Thursday, June 28, 2012

God Bless America

Kyler graduated from Kindergarten in a nice little ceremony in his classroom, and got to bring home a lot of his classwork that his teacher put together in a nice bundle.  More pictures to come of that.
It's nice to be home!  We've been here in Gig Harbor, WA for a week now.  I haven't needed any naps today, so maybe I'm getting over the jet lag.  The kids have been great with the move and the time difference and everything.  Kara, a friend who moved here recently from Korea, met us at the airport and hauled me and the kids to her place in Lacy, WA while Dean, Bro and Patti, and Josh (Dean's business partner) ran around getting our van which was waiting for us, and loading up the luggage - 24 checked items, and a number of carry ons.  We maxed out on that, trying to bring as many necessities as we could such as towels, sheets, a few kitchen things, etc.We are most grateful for Bro and Patti coming all the way from Portland to help us out, then treating us to dinner. 
Our luggage train at the Seoul airport.
We were fortunately able to get into a rental house that same evening.  It has been pretty empty with no furnishings, and we felt awfully pathetic with our air mattress that would deflate by the middle of the night.  I finally bought a tall one at TARGET - woohoo for shopping besides the PX!  But we had to borrow a pump (air compressor, actually) from a neighbor to blow it up.

Cambria did great on the flight - with ears full of fluid.  Tristan was a handful, but luckily for me Dean took charge of him.
The neighborhood is great so far, in a culdesac with plenty of friends for the kids to play with.  Kyler has been in hog heaven playing with them much of the day.  The back yard is most welcome, and has blackberry vines (a thorny weed here, but they're blooming and will bear fruit later in the summer), lots of grass (that we'll have to mow), and plenty of trees.  I've planted some herbs in a window planter, and some good sized tomato and pepper plants.  I may try some cucumbers and squash from seed.  Hunter was anxious to start composting again, so we've been doing that.
Where's Kyler?  Look closely.  Now we needn't worry about the hand-wringing tattlers in Hannam Village who can't stand the thought of a boy climbing anything.
I happened upon a Goodwill that was having half off all the toys.  Cambria loves walking with this.
We went to the library last night and got Hunter set up with books to read.  I've been shopping a lot, trying to stock the pantry and get rugs and things.  I took the kids yard sale-ing on Saturday.  It rained much of the morning, but that didn't stop the buyers or the sellers, including us.  It is sticker shock to not shop at the commissary for groceries, except for some things like milk and eggs, which are half as much stateside here. We are still eligible until Aug 5, as Dean's terminal leave runs out then.  We have gone to the base, but it is kinda far from here.  The pint of coconut oil I've been buying at the commissary for $6 is $11-15 at Albertsons and such places, and the Jimmy Dean sausage I buy for $2.49 is $6 at Albertsons.  Yeesh!  I didn't buy those at Albertsons, just things that are on sale.  I can't bring myself to pay over a dollar a pound for plain rice there, nor three dollars a pound for dry beans, so I'm having trouble thinking of things to cook while I am still learning my way around here to go to other stores.  I bought a new GPS today, so that should help.  There are tall trees everywhere, so it's hard to make out directions and find my way around.  The weather is cool - enough so that I have been turning the heat on in the morning, and am cold at night - finally had to swipe one of the kids' blankets (they didn't need it).   

The boys have played "pine cone war" and "big stick" so far in the back yard.  Knowing that they wouldn't listen to me about the likely issues with those games, I let experience teach them that it's not much fun to get nailed in the face with pine cones, nor to be whacked with a big stick.
And, here's the house.  We don't care for the steep incline of the driveway, or having to climb stairs to get inside, nor to get to the garage from inside, but otherwise it is a good fit for now until we can build or buy.  The schools are supposed to be excellent right here; their elementary school is in the same block as the clinic - which is where I've been doing our laundry (after hours) since our facilities are still in storage in North Carolina (you can always count on anything to do with the government taking a ridiculous amount of time). There is a church building a mile from us, but we are in the boundaries for one more like 15 miles away.  Church was nice on Sunday; Tristan had no problem going to the nursery.  One family is just three houses down from us.


Kristi Degn said...

What a great blog post! It's fun to see pictures and read about your American life. :) Sounds like you have settled just where you need to be. And yea for a backyard!!! I miss that and will look forward to it once again, as well as not having to take my trash for a walk to the dumpster. I don't covet the American garbage cans, just really really miss them! HA! Enjoy it all!! :)

Sarah said...

Try to find a WinCo and shop there. I love that store! They were building more in WA just when we moved away, but I'm sure there is one somewhat close to you (maybe as far as Tacoma though).

Glad you made it back safely!! And yes, God Bless America!!!!

OUR HOUSE said...

Yay for the Lavallees! I'm drooling over your backyard;)

The Merrills said...

What a nice, big back yard!

Dawna Greer said...

So glad you made it safely to the good ole' USA and are getting settled in your new area, slowly but slowly! Looks like a really nice one. Hope to see you when you come down Arizona way.