Monday, June 29, 2009

North Carolina Family Visit

This weekend we decided to run down to North Carolina for some time with our family down there. Phil's Mom and step-Dad just moved down there near where his sister's family lives. Makes it a one-stop shop for us as far as visiting family goes.

Uncle Adam's birthday is coming up this weekend, so we gave him a little cake love. The kids worked hard on the chocolate one.
Later they all had a good time in the water outside. Jeremiah did try out the slide... one time. It resulted in crying so we felt alright about just letting him hang out in the wading pool after that.
Josh is a much bigger fan of the slide, as you can see.
Dana and I worked on the red velvet one, adding an R2D2 to the top.
Overall it was a great weekend enjoying time with family and time away from the need to call the insurance company every single day. Happy Birthday, Adam!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Not much news on my car as I am still waiting to hear back on the report from the inspector from our insurance but we do have news on the truck.
When the truck was getting hooked up to be towed the driver mentioned to Phil that there had been instances of problematic gasoline in our area. It was the first we had heard about it. We had done some reading about it and the signs seemed to line up with our trucks problems. Today we found out for certain that our truck had fuel with a too high ethanol level in it. Here's the most recent article I could find about the fuel problem. This is what made it respond out of character when Phil accelerated. Unfortunately for our insurance company who is already eating the results of my car mishap and the cost to tow the truck, they'll now be dishing out the money for this truck repair as well. What is unfortunate for them is definitely to our advantage! So now we can relax a bit and sit back and wait for everything to pan out and get fixed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


To add to our very extraordinary first week back from Disney, we are now officially out the truck as well! It gave Phil a little trouble on the way home on Friday. On Saturday when he went to go get some extra oil to top it off, he couldn't even get the thing moving enough to get around the block well. We tried to caravan both of our vehicles to the Nissan dealership we were already planning on taking my car to for repairs. Unfortunately we couldn't even get the truck a couple miles away. So...
NOW both our vehicles are at Nissan and hopefully they'll be able to fix up everything and get it working again. In the mean time, we're super glad we have rental coverage on our insurance policy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Poor Car

In case I wasn't having a hard enough time adjusting to real life... this happened.
Well, actually, it's not like it just happened to me mysteriously out of nowhere. I happened to it, really. I was being... well, ridiculous. I was paying more attention to trying to find my ID to get on base then I was to whether or not my light was actually green. No one to blame but myself which makes it all the more frustrating. I would have rather had someone hit me, I think. To focus on the really important part, the boys and I are just fine. Joshua was more concerned with continuing our game of "what words start with 'b'" then the fact that I had just hit someone. They both got little Jr Officer badges (read: stickers) from the policeman who filed the report.
My poor car. We've had her just a couple months and have made her drive all the way down to Florida and back and now this. Boy am I glad cars are incapable of revenge. I'd be in for it big time!
I'm doing my best to keep in mind the response of a friend. This is just a reminder that I'm human and imperfect. God's grace is made perfect in weakness, right??

Disney World Day 5

Yes, it did take me forever to get the last days worth of pictures up. Sorry about that.
On our last day in Disney we decided to head back to the Magic Kingdom. We had been meaning to get the boys hair trimmed anyway, so we stopped by the Barber Shop on Main St. Good idea!
They're super great with kids... and gave them both a little something extra to enjoy all day long.

Blue and red hair with "Mickey Dust" sprinkled on top.
All of the cast members and lots of just regular people spotted Josh's new do a mile off. He felt like the center of attention all day... and if you were Joshua and 5, that would be just about the best thing that could ever happen to you!
We decided to hit up the kids rides we had missed the other day we were there. The boys loved all of them!
No visit to Mickey's land would be complete without a visit to the head cheese himself, right? When we reflected on our entire trip, both boys said that seeing Mickey was their #1 favorite thing we did.

Check out those storm clouds! It chased a bunch of people out of the park so we had a pretty nice evening on our last day. No, Jeremiah's not distracted here. He was completely asleep! Poor guy. Must be rough, huh?
I love finding random characters the boys don't even really recognize. Good parental fun to be had there.
Our whole trip Joshua kept asking if we were going to go on the carousel so since we ended up with a little extra time on our hands we made sure to get them on it.
Jeremiah got to ride by himself (ie without Mommy holding him on) which was a pretty big deal to him.
Our last ride we went on twice! It's a Buzz Lightyear game where you shoot things for points. Phil got twice the points I did, I think. We all had fun, which was the important part.
So that pretty much concluded our time at Disney. We were up the next morning and on to the rather uneventful drive home. I'm still recuperating from this trip even though the suitcases are unpacked and we're back to dishes and laundry like normal. I think part of me would still rather be in Disney World.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Disney World Day 4

If walking the kids around and showing them new things is a passion of mine, then today would have been... well, the best day ever! Today we went to Animal Kingdom. It's kinda like a zoo... but not at all. I know, I can appreciate the irony here. They have a load of animals but you see them way more in their natural habitat. Disney seems to be really good at letting animals just be but having them do that where you can kinda see them. The boys got to see so much today!
This is under the Tree of Life, which is the center of this theme park. There are all sorts of animals "carved" into the trunk of the tree (which isn't really a live tree at all, of course).
The safari ride is great! We might have just been lucky, but we saw a whole herd or rhino, giraffes, hippos, a couple lions laying in the sun and more birds then we could count.
Then we headed out to the Conservation Station where the boys got to pet some animals. I usually avoid petting zoos on a whole. Poop on your shoes and crusty animal yuck on your hands does not sound like fun to me. Here it was clean and the animals were friendly so the boys had a great time feeling the different animals there.
Goofy and Pluto in Dinoland. Getting closer to the main cheese. Maybe tomorrow?
Dinoland was Jeremiah's favorite part, I think.

Us at the end of the day with the tree of life in the background. Think the boys are a little tired??
Tomorrow is our last day in the parks here. We've had so much fun! I've decided not to think about having to go home again yet. That means dishes and laundry and all that... and I'm just not ready for that yet. One more day to enjoy just being us together.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Disney World Day 3

We made it through what should be the hottest day of our trip by ducking into air conditioned places as often as we could and drinking a huge amount of water between the four of us. Today we started out at Downtown Disney at the Lego store. Exciting stuff when you're this age!
You could build your own car and race against other people. Good stuff! We picked up a few pieces we had been wanting for the boys (mostly so they'll stop arguing over the ones we have). We even got a couple engraved with their names on them. Talk about cool!
Today we spent our one day at Hollywood Studios. There really wasn't much here for us since the boys aren't big enough for the really huge rides yet. Someday...
The huge Mickey hat was met with much excitement, though!
After getting tired of not finding much to do, we went back over to Epcot. I think that's our favorite.
Here's the boys learning a little about Archeology and China. I've come to realize I'm a complete geek about teaching them stuff. All the other parents were just letting their kids roam and look. I'm down on one knee trying to talk with them about digging and finding fun things under the dirt and archeology and cultures. Yep. A total geek.
After stopping back in Japan to finish off our tour of the countries, we happened across this little gem. She comes out a few times a day to make Japanese candy for some of the kids around here. She just happened to make one for Josh and Jeremiah. They asked for a fish... but got a shark. Good enough for them!
This is their shark later at our hotel room. Mommy broke the tail a little on accident :( They ate it shortly after anyway. Still tasted the same.
The past few days we've been trying to give the boys a few opportunities to just run wild for a bit. This evening the fountains at Downtown Disney provided that. It was on our way home to our hotel.
I can't believe we get to do 2 more days of this! We could not have asked for a better vacation!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Disney World Day 2

Can you imagine that we accidentally overslept today after everything we went through yesterday?? Well, we did. However, we did feel much better getting up and out and to the park before lunchtime. Today was an awesome day! We spent it in Epcot.
Here's a picture of the boys saving the world with Kim Possible by finding clues in the United Kingdom part of Epcot.
We just happened across a line to see Tigger and Pooh. Well worth the wait! They aren't really in the boys' top 5, I'd say, but Jeremiah seemed to think they were part of the family!

Daddy with Jeremiah on the Living Seas with Nemo and friends. We had a really great time pointing out "Nemo" in the fish tanks at the end.
The boys found themselves in a bit of a sticky situation here... (I think I deserve bonus points every time I don't use the work pickle in this context. Really.)
The big ball. On the way to our bus tonight Jeremiah said, "Bye big ball. See you morrow!"
Just happened across Donald as well. We're pretty big fans. Didn't help that yesterday was actually his 75th birthday. Looks pretty good for his age, don't you think?

This one is my favorite! Learning to use chopsticks in Japan. I love it!!
No, not a perfect picture, but impressive considering I took it with Jeremiah sitting on the camera strap that was over my shoulder. Josh and Daddy watching fireworks at the end of the night.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Disney World Day 1

We had a great time surprising the boys with the news. We drew out a pirate map around the house and they discovered "clues" that lead them to this destination...

What a couple days these have been! We drove overnight down here to try and avoid some of the frustration of entertaining two small boys over a 12 1/2 hour drive. All worked relatively as planned until we stopped for breakfast.
Jeremiah has had... well, we'll say a somewhat personal problem that from my understanding is fairly normal, but evidenced itself is a not so normal way that lead us to think he should be seen by a doctor that day. Sorry, I'd be more specific but I don't want him to hate me that much when he's older. So we spent a couple hours of what should have been our first day at the Magic Kingdom in the ER. Lots of fun! Finally we came to the conclusion that it wasn't what we were fearing and we were free to go. The boys had a disrupted night of sleep, Phil didn't sleep at all and I was working on about 1 hour, I think. Fun times.
Finally we checked into our hotel early and headed for the park. Yay! The boys were thrilled! We got to ride the monorail and went in the very front with the driver so they got little "co-pilot" cards to take home with them.
After lunch we met Captain hook and Mr. Smee. Jeremiah was a bit too shy, but had planned to tell them, "I'm a pirate! Arrrrrr!"
I'm starting to like that we can take our own pictures with monuments!
Jeremiah's first time on the tea cups. He did WAY better then I expected!
Yep the pirate thing is really catching on with Jeremiah. I think we might just need to get him this hat...
After we were completely beat we decided to walk through Downtown Disney before heading back to our hotel because we thought it was on the way. Found a Ghiradelli soda fountain and had a sundae. It is a very special occasion that merits dessert before dinner! It was peanut butter and fudge with homemade fudge... Oh wow! Phil asked if it hit the spot. I told him it was more like it hit the spot with a sledge hammer!
Now we've finally had dinner and are off to bed. Hopefully Phil and I can cram two nights of sleep into one night. Tomorrow we'll be heading to the parks again to see all sorts of new and fun things!