Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oh no, dude, if we get this one, the naked lady stays.

Finally, here's a new layout for you all to see, I'm sure the April banner was getting a little old! Not just because I haven't ahem actually taken an appropriate May photo for a banner, but also, I just thought a nice and simple layout for the month might be a good change for a while. I guess May crept up on me too quickly, and I never ended up planning a photo ahead of time...whoops.

So the Hubs and I went to our fifth open house earlier this week. The home was built in 1970 and its' owner, an elderly gentleman just passed away last month, was living inside a veritable time capsule. We're talking green shag carpet on the steps, and black velvet paintings of naked ladies in the lounge.
Coolest. House. Ever.
Anyway, amazing decor aside, it was large, well layed out, and had an amazing view of a fjord and its' own boathouse too! We were a but curious on the way there though, because it was priced so low for the area and location (which was also literally right down the street from where Harald works), well once we viewed the report, we found out why...
First I should mention for all you non-Weegies out there, that unlike the house buying process in the States which includes hiring out a contractor to make an inspection AFTER you start working on the deal as the buyer, here in Norway, before a house can go on the market it is inspected by a contractor so that reports on its' condition are available to interested buyers during the open house. Neat concept, huh? Saves a lot of negative surprises, that much is true.
Anyway, after so we had walked through the whole house already, with Harald's dad and grandparents in tow (since his father and grandfather have lots of house building and repair experience, they are our experts we drag along when possible!) before we took up a copy of the report to look at ourselves. The news, was not good.
Turns out the price was on account of the fact that so many needed structural type repairs were mandatory that it would easily tack on another million kroner to complete them...for example the foundation was in questionable state, and the entire roof was marked as "required" to be replaced immediately. Ouch.
Regardless though, and I think largely because of the location and size of the home, bids started flying in DURING the open house itself, and we found out that within 24 hours, it had officially been sold, 1.1 million kroner up from the originally listed price...

Now can you see why it's so easy to get discouraged after our first five viewings? Uff da. I'm still hung up on the fourth open house we saw, which is actually still on the market, as we were the only ones interested in it. I try not to look at it's listing online anymore, cause it's just plain depressing...
In case you're still not clear as to why we failed at that potential home? We met with the required mortgage lender that was selling the home, to see about making an offer only to find that even though we would be fine with making the monthly payments on Harald's salary, the bank didn't think that with our student loans and only one income at this point, we were candidates acceptable to loan to.
Yeah. Suck fest.
At least since that bank meeting, we managed to use our U.S. tax refund check to pay off our only credit card completely so we have that much going for us!

Anyway, with these last two housing disappointments, I've been thinking more and more that God is pushing us towards the building route in favor of buying a preexisting home. I've never been totally against the idea, and Harald is all about it, so we're planning on meeting with a great building firm about housing models that would work well on a lovely plot of land just a few miles from Harald's work place...we'll just keep praying (and wouldn't mind support in that way of course!) for the right living situation for us to reveal itself, and in the mean time at least we're saving up some dough that we'll need for furniture and all that good stuff to fill a home someday.
My goal for us at this point, and one I hope isn't far fetched is to be in our own home for Christmas 2010...which seems like miles and miles away, so isn't something I'm letting myself think too much about as I don't really care for hopeless crying on a daily basis.

I posted a few entries back that I had been thinking about dropping my endorsements off of my education program, and after thinking and praying for guidance on the situation, and also receiving great advice from some family and friends, I made my decision: I dropped them. So now, instead of finishing my degree and all the fixings (those being endorsements in English language grammar, reading technology and history) in February 2011, I'll be done when my thesis is due in mid-August this year.
I just finished submitting all my paperwork to change the program, and it's official, I'll be a 2010 graduate with a Masters in Education. Awesome...but having my thesis done by this August, is a bit intimidating and nerve racking!
So now, after the class I'm in is over next month, there will only be two left for me to finish in my program, both are pretty much entirely dedicated to thesis workshopping, and at least I do have mine about 3/4 of the way finished...that might sound encouraging, but we're also talking a first draft here folks, which any of your academically inclined folks might be aware, means there's a whole lot of work to be done still! I think if I try real hard, I could have the body of the paper done by the end of this month, then save the summer months for editing and reworking drafts until my thesis is ready for submitting. I haven't been through this whole process since my Bachelor's thesis went down in 2007, which obviously was a huge task on its' own, but this baby that I'm working on now, will trump even that I think...
Obviously I'm ready to teach here in Norway, and would love a job for the 2010-2011 impending academic year, but the fact that I'm not done with my Weegie classes, thus can't take the national education exam that is necessary to pass if you're not a native Weegie and want to teach in Norway, it doesn't look good...I've resolved to try and get as much Weegie work done as possible this year, and try and be ready for at least substituting gigs as soon as possible...
Anyway, depressing house news and good school news aside, I'm off now to make up a big dish of "enchiladas" as a belated Cinco de Mayo treat for my Mexican food loving Weegie and myself. I'll call them "enchiladas" because after a thorough search through three different major supermarkets in our area, I've concluded that though I knew that the Weegies didn't have the most accurate or complete view of Mexican cuisine to begin with, they also just don't know what enchiladas are. No sauce to be found anywhere...and let's not even talk about the fact that as enchilada sauce is absent, even dreaming about mole is foolish. (NOOOO!) So though I'll be constructing what will for all intensive purposes be enchiladas, they will still only be able to be "enchiladas" because we only have "taco sauce" at our disposal.

It's already been decided by Harald and I that this will be a big item to put on our list of things to do when we next visit the States: eat lots of yummy Mexican food!

p.s. - Thanks for all the amazing words of comfort and support concerning my relative that was undergoing surgery this month. She actually just had her procedure done on Tuesday, and her kidney was removed with a malignant tumor completely intact within a membrane on the surface. From everything I've heard, she's doing great in recovery now, and is totally out from the woods. Praise God!