Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Totally cliche, but I will do it anyway

(first apologies. my apostrophe is currently not working. it is as if my keyboard is falling apart. but anyway, just pretend there are apostrophes for this entire post. thanks.)

(spell check found my lack of apostrophes and corrected them! hooray for spell check!!!)

New Years. Always a time for renewing, reviewing, and changing things. Do you actually do it? Do you follow through with them? Usually, to make changes, I wait until we move. We seem to move fairly often, and at Christmas time, which allows me to be able to make those changes. This year, that not being the case, I am going to have to make more of an effort in this.


This last year has been a year full of major changes. And things that I had no control over forced me to find things in me that I did not think I was capable of doing. Capable of getting through and coming out OK.


Sadly, those sorts of things are not easily measured. But sometimes, you want to be able to SEE some progress, to visually tell that you are better than you were before. So, this January, I will be starting to work on these things:


~I know I posted a while back that I wanted to tackle bread making while he was gone. Well, this far into it, I have not made even one loaf. This goal has changed to at least attempting it. I do have loaf pans (finally!!) and yeast. Just a matter of getting other things in order so that I can give it the time it needs to be good! Because if my bread comes out terrible, well, I just do not know what I will do if it does. I do not get along with bad bread.


~I am going to exercise. A lot. And change my diet as best as I can. I would love for my husband to come home to a fit, toned wife. It is possible!! I just do not know if I can give up my treats.


~I am going to become more organized. In whatever small way I can. It is such a huge effort for me to get myself there and then to keep it up. I am also going to purge purge purge. I have so much crap (as does my husband) that we never use. That we have no need for. And my kids toys!!! I get so tired of all those toys! They do not even play with half of them. Just have to convince them. Or do it when both of them are gone.

~I started really reading my scriptures every day when we were in North Carolina. And amazingly, I have managed to keep it up and I still do it. I want to keep that up, and add a few more aspects to my whole prayer/reading routine. I also want to be consistent with family home evenings. I hated them as a kid for many reasons (mostly my brothers made it miserable for the rest of us) but I have realized that mine do not have to be like that. They are whatever we want them to be. So, mine are going to be short, sweet, and if I can manage, with a little bit of fun thrown in.


~Boundaries!!! Boy do I love these things. My life becomes so much easier when I can set boundaries and stick to them, no matter what the situation. My personal resources are spread pretty thin. So, my goal is that no matter what other people think or want me to do, I am always going to do what is best for my kids and I. I really don't get pushed too much from the church, but I have been pushed on the FRG side of things, of people wanting me to do this and that. And sometimes I just cant.

Well, I have covered the spiritual, physical, and mental aspects of my life. Anything else that I accomplish on top of these is just extra. Next step is to write them down in my journal, and then get them on something so that I can see them every day. Nothing like a daily reminder to keep you on track!!

I hope this year is better than the last, that you find happiness, and that when there are problems, you get through them. Happy New Year!

(I will be spending it with five kids. I got some noisemakers and fun snacks for them. Who will bet me $20 that they don't make it to even 11pm??????)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Phew

What a day. I stayed up late getting things wrapped and done. Then woken up way too early. Still wondering why said child is still awake. My husband called and it was a whirlwind of opening presents as quickly as possible just in case his connection went out again. Watched movies, played with toys, called grandma, grandpa and uncles with the web cam. Sat on chocolate coins on floor and had no idea. Washed my robe to get the chocolate off of it. Watched my kids play with their new things, eat candy, change clothes numerous times. Wishing Santa's magic would clean up my living room as easily as he puts things in it.

And, inevitably, at this time of year, at least for me, I become a bit reflective. I look back to where we were in previous years at this same time. (loading up a uhaul trailer and about to drive across the country and having no idea what lay ahead of me for the next four months of living at home again). The year before we were in a hotel. The year before that, we had been in So Cal, but living out of our car as we still had no place to live back in Texas. Right now, I am so happy to be in our own home. So happy that we're not moving any time soon. So happy that even though my husband is deployed, we are still a family, and we have great things in our near future.

While life is tough, life is good.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Things in my head

~I haven't plucked my eyebrows in at least a week. Sigh. I hate when I forget to do that.

~Grateful for friends. One friend that called me up Saturday morning that needed my expertise (ha!) in choosing fabric. Another friend that offered to watch my kids this week, for a good chunk of time. And other friends who give me an opportunity to share my talents.

~I miss the gym. I've been going for a while now. When I miss for a few days, it really sets me back. But I love it. I just might be able to keep up with my husband one of these days.:)

~Loved getting a chance to get to know my neighbors yesterday at a little neighborhood Christmas party a friend had.

~I think we're going to have pizza and root beer Christmas eve. Some friends who's dad is also deployed are coming over.

~I got 5 Christmas cards in the mail yesterday!!! I was feeling so sad that I had only gotten a few. But, it's understandable. We've moved so often, I'm sure it's hard to keep up with where we are. My Eiffel tower card holder is now full!!! Getting cards in the mail just makes me happy.

~I painted my toes red this morning while I was talking to my husband. I was wearing open toed shoes to church, and my toes had to be dressed too.

~Cannot wait for my treats my brother brought back from Paris! I had sent him lots of money to pick up some things that I need-well ok, wanted from France. Nothing like good dark French chocolate to make your day.

Anything floating around in your head this Sunday night??

I think I'm going to go and cross stitch and watch a movie.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Playing Telephone

I feel like the last month I've been playing telephone. And not in a good way.

I feel taken. I feel slightly betrayed, but mostly I feel stupid. Stupid for not being able to be smart enough to keep it all at a distance and believing what the person before me said in the telephone game. Because we all know that the correct message never makes it through exactly the same as it began. Sigh.

Chalk this one up to a good learning experience. Never playing the telephone game again. It's a terrible game.

My new favorite songs

Like many of you, I've been watching Glee for the entire season. I love it. A lot. As a kid that grew up watching musicals, this show has made my musical loving heart happy. I still have every episode saved on my DVR. I have bought both the CD's. I love them.

But, my favorite song of the whole thing, came at the very end. As did my next favorite song. The first is My Life Would Suck Without You. I feel like this song accurately describes my relationships with a few people in my life. And, since they are some of the closest ones I've got, this song I almost want to take up as my theme song for my life. That is how much I LOVE it. (remember to turn off the Christmas music before you watch)




You have to watch it to really appreciate it.

Here is the second one. Don't Rain On My Parade was done by Barbara Streisand. I've listened to both. Since I don't have a video of Barbara doing it, I think this one wins. The second song is alright. I can't seem to listen to it enough!!! Thank goodness I figured out how to rip songs from CD's and put them on my MP3 player. These ones are coming to the gym with me.




I love all of this. Mostly the first song.

It's going to be so hard to wait until it comes back in the spring.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just to warn you

I love Christmas music!! And to share that love, I've put Christmas music on my blog. So, those of you who actually hit my blog, be prepared for some music. And for those of you who read me in a reader, hit me sometime. There might be something I've got that you've never heard.

Have to say, when it comes to Christmas music, I'm fairly close minded. Not a big fan of all of the current artists putting out new cd's at Christmas. I'm sure it had to do with the music we listened to growing up. We listened to Bing Crosby, Oak Ridge Boys, Mannheim Steamroller, Patty Page, Nat King Cole, Kenny Rogers......I have expanded my Christmas music to include Harry Connick Jr. But it just doesn't seem like Christmas without Bing singing Mele Kalikimaka and the chipmunks singing about their hula hoop. My cable company has music channels, and so during the day I have it to the Sounds of the Season. It is great!

Well, I hope you enjoy my music when you visit. I will probably keep it on until the end of the month, so just be prepared for it. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Well, at least I tried

For the last week or so, it has been super freezing cold here. As in the pond down the road is frozen. And the grass is crunchy all day. And every morning you're scraping ice off your car windows. The night time lows are in the teens. So, yeah. It's cold.

Last Sunday was no exception. The problem I find is that skirts and dresses are not very good at keeping my legs warm. And the majority of my skirts and dresses are either knee length, or slightly longer. No floor length anything. Which leaves my poor legs exposed to the elements!!! Here is my problem. I absolutely cannot stand wearing nylons. I hate them. I truly do. (tights are different and I'll get to that in a sec.) Almost every woman that I see wearing them looks as if their legs are stuffed sausages. Especially women that could stand to lose a few pounds. Then add the wearing of nylons with open toed shoes. The seam is bad enough, but when there are runs in them........oh my. Anyway, I just hate them. The control tops are terrible too. Again, the stuffed sausage visual.

Last Sunday I did not wear anything on my legs at church. And while I was cold, I wasn't too bad. It didn't help that some genius had turned on the AC in the primary room, but we fixed that. And really, it was only the minute it took between the car and the building that it was really a problem.

Now we're to Sunday night. I have to drive to another building 20 minutes away to play the piano for our choir. And since it was going to be night, and colder than it was earlier, I thought I would see if I could find a pair of nylons that might be acceptable. Because I really hate being cold. I found a pair, put them on, and headed out the door. After we got there and had been sitting down for a bit, and waiting for our turn, I started to look at my legs. And feel my legs. And see how my dress was clinging to my nylon-clad legs. (I wasn't wearing a slip. I don't like those much either.) I couldn't take it. I got up, and found the closest bathroom and took those babies off. Gosh I felt better.

Now, tights are a whole different thing. They are an actual color (not nude or tan), thicker, and normally a dark color which makes legs look slimmer. And tights rarely have control tops on them. So, while I still rarely wear them, tights are acceptable.

I don't know what I'm going to do this winter. I just cannot abide those darn things. I guess I should find myself a slip so things don't cling and see if I can find a decent pair of nylons that don't make my legs feel like les saucissons.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm tired

Today I just feel tired. This isn't the just-back-from-the-gym tired. Or I've-been-cleaning-all-day tired. Or even the I've-been-running-around-all-day tired. This tired is beyond all of that. This is the I've-been-doing-everything-for-four-months tired.

Yeah, we did sign up for this. We knew someday he would deploy. You'd be an idiot if you were in the military and didn't expect it. But really, that doesn't really take away the tired feeling. I still am the only one to take care of the cars, bills, car registration, homework, housework, meals, yard work and any other kind of work needed to be done. It also doesn't help that I'm not the most organized person AND I forget things more often than I did before. Add all this to cold weather outside and kids with a ton of energy..........the best time of my day is when I'm at the gym or bedtime.

Something I hear often at church is "endure to the end". Usually it's paired with "keep my commandments and endure to the end". Or, " endure to the end, and endure it well". I got a small taste of that on my mission as I endured a terrible companion, riding a bike up hill both ways (literally, it was up hill both ways), people being rude, and young immature elders that you wanted to hit over the head. But my goodness. As difficult as that was, it was a million times easier than enduring this. And not just deployment, but adult life in general. But I think the most difficult thing of enduring is enduring well. To always do your best, to be happy even if you're dealing with something difficult, to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Even if you're a lot slower than you used to be.

I'm still tired. I do my best to endure it well. It's just sometimes I don't. Tomorrow will be better, and I know I'll feel better. Maybe it's just enduring Sundays. Hardest day of the week sometimes. But, I will endure, and will do my darnedest to endure it well. Even if I don't feel like it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This was the coolest thing

Before we left Fort Bragg last year, some friends invited us over for Christmas Day dinner. And this was their Christmas tree.

Yes, you are seeing a Christmas tree made out of red and green plastic cups. They put lights through it, and had made perler bead decorations that they somehow attached on there. Here is a close up of it.



I don't think I have ever seen a more creative way to have a Christmas tree. I'm not sure how or with what they stuck the cups together. But it's a cheap way to decorate. And if I thought my kids would leave it alone and not destroy it in one week, I would do it. I remembered this tree after I read this post from one of the design blogs I read. My pictures aren't as nice, but I think it is just as creative. Even the star on top is a cup they cut. Anyone doing anything other than the traditional tree?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No more dumb stuff

I am so excited for this Christmas! For the first time in three years I will get to be in my own home for Christmas and not travel one place. I won't be in a hotel, I won't be in someone else's home, I won't be driving across the country the next day. I will get to enjoy my kids, I will get to enjoy our decorations and have Santa come to our own house, not a hotel room. I'm pretty darn excited. The only crappy part is that my husband won't be here to have it with us.

I've actually been thinking a lot about Christmas for a while. I start thinking about my cards in August. (because if I don't, I won't get them done!) And this year I sent out an email to all five of my siblings talking about Christmas and our gift giving. I wanted to change it up a little. Four out of the six of us are married, with a fifth happening next year. Giving gifts is getting more expensive as you add spouses and kids, not to mention the distance that they might need to be sent. And I had an idea. For our gifts this year, we are keeping it super small. And instead of trying to give some great gift, we're going to give service. My parents, and all my siblings that will be there, are going to get together and go to our church cannery. I am going to do what I can from where I am, and I'm hoping to get my kids involved. And hopefully they'll understand it. I have pretty high hopes that our family will keep this up every year. And with my husbands side, I've suggested this too.

I'm still not exactly sure what we're going to do. I've got a couple of ideas, but still waiting to see what ends up being the right thing for us. There are plenty of non-profits that I could donate to, and feel like I've done my part. But I'd like to do something a little more tangible.

My ultimate goal: less stuff, less money for pointless things. more time and money and effort towards things that actually matter. More time serving others, and actually doing what Christ would do, no matter what time of year it is. I'm excited for the opportunities that present themselves, cause I'm going to be looking for them.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My hair and I have issues

I have nice hair, decent hair. Have had decent hair for pretty much my entire life. I've never dyed it (well, other than those washout ones and of course sun in), never bleached it, never done anything but your basic hair care.

I always see these women around me with this amazing hair. Somehow they know how to use all those products next to the shampoo and conditioner. And not only that, they can strategically place bobby pins to make their hair stay up for hours on end. HOURS. They can make the curl stay in for hours. They can keep their hair in one style for HOURS. I have no idea how they do this. I've been perplexed for years.

Then, I get a few friends that went to cosmetology school. Where they teach you all about this stuff. And not only that, but how to wear makeup, what colors look good on you, and all that stuff.

I've had three of those friends in the past six years. They have done amazing things for me, my face, and my hair. Three years ago, I didn't know what a flat iron was. I KNOW!! What, did I grow up under a rock or what! I learned how to set my foundation, and how to put eye makeup on my deep set eyes. I learned about hair wax, hair smoother's, stuff that helps to hold curl, and a ton of other stuff.

I actually have a friend here, that I met two years ago at a different Army post, who just happens to be one of those used-to-have-her-own-salon-but-is-a-SAHM-now hair people. She cuts my hair and the kids hair. She'll come to my house, or I go to hers. Our kids play while she makes my hair look better. She shares her hair secrets. Well, at least they are secrets to me because I never knew them. She is awesome. (not to mention gorgeous. seriously gorgeous.)

Now, at the ripe old age of over 30, I now know how to do my hair. I now know how to wear makeup properly. No more buying green eyeshadow for me.:)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A few memories

While our family has always celebrated Thanksgiving, it's never been my favorite or one that I particularly look forward to.

But. There are a few memories of Thanksgiving that I wanted to share.

I think this was when all of us kids were still living at my parents, which means this was a long time ago. Anyway, we weren't with any extended family, it was just my parents and us six kids. The meal was the normal Thanksgiving fare. One thing though, is that we ate off of copper plates, drank out of copper cups, and everything was served out of a copper dish. It was as if a copper mine had exploded at our table. My mom has a thing for it, and I hate it. Terrible stuff to clean, turns your fingernails green..... oh, yeah, back to what I was saying.....so after we ate, we were all pretty tired. I am not sure exactly why, but we all ended up laying on the floor (ok, this was a really long time ago because there was still carpet in the dining room) and sleeping for the next hour or so. All of us. I don't remember where my parents were, but I'm pretty sure they were sleeping too. When we woke up, even though it was more than an hour later, there was still ice in our cups. Copper can really keep things cold.

Another year, everyone but one of my brothers and I was in Utah for Thanksgiving. I don't remember why. So, he and I went out to my aunts for Thanksgiving. I had recently bought a car. It was not a great car. The heater never turned off. You hit a bump in the road and the radio might change stations, get louder, or even turn off. I didn't have a rear view mirror. But, gosh darn it, it was my car. We took that out to my aunts. I grew up in Southern California. In Los Angeles County. Even at Thanksgiving, we wear shorts and t-shirts. We were stuck in traffic going out to my aunts out in Riverside. It was boiling hot inside my car and out. My brother thought he was going to die. Poor guy.

What are your Thanksgiving memories. (darn question mark key. still won't work!!!!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Conversations at the gym

I've been going to the gym every day for about two weeks now. And I'm loving it. There are several women from church that go to this same gym, and we usually chat while we're there. One of the topics of conversation always seems to be what we don't like about our bodies. What we'd like to change, that sort of thing. I mean, we are at the gym. We are making a pretty big effort to change what we can. With these conversations we always seem to be get to the boob job, liposuction and tummy tuck part of the conversation.

And, you know, I was really thinking about having a tummy tuck once I was done having kids. I have to have c-sections, and that little area right above my scar will never go down, no matter how much I exercise. I don't know if I'll actually do it, but it's just a thought. I have a few other areas that are, in my eyes, a bit lacking.


A month or so ago, I read this. It's like Pygmalion gone wrong. I could not believe what I was reading. That this man married her for her potential, and then operated on her himself. Turned her into something that she isn't. If you look at her before picture, there isn't anything wrong with her. She looks beautiful to me. Then you look at the after picture. She looks terrible. And then you look at the guy. And somehow it took almost $30,000 of plastic surgery for him to "fall in love" with his wife. Holy hell. Who is this man and why does he think so highly of himself. (ok, just pretend there is a question mark there. I'm having issues with that key right now.)

This morning, like most other mornings, the subject came up again. And while I would love to have a cup size bigger than an A, while I'd love to have a behind that actually filled out the back of my pants instead of being flat as a pancake, I'll take the body I was given. My husband didn't marry me for my potential and sees no need for me to surgically alter anything. He loves me the way I am, and wants me to be healthy. And I agree.

So, I've decided. No more conversations at the gym about this stuff. I'm going to stick to other topics of conversation, like how crappy the weather is, what is going on with my kids, and what I'm going to do that day. Or a million other things. Because it's not even worth talking about.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A little early

I'm thinking about being thankful tonight. I've seen people on Facebook posting one thing every day that they are thankful for. And while it's still over a week until Thanksgiving, I'm going to do my thankful list now.

~I am thankful that this year is almost over! It's been a terrible year for many reasons. Can't wait until 2010 and this year is all behind me.

~I am thankful for neighbors that watch my children so that I can go to the store by myself.

~I am thankful for rubber gloves. Without them I would never do dishes or clean a bathroom.

~I am thankful for the Internet. Specifically Skype. I get to talk to my husband up to 2 times a day, and I get to see him while I talk to him. And my kids get to see their dad. Can't beat that.

~I am thankful for the basics. Hot and cold running water, toilets that work, electricity, heat, a home, food, and vehicles that work.

~I am thankful for the military and what it has done for our family. It has made us financially stable, given us many good friends, and amazing experiences.

~I am thankful that I'm a member of the LDS church.

~I am thankful that I can bear children.

~I am thankful that I can call up any of my brothers and sisters and have a good conversation with any of them.

~I am thankful for all these modern conveniences like digital cameras, cell phones, computers, external hard drives, DVD players, DVR's, and TV's.

~I am thankful for Facebook. While sometimes it seems like a black hole that I get sucked into, I have found old friends that I otherwise never would have heard from again.

~I am thankful for my kids.

~I am thankful for friends that are still my friends no matter if we live next door, or 2500 miles away, or are on the other side of an ocean.

~I am thankful for good chocolate. And for my brother who is sending me good chocolate and a friend that is sending me good chocolate. You cannot have enough good chocolate.

~I am thankful for a garage so that when we go to the car, we don't get soaking wet.

~I am thankful that my husband loves me and thinks that I look good even when I just wake up in the morning.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you're able to spend it with family or good friends where ever you are.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My little secret

While my children are watching Monsters vs. Aliens, I think I'll blog a bit.

I have a secret.

It's the shows that I watch at night. It's an old show, but they still play it late at night on some random channels, so I record it. And I love it.

I spend my evenings cross stitching, eating whatever I happen to feel like, and watching Frasier. That's right. Frasier.

My aunts and uncles watched Cheers a lot growing up. And I think when Frasier was really the thing to watch, I was either in high school, or just not into watching sitcoms. But I have discovered it, and it is so stinking funny!!! The comedy is smart stuff, not that nasty, dirty stuff. I find it much more interesting than lame shows like Melrose Place, One Tree Hill and all the rest of that sort of crap. Well, I do watch Dancing with the Stars and Glee, but other than Frasier and the occasional Law and Order, that is all I watch.

Well, and the morning line up of PBS kids. I think I've seen every episode of Sid the Science kid.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Decisions decisions

I know a while back I had mentioned something about our FRG leader. And about a month ago, I decided that rather than whine and complain about her doing nothing, I would try and be supportive of her. I sent her an email about possibly hosting a meeting at my house, and asked for her number so that I could call her. I called, and we made plans for an FRG meeting. I thought that maybe she just needed some support. And I had talked to a few others within our unit, and there weren't a lot of good things being said about her. Which really is not helpful if you're trying to get people to work together and be supportive of each other. Anyway.......... I hadn't heard from her since I had called her. I sent her an email yesterday asking who had RSVP'd, if there was anything else I could do to help her, and that it might be a good idea to send out a reminder email. Instead of a response, we all got an email today saying that she was stepping down from the position due to personal issues.

So now we are without an FRG leader. Really thinking about doing it. I know of at least two other people who would help with being treasurer, and with the organization end of things. I also know that Christmas is coming, and if we're going get things together as a unit to send to our guys, it has to be done now. And if there isn't someone in charge, nothing will be done.

You know, I've been the president of our local church's women's organization, and I can't imagine that it would be any more difficult than doing that. But I only did that for six months. The potential for failure is huge. But the potential for success is also huge! I feel strongly that when done right, the FRG can be a huge support for our soldiers and families. I know I benefited from it when we lived in Germany. I feel lucky that no matter where I move, I have the church that is an instant support system. I would like to offer that kind of support to people in our unit.

So, now is the decision time. I am very very nervous! I keep going back and forth, trying to decide if it's worth it, if I can handle being the FRG leader and all the rest of the stuff going on in my life, whether or not my emotional health will survive it, if I will be able to actually help our soldiers and our families. And really, if it's even worth it. I don't want to do it and then step down after a few months. If I'm going to commit to it, I want to stick to it.

I'm going to sleep on it. Maybe a few times. I have to figure it out soon. Things need to get started.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Really?? Really.

Took the kids out trick or treating tonight. We left our candy outside with a note, since there wasn't anyone left at home to hand it out. It was pretty cold out, but the kids were alright.

So, as we're walking, I start to notice that there are people smoking. Smoking. While they are taking their kids trick or treating. Then, one winner of the night, had a can of beer in his hand. I mean, really? It couldn't have been his first because I could really smell it as we walked past. And, the kicker was he was pushing an infant stroller, and started to pull out that tiny baby. Nothing better than smelling alcohol as you pass a baby.

At least this was the minority of the parents out there. But, it was enough that I noticed it. I just don't get it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

If you need a good laugh

You should just check out what people are using that find your blog. Because it is so funny!!! I thought I would share a few of my favorites that people have used as keywords to find me. Or at least have hit me using these key words. And really, I have no idea how I could be anywhere near the top of some of these pages. These people must really have been looking. :) Here we go:

Military Wife Sex Stories
Military Women Porn
"odd size foot"
"a guide to the birds of east africa"
hot military wife
how to tell wife i want to be in military
naked pics of military wifes (yes, wifes.)
positive things being a military wife
are fairies real have you seen tinkerbell
army wife pron (ha! this one makes me laugh. pron??? spell check anyone?)

A while back I did this post. Which has NOTHING to do with porn. Which is hysterical that when they click on my link, that is what they get!!! And as any woman knows, that stuff actually works. :)

Those were just a few of my favorites. When I need a good laugh, I go look at this.

What keywords do people use and find you????

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I've been hit

Oh this day.

Been dreading you for a whole year.

And now you're almost gone.

Have you noticed that things always happen in groups? It never is just one thing. It's about four or five.

This week I've had a sick kid, another kid who was jealous of the sick kid and therefore was behaving badly. The weather has been terrible. We've seen the sun very little in the last 8 or 9 days. We got a package from Matt, and he wrote a few special things to me. (which means a lot to me, and is a big thing to me, so that's why I'm including that.) I'm on my period.(yes, I just said it. lets just move on.)

And I was doing OK. I was feeling really good. But then today came. And for whatever reason today hit me. Hit me hard. A birthday should be something to celebrate. But nothing to celebrate today.

Are you ever so conscious of your heart that it feels as if your whole body were beating?

I want to revel in this pain I feel today. I rarely allow myself to do that, mostly because I truly don't have the time to just stop and cry. I'm sure I would feel better if I did. I have kids that need my attention, and at this moment, I should be getting them ready for bed. So I shouldn't even be writing this. But I am anyway. Hopefully they'll get the blocks picked up while I do this.

My faith should help me through this. And sometimes it does. And other times, it just doesn't matter. Because it just hurts.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Progress!!!!!

This week, I had a conversation with my mother. Sometimes these conversations are good, and others not so good. This one started out a little awkward, but we got that figured out. Then she asked me the big question: Why aren't you coming for Christmas??

I told her I wasn't going back for Christmas this past August. She kind of poo poo'd it, and said something about a Christmas present for us. I've said it a few times since then, and it's like she doesn't believe me. This time, she asked me point blank. So I told her why. And then she tried to guilt trip me into coming. Mostly playing the "well, because you're not going to be there I guess we can't do this now, even though I really want to" card. And it did nothing. I did not feel guilty. I stuck to my decision, and said, well, I guess we'll have to do that another time. I hung up the phone, and I felt good.

I'm still kind of on that high. I've been working for a really long time to get to this point. And boy does it feel good. I've become my own person, and am making my own decision. And while I've done that for years, I've always felt guilty, felt bad about it. And would sometimes carry that guilt over to the next choice I would have to make, and have it influence my decision making. This time, I feel so free! It feels wonderful! And the best part is I know that I made the right choice for us.

All of this gives me hope. Because I've got a whole bunch of other things I'm working on. And sometimes it seems as if I'll never get to a good place or be consistent with those things. Now, I know that someday those things will happen, I just need to keep working on them. And not get so discouraged when I fail.

Just feelin' good.:)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

To wrestle or not to wrestle????

Matt has wanted our son to get into wrestling for a while. I looked into it a bit when we moved to California, but I think we missed it. I found some information on our local wrestling teams here, and I'm considering getting him into it. He says he wants to do it, although I don't think he realizes exactly what he is saying he wants to do.

I looked at the practice schedule, and the meet schedule. They have practices three evenings a week for an hour and a half, right during dinner time. And every Saturday is a meet. Sometimes close by, usually a good distance away. My son isn't that old. Sometimes he doesn't want to go to soccer, and that is only one night a week. Not to mention that it's $70 and we provide the shoes and headgear.

I guess this group is really hardcore. I mean, we have to commit to three evenings a week, plus whatever time on Saturday. I guess if Matt were here to do some of this, I wouldn't be so apprehensive about signing him up. That is just so much for me to commit to, for such a young kid. Who may HATE it.

I brought this up to my husband, and he said at our sons age, he was running every day. And not just running around outside, they were running competitively. His dad had both his sister and him running like that. His mom took his dad to court (they were divorced) because she felt it was abusive to be making such small kids do that every day. While I don't know about abusive, I would have had a problem with it, too. I mean, they are kids. I guess to get ahead in the sports world you have to start the second you're conceived. I just don't think it's worth it. For my husband, it's one of the few positive memories he has from his childhood. (his words) I'm sure it still could have been a positive thing for him if it was done with a little more moderation, and more thought about what was good for the child, rather than what the parent wanted for the child. Because we as parents have a habit of projecting on our kids what we want for them, rather than asking the kids what they want. With regards to sports and other extracurricular activities, I mean.

So, I just don't know if it's worth it! I think it's a little excessive to require so much for kids my sons age. Granted, like I said, it would be different if I had some help. But I don't. So, not only do I question the practices for the kids, I just don't know if as a parent I can commit to that. I mean, I have to cook dinner sometime. There is more to life than wrestling. And those nights I may have other places that I need to be, or things that I need to do.

Have any of you encountered this? What have you done? How do you feel about sports that require so much from kids as such a young age? I'm torn a bit. He says he wants to do it, but I don't think he realizes what he's saying yes to. I have until Monday to figure it out. I guess I'll spend some of that time explaining to him what he'll be doing those 3 nights a week.

Sigh.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Totally ridiculous

Well, I'm still around, just been busy. Busy with life that can be a tad overwhelming. But I wanted to share a few absolutely ridiculous news articles I've read recently.

Oregon Apartment Complex Bans the flying of the American Flag.
Now, this is freaking ridiculous. Worried that someone might get offended? Are you kidding?

Pocketknife suspension.
Really school district? I think it was pretty obvious that it was in a survival kit for his car. I would consider the kid pretty responsible for even having that in his car. The school district is making an idiot of themselves.

First grader brings camping utensil to school.
You know, this one hits home a bit. I have a first grader. Obviously the kid didn't bring it to the school to harm anyone. He brought it so he could eat his lunch with it.

Wives are stressed when husbands deploy.
I don't even know what to say to this one. I mean, REALLY??!! They had to do a study to figure this out? Sheesh.

Trade you these kids for your bird.
I'm kind of speechless on this one. What????

Hope you get a good laugh out of how ridiculous these are. There are some truly sad people out there who have zero common sense. Anyone else read any good ones recently??

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ssssllllloooowww

A few weeks ago, my best friend suggested that we try and do a slow month. What is a slow month? Well, it can be whatever you want it to be, with the ultimate goal of spending less, and being resourceful. And since all of us are in different places, we can make our own rules.

We started out defining what our goals were going to be. Mine are as follows:

1~To get our credit card down. We use a credit card for all of our purchases because of the cash rewards we get. Between doing stuff before Matt left, my road trip, plus some birthdays, our balance is a little too high for me to feel good about it. So, this month, it will be smaller.

2~To use what I have. I cooked some pinto beans at the end of August, and froze them. They taste awesome, and are SO MUCH cheaper than buying a can of pinto or refried beans from the store. Been working on using those. Next up are black beans. I have other things that I want to use that I haven't been, for whatever reason. Plus, with it only being the 3 of us, I can make our meals last longer. Minimal fast food too. (even though the 10 piece chicken mcnuggets for $1.99 at mcdonalds is a great deal!!) And this doesn't just apply to food, this goes for everything. Rather than go out and buy something, I look and see what I've got and make it work.

3~We are not good savers. Thanks to some poor financial decisions early in our marriage (isn't that how it always goes????) we've been paying off debt. We've got it so low, it feels so good! But. Not much saved. And since Matt is deployed, we have access to a high yield savings account. It is only high yield while he's gone. So the sooner I get some money in there, the better. So, my goal is to save money for whatever we may need it for in the future. Down payment on a house? Trip somewhere? Kids college fund?

4~To sell or get rid of stuff that I don't use or can't use. Or just don't want. I have a nice little list in my head of things that need to be listed on ebay. And, I also have a nice little favorites list on etsy. So, the only way I get anything off of etsy is to sell some of my stuff on ebay.

To accomplish this, I am planning on avoiding Target, and any other impulse buy type of stores. I am planning my grocery store visits. (I made it out of Costco spending under $100. I thought that was pretty good!) I am making a big effort to have a list of things, and to stick to the list as best as I can!

There are some things I have to do this month, like get the oil changed in our cars, pay for school pictures, and things like that. I did want to get my Christmas card planned and supplies bought for those. Got a few packages that need to be sent, too. I also need an external hard drive, and that will cost a little bit of money.

Since I live in the middle of nowhere, and Ross and stores like it are a good twenty minutes drive away, I think I can do that. I do have a Walmart (I just hate Walmart), but I'm trying to get what I need a little at a time between the Commissary, Costco, and tomorrow I'm heading to the nearest Trader Joe's. (which is about half an hour away) I'm sticking to the list!! Hopefully I'll only have to go to Walmart for milk this month. Because the less of my money there, the better.

I am really going to try and do this. It will be good for me. I do like spending money and having stuff. But I'm getting tired of stuff. I have too much stuff, and it is really crappy to have to constantly be packing it and unpacking it time after time.

So, have any of you tried a slow month? What were your rules? Anyone want to join us? If we can do it, and be mostly successful, we're going to get ourselves a years subscription to RealSimple. What defines success? Well, I guess if we manage to do our best, and expect that we'll have a few setbacks, I think that would be a success. We're also going to be accountable to each other. I'll be checking up on her, with regards to her goals, and she'll be doing the same for me.

For a hard core slow lifer, check this out. I've been reading her for a while, and wow.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I found a treasure today

My hard drive on my laptop is almost completely full. As in, I've deleted several unnecessary programs, I've decided I need to finish burning the rest of my pictures onto discs, so that I can start getting rid of those.
Since my mind was on pictures, I remembered that my uncle had given me a CD with pictures on it. I had asked him for it a while ago, for pictures of my grandparents when they were younger, and that sort of thing. I've had it for months. I've never even looked at it. Until today. Oh my friends, I've had GOLD this whole time and didn't even know it.



Most of these are from slides, so if they look backwards, that's because they are.

This is from when my grandma and her sister went touring around Europe together. In the 60's.

I don't think either one of them are in this one, but I still like it.


I don't think, if I remember correctly (in my defense, I was pregnant at the time, had a sick toddler and was with my very touristy mother who was driving me nuts) cars no longer drive under the Eiffel Tower. And the fact there is someone in that little thing trying to direct traffic?? Good luck. You're in Paris.


I love this picture. I love the patchwork of fields on the ground. The fantastic thing is that it is still like that. This same sort of view was what I first saw of France when I flew over for the first time.




My great aunt Sybil is on the left (the one that had that awesome silver dress I posted about earlier) and my grandma is on the right.






My grandma at the Berlin Wall.




The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.



My cute grandpa when he was in the Navy during WWII.




And my favorite is this one: my parents. Somewhere, obviously happy. Do you see my dads pants? And his shirt?


I had NO IDEA what was on this CD. There is so much more!! I am so thrilled to have it! I'm going to print a few of these out.

My husband doesn't always understand why I want to have so many pictures of things. In fact, I got him a camera to take with him (which, of course, he has barely tried to use and hasn't sent any pictures yet). But these pictures are why I do it. So that my great grandchildren can see where we went, what we did. And what the world looked like then. What it looked like through our eyes.

I am off to make room on my hard drive for more pictures. This hard drive seems so small. Think Matt will let me get a new laptop???

Friday, September 25, 2009

Coping strategies

When your husband is deployed, there really aren't too many positive things going on. But, to keep myself sane, and to help my attitude, I HAVE to look at the positive. And here are a few of the things I've found to be positive:

~Extra pay! We get separation and combat pay while he's being gone, and the year that he is gone, we don't pay taxes.

~My water bill is going to be lower!! The man would sometimes take two showers a day. He would take one in the morning, and then if he exercised after he came home, he would pop in for another quick one.

~My electric and gas bills will be lower too.

~Less laundry!! I used to do laundry twice a week, and now I have taken it down to one.

~Less Gas! Since he isn't driving to post every day, and I have fewer places to go, we won't be hitting the local Shell station near as often.

~Less Groceries! Meals that would last us maybe one and a half times, or two times, now last MUCH longer. I need to start cooking less food.

~I don't have to share the TV. No more UFC fights, or movies that I can't watch because they affect me too much. (in his defense, when I would watch with him, he would rub my feet while I cross stitched, so even though people were beating each others brains out on TV, I was getting a foot massage.)

~My toilet will stay clean much longer.

~There are many couples that don't spend much time apart. Some cannot imagine what it would be like to be apart for a month, let alone a year. It's not that it's easy, but sometimes it's good to get away from each other to remember what it is you love about each other, realize how much they do, and to have time to make changes that need to be made and to really work on yourself. Being apart works for us. We've never been apart for this long, and I think we do much better with just a month apart. But this is what we signed up for, and we'll get through this.

You know, if you put husband deployed on the con side and had all these on the pro side, it still does not outweigh him being deployed. But you do what you have to, to get through it. And today, this is what I'm doing.

Anyone have any coping strategies that work for them? I could use a few ideas.:)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I think I'm losing my mind

It all started the day Matt left, which was the same day that I was leaving. I forgot the directions to my family reunion. And my daughters special blanket, that goes with her on any trip.

It just goes downhill from there.

I've left our garage door open all night three times. There have been a few other minor things. But tonight was the worst. I left our sliding back door completely open for 3 hours. While we were gone!!!!! And we were gone in the evening!!!!

I keep forgetting things. I was NEVER this bad before Matt left. And now I'm forgetting things all over the place.

Didn't expect this as a side effect of him being gone.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This was awesome

Today, I didn't have anything planned until our ward mission leader called Thursday night and asked if I would play the piano for a baptism today. As I had nothing else going on, I said sure. We had to go to the stake center (just a different church building) which is in the next city, close to the nearest Target and almost any other store that you can think of. Hit Target, picked up my shoes I had dropped at the shoemaker two weeks ago, hit Payless for some larger tap shoes for a little dancer that somehow came out of my genes. (seriously, how did I make a little dancer????)

I had been planning on weeding today. Because our lawn is just out of control with the weeds, especially in the back. Matt had spent a ton of time (HOURS!!!) weeding it when we first got here, and because of him getting ready to leave, then us being on a trip, our lawn is probably just as bad, if not worse than it was when we moved in. And since our owner refuses to put up a fence, our backyard is on display for all to see. I changed my clothes, and set to work.

I've never been much of a gardener. My parents always had a garden growing up, my dad spent hours taking care of the lawn. We had to pick the tomatoes, green beans, and corn, and whatever else they had growing. We had to help water all the plants. I hated it. I hate bugs, I hate dirt. But today I put on Matt's gloves, and got out the few things we had, and tried to get my kids to help.

Next thing I know, neighborhood kids are swarming in my backyard, asking for gloves, picking up rocks, and saying things like "I like to pull weeds" and "this is fun". I did my best to explain that they needed to get the root all the way down. Not much time later, those kids are still out there "helping" me. Soon, neighbors show up, and decide they can't just watch me anymore, they are going to help too.

We got a good amount done. I'm going to get some weedkiller stuff, and spend a little more time weeding this week. While I still don't like it, my arms got a good workout, I got the backyard looking a bit better (I've bought pansies to plant too! Just need to figure out where would be the best place.), and got to spend some good get-to-know-you time with my neighbors and their kids.

For a day that started out with rain pouring on my roof, and a gray cloudy sky, it ended in a fantastic way. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Future project

When we were in Utah, we went to this place called Thanksgiving Point. I had never been there in all my years of going to Utah up to two times a year. We had a great time! It was a Friday, so they had a farmers market going on where I bought this beautiful hand carved wooden bowl, some hand carved wooden spoons, and a woven pine needle basket. We went to the farm they had there, and walked in some of their gardens. We ate at the deli counter (tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil on foccacia bread with a vinaigrette) and went to their shop. And I saw these frames.

I loved them!! But when I looked at their price, I gasped. $30 each!!! And I thought, I make that. So this last week, I went to the only craft store in town (which is also a quilt shop) and picked up a few Yoyo makers. Yoyo's are those round things on the frames. They take a very small amount of fabric for the normal sized ones (about the size of a CD), and are pretty easy and fast to make. Especially if you buy a Yoyo maker instead of doing them by hand. I bought a regular size, a small size, and then a flower one. I picked up some fat quarters that I thought would work in my daughters room (pinks and browns in great patterns), also some Aunt Grace reproduction feedsack squares. You might be asking how I know all this stuff about fabric. I think I learned it by osmosis, seeing that my mom graduated in fashion design, and has been attached to her sewing machine most of her life.:) She spend a lot of time quilting now, so I've become very familiar with a lot of this sort of stuff. Not to mention being dragged to quilt shops everywhere.

I'm hoping to use these yoyo's in other ways as decoration. Or, maybe making a quilt top??? Yoyo quilts look pretty cool, especially if I found some awesome fabric. My next purchase is going to be some inexpensive frames and some buttons. Or maybe no buttons. I'm excited for this project! Hopefully it will keep me occupied through this winter!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Grandpa's farm

While we were in Utah, we went up to my Grandpa's house a few times. The first time was for a family barbecue, and the next was because I had gone up there to spend the night, and Andrew and I ended up super sick, so we stayed for a few days. The morning we woke up sick, I took a walk outside in the cool morning air to try and keep myself from puking out my guts. I took my camera with me so that I could focus on something else other than my churning insides. This guy kept watching me.


My grandpa and his wife (he remarried after my grandma died) board horses. There are probably about 10, if not more, on their property. His wife's previous husband (who also died) would breed horses. And, this is the coolest part, the land the house is on and the surrounding property, has been in her husbands family for over 100 years!!! His great great (perhaps another great) grandfather homesteaded the area. This barn has been standing for over 100 years, and it's built on a rock foundation.


They have things growing all over the place, and these little pansies were just so pretty. I don't have a fantastic camera, so they don't look near as awesome in this picture, but it's not a terrible one!



In the middle of the barn and stable areas, there was a lot of dead grass and the like. Except for these pretty blue flowers.




I can't remember what S (my grandpa's wife) called this thing, so I'm going to call it a sled that is pulled by horses. I thought it was funny because on both sides it says "Uncle Leo's Utah Noodle Parlor". Anyone ever heard of a noodle parlor?????





This bike is just sitting out under this tree. Not sure what the white box is on the end, because their mailbox is out on the street. But I thought it was cool anyway.





Now, this is my favorite thing. At the party, they had all the drinks in this awesome old cooler. I think I'm going to ask if I can have this someday.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Lumpy

I know my posts have been very few and very far between, and there's a good reason for that. Every time I come here all I have to say is just sad, depressing stuff. Nothing of real consequence. This last year has just been rough, and now with Matt gone, we've been home from our trip, plus the rain that has started, I just feel like a sad lumpy thing with nothing positive or good to say about anything.

But. I have a plan.

School is about to start, and with that comes getting up early, and having a schedule. I am going to take that and work on exercising every day. Keep reading my scriptures. Take my vitamin D and calcium supplements. Get out in the sun when it is actually out. Start to tackle things that I neglected that last month that Matt was home. And I'm going to give it a month. If I don't feel better, if I still feel this sad, dreary feeling, then the time has come to find a doctor.

I started today, and I'm hoping that this will get me out of this slump.

So, apologies for the sad posts, and hopefully I'll have more positive things to say soon! If I don't, I just won't post.

Oh, and I've got to start my bread project. Carbs are always happy things.:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So, what do you think?

Friends, I need your help. I need those creative, visionary minds I know are out there to tell me what you think.
This dress was my great aunts dress, probably from the 60's or so. It fits me, mostly. But the style it's in right now is not so good. The sleeves are see through, and the cowl neck doesn't work with me. I would also like to make it shorter, as it would go down to mid calf, or maybe even longer (my great aunt was tall too!).
If this were your dress you wanted to take to the tailor, what would you do? I would like to make this dress into something I could maybe wear to a ball (because eventually I'm sure we'll go to one) or even maybe wear to church. I need your thoughts people. Go into detail because I just can't see things well in my mind, especially when the original is right in front of me. I've got two more dresses I want to ask your opinion on, but lets just work on this one for now.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm resigned

A few Sundays ago, our ward was split!!! Hooray!! (which means they made one very large congregation into two smaller ones, with new leadership) And for the last two Sundays I've been in the primary. First Sunday I was the chorister, helping the kids learning and singing songs, and yesterday I played the piano. And, I committed to doing it again next week.

I've done this 3 times already, playing the piano for the primary. I've played the piano for sacrament meeting, I've played for choir, for almost everything you can imagine within our church. While I know people need my skills, and it's nice to be needed, I wish more of the leadership would realize that we want to be needed for more than just our hands. Because, gosh darn it, I have a brain with good ideas and a willingness to help out with more than just playing the piano.

But yesterday as I was playing, I realized that right now, at this time of my life, playing the piano for primary might just be the right thing for me. I want to serve, I want to help. But it might completely overwhelm me if I try and do something more involved.

When I get the call, I'm ready for it. It may not be this, but I'll cross that bridge if I get there.

PS: go here for some good monday morningness

PPS: if you're an FMHer, go here for their anniversary giveaway.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back home and recovering

Being home for a few days feels good. We had been on our road trip for three weeks, and even the kids were asking to go home. I have done multiple loads of laundry, and even emptied most of our van.


The hardest part of coming home, was coming home to an empty house. It was like he left all over again. I've been a bit of a sentimental dork too, because I don't want to move the things he left, or change the settings on the AC in his car. While that is very unrealistic, I can do it for a few days until I get a little more used to idea of him being gone.


While being mostly in civilian world for the last few weeks, many old friends and new acquaintances have made comments about how "strong" I am, or wondered out loud how I managed not to fall apart in tears every day. You know, I'll tell you how. I think about all the women who have come before me that have done the same exact thing, except in much worse times. Like my Grandma, who took a train from Utah to meet her sailor in Virginia before he got on that aircraft carrier. And that when she got there, that sailor had a ring, flowers and someone to marry them, which she did. My other Grandma sent her husband off to Korea six weeks after they were married, and he was on the front lines there, shooting off mortars, for the entire first year of their marriage. I think about how they had to wait weeks for letters, and only have small black and white photo's to get them through. I think about almost every one of the friends I have made since we joined the Army has sent their husband to either Iraq, Afghanistan, or another part of the world. If they can all do it, I can. I also have all this amazing technology that allows him to call me anywhere I am now that we have cell phones. We can use Skype and look at each other while we're talking, and have my kids be able to see their dad on the computer. And how the USO lets the soldiers make DVD's of them reading four or five books and then sends the DVD with one of the books included to the families so that their dad can read to them anytime.


I can do this. It will suck. It DOES suck. Some days I will want to hide. Some days will be amazing. Some days my heart will ache because he is missing all of this.


In the meantime, I'm hoping to work on some things, make some changes, and hopefully when he comes back I'll be a better me. And maybe have figured out how to make a good loaf of bread.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

All I can handle

My kids and I have been having a fantastic time on our road trip. We've seen numerous family and friends all over the place. We've been to the beach, swam until we were big wrinkles, played with Grandpas and Grandmas, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Took a few walks down memory lane for me, explored some new places, and was present for the sealing of a good friend. But today about did me in.

I had trouble sleeping last night, and I just couldn't figure out what the problem was. About 6am, I figured it out when Andrew woke up needing to throw up. And then he and I took turns using the toilet for either throwing up or that stuff that comes out the other end. We have spent the entire day laying around, going to the bathroom, and trying to figure out where the heck Lucy was since she was perfectly fine. I was supposed to start on my trek back to our house today, and that obviously did not happen.

You know, I just feel like I've had all I can take. I had to deliver a baby that was no longer alive, lived with my parents while my husband did officer training, had a father in law who was putting us through absolute hell all because he can't seem to make good financial decisions or save a penny, moved states, and now my husband is deployed. And gosh darn it, I just can't do anymore. This day about broke me. I sat on the toilet and just cried. I just wanted to go home, and I couldn't.

Now it's the end of the day and we've both had chicken soup and some crackers, and can stand up without feeling dizzy or needing to sit right back down. And now it doesn't feel so desperate. But really, I just cannot CANNOT handle any more. This was only one day, and a fairly short stomach bug, but it just pushed me over the edge of what I could handle. It's always the little things isn't it.

To quote one of my all time favorite books "Tomorrow is another day". And as long as there isn't any throw up or diarrhea, I think I just might be able to get through it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Have you seen Tinkerbell?

My kids love the movie Tinkerbell. And normally movies made my Disney seem to be the happily-ever-after type, and those kinds of movies bother me. But Tinkerbell is different. There isn't a Prince Charming, there aren't any fancy dresses, no fairy godmother to make things different, and there aren't any princesses (because they are all fairies!!)

Here is what there IS in the movie: consequences to good and bad choices, accepting who we are and realizing that all of us have different talents, accepting that we don't have to be good at doing everything, and that no matter what our talent we are needed. While I doubt my 5 and 3 year old kids are really going to understand those concepts, I appreciate them in a children's movie. Oh, and the boy fairies work right along with the girl ones equally.:) Ok, so maybe some of it is a bit fairy tale like, but I sure hope Disney continues down this path of movies. It might convince me to actually take my kids to Disneyland sometime.

Here is my family doing the Hannah Montana Hoe Down Throw Down for our family skit at our family reunion. Notice my dad on the right in the white shirt hamming it up.:) I did not participate as Andrew had fallen asleep before any of the skits started, and was on my lap. The kid already weighs more than 50 pounds and when they are sleeping they weigh double!!!! My bum hurt with him on my lap!!! Anyway, enjoy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

So

We aren't too far from here...............



Or here.

So you'll have to forgive us for not being around too much. I'm sure I'll have much to blog about soon.

Be back in a bit.:)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Holy hot

So, apparently the PNW has decided to change things up a bit and make it super hot and humid. Which is fine, if we had AC. Which we do not. It is currently 92 degrees INSIDE my house. I knew it was going to be super hot today, so I got done a few things this morning. But, really, I've done nothing but sit at the computer, eat, watched Lucy play in the neighbors little pool and talk to my neighbor, and waste time. I am not going to cook anything that cannot be cooked in the microwave. Oh, wait, I've done a few loads of laundry. There are some darker looking clouds coming our way, so we're hoping that it rains!! I should just check the weather. I have a ton that I should do, but when it's this hot, I have no motivation. I'll have to wait until tonight, when it'll only be 85 inside the house. Note to self: buy AC units before next summer.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Comfort

We've been sleeping with our windows open recently. It's been pretty hot. One of our neighbors has a bug zapper hanging in the front of their house. I love it when I hear it zap a bug.

Every summer, as a kid, we would go to my dads family reunion. It was at someones home, and we would all sleep outside in sleeping bags on tarps. It was fantastic as a kid. Sleeping outside with my cousins, talking about our day, or telling jokes or whatever we wanted to do was great. Eventually we would all fall asleep to the sound of the bug zapper.

As an adult, that sound is strangely comforting. Not only does it kill bugs, but it's almost like I'm a kid again. I'll be sleeping with the windows open for the rest of the summer.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Feeling odd

Been feeling a big odd lately. It's the combination of the hurry-up-and-wait for things, the odd weather we're having, and my body just doing whatever it darn well feels like doing. Also, trying to spend time together as a family has gotten my house into being less than decent. Not to mention that his mother was here last week, and that, while expected, was out of the ordinary for us.

Sometimes I want to come here and just let loose with my frustration, and anger. Which I've done in the past, but really, only helps a little. I find that writing by hand in a journal seems to help that much more than typing at the speed of lightning (cause I can) on here.

I'm still frustrated with this ward. The lady with the FRG hasn't gotten back to me (which admittedly, I haven't called her as we were all on leave, and I didn't know if she had family visiting and what their schedule was. I mean, all of our spouses are leaving.......) so that has left me feeling a little frustrated. I still have a few boxes around, some areas aren't the way I want them in the house....been trying to bring our lawn back to life and am irritated that we've made it look better than it was when we arrived, yet still get notices in the mail telling us we need to re-seed (HA!! like that will happen!), and realizing that living in our small town is going to be rough. I'm such a city girl. We were in the big city today, and leaving it, I felt a little sad and wished I could just move there. (so I did share a little of my frustration, but not much.)

Oh, all this rambling. Maybe in a week or so I won't be all over the place in my thoughts and be able to put two thoughts together to write a post that makes sense. Oh, who are we kidding. It will probably take me a month.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Facing my fear

I consider myself to be a pretty good cook. I can follow a recipe well. I am also a FANTASTIC baker. Cookies are my best thing. But, there is one thing that I'm afraid of trying: bread.

My mom would make our bread a lot when I was young. People thought it was so great that she would do that, but all I wanted was the white stuff. Then, while in France, I fell in love with good good bread. Long lovely baguettes that were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. My favorite place in the world to get a baguette was just outside Orléans. They literally took it out of the giant brick oven, put it in a paper sack and handed it to you. You would tear off the croute (end piece) and steam would rise up. We would just eat it plain like that. Best bread ever.

Well, I've got a year without my husband. A whole year to be on my own, and to almost do whatever I want. (well, within reason of course!!) Recently, I bought some yeast. I know, scary. And then Saturday I was in a Borders (oh sweet bookstore, how I miss you!!!) and found a GIANT book on bread. World wide breads, regular old bread, the works. Even how to do things in a bread machine. Which I don't have, but I'd rather bake it in my oven anyway. So, one of the things I am hoping to work on this year is how to make bread. And not just sandwich bread, but a baguette. And maybe rolls. Maybe even cinnamon rolls. Perhaps try out some of the world breads. Foccacia? Ciabatta? Who knows what might happen????? I will post my successes and failures here. Sadly, you won't be able to share in any of the yummyness (well, if it even gets to the point of being yummy) but I'll do my best in sharing enough so that you can almost taste it. Next goal: get a good stone to cook on. Because you can't bake a baguette in a loaf pan.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I want to know

What do you say to your son when he comes to you with tears in his big blue eyes and asks you why his daddy has to leave??? And for such a long time??

I don't know what the right answer to that is. But I'll tell you what I did. I told him that it's part of his job. And then I held my giant-over-50-pounds-5-year-old in my arms and cried a little with him. And then he saw my tears and laughed and wondered why I was crying. (I rarely cry.) And then my arms hurt so I had to put him down.

Oh the choices we make in our lives.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pain au chocolat

Today, I went to Panera Bread with Matt. Panera Bread is just such a yummy yummy place. Carbohydrate heaven. You walk in, and the bread, muffins, bagels and everything else there is just heave to look at. Before we left, I got back in line and got me some baguettes. And some of their cinnamon crunch bagels. A cinnamon roll. And what they call "chocolate pastry's". I am eating one of those "chocolate pastry's" right now. It is the closest thing to a vrai pain au chocolat I have tasted since I left France. I meant to get a croissant too, but I forgot. Which is just fine. Luckily, there is a Panera Bread about 20 minutes from our house. I am going to become a very loyal customer. I would even include a picture, but I just took the last bite of it. Oh so good, chocolaty and buttery.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Le tour

Today is stage 9 of Le Tour de France. Just in case you didn't already know that. Today they ended in one of the cities I lived in on my mission, Tarbes.

Tarbes is a small city, not as pretty as other french towns, and is in the south, not too far from Les Pyrénées. There I was introduced to all things french. French driving, french food, Leader Price, Champion, mille-feuilles, pain au chocolat, la belle langue française, train rides, les cuisses de grenouilles (frog legs), small cheap french apartments, HLM elevators.... Even though Tarbes isn't as pretty, or have any chateaus, and their cathedral isn't a Gothic one (it's Roman), it holds a special place in my heart. I love it. I asked Matt this morning if we could fast forward to the end of the race so that I could see Tarbes. Maybe if I get in the shower, by the time I get out, they'll be in Tarbes. (this link is different, you can access a webcam at this link)

And, on Tuesday, they start in Limoges!!!!! I served there too!! Talk about hills to ride your bike on! Of course these riders are used to hills, but they about killed me in Limoges.

I tell you people, sometimes I think I should have been born french.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I am SUCH a mom

Last Friday, as you know, we went out to the big city on a date with a friend of my husbands, who we'll call P and his date M. I had a great time, and enjoyed being with my husband. But I realized something after that evening: I am a mom. I know, I know, yes, I'm a mom. But it was like I couldn't stop talking about my kids, or the fact I had fruit snacks and a granola bar in my purse, along with hand sanitizer. It was as if all intelligent conversation in my brain left, and because my kids weren't there, that was all I could talk about.

It's not a terrible thing, not even a bad thing. But P and M aren't married, and don't have kids. And I'm sure I sounded like some sad little SAHM that never got out and that had no life other than her children. While at the moment, yes, my life is mostly about my children, I do lots more than that. I read a ton of different books about all kinds of things. I am trying to get involved with our FRG, I've traveled lots and lots of places, had tons of experiences. I've got a lot to offer, but for some reason, couldn't talk about all that other stuff.

I have this problem in other areas too. If someone mentions France or Germany, I can't shut up. I will talk nonstop about it. At least I notice it, right? It would be even more sad if I wasn't aware of what I was doing.

And I did talk of other things too, but I felt like I just kept going back to the mom thing. M had spent time at an Army Depot in Utah, and so we talked about small town Utah (such a sad place, those small towns), her dad is a member of our church, so we talked about that, she's active duty army, so of course talked about army stuff, about deployment.....sigh.

Mental note: must talk of more than just children and being a mom next time. Not to mention don't tell Matt how to drive while other people are in the car. Makes me look like a crazy person. (ok, so I am a little crazy, but regardless, I need to stop.)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Camera woes and karaoke bars

Friday night, I walked our kids to our neighbors before we left for our date. I left my purse (containing my camera amongst other things) next to the car we were taking. While I was at our neighbors chatting away, Matt had gotten in the car, and was waiting for me outside. In the process of doing that, he ran over my purse. Which means he ran over my camera. So, it's kinda my fault as he had no idea my purse was there. Oh well. I found another one, better than my old one, and I'm getting it for much less than in the stores. Yay ebay!

So, as a result of my camera problems, I wasn't able to take any pictures of Matt and I out on our date. We were meeting a friend of Matt's in the big city here, and we went out to dinner and to a Karaoke bar. It was pretty fun.

I don't get out much. I used to go out a lot when I was younger, and I just don't do that anymore. I sit at home and watch reruns of Frasier. Or my weekly Burn Notice. Or What Not to Wear. I rarely go out in public, especially where people are drinking, and drinking lots. It was kind of fun to watch people dance and go crazy, sing totally out of rhythm (so bad they sounded like they were trying to syncopate it), sing totally off key, watch an old man sing old country songs, watch my husband sing Bon Jovi (which he totally rocked at), and sing along with all the other songs I knew. I had a great time. There was a guy that was AMAZING. He sang New York, New York and was awesome. It was totally unexpected. he didn't look like a "singer", especially by the name that he put down. Doobs. I mean, you don't expect a guy with a name like that to get up and not even have to use the mic because his voice was so powerful and awesome. All of us just sat there stunned. We couldn't wait to hear what he did next. Then there was a guy that reminded all of us of Jack Black, who really got into what he was singing and actually performed. He was also awesome.

All in all, it was a great night. It felt good to be in a city. It also felt good to be out with my husband. Without children. Can't wait for our next date!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Going out on the town!!

Tonight, we are going to the big city and meeting up with a friend of my husband that he met within these last few months. As I love the big city, I am very excited!! And for more than one reason.

My husband isn't what you'd call a social butterfly. He doesn't put himself out there, making a ton of friends, and then keep in contact with people. That just isn't his thing. I've only ever met one person from his mission and never met anyone from high school. He's just a quiet guy. Well, in public he is.:) At home, not so much.

And then there is me. I still talk to people (before facebook and myspace) from high school, my mission, and the friends I made before I got married. I still talk to friends I met just after I got married. I still keep in contact with the friends I made at every duty station since we've been in the Army. I call them, I email them, friend them on facebook, and read their blogs. We've met up with several of my friends at different places, and I know Matt gets a little tired of it.:)

So, I am pretty excited to go and hang out with his friend tonight. I guess we're going to go sing karaoke. Or, THEY are going to sing karaoke. I'll be happy to sit and watch. And bring my camera of course.:)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bed

I just made my bed.

Growing up, I hated HATED making my bed. I couldn't understand what the point of all of it was. I mean, NO ONE would come into my room (well, hardly anyone) between the time I woke up and went to bed. So, what was the point of making my bed? Who cares? I thought it was yet again, another pointless chore that my mother would make me do.

Now.......I haven't had my kids make their beds hardly ever. But since we've been in this house (and I got a new quilt for my bed that actually fits and looks good and will look even better when we get our room organized) I have been trying to make my bed. I have a cal king bed. So I am walking back and forth about five times just to make the bed. When I change the sheets, I actually get out of breath because of all the work. (we also have a memory foam mattress. heavy.) I've helped the kids make their beds too. And they are even happy to do it! Well, most of the time. It is the one spot in their rooms, as well as mine, that looks good.

It's a hard thing to change, to go from not making them to making them, and I'm working on doing it. Hopefully it will help me to be motivated to make other small changes that can make a big difference. So far, I've managed to read my scriptures every morning for almost a year, have my dishes done every morning, sweep my floors regularly (thank you pretty broom), get my laundry on a schedule, and now make our beds. Next up: cleaning the bathrooms a lot more often. Using my yummy smelling cleaners is always a good motivator!! I almost LIKE cleaning the bathrooms.......almost.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It makes me want to sit down

I'm almost done with the boxes in my house. So far, I've been able to hold to one box a day. I don't have that many left.

On top of unpacking, of course now there are the regular, daily chores like dishes, sweeping, vacuuming, making dinner, laundry, bathrooms.......

The most difficult thing is their toys. It's as if they are taking over their bedrooms and the loft. They have so many toys. They do not need this many toys. Even when I do pick them up, or have them help me do it, they pull them all out. It feels so overwhelming to have to organize them, find all of them homes, keep all the puzzle pieces together, the blocks together......you get the idea. Time to feed the Goodwill box in the garage with toys. It's already been fed with my shoes, scooby doo sheets and comforter, Christmas place mats, curtains I haven't used since we left Germany......can't wait to add more.

And then there's our closet. Matt's clothes are overwhelming it! He's just been so busy at work, and gets home late.........hopefully this week he'll get to it. He did attack the garage today, thank goodness. That makes me feel better. Next step: shelves. Things piled in the corner bother me. Especially when he's gone and I'm trying to find the Halloween decorations, and I have to move half the stuff because I can't see the bin labeled "Halloween decorations". Yes. Shelves. Aren't shelves happy thoughts? :)

Next thing I want to do is hang things on the walls. But our rental company wants us to use these special monkey hook things that only leave these little tiny holes in the walls. Still need to find them.....meanwhile, everything is just leaning against the dining room walls......

Blech. I think it's just late and I'm tired of unpacking and organizing. So, rather than doing it, I would just rather sit down.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Small town life

This weekend is our little towns annual fair. It started yesterday with a parade, and the carnival rides will be at the park until tomorrow night.

This is the first time I've ever been to a parade that had tractors in it, with one even doing doughnuts on the parade route. And school children riding unicycles. Or the local Red Hat Society walking around dressed in purple with a giant red hat on the cab of a small pickup truck. What I thought was the funniest, were the people that had to follow all the animals pushing a wheelbarrow or carrying a big bucket. And the shovels. That, for some reason, just made me laugh. Or, one of the slogans of a local farming company: The Poop Starts Here.

On our walk home from the parade, we met a horse.
She (or he) really liked Andrew. And for some reason, being this close to a horse was so exciting that it eclipsed all the excitement of the parade. I'm sure we'll see this horse again.

Here is what my banner picture really looks like. Took this not long after we saw our horse friend. Enjoy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

This was yummy

Last week, I tried a new chicken recipe. It was super super easy. I love to buy Real Simple magazine. I buy it every month, and now that I have an address for a while, I just might get me a subscription to it. Anyway, I got this recipe from the June issue. Go here to see it. I used chicken breasts, not a whole chicken. (I don't eat chicken off the bone. It just grosses me out.) and it was really good! Except it was a little dry because I left it in too long. And last night, I cut up the leftovers and used them for making chicken salads for dinner, and they were so good!!! I will be making this again, that's for sure. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This is a three minute walk from our house


We went into those fields and picked flowers the other day. I think next time we'll wear pants and socks and shoes.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just a few things.......

First, I'm going to try and not get online again for the day. I know, sounds crazy, but I've got to get things done in this place.

Next, send some good thoughts or prayers for my friends sister as her four month old little girl A~ undergoes the same sort of surgery that Andrew had.

And, something that just made my day.......my friend runs an orphanage in Cameroon, and one of the girls there just added me as a friend on Facebook. To help her practice her English. (they speak french in Cameroon) I've wanted to help him for a while, but couldn't really think of anything that I could do. And we couldn't send much money wise...but now I feel helpful. I was SO tickled this morning when I found that request in my inbox. I'm hoping to find other ways to be helpful for him, and for some other things around here. Especially within our unit. And, speaking of, I contacted the FRG leader, and so I'm hoping I'll hear back from her soon. I'll give it until Monday, and then call again. I guess it is kind of selfish. I want the support from others just as much as I want to give it!

Now, off to tackle my kitchen, their toys (we really need to get rid of some, I think they are taking over my upstairs) and maybe even a little bit in my bedroom. Even though it's raining today, I took my vitamin D supplement (yay for activia chews!!!) so I'm hoping to not be a bump on a log today. Cloudy days and I just don't mix well.

I'm off!