Monday, April 30, 2007

Why do I blog???

I was reading another bloggers post, and she was stating her reason for blogging, and a lot of it depended upon the amount of comments she gets. Her reason for blogging was only for entertainment, and the entertainment she gets on the comments. She also stated that if comments do not start to increase, she will stop blogging. Apparently this girl gets several hits a day, like 100+ and was only getting about 5-7 comments on average.

The got me thinking, (she continues to blog by the way), why do I blog?? What is the purpose of typing my thoughts and posting them on the Internet for others to read? OK, yeah, I do do it for the comments, but as you have noticed, my record is 8 for a Woman to Woman post I did two weeks ago. And most of the time, I don't get more than 4. Whoop-di-do. I don't care how many or how little the comments are. It is fun and feeds my ego a bit when others do comment. But I don't think that is the full reason of why I blog.

I blog because I can connect with people. I am in a fairly isolated place in my life. We are only living here for a year; my husband is either at school or studying so we do not get out much (hence the excitement for last week); since I'm only here for a year, I don't plan on making a ton of friends, I have a few, and that's all I need; this ward is not as friendly as many other wards I have been in and when I am at church, my time lately has been spent between the nursery and the Young Women's room doing camp stuff; my friends that I speak to on a weekly, sometimes daily basis live in Montana, Utah, Arizona, South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and California, so I can't just hop on over to their houses like I used to.

We lived in Germany for two and a half years. I felt like I was able to travel the world, that I had opportunities everywhere to go and explore. Here, I feel trapped. Texas (OK, Texas is pretty big, I'll be more specific) San Antonio is not a place that I would ever want to live. In Germany I could travel six hours and be in Paris, or if I went the other way, Austria, Czech Republic, or in 8 hours, Poland. If I went south for 2 hours, I could go to Switzerland. I could get on a plane, and in an hour and a half, I was in Ireland, and had flown over the UK. Here, I drive six hours west, and I'm still in Texas. Very disturbing for me...

So, with the isolation, I live through my computer and my phone. Connecting with people from all over helps me to feel that I'm not alone, and that even though my ward is pretty crappy, there are still people out there that are willing to be my friends. Even if they haven't met me or heard my child yell at the top of the lungs in the dead quiet of sacrament meeting "but mom, I TOLD you I DON'T want to go to PRIMARY!!". I've shared more things on this blog that I probably haven't shared with people that I've met since being here. Yet these people that I don't know are getting this window into my life. And I get to see into theirs. And I LOVE it. My best friend and I, who have known each other since we were 8, have learned new things about each other since blogging. (sigh, that's 21 years shell)

I love having a place to put down my thoughts, and read others thoughts. I love it because I feel very little, if any, judgement. I love that even though we are SO different in so many ways, we still can relate to each others experiences. To me, this is what friendship should be like.

So, even if my house suffers or my children are climbing on my lap as I type, I will continue to blog and to lurk in blog-land. It helps me get through the day, the week, and this year. And the next year when Matt is done with this part of the schooling, and he will actually be in a hospital doing PA things and having strange schedules.

If you feel so inclined, let me know why you blog. It would be interesting to know why.

My Finger

So about 15 minutes ago, my dryer attacked my middle finger of my right hand to the point where I had to put neosporin on it and bandage it. It makes typing very slow and painful. My dryer has one of those spring loaded doors, and I threw in a dryer sheet, but wasn't fast enough and the darn thing closed on my finger. If I could afford it, I would buy a new one, just because it tried to eat my finger. And because I hate the sound of the buzzer when its done.

I will attempt to write more about our week with Matt:

Tuesday we went to the zoo. It dripped on us at different times, but it wasn't a bit cold. And I already told you about my battery issue. Since we moved in the same day Matt started school, we spent some time organizing, putting things in a place, and getting rid of crap. Thursday night we went out with another couple. We went to dinner, then Julie and I hung out at Borders and Matt and Chris went to see Disturbia. Julie and I also went to World Market where I introduced her to the world of Chocolate NOT made my Hershey's or any other crappy wax-filled chocolate. OK, so its expensive, but so worth it for good chocolate.

As you know, Friday we went to Sea World and it was great. Sorry I bored everyone with so many pictures. But I was pretty proud of the few good shots I got.

I have had some good ideas about blogging, but until my finger stops hurting, there will not be any involved-long-winded typing. I know, my finger is so small, and it really isn't that big of a deal, but I have to chop a few different things for my planned dinner, so maybe I should start now so that I have time to give my poor finger a break. (its not even 4 yet here......)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

One more post about Sea World

I really wish blogger would let me post more than five pictures...

We went to Dolphin Cove or whatever the heck its called, and we went twice because the first time Andrew was not a happy kid. The second time we went, we spent the five bucks for the five tiny fish that they let you feed the dolphins. The picture below is Matt's arm feeding the dolphin. I could have gotten more but a dumb kid came in between us, and I missed Andrew feeding a dolphin. So irritating.

I would have liked to have fed a dolphin, but I was the camera woman. Maybe next time we go our kids will be bigger and won't try to climb in the pool with the dolphins.

If you scroll down, you can see more of our pictures of Sea World. Sorry so many posts on Sea World.

More Pictures of Sea World

How cool would it be to surf on the back of an Orca Killer whale????? And wear the cool matching outfits??
The only picture of me at Sea World. I went with Andrew on the kiddie ferris wheel. I think I was more freaked out than he was.

In the picture above he has just jumped off the diving board. At the very top of this picture you can see the bottom of a white thing, and people were jumping off of that and doing amazing things. They had these huge swings and they were doing things off of that too. My camera is a little irritating, (I think I'm going to get me a new one this summer, so if any of you have any suggestions, let me know)

Sea World

We went to Sea World yesterday. Because we are in the military, we get free tickets to Sea World once a year, up to four tickets. So, we took advantage of that free bee. The picture below is of Matt and Andrew looking at the sharks swim by.

This is Lucy next to one of the many fish tanks. My kids were not very photogenic at Sea World.
Andrew went on his first "roller coaster" ride. I could hear him screaming. And it stopped halfway through the first run, so instead of going around only twice, he got to go 3 times. I'm not sure if he liked it.
We saw the Viva show with the spotted dolphins (i think) and the white beluga whales. Also, the girl on the right is a synchronized swimmer, and the guy on the left is a trainer. There were a lot of acrobatics during this show, and it was really cool. But Andrew complained that the music was too loud while Lucy sat very still on my lap and watched. That never happens.
We also saw the Believe show with the orca whales. Now, for some dumb reason, when I watched the Viva show and the Believe show, I get tears in my eyes. I think its the combination of the music and watching these amazing animals and the people that work with them. I get like that when I hear people singing and their voices just blend and move together perfectly. And while we were getting our tickets, a marching band was playing outside of Sea World, and they started to play the Star Spangled Banner. And the tears came again. They're coming as I type. So irritating. Luckily I had my glasses on most of the day and no one could see the extra moisture in my eyes.

It was a great great day. I'm sad because when we saw the prices, there is no way that we will be able to go again and pay. Unless we got a pass, but I'm not crazy enough to go by myself with two little kids. I'm also sad because this is the end of Matt's week off, and we're back to him studying all day and all weekend and me and the kids doing our own thing.

There are pictures of me at Sea World, but I couldn't put anymore than five pictures on this post, so maybe I will post more pictures when I'm done. If any of you want to go, you should. And we're only half an hour away too, so if you're lucky, you could stay with us!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Yet another update

So, we called and complained, and we are going to have another treatment today while we are gone. My house is so picked up and organized, people that know me would be shocked at how it looks. I should probably take pictures.....just to prove it!
And I'm not counting this as a real post. I have several things to blog about, but at the moment I don't have the time I need to sit and ponder as I type. Maybe tomorrow or sunday you will all get a real post...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Update on the fleas

We spoke to housing today, and apparantly the people that fogged us never told me that I didn't have things "picked up" enough to do a complete fogging. And they didn't tell me anything about bagging up the kids toys and putting them in a closet with a towel at the bottom to keep the chemical from getting on their toys. Either I'm dumb, or I just had no idea what they were doing when they fogged, and they gave me very little instructions, and of course, I had no idea what to ask. Because Matt is home, we got a lot of stuff done today, a lot of stuff picked up, thown away, and put away. So maybe the next time they come it will be better for them. But they didn't say a word when they came in the house. They didn't say that I need to have this and this and this done before they could fog, and that they can come back the next day when I've done it.

I'm a little irritated with that, but we've worked hard to get things to how they should be today. Just so that you don't think I'm a horrible housekeeper (ok, so I am, but my bathrooms are clean and our clothes are clean too, not to mention our dishes are always clean too) but I am cluttery. Anyway, we moved in the day Matt started school, and other than the two women that the moving company sent out the next day to help me unpack I've been by myself with two small kids to do it all. Add to that I'm unorganized, and that I just don't see the need to kill myself picking up after everyone and constantly cleaning, my house gets a little cluttery. Oh well. I'm hoping I'll get better with this moving thing once we've done it a few more times.

I have no idea what to call this blog

Yesterday we had our house flea-fogged again because we were still finding them all over the house. And Lucy was still getting bites. Well, after the fogging, Andrew has at least two bites on his leg, and I found a flea on Lucy this morning. WHAT THE HECK???? Are the damn things indestructible? What do we have to do to get rid of them???? We don't even have a pet!!!!!! Matt called our housing office this morning, and we are going to have problems with them if 1. They don't offer to do something more aggressive with the fleas or 2. They tell us we can move.

While they were fogging our house yesterday, we went to the zoo. The kids had a great time. They even had a bug exhibit which Andrew loved. Although I was retarded and forgot to bring extra batteries. So I think I have maybe 6 pictures and that's it. Oh well.

Last night we had major thunder and lightning storms. Every 10 seconds I saw a flash of lightning. It was so amazing to see and hear it. I didn't want to go to sleep, but my eyes gave in. And this morning in the news, I read that there was a tornado 150 miles south of us, that four people died, and it demolished an elementary school. That was weird. I've never been so close to one of those before. The only natural disaster I've ever had to deal with was earthquakes. I've had enough of those thank you. It was nice being in Germany when I didn't have to worry about that. It is just a very strange thing to have a tornado so close. I don't even know what to do if the tornado sirens go off. We have a basement, but its a scary place. It even has those storm doors, where they are slanted on the ground and extremely heavy. Being in Texas is so so different.

What is strange is that this morning the sun is out, I can't see any clouds in the sky yet, and it looks beautiful. So amazing.

This week Matt is off of school, and we are planning on going to Sea World. I know the kids will love it, and I'm pretty excited too. The last time I went was in sixth grade. I was in girl scouts, and we took the train down to San Diego. I think that was the first time I remember staying in a hotel. That was a big weekend for me. I remember sitting in the penguin exhibit in the nice cool air because it was so hot out. Hopefully it won't be so hot when we go.

If any of you do know what to do when the tornado sirens go off, let me know. I'm sure I need to do more than stand under a doorway, or get under my desk or table. (which is what you do when there is an earthquake just in case any of you didn't know.....)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Being a "Sœur" Missionary

I have been wanting to write about my mission for a while, and I finally scanned a picture that I could include with my post. It is with Sœur Isola (now I know her as Bonnie DeGroff) and we were together for 3 months while we were in Orléans. We worked our tails off and we had a great time doing it.
She was my first companion that was NOT from Utah. It was so nice to be around someone that was from a different place. Luckily, she was also from California, just more up north. In this picture she is wearing my dress and I'm wearing hers. The car we're standing next to is a Mercedes, and the hood ornament is broken off. (we thought that was really funny) We would take pictures all the time. Crazy, fun pictures. One night we decided to put on makeup (which most sister missionaries in our mission did not do since we rode bikes most of the time and it rains a lot in France) and we took pictures of ourselves pretending to be models. We didn't do that all the time, but we did it to have a little bit of fun.

All of my comps up to S. Isola had been from Utah. Nothing against Utah, but some of these girls were a little strange. My trainer was from Beaver UT, and I don't think she had ever really left Utah before she went on her mission. I could be wrong though. She wasn't as bad as my companion from Parowan UT. If I never see her again, I will survive just fine.

I LOVED being a sister missionary. Maybe it was because I got to serve in France, a country that I had been dying to visit for years, and I was just so happy to be there. It was where I learned the most about who I was and what I was capable of. And being a missionary is cake compared to real life. You have money every month in your account; your companion changes every few months so you don't always have to be around them; you get to travel and meet new people; you don't have to worry about boys/girls and the stress of that; your job is talking about your religion and you go around bearing your testimony all the time; you get to read your scriptures for a long time everyday. It killed me to come home. I was never homesick for more than root beer and having a burger at In-n-out. I didn't mind not watching TV, or not listening to regular music. I didn't even mind riding my bike sometimes. Sometime I'll have to post a picture of me riding my bike in a dress with a helmet. It wasn't pretty.

Some of my experiences:
*having a short, hairy, greasy french man ask me and my companion to sleep with him and my companion saying "je ne suis pas facile!" (i'm not easy)
*singing cantiques (hymns) in centreville
*riding my bike by the Loire river during the summer and coming home and having to clean bugs out of underneath my shirt
*watching my trainer ride her bike into a car door that was opened right in front of her
*finding a family that wanted to hear more about the gospel and said that he felt the spirit while we were there
*accidentally going to Paris because we didn't know the train wasn't stopping at the trainstation in Centreville and getting free tickets home because we played the "dumb american". and president saying have a good time and just be on that train going back.
*eating live oysters and frog legs
There are so many many more that I could talk about, but I'm getting old, and I've been home for a long time now.

I met some of the greatest people on my mission. I still keep in contact with most of my companions. Except for the one from Parowan. She needs a post all to herself.

Last August while we were still in Germany, we went back to Orléans for 5 days and it was great.

I would go on a mission again in a second. When our kids are gone, that is what we'll be doing, sending in our papers and going on a mission. And hopefully I'll have a nametag that says "Sœur Holmes".

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I read this in one evening

Yesterday I started to read a book called "The Kommandant's Girl" by Pam Jenoff. I started reading it, and I just couldn't put it down. I went to bed at 2am because I just had to keep reading! It is a story of a young woman during WWII. She is Polish and she is Jewish. She becomes involved with the resistance. I am always fascinated by stories of this time in history. Just the courage these people had and the things that they did just to survive. This is not a true story, but it was still a good story. And it is 395 pages. It is a very easy read (obviously, since I did it in one evening.) I will probably post more reviews of the books I have read. I love to read. Now that I am back in the USA, having a Barnes and Noble close by is just about heaven for me. Now, if I could just live in one, that would be all I would need.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I won

I love Old Navy. They were great when I was in Germany and I could shop online from them, and get really good deals on things. I also noticed when I started looking at their website, they often have contests, where you can enter once a day with your email address, and they'll let you know if you win. Sometimes they have a game that you play, but of course in the past, I never have won. Well, right now they have a little game thing that you can play, the grand prize being $5000 or something like that. Not really sure. Anyway, I went on and I played the game, and I won a $10 gift card! I don't get it for another 8-10 weeks, but hey, I don't care. Maybe I'll win again tomorrow. I doubt it, but I can always try.
So, now you know it's possible to win. I knew SOMEONE had to win sometime, just made my day that for once it was me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My new music

I totally stole this music from my friend Emily. I don't know how she found it, but I cannot get enough of it. Plus, I'm figuring out more of what they are saying. I hope you like it and that it doesn't drive you crazy. And I finally figured out how to add the accents to French words that I sometimes use. So exciting for me. I know, I'm totally lame, but I've been wanting to know how to do this for a long time.....

We have had a beautiful day here. It wasn't even too terribly hot either. I know that will come. That and the humidity. My hair is already rebelling. I need to figure out something that will keep the frizzes away this summer.

Next week is Matt's week off of school. I am looking forward to it because instead of being home but studying, he will actually be home. We are planning to take advantage of free Sea World tickets and maybe we will find some other cool place to visit. Or maybe I'll leave the kids with dad and I'll go out to the outlets and get some good deals at my favorite stores. OK, most of them are kids stores like Carters and Children's Place. But I could find myself something at the Old Navy outlet.

I really cleaned my bathrooms well today. I absolutely HATE cleaning the bathroom. It is much easier now for me because of rubber gloves and the fact that I don't have to pull my hair and all my sisters hair out of the drain in the bathtub. That would always make me gag.

I have actually been very irritated today, but I'm refraining from posting any of my irritation. If I feed it, it will only get worse.

So, I'm hoping for a calm evening (as I'm typing this my children are fighting over who gets to sit in my lap. not a good sign.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Interesting Conversation

I know this is my third post this morning, but I just thought of something that would make all of you laugh a little bit.

Last night Andrew wanted to come and lay down with us. Then these words came out of his mouth. (he is 3 1/2)

A: Mom, you have pretty boobs.

Me: Andrew we don't say that about mommy.

A: Why do girls have boobs mommy?

Me: So that we can feed our babies.

A: When mommy has a baby in her tummy, your boobs get bigger and then you feed them, and when I'm a mommy I'll have a baby in my tummy.

How did he know that they get bigger when you have a baby? I have no idea. Once he asked me what they were, and I told him that they were Lucy's snack. (I was nursing Lucy at the time) Matt and I tried really hard not to laugh, but did not suceed. Oh well, I'll have to think of something to tell him that is a little bit better the next time he says this.

New yummy recipe

I made this last night. It was really easy, and everyone ate it up. My 19 month old scarfed it down, and ate the kidney beans first. My kids are a little weird, but I'm glad they eat good food! I got it from a Taste of Home's One Dish Meals book from sept. 2005. One of those impulse buy cookbooks at in the checkout lanes at the grocery store. I have two more recipes that are new that I'm going to be trying this week, so if they are good, I will pass them along.


Our house is going to be flea-fogged tomorrow!!!!! I'm not usually a bloodthirsty type of person, but all I have to say about it is KILL THE TINY TORTURE THAT IS THE FLEA!!!!

So, while they are fogging my house I'm going to drive up to the Distribution Center at the temple and get me some new garments. I love new garments.

And today in preparation we are cleaning up all the toys and junk that is on the floor. But while i'm typing this they have a bag of the mini Nutterbutters and are sitting on the floor laughing at each other. Not sure what is so funny about mini Nutterbutters....

Yesterday at church they were handing out new VTing routes, and the secretary asked who I was, and looked through her pile, and what a surprise!!! I am not a VT nor do I have a VT. We have been in this ward for almost 6 months. Unbelievable. This ward is so weird.

My dryer has buzzed twice now, and since monday's job is the laundry, I had better get it out so I don't have to hear the buzzer a gazillion more times. And I promise I will post a few more things this week. I actually had things to do and places to go last week.

Ok, there are cookies all over the floor, so I need to go and regulate....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Interview by Millie

Millie over at What On Earth Is That Smell asked for people to interview. I thought it would be fun, so I volunteered. Gives me something different to blog about right? Here are the questions and answers:

1. If you didn't have to consult with your husband when naming your children, what would you have named them?
They would still be Andrew and Lucy. I pretty much decided what I wanted and asked Matt what he thought. He didn't have much to say, he's a pretty easy going guy when it comes to this stuff. I didn't give Lucy a middle name, and his mom had a problem with that. I was still in the hospital, and she had called and was talking to him. After he hung up, he came over and said, why don't we give her a middle name of Christine? I said NO WAY! (no offense to those of you who have this name) That was his moms name, and i KNEW that she had made that suggestion. I figured that she had had four kids of her own, and she had her chances of passing along her name if she wanted. These were my kids, and no way was she naming them. And to ask me while I'm still recovering from my emergency c-section??? Just plain bad timing. Maybe before I had her, but the answer would still have been NO! I would have been a little nicer about it though.

2. What is your favorite kitchen gadget and why?
I don't have many kitchen gadgets. I do love my rice cooker. I love how you can put it in and push a few buttons and you don't have to set a timer, or worry about having burnt rice, or undercooked rice. Anything to make cooking my dinner a little easier I'm all for. I also love my spoon rest. (does that count as a kitchen gadget?) It is the kind that stands the spoon up, not laying it down. I guess the best part about it was that I got it at Ross for only $2.50.

3. How did you meet your husband?
I had heard of him many years (ok, only 3 years) before I ever met him. I had a friend that was "waiting" for him while he was on a mission for our church. But then she started dating another guy (which she ended up marrying) while he was gone, but she had never written him. So, that is how I first heard of him. I ended up serving a mission myself, and I met him in person about two months after I got back. I was at a fireside (a devotional type of meeting in the evenings) at church and he and someone else sang. Afterwards, I was talking to a friend of mine (and his I soon found out) and had said that he had asked her what she thought of his singing. She doesn't know much about music, but she knew I did, so she said that I should tell him what I thought. Well, I did. I said that the piano should have been louder, and....... obviously I wasn't too nice about it. But we ended up talking for a while. The same friend invited me to play basketball with them that week, he asked for my number and five months later we were married. I used to make fun of people like me that would get married so fast. I have now learned to keep my mouth shut!! We will have been married 6 years this July.

4. What good movies have you seen lately? (If none, whats your favorite movie of all time?)
I haven't watched many movies lately. I did recently finish reading "Marie Antoinette, The Journey", so I thought I would check out the movie. I enjoyed it for lots of reasons. One of which was that I just love watching anything that is filmed in France. Makes me feel closer to my second home. I liked it because of the costumes and the scenery. I have never been to Versailles, and although I have seen pictures, it really helped that they were able to film inside. It made a lot more sense to me. I didn't like it because it just stops as they were having to leave Versailles. There is so much more to the book after that. And they left out one of the kids. She had four kids. I liked how the little girl that played Marie-Therese was a little french girl and spoke french in the movie. I would like to watch it again before I take it back.

5. Are you doing genealogy and if so, where were all four of your grandparents born?
I am not doing genealogy. But I'm pretty sure that my moms parents were both born in Utah, most likely the Logan area. My dads dad was born in Southern California I think, and my dads mom was born in Utah. Not sure where on that one.

Now, if you would like to be Interviewed let me know, and in a few days I will hit you with your questions.
Thanks Millie, this was fun.

Just a taste

I have realized that I haven't actually talked much about "life as a military wife". And now I finally have a little taste for you of what it is like to be married to a man in the military.

This isn't my experience. This is about a very very good friend of mine. We met in Germany, she and her husband lived in the apartment right above us. She was pregnant at the time, and both of them were active duty also. She got out before she had the baby. We did Thanksgiving together, Christmas, Easter, and just anytime that the other was cooking and the other was too tired. When I had Lucy, she said that she would come down and stay with Andrew so that we could just go to the hospital. And she did, and kept him most of that day.

They left Germany a little more than a year ago, to go to Fort Bragg, in North Carolina. Her family lives close by, so they moved in with them until they found a place of their own, but they found out shortly that he was going to be deployed, and she didn't want to live by herself. She got pregnant shortly before he left (they wanted to be pregnant) and yesterday she just had the baby. He was scheduled to come home for R&R this same week. He missed his sons birth by about 10 hours. But at least he got here. He has had 3 very close calls, one of which he was taken off duty for a few days to heal and recupe before going out again. He is also a medic, and he is always taking care of his soldiers. On the same day, my very good friend had her son and saw her husband for the first time in 8 months. And in about two weeks or so, he will have to go back to Iraq. I'm not really sure when he is going to come home.

I talked to her last night, and just listened to her talk about the birth, and what happened when her husband was able to get to the hospital. How she's feeling now, and how hard it is going to be when he leaves in a few weeks. This is such a normal part of our lives. Last year at least 6 men from our church we deployed for a year. One of them left his wife with a 6 month old, and four other older daughters. And she was by herself for a year in a foreign country. Another situation I know of is a man that will be up early for a promotion, but with this promotion comes a deployment. And this is just our facts of life. I gave birth to Andrew without Matt there. He was in AIT (not sure what that stands for, but its schooling after Basic) and he didn't see his son until Andrew was 5 weeks old.

I'm not trying to make you feel sorry for us, or sad for us that this is part of our lives. I was so glad that when Lucy was born Matt was able to be there. It was so much better to have him there, and to have him helping me and see what I actually went through. It made all the difference. Of course he was horrible at taking pictures, so Lucy has maybe 10 pictures of her when she was first born. I'll just tell her that her dad was in charge of the camera that day, and that he was never allowed to do that again! I just want to bring awareness that those that have their husbands always around, to be there in the times that they are needed the most should be so gratefull that they have that. I've been lucky that Matt has only been to Iraq once, and it was only for one week. It was the week of Christmas, and he was going to perform for the soldiers as he was in the Army Europe Chorus at the time. Yes it was scarey, and I was worried. And it was hard that he wasn't there for Christmas. But you just deal with it and get over it.

Right now Matt is in the PA program for the Army. He has this year and next year for his schooling, and the reality is that after he does this program and graduates, he will be deployed. And we'll be fine. It won't be great, but we'll get through it.

In Germany, there was a girl in my ward that would always talk about how much she missed her husband, how hard it was without him, and blah blah blah. She was so irritating. They had just joined the Army, and it was like she thought that he would never be deployed. What was more irritating was that there were families that their husbands were deployed for the 2cd or 3rd time, and I thought this girl was so selfish. When you join the military, this is part of your life. You can't go into something like this and not realize that the possibility is very very real.

Our life is good. The health benefits are great, we live on post and the commissary is usually much cheaper than a regular grocery store. We don't pay tax there or at the PX. Because we live on post, we have no bills other than our cell phones and our phone/internet/cable. I don't even have to take care of my lawn, they have gardners that do that for us. I feel safe on post, as much as it does get irritating to always have to show my ID card. But I know that is for safety. Just a few weeks ago we had a bomb scare where some guy had a few pipe bombs in his car and tried to get on post with them because a soldier was messing with his girlfriend. That is just part of the life of being in the military. We do move a lot too.

I hope that this has helped you see a little bit into our lives. I have to say that I didn't understand this before we joined the military. I wish I would have known. This summer we have been in for four years, and I have learned so much. I will try and post more things that pertain to being in the military, but for the most part, our lives are a lot like anyone else's.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My first woman to woman

I really don't have a child with any specific problems other than the fact that he is 3 and a half and has so much energy he doesn't know what to do. I feel that my kids are just like everyone else's. Lots of energy, fairly average all around with their development. I don't think that they are difficult: I am a difficult mother. By that I mean that I get emotional and lose my control very quickly. Part of the problem is that I was taught to do that by my own mother. And until recently I didn't realize that. And also that how you react is a choice. That you do not have to react emotionally, and the majority of the things that my normal, average kids do is normal and average, and things will be ok, no matter what it is that they do.

I have always been so proud of myself when it came to self-control. In small ways I have lots of self-control. But when it comes to my kids and the things that they do, sometimes I completely lose my mind. Over things that really don't matter, but when I react badly, then they do matter.

I am learning though. Last week I had made a breakfast cake that had blueberries on it. And I made quite a bit. So we had it for a few days. I had given some to both the kids, and Lucy just made a mess of hers. Andrew took his off the table and sat down in front of the TV. I had taken Lucy out of her chair and then I got on the computer. Next thing I know Andrew is telling me that he is sharing with Lucy, and I look and their is cake smooshed into the rug, but he has been feeding his sister his cake. Instead of reacting the way my mother would, I decided that it would do no good to get mad at him, I thanked him for sharing with his sister, and told him that making this mess isn't a good idea, and that he needed to help clean it up. The fact that I can do that now is amazing.

We all have moments when our children are more difficult. I have learned it is more MY behavoir than anything that teaches them how to behave, not the things that I tell them. My sister told me about a book that has really helped me, (the little that i've read. there is so much to it, i have to take small doses) Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline. I really really like it. I need to put it in my pile of things to always read.

When I have a really bad day with them, I make sure that I apologize to Andrew. I am not always right, and I hated that my mother in a lot of situations would put her opinion above ours and make hers the "right" one.

I know there are kids out there that have major issues and need to be on medication, have therapy, or are handicapped in some way which makes taking care of them more taxing on the parents. I have no words of wisdom for you. I honestly don't know how you do it.

I am looking forward to the wealth of knowledge from all of you out there. I've already read a few and I've already learned stuff. And bookmarked you. Thank you for passing along your hard earned knowledge. I can use all the help that I can get!!

*please go to My Many Colored Days
for other links on this subject.

(i am so excited that i finally figure out how to do this linking stuff.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The best 10 years in a womens life come between 28 and 30

My grandma has that saying on a magnet on her fridge. When I was a kid, I would look at it and do the math, and it just never made sense to me. But when I was there at Christmas time and I saw it, it reminded me of how I didn't understand it.

But here it is: I just turned 29. 29. That is right between 28 and 30. Now you could take that saying to mean you want to be 29 for the rest of your life. Nice body or whatever reason you have. Or, at that time of your life, it feels like 10 years instead of 2. I'm not really sure which one really applies to me.

As I think about the fact that I just turned 29, I think about the things that I have been able to do in my life. I think how fast this time has gone. I think about all that I have learned. There are some things that I wish I hadn't done or said, but I've survived, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger right??

In this last year I have figured out a ton for myself: What kind of mother I want to be, and what I don't want to be. The kind of people that I want in my life. How I have my limits with family members, and to only allow myself a certain amount of time with them so that I don't lose my mind. Figuring out that it is OK to not have a clean house all the time everyday. The kind of wife I want to be. The incredible power of choice and change. Honestly, I really wasn't able to make any changes until I realized that it was a choice. And how making that choice to change has made such a difference.

I could go on. Once when I was staying overnight at my grandma's house after a long flight back and I didn't want to drive the hour home, I realized that even though my grandma is almost 80 (or maybe she is I can't remember) she is still having to make dinner. I HATE making dinner, and figuring out what to eat and all that. And I realized that at 80, I would still have to make dinner. 50 more years of making dinners. That thought just made me want to go to sleep and hide from all of my cookbooks and run away from my kitchen. Now, even though I know that I will still probably be making dinners at that age, it doesn't really bother me. Not really sure what the change has been, but I think it is my perspective on life and being a mom.

The flip side of this is that I don't look 29. When I was pregnant with andrew about four years ago, my husband and I chaperoned a youth dance at church. I was barely pregnant, maybe two months, and I was holding Matts hand as we walked in and the people at the door asked for my dance card. I thought "are you kidding??? I'm pregnant and I'm wearing a wedding ring!" But apparantly they thought I looked young enough. When I was on my mission people would ask if I was 18. I thought in my head "what is wrong with you people?? I'm 21!! Can't you see that?" I guess when I'm 40 people will think I'm 30. I guess what I want is to look my age, not always be taken as younger and not as mature as I am.

I'm hoping this next year is going to be as full of self-understanding as this past year was.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Look what I found this morning

We have had a lot of rain lately, and this morning I was going to go down and get the boxes that had gotten soaked when our basement flooded. (there is nothing that the army will do about that. yay for old crappy houses) I went out to open our doors that go down to the basement and I was so surprised I screamed. Because there was a frog. Just not something that I expect to find when I go out to the basement. So I got Andrew and Lucy to come out and look at it. They have never really seen a frog in real life.

I am really not liking this Texas place much. Finding frogs and lizards (because we found one of those too this morning under the doors of my basement) and having my kids being eaten alive by fleas, and a basement that floods.... I could go on but then I'm just wallowing in self pity.

I do enjoy the thunder and lightning storms that we've had recently, and I love how big my front porch is. But I am glad that we only have 9 more months of living here!!