Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Family that Travels

I thought I'd blog about my family. They are becoming more precious to me every day- as we have been apart for over two weeks now.

My husband is wonderful. He has endured so much during their travels. Right now, they are in Bellingham, Washington, and on Saturday, they leave from Bellingham on the ferry. It will be a 6 day trip (the ferry loads up Saturday evening). Then, on June 10, we will all be reunited.

They began the trip with our travel trailer, a little Scamp, that is small enough to tow behind the mini-van. And, they took a couple days to head to DH's grandparents. They threw my son a birthday party. They gave the kids a "mystery box" for the trip. Everyday, the kids open one present each. They have opened hand sanitizer, bandaids, tissues, a pin that says, "thou shalt not whine", and other little trinkets. They wake my husband at 5 AM each day, begging for their present. Yesterday, he made them open everything- he said the mess in the car and 5 AM pleads were making him crazy. But, they also each have a book of activities. Each day there is a question of some sort- they can answer by drawing a picture or writing something. This is a real hit- evidently everyone (husband included) loves this daily activity.

In Missouri, my daughter found her favorite restaurant "Hardees" She ate there at least three times before leaving the midwest. She cried when I told her there was no Hardees in Kodiak. She just loves this place. I don't know why. DH did not share her joy about this restaurant, but the grandparents in Kansas indulged her.

So, in Kansas, they saw the grandparents (DH's family). There 13 pound dog spent 4 days trying to hump my 60 pound golden retriever. Scotty (golden retriever) took to peeing on the floor whenever someone gave him attention, and chewed through his gentle leader collar and leash. He was very nervous there (my poor dog ) Although, the humping part is kinda amusing, I have to admit. My daughter got very upset leaving her grandparents. She became attached, as if it was her "new" home. But, also cried after church, because she missed her church so much. This might have something to do with the lack of Kool-aid and cake after the service, but she was very homesick. She was a wreck leaving her grandparents too.

In Nebraska, DH visited his brother. I have a picture of my son kissing and hugging a statue of Abraham Lincoln, in Lincoln, NE. He has been doing very well on this trip. Although, my husband caught him lying to him about a couple things. One of them, was about chewing gum. I am not sure why he even lied about that.

Back to Nebraska. BIL has cats, and DH is highly allergic, so the family camped. The travel trailer was left behind in Kansas (for the next 2 years) and they tent camping has begun. The first two nights of camping, involved baseball games at the same park, and kids filling the park/playgrounds to 10 PM each night. Scotty chewed through his tie-up and another leash. The next night, they camped behind BIL's house, and there were thunderstorms. The tent leaked badly, ending with everyone inside the house, and the kids sleeping on a naked mattress- um, naked, cause their pajamas were very wet. This occurred at about 3 AM. Poor DH, could not even put his head down to rest, because of the cat dander.

They went to a hotel, and had a good - last night in Nebraska. They saw baby E, our 7 month old niece there. She is beautiful. My daughter loved her. My son reconfirmed his fear of babies. He is truly afraid of babies. That will become interesting in a couple months when baby Pinky arrives!

They drove like crazy people to Montana, and stayed in a Best Western, due to the rain. Montana has received more rain in May, than they usually get in a whole year.

Then, in Washington State, they had a night at a crowded KOA campgrounds. My daughter's homesickness came back. She cried on the phone about wanting to go back to Michigan. She was consoled later in the day with ice cream.

Now, they are in Bellingham, Washington. The campground sounds nice, quiet and relaxing. There is a pool and a playground. The dog has a new leash. The pet smart asked if he was there to be groomed I can only imagine what he looks like! DH mentioned that the kids clothing isn't fitting right- that they have grown or something. My guess is their clothing has shrunk in the laundry? And, my daughter's feet smelled bad enough to wake the dead.

The ferry arrives in Kodiak twice a month, so they cannot arrive any faster. But, soon they will board and be through with the tent. There is rain in the forecast for the rest of the week. I am hoping that the new tent holds up better.

My mother told me last night to have DH drug the kids - that they will all be puking on the boat for 6 days. I don't think this will be the case. But, evidently, I am a bad mother for not preparing for this. He might buy dramamine, but I don't know what they sell for kids? I also don't know that my kids will get seasick. I get sea sick. DH does not.

DH washed laundry yesterday, and while fishing out quarters from a ziplock bag filled with hundreds of pennies and various coins - managed to dump all of them into the washer with the soap. He fished out all the coins. And, was able to laugh while telling the story to me.

I am so proud of him. He is an awesome dad and amazes me. I miss my family so much. Just 10 more days.

Ok, I'll continue

Thank you : ) I will continue to blog. Thank you for the comments. I truly appreciate them. I feel very honored and blessed that anyone is interested in my thoughts and what I write.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Yah. This may be the end of my blogging. I think I will stick to journaling privately. I've looked at my stats. And, my blog is read so infrequently, that its hardly worth the effort. For awhile, I figured that people just didn't comment. Then, I realized, that I am mostly writing to myself.

You can let me know that you disagree, but I think I will at least take a break for awhile. Call me on the phone or drop me an email if you actually know me. And, no, I don't do facebook, because I don't trust facebook.

Much love to the couple of you that read this : )



Thursday, May 26, 2011

We lost the buyers

Our short sale began 125 days ago. Today we lost our buyers. Bummer, because all we needed was a closing date, everything was negotiated. The banks took too long. Not only was it a bad deal, it was one that was taking an eternity.

So, now we live 4,000 miles away, with a house still on the market, and a mortgage payment that isn't going away anytime soon.

Its time to put on my big girl panties, and take some action. Cause, all the crying and whining in the world won't fix this problem. Too bad, huh, because I am fairly good at those two thing! LOL! At first, I was hysterical. Then, I was angry. Now, its time to abandon the short sale idea, and try a new tactic.

That will begin with, return the rental car. Yah, I have to take the car back. People are so friendly here- so I think I can make this work. I need a ride back from the car rental place. I need a ride to the OB next week. If I can't get a ride to the OB, I need to spend $66 on cab fare. But, I think someone will help me. I will likely need a ride to the commissary, so I can buy food again at some point. And, I need to take a long slow walk to the housing office a couple times over the next couple weeks, to turn in hotel receipts and get a house. If the house isn't on base, well, then I will need a ride there. But, I have made at least 8 friends. I think someone will rescue me. It will save me over $500 to do this.

Then, we need to turn off the utilities at the house, its not going to freeze, so I think this is do-able.

We need to reset the price of the house, and pay off the home-equity loan. That way, we can sell it for less. This is nearly possible. Not 100% possible at the moment, but I think over a few months, it could happen. Tenants perhaps? I am not sure about that one. But, if we got a year lease signed, we could frantically pay off this place, and drop the price next year.

No dance, no swim lessons, no t-ball or sports. The extra-curricular activities for the kids must me free stuff. This will be a major change for us, but we can do it.

I have all my baby gear, I have all our homeschooling supplies. I have clothes for everyone, and I can cook frugally. I have done that before.

So its make mortgage payments, pay off the home equity loan, consider renters, and re-list this house. We will not do a short sale again. We will not wimper and cry. We will tighten our belts and get the problem solved. We will pray, and seek wisdom from the Lord.

Life will continue, and I can continue to be thankful in all things- God has not abandoned us. He has blessed us in so many ways, and I can trust that he will continue to care for all our needs.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jewel Beach

Today, I went to the beach and enjoyed a nice walk. It was windy. I wore a t-shirt, sweater, sweatshirt, ball cap, and rain coat. I was still a little bit cold. Oh, and my new BOGS. They are really cute rain boots, that definitely keep me dry.

The tide was out. The sand is black, with gray/black rocks and orange seaweed everywhere. I managed to find a few shells for the kids. The beach is on base, and named "Jewel Beach" because there is lots of beach washed glass. Actually, I saw very little glass, but that was ok. It smelled like the sea. I have really missed the ocean.

There were rocks to climb, however, I didn't venture out, because I was afraid of slipping and falling. I am 8 months pregnant, so I need to be careful. I don't want to hurt myself or my little baby boy. But, the kids will enjoy this place. They will have a great time exploring the tide pools and look for sea creatures.

I met a pregnant lady last week at my OB appointment. She left her number for me, and today we talked. She invited me kayaking in the fall, easy kayaking - near the shore, in calm weather- to see puffins and ocean life! She and her husband have two kayaks. I might take her up on this adventure. Wouldn't that be cool? For now, we are both quite pregnant, so we will settle for going to the coffee shop. She told me lots about the island, and things to see.

I did go out for coffee yesterday. A Coast Guard wife invited me out. She is really nice, and has a son, who is my daughter's age. He is a lot of fun, very very talkative, just like my girl.

My husband paid me a very big compliment today. He told me that although I am often somewhat inflexible, that I actually push past it - past my worries, and meet the challenge. He said, I don't just meet the challenge, but I flourish in the new situation. I guess that is true. I have been a bit lonely at times here, but I am having a great time. I like it here. I like to try new things, and I like meeting these new people. I feel blessed, and I'm glad God has given me new opportunities to grow. I think that I actually enjoy moving.

Tomorrow, the crab festival begins. It is a big deal here. I can't wait to go- and I will get some yummy king crab legs. Yummy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What is it like here

I have been here nearly a week. Here are my initial observations.

Kodiak has a lot of rain. I knew that coming here, so I am not surprised. But, honestly, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an adjustment. It has been overcast and raining for 7 days. The sun did peek through during my first full day here, but that was for about 10 minutes. I have been told that nothing stops in the rain. I went for a walk with two nice ladies, in our raincoats, and it wasn't that bad. Except for my pregnant body. It just couldn't keep up. I managed to stay with them for half of the distance. Today, there is a hail/farewell picnic in the soccer field near my hotel (I am on the Coast Guard base), and it will happen rain or shine. I plan to check it out.

The Guest House is nice and clean. The weekend brought lots of guests. There is a kitchen on each floor (two floors) and I can cook my own stuff, label things and keep them in the fridge. I haven't gone out to eat even once! And, there is coffee every day. I still limit my coffee, due to baby pinky, but mmmmmm coffee. I had to sign a thing on the check-in that I wouldn't move the bed. Its a huge wooden bed frame. Its made of logs, and very cute. However, I couldn't move it if I wanted to. And, well, where would I move it to? This has me very curious. It must have been a problem in the past. But, I can't imagine "how" it was a problem. The room isn't really that big. You are fined $75 if you move the bed. I'll be careful about that one. The staff is friendly. The laundry (other than soap) is FREE! I can have my mail forwarded here. My DH is sending boxes - because the car is too stuffed right now.

The base. Well, I won't say too much since this is a public website. But, its nice, its big, there is a Commissary (food store) and a great MWR (recreation stuff) and a theater. I will be able to work out - post baby - and my kids will have an area to play or read etc. while I walk on a treadmill. I am still checking out the housing and things on base. I explored all the housing areas yesterday. I was told, "you will not get a house with a garage", so I'm guessing that all the garages (huge sections of them) are the enlisted housing? They generally have separate areas for officer and enlisted families. I don't care who my neighbor is - but, maybe they do this so you don't end up living next door to your boss? I don't need a garage. I need a fenced in yard for the dog. That is even more important to me than the size of the home. I know where I want to live, but it is doubtful that I will be given a choice. In a couple weeks, I will get a house. And, our stuff should arrive after the family gets here. Cause, you know, I don't want to unpack it all by myself. No way!

The town. It is really cute. It isn't really touristy. But, there isn't a lot of huge commercialism here either. There is a Safeway and a Walmart. That's it folks! Or course, there is a post office, library, hardware store, harbor, theater, ferry dock, Taco Bell (yuck), McD's, KFC (I think I saw a KFC) and various local stores and restaurants. It takes about 15 minutes to drive to the Walmart and other things in town. And, then, you can turn around and go back. Oh yes, and there is my doctor's office, the hospital, and I found a baby-maternity shop. I can consign my used clothes there after baby pinky is born and I fit into my real clothes- eventually.

The view. Its gorgeous here! There are mountains and the sea. There are lakes and some rivers. I really can't imagine the beauty I'll see when the clouds lift, one of these days. The earth is black and gravel mostly. I haven't found a beach yet. There are lots of places to dock your boat. I don't have a boat, of course. I have seen magpies. They are everywhere. I haven't seen any other wildlife yet.

The people. They are friendly. Everyone is either fairly quiet or friendly. Somebody honked their car horn at me the other day, cause I wasn't making my turn fast enough, but they seemed to be the exception. People ask when the baby is due, and they have even offered to carry my groceries.

I am exhausted by little things. And, I don't have very much to do. So, I am watching tv a bit. I haven't really sat around and watched tv in almost 10 years. I don't miss it. TV is dumb. Netflix is much better. I don't think we will get cable - unless we need it to get our internet. I get winded going to the store, driving around, and making my meals. But, that's why I have 20 days left to relax before the family shows up, and life gets busy again.

Books. I have some good books. Well, a good book. I'm reading "The Help". I read "Say Your One of Them" on the trip here, and I didn't like it. It could have been written much much better. It was very difficult to follow the story lines. Although the story was interesting, I almost didn't finish it. With books like these, I have a hard time passing them along to someone else. I don't want them to waste their time. So, do you know what I do with a book I didn't like? Or, definitely a book I hated? I trash it. I know everyone has their own tastes- and they won't necessarily match mine- but, if I spent my own money on it- why should I tempt someone else to suffer through a bad book? I have been doing this for years. Maybe, that's one of my strange quirks : ) I will pass along "The Help" to someone else. It is enjoyable to read.

It will be in another post- But, I miss my family. They are happy and doing very well. I am thankful for this baby kicking me in the belly and bladder. Cause, I don't feel so alone. But, I miss my husband, he is my best friend. And, I miss my son and daughter. My little girl was homesick today in church. She misses her church, even though her Papa was preaching this morning.

That is all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am in Kodiak!

Yes, I am here. I got here on Monday night. It is drizzly and wet, but it is beautiful. It is small (around 14,000 people on the island, I think). A big portion of those people are in the Coast Guard. I like it! An island, that you must take a plane or ferry to leave. Yah, cause its an island.

It was a really long flight from Traverse City, Michigan to Kodiak, AK. I started my day before 7 AM, as we all slept in the camper together. The kids wake with the sun. We packed up the car (we already cleaned the house) with the few things we needed for the morning, left a ziplock bag of labeled house keys, and drove to McD's for breakfast. It was weird leaving our house. It isn't quite sold yet, so it was very strange.

On the highway, about 5 miles from home, a belt slipped off on the van. But, God really took care of everything! A MDOT worker (road worker) pulled over behind us, minutes after we broke down. He called a tow truck and waited with us till it arrived. My neighbor drove out to get John and the dog. The tow truck brought the kids, dog and I to the Midas. And, within an hour, our car was ready. Isn't that a blessing?

So, the family drove me to the airport. I left at 1 PM for Minneapolis. I took a airport taxi (inside terminal) to my gate, and made it with about 5 minutes to spare. From Minneapolis, I had a 4 hour flight to Anchorage. That was really really long. I got up to pee and walk a lot! One of the men sitting next to me, carried one of my bags through the plane for me, to help me. I look very very pregnant at 30 weeks.

In Anchorage, I walked in a daze out of security and met my dear friend Sue. She lives in Anchorage, and was home, although I know her from Mancelona at church. She spends a lot of time there caring for her mother, and husband's mother. Sue walked with me to the ticket desk, and they got me on an earlier flight! So, our visit was short- but, I got to Kodiak by 7 PM. Awesome! Of course, there is a 4 hour time change, so 7 PM felt like 11 PM.

I called a CG friend, and got my rental car. She came out to the airport, so that I could follow her back to base, and to the hotel. After checking in, she invited me over and made me a sandwich. I sat and talked with she and her husband for a couple hours and then headed into town to buy a few things to eat in the AM. At 10:30 PM (felt like 2:30 AM) I got my luggage, which arrived on my original flight. I went back to the hotel, and crashed. Boy, was that a long day!

Since Monday, I have eaten lunch with my new CG friend, and dinner too (she invited a couple other CG friends for me to meet), I have fowarded my mail here, I have visited my new OB doctor, I have bought a raincoat (size 2XX mens, as there are no maternity clothing here), gone food shopping at the Safeway and Commissary, gotten a pass for my car to get on base, gone for a walk with my new girlfriends, talked to the pastor of the church we may attend, talked to the housing office, and put a few events on the calendar- a baby shower for one of my new friends and a spouses association picnic this weekend. I am one busy lady!!

I am relaxing in a nice room, with a nice cozy bed. I am missing my husband and kiddos, but I am happy. This is a very nice place, and I believe that we will love it here!

Yay Kodiak! Yay New Home!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Packing Day!

Yesterday, was very very long. My hubby and I have been getting ready for the move for a long time. He helped me yesterday morning, and then had a night flight. I worked all day long, loading up the car, gathering stuff that we need for our trips. Doing laundry, and keeping the kids happy. We all slept in our beds in sleeping bags. Well, except for hubby, because he slept at work.

Pregnancy and sleeping bags don't really go together. I use a ridiculous amount of pillows. Three under my head (acid reflux), one between my knees (si joints), and one under/around my belly. Then, I flip back and forth every hour. So, one sleeping bad doesn't exactly work. It just cannot fit me and my belly and all my pillows. But, I managed to get there by 10 PM. I think that I slept some.

All our stuff is stuffed into the camper and the car. It is very disorganized. It is a mess, in fact.

But, our home is almost packed. The upstairs is finished. The packers are working on the basement. Then, the garage. And finally, they will go home for the day- to return for tomorrow. Tomorrow is moving day. We will not be moving yet, but all of our stuff will.

There is something strangely soothing about this process. I mean, you get this empty space. You clean it, and it doesn't get too messy, cause you don't have anything. You borrow from friends- things like a card table, cooking ware, and you camp out in the house. We will even continue to do homeschool. And, we are days closer to AK.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Six Years Old

My little boy will be six years old in 8 days. Today, we had his "early birthday" because soon we will have no furniture in the house. His best friend will be visiting Washington, DC, so we planned ahead and did the party today. His party was very cool. It was a Lego Star Wars party. We are big Star Wars fans here.

It was cute. He requested "boys only" party. Of course, his sister was invited, because I won't exclude family. He can have boys only, with his sister. She was a good sport, and only complained a little bit. The boys did not have much interest in picking flowers in the yard.

So, we had seven kids running around. I had the bakery make a chocolate cake, with red frosting and black trim. I bought a Darth Vadar candle. We decorated with black and red streamers, and red balloons. And, I ordered Lego Star Wars plates, napkins and cups. We played Star Wars music too (although, it was hard to hear for some reason).

He was thrilled. He got some very nice gifts, and for favors, I bought bubbles. So, they ran around the yard, and blew bubbles. Plus, all the outside toys, and bikes added in. And, we had a Lego building time, which seemed to be a big hit.

In two hours, it was all done. Now, he is playing with his best friend (maybe for the last time?). I don't think I'm going to tell him. It makes me very sad. But, this is the way it works. We will have friends all around the country. At age 6, its not likely that the friendship will last. But, you never can tell. I still keep in touch with a childhood friend, I played with at age 4.

We are almost done here, Tomorrow will be the day to tighten things up here. The movers arrive on Tuesday to pack us up. They come back on Wednesday and take our house hold goods away. They will be shipped to AK and stored for a bit, until we move into base housing.

The house isn't sold yet. We are so very close to the banks finishing negotiations. We leave in just over two weeks. It is all coming together : )