22. March 2012 · Comments Off on Spring Break Road Trip 2012, Part 3: Visiting Old Friends, Meeting New Friends!!! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,

One of the things I’m guilty of is trying to balance visiting friends with every trip we take back to the Northeast.  You know who you are!  There are many of you I haven’t been able to see in YEARS because we’re trying to see other friends.

Now that I’m a GeekMom, there are a dozen+ ladies I want to meet on my travels.  I can’t wait to meet more of you!  I’ll be in the D.C. area (again) and Long Island by the end of the year….

On this trip, we got to meet up with old friends from Nebraska, North Carolina, and we got to meet up with new GeekMom/GeekDad friends.

While we were in WV, we drove out to Centreville, VA and met some friends for dinner.

Poor Timmy was sick so he stayed at my parents while the rest of us met the Folzes near Washington,  D.C.  We were neighbors in Nebraska and you might remember these boys from Cub Scout pictures and from our trip to the Ashfall Fossil Beds in summer 2010.  The kids picked up right where they left off — and we grown-ups had a great time catching up.  Dave had so many questions for Nick about his Pentagon commute.

We met up with Don, Maryann, Joey and Johnny at a BBQ restaurant in Durham.  We are so grateful that they made the drive — on a school night! — out to see us!

Maryann looked FANTASTIC!!!  I felt so underdressed next to her 🙂
Maryann took this nice picture of all four boys actually sitting still!

The following day, I headed over to Southpoint Mall in Durham to pick up a long-awaited iPhone 4S (whoo hoo!) and we had a chance to meet up with our friends the Warlicks for lunch in the food court.

Strike a pose!

I had taken about 50 pictures of the boys playing at this fountain with my new phone. But then I had some syncing problems when I first plugged it in…I lost those pictures.  But Wendy sent me everything she had on her camera, thanks!

I was so excited to finally get to meet a fellow GeekMom author in person! We had an invitation to visit one of the GeekMom editors, Natania Barron and her husband, GeekDad writer Michael Harrison. For Natania, Michael and me, it was like old friends seeing each other after a long while, since we talk so much via Facebook, Twitter and our GeekMom discussion boards. But for Dave, he was getting to meet them and talk to them for the first time. We had a fun time enjoying Greek food for dinner — Natania made it all! — and the kids enjoyed a game of Zombie Dice with Michael.

21. November 2008 · Comments Off on Snow…the Lack of It! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

So…now that Dave and I have left the Raleigh, NC area, they’re getting snow! Again!

Meanwhile, we’re still high and dry here in Omaha…but hey, it got down to 10 F this morning!

Those who are closer friends with the Vollmers have heard the stories of the freak weather we bring to every location we’ve lived in since we got married in August 1995. For those who don’t know, here’s the summary:

1.) Ft. Polk, Leesville, and DeRidder, LA. Ice storm, January 1997.

This was pretty daunting. Louisiana flora and fauna didn’t take to this very well, neither did the 101st Airborne soldiers who were in the field doing training during this ice storm. I remember sliding sideways in my car down the hill towards the base weather station.

2.) Seoul, S. Korea. Monsoon flooding, August 1998. (<– See 5th paragraph of this link) We had a Korean citizen working in our weather unit. Mr. Ko. He told us that folklore said that every 11 years, the annual Korea Monsoon is worse than usual. And every 11th of those 11 years, it’s even worse. And 1998 was predicted to be that 121st year. All of us Americans who’d heard this were like, “Yeah, right, whatever…” Well, the folklore was right. It was the worst flooding in everyone’s memory, bridges that bisected Seoul were flooded out, the military was on the verge of deploying thousands of people into the fields for a major exercise and those plans were disrupted. The building Dave and I lived in flooded on the ground floor, and our Saturn flooded a little, too. But we didn’t have it nearly as badly as some of those stationed closer to the DMZ, whose quonset huts filled to the brim! 3.) Beavercreek (Dayton), OH. Xenia Tornado Redux, September 20, 2000.

Most weather weenies know the story of the April 3, 1974 F5 tornado that plowed through Xenia, Ohio. They still debate to this day whether that was the strongest tornado ever measured.

The September 2000 tornado originated very close to our house, and moved AWAY from our house, following a very similar path to the 1974 one. I had asked for a bicycle for my birthday (which was the day after the tornado). We lived near a nice bike trail network, and Xenia was closed to non-resident motor vehicle traffic for about a week. But Dave and I were able to ride our new bikes all over the town and see the damages up close and personal. It was very eerie to see where the tornado had crossed our local bike trail…

4.) Melbourne, FL. Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne, August-October 2004.

By this point in our lives, Dave and I knew that strange weather happens when we live somewhere and I feel it contributed to our decision to NOT to buy a house on the barrier islands. Yes, it’s very superstitious, but I’m grateful every day of the wise choice we made when we bought our first house in Florida 5 miles INLAND.

We moved to Florida in spring 2002. As the hurricane seasons of 2002 and 2003 wound down, we started looking at just how long it had been since a hurricane hit the Florida east coast south of Jacksonbille and north of where Hurricane Andrew had hit in 1992. Nearly 100 years, if I remember correctly! As every year since Andrew had passed, Florida was holding its breath for the next “biggie”.

Those storms absolutely decimated houses all over East Central Florida, but our home was spared, except for damaged screens and a blown air conditioner fuse.

5.) Apex (Raleigh), NC. The Apex Chlorine Fire (not really weather), October 2006 and NC’s Worst Drought in over 100 Years, Summer 2007.

We heard the initial explosions from the chlorine storage containers at about 10:30pm, and we saw the glow in the sky from our front porch. It was a pleasant evening, I remember, so we had opened up all the windows in our house, which made it easier to hear the explosions and the emergency vehicles…one after another.

We wasted no time packing the boys, the dog and some provisions and then made haste to Dave’s NC State office near downtown Raleigh. After that, we took a breath, and made follow on arrangements in a hotel in North Raleigh. It was warm the night we evacuated, so the boys were in short pajamas, and I remember having to buy warmer PJs at Walmart for the following night…one of the season’s first cold fronts had passed.

I forfeited part of our reimbursement from the evacuation expenses because I refuse to sign a gag order. I had a 4-year-old and an 18-month old! Who knows if something will come along later that might be related to this?

As for the drought, I’m glad it’s now over. All it took was Dave and me moving out of the area…I’m glad we could help.

6.) Bellevue (Omaha), NE. ??????????? I’m wondering if we’ve shut down the snow here…

13. August 2008 · Comments Off on Hi Southern Girl! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

I’m excited that another one of my friends has made the jump to the dark side. Southern Girl is one of the Original Playgroup* Mom friends from when I first moved to North Carolina in July 2005.

She’s your classic North Carolina-born-and-bred lady, and her storytelling is all the proof you need that’s she’s a Southern Belle through and through.

I’ll definitely miss her from way out here in Nebraska, and it’s made my day that she now has a blog.

*History lesson: I call it the “Original Playgroup”. When I first moved into our NC neighborhood, the first thing I did when we were over the unpacking stresses was take our boys to the neighborhood pool. This was about a week after our furniture was delivered. Within an hour I meet Dawn and her two sons who were the same ages as my two sons. Within another hour the boys and I are invited to join Dawn and several other neighborhood Moms of 2-3 year olds in a once-per-week playgroup. Through this playgroup I also met Wendy, Southern Girl, Julie and Carrie. We’ve watched our kids grow up together since summer 2005 and I’m glad for e-mail and blogging to keep up from across the country.

23. July 2008 · Comments Off on Auf Wiedersehen · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

I’m packing up the contents of our hotel room in Cary, and the computer will be towards the end of the things to pack up, after all, it sits at the top of the pile of crap in our van, so we have to get the books, toys, house closing paperwork, uniforms, oh, and did I mention toys?

We’re leaving at noon, after picking the boys up from Vacation Bible School.

You’ll next hear from us from West Virginia, and this evening I’m hoping to upload the many photographs we took of 5-nights-in-a-row of goodbye dinners with friends.

As my sister recently taught me: (((HUG)))

We’ll miss you!

22. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,


Dave and I finally had a chance to work out the final routing…follow the pale blue line heading north, then west out of central NC.

We are stopping in Martinsburg, WV, Wright-Patterson AFB (near Dayton, OH), Scott AFB (near St. Louis), before ending our journey at Offutt AFB (near Omaha, NE). We leave this Wednesday and will take a week before we’re in Omaha on July 30th. But it’s really only 4 days of driving. We’re visiting friends and family during the week…

We moved out of our Apex, NC house and into a local suite hotel on Sunday, and this morning signed the closing papers. So we’re officially “homeless”. We’re also officially no longer homeowners and for once we don’t mind one bit!

Many thanks to the Warlicks, Goldmans, Bucklers, Hongs, Babas and Currivans for their wonderful hospitality and comraderie over the past several days. Thanks also to Susan Hagel for making the drive down to Apex this past weekend even though our house was EMPTY! Thanks to the Switzers up the street for letting us use their air mattresses and taking our kitchenette set off our hands. Thanks to the Waterford Woods Bunco Ladies for the restaurant gift cards and for letting me win Bunco for the first time last Thursday night!

The boys have certainly enjoyed their playdates, and Dave and I have enjoyed getting to spend our last days here with our friends and neighbors.

(Did that just sound like we’re on Death Row or something? Sorry!)

Don’t fret! We have our new house in Bellevue, NE ready for us to go into on August 1st, and Dave already arranged for the “Big Orange Truck” to come by on the 4th to deliver the goods.

Today Dave turned in his office keys and submitted his forwarding address to his department at NCSU and he’s officially finished there…last Friday he signed out of the Air Force base that manages his paperwork (technically, he was stationed at NC State, but there are no base services there). This morning Dave and I took some time to browse options for framing his diploma when he receives it in August.

We have some assorted errands to run before we head out, settling some paperwork at our church, getting one last haircut from my hairdresser, Lanie, all the while keeping the boys occupied with VBS and one last trip to the pool with their friends.

13. July 2008 · 6 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

08. July 2008 · Comments Off on It’s For Real Now · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Dave is really, truly, completely DONE!

Mission Accomplished!

I couldn’t be more proud — it’s an amazing accomplishment! I love you!

06. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

But after a weekend like this one, it’ll be hard to plunge back into move-preparations! The packers are coming in 24 hours! We had a wonderful time with friends who we’ll miss when we move.

From 2008 07 04 Li…

Linville Falls with the Warlicks: Chuck, Wendy and Daniel.

From 2008 07 04 Li…

My new favorite picture of my boys.

From 2008 07 04 Li…

Linville “upper” Falls.

From 2008 07 04 Li…
From 2008 07 05 Ho…
From 2008 07 05 Di…

Discovery Place.

From 2008 07 05 Di…

In celebration of July 4th, the “Einstein’s Corner” did a science lecture for the kids about the “fire triangle” (fuel, oxygen, heat) and how to make explosions. Here’s the fireball from igniting a balloon filled with hydrogen. 🙂

From 2008 07 05 Di…

The Kapla blocks. I could not peel Dave away from this…Jake’s participating in a building contest here, whoever made the tallest structure in 10 minutes won a prize. Jake didn’t win.

From 2008 07 05 Di…

After the contest, Timmy continued his structure all by himself — the one on the left. The one on the right is mine.

From 2008 07 05 Di…
From 2008 07 05 Di…
04. July 2008 · Comments Off on Linville Falls · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,
04. July 2008 · Comments Off on Greetings from Linville Falls · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,