Archive - August 2009

1
Oh Hail
2
Quite Grand
3
Brushes With Fame
4
Going Crazy
5
I Remember…
6
I’d Rather Be Blogging
7
Monday Musings

Oh Hail

We started school three weeks ago.  I knew we’d be feeling sad that our house guests had left and Philip was gone, too.  Our Nomad friends had to be moving on to their own brand, new home.  I don’t blame them and even though their visit was a short one, it was a great one!  Unfortunately, their leaving coincided with Philip’s return for Washington, DC.  In a great feat of government efficiency, his employer wanted him to return for an all expense paid (by the taxpayers) trip to undergo a polygraph and psychological evaluation.  Even though he is going to be working the exact same  job that he’s held for the last 4 years, it was important to determine whether or not he is the type of person that would sell our nation’s secrets and then lie about it.  We’re assuming he passed.

So anyhoo, left alone for the first time in a new city, I thought it best to dive into school.  The children were predictably excited to be starting American history with Sonlight’s Core 3.  Their new school books had been waiting for them for about 3 weeks, just taunting them.

Our first day back took forever.  We’ve never taken the summer off  before and I was astounded at how much math knowledge was lost and how much hand holding was needed.  However, Boo and Pumpkin Girl were very supportive and assured me that in a few days, it would all come back to me.

After a late afternoon nap with Bip, I herded everyone in the car to go register Pumpkin for ballet.  It took longer than I’d anticipated because I missed my turn and had to backtrack, and it was rush hour.  Actually, rush hour had nothing to do with it because rush hour traffic here is like normal DC traffic.  In fact, I didn’t even realize it was “rush hour” until after we’d finished with the dance studio and someone piped up that they were hungry.

So we headed off to the McDonald’s near our house 1)because kids can never get enough of McD’s, 2)Bip had been trying to get a beany baby Grimace in his happy meal since we moved here and 3) they have a play area.  Sadly, they were out of beany babies, but we ate there anyway.

After we ate, I let the children play.  I heard a crack of thunder and wondered if I’d remembered to close the upstairs windows at home.  It wasn’t worth worrying about or dragging the children home for, so I turned my attention back to watching people go through the drive through.  Then it started to rain.  Actually, it started to pour.  And you know what – this particular McDonald’s has a skylight-type roof over the play yard and the rain was really loud.  And it got louder and then I noticed the hail bouncing off ground outside.  Just pea size hail, no big deal.  Hail storms don’t really last that long, right?

Right.

All hell broke loose and the hail kept coming and grew bigger and bigger.  At some point the noise in the play yard was deafening, so I gathered up the children and took them into the restaurant, which had a normal, quieter roof.  There we watched the hail pound the parking lot and cover both it and the cars with ice.  It was really quite impressive, except for the fact that our car was out there, getting pounded by hail that was now the size of peach pits.

After the storm passed, the  children kept playing while we waited for the ice to melt.  I wasn’t too anxious to see what sort of damage was done to the car.  I skipped my usual iced vanilla latte out of guilt for going out for fast food and getting the car all dinged up.  Turns out, it wasn’t that bad.  A couple of spots may or may not be hail damage, but nothing to get fixed right away.  We’ll probably wait until the car looks more like a golf ball before heading to a body shop.

Upon our return home, we found our upstairs windows open and hail on the (brand new) roof, in the grass and on the back deck.  We wiped up the water on the window sills and went out to play in the ice.  We took some pictures for the blog.

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Quite Grand

Our piano has arrived.  A week later than expected, but it’s here.  When asked about the delay, the mover said “it was bigger than we’d expected, so it took longer than we expected.”

I’m wondering if maybe they had strapped it to their backs and hiked over the Rockies with it.  No matter, it is here now.

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We were actually pretty impressed by the movers.  They got this 900+ pound piano off the truck, up two porch steps and into the house in just a couple of minutes. As they stood there catching their breath, one guy said, “There’s no air up here!” I can’t imagine the effort  needed to move a piano at 6,500 feet above sea level!

cimg4914They reassembled the legs and pedals and  moved it into position, then one guy lifted it while the other slipped the cups under the wheels.

Pumpkin Girl and I are thrilled to have it.  It looks great in our house and it sounds beautiful, even though it probably needs to be tuned.  I have to say that I love this piano!  My mom has been saving it for me, waiting for us to stop moving around.  And now we have and here it is!  I’m having fun playing it again and I’m working on getting a couple of my more impressive pieces back up to speed.  And now I’ve got to find a piano teacher for Pumpkin.

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Brushes With Fame

I think I’ve mentioned that I was high school friends with Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket.

And another high school friend ended up being pretty darn famous, too.

Now it turns out that I once went to the movies with one of this season’s “Dancing With the Stars” contestants. Oh yes, little ol’ me went on a date with Chuck “the Iceman” Liddell.

I haven’t seen him since high school, but back then he wasn’t exactly dancing material. He was a wrestler and football player and I won a lot of money off of him during the 49ers Super Bowl winning season of 1986-87.

I’ve never watched “Dancing With the Stars”, but I think I’ll be tuning in this season. I think hot chocolate in my 49ers mug will be in order.

(yes, all 3 guys knew each other.  I think the four of us were in the same honors English class as sophomores.)

Going Crazy

When I was in grade school, we learned a Christmas song that I absolutely loved. Sadly, time and distance has stolen most of the lyrics out of my memory and I can only remember snippets of it. I tried Google, but alas, the words were so common that none of the search results were even close. So I’m asking for help – I learned this song in Catholic school in the late 70’s or early 80’s and part of it went like this:

“…shepherds were tending,
tending their woolly sheep all the night long.

Out from the dark sky angels came singing,
angels from heaven and sang us their song:

Jesus is born!
Jesus is born!”

Trying to remember the whole song is driving me crazy! If you know the title or the rest of the lyrics, PLEASE let me know!!

I Remember…

Four years ago today, I had lunch, took a nap and ate half a bag of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Philip came home from a softball game and asked me what I’d been doing.  I told him about the peanut butter cups and he said, “uh oh” because he knows that they are my preferred method to bring on labor.

At 6:00 PM my water broke.  A little after 7:00 PM, Bip was born.  We’ve been laughing ever since.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Happy Birthday, little Bip.  You are truly our joy in the morning.

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I’d Rather Be Blogging

I would much rather be blogging than unpacking.  At first, unpacking is fun – it’s like Christmas, opening boxes, unwrapping paper and discovering the treasures inside.  Then a few days into it and you can’t find the brackets to hang the towel rack and you can’t figure out why the down comforter was packed in with shoes and stuff from the shed.  Weeks later and while the boxes are decreasing, the house is a big mess.  Ah, the joys of moving.

The realities of civilian life are starting to creep up on us.  Already, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are booked and we haven’t even signed anyone up for scouts yet.  I’m a little worried about trying to get the children where they need to be each day and I’m hoping I’m not going to have scheduling conflicts.  Living on base, we were 3 -5 minutes away from the soccer field, chapel and scout meeting facilities.  Ballet was farther away, but we had a carpool set up. It all worked out very nicely and we didn’t need to venture far from our safe little world.

But we are enjoying it here in Colorado.  We’ve already had friends visit and the wildlife we’ve spied in our neighborhood alone now includes a bobcat.  It was jaywalking across the street, just minding its own busines, then jumped the fence into a neighbor’s backyard.

I have pictures to share of our recent adventures, I just have to get them uploaded and resized.  I also have to tell you about how a recent trip to Mc Donald’s almost resulted in needing body work done on the car…

Monday Musings

Don’t you hate it when you gather up enough energy and motivation to make dinner, just to find out you’re missing one ingredient?

Almost every day, between 2:30 and 5:30 PM, it rains.  Sometimes just a little, but usually it’s a pretty good downpour.

The deer around here are pretty funny.  The mamas like to walk together in pairs, with their little ones.  Just like human mamas.  We saw 2 young bucks out together on a Saturday evening.  They had small antlers that were still fuzzy.  They were probably off to some stag party.

We have a bunny that lives in our backyard.  I wanted to name it Benjamin Bunny, but Pumpkin Girl thinks its a girl, so we’re calling it Cottontail.

With all the wildlife around, yes there are predators.  I’m not too worried, though, because hunting is not allowed within the city limits.

I’ve heard coyotes barking on three different nights.  I’m hoping that in a few years they will be a deterrent to any of our children thinking to break curfew or sneak out of the house.

We’ve been unpacking for 2 weeks now and I’m pretty bored.  The boxes marked “DVDs” had books and at least one box marked “Books” was all DVDs. We can’t find our down comforter.  The Mexican terra-cotta sun that we bought in Nogales when we were newlyweds was packed flat at the bottom of a box marked “fragile.”  It arrived in pieces.

I ordered a new hammock, this time one that will fit 2 adults.  When I went to price them, it turned out that the frame alone was worth twice what we paid for the whole thing.  So we didn’t lose out at all.

School starts here in August.  I’m tempted to get my late sleeping self up early and go to the bus stop that’s across the street from our house and meet some of the neighborhood moms and kids.  I’ll probably end up just chuckling to myself as I hear the bus go by as I’m still in bed.

Ok, enough rambling, there are still boxes to unpack.

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