Monday, December 31, 2007

Moving progress update #1

Well step one in the misadventures of moving the Cleveland clan to Georgia is complete.
Jerry, the kids, and Roo left today about 10 am for Georgia with the Trailblazer and trailer. Jerry called and left a message about 630 saying they had made it, stopped by the house dropped things off and were at Walmart picking up milk and such. I didn't get to talk to him because when I was sorting out the wires to the modem and such the phone came unplugged and I didn't realize it until it was getting late and I started worrying about them.
They got off to a late start today because when Jerry was working on the lights for the trailer yesterday afternoon he blew a fuse for the running lights of the trailer, and it was getting dark when he did it so he could not see it to fix it until this morning. Once he changed that out they were off.
The original (well about plan x or so really) plan was for them to take both of the dogs with them, and I would travel with just the birds. But Nik pointed out how squashed Tigger was going to be, if he went with them. So Tigger will travel with me and the birds. Right now he is in old dog heaven, getting spoiled by all of us left here. The first hour or so he wandered the house looking for the kids and the dogs, but once he realized that they were really gone and not about to jump out around a corner at him he has been enjoying himself I think. I am sure that he will be excited to see Roo and his Humans when we get to Georgia later in the week though.
William was a great help today getting everything sorted out some more. We worked in the garage, kitchen, and my room for about 3 hours I think sorting more, and throwing things away, can we say purge? I got rid of a bunch of my teacher stuff that I have had since college, that I haven't touched other than to move since college. I figure two trips across the ocean and three between houses (one each time here at Eglin, and once at the Heath) was enough, with me not using them. (now watch I will regret it, or I can hope at least that I get a job where I think, wow I wish I still had x,y or z that I just threw away). Then I went into the girls room and went through a lot of their clothes. I know that I told them to go through their clothes a while ago and to get rid of anything that was stained or did not fit, but I swear that I got rid of 4 big bin bags of clothes tonight, and probably could get rid of a bunch more if I had tried, or had them with me to make them try things on. Plus William helped me get the boxes that the movers packed last week when they were here into the dining room. They were in the way and driving me crazy. I couldn't see my floor in my bedroom because of the boxes, plus I couldn't get to the bathroom from one side of the room without going over the bed. Then there were boxes that they left in the hall between the living room and kitchen, and boxes in the living room. They were every where! I swear I hate military movers. I finished packing the one box that they left, just to get it out of the way. I can't wait to open the boxes when they get to Georgia, and see what got packed in what box.
The garbage men will probably hate me when they come to do the bulk pick up later this week. But that is what they get paid to do, isn't it? Plus it is for the most part in Bin Bags, or boxes so it should make it easy for them. The only thing that I know right now that needs to still go out there is the dresser/wardrobe that Baby is sitting on, and I wont have Pat or William help me get that out until the last possible minute, so that she has a place to sit, that isn't the bedroom or bathroom floor.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lying about Dad's death to win concert tickets?

Have you seen this? Girl's false essay wins Hannah Montana tickets?
GARLAND, Texas (AP) -- An essay that won a 6-year-old girl four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert began with the powerful line: "My daddy died this year in Iraq."

A false essay won a 6-year-old girl four tickets to a sold-out Hannah Montana concert.

While gripping, it wasn't true -- and now the girl may lose her tickets after her mom acknowledged to contest organizers it was all a lie.

The sponsor of the contest was Club Libby Lu, a Chicago-based store that sells clothes, accessories and games intended for young girls.

The saga began Friday with company officials surprising the girl at a Club Libby Lu at a mall in suburban Garland, northeast of Dallas. The girl won a makeover that included a blonde Hannah Montana wig, as well as the grand prize: airfare for four to Albany, New York, and four tickets to the sold-out Hannah Montana concert on January 9.

The mother had told company officials that the girl's father died April 17 in a roadside bombing in Iraq, company spokeswoman Robyn Caulfield said.

"We did the essay and that's what we did to win," Priscilla Ceballos, the mother, said in an interview with Dallas TV station KDFW. "We did whatever we could do to win."

She had identified the soldier as Sgt. Jonathon Menjivar, but the Department of Defense has no record of anyone with that name dying in Iraq. Caulfield said the mother has admitted to the deception. Video Watch a reporter confront the mother »

"We regret that the original intent of the contest, which was to make a little girl's holiday extra special, has not been realized in the way we anticipated," said Mary Drolet, the CEO of Club Libby Lu.

Drolet said the company is reviewing the matter, and is considering taking away the girl's tickets.

I am beyond livid at this!
How dare this woman LIE about loosing a loved one in this war to win her child HANNAH MONTANA TICKETS of all things? I mean for goodness sakes, yes I know my girls would LOVE to go to that concert, but I would never allow them to lie about something like that!
I feel that the "mother" in question should be charged with fraud, since she allowed her daughter to accept part of the prize before admitting that the story was false.

I did after some searching find this article

Club Libby Lu withdraws prize from girl whose essay was untrue

Associated Press - December 29, 2007 3:55 PM ET

GARLAND, Texas (AP) - A 6-year-old girl who won four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert with an essay that falsely claimed her father died in Iraq won't be going to the show after all.

The contest's sponsor, Club Libby Lu, withdrew the prize today and awarded it to another unnamed winner.

Officials with the Chicago-based chain surprised the girl yesterday at a Club Libby Lu store in a suburban Dallas mall. Club Libby Lu sells clothes, accessories and games for young girls.

But the girl's mother, Priscilla Ceballos, admitted later yesterday that the essay and the military information she provided about her daughter's father were untrue.

But I still think the "mother" needs more of a punishment than just taking away the free trip and tickets.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 year in review

What a year 2007 has been for our family!
January found me having my surgery, and then a follow up surgery 2 weeks later for an infection that resulted in having a wound vac for the next 8 weeks. I returned to work on the day I was scheduled to, only to find out that Tricare would not continue to pay for home health care to come to the house if I was back at work. So February and March I spent 3 afternoons a week driving down to the base to visit with Dr. Peterson and getting my vac changed.

February: not much happened with my recovery still on going. It was hard to get out and do much with the wound vac, and I got tired easily.

March:Kelsey and I traveled the weekend before spring break to LA to Angela's bridal shower. My brother Matt surprised her by getting a gondola and coming out to the yacht during the shower (he had been in the middle east for a few months). We had a great time meeting Angela's family and friends and getting to spend time with my parents and Angela.

Then over spring break the kids and I drove down to Orlando to Seaworld and met up with a group of moms and kiddos from a message board that I joined when I was pregnant with DJ. All of the kiddos were born in July/August 2004.

April: Natalie turned 11, Kelsey turned 14.
Kelsey traveled to Orlando with her 8th grade class for 4 days of exploring Disney World and learning the ins and outs of how the theme park works.
Late April Natalie and DJ joined the YMCA youth soccer teams, that kept us busy on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
May: Trip to California for Matt and Angela's wedding! What an exciting week it was! We spent a day at Disney with Matt and Angela, a day at the San Diego Wildlife park with my mom, Angela, Meriam, Angela's mom, aunt, uncle, and Grandpa. The Thursday we spent with my mom and dad and met up with some of my dad's cousins that are from the LA area. Jerry and my grandparents, aunt and cousin flew in on Thursday night and Matt took us all out to Hooters for a late dinner. Yes we took the grandparents out to Hooters, where Grandpa got the Hooters girls to sing to Matt for getting married. Friday was spent getting prettified and then sitting in LA traffic trying to get to the resort. Saturday was the wedding, and what a great day that was. Sunday was a BBQ at Angela's parents house, and Monday was the trip from H#ll home. The normal no lines at Orange Beach Airport were 2 hours long and we missed our flight out, then the next flight was delayed due to weather, so we missed the last flight out of Atlanta to Ft. Walton Beach. The only problem with this was that Natalie was to take off at 5 the next morning for Kennedy Space Center with her class. I rented a car and took off from Atlanta, driving the 6 hours home. We got home just in time to wash a load of laundry for her, repack her bags and take her to the school. But it was worth it, she had a great time.
Misty and Jeremy came out to visit and we met them at the Block, and then later on at the Track.
June found Jerry once again in school, he started his cross-training for the Air Force with going to school in Biloxi Mississippi.
The rest of the summer was spent entertaining the kids with trips meeting Jerry half way between here and there, or him coming home.
DJ was in t-ball and had a great time once he warmed up to it each week. I think it was harder for him than soccer was, because it was not everyone playing at once.
July: DJ turned 3, we had a party at Fudpuckers in Destin on his birthday because his request for the day was to go to the Aligator place, and the BIG fish store (Bass Pro Shops). We had a party with his buddies from T-ball after his game the next day.
August: Kelsey started 9th grade at CHS, video taping for the football teams, singing in the choir, and being a teenager. Natalie started 6th grade, joining the band, playing saxophone. And mom becoming a true soccer mom, driving them here and there and everywhere. DJ started preschool in a true preschool here in town and learning a ton.
September: found me going back to work at Lowes here in town, as well as subbing every now and then.
October: Pat, Niki, and the boys moved out to Florida.
November: Jerry finally graduated from Tech school. The girls spent Thanksgiving week in Mississippi with Jerry's mom, sister and brother.
December: Crestview Christmas parade with Lowes, going away party, and several nights on the town.

Now on to the next stage in the game. Before the new year gets under way, Jerry, the kids and the dogs will be heading up to Georgia to get settled in. The movers come back on Monday and Wednesday and then I will head up and join them.

Hopefully the new year will bring us good health, and good fortune in our new place.

Happy New Year one and all. I will probably be touch and go over the next few weeks, as the internet here will be turned on in the next day or so, and while I can use any wireless it usually is too slow to do much. The process of getting a real job in Georgia will start in earnest when I get up there as well.

Phones in church

My mom and dad sent this to me today. :)

A man in Topeka , Kansas decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco and started working east from there.

Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and making notes. He spotted a golden telephone on the vestibule wall and was intrigue in churched with a sign, which read "Calls: $10,000 a minute."

Seeking out the pastor he asked about the phone and the sign. The pastor answered that this golden phone is, in fact, a direct line to heaven and if he pays the price he can talk directly to God.

The man thanked the pastor and continued on his way. As he continued to visit churches in Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago , Milwaukee , and around the United States , he found more phones, with the same sign, and the same answer from each pastor.

Finally, he arrived in IOWA, upon entering a church, --- behold --- he saw the usual golden telephone. But THIS time, the sign read "Calls: 35 cents."

Fascinated, he asked to talk to the pastor, "Reverend,I have been in cities all across the country and in each church I have found this golden telephone and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven and that I could talk to God, but in the other churches the cost was $10,000 a minute. Your
sign reads only 35 cents a call.. Why?"

I love this part.............................

The pastor, smiling, replied, "Son, you're in IOWA now......You're in God's Country, It's a local call."

Friday, December 28, 2007

Find your candidate for the 2008 election


I was on a message board that I check out a couple of times a week and this site was posted where if you want to know which candidate "fits" your belief system the "best" . I got someone I had never heard of. Hum thats strange. But here you go.

Your Results

You planned to vote for Undecided. Based on your responses, your top candidate for 2008 is below.
Your Top Match
Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (D)
68.97% match

You are number 1,801,023 to use the Candidate Calculator.

Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (D)

Your Other Top Matches
Businessman John Cox (R) - 62.07%
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) - 62.07%
Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd (D) - 55.17%

Middle of the Pack
Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich (D) - 55.17%
Delaware Senator Joseph Biden (D) - 51.72%
New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D) - 51.72%
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) - 51.72%
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) - 51.72%
Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) - 51.72%
Texas Representative Ron Paul (R) - 51.72%
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R) - 51.72%
Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo (R) - 48.28%
Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) - 44.83%

Bottom of the Barrel
Arizona Senator John McCain (R) - 44.83%
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) - 44.83%
California Representative Duncan Hunter (R) - 37.93%
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback (R) - 34.48%

Composite Candidate -The calculator compiles the most popular responses from all voters to create a composite candidate, a candidate whose views match most with the average responses of users.

Top Candidates


* Gravel - 14.28%
* Giuliani - 11.74%
* Kucinich - 10.00%
* Romney - 9.83%
* Huckabee - 8.87%
* Biden - 7.33%
* Cox - 6.88%
* Clinton - 4.43%
* Obama - 4.10%
* Dodd - 4.09%
* Hunter - 3.89%
* Tommy Thompson - 3.16%
* Tancredo - 2.63%
* Fred Thompson - 2.41%
* Paul - 2.06%
* Richardson - 1.62%
* Edwards - 1.30%
* Brownback - 1.02%
* Mccain - 0.35%

Party Results Republican - 52.84%
Democrat - 47.15%

Thursday, December 27, 2007


As heard in our house tonight. DJ and Kelsey are sitting on the other couch across the living room from me and Kelsey took the Ritz crackers that DJ was eating.
DJ said "Hey those are MINE!"
Kelsey said "You can share."

And now it is
DJ "Swiper, no swipping! Those are my crackers!"

Goof ball

And the stress goes on

and on and on and on....
Lets put it this way, the house is not getting packed up today, and shipped tomorrow. The movers came, started and then left saying that the guy that did the survey should have told me certain things that needed to be done. Like pulling stuff off the walls, out of cupboards etc.

The only thing he told me was that everything needed a place. He even told me to leave the stuff on the walls.

So once again when dealing with the Air Force the left hand does not know what the right is doing, and once again we are paying the price for the stupidity.

So now the people from TMO or somewhere will come out with them on Monday and do another walk through, then they will pack us the rest of the way (oh by the way they did most of the master bath, part of the kitchen, part of the living room before they quit, so we have boxes everywhere), and then they will ship it on Wednesday.

Jerry is calling tomorrow to make sure that I am able to sign the paperwork when they come on Monday so that he can take the kids, and dogs up to Georgia on Sunday and get them out of the way of the madness. Plus he will take the trailer with the stuff that we are taking up ourselves, so that will be out of the way as well.

Pat and Niki are putting their dogs into kennel starting tomorrow so that they are out from under everyone's feet as well.

Oh and it was my last day at Lowes in Crestview. Which is just more stress, because I don't know what I will be doing at the new store. I put in for a full time job with the store up in S. Warner Robins, and they were supposed to call me to do an interview for it, but they never did, and of course I thought we would be leaving this weekend, so the phone is being turned off Saturday.

Needless to say that this is just all more stress that I can't seem to handle today.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Run for the innocent

I found out about this site and young man today on a friends blog. So now I am spreading the word.

Here is what the site says:
Tom Bassano is inspired by Mark Lunsford who had a daughter the same age as his own. Mark and his daughter Jessica Marie Lunsford, went through a nightmare that no one in there sane mind could ever imagine a horror story beyond a Stephen King novel. Mark picked up the pieces of his shattered life and now spends his time protecting all of the children in the world including his own. The Jessica Lunsford act (or rendition of) has been passed in 33 states as of December 2007.

Tom Bassano is truly giving it his all to raise awareness and funds for child advocacy. In February 2008, he will take the first step of the most important day of his life. He is running from California to Florida in an effort to raise awareness and support to fight, prevent, capture and aid in the post treatment of survivors of child predators. He will run 3000 miles in 90 days from coast to coast to help support organizations to keep our children safe and the building of child advocacy centers across the nation.

Tom doesn't have a lot of money or power and he is not a great speaker. However, Tom is a great runner, so with the help of Patricia Walker of the CACCC and Mark, he will do what he does best. Tom will place his foot on every square foot of ground from California to Florida, coast to coast, as he runs for the innocent

You can go to his site either through the banner on the side of my blog, or through the link in this post.

Christmas Snow!!! Ok ok so its hail and sleet

We told Bear that she brought the snow and sleet with her from England! We had rain that turned to sleet, then to hail, and now back to rain for Christmas! What a fun day it has been.

All of the pictures from the last two days are here

Icky Duck Christmas 2007

christmas 007, originally uploaded by scienceesl.

Natalie Christmas 2007

christmas 008, originally uploaded by scienceesl.

Bear's Christmas Hat

christmas 035, originally uploaded by scienceesl.

Christmas Ham

Christmas Ham, originally uploaded by scienceesl.

Our Christmas Ham! Nik and I had fun decorating the ham this morning. :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas PJs, originally uploaded by scienceesl.

Merry Christmas everyone! We got the Redneck tree up tonight after I got off of work. We have fish lights, nascar, Jeff Foxworthy, and Coke Ornaments, along with lots of tinsel, and some silver bells. Oh and the tree topper is a beer can. LOL Thats what happens when you have 10 people, 4 dogs, 3 gekos, and 2 birds all living in 1700 sq feet, with the packers coming to move 5 of the people, 2 of the dogs, and the 2 birds out on Thursday.

So to you all...
Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
Mele Kalikimaka & Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Mo'adim Lesimkha. Shanah Tova
Gleðileg Jól og Farsaelt Komandi ár!
Hyvää Joulua or Hauskaa Joulua - 0nnellista uutta vuotta

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

Now this is the best version of the song that I have heard in a while. Definately had me giggling tonight. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

one last beach trip

one last beach trip 018, originally uploaded by scienceesl.

It was a chilly trip to the beach, but we had a good time

White Christmas in Florida?

one last beach trip 031, originally uploaded by scienceesl.

Ok so its white sand, not snow, but it works

DJ playing on the slide at Okaloosa Island pier

one last beach trip 034, originally uploaded by scienceesl.

DJ's Reindeer Shirt

one last beach trip 001, originally uploaded by scienceesl.

DJ made this shirt this week at preschool, he is so proud of it!

A Northwest Florida White Christmas, AKA One last trip to the beach

Today I had the day off of work from Lowes, and from teaching, so the kids and I decided that we needed to do one last trip to the beach before we move. We do not go down there very often, I think this summer we went twice.
It rained last night, and well its December so it was cool, but we went down to the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island and we had a good time. DJ did not want to go anywhere near the water, which is different, because last time we went he wanted to play play play. But it was all good, because we couldnt stay long, Jerry and the girls had plans on going to see the new National Treasure movie at the mall.

Living in Florida, the only way we get a white Christmas is to go to the white sand beaches. :) Maybe next Christmas there will be a white Christmas where ever we celebrate it. ;)

All of the pictures from today are here and the uploaded ones to flicker are in the following posts.

After DJ and I dropped the girls off to Jerry at the movie theater, we went on base to face the "weekend before Christmas" crowds. I was amazingly suprised. Considering that tomorrow is Christmas Eve, the BX and Commissary were not busy at all. Plus I managed to make it out of there with spending less the $200 on a few last minute gifts, and groceries for Christmas dinner. So not to bad all things considered.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lessons in kindness

This time of the year, it seems that for the most part everyone around is in the proper mood to be extra kind. From giving to charities, to holding doors open, or letting the car that is pulling out of the side street on to a street with bumper to bumper traffic, most people are just a little bit more kind at this time of year.

As parents we try to instill in our children how important it is to be kind and loving to our fellow man. We do things at this time of year to remind them how to be extra kind. We give them the change to put in the bell ringers bucket, we get tags from the angel trees, we have them choose gifts for their teachers and friends, and not to automatically expect that their friends will do the same for them.

Then something happens and you wonder where that persons parents were to teach, or not teach them as the case maybe, about kindness.

Working in retail this time of the year, you see it all. The harrassed parents, the excited children, the happy grandparents, and yes the grinches of the world.

I had a couple today that just amazed me at work, and not in a good way. We (the loader and I) were busy helping a customer load his vehicle with pavers, and this other couple was in a "Its all about me" type of mood. Nothing that the loader or I said or did made this couple happy, and I am waiting to hear that they complained to the upper management about the two of us.

I reminded myself as they left that they were an older couple, and that perhaps the holidays were not a happy time for them. But I have a feeling that for this couple that is not the case.

I can not make everyone happy, no matter how much kindness I try to have.

Friday, December 21, 2007

File this under: Wow too much time on their hands

Bear got in late last night! It was great to see her, and I am sure fun will be had by all while she is here. I don't know how much I will get to see her, since I work almost every day that she is here, and Sunday when I am off they will be down in Navarre. But the plus side to the screw ups that have happened with our move is that we get to see her (oh and we have furniture). Right now she and the boys are out shopping at the Evil Empire, which is a mad house from what I could see from Lowes. At lunchtime today the left hand turn lane to turn into EE was backed up about 2/3 a mile. Yeah, I didn't come home for fear I wouldnt get through the traffic to get back to work on time.
Today I have a rotten cold, and really considered calling in sick, but I drug my miserable self into work. Only to be bitten by something on the thumb right before I went to lunch. Right when I was bit, I didn't know what happened, I actually thought I just pinched my thumb between the two pavers I was loading. When I went to lunch I noticed that my thumb was numb, and slightly red.
I never realized how much the I do with my thumb until today, because it feels weird.

And in the file of: Wow too much time on their hands,
Just now while I was out blog hopping I went to New England Mamas. There Audrey has a post about a "seasonal" display near her. Well you just have to check it out for yourself. Read/See the Post here

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays from the Cleveland Family

I sent out the following on an email today, but in case I missed anyone:

Happy Holidays!

I hope this finds all of our friends and family safe and happy this holiday season. As many of you know we are in the process of moving to Warner Robins Georgia, with the house getting packed up on December 27th and the 28th. Then the family will leave here as soon as they are done to get up to Georgia on the 29th. Jerry is in Georgia this week getting everything arranged for the kids and I to move up as soon as the house is packed up next week. He found us a house that we will move into as soon as we get there. We are excitted to get on with the next phase in our lives.

With getting ready for the move I have not found the time to think about Christmas/Holiday cards this year, let alone make them and mail them out.I hope you will all forgive me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Richbourg's Band Concert

Last night was Natalie and Woo's band concert at Richbourg.

They all did a wonderful job, and we are very proud of them both.
Unfortunately Natalie was behind stands and I could not get a good picture of her performing.





And one last one....

Its a Bird, Its a plane, Its Super Civilan Pat
super civilan pat

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bad news, Good news, Better news

Ok I startd a post this morning wanting a skillet because the movers who were supposed to come and pack us out tomorrow and Thursday had not called to do a walk through, and when I called yesterday to check on things, they would not talk to me. So Jerry had orders to call them first thing this morning and find out what was going on. But the internet went out and then I got busy trying to get the house finished for them.

Jerry called a bit ago and said I have good news and bad news, which do you want first.
I told him the bad news, because that would make the good news seem even better.

Bad news:
The idiots at Keesler dropped the ball, again. They didn't send the moving company the paperwork until YESTERDAY! :cursing: Jerry made arrangements for the movers over a month ago! So now the movers can not come until the 27th and 28th. I have to work the 27th, or else I dont get paid for Christmas. The good side is that the movers can now move everything (washer and dryer mainly) that we were going to move ourselves so that we had them for the last 10 days or so.

ready for the good news?

Jerry found us a house! It is in contracted base housing, which means we pay utilities on it and they get our housing allowance though. But we can move in the 27th/28th (yeah he arranged that before he found out about the packers), and we can get the cable and internet set up right away. I know that the school that Kelsey will be going to is not the best in the county, but if we can get back on our feet and then sell the house here this summer we can hopefully get into a better school area over the summer.

Want the better news?

The finance people and personell people up at Robins said that Keesler should have amended Jerry's orders when he got there because the regulation that screwed us to begin with (the one that said the family had to move and that they wouldnt pay for him to live there), was changed before he actually got there back to the way it was before.

Sooooooo they are going to try to get us all of the back pay that they owe us, the money for his hotel bill, money for his food for every day, seperation pay (which I don't care about).

The guy Jerry talked to today did a rough guess and it was about $8,000 that they "owe" us. Just from his time in Mississippi.

So cross all of your crossables, pray to every being that you can pray to, because if they can pull it out it would go a LONG way in helping us out.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What makes a house a home

Today on Life Lessons of a Military Wife Veteran Military Wife poses the question, What makes a house a home?
I found this a very interesting topic, considering that we are getting ready to move and leave the very first house that we have ever called our very own. The money that we are putting into this house is all for us, not someone else. I think that this in itself makes this move doubly hard on all of us.
So I thought I would take this topic on tonight to help me remember what makes a house a home, is not the physical building that you are living in.
A home is where the heart is...
I know that this is such a cliche' but with as many moves as a military family does it is so true. A home to me is where my husband and children are, they are my heart. Be it here, or back in England, or in Georgia when we get there. We can make anything possible as long as we have eachother.
To make the house a home, it has to have a ton of family pictures every where. This is what kept my girls knowing what their extended family consisted of during our 8 years in the UK. Plus it reminds me on a daily basis of the fun that we have had living in the places that we have lived in. I have a wall dedicated to our family, a wall dedicated to our time in England, and I have pictures of all of our extended "family" (former students, friends etc) all over the house.
To make a house a home, having special momentos every where. We have paperweights from my grandmother's collection, and some of her furniture. These things remind me of all of the good times, and make me feel closer to her.

Stress of moving

The stress of the move is getting to me, and I am not holding up to it very well today I am afraid. I have spent part of the day in tears, and the other part wanting to curl up in a corner and go to sleep.
First of all Jerry went up to Georgia yesterday to get checked in today. The past 6 months have not been kind to us finacially, between paying for Jerry's hotel room in Biloxi out of pocket, and my not having a teaching job this fall. We are quite frankly broke, heck we are beyond broke at this point. Which means he went north in the Prius on about a hundred bucks, and has to come home on that as well, and I had about the same to work with this week.

We are behind on every bill except the cars, the mortgage, and the insurance, and that is because those are all on automatic allotment with the military. Jerry went in and met with his first sargent as soon as he could today and told him everything that has happened to us, and where we are at money wise, because we are on the verge of him getting in trouble with the Air Force, even though they caused the problem. The way they look at it is that we should have been more prepared for the issue, and we were to an extent, but not to the 6 month extent. The first shirt was very nice and understanding, and is trying to help us as much as he can with helping Jerry find a house, and all that he can do on that end.

I went today and filled out the paperwork to be taken off the sub roles for the district, which seems funny to say since I haven't subbed in over a month. Admittedly that is because I have been working 30+ hour weeks at Lowes, with most of those hours during the week, but that was a definate. I could have changed my availablity to being available at night but that would mean giving up teaching online, which again isnt a promised number of hours a week.

I also went today and filled out the paperwork for the girls last days to be Thursday. At both schools I was told how much they were going to be missed, and what great kids they are, which we already knew, but it was nice to hear. (Of course this weekend I was willing to give Kelsey away, because she was having a teenage moment over the move).

When I was at the high school I was given some advice by one of the administrators. He said that I need to go up to Georgia and get on the sub list, then work every day that they call me for, and days that I am not working go in and volunteer at the girl's schools. He said that is the best way to get myself known at the schools, and that he knows I am a hard worker, because I proved it the days I subbed there, so I just need to prove it to the admins in Georgia. Which I know already, but I needed to hear it again to remind me that if I want to stay teaching I have to do something to make sure that I get offered a job for next fall. In order to do that I have to get my face and name known, and working full time at Lowes, or online is not going to accomplish that. Jerry's first shirt also told Jerry that he didn't think I would have a problem getting a job for the fall if I get out there and sub as soon as I can up there.

The only problem with this logic is that it isn't promised money coming in. Which means falling even further behind. So I am not sure that we can do it, especially since we will still have the mortgage here, and rent there, plus if I am working days we will have to pay for preschool/daycare for DJ. Which is why I went back to work at Lowes, because I had to have something to pay for preschool. Its a never ending battle.

Christmas this year is going to be small, which is fine with the move and really the kids don't need a big Christmas, but most definately makes me feel like a grinch or scrooge. I went to the Dollar Tree today and was able to get some small things for the kids to fill in the "gaps", there are still big holes, but at least they will be ok with what there is there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A night out at McGuires

Last night a friend of mine from work had her birthday party down at McGuires Irish Pub in Destin. When Jerry, Niki and I got there most of the group was already there and F (the birthday girl) was already feeling pretty darn happy. She was drinking these things called an Irish Wake, which reminded me of good ole Green Eyed Monsters from the Galaxy Club days of way back when. But there is a reason why you are only allowed to have 2 of them sold to you at McGuires.
No seriously we had a great time, and I have the pictures to prove it. I am going to be kind to F and not share the pictures of the party with the world. If you happen to be one of the group that was out with us and you want to see them, send me a note and I will send you the link to all of the pictures.
But here are a couple of pictures to share:
Irish Boxty's
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Jerry's wings
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Corned Beef and Cabbage
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The money on the Celing
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Friday, December 14, 2007

Crestview High School Choir Concert

Last night was Kelsey's Christmas concert for the choir at the high school. Kelsey's chorus instructor really takes things to the "next" level. And by "next" I do not really mean "better" level. Each of his 5 choirs had 4 songs to sing, plus then they all had 2 songs at the end of the night. We are talking a high school choir concert that was an hour and fourty five minutes long. On a school night, where when the kids were tired today, he was probably the first one to chastise them for not getting enough sleep (he has done it on Tuesdays after a light night practice the night before).

There are several of the girls that are in 3 of the choirs, I am sure by the end of the night they were sore. 2 of the choirs dance to each of the songs, which would be cute, if he could get them to be at least a little in sync, but they were all over the place tonight (the first concert this fall when they were in street clothes was much better.)

Don't get me wrong I am all for the fine arts, I was active in Chorus, Band and Handbells in high school, and Handbells through college and beyond for a while. I have encouraged both of the girls to get involved in band, choir, drama, ballroom dancing, whatever their heart desires that we have the time and money for them to be involved in.

But for all of the practicing after school hours that is done for these choirs, I did not personally see the results of the hours that these kids put in. It was a major letdown in my eyes. The first 2 songs of each group, were definately their strongest, the last two of each group could have been left out and the concert would have been wonderful.

Then you add in that I had a preschooler in attendance with me. DJ insisted on going with me, and I know, I know that I should have realized how long the concert was going to be, and left him at home with Jerry and Natalie (but I was hoping that they would follow us up there). Then again who was I to think that the concert would last that long? None of the concerts I was in, in high school, ever lasted that long, heck for that matter none of the concerts I was in, in college, lasted that long if it was a proper concert and not a Madrigical dinner (those lasted 3 or 4 hours depending on the year).

I was smart though and when I paid ($7) for DJ and my tickets (yes I was charged for my three year old that sat on my lap), I asked for the last row of seats so that if/when DJ got restless I could take him out with little fuss. All the time hoping that since I paid to attend the concert that he would sit and listen.
DJ did great for the first two groups singing. He listened and danced in our seats. Then the men's choir went up, and well it all went down hill from there. He wanted to sit with Kelsey who was sitting behind and to the left of us, which was fine, because he was still quiet when going between the two rows (I was on an end and so was she). However once Kelsey's choir went up, he wanted to follow her.
Then he would not sit in our seats and watch.
Needless to say we went out to the lobby of the auditorium and listened to the rest of the concert through the doors, watching through the crack in between the two doors.
For any of you that were there, we were not the culprits of the banging doors, except once between groups when I was trying to see if DJ would go back in and watch the rest of the concert. The culprits of the banging doors, were also responsible for trying to go out the side doors that were locked, and hitting it when they could not get it to open. So no blaming it on the preschool child.
Ok now for a couple of pictures
DJ just being DJ
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Woman's choir
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Can you see Kelsey?
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There she is
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Democratic debate/Oprah/Obama

Darn, I forgot to DVR it... Guess I can't watch it and decide who not to vote for. Of course right now I can't seem to find any proof that there was a debate today on the internet, so maybe my source (yesterdays debate) was heard wrong. Eh whatever.

I find it interesting that on today there is an article about Oprah's "fans" being upset with her for stumping for Obama. Especially comments like:
Oprah's Web site is why some of those fans seem to be upset: the way she stumped for Obama, they say, seemed to pit white against black.
Huh? How do they figure? I know pleanty of whites that say they like Barack Obama a lot more than they like Hillary Clinton, and will vote for him over her any day.

Even Jerry said last night that he didn't think it was right that someone with Oprah's "power" stumping for one of the candidates.

I look at it differently. I figure celebs have been stumping for candidates since the begining of time, so why should Oprah and Obama be any different?

I mean Bill stumps for Hillary (ok ok so they are married, but he was a President.)

Curt Schilling stumped for McCain last week.

And this is a list found on

HILLARY CLINTON: Alec Baldwin, Jon Bongiovi (aka Jon Bon Jovi), Danny Devito, Berry Gordy, John Grisham, Tom Hanks, Hugh Hefner, Marg Helgenberger, Quincy Jones, Calvin Klein, Bette Midler, Paul Newman, Jerry Springer, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Barbra Streisand.

Simon, Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand.

JOHN EDWARDS: Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand, Russell Simmons, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon.

BARACK OBAMA: Jodie Foster, Zach Braff, Jennifer Aniston, Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, Judy Blume, George Clooney, Jamie Foxx, Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding, Berry Gordy, Hugh Hefner, Magic Johnson, Will Smith, Bette Midler, Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand, Susan Sarandon.

BILL RICHARDSON: Judy Blume, Jodie Foster, Bette Midler, Paul Newman, Susan
Sarandon, Michael Douglas.
RUDY GIULIANI: Donald Trump, Melissa Gilbert, Jeff Gordon, Kelsey Grammar.



NOTE: None listed for Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Joe Biden, Mike Gravel, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Tom Tancredo.

I am sure in the past 2000 years that other celebs have thrown their weight around in the political ring as well. I am just to tired tonight to look them up. ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Republican debate today

Ok let me just start this off with a disclaimer. I am not normally someone that puts my political thoughts out there for the world to read. I tend to stay away from conversations on politics because well I tend to have strong feelings on the matter because of my life, and the way that these people have an effect on my life, moreso than they do on say the computer programers wife, or a spouse of someone that works for a big corporation. And the things that affect those people while they still affect me, do so in a different way, and I "see" some of the things that are happening in the political world in a way of how is this going to hurt my family with Jerry being in the military. So I ask you to take anything I say today on here with a grain of salt, and maybe a grain of laughing gas as well.

End of disclaimer...

There is a reason why I do not watch political debates. Quite frankly they tend to tick me off.

They tend to not ask the questions that I "care" about, you know education and military and if they do ask a question that I care about, the moderator does not give them time to answer. And with this debate in particular they didn't give the canidates time to react to each other, or for the audidence time to ask questions based on the answers that the candidates gave to the question.

Now I am the first one to say that this was the first debate that I have watched in this election cycle, and will probably be the last one I watch. Heck I don't remember the last time I watched even part of a presidental debate, but it has to have been one when Clinton (the first Clinton) was running, and that was probably because of a requirement for a poli-sci class. The only reason I watched this one was that Pat had it on, and seemed to be interested in it so I didn't request to turn the channel.

There are a couple of candidates in both parties that I "like" for their different views on things. But for me there is not one "perfect" candidate, in either party (hence why I am registered Independent, totally independent, can't vote in a primary independent). But I have to say the debate today changed my mind on a couple of the candidates and not necessarily in a good way.

For example... I have always liked Fred Thompson, not sure if it was because of the Law and Order tie in, or if it was for some of the things that I have heard him say on the different tv interviews since he "came out" in terms of running for president. But today he ticked me off...

In the debate the question about the state of education in America came up and
I am getting the following off of Fred's website:

"2:51: Next question: What’s the biggest impediment to education?

Fred declares the National Education Association is the biggest obstacle. The teachers union is stopping parents from getting more and better choices to educate their kids.

Let me remind you Mike Huckabee has been endorsed by the New Hampshire NEA.

Tancredo scolded Huckabee for trying to dictate what local schools should teach. Huckabee responded by talking about a bully pulpit.

Romney decides to tag along with Fred and also blame the NEA. "

Ok a statement like the above by Fred, is just begging for a rebuttal questions from the teacher in me. I want him to explain what the heck he means by that, and why Mr. Mitt agrees with him. I don't see the NEA as an evil entity (of course that might be because I am a member), I don't see the NEA as the problem with the education system. I see NCLB as a problem with the education system, good idea in theory but with too many fingers stirring the big pot.

Then do people not realize that Govenor Huckabee, and Mayor Rudy, are NO LONGER in office? I mean do we really need to call them Govenor and Mayor 10 years after the fact? I didn't notice the moderator calling Fred Thompson, Senator Thompson (she did call John McCain, Senator McCain, but he is still the Senator in Arizona). I know its a personal pet peeve, and I just need to deal with it.

Former Ambassador Keyes was skipped on a couple of questions, and it kept ticking him off. Which was rather funny to watch. But then I realized why she was skipping him. He kept turning every question around to being about abortion, and religion, even those distinctly not about those two topics. Plus I don't think there was a single question when he was given 30 seconds or what ever the time limit was, that he didnt go over.

And WOW Senator McCain, buddy life has not been easy on you in the last 14 years or so, since I met you. I didn't realize it until today how old looking he had gotten. I know he is the oldest candidate (or I think he is) running. Today it hit me how old, old is. But I gotta give the guy props, he still is a dynamic speaker and a pretty neat guy to listen to. He came and did a guest lecture in one of my Poli-sci classes at Arizona State back in the early 90's, and it is a toss up who I enjoyed listening to more, him or Sheriff Joe.

I would vote for McCain, if I could, just because I met him, and quite frankly he was the least annoying of the guys on the stage today.

Now I am tempted to DVR the debate tomorrow of the Democrats, just so I can compare the two. Which seems just to me. But what the heck...

Now you know...

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand ..

And "lollipop" is the longest word typed with your right hand. (Bet you tried this out mentally, didn't you?)

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt". ? (Are you doubting this?)

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet. (Now, you KNOW you're going to try this out for accuracy, right?)

The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes). (Yep, I knew you were going to "do" this one.)

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous. (You're not doubting this, are you?)

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious." (Yes, admit it, you are going to say, a e i o u)
TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard. (All you typists are going to test this out)

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. (Some days that's about what my memory span is.)

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for three years. (I know some people that could do this too.!)

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
(I know some people like that also)

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

The cruise liner, QE 2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket. (Good thing he did that.)

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Now you know more than you did before!!

"So here's a health to the company
and one to my lass
let us drink and be merry
all out of one glass
let us drink and be merry all grief to refrain
for we may and might never all meet here again"