Another great thing about being home is the the grocery store. Produce there is a little limited and brands are limited. Last year everything we made came out slightly off and we ended up re-naming everything. Orange rolls were now "Hatteras Rolls". Steak fajitas were called "Hatteras Wraps". Anything with a Hatteras in the title was a warning- this does not taste right. I was the one who added extra milk to the orange rolls, but everything else just happened. The water is different and even the jugs of water from the store taste stale. I love being able to get tasty water from my fridge. The spices taste different, the meat was different. This year we did much better and Tirzah and Aaron stopped at the Costco in Norfolk so we had some familiar items. But even at Costco you can't get half and half without thickening agents. It just didn't taste the same. We had complaints from the boys that there were too many runs to the grocery store last year so we also prepared meal plans and were able to cut down on trips to the Food Lion. Our first trip took two very heavily loaded carts. Luckily the house had an elevator so we could just load it up downstairs and send it up to the fourth floor. It was slow and you could beat it by running the stairs but sometimes your legs would get tired. It makes the stairs at home a breeze- although after the lighthouse climb anything is.
The big kids were very brave this year and slept in their own room on the second floor. They are getting to a good age where they do things together and are a little more adventuresome. Last year they all slept on the floor in our room. Kateri on the other hand has never had any problems being miss independent. There is pretty much not a situation or person she can't handle, manage, or manipulate or sweet talk to her liking. And she loves telling people what to do. We think she'll end up being a CEO of a large corporation or go into espionage. Unfortunately, she also likes to torture anyone. " No Jack. You tant have my pants. You tant". She says it with so much attitude the recipient is certain they had actually desired her pants in the first place and are being denied their birthright. She was so cute at the airport and she charged ahead with her can-do stride, her hand on her hip, pulling her pink kitty suitcase. And no, she does not need help getting on and off the escalator or navigating a flight of steps. If you tell her she isn't capable of doing something she states very confidently "Yes, I tan". Her language skills need a little improving but right now they are pretty entertaining. Last year the phrase for Hatteras was "No pocket a mama/susah" (Tirzah). She would say it after every pool shot and then laugh hysterically. This year we were playing and she got a fit of the giggles and when Tirzah accused her of sneaking beer, she laughed and said " I neek a bee". I might miss it when she learns to talk but it does get difficult when she always needs a translator when communicating with non-family members.