Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Father's Day to the 4th of July; Missing Jerry still!

Three days after we arrived in Oklahoma it was Father's Day.  We sent out a box to the ship a few weeks earlier but it didn't make it there before Father's Day.  Jerry got the box a few days late.  It had cards from the kids including Zuhro.  We included a jar full of jellybeans and lots of other fun stuff. 

Every morning the boys and I wake up and go for a ride on quad.  Sophie, our dog, likes to follow us around.  Cooper likes to look at the ponds, cows and pick apples from the trees.  Carson likes to drive, but I don't dare let him go alone.  
Sophie checking out the pond
Cooper and and apple he picked

One morning Cooper and I were riding by a pond and we ran across this turtle.  I drove to back to the house to get Carson.  Carson rode his bike over to see it.  Pretty cool if you ask me!
The turtle we found
The boys also enjoy the pool, riding bikes, riding scooters and driving their electric cars.  They also like riding in the back of the truck or on the UTV or quad to "check the cows" as my dad calls it.  

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Back of the truck to check the cows...
Most curious "babies"
The Fourth of July
Rocky Road,  Pineapple, and Cake Batter
We went to my uncle's house for the festivities which included hot dogs, hamburgers and homemade ice cream. The kids had a water gun fight and then there were fireworks!  The fireworks were not the kind you get in California; definitely not SAFE and SANE.  Glad we got to watch them and that nobody lost a finger... or eye or any other body part!  

 All the kids playing together is just one of the many reasons moving to Oklahoma was best for us!

We've gone three months without Jerry around and we are surviving.  We miss him a bunch and wish he were here but we are getting it done! 


Friday, June 14, 2013

The Big Move!

School ended on Friday June 7th and our moving truck was reserved for June 11th, that gave me 4 days to rap up everything in my classroom and at school, finish packing the house, and say good-bye to a whomever I had a chance to say good bye to.  As excited as I was to be moving near family I was so sad leaving some of our dearest friends.  Carson has made some great friends and I have become friends with their parents too.  Its hard saying good-bye, but I know its the best for our family.
Cooper and Grandma packing up the front living room.
Things from the house got packed then moved to the garage.
My brother, his son, and a family friend, Ed, drove my dad's truck and cattle trailer from Oklahoma to help us move.  Ed saved us two times!  He noticed something was wrong with the drive shaft on the Penske truck.  He called them and they came out and replaced a part.  He also noticed extremely worn out tires on the U-haul trailer.  Again, he called them and they replaced three of the four tires!  We planned on everything fitting in the Penske and the horse trailer but moving plans rarely work out... I ended up renting a U-haul trailer to tow behind my truck too.  Luckily, I had already planned on flying out for a friends wedding and pick to up Jerry's Grand Cherokee a week later.  Since I rented the U-haul I needed the Grand Cherokee to tow our jet ski trailer.  
The 24 ft Penske moving truck... just gettin' started!
Fully loaded including the car carrier for Jerry's Jeep.
Dad's 16 ft cattle trailer and truck.
My truck and the U-haul trailer we rented on moving day.
The empty family room  :(
So after a very long day loading up everything and cleaning up the house we were on our way to Oklahoma.  We didn't make it that far the first day... Barstow, only 3.5 hours away; at least it was a start.
In the car on the way to Oklhoma!
All tuckered out!
Tuckered out part 2!

 The second day we made it from Barstow to Grant's New Mexico.  Not exactly making the greatest time, but keep in mind we had two little kids and all vehicles were towing fully loaded trailers.

We made it to our new home in Oklahoma about 6pm on the third day.  Our town is in the far Northeast corner of Oklahoma, so we had to travel through this entire state too.  I am glad it is over and I will not have to do that ever again!

Sophie making a new friend, Phil the goat. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our last few days living in California

The end of May brought on many conflicting feelings...
  • We accepted an offer on the house, which is great, but that meant we had to leave. After a month on the market, we accepted an offer on the house.  I really liked the family that ended up purchasing our home.  Hopefully they love it as much as we did.
  • The end of the school year was close, but Zuhro had to go back to Tajikistan.  Carson and Cooper lost their big sister and I lost a daughter.  She has enriched our lives so much.  What she has taught us about Islam, Tajikistan and her culture could not be learned from books.  She is an amazing young lady and I can't wait to see what she does in the future;  I know it will be something great!  We also had to say good bye to many of the other exchange students we fell in love with.
Lida, Carson and Zuhro eating frozen yogurt at RiverPark

  • Summer was coming, but I wouldn't see my students anymore.  I had so many great students this year.  I am really going to miss seeing them grow into adults and go to college.  I will definitely be keeping in touch with a select few because they mean so much to me and I truly care that they become successful in life.
  • We were packing and getting ready to move, but we didn't want to leave our friends in CA.  I was excited to be moving to Oklahoma to be near family and start a new life here.  We also have a few really awesome friends in Hanford that we see daily and its been hard not having them nearby.  I know we will see each other in the future, it just won't be as often.

Flowers from a few of the boys in my AP Bio class... I love to tease them!

If you remember from a previous post, Jerry took Woody with him on deployment... So what's Woody been doing?

 And what has Jerry been up to?
Laughing at the name of a bank!

Checking out the beach

Doing what Jerry does best!!!
Sure wish I had a day off to do the same.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A letter from the USS Nimitz

It's been 7 1/2 weeks since Jerry has been gone...

We got an envelope on May 5th from Jerry.  I had a letter, Zuhro got a letter, and Carson got a letter.  Carson was so excited that his Daddy wrote to him and sent a patch.  He wouldn't let me read it because it was for him not me.  He read it in the kitchen, then he quietly walked to his room.  I heard sniffling so i peeked down the hallway and found him face down crying in his arm on his bean bag with the letter and patch in his hand.  I walked in and sat beside him.  He said, "I just miss him so much."  I told him that it was OK to cry because we miss someone, but I was always there to talk and give hugs whenever he needed them. I then suggested we write a letter tomorrow and maybe draw a picture or something to go with it.


We put a box together to send to Jerry and mailed it off on May 1st. I was curious to see how long it would take for the box to get to him; two weeks was all it took.  I plan on sending another in a week with the hope that it gets there before Father's Day.

  My AP Biology class took their AP Exam on Monday May 13th. I was worried for them since it was the first time any group of students took the newly designed exam.  They said it was difficult and they needed more time.  At least, my students weren't the only ones that said that.  The AP Biology community website has complaints from all the other teachers reporting that their students said the same. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

One Month Closer!

I haven't had time to post this past week so I'm either late on this one or early for the next.  It's been a really busy week and a half!

One month (4.5 weeks) down and we are all still alive, including the dog!  Time to take a look at my Deployment Bucket List.
  1. Start a journal or blog and continue until deployment is over.
  2. Lose weight (I think this is on most people's to do list anyways) - I've lost 25 lbs so far!
  3. Join a dance or exercise class... and actually go!
  4. Finish scrapbooks for the kids
  5. Make a digital scrapbook
  6. Clean out the closets... all of them! -
  7. Clean out the garage - just need to load boxes into the moving truck
  8. Take a road trip - Looks like our road trip will be moving to Oklahoma
  9. Sell the house - Hopefully soon
  10. Move to Oklahoma (two kids, myself, a Great Dane, two cats, two turtles, all of our stuff plus Jerry's) - Just added to the list
All of this accomplished in one month; I'm sure I can finish off the rest before he comes home anywhere between October and February.

Our house officially went on the market last Friday (http://www.londonproperties.com/search/detail/443471).  
If you have ever sold or bought a house with a Power of Attorney, you know how horrible it is.  If not, here's a little bit of the pain and agony... So besides signing my own name and initials on the places I have to sign, I also have to sign Jerry's full name and sign my name once again, along with the words as his attorney in fact.  I had to do this traumatic signing of the paperwork when we sold the condo in Port Hueneme and bought this house.  I told Jerry over and over that next time it was going to be me that leaves him with a Power of Attorney.  I guess the pain of doing all that is nothing compared to the stress and hardships I deal with when he is gone and not having family around.   

As much as I want it to sell, I hate keeping it SUPER clean.  With two mini tornadoes (Cooper and Carson), I feel that I am constantly walking behind them cleaning up.  Its not so fun.  This week we have spent the little time we spend at home outside.  I figured it is easier to hose a patio off than clean up the house. The weather is definitely cooperating with my plan.  We have been in the pool and playing in the sprinklers every day the past two weeks.  Of course all this outside time and keeping the house clean doesn't come without a price.  I actually like cooking but between work, keeping the house clean and the kids activity schedules (track practices and karate) I simply don't have time or the energy.  We've eaten lots of Lean Cuisines, frozen grilled chicken sandwiches, and sandwiches.  I can't wait until I have time to cook dinner again.

Kevin's Pizza Oven
So we put the house on the market last Friday.  I was able to take the day off from work to completely clean and organize the house to make it presentable to potential buyers. I got a call saying people were going to look at it that night.  Fortunately, for us we got invited by some awesome friends (Brandy and Kevin) to come have dinner at their house.  Dinner at their house is always amazing.  Kevin built a pizza oven and makes absolutely amazing pizza including dessert pizza.  They have two kids one is Carson's age, in fact, they go to school together and that is how we met.  Their daughter will be three this month.  Visiting them is such a treat for my family.  I barely notice the kids are there, I actually relax a little and, again, the pizza is delicious!
Bacon Flavored syrup. Why? 
On Sunday we went shopping for Zuhro's prom shoes and to waste time since buyers were going to be walking through our house that day.  We went to World Market in Visalia first.  I found this bottle of Torani syrup and had to take picture and send it to Jerry.  The cashier said its great in milkshakes and smoothies.  Gross. I was able to buy a bunch of stuff for Jerry's care package.  I'll take a picture and describe that when it is complete.

We continued our journey to discover that Visalia does not have a different selection of Formal dress shoes than Hanford.

So this week in karate, Carson got to use nunchuks!  He was pretty excited and so was Jerry when he found out.  Cooper learned a new trick, also, this week.  he has always sucked his middle two fingers on his right hand.  So it looks like he is rockin' out or giving the I love you sign.  Well, he took it a step further this week.  He figured out that he had a convenient place to put his index finger... his nose.

For me, school is just work.  I love my students, but I am just ready for the school year to end.  I'm tired.  Cooper had a stomach bug Sunday night that got me up twice to clean up the mess, but by morning time he seemed fine.  Then, you guessed it, Carson got it on Wednesday.  I was up at 1am completely changing sheets.  He said he was feeling well enough to go to school, so I dropped him off at daycare, but I got a call 30 minutes later because he had an accident...  Carson's explanation, "I just thought I had to fart."  Such a boy.  I had to wrangle up subs for the rest of the day because his tummy was still having issues and he couldn't go to school.  He is much better now though, thankfully.  

OK, that sums of the last week and a half.  Hopefully, I have great news about my house in the next post.  Also, my mom and dad are coming soon to help start the move!

What's Jerry up to?
Nimitz Strike Group Enters 7th Fleet AOR | Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another Birthday Missed

This past week we had state testing.  I had a full day of school on Monday then we got out at 12:15 the rest of the week.  I had plenty of time to grade papers and work on lesson planning while students were testing.  I was also able to start cleaning out my classroom.

Monday started out a little rough.  The kids were use to waking up just a little later because Grandma was here and she was able to take them to school and daycare so they were a little grouchy and not cooperative with the time schedule we are on during the week.  The morning got progressively worse but I didn't realize it until after school...  I was walking out to my truck and digging through my purse to find my keys.  I didn't find them there so I walked back to my classroom to look in the draw where I put all my stuff.  Nothing.  I walked back out towards the parking lot.  I couldn't bear to look in the car so Caitlyn (a student, awesome babysitter, who will be a lifetime family friend) went to look and sure enough they were laying on the middle console.  Lucky for me I have awesome neighbors.  I called Amanda and she was able to get my spare key and bring it to me.  I love her!!!

Tuesday, I took Zuhro prom dress shopping.  Marie, one of Zuhro's friends and exchange student from Belgium went with us.  Zuhro was lucky and found two dresses she really liked, one was long and one was short.  After agonizing over the decision she went with the short one because in Tajikistan she would probably never be able to wear one like it.  The dress is really cute and I can't wait to post pictures later.

Carson earned his second orange tip in karate on Wednesday.  He learned and showed the kicking test all in one day.  I am so proud of him.  Since I (and my mom when she was here) am getting the house ready to sell I am always cleaning and picking up after the kids.  I need a Roomba just to follow behind Cooper.  He is a tiny tornado that does as much damage as a full size one.  From juice to crayons, everything ends up on the floor by the table or in the kitchen.  In addition to that, I was outside trying to clean up the dirt from the planter that my mom and I had just planted and my dog dug up when Cooper decided to try peeing outside.  He got his pants down and began to aim but instead of pee he pooped.  Awesome!  Poop all over his shorts.  I stripped him down and let him run in the backyard naked because I was covered in dirt and water and didn't want to go inside to get him clothes. While I was watering plants, he snuck in through the dog door and pooped on the floor of the bathroom.  Even more awesome!  Poop all over the bathroom floor.  All of this happened after I got off work and got my oil changed.  Needless to say Wednesday was the worst day of the week!

Thursday was busy with a trip to the pediatrician for Cooper's two year old check-up.  He is way above average in height and just above in weight and, thankfully, he has grown into his ginormous head.  
On Our Lunch Date

Friday, I was able to pick Carson up early and take him to pick out the cake he wanted for his birthday party.  We also got party boxes filled with goodies to give away to the kids.  We had another day of Karate. I had to take Cooper with me this time and that is just frustrating.  I ended up going to the grocery store a few doors down from the karate studio to occupy Cooper.  They have the baskets with the cop car or fire truck in front.  He loves to "drive" the car and I love that he quietly sits in the cart and I don't have to chase him!  Cooper started crying around midnight.  I went to his bed and he was whining and grabbing his ear.  He said, "Ear Owie."  I gave him Motrin, held him for 20 minutes so the pain reliever could do its magic, then put him to bed.  We slept until 5, which is when he started crying again.  He got out of bed and we watched Toy Story 3 for about an hour.  I gave him another dose of Motrin and he went back to bed.  Thankfully, Carson is old enough to watch tv and grab yogurt for breakfast, so I was able to get a bit more sleep.  

Saturday was another karate day.  Cooper went with me again.  Cooper likes to yell and play on the mat with the students in the studio, but it causes them to focus on him instead of the teacher and that's not good; so we ended up at the grocery store again.

Today is Carson's birthday.  I got up early to pick up his cake.   We went to Adventure Park for his party.  I took Cooper to Ms. Sylvia's (daycare provider) so I didn't have to try organizing the party and keeping an eye on him at the same time. 
Opened up his first present a long awaited 3DS!

He found the other stash of presents later in the day

The Pokemon Cake and some of his friends

The ticket machine

Get'em! Get'em!
Another picture, Mom?

1256 Tickets!  Supterstar!

Week three down!