Sunday, November 30, 2008

NYC in a day

I feel like I've been beat up with a bat-like substance. And not the flying kind, either. My thighs think that Suzanne Sommers has something against them. Turns out that you don't really need a torture device to squeeze between your knees to feel the burn. All you need is to believe that your train, which happens to be four city blocks away, leaves at 6:15, instead of the 6:50 actual time.

And do this after spending the entire day walking down Fifth Avenue from Central Park to Times Square, visiting all the relevant toy stores along the way.

But, seriously, the kids had a blast. We rode the train into Grand Central Station, got metro cards for each of us, and hit the subway running. Our goal was to make it to FAO Schwartz in time for opening ceremonies. Unfortunately, we were just a few minutes late. But Caleb enjoyed the giant piano that was in the movie Big.

Hailey was completely blown away in the American Girl Store. She had a hard time at first, wishing she could have a new doll. But $90 for a doll was not in our budget, and she only had $30 of her own. So I convinced her to buy some body wash that was going out of circulation, and on sale for four dollars. That way she could have a bag to carry around from the store.

We ate at a little side cafe next to a park where we picked up a geocache. There is a piece of the Berlin Wall in a park on 53rd street, and someone has hidden a cache there. It didn't take long to find it, and we had some nice photo ops.

The kids watched the icescaters for a few minutes before we moved on to Nintendo World, where Caleb was in heaven. Hailey and I found a corner to sit in while he played Wii for as long as his little heart desired.

Toys R Us was a big hit, as expected. Caleb accidentally left his brand new Transformer in the store, and we didn't realize it until we were getting on the subway a block and a half away. Shawn was ready to let it go, but I asked him to please go back and see if, by some miracle, it was still there. It was.

We made it to the Staten Island Ferry in time to ride past the Statue of Liberty, taking pictures and video along the way. Some nice people even took our picture.

When we got back to Manhattan, we rushed to a bus which took us four blocks from Grand Central. But, we had to run to make the 6:15. And we made it! Somehow making it with seconds to spare lost something when I realized that we actually had 35 minutes to burn.

Tumbling into bed, and not moving a muscle all night long, I am really sore today. It's a good thing laundry and packing for a 21.5 hour trip isn't physically taxing. I don't think I could do any more today, if I tried.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

He saved the day!

There have been times when my husband has been the hero of the day, but today shall go down in history.

We rode the bus from West Point to NYC, got dropped next to Times Square, and set up parade watch right in front of good old McDonalds.

It didn't take me long to realize that, although we were pressed up against the barricade, we were on the wrong side of the square for up-front viewing. But Shawn saved the day. When the security officer passed by, he spoke up and asked if his wife and kids might possibly go to the other side. And you know what? He said we could!

So the kids and I crossed Times Square to Broadway, and I convinced the kids to excuse themselves all the way past the tall grown-ups to the barricade on the parade route. We made it just as the first clowns came through.

You know you are in the front of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade when you have to look UP to see the balloons. Some of them were so big, and we were so close, that I couldn't pan out far enough to see the whole balloon in the camera viewfinder.

Now, that's close!

I thought Hailey would be excited to see Miley Cyrus up close, but they were both more excited to see the Fetchers from Fetch with Ruff Ruffman (PBS). Hailey squealed and said she might die. Thankfully, she didn't.

My best part? David Archuletta waved at me! Okay, he waved in my direction, but there was DEFINITELY eye contact while he waved!

Oh, I could just die!


Monday, November 24, 2008


When I saw it, I almost cried.
Familiarity is a wonderful thing when you are traveling far from home.
My friend, Dawn told me that I'd not see it when I was here.
She was wrong.
Who knew you could by happiness in a styrofoam cup?
And it only costs a buck!
"I'll take a large Mickey D's sweet iced tea, please!"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kickin' it in the city

After spending several hours researching the shows available for my Broadway viewing entertainment, and deciding that I would really like to see South Pacific, White Christmas, or Wicked, in that order of preference, we headed into the city. We snagged a ride on the military shuttle, courtesy of the in-laws. Fortunately for my motion sickness tendencies, I was able to ride shotgun.

We were dropped off right in front of Times Square where the line for discount tickets was winding and snaking around a booth. By the time I got to the window, and found out that they don't sell tickets to premium shows like the choices I had made, I was willing to settle for what I could get without standing in another long line. So we purchased tickets to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Hall, featuring the world famous Rockettes. I was not complaining.

The show didn't start until 4:00, and it was only just noon, so we chose to get a bite to eat. We shuffled around a bit, checking out the gigantic Toys R Us store where we want to take the kids later. After looking at the menu at TGI Friday's, Shawn and I decided to go eat at the Olive Garden. I'm not usually a big fan of the place, but I had a fantastic steak that made it worth the money we spent on lunch in Times Square.

The Hershey's and M&M stores were, um, sweet. I had to stop at a pharmacy to pick up a couple of essentials including some Advil Cold and Sinus. Boring, I know, but I was getting a migraine.

Yadda, yadda, yadda... wander through a couple other places and Rockefeller Center to kill time... get to the show.

Our tickets, which didn't bust the budget, surprisingly enough, were pretty good seats. The Rockettes were amazing! How they ever managed to do all of those high kicks and fancy steps in perfect unison is beyond me, but I got to thinking, I could totally do that! I can kick my feet up over my head, but it usually involves some sort of fruit peel or ice patch, and it ain't as pretty or even remotely sexy.

But whatever.

Tomorrow I shall make out the grocery list of things we still need for me to make a familiar Thanksgiving dinner. I guess it's back to the old grind...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Greetings and salutations

Well, so I survived the trip up here. I did most of the driving. I like being in control of my destiny, so after Shawn drove for about six hours, I made him give me back the keys. This is the first time we have driven straight through in this direction. Usually we take our time, stopping somewhere on the way, to delay the inevitable prolong the fun.

But this time I made a deal with the huband type person that we could take the van if I was willing to forgo the hotel I had reserved. It was a no-brainer.
The wind was gusty, and I had difficulty keeping the van pointed the right direction a few times, but, whatever.

I was quite surprised to find it snowing in Nashville. Not much, just a few flurries. It wasn't until we were in Virginia somewhere and we came to a well-lit area that I realized there were a few inches of snow covering the ground. I didn't even know it, because the roads were so clear. I spent a little time telling God how thankful I was that the snow was already on the ground, and not falling all around me, making it difficult to see.

[queue blizzard]

Guess God wanted to talk with me a little longer, 'cause then I started the real praying. I learned that in a complete white out, with the headlights shining on the flakes driving straight at me, I felt like I was floating. It was a mesmerizing feeling of not even moving, even though I was driving about 50 MPH. That's when I realized that it might be bad, really bad to not see where I was going at 50 MPH. So I decided to pull it off the interstate.

Long story short, we did make it here, or I wouldn't be blogging. I would have way too much to do in heaven to waste time online!
It is cold, but there is no snow here, which is fine by Zaccheus. He liked the snow just fine, until he had to squat. Turns out that being two inches from the ground doesn't leave much clearance for things to fall, if you know what I mean.

And to top it all off, I found out that the in-laws have joined the 21st century, and have broadband, so I will be able to keep you apprised of my adventures. I know how much you enjoy the goings-on of my world traveling self... (so far, I have survived a hair-raising ride with my MIL to the commissary, where we loaded up on all groceries yummy)

Tomorrow Shawn and I head to the Big Apple to take in a show or something. Not sure what we're seeing. I'll fill you in tomorrow.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

So long, Farewell!

Well, the big day has finally arrived. I have been working the past 24 hours to switch my sleep schedule, just so I can take the night shift of our 22 hour drive.
I left a few things to do today, like pack and finish tidying up the house, running out to the new house to pick up the coats we already moved, purchasing tags for the little tiny trailer we built, running through Wal-Mart for a few last minute items, and such other mindless chores. Unfortunately, I completely underestimated the power of sheer exhaustion. I have been in a fog, and a migraine has quietly crept in to haunt me. So I took an Excedrin (cause that's what I need to help me sleep) and ate some lunch.
Now I'm headed to bed with the black velvet curtains drawn for some snooze time.
I don't know how much blogging I'll get to do in NY, but I'll have a laptop, and I'll try to sneak off to someplace with wi-fi once in a while.
Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Congratulations on your new home, Sucker!

Spending hours on hold is not my idea of a good time, but sitting at the computer blogging and playing around on Facebook while I wait takes the edge off.
Unfortuantely, nothing in the world can take the edge off the words, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Thomas, but that $850 water heater and $3-5K central heating and air unit won't be covered under your homeowner's warranty."
All the while, I can hear the evil cackling on the other end, and the high fives going around the office, as they post another dollar sign on the dry erase board list of suckers like me.


Monday, November 17, 2008

As if I didn't have enough to do...

I wrote my daily to-do task list on the dry erase board in the class room, lest I forget to do something today. It is very long, yet I sit here at the computer reading all the blogs I have missed the past couple of days, and writing one of my own. It takes me a while to get going in the morning.
Mostly, I have calls today, but the places I have to call are not open yet, so it's okay.

This weekend Shawn looked around our bedroom and realized that none of our stuff will match the pale pink master bedroom at the new house, so he said we should go ahead and paint it before we move into it. The master bedroom is one of the only two rooms without wall paper, so he figured it wouldn't take very long. Of course, since he's not allowed to hold so much as a brush, this meant I would be doing the painting. So yesterday, I went, picked out the color, bought some supplies, and started painting. Fortunately, I had already moved a small space heater over there, and the room heated up nicely. I was able to do the first coat of the trim. So today, among all the other stuff I have to do, I will be going back to the house to do another coat of trim, and possibly one coat of rolling. Whoopie!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grilling Goodness # 7

1. What's the worst thing you've ever sent through the washing machine/dryer?

Once I accidentally washed a disposable diaper. It disintegrated and little gel stuff was EVERYWHERE. What a mess. I did NOT put it in the dryer.

2. Do you do any of your Christmas shopping online?

I do some of it. Usually it depends what I'm looking for. I buy some stuff on eBay, and some stuff other places.

3. What are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

I am looking forward to taking the kids to NYC to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. They have never been in the city with us. They usually hang at grandma's house while Daddy and I go enjoy the day by ourselves. But this time, we wanted them to go with us. So we'll be enjoying the usual feast-ivities on Wednesday, the parade on Thursday, and on Friday...

4. What did you do before you had children that you miss doing now that you have children?
Shawn and I went to see more movies in the theater in the BC (before children) era.

5. Do you have a fireplace? (Do you use it?)

We have a wood burning stove in the current house. We use it a lot. I love a roaring fire. But there is no fire place at the new house. One of the few things I shall miss. I think I'll make another one like the one we built at the other house we used to have. It looked like this: (minus the children, of course.)

6. Do medical shows showing surgeries and blood freak you out?
I don't really mind watching medical shows, but I can't watch the bloody parts for very long; after awhile, I do start to freak out.

7. How long have you lived where you live?
We have lived in the current house for just over two years. But I'm moving into our new house, where I would like to spend the rest of my life.

8. What is one of your favorite seasonal items?
I'm with Tina on this one. I like all things yummy smelling: candles, potpourri simmer stuff, baking things...
The smells of the holiday season are my favorite parts of the memories.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My plans for the day...

You'd think with the stess level yesterday that I'd have slept well last night. But you'd be wrong. So wrong.
I had these vivid dreams circling my brain all night. Nothing logical, mind you, but very colorful. But I woke up this morning with Shawn and decided to get a jump on the laundry before the day gets away from me.
I'll be spending the day hanging with my sister, who is my bestest friend.

She'll be helping me move some stuff into the house we bought yesterday!

Y'all have a good one! I know I will!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Redneck privacy fence

Some neighbors of my current home moved away, and we have new neighbors. This is what the back yard looks like. Now I really have a reason to sing the Sanford and Son theme song!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Grilling Goodness #6

1. What is one of your 'must see' tv shows?
Hmmm, I have a few. I love Lost, but it hasn't started yet. I also watch Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Biggest Loser, CSI, CSI-NY, Grey's Anatomy, Life on Mars, Without a Trace, and The Mentalist. I am addicted to my DVR, because that means I can watch what I want, whenever I want to watch it.

2. Do you have a facebook page?
Why, yes, yes I do. I didn't really like it as much MySpace. Frankly it annoyed me, but it's growing on me.

3. How old were you when you got married?
I was 22 and he was 24.

4. What is one bad habit that you need to break?
Spending entirely too much time at the computer.

5. What is your favorite cold-weather activity?
Watching a fire burn in the fireplace.

6. At church, do you always sit in the same area?
Yep, that would be the choir loft.

7. What do you like best about blogging?
Getting to tell complete strangers random things about my life, reading random things about complete strangers, and learning that complete strangers make really great friends.

8. What's the last funny thing you remember hearing from a child?
I can't remember any funny things right now, because the kids are on my last ever lovin' nerve.

Okay, off topic now:

I guess God's trying to teach me something here. After all this hoo-ha, we still haven't closed. They finally have all the paperwork in from the sellers, but there just isn't enough time in the day to get the rest of it ready today. Of course, if everyone dropped everything else, it could be done. But we are nobody special to them. We are just one case among many, and no one will be dropping anything to give us special attention.

Meanwhile, our lock on our funding expires at midnight tonight, and in order to extend our lock, it is going to cost us.


Thank you all so much for keeping us in prayer. We have not been sure if we are kicking against the pricks, so to speak, or if God's just trying to teach us patience. We believe that this is God's place for us, but we wouldn't be the first people to be wrong about that. Someone once told me that life isn't always about trying to figure out where God wants you, so much as being God's vessel when you get wherever He puts you.

I know I'm rambling, but I'm tired, and I've spent many hours and tears on this place. I just want it to be over so I can go home.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Indescribable beauty

I love the colors of autumn.

The sound of the swishing leaves as they brush the ground is soothing to my ear.

If I could paint a picture with words, it could be no more beautiful than the picture God paints in the fall. It would not come close to the beauty of reality.

Freshly picked apples from the tree are not as crisp as the morning and evening air.

The branches of the trees are doing a seductive dance as they shed their leaves in preparation for a winter of sleep. Their swaying is a mesmerizing tribute to the power of the unseen hand that sweeps through them.

The boldness of the reds, golds, and oranges startles my eyes, and bids me to linger, just to watch them drift to the ground.

Only a Creator with an eye for unimaginable beauty could paint a living picture so painfully brilliant that it cannot be described.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Okay, Y'all

I heard from the realtor this morning. We will not be closing today. They are anticipating receiving the deed today, which was FedEx-ed last night. And we will possibly close tomorrow afternoon, but by Friday, for sure.So thanks for your prayers for peace while I try not to fret. Keep us lifted up the next couple of days, that nothing else goes wrong.

Monday, November 3, 2008


For all my praying peeps

This is the final week. And I don't mean because I called it, this time.
Our contract states that we will close on or before Nov. 5.
We have done all the repairs that were required by the inspector. And now the contractor, who agreed to wait payment until closing, must be paid, so things cannot fall through. I have spent the past week, and will spend the next two days finishing the deep cleaning. (Thanks for the help, Chris.)
The deck is fantastic, and I got my bridge and hot tub platform.

But I can feel the pressure mounting. The stress is getting overwhelming. These people failed to produce the proper documents when we needed them the last time, and I have no confidence that they will produce them in time, this time.
Let the stressing out commence.
When I get stressed, I get short tempered. I know this about myself. So I am keeping busy so I don't have time to spaz.
If you don't mind, pray for me this week. Pray that things will go as they should, and that, if they don't, I will hold up under the pressure. That I will take my frustrations to my Father and my husband, and not pour them out on my children.