Sunday, July 25, 2010

Be a Dead Horse!

When we left for Guam we sold our van and so for the whole three years we were there we used a sedan. Many times I missed my van. The kids just needed more room to spread out.  They were sitting on top of each other and so used the opportunity to annoy the living heck out of each other and me!  As we were driving around the state from one set of grands to another before we picked up my new van, the kids were doing normal thing in the car: driving us CRAZY!!

One day I had just all I could take of the noise - I don't even know what they were bickering about and I didn't care. They were just going on and on about something.  I finally yelled, "Enough! Quit beating the dead horse!"

They sort of shrugged their shoulders and said, "Okay" then slumped down on each other.  I found that a little odd, but I didn't pay too much attention. I was enjoying the quiet.

For the next ten to fifteen minutes I enjoyed the pasting scenery. Every now and then I would hear some giggles, but mostly quite until William piped up, "Mom, can we stop being dead horses now?"

"Uh,? What are you talking about?"

"Well, you said to be a dead horse, so we are. Can we stop now?"

I couldn't stop laughing! "I didn't tell you to BE a dead horse, I said to  stop beating it."

This is was their turn to say, "Uh? What do you mean?"

When Drew and I could say a few words without laughing we explained the idiom of "beating a dead horse". "Oh!!!" They all explained!! "We get it now!"

It still amazes me how the kids can make me so annoyed one minute to laughing until my sides hurt the next! What a crazy bunch I have!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Showing My Age

I have several friends that had a child many years after their first. At one time or another all of them have said something along the lines of being able to feel the years in their bodies. I totally understand when they talk about this. My oldest and youngest are four and half years apart and I remember feeling so much older (in a bad way) with Benjamin. There was just so many more aches and pains.

That's how I felt last night and how I still felt today: old. Or maybe just so much older! I just don't remember moves being so exhausting.  And, yes. I think I do have too many possessions. We already for at least three boxes for the Goodwill along with a microwave, and three pieces of furniture.  (I see a craigslist in our future.)

The movers arrived just before ten in the morning and we didn't really stop until after six. We did get a break around two when they left to get the rest of the crates. (We had ten, but only eight fit on the trailer.)  I had already talked to the children about unpacking as much as we can while they were here. That way when they leave, they can take the empty boxes and all that packaging paper.  Then we would have a lot less to store until they could come back for the rest of the empty boxes. For the most part the kids worked really hard. Of course, as the day wore on, the less enthusiasm they showed!  At about four thirty all the crates were unpacked and I was ready just to say make sure all the beds  and tables (and anything else that had been taken apart) are put together and leave so I can rest, but then we were told they would NOT come back for boxes.  What we wanted them to take then was fine, but unlike in the past they would not return on another day for any garbage.

What? Oooo. We were so not happy.

So, Drew said that they would stay then and unpack every box.  And they almost did.   I did stop them from unpacking all the book boxes. I told Drew I just was not able to face stacks of books on the floor.

The movers attitude was pretty good for most of the day until they heard they would be required to put together beds and tables and a basketball goal.  Oh, well. Not my problem.   One of our benefits as a military member is to have household goods unpacked. And yes, unpacked means back to the state it was in before the movers arrived at the previous location!

And they did.

The house is now in a total shambles.  And Drew and I feel old. We both talked about how tired we still are at twenty-four hours after the movers left.  I really do feel my age. Here's praying my next move will not be for a long, long time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Day and A Night

Tomorrow is the BIG day around here.  Delivery of household goods(HAPPY DANCE!) It'll be interesting to see if all our stuff from Guam arrive in one piece. I was very happy with the way the packers packed our things....let's pray that it translated into no damaged items.

Or water-logged items. One friend had a crate that got accidentally dropped in the the water. She lost all her clothes and a brand-spankin' new couch. Ouch. That had to hurt.

We did have some damage done to our furniture that was in storage for the last three will be interesting. It'll also be like Christmas in July.

Plus the kids will be thrilled to have their beds back. Apparently, the joy of sleeping on couches, air mattress, and the floor has worn off.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finding a Church

Finding a church in a new area can be one of the most frustrating and emotional searches of any move (well, and finding a hair dresser...but that's a different post all together!). We felt very fortunate that our search in Guam was easy. Our first Sundays in Guam we attended the Chapel on base and LOVED it. One Sunday - done. The music and the preaching were exactly what were looking for. Then we fell in love with the people.  A huge plus of living in Guam was living with, going to school with, and worshipping with the same people.  The sense of community was strong and we loved it.

It wasn't perfect. After all, it was still a military environment.  I hated it when people would introduce themselves by their rank. And I hated it when my friends found out my husband's rank and  job. Then we were no longer just Kelley and Drew. They now said, "Hey, Kelley and 'Sir'".  I, also, heard of others refuse to be friends with others because of rank. True, fraternization is a serious concern among those that wear the uniform, but for us wives, we should leave rank at the door.

But overall,  I loved the Chapel and our church family there. It's one of the things I miss most about Guam: the people.

I, also, know that we will meet some amazing people here, too. And it starts with us finding a church. We have always known we make our dearest and truest friends at church where couples and families hold to the same values as we do: Jesus. We do want our church close by,though. After all, we will be more apt to go if we don't have to drive far and in little traffic. Maybe that's a bad reflection of our faith, but it's true: closer is better.

When Drew came back from buying this house, one of the things he was excited about was the large Baptist church that was right around the corner from the neighborhood. He began to pray that it was the church the Lord wanted us to attend. He, also, began to pray that we would meet neighbors from the church and we would connect with them.

Yesterday we attended the morning service there. We really enjoyed it. While they called the service a "blended" (meaning the use of traditional hymns as well as current Christian songs ), I felt like the service leaned more toward the traditional side instead of contemporary. (I would prefer an ultra contemporary service, but Drew likes the blended.) But as my mother reminded me: you really can't judge a whole music program by one service. I will say the soloist during the choir special was amazing! She never seemed nervous or anxious at all!

Then there was the preaching. Very good! The right balance of humor with truth delivered in a easy, friendly way. We were so pleased that we decided to go back next week and also visit Sunday school. Drew talked again about praying to meet neighbors through this church.

Later in the afternoon Drew and I when returned from the commissary, William told us that a neighbor came over to meet us while we were gone and that he said was also from the church. Ooooo! We thought. Sounds like an answer to prayer already.

Later in the evening the couple came by again to meet us. And we found out it wasn't just another member of the church, but the pastor himself that lived next door! He and his wife were very friendly. They have two children - one a son the same age and grade as Benjamin. They proceeded to tell us of many others that lived in the neighborhood that attend the church.

They, also, talked about how they have prayed for the family who would live in this house. To know that just as we were praying for the Lord's guidance in the choosing of the house and a church that they were praying for us as that's the Lord's doing! He truly does prepare the way for us.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Movie Review

Yesterday I took the boys to see Despicable Me (SHHH!! Don't tell Melissa!! She's in Natchez at pottery camp.) Very cute movie. We did not see the 3-D version....It wasn't offered at the theater we went to. Of which, I'm very fine with. I'm not sure the extra charge is worth all the hype.

One interesting thing about the movies here is the size of the theater.  We go to the one downtown in a relatively new shopping area called Louisiana Boardwalk. The theater offers fourteen screens. But each theater is small! As in small!

This was the second time we went to see a show at this facility. Our first was Karate Kid (also a cute show). With Karate Kid we walked into the show about ten or fifteen minutes before the show started and the room was full. We had to sit really close - like on the fourth  row  - craning our necks the whole time. But it was Fourth of July. A busy no wonder it was full.

Yesterday it was a work day and it was still full.  And yes, we were craning our necks again on the third row. Can't imagine having to sit on the first row....would need a chiropractor after that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sunday Morning

This past Sunday we attended church with my parents at their church. This was Mom's first time since her surgery and did really well. But we did have a few interesting items.

One: After the service as I was walking out the older couple behind us stopped to tell me, "Your children are beautiful." - thank you! So, nice. Then it got a little creepy.  "You did really well with that girl of yours  - her hair is beautiful."

Yes, it is. Melissa has some beautiful true strawberry blond hair. But to have a stranger - a man - at that to tell me my daughter has great hair just seems a little creepy. Maybe I'm a little overprotective and totally paranoid about perverts, but I just didn't like it.  Melissa told me that the man and his wife talked about her hair during the service - commenting on the color and how it was shiny.

Hello, people - we're in church. Focus!

Two:  Then there was the twenty-something guy that walked down the aisle drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette in the middle of the sermon. When he got in front of the preacher he just stopped, then the preacher said, "You can sit there. Can you put that out, please?" Then the young man threw the cigarette at the preacher and turned around and walked back up the aisle.  The preacher then asked for security to help the man out.  He end up being arrested. You can read the newspaper account here.

When the man walked down the aisle I actually thought it was apart of the sermon - a planned demonstration.  The preacher was preaching from Colossians 3 -leaving behind attitudes and behaviors that are accepted in the world, but against God. I kept expecting the preacher to some how use him as an  example. But instead he had a young boy come up to help him demonstrate. At the end he explained that the young man was NOT apart of him sermon and that it did seem he had some problems and to join  in prayer for him.

This man could have easily have had a gun instead of just a cup of coffee and a cigarette.  In the last few years there have been a few gunmen shooting people in churches - it could have easily been another tragedy.  Who knows why he did what he did. Maybe he didn't like being told that God doesn't like sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. (Col 3:5) But next time I hope he just walks out the door instead.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


During the two days I spent at the new house, I went through all the boxes out of storage that were delivered last week and I came to the conclusion that most can be given away. I mean - I have lived without this stuff for three years: Do I really need it??

After all, I have yet to use those crystal decanters we received for our wedding twenty years ago, so why do I still have them?  We don't like to keep alcohol out so what's the use of putting any we have in a decanter?

There were a few things that I remember asking for and getting...but some items were still in their original boxes. Obviously, I didn't really know what to do with them after I got them.

A large part of what I unpacked were memories those. So many keepsakes....the kids' baby clothes...blankets....items they made me. Of course, those won't be thrown out.  I set them aside to go through later when our life is normal again.

Some of the best parts of the day were seeing the kids' faces light up when they saw something they remembered from our former life.  The wonder in their eyes seemed like Christmas. Some items were so precious....I'm glad I still have all those little things I bought in Japan....brings back such good memories. 

And more importantly I fell in love with my house.  It's so different than what we had in Guam - or even in Maryland. But I think it's going to be perfect for us. We will have to get rid of some of our furniture. But as Drew said he bought the house for our life-style not for the furniture we have. We're really are looking forward to being settled in and able to have family and friends over.

Speaking of friends...we met two of our neighbors.  One was a family of four - the boy same age as Ben and will attend the local public school as well. It was refreshing and reassuring to hear how much they liked the school and neighborhood.  We also met an older lady that lives a few houses down. She was living in New Orleans, but made her way to north after Katrina.

I think life will be good soon as the rest of our stuff arrives and we can actually live there...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I didn't mean not to post for so long. Life is not that busy, so I guess it means that I'm that lazy!  I have been reading a lot - I'll try to post those on the book page. I've also been taking care of the parents. Mom is doing great! This new technique they used  has done amazing things! Here it is, just over two weeks past her new knee being put in and she is off her walker - and even her cane! She walks around with no pain.  She is still working on bending her knee to the fullest extent.  We think she has about three more week do physical therapy. This time around is just so much faster than the last one!

Drew drove over late Thursday night.  Friday after mom's PT session, we drove down to the Lake. We invited the parents to come along, but Mom didn't think she was ready for a two-hour car ride - and I'm sure she and dad were ready for some no-kid time.

I so understand.

On both counts.

The Lake was wonderful as always. Drew was able to catch up with family members as well as old friends. I have come to the conclusion that I really need to pay attention to every one's names...and remember them. Now that we'll be seeing them often instead of once every few years!  

On Saturday the Lake held it's annual Flotilla and fireworks - as always - so much fun.  The best part? Not nearly as hot as it has been for the last two years.   Saturday we have to drive three hours to pick up my mini-van. And back. But it was well worth it.  We knew what kind we wanted and it took my brother-in-law (who owns a car dealership) a few days to find one, but he did - we just had to go and get it. But like I said: well worth it.

So, since we did have a second car we packed up our things on Sunday and drove to our new house. I actually got to spend two nights in my new house before the kids and I returned to Mom's.

And more importantly -spent the night in my king-size sleigh bed that's been in storage for three years. With my favorite pillow. 

Ah....home. So nice.

I'm hoping to get to go back next week when (I hope and pray!) the rest of our possessions will arrive.