One Year Anniversary

Wow.  I started this blog 365 days ago.   It’s interesting to look back and see what we did over the past year.  I didn’t write much in the past couple of months as we have been settling in here in our new home in Florida.  We’ve been here 2 months now.  And we are learning how to live in the country.  We got our first real pets – we’ve had fish over the years – but now we have a puppy and two mares.  The dog has become a member of the family; he’s just too cute.  And we are gradually learning how to take care of horses.  We are hoping to ride them soon, but it’s been a while, so I’m taking it slowly. 

The kids started school last week and are trying to find their places in yet another new school.  Our oldest joined the football team over the summer before school started so got a jump-start on making new friends.  Since this is his senior year, I’m glad he was able to do that.  Our daughter joined the volleyball team when school started and is learning the in’s and out’s of another new sport.  Our youngest  joined the middle school football team and may be our quarterback.  I am really looking forward to seeing them play ball this fall.  I love to watch my kids play.

My husband got a job at the middle school as an 8th grade math teacher.  He is finding it to be more challenging than he first thought.  It is much different than the 28 years he did in the military.  I am also trying to find my place here as well.  I thought that I would already be looking for a job, but it has worked out that it’s been good that I am still at home.  I actually have not quite gotten the house unpacked as we are waiting for our house-builders to repair/finish a few things that weren’t complete when we moved in.  Things like no shelves in our kitchen pantry, rips in the wall paper, legs missing on the stove, holes in the linoleum, and scratches on the counter tops have held me up from unpacking some boxes.  I just got a call that they are finally coming tomorrow to take care of these things – 2 months after we moved in.

Happy Anniversary to me.  Happy “New” Year to all.

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We Just Can’t Sit Still

I know it’s been quite a while since I last blogged, but we have been super busy!  We ( 2 kids and I) left Virginia on June 20th for the 12 hour drive south to our new home in Florida.  My husband and oldest son stayed behind for him to have surgery on the 24th, and then they drove down.  We have been surrounded by boxes and packing paper since.  Last Tuesday, we had to take a break (oh darn!) because my hubby had a follow-up for his surgery back up in Virginia, and our daughter had an appointment to have her wisdom teeth out there as well.  We already had a doctor lined up and since my husband had to go back anyway, we decided to make a little adventure out of it all.  We drove up to Montreal the day after her surgery.  She had some good drugs in her, so she doesn’t remember a lot of that first day.  My husband got his French fix and added more to our library of books and movies.  He got to sit around and shoot the breeze in French and in English with people visiting from all over the globe, and I got a break from unpacking and hung out and watched tv and shopped with my daughter.

Early yesterday morning, we left Montreal and started heading back to Florida.  We took a 30-minute pit stop in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and bought a big bag full of chocolate stuff.  I have always wanted to go there, and when I saw signs along the side of the road that we were close by, I told my husband it was a great time to get out and stretch!  This afternoon, we arrived back in my hometown of Pensacola – kind of another little pit stop on the way home.  I’m here to help my little sister celebrate her 35th birthday 🙂  We’ll hang out with her here for a couple of days and then make our way back to real life 5 hours east. 

I’m going to try to ease back into the blogging world, I hope.  There are still lots of things going on in our real world when we get back, unpacking and job hunting are the highest on a long list.  I have really enjoyed journaling some about our lives and hope I can continue.

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One Day

It’s all gone.  Out the door.  On its way.  Except for the dirt.  And our luggage.  Oh, and yes, 1 – 2- 3- kiddos still here too. 

Florida – or Bust!

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One Week

The packers arrive in one week from today to start wrapping and boxing up all of our things.  We have done this many times, but this one feels so different.  This is it, the last shebang, the big kahuna, le fin.  I took a car load of clothes and other items to the thrift store yesterday.  Today I am doing a little yard work and plan to finish going through a few other boxes I never really got around to unpacking when we arrived here.  If I didn’t use it while we were here, I wonder if it shouldn’t just make its way to the thrift store as well.  I thought about having a garage sale, but in the end, I don’t know that we had quite enough for one, and I don’t think we really have the time or energy while trying to prepare for all the cleaning and packing we’ll be doing next week.

I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be able to do over the next few weeks.  I thought I might have time to start writing about our time in Paris, but I think that may just have to wait until after the move.  I’m very behind in checking in on my blog friends’ sites but will have to catch up as I can on those as well.  I’ll try to stop in and write a few lines when I have the chance.

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Comings and Goings

We start packing out in 12 days; that’s less than 2 weeks.  Yesterday we loaded up our Sequoia because my husband needed to go back down to Florida to do the final walk-through inspection on our new house.  Water and electricity should be up and running before the weekend is over.  He’s also put in an application for a job, so he wanted to be there in person to check on that.  There are things the moving company will not pack and things we don’t want them to pack – too many broken or missing items in previous moves – so he took some of that down with him. 

So, another week alone with the kids.  They are not out of school til next Thursday, so I still have my days to myself to get ready for the move.  I’m also trying to keep a regular routine going with working out, blogging, etc., but I know that some of that will have to be put on a back burner for a couple of weeks while we are packing, cleaning, travelling, and unpacking.

The kids keep going back and forth on their feelings about moving.  In general, they are excited.  We are going to be closer to lots of family.  We aren’t going to move again (well, except down the street when our final house is built).  We’ll be in Florida, where they were all 3 born and my husband and I were raised.  They can go watch the UF Gators sports teams live just about anytime they want to. 

Last night, however, our oldest son started to back-track and say he isn’t looking forward to the move as much.  I think some of that has to do with his girl friend of a year and a half.  She is the first person he’s ever gone out with, and they’ve had each other’s friendship for the past 2 school years.  I can understand his feelings.  Our daughter and youngest son have made a few good friends but no best friends.  They are used to leaving friends behind and stay in touch with several through e-mail and Facebook now.  As with all of our moves, we try to make it as easy a transition as we can.  I know as they are getting older, that it is getting harder, though.  I am glad that this will be our last military move.  We really have been lucky to have been stationed in so many great places.  The things we’ve seen and experienced most people wish for.  But now it’s our time to pass the torch.  My husband officially retired Monday morning at 12:01 am.  We just happened to be up watching the women’s college softball world series, so I was able to congratulate him and give him a little retirement gift. 

I wasn’t there when he joined the military 27 years ago yesterday.  He served in the Army Reserves for 7 1/2 years during high school and college.  After graduating, he decided he wanted to fly for the military, and the Navy recruited him.  Lucky for me, the Army didn’t have any slots for commissioned aviator officers at the time, and he went to Pensacola for Navy flight school.  We met about a month after he arrived, and here we are today, 19 years later, with 3 wonderful children.  I am so proud of my husband;  of his 44 years, 27 1/2 have been serving his country.  He was also an Army brat his first 12, so most of his life all he’s known is the military.  Here’s to his (and our family’s) smooth adjustment to civilian life – or maybe I should be saying, “Watch out everyone; here we come!”

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Americans in Paris: 2006

After leaving Guam in June of 2005, we began a new journey towards the other side of the world.  But first, a pit stop in Monterey, California to learn the language of love, le français.  My husband and I went to school just like our kids from 8 am – 3 pm Monday through Friday for 6 months.  The  differences were my husband and I lived, breathed, and dreamed in French 24/7 for those 6 months, AND I still had all of my mommy/housewife duties too.  Everyone tried to chip in and help, but overall, I was stressed out with wanting to be the perfect French student, mom, and wife. 

Miraculoulsy, we all made it through those 6 months and packed up all our household goods to be shipped overseas to Paris, France.

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Proud Parent Moment

Last night my husband and I were invited to attend an awards ceremony at our local middle school.  As our youngest son was putting on his best church clothes, he asked several times if he HAD to go.  And I kept answering, yes, sweetie, you HAVE to go.  At 6:30, we were seated and the ceremony began.  The first awards presented were for the 6th grade students of the year.  Each grade is divived into teams, and the 450 or so 6th graders are divided into four teams.  The teachers got together and chose 2 boys and 2 girls from each team to be awarded.  Our son’s name was the first on the list on the program we received at the door.  So, as the announcer started at the bottom of the list, we waited with anticipation (and a little disappointment as he was supposed to be called up first) for his name to be announced, so we could cheer and clap for our wonderful child.  But, as it went, his name was not called – at all – and the announcer went on to the next list of award winners. 

That, however, did not stop someone from yelling out to the announcer from the back half of a full auditorium to wait, “You forgot my son!”  However, Ms. Announcer couldn’t see the raised arms waving at her through the blinding stage lights or hear the cries at the back of the auditorium.  So, my sweet husband started for the stage.  I wanted him to march right up there and tell her my baby was gonna get on that stage to get his award, that I did not get all dressed up and do my hair and make up for the second time that day just to sit there for an hour and a half while 200 other middle schoolers marched up to the stage to receive their pretty awards and while their 400 parents got to glow and cheer and take pictures of their children in their best church clothes on that stage receiving their awards and shaking hands with the principal and getting high fives and hugs from their teachers.  But he was probably a little nicer than that  because the next thing I knew it our son got a special recall and an apology and a huge applause (I even got a  “Good for you!” from the parent sitting behind me).  And as I fumbled with my camera and tears were streaming down my cheeks, my baby got awarded as a 6th Grade Student of the Year.

BTW, how coincidental is this?  My oldest son was Male Student of the Year in his 6th grade year (we were in Guam at the time), and our daughter was the Female Student of the Year in her 6th grade year as well (we had gotten to France half way through the school year and she was chosen!).

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