Friday, May 24, 2013

Neighbors of Blessings

As a military family we are given the experience of moving every couple years. As I've said before, though it can be stressful I enjoy living in new places and meeting new people.

When we moved here we chose to live in base housing.

Here's the thing -- you don't get to choose your neighbors and you barely even get to choose your house.

I have been realizing lately how incredibly blessed we are as a family to have such amazing neighbors. I'm not sure how we got so lucky. I know almost all the people who live on our stretch of street as well as their kids. And others I know by sight and we wave and our kids play together. Nearly everyone is courteous, friendly, and generally good people. We enjoy the additional goodness of having real Christian believers living all around us.

And what's more? We actually ENJOY each other's company! We make plans to hang out.

Something else that is great is we trust each other with our children. We can hand them off to one another to watch for whatever reason. Today while outside my neighbor several houses down was doing yard work and told his kids riding their bikes they could go as far as my house (and I was out there). So the kids basically came over and played with the toys out of our garage with Will and Lana. I don't have a problem with that because other times we go on walks and end up only going to the end of the street because Will and Lana see their friends and then play with the toys out of their garage.

This is the way it should be.

My kids don't get to be raised the way I was. Parents can't just shove their kids outside and say "play until dinner!" We must actually be present and observant.

Thankfully I have a gang of people who all help watch out for all the children. Somebody needs a potty break at the park? No problem, there are other moms (and dads) available to watch the others.

But these neighborly relationships are also friendships. Somebody is hurting, there's somebody there to help. Lonely? Another person will stop by to make you feel better. Finals Week? Most of us are in the same boat and can totally relate with the venting that must take place. Had a baby? Dinners will be coming! Family tragedy? Deployment? Homecoming? We will rally around to help with whatever you need: watch kids/pets, bring food, allow alone time with spouse, do your yard work, etc.

These people are amazing. I love being in this neighborhood. And I am so thankful God placed us here because this is the type of environment I need to make it through AFIT. Anywhere else the military takes us my neighborhood will have a high bar set for them.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Alanna's First Haircut

When Alanna was born and very young I called her my "less-haired" baby. She wasn't bald, per se, but she definitely had a lack of hair.

As she grew it only remedied by a bit.

We often go to the barbershop for William to get his haircut, but every time Lana tags along she recites that she doesn't have enough hair for a haircut.

She just turned 3 years old and never received a haircut.

Well, the other week I finally had enough of her messy top and brought her in.

We went to a cute little place geared just to kids. Every station had its very own television and the hairdressers would turn on the child's favorite cartoon to keep them occupied. The seats weren't your normal chairs, they were planes or trains or cars. Every kid got to choose which chair they wanted to sit in. Not surprisingly, Alanna chose an airplane. William also got a haircut, he chose to sit in an old school racecar.
I didn't want to have all my little girl's hair chopped off, but I was hoping that with trimming up the ends and evening things up a bit her wild wisps would become tame.
It only sort of worked.

There is just too much wave and body to her thin, fine locks that even though I brush and comb... unless I make effort to put them up and back it looks like she's a bit crazy.

Then again, it kind of fits her personality perfectly.

Oh, and I did get to keep a lock of her pretty blonde hair.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

When Spring Sprung

I totally meant to blog about this awhile ago... but I, uh, didn't.

Spring finally did arrive in Ohio. It took its darn sweet time too! I complained nearly the entire winter about how crappy the weather was and then spring slowly crept in.

Back in October I did something I'd never done before in preparation of spring -- I planted flower bulbs.

And to my amazement they actually bloomed!

hyacinths with daffodils behind
My neighbors made lots of friendly comments to me about how lovely and bright my flowers looked. And I admit, I smiled every time I saw them. They really made me happy!

even the tree in my yard bloomed
The flower time is winding down and unless I plant something else to bloom over the summer I will soon be done with flowers. I hope to see them again next spring... and it probably will happen but that all depends on the military, Ryan's graduation, PCSing and what not.

Now the weather is heating up. There have not been a ton of mild spring days and we're right about at the point we arrived a year ago, so I know the humidity will be hitting us soon.

Still not a fan of this state, but at least I can say I grew pretty flowers here.

Oh and thank goodness I don't seem to have allergy issues because apparently this place is in the top 5 cities with the worst allergies. Yuck!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Aviation Trail Part 2

After our time exploring the beautiful and peaceful Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum it was nearly lunch time. We drove to our next destination and enjoyed our lunch in the van.

Where did we go?

Carillon Historical Park.

(Side note: I still mess up when saying the name of this place. I keep wanting to call it "care-ee-yon" like in Spanish when two L's make the "yuh" sound... but it is pronounced "care-uh-lawn" like I'm sure most people would say it)
Deeds Carillon
This wasn't the first time we visited the place but after looking through my blog posts I realized I never posted about it -- we went to Carillon Park in May of last year a couple days after arriving in Ohio. My sister was with me then, and we took the kids out to explore something and let them run. We did get to wander through and see a lot of what was there, but we took a little too long and didn't get to check out everything.

Well, I wanted to go back and see what we missed and we still needed to get another stamp in that passport book to meet our minimum requirement for the Wilbear Wright teddy bears.

We would have eaten our lunch on the grass below the Deeds Carillon, but there were a LOT of children on field trips running and screaming about so I decided to keep my kiddos contained. Then we headed inside.

Since we'd been there before I didn't want to spend much time inside. But we had to ride the carousel!
Lana chose the old school race car
William chose to ride the dog food since there was a puppy coming out of it
Once outside I allowed the kids to wander leisurely and see some of the old houses. Just a few weeks ago a new exhibit opened about the huge Dayton flood of 1913 so of course we had to check that out.
Locust Grove School Number 12 (1896) a one room school house
old style gas station
part of the Dayton Flood exhibit
And I FINALLY was able to see the Wright Brothers Aviation Center. The kids were being a bit squirrelly but we had a nice tour guide who talked us through rooms quickly and tried to help me keep them entertained. I wish I had time to read all that was there... but we did see one of the few remaining authentic bicycles made by the Wright Brothers as well as the actual original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world's first practical airplane.
bicycle made by the Wright Brothers
actual plane created and flown by the Wright Brothers

The guide spoke with me for some time about the Wright Brothers and told me about Hawthorne Hill, the home of Orville Wright. Tours can be done there also. Turns out I think that was the place I used to turn around once when I got lost on my way to Kettering. Anyway, after Wilbur died Orville pretty much lost his major drive and focus with the airplane and went off spending more of his time "tinkering around" as the man told me. Since neither brother every married I'm sure he was very lonely.
Anyway, we finished up at the Aviation Center and wandered more around the park visiting the bridges, viewing old historical homes, and then back to the visitor's center and finally back to our house.
You would think my little ones were exhausted, but they weren't. As soon as we got home Will and Lana saw their friends at the neighborhood park so we spent the rest of our afternoon there. By bedtime my kiddos were done!

What a fun day! And now we have enough stamps to get that prize!