Friday, July 31, 2015

How to Make a Cross Country Move a Smooth Transition

When you are feeling stressed and sad and out of place and like you are living in the twilight zone: eat a lot of chocolate.  ...just kidding, don't eat your feelings, that is bad.  BAD.

What you really do is find the nearest beach and go there  You spend a day in the sand and the sun.  Watching shore birds dive for fish, enjoying the other families schlepping all their stuff across the sand while you only have one backpack and one fishing pole because your stuff is somewhere between MD and CA...but Dicks sells fishing poles ;).  You play in the waves (brrr! I miss the Atlantic temps but we love the bigger surf).  Smell the orange trees, squish your toes in the sand, feed the seagulls, lay on the sand with a good book.  You watch the hubs fish and alternatively go body surfing with the kids.  We had a perfect day at the beach.  The drive was short, the weather was great, we got a good parking spot, everyone had fun.  I wish Hannah could have come but one thing I have learned is you can't let who is not there ruin your good time.  There is always someone not there.  Or a lot of someones.  You just have to enjoy who is there, and what you are then doing.
Meanwhile in MD our awesome friends have been at our house doing the job we paid the Merry Maids to do.  This is very frustrating and also makes me SO GRATEFUL at the same time.

We need that house to sell.
buried boy
Also meanwhile Hannah is at youth conference.  She said yesterday was fun and was excited to go back today.  The kids are being welcoming and friendly.  Yay!!


Thursday, July 30, 2015


We went to the mall this morning. Did a loop, saw the sights. 

This afternoon we took Hannah to youth conference. 

After that Grace and I drove out to the exotic feline breeding compound. It was very nice, much improved from the last time I was there. Pretty habitats, lots of cats.

Mickey's neighbors Ticker
Free Disney Tickers

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

$20 + 2 hrs + 1 sudoko puzzle = 5 loads of clean laundry

Laundry day. It went well:) I chatted with another relocator. 
We went to the park and had a picnic. Then we went to the pet store and Grace picked a pet. She will be a chinchilla mom in a couple of weeks. She might call him Peter. 
The kids ran into Krispie Kreme and came out with hats and donuts and big smiles. Even Ziva got a hat.
Ethan was the lucky one who got to carry the cage into the hotel. 
Tonight Hannah had YW. It was at someone's home and she wanted me to come with her. I was happy to, always love YW! There are 7 girls in the ward and they were cute and nice. 2 of the girls moved here two weeks ago from SC.  ( a Mia Maid and a Beehive). There are 2 other Mia Maids who have been BFF's since they were 5. Super cute. And 2 Laurels. And Hannah, who will be a Laurel in a couple weeks. Everyone was welcoming to Hannah. I had a good time visitng with the sisters and look forward to becoming good friends with them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Sierra stopped by to visit on her way from Az-San Diego back to Utah. She stopped to visit Grandma Joyce first, then met up with us at the movies. I am looking forward to being settled in our home so we can invite Joyce over. She is the most Christ-like sweet lady. I have always missed her. 
The movie was really funny and entertaining. Si is spending the night. One really nice thing about the hotel is everyone is physically close to each other. It's been a lot of fun. Tonight it's especially fun to hear them laughing and wrestling while they "go to sleep."
Family scripture doesn't look reverent but they were all quite and all listening:)

Devils Punch Bowl

Ethan loves to climb the rocks
Since my car is still en route I drive Rob to work in the morning and pick him up.  It's not really inconvenient for me, although I think it probably is for him since he can't leave for lunch.  He goes in to work early so I was back a little before 7.  I woke the kids up and told them to hurry and get dressed, that we were going to go hiking.  We grabbed some stuff from the breakfast area and got out of the door quickly.  I wanted to get there and done before the heat of the day. The kids had never been to Devil's Punch bowl and were looking forward to it.  They all want to do a lot of hiking and rock climbing and bike riding and other outdoorsy things.  I think that would be great.
Grace was very brave
Our outing was a success.  They had a lot of fun hiking down to the bottom and then climbing on the rocks.  We took some pictures, sat on the bottom and talked and looked at the plants and animals (lizards) and enjoyed the fresh morning air.  Grace was a little worried about mountain lions but I assured her we were extremely unlikely to see one.
Hannah enjoying the sights
After scrambling around for awhile we headed back up.  Z was a good little hiker.  Han and Ethan were much faster than Grace and I but we all made it and liked it.  Grace did cry the whole way up.  After we were done though we spent some time in the nature center and she loved talking with the ranger and looking at the animals.  
my little billy goats

Monday, July 27, 2015

3:09 pm

We have been in the hotel for 2 days. Like I mean 48 hours total. It's been up and down. Day one, not so great. Yesterday was fine. This morning we went to the kid's new schools. Ethan and Grace can't register until next week. This week is the special "no one can register week". Last week, and the whole of summer prior to last week, you could make an appointment. Next week is last minute walk ins registration. It should be okay. I have all their paper work...except proof of residence but the lady at the office said escrow papers would work. Hannah did get registered. As per my expectations there were some glitches. Nothing terrible. She was going to take French 4 this year and French 5 next. Here they only offer 1-3 and then French AP language and culture but no 5. In Maryland you need 5 PE credits. Here you need 20. So she'll be a junior with mostly freshmen and sophomores. Not the end of the world. She signed up for dance PE, which will be fun. Juniors here take AP US history. She already took it. They don't offer AP World so she had to take normal world history. Little things. My biggest worry is again we need proof of residence. Which we don't have. They registered her but said we needed to bring a utility bill on the first day, which we will not have. How long will this be overlooked? I don't know.
We spent the morning out doing school stuff and the afternoon in the room. We were in the middle of phase 10 when I had to call a time-out and usher the little urchins to the pool. The stir craziness was getting out of hand. It's hard to have nothing to do. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Tonight we went on our first Sunday walk in CA.  It was a lot of fun.  Ethan and Grace did some mountain scrambling.  We found some beautiful joshua trees to take a picture by.  Ethan is excited to go mountain biking, hiking, and rock climbing.  He told me "I am not disappointed by California" so I was glad about that.
We went to our new ward and that was fine.  Everyone was really friendly.   After church we played games, took naps and ate chips and salsa.
the winner of phase 10
Yesterday was a tough day.  Today was much better. By the end of the day yesterday we had a lot of sad kids and a Grace major melt down.   Dad saved the day.  As we were walking into the restaurant at 8pm (11pm MD time) and she was crying and everyone was hungry he spotted a vet leaving her hospital.  He hung back a minute and talked to her and then came over and asked Lu if she wanted to tour the hospital.  Grace said YES! and very happily went over and saw the sights.  She came back much happier and ate dinner nicely.

for good measure!

and the one who loved it most of all

Is that a shark behind me?? What's going on? Why is this fun?


dolphin fun!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


We had a great flight. Landed early, not too bumpy. Z did great. 
We stopped at the temple to say hello.

Friday, July 24, 2015


The house is empty. Our movers were super nice. They worked fast and carefully. I bought them lunch a couple of days and watched. Again this is harder than it sounds. Last night we didn't sleep well because we were on my mattress with some blankets that hadn't been packed and just the pillows we cut out of our homemade headboard.
Holly came over for some crying. Sweet girls. 
Grace slept over at Arden's. 

Today I tried to clean as much as I could around the movers. I think we have less than two hours of cleaning left tomorrow. We'll see. 
Grace spent the day with Arden and is staying again tonight. 
John invited the stem boys to the park for some goodbye tennis/basketball/football/tag/hide and seek and other games involving throwing balls at each other. Ethan was out for 5 hours running about.
 Hannah went to youth conference. I got a lot of texts and phone calls asking me to come and pick her up. It's a tough move and an anxious time. I really couldn't with the movers here all day and kept trying to encourage her. Eventually she went to Bishop Reed and asked for a blessing. He and Bro. Merrill gave her some sweet council and a wonderful blessing. It was just the encouragement she needed and I hope the rest of the conference will be wonderful.
So many people have been helping us and being kind and sad to see us go. We have truely planted our roots deep.
Dennis called me later in the evening to tell me what a wonderful young lady Hannah is. We had a nice talk and again I was encouraged and lifted. I felt the sweet assurance that we were being looked after and that we would find good work to do. 

On the way to the hotel a huge buck with big antlers darted right in front of us. We came "this close" to spending our last night in southern Maryland towing a wrecked car and picking deer fur out of the grate! Thankfully not though.
The house is empty. Our bags are packed. I can't wait to have the travel over and to be reunited with Rob and start making our life in the desert. 
Hoping the house sells...tomorrow!