Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Celebration of Purpose

I started this post once already and felt like I was writing an essay. Maybe it's just habit, as my life as a BYU English Major consisted of writing essays virtually non-stop, but I couldn't take it.
I feel like I've forgotten how to write with personality. I'm not necessarily referring to 'voice', which adds sparkle to a paper and allows the reader to relate to the writer and his point, but merely to me.
I wanted to start this blog as a way to encourage myself to be active and crafty (in the creative sense, not the shifty one), but it hasn't really worked. I've been so busy with fulfilling the duties of wife, mother, and housekeeper - essentially the combined tasks of a homemaker - that I haven't really been able to step outside the norm and really craft.
Or so I thought.
As I've pondered this blog, it's purpose, and my failure at achieving it, I realized that the purpose of the goal was flawed. Instead of trying to create a way to encourage me to do new, cool, trendy things that I could share in a fun way with others, I should have made this blog with the purpose of celebrating the crafts and achievements I succeed in doing every day. Sure, there's definitely no harm in learning and exploring new avenues of creation, but why should I think the creations I make everyday are not share-worthy?
I should be celebrating the meals I make everyday - the meals I usually make-up from the ingredients in my cupboards - the meals that my 2 year old, Felicity and husband heartily enjoy!
I should be celebrating the finger paintings I artistically splatter with my 2 year old - the fun and messy craft that help my 2 year old learn and grow while having fun!
I should be celebrating the choreography I dance about to while listening to music with my little guy and Felicity!
I should be celebrating the make believe games I play with Felicity, as well as the journal entries I write, my baked masterpieces that make mouths water, the songs I make up and sing to Felicity, the noodle necklaces, the play-dough people, the reasons I have to think up on the spot for why Felicity can't drop things in the toilet or why the wall isn't the same as paper when it comes to coloring.

I should be celebrating womanhood! wife-hood! motherhood!
I should be celebrating the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed me with. The things it's taken me a lifetime to learn how to do.

So here's the official change in the purpose of my blog.
Crafting a Hearty Home is the site I will use to celebrate the creative progression of an eternal family and my part in it through the simple moments I steal away from time.

And maybe this way, I'll lose myeslf in the Lord's work of raising a righteous, healthy - serving them and thus Him eternally. And by losing myself, perhaps I'll find the personality and voice I'm looking for. Perhaps I'll find me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


So to end 2010 and start 2011, my hubby bought me a piano! :D
It was a great deal, and though very out of tune (as all pianos are when moved), it's just what I wanted! It's an upright, black Fischer.
Plus, we have an old family friend who tunes pianos and will be able to get my beauty happy and in tune again.
We had a great Christmas and New Years, spending lots of time with family. Mike even got a small amount of time off! I must say, Lissy's favorite gift on Christmas was a giant rocking pink poodle (like a rocking horse). She was adorable when she unwrapped it. Most of all, it was just nice to be around family and celebrate the peace and joy of the Christmas season.

I'm very ready for Williwilli (what Lissy calls the baby in my tummy) to be out. I don't remember being so uncomfortable with Lissy, but then again he is bigger than she was and every pregnancy is different. We are on the countdown, though, with only 3 weeks left! I'm hoping he'll be early like Felicity was.

Hope ya'll had a wonderful Christmas and New Years and are ready to start a fresh year with hope and faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Still Going

I'm very bad at this whole blog-thing.
As for what's going on in the Hoffert family - nothing! and yet everything! Ever feel that way sometimes?
I'm so ready for our little baby boy to be out! I have 5 1/2 weeks left and the doctor told me that he's already 5 lbs! Lissy was only 5 lb 15 oz. When I told the doctor this she said "oh, he'll definitely be much bigger than that!" I'd rather him not, frankly. Felicity seemed the perfect size. No wonder my stomach and organs feel so cramped!
Everything else is going well, though. We've set up his crib in Lissy's room along with some of his toys. We're trying to get Lissy used to the idea that those things are for the baby and not her. She's actually doing pretty well.
We're also trying to potty train her right now.
Now, I know everyone said it takes a while and to be REALLY can take a while and require a lot of patience. Some days Felicity does amazing, doesn't have any accidents and uses the potty like a champ. Other days, however, she has no interest at all. It's like the potty doesn't exist some days in her growing mind. Whatever it is, though, I wish I could figure it out! It's not like cleaning up her accidents is that bad, generally. It's just that I have a huge stomach that makes bending over and getting back up the ordeal of the century.
I was really hoping to get her potty trained before the baby came, since they say you have to wait a while when a new baby arrives because it will mess up your baby's potty training schedule and is just too different and life-changing in general. I don't think that's going to happen, though. However, on my ever-optimistic side: It could happen!
And so, the potty training continues.
On an entirely different subject; we've decided on a boy name! This is quite a momentous thing, considering we've never been able to agree on a boy name since we've met.
Here's how it came about:
I was feeling stressed about the financial and motherly burdens of the coming second child and was, frankly, having a hard time being excited at all about our new little one's arrival. My dad always gives Father's blessings when school starts up again, but we were out of town when he did this year. So a few weeks ago, my Mom remembers and asks if Mike and I want my Dad to give us one.
In my blessing my Dad blessed me to be calm about the worries of motherhood and that everything would work out fine. He also said that the little boy inside me was a valiant spirit who is full of vigor and vim and ready to be here on this earth. He said that the little boy would be a joy and a light in our home.
I felt so much better after the blessing, as did Mike after his as well. For a few days after the blessing I kept thinking it would be nice to find a name that meant valiant for our little one. Then one day, Mike calls me up randomly from work and tells me he'd found the perfect name for our little one. He said he had been feeling like he needed to find a name that meant valiant (we hadn't discussed this at all). He came up with William Riley Hoffert. Both William and Riley mean 'valiant protector.' Now, I have never been a huge fan of the name William, but when Mike said it then, I knew it was it!
So there you have it. Through the inspiration and guidance of the Lord, our little boy will be named William Riley. Now what we'll call him for short - I have no idea. But nicknames and such are generally better when not pre-meditated.

Our home is great, and we might actually be done organizing it some day. Christmas time is here and I couldn't be more grateful to the Savior and our Lord for all the blessings overflowing in our lives! 'Tis the season to be grateful, joyous, peaceful, giving, loving, and hopeful!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

catch up

Well it's been a while since my last post, and I could throw out a whole bunch of excuses as to why, but mostly I'm forgetful and easily distracted.
So just to bring you up to date:
We finally got the house! WOO! It's lovely and besides the few problems with the seller post-move in (like the fact that he did not complete the repairs he claimed to, etc.) we've really enjoyed having our own space and knowing that where we live is now an investment instead of a black hole money-wise. Lissy loves her new room and the space to run.
We picked up a cute little stray who, so the vets say, is about 9 months old. He's a small pup that a mix. I know he's part doberman pincher but the other part I'm not sure. He's all legs and loves to jump and run. Lissy and him are so cute playing together.
We're loving our new ward. They're happy, upbeat, and they put us to work asap. Lissy's also nursery age which is SO nice. ahhh. It's like I can actually listen to the lessons in church now.
Felicity is doing amazing. She's so attentive and ready to learn and help. She throws away her trash and puts her toys away all on her own, is slowly being potty trained and is the sweetest little thing ever. The other day Mike and I were doing things in separate rooms and Mike comes across a plastic rose. He tells Lissy to take it to me, which she does. I give Lissy a kiss for it and she returns back to Mike, scrunches her face a little, and then puckers up to give him the kiss. Isn't that so stinkin' cute? I love being a mommy :)
I guess the last thing to wrap it up would be to announce that Mike and I are having a little boy January 23rd! We found out yesterday his gender and are so excited. I'm going to be honest, after having such a wonderful little girl first I wanted another one, but I'm sure I'll love my lil' boy just as much.
I would ask to keep our little one in your prayers. His ultrasound showed everything normal except for one of the sacks in his brain, which is enlarged beyond normal. We are going to see a specialist tomorrow to determine if it's just an advance in his growth or if something is blocked and go from there. We are hopeful, since it's not grossly enlarged, just mildly, but would appreciate any prayers and thoughts for us from ya'll.

As my belly grows I'm looking for more and more pregnancy clothes sewing ideas, so if you know of any, please feel free to share them! And I'll see if Mike can help me get up some ultrasound pics. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

check it out

Check this out!

I grew up on these movies! They're so fun and we've only been able to collect them through thrift stores/ DI etc.
Apparently if you post this link on a site you have other than facebook, you get a free DVD of one of them!
To claim your DVD, create the link then email the URL and your contact information to:
So even if you've never seen them before, they have so many wonderful stories from the scriptures! Check 'em out and post this on your blog to get a free one!
There's no harm in that, right?

Buying a Home

When Mike and I decided we wanted to purchase a home in time for the tax credit we knew there would be some bumps along the way. For one, we'd be buying at a peak of interest in the housing market. Secondly, we decided we wanted in on it the last month before it would be over, so it was crunch time. And finally, we had never done it before...which I guess is implied since we're eligible for the first time home buyers tax credit.
So we made our list of things we wanted in a home and how much we thought we could afford. Then we went to JP Morgan Chase bank to get pre-approved. This part of the process is deceptively easy. We were in there less than 5 minutes and were approved for a decent amount - an amount we had already decided we couldn't afford. That is why my first recommendation to anyone considering buying a home is: Decide between you and your sweetheart (Or if it's just you, then you and your finances) what you can afford BEFORE you go into the bank and ask them. Of course they want to convince you you can take on a bigger loan, that's how they get money.
Anyway, we simply asked Ron Riedell, our mortgage loan officer, to reduce the price on the approval letter to where we were comfortable. He complied. This is also something I'd recommend: your loan officer can state whatever price you want on the approval letter as long as it's at or under what you're approved of. If you make it lower, then when you go to a home that's slightly above, you have purchasing power to sway them down, because you're already approved. That's what Mike and I did, and are so glad for, because if we hadn't, the home would have gone over appraisal value (we found out later) and the whole deal would be off.
So far so good, right?
So we start off on our home quest, and I have to say this is the most fun, most time consuming, and most frustrating part of the whole ordeal. Here's how it went: We'd check dozens of online databases for homes we liked that were in our price range, using ,, bw home team and others. I know a lot of people will just look for a realtor they like and have them show them homes from then on. We tried that at first, looking up who was the best around and such but we didn't find anyone we really liked that way. Instead, we looked for houses we wanted, met whatever realtor was showing it and decided if we liked the realtor and/or the house. This is how we found the realtor we do really like, Trish Cloud. I think she works with BW Home Team now...though I'm not sure, she just switched. Anyway, we sent her a question about a home on her site, and she replied promptly - not only the same day, but within 15 min! - and was really nice, so we decided to go with her.
Trish has been really great. She showed us tons of homes, and wasn't skimpy with her time just because we weren't in a higher price bracket. She's done a great job. That's not to say we weren't still looking up homes on our own, because we were, and I strongly encourage everyone to do that too. Once you find a realtor you like, keep looking for homes you like, even if they're looking too. The sooner you find an awesome steal that goes up and act on it, the better chance you have of getting it.
So we finally found the home we wanted, it fit nearly every point on our list of things we wanted, which was rather comprehensive, and was in our price range (keynote: OUR price range, not the bank's). We were the first ones to go see this home, which was newly renovated and pretty cheap, and decided to hop on it. We sent everything in, including an offer below the asking price and asked for closing costs.
This is when negotiations start. The owner turned back our proposal and asked for higher than the asking price, because we wanted closing costs. We said no, we'll only pay slightly higher than we first offered. He said no, he wouldn't take less than 2 thousand over what he asked. This is when we used our pre-approval letter trick. To be honest, our letter still said higher than what we wanted to pay, so I asked Ron to write us another for lower. He complied. We then took this to the seller and said, Hey look! We can't pay higher than this, BUT we are pre-approved and ready to go. The buyer huffed a little and took the offer. YAY.
So now we've entered the most frustrating part of the whole process. Turning everything over to the lender and waiting. Blah!
All we had left to do was our appraisal, which we did, and it turned out very well. No foundation problems (a miracle in Texas, especially for an older home), and since everything had been replaced by the investor we were buying from, it was appraised highly. The appraisal was done during our 5 day option period (usually it's at least 7, but our seller wanted only 5 since he was going with our lower price). An option period is a period of time where the seller can't back out of the contract for other offers because you're saying your in, but you don't have to lose your earnest money yet. We paid 75$ for our option period. This means that for any reason, we could back out of the contract for only the 75 $ without a penalty. This is nice, and not allowed in all states, because earnest money can cost $500-1000! Earnest money shows the buyer that you're sincere and that if he takes the house off the market and starts the fees of ordering the new title (which custom has the seller pay), he has some guarantee he won't lose everything if we pull out after the option period and before the clsoing date. So our appraisal done and option period over, there's literally nothing to do but hunt insurance (which I posted on earlier).
The waiting period is already very frustrating, because you just want word if everything you put on the line is going to go through. It's ten times worse when you work with someone like Ron Riedell. Once he has the paperwork saying he will, he's no longer amicable and helpful. He doesn't answer phone calls or emails and doesn't update us on anything. The only we've been able to get a hold of him is by calling the branch he's at that particular day and having them not only switch us to his line, but walk over and tell him there's a phone call to answer. OI. For someone who's making a NICE commission off of what we're giving him, you think he'd be more helpful. So the days ticked by and here we are, 2 days before the contracts stated closing and we're still just waiting.
What does the lender have to do in this time? Ask for a bank approved Appraisal so they know their not investing in a home that's worth less than the price they're helping us pay. And make sure we check out (most of which they already did when they approved us: credit checks, address checks, etc.). The buyer pays for the appraisal and is refunded the cost at closing if they don't back out. We were charged for the appraisal 1 1/2 weeks after the paperwork went to Ron. It was done this past Friday. That's not usual. Usually when the money goes out, the appraisal is ordered and it happens very promptly afterward.
So everything's good, right!? NO! bah. Now underwriting has to look it over and see if they do, in fact, think it accurate (what do they higher the appraiser for then anyway?? They should go look at the home themselves). Lucky for us, at least the appraisal came back higher than what we're paying, yay! So now, again 2 days before we're supposed to close at the latest (!), we're still just waiting for underwriting to dittle around before they approve what has already been approved.
There's no way to get a hold of underwriting, we've tried, and Ron's still playing the disappearing act.
In short, I'd like to say:
Dear Ron Riedell, Chase, and Whoever Chase Contacts for Underwriting,
FINISH what you started, and FINISH it NOW.
Yours Truly,

Monday, May 24, 2010


It's amazing how much life gets harder when you get sick. I mean, in highschool it really wasn't that bad. Yeah, you lie at home in bed, watching a movie and wishing the pain would go away, but that's it. Your school work will be taken care of in due time and otherwise you're fine.
It's much harder when your job is to stay home and watch a little one who doesn't understand you're sick. Who doesn't see why she can't have a bite of whatever I'm eating too, and who gets bored not being able to go outside. Poor thing.
She's so patient.
I remember having strep once before in my life, in junior high. I was so sick I just lay in bed dripping a Popsicle down my throat, doing everything possible not to swallow. Luckily I don't seem to be that sick this time...though I may have just grown up some.
Fortunately, our insurance company has this thing called "teladoc." We get 3 free phone calls per person to a doctor who, if they can adequately diagnose our sickness over the phone, will prescribe us medicine and send it to the pharmacy of our choice. Now I must admit, when I first heard about this I was skeptical. I thought, who would trust something like that if they were super sick? Then when my little Lissy got a bad rash I thought about using it, but decided not to since rashes are so ambiguous, even if you go into the doctor they can easily not know what it is from.
However, when I suddenly became ill on Saturday and spent all night writhing in pain I got up Sunday morning with a resolve to teladoc and get medicine! I was certain it was strep, because I've had it before and because when Mike looked at my tonsils they were red with big white spots all over them. So instead of trucking over to the emergency room, which would have been my only option otherwise since doctor offices aren't open on Sundays, I called up the doc.
He was very kind and had perfect bedside manner, even though I wasn't there next to him on a bed. He asked me what I was feeling and listened well. Right when I said my tonsils had spots on them he said "oh dear" and listened to the rest of what I was saying. When I was done he pronounced that since my tonsils had spots and since I had a fever and chills, that it definitely wasn't a soar throat caused by a virus, but one caused by streptococcal bacteria. He quickly prescribed me amoxicillin, after asking if I'd had it before.
Then Mike drove out and picked it up an hour later.
All in all, VERY worth it! Thankyou teladoc!

Now I'm just desperately hoping and praying that neither Mike nor sweet Lissy will catch it. I'm almost certain I'd have to take Lissy in to the hospital since it's so painful to eat she probably wouldn't.
Prayers in our behalf would be so appreciated!