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Market Update from Micah

March 15, 2012

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

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Is this a Blip or a Trend?
Micah Baginski


Better Homes and Gardens
Real Estate
1819 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95818

The figures are in! The month of February saw a $3,000 increase in the median home price in Sacramento. This may not sound like much but it is one of the first increases in the median price in nearly 5 years. The only other price increases have been subsidized by government stimulus, this one was not. Now keep in mind we are still at an 11 year low in pricing in the market. So what do these two bits of information mean? Well I think you know where I am heading . . .

If you are a data junkie click on my site to see the numbers.

If not give me a call and we can talk about whatever you want.


Micah Taking the Plunge!

November 17, 2011

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

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I am now with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie
Micah Baginski
Expanding my Toolbox

916.600.4040 (Cellular)

Better Homes and Gardens
Real Estate
1819 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95818

Hey there! It has been a while hasn’t it.

If you wonder why you are getting this it is because you know me or followed us at LJ Urban. I wanted to let you know where I have landed. I am still able to offer building services through Micah, Builder but I have broadened my capabilities by my recent affiliation with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, the dynamic lifestyle real estate brand built for today’s market. This partnership enables me to offer the most comprehensive services to my buyers and sellers utilizing state of the art multimedia marketing strategies combined with my local knowledge and expertise.

If you have been thinking about buying that first home, investing in income property, or just want to let me know what you are up to, I would love the call! Now is a great time to buy property, let me know what I can do for you.


2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,000 times in 2010. That’s about 14 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 38 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 52 posts. There were 84 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 51mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was May 13th with 103 views. The most popular post that day was Our Trip South; A Recap.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for,, five family blog baginski, lale labuko, and jinka.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Our Trip South; A Recap May 2010


Just can’t win! July 2010


Preparing to Move June 2010


We are back! May 2010


Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler, Flatbread, Hummus, and Something-like-the-DMV April 2010

God is so in the details

December 5, 2010

We "re-celebrated" Kai's birthday with family in California

All I can say is, God is so in the details.  Micah is usually the one to write our blog posts but I just had to share all the goodness that has been poured out on us since we’ve been home—or should I say, the home we’ve been staying in since we got back to the US.

If any of you are ever on Facebook (I hardly ever am), you may have seen my recent status update that I think it may be time to change the name of our family blog.  Baby Baginski #4 is due June 21st 2011.  We are very excited to have the large family we have dreamed of having.  I think four kids officially qualifies as “big.”

By the time we were in Germany and planning our “re-entry”, Micah started fine-tuning and updating his resume, and I started giving thought to the kinds of things I tend to worry about, like getting health insurance and having the kids checked for parasites.  Knowing that we were coming back with one more person, I was truly concerned that I would not qualify for coverage.  Even though I am not one who believes that pregnancy is an illness, health insurance companies would see this as a “pre-existing condition.”

The night we landed in San Francisco, my dear friend Sarah encouraged me to look into Healthy Families—a health insurance program for low-income families in California.  I got started on it the very next day and guess what I discovered?  Although this program doesn’t generally cover parents—only children of low-income families—it does cover pregnant mothers and their unborn children!  Hallelujah!  Exactly what I feared would disqualify me, is the only reason I can get health care coverage through this program.

Within a week of being back in the States, Noah came down with an “unexplained” fever.  We have been notified that any “unexplained” fever we are to have over the next year should be presumed malaria until proven otherwise.  So Noah  and I spent the next couple hours of the evening at the ER for a malaria test.  Last week, we received the bill from the hospital for the ER visit—OUCH!!  (Not the $1.50 it cost for us to get Kai tested and treated in Ethiopia two months ago!)

So this brings me to today. . . I received two letters from “Healthy Families” health insurance.  The first one stated that Isabella is covered, effective December 10th for a minimum monthly premium.  The second letter stated that Noah and Kai (because they are age 5 and under) qualified for another “no-cost” health care program and get this: effective NOVEMBER 1st!!  This means we can submit Noah’s ER visit and it will be COMPLETELY covered through this program.

I am thankful that I live in the wonderful (otherwise bankrupt) State of California, but even more very THANKFUL that we serve a very Mighty God, our Father in Heaven, who loves and cares for us so deeply and is very much in the details.

November 17, 2010

This is from a good friend of mine that imports coffee from Ethiopia through his business Just Coffee. I just thought it sounded like a great project and I am always impressed by people who think of innovative ways to help others. Enjoy.

I have an exciting request to help build a school where we buy coffee! If you purchase green coffee in Yirgacheffe, you are purchasing from growers that do not have an adequate school (100 kids per classroom, many can’t attend), where children must go to the bathroom in the woods, and eat sugar cane to stave off hunger and thirst throughout the day. Please read and strongly consider supporting this project. It will make an immediate difference in the lives of over a thousand families!

I’m writing this while driving back from Yirgacheffe as our car weaves between goat herds and donkey carts. We’ve left the Sidama huts behind and are careening down into the Great Rift Valley – on my way home after a week in Ethiopia. We’ve been working on Run Across Ethiopia, taking place in January to raise funds to build schools in the communities where we purchase coffee. Timothy (our run coordinator), Surafael (translator and logistics support in Ethiopia), Ayele (Representative from Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union), Belay (our driver), and I have just finished up an amazing three day adventure along the expedition route.

The rest of the trip has been working on overall logistics in getting 10 american runners, 4-6 ethiopian runners, 2 musicians, videographer, journalist, support crew, family, and 15 coffee roasters from Addis Ababa to Yrgacheffe over a 10 day period.

Of all the adventures this week the most important is the reason I am emailing you – Mose Greola School whose children are members of the cooperative Kalaltu Hase Gola – where we buy some of our Yrgacheffe Coffee. The school has 960 students sharing just 7 small classrooms, with literally, as many children who can fit crammed into each classroom. This amounts to over 100 kids in a small room. The school serves 5 neighboring villages with over 800 families living in each village. With an average of 7 people in each household – that comes to a small 7 classroom 1st – 8th grade school serving a population of 28,000! Without added classrooms, many children can’t even attend school.

While classrooms are the most important issue – it is not the only. There is no bathroom – children must go in the woods. There is no water – the closest well is a 10 minute walk. There is no food –they find sugar cane in the fields to stave off hunger and thirst during the day. There is no housing for the teachers– they must walk 2 hours each day to school. There are very few school supplies and furnishings – the tiny first graders sit on branches of a tree propped into benches in their dirt floor classroom. When the rainy season starts, the floor of the school floods, and the rain falls through the holes in the ceiling and walls.

The Run Across Ethiopia is bearing much fruit – all from runners raising 15 grand each to participate and local support via Higher Grounds and community members.

To date we have funded a kindergarten lunch program for 40 children in one of the worst neighborhoods of Addis Ababa, we’ve funded a street children program as part of the Tesfa Foundation, and we are beginning the work on 2 schools to be built in coffee growing communities.

However, I can not help but think that member roasters from Cooperative Coffees would love to participate! Many of you have already offered to pitch in and I am so excited that if we all can give something we can make this school a reality.

As I know almost all of you reading this, I know you agree that the concept of “fair trade” goes WAY beyond a price paid to a coffee grower. When a community does not have the basic access to education, health care, and water – we must, as ethical businesses, step up and step in to share our relative wealth to make the communities we rely on become more sustainable.

For that reason I am asking each of you to consider giving what you can relative to your size – if all of us were to give an average of $2000 to this project we can say that the roasters that make up Cooperative Coffees was able to build a school in Ethiopia where we purchase our coffee. On the school would be the name of each of your companies. Knowing that our power, collectively, reaches way beyond just paying a high price for coffee to farmers who even with that high price can not break free from the chains of poverty.

If we do not raise the total amount via CC members, On the Ground (our non-profit) will supplement what Cooperative Coffees members can give to make the project a reality. Please see attached the budget for the project, and the photo below of the kids in their classroom on friday and please feel free to call my cell (231.218.0014) if you have any questions this week. As well, when we are in Ethiopia for the Coop Sol AGM you will have the opportunity to visit the community and see the beginnings of the construction. (If you are on the fence of whether to come or not you should definitely make it happen!)

You can donate via our website – or mail to the address below (tax deductible). Please also respond to this email right away if you can give something and if I do not hear from you our Executive Director at On the Ground, Bill Paladino, will give you a call to discuss the project in case you did not read this.

Thanks for reading.

Thanks for your generosity!
Chris Treter
Higher Grounds Trading Co

Checks payable to On the Ground (501c3)
806 Red Drive
Traverse City, Michigan


November 14, 2010

I just want to tell everyone that we made it home! Not quite home home, but home where our kin is. We are healthy, happy, and looking forward to what is next. We would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for supporting what we were working on for the last 7 months. For those of you who would like to know more about what we did and how we lived, go ahead and invite us over for dinner! 🙂 We are free for the next couple months. We are planning to stay in the states and see what God has next for us so we may be coming to a town near you. I just want to ask for prayer as we search out what the next step is for our family. I am looking for a project, preferably a self-employed one, but I can’t be too picky right now so we will see. Please give Em or myself a call, we just got new phones and want to use them. Em 916.600.5889 and Micah 916.600.4040. Love you all and thank you again for your calls, prayer, thoughts over the celestial airwaves, hard earned money, and love. See you soon.

On our way home!

November 12, 2010

We are up early and gonna be repacking our 10 bags once again. We have had a refreshing time in Frankfurt with our friends Karen and Gernot and wouldn’t have traded any other time in the world for this. Thank you guys so much for everything, we would not have been taken care of as well at any 5 star resort! So we are coming back to Sacramento tonight and should be seeing many of you shortly. I thought I would just throw a couple more pictures up there for the ride home. Love you all.

Moving Day in Jinka