Sunday, August 29, 2010


Sorry I haven't written much. I still haven't even finished writing about our journey cross-country and we've been here now for nearly two months.

It's been a busy two months, trying to figure out our way around, exploring new places, working, and all the many other things that go along with a big move. We've taken a trip to Disneyland, checked out the Arizona Science Center, found a mall with a play area and another with a little splash fountain. And still there is so much we have yet to explore.

School started about a month ago. Teachers went back on July 29th and we had students August 4th. Jon is enjoying his job a fair amount, but I am not. I don't belong in a classroom, I belong home with my babies. Only 161 more school days until I can be home with them again. We have pretty much already decided that we will have to find a way to keep me home next year, whether it mean finding a part-time night job or a job working from home, I need to be home with my kids. I realized that today more than ever when Nathan was singing some songs with me and told me he learned them in school, songs that I had taught him and he simply didn't remember me teaching them to him. It broke my heart. :(

And then as I was checking my email my monthly report showed up for our MI house. Just seeing the little thumbnail picture brought me to tears. Nathan tells me occasionally that he misses his red room and the backyard.

I just want to go home, back to Michigan, the place I was so desperate to leave just a few months ago. Go home to my happy life of being a stay at home mom, the life where a teacher work day was from 8am-3pm and Jon was home most days by 3:15, a place where teachers are paid a fair salary.

We are literally out of our house 11 hours a day. We leave between 6:30-6:45am and don't arrive home until between 5:15-5:30pm. Our technical school day is 7:30am-4pm but I always have at least a few hours work each night. It is insulting how little we are paid here and how hard we have to work. I don't want to sound like a total whiner, after all most people don't go into teaching for the money, but I don't even want to be a teacher anymore, at least not the kind of teacher that is in a classroom all day.

I pray every day that Jon's job in Michigan decides they need to make the .8 job they offered him full-time. School hasn't started there yet so I hold on to a small sliver of hope even though I know it is useless. If they called we would move back in a heartbeat, I don't know how but we would figure out a way. We have only missed 1 mortgage payment thus far and the offers aren't exactly rolling in. The two short-sale offers have been denied. It'd be easy to get back in our little house that we miss terribly.

Well that is about it for now. I know this post is all over, but what do you expect it is 1:30am after all. I really just needed to get my feeling out so I could stop crying and maybe get some sleep.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Drive to AZ Part 2

Continuing on our drive, here we are entering Indiana. We stopped for dinner at Mickey D's and this play area had video games that Nathan pretended to play: And just because she is so cute: And the sun sets on our first day of driving, though we still have many miles to cover before we can rest: And here we are entering Illinois:
After Illinois we entered Missouri. When entering Missouri you enter into St Louis, and of course you can see the Gateway Arch. We were a bit mesmerized by the Arch and crossing the Mississippi River and also trying to make sense of what our GPS was telling us to do, so we don't have a pic of the "Welcome to Missouri" sign.

We knew before we left where we wanted to be each night before we stopped, and considering we had made arrangements to stay with people along the way, we really had to meet our driving goals. Our first stop was in St Louis, MO. There we stayed with a family whom we had never met, but had graciously agreed to let us stay with them for the night. Since we left Michigan several hours later than we anticipated we were afraid we'd have to find a hotel instead. Around 9pm, our anticipated arrival time in St Louis our GPS gave us an ETA of about midnight St Louis time (so 1am MI time). We called the family we were staying with and said we wouldn't be there until that late and would completely understand if that was too late and they would rather us not come, but we were told to come and get there when we got there. So sweet!

We spent the next morning in St Louis and visited the Arch and a local custard stand that I was told is a must do in St Louis. Driving to the Arch we noticed the Mississippi River waters were a tad bit high, flooding several areas making it impossible to walk along the river. It looked like the flooding did quite a bit of damage.

They have these little pod like things that take you to the top of the Arch. They seat 5 people and the doors are quite small. Nathan wasn't too sure of it.The Mississippi River, views from the top, you can see the flooding:

Views from the other side of the Arch:

Back on the ground:We saw this sculpture while trying to get back to the freeway:

We hopped back on the freeway, stopped off for some custard then hit the road, next stop Oklahoma CIty. Look for more to come about the rest of our journey!

Playing with the camera

We have had our digital camera pretty much since Nathan was born and I am just now discovering all of the features it has. I had some fun today playing with the settings.

The foliage setting:

Foliage with Macro set:Color Accent:
And just for fun because I thought it was pretty:

As for other news we went to Disneyland this past weekend plus some. Yesterday was new teacher orientation and we start work next Thursday, eek! Hopefully I'll get some more of our journey down here posted soon and some Disney pics. We still have boxes to unpack and so that leaves little time for blogging.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Walk to the Mailbox

I'm majorly jumping ahead but I'm dying to show off our new place! We seriously feel like we are living at a fancy resort. Here are some pics I snapped while walking to the mailbox this afternoon. I forgot to take a picture of the fountain by the mailboxes and didn't see any humming birds for the first time today (probably because there were others outside and they tend to hide from humans, you have to kinda sneak up on them). They are all out of order but you get the idea.

Leaving Michigan

Our moving truck showed up an hour early and we were no where near ready. Luckily we had a friend offer to watch the kids so we could be more effective while we finished packing and loading the truck. Our helpers arrived at 10am, right on schedule. Let me say they were amazing, especially Justin T who rocked at using every last inch of out 12 feet of truck space. I don't think everything would have fit if it hadn't been for him. Also thanks to Dave H and his kids and Michael H for their help too! Unfortunately I don't have any truck pictures since I was too busy to think to get the camera out.

When we bought our house I went through with our video camera making a video of the house. We didn't have time to do that again so since we now have a digital camera (and we didn't 5 years ago or else I would have just taken pictures) I walked through taking pictures of our house.

Entry way:

Replaced the carpet with the natural slate tiles, changed the light fixture, put on the storm door, and added shelves to the closet.

Living room:
It's pretty much the same as when we moved in except the blinds and the ceiling fan.

We completely redid the bathroom. We took out the vinyl floor and put in the tiles, painted the walls a very light blue, replaced the vanity, changed the light fixture (not shown), and added storage above the toilet and on the opposite wall (not shown).


Added the extra base cabinet in the first picture, and all the appliances.


Removed the huge tree from the middle of the yard, planted grass (it was dirt), added the little swing set, an apple tree, and built the deck ourselves.

Kids' Rooms:

In both rooms we added the ceiling fans. We painted the red room for Nathan and the green room for Emily.

Our Room:
The only change we made in here was the ceiling fan.


This was probably the biggest change. It was a big open room and a bathroom and we divided it into 3 rooms, a laundry and storage room, a work room, and a play room. In the bathroom we added the mirror and painted the wall. Everything in the basement was done by us as well.

The hallway wall by the kids' rooms:

This is where I would measure the kids. I did write down all the marks so we can transfer them to a new wall if (when) we buy a house again or to a removable height tracker.

A few other things we did were add glass block windows in the basement and put in central air. It was a great house, it was our house. And we both shed a few tears as we drove away for the last time. We've had an offer on our house, less than $100,000 that we paid for it (and we only paid $130,000). If the bank will accept it we really have no other choice at this point. It is sad to see it go for so little as we put so much hard work into it. It was our first house, the longest we had ever lived anywhere as a couple, we brought our babies home to this house, and so many memories were made there. It still brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it as I type.

We picked up the kids, tried to run one last errand which was a bust and then hit the road. Here are a few pics while still in Michigan:

I thought that last one was cute and funny at the same time. If you hadn't heard, Nathan was bit by a squirrel several months ago and we got the all clear since squirrels in our area weren't considered carriers for rabies but still thought it was funny as he was foaming at the mouth while he slept.

In the spring when we went to Indy our GPS took us on a little back country road to get from I-69 to I-94 on the way home. It took us out of time on that same road, so the pictures above were some views while driving on that road, some of our last moments in Michigan. Shortly after they were taken we were on I-69 headed toward the Indiana boarder.

Look for more posts of our drive across the country to come soon!