Sunday, November 30, 2008

Take A Wild Guess

Guess what we saw out of our hotel window when we woke up this morning?

Guess who didn't bring coats with them on the trip?

Guess who only brought flip flops on the trip with her?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things Did Not Change Much On Day Two

Emily still slept. Katie did switch to a book.
Ben still had the ear buds in place.

The only difference was...........

Ben actually let Katie touch him.

This is usually not allowed.



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Traveling for Thanksgiving

We drove six hours yesterday. The kids traveled fairly well. Ben listened to the Ipod. Emily slept. And Katie concentrated fiercely on the DVD player.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Katie's Last Swim Lesson


Another LAST.

Katie advanced to Level 3B!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The First of the Lasts

Yesterday was our last day at church. Next Sunday we will be on our way back from Thanksgiving vacation. And the Sunday after that we will be in Hawaii!!!!

Sadly enough, I missed our last church service here. I have a horrible cold. I loaded myself up with medicine, hoping to make it through. But by the time Sunday School was over, I knew I wouldn't be able to get through the church service. My nose was still running, I was coughing. I REALLY wanted to stay for my last service, but I knew anyone sitting near me would be thinking, "WHY is that lady spreading her germs around? WHY didn't she stay home?" So Kerry stayed at church with the kids and I came home.

We have a lot of "lasts" coming up now. Tonight will be our last Tae Kwon Do class. We could possibly still make it to next Monday's class, but that is the day the packers will be here, and it's just too iffy. Plus we would have to keep our uniforms out and not let them get packed up, and I need all the room I can get in my suitcase for summer clothes!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Getting The Dogs To Hawaii

We are jumping through hoops trying to get our dogs to Hawaii.

And some of those hoops are on fire.

The latest issue came up yesterday. Our applications for the dogs to enter Hawaii required that we list a veterinarian in Hawaii whom the quarantine center could contact in case of emergency. The form states that the vet we choose must be on the approved list of veterinarians. Problem is, there is no list of approved veterinarians included in the packet. There is no list of unapproved veterinarians either. I couldn't find a list with a google search either (and if a google search can't find it, I have a strong suspicion it doesn't exist).

I looked for a phone number to call the quarantine center to ask them where I could find this so called "list". Their phone number isn't in the packet. Of course not. If you put your phone number where people can find it, then they call at all hours asking questions and you never get off the phone and your coffee gets cold while you're answering all their silly questions and who needs that? So hide the phone number.

So, I googled veterinarians in Hawaii. That turned up a billion results, let me tell you. I picked a veterinary hospital at random off the Internet and called. I asked the girl who answered where I could find the approved list of veterinary hospitals. She wasn't sure. So I called another veterinarian. She said they could fax me the info. I told her we do not have a fax and asked if they could email it to me. She told me they do not have Internet. So I picked the Animal Hospital of Hawaii and tried them. She told me they were on the approved list (!) and promised to send me the required info for registration with their clinic.

I told her that the paper work I was filling out needed the veterinarians "code" on it. She told me the code was "AHH".

Being the good military spouse that I am, I said, "That's AHH like Alpha, Harry, Harry?"

After a pause she replied, "Well, like Animal Hospital of Hawaii."

Oh.

I guess that does make more sense.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Big

I am Rigger.

I am three years old today

Everyone says I am big. But I am not.

My head is big. But the rest of me is little.

I'm sure of it.


Sometimes, my head is so heavy I have to rest it on the dining room table.

Sometimes, I rest it on someone's leg.

Sometimes I have to rest it on the coffee table.

It just depends on what is close.

I practice yoga to stay relaxed.

Sometimes the light bothers my eyes.

This is my boy. I like to stand here and gaze at him.

With my head on the table.


I've got the "sad puppy eyes" thing down pat.

He can't help but give me food when no one's looking!

It is my job to sniff everyone and see what they've had to eat lately.

She had chocolate.

This is my littlest girl.

She talks a lot.
Maybe something will fall out of her mouth and I can eat it.

This is my best friend Ringo.

His Daddy was a traveling man.

He's the Alpha Dog around here and I don't forget it.

It's fine with me, because he can protect me when I need it.

This is my bed. I let my boy share it with me most nights.

But sometimes I want to stretch out and he moves to the floor.

He doesn't mind.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ben Got A Haircut

It's so shocking to see him with short hair!

It's going to take me a while to get used to this!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Well This Stinks

The dryer is broken.

Normally, we would just call a repair man and have it fixed.

But..........

We are moving in two weeks. And the housing in Hawaii provides washers and dryers in the houses. Our washer and dryer were going into storage for the next three years anyway.

So why pay to fix a dryer when you aren't going to use it for three years and it might be all rusty when you get it back?

So that is why my bathroom looks like this:


And my bedroom looks like this:



And our clothes are so stiff they could practically get up and walk around on their own.

But I'm not complaining. Because when it's all said and done, I will be in Hawaii.

And I will be wearing soft, dry clothes while I'm there.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Cabinet Door



One of my kitchen cabinets broke last week. It came completely off in my hand when I opened it to get some dish detergent. Of course, it broke on a day when we were having company over.

Naturally, I didn't want our company to come in and see the broken cabinet or all the cleaning supplies stored there, and maintenance won't come on a weekend. So, I played around with the door and got it back in place. It took a while to get the hinges lined up perfectly where the door would stay on and not be crooked. It still didn't function, but it was in place and looked normal.

But I forgot it was broken and pulled it off again when I needed the Windex. And again when I needed a sponge. And again when I needed something to clean the counter tops with. I think I pulled it off about five times before I finally remembered to leave it alone. Each time, I worked with it to get it back into place so our company wouldn't be able to tell it was broken.

Then Emily came in the kitchen and "clunk" the door came off in her hand.

"Was that supposed to happen?" she asked me.

I got it back in place again and headed off to another part of the house.

Ben came to find me. "I think I just broke a cabinet door in the kitchen."

I assured him it wasn't his fault and maneuvered it back into place just before our company arrived.

We hadn't seen them in years and one of the first things we did was give them a house tour. We were telling them about how great the housing is here and Kerry said, "Except for when things like this happen." And he yanked the cabinet door off the hinges and held it up to show them how it was broken.
Crazy

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Owl Pellets

Owl pellets. It's a nice way of saying "owl vomit". Or maybe "regurgitated rodent". As I mentioned in another post, owls eat small animals and then hoark back up all the bones and fur in a little ball. Our homeschooling group had the delightful opportunity to dissect some owl pellets yesterday.

We also got to hold some owl talons and hawk talons. (When I say "we" I mean "the kids".)

We got to hold a hawk wing and an owl wing.


When you flap them, you can hear the sound the hawk wing makes, but the owl wing is almost silent. Way cool.


This is one of the actual owl pellets. Looks like dirt to me.


The kids picked apart the pellets with their fingers and with toothpicks.


I thought there would be one animal carcass in each pellet, but it turned out there were four or five.

Everyone had to pick all the little bones out of the pile and identify it according to a chart we had. We identified ribs, hip bones, skulls and vertebrae! We also were usually able to tell if the owl had eaten moles, mice, birds, and shrews. We even found the remains of a caterpillar in one pellet.


Some days I wonder if it would be nicer to send my kids to school. They would come home from a day of dissecting owl pellets and I would ask, "What did you do today?" And they would reply, "Nothing." And I would go about in blissful ignorance of what a regurgitated mole looks like.

Ah well. Homeschooling is not for the squeamish!

My Cleaning Crew

We have a Bible study at our house every Thursday night. We provide desserts and coffee along with the teaching and fellowship. It's quite a nice little gathering we have.

This week, one of the attendees offered to have the Bible study at her house. Yes! Great! Fabulous! I'm all for that!

Then, (ominous music playing here) one hour before Bible study was to start, tonight's host let us know that she would not, in fact, be able to host the group after all. Some silly excuse about how her husband returned from deployment early and she had to go pick him up at the airport. Sheesh.

Panic set in.

"What do you mean we've got a group of people coming over here for Bible study in an hour!?"

I called my handy dandy emergency cleaning crew:

I barked out orders like a drill sergeant:

"You! Sweep!"

"You! Dust!"

"You! Clean the bathroom mirrors!"

An emergency desert was quickly procured:

And leftover Halloween candy was attractively arranged in a bowl.

And Kerry (wanting to appear as "Type A" as possible) cut the cake into precise slices which he then mangled while trying to arrange on a pretty plate.

And presto! House company clean in fifteen minutes flat!

Thank you handy dandy cleaning crew!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You Know You're a Homeschooler When.............

Your window sill looks like this: Three planters (one made by each of the kids) growing various types of seeds created from 2-litre soda bottles.


One jumbo pack of pencils.


Two composts, also made from old soda bottles.


One plate holding a piece of bread, a piece of fruit, and a scoop of jelly in a vain attempt to grow mold for an experiment (luckily there is a jar of spaghetti sauce in the fridge which is being more cooperative about supplying the needed mold).


And one Root View farm, growing carrots, so we can watch root systems grow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Honda To Hawaii!

We just returned from shipping our Honda to Hawaii. It was a five hour drive to the shipping center and a five hour drive back. We took the girls with us and spent the night in a hotel with an indoor pool. Ben spent the night with his best friend.

He was already gone when we headed out, so I left a note taped to the door telling him some things I needed done before we got back.

When we got home today he said, "I got all but one thing done on the list!"

I guess it's all in how you word it. Putting a positive spin on it to put yourself in a good light.

It didn't change the fact that there were only two things on the list to begin with.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Build-A-Bear

Yesterday, we went to the Build-A-Bear shop. Kerry wanted to make bears with each of the girls and record a message to put on a voice chip inside the bears. That way while he is deployed, the girls can snuggle with their bears, squeeze their paws and hear their Daddy talk to them. We offered to let Ben make a bear too, but he declined:

In the interest of fairness - I told Ben to look miserable for this picture. I thought it would be humorous to show the girls looking delighted with their bears and a miserable 14 year old in between.

In the interest of honesty - He really wasn't all that excited to be there. Happy

After you pick the type of bear you want, you stuff it with fluff.



Kerry surprised me by getting a Koala for me! It had never occurred to me that he would do one for me too. I like surprises!


The employee then had Kerry pick a heart for each bear, kiss it, make a wish on it, and then put it inside each bear. This part nearly choked me up. Anything to do with the deployment gets to me a little. Especially if it's something sweet.



Katie gave her bear a "bath" to clean any extraneous fibers off it.



Then Emily and I cleaned ours.
The cost of making a bear is surprisingly inexpensive...............

It's the accessories that start to add up. $$$$$$$

We did find these cute little Army uniforms.
Katie wanted to dress her bear in a sparkly white princess dress with white high heels.
Kerry was not pleased since the bear has his voice.

I may go back and get the Army dress uniform for my bear.


Next came the naming of the bears.

I named my bear "Major Dad".

Emily named her bear "Kerry".

Katie named her bear "Fudge".



A day we will remember while Daddy is away.

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