Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moving Part "I don't even care anymore"

Our HUGE moving van!! Holy cow!!

*SIGH* So, the wonderful idea of the do-it-yourself DITY move (which isn't even called that anymore! - it's personnaly procured something-or-other) is much less wonderful in action. Yesterday as Rob and I were lifting heavy furniture and boxes and packing remaining boxes for upwards of 9 hours the thought "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!" kept running through my head. I have still decided that my labor at this point in my life is worth the big check the government is going to give me for moving myself, but boy it is NOT EASY! With each heavy box I lifted, I was comforted by the thought that this box was 1/100 of my new couch or 1/70 of the boat we bought, etc. etc. So far, I still think it is worth it.

Today, I have a much better outlook. My arms are still so sore they won't grip anything and typing is kind of giving me little forearm spasms, but I'm sitting on our mattress in an empty (and clean!) house as Rob is returning with our boat (YAY!) and some pizza (mmm).

Tomorrow we set out for Florida!!! with stopovers in Longview and Ruston and Mobile before Panama City fills our windshields. I'm so excited to live near the beach!

Okay, I really can't type anymore because my arms hurt! But I love you all and look forward to when I get to see you again. Much love to Wichita Falls. muah!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Moving Part 2

Again, we really love our Wichita Falls friends! Y'all are awesome!! We'll miss Lance a lot!!! (notice the blog mention - now that's love! :-)

Our house looks weird now without all the art on the walls. The walls are very white.

I'm mentally gearing up for van loading tomorrow - I'm totally going to lift heavy objects - HOO-rah!

Saturday morning we took Gus to base (all three of us in the Miata! see below photo) to chase jackrabbits for the last time.

Also, I'm sad I finished my box of raisinetts. I want some more. mmmm.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boat Adventure

Most of you know that I've been looking to buy a sailboat for our new life in Florida. And Tuesday, Rob and I drove up to Oklahoma City to look at and probably buy a Nacra 5.2 catamaran. Well, we liked it and we did! YAY!! We now own a white 17 ft catamaran we've dubbed the S.S. Awesome. Score.

The sails were in great condition (one of the very important factors), but the boat hadn't been in the water in 4 years and the trailer hadn't been on the highway in probably far more time than that. Well, our initial estimate to drive home went later than planned because we thought we had the right size trailer ball and we didn't. sigh. So after a trip to Wal-Mart, Rob returns and we take down the mast (in the process, we bend a bolt with our inexperience - oops!) The former owner helps us prepare the rest of it for riding and we set off at dusk (with no working trailer lights, oh dear!)
The S.S. Awesome at the gas station
Just north of Lawton, Rob and are happily riding with our boat behind us when we feel a jump and both our faces fall - "uh oh. what was that?" Well, we pull over and find no left wheel on the trailer. FIE! FIE! FIE! We look for the wheel, but it's dark and we were travelling on the highway... After calling numerous potential sellers of trailer wheels and finding them all closed, we made one final call to the highway patrol to ask them not to tow our boat. We left our boat on I-44 and returned home to sleep in Wichita Falls.

Our boat trailer with no left wheel!

Yesterday morning! We get up early and grabbed the Krispy Kreme donuts (that my wonderful husband bought for me on his trip to get a trailer ball in OKC!!!! - he is so awesome!!! ... and he knows how much I love Krispy Kremes) and set out to get our boat.

The boat and trailer on the side of I-44

Here again, I'd like to give applause to my very capable husband for his handyman skills - he took off the whole axle of the trailer (that included a lot of him lifting the boat and trailer while I placed the blocks or dislogded the axle tongues!) His arms were SORE! We took our axle to Lawton and found a trailer place, bought a new hub and went to a marine place and bought a new trailer wheel. We returned to the trailer and with a LOT of effort (Rob holding the boat and trailer while I furiously tried to quickly replace the tongues!) we had ourselves a tow-able trailer once again! Rob is my hero!

The axle we took off the trailer

Now the boat is safely in Wichita Falls, although not at our house on base because that's strictly not allowed for more than 4 hours we found out!, but at our friend Jeff's house - thanks Jeff! You're awesome!!

I'm really looking forward to sailing it on the bay in Florida (and you can too if you come to visit me! :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

We love our Friends!

We love our friends!! Seriously, we could not have been blessed with better friends for our first years of marriage! he he - Y'all were our first. :-)

Thursday night, the girls got together for drinks at the club (how fabulous are we?) and it was such a delightful time! It's so nice to have such open friends who care about building each other up! I loved being able to tell each amazing lady what I'll miss most about them - they all have exceptional qualities! Then, I was so blessed when they shared nice things about me. I love it! One thing I really loved, though, was how many comments indirectly (or directly) complimented Rob! It's so wonderful to hear other people say how awesome my husband is!! I mean, I know it; it's just awesome to hear it too!
Our Sunday morning group:
Then on Sunday, our church group had a going away party for us. Yes, I cried. I'm so sad to leave such awesome, no, amazing, no, stellar... anyway, there's not a word cool enough to describe the friends we've been blessed with these past two years! I love the balance of scripture and truth with laughter, sidetracks, and anecdotes! We pray for the new people that will join the group after us and that the blessing and curse of the Air Force doesn't prevent deep relationships from being formed. I love y'all so much! We'll never forget you!
Our Going Away Party. Hey, check out how attractive our group is! I mean, serisouly! It doesn't seem fair that the whole group is beautiful! (makes them more powerful for God, you know!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We Got Orders!!!

YAAAYYY!! We finally got orders! That means we can hold in our hand the piece of paper that says "you're going to Florida." *sigh of relief*

Not that I didn't appreciate God's lessons in teaching me patience and trust in His sovereignty, but I am really glad to be able to move forward with the "to do list." So... we've got our TMO brief scheduled for Monday (15th), pre-inspection scheduled for Wednesday, our moving van to be picked up on Monday (22nd), and our drive-away on Wednesday! Wow!

It's just now starting to sink in though, that we're leaving Wichita Falls and all the awesome people we've come to know and love there. I'll really really miss our church group! Y'all are super fun! Hey, maybe one Sunday morning, we can meet on the beach... :-) And of course, the ESSG - but I feel certain I'll see many of you later down the road in this crazy Air Force life!

I just wanted to finally announce that we have real dates! And now our parents (and others who keep up with us) can say, "yes, they're going to Florida at the end of September" and so on.

Thus, I launch our blog with the knowledge of our first real PCS... Here's to keeping in touch and facing adventures and trusting God! Cheers!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Military Moving Part 1 (of I'm guessing many)

This is my first military moving experience. So far, it's been rather... uncertain. From what I understand, one can't really go through with everything that needs to be done until one gets the "orders." These are the papers that say "yes, this person is moving here to do this." We don't have these yet. Rob's class date is October 30 and we're planning on moving September 24.

Last month, the thought of not having orders yet made my body tense up with all I knew that had to be done - packing boxes, move scheduled, inspection scheduled, new house in Florida scheduled. Now?... se la vee... whatever. It'll happen. One day. In the meantime, I've severely lessened the speed at which I'm packing our stuff (also because when you still live in the house and do stuff, sometimes you need that stuff that's now packed!) And, since our new neighbors have moved in (yay!) we've been getting their empty boxes.

Dude! Moving boxes are niiice! I've been using the fry boxes from McDonald's (I like my boxes to be the same size, okay?) and stalking the dumpsters - even speaking Spanish at one location to acquire more boxes (Juan was so nice - he went inside and brought me some more boxes!) Anyway, I've since discovered the wonder of the wardrobe box and dish boxes with packing paper! WOW!

Also, I'm thrilled to report that the engine work on the Miata went extremely well!! Rob and I took most of the removable stuff off, replaced, the timing belt, the camshaft seals, crankshaft seal, water pump, thermostat, radiator hoses, spark plugs and plug wires. uh huh!! At first, when we started it up again, there was a very alarming knocking noise! But, we prayed again, this time that it was something little that we could easily fix and found that we forgot to tighten the bolts on the water pump pulley! woo hoo! Thank you, God! Now, my car is working beautifully, and we completed my 60,000 mile update! It just wish parts stores actually stocked Miata parts (and ordered them accurately!) so that when we decide to replace something or discover an unknown need mid-way, it doesn't add 2 more days to our project time! augh!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

My husband is awesome. I know everyone says that, but seriously, Rob truly inspires awe with his awesomeness. You know how girls like guys who've got skills? Well, Rob has got SKIIILLLLS!

One of his many skills involves working on cars. I had decided that I wanted to change my timing belt. One is supposed to do this at 60,000 miles and as my car had recently passed 86,000, I thought it might be a good idea to change the timing belt. Reading the Haynes manual, we knew it would be a big project. So, we began on Saturday over Labor Day weekend.

I love the Haynes manual. It is a very good guide for working on one's own car. But, the steps can be very misleading. For instance, when it says "remove the cam shaft oil seal" what it doesn't tell you is that you will try for 45 minutes to wedge that stupid seal out with an assortment and combination of exacto-knives, screwdrivers, pliers, etc, all while trying not to nick the camshaft, until you discover that you can take the top off the seal cover and very easily slide it out from there. hmmm. nice. But the steps are like that in the Haynes. One thing may take 2 seconds and the next step after that takes 4 hours. They should have guidelines, like on google maps - step 1: Turn left on "remove timing belt covers" 4 miles. step 2: Turn right on "remove timing belt sprokets" 18,000 miles. And so on.