31. July 2008 · 8 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Greetings from Bellevue, NE!!!
We made it here today at about 4:30pm and made it to the property manager’s office just before they closed for the day to get our rental house key. It turned out the empty house needs a LOT of cleaning and TLC before we get our furnishings on Monday, so I’ll be busy the next few days shampooing carpets, Magic-Erasering all of the crayon, scuffs and fingerprints from the walls and figuring out a way to deal with the spiders in the basement — there were filament-y webs EVERYWHERE in the basement.
In between the cleaning, I have to squeeze in the things to do to get Jake ready for school starting in 12 days: filling out forms, scheduling his physical and eye exam, and going school shopping. All of those tasks have been on hold during the move.
The neighbors have been very nice — since we pulled into the driveway at the end of a duty day, all the folks were coming home from work and walking right over to us to introduce ourselves as we were unloading the vehicles. That was nice. Tons of kids abound, and of all the kids I saw, so far I’ve only seen one girl.
Dave’s distant cousin Max (he’s a sailor stationed here) gave us a call tonight, too, to welcome us to the area. He offered to come over after his duty day on Monday and help us unpack boxes. That was also very nice.
We’re quite exhausted from the 450 mile drive today, about 200 of the miles in the rain. Rain driving SUCKS! Dave’s officially reporting in tomorrow morning to the Air Force Weather Agency at 0730 (Central time, so it’s as if it’s 0830 Eastern, right?).

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


We are staying with friends in Belleville, IL, which is near St. Louis. Thought I’d bring you up to speed on some of the highlights of our trip since we left Martinsburg on Sunday.

We drove from Martinsburg, WV to Dayton, OH on Sunday, and it was an absolutely stunning drive! You hop onto I-70 near Hagerstown and then continue onto I-68 west which takes you along Maryland’s east-west axis, through Cumberland. You enter West Virginia again near Morgantown. Here’s a pic of our driving through Sideling Hill, this neat-looking man-made rock cut.

We spent Sunday night at Wright-Patterson AFB, near Dayton, OH. Dave and I were stationed there in 2000-2002. We let some friends know we’d be in the area and they wasted no time organizing a small BBQ dinner for us, and invited some mutual friends who had recently moved back to Wright-Patt this past year. The last time we had seen each other, only the Randalls had kids, the Sitlers and Vollmers were still doing the DINK-thing!

Jake and Timmy got to meet Rachel and Thor Sitler, and enjoyed playing in their backyard and eating BBQ chicken after a 7 hour drive from Martinsburg.

Monday morning, we hit the road from Wright-Patt for Scott AFB, IL, which is about 20miles east of St. Louis. Unfortunately, the stunning scenery had converted into most rural fields of corn and soybeans starting on I-70 in Columbus, but Jake and I found a fun diversion in searching out the NASCAR trucks transporting the race cars from the Brickyard race at Indianapolis to their next race destination at Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 500 this weekend. I saw many of these trucks (imagine “Mack” from the movie Cars) going in the opposite direction from us on I-70, but Jake was only able to see one of two of them. I was lucky enough to get a picture of Casey Mear’s vehicle’s truck in Indianapolis.

Again, we have friends stationed here, so we (again) let folks know that we’d be in the area and we received an invitation from Bill and Alisen Courtemanche to stay at their house and spend some time visiting. We also visited with Hugh and Rachel Freestrom who also are stationed at Scott. Lots of kids to meet, including two brand-new babies, and again Jake and Timmy were thrust into a “Here, meet so-and-so and go play!”. Kids can be so flexible sometimes!

Today we took a trip to the Whittle Shortline RR store in western St. Louis. I did some birthday shopping for Jake and for Johnny Goldman (shhh!) and the boys spent well over an hour enjoying the super-cool train table. It was hard to have to tell the boys they couldn’t buy everything they saw…

After the Whittle Short Line, we took a short trip to Bill and Alisen’s neighborhood pool, which had a cute beach-like kids’ area…

Tomorrow we’ll be headed out by 8am, continuing our northwestward trek. We go through St. Louis, continue westward to Kansas City, make a right and go north towards Iowa. We’ll cross into Nebraska just below Omaha, in the town of Bellevue…

…and hopefully that’s the last long drive we’ll be doing for a LONG while! We’re very glad to be wrapping up this journey — it’s been fun, and we’re so grateful to all the families who served us dinners, took us out for fun times and let us crash at their houses — but frankly, we’re exhausted and my clothes are starting to get tight from the good meals folks are giving us coupled with a significant lack of exercise.

27. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,
25. July 2008 · Comments Off on Now THIS is what I call a pool! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

The buckets randomly fill and then spill. The water is ONE foot deep

This is the community pool in downtown Martinsburg.

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

Yes, this is the view from my parents’ back deck!!!

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

18. July 2008 · 6 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

Has this ever happened to you?
You’re driving down the highway enjoying your tunes…in this case, “Dancing Queen” by Abba. I’m singing along at the top of my lungs…it’s one of my favorite songs, after all!
You’re in the left lane on the highway and you look at the car in the right lane next to you, and the lady in the car next to you is singing along, too!
I was listening to 93.9, Kiss FM at the time. I guess the lady in the Mercedes next to me was, too 🙂
It brought a smile to my face!
16. July 2008 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

The washers and dryers here are ENORMOUS!!!
A week’s worth of laundry for a family of 4 all fit into ONE washer!
I’ve divided the clothes among 3 dryers to save a little time.