Saturday, July 19, 2014

Yesterday we looked at lots of different condos.  None of them have dishwashers, I guess the maid doing the washing by hand is the standard in the philippines.
This is boring info I just don't want to forget, so don't feel like you are missing something if you don't read it.
We've seen the following buildings
  • Ritz tower-CONTENDER
    • good maids room that is enclosed
    • very fancy.  Mom sort of felt out of her element there.
    • corner units so the layout is a little strange, but not bad.
    • it's across the street from Glorieta so fairly polluted.
    • 1 1/2 blocks for Ayala Triangle park.  (no play equipment, but lots of activities and running space)
  • pacific plaza-CONTENDER
    • Mom loved the kids indoor playroom and the units a lot.  She didn't like that the maids rooms were open air with screens, but no windows to close and shut out the traffic noise or the elements. 
    • There was AC in the lobby
    • There was a swing set/climber for kids, but no barrier between it and the pool, so very dangerous.
    • it's across the street from Glorietta so fairly polluted
    • 1 1/2 blocks for Ayala Triangle park.  (no play equipment, but lots of activities and running space)
  • Greenbelt park place-CONTENDER
    • seemed like a wonderful location between a small park and one the malls attached to our current mall.
    • We saw a 4 bedroom unit, the rooms were small, but the bathrooms were postage stamps, and there was no powder room.  So grooming would be uncomfortable and there would be no place to put any of our toiletries.
    • The maids room was nice, but no service entrance  
    • Aside from that, it was not overly decorated and felt like the sort of place we would live in.
  • twin towers-fairly sure we won't look at this one again
    • No ac in the lobby, and even though it is open, there is not a lot of air flow, so Maggie would get over headed waiting for the bus.
    • the units are very nice
    • it's across the street from Glorietta so fairly polluted
    • 1 1/2 blocks for Ayala Triangle park.  (no play equipment, but lots of activities and running space)
  • Salcedo park tower-fairly sure we won't look at this one again
    • Dad saw this one on his own.  He said he didn't like to unit he saw and the AC in the lobby was broken.
    • its good points are that it is next door to the church, it is close to a large park with play equipment and a popular saturday market
    • Bad points are the horrible traffic.  There are lots of office buildings, but not a lot of shopping, so we would have to drive through traffic to do anything other than church or the park.
  • Regency at salcedo-fairly sure we won't look at this one again
    • no AC in lobby but it was well ventalated, so it was not too hot.
    • good points are that it is close to the church, it is across the street from a large park with play equipment and a popular saturday market
    • Bad points are the horrible traffic.  cars parked all up and down the street.  
    • There are lots of office buildings, but not a lot of shopping, so we would have to drive through traffic to do anything other than church or the park.
  • FORT BONAFACIO/McKINLEY HILL- (close to the school, hospital, and market-market mall, the closets neighborhood to Dad's work inside of the perimeter the embassy set for us, but all the units are small.)
  • ROCKWELL (close to Powerplant mall, the river)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Moving prep for overseas

In October my husband and I got orders to go overseas.  We will not be living on a base so our moving checklist may be different than most over seas checklists, but this is a reminder for me of what hoops we need to jump through if we end up doing all this again sometime in the next 12 years before retirement comes around.

some of the first things we did were:
  • begin sorting stuff. (Move, store, donate)  In the past 7 months I've probably taken at least 10 loads of stuff to the thrift store and I am finding new items all the time.  I just keep a tall dishpack box in the basement and everytime I find something that we don't need I toss it down there.  Once it is full or we decide to donate something really big, I make another trip to the donation center.
Once you receive your orders, (hopefully 6 months out because Visas take a while!)
  • Apply for diplomatic passports (you need them to apply for Visas)
  • Apply to school (there is no DOD school at our new station)
  • Once you have your passports you can then apply for Visas. (These are supposed to take 4 months.  We are still waiting on ours.)
In February we finished doing our OverSeas Screening (OSS).  We had to go to 20 dr. apt. in 2 months time!!!  Here is a list of everything that needed to happen for our OSS:
  • Print out the OSS paperwork for each member of your family
  • If you have children in school there is a page in the paperwork you need to have the school sign to confirm that your children don't need special services requiring an ILP.
  • Take the dental page to your dentist and have them sign off on it saying that you don't have any work that you can't get done before you move.
  • Any adult females need to get a pap-smear done and have the results sent to their primary care manager prior to the OSS appointment.
  • Take your immunization records to the medical records office on base (they had my husband and my Children's already but I had to call my mother and ask her to find my childhood immunization card.)
  • Once you've filled everything out your ready to schedule your appointment.  
  • Your paperwork will need to be dropped off at the health center at least 1 day before your OSS appointment so the staff can review it and the necessary research can be done regarding your new location.
  • At your OSS appointment, the dr. will review everything for you, then tell you if he needs anything else to be done.  (Our Dr. requested that we take our children to see the specialists that they had seen previously to get the go-ahead from them that no medical attention would be necessary for the next 2 years.)  So you may need to continue going to dr. appointments even after you've had your OSS appointment.  
  • Your OSS paperwork then gets turned in and sent off to your new station and they will review it to see if they find your family to be in good health and good candidates for the local living conditions.
  • Next you will get a phone call that your "Orders have been approved."  Once they are approved you are then allowed to go and get all the necessary immunizations required to keep you healthy while overseas.  (the approval process can take a while, ours took 3 months!  We know of 2 other families who did not get approved just last month, so the military is being very thorough on this right now.)
  • There are several different types of pack-outs that will eventually take place.  You need to first discuss them with the moving office, who will then put you in contact with one or more moving companies. (we have 1 company handling our air freight and household goods, and another company handling the storage.)
  • about 2 months out you will have the moving company come over to assess how many boxes to bring and give you an educated guess regarding the weight your shipment will probably and if it will be over the weight allowance.
Different types of shipments
  -air freight/unaccompanied baggage
  • Stuff that will arrive shortly after you do.  (probably a few days to 1 week)
  • since space and weight are limited you will probably want to send 1 table setting per person, a week or 2 worth of clothes (you will be wearing these for 3 months.)  Pillows, baby bed and diapers if needed/not available at your new location, a few toys, a disposable shower curtain, toilet paper, folding chairs, ...
  • the dimensions for the boxes are 41"x28"x25"  they go onto small aircrafts with limited space and small doors.  So that is why you can't take a bunch of furniture or anything.
  -Household goods
  • Stuff that will probably take 3 months to get to you.
  • It will be sent on a barge or large ship across the ocean.  
  • This includes your furniture and other general household goods.

  -Consumable goods

  • If you are being stationed in an area where certain things like personal hygiene items, food or cleaning supplies are expensive or unavailable, and there is no commissary, you may be allowed to bring some of those items with you
  • We have learned that since we will have an APO address we can order most of the things we will need through,,  So we don't have to buy 2 years worth of consumable goods before we leave. Instead we plan to buy 1 large container of each essential thing (diapers, Toilet Paper, tampons...)  enabling us to focus on getting settled in before we have to worry about ordering more stuff and how long it takes for it to arrive.
  • Chances are there are some things that you just won't need, so the military will pay to move and store some of your things.
  • They will go to a storage facility that you will not have access to.  So whatever you put in storage will stay there until you move back into the states.

Oh, and don't forget all the other usual things that go along with a move.  :)

Lots of little things

As we have been getting ready for our move I have been doing a lot of projects

  • Zipper pouches to keep things in our suitcases organized (we'll be living out of our suitcases for 3 months, so they need to be REALLY organized!)  Here is a tutorial I re-watch every time I have to make one.  (I just loving listening to Debbie Shore on youtube.)
    • Wish I had time to make them super cute like these. Oh well maybe next time.


  • Sewing modesty panels in lots of my deep v-shirts(I won't want to wear a cami under them in the humidity I will be living in for the next 2 years.
    • I just find a scrap of fabric, hem the top and string a skinny piece of elastic trough.  (if it is bunchy instead of flat the fit is normally better)  Pin and sew into place.
  • Some things look better with a flat panel, but it takes SO long to sew in a flat panel that looks perfectly lined up and like it was original to the garment, so I'd rather Sew modesty panels that I can switch from one shirt to another.  I think they give a little more dimension, and they don't get saggy and show cleavage or Boob when you bend over.

  • My Hubby's uniform patches for his new uniforms


  • yard work (I think I've been doing at least an hour a day for the last 2 months.)
  • donations to the thrift store and friends
  • Eating all the stuff in the freezer and pantry that we have been avoiding but are too thrifty to just toss out.
  • Organizing my sewing area, SUCH a big project.  What to store, what to get rid of, what to take with me...

Luckily our Health Clearances went through this past week so we are officially authorized to go.  (can you imagine not knowing until a month before an overseas move if you are actually going or not!!!)  Hope to get our flight details soon so we can start making more plans

Friday, February 7, 2014

Gwen & Toby's wardrobes (Maggie has everything she needs handed down from Gwen)

This is probably sort of strange to see bad pictures of my kids clothes, but I'm trying to create a small wardrobe for the next 2 years for my kids.  We are moving over seas and A LOT of the American women there have been telling me to buy before we go.  But I really like the idea of supporting the local economy and buying local.  So I feel like I should assemble a small wardrobe for my kids that I can build on with local goods.  
Here is a list of the things I already have collected from hand me downs, thrift stores and clearance racks.  I wanted to have all the info here so I can refer to it through the moving process.  Since we don't want to have too much extra stuff, i want to make sure to be searching for things that coordinate with what I've already got instead of collecting a bunch of great deals that don't match.

I'm going to try and continually update this list
Gwen Size 8
(Assuming we are accepted to the school we applied for, Gwen will be wearing a uniform to school every week-day, so she really doesn't need a ton of clothes anyway.)
I'd like Gwen to have some more
  • t-shirts
  • underpants
  • hoodies or light sweaters
  • very light and breathable rain jacket (May need to purchase after arriving overseas)

Gwen Size 10
I'd like Gwen to have some more
  • shorts (all the bottoms pictured here are skirts) 
  • underpants
  • Socks
  • Dresses

Gwen's shoes
Gwen is currently wearing a size 13.  In june I'd like to take her shopping for some size 1 shoes.
She will be needing at least 
  • 1 pair of sporty shoes to wear for Gym and other high energy activities. (they should be a size 1.)
  • 1 pair of sandals that fit her well for all the summer fun we will have before we arrive to our new home.

Toby's 2T summer clothes
He seems to have plenty now.  But if I find some deals on things I don't have I won't turn them away.
Toby could have some more:
  • t-shirts (he's got 3 dress shirts, 4 polos, but only 1 t-shirt)
  • Shorts (He has 1 pair of khaki's, 1 pair denim shorts and some swim trunks)
  • Short-alls (because I LOVE overalls :)
  • socks

 Toby's 2T fall/winter clothes
We will probably use these if Toby grows out of his 18 month clothes before the warm weather arrives this spring, or when we travel back to the states next year.  I don't feel the need to expand this wardrobe right now.  It's a great base and I'll add to it when the need arises with some more long sleeve shirts or sweat shirts.  

 Toby's 3T clothes
I think we are fairly well set.  He will probably need some underpants.  But we can order those when he's ready to be a big boy.

 Toby's Shoes
Right now Toby is in Size 5, but he has been wearing them for a long time and I can see they will be too small soon.  He will be having foot surgery in March, so when he is all healed in April we will probably take him out to get some size 6's.
He will need

  •  Some everyday play shoes that he can wear to the bus stop size 6
  • Another pair that he can wear to church on sundays. Size 6
  • Some dressy size 7 shoes if I can find a deal.  Otherwise, just wait to see what is available locally.

 The shoes in between the 7 & 8 are size 7 1/2
I also have some size 9 sandals that are in one of the size 3T pics

Things for me to remember:

  • Come back and update with 
    • Maggie's shoes
    • Coats/jackets for Gwen & Maggie
    • Gwen's size 10 clothes
  • I've been thinking about shipping some boxes of heavy winter coats to my mom's house so we don't have to take them overseas, yet we will still have them available to us when we come for visits.
  • Any stores that ship to APO boxes can send stuff to me while I am overseas at regular US Shipping rates.  Most of the time stores will ship any item that is not to large to APO addresses.  The stores I've heard ship to APO addresses are:
    • Amazon
    • Target

Friday, November 29, 2013

wish list ornament

One set of ornaments done, lots more to go.

Here is how my nephews ornaments turned out.  I think they are adorable and I'm fairly sure they are going to just love them.  I just used some empty black spools that I had in my sewing area and some ribbon from my box so they were basically a free way to say 'I love you' and 'Merry Christmas' all rolled into one.

Here is the link to the original tutorial where I found the idea.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Christmas ornaments

This year I'm doing something a little different for my extended family Christmas party.  I haven't been abel to attend for a few years now and it just seems a little silly for me to be a part of a christmas exchange for a party I don't even go to.  I've been trying to come up with an idea of how to still show my love to them, and I think I've found it.  I'm going to make them Christmas ornaments.

Here are some of the ideas I found today that I'd like to try out.

"charming ornaments"

"Christmas wish list ornaments"

  • I think my nephews will love this.  One of them has a CRAZY long wish list this year.

"Christmas tree stump"

"Scrabble ornaments"

Dala Horse ornament

Here are a few picture ornaments.  I can't decide what one is my fav

wood plaques
Tin wedding box
Paper sewing
Juice top lids

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Batman cap for Halloween

For Halloween this year I made a few costumes.
I used this tutorial to make myself a candy corn costume. Make sure to sew the fleece so that it stretches from side to side and then you don't have to worry about a zipper or buttons to get in and out of the costume.

And since we already had a batman costume for my toddler I fell in love with this idea for a cape.  I made mine out of fleece so that it would repel rain and possibly offer more warmth.  Plus, I didn't have to worry about hemming everything or the fabric unraveling.

Toby thought it was the best peek-a-boo toy EVER because it never fell off.

 Hope you all had a great Halloween too