29. November 2010 · Comments Off on School Supply Shopping · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Today I learned one of the impacts of a mid-school-year move.

This afternoon I ventured out for the school supplies the boys need for their new school.  Their first day is tomorrow.

Dave brought home the school supply list last month after he registered the boys for their new school.  Whoa!  Not only was the list much longer, and had many “collective classroom” items, but it was also extremely specific.  “Crayola crayons”, “Fiskars scissors”, “Mead composition notebook”, “4 plain plastic folders with 3 prongs and pockets”, etc.

Fortunately, the Super Walmart right up the street from their new school has everything on the list neatly arranged in a single aisle, right down to the brand names.  It wasn’t hard to find at all.

This whole thing got me thinking: I was seriously spoiled in Nebraska!  My boys’ school supplies list in Bellevue was short and consisted of the basics: crayons, glue, scissors, pencils and a pencil box.  Bellevue Public Schools provided a LOT of the supplies for the entire class…especially the collective items, like tissues and hand sanitizer.  Homeowners in Bellevue will tell you that they’re definitely footing the bill, though 🙂

I’m sure for many of you reading this (such as my sister in central North Carolina), you’re used to it.  I also understand that my boys won’t be denied an education if I chose NOT to provide these items.  However, the thought of the teacher having to provide many of these items out of pocket for every student who is unable to provide everything gives me the chills.

And I certainly wasn’t ready at all to buy everything at full price!  A consequence of starting my boys in a new school mid-year.  I know what many of these items will cost during the August Back-to-School sales and I’m pretty certain in the future these school lists will cost us about 1/3-1/2 as much.

Timmy’s school supplies.  Note the FIVE boxes of crayons in the front.  And the ream of card stock.  Definitely unusual items.
From 2010 11 28 New School Supplies
Jacob’s school supplies.  His list was just as long, but his items apparently were smaller.  There’s a purple box under the markers filled with pencils, erasers, glue and scissors.
From 2010 11 28 New School Supplies

Everything is bagged up and ready to haul into school tomorrow morning!

28. November 2010 · Comments Off on Hi Honey, We’re HOME!!!! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

We made it! We had a nice uneventful trip, with about 22 hours worth of driving spread over 4 days, 1200 miles, and 10 different states!

This afternoon we went straight over to the house to empty out the trailer into the new house’s garage, although we aren’t officially moving in until Wednesday.

More pictures will come a little later, for now we’re in a sea of address changes, insurance changes, school supply purchases, and utility installations.  Today we went over to Pensacola and chose a new living room set and boy is it different from what we have had for the past 15 years!  Ironic how we opted for the red couch after we left Nebraska, huh?

Timmy’s happy to be back in Moe’s country, that’s for sure!  We stopped there tonight for dinner after our furniture shopping.  The one in Bellevue had closed just 6 months after we had moved there, so poor Timmy had been in a two-year-long Moe’s drought!  Relief, finally!

25. November 2010 · Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

This fellow “Major Mom” is currently spending Thanksgiving at Camp Eggars, Afghanistan. She got to see her family via webcam thanks to the Today Show.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

24. November 2010 · Comments Off on Moving 101 — Keeping it Fun for the Kids! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010

I saw these at Target while I was shopping for gift cards for the boys’ teachers. CUTE! It’s a small Lego set that you get when you put money on the gift card! So I put $5 each on two of these and just now gave them to the boys when we got to our hotel tonight. It took them no time to assemble them.

From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
23. November 2010 · Comments Off on Weigh Too Much Stuff! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

When you drive some of your belongings during a military move, you can file to have the government reimburse you at 95% of what the government would have had to pay a shipping company.
To do this, you have to weigh your vehicles before and after loading. Here’s our completely loaded Pilot with trailer (the trailer was weighed separately) at a scale at our local nursery this afternoon. Trees, Shrubs and More on the corner of 36th and Cornhusker, for our local readers. We probably have about 2000 lbs of stuff we’re hand carrying.

23. November 2010 · Comments Off on In the Home Stretch · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

I’m stealing this picture from Dave and his latest blog entry. Tonight we loaded up a U-Haul trailer with his model train layout. By leaving the legs up on the two parts of the layout, we have a plethora of space underneath that I found no problem filling with a couple dozen bankers boxes with assorted papers, liquids, and cleaning supplies.

It’s going to be VERY cold tonight, so I have held off on loading my violin or my worm bin, both of which won’t do well for too long when it’s <50F.

Tomorrow we will do the final packing while the boys are at school.  Dave checks out of the base, I will turn in the cable box and turn off the cable/Internet and then we’ll get the kids from school and hit the road.

This is our first serious cold-season move, so we’re working with very limited daylight right now.  I don’t want to do tag-team driving in the dark, so we’re trying to give ourselves enough time to get down to Overland Park, KS before dark (about 3 hours).

My next post will be from on the road!

From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
22. November 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

So here I am, sitting in an empty house.  It took about 3 1/2 days, and it filled 2/3 of a 53′ trailer!  But it’s done, and we now are living with a minimum of stuff in our house.

Folks have been asking “Why aren’t you in the Transient Lodging (on base hotel, more or less)?” or “Why aren’t you staying with friends?”

Several reasons.  First of all, we enjoy our space.  We held on to sleeping bags, cots, air mattresses and camping chairs and are doing pretty well.  We kept our small TV, our Wii system, and laptop computers.  We still have our WiFi going (and will until 6 hours before we leave!), so I can still come to you from our empty house.

Secondly, we know Howie does much much better when the family is with him.  We could have kenneled him, but he doesn’t sleep well at the kennel, and he tends to not eat.  Better for Howie, for sure.

Finally, unless it was filled up, we’d have had to use Offutt AFB’s lodging, which we used on our way into this assignment in July 2008. They’re gracious enough to have a pet-friendly lodging room that we were able to get, but it was very small and very old. The 4 of us, plus Howie, weren’t too comfortable, so we decided to save the government some money and stay in the house until we vacate it on Tuesday.

So here we are in the house. I’m down to just odds and ends…we have all utilities set to turn off later this week in our current house, and our Florida house will have utilities coming on early next week.

Enjoy some pictures from our packing up…and our life in an empty house:

I ran an errand to Kohl’s to use some Kohl’s cash that would expire while we were on the road.  I came home and saw this ENORMOUS truck parked in front of the house.  I was tickled by the map of Florida painted on!
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
Those who were packing our boxes did a nice job stacking them neatly so we could still maneuver around.
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
The dining room.
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
The furniture pads helped protect the larger items while crammed into the truck.
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
This is the fridge getting loaded up onto the truck.
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
The packers were kind enough to leave two chairs for us until the very end.  That computer table wasn’t coming with us, we’re leaving it for the next tenants.
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
The fridge coming down the stairs out of the kitchen.
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
As one of Dave’s Facebook friends pointed it, seeing our stuff get loaded was like watching a game of “Tetris”.  That’s our fridge, washer and dryer across the bottom there.
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
Howie’s old hat at this — this will be his 4th move in 10 years!
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
This is from this morning.  My boys have a “Breakfast with Spongebob” tradition on the weekends.  Today was no exception.
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
16. November 2010 · Comments Off on Packing Progress · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

The movers are here — they’re packing up.  It’s a slow start, since it took some time to bring in all the packing materials.  One of the guys had just rolled in this morning from a delivery to Arkansas — so he’s nursing the cans of Rock Star while he packs.  So far they seem to be thorough.

I think the head packer is nervous about getting this done in time for the truck on Friday.  There are two guys here today, he’s asking for two more tomorrow.

The Do Not Pack room has been obviously marked.  But they aren’t on the top floor of the house quite yet.

From 2010 11 11 PCS2010

As for the Do Not Pack signs I had the boys cut out for me, you can see them in practice here:

From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
From 2010 11 11 PCS2010
15. November 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Okay, for me personally, it’s a day late and a dollar short…since we’re leaving in a week.

I’m a huge Trader Joe’s fan!  I can’t say exactly when I first went there.  I know it was about 10 years ago and it was either the one in Commack, NY with my in-laws, or else in Falls Church, VA with one of my childhood friends, Naomi.

If you aren’t in the know, then you deserve a little background.  Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain, with most of their locations on the east and west coasts.  They are unique in that they market their own brands of many foods, many of which are very unusual.

Such as pad thai kits, curry sauces, and pasta.  Beer, wine and organic milk.  They’ll carry other brands too, but again, mostly on the unusual side.  It’s so much fun to shop there.  The prices are very reasonable, and you know you’re getting good food with minimal processing.  Their fruit and nut section is so much fun.  Their coffees are fair trade, many of them are organically grown.

About 6 months after we moved to Apex, NC, a Trader Joe’s opened up right up the road from our house.  I was so excited to make TJ’s our family’s local grocery store.  It was awesome!

Then we moved to Omaha, and were once again without TJ’s (although being near a commissary again helped).  I saw a page on Facebook called “Bring Trader Joe’s to Omaha” where several folks were trying to work with the company on bringing the store to the midwest.  I guess TJ’s need to put a distribution hub somewhere near here first.  Because of that page, I knew this past winter that TJ’s had taken a lease on a property in Western Omaha and on November 12th they had their grand opening.

A store in West Des Moines, IA had opened a week prior, and in 2 weeks a store will open in Lincoln, NE.

So here I am on November 13th, happy about there being a Trader Joe’s nearby.

From 2010 11 13 Trader Joe’s Omaha Grand Opening

And this is what greeted us when we walked in:

From 2010 11 13 Trader Joe’s Omaha Grand Opening

Yeah, it was crowded! Fortunately, we knew EXACTLY what we needed: coffee, pasta, nuts and wine. Large volumes of each.  We really enjoy the Charles Shaw wine and picked up TWO CASES of the stuff!  Plus Jacob’s favorite veggie ruffle pasta, an assortment of nuts for cooking and baking, and several large containers of their coffee.

So I have my fix, which will carry me for several months as I make my way back into a Trader Joe’s drought.

Back to packing!

14. November 2010 · Comments Off on Goodbye KNEBELLE12! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Whether you knew of it as the APRS station DW3809 or as Wunderground Station KNEBELLE12, this afternoon we disassembled the weather station and will set it up in a couple weeks in Navarre, FL.  I’m in the process of deleting our Wunderground tags from this blog and our Vollmer Family homepage.

I hope you enjoyed this window to our world, especially in the winter when we could show off how much snow we got here.

Not sure what kind of webcam view we’ll have from our new house, we’ll see!