Is it Bedtime yet?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

This Blog Post is Brought to you by Credit Card Fraud.

It's true. Someone out there was attempting to use our credit card and they're not allowed to because they're not us. So we had to cancel our cards and are waiting for new ones to arrive. In the meantime, Netflix couldn't process the automatic payment we have set up and so I can't watch any shows. Hence, I'm blogging.

Here is a picture of me.

I took it after I got my hairs cut. I like to take pictures of my new haircuts for multiple reasons:
1) The nice lady makes it look better than I can.
2) That way, when 6 months go by before I get my hairs cut again, I can show the nice lady what I want or don't want.
3) I guess those are all the reasons I have.

But I do have a reason for including it on this post. You see, I'm not very photogenic and I prefer to take pictures instead of being in them. But I'm afraid that if I let too much time go by in between posting a picture of myself, one day you will all be shocked at how much I have aged. So I'd rather make my aging seem more gradual.

This is a lot of typing just to talk about one selfie, is it not?

Moving on.

The kids had character day at school and had to dress up like a character from a book. I just love coming up with costume ideas. (That was typed sarcastically.)

Thanks to a borrowed bonnet, Alex pulled off Caddie Woodlawn fairly easily.

Derek pulled out his inner Spaniard and played a role from Ferdinand the Bull. Muy guapo, no?

Life is breezing by quickly, and is about to start going even faster as we approach moving season...

And now, for the main event.

The Schore family is on the move again. A recap of our shenanigans over the last 14 years of military life:

Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls TX 2001-2006
Seymour Johnson AFB, Goldsboro NC  2006-2007
Mountain Home AFB, Mountain Home ID  2007-2010
Seymour Johnson AFB part deux, Goldsboro NC  2010-2012
Presidio of Monterey, Monterey CA  2012
Madrid, Spain  2013-2014
Maxwell AFB, Montgomery AL  2014-2015

And next...in hemispheres yet unexplored...in the land of fermented cabbage and Cooch purses....drumroll please....

We're going to Korea!

Well, allow me to clarify. Josh is being sent to Korea for a 1-year unaccompanied tour.

 But since we like each other, and Korea is a place we can legally go along, the kids and I are going to join him.

And just when I thought I knew all there was to know about military moves, here comes a new scenario.

The biggest differences in moving to Korea "command sponsored" vs "non command sponsored" (like us) are that:

-- the Air Force doesn't pay for our trip over
-- we are not allowed to live on base
-- we are the lowest priority for receiving routine medical service and other support services.
-- they'll only ship 10% of our household goods weight.
-- Josh has to receive permission to live off base with us.
-- I have to...gulp...homeschool the kids.

Now that I've typed that out, I think I need to go find a paper bag to breathe into.
Let's talk more later.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Do I still have a blog?

I've done a pretty good job forgetting I have this here blog. Though every now and again I get a nasty-gram via e-mail or text reminding me of my failure. Then I think to myself, "I should go blog" or "I should go write a good-bye entry on that blog and put it out of its misery."

But I can never decide which of the two to do.

So I guess I'll just blog.

When last I posted, I mentioned my weekly schedule of laziness. Go figure that as soon as I posted it, I realized that Christmas was around the corner and all of my recovery days were out the window. I shall now list random stuff that has happened between now and then.

--The kids had a special holiday meal in the cafeteria. I got to join them and realized that school lunches haven't changed much over the years.

Poor Derek. You'd think I would have given up on home haircuts by now.

-- In school, Derek's class made centerpieces as an art project. There was an open house where we could see them.
Derek made a fireplace.

Amusingly, several other students made what we assume were supposed to be Christmas trees. I will let the photos speak for themselves. These would have gone well with Alex's preschool art project.

-- We had a nice, low-key Christmas break in our base neighborhood ghost town. (You can imagine that since no one on a military base is from "around here," most families go back to their hometowns to visit with family.) Josh had a bit too much work to do, and our hometowns are just a bit too far for us to have made that trip this year. It was quiet around here and the kids forgot how to play without friends around.

-- When the families returned, they were right back to their old tricks of starting fires with magnifying glasses and fighting the dark side.

-- We had a visit from Josh's dad the week before Christmas, and he helped shuttle Josh back and forth to Birmingham where Josh had surgery for his hand. He was still having trouble following his accident in Spain. The jury is still out as to whether this surgery helped or made it worse.

This is Josh's "I'm still drugged" smile.

-- Montgomery hosted its first ever college bowl game, so we took the kids to see it.  They lost interest by halftime.

-- We got a box of Spanish treats from our friends in Madrid. I cannot tell a lie. I miss living in Madrid. I think I will begin to set aside a specific amount of time every week to plot how we might finagle another assignment there.

-- In January I realized I needed to alter my weekly schedule to include going to the gym because I was becoming a larger, softer version of myself. Turns out that living a slovenly lifestyle is hard on the waistline. So I joined the rest of the resolutionists in the gym and I suppose that's a good thing, as beach weather is right around the corner down here.

I read somewhere that after Valentine's Day is when most people fall out of their New Year's resolutions, so if you see me feel free to poke me in the belly and tell me to keep working out.

-- Alex and I had a girls' night out with friends to see a gymnastics meet at Auburn. American Girl dolls were also invited to attend.

And that concludes a rather poor job of playing catch up.

Which brings us to now.
We've got about 4 months left before we move. How does this happen?

I mean, I know time is going by because the kids keep outgrowing their pants, and because Derek doesn't have to reach on his tip-toes to turn the kitchen sink on anymore. But is it really already time to think about boxes and movers again?

In short, yes. And inquiring minds might like to know where we will be heading next.
And I would like to inform those minds. However, we don't know yet, officially.
Unofficially, we have a pretty good idea but I'll wait to post about it until we get some paperwork. Should be soon!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

two months

That's how long it's been since my last post, give or take a day or two.

I feel bad for neglecting my sad little blog. The truth is I haven't been writing here, because I've been working on a writing a book. Can you believe it?

Well you shouldn't because it's an absolute lie. How many of you believed that for a hot second?
I haven't been writing here because I'm lazy.
Not busy.

Glad we've cleared that up.

Let's jump right in, shall we?
The kids had a whole week off of school for Thanksgiving Break, a fact that I hadn't really realized in advance as I rarely consult a calendar. But I am never one to complain about a series of days in which no alarm is required.

We stayed here in Alabama for the holiday, and plan to do the same for Christmas. Josh is a busy bee-- always reading and writing, and he has thesis-writing scheduled for Christmas break. I've never been more glad to not be him than I am this year.

We had Thanksgiving dinner just the four of us, and have just about polished off all the leftovers. My turkey was a delicious golden-brown color. I have to brag about some aspect of it because it wasn't until after our meal, when Josh was carving up the rest to put away that we realized I'd neglected to remove the bag of giblets.


I'm really good in the kitchen. I guess it was a step up from last year, when I served a bucket of KFC.

We bought a TV on Black Friday because the only one we had boasted a 19 inch screen. It seemed like maybe it was time.

Since my last post, Derek has moved from soccer to basketball season, and Alex started tumbling. They still spend loads of time outside playing with the neighborhood riff-raff.
I guess they are the neighborhood riff-raff. Today was warm enough for shorts and tee-shirts if you can believe it. I am totally on board with a southern winter, now that the mosquitos are finally gone.

They stayed until mid-November, which I find to be ridiculous. I'm not sure which governing body I can complain to about that.

My weeks still look about the same.

Monday-- Weekend Recovery (This means extra coffee time in the morning to enjoy the quiet, and thinking about what I want to accomplish during the week. There is usually about an hour of productive house cleaning that happens on Monday, which is about 55 minutes more than occurs any other day of the week)

Tuesday-- Grocery Shopping (The commissary is two minutes away and the whole chore takes about an hour, but I like to declare that Tuesday is for Grocery Shopping and refuse to entertain the idea of adding another task to the day)

Wednesday-- This is my busiest day. I have Bible Study first thing in the morning, grab lunch with friends, go directly to Spanish class, and leave from there for school pickup. I know. I can't believe it either.

Thursday-- Wednesday Recovery (Goal-- never leave the house)

Friday-- Rock Band and cocktails at 1:30. My friend Ali from the 'hood and I have a standing date to play, well, Rock Band on the wii. It's totally normal for a couple of middle-age women to sing and play fake instruments on a video game system while their children are in school, right?

So now you're all caught up on my glamorous life. Boom.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Things that have happened.

There are lots of things.
I will start my list with 0.5 mostly because I forgot that point, I want to be orderly, and also I don't want to go back and change my other numbers because laziness.

0.5) A long, long time ago, on the Fifteenth of August of the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Fourteen,  Derek turned 7.

I filled these water balloons. Crouching down by the water spout and tying these dreadful things was more painful than giving birth seven years before.
Water balloons are a labor of love.

I cannot comment on my baby turning seven. It's too much.

1) TGBIO2014

The Great Bike Incident of 2014.

This was a less-than-pleasant incident that occurred when I was riding my bike home from the housing office here on the base. Being a patriotic sort of person, I wanted to pick up a flag kit to display Old Glory on our front porch. Unfortunately, Old Glory slipped from my hands into my front wheel spokes as I was traveling at a good clip.
My bike came to a sudden stop.

I did not.

I did the flying squirrel right over the handlebars and used the friction of my skin against the sidewalk to stop myself. I learned that it is not the best way to stop yourself.

Thankfully I did not use my head, face, or teeth to stop myself so I suppose there is always a silver lining.

I am all healed up now. Except for some scars.

And my pride.

2) Teeth are falling out of my kids' heads.

Derek dined on his second front tooth, leaving him at that stage I just can't get enough of. Kids without their two front teeth are the cutest.


(Cowey got a new friend!)

He was relieved to find that if you leave a note under your pillow explaining that you swallowed your tooth, the Tooth Fairy will overlook the slight and still leave you some cash.
Alex lost her first molar and although she doubts the existence of the Tooth Fairy, she still placed the tooth under her pillow and accepted what was left behind. She is a doubter but she is no fool.

3) My husband has read more books in the last 3 months than he's ever read in his life. And not interesting books, either. At least not by my standards.
They call this course the Book-A-Day Club, and also "SAASS*: Where fun goes to die".
It is living up to the hype for him.

*School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

The poor chap doesn't get a whole lot of down time. So I enjoy mine on his behalf.

3) Soccer

Derek started playing soccer on the base team and he's been having a swell time. He's not particularly gifted in the athletic arena, but he doesn't know that so we'll just leave it as our secret.

He is awfully cute though.

4) 80's

Thank heavens we have finally dropped out of the everyday-is-in-the-90s which I thought might never happen. I was seeing people's photos on The Facebooks of things like Jackets and Long Sleeves and jealousy sprung up in my heart.
We are finally having some crisp mornings, and cooler evenings and so I can overlook the fact that the bike ride to collect the kids in the afternoon still makes me sweat.

I've never had to wash my bras as often as I do living here.
Under-boob sweat is no joke.

5) Routines

The kids started up with AWANA again and it's been a nice addition to our week. We found one that meets on Sunday evenings, which we prefer as the weekday after-school hours fly by with homework, playing outside, making lunches, etc.

I joined a Bible Study Fellowship group that meets on Wednesday mornings, and it's been great to be a part of a women's study again.

I was thrilled to find out that I could join a Spanish class that is offered to the Air Command and Staff College students here on base. They opened it up to spouses as well and I can't tell you how perfect it is for me! I was wondering how I was going to be able to keep up my Spanish and this basically fell into my lap. What a blessing! The class is super small because it is a higher level, and the instructor is from Spain so I can continue to hear and learn the Castellano dialect.

So basically everything's coming up Erin.

Except, of course, for TGBIO2014.

ps I have no pictures of my daughter because she is never home. She is much too busy to stop and allow me to take her photo. There is playing to be done. I shall try to do better.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blog, what blog?

We are alive and well in Alabama. It's been a long time since I've posted because we were busy with all the busyness that results from moving into a new home a couple of days before school starts while one of the adults in the family is in the midst of a challenging course which leaves him with no free time to help unpack boxes, hang curtains, or write run-on sentences.

Then after we were settled-ish, I put off blogging because I had too much to catch y'all* up on and it felt overwhelming. So I didn't blog, and then more stuff happens, and it's a vicious cycle.

*Oh yeah, people. I'm all in.

So I guess it's time to just dive in and get started.

We are living on base and we're loving it. It's been ideal for this particular assignment for the following reasons:

1) We live on a circle with a playground in the middle. There are always kids outside to play with and the bicycle gang owns that circle. It's been so great to let the kids get a taste of what I had growing up-- being outside all the time, getting some freedom from mom and dad, and donating half of their blood supply to the mosquitoes. It's like Hades out there but they don't seem to care.

2) Bikes, baby. We ride 'em everywhere. The kids ride bikes to school, Josh rides to work, and we almost never have to put gas in the van.

(Aside-- I say van, instead of vehicles, because until very recently our car had not yet arrived from its Spanish voyage. This is due largely in part to the enormous cluster of the military changing contractors during PCS season ((Permanent Change of Station--moving time!)) and cars were being lost, damaged, and delayed. In our case, the Corolla Sport ((yes, it is imperative that you know it is a Sport edition)) made the transatlantic trip rather quickly, and then sat in a line at customs in Savannah for around 75 days. It was that last trip between Savannah and the pickup location of Atlanta, that was a bridge too far. Why, yes, astute reader, those two cities are in the same state. Fortunately for us we didn't really need the car, but we know lots of other people who are having to deal with this issue as well who truly do need their vehicles. I'm generally not one to complain much about the military moving process, as we've accepted that there is a certain amount of inconvenience involved in this lifestyle. It just seems this particular PCS season has been full of horror stories of moves gone bad and I do feel that the systems set in place should be running smoothly to take some of the burden off of the families. End of rant.)
ps- we're picking up the Corolla Sport tomorrow in Hotlanta.

This is our new house:

It is an old duplex, only the left side is ours. It is small and the bedrooms have old carpets. The laundry is in the creepy basement and I can't stand fully erect or I might knock myself out with the pipes that hang down overhead.
We're happy here :)
The lifestyle makes up for the rougher edges, and it's super quick to clean. I even think the living room space is cozy and not too shabby.

And I think time is going to fly by and before I know it there will be boxes again.
Like, 9 months from now.


Back to my list:

3) Neighbors!
Our friends hooked us up with the house next door. So we've got built-in friends. The kids are fast friends and it's so dang convenient to have people you can ask for help right next door. Or maybe not ask, and just take advantage of. Like me, today:


(Another Aside-- we got iPhones! It's like, we're totally hip now)

So there you have it. We've moved in, we like our 'hood, and we'll be out of here before we know it.

Next time I will regale you with the true story of THE GREAT BIKE INCIDENT OF 2014, in which I donate a good portion of my very own skin to a sidewalk in need.

I am always giving.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sweet Home Alabama

Guess what happens tomorrow? I get my bed back! It's been over six weeks since the following has occurred:

- we moved out of our piso in Madrid
- we had a ten-day hotel stay before leaving Spain
- we flew to Michigan and stayed for a month (except Josh-- keep up!)
- the kids and I flew to Montgomery last Saturday
- we've been staying in the TLF* on base
- tomorrow the movers bring our big shipment from Spain
- Saturday other movers bring our storage shipment from what we left behind in California (most importantly, the washer and dryer!)

* temporary lodging facility-- bigger than a hotel, designed for longer stays and set up for families. Small kitchen, sticky floors, old bathrooms.

I can't go any further in this post before I relate that while I was just walking in the dark to the laundry room to change the loads over, I almost stepped on a bug that was big enough to put a leash on and call a pet. It's been a while since I've lived in the South. You can call it a palmetto bug if it makes you feel better, but we all know it's really just a flying roach.

This is a direct quote from the Orkin website regarding these devil creatures' affinity to fly toward light sources:

"This particular behavior is disconcerting for homeowners who encounter a large roach that flies near their face when entering doors with lights nearby in the evening."

Ya think? I can think of some stronger terms than "disconcerting."

Moving on--

My children start school in FIVE days. Yes, you read that right. Five. As in 5. Cinco. Like, Tuesday.

It's gettin' real in the Whole Foods parking lot.

(You can google that if you want, but I won't be responsible if the song gets stuck in your head.)

I have mixed emotions about this event.
Here they are-- I am excited to experience solitude once again. I feel bad that the kids went to school almost through the end of June in Spain and had the shortest summer ever. I'm overwhelmed thinking about trying to get our house put together this weekend while also wondering if I got all the school supplies they need and where I put their lunch-boxes.

So if it is another long while between posts, you can picture me unpacking boxes while making school lunches and avoiding areas with light at night.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Excuse the lack of posts around these parts, it's just that I was moving to 'Merica and eating all of the foods I've been missing has taken all of my time.

Here we are eating--

And eating out--

Look at the size of the drinks on the kids menus! Everything's bigger in America. Drink refills are my love language.

So is Carrabas.

So let us recap the past several weeks:

-We hung out in a hotel on Grand Vía for ten days before leaving Madrid. The kids had school, we had all sorts of appointments and things to do, and lots of goodbyes.

(sad face)

-The flights back to the States went relatively smoothly.
Except that it took us an hour to check in because the check in desk apparently had never met anyone traveling with excess baggage. I find it hard to actually believe that, but it would seem that it was everyone's first day on the job.

This is where we stood for an hour with all of our schtuff.

We were in everyone's way. The kids were bored and poking at each other. I became hangry.

It was not a great start to a long day of traveling.

Here we are in Paris waiting for the second flight.

Neither of our flights took off on time, and the one out of Paris sat at the gate without the engines running, so there was no air conditioning. It was hot. The guy across the aisle smelled bad. Every time he lifted up his arm, I died a little inside.
Who gets on a 9 hour flight without showering sometime in the recent past?

Thankfully once we were airborne it wasn't so noticable. Either than, or my nostrils shut down in self defense.

The plane had little screens in each seat-back and the kids happily watched one movie after the other for the whole trip. Win for the home team. I watched several myself.
I quite dislike long flights and jet lag, so unless the Air Force sends us overseas again, I don't see myself jumping on another one anytime soon. Or possibly ever.

Our adjustment here was actually not too bad. Derek is the king of overcoming jet lag, and slept through the nights local time right away, further proving himself to be the easiest child on the planet.
The rest of us woke up at 3 am local time for a couple of days before getting back on schedule.

Josh was able to stay in Michigan for almost 2 weeks before leaving this past Saturday for Alabama. In the end, he drove the van that we'd been storing here down to Montgomery. The kids and I will fly down later this month, leaving us as car-less moochers for the time being.

While he was here we were able to visit our brand new niece, Anna Joy, while she was just days old! Newborn snuggles are the sweetest :)

We stayed a few days in their town and got to visit with Pat the Bunny, Josh's brother Jason, his sister Jessica (the new mommy), her husband John, and my adorable nephew Caleb.

*Imagine a picture of said people. The actual picture is stored on a laptop in Alabama*

(I am the only non-J name among the siblings and have always been ridiculed and mocked as the black sheep. I sleep with one eye open.)

We came back to west Michigan, where both of my parents live, in time to celebrate the Fourth of July. We had a good 'old country holiday complete with bonfire, s'mores, barbecue, and near death experiences with fireworks.

My dad put on a show that might have been professional-- except for that one that turned sideways and headed toward the crowd.


The good news is we all still have all of our appendages and eyesight. Here's to tempting fate next summer!

Operation "country summer" is in full effect for the children.

They spend lots of time outside riding bikes (thanks Mimi and Mr Mark!), picking wild berries, "helping" in the garden, driving the tractor, catching fireflies, collecting bugs and frogs, and generally just getting dirty.
My mom lives far off the street and it's a perfect setting to be able to let them explore a bit on their own. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom would kick us out after breakfast and we only came in for meals or to beg for a Popsicle.

My dad lives about 10 minutes away, so after getting hot and dirty, we make an almost daily trip to his house to jump in the pool and hang out with Pepaw and Grandma Cindy in the early evening. Added bonus is that sometimes we count the pool as credit for taking a bath.

 Cousin Time! Our first week here, my sister and her family were over to visit. They live a couple hours away. My sister is in the middle of a condensed nursing course that takes all of her time, so my niece Kennedy is staying with us at my mom's house for the weeks that we're here. The girls have really enjoyed it!

Summer smells like sweat, sunscreen, and bug spray around here.