Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't Even Get Me Started

Today we are moving!

It might come as a surprise to some of you, but I have not been posting about all of this because has been a pretty insane process to sell our current house and buy the next house. I will break it down for you here:

Last year, we switch high schools for Young Life from the school where we were leaders for six years to a high school that has really strong Young Life. All of their leaders departed for grown-updom and there was nobody to head up the ministry. Matt and I knew that the Lord was calling us to this high school and so we started the long process of getting our hearts AND house ready to sell.

Early in the spring, we were approached by my sister-in-law's (Buffy) mother-in-law (Got THAT?) who lives in Asheville near the area we were looking to buy; and she expressed an interest to move near to her son and Buffy. Would we be interested in buying her house? She named a price and well...we were VERY INTERESTED.

But we knew that some crazy stuff was going to have to happen. Such as, sell our house AND her have a new job that started simultaneously with our closing date. But we knew that God had called us to this new part of town and this was not beyond his abilities to orchestrate.

We all agreed to try to make this happen, however bizarre it might seem.

So we listed our house and had a lot of traffic over the summer and even came under contract albeit briefly.

Right after our first club, I totally lost heart with this process. I was overwhelmed with high school kids I didn't know, the ones that I did know and the ones that want me to know them better. I just wanted very badly for us to get to move down near them because it is so much harder to have relationships when you don't shop, live etc. all in the same neighborhood as them. It is really a Jesus philosophy because he came to US and moved into the neighborhood of Jerusalem in order to speak directly to those he loved. We want to do the same thing and thought that it was never going to happen.

Mostly, I lost heart because the news that mortgage market was tightening up and nobody was getting loans. I saw the writing on the wall that would mean nobody would buy our house.

The very next day we had a second showing on our house and on the very day that the market plunged 700 points-we had a contract on our house! It was unbelievable! People are amazed that we were able to sell our house in this market, IN THIS MONTH. The worst financial month in history. Oh, and we needed to close in 21 days.

We have had no problems qualifying for our mortgage which is incredible too.

The biggest "X" factor was that seller also needed to get a job this month too. Not so easy. As soon as we told her that we had a contract, she freaked out. But a few days later approached her boss and told them the situation. They decided that it would be best for all parties if she continued her job via telecommuting. So she could go ahead, move to Florida AND be able to BUY a house since she still has her steady employment.

Seriously y'all? I can't make this stuff up.
So we are moving into her house this afternoon and tomorrow. Matt's mom and sister have graciously taken the kids off of our hands since Sunday so that we can make the move happen without them underfoot. And to tell the truth, that has made this seem like a vacation rather than the most stressful week of the Fall.

How 'bout them apples?
I will post pictures of the new house as we get settled. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Young Life Leading

I have officially been involved with Young Life for 12 years this Fall. Which is crazy.

Last year Matt, me and two other leaders started doing YL at a school that was new to us, but not new to YL. With not a single leader returning to the team, we were surprised by 80 kids showing up at the first club.
We spent the whole year just trying to make our way at the school and somehow handle the ministry that was literally handed to us by so many other people's blood, sweat, tears and prayers. I am not gonna lie, it was really fun to have a lot of "ready made" relationships and be able to go deep quickly with a group of senior girls.

This year looks a bit different. For one, all of "my" seniors graduated and are off at college. For another, the other girl leaders on the team are not back. So its me. ME with a whole slew of girls. For those of you who need an idea of what a slew looks like, think in the range of knowing over 200 girls at the school, an assortment of about 50 of those 200 come to club, 12-15 come to campaigners and just today, three asked me if I could spend some time with them one on one.

I am not saying any of this in a prideful way because, well...I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of this school and many other people have poured into these girls for them to even be WILLING to say hi to me, much less GET the idea that I would love to hang out with them.

And of course, I would love to hang out with them. But I feel overwhelmed at how to do all of these things. Plus, these girls are not exactly worried about if someone else says something bad about them to the cheerleaders. My 12-15 are pretty much the party girls, the crazy girls, the ones that no youth leader would feel excited about in their right mind; cause they are prettty much the definition of TROUBLE. But I am so fired up. And freaked out because I can't really give to them the way that I want to.

In truth, I feel like the story of the widow from the Bible who gave a mite to the Temple fund and Jesus said she was more blessed than people who could give more money. All because she gave more than she could have or should have. I should not be in these girls lives with how little time I have to offer. But somehow, it keeps happening! And it is blowing up. It is incredible and I am so excited about these girls and getting to be real friends with them and to be a person that they can trust. It is such a privilege.

And come next Thursday, we will live less than five and half miles from the high school. Can you believe that it is really going to happen? I can't wait to invite girls to just come over after school and take a walk with me and the kids. I can't wait to invite them into my life, while trying to love them in the middle of theirs.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just a little bit of the crazzy

At Matt's Grandmother's house, there was a picture that one of the cousin's drew that had a headline that read, "Slap Me, I'm CRAZZZZY!" Which is exactly how I feel at the moment.

Our house officially is under contract. The appraisal and inspection have gone through fine. We have a "domino closing" set for Friday, October 31st.

The house we are buying in South Asheville is truly from the Lord, but turning this whole thing around in the next 10 days is insane.

I have packed about 15 boxes and I have not even scratched the surface. And I feel like I have very little in the way of "clutter" as compared to most people I know. So, how do normal people move? I don't know, we are going to make it happen but not before we have a committee meeting, two YL clubs, work every day, two college life meetings, two soccer games, Matt is speaking next weekend at Windy Gap and as soon as we move into the house; I am leaving for a four-day trip to New Jersey to see my sister.

Fantastic. Why wouldn't I sit around for the evening watching the new Real Simple show on TLC, followed by a two-hour game of Settlers of Catan? It's not like I have anything to DO.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Things that go bump in the middle of the night

Last night at 1am Matt woke me up from a dead sleep saying "Leslie get up! Come see this bear."
He is standing at the window in our room peeking out through the blinds in only his boxers. I can only see him thanks to the glow of Conan O'brian.
I roll out of bed and watch as a seven to eight foot-tall bear saunters up our driveway. It is ENORMOUS. It walks into the darkness out of reach of our motion detecting light and stands up to knock over our garbage can with the slight flick of its paw. Yeah, it was frightening.

Matt yelled at it in his deepest voice; which was full of MENACE and TESTOSTERONE "Get outta here BEAR."

The bear, frightened by the manliness exhibited by my husbands voice, calmly snaked a bag of trash and walked into the woods to devour a bag full of poopy diapers and banana peels.

Matt then went into the basement, found his pellet gun and went onto the back porch and proceeded to shoot pellets at the bear.
The bear left a short time after that, but Matt was so pumped on the adrenaline of the experience that he was awake until 3am.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Good News

We have a contract on our house!
The inspection has been scheduled for Friday morning, we just have to get through that AND get approved for our mortgage and everything will be set to close on October 31st. That is only 25 days away. NUTS!!!!

Mortgage Woes

So the Dow is down even more than last Monday and guess what we are doing? Submitting our final paperwork for our next mortgage.


Our timing is impeccable.

We received an offer this morning that was very low, we have countered and are waiting to hear back. It's a tough game to play.

To My Gal

I left the hospital a little while ago and I wanted to share with you all the most precious Ruby you have ever seen!

Congrats to Robin and Zack! Now the hard work begins...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Can I just say?

It has been a long time since my legs have looked like this?

And that it has been a lot of fun AND humbling to go back on the field? I feel like I can't hit the side of a barn much less the back of a goal!

But the best part is reconnecting with Lexi! Our lockers were next to each other throughout college and we spent A LOT of time complaining and grumbling about the day ahead at practice or what we just put our bodies through. It has been great to play together again, but on a team that is having fun instead of torturing ourselves for the sake of...well, I have no idea now. But those are days gone by!

Might I add that the South Carolina women's soccer team is killing it these days? I am fired up about my alma mater! Go Cocks!

Yep, I said it.

One of the Best Weekends

We are heading into another work week, but can I say that I think we had one of the greatest weekends we have had as a family.
Our kids rocked. They slept, they played, they stayed up late. It was good times.

Friday night
We went to the North Buncombe/TCR Football game. And my kids charmed the entire color guard until we became friends. Seriously. I hit it off with an ENTIRE PACK of high school girls thanks to my kids. Who says you can't do Young Life as a grown-up? Not me. It was awesome.
We lost the game, but headed home and the kids went right to bed thanks to it being nearly 10 and they were FREEZING at the game. I have to go buy Lucy a hoodie-SOON.

Also, Robin Plemmons water broke in the middle of the night on Friday! YAY baby Ruby on Saturday!


Sky Top Apple Orchard. If you live in the area and haven't visited this orchard in Flat Rock, then you don't know what you are missing. It is good clean, CHEAP family fun. We packed a picnic and met the Knauers and the Goforths at the Orchard.
We all played on the playground, picked AMAZINGLY good apples right from the trees.

Fed the chickens, sheep and goats. Walked through the "Bamboo Forest" and took a tractor ride. We followed that up with fresh made doughnuts, went home and took a three hour nap.

That was me. The kids slept for two hours. God bless Matt Sloan and a white noise machine for giving me the gift of a long nap.
The entire day, I was trying to get updates on Robin. But nothing was happening. Ruby just wants us to wait.
We ate pizza and took a family walk. The kids played and we had a great evening around the house. They went to bed and we just watched college football and enjoyed life around the house. It was the second weekend since July that we have had at home and it felt amazing to just sit here.

Church and it was awesome. Best service we have experienced thus far. Anxious about Robin the whole time. After church, I had enough. I got dressed for my soccer game and went to the hospital. I got to see Robin and Zack and they looked terrible. It had been 36 hours of labor and nothing was happening. They were talking about a c-section.
I left to go to my soccer game which we won. It has been so fun to play with my college teammate, Lexi. That was followed with a 2-year old birthday party for Bennett Knauer, then back to the hospital. Ruby was born soon after I got there!
I knew it would be awhile before I could see Robin, so I decided to wait until tomorrow. Came home and got a call from our real estate agent that we will have an offer on the house tomorrow! WOO HOO! We might even have 2 offers since there are a few other people interested. We will have to wait and see tomorrow!

We also had a YL team meeting to plan for the rest of the semester and let's just say-I am excited to see what the Lord is going to do with us all this year.

Speaking of that, we are leaving for Sharp Top on Friday with over 100 kids from Buncombe County. Somehow, I don't have anyone to watch my kids for the weekend, so if anyone I know wants to take on this task...drop me a line!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lucy Pace Sloan

Lucy has come into her own in the past few weeks and she has become the dearest thing to me. She makes me laugh and melt all day long.
She is also, apparently starving to death.

At her school, the teachers have been telling me that as soon as she is done eating lunch, she gets down and starts trolling for leftovers from her classmates. 
This week, they did a craft with gluing popcorn onto a copy of a lamb...who's child did not put a single piece of popcorn onto the sheet but instead in her mouth? Take a look:

We had our Weaverville Co-op this morning and I can safely say it was the most fun and easiest time we have had with all of the kids since before they were born. We took a walk and thankfully I had my camera with me. Adorable or what? And yes, Bennett Knauer wore a bike helmet backwards on his head the entire morning, even through a diaper change. 
That's impressive.

And Robin showed up with Ruby in her tummy still.

I love this town.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

From the Onion

This actually made me cry as I was reading it:

From The Onion
Members Of Twisted Sister Now Willing To Take It
SEPTEMBER 29, 2008 | ISSUE 44•40

NEW YORK—In a stunning reversal of their long-stated reluctance to take it, members of heavy-metal band Twisted Sister announced Monday that, after 24 years of fervent refusal, they are now willing to take it. "I acknowledge that we promised not to take it anymore, but things change. The world is a different place today, and with that in mind, we would like to go on record as saying that, starting right now, we are going to take it," read a statement released by the band's lead singer, Dee Snider. "To clarify, we would still prefer not to take it, but as of now, taking it is an option that we would be open to. That is all." Bassist Mark "the Animal" Mendoza also stated that, in regards to what he wants to do with his life, he no longer solely wants to rock, but would instead prefer doing other things, such as raising a family and working as a claims adjuster in Rye, NY.

An update

I have had a few emails and phone calls about the showing yesterday and so here is an update!

The folks that came for a second showing yesterday already have a house under contract. That house showed $20,000 worth of damage in its inspection. The buyers have started looking at other houses even though the seller has agreed to fix the problems. They are trying to decide whether to soldier on with the house or just move on. If they move on, we are one of their top choices. But they have only one child and would like to have more and are concerned with the floorplan. So, you never know.

BUT...we had someone cancel a showing yesterday and rescheduled today! They looked at the house with FIVE MINUTES NOTICE and loved it! We are in their top three and supposedly they will be making a decision soon!

I took a look around my house tonight and decided that I am really tired of keeping it so clean. I love it and hate it all at the same time. It is so nice to come home to, but the stress is exhausting for everyone. It would be really nice to get an offer that is close to reasonable, we pass the inspection and appraisal and can move on. We love our house, but do not love the selling process.

I hope that the end is near.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The House Saga Continues

As many of you know, our house is STILL for sale. It has only been a few months, but it is getting old. Especially since the house across the street is for sale as well AND more expensive. So people that are looking at that house just want to take a peek at ours and this results in five minutes notice before they are in the house.

This weekend we had a showing and had a full day's notice before they came in. How fantastic! We got to mop the floors, dust the bookshelves and get all the junk out that just clutters up the house.

They are coming back tonight to take another look. From 5:30-6:30!!!
We hope that they want to buy it. Seriously.

We had YL club last night (the first one of the year) and 70 kids showed up. 70! And I can safely say that I knew about 12. Which leave 58 kids to get to know, plus their parents, friends etc. It was overwhelming. And so exciting. We had a ton of fun and it made me love what we get to do even more.

It also made me want to move more quickly. The real reason we are moving is to be near high school kids that we have been called to. This is NOT a money making venture. This is a Jesus venture. Please pray that we would get an offer that is in the ballpark and that we can move forward on this! We are officially READY to make it happen!