Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First busy day in Jax

On Monday morning we left Daytona Beach and all drove to Jacksonville. We were hoping to stay another night, but Andrea's car was being delivered in Jacksonville and we decided we'd stay the night in the rental even though our stuff hadn't arrived.

We picked up Andrea's car, got Connor's VPK paperwork, visited Connor's school (Tutor Time), picked out carpet, met with the builder, and met with Paige's new babysitter Jami. It was a busy day and after we ran all our errands we stopped by the park for some play time.

The kids liked all the empty space in the rental and wanted to dance to a song Connor had heard at lunch. There's a line in it that goes "I've got moves like Jagger" and since I've been talking to Connor recently about animals he sings it as "I've got moves like a jaguar".

Cool moves buddy!

That night, we improvised for dinner. We used some of our boxes as a table and the kennel as a stand for the iPad to watch while we ate.

Daytona Beach with the Great Grandparents

On Saturday, January 28th, we all arrived in Daytona Beach to visit with Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Vernon. They were nice enough to let us stay with them in their condo on the beach while we waited for our things to make the long drive from Kansas City.

We had a very fun visit and ate at two of our favorite places, Aunt Catfish and Inlet Harbor.

Connor liked to play on the pirate ship and pretend fight with pirates at Inlet Harbor.

We had a pretty relaxing stay for most of the visit. It was a little too cool to go down to the beach so we mostly just relaxed in the condo and played together.

Connor didn't have a lot of toys to play with and spent a lot of time goofing around on the iPad.

Paige thought Great Grandma was lots of fun.

Paige liked playing with Great Grandpa too.

Chloe was a good girl in the condo and Connor thought it would be funny to pile his stuffed animals on her.

The kids were good and we had lots of fun. Thanks Grandpa and Grandma!!

Andrea and the kids fly to Florida

On Saturday, Andrea and the kids made the big trip to Florida.

After the movers left the house on Thursday, Andrea stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Anders in Odessa with the kids. On Saturday morning, they said their goodbyes and the Gobles took everyone to the airport. Connor was excited for the big day but has no sense of distance. On the way to the airport he asked "Are we in Florida yet?".

Andrea did a great job getting both kids, two suitcases, two carseats, a stroller, and carry-on luggage through the check in line, security, and on to the plane.

Unfortunately, once they got on the plane, Paige decided she didn't want to cooperate. She started crying, and before long she was throwing a complete fit. Once she gets like that, it's nearly impossible to stop her and she can go for hours. Andrea got her calmed down after about ten minutes, which was pretty darn good, however it was clear that the other passengers weren't thrilled with the very vocal baby. Paige was only happy if she had a half dozen pacifiers ("Nuk Nuk's") and was watching a DVD. She also didn't want to sit in the seat and wanted to stand on the floor.

That plan worked for a while. Paige stood on the floor and watched the DVD while it was on a tray. Soon, this wasn't entertaining enough and she decided she wanted to play with it. Andrea gave in, and didn't figure she could hurt the DVD player, but after a few minutes, it stopped working. Andrea didn't realize it until they were getting off the plane later, but Paige had managed to detach the DVD player's battery. After that, it was a constant struggle to keep Paige from banging seats and being wild.

Connor was a perfect angel. He listened to the DVD player and played on the iPad. He is a great traveler and a good listener. We can't say enough good things about him.

Finally, the flight was over. Andrea got them off the plane and strapped Paige in to the stroller. Paige hated this idea and shrieked and cried the whole way through the airport. She screamed from the time they got off the plane, while they rode the little tram/train between the terminals and all the way to baggage claim. Just as Andrea got the bags and they were getting out of the airport, Paige fell asleep. 

It would have been nice if Paige had fallen asleep on the plane and it was very embarrassing for Andrea to deal with the situation and be "that mom" that everyone stares at and judges. From the time they got in the airplane seat and Paige started her fits, Andrea was sweating like crazy, not because she was hot but because of the stress of the situation. Andrea held it all together and did a great job. I picked them up and it was great to see them after having been apart for a few days. We all piled in to the SUV and I drove everyone to Daytona Beach to visit with Great Grandpa and Great Grandma while we waited for all of our things to make it down to Florida.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Shipping Andrea's car

On Friday, Andrea's BMW got picked up in Liberty. We had originally planned for me to tow it behind the SUV when he drove down to Florida, but that was a pretty complex plan. I looked in to buying a trailer hitch, renting a trailer, figuring out how much my SUV could tow, etc. and I was getting pretty uncomfortable with it. I was worried I'd have an accident and total both cars at once. Andrea did some research and found that it was about $600 to ship the car. When we had been doing the math on towing the car, we figured it'd be not a whole lot less for the tow hitch, trailer, and extra gas the SUV would burn pulling it. It was definitely worth the cost.

We had hoped that we could have our car picked up Thursday while our house was being packed, but the way the truckers operate it didn't work out. Typically, the drivers that have room on their trailers will just check to see if any cars need to be picked up along their route and then call while they're coming through town. Unfortunately, nobody was available to pick the car up Thursday, so Andrea left the keys with our neighbor Teri. On Friday, a trucker finally came to get the car and Teri was nice enough to drive it to the nearby Target so it could be loaded. She snapped a couple pictures as they loaded it on the truck.

Now, I'm skipping ahead in time a little, but the car safely arrived in Florida on Monday, January 30th. We picked it up at a truck stop near our house and it was in great shape and everything worked out great with the transport. Andrea is very happy to have her car back and excited to drive it around sunny Florida.

Shawn drives to Florida

On Thursday, January 26th, I started the long drive to Florida. The SUV was packed and close to the weight limit with all the things that the movers wouldn't pack in their truck. While the movers were still packing their truck, Andrea and I went to McAlister's Deli for our last lunch together in Kansas City.

Andrea took a quick picture before I set off. I think you can see Chloe in the passenger seat.

The weather was pretty nice considering we were driving in the dead of winter. For the first few hours it was cloudy and not too bad. Once the sun went down and I got to St. Louis it started to rain. It was pretty ugly for a while. For about 6-8 hours, I drove in the dark and in the rain and was pretty tense. I was gripping the wheel pretty hard and it was exhausting.

Chloe and I took a few breaks and by about 11:30 I stopped for my first rest. I'd considered finding a hotel, but decided it would be simpler with Chloe if we just stopped at a rest stop and took a quick nap. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep much that night since I was so excited and tense, so I stopped at a rest stop and tried to get comfortable in the front seat. It didn't work. After about 10 minutes of tossing and turning, I looked in the back of the SUV. I was bringing a number of blankets down and had laid them flat on top of all the boxes. There was only around 2 feet between the boxes and the roof, but I crawled on top of everything and it was surprisingly comfortable. I closed my eyes and the rain put me to sleep for about two and a half hours.

When I woke up at about 2am, I was surprisingly refreshed and ready to continue. I crawled back in to the front seat and tried to put my contacts in. I was having trouble seeing them in the dim light of the car, so I decided to open the door. Unfortunately, I'd locked them with my key before I went to sleep and wasn't aware that my vehicle had a security "feature". Since I hadn't unlocked the car with my key before opening the door, my car thought it was being stolen so it started flashing the lights and honking the horn. I panicked and pushed every button in the car, but it just would not stop. I tried the buttons on the keychain, but that didn't work. Finally, I started the car and started driving it around, thinking that it would convince my car that everything was OK. Still, it would not stop honking and flashing. I wanted to drive to the highway to get out of there and give everyone peace and quiet, but that wasn't even an option. Remember, I opened the door so I could put in my contacts. I could hardly see anything. Finally, after I slowly drove my shrieking car around the rest stop, and probably woke everyone up, my car decided to relax. I parked, put my contacts in quickly, and slunk away in shame. Very embarrassing and stupid.

I set off again and only made it about 3 hours before I needed to stop again. It was still dark, but it finally had stopped raining. I pulled off in a rest stop in Georgia and took another nap. This time, I only napped for about an hour and a half and woke up around 7:30 am (now in the Eastern time zone). I crawled back in to the front seat and made sure that this time I started the car before opening the door. When I turned the key I just heard "click, click, click, click, click". It wouldn't start. At this point I was pretty upset, but thankful that in this day and age we have decent technology at our disposal. I was able to use my Garmin GPS and cell phone to find a number of close tow services and was able to contact one. It took him about 30 minutes to show up and another 15-20 minutes to jump my car and assess the battery. He charged the battery up, then tested it and it seemed fine. I started my car and he assessed the battery again and his equipment registered a charge coming from the car, so it didn't seem to be the battery or the alternator. I'm still not sure what it was, but I've started the car 20-30 times since then and it's started up fine every time. It's possible I left my lights on when I took my nap, but was only asleep for an hour and a half. Who knows. I was glad it wasn't serious and glad to be back on my way.

Before too long I crossed over in to Florida and made it to Jacksonville. I got the keys for our rental and had some time to check it out. It was a long drive, but not as bad as I'd anticipated. I was happy to have my major piece of the move done and that night I slept better than I had in weeks. I was definitely exhausted and very relieved to finally arrive.

KC House packed up and ready to move

On Wednesday, January 25th, the movers arrived and packed up our house. The night before, the children went to Odessa to visit with Grandpa and Grandma Anders while we executed the final steps of the big move. We had been packing up our personal items for a while and it was still a pretty big job to box up and prepare everything else to go in the truck. We're glad we didn't have to do it.

Thursday morning, January 26th, we woke up early and got ready to move out. It was a strange morning and a surreal experience. We hardly had anything accessible in the house and we actually had to cut a few of the boxes open to get some things back out. It was weird being in our old familiar house, but not knowing where anything was and knowing that very soon we'd be leaving and not coming back. The movers arrived pretty early and started putting everything in the truck. It was a pretty big job and took about 7 hours to get everything out and organized and packed.

Once it was all done, Andrea took a quick video of the empty house. It is sad to see our house so empty, but we're glad it all got packed smoothly and done.

Andrea bid our belongings farewell and took one last picture before Peter the driver set off across the country. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Paige's first sentence

Paige said her first sentence today! She's been saying all kinds of things lately, but it's typically no more than a two syllable utterance. Today, I was putting on my coat so I could go get some things packed in the garage. Paige saw me zipping up my coat and said "Da Da go bye." It was a pretty neat moment!

Ms Rachel

This will be the last week that the children go to Ms Rachel's house for babysitting. Connor started there almost two years ago and Paige has been with her since she was born. Ms Rachel's been a huge part of our childrens' lives and we give her a lot of credit for the fact that we've got such great kids. Her son Logan is one of Connor's best friends and Logan's very sweet with Paige too. We will miss Ms Rachel and her sweet family.

She always was great about taking pics of Connor and Paige and what they were up to and would often send them to us throughout the day. Last Friday she gave us a CD with all the pictures she has taken of our kids and there were a lot of great pictures that we just had to post.

The first time Paige ever had pigtails was thanks to Rachel!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grandpa Garry

We have unfortunate, painful news about Grandpa Garry. After Thanksgiving, he became ill and after many tests and evaluations, was diagnosed with ampullary cancer. He then underwent a whipple procedure the week after Christmas. He's been in the hospital off and on for a while and we're happy that he's home. However, he will be starting chemotherapy in the coming weeks and it's a long and hard road ahead. He's stayed very positive and Grandma Genie has been very supportive and strong for him. They're a great team and we've been praying for them both. We love you Grandpa Garry! Stay strong!

Spaghetti dinner in Odessa

Today we went to Odessa for a home-cooked family dinner with the Anders family. Grandma Genie fixed her world famous homemade spaghetti and meatballs and it was delicious. Connor and Paige both gobbled it up, although Connor saved a lot of room for brownies.

Amanda's starting to look a little pregnant, so we had to get a few pics of the baby bump.
Daddy got to feed baby Paige the messy spaghetti and we made it through the whole meal with no stains.
 Connor showed the Rudolphs his new iPad games.
Paige was supposed to take a nap, but threw an unending fit until we took her out of the crib. She agreed to rest for a little while with Uncle Nate.
 The kids all played spoons with Grandma Genie and we got a cute pic of them all together.
It was a great visit to Odessa, and probably one of the last times we'll all get together for a while since our move is coming this next week. We love the Anders, Rudolphs and Gobles and it was hard to say our goodbyes today.