Summer's End

Ok so I never did have time to bake the blueberry muffins for the camping trip. It was a non-issue. We had a blast! Ezrah brought his friend Anthony. Check out our pics!
On the way up to Poudre Canyon! Yes, Jack is there, he is hiding.

Indigo and Madi roastin marshmallows!

Ezrah and Jack roastin marshmallows!

You can see a good glimpse of our campsite and there's Dan, stoking the fire

Here's the new tent we got this year! Check out the hanging peace lights!

Ezrah's helping out with dinner preparations! Oh we ate gourmet meals! It's so fun to really good awesome meals out in the wilderness.

Indigo and Madi looking cute

Mama Leigh making pancakes on a chilly rainy morning!

The kids eating pancakes in the rain! The rain let up shortly

Madi Belle posing for a picture!

This is the beautiful Poudre River. Our campsite was about 20 steps from here.

We heard the river all night and it was beautiful. I love Colorado! The best part about living in Fort Collins is that the Poudre Canyon is only about 1 hour from where we live.

My Madelyn posing again! She's wearing my headband and I must say she looks so cute in it!

This is before we left and Indigo and Indigo is waving goodbye to the Poudre River.

Beautiful Madi Belle

I can't tell which is more beautiful? Madelyn or the River?

Jack loooves the Poudre River and jumped off one of the big rocks so many times!

So there you have it! Our last camping trip this summer. It's now time to go get our school supplies, school clothes, haircuts (maybe), move to our new house in a few weeks. Plan Madelyn's birthday party, sign Jack up for football, sign Madi back up for ballet classes, rent Ezrah a new trombone for band, and potty train Indigo. Back to the grind as we say! It's not really a grind though. I love taking care of my big family. I love shopping, so school supplies and school clothes aren't a chore. Potty training Indigo isn't a big deal because after years of experience I realized that it's silly to start potty training until they are ready. And then when they are ready (which she finally is), it's a breeze. She hasn't wet her undies once in a week and it's the first time she's ever worn them! I am looking forward to them starting school. It's so nice and quiet in the day when they're gone. It's easier to keep the house clean and did I mention how quiet it is? I can actually get together with my friends for coffee in the day. Oh and I don't have to try to keep them busy when they constantly say, "Mom, I'm bored" every few minutes. Soon they'll be complaining about too much homework. 


Last Camping Trip of the Summer

In about 3 hours, well in reality 4 hours, the family is off to our last camping trip in the Poudre Canyon. I have an awful sprained ankle. But I'm Mommy, so I will prevail! Two nights ago, I managed to step into a whole in our backyard and fall while I was calling Dan. In the next to minutes, Princess had my phone in her hand because it flew out of my hand and the phone was in the kiddie pool. So no phone yesterday as it was in a bowl of rice drying out.
The next 3 hours will consist of me making blueberry muffins, packing food, marinating chicken breasts and packing everyone else's stuff. I left this stuff until this morning because I was so darn tired last night. Sure, i'll wake up early enough and do it all. But here I am in the garage, drinking coffee and still tired. Someone once told me that to be a mom is to be tired. This pessimistic view is starting to ring true.
It's just a one-nighter but God-forbid I forget anything important. At east we don't have to look t houses. Even the one house that we are moving into, I STILL haven't even seen yet. Oh well, it is what it is.
Time to bake the muffins!


Renting House Sight Unseen

So we finally have a house and it's over! Which one did we end up with? Well, it was a crazy weekend with the house stuff was super stressing. So on Saturday, we still didn't know if for sure if the Columbia house was ours to rent. I still didn't know if I even wanted that house because I have not been inside to see it! Dan didn't care and feels that we know it has the square footage and is in such a great location, that we cold make it work. I kind of feel that way too, but it's still hard to commit to a house you haven't even seen! Especially when you are about to sign a lease on a beautiful 5-bedroom house.
Yes, we had an appointment to sign the lease on the Village lane house at 3pm that day. I had to leave early in the morning to pick up Jack from the airport. He was returning from a 2-week trip in Florida with my parents. So I was a bit out of touch most of the day. Not knowing what house to dream of. I knew I needed to stall the lease signing of the Village house. This was risky being the competition for housing in Fort Collins is so high and we couldn't seem to find anything, so I did not want to lose the Village house if the Columbia house didn't come through. I had to somehow stall the lease signing.
I texted the owner Saturday morning and told her Dan had to work and that we had to do the lease signing on Sunday, the next day. That was a lie, but I wasn't going to tell her that there was another house in the mix. God forgive me for the lie. Dan said we had to look out for #1. #1 being our 4 kids.
Dan was never crazy about the Village house because of the location, but I liked it. The Columbia house, is in Mission Hills and it next to impossible to find a rental there. We had given up searching for a house here. The Columbia house is big enough and the location is prime for the kids' school and Dan's work. We got a call Saturday afternoon at the exact time we were to be signing the lease on the other house and were told that we could rent out Columbia if we wanted it! Dan really really really wants this one. So, I chose a house that I have not seen to live in for at least the next few years. Columbia St, here we come!

I felt like my karma wasn't perfect in all this.
The reason we got this house is because the college kids that live there are being evicted. The owners on Village Lane were so nice and they didn't show the house for a whole week because they thought we were moving in. The kids at Columbia being evicted wasn't our fault and the neighbors had been complaining for years, but still. They were not evicted until Saturday and I can't help but think that the fact that our friend, Nate, the landlord for Columbia, knew we needed a house to rent and loved that area, sort of put the eviction into motion. He says that's not the case and that they are short on rent every month and the neighbors are very serious about wanting them evicted. I just don't want people to evicted from their home. I shouldn't feel bad about the owners on Village lane, but when I told her for sure Saturday evening that we weren't going to move in, she was really disappointed and even said, "that sucks for us." Like I said, competition for rentals is high and they shouldn't have any trouble renting that beautiful house. Another house we went for in that same area had 15 applications. I just think she knew we wouldn't really  taken good care of that house. We would have.
So now we are moving into a beat-up college house (boy's college house) in an amazing area of Fort Collins. And the real kicker is of course that I have NOT even been inside of this house! And I have seen countless homes the past 3 weeks and I actually end up renting one we haven't even been in. I only have pictures and it does not look pretty. I can barely see the rooms amongst the pool table and red Solo cups on the counters and tables and the mish mosh couches. I'm not a snob or anything, but I can literally see the dirt on the cottage cheese ceiling in the family room.
It can be cleaned, fixed, new carpet and floors. You can't fix location. I'm getting excited!


After spending insane amounts of my time, we once again are closing in on a house. Only a variable just got thrown in the mix and we are about to sign a lease tomorrow for  5-bedroom that is totally beautiful and all remodeled inside.  It's not in the neighborhood we wanted that was close to O'Dea, but at least it's no-Pro. (North of Prospect).
About 10 days ago, we were sure that it was going to between 2 homes. One was on West Lake St. This one was a 3BR, on a cul-de-sac with a kick-butt  5-piece master bath with a ginormous jetted tub and great shady backyard. The other was on Eagle Dr. It was a 4BR, big family room, dining room with a buffet (which would be the arts & crafts cabinet) and a hot tub! Turns out we didn't get the W. Lake house because their were 15 applicants and let's face it, we have 4 kids and a dog and don't make too much. If I had to choose, between us and a family with 2 kids and no dog and who makes 90k a year, I'd vote against us. The Eagle Dr house was a TOTAL debacle. Would you believe that I actually applied, paid the 30$ application fee, dreamt about it, thought we got it, talked to the property manager lots of times and the whole time, it was a different house? Seriously, it was another house on the same block that was also 4BR, but I thought it was the hot tub one. It's too early to laugh about it. I am a spaz.
So I finally found a beautiful home in central West Fort Collins. It was previously trashed by the last tenants. I hate to say it because just don't like the stereotype that all college kids trash houses, but they were college kids. This led the owners to do a complete remodel and it is beautiful. It's even 5 bedrooms! The basement doesn't even feel like a basement and has all new floor. You all know how I feel about carpet -not a fan. It is refreshing after the musty, dark, paneling, cottage cheese stained ceilings, tiny windows.  I think this is a good house for us and will be an easy move for the kids.
The drawback is that it's not in the neighborhood we want and will still have to drive all the kids to school unless they want to transfer to Bauder. There is a twist...
A home on Columbia St in Mission Hills, which was the very first house we had heard of possibly available, is possibly available. This is the neighborhood near O'Dea Core Knowledge, AND on the "nicer" side of Stover St. The neighborhood that was our absolute #1 choice until we gave up on the area because we couldn't find anything. This area is amazng -I can walk to Whole Foods, my favorite thrift store, kids can walk to school, Ezrah (if he transfers to Lesher) can walk too. And it's very near Old Town and is really in the heart of our town.
It's a little run down and the tenants there are being evicted because they are disturbing the neighbors and partying. So God knows what condition the house is in. It is a 4 bedroom. Now this is the kind of neighborhood where I would rent a house sight-unseen and take it as it is. I can clean and paint and fix it up. As long as the carpets don't smel like beer and piss, I think it'll be alright.
But we are set to sign our lease tomorrow on Village Ln. In this Fort Collins rental market, I cannot stall this. So I will need to know asap #1, IF the guys are getting evicted, IF the house is livable for us, and IF Nate will rent it to us. Oh and the Columbia house is $200 cheaper than Village Ln.