navygreen: ('Affairs:' recap)
We've been working all weekend, and we will continue to do so through Tuesday. The movers will be here on Wednesday!

The house stuff is falling into place, albeit slowly. Please keep your fingers crossed on that front. Our realtor is optimistic we'll be able to be in the house immediately upon our arrival (the 13th), and then closing will be about the second week of November or so. I just keep praying things go smoothly.

We've done a phenomenal job cleaning out the pantry food items. So much so, in fact, that we had to go shopping for the last six meals here, haha! I've got everything planned for quick, easy meals through Thursday. We have packed all my baking stuff and the entire kitchen ourselves, as we're bringing it with us in a U-Haul truck. (I need my cookie supplies the *second* we arrive, and I worried about all my Longaberger dishes too much to trust our movers with them.) We have a covered skillet, nylon spoon & spatula, and measuring glass kept out for now, and those will be packed at the last second. I just baked a Cheeseburger Pie half an hour ago, and that will be reheated on paper plates for dinner on Thursday night (amidst the boxes). Friday night, Jack and I are off to a Pampered Chef party at one of my closest friend's house (and Jack's best bud as well), and Philip and A.J. will use up a $10 credit at our local Pizza Hut. Saturday night, other friends have invited us for dinner, and our going-away party is set for Sunday night at J.R. Rockers here on base. I honestly think the only food we'll be passing on to our friends when we leave is a bit of lemon & lime juice, as well as 2 pounds of butter. Success!

I've got Key Lime pies and Chocolate Peanut Butter Nutella pies chilling in the fridge right now, and we'll leave in a little while to go and gift them to our favorite bagger boys at the commissary. It will be our last time to see them, and three of these guys are just the sweetest kids around. Two love peanut butter, and one is allergic to it, so I made two different desserts. (And used all new equipment for the Key Lime pie, just in case.)

It's hard to give up my meal-planning ways, and I'm already excited about the drive. A.J. is going to help me brainstorm a typical 2-3 week meal plan while we're driving, and then when I have Jack with me (Philip and I intend to switch the boys over the 4 days' drive), he will write out the shopping list items for the meals planned. When we arrive, we should be ready to go shopping! I figure it will save us money in the long-run, not heading out every day for 3-4 things. Plus, since we packed the kitchen to come with us, we can jump right into making real meals immediately, and not have to keep eating out. (I imagine we'll be kinda sick of restaurant food for a while, after the move/drive.)

Jack's headed swimming with a friend, and then a sleepover after that as well. A.J. was a huge help to me and Philip last night while we boxed up all of the pictures, scrapbooks, and craft items. Tonight, we'll sort through all the things we've pulled to get rid of, and then put some in a "sell" pile, and the rest in a "Goodwill" pile. We sold the snowblower yesterday, as well as a few brand-new pairs of snow bib overalls, but we've got lots more to put up online, and Philip is going to take care of that for me.

We leave Minot in just 8 days!

Home(s).

Jun. 19th, 2010 10:22 pm
navygreen: (Keyhole: secrets)
Today marks exactly six months since we moved into this house. As well, today marks exactly eight years since we moved into our first house in Nebraska. To celebrate, our phone number there ended in '0619' (June 19th).

Time absolutely flies by, I swear.

Yearbooks!

May. 10th, 2010 03:59 pm
navygreen: (School)
I was so jazzed to see that the boys' yearbooks and class pictures from their old school in Nebraska arrived today! A.J. was staying after school, so I grabbed his copy while Jack grabbed his own, and we pored over them. I was thrilled to see that the yearbook coordinator used thirteen of my pictures from events over the first half of the school year. In addition, both of the boys were featured in two pictures I'd not seen previously, so they are in the yearbooks often! The classroom composite photos had been ready for a while, but the school waited to send them with the yearbooks. It was sweet to look at those friendly faces once more, and they will be treasured inside their school scrapbooks, I'm sure.

What a wonderful end to our school years in Nebraska! We were blessed with wonderful educators who loved our children so much. :-)

Pen Pal.

Apr. 1st, 2010 07:22 pm
navygreen: (Jack: blue)
Jack wrote the sweetest letter ever to his dear friend Natalie in Nebraska. I waited a few extra days before sharing it to make sure that she'd receive it in the mail first. (Sometimes her mama reads my blog.)

Hey Natile,

What's going on at your house? How's it been in Nebraska lately? Just a couple days ago I got the new game HeartGold. A.J. got SoulSilver. How was your Birthday? My teacher's name is Mrs. Conklin. My new house is great. How's Andrew doing. I heard what happened to Lilly. Hows Bob and Trixie? Hope to hear back from you. Have a good easter. I miss you so much.

Your friend,
Jackson


** Clarifications: Her dog, Lily, passed away this winter, and (Silent) Bob and Trixie are their kitties. Andrew is her brother. Also, HeartGold and SoulSilver are brand-new Pokemon DS games.

Edited to add: I'm not crazy how my tabbing makes everything suddenly ALLCAPS!-y. I know it doesn't show from others' friends' pages, but still. Full CAPSLOCK always looks raging and intense if not intended for a joke. FAIL. (<-- ha, see what I did there?!)
navygreen: (Mars heart)
I got the decorative shelves in the hallway arranged with pretties last night, and I was really tickled at how they turned out. I wanted a special, safe place to shine some of my favorite pictures. I have my godson, Douglas, in one frame, and then special frames as well for Heather's Catherine and John. I also have the framed portrait of our entire family with Heather and Shane at her graduation - it's close to six years outdated, but I just love it so much, and I can't replace the picture inside with a newer one. I also tossed a few baskets up there, as well as our special seashells from the beach this summer, and I felt creative in displaying Catherine's picture, in particular.

And then, just now, Jack and I were in the living room, trying on tennies and making sure to have he's got the appropriate fit for tomorrow. As he was tying his laces, he said, "I saw all the pictures on the shelf this morning."

"Oh, really?" I asked. "Did you notice them on your way down the stairs then?"

"Yup," he answered, and then his voice softened and became quieter. "But they made me kinda sad, Mom."

"Why is that, honey?" I asked quietly, too.

"'Cuz it makes me miss 'em even more," and tears were in his eyes.

My sweetheart Jack. I love the way he gives a piece of his heart to everyone he loves. Sometimes, though, his little broken heart hurts too much. This was one of those times, and we hugged for a bit and shared a few tears over missing our loved friends. :-(
navygreen: (Christmas: cookie cutter)
It's currently -19° with a windchill of -33°. Last night was Philip's first night to work since we've been here (he's been in base training for two weeks, not counting all the holiday breaks), and they were outside running an exercise. The windchill hit -47°, and even after he came in and warmed up a bit, I felt him slide into the bed with his chilly skin! Tonight should be more of the same.

I think I'm going to bake tonight. I didn't get to do so during the holidays, and I'm really needing this. I usually bake a new goodie every single day during December, but I didn't have any of my stuff to do so. (The movers packed us on Nov. 30th, and then our stuff didn't arrive until the 23rd. Then it wasn't all unpacked, giving me room to do anything, until the 30th or so.)

But who makes tons of goodies in January? Where will I send/gift all this stuff? I'm not exactly sure. I'm thinking it might be a good way to meet some of our new neighbors, and maybe I'll mail a care package or two...

Speaking of neighbors, Jack was so excited that two of the boys' friends from Nebraska live right on their bus route. Before arriving here, we already knew that four of their friends were headed to this base at the exact same time. Three of them attend the boys' school, but one little girl actually lives in the town of Minot. We'll have to find a way to get Leah around for a playdate sometime, though.

I've got everything backed up now, and I'm ready to take the plunge. I've opted for the "clean install" of Windows 7 instead of the "upgrade," so I pray that I've got everything I'm going to need! I'll do that tonight while baking, I think.
navygreen: (Cats: Baby)
There's only one day left of the boys' holiday vacation, and I know they're sad for it to be over. However, they're very excited to go back to school and begin riding the bus for the first time! All of their snowgear arrived on the 22nd, but their last day before the break was the very next day. That didn't give me enough time to 1) unpack the items (the movers didn't leave that night until 6:30pm), and 2) go to the school to let them know to add them to the bus schedule (which meant I would've gone in on Tuesday morning, and they would've had only the ride home that day... which seemed kinda silly). So, I'll take them to school again on Monday, and while I'm there, I'll head into the office to fill out the bus paperwork. They'll begin riding the bus on Tuesday...

... and I'll begin the jammied, goodbye-kisses-at-the-door! Wheee! (Yeah, I may be even more excited than THEY are! *wink*)

We need to find a larger size 'plate holder' for one of my Coca-Cola® trays in the dining room. We've hung the other ones on the wall, but the largest size we could find was adjustable from 11"-18". My tray is about 20" in length, so no dice. I had the idea of extending the stretchy brackets with zip-ties, but that didn't fully work either. (Philip tried for a good while, too.) We'll find or figure something out, I'm sure.

Speaking of Coca-Cola, we took two of my large puzzles to Hobby Lobby today to be framed. I put these puzzles together about 15 years ago, back in my freshman year of high school. In fact, Philip helped me to make one of them while we were dating. I've carried them from home to home for years, and they've never been on display. I am über-excited to get them back in a couple weeks and put them up in my dining room. Depending on how much I love them (and I'm sure I will!), then I'll take my largest puzzle in to be framed as well. It's about the size of Jack, so it'll be a pretty penny, I know. Still, Hobby Lobby was having a 50% off sale on custom framing, so I figured it was a great time to get them done.

Poor Baby kitty is so frightened of the main level of the house. The living room and the large office both have high ceiling fans, and she is just scared to death of them. Honestly, to see her expression, you'd think there was a giant monster with 200 teeth coming after her. It's been three weeks now, and she's just not warming up to them. The kitties have had their food, water, and litterbox down in the basement, but today, we moved the food up to the office. She has stood in the hallway and mewed at us in the most pitiful voice, and we keep inviting her to join us in one of these rooms. Philip and I have both brought her in here several times to show her the location of the food, calmly petting her and trying to reassure her. The last time Philip did so, she ate about four little kibbles. She'll get there, I know she will, but it's pretty pitiful to see right now.

Kiki, on the other hand, is perfectly happy anywhere now. She was cautious near the fans for the first week or so, but now she's very content. She's currently sleeping on my Coca-Cola bin near the windows while I'm here in the office.

I found a neat, wrought-iron plaque on clearance at Hobby Lobby yesterday with a cut-out design on it, as well as the text, "HOPE." I really waffled on buying it though, as I could see a small scratch in the finish. Philip and I tried to rub it out in the store, and it was almost gone... but I could still see where it was. Even though I thought we might be able to do a better job of it with a cleaner or a special pad at home, I walked away from it. I figured it just wasn't meant to be. I will be keeping an eye out for the perfect "HOPE" decoration this year, as I wanna celebrate and commemorate my word!

I've received a ton more Christmas cards, but I've been remiss this last week in thanking so many of you. Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] donnazita, [livejournal.com profile] hermioneluna, [livejournal.com profile] m1x3d3m0t10n5, and [livejournal.com profile] scarletharlot52. A special thank-you also goes out to [livejournal.com profile] tabbyfoo!

I'm not sure what the day holds tomorrow after church. Maybe I can get all my guys to sit around the table on our new chairs in our gorgeous dining room and play the new game I picked up - Milles Bornes! I loved that card game when I was growing up, and I hope they like it, too. :-)
navygreen: (Snowflake)
Well, the local news last night said that we received right at 30 inches in that Christmas blizzard - wow! I guess now we understand our drifts a little bit more. *wink*

Here's some pics from after all the shoveling was finished. Well, another 1/2" or so had drifted over on the driveway, but you get the idea.

The aftermath. )

We got the garage and storage room squared away yesterday. As it turns out, the storage room inside the garage is even much bigger than we'd thought it looked. We were able to put the pieces of the shed into the back, and then all of our regular shed items in front of them - and there's still room to spare! It looks soooo nice in there now. Also, today was Trash Day - yay! All we have left is to wait for the box/material pick-up from the moving company, and then we'll be golden.

Philip went back to work this morning. He's still finishing up training for this base, and then he's home in the evenings. I'm making a mental list of things to pick up tomorrow while we're out (gonna be seeing our 'reward' movie!), and I also want to find a quilt shop somewhere. Philip's looking for a small engines repair shop, as the starter is out on our snowblower, too.

Alrightee, I'm having some lunch and then getting back to work. Toodles!
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
So. Much. Unpacking.

It feels like it will never end! Realistically, however, it will be done late tomorrow or Tuesday - I can't tell just yet. I am so very much looking forward to calling the moving company and asking them to come back and pick up all their boxes and packing material! (I'll have space in my garage again - whee!)

My dining room is just gorgeous and huge. I still cannot get over all the space in there. That, to me, is the most drastic difference between our old house and this one. I love the fact that it's not situated off the main garage entrance into the house, and it's not near a television of any sorts. It's awesome, truly.

The plan tomorrow is for Philip and I to move/unpack all the stuff in the garage. See, the movers unloaded all our shed and garage items directly into the garage, so we've got to unpack everything and get it moved into its proper place in the storage room in the back. Philip already took apart our shed, and we'll put the pieces in our "renovation space." (When they renovated this house, they built on an extra room along the basement wall, and they entered through there, bringing all their equipment with them. Once they finished, they closed off the room and left a large access flap. We can easily open it via the flap, and it's an 8x10' space, at least.) While we're doing that, the boys will be playing hard in the snow. Once we're done, we'll have all our space back in the garage, and we'll move all the boxes and packing material to the breezeway until pick-up. Trash Day is also on Tuesday, and it'll be great to have all that gone, too. (Gosh, but moving creates a lot of excess trash!)

Depending on how long we're out in the garage tomorrow, we'll work on the office afterwards. It's the only room left, and that's because I considered it the lowest priority of all the rooms. I mean, *I* love this room, and I practically live in it sometimes... but everything I really need (computer, bills, filing cabinet, etc.), I can already reach, and we brought with us ahead of time. What needs to be unpacked are the bookshelves and lots of Philip's military memorabilia and knick-knacks. He heads back to work on Tuesday, and I can finish this room by myself, if needed.

As a reward once ALL of the unpacking is done, we plan to go see Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. The boys are dying to see it, and I think it looks pretty cute, too. I thought the first one was good, and I'm sure this one will be about the same. The boys are also anxious to spend some of their Christmas cash at the mall, too. *wink*

Speaking of movies, we all went to see New Moon last Friday. It was the boys' first time seeing it, Philip' second time, and my seventh time. I probably won't see it again in the theatre, but it was just as good this time again. A quick rundown of the showings I've been to:

1st - with Marissa as my 'date' to Amy's midnight premiere party (11/20)
2nd - with Marissa again on Sunday afternoon (11/22)
3rd - with Liz on Sunday night (11/22)
4th - with Philip the following Tuesday (11/24)
5th - with Cheyenne on Thanksgiving night (11/26)
6th - with Aimée on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (11/28)
7th - with the family (12/21)

We also recently saw The Princess and the Frog (on opening day!), and we all loved it. I cried a little near the end, but it was wonderful to see the old-style animation again. And - I was so surprised when the first song began! I'd almost forgotten how the older Disney movies always had original songs - how sad is that?! I thought the characters were very charming, and I really hope the movie does well enough that Disney will do another one in this style again soon.

We saw Disney's A Christmas Carol in 3D, too. I found it to be much darker than I'd imagined, but the effects were amazing. Honestly, though, there were parts of it that unsettled even me, and I don't think I'd let younger children see it yet (though the Disney Channel promotes it constantly). We were late to the game on this one, having been planning on seeing it ever since we rode the official movie train back in August (what a neat experience, too!). After seeing the movie, we bought my favorite as a young girl: Mickey's Christmas Carol. I didn't have the movie growing up, but I had a record of it, and I played that over and over all year long. I still have most of it memorized. :-)

I'm hoping to have mail tomorrow, but I'm not terribly optimistic. There was, of course, no mail yesterday in the face of this major blizzard, and then today was Sunday. Philip and I did watch some lady trudge through all the snow with her key, falling down in the deep drifts and then crawling on her knees atop them to get to the box, only to open it and find it empty, of course. We learned long ago (in both Alaska and Nebraska, actually) that even though the post office's motto is, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," that isn't always the case. We've had numerous times with no mail delivery due to inclement weather, and on a day where no travel is advised, I'm surprised that anyone would think there would be mail.

Perhaps she didn't check her box on Christmas Eve, then? *nods* We'll go with that. :-)
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
Wow! Color me amazed!

Last night, I wrote that I hoped we'd hear from the moving company about our household goods. At best, I was hoping they'd arrive in Minot today, and that we would be able to *squeak* in a delivery by Wednesday, the 23rd (they're off the rest of the week for Christmas Eve & Day, and they don't deliver on weekends).

But they just called ten minutes ago! And they're on their way right now! And they'll be here in an hour or so! Yay!

And now, it's time to become a "Nicole Tornado." Too-de-loo, my friends!
navygreen: (Christmas - Coke Santa)
We received more cards today, including ones from [livejournal.com profile] hetterrific and [livejournal.com profile] flyingwolf - thank you both!

Today felt mostly lazy on my part. You see, since our household goods are not here yet, we have no washer & dryer. It had been a week since we did laundry on our last night in the TLF, and we all were down to having no clean pants. The boys and I bluffed the day away in our PJs, while Philip headed out to the base laundromat, only to find it empty. He also had to take money out of an ATM, but then find a nice store that was willing to give him a couple rolls of quarters. Once he had the laundry washing at a laundromat downtown, he headed over to Napa AutoParts for a new oil cap for his truck. Then back to switch the laundry to the dryers, and then out to pick-up the BIG. NEW. TV!

Meanwhile, the boys played and watched a few videos here at the house, and I unpacked the cleaning supplies. It was the last box of stuff we'd brought with us in our U-Haul trailer, and I wanted to find my cleaners so that I could give my red kitchen trashcan a good scrubbing (we used it to haul items during the move, too). I made lunch for myself and the boys, and then I set about destroying fixing my computer.

I bought and installed new security protection, but in doing so, I then had to make sure that I had all the Windows Updates I needed. I didn't, and that took a couple HOURS to do - ugh. But now everything is running smoothly, and I'll have it do a deep scan tonight while I'm snoozing.

I also paid all the mid-month bills, paying a handful of them way, way ahead, too. I love the feeling that comes from sending $800 to a bill instead of the $100 it asks for. We are so blessed to have come so far in our finances, and I'm thankful every day for that. Also, I discovered a mistake on the Air Force finance side of things... I'm sure no one who is/has been military is shocked by that one. It always happens. Philip will go to Finance on Monday and let them know what we've found. Until then, we've moved the $1888 error to a side savings account so that we'll have it to pull from when the military then sharply deducts it from Philip's pay in the future. Wouldn't it be lovely if Finance could ever get anything right the first time?!

I took an evening bath/shower, and then we all headed out to dinner at Alaska Alder Grill. (I've just looked, and I can't believe they don't have a website!) It was very reminiscent of our times at Alaska Wild Berry, except that it was a food place, not just a chocolatier. Among the store area, we looked at a huge buffalo, a white ram, a cougar, a hyena, a wolf, and many deer heads. I loved all the beautiful wood carvings and stone pottery. It was a neat experience.

Now we're home, and the boys are headed to bed. I've culled the receipts that stacked up everywhere during these last two weeks of moving, and I feel much better about the state of things now. I still need to get my holiday cards in order, and I need to pick out a "Card Wall" here and get it going... :-)
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
Since everyone has been dying to see... here are the pics I snapped when we got the keys to the house. They were taken at dusk, and I've not done anything to brighten them up, but you can still get a "sorta" feel to the house, I think.

The boys stand against the cut-out wall in the entryway


ALL of the pictures are located HERE. I tried to caption them with descriptions, too.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have as you look through them. I know it's hard to understand floor plans just by looking at pictures, ya know?
navygreen: (Keyhole: secrets)
We have a house!

We looked at two, and we fell in love with one, so now it's ours. It is HUGE and spacious, and gosh, I don't even know how I'm going to fill all of it! I'm pretty sure we need to go "stuff" shopping now, just so it won't look so bare. ;-)

Guys, I have prayed and prayed over this. We have agonized and worried over the housing situation, having been told we'd have to wait over a year for a house on base (which we learned upon arriving was very WRONG information - the wait list is only for those who need a 2-bedroom unit). I cannot believe how blessed we have been, and how God has answered my prayers with a house more wonderful than anything I could have imagined!

Here are several of the perks:
  • gorgeous, genuine hardwood floors throughout the entire house (not just the hallway, like our old house)

  • TWO large family/living rooms. One has an elevated ceiling, and the other has a cathedral ceiling. BOTH have beautiful ceiling fans, and we can't decide for sure which will be the "official" family room yet.

  • a large, large kitchen (twice the size of our old house, at least). It also has an eat-in bar attached.

  • gas stove

  • ice-maker in fridge/freezer

  • an arctic entryway/mudroom before entering the foyer

  • two gigantic picture windows. One is in one of the living rooms, and the other is in the dining room. (Both my full-size Christmas trees can be seen from the road!)

  • a massive dining room (easily twice the size of our old one)

  • more closets than we can figure out what the heck to do with

  • a storage closet IN THE GARAGE (which is bigger than the shed we bought ourselves years ago and have been using)

  • an indoor storage space which we have NO CLUE what to fill with (about the size of our old laundry room)

  • four doors to the outside, plus a garage door (in other words, tons of entrances/exits)

  • beautiful tub in the main bathroom (I love the built-in hooks, shelves and racks)

  • much larger shower in the master bathroom, plus storage

  • a private DECK off the master bedroom (!!!)

  • old-timey crank windows (I think those look so nice!)

  • a full basement (One side has a kitchen's worth of cabinets installed, as well as another complete two-sided sink, and the other side has cable hook-ups, etc. It screams 'Craft room!' to me.)


I just really can't imagine how we're going to fill up the space. It seems SO BIG. I'm sure I'll figure it out, though - hehehe. The housing office told us we're welcome to come by and pick up keys again before our move-in date, in case we'd like to get inside again and measure anything or take pics, and I think we'll take them up on that. I know a couple people that would be interested in seeing the inside. (*coughs in Grammy's direction*)

As for actually moving in, we called up the TMO today, and our household goods have not yet arrived. When they do, we'll set up a delivery/move-in date, and then we'll be set. It should be no later than next week, though. I'll check with housing tomorrow to see if we can go ahead and snag our mailbox key though, so we can stop our temporary mail forwarding and begin permanently forwarding. :-)

Also, we picked up our mail at General Delivery on base, and it's a peace of mind that the temporary forwarding has gone according to plan thus far. Philip will begin in-processing tomorrow, and now that we have a house, we know which school the boys are zoned for, so I will be registering them tomorrow. Their first day should be next Monday, and they'll be attending Dakota Elementary here on base.

We're headed to the commissary in a bit to pick up some foodstuffs for make-shift meals here in the TLF through at least the weekend.

What a great Thursday!
navygreen: (HP: Fred & George - next-door neighbors)
Upon hooking up to the 'net in our TLF, I saw in my email that "I" had been tagged in four photos by our next-door neighbor back in Bellevue. I saw that the pics were of our old house covered in snowdrifts, and that our neighbor girl, Natalie, was at our door. I called Jack to the computer to see, and he was looking over my shoulder. We read the captions together:

1) Natalie wanted to show Nicole their old house. (of Natalie trudging through drifts in our driveway to get to the front door)

2) "I wish Jack and AJ really could come and play." (almost to the door then)

3) Ding dong. :-( (of her ringing our old doorbell)


And that's where Jack turned, and I spotted the tears in his eyes. Within minutes, he was full-on crying, saying and wishing that we didn't have to move. Philip and I both tried to console him, but his heart is a bit broken right now. Finally, I got him to come around by showing him a special, funny postcard that I had purchased *just* tonight *just* for mailing to our friends. He got a smile out of writing a special message on it, and we'll stick it in the mail tomorrow.

We miss our friends! :-(
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
We're here, and we're all snuggled into our TLF. We even have hi-speed internet, so I'm über-glad we brought our desktop. :-)

Tomorrow, we'll be checking in with housing and then finding out about the boys' school. Philip may in-process in the afternoon, and then he'll have eight days off before beginning training. My fingers are crossed for good news tomorrow!

ETA: My mouse seems crazy-fast right now, and I've got no clue why. I even went into the Control Panel and adjusted the speed down two more settings. Hmmm.
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
We're on the home-stretch now: 530 miles down, 208 left to go. We will make it to Minot AFB tomorrow!

A la Kevin Smith, I yelled as we passed the border: "NORTH DAKOTA, I am IN YOU!"

*giggles*

Now the knowledge is out in the open, and that feels nice. Even so, it still gives me a great little thrill that we kept our moving news so locked down for six months to just a handful of special people in real life. I love that folks didn't know until I chose to let them know. For the sake of the boys and their church/school situations, it made things much simpler. Thank you, my LJ friends, for keeping mum on the subject since June - hee!

And it sounds like our friends in Nebraska have had more than a bit of snow since we left. We got some on Sunday night that put us in a tizzy over whether to leave or not... but we decided that we couldn't wait and then risk being trapped by the larger storm system due on Monday night. Apparently, we made the VERY RIGHT decision in leaving, as they have been nothing but blasted by snow since we left.

Meanwhile, I'm not a great big ol' fan of South Dakota. There was hardly any accumulation going on along the interstates, but the 3-5" of snow that was already in place was whipping across the lanes, and we felt as if we were driving in an intense fog. For most of the roads in SD, we were buzzing along at 35-40mph... in an area with a speed limit of 75mph. Philip's truck pulled the U-Haul, and he was the one equipped with our GPS, so I was lolling afterward. At one point in the afternoon, he was at 1/4 tank of gas, and I had a solid 1/2 left plus Jack and both kitties sound asleep. We made the decision for me to whip on and find a place for dinner and 'free time' for the kitties, and then it took Philip another 40 minutes or so to catch up to us.

I was super-nervous this morning when we hit the blustery roads, but by mid-afternoon, I was asking Philip to go faster. I'm more than a little proud of myself for keeping it together and pressing on. :-)

Philip just brought me a hot fudge sundae from McD's while I'm down here in the hotel lobby using the computer. Mmmmm!

My friends have more than kept me occupied with texts and Tweets. Thank you, all of you, for checking in so frequently. If nothing else, I catch up on potty breaks. ;-) Oh, and [livejournal.com profile] kerryblaze, thanks for the LJ gift, too!

[livejournal.com profile] hearts_refuge, did you get your box yet? Mailing that sucker out involved being a party to the most RIDICULOUS conversation ever. Seriously, I was shaking my head in bewilderment and looking around for a hidden camera.

[livejournal.com profile] kp_nut, I received your Christmas card in our last day's mail. Anything else should be forwarded right now, but yours came just in time. Thank you!

On a side tangent, our hotel tonight has the best showerhead ever. Goodness, it was relaxing to stand there forever after the chilly parking parade. I also love how hotels have neverending supplies of hot water. Philip jumped in with me, and then afterwards, Jack took his bath. We were dressing in our jammies and giggling, listening to Jack singing, "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" while he bubbled away in the tub.

I can't wait to download some pictures. I've not taken any of the trip, but I have several from before that I think will be keepers. We were SO PROUD of A.J. in his very first band concert last Thursday night. I was so tickled that we were able to stay until that point (the next day, Friday, was their last day of school), and that he enjoyed it so much. We sat in the second row, and I took a bunch of snaps. He is one of six clarinet players, and he clearly knew his stuff.

Even better, he surprised the heck outta me when we arrived back at the TLF that night. I had watched Mr. Holland's Opus with the boys the previous weekend, and A.J. had been particularly interested in the clarinet player's struggles (which I expected, and which is the reason I suggested the movie, besides just loving it to pieces myself). He told me he wanted to play something for me, and he pulled out his clarinet...

... and then he played THAT TUNE from the movie! He played it by ear, having guessed and practiced it by himself all week. I was ASTOUNDED! I told him he's really got a gift, and that not many folks can "hear" notes like that, and especially not just three months after beginning to play an instrument. He just grinned and played it over and over, working on figuring out the next note as he went. Wow!

I should probably get moving here. No one's waiting on the computer, but I would like to get a long, lazy sleep in, and that means I should start snoozing soon. 'Night, all!
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
We're officially homeless now! Our house passed the final inspection this morning, and we've been staying in the TLF since Monday night. We have just a few more days, and then it's bye-bye, Bellevue!

I'm at the base library right now to "play internet" while Philip is finishing up some more out-processing. We'll be picking the boys up from their last day of school here in an hour, and I'm already sad about that. They took special treats to school with them for their friends - Hershey® chocolate bars that they wrapped in special snowman wrappers and signed their names on. The wrappers ended up being a bit large, so Jack helped trim each one as we went.

Speaking of which, I think everyone knows that Jack is left-handed. He's the only lefty in our family, and has been the only lefty in his class since preschool, even. However, he uses scissors with his right hand, and he uses them perfectly. What a trip!

I have yearbooks from last year ready and waiting in the wings for the car trip to North Dakota. I bought them without the boys' knowledge, and I've been saving them. I know that A.J., especially, is having a stressful time with the move, and I hope that being able to spend a few hours remembering his friends will help. We also plan to split the boys in our two vehicles, giving each of them lots of special one-on-one time with us. The kitties will be entirely with me in my car, though. ;-)

And the kitties have tranquilizers, too. That's a first for us, but poor Baby was just trembling for even the 3-minute ride from our house to the TLF a few nights ago. I hope the meds help to mellow her out for the ride so she isn't traumatized TOO badly. We also bought new carriers for them, as well as super-comfy mats to put inside, and we've had them open in the room, allowing the kitties to become comfortable with them. This morning, I tucked a bit of catnip in the back end of each one, and they had to crawl inside to nom their treats. I really do hope they move as well as the cats did years back on the 10-day drive/move from Alaska to here.

I ate lunch at the boys' school one last time this past Wednesday, and I'm really gonna miss all their sweet friends. We had dinner with our dear friends, the Thrasher family, that night. There was food, fun, chocolate fondue, and lots of laughing. The kids played their hearts out, and before we knew it, the time was 10:30pm... on a school night! Jack crashed in the car in just minutes on the way home, but I'm so glad we were able to spend the time with them before we leave. We had A.J.'s band concert last night, and we said goodbye to several of his friends then. We are spending the evening tonight with the Petersons, then tomorrow night with the Gettys, and then Sunday night with the Bradleys. We've got a lunch date with the Vassers tomorrow, and hopefully, we can get together with Marissa's family on Sunday afternoon, too. I am physically exhausted at the end of each day from all the running around and visiting, but I wouldn't waste a minute of our time left by not seeing friends!
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
The movers come tomorrow to pack us. They'll be loading our truck on Tuesday, but we begin staying in the TLF tomorrow night, so tonight - Sunday - is our last night in this house.

:-(

Our phone/cable/internet goes off on Wednesday morning, but since we don't have a laptop, I can't promise how "present" I'll be in the next two days anyway. Of course, moving goes hand-in-hand with chaos, rushing, and lots and lots of last-minute errands.

I've got no forwarding address. I hope to rectify that tomorrow, but we have had no luck with the Minot AFB post office yet. This worries me GREATLY, I should add.

Right now, we've received word from the Minot housing office, and they're telling us to expect a 12+ month wait or more. It's not been good news, and that just adds to my worry. Where's [livejournal.com profile] ashen_butterfly? I'll give her some of my worrying, for I know she's so darn good at it. ;-)

We leave Nebraska on Monday, the 7th. I've got a doctor's appointment that cannot be switched or made any earlier, and Philip has an out-processing appointment that morning as well. We will leave after lunch. The tearful goodbyes have already well-started with several folks I won't see again before then.

If you didn't make the switch back in the summer and have been meaning to get around to it, PLEASE change my email in your books now: sncleghorn at gmail dot com
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
Since we were given six months' notice, I want to be proactive in changing as many things over as seamlessly as possible. First on my list? Making sure all email is received, as it is the center of communication - between friends, between accounts, between bills, extracurricular activities, etc.

Must. Get. ALL. Emails.

Over a year ago, my ISP (Cox.net) began blocking content from LiveJournal as spam. To get around the problem, I created a Gmail account for LJ, and then set my Gmail to forward directly to my Cox.net address. Now, I've removed the forward, and I will spend the next few weeks adding all my email addresses to my Gmail address book at my leisure. I've also already switched addys for our banks and bills online.

So, to wrap up: if you have me in your email address book, you might as well switch my info to the new address. It should be good for the future, regardless of any other moves, I'd imagine.

sncleghorn at gmail dot com
navygreen: (PotC: Barbossa - which way?)
Last night, Philip received orders to Minot AFB in North Dakota. We'll have to be there by December 15th.

...

I really can't express my thoughts in words right now. I'm in a tailspin, to be sure. I mean, we've been here for seven years now, and it's unimaginable to leave. And I love my job. And I love the people. I love everything.

But I always knew this day would come.

Please, keep it quiet for now. We won't tell the boys for a few more months, so it needs to stay mum (hence the locked entry for now). Don't mention it over on FaceBook, either (I have coworkers there, and we're not telling just yet).

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