Thursday, May 29, 2008

Icky, sticky, summer day


That pretty much sums it up for the day.

Yeah, RIGHT.

Seriously, though, it's 87 degrees in the shade, the breeze has totally died, the humidity is up to 73%, and there is NO AIR CONDITIONING in this country!!! I actually took the girls to the commissary today to hang out for a few minutes in what used to be our ice cream freezer. It's empty now, because the commissary is downsizing along with the rest of the base. But hey, it's still cold, which is more than I can say for the rest of Germany today!

On the upside, today I have a very shiny dining room floor! Go figure, pregnant bodies seem to be made to be on the floor scrubbing! Not so much the bending and mopping, but the being ON the floor. And it's interesting how well Mop & Glo mixes with sweat to make a really pretty finish on the floor!

Ah, yes, and Jon made a big step forward in his budding military career today; he passed a number of common task tests that his recruiter was to assess him on, and he will enter the Army next week (WOAH NELLY!!!) with real rank on his shoulder--a PV2 instead of a plain old Private! How quickly (or not) one forgets just how valuable those early promotions are!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The graduate

It's taken me a while to edit pics and make sure Grandmas saw these first, but if I wait too much longer to post about this, I'll have another graduate to blog about! A week and a half ago at church, we had a luncheon to honor the two seniors in the congregation who were graduating and moving on to adult life. Jon was one of the two very embarrassed honorees. The other was a very sweet girl who will be attending Abilene Christian University this fall, and completely throwing her poor mother's life into upheaval by putting ALL THAT SPACE between them!

Jon is not one to relish the spotlight (unless it's self-imposed), so this little luncheon was not something he was looking forward to, but he managed to at least survive...and as with any other teenage (ahem...young adult) male, as long as there was food to be had, he was just fine. Besides, there were dorky hats to try on and have pictures taken with, and Jon is all about dorky fashion!

We had a slide show presentation for each of the grads, which turned out to be the most embarrassing part of the day for both Jon and Leeanna, but again, they survived. I may eventually figure out how to add Power Point presentations to my blog, but for now, Pete is just not available enough to be my hired geek and get it uploaded. The other embarrassing part for Jon and Lee were the picture boards that still sit in the foyer of the church building for all to ooh, ahh, and giggle over. I did my level best to keep Jon's as simple as possible, considering that when we take it down next week to do our final packing, it's all going to have to fit well into a suitcase and then transition to a scrapbook when I have all my tools and gadgets and materials (not to mention all those glorious craft stores!!) available to me once again on the other side of the Atlantic. This was by far my most difficult scrapbooking project to date, because I had to blend both the boy Jon was and the man he's become--that's not as easy as it sounds--and it all had to fit on a science-fair presentation board! Here's what the finished product looks like:

The far left side up close:

The middle up close:

The far right side up close:

And last but not least, the whole family--this is the last family picture we'll have taken before we have both a new member in the picture and another one wearing a uniform! I realized after having to resist the temptation to edit myself right out of this picture that I am truly "showing", and that this pregnancy is much like my pregnancy with Kelsey--I am spreading in all directions!!! Lovely...thank goodness the focus that day was on Jon and not his hot-air-blimp-looking mom!

Overall, it was a nice, fitting end to Jon's home school journey. Quiet, simple, to-the-point, and much like we tried to envision our "statement of purpose" for educating our children at home--keeping it all in perspective. Looking toward the future with a clear remembrance of all God has blessed us with in the past. Trying to see the future through His eyes. And no, those eyes were not full of tears--just dreams and hopes and prayers for a blessing on the new life of a new adult.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Lovey" blanket overload

What does a nineteen-month-old do when all of the "things" she's been surrounded with all of her life suddenly disappear onto a big, loud truck? Well, this particular nineteen-month-old clings to the few things she holds dear in this world--her loveys. Danica would not, under any circumstances, allow these three blankets to be packed up with everything else. She made SURE they weren't packed, because the above picture shows how she walked around the entire time the movers were here. NO WAY was she gonna let those loveys get away! You'll notice that one of the loveys is so "well loved" that it's literally falling apart at the seams. Mom has some work to do when a sewing machine becomes available at Grandma's house!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Talk about simplification!

It's been two weeks since the movers took our household goods, and I can honestly say that the only thing I **REALLY** miss is my bed. Okay, maybe two things--my bed and my desk; leaning down to type on a coffee table is NOT comfy! I was loading a bunch of pics from Jon's grad luncheon the other day and found some of the mid-chaos pictures I took while the movers were doing their thing. This was the last we saw of our living room furniture:

Here's what it looks like now:

Looks like a decent amount of stuff, right? Well, sort of. We do have a room full of government loaner furniture, plus a Pete-made cardboard box maze for the girls to play in, a big bucket of Little People toys, and a play tent, but other than that, the "stuff" is gone! And you know what? I kind of like it this way! Look around....see anything missing that you'd usually find in a living room? That's right, NO TV!!!!! We've gone almost two full weeks with NO TV, and our kids are still alive!

We did shock the furniture delivery guys a bit by asking for a bed per person. The girls' bedroom is a TAD cramped, see?

Really makes it obvious how absolutely tiny just over 900 square feet truly is!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Full Circle

I began my married life as an Army wife. It's the only life I've known since I left the home I was raised in. Ten years ago, Pete and I withdrew our children from public school and began our homeschool journey. Today, that journey came to an end, and another circle has begun.

I am now not only an Army wife, but also an Army mom. As of about the 9th of June, our family will include a Retired Chief Warrant Officer, an active duty Staff Sergeant, and a Private.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One MAJOR hurdle passed

Woah. I feel like I've been run over by the moving truck that left yesterday with eleven crates full of our "stuff". Somehow, even though it wasn't us doing the packing and lifting and taping and boxing and stuffing, I'm worn out! But you know what? Even with next to nothing in our house, there is a huge sense of peace knowing that we're one GIGANTIC step closer to moving. Our next big hurdle is less than a week away--our preliminary housing inspection (always a source of stress because it seems that housing inspectors are trained by the same PR reps that train US Customs agents in the Dulles Airport--rude, impatient, condescending, and just plain not fun to deal with)--and although it's a huge pain in the neck, it's nothing compared to having your entire house ripped apart, stuffed into boxes, and loaded on a truck. It's nothing compared to trying to weed through everything you own and picking out what you think will be adequate clothing for seven people in two climates for two months. Yep, that housing inspection looks like a teeny little speedbump compared to the mountain that is now in our rearview mirror!

There were, of course, the inevitable miscommunication problems that led to several of the things we'd intended on keeping here getting packed and shipped, but nothing major. Jon is just going to have to make due without the ten dollar bill, the Zune charger, cell phone charger, and Chevy Nova books that he neglected to put in his "do not pack" closet. Pete may be getting a slight bum-chewing for having his dog tags unaccounted for today (OOPS!!!), and I may have to drink my coffee from a plastic cup for a few weeks, but otherwise there were no big problems.

Jon's ASVAB testing went well. He took the test alongside three other high school seniors, and out of the four of them, his score was the highest. His recruiter told him he still could have done better, had he done just a tad more studying, but overall he did wonderfully. He should be able to get whichever job in the Army he wants--hopefully the draw of Explosive Ordnance Disposal wears off in the next few days! It looks as if our new graduate (Pete and I signed his transcript and his diploma last week!) will be taking the oath of enlistment next Monday! He's not going to actually go to basic training till August, however, so he's got a little time left with us once we get back on US soil to finally take his driver's exam and spend some time working on that Nova that will be his once he is able to pay for the insurance! We're actually hoping he goes through with his plan of going into an MOS that will train at Redstone Arsenal after basic training so we're at least on the same base for a little while, even if he's living in the barracks. It will also mean that his basic training will be closer to us, and his granparents will be close enough to be there for his graduation from both basic and his Advanced Individual Training. That's IF he trains at Redstone. Another plus to that option (which, of course, we are NOT mentioning this to him) is that we will be available during his training to drive the boy to church! The Army frowns upon soldiers having a car while they're in training, and knowing how shy Jon is.....he would not likely be calling anyone to give him a ride to church if Mom and Dad weren't available!

Wow, life really is moving right along! Hmm....I suppose now that I have a few extra minutes, it's time to start working on Jon's picture board for the graduate luncheon at church in two weeks, and getting his graduation announcements addressed!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Found the glitch!

Overseas travel is never simple, but our airline just made it more than just a tad more difficult. Taken from Delta Airlines' site, here's the challenge du jour:

"Checked Baggage
Currently, you can check two bags per passenger free of charge. Starting May 5, 2008 this will be reduced to one free bag per passenger traveling in the U. S., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico."

Nice. So those of us who have lived overseas for three years and are traveling to a new home with only the things they can carry out of their household goods for two solid months....can only fill ONE bag. I'm glad I found this out today instead of Tuesday, AFTER the packers come. I guess I'm borrowing someone's car to go buy bigger suitcases for the girls!

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