Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Notes and Bullets...and exclamation points.

There's lots going on in our household these days...

  • Sarah has perfected the art of opening doors/turning door handles...Oh My!
  • I hate the month of March here in Texas; too windy and my allergies are killing me. Darn you, cedar pollen!!! (I was so sick this past weekend. I thought I was going to get bronchitis, but I put up a fight and won!).
  • We have about 6 weeks left to go and I hope we sell the house SOON!
  • Keeping the house in "model condition" all the time is soooo not fun, but the feedback from realtors/prospective buyers is great....I just wish that someone would make an offer so that I can cut back on all the cleaning and straightening.
  • The kids and I went to the lake yesterday after school. Spring, I think, is officially here. The weather is nice and each of us needed to get some sun on our pasty white skin. I broke out the shorts and flip-flops; soaking up the Vitamin D felt nice...real nice.
  • Phillip has started another phase of his MTP Course. He's in class all day (instead of almost half a day) and is taking in lots of information.....his brain is fried by the time I talk to him in the evenings.
  • Gabe gets his report card this afternoon....drum roll, please.
  • Little Miss Sarah LOVES shoes and was in paradise yesterday when she saw that I got her a few new pairs (hey, I was at Target and couldn't help myself...she's "set" for the summer, I think).
  • We miss Phillip and can't wait to have him home. Life is always more complete when he's around.
  • Gabe continues to amaze and inspire me on a daily basis. He's almost 8 years old, and is really good company. He's maturing rapidly these days (Where is my "little" boy?). And I had to go shopping yesterday because he's hit a major growth spurt since Christmas! I look at him and see my brother's body (as I remember him as an adolescent, and since I didn't know Phillip as a young boy), sturdy, a bit stocky, and strong.
  • I realize that, since we have about 6 weeks left in this area, I need to get my booty in gear; I need to make lists of things that need to be done before the move, during the move, and after the move. Since we haven't re-located in over 5 years, I'm kinda nervous. There's lots to be done!
  • We're going back to Lafayette this weekend to celebrate Easter. It will be the last time for a long while that we are in that area. I'm sad about that.

Monday, March 29, 2010

When it comes to taking pictures...

...I'm like a Japanese tourist. I love taking pictures.

And I mean no offense whatsoever to tourists of any race, ethnicity, etc. (I think the ones from Japan are kinda cute).

Here's Gabe making the "sour lemon" face at Gulf World Marine in Panama City Beach.

Here's a picture of the kids having fun in an RV that we were checking out, but interested in because it's not a "pull behind".

And here's a picture of the inside one that I really liked (but it didn't have separate bunks for the kids to sleep in).

And here's a picture of Sarah, being the perfect little __________.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Comparison...

Above, you will find videos of Sarah taken at 5 months old and, last week, at 25 months old. What a difference 20 months can make! Time flies...

I had been spending time in Louisiana, so you'll hear my accent. Yup, I sound like a little Cajun Momma in the first video.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More pics from Sandestin (March 14, 2010)

Here are some more pictures from March 14, 2010 taken at Baytowne Wharf.

I have many pictures taken, over a long period of time, like the one above. I think that one day, I'll publish a coffee table book called "Walking". I'll sell it for $49.95 a book and...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pictures from our trip to Sandestin, Florida (March 14, 2010)

We enjoyed our day at the beach, though the wind was quite chilly.

We've determined that if we ever get stationed at Fort Rucker again, we'll be spending lots more time at Sandestin, than in Panama City Beach (which, in our opinion, is a bit rundown), and it's really not that much further of a drive.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just in time for Easter...

Gabe lost another tooth while visiting Dad. Just in time for Easter; he can now join the other bunnies as they hop down the bunny trail.

(He was quite excited that Alabama Tooth Fairies give $5 bills and shouted with glee "I need to lose more teeth out here!")

How did YOU sleep last night?

Like this?

Sarah was so exhausted after a long day of exploring while we were at Fort Rucker.

I wish I could sleep like this. Completely OUT with not a worry in the world.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Trip Back in Time...Life Changes.

The kids and I are here at Fort Rucker, Alabama right now and have been here since Saturday night. I must admit, though it's great to be able to spend time with Phillip for our Spring Break, it's really weird being here.

The last time we were here, it was back in 2001; right after September 11th. We'd only been married for two years, and had found out that we were expecting a baby the Friday before the day that changed America. We were young, and like all new marriages, we were struggling to keep our heads above water. We didn't know quite what to expect in this new military way of life, and we were a bit scared. At least, I was. But we had faith, and we were following a dream. And everything always works out in the end.

It's been AWESOME so far, and besides deployments, I wouldn't change a thing. But I don't deal easily with change, and the time that we spent here was all about that. So much was packed into the two years that we spent at Fort Rucker.

It seems like forever ago that we lived here. We are on a much different level in our lives now. And so much has happened since we left this area; both with US and the area in general.

So far this week, I've recognized some of the old and taken in some of the new. We've explored Sandestin, Florida and joke that we've found the place that we'll spend the rest of our lives (Baytowne Wharf). On Monday, we found ourselves in nearby Dothan, looking through travel trailer after travel trailer, dreaming of buying one to take with us on the trip up to Alaska. Yesterday, we went up to Montgomery to tour the Rosa Parks museum and had a fantastic Italian meal at a place called Saza (the entire day was planned by Gabe, we paid for it). Phillip just got off of school for the day, and so I'm not quite sure what today will hold for us, but I'm sure we'll have fun doing it.

We've come a long way from what we were to what we are now. We have so much more experience under our belts when it comes to living as an Active Duty family. For example, I'm not longer afraid of deployments; I just dread them, because I now know what to expect. I feel like an Old Timer being here; I see the young couples just starting out, and the young flight students and I think "WOW, that was us not very long ago!".

And, Ha Ha, we now have the monetary means to go and explore much of what we didn't back then.

See ya later....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Daddy's Little Lady

Okay, so I said something about maybe not posting until we got back from Alabama, but...

Last weekend, Phillip took a break from the Maintenance Test Pilot course; he flew in on Saturday to be here for Gabe's Boy Scout Blue and Gold Banquet and left on Sunday night.

I just had to post this picture of Sarah playing Wii Fit with her Dad. We took her mini-skirt off so that she could "run free" and she got into my closet...

She's a little firecracker, I tell ya!

Oh, and she's starting to make sentences:
"Gimme yours candy." to my friend Layne.
"Mom, Gabe eat popcorn."
"Cats sleeping!"
"Pa-Paw cut it." while touching her hair (she calls her Ya-Ya by the wrong name sometimes).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Road Trip

I'm in the process of cleaning the house right now, because I have to have it in perfect condition for if and when the house "shows" while we're gone.

The kids and I will be going to Fort Rucker, Alabama for Spring Break (which is next week), and although we are really excited about getting the chance to spend time with Phillip, I am not excited about packing for the trip.

I'll post when we get home, or maybe while we are there...

See ya then!


Monday, March 8, 2010

See ya later, Alligator!

We'll be saying "See ya later, Alligator!" to Texas in 66 days or less, and we'll be cruising the roads up to Fairbanks in Phillip's "new" truck. On March 1st, he bought this baby: a 2008 Ford F-150 Lariat 4x4. It was a Sa-Weet deal that he couldn't pass up, and we got 3x's more for the Taurus than we thought we would, so....we jumped on it.

He wasn't sure what he wanted, and so he's been spending the past few weekends test driving different vehicles. We've planned on this for a while, and we knew that we'd end getting something before we left for Alaska.

Congratulations, Baby! (I still think you should let me put our names on the back glass like Bud and Sissy did on Urban Cowboy...Yeeeeeehawwww!)

In other Lopez news:
  • Gabe lost another tooth this past week.
  • Phillip flew in from Ft. Rucker to spend this past weekend with us.
  • We're still waiting for someone to buy our house!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This past weekend, Angie took care of the kids at her house in Mount Pleasant, TX while I took the time to explore Dallas. Though I miss the kids very much while they are with her, I know that they are in great hands, and this does give me the opportunity to go at my own and explore.

I grew up watching "Dallas", the soap opera, and I knew that this would be the last time I'd be in Dallas by myself, so I went to tour Southfork Ranch, which is actually in Parker, Texas. The house is way smaller than what you'd think it is (just like Graceland in Memphis) judging by what you may have seen on t.v.; the tour guides will tell you all about the history of the house and how the film studio used many tricks to make things appear differently. I also learned that the original owner of the house only allowed filming to be done during the HOT Texas summer months, and so much of Dallas was filmed on a soundstage in California. Below are pictures that I took from a disposable (I forgot my digital) camera:

The kitchen - the window over the sink is the window that the maid used to serve breakfast to the Ewings as they sat on their patio.

As the tour guide gave her very informative speech, we were allowed to sit on the couches in Jock's living room.

Jock and Ellie's bedroom is downstairs...

Right next to Bobby's room...

Which is next to Lucy's room, that is across from the bar, right next to the living room.

The only bedroom that was upstairs is Sue Ellen and J.R.'s room, along with it's super luxurious bathroom (two toilet rooms, a sauna, walk-in shower, and the jacuzzi suite).

The bed actually sat on a platform smack-dab in the middle of the room.

And, this is the back yard, with it's little tiny pool.

Though I have pictures posted here, they really do no justice to actually seeing the house firsthand. If you're ever in the Dallas area, I suggest you take the tour. There's so much more than just seeing the house itself.

Later on that day, I went downtown to see the BODIES exhibit. Unfortunately, I couldn't take pictures. All I have to say is...AMAZING! After seeing that exhibit, you really want to start taking better care of yourself; especially after seeing things such as emphysema and pneumonia in a section of lung.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Catching Up...Part Two

So, these are some of the things that we've experienced recently:

Gabe and his friends in the local Boy Scout Pack had a another Pinewood Derby last month (his car is the blue one in the middle).

Here's another picture taken during a Derby heat. Our car made 2nd place twice and dead last once. I made a mistake in not checking the weights underneath the car before the race and I believe that we may have had some "drag". Otherwise, after two years of figuring out how to build these cars, I am confident that if it had not been for this minor mistake, we may have had a winner. Darn! Maybe next year. Gabe wants next year's car to look like a penguin.

We went home to Patterson, LA last Fall for Phillip's high school reunion. Thanks to Pa-paw and Ya-ya, we were able to enjoy ourselves (kid free) for the weekend.

The kids and I went to Salado one weekend to see the Scottish Highland Games (yet another thing that I really wanted to see before we left Texas). The bagpiper parade was really cool to listen to and watch. There were many different activities to see and tents to explore; overall, a very educational experience.

We took off one Saturday in the direction of Luckenbach (because everybody is somebody in Luchenbach)...

and ended up seeing Enchanted Rock before we got there. I really wish that we would've had the right weather and equipment with us to make the hike up to the top (maybe we can sneak off to do this in the two weeks that Phillip will have here once he gets out of school?).

And before Enchanted Rock, we passed through the town of Llano...

and ate at Cooper's Bar-B-Que. SO GOOD!!!

We were able to see an eagle's nest on the side of the road on the way to Llano.

Sarah turned two on Groundhog's Day (February 2nd). I think that I'll find a special place to keep all of her cake toppers from every year, and then sometime in the future, we can present her with a special cake with all of her toppers on it...what do ya think?

On the way home to Lafayette (which time, I can't remember), we stopped in Round Top, TX to eat at the famous Royer's Round Top cafe. It was featured on "Good Morning America" once and I wrote it down on the to-do list. Check!

We also took Phillip to Sweetberry Farms in Marble Falls; the kids and I had been there twice already. It says on the website that they should be open in mid-March for Strawberry picking. Hmmmm...sounds like a plan.

Longhorn Caverns was really a nice area, though we couldn't actually see inside of the caves because of recent flooding.

And Falkenstein Castle was absolutely stunning to see from the side of the road. Gabe says he wants to get married there.

The BSA Raingutter Regatta was last fall. Phillip and Gabe worked hard on their boat for quite a while. How do you like this picture of Gabe? Don't tell him that I posted it, okay?

Catching Up...Part One

As I mentioned before, I'll go back in time periodically to play "catch up" on our past six months or so; I think it's been that long since I've been enthusiastic about blogging.

A couple of weeks ago, we were able to go home to Lafayette for our first Mardi Gras since 2001. Though it as a bit different this time (there was no desire to be drunker than Cooter Brown before 11 a.m., and we did have at least one child with us), we still had a great time. I was so happy to be able to show Gabe what Mardi Gras is really like, and Phillip was able to come over from Fort Rucker to meet us for the weekend.

Catching beads at the Saturday Children's parade.

It was at the Children's parade that we caught the most beads.

It was so nice to meet up with old friends. Reggie B. was with us, and by accident we ran into Sean and Shawna N. which brought up memories from way back when.

Sean made a couple of "Who Dat" signs (which earned the guys lots of beads) and the Channel 3 news crew met up with us after the parade was over. Gabe thought it was so cool to be on t.v.

We also went to other parades throughout our trip home; unfortunately, I wasn't in the mood to take very many pictures, so I don't have much more than what you see here. I should have taken more.

And as for Sarah, well she is a bit too young to take out to things such as this, so she stayed with her Pa-paw and Ya-ya. Maybe next time...
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