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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Moving on

Last week marked four months since we left Virginia, three months since we moved into our new home. 

I am enjoying aspects of New Jersey that I had forgotten about such as the country roads, the scenery, and all the farms.  I love my drive to work.  The majority of it is spent on back roads with lots of farms and big, old houses.  We love the town that we have settled into.  We live in the borough which has just 1,400 residents.   Funny story actually -  I came home from work one day to find an electric company repairman working on the wires outside our house.  The (VERY nice) neighbors across the street had their power knocked out when a branch fell on the wire and pulled it off their house.  I was surprised since it didn't affect us.  Anyhow, I had to park next door since they were blocking my driveway.  I walked over to the gentleman talking with the electrician.  He was dressed casual in comfy pants and a sweatshirt.  I explained to him that this was my house.  He said "oh, you are the one with the hotrod?"  Embarrassed I apologized for the loudness that is Henry's car.  He said he actually liked the sound of it.  I laughed.  He pointed out his house, diagonally behind mine.  I reached my hand out and said "Hi, my name is Jennifer."  He shook it and said, "Hi, I'm Bill...........the Mayor."  And that's how everything is in this town.  People are friendly, they know each other and they look out for each other.  At Christmas time they had a tree lighting ceremony on main street.  We walked down to where it was, following a crowd of people singing Christmas Carols.  Once we got down there the people gathered, still singing.  The tree was lit and Santa appeared.  Cort and Elizabeth both got to visit with him.  They were so excited.  Cort couldn't figure out where he put his sleigh.  He spent the whole walk home trying to look on the roof of other houses. I realize this is probably the last year that Cort will look for such things but for now, I am enjoying it.  Anyhow, afterwards they gave out cups of hot chocolate and the kids played on the playground by the pond.  It was awesome. 

I miss things about Virginia that I knew I would miss such as my friends, our Church, Cub Scouts...  I also miss things I didn't think I would miss like the F-22's.  It is much quieter here.  I miss watching them do crazy things in the air.  I didn't realize just how cool it was until it was gone.  I miss our fenced in yard.  No fence here which means we have to walk Scotty.  This usually falls to Cort or myself.  I can tell you that last night when it was 8 degrees out I really hated not having a fence. 

I also miss the shorter drive to Florida.  We drove home for Christmas and you really notice those extra hours.  As is typical the drive down to Florida wasn't bad, the drive back to New Jersey was hell.  It's a very long story involving suitcases flying off the roof of the car, 18 wheelers running them over, I-95 traffic stopping so we could collect the clothes all over the highway and then just when you thought it couldn't' get worse, my Expedition decided it didn't want to accelerate anymore.  Needless to say I am so grateful the drive is over and everyone is safe.  Since the drive my Expedition has gotten eight new spark plugs courtesy of the mechanic I used to date.  :-) 

Our new house is beautiful.  It was built in 1926 and has beautiful hardwood throughout.  Scott isn't quite as impressed by the hardwood floors as me.  We still have more boxes than I wish we did but thanks to a full basement and full walk-up attic the house isn't cluttered with boxes.  That being said it is possible this is why it is taking me so long to unpack.  ;-)  Very few things have been hung on the walls which I am hoping to rectify this weekend.  I received several new collage frames for Christmas and can't wait to put pictures in them, old and new, and hang them on the walls.  I also need my shot glass holders hung.  I unpacked several boxes the other night and my giant dining room table is covered in shot glasses.  I told Henry I think if we were to fill each one, we would probably not survive.  He laughed.  I figure we could have one hell of a party one day - everyone gets their own shot glass.  I actually decided to count them one night - 154 is what I came up with.  Craziness.   Some of them are from my mom but a good majority are ones I have collected from places we have lived or visited.  Slowly the house is coming together.  As is typical there are things that need bought for a new home, such as curtains.  I finally bought curtains for the kitchen windows.  Now I just need curtains for the dining room.  My old curtains which I love won't work.  There are five windows in our dining room.  See why it is taking me a little while to find/buy curtains?  :-)  I also am looking for a solution to the sunroom.  Don't get me wrong, I love the sunroom and all the light that comes in.  I love being able to watch the kids play out back while I type.  However there are times during the day where the sun is so bright I can hardly read my monitor.  Mostly though I dislike the sunroom in the evening.  The back door which is off the sunroom is glass.  Then there are four large windows down one wall, and five large windows down the other.  It kind of creeps me out that people can see in.  I am working on it though.  It is a balance between budget and functionality. 

Okay, enough of all that.  Let's tell some stories about the kids:

Elizabeth had a five minute argument with me yesterday regarding her name.  She told me there is an "f" in her name.  I said there wasn't.  She said when she sounded it out, it sounds like there is an "f" in it.  Listen, she told me - "Elizabiff".  How can I argue with that logic?  I guess it is good she didn't argue that it started with an "W".  For a long time she called herself "Wizabif". 

Her newest thing is her journal.  It started out as a Minnie Mouse notebook my mom gave her.  When she filled it up I bought her another notebook.  She carried it to the store the other day and spent the entire shopping trip writing down prices of things.  I told Henry we could set her off in Walmart and keep her busy forever.  
Cort is doing well, enjoying school and making friends.  Mostly he talks about Kadi.  Her and Cort have become best friends and I am pretty sure she is his "girlfriend" which at nine really doesn't mean much.  We were over their house this past weekend for dinner and to hang out.  Cort told Kadi's mom that he wouldn't hold Kadi's hand since her dad was home.  Oh boy, am I in trouble.  :-)  He got a skateboard ramp for Christmas.  I will post pictures soon of that.  Hopefully we won't be on a first name basis with the ER staff because of it. 

We had some snow the other night.  It wasn't much, just an inch but the kids went out and played nonetheless.  It took them longer to get dressed to go outside than the entire time they were outside.  We are supposed to get more snow tomorrow.  I hope we do.  I am hoping for several inches, especially since it will be the weekend and I have no where to be.

Below are a few pictures of various things.  Enjoy!

Shot glasses

Cort climbing the tree at Kadi's house

I love that he is in the tree and she is looking at him like "really?"

DOG PILE - on Kadi's mom.  hehe
The kids (and Kadi's mom, Kelsey) playing in the trampoline

Our house

Our street, quiet after the snow

The trees above the garage.  So pretty

Well when he asked if he could clean off my Expedition what was
I going to say, "No".  Ya, right. 

The sunroom/my office
slightly messy

Another shot of the sunroom, with the back door
to the left

Kitchen into the sunroom

Kitchen, with my new curtains
The door from the kitchen into the entry way.  The basement
door is to the right. 

Looking the other way - in the entry way.  Small door goes into kitchen. 
French doors go into living room.  This is great for keeping the heat in.

The nifty "stain glass" tint we bought at Home Depot.
I love it.  It's so pretty, doesn't allow anyone to see in, and it looks pretty with the wood. 


  1. Jenn, your community sounds so lovely! I'm so thankful that you guys are happy and getting settled in to a new life there. Wish you had a fence, though. We're trying to put up a small fenced area for Monty this week...right now he has the run of our unfenced acre yard...and he is taking full advantage of it...and venturing into neighbors' yards too. And getting braver about not coming when called. Argh. That fence can't get finished soon enough.
    We miss you guys....we'll have to schedule a Skype date for real soon!
    Love ya!

    1. Hi Rebekah! I am thankful too. This was a rough move. I know you feel my pain regarding the fence. I am sure your fence will be up long before ours. Scott has also decided that listening is optional. I think as he gets older he tests me more and more. I can't wait to see pictures of your beautiful new house. I would love to set up a day to do Skype. We miss you guys a lot. Cort misses Corban terribly.
      Take care! We love you all too!

  2. You lost your luggage off the top of the car, you need to elaborate a little more about that. Sounds like you guys are doing great. How cool to live next door to the neighbor. Im sure the hot rod must be the mustang..


  3. So what happened Audra is that we had three items on the roof. The first two were suitcases, Henry's and Cort's. The last item was a large box full of toys. Henry secured everything on with cargo straps. Right around St. Augustine the front cargo strap came loose. The middle suitcase, Cort's slid out the side (thankfully into the grass). The front suitcase which was Henry's went up over our vehicle and landed on the middle of I-95. Henry saw in the rearview mirror as an 18 wheeler ran it over. He pulled over immediately yelling to me what happened. I could see in the mirror a white van stopped and it looked like all the traffic was stopped. I thought surely we caused an accident or someone got hurt. Henry backed up towards the van so we were closer to the mess on the highway. I grabbed a garbage bag out of the truck that my sister happened to give me (thankfully) and we ran around picking everything up off I-95. It turns out the guy in the van was stopped already and saw everything. He helped us pick the stuff up. Two 18 wheelers kept the three lanes of traffic stopped so we could run around grabbing everything, and no one got hurt. I won't lie, it was a mess and scary. But we are so lucky that no one was hurt, no accidents were caused by that stupid suitcase. Honestly it was better that an 18 wheeler hit it then a car which might have had trouble hitting something that large. The only casuality, besides the obvious suitcase, was Henry's Nike running watch. He had put it into the pocket of his suitcase instead of his laptop bag, like he usually does. He was upset but I was just grateful it was something we could easily replace (and have). It was a lousy drive. Four hours later the truck died and we coasted into a hotel. Then it magically started working again but you had to play with the cruise control, speeding up when going down hills and losing speed on the uphill. It had trouble accelerating. I don't know, flying is looking better every visit. :-) And yes Audra, the hotrod is of course, his mustang.