Monday, August 31, 2009

Trying to do the right thing

Last year when we moved to TX, we decided that we would just be a one vehicle family until we saved enough money to buy a 2nd vehicle. We thought that was more in line with "living within our means" and we really didn't want to have 2 car payments. So we waited. Man, it was killing me! We had sold Brian's car before leaving NY thinking it would be easier with a new baby to all be in one vehicle while traveling across the country. I thought it was a good idea until I was going crazy not having my own vehicle. But I really wanted to wait and save the money, so I tried really hard to not complain too often. Thank goodness for friends who would haul us to the park and such places in the mean time! ("Ya'll" know who you are :)...)

So in the spring we decided to start looking. We found an older Tahoe that Brian really liked and I told him to buy it. But he waited too long hoping the guy would drop the price. So we started looking on eBay. We knew others who had bought vehicles there and had a good experience. We found a Tahoe in Houston that looked great so we bought it. And here the story really begins...

The guy told us he could get it shipped to Amarillo for $225. It ended up costing $100 more and he said he would give us the extra $100. Never happened. The Tahoe finally showed up 3 weeks late. Now you have to know that the description said "new brakes, new transmission, new shocks, new fuel pump, A/C works great and all power options". Here comes the fun part. Brian couldn't get the Tahoe out of 1st gear and then he about ran through our garage trying to stop. When we tried to get it to the shop to be looked at, it wouldn't start. It was that "new" fuel pump. It had to be replaced just to have the transmission looked at. We had to have a brand new transmission put in (luckily eBay covered this). When we had the shocks looked at, they were the ORIGINAL shocks--they needed replaced as well as the brakes. The A/C never worked. While the Tahoe was at the AAMCO getting fixed, it was broken into and the stereo (the only nice thing that worked) was stolen. Are you laughing yet? Brian and I just keep laughing. So we thought we were good, but needed to get an alignment before we left. I was just waiting for the guy to call and say there was something else wrong. Sure enough, he called and said we had to have something else done before the alignment could be done. So instead of $70 it cost $370! Oh, did you remember that Brian at this point has NO job? What can we do but laugh? So FINALLY we have everything set and we head out for UT. Brian calls me while we are driving through Green River, WY and tells me to turn around and come find him, the Tahoe has broken down. Yes, I am serious. It is either the transmission or the transfer case (whatever that is). So we were on the side of I-80 for almost 2 hours getting things arranged and situated so we could get to UT. I asked Brian what we were to learn from this Tahoe experience and he said he had learned to jump at a good thing when he sees it and not to wait anymore. So here we are in UT, "jumping", hoping and praying this whole business thing works out. In spite of all the trouble we have experienced over the past couple of months we continue to feel so blessed. What an amazing blessing that the Tahoe broke down close enough to UT that Brian's awesome brothers could (and were so willing) help us get the Tahoe to UT. Oh, I forgot! When they got to the Tahoe, it had a flat tire too! Too much! Just gotta laugh! We have amazing families and super friends who are so supportive and helpful. So we just laugh a lot, pray more, and feel grateful every day. Just be careful if you ever buy a vehicle on eBay--it could cost WAY more that you think! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

News at our house

So we are moving. We are headed back to Utah after being away for 7 years. It is hard to believe, I honestly never thought it would happen, but here we go! I will try to be brief in my explanation of what has happened over the past few months...

Most of you know that when Brian took this most recent job, he worked in CA while we lived in NY for almost 9 months. Then we were in UT last summer and moved to TX in August last year. Even then, Brian was still doing the long distance commute until the plant here was built. In just under 2 years, he helped fix the plant in CA (they were so in love with him then), and got the plant here up and running and accomplished their 5 year plan is less than one. I would say pretty impressive. But Brian has been miserable for the past few months. His idea of management/leadership is far different than what he was experiencing from the top. When we left for UT in July, we really weren't sure what was going to happen when we got back. Brian had a meeting with his boss and they mutually agreed that it wasn't going to work out any longer. So Brian's last day of work was Aug. 14. They were good to us and gave us a decent severance package which makes things a little easier while we figure things out. We were really trying to make choices that would be best for our family and give Brian a chance to do some of the things he has wanted to do for years. We knew it was time to be closer to family, but weren't sure how it would all work out. A few weeks ago, Brian's brother called with a plan. He has wanted to open his own trailer/welding shop for some time, but lacked the business knowledge to do it. He is truly one of the best at what he does, but needed some help with the business. So Brian and I really thought and prayed about it. Honestly, it sounds like the craziest thing we could do, to just pack up and move like we are, but we feel great about it. Brian and Rick are such hard workers and if anyone can make this fly, they can. So for now, we are going to move into Brian's mom's house for at least a year. Kathi has been so supportive of her boys and is so willing to do anything to help make it happen. We are keeping all our options open at this point, but we are headed to South Jordan for now to help Rick get the shop up and going. I am so excited for Brian and just hope we can sell our house REALLY fast! :) So that is the "low down" on the Owens family. We are leaving in less than 2 weeks so the kids can start school out there. It is going to be a crazy few weeks, but we really are so excited about it all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Dad...

My Dad's birthday was July 27th. On that day we were driving to Fish Lake where for the next week we had no access to computers (it was great). Then we got back to Amarillo and this past week I have done so much laundry I felt punished for something and just trying to deal with the craziness that has happened since we got home (a post for another day). Basically, I am trying to make excuses for why I haven't posted my birthday post for my Dad. But now, 2 weeks after the fact, I am getting it done.

1. My dad is probably the most honest person I know. He ALWAYS tells the truth, does what is right, and is such a good example of what being honest means.

2. My dad is so smart. I am amazed at the information he has stored in his head. He has the amazing ability to remember SO much. He can remember years, dates, names, interesting facts, all kinds of stuff that comes in especially handy when playing Trivial Pursuit on his team.

3. I really think my Dad gives everyone a fair shake. He seems to be able to look past the exterior, whatever that may look like, and make decisions about people based on who they really are.

4. My Dad can fix anything if he has duct tape and baling twine. This may sound silly, but SERIOUSLY he has repaired so many things (including my high school car) with these things. I like to tease him about it, but I am still impressed whenever he can make things work with just those 2 things.

5. I love my Dad for deciding to move us to Petersboro. I know he and my mom sacrificed a lot and went through a lot to make it happen. But I really LOVE the farm and I loved growing up there. I know it will never mean to me what I believe it means to my Dad, but that farm is such a special place. There is just a feeling there and the view of the valley is unbeatable.

6. My Dad is reasonable. I know I pushed the line quite a few times while I was growing up. I asked questions and did things that I am sure caused at least 1/2 of my mom's grey hair. Often, she would pass me to my Dad when she wasn't quite sure how to answer my questions. My Dad would always listen (however absurd I might have been) and give me answers that made sense. Perfect example: At some point during high school I asked my Dad if he thought it would be okay for me to swear since he did. His answer was, "Go ahead if it makes you feel better." Being me, I wanted him to tell me no so I could in some twisted way feel justified in my bad behavior. But instead, he made me look at the situation logically. By the way, I don't swear. Okay, maybe occasionally when there just isn't a better word! :)

7. My Dad would do anything for me. I know that.

8. My Dad is a better version of Jack Fryer than he was 20 years ago. My Dad will admit when he is wrong and then he really works to do something about changing. I think this is an amazing thing. So often we are complacent in our effort to "become", but my Dad constantly surprises me with his efforts. I really admire this.

9. He is meticulous. My Dad likes perfect lines when he mows the grass, he likes nice lines when he vacuums (yes, he does vacuum), everything is always very neat when my Dad does it. He says he is probably a little OCD, but who of us isn't about one thing or another? Because of this, I think my Dad always looks very nice. His clothes are always pressed and he ALWAYS smells good. So I think his version of OCD is a good thing.

10. My Dad is a great dad. He always made sure to tell us he loved us and still does. Growing up, he would make sure we knew he was proud of us. In a world where fatherhood is diminished, my Dad exemplified that role. He is not perfect, none of us are. I find that out with every situation that faces me as a parent. But I still know I was a very blessed child and still feel blessed to have the parents I have.

I love you, Dad.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Got it!

I got the pictures to finally load--I updated the slide show over on the right. There are lots of scenery picture as well as lots of the kids. Again, we had a great trip.

Home again, home again, jigity jig

We are back in Amarillo. It is great to be home, although I am not ready to face reality tomorrow. Already, there are dr appts, school registrations, and vehicles to deal with. PLUS 5 kids who have had a month of continuous party and believe they should continue to be entertained. What a sad day tomorrow will be when it is filled with house cleaning, laundry and other miscellaneous items. We had a great month, we were able to do and see so much. The kids loved spending time with grandparents, aunt and uncles, and cousins. Utah and Idaho were beautiful! I will post some pictures later, I am having technical difficulties...