Thursday, November 30, 2006


Things have been busy here lately. We lost out on the red house we are looking at. (A bid was excepted the day we decided to submit a final bid at the sellers counter offer.) So, we've spent at least one day each week driving around to look at other properties or neighborhoods and lots of time online looking. We have a few we are considering. One is nice and a decent size but far out and potentially problematic for DH getting to work. Another is very large and close to a train line dh could take but the house itself didn't appeal to us as much (It seemed to dark and cluttered.) and it's more expensive. A third option is an older house that needs cosmetic work and some updating but it's a bit closer to dh's work near where we used to live.

Fortunately, since this is a buyers market and low season as well, we should have a little time to really consider each of these options as well as any others we come across. I'm drawn to the first house which was very nice, well cared for and had just about a perfect backyard but I'm afraid the commute would be too hard on dh. Even with the closer in house he would be commuting roughly 1 1/2 hours each way. This house would likely add anywhere from 15-30 min. to the commute time. He works from home 2 days a week, so he would only be commuting 3 days/wk but I think that might prove to be too much. Commuting is one of the major challenges of living in this area. DH's commute time is pretty typical since this area covers so many suburbs. DH has even known co-workers who drive from Pennsylvania down to D.C.!

I have started on the leaf quilt. I did the chain piecing of the hsts last night and this morning now I just have to cut and press. Which is what I should be doing now since Reza's asleep and I hate to iron when he's awake. Oh, well. I have a headache and ironing is not exactly my favorite thing to do anyway so I think my progress is pretty much done for the day.

Besides blogging, I also came on-line to submit an application for scoring essays from home. I think this will help me keep my English skills up and give us a cushion if we have to go to the upper end of the mortgage spectrum. If not, then maybe we'll plan a few educational trips with the extra $$. Mustafa wants to go to Egypt, DH wants to go to Malaysia and I have a whole list of places I'd like to visit. It's a good thing we homeschool. This way we have a lot more flexibility for when and where we go. I don't know when I'd find out about the job so keep you fingers crossed for me.

That's about it for now. Time to go make lunch and defrost some meat for kebab tonight.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Random Stuff Meme

A MEME (for those of you who have "nothing" to blog about.)

STUFF: I got this off of Mama Koch's Oklacookiemaker Quilts site but it's floating around everywhere. So, since I don't have much to report, here goes.

1. Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 in the book closest to you right now, what does it say? It's Homeschooling More Than One Child by Carren Joye. This page is a list page on how to cover different subjects. "Drama. If your city has a community theatre, volunteer backstage. If tickets are cost-prohibitive, check on free or low-cost dress rehearsals." (These tips are good for anyone. When I was in college, I volunteered to usher so that I could see "Oklahoma" free.)

2. If you stretch out your left arm - as far as possible, what are you touching? The bedroom wall and window next to it.

3. What's the last program you watched on tv? Good Morning America

4. Without looking, guess what time it is. 12:15 Actual time 12:17.

5. Except the computer, what can you hear right now? Overall buttons scraping the inside of the dryer as they spin around, "The Road to El Dorado" video the kids are watching downstairs and the ticking of two clocks.

6. When was the last time you were outside and what did you do? Around 5 p.m. yesterday to get the mail.

7. What are you wearing? blue cotton pants and a yellow t-shirt

8. Did you dream last night? I was so tired I don't really remember any dreams from last night but probably something that would fit right in with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" since that was what I was watching right before I finally dragged myself to bed at 3 a.m.

9. When was the last time you laughed? Last night while watching "Buffy"

10. What's on the walls, in the room you're in right now? Nothing, just plain white walls since this is a rental

11. Have you seen anything strange lately? Not really, life's been pretty boring.

12. What do you think about this meme? It's fun. I like finding out random things about people.

13. What's the last film you saw?On TV or at the cinema? "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" on DVD from Netflix. Very good movie and not a bad film translation from the book.

14. If you became a multimillionaire, what would you do with the money? There are several charities that I'd give at least half of the money to; particularly those helping women and children. I would set up college funds for each of my kids and nieces and nephews. A big slurge would be buying a house where I could have an indoor pool or an outdoor pool that can be enclosed for privacy. A personal splurge would be taking college classes just because I'm interested in the material. (I'll probably do this one without the millions once the kids get a little older.)

15. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know. I'm constantly worried about not measuring up to other people's expectations. I'm also very much a people watcher. I love sitting back and watching others go about their lives. I suppose that's why I like blogs.

16. If you could change ONE THING in this world, without regarding politics or bad guilt - what would it be? Economic differences or at least over-indulgent self-centered spending. There's no excuse for million dollar weddings or the over abundance of million dollar houses where there are so many people on this planet that live on next to nothing or people going into debt to try and imitate the lifestyles they see on tv.

17. Do you like dancing? I love to dance. I even took a swing class years ago with my dad.

18. Last crafty endeavour? I spent time last night cutting background squares for the fall leaves quilt so that I can get started sewing today.

19. What do you want your children’s names to be, girl/boy? Well we already have 4 names used-Mustafa, Safiya, Zahra and Reza. If by chance we were to have more the options include Majid, Morteza, and Yousef for boys and Alinah and Naseem for girls. I also like the names Laila(one possible meaning is old wine), Parvaneh (butterfly in Farsi), Farishteh (fairy in Farsi) but probably wouldn't use them because of their meanings.

20. What amused you recently? My kids are always good for a laugh.

Feel free to consider yourself tagged if you are so inclined.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Slow progress

I made my first wonky house. I'm not terribly pleased with the results but I'll use it as a learning experience to try again. Sad to say but I'm STILL cutting out the fabric for my leaf quilt. It's going slowly since I can only really cut when Reza is asleep and he only naps for a little while once a day and I usually need that time to do stuff around the house. But, it will get done one of these days. ;) I'm using a lot of different prints for the leaves and keeping the wider scraps which I think will make a really cool border.

Cathi at Crazed Quilter passed along the idea of a pay it forward kind of swap which is bouncing around the web so I thought I'd join in. The first 5 people to contact me either through comments or by e-mail will receive a little hand-made mini wall hanging, pot holder, trivet, whatever you want it to be. Your end of the deal is that you pass along something you've made to 5 others. Since I know not everyone that reads this quilts, I think it works to say as long as you make it, pass it on. Any takers?

On the housing front, we had found another house closer to dh's work but smaller in size but with a decent backyard which we bid lower on and were turned down. So we sent a low bid to the owners of the red house I previously mentioned, deciding that the worst they could do is say "no". Well, instead of rejecting our offer outright they gave us a counter offer which we've just countered again. So, fingers crossed, we might actually be able to get this house and not starve trying to make the payments. ;)

I just noticed that my last two post titles say "slow". It's that whole winter hibernation mode kicking in I guess.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Slowing down

After the last month or so of activity, it seems life is now at the point that we can slow down a bit. Of course, this is all relative. Slowing down in a house with 4 kids looks a lot different than slowing down in a house of empty nesters or singles.

I've done most of the essential shopping for the house minus most furniture, which we're waiting to get until we buy a house. It's astonishing just how much little stuff there is that we don't really give much thought to but are, if not completely necessary, then exceedingly helpful for daily life. Then there are all of the little luxuries that we allow ourselves. They don't seem like much but they can sure add up. And I don't even consider myself a big spender, but when you restock a house in month there's quite a bit of sticker shock. Not to mention buying more clothes for the kids since they had outgrown so much. I was getting a bit sick of shopping but now I can just sit back and relax for awhile.

What does slowing down look like for me? Well, right now it entails lots of house hunting. I search the web for possibilities, then we all go out together and scope the neighborhoods and if there's anything we'd like to take a closer look at, we call our agent to go take a peek. So far, we've only taken a closer look at 2 properties and one we are seriously considering but despite being on the market for more than a year and having dropped in price by $150k, it's still overpriced and out of our mortgage comfort zone unless they'd be willing to take about $100-150k less. (You can check it out here if you're so inclined.) So, it's back on-line to look for other options. I'm so thankful that this is a much more relax process than it would have been even 10 or 15 years ago thanks to the internet. We get to scope out lots of different areas and price ranges without wasting a lot of gas or time.

I'm also homeschooling the kids. As usual, we keeping that fairly relaxed with a few workbook pages to do each day and then whatever they want to work on after that. Thanks to 2 library book sales, we've now got about 2 1/2-3 boxes of books for the kids to explore, all for less than $60. Between those and our biweekly library trips, the kids have plenty to keep their minds busy. Now it's time to start helping Zahra learn to read. She was really excited a couple of months ago to work on it but I just didn't have time then to work with her because of the move. I hope she hasn't lost interest. It's still a bit early for her. She turns 5 next week so there's no big rush.

And finally, with all of my spare time, I pulled fabric to make Judy's October Hour a day Leaf quilt top and a few wonky houses to start the wonky house growth chart for the kids. DH's aunt's hubby is now in Iran visiting his dd, brothers and various other relatives after not seeing them for at least three years and hopefully, he'll be able to bring our errant camera back to us. When and if that happens, I'll be able to decorate the blog again with pretty pictures. Until then you'll just have to take my word for it that, the kids are growing and as goofy as ever and I am in fact getting back to work on my quilting. ;)

Time to get back to work.