite *right*

I'm starting to lean towards retro yummy or even God awful ugly couches. They've got charachter yanno.

Maybe I can find some talent within and refinish one or something. We'll see.

I'll keep you posted!

My not so smartest moment.

I was pumping gas today and I was reminded of a conversation I had a bit ago with my Pap.

He's a frugal kind of guy so when I drove out here, his first question was "Have you ever checked your gas mileage on this car? Is it pretty good?"

I looked at him and said

"I've been thinking I should check it, but i'm never quite sure when i'm going to be completely out of gas, and I didn't want to guess wrong and end up stranded, Is there a trick to it? "

He looked at me like I was an alien and then burst out laughing.

Not laughing WITH me, he was straight up laughing AT me.

It never occured to me that you could fill up, then record your miles, fill up again, record the gallons you put in and divide.

Oh no, I seriously contemplated it (more than once) and the only way I could possibly see getting an accurate reading would be to drive your car so the tank was absolutely dry, fill it with 9 gallons, or whatever capacity is and then divide.

I'm such a scholar

Just trying to keep up

Well keep *them* up I should say.

You would not believe how difficult it is to buy a belt these days.

I've been having issues with my pants. They won't stay up. I dont remember the last time I actually had to unbutton a pair of jeans, they just slide down.

Great when i'm in a hurry to pee.

Not so great when i'm in front of a room full of toddlers and losing my pants.

So I went off in search of a belt. First stop, Fashion Bug.

"Well, most of our pants come with belts now, so we don't sell them separately."

I looked at the pants with belts, but really didn't want to spend 30 bucks on a pair of pants I dont need because they come with a cheap belt.

Next stop ...the fat chick store next door. Nope. Steve & Barrys. Nope. Surfer Monkey, Maurices, Some other clothing store. Nope, nope, nope.

About ten stores and 3 hours later I finally gave in and bought a good old fashioned Levis belt from the mens section at JCPenney. It's not cute, it's not feminine, it's not made for women, but it sure does keep my pants up.

I never would have imagined NOT showing crack would be so difficult.

When I grow up, i'm totally going to open a belt store.

I'll make millions!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I finally have a place to live!

Well, actually, now I have TWO Places to live!! Crap!


I got a call right before I took my lunch break saying that I got final approval to move into a three bedroom townhouse I applied for last weekend. Yay. It's pretty cute, the back door opens to the neighborhood playground and the pool is beside my building. Rent is high-ish for this area, but amazing compared to what i've been paying in Va.

The problems? It's in the next town over, in the wrong (and not good at all) school district, and it will add about 20 miles to my commute. Ten into town to take the kids to school, and then i'd have to backtrack ten to get to the highway to head to work.

That's if they could even stay in their current school.

If they had to change to crappy schools they would, well, be in a crappy school. They also wouldn't be able to go to Grandaddys house after school so i'd have to pay daycare, and they wouldn't get that time with him which is a HUGE negative in my mind.

Before I could call her back to return the message I got another call.

On Sunday I was flipping through the classifieds and saw an add for a 3 bedroom double wide and a 3 bedroom singlewide, but no prices or locations were listed. I called just to see and she told me they were both rented already. (The rental market here is smokin) Then I got a "buuuut, I have a four bedroom that I just found out is coming open. The girl is still living there but it's on xyz road, you can ride out and look at the outside and I can call you when it comes available so you can see it."

I asked and it was in the RIGHT school district, so it took nearly everything I had to not offer to give her a deposit and first months rent then, but I kept cool. I'm a cool cat.

20 minutes later I had ants in my pants so my stepmom and I took the kids and rode out to see where it was so I didn't waste my time if it sucked (although it could have been a shack and I wouldnt care, as long as it's the right school!)

We got there and found the driveway, but I wasn't sure which one it was. A girl stepped out on the porch of the one I *thought* it was so I jumped out and asked her if she knew for sure.

I ended up talking to her for almost an hour, asked about the rent, utilities, the landlords, etc. She was super nice as we chatted so I thanked her and started to go back to the car when she said "Well, i'm packing and it's a mess right now, but do you want to see the inside?"

YES YES TRIPLE YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She rocks my socks. We looked around and it was *much* bigger than it looks from the outside, the kitchen is kind of dated with border (ack!) but she said he's pretty ok with painting and whatnot as long as it's tasteful (how hard is it to be as tasteful as apple border in the kitchen?!?)

She told me to let her know if I was getting the place and she'd try to leave the swingset and a few other things and then oh so kindly warned me that sometimes the neighbors cows get out and come in the yard..."but it's not a big deal, just go out and smack them on the rear end and they'll run home"

Can y'all just see this city girl smackin cow butts all the way home? Lord have mercy!

Anyway, I called again and told them I did decide to ride out and that i'd met the girl and saw the house and asked if I could fill out an application. I went that night to fill it out and talked to the landlord a while. He said he'd get back to me by the weekend.

He ended up calling today and when I answered I got

"Hello Steph? I was just calling to tell you we decided to go ahead and let you rent the house." all calm and collected, like he didn't even realize how freaking monumental that call was.

Joshua is pumped, he's all about getting a paintball gun and target and shooting in the field. Jordan is mad because the kids that live there now told him sometimes when the wind blows you can smell cow poop. Jake has no reaction because he's so pissed at me because he's in trouble for fighting at the babysitters house this morning.

I'm freakin pumped!

I finally found an affordable place, without getting married OR going on welfare!

Oh, and the rent is $109 cheaper than the townhouse, that's $100 more a month I can put in savings (and a couple vanilla lattes from Starbucks if I ever find one here!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm going to be a welfare mom when I grow up...

Because then, apparently I wont have a problem renting a house in Ohio!

Three different times in the past week i've seen an ad in the paper for a reasonable rental.


*Hi, I am calling to get more information about the rental you advertised in the newspaper on xyz street.


*It is a three bedroom correct? Can you tell me what school district it's in and how much you are asking for rent please?

Ok, it's three bedrooms on xyz street in the wrong school district and $700 a month.

*Excellent, can I go ahead and set up an appointment to look at the property?

Sure you can, are you already HUD approved?

*No ma'am, i'm not on HUD, I'll be paying the rent myself.


WTF?!? It is so completely and totally UNFAIR that these people are hanging up on me because i'm NOT on welfare and i'm actually *gasp* working full time, busting my hump to make sure I can look my boys in the eye and tell them that I took care of them, not someone else, not the system, ME!!! But oh heck no, we won't rent to her, she's not on rental assistance.

It's incredibly frustrating and sad to me that I would literally be better off as far as housing and finances if I quit my job, sat on my rear end and let your tax dollars raise my children. I could probably even qualify for financial aid and let you pay me to go to school and get my degree. Unreal.

If I didn't have this little thing called pride, and yanno, just a smidge of self respect i'd slide my fanny into a pair of dirty sweatpants with 'sexy' stamped across the cheeks, cash a welfare check, swipe some food stamps and be living the high life, in a fancy rental that I don't have to pay for.

Instead, because i'm a jackhole who wants to do things the 'right' way, i'll go to work everyday, be able to look my kids in the eye when they're grown and i'll continue to get yelled out for being a single mom and therefore unworthy of renting a house, i'll continue to get hung up on because i'm not a welfare mama and eventually, one day, i'll find someone who wants to rent to someone who's trying to not suck at this life thing.

I hope it happens soon because quite honestly, it's starting to piss me off.

I feel for the next person who hangs up on me. I'm so not in the mood!