Monday, November 26, 2012

Excursion Photos IV

The Georgia Aquarium

Excursion Photos III

Edventure Children's Museum

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Excursion Photos II

Edventure Children's Museum

Excursion Photos

Riverbanks Zoo & Edventure Children's Musuem

Saturday, November 17, 2012

High Mileage

So, the husband turns to the wife and says:

I know we've barely unpacked and gotten settled from our camping trip two weeks ago... and the kids have had their fill of fun this week at Disney on Ice two nights ago... but what do you say we drop everything and visit the Edventure Children's Museum in Columbia and Georgia Aquarium... both in the next 24 hours?  Does that sound reasonable? We can pack after the birthday party we're going to today, leave first thing in the morning, and be back at least two days before we have to pack again and head to Clemson for that diversity panel you're scheduled to be on.

... see, now that's supposed to be the point at which the delirious wife says to the insane husband, "are you nuts?!"... but instead she said, "Can we add the Zoo? Let's go!"... And just like that, the wheels on the bus were back in motion. To Atlanta and back at the speed of light. And it was worth every millisecond (well... maybe all except those few milliseconds when 3 cranky children simultaneously  melted down at Papaduex Seafood Restaurant, shattering dishware on the floor and proclaiming their inability to sit still and be patient for the love of worn out parents across the world). I'll post some photos in the next few entries. Enjoy.

Rental Property Refinance

Who puts a 45 cent stamp on a Mortgage PAY OFF CHECK?! Nothing like paying interest on a $125,000 loan for 6 extra days because your paralegal hasn't figured out the joys of wiring money (or at least overnight mail.... geez) in the year 2012.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg from our most recent not-so-wonderful refinancing experience. One mistake after another. Looking to hire Conner Law firm (115 Cargill Way, Hartsville SC) for a refi? Run like the wind. In the opposite direction. Miserable Experience.

Heroes for Hire

At some point during their 30 years here, the previous owners decided to tack on a second garage to the back of the house. With unfinished walls, a cement floor, about two dozen wall outlets and the curious placement of a water heater, I'm pretty sure that it was used for nothing more than storage and a make-shift workshop. For us, the potential use for this extra 450 square feet has gone from a photo studio, to a home office, to split bedrooms for that sibling group of seven (yes, 7) that we saw on the adoption website one time (call it... temporary insanity), to everything in between. The plan that has probably gained the most traction is to have Justin give up his bedroom for whatever child we adopt or foster (unless they share a room), turn the existing play room into Justin's new bedroom, and convert this unfinished space into the new play area.

In the end, the goal is still unclear (the lack of heating and air is the biggest obstacle to most of our bright ideas)... but for now we're just chugging along with the improvements. Plans or no plans, we're just happy to have good help as we put it all together. There's nothing like unemployed superheroes to get your home project up and running. I guess the economy has been hard on everyone.

Footnote... Over the past couple of weeks, Justin, Jasmine, and Naomi have somehow managed to occupy themselves in this empty room for hours on end without a single toy to play with. The imagination is an amazing thing. The funny part is, I'd bet that if we turned this same space into a play room and moved all of their toys in there... they'd last 20 minutes before whining about being bored and needing sometime else to do. Go figure that one out.

They've also taken to calling this room "the clubhouse"... and I've been instructed that every time someone enters the room, we all have to yell, "Welcome to The Clubhouse!!!!" ... they've either been sneaking in a few episodes of Cheers (Norm!)... or have had their fair share of visits to Moe's Southwestern Grill (Welcome to Moe's!). Knowing my wife, I'd put my money on the latter.

Sunday, November 4, 2012