Monday, May 25, 2009

Catching up...

Wow! What a crazy year it has been, and what a blog slacker I am. I keep putting off new posts thinking that there is too much to catch up on. I finally decided to repent, and just start from now! If I get really motivated, I may work my way through the last 6 months...later!
Norman is now officially on deployment. He is in Georgia until July...ish. Then will be going to Iraq. His deployment ceremony was great thanks in large part to some wonderful friends of ours who woke up at the crack of dawn...on a take the Max downtown with me. We met some interesting characters on the max, including a man who was pretty drunk. He coughed all over me and announced that he had the swine flu! Better cough than vomit I suppose! The train was mainly filled with other families going to the deployment ceremony. When we arrived, there was a long line of motorcycles lining the sidewalk and the entrance into the building. The bikers were all holding flags to honor the service members and their families. Yes, I was crying before even entering the building.

Norman was carrying one of the flags during the ceremony, and was pretty much front and center. This was nice as it made him really easy to see and I got some great pictures.

I had to add this gigantic YAWN picture! He made it through several hours of standing and did not pass out (several others did).
Norman would love to hear from anyone...his email is:

Friday, December 19, 2008

On the first day of vacation....

We are off to Utah and Colorado to see family. We woke up bright and early...3am as we had a 6am flight. We planned on leaving the house at 4, but ended up leaving at 4:30, still thinking we had plenty of time to park, get checked in and find our gate. Hmmm....didn't quite happen that way! We actually got to the airport in plenty of time, but ran into a huge security checkpoint line. We stood in line for about 25 minutes, when we got out Norman RAN to the gate. And the doors had just closed. We both stood there wondering..."well what now" neither of us having ever missed a flight before. So here I sit, waiting for our 4:00 pm flight. Not a fun way to spend the first day of vacation (we did make some friends and meet some nice people along the way)! Hopefully we will get out of Portland before the big "predicted" snow and ice storm hits! And hopefully today is not a vision of what the rest of our vacation week will be like.

PS: Just got word that our flight has been delayed until at least 5:30!
PSS: Things only got better! NOT! We finally got on our flight to Salt Lake at 6:30. It was supposed to be a flight that would take a little over an hour. Well, we got to Salt Lake and got put in a holding pattern overhead (the pilot told us that an aircraft had slid off the runway when it landed and they were clearing debris off of the runway)! I'm sorry, but I think there are some things a pilot just doesn't need to tell you! We then got diverted to Twin Falls because we were running out of gas. So we landed there, and re-fueled and then sat on the runway for about an hour and a half before they would let us take off. Eventually we made it to Salt 12:30 am! We are here now, and hoping for no more adventures for awhile!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just cruisin'....

Over the past few years we have discovered that we are in love with cruising! In April we went on our 3rd cruise...this time to the Eastern Caribbean. Our stops along the way included Barbados, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua and Princess Cays (the cruise line's private island). This was the longest cruise we've done...10 days, and we enjoyed every minute of it! We have learned a few things from this and previous voyages:

*Prepare for the "motion of the ocean". This time we both wore motion sickness patches which I now SWEAR by. We sat on the edge of the catamaran on our way out to snorkel. It was a wild ride, but we both loved it.

*Along the same lines as the "motion of the ocean", be prepared to walk with your hands on both walls in the hallways...and whenever possible. There has been at least one time on each of our cruises that friendly passer-bys have offered to help Norman walk his wife back to the room...particularly after formal nights. Now this is not because they were hitting on me, or because I was too drunk (yeah right) to walk on my own, but because the boat was rocking so much that I couldn't stay on my feet. The addition of high heels to the waves can make a dangerous combination if you are not used to "fancy shoes"!

*We tried out the spa on this cruise which we have never done before (Norman won a 100.00 gift certificate to the spa in a dance contest on the first night of the cruise). We LOVED the massages...Norman did in particular, he had never had one before!

*If you want a night full of entertainment and laughter, make sure you go to the hypnotist show. I am apparently very easy to hypnotize (scary) and put on a great show for everyone. For the rest of the cruise, I had to put up with the whispers, snickers and a few bold comments from complete strangers.

*If you are ever in the middle of "shark infested" waters with someone who is injured...saying "oh my're gonna need stitches" is NOT the most comforting way to react! (You will have to ask Norman about that story).

*When you are in the middle of a monkey reserve, surrounded by wild attention to the signs that say "monkeys will attack if provoked"! (Another Norman story).

There were strange deer/rabbit hybrids at the monkey reserve!

We loved the ride on the pirate ship!

Norman even got to drive!

Norman doing his best baboon impression!

Overall, with all of our adventures (and mis-adventures) it was a great cruise and I can't wait to go on another one!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Here we go...again!

This weekend we found out that Norman will be made active duty in December in preparation for his units deployment in '09. No...this does not mean that he will be leaving in December, it means that he will be working full time for the National Guard beginning then. He will be doing all kinds of admin. "stuff" that needs to be done before the deployment. Kinda puts a damper on our plans for Christmas.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lion Tamer...

Seems like getting dogs has brought out some new, bizarre behaviors in us. I don't recall acting differently when we brought the cats home...what is it that compels dog owners to change their lives completely...or are we just overly obsessed? A friend of mine showed me a fun game to play with Creed when he was a puppy...we call it Lion Tamer. It involves opening our mouths (really wide) and Creed sticking his head inside. I know...ewwww. Creed is obsessed with this game, and especially loves it with Norman. I read something somewhere about dogs being drawn to the smelliest part of a persons body...guess this doesn't say much about Norman's

This is a prime photo of "lion tamer"

I call this "double lion tamer"

* A little disclaimer...this game is best when played with a PUPPY. As the dog gets older, this game becomes not so much fun (according to Norman) as the dog's "puppy breath" stage has passed! The things we do for our dogs!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Training opportunities!

Most of you know...I am the Assistant Director of a Preschool, and have been so for 6 years. My job is in a transitional mode. Up until this point, I have been in the classroom for the majority of the day and have spent several hours in the office in the afternoons. The Director would like a full time assistant, so I will eventually be moving out of my classroom. This move alone will provide some great chances for training. Last week, I came across an ad for a Director Training Series that is being offered. The ad stated that the application would be due the next day by noon and that applicants would need two letters of recommendation for the program. 20 applicants would be selected (3 or 4 from several counties throughout the area) and the tuition for this program would be 1600$. It also stated that a portion of the tuition would be covered through a grant but that the applicants that were accepted would be responsible for the remaining 900$. So...I rushed to get my application completed and begged my Director and one of my good friends/co-teachers to write me letters of reference. I got my application in about an hour before the deadline. WHEW. I got a letter today saying that I had been accepted for the program!!! The letter also said that the remaining 900$ of my tuition would be covered by my local children's commission!!!! WOW! I am so excited for this opportunity! Classes will start in November and will go through June. They will be one weekend a month (Fridays from 1:00-8:30 and all day Saturdays). The program will cover many of the aspects of management that I have not had experience with. YEAH!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


When we thought about getting a dog (almost 4 years ago now) I was absolutely in love with the idea. I will admit, I had some doubts...not knowing what all being a dog owner would involve. But we jumped into it wholeheartedly. I was completely unprepared for the destruction that Dexter...our 10 pound dachshund...would cause. It started the day we moved into our first home. Dexter decided that the wall in the kitchen tasted really good. While Norman and I were at work, we had Dexter gated in the kitchen (to prevent him from destroying anything...yeah, that was a good idea). Dexter found a spot on the wall to lick...and lick, and lick...seemingly for 8 hours straight! When Norman and I got home...this spot on the wall was so wet and soggy that it had caved in...creating a big hole in our wall. I then noticed that Dexter had also chewed on the edge of the door frame! That was the first time I can remember getting really mad at our dog and questioning whether we were cut out to be dog owners. I learned how to Spackle and fixed the hole in the wall...along with several others that he soon created. Thankfully, Dex's "drywall eating" phase soon ended and he found a new item to destroy. Anything stuffed. Since then, Dexter has managed to destroy MANY dog beds...too many to count. I have sewed many pillowcases out of triple hemmed heavy duty canvas to try and slow his path of destruction. And Creed (our younger dog), has discovered how to dig through a supposedly "indestructible" dog cot! After nearly breaking my ankle trying to hurdle the dog gate in our kitchen one night, I was finally fed up with having this huge contraption in my new kitchen and hauled the whole thing downstairs to the garage where the dogs now stay during the day while we are gone. I have given up on the cushy dog beds and cots (they of course have a heater...I'm not inhumane after all)! The picture is evidence of ONE of Dexter's kills.