Sunday, June 23, 2013

Captain and Commander

This week was awesome. Number one awesome thing that happened: I cleaned our house. I know, that sounds like something that probably shouldn't merit a mention under the title of "awesome" but since we have moved in I have spent a lot of time organizing and not a lot of time cleaning. So the fact that I finally scrubbed our toilets was a big deal around here. And it felt good. Like we live here.

The reason I finally cleaned our house (oh, except for the master bedroom and bathroom. Those were still a work-in-progress that was dangerous and unhygienic to walk through until this weekend) is because of the second awesome thing that happened: Mary and Wayne came up for a visit. And they brought a fabulous gift with them in the form of a working riding lawnmower! We already had the mower, but it didn't really run properly. So Wayne fixed it up for us and ta-da! Our neighbors can like us again! Although Bennett is sad he lost his "jungle" but he will have to get over it because this should mean less Oklahoma wildlife, aka: snakes and spiders the size of your hand. So we are happy. Wayne also did a plethora of other "man jobs" around the house while Matt was at work, including putting in a new air conditioning control panel. So now we can choose when to be hot or cold instead of relying on whatever the previous cold-blooded owners of this house had programmed it to be. Thank you, Wayne!

Mary also bore gifts in the form of raw, unadulterated, sewing talent, which she generously used helping me figure out how to revamp almost all of our old window treatments to fit our new windows. It was awe-inspiring to watch her work. I also tried my hand at the sewing machine...which I got for my November...and just took out of the box this week...and found that I am not as scared of it as I thought! I think I might even tackle a pretty big project on my own in the next couple of weeks. We'll see. It was really fun to hang out with Mary and Wayne, spending our days in Hobby Lobby and enjoying our nights all together when Matt got home, playing with the boys and chatting about life. We are so blessed to have them!

And now to the main, awesome event: Matt's Change of Command Ceremony! I have never been to one of these before, so I didn't really know what to expect. But it was really cool! It was held in a large room and the entire thing was filled to capacity with dentist and hygienists and other military people--all of whom now fall under Matt's leadership. I didn't realize there were so many of them! Matt is over all of the dental clinics on base, and he said that in one of his clinics there are 36 chairs that push over 200 people through a day. Whoa. That's a lot of teeth. Everybody seems to be happy to welcome us though, and we are excited to be here. The colonel gave a nice speech, and they did a little flag changing ceremony that looked very official (I still don't fully understand a lot of the military ceremonial things). And after Matt and the outgoing Commander spoke a little we all ate pizza and mingled. Very simple and very fun. I really think we are going to enjoy this new side of things here. It's just so relaxed and laid back compared to what we were used to on Fort Hood. And we are sort of a relaxed, laid back kind of a family. So it works.

Let me just say right now though, that I am one proud wife. Matt is one heck of a guy who is very good at what he does. He takes SUCH good care of us, and all those he is in charge of. And when as many cool people say as many great things about him as I have heard lately, it just sort of made me realize how amazing it is that he chose me to take with him on this super crazy adventure of life. Thank you, Matthew Hargrave. You are fantastic and I love you!

So anyway...

Bennett and Patton deserve some mention of awesomeness as well. Bennett wrote his first unassisted letter this week! He wrote, "Bennett loves Dad" (minus the word "love") but he sounded the word "Dad" out all on his own, and wrote the whole thing down legibly without any help at all from me. I know, it's a little thing. But as his mom I was pretty dang impressed. Go Buddy! Patton is also growing up way too fast, and is now using a fork and spoon like he was born to do nothing but eat (which some days I feel might actually be a true statement.) It is crazy to me that our baby boy is going to be one in just a few weeks. Where does the time go?

This weekend we were invited to an awesome BBQ over at one of the members' homes in our branch and we had a great time there meeting a bunch of people and playing volleyball. And I am really bad at volleyball. Like, people would dive in front of me to get the ball rather than risk the fact that I might actually try to hit it myself. But I made some funny jokes, so they didn't kick me off their team (but it was close). We all had a ton of fun and Bennett made a bunch of new friends and we are settling in nicely here.

And the last little bit of awesome news: Briefy (Bennett's "pet" bunny) had babies! They are so cute! Seriously, I can't stress that enough--SOOOOOO CUTE!! They are these four teeny little brown fur balls that hop around the yard after their momma and are only slightly more afraid of us than Briefy. And the best part? These adorable little bunnies are going to grow up without any help or stress on our part, and then move away all on their own. I love it. Thank you, nature. You provide the best pets.

OK, that's enough awesomeness for now. And once again, I have a ton of pictures, but nothing uploaded. We are really behind on that. So next week. And Mom, pictures of our house will be included in that post. Promise.

It is going to be awesome :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Well, we are here.


We left our home in Texas in the hands of a real estate company, packed a pickup truck, our Explorer (with all the seats down), one ten foot trailer, one 20 foot trailer, Matt's car, and a 26 foot long U Haul truck with all of our stuff (SO MUCH STUFF!!!) and drove five hours up the road to Fletcher, Oklahoma and our new home. Since we have been here, we have had fun unpacking. And unpacking. And unpacking. I swear, nobody should have this many worldly possessions. And the scary thing is, we actually use it all. Our Goodwill pile is incredibly small. Scary.

So here are ten exciting, "Let's start our new life" pieces of news:

1. We are still alive and tornado free! Apparently we moved to Oklahoma during tornado season and let me tell you, it is exciting! As of yet though, we have only had several tornado watches and a few tornado warnings. But no actual tornadoes, so that's good. We did get caught in a pretty massive hail storm a few weeks ago and I was sure our car was going to be totaled. I almost had the boys down on the floorboards with blankets over their heads. It was scary. But we escaped without a dent, yay! Our car is Superman! And yes, we do have a storm cellar in our backyard, so I feel much more confidant living here than if I were hiding in a bathtub or something if we do get a bigger storm. Matt is in heaven since he finally has his "bunker" and already that little cellar is prepped to go with cots, blankets, MRE's, water bottles, flashlights, propane tanks, etc. I almost hope we do have a tornado just so all of Matt's hard work doesn't go to waste. Bennett would be pretty happy about that too, sine he thinks it is a clubhouse where we hide from tomatoes that can blow us up. Something got lost in translation there...

2. Matt is LOVING his new job! His boss (Colonel Roberts) is awesome and down-to-earth and just a really great guy and boss. A good boss makes a big difference. Matt is having a lot of fun hanging out with all his dentists and running the dental clinics on base. I think he is over five. Me and the boys visit him every Wednesday and have lunch with him in his office, so we are getting to know the people there, too. They all love us. I think because they have to. Matt is their boss. Matt is also on the baseball team his unit has and we got to go to his first game this week. It was a blast. Bennett was very impressed with the entire event and kept loudly yelling out things like, "GET A POINT, DAD!" and "YOU CAN DO IT, DADDY!" We made a lot of friends on the bleachers, (and probably a lot of enemies on the field, since he kept yelling while they were trying to concentrate.) In the end Matt's team lost their first game, but Matt himself had two home runs and assisted in several outs. I guess the high school baseball skills have been resurrected.

3.  We have some AWESOME parks here that the over-the-top safety people haven't discovered yet. Like they still have all the big metal slides and merry go rounds. Bennett and Matt have both fallen off the merry go round already. Both have scars to prove it. Maybe there is a reason all the over-the-top safety people remove those things.

4. I have joined the "Workout Group" in our ward, and go/try to go/will probably go at some point every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 8:30 in the morning. It's a bunch of women from the branch who get together in one of the ladies' garages and do weight and strength training and stuff. I guess she was a personal trainer at some point, so she has all the equipment and routines ready to go. It's a lot of fun, and Bennett and Patton have a blast running around with all the other kids who are there with their moms. Sometimes Patton cries, so I just switch him out for some of my weights and bench press 18 pounds. I am going to have some great biceps.

5. Speaking of our branch, it is great. And small. And far away. Church is at 10:00am, but we leave the house at 9:20 to get there in time. Because we have to drive 35 minutes to get there, three towns away, on back country roads in Southern Oklahoma. It's a new thing for me. Luckily we are expert travelers, so a little Sunday drive is sort of nice. We have lots of time to talk about what we learned in Sunbeams. Like how I am thankful I can smell and taste because my blood is salty and I like that (?).

6. Along with the new branch, comes new callings. No, Matt and I do not currently have callings, but trust me, we are being put to use where we are needed. We moved into our house on a Monday, and they called us on Wednesday to ask if we could sub for the youth Sunday School class on Sunday (all of the youth are together in one class, because there are only four of them. Total. Did I mention it is small?) That same Sunday, I lead the music in Relief Society. I guess I did a really great job, because the next week we were there I was asked to lead the music in Sacrament, substitute teach Sunbeams (It's just Bennett in there all by himself, so no big deal) and then be the Primary Chorister. This week we said the opening and closing prayers, I lead the Primary in their sacrament Father's Day music presentation, substitute taught one of the Jr. Primary classes (I think there are only two classes total) and be Primary Chorister again. It sounds busy, but it's sort of fun bouncing around. And I think I have met almost every person in our branch now, and they are all super nice.

7. Since we have moved here, Griffin and Ashland have been able to see us at our house once, and we have been to their home twice to visit. Bennett and Zoey are really getting to be great cousins, they are fun to watch. Patton and Darcy are learning to play, too, but it's more like follow the leader as they crawl around the house together. Matt and I have fun too, staying up way too late and watching movies and talking to Griffin and Ashland. It is SO FUN being closer to family!

8. We have had a lot of fun exploring the area and finding new things to do and new people to play with. We have already made a lot of new friends and it is fun to live out in the country where kids ride four wheelers around the neighborhood and there are cows across the street. On that note, Matt found a tarantula spider yesterday that was the size of my hand, and I single-handedly killed a snake that was hiding in our backyard. I used a hoe, and I was not a very good aim. That poor snake had a pretty bad death. But we also have a little birdhouse with a bunch of baby birds in it in our backyard, and the cutest little wild bunny who decided to live by our fence that Bennett named, "Bunny who Runs Extra Fast"...but we just call him Briefy for short. He is very tolerant of all the noise we make and only runs away when we get a little too close. For Father's Day Bennett, Patton, and I surprised Matt by planting his vegetable garden for him, which is something he has been wanting to do, but just hasn't had the time. I sure hope Briefy doesn't eat our present.

9. About three days ago our house started to get hot. We had the air conditioning on, so we couldn't figure out why it was SO HOT! And then we figured out it's because our unit was broken. We called the rental company in charge of our house, they sent out a person, he said it was fine, it wasn't fine, we had to call back, blah, blah, blah long story--it just got fixed yesterday. THREE DAYS of NO air conditioning. It was pretty bad. One day, the boys and I just sat out in the car with the air blasting. It felt so good. But it is back now, and we are SO grateful. A cool house is a happy house. A much. Happier. House.

10. Our family as a whole has been so blessed to be here. We were sad to leave our good Texas friends behind, and to say goodbye to the first house that was truly our Home. The place where we brought our babies home and where we learned to be a real family together. We all miss it. But we are so so grateful to be starting our new adventure in OklaHOMEa and the great career opportunity it is for us. This is exactly where we need to be now, and it just feels right. We are happy :)

And there you have it. Hopefully I can get back on this blog thing now that things are a little less hectic. Even if there are no pictures, I am going to try to post at least SOMETHING every Sunday like the good ol' days. Because one day, Patton is going to grow up and discover what being the "second child" is all about when he compares Bennett's blog book volumes to his own pathetic little posts. Sorry, Buddy.

So Here's to new beginnings!
Let's do this!