Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Waiting Game

Here is a Quick Recap of the last week

::We have found a (rental) house!  I am really excited about it.  The last 14 months have been a time of transition and we have just been in limbo.  We (mostly O and I) have stayed with my parents while F has been training, and I am so thankful that they let us stay with them, but I really would like to have my own place again.  :)

::We still have about two weeks until we can move.  This has motivated me to be super productive in getting things ready for our rental.  We will have a dining room and I scrounged around my parents place until I found one of their super old table sets from when I was a kid.  It is a hot mess.  I am in the process of cleaning/sanding/repainting it and have big plans for the table.  My mom's comment was, 'that seems like a lot of work' but I think it will (hopefully) turn out awesome.

::We peaked (with eyes half closed because it was a little scary) at our storage unit that has been holding our stuff for the last year.  Let's just say we will get to start fresh with some new pieces in our living room.  I suppose our chair was not in the cleanest condition when we moved it in there.  In addition to that, it has been sitting in a dark environment perfect for growing things like mold.  Bleck.  Oh Well.  I am just hoping and praying mold is not on everything we own.  

::Since we will be moving when O should be starting First Grade, I thought I'd get some lessons made up now, so while we are moving I am not trying to scramble to come up with things to keep her busy while I unpack.  

::This is one of my favorite times of the year.  I always think of 'You've Got Mail' and a bouquet of sharpened pencils.  

::In case anyone is wondering, O is still into making forts.  Every day since we've been back she has pulled out all the umbrellas and made a fort in the living room.  

::She is also enjoying going through all of her packed up toys.  I often hear her saying, 'oh my ____ toy.  I forgot about you.  You are my favorite toy and I missed you.'  Five minutes later out comes a different favorite toy she missed even more.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Now what?

I feel like we have done so many big things, that anything else I blog about is going to be a little on the dry side :)

We arrived home safely.
Here are a few highlights....

After we checked out of our hotel F had a few last minute things to finish up before the graduation, so O had time to participate in her favorite past time...playing in dirt.

The happy graduates.  A few of them at least.

We made it!

Time to climb in the van and start the 12 hour drive home.
12 hours exactly to drive here from our house to the hotel.

It was one a hot day, of course.  We knew our van's air conditioning was bad, and a few weeks ago  we decided to go pick up some freon to make the drive back more comfortable.  Well, it turns out the freon was not the problem.  We drove home with no AC.  We slurped slushies to keep cool, but it was really hot.  Words cannot express this enough.  Oh, and if you happen to live near me, your welcome because I apparently brought the heat wave back with me because now this town has heat advisories and record breaking temps.

The van didn't like the heat either.  While driving through mountains at the hottest time of the day, the van overheated.  We ended up stopping to drive through a car wash to help cool it down.  Crisis averted.  On the road again...

We saw pretty scenery.

Mountains in the distance.  

It finally cooled off.  Thank goodness.

We were 1 1/2 hours from home when we noticed something odd happening.  F hopped out at a red light, and oh well looky there...we had a flat tire.  We pulled over and groaned.  What were we going to do?  We had to take stuff out the back of the very crammed van to get to the tire changing tools.  Ugh.  We piled it up in the parking lot, and I stood around and waited while F changed the tire, at 1 in the morning.  Now we not only had to put all the stuff back in the van but we also had to figure out how to fit the tire in there too.  

The last hour and a half of the drive actually took two hours because we had to drive slow with the donut tire.  We strolled dragged ourselves into the house at 3:15 in the morning.  14 1/2 hours after we started the drive.  21 hours of being awake.  

What a day!  

Now that we are mostly back to regular life it's back to regular things.
::We have to find a rental until we can find the house we want to live in.
::We have to move.
::Painting, Decorating, and Rearranging Oh My! :)
::Family Get-togethers
::Regular old summer things

I am happy to be back in town and back to 'normal.'

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night

...I hate to go and leave this pretty sight.

I feel like a broken record...
One last hoorah before we go.  Back to 
Kuba Kuba for just one more iced coffee.
Seriously, no other coffee compares, and 
I am a little sad that this is the last one,
however I am also glad that I don't live near by
forever because at $4 a glass it is pricey.

Say Cheese :)
Can you see all the barrettes in O's hair?
She did her hair herself.

Yummy turkey press, and fried plantains.
I am still not sold on the fried plantains,
but F seemed to like them.

We aren't the only ones who love Kuba Kuba.
It's busy.

Back at the hotel, O took one last ride on her bike.
She is training for her first triathlon.  It is in
less than a week.  She is certain she will win.  I am sure 
she has the stamina, just not so sure about the focus.  I 
see her playing in the pool or getting distracted by a 
butterfly (which she did on this particular day).
Oh, yes, she also has become very, very cautious
on her bike since she fell, so this should be

Ok, now time to get serious.  I told myself I would
wait until 2 days before we leave to start packing
because that should give us plenty of time, and F
should be able to help.  Well, 4 days before we leave
I panic, and start packing.  F's schedule is still up
in the air, and I don't have confidence that he will
get enough time off to help, so I began early.  

As I packed, I panicked.  How much stuff did we buy?
This is not going to fit.  Maybe it's just the way I am
putting it in the van?  Hmm...time for some help.
Insert Tetris Master.
He did it.
Not sure how.  Not sure I want to know.
As long as it's all there I don't care.

The van is packed (36 hours before we leave, cause
that's how I roll.  I'm a planner, and I 
hate procrastinating, what can I say?).

The only items left in the hotel are our toiletries
2 outfits and 2 laptops.  
No toys.  
No books.  

So what do we do while we wait?
Well, for one, teach the 5 year old how to 
play solitaire on the computer.  We have
minimal things for her to do coming home. 
This is a far cry from what I did back in 
March, when I had my bag full of goodies and 
enough snacks to last a week.  As my husband
loves to say I am either not in at all, or in
a hundred and crazy percent.  

This will be an interesting drive.  
Prayers are appreciated :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Saying bye is hard to do.  Especially, when you are 5.  This last week has been tough.  We have had one moody little girl.  Excited to see family and friends at home, and panicking about not ever seeing her new friends at the base.

I tried to ease her into the transition as best as I could.  We have essentially said goodbye to one person/group each day for the last several days.  At this point I think we both just want to get it over with.  
Above is a picture of O and her librarian holding a book.  She made the librarians tear up when we said goodbye.  

I had F snap a photo of our chapel.  It has been so awesome to watch
the congregation grow so quickly since we have been here.  

O waiting patiently for Children's church.

This is part of our small group.  We will miss them
all so much.

Miss O's favorite person since we have been here.
She LOVES Children's church and her teacher.

Goodbyes are so tough.  So, until we meet again
take care friends.  You are in our hearts :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Edgar Allen Poe and Lincoln

I know at some point F and I decided that we were not going to do anything this weekend.  We were going to relax and maybe watch a movie and just sit.

Well, that lasted all of about 5 minutes. The weekend barely began and we were doing things.  F is still trying to squeeze in As. Much. As. Possible.

Some of our friends had mentioned going to a cafe that Edgar Allen Poe frequented.  We thought it sounded interesting, and had intended on going just about every weekend for the last two months and yet we still never got around to it.  We finally did this weekend, and I am glad we visited.

O had some yummy hot cocoa with lots of whip cream and syrup on top.  F and I shared a french press coffee.  The drinks were yummy, but the atmosphere of this place was fantastic.

I loved the charming little vases and placemats.

The waitress was friendly and talkative.
She told us that a potion of the movie Lincoln 
was filmed in the town.  So, we walked down
the street the movie was filmed on.

The current owners have only been there 2 1/2 years, 
but they have quite the collection of interesting items in the cafe.

Lots of books to read, and photos of authors all over the walls.
In fact, there is a game.  If you can name all the authors you can get
your meal free.  No one has done it yet. 

I really liked the feel of the place.  Lots of
unusual items to see, but not so many things
that my brain turns off and just sees junk.  :)

In fact, quite a few places in area were cute.

I am not exactly sure why, but I loved this 
little house.  I think it was all the flowers.

It just looks so happy and summery.

There were also some weird things in the town.
Like an I beam being supported by an old ivy covered tree.

Then of course we came across a 'grinder' along with a
parking lot filled with other equally old, and equally odd
pieces of machinery.  

Friday, July 12, 2013


Listening To all the thoughts in my head.  No music, just quiet this morning.
Eating My own version of Panera's bagels.  Eggs, Bacon, Cheese, Avocado, Bagel (all of which was made last night, and assembled this morning)
Drinking Herbal Tea with a bit of honey
Wearing Pajama pants a striped blue/green/purple shirt and camel colored sweater--stylish.
Feeling  Super excited that it is Friday, and Blessed.  Abundantly blessed.
Weather Hot, Muggy.  It's early in the morning at it is still hot outside, and freezing inside any building.
Wanting To go to a Farmer's Market but realizing it would be futile because our time here is coming to an end.
Needing To start packing, but waiting until the last minute because I have no where to put the things.
Thinking Of all the fun things we have done this last week, and the whole time we have been on the base.
Enjoying The last moments of quiet before hubs gets back from PT (morning exercise) and O wakes up.
Reading Day 198 of Parenting by Design Bible Study Plan on my You Version Bible App.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Water Guns

*If you are friends with me on Facebook, you have probably already heard about this, but here is the full story.

As we were out visiting friends this last week, I realized we have very few days left here on the base.  I wanted to do something fun, and surprise Forrest.  I plotted with some friends....and came up with this little scheme.  F and his buddy would go for a jog in the battlefield.  On the way back, they would notice a small water gun on the road, and F's friends would encourage him to pick it up.  Then, O and I would ambush him with our much larger, much fuller water guns.  That was the plan at least.

 This is what actually happened....
I waited until the day of, to purchase the water guns because O had to be with me, and O is not known for keeping secrets.  I explained to her as best as I could that she couldn't say all.  She agreed excitedly.

About 15 seconds after F walked in the door, O informed him that she had a 'secret' then looked at me, laughed, and said, 'I didn't say it!'  Well, no you didn't say it, but you gave away our surprise.  Now daddy knows something is up.  Daddy tried to coax it out of her, and after seeing me get upset decided to play nice, and ignore all the random things coming out of O's mouth.  She said, 'is it time to squirt him?' 'I can't wait until after dinner' and on and on.  I finally gave her an ultimatum.  You say anything else, we are not doing it.  That helped for about an hour.  Then she drew a picture of water guns and how much water was in them.  *Sigh* don't tell 5 year olds secrets....ever.

FINALLY, after almost 6 hours of torture, F and his friend left to run.  In order to keep F from knowing we had the water guns I left them in our van.  I had a time frame of 25 minutes from when they left to when they would be in the right spot for us to get them (this was according to F's buddy).  So the moment the door clicked shut, we were up and changing our clothes.  I insisted we wear pants because the ticks out here are bad.  I sprinted/dragged my daughter outside to the parking lot, and plain as day the guys were just barely across the parking lot.  Great. We ducked behind vehicles until we got to ours.  I grabbed our bags, and back upstairs we went.  In the elevator, I started taking the packaging off the larger water guns, and then we dashed down the hall to our room.  We filled the guns and I noticed the one I purchased for O did not have a cap to keep the water in.  Yes, I bought a defaulty water gun.  No time to complain, where's the tape?  We taped it up as best as we could and hurried out to the battlefield.  I had 13 minutes to get across two parking lots, and a street, and into the woods so F wouldn't see us coming on the long straight path.  Again I dragged O with all the water guns, and we started getting some funny looks.  One guy said, 'You're awesome!' and lots of chuckles as apparently they all knew what we were up to.
We got in place, with 3 minutes to spare.  I was wearing a gray tshirt that clearly showed just how hot and sweaty I was.  O's water gun had been spilling water on her the entire time we were running.  It was now half empty.  It looked like we had already had a water fight. 

I threw the smallest water gun out on the side of the road (more in the grass/leaves than on the road).  And we waited.  I explained to O it would be a few more minutes and she had to hold really still so daddy wouldn't see us.

25 minutes later we were still waiting.  This might be a good time to mention the temprature of the day...99 degrees with 91% humidity.  And I made us wear pants.  OH MY.  In my haste to get out the door, I didn't spray even one drop of bug spray on us.  Hot and muggy, just what mosquitos love.  Random strangers kept passing us by and several of them stopped to talk.  I tried to politely ask them to stop talking because they were giving away our hiding spot.

We were itchy, and hot, and swatting at bugs and I was just about to call it off, when they came up the road.  
'Get ready, O!  Here they come!'  

No one stopped to grab the water gun, so I hopped out and started spraying.  My husband (having been trained in what to do in an ambush) just kept running.  He finally turned around, laughed and asked what was going on.  I just kept spraying him.  O couldn't get her water gun to work, so daddy took it from her and then sprayed me.  

It ended just as quick as it began.  I asked O if she thought it was worth it waiting so long and she said, 'totally!  I got my daddy'  :-)

I think he enjoyed himself.

O is still playing even though there is no more water.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Is it time to go yet?

We are getting so, so excited!  The countdown has begun (who am I kidding, I have been counting the days since day 1).  The end is drawing near, and well to be completely honest we are I am getting a little lazy.  I was doing the usual monthly budget review (yes, I know today is the 9th.  I do my budget from the 15th to the 15th, because I like to keep things confusing for everyone else) and I realized we have ate out a lot.  Like out of control do I even ever try to cook anymore?  I am so ready to have a full size kitchen with things like measuring cups and mixing bowls that I think I might have a cooking party when I get home.  :-)

I am also starting to look around at all of the stuff that has accumulated since we have been here.  We have made a Tea Set, we have been to the beach so I picked up some beach towels, a crock pot and blender was purchased as soon as we arrived, etc, etc.  As much as we have tried to keep the purchases to necessities I have a funny feeling our van is going to feel very small and uncomfortable with all our new things to bring back.  Anyone want to drive out here and helps us out?  Haha, I am kidding of course, but my posts next week about heading home might be rather amusing :-)

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Holiday

Our 4th of July day turned into something more like a week.  We had zero plans for the holiday except maybe catching the firework show on the base.  Then suddenly we had very big plans.  With 12 hours advance warning I was told we would be driving to Delaware to meet up with some old friends.  Exciting?  Yes.  Panic mode?  Yep.
We hit the road only slightly behind schedule.  After O asked approximately 7,000 times, 'are we there yet?' We finally said 'We're here!'  
As you can see O amused herself on the ride.

On the 4th, there was a parade.  This jeep was pretty amusing
to me, because the owner covered it in tiny American flags.  
That will be fun to take off.

Our friends live super close to the beach, so
we went to the beach, on the 4th.  That was crazy.

After the parade and beach we got cleaned up and 
went to Maryland for a fair and to see fireworks.
The fair had a ferris wheel (amoung many other rides)
and O loves rides, so we thought, 'hey she'll love this.'

This is her begging us not to go on the ride.

This is her clinging to daddy as she bravely climbs on.
The ferris wheel went around 3 times before the operators
stopped it.  She cried the whole time.  

 She was consoled with blue food coloring and
sugar.  All better.

The next day we went to another beach.
This one was on the bay side, so the waves
didn't knock over the little ones.

Then it was time for pictures, and time to say goodbye.
These two (and the children who carry them everywhere) 
had a ball together.
We actually got photos of the people too, but I don't
want to plaster them all over my blog without permission.

After a yummy breakfast, we said goodbye, and O
ran to the bedroom and locked the door.  She didn't
want to leave her new friends.  She did open the door
when I asked her, and she had big tears because
she would miss her new friends so much.

We went over this bridge on the way home.

I am not sure if you can see but there really isn't much along
the edge/railing.  Oh and it was a very long bridge.
O said it made her stomach sick, and I would have to agree.

Then we saw lots of traffic.  And waited in lots of traffic.

Lunch break in DC.

Quick trip to the Smithsonian Art Museum.  When I say 
quick, I mean we had about an hour to run through the museum.
I am pretty sure my husband could spend a week there.

Then back in the van to drive the rest of the way home.

O was exhausted and had no problem going to sleep.

Our adventure should be done at this point but it's not.
After church, we drove some more.  We went to
REI, Whole Foods, and Silver Diner one more time.
The husband is sad we are leaving soon, so he wants
to do as much as possible.

F and O had a staring contest while they waited on their food.

Finally, O decided she wanted to take a nap
under a tree after lunch.

What a big, big week.  What did you do this weekend?