Monday, April 30, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

And tomorrow we'll have one! Woo-hoo!

I did the math, and in the month of April, the kids and I have spent the night in 8 different homes or hotel rooms.
Josh's number is even higher thanks to his drive across the country.
We are ready, ready, ready to be settled!

But we've definitely had some fun during all the transition as well.
Yesterday while packing up from our night in LA, we decided to take a last-minute detour and visit some good friends from North Carolina who now live in California.
So we drove 2 hours from LA to Edwards AFB and spent the night there. We had a great time hanging out with our friends, and then this afternoon we drove back to Monterey.

We got our keys to the new house, and went in to try to figure out where we want all the furniture to go before the movers get there in the morning. Tomorrow night we'll be sleeping in our own beds, albeit among boxes and a big mess.
As long as we find the box marked linens we should be good to go. ;)

We have the internet installation scheduled for Wednesday, so hopefully I wont be out of touch for long. I owe a lot of folks e-mails, so please don't think I'm ignoring your messages-- things have been just a wee bit crazy.

And now, as promised, here is a recap of our Disney fun...

Da playas--

Joshua B. Schore, Fighter Pilot. Confident enough in his manhood to sport a pink princess backpack in public. While riding on a blue whale.

Does the dirty work of blocking his family from the "splash" of Splash Mountain. He hates doing it, but he perseveres for us.

(Disregard the unattractive shot of the woman holding her tiny infant baby boy in the boat lest he perish.)

Erin N. Schore, 30-something housefrau. Has an unnatural fear of Ferris wheel's and an equally unnatural love of root beer floats and funnel cakes.

Alexandra K. Schore, almost-7-year-old. Lost her second front tooth our first night at Disney. Loves roller coasters, front row only please, and would like to meet all the printhetheth.  (That's toothless for princesses.)

Derek J. Schore, tiny infant baby boy. Enjoys tame rides, hates characters, and is still carrying a grudge for being made to try everything once. Goes to Disneyland to play with bubbles.

Our first family trip to Disneyland was definitely a success. I have a ton more pictures, but in a couple of days I'll have actual high speed internet and I'll upload them then.

Come visit us in our new house!

Only not this week...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A lame, pictureless update

I know that I am very overdue for a post containing some pictures, but I am plagued by slow hotel internet connections that can't seem to upload photos.
So instead you just get a boring recap on what we've been doing.

We spent 6 days "doing Disney." That's a whole lotta Disney, even for us.
It was good, exhausting fun. It will get it's own post, chock full of pictures and video...one day.

We checked out of our hotel this morning and then spent the day with Josh's college buddy and his wife. They live in Los Angeles. We spent the afternoon in their neighborhood pool and then had an incredible crab dinner in Beverly Hills.
Don't I sound rich and important? 

I think that's what everyone was thinking when we pulled up in the Corolla Sport.

Didn't you know? We don't just drive a Corolla. No, it's a Corolla Sport. It has a little red "S."
Who's fancy now?

After dinner we walked down Rodeo Drive and went into the lobby of the hotel from Pretty Woman. You know, the Reg Bev Wil.
We would have just viewed it from the outside, but Derek had a sudden and pressing need to poop.

He's really good about giving us, say, about a 30 seconds heads-up that he's got to go. It's super convenient.

Now we're in another hotel in LA spending the night. Josh and his friend, Alex, not to be confused with my daughter, are hanging out together and I'm blogging while the kids are asleep.

In other news, our household goods are set to arrive in Monterey on May 1st, and it will be so good to not be living out of suitcases anymore.
Remind me I said that when I'm buried in boxes and packing material.

Looking forward to getting settled, finishing up Alex's curriculum, getting started on a few unit studies we have planned, and getting to know our new hometown.

Oh, and we think that the van will finally be getting picked up in a week or week and a half. We fired the old company and found someone else.
It's a good thing.
A family of four with lots of luggage was never meant to drive long distances in the Corolla, Sport or not.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

And we call it a vacation.

I'm still alive.

Kind of.

My feet hurt in places I didn't know existed and we all collapse into bed about 3 minutes after getting back to the room, hence the lack of blogging.

We seem to have trouble dialing down our Disney trips. We like to see it all, and then see it again. And possibly once more after that.
Today was day 4 of our trip, and we were in the parks for 12 hours.
I'm not sure I'm going to survive the next two days.

We're sleeping in tomorrow.

Right now I'd trade my kids for a foot massage.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Alrighty folks.
We've had a stressful few days trying to tie up loose ends that seem to be everywhere, but I think it's safe to say we've got almost everything in place.

(When I say we, you should know that I mostly mean Josh. He does all of the business and phone calls around these parts. I haven't really figured out what my job is yet, but I'm afraid to ask for fear that I'll be given one.)

We have a signed lease, so that's a big relief.

Josh made about a zillion phone calls today, because our van registration just expired and when we tried to renew our Idaho plates we were told we couldn't.
Despite the fact that we are homeowners there, apparently we either have to be working in the state, or have an Idaho driver's license to keep the plates. So now we're jumping through hoops to try to re-register in Michigan, which is made a lot harder when you don't have a printer, scanner, faxer, etc.

Not to mention, we don't even have the van.

We are looking into switching car-shipping companies to one that might actually get our van here.
Baby steps.
We got a quote and a date range from an actual person with a transport truck today, so that's promising. We have to wait until Monday to confirm.
If that falls through, Josh is considering flying out to North Carolina and driving it here himself.
Then Josh spent another hour or so on the phone setting up utilities and internet for the house.
I would say that on about 30% of the phone calls, he was transferred to another department that didn't really exist and made him wait another 15 minutes calling back.
My duty during the phone calls is to keep the children quiet. In our itty bitty hotel room.

In summary, moving is painful.

The good news is that Monterey is gorgeous.
Every time I step outside and see the ocean, I get all excited that we get to live here, even if it's for a short time.

I can't wait to show you the views from our rental house. Incredible!

Ooh, ooh-- we got new cell phones, which means that the average 5th grader no longer has a better phone than I do.

And guess where we're headed tomorrow??

Our house isn't available until May 1st, so it surely seemed silly to sit around here driving each other batty. I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to get hotel reservations on such short notice, but we did and off we go!
Josh had to beg some space from the people in his work area, because the Corolla can't fit all the stuff that he brought out along with all the things the kids and I had.
I spent the morning doing laundry and repacking suitcases into "Disney" and "Not Disney."

Then Josh went to work and said: "Hi, I'm Josh. I'm new here. Can I have a corner of your office to store these suitcases and these children's schoolbooks and this Hello, Kitty boombox? Gee, Thanks."

They probably think he's a little weird.

If only they knew his wife.

I believe our hotel has wifi, and it can't possibly be any slower than what we've got now. So I'll try to stay in touch while we're in the LA area.
Let the post-deployment vacation begin!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What do Octonauts, Tacos, and Deer have in common?

But they're all making an appearance in this post.

We are making slow but steady progress in getting settled in Monterey. I can't believe I haven't taken any pictures of the area yet! It's beautiful here, and I promise I will fix that, hopefully soon.
Right now, Josh is checking in with his unit here, and maybe doing some in-processing. 

We made a decision on a house and we're just waiting on the owner to run background/credit checks before we can get a lease signed.
The house is in a great location-- walking distance to Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. And it's an old Victorian style with a lot of fun nooks and crannies for hide and seek.

Speaking of the aquarium, since most of the business we could accomplish was on hold for the day, we took the kids there yesterday. We bought family passes for the year, since if you go more than once, it's cheaper to just get the pass. It is a really nice aquarium, and the kids loved it.
Especially Derek, as there were many things to point out that were "just like on Octonauts!"
He ran through the whole place, yelling excitedly at each new exhibit. I predict lots of trips there over the next year. 

When we were finished at the aquarium, we wandered down Cannery Row, checking out the restaurants and shops. There was a little beach access area at the end, and while I had my hood pulled up and my hands in my pockets, Alex was up to her knees in the Pacific. Crazy girl.

You'll never guess what was right next to the beach access.
Go ahead.

It was Taco Tuesday.

For realz.

And yes, yes we did hop over for some tacos. And even better, it's also walking distance from the house we're trying to rent.
So you know where you can find me on Tuesday evenings.

And on Wednesdays, we'll be walking the kids over to Awanas at the church that is literally within sight of the front yard of the house. Then Josh (who will be HOME FOR DINNER this YEAR!!) and I will saunter down to Cannery Row and enjoy Wednesday date night at a grown-up restaurant.

So you know where you can find me on Wednesday evenings.

And look at that, two days in a row that I don't have to cook!

Assuming we get the lease signed in the next day or two, we'll be booking a hotel room at Disneyland and heading south. Yippie skippie!

Lest you think everything is all sunshine and roses, I feel the need to point out that our van is still parked at our friends' home in North Carolina waiting for a car shipper to hopefully pick it up soon.
We make daily phone calls to the company, and are reassured that it shouldn't be more than a week or so.
We are not easily reassured.
Keep your fingers crossed.
(Thanks Stephen & Ashley for letting us leave you with a lawn ornament!)

Also, this new lodging room leaves a little to be desired. The kids are sharing a bed for the first time, which is actually going surprisingly well.
But they have the queen bed in the room that actually has a door to shut, which leaves Josh and I on the pull out.

Here's our home sweet home, for now.

At least the continental breakfast is decent.

And here's the view from the front door of our room.
Yes, that's a deer just hanging out on the hill.

The kids like to see how close they can get to the deer before they run away.
The answer: very.

Lastly, and some of you are going to have a hard time believing this, we are buying real, actual cell phones.
The kind that work. And can text.

I'm going to let you recover from that one. Deep breaths.

Monday, April 16, 2012

We're Here!

Things are busy, here's a quick list:

-- We survived the flight. The kids actually did great for being on a plane for 8 hours. Lots of snacks, iPad games, and more trips to a tiny airplane bathroom than I care to recall.

-- They thought it was very funny that there were grown ups all around them taking naps on the plane! Oh, the craziness. Because did they nap? Nay. Nay they did not.

-- Which was all fine and dandy until we got off the plane and their bodies remembered that it was way past bedtime on the east coast and there were still hours until they'd be tucked into a bed.

-- Things kind of went downhill from there.

-- After a short night's sleep, we headed out on Sunday to do some serious house hunting. Thankfully Josh had been able to pre-screen a bunch of homes before we got here to make it easier on us. We hope to have a decision made by tonight.

-- Monterey! It's like a whole 'nother world. Beautiful, beachy, and very, very, hilly. 
Makes tooling about in a manual transmission Corolla a bit of a challenge. Josh has been doing all the driving. Not gonna lie, I'm kind of afraid to.

-- Right now it's 6:45 am and I've been up for 2 hours. This is hard to believe, since I consider myself to be a world champion sleeper, able to persevere and snooze through just about anything. I'm a little embarrassed that a 3-hour time change is turning me into a shadow of the sleeping woman I once was.

-- Internet in the base lodging is s-l-o-w, so forgive me for not getting any pictures on for the next little bit.

-- Today our plan includes: moving from one lodging area to another. (Which kind of stinks, but can't be avoided. Right now we're in a bigger unit with 2 bedrooms, but we could only get a reservation for 2 nights here. Next we're moving to a smaller hotel-like room, with one separate bedroom.)
Then we're off to check out the last of the homes on our list and make a final decision.

-- Once we wrap that up, we're going to try to make some vacation plans.

-- Later, gators.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Off we go....

Sorry about the lack of updates, I promise to be better once we're settled into our new home.

Especially since I won't have any friends.
No friends = more free time

Josh did indeed recover from his illness and made good time getting to Monterey. He's been there for a couple days now, checking out the area and looking at houses.
Today the kids and I fly out to meet him!
I'm excited about the new adventure, but a little sad to leave good friends behind.
Last night Alex said goodbye to her best friends. Before bed she asked to have the tissues next to her because she thought she might want to cry a little.
This is new territory for us; we've never had a kid old enough to really understand the concept of not knowing when we might see friends again.

Hopefully the beautiful views and new environment will distract her until we can help her meet some more kiddos.

I think we're all ready for our flight-- I've got games loaded to my iPad, movies to watch, coloring books, and enough snacks to feed the whole plane.
But I'm still not looking forward to it.
I keep reminding myself that I need to be patient, because there will no doubt be some whining.

And to be honest, by the time we hit the 5th hour or so,it will probably be me whining! I dislike long flights.

Wish us luck! The next entry will be posted from California hopefully!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


As of yesterday afternoon, our family is officially homeless. We've handed off the keys for our casa de Maple'hood, and all of our worldly possessions are in a big truck somewhere.
The kids and I are staying with our friends, and Josh is in a hotel room in Tennessee.

Only he didn't get quite as far as he had planned because the poor chap has been stricken ill while on his voyage. He stopped driving early so he could have his fever, chills, and nausea in a hotel room instead of in the corolla.
I'm sorry sweetie. I'd bring you a drink and some medicine if I could.

Thankfully we built some extra time into his road trip "just in case", so he should still have plenty of time to make it to California before the kids and I fly in on Saturday.

Unless he has the plague.

Or the swine flu.

Or a man-cold.

Then he might never get out of Tennessee.
That would be sad, because frankly I was just getting used to having him around.

I feel as though we are in an odd time of limbo this week. We're out of our house but not out of town. Waiting on the car shippers to put me out of a vehicle.
And thankful for good friends who take in the homeless, even when they have a 7 week old baby! I would like to think that my extra hands would be helpful, but sweet Whitney is about as easy as they come. Sometimes I pretend she's fussing so I can snuggle her.

I'm sad to be leaving our friends, a little intimidated by moving someplace where we don't know anyone, and ready to get on with it all at the same time.
The next big thing on our agenda is finding a home as quick as we can so we can have time to take leave before Josh's class starts up in mid-May. Neither of us has been to California before, so there's plenty we would like to see.

And now I'm off to sleep, it's been a long week.

Happy Easter to you all! Christmas is wonderful, but without Easter it wouldn't mean anything.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Moving and flying and pooping, oh my.

We're getting down to the wire now on our move. We have one more day of "normal" until the packers come.
We've got piles, mini-piles, and sub-piles laying about ready to be put into suitcases or vehicles and designated as "Do Not Move." You have to be on top of getting that stuff set aside or the packers will come in and have it boxed up before you know what happened.
They'll box your trash up with the trash can if you're not careful.
So we've set aside the stuff that Josh needs for his road trip, the stuff the kids and I need for the week we'll be staying here with friends, the stuff that the kids and I will need after arriving to California but before getting our things, and the stuff that I'll need for the plane trip (think Xanax).
Plus we might try to squeeze in a mini-getaway to Disneyland before our household goods are delivered, so we need everything that we would normally take on a vacation as well.
My brain hurts.

We probably over-complicate things, but we don't know how long we'll be without our stuff so we're going all boy-scout on the preparation.

The kids and I have plane tickets now, so that's definitely a move in the right direction.
The bad news is that it appears that our "stop but no plane change" equates to "no getting off the plane, like, ever until you arrive in California."
Surely I can find enough to do to keep the kids occupied for 8 hours in a row of an airplane, no?
And good golly, how much food am I going to need to bring to pull this off?

I really don't like flying with kids.
But the 45 hour drive between Goldsboro and Monterey didn't seem any better.

So let's catch up on the last week or so, shall we?

-- This year I met someone in real life through ye ole blog for the first time ever.
You see, there once was a girl named Megan (Hi, Megan!) who came across my blog while her husband was in pilot training. Then she shared it with her friend Susan, whose hubby was in the same class. And as it turned out, Susan's husband ended up being assigned here at the same base as us.

So I was able to hook her up with info on all the important facts about Goldsboro.
It was a short list.
Actually it was just one thing:

1) Taco Tuesday

What can I say? G'boro can leave a little to be desired.
(But in news of the Why-didn't-this-happen-sooner?, we're getting an Olive Garden. Which is a favorite of mine, but it wont be finished in time for me to partake.)

-- That was a long introductory point and frankly none too cohesive. But you had to know who Susan was for item 2.
Which is that Josh had his fini-flight last Friday. Remember what that is? It's the last flight you have during an assignment. Josh got to choose the type of mission they would fly, and after landing, folks gather to welcome you back to the ground with fire extinguishers filled with water and by spraying champagne in your face. This is followed by food and farewells in the squadron bar.

Good times.

Since I am an awesome friend, I realized that I had forgotten to invite Susan to Josh's fini-flight until about an hour before it started. But she came anyway, and also was willing to take pictures for us!
Thanks, Susan!

Here he comes...

Waiting for the engines to shut down


Now to rinse the champagne off...

The lovebirds

-- Then later Friday night, I went out to dinner with some friends. We were a group of 10 ladies, and we had quite the interesting dining experience.
If by interesting, I mean terrible.

I would try to describe it in detail, but I don't think I could do it justice. It defies description.

 Let's just say that we ate in waves, some of us never getting a plate at all, and even just trying to pay was a 45 minute process.

About an hour or so after the first of us got our food, we just passed the leftovers down to the girls who obviously were never going to get a meal.

Luckily, a group of ladies can manage to find enough to chat about even during a 3-hour meal.

-- I feel that I haven't grossed you guys out enough in awhile. Well, except for my sister in law, who was uncomfortable with the whole lasagna thing.
Don't worry Jess, this story has nothing to do with sex.

And if you don't know what lasagna has to do with sex, then you're obviously better off than my sister in law.

So here's the back story. Many moons ago, Alex had a cold. And we had no tissues, so she took a roll of toilet paper with her to bed so she could wipe her nose in the night.
In the morning I would find a gazillion tissues all over her bed that didn't really seem used, but just wadded up. So I'd throw them away and move on.
Then on Saturday morning I was helping her pick up in her room and found her daily stash of wadded up toilet paper pieces floating around her bed. I tossed them, and then it dawned on me that she hasn't had a cold for a long time.
This conversation ensued:

Me: Alex, why are you still using so much tissue at night? Your nose isn't drippy at all. Here, take this toilet paper back to the bathroom.

Alex, nonchalantly replies: Oh, I'm not using it for my nose. Sometimes I just feel like there's poop on my butt, so I take tissue paper and wipe it to check.

Oh for the love. Do you know how many times I've touched poop-contaminated tissue pieces and not known where they had been?
I shouldn't be surprised.