Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our Newest Grandchild

I am so happy to announce the birth of our newest grandchild who is:

Caroline Anina Chronis
Born: May 21, 2011
Where: Lancaster, CA
To: Dan and Ramona Vargas Chronis
Time: 7:19 PM
Length: 20 3/4 in

Caroline is such a beautiful and sweet little baby girl. She was born tongue-tied and had extreme difficulty nursing. When she was about three days old Dan and Ramona took her to an EENT specialist. The specialist determined it was necessary to clip the frenulum beneath her tongue. She can now move her tongue around the inside of her mouth and is better able to drink her bottle. She still has not been able to nurse her mother, so her mom pumps out her breast milk and fills bottles to feed baby Caroline. It has been sad to see this, but I know one day Caroline will figure out how to nurse at the breast.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Moving In!

So cool to move into our new home! I'm still having trouble realizing it's all ours - no if's and's or but's! We had a few major glitches with our move. After we moved some of our things into the house I decided to make a sink full of hot, soapy water to wash some dusty items, and lo! There was NO hot water. So Tony checked the water heater - it was in the on position and temperature was dialed to the correct reading, but there was NO hot water. Finally I made a phone call to the plumber that had put the insulation blanket on it. When the plumber came he told us the water heater was ancient and would need about $350.00 worth of repairs that he could not guarantee would last due to the age of the heater. He then noted that there was never a safety release valve ever installed and that the whole heater had been installed incorrectly. When we had the home inspector come he told us the heater was working perfectly! So 5 1/2 hrs later and $1,000 less in our pocket book we had a working water heater. Okay. The next morning I went out to the garage and smelled gas. So I called the gas company and they sent someone out within the hour. The gas repairman said there was not just ONE leak, but indeed two - both in the furnace gas intake valve! So he repaired those. Finally we were able to use our hot water and the furnace was fully-functioning. Apparently the water heater came installed when the house was first built, and it WAS installed incorrectly. The plumber said the owners were lucky it hadn't exploded over the years. I'm just grateful we were able to repair it, and so quickly!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Done and Done!

I just wanted to write about how excited I am at the close of our house sale yesterday. It is nothing short of a miracle that we sold the house, much less for the price we demanded. When I called our insurance agent today to project and prepare coverage for our new home and to drop the insurance on our home we just sold, she was shocked at how much we paid for our new home, and wanted to know how we did it. When I told her she was even more surprised. Even I can't get over how it all worked out in our favor.

What's even more amazing is how she reacted when I told her there would be NO mortgage on our new home! I told her we had lived in our home on Manhattan Place so long that we derived enough proceeds from the sale to buy our new home with cash. She was devastated!

It has ever been my dream as an adult to own our own home outright - and God has answered our prayers and even added more blessings on top of all that.

If you are wary to believe that God hears and answers prayers, or that he cares about your well-being financially - well let me tell you I KNOW he does! He not only helped us acquire our home on Manhattan Place, but he also helped us find a buyer for it when we needed the money to buy a new home.

Yes, we have to move to another city, but I'm not in the least sorry about that either. We still get to live in Los Angeles - we are renting an apartment in Hollywood until we are ready to permanently leave LA, which will probably be in 2-3 years. And our apartment is also a wonderful place to live as well. Heavenly Father has watched over us every step of this process, truly he has.

He has even seen to it that we will have enough money left from the sale to make the needed improvements on our new home, and that is: all new carpeting/flooring and to repaint the entire house, which will not come cheap. We will also need a little new furniture because some of ours has gotten very shabby.

All-in-all it has been a most remarkable experience. I will post pictures later on of our new home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Casa Grande

Well, well. We've finally done it! We sold our beautiful Los Angeles home and bought an equally beautiful home in Lancaster, CA! It has been something that has been on our minds for the past few years. We realized we aren't getting any younger and the house wasn't going to get any smaller. 6,000 sq ft of house is more than most people ever dream of having, and we had it - in spades! Our home has not just been the place where we lived. It has been home to many, many friends and family, the site of family reunions, weddings, receptions and various other large gatherings. Our children and grandchildren have lived here and grown up here. It is not just another building, but a sacred edifice and a very worthy one at that.

The family who built this house has been with us in spirit since before we closed escrow. Today I finally received the last of the temple cards for the ordinances that were performed for them this past two years. I kept my promise to Marcelin Eyraud.

It is with sadness we bid adieu to the walls and timbers that hold it all together. This house was built in 1908 by Marcelin Eyraud, and the architect was Rudolf Krempel, a very famous German architect who came to Los Angeles in the late 1800's to make his fame and fortune - which he did. In the 1990's we petitioned the City of Los Angeles to make it an historical landmark, which they did, and it became Historial Landmark #626. Now all the surrounding streets here in Country Club Park have been designated as an HPOZ. Translated, that means it sits within a "Historical Property Overlay Zone". This makes the owners of the property able to obtain 1/2 off their property taxes and to obtain larger loans from the state of California to preserve and maintain the edifice. We will not realize any of these benefits, but the new owners will. I am happy for them. This also makes this house automatically worth far more money than in surrounding neighborhoods.

We were able to sell our home at a phenomenal price, allowing us to pay cash for our new home in Lancaster. For that we are thankful to God.

As we entered retirement we knew we would have new challenges to face, so now we down-size and prepare to have a well-maintained home without all the very hard work this property has required of us. Our new home has 2500 sq ft of living space and we are able to have an entire wing of it dedicated to Kirk. He will have his own room and bathroom.

Our new home requires some cosmetic rehab, but nothing difficult. It's needs new paint throughout, new flooring and carpeting, and we will be putting a spa in the back yard as well. All these things will be for our comfort and ease. I can't tell you how happy I am about all that

Let our new lives begin!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Grandchildren are the Best!

We came up to Lancaster last Sunday morning to watch over five of our grandchildren while Dan and Ramona are in Europe. It is now Saturday, and what a week. The children all have a whirlwind of activities to be shuttled back and forth to/from, and then there are three meals a day to prepare, and chores for everyone. Ahhh, the memories of handling a large home with six children in tow! But ALL the children have been so good and helpful that I cannot complain one iota.

Benjamin, who is 22 months old is the biggest challenge. He pretty much runs the show all the time! Ha! He snacks all day and then refuses to eat his three meals, so yesterday I refused to give him snacks all day and he finally ate his meals without difficulty. We took him with us to WalMart today and he decided since we'd bought yogurt it was time to eat it - and had a HUGE tantrum in the store, so Tony had to take him away so I could finish the shopping.

Tony bought smoothies for us and he latched onto Tony's and wouldn't give it back until we got home and gave him a yogurt for lunch. He's so funny. He's just learning to talk, so everything he says is cute right now. The other kids enjoy encouraging him to say their names, and he is fairly cooperative about it.

We bought "Avatar" and showed it to Ewa and Elias last evening and we all enjoyed it very much. I'm not real big on it's overly pro-ecological kick, but it is entertaining and exciting. Miguel latched onto our copy of the film, so we had to find and buy a new one. MIGUEL!!

We only have two more days here, then it's back home to packing and throwing stuff out for the big move. We still have to make the offer on the house up here, but I'm sure it will go smoothly and we can start moving our things in quickly. Since we are paying cash for the house escrow should be a breeze. Yay - because the escrow for our house has not been without glitches.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Better Late Than Never!

Yesterday morning Tony and I went to our monthly inservice meeting for seminary and institute teachers. Brother Neeley who is the director of the Santa Monica Institute (and my superior) gave a wonderful lesson and taught us a new skill for bringing our students forward to teach the class. I really liked the idea because it was far different than any of the ways I've used my students to help present in my classes.

If you didn't know - I teach the New Testament class on Wednesday night at the Santa Monica Institute, and Tony is in his 19th year teaching seminary on Friday evenings for the home study students.

After yesterday morning's class in Santa Monica we headed back east to Rancho Cucamonga and attended funeral services for our dear friend Mary Hendrickson. Her family paid tribute to her fabulous musical talent as well as her eternal contributions to her husband, children and grandchildren. I feel so honored that Mary was my friend and will be happy to see her again when I pass from this life. She made such a mark on my life - I shall never forget her.

Mary was Miguel's first serious piano instructor, and one day after he had been studying with her for about a year she called me and told me not to send him over for lessons any more. I was devastated because I thought he had done something to offend her, but she reassured me that wasn't the reason for her request. She told me she had taught him all she knew and that he was beginning to teach her. We had a good laugh together over that. Miguel also sang "Der Ring" for her second daughter, Kristen's wedding reception, and Mary accompanied him. Miguel's God-given talent will always be credited to Mary's fabulous knowledge of music and her fine piano skills.

Then this morning I taught at the 9th Annual Roots Conference here in Los Angeles. I presented lessons/discussion on using the U.S. Census for researching family history as well as how to use community boards to further family history research.

I felt the Census class was a flop, but the community boards class was fun and informative and there was a lot of participation.

This is the first Roots Conference Tony ever attended, he said he learned some things in my classes, for that I was happy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Winding Down

This weekend our granddaughter Lauren is performing her senior recital. We are very excited for this as it marks the near-end of Lauren's under-graduate career at USC as a cello performance major. Lauren is so talented, her music is very beautiful - she is very deserving of all the accolades that go with her impending graduation. She is graduating magna cum laude. We are so proud of her.

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