Home update

I spent days cleaning up our rental unit. My whole body is very sore right now. I need to clean them the way we got it when we first moved in or we won’t get our deposit back. I didn’t get the chance to use safety equipment like gloves because I felt that it slows me down. Now, I’m regretting not using gloves, because my fingers were all dried up from too much windex and soap!

Today, I met with the realtor and it seems that they will still do some cleaning and will be charging them to me. Her best estimate is that I will only receive half of my deposit. I really screwed up on the carpet cleaning in the living room! My kids really messed up a lot on that part of the house. It’s a good thing the bedrooms pass the inspection.

So in our new home, there will be no TV in the living room anymore! No TV means no eating on the carpet area. This is the only way I can protect the carpet from my kids. I will be putting the TV in the basement. I am going to be strict on “no eating anywhere in the house except the kitchen and dining area.” The basement is unfinished, so if they did try to sneak in some food or drink and make a mess, it wouldn't matter to me. Wish me luck. Hope it works!

Blessings for 2008

  1. Thanks to the low interest [0.9% p.a.] balance transfer offer of one of our credit card, we were able to borrow money to invest in our RRSP [Registered Retirement Savings Plan] make a substantial tax refund to payoff the upgrades we wanted for our new townhouse. And I was able to pay it off within 3 months.
  2. The construction of our new home early this year!

  3. Thanks to my MIL, we finally sold our townhouse in Manila. GOD do works in mysterious ways... because this simply means that we don't have to worry about paying 2 mortgages. And also many many thanks to her for babysitting for us during my hectic schedule at tax season.

  4. My first DSLR - a Nikon D-40.
  5. My daughter's first communion.

  6. Another trip back to Manila in June. This time to attend a wedding... This trip is shorter than the last one, but we made the best of it!
  7. With a stop-over in Taiwan and seeing my cousins after 7 long years.
  8. And of course, my pro-blogging's stint which pave way to purchasing a keyboard for my daughter and a laptop for myself.

  9. This Litratong Pinoy and Wordless Wednesday's entry reached 100+ comments! Thank you so much!

  10. Finally, after a 4-month delay, we took possession of our own condo-townhouse. It's small but its ours! It's a dream come true!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

Merry Christmas!!!



CREDITS: WaterLoProject
This scrap is also posted at my other blog.

Moving day!

I am quite thankful for all our friends who helped us with our move. We started Friday night at around 9:30pm. And since there are 5 men including hubby, it has been very easy for all of them to carry the heavier stuff like the couch, the bed, study table and more. We finished loading by 11:30pm but the pizza that I ordered was late due to the bad weather condition. While waiting for the pizza, they all decided to start unloading. Unloading was supposed to be done on Saturday morning with a different batch of helpers. But they all insisted, so we did unloading and were done by 1am. Then we had a very late midnight snack.

The next day, it was time to pack all the smaller and fragile stuff like our LCD TV and the piano. And most of our helpers then were female, so it wasn’t as bad anymore since all the heavier stuff had been moved.

Sunday, we were by ourselves already. And I started arranging the kitchen/living/dining rooms. And I am not done yet. And today, is more cleaning up and have the main floor ready for Christmas. Tomorrow will be shopping day! I still haven’t bought any Christmas gifts for my own kids!

Our skins and lips are all dried up from the long exposure to the cold weather. It’s a good thing it wasn’t snowing during the weekend though the temp was somewhere between -20 to -30C.

More story to follow….

Wordless Wednesday: Our bare home

This is a little bit late for WW... anyway, here's some pictures of the main floor of our bare house...





And the kids' bedrooms...





And the master bedroom...



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Art Attack #4

Patricia submitted an artwork for a Christmas card for the Calgary Catholic School District. And it has been featured here -- http://www.cssd.ab.ca/files/christmasart1/2008/index.html.

Hers is drawing # 33.

THE DAY!

Today is THE day! It's all happening in about 6 hours! And I have to get my stuff ready. I just hope that all is well at the new house and that they fix everything that needs fixing.

I already took some days off at work and will report back to work on Christmas Day. The big moving day will happen this Saturday for all the heavy stuff. But starting this afternoon, I plan to move some of the little stuff throughout the week. The first thing I will be doing today is to set up our Christmas tree!

Weather isn't cooperative either. We are having a cold spell this whole week. Temperature has been averaging around -25 to -39C with the windchill. It's a good thing it is not snowing anymore. I just hope that the people who offered their help will not back out because of the bad weather.

I am so sorry if I haven't been active on my blog hopping lately... I know you understand that I just have too much on my hands right now. Pictures and updates to follow...

Wishing you all a happy holidays!

A glitch

If you've been following me in plurks or facebook, you know how excited I was to see the inside of our new home for the very first time yesterday.

The builder have scheduled our walk-through 5 days before the possession date. I tried to contest to this, because of "what ifs" but the builder assured me that that is enough time.

Today I found out that the walk-through is normally scheduled 2 weeks prior to possession day and before signing the mortgage papers. In our case, we signed our mortgage papers first before the walk through.

There are a few things that we were expecting but was told it was misinterpreted. For example:

  • We were told there will be a light switch for the electrical plugs in case we decided we wanted a floor lamp in the living room. This didn't happen.
  • When I upgraded the kitchen floor from lino to tile, I was told that the main bathroom will likewise be upgraded. Again, this didn't happen. Only the backsplash of the bathroom were changed to tiles, not the floor.
Maybe I misinterpreted things. But I can live without these things.

But they did screw up on one major thing that I can't accept. That is, the fridge door doesn't open all the way without hitting the island counter! My counter will probably not break because its granite... but the handle of the fridge door will definitely get damage. Besides, in the future, I don't think anybody will want to buy our house for this major glitch. Do you agree?

Now I see the problem in purchasing new homes.

Right now, I am still waiting for a call from the builder as to how they will deal with this.

.....oOo.....


UPDATE: [December 13, 2008]

The builder decided that the cheapest and easiest way to go is to upgrade my fridge to a side by side. This way, the door is smaller than the regular fridge and I will be able to open the fridge all the way. Of course, they will shoulder all additional costs to this.

The other option is to rebuild the island counter, but this will take days and I'm afraid they might cause damage to my tiles or carpet. Plus a possible delay in our moving date.

Wordless Wednesday: Full slab baby back ribs

My friend L just celebrated her 36th birthday and we all went to Montana's for lunch! There's 8 of us and this is what we all ordered. The meal also includes either apple crisp or brownies top with ice cream for dessert. Of course, none of us was able to finished our ribs...

Thank you L for the yummy treat!

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Playing with my Nikon

I bought my Nikon sometime in April of this year... and yet, up to now, I still haven't read the whole manual. I even bought a book that talks about my Nikon and its features, but I am still clueless on how to use my camera. I just couldn't find the time to sit and read through the whole book.

This was taken during the Family Advent at our church. This is a special Family Advent organized by my kids' school. So all grades prepared something for this special mass. This is the presentation of Grade 6 students. My son is the one in blue-green long sleeve shirt and jeans.



with flash [left] and without flash [right]


COUNTING DOWN...

3 more days till our walk through...
8 more days till our possession day... and then its moving time... I have 10 days to move our stuff slowly... and I hope it doesn't snow like this!
12 more days till Patricia's first [piano] recital...
and 18 more days till Christmas day...

and lots of Christmas parties/gatherings in between!

My dream house

We all want our own home! We all have our dream house! And though I admire and sometimes envy those people with big houses and big yard, fully decorated homes, it isn't what I want. It's nice to have, but it's not a necessity for me. All I need is a house where we could call our home, sweet home.

I grew up in the Philippines where it is easy to hire maids to clean and cook for you. If I am still in the Philippines, and money is no object, I would probably want a big house for my family.

But living in Canada changes that. House chores are really chores! It is no fun at all. And it is expensive to hire someone to come and clean your house once in awhile. Besides, I didn't grow up planting in spring, mowing the lawns in the summer, raking leaves in autumn or shoveling snow in winter. And I don't want to do all those things. And hubby doesn't want to either.

So our dream house is a condo-townhouse style were the condo management will handle all the planting, the mowing, the raking and shoveling for us. We don't want a big house anymore, because it only means more area to cover in cleaning the house. Or more area for my kids to mess up.

Once we retire and the kids have move out, hubby and I plan to live in a high rise condo.

Trip to Wildwood, NJ

I missed driving from Toronto to New York City. We used to do that 1-2 times a year when we were still living in Toronto. It’s about 10-12 hours drive. My husband got relatives all over New York and New Jersey.

Last 2006, we went on a family vacation [including my in-laws from the Philippines and in-laws from New York] in the best water parks in New Jersey. Morey’s Piers has amusement park rides, a boardwalk with stores to shop, video arcades and even some slot machines.

My kids and their cousins really enjoyed the water parks with its huge water slides and the bucket that is simply refreshing. They also enjoyed running around the beach chasing seagulls and playing baseball. It was truly a memorable summer Jersey Shore beach Vacation for all of us!

Here is a picture of my husband’s uncle, Francis or Boss, playing and enjoying the slot machine. It’s his first trip to the States. And he loves it!

Morey’s Piers announces its annual holiday sale where one can save up to 40% on season pass to both water parks. Sale will run from December 1 to January 9. They also offer weekly specials. Just check out their site.

4th Blog-niversary!

December 1, 2004 was the first day I started blogging. And I have never thought that I will still be blogging up to now. Let alone, earn money through blogging. Blogging is truly addicting, at the same time it gave me the opportunities to meet people like you.

Happy 4th year blog-niversary to Jo's Precious Thoughts... I have a total of 226 regular posts and about 110 sponsored posts for 2008 alone. And this post received over 100+ comments! Truly a milestone for this blog.

This is my original template. I didn't want to change my template until I started having problems with it...



I wish to acknowledge my top 10 commentors [for 2008] and loyal readers!



Approximately 130 messages



Approximately 92 messages



Approximately 86 messages



Approximately 84 messages

And the following bloggers left approximately 25+ messages...

Tani ..... Liz ..... Ann ..... Girlie ..... Toni ..... Ghee.

To all the rest:

I truly appreciate your taking time to visit and read my blog despite it having some sponsored posts in-between. This gal needs some extra cash on the side you know. Again,

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!