Before I start my main post, let me say that we did go talk to a counselor about the boys' behavior and lying. She said most of our problems are legal issues and she advised us to get a lawyer and get full custody. She did help us a good bit. She thinks the boys lie because they are suffering from trauma; their lives have been too chaotic, so lying is a coping mechanism. Plus they've been seeing their mother lie all along. In part, they act that way because that's what they know. They are dealing with the stress of a mother who doesn't take care of them and doesn't really want them. So no matter how nice, safe, or loving their lives are with us, it does not erase the fact that their mother has rejected them. I had not thought about things this way. I think having the right perspective is the key to finding the answers. I did tighten control and discipline, and this week seems to be going much better. We have also been trying to have more fun activities; yesterday they got to shoot the paintball gun. They had a blast. One of the boys is actually a fairly actuate marksman, hitting the target 6 times out of ten. That is very impressive for the first time he's ever tried to shoot anything. We had tried to get them involved in archery but it didn't work out- both boys had to behave at school all week before we would pay for archery lessons. Neither one made it. Maybe if they have something like that at home, with the promise of archery in the future, they might be willing to work towards the goal.
Now, our housing situation. The mobile home people came out to look at our site this morning to see if it was suitable. In a word- maybe. It depends on how we turn the trailer, and which model we finally decide to buy. We also run the possibility of running afoul of the health department. They may not let us place a trailer here unless we tear down this house first. If we do that, we have to store our belongings and find another place to stay. The health department has to approve the site, the septic tank, and the trailer itself before power is run to it. We cannot avoid them for very long. I am terrified of what they will say. The person who came out this morning is going to call the health department and ask 'hypothetical' questions so we can figure out what to do without running afoul of county law. Our luck lays in the fact that there are A TON of old, crumbling, historic houses in Salem and none are up to code. It's not like the health department could figure it's us in particular who wants a trailer, so it would be unlikely they would come out here and start slapping us with fines.
We also learned that one of our neighbors is an active member of the historic society, and there is a very good chance that he would buy the house and move it to another site to preserve it. Moving the house would solve all the problems that would condemn it. The roof needs to be replaced, the piers need to be replaced, and some sills need to be replaced. Leaving the house here and trying to fix those things would be ungodly expensive. But to move the house the roof would be taken off anyway. New piers would be built at the new site. And once the house was lifted for the move, replacing crumbling floor sills would be a fairly simple matter. So moving the house might be the best solution for all. Providing the historic society actually wants to buy it. At least now I know they could not force us out to 'save' the site. The only way to save this house is to move it.
Will and I have a lot to discuss. I think it would be best if we measured everything carefully, marked the yard so we can see exactly where things will go, and maybe we need to start acting as if the trailer is already in place. If we are going to lose some parking space, perhaps we should figure out where to park our cars and start using that space accordingly. I think it will be easier to figure out which model I like best if I know what I will be seeing from my kitchen window. Or if I know where my bedroom is located. We might sleep better if the bedroom is towards the back of the property instead of closer to the neighbor's house.
I don't have much of a plan at the moment. All I can tell you is we're getting started.
While I was proofreading this post, I received a phone call saying that the county health department won't make too much of a fuss as long as the septic and power is run correctly. Yay! No worries about putting everything in storage!