Monday, September 29, 2014

Bonus Year

When Allen initially accepted his position here he was given a two year contract with the option to extend another two years and then one final year for a total of 5 years.  At the time we thought we would stay two to four years.  We thought that that amount of time would be plenty and we would surely be ready to get back to the US after four years.  The fifth year wasn’t really something we thought much about...

We arrived here October 7, 2010.  Whoa!


There were plenty of times in the beginning where we thought we wouldn’t even be here two years.


Last Spring,  in preparation for our departure at the four year mark, Allen looked to see what positions were going to be available to him for our return to the US.  It was pretty slim pickins.  {Yes, we want to be in the Southeast and we also know that there are many more opportunities elsewhere, but we have to try, right?}  So he looked in quite a few places, but there wasn't too much available.  So much for planning!


We wouldn’t mind staying another couple of years.  In the Spring we had sooo many friends who were in similar situations.  There were around 7-8 families who knew they were leaving, but didn’t know where they were moving to or when they would leave. 

Imagine that.  Where will you live?  Where will the children go to school?  What do we need to do to move to_____?  Misery loves company!


It turns out that several families have left and scattered themselves all over the world and some did not…we are still here.

It is hard to have friends leave to start their next chapter, but we are still here…wondering “What next?”   We are anxious to know what our future holds, but we also know that no amount of worry is going to reveal it any sooner than it should be.  So here we are getting ready to begin our fifth year here.

We’re calling it our Bonus Year!

In the spirit of the Bonus Year we are going to do as much as we can to enjoy our time here.  Time that we never expected to have here, but are going to wring every bit of fun and enjoyment out of!


We will be back to living normally soon enough.  If you need to find us we will be on the beach, fishing, having coffee with friends, island hopping and generally living it up, because Bonus Year!. 

Friday, September 26, 2014


Sometimes you just have a day and you think, “Every day should feel this good.”  The folks at Vineyard Vines  have it as their slogan, and I have to agree, when you are having one of those days, you just want it to last forever.

Last Saturday was one of those days.  We didn’t have anything going on, so we went to the beach.  After almost 4 years here, we are still looking at each other all the time saying, “Remember when we didn’t have anything going on when we lived other places and we’d go to Home Depot and run a bunch of errands.  This is sooooo much better than that!”

The water was flat, and the boys and Allen were able to snorkel right off the beach and find lots of baby conchs. 



These are the days that you’ll remember!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Soccer Season- Here we go again!

Soccer has returned to our house on a big way.  It never really left because we had World Cup fever this summer and the boys are still talking about it.

As I mentioned the boys are at a new school.  Not just new to them, but new new.  Because grass for the the soccer fields are not completely rooted yet, we have been practicing at a local park.

It isn’t easy to scramble over there in time right after school, eat snacks and do homework in the car,  change in the parking lot and all that jazz, but the location is pretty sweet.

photo 3 (1)photo 4

I guess we will suffer through it.

As an aside in case you are jealous, please know that there is a fair amount of litter and in some places the grass is knee high to a giraffe{soccer balls don’t roll on high grass} Oh, and there is an open electrical panel just to the left of this picture.  If a child touched one of the fuses, I’m pretty sure many of us would die {no joke}.  We’re not in Kansas anymore.

But oh what a view!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Boys

The boys are just growing so fast.  Michele captured this when she was here.
Jackson was looking for some sea creatures, I’m sure.  He is now 54 inches and almost 80 pounds.  He is exactly one foot shorter than me.  We are trying to guess when he will pass me in height.  Whaaaaat?!
I love that he is a thinker.  He never ceases to amaze me with the way he observes and then makes his ideas known.  He’s also a reader!  Yes!
Miller lost another tooth.
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He lost it at soccer practice because he was trying to run and drink from his water bottle at the same time.  Never a dull moment with him.
He is also a reader.  A great reader in fact.  He prefers non fiction with lots of facts for his little brain to turn over again and again.  You never know when he will ask you if you’ve ever been to Bulgaria or some other random place.  When you say no, he just spews out everything he knows about the random place.  I love that about him.
We may be looking at some new accommodations for him at school soon, he is such an unconventional learner.  Right now I am reading this book.  It is amazing.  boy
We will see how he settles into the rigors of first grade.  We have great faith in the school and his teacher, not to mention is abilities.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Y’all it’s the Middle of September

Time has been flying by and all of a sudden I noticed that it is the middle of September {truly it is the 19th!!} and I have no idea how I got here. 

This little blog has really been neglected.  I have lots of reasons why but I bet you don’t care.  So here they are

-I’ve been lazy about taking pictures.  My iPhone wants to die and is quirky about taking pictures these days.  {If you would like to give me a new iPhone lemme know.  M’kay!}

-The new school is great and they have a lot of needs, so I have been subbing some and volunteering too.  It is good, but I have less “me” time.

-With the boys gone all day, we just aren’t doing much fun stuff these days.

{Soccer started this week so there will be even less fun stuff going on around here.}

There is really only so much I can say about being too lazy busy to keep up the blog, but I love having a record of our daily lives so I’ll try to do better.

So here goes nothing…

Right before school started, our friend John came for a visit.  He wasn’t actually here to visit us, but to do work, however we were so glad to see him.  He came over and taught the boys a thing or two.


In case you don’t know John personally, he happens to be pretty good on that fiddle.


The boys were starting school the day after John’s performance here, so we decided to skip this one, but we got to spend some good quality time with an old friend.


He even let them play his fiddle.  {public service announcement- turn down the sound on your computer before watching these clips!}


The day after his show he got to come hang out with us and Allen and Michele showed him how to paddleboard.  He did great.  20140901_140013

Later that afternoon he wanted to see a long beach to possibly run on.  I told him that the sand here is not very packed making it too soft too run on.  We took him to our favorite beach for a walk though and ended up finding 12 conch shells {with varying degrees of decay stank clinging to them.}  As we were walking back towards the car {with flies trailing us because the shells smelled so bad} we saw a huge storm rolling towards us.  John got in his run after all.  With the rest of us running right behind him.  None of us will forget how we all ran down the beach {carrying at least 2 stanky conch shells a piece} and then we get to the road and we had to wait about 30 seconds for the cars to clear enough for us to cross.  Hurry, run, RUN, R-U-N!  Now stop and stand in the rain.20140901_163200

The best part about being with old friends is having something that was a total mess turning into  a memory that we’ll laugh about for years to come!

Ok I will stop for now, but I will try to be back 3 times a week to  keep the old blog going.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Flashback Friday

Last week when I was doing our back to school post, I clicked on the wrong September folder and came across these from September 2011.601604DSC_1047 (2)

I could just squish those sweet faces!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back to School 2014

The summer flew by but the week before we were heading back to school went especially fast.  Which is why I haven’t been able to blog.  Life and laundry keep me busy.

Miller is in First Grade (which is called Year 2 here since it is the English system)


{If there was ever a question if Miller was getting really big, this answers it.  He’s BIG!}

Jackson is going into 3rd grade (year 4).  He is ready for it all!


And Jackson is a giant!  NIK_8359

Believe it or not they asked to do the jumping picture again.  I think we have a tradition on our hands!


Aunt Chele was here for the first day again this year!


Near the end of the last school year we decided that we were going to change the boys schools.  There were a million reasons to leave them at the current school and a million and one reasons to move them.  In the end a choice had to be made, so we moved them.

So far so good.  We miss our friends at the other school and the fact that I now drive them instead of  riding our bikes.  In the end I think we made the right decision.