Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Caitlyn's 12 Today!

We celebrated Caitlyn's 12th birthday today. She is quite a young woman! Seems like we've been celebrating it for a month though, since we had the bowling party before we left Italy, gave her the cell phone early, and Grams came for a surprise visit for the weekend, which was filled with fun. Today was pretty uneventful. She helped me do laundry, got Arby's for lunch, per request, and we had a giant birthday cookie with our friends who live nearby. She is now officially old enough to babysit!!!! Gotta love that.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Our big boy turned 3 on Sunday. He was very excited to be so big. Since we don't know any other little people around here, we spent the day doing fun things for him. We started with a trip to a park, then to Horton Hears a Who at the theater, and Chuck E Cheese's finished out the night. He loved that, I'll tell you. He picked out his cupcakes with the Backyardigan things on the top at Wal-mart, and we got another one anyway at CEC cause it was close to closing time and they were getting rid of them for a dollar! He also got free cotton candy. I think he had fun!

I can't believe he's already 3.

We made it to Texas, barely

I have to go back a little cause there has been much going on for the Ratliff clan. Hopefully, no one will get bored -

I'll begin with our adventerous trip. For those of you who aren't familiar with European travel patterns, they don't really carry much luggage. In fact, many airlines charge for bags after the first one, or all bags on some carriers. Needless to say, when the Ratliff's rolled in at 6:00 am to the Venice airport with 11 suitcases at max capacity, a pack and play, 3 carry-on's, 3 stuffed backpacks, 2 laptop computers, a huge double stroller, and 2 carseats, an extra bag of munchies, and Caitlyn's purse, we were the object of much attention! (You should have seen us in Chicago with customs!)

The flight's were fairly good - although we did have some pretty long layovers, but relatively few meltdowns amongst us. To make matters more exciting, since they weren't already, Darla decided to completely blow out her left knee just as we were preparing to board our last segment to San Antonio, thus requiring a wheelchair to get to the plane. I'll worry about details later. Anyway, I asked for ice, and was told I would have to wait until after the drink service (they didn't want to run out of ice for the passengers!!!!!!) Upon arriving in San Antonio, at 12:15, I was wheeled to baggage, where Casey proceeded to gather up all of our stuff, while I looked on. We couldn't resist the picture opp!! We required 2 van taxi's to get to Randolph TLF at 1:15 am. Total travel time from TLF to TLF - 30 hours!
I spent the first morning (5 hours) in the emergency room. I'm hobbling some now, but not before getting blisters on my palm, and aching all over from the crutches. I still need them but not totally. Looks like surgery - but I haven't seen the orthopedic docs. yet.
Then we had to find a place to live cause the TLF was kicking us out! Ended up in a nice, though pricey, apartment. Since Casey's TDY here, we don't have any of our stuff other than what we carried, so that's been interesting. Air mattresses are the only furniture we had, till the airmen and family readiness centere loaned us a card table and chairs! Our nightstands are a couple of carry-on suitcases with a pillow case thrown over them!
On to more fun things:::: We went minivan shopping the next two days, and I came away with an awesome, 2008 Honda Odyssey touring. I got really spoiled, and am required to state to the world that I have officially graduated to the High Maintenance category. There, I did it.
Maybe being a gimp helped. It is so cool, though, with navigation, power doors and tailgate, backup camera, etc, etc. It's light blue. I don't have it here to take a pic. cause the dealer has it to tint the front windows (we are in Texas!). I'll send a pic. soon.
We spent the next 2 days in Del Rio, looking at probably 30-40 houses. There are lots! No decision on that yet, but looks like we'll be able to find something we really like. I like a couple really well, but both were new, with no landscaping, so we aren't sure we want to deal with that??? We also got new cellphones, and yes, we got one for Caitlyn (many of you are already feeling the pain of that, I'm sure) with unlimited texting for her birthday coming up. If you want that number, email me, since I don't want to post that here.
Then we were home for Ethan's 3rd birthday. That was lots of fun. I will post that separately, so it should show up above this and you probably already read it.
And yesterday, we had to drive 10 hours to pick up the Subaru in Dallas (total driving time). Than heaven we were in a gucci van with rear entertainment system! The kids are royally sick of going places! Today - we just dropped off the van, and stayed home most of the day - FINALLY. So there you have it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Buzzard's Rule

These are from last week, when Casey had his last F-16 flight for this tour. He was intercepted, taped up, and sprayed down. It was pretty fun to watch him get clobbered by the guys. Ethan got in on the action with the sprayer and loved it! I was happy to see the beautiful mountains in the background. We will definitely miss the scenery around here.

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