Christmas Recap Part 2 and Other Tidbits….

In yesterday’s post I forgot to include this AWESOME picture of my brother on Christmas day who so happened to end up on the couch with Evy’s doll. Notice how loving he’s being with it? ha. I love it!! Brad you are a way cool {and way tolerant} uncle!! :)
I am so thankful, my mom in law came to visit us on Monday and stayed until today. She made this AMAZING bedskirt for me, since I could not afford the one I wanted. She is so awesome! I am so thankful for her!
Ignore the side tables and lamps…they will be replaced soon. :)
Our kitchen is coming along. Tonight Brandon patched up some of the holes in the cabinets in preparation for painting. He also attached the doors under the sink. My father in law cut them down so they would fit under our farmhouse sink…which I LOVE!

I said a final goodbye to my holiday dinning room before I start packing all our Christmas decorations away….quite possibly my favorite room in the house!

Jake has been telling us since we moved here that we needed to take cookies to our neighbors and “serve them”. I love that boy. Anyway, on Christmas day I sent Brandon and Jake around the neighborhood with plates of cookies and Christmas cards. We have received three wonderful thank you’s so far from our neighbors. One neighbor brought over a poinsetta. Jake was so excited. He said, “Now its our turn to serve them back, right mom?” Uh, I think he gets it! :) If you desire to have friends you must show yourself friendly! 
{Beware some rambling ahead}
You know I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some things in my life that worry me at times. Things I think God over looked. I’m sure you have been there before…the whole, “Hey God, I thought you were going to do _______…why are you forgetting?” feeling. Perhaps I’m an unspiritual person to question that at times…but I do. 

Today as I was cleaning the kitchen, I started praying. I told the Lord my fears and frustrations and reminding Him, once again, that we have given up quite a bit to do what we have felt Him calling us to do….and asking Him to please not forget us. 

Instantly the story of the Widow Woman and Elisha popped into my mind {2 Kings 4:1-7}. Are you familiar with it? If you haven’t read it lately, read it in the NIV… I especially love the first verse:

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

So her husband served the Lord, but now he is dead and she is about to lose everything. She, like many of us, saw someone believe in HIM, but in the end it seems like it did them no good. Seems like God failed them. But I adore how the story finishes…with Elisha asking her what she has, and her response is simply: 

 “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

She has nothing. But really, her nothing is something. She has a just little left to give. Elisha proves it by telling her:

“Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

I adore this: Don’t ask for just a few. Seriously, how cool is our God. He could give you the bare minimum, but He always gives you more than enough. ALWAYS. Proof:

She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

See? More.Than.Enough. When He answers our prayers, He does it right. Always. Thank you Jesus. 

Love you friends. 

Christmas Recap 2011

It hit me today that Christmas is now over and I have to begin to clean up the Christmas “mess” and pack away all our beloved ornaments and Christmas momentos. It’s so crazy how Christmas comes and goes, you know? You look forward to it for weeks, some of you for months, and then its gone faster than you can say “Christmas Tree”. Totally weird.
I was thinking today how special Christmas has become to me. I know it’s because of my kids. You start seeing things through a child’s eye again, and its so magical…for lack of a better term. But the thing I love the most are all the memories I get to walk away with. The smiles that were plastered on their faces….and despite how tired we were…how fun Brandon and I had as well. Christmas is a wonderful time to remember and give thanks to the Lord for all His wonderful blessings that took place each year. 
Here are a few of my Christmas blessings:
Jake at his school Christmas concert. He’s the super tall one with a tie on that is talking and not signing. Right. Anyway, he is standing next to his best friend ever and I guess they got a little carried away. ha. 

Jake was also in the church musical.
He had a line and was SO EXCITED. That’s his buddy Joshua there with him.

Brandon was out of town that weekend…was so glad to have my mom and my brother be there for Jake.

A couple days before Christmas we had a Christmas cookie decorating day. My nieces came over, along with my sister and my brother Brad and we ate pizza and baked cookies. It was super fun. We always use this recipe every year. Here’s Evy and her twinsie cousin Emma goofing off. Evy looks almost identical to Emma when she was a baby.

Emma gave Jake and Evy her gifts that night, since she wasn’t going to see us on Christmas. Evy got a Piglet, which she loved, and a Cinderella nightgown. She was in Heaven.

And Jake got Cars 2  figurines. 

Christmas Eve was at my parents…Jake tugging on his massive gift. It was a remote control car. :)

I love this picture of my dad. Poor guy. I don’t know anyone who thinks Christmas is as boring as he does. Seriously…sit around all day, eat, do nothing, buy gifts for people? Uh, no, that goes completely against his grain. I have an agitated picture of him every year. This year is no exception.

goof offs…

My mom and Jake

Us all deciding what time we want to eat….

Our California Christmas. Sunny, but cold. 

My sister made the siblings sit down and take a picture. She wanted us to link our arms with Bradley. Poor guy. I really dislike this picture for a couple reasons: My arms look huge and I feel like a dork sitting there with my arm linked with my brother’s. Seriously. Ugh. Gotta love it I guess. We missed our brother Jeff this year….

Christmas morning was the highlight for us. Jake was SO excited to see Santa ate his cookies. And yes there is a Santa…his name begins with an A and ends with a Y. I think you know where I am going with this one… ha

He asked Santa for a bow and arrow. We beyond thrilled to see that Santa didn’t forget. {whew}

Despite having a fever of 103.7 the day before, and a little one here in the morning, my girl was a trooper. And so excited to get her apron set from Anthro.

I know this is blurry, but I couldn’t resist. She kept saying, “thank you so much Mommy!!” Love her

Such a doll

Love this face.

I have to say…I’m glad Christmas is over. But I am so glad I have these wonderful memories. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours…
May your day be filled with laughter….
and love.
Any may you knew forget the real reason for the season:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
We love you so much friends,
Brandon, Amy, Jacob and Evelyn

Our Holiday House

So I have to admit {I know, confessing again, ha!}, I am not a decorator. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having our home look nice….I LOVE a clean, homey house just as much as the rest of you. And I really do have to have it decorated, I just decorate it once and then live with it that way for EVER. My dear friend Heidi is always switching around her furniture and adding new pieces. I wish I was that creative. I can only muster up enough brain cells to decorate once. ha. So decorating for Christmas is a big deal for me, since I don’t really like to mix things up. :)
Anyway, I LOVE having a Christmas tree and enjoy making it look lovely in our home, but for the most part, that’s all the Christmas decorating I do. I always hang stockings…but usually that’s it. This year I added a couple things and I’m so proud of myself! ha. I tried to take a few pictures, but I’m a really bad photographer, unfortunately. I’m looking forward to having my brother in law come and take some good pictures of the house once its all done. 
In the meantime, my pictures will have to do…. So my dining room. My favorite room in the entire house is the dining room. It has great high ceilings {something the rest of the house doesn’t have} and bay windows with a gorgeous view. I was so excited to get a tree to put in the bay windows to people could see it from the street. When we went with my in laws to pick out a tree, we picked a lovely tall frosted tree and I was so excited to put in the dining room bay window. But when we got the tree home we realized the bay windows weren’t as tall as the rest of the room and Brandon had to cut over two feet off the tree to make it fit. I dubbed the tree the “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” because it ended up being really skinny and small. But in the end, I think it looked really cute in the dining room. What do you think?
I don’t have a skirt for it, I’m saving to get one from my friend Janelle. More on that later…you’ll so want to hear about her!! {Yes, Janelle, I’m holding you to it! :)}

Oh…this will {hopefully} be the last picture you see of the dark stained dining room table, BTW. I finally got approval from my dad to paint it {it was his mother’s}, so I hope to do that next week! yay!

At night….
So what did I do with all my wonderful ornaments that didn’t fit on this tiny little tree? Well, we got a cheapy tree from Lucky’s…we let Jake pick it out…and we added all our fancy ornaments on the Charlie Brown tree and put our family ornaments on the Lucky tree. My mom strung popcorn strands {which Evy slowly ate off the tree} and Jake would come home from school and add all his school projects to it. ha. I actually love this tree. It’s horribly ugly, but very special. I think we’ll end up doing this for years to come…a fancy tree and and a family tree.

PS….don’t stress over the brown grids on the windows…they were missed by the painter, but he is coming back to fix them THANK GOD. They are hideous! oh boy.

And remember this nativity scene from two years ago? Well, its alive and kicking…under the family tree. :)

Christmas cards are a big deal in my home. I LOVE them and put them up as decoration. I didn’t know where I was going to put them this year…normally in Stockton I plaster them all over our kitchen cabinets. But our cabinets now are painted and if we put the cards on the cabinets now, well the poor paint would be a mess! So I decided to do this archway in between the dinning room and the family room. I love it! We get to see them all day long and they bring such a huge smile to my face. I really, really cherish our family and friends. 
And here’s the family room. FYI, before someone asks….NO, our house is not always clean. I clean one of two times throughout the day: naptime or night time. Today I cleaned during naptime because both kids took one thank God! 
Anyway, here’s our family room below. I bought that vintage painting and frame from a thrift store in Stockton before I was married. Brandon painted the frame white. I’ve had it sitting in a closet all these years with no place to put it, so I am so glad it fits nicely in this room. I adore it. The curtains are Simply Shabby Chic from Target
Oh, we have a slipcover for the $25 garage sale ottoman there. But I rarely put it on unless company is coming over. The kids draw all over it and I end up having to wash it all.the.time. For some reason when the cover is off they leave it alone…go figure, huh? Anyway, I forgot to put it on for you, sorry! ha. 

View from the family room into the dining room. The cards are on both sides of the wall and on the inside of the trim. Love it. 

If you read this post then you know I have always wanted a nativity scene, but could never find one I liked that I could afford. Last Christmas during the Miraflor family dinner, we had a gift exchange by drawing numbers. I drew this gorgeous nativity scene. I was so excited I cried. 
 The two inside stockings are mine and Brandon’s. I bought them at Sincerely Yours in Santa Rosa our first Christmas as a couple. The other two stockings are from Pottery Barn that I scored the day after Christmas for, get this, $11!! 
The nativity scene didn’t come with any moss on it so I hot glued some on. :)

I have always wanted a nice center piece for Christmas. My mom gave me a Anthro credit she’d had forever and I got these 4 pots for under $40 total! I knew they would be perfect! I filled them with a cream poinsettia, two paper whites and white glittered baby rose. 
The vintage coasters are a gift from my friend Gioia over at The Pillow Factory.

And since my kitchen was clean I thought I’d take a quick pic. It’s coming along! Waiting for the custom hood to arrive for over the stove {the vent is installed inside the cabinet} and the fridge needs to be built in and the baseboards added so Brandon can touch up the paint. Also, we have a few more things to do in the room before it can look complete. I want to add these darling white swiss dot ballon curtains but my mom didn’t like them…still thinking about it.

 We have a new and larger kitchen table waiting to be painted {thank you Goodwill and craigslist…more on that later} and Brandon is building a window seat for that bay window. I am going to fill it with gobs and gobs of pillows. Excited!
Well, that’s it for my Christmas decorations! Would love to know if added much this year…will you share a link to your blog if you posted them??
Oh, can’t sign off without showing off this years stellar Santa pic
Sorry for the picture of a picture, but I’m too lazy to go out to the studio and use the scanner. :)
Happy Christmas Eve, Eve! Love you dear friends!
PS…have you checked out my brother in law’s blog? He’s blogging every day. Pretty amazing.
PPS…Jake just informed me that he told Santa he wanted a squirty gun and a yoyo. Uhhh…really?? That’s the first we’ve heard about that one. I think someone will be making a trip to Target in the AM. :( 

Confessions of a Very Behind Blogger

So its been a while since I blogged. I have a problem that is very depressing. It’s called the Let’s-Cram-As-Many-Things-As-We-Can-In-Our-Day problem. Anyone heard of that one? Well, its a real problem and I have it. I think I can accomplish a million and one things in the day and then get frustrated with myself when I can’t. Maybe you’ve been there. 
Anyway, I’m one of those bloggers who blogs for fun, not for business {more on that in a second} so most of my posts are driven by thoughts that pop up into my mind throughout the day and I just feel I need to talk about them {to your frustration I am sure} and I’ve had a million of them the last couple weeks, but since I am so behind, I thought I would just highlight them today. 
I am calling them “Confessions”….and yes, I am aware I “confess” a lot on this blog. No, its not part of my religion or faith or anything {I’m a Penecostal Christian in case you were wondering}, but it is something that I seem to do well, so I just keep on running with it. ha. Hopefully you can endure a bunch of them today. Each one of them really are a blog in themselves…so don’t read too much into them since they will be short, honest and sweet.  Exciting, right?!? Ha.
Confession #1: I have not weighed myself in over two and a half months since I packed my scale away over in Stockton. I guess to some people that might not be a big deal, but to me, the person who weighed herself everyday for the last 20 years, it’s a HUGE deal. And you know what, I’m actually just fine with it!  Apparently, despite the fact that I have eaten literally everything in site the last couple months, I’m doing just fine. On Sunday morning I wore my favorite black size 2-but-should-be-a-size-6 Banana Republic skirt and it actually fit. So thank God I guess all is well despite the little hiccup in my daily routine! ;) ha. oh boy.
Confession #2: I miss Stockton more than most people think I should. I know its crazy to some of you, but I miss so much about Stockton. That place had such a HUGE impact on my life, and even though its not technically my hometown, I will always consider Stockton a home to me…my Jerusalem so to speak. Stockton is always written on my heart and will always be a place I love. I also miss seeing people I know everywhere, all the time. Love that. 
Confession #3: I am very frustrated with my Evy’s Tree blog. I said earlier that I blog for fun, not for business. For some time I have felt beyond frustrated with my business blog as I feel it lacks the “personal” side of life. I get so tired to talking about hoodies all the time on that blog. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this family blog. I mean its my little place where I can be myself. But the other…ugh. Also, its really hard to find time to manage two blogs. I have a ton of DARLING WWWW pictures to use but just can’t find time to do a WWWW. Oh, and my Evy’s Tree blog is powered by wordpress, which I just can’t seem to get along with. Any helpful suggestions from you wordpress users out there? Anyway, I have decided in the new year to change things up a little with the business blog and the family blog…so stay tuned. I hope you all like the changes and thank you to those of you who follow the Evy’s Tree blog for your patience.
Confession #4: I don’t care about clothes. Yikes. Did I just say that outloud? I did! So sad to say since I own a clothing line. But its true. Once upon a time I shopped all the time. But now….ugh. I just don’t care. I can’t remember the last time I went shopping for myself. I just buy out of necessity and live in what I have…which are all nice things anyway. That’s why I feel it is so important to purchase nice clothes. I’d rather have one very nice, expensive, quality article of clothing than a million cheap ones that will break in no time. Never fails, you’ll get more out of the the better quality item. And besides…its not about the clothes anyway, its about how you carry yourself. If you are confident in yourself, you could be wearing a paper bag and it would look cool. ha.  
Confession #5: I am an introvert. Whenever I say this to people, their answer is ALWAYS: “You hide it well”. Yes, I know. I learned in college that I am something called a Choleric/Melancholy.  A choleric is an extrovert personality, but only if driven by goals and necessity. My husband, who is a Sanguine, is energized by social events, however, social events exhaust me. Not because I don’t enjoy being with people, because I do. I LOVE people. They are what make me enjoy living. BUT…I always leave social situations tired and ready for a little recharging. I spend everything I have focusing on people who I love. But I recharge by spending some time by myself. My husband on the other hand….don’t ever leave him alone for long periods of time. He will wither away. Put him in a group of people and he will perk up immediately. That’s why I love him! :)
Confession #6: I don’t travel often with my evangelist husband. I know that this is frowned upon by many, but I do have a good reason. When Brandon first told me of his impression to step out as an evangelist, I asked the Lord what He would have me do. I immediately felt VERY strong to stay as close to home as possible, for many reasons. First of all, and most important, I am a mom who has a school age child. I could homeschool, but even though I am a teacher, at this time I don’t feel called to do that with Jake. Also, I have a job, one that I feel God has handed me. In order for us to make it and for my husband to remain in full time ministry, I have to work. So because of my kids and because of my {God given} job, I stay home. When I am able to travel with my husband I can and I do…. and it’s always wonderful, but I do try to be there for my kids as much as possible. I hope all of you who have my husband speak at your church or church function understand and support what I feel God has called me to do.
Confession #7: I am not a conference girl. There, I said it. Oh boy. I can feel the tomatoes being pulled from the cases and ready to be thrown. Please don’t hate me, but I am NOT a conference person. I’m sure Confession #’s 5 and 6 have a lot to do with why I’m not, especially #6 since I don’t like to leave my kids for a long period of time. Also, confession #4 plays a big role in this as well. I rarely dress up and conferences stress me out since I know I will need to change out of my Tom’s and rescue my heels from the back of the closet. ha. Also, the massive amounts of people swarming all over the place makes me hyperventalate. Seriously. I start freaking out and look for the closest exit. I can never make it far though, since my husband is ALWAYS right in the middle of the mix, so I am forced to stand by his side and smile. Whenever I see someone I know, I will cling to you like crazy. So friends beware when you see me at a conference. You might have to deal with me all week. ha. Seriously. Am I the only person who feels this way?!? Lastly, conferences are expensive…very expensive! Especially if you live all the way on the west coast like we do. It cost a ton to get to all these conferences. Unfortuantely, we just don’t have the money to send both of us. Maybe someday! :)
Confession #8: My blog scares me.  I know, I know. Crazy. But it does. Why? Well, I have met so many beautiful and wonderful people through this blog…but I have never actually “met” you. I just know you online. Brandon and I have a joke that when he walks into a room or church meeting, he never has to say anything about himself since I already have. It’s a bit un nerving….and not that its anybody’s fault but mine; I’ve put it out there, obviously. And I really don’t mind- but this putting yourself out there comes with a fear…a fear that you see us only through this blog and not how we really are….that you perceive us as something that we’re not. And we are nothing but ultra human. Also, this blog is very one sided. It allows you to peer into our lives but doesn’t allow the same for us. That’s why I always tell people, if you read this blog PLEASE introduce yourselves! You get to see everything about my life… my home, my business, my kids, but I don’t get to see anything about you, so please tell me. That’s why I always tell people, comment on my blog so I can see who you are, its so much more fun that way!
Confession #9: I don’t worry about money anymore. This is a HUGE confession for me to make, but I realized this past week it’s true. It’s actually a huge step for me in general and one I am very proud of. I come from a long line of “money watchers” if I can call them…us Wollmers are very good at keep a close eye on our money and if there isn’t enough, we stress, and worry, and strategize a way to get some. When I first married Brandon, he tried to encourage me to trust the Lord more about our finances. I can honestly say that it wasn’t until we made the ministry shift…and I felt God force me to trust Him…that I actually did. Now, I just know He will take care of us. I KNOW it. Why? Because He has. I can look back and honestly say we have never gone without. EVER. Also, when we stepped out He became our employer. He knows we aren’t extravagant, don’t ever buy anything unless its a necessity, and try to make wise and frugal purchases always. I know He will make sure our salary is ample. And you know what? We haven’t gone one month without our needs met. Not one. I want to encourage someone out there who is a money worrier like me. Let it go. Our Father owns a cattle on a thousand hills…HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU. I promise. Do your part by making sure you aren’t living extravagantely and then trust Him. I know you won’t be disappointed.
Confession #10: I am so excited about Christmas this year! This is our first Christmas in our new home and I am so thrilled about making new memories. I’ve got the house decorated {if I have time I’ll snap some pictures}, I’ve got the kids presents all ready…. AND my younger brother Brad is here for the entire week! We have been having so much fun cuddling up on the couch and watching some of our favorite Christmas movies. PLUS…Christmas day falls on a Sunday and our church is having a very short 45 minute service where we are going to sing Christmas carols and thank God for all His blessings. My heart is full!

Anyway…THANK YOU for reading! ha. Any confessions you want to make?!?! :)

Our Advent Calendar…

Is so not cool. 
ha. Unless you like Chocolate of course, like my kiddos. :)

And of course, we always have to have a little fight. Always. Seriously, these two have such a love hate relationship.

I really did have some great ideas of putting together an advent calendar…complete with little thoughts about the birth of Savior, and wonderful little treats. But I just couldn’t get it together. So I fell back on the handy dandy chocolate ones from Trader Joes, just like what I had when I was I was kid.

Too fun.

Have you seen my friend Ashley’s calendar? Or have you read about Soshawna’s? Pretty neat stuff out there!


Buying Appliances Off Craigslist

So, I am very pleased to tell you, I have had about 4 or 5 very successful purchases off Craigslist since moving to Santa Rosa. There have been several things we needed and craigslist has come to our rescue. My favorite two purchases so far have been Evy’s Ikea bed that we bought for $60 and then repainted, and a GORGEOUS Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic table base that we are going to add a top too….more on that soon.
Anyway, despite some really successful transactions {buying and selling}, I have to say I learned my lesson when it comes to buying appliances off Craigslist. :( Boo. I thought I would blog about it so that none of you make the same mistake. How’s that for friendship?!? ha. 
So here’s the low down…as I mentioned before, our home was a foreclosed home. The bank had come and done some very interesting improvements to it. Namely, paint {HORRIBLE}, new carpet {livable}, and appliances {black. need I say more?}
Here is what our kitchen looked like before we moved in:
Right. Not bad, but not great. The house was built in 1985, can you tell? :) The bank added all black appliances. Here’s a very bad picture of the dishwasher:

It was a bottom of the line GE, although a decent bottom of the line. When we painted everything white, the poor kitchen lookd so sad with the black appliances. Since the painter took almost every cent we owned {literally} we needed to do an upgrade to the kitchen on a dime. We had $200 to put towards the dishwasher, and obviously that wouldn’t buy us much. So we listed the above dishwasher on craigslist for $200 and got a buyer pretty quickly. Now we had about $400 to put towards a new one.
We started searching craiglist. I knew I wanted to go stainless steel, so that’s what we put in the search bar. I found an add for a stainless steel GE dishwasher for $550 about an hour an a half away from us. It was listed as “new” and in a “model home” and had a picture of a generic dishwasher. It did list the model number so I googled it and found out it was selling for $799, so the $550 was a good deal, but not what I could afford. I emailed him and asked if he would take $400. He said no. Oh well.
About a week later he emailed me back and said he would take the $400. Here’s where I should have stopped and thought about it all. I wish I had googled the model number again, but I didn’t. I did ask for actual pictures though and here’s what I got:

And the original picture he sent me, from some website.

They look decent, I guess. The fact that they weren’t in a house should have kinda concerned me, but oh well. Anyway, we agreed we would go. We didn’t think about the gas it would cost us to get there, which was a result of the fact that he emailed me the week we moved to Santa Rosa, and we were a bit brain dead. That it would cost us at least $45 in gas never crossed my mind. 
We followed the address and ended up at a storage center around 6:30 PM. It was dark. The man let us in the storage unit and there were tons of appliances. We felt a little silly as we really had no idea what to look for as we had never shopped appliances before. There was a piece slightly cracked in back, which ended up being the drain pump, but it looked like it would work, so we didn’t make a big deal about it. The man said in the emails that he had the owners manual {even put it in the pictures} but when we got there, there was no owners manual. He must have staged that one well. We did take the dishwasher, and when we paid him, he didn’t even count the money. 
The whole thing was sketchy. 
When we got home, we had to order a new $50 part for the cracked pump, new $45 hoses {since it didn’t come with any} and it still didn’t work, we had to call the GE reapairman to come out and look at it. $99 later, our dishwasher worked, but according to the repairman, it was not new…it had food in the filter. 
 And here’s the kicker…why did the guy come back and say he’d take $400? GE just came out with a new dishwasher that week and marked that model down to $550. By the time we finished paying for all the “extras” we could have bought the exact one NEW from Home Depot.
So here’s my foolproof buying appliances from Craigslist steps:
1. Always ask for model numbers AND serial numbers. I would suggest asking for a picture of it. I didn’t realize this, but you can call GE {or any brand} and ask for info on the exact product. They will tell you when it was produced and possibly even sold. They can also tell you if there are any recalls on the item that might cause it not to work properly. Here’s what you are looking for:
2. Google the model and serial number and make sure the prices you find online are current before you buy. If the same item is going for what you are about to pay for it, it probably isn’t worth it. 
3. If you can’t plug the appliance in to see if it works, then don’t buy it. That is unless you know the person and feel comfortable with the transaction and/or its worth the amount of money you might lose if it doesn’t work.
4. Ask for the owners manual. If they don’t have it, think twice about buying it, or at least ask for a discount.
5. If anything is cracked or broken. Ask for at least $50 off. Most parts for appliances will run pretty close to that. 
6. Remember that if you have to call the repairman, in most cases its $99 right off the bat. Keep that in mind when purchasing.
7. Make sure you see the appliance during the daylight. Trying to look at an appliance at night will really cause you to over look small details.
8. Buy local. Or add in the cost of gas to the price and make sure it’s worth it.
And don’t forget to clean your appliance. You’ll want to factor that into your cost. For the dishwasher, its pretty cheap. I found this when we moved from Stockton and its AWESOME! Makes everything feel so clean. You can purchase it HERE or at Target, like me. :) It’s around $5.00.

Anyway, I am by no means an expert on this, but this is just my experience. Would love any other suggestions you all might have. Have any of you purchased appliances off Craigslist? Or maybe have some great Craigslist suggestions in general? Feel free to hop in on the convo.

Much Love!

I Wanna Samba….

My kids are crazy. They LOVE this song and it cracks me up how into it they get. Taken by our dear friends Brian and Sarah Regnart the week we moved into the Santa Rosa house. They came and stayed a couple nights to help us get settled. Love them.

So Blessed

Happy Week After Thanksgiving everyone!!!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Anything exciting happen? We spent the day with the Miraflors in Stockton. I have to admit it was ULTRA weird packing in Santa Rosa for Stockton. For so many years its been the other way around. Regardless, we drove the two hours and spent the night with my in laws and Thanksgiving with the Stockton Miraflor clan.
Seriously, it was so much fun.  We haven’t spent Thanksgiving with my in laws in several years, so it was a treat to be with them. The kids had the time of their life running around like maniacs. 
Lincoln and Evy, two little twinsies. Pretty sure its all in the hair. ha. 

Jake and Scout.  They have so much fun together.

Love this group.

My younger brother Brad was in town for three days this past week and on Friday we all went over to my parents to have dinner with him. My sister and her family also came and my parents had a big surprise for her. My dad bought a new car so they decided to give his little Mini Cooper to my sister. She was SO SHOCKED and excited!! It was so cute and sweet to see her face. The bummer is she broke her foot over a week ago and can’t drive it. :( But she’s excited needless to say!

We had a great time with Uncle Brad. Good thing he’s pretty buffed. ha.

Brandon had made plans for us to go to Petaluma {about 15 mins outside of Santa Rosa} and check out the Pirates Exhibit at the old library. Jake was sooo excited! He dressed up in his Jack Sparrow costume and about freaked out when he saw Jack greeting us in the front of the library, and so did Daddy.

Getting read too at the museum.

And my beautiful girl…we had coffee at a great little coffee shop called Acres. Evy got a cookie and milk. I LOVE her!! 

 I have just been thinking about my life and all of our blessings. After Brandon being gone nearly the entire month of November, I am happy to say his schedule is more light and local the month of December. I cannot express how wonderful it is to be together as a family. And more importantly, a family who is completely in God’s will. There is nothing better than knowing you are right where God wants you. It gives you SUCH peace. This Thanksgiving I gave thanks for what God has done in our lives and where is taking us. I can’t remember the last time I have felt this peaceful. Thank you Lord for taking care of us and for being our provider. We are beyond thankful!

Many blessings friends. Oh and do you love Evy’s Tree? There’s a couple more hours on this:

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