Friday, December 26, 2008

The Big Day and the Aftermath

Here it is, the long awaited for Christmas slide show. Enjoy!

You Know You've Done Something Right

It's no secret that I can get a bit stressed when I'm packing us up to go away for a few days. The to-do list seems too big, I have to pack for four people, remember diapers and wipes and baby stuff, I'm nearly always leaving the house in some sort of disarray, I have to set up the animals with food and water for days and a clean litter box for the cats, and often Gideon is screaming because I won't hold him and Zion is screaming because she is excited to see Tantie and wants to leave NOW! The other day was no exception. I fell going down the stairs, fell going up the stairs, banged my elbow, banged my back, the dog food bag fell over and spilled dog food underneath the dryer, one of the goodies for Christmas was stuck on the cookie sheet, I had packages to get ready to mail, a car to load and I haven't even packed yet. In the midst of this chaos and my running back and forth through the house and being a bit short with the kids Gabe stops me and tells me he's sorry that I'm upset and, get this, asks "Mama, would it help if I said a prayer for you?" Screeeech!!!! Talk about putting on my brakes and filling me with a sense of peace. He does pray and it's a great prayer and suddenly I can go about calmly again and I am amazed with him and the knowledge that somewhere, sometime, I did something right with that one. Thank you, God.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours and may you receive all of God's blessings in the coming year.

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

... and my sister doesn't even have a darn fireplace.

At My Sister's

We managed to get to Jamie's alright yesterday and it's a darn good thing because it started snowing again sometime in the night and it hasn't stopped since. My sister's area has more than a foot now. I took some cool pictures and will post them as soon as I can get them on my computer. For now, here's little Zion in front of the Christmas tree.
I'm in love with this picture. I took it with my cell phone and then "treated" it with a special application that I downloaded. With her in that position looking down at her hands it looks like Christmas morning and time to open presents when in actuality it was yesterday and she's cracking in to some fruit snacks. tee hee

Baby Boot Camp

Amber asked how Gideon's "boot camp" is going. Well, it worked!

For two nights.

As usual, anytime I've tried something new it has worked a couple of times and then he's on to me. After that it's worse than it ever was. This time it didn't get too much worse but it hasn't gotten good again. For two nights though I actually got almost 4 hours consecutive sleep. Wow!

One good thing though is that I'm getting better at ignoring him. Well, at least it's easier to do through two closed doors and down a hallway. So there have been a couple of times where he has woken me by crying but I have been able to roll over and at least doze in and out until I realized that he was quiet again.

We're at Jamie's for Christmas so all of our sleep habits are going to go down hill but we'll be back in boot camp again once we're home. I'm still hoping that this will do the trick and he'll be sleeping through the night soon!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Time

Time. Such an odd little thing. The Friday before last I woke up and looked at the clock at it was 8:45. Normally I wouldn't mind still being in bed at 8:45 but on Fridays Gabe and Zion have swim lessons.

At the Y.

At 9:50.

The Y is 25 minutes from our house and it takes about 15 minutes for us to get from the car to inside and check Gideon into the nursery and get us all changed for the pool. In order for us to make it I needed to get all four of us up and out of bed, dressed and fed and in carseats with buckles on in 20 minutes. Welp, I made it. I still can't believe it.

Today I wanted to take the kids for Santa pictures. Easy peasy, right?

It took FOUR hours. Four hours from the time we left our neighborhood to the time we arrived back in our town and not counting the time it took in the KFC drive through 'cause I was not interested in cooking dinner at that point. The kids did great waiting in line (thanks mostly to me remembering to bring snacks) and the picture turned out really cute. This is the third year in a row that we've been to this same Santa. When I have time (ha ha) I'll scan it and post it. For now, I've got to get us packed. Tomorrow is supposed to be the best weather day this week and, let we get stuck here, I'm taking all of us to my sister's tomorrow instead of waiting. Later!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!



Enjoy!

Just remember to scroll all the way down and pause my regular music so you can hear the video.

Not In The Doghouse

First, go here and watch the video - The Doghouse.

Yesterday I got the Christmas gift that Rob sent and let's just say he is SO not in the doghouse. He upgraded my cell phone to one of those ultra fancy schmancy ones that does everything. And I mean everything! Well, except it doesn't babysit. Wish it could though. But anyway, I'm totally surprised and pleased. Good one, Rob! Though, I hope you know that you have totally raised the bar for next Christmas. ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Belated 6-Month Pictures

I know, this is about 6 weeks too late but better late than never right? Here's just a peek at a series of photos that were done. I brought the caterpiller and book and the pictures are in one print just like this:
OK, everybody together now "awwww!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Catching Up

Once again I am terribly behind on pretty much everything. Laundry, cleaning, Christmas stuff, blogging. Well, I've got a load in the washer, a load in the dryer, everything else is sorted and ready. The dishwasher is just finishing a load and, thanks to a kind volunteer babysitter from my church, I got some Christmas shopping done today (now comes the wrapping). So I'm going to try to catch you all up on the latest goings on.

Last week I was getting mentally prepared to head up to my sister's for the weekend. A midweek weather report for freezing weather and possible snow put the halt on that since I knew I couldn't leave the dog in the yard all weekend. Too cold for poor Towz. Any other weekend I would have been content to just hang out at home but last weekend was my birthday weekend and sitting at home alone (yeah. "alone". just me and three kids under 4) just didn't feel right so I called my neighbor who agreed to let the dog in and out for me. Woohoo! Thanks Jennifer and Keith! So Friday after the kids' swim classes and my water aerobics class we headed up to my sister's.
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Saturday the 13th AKA my birthday

My wonderful nieces and their friend Paisley give me their gift which was to watch the kids so my sister and I can go out. Yeehaw! I felt like a new colt fresh out of the barn on a sunny day. Or whatever visual helps you understand that it felt really great to get to go shopping and out to lunch and I didn't have to buckle anyone else's seatbelt, change a diaper, dry a tear, feed someone else or hear three demanding but loving voices crying "mama" every few minutes. Jamie and I went to a craft store and the mall and a little restaurant that I'd never been to called PF Chang's. Talk about yummy! Really, really yummy! I think we were out for about 5 hours. That is the longest that I've been away from Gideon since he was still in my belly. He is doing much better now that he'll eat some solids. The little stinker still won't take a bottle and he eats frequently so up until recently even two hours apart took some planning.

Bob makes an amazing dinner we've fondly come to call That Sausage Thing. I know. Makes you want to beg the recipe doesn't it? Well if you tasted it you would. It's SO good!

Later that night it snows. While I was in her family room Jamie took Zion out in the yard and showed her how to throw a snowball. When they came in Zion was in rare form talking madly and gesticulating wildly and telling such a story eyes like saucers and with a huge smile. I had to ask my sister what she was talking about, Zion was so excited that I couldn't understand what she was saying. I followed them back outside to see a demonstration of Zion throwing a snowball armed with Jamie's camera. I got some good shots of the kids playing in the snow but I'll have to wait to post them until I get them from my sis.
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Sunday the 14th AKA my mom's birthday

Today I'm supposed to drive home. I spend most of the morning hemming and hawing over whether or not this will actually occur. Ultimately I decide that it's safest to wait a day to give the roads more time to dry out. The hills by both my sister's house and my house are notoriously bad when it's icy and it's just not worth the risk. On the flip side it gives us a chance to walk down to say "happy birthday!" and bring birthday cake to my mom.

Later I am reminded via e-mail that I've signed up to make a loaf of bread for the nursery workers at my MOPS group. I'm also reminded that it's my table's turn to bring food for the brunch which also reminds me that I was going to make a special treat for the ladies at my table which reminds me that Monday night is my Bible study's potluck and I'm supposed to bring a dish. After a few moments of mental panic because I know there's no way I can get all that done on time I call the Bible study leader to let her know that since I won't be getting back until Monday I'm going to skip our potluck. I then make plans to use my trusty breadmachine to make the bread instead of from scratch, will pick up something store bought for the brunch and will make Turtle candies instead of truffles for my ladies (less time consuming). With that I'm able to enjoy been "snowed in" at Jamie's for another day.

Jamie and the family had a commitment they must fulfill so they head out for a couple of hours. During that time I develop a "lovely" sore throat and by the time they come back feel pretty crappy. Great.
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Monday the 15th and nobody's birthday that I know

I wake and my throat is so puffy and sore that I can barely swallow or talk, my sinuses are gooky and I feel generally yucky. *sigh* Still, by the time we leave at lunch time it feels like the worst is over and I feel good enough to hit Walmart on the way home. Ah, home. I can't wait to get back and crank out the goodies I need to make and relax a bit. As soon as I walked in the door I knew it was not going to be so. Without going into too many details I'll just tell you that I spent half the night cleaning up after what I'll call The Infamous Litterbox Incident of 2008 (which comes in a close second to The Infamous Litterbox Incident of 2007, story for another time). Apparently my wonderful neighbors thought to check the box on Sunday but were unaware that if you put too much litter in my cats' self-cleaning litterbox the rake won't dock and it will just keep running back and forth, back and forth through the litter.

Cats can't use a litterbox where the rake won't stop moving.


That was Sunday afternoon.


I got home Monday afternoon.


The cats have no access to the out of doors.


You get the picture.


Well, it wasn't the evening that I'd hoped for with a lot more cleaning then I had planned and I was up past midnight but at least everything got made that needed to get made and I even got a shower and a load of laundry done.
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Tuesday the 16th - today (for another 18 minutes)

My alarm goes off at 7:30 so I can get us all up and out the door for MOPS. I don't know why I bother setting an alarm since Gideon is always awake by then but anyway. I succeed in getting us all dressed and in the car by 8:35. I'm backing the car out of the garage and as I'm slowly and carefully making my way past the Mustang and then Rob's truck I see that overnight some wonderful person egged the truck. What the heck?! In July some wonderful (probably the same) person paintballed the truck and it splattered the Mustang. It cost a shameful amount of money to have the Mustang detailed and the truck was only partially done (mostly because it hit the window and getting paint of glass is easier than getting paint off paint) and now there's frozen egg all over the darn thing (but not the Mustang that I can tell). Arg! I've already been feeling completely overwhelmed lately with my to-do list and I really didn't need to add to it. I would love to find the person who did it so I can make THEM wash the egg off!

So I do what I do when faced with disappointment. I call my sis. So, I'm on the way to MOPS still (and yes, I'm driving and talking on my cell legally using my Bluetooth) and I unload my frustration and hurt at being targeted by vandals for the second time and when I'm done she lets me know that our mom is in the hospital. Apparently a fall she had a week or so ago that broke her shoulder caused some internal bleeding at the break so she needed some blood and fluids for dehydration but she should be released in a day or so. Good news.

My MOPS meeting goes well. Turns out I hadn't forgotten anything at home. Cause for celebration! On the way home I pick up the girl from my church who has volunteered to babysit so that I can go Christmas shopping. After settling her and the kids in I head out for a little retail therapy and to cross a couple of things off my evergrowing to-do list. After a bit I'm actually feeling better. A little (a lot) cat pee, frozen egg and bad mom news can't get me down after all. I got a lot done in a few hours and headed for home. The moment I open my car door back in my garage and I know something is wrong. There's an odd sound coming from the corner. I turn. I look. I find a waterfall in my garage. That's funny. I don't remember our house having that particular water feature when I left. Have I mentioned recently that we're having temperatures in the teens around here? If you haven't yet figured it out I'll just come right now and tell you that we had a pipe freeze and burst and now water is spraying everywhere both inside and out of our garage. Yes. I did cry. But thanks to the babysitter's dad who showed up to pick her up and a kind neighbor we got the water shut off, found the break, shut off a different valve, got the water to the house turned back on, swept the water out of the garage, moved the soaked boxes to a dry spot (will have to go through those later) and wrapped as much of the pipe as possible in an old blanket so more won't freeze and break.

The bad news, I had yet another frustrating and disappointing evening, we have a broken pipe, about half a dozen boxes and their contents got soaked or at least partially wet, and my to-do list is growing faster than bunnies can multiply.

The good news, there just happened to be a babysitter at the house to handle the kids while I dealt with the indoor rain, the Christmas gifts and recent Costco purchases that I had stashed in the garage just barely missed being soaked, the break was in a place that we could shut off so the house still has water, a guy in my Bible study is a plumber and he has already promised to come out on Saturday to fix the break, and God is still good. That last one is a big one.
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Drowning, floundering, overwhelmed, alone. All words that have described me lately. Oh yeah, and exhausted. I frequently don't talk about this sort of thing because I can't stand the thought that someone might pity me. So I may share these things in a lighthearted way but not in a true honest fashion that really lets people see the kind of place where I'm at. So I share with you that I'm not really in a good place right now. Not so you can pity me or feel bad for me because Rob's gone and I'm "doing this" alone but so you can pray for me. For us. And if you have promised to watch my kids or offered to help clean my house or whatever and maybe your life got busy too and you forgot, maybe to take a look at your calendar to see if there might be time for that in the next few weeks. Doesn't have to be before Christmas, I know we're all busy. But it is a relief for me mentally to know that I have a break coming or help and it is always good to know that we are being covered in prayer.

That said, you can specifically pray for Gideon and me in the next few days and nights. I've signed Gideon up for "Sleep Boot Camp" and it starts tonight. I've tried everything I can think of to get that kid to sleep more than 2-3 hours in a row at night and nothing has worked. He wakes. He wants to nurse. He will NOT accept anything but without a screaming fight that can last an hour or two or until I give in and nurse him. I am too bone tired to accept that challenge many nights so I often just nurse him and put him back down and repeat in a couple/few hours. When I have felt up to it, I've tried to soothe him through feedings in every way I can think and have every heard of anyone else trying. I've also tried to let him "cry it out". I've even left him in my room where his bed is and sleep in the guest room to try to get some sleep and none of it has worked to actually get him to sleep better.

Most if not all of you have probably already jumped to a conclusion as to why he's not sleeping and what I should do about it and you can stop that right now. This isn't my first rodeo people. Third child here. Been there and done that twice already and have really tried and tried and tried with this kid. So, tonight begins the Boot Camp. I've moved Gabe to the guest room for sleeping purposes and moved Gideon's crib to Gabe's room where he will be staying until he starts sleeping. After that I'm not sure what the arrangement will be but at least for now he's gonna have his own room. I'm not even sure what I hope to accomplish with this move except that, at the very least, I hope that his screaming tirades will be easier to sleep through. Wish me luck!

On that note, it's no longer Tuesday and I really need to get to bed. I feel better having caught you all up. Sorry that I had no pics to post. Soon. I promise.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Experiencing Life (Take Two)

I tried so hard to write this post yesterday but Blogger was not cooperating so here I am to try again.

Woohoo! It worked!

Can you believe that Gideon is 7-months old? It's hard for me to believe it? He has been experiencing so many new things lately. One of his favorites was "Lasagna with meat sauce" which translated from baby food-ese means "overcooked, mushy pasta in a highly staining glop". He loved it, squealed for the next bite over and over again.



Oh yeah, look at that face (even blurry from moving too quickly).


He also got moved up to a big boy car seat. This was a long time coming actually. Poor kid was getting jammed into his infant carseat a while after he was too big for it. I bought his new carseat a while ago but it had such a strong smell I had to let it sit in the garage for weeks before I put it in the car. Gideon has sensitive skin it seems so I wanted to make sure the fabric got to air out and now he can sit in it without getting a rash.


We were hanging out at my sister's Thanksgiving weekend when she decorated for Christmas so he got to experience his first Christmas tree. He loved it! And the ribbons he got to chew on while I took pictures.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, he really, really loves mashed potatoes. That's them all over his face.


And frozen bagel. He says "yum!"

I very much think he's going to be like Zion and only want to feed himself very quickly. She hit that mark by nine months or so and had a fit any time we tried to spoon feed her. She also quit taking purees very early. If it wasn't chunky, it wasn't going in.


This picture totally reminds me of that "Friends" episode where Monica put the whole turkey on her head and danced for Chandler to make him forgive her (for what I don't remember). Whole turkey, duck basket, same diff right.


Sorry for the blur, sometimes I don't use flash and sometimes it works out and sometimes not. This ones in the middle somewhere. Anyway, one of Gideon's favorite things to do is sit in front of the toy basket and empty all the toys out shaking and chewing on each one in turn.


He really, really likes it.

Well, that makes up for some of my absense on the blog lately and any frustration you may feel over a shortage of Gideon pictures. I hope to be back in the blogging saddle like old times very soon.

Bolt!

Today I "kidnapped" Gabe and just he and I went to see Bolt.

How fun was that?!

I thought you'd ask so let me tell you.

First, by lunch he was still in his PJs so I told him he'd better get dressed if we were going to go out. He said "I don't want to go out." in his chipper happy way that communicates that he's perfectly happy to stay home and play trains all day. So I told him that the babysitter would be here in an hour and if we were going to see Bolt he needed to be dressed. He looked at me in stunned silence and fell right over. Splat. On the ground. Don't worry. He does this when he's trying to show how surprised and happy he is about something. It is really funny when he does it though.

So shortly after I put Zion down for nap the babysitter came and took over with Gideon and Gabe and I headed out. Tuesdays is free popcorn day at Regal Cinemas and our local theater is a Regal so I got two popcorns and a medium drink for $5. Woohoo!

Gabe loved the movie but if you ask him he'll say "it was a bit too scary for me." It was only the second to last scene that has a - wait. Maybe you want to see this and haven't yet. OK, if that's the case, stop reading. If you don't care, scroll down.











Is it safe?

OK, the second to last scene has a scary fire where the dog, Bolt and his person, Penny, are caught and it is uncertain if they will get out. Otherwise, he thought the movie was funny and really like the pigeons. I too liked the pigeons and thought it was great how the pigeons' personalities changed depending on what part of the country they lived in, the Hollywood pigeons were particularly funny. Still, my favorite was Rhino the hamster and I think you'll hear that a lot.

I did find it irritating that the previews before the movie seemed nearly as long as the movie and one of them was definitely inappropriate for the age group (my 4-year old does NOT need to see a man photocopying his butt even if said man is a cartoon and even if it did make me chuckle) but if your youngster can handle a little "peril" (why this movie is a PG and not G movie) then I recommend it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stuff

Well, we finally have sickness out of the house - at least for now and I hope for a long time. We've been no less busy however. Jamie left on Tuesday, her stay extended by illness as well, Wednesday was a catch up day and prepare for Thanksgiving which included nearly burning the pecan pie. Arg! Thursday through Sunday night was stayed with my sister for holiday fun and a wee bit of shopping. Jamie went out with a friend for Black Friday while the kids and I opted for a far quieter activity and just got together with some friends. Yesterday we were busy with shopping, activities at the Y and then ended up having dinner with Nora and family. Today was MOPS, the library and dinner out. Currently I'm staring at a mountain of laundry the size of a small car (wanna guess who goes through the most clothes? I bet most of you won't get it first try) a coffee table covered with mail, a floor and couch buried under bags of supplies for Christmas goodies and a to-do list a mile long. Gideon has just woken up for the third time in 2 1/2 hours (his sleeping is worse than ever) and I wish there were three of me. One to do laundry, one to clean house, and the third, the real me, to love on the kids and catch up on sleep since laundry-me can sooth Gideon for real-me in between loads. I may get my Christmas cards out sometime in February. Consider this advance warning. But hey, I have a new toaster oven and that makes me happy. I am ever so fond of toaster ovens. Is that weird? I don't think so. They're like Easy Bake ovens only all grown up. This little box of toasting perfection is also a convection oven and can bake a 12' pizza. *sigh* I think I'm in love. Anyway, back to our regular scheduled programing.

I have a ton of pictures on my camera that I need to download and will do so when I have some free time.

Will you stop laughing already!

With pictures will probably come some more blogging. Sorry I haven't been on much lately. I kind of took a sick week. And then a little Thanksgiving vacation. I promise I'll be back to myself soon and blogging more regularly. Not to mention getting caught up with you all too. I feel so out of the loop lately.

God bless!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Update - Hopefully the Last

We are all doing much better. I have a bit of energy to regain but otherwise am pretty much back to normal and it seems the kids are too. Hopefully that means I'll be back to blogging more again and that it will be about something other than sickness.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Update Dos

I thought it was really weird yesterday when I felt so good in the morning and started feeling sick again at dinner time. All the same symptoms, fever, chills, aches, nausea only this time I had a clogged duct (that's a breastfeeding thing if you're scratching your head right now) and the pain that went with that. Well it turns out that I have mastitis and all these symptoms are related to that infection. I have picked up a prescription for some whopper antibiotics which I really hope will work quickly. So, if you would, pray for a quick recovery. As is stands, it is very painful to hold or carry things and to raise my left arm. So not conducive to taking care of three young ones. Thanks!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Update

Gabe stopped puking, Zion stopped puking, I was on the verge of puking all day yesterday and was otherwise sick as a dog with body aches and total weakness and Gideon puked once Friday night. God bless my sister for coming despite the puking and staying to help! I felt better this morning and the kids have not puked all day. Zion is back to her zippy self, Gabe is getting hydrated and regaining energy and Gideon acts like nothing happened but as of dinner time I'm sick all over again. Weird. I don't feel like throwing up but I wish I could order an epidural right now - or even a general anesthesia. That would be sweet! Just thought I'd feel better if I complained you'd like to know. Pray for us that we're all healthy for Thanksgiving -especially my sister and her family!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just When You Thought It Was Safe

If your child had the flu but hadn't vomited in almost 48 hours and you only had a few diapers left would you think it was safe to go to the store to get more? Yeah. I thought so too. Walmart won't soon forget that big mistake on my part as Zion threw up in the middle of the baby section as I was looking for Pedialyte. Completely covered her coat, shirt, pants, socks, shoes, Gabe's pants, my coat, the cart and the floor. There are no cleaning stations in the baby section. I did find one poor staff member though and he was kind enough to bring me garbage bags, gloves, paper towels and a new cart. He didn't bat an eye when I striped my kids down and grabbed new clothes off the rack and he was totally willing to clean up the rest of the mess so I could get out of there. What a guy!

...sorry, I got interrupted, not that you noticed, by a puking boy. Ahhhhh! Gabe just left massive quantities of puke all over himself, his sheets, his comforter, his lovey, his pillows and his bed. Oh Lord, please spare me and Gideon. At least Gideon. Stomach flu in babies just flat out scares me. *sigh* Well, I'd better go. I've got a week's worth of vomit laundry to do.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Miscellany

Yesterday dawned with such promise. My water aerobics class at the Y, Nora bringing Isaac over for the boys' preschool lesson, I had lined up a babysitter so that a friend and I could go take a knitting and crocheting class. Yep, it was going to be great! Going to be until Zion threw up all over my love seat while I was making lunch. SCREEECCCHHH! That's the sound of the brakes being put on my great day. Nora was great and finished making the lunch while I striped Z naked, wrapped her in a towel and scrubbed the couch with a towel and hot water. Wow! How did so much come out of someone so small. I mean, that was ridiculous! I made all the calls to cancel with the babysitter and my friend. Such a bummer! The angel of the day turned out to be my friend Deon who braved the Amazing Puke-Master (or would that be Mistress?) and chose to babysit anyway. What a gal! My class turned out to be loads of fun. Maybe knitting will stick this time, I've tried to learn twice before. Sad, huh? I got home and my kiddos were in bed - sweet! And she said they all went down without a peep and that Zion hadn't been sick again. Whew!

OK, that last part only lasted until I got up this morning and found Zion practically wading in a pool of mostly dried vomit complete with undigested pasta and meatballs. It covered her sheets, bed skirt, P.J.s, and some of the rails and even part of the floor. Too much information? Sorry. I've been stuck at home all day with little interaction with the outside world. I did order pizza though and boy do I hope I don't catch her bug because I ate half a taco pizza (a small one, but still).

So that's what we've been up to and I haven't felt much like posting the last couple of days. I do want to update you on Laura and Joe. To make a long story short he is home, she is taking care of him and his surgery is scheduled for the first week in December. They have a need for seasoned firewood as it is their main source of heat right now. If you live close and know where they can get some let me know.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

An Update

I received this e-mail from my friend Laura this morning regarding Joe. His surgery has not occured yet, she'll explain:

Sorry this took so long everyone, life has been on overdrive since this discovery! Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes I truly believe in the power of prayer and ask you to keep forwarding these messages to anyone who will pray for us. I know the lord still has big plans for us and I am so thankful he gave Joe the power to become sober last year, I can't imagine where we would be right now with out that. Joe is doing well. He is at home with me on steroids until H* Hospital (I edited out the hospital name) is ready for him ( it was decided by the neurosurgeon @ TG to have the Surgery performed by the Univ of WA neurosurgical team beacause it is a very complicated surgery that they do not see often but the UW guys do). We are hoping they will have finished reviewing his films and be ready for us by this Tuesday, we are playing the hurry up and wait game now and have been told not to expect a phone call before Monday. Once we are at H* they will conduct their own tests and make final desicions about surgery. Surgery will definitely happen just the type and time could vary. The steroids are helping to regulate his appetite ( he had none since Monday) and sleep schedule (he's like Colton now...if he doesn't get 2 two hour naps and a full nights sleep he gets grumpy!:) ) it is also helping his memory although he is still very confused and only remembers bits and pieces of what is said after it is said ( a good example- the DR said if everything went as planned after the surgery he would go home in 2-3 days for the rest of his recovery. Joe then relayed it to his boss that he was being discharged and would be back to work in 2-3 days!!!:) it's ok guys if we can't laugh we will cry!) HE is in pretty high spirits most of the time and I am glad to have this precious family time.

These are the notes from the TG Neurosurgeon DR N*, once we are at H* I will keep everyone updated through their webpage you will be able to go there, put in his patient ID and read msgs His folks and I will post, both Chrissy and Sharon, Joe's sisters, are driving up to be here for the surgery so between all of us we will be able to keep everyone informed. The growth ( a CRANIOPUARYNGIOMA)is officially a Cyst because it is filled with a fluid the consistency of motor oil. It is the size of a ping pong ball and has a hard ball floating inside of it the size of a grape. It is considered a low grade tumor but will not spread as it would if it were cancer. It is very slow growing and has probably been there many years. Because it is near the pituatary gland it is considered a very complicated surgery and will have some after effects that will be kept in check with medication and maybe a thyroid replacement. They will go in with an ear to ear insicion and remove as much of the cyst (after draining it) as possible without damaging tissue, after they are done they will give a one time radiation treatment to try and destroy any of the cyst wall that had to be left behind. It is probable that the cyst will regrow and so he will have scans every three months after the surgery to monitor it.

Corrick is going bonkers- he wants to email people to so I will go for now- I hope this made some sense- love to all God bless- Laura

Back to me. I hope that you will once again take a moment to pray for this family and the doctors who are caring for Joe. Thank you!

Win a Watercolor Contest

Grosgrain Fabulous is hosting a contest where you can win a commissioned watercolor of one of your kids (or whatever I suppose). Check it out here. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC)

Oi ve, how is it that I only ever remember that it is Saturday when it nearly isn't Saturday anymore? Here's my family friendly, non-retouched or Photoshopped photo for Straight Out Of The Camera Saturday. You can join in too by clicking on the badge. I took this picture through my sliding glass door while I was enjoying the rain from the warmth of my nice dry living room.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Prayer Request

Good morning folks! I just got an urgent e-mail from a friend and I would ask you to stop for a moment and pray for her and her husband. I've removed the names because I'm not sure if she wants them posted but the rest is intact.

HI all bad news J* has been having headaches and blurred vision, we thought he need glasses then in the last 96 hrs he was really ticking me off (oops) because he wasnt paying attention and sleeping a lot and couldn't remember anything. Well today it scared me enough to force him into the emergency room. He has a growth on the front part of his brain, it has a name but I'm too wound up right now to even try and spell it, it is pushing on his brain making him tired, blurred vision, etc. He was admitted and they have started steroids to reduce the swelling around his brain so they can operate on it. It has a good success rate but if it is too close to important blood vessels they won't be able to take all of it and we will have to go through all of this every few years. I am beside myself, please start praying for us. I have to pack a bag so I can go nurse C* and get back to the hospital, he can't remember anything short term so I need to be there to tell him about every three minutes why he is there. Love L*

Edit 10:41AM - I spoke with Laura (she gave me permission to use their names), they are waiting on the neurosurgeon to give more details but this is what they know: Joe has a golf ball sized mass in his head behind his eyes. It is causing blurry vision, headaches, tiredness, and extreme short-term memory loss. They have him on a steriod treatment and after 24 hours they will operate to remove as much, hopefully all, of the mass as possible. Their two boys are with Laura's mom and Joe's brother and a friend are helping to take care of the household right now so they do have some support in place. Still keep praying about things (and thanks, Rachel for the tips!).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baby Mia

If you've poked around my blog you may have noticed the badge for baby Mia on the sidebar. This precious little one has been so sick and waiting for a heart. I just checked in on the blog today and she got one, had her surgery and is doing great! Woohoo! Praise God!

If you would, send up some prayers for baby Mia, her family and for the donor's family. As we celebrate for baby Mia's new life ahead there's a family somewhere in mourning. As they say, joy and sorrow flow from the same spring and this is one of those situations that proves it. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Have

I saw this on a couple of blogs today. I can't remember the first one but the second was Queen-Sized Funny Bone. It looked like fun so I thought I'd join in 'cause that's the kinda girl I am. All you do is copy the list and put it in a post on your own blog and BOLD the things that you have actually done. Neat. Oh yeah, and I've added comments of my own because again, that's the kind of girl I am.

I HAVE….
1. Started my own Blog - well, duh!
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii - got to meet Rob's submarine there and spend a week with him during a deployment
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain - I hiked a mountain but I'm not sure that counts
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch - not exactly sure what that means but I at least tried to teach myself watercolor and embroidery
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - 'course this is me we're talking about so I actually told my bosses that I was doing it
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon *snort* yeah, right
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse I have a vague recollection of doing this as a child but I can only remember the preparation part not the actual eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing - went repelling once though
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason - I'm almost positive that I have but I can't remember the occasion, probably because there wasn't one
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - been on a slow one though
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper - OK, so it was a picture of my dog but I'm pretty sure my leg was in it
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Blue Hors Matine

Can I just say WOW! A friend of mine who knows I love horses sent me a link to this video on You Tube. I don't talk about my love for horses much on my blog. Horses aren't a part of my daily life right now as much as I would like for them to be. I love horses, I love their beauty and strength, their spirit and even their smell. Some day some smart cologne maker will realize that some women, including me, looooove the smell of horses. I would be hard pressed to resist a guy wearing THAT cologne. Probably the only way I would be able to resist would be the fact that I'm married but if Rob were wearing that cologne well, this is a family friendly blog so I'm not going to write about that.

Anyway, back to horses. As I was saying, horses aren't a part of my daily life right now but that doesn't mean that I don't think of them daily. On the contrary, thoughts of horses real and imaginary gallop in and out of my thoughts multiple times per day. I day dream of them still like I'm an 11 year old Velvet Brown (that would be the main character of National Velvet for you non-horsey folks). But I don't think you have to be a horse lover to recognize the beauty and talent of this horse and her rider. Take a few minutes and enjoy!



Wow! I just went to YouTube and searched for Blue Hors Matine and a ton of clips came up, including this one where she "dances" to Zion's song. I was going to take it down but I will leave it up in honor of Blue Hors Matine for a litte while longer.



p.s. You can pause my music at the bottom so that you can hear the music on the video clips.

Works For Me Wednesday


I've been wanting to participate in this Blog Carnival for a while but since most of the time I don't know what day it is it's kind of tough. Today I remember - it's Wednesday! (At least I think it is.) You are welcome to participate too, it's fun! Click on the badge to go to Rocks In My Dryer and read the rules, post on your own blog (not hers), then go back to her blog and add your info to Mr. Linky (I love Mr. Linky).

So my tip today is to help make battery swaps easy. First, get a black sharpie, a large pencil box or plastic shoebox and a Phillips head screw driver. The sharpie is used to write the battery size and number used (e.g. 4D or 3AAA) on the battery door to toys and gadgets. Put your batteries and screw driver in the box you get and you've got your little battery changing "kit". Now battery swaps are easy peasy, you know exactly what size and how many batteries you need and you have all your batteries and a screw driver in one spot.

This I Love - A Study In Pictures

Lacing cards and quiet play with a cuddly girl on my lap.


The beautiful array of colors the Lord gives us in this season.


Little ones who figure out that mouths can hold toys just as easily as hands can (sorry for the blur, when I grabbed my camera it was on a setting that didn't allow the flash to pop up).


Little girls in pink and brown and especially little plaid peacoats.


Rainy days, no better reason for hot cocoa and a cookie - until it starts snowing that is.



Little warriors fighting for good.

Cowgirl pajamas, slippers and "mommies" who take good care of their "babies".

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Can't Catch Me!

OK, I so need to go to bed but I wanted to post this before I hit the hay (hopeful that Gideon will actually let me sleep tonight). This is the gingerbread man that I made for Zion's felt food collection. Ben was laying on my lap as I put in the last stitches and that made me remember the part of the story where the gingerbread man was riding the foxes back across the water. We all know how that ended.

Good thing Ben didn't try that, I so would not have wanted to clean up that hairball!

Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC)

Slurping Life Yeah! I actually remembered SOOC - and it's still Saturday! If you want to participate, click on the SOOC badge and you'll go to Slurping Life's site to read that all you need to do is post a family friendly photo on your blog and then go back to her site to sign Mr. Linky. If you visit other blogger's sites, and I hope you do, then please leave a comment on their blog. My entry this week is called "Constant Companion" AKA "That Darn Elephant".

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This post has been a long time coming. I have had parts of it in my mind for it seems like a month now. I just wanted to give credit to some folks and boo hiss some others.

First the good and this is a big good. Kudos to the Armed Services YMCA for recognizing that the families of deployed reservists don't necessarily live close enough to a base/post to utilize the support and programs offered there. They came up with a wonderful solution and worked with the National YMCA and launched the Military Outreach Initiative which provides free or discounted family memberships and nursery to qualifying military families and personnel (and not just Reservists so go check it out if you are military). Yoohoo! Especially since we qualify!

The Bad - my local Safeway for getting rid of their car shopping carts. You know the ones that have the little car in front that the kids can sit in and pretend to drive while mama shops. Safeway used to be where we shopped exclusively but not anymore, not if I can't contain and entertain my kids. There are four other stores in town that either have car carts or have another option that multiple children can sit in so they are getting my business instead. When this happened about 4 months ago I did e-mail the corporate office and the assistant manager at the store and neither one gave hope that they would be replacing the car carts. They've had their chance, now their on my bad list for not responding to the needs of families. I know I can't be the only one who at least partially bases their shopping choices on this type of convenience.

But hey, I'm not as mad at them as I am my local Petco which is brand new. I've found that these chain pets stores leave a lot to be desired in general. Rarely if ever do you actually find an employee that knows anything about pets. Most of the time when I walk in to the fish section I know ten times more about fish than the staff. To give them a little credit sometimes I only know five times more than the staff. Last week, not only did I know more but this girl was so flat out rude that she earned Petco a bump up from merely bad to downright ugly. All I wanted were some whiteclouds. I waited forever for someone to show up in the fish section. When no one came around I finally got the attention of someone at the check out and he sent some one over. When she E.V.E.N.T.U.A.L.L.Y. showed up I asked her if they had any other cold water fish than goldfish. She waved her hand in the general direction of some other tanks and said "Just what we have over there." I told her "Those are tropical fish." and began to explain what I was looking for and in the middle of my question she turned from me and asked a pair of young guys what they needed help with. Wha'?! I didn't even finish my sentence. As in, I was STILL speaking to her. So I said "Fine, I guess I'll go shop somewhere else." and walked away and she did nothing to stop me. Fuming I went to pay for my other purchases since I really did need the dog and cat food in my cart. Conveniently the guy at the register couldn't get his to work and had to call the manager over so I took the opportunity to let her know how unhappy I was at her staff member's rudeness and what happened. Lacy I understand her name was, shrugged, turned and mumbled "Hm, I'll have to go ask her what happened." and walked off. Right. I have so much confidence that you're going to do ANYTHING! Arg! So Petco, there is a Petsmart just about right next to the YMCA where I take the kids three times a week now and not only is their fish selection considerably larger than yours but their staff is a million times friendlier (even if I still probably know more than them). I know. I used to shop their before the Petco went into town, but hey, I can be convinced to drive further for better service and your staff here in town is pretty convincing.

Does This Never Happen To You?

Did you ever get home from the grocery store and start putting things away only to realize that one of the items that you thought you needed you already had two of in the cupboard and you forgot something else that you really did need? Yeah. That never happens to me.

Did you ever decide what you were going to have for dinner and keep forgetting only to find yourself haunting the cupboards and fridge for inspiration when you remember that you already figured it out? Nope, not me. Not even once. We're having pizza for dinner by the way. And I only need to remember to not make something else for another 45 minutes by which time the delivery guy will have come.

Did you ever pull a super cute outfit out of your older child's too small bin and wonder why you don't remember them ever wearing so you put it on your younger child and realize half way through a Walmart shopping trip that the reason you didn't put it on older child much was because the snaps in the crotch won't stay shut (did I just say "crotch"?) and they all pop open making the baby look like their wearing some really funky chaps or something? Yeah. That most definitely didn't happen to me today. I'm sewing those darn pants closed, that outfit is just too cute to not use again.

So, um, am I the only only one that things never happen to? What never happens to you?

Too Cute

Zion just brought me a teeny scrap of paper that she had scribbled on and said "Wook, Mommy. Foo foo (Zaboomafoo)!" Her first "drawing" that was supposed to be something. Awww!

Gabe is busy making a Mario book. He's drawn a red stick figure (Mario), a green stick figure (Luigi) and a yellow stick figure (Wario), each with a rectangle over it's head (their hats) and the letter of their first name on each one.

I guess it's a craft day since I've already been at my sewing again today. I started making a gingerbread man for Zion's felt food last night and am almost done.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Favorite Things Friday

My friend Tiff is hosting her own little "Favorite Things Friday". Hm, a chance to talk about me and things I like? I'm game. So here's a couple for today:

1) Rainy nights. Yep. Just like the song. I like rainy days too when I don't have to go anywhere. Blustery is even better. Remember Pooh's blustery day? I love that. There's very little better than sitting around in a cozy chair, fire, book, hot tea, wind and rain outside the window. Of course, for thorough enjoyment all children must be napping - at the same time. You can guess how many times I get to enjoy this favorite thing. And that leads me to...

2) 7:30PM. Bedtime for the kids. OK, I guess truthfully I like 8 and after a little more because by then they are usually in bed and at least quiet if not asleep and I can, most nights, get a couple hours of me time.

I have many, many favorite things but this will have to do for now.

p.s. another favorite is when I get to the end of a post and hit spell check and the little message "no misspellings found" pops up. I love that!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jameson

It's been a little more than two years now that my precious nephew has been hanging out with the angels and people still can't stop talking, or blogging, about him. Thanks Kerri, for your beautiful sentiments!

The Scoop

I've spent the last couple of days taking care of sick kids. The last month has been very reminiscent of last winter when 1 or more of us were sick for about six months straight. It was very frustrating then and frustrates me all over again to think that we could face another winter like that. Holed up all day and not even a Daddy to come home for dinner to break up the monotony. Should I pre-order my straight jacket now? A week ago I got us all the flu shot hoping to avoid at least some of what's going around. Still, yesterday Gideon ran a 103 temp for most of the day and Zion's been stuffed up all week and has a wet cough. Grrr!



My fish has been sick too. Poor little guy. I've had this beautiful teal Betta for a couple of months now but haven't been able to find a food he'll eat since I got him. I tried a few different kinds of pellets but he's just gotten skinnier and skinnier and the other day I noticed stress stripes in addition to him being super thin. Finally I bought him some frozen brine shrimp the other day and waddya know, he loves them. Up till now I haven't been able to think of a name for him. What do you name a fish that would rather starve to death than eat a less than superior food? Well, I'd like you to meet my finicky little Betta - Gordon Ramsey. Now I've just got to get him back in condition with the help of those teeny little shrimps. Hopefully soon I'll be able to post a new picture of him in all his fat glory.


I also heard from Rob this morning for the first time in a few days. He reports that he has reached his destination tired after traveling for about a week but in one piece and eager to get to work. Now's when the rubber meets the road. We'll try to keep you up to date but for now I'll just give a little reminder to pray for us. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yum, yuck and Ha Ha!

Yum - I finally got around to making some Cake Pops as seen on Bakerella's blog. I needed something to take to MOPS so I thought I give it a go. I was going to make spice cake pops since that sounded yummy for Fall but I guess I'm not the only one - the spice cake spot was completely empty at the grocery store. But they had cherry chip on sale and that is my absolute favorite cake flavor - woohoo! So I nabbed some cherry frosting and white chocolate chips for dipping and voila! Cherry Chip White Chocolate Cake Pops were born! I gotta say, they were easier than I expected and so much yummier too! It is a good thing the recipe makes so many or there may not have been any left over for my meeting. As it was I ran out of lollipop sticks so some of the ladies just got "cake balls" which doesn't sound nearly as appealing for some reason. I also didn't get a chance to take a picture of the "pops" before they were gone so here's a few "balls" to wet your appetite (gee, that sounds even worse).

Yuck - I'm sitting on the couch. I hear "Mama, wook!" I stand up to see what Zion is pointing to and I see this.
Those are dried cranberries between her toes in case you aren't as versed in the identification of small food bits as I am. Brings new meaning to the term "toe jam".

Ha ha! - Jamie gave me Zion a belated birthday present when we went to visit the other day (this in addition to the cute clothes Z received at her birthday party from my sis and family). This is a personalized Kleenex box. It has a picture of Zion on the front with Kleenex in her nose (she put it there herself of course) and says "Kleenex anyone?" at the top. It's hilarious. I've got it on my end table and chuckle every time I have to blow my nose now.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

As Promised (and Other Stuff)

A photo of the felt food that I made Zion for her birthday. A stack of flapjacks, a fried egg, two slices of bacon, a couple slices of bread with peanut butter and jelly or ham, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato. I've got aspirations for much, much more. I'm also learning to make them better. I've experimented with different stitches and even glue. I got the inspiration for these at Homemade By Jill (who I would like to congratulate on her new baby boy!) and she got the inspiration at Mahar Dry Goods (a totally cute sight that I'm in love with now) and they are made by Hillary Seabolt. Now theirs are definitely a lot better and more finished looking than mine. I've adapted mine because right now I'm not very practiced at sewing on a machine so I am using embroidery thread and hand sewing in cute chunky colors instead. I'm ready to sign up for a Felt-Anon group, I am so gonna need support to quit this habit. As it is I spend so much time surfing the web for more felt food ideas. I'm surprised at how much I keep finding.
I am also making Zion some felt hair clips. The felt helps the clip to stay in the hair and I can design them to match her outfits (a photo of the clips will come soon).

Zion was bit by the craft bug lately too (and you should SEE all the things Gabe has made and yet he still asks multiple times daily to make something). She hauls Gabe's water colors palate all around the house asking to paint. So today, for a mere .89 cents, I picked up a paint with water book at Target. She loved it.


So cute it's scary. Even though this is obviously a Halloween outfit I think he'll be wearing it more just because it's so darn true. Over the weekend Jamie helped me get the kids out to update their portraits. Gideon got his six-month pics done and Zion her two-year. They turned out so cute, I can't wait to get them back.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Message From Rob

Happy Greetings to all! May you be enjoying the season with Halloween, All Saint's Day, Election Day, and first frosts/snows (OK, maybe all except the last 2!) all at hand. It will surely be a busy week...


For you as well as me. As of right now, I do not expect to be stateside for any of those events. This is very likely my last note from Fort Bragg.


But, *boy* what a couple of weeks it has been. I had an absolutely wonderful time at home with Julie and the kids for one whole week. Got to feed Gideon his first solid foods, celebrated Zion's 2nd birthday a little early, joined Gabe for his first kids sports class at the Y... got to spend one whole evening with Julie (and the kids in the care of a babysitter), with family and friends for the birthday party, and with our church for the first Sunday at home in over 10 weeks! Ate at almost all of our favorite restaurants, fully enjoyed the fall colors of Western WA, and got most of the summer outside toys put away. It was a great week.


We returned to Fort Bragg less than a week ago. Within 24 hours I had my Dad and Joyce coming in from MI and Mom with her sister Jerri coming in from Atlanta, GA. They all arrived safely Friday night. Saturday morning the189th (our training brigade) hosted a nice deployment ceremony for us and all of our guests. On short notice, my good friend Joel, from MTU (now teaching in South Carolina) also drove up to join the clan.

We spent most of the day together Saturday and really had a wonderful time. By midday, Joel was on his way, by the evening I said goodbye to Mom and Jerri to spend the night with Dad and Joyce at their hotel, and by Sunday morning they were all on their way home. It was a short visit, but it was great to see everyone together in one spot.


Our CO was able to extend liberty to us for the rest of the weekend - the group of folks here that are my closest friends came and kidnapped me from the hotel to take me "south of the border". Mexico you ask? No, but this incredibly silly place that is a local tourist trip - just south of the North Carolina border into South Carolina on I-95 (only about 45 minutes from Fayetteville). Pedro reigns there and has carnival rides, free mini-golf, restaurants, and gift shops all under the "Golf of Mexico" (a large golf ball sign). This time of year the place is pretty quiet, but we did enjoy the mini golf!


As with all liberty, it had to come to an end, but having said that our work this week has been to be ready to go at any time. And on any day that we weren't scheduled to fly, we've had to catch up on personal stuff. It's worked pretty well for us to get a couple more days of light duty to finish up any last shopping or tasks on post before flying out. Tuesday was a particularly interesting day - one of our presidential candidates came through Fayetteville (I'll let you guess which one) offering free tickets to his rally. Having never attended one before, I was pretty excited to go -and managed to pull a good sized team of us to the local civic center. The place was packed, 10,000 or more by my guess. Regardless of any one's opinion of the candidate, it was truly a worthwhile experience to just be a part of the American political process. And last night I came back and finished up my absentee ballot and dropped it in the mail today.


All I ask is that you would do the same - *please vote* -either in the polls or by mail by next Tuesday. I've been told that you will have a clock time change this weekend - please take that into consideration for your trip to the polls on Tuesday! The race is close enough and this is too busy of a time in our country to just let Election Day pass us by. Thanks!


And with that, I guess the last thing I have for you is my new address. As always, please pass this to anyone who's interested - I won't be able to hit all of you by E-mail on the first shot.

(This is Julie, I've edited Rob's address out. If you know us and would like to write to him just ask via comment on the blog or e-mail and I'll get it to you. Thanks!)

It will take a week or so for stuff to reach me from the states. It will likely take a little longer for me to mail back to you. As always, please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers. Julie continues to maintain her blog as well of all the fun stuff going on around home.

It has been awesome to have all of you for support and friendship. My best wishes to all of us in these next several months. Godspeed and take good care.

Warmly,

Rob

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Six-Months

OK, how cute is this? So cute and you know it! He is the poster child for "bald is beautiful". He is doing so great! Getting so much better at sitting by himself. He even tries to sit straight up from a laying down position. He is going to have some rock hard abs by the time he figures out how to do it. Of course he still doesn't roll over much. I think he's going to be the kind of baby who does things out of order, walks before he crawls sort of kid.

He did see the doc recently for a wicked bad rash (probably eczema as it turns out) so I just happen to know that (as of a week ago anyway) he weighs 16lb 11oz. The rash is all better now, too.

He is typically a happy boy and loves to play games like peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake and Itsy Bitsy Spider. He also has two teeth. All the better to chew on you with. He will put anything and everything in his mouth from junk mail to fingers - yours or his. And, if it doesn't sound too much like bragging, he is on the cusp of being able to say "mama". I know he is, I'm not the only one to notice either. He makes a very distinct "mm mm mm" noise, especially when he sees me and even more when he sees me when he's hungry. Comparatively it's not too far off from Gabe's first word and Zion was only a little after him. Both of their first words were "kitty".

Birthday Girl

My little girl is two. One, two. According to my little one, two-year old what comes next goes a little like "fork, funkin, sick". She was counting on her fingers in the bath tub tonight. So darn cute. Her birthday was Monday but we celebrated last Sunday when Rob was still home. We had a few folks over (cause I don't much like big parties) Nora and family and Jamie and family. A few people who we had invited had to stay away because Zion came down with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease just a few days prior. Thanks so much to y'all who braved the germs and came anyway!

We got Zion a play kitchen and I've been slaving away making her play food out of felt. I'm loving this craft! I'll post pictures and more about it when I am done. For now, here's the slide show of her birthday party.



And of course, like I like to do, I've changed the first song on my blog in her honor. I think "Real Wild Child" suits her nicely.

Bringing You Up To Date

I'm really behind in posting. I'm sorry. We had such a great time while Rob was here on leave. He is back in NC currently waiting on the transportation details to work out for heading over there. Since he left we've been busy again. Gabe and Zion started new classes at the Y. Gabe is doing a sports class that introduces a new game each class and Zion is back in swimming. She loves the water so much.


We spent the weekend at my sister's. I had a friend's wedding on Saturday (it was so beautiful and so much fun to see old friends) and Jamie watched the kids for me. Sunday we went to a local nursery where Jamie and family had their pictures done my Kerri. They are GORGEOUS! Of course they are - check them out here. My kids were less than cooperative when I tried to get some shots while we waited. Zion was afraid of the water wheel for some reason and wouldn't let me put her down and Gideon decided it was scream time in the stroller. Stinkers. But it was such a beautiful day and the Fall colors were breathtaking.

Later that day was Jamie's annual Pumpkin Carving Party. Sadly, we "got" to revisit what seems to be Zion's two favorite letters - "E" and "R". Yep, that's right. We ended up back in the Emergency Room. *sigh* Jamie has a window seat in her family room and on the seat is a big black trunk full of toys. Gabe and Zion were sitting on the trunk and Zion scooted forward to get off but ended up falling off instead and landing flat on her face. At first I thought she'd just had a fright but even after she stopped crying she wouldn't go play, wouldn't use her right hand and didn't acknowledge when their best pal Abby showed up. So off we went to rule out a break. She started using her hand in the waiting room so they let us go without x-rays with a warning that if she still guards it after a day or two to take her in again. She is seeing her regular doctor for her two-year check on Thursday so he can make sure it's OK then. She seems to be mostly fine except one or two times that she says "ouchie".


Bob and the girls were nice enough to carve a pumpkin for us and even take pictures with my camera. I guess they even got Gabe to help clean out the pumpkin. If they hadn't taken a picture I may not have believed he actually stuck his hand in there.

The whole weekend was such a blur that I didn't even get to participate in Straight Out Of the Camera Saturday. I even know what I was going to post. So it's too late to jump in officially but here's the picture I chose had I found the time.

It's Jessa playing the drums for Rock Band. Yes, that's a spatula in her right hand. Apparently Zion someone lost one of the drum sticks. Oops. It seems that spatulas work just as well though so keep this in mind if you ever lose one of your own drumsticks.


Here would have been another SOOC option.


This is the nursery where Jamie and gang had their pictures done. Pretty isn't it. There were other areas of the nursery that had gorgeous trees with every perfect Fall color imaginable and a little creek with a working water wheel.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

First Food

Gideon has been waiting for this for a long time. Poor little guy has practically been begging for some nosh and I kept putting him off the main reason being that I wanted Rob to be around. Rob is going to miss just about every first in Gideon first year and a half and there's nothing I can do about it except for one first. I could control when he got his first food. So wait we did until his Daddy came home on leave last week. Rob flew in late Wednesday and Thursday Gideon ate real food for the first time (if you can call rice cereal "real food"). If I could read his mind I think he was saying "why was I so excited about this?" but a few days later when he got banana it was a whole different story. Since then he's also had sweet potato. We're three for three on sweet potato being a favorite food for our kids. He definitely loves to eat.

I wanna do it.




Here, let me help you.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Pathetic

I was tagged almost a week ago and forgot to check out my friend's blog to read what I'm supposed to do. I'm so sorry Tiff. Granted I was trying to ready the house for Rob coming home on leave (yep, you read that right, he's home right NOW!) and for Z's birthday party but still, no excuse. Well, here it is without further delay - 7 things you never knew about me and I'll be tagging 5 people.

1) I ran around on my hands and knees like a horse for most of my first dozen years (at least). Much to my mother's chagrin since I was always putting holes in the knees of my pants.

2) I don't like chunks in fruit mixes. Fruit pies, jellies, jams, yogurt. I only like 'em smooth. Chunks make me want to gag.

3) I can't stand having water in my face. That means I don't like splashing in the water at the pool or beach, I never learned to swim properly and I face "out" when I take a shower.

4) My vision is so bad that when I'm not wearing my contacts or glasses I can't see past my nose. Seriously. Everything past that is just vague blobs of color.

5) The old back injury that I have was originally caused by a goat when I was in elementary school (then later exacerbated by another incident with my Husky dog and finally my horse who fell on me). Honest. Cross my heart hope to die.

6) I can't stand checking voice mail. It's such a pain, call your own number, hit buttons, wait while it asks you if you want to hear your messages (well duh, why would I be calling my voice mail then?!) blah blah blah. Therefore, I will never let the phone go to voice mail or the machine if I can avoid it.

7) I was out of high school before I ever owned my own camera. I kept asking for one and my mom kept getting new cameras for other members of my family and then giving me their junk cameras but as far as cameras that actually work, not until after high school.

Well, there you go. Now I'm tagging:

1) Emily because she has nothing better to do being pregnant and having two already.

2) Emily because she just moved to WA and needs to make friends.

3) Marfa to celebrate her new header.

4) Beth because I know she'll post things that will crack us up.

5) Julie to initiate her new blog.

OK ladies, post 7 things we don't know about you and tag five people, it's so easy. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC)

OK, so I really did miss Saturday today. I thought yesterday was Saturday for most of the day. Or it felt like it was anyway. Today I have been so busy getting the house and things ready for Zion's birthday party tomorrow today that I didn't even realize what day it was. Oh well. Here is my submission for SOOC Saturday. I really love this meme since ALL of my pictures are always straight out of my camera. Unless I crop one they are untouched and even cropping is rare for me. Not because I think I'm so good (so not) but because I'm just too busy.
Today's pic is of Zion and her first sight of a real honest to goodness elephant. Some of you may recall my daughter's fondness for elephants (BTW, I did finally find her elephant the other day - whew!) but I don't think she expected them to be so big. And not only is this picture straight out of the camera I took it without looking. I was holding Zion on my hip at the time which is too close for my camera to focus so I held it cockeyed and off to the side and just clicked blind.


I wish I'd managed to get the elephant in the first one but at least I got one in the second.

Go check out Slurping Life and the other submissions there. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just Thought You Outta Know

The capacity of Zion's right nostril is four kernels of corn.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Shhh. These Lips Are Not For Singing.

All my kids have had their trick when it came to soothing. Gabe liked to be held and rocked and liked his paci. Zion loved to be sung to, so much in fact that I would sing as I placed her in her crib and sing as I ever so quietly backed out the door (and prayed that it would work). Gideon is a bounce and pat kind of kid for others and for me he likes to nurse but the funny thing is what he doesn't like. He HATES to be sung to. If a single note departs from my lips he screams with anger. Really, I'm not that bad. I don't know why he hates it so much. It offends him some how. Every once in a while I'll try it again just to see. I tried it tonight as I checked his diaper before his 10PM feeding. I thought hey, I'll just sing to him so he doesn't fuss while I peek so I started out "If all the raindrops..." and didn't even get to "the" when the infuriated howl burst from his mouth. OK. I get the hint. No singing. Not even a note.

Ahhhh!

Must.



Find.



The elephant!



It was not to be found at bedtime tonight. Zion reluctantly accepted a stuffed cow instead but you could see by the look on her face that this is a temporary and unacceptable solution. I've scoured and searched the house since then and cannot find that darn elephant. I hope that she'll run across it in the morning. Lord help us if we don't find it soon.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fun On The Farm

Literally. We were actually at a place called "The Farm". And we had fun. This was an event sponsored by The ARC where my sister works. This was their Fall Festival and I absolutely cannot resist a Fall festival of any kind. Once again there isn't much to say that the pictures fail to communicate so here's my slide show (my new addiction so that I don't have to bog you down with a hundred pics in one post). I've added my favorite at the end of the post. I can't believe our luck that we got this shot.




Aren't Gideon's rosy cheeks just the bomb! Oh yeah, everyone else is looking pretty good too!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC)

Is it Saturday? I nearly missed it. Been busy as a bee working on some things that I cannot reveal just yet. But at least I can participate in SOOC.


Today's offering comes courtesy of the pumpkin farm that we went to last Sunday. They had a lovely old truck and some beautiful new flowers.

I've yet to have time to post about the fun time we had their but I'll get around to it. Perhaps next.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Flashback Friday

I don't have a picture to go with this one, just words. Two little girls ride imaginary horses up and down a gravel country lane lined with tall trees and salmon berry bushes. At the end is a farm with a white farm house and pastures that back in the day held cows and chickens. Back then their Grandpa would regale the younger girl with stories of horses and sing You Are My Sunshine to her over and over. Nothing much surrounded that farm, an old feed store and lots of lots of woods. Down the nearest paved road stood the chapel where the old man's daughter married the young girls father.

I was at that farm decades ago and I drove by it again today. I wish I could say that it hasn't changed since I raced make believe horses down that drive. Today nothing is the same. The drive is barricaded by the city, who knows what is at the end. The seemingly endless forest is paved providing a ginormous hardware store with parking for their customer. The feed store is long gone making way for an AM/PM of all things (a different kind of feed store I guess) and the chapel now houses a near mega-church by a different name. Sad. I'm glad that I changed but I wish the old farm didn't. I know change is inevitable but seriously, a hardware store and an AM/PM? Bummer.