Friday, June 30, 2006

Where the Sidewalk Ends

For the first time in my life I have a summer home??? Humm not quite, but for 6 or so wks we have a small 2 bdrm apartment in Menasha, WI. We are about 30 miles south of Greenbay and about 2 miles from Appleton. Jason is training for a new job with Miron Construction. We were told yesterday and as soon as this job he is working on starts, we can go back to Iowa. PRAISE GOD!!!

As you can imagine, 2 bedroom - 2 kids, where do the toys go? Where do we play? Do we drive our mom crazy??? We have a huge yard and a park really close to walk to. Ally and Drew know where it is now and try to sneak off when I am locking the door. Every day we head to the park or ride our bikes up and down the long side walk. We play soccer.

I am getting bored and am thankful for my computer that FINALLY got internet. I was getting really good at Free Cell. I am thankful for Jason's new job (I think) and will be glad when we are HOME and in a HOME!

I Want to Go Back to the Red House

Well we are experiencing how difficult the move has been on the kids. One day driving "home" from somewhere Ally asked, "Are we going to the RED HOUSE?" After probing a little bit - that is the house by Jimmy and Johnny and Hank. Our house in STL had red shutters. I thought that was what she meant.

The poor little girl is so confused. Are we going to the small house in WI, or grandma's house, or the house by grandma's with the cows???? When we travel back to IA, she is comforted to know she is going to sleep in her pink butterfly bed. The only thing to Ally that is familiar.

It brings tears to both of us to think about what we are doing to them. We can't wait to be somewhere stable and not traveling back and forth just to stay as a family. They should break ground today (Friday) which means 4 months until our new house.

Ally is also sooooo excited about going to school. She starts preschool with me in the fall. Our rooms will be down the hall from each other. She is talking about her backpack and the stuff she will do at school. She asked if I was her teacher. I teach BIG kids I told her. She asked if another big person will be her teacher. She misses friends or playmates!

Drew on the otherhand doesn't seem to be experiencing any heartache - except grandpa withdrawl. Believe it or not - he gets to start preschool when he turns 2. Can you imagine Drew at school????

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Simon Says?

On our final day of vacation we drove to San Diego to "enjoy" the beach. Well the beach is not enjoyable with lower 70s and cloudy skies. We did "get in" as much as possible. Jason couldn't let Chad show him up so he dove in with Rachel and Chad.

Ally got cold pretty fast!

Drew loved to throw rocks in and run out in the waves.

After going to supper, Ally told us she wanted to play "Simon Says." We told her we would when we got back to the room. Then she continued to tell us we had to wait for Grandma, Grandpa, Rachel and Chad to get there. After everyone returned to the hotel, the party began. First we had to turn out ALL the lights. Of course Ally was in charge and we began the game....

1. Touch your knees
2. Reach up high
3. Touch Rachel (hummmmm)
4. Pound on Rachel
5. Tickle Rachel (Chad was enjoying this game!)

Then Grandma finally showed up and we started the game all over again. After awhile the phone rang. The front desk called to say that the floor below us were complaining of jumping. Game over - due to poor sports below us!

Going to Mickey's House

I don't think I realized that Ally knew who Mickey Mouse was. I guess I underestimated her mental capabilities. As we rolled the two of them in to crazy land, thei eyes got bigger and bigger. We rode an Alice in Wonderland ride first and let's just say the fun kind of ended there. Drew figured out what a ride was and that it was only temporary fun. At the end of every ride, Drew would grab the belts right before the end hoping that he would be stronger than the ride attendant. I think his dream was to keep going around and around. He would then scream and throw his little (big) body around as Daddy and Mommy dragged him out.

They rode lots of rides including tea cups, roller coasters, boats, stupid ferris wheels that take too long to get in, and everyone's favorite the carosel.

I strongly recommend Disneyland over Disneyworld. It has all the same rides but a lot less crowded. Our hotel had 2 rooms for a little more than 100 bucks and was really right across the street. We could come back and take naps during the long day if we needed!

I loved Disney and was by far my favorite part of the trip - except for Drew's explosions!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Drive to Remember and Plane Rides to Forget

Arizona is hot and the car it hot with the sun blasting in through the windows. We have had trouble with Ally getting car sick, but never Drew. About 45 minutes outside of Tucson, Drew upchucks his first of eight during the 8 hour trip. That stunk literally. One carseat to wash in CA.

About an hour later, Ally told us she had to pee. We will get off at the next exit. Well - when Ally said she needed to pee meant now! Not in 5 minutes. She wet her pants and now we have 2 carseats that need to be washed.

The plane rides were tough. Drew should have had a seat. He is hard to handle and just wanted to be a big boy in a seat. Ally wasn't willing to share. I think the people in front of us on one flight could have shot us. The kids don't understand what it does to someone in front of them when you kick the seat. Discipline is hard in a tight space.

First Roller Coaster

How would Ally and Drew do on a roller coaster ride? Would they try to get out? Would they get sick? Would they be scared? It was all answered at a small carnival type place.

Drew was just over the needed 35 inches to ride. They strapped in to the front car and off they went. The shock of the ride was over about half way through the first round. Drew held on tightly but waved frantically with his other hand. Ally was thrilled and wanted to go again and again.

Korean Food?

My cousins Tyler and Nicole (the whole point of the trip to AZ) are adopted from Korea. Tyler just graduated from high school and Nicole finished 8th grade. Chuck and Laura took the fam out for supper and a dinner theater on Thursday night - oh a true date with no kids!

We went to a Korean restaurant. We ordered food and it was quite different. I loved the experience, but don't think I will try it on my own. You ordered the food and you can have them cook it or grill it at the table. I happened to be sitting in front of the grill. They brought several dishes of "condiments" such as radishes, seaweed, some type of cabbage and other things that looked unappetizing. You cooked the meat which was good and wrapped it in a lettuce leaf with white rice. I ate the rice and meat.

I think that Tyler ate everyone's rice bowl. He tried to get Jason to swipe one.

The dinner theater was hilarious. It was a spif off of Superman called Gnat Man. I loved it and laugh a lot. I think that it would have been funnier if I had seen Superman, but a man in green tights that looked like Kyle Howard is funny enough for me.

Moving Chaos

After this move Jason and I don't suggest ending your jobs, moving to another state, building a new house, going on vacation and trying to train in a different state than you are moving to. It makes a slight bit of confusion for everyone!

We are blessed that Miron is moving us, but this has been crazy. On Friday, May 26 the packers came and packed everything up. We were left with just what we needed. We had food, but nothing to cook it in. Two girls came and we were working ahead of them trying to organize what was going to storage and what was heading to Brooklyn. We went to lunch and came back to find out the crew had increased from 2 to 8. They whipped through our house - leaving Jason and I in a blur hoping that we hadn't made any mistakes.

Saturday a semi came to take our stuff to storage. That is when it hit me that we were really moving. I said there is no turning back - jason responded, "we are way past turning back" When Ally and drew came back they were really in shock. Where did my green couch go? Where is all my stuff. Confusion is only to begin for little Ally. Drew is doing well as long as he still has his binky.

Tuesday they pack our stuff for Brooklyn. It was slow and they shoved the last chair in a quickly closed the door hoping nothing would fall out. We figured that truck was the same size as the truck that moved us in 6 years ago and we still had another semi of accumulation - CRAZY!

Well the funny part is that while we were on vacation they delivered our stuff to Brooklyn. My aunt Linda and dad's hired hand, Patrick were there to meet the truck. Semi's get down the lane to the house all the time, but no one realized that moving trucks have a low bed underthem that would get caught on the railroad tracks. After calling 911 and calling us in CA, they decided to get the grain truck out and load our stuff into the grain truck and take it to the house. Oh I am glad I wasn't there, but sleeping in CA since it was 6 a.m. there.

Come to find out nothing is broken. We do have lamp shades, but the lamps got in the wrong box and hopefully are in storage. I love moving companies, but don't suggest Graebel to anyone they frustrated us!

The Door Closed

After 6 years at Cross Keys Middle School, I let the door close never to go back into the building. I loved that place. It smelled. It was old. It was crazy at times, but some of my fondest memories in STL were at CKMS. I made friends that will be with me forever. Friends that know what "pop" is and friends that know all my annoying twirks.

Even though there were many good years, I enjoyed the final year of MASH. 5 young girls and our dad, Tom. Tom always said that we talked of boobs and food. We might have had our differences and miscommunications, but on Friday we were still friends to have a drink together - even if it was a pepsi!

I also gained some friends that mentored me and taught me to watch and learn from those around me. They may have been "old" in the kids' eyes but in heart they were as young as I. I would have loved to see the b-ball game where June and Marilyn ran (hummm not quite the right word) down the court. You could always hear Connie scream down the hall. Jan in her little yellow bug. Barb had the books that weren't always good for RRW shelves. Sue gave me inspiration to continue even when the fight was hard.

Things that I can't forget (or some of them I would like too!)
1. Dave's jokes
2. The Scissors Era
3. Team mtg
4. Friday lunches
5. Joan's final year song (poem) of which I didn't get to hear
6. Marilyn and June doing "tests" on Ally to see if she was a girl or boy...
7. Finding out that "Connie" was going to have a baby
8. Inspire or Perspire

The list continues... What are your favorite CKMS memories?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Where Friends BECAME Family

Our final care group meeting was fun and sad. Julie had brought a cake and Jason asked if there was a song that needed to be sung. Amy broke out singing, "Na na na na na na na na hey hey hey - Good Bye!"

After 6 years of care groups - it will be hard to say see ya later. I remember sitting on Meirs couch talking about getting this together and the names on a list that they gave us - Roes, Lambs, Milikans, Hilson. We had already talked to Milikans and Scoggins on New Year's Eve about getting this group together. Dave made some calls and on January 22, 2001, we had our first meeting. At that time there were 3 kids: Jay, Jeremy and Audrey. Now there are over 30 kids and 26 couples that started as friends and we leave as family.

We have spent many holidays with this family and shared many thoughts. The quote book is filled with their many ideas that made Jason laugh. Besides Ally - who seems to rule the book - it only really has care group member's thoughts. We leave you and say thanks, you are truly dear to our hearts and we will not forget you. I can't wait for updates and Christmas cards that will fill our box!