Month: August 2006

  • I need to take three more pictures today; if I do I'll hit a new record for one month:  800 photos.  

    Tell you what, it was a heck of an August.  Did we really go to Ruidoso this month?  Wasn't that trip a several weeks ago?  Surely it was! 

  • When it rains, it pours!  Alex just called and as soon as I hung up from him, Charles called.  ;^)

    Turns out a MAC (military) flight is just the same as a regular commercial flight...big plane, couple of hundred people, meals served, etc.  Hannah was very good, staying in her seat the entire time, though requiring being entertained.  Alex said the real stressor was the two hour bus ride, as the bus was full and they were the last to board, having to hold Hannah during the trip to the base.  They arrived about 6 a.m.

    And they did go bowling that night. 

    It's 7 a.m. there now, and Alex said they'll be taken around to look at housing later on.

    He's says it's beautiful, he got to rehearse with the band yesterday, and everyone is terrific. 

    Could hardly hear Charles for all the background noise, for Manhattan's a noisy city, but he sounded fine and is going to get the shuttle to New London in a little while.

    At least the airplane rides are over!  That's always a good thing.

  • The Navy has officially left the building, now that Charles has been delivered to the airport (ought to have taken off by now, but you know airlines!  He's likely sitting in a cramped seat, stuck on a taxiway at DFW). 

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    Alright, fine, it's not my best photographic effort, okay?  But I thought I'd surreptitiously snap pix whilst the surreptitious snapping was good.  >;^>

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    Love how the yellow arrow points pretty much at Charles!  It's astonishing how simple check-in has become, what with the self-serve kiosks like that, which even allow baggage check in.  Almost as soon as he'd received his boarding pass a woman at the counter was calling his name so he could turn in his duffle bag....I beg your pardon, Charles, sea bag.  As he approached the counter she beamed at him and said "Awww....don't you look cute?"

    Just what a steely-eyed killer from the deep wants to be called where everyone can hear, huh?  "Cute." 

    I thought he was, too, but didn't say so. 

    She was very kind, and offered to take a picture of the three of us together:

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    Then she shooed us away, claiming she'd start crying any second if we didn't. 

    One thing's for sure, though....the best part of such send-offs is when they come home again!  Can't have a proper homecoming unless someone leaves, after all, and I do love joyous homecomings.  Now there are two to look forward to!   e-thumbs


  • For those as have wondered, no, we've not yet heard from Alex since
    he arrived in Japan.  

    But I emailed Beth's mother and it turns out Beth called her at 2
    a.m., which was 4 p.m. Japanese time.  Fair's fair...we don't have the ringer
    turned on our phone in the bedroom, which Alex knows quite well.  No point
    calling us at 2 a.m.! 

    Anyway, everything's fine, Alex was being fitted for the tuxedo he's to wear
    for the symphony performance on Sunday, his boss's wife had a goodie bag for
    them, along with an invitation to Beth and Hannah to go to a Gymboree-type place
    the next day, and they'd been asked to go bowling that night with a group! 
    According to Beth's mother they were going to attempt to stay up until "bedtime"
    in Japan, so maybe they actually went bowling?

    Can you imagine?  Travel for over 24 hours, get fitted for a tux, then go

    Things are sure different in the Navy.

    They were also informed the area tends to have a weekly mild earthquake, but
    not to worry....they'll get used to them. 

    Different from Texas, too!

    Tomorrow morning Charles heads back to Groton, to begin checking IN to the
    sub base, after having checked OUT of the sub school.  T'would appear
    the military's big on Duplication Of Effort, as he'll have to re-do a lot of
    what he just did prior to his leave.  Strange.  This evening we took him, his
    friend, Summer, and Dmitry to Pulido's for dinner, and afterwards Elaine came
    over to say goodbye:

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    More tomorrow....

  • Assuming their MAC flight left reasonably on time, they should be in Japan now.  Not at Yokosuka yet, though....there's the van ride to get through.  Still, they ought to be in Japan!  e-banana

    Today the temperature has mostly been in the 80's, and y'all wouldn't believe how marvelous it's been to finally have shaken the preheated-oven mode in which we've lived all summer.

    On Thursday morning Charles flies back to Groton.  Wonder who'll arrive first, him or Ernesto?

    Today I noticed on the back of an electrical company truck "Since 1976!"  That's the trouble with being my me that doesn't sound long ago.  Heck, I was married in 1971, and Kirstin was born in 1974.  It's thirty years, however, and that's a legitimate span of time for a business to brag on. 

    As y'all can tell, this is a rather disjointed posting today, featuring odds and ends.  e-shrug03

  • One son seen son to go.

    Well, they're at the airport, preparing to leave for Japan (with a 12 hour layover in Seattle, can you imagine?), and I hardly cried at all

    Of course, I also left rather quickly.  Had to fetch Dmitry at school, you see. 

    It swiftly became apparent this morning we couldn't all go in my van PLUS the baggage, so Don took half and I took half.  Charles met us at the airport, having had lunch with Kirstin:

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    I pointed out to Alex while his attire was doubtless much more comfortable for over 24 hours of travel, if he'd worn his uniform they'd probably have scored lots of help.  Too late now!

    Then it was time for goodbyes....

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    And one last snap as Don and I left the can pick out Hannah in the pink:

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    How they're going to manage with all those bags beats me!  It's a four hour flight to Seattle, then a TWELVE hour layover, followed by a ten and a half hour flight on a military plane to Japan, whereupon they'll be met and driven two hours to Yokosuka.  e-faint

    All with a seventeen month infant.  e-hairout

    Tell you what, there is not enough money in the world....! 

    Alex called a little while ago to say they'd made it through security and were grabbing a bite of lunch prior to boarding. 

    I'd ask everyone reading to pray for a safe trip for them.  Thanks! 

  • Kirstin's sister-in-law very kindly sent me the following photo this morning, of Bethie in her school uniform:


    Note the matching bow on her head.  Is she making a parochial school fashion statement or what?  It's almost impossible to believe she and Brianna have begun first grade. 

  • Here's a photo of which I'd heard but never seen:


    Last November the band was playing for some school or other and Alex played "I Feel Pretty", performing it whilst doing a little dance.

    It was, apparently, the hit of the show, making the local newspaper. 

    What he won't do to garner a bit of press. 

  •  The photographer did a great job! 

    We were out of there by 4:15 p.m., which is amazing, considering the size of the group photo he had to deal with at first, plus all the additional photos taken. 

    The photos were taken in a corner room at Rivercrest, during a raging thunderstorm.  Wouldn't you know it?  Hasn't rained here in several weeks!

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    Above is "little" Kirsten with Jessica, and then with her father, Jason.  Isn't she gorgeous

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    Above is Elaine getting to see Hannah for the first time since they've been home.  There are Jordan and Louis in the far back left, and Benjamin, Meredith and Margaret on the sofa to the right.

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    Unfortunately a great shot of Jonathan and Dmitry was spoiled by that darn light.   After the photo shoot we all went to Elaine's for a combination August birthday/farewell to the sailors party:

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    And yeah, the date's STILL wrong!  I keep forgetting to fix it.  Sorry about that.  Anyway, the above shot is while we're all singing "Happy Birthday" to Dad.  For the birthday cake there was a family favorite, Black Forest Cake from the Swiss Bakery Shop.  Unlike what you're probably thinking, it's not the one with cherries in it, but instead one made with meringue and whipped cream and chocolate.  Hannah decided it was quite tasty:

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    This photo of Alex and Charles with Mom and Dad just slays me!  Look at the difference between Alex and Mom on the left and Charles and Dad on the right:

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    Charles with his Aunt Jeanne:

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    Too soon the goodbyes began....

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    Alex lowered the emotional temperature by having a Funny Face Fest with Bethany and Benjamin:

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    Elaine and Beth were discussing baby signs in the former's kitchen and I tried to get a good shot of them making like chickens at each other, but no joy. Dang.  It'd have been a terrific photo. 

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    It was a great party, and God willing in a few years we're all be together again.  Alex and Beth's flight to Sea-Tac leaves a few minutes before 3 p.m. tomorrow, and Charles leaves about 11 a.m. on Thursday to return to Groton.

    Golly, it's going to be quiet around here.   

    But what a wonderful gift the LORD provided, in permitting us all to be together today! 

  • I was poking around the net, investigating Yokosuka, seeing as how that's where Alex, Beth and Hannah'll be living starting next week and came across this:

    Oh my!  Alex does a mean "When the Saints Go Marching In" due to his experience playing with a Dixieland jazz band in Denton. 

    Yokosuka's in for a treat. 

    Thought I'd see what "Yokosuka" turned up on Flickr and found some stuff:

    Looks nice, eh?  Below is the azalea road (at least as one photographer put it) in Shonan Village, which I daresay is essentially a suburb of Yokosuka:


    Of course, Alex will be there with the Navy, so here's a shot of the Navy base:


    Ships and everything!  ;^p

    This is going to be such a terrific experience for them; Don and I are really looking forward to getting over there for a visit.