Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last post of the old year

Greetings from Huntsville, AL! We've been in our new home for just over a week now. A lot has happened since my last post. I attended the last CRNA resident graduation of my husband's military career, flew here and back from CA, attended/participated in my husband's retirement ceremony, threw a dinner party (catered, thank goodness) for 75 or so of our closest friends and Brian's work colleagues, rode over 2500 miles in the RV from CA to AL, celebrated Christmas, and hosted another dinner for 15 here in our new home.

Brian's retirement ceremony went well, even though not all went as planned. Originally, my sister and I, along with her husband, were going to sing the national anthem. I contracted some kind of upper respiratory bug on my way here a few days before the ceremony and lost much of my voice. Pam then seemed to pick up the same thing, so that by the day of the ceremony, neither of us was in much shape to sing. Thankfully, Emily stepped in and saved the day by singing with Kirk. They received compliments from several people, many of whom said it was the best they'd heard at a military ceremony. It was a decidedly unique ceremony, in that we opted for a non-military chaplain to deliver the invocation. Our dear friend Jim prayed only as he could, and it meant so much more to us to have him praying over Brian than someone who would not have known us as well. There were appropriate amounts of solemnity, tears, and laughter... the latter especially coming at the music played for the recessional: Sweet Home Alabama.

That night, we had a catered dinner at a local banquet hall. The food was great and the room was packed. I had ordered a custom cake from a great place in Vacaville (think Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss) and I was thrilled with how it came out, and it generated a lot of conversation. I wouldn't be surprised if the bakery gets some more business based on that cake. (BTW, it tasted great as well!)

We left CA Saturday morning (the 19th) and made it to the Palm Springs area before deciding to stop for the night. It was after dark and neither driver (Emily was following in her car) had really had a full night's sleep the night before, so they were ready to call it quits. The next day, we traveled around 800 miles through AZ and NM and on into TX, stopping at a KOA in Van Horn, TX. That was one long day! We passed through 3 time zones and were into Central Time when we stopped, so it was 2 hours later than we realized... 11:30 pm! We crashed quickly that night. The next day we left around 8am. Brian and Emily were bound and determined to make it to Huntsville without staying over another night. For anyone wondering, the distance from the KOA in Van Horn to our home is 1244 miles. And yes, we did it. Emily actually took the lead after lunch and beat us to the house by about an hour, but the RV pulled up in front of the house at 3:15 am on Tuesday. We were delighted to see that elves (my sister, her husband, and at least one of their sons) had been at work in our house in expectation of our arrival. They had put the kids' beds together and set them up (ours was ready already) and also dug out some of our Christmas decorations and had hung our pre-lit garland on our fireplace mantels. And they'd turned up the heat as well!!

Unpacking seemed to be a slow process. I was still recovering from whatever I had; Brian had contracted it as well. But we managed to get the kitchen put together by Christmas Eve. The night before that, Pam & Kirk came over and helped with some unpacking. Kirk and Halle got our Christmas tree put up and decorated. On Christmas Day, we had a big lasagna dinner here. Pam & Kirk came, along with 3 of their sons and 2 of the sons' girlfriends, plus another young couple who are good friends with their family. Our table extends to 10 ft. long, and that was just enough to hold all 15 of us. I envision a "kids' table" in our future some day!

So here we are on New Year's Eve... nothing big planned, just a night of Beatles Rock Band or other video games, movies, and pizza with Pam and Kirk (and maybe some of the boys?? Don't know yet if any of them are coming.). Still lots of unpacking to do, but it'll be there tomorrow... and the next day.... and the next...

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The now and the not yet

And so it begins. The packers (5 men) arrived yesterday on time (a first, I believe). They set straight to work and worked without stopping. In what has to be a record, they had our belongings boxed up and ready for tomorrow's truck in about 5 1/2 hours. We had bought them lunch, but they were so close to finishing, they kept working and took it to go. I'm sitting here in the house now, waiting for a mattress delivery (the 3 younger kids are getting new ones; all moving up to full-size beds).

We have all of our necessary goods for the next few weeks with us in the RV, which is set up in the base RV park. Sure will be an interesting time between now and when we arrive in Huntsville! The dogs are happy to be there; they love it in the RV. The younger kids do as well. Emily... not so much. But she will do fine, I'm sure.

I am planning on flying to Huntsville to meet the moving truck when it arrives. I'll be able to see that the furniture is placed in the right places and maybe even get the phone/internet/cable installed while there. Hopefully I will get back in time for Brian's students' graduation dinner on the 11th.

We are here for just 17 more days. Brian's retirement ceremony is the 17th. My sister and brother-in-law are flying in from AL, Brian's sister is coming from MO, and our friend Jim is flying from Omaha the day before. We'll head out on the 19th to make our way across the country. The last time we drove between Huntsville and here, it took 5 days. Hoping it doesn't take any longer than that, this time. Praying for good weather and safe roads!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I've Got Plenty to Be Thankful For: Then Sings My Soul

Sharing a clip and a song from my favorite Christmas movie, Holiday Inn. Thought it appropriate for this Thanksgiving weekend.

I've Got Plenty to Be Thankful For
Bing Crosby

I've got plenty to be thankful for
I haven't got
A great big yacht
To sail from shore to shore
Still I've got plenty to be thankful for

I've got plenty to be thankful for
No private car
No caviar
No carpet on my floor
Still I've got plenty to be thankful for

I've got eyes to see with
Ears to hear with
Arms to hug with
Lips to kiss with
Someone to adore

How could anybody ask for more?
My needs are small
I buy them all
At the five and ten cent store
Oh, I've got plenty to be thankful for

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holding the Key: Then Sings My Soul

Continuing my Jason Gray love fest this week with "Holding the Key." Jason minces no words in pointing out how we simultaneously desire both to be known and to hide our true selves. I pray everyone has someone who not only holds the key but uses it.

Holding the Key
Jason Gray

I came here tonight with a mission
To confess what I'm trying to hide
But here in the hour of decision
I want to give you the company line

There are secrets I don't want to tell you
And wounds you might not want to see
But they keep me bound to my sorrow
And I really want to be free
And you're the one holding the key

You don't have to give me an answer
An answer is the last thing I need
There's no magical cure for this cancer
I just need you to listen to me'
Cause You're the one holding the key

We were made with these hearts
Meant to be open
Then we locked them away
Afraid of being broken
But we're given each other to set it free
And you're the one holding the key

This dark room is perfect for hiding
But I don't want to hide anymore
You can't force the light here inside it
But you can help me open the door
You're the one holding the key

We were made with these hearts
Meant to be open
Then we locked them away
Afraid of being broken
But we're given each other to set it free
And you're the one holding
The key to the truth
Of what's really going on
Your listening ear
Is the grace of God
Love will take the shackles off
But you're the one holding the key

We all need it sooner or later
A safe place for telling the truth
I'm happy returning the favor'
Cause I'm holding the key for you

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How I Ended Up Here: Then Sings My Soul Saturday

Guess I'm on a bit of Jason Gray kick this month. I think he writes some of the most honest lyrics I've ever read. If you ever get a chance to see him, it is so worth your time. It's unlike going to see the big-name groups in huge arenas. When he sings, it is almost like having him in your living room. He sings, tells stories (funny ones and ones that touch your heart), and is just very down-to-earth and accessible.

How I Ended Up Here
Jason Gray

There's something I need to confess
At the risk of exposing my faults
But I'm starting to find that most of the time
I just don't like people at all
When I saw you five minutes ago
I was afraid you might talk off my ear
I panicked inside and decided to hide
And that's how I ended up here

Crouching behind the live lobster tank
Hoping you'd just pass me by, oh...

That's how I ended up here
That's how I ended up here

Oh how I wish I could say
It's my first time to hide in this spot
But with all of the people I try to avoid
I find myself down here a lot
I mean, just look at these guys in the tank
With the red rubber bands 'round their arms
If they don't open up
And just keep to themselves
They won't do anyone harm

So I screen my calls, don't answer the door
Sometimes wish I could disappear, oh...

That's how I ended up here
That's how I ended up ..

Building a wall so no one could bother me
Living my life in isolation
Opening up to only those close to me
Nobody's close to me, what have I done?

See, I really want to be known
But I'm not quite as strong as the fear
That you won't understand the fool that I am

And that's how I ended up here
That's how I ended up here
That's how I ended up here

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Praise God on High - Then Sings My Soul Saturday

I won't say a whole lot about this song... I'll just let the words speak for themselves.

Praise God on High

Someday our pain will be no more.
Someday our tears will fade away.
Someday we’ll see our Lord and
Savior face to face.

Someday we’ll rest from all our burdens.
Someday we’ll see His smile.
Someday he’ll look us in the eyes
and say “Welcome home, my child.”

Praise God on high!
All that’s wrong will be made right.
How we long for the day
every wounded soul
will be made whole.
So let’s worship Him with a mighty voice
like we’re already with Him in paradise.
Praise God on high! Praise God!

Someday we’ll walk beside the Father.
Someday we’ll rest at His feet.
Someday our trials
will all be over.
We’ll be completely free!



Praise God on
high! Praise God!

For more music, join Amy for Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Grace - Then Sings My Soul

This week's song is one that may not be familiar to many. It doesn't get wide airplay, except maybe on a local Christian station, if you are lucky to have one, or if he has been in or near your town in concert. This particular video is from a station in OK, where he visited and performed live on air. But all that is secondary to the song... Grace. In this song, Jason has anthropomorphized grace into a girl who loves him even though he doesn't deserve it. Not a stretch from the truth of the matter, is it?

Just a little more about Jason... He has a speech impediment (stuttering) and uses his weakness to glorify God. He writes some of the most intense and personal lyrics I have ever heard. Please check him out. If you are blessed enough to get a chance to hear him in person, go. You will be blessed. He is real and approachable; it isn't like seeing one of the big name artists in an arena. It's almost like a living room singalong.

For more songs, visit Amy's.

Jason Gray

Sweet Grace amazes me

The way that she can see

Beyond the man I am

To the man that I could be

She’s bringing out my best

While she covers all the rest

Some say her love is blind

But I say her love forgets

She don’t like it when I try so hard to impress her

‘Cause when I do that, it’s a lie that makes her love look the lesser

The truth is I know

I’ll never be, I’ll never be good enough

I’ll never deserve her love

I’ll never be, I’ll never be good enough for Grace

But she takes me anyway

I am the cheatin’ kind

But she’s changing my mind

The way she takes me back

Though I fail her every time

She’s got friends who tell her that she

Is much too good for me

Well, I’ve told her that myself

But she refuses to leave

I’d like to think my strength won her affection

But the truth is it was my weakness that caught her attention

I’m grateful to know

When my tears fall down like rain

She wipes them from my face

She tells me that I’m lovely

And if I am, it’s all because of Grace

This love turns my inside out

And my world upside down

Grace is changing me…

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Painting Pictures of Egypt: Then Sings My Soul Saturday

I'm enjoying participating in this weekend meme, "Then Sings My Soul Saturday," hosted at Amy's. I have been reacquainted with old favorites and made some new ones as well. If any of you have visited Amy's to see the other songs posted each Saturday, I hope it's been worth your time as well, and that you've been refreshed by it.

This week's song is one I came across a year or so ago. It was a free music download somewhere (I'm thinking probably I didn't know at the time how much the lyrics really applied to my life, but I like to listen to it occasionally to remind me of my tendency to be like the Israelites sometimes and look backward at where I've been...

Painting Pictures of Egypt
Sara Groves

I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me either way
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling after me like a long lost friend

It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
The place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
It wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I"ve learned
And those roads closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
Caught between the promise
And the things I know

If it comes too quick
I may not appreciate it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
If it comes too quick
I may not recognize it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Big House - Then Sings My Soul Saturday

Seems only fitting to have this song on my mind lately. God is blessing us with a "big, big house" in Huntsville, but it's nothing compared to what he has waiting for us in eternity.

Big House
Audio Adrenaline

I don't know where you lay your head
Or where you call your home
I don't know where you eat your meals
Or where you talk on the phone
I don't know if you got a cook
A butler or a maid
I don't know if you got a yard
With a hammock in the shade

I don't know if you got some shelter
Say a place to hide
I don't know if you live with friends
In whom you can confide
I don't know if you got a family
Say a mom or dad
I don't know if you feel love at all
But I bet you wish you had

Come and go with me
To my father's house
Come and go with me
To my father's house

It's a big big house
With lots and lots of room
A big big table
With lots and lots of food
A big big yard
Where we can play football
A big big house
It's my father's house

All I know is a big ole house
With rooms for everyone
All I know is lots a land
Where we can play and run
All I know is you need love
And I've got a family
All I know is you're all alone
So why not come with me?

It keeps getting better

So I haven't really had time to do much more than post a meme every weekend lately (and I missed that last weekend... but as you will see, I had good reason!). Time to bring folks up to speed on the plans to move on to a new place and a new phase in our lives.

Brian is currently on leave and is back in Alabama, working at the job that will be his post-Air Force career position. He's been there since the beginning of the month, and aside from a quick trip back for a couple of days this coming week (Halle's birthday is Monday), will be there till the middle of November.

Halle and I flew to Huntsville last Friday so that I could help Brian look for a house. Last weekend was really the only free weekend he would probably have, so we jumped at the chance to get started on the hunt. We flew into Nashville, where my sister met us at the airport for the short (at least when you spend the whole time talking) drive south.

We hit the ground running Saturday morning.... between 9:30 and 4:30 we looked at 6 or 7 houses. The following day, we had 3 or 4 more to look at in the afternoon, including a return visit to the one house from the previous day that would not leave my head. We took my sister and her husband along as well; they were invaluable in pointing out things we hadn't seen or thought of as we looked at the houses. When we returned to the house that was becoming my favorite, we realized it really was the one we wanted. Even better than the fact that it has all the rooms and space we wanted is that the location is awesome. We can get to my sister's house in less than 20 minutes, and it is less than 30 to Brian's work. There are a nearby grocery store and fast food restaurants, plus it isn't far to the Arsenal for my main grocery shopping and also healthcare there.

We made an offer on the house shortly before Halle and I left town to come home, and got a phone call from our buyer's agent about 3 1/2 hours later with the counteroffer. We accepted it, and then marveled at how easy it was. The home inspection was yesterday... no huge problems to take care of. We are set to close by the 20th of next month, but probably will not get to move in till the end of December.

I am still in awe that we found something so quickly. I am really looking forward to the move and setting up housekeeping in a place where everyone has his/her own room and plenty of space to keep their things. We have room to put our school things in a separate space, there is a bonus room upstairs for video gaming and hanging out, and we have enough space to have folks over without having to sit in each other's laps. (And a driveway that will hold all the cars, too!) I don't have pictures, but will put some up when I have the chance.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Grace Tells Another Story" - Then Sings My Soul Saturday

The first time I really heard the lyrics to this song, I think my mouth dropped open and hit the floor. In those lyrics were phrases that were almost identical to ones I'd uttered recently to friends in talking about my struggles to overcome my past. So to hear that someone else identified with those thoughts and feelings was, in a way, comforting. But what brought even greater comfort was the reminder in the rest of the song. The reminder that those things were lies fed to me by the father of lies, and that God's grace reveals another story, the TRUTH.

Enjoy the video. Lyrics are beneath.

Grace Tells Another Story - Mercy Me

They say don't waste your time

You simply cannot find

An ounce of good within the heart of man

They say we've got to lay

In the bed we've made

And live this life without a second chance

But I'm inclined to say

There must be something more

We've been told that the heart is just too far gone to save

But grace tells us another story

Where glory sends hopelessness away

Oh grace tells us another story

They say we cannot change

There is no other way

Get used to it cause this is all there is

They say don't raise your voice

Cause we don't have a choice

We're dealt this hand so learn to live with it

Well I have to believe

There must something more

We've been told that the heart is just too far gone to save

But grace tells us another story

Where glory sends hopelessness away

Oh grace tells us another story

And though we may not understand

Why You'd give us another chance

We praise You who lets us start again

We've been told that the heart is just too far gone to save

But grace tells us another story

Where glory sends hopelessness away

Oh grace tells us another story (repeat)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"While I'm Waiting" - Then Sings My Soul Saturday

No one likes waiting. It's not always fun; it's not always easy; it's not always pleasant. But there are times it is oh, so necessary. What do you do, especially when that waiting isn't necessarily something tied down to a finite timeline?

John Waller's song, While I'm Waiting, began receiving widespread airplay after the release of the movie Fireproof. The words and message were a perfect parallel to the storyline unfolding on the movie screen, where a husband was quietly trying to win back the love of his wife by demonstrating his love through acts of kindness, and by obeying God. He put feet to his faith.

Do we do the same thing, or do we treat God like a candy dispenser in the sky, dropping in our coins (prayers) and waiting for him to answer them? I love the message in this song: "I will serve you while I'm waiting; I will worship while I'm waiting..." and more importantly, "...taking every step in obedience." That line reminds me that my obedience isn't something to be bargained about with God; I will not be like a petulant child and withhold my obedience until I get what I want. That's just not how our God works.

I hope you are blessed by the words and music below.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Then Sings My Soul: I'll Join the Rocks, FFH

This week's song isn't one I've heard much on air, but is one of my favorites from an old FFH CD. The title is I'll Join the Rocks. The central message is being made for worship and doing that even if it means I'm the only one doing it. I cannot listen to this song without being drawn in and singing with it. Lyrics are included in the video.

For more songs, visit Amy at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders.

Monday, September 07, 2009


Sitting here tonight reminiscing a bit... I just sent off a note to a friend from our old church in Ohio. The note started out as one thing and turned into another, and now has morphed into this blog post.

As I was writing her and telling her about all the changes that are coming up in our life here, I thanked her for the example she and her husband were to Brian and me when we lived there. Her husband was one of the elders at our church, and both of them were awesome models of a Christian marriage, as well as of what it was to be a follower of Christ. The entire congregation as a whole was one of the most loving congregations we had ever been a part of up to that time. What I told Diane (and what I tell others when I talk about our time at this church) was that it was during our time there that I learned what it was to feel loved and served. In the 3 years or so that we attended there, I gave birth to a baby, had a medical scare with said baby, and lived through Brian being deployed for 3 months. I never had to ask for help; it came running up to me every time I needed it without me saying a word. I still am in awe of it. I don't know if I ever adequately expressed my appreciation to the jr. high and high school girls who would ask to go home with me after church during the time Brian was deployed.... and then proceed to send me off to the grocery store while they cleaned my house or folded the laundry. Or the folks that invited us to lunch with them (whether it was Dutch treat at a restaurant or at their home) and made us feel like we were really a part of their family... For a young couple whose biological families weren't nearby, those experiences were invaluable to us. Leaving that church family behind was the first move we ever made that left us in tears.

Thankfully, it wasn't the last.....
To be continued......

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Then Sings My Soul: To God Alone, Aaron Shust

This is my first foray into this meme. I wish I'd found it sooner, as this is one that has meaning for me (not something you can say about a lot of memes out there).

This week's song is To God Alone, by Aaron Shust. The first thing that hooked me was the music, but the more I sing and listen, I come face-to-face with my self. I see the tendency I have to want credit for the things I do, to want recognition, appreciation, or praise. I remember all the way back to my school days, when I was often the "curve-buster" on test days. Never once did it occur to me to give God the credit for my ability to remember things (maybe that's why that ability seems to be disappearing these days!). Even more so in these days, when I am in the process of trying to lose my pride, fear, and a million other character defects that prevent me from following Christ more fully... there is the tendency to look at what *I* am doing, forgetting that I am only doing it because of Him. This song reminds me that He is the one really doing it all, not me.


To God Alone
Aaron Shust

Can you take me by the hand

Can you use me as I am

Break me into who you want me to be

When the time is finally right

You will open up my eyes

Show me everything you want me to see

This life is not my own


To God alone be the glory

To God alone be the praise

Everything I say and do

Let it be all for you

The glory is yours alone

Yours alone Take the offering

I bring You want more than what I sing

Can I give you every part of me

Turn these pennies into gold

Take this life I call my own

Until I'm running after your heart

I'm needing to let go

We will rise and we will fall

But you remain after all

You're glorious and beautiful You're beautiful

Saturday, August 22, 2009

To bring you up to date...

Plans are underway for Brian's retirement. We've selected a date for the ceremony (Dec. 17), chosen a place for the dinner, and are working on choosing a caterer. He is looking for a post-retirement position near Huntsville, AL so that we can move close to my sister and her family. There is MUCH excitement from my kids at the prospect of living near their Aunt Pam, Uncle Kirk, and their 4 boys. (Never mind that these boys are already adults (ages 23-28)... thankfully there is enough kid left in them that they make great company for my gang.) Brian has had a lot of email and phone communication with one hospital and is headed back there in a couple of weeks for an on-site interview. We are trusting God that it will happen if it is meant to be.

I realize I didn't post anything while we were at Saddleback last week. Honestly, it was just too busy. Our nights all lasted until 9 or so... even the one early night we went out to dinner with our gang so wound up not getting back to the RV until after 9. All we were ready to do was hug on the kids a bit and then head to bed.

Anyhow, it was a great time. Rick Warren spoke at the opening session... I have never sat and listened to someone for an hour and a half when it didn't feel like at least that long or longer before. He had some really cool stuff to share. You can see it here. It's the webcast from August 12, 2009, titled "The Jesus Model for Healing - 2." There is also a link at the top of that page that will allow you to download a .pdf file of the notes from the sermon.

One of the coolest parts of the conference was meeting other folks. This is made really easy by the fact that not only were people wearing name tags with the name of their church and city on them, but an overwhelming portion also had shirts with that info as well. I bumped into one woman from the Harpeth Hills Church of Christ in Nashville and made a point of asking her if she knew a couple there who used to attend the church I grew up in. (I had heard through their son that they were in Nashville and attended there.) She did, and then in the course of the conversation mentioned she had moved there from Dexter, MO.... this couple were the first people she had met in Nashville who knew where that was (because it was maybe 30 miles from us!). Well.... my niece is married to a guy who grew up in that church, and his folks are the caretakers of the church youth camp... and connection after connection was made. She knew his folks, knew my brother and his wife (on the camp board)... Small world, huh? All this in a crowd of 3500 people. I also bumped into a couple of guys from Tulsa, OK... they know a worship leader there in Tulsa that I know because I went to church with his mom and sister back in Omaha. And one of them grew up a half hour away from me as well.... and his sister goes to church with my niece. The world is shrinking a little more...

But the best is yet to come. I should point out that one of the neat things the conference organizers did was to put a colored dot on everyone's name tag; this dot identified the attendee as being from a particular region. We had a green dot as part of the Western region. I had been on the lookout for red dots (Southeast region, of which AL is a part). For most of the conference, all the red dots I had seen had been FL, NC, GA... but not AL. On the very last evening on our dinner break, I happened to notice a woman talking on her cell phone... I saw the red dot and inconspicuously got close enough to see her location: Huntsville, AL. So I struck up a conversation with her after she hung up. Turns out she and her husband had met Brian the night before at another workshop, so she already kinda knew about me. But here is the wow thing: they want to start a CR ministry at their church some time next year... probably *in the first quarter*. Hmmm. We will probably be moving there by the first of the year. Other cool things... their 2 youngest kids are the same ages and sex as Halle and Joel, and they homeschool. I kinda felt like meeting them and getting their contact info was a little present from God, and another indication that he approves of our desire to be in Huntsville.

So today I am checking my Facebook page and noticed a post from Keith Lancaster that referred to a blog post about a cappella music. I checked out the blog and felt an almost instant kinship with the author. I left her a comment, she responded to me in an email, and after a few more emails between us, here is what we know: She lives in the Huntsville area. She homeschools. She knows my sister and brother-in-law because they used to attend church together. And of course, we already knew we were both into music. We are totally convinced this is a God thing. Just one more thing to help me feel like we are walking in God's will for our future.

Is it any wonder I can't keep from grinning ear-to-ear tonight? Do any of you have similar stories to share? I'd love to hear them.

Monday, August 10, 2009

6 days on the road

Today is Day 6 of our summer adventure on wheels. Not much of an adventure, really. Mostly me and the kids and dogs sitting around the KOA. But it's still been fun. We left home last Wednesday and drove to Bakersfield. The excitement started almost as soon as we arrived. While Brian and the boys went in the RV resort office to register us, Halle and I took the dogs out for a potty break and the RV door locked behind us. Here we are in 97-degree temps, no shade except what little the RV provided, the RV was running (and thankfully the generator too)... After about 20 minutes of trying all the windows, Brian was finally able to get the front passenger window unlocked and open from the outside and we hoisted Joel through. Lesson learned. Don't leave the RV unmanned without a set of keys in hand.

Thursday morning, we took our time getting stuff together before heading on down to San Diego. We made it here a little after 3pm. The KOA here is very big and was very busy when we arrived. It has since cleared out a little.... but not much. The kids have enjoyed swimming a few times. The dogs are happy that there is an off-leash area here for them to go in. My only complaint about it is that it is nothing but mulch, which gets up in my shoes and clings to Campbell's fur. I'd much prefer grass.

On Saturday, we went downtown with Brian after his meeting was over and spent a little bit of time touring the USS Midway. The boys were really interested. My favorite thing (don't know if Brian got a picture or not) was the giant statue nearby that recreated the famous LIFE magazine picture of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square when V-J Day was announced. Here's a photo I found online of it. It is HUGE.

The boys and Brian went to the Padres/Mets game later that evening (actually, we had just enough time after our Midway tour for them to drop Halle and me off at the RV and rush back downtown to meet some of Brian's CRNA friends for the game). Halle and I spent the rest of the evening kicking back with the dogs, watching TV and/or playing games on the laptop.

Tomorrow morning, Brian has one last meeting until 10:30 or so. Then we'll gather things together and make the drive up to Newport Beach. We'll be staying here while we attend the annual Celebrate Recovery Summit at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. Newport Beach was as close to Saddleback as we could find an RV park.... about 30 minutes away. Emily is flying down tomorrow evening and will be here to keep the kids company while we're away. Just 4 nights there and we head back home on Saturday.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Before the month is gone....

Life is zooming along as usual here.... Halle had a great time at church camp, despite falling off of the top bunk one night. Actually, I think it was more of a slither than a fall. She was wrapped up in a sleeping bag and managed to wiggle herself into just the right position so as to slide off through an opening less than 2ft. wide. She didn't even wake up! I imagine this will be one of those "remember when?" stories we will be telling in years to come.

Lots of changes in the neighborhood. Summer tends to be a busy moving time on base, with folks trying to get settled so kids don't miss any school. Out of the 10 units on our street, we have 4 new families (and will eventually get more; we have 3 empty units). Yesterday we were able to meet several of our new neighbors when I hosted a neighborhood ice cream block party (I won it from Dreyer's a few weeks ago). Turns out there are several other hospital folks on this street and the adjacent one (including one of my husband's new residents). Always nice to have something else in common with the neighbors besides the payor on the paycheck!

Our big trip for August is getting closer. We've reserved our RV spots and our rental cars. I'm hoping it won't be too hot in SoCal. Just checked the almanac on Weather Underground and looks like the record high for the time period is in 80s, so shouldn't be too bad. Last year when we took our big 3-week trip, the mid-90s and 100+ temps we had on portions of our return trip made it nearly impossible to cool down the front half of the RV. Hopefully that won't be a problem this time.

Off to chillax for the rest of the evening....

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