Friday, July 30, 2010

My old Kentucky home, good night

We moved out of the house Wednesday night when the moving van pulled away. Fred and I moved out to Brandenburg to Phil and Amy's new house, Annabelle spent that first night with a friend before joining us the next night, and Mike went to stay with his friend Mark. Since then we've been busy taking care of last-minute tasks and getting signed out of the house and Fort Knox in general. Tonight we went to see Jersey Boys with dear friends, and it really was the perfect way to end our time in Kentucky.

I feel like I should be more broken up over leaving. So many of our friends from on post though have already left, either this summer or in previous ones, and there is comfort in knowing that our friends from off post will be here for years to come. There are changes afoot at Knox, some big, some small--for example, they moved the flag from the parade field to the new human resources building, and I could no longer hear the bugles from my house. It just feels like time to set out in search of new adventures.

Saying good bye tonight was tough though, and I'm feeling a little sentimental. Here's a picture of our mailbox, which I took when we went back on post one last time this morning:

If you go here and click play, you can have a little mood music.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Inconvenient timing

Remember Mr. Stinky, my Hawaiian plant with the allegedly odiferous blossoms? He started to bloom last fall but then petered out. I think he is serious about it this time:

I keep telling Fred that on Saturday, I'll drive the car with all the animals, and he can drive the car with Mr. Stinky. So far he doesn't seem to be buying it.

Funnies from the vault

In cleaning out my desk yesterday, I found a couple newspaper clippings that I have carried around for years. They had the misfortune of winding up stuck under a corroding battery, so they won't be making this move with us. Thought I would share them here before I toss them in the trash.

This is an "Off the Mark" comic that my parents sent me ages ago. I love Dr. Seuss and I love sushi, so I love this:

And this was a headline in the Fayetteville Observer from at least 16 years ago. I can't see it without giggling, which proves that I really am a 10-year-old boy:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

From the vault

This is our last weekend in Kentucky, and we continue to work hard preparing for the packers, who will be here on Monday and Tuesday. For the past few weeks, we have been systematically going through our belongings and paring down the stuff that we just don't need. Today we said goodbye to an old sofa and 2 old chairs. They were in such sad shape that I had a moment of panic that perhaps Goodwill would refuse to let them in the door.

Even though we'll have movers to do the physical part of the move, it takes a lot of planning and coordination to get things ready. Tomorrow we will take a car load of items that we will move ourselves out to Phil and Amy's new house: things like the bassoon, the guitars, and my photo negatives. We figure that if they are already out of the house, we don't have to worry about them accidentally getting packed up with everything else.

I spent the better part of today working in my office. There were so many projects I had hoped to have finished by now, but the time has come to stop working on them and to just get them ready for the move. For example, I packed up the photo album I'm working on of all of our professional portraits and set it with the other stuff we're moving ourselves. I also have given up (for now!) on getting my computer files into a more tidy arrangement and am focusing on just getting a backup copy on my external hard drive so that I can turn the desktop off tomorrow and get it ready to be packed.

As I've been going through my office, I have come across some cool stuff that I never got around to sharing before. Back in February, both Mike and Annabelle were chosen to represent their grade-levels as "Eagles of Excellence." Basically this got them a certificate and a couple of dress-down days, but the coolest part was being included on the bulletin board with the other excellent Eagles. Each kid had a photo posted along with a page of quotes from teachers. Such nice comments (click to see the images larger):

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Mike's recent turn as Conrad Birdie caught the attention of the local newspapers. First he was featured on the cover of the entertainment section of the Elizabethtown News Enterprise:

with the accompanying article:

The next week the Turret ran this photo to promote the show:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My baby boy is 18 today! We had a very low-key celebration: he went to lunch with a friend, and we made his favorite grilled chicken for supper. While he was out this afternoon, he bought a lottery ticket in order to experience one of the many thrills of adulthood, but he just wound up one dollar poorer but wiser--yep, sounds like adulthood to me! The cashier at the gas station asked if he wouldn't also like to buy some cigarettes, but fortunately he took a pass on that one.

My how times do change! This was in September 1992:

And just the other day:

Cue the "Sunrise, Sunset" music!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Parents' night videos

The kids are off at the strike party for Bye Bye, Birdie this evening, and I am feeling nostalgic for the show. Seems like a good opportunity to share the videos I made at parents' night. Parents' night is the final dress rehearsal for the show and is the one chance that we get to bring in our cameras.

"Overture"--Mike plays the guitar solo at the beginning, and Annabelle is one of the unhappy Birdie fans:

"Telephone Hour"--Mike plays an ordinary teen-age boy (dressed in green), and Annabelle is in her blue skirt and white top (look at the top left at the beginning of the song):

"Put on a Happy Face"--Annabelle starts off the number sitting on the floor at the right side and is in the first set of tap dancers:

"Healthy, Normal, American Boy"--Annabelle is in the second row of the fan club girls when they line up at about the 1-minute mark; Mike is wearing a cream-colored jacket and black pants:

"Honestly Sincere"--Annabelle is in a blue skirt and white blouse, but she tends to be on the outside edges in this number and isn't easily seen (Oh, I just found her. Look far left at 2:50.) You would have to try to miss Mike though:

"Breakfast Scene"--Not a musical number, but pretty funny:

"Gloria Rasputin"--Annabelle's big scene! She is an aspiring secretary and tap dancer with questionable fashion sense:

"One Last Kiss"--This song ends with Kim's boyfriend Hugo running in and punching Birdie out. I wish I had known not to stop the filming when Mike hit the floor, because Kim's father steps up and finishes off the final word of the song in a very funny way:

"Lotta Livin' to Do"--Mike sings as Birdie, and Annabelle is in the chorus, wearing black pants and a yellow top with a black belt:

"Finale and Curtain Call"--Annabelle is back in her Gloria Rasputin duds for this one, and Mike is handsome in a WWII-era Army uniform:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bye Bye, Birdie--A Family Affair

We just got back from the next-to-last performance of Bye Bye, Birdie. Hard to believe that this time tomorrow night it will be over! I've got a ton of pictures, video, and even a couple newspaper articles to share, so I think I will start tonight with family pictures.

From last weekend when my parents and sister were here:

From last night after Fred's first viewing of the show:

And from tonight with Fred's parents:

I'm so thankful that even with our families as far away as they are that so many relatives have been able to see the show. I'm especially happy that Fred got home in time to watch the kids shine on stage!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The missing week

I'm still here! Computer time has been severely limited, but everything is fine. Fred got home on Sunday evening, my parents and sister had a great visit, and the play is amazing. The kids had a 2-day break and then went back this afternoon for a brush-up rehearsal. The final 3 shows start tomorrow, and then we will be really working hard to get ready for the move. Packers arrive a week from Monday!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The end is near

The end of the deployment, that is. I suppose that one could argue that it really ended when Fred arrived in Kuwait today, and it does take down the tension by a fair bit. It won't really be over though until he's home, which should be early next week.

We are having a great time visiting with the Mitchells. I wish we were going to have more overlap time together here at Knox. It's so cute to see Ginger romping around with their dog Pickles!

Amy and I went to the final dress rehearsal for Bye Bye, Birdie tonight. It's so good! I have some video to put up, but there's just no time right now. We have to get up early tomorrow to pick up my parents and sister from the airport, so a cast picture will have to suffice for tonight:

As with most of my pictures, clicking makes it bigger. See the stud in the uniform? That's my little boy! And see the sultry vixen with the green boa? That's my baby girl!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Bye Bye, Birdie: The Mall Show

Each summer, shortly before opening night, Youth Theatre of Hardin County takes its show on the road and performs a mini-showcase at the mall in Elizabethtown. This is the first chance any of us who aren't working on the show get to see it, which is always a thrill. Yesterday was the mall show for Bye Bye, Birdie, and it was fantastic!

"Telephone Hour": The kids of Sweet Apple, Ohio, tie up the phone lines discussing the gossip of the day--Hugo and Kim getting pinned. Both Mike and Annabelle are in the chorus in this one:

"Put on a Happy Face": Albert attempts to cheer up the Conrad Birdie fan club members, who are devastated to be losing their idol to the Army. Annabelle is the "girl so gloomy" and is also to the far right in the first set of tap dancers:

"Honestly Sincere": Mike channels his inner-Elvis in this one. He starts singing at around the 1-minute mark, but you can't really see him until about 1:40. It's worth the wait though:

"Spanish Rose": Rosie expresses her frustration with Albert's racist mother:

"Kids Today": Kim's parents hold forth on the sorry state of the next generation:

"Bye Bye Birdie Finale and Curtain Call": Annabelle didn't get to show off her comedy bit at the mall show, but she has a great spot in the curtain call--first curtsy in the fifth set of bows. Mike finishes off the show with a snappy salute:

I can't wait for opening night!

Thursday, July 01, 2010


Mike got his official Conrad Birdie hairdo today! He took in pictures of James Dean and young Elvis as a guide, and Katie set to work. It was kind of funny to watch, as Katie had to wash him out and start over 3 times before she was satisfied. She also called her co-worker Dana in for a consultation. The finished result was awesome:

Oh, look, Mike's got a car to match his hair:

Just kidding--it belongs to our friends Phil and Amy, who are moving here to Fort Knox. Couldn't resist the photo op though!