October 30, 2008

Wrap your mind around this...

Troy and Nathan really do have a lot in common. Like their BRAINS!

October 29, 2008

Apple Pickin' dirt kickin' scowly lookin' hay mazin' day

We thought this scary hay maze guy looked a bit like Chaka from Land of the Lost. Audrey thought he was her boyfriend...

Family Photos for T to see

This is my pummy and I shall call him my pummy and I shall feed him and love him and take care of him!

Flash those pearly whites N!

Oh NO! Mr Bill!!!!!!

Along came a spida' who sat down besida'

D is looking proud of his wolf. Which I had to carve for him later....

Big and Little Sisters posing by the pumpkins. Note the scary bloody look on our stitched up baby. (It's ketchup people!)

October 28, 2008


Tonight was family home evening. One night a week where we get together for learning and fun as a family. With T not with us I decided it might be fun to have another LDS family over to share in the evening with us. The F family came with their 4 children and it went better than I expected. We played a pictionary type game with 'mormon' type words and it got a bit competitive, but not too bad and our family won in the end so that is what really matters right? They played our piano and guitars and then we moved up to the playroom where we jammed on the American Idol for the Wii for about 20 minutes. Brother F looked through our CD collection and was impressed by my collection of 80's stuff. Go class of 87! They are a nice family for us to get to know better. Their oldest son is a good kid but seems quite confident. He and I play the same Scott Joplin (simplified versions) of the entertainer (both played a bit too fast and with lots of errors). Yeah- I think he was impressed. Did I just say HE was confident? Maybe we both are... We had disgusting Shoppers-brand donuts. "Donuts made me what I am today!" That was for you T.

Over and out,

October 23, 2008

Random facts of the day

Today was hard. The lack of sleep is getting to me. I stay up doing meaningless things because I am unused to being the only one in the bed. I think it's the evenings when things get quiet that my mind turns to T and I can't seem to settle, so I fuss over this and that thing that needs to be done. When actually what needs to be done is some sleeping. To top it off both Big and Little girls were up in the night. One just going through her usual scaredy-cat behavior and one coming down with a cold it would seem. There are 4 of us now trying to ignore symptoms-NOT FAIR- says I. I just got over a killer cold that T gave me. Almost the last thing he did give to me when he left. The actual last thing he gave me were these babies...

And they are now dying. I can't seem to throw them out even though they stink. I think I will muster the strength tomorrow.

Anyhow- the start of the day wasn't great because I slept through my alarm. I have a pesky new alarm clock that only gives you 2 hits of the snooze button and then it stops going off. What insane inventor came up with that bright idea? It actually requires some self discapline, which I don't have much of at 5am when I have had little sleep all night. Half of the night Little Girl was in bed with me snorting away. Not good... So Big Boy slept until he had about 10 minutes before his ride to seminary came. We flashed through what needed to be done (didn't even take his meds today-so obvious to me this evening). Good side was we had no time to argue with me either. Not even when I forced the only coat (a winter one) I could find over his short sleeve T-shirt. I hate this time of year when you have to constantly convince them it's not summer anymore. He's been rearing his ugly teenage side to me lately. I gotta learn to just walk away from him like he is two years old. It is pointless to argue with him.

I had a bright spot during the day when I went to lunch with the primary presidency and we mostly caught up with each other and then did the usual wondering why they won't call a scout leader for us. It's complicated. Then T called after lunch while I was shopping for diapers and it was great to hear him. I miss him so much! Today while Little Girl was mad at me and crying she called out for Dad. It was precious and sad at the same time. He made me promise not to let her forget him, so today I showed her every picture up in the house of her dad. BTW she also said the word 'butterfly' today. There were some on her clothing and she pointed to it as I got it out and clearly said it a few times. "Socks" was also said with much better pronunciation then she has mustered in the past. What with butterfly and the previous winking incident, I am thinking next I will see if she can file our taxes this season.

Speaking of math, D's homework came home with all smiley faces on it today and I couldn't help but think of new strategies to get him to join the math team (we call it 'smart kids club' for lack of a better name-it's not really called 'math team' either- I am not smart enough to remember the official name, or to help much with his math for that matter). He's opposed to the after school meeting and associating with what he thinks will be 'nerds with thick glasses.' He must be getting this from Middle Boy. When Little Boy (D) and I were doing 'homeschool scouts' (another term we've come up with since we have no cub scout den leader, so we do it at home), and I suggested keeping track of his spending for 2 weeks, he said the best way to do that would most probably be a bar graph. What a nerdy/cool kid. Too bad he doesn't need thick glasses.

October 22, 2008

Wedding Ducks

A popular item for tourists to purchase while visiting Korea are these wedding ducks. They don't often read up on the proper placing of said ducks though, because you often see them in peoples homes looking like this...

If they are placed that way then it is supposed to mean that there isn't harmony between husband and wife. Maybe I assume too much when I think they are just ignorant as to the proper placement. Maybe these folks just don't care for each other. In any case, T and I always have our ducks placed like this (except when I am really mad at something and I may place them the other way for a bit until we mend things)...

The other day E thought it would be funny to place our ducks like this... Still in harmony but far apart. I had to smile

October 21, 2008

T's in Kuwait

T called this afternoon and it was so good to hear him. He had been up for 32 hours straight so it wasn't a long talk. The kids gave their standard one word answers to his questions (we need to work on that). He will be going to Iraq in the next couple days. I had received word that some men from his brigade were injured (not sure how). Then today another email stated that one man was killed. This is most disturbing news even though T is not there yet, it is where he is headed. Hopefully all will be well with his flight. That part scares me. We have some friends here in the area who had their father/husband deploy while we were in Korea and he showed us a slide show of his tour over there. I recall him saying that the flight into and out of Iraq are quite vulnerable times. So glad my husband isn't a pilot! And to think I dated one in college! (three in fact!!).

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the kids were all supportive to me today when I had a bad night sleeping N did the mature thing and got himself ready for seminary while I slept. He thankfully has a ride in the mornings. I keep trying to think of a nice thing to do for that kid. Two home-made cookies the other morning couldn't have hurt. Then sweet E let me have his bed when he got out and he made himself breakfast as well. I find a stash of Eggo Waffles to be quite the motivator when the milk is gone and kids are hard to rouse in the early morning hours.

D & A's contribution was that they both agreed to taking school lunch. How sweet it is! Now I need to go dig up some mittens for tomorrow cause the morning walk was frosty the snowman!


October 20, 2008

Sunday Update

Well it was a good day overall. I have been dreading what my Sundays will be like what with the kids all cooped up indoors (chilly today), and T gone. Sundays can drag even when he is here so I was expecting the worst. It must be the prayers on my behalf or something because it was a good day. I even got a nap! Perhaps napping was the reason for the goodness of the day. I had to be to the church early (hard for us- kids were supportive, I was impressed) due to the fact that today was the primary program and I am in charge (which I hate btw). The program went well. Little Boy was awesome and memorized his part so well. That kid is really smart, he had it down in like a half hour the first time I handed it to him and retained it for 3 weeks without rehearsing it. Every time I would ask him to practice he'd say "no! I already know it and then recite it without prompts. It wasn't an easy or short part either. And I am not braggin, cause I can back it up and I just dare you to come and check up on me. That was really a shameless plea for visitors in my current single state, but who knows- it might work. Audrey also has had her part down for a while (it was an easy one liner-"The best way I can know of God's commandments is to listen to His prophet, Thomas S Monson" ). She, for some strange reason decided she didn't know her part anymore the day before and was pretending (obviously) not to know it. I think she wanted to be like all the other kids who were getting help from her mom. She did the same thing at the pulpit during the program. It was weird- oh well.

The day at church was nice enough. People kept coming up to me to ask how I was, etc. Someone talked me into not driving for seminary this week. Twist my arm- OKAY! Troy is on everyone's mind and I am cashin in on it I guess. He called this morning to say he was on his way out of Georgia. So who knows when I will hear from him again. It will be a few days at least I am sure. They say the flight from Kuwait to Iraq can be dangerous, so I am anxious and I will now make another plea for prayers for T to those who read my blog and are the praying type. (hey, is the person from New Zealand following this possibly Vladimir's mom? Just curious- I know she is the praying type, leave me a comment please).

The home teacher wanted to come over today, and he brought candy and fixed a window shade that had come off for me. That was nice. He also offered to help remove Eliza's stitches at Walter Reed tomorrow so I don't have to go to the ER with lots of waiting. He is coming through for us after all. It took him a while to come at first (he is a busy resident), but I was glad to see him today. He's even offered to help with leaves in the yard when they all begin to fall. There was even talk of mowing and the fact that he has a leaf blower- I think it would be a bit shameless for me to accept all that but still- so nice!

Little Boy and I read scary stories finding a good one to present at the Halloween party in his class. I went through what seemed like mountains of paperwork before quitting and feeding the kids (more awaits and tomorrow I gotta pay the bills-ugh). We discovered over orchard picked apples, peanut butter, and leftover mac and cheese (how nice not to have to cook), that Eliza can wink! Seriously, she did it about 3 times in a row back to us when we'd wink at her. It totally ruined the spirit of family scripture study because no one was listening. We were all winking and giggling at her.

My sister P called and we had a nice chat. She has been thinking a lot about me she said. This reminds me to email all my family members with my new numbers since we changed them and most of them don't have an update. So that is how I will close my blog for the night. Very journal like tonight- no time to be creative.


October 19, 2008


Dear T,
I miss thee. I wish you were here to coax Nathan into going to that one last cross country meet. I wish you could hold the baby while I make the pancakes. I miss it when you sneak in from work and come up behind me while I am working in the kitchen and wrap your arms around me. I miss your hugs. I miss your barbeque shish-kabobs. I miss your sleeping by my side. I can't seem to settle into sleep at night without you here. I miss you at church when the baby gets fussy and you take her out so I can listen. I miss you getting up early with Nathan to go to seminary. I miss your blue eyes... I am doing just fine without you so far. People have been asking the kids over for play-dates and that is helpful. But they are not my plucky and I miss him. Take good care of yourself sweetie and know that we all miss and love you. Here are some shots of the kids for you to see. We had breakfast for dinner tonight and everyone helped me. It was nice. However the silliness set in afterwards and I was going nuts!

Love you

PS How does that stitching job look? Should I have demanded a plastic surgeon? At least I wouldn't let the intern take his 'turn' on her.

October 18, 2008

Lessons From the Flood

Before we moved from the Hawkeye state we went through a terrible flood. The worst circumstances in 500 years the experts were saying. It was heartbreaking to drive through the most affected parts of town when the waters receded. I went for an appointment afterwards and when the doctor asked where i wanted the prescription filled and I replied "Walgreens on the Coralville strip" we both remembered at the same moment that they were under water at the moment and thus not filling anti-inflammatory medications. Yeah, it was really hard on me to have to find another place to get my meds that day....(and yes I am being sarcastic.

In my calling as primary chorister at that time a favorite wiggle song I liked to do with the kids was titled "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man." It's all about building your house on rock and not sand for "when the rains came down and the floods came up the house on the rock stood firm." I often thought about the situation of these poor home and business owners and how they handled (and are still handling) the trials being thrown their way. It would seem that most of them were the type of folks who built their 'houses' on rock. When life rained down on them they stood up to things and went on with re-building, didn't complain, didn't steal from one another, many reached out to one another. Community members supporting each other any way they could. Opening their homes to the homeless. Sandbagging night and day. It was inspiring and you couldn't help but want to join in the cause.

Now as I face the storms that life has brought my way, I ask myself "what kind of stuff am I made of, and will my house wash away or stand firm?" I hope it will be the latter. Yesterday may have been good but today the kids threw me some curve balls that had me wondering what I would come up with next. When the Relief Society President (our church's women's organization is the Relief Society and each ward will have one woman president) heard of the stitches in Little Girl's head she responded I am told with a comment like "She better gird up her loins for the future because she will have more than this to deal with" So gird (or is it girt) up I will. As soon as I learn how to spell it... For the rains are coming down and the floods are comin up.

October 16, 2008

Bloody Boo Boo : (

Well I hadn't been solo in the house for even an hour when Little Girl fell down some stairs and split her head open. Way to start out the deployment by myself. (T's parents left Tuesday evening). Not sure exactly how it happened but Middle Boy and Little Girl were playing on either side of a door and she had been closing it playing peek-a-boo with her brother. Somehow the game went wrong and she ended up falling down ten steps on her side of the door. The metal barrette in her hair at the time was the cutting culprit. It was traumatic. I am so grateful for my neighbor who helped navigate me to the naval hospital and was available to calm me down. So grateful for the fact that she was not more seriously injured. I hope this will be the end of this kind of thing for the rest of Troy's absence. Today it seemed was a decompressing day. Like coming down off of an emotional roller coaster. I felt like I had to tell Little Girl that I was sorry for pretty much doing a body slam laying on her while she was stitched up. I was strong in the moment, but afterwards felt like I had violated her somehow. It was interesting how she responded. Mostly she screamed but a few times she would become tired and quiet, look at me and say "mom?" I'd say "what?" and she'd use some of that new vocabulary of hers "UP!" Oh my poor baby!!

October 14, 2008

Traumatic morning-great day

Well today started out with Middle Boy complaining of a stomach ache and not wanting to attend school. He had mentioned something about not feeling well at bedtime as well which could mean one of two things. He was really sick or he had been planning this since Sunday night. Knowing him as I do (and being tricked recently by him), I told him "it aint workin' get your rear in gear" I think there may have also been a lecture in there about not being able to trust someone who cries wolf, yada yada yada. Then he 'realized' that he would have to present an oral report (memorized) in spanish class today. (hmm... could this be the reason for the supposed illness?). Then realization turned into panic when Middle Boy could not find his previously finished paper to memorize. He had done a thorough paper sweep of his binder over the weekend and somehow the paper had disappeared. Normally this would be cause for big drama and fighting between the two of us. I remembered the words of a priesthood blessing given to me by Troy just last Friday. Something along the lines of my patience levels being increased. Oh how I will need that in my life over the next several months. BTW as a member of the LDS church we believe that the 'priesthood' is God's power being utilized here on earth through worthy male members of the church. All members benefit from this sacred power. It's the same priesthood used by Christ and His apostles, restored to the earth by Joseph Smith. Enough church talk...

So somehow I was able to make lemons out of lemonade with Middle Boy this morning. (And thank heavens for Annette being there to make breakfast for the other children so I could focus on this disaster. They leave tomorrow-YIKES!) I told him that everyone makes these kinds of mistakes. I have done this sort of thing many times and there is always a solution. We can either throw in the towel and give up (which is kinda what he is prone to do), or we can mount that horse again and learn from the mistakes. I then suggested a truly inspired solution involving skipping first period. He was very willing to do so. He re-wrote the homework, happily memorized it, hugged me and shared his love, was only 5 minutes late to school I might add, and all was well in the world. No fighting- amazing!!!! Oh and kudos to the nice spanish teacher (who I had emailed with a heads up to the situation) who let him present his thingy at lunch to her separately from the class of kids. What a kind hearted woman that is!

Speaking of kind hearted... today, Normally Angry Offensive Home-School Mom (lets just call her that for privacy purposes on the blog) was nice enough to share her number with me today and told me that anytime I am sick to let her know so that she can take my kids to school for me. Another neighbor I barely know offered to carpool with me to make life easier as well. Audrey will never go for it, but the offer is nice. I feel like people are really trying to support us and that feels good. luckily I am not so independent that I will not let anyone help me.

Lastly- we got pumpkins. We sang our traditional slow, country-sounding, drawly song we made up years ago that has made-up on the spot lyrics and it went something like this. "I got pumpkin, it's on my shoe... I got pumpkin how about you? I got pumkin and it's in my ear.. I got pumpkin and I cannot hear (I fear). I got pumpkin, and it sure is nice... I got pumpkin is there a pumpkin spice? and on and on and on.

The end

October 13, 2008

An attempt to keep in touch

Well I am now using my blog to keep T in touch with us while he is in Iraq. First a couple of funnies. The day before Troy left he picked up Drew from school and on the walk home Drew looked up at his Dad most sincerely and says "I wish you luck on your deployment to Iraq Dad." So sweet and oddly mature of him! He has taken this whole thing with the most stiff upper lip of all the kids. Personality differences must vary greatly in our family because some kids have been known to have to leave the room bawling. Painful, real painful.

Then the other funny I will share is Audrey said to T at breakfast the morning of his flight. "So, will you be having your breakfast at home or in Iraq?" He had his breakfast with us, and currently he is in Georgia eating all his meals and sleeping in a bunk bed with several room-mates who have snoring issues. Thanks to earplugs, I think T is managing okay.

It was a nice day overall today, but Sundays can be hard with all the kids getting on each other's nerves, and I feel like I am a constant referee. It has been nice to have Troy's Mother here to hold kids and read to them, make meals with me and be a supportive adult to talk to. Troy's Dad has been busy hanging things up (T the sconces you hate are now in the front room-sorry!), and tonight we were discussing a chain for the front door and other fixer uppers. So nice to have him here as well.

We went to the LDS temple visitor's center this afternoon, and it was so cute to see little Eliza looking up in amazement at the Christus statue. We left the front area and in the end made our way past the statue again on our way out. She got all excited at the reunion (of us and the statue), and started verbalizing "cheesus, cheesus!" Cute is not an adequate word for her.

Nathan won the award for most difficult child to deal with today. No details, but lets just say that Grandma was heard to say the words 'typical teenager' on one occasion. How am I ever going to do this alone for 6 months? Thank heavens it isn't longer. I think tomorrow we will go and get pumpkins for FHE. That and play a family favorite 'murder in the dark' with Annette and Burton. Hope I don't actually kill my teenager- killing is bad : (

Later Alligator,

PS (An)Drew made up some sorta rap today with words something like this... "With an A to the N to the D and Roo, I am a red-headed kid who turns food into poo" Nice rhyme eh? Disgusting, yet true...

October 07, 2008

Thoughts and Events of the Day

We had a lovely day together as a family. T's office has let him off for the last few weeks before his deployment. It has been bitter sweet. The first week after the big news was so emotional and oddly uplifting. I could literally feel the angels by my side. I had this deep appreciation for my husband and everything out of my mouth was sweet and kind. Things that would normally irritate me melted away. More than once I thought to myself that every couple should experience this kind of blow so that they can feel the love, and appreciate each other as they ought to all the time. Things have normalized more now, but there is a growing anxiety as they days are numbered.

When this post was started there was still a week left. Now we are at the day before departure and T's parents came yesterday. There were already some tears on the walk home from school this morning as I told T to take care of himself because he was needed here at home. When he asked what I needed him for I replied "math problems and sweet lovin'."

Today is Middle Boy's birthday and he did not want to go to school. I wrestled with the idea of letting kids stay at home today to be with Dad, but thought again when I realized that he needs to pack and get ready to go, and who really wants a memory of dad suctioning air out of full ziploc bags to take to Iraq with him for 6 months. We are taking Middle Boy out to lunch instead. He wants a lemon cake (which I should be baking right now). He will also receive the priesthood tonight in our home. That will be nice to have more priesthood holders in the home while T is away.

Well- I am off to spend some more quality time doing things like filling small travel-sized shampoo bottles with head and shoulders, wrapping presents, and seeing if I can get T to hang tricky stuff on the walls.

October 05, 2008

Blumbies and sheep

One of my favorite memories of Little Boy was when he was just a baby. His vocabulary was developing nicely but as with all children he had some funny things going on there. Rabbits were 'habeets' and horses were 'blumbies'. It took us a while to figure out why the word blumbie. It sounded nothing like horse. I should mention that LB has always been and continues to be a big animal lover. He loved to death a number of plastic horses making them gallop around on hard surfaces until one or more of the legs would snap off. I had made it a personal quest to purchase a horse with the most durable legs. Because being the perfectionist that I am, I hated having all those legless creatures around the house. One day we put together the sound he made when he played with the horses. "blum blum blum." The sound of the hooves of coarse! Hence the name blumbie- one who blums! Sorta like the horses from the movie 'Man From Snowy River" the Brumbies. (Not sure on that spelling).

So Little Girl has come up with a word that started from hearing the sound canned whipped cream makes when you dispense it on your pancakes. When she has finished eating up all the fluffy white stuff (not touching the pancake), she says most demandingly "SHEEP!" We (being the true nutritionalist parents that we are) give her more whipped cream from a can and it makes the shhheep sound. Makes perfect sense to me. Today however I discovered she uses the same word for toothpaste and baby lotion. Apparently it goes along with anything that quirts out of something. Aren't babies the most fascinating things?