Saturday, August 29, 2009

Snapshot Saturday

Joining my friend Tricia in Snapshot Saturday...

Today found the Frymarks at the Lebanese Festival. We were hoping for a repeat of last weeks "meat on a stick" incident. No such luck.
Yes, Mighty Mouse ate a chocolate chip cookie for lunch. And I'm such a bad mom I don't even care. LOL! So much for last weeks chicken, right?

But my other children are not afraid to try just about anything new. They rock. They are also why dealing with MM's food issues have been so hard. Here, Songbird enjoys some Beef Shwarma. Yum. Hubs and I had chicken. So good....yet sooooo bad. The garlic was so strong it burned. You know what I mean. We made the kids cry the rest of the day in the car whenever we talked. LOL! It was GREAT! LOL! Good, clean kid torture!

After our cultural fest, we headed out to Trader's World. It's one of those mega flea markets. I have no idea how many miles we walked, but it was a laid back fun kind of thing. Songbird found a wallet and a cool belt and MM got a pumpkin beanie. Yes, I said pumpkin. She loves all things pumpkin for some unknown reason. Its a rather creepy obsession if you want to know the truth.

My purchase include 2 oil lamps. Last week I was commenting on whether I should get some. See, for some reason military housing is notorious for losing power for hours at a time. The same day I had that thought...we ended up without power for 3 hours. So yes, I needed a few. Candles are great but don't cast enough light and burn too quick for my liking. This is just cheaper. A little country to look at, but functional.
The little one has personality.

We ended up the day driving the teen animal nuts. You see, on our way into Dayton that first night, we passed a church with a big Jesus jumping up out of the ground. Even though it was 11 a night, both girls were awake to see the scene. It was more than adequately lit up. I got equal, yet opposite reactions from the back seat. MM was totally enthralled and delighted. Songbird was appalled and embarrassed. They later asked their daddy if he had seen it and tried to describe in delight and one in disgust.

So of course, being the good parents that we are, when we passed this church we informed that girls that we should try this one out and thought it would be our new church. What a reaction. It really was fun.
Maybe not to my taste....but it worth dying of embarrassment over? Teens are just too easy!

Another day down.

(Ending with a classic cliff hanger....)

And I have something I really want to share but I'm not going to right now. Maybe next week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mighty Mouse and the Lunch Lady

Mighty Mouse is off an running at Kindergarten! She even wanted to ride the bus on her first ever day. I wanted to take her but I didn't want to stop her from riding the bus either as she is usually so shy and afraid. So, she rode the bus.

That doesn't sound like much until you hear the details. See, her school district has so many Kindergarteners that they have some at the primary school, and then there is a whole other Kindergarten only campus down the road. So, if you happen to ride the bus, you get dumped at the primary school...and if you go to Wright Campus you must then find a designated spot and stand in line to ride a shuttle to WC. And there are different lines/spots as it takes several trips so they are split up alphabetically.

Sounding a little complicated? Especially for a 5 year old that has never even attended a pre-school of any kind? Yep. I was nervous. So I just manned-up and let her get onto that big yellow bus.

And she did fine since I didn't get a call or email. Although I did find out later that she was directed to the preschool and they had to sort all that out and get her to the other campus. Nice. Preschoolers aren't allowed to ride the bus so just exactly how did that happen? Oh well. It's not like they lost her. That was someone else's kid. Not kidding.

About her school....

Those that have been reading here for awhile might remember my big delimma over whether to put her into our school in Tx or try to get her into a more diverse school. Well, the good thing in all of that was they were both great schools.

Well, when I show up for MM's screening appointment at the school here, the police are all over the place. I had to walk through a heated discussion (on the mom's part) between a mother and several police. She tried to storm off and then let her get down the stairs and then asked her if she wanted her license back. I thought that was pretty funny. Anyways, I had to wade through that mess to take MM in the building and that was not impressive.

So I'm handed a bunch of stuff to read while MM is being screened. One of those papers happens to be the disclosure that my daughter is in a school that has failed two years in a row on the reading scores. So, by law I can take her to another school (if they have room) and my school has to provide the transportation. Plus, if you decide to stay, you can ask for a private tutor for reading at the schools expense...I just have to provide transportation.

Now, I'm sort of under the impression that schools that don't do well are usually underfunded. So, if they are providing all this tutoring and transportation as punishment for low scores -- how exactly are they suposed to improve? The money is now being funnelled into yet another area.

I'm just saying.

Back to my story.

So, my daughter gets home and I'm all excited to hear about her day. Many a mom is going to relate to this.

You know what I learned?

The black boy put too much food in his mouth and spit it all over. It was sooooo grosssssss! Said with drama to rival older sisters. Where did THAT come from? LOL!

And I learned about the preschool incident.

Then comes my favorite. The rest of the night my daughter spent in stitches and giggles over the lunch lady. Yes. Mighty Mouse laughs every time she talks about the lunch lady. You see, she has it in her head that Lunch Lady is her actual name. And she thinks that is very funny.

The kid is in Kindergarten and the lunch lady is already and icon of sorts.

That got me thinking. What is it with the lunch lady? Why such star of jokes and legends? How did all of that get started? Was it a movie character that started it? Or a book? I'd really like to know.

And do you know what happens when you put "lunch lady" into google images? How about this...
Okay. So why are so many of the lunch ladies fat, mole infested, redheads?

The other thing that comes up alot with redheads are the old time pin-up models.

You know, it makes an odd kind of sense. See, I started out one of those pin-up models....and then after 20 years and three kids....morphed into the lunch lady. What the??????

Another one of lifes mysteries.....

Monday, August 24, 2009

A week of happenings and discoveries...

I swear I am never gonna get this place unpacked. I'm doing good to get 4-5 boxes done a day. It has never taken us so long. Hubs looked at me today...then looked at the house full of boxes and commented on how it has been two weeks and you would never know it. Thankfully we had no rain today so we were able to get out into the garage and drag everything out and start piecing it together. It should go a little faster now....or at least it will when the box pick-up guys show up.

This week has been a mecca of discovery on the food shopping front. Maybe this should be a foody blog, huh? Seems to be THE topic lately.

We found a middle eastern market where we can get the right kind of yogurt to make tatziki and we can get the fresh olives we have with Greek salad (on the menu this week).

We also discovered an Asian market just down the street from the house. It is rather large and carries my favorites. Sadly for hubs they do not carry Mr. Brown (its a coffee in a can - do not get the appeal myself.)

What makes Asian markets so important for us is only partially due to cooking Asian food. You see, when you have to stay away from wheat, that means PASTA too. Oh the agony!! Well, at Asian markets you can find pasta's made from all kinds of rice, bean and sweet potato. And they cost less than $1.50...not the $3+ that you pay at the healthy markets. Same for the non-wheat flours. So now I am back to being able to have pasta with the family (even though it is not as good as least it LOOKS close! LOL!)

Also, striking up random conversations with complete strangers in grocery stores yielded another great find: Franks Farm. About 7 minutes from my house is a farm with a little store out front where they grow and sell their produce. Greek salad tomorrow!! With lots of fresh tomatoes! Their fresh peppers (multiple colors) were only .65 each. Hah!

And have I mentioned that we live in the land of $1.59 milk? No, not the half gallons. Excuse me, I paid $1.79 today. That's a litttttlllllleeeee bit better than the $4 in Texas. (Yet dog food is twice the price....huh?)

This week also finds us with the windows and door thrown wide open and cool breezes blowing the cardboard smell out. And the music after dark is a lullaby. Did I say our area is called The Woods? That would be because its in the woods. So we have birds and bugs and frogs singing to us all night long. Very soothing.

At least it is until the trains come through every 2 hours. Hmmm...missed that the trains are so loud and so active not all that far away. Not in our nieghborhood, but close enough to sound like..well...a freight train coming through. Nice. They are almost as loud as the huge Air Force planes buzzing us during daylight hours. Ah, the sound of freedom. Better hope your kids aren't afraid of loud noises.

After a trip to the ped for a school physical...I am in love with MM's doctor. We'll, okay, not really, but really. He was all about her. (Not military...civilian working at the military hospital.)
More to come on that subject later.

Also, we are surrounded by bike/walking trails. Already tried a few out. And got turned around and would have been lost without hubs. I thought my sense of direction was better than that.

Wonder what this coming week will bring.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Snapshot Saturday

Joining my friend Tricia in Snapshot Saturday.

How we spent our Saturday morning....

Asian Cultural Festival 2009

Mighty Mouse enjoyed the Chinese dancing...

There was also this dance that was really fun to watch....

But the true story of the day was this....
YES! That is Chinese Chicken on a stick!!! As in MEAT!! M!E!A!T!

She ate meat for lunch!!! Our family was whooping it up big time over this event!
MMMMMMM......... It's good!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Seduction of the City

We have been in our new town for a week now and I already love it.

Now, I really loved where we came from also. It was a family friendly small city. There wasn’t a lot of pollution or traffic. It was pretty. The lake was right there and the sunsets at certain times of the year are awesome. The pace of life was not frantic or hurried.

But there’s something to be said for the big city.

First, you can drink the water. I can’t overstate that one enough. I don’t drink enough water as it is…but when it smells and tastes bad I almost drink none. Our last home had the worst water I’ve ever been exposed to. I even had to leave the area when someone took a shower because the smell of the steam. Yes, friends, Waco water is like muddy catfish swill. Yum. Yum. Even with the extreme chlorination going on they couldn’t kill that funk.

Now, I can drink the water. Right out of the tap even. I can order water at a restaurant and then actually drink it…and get refills.

Second: Culture

The most noticeable difference here is the diversity. All colors everywhere we have gone so far. This is refreshing! Our multicolored family doesn’t even warrant a second glance in most cases. We have not been stared at or singled out for being different yet.

Then there’s the food. We’ve been here a week and managed to already have great Greek food, Indian food and Korean food. Close to our home there are Asian markets. We had some Chinese food but it was only ok.

We have also already had German food at a German fest. And we went to a sweet corn festival – where we bought home grown tomatoes instead of sweet corn and ate Korean food. We have been invited to a Korean church in the area also. There is an Asian festival next week we plan on checking out.

You can find something going on every weekend. You can even choose! Hit one event on Saturday, and the other on Sunday. Our entertainment budget will have to be much better funded after the house sells!

And then theres…..Location

We are within 10 minutes of just about anything I want. The mall (that would be the teen animals thing), Kohls, Tuesday Morning, Walmart, Michaels, Joannes, the BX and Commissary, library, post office….. you name it. In Texas it took 10 minutes just to reach the edge of town and then depended on what you wanted. Our gas bill will go way down here. We are only about 2 minutes from Hubs work.

And lastly….weather.

The radio keeps talking about how the air conditioners are getting such a terrible workout right now. Temps are “creeping dangerously close to 90!” Ha! I love it!! No triple digits here! And its about 76 in the mornings….perfect for sitting outside with a cuppa tea and a book before the kids get up and the day begins. Lovin’ it now – but pretty sure I’ll be crying later this winter!

Keep cool my Texas friends!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anatomy of a Frymark Move -- Part II

For my concerned friends, let me assure you that we have been laughing through our crazy move. The only parts that were stressful were the car troubles. When your car is as packed as they were and you are pretty much living out of it…and traveling 800 miles to your next home…well, car troubles aren’t funny. But crazy new hotels are! So no worries...we are laughing NOW.

So, we survived the hotel. Hubs got some cool shots of the fire trucks while we were standing outside, but they won’t email for some reason so I can’t share.

Monday morning Hubs thought the movers were going to show up about 9am. He was told between 8-9. So I made sure I was up at 7am. I’ve done this a few times. Yep. Sure enough…at 7:40 they were ringing the doorbell. So I had to kick everyone out of bed…but hey, I was showered and dressed. Hubs should have known better. It’s the government (or in this case, government contract, which is pretty much the same thing). They don’t do what they say when they say. Get real.

So the movers come in and are appalled. How are they going to get two truckloads – 600 boxes and furniture into THIS place???? Seriously, the guy had wide panicking eyes and kept shaking his head no. Hubs let him know that we had less than stellar packers on the other end. See, the good news is that they couldn’t write small so they took up 3-5 lines on the inventory to describe one thing many times. We really didn’t have 600 boxes.

They still didn’t look convinced since it was two truck loads.

We weren’t really convinced either. I think we were both sweating it. Going from an 1800+ square foot home to a 1300 square foot government hole was not an easy feat. Not only physically, but mentally. But its not like we had a choice since our house hasn’t sold in Texas. This was the most affordable option that kept our family together in the same place.

So, as the day progressed Hubs checked the inventory outside and I directed traffic inside. I ripped open wardrobe boxes and crammed clothes in closets as they came in and then threw the boxes back outside for the movers to haul away. Those boxes are so big that it made a big difference. I could sort the clothes out later.

Something you might not know about me. I’m a jigsaw puzzle nerd.

So, as the day progresses and the word “storage unit” is thrown out over and over, I am inside putting together this brain buster of a puzzle.

To make a long story short….at the end of the day….after many swaps and switches and rearranging…we got everything in.

The guys were so astonished that they assured me I needed to come to work for them. They really didn’t think it could be done and I made it happen. Thanks guys…but as you can see, I do this so much on my own time, that it’s the last thing I’d want to do as a job. Even the paycheck would not be worth it.

So. We did get everything into the house and garage. What we don’t have is the space to unpack it! Hahahaha! Okay, not funny.

We are so packed that we are really having a hard time unpacking. Add to the craziness that we can’t have more than one box pick-up (and they can’t be wet from sitting outside) and it really gets crazy. The good thing is the recycle people will take boxes and paper…but they only come once a week so that’s not so great.

It’s going to take us longer than ever before to unpack and settle this house.

But we are all here together. And we had surprisingly few casualties. Unfortunately they broke the access panels on both tv’s so the Mr. is livid. It’s such a small part really…but it makes the tv’s look like something you picked up beside the road. Not sure how the company will handle that.

I can also say that there won’t be any more keeping stocked up on foods and toiletries. NO SPACE. It’s all I can do to get the daily stuff in. My kitchen stuff is actually overflowing into the garage. And we aren’t even talking the food.

We don’t have internet, cable or a phone at this point. Internet will probably be the only one of the three that we get anytime soon….or at least until the house sells. Lucky for me the Mr. is in the middle of an on-line college course and MUST have the internet for his work.

The girls are signed up for school. Songbird starts next week and Mighty Mouse the week after. Our fiery darts there are that MM needs a physical to start school and with the GOVERNMENT INSURANCE and GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE we can’t get one. They want us to get all the papers filled out on our move, switch from remote to on-base care and WAIT until all the paperwork goes through – 6 to 10 days. And we have to go to the website to fill out the form to print off and take into the office that handles it. Or fax it. Keep in mind that this is active duty military and nothing has changed except location. We are all still in the computers. Its just what the government does. For all those in favor of the healthcare reform…remember this…cause this is NOTHING when it come to government healthcare and insurance. This is the every day stuff. So – MM might not be starting school on time after all.

And Songbird has $91 in student fees for her classes. Welcome to high school!!!!

So friends….we are still alive and kicking and doing well. I was waiting for someone to come down with the swine flu or something just because we were in the middle of a move…and our GOVERNMENT INSURANCE AND CARE is not going to take care of us at the moment.

Maybe that’s next week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Anatomy of a Frymark Move Part 1

Hey friends! We are still alive and kicking. Notice I didn’t say it was smooth sailing. Of course not. That’s just not the way our life runs! But we are all here, in one piece and slowly digging out of a mountain of boxes.

Travel was pretty much what you would expect.

On the morning we loaded up the car and started the big adventure, first thing, my engine light comes on. You have got to be kidding me!! I believe my eyes bugged out and I made one of my famous noises that sounds much like HAHW!!!

I was hoping it was the gas cap as I hadn’t had any problems with the van. If its not seated right it will make the engine light come on. No such luck. About 150 miles into the trip it was still on. And, to add a little fun to the mix, we ran into a nasty accident and were stuck in a traffic jam. No, the jam wasn’t the problem….the over 100 degree heat and a temperature gauge on the Durango creeping alarmingly high was the new challenge. One car wasn’t bad enough?

I put out a quick text to one of my favorite prayer warriors, Claire, and she got the message out for me. My awesome friends prayed us through. The temp dropped on the Durango and after 500 miles on the second travel day, the engine light in the van mysteriously disappeared. My friends rock.

On the second day of travel hubs remembers he really didn’t check about pets at our hotel destination. He made a call (as I am driving behind him wondering why his speed has dropped…what…is he on the phone???) Anyhow…turns out the hotel doesn’t allow pets. So he makes reservations at another hotel (while driving…can you tell that is a pet peeve of mine??) He found us a place that wasn’t too far from the base and had just opened two days earlier. Brand new!

Note to friends: Do not stay at a brand new hotel.

The hotel was lovely. Very pretty, shiny, and new. The staff was wonderful—we really loved them.

Unfortunately, we ended up on the second floor. We like ground floor. Oh well. And we are carrying a dump truck load of luggage and stuff as it’s a move, not a vacation, and you have to be prepared to go without your things for at least a month…and put kids in school, etc. Lots of luggage. Plus the non-luggage. Movers won’t pack everything. Plus, we have known so many people that had everything stolen out of their vehicles (or the vehicles also) at hotels that we don’t leave stuff in the car. Lots to take in.

We had satan’s toilet in our room.

Every time someone used it there was a clog. At first I was getting onto my girls for using crazy amounts of paper. But wait. They don’t do that at home. Why would both of them start right now? So we had the hotel fix it. Then, after yet another incident, it overflowed onto a bag full of clothes.

So – we are being asked to move to another room. No fixing this toilet, it actually has to be replaced. Now we have to load all that luggage up and go to another room. Up a level. Yep. Now we are on floor three. But the hotel did send our clothes out to be washed (their laundry wasn’t working yet) for free. Thank goodness.

Can you guess what is coming?

Saturday night is our LAST night in the hotel. We are going to camp in the empty house on Sunday as the movers are showing up at 8 am on Monday. Mighty Mouse falls asleep about 10:30 pm. We are all in our beds watching tv’s in our pjs.

The fire alarm goes off.


So we are grabbing our kids….can’t find MM’s shoes (she’s a pig)…grabbing the dog (Songbird does not grab the leash)…grabbing my purse as our identities and life are in it. Out the door I go.

And all these people are standing in their doorways looking like idiots. Now, I’m not trying to be mean here….hear me out.

The peoples look at me and ask “Do we really have to go downstairs?”

I’m almost speechless. Almost. I say, YES!!!!!!! And they pass the word down the hall and everyone starts to get out. And everyone was very orderly and calm filing down the stairs. And we get outside and my family heads across the lot to get away from the building. We turn around to see all the peoples milling about the doors and windows right up next to the building.

Seriously???? Do they remember nothing from fire drills in elementary school? I was older than more than half those people and I remember. Move away from the building!

Now, in their defense, there was no smell of smoke or obvious fire. But still. People.

So, here we are stuck outside on a Saturday night, in our pjs, one kid with no shoes, no leash for the dog….and it turns out my keys weren’t in my purse. We can’t even sit in the car.

About an hour into this wait I have to go to the bathroom. Hubs is ready to walk over to Hooters for some wings….but a reminder of the DOG and all of us in our pjs brought him back to sanity…barley. We did walk to the next hotel and use their bathroom….the kid with no shoes and the dog with no leash in tow. I was feeling rather….hillbilly.

The good news is that there wasn’t a fire. The water main broke. The water main that runs by the elevators.

So yes. We did get to go back to our rooms and did not have to move again…but the next room over did.

And yes. The next morning the elevators were still out of commission and we had to carry that crazy load of luggage down three flights of stairs.

Because that’s the way we roll…..

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Tale of Two Sisters...

OK... so really its just a snapshot of Mighty Mouses bestest friend and baby sister. Miss them much!

Hope to do a catch-up post soon...but right now we are being moved out of our hotel room into a new one......ADVICE: Do not stay at a hotel that opened the same week you arrive. The bugs are not worked out yet.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Leaving the second biggest love of my life....

(Second in sequence, not importance you understand.)

The first love of my life would be my dad....

But the biggest would be hubs. Even still....a dinosaur age later.

About 3 years after I married the biggest love of my life, along came the second biggest.

That would be my Bones. Back then his name would have been Fatty...not bones. He came into this world at a whooping 9'4. He slept through the night from day one....8 pm to 8 am. Funny, happy and a baby that thought everyone was his best friend.

He was rather handsome also. Very photogenic. Should have modeled that kid.

Today, my Bones is 20 years old. He has an apartment at the college he attends and has for 2 years now.

Even so.

Ya'll. I'm leaving my Bones behind and moving 18 hours away.

I'm leaving my first baby.

And I'm having a little bit of a freak-out tonight.

But, I am leaving behind a great young man. Still funny. Still friendly. Handsome if you like them pierced up.... LOL! Still handsome.

All the best to you, my son. I love you. I love the man you are becoming. I will miss your presence in our lives.

You know where to find me if you need me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It is Done

Our stuff has actually already arrived in Ohio.

The house is cleaned and empty.

Today we will spend on the road to Arkansas. We are stopping to see grandma on the way. We will only be staying for one full day.

Thursday its on to our new home. Friday we will take possession of our new dwelling. YUCK! But that's a whole nother post.

Coveting travel mercies this week!!

And big hugs and kisses go out to Denny, Darlene and Kelly for driving all the way to Waco Saturday and taking us to dinner and spending a last evening with us. We will miss you guys! And Ditto out to Sara and Dianna for doing the same on Sunday! Those two unexpected visits were great gifts.....we were too busy enjoying you guys to get down and out about leaving.

We will miss you guys Waco!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Famous...

Love, love, love Kelly!

She made me famous here...

The cake was awesome -- like she says, a Crumpler original is to die for.

And I was also able to pass out a little gift to all my friends.

Yes, it was soap from Great Cakes Soapwork. I found a tutorial on how to make boxes out of scrapbook paper and was able to make them, along with a special card for each friend telling what I love about them

They, in turn, each had a verse for me that they wrote or typed out. They were right on! That is the coolest!