Monday, November 25, 2013

Hot off the Press

We're baaaa-aaack! Well, not really in full force. We're just stopping by here for a little, overdue update. Because my camera is broken and will remain that way until the rainclouds drop money, we'll keep posting to a minimum .(Perhaps, that is a relief to some of you?)

So before I get ahead of myself, here's a quick and dirty update. Ok, just quick, not so dirty.
We moved from Belgium this summer. Matt left early and I flew back with the kids in June. Me, 10 suitcases, and 4 kids on a 10 hour journey. It was not fun. But awaiting at the other end of that very long trip were family who we dearly missed and were so happy to see.
We stayed with family and friends through the summer, wearing out our welcome everywhere we went. We had no idea if we'd be able to sell our home in Norfolk and move to DC, or if we'd live in Norfolk while Matt would commute from DC on weekends to see us.
Turns out- the house sold in Norfolk. So we moved to the greater DC area. (We're really way way outside of the city in a rural setting that we quite enjoy).
We unpacked 3 large moves which consisted of a lot of stored items that we never recalled having purchased and having been so long without their use, sent them off to auction. Thanks mom and dad, for kindly storing all that stuff that we didn't really need after all. What can I say? Living in Europe taught us a lot about ourselves.
Whilst unpacking, we celebrated Arleigh's birthday. My camera has been broken for some time, and is not likely to recover. So the camera phone has taken on a call of duty...I miss the use of manual mode.
You see, a lot of great moments have been lost due to me fidgeting with the cell phone camera. I know it shouldn't be so difficult, but it is. I miss my camera. It was an extension of me and ugh, I feel like someone cut off my darn hand! Stuff like this is what I have now....
 Hence, the lack of posts lately. You see?

I digress.....
We plugged away at settling in. Our place was formerly a small organic produce farm. We'd like to continue in that spirit, though we honestly don't know what we're doing. Giving it our best though, we are now equipped with a small tractor, and are starting with soil sample testing. We'll see where this leads us. Hopefully onward to a little fun, a lot more learning, and great food.
We love our new community. It's small, and that was important to us. We wanted the kids to experience exactly this sort of place if  the DC area was going to be our future. School is doing well and we're happy to report honor roll results for the first term in the US school system. (Which is impressive if you could see the wreckage of spelling based on 4 years in francophone school).

When we left Belgium, Emory said "If we are going to move to DC, I want to go to the White House for my Birthday!"  Today he had the opportunity of a lifetime and dream come true. He was able to tour the West Wing because a good friend offered to make this wish come true. No photography is allowed inside, so all photos were taken outside, but we did get to see the West Wing and it was rather different than what we'd expected. Emory was grinning from ear to ear the entire time. We can't thank our friends enough for the opportunity. I hope the kids remember this forever. Here are some pics, hot off the press and straight from the visit....

Stella, seriously? Why do you have to do that?

Matt will deploy in early 2014. Our intention was to stop the blog when we returned to the US, but Matt has requested that I continue, so that he might get a good overall glimpse into the flow of every day updates in his absence. I can tell you those posts will come at a slower pace, but I may keep posting, at least for the time being.
To those of you who know us, please know the door is open to you and we have plenty of guest room space. Come and stay awhile! To those of you who don't know us, but check in here, we're still a circus act.
More to come, eventually.
Thanks for stopping by.


Bus Driver said...

Welcome back!!!! Please keep updating!!

Cindy Good said...

Mandy- Welcome back to the US!!! Can I have your new address??
Would love to catch up.
Love, Cindy