Monday, May 12, 2008

Weekend Recap

First and foremost, I hope all of the mothers who read my blog had a Happy Mother's Day. We're very blessed to have so many wonderful mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, and dear friends out there who contribute to the joy in our lives. Thanks for the sacrifices you each endure as mothers.

Second... well... I've got a smattering of things to touch on, so in no particular order of importance, here we go...

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Naval Station Pearl Harbor has been in the process of tearing down all the old decrepit housing and replacing it with new, modern houses. We were lucky to get in one of the new places when we got here. For the first several months we've lived here, half of our housing development has been fenced off as a construction area as they tore down the old places and built up the new places.

Just in the last couple of weeks, they have taken down the fences to reveal the new houses and people have started moving in. ES's best friend from school, E, just moved in right down the street from us. I mean, standing on our front porch, turn your head left 80 degrees, and you're looking at E's front door. They've been inseparable ever since. They played all afternoon Friday after school. Saturday morning, ES went to get E at 10 a.m., and they played continuously until 5 p.m. when it was time for us to leave for dinner.

In any case, to E's family and my CO's family and my old shipmate KM's family and several fellow submariners who just moved in up the street: Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Family Movie Night

Friday night we got some pizza and watched Back to the Future III. The boys really liked it, although E had already seen it and gave away pretty much everything. They all still enjoyed it though. I'm not sure if we'll ever put in BttF II though - I seem to recall that one was kind of weird.

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Failed Mother's Day Shopping Attempt #2

I should probably add this one to the Stupid Kevin Trick files.

Saturday morning, I headed over to Hickam AFB to pick up the rest of LW's BC from Island Divers. I did some research on other scuba shops on the island and took my BC and regulator in for service at another shop (I'll write more of a review on them when I see some results).

Then I went to the NEX to get some lunch and pick up cards and a Mother's Day present for LW. I got to the food court and stood in line at Taco Bell. I got to the front of the line and was about to place my order when I reached for my back pocket to pull out my wallet... and it wasn't there. I forgot it at home. DOH!!! Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 buy lunch much less a card or gift for LW. Go directly to jail home. That was extremely frustrating.

Grand Central Station

Saturday was chaos at our house. I think every kid on the street was in and out of our house at some point in time. At one point in the afternoon, my ears popped from the suction created when all the kids at once went galloping out the front door. It was as if there were some mysterious siren singing a magical song that lured them all out to the street.

You see, the housing management company here periodically pays for an ice cream truck to drive through our housing community and hand out free ice cream. This is a HUGE big deal with our kids. They really miss the regular visits of the ice cream truck down our street in Virginia. We frequently said "no" back then because (a) it cost money, and (b) they came fairly frequently. It's pretty hard to say "no" when it's FREE though. They sent out a flyer to warn us the day was coming, so there was great anticipation around our house on Saturday waiting for the ice cream truck to come.

Free Ice Cream!

Mmmm! Sponge Bob Popsicle!

You know your kids are filthy and in need of a bath when... you kiss your son on the cheek, and afterwards your lips taste salty from the sweat and grime of them playing outside all day. The bath water Saturday night was DISGUSTINGLY dirty.

When I went to get ES from E's house so we could go to dinner at 5 p.m., he was very upset. I had to carry ES from E's house back to our house to get in the car. Once I explained to him we were going to dinner at IHOP with his other best friend M from across the street, then he practically leaped in the car.

Mother's Day Recap

Mother's Day didn't actually start out very well for us. First, ES was up at 1:30 in the morning saying he felt sick to his stomach and thought he was gonna spew chunks. Of course, I can sleep through a nuclear detonation, so I didn't wake up to ES's episode until I heard the toilet flush and noticed LW was not in bed. (By the way, ES was fine and never got sick. He eventually went back to sleep).

Hooray for ES who for ONCE woke up, got dressed, and came downstairs without waking ANYBODY up. Unfortunately, some moron at a retail business on the east coast who didn't realize area code 808 was in Hawaii called our house at 7 a.m. I SPRUNG out of bed to get the phone and silence it before it woke up LW.

As soon as YB woke up and came downstairs, we got dressed and loaded up in the car. We went to Leonard's to get LW some malasadas for breakfast, stopped at Long's Drug store to pick up some flowers and a couple of Mother's Day cards (since my previous attempts on Thursday night and Saturday morning were thwarted), and stopped at Starbucks to get LW a caramel macchiato to go with her malasadas. I was very happy to discover when we returned home that she was still in bed upstairs. She had suggested I could take the boys out for malasadas in the morning, but I think she was pleasantly surprised with the Starbucks, cards, and flowers.

11:11 Rocks!

I had previously written about the concession we made in selecting FPC as our church home here in Hawaii. We missed the contemporary music we had become accustomed to in our previous two churches / previous two duty stations, but we really liked Pastor Dan Chun's sermons, and ES really liked going to the Sunday school there.

Good news! FPC has changed their third Sunday morning service. The new third service starts at... you guessed it - 11:11. It's done with the same sermon from Pastor Dan as the earlier two services, but the worship service is done with all contemporary music. This morning I already knew the tune of EVERY song they played during our worship service, and it was AWESOME! The band did a great job, and I really enjoyed it. It was pretty weird seeing Pastor Dan wearing jeans though. :-)

Zia's for Lunch

After church, we took LW to Zia's for lunch. It was the busiest we've ever seen it there. Our waiter understood he was in over his head and was apologetic for the slow service. This was the first time we've sat out on the porch though, and it was pretty noisy - especially with all the big chopper Harley's out for a Sunday ride. In spite of the slow service and the noise, the food was excellent as usual. I decided to try something new today and had the Garlic Fish Sandwich (from the menu: "sautéed in a white wine butter garlic sauce with our ZIA’S SPICE on garlic bread with lettuce, tomato, and onions"). I also tried the clam chowder, but it was a little heavy on the rosemary.

Highlander Test Drive

We've been discussing our options for car shipping and buying when we move back to the mainland. I keep hoping the government is going to sign into law the proposal to allow us to ship two cars instead of just one. In the meantime, the Navy will only pay to ship one car back. Options we're considering:

Option A) Sell my Camry here and ship LW's MDX back to the mainland. The MDX has a navigation system in it that doesn't work in Hawaii, so it's more useful to us back on the mainland. I wanted a navigation system in my Camry, but again - they don't sell them with navigation systems here. That just makes no sense to me. Since I didn't get what I really wanted, we could sell the Camry here and get me what I really wanted when we get back to the mainland (i.e. a new Camry WITH a navigation system). Still, I can use my handheld GPS for car navigation on the dash board of the Camry.

Option B) Sell LW's MDX here and ship my Camry back to the mainland. It's LW's turn to get a new car (we've alternated upgrading cars back and forth every couple of years). It just so happens there is a shortage and high demand for USED Acura's on the island, and we've received offers from the local Acura dealers to sell our MDX to them. Looking on, it looks like we can get $2k more for the MDX here in Hawaii than we can back in Virginia, even though the navigation system is totally useless here.

One of the cars we have considered upgrading to is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. We really love the Camry Hybrid, and we've heard good things about the Highlander Hybrid. It just so happens the Toyota dealer where we got the Camry is right across the street from Zia's. Over lunch we got to talking about it and decided to stop by the Toyota dealer for a test drive.

The 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is REALLY nice!!! We liked it a lot. One of the big selling points of the MDX for us was that it had a third row of seats without being ginormously huge. The Highlander has that AND it's a HYBRID. The ONE thing that would make it the hands-down winner for us would be if they put seat memory in. It's got enough of the other things we really want like such as the rear-view camera and whatnot that we might sacrifice the seat memory and go for it.

I think if I had to make the decision right this moment, then I would go with Option B - keep my Camry and sell the MDX here where they're offering $2k more for it, then buy a Highlander when we get back to the mainland to replace the MDX.

I think the next step is we have to find out where exactly we're going next for shore duty. Stay tuned...


Corey said...

OK, my question is about the Highlander. We looked at them when I was getting a new car and the thing that I didn't like was the 3rd row. It was either there or it wasn't. It didn't fold down and pop up. So, if you had the 3rd row, the storage space was tiny. Did they get smart and change this feature?

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

FREE ice cream?! So not fair!!! It's not like you are on hardship duty :)

blunoz said...

Corey, I guess they changed it from one model year to the next. On the 2008 Highlander, the seat folds down into the floor just like in the MDX. The one drawback was that it all folded down as one piece. You can just fold down the left or the right side like the MDX.