Saturday, December 31, 2011

Back! And Santa arrived!

Secret Santa that is!

Tonight we made it back to Albuquerque! It is wonderful to be back in my own house, surrounded by my own things and sleep in my own bed. We were treated great over at the MiL's house... but there is no place like home!

My friend Tegan picked us up and brought us home where she had even provided us dinner. And since the kids were asking for her, I picked up Maya shortly after arriving.

Another awesome highlight to arriving home was that my gift from my MilSpouse Secret Santa was waiting for me! I had signed up to participate through Wife of a Sailor (who is amazing for setting this up again this year). I had the name of a blogger I hadn't been following and have since found to write quite a fun blog -- Awesome Alli.

My secret Santa was Lisa from "must be doin' somethin' right..."

I haven't been a follower but after stopping by her blog I might just have to stick around!

I say she did great with my gift. My favorite m&ms will likely be gone soon and I am refusing to share! And who wouldn't be thrilled with the chance to get things from iTunes. Lisa... my iPhone thanks you!


And speaking of iPhone... Since I'm posting from it I will have to add all my links later.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Pacific Northwest

Thanks to my brother complaining how I have not updated in "forever" I decided I needed to blog again.

We are currently in Washington state for the hoidays. All you New Mexico people be warned -- my home is being monitored so there's no theivery gonna happen there!

The weather has been beautiful and amazingly dry.

I must say that Washington is truly green. I think it took living in the desert for a year to really appreciate the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The mountains are large, purple and capped with snow. Driving down the road I had a perfect view with the foggy haze wafting throughout the hillsides of evergreens. Gorgeous! I even got to see Mt. Rainier the other day.

Not sure what all is planned for the trip. Lots of visiting family. Maybe get some friends in there too.

AND-- I'm nearly done with my Christmas shopping. I only have 1 person left to buy for and I have no flippin' clue what he wants.

Oh yeah! Before we left Albuquerque, I was involved with our church Christmas performance. I was amazed by how well it went... and I even remembered all my lines. Go me! Even made a few new friends.

That's my brief update for now. If I don't blog until after the holidays I hope you all have a safe and Merry Christmas with blessings in the New Year!




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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Life after a Dead Tree

I was recently contacted by Care.com (linked to their military page) to share about some the of challenges of being a military spouse during the holidays. Their site contains several resources for military families to connect and find support as well as tips and tricks on dealing with the holidays during deployments, homecomings, and being far from family. Check out the Holiday Boot Camp for the Military Spouse to read advice and stories on how others have dealt with their situations. There's also a wonderful resource on Getting Through the Holidays Alone.

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Let's be honest.

Sometimes going through the holidays as a military spouse can be hard. Thankfully, after moving back to the states it has been better since we have been able to fly home to spend time with our families.

That wasn't always the case and may not be in the future either.

Let me take you back to my first Christmas as a military spouse.

I was 20 years old and had been married for about nine months. We had just moved to JAPAN less than four months before the holiday. Those early dreams I had of Christmas with stockings by a fireplace, cutting down our own Christmas tree, beautiful decorations, visiting family... those all went away pretty quick.

Our base housing did not have fireplaces. In fact, we were 6 floors up in a tower. The only Christmas trees available were fake expensive ones at the BX-tra, teensy-tiny ones off-base, or the pre-cut real ones.

We opted for one of the real ones. "Fresh" pine smell filling the house and a sense of home. I mean, we just moved from the Pacific Northwest!

What I learned later is that the trees were cut down before Thanksgiving and literally shipped to Japan from the states. They weren't exactly "fresh" by any means. By the time Christmas actually arrived we had been avoiding walking by the tree for days. Just the rush of air would send those needles shedding to the floor. It was so very, very sad.

Also what we learned that year is the BX would put out their Christmas decorations BEFORE Halloween. If you waited until after Thanksgiving to get your decorations for your first Christmas you were out of luck. And on that note: if a store no longer has hooks for your decorations, paper clips do just as well.

I was fairly depressed that year. Coming from a HUGE family that fully celebrates Christmas I was nearly devastated to only have my husband at the house while living in a foreign country with a sad, dead Christmas tree on Christmas Day.

Yes, tears were shed. Phone calls from family back home just made me more homesick.

To make me feel better, after Christmas, when all those beautiful fake trees went clearance, Ryan and I snatched up a lovely one for ourselves (and we still have it).

Since that year we have had other memorable Christmases; some good and some bad. We have made attempts to truly make each year better -- getting the fake tree helped! One year we even took a mini getaway during Christmas. Now that we have kids we are more invested in our own family traditions which really makes the season fun. Being involved in activities is also a great way to improve on a Christmas away from family. Volunteering with church productions, baking cookies for single airmen in the base dorms, inviting friends over for dinner/parties, looking at Christmas light displays, and often there are local seasonal experiences such as seeing the Nutcracker, going to a Tree Lighting, and caroling at retirement homes which all help make the Christmas holiday brighter.

It may not replace being near family when you're far away but I have personally found several of these options to increase the joy of the season. They also make for great memories!



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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Time to Share the NEWS!

It's time I share our news:

Ryan has been accepted to the Masters in Applied Physics program at AFIT!

This is a GREAT step for his career and what he has been wanting to do. I'm so proud of him for being accepted!

For those of you who do not know what AFIT is, it stands for Air Force Institute of Technology. It is the graduate level school for this branch of service (though other branches can also apply) and it offers accelerated and strenuous educational degrees. It is no cake walk. I heard that a small percentage of those who apply are actually accepted.

When he came home with the news I was thrilled. Then came the pain -- we are leaving here in about 5 months.

Ouch. When he said that it felt like somebody slapped my heart. I literally cringed and tears brimmed in my eyes.

I knew, if accepted, we would be moving to Ohio. What I had not mentally prepared myself for was how soon it would happen. I was expecting the summer at the earliest and possibly fall. That is not what happened.

For a day or so I was bummed. I immediately start thinking of the great friends I'll leave behind, finding a new place to live, making sure Will gets the services he requires, re-creating a support system of people who can be relied on, settling into a new church... everything that goes with moving besides the actual physial part of moving.

Anyway, I was driving Will to school a day or so later after receiving the news and stewing over what I just mentioned when, I'm telling you, God spoke to my heart.

In the past I've believed God has spoken to me, but it has never been so clear and precise. It was simple yet piercing...

"Don't you trust me?"

Wow. That's all I needed to hear. I have been praying for my husband to get into this program. Our other alternatives of him obtaining his Masters would take many more years... and we also had deployments hanging over our head. This is what we wanted. Why was I being such a whiner about it? I know that we will always be taken care of and that God is the one who truly dictates our military orders... where was my faith?

Needless to say, my attitude has totally changed since that personal encounter. I earnestly began talking with friends who were stationed at the base previously. Also, through a friend, I got connected with a woman who is currently stationed there while her husband is at AFIT and she has 2 kids the same age as mine. After the first of the year I really plan on finding out more of what I should expect and slowly begin the organizing/packing/cleaning process.

I still feel the sadness of leaving behind friends. As a military spouse it kind of comes with the job... but there's a chance two of my current friends will be following us later this year (which would be awesome). And it is very possible we can return to Albuquerque in a few years!

So that's what's going on here. Keep us in your prayers.

And have any of you ever been to Dayton??



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Friday, December 9, 2011

Worst Bad Mommy Moment to Date

I needed to blog about this since I'm still sort of reeling from the experience.

I locked my kids and the dog in my running vehicle.

Yes, yes I did.

On ACCIDENT!

Usually I park in front of the pre-school while Lana and I wait for Will's class to walk out to the bus. I meet him once they leave the gated area. From there I put him in his carseat, buckle him in, hop back in the driver's seat and head on home.

Today it started out right. We parked. I still have the car running to keep the inside warm since it is in the mid-30s. Lana is happily drinking her juice while completely strapped in her carseat and the dog is looking out the front passenger window at all the people and kids loading the bus.

Will's class comes into view. I hop out of the car (unlocking all doors like I always do) and partially close the door so the dog can't jump out. I ask the teacher how Will's day went and hold Will's hand as we cross the single parking space between the sidewalk and my car door.

Then there's a change. The teacher assistant stops me as I'm putting Will in the car to ask me about fixing a ripped seam on a purse. She says she'll bring it for me to look at on Monday. I agree. While we're talking Will gets into the front passenger seat and begins messing with the visor mirror and unbeknownst to me -- LOCKS ALL THE DOORS!

We say goodbye as I climb into the car to grab Will and put him in his carseat. I firmly buckle him in and shut the door.

I then try to open my door -- LOCKED. His door -- LOCKED. I look through the window and see both other doors are locked as well. I tap on the window and see if Will can reach his lock. Of course not, he's totally strapped in his carseat and cannot reach. He doesn't know how to unbuckle himself either.

The other preschool teachers see what is happening and rush over to help. Nobody has a wire hanger. My phone is locked in the car along with my keys (still in the ignition). Will's teacher calls the school maintenance to see if they can help. Another teacher tries to reach Ryan on his cell phone, to no avail. As we all stand there wondering what to do, another teacher offers the idea of calling the ABQ Police non-emergency line. Since children are locked in a car they would probably respond quickly. I agree.

I get on the line and tell them what happened, give them the description of my van, my physical description, and our location. She asks about how the kids are and I tell her they are fine. They're just sitting in their seats, drinking their juice, and probably wondering what the heck is taking so long. Then Lana starts crying. I mention this to one of the teachers and the emergency lady on the phone starts asking what happened and why she's crying. Alanna had drank all her juice and wanted more.

Oddly enough I'm not completely freaking out through all of this. Yes, I'm concerned, but at least it happened in a safe area with plenty of people to help. The inside of the car is toasty warm so I'm not afraid of them getting cold. I've got enough gas to keep the car running for quite some time.

Soon enough the cop arrives. I briefly explain what happened again and he looks through the windows.

"Oh, you've got a dog in there too."
"Yeah. Don't worry, she's friendly." (Was this information necessary??)

He's happy to see that my driver's door is not completely shut so he easily puts the wedge in there and is able to pop the lock real quick.

I immediately unlock all the doors and check on my babies.

Of course, they're fine. Completely unphased. Thank God!

I thank the cop repeatedly, say goodbye to Will's teacher who waited with me, and happily climb back in the driver's seat and head on home.

On the drive I still can't get a hold of Ryan so I call my sister so I can tell SOMEBODY what happened.

Before we get home, Alanna has completely passed out in her seat. Apparently the ordeal was exhausting for her.

I was always afraid something like this would happen... we all survived okay though. I hope I never experience it again!



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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Season Festivities

I am DETERMINED! I don't care if it's after midnight... I'm going to blog, dangit!

So, it's Christmas time and this is turning out to be a fabulous year for the festivities! Our tree is up, stockings hung, Christmas Village set up, even garland and bows are gracing strategic places around the living room.

This year we started a new tradition. The Elf on the Shelf. Our kids have named him Nini and they are so excited every morning to search out and find him. I believe for the first few years he will be well behaved and once the kiddos are older he will become more mischievous when he returns from the North Pole each morning. I can't wait!

Speaking of the Elf on the Shelf... we have the movie. AND... it's the current favorite for the little ones. I can't tell you how many times a day we watch it (70 bajillion), but let me just say it's a lot. "Extravagantalorius" is stuck in my head all the freakin time! help me

The exterior of our home would have been decorated but a major cold front moved into Albuquerque dumping snow and single digit temperatures so it's too cold to be standing out there hanging lights with numb fingers. It can wait.

And with this cold weather we are taking NO CHANCES of our pipes freezing again. Remember what happened last time?? And all the damage?? Ug... I'm not doing that again. So we are leaving all water running pretty much all day long. No, I do not feel wasteful. You go live in temporary lodging for a month because your house got flooded and tell me again to feel guilty about running water!

This year I am behind in my usual work. By this time I usually have our Christmas mail-out done, printed and working on addressing and mailing out. This year I haven't even gotten family or Santa pictures taken yet. I do have a VERY rough draft of our yearly letter though. Between pre-school, therapies, appointments, rehearsals, and other social activities I'm a part of, I don't spend much time on a computer. I'm hoping to go to the River of Lights at the BioPark soon and maybe we can get a few good pics to include. And I'm also hoping this week to stop by the mall real quick to get the kids' photo with Santa. Ug! I also need to schedule an appointment SOMEWHERE to get family photos done. Goodness gracious!

I don't even want to talk about Christmas Shopping.

Tomorrow is the Christmas Party for PWOC. Our normal Worship Leader will not be able to make it so I have taken her place to lead everyone in the carols. I'm no soprano so I hope they enjoy my falsetto for a couple of the songs. These social times are so much fun for me! Many of my friends did not do the same study as me this session so I haven't spent as much time with them as I have in the past. Some of these women are absolutely amazing -- I'm so happy to know them.

I am looking forward to flying home for Christmas this year. I cannot express to you my joy in going home after a year of being away! Not excited about the rain and the grey sky... but that's what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Eventually I hope to catch up on the topics I mentioned in my last post. But that will come later. Yeah, for New Year's maybe I'll blog about Thanksgiving. Haha.


Oh, soon and very soon I have an update to share about an important thing happening in our life. No, it's not a baby.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some blessings

Hello my sweet readers. I know I've been absent lately and I apologize. I honestly have not found myself on the computer all that much. I've even been neglecting Facebook! Shocking!

Thanksgiving was wonderful. I will have to blog about it another time. Same with my Disneyland trip and the Santa Fe Tree Lighting and the crazy dreams I have been having lately and other life stuff going on with pictures.

Tonight I just want to say how blessed I am in my life. It is easy to overlook. And after having a pretty crappy night I think it will be helpful to my sleep to mention some of the good things in my life.

Of course my first thought is of my kids. They are my joy and motivation. My treasured gifts entrusted to me.

My husband is a huge blessing to me. He is a wonderful provider and finds a goal and works hard to reach it.

My family in general. I'm so privileged to have siblings and parents who will be there for me at a moments notice. Like all families we have our quirks and disagreements but we still love each other.

I live in lovely base housing (even if some of the construction is cheap). It is warm (mostly) and its location keeps us safe in a city that is full of crime.

Since moving here I have found a few wonderful friends that I will hopefully cherish the rest of my life. We help and support each other when it is needed. We have fun times together... Even if we are just sitting on the floor with our kids. God really brings the right people into your life at the right time.

Oh! Good health! That is also taken for granted. The last few days my lower back has really been hurting and I just think of others who live in constant pain or difficulties or suffering for years. I can deal with the dull aching and occasional sharp pain for awhile because I know I will be better soon.

I can go on but my mood has already improved and I think I can sleep now. Thanks for reading.


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

still to be known...

My brother is supposed to be driving down this afternoon/evening to spend Thanksgiving with me.

I'm excited!

I got the room ready for him and have started my baking. Still working on some cleaning and finished almost all of the laundry... though it keeps piling up again.

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We're still waiting to hear back on AFIT. The list was posted today but Ryan received an e-mail that they are waiting on some other stuff (out of his control) before they let a bunch of people know for sure if they are accepted and where... and that is why they are not on the list.

I'm frustrated. I was looking forward to knowing SOMETHING!

Oh well. Right now, the way I look at it is if Ryan does get accepted to AFIT he could end up deploying VERY soon... or not at all. If he does not get accepted then I know the time frame of his deployment and am satisfied with that much information for now.

Hurry up and wait! Hurry up and wait! === Darn you military motto!!!


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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is empathy enough?

There's something that's been on my mind and I didn't know how else to express it. I hope somebody can understand.

Life isn't fair.

And at this stage I find life isn't fair for a lot of people. Especially those who are trying with all they have to start a family.

Some of my readers already know that this was not a problem for Ryan and I. William was our "out of the blue" blessing and Alanna, though planned, first showed up months sooner than we expected.

My pregnancies were the dream, text book pregnancies. No morning sickness. No complications. Measuring where I should, when I should. No incredibly excessive weight gain (I actually lost weight in my 2nd pregnancy). During my pregnancy with Alanna there was some concern for a few weeks about a hematoma found on the ultrasound and placenta prevera (sp?) but both cleared up within those weeks so there was no more fear. Even my deliveries went well... pretty much... you know... Will coming out blue and all because of the cord wrapped around his neck.

The more people I meet and come in contact with, the more I realize our story of getting pregnant and having safe pregnancies and deliveries is not necessarily the norm.

I hear of infertility. I hear of complications. I hear of babies dying before they are born. Others dying soon after. Years and years of trying. Medications. Testing. Procedures.

And I'm sad for them.

I want to hug them and tell them I know how they feel... but I really don't. Is empathy enough? I really, truly, do feel for these women but I don't fully understand because I've never walked in their shoes. My heart breaks over and over with each new story I hear or read.

I've never waited month after month with shattered hope each time with the realization it didn't happen... again.

I haven't suffered from the loss of a miscarriage.

I didn't have that dread hanging over my head that there was a good possibility my child would not make it or would have serious health or developmental problems once he/she was born.

I've never even seen a real NICU.

I may not have personally experienced these situations but for some reason I "feel" for the women going through them. I hold out hope for them that everything will work out. The end of their story is untold, but I pray that the right people, doctors, friends, etc. surround and hold them up through their times of trial, disappointment, hurt, and loss. I pray for success. I pray that, somehow, these women can have the children they desire.

I feel inadequate trying to provide comfort, but I want express that my empathy is STRONG, so very strong! I try and hope people can sense how genuine I am.

For those of you in the same position as me... or those who relate more to those I feel empathy for... what have you found to be the best way to be supportive?



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Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Review: Recordable Storybooks

I had never actually used a recordable storybook before but when I was offered 2 of them I jumped at the opportunity. My kids, especially my youngest, love to be read to. I figured these beautifully illustrated books would be a win since they could "read" them by themselves.

The books were easy to record and re-record. I really like that even if the batteries die you can replace them and the recording is still there until you choose to re-record over it. When/if hubby deploys the kids will still be able to have him read them a story!

The two books I received were "All Day Long with Jesus" by Matt Anderson and "Bedtime Prayers and Promises" by Bonnie Rickner Jensen. Both were illustrated by Julie Sawyer Phillips. Although these books are cute and short, "Bedtime Prayers and Promises" had a bit more length to each page and on one or two pages I had to rush through the final scripture before the recording time ran out.

My only other complaints are that there is no way to NOT have the recording play if you just want to read the story and there is no volume control. In a quiet house the recording of your own voice being replayed loudly can take away the intimacy of reading with your small child before bedtime. Oh, and if you accidently leave the book open on the floor in the evening and then later turn on the living room light in the middle of the night, you may or may not be terrified by your own voice suddenly speaking from an inanimate object. Just saying.

Overall, I think these books are wonderful and might look into purchasing other recordable storybooks in the future.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Loss of motivation

I seem to have lost my motivation for blogging. Today was supposed to be my link-up with my song for the week and I couldn't even muster up the get-go for that... and I look forward to it every Thursday!

The pictures from my Disneyland trip are still on my camera and phone. I have no idea when I'll get around to loading them.

Today the kids FINALLY seemed to settle back into the routine of life. It's been a rough few days of re-adjusting. Their sleep has been off, refusing to eat, super whiney... I think that has also impacted why I'm not in the writing mood.

What else happened this week?

Well, I finally had a mole removed that the doctors agreed needed to be checked out. Not sure when I'm supposed to hear back on it... and if I don't hear anything then I know it is normal. I had to get a few stitches from the removal. Unfortunately, because of the location it is quite sensitive and sometimes painful... mostly itchy. But it's not bad and I think I'm healing quite well.

Anyway, I'm still here and reading posts. I haven't been commenting like I usually do. Maybe this week I can kick this funk and get back to posting and loading pictures.



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Monday, November 14, 2011

Returned!

I am home.

I am sore.

I am tired!

But I'm happy to see my hubby and hug my kiddos. They missed me.

And now it's nap time.


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Sunday, November 13, 2011

California Fun

Still in California and having a blast at Disneyland! I Hop has free WiFi so I decided to show you guys a few pics of the trip! This has been a wonderful vacation with my sisters, mom and the exchange student Roberta.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls...

It is time! Thursday evening I fly to California and spend the weekend at Disneyland with my mom and sisters! Whoot!

I am very excited.

The last time I was at Disneyland (in the United States) was back when Ryan and I were dating.... so... 7 years ago. I don't really count Disneyland in Japan basically for the fact that I was pregnant and couldn't go on most of the rides and in the entire day we went on, like, 4 rides. The wait alone for the Haunted Mansion was over 3 hours. Ug. Oh, and I can confidently say that I will NOT be pregnant this trip because I even took a test to be sure this afternoon!

But anyway, I'm thrilled to finally be going again! And!!! I've never been to Disney's California so I'm more than tickled that I'm finally experiencing it.

The only real drawback is that Pirates of the Caribbean is closed! One of my favorite rides AND the restaurant (that I've never eaten at) will not be available. Bummer.

Oh... and there's also the possibility that they will have already been decorating for Christmas! Ack! I cannot wait!

So anyway, my song for the week! I have chosen Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade Music. Does anybody NOT smile when listening? Ahhh... many happy memories.



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Monday, November 7, 2011

More on the "D" word... and the kids

Still no definitive news yet on Ryan deploying.

But now there's more things in the mix.

Like... Ryan possibly getting selected for the 8-week Squadron Officer School in residence. Most likely to take place in January.

And then there's also the possibility that if he does deploy there could be training in the months leading up to that deployment so he could be gone then too.

*sigh* everything is out of my hands so I can't be concerned about it. We'll take it as it comes.

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I leave in a few days for California and DISNEYLAND! I'm looking forward to it... though it will be the longest I've been away from my little ones. I'm trying to plan ahead and make things as easy as possible for Ryan while I'm gone. You know -- freezing dinners and picking out clothes for church on Sunday. I really want him to enjoy this special Daddy time with Will and Lana.

Not too much else going on. Therapies are going amazingly well. I do have a few phone calls and insurance talk to take on so that Will can actually get Speech Therapy through Hippotherapy, not just Occupational Therapy. Once the doctor sends over details on his medical record it should be approved. The letter from insurance basically said that the approval was pending because they did not have enough evidence in his medical records that would require Speech Therapy. Yeah, I laughed too.

Alanna is going through a huge burst of language right now. She still repeats everything and will hold up or point at things saying "vis?" or "vat?" wanting to know the names of items. It cracks me up. We now have her sleeping in her crib in Will's room instead of the pack n' play in the sewing room. She's beginning to try climbing out so we figured it was best to get her accustomed to sleeping in that room so her transition to the toddler bed is easier. She has actually taken to it quite well.

And now time for pics and videos. Oh yeah. We did go to McCall's Pumpkin Patch before Halloween, but (and this seriously never happens!) I forgot my camera AND my phone. I felt so naked! My friend allowed me to use her camera while we were there but I haven't gone over to get those photos yet.

Alanna helping mommy carve pumpkins

Will checking out the work

Will, Ryan and Maya Trick-or-Treating

Me and Lana Trick-or-Treating

Posing after Pre-School... and yes, Alanna is wearing her pink cowgirl boots. She demanded.
Playing with the bubble bath

making faces

I think they were watching Elmo... one of the few things Will actually watches on tv. He usually wants to listen to music and dance around the living room.
If you remember THIS POST... this is Will's finger in a bandaid the day it happened.

This is his poor finger 25 hours later.

and here it is about a week later. As of today (just over 2 weeks later) the scab on the side of the finger has fallen off. The nail is still very purple but you can see the area that was not hurt. Eventually we expect the nail to fall off. But he is healing nicely.
And now for something pretty --- there was a gorgeous sunset the other night. I had to take a couple photos (posted SOOC):




And to end I leave you with some videos of my kids... who make me laugh everyday.

You hear Will whining because he wants to get Ryan's soap to use for bath time.


This is right after breakfast or lunch when we are just about all done and the kids were counting with Ryan. Of course, Will decides that he doesn't want to participate in the counting... 



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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Military's "D" word

So today it really happened.

Hubby and I sat down and the big, military "D" word came up.

Yup, deployment.

There are several options floating around and unfortunately none of them sound very good. Hey, there's even the possibility that hubby and my brother will get to meet up in the sandbox next year. But who knows. As of this moment it does look like he will be home for Christmas... this morning it wasn't so promising.

Oh, and there's also a chance that he will completely get pulled off any deployment up to a certain point if he gets accepted into AFIT (which we should hear within a few weeks).

How am I handling it? I'd say pretty well. I knew when I was going to marry a military man that this was likely to happen. And several months ago I even told Ryan that I had a feeling his number was up and he'd be sent off somewhere. To be honest, I'll be sad to have him gone but I'm not distraught.

Yes, my husband is a huge part of my life, but he's not my entire life. Between my kids, therapies, church, bible study, and friends I have a lot to keep me busy. Admittedly, though, I guess a big bed to myself will get lonely.

For now I get to just wait and see what happens. That can be hard for a planner, but for some reason I'm really at peace about all of this. Whatever happens, we will be fine.



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changing lyrics

Linking up with Goodnight Moon.

This week I wanted something fun! Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia." I was introduced to Simon and Farfunkel when I was in about 6th grade. My dad returned from WestPac (a 6-month navy deployment in the Western Pacific) and unfortunately something happened to some of the gifts he bought -- if I'm remembering correctly. Anyway, he gave me a tape of Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits. A cassette tape. Yes.

I actually loved it, believe it or not.

Let's fast forward to where it has been YEARS since I've listened to their music. Something I've inherited from my dad is the ability to take songs and change the names/words to make them fit for my family. I've got Alanna, who I bounce around and sing to and I've taken the chorus from "Cecilia" and changed the name to "Alanna." I could not remember any of the verses.

I eventually look it up and am somewhat taken aback that I'm singing this song to my 1 year old daughter! Since we both enjoy the chorus and mommy singing it, I just change the verse so that we are "having fun" with Alanna all afternoon... not doing the other thing. :)

Do you ever change the lyrics of a song so it fits you better?





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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Review: Close Enough to Hear God Breathe by Greg Paul


Close Enough to Hear God Breathe by Greg Paul is a simple read about the intimacy of God. The chapters are fairly short and consist of stories and narratives of how near God is in our lives. An overall theme threaded throughout the book is that God loves us and is pleased with us and desires to be close, if we let Him.

It was somewhat difficult for me to get into, but I did find the stories quite sweet and full of beautiful imagery. I was impressed that the very first chapter depicting a version of Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan River really triggered pictures in my mind on how I think things might have happened.

I was also surprised to see a section on ‘consummation’ that included some interesting thoughts on how intimate God can be.

God cherishes us so much, He knows our stories. He even knows how He was a major part to them even if it was unseen to us. To hear the affirmation that we are a pleasure to God; He loves us... is priceless.




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Because I know you are all dying to see my beautiful hard work...

Here are se pics of my kiddos in their "hand made by mom" Halloween costumes. Will was Peter Pan and Alanna was a teddy bear. I'm also including the pic of the costumes I made for a lady on base. Her son was Link from Legend of Zelda and her daughter was Sailor Moon.


Oh yeah... costuming in college as a theatre major has really benefitted my children.

And, honey, if you're reading this, don't you think these skills are worth all those financial aid payments???

Because I want to share -- I'm typing this blog on my brand spanking new iPhone 4s. So awesome, right?

And some additional fabulous news: we received news from the forshapping board and Ryan's job with the Air Force is secure for now. There will likely be more forshapping boards for years to come but we just have to tackle things as they come. Now we are just waiting to hear if he got accepted into AFIT or not and where our next station will be.

That all for now. I'm off to clean up my house. The base did trick-or-treating Sunday night so now I've got Halloween to put away. Be safe everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bright and Shiny

I seemed to have done my Halloween song link last week so this week I'm going a different direction.

Yes, I'm still busy.

Yes, my sewing machine is still being overworked.

Yes, I'm happy doing this.

All-in-all, things are going good, just not much down time. Our DVR is loading up because I'm not available to watch shows with the hubby.

Anyway, my selection this week is "Bright and Shiny" from the movie "Bubble Boy" with Jake Gyllenhaal. It makes me crack up every time I see it.

The other week my sister and I were discussing her allergies and asthma and how she wants to be running her 5K's and stuff like that (I think she's crazy) but because of her lung issues her body doesn't want to do it. She'll be fine, but if somebody cuts the grass she's out of business.

I said she needs to run in a bubble and then busted up laughing. I was imagining her running a 5K inside a human sized hamster ball. She was imaging something similar to the Bubble Boy in the movie. Either way, can you see that in your mind? Runners in a 5K with this bubble in the midst?! Hilarious!



Linking up with Goodnight Moon.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Sew Busy

I'm still busy and will likely be distracted until the end of the month.

My poor sewing machine is getting a work out and I've been stabbed by my needles more times than I care to remember.

Alanna's costume is complete, thank goodness... but I'm still at a loss for what to do with William. And then today I got a letter from his school that they are doing Storybook Day on Monday and he's to dress as his favorite story book or fairy tale character. I'm glad that I haven't fully decided on his costume because I'd rather just kill two birds with one stone. Yeah?

Before I get started on his costume I still have to finish 2 other ones that I'm getting paid for. The one costume is coming along quite nicely though so I'm hoping it'll be done quickly.

But here's the thing... I've got to get all these costumes done by FRIDAY! Our church is having Harvest Fest on Friday so Will needs something to wear. I guess I actually have a bit longer for those other 2, but I'm trying to get them done sooner.

So that means I will not be spending much time blogging.

For now I will report that Will had another appointment today and the doc is happy with his progress. He is no longer considered "underweight"!!! He is now appropriate to his height!

Alanna has an appointment next week for her well baby check up. I'm sure she'll pass with flying colors.

What else...

Will's finger is healing alright... Ryan passed his PFT... I can almost put Lana's hair in a ponytail...

I'm just kinda busy. Leave me comments to make me happy when I take a break!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Seeing Thunderbirds

I was glancing through my blog posts and realized I never shared about seeing the Thunderbirds perform!

There was an Air Show going on at the beginning of October. I really wanted to go! The Air Force Thunderbirds were going to perform and I'd never seen them*. I mean, as I was growing up in California my dad was stationed at San Diego and we'd watch the Blue Angels practice over our house all the time. But the Blue Angels are Navy and I wanted to support my Air Force.

The actual "Air Show" started early in the day but we went to church, came home for lunch and then Lana took a nap. I had decided I would just take Will and Ryan could stay with the sleeping Alanna since he'd already seen the Thunderbirds several times.

In the end Alanna woke up so Ryan decided we would all go.

After parking, riding the bus, standing in line and walking all the way to the static displays it wasn't long before the show started. I thought it was fun. Alanna did not like how loud they were and would bury her head in Ryan's chest as he'd cover her ears. Will seemed to enjoy them when he could see them, though the sun was in a bad spot and made it difficult to see the aerial demonstrations. The sun was beating down so we parked ourslves in the shaded area behind a dumpster (that did NOT smell!!) to watch.

Since we came so late we basically missed all the other things that were going on at the Air Show. The plane displays, talking with the pilots, the children's center, all that other fun stuff... food. Oh well. I'm sure we'll have plenty of additional opportunities to see the Thunderbirds and other Air Shows.

Now I'll show some pics. I did some minor editing (zooming in) but other than that they are SOOC.


since Alanna was being held, Will decided to claim the stroller and hydrate... with Lana's juice.


She was holding on to him SO tight when the planes came by






the wind was blowing a bit so ignore the flyaway hair






*That statement is only partly true. The day before the Air Show I heard loud planes overhead. Since we live near an airport that wasn't uncommon. But they sounded like jets! So I run to the back door and see the Thunderbirds practicing over our house! I showed Alanna and she would point and laugh. Reminded me of when I was little...


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