Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Saying goodbye

Our last weekend in Maryland was incredible. We were surrounded by great friends, the Love of Christ, and an immense amount of help to get ready to sell the house and get on the road. Friends put in over 30 man-hours to help us hide the evidence that 4 kids and 2 dogs had ravaged the place for almost 4 years. I am so thankful for their friendship and for modeling Christ's love to our children.
On Saturday afternoon, we were treated to a semi-surprise going away party, with nearly everyone we know from the church there. We are so blessed to have known and loved these people. This is what makes saying goodbye so hard.
All weekend, the girls spent time at their friends' houses, enjoying one last visit.
This evening was probably the toughest goodbye, when Katelynn had to say goodbye to her best friend. I know it will be even harder in a few days when their moms will have to do the same.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Moving Day

The last two days have been a whirlwind in the Stringer house. And the girls weren't even home! The packing crew from the moving company assigned by the Navy was here, sealing our home up in cardboard boxes. I'm hoping we can find Beth when we unpack in San Diego. We'll look for the leaky box, I guess. Actually, the girls have spent the day with very gracious friends' families while their room was professionally tossed. We brought them by the house this afternoon after the packers had left so they could explore the new cardboard city that has grown inside what used to be our home. Now it's filled with brown towers marked with "Rainbow Moving Co". Hmmm. I won't ask. The truck comes tomorrow morning to take everything away. The girls got a kick out of figuring out which toys might be in which box. They sadly said goodbye to their stuff, probably not convinced that they will ever see it again. This must be a hard time for a kid, to see their place of sanctuary and security boxed up and shipped out, leaving nothing but piles of dog hair and dust bunnies behind (sorry, Janell, for that graphic detail). Our girls are handling it with their usual sense of adventure, though. I'm proud of them. Katelynn and Emily seem to be looking forward to their drive across the country with me. We'll take a leisurely 10 or 11 days to make the drive, zig-zagging across, looking for that "World's Largest Ball of Twine". Janell, on the other hand, will hang out here with friends for an extra week, then jet across with Beth and Hailey, assisted by my Mom. We should be re-united in our new house around the 22nd or so. Your prayers are appreciated as the chaos of moving continues to dominate our "routine". The Lord has been good to us and as always, we trust in Him to bring us through.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Our New House

This will be our new home in Chula Vista, CA, after Sept 20. We can't wait! But then, that means leaving all our awesome friends here in Maryland. Rats! (We're working on a plan to get the whole gang to move with us... I think I've still got that Admiral's number somewhere...)

I scream, You scream...

We all scream for Ice Cream! Especially Mint Chocolate Chip! Mmmmmm.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

It's just a log ride!

I'm not sure if the girls will ever trust me to take them on a ride again.

"It's just a log ride... how bad can a boat be?!"

They were actually smiling (perhaps quivering a bit, too) as they disembarked 30 seconds later.

... and I wasn't trying to be as devious as my smile in this picture suggests.

Chocolate and Caves

The kids are finally in bed. My ears are still ringing, but Hailey is done screaming... for now, anyway. Yesterday was a 12-hour epic adventure at HersheyPark in Pennsylvania. Hershey, PA, is the mecca of American chocoholics. ....
... this post was started at 10pm on Aug 27, but fatigue prevailed and words started to blur together in the week-old mound of Jello between my ears. And of course in the mean time, life has taken hold and kept me from further posts.
HersheyPark was great, except for the diaper changes between every ride (the babies--not me), long lines, and crowds of people. It was a fun weekend with super friends, though. They were incredibly patient with our "high maintenance" family. Of course, we came home with a trunk full of dark chocolate (if you ask Janell, there is no other kind).
On Saturday, we took the girls Spelunking at Indian Echo Caverns. Unfortunately, when you turn out all the lights in the deepest reaches of a cavern, it gets very dark and very quiet... two things that two year-olds detest! I was forced to retreat back to the land of the Eloi with Beth on my back, screaming in my ear until she could see my face. So much for the 10-buck entrance fee. The two big girls were able to finish the tour with our friends. At least they thought it was cool.
Following a quick "lunch" at 2pm at Cracker Barrel, we sped south toward home (3 1/2 hours away). My squadron conveniently scheduled my "farewell" dinner for that Saturday night at 6pm. We actually made the drive non-stop, but Hailey screamed pretty much constantly the whole way. We walked into the restaurant at 6:50, literally shaking with shot nerves. The girls were amazingly well behaved considering the long day. Everyone slept til 9 the next morning!

Even after 11 hours at HersheyPark, Beth is ready to ham it up for the camera! Posted by Picasa