Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Better late than never! Sneaking into the Wednesday Hodgepodge today...

Join up at Joyce's page!

1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?

2 words: Touchdown Michigan!

I jump, I cheer.
I've even been known to flash my breasts to the TV to reward the collegiate athletes for exceptional performances.

I've scaled back in recent years, since it's now more of a punishment than a reward.

2. What's your favorite patriotic song?

It's a tie between Proud to be an American and America the Beautiful. 

But Edelweiss is also in the running. 

(Yes, I know it's a song about a flower in Austria. And yes, I also know that it was written for The Sound of Music, making it more of a show tune than an actual anthem or patriotic song. So sue me.)

3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?

I do have an other whom I consider to be significant. And there are many facets of our personalities that are quite different.

A few examples, if you like:
1) Say we've just returned from a trip. I immediately lay down on the couch and "recover", assuming that my suitcase will unpack itself sometime in the next week. 
He comes into the living room 15 minutes later letting me know he's unpacked and asking if we should start some laundry. 
Bottom line: I procrastinate, he does not.

2) We have ice cream in the house. I eat it immediately, he "saves" it for when he really has a craving. This means he rarely gets any ice cream, because I've eaten it all.
Bottom line: He can delay gratification. I cannot.

3) Josh says that he thinks he needs to drop a couple pounds. He snacks on applesauce instead of chips for two nights, goes for one run, and says "mission accomplished". I say I need to lose a couple pounds. I restrict my diet to all things cardboard and tasteless, work out extra hard, and lose the pounds a couple weeks later. Then I have one day of "normal" eating, and they're back the next morning.
Bottom line: I hate him.

But I would say that we are quite like-minded on the important things: religion, politics, and finances. I'm not sure how a marriage can survive opposition on those points, though I'm sure it's been done before.

4. You're going to get a behind the scenes look someplace...where would you like that someplace to be?
Josh's work, hands down.
I want to know what the heck goes on over there that takes 14 hours a day to do.
And I want to know all of that stuff he can't tell me because it's "classified".

I hope they know that the same guy they trust with classified information laughs out loud at Homer Simpson. 

5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?

There might be one closer, but to be sure I'd say about an hour to Raleigh. There's one in a mall.

6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?

Disney World! I could give or take them, but I remember how awesome they were when I was a child, so I like taking the kids to see them.

7. Of all the 'beauty products' you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?

I'm totally cheap. So if it's way overpriced I just wont buy it.
I don't wear very much makeup, but I've been using some mineral makeup for the last couple of years. It came with some primer that I really liked, but ever since I ran out of it I've been trying cheaper alternatives. I think I've finally come to the conclusion that I don't like any of the others and I'm just going to suck it up and pay for the stuff I like.

Oh, and it's about $20.
I know, I know.
I'm living on the edge.

Here, this will make you laugh. This is my eyeliner.

Think it's time to call it quits for this little nubbin?
He's been working faithfully for me since about 2008.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

If you think that eyeliner is bad, I also own a pair of shorts that have been around since my freshman year of high school. They are althletic shorts, and my mom and sister make fun of me all the time for still owning them.
This is why I keep them.

Unfortunately the seam in the back is showing some wear. It might be time to retire them.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two Things


Derek took himself to the potty. He forgot to put the seat up.

That it itself would not be an epic failure.
He also forgot to put the lid up.


I decided that Alex should learn the Star Spangled Banner. I was going over the lyrics with her, starting with just one line at a time.
Apparently I was going too slow for her taste, because she said to me:

"I already know that part, skip to the line after Oh, Satan."

I do believe I need to enunciate more clearly.

Oh say CAN...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Denist & Dancing.

Not to be confused with Daddy & Dentist.

So, the tooth extractions went swimmingly this morning, thanks in large part to sacrificial parenting.
How so, you may ask?
Well, you see, our dental insurance does not cover nitrous oxide. Yet we forked over the $65 dollars to make the treatment that much easier for our sweet girl.
So now I have to go 65 days without having a Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee from McDonald's to compensate. Only I forgot about that when I was going through the drive-thru to get my daughter the obligatory post-dental-work milkshake. And I got a coffee anyway.
Guess instead I'll just have to compensate by not leaving the house for the next three weeks and I can save the money in gas.
I like to be home.
Or I could just pay for it out of our checking account and forget about it. Because we are not destitute.

Which is good. Because these are just the first of many teeth that are projected to need some "help" getting out of the way.

I'm glad I got the coffee. Because now I feel like I'm on top of the world. I can accomplish anything. I have had caffeine and it is a Monday-- full of possibilities.
It is entirely possible that I might even fold the laundry that's been in the dryer since yesterday. And we hosted our small-group Bible study yesterday, so with the exception of the floors my house is clean. The floors can never be clean after having 15 adults and 10 kiddos in the house.
Maybe I'll even clean the floors today so I can have an entirely clean abode.

Got to save something for Tuesday, right?

To reward Alex for being so brave this morning, she was permitted to stay up during quiet time and watch Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, of which she has been mourning her inability to watch because I have refused to subject Derek to all of the pinkness and dancing therein.

(How's that for a long sentence? Can you tell I've been reading Anne of Green Gables? Her wordiness rubs off on me. And I quite forgot how much I enjoy that book, even though Josh gives me weird looks and says that I'm reading a children's book.)

So she watched while he napped, and she was also able to invite her girly friends over to join her. They have long been scheming to watch this particular movie together, and so they were indulged.
I didn't want to ruin the quiet by going in to take pictures, but they were very adorable sitting there enraptured with the movie. So I took the pictures through the door and window.

Every time music would play, they would get up and twirl around, dancing along with the princesses.

After all, they are all little ballerinas.

Sigh. Little girls can be so cute.

(Aside-- How is it that Kaylynn & Emily ended up with the adorable little ballerina costumes, and Alex looked like Bozo the clown was put through a blender? Oh, the injustice.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Daddy & Dentist



Getting closer...

Wait's over!

Josh returned on time this past Friday! This doesn't happen all too often when he's flying a jet home (as opposed to riding on the tanker or taking a civilian flight.)
The kids and I were so happy to have him back, and early enough to go for an evening swim as well.

First, though, was show and tell with a stack of papers no less that 6 inches deep. They saved everything from the previous 3 weeks. And Alex is like an arts and crafts factory. That girl can go through some paper!

Derek was more interested in clobbering his daddy after three weeks of being with the girls.

And I was just glad to have my man back. After all, I was missing my spoiling.
I slept in until 9am on Saturday morning, and then took a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. I'm feeling quite pampered, and well rested.

The weekend has gone by much too quickly, and I am dreading tomorrow. Not just because Josh has to go back to work, but also because I have to take Alex to the dentist.
She is getting two teeth pulled tomorrow :(

Alex is a worrier, so we're not planning on telling her what's going to happen until the last minute.
And maybe not even then. Her dentist said to let him do the talking, and I'm only too happy to oblige.
I really don't even want to imagine the drama that will be unfolding tomorrow. Because she can be a little dramatic.
Remember her 4-year shots?

She has a small mouth, and so these will probably be the first of several baby teeth that will have to be pulled to make room for the permanent ones coming in. I told her that she'll have to settle for community college because her mouth's going to cost a small fortune and we're taking it out of her college fund. 

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We call it "school at home"

Because it sounds less formal that way.

Several of the questions you guys asked centered around homeschooling.
And now that I have 7 days of experience under my belt, sharing space with my spare tire, I consider myself nothing less than an expert.


Megan S asked:

Do you genuinely contemplate homeschooling or is it just a way to get PTB riled up?

Megan! I totally wish I had thought of that years ago. I could have proclaimed my intent to homeschool when Alex was a mere fetus, and made Pat the Bunny squirm for so much longer!

*Evil Cackle*

Of course that would just be mean, and I try not to be too mean to the mother of my dearest husband.

Unless provoked, naturally.

For instance, if she gloats over a cribbage victory, I feel like I must respond with a story of her falling down in Chick-fil-a. 

Fair is fair.

 But to answer your question, I am not just trying to get her dander up. We actually are legitimately considering homeschooling. As a matter of fact, there are books and binders and maps spread over my dining room table currently.
Operation Attempt Homeschooling began earlier this month.

But now that you've given me the idea...

Hey, Pat the Bunny! What are you doing in 2022? Can you help me chaperone Alex's high school prom?
I'll be hosting it in my living room.

Oh, I can be so naughty.

Let's move on.
Taylor and April were both wondering how things were going with this experiment.

So far it is going...good?
I feel the need to knock on some wood since we are so fresh at this.

We decided to start during the summer so that I could still have the chance to wave the white flag of surrender and get Alex enrolled in first grade if needed.
So far I haven't felt the need to pull out the flag. 

Here is what I like about it compared to traditional schooling:

1) I do not have to get up at the plumbers-crack of dawn to get her on the school bus.

2) I don't have to pack her lunch.

3) So far my reasons are purely selfish, are they not?

4) I enjoy knowing what she's learning about, because it makes it very easy and natural to reinforce the concepts throughout the day during our non-schooling hours. I never really knew what she was learning about at school-- because, darn it, she wouldn't tell me.

5) I like watching her learn new things, and I enjoy having time with her while she is well rested and receptive to instruction. When she got off the bus after school, I received a disheveled and fatigued version of my daughter who had time to do her homework, eat dinner, and have a bath before she needed to get to sleep.

6) I love our reading time together. I love that she is absolutely in love with an illustration of Fern feeding a bottle to baby Wilbur. So much so, that every time we see a baby and I mention how cute he or she is, she chimes in "But not as cute as the baby pig!"

7) My apologies to all the new mothers she has offended.

And here are the things that I find difficult:

1) She is a lot like her father. (This deserves it's own number)

2) She wants to do well at everything she attempts. This means that if something challenges her, she gets frustrated easily.

3) I miss the quiet hours I had this past school year with just me and the boy.

4) I don't want Derek to feel that he's in the way, and it is a challenge to keep him happily occupied while Alex and I work together.

4) The number of arguments that I have to deal with between the two of them has grown exponentially with the amount of time they are together.

NOW HEAR THIS: They will learn to get along, or we will all die trying.

5) It's been a good life. I'm sorry it has to come to an end.

JeramieLee asked a two part question. Part 1--
1. How did you make the choice to homeschool?

There was one main factor that really gave me the push to pursue homeschooling, and that is Josh's upcoming deployment.

Allow me to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly synopsis:
The Good: Josh will be home in just a couple of days from his current 19 day trip!
The Bad: My patience ran out about 3 days ago.
The Ugly: If you multiply the number of days he's been gone by 10, you would still be under the total number of days that he will gone on the deployment.

What does this mean?
This means that I need the freedom to be able to get the heck out of town and have some help every once in a while. I need to run to grandparents and beg for a break.
Being chained to the school calendar would make that difficult.

The deployment is not the only reason. We put quite a bit of thought into the idea. Homeschooling can be a good fit for a military family who makes frequent moves. But we will be making the decisions on our children's education one year at a time.
Maybe even one semester at a time.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

Can I get an amen?

And part 2 of her question-

2. What made you decide to use Sonlight?

(Sonlight is the curriculum we purchased.)
The main factor in my decision to use Sonlight was that the method of instruction greatly appealed to me.
If you ask me to remember a series of dates and historic events, I can do it. I can ace the test.
Shortly thereafter the information falls out of my ears while I sleep.
But if you give me a good story with an intriguing character and put her right in the middle of an historic event, I will remember it forever. I will remember the details and know what it was like to live in that era.
It's just the way I learn.
So the literature based approach is what caught my interest.

These other things helped--
- They had the most informative website of all the programs I researched. They offer curriculum samples that took the mystery out of what it was really like. You can request samples of the Instructor's Guide that you're interested in and get several weeks worth of lessons. I knew exactly what I was getting when I placed my order.

- There is a great return policy (You can use half of the year's materials and return it for a complete refund if you're not happy with it). Good news for someone who is indecisive.
Like me.

- The books! Love, love, love the great books that are part of their program.

So there you have it! That's our "school at home" journey in a nutshell. 

My biggest concern is that I'm going to enjoy it, and that would throw a wrench in my plans of sending the children off to school and helping gravity keep the couch in place.

T'would be a pity.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Wiener

Twenty-five of you good folks left me a question last week when I guilted you into it.
Tonight the Random Number generator at random.org pulled number 13 as the lucky wiener!

That would be Dana! Congrats on the HUGE prize. It's probably the best thing you've ever won in your whole life, no?
What's your pick-- coin purse or CD?

Let's have a little fun with our wiener--   (not to be confused with what Derek does in the bathtub)

Fun Facts about Dana!
- We met freshman year of college in ROTC, and we were both nursing majors
- Dana grew up in the upper peninsula of Michigan and therefore owned a lot of flannel
- Dana's roommate freshman year in our dorm looked like an albino fetus. Strange, but true
- Folks in the U.P. are not big on correct grammar. Dana would call me up most days to ask: "Have you ate yet?"
- I still make fun of her for that. Obviously.
- Dana would occasionally work two jobs at the same time during college so that she wouldn't have to take out as much loan money for room & board.
- Then she would go and spend it all on a NorthFace backpack or something else totally unnecessary.
- Dana introduced me to the many splendors of Gone With the Wind. I am forever in her debt.

Since she won, I should probably answer her question.
She asked:
 Would you ever consider surrogacy?

In a word?

What in the world are you thinking?
Oh, I know what you are thinking.

You're thinking that everyone gains 2 ounces when they get pregnant and slips right back into their jean shorts like you just did.

Ladies and gentlemen, my friend Dana just had her first baby. A super sweet, beautiful little girl for whom Dana had a cantaloupe sized belly and who essentially just fell out of her uterus over the course of about an hour.
For realz.

She's the one who should consider surrogacy. She could probably make a killing dropping babies like it ain't nobody's business.

Those of us who gained FORTY pounds and have yet to bounce back from their last little bundle would think twice.
(Don't judge me, he's only 46 months old.)

All joking aside, I don't think I could ever be a surrogate mom. There's just no way I could grow a baby inside me and not think of it as my own, no matter what the deoxyribonucleic acid.

(The long form of the acronym DNA is the extent of what I remember from freshman year biochemistry. Along with the fact that I hate chemistry-- I remember that, too.)

Since we're in the question-answering mode, let's press on and do some more.

Rachel asked the question--

Will you ever eat gingerbread again?

Of course, she is referring to The Incident. Refresh yourself if you must, but it wont be pleasant. 
I actually don't even like gingerbread. I was just eating the icing off that gingerbread house port-o-potty.
But I'm fairly certain that I'm scarred for life and will be saying no thank you from now on.

Jennifer asked
When will you go back to work outside the house?

Wait, what?
Isn't that what my husband is for?

Ha. Kidding.

Sort of. 

I actually have no idea if/when I will go back to the work world. It's something that I have no desire to do right now. I love being able to stay home with the munchkins, and the logistics of Josh's job makes it hard to imagine how I would make it work if I did want to.

I know others manage to do it, but they probably don't require the amount of couch/internet time that I have determined is necessary in my life.
If I do go back to nursing, it will be on a part-time basis and only in an area that I truly want to work in. I've always had a heart for kids fighting cancer, and I could see myself working in the pediatric oncology field some day.

I could also see myself working at Cold Stone Creamery and weighing about 400 pounds.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Into the Wild Blue Yonder...

Time for more answers to your bribe questions!

(This is where you pretend to be excited.)

For today, I've picked out the questions that center around the wild and crazy Air Force world. So prepare to be edjimacated.

And for those of you who are already in the AF world, prepare to be bored. 

Ah, the Air Force.
I can't get away from it.
I grew up as an Air Force brat, was on active duty myself for four years, and now I'm married to it for the foreseeable future.

The Air Force, that is.
Not my husband.
I'm married to him for the long haul ;)

So I guess you could say that I'm used to it. It's kind of like a security blanket for me.
I almost want to ask you guys what life is like...out there.

Life in here is a different kind of normal.
It's normal to plan pregnancies around deployments and moves, consider future homes before buying furniture that fits in your current one, and to have no idea where you might be living a year down the road.

In my opinion, Josh has a very cool job.
He doesn't know that I think this (or at least he didn't), because I consider it my job to keep his ego in check.

Cause if you did this for a living...

...and came home to this every night...

...you'd be thinking you were hot stuff, no?

Well, one out of two isn't so bad.

*body changed to protect the innocent Erin

The job is cool. It does not, however, come without sacrifice.

I had written a paragraph here about the amount of hours Josh works day after day, and week after week. But it sounded kind of whiny so I deleted it.
Can I just say that he works very hard, for very long, each and every day?
So long and hard, that if we didn't feel that what he does is important, then we would have pulled the plug on it long ago.
There are very few things that can justify the amount of time he spends away from his family, but protecting our freedom is one of them.

So that's the down side.
There is, of course, an up side.
The job security is comforting, the health care is a huge blessing.
Remember this kid?

Yeah, he's always had issues. And it's never cost us a thing.

There is a great deal of camaraderie in the fighter community. A feeling of not being in it alone.

And you all know the piece de resistance: The flight suit.

Oh, yeah.

 Now let's get to some questions. Sandy asked--

 i will give you an easy question and one that i already know the answer to...will josh take my husband flying in his F15E? the only reason that i ask is because every time he sees me reading your blog, he wants to know if i have asked yet...men and their toys!

Unfortunately Sandy, it would take an act of Congress.
And I mean that literally.
But tell your hubby not to feel too bad about it-- I sleep with the man and I can't get a ride either!
The closest I'll ever come is a taxi down the runway.

See me back there?

But given my fear of vomiting this is probably a good thing.

Megan W. asked:

Being a new Military Spouse, specifically a new pilots spouse- we are just starting the road of deployments, tdy's, long trainings, etc.
Here's my question: Was it a struggle at first handling deployments/tdy's even in your days pre-children? How do you do it? :)
I know I will figure it out, and I am absolutely up to the task since that's  "What I signed up to do" (That's what every person likes to tell me if I mention missing my husband), but it still doesn't make hubs being gone any easier!

(TDY= Temporary Duty, basically a short trip. Short is relative though, because can I just say that these current three weeks are c r a w l i n g  by!)

Well Megan, allow me to say on your behalf that those people are being naughty and mean and they need a good spanking!
We "signed up" to support our husbands, not to pretend that life's always peachy. Surround yourself with some supportive friends who will allow you to vent once in awhile!

Speaking of supporting our husbands, I consider myself to be a supportive wife. I make sure that we always have lean pockets and canned pineapples on hand for the many days that I forget to pack Josh a lunch.
And I wont even mention the tradition we have in place to help him relax the night before a check-ride.
(Mostly because I like to keep it PG around here, and my parents read this stuff.)
Let's just say I am a very supportive wife. 

Psst, Dad. It would be best if you just assume that I'm referring to a shoulder rub.

As far as the separations go...it's never easy. Kids or no kids. 
Things that help--
1) Grab your friends and your calendars. Arrange to eat together at least a couple times a week. That way, you have a reason to cook a good meal, you can enjoy each others company, and it makes the time go by so much faster for everyone.

2) Write out a list of projects that you'd like to get done. In the past mine have included: surviving, keeping the children alive, and cleaning out my closet.
(Two of the three were successful.)
For the upcoming deployment I'm considering taking a stab at learning another language, and also spending more time practicing guitar.
I am also considering going insane, but I'll have to see if I can make time for that before I commit.

3) Remember that it's okay to ask for help. Or hire it.
Our first deployment I was determined that I could do it all. I had a just-turned 3 year old and a 9 month old and for some reason (it rhymes with peep and starts with 'ch') I decided not to take my husband's advice to hire someone to do the lawn.
So after they were asleep at night, I would go out and mow & bag & moan & groan.
Good news! We've hired someone to do our lawn here. With the deployment approaching, I don't want to spend each weekend watching Josh through the window.
(Also: NC lawns are rather large, and we have a push mower.)

Moving on-- Mindee asked:
                        If you could actually pick your next place to be stationed, where would it be?

And Rachael asked a similar question-- 

OK... my question is actually a two parter:
1. Of all of the places you have lived, where is your favorite?
2. If you could move anywhere you wanted, where would you live?

These were tough.
I really and truly don't have a favorite place from where we've been stationed. They've each had their good points and bad, but what stands out more than the locations is the great friends I've made at each place. And I certainly can't choose from amongst my friends!
But I can say definitively that NONE of them have had a good mall. 

If I could choose where we go next...
This is even harder!
If I get to choose outside of scenarios that are actually possible, then let's get wild and crazy.
How about a tour in Hawaii? Yes, please.
I bet I'd get a lot of visitors during those years, don't you think?

But if I have to play within the rules-- The most likely next step for Josh when our time is done here will be for him to attend school.
(ACSC- Air Command and Staff College, I believe. The AF has several different schools that you either attend or do via correspondence as you advance in rank.)
The main school is located in Alabama, but there are also a few more exotic locations that "check the box" for this particular school. A few lucky folks get to essentially be foreign exchange students in another country's program (like Spain, England, etc.)
So if we're dreaming, I would choose to go do school in a location that would give us a chance to learn another language. 
Josh's first choice would be to get his school credit done at one of the more prestigious universities here in the States. One or two people a year get to go to either Harvard or Princeton for some type of degree program there. 
So there you have it. That's what we would like to do, but the odds are higher that when we leave here, we'll be heading south to good 'ol Alabamy for a year.
And that will be just fine, too.
One year is hardly worth unpacking all the boxes.

After that...who knows?
But unless you get sick of me, you're welcome to come along for the ride! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My A for your Q

Well, shucks.
Ya'll made me feel all good about myself with your sweet comments about enjoying my drivel.

I don't even mind if you were making it up.

Thanks to those of you who left questions for me! I'll wait another day or so before closing the comments to give anyone else an opportunity to enter the drawing.

I mean, who needs Pioneer Woman with her camera giveaways and $500 gift cards to Anthropologie?
I'm offering a kids CD and a coin purse that came free with purchase.
So classy.

It will take me several posts to get through all the questions; which is great for days when I have nothing to post about.
You know, like days that end with a 'y'.

Let's face it, I never really have anything to post about. Which is why I post about nothing. I'm like the Seinfeld of blogging, only not as funny.

I'm going to start today with April's question. She asked:

If train A leaves the station going 60 miles per hour and train B leaves one hour later going 85 miles per hour, how long will it take train B to catch up with train A?

Yeah, I don't know either, but I love your blog and your sense of humor! I can't wait to see what you think of home schooling!

Oh April. Trying to expose my lack of mathleticism.

Let me tell you the long story of why I started with this question.

Josh is away for work, and even though he is in the States, we have not had very good communication this trip. The time difference plus his work schedule has made it hard for us to get a chance to talk.

We didn't talk at all on Monday, or yesterday either. So when I went to bed for the night, I sent him a short e-mail just checking in.
To be exact, I said this:
I know you're super busy, and not feeling good. But I need at least a one-sentence e-mail to let me know that you're still alive. k?

I was assuming that in the morning, I would have a reply in my in-box.


So I was a little mopey this morning that we hadn't been in touch for so long. I took the kids to the gym and then when I came home, I was happy to see a message from Josh waiting in my in-box.

Allow me to cut and paste for you, so you can see all of the affirmations of missing me and loving me that Josh provided on this Wednesday morning, after not speaking to each other since Sunday:

The answer to April's question: Train B will catch Train A after 2.4 hours (3.4 hours after Train A leaves)

Well, I guess he's still alive.

Happily, moments later, he sent me a Skype message and we were able to chat for a bit.
I do love my mathlete.
I asked him how long it took him to get the answer. About 45 seconds.

So I thought I would try it myself. I grabbed a pencil and paper.
About ten minutes later, I had given up on getting an exact answer, but I did have a little drawing of a train station and tracks that I thought would help.

They did not.

I guess this also answers part of Taylor's question:
Does Josh read your blog? Does he find you to be humorous?

Yes, he does read my blog. Not every day, but I think he reads most of my posts.
When he's away from home, he checks in more often and wants me to post every day with stories about the kids and pictures.
Incidentally, I am failing him this trip. And he let me know it when we spoke today. 

So here you go, honey! Old pictures from the beach that I never posted. 
You don't have to thank me.

Beach Yoga

And for the second part-- I don't know. Josh? Do you find me humorous?
Also, how did you feel about me putting a picture of you in the bathtub on the blog? We never had a chance to discuss it. 

Moving on. Maranda asked,
What is pancake ballin'? Am I supposed to know what this is?

Of course you should know! ;) Pancake balls are a rare delicacy served only in the finest French bakeries.

Or not.

You see, I am a terrible cook. And when Josh is not home for dinner (read: every weekday), I am often tempted to make a lazy meal for the kids.
Enter, Pancakes.
Unfortunately, I make pancakes about as well as I keep my van clean. I don't know why, but I just can't get it right. I always burn at least one side.

So if you read the beginning part of this post, you will find out exactly what Pancake Balls are.
And then you will probably not ask me to cook for you. 

Last one for today-- Anna, who also lives here in NC and  loves Disney World (my kind of girl!) asked:

Now for my question why is PTB called PTB???? And, does she read your blog?

PtB stands for Pat the Bunny. She is my dear mother in law, whose name just so happens to be Pat. 
There is a children's book called Pat the Bunny. Many moons ago, I did not know if the "pat" in Pat the Bunny was a noun or a verb. 
Is the book about a bunny named Pat? 
Or are we supposed to literally pat the bunny?

Oh, the things that keep me up at night. 

I was putting her phone number into my cell phone, and just to be silly I typed in Pat the Bunny as her name. So every time she called me, I would see that. And so it stuck.

She does indeed read my blog. She is a very good sport. I have only poked fun at her, oh, say, about a hundred times or so. In my defense, she is a very easy target. She does silly things all the time. 

I have also recruited my brother in law, John, to help me out when I'm not in Michigan and she's not visiting. He keeps me abreast of any Pat the Bunny-isms that I need to exploit in blogland.
Shortly after my sweet newborn nephew arrived, I got an e-mail from John listing 4 crazy things she had done while visiting with them in the hospital and at their home after Caleb's birth. 

My favorite on the list: She placed her half-finished Coke on the side of the baby's hospital bassinet. Later, when the nurse walked in, somehow the book she was reading "slipped" out of her hand and was thrown across the room, knocking the coke off and spilling it all over. 

Can we just take a moment to think this through. 
1) Who puts a soda can on the baby's crib?
2) Who throws things at the baby's crib?
3) She so crazy.

(By the way, pat is a verb.)

Thanks again for playing along! This is fun :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Bribe. I mean, A Giveaway.

I've tried to start a couple posts today and none of them have gotten past the first line.
I'm experiencing some serious bloggy-block.

I haven't had much going on lately that hasn't involve the feeding and entertainment of children, and it would appear that I'm fresh out of funny.

So queue up the random!

-- Remember that time I went on a date in college and he ate himself sick at the Olive Garden?
Read here.

--Let's revisit one of my favorite pictures ever of Alex. We put this on our cards for her first Christmas.

My grumpy little stuffed Santa.
She still has the grumpy face perfected.

--One of my friends here recently had twins. I took some pictures for her, and although there were others that better displayed their sweet little faces, I can't help but love this one.

I find the concept of twins to be fascinating. It's so hard to believe that they were both smooshed up together inside their mama.

--I have always enjoyed Q&A posts on other people's blogs.
They have the folks who read their blog leave a question in the comments, and then in another post they answer them.
(You probably didn't need that explanation, did you?)
I have oft wanted to do one of those posts here on my lil 'ol blog. I never have, because I've been too afraid that no one would ask me any questions and then I would look silly.

I've decided that I don't want to live in fear, and I'm obviously not that afraid of looking silly...

... so I'm going to try it out.

-- I thought I would help you help me not to look silly. So I will bribe you to ask me a question! Whoever leaves me a question on this post will be entered in a random drawing to win your choice of one of the following items:

A Seeds Family Worship CD.

I love these kids CDs. They are scripture verses set to super-catchy tunes. Sometimes I listen to them when the kids aren't even in the car with me.
Finally a kids CD that I can stand, and it is so cool that the kids are learning scripture in a fun way.


You can choose this Coach coin purse.

It doesn't play music, but darn it, it will hold your coins.
(And it's not Korea Coach, if you know what I mean.)

-- So leave me a comment, and ask me anything you ever wanted to know.
Topics including, but not limited to: my favorite things, what I want to be when I grow up, Air Force life, keeping a home that looks lived-in, keeping a van that looks lived-in (by a messy hobo), researching a Disney trip until you log more hours on the computer than you will at the parks, aggravating your mother-in-law (It's a two step process involving growing out your son's hair and threatening to homeschool her granddaughter through high school), skydiving, streaking, pancake ballin', sharing TMI on your blog, and how not to garden.

The possibilities are limitless.

So go win yourself a CD, or a place to store your quarters.
Or just comment out of pity.
I'll take what I can get.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Picture Fix

Josh is requesting a picture fix of his babies.
I am happy to oblige, because they are my favorite things of which to take pictures.

I like this one because you can't hear Alex correcting her brother for whatever he is doing that is incorrect.

And I assure you that according to her, he cannot exhale without doing it incorrectly.

I suppose it is because Alex is full of herself after completing her last day of kindergarten.
She is so accomplished.

 Here she is this morning, ready for her final day.

There was a little ceremony in her classroom the other day to mark their promotion to first grade.

They sang several songs of which my daughter refused to do any of the motions.
But they let her graduate anyway.
Where have the standards gone?

This boy:
 Is handsome.

And has come a long way, wouldn't you say?

Poor big-headed chubby baby with no neck.

Will that do, Daddy?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


One decade ago I married the love of my life while wearing my sister's wedding dress that was apparently about an inch too short.

We were both 22 years old, but only one of us looked like it.

This is my husband on our honeymoon. The bed & breakfast folks brought a candlelit tray of dessert to the room each night. We ate it in the tub.

I almost feel pervy just looking at that picture.
He was a baby.

We started our new lives together in Texas, because the Air Force told us to.

This was our first home.

Well, at least half of it was. It was a duplex, as you can tell.

Fact: I am still writing checks from this address.
Another Fact: We are still driving the Corolla.

Our first year of marriage was tough.

On top of the adjustment of being newly married and far from home, Josh's year was spent in undergraduate pilot training-- a demanding and stressful course.

I lived in a hotel in Mississippi for 3 months doing my Air Force nurse's training, and then spent the rest of the year trying to balance my first full time job with my new role as a wife.

My domestic skills left quite a bit to be desired.
(Some things haven't changed.)

Josh was always at work or studying, I was working shifts, and neither of us were blown away by what was supposed to be the "honeymoon season" of life.

Turns out that instead of being all roses and sunshine, figuring out how to meld two separate people into one unit was not as automatic as we'd thought it would be.
Learning to put each other first was a learning process, but a worthwhile one.

Thinking back to that time in our lives seems like forever ago. Yet in the same breath I wonder if it's possible that it's truly been ten years.

During those years we've lived in 5 homes, made multiple cross country moves, have been blessed with two beautiful children, and have shared happiness and heartache.

I know it sounds cliche, but I think Josh and I would both say that our love for each other has grown deeper every year. 
I am so grateful to be married to a man of God who strives to love his family sacrificially.
I'm proud to support him as he serves our country.

Even when he has to leave town as our son gets a stomach virus and our daughter clogs the toilet.
And if you know how I feel about puke, that's saying a lot.

I love you Josh! I wish we could be together today to celebrate!

And so you could give the kids their baths tonight.

But mostly to celebrate.

Here's to an amazing 10 years! I can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for us in the next ten.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Alex: "I wish I could have a little sister named Lily."

Life is full of disappointments.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A long day.

A long day, it has been.

Type like Yoda, I shall.

So we're down a parent, but have gained a fever and some pukes.
Unfair trade, I say.

The boy is ill.
Started out of the blue on Saturday with a fever.
So to the couch he went for some TLC. Bland food, motrin, aminal friends, and a show.

As of Sunday afternoon, we had long since traded the bland food for a vomit holding receptacle. No food. Small sips of drink. No aminals-- they add to the laundry when they get puked on. Movies last longer than shows.

A motrin/tylenol regimen is no match for the monster fever which has turned my son into a human fireball of heat.

This is not atypical. The boy does not do mild fevers. He's an all or nothing kind of kid when it comes to illness. Also, his potty routine.

I haven't left the house in two days. Going a little batty, even for my own hermit-like tendencies.
Bedtime could not come soon enough tonight.
So I met it halfway and started the teeth-brushing and potty routine at 6:30.

In other news, tomorrow begins Alex's last week of Kindergarten. (Unless of course, she wakes up puking.) How can this be? She still thinks that "aminals" is the correct pronunciation. And her calculus is a little fuzzy.
Maybe she needs summer school.

Ah, but she will be in summer school.
School of Mom.
And mom does not tolerate any carpet-poop-smearing. I have eyes everywhere.

(And a general rule that if you have to poop, you can speak up.)

Oh, and my calculus is a little fuzzy too.

Or a lot fuzzy.
Good thing I married a mathlete.

And you know what else? He's actually a really good teacher.
He's been instructing in the aviation world for years now. Plus Pat the Bunny is a teacher, so he comes by it honestly.

Know who has two thumbs and no teaching experience?

(Picture me pointing at myself with my thumbs)

This girl.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The costume-- $65

The tickets-- $20

The gas to drive back and forth two nights in a row-- $20

The look on her face when her Daddy gave her flowers--

Um, hello?
I just told you-- $105.00


As you can see, Alex had her dance recital earlier this week.
She loved it-- the lights, being on stage, looking like a streetwalker wearing makeup, everything!

I admit that I wasn't thrilled about the whole recital process, but it ended up being a fun experience.

We were only allowed to film during dress rehearsal, and Josh used the video camera up close to the stage. I took this clip with our little camera from farther back. So it's not good quality, but it should do for the grandparents.
If you're not related to Alex, this is three minutes of your life you'll never get back.
Don't say I didn't warn you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I need a date for my anniversary, and other randomness.

It's that time again-- the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Join up at Joyce's site
1. Have you ever been to the US capital-Washington DC? If so, what's your favorite site? If not, what would you most like to see on a visit to that city someday in the future? Is it even on your list of places to visit?

Yep. From ages 3-18 I lived about 10 miles from DC. 
 It's one of those things that you take for granted when you're a kid, but I started to appreciate it more as I got into high school. Being able to take the Metro into DC to go to the all the "free" entertainment was neat. Things like the National Zoo, the museums, fireworks on the 4th of July, etc.
You can imagine that we had many a school field trip to the Mall. 

I think my favorite event was when I got to see Les Miserables at the National Theater. I was sure I wouldn't like to see a musical, but I loved it. 

I'd like to take the kids to DC when they get older. The would not appreciate it now, of that I am certain. After all, they've been a little spoiled with kidcentric vacations lately.

2. When did you last attend a wedding? Are there any weddings on your summer calendar? Were you a summer bride? If you're single, is summer the season of your dream wedding?
No weddings on my agenda this summer. 
The last one I went to was Josh's sister's wedding, almost two years ago.
Alex was the flower girl. 
Wasn't she so cute?!

She thought so too--

She totally disrupted the wedding because she thought it was her job to kill ants with her basket. 

I like to think she was trying to protect her Aunt Jessie on her big day. 

Our tenth anniversary is next week! 
Josh has planned a celebration in Vegas. 

Only I'm not invited. 
So if anyone wants to celebrate my anniversary with me, you're more than welcome! :)
3. What is your favorite way to eat strawberries?
In the field while picking them. Something about the warmth of the sun on the berries makes them even sweeter. 

4. What is one thing you are especially looking forward to this summer? 
Lazy days at the pool with picnic lunches and friends!

5. Do you use/like the self checker at the grocery store?
Only if it speaks to me with a British accent. Then it's more tolerable to be told that I need to "Place your item in the bagging area" even when it's already there. 

6. Share a favorite piece of common sense advice.

If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie, wipe the seatie.

7. Barefoot, flip flops, tennis shoes, sassy sandals-your first choice for summertime?
Barefoot or flip flops. I usually run Alex to the bus with no shoes on, but I realized yesterday that when I go out to pick her up, I should wear some. It's in the upper 90's here and that driveway is HOT!

(And seriously, upper 90's at the end of May/beginning of June? Good grief!)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
McDonald's iced coffees are $1.08 with tax. Even the large.
May I suggest the sugar-free vanilla? 
It make me feel better about my indulgence.

Also, my son whipped it out at his doctor's appointment yesterday. 
Yes, it.
And no, it was not necessary for the appointment.