Thursday, September 20, 2012

It Happens Slowly

We took HokieBoy to his first Cub Scout Pack meeting here.

HokieHubby has officially completed his first week of work.

We've been to church 2 Wednesdays and 1 Sunday, and we've been asked to join the choir.

A new friend invited us to a pig roast this weekend.

Kentucky is becoming home.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Challenges, or Why I Can't Relax Even in Kentucky

We had planned to go to church and then hit the road. Instead, we went to church, came home, and hurriedly threw stuff in the trucks. A couple of the neighbors came to say they were sad to see us go and offered to keep an eye on the place for us. We exchanged phone numbers, and I made sure that people knew the alarm would still be functioning and monitored. We didn't leave until almost 6.

The first leg of our journey put us back in Buena Vista, where we have family land and camped last weekend. It was after 11, and all the girls were sleeping when we arrived. We opened up the camper-house and we all snuggled in for the night. I wished it wasn't so late and that I didn't need to sleep, because I wanted to sit in the quiet and watch all the stars.

The sun woke is around 8am, a little later than I wanted, but not too bad. We hitched up the house and headed off for breakfast. We were on the road around 10am. Most of the trip went well. The Bronco, which I was driving, has been temperamental over the past several months, but it was behaving well for me. Then we got right about to Frankfort, Ky.

One of the Bronco's quirks is a sticky fuel gauge. See, it reads empty, even when you fill it. I decided I'd be more comfortable putting a few gallons in before we left the interstate for the park, which is tucked in the middle of nowhere. Just as we get onto the interstate, the truck sputters and stalls out. This is another quirk. I'm a dead duck. I managed to pull to the side of the road, in the shade, but with vehicles flying past me at 70 miles an hour. I'm told to wait a half hour before trying to start the truck again. HokieGirl and I just chill and try to relax. After the half hour finally passes, we say a prayer, and the truck starts right away.

Just before the next exit, the truck sputters and coughs again. I panic and get off the road. This time, I'm about 2 miles from our friends' house, so I head there. We made it safely. They were not home, but they rarely lock their doors. I texted her, and sure enough we could go inside.

HokieHubby had gone on to set up our camper-house. It was another 45 minutes past Frankfort, so HokieGirl and I had plenty of time to just hang out. HokieHubby got back to us and changed the part in the engine that he thought was the problem and we swapped trucks. We finally made it to camp just before 10pm. Success.

Tuesday morning dawned clear and beautiful. We hung out and worked on unpacking and organizing. Around 2, it was obvious HokieBaby needed a nap. We piled into the truck and headed for town and the grocery store. I was almost done when HokieHubby showed up telling me I needed to call someone right away. We had gotten a call from our alarm company that there was a front door alarm pending and he told them to send police. When the police arrived, the front door was open, but didn't seem to have been forced. He was able to secure the door using a lock that we don't use because we don't have a key. Thanks.

HokieHubby and I are racking our brains trying to figure out how someone got in our house without forcing the door open. Everyone I called who was near Ptown was not home or unable to go to the house to investigate. Our neighbor finally called me back and went to the house to look it over.

My dining room window and blinds were wide open. The police officer obviously did not investigate very thoroughly, as he left a note on our door notifying us of a false alarm call. Thanks again.

The open window did not explain how the front door had been opened without being forced. Finally, we realized there had been a spare key hanging on the hook on the dining room wall with all our other miscellaneous keys. Who knows how long the person was in there before he decided to open the door.

HokieHubby had called his former captain, who was on his way to secure the house. He told us that it looked like the burglar tried most of the windows before the one he opened, which had been locked but was now broken.
Captain G changed the door lock, screwed the window shut, and double checked all the other windows.

So, late start, engine troubles, and a B&E. Could we please have an uneventful Wednesday?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trying to Relax and Enjoy the Ride

So much to do. So overwhelming. It would be one thing if we were packing everything for the move. We have to decide what to take in the camper, what to store in Virginia, what to store in Kentucky, and what to get rid of/sell/donate.

I've decided to stay calm and just try to pack the camper. We are camping for Labor Day weekend and leaving the camper in Buena Vista. It makes sense to put as much stuff as we know we need in the camper so we don't have to cram the truck next week with stuff we should have packed. Then we will be able to focus on emptying the house when we get back.

HokieHubby was supposed to get a call confirming the details of the new job on Monday. When he hadn't heard from them by lunch on Tuesday, I told he ought to call to see what was up. Turns out they are waiting for some of the other candidates' bloodwork and polygraph results. Now we wait some more to find out what the new start date will be. Hopefully it won't be too much later than September 11th. We already made our reservations for a campground on the 20th. I guess we will get a couple of days to settle in and relax before he starts.

I keep making notes of projects for improving the inside of our new home. The cabinets and pantries need a little help. I plan to stack clothes in my little cupboard, but right now there's a hanging bar in each and no shelves. The kids' wardrobe will be for school storage. I bought large utility totes from my 31 Gifts girl for each kid and that is where their clothes will be kept. We are trying to minimize to amount of toys. This is very tough with 4 kids, all 8 and under.

It's all part of the adventure. It's tough right now, but it will be awesome later! I hope.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Naming the New House While Trying to Empty the Old

So I want to name our new home, but I totally stink at naming things. The previous owners called it Campasaurus Rex. We are Hokies, so maybe something related to Tech. I keep thinking about turtles and how they carry their homes on their backs. I want to call it something fun. Maybe it will come to me.

We've taken some stuff out to my mom's house. I think I may have underestimated the amount of stuff we will be keeping. We have too much stuff. I was hoping to sell furniture, and what doesn't sell I plan to donate. Much of it isn't worth storing, and certainly not worth hauling 600+ miles. I have donated about 6 large bags of clothes.

I start to feel overwhelmed when I look beyond the necessities. There's just not enough time to do all this the right way. We are home today and tomorrow, camping Thursday through Monday, and Kentucky bound the next Sunday. I suppose I could focus on loading the camper since we intend to leave it on the hill after camping.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Taking the Plunge from Ptown

We did it.

HokieHubby got the job in Kentucky.

We bought a 30' travel trailer.

We are the stars in our own reality show: "Extreme Downsizers."

It's a madhouse around here. I consider it a miracle every time I manage to get a meal on the table. There is stuff everywhere. More than usual.

I'm not sure if the kids really get that we are not taking all of their stuff with us, but I guess they'll figure that out later! I should probably take pictures through the whole process.

Anyway, the adventure continues! I plan on renaming the blog, and writing more often. I also need a name for my behemoth camper/tiny new home.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back in the summer of 2010...

HokieBoy has been going to speech therapy at the public elementary school for 2 years now. In that time, we've learned a good bit of how speech therapy works. We've learned what to look for, that some skills are just not appropriate for young children, and how to help children make correct sounds. Recently, HokieBoy's therapist indicated that HokieGirl may qualify. I had not been overly concerned, because I felt she was hitting the most of the right sounds for her age. (By the way, she just turned 4, but she looks and acts a little older, like maybe a late 4. It throws people off sometimes.) But, when a speech professional suggests that there may be a problem, well there is certainly no harm in having an evaluation. If there is a problem, therapy through the schools is free, and HokieBoy's therapist is great.

So, today was our opening evaluation. We dropped off the other kids with a friend and headed off just the two of us girls. We walk into the meeting room, and here's where I realized the set up must have felt a little intimidating to my girl. It was a conference room with a long table and 7 adults already seated. I pulled a chair out for her and sat down.

She whispered, "Mama, can I sit in your lap?" Of course! While I'm answering questions I let HokieGirl play with my hands. "Look, Mama! I made your hands into a triangle! Look! Mine is a smaller triangle!" I murmured, "yes!" into her ear and continued answering questions about her birth and baby milestones. "I made your fingers make a diamond! Here's a tinier diamond! And now I'll make the tiniest diamond!"

At this point the speech pathologist pulls out her box of toys and invites HokieGirl over to play, while I continue to answer other questions.

Wait. A Blog Entry? No Way!

It's been a very long time. I could go on and on about how long and how much has happened since I last blogged, but I won't. Instead, I think I'll write about the future. HokieHubs is heading to another state with HokieBoy. He is interviewing with another Fire Department. When he gets the job, we are going to do the unthinkable: by an RV (travel trailer) and park it in a campground while we decide what our next step will be. That's right. A 30-ish foot camper with 4 kids and a puppy. I'm insane. I'm also excited. I know it will be challenging to downsize. But I think it will be exhilarating. We will be forced to part with much of our belongings and only keep that which we truly need. Some of our things will move in with my mother. Some of it will be sold. Much of it will be donated. An awful lot of it will go in the garbage. I think this will be an awesome experience for all of us! At least I keep telling myself that!