Apr 12 2009

It’s Been a While

Hartzler House

Many of the photo galleries have been updated this evening. It’s been rather difficult to stay up-to-date due to the workload that I’ve been carrying; specifically work related to the doctoral program and trying to put together a house plan that would work financially. Since the last posting, a lot has happened. Noah has turned four, Jude has been through his kindergarten screening, our family went to a Cavs (versus Spurs) game, everyone from New York (both sides of the family) have came in this weekend for Charlotte’s baptism and Easter, and we have agreed to purchase a different property rather than build a house. Wow! So much has transpired that I will not be able to do justice to the true breadth of events here, but I can at least give a brief synopsis.

Noah’s birthday went well. Angie made a wonderful (alligator) cake (images of which can be viewed in Noah’s gallery). Uncle Ray was around that weekend and ended up getting Noah a gift that he and Jude have played with more than any other, a space shuttle type apparatus that can be taken apart and put together in a multitude of ways. (This is the sort of thing I couldn’t have quantified if I had posted on time…) There are also some nice pictures from Dad’s birthday party in February.

Jude’s kindergarten screening went rather well, I though (of course, I’m his dad…) The most memorable parts were the fact that Jude, when as a group the kids were to put the right colored crayon in a ziplock bag, continuously and repeatedly made sure (loudly) that the teacher knew that he had “one of those colored crayons”. Naturally, each child had the same colored crayons, but Jude wasn’t really aware of this reality…The other memorable tidbit was that when asked to point out his knee by one of the assessors, rather than pointing at the joint, Jue went into a rather long explanation of how he had tripped earlier in the day an hurt it (his knee). Lastly, when asked to state his middle name, Jude told the teacher that he didn’t know, but that he’d come back tomorrow with the answer…kinda’ funny.

The Cavs game happened more recently. We ended up having seats right next to Todd, one of the other pharmacists with whom Angie works. We were lucky in that the Cavs had lost two in a row (for the first time all season I believe) and therefore were very intense. The Spurs are a good team, but the Cavs took the apart. Since we arrived early, and since our group (Todd and his family arrived around the same time) was rather large, we ended up serving as a backdrop for some of the pre-game festivities. I had the camera and snapped some pictures of Gracie, Mommy, and the boys on the Jumbo-tron.

We also have celebrated Grandpa’s birthday recently. Unluckily, grandpa god sick the day of the party. But, he’s feeling better now (three days later) which is reassuring. Much of the time at grandpa’s party was spent visiting, as everyone from New York (Ellen, Anthony, Scarlett, Lawrence, and Laura Jeanne) were home, and Dorothy and Casey came down as well. It was a good time, and the kids have continued to visit both yesterday and today.

Both Jenny and Theresa came home for Easter as well. Josh, Laryssa, Max, William, and Ellise also came up from Columbus. We spent this afternoon at the Lackman’s coloring eggs and catching up. We’ll probably see them tomorrow as well, after Charlotte gets baptized. Theresa had a big day today, as her and Josh drove (back, in Josh’s case) down to Columbus and she purchased a brand new turbo diesel VW Jetta. What a beautiful car, I miss mine.

And then there’s the land. I had spent a good part of the first three months of this year pulling together contractors and putting together an estimate to build a timber frame home. We knew that the key to us getting approved was not going to be our gross income, but the loan-to-appraised value ration. But, before we had found out the result of the appraisal, I noticed that someone had purchase the piece of land that sits next to Charles’s and ours. He was timbering it and burning some of the limbs. I stopped, mostly because I wanted to be sure that he was on his property and not ours.

Through the course of our conversation, the young amish man mentioned that our neighbor had offered to sell him his house and land for a set price. He also told me that this individual had indicated that he had talked to an auctioneer and was planning on selling his property (25 acres in total) in three parcels, on of which would abut our property. This was problematic in that I really had always loved that piece of land and I wasn’t really enthused to have a driveway running the length of our parcel.

I ended up deciding to try to get in touch with the owner because of this concern. In the end, we decided that purchasing his home and acreage would be a better deal for us. Today, after roughly 3.5 minutes of negotiation, we agreed upon a price. I’m hoping that my calculations based on numbers pulled from the auditors Web site, and some fancy extrapolation are accurate. If they are, we did real well. If they aren’t, then I’ve learned a second painful lesson. Regardless, we love the property, and feel confident that we can make changes to the house that will make it our own.