Sunday, May 31, 2009

First Morning in Salem

After driving from Spokane to Salem, we spent our first night in our new place on Thursday, May 21. Friday morning the boys were up at 6am. Since Travis had just endured a miserable 4 days driving from Wisconsin, I let him sleep in. At first, the boys and I huddled on the floor amongst pillows, wrapped in blankets (our horrible couches were left in Milwaukee). The boys had some snacks and toys from the drive down to occupy them.
After a while we headed out back, where we found the sun warmer than inside. Thankfully, a camping chair was easy to locate in the mess of boxes in the garage.
Avery found a caterpillar and named him "Fingery"

When Avery tired of Fingery, he passed him to Carson

Carson had him all of 30 seconds when he turned around and dropped him. He couldn't find him, but thankfully was ready to move on and didn't have a fit about finding him. A good thing too, since I found this a moment later. Avery noticed it too, and asked what it was. I played dumb, and he proclaimed "I bet a caterpillar made it!" Hmm, yes...

With nothing else available to eat for breakfast, I thoroughly enjoy eating some
of the fabulous strawberry rhubarb pie my Mom made for me to bring home!

Playing off Avery's destructive nature, I excitedly told him that in our new
place he could pull some of the plants out! He thought weeding was excellent.
To this day, he enjoys keeping us weed-free.
While I was up at 6am, Travis slept until 10. What a long 4 hours, but he needed it.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spokane on the short side

While Travis, his Dad, his brother and my Dad drove across the country, the boys and I stayed in Spokane with my Mom.

We had...

...lots of fun with Grandma

...lots of fun with cousins Chloe and Jace - honest, Avery enjoyed it :)

...the boys first experience with rhubarb apparel (my Mom and her little bro had full outfits made of the leaves when they were wee little ones)

...lots of fun with my beautiful little sis, Morgan laugh when Avery discovered his hand is the same size as Chloe's let the kids line their hands up so they could all compare
(clockwise from upper left, they're in order by age, Chloe, Avery, Carson, Jace, Emmett) attempt the obligatory train discovering potato bugs get a picture with the amazing Great-Grandma Cabe (the original rhubarb designer)

We had...
So much fun!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Big Drive

Monday morning after graduation the boys and I had a 6am flight with my Mom and Travis' Mom. We were headed to Spokane, the boys and I to spend a few days with family, DeAnna to spend time with her family in Cheney, while the men made the big drive across the country.

Goodbye Milwaukee home!

This is how the trip started, the van on a car dolly
behind the truck, and the Explorer pulling our trailer.

Sadly, more had to be loaded on the trailer than planned and it proved too much for the Explorer. It started spewing oil en masse. Their first day out (Monday) started just after lunch, but ended too early at about 6:30pm. Travis and his Dad both know their way around cars, but thankfully Kevin, the master mechanic, was there to save the day. They had to unbolt the transmission, slide it back and put in a new rear main seal on the engine. They were working in the dark until 3am!

After just 3 hours of sleep in the cars, they trucked on. That second day (Tuesday) ran until about 11pm when they stopped for 6 hours of sleep in a motel in Miles City, MT. The day had been hard on the Explorer and they knew it wouldn't make it over the Rockies. What to do?

In the morning on day three (Wednesday), they took the van off the car dolly and put the trailer on it instead! So now their were 3 vehicles to gas instead of 2, but the Explorer was burning through so much hauling the trailer that it probably amounted to the same as if they'd started with 3 vehicles!
Here's a picture from the end of the trip of their ingenuity:
Wednesday, day three, they made it over the Rockies, stopped in Spokane to have dinner with us and drop my Dad off, then Travis, his Dad and Kevin continued on. They hoped to get to Salem, but had to make a pit stop in Boardman, OR (the halfway point between Spokane and Salem) to grab three hours of sleep in the cars again. They finally made it to Salem at 9:30am Thursday morning. What a painful, painfully long, haul.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


We're finally here. We made it. Graduation.

Introducing: Dr. Travis J Hunsaker

The graduation ceremonies were spread out over two days, Saturday May 16th and Sunday May 17th.

Hooding Ceremony

The Hooding Ceremony is a recognition ceremony for doctoral degrees where someone who has graduated in that field bestows the hood on the new graduate. Each degree has its own color. For dentistry it's lilac. The colors that line the inside of the hood are those of the university where the degree was obtained.

For Travis, his Dad will do the honors. Some students use faculty and/or a mentor from school, some students had multiple family members, a dad, grandpa, and a couple brothers in one case!

The Hooding Ceremony was Saturday evening and Marquette University School of Dentistry holds it's hooding ceremony at the beautiful Church of the Gesu on campus in downtown Milwaukee.

Waiting to get started

The hoods

They're up next!

Ben hoods Travis

After they were all hooded and honors and awards given they lined up for a class picture.
Travis is the tall guy in the back, third from the right.

After the picture, the doctors who did the hooding lined the center aisle to
congratulate the students as they filed through. Here's Travis as he emerged:

Showing off their hood colors.

After the hooding ceremony we walked back to the dental school where a reception was held. My parents, Travis' parents and his brother Kevin had all already toured most of the school on previous visits, but none of us had seen in the clinic where Travis worked. It was fun to see where Travis had spent his time the last two years of school.


Commencement was held at the Bradley Center Sunday morning. We had great seats, front row behind the band, and it turned out that the dental school seating was right there on that side, just a few rows back.

Since we did have a good, close location, Travis spotted us right away.
Notice the teeth on the mortar board? Tradition.
How exciting, to be there, seated amongst all his friends, ready to be announced doctors.

After they were announced as doctors (that is the moment they can be called by Dr.)
they went wild. This is what 144 cans of silly string looks like. They also had air horns.

Dental School Luncheon

The luncheon came right after the commencement and was held at the Phister Hotel, the same place we had the winter ball. Since I didn't make it down to the lobby that time, I made sure to go and take some pictures after the luncheon.

At the start of the lunch, the new doctors lined up outside the ballroom doors
and were announced into the room as a class. They had a processional up to
the front where we applauded them and another class picture was taken.

After eating lunch it was time for the new doctors to line up to receive their diplomas.

Avery was thrilled with the waiting.

Here's video of Travis when it came his turn:

Some while back the students received a paper on which to write exactly how they wanted their
name to appear on their diploma and other printed items for the ceremony. Travis didn't just
write his name, he gave instructions. "NO period after the J" All things printed by the dental
school were correct, but everything printed by Marquette was wrong. Including the diploma.
We give them all that money for school and they can't even type up his diploma correctly. Sheesh.
After taking the incorrect one in to request a new one, Travis had
to wait many weeks for the corrected one to arrive in the mail.

And here it is, the most expensive piece of paper I've ever seen:

When the luncheon was over, we gathered with the rest
of our good friends in a side room to get some pictures.

Are they really doctors?

Okay, here's the nice picture
Dr. Todd Lyman, Dr. Eric Rosengren, Dr. John Gilbreth, Dr. Travis Willey, Dr. Robert Rahm,
Dr. Travis Hunsaker, Dr. Jessica Spencer, Dr. Jared Nelson, Dr. Guy Leavitt and Dr. Aaron Salmon

The wives (we were missing Kristin Leavitt who had to run her parents to the
airport. We did take some "spouse" pictures too, so Mike could be included)
Jenni Gilbreth, Erin Lyman, Laurie Hunsaker, Kristel Salmon,
Wendy Nelson, RaQuelle Willey, Amy Rahm and Sherri Rosengren

Most of the kids. Carson refused.

The happy family. Still in shock that we're finished.

After pictures it was time to say goodbye. Because we were moving
the very next day, there would be no other goodbyes for us.

And before we could leave, the boys had to play the piano.

Congratulations Travis! You did it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Last days in Milwaukee

The Thursday before graduation my parents and Travis' parents arrived. We did a lot of work finishing the last minute packing, but we had some fun too. We made a last trip to Maggiano's Italian restaurant and to a break to eat lots of Oreos with milk!

Papa has always been the one to introduce foods to my babies a little prematurely... Oreos and pop...
The mashed potatoes at Maggiano's were startling, and not enjoyed.

Travis will appreciate this...
If you're going to clean the garage and get filthy,
it's not recommended to wipe your face in the filth...

Satuday, loading day!

Avery desperately wanted to help load. I think the
hand truck weighs more than the box he has on it!

After watching him (and laughing) as he repeatedly tried to push the dolly up,
I finally gave in and told him to turn around and pull it up... success at last!

While everyone was loading the truck, I went to pick up Travis' brother Kevin from the airport. He didn't want to take off work on Friday since he'd be missing so much to help drive our stuff back, so he endured a red-eye from Oregon through Newark, NJ to get to us on Saturday before the graduation festivities began! When we got back, the truck was pretty much loaded and all the great helpers had left. Kevin took a needed break to watch some TV with Avery.

With the truck loaded, the boys were down to their mattresses,
and had their first night all three together in one room.

After all of graduation, we had our last night in Milwaukee...
and Carson decided to sleep it on the floor.