Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Home sweet home is now Beavercreek, OH! Yes, we made it! The trip cross country went way better than I expected. We made such wonderful memories and had a great time seeing family and friends. However, I don't plan on getting in that car for another long drive for awhile!

The kids camping out on our 1st night in our new house. We actually had to sleep like this for 2 weeks (minus the few days we ran away to my parents) before our household goods arrived. Wow, did our bed feel good after 2 months in hotels and visiting others. It is like Christmas for the kids unpacking toy boxes. I realized that in 9 years of marriage, we have moved 6 times! You think I would be good at this by now but unpacking is still super exhausting and frustrating...a much slower process than I would like it to be.

This past Monday, Anna had her 1st day of pre-kindergarten. And you will get a mouth full if you accidentally call it preschool. She goes 5 days a week, half-day. She was very nervous and shy at first-the kids are really missing their Hawaii friends and the freedom of our Hawaii backyard. They pray for new friends every night. Despite her nervousness, she had a great 1st day and gabs about it nonstop.

Today (Tuesday), Asher had his 1st day of 1st grade (sniff sniff). Here he is with his teacher Mrs. Latta who he says is the best because she says "Cool, Dude". His school is literally about 5 houses down the street. He has been insisting on walking to and from school by himself but I told him he had to walk with me the 1st week at least. He had to walk about a foot in front of me the whole time and then balked in embarrassment when I insisted on walking him to his classroom once at the school. This starts already in the 1st grade?!?! He told me he wasn't shy at all, but it only took 1 day for him to already forget his lunchbox at school.

A photo of our house...we LOVE it (and our new minivan)! It is 2400 sq foot, 4 bedroom, with a HUGE fenced in backyard to keep roaming Jesse locked in. I have no photos of the inside yet since we are lost in boxes. The neighborhood is extremely beautiful and quiet ( a ghost town compared to our community on base). I know there are kids around but why don't I hear them? We did meet 1 neighbor, a home with 7 kids with matches for Jesse and Asher, and babysitters! The weekend after our stuff arrived, my parents came to help watch kids and unpack-such a blessing to be close to family again! Watch out Leslie, I will have plenty of work for you ;).

Joel has orientation this week and starts school after labor day...like the kids, he is also nervous. Please continue to pray for adjustment for us all. The church hunt starts this weekend, and we hope to find a small group to be a part of for encouragement and companionship. My heart aches to go for a sail and have some unwinding time! Enjoy that blue water for the Thorson Family Hawaii friends! We miss you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Wild Wild West

Tales of our journey across this beautiful country of ours...
Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah. We had to drive on some windy roads to reach this spot. After 15 minutes, Asher threw up in the back of our brand new minivan...so much for that new car smell! Thankfully, this is the only day he has gotten sick.

We spent two days at Yellowstone National Park-we had such an amazing time! What a beautiful place...mountains, rivers, waterfalls, canyons, animals, etc.

Old Faithful was a site to behold shooting up from 100 to 115 feet into the air.

The kids had more fun playing in the dirt than they did watching Old Faithful.

A buffalo siting! Even after seeing this rare animas, Asher is still gasping each time he see cows...yes, COWS! I guess there are rare in Hawaii.

We were so close to this black bear! We also saw a grizzly bear with her 2 cubs.

Then we spent 2 days with great friends from college, Jeremy and Laura Beth Rhodes, in Great Falls, Montana. Amazing how conversations change when we now have 6 kids between us. The kids had a great time playing with "real" children and getting a break from the car. And it was wonderful to catch up with our friends.

Devils Tower in Wyoming.

Mt. Rushmore...more amazing than we had imagined. Asher says this is his favorite thing we have seen so far (besides Disneyland).

The badlands in South Dakota have been my favorite thing so far.

You go from rolling green hills and valleys to the badlands...it is like you are on Mars. It was so fantastic (but super super hot!).

The kids were able to roam on some of the badlands for a little while. It was way too hot for me! The specks in this photo are Joel and Asher exploring.
We are now resting for a few days in Watertown, South Dakota with some of Joel's family. It is so nice to get another break from the car and let the kids run. After 5 minutes of driving on day 1 out of LA, Anna says "You're right Dad...this is a long way!". It has been long but it has been amazing. These breaks with friends and family have been soooo important though. The hotel rooms have lost some of their excitement. Anna and Asher are not too keen on sharing a bed. Asher tends to pull her hair in his sleep, or kick her, lays his legs on top of her, etc. She says she can't wait to have her own room in Ohio! The whole journey has made the move a little unreal...it hasn't truly settled in that we aren't going back to Hawaii and we have no clue what our life is going to look like on the other end. I'm sorry to those we haven't called...we have not had cell reception since Yellowstone Park! AT&T is not good in the rural areas of the NorthWest. You will hear from me soon-I promise! Next phase of the journey is visiting family in Nebraska and Wisconsin. Love to all!