Sunday, December 11, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

Beloved family and friends,                                        December 2016

Taking the time to sit and chronicle events of the past year is no easy task during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, yet it is vitally important to stay in touch with those near and far who are important to us—even if it’s only once a year.

2016 was a year of big changes for Tony and me. After 32 years in our Lewisville home, we decided it was time to move to our forever home, a lovely condominium on Lewisville Lake in the town of Lake Dallas, about 15 minutes north of our former home. One motivating factor was proximity to the girls and their families, both of whom are now less than 10 minutes from us. Another was timing. We were weary of the upkeep of house, yard, and pool, and real estate values in our neighborhood were soaring. We decided on the condo we wanted, submitted a contingency contract, and listed our house. The listing went live on a Friday night, and by Sunday night we had 4 offers, all over asking price. The process was so smooth and seamless, we knew without a doubt it was the right decision. We moved to Water’s Edge on April 1 and haven’t had a moment of regret. God directed the entire process and has blessed us abundantly. We have made so many wonderful friends here already, and we are very active in our new community. Here is a link to my blog posting with the detailed story of the move and pictures of our new home:


Another big change this year is that we have 5 kiddos in school!  Zoey Cribbs (4th grade), Leo Wiese and Ruby Cribbs (2nd grade), and Etta Wiese and Maggie Cribbs (kindergarten) are all doing great at Corinth Classical Academy. Only 4-year-old Sam Cribbs remains at home, and since his birthday is in October, we get to enjoy him full-time until Fall of 2018. The kids are amazing! Each is his/her own unique individual person, yet all six get along beautifully and love each other very much. They are the fruit of dedicated, Godly parenting: smart, kind, sweet, respectful, resourceful, and they all love the Lord. Tony and I couldn’t be prouder of our children and grandchildren.

Because of the move Tony and I didn’t take a “grand” trip this year, but we did manage to get away twice. In May we traveled to my hometown of Endicott, NY, for the funeral of my beloved aunt and godmother, Olga Presowitz, my mom’s sister. She celebrated her 94th birthday in March and gently passed away in her sleep in April. I miss her terribly but rejoice over her long life on earth and eternal life in heaven. We had a nice time reuniting with family and friends while celebrating Aunty’s life and legacy. Then in June we spent a week with Lisa and Bob on the Caribbean island of St. John, their go-to tropical paradise. The weather was perfect, and we had a great time exploring, hanging out at various beautiful beaches, snorkeling, sailing, relaxing in luxurious adjoining condos, and sampling delightful Caribbean cuisine.

Well, as we look forward to 2017 and join our new President in making America great again, we extend our warmest wishes to you and yours for a lovely Christmas and very happy, healthy New Year. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our hope and salvation, God’s perfect gift to mankind, the only One who is able to set us free from our earthly bondage. May His light shine in your hearts now and always.

PICTURE—back row: Jenni Leo Cribbs, Tony, Mona, Josh Wiese; middle row: Ruby Cribbs, Zoey Cribbs; front row: Dave Cribbs, Maggie Cribbs, Sam Cribbs, Leo Wiese, Etta Wiese, Erika Leo Wiese

OUR NEW ADDRESS:  500 Water’s Edge Drive #128, Lake Dallas, TX 75065

MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESSES:  lucysmamamia@gmail.com,                         mona.w.leo@gmail.com

BLOG ADDRESS:  lucysmamamia.blogspot.com

Love, Mona 💖

Saturday, September 24, 2016

T R E E T O P S ! ! !

Ever since Tony and I first drove out to Water's Edge on Lewisville Lake in 2005, we yearned to someday live there.  It was a brand new condominium complex, and the units were perfect for what we envisioned as our retirement home one day.  We didn't honestly imagine we would ever be able to afford to live there, however, because the units were substantially more expensive than what we could get for our house at the time, and we didn't want to have a mortgage in our "golden years".

Over the ensuing years we occasionally visited the property, which had grown to two, then three, residential buildings.  It was still at the top of our retirement living wish list, but the cost was still well out of reach.

Fast forward to 2015.  We had decided it was getting to be time to think about selling our house and downsizing.  Tony was really tired of taking care of the yard and pool, plus occasionally painting the exterior trim and other projects that home ownership entails.  And we had previously decided to wait until our sweet Millie girl was no longer with us, which sadly happened in May.  But where to move?

Two motivating factors prompted the acceleration of our plans.  First, we took another trip out to Water's Edge and found the perfect condo.  Second, resale prices in our neighborhood suddenly skyrocketed to where we could realistically afford to buy the condo.  We saw God's hand directing every single step of this journey.  He opened doors we never dreamed possible.  It was abundantly clear that this was the right time and place to move.  

Another indication that this was the right move for us was that neither Tony nor I had any remorse about leaving our home of 32 years.  I never shed a tear or had a single moment of sadness.  It was clearly time.
Last family photo at 1754 Clarendon Drive in Lewisville.  We made so many wonderful memories in that home.

Our fantastic realtor, Karen Sefcik, listed our house on a Friday night in March 2016. By Sunday night we had had 19 lookers and had 4 offers.  We accepted an offer $10,000 over asking price, closed on both properties, and moved to Water's Edge on April 1, 2016.  

It is now nearly 6 months later and we are still very happy with our decision. There have been, of course, some adjustments to be made going from single-family home to condominium, but for the most part we absolutely love living here, and we thank God for providing us this opportunity. Although we lost a double garage and attic, the condo is less than 200 square feet smaller than our house and is very well designed for living and storage.  An added bonus is being less than 10 minutes from both girls and their families, and half the distance to church.

Our unit is in the oldest of the 3 buildings, on the second floor with a nice view of the lake.  We have 2 assigned parking spaces in the garage beneath the building.  Tony and I enjoy taking the stairs, but there is an elevator available if we're loaded down with groceries (or in later years when stairs may become difficult).  The complex has a lovely pool, a nice workout room, and the Lakehouse recreation building right on the lake.  We play dominoes with some of our neighbors every Thursday evening, I'm in a wonderful women's Bible study, and we're already making lots of nice friends.  

In addition to the photos I've posted below, here is a link to the official Water's Edge website:          http://www.luxurylakecondos.com/ld.html  

Although the interior photos of the unit shown on the website were taken in the third and newest building, which is right on the water and a lot more expensive than ours, we love our totally remodeled unit.  And the prices and HOA dues have significantly increased since the website was created, but the other information has not changed.  Our unit is called the Lakeshore.  Now, scroll down and enjoy a photo tour of our own place!

Approaching the entrance to Water's Edge 
 The place is nicely landscaped.
 Drive through the entrance gate...
 ...down the tree-lined driveway...
...turn right at the waterfall...
...and enter the parking garage.
This is where our car safely stays out of the weather.
 After climbing 2 flights of stairs we look down onto the guest parking lot and Building 2 across the courtyard.
 At the end of the hallway is this nice view of Building 3 and the lake.
 Continue down the hallway past two other units...
 ...turn left at the 5 big urns full of plants (which used to adorn our pool deck at the house)...
...and you find yourself at Unit 128, aka Casa Leo, aka Treetops!!
 Welcome!!  This is the view into the condo from the front door, 
 and this is the view of the front door from the inside.
 Take an immediate left into the little hallway, which leads to 
 the first bedroom, which I like to call the Garden Room.
 We already had most of the furnishings, but we did add a couple of Ikea pieces,
 including a platform bed with nice storage drawers underneath.

Across the hall from the Garden Room is bathroom #1.
 On the other side of the foyer is bedroom #2,
 (Ikea really helped us out here, too.)
and the laundry room. (No sassy remarks about my 40-year-old Harvest Gold clothes dryer that is still going strong!)
 Continuing into the condo from the foyer we come to the kitchen, 
 which is quite possibly my favorite room in the house.
Looking out from the kitchen we see my cookbook cabinet and another small hallway , which leads to
 a powder room and
 Tony's Rocket Room//
 storage room//
freezer room//pantry.  The website calls this a "media room".  We call it the "Thank God we have a place to keep all our stuff where we can close the door so people won't see what hoarders we are" room!!  Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
 Okay, so now that you've seen our darkest secrets, let us resume the tour in the dining room//library.
On the other side of the dining room is a lovely butler's pantry and space for our DVD cabinet.

 Last but not least in this continuous open space is the living room.
 This room is about half the size of the one we had on Clarendon Drive, yet it's perfectly adequate and we haven't missed the extra (aka, wasted) space one bit.
 Everyone (including me!) will tell you I am no decorator, but when I saw this area rug I knew it was a perfect fit with the furniture and wall art.
Behind the tv and its stand is a silly, phony, electric fireplace that I had no qualms about covering. I do love the stacked stone accent wall, though.

 Off the living room is one more cute cubby,
 the perfect spot for our CD cabinet, and which leads to 
 the office//den.
 Inside this armoire is my turntable and fairly good-sized vinyl album collection.
 I promised Tony if we could get new living room furniture, he wouldn't have to part with his 16-year-old, very well worn recliner.
His-and-hers, side-by-side desks.  Awww, aren't we cute??
 Off the den (which most folks use as their master bedroom) is the master bathroom with its Jacuzzi tub, stand-up shower, linen closet,
 ginormous walk-in closet,
 separate water closet and 
 towel drying room,
 and double vanity.
Gotta love two sinks!!
 Accessible from both the living room and the den is the nice-sized terrace,
 which we recently had screened in because, after all, 
 bugs enjoy being near the water, too.  The screen has been such a blessing.
 This is why I named our condo "Treetops".
We also have a pretty good view of the lake, which will be even better once the deciduous trees start losing their leaves.
And this is the view we are able to enjoy every day from the Lakehouse deck.  So peaceful and tranquil, I think it will do just fine until we get to heaven!