Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

On Christmas Eve, we spent it with Doug's family. It was so much fun! When we got there, Doug wanted a picture with the girls. 

My mother in-law, Shar, got the girls beautiful red Christmas dresses with white fur jackets. 

I kept trying to catch the girls to get a good picture with their new dresses. Yeah, didn't work out so well.

Anna crawling under a chair.

Anna finally posed for me. Ellie said "no."

Doug's mom and dad with all the grandkids. Anna is on the left and Ellie is on the right crying, of course. My sweet nieces and nephew are there as well. Love those kiddos!

I didn't get pictures of them opening gifts. :( I forgot. We were blessed so much by my in-laws and sister and brother in-law. I never thought I would get such an amazing added family!

Then, Christmas Day morning we had the girls open their gifts from us. It was pretty much the cutest thing I have ever seen.  

Getting ready to open gifts

Anna's new hat from Great Grandma Kontny.

Ellie with her Elmo slippers from Great Grandma Kontny.

The girls playing with their new doll house from mommy and daddy.

After we opened gifts, we headed to my preggo sister's house to celebrate Christmas Day with my family.

Ellie starting to open her gifts from Grandma Dina and Grandpa Jimmy. Ignore Ellie's messy hair. 

The girls were wearing outfits they got from their Auntie Julie (Doug's sister). They are stylin'!

Now Anna's turn!

Anna much rather play with the tissue paper.

Clothes? What the heck??

Yummm, tights!!

Thanks for the gifts, but I rather play with wrapping paper!

Again, we all were so blessed by this Christmas this year. Doug and I are so thankful for a loving family and for our little family. Jesus is the reason for the season! Can't wait for next year when my girls will be almost 2 and 3. :) 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snowflake Lane

Doug and I took our precious girls to Snowflake Lane the day before Christmas Eve this year. The last time Doug and I were there was when we were dating. We were madly in love and he was going to propose the next month. Doug didn't plan to take me to Snowflake lane, he actually forgot it was going on. We were eating at Maggiano's and when we finished, we stepped outside to leave. All of a sudden, the drummers started drumming and the music started playing. It was one of the most special moments I will always remember.

Snowflake Lane 2007

Now, 3 years later, our lives have changed so very much. Now we have two little girls and we feel so blessed to have our little family. 

Snowflake Lane 2010

It was sooooo much fun!!! If you haven't gone, you must! My girls loved it.

I'm pretty sure this will be a Christmas Benson Tradition from now on!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Where's The Remote?

No, I didn't see Ellie put it in there. And yes, I ran the dishwasher.

I already posted this picture on Facebook but I had to also put it on my blog. I had to share Ellie's creativity. 

I had such a wonderful day today with my girls and my amazing mom. We went to Baha Fresh and had lunch. My girls were so well behaved and I fed Anna baby food and Ellie ate some of a burrito. 
I gave the girls a little haircut the other day. They both have a little bob haircut with bangs. :)

After Baha Fresh, my mom treated us to Starbucks. I got a nonfat Eggnog Latte and Ellie got milk. Then, we walked to Target. 

I took a cart with Anna and my mom took a cart with Ellie. After an hour of shopping, this happened...

This definitely was a first and pretty darn cute if you ask me. This is one of those moments that makes all the diaper changing, the crying fits, and sleepless nights worth it. Love my sweet girls!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What Our Lawyer Says About Foreclosure and Short Sales

It has been awhile since I have blogged because you know, life is busy. I been caught up with starting my own business (something I'm doing very part-time), getting ready for Christmas, fussy little girls, and just life in general. My husband and I paid a whopping $350 to talk to a real estate attorney about our short sale situation. Yes, it's a lot of money but it was worth it to us to make sure we were making correct decisions. We had researched a lot before talking to the attorney but he told us some things made my jaw hit the ground. I thought I would share them since 1/2 of the country is in our boat. So save your $350 or more bucks and here you go. I will try to be as accurate with what he told me as possible.

First in regards to foreclosure, he said that when you sign the "deed of trust" when you purchase your home, you are agreeing to pay all of the amount owed...however, if you unable to pay the bank they my take your home and sell it at auction. Therefore, you are released from that agreement. He said Washington is one of the very few states that will not sue homeowners for the difference.

So why not just walk away and forget the short sale? Here's the catch and this is what shocked us...

You are only protected if you have 1 loan through 1 bank. If you have a 80/20 loan (even if they are through the same bank) you are NOT... again NOT protected from the 20% loan. If you foreclose, you are liable for the 20% loan. The attorney said the trick is to do a short sale and get both banks to agree to "meet full and total satisfaction"of what you are short. We currently are released from our primary mortgage loan and are in the negotiation process with the 20% loan (Chase). I asked him if he has seen people sued for the 20% and his answer was "Oh yeah!" I actually have two friends who have these loans, lost their homes to foreclosure, and the 20% loan bank is threatening to garnish their wages. They now are claiming bankruptcy to protect themselves.

There is a good chance the short sale will go through and we will still have to pay back the 20%. We are giving this to the Lord because it's out of our hands now. I felt I needed to share this information so people can be informed and protect themselves.

The attorney told us why these banks gave out all these bad loans. He said, "I will tell you this, I do not feel bad for these banks who have went bankrupt. They had this genius idea to give loans to people who usually wouldn't be qualified for the loan to begin with. We'll charge them up the butt with interest, and if they really can't afford it they will foreclose and we will just sell them at auction and get back our money back and more because real estate only increases with time. So they thought... it back fired and the market crashed, people lost their jobs, and people stopped paying their mortgage."

I really think some law will pass to protect these homeowners. The banks get bailed millions of dollars out but we don't get a break? Something needs to be done! We should find out next week if Chase says our loan "meets full satisfaction". Fingers crossed.