Monday, July 25, 2016

More of the Same

Another year under our belts; another pack out in the works.  We have 4 short days left in Sheridan and Tashkent beckons.

Our life for the next two months

The UAB pile

The consumables pile

Basically, our life is currently a series of piles.  Zack summed it well as he surveyed his stripped down bedroom, "Mom, I just really don't like my room anymore."  It's easy to tell when a place is no longer home.  We're off to create a new one.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Eventful February

Our February can be categorized as a roller coast.  We had so many ups and downs this past month I feel seasick.

Our ups included the usual small victories and challenges - excellent Parent/Teacher conferences with both boys succeeding marvelously in school.  The weather has been stunning for late winter in Wyoming, with only a few nasty windy days.  My last semester of grad school is chugging along and I turned in my application for my counseling license program.  We've had some yucky sniffles that kept us home from school a day or two, but nothing major.  We have had some tough days dealing with missing dad.  Overall, those things kept us pretty level.

The big up is my job offer from Tashkent International School.  I will have the privilege of teaching music part time as well as completing my school counseling internship.  I am so excited!  I have to report for duty on August 8th, so the timeline for departure is beginning to take shape.

The big down caused so much anxiety all around we actually postponed our planned Spring Break trip to Colombia.  I woke up one morning two weeks ago with a huge lump on my throat.  It turned out to be a very large multi nodular goiter with a potentially malignant nodule on the right side of my thyroid.  The entire thyroid is riddled with nodules and two had to be biopsied.  Fortunately, both turned out to be benign.  Unfortunately the doctors have absolutely no idea what caused them (especially with such an acute appearance) given that all my hormone levels are excellent.  I'll be seeing an endocrinologist and I will have to run tests each year if the doctor okays me to forego surgery for now.

So that's our February.  We opened March with a fun Seuss week at school.  Here is Zack and me as Sam and Fox in Socks.

Today was absolutely glorious.  At 70 degrees and sunny we just could not stay inside.  We walked the 4 mile round trip to the college for Science Saturday and stopped for gatorade on our way back.  Gabriel declared the day "simply marvelous" and commented on the opportunity for Vitamin D.  My children are nerds.  Man, I love them.

March is off to a bright start.  20 days until John visits.

Friday, January 29, 2016

January Bug Blues

The cold/flu season is in full swing in Sheridan and Gabriel and I are down with the crud.  Gabby stayed home from school Monday, but we had a nice, relaxed day playing with Legos, quesadilla fractions, and reading Calvin and Hobbes.

I'm left fighting the goo, but it's really not too bad, just enough to make me feel icky.  So, the boys and I decided to kick the bug's butt in active fashion.  We nearly dropped dead dancing to Just Dance on the Wii then the boys helped my body weight train and stretch.

Extreme planking

Gabey sat on my back while I did a straddle split forward fold, but I didn't catch that on camera.

We're set up for a quiet weekend at home with a couple scrapbook projects, lots of books, computer time, and maybe even some outdoor time if this nicer weather holds.  Here's to kicking this bug for good.

Friday, January 8, 2016

New Year

Yes, I am 8 days late.  Already.  I really can't figure out how we managed to get 8 days into 2016 already.  It is already the end of the first week back to school and the days go zooming past me with no signs of slowing.

Once again, my blogging habits, or lack there of, get the better of me.  I make no apologies.  John was visiting for 2 1/2 weeks and we all had better things to do than share inner workings on the internet.

But, now all is quiet and routine once more, at least for us, so updates and pictures.

Christmas arrived in its dream of white.  We had over a foot of snow a few days before Christmas and Christmas itself graced us with flurries.  Cousins arrived from Seattle and Uncle Mike made it up from TX.

Grandma and the cousins took advantage of snow and Grandpa's bone collection to build very creepy snowmen...snowdeer...? Glowing snow aliens...?

We had our traditional Christmas Eve donuts.  The boys were displeased that I didn't make them homemade this year.  Store bought GF donuts did not make the cut.  Next year we'll return to true tradition.

The kids, of course, made out like bandits.  We always say it will be a small Christmas, but that's just not going to happen until they're older.

The duck.  Our tradition every year since Zack's first Christmas.  Covered in butter, wrapped bacon, roasted until perfect.  Yum.

At our favorite GF pizza place in Billings, MT after dropping Mike off at the airport.

The cousins had a sleepover.

And it was adorable.

The new skating rink opened with free open skate thanks to town sponsors.  Zack starts hockey next week, too.

Happy 2016!  The boys made it to midnight for the first time.  They feel asleep promptly 2 minutes later.

It's 2016; they're 7 and 8 in 2nd and 3rd grade and they still can't sleep apart.

Please keep Afghanistan in your prayers.  And Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Getting in the Spirit

We went up the mountains to cut our tree!  It's been a "warm," dry winter, so there was very little snow.

We found a cute little tree, just perfect for our cute little house.

And my woodsmen cut it down!

 Grandma and Grandpa picked one a bit bigger.

And up it goes!

We had a buddy spend the night, so we had extra help with the tree

We are all prepped for Christmas and anxiously counting down to Daddy's arrival in 4 days.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Brighter Days

After grim reflections, let's focus on the joy.  We have plenty to go around.

The recently toothless Gabey enjoys the meal he cooked this week: Brinner

Maestro preps for his orchestra concert

With Grandma and Grandpa after the show

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

'Bout That Time Again...

When you awaken at 5 a.m. to emails from your hubby of post reports and housing questionnaires it resets the turning wheels.  Those wheels of time start rolling, the wheels that tell you to pack a bag and dream of new terrain.  It is the expat blessed curse.  Life is a cycle of pack outs and post bids.  And those wheels rattled our world today.

When I excitedly told the boys we would likely be packing up again in under 8 months they seemed thrilled.  Tales of a new international school with new ASAs and exciting layovers in Istanbul sparked smiles and chatters of excitement.  Zack would play all the sports and make new friends.  Gabriel would try out the Coding class.

But it all melted down when my emotionally thread bare extrovert collapsed in a heap during violin practice sobbing that he missed his dad and he doesn't want to move again.  He is tired of saying goodbye.  He is tired of packing up.  He is tired of new schools.

It is the expat life cycle.  It is a constant roller coaster.  And right now we're riding it out again.  Today we shed tears.  Tomorrow we will laugh.  The next we will fear for our safety.  The next we will tour the Old Silk Road.  And so it goes.

What will tomorrow bring?