Sunday, June 28, 2009

Minter gardens

Frank, Heather, Don, Nick, and I all headed out to Minter Gardens late Saturday morning. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We had a delicious lunch at the restaurant there and then walked all over the garden's paths.

Heather and I have been friends for thirty years!

Minter Gardens is a lovely place; and so close! We turned our day admission into season passes and we plan on taking my parents there when they visit in July.

Look at this peacock! His "plumage" is going to be amazing when these flowers grow a little.

Nick enjoying the manicured lawns! Please click on this picture and tell me who Nick is starting to look like!

Picking strawberries at Krause's

Saturday morning, right after breakfast, Frank, Heather, Don, and the girls headed over to Krause's to pick strawberries. It's a good thing they went over early because it turned out to be a pretty hot day!

Jordyn has a new favorite man!
Checking out the raspberries.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday morning report...

Frank and Heather are enroute from Seattle!

I have finished my "must do" list and will soon move onto the "it would be nice to get this done" list.

Nick is taking his usual long morning nap, the girls are outside playing.

The weather forecast has changed for the better. Clear and in the mid 60's for the entire weekend. The Smiths, coming from Modesto, will love that!

Life is good. I'm so looking forward to this weekend!

More later...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The amazing 9-month old baby

Well, here he is: the world's most adorable 9-month old baby. He has now been out of me longer than he was in me! I like him better out here : )

He can now pull himself up into a standing position while holding onto the couch and can even cruise a bit. He definitely prefers standing so I don't think the walking will be too far in the future.

He loves to be outside and actually cries when we come back inside. He'll happily ride in his stroller for hours or sit on a blanket on the grass and play. He's a pretty easy keeper, and for those times when he's not an easy keeper, I just have to look at his chubby cuteness and, viola, he can do no wrong! It's amazing. It's been a pretty wonderful 9 months, and I'm really looking forward to the next little while.

Preschool graduation

Today Patience and Jordyn attended their last day of preschool for the year...well, the last day ever for Patience. They had a presentation where the kids sang songs, then they got "diplomas," and then we had a party with lots of goodies. The girls had a great time and now they're looking forward to a relaxing summer. Me too!

Here they are before school:

I absolutely love this shot of Jordyn. You can capture a natural smile on her face about 1% of the time...this is my lucky shot!

Here they are during the diploma presentation. Sorry for the quality of this shot...I clearly need a telephoto lens.

The mystery flowers...

I woke up this morning to find these on my kitchen table! They weren't there last night when I went to bed. Of course curiosity was killing me, so I went in and asked Don (quietly, not wanting to wake up Nick) where the flowers came from. He didn't know! So I went and asked Dylan and Sean.

It turns out that Tom Bennett brought them over last night for me! He came around 10 (obviously doesn't know my bedtime is 8) and Sean answered the door. Aren't they gorgeous? Sean says they were to say "thank you." But if anything I should be saying thank you to Tom Bennett! He gave up 6 days of work (i.e. pay) to drive across the US with Nathan. Because he was there, Nathan had a great time, and I didn't have a single moment of worry.

Tom is such a great guy. I wish he could someday be my son-in-law, but since he's 15 years older than Patience I might as well get that thought right out of my head. But he is wonderful.
Thank you, Tom!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh the irony of it all...

You'll never guess where Don and Patience are right now....

At the beautiful Al Anderson pool in Langley; tonight Patience started Langley Flippers Swim Club in their learn-to-swim program!

I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry...

Did we adopt him?

You know you have a large family when your 14-year-old son wonders upstairs in the morning, bleary-eyed, but nonplussed at the unfamiliar 5-year-old sitting at the breakfast table eating cereal. Without batting an eye, Sean asks nonchalantly, "Who's the new kid? Did we adopt him?"

Darrell is my walking friend, Jackie's, little boy. She works occasionally, filling in when other people go on vacation. She's working this week, so Darrell is spending his days with us, learning the joys of playing with dollhouses, and teaching the girls how to work Transformers. I've seen first-hand that Patience is much better at playing with girls than boys. She's loud and rambunctious and sometimes (okay, most times) overpowers any little girl she plays with. Much better matched to playing with boys.

On another note, Don spent most of his Father's Day working. Are you surprised?

After breakfast in bed, he and Dylan went to Radnai's to work on the trees. And when he came home, he decided to knock out one little home improvement project...painting the hallway right outside the laundry room. They were the only white(ish) walls left downstairs and they needed some TLC. We had lots of green from painting Dylan's room...the nice seafoam green color, so Don knocked that yesterday afternoon/evening. It's such a huge improvement.

We did talk to Nathan this weekend. He called at 9:30 our time (12:30 in Virginia) on Saturday evening and we had a nice, long chat. He talked to Dylan and wished him a happy birthday and then they had a conversation about "would Nathan please buy Dylan a car?" And then he called Don on Sunday and wished him a happy Father's Day, as Don was already asleep when Nathan called the night before so he didn't talk with him then. Nathan's doing well, passing every test so far, disappointed that the PT is so unchallenging. This week he has classes and then next week he's underway for the entire week, putting what they've learned so far into practice. That should be a good time! And then, pretty soon after that, they'll be able to start finding out their next duty stations.

Right now Dylan is working at the chicken farm, and Sean is taking the dog for a jog/walk. I love productive teenagers. It makes me want to bake them cupcakes!

More later,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Highchair yoga

Reach up...

then touch your nose to the floor...

sit up tall...

and then touch your nose to the floor again...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

When Daddy's in charge of bath time...

this is likely to occur:

He's obviously the fun one.

Great pictures compliments of Leslie Smith

These great shots were taken by Leslie when the Cutlers came to have dinner and fetch their French daughter. I'm not sure if she's just an excellent photographer, if her camera is of superior quality, if she was just lucky, or it it's a combination of all three, but I think you'll enjoy these!

Don and camera-shy Jordyn.

Cathi and sulking Jordyn (do you see a pattern?).

Dylan's 17th birthday (okay, a few days shy).

Smirking smiling Sean.

Baby bliss. Ahhhh.
This girl loves her potato salad!

The family sans Nathan plus Lucille. Out of 20 or so shots this was the best one.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Nick tricks

This baby is growing and changing so fast! Everyday he has new capabilities, which is exciting for your first child but horrifying for your sixth...

Here's Nick playing with the fireplace grate, even though he has hundreds of baby-appropriate toys all around him! His fascination with the fireplace lead to us rearranging the the couch is in front of the fireplace!
Standing up, looking for food...
Trying to get down the stairs. He loves going outside, and knows the door is right down those stairs!
Being absolutely beautiful.
Trying to get behind the couches... He got his head through but his bum just wouldn't go...

Nathan as the Reviewing Officer

While I was in the hospital, Sean's sea cadet corps had their annual cerimonial review practice. Nathan took advantage of the fact that he was home with all of his Coast Guard uniforms and offered to be the Reviewing Officer for their dress rehearsal. Here are some pics from that evening that I am finally getting around to posting (thanks for your patience):

Nathan and Commanding Officer Derek Bailey.
Executive Officer Lynda Juliusson presents Nathan with a 50th year pin from RCSCC Columbia.
Bad boys Nathan and John Gammeter.
Nathan and the twins: Angela and Leanne.
Nathan and Sean.

Au Revoir Lucille

Last night the Cutlers came over for dinner and to pick up their French daughter. It was great catching up with them as we haven't seen them in such a long time. Lucille and I skewered some pretty delicious shish-kabobs that Don grilled (she calls them "sticks," as in, "we're having sticks for dinner.") We made a potato salad, a green salad, and a couple of pans of garlic bread sticks. And then we topped it off with vanilla ice cream topped with farm-fresh strawberries that Lucille and Dylan picked at Krause's. All in all it was a great evening except for the very sad ending when Lucille left, knowing that she wouldn't be coming back to our house for a long while. Her goal now is to be back for Patience's 6th birthday! I guess she really, really enjoyed Chuck E. Cheese's : )

This is Lucille and Nick on the Monday evening when Don brought her home and said, "Honey, I brought the French maid to help you out!" And she did!

The mean baby finds HAIR! Better than earrings, in his opinion!

We have enjoyed getting to know Lucille and spending time with her so much! It's sad to see her returning to France, but I can just imagine how excited her own mother is to be getting her back! And she'll be home for only 10 days before Dylan joins her there, so she hardly has time to be sad about leaving North America...

We love you, Lucille!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Late-breaking news

Don passed his test! I'm not sure what it's for exactly, but I think this gives him some new Microsoft certfication. Just further proof that he is, in fact, a geek.

Lucille and I got our bangs trimmed today...we both look much better : ) And this evening Don came in at 5 and said, "go get your pedicures now...I'll make dinner and look after the kids!" So of course Lucille and I bolted out the door before he changed his mind and now we both have beautiful toes with fun nail art. We didn't get the manicures as we both thought the polish didn't last long enough to make it worth it even if it costs only $10. We did decide that we'd do each other's nails tonight after the kids go to bed...

Don made barbequed hamburgers and beans and Mr. Nick ate almost an entire patty with cheese! He's starting to become a really good eater. A la baby Dylan, a.k.a. Moose Murphy.

The girls' preschool class walked to the local park today and played there for 2 hours. Both of them, but especially Jordyn, are exhausted!

Right now all three kids are in the big bathtub with the jets going! Nick loves it!

Life is good...

More of the same...

Sean had his two baby eye teeth pulled yesterday because his adult teeth were growing in right on top of the baby teeth. The orthodontist is hoping that now that all that space is available, his eye teeth will grow into their proper places.

Both boys are at school for exams today: Sean is taking his socials exam, Dylan is taking a make-up socials test and then his English provincial. Friday he takes his Socials provincial and then he's done for the summer. Sean has a science test tomorrow, and then he's a free man. The girls wrap up their preschool year with a graduation ceremony on Tuesday.

We finally have some moist weather. It's been so hot and dry here...great swimming weather in the afternoon, but last night it must have sprinkled all night long so the lawn and flowers got a little water.

Don is taking a test right now, too. It's for some Microsoft certification that will look great on his resume, but apparently it's a difficult exam. He's passing the practice online tests, but just barely. You need 85% to pass, so we're on pins and needles right now.

Today we're dropping the girls off at school, picking up Sean from school, and then Lucille, Nick, and I are heading to Abbotsford for haircuts. Tomorrow we're hoping to work pedicures into our schedule, as our early May pedicures have clearly expired.

We were able to talk with Nathan on Monday night and he said that he passed the three tests that he took the first week of A school. Yeah! He also said that this week they were working a lot with knots and line splicing so all of his cadet training should come in handy. And they're doing more physical training this week, so Nathan figures he'll look pretty good this week. Did I mention that he was the fastest in his class at the 1.5 mile run by about 20 seconds?

He also found out that there is an option for Boatswain's Mates to become dog handlers...they use German Shepards for port security purposes so he's going to explore that a little further...he'd love to do something like that.

More later...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June races by...

How can it be the 16th already? Dylan turns 17 this Saturday, followed by Father's Day, then the end of school, and then a brief visit with Frank and Heather, and then June will be gone.

Yesterday, Dylan passed his driver's test and now has his "N," which allows him to drive unsupervised. He celebrated by taking Sean and Lucille to the movies last night, and then drove himself to school early this morning to find out what he missed yesterday when he took his driver's test. So far no accidents, tickets, or dings!

While Dylan was busy testing, Don was busy running errands in Bellingham: picking up parcels from Val's, doing some banking, and picking up Lucille! Now that she has graduated she has lots of free time on her hands so she is spending some time with us this week.

Today we were all sorts of busy. This morning we took a walk with the Nick and the girls. Then we took Sean to the dentist where he got two teeth pulled. While we did that, Dylan took the girls to preschool : ) When the girls came home, I took Nick, Dylan and Lucille to the mall while the girls stayed here and swam with Sean. Don and I have been wanting to get Lucille a little something to take back to France with her to remember us by and while we were at the mall we found the most perfect gift: a lovely Maple leaf pendant, small and classic, in white gold, on a beautiful white gold necklace. She absolutely loves it. Dylan got an early birthday present of some new clothes from American Eagle (his favorite). Now he has new duds to go to France in.

All is well here. I'll post more tomorrow!

Monday, June 15, 2009

We have a new driver!

Dylan got his "N" today, 5 days before turning 17. Yeah! I'm very excited that now we have another option for getting everyone where they need to be...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Yep. He has it. Absolutely unbelievable!

I've been on the phone with the Public Health Department to give them dates, times, places, etc. Everyone in our family has to go in to the public health unit to get oral anitbiotics just to be on the safe side. Also Waneta. And also Nathan, as they were both here during his incubation period. Nathan will have to get some antibiotics from his medical office in Virginia.

Our public health nurse friend, Leslie, said she bets that I picked up the bacteria from my hospital stay and then passed it on to little Nicholas. That's a very likely scenario, as I can't imagine where else we'd pick it up.

More later...

Another Patience funny...

...this girl can be hysterical.

She was strolling her doll, Alice, around in the stroller and I commented on what a great mommy she was going to be. Dylan, up helping with the kids while I made dinner (yes, you read that right), had this conversation with her:

Dylan: Patience, who are you going to marry when you grow up?

Patience: Um, well, probably Nick. But not until he grows up.

Dylan: You can't marry Nick, he's your brother.

Patience: I said, "Not until he grows up!"

Dylan: I'm grown up. Are you going to marry me?

Patience: Well, only if you take me to McDonald's.

We clearly have to work on the concept of family and romantic relationships. But I'm glad to see she has such high standards. McDonalds...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"You're absolutely hopeless..."

That was Dr. Dornan's conclusion when he asked what I'd been doing. I said, "well, I'm not vacuuming. I'm not driving. And I'm not having...well, you know. But I am doing pretty much everything else." He chuckled and said, "That's about what I figured you'd be doing. You're absolutely hopeless." Then he sent me off for another 6 weeks. So, I'm driving! Yeah! And while I'm not taking it easy, per se, I'm certainly not lifting anything heavy like Jordyn or Patience. Or baskets full of wet laundry.

Never a dull moment!

So yesterday afternoon Waneta and I were happily making a delicious dessert with the girls when the phone rang. It was Dr. Morgan. He was calling to let me know that when Don took Nick in on Friday with that goopy eye, he had taken a culture and sent it off to the lab. The microbiologist at the lab saw something unusual so he called Dr. Morgan. At home. On his day off. While the culture was still in a preliminary stage, he thought it was looking suspiciously like meningococcus.

So, Dr. Morgan, at home, on his day off, called me and told me to take Nick to emerg to get two intramuscular antibiotic shots just to be on the safe side. Then he called the emerg triage nurse and doctor on call to grease the skids for our arrival there. Did I mention he was at home on his day off?

I'm still not cleared to drive. Thankfully Dylan was home and was able to come to the hospital with us. Thankfully Waneta and Don were here, they were able to keep the girls and finish up and serve dinner!

Nick seems fine. He doesn't appear to have any symptoms of meningitis, but I'm glad the health care system is so proactive. He does have two sore thighs : (
And I'm so, so, so thankful for Dr. Morgan. We sat around last night thinking of all the wonderful things we could do for him to show our appreciation of his consistent superior care. This is definitely not a one-time going above the call of duty. There was the time he let me bring Patience to his office at 5:00 on a Friday so he could stitch her up instead of us spending several hours at emerg. The list goes on and on.

I'm expecting a call from him today with results from the culture. I'll post when I know.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Update from the weekend...

I spoke with a very exuberant Nathan last night. He had just gone through the BM orientation for A school and he loved his instructor. She's female, has a great sense of humor, knows her stuff inside and out, and also has a sailor's mouth (that wasn't necessarily a good thing, but it's a very common trait in the CG). She's about 40, and she told the group that her #1 goal was for every one of them to pass. This was music to Nathan's ears, because that's his #1 goal, too! He likes the training's quite large and has its own Subway : ) And he's decided against getting internet in his room. It's $20 for 15 days, and he's trying to keep a spartan budget during A school so he can pay back the money he borrowed to buy, and then repair, his truck. And he thought it would be a distraction from studying. So, it was probably a good decision. He can order it later on if he feels like he's doing well enough with his course.

Sean had his Annual Ceremonial Review this weekend and got two awards! Best Dressed Cadet and the Seamanship Award. We're very proud of him and are so thankful that he is involved in this organization. I can't imagine how he would fill his free time if he didn't have cadets. Oh, and he and Sam Shaw are an item again. They'll both be at Quadra for 6 weeks this summer, so I'm sure it'll be a summer to remember. She's in the sailing trade group, while Sean is in gunnery, so they won't be spending time together on a daily basis. Maybe just mealtimes....

Dylan is winding up grade 11 and now focusing more on his future. He's looking at scholarships, job possibilities, and maybe even attending this school. It's totally out there for Dylan, but there are aspects that make it a good choice. He takes his driver test in one week. I'm so so so hoping he comes home with his N that day.

The girls are doing great! I would even say that Miss Jordyn has graduated from being naughty. I can now not panic when I don't see her or hear her. She and Patience are playing really well together inside and outside...I think they're both going to have a good summer. They've both gotten hooked on a preschool gaming website: and Patience inparticular can spend an hour or more playing there. They've both really enjoyed the time they get to spend with Waneta in the past two weeks.

Nick has graduated to being naughty. He crawls everywhere, would rather play with something he's not supposed to have than his gazillion toys, cries and screams when he doesn't have what he wants, and is not easily distracted. On the other hand, he's cute as a button, and will sit on the floor and lift his arms up to me so I'll pick him's heart melting.

I'm still recovering nicely, I think. I get to go visit Dr. Dornan tomorrow and I'll get his opinion on my recovery. Hopefully I won't get yelled at : )

Don is working hard at the farm and his little office. Oh, for some reason he has gotten a bee in his bonnet about getting his office organized and tidy, and has been working a little bit each day decluttering, etc. His "lab" is now much more finished, with real lighting and flooring! He went and bought baskets to keep his components and cables organized and it looks great! I'm sure it's a much easier environment to work in, too.

Waneta is coming today, and will spend the night and take me to my doctor appointment tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get cleared to drive and she'll be able to go back to Merritt tomorrow evening. I can't imagine what we would have done without her these past two weeks.

Okay, I'm off to go do my thing!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Yorktown, Virginia

That's where Nathan is right now! Hallelujah!

He left Sunday, May 31st from BC, and arrived last night at his destination after having one of the best weeks of his life. His trek across the US was pretty much without mishap. He budgeted well enough on the trip to use only the money that the CG fronted him, so the trip didn't cost him a dime out of his pocket (that's my boy!). He and Tom had an absolute blast, including at least one major fun thing everyday. He called me from Mount Rushmore saying, "Mom, this is the most amazing thing I've ever seen."

He drove through Bear Country, which both he and Tom say was the most exciting thing they did, they went to an amusement park, to the archway in St. Louis, to a Cardinal's game, ate at a steak house in Omaha, and just plain had a blast. They were able to stay up late having fun wherever they were, because they could take turns napping and driving the following day. They were up until 3:30 in St. Louis!

Today Nathan went and got a haircut (I love the Coast Guard) and is on his way to report to Yorktown. He should get his room so he can unpack, ready his uniform for tomorrow, do some laundry, etc. And all the other guys in this course will be spilling in today, so he'll hopefully meet some great people and start having fun there.

I encouraged him, in my subtle way, to do his best in this course. Because after week 5 or so, they let people see the list of openings in the fleet, and letting them choose where they'd like to spend the next four years. And they let the top student pick first, and the bottom student gets what no one else picked (probably Kodiak). So, a little extra effort in these next 5 weeks could equate to a Hawaii station. Nathan's not used to being a top student, as academics were never his strongest suit. But hopefully he'll find his niche in this course, and he'll be able to call on everything he's ever learned from cadets that's buried in his subconscious, and be in the top part of the class. Hope, hope, hope!

So, he passed the hurdle of getting to Yorktown, and now the real challenge begins! I'll keep you posted...

Friday, June 05, 2009


Waneta had been staying with us since Monday afternoon, when she brought the girls back from a "weekend at Grandma's." Since then, she has woken up feeling poorly every morning, and each day we planned on visiting a walk-in clinic to get her sinuses looked at. But by the afternoon, she was always feeling better and so we never made it to the clinic. Yesterday afternoon she returned to Merritt and stopped in to visit her regular doctor on the way home. It turns out she has a sinus and an ear infection! Poor Grandma! She is now on antibiotics and will hopefully be feeling 100% soon.

Nick woke up yesterday a.m. with a goopy eye. We cleaned it up and decided to just keep an eye on it. Sure enough, when he woke up from his afternoon nap it was major goopy and red. So, off to the doctor's for Nicky, too. Dr. Mogan took a culture, but is pretty sure it's pink eye so now Nick is on antibiotics for that.

Everyone else: holding steady.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I'm in a strange mode here...definitely not 100%, but trying to do much each day to make sure that when no help is here (Waneta leaves tomorrow) I'll be ahead of the game. To that end, we've put meals in the freezer, rotated out summer/winter wardrobes, and cleaned and organized. So I'm preparing to recuperate, but right now I'm still probably working more than the doctor would like. I've been taking my pain meds only at bedtime...I think that is a good sign! So I am recovering...

Yesterday Waneta and I dropped Patience off at preschool and then took Jordyn and Nick to Canadian SuperStore. Yes, that's how insane I am. Waneta bought the girls summer jammies (hot weather is finally here to stay!), new undies for Patience, shoes for the girls and Sean, as well as some groceries so we are well-stocked! It was a productive trip, but we did pay the price for it by Nick refusing to sit in the cart...he had to be carried, by me. Then, for some reason that I still don't know, he cried or fussed non-stop until bedtime. Why? Well, who knows? Any number of reasons, really. It's been really hot here. My milk supply has diminished to nothing, but it's slowly coming back and that has really irked him. It could be teething. It could be some other malady. If only babies could talk...

Last night Waneta made wonderful French-dip sandwiches for us.

Today our plans are to drop the girls off at school and then take Nick to Langley. There are just a few things we need to pick up and we figure that's the easiest way to do it. We'll pick up a u-bake pizza at Costco for dinner tonight.

Last night Don set up the pool! The girls (and I) are so's going to make this heat wave so much more bearable. Of course right now the water is too cold to actually get in, but you could cool yourself off considerably by just putting your feet in!

More later....

Monday, June 01, 2009

Anchors Away!

On the leaving of Nathan.

Well, let me just say that sending a son off to "A" school is about a gazillion times easier than sending him off to basic training!

Nathan left yesterday a.m. around 7:30 for his excellent adventure crossing the US with his good friend, Tom, in his almost-like-new truck. He was happy and looking forward to the week to come, as opposed to the Nathan who left last year, knowing he was in for the hardest 8 weeks of his life.

Nathan arrived home last Friday night, Don's birthday!, with Lucille and thirteen loads of laundry. Now, in his defense just let me say that he didn't ask me to do his wash. He was actually quite certain that some of the clothes were already clean. It's just that they were all bundled up together with his dirty clothes in the bed of his truck. It's amazing how people accumulate. Even though Nathan had brought home dribs and drabs of his accumulation from the base in Seattle, his little tricky truck was full of uniforms, civilian clothes, electronics paraphenalia, magazines, the list goes on.

In order to pack it up properly, into all these duffle bags that were also thrown into the mix, everything had to be sorted and laundered. Nathan, bless his heart, emptied his truck onto the driveway and then took Sean to cadets on Saturday morning. That was helpful. Then, because they were playing hockey at cadets, he stayed there for the next 5 hours. Not so helpful.

I should have just left everything "as is" until he came home. Except that I had my own agenda for the upcoming week, namely surgery Monday a.m. and then recovery from then until Nathan left for Virginia. So, I had the weekend to get Nathan to a place where he was packed and organized so he wouldn't need my assistance.

Hence, 13 loads of laundry. Mind you, I'm counting the one load of ODUs, his work uniform, that I had to wash 3 times as three loads. It only seems fair.

By the end of the day my table in the family room was stacked 2-feet high with Nathan's clothes and uniforms. When he got home we went through some of the stuff and found that it no longer fit. Since it was going to be bloody hot in Virginia we shot off to Old Navy with Nick and did a quick shopping trip, netting three new pairs of shorts and a few shirts that don't have Sharks on them. Amazing. I know.

Before Sunday night Nathan had 6 bags packed: a garment bag with his dress uniforms, a seabag with the rest of his uniforms, organized so that he'd only have to unpack the very top of it until he got a permanent A school room, a bag of things he'd want during A school, a bag of civililian clothes he's going to want at his next duty station, a backpack full of all things electronic, from his laptop to his DS, and a bag full of the clothes and toiletries that he'd use while he's on his road trip. We found things he thought he'd lost! We pared down the stuff that he wants to drag around with him...I really feel like he was in great shape when he left here (organizationally speaking). He thanked me profusely for my help, saying something to the effect of, "I couldn't have done that even if I had 13 weeks to prepare for it." So that was nice. But I'm pretty sure he won't need my help like that again.

So, his truck was making a funny noise. Not like funny "ha ha." Like, bad. Thankfully we have a mechanic who we trust absolutely. Someone who is so fair with his pricing that I'm not even sure he makes any money on us. But I digress. Don and Nathan took little tricky truck into see Mr. Quiring Monday morning and found out that he needed to replace the lifter and basically the engine all the way down to the cam shaft. Now, if you're not mechanically inclined, that basically means about $1600. That was the bad news. The good news was that the mechanic was able to do the work last week, even though he had to jump through some hoops ordering US parts, and it's now a very happy truck which should make it to Virginia without problems.

So, back to the story: Nathan left yesterday morning with Tom and they drove as far as Coeur d'Alene, ID yesterday. They were there before 2 so they definitely could have put a few more miles behind them, but they had reservations at a hotel there that was connected to a "family fun park" that had laser tag, go carts, a waterpark, an arcade, a climbing wall, just basically a playground for two guys, so they were able to run off some steam after being seated for a good part of the day. I called them this morning and they said that everything was going great so far, and that the park was awesome. Tonight they stop in Gillette, Wyoming.

Okay, I need to go do a few little things. I'll write more later. Maybe about my surgery. Maybe not.


Dylan's Disney Tour Photos

These were just made available on the school's website so I thought I'd share them with you!