January 3rd, 2005
Wow, our last
letter was dated July 22nd, 2004. I
guess a couple things have changed in our lives since then. Well, maybe more than a couple. J In
the last letter I was updating you on the house hunting in Utah, and our saga of trying to sell our house
And *POOF*, just like magic, we’re back in Utah.
Oh, if it had only been that easy.
Here’s the story on getting back to Utah:
We returned to Ohio on August 1st, and were a
little bit disappointed with the small number of house showings that we had had
while vacationing in Utah. Of course we had set
the price high, knowing that we would probably have to lower it at some point. We had a few showings here and there, and
every time we made sure that our house was absolutely
Jennie. I figured it couldn’t
hurt. As we neared the end of August, we
met with our Realtor and decided to do two things: 1. lower the price and 2. remove some striped wallpaper that we had hanging in the
great room. I guess there had been a few
comments about people not liking the stripes, so we yanked it and painted the
walls a neutral color. Shortly after we
made these changes, things went nuts. We
had people coming through almost every day, and sometimes we had two or three
showings in one day. All we did was
clean. During those last couple of weeks
I wasn’t sure if my sanity was going to last.
Along the way we had a few people interested, but they were waiting to
sell their house, etc. It’s a domino
effect. Finally the first week in
September someone came to see the house and they stayed forever. I took this as a good sign. Then the rumors started to fly that they were
interested. They came back for a second
showing on September 9th, which is Ali’s birthday. Ironically we had three showings for that
day, and I was bound and determined to make Ali’s favorite dinner – Beef
Stroganoff. Realtors don’t like ‘odors’
in the house when you have a showing, but I figured it wasn’t an offensive
odor, so I made it anyway. The funny
part was that our last showing for the day was running late, so by the time we
got home, the rolls that I had left out to rise, were oozing over the sides of
the pan. They looked like malignant
growths. We laughed so hard – but we
still cooked them, even though they looked deformed. A couple days later, on September 11th
(ironically), we were made an offer.
When the inspector came through the house about a week later, the couple
buying the house came as well, and I happened to be there. They jokingly commented on how the smell of
dinner and the rolls sold it for them. Kind of funny, huh.
So every time I make beef stroganoff, it reminds me of the day the house
Within a couple
weeks Ross and I took a quick trip out to Salt Lake to find a house. We were able to farm our kids out to people
in our branch. The people in our branch
were absolutely amazing – they would do anything for you. Ross & I spent a couple days looking at
houses in Riverton and West Jordan. We
actually made an offer on a house at about 90th South and 5700 W.,
but shortly after making the offer, Ross & I both felt like that wasn’t the
house for us. Luckily the people made a
counteroffer and we were able to reject it and walk away without losing our
earnest money. We ended up making an
offer on the house that we are in now.
It’s a much older home than the first one, but it was much more
reasonably priced, plus there is lots of space in the home and it has an
awesome backyard! The house was built in
the 70’s, and there is definitely some updating that we want to do, but Ross
& I love that type of stuff. (Okay, maybe not Ross, because he has to do
the grunt work, but the decorating part is fun!).
We were able to
work out a deal with a friend of Ross’ who owns a trucking company – we packed
and loaded, then they drove it across the country. We calculated that it would have cost just as
much if not more to drive two U-Hauls across the country. We were happy to finally arrive in the Salt Lake Valley – we have done enough driving the past few
months to last a lifetime.
Ross was employed
with Bound Tree Medical through December 31st. He is still trying to
find a full-time job, but he is also doing consulting and seeing if he can find
enough clients to make it a full time gig.
We will just have to wait and see how things go.
I think that gives
you an overview of ‘The Baum Shelter’.
Here are a few specifics:
Jordan Middle School and is in the 7th grade. Ali’s enjoying WJMS – and her carpool with
four ‘cute’ boys from our ward. J (Sorry Ali) Ali was
accepted into the advanced orchestra (viola) – which only one other 7th
grader was allowed. Starting middle
school in 6th grade out in Ohio really put her at an advantage over other
kids in her grade at WJMS. Ali’s doing
great in school and is enjoying Young Women’s.
I think there are 13 or 14 beehives – so there are lots of girls her
Nicole: is attending West Jordan Elementary School and is in the 6th grade. Nicole was demoted from Middle School, back
to Elementary School when we moved to West Jordan.
Well, she wasn’t really demoted, but she did get to move back into the
smooth sailing of being ‘king of the hill’ in elementary school once
again. Next year she’ll join Ali – it
will be nice to have the two of them at the same school. Nicole is pretty much just waiting for her 12th
birthday – and moving into Young Women’s.
Nicole still enjoys singing and we are hoping to get her into voice
lessons soon. Plus Nicole is playing
Junior Jazz basketball this season and enjoying it. She is a head taller than everyone else, and
always plays the center position. We
figured that since we have the sports court in our back yard, we can now
produce some basketball or volleyball stars from our family.
also at WJES and is in the 3rd grade. Nathan continues to draw and draw, and then
draw some more. He’s been fascinated
with the titanic for probably a year now – and has drawn many impressive
pictures of the ship. Last Friday Ross
took him the Titanic exhibit at the ZCMI Center.
Nathan is definitely going to be an artist or an engineer when he grows
up. For Christmas Nathan got a
rollercoaster set that you make out of K’NEX pieces. He put the whole thing together on his
own. It was just amazing because Ross
& I went to run a few errands, and when we got home it was completed. I don’t get it – I can barely follow the
instructions to open a can of corn, nevertheless build something. Nathan is in cubs and working towards his
at WJES in the 1st grade. The
first few weeks were very hard for Sarah – but she eventually started to like
her new school and teacher. Of course
then she went off track (we are on year round school) – but today was her first
day back and she seemed to do all right.
Sarah is doing well in school – she goes to resource once a day for help
with reading and writing. Her classroom
teacher is a first year teacher, so he is still learning, and we are trying to
help him out with how to best deal with Sarah and help her learn. Our hardest part is that he assigns homework
for the class that is well over Sarah’s head, so I went in and met with him and
we discussed that we would ‘tweek’ homework
assignments to fit Sarah’s level. He is
very nice, but it has required a lot of work on the part of both Ross & I
to try and keep her as close to grade level as possible. We’re trying to talk Sarah into playing
soccer this spring, or maybe dance. She
is so coordinated – we’ll keep you posted.
turned into quite the little busy body during the past month or so. He used to be such a mellow little guy – now
he is like a little fireball, just buzzing all over the place. He also tends to get into more mischief than
he ever used to. We’ve had a few scissor
incidents lately – my favorite one was when Ross & I came home from a date
and found that he had cut out a big circle of fabric from each knee of his sweat pants. Ali & Nicole didn’t even realize that he
had done it. We hid the scissors after
that, but somehow he was able to find another pair and do some more
damage. Brad turns four in March – but
these days I feel like he is in the ‘terrible twos’. Oh well, at least he’s cute – he just turns
those baby blues on you and melts your heart.
Jennie: We talked in church on Dec. 19th –
which is our anniversary. Oh well, I
think we did all right. We are just busy
as bees trying to keep up with our kids plus deal with our current finances (or
lack thereof). Even though times are
kind of crazy right now, we still feel very fortunate to be where we’re at, and
know how truly blessed we are.
Have a wonderful