Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Well, it's been a great weekend! It actually started early--I got a call on Thursday from Princess #2, asking if she and "J" (one of her best-est friends) could come and stay the night at our house. Now, we have a special rule in our house: no sleepovers on school nights. While the kids are out of school, it was still a "school night" for me, since I had to work the next day. Whoa, last year, I let Princess #2 and Princess #3 have friends stay the night on a DW school night, and I got ZERO sleep. Can't figure out why DH wasn't there... oh yeah, that other company for whom he used to work had a thing up in the mountains for store managers. That was the first time we had spent apart since we had gotten married, and it wasn't our idea of fun--especially the lack of sleep on DW's part. Now, where was I???

Oh yes, last Thursday. Well, we have an interesting time with the kids assuming that the other parents will: give rides, know that I'm going to be gone and going to work in the morning, etc. So, I allowed them to come over, and then of course, when they got here, I asked J if her Mom knew that I would be gone in the morning... I don't have to tell you the answer to that one! Anyway, I told Princess #3 that she would be home alone all day and probably until late at night because I had to go to the airport to pick her Dad up after work. She had the GREAT idea to come to work with me. I then made them promise to keep it down to a dull roar because I was getting ready for bed, they had to be in bed by midnight, and be ready to go by 7:20 so we could drop J off on our way to the office. So, we were late getting to the office--the one day that I really shouldn't be--and Princess #3 (she's so sweet!) sat in the corner of the conference room and listened to her CD player while I was on a conference call with others at the office. Then she went to my office with me (I now occupy a space on the 5th floor, and the company's offices are on the 4th, which is where the conference call was), and we set her up with the DVD player to watch some movies. We had packed a lunch that day, and so took some fresh veggies down to the Mall to people watch. She said she really wanted to see somebody with an afro--something that's not uncommon "on the mall," but Friday, I guess all the wackadoos were on vacation. It was pretty mellow--not even very crowded, and mostly business people and folks on vacation. Princess #2 has lived here almost her whole life, and can't fathom this being a vacation destination unless it's the slopes in the wintertime. Ah, to be so young and naive... she's just such a cutie! Anyway, she now understands what it means to "sit on the mall" and peoplewatch, and we gave our extra food to a guy that was collecting aluminum cans out of the trash. He was pretty unassuming and unthreatening--compared to some of those yay-hoos!

So then we had a snack on the way to the airport--our healthy lunch left us famished in the late afternoon and early evening; then we picked DH up and headed back home for our favorite Chinese restaurant. I love the place, and the people are very nice, but my number one agenda for immigration consideration (besides everyone doing it legally) is fluency in English. It's pretty bad when the server can't even say "Pepsi." That one had us guessing for a while! But, the food's good, so I guess it's a trade-off.

Saturday... Saturday... Hmm... I guess I got kinda wiped out--Oh yeah! DH took each of the younger two on dates--first, Princess #2, who got a short-term stint watching a dog for some of her Mom's neighbors. Poor little pooch (a "Labradoodle?") had to spend all day in the house, so it was good that Dad was there to ensure that Princess #2 actually walked the dog instead of just letting her out... Anyway, they then followed up by going to one of her favorite places: Starbucks. Oh yeah, she's addicted--but not to the coffee. Give her a frappaccino (sp?) even on the coldest winter day--she might even wear mittens if she knows she'll be needing to hold onto a frosty frap cup! Anyway, they had some great one-on-one time, and she sure needs it. I would ask you all to pray for us and for Princess #2--she's reached that stage in her life where she recognizes no authority whatsoever and does whatever she wants and is ... uh... less than honest with us sometimes. To say that she is a strong-willed young lady is a nomination for the understatement of the year. She really is a good kid, and we just want the best for her; she just doesn't often agree with what we think (and know--hey, we've been there before) is best for her.

After that, Dad had a lunch-date with Princess #3 at their "secret place." He has a secret place with each of the girls--a different one for each. She is always giving me hints as to what their secret place is, but I can't quite figure it out (and wouldn't let on that I knew if I did!). I think it's maybe a Mexican food place, but I'm not sure, because she told me yesterday that she had a burger for lunch... Hey, some "Mexican" places serve burgers! Who knows? All I know is that they had a great time, and she is young enough that she hasn't begun to give us the grief that her sister has--and probably won't, either. They are about as opposite from each other in personality and taste as two people living in the same culture and under the same roof can be. She really has a servants heart, and she is a great help to me. AND she likes to spend time with the parents still, unlike those teenagers!!! I suppose we'd better enjoy it while it lasts... *sigh*

Sunday dawned bright and warm: a perfect day to fulfill our plans to go to the water park. First, though, we had a breakfast of fruit salad and cinnamon rolls and the girls gave Dad his Father's Day gift: he is now a sharp-dressed man with all the fancy new shirts and ties that will complement his suits nicely. We've been hearing for some time that it's free when you bring your Dad to the water park on Father's Day--and it is--well, for him to get in, anyway. Sheesh--they let you bring in coolers with food and unopened original beverages (no Nalgene water bottles or anything you fill yourself), and I can't recommend it enough! We may have saved thirty bucks on Dad's admission, but crikey, we spent $60 on food and drinks (and let us not forget, the rest of us still had to pay admission!)--oh, and return trips to the single-use fifty-cent lockers! They're not big enough that the family can fit towels, sunscreen & the like into any less than three lockers, and of course, every time we turn around, someone now wants their flip flops (and mine are in this locker, hers are in that one), someone needs more sunscreen, we left the cash in side pocket of the bag and need to buy some water, now it's time for lunch and we need the coupons for free breadsticks... I really think it might be worth the "unlimited use" lockers that require $8.00 up front, $5.00 of which is refundable at the end of the day. Let's just say that they have a fine attraction, but they sure are proud of their stuff! We had a great time--the kids love that Dad can carry the tube up to the top of the ride, and once the two older girls and I made an interesting 6-legged "tubulous monstrous" as we carried one on our heads. We picked a great day to go to the water park, as we hit a new record of 97 degrees today. Princess #3 taught us a new trick in the wave pool--we sit in the "shallows" and wait for the water to come and drag us around. When you're in that area, the water waves (once every seven minutes) straight back, then bounces off this side while it bounces off that side--basically, you get hit from the front, then the right, then the left, and then the water drags you around as it continues to wave in and out and settle to wait for the next big wave. We were rolling all over the place and having a great time--and no cramps that way since we had just eaten. You know, I heard that was actually an old wive's tale, the "no swimming for 30 minutes" rule... Still, it makes sense, so we stayed out of the deeper water. Besides, you can get "run over" in the crest of the wave if you don't have a tube--I once got cold-cocked and nearly knocked out. And I DID have a tube! Of course, that was years ago, and I'm much wiser now. HA!

Okay, so we're all cooked (I missed a spot on my shoulder with the sunscreen--it's gonna hurt later!), washed out, and tired. Sunscreen in the eyes (can you say "ouch?") is a good way to make a person want to close them and not re-open them, so we all took naps (although I think I was the only one with the SPF 50 on the orbs). Mellow evening, getting ready to head back to work on Monday and DH's flight leaves tomorrow evening. It's been nice not having to take him back on Sunday this time, and I'll get out of work a bit early tomorrow to have him to the airport on time.

Finally, a couple people have been asking me if we know where the company is going to have us for our "permanent" assignment, and the short answer to that is "no." I will ask DH to blog and fill you in on that one (and maybe I'll pick up some details I haven't heard yet, too!). Basically, we won't know until probably mid-August at the earliest. Pray that we get to stay here!

On that note, I'm gonna go get some stuff ready to help him turn in his expense report tomorrow, make sure I've got clothes for tomorrow, all that "evening routine" stuff.

Until next time,


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