Thursday, April 29, 2010

Today is Thursday

Today I got my hairs cut.

I even took a picture for you all to see.

But as it turns out, taking a picture of yourself in a mirror often produces a non-centered, grainy image.

And before you say, "Erin, that looks like your last haircut. And the one before that. And the one before that," I should tell you that it is indeed not the same haircut.
There are subtle differences that may be noticeable only to the owner of the hair.

Which reminds me of the other day when Alex got her hair cut. After Josh failed to take immediate note of her new style having just walked in the door from work, Alex tipped her head to the side, twisted a strand of hair around her finger, and said "Daddy, do you notice anything new?" I think she may have even batted her eyelashes in his direction.

Oh the feminine wiles cannot be taught.
They are ingrained people. Ingrained.


Today I also was finally able to find 90210 Episode Fourteen: Girl Fight online and watch it.

That particular episode was not easy to locate.
As a matter of fact, I may or may not have been clicking all over the internet looking for that episode in particular when my computer became suddenly ill with the aforementioned viral illness.
For which I was the antibiotic.

WRONG! Just seeing if you were paying attention.
As we all should know, antibiotics are useless against viral illnesses. Bacterial only people.

That was your nursing trivia of the day.

Anyway, I was able to watch it.
Life can now go on.

Even though I had to view it in 5 easy installments of approximately 8 minutes each on you-tube.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

And now I do believe I will go back to The Evening of Erin, as my husband is working late, and I had the kids down for the night at precisely 7:06pm.

And I didn't pay them any attention when they pointed out that it was still as bright as day.

Au revoir (that still makes me a little sad)
Off to watch Episode 15.
I'm so behind.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2 Points

 Point 1:
Yesterday, I fought the computer, and I won.

This is a moment to celebrate.
For though I spend way too much time on computers, I know nothing of how they operate or what to do when one stops operating.

And yesterday, my computer became violently ill with a virus.

And it may have taken me hours.
But I beat that virus out of my computer.
And I am proud.

I didn't even have to call for any technical support. Though I did need some emotional support for a few moments.

But now I have a new title I can add to my list:

Wife, Mother, Daughter, Unemployed Nurse, Disabled Veteran, Bore-You-With-My-Drivel Blogger, Occasionally-I-Get-A-Lucky-Shot Photographer, Recovered tongue slut, and now COMPUTER GENIUS.

Well genius might be taking it a little far.

(But if you want to know more about genius, just ask PtB. She's convinced that my husband is one.)

Moving on.

Point 2:
When I got to Alex's preschool today to pick her up, she was standing by the gate watching for me.
She looked sad.
I was worried that maybe she was having friend troubles again.

She wasn't.

Turned out that 10 minutes earlier, this had happened:

Let's start off with, she's fine. I didn't even see any scratches or marks.

But did you catch that?
She landed on her face.

I need to let you people know something right now.

I am not an un-athletic person. I'm no sports star, but I wouldn't call myself uncoordinated.
My husband, on the other hand, has self-declared as a non-athlete.

(Pat the Bunny, before you interrupt about how your dear and perfect-in-your-eyes son was on the high school football team, let me preempt you by pointing out that he played about 10 minutes total. Ever. And he ended up with several broken fingers. Which he complains to me about if I get too aggressive with my hand-holding.)

So all I have to say is that our eldest has received pretty much all of Josh's genetic composition, to include his coordination.

Because people?

 She landed on her face.

No cat-like reflexes on her part. She didn't even get a hand down.

Alex, I'm so glad that you're okay. And that you cushioned your fall with your face.
Maybe next time you could lead with your arms or something?

And to add irony to injury, today she also brought home this:

It's a health collage. Made up entirely of bandaids.

And Alannis, that is way more ironic than rain on your wedding day.
Because to me, that is plainly a possibility or probability.
It all depends on season and location.

And now I have made my 2 points. Thanks for tuning in. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Some Schtuff

1)  I am so excited that the NFL draft has come and gone. Because I have been forced to watch pre-draft coverage for literally months, followed by the actual draft, and then days of post-draft coverage.

I like football.

But I can't take anymore.
Can I get an Amen?

 2) Josh's birthday is in less than a week and I've got nothing for him.
He's hard to buy for.
The only thing he really likes is you-tube clips of people hurting themselves and starburst licorice that the company stopped producing years ago.

So he might not get a present.
But I will.
He's going to have to stop referring to me as a cougar now.

37 days is not that much older than you, darling. So shove it.

2) I've decided to stop worrying so much about the house. Because if worrying could sell my house, it would have sold already. And I'm fairly certain that I'm going to have to start coloring my hair soon.

It's just a house. It's just a house. It's just a house.

3) I've been contemplating whether or not my almost five-year-old girl finds incessant talking to be a compulsion she just cannot overcome, or if she's doing it on purpose to make my skin crawl.

Really Alex.
A moment or two of quiet a day will not cause the earth to stop spinning.

At least I don't think so.
I don't know for sure because we haven't had any such moments in the past 4 years and 11 months.

4) My son has been willingly ingesting a few choice fruits and vegetables lately. I've hesitated to blog about it lest it blow up in my face and he return to the sausage/bacon/hot dog diet that used to sustain him.

Today at lunch, for example, he ate a whole banana as well as a third of a green pepper.

And some sausage.

Baby steps people.

But I praise God that we have come so far from these days, when he was having invasive procedures and doctors were throwing around scary terms like cystic fibrosis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and cellulite.

Forget about that last one.
That's just my hangup, not Derek's.

5) Do you think that there are any healthy properties left in a yogurt cup who's product is florescent in color? And since when did Trix expand from breakfast cereal to yogurt?

6) The randomness of this post is getting to be too much. Even for me.
So I'm going to stop now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ulcers don't make for funny.

And that, my friends, is why I'm not posting as often these days.

Because I'm too dang stressed out.

And high.

Don't judge me. I made a lot of signs for our Second Weekly Open House, and the marker is very odiferous.
Pungent, if you will.

Not unlike our family* after I made a new recipe called French Country Casserole that was made up predominately of beans.
Lesson learned.

*By our family I am mostly referring to myself.

My husband had the nerve to tell me that it was a good thing that I was in charge of the sign-making, because he needs his brain cells more than I do.
What? Just because he is the one who brings in 98% of the cash around this place doesn't mean I don't need my brain too.

In case you were interested, I contribute $120 a month to our family budget. I get it from the government because they have somehow taken responsibility for my failing thyroid due to it being diagnosed while I was on active duty.

And for that I say, Thank You Thyroid.
I don't need you anyway.
They make a pretty little pill to do your job when you up and quit.
So there.

So as you see, I am a Very Important Breadwinner as well. That $120 goes to Very Important Purchases, such as Thai food bought from a recreational vehicle, bulk cold-weather baby items, and the Bible written in French that arrived in the mail days after we found out we were no longer going to Quebec.

But I think I'm going to start saving some of that $120 for therapy. I'm going to need it if my house persists in it's unsold state.

As you may have guessed, the Second Weekly Open House did not go very well.
We did get one family that came through the house, but I could have held my breath for the amount of time that they spent looking around.
They didn't seem very interested.

So essentially, I spent hours cleaning, getting high making signs, and forbidding my children to breathe on the carpet so that one family could ogle our home for 2 minutes.

I think the Second Weekly Open House may be the last.

The one bright spot of news-- Josh was able to get our report date moved back by about 3 weeks. It isn't much, but it's better than nothing. Who knows? Maybe those three weeks will mean the difference between selling or not selling.

Some of you have asked if we are considering renting the house out.
Yes, that is our Plan B, though we would much prefer to sell it. I hate thinking of leaving it with someone who might not take very good care of it.

I just have to remind myself (often) that it's just a house.

It's my new mantra.

It's just a house. It's just a house. It's just a house.

I think I need some ice cream to take my mind off it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seven Things Sunday (Friday Edition)

1) I don't know why I always choose to label these posts as a different day of the week.
It just makes me happy inside.
I almost called it Five Things Friday, but that would make too much sense.
And then I'd have to keep the things down to five.
And I'm feeling wordy today.

2) I just got back from the grocery store.
I believe I've mentioned to you before that this is my least favorite chore.
And to make matters worse, they totally rearranged the entire store.
The pasta is not where it belongs. The cereal is on the wrong side of the aisle. I may have picked up rat poison in the place of Bisquick.

That would be a travesty. Then how would I make our burnt banana pancake dinner?

So it was a confusing trip to the store. But we have survived.

3) Turns out that the day after the Art Show is the day that we get to take all of the "art" home with us.
There is a scrotum are two balls floating around my van somewhere. When I find them I will certainly take a picture for you.
Oh, and Alex says that they are snowballs. 

4) I loved this picture I posted of Alex the other day...

... so I tried to get a similar one of her brother today.

But he wouldn't stop chewing his sweet potato pancake. Not to be confused with the burnt banana pancakes.

Apparently we eat a lot of pancakes around here.

The boy isn't a big fan of fruits & veggies so I squeeze them in where I can.

Want the recipe?

-Make Bisquick pancake mix.
-Ensure it is not actually rat poison.
-dump in a baby food jar of sweet potatos
-Burn while cooking


I'm thinking that those of you who were holding their breath on me adding a cooking element to this blog have just exhaled and moved on.

5) He kept his mouth shut long enough for a cute picture!

I love his sweet little handsome face.

6) Driving around in the desert plains of Idaho does not make for a very lively game of I Spy.
Yet, the kids always want to play it.
Here are a few guarantees:
If they say yellow-- they are referring to the lines in the road
If they say green-- they are being generous in referring to the brownish grass
If they say blue-- the answer is the sky

But Alex thought I needed help with that last one today:
"I spy with my little eye something that is blue. I'll give you a hint, God lives there."

Naturally I guessed the blue van that was passing us.
Exasperating my children is a little hobby of mine.

7)  I'm wishing I had gone with Five Things Friday; I guess I'm not as wordy as I thought. I wish you all a happy Friday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Art Show

Tonight Alex's preschool hosted an art show with sculptings and artwork done by none other than the mini-Picassos who attend said school.

Naturally it is the highlight of the school year for me, because driving there and back twice a day isn't quite enough. And to make tonight even more special, it has been cold and rainy all day.

Have I mentioned that I have hermit-like tendencies? I like to be home. And in pajama pants. 

I offered Alex some ice cream if she would let us just stay home, but since she'd been talking all day about what outfit she was going to wear to the art show, I had a feeling it wouldn't work.

So we trudged through the puddles and showed up to see the "art."

I wish I had brought my camera, because I think you would have enjoyed seeing a picture of Alex's sculpture.
It was placed on a table right next to Grace's exhibit and as far away from Keira's as possible.

Grace had made 3 different things that were readily identifiable. A butterfly, a flower, and a dinosaur.

Alex had made two round lumps of clay.
Two balls, if you will.

Any guesses as to what Keira made?

A thick stick.

I applaud her teacher's effort at keeping those two displays at opposite ends of the classroom.

I love my little artist. Balls and all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The House, The Boy, and The Girl

Yesterday our house was a part of the realtor's home tour. About a dozen agents came through to look at it. They all had nice things to say.

Unfortunately saying nice things doesn't necessarily equate to bringing over prospective buyers. But we can hope.

We'll be having another open house this Sunday. If it goes anything like last weekend, it will be very similar in appearance to just another Sunday afternoon at home.

Except I wont be wearing pajama pants.


The other night when my children were eating their dinner of cold breakfast cereal stop judging me, I noticed that Derek seemed to be spilling a lot of milk and he was only using one hand to eat with. 

He happened to be eating dinner wearing only his diaper I said STOP JUDGING ME. 
I realized that this ensemble will no longer work for us, because, well...

...being a boy and all... 

...well let's just say that he ate his entire dinner like this:


Oh boy.


Today Alex had her haircut. She is terrible at sitting still and equally terrible at polite social skills.
Nevertheless, she is as cute as a bug with her new shoulder-length 'do.



Monday, April 19, 2010


My children don't wake up from naps very nicely.
Never have.

They get it from me. I don't wake up from naps very nicely either.
But I quite enjoy them nevertheless.

When Derek was a baby, he would wake up with an immediate and fierce need to nurse.
If you were the owner of non-productive nipples, it was better that you just not be the one to get him up from his nap.

Alex was a terrible waker as well. Her transition from nap to real world as a toddler was so bad that drinking some juice, eating a little snack, and watching a 30-minute show was about the only way that she could survive it.
This was the beginning of what has become known in our house as juiceandasnackandashow.

They both expect it now.
When Alex comes out of her quiet time and Derek gets up from his nap they both come out of their rooms with the urgent request.
"Mommy, is it time for juiceandasnackandashow?"

Usually it is.

One of the worst things you can do to my children is to wake them from their naps prematurely.
I don't do it very often, but sometimes it just can't be avoided.

I like to wake them up with the sound of the camera shutter.
Seeing pictures of them sleeping reminds me that I do indeed like those little boogers.
They are just ever so much more pleasant when asleep.

I had to wake Derek yesterday because it was getting to be evening time.
He didn't take that long of a nap, we just hadn't put him down at his normal time.

We didn't want him to be napping when all of those many people came through for our open house.
(For accuracy's sake, the word "many" can be loosely interchanged with the word "none.")

Isn't he sweet? He drools in his sleep just like his mommy.

Not so sweet-- the post nap grouchies

I'm sorry buddy. I can totally relate.

Looks like it's time for juiceandasnackandashow, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tick Tock

As I type, we are half way into our open house and all we have to show for it is a very clean house.
And a plate full of cookies.

I've given some thought to standing nude in the kitchen, because that seems to bring people to my door, but decided against it.
For now.

To add to the stress of not having any action on the house, we found out on Friday that we are supposed to be in North Carolina no later than June 15th.

As in, 8 weeks and 2 days from now.

And while 8 weeks would feel like forever if we were waiting for Josh to return from a deployment, it is not so long when we think of needing to sell the house, pack up, drive across the country, find a place to live, and settle into a new home.
Matter of fact, it seems like no time at all.

But let's focus on the positive for now.
The weather this weekend has been gorgeous-- 70's and sunny. Perfect!
Yesterday we spent lots of time outside enjoying it.

The kids were my big helpers with their water guns-- watering the newly potted plant as well as exterminating little spiders they found on the siding.

 ps- Laura if you recognize that pot as one that belongs to you, it's because while you were sunning yourself on the beaches of Hawaii, I was stealing your pots out of your garage.

Josh studied while keeping the little squirters at bay. He's a multitasker.

Then he ran out to pick us up some Thai food.
Did you know that Mountain Home has a Thai restaurant? I didn't.
Maybe because it's not technically a restaurant.
No, I think to be accurate you would describe it as some kind of a trailer. Maybe a mobile home.
However, we are still alive and kicking and we even had some leftovers for lunch today.

Now we're just hoping that none of us needs to make any extended trips to the, um, facilities after our meal from the RV. Because you know that if anybody did decide to come check out the house, it would be right then.

But it's not looking like that's going to be a problem.

Are you sick of hearing about my housing woes?
Me too.
But just suck it up because you're going to keep hearing about them until I tell you otherwise.

And with that, I bid you happy Sunday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Next time I will get my robe.

Sometimes I find myself in situations that I'm sure just don't happen to other people.

This afternoon, around 2 o'clock or so, I propose to you that a package of sugar cookie dough caused me to crawl through my house without a single stitch of clothing.

It's strange. I know.
But it's true.

This is how it went down...

I bought a package of ready-made cookie dough to have on hand for the open house we have scheduled on Sunday. I've always heard that you should bake cookies or something good-smelling to entice buyers.

"If you live here, your house will always be clean and smell of freshly baked cookies. Why, yes, thank you for asking, we do always have fresh flowers on the dining room table. And of course our toilet paper is always folded into an attractive V-shape. What? Did you take us for animals?"

So I bought the cookies and then thought a second about my love of raw cookie dough.
Did I have the moral stamina to keep away from it until Sunday? And then to actually bake those tasty little squares thereby sucking all the goodness out of them?
Then I saw the coupon for a dollar off of two packages and considered it a sign that I should buy two. One for me and one for them*.

*Them being the people we hope actually show up to our house on Sunday.

That brings me to today. After 20 hours of knowing that dough was in there and leaving it alone, I succumbed to the temptation. I opened the package and ate one square.

It was yummy.

And then I decided I should take my shower for the day.
Yes, at 2pm.
So I disrobed and started the water.
Then my mouth screamed to me "I need one more!"

Not being one to deny my mouth what it needs, I headed to the fridge.

And not being one to waste time putting on a robe, I was nekked.

Yes, I know I spelled that wrong, but it's funnier that way.

And as I'm standing there with the fridge door open and grabbing my second square, I hear a knock at the door.

Allow me to show you why this is a problem:

The arrow all the way to the right shows you where I was standing.
The arrow in the middle shows you the window that the person knocking on my door may or may not have seen me through as they were walking up to the door.
The arrow all the way to the left shows you the front door where the knocker was standing. The front door with the window.

*Cue regret at not throwing on my robe.

To get to my bedroom and therefore, clothes, would require me to walk right past the front door. Obviously not an option.
So instead I dropped to the ground and crawled out of the kitchen and into the hallway between the kids rooms.
And I stayed there until the knocker left.
And while I was there I cursed my mouth for wanting one more square. And I cursed my robe for not putting itself on me. And I cursed that coupon that convinced me to buy that second package to begin with.

Notice that I accept no personal blame.

Then Alex opened the door to her room and found her mother crouching naked in the hallway.
I'm pretty sure she now thinks that's what I do while she's in quiet time.

So there you have it.

I found out later that my borrowed pack-n-play was waiting outside the door for me.
So I should probably apologized to my friend Erin now.
I'm sorry.
I'm especially sorry if while you were knocking, you saw my knockers.

And I'm sorry that I just referred to my breasts as knockers.

Next time I will get my robe.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I have a confession.

I can't sleep in sleeveless shirts because I have a fear of getting deodorant on my pillow. And then the deodorant might get on my face and clog my pores.

Okay, that's not my confession.
 Although it is true.

 Remember when I started my 8-minute Abs Revolution Resolution?

You remember.
It was my New Year's resolution that in typical Erin-fashion I forgot to start until January 8th.

But I was so proud that I had finally stuck with something that I would periodically brag to you about how I hadn't missed a day.

I even harassed those of you who joined the revolution if you forgot a day or if you *gasp* told me that you weren't going to do your abs while you were on vacation.

Ahem, Taylor.

But something terrible has happened.
And I have been hiding it from you.

I'm so ashamed.

After 78 days in a row,  I missed one.

It happened the day that I had my emergency appendectomy. I tried really hard to get on the floor and do my 8-min abs, but the nurses wouldn't let me.

Okay that's a lie.
I still have my appendix.

Though I've considered having it removed since it doesn't serve much of a purpose and wiki-answers says it weighs about 6 ounces. And that's only 2 oz away from being half a pound.
And half a pound is a big deal, people.

The truth is that I just plain forgot.
On my birthday no less.
One would think that turning 31 would have reminded me that I needed to get my old self on the ground and do some crunching.

I was really, really mad when I realized the next morning that I had forgotten.

Because I know myself well, and I know that once I failed to meet my goal that I would be much less motivated from then on out.

Take heart, I have not given up.
But in the last 3 weeks I've probably missed one or five days.

Will you still be my friends?

I feel better now that it's off my chest. 

I think I'll go enjoy my guiltlessness with some ice cream. 

And then I'll have a new reason to feel guilty.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Get up from your nap, it's time to polish the silver.

I'm sorry that I've been a little slow on the bloggy updates.
It's been hard to fit it in between all of the hours of the day I've set aside to be stressed out.

This whole "moving up the move" business is not good for the ratio of normal hair to gray hair I've got going on my head.
I might need to consider coloring it soon.
Well, either that or try to stop stressing.

Excuse me a minute while I go make a hair appointment.

Speaking of which, I have a haircut scheduled for this little fairy next week.
What do you think? Should we go for a short 'do or maybe just shoulder length?

Have I ever mentioned that I struggle with indecision?

I know this picture is fuzzy but it makes me smile anyway. She was telling me that she was practicing her flying.

And this was taken after church on Sunday. She disappeared into her room for a while and was so excited to show me that she'd made her bed.

 So I told her that I was proud of her and took her picture.
Then I made a mental note that the child is more capable than I give her credit for and I need to give her a few more chores around the house.

I think I'll start her off with the toilets. Or maybe mowing the lawn.

I think Derek's ready for some chores too, don't you?

He's already an expert at cleaning out his nose.
He doesn't even use any tissue.
Just his finger.
It's his way of going green.

Well this just took about 10 minutes out of the hour I had previously blocked off to obsessively check my e-mail in hopes of someone showing interest in seeing our house.
That's okay, I'll just push it back and adjust the following hour that I had been planning on watching the phone and willing it to ring for the same reason.

I'm flexible.

Happy Tuesday People.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Aftermath

We've had several days now to adjust to our new assignment.
We've spent a few nights tossing and turning, done a lot of second guessing, and indulged in a little bit of moping.

But we're (slowly) getting over it, and trying to change our mindset to get excited about the benefits to an assignment at Seymour Johnson (heh heh) in North Carolina.

To answer some of your questions-- yes, we've been there before. That was the base where Josh received his initial training in the F-15E. We were there for about 9 months.
And in the interest of offending your sensibilities, our youngest spawn was conceived there.

On Carswell Lane.

Or possibly in the backseat of our Corolla.

Really people.
I have my standards.
I would demand a luxury vehicle for that kind of parking.

If things go according to plan, we will be there for about 2 years before it's time to go to school, which occurs typically in Alabama, although there are a few exceptions to that.
Clear as mud?

Some good news is that we have several friends who are stationed there in NC, as well as several others who will be headed there this summer. It's such a blessing to have familiar faces when you move!
Our families couldn't be happier that we'll be closer to home. It's about a 13 hour drive to PtB's house in Michigan, and the flights are much less expensive in and out of Raleigh than to Quebec.

Of course, I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to do with these:

Maybe I'll keep them right next to the children's French books I bought. They can keep each other company.

But for me the biggest concern I have right now isn't the assignment or the 40-plus hours drive across the country. It's that our timeline has been moved up significantly and we have far less days than we thought we would to take care of this:

Pray for me people, I'm ugly when I'm stressed.
Also, I'm ugly when I cry.
So pray that someone will buy our house so I don't have to cry.

Do you know who is the most pleased about this turn in events?

"I'm happy we're not going to Canada. Now I don't have to learn French!"
                                                                                   - Alexandra Kate

Friday, April 9, 2010

We done got vectored.

In this post I will make an attempt to explain to you why we are no longer going to Canada, where we are going, and maybe even the reason behind my inexcusable overuse of italics.

First allow me to say that it is a wee bit confusing, even for me. And I grew up as an Air Force brat, was in the Air Force for 4 years, and have been married to it for 9 years.
So Pat the Bunny, just give up now.
And if you're not interested in the details, just scroll to the end and I'll tell you where we're headed.

For all you non-military types out there, let me give you a little background. Josh is an officer in the Air Force and is currently a captain. He has recently been selected to become a major, which is appropriate for his time in service.

Unbeknownst to me, there is a process out there called "vectoring" which occurs after the major selection board meets. During this process, a bunch of high ranking Air Force officials get together and review the records of the newly selected majors. They then choose some of those folks to groom, or "vector," toward a career path that might one day lend itself to becoming a high ranking officer (read: someone who has a captain to get his coffee).

And they have placed Josh into this category.

Note: I do not pretend to know what qualifiers they look for in the process, but I can assure you that loading of the dishwasher and keeping toenails well-groomed is not among them.

While this vectoring is not a guarantee of good career progression, it is certainly an honor.


This is where it is going to get a little complicated. 

One of the things Josh needs to do as a major is apply to an Air Force school that is about a year long. When you apply, you get three "looks." Meaning, they will consider you three times to get into this school.

We were hoping that we would go right from our Canadian assignment to our second or third look at school.


"They" (being the vectoring folks) would like Josh to go to his first available school, which would start in the summer of 2012. And once he has started the Canadian assignment, he cannot get out of it to go to that first look. So "they" called yesterday morning and have encouraged Josh to decline the Canadian assignment and allow them to reassign him to a position from which he would be able to attend his first look at school.

You can imagine that as a Captain, it is a fairly interesting position to be in when you have a group of Colonels/Generals "encouraging" you to do something.

Thankfully I had my cell phone with me, or else I would never have been privy to the three minute time frame we were allotted in which to make this decision. Quite generous, wouldn't you say?

Our conversation started like this:

Josh: "Erin, do you have a (literal) minute? How would you feel if we didn't go to Canada?"
Me: "Fahrvergnügen?"

The rest of our short time on the phone was spent discussing pros and cons and searching our hearts to see if God was leading us in one direction or another.
Some of the first things that came to mind for me were some truths that had just been highlighted yesterday morning in my Bible study.
I wont go into all the detail, but I felt like I was being prompted to say yes to this new opportunity, despite feeling real disappointment at losing our Canadian assignment. And language school. And Monterey. And blueberries. And cute bilingual kids.

And so Josh got off the phone without a definite decision made, to go and pray quickly and offer his final word.
He agreed to go along with their recommendation.

Goodbye Bagotville (snicker)
Hello again, Seymour Johnson (heh heh. snort.) AFB, North Carolina.
Rockets or Chiefs, we have yet to hear officially.

I guess we done got vectored.

Oh. And I have no excuse. I just like italics.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jeudi, or Thursday

Je suis désolé mes amis.
 I am sorry my friends.

I know that I promised a Wednesday update, and I failed to follow through with it.
But spring finally sprung yesterday, if only for an afternoon, and I had no choice but to get out and enjoy it.

Then Josh wanted to watch a movie last night so I was forced to place my bloggy obligations on the back burner and spend some time in, you know, real life.
Don't you hate it when that happens?

But since I promised the mercredi update en français, chances are most of you didn't know what I was saying and so I'm off the hook.

Funny thing about all that French stuff.
Sometimes you get a phone call at 8:57am on a jeudi morning while you're driving to the gym and everything you thought was going to happen in the coming years might be changing.

That time you spent yesterday wanting to throw your laptop across the room as you figured out the way that the French say their numbers might all have been for naught.

(An Aside: Did you know that saying 99 in French is as follows: quatre-vignt-dix-neuf. It means four-twenty-nineteen. As in, 4 times 20 plus 19. Is that not just crazy?)

Back to the whole phone call thing.
Ladies and germs, change is in the air.

I am not attempting to be vague on purpose. I'm being vague because at this moment in time I can tell you that there is a good to great chance that when we move this summer, we will not be headed where we were sure we would be headed when we woke up this morning.

God bless the Air Force. It just delights in turning our world upside down, does it not?

So I'm feeling a little unsteady right now. A bit in limbo you might say.

(Another Aside: I have an abnormally flexible back, rendering me awesome at limbo.)

But fear not!

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 20:2

Someone much wiser than us is in charge of our lives, and no matter where we go these things will remain true:

1) I will always have more sippy cups than matching lids
2) I will never be happy with the way I look in a bathing suit
3) My house will take hours to clean and minutes to destroy
4) I will never get back those hours minutes I spent attempting to learn French.

As soon as I know something more, I will happily share it with you. In the meantime, we would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and peace as we contemplate our new prospects.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Today is Tuesday

Is it just me, or are my post titles getting more and more creative as time goes on?

Just me I guess.

As previously mentioned, today is Tuesday.
Or as they say in French, mardi.

Thank you Rosetta Stone: I now know the days of the week, how to be a third-party observer to a boy eating rice, and the infamous number 19.
Somebody send me to Quebec, quick!

This morning I took the weight & cardio class at the gym.

Alas, my efforts were thwarted by an unfortunate mid-afternoon intersection of a spoon, my mouth, and a carton of Rocky Road.

No, I do not mean bowl of Rocky Road. When I say carton, I mean carton.

The boy helped me make my bed this morning.

Then when I was showering* he jumped all over it like the juvenile monkey that he is.

*Yes! I showered before noon today!
I should make a note of that on my calendar.

This afternoon I got together with a friend (Hi Erin! Nice name!) who offered to show me some of her homeschooling materials.

Why, you ask?
(Or maybe you didn't ask, in which case I will tell you to skip the next paragraph and then stop being a jerk.)

Well, because my ice cream habit has led me to believe that oversized denim jumpers might feel more comfortable on my waistline so I should probably have the career to go with it.


I know that homeschooling moms don't all wear denim jumpers.
Though I'm pretty sure the good ones do.

The truth is that since Alex is going to be thrust into a completely French-speaking school system when we get to Bagotville (chuckle, snort), I should probably work with her at home to make sure that when we eventually return to the States, she can read and write in English.

But I'm telling you, if it turns out that I like this homeschooling stuff and continue to do it back in the U.S., I'm holding Erin personally responsible.

Then I made my children a gourmet dinner.

Relax people, I threw in some flax seed and chopped bananas. Totally nutritious.
I even peeled off the burnt outsides for them because I'm such a caring mother.

Finally, Daddy made a surprise early appearance this evening!
(early = before the kids are in bed)

Welcome home Josh! It's burnt banana pancake night!

And then a rousing round of Ride-the-Daddy ensued.

I didn't think he was pulling enough weight around the house (get it? get it?), so I threw him the vacuum so he could do some work. 

I know I made fun of it before, but I'm thinking I might just go ahead and order a Daddle for Josh's birthday.

So that was my Mardi in Review.
Stay tuned tomorrow when I'll share all about my mercredi with you all.

I can sense your anticipation from here.

Oh, and there will be a pop quiz on vendredi. So study up.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Green Grass and Snow

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Our day started with the kids searching for their hidden Easter baskets.
Let me just tell you, if they were hoping to one day have a career that involves deductive reasoning skills, they can just give it up.

Me: Derek, here's a hint to help you find your basket. It's hiding where you take a bath.
Derek: Where's my basket?
Me: Derek, where do you take a bath?
Derek: I don't know. Where's my basket?


Me: Alex, your basket is hiding where mommy cleans the clothes.
Alex: *standing there with a blank expression on her face*
Alex: Huh?
Me: It opens and closes, mommy puts the wet clothes in there.
Alex: Runs to laundry hamper.
Me: No, where I put the wet clothes to get them dry.
Alex: Runs and looks inside the washing machine.
Me: *wonders to self, will my children graduate high school?*
Alex: Finally figures it out, but claims to not be able to pull the dryer door open.

This is not my child. If you told me that there was candy inside a dryer but that I could only use my toes and my teeth to get to it, I would still have figured out a way to get in there. It's candy people!

Children finally have their baskets.
2 minutes later, green fake grass is covering every flat surface in my house.
How does this happen?

Moving on, the kids redeem themselves from their investigative failures by being super cute in their Easter clothes.

(Despite Derek's pants being about 3 inches too short)

After church, we got together with our friends the Langfords for an egg hunt in their backyard.
Meet the Langfords:

Jack and Derek are good buddies.


Anyone care to point out what is wrong with the picture below?

Is it just me, or should Easter eggs not be hiding in piles of snow?

So those dang Langford's are healthy people. You know, they work out and eat lots of green things.
Brian's from California, so that should explain everything.

Anyway, in an effort to not sugar overload the munchkins, they convinced us to stuff our eggs with a few items that didn't have 100% pure refined sugar as the main ingredient.


So along with the gummies and jelly beans, the kids found some teddy grahams, fruit loops, stickers and toys in their eggs.
Do you know what we found out?

Young children, despite their inability to follow obvious clues to find their Easter baskets, are no fools:

 Because Nikki's floors were covered in these. But not a gummy worm or jelly bean could be found anywhere except stuck in our childrens' teeth.

Here's a shot of the four of us after the kids had hunted their eggs:

And here is a kid who is way too excited about a marshmallow on a stick:

And her equally happy brother taking his first lick:

Do you know what else?
Those things were gross.
And this is coming from someone who's never met candy she doesn't like.

I just realized that I didn't get my Cadbury egg this year. Stop the presses, I must wake the children and get to The Wal Marts in a hurry before the clearance buzzards take all the Cadbury eggs.


Saturday, April 3, 2010


Earlier today, as I attempted to make my way through the Easter candy aisle at the Wal Marts with all the other procrastinators, I overheard a conversation between a boy and his mom.

The boy looked to be around 8 years old, and as they shopped he asked "Mom, what's Easter all about?"
The mom paused for a moment and seemed surprised. She asked, "You don't know what Easter's about?"
She stopped to pick up a chocolate bunny and the boy asked the question again.
The mom repeated, "You don't know what Easter's about?"
She changed the conversation and moved on.

Oh how many things I wanted to say.
I wanted to tell the boy what Easter was all about.
I wanted to tell him how Easter changes lives.
I wanted to say to his mom: Tell him now, while he wants to know. He's asking! Tell him.

Tomorrow, as you know, is Easter Sunday.

I usually keep it fairly light around here.
Poke a little fun at myself, PtB, my strange children.
But if you will bear with me today, what I'd like to share is a bit more heavy.

In the morning I will worship in church and will marvel again at what Jesus did on the cross.
I will feel the joy that flows whenever I contemplate it.
And I will know a deep thankfulness.

Then I will think about you. My friends and my family and I will wonder, do they know? Has anyone ever told them?

So often I want to bring it up and don't.
Because I don't want to come across as preachy or judgmental. I don't want to step on your toes. After all, it's so politically incorrect to say that I know the only way to eternal life.

Did you catch that?
I don't share because I don't want to be thought badly of. Me. I am caring more about what you might think of me. I don't want to be offensive.

Forgive me friends. Let me never be so selfish.

It's like I've been given the winning lotto numbers. Each person with the numbers will get a billion dollars. And I'm just holding onto them when we could all share in the bounty.

So let me just share with you the winning numbers:
God created us. We chose to turn from Him. He desires for us to be back in communion with Him, but our sinfulness creates a barrier between us and a holy God. He required a perfect sacrifice to pay our penalty. He sent his son Jesus to earth to be that sacrifice. Jesus willingly died for us. He rose again. If we but accept his payment we are reconciled to a loving God.

Would you consider something this Easter?
If you don't believe there is a God, if you believe there is one but you think you're doing okay at this whole life thing, if you don't know what you think.

Would you consider the possibility that what the Bible says is true?

Maybe some of you have been hurt by people who call themselves Christians. Maybe some of you can't reconcile things that you have seen in this world with a loving God.

I don't have all of the answers, but I do have faith.
And I also know that choosing not to believe in something doesn't make it untrue.  

So I would challenge you to think about this. Not only for yourself, but for your children, your spouse, your family.
God knows your heart. If you're not sure what to believe, then tell Him.
Ask Him to reveal himself to you.
Not in a "if you're really there then strike my mother-in-law's house with lightening"* kind of  challenge, but with a heartfelt openness.

Something like: "Hey God? I'm not really sure what to think about you. But I have to admit that I don't know everything. I might be wrong. I want to know the truth. Would you pursue me? Would you soften my heart and reveal yourself to me? Thanks. Me."

Not so hard, right? No contracts to sign. Just an honest appraisal and and honest request.

Thanks for reading.
If any of you ever want to talk about faith, I'd love to chat with you.

Wishing you all a joyful Easter!

*sorry PtB, couldn't let that one slip by ;)


Remember how I promised to explain to you what a fini-flight is?
Well I still intend to, but first I must lament the fact that it snowed here yesterday.
On April 2nd.
During Spring Break.

Tomorrow, April 4th, my daughter is supposed to be wearing a sleeveless pastel yellow dress with white sandals as a warm breeze blows through her hair whilst I snap pictures of her hunting eggs.

There seems to be some disconnect there.

Not unlike the disconnect between a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and a large bunny hiding candy-filled eggs in a backyard. Yet we will embrace the tradition of it all and explain to the kids that the bunny is so excited about Jesus that he wants to share his joy, and egg-filled candy, with all of us.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

A fini-flight.
This is what they do in a fighter squadron when one of the guys or gals is having their last flight with the squadron.
They plan one last mission and go tear it up in the air before landing and being congratulated, thanked, and hosed down with water.
Those three things go together, don't you think?

So yesterday was our friend Jon's fini-flight.
Meet the Larsons:

Jon is seperating from the Air Force, so this was his last hoorah in the F-15E.

Meet the F-15E:

Josh flew with Jon in his last flight. Here they are about to get out of the jet.

And here is how the departing member is greeted as soon as he gets two feet on the ground.

Did I mention that it snowed yesterday?
It was cold.
Apparently there is no mercy shown on cold days.

The rest of us just watch and laugh. No one even brings a towel.

I have to show you this picture of baby Brooke with hearing protection in place. Her cheeks are just too much to pass up on.

I think she wanted to cry, but the headset was clamping her mouth closed.

So other than supporting our friends and offering them our best wishes, would any of you care to take a guess as to another reason that I enjoy attending fini-flights?

Yes sir.

If the flight suit does it for me, the flight suit with the parachute is even better.
I have issues, I know.

But I like it.
A lot.

This angle is good too.

So when's the next guy leaving? I'm ready for another fini.

Jon & Robyn, We'll miss you guys! May God bless your family as you enter the "real world"!