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AFwife Claire

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About AFwife Claire

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    Hive Mind Royal Larvae
  • Birthday 02/07/1973

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    Mom to Nathan, Luke, Caleb, Jonathan, Anna, Grace, Faith, Micah, Drew, & Verity
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    Dayton, OH

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    Ohio near the base

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  1. Our elementary co-op back in VA had a children's book exchange as part of our annual Christmas party several years in a row. I dreaded it. I had at least 4 kids, if not more, in there each year, so it was a complete hassle trying to find books for each child to give away. I'm certainly not giving away our favorites, with so many other kids in our family, and babies still coming, and I felt bad giving away books we didn't like, you know?? And then we would get this random collection of books that may or may not be the right reading level or even be books anyone liked at all. Gah . . . So eventually I just told my kids we weren't participating. *Poof*! My stress level dropped immensely, and I could enjoy the Christmas party again. But, like the part I quoted, people always brought extra books, and wouldn't take my "no" for an answer! SO we still ended up with a random collection of books, and then I felt bad that we weren't contributing. Finally the lady who pushed this horrible exchange moved on because her kids graduated from the co-op, and when it came up at a planning meeting, I was able to convince everyone to drop it. Like busy moms need one (or 5?) more things to find and wrap right before Christmas?!? Gah . . . Just say No to superfluous gift exchanges, especially for kids! I would definitely have been up for an ornament exchange, and one of the OP's quilted ornaments though! Those are so great!
  2. It really was! Our oldest son and his fiancee were here for the weekend, and my parents had come over for dinner too. That phone call definitely cast a pall! We're about 6 1/2 hour away, so there was absolutely nothing we could do except pray. Looking at the pictures, your son's car was a lot more damaged than ours. It's just all so weird. Ds is really concerned about how the other people are doing, but I can't think how we'd ever find out. I will say, it has made me more conscious of being thankful for his being home this Thanksgiving, when it could very well have ended with him seriously injured or worse. I'm sure you are feeling the same way about your son!
  3. Oh, that is so scary! Hopefully you can get everything taken care of soon, and your son can put it all past him! We got a phone call like that Sunday night. Our DS19 (ETA: he's actually 20, almost 21, lol) called to say he had been in an accident, and he was very shaken up. He's down in Huntsville and was on his way to a church (different than his usual one, and one he had never gone to before) for a "friendsgiving" dinner. He was making a left turn on a green arrow, and all of a sudden, a car came straight (going opposite to his direction before he started turning). He t-boned them. He wasn't going very fast, but they must have been, because their car flipped over, and they were both carted off to the hospital. Ds's car isn't really that bad--the front is a little crumpled, and his airbag deployed, but he didn't hit the steering wheel, and he's not been at all sore. He never saw the people, but someone said they were older (elderly?). The policeman didn't issue any citations because there were no witnesses to say what colors the lights were. I think this is the most upsetting thing for DS--there's no way to be vindicated. He is positive his arrows were green. He said there were 2 hanging over the intersection, plus 2 more on a pole, so it's not like he couldn't see them. He was so shaken up. He is one of the most serious, responsible, careful kids I know. He's been driving since he was 16, and he's never had so much as a speeding ticket. So the cars were towed away, and we had to figure out where to get it to Monday, since we knew we didn't want to leave it in a lot for very long! Fortunately some friends were able to have it be towed to their driveway. We've never had experience with accidents where no one was cited, so we really have no idea what is going to happen now, We bought him a ticket home, and he got home Tuesday night. He was so happy to be home! This has been such a stressful experience!
  4. Ahh, we were stationed there for 5 1/2 years back in the mid-late 90's, and our first 2 kids were born there. Dh moved around to all the different AF bases, since we loved it and didn't want to move! We loved all the hiking, camping, outdoor stuff. So many places to explore! I was particularly fascinated by the historical women who lived in Colorado in years past, especially during the big mining booms--there were some very colorful ones! One of my favorite books was Tomboy Bride by Harriet Backus. Her husband was an assayist who worked at several mines, but especially the Tomboy one in Telluride. We took a special trip down there just so I could see for myself the places she described so well! Anyway, I am jealous of your family! We love Colorado Springs!
  5. Echoing all the other posters talking about Seattle . . . you couldn't pay me enough to move there. My brother and his family moved there summer of 2018 from TX to take a much higher-paying tech job. Like others have said, he currently works absolutely ridiculous hours, gets just a few hours of sleep a night, and is really struggling with the commute and just the pressure of the job. Also, and this may not be a factor for your dh, but my brother feels stressed by how extremely and militantly liberal the culture is. He has said several times that he doesn't feel comfortable having people know that he is a Christian for fear of reprisal, not necessarily outright, but subtle. He feels like he can't let anyone he works with really "know" him, so he feels very isolated. Add to that all the grayness, and he is ready to get out of there. My sister-in-law is more comfortable there. They found a great church, and so she has friends and a support group. Their kids are in a small Christian school (public school was absolutely not an option, and she didn't want to homeschool), but it only goes up through 8th grade. They are planning to move before my oldest niece is high school age. Honestly, it sounds like a miserable place to be. I just talked to my brother last night, and the conversation cemented my desire to never, ever, live there!
  6. I am so, so bad at figuring out gifts. Totally not my love language at all, and yet, I have so many people in my life to buy gifts for, and more people are coming in all the time! My oldest son's fiancee's birthday is next week, and I really would like to get her a little something, along with a card. She's such a wonderful person, and I want her to know how happy we are that our son is marrying her! She is in VA at the same university as our son, so I don't know her particularly well, or any particular needs she might have, etc. The wedding will be in the spring, and I also have to get her a Christmas present, so I just really want something sweet and little right now that says, "We're thinking about you". Last Christmas (before engagement) I got her some really great fuzzy slipper socks and lotion/body wash from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I don't have any more ideas now though! She is a cello performance major (she's so amazing!), and she enjoys hiking and outdoors stuff with my son. But I don't know what she has or needs in those areas. Any ideas? I would be so grateful!
  7. Another (plain white) Corelle user here, and I doubt we'll ever switch. I love that I can have 24 big plates in the same space I could fit like 10 of my old stoneware ones. With a family of 12 people, and with older kids getting married now, we need to be able to have a ton of plates. We have probably 18 of the smaller lunch plates. We have dropped a few plates and bowls, and they do shatter, but oh well. They're so cheap to replace, and since they are light, they don't usually get dropped.
  8. I am also a Cedarville grad, and I echo all of this. I was a biology/math double major, and while I never formally worked after graduation (I married my Air Force man in between my sophomore and junior year, and we PCS'd as soon as I graduated), my education there prepared me to teach homeschool science classes up through AP and have my kids do very well on the exams! I had a great experience there. Now we have moved back to the area, and we often have Cedarville students (many different majors) over to our house. They have all been so fun to be around, and we really enjoy spending time with them!
  9. Yes, I agree with most here--when talking about the whole appliance, I usually say "stove" instead of range or anything else, but I would never refer to the stove when I was clearly using the oven part. Nothing goes *in* the stove, only in the oven.
  10. We rented a car in Germany when we took a military space-a hop over there in Feb. 2018 to visit friends. Actually, we had to rent 2 cars, since the 10 of us didn't fit in any one vehicle, lol. So both dh and I were driving. It was exciting! We rented our vehicles from the one place on base that was allowed to rent to retirees, but we had to hike over there from the passenger terminal with all our tired kids and luggage. So if you rent from an airport, you'll probably have an easier time of it! I think Costco rents cars overseas, so I'd probably look into that if we weren't going military. We didn't request or pay extra, but both of our vehicles came with navigation. These were absolute life savers. I literally can't imagine how we would have managed without them. Dh and I went to Germany space-a on our honeymoon back in 1995, and we also rented a car then. We navigated around by maps, and it was crazy, but it was just the 2 of us, so getting lost was not a big deal (well . . . there were some stressful moments, lol . . ) But with trying to keep the 2 cars together, and just for getting to places without wandering cluelessly around, the navigation systems were lifesavers. Each of us would have one of our teenage sons sit in the passenger seat and navigate, because even when the cool accent GPS lady was telling us to do things, sometimes I couldn't figure out exactly what she meant, and having another set of eyes was really helpful. It was really nice to be able to be on our own schedule and see whatever places we wanted to. Also, we shopped at the local grocery stores for breakfast and lunch foods, to keep costs down. That was much easier with a car. I didn't find the actual driving in Germany any different than anywhere else, although I really had to pay attention to the speed limits, since I didn't have a good feel for "80 kph" and what that felt like. It was pretty easy to find parking, since we were primarily going to touristy attractions, and there were lots of parking signs. Oh, both our cars were standard, so if it's been awhile since you've driven one, brush up on that! Fortunately it came right back to me, and I only stalled once the whole 2 weeks (and that was on a roundabout right after we drove off base, but fortunately no one else was around!). I think it's super expensive to rent automatics over in Europe. I kind of liked driving the smaller cars over there. Our big 12 passenger van felt like quite the behemoth once we got back--although it is nice to be able to all fit in one vehicle. Oh, in parking garages, you pay before you go to your car and drive out. So look for the machines as you are walking back to your car! I got a bunch of travel books out of the library and skimmed them before we left the US, and I felt like they prepared me pretty well. Things like how to pay in a parking garage where in those books! I hope you have a wonderful trip! It sounds amazing! One of the places we saw on our honeymoon was Neuschwanstein, and it was so beautiful! A dream come true for me!
  11. Youngs? I've never actually been to one of their fall things, but I know they have the maze, wagon rides, etc., and I'm pretty sure they have pumpkins too. And ice cream of course, for this hot weather! 😁
  12. Oh my goodness!! How scary! We really don't go on 75 at all, and I'm thinking that's going to stay that way. 😲
  13. I would also love an invite. My oldest 4 are boys, ages 22, 19, almost 18, and 16. I felt like I had a great support group for me back in VA, but when we moved a year ago, it's been harder to find people to open up to about my older kids, since I just don't know people here as well. This group is obviously a popular idea!
  14. This sounds wonderful! It reminds me of college. My roommate had a big radio/stereo thing, like most people did back in the early-mid 90s, and you could set the alarm to play whatever CD you had in it. We woke up every morning to the gentle strains of the Princess Bride theme song, which was such a nice way to wake up! The only thing was we had to make sure we actually we up and out of bed by the time that really annoying village dancing song came on, lol.
  15. This was me as well. We were stationed at WPAFB in Ohio at the time. I had a 4 year old, a 2 1/2 year old, and I was 28 weeks pregnant with #3. We were supposed to meet my best friend that morning to go shopping for our 15th high school reunion that we were planning (my dad was also Air Force, so I graduated from high school here in Ohio as well). My mom called to tell me that a plane had hit the WTC, and I also assumed it was a small airplane--how sad! I promptly thought no more about it and went about my morning. We never watched TV or anything, so that wasn't something that even occurred to me. Then my friend called and told me husband didn't want her to go out shopping, which I thought was so weird and a complete overreaction. Then my husband called and told me they had hit the Pentagon, the towers had come down, a plane crashed in PA, and the base here was closing, so he was coming home. I couldn't even take it in, but my main focus was keeping things normal for my 2 little boys. I still didn't turn on the TV because I knew there would be traumatic images, and I didn't want those seared in their little brains so early. When DH came home, and the boys were distracted, we did turn on the TV, so I saw for the first time the images. I was glad I saw them afterward, and not in real time. That must have been so horrifying. Because of the boys, we still didn't just glue ourselves to the TV--life had to go on and we had to try to keep things somewhat normal, and I was glad we couldn't just focus on the horror and tragedy. After a few days of quiet, I clearly remember hearing in the evening the sounds of all the C-17 cargo planes taking off from the base. I knew they were heading off to prepare for the fight, and I was so proud of them. I was supposed to have my 28 week glucose test a day or 2 after 9/11, but the base remained close for several days, and I had to postpone it. When I finally could get back in, it took hours to get on the base. The next year, 9/11/02, my dh had a TDY to DC. We stayed in a hotel, watched a lot of news specials after the kids went to bed, and I really read all the papers and like someone else said, read all the personal stories. I also watched a documentary about all the women who were pregnant on 9/11 and lost their husbands. Unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant with #4, and I was a complete watering pot. I cried so much during those days at the hotel! Those kids who would never know their dads, and their brave moms, moved me so much. I think because I had shielded myself so much during the days after 9/11, it hit me harder the one year anniversary that I ever expected, especially since I had all those early pregnancy hormones as well.
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