Saturday, April 26, 2008

we made it!

I'm borrowing a friends computer to post that we officially made it out of RI and into the wonderful state of VA!! We've already seen two family friends in D.C. and are staying with friends tonight in VA Beach. It was a loooong drive yesterday from RI to DC and pulling the trailer was a challenging, especially with some bad roads, but we're done and safe and sound and very very blessed. Will leaves tomorrow for RI again to move our stuff out and I'm staying with the boys up here. We're so exhausted. Thanks so much for all the prayers. We felt them and needed them. Time to rest, finally. night

Thursday, April 24, 2008

one last packing post

My husband is outside methodically packing the car (suburban) with engineering precision while my almost 4 year old son is trying to fall asleep in our room (his is too hot and he got a late nap 'cause I was gone to Will's graduation) so here I am blogging one last time before I don't see a computer for a week or more. :) I know I'll miss it, but I actually think it will be relaxing too. The kids are off their usual schedule because of this crazy week, but they sleep really well in the car so I'm hoping that naps will come easily tomorrow. They'll need it. So will we, but since we'll have to go to bed when they do in the hotel room tomorrow night, it will be our chance to catch up ... assuming they go to bed at a normal hour (8ish).

I'm also interested in how they'll do in sleeping bags on the floor of our mostly carpeted house in Norfolk. The bedrooms are hardwood and the living areas and eating area is carpeted. I think I want them to sleep on the carpet b/c it's softer, but then I can't close the door and "put them to bed" b/c it's all open. This also would mean that I can't stay up late although I'll be on an air mattress so I can be in the bedrooms. Maybe I'll just pad their bags with some blankets I'm bringing. I'm sure they'll be fine. Half the time Charley would rather sleep on the hard floor and has many times.

It will be interesting to see how we'll pass the time with only the things I packed in an empty house. My plan is to let them play outside in the dirt and water, a lot! I already packed bathing suits and sunscreen. I also plan on visiting a lot of friends and maybe finally getting a Y membership. I have no idea when our household goods will arrive. ugh. I hope we don't have to wait too long. To that end, I overpacked, just so we wouldn't have to fish necessities out of boxes once they do arrive.

Well, my wonderful hubby is done packing. I'm sure he did a great job and we have room for a few extra toys for the boys, maybe even a trike or two! The neighborhood we live in down there is great for walks. There's so much shade and the streets are wide and since the neighborhood is so secluded, the streets aren't that busy. I can't wait to be back. Plus we can see the water at different points throughout the neighborhood b/c it's on a peninsula. I hope the boys like their new home and new friends and new everything. I wonder when they'll understand we're not coming back to RI (for a long time). I hope they're ok with it all. I know they'll enjoy the adventure anyway.

Next stop, D.C., then onto warm, sunny Virginia!


Oh yeah, a big Happy 2nd Birthday to my youngest, Ben, this Sunday, April 27th!!! I can't believe he'll be two already! I was barely pregnant with him when we first moved to RI. :) Happy Birthday Ben!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

moving nap, I mean, update

Hello all. Yes, we're still in the throws (and I do feel thrown) of moving. We keep staying up late to get things done: me, laundry; Will, car work.

We're trying to finish packing and weighing everything up today (Wednesday) b/c tomorrow (Thursday) I think almost every second of the day is planned already and there just won't be time. Charley will share Dad's Day at pre-school with Will, then Will graduates from SWOS, then we have a volleyball game that night and in between all of those things will be last minute packing, getting rid of trash and a few refrigerated items that won't survive a cooler, turning off our phone (Vonage) to use our rollover minutes up for awhile and hopefully save some $, loading the Mazda on the trailer and loading the sub, then weighing all of that so we can leave really early Friday morning.

Friday we're hopeing to beat the NY/CT traffic in the morning and the Baltimore/D.C. traffic in the afternoon, then we'll stop in Baltimore to assure U-Haul that we still have their working trailer (b/c it was a LOT cheaper to go from RI to Baltimore and then onto Norfolk, than straight through ugh), then will continue on to D.C. to visit Will's Aunt Donnette, and stay in Springfield for the night. (oh yeah, did I mention we'll have our German Shepherd, Gayla, with us?) :) fun times :) Good thing Red Roof is very pet friendly.

Saturday we'll visit our friends, the Burkman's (and their new baby) in Springfield, then leave around 9:30 to continue on to Norfolk where we'll unpack, drop off the trailer, then take the boys out to stay with friends in VA Beach (so grateful!!) so we can see a house back in Norfolk, then back out to VA Beach for dinner with the friends, then back to our empty house in Norfolk for the night.

Sunday, if we're still alive, we'll go to church to visit all of our old friends and hopefully have lunch with some of them afterwards. Then Will leaves via train overnight to go back to RI to do the house move out. He'll join again us hopefully Thursday night. Then he has to start a week long school that next Monday and somewhere in there, the Navy will arrive in VA with our household goods.

Will's parents arrive that week (the 8th) as well to help and stay for about a week, then my Mom is coming after that when Will is out on his ship in NY where I'm planning on visiting him for a few days. (this is late May).

SO, if I don't blog in awhile, this is what's going on and I hope you can all pray for us during this crazy time. Please pray for travel safety, health, logistical peace and security and for the sanity and happiness of all of us, especially the kids, and more that I'm sure I don't even know to ask for. (I'm sure the Lord will bring it to mind) :) Thank you so very much, in advance, for all your prayers.

We will dearly miss all of our good friends in the RI area, especially our neighbors and friends from 1st Pres. Thank you to all of those who supported us with words of encouragement and constant friendship during the difficult times we faced here and for seeing us through with your prayers. Thank you Sarah Circle for sending me off in prayer yesterday. I hope we are at least able to visit if the Navy doesn't send us back anytime soon. If not, well, there's always Facebook, e-mail, blogging, the phone and definitely the lost art of letter writing. :)

I look forward to reuniting with our friends in the Norfolk area and catching up with you all in turn. For those in nearby D.C., Annapolis and Pennsylvania, I really hope we can make a trip up soon to visit and catch up with you all. And last, my Texas family and friends, I must miss you for a little while longer. It doesn't look like a visit is in our near future. I'm still not sure what I'll do when Will is deployed, but right now I'm leaning towards keeping the kids in the familiar and in their schedule and routine vs. the disruption of a big trip. I'll have to decide as the time grows nearer. It might depend on if we're prego later this year or not. :) It's all in the Lord's hands and I pray He'll guide us.

Ok, that's about all the update I can manage at this point. Time to rest and keep packing. God Bless.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nina Simone

I just discovered the jazz singer, Nina Simone and am decidedly a fan. I love her songs, the tone color of her amazing rich voice and the variety and diversity of her songs and her voice. Some might recognize her from the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, or if you're older ... from the 60's. She sang the "Sinnerman" song when Thomas was putting the art back and stealing another painting at the end of the movie. Great scene! :) She also sings "Feeling Good" which was sung on American Idol recently (last year, I think). She was most famous from singing at rallies and things in the 60's, very powerful.

Anyway, I just bought her "Compact Jazz" album on I-tunes this morning, yay! :) If you want to her some of her songs just go to You-tube. One of my favorites is "Ne Me quitte pas" ("Don't Leave Me"). So moving. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Judah Ben Hur

I'll miss you Charleton Heston. You had a gift Judah ben Hur, Moses, and so many more amazing characters that I'll always love. (hee hee, I think part of the reason I love the name Judah for Charley's middle name, besides it meaning "praise", is that Heston helped it represent an amazing man in Ben Hur.)

You are missed. You are appreciated. You are loved.

crazy days

ok, just a quick blog to update you all on the craziness going on around here (which is mostly in our minds) :) So, most of you know, we're moving in 2 weeks! ahhh, crazy! We just got finished throwing a massive 2 year Ben Birthday/Going away party. 27 people in the house, crazy! :) It went really really well though and my prayers all week were answered: the rain held off until the last guest drove away, then it started, crazy! (well, not considering who I was praying to). So the kids were able to go outside for a bit.

I got creative (or anal, depending on your perspective) and made signs for the different rooms and places in our house where things would be happening so people would know where to go and what they could do. Signs included, "food" area, "crafts/toys" room, "smaller ones/nursing" room, "coats, shoes, purses" room, "bouncer" area, and last but not least "W.C./potty". :) We had kind friends who let us borrow a huge bouncer that actually fit in our basement and the kids loooved it, plus it really helped with kid/crowd control. I also borrowed a big, plastic, round, kids table that seated about 6 kids and put craft stuff on it for the kids who wanted to 'make things'. It was so cute to see them all sitting there with the little foam stickers, colored pencils, glue sticks and kid scissors. Plus, all the toys were in that room so the mess was contained to one location, yay! :) I still have to clean it up though :) I'm actually looking forward to it though, ugh, I know, it's weird. Then, just when I thought I was being overly detail-oriented (yeah, you know), it turned out that the nursing room (which is the boys small bedroom, complete with changing table), was used a number of times for nursing purposes and for sleeping babies!

I knew with that number of people, there had to be activities, but for the age group (0-5), and amount of space, organized activities were probably not a good idea. So they were able to spread out around the house doing different things, including outside and the flow went really well. The moms were able to relax and eat fruit and veggie and deli trays (yes, I'm in pre-move keep it easy and simple mode), while the dads ran the bouncer and kept watch outside and chatted as well. I thought it worked out well for all. (of course, I hope the people who read this blog and also attended agree) hi! :)

Of course, things got a little chaotic around cake time, but fortunately, come genius thought up a cupcake cake, where cupcakes are put close together and iced as if they were one big cake. This made it sooo easy to hand out cake quickly and easily to the anxious little kids below. It was a Thomas the Tank Engine party, so Ben got a bunch of Thomas stuff including a backpack and sleeping bag we plan on using for the move.

I asked everyone to bring a picture of their family for our memory books for the boys so we could look back and remember all our friends from RI. Of course, half of them are Navy so we won't see them here again, but maybe on the road somewhere else. It was so great to see all of our friends (after a looong winter of practical hibernation inside) and let the boys say hi again to all their babysitters, who were also invited. I made special gift bags for them to say thank you. I also had fun using foam stamps to stamp the kids gift bags. I got the little white bags from Michael's and the boys' bags had a frog on them and the girls' bags had a butterfly.

Well anyway, it was such a blessing that so many people could come out and celebrate with us and I hope they enjoyed it too. It seemed like everyone had a great time, especially with the diversity of the crowed, i.e. church friends, Navy friends, neighborhood friends etc. It's always interesting to me when not everyone knows each other. I love watching people dynamics and wondering who will enjoy talking to whom.

ok well, I'd better go to bed. Will and I worked on a new set of 'to dos' tonight and now that the party is over, I'm officially in move-mode. Tomorrow begins the preparation with the vehicles, cleaning, oil/fluid changes, tire balancing and rotation etc. Then, since next week is Spring Break, I plan on getting some babysitters to help with the kids so I can complete some last minute projects and stuff that's difficult to do with the boys around. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks for keeping us in your prayers. I'm mostly praying that Will and I will be able to keep things low-stress and calm for the boys. They really pick up on big changes etc. and their attitudes show it and although I have a very positive attitude about moves in general, the fact is we have a lot to get done and moving is in general, a stressful thing, sooo, please pray that we handle it well and balance things well so they don't feel left out in the meantime and are still at ease by the time we get there. I know they have no concept of the fact that we won't be coming back here, but I'm hoping they'll be ok with that, especially once we re-introduce them to old friends and fun places and the warmer weather! :)

Good night, God Bless!

ps. will post pics soon (i hope)

Monday, April 07, 2008

missing YOU!

This morning, I'm missing my home state of Texas ... Blue Bell ice cream, bluebonnets, warm weather, humidity, (not mosquitos) :), flowers in bloom in my Mom's backyard, the smell of all the flowers in bloom in my Mom's backyard, shorts, tank tops and sandals, neighborhood swimming pools, my Houston peeps (ok, well Texans in general), the awesome Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the wonderful Houston Rockets who just made the playoffs! :) I don't know when I'll be able to make it down there soon, but at least I know that our nearby Norfolk friends are anxiously waiting and praying for us. It's so nice to feel wanted and I can't wait to see them again and how big all their kids have grown in the 2.5 years since we left (well, 1.5 years since we visited)! :)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

the forsythia are about to bloom!

I'm so excited that spring has almost sprung up here in RI. Lord knows there are so many things I don't like about the NE, but I have yet to see a more beautiful springtime anywhere. (Maybe the looong, cold winter was worth it, naah) :) All of the bulbs are beginning to come up, crocus, daffodils, narcissus, hibiscus and so many more that I can't even name. Yes, I miss my TX azaleas, crepe myrtles, bluebonnets and wild flowers, but the tulips and other bulbed plants around are are exquisite! I'll try to take some pictures to capture it, but I think you'd just have to see it for your own eyes. There's a field up here where they keep dividing and replanting daffodil bulbs and it turns into a photo op for most families once they're all in bloom. We haven't done it yet, but this is our last chance while we live here and the boys are such a young, cute age so I'm going to try. Hopefully they'll all be in bloom before we leave in 3 weeks and what a send off we'll have as all of the flowers will seem to wish us well with they're beautiful, colorful blooms!