I’ve discovered a couple things about our new Colorado Springs house that we would never have found out when we were house shopping in May.

1.) When the winds are >20kt, there is whistling all over the place. It wasn’t windy when we were house shopping.

2.) Our south-facing windows flood sunlight into family room and kitchen. This wasn’t an issue in the summer when the sun is higher in the sky, but now the sun doesn’t leave the southern sky at all during the day. As much as I love a sunny house, it’s tough to watch TV in the afternoons. Lots of glare. And I understand this will pay dividends when it’s really cold outside, but the sun will warm these rooms.

3.) The house came with a Bosch dishwasher. We needed a repairman recently for it and I had to call 3 repair companies before I could get someone who would work on a Bosch. I didn’t realize they were so complicated.

Being that this is our eighth home since we got married (10 if you count the two other places I lived when we were at Fort Polk), we’ve resigned ourselves to accepting some of the “glitches” we get when we only have a couple days to pick out a residence. Often you can’t know everything with such a short time, when you’re juggling upwards of a dozen houses in one weekend.

Enjoy some anecdotes of things we’d discovered after the fact in our assorted houses. More »

26. September 2013 · Comments Off on A New Job! In the Local Area!!! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,
I learned this in middle school.

I learned this in middle school. Didn’t you?

About two years ago I had written this soul-baring post about going back to school for a secondary math/science teacher certification. I’ve done no such thing. But last week I was hired to become a math instructor!

I had been in communication with the US Air Force Academy math department since about January. I took a plunge and “auditioned” for an IMA position (individual reserve augmentee, the type of position I currently have in Nebraska). I was given a Calculus 1 lesson to prepare and present to a panel of faculty members who pretended to be cadets of assorted skills. I had the underprepared cadet…and the over-prepared cadet who kept jumping ahead.

After the audition lesson, I was tickled to learn that day that I was hired!

Like my other reserve positions, this one is also part time. Unlike my other reserve positions, here I’m expected to pool together my duty days into one clump: summer session. I will be expected to teach either Calculus 1, Calculus 2, or basic statistics.

I’m thrilled to once again be working in the local area. That hasn’t happened since 2009. While the STRATCOM gig was fun and all, the travel resulted in 10-12 additional days away from my family, not to mention the added expense for airfare, lodging, gas, and rental cars.

I have one more trip to Nebraska to sign out of my old unit in mid-October, then I get to figure out taking my next physical fitness test here, at 7200 feet!!!

This week I’ll be getting back to writing about some of our adventures: the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum, and my 40th birthday weekend!

11. September 2013 · Comments Off on Colorado Discoveries 11: Air Force Academy Falcons Football · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,
Air Force football is an experience like no other. From singing the Air Force song to the Wings of Blue jumping onto the field, it's probably one of the more inexpensive NCAA football experiences.

Air Force football is an experience like no other. From singing the Air Force song to the Wings of Blue jumping onto the field, it’s one of the more inexpensive NCAA football experiences.

We couldn’t help ourselves. The family got season tickets for Air Force Academy football. It was hard not to. We were interested in just one or two of the games this season, but when we saw the prices for single game tickets vs. season tickets, it was more cost effective to just get the season tickets. Especially when those season tickets include games against Notre Dame and Army.

Dave took the boys to their first USAFA game over Labor Day weekend while I was in Nebraska, but this past Saturday I had my own first experience.

More »

The boys and I are getting really excited about the mountain life!

The boys and I are getting really excited about the mountain life! This is a view of Pike’s Peak from the Garden fo the Gods, courtesy of Wikipedia.

I’m back from Nebraska, the trip was pretty good. Uneventful…I feel relatively caught up on my Air Force Reserve life now. I’m looking forward to investigating some full-time AF work opportunities while I’m living in Colorado Springs. I learned through the grapevine that there’s quite a bit to do, I can’t wait to learn more and toss my name in the hat for the occasional odd job. 🙂

While I was in Nebraska, I had the time to really start investigating the layout of the community and how the schools are. Jacob will be going to middle school (yikes!) while we’re living there, so it’s time to take things up a notch and really get smart on this stuff.

We’re getting excited about it!

For now I don’t have that much to do — we haven’t even decided if Dave is going to try to fly out earlier to find us a house. We figured we could take a couple weeks right when we get there and take our time looking…we simply don’t know.  And for now, we aren’t stressing about it. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of stress to go around in about 8 weeks.

Have you ever lived in Colorado Springs? What advice can you give to our family? I’ve never set foot in the area, Dave had spent 4 days there in early 2010.

08. January 2013 · Comments Off on Because I Can! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,
No, I don't mind chewing my orange juice one bit!

No, I don’t mind chewing my orange juice one bit!

Of course I miss my family when I do my reserve duty, and I have to deal with flying in the month of January, but there are a few perks to being on my own for a week.

Such as getting to buy and drink “HIGH PULP” orange juice!

And working through a box of Raisin Nut Bran cereal for breakfast every day I’m here.

I eat sushi for dinner without commentary from the peanut galley.

I can stay up as late as I like to read my book…when I’m not studying for my first Air War College exam, I’m working on World War Z by Tom Brooks right now. Yes, a zombie book, but there’s another layer to it that makes it a very worthwhile read: do YOU have the skills to survive for a generation or longer without electricity, fuel for your vehicles, or the Internet?

For the first few days I truly enjoy the quiet when I’m off duty. I don’t talk much, I get to surf the web without feeling guilty, the TV is on the channel I want. But after about 4 days of this, I do begin to get lonely. I begin to surf online albums of the boys’ baby pictures and pictures of Dave and me enjoying life.

Of course, I’ll take this over a long deployment…and kudos to those who are separated for much, much longer than this.

Here we go again! This big orange truck (as Jacob called it) was from July 2008.

That’s just move #8 since Dave joined the Air Force.

This had been a long time coming; we’ve been waiting almost 6 months to tell our other-than-family-and-closest-friends our big news!

This past summer Dave was invited to apply for a professor position at the US Air Force Academy. He got the job, but had to keep quiet until all the assignment-world ducks were in a row. He’s going to teach physics and meteorology! Today he found out his report date, and we can start the ball rolling on our next move…


…in a mere five months!

That seems pretty quick, doesn’t it? For some reason, this is such old hat to Dave and me, that I am calm…for now.

I wrote a post 5 months before our North Carolina-to-Nebraska PCS discussing the types of things that went through my mind at the T-150 day point.

That’s about where I am now: plan to work through my pantry, mentally inventory things that we want to sell before our move (i.e. a riding lawn mower, outdoor furniture), and start researching the boys’ school options.

I’ve written quite a bit about the other two PCSs we’ve had since I started this blog, in 2008 and 2010. I put some of those posts on a Pinterest board, if you’d like to learn more.

You can also view any moving-related posts here, but that could get lengthy.

We’re thrilled about Colorado Springs, the hiking, the shopping, the skiing, the camping, the opportunities to explore the American west! We have friends stationed out there, too, who we can’t wait to see after so many years.

Stay tuned for the inevitable rants and raves about our PCS preparations.  For now, we are basking in the excitement still.

18. October 2012 · Comments Off on Preparing for a Two Week Tour… · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,

Photo of Moody AFB Commissary’s single long line. This week’s commissary trip brought back memories of our “big shopping” trips we would take to Langley AFB’s commissary as a kid. Photo: Air Force News.

You might or might not remember my post from when we first moved to Florida in 2010. When we have to move from one military assignment to another, we often will relinquish some of our pantry goods and cleaning wares.  Such as vinegar, soy sauce, household cleaners, Lysol sprays, and any perishables in the fridge and freezer. Friends are usually happy to take that stuff off our hands. We’ve come to expect that type of trading around when living in a military community.

This weekend we’re going camping. Right after the camping trip, I’m hopping on a flight back to Nebraska for my two-week Air Force Reserve tour. Why do I do this to myself?  I don’t know…

I try to help Dave plan meals before I leave on these trips, and in this case, I offered to stock up on as much food as I could for the kids’ quick-and-easy favorites: tacos, spaghetti, pizza (with a Boboli crust), turkey burgers, etc. On Tuesday I went to the NAS Pensacola commissary to stock up on groceries for this weekend’s camping, plus I attempted to buy 2 weeks of groceries for my boys while I’m gone.  I had another appointment in Pensacola this week, which is why I didn’t go to Hurlburt’s commissary this time.

I usually go grocery shopping weekly. I have a pretty good rudimentary meal planning system down pat and no one here starves. One shopping cart typically fits the bill, and everything fits in my pantry and fridge when I get it home. I don’t have a large pantry, nor do I have substantial freezer space. So once a week works well.

My boys eat a lot more than they used to. This started over the summer…we always had one son eating a ton with a growth spurt, and the other one playing picky eater. They now both eat…eat…eat…eat…

Two+ weeks worth of lunch stuff, dinner ideas, cereal, bread, eggs, milk, orange juice and meats added up in a hurry. I don’t think I’ve ever had to pay more than $300 for a batch of groceries other than that first time grocery shopping at a new location. For the first time on Tuesday, I did.

It brought back memories of the “big shopping” trips my parents would take approximately once a month when I was growing up. When we were living in Norfolk, our whole family would load into the car and drive to the commissary at Langley AFB and I have memories of using two shopping carts while my parents would stock up on meats, frozen foods and pantry goods for the month. I have memories of the LONG lines* if we were shopping on the Saturday after a military payday…the single line would extend back through the frozen food aisles to the dairy…and maybe even to the meat area at the back of the store if everyone was taking their post-payday, pre-holiday shopping trip.

*A little military lifestyle lesson here: Unlike most grocery stores, checkout areas at military commissaries will establish a SINGLE line, and whoever is at the head of the line will take the next available open register. Bigger commissaries have these funny machines — centrally located near the head of the queue — that announce “Next, Please” with the register number lit up. This blog post explains the single line, as well as many other nuances of the military commissary. Most civilians will see such queueing techniques mainly on Black Friday at stores like Old Navy and Best Buy (although Best Buy does it all the time now, if memory serves).

The monthly shopping thing? It’s a sensible way to shop if you plan properly. Which I don’t. My family simply can’t plan that well…

It’s also a sensible way to shop if you have the space to keep all that stuff. Which I also don’t. This house is spacious enough for us, but not in pantry space.

This turned into a problem when I got home on Tuesday. I didn’t have space for everything…my fridges and freezers (I have two refrigerator/freezers, one in the kitchen and one out in the garage) are packed full, and so is the pantry. I ended up having to pre-load the bags with the camping non-perishables to free up space.

To conclude, the big shopping trips don’t seem as convenient in our current state of storage. Perhaps one day we’ll have a bigger pantry, bigger fridge or a deep freezer with which we can long-term store more goods. But not in this house.