Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Worst blogger ever.

I know.
And it's not getting any better tonight.

There has been packing, and puking, and driving.
Lots and lots of driving.

But I am happy to report that the kids and I are safely back in our North Carolina home, and were welcomed home by temperatures in the mid-60's.
Which is a far cry from Monday, when the door to my minivan was quite literally frozen shut.

Clothes and toys are piled high in the living room, there is no food in the house, and my children are in desperate need of grandparent detox.
So I will make a strong effort to deal with some of those things on the morrow, and will attempt an actual blog post then.

I'm off for a nice sleep in my very own bed! Can't believe it's been two and a half months since that last happened!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday, again.

It's Wednesday again. That was quick!
Join in the Wed-nes-day hodgepodge right here.

Am I the only one who actually says Wed-nes-day when writing that word? Because I do.

Let's get started...

1. The NFL playoffs were held this past weekend and this year's Superbowl will feature the New York Giants versus The New England Patriots. How do you define 'patriot'?

I define patriot as one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr.
 You see, he's a Michigan man. And so I am a fan.

I like to say that we went to school together, because we did.
But the truth is that I never set eyes on him on campus except while on the football field.

What? Were you expecting something deeper? Like something about this guy?

Well, he's a patriot, too. And I would rather be married to him than to that other patriot I mentioned.
Thanks for what you do, Joshie!
And for letting me call you Joshie.
And for giving me two great kids.
Who shart in the bathtub while you're deployed.

2. What's something in your life right now that feels like a 'giant'?

My muffin top.

Ha! I kid, I jest.

But who wants to jog with me when I get back to warmer weather?

In about two months and two weeks from now, we should be living in California.
This seems odd, because I am currently sitting in a house in Michigan with our schtuff scattered all around. My husband is in Afghanistan and wont be home for, oh, about 2 months.
Soon I need to get two kids and a bunch of schtuff to North Carolina. And then somehow we must arrange for that household to be moved to California. And then we've got to figure out how to get us and our vehicles to California. And find a place in which to reside.

But let's think of it as more like a giant adventure, shall we?

3. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think back to being 18?

Starting college, meeting Josh for the first time but thinking he must be someone's little brother, being on my own and liking it...good times.

4. Coconut-mashed potatoes-vanilla ice cream-mayonnaise...which white food would be the hardest to give up?

I'm going to go with mashed potatoes. Coconut isn't really a big part of my life, and I don't much care for mayo.
Let's get to the heart of the matter-- There are many other flavors of ice cream. So by giving up vanilla, I can keep both potatoes and non-vanilla ice cream.

5. Describe an incident or a day you remember as being the coldest you've ever experienced.

I remember one day of snow skiing that was just bitterly cold and I was forced to stop many times to warm up in the lodge. It was my toes and fingers that were the coldest.
The next day I found out about those warmers they have for your gloves and ski boots.
Ah, hindsight.

6. You're hosting a brunch....what's your favorite dish to prepare and serve?

Oh Joyce, how you make me laugh.
I would never be hosting a brunch.

7. How do you combat negative thinking?

A change of perspective is usually all that I need.
I believe the Bible, and it is more than enough to calm any anxious thought. Not that they wont come back again and again, but the good thing about the scriptures is that you can go back to them again and again.

 James 4:14 says:  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Does it strike you odd that I like that particular verse about how soon I'm going to be dead?
Me too; it's probably because I'm weird.
But it does wonders for perspective.

Really, this life is short. What things really matter?
Having a nicely decorated home? Lots of money? This body?

None of it lasts. (and some of it is photoshopped)

One of my favorite quotes ever was written  by Jim Elliot, who was a missionary who was killed in the mission field. He said, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose."

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Why no, no I'm not certain that sermons and sharting belong in the same blog post. Thank you for asking.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 131

I'm tired, and I shall be retiring shortly. But first I will provide a run-down on our past several days.

-We left the western side of the state and drove back to Pat the Bunny's on Friday. It's only a bit over 2 hours, but it made me remember that soon we will be driving 13 hours back to North Carolina. And while it will be nice to be back in our own house, I am not looking forward to the drive or the unpacking that awaits me.

- I miss my husband. This is news, no?

- September was a long time ago. Like, back when it was hot. And before Halloween. And Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And New Years. And lots of days in between.

- Pity party complete.

- I have a new best friend.

- Allow me to explain.

- Each month we send the guys a "morale calendar." It's a big calendar that the spouses make, and each family takes a 12x12 square for a day of the month. It's covers a wall at their squadron building. We decorate our square and put pictures on it, etc. Mine is predictably lame because I lack the scrapbooking gene that makes a person enjoy such goings-on.
Ergo, this blog.

- I like to use the word ergo. And I like to blog because I enjoy recording our daily lives in a non-scrapbook format. The alternative requires scissors, hard copies of photographs, cute embellishments, and general work.

- Back to my story.

- For February, apparently the idea for the morale calendar was for all the wives to put a photo of themselves on their square. A Valentine's photo, if you will. The word sexy was mentioned. A couple of the girls in the squadron are photographers and were going to take pictures for anyone who didn't have one.

- I am not photogenic, and as luck would have it, I am also not in North Carolina. So I decided to opt out of this month's calendar. But I kept getting e-mails from the commander's wife, Tera, asking where my picture was.

- So I sent her this:

- And bless her heart, she thought that it was actually me.
Or should I say, that more than the face was me.

- She is my new best friend.

- And I also might gently suggest a vision exam.

- I'm getting into my jammie jam jammerkins and going to nighty nite town now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hey look. I remembered what day of the week it was while it was still that day of the week.

1. A new Miss America was crowned on Saturday night-did you watch? If you were a contestant what would your talent be?

 I don't know how I missed it, what with all of the nothing I have penciled in to my schedule these days. Oh yes, there was a football game on that night I do believe.

If I were a contestant I'd probably do some 90's rapping.
It would be an instant you-tube classic.

2. Do you have houseplants? Real or fake?

I tend to neglect until death all living things in my household. I'm actually kind of surprised my kids are still hanging around.
Many moons ago, when I was working in Ye Old United States Air Force, I was given a Christmas cactus by a departing colleague. It was my first and only houseplant. I took it home and it never bloomed, and I never watered it, and I never allowed it any sun, etc.
It was a tad pathetic.
We were living in Texas, and when we moved to North Carolina (the first time people, keep up) I gave it to my Texas next-door-neighbor.
We shared a carport.
Her name was Laurel.
Her husband was in pilot training and they had no kids.

Then we moved to North Carolina for 9 months for Josh's training in the F15E.
Then we moved to Idaho for 3 years where Josh was in an F15E fighter squadron.
Then we moved back to North Carolina where Josh is in an another F15E fighter squadron.
That is currently in Afghanistan.
With my husband.

And who do we find living in our very neighborhood? Yes, the Maplehood?
Laurel and her husband who was no longer in pilot training but in F15E training and her 2 children.
And right before they moved to England, where they now reside, Laurel deposited on my kitchen counter one Christmas cactus from many moons ago that still rarely blooms and is currently probably dead in our house in North Carolina.

The End.

Who would have thought I could be so verbose about plants?

3. When you were in school did you speak up or were you more of the hide your face, avoid eye contact, and pray the teacher didn't call on you type of student?

In retrospect, I should have had the decency to hide my face. And my hair. And my clothes.

But I fear I did not.
Nay, I did not realize the full extent of my nerdiness and I went on about life as if I did not look like the poster child for Nerds of the 80's & 90's.

4. Next Monday marks the Chinese New Year....what do you order when someone suggests Chinese food?

Usually General Tso's chicken. But I'm non-discriminatory. I like all Chinese food.
And Thai food, and American food, and Japanese food, and Mexican food, and . . .

5. How would you define a miracle? What would it take for you to consider something a miracle?

There are many ways to define a miracle. I'll list some:
- Both of my kids sleep in until 9am
- My children inadvertently touch each other under the dinner table and no one makes a noise as if they've been burned
- Derek figures out how to buckle himself into his car seat (Yes. He is FOUR.)
- Josh comes home on time from a deployment.
- I am offered dessert and I say "no, thank you"
- I go to the dentist and don't have a cavity

6. What's your favorite Disney song? If you're stuck you'll find a list here.

Too hard to choose. I love the music from Beauty & the Beast.
Oh, and The Little Mermaid.
And The Lion King.

7. I should have __________yesterday.
Showered? No wait, I did that. 
Gone to bed earlier? Yes, that would work.

Oh, and I should have worn a coat when I took the kids to the library. I forgot I needed to get gas, and it was windy and snowy and well, cold.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm moving to Spain.
And I'm kind of excited about it. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 125

We have passed the 4-month point in this deployment.

4-ish months is the longest Josh and I have ever been separated in the past, so this is new territory. Josh is still doing great in Afghanistan. He's missing us lots, but, and I quote:  "I've still got the gym, my electric blanket, mustache and gun, so overall it's pretty good."

Dang mustache.

Things are going well for the kids and I here in Michigan as well. I thought I would be way past ready to be home by now. But our family has been so generous and accommodating for all these weeks. We've totally taken over Mom and Mark's house, fridge, and pantry and they just overlook our mess and keep restocking the food.
Dad and Cindy have us over all the time for meals and to take the kids out to play. On Saturday, they picked the kids up at 11am and kept them until bedtime. They played out in the snow, had lots of hot chocolate, went to see Beauty & the Beast in 3-D, ate their body weight in candy and popcorn, and then played in McDonald's playland.
So, as you can imagine, they are officially rotten.

And so am I. Because while Dad & Cindy had the kids, Mom and Mark took me out for an all-you-can-eat crab leg dinner!
There is nothing better in my book.

And we are heading back soon to spend some more time with Pat the Bunny who, as you know, is notorious for indulgence. The kids might be ruined for life.

I'm actually a little nervous to go back to life on my own. It's been so nice to have adult conversation and help with the munchkins.
I'd stay longer if I didn't have things to get back to. I'm hoping Derek can still rejoin his classmates on the bus, I have my Friday morning Bible study responsibilities that I've skipped out on, my friend Ashley will be having Brooke's sister in February, and with our move coming up so fast there are things to do around the house as well as wanting to spend time with friends before we say goodbye.

Plus there are run-on sentences to write.

Whew. Maybe I wont have time to be lonely after all.

But for now, it is Monday and I'm off to school my kid.
Today I will be teaching her the finer points of foot massage. I will be her practice dummy.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

My armpits are blue, and other things.

I took the kids to a museum today.

It was quite nice. We had the place practically to ourselves, and it was free.
I really like free.
Free is my favorite of all the prices.

Alex and I share the same sentiments about ice cream.

Future sportscaster. Boom goes the dynomite.

If you don't get the dynomite reference, then you don't spend enough time on you tube, or you're not married to Josh B. Schore.
Or maybe both.

The kids area was fun.

We're supposed to get some snow tonight and tomorrow, so I had to get the hooligans out of the house to burn off some energy.
Oh and Field Trip?

If that's not enough to put me in the running for homeschooling mom of the year, then maybe this is:

Oh yeah. Arts and Crafts baby.
My play-doh man is awesome, is he not? I just have hidden talents coming out of the woodwork.
I mean, I'm practically fluent in Spanish these days.

Well, as long as you only want to speak in the present tense, and say things like, The girl eats an apple in the kitchen.
We could have really awesome conversations about such things.

I bought a new sweatshirt in a pretty blue color.
It's a good thing I like the color because now my armpits are the same shade.
Really? That happens?

It wouldn't be so surprising if I'd bought the shirt from the dollar store, but I would like an accounting from one J. Crew.

What else?
Oh yes, I'm starting to make my way back to North Carolina. Very slooooooooooowly.
In a week I'm heading back to PtB's to spend a little more time there before making the long drive.

Right now we're still on track for our move to California almost immediately after Josh gets home. So there should be plenty to do to keep me busy between arriving at home and waiting for the news that Josh is on his way.
Can't wait! I'm ready to be a family of four again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 119

I have no blog for today.
Because I have been studying Spanish, and playing Words with Friends, and giving baths, and teaching first grade, and having Taco Tuesday at Dad & Cindy's, and looking at rental houses in California, and contemplating life.

But I was looking through some old posts for a picture, and I came across this blog entry from many moons ago.

And I quite enjoyed it.

How humble of me, to enjoy my own post, no?

But I thought Josh would like to revisit it, and maybe you would too. It's all about the life and times of our firstborn.

That is all.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mr. October

A couple of days ago, my mom and I took the kids and headed to a nearby mall.

 These are the aforementioned kids:

They're kind of cute, but they are very, very LOUD.
I don't know why they are so loud.
Maybe I need to have their hearing checked.
Or maybe I need to wear earplugs during the day.

Back to the shopping.

My mom needed a calendar so we went into a store in the mall that was advertising 75% off calendars.
Since I don't need one more thing to load into my van for the ride home, I was just meandering around the store waiting for her to make her purchase.
They had a few calendars with jets on them, so I picked one up to see if I could find an F-15 to show the kids.
I grabbed this one:

And flipped it over.

I immediately noticed the picture in the bottom corner. I'd seen that picture before. (And so have you)

 It was the same picture that we have on canvas print at our house. Josh was flying the photographer in his backseat when he took the picture, but we hadn't heard that it was going to be used in a calendar.

I would imagine that I might never again wander around a store and find my husband kind-of in a calendar, so I had to buy it.

But only because it was 75% off   ;)
A bargain at $3.74.

I shall now be calling my main man, Mr. October.

Which makes me, Mrs. October.

So I'm kind of like a calendar girl now.
That's my smooth calendar girl ride behind me.

I exude coolness, no?

Also, when you haven't worked out in several months, have been doing quite a bit of eating, don a horizontal striped top, and let someone take a picture of you, it kind of reminds you that it's time to get your rear in gear.
After all, I do have Mr. October to welcome home in 12 weeks or so.

I do believe it's time to begin the spring slim-down.
If anyone out there knows a way to drop some pounds without exertion or giving up carbs and sweets, kindly let me know.
If not, I will be forced to sweat and I might even have to give up ice cream.

This could get ugly.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 114

Alternately titled, a series of random things.

I haven't talked to Josh since the Michigan game, which incidentally turned out quite well despite possibly removing a few months from my lifespan with it's nail-biting ending.

I would say that I miss him, but that doesn't quite do it justice.

Good thing I have a mini-Josh to remind me of him.

Alex asked me "Can I play disney junior dot com slash mickey?"
Well, how could I say no to such a detailed request?
Your advertising is slick, Disney Channel. Well done.

Alex has played these games maybe once a week for about a year now. Derek always pulls up a chair to watch.
Do you know that he has never asked if he can play?
I don't know if the thought has never occured to him or if he's scared of what his sister might say to his request.

He's a gentle soul.

Remember World's Colliding?
Anyone want to take a guess the bigger picture? Don't be afraid, it's not like I'm showing you animal genitalia.
(This time.)


This photo doesn't do justice to the beautiful sunset we were treated to the other night.
The pink, orange, and blue colors were a sight to behold.

Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.


Happy Birthday to my sister in law, Yessica Yoy. Hope you partied it up as only a nursing mother can do. Which means got to bed early after toasting a new year with a caffeine free pop.

(I'm in Michigan, so I have to call it pop.)
(Her name is actually Jessica Joy, but it's a family nickname that I choose to attempt to embarrass her with.)
(But she's already had a baby, so we know that things that used to qualify as embarrassing are really trivial now.)
(At least if her experience was anything like mine with Derek, when the not-very-thoughtful nurse just left sheets pulled way back over my knees as seemingly hundreds of people walked past my recently evacuated birth canal.)

(Pretty sure I just lost a couple readers.)
(Which brings my total down to about...7.)


Taylor wondered in the comments of my last post why the guys grow mustaches during deployments.

Awhile back, Anonymous (who is really my friend Amy's husband, Joe) posted this in the comments of a post in which I made disparaging remarks about the pedostache.

It's not a "pedo stache" - it's a bulletproofing mustache. The idea behind the Mustache dates back to the early beginnings of military aviation during World War I, it continued throughout World War II, and on to the Combat 'Stache of the Vietnam conflict. Pilots would grow a "Bulletproof" mustache, not only for the luck that it provided, but also as a good natured protest against military regulations which strictly regulate facial hair- it serves to highlight the need for mission focus during a conflict. At a time when aircrew were being lost on almost a daily basis it was imperative to focus on the accomplishment of the mission, rather than being waylayed into spending time enforcing minor regulations that have little to do with winning the war. Also known as "queep".

No discussion of the Combat Mustache would be complete without acknowledging the most famous "Bulletproof" facial hair of all - worn by the Vietnam-era Commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, "The Wolfpack", Brigadier General Robin Olds.

Thanks for the info, Joe. I will allow the furry creature to remain on my husband's most handsome of faces until he is out of theater, for it's somewhat dubious bullet-proofing properties.

However, there is typically a pit stop or two along the way home, which will provide convenient access to places that will allow for facial hair removal.


I'd be more random, but I have to get this published within the next 5 minutes or it wont be Jessie's birthday anymore.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Let's catch up.

Shall we?

I've left the house a couple of times, so that's something.
We had dinners and playtime over at Dad & Cindy's twice.

The children like to use my father as a trampoline while I pretend not to notice.

We got some more snow, and the kids insisted on being pulled around by the ATV again.
I would have taken some pictures, but I was on the couch reading and staying warm while I left Pepaw on his own.
Poor guy.
Derek didn't ever want to come in, even though the temps were in the 20's.

But maybe the joke was on me, because after all that time in the cold Derek woke up around midnight with a croupy cough that sounded just terrible. We hung out in a steamy bathroom for a bit, and then I slept in a sleeping bag on his floor for the night to make sure he was okay.

I used to sleep just fine on a floor, but I'm now feeling every bit of my 32 years, 10 months, and 8 days. Looking forward to something a little softer tonight.

Alex started back to school this week. She's doing well, but between you and me, her teacher is kind of odd.

Today I took my shower upstairs in my mom's bathroom because Derek was napping downstairs and I didn't want to wake him.
A very unfortuate thing happened.

Her bathroom has a window and sunlight was streaming in. And then I made the mistake of looking into her super-magnifying mirror.

It wasn't pretty.
I used to stay home because I liked to.
Now I'm thinking I shouldn't be leaving the house for the good of all mankind.

Holy illuminated and magnified pores, Batman.
I think I need a facial.
Or maybe I should become nocturnal.

(I told you Alex's teacher was strange.)

Lots of people are asking me when I'm returning to North Carolina.

I don't know.
How's that for clearing things up?

Maybe when April doesn't seem so far away.

Tonight Josh and I are skyping off and on while we watch Michigan play in the bowl game. It's tied with 5 minutes left, and I am expending my nervous energy blogging.
Close games give me ulcers.

But once they're over, I'm back to my cheerful self. Even if we lose.
Most of the time.

Here's Josh watching with a couple guys from the squadron.
There's the obvious guy, and then there's the furry creatures hanging out under their noses.

Once we hit the deployment halfway mark, Josh started to grow the hair on his head back.
He must want me to be able to run my fingers through his mane when he returns.

Pedostache needs to stay in Afghanistan.

Now we're up by three with 4 minutes to go.
Still nervous.

Now we're up with 1 minute left to go, but the Hokies are knocking on the door of the endzone.

ESPN should pay me for these updates.

5 seconds left, Hokies in field goal range.

Game tied. Going to overtime.
Not even blogging can help me now.

Goodbye forever.

Football is way better than soccer.
Don't tell the Spaniards I said so.