Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas 2012

Our first North Carolina Christmas turned out to be pretty good. We missed being with family, but wanted to spend our first year in our new home. I wanted to continue as well as start traditions. Now that things are winding down, I am remembering a few details I forgot. Oh well. There is always next year. A few days before Christmas we made Graham cracker houses.
One tradition I am continuing is making a breakfast casserole that we have enjoyed on the Brooks side all our married life and who knows how long before that. We just call it Christmas casserole. A new tradition I added to the old is to make fresh giant cinnamon rolls the night before. I use a recipe that mixes the dough in the bread machine. Another new tradition is I bought 6 stockings and filled them with candy and goodies for the family. The boys grandma would do stocking when they were little, but we didn't do them ourselves until this year. It was fun that even Bri was surprised! The Friday before Christmas we celebrated with a couple from church. We have adopted each other and are so thankful to have them in our lives. They came over for dinner and Bri grilled out steaks, I made garlic butter shrimp, cheddar biscuits, bacon and onion green beans, baked sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Dessert was maple pecan pie and chocolate pie. After dinner we open gifts. We gave him a history book and her a watch. They gave each of the boys a $2 bill and gold coin. Bri got a very sweet sentimental ornament in memory of his Mom. I received a set of 8 ramikins and 2 pie plated. The biggest gift was a Wii for the family.
Christmas morning we had breakfast and read the Christmas story form Luke 2. Then we opened gifts. The boys and I went in together and got Bri a coffee maker.
Caleb and Jacob each got pocket knives. Jacob got an Ultimate frisbee. Caleb got a game for the Wii. Nathan got more Legos and a Cars book, and walkie talkies.Luke got a tablet. I got a book written by our midwife about her life story, and some chocolates.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

6 Months Ago

Six months ago today the boys and I were at Andover Park. It was a beautiful Tuesday. We had just gotten an armful of books from the library and were walking around the pond. We had been camping in our empty house, getting over terrible colds for the past 5 nights. The movers had come the previous Wednesday and Thursday to pack and load our stuff into the huge moving truck. The boys and I had sleeping bags, a few changes of clothes, school books, a borrowed mini frige, microwave, and two camp chairs. Brian was already in Kinston working. We were waiting on the Title Company to get their act together so we could close and hit the road to our new life in North Carolina. The company said our KS house, a modular home, had to be titled. So we were jumping through all kinds of hoops to get that done. Brian did some research and lo and behold it didn't need a title after all! One would think a title company would know the laws and such about that. So we were walking around enjoying the feeling of sunshine and slowly returning energy after being sick. Just waiting to get the phone call that we could sign the closing paperwork and hit the road. Not knowing how long it would be. 1 day, 5 days,...? Then my phone rang! Brian was calling to tell us closing would be at 2pm. We quickly returned all the books back to the library and raced home to get ready. I called everyone to let them know we were leaving the next morning and said goodbyes tearfully over the phone. Since being sick so recently we couldn't say goodbye in person and risk my grandparents health or friends and family. My dear Father- in -law though invited us over for a final dinner of Subway sandwiches. Sleeping on the floor in our bags for a final night was uneventful. We got up, grabbed a quick breakfast, loaded the van and headed out for the two day drive. A few weeks before when Bri and I drove his car down we had to take a long detour as the GPS kept wanting us to cross the Mississippi and every time we tried there was road construction. So to avoid all that mess when it was time to drive with the boys, we took the southern route. We went down to Oklahoma and across into Arkansas. But then we inched our way through Little Rock for over two hours for road construction!! I had wanted to get at least to Nashville that first day, but just couldn't make it. We stopped in Jackson, TN around 9pm. The hotel we chose was less then stellar. I didn't even want to wait for the 5:30 free breakfast. We were back on the road by 5 and stopped for doughnuts and a gas station. They were the best! Warm and soft, fresh out of the oven. Driving went well most of the day. Near Raleigh, it started raining. Not just a light shower, but so heavy the wipers were going nonstop, people were pulling over to wait it out. I was so ready to just to Kinston, I kept going. I figured crawling at 15 mph was better than sitting still. After awhile it let up. Then we got into heavy rain again. We pulled into the Hampton Inn Parking lot about 7:30pm. Home sweet home until we moved into our house a couple weeks later.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Outer Banks

We took a mini vacation to the Outer Banks this past weekend. Since we moved, we have been hearing over and over, "You have to go to the Outer Banks!" So we went. We left Saturday morning and drove two hours to Cedar Island to catch the 10:00 ferry to Ocracoke Island. The ride was very smooth and took a little over two hours.
Driving off the ferry we drove through town. It is very touristy. We stopped at a camp ground to check it out and decided to keep looking. In the meantime we pulled off the side of the road where a dozen other cars had done the same. Changed into our suits, and went to jump some waves. We then drove to the other end of the island and got onto another ferry, this one only 40 minutes, to Hatteras Island. We drove to a camp ground near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Cool to see the lighthouse, but the camp was too far from the beach. HA! So back on the road we went. We drove up to Oregon Inlet and camped there at a camp ground in the dunes.
We had to cross three dunes to get to the ocean, but it was so beautiful, it was worth it.
Sunday morning, we woke up, had breakfast and went back to the ocean. Lunch at camp, then we loaded up to go to Nags Head for ice and sight seeing. We went to a surf shop called Wings that have several locations. We shopped around, took some photos and bought some beach chairs and a little umbrella. :-)
Sunday night was rough mosquito and sand flea wise. We had been warned though. Monday morning we got up and had breakfast. Debated on going back to the beach. Decided to break camp instead. Once all was loaded, we went to a beach up the road.
We swam a bit but it wasn't as enjoyable because of all the seaweed that had washed up. The sky was darkening out over the ocean and we watched two funnels form. One went all the way to the water and created an amazing sustained burst of water. I ran back to the van for the camera. Pretty funny that we spent our whole lives in Kansas and only see a tornado once we moved to NC.
After that excitement, we loaded back into the van and went up the road to the Wright Brothers National Memorial near Kitty Hawk. It is a very neat place. So amazing to be right where history was made!
Picnic lunch near Kill Devil Hill and then time to head back home. We stopped along the way for some smoked shrimp at a seafood market and then at Sams for a couple things. Had a pizza at Sams for dinner, then home to unpack. What a wonderful time away with my family. We loved the Outer Banks!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


It is amazing how clearly we have seen God in every aspect of our move. From our house, to our church and new friends. People are so giving and friendly. It just blows our minds. Our church family has taken us in under their wings. Each one is special in their own way. The neighbor boy and our guys play almost daily. Lately all the guys have been going over to the nearby park and playing tennis. Other times they play baseball or frisbe in our yard.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

At Home in North Carolina

So we are feeling very at home in NC. We bought a wonderful house and have been working and having work done to make it our own.
We have done some painting ourselves.
We had 2 sliding glass doors that didn't slide very well. We had those removed and french doors put in. It is so nice to be able to go in and out to the back yard!
The most dramatic change has been the renovation of the 1/2 bath. Before it was a pink tile, pink floor, not at all suitable for a house full of guys.
Rather than demo the whole thing, Brian painted the top half brown, we had the tile painted white, new tile put down on the floor and new sink and commode installed.
Now you can see what we have been up to. Have a great day! Leat

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We Are Moving

We will be moving to North Carolina in the very near future!

Brian accepted a job offer at Spirit in Kinston.

His first day is March 2. Several days before that, he and I will drive down to house hunt. We have an idea of what we want, but won't know until we actually tour the homes in person.

In the meantime, we are getting our house ready to put on the market. Selling a bunch of things on Craigslist, donating bags and bags of things to Goodwill,and giving stuff to friends.

We are fortunate to have the assistance of a relocation company. There are some hoops to jump through, but I think it will all be good.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Luke is 13!

Our first born is now a wonderful young man of 13.

We had a great day. As with all birthday kids, he chose the menu for the day.

Breakfast was sausage, egg and cheese biscuits and homemade doughnuts.

After breakfast, he opened his gifts. he got 22's, money, and Butterfingers

We went to the Y for our water class. then ran some errands. We stopped in at Dillons and got some crab legs for the birthday boy.

Lunch was pita sandwiches and chips
Dinner was meatloaf, shredded potato casserole, green beans,and cheddar biscuits.

For a cake he chose a two layer giant cookie cake with cream cheese icing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last Day to be 12

Our first born turns 13 tomorrow. When he was born he had such long fingers. Everyone who came to visit that first day said, "He is going to be tall."

I think I am still taller by a hair! I know he will soon be towering both his Dad and me before it is all said and done.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Growing up

Nathan lost his first tooth yesterday! It had been wiggly for a few days. The night before he ate an apple and that really loosened it up.

I came in from the clothes line and he held up his prize. Look Mom! I pulled it out myself!