Well we've decided EXACTLY what we're doing. I've waited to say anything because every time I do something happens and we don't do it! Here's a rundown of the why -
- Fulltime RV'ing - a no go. This was a hard one to let go of because of all the fun opportunities it held for the whole family. But this was part of the reason why we said no - no privacy for us grown folks! Plus it's real hard for me to think about spending so much money on gas when there is so much out about how we are running out of affordable oil (well any oil actually!). And a side note I would probably go insane because of the inability to be a packrat in such a small space!
- One in a million land - a no go (I guess). <-- see that! I still can't let go of this one! I really, really want to be on my own land doing my own thing so that I can plan for years down the road not just the here and now. It's just too much for us to try to take on right now money-wise but still a possibility for in the future (this land or other land). We just have to come up with more money (more knowledge won't hurt either!).
- THE PLACE - a no go. Our offer was denied. Then we did the unimaginable and contacted our bank that is about 90 miles away from there for a loan. Initially they said "yes we cover that area" - to turn around AFTER we filled out a application to say "oh we don't cover that far away". Oh the place is still there but we can't get it. See look here.
- Staying here - NOT AN OPTION!! - I refuse to continue to pay for this place any longer! I've found out in the last few months that not only is there years of back taxes owed on the land (which I figured), but there are back taxes owed on the mobile home - like more than 10 years! - AND - this mobile home has NEVER been registered to this land! That means the county can reject it when it is registered or in the least require it to be brought to the county & city codes for mobile homes! That will be thousands of dollars! Not including the taxes and repairs already needed! I cannot afford to spend that amount of money on a piece of property where I will NEVER be happy and where there are no decent jobs for Darkside!
- Staying in IL - not an option. After the problems we've had here in IL with the courts over homeschooling and custody it was a gamble coming back here, I don't want to tempt fate! Plus, most areas of IL use a electric co. called IL Power or at least it used to be called that, but anyway there isn't any possible way for us to get an account through them. Somehow (well actually I know how but.....to long of a story) we have a $3000 bill that encompasses a few family members all in one. There is NO way I could come up with that kind of money to move into rental. Especially when there still wouldn't be good job prospects!
- MOVING TO QUAD CITIES, IA - not an option. My brother & sister-in-law wanted me to do this. Considering I can't even stand to talk to them (or my mother) on the phone for longer 3 months without a blow-up fight - I don't think moving up to where they would be in my face everyday is very smart. Plus, that's too close to IL for my liking. And they are up there struggling - that's like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire - right?
- Moving to Des Moines, IA - trying to stay away from this one! Some friends of ours want us to do this. We even went up last June to "see" how it was. With this trip we decided if we can avoid it we will - at almost any cost! LOTS of job prospects, but too many people and WAY to crowded for our tastes. Plus once you get there, get that good job, rent that apartment - you have no money left to save for that place in the country. Rent there for a nice apartment in a nice area for a family our size with pets (next to impossible to find this place - btw!) is going to be at least $700! That better be one good job if you hope to ever save any money! But this may be our only option depending on certain factors. We really would like to live closer to our friends though - we're bestest buds =) We miss them since they left in 2005.
- Some where else in IA - this is the one we chose! Read more below =)
So there it is. Now watch something happen! Oh well we're flexible =) Maybe we're meant to go to Des Moines? I keep dragging my feet on it but that don't mean it's not meant to be. Fate is a fickle mistress that way.
But on to our holidays.
Well I didn't send anything I had ready to my brother or sil - we got into it on the phone before Christmas, told ya I could stand them for long! LOL! I'll just keep adding to it for next year! Some of the things is from last year anyhow. Eventually I'm just going to have to send it regardless because I hate holding on to things. Might have to before we move!
Sent off 2 packages and a card to our friends in Des Moines. They got there in time and they loved everything! I had alot of fun at the expense of them - I LOVE GAG GIFTS! I had more than one in their boxes =)
Got the church presents and cards all done in time, everyone loved their gifts. They also gave us gifts too, which we loved!
Darkside's work party went very well and everyone loved their gifts. The peanut butter balls that I did for the food contribution went over really well with them too. I would of made Darkside do them but I owed him because last time pb balls were made here he did all the work.
The kids all were good enough this past year and Santa visited. We didn't have an extravagant Christmas in the form of gifts, but each gift they received they loved and really wanted. The main gift from us was mp3 players for the 3 older ones and a play laptop for #4. And we had #1 pass his old mp3 player down to #4 - so now everyone has portable music that doesn't cost me money continuously!
I spent a total of $250 on Christmas TOTAL! And $200 of that was on the kids. I am so happy that everything didn't go over board! Last year I think I spent about $450. Next year I plan to spend less - maybe like $100 total! Wouldn't that be great!
I'll post some pictures tomorrow - it's super late! I HAVE to get to bed!