Friday, October 31, 2008

Riverine Squadron 1 Article

I just clipped this out of the paper today. Thought you all would like to see it!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Update on Us

Thing here are... well... going. I've picked out my top houses that I liked. Phil will be coming in this weekend so he'll actually be able to look at them. Because of a slight change in potential circumstances we are back at the place of deciding whether to buy or rent again, so hopefully once we get a second look at the top houses our decision will be clearer. Our realtor has been so patient and understanding in all of this with our ups and downs and waiting. We are so grateful for her!
Jeremiah has not been feeling well today, running quite a little fever. Motrin makes him feel a lot better, but keeping up with that with everything going on is not always easy. No other symptoms yet, so we're just trying to keep him comfortable with the fever so his body can fight whatever it's trying to fight.
Tonight I went to my first official FRG (Family Readiness Group) and had some major questions answered by the CMC (Command Master Cheif) and the CO (Commanding Officer) in person. I am so excited! Phil's next school doesn't start until the beginning of January so we'll have him here until then to help us with finding a house and to get settled in as well as enjoying the holidays together before we have to have time apart again. This is HUGE news for us! With his other schools coming up we'll have quite a bit more time apart to look forward to, but for now I'm grateful to know we have a break at least.
Tomorrow is Halloween which both of the boys have really been looking forward to this year. We missed it last year becuase Josh was sick. Please be praying that we all feel up to trick-or-treating.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Phil's Trip to New Orleans

Phil is not too far of a drive from New Orleans right now so he has made it there twice. He was finally able to upload some pictures from his ventures so I thought you'd like to see them as well and get an idea of what the town is like. It's still on my list of places to go! I think Phil took some really great pictures while he was there.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Temporary Home in Virginia

Our home here for now is with our friends from Italy, Jim and Cheryl. They have two kids as well named Laura and Tyler. Josh and Tyler have become great buds! Tyler is 5.

Laura has been so helpful with Jeremiah! She is in 2nd grade this year and loves hanging out with our little guy.
So far everything is going as smoothly as could be expected. I've been out seeing some houses. Nothing seems to be a perfect fit yet, so we're still looking. Hoping it doesn't take too long since we'd really like to have our own place again.
We've started the countdown to seeing Daddy again which is very exciting for the boys. So much has happened since we saw him last! Please keep us in your prayers for finding a good house in a good school district with enough parking for our vehicles.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Finally in Virginia!

Today we spent the day with Grammy and Papa Jackson in Cambridge, Maryland. The left the leaves out back for the boys to play in.
This is Grammy (Phil's Mom) having a good time with Jeremiah

We found out just how much fun it is to wrestle Papa to the ground!
Tonight we drove in very late to Virginia Beach. Tomorrow we'll take Nana to the airport to head home and go visit our friends that we'll be staying with while we look for a house. The road trip is officially done and the house hunt is about to begin!

Monday, October 20, 2008


We woke up this morning in Philadelphia. We made our own waffles in our hotel that had a bell shape in the middle. The boys loved it! The boys outside Independence Hall (which was not named that originally, of course, since that would have been treason at the time).
This is us at the Liberty Bell. The crack is on the backside which is why you can't see the crack. It was a little crowded...
Independence Hall...
Jeremiah penning his own Declaration...
This is the room where the founding fathers decided to declare independence. The doors were shut and curtains drawn. George Washington sat in that very chair to preside over the writing of the Constitution.

For lunch we found something you'd never expect... a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. Jeremiah was a HUGE fan! Josh... not so much.
George Washington observing while Joshua signed his name to the Constitution.
Make sure to notice Jeremiah with Nana in the background...
You can tell Jeremiah took all of this very seriously.
We ended our tours in Philadelphia with a stop to a turn of the century soda fountain for the best banana split I've ever had in my life!!

Tonight we got in to Cambridge, Maryland to visit with Phil's Mom and Step-Dad.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Boyd's Bear Country in Gettysburg

We built bears for Daddy (the pirate one) and Papa Valencia
We visited an Amish Farm and House museum that just happened to be right next to Target. I found that ironic.
Trying out the buggy
Some Amish towns... don't think I really need to say anything.
See the buggy? Going through the intersection with the other cars. Not the fastest mode of transportation I've seen. Couldn't get the girls in the back in time. They were wearing the plain outfits and bonnets. Very cute!
Finally in Philadelphia!! We were sooo hungry!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

What a place! This morning we got up in our considerably nicer hotel from the night before feeling well rested and ready to be touristy. Right across the street from our hotel is where Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address.
There is a place called Explore and More here for kids to teach them some about the time and well... lots of other stuff! It was great to let the boys just be kids for a bit and you could tell it really did them some good. This is a giant bubble maker.
The hotel we stayed at was right on the main square. We paid more then normal to stay here, but it was a beautiful hotel and we all slept great! I think it was worth it.
We took an audio tour of the Gettyburg battlefields. The boys didn't understand any of it, but we did find little army men for them that were blue and gray and they liked seeing the big guns and statues.
I don't think we could have come here at a more beautiful time...

The first confederate statue erected here was of General Lee. He lost his citizenship and his home over the choice he made to join the confederate side. His home was seized for $93 of back taxes and was later converted to Arlington National Cemetery.
This is at the Pennsylvania monument where you can see all the battlefields and hills they fought on in July of 1863. I can't even imagine! The citizens of the town hid in their cellars during these days. Only one civilian casualty was claimed during America's bloodiest battle to date.
After trying to make one stop we really wanted to do only to find it was closed for the night, we decided to stay here one more night and head along our way tomorrow. Since we were staying, we made the best of it and took a horse-drawn carriage ride through town and learned quite a bit! Saw one building with almost 100 bullet hole marks in the side wall you can still see as well as a morter shell in another building the size of your fist. Our horses name was Bella Star and she tried to eat Joshua's head right after this picture.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Today we have driven through 4 states and logged quite a few more hours on the road. We've made it to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for the night. The route we took weaved us through Ohio, West Virginia, then Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and finally back into Pennsylvania. It was quite the interesting trip! We'll get up and tour some in Gettysburg tomorrow. The other legs of our trip are all just a few hours a piece, so the majority of our driving time is behind us. In the mean time, the views along the way today were gorgeous! These pictures don't do them any justice, but it's just an idea. Everything from deep burgundy to evergreen and bright coppers and gold that glowed in the sun. We could not be taking this trip at a better time of year!


This morning we were finally able to see the bean in Millenium Park in Chicago. It was actually a lot of fun to visit. You can walk completely under it and your reflection warps as the bean bends. The boys and I are in the front left of the bean here... (click on it to see the larger version)
As you can see, the boys were having a good time playing with their reflections.
This part is especially for Matt... We stopped at Giordanno's for breakfast/lunch then headed out.
We've made it into Ohio before we decided we needed to stop for the boys' sake. Tomorrow we'll be driving a lot more since most of our stops are closer to the East Coast.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Day 1 (or should I say Night 1) of our road trip
We have finished the pack out and handed over possession of the house. It feels pretty good to have all of that done... even though we can't seem to find Jeremiah's pillow anywhere! What a day it's been! Packers at the house literally all day long, picking up my mom from the airport, signing a billion papers then cleaning every corner to make things easier on the people moving in. Packing up our truck hoping everything would fit... then saying goodbye to some close friends.
This is me and Anne
Matt ran around with the boys in a VERY empty living room. We're going to miss them so much!!
Then we stopped to say goodbye to our neighbors. Josh and Lizzy are best pals and have played together a lot since we moved in. Lizzy will be moving to Texas on Friday. It was nice for Josh to hear about someone else moving as well, I think.

We finally got on the road and are now in Chicago. Tomorrow we'll be seeing a few sites and getting on the road to try and make some progress on this immense trip! In our attempt to find a hotel near some of the sites... we got crazy lost... even with a navigation system (which is actually the one at fault... I take no blame at all!) I think this is my favorite Chicago picture I've taken so far. Very Batman-esque!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Tonight we met together with some friends before we leave. We had a great time indulging in lots of gooey chocolate-y-ness. I will miss these friends so much!! (Josh took this picture so all of us could be in it!)