Monthly Archives: July 2008

It’s official.

We’ll be leaving on August 10th for Japan.  That gives us about two and a half weeks left here with our family before we’ll be gone for three years.

Because of the time difference and the looooong flight, we’ll leave here early Sunday morning and not get there until Monday evening.  I’m a little bummed about the leaving on Sunday morning part but it wasn’t my choice, so… 

I am really excited that we finally know!  It is so much easier to get prepared, physically and mentally, when you know what is going on.  And I think I’m ready.  It’s been over a year since we found out we were moving to Japan, so I better be ready, right?

Where are we now?

I don’t really have much to blog about these days since we are still on a break from school and haven’t really gotten any new information about when we might be leaving – although hopefully that will be happening today.  But I don’t want to get out of the habit of blogging, so here is a little bit of an update for you. 

Madison and I are staying at my mom’s house for the next week or so while Matt finishes up his training in Oklahoma.  He’ll be done with class on Friday and hopefully be done outprocessing by Tuesday.  After that, we’ll be spending about another week with his parents before heading to Japan.  It’s getting so close now!  I’m really excited, but it’s just now starting to sink in that in a few weeks, we won’t be in America anymore.  We won’t be able to see our families.  We won’t be here for Christmas.  That’s hard.

I’ve got 9 suitcases here at my mom’s – 2 bags to check for each of us and 1 carry-on for each of us.  Plus we can take the carseat in addition to that, so we are going to be loaded down. The sad thing is, I’m not sure that everything we have here is going to fit in those bags.  When they packed our house in Oklahoma City, I was still under the impression that Madison and I would be staying in the states for a while, so I kept way too many clothes and things out of our shipment. 

I’ve also been buying things to put in Madison’s carry-on to keep her occupied on the 13 hour flight to Japan.  I have quite a few things already, but if any of you have ideas, please let me know!  She rarely sleeps in the car and has never slept on an airplane, so I am not very optimistic about this situation.  At least Matt will be with me, so maybe we can take turns sleeping 🙂

Well, I am off to feed my starving daughter lunch and then try to pack some more!  I’ll update again as soon as we have news about the tickets – and hopefully that will be today!!

New Family Pictures

The last time we had family pictures taken, Madison was 18 months old. Yikes. That means it has been three years since we go any done (professionally). Since we are getting ready to leave the states for another three years, I thought it would be nice to get some family pictures taken before we go to leave with our family.

So, a couple weeks ago, we had our pictures taken and I am thrilled with the way they turned out. They were taken by Photos By Erin – Erin is a friend of ours who also took the pictures at my brother’s wedding and did a fantastic job – and if you are in the Wichita, KS area, I really REALLY recommend her. She did a great job on our pictures and just really worked with me and what I wanted 🙂

Don’t worry, if you’re related to me, you’ll be getting some of these soon 🙂 We definitely ordered enough for all of the family.

To see the rest of our family pictures, visit our Family Photoset on Flickr 🙂

Update on my reading list

Well, we’re about halfway through the year now, so I thought I would post an update about how I’m doing on my 888 reading challenge.  A few weeks ago, I changed my list a little – I wanted to add a few more books to it…  So instead of the standard 8 categories, I have 15.  I have finished three of them completely, and I am only a few books away in a few other categories.

Not surprisingly, I have pretty much finished the “easy” categories and have barely made a dent in the more difficult ones.  There is a big section of me that just wants to drop “the classics” and read some more fun books, but that would defeat the purpose of my list, since my goal was 1) to read more quality books and 2) to read two books a week.

Total, I have read 74 of the 120 books on my list, which is almost three books a week (yeah!).  I guess I’ll pick some of those more challenging books to take on my 13 hour flight to Japan – maybe I’ll actually finish The Blithedale Romance, which I have been working on, on and off, since, well, January.  Now here’s hoping Madison will sleep and let me read 🙂

So far, my favorites and the ones I would definitely recommend are:  The Love Comes Softly Series, by Janette Oke.  I am actually not really impressed with the writing, but the story is so good, I kept reading them.  Originally only the first three were on my list for this year, but I had to add them all because I needed to know what happened!

I read a book by Elizabeth Berg last fall, Dream When You’re Feeling Blue, and I loved it.  That is what prompted me to give her her own category on my list, but I have to admit, I am pretty disappointed.  She is a fantastic writer, but so many of her books are about death and dealing with grief, reading 8 of these books was really hard.

I have also read a lot of biographies and enjoyed them as well – Eat, Pray Love, by Gilbert, How Starbucks Saved my Life, Gates, and The Year of Magical Thinking, by Didion.

Others that I really liked:  The Pilot’s Wife, by Shreve, and The Choice, by Sparks.  The Pilot’s Wife was a really shocking book, but I did like it.

When I actually started writing out this list, I realized I liked most of what I’ve been reading.  Except the Blithedale Romance.  I don’t really recommend that one.

Good news!

Well, it looks like I have been completely stressing out over nothing for the last few months.  Which is normal for me, so okay.  We got a letter way back in April, I think, saying that concurrent travel was no longer authorized because of rennovations to the temporary lodging there.  That means that Madison and I would not be able to travel with Matt over to Japan – we’d have to wait here in the states until he found a house and then travel over by ourselves.  Needless to say, I was not looking forward to that 13+ hour plane ride as a single parent! 

Well, I looked into it to see if I would find any loopholes, and I thought I did, so I had Matt email someone over at Kadena and see if maybe we could come.  And guess what!  It doesn’t matter, because starting in August, they will be automatically authorizing concurrent travel again!  So we get to travel with Matt and I am so excited.  I will say part of me was looking forward to the couple extra weeks with my family,  but I so didn’t want to travel alone, and I want to help pick out our house and our new cars, and be there before school and all the social activities start – you know, OSC, PWOC, Girl Scouts, etc…

The funniest part of this whole thing to me is that we were supposed to leave in April when the letter came out, and Matt’s training has been delayed so long that the summer PCS season is almost over and that little letter that I was stressing out about so much doesn’t even matter anymore.

A bit of everything

Were you worried about me? It’s been more than two weeks since I posted something new on this blog!  I’m reverting to my old habits… We have had some crazy weeks around here, but hopefully I’ll do a better job of updating from here on out.

Where to start?  I have so much news.  Let’s see… I think we are taking an unscheduled summer vacation from homeschooling.  Two weeks ago, Matt’s little sister came to visit us for a week, and we skipped school.  Last week, my little sister and her best friend came to visit for a week, so we skipped school, and this week Madison is staying with her grandma and grandpa in Kansas, so we are skipping school.   This was not part of my plan, but I think it will be nice to have the break.  And since I am alone all week, I am hoping to get some planning done for starting school in the fall, and I am going to try to figure out how to customize my blog in WordPress.  So far, it is not feeling user friendly.

Yesterday, the movers came to pack out our apartment and today we officially moved out.  This might sound like great news, but I have really mixed emotions.  We thought Matt would be done with training this week, but it turns out his training was delayed again and we are going to be here for about another three weeks.  Of course, by the time we found out, we had already given our notice and scheduled the pack out date, so we were kind of stuck.  But, no big deal, I figured we’d staying in a TLF on base (basically a miniature house with dishes and everything) until we moved.  No such luck.  When we went to check in, they sent us off base to a regular hotel.  So for the next three weeks we are living in a hotel room.  We did have a little good luck last night – there was a leak in the room below us, so they upgraded us to a suite for our entire stay so maintenance could get in there.  The suite does have a bigger bathroom and a couch, so that is a plus, but it’s still just a mini fridge and microwave, so…  There’s also a pool and a complimentary breakfast, so I am thankful for those small blessings right now.  And I’m also wondering where I should do my laundry?  I so don’t want to go to a laundromat. 

And here is the most exciting news we’ve had in the last few weeks:  We’re going to have a new baby in our family!  After trying for nearly a year, we are so excited!  The next few months will be interesting as we move from here in Oklahoma to Kansas to Japan and I deal with different doctors, but it really did come at a great time.  Of course, after trying for so long, anytime is a great time, right?