all things coming together...

11:30AM Apr 27, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

I seem to be continually switching gears to get the NEXT deadline taken care of. In this time of transition, there seems to be an endless list of important matters to handle.

Our house in Parker is under contract and scheduled to close May 26th. Our Breck house is off the market, and is being prepared for renters moving in in a few weeks. By the end of May, we will be able to relax and enjoy a slightly simpler life here in California.

For now, I am trying to get the long list of doctors, dentists, and orthodontic appointments done. We are also slowly trying to get plugged into homeschool group(s) here and trying to meet people and take advantage of some of the things available to homeschoolers here in the Bay Area. Bill is adjusting well to work at Apple.

We are enjoying having the mountains and ocean so close by. This weekend we went hiking again which got me excited about doing more. With my first local hiking book in hand, the car packed with everything necessary for the beach or hiking, I'm ready for any adventure we might encounter!

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enjoying california...

10:05PM Mar 31, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

We are moved in, unpacked and even have stuff hanging on the walls! We love our new house and the neighborhood and neighbors are terrific. Everyone we meet is very friendly and introduces themselves and is generally welcoming. Our kids are already great friends with the neighbors across the street (also with 6 kids) and have not missed a day of playing with them after school and on weekends. The neighbor situation has been such a blessing.

After getting unpacked, I hung pictures and am now working on the school room organization. I still have a bit to go, but Anna has been a huge help in that department. She is a pleasure to work with. :) At some point I have to tackle the garage, but for now, I will start with taking a load to the thrift store of the obvious items to get rid of, and little by little I'll get more out of our possession. I am in a GET RID OF EVERYTHING mood, which is good and bad. I am a little nervous about having to move everything again in a relatively short amount of time (we only have a 15 month lease on this house, and I'm not sure if we will be able to renew or not... we are going to work on that once we have our other houses settled). It will all work out, but I will be glad to be a little "lighter".

Last week Bill and I went on a date to go look at cars. Well, we ended up coming home with a 2010 Honda Odyssey minivan. It's good to have a 2nd car in this area since we are too far from work to do anything but drive. We are loving having a new car and we took it on our first road trip this weekend to Monterrey, the beach and the aquarium. The weather was beautiful and the new car was a pleasure to drive.

I do say that the weather here in these parts is quite nice. We had rain for the first time in almost 3 weeks! People keep telling us that after "rain season" (aka winter), it may not rain again until the next winter! That is crazy. Everything is so green right now, but evidently by July, the mountains are brown. Today, though, they had snow on the peaks, which made us feel right at home. :)

We miss Colorado, but Apple and the Bay Area are treating us well.

Another sign that we are settling in is that I am looking for grain and making dental appointments! We are enjoying our new corporate benefits and using them right away. With 8 people's teeth to clean and up to 4 cleanings per year covered, we may be at the dentist almost every week of the year! Yikes.

Grain has been quite a bit harder to locate than I expected. There are many more options in Colorado for that kind of thing than here. I have tried many different avenues and finally found someone that would let me buy grain through them. I picked up my order today and am now set for quite a while. I am very excited to have good grain again. I was almost completely out of everything and we love our home made bread.

Well, it's time for bed. Sorry about the lack of pictures, but I have put all of our pictures on facebook and have not put them up here in a while. Someday... Good night!

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moved in and unpacking...

09:32PM Mar 14, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

Well, the last few days have been exhausting, but good. Moving in took all day, and near the end I was sick to my stomach with how much stuff we have (or at least how many boxes came off the truck). This house, however, is perfect for us. What we own fits well in here... probably better than any home we've ever lived in. The house is neither too big or too small for our family. After living in a small house for the last 7 years in Breckenridge, it is so refreshing to have space. We even have mountain views from our bedroom, but nothing like our Breck views. :)

My favorite things about this house...

*the kitchen - beautiful and not too small

*large bedrooms for the kids - we have 5 bedrooms: 3 girls together, Andrew and Isaac together, Jacob on a queen bed in his own room, which will double as the guest room (and he will sleep with the boys), our room, and a school room!

*a perfect master bathroom - not too big, not too small, jacuzzi tub, oversized shower without a door, double sinks, master closet with pocket door!

*plugs in all the right places - bookshelves are now not covering all of our plugs!

*crown moulding in every room - I love all the details in the remodel

*great yard with beautiful mature landscaping and a gardener!

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new house

06:58PM Mar 09, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

Here are the pictures of our house that we are moving into Thursday! We are so excited. It is by far the nicest house available for rent. All the utilities have been transferred, and the moving company is lined up to unload at the new address. I get the keys tomorrow! Very exciting. We are ready for the space, a yard, a washer and dryer and our things. Soon...

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still in the hotel...

02:24PM Mar 04, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

Well, we have had problem after problem with housing. I went for the final walkthrough with the owner of the property we chose, and she asked us to reconsider because of liability with Jacob (or any small child) and a large "pond" in the backyard. She is a wonderful owner and has been very accommodating, but this has put another kink in our plans. We are down to very few choices and we need to move in TOMORROW. Well, we have a little more time than that, but not much. We do have to move in by next week or else we get to start paying for the hotel.

So, continue to pray for us as the stress of this situation is high. We have another appointment today and after driving through the neighborhood, and talking with the owner, I think we can make this work. I love the neighborhood, which I can't say for any house we've looked at so far. This is not a typical rental house or a rental neighborhood, which is WONDERFUL. It looks like they bought this house to live in and now have to rent it out, but I am not sure. The houses are taken care of and the lawns mowed, and the trim repaired and kept painted... no cars on blocks or refrigerators in the front yard, etc. As a homeowner, I appreciate these things in a neighborhood. We'll see. So far, not one house has lived up to the pictures put on craigslist, but I am hopeful that this is an exception and that we will have a house to live in and move into next week.

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now in california

11:11AM Feb 26, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

We got everything packed up and we are now in California waiting on the moving van. We enjoyed our first day of site-seeing yesterday and now are relaxing in the hotel and catching up on the laundry. We have a few items to buy for this new climate, so we will also do a little shopping today.

So far, we love the area, even though there are a few more people here than in Breckenridge, Colorado. The mountains are beautiful and being so close to San Francisco and the beach are exciting. We are looking forward to many new places to explore.

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finishing up here...

02:28PM Feb 16, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

Our week has been filled with saying goodbye to friends, getting rid of more stuff (freecycle & craigslist), and pulling aside items that we will need through the move. I am trying to stay in good spirits while Bill is in California working and trying to find a house for us to live in in 2 weeks. With our other house falling through, we are kind of scrambling to find something that will work for our family.

Overall things are going well, but I am ready for everything to be packed and to be on a plane to California. This move, even though it has been quite quick, has been dragging on, and I'm tired.

As we gathered all of our school books that need to be shipped separately (so we can start school again ASAP), I realized how much I miss the routine of daily life.

The moving starts tomorrow with the washer and dryer getting "serviced" to move, followed by the packers Thursday and Friday... and the movers Monday and Tuesday.

Still no offers on our houses... still waiting.

See you in California!

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very busy...

06:30AM Feb 12, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

We are in the middle of moving, need I say more. I took a day and a half off this week for my mental health, and I'm feeling refreshed and ready to go. Bill is starting work on Monday, the movers come to pack Thursday and Friday, and load the truck the following Monday and Tuesday. We have had a slight change in plans house-wise, but we are working on that. We are continuing forward and we will all be in California by February 24th. Very exciting!

I'm ready to be moved, though... Even though I don't have to pack (for which I am thankful), I still have a LOT to handle on both ends. I won't go into the details. Friends here are helping out with the kids, and even possibly some meals during this transition time. Bill is taking 1 day with each child this week to have a special time with them, and they are loving it! He gets a lot of Starbucks! We are going out with friends and saying goodbye, and trying to give the children the same chance. This is probably our hardest move since the children are much older and there are more of them, and we haven't had as much time mentally to prepare moving all of our stuff. That is it for me... I can do lots of things quickly if I don't have to move my stuff, but we are moving our stuff... and that is fine, but it is taking a bit of an adjustment for me.

Well, I better get back to moving... See you in California!

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moving...

06:16AM Jan 31, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

The last 6 weeks have been crazy...

Bill got 2 interviews with Apple before Christmas, and then we waited. After 4 weeks, we received the hard copy of the offer, and we accepted it. With only 3 weeks to work out all the details before his Feb 15 start date, we planned a last minute house finding trip last week.

Bill called his mom and gave her 25 minutes notice before she had to leave for the airport! We all knew this trip was coming, we just didn't know when we could do it, so she was surprised, but not shocked. Bill and I left later that same evening and we all passed each other on I-70. The kids had a great time and we were able to find a rental house in the Silicon Valley.

We got home around 9:30 Friday night, visited with Bill's mom for an hour, and then went to bed. We had to leave by 6:30 am to get Bill's mom back for her return flight to TX, and we had other plans in Denver that day, so we packed up the family and headed to DIA. We worked at our Parker house for a couple of hours getting it ready to go on the market tomorrow, and then spent the rest of the day with friends who just moved to Castle Rock. We made it home by 8 and immediately in bed for a good nights rest. We are exhausted, but glad we found a house, which is much more difficult than in other parts of the country due to our large family size.

In that area of California, a "mansion" is over 2500 sq ft... we have lived in 1800 sq ft for almost 7 years and we would like a bit more elbow room for our now teenagers. The house we found is 3100 sq ft and has a huge yard with lots of fruit trees, a very large deck, covered patios, pool and hot tub. It is almost 40 years old, but it is well kept. The house faces open space hills with walking paths and is close to lots of parks and a lake. The area is beautiful, and the family is excited for a new adventure.

Now we just have to sell 2 houses, before we can make the full transition to California...

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ski vacation, flickr, reading, houses, etc...

08:06PM Jan 09, 2010 in category General by Sarah Dudney

Happy New Year! I haven't updated my blog in a while. Things have been quite crazy around here the last few weeks with putting the house on the market again, and finding out that our renters are getting transferred, so we also are putting that house on the market as well.

We are trying to get out and ski, but since everyone is dragging their feet, we have to tell ourselves that we are taking a ski vacation! in our own backyard. Jacob and Isabel are doing well with skiing, which is so fun to be able to all go as a family.

We are trying to stay focused on school, but with the various life changes that may be happening soon, it has been hard. Today I painted the whole downstairs of our house and tried to trim stuff from each room to make the house show a little better... so people walk into our house and say, "ahhh, look how big this house is... I have to buy it!"

I got a crazy idea this evening to upload some pictures to flickr, and found I already had an account... since 2007! So, you can check some of the pictures out HERE.

Each day this week we looked forward to watching another segment of the HBO miniseries "John Adams". We loved it and it has inspired Bill and me to learn more about great leaders.

I started running on the treadmill this week and am going to try to read more this year. My first book is Your God is Too Safe, which is excellent so far and getting me focused again.

I also started selling books again, and l was surprised to see how quickly some of the items were going. It is very exciting to be selling things that we don't need. I have had a long list of things to put online to sell for quite a few months, but have been dragging my feet. On craigslist, we sold 1 motorcycle, 1 4-wheeler, and 1 MacBook... not bad. Only a few big items to go, and I'll have a ton of space in my garage!

That's it for my random update. I am excited about 2010 and what exciting adventures it brings with my family.

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merry christmas 2009!

05:57PM Dec 26, 2009 in category General by Sarah Dudney

An excited group of kids...

Anna was surprised to receive an iPod Nano... pink and engraved... She didn't ask for anything except puzzles for Christmas, so this was quite a surprise, and fun to watch her open.

We finally took the time to decorate Christmas cookies... I think they ate more than we actually got decorated, but they were yummy!

I got a new lens for my camera and got some opportunities to try it out.

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happy 6th birthday, isabel!

07:15PM Dec 22, 2009 in category General by Sarah Dudney

Isabel with her lemon bars for her birthday cake... yummy!

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dudney family 2009

07:13PM Dec 22, 2009 in category Family by Sarah Dudney

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ice skating

07:12PM Dec 22, 2009 in category General by Sarah Dudney

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skiing december 2009

07:11PM Dec 22, 2009 in category General by Sarah Dudney

There has not been much snow this year so far, so we have waited to get everyone out. We went out a couple of times last week and got Jacob and Isabel more sure on their feet. Isabel is skiing by herself well now, and Jacob is crazy, but needs a little more time with the tether. He doesn't want the straps, but with them, we can go down just about anything, so that is good for me.

We had planned to go on Wednesday morning before co-op and Andrew woke up with strep again! So we called the doctor, left him home and I took everyone else to the bunny hill to give the littles a couple of hours of practice. It was great to get on the mountain again, even if it was for a short time and on the platter.

Isaac with his new braces!

Ducks in a row...

"NO MORE TIES!

Skiing with the Asplins!

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