Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Goodbye Scott...

A former friend and co-worker of mine, Scott Kehr was killed last night in a head on collision on Missour highway 152. I received the call this afternoon and was just shocked to hear the news- it was later confirmed on the news tonight, only to hear more of the devastating details that followed. After a birthday celebration with some friends he was on his way home when a 15 year old girl, without a drivers license (and apparently a conscience, will to live or the understanding of the effects, finality or severity of her actions) was out joy riding with two friends in an SUV with some cocaine, traveling at high rates of speed against the oncoming traffic. Scott was killed instantly along with one of her passengers. While charges are pending a complete investigation, it just really reminds of how short life can be and how some of the stupidest decisions we can make can drastically affect our lives now and in every way and shape ever imaginable. While considering myself a friend of Scott's and knowing him and his winning personality, he never held a grudge and could never harm a fly... I just don't know still what to say or how to react, this was such an unexpected and tragic event of two lives taken way too short and way too soon. It's not fair and it's not right and I just wanted to say, I too knew Scott and enjoyed his friendship and although we haven't been close- but boy did he help me keep my sanity and saved my butt a few times at Best Buy- sharing a joke and a smoke, covering lunches and keeping me up with the latest news and technology- making it fun.... and I hadn't seen him for months- since catching up briefly when I last saw him running around, directing "traffic" and keeping things running smooth at Green Lantern, he still left a lasting impression and will be greatly missed.

Holiday Preparations....

From pigtails for daddy's birthday to finally getting to sit on Santa's lap.... this month has just FLOWN by! I think the Miracle On Main Street played a big part with that, but it was sooooo worth it! Honestly, how could anyone resist the cutest little shepherd up there?! And tomorrow night he'll preform once again in his school's Christmas program as well! So with a night off tonight, we took advantage of the weeknight and the good weather and headed downtown to visit the best Santa in town at Crown Center! Uncle Jay even went! We met Sarah and Christopher there as well- it's sort of become a family tradition! And thankfully Sarah and Anthony could fill each other's sibling absense on Santa's lap as well! And after a small melt down from Bella because we couldn't stay and play any longer and then after realizing that by not sitting on Santa's lap he wouldn't know what she wanted for Christmas, I had to promise to help her write a letter to him that we could send to the North Pole right away!! That seemed to help make everything better, plus of course the promise of food.... :O)

More Extreme Lights

9 Highway- on the South side of St. Therese

I can't believe they didn't have their lights on when we came by..... 109th Court- Tiffany Lakes

Although this is not "Extreme," sometimes it's the simple things that really get the attention. This is my son's favorite scene that he asks to drive by everyday- "Baby Jesus"

68th Street & Bell

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like CHRISTmas!

2007 Ice Storm

291 Hwy East of 169 Hwy

Waukomis Drive- South of 68th Street (plus 3 close-ups)

Ok, so did I pick a great time to decide to wanna do a Holiday Lights Tour or what?! I swear, as soon as I sent my emails and made my post, we entered into a winter twilight zone?! The ice storm fortunately wasn't nearly as bad as they had predicted was actually quite a beautiful scene. However, it did make for quite the catastophic event just North of us in St. Joseph, MO and shut things down for a while here too. At least we never lost power here (at my house) and we kept busy with plenty to do around the house too! We made our gifts for the grandparents and teachers (at least we started them) and some cookie dough and crafts too..... Hopefully this weekend we can even finish what we started!?

Anyway.... we finally made it out of the house yesterday, for Anthony's Christmas Musical dress rehearsal and tried to get some pictures of a couple of Extreme Lights ~only to find out that those pictures are a little harder to take than one might think!! Of course, a few obstacles like busy roads and kids in the backseat of the minivan always help! And the snow coming down and wanting to get in the shot was a little distracting too for some reason! But still, you get the jist....

Enjoy and keep the stories and locations coming!! I will do my best to get out and about and shoot what I can.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Northlands Extreme Tacky Lights Tour

After watching HGTV all day yesterday and putting up my Christmas decorations at last... I saw an episode about Richmond, VA's Tacky Lights Tour. It was great. They actual go out and tour those homes that go to the extremes- no holds barred! They interview the homeowners and have minimums that must be met- I think they said the first year was something like 10,000 lights, but now it's more like 30,000 just to be considered! It was crazy to hear some of the stories and the extra breaker boxes and re-wiring people have done to accommodate 100's of thousands of lights and animated Christmas ornaments and blow-ups and everything else you can imagine! They start their designing and planning and building in April for lights they put up sometime in the fall. It's just amazing! Go to to see what it's all about!

I'd just love to get something like this started here in the Kansas City Northland area. I know I have always enjoyed driving around and looking at the lights and now especially in sharing this time with the kids and to see the wonder in their eyes as they see them too. But how much more fun would it be to actually track these amazing homes that really go all out and to route it and show them off?! I think it'll be great and I can't wait to see all the entries come pouring in! So, send me your stories, your interviews, your pictures and addresses too so that we can create our own Northland Extreme Lights Tour....... it'll be fun!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Make Your Home Your Castle

You don't have to spend a fortune to make your living space a showplace. With a little creativity and a willingness to do things yourself, you can stretch your decorating dollar and get the "look" you want.
Now is a great time to spruce up your interior, when the cold weather encourages all of us to spend more time inside. Take advantage of these great decorating tips, just in time for the holidays!

And as my way of saying "Thanks" and with my partnership with Lowe's Realtor program I can save you 5% on your gift card purchases, so email me now and let me know what you need!

Turkey Trivia Answers and Story

I know, it's just killing you that I haven't posted the answers yet.... I thought for sure you'd already looked them all up! :O) But just in case you haven't, here goes:
1) d
2) c
3) d
4) a-yes
5) a- yes they can, but technically the answer is c.
6) b
7) d
8) a
9) c
10) b
11) d
12) a
13) b
14) c
15) c

Our Mad Lib story:

The Lost Marching Band Member
It's Thanksgiving day and a lost guitar player is making his way through the Thanksgiving Parade Route in Kansas City. The parade chaos is making it difficult for him to reunite with the Cap'n Crunch Marching Band. The musician has to make his way through the gander, celery stalks, and chairs. He giggles for miles and wonders if he will ever find his yo-yo. After walking on his arms for 103 minutes, the band member spots the black uniforms and the pink hats that his band wears. "Goo goo gaa gaa," he exclaims gleefully. Soon the guitar player is back with his band. The band begins to play The Lullaby Song and merrily marches along.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I just can't believe the princess is FOUR!!! What a great birthday celebration we had- with presents throughout the day and a Posh Princess Pedicure party! The girls got to soak their feet with a massage and lotion then the moms topped them off with some pretty sparkley polish and fuzzy flip-flops to fit the theme.

And who would have thought we'd have Thanksgiving here less than a week later?! What fun the kids had with our Thankful Tree and making turkeys too. We had a Thanksgiving Mad Lib story just for fun and some trivia I thought I'd share too. Good luck and enjoy!
Let's Talk Turkey:
Why are turkeys called turkeys?
a. It's fun to say
b. From the Indian word 'tuka' meaning 'peacock'
c. When turkeys are scared they say "turk, turk, turk"
d. Both b & c
Which president set aside the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving?
a. George Washington
b. Abraham Lincoln
c. Franklin D. Roosevelt
d. Ben Franklin
How many turkeys are cooked on Thanksgiving?
a. 2.7 billion pounds
b. 4.4 billion pounds
c. 45 million turkeys
d. Both a & c
Do all turkeys gobble? Yes/No
Can turkeys fly?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Domestic turkeys cannot fly, wild turkeys can fly short distances
d. Domestic turkeys can fly short distances, wild turkeys cannot fly
What is the name of that thing that hangs off the turkey's neck?
a. Gobble
b. Wattle
c. Throttle
d. Adams Apple
What are giblets?
a. Something mean parents make their children eat
b. Part of the turkeys stomach
c. The thing that hangs off the turkey's neck
d. Edible internal parts including the gizzard, heart, liver and neck
The History of Thanksgiving:
Who was the Greek Goddess of corn?
a. Demeter
b. Artemis
c. Zeus
d. Hera
Where do we get our word for cereal?
a. From Cap'n Crunch
b. From the real sea
c. From the Greek Goddess Ceres
d. From the origin of wheat
What harvest festival do Jewish families celebrate?
a. Thanksgiving
b. Succoth
c. Nothing
d. Borah
Sail With the Pilgrims:
What was the Mayflower used for before the Pilgrims sailed on it?
a. Freeing slaves
b. Transporting tobacco
c. Making moonshine
d. Hauling lumber, tar and fish
Who was the captain of the Mayflower?
a. Christopher Jones
b. Christopher Columbus
c. Timothy Jones
d. Ben Franklin
What were common colors used in women's clothing?
a. Black and white
b. Reds, greens, browns, violets, blues and grays
c. Pink, lavender and orange
d. Rainbow colors
What are breeches?
a. A food similar to leeches
b. A green vegetable
c. Mens pants
d. The thing that hangs off a turkey's neck
At what age did boys and girls start wearing clothes like their parents?
a. Around 15
b. 18-21
c. 7-10
d. Always

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Ok, ok, so it's been over 2 WEEKS since my last update! I know! I just can't believe how fast time flies!!! I swear it seems like just yesterday was Halloween and next week is already Thanksgiving! And to think that I JUST put the Halloween decorations up tonight! And only because I'm trying to get the house somewhat put back together and ready for Bella's birthday on Saturday! To think that my precious baby girl is already going to be FOUR! What am I thinking, four?! It's more like six.... somedays she just really acts so much older and more mature- she really does think she's equal to Anthony- you know, anything he can do... of course, she can do too!! But anyway... we're totally planning a girly, girl party for Saturday- a Princess "Paint-Polish" Party as she refers to it, or pedicure party as it's better known for! One of her most favorite things!! It'll be great fun. Till then, I need to get the goody bags done- and the frilly flip flops I'm making for them finished. :O) I can't wait to post pictures when all is said and done.

So, why in the world has it been so long since my last post? Well, starting November 1st, I enrolled in a Top Producer- highly effective, productive and accountable Real Estate Seminar Course. It's just crazy!! It's great fun and I'm learning a lot, but more importantly, I'm getting out there and getting it done. Or at least trying to! I'm just trying not to get too stressed out about getting the results of his requirements, as those are not necessarily the results I'm in it for. It's hard to explain, but..... Anyway, it is stressing me out just a little and keeping me up late and working harder. But in this process and in watching other Top Producer Motivational Speakers, some other great things have transformed.... From another Realtor, she spoke of one of her motivations that she carries with her throughout the year in "One Word." For example, her word this year is "Ask," as in to ask just one more question, to ask for the sale just one more time, to ask it in a different way.... she also said that every year, she asks her entire family to participate and to choose one word to impact them for the upcoming year- ie: her mother's word is "Swim," as she is going to take some swim classes to meet people and to get back into the swim of things; her five year old neice chose "Cartwheel" to be her word... WOW. I was so inspired by this that after thinking about it for a while I decided to try this in my family on a smaller scale- to implement it for the remainder of the year- my word being "NOW." No more excuses, no more procrastinating, just do it and do it NOW! As I was tucking the kids in the other night, I talked to them a little about it and tried to explain it in a way that a 3 year old and a five year old could understand. I did this one on one as I tucked them in so they couldn't influence each other and try to "steal" the others word- don't ask, they would. Anyway, Anthony was torn for a while, between either "Savior" or "Dog," he thought he needed a back up as he was pretty certain that Savior wouldn't work since it was really two words- Save Your. But don't let that completely let your heart melt till you hear what Miss Bella chose so adamently and decisively as soon as I explained it to her- she said, "My word is 'Parents,' cuz Parents is love." And they've stuck with it since. Somethings just make your heart smile.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Panoramic Sign Riders

I totally hate to take anything away from my Halloween party update, but some posts are just too few and too far between. So check this out!! As most of you know, I also have my own Virtual Tour company I do on the side?! And now I can incorporate these new panoramic scene sign riders WITH their own website!! I'm really excited about this and the potential it has to provide! Let me know what you think and if your house is listed.... tell your agent you need one too!!

Our Halloween Bash!

They say that a picture's worth a thousand words... in this case the pictures only begin to tell the story! We absolutely could not have asked for a better day for our party! And the turn out was astronomical! There were times early on when I had to calm my husband down of course, as everyone did not promptly arrive right at 4pm! "Hello," I said, "the parking sucks! They have to walk 1/2 a mile to get here and then all the way up our driveway! Give them a minute to get here and then catch their breath!" And they just kept coming and coming! It was great! As we reflect, Anthony keeps telling us still that his favorite part of the day was diving for apples! And that's no joke, he was literally diving for apples- soaked to the bone and had an absolute blast!! I think he was diving for everyone elses apples too! And people keep asking how many people showed up? But I really have no idea! From the costume contest line up picture, I think I counted about 42 kids, but many were hidden behind others and cut off at the ends and some, like my daughter, were not even up there! Plus we had the parents and families and everyone else too! The kids decorated their treat bags and set out into the woods to trick or treat from the parents who were strategically placed throughout the trails for candy galore! Then we made it up to the tree house for the bonfire and s'mores and a skeleton scavenger hunt, in which we're still somehow missing some bones?! And the fireman's pole was a huge hit!! I can't believe how they lined up to go down it again and again! Go Tony!! (Aka: Captain Jack!) And if I do say so myself, what a hot pirate he was!! Ooo la la! :O)
Thanks again to everyone who came and shared in the fun! We look forward to doing it all over again next year! But first, we'll have to start planning again for our 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt!! At last check, I think we had nearly 5000 plastic eggs to fill and hide.........

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Halloween Madness...

Ok, so in case I didn't mention it before and for those of you who are wondering where I've been lately.... well, I've been up to my eyeballs in Halloween Madness! What were we thinking?! Having this crazy party!? Seriously, we're pretty pumped and excited about it, but even more so, it looks like a Halloween party store blew up in my house! I am finally starting to get some of the things off the counters, but now they're just in piles all over the floor! And when I told my husband this week that I would be sitting at Open Houses both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, I thought he was just going to die! Who would have thought he'd be rained in the past two weekends?! Fortunately, mom and dad agreed to take the kids for the day and overnight too! So that should help!! Now, Tony can try to get some yard work and clean up done too! And we can all cross our fingers for good weather next Saturday too! But, just in case, that means we really need to clean out the garage and basement anyway!

Ok, so what else is there really? Well, I've been "making" signs to hang in the woods, around the house, just anywhere we decide to hang them really... and working on what we're going to do for ghosts in the trees, maybe even a pinata?! I bought those punch ball balloons and thought we'd just put some white sheets over them and hang them from the trees, but of course the kids thought it'd be more fun to blow them all up and start punching them- and within a day or two, they've lost their air- so when do I hang them, really? The other thought is to use one or two to paper mache and turn into a ghost pinata- but don't hold your breath on that one as I haven't started that project yet! And I still have to seriously deep clean the house, at least dust and scrub the toilets for Pete's Sake! It probably wouldn't hurt to vacuum too.... But first you have to pick up enough to find the things to dust and the floor to vacuum, and then hope that it will stay picked up at least until the party. So many things to do, but the timing has to be just right or else I'll have to do it all over again and that would be just plain silly!! Oh, I did I mention the 9 pumpkins I'm going to carve?! I'm excited about that, but again.... if we do it too early, they'll rot and won't be any good by Saturday.... it's all in the timing! And who says we can't participate in the carving contest?! Bummer!!

As it stands right now, I think we're around 50 positive RSVP's!! Who would have thought?! Now I've got to figure out where to put everyone, schedule the events, organize the partylines- yes, Pampered Chef, Premeir Designs and Simply Fun will all be represented and making deals, and figure out what we need and how to display it all!! And don't forget the food!! I've asked everyone to bring a side dish- we're going to serve brats and dogs and I've started stocking up on some drinks.... we even made our own fun water bottle labels for the event! And of course to promote my Real Estate habit!! Do you think 72 bottles of water on the wall will be enough?!

I hope that gives you just a glimpse into my reality for the moment and will try to keep you updated as the week goes by.... sorry no pictures today as I'm at an Open House and forgot my camera too. Fortunately, you can see- there's always something to do!! :O)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

October- A Month of Parties!

As we begin October, I'm compelled to think that this is going to be one heck of a month of parties!! The first Saturday alone, was booked with three main events! We started our day in Holt, MO at Jed's Pumpkin Patch, where we met up with a parenting group from church, then mid-afternoon we trecked across town where we celebrated Gunner's THIRD birthday in true Superhero style-with spider sandwiches and spinach dip too! We finally ended our day burning off any excess energy possible, running wild at the newest (and only) indoor blow-up playground in the Northland, to help celebrate Michael's SIXTH birthday! We had an absolute blast!! I can't believe we made it through the day without any serious meltdowns or naps!! ~Sunday, on the other hand, was not so smooth....

We are still looking forward to more great fun as the kids will both have field trips to other pumpkin patches and farms later this month and we have more birthdays filling our calendar everyday!! Not to mention our Great Halloween Bash that we are planning ourselves! Why not celebrate with some fright free fun right in our own backyard! We've been breaking out the Halloween decorations and making crafts for the past two weeks! And I have a feeling that this may be even bigger than our Easter Egg Hunt last spring... We're planning of course, your typical Halloween party ploys with a costume contest, pumkin judging, apple bobbing, a guess how many game, s'mores and much, much more! The kids will decorate their own treat bags then while the parents go "hide" in the woods as they come to find us and "trick-or-treat" as we say "boo!" Stay tuned for more as the days wind down.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Backyard Visitors

These pictures aren't the greatest as they were taken through the backdoor and at a distance, but I just had to "shoot" this buck the other day when he stopped by for a visit!

Of course, the doe momma wasn't quite as pleased with his visit! She put him in his place and made sure he kept his distance so she and he two fawns could come and chow down on the corn we put out! It's so nice to share our dinners together as we can see them from our table!!

This cute little guy came by yesterday. With all the rain we had, Tony thinks maybe his den got flooded. Poor guy was out in broad daylight, very unusual for our nocturnal little friends. He was scavengering right along, until I just had to grab the camera and go right out- that startled him a little so he scurried right up the tree! Boy those guys sure can climb!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Family Weekend!

Anthony swimming, diving and belly flopping at the Hotel- WITHOUT a lifejacket! Running with the big cousins and having a BLAST!! My how he's (they've) grown....

Bella's not one to be afraid of the water by any means either! And such the little negotiater.... you should have seen her kissing on her daddy to throw her "just one more time, or maybe just ten?!" And for the first time ever- swimming alone with her lifejacket, letting it hold her up without being attached to mommy!! I didn't even know that was possible!!

Over the summer, at "cousin camp" Anthony mastered the tree climbing, so of course he just couldn't resist showing off just a little bit!!

Tree hugger alert! Although she can't quite get up there all herself, she sure does love being up in the trees with her big brother!! I'm sure she's thinking, "anything he can do, I can do better..." or at least cuter!

I was trying for Five Little Monkeys in a Tree....... sometimes, you just take what you can get. :O)

Everybody really enjoyed a day at Adventureland! Here we have 5 Little Frogs saying "Ribbit!"

Anthony and Jonah got in this Big Truck, while Anthony motioned to his sister to get in back! She drove the Big Blue Truck right on their tail the whole time!

Aunt Tam and Uncle Jim enjoyed a Ferris Wheel ride with me and Bella. A nice relaxing ride, till the mom in Tam slipped out when Bella was trying to get up and look over the side!

Olivia and Bella enjoy another fun ride together!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Little OCD...

From "House Notes"
September 2006
Volume 2
Issue 9
A Newsletter from your friends at The Inspection Company

"You Can Avoid Over Thinking, Brooding"
Humans are the only species prone to over thinking, say psychologists at Ohio State University. They can fall into "mental," and that's not harmless. New studies show taht those who ruminate have higher blood pressure and heart rates, less effective immune systems, higher stress levels, and more depression.
Over thinking os often caused by trying to solve problems or get over life's traumas say researchers at Temple University. Sometimes, however, the best answer to a problem has not become available or clear. Constantly thinking about it does no good.

*A better idea is to settle on a time when you will consider it again and decide not to think about it until then.
*Putting your true feelings about a situation down on paper helps to determine what your feelings are, which can be very helpful.
* Avoid discussing the problem over and over with friends who will sympathize with you. Talk to people who can suggest solutions.
* Meditate or pray fequently when you are besieged by overthinking.
* Work on trying to understand adn forgive someone who wronged you.
* Consider whether your expectations in this situation were unrealistic and whether they still are.

Doctors at Purdue University say "worrywarts" don't let things roll off their backs. They cope poorly and may be anxious or depressed.

And now for my editiorial...

It was just too appropriate when I first read this article on Tuesday and nothing seemed to be going my way that day... it just seemed that I was moving in "reverse..." You know one of those days when you're running just slightly late, but seem to be moving along anyway and then you realize that you've got to back track for one reason or another then you get a phone call and have to switch gears and reroute, only to find out later - that there really was an easier way- a way around what you did only to receive one of those phone calls of critisism that is not exactly taken constructively, but more so as a stab at the heart personally attacking everything you thought you knew.... that was my day.... it was just too fitting. I took the advice, talked to a friend with solutions (not exactly the solutions I wanted to hear, but at least options....), I decided not to focus on it and instead to take a brain break and to surf the web and de-think! It really worked! Of course a little one on one with God is always a winner and lately I find my son's new favorite song stuck in my head day in and day out serving as a constant reminder from Jeremiah 29:11, "I know, I know, I know, I know the plans God has for you, declared the Lord...plans to prosper, not to harm you, for hope and a future!" I know that may not be exactly as quoted from the bible, but that's just as it is imbedded in my brain after hearing my 5 1/2 year old sing it over and over again with a happy heart! And people ask me all the time if I ever have any second thoughts, concerns or regrets about sending him to this school, versus public?! NOT A ONE! We absolutely love it and couldn't imagine anything better at this time! And still in line with my story above and in a round about way.... When visiting in Iowa for family weekend this weekend, his Aunt Tam was asking him what he was learning in Kindergarten and he was telling her all about Joseph and his colorful coat, his 11 brothers and the story that follows..... it was amazing how much he could recall, relate and retell- I'm thinking Tam's familiarity with the story and knowing the right questions to ask really helped too. It lead to his personal sermon today from his Uncle, Pastor Jim and stemming from that bible story and how Joseph forgave his brothers and God blessed him for his forgiveness. Again, instead of brooding over our issues and those who have wronged us, instead forgiving them and allowing God to bless us can not only take a tremendous weight off your shoulders, but can provide an internal peace that we desire.

Thanks for listening to my 2c.

Stay tuned for more stories and pictures from the weekend, coming soon....

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Day Weekend

Even Bella found a slide to enjoy! Thought you might enjoy some pictures from the infamous "Uncle Jay's Lake" aka: The Lake of the Ozarks! Aside from a dog bite (daddy) and an upset stomach (mommy) and a boat breaking down in the middle of the lake (uncle jay and aunt/miss cathy) the kids had a great time!

Monday, August 27, 2007

News You Can Use... Foreclosure Crisis

From the Kansas City Parade, August 19, 2007

As the foreclosure rates peak to what seems to be an all time high, they are trending 30% greater than last year alone- with an expectation of 1,000,000 homes facing foreclosure. Tips to help avoid foreclosure and scams:

1. Contact your lender as soon as you have a problem paying. Most of them want to help you keep your house!

2. Respond to all mail from your lender. Early letters often include options that let you avoid foreclosure, while later ones are legal notices.

3. Know your rights. Read your loan papers and find out about foreclosure laws in your state.

4. Prioritize your spending. After health care, keeping your home should be your top priority, over and above all other debts.

5. Avoid foreclosure-prevention companies and scams. You don't have to pay fees for foreclosure help. Don't sign a document from somehone claiming to stop a foreclosure. In a scam called "equity skimming," a "buyer" offers to repay the mortgage if you sign over your deed and move out. You're left with the debt and no house.

6. Get help from HUD. The Department of Housing and Urban Development offers free or low-cost counselors (call 1-800-569-4287 to find one) and informaiton on avoiding foreclosure at

Monday, August 20, 2007

Beyond Real Estate

It's so funny how every transaction is completely different in Real Estate and how each one poses a new challenge or interesting story....from challenges with credit, the un-cooperative lenders, overcoming inspections and negotiations, recently- a lot of dealings with short sales and foreclosures and the hurdles with the banks.... but who would have thought that in this "buyers market," I'd have the issue of presenting THREE offers to my sellers after being on the market for FIVE days and do this while four kids are there all under the age of 6 and running around like crazy maniacs; we'd have to deal with the excitement of fire engines and rescue heroes right next door?! Yes, in the midst of everything and after talk of the smell of what we thought were fireworks going on in the neighborhood, the next door neighbor had called the fire department after thinking his furnace was on fire.... fortunately everyone was able to get out of the house ok and the pets were safe, it turned out to be a small, contained electrical fire that started at the meter and was found in between two studs within the master bath. The kids were intrigued and watched closely as the firemen set to work with axes, chainsaws, fans and firehoses. Needless to say, it turned out to be a late night, so we continued discussing the offers on Saturday. Now as we get this contract wrapped up, it will be time to start negotiations on a new home!!