Villa Galvez ~ Prairieville LA Tuesday, Jun 30 2009 

Villa Galvez is located off of Hwy 44 in Prairieville LA.

Quiet, established subdivision with one entrance makes for a peacful place to call home.

Father’s Day Recliner ~ Fit For A King! Wednesday, Jun 17 2009 

I get so excited about Father’s Day!
I love the fact that the girls and I get to do something nice for my husband. (He doesn’t often let us ta-ta over him.)
I was looking online this year for some unique Father’s Day ideas
 and I came across this video and just had to laugh out loud!

Don’t think I will be having one of these delivered this year, but what a gift that would be! I think instead, he will get to go to the camp and spend the weekend with the love of his life…his boat!The girls and I will get up early and make his breakfast this weekend instead of him taking care of us!

May 2009 Market Snapshot Wednesday, Jun 10 2009 

**Revised on 6/12/09 to reflect Average Sold prices instead of Median Sales prices. 

 

Housing Graph

 Ascension Parish Market Stats for May 2009

Monthly sales were 114  units. Comparison to last month: Increase 5%  from 109 units.  Comparison to this month last year: Increase 9% from 104 Units.

Average Sold price was $211,252.  Comparison to last month:  Increased  3% from $205,401.  Comparison to this month last year: Decreased 11% from $236,066.

Current inventory is 5.25 months.  Comparison to last month:  Decreased from 5.82 months.  Comparison to this month last year: Decreased from 8.25 months. 

 Average Days on market were 103.  Comparison to last month:  Up from 91 days.  Comparison to this month last year: Decreased from 104 days.

 

What does this mean to you as a homeowner?  My take on this is that we are holding on well.  There was a decrease from last year in the average sales price and  I attribute that to a correction in the market from the inflated “Hurricane Katrina” sales.  I think we will see this number bounce around a little before it settles.  I personally feel that we are experiencing an overcorrection in our market.  Having said that, I have a good feeling for our current real estate economy.  I still believe that if you were ever thinking about making your American Dream of homeownership a reality, now is the time to buy!

 

These stats are for areas 90,91 & 92 in Ascension Parish. Information used from Greater Baton Rouge MLS.  They include only single family dwellings.  Mobile home and land sales are not part of these numbers.  If you would like information on either of these, feel free to let me know.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins Monday, Jun 8 2009 

 

The other night I was really craving something sweet.  After fumbling around in the kitchen not finding anything that looked good, I decided to bake.  I had a few bananas that were just right for baking some banana bread.  One problem, I wasn’t excited about the usual whole wheat, very healthy banana muffins I usually make.  I wanted something CHOCOLATE!  I got on the web and found a few Chocolate Chip Banana muffin recipes.  I decided to take a little from here, a little from there and tweak it to my liking.  I did try to keep them semi-healthy! This is what I came up with.

muffins 003a

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Splenda for Baking
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 5oz container of Greek Yogurt (vanilla)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined mini muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

I will definitely be making these again!  They were a hit with the girls!

Growing Pains Thursday, Jun 4 2009 

Disclaimer:  This is a long post. I had a lot to say and just couldn’t edit 🙂

On April 29, 2009 my husband made what has been the worst call of his life to me.  If you aren’t familiar with this, see “Can You Say Punched In The Gut”.

I am happy to report today that he reports for his new job on

Tuesday, June 9, 2009!

I may actually be able to breathe and hopefully sleep all night tonight!

Through this, my family has endured.  We have come out the other side in tact and stronger than before.

What we have learned is that we had become complacent with our life.  We took things for granted that we really needed to be grateful for.  Our faith has been tested.  Thankfully, we were alert enough to see the changes God was trying to make in our lives. I feel blessed today to know that we were chosen to go through this.  I only hope that we are able to help someone the way so many have helped us.

I can stand here today and tell you that there were days I would be so excited about the future.  I would tell people “There is something so wonderful that God has waiting for us on the other side of this hill.  I can’t wait to see what it is!” And I would believe it with all of my heart and soul.  There were days that would put on a smile and say it, but doubt every word that came out of my mouth.  I would feel so guilty for that.  Then there were days that I felt that I couldn’t get out of bed.  I didn’t want to face the world.  Those were the days that I felt especially guilty and would pray for God to take back the control of my life and forgive me for trying to run it myself.

I am telling you this because I am hopeful that telling my story, good and bad, will help someone. Either someone that is living this nightmare or someone who knows of someone that is.

Friends of my husband that had been though this were very supportive and told him that he would come out of this better off.  That is easy to hear but hard to comprehend when you are in the middle of uncertainty.  They would also offer assistance in little ways that meant the world to us.  Passing the resume to contacts they had, reviewing his resume (he hadn’t written a resume in over 15 years!).  They would call to check on us and always offer kind words, and more importantly, lend an ear. 

The one thing that they didn’t do was call every day and ask if he had found a job.  I found that to be the most offensive thing to deal with.  We knew we were without a job. We knew we were sending hundreds of emails with our resume attached. We knew we were not getting responses.  We did not need to be reminded that we did not have a job. One day, someone very close to me,  whom I was in contact with almost daily sat down at the desk next to me and said this. “I hate to ask this, but how is the job search going?”  It was the first time she had asked me that question since I told her my news.  I was more than happy to share with her how our progress, or lack thereof , was.  It was all in the way it was presented to me.  I knew that she was genuinely concerned for us. 

I want to talk a minute about Social Media and “virtual friends”. I am here to tell you that those on-line friends are VERY real!  I received so many messages with my friend’s cell phone numbers (most of which I had already!) offering to help, to talk, to listen.  They would all celebrate with me for my victories and let me be down when I really wasn’t feeling up to par.  I made some very good friends through this rough period on FaceBook and Twitter.  To all of you and especially the #twitterqueens.  THANK YOU!  I LOVE YOU ALL DEARLY!

Let me  also say that I probably haven’t been a good friend the past few weeks.  I would like to apologize to anyone that I snapped at or “hid” from.  Some days I just couldn’t bear to face the world.  It was all I could muster some days to work professionally with my clients.  There was nothing left. 

I think the hardest thing in this has been to “Be Still”  I am a take charge kinda girl.  Having to sit back and “Be Still” was very hard for me.  I overheard my husband say to someone one day.  “I can’t get her to understand that Corporate America doesn’t work on Real Estate time.  If the offer isn’t signed at 6:00 the offer isn’t dead.”  On Wednesday, I posted on Facebook “Be Still and know that He is God. – I am still learning the Be Still part of this!”  10 minutes later FedEx knocked on my door and left the Corporate “package” we had been waiting for!  It was the formal written offer for Brian’s new job!

Brian and I always knew that our children were exceptional.  This “growth spurt” has only proven that to us.  My youngest daughter had a birthday on May 1 and turned 9.  One night she opened a birthday card and there was money.  She closed the card and handed the money to us, “to help”.  WOW!  After her birthday party, she told me that we could have her birthday money if we needed it.  As parents, this broke our hearts.  Looking back now, I am filled with pride that my sweet little 9 year old has enough love in her heart to want to take care of someone else before herself.  Our oldest daughter is 16.  She has a job and makes enough to keep her “going out” habits funded.  She has only been out with her friends to the movies once.  The told me that she wanted to save her money in case we needed it.  Again…WOW!  One thing we know for sure.  We have raised some pretty amazing girls.  I have always responded to people when they tell me how beautiful our girls are that they also have beautiful hearts.  Our efforts in teaching them to pay it forward have paid off!

I referred to this as our “growth spurt”.  That is what I am officially calling this period in our life!  I used that term with my youngest.  She has terrible leg cramps when she goes through a growth spurt.  I likened our situation to this as something she could identify with.  We have endured the pain of growing.  We have grown and we are all stronger for it.  I am glad that we were chosen to grow.  Do I want to go through this particular growth spurt again?  HELL NO!  I do however, hope that we will be a  comforting source for someone who is going through this or knows someone that is.

To shamelessly quote from Shinedown’s song Second Chance.  “My eyes are wide open. By the way, I made it through the day. Sometimes goodbye is a Second Chance. ” 

Be Prepared for Hurricane Season Tuesday, Jun 2 2009 

It’s the beginning of June!  You know what that means in South Louisiana…the official start of Hurricane Season.  Our 5th season of the year.

Let’s start gathering our supplies so that we will be ready to either leave at a moments notice or ride out the days of no electricity…

Put all of your birth certificate, marriage certificates, insurance policies, social security cards and mortgage/title for your house papers in a zip lock bag. 

Keep all your medications in one place and when we hear of a storm developing, get refills on these meds if at all possible.

Keep at least 3 gallons of water per person.  If you have an extra freezer, we like to fill our milk jugs and freeze them.  This will help keep your freezer cool and also act as extra water when it thaws.

Make sure you have a NON-ELECTRIC can opener!  This caught me off guard one year!  I had plenty of can food but forgot about having to open it with no electricity!  LOL

Another thing I failed to think of one year… Paper towels and toilet paper!  If electricity is out for a while, it may be hard to get to the stores.

Don’t forget the babies!  Diapers, wipes, formula, baby food

These are just a few of the things that may slip your mind when scrambling to get prepared.  This year, lets all vow to do as much preparation as possible.  Get one of the plastic containers and store your things in there.  Just in case.

The Governors Office of Homeland Security has an awesome site.  You may want to take some time to check it out.  http://getagameplan.org

I hope we have a quiet season and I pray that you all remain safe and sound.