Friday, December 31, 2010


Well, its the news you have all been waiting for and we have been hoping for: we are in the process of buying a house here!

Yep, that's right, we are in the midst of contracts and mortgage applications and all that fun stuff. :)

May I tell you a bit about our journey to fining our cute little house?

We arrived in Pampa at the end of August and settled into our apartment here at church smoothly. We began to look at different houses in the area, just getting our feet wet, while trying to prepare our hearts for the fact that our condo in Chicago might not sell for awhile. Our Realtor, Judi, was so patient with us as we looked at, seriously (not even joking), countless houses, some of them more than once. Both Brad and I are pretty decisive people - we know what we want and we go after it. Never ever have we had such a hard time making a decision as we did deciding which house to buy.

In an effort to help the situation, we decided to make a list of things we really wanted in a house, so we could both be on the same page - we had already talked about this topic and had a pretty good list going in our heads, but nothing on paper. Here is our list:
  • Garage or car port (we hear there is a lot of hail in the spring here)
  • 3+ bedrooms/2+ bath
  • Open floor plan (Kitchen open to at least one living space and hopefully the dining room)
  • Fireplace
  • Yard large enough for play-set and fun (Brad wants to throw a ball around with our kids - and hey, maybe I'll learn to catch one of these days. :) )
  • Two living spaces (so the kiddo(s) can have a place to play/be during bible studies, get togethers ect.)
  • Needs work (We would love to be able to fix up a home to improve it's value and make it ours)
  • Lowish taxes/Low price (striving to be wise stewards)
There was this one house - let's call it M.E. - that we fell in love with the moment we stepped into the door - it had an open floor plan, large kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 5 (!) living spaces, a formal dining room, wonderful outdoor spaces and a double lot. But it needed a lot of work. Also, because it was on a double lot - M.E's taxes were astronomical. It was a foreclosure and as we sat, waiting for our condo to sell, we watched the price drop lower, and lower, and lower. Because we loved M.E. so much, we had a hard time loving any of the other houses we looked at - we were even about to put in an offer on Zimmers (another house that we were considering), but then decided against it. Our love for M.E. changed the week before Christmas, when we took Brad's family to see the two homes that we were deciding between: M.E. and Zimmers. It was so weird walking them through the houses, I felt so apprehensive walking through M.E. - "this-isn't-our-house" kept repeating in my head. But then we went to go see Zimmers - and I couldn't stop talking about all the dreams we had for it to fix it up and make it our home. I don't know what caused the change of heart - well, yes I do, we had prayed that God would make it clear to us which home He wanted us to buy, and He did. After much prayer, conversation and reality-checking - we decided to take the step, and make an offer on the Zimmers house. And you know what - it has all of the above characteristics! :) And our offer was accepted. :) Yippee!!!!

Wanna see it? Want to see what it looks like? Ok - fine, if you insist. :)

So much potential! New bushes, a light (that doesn't have two different bulbs - maybe this one) and front door (that will let in some light - maybe this one, painted a fun color) and the removal of those diamond things on the windows will really freshen things up - also, my first order of business is to take down those curtains in the front living room, they make the window look so tiny.

Here is an aerial view of the house (taken from Google Maps):

Blurry, I know, but you can see the good sized yard - the family room (see below) was an addition, seen above on the top left. And there is a storage building in the back yard (bottom left) that we are excited about too (a one car garage doesn't leave that much room to store a lawn mower or other yard tools).

As some of you know, there are a few blogs that I follow religiously (maybe to a fault). And in two of those blogs, the authors have recently moved/had accepted offers on homes - and both of them have laid out, using, the floor plan of their new/soon to be homes. So I decided to do the same. :) (If you would like to check out their blogs here are the links: Young House Love and Bower Power)

Hopefully the floor plan will help those of you who can't come see it in person any time soon (although we would LOVE to have you!!!) It is not perfect - the hall isn't that big and the M. Bath, although small, isn't that small :)

There is nice carpet (we were surprised at how nice it is) in all the bedrooms and both living spaces and laminate wood flooring in the dinning room and hall. The bathrooms and kitchen have laminate tiles. (Eventually we would like to put hard wood flooring in the living room, dining room, kitchen and hall - and knock down the wall separating the living room from the dining room - to open things up a bit.... but all that is a little bit down the road). The laundry space is in the garage and there is a step down from the dining room to the family room. Let me know if you have any questions - I don't mind talking about this house. Not at all. :)

Oh, and possibly the best news of all - the current owners are believers! He is a youth pastor! I got so excited when I heard this news, the house will continue to be used for God's glory - to Him be praise for all His goodness!

We will keep you updated as to how the process moves along - we are so excited!

(I think I said, "excited" about 100 times - can you tell I'm excited?)

Thursday, December 30, 2010


This Christmas held a few firsts for our family:
  • Lucy's first Christmas ever
  • Brad and Mom K's first Christmas in Texas
  • Amy and Dad K's first Christmas outside of Michigan (and Brad's too!)
  • Sarah's first Christmas back in Texas
We had a fabulous day!

The traditional family picture taken before gifts. :) (Dontcha love how Sophie got into the picture? She didn't hold still though... :) )

We were all so excited! I don't know about you, but it was weird for me/us this year with Christmas on a Saturday. I thought on Monday - "It's the week of Christmas!" but it took longer than I wanted for the days to go by and for Saturday to arrive. :) It built up quite the anticipation.

Some favorite gifts: Dad got the llllooonnnnggggeeesssttt screwdriver ever from Amy. Amy got a Wii from Mom and Dad. And Mom got a personalized calendar from Amy. :)

Lucy got tired after a few gifts...

But after her nap, she was much more cheerful! :) I love this girl.

Discovering all her new toys and loving every one. :)

Giving some lovin' to Grandpa! :)

Our Christmas table and Amy and I in our Vera Bradley aprons. I got mine for my birthday (thanks mom!) and Amy got hers on Christmas morning - aren't they cute! :)

Lucy has the sweetest conversation with her grandpa in this video. :) Enjoy! And yes, Lucy stayed in her Christmas pj's all day. I was okay with it, and no one objected. :)

Know that feeling of exhaustion after a great day? Yep, that's what Lucy felt at the end of the day. She told me. :)


This holiday season, I was struck by the Hymn "O Holy Night,", its lyrics are so pognant.

"Long lay the world in sin and error pining"
I have been reading through Jeremiah lately and have been overwhelmed by thankfulness that I do not have to be under God's wrath, like Judah and Israel, because of my disobedience because Christ took my punishment for me. But those who do not know/acknowledge Christ, are writhing in their sin and can't do anything about it. (I say writhing, because they are utterly lost on their own - I know it is a strong word picture, but I believe it is accurate)

"Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth." Without Christ, the soul is worthless, lost. But with Christ the soul has worth and meaning.

"A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn" Because of Christ we have a thrill of hope. Think about those words and how they applied to the NT Believers. They had had a period of silence from God - 200 years - and were weary in their waiting. But with Christ's arrival they a renewed hope, their Messiah has been born! They had the anticipation of salvation and with that salvation, a new and glorious future.

"Fall on your knees...." The knowledge of Christ's birth should make us fall on our knees in appreciation, gratitude and thankfulness. We are no longer writhing in our sin, because we have a Savior who was born to rescue us. Our souls have tremendous worth - we are given purpose in Christ. We may now rejoice, there is no need to be weary in waiting. Our Savior has come! He was born to die. What a gift.

It is the best gift that can be given/received at Christmas.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

(November &) December Update

Phew! What a busy month we have had! FULL of FAMILY, FRIENDS and FUN! :)

Thanksgiving 2010
Petosi, MO - Trout Lodge

Brad, Lucy and I hopped into the car at 12:30pm on Sunday the 21st of November and headed north-west to join 77 family members (Addington side) for a family reunion. It was so good to see extended family - we had a ton of fun crafting, playing games and just catching up.

My sweet family on Thanksgiving day

Photo credit is given to Jana - my talented sister. :)

Decking the Halls
Pampa, TX - Our Apartment

Brad and I realized that we have never set up our tree in the same home twice - and it won't be set up here in our church-apartment next year ether! Goodness! I sure hope the next two Christmases are spent in the same place!

Pampa Christmas Parade
Pampa, TX - Main Street

We didn't have to go far to be entertained on a chilly Saturday morning in early December - just a few blocks down the road! :)

Becca's Commissioning
Austin, TX - Calhoun Hall

I couldn't be more proud of Becca - she has finished school, with a degree in Biology, and is now a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. Way to go!!! We were honored to be involved in this special day - so glad we could make it down (although I was sick - ick). Lucy got to see her Grandparents, aunts and uncle.

(All of the above pictures were taken by Jana, I stole them off of Facebook - so they may be a bit fuzzy :) )

Kidder Family Comes to Visit
Pampa, Tx - All over the Panhandle

We came home from Austin, cleaned the house (I had been sick so hadn't been able to clean before we left) and Brad's family arrived a few hours later. Lucy was quite a lucky lady, getting love from all her extended family in one week! :)

I don't know why I don't have any pictures of Amy from the week - but I do have some of her on Christmas Day - and you can see those soon. :)

6413 North Leavitt, Unit 3
Chicago, IL - No longer ours

That's right! We closed on our condo this afternoon, literally minutes ago - it no longer ours. We are so excited about this next step in our lives, we can now settle down here in Pampa in a HOUSE! (Not that our Apartment hasn't been wonderful - what a blessing it has been to us - we are just excited to be in a house that has a working kitchen within it. :) ) God is good. We are overwhelmed by his faithfulness. We will (and do) miss Chicago, but we know that this is where God wants us right now. :) But oh, the memories that we have from 6413 - too many to count - but we can keep those with us right? I'm thankful for that.

And we think we have picked out a house here..... aren't you interested? :) You'll have to be patient for a few days til we can see how things pan out. :)

We have traveled 54 hours in the car in the past two months - Santa Fe, Petosi, Austin.... I think we will stay put for a little while now... but Brad's birthday is coming up.... hmmmmm :)

Six Months Old

A year from now, Lucy will say she is "one and a half," but for now she is just "half" :)

The day of Lulu's 6 month birthday, I woke up sick. :( But Brad graciously took her monthly pictures for me. They are a bit different than the way I usually do them, she is wearing the same outfit as her 4 month pictures and her bow sitting precariously on top of her head, but I love these pictures. They signify the flexibility of an infant (who I am sure knew something was different about this day) and the helpfulness of my husband (who did all our laundry and served me meals in bed).

6 month accomplishments:
  • Sitting up on her own
  • Eating like a champ (in her own way*)
  • LOVING bananas, sweet potatoes and peas
  • Not loving re-fried beans or avocados
  • Listening well to our morning bible stories
  • She has taken to Big Ellie this past month! Its the first thing she reaches for when put in her crib and if we check on her, she is often held close :)
  • And possessing the most beautiful brown eyes (I think they have gotten darker in the past month!)
As usual, I have compiled a collage with some pictures from the photo shoot, simply click to enlarge :) Enjoy.

"Good job Daddy!"

*I say, "In her own way" because Lucy doesn't crane for food like other babies I have spoon fed, but she will open her mouth and accept the food. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

We Wish You...

...A Merry Christmas!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

And a Happy New Year!

Much Love,

Brad, Sarah and Lucy Jo