Friday, June 26, 2009


I love having company. And we have a full house right now! YAY!

Mimi and Poppy got here last Saturday for their first visit to the new new house. I was hoping to have it more unpacked, but you know. . . And frankly, Mimi is only watching the kiddos anyway, she wouldn't notice a marching band coming through.

THEN on Wednesday May and my cousin Nikki arrived. We LOVE when Nikki comes to visit. She is my 16 year old cousin who lives in Hawaii, and Jessa thinks they are the same age!! They are really cute together, and Nikki is SO patient with her little cousins who think she hung the moon.

We were sad because our dear friends Roy and Peggy were unable to come. They were also supposed to arrive on Wednesday, but they had a family emergency. They did ask for a rain check, and we granted it without hesitation.

Anyway, there is not too much time for blogging, but I will have many funny stories to share when they are headed back home.

Until then, think of us all together, eating and laughing - 'cause that is what we are doing.
David, Mimi, Dana, Poppy, Spencer, May, Bay, Jessa, Nikki

Monday, June 22, 2009

Why I am not unpacked.

I can simplify this whole post and my problem in two words:

They are so over this thing. We have our beds set up, our clothes unpacked, the bathrooms are pretty much set, the kitchen is unpacked. The TVs and computers work. They are happy. They think I should be happy. Who cares that there are still random boxes everywhere. They think it is time for the playground or the zoo. They are over the "boring" unpacking process. And let's face it, we have all been in the various stages and packing and unpacking for almost a year now. . .

If I am working away organizing a room, there is a constant barrage of needs, wants, desires. I want a cookie. I need to go to the bathroom. I desire your undivided attention. If these do not work, they resort to mortal combat. Surely, if they are about to hurt each other, I will have to focus on them, right? Yep. They own me!

There are games to be played, and I hate to always tell them "not right now." So I stop and, I play. From Spencer's new Thomas game

to made up games like "beauty parlor with tools"
Spence may be playing beauty parlor, but at least it is with manly tools!
Polishing nails this way is less messy. . .
Sorry, David. We fixed them back, I promise.
or tea party
and even taking the time to check out a new playground

or ride the carousel during a quick errand.

See?? I am not unreasonable, just VERY anxious to be finished!

So last week, I needed to pick up some things and so we spent a whole day OUT. Some errands were not fun for them, but we spent lots of time in a toy store that had dollhouses and train tables to play with. And they were not surrounded by boxes. They played. They had fun. I even let them BOTH pick out TWO new things! Fun times, right?

Then I took them both to their favorite place, Chuck E. Cheese!
We ate pizza, we played games, we had fun.
I love these cups that make them look like Chuck E!
So I thought, now, I have given them almost an entire day.
Surely now they will be more willing to entertain themselves while I actually accomplish something.
As we were walking in the door from our big, fun day, Jessa was already asking if I would take them to a playground.

I give up!
Is it OK to throw a blanket or table cloth over boxes instead of unpacking them?
Then we could just hit the zoo.
I would make sure the tablecloth matched the room decor, I promise.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

I am a daddy's girl! Someone commented to me the other day that they thought it was cute that I still call my father "Daddy." That's Southern, right? All I know is that he is my Daddy! And Lucas has always complained that he does more for me than he ever did for him because I always ask him in my best whiny Daddy voice. That is crazy, though, Daddy definitely does not play favorites (at least I do not think so. . .). Whatever the case, I am a Daddy's girl and proud of it!

And now I am loving watching my Daddy be an awesome Bay to Jessa and Spencer. If I have Daddy wrapped around my finger, Jessa has him around her whole arm!
What a good BAY!

And then there is David, the father of my babies. I am so happy that he is their Daddy! He is a great father to them, and they love him very much. Of course, with all his traveling, they sometimes want me. BUT when the chips are down, they love hanging out with their silly Daddy. I think that it has something to do with the fact that he is about as grown up as they are! Toot jokes crack him up just as much as they crack up Jessa and Spencer. . .

I am also lucky enough this father's day to have not only My Daddy, and the Daddy of my Babies, but my Poppy ALL here with me! How cool is that?! Poppy is an extra special grandfather, too. He is the only one David and I have left. . . AND he is an expert at fixing things and tools, so he very handy to have around! And he is an Engineer, so it is always done right.

We are all going to church this morning to see the VBS kids sing their little hearts out. Then we will be having a special brunch at the Scott Club. I am so excited! How lucky am I?!

Anyway, Happy Father's Day to all the Fathers and all the Daddys!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tales from VBS

We went to VBS this week at our new church. I sort of cheated on the new church thing. Wait, that sounds bad- what I mean is that my Daddy visited several churches in the area and found a great one. So he did all the legwork! I had even visited the church several times when we were visiting him in the past.

The theme is Crocodile Dock. They are all really into this. Jessa is in a gator group (David is thrilled), and Spencer is in a frog group (I am the Crew Leader of his group). Each night, there is a verse: "God is always with you," or "God is Powerful," or "God always does what he says he'll do." And each time anyone says it, the kids are supposed to yell, "Fear not!" It was very cute, and they all had the hang of it by the end of each night. Each activity focused on not being afraid because God is always with them or how powerful God is or him keeping promises.

So on the way home the first night, I was trying to hurry them along. It takes forever to get strapped in to their seats for the ride home (always), so I said, "Guys, Daddy is at home all alone. He misses us and wants us to hurry." I was anxious to be home because I did not like it that we were gone on the one night this week that he is in the same state as us. They still were poking along. And I said, "Daddy is waiting and he is all alone." Spencer looked at me, smiled, and said, "But Mommy, he shouldn't be lonely, God is always with him." Gotta love it when they are paying attention!

One part of this week that has been somewhat hard to get used to is that VBS is at night. When I was coming up (oh so many years ago. . .), it was always in the morning and we were home by lunchtime. (they have also changed the motions for "this little light of mine-" I am so old!) So this is very different. It is nice because they provide supper each night (any excuse not to cook. . .), but strange because we are not getting home until like 9 o'clock. The babes are wired and fired up and overly tired. But that is not even the most troublesome part. See, when we do not leave until 5 o'clock in the afternoon, Jessa has had all day to plan and perfect her outfit. If we were scooting out the door early in the morning and they were still half asleep, I would be in total control of their wardrobe choices.

Since I am not even consulted, here are a few selections that my precious girl child has chosen for "children's church," as she refers to VBS.

I am desperate to hang a sign around her neck that says, "I picked out my own clothes and shoes."
And the sunglasses! She told me very seriously that she needed these glasses to see. She explained that she would wear her contacts, but that she forgot them. So she has kept the pink tinged ones on all week. Her crew leader said that they are not distracting and she leaves them on her face the whole time, so they are not a problem. It's just Jessa. And after all, her eye doctor did tell her she HAD to wear them, or so she told us.

Here are a few pictures from Thursday night (I have had my camera the whole week, but I guess I forgot until Thursday OR maybe it was that I was less embarrassed by Jessa's outfit Thursday???)

Posing on a"dock" before VBS

Spencer NOT PEEKING! He cracked me up at how seriously he took this! And look how LONG he is. . .

Jessa with her group - I have not seen that much of her this week. . . But her crew leader promises she is behaving.

One more story:

There are 2 children in my group that are "spirited." That is the word my Mimi uses when she wants to say bad, but she thinks "spirited" sounds better and less critical? I agree, don't you? The first night of Bible School was awful. I did not want to go back and chase and wrangle these kids for 3 hours, but I went anyway. I was pleasantly surprised. One was absent and the other was a different kid! I was telling this story to Mimi and Poppy on the phone, and Jessa was listening. She said, "I know why. The first night he was bad because he did not know God yet. He was better tonight because he knows God." Such a sweet and precious thing to say! Unfortunately, night 3 they were both there and back to their old tricks! Oh well!

Tonight is the last night. I have so enjoyed it and mostly enjoyed wathing J and S be so excited about it. I just could have done without the double dose of "spiritedness" in my group. . .


I love pictures of people from behind - especially these 2. Have I mentioned this before? I want to publish a book of pictures of people walking from behind. I am going to call it "Ifs, Ands, and Butts." Good idea??

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Where in the world. . .?

So these days, the globetrotting Matt Lauer and Carmen Sandiego ain't got nothing on my D!

Every morning when the kids wake up they say, where is Daddy? And almost every day my answer is "not here, he is. . ." So I was trying to come up with a way to make this all tangible to them. And I thought of the map idea. We had a big map a while ago with 2 red stars on it, one in GA and one in Iraq. We had it in Jessa's room during David's 2nd deployment. But I wanted something a little more detailed, yet not whole wall size. I went on a hunt.
Bay suggested Office Max. The funniest thing about that was that when we were walking in, Spencer said, "Mommy, where are we?" And I said, "We are at a store called 'Office Max,' Spence." And he looked very puzzled and said, "What about Office Dunken?" Bless his heart! In all the times I thought of Office Max, I never even thought about that it was the same name as our dog! I can't get anything by him!

We found map pins there, but no map. (what's up with that?) So we ended up at a Teacher/School supply store. I did not notice, but the sign also said "TOYS." So we had lots of fun there!! AND I found A MAP! Two maps, actually, a U.S. one and a world one, score! Yay! It is pretty big, but I knew right where I wanted to hang it in the kitchen. When I got home, I measured and it fits.

Now, what to mount it on so that I do not destroy this lovely wall that the government is so graciously allowing me to borrow for a few years? I considered cork board. But I was not sure where to find a big enough piece. Our Bay, always the first one with off-the-wall, but ingenious ideas came up with these foam insulation pieces. He uses them to insulate his storm door in the winter (all because of Queen Abby and the doggie door that must be open for her convenience, even in sub-zero temperatures). So off to Lowe's I go in search of a piece of foam large enough to mount my large world map. How funny was I heading home with a ginormous piece of foam. I could not take a picture, but it was taking up the whole length of my van. It was over the kids' heads AND my head. We were quite a sight!

I glued the map down to the foam with some spray adhesive, and voila, a map board to track David's movements!
We have the U.S. side for all of his stateside trips:
I went ahead and glued the world map on the other side, as we are anticipating some big international trips coming up soon. And for me, the time zones are on the map, so I can keep up with when I can expect a phone call from our traveling man.
J and S take turns putting the pins in:
Notice 2 pins on Washington - twice in 2 and a half weeks.
Imagine that spot in a year. . .
The kiddos are loving keeping up with Daddy as he zooms across the country. And Jessa loves his trips to D.C. because she keeps reminding me, "Mommy, that is where the president lives!"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The pet she always wanted

We have 2 dogs. We have a cat. We have 2 fish. Wouldn't you think that our children would be satisfied? I mean, there are kids out there with NO pets, right? Our kids are lucky enough to have a handful of pets to play with, feed, take care of, LOVE.

Do you think that Jessa is satisfied with this? Nope. First of all, she wants a "real live pony." Every time she gets to make a wish (eyelash, shooting star, candles on a cake), she always wishes for a real live pony. When I ask her where would we keep it, she tells me, "My Daddy can build a corral for the backyard." I guess she has thought it through.

Her other "dream pet" is a "hamstern." Each time we visit Petsmart, we spend so much time checking out the fish, the birds, the mice, the guinea pigs, and especially the hamsterns. We never leave the store without an impassioned plea to bring a cute hamstern home with us. For Christmas, she asked Santa for a hamstern with a cage. I am anti-hamstern and hamsters, too, for that matter. They are sort of like hairy mice, and I am not a fan of mice. Plus, good Lord, we have SO many other mouths to feed and so much poop to clean up, know what I am saying?

We were at Cracker Barrel the other night eating supper. Jessa and Spencer LOVE the Cracker Barrel because of the shopping. I mean, they eat the food well, too, but the focus of the whole visit is always the shopping. As we were leaving, the kids were bouncing around the store checking out all the cool things and sweet treats. And there they were, Hamsutas.

It is a small battery operated hamster in a plastic ball. It immediately reminded us of Rhino from Bolt (any Bolt fans out there??). We thought they were so cute. The search for our Cracker Barrel prize was over. On the way home, Jessa was so happy and gushing about her new pet, whom she named Rosebud. She was talking to it and so excited! And she uttered these words, "A hamstern! It is just what I have always wanted!"

WHAT?!? If I had known that I could purchase a battery operated hamster in a plastic ball that end the hamstern discussion forever, I would have done that ages ago! I love this "pet;" it doesn't eat, poop, or die. Just replace the batteries as needed. Sold!
Spencer loves his "Bugsy," too, but this is the hamstern Jessa always wanted.
Also note the hair style - she has started fixing it herself. . .
Now I just have to solve the real live pony problem.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What is a Miltary Wife?

Today is the Army's Birthday, so I am posting this in honor of all the Military Wives out there! I got this in an e-mail and I LOVED it. I know there are lots of similar things circulating, but I wanted to share this one. I have no idea who wrote it, so I cannot give them proper credit.
I hope you enjoy!

What is a MILITARY Wife?
They may look different and each is wonderfully unique, but this what they have in common.

Lots of moving---
Moving far from home.
Moving two cars, three kids and one dog----all riding with HER of course.
Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house.
Moving curtains that won't fit.
Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours.
Moving away from friends, moving toward new friends.
Moving her most important luggage; her trunkful of memories.

Often waiting-

Waiting, waiting,
waiting for housing; waiting for orders; waiting for deployment; waiting for reunion; waiting for phones calls; Waiting for the new curtains to arrive; waiting for him to come home for dinner----AGAIN!

They call her 'military dependent', but she knows better.
She can balance a checkbook.
Handle the yard work.
Fix a noisy toilet.
She is intimately familiar with drywall, anchors, and toggle bolts.
She can file the taxes, sell a house, buy a car, or set up a move, -- all with ONE Power of Attorney.
She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her.
Reinvents her career with every PCS; locates a house in the desert, the arctic, or the deep south and learns to call them all 'home'.
SHE makes them all home.
She is fiercely IN-dependent.

Military Wives are somewhat hasty.
They leap into decorating, leadership, volunteering, career alternatives, churches and friendships.
They don't have 15 years to get to know people.
Their roots are short but flexible.
They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other. They connect over coffee, rely on the spouse-network and accept offers of friendship and favors and record addresses in pencil.

Military Wives have a common bond. The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands, his commitment is unique. He doesn't have a job, he has a 'mission' he can't just decide to quit. He's on-call for his country 24/7 but for you, he's the most unreliable guy in town!

His language is foreign: TDY, PCS, MOS, FOB, ACU, and so,
a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his.
She is the long-distance link to keep them informed the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments----
She wants to wring his neck, dye his uniform pink, and refuse to move to Siberia...

But she pulls herself together.
Give her a few days, a travel brochure, a long hot bath, a pledge to the flag, and a wedding picture.

And she goes.
She packs.
She moves.
She follows.


What for?

How come?

You may think it is because she has lost her mind.
But actually it is because she has lost her heart.

It was stolen from her by a man...
Who puts duty first.
Who longs to deploy.
Who salutes the flag.
And whose boots in the doorway remind her that
as long as he is her Military husband,

She will remain his Military wife.

Happy 234th Birthday U.S. Army!
Thanks to all the soldiers AND all the families!
For more info visit:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When life gives you cinder blocks. . .

So I am thinking creating a new phrase inspired by this old one:
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"
Let me explain.

When we moved here, we were planning to move our satellite with us. I never thought I would even like a satellite dish, but I am so addicted now. I love the children's programming! I love that we get an east coast and west coast feed - so if I miss something, it plays again, later. I most especially love that we do not have to start over each time we move. With the phone, we have to have a new account with a different company every new place we go. BUT with DirecTv, we get to move our already established account with us. Awesome!

The only problem is that since we live on post, we cannot attach anything to the house structure itself. No problem; at Ft. Stewart, we mounted it on a pole. Problem solved. When it was time to move, we were required to dig up the pole and take it away. The pole costs like $125, so David, my frugal husband hauled this long pole in his cute little Volvo all the way from GA to IL. This was no easy task!!

He signs for our new house and we ask for permission to put up a dish. Permission granted. The only catch is that we cannot attach the dish to the house, but we also cannot "dig a hole" in the backyard. A little tough to install a satellite on a pole with no hole, wouldn't you agree?

Our installation guy had a solution. He could use a "sled" and secure it with cinder blocks. Apparently having four large dead spots in the grass is better than a small hole. David agreed, and we were in business.

I decided that these cinder blocks, while they are serving a very important purpose, were not very aesthetically pleasing. So this weekend, the kids and I had a project: make planters!

We started with this:

We ended up with this:

Pardon the lack of pictures of the actual planting process because the flowers, who were having dirt dumped on them, needed my undivided attention to survive!! A special thanks to Michelle who sent the kiddos garden tools. They used them and LOVED them so much!
The kids are loving keeping their new flowers watered!

And I think they are just lovely.
So, when life gives you cinder blocks, make planters with beautiful flowers! Hee-hee!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The fish who Lived.

Remember how the Harry Potter Series began? You know, the boy who lived? Well, our little Hannah Montana Fish is still swimming, so I am calling her the fish who lived . I was worried for a while. After the unprovoked attack on this innocent littler water breather by the evil Lord Stewart-mort, things did not look good. Her color was bad. She was not eating. She was staying at the bottom of her tank under her turtle all the time. I was so sure that despite the quick thinking of sweet David, the shock of the incident was just too much for her.

This weekend, I changed the water in both of their tanks. They both needed clean water, but I was REALLY worried about that. Sometimes that can be shocking for them. But after their water was all clean, David put their tanks back in the proper place (since the incident they have been on top of the fridge for safety). Well, I think she is feeling better because she is swimming around like she used to. She is eating. Wow! I was preparing the speech in my head to tell Jessa what happened without implicating Lord Stewart-mort. I did not want Jessa to be mad at him.

So despite the bored, lonely, murderous Lord Stewart-mort, Hannah Montana will live to swim another day. . .
Doesn't she look good? No lighting bolt shaped scar, but we are so happy she is feeling better!
And Lord Stewart-mort is back to ignoring the fish now that there are other things to occupy him in the house. Tragedy averted.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

spoiled dogs and boxes

My dear Momma has spoiled my first born "child" Dunken. Ever since he was a baby, Momma has always sent him treats in every box she sends us. When we were in Germany, we got lots of care packages with American things we missed and mail. Each package (even envelopes) had at least a small treat in it. So as Pavlov would predict, each time we get a package to this day, Dunken expects there to be a treat. When we get boxes from UPS, I always have a treat handy when I open it. Now sweet Max is a little slower than Dunken, so he is never sure what is going on, but he is always more than happy for a treat.
Dunken has moved every time with us, so he is used to the whole process. He is usually unfazed by the packing and unpacking of boxes. This was Max's first move with us, so I was not sure what he would think. And having Dunken, Max, Stewart, and the fish, we were somewhat overwhelmed at the thoughts of moving with all of them. Thankfully, Momma served as our pet kennel during the packing process. We never want Stew around because the horror stories about cats being inadvertently packed in a box or hiding in the truck. But with the extra puppy, I figured things were easier without any pets.

Fast forward to the unloading on this end. . . The dogs were hanging at Daddy's house most of the time, so they missed the packing, the loading, the unloading, and a fair amount of unpacking. Once we all moved into our house full time, I resumed the unpacking. But a strange thing happened, the first time I cut into a box, Dunken got fired up and came running. The silly, spoiled dog thought that it was a package with a treat!

So I of course grabbed a few treats and let each dog "find" one.
YAY, Dunken found a treat!
Max is not sure about all this, but the treat was mighty tasty!
I have not given them one a treat every time I open a box, but I do have to keep them happy, right? And they are loving their new house with a great front window to keep an eye on the neighborhood!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

11 YEARS - An Anniversary Post

On June 7, 1998, I married David Paul Key, and we began our adventure together. I do not use the word adventure lightly. David graduated on June 6, we were married on June 7, and we were at Ft. Eustis, VA with a Ryder truck full of our worldly possessions on June 9. And we haven't slowed down yet!!

Since this is the first anniversary I have had since I started blogging, I must do a special post. . .

The first time I met David was right before R.C. (aka Rose Carnation - the Phi Mu Spring Formal). I was not dating anyone and had no clue who to take. My roomie Heather said she might know of someone. . . Bless his heart, he agreed to take me to this formal without ever even seeing a picture of me! And he says he knew that night at the formal that he would marry me. I was a little harder to convince. . . But luckily for me, he was patient and persistent.

Our wedding day was PERFECT! Here are some random memories. . .

I was so emotional and so excited. I cried happy tears for days! Every time I saw someone, I would burst into tears! So many of our family and dear friends came to share in our day - I was overwhelmed! It was SO special. The church was packed! They even had to bring in folding chairs. And some people watched from the sound booth! My Daddy avoided me all day because he did not want to cry - I thought he was mad at me. When the doors opened and I saw David standing there, I practically ran down the aisle with tears flowing. Seriously, the organist did not even get through the first part of the song!! Daddy and I stopped and "picked up" Momma so they could BOTH give me away. David was wearing the same Dress Blue Uniform that my Daddy wore when he married Momma. I was wearing the veil that my Momma wore when she married Daddy. I was carrying the prayer book that Mimi and Momma both carried at their weddings. The preacher was the same preacher who married Momma and Daddy. (He also Christened Jessa and Spencer!) Can you tell I LOVE tradition????? My bridesmaids were beautiful and so precious. My sweet brother read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. My Phi Mu Little sang "I will be here." While she was singing, David had tears in his eyes that I wiped away - thanks to Rebecca with the tissues! When we were saying our vows, he stumbled because the minister said to say "I David, take you Dana." He NEVER calls me Dana unless I am in trouble, so he said "I David, take you, D, uh Dana!" My roomie and oldest friend bribed the ring bearer down the aisle with a handful of gummy bears, thanks Heather! David learned never to trust "friends" to polish your shoes - Jason Pletsch wrote "I love men" on the bottoms that showed when we knelt. (it never came off and he had to buy new ones!) We had the best reception! We danced, we laughed, we had fun with all of our awesome guests. We cut the cake with Daddy's military saber. My feet hurt so bad, and I asked Daddy why he did not work at a sneaker company like Steve Martin in "Father of the Bride!" We sure know how to throw a party!! We never ate anything more than one bite of cake. Momma gave us $20 before we left in the limo, and we ordered a pizza from room service at the hotel. No one decorated our car because Mimi and Poppy helped him hide it at the hotel before the ceremony. What an awesome day! What a great way to start our life together.

A few days before the wedding, someone asked me if I was worried or stressed or nervous. I hardly thought about it before I replied, "A little, I guess, about some details. But there is one thing I am totally sure of and that is David." And it was true then and it is still true 11 whole years later! He may not be perfect, but he is PERFECT FOR ME! I am so lucky and so blessed that he never gave up on me. I am so grateful for our life together and our beautiful children. I am so looking forward to the rest of our lives. . .

For the record, an anniversary tally:
First: He was in Albania; I was in Georgia.
Second: Together in Germany
Third: Together in Germany
Fourth: Together in Germany
Fifth: Together at Ft. Stewart, pregnant with Jessa
Sixth: Together at Ft. Stewart
Seventh: He was in Iraq; I was in Georgia, pregnant with Spencer
Eighth: Together in a hotel room, moving to Louisiana
Ninth: He was in Louisiana in the field; I was in Georgia - the day before Lucas's transplant
Tenth: He was in Iraq; I was in Georgia
Eleventh: Together in Illinois!

I guess in an Army marriage, 7 out of 11 ain't bad!

Happy Anniversary, D!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I have a curio cabinet. It is full of all my fragile "pretties." I have Precious Moments, Hummels, Kaiser Porcelain, crystal figurines, Westies, and I have all the original boxes. David makes fun of me because we always have a storage room full of empty boxes, but things are shipped more safely in the original cartons.

In the shed at Ft. Stewart, there were 2 big boxes of smaller "pretties" boxes. When we got ready to pack up the curio before the packers came, I went out to retrieve them from the shed. I discovered that the shed had a disgusting cockroach infestation. Mimi and Poppy were at my house, and Poppy helped me kill a few that were down in the big boxes. GROSS! David bombed the shed before the stuff was moved, hoping to dispose of this unfortunate problem.

I packed up all the "pretties" on May 16 and put them back in the big boxes in the guest room to await the packers on Monday May 18. They stuffed some paper down in the boxes to make sure there was nothing that would move around and sealed the boxes. On May 20, the sealed boxes were all loaded on a big truck in like 80 degree weather. The boxes sat locked on the hot truck May 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25. May 26, the boxes were unloaded into our house. On June 2, 18 days later, I opened up one of the big dish packs with my "pretties" boxes and a COCKROACH hopped out onto the floor! WHAT?!?! The kids and I all freaked out! We were so shocked! I grabbed a heavy book and dropped it on him. (I left it there for David to handle when he got home. . .) How did he make it so long with no food, water, or air? I fully believe what they say about cockroaches being the only thing to survive a nuclear bomb.

Can you say Ewwwwwwwwwwww!?!?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The hunt for Barbie

My house is still full of boxes. It is somewhat discouraging because I feel like I have unpacked and organized so much, yet there is still so much to be done. I am trying, but now that we are living here, it is harder. Like I still have to fix breakfast and lunch and take out the trash and wash clothes. Boy was I spoiled staying with Momma and Daddy. . .

So the kids have their moments when they are content to play together with the things that have already been unpacked. These moments allow me to focus and unpack and get excited about the new house. Then there are the moments that they want something, in this case, it was Barbies. Jessa had been asking me to unpack Barbies for DAYS. Now, the "play room" is currently a "box room." We had a lot of the boxes put in there because there is no real furniture AND no one needed to sleep in there. So I would agree to open 1 box here and 1 box there to see if we could find things. I am not unreasonable. These kids have more toys that FAO Schwarz, and they have more than enough to occupy them. I have unpacked coloring books, crayons, books, stuffed animals, trains, and many other things. Plus their toy boxes were moved FULL of toys, so please do not feel too bad for Jessa.

There are a couple of reasons why opening boxes searching for Barbies willy nilly is not a good idea. First, if I open it and it is not the right box, I am not about to tape it back. This means that when they are bored, they can scatter the contents of said box all over the house. I prefer to open them when I am ready to put things in their proper place. As much as boxes drive me crazy, box contents scattered everywhere is WORSE.
Second, the boxes are hard to figure out. Here is the way they are labeled:
There are like 20 boxes all labeled with one word:
I knew the Barbies were in a case, so that helped me figure out the size of the boxes to concentrate on. I would let her pick one labeled toys, and we'd give it a shot. This went on for a couple of days.
So yesterday, Jessa was having a rough day. Every little thing would set her off. It was rainy and dark, so we were all sort of feeling blah. But I was making so much progress in the kitchen that I did not want to unpack MORE toys yet. Well, after her third hysterical melt down over nothing, I told her I would find her Barbies.
After about 10 boxes, lots of moving, climbing, and lifting, I found the confounded Barbies. She was SO happy and spent the rest of the afternoon dressing and bathing and fixing Barbie hair. Spencer was even playing with her (she shared a few with him).
I was happy that they were happily playing the rest of the afternoon, never mind the carnage that is the "box/play room:"