Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hello Parris Island, SC!!!!

WE MADE IT! After our less than pleasant DITY move..................we are home (for 3 years anyway) and so far, we love it! We traded in the LOUD artillery noises and overhead aircraft of LeJeune for the new sounds of living on a Recruit Depot! Before sunrise we hear things like the Drill Instructors "motivating" recruits to do what they are told, the recruits sounding off responses to those DI's and LOTS and LOTS of cadence as they run/train. It's a different type of base than Pendleton or LeJeune. The housing isn't hidden away in a corner, it's actually right in the middle of it all! The kids play at the park while DI's are across the street in a field chewing out recruits! At first it was so strange and now it's nothing to stand nearby as they "Drop and give me 20"!!!! It's actually pretty motivating and makes you so proud to be a part of the Marine Corps! OOH RAH!! Last week Jason and I attended a graduation and it was AMAZING! It brought back a lot of memories from when Jason graduated just 11 years ago! They all look like such babies! Some are fresh out of high school and they just exude pride and discipline! It gave me goosebumps as the Marine Corps band played and they marched in front of the stands across the parade deck. It was also so amazing to know that my Grandma Fiore graduated on this very same parade deck a loooooooooong loooooooooooooong time ago! There's so much history and tradition on this base! I think the best part was when the recruits were finally released to be with their loved ones! IT WAS AWESOME!

Ok, so getting back to our house.........Don't ask me how, but we were so lucky and blessed to receive one of two historic homes on base! It was built in 1892 and we are sandwiched between the General and the Sargent Major of the base! CRAZY, I know!!!!!!! We LOVE this house! How do we ever leave this place??? It has so much character and it's HUGE! It's a two story, 3 bedroom with an enclosed sun room, two fireplaces and a GINORMOUS screened in porch! There are two staircases! One is a "secret staircase" our maids, butlers and cooks will use and the other is the main staircase everyone can see. Ok, so we don't get maids, butlers and cooks (I wish), but back in the day they must have had them! There's even a butler's quarters located behind our garage! They are in the middle of remodeling it, but it consists of a bedroom and bathroom! HOW COOL IS THAT??!!!!! The ceilings are all 10 feet tall and every room has crown moulding and detailed window casings too! There is hardwood flooring throughout the entire house and tons of windows! Once we got organized, Jason put up the kid's trampoline that was a X-mas gift from their grandparents, but we kept boxed up due to the impending move. Jason and Greg also put up a tire swing and the kids have been in heaven! Their schools are located on Laurel Bay (another base), so they take the bus, BUT the freakin bus picks them up at our door! One morning they weren't going to school and the bus driver even rang the doorbell to make sure! OMG!!!!!!!!!! We have already explored a lot of the area (more posts to follow) as we are only an hour away from Savannah, GA and about 2 from Charleston. So, who's coming to visit?????? Come on down! "Well I do declare, we like it here" ;)

The sign as you drive in (see our neighbors names? Padilla and Yagle.............and Ellis baby! HA!)


We need MORE of these signs ALL over the US!

Kids on first day of school

Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom
Master Bathroom
Ava's room

Ethan's room

Kid's Bathroom
Stairs to a very HUGE attic
Sunroom (Kid's TV room &/or Ethan's X-box room)
Shot of two staircases (the one on right is for the "help") We actually use the "secret" ones more as they lead into the kitchen!
Little office area between kitchen and dining room in a little "nook"
Laundry Room
Downstairs Bathroom
HUGE dining room
Living Room (the new TV) :)

Jason's new recliner (gag)

The main stairs (for the n0n-help) LOL
Gunther the Gnome LOVES his new home, but wants his brothers to come visit (you hear that Jill, Stacy and Erin!!!!!)
To the left of the front door on screened in porch

To the right of the door
Allllllllll along the front of the house

Back of house
Our teeny tiny garage, the new trampoline (FINALLY) and the butler's quarters in the back
The "Grill Instructor" on his new grill ;)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Moving Day..............Goodbye Camp LeJeune!

After 3 years of being stationed at Camp LeJeune, NC (Jacksonville), it's time to move. :(

The kids and I have only been here for 2 out of the 3 years, but it seems like many more. We REALLY loved our time in Camp Lejeune. We loved our house, the schools, the youth sports programs, but most of all the FRIENDS we've all made!

The moving experience was a not-so-pleasant one, to say the least. Stress levels were HIGH as we decided to do a DITY (do it yourself) move. We have ALWAYS done a DITY as opposed to having the Marines move us, aka TMO. Why you ask??? Well, because I'm a bit anal and like to pack my own boxes. I don't want to search for the remote for DAYS only to find it's been packed with the bathroom crap! Or better yet, find a plunger with my dishes, cleaning supplies with my "unmentionables", kids toys mixed with yard tools, etc............UGH! I also like to know my things are WELL packed and taken care of and covered in the truck! I'm also nervous about things being broken or stolen (yes, it happens). The other good thing about a DITY is MAKING money! Our thinking was we need a new TV, a new recliner (gag, I know!!!) as well as a few other things and a couple G's would sure help that want list out! The BAD thing about a DITY is your friends become enlisted help and that's never fun for them!

So, the real fun began a couple days before the move when Jason backed into my friend Michele's car in the driveway (after telling her she did NOT need to move it cause he could get around it...........uh huh!) Then the morning Jason went to pick up the Budget truck and car trailer, THAT WE RESERVED A MONTH PRIOR BECAUSE I AM ANAL, both weren't there! The trailer was non-existent and the truck was smaller! The first one didn't even have a working ramp! It was a nightmare! Jason finally brought home the smaller truck which we quickly filled! We then had to scramble and rent another truck (from Uhaul this time, NOT Budget)! Everyone was sooooo nice to stay and help pack both trucks allllll day! SPECIAL thanks goes out to DEAR friends like Steve Moylan, The Miles Fam, The Williams Fam, Amy Nicodemus, and a few church members too! Without them we would still be there and I'd be crying and rocking in a corner! THANK YOU ALL SOOOOOO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP AND HARD WORK! We appreciate and love you TONS! The bad thing about now having TWO rental trucks and two cars is WHO is gonna drive them all to Parris Island? UGH! So, we ended up leaving the small Uhaul with Jason's truck on the trailer at The Miles' house while I drove my SUV and J drove the Budget turd 6 hours down to PI. Upon arrival we immediately put J on a plane in Savannah back to LeJeune where he then drove the Uhaul and towed his truck another 6 hours back again! Because of this debacle we arrived too late at PI to weigh the trucks Fri. night. You would think we could get the trucks weighed Sat a.m. BEFORE the new Ward members arrived to help us unpack the trucks, but NOOOOO...............the scales are CLOSED on weekends! UGH! So, we cancelled the Ward help and postponed it for Mon. night after work! We stayed in our new house over the weekend on airbeds and since we couldn't unpack anything............ we EXPLORED the town! I have to admit as stressed as I was to prolong the move-in process, it was fun to just hang out without any real responsibility for the weekend. On Mon. we got everything weighed, the ward members came after work and we got everything unloaded! On Tues. we weighed the empty trucks and finally got them returned. It took a good two weeks to unpack, organize and decorate the new to follow! :)

All of our crap that didn't fit in the first truck sitting in the lawn! So while J went to get the Uhaul, Renee relaxed in the recliner while Greg waited his turn!
Renee again - helping to bring a little "red sticker" to the "blue sticker" hood!
Greg FINALLY got his turn and fell asleep!!!

Me, Jilly Bean and my MUCH older sis, Renee ;)
We tried to pack up all these kids and ship them somewhere!
Ethan, Sean, Mike, Grace, Zach, Ava, Garrett and Hunter

Kate, Amy, Me, Renee and Jill (bunny ears courtesy of Zach!)
Ethan and Zach exchanging BFF gifts!
Grace and Ava exchanging BFF gifts!

We really had a blast in LeJeune and miss all of our amazing friends! We hope that 6 hours isn't too far to visit and keep in touch! Thanks to blogging and facebook, keeping in touch is made easier! We'll be back in about 5 years though and NO MORE DITY's!!!!

Miss you and love you all! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Skaters Rule........move over Tony Hawk!!

The kids, and I'm NOT just talking about Ava and Ethan have become quite the little skaters these days! Our friend Greg Miles has been having somewhat of a midlife crisis! Thankfully it doesn't involve fast women, fast cars or motorcycles, but more like OLD SCHOOL skateboards instead! lol I think he's up to a dozen now and loves to build and customize them for HOURS (right Renee?? HA HA) His son, Sean is also into the hobby and now, so are my 3! I don't know what's more hilarious................seeing Ava and Ethan at 8 & 6 yrs old waiting their turn at the top of a half pipe among a group of HS teens OR watching a 33 and 37 yr old wait their turns! PRICELESS! At least they're active and still cute doing it (for their age and status in life..............right Greg?) Following are pics from the LeJeune skatepark!

This AMAZING shot was taken by Renee! It's just SOME of Greg's boards!
The next Tony Hawk!

Ava has NO fear (as usual)

Both Ethan and Daddy concentrate best with their tongues hanging out!

I LOVE that she's clueless as to how old they all are and how young and little she is........................oh, and that she's the ONLY girl! LOL

The "Bro-mance" Greg and Jason

Sean Miles - shred'n it up!


"She said he's a Sk8ter Boi, I said see ya later boy"

"Let it eat!"