Friday, October 31, 2008

Today

SCORE!! I got a new vacuum cleaner yesterday! The first of our DITY move purchases came in and we picked it up at Lowe's last night! I got a Bissell Total Floors - and I love it! Dyson, eat your heart out. Actually, Dyson did a lot for the vacuum cleaner market - they made vacuums sexy. They made it exciting to use your vacuum. BUT, we tried it in Sears (where they let you try out the vacuums) and they both sucked equally. he he. Anyway, I vacuumed like all day today and was greatly rewarded with seeing all the dirt that is no longer on my carpet. I love it.

In honor of my new vacuum, I also did some house cleaning. Joy, you would be so proud - I "green" cleaned! I used my vinegar, water, and essential oil mixture to clean my kitchen and dining floors and it was great! But I was even more impressed when I went to the bathroom to clean. There's a real mold problem here and the tub had already turned far from the original white. So, I sprinkled some baking soda in the tub and lightly sprayed my vinegar mixture. AWESOME! The tub turned whiter with each scrub! I think it's even whiter than when we first moved in! And the vinegar mixture is just the best all-purpose cleaner ever! Going green pays off.


Tonight, we were prepared for an onslaught of trick-or-treaters. Last year, at Sheppard, where we lived just down the street from the General's (where everyone started) we literally ran out of candy in 15 minutes! Seriously! So, this year, I was prepared! Alas, our number of trick-or-treaters was substantially less than estimated. Rob and I truly have our pick of the best candy (and I gave 3 to 4 pieces per kid!) But, we did dress up to give out candy and that makes me happy. I was a fairy (of course) and Rob wore his mullet and Gus wore a blue camouflage bandana to be a water commando. :-)

Trick-or-treater higlights: our neighbors' kids competing over who got to give away the candy, a really cute little bumblebee with photo-taking parents, a full-grown Batman with yellow utility belt, and a princess who, when given the candy, held it up to us and said, "I don't like this."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Big Heaping Helping of Southern Hospitality

With our designated church visiting period coming to a close we decided our last mission was to try Grace Baptist Church, I mean we've had pretty good luck with "Grace" named churches. When we showed up I quickly realized that their web-site is much more metropolitan than the actual church and I was expecting a slightly larger setting. They did have a young married's Sunday School class which runs on Grace Standard time, so our timeliness just placed us in the awkward only ones here position for about 10 minutes. The class is made up of mostly couples with several children and some newly married but not young. So the lesson was taught about how we should spend time in the Bible, however the lesson is from a book, to include "which passage from the Book did you like and how did it effect you...?"; we found the paradox funny. It was a nice lesson: it had application, if not substance. We were not the only visitors to the class there were two other couples from out of town, which made the class 50% visitors. I mention this because they asked us to introduce ourselves with personal information including a short testimony. McKay felt this was very unfriendly because they just assumed that all visitors were believers, lucky we were. In the main service we bumped into a friend from F-15 school and he sat with us which was nice because we could talk amongst ourselves, oh wait not true. We were interrupted at every instant by another person welcoming us to the church and pulling a short autobiography from each of us. Now I don't want anyone to think that I am unappreciative of friendly folks but just a short breather from time to time would have been nice. The worship is very very conservative back to the choir and the piano, but with an organ and a small string section. All the songs were either from the hymnal or a song book that might as well have been a hymnal written by really boring dudes in the last 10 to 15 years (like modern praise songs rejects). The sermon was very nice and straight shooting at the level we like. However, the trend of increasingly invasive newcomer presentations also continued. At first it was very low key, "new folk just stay seated and the rest of you stand and greet one another." We were thinking that there is no way that the preacher can pick us out from the pulpit. But when the dust cleared one of the ushers who had pooled all our information in an earlier conversation was standing near us and then the preacher gets up and asks someone to introduce the visitors. Our usher proceeded to tell all he knew of our friend, McKay, and me with all eyes focused on us; ending our intro with "...and he is lucky enough to be married to her. Ha ha ha." The preacher then asked about our friend, "Who're you with?...oh you're single....would all the single ladies in the congregation stand up?" It was a good joke, but holy put us on the spot Batman. Our Sunday School teacher did elude to Barack Obama being the anti-christ: +7 points

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Landscaping?

So, I would love some help to landscape my yard. I know, you're saying, "But McKay, you're only going to be there until June"... well, we were only going to be at Sheppard for 1 year and we were there for 2. So... I've decided to live in each place like I actually live there. But of course, keeping the landscaping costs to a minimum is desirable.

I would love something pretty - we know I love pretty things. I would love flowers. I would love different textures. I like azaleas, gardenias, ferns, bulbs, lilies, hibiscus, pansies, bogonias... I started researching gardening and landscaping, but there is simply TOO much information for me to sift through - I need some expert opinions (the input of friends and family). Below are some pictures I really liked and would hope to get something similar (within means).

Great texture in this one

Love the many colors, textures, heights

I would love to use herbs for nice-smelling landscaping - mint, rosemary...

Again, love the texture

bulbs give great color!

AND... here is what I'm working with...

The first impression

In order of priority (1) the front walkway. The front half of the bed gets full sun most of the day, the back half is full shade. I'm not a huge fan of the sculptured bushes on the side, but don't want to spend the energy or money - maybe prune them. Ideas for this area?

(2) the wall to the left of the driveway. There's a trellis there for a climbing plant and two bushes. Only gets mostly shade and indirect sun.


(3) The bed on the back patio (where the outdoor table is) - indirect sunlight, but would love a hibiscus here.

(4) backyard (will move the woodpile and doghouse) FULL SUN!! This window is the living room window, so maybe something colorful to see out the window?

Problem-solving parameters: given photos above, want color, texture, herbs, want something to enjoy now, want something to enjoy through the winter, spring, summer (not have to be all same thing! Maybe a plan for the seasons - plant this that will flower in the spring next to this that is pretty in the winter... you know).

Thanks in advance for your advice! I need it! Hope you're all doing well.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mexico Beach

Friday, as many of you know, was my birthday! Rob had a roll call that night, so we weren't really sure what we were going to do to celebrate. I went to the Officer Club with the girls while the guys were at the squadron. It's really fun to have drinks at the Officer Club - the one at Sheppard was hardly used. After Rob's roll call, he met me and we had a lovely night, just the two of us. I don't really need presents, just Rob. :-) He always makes me feel special.

Saturday, we visited another flea market (I'm beginning to think Florida really likes their glorified garage sales) and I picked up some beach cookie cutters and a couple neat-looking glass bottles - one with German words on it. Later that day, we went to Mexico Beach to check out their art and wine festival. The setting was beautiful - cozy inn on the beach, good live band, wine, local artists... and chock full of middle-aged singles! Rob and I must have missed the memo that this is where you go to meet people post-divorce. :-) It really just kicked off our weekend of being the only ones in attendance from our demographic, ie. see latest church scouting mission.

That night, the B-coursers (the B course is the F-15 class Rob is doing right now) from all 3 classes (senior class, baby class, and baby-baby class - I'm not sure if that's the right terminology) all met up and grilled on the beach and made a bonfire. It was a great relaxing night getting to know the other Eagle-associated people better.

OH! Big news! We got our TMO check from our do-it-yourself move!!! YAAAAYYYY!!!! And, although our check is substantial, I'm definitely NOT doing another full DITY move! Ever. So... I'll be ordering my new couch soon (the whole reason behind the DITY move)!! You'll all be getting before and after pics of the living room.

I'd also like to take this moment to share some of my new favorite things. I love the TV series "Pushing Daisies." Rob and I just finished season 1 on netflix and it is SO good! It's funny, colorful, lighthearted, and feel-good, like a bedtime story. It's just good! So, you should all check it out and thank me. While we're on the subject, I also love "Speed Racer" - yeah. It absolutely blows my mind. Not only is the plot, characters, acting good, but the visual stimulation is incredible! It's just so beautiful to watch! It makes me happy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Young Married's Class of 2

Our third church visit was to Heritage Bible Church Panama City, and as far as trends go our praise music experience has continued. When we rolled up McKay saw that you can count the cars in the parking lot on your fingers and was a little despaired at the small size of the church. If you want to know how small: the preacher, from the pulpit, picked us out of the crowd as new comers, and I quote, "there's a couple new faces there in the second to last row, ya'll make them feel welcome." This was immediately followed by a 10 minute stand and greeting time, like a big family reunion. The church is also small enough that the congregation can interrupt the service and enter comments and announcements. It reminded me a lot of Faith Alliance where I went as a kid. The morning actually started with Sunday School. One of our requirements for a church is a small group bible study on Sunday morning. We were a little surprised that there is one adult Sunday School class which was in the sanctuary. There is a lot of great discussion and solid teaching, including a very sporty exchange with a retired Navy Master Chief, which was nice. The main service started with a hymn, from a hymnal (no projector screen power point here) with a piano, no choir, and the guy waving his hand to keep us all in sync. The service did seem to follow little off subject trails here and there and concluded with a very short sermon. It was probably the shortest sermon and longest service I've been to. We visited this church because their preacher is a Dallas Theo Grad and we were hoping for good theology, which they have. However, the church is entirely made up of families with school age kids and older adults, we were the only 2 people in our demographic. The people there are very nice and I think if I had kids I would probably choose to return, however we are looking for a place where we have peers. There were no mullets but the local boot store (That Boot Shop) owner invited us to meet his new mini-pony, Gideon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our Weekend "Vacation"


Knowing Rob had a three-day weekend for Columbus Day and wanting to take advantage of it, I started looking at little mini-vacations. Upon further thought, I realized "We're AT the beach! Where else do we want to go?!?" So, I made reservations at the very exclusive Ft. Awesome Hotel.


Satuday, Rob and I went down to St. Andrews to check out this flea market I'd read about in Frommer's. Well. Not so much. So, we looked around the stores down there and found a great little antique store where we came upon a huge collection of old matchbook covers from hotels around the US and some abroad! What a neat idea! We picked out a few favorites including the Sands in Vegas, the Waldorf Astoria in New York, and the Kemp Hotel in Wichita Falls, among others. I think I'm going to frame them.

After that, we went shopping at the new shopping center in Panama City Beach - Pier Park. We ate lunch at the Hofbrau House, I got the brown peeptoe pumps I'd been looking for all summer, Rob got some pants, and we had ice cream in waffle cones for dessert. It was a great day!

Sunday, after church visiting, we went to the beach on the other side of the town of Mexico Beach (because this beach is one of the few around that allows dogs). You know, I kind of figured a beach area to be a bit more dog friendly. Oh well. Here's some pics from that trip.


Monday, Rob and I took our coffee to-go and went for a walk on Shell Island (that is accessible by foot via a boardwalk on the base!)
It was so wonderful and peaceful! Peaceful up until I realized my phone was no longer in my pocket! Oh no! Yes, I dropped my phone on the beach. Upon retracing our steps, we found it, filled with sand and getting washed with salt water waves. So sad. So... I'll be asking for all your phone numbers soon because the cell phone age makes it where I don't remember any numbers (save for my parents, Rob, and Rebecca Petty).
So that was our little mini-vacation this weekend. So nice. And so close! Keep in touch, everyone! Much love,

McKay

Church Scouting Mission 2

Okay, before I expound upon our most recent church visitation, I just want to point out the awesome art that Rob has created for our blog. Mom and Dad, if you're getting this via the blog updater - you really need to visit the site and check it out. I worry that it might be a little "too much" you know, so I'd love some comments to gauge the new addition. :-)

So, this past Sunday, we visited St. Andrews Baptist Church - in St. Andrews, FL - I know! I was kind of wondering about the Catholic Baptist church too. The Sunday school was really nice - the people were so sweet and the learning was interesting and applicable. The service was a lot more "baptist" than I've been used to in a long while. There was a huge choir and tons of instruments, an organ (!), pews, a balcony, and all the proper Baptist church setup. My very favorite: the worship leader has a mullet!! And not just the regular type - it's Frasier's baldness on top creeping upon Billy Ray Cyrus' curly locks in the back! Awesome. The message was about faith in God's plan and how it's not always like our plan... hmmm, do you think Rob and I can relate? :-) Just the latest in our church scouting.

Monday, October 6, 2008

So, I'm sitting on my couch, sipping coffee as Rob has left on his first Monday to F-15 school. Gosh, my husband is so COOL! I'm loving the living room arrangement I finally came to (after much perusing of Pottery Barn catalogues and decorating books from the library). It still needs some accessories and the art to be hung, but this is the general idea.

Compare before and after:


















Friday, we went to the squadron's first First Friday which actually fell on Oktoberfest. So, everyone went to downtown Panama City for German beer and bratwurst served up by the Knights of Columbus and more. So far, I'm really liking the Tyndall base area. The commissary is big and nice and has aisles such that when you're shopping during the day with all the retirees, they can stop in the middle of the aisle and you can actually go around them! Very nice. :-) Plus, have I mentioned that I LOVE living near the water. I told Rob that if we had to come back here for a tour, I wouldn't mind at all. He reminded me that I've already said that about Sheppard (we love you guys!) and that I will probably say it about all the bases we will live. I love that the military is taking me to all these interesting places for free!

Saturday, we worked on the boat and discovered that we don't actually know what we're doing. Plus, I dropped the mast on my head (OUCH!!) while we were putting it back up. Yeah, it hurt. There's a lot of ropes and pulleys that aren't connected or missing ('cause they're old) and we're not even sure what we need when we go to the store. I picked up a few books in the library about sailing (including Sailing for Dummies) but I still might end up hiring an instructor to teach us how to use our boat. Now, I'm really hoping to get the boat on the water before it turns cold!

In the meantime, enjoy these pictures and videos courtesy of your loving Moores in Florida! Plus, read Rob's posts - they are awesome!! I love my oh-so-talented husband!!

Our backyard:



The nice bush growing through our deck:


Gus running happy on the beach:

video

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Suits be Shunned

Today we deployed on our first new church scouting mission. We visited Northstar Church of Panama City. Check your tie at the door folks this isn't a church where you want to be over dressed; even the preaching staff supports a pre-worn blue jean uniform. It is a pretty new church that meets in an old furniture store. The church reminds me alot of Breakaway at A&M as the teaching is sound and biblical but very fluffy with happy life lessons and the like. I think the biggest draw other than the teaching is the worship part of the service. They have really raised my bar for contemporary worship. I think my first impression was the fog machine light show as we are singing and the multi angle close-ups projected on the 3 big screens behind the band (note: the sanctuary is not too large to see the stage well). The other thing that caught my attention was that the lead guitarist looks familiar, just like Josh Fernberg, not allowed to shave for a week, jamming in his powerstance on a Les Paul. The praise band was as if The Edge from U2 found Jesus, grabbed Chris Tomlinson for vocals, got the Foo Fighters for a band, and ramped up to cover all of Jesus's favorite songs including Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" (100% serious, they played Skynyrd at church, on a Sunday morning). If righteousness could jump up and wail on the guitar with powerchords of justice the Northstar Church would find a way. Not just the band is awesome but the producer behind the cameras, he is pulling off sweet close-ups on the guitarists fingers or making sure the audience has a crush on the cute girl singing back-up. All in all, pretty awesome experience. We plan to look at a few other churches but the preacher at Northstar has a mullet: plus 2 points.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

700 Billion Leg Bail Out

I was running with the dog, a typical Saturday morning sun shining, cool breeze, man Florida is nice. We ran down past the archery range to the beach where we were going to cut back to the house along the shore. Now, I'm not from the beach and I know there are some things that I don't know about sea life but what I saw down there is probably the creepiest thing I have ever seen in nature. I'll get straight to it, crabs. Yep, little crabs about the size of your big toe just covering the beach. In both directions the ground is alive. They are quick too, not that I tried to step on them, I was jogging, but I hardly stepped on any. It was like some kind of "Killer mini-crabs from the Deep" movie and I'm sure that if I fell down they would have stripped the flesh from my bones.
The dog had fun too because these little guys are like walking dog treats: tasty, crunchy, and fun (mild defenses only). As you walk they retreat in to the grass like the beach is rolling out the white carpet (the sand is white). I did wonder where all the predators were, I mean, if I was a carnivore, omnivore, or even a vegetarian with a mouth big enough to eat an acorn I would be at this conveyor belt smorgasbord of seafood. When we got back to the house I got McKay and the camera because the verbal description only does about 50% justice to the spectacle. She confirmed: creepiest thing she's ever seen. I'm sure there are a few people who know the beach who will probably say stuff like, "That's nothing new", "That happens every year", and "Mmmm tasty." But I'm not going to let that stop me from believing that it was God's little "Welcome to Florida" Hallmark card. I also made a video, one with a creepy "they're going to take over the world" vibe
video

and the other with a "they're so cute I want to fill my pockets with them" vibe.

video

I also thought you should see a close up of this one

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

5 Tons to Florida


Relocation of Fort Awesome to sunny Florida is no small task. If you are ever wondering how much stuff you have I think that you should pile it all in a truck and weigh it. That is metaphorical, you get to see how much junk you've accumulated and evaluate your consumer driven existence, but seriously, we put it on a Caterpillar Semi-truck scale and find out you have 5 tons of stuff. Lucky for us the Air Force pays us to move our stuff (buy the pound) so they don't have to. So my wife drove the small truck and I took the big one and at 1200 noon we left Wichita Falls. After a stop for food and bathroom we really left Wichita Falls at 100pm. I never thought that driving slow could be so relaxing, but no pressure to pass anyone is kind of nice. We circumvented down-town Dallas by taking the back roads, which are becoming more civilized by the day as the Metroplex amebas out into the country side. But there are still some gems left. Somewhere you've got to cut through Northeast Texas, the road was paved but about as rural as is gets, I felt very Dukes of Hazzardish. Over the course of the trip we definately saw some sweet signs "Look for long Logs" and my favorite : "DONUTS, ARCHERY, GUNS" I mean one stop shopping you can't beat. We stayed with my family in Longview which was nice to relax. The next day started off strange. First of all I had the low fuel alarm going off in my truck which was sitting on E so I planned a stop at a very strategic truck stop on the way out of town. The manly woman managing the pumps walks up and says "Sorry son, we ain't got no diesel, an I cain't tell you when we gettin' more." Not that I was going to wait around for that anyway, what kind of truck stop runs out of fuel. So I'm sweating the low fuel light and go back an exit to another truck stop I know of, which turns out to be torn down. After passing 2 other places who ran dry of diesel I finally find some at the Wal-mart. Crisis averted. I still can't understand why we can't leave town in less than 1 hour. In Ruston, LA, we stopped for lunch with McKay's grandma, Honey, and her husband H.L. They took us to this little joint in the middle of the woods and treated us to one of the best catfish dinners I have ever had. For two folks who are trying to take it easy they stay really busy, which I think keeps them young at heart. They both said they don't ever want to be 100 years old, and I believe H.L. but I think Honey might be fibbing just a little. Then we went from Jackson, MS, to Mobile, AL, the only station I could find was this monotone preacher talking about how the pope in the 920 A.D. era was the Antichrist and Napoleon put and end to the Tribulation, so you better keep the Sabbath holy. There was some other logic in between those points, based in scripture, but I think that if there was a biblical tribulation in the dark ages, they did s pretty good cover up. We stayed in a hotel in Mobile that didn't allow pets, but we explained that Gus is a military dog, so they made an exception. All he did was sleep on his mat anyway. So we left Mobile in what seemed like good time, but as we approached the Florida border the hotel called and said that they had my military ID card which is impossible because I have it right here in my pocke...what..., this is a room key. That's right I turned in my ID in the cute little paper sleeve. So as I went back to get it Mckay continued on in the little truck to the Florida welcome center. If you do the math my trip back to the hotel set us back an hour, as usual. So we made it the rest of the way without incident and upon arrival we got a parking spot for the boat, got a house, and ate at the Burger King over looking the ocean. We unloaded the truck in about 4 hours, it was awesome, Fort Awesome, Florida.

We Have the Internet!!!

Hooraaay! It feels so wonderful to be sitting in my living room (yay!) on my couch (ahh! - not the new one yet though) and typing on the laptop (awesome!).
Rob has promised to write a blog entry about our trip to Florida, so be checking for that soon (I know!! I'm excited too!)
But here's the basics: we now live in a house on base - it's got three bedrooms and one bath. Sadly, it does not have a dishwasher (thanks for the warning, Heather!) I think God is repaying me for overusing our dishwasher at Sheppard. Rob would love to point out how I recycle and compost, yet run a load of dishes just because I want a certain dish to be clean. Oh well.

Our Kitchen

We live very close to the marina and the bay with white sandy beaches and clear blue water! It's so nice! Our yard is mainly sand - never thought about that before - and weeds. We'll be working on that soon. The boxes have been unpacked such that they are confined to one room and we live and eat and sleep in the other rooms. The house is looking happier and more like our home by the hour.

The Box Room

We're really excited about taking the boat out soon! We have to figure out where all the cables go again though! It didn't come with a manual! yikes. Hopefully, everything will go well and the SS Awesome will be sea-worthy. :-)

OH! The big news! Rob's class date got moved up from the 30th! He now starts on Friday!! WHOA! I'm a little sad I won't be chilling out with my hot husband for the next month, but I'm happy for him and eager to see how the Lord is sovereign in this path as well! (Rob's original ENJJPT graduation class didn't have the F-15C as an option - but he got moved up to a different class then... so.... we'll see!)

Meanwhile, here's some fun pictures from our move.


Gus and I at the Florida Travel Center just across the border


Rob and a moth while filling up the moving van with diesel, check out the sweet God-given camo on this guy. There is actually shading on the "sticks", it looked like a professional artist had painted him.


This is where we live!!!!!!! Can you believe it?

Sunset at Boatyard Restaurant


Rob and I at Boatyard on a date