The 'Potamus Pages
Updated: March 23, 2008
Hey, I know, I know. It's been forever since I last updated this - isn't it always? Ah well, at least this update may come as a surprise!
First of all, I apologize for not sending out Christmas cards this year (and, for those of you who live in Canada, I also apologize for not sending them out last year as well!) It was a busy fall and I still haven’t recovered from it!
As many of you know, Shawn is away TDY (temporary duty). Before he left, we found out that there are certain restrictions on what I am allowed to write on our family website. For instance, I can't tell you where he is currently or where he is going on here as it may endanger the mission. Since it could get him in trouble, I won't be providing that information. However, if you are interested, feel free to contact me, and, if I know who you are, I'll be happy to let you know how he's doing. As soon as he has an address, I will also be happy to pass on that information.
At any rate, he left February 9th and will be gone until late October. It's been tough without him. I feel like I haven't been able to relax since he's been gone. But, we will be all right. Before he left, Caeli gave him a small bear so he could take pictures with him through his travels like in one of the commercials on TV. Shawn has been taking a lot of pictures and Caeli has been tickled pink every time he sends one home for her to see.
Earlier in December, he went to New Jersey for training for 2 weeks and came home with a serious cold - which did not go away. Finally, as he was out processing, he was informed that he has a bronchial infection, which was aggravated by his smoking. Of course, he was told at first that he had asthma and that his mission was in jeopardy of being canceled. That meant that another person from his squadron would have to take his place with only 3 days notice! Well, as you probably gathered, he was cleared to go. He seems to be doing all right now. The infection that he had usually takes about 3 months to run its course, so it's probably worked its way out of his system.
In November, we got a puppy, Bella. A coworker of Shawn's adopted the puppy, but then found out that their 18 month old son was highly allergic. So, we decided to take the puppy home with us. I am sad to say that I am NOT a dog person. She is a good dog and I would enjoy her immensely - if she belonged to someone else. However, Caeli and Shawn adore her. She is very intelligent and is quite obedient. She passed her puppy training classes with flying colours. But, as she is still a puppy, she is a lot of work and adds to the stress and strain of our life while Shawn is gone.
To make matters worse, we also adopted a kitten, Mia. However, I AM a cat person, so this transition has been somewhat smoother. It also helps that cats are more independent than dogs and she is much easier to take care of. She does get along with the dog fairly well and loves to tease her! Of course, she has her refuges from Bella, so when Bella gets to be a bit too rambunctious, she can hide.
On November 5, I started a new job at a company called Supervalu. I am working in the International Division in the Logistic's Department. Logistics, for those of you who may not know (and I didn't when I started), deals with the shipment of cargo from one place to another - containers, shipping lines, bills of lading, rates, documents, and more. It's been an interesting learning process. The people I have met there are fantastic and the benefits are amazing. It is also very nice having a second income.
Last September, Caeli started kindergarten. It's been a bit of an adjustment for her. She would really rather not go to school, but she does go anyway. She has been enjoying the daycare, however, or "Big K" as they call it. They get to play a lot there and do fun crafts. It's how I remember kindergarten! Caeli is doing very well at school though. She has learned how to read quite a lot of words! I just hope she can handle grade 1 when she goes full day!
I did all of my reporting backwards, but the important things are there. I think. I hope. Heh.
Take care everyone!
May 3, 2007
Okay, I'm feeling a bit cheated here. I was certain I had updated this site sometime in February/March, but I guess I didn't save it properly. *sigh* So, now I have to rewrite it all.
First, I had written a letter to announce that Shawn came back from Korea in December and that we moved to McChord AFB at the end of December, but I never got that mailed out. I had some nice photo cards that I was going to put a family picture in and send it out, but I never got the photo done. So, the cards are still sitting here. I remember writing about all the birthdays that were coming up in March (7 or 8 of them!!), so I know I had worked on this page.
Wait, I'm going to check one more place that I *may* have saved the files... Be right back!
Drat. I know I had written an update, but it's all gone. Ah well. Here goes my newest update.
Well, first of all, Shawn has returned from Osan AFB, Korea, so that link is going to disappear soon. He came back December 2, 2006. He took a few weeks back to get readjusted to this side of the ocean. We made a few trips to McChord AFB during that time to make sure we had everything prepared for our move. We got our house December 28 and moved in over the New Year. It's a duplex, but I haven't heard the neighbours yet. I don't know if they've heard us or not - we haven't even met them. We have a large fenced in back yard, which is fantastic. Caeli can play outside and I don't have to worry about her.
We had an interesting New Year's Eve. Our bathtubs started backing up and the toilets were trying to overflow. We called in maintenance, which took a couple hours to respond. There was only one guy on call. The poor guy - he was on call on New Year's Eve, but it was also his birthday, and to top it all off, his car was stolen just before he got our call. And then he had to come fix our bathroom problem. He arrived around 4:30 - 5pm and he didn't get to leave until almost 1am. It took that long for him to figure out the problem. He'd been here only 3 weeks and he didn't know all the ins and outs of the base housing. Poor guy. The problem ended up being that our system was being invaded by roots. He had to use an electric snake which went out about 50 feet to get to the problem. What a night.
Since then, we haven't had a problem (knock on wood!).
Jora is still in Canada at the moment. I didn't want to interrupt her school year and possibly have her repeat things she's already learned or miss out on things she hasn't learned yet. Also, I wanted her to have a full year of French. She is looking forward to learning Spanish now. She is doing excellent in school and her report cards make me proud. She was on the Honour Roll this past term. She is joining the Track team this spring. I know she'll be great.
Caeli and I have been going to the library here on base every Thursday for story time, where she gets to hear a story and make a craft. She looks forward to each library visit! We also signed Caeli up for preschool on base. We didn't really know that there was something available until one of the neighbours mentioned it to us. She'll finish May and June there, but at least she will get some time to play with and meet other kids. She's very excited. One of the neigbour kids goes to the preschool as well and Caeli can't wait to go to school with her. Next week we get to go to the zoo!
We finally got to meet a couple of the other neighbours this past weekend. Caeli just couldn't stand it any more being without Jora and went over to meet the kids. Shawn was invited to play poker with the men and I was invited to go on a Ladies' night out! It's been a loooooong time since I've been out. I fell down and hurt knee - huge bruise! But it was a fun night out.
I have been spending a lot of my spare time working on my Family Tree. I have been enthralled in learning about the history of my family. It's also been very exciting to discover lost relatives and get in touch with them. My family is hoping to have a family reunion this August, so if you're interested, let me know!
I still have to download my photos from my camera, but I will do my best to get that done this weekend.
Hmm. I've run out of things to say. I'm sure I'm forgetting something important, but I'll leave it here for now and HOPEFULLY, I'll get this page updated properly.
Thanks for being patient with me!
August 19, 2006
Since I've been receiving complaints that I haven't been updating this site, here we go...
Summer is almost over and soon the kids will be heading back to school. Jora is in grade six this year and she will be starting French Immersion! She is very excited. A couple weeks ago, she was able to attend a 4 day French Immersion camp and had so much fun that she can't wait for school to start! In Canada, Caeli isn't allowed to attend school since Shawn is American (It's a long convoluted story...), so Caeli will once again be attending a preschool 2 days a week. Even if we were living in the US, she wouldn't be going to kindergarten since , in Washington, she can't start kindergarten until she has already turned 5 and that won't be until next school year (2007-2008). It's a no win situation.
We had made a few plans to get away during the summer, but they simply didn't happen. At the end of June, Dad hurt his back and had to go to physio twice a week for about a month to help get it straightened out again. He was in a lot of pain. Although, if his back hadn't gone out, we wouldn't have been able to go on vacation anyway because the union workers at the City of Abbotsford voted to strike. The union workers were upset with city management because it was too full of itself to realize how unfair it was treating the workers. In the end, the workers had to vote to accept the City's offer simply because too many of the workers couldn't afford to keep striking. It's very sad to know that the rich can keep getting richer and trample all over everyone and there's nothing the poor man can do about it.
One of the places we had been planning to go to was the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta. In 2000, my parents, my neices, Jora and I went to the museum. It was such a great experience. The girls all learned a lot about dinosaurs and on one of our hikes, we even found a real dinosaur bone! It was very exciting. Oh well, maybe next year!
I'm hoping that the girls will again go to swim lessons (the City strike closed down the pools over the summer). Jora is getting close to completing all the levels, but she is a bit frustrated with her breast stroke. I know she will get it if she keeps up the hard work! Caeli just has a lot of fun, so she can't wait to start lessons again. Caeli is really learning fast, so it won't be long before she's an expert swimmer like Jora!
Shawn came out for a month in July. We tried to keep busy and I think we succeeded. We went to the lake, we went camping, we went to visit my sister in Cranbrook. Near the end of his visit, Shawn got to go fishing, which he really enjoyed. Now he's back in Korea until December and then we'll be moving to Tacoma.
Well, nothing much else has been happening - besides the usual daily grind, so until the next time, take care, everyone!
March 24, 2006
Well, I tried updating it a while back, but I didn't quite get it uploaded to the web site. Oh, well! Since it has been so long since the last update, I will write another update now.
Jora has been off school for the past 2 weeks - spring break!! - but she hasn't been sitting around doing nothing! She has been in swimming lessons every day during spring break (well, except on the weekends) and has done very well. During the last swim session just before spring break, Jora was in Level 3. She did so well, that she passed not only Level 3, but Level 4 as well! Now, she has succeeded at passing Level 5. Her next set of lessons start on Tuesday.
Caeli has been enjoying having Jora around. I hope she doesn't get too upset when Jora goes back to school. Caeli has also done very well with her swimming lessons. She is taking the preschool level classes. She started out in the Sea Turtle level, but went to the next level, Salamander, that same day. She progressed to the Sun Fish level, which she did during the spring break, and will now advance to the Crocodile level! Caeli is having so much fun swimming and is doing fantastic! She also starts new lessons on Tuesday.
Our male kitten, Boodie, went to the vet's again the other day. He's been fairly sickly since December, but the vet couldn't pin point the trouble. Finally, he got some serious treatment and has been doing all right since then. At the last visit to the vet's office, the vet noticed his mouth was very swollen - you couldn't see his back molars at all! She gave him a shot of steroids and gave him some antibiotics. He's doing a lot better now. We just hope that he will continue to enjoy this good health.
Before the spring break, Jora had a class learning Salish weaving at her school. They spent a whole day learning the technique that was taught by a Salish woman. Jora really enjoyed the class. Although my ancestry isn't Salish, I am glad to see Jora learn something about First Nations History.
Caeli is really enjoying her preschool. She has been doing so many cute art projects that I am going to add a page where I can put up pictures of her art work. Keep an eye out for it!
I have been trying to get into better shape (even though round is technically a shape, it's not the one I really want!) The gym I go to is called Just Ladies Fitness. I didn't join it because it was just for women, but the price was good for the range of equipment and classes offered. They also have child minding which is fantastic for me.
February 21, 2006
I've heard that one of the best ways to pass time is to stay busy, so that's what we're doing. Jora is busy with an art class and a hip hop class and Caeli is taking a pre-dance class and a preschool class. Now, they are both taking swimming lessons twice a week. And, if I may say it, they're going swimmingly! Caeli is loving swimming - each time, she's been barely able to wait for her lesson to start! Today, she actually started to cry because she had to wait! Jora is finding that lessons aren't so bad after all. She was learning how to dive today, although she had already learned how before, she didn't do a lot of practicing, so it was good for her to have a refresher course.
Jora also went skating with her school a few times and we decided to take both girls to skate a couple weeks ago. Jora hadn't been on skates since she was three and Caeli had never been on skates, so neither of the girls were very good at it, but they sure enjoyed it. Jora was improving by leaps and bounds and even Caeli was able to skate a bit without any help. Caeli did get a bit frustrated that she kept falling down, but after watching another boy fall down a lot, Caeli decided that she was doing all right.
The kittens have grown quite a bit since we've gotten them, but they're still fairly small cats. They have brought a lot of laughter into this house with their silly antics and chasing around. I think I've taken more pictures of them than I have the kids!
December 14, 2005
I am so excited about our new website!
We made the decision to get our own web address because we move a lot. Consequently, we are always changing email addresses and website addresses. It has become a bit of a hassle. However, with this website, we can keep it with us whenever we move since it is no longer connected to our internet host.
So, right now, I am learning how to get everything set up on this new host's system and, hopefully, I will be able to get it going shortly.
Why "pixelpotamus"? Well, when I was going to college, I was having fun with graphic design. One of my instructors came up with the name for me and it stuck. When I was going through the process of finding a domain name, everything I could think of was already used. So, Shawn remembered pixelpotamus and suggested we use that name. And, lo and behold, it was available.
We are in the process of moving, again, which propagated this web change. Our new base will be McChord AFB, near Tacoma, Washington. However, in December, Shawn will be heading to Osan AFB, South Korea, for a year. The girls and I will be staying with my parents in Canada. We will also have a place to stay in Washington. It will be a long year, but we'll make it.
Well, more updates soon!