Sunday, August 31, 2008

In Church Boy, Out Grunge??

Today we took Jarem to nursery at church. He was dressed in a plaid button-down shirt and dress pants when he went in--I swear!! When he came running to me after church, I didn't recognize him. This is how he looked: striped superman beanie and a black rockband shirt several sizes too big over his clothes. At first glance I wondered who's parent had dressed their son like that for church. Then I realized---it was MY OWN SON!

He said the "dad" in nursery said he could wear it and keep it. I'm not sure what the lesson was on in nursery, but I'm a little concerned!! (haha) Since the "dads" took over, the curriculum may have taken a turn for the worse... :)

Jesikah thought we needed to add the peace sign to the look---and I have to admit--I think it fits! :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

School Days...

The Epitome of Middle Schoolers

When we upgraded our cell phones last week, we decided to activate my old phone for Alex with our shared plan. It has come in handy when we need to get a message to him. He is only supposed to use it for emergencies, which so far hasn't been an issue since he has no one to call except home. I swore I wouldn't be getting him a phone for a very long time, but sometimes convenience is worth it.

Alex is starting to get used to middle school. He had a great disappointment when he didn't make the middle school soccer team, but he had a series of unfortunate events at try-outs that led to his getting cut, such as, not eating anything for lunch the first day(locked his lunch in his locker and try-outs were right after school). The second day he injured his big toe pretty bad and could barely walk and the 3rd day his toe continued to bother him, but he didn't tell anyone either day. I feel like he could have made the team had he been able to really "show his stuff". But, oh well, he was sad, but has moved on now. He is going to do recreational soccer instead and try again in the spring.

He can now open his locker and make it to all his classes without a hitch. He got all A's on his first 3-week progress report yesterday. He is trying desperately to get into the advanced language arts and 8th grade math, but they wouldn't make a move until they got his school records. Now that they have his records, they won't do anything because his records don't contain his 6th grade WASL (which we won't receive until the end of September). He is doing well enough in his classes though that his teachers say they will move him up at the end of the 9-week trimester as long as his grades stay high. He's still frustrated that he'll miss that much of the class though.

Alex's school: Rossview Middle School

The Girls and School

The girls were the ones who had the school switching dilemma. They started the first day at Sango Elementary, but then they ended up going to Glen Ellen Elementary. Glen Ellen is a great school and they both lucked out with very good teachers. We went to the open house last week and talked to their teachers a little more. I was really impressed with all of them--they are a lot of fun and very organized. Here the schools do 3-week progress reports for all schools on the same date. Yesterday we received their progress reports, and they both had straight A's. I was very proud of them.

Jesikah has Mr. Dahl who teaches Math and Science and Mrs. Nix in the afternoon that teaches Social Studies, Reading, and Spelling. They are learning a lot about the cell. They made a cell out of jello(cytoplasm) and whoppers(nucleus) and other things. Jesikah loved that. She has made a new friend, Lexy, that she had a playdate with yesterday. She is a nice girl.

Jesikah hass been enthralled in reading Spiderwick chronicles lately. She has been very excited about reading since school started

Tessa's teacher is Mrs. Harned. Tessa called her Ms. Hornet the first week, but we worked with her to get it right. She is SO nice. Tessa says that she never ever yells, and I believe her. She calls Tessa "sugar". Tessa is making lots of friends, even some "girl" friends(she tends to like to play with boys), and she loves school. When I pick the kids up from school here, everyone has to have an official tag that goes on your rearview mirror. There are 3 lines of cars waiting. They call out the number and then an escort takes them to their car. If you want to take a friend home, you have to have the tag with the friend's number too in order to get them. It actually is very orderly and safe.
Tessa is excited about discovering a crab pincher in her cereal!!

The One Left Behind

Poor Jarem feels like he is the one left behind. He is extremley disappointed that he is not going to school. Every day he tells me, "We need to find me a preschool today." He wants to go SO bad. We have looked around for preschools, but we haven't found anything that I'm excited about. Besides, I'm not sure that I'm ready to let him go yet. He still takes a nap about 12:00 everyday, so I have to be home getting him lunch at 11:30. I think for now that we are going to make little excursions like going to the library story time and probably the YMCA and see if that can count for preschool this year. He has gotten really interested in letters and numbers lately. Today I couldn't understand something he was saying and he said, "It's H-C-Q-E-A" or something like that trying to spell it for me. I will spend a little extra time with him this year learning his letters.

This is Jarem #2 with what Alex calls, "his demolitionist smile". He does this smile whenever Alex tells him to do his "demolitionist smile". He scrunches his nose up while he smiles and Alex thinks it means he is up to no good.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Finally, His Own Office!

Eric likes his new job as a radiologist at Blanchfield Army Medical Center in Fort Campbell, KY. The hospital is much smaller and less busy than Madigan. People keep bringing things to work like pecan pie and apple crisp which have added a little excitement to his days as well. He is most excited about having his OWN office to read in where he can use HIS OWN CELL PHONE. I can now actually get in contact with him in the middle of the day! (At Madigan, he wasn't allowed or able to use his cell phone in the Radiology area of the hospital because it interfered with the equipment.) It was pretty exciting for him when he got his name plate (or name paper)next to the door saying STAFF RADIOLOGIST. He has finally graduated from the title of "peon resident", but he is still the low man on the totem pole.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just Another Bump in the Road

Well, I woke up Friday morning and went out to the car to take Alex to school and the above picture is what I found--a flat tire. Eric was already at work. Poor Alex tried running to the bus stop, but didn't make it and ended up getting a ride to school with a gracious neighbor. I'll have you know I changed the tire all by myself. My dad would be proud. I was hoping one of the construction workers around here would take pity on me and help me, but no such luck. :)

Some good news--our house in Washington officially closed on Thursday(after being extended a few days) and we got the wire on Friday, so it's a done deal! Yeah!
I posted some new pics in the "Building Our House" slideshow. It is in "older posts" at the bottom of the page. Things are moving along, slowly, but surely.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Our Temporary Home

Our apartment building--ours is the center door
Even being all in the same room, they are still not close enough. Here is Jarem and Alex in the same bed.
The kids room set-up with double bunk beds.

Well, we are officially in the South now. I've already tried some good southern food like: fried okra, fried green tomatoes, bread pudding, sweet potato pie, and fried dill pickles. So far, so good. People are warm and friendly here and very polite in every way including addressing everyone by sir and maam.
It is very hot. I understand the meaning of the term "heat wave" much better here because that term does describe what hits you when you go outside. :) We've realized when the temperature in the high 80's and low 90's we feel like it is cooler that day. A little breeze can make a big difference too. But we are adjusting to the heat and humidity. Jesikah said already it doesn't feel as hot as it first did.
We are temporarily living in a 2-bedroom apartment, but it does have a washer and dryer and is completely furnished. The builders of our house own these apartments and have generously provided it for us until our house is finished. It is turning into a little longer than we expected as our new house completion date has now been pushed back until October 6th. The downfall is it's crowded(obviously) and all our things are in storage until we get into the house. We are starting to get used to it, but don't stop praying for us.
Busy and stressed are two adjectives that describe the past 2 weeks since we have been here. We got here August 1 and the kids started school August 8th, so between getting the kids settled with school supplies, clothes, teachers, schools(a long story below), and making decisions on our house along with the closing of our house in Washington things have been very busy.
We went through a lot of trouble and forms our first week here to get the kids registered in the school where our house is being built only to be informed on the first day of school that the zoning had changed over the summer and our new house is now in a different school. It was a frustrating week, and the poor girls had to start the first day at one school(Friday), and the following Monday at yet another new school. The worst part was that we had only searched for houses that were in the boundaries of the original school, so it was very frustrating to find out that had been changed.

But, it does no good to complain, so we made the decision to attend the school that the apartment is zoned for since it is 2nd only to the original elementary school. The girls are very happy there so far and I hope and pray things will work out for them to finish the year there once we move. They both have good teachers.
Fortunately for Alex, he is zoned for the same school here and there, so the changes didn't affect him. He likes his new school, but he's trying to adjust to middle school. He's had some lunch and locker dilemmas this week, but all in all, things are good. He is trying out for the middle school soccer team this week also, so we hope he makes it. They only keep 16 kids out of a school of over one thousand 6th-8th. He says he doesn't like all the cussing and kissing in middle school.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The 36 hour trip to Tennessee

The 36 hour trip from Washington to Tennessee was quite an undertaking with 4 kids, 2 adults, and 2 cars, but we made it(thank heavens for DVD players). Here are a few things that we saw in Wyoming and Nebraska: lots of windmills, miles of prairie, sagebrush and rolling hills, and when there is nothing else, there is Little America. We stopped for an ice cream break there.

Windmills in Nebraska and Wyoming

Some of the scenery in Wyoming

Finally a break at Little America

Jarem sharing his cone with me. He stuck his tongue out to lick as I licked it without realizing it. It was pretty cute.

Eric added a little excitement to our trip by shaving his beard into a goatee. Having a few weeks off from the Army, he decided to do a little experimentation with facial hair, but he's clean shaven again now.
5 days, 11 states, and several hotels later, we finally made it to Clarksville, TN.

Sad Goodbyes

The morning that we left Washington, we stopped by a few of our good friends to say goodbye. Unfortunately we missed some(so sorry) because they were at church already, but here are a few of the pictures we took. We miss you already.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Getting Ready to Move

We spent our last week in WA with the movers(mostly), but I'm not complaining--better them than us. :) We packed, cleaned, and moved out. The kids liked the boxes. The morning that they moved everything out, they showed up nice and early and packed up the beds first. Jesikah was still tired and there was no where to go, so she made herself a bed amidst the things that we had packed to take on the front porch and went to sleep. She slept right through everyone hauling things out and loading them.

July 2008 Vacations

During most of July, Eric was finished with work in WA and the kids were out of school, so we took the opportunity to visit some of the places that we had meant to visit while living in WA and hadn't before moving away. We went to the Great Wolf Lodge, Leavenworth, Lake Chelan, Lynden, and Vancouver B.C. We went everywhere but the Wolf Lodge with my sister, Brenda and her two kids, Colton and Kadie. We had a lot of fun!

Although we had a great time at each one, I think our favorite was Vancouver. We spent most of our time at Stanley Park visiting the aquarium, the pool, and the sites there. We also made it over to Granville Island which is where we bought the parasols for the girls and had lunch at the best fish and chips place. We also took the Seacab to the Science World where we enjoyed an IMAX movie on the Alps and lots of "experimentation". The kids were fascinated with Science World and would have loved to have stayed even longer. They had to almost kick us out at closing.

Brenda and I found a station where you could lead music and the music playing would follow your beat and tempo. That was fun for us.

We enjoyed a different type of food every night. The kids tried some new things, and actually enjoyed most of them. They were excited about the Canadian money too. We walked everywhere while we were there, so they were ready to crash by the end of each day.

Visiting Vancouver BC with my sister, Brenda--July 2008