Friday, June 28, 2013

A New Life in Virginia

Here we are!  We are residents of Alexandria, Virginia!

Packers packed up our Carlisle house on June 17th and 18th.

As they loaded the truck on the 18th, I cleaned like a mad woman behind them in an effort to get out of the house ASAP!  When it was finished and the last bit of our stuff was out, our new Brazilian neighbors who moved into the Grants' house, made pizza for us for dinner and then we were on our way.

Or so we thought.

We stopped to weigh our's all a part of moving with the military, weighing vehicles empty then full.  We got onto the road, GPS set to the new house, arrival time in a little under 2 hours, 9 pm.  That was until this little incident...

Ugh.  Flat tire.  Mark said the reason this happened was to re-hone his Trooper skill of changing a tire on the side of the interstate.  Of course it had to start raining.  And by God's grace, He protected Mark changing the tire and we were on our way again after getting air in the spare and a snack for our bellies.  Now GPS says arrival time of 11:15.

We finally made it, slept quick and were there to greet the movers to unload at 9:30 am on the 19th.  Were you keeping track?  We were packed on the 17th, packed more and loaded on the 18th, and unloaded on the 19th.  We were tired.  Our bodies sore.  And very grateful we didn't have to do it all ourselves.

I so wished I would have taken more pics on moving in day.  Of course that is me thinking all rested and not up to my arm pits in packing paper.  I got the kitchen unpacked the day we moved in.  I didn't want to wake up on the brink of insanity again.  I was glad I did it the next day, but I think while I was doing it, I might have barked at my hubby and kiddos a few time.  And shed a few tears too.

The girls found a perfect spot out back for a fort.  I think it's awesome!

Thursday, the 20th, we decided to take a break from the unpacking and make sure Mark was proficient in using the Metro.  Before we set out...we had a little visitor.

Isn't he adorable?  His grandparents live 8 miles from us!  He was hanging with them while Mom & Dad had a little vacation after a long time apart thanks to the school Dad went to train in his F16.

So, here we are as tourists.  I'm telling you now, we are year long tourists.

Friday, Mark had his first day.  It was training and in processing.  He got to meet some of his co-workers and see a bit about what it is like being a Battle Captain.  Here's his new ride...

This is our neighborhood sign.  Aren't those children adorable?!!?  I think I need to take them home with me!!

Mark survived his first few days of training and in processing.  Us girls are enjoying our new surroundings.  The pool is our favorite spot.  We went to the Dive-In Movie that showed at our pool a couple nights ago.  It was so much fun, though the girls say they need to see the movie at home to know what actually happened!

Yesterday Mark had a day off, but needed to run some paper work to Fort Belvoir, less than 2 miles from our house, and then to Fort Myer.  Traffic seems to be the main topic discussed in this area.  Here's traffic on 395 at 2:15...  Then after hitting Myer, we went back to Belvoir to hit the new PX.  It opened last week and boasts at being the biggest PX in the world.  It reminded me more of the Bangor Mall than a PX.  Amazing.  Too bad I bought the wrong kind of rechargeable batteries yesterday...we'll have to just go back and exchange them today!  :) 

Today is Mark's first day doing his actual job solo.  His schedule will be 12 hour shifts working 4 days on then 4 days off.  Today is day one of the 4 on.  He will work days for a month, then nights for a month, and back to days.  If you have never done shift work and are thinking this is crazy....there are benefits of working shifts.  Like sight seeing on a Tuesday.  Hitting the PX when every one else is at work.  Hanging with the kiddos in the middle of the day.  It's full of good stuff.  Besides, us Trooper families, we are used to this stuff.  The best part about this job is lots of it is top secret stuff.  Therefore no take home work!!  As wonderful as the schedule was at the USAWC, Mark always had homework.  And with the MSP...he worked 24/7.  Here...nothing!  YAY!

Thanks for all your prayers as we transitioned.  Things have gone so smoothly so far!  We appreciate the prayers.  Keep praying!

I found this yesterday and thought it was too good not to share.  The dandelion is the official flower of the military child.  Read this.  I found it here.

I love it.  Who ever came up with it...genius.  Though most of our life we don't live as a traditional Army family, we have experienced three moves in the past three years, one with the Maine State Police and two with the Army.  I think this fits.  I hope you enjoy it and remember it when you come in contact with our amazing military kids!

The Dandelion – The Flower of the Military Child
"The official flower of the military child is the dandelion. Why? The plant puts down roots almost anywhere, and it's almost impossible to destroy. It's an unpretentious plant, yet good looking. It's a survivor in a broad range of climates. Military children bloom everywhere the winds carry them. They are hardy and upright. Their roots are strong, cultivated deeply in the culture of the military, planted swiftly and surely. They're ready to fly in the breezes that take them to new adventures, new lands, and new friends.

Experts say that military children are well-rounded, culturally aware, tolerant, and extremely resilient. Military children have learned from an early age that home is where their hearts are, that a good friend can be found in every corner of the world, and that education doesn't only come from school. They live history. They learn that to survive means to adapt, that the door that closes one chapter of their life opens up to a new and exciting adventure full of new friends and new experiences."


  1. OHHHHHH :) I just love you guys, a zillion times thankful for you being in our lives, and HOW you became a part of our lives :) And MOSTLY thankful that I get to see you loads and loads in the upcoming months!!!!! xoxo

  2. I love it! Thanks for this blog. I'm so happy for you all -- should I say Ya'll? We will keep you in our hearts and prayers.

    1. I'm gonna have to practice the ya' gives me a good excuse to use it, but I haven't heard anyone around here say it! lol Thanks for the prayers! And that goes right back at you guys too!! Miss you!

  3. I can't wait to see all your new adventures!!!! :-) And I must admit to being a bit jealous living near all that history. Have fun!