Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Montgomery Adventure, continued: What we saw and did

We've mostly enjoyed our time here, but we haven't gotten out quite as much as I had hoped originally. Between Eden's schoolwork and a toddler who still need at least one nap every day, I shouldn't be surprised. Anyway, here's a little of what we did in and around Montgomery, AL (I didn't remember the camera for all of it):

Montgomery Zoo- a couple times :) almost enough to warrant a membership!
Mann Wildlife Museum
Tuskegee Air Museum
Blount Cultural Park (where they hold the Alabama Shakespear Festival)- beautiful park with ponds, ducks, and walking paths
Vaughn Road Park- super fun park for the kids with TONS of different playground equipment

Plus, I need to remember that although the weather wasn't quite as warm as I thought it would be, it was still A LOT warmer than South Dakota (most days), plenty warm for running, and I never had to worry about snow or ice! (Although there were a couple mornings that we had to scrape frost off the windshield.)

We also stopped at a few places on our way home:

Kentucky graveyard to search for one of Scott's ancestors
St. Louis Arch
Winter Quarters

I really didn't get many pictures of our adventures.  Oops.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Here's how it went

My birthday was on a Thursday, Scott had lots of homework that night.  So, we had takeout from Applebee's on the weekend after the kids went to bed.  (They were mad they missed out on the Triple Chocolate Meltdown.)  On Sunday, we had the tradional Dixon ice-cream cake and presents.  My kids, knowing how much I love cupcakes, insisted (according to Scott) on getting me a book filled with cute and yummy cupcakes and a muffin pan.  They even volunteered to help me make them (because they know how much I love cupcakes).  I hope you caught the sarcasm there.  Anyway, the next week, Eden and Andrew picked out the dino-cakes to try first.  Our Tootsie-Roll heads were too heavy for the cakes, so they look kind of sad, but it was a fun activity to do with the kids, and they were yummy.

Do you think they were happy about the dino-cakes?

Just to show they really are punks, for future blackmailing perhaps....
I didn't even ask them to do anything, this is what they were doing after I took the first pictures.

Typical Day in Montgomery

This is what a typical day looks like for us in Montgomery. With Eden's schoolwork, Jake's naps, and me taxiing-or-sharing-the-car-with Scott for his classes every day, we haven't gotten out a lot. Luckily there is a playground here that the kids love. And, we have gone out to 'see and do' a few things while we've been here. (That's another post). This is what we've done most.

If you click on the collage to enlarge it, you'll see some funny things:
- Jake stuck his plate of ketchup on his face, then rubbed it in his eyes, so he wasn't very happy that I was taking a picture before cleaning him up
- The Lego bucket turned upside down next to the garbage can: when I went to get the camera, Jake had used his make-shift stepstool to climb on top of the garbage can a STAND on it, but he climbed down before I got a picture
- Andrew's rough brotherly hugs for Jake
- Eden's messy hair: one of the casualties of homeschool, we don't always get her hair done before we start school work
I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that come to mind right now.
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Our day of green

I did what I could to make St. Patrick's Day fun for the kids, they kept looking for green toilet water. I guess our leprechauns will have to remember that for next year.

I am SO ready to be done with school, but we'll be going well into June, I'm sure.  AND I'm actually looking in to the charter school system in Colorado Springs.  Scott will probaby be on rotating shifts, 6 days on and 4 off for at least 18 months.  It might be nice to be able to have the kids on a more flexible schedule so we can go see and do more easily.  We could even stick with the same k12 curriculum that we've been using this year.  I know it wouldn't be as hard now that we've done it for a while, since I would only be trying to do one year of curriculum in one school year, instead of 1 year of curriculum in half a school year.  Then again, it might be hard to do homeschool when Scott is supposed to be sleeping.  Not to mention that I am so ready to have those 4 hours back every day.  Its been great to see Eden's learning, and be more involved in the process, but there are really good schools in Colorado Springs.  So, I'll most likely give them a chance to teach my kids, knowing that I am capable of homeschooling if the need arises.

Sorry for the ramble on a completly unrelated topic.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Montgomery Adventure, continued: Florida First

My brother and his family live in Naples, FL.  I couldn't resist the relative 'nearness' to Montgomery, so the kids and I dropped Scott off at Maxwell AFB for his SOS class and drove one more day to spend time with the cousins (and the beach).

Florida has actually been experiencing abnormally cold weather, so we only had one real 'beach day', but we still got outside everyday. 

Eden read bedtime stories for everyone.

Scott got to join us for one day the following weekend before all of us drove back to Montgomery together. 

Jake wasn't really loving the beach this day.
I'm not sure why Eden decided to write "NOeL" in the sand, but I think she made our Christmas card for this year (if I actually get to it this year!):
We had so much fun, thanks Bren and Elise!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Our Montgomery Home-Away-From-Home

Because we have more than 2 kids, we were not allowed to stay in the cramped little studio apartment dorms with the rest of the accompanied spouses for SOS.  The Air Force still only gives us $39 per night, plus Scott's per diem, to find lodging off base.  At first we had an extended-stay hotel suite booked, but then we came across some apartments that offered short term leases.  It turned out that short term usually meant 3 months.  Then Scott came across a couple of companies that sublease furnished apartments to corporations and individuals for REALLY short term (at a REALLY high rate).  We wanted to find a two bedroom to squeeze into for these few weeks.  But, all that was available for our trip was a 3 bedroom apartment with nearly the same square footage as our apartment.  It is still a little cheaper than the hotel we had booked, and much more family friendly with a playground right outside our building.  Between the $39/night, Scott's food per diem, and the travel per diem, we should just about break even, which isn't so bad either.  We figure we can cover the rest with part of our ridiculously high tax return.  Anyway, here's the pictures of the place we call "home" right now:
what you see when you walk in the door
little kitchen with the living room straight ahead and our bedroom to the right
where Eden does most of her school work, and there's a small screened in porch through the door to the right of the TV.
Down the hall to the laundry, 2 bedrooms, and a bathroom
and looking back to the front door