Splish Splash

Monday, March 30, 2009

Well, Beks has a new hobby. She LOVES water and has been finding plenty of it to play in! The first stop...Indy's dog water. I was at the computer the other day & heard noise that sounded like the dog drinking. Well, that was until I heard the baby cackles following the splashing noise! So now, Abby & I police the water situation at the dog bowl. Abby takes this job VERY seriously. Really, she pretty much wholeheartedly embraces any chance she gets to parent Bekah. Whew. Glad someone wants to take charge around here. HA. Anyway, Abby was finishing up her bath and Beks was hanging out by the tub watching her. I head to the laundry room (for 2 seconds!!) to throw the dirty clothes into the hamper. This is what I return to...



I wish I would have had the video button handy...she was not just patting the water. She was wildly smacking the toilet water (right after her bath, I might add!) and laughing hysterically. Oh yes, it bears repeating, she is going to give me all sorts of gray hairs...I can feel it!

Bloggy love,

Double Trouble

Sunday, March 29, 2009

We are so excited to finally have neighbors with a small child up on our floor! Baby Grace, as we call her, is very popular at our house. It is so fun to think that her birthday & Bek's are only 2 weeks apart...they are sweet friends. Well, most of the time! Beks likes Grace's curly blond hair and can't help but pull it occasionally! They are both going to be into everything before we know it! Can you believe my baby turns 1 this week? I am in denial...


Grace, could you help me with this lid? Let's get a snack...the dog won't mind! :)


Bloggy love,

More Uncle Larry...

My Great Aunt Shirley forwarded me these tributes that her kids wrote about Larry. They are special and I'm sure they meant the world to my family. My mom's family and their family were close growing up, which I'm sure you'll see from these. They are in AZ & CA, so none of them were able to attend the services. I know my grandma will treasure these!

Dear Aunt Betty and Family,

My heart aches for you, but I know that God still has plans for you. I have lots of questions for God when I finally get to meet him, this just adds to the list.

When I think of Larry – I smile.

I remember the sparkle in his eyes. I envision him smiling now at the foolish things we do here on Earth, and glowing in the full knowledge that God loves and forgives us all.

Larry was not the smartest, not the most athletic, not the most handsome man, (hits close to home, huh Bob, Jan, Steve, me, Terry – throw in Randy and Tom, might as well include Chuck and Bill?), but Larry always made everybody feel comfortable and at ease. He was real – not fake in any way.

Larry and I were the closest in age of all of the Biehler boy cousins. He was one year younger than me, and in some ways we always felt like we were competing against the older guys. We were different (aren’t we all), ran in different groups in high school, but I was always proud that he was my cousin.

2 specific memories that immediately spring to mind:

1) BB gun incident: bored in the summer with 5 boys and 1 BB gun, we venture east of Aunt Betty’s house where we devised some entertainment??!?!?!? We decided to lay the BB gun down, count to 10, run to a tree 50 yards away, come back to the gun, and whoever got there first would shoot the others (see above reference to “not the smartest”). We all counted to 10, took off running, and after a few steps, Larry calmly stepped back to pick up the BB gun and sting us with BBs as we ran away.

2) Deer hunting – singing Beach Boy songs: I was a Senior and Larry was a Junior in high school. We would do anything to get out of school for a few days. We went out the first day of hunting and sat on what Uncle Raymond assured us were deer tree stands. Actually, they were a single wood plank nailed across a tree limb approximately 10 – 15 feet high. Once you climbed the tree and sat down, it quickly would dig into your backside and only quit hurting when your butt froze solid around the aforementioned plank. After the first day, either Uncle Raymond killed a deer or was detained in more pleasurable ventures. Larry and I went out early the next morning and pretended to hunt deer, only to quickly find a clearing in the woods on solid ground next to a stream. With the sun rising, Larry and I put down our shotguns, and for hours sang Beach Boy songs where we tried to harmonize and hit the high notes to Barbara Ann and Good Vibrations. Nobody was there but us. Time stood still. I will never forget it.

God gives us good memories, but doesn’t want us to dwell in the past. He wants us to enjoy life. Larry certainly did that, and helped others to do the same. I am sure that Larry wants us to keep moving forward and finding joy in the things we do.

I am convinced that God brought Larry back to Aunt Betty for a period of time for both to enjoy each other’s company. It also has helped to lessen the shock for Larry. To go from Aunt Betty’s cooking, company and peacefulness is a small step to heaven (not sure if it is just across, slightly up or down).

I thank God that I was blessed with knowing Larry, and look forward to wicked (can I say that in heaven) domino, washer and croquet games with him in the future. It gives us all something to look forward to (especially a fair score – Jesus doesn’t cheat).

I love you all and thank God for letting me be a part of your family.

Mike (proud to be a) Biehler


Yes, I’m heartbroken about Larry but trust that he is in a better place where he can be well again and at peace with the Lord. I too will remember Larry and smile. He was kind of dealt a tough hand in life starting with being sick as a baby but pulling through. He was a survivor. It’s tough being the middle child in a family and not being as strong physically as your older brothers or sisters or cousins and yet not being the baby of the family either. However, I don’t ever remember Larry complaining and usually he had a smile on his face and was probably one of the friendliest people you would ever want to meet. He was independent and had his own interests which I always admired. He didn’t necessarily follow what the rest of us were doing which was probably fortunate because a lot of the things we were doing could be kind of stupid now that I think about it. He could be creative in difficult situations such as the infamous BB gun incident and I still admire the brilliance of his solution to this dilemma. I think he was a lot smarter than he sometimes let on. He could also stir things up such as the equally infamous bee tree incident in which Jan said he had read that bees would not sting you if you just stood still. We decided to test this theory out on a bee tree that had been found in the timber. Larry decided to make it an even better test by beating on the bee tree so that the bees came out swarming. Larry did not believe in Jan’s theory and ran like the wind. I, too, had little faith in Jan’s theory and ran like my life depended on it (which it probably did). Only Mike and Jan stood still – but not for long. As you can guess, Jan’s theory was quickly proved wrong and Mike and Jan were running and screaming that they were being stung. Luckily, no one was hurt very bad and I still get a laugh out of remembering this. I remember Mike telling me about the deer hunting and again Larry showed how he could take a difficult situation and make it better. He was a survivor. He is a good person with a good heart and I, like Mike, have always been proud that Larry is my cousin. I never heard anyone say a bad word about him and, like Mike said, he was real. He never pretended to be someone who he was not. Larry was Larry. I will miss him here on earth but look forward to seeing him in heaven (hopefully I make it!) where we can again be together as a family.

Love,

Steve


Once again, the Biehler family loses a very special member and we are all saddened. However, one of my first thoughts was “Boy does Larry have a great welcoming party in Heaven!” I agree with my brothers, Larry was always a very positive, nice person. I was and will always be proud that he is my cousin. When I think of my childhood, you guys are always there! Every great memory seems to include all of you and being at either Uncle Raymond/Aunt Betty’s or at Grandpa/Grandma Biehler’s. I don’t have any seriously dangerous memories of Larry – I think the Aunts protected Terry and me! But I do have the less life-threatening memories of the corncob fights, Johnny Over, Smear the Queer (not politically correct but fun as heck!), “chicken killing” day, traveling in the back of a pickup (of course the “little” ones were always shoved toward the tailgate), and always good food and fellowship in the TV room. Larry will certainly be missed but his memory is very special in all of our hearts.

Love and sympathy to you all!

Penny



Uncle Larry

Friday, March 27, 2009


We knew it was coming, but it's still not easy. It's not easy to be in Korea when your mom is driving an hour back & forth from the hospital almost every day to sit with one of her (younger!) brothers and not be able to help her. It's not easy to think that my cousins won't see their dad again. It's not easy knowing that your grandma, who is in her 80's, had to watch her son become more ill by the day. I can't imagine anything quite as sad.

But, do you know what she said to me today when I finally called her. (Yes, that's a weakness I possess...I am utterly incompetent at dealing with someone's loss. We can tackle that topic another time!) She didn't cry. She didn't complain. She said what I knew she would say all along. That he was exactly where he should be. This is the song that they sang at my grandpa's funeral and it's exactly how she feels. It makes me cry every time I hear it. It's by Mercy Me & it's awesome...

I Can Only Imagine

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

[Chorus:]
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

[Chorus]

I can only imagine [x2]

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you


Here's what the online paper said about him:

Larry D. Biehler, 51, of Shelbyville, IL., died at 12:45 p.m. Monday, March 23, 2009, in Decatur Memorial Hospital.
My mom was with him...

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 28, 2009, in Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Shelbyville, with the Rev. E. Wade Helmkamp officiating. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday in Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, and one hour before services Saturday in the church. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery, Shelbyville. Memorials may be given to Holy Cross Lutheran Church or Habitat for Humanity in Shelby County.

Larry was born on July 14, 1957, in Shelbyville, Illinois, the son of Raymond and Betty Elliott Biehler. He graduated from Shelbyville High School in the Class of 1975. He worked at Qik-N-Ez in Shelbyville and previously worked in Lansing, Michigan for 25 years. Larry was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Shelbyville, a board member for Habitat for Humanity in Shelby County, and an avid fisherman.

Surviving are his sons: Joshua Biehler of Cincinnati, OH.; and Patrick Biehler of Lansing, MI.; daughter, Krista Biehler of Lansing, MI.; mother, Betty Biehler of Shelbyville; brothers: Bob Biehler of Maplewood, MO.; Jan (Cathy) Biehler of Florissant, MO.; and Terry (Leslie) Biehler of St. Petersburg, FL.; sisters: Sharman (Bill) Bastl of Nashville, TN.; and Marlene (Chuck) Waggoner of Shelbyville; aunts: Frances Biehler of Shelbyville; Shirley Hick of Sun City, AZ.; and Bertha Elliott of Mt. Zion; many nieces and nephews; and special little friend, Otis Dean.

We were blessed to live 2 hours from my hometown for the past 3 years, and during this time, he moved back to Shelbyville. He was able to join us for so much during Abby's first few years. He was an excellent great uncle. Abby really enjoyed him & his silliness. Uncle Larry was definitely a Biehler. :) Biehlers are fun & you have to learn from an early age to hold your own. I come from a long line of sarcasm, jokes, & laughter...okay, to be fair, the Waggoners have lots of that too!

So, tomorrow morning, when I'm all the way over here in Korea, my very close family will be celebrating his life. We are celebrating it because he was special and he will be missed. But we are also celebrating because we know he is in a better place. He placed his faith in Jesus a long time ago. While he wasn't perfect, he was exactly who he was supposed to be. He made us laugh. He loved us. He was our family.

Here's to you, Uncle Larry. We love you all the way from Korea & celebrate your life. Missing all our loved ones back in the states...sending love & hugs!

Bloggy love,

Our Beks

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just some cute photos of Beks & all she is into these days! I can't believe our baby is about to turn 1!!!


What is WRONG with this thing?? :)

Now how do I get in here?
Beks coming out of her secret passage!

Hmmm...you can tell she is into everything, can't you?

Her very 1st wagon ride...she's gonna LOVE it! Here we come warm weather! Yes, the wagon has 2 seat belts!

The first wagon ride--with bonus footage: Abby's funky chicken dance!
Add Video
video

Until next time,

Party at the Johnson's

Well, I finally remembered to take some pics of one of our CE gatherings. Big time partying with Abby up late! We really enjoy all the guys and gals that Brad works with...we've been quite successful in all getting together on a regular basis. Sometimes we go to a house for dinner and games--other times, we try out a local restaurant.

As you can see, the Wii is mesmerizing everyone! Not sure what game they are playing here...


We wrapped up the evening with a complete & utter meltdown (Abby)...after we made her go to bed, she was yelling for everyone to leave. LEAVE NOW. That's how she is, if she can't play with them. No one will.

Until next time,

How Many Licks Does it Take...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

...to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

Let's just put it this way, I didn't know my 11 month old would be answering that question this morning.

It started out like any other Tuesday morning. The girls & I scurried around trying to get to PWOC early (no snickering!)...I am supposed to help set up the rooms for the kids. Some weeks, we do quite well. Today was not one of those days! We got to the chapel & Katie had picked up the Korean nursery workers at the gate AND set everything up. I proceed to get the girls organized to leave them in their rooms and help figure out the volunteer situation. I end up working in the baby room, so I open the door & what do I find? MY BABY HAS A LOLLIPOP!!!

1. Um, why did my baby have a lollilop? 2. Why do I never have my camera at these priceless moments?

Well, you would think I might be able to get an answer to this...EXCEPT the other woman in the room is Korean and speaks no English. I head over to Bekah and take the lollipop from her. Oh my, it was not good. To taste the sweet sugary bliss and then have Mommy rip it from her, ticked Beks off.

From what I can figure out, Bekah had an accident of sorts. She has a big bruise on her cheek, so I'm assuming the gal was looking for something to soothe Beks. Since she doesn't take a paci and the snack was in a different pocket, all that could be found was Abby's bag of candy that she got at a birthday party last week!

Oh well, it's okay. We're only a few weeks out from the big birthday cake and ice cream party, so what's it hurt? Thank goodness for the lady that Beks is #2...if that would've been Abby, whew. I would not have been so calm. Heck, maybe if I have a couple more, we'll just skip pacifiers all together and move straight to the candy! (Just kidding, sweetie, if you read this. No more. I understand!)

Bloggy love,

Lessons Learned...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Was trying to get to Guam worth it? YES. We live to hop another day...I learned a lot.

When I was active duty, I only used Space-A travel one time. It was to fly to and from a funeral when I was stationed in San Antonio. So, my experience level was not too high. Trust me--I now feel comfortable at a pax terminal.

1. Do not get on a plane that is not going to your destination of choice. UNLESS, you are manifested through to the place you really want to go. (OR unless you are prepared to be HAPPY wherever you end up!)

2. If getting on a plane that isn't going directly to the final destination, only go if there is available space at the lodging facility where the pax terminal is located. It cost us big $$$ to use taxis back & forth.

3. Enjoy where you end up. We could've gotten down & miserable about our situation, but we did try to make the best out of it. If we had accepted our Okinawan fate earlier on, we could've been here or any of these places.

4. Be prepared. Amanda had an exhaustive list of phone numbers and information on large note cards. We also met people and asked their opinions on places to go & stay. I will never leave on a Space-A trip again unless I am prepared for all situations that might come up...

5. The girls were awesome. They behaved so well, that I was shocked. When we got home, things were not so good. I told Daddy that we should go back to Japan because the girls really knew how to behave there! The good thing, is that I have no fear about doing it again with them. I can handle it on my own...well, I had lots of help from other mommies!

Who knows where we will go next time. I would like to go to Guam, Japan (yes, again) and Hawaii. We'll see...

Bloggy love,

The Escape

Ha! Escape back to Korea. Now there is a scary thought.

We all headed to the terminal again...had to show early in the morning to see if we could all get on the C-12. Typically, they will release around 6 seats. Get this, they released 10 FIRM seats. Woohoo. Total God thing. We just had to be the only ones wanting to go to Osan! We load all our stuff up in 2 taxis and head to Kadena. Hmmm. Guess what happened! Yep, we got turned away from the gate because of the car seat situation again. SO, we asked the taxi driver to try to get us to a gate where there would be an Okinawan. Aren't we clever? Oh, but we didn't stop there. We had Abby hide on the floor while we positioned everyone just so -- another proud parenting moment. The things you have your kids do for a lollipop. Can you tell we just wanted to get on the plane? We get on base and head over to check in. Everything goes without a hitch and we're all given our boarding passes, including a retiree who was headed to Seoul for a medical appointment. No one was left behind and that made us all very happy!

But wait, there's more. Remember the DOJ? Well, we still have to go back there to get our passports stamped to leave Japan. Fun. We all shared taxis over to the immigrations building and had them wait for us. We divided the kiddos for the return trip and try to make each car even...making it easier to get on base. HAHAHA. That really didn't go over too well. Both cars were stopped, but then I could see Amanda in the car ahead of us "fixing" the situation. She explained the whole story and the security forces guys just asked to see our boarding passes. Hallelujah! The taxi delivered us for the last time to the terminal. After that, we waited for a short bit & headed to the plane.

The C-12 took 3 hours and 15 minutes to get us back...our ride out had been 1 1/2 hours. It was worth it! Our own private plane...what a fun way to come home.

They rolled out the red carpet for us...DVs for a day!

Our Motley Crew

Sweet goodness, I never thought I would be so happy to see this sign!!
Home again, home again...it doesn't seem like a mere 8 days ago!

Bloggy love,

Who Loves the Pool?

Finally...we had a whole day with no trip to the passenger terminal. Yippee. The 3 mommas and 6 kiddos left at Okinawa had big plans to head down to the "American Village" and have a little fun! We planned ahead and were actually able to take the lodging shuttle--I had my baby car seat, the shuttle had one in it, and we were able to use seat belts for the rest. The plan was to hang out and enjoy the warm weather.

First, we wanted to eat, but it was still a little early. Abby wanted a breakfast burrito from McDonald's, but for some reason they didn't have breakfast on their menu. So, we headed into an arcade right across from the golden arches to have a little pre-lunch fun. The kids enjoyed pretending to drive cars and do some other games--we did pay for some whack-the-mole type game. We were forced to leave when Abby started to get a little obsessed with the claw games...Mommy is incapable of winning a stuffed animal with a 2-pronged claw. I told her we would just buy her an animal--cheaper in the long run. Off to our lunch and then some fun in the water.

I tried to talk Abby into going to the beach again and building some sand castles, but she wanted nothing to do with it. So, we just decided to go straight to the pool. The pool was a part of The Beachtower Okinawa...a fancy hotel on the beach that we had tried to move over to, but their availability wasn't great. We could pay to use their pool/spa area, so we took advantage of the sand-free zone! Beks was asleep in Danicka's stroller, so Abby & I headed over to have a little 1-on-1 time. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Abby commented on how much fun it was to be by ourselves. It's hard on her to share me...good for her, but it is hard. I just know that it was a good feeling to have nothing to do, but swim around & be silly with her.


After about an hour or so, the rest of our gang came over to the pool. My camera batteries were dead, so thankfully, Amanda & Danicka helped me out (I'll have some additional pics when Danicka gets back from her Guam adventure!). It was an awesome day. That day alone, made up for all the icky situations we had to deal with. It rained a little, but it was warm & we had a super time all being silly and splashing around. We deserved a little fun in the sun! Oh, and on another fun note, the Dr. Fish portion was part of our entry to the pool area. So, Mommy had her first experience with it! You'll have to wait on the pictures...



Bloggy love,

Illegal Times in Okinawa...

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Because of our late arrival back to Westpac, following the latest failed attempt to get to Guam, we made the decision to stick it out a few more days to try and have some fun in Japan. So, I was somewhat surprised that everyone (with the exception of Amanda & I) went to the 0600 showtime for the flight back to Osan. Danicka called my room to let me know that she was the only one who didn't get on the plane & that the security forces guys wanted us to come in. NOW. Sure enough, I had a note by my door asking me to call them ASAP. Amanda went ahead and contacted them and was told we needed to come in to head to the dreaded DOJ.

We got organized and called the taxi. Again, we all squeezed into one car & headed to Kadena. So what do you think happened when we arrived at the gate? They wouldn't let us on...something about an unsafe environment for the kids. Argh. So we had the taxi circle around to the Visitor Center and let us off--with our kids, luggage & absolutely no strollers! We were still at least a mile from the terminal; so what did we do? We crossed over onto base & got in a different taxi. That is how ridiculous the whole thing was. Really, could we argue with the guy? It was an unsafe situation, but did he really think we were enjoying it? We had TRIED to get the heck out of there for days & it just wasn't happening. We finally show up at the terminal and Amanda & Danicka head to the DOJ while I stay with the kids...then, we swapped. They had us go in shifts so at least one mom could stay at the terminal because of the car seat situation. Poor Danicka had to wait for us that whole morning.

All the kiddos on my watch...

Abby & Beks hanging out in the playroom at the terminal

I was chatting with the security forces guy who was taking me over to immigrations, and found out that we are supposed to go to the DOJ if we are in country longer than 4 hours. Hmmm. I really wasn't looking for an international incident. They were really trying to help us by not taking 18 people over to immigrations and then on to customs. There was no good way to move that many people at once. Anywho, we got our official stamp taken care of...felt so good to be legal! Ha. Now I can prove I have been to Japan. I'm so cool.

Another day spent hanging out at the pax terminal...it was delightful. No flights that day, so we couldn't even kill 2 birds. We headed back to the hotel & what did we do? Oh yes, we had Macaroni Grill while Danicka made her first trip to the ER with Courtney. A baby with pink eye. Have I said yet that this trip wasn't exactly what we had planned? Oh, and Abby had the same exact symptoms as Courtney. Nice.

That's it. Kind of an icky way to spend another day. It was all erased by the delightful calamari, Ceasar salad, & Mushroom Ravioli Amanda and I shared while watching our children color on the table at Macaroni Grill...

Until next time,

I Like the Beach Now, Momma

Thursday, March 5, 2009

So on the 3rd day, we finally headed out to do something fun. In the morning, Abby went with Amanda & the boys to hang out at the park by the Westpac with all the other kiddos. From what I understand, she wanted me the entire time...hmmmm, sounds just like Abby! I am SO MUCH FUN. Really.

Anyway, I was completely excited to see some of Okinawa. We headed over to see what the beach was like and check out a hotel Amanda had seen online. So, we try to take the lovely shuttle from lodging, but no such luck. They have rules. Every child must have their own seat & the little ones must be in car seats. The nerve. We called a taxi & he proceeded to get us lost & drop us off in a parking lot/alley. Really, this trip didn't cease to surprise me by what could go wrong. It was REALLY funny after a while.

The kids found this fun little spot to dip their feet in before lunch. That poor woman & her dog...not too easy to quietly read a book after we showed up! :)



We then headed over for some lunch. We took in one of the more popular local establishments--we had some delicious sushi McDonald's. At the point we were at, it was the least painful place to feed the kiddos.

Hello Kitty power

After our delightful fare at the big M, we headed over to the beach. Finally. Abby had been excited to try it all out again. See, we go to the beach at Dauphin Island, AL every year. My grandma rents a house for a month & we are blessed with the opportunity to go with her. We have been spoiled to have the chance to live on a beach for as long as we can stay during the month...needless to say, I have taken full advantage of this opportunity! I love Dauphin Island & I'm totally missing it. Okay, back to the story at hand. Abby has NEVER liked the beach. She loves to watch the first video of herself when we put her feet in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. It's just miserable to me. See has always freaked about the sand. She promised me that this time was gonna be different; this time, she was going to love the sand and build lots of sand castles. Um, she didn't. She had her toenails all decorated & even that didn't make it fun at the beach. Guess what? Her little sister didn't like it either. So, they both ended up in the stroller moaning. Fun stuff.

Ick...sand on her hands. How will she survive?

She did manage to play in the sand for a bit...not actually touching it with her hands or feet

Beks foot with a little bit of sand on it! :)
These girls will not have wrinkles from the sun!
I don't like it in my toes!!!
video

We leave after Mommy has had her fill and needs a cocktail when some of the other gals need to get back, and so we can decide whether or not to try for the next Guam flight. Abby proceeds to moan about all sorts of aches and pains. Dilemma...do we try to get to Guam or do I have to go to the ER? I call Daddy & he seems to think it my be a case of DRAMA--we get those a lot around here. We have to be at the terminal at 1750 for our show time, so we had decided to leave by 1700. Hmmm, after Abby informed me that she had made a recovery, I made the decision at 1710 that we should give it a try.

So after some guy stole our original taxi & the next driver didn't want to go to Kadena, on our 3rd and final taxi, we loaded all our stuff into it. We're good. And cheap. It cost us approximately $50 round trip to try for a flight. For those of you that know me well and some even have even mocked me for having a rear-facing child until she was over 2 years old, you may not want to look at these pictures. It will make you wonder about my sanity. Please do not write me about the safety of my children or lack thereof. I'm well aware these photos won't win me any parent of the year awards.



The guy seriously took FOREVER to get to the pax terminal. Amanda was going to run with her boys in to see if we missed show time. I stood outside the taxi waiting for the signal from her. I got the thumbs up & started throwing things onto the sidewalk. Then, I look up, and there are maybe 6 people in uniform asking me what needs to go inside. Praise God! We get it all inside in less than 2 minutes & I get in line to check in. Whew. There were 10 firm seats and guess what seats the girls & I had...9, 10 & 11! Argh. So, we begged them to ask the crew if they would add one seat for my baby who was going to sit on my lap anyway. You guessed it! It was a no go. Oh well, the good news is that since we didn't make it on, a really sweet girl with her 2 kids did. That's what I keep telling myself. :)

Back to Camp Foster, Westpac & the MACARONI GRILL. We made the decision that night to not go back to the terminal the next morning for the 0600 showtime for the flight back to Osan. We wanted to have a little fun and enjoy the warm weather for one more day!

I promise, I am almost done. This is mainly so I don't forget all the little details. And because my mom reads it. And so do the other gals at the courthouse. And my GREAT Aunt Shirley in AZ. See, I have family that just LOVES all this. Right? You do love it? If not, just lie to me.

Bloggy love,

Guam or Bust!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Alrighty, after a dismal start to the trip...that I CAN laugh at now, we headed over to the terminal to catch a flight to Guam. We had 2 opportunities that day. The first C-17 was the same one we flew to Kadena on; yes, the crew knew that our crazy group was trying to get on their plane. No seats were released. BUT, we had this:


How wonderful it was! The kids could go crazy and it was okay. So, we waited for the later flight, but (I'm sure by now you have guessed it!) we didn't get on that one either. The plan was slowly unravelling. No worries. We headed off to our new residence (thank you AGAIN, Amanda!) the Westpac Lodge on Camp Foster. It was really nice, but the best part...the Macaroni Grill was right next to it! WOOHOO. That night, I thought the girls and I should have our own room so they could finally get some good sleep. I forked over the extra money & it was totally worth it!

Here we are waiting for our taxi...
I really want to wrap this all up, so tomorrow, I'm going to get through all the pics and the rest of the story! The girls are doing some adorable things right now, so I want to make sure I get the videos & pictures of them caught up. I have been feeling run down, so here's to going to bed by 10:30 two nights in a row! Sorry I made fun of you all those years, Mom! :)

Bloggy love,

Our Glorious Trip, Part 2

Monday, March 2, 2009

Let me preface this post by telling you that it does get better...it's just not going to happen on this day.

After our fun C-17 ride, we headed to the terminal. What else would Abby want to do a mere 5 hours after her bedtime?
They took us to the pax terminal to determine how to get ALL of us to Customs & Immigration...18 people (plus a few stragglers not with our lovely group) and no way to transport us all there. There was a long wait and it was determined that they would call a guy in to drive another van. That way, it wouldn't take 3+ hours to get us all to the Department of Japan (DOJ) to get our passports taken care of.

Meanwhile, Amanda is on the phone trying to get us a place to stay. She had already secured a $300 a night hotel, but was still working on base lodging. Kadena is in the process of renovating a large portion of their billeting, so we were out of luck...wait, they could get us ONE room. Hmmm. I have never been very good at math, but one room was sounding pretty scary to me. The beauty is that we were all so tired at this point, WE DIDN'T CARE!

As for the DOJ, we didn't take care of our passports that night (oh yes, another fun story about this later on)! Since we were going to get onto a plane the next day on our merry way to Guam, AND we were staying on base, they let us leave. We called 14 taxis for all our crap & headed over to lodging. Amanda went in to secure our room while we snuck(!) all of our belongings & 50 kids over to wait outside the building. It was fun. So, we're waiting & a guy from the lodging office walks up...he has to let us into the room. They were so full, there were no more plastic keys. Needless to say, I think he figured out what we were doing. Bless his heart, he apologized for having to put us all in one room and gave us extra blankets.

How many pack 'n plays? 5
How many beds? 1
How many couches? 1
Where did Abby sleep? On the floor in front of the door
Where did Mommy sleep? Right beside her

Okay, so Bekah was asleep like lightening. I was so proud. Then, she woke up. She was the first baby up, but went right back to sleep after I fed her. After that, the night went downhill quickly. One of the kids started screaming & didn't stop. I felt so sick for her mother. The poor things had to go outside because of how loud and inconsolable she was. I couldn't sleep anyway, so didn't really affect me. My daughter who was laying right in front of the door was oblivious to it all. Didn't budge every time someone walked over her head to get out the door. Gotta love a good sleeper!

I was ready to go home at this point. After no sleep & all the kids and craziness...I couldn't emotionally handle it. Then, I showered. I felt much better & we headed out for lunch, optimistic that we would be on one of the 2 planes headed to Guam later in the day.

Part of the freak show lodging room...really no pictures can do it justice!

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment, where you can laugh & heckle us...

Bloggy love,