|But God bless the camera phone because I don't generally drag the big camera to Cub Scouts meetings and without it I would have missed this capture!|
|We returned the car we were borrowing from one of Jon's co-workers. The kids said they lived at the end of the rainbow.|
|Evening beach jaunts--how I keep my sanity when Jon is traveling.|
So I pulled out the "Mark of the Lion" series and well, oops. Despite having read it twice before (I think before I was married), it's still just as good as ever. So sorry blog, but I was momentarily transported from the sandy beaches of Hawaii to the sandy arenas in Rome and Ephesus. And also, if you haven't read the books before, I highly recommend them.
So here we are, 6 weeks after move-in date and I'm trying hard to remember what it was like to live in this house after the crates arrived.
Needless to say, it is overwhelming.
But I'm getting better! This is only our fourth military move (and that includes the DIY move we did a few blocks away in Virginia Beach.) So we're not exactly the most seasoned military family. But we've done it enough to know what to expect.
We expect the house to be a disaster for a while. We expect a few things to end up broken. We expect to go through a period of time where it feels like not everything will fit and it will never feel like home. We expect to get rid of some things. We expect to still have to buy some things. And we expect the whole "settling" process to take some time.
Therefore, the entire move was as we expected. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that despite all of the above, the move was, in general, quite smooth.
|It's always nice when dolls and doll clothes are one of the first things to be unpacked!|
Well I should say, everything we intended to arrive. (There are a few items that intentionally never made it onto the truck but that our kids think got dropped in the ocean or something.) We ended up with a few broken items--a glass bottle Jon used to collect change, our two model ships that were packed by themselves in a box labeled "fragile" but then somehow ended up under Jon's kettleball.
The girls' yard sale play kitchen got damaged while being packed, so we knew before we left the mainland. It's currently functioning with a healthy amount of duck tape. But I think the biggest disappointment was the couch. It arrived just fine, was carried into the living room and then (apparently) "roughly" set down. The back support snapped and is now protruding out through the fabric. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't directly facing the front door. In fact, it rather conveniently acts as a door stop.
Other than the fact that it looks bad and could be potentially harmful to small children, the couch still functions normally. So we're just deciding if we want to replace it, and therefore invest in new furniture while living in an area of unkind elements. Or just deal with it for the next 4 years. Jury is still out.
Anyhoo, back to living in a house of box towers. So we always choose to unpack ourselves. One time we let the movers unpack for us, and it was nice to have everything out and all the boxes and paper taken away at once. But I personally found it more distressing to have all our stuff just lying around waiting to be put in its proper place. And I can only imagine how having four kids would exacerbate that feeling. So we systematically unpack as we go ... and I always start with the kitchen.
It's rather nice that our current kitchen has a very similar layout to our previous one. So I kept most of the cupboards the same. The biggest difference is I don't have a pantry here, but I do have additional cabinet space. And of course, some cabinets are bigger than their predecessors and others are smaller. So it's a bit like solving a puzzle. I finally got everything put away in its proper place ... and then discovered an entire lazy susan cabinet that was completely empty. So I'm sure there'll be some re-working in the future.
|We're just re-discovering all our forgotten toys and furniture!|
Jon's vices are books and Coast Guard paraphernalia. I'm sure you're surprised. You'd think that books would be my problem. I put most of mine in storage and only brought the ones that I thought I'd want to read or reference over the next four years. Jon put a few of his in storage and then brought boxes and boxes of the rest. Apparently he's planning to do a lot of research on politics and the middle east while we're here. Hmmm.
|That black and white blur in the top right corner is a bird. And this is not the first (or second) time we've had a bird in the house. Too many doors + too many children.|
In fact, storage has been going so well that we actually have a few empty areas--like a cabinet in the office, drawers in the guest room, and baskets in the living room. Not that we need any more stuff, but it's nice to know we still have room to grow!
|Not pictured: me washing the car while she sat and watched.|
(And before you mention Command hooks, we do have some, and they "may" work. But I'm afraid to trust them with breakable items because we have textured walls + an insane amount of humidity.)
Other than the kitchen, I think the only room that is officially complete is the boys' room. And I haven't taken a picture of it yet because it's always a mess. Okay, not always. We make them clean it up, but it never stays that way long enough for me to take a photo.
|Those Hawaii rain showers.|
|Sneak peak of patio improvements. Make me gag!|
|We're trying our hand at gardening ... again.|
|Rock climbing wall at the Coast Guard Base.|
|She made it like 3 feet.|
|A water slide that ended in a literal mud bath. This was their favorite activity, obvs.|
|Not a bad family trail. Uphill the entire time, but at least it was all paved!|
Instead we drove a little bit further down the coast to visit the Mokapu'u Lighthouse. It was an easy walk (although entirely uphill) and had gorgeous views. The kids did fairly well (Joci was on Jon's back and Julia ended up in my arms for 2/3s of the way back down.) And it afforded us a few good hours of family time.
|After climbing that tall mountain, the little lighthouse was a tad anti-climactic.|
Monday was a big day because it was the first day of school! Yes, we started on August 1st this year. It's a little strange, starting school in the middle of summer. But it's kinda summer all the time here. And I was very thankful this year to get started on our fall routine a little early after months of living in limbo.
|When I ask Jude for a picture, he stands very still and smiles for a photo.|
|When I ask Jack for a picture, he runs away.|
|And then I have to be all sneaky with the camera and this is the best I can get.|
|I don't even ask Julia for a picture, she asks me. Girlfriend, it's not even your first day of school.|
The boys LOVE school. Heck, I love this school. I mean, it's cute enough to be in a movie. And both boys are doing well so far!
Our biggest adjustment is homework, specially 2nd grade homework. Some evenings it seems like a lot. But maybe that's just because trying to tag team homework between two boys, during dinner prep and the witching hour, IS a lot. But it does get done. Because when everything is done and I sign off on Jack's agenda, he gets to "clip up." And Jack is all about the "clipping up" and earning gems and getting to pick out an extremely fragile piece of junk from the "treasure box."
|That's not a cage, that's a gate to keep the unicorns in.|
|Here's a picture of Jack [not allowing me to take a picture] standing by his desk!|
|Just enough energy to shuffle Legos around on the couch.|
|A week after recovery from that pretty terrible stomach flu, she got hit with a new kinda flu.|
|Medical staff love when I walk into their offices with all my children.|
|We stumbled upon a free carnival after leaving the doctor's office and suddenly everyone forgot they were supposed to be sick!|
|Grocery run sans vehicle. We have to save money on gas so we can afford $7 boxes of cereal.|