Old meets New, the Flusche Family at Bahrain Fort

Old meets New, the Flusche Family at Bahrain Fort
Life overseas can be an overwhelming and exciting adventure.
Come be swept away with us in the Kingdom of Bahrain!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Family back home in Tulsa, OK received foot of snow yesterday and all we got was a foot of sand... somehow that's not the White Christmas I was dreaming of! (laugh)

Actually, I like our end of the bargain better, our Christmas day has been in the 70's with a light breeze and did I mention no snow shovel necessary to get the morning paper. ;)

We were so glad to see that Santa thought ahead and left Krispy Kremes and coffee for breakfast - WE'RE NOT WORTHY, WE'RE NOT WORTHY - THANK YOU SANTA!!!!

The kids loved their gifts and if we're going to be completely honest Gavin really, really loved the gift wrap. It could have been a VERY inexpensive Christmas all we should have purchased for the 23 pound "ball of energy" is a roll of wrapping paper. The "big hit" gift for Tanner was something called Bakugan, don't ask. They are magnetic playing cards and balls that pop open into animal-things. They are perfect "bite-size" items for Gavin to try to choke on, let the fun begin!

We enjoyed church service on base this morning and then crossed the main walk on base to share a great Christmas buffet for lunch. This evening we went to Brad and Katie's loft for snacks and holiday "cheer", their home is beautiful and it was so nice to get an opportunity to meet some of the guys in Paul's squadron. We hope to Skyp with friends and family back home before retiring for the night... it's been a long and wonderful day. God Bless and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We're Here!

Today is officially our one week anniversary of living overseas - and what a week it's been! Where to start? The traveling portion of the trip deserves it's own blog! Nearly 20 hours on an airplane with a ten month old and a five year old makes us qualified for some sort of an award, sainthood maybe?

We traveled from Dallas straight to Amsterdam where we endured a six hour layover while suffering some SERIOUS jet lag. Here's a travel tip if flying through Amsterdam with kids: look for the Infant's Lounge. It was there that we found a shining beacon that we called our "baby tent" which boasted a crib and two (tiny) bench seats enclosed with a mesh tent. The facility was very clean and offered sweet water for bottles, a microwave oven and two baby bath sinks (caution: the water for the bath is lukewarm). While there Paul purchased the most refreshing beverage of his thirty three years: the $5 can of Coka-Cola, it tastes better when you pay a small fortune for it, right?

From Amsterdam we flew the seven hour trek to Kuwait. In Kuwait we had an hour layover on the same plane than an hour or so flight to Bahrain. We flew KLM Airlines the entire way and received wonderful service. However, next time I make the flight, an upgrade to Business Class would be PRICELESS (think flying in Southwest seats for nearly 20 hours, OUCH!)

Upon arrival to Bahrain we went through customs which was a complete breeze, I don't recommend the restrooms before customs, trust me, WAIT UNTIL YOU GET TO YOUR HOTEL! (Hollie do you hear me?!?!?!) We found our luggage, all 8 pieces of it which was hauled away by some He-Man Porter on a cart with only two wheels. Geeez, talk about service! Two of Paul's buddies from our new squadron picked us up and somehow we got 8 pieces of luggage, 5 carry-ons, a stroller, a car-seat and the 6 of us in a Mazda and a Jeep! I'm sure we broke at least 17 US laws, shhhhh... don't tell!

We checked into our beautiful hotel apartment at 2:00AM local time and began the jet lag transformation process. The apartment is great and the staff here is out of this world with SERVICE (which I think is the true "Pearl of Bahrain"). Our Housekeeping staff hugs Tanner and kisses Gavin on a daily basis, which I have to admit weirded me out a little in the beginning but I quickly got over it and now it's one of the favorite parts of my day!

The view from our apartment living room is hands down the BEST view of Manama (the Capital City)on the whole island! The washer & dryer is actually one unit and it only took me a week to figure out how to do a load of laundry, the first load I did took about 36 hours. I couldn't get the drying cycle to dry the clothes, but this morning I finally saw the bottom of the hamper - Hallelujah!

Happy Christmas Eve, more stories to come later!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rah-Rah-Rah for Renters!!

One step closer to Bahrain!
God is so good! Today the strangest of events unraveled and as the sun set we secured renters for our Corpus Christi home.

Renters you ask? Well, yes. We had the house on the market for three weeks and today we received a call from our buddy Gabe who had a couple look at their home (also for sale) earlier today but determined it was not large enough to meet their needs... so Gabe thought... the Flusche house. Gabe called Paul and then Paul called the couple. (See where this is heading????) The couple laughed and said "We have never had somebody call
us asking us to look at their home but, OK." Ten minutes they were in our driveway.

As soon as the wife walked in our home I knew it was all over, she loved it and had her husband tour it as well. He pretty much said they wanted it before they left. 30 minutes later he called me to ask us to put the details together so they can sign the papers tomorrow.

WOW! Is this for real? Does this really happen?

It's great, he's an IP (Instructor Pilot) in Kingsville, TX and she's a Pediatrician. They have two boys under the age of three and the oldest LOVED our swingset. Our home is perfect for them and they are as thrilled as are we! Woo-Hoo! As of tomorrow we'll have renters for 30 months who plan on moving in November 1st.

As for the Texas branch of the Flusche Family, we will be packing up and preparing to move our household goods to Tulsa in mid October. Paul in the U-Haul and Mama with kiddos in Daddy's truck (sounds like a hoot, any volunteers wanna make the treck with me? Pack your earplugs!) We are planning a family trip with the Quomos Clan (Twin & Kaz) to Disney World the last week of October and then Paul will leave for training that first week in November. The kids and I will spend the month of November with the parents in Tulsa and then off to Bahrain by December 1st. Woooooh, let me catch my breath! Now, if you followed any of that you deserve a medal (I'm not sure I even follow the above schedule - laugh!) What's my name again? I think I need an adult beverage... maybe two.

Such is military life for a military wife!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Moving to "The Land O' Sand"

So about a month ago I received a phone call from my amazing husband who was on a trip to meet with the NAVY Detailer (for all you Landlubbers out there a Detailer is like a headhunter/Job placement HR guy for the military). The phone call home went a little something like this:

Me - How was the flight? Did you meet with the Detailer? What jobs are open?...
Paul - So... how do you feel about Bahrain?
Me - (silence and crickets chirping and 1/2 a second more silence) SURE, Why not!
Paul- OK, we'll talk more when I get home, see you tonight!
Me- Run to the computer to research Bahrain so I am an expert on the country by the time his plane touches down. Hell, I'm so knowledgeable by the time Paul walks through the door that I could become the US Ambassador to Bahrain.

You/My Dear friends & family-
Really Jann? Bahrain? Is it safe? Where is that? Is it safe? Isn't it REALLY HOT there? Is it safe? Do they speak English? Is it safe? Isn't that next to Iraq? Is it safe? Is that where they cut your hand off for shoplifting? Is it safe? Do you have to wear a Burka or head scarf? Is it safe? Where will Tanner go to school? Are you insane? Again, have I asked, is it safe?

Answers to your questions my precious loved ones:
  • Yes, in fact IT IS SAFE! We wouldn't pack up the whole Flusche Fam and move to the "The Danger Zone".
  • No, it's not "near" Iraq, yes it's in the region but I wouldn't consider the country a neighbor.
  • Bahrain is an island East on Saudi Arabia and West of United Arab Emmerets/Dubi. Oh, just get out your Atlas and look to the right of Saudi Arabia or better yet Google Bahrain.
  • Yes, (there is no way to get around this or say it nicely) it is HOT there! REALLY HOT, stifling even. There, now that being said, there is also electricity there my silly friends so that means AIR CONDITIONING - Thank the Lord! In the Summer it's likely to be 115 degrees with 40+ percent humidity. The national annual rainfall is 3 inches. Yup, you read that correctly 3 inches annually, nice.
  • English? You bet. Also Arabic. My sweet little sister Lauren is a doll, she has been sending me "THE ARABIC WORD OF THE DAY" and I have started a stack of flashcards of helpful words for the family... Shakran Lauren!
  • The whole "hand removal shoplifting thing" is the country next door (don't get out the atlas, it's Saudi Arabia). Actually beheading is still an acceptable form of punishment there too. Kudos to them, they have a VERY VERY low crime rate... Hey Mr. President do you want to lower the number of folks in our prisons? The Saudi model really seems to be effective, I kid.
  • Nope, no burka for this gal (unless I can find a fashionable bright pink & Bedazzled one!) In Bahrain one must be conservative. Let common sense dictate... those of you who question you common sense... modesty is the best policy.
  • And for the last FAQ... Yes Tanner will go to school. He will be starting the D.O.D. (Department Of Defence) school when the Spring semester begins in February. All the "NAVY Brats" & military kiddos will go to school together on base.
As for now we are trying to gather as much information about the country and what we will need to do to have a successful and semi-stress free move over-seas (if there is such a thing). We are in the process of finding a Realtor and securing a furnished "mini-palace" for the family. I'll keep you posted on all of our wonderful experiences via blog so check back frequently.

Now all we need are written orders...
such is military life for a military wife.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mom Tip #5


"Are we there yet?" Since the dawn of time children everywhere have harassed their parents with these 4 little words.

Two years ago on a trip from Corpus Christi, TX to Houston I ran into the local grocery store that claims "Here Everything's Better" and on this occasion I have to admit I agree. I picked up a 4 pack of Tonka trucks (we have also had great success with a multi-pack of Matchbox cars) for $5.00. By the way have I mentioned: the best $5 we ever spent? :) Each hour of the 4+ hour trip, just as Tanner began to squirm and get cranky... "Oh my goodness! Look what Mommy just found!" WooHoo, an hour long distraction. He loved the idea of something new and would tell me all about the vehicle, what it does, the sounds it makes while working and of course who drives it and how only superheros can make it fly... now really, who doesn't love a flying combine with Batman at the controls? Roadtrip anyone?

Mom Tip #4


Really, who hasn't run into a major "issue" when having those precious little ones photographed? The next time you take the kiddos to have their portraits taken remember this helpful tip. Pack a damp washcloth in a Ziploc bag. I started doing this when Tanner was an infant (he is now almost 5 years old) to document his growth and milestones on film.

Tanner had WILD hair when he was an infant, and when I say wild... just picture Kramer minus the curls. The damp cloth was used to lessen some of the fly-away "height" that his hair displayed on a light background. As he got older it was helpful in wiping up any last minute mishaps. Now back in the documenting mode of infancy with Gavin I have used the helpful little piece of cloth for catching projectile seconds on breakfast. It also came in handy to clean up the shirt that was "hit" while the sweet photographer was positioning him into that adorable pose. All in all it's something very easy to do and just may save the day at the studio! Now say CHEESE and smile for that poor underpaid college student!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mom Tip #3

Never get caught with your pants down!
Now that I've got your attention (laugh) here is the third tip to make your "Mommy Life" a little less stressful. It's easy and it requires less than 2 minutes of your crazy day. Store three diapers in your car (and a mini pack of wipes while you're at it) for those "Oh Crap Moments".

An "OCM" would include but is not limited to:
1) You ran out of diapers and it's 3:00AM. Simply head to the garage.
2) You have been out all day and Junior has blown out his shorts (and therefore all the diapers in your diaper bag) No need to return home.
3) You drove to the park and some poor ol' Mom walked and thought it unnecessary to tote the big heavy diaper bag. (We Gals have to stick together!)
4) Those famous changes in the car after swimming at the pool.

*Disclaimer* As child outgrows a diaper size remember to change out the emergency car diapers too! Now go out for that 12 hour shopping spree... you're "covered"!

Mom Tip #2

Keep toys clean and in the stroller with this tip
Ok, Gavin already has an arm and has managed to toss his toy out of the stroller... here in lies the second blogger Mom Tip. Use a MAM pacifier clip, you can purchase them just about anywhere (Target or Wal-Mart have a 2 pack for under $5). Attach toy to the rubber ring with a "link-a doo" or undo the velcro, remove rubber ring and attach toy. The clip can be attached to child's five part harness in the car seat/stroller or to child's clothing. Easy idea, and chances are you already have a pacifier clip in your trusty diaper bag! :) Get stroll'n Girl!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mom Tip #1

Always keep an extra pair of socks in your diaper bag
I use them when I need to change the baby on one of those restroom changing tables. Maybe it's the "germ-a-phobe" in me but who knows how many not so tidy diapers have been changed there before I arrived. 

I use the socks on the baby's hands so he won't get all those lovely germs in his mouth when his hands return there (as they always do). I simply slip them on his hands before laying him down on the changing table and remove them once he is snuggled back into his carrier. Socks go into the hamper when we return home. Easy Breezy, give it a try!

Alright Jen Braden, this one's for you!

Jen and I have been dear friends for over 15 years and she has been trying to talk me into blogging for some time now. She even helped me set up this beautiful page and snazzy background. The reason I was so hesitant was I had no idea what I would post and with a new baby on the way (who is now 3 months old - told you I was dragging my feet!) I was afraid I'd have zero time. BUT... 

After a late night at Coffee Waves with The Girls I had an epiphany of sorts. Stephanie & Bowen are always telling me that I need to write a book with all the "Mom Tips" I have. The tips are not advice on how to raise kids or anything like that, the "Mom Tips" are things that I do or have created to make my life a little easier. Ta-Da! Let the blogging begin. (Thanks Jen for the push, make that shove. LAUGH!)