Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The battle of the Sexes!

We were told 2 months ago that we were the lucky parents of a girl so to our delight we began to prepare for a little Tuten girl in our family.  I made girly, girl bedding and we were already receiving packages with adorable girl clothes from friends and family back in the states.  About 2 wks ago I went for another ultrasound and the Dr. said "the babies legs are crossed but it looks like a BOY".  Needing some kind of clarity I headed over for another ultrasound yesterday and the Dr. said "It's a boy!".  So the boys once again continue to out number on both sides of our families.  So there you have it " A BOY!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Never Ending Saga of our House is coming to an END

As I think about this situation its bizarre but a great reminder of our Gods soveriegnty and provision. Here are some of the details and people involved:  We have the famous spokesperson, host and auto expert: Barbara Terry who has signed a contract on our house and moved in her mother into our home to rent the house.  We also have a well known Fort Worth realtor Robbie Renfro who also has made a name for himself in his field of business. This realtor was representing Mrs. Terry.  The Tutens, missionaries who are trying to sell or rent their home so that they can continue their work in S. America at peace. And some random subleasers caught in the middle of a scam. 
In a matter of seconds our whole renters/sellers situation got chaotic.  We were baffled and confused why these two very successful people mentioned above would do this.  We received an email notifying us that our renter left our house (Barbara Terrys mother) and they subleased it using this reputable realtor Mr. Renfro whom should of known better.  Well if thats not bad enough we were also dealing with evictions because they weren't paying us our rent due even though they had already collected the rent from the subleasers. Oh it gets crazier, then were notified that they have put our house on the market for sale and said they were the owners of our home once again using this realtor who was very aware that it was OUR home.  Craziness, huh! In the eviction process we had the right to remove the subleasers from our home since they were considered "trespassers" though they paid rent and signed a contract just not to the rightful owners.  We decided that they were innocent bystanders and that we would not remove them from our home.  They are now out of our house and thanks to God did not destroy our home. 
To this day we have no idea why these apparently successful people would come together to do this to us.  Why us? Why our home? Why? Why? Why?  After consulting our God, our property manager, our realtor, a lawyer we decided to not sue or pursue. 
The best thing for us was to cut all ties with Ms. Terry and her mother and free ourselves of all this drama because in end it was only causing us stress and we were losing money.  Before we did cut all ties I wrote Mrs. Terry to inform her that she was hurting not just a name on a contract but a family. That this home is not a retirement fund for us but on the contrary the rent we collect doesn't even cover all of our mortgage. Also, asking  her to please be honest with us on her intentions with our home and that if she wanted out of the sell and lease contract there are appropriate avenues on accomplishing this. To my surprise she did write back and she wanted to make things better by keeping her contract and paying our rent through Dec and then buying the house.  These were the initial terms of the contract. But once again this was to good to be true at the end she once again didn't keep her word in any form or fashion. 
Both our lease and sell contract with Barbara Terry and her mother was now in default.  Leaving us out of September rent and with an empty home to rent or lease once again.  Ms. Terry, her mother and Mr. Renfro go on living their lives as normal not realizing the damage they have done to our family. And in some way that is frustrating but I trust that God will take care of all this dishonesty and damage.  I learned that though we have every right to pursue justice sometimes its better to just let it go for His Name Sake.  This all started in June and now October is rolling around and its not prime time for moving or selling. Only reminding us that God is bigger than the dishonesty and damage that was done to us.   So here we go moving forward trusting God to take care of us financially and to quickly fill our home with good honest tenants or buyers. Please pray the same for us!
Spoke to soon. We thought it were done but at this point Ms. Barbara Terry and/or her mother have not signed the release of contract form, therefore, still legally binding us to this contract.  Which means we can't sell or rent the home to anyone else.  She is at her 7 day limit and we have not rec'd the contract signed which now leaves us with no choice but to bring in a lawyer.
We emailed Ms. Barbara Terry and her mother again on Saturday to let them know we would be following through with legal action if the release of contract form was not signed.  We are at our wits end and feeling really frustrated that she is dragging this out and envisioning our home sitting empty for another month with no tenants to pay the mortgage.
At 2p.m. we received the form signed.  YES, WE ARE FREE!  THANK YOU GOD for sparing us the overwhelming process of going to court.  IT'S OVER! 

Boy or Girl? That is the question

We are still trying to figure out the sex of our baby.  We were told at one ultrasound that it was a girl and then the next ultrasound we were told it was a boy.  So we will be making an appnt for a 3rd opinion next week.  One thing they all agree on is we have a healthy baby!  Mari has already made the baby bedding and some people have already sent GIRL stuff. So we will see what the Lord blesses us with.

Are you a Christian? Why or Why not?

Reaching students for Christ is our vision, purpose statement.  Well every year it looks a little different but with some of the basics that don't change which are: discipleship, teaching and counseling. 
-Ben asked his class this: "Are you a Christian? Why or why not?" One student said "no, because I don't go to church".  Ben plans on meeting with him over lunch to share with him some Truths on this.
-Mari started the school year with a presentation for elementary students on "Appropriate Touch and Respect"
-Tonight Mari will go to a bible study her and two other women started to support and encourage each other and younger missionary wives.  Mari is excited about this opportunity!
- Ben will initiate once a week his lunch time to eat lunch with a different student.
- Mari will be meeting with the 6th grade moms once a month and the 6th grade girls once a month.
Were trying to keep it low key this school semester since Mari will be giving birth to our 3rd child but sometimes the need outweighs our desires:).

Back to School Jungle Party take 2

One of our ministries as a family here is hosting.   We invited Ethans class over to a Back to School Jungle gathering at our house.  It was a great time meeting new parents and his classmates.  In the past we have had parents just drop off their little ones but this year parents came and even brought extended family with them. 

Our boys

Many of you last year joined us in prayer for our oldest Ethan because of all the emotional issues he was dealing with.  It was a hard year him and for us as we tried to walk alongside of him and support him.  I mentioned before that we decided to hold Ethan back in Kinder due to these issues.  So here is his 1st day of school with his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Ortiz.  We find change, triggers Ethans anxiety so we were prepared for the first week of school to be filled with lots of chewing on clothes, blinking and possibly behavior issues.  We were so excited to see that none of that was a problem.  Praise the Lord!!! 
Aiden our 3yr old is doing wonderful.  Quite the chatterbox he is turning out to be.  His little comments about life and his day keep us smiling.  He goes to pre-k and loves it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not A Coincidence

Tuesdays are the days the Tutens are not allowed to use their vehicle.  So we either walk or depending on how pregnant Mari feels we take a taxi.  Ben and Ethan have a 8 min walk down hill to school in the morning and Mari and Aiden have a 30 min. walk uphill to get Aiden to school.  This particular morning Mari was in a hurry and didn't think she could hike up the hill and back, so she took a taxi.  An experience she always tries to avoid because usually the taxi guy tries to over charge her and she won't have it and they end up in a debate. 
Mari was impressed with how cordial the driver was so she asked him to wait for her outside of Aiden school to take her down and back up to our home.  On the way down the traffic was horrendous and as you know time is money in a taxi.  Mari debated whether she wanted to fork up the extra $1 for having to wait in this traffic or if she should get out the taxi and just walk up the hill to the house.  Alas, she got out of the taxi and started her walk in heels and big belly up the hill.  As she walked the taxi she was in passed her up and she moaned.  A few seconds later she heard a very loud crash but couldn't see what the commotion was as she got closer she realized it was her taxi that had just gotten hit.  It was hit pretty badly knocking it over into the median and the hit came on the side Mari would have been sitting in.  As she walked passed it sad for the driver it hit her that she could of been in that taxi possibly badly injured.  Unable to hold her tears in she cried as she walked thanking God for protecting her and the baby and getting her out of that taxi. 
Not a coincidence!