Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Home Is Where The Heart Is

So we're moved. There's still some stuff at the old house and I have to clean it, but we're spending nights at the new place. It's definitely been interesting! Actually, I love it. Girls are so much more sensible than boys. I'm staying with a female friend who has three boys. Together we take care of the kids, cook, do laundry, clean. Everything. We've had minor congenial spats due to me not listening to what God has laid on her heart. She's offering to take care of something that I was not expecting and I'm having trouble letting go. I'm also not allowed to mention Sam's Club at the moment because of it. But usually we're laughing at each other during it. 

The girls are doing okay. During the day they're fine. Night they're still treating as a vacation, where you don't really have to listen to Mama or Miss Randi. It will be fixed, I just hope it doesn't take too long. Her boys are 6 (May of the same year as ClaireBeth), 4 1/2 (June the year before ZoeBel) and 2 1/2-ish (April before Vee). They're respectful, obedient and well mannered. I just hope my girls don't ruin them. ClaireBeth's school doesn't start until the 20th and I'm not sure if I'll put ZoeBel on the wait list. I should pray about it this week. They've still talked to Gee and Daddy and we've still seen Grandpa. So hopefully they realize most everything will stay the same for right now. I do need to figure out who might watch them on Saturdays while I'm at school.

I'm alright. Laelia's already been over here twice. It's another two-day work week because of New Year's. Things transitioned well. Charles doesn't seem to have a problem bringing her over here and Alexis hasn't picked her up yet. We'll see how it goes next week. Funwise we've watched a lot of Star Trek. Randi's a huge fan. We've played Wii. We've organized and put away. We've made menus and cooked. We've done laundry. Oh. I also live with my hairstylist so I now have highlights, something I never thought I'd do again. But they're subtle, they look nice and they should fade out as opposed to grow out. My hair's also pretty short. I told her if she kept cutting it she wouldn't have anything to cut later and I now think we're at that point. It's apparently not as bad as our friend's daughter's hair though. I'm getting excited about school. As a start of school gift Randi bought me two pair of scrubs, plus the pants that I asked her to pick up that started the scrub shopping spree. One shirt is really cute with white very light paisley-ish print accented with red and teal. The other is a Valentine heart shirt that is cute enough to wear in October. So school ought to be fun just for the new clothes I get to wear. Cleaning people's teeth and making molds for dentures is just a plus!

Well, off to start the day. Dad and Roger are helping me take everything left to Randi's or storage today. Woohoo! That plus I'm trying to finish The House by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti. Not necessarily my favorite, too much Peretti influence. But oh well. Once I pick it up I usually like to finish it unless it's just too awful. Oh, and if you'd like to borrow a gaggle of girls for a Saturday while I go to school (8 to 5) let me know!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Feliz Navidid

So today was our big Christmas thing with my family. I don't know if we're having one with Eric's dad or not. Last year it was here and my niece had a stomach bug (as was evidenced by her throwing up on her presents, my hallway and the bathtub in the duckie bathroom!-poor thing). While we were spared the gastrointestinal pyrotechnics this year, Ziggy had a fever and slept most of it. I took my one of my best friends Charlie along to try and cheer him up since his girlfriend and another best friend Mia was in Missouri for Christmas. I think he cheered me up more than anything, though. He's great with the girls. He even went and picked out their presents (clothes!) all by himself. I got candles!

But this time of year is kind of hard, especially since it's the first year. Charlie and I haven't ever been interested in each other; he's more of a big brother that's exactly 2 months older. Try explaining that one. But it felt nice to have a guy around. Someone to wrestle with the girls and just another pair of hands to help out. I don't even know what to do about Eric anymore. Unfortunately I've even quit praying about it. Not because I don't think God can change things, but because things keep not getting changed and I feel so disheartened. So maybe that should be my new goal: to make an effort to pray for our marriage and just for Eric in general since I've been avoiding it. Sometimes someone will say something that is slightly negative concerning Eric and the situation. I joked one time that we'll get back together just because of how our friends and family would have to try to deal with the person they're grumpy with. We put notice in on the house, and unfortunately that just feels like one more permanent step closer. But God is a god of miracles. He is also our comforter and hope. So we march one, which unfortunately includes cleaning and packing, hoping all of our stuff will fit in a 5x10 space and two bedrooms, all while working late Monday and Tuesday, having the rest of the week and the weekend off and then having Laelie again on Monday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What God's Doing!

It's been interesting lately. I went to get my haircut last Tuesday. I go to church with the lady who cuts it. She's in my small group and knows everything that's going on. So she kinda blurts out that she has two extra bedrooms and a husband out to sea (or under the sea; he's on a sub) and we can stay with her. I told her not to offer anything she might have to carry through with, jokingly of course. So I came home and called the dental assistant school I had been thinking about.

I had found a different school and became interested. So I looked around online and found this school. I talked to someone at church who I only knew worked in a dentist's office. I didn't know in what capacity, though found out she's a registered dental assistant. She calls me the next day with the name of the second school I had found. It's a ten week course, only meeting on Saturdays. If you can, you have the opportunity to go in and work four hours during the week. I'll get a certificate of completion in dental assisting, an x-ray license and something in CPR. I'll learn sterilization, teeth polishing, surgical prepping; a whole bunch of stuff. I called and talked to the person on the phone and set up a time to go tour and talk to an instructor. It seems really interesting. But before, since I get everywhere early, I sat in the car praying that God would show me what to do. So I talk with the instructor and eventually explain my situation and inability to pay the tuition how they needed when they wanted and she says to leave my name and number and maybe something could be worked out. The dentist calls the next day and leaves a message saying how he'd been thinking since he'd gotten up and he really wanted to work with me. I call back and of course get a message. At the end it said "God Bless". So I'm wondering if he'd been praying about it. He calls back and says that they will work with me and I only have to send in the application and deposit. Then someone very generously gave me a gift to cover the deposit. Class starts January 10th and I already bought my first pair of scrubs-pink! My next set will probably be purple!

What do I do then? I call my friend and tell her she has four new roommates. She lives in the military housing off of Aero Dr. They have four bedrooms and three boys. So we'll see how it goes. It will definitely be interesting, loud and fun. I get to continue watching Laelia. I'm very excited because I really like having her and while I took her to be able to tithe and to help her parents, it is now a huge help to me. ClaireBeth will transfer to the school down the street from the new house. It's year-round and has the same early day as Dewey. Ziggy I really need to start praying for. I really don't want to drive her over here and come back to pick her up everyday, so I will probably pull her out of school. My friend watches three girls on Mondays, so we might just start our own preschool thing. Goodness know I have enough junk for it. And Vee's just Vee.

I did call to schedule counseling for the girls, at least Ziggy and ClaireBeth. I left a message. Hopefully they'll get back. I'm usually okay until something really sweet or sad happens. I broke down crying after the dentist said he would work with me concerning tuition. Tonight was bible study. Two good friends had given sweet, thoughtful gifts to us, something standard but wonderful. Then the leader took out some envelopes. Our group started out as and is still part of a military ministry through The Rock. So the group takes part in stuff. The leader was given gifts from people at The Rock to give to military families in need. So three of us were given gifts to Target to help out. That's when I lost it tonight. That plus all the help Mom and Roger and other people have given us just overflowed. And just seeing how much God shows me He cares about us is awesome. One of the gifts from the ladies was a silver stone saying "just believe. things happen for a reason. . .", which I keep getting reminded of, whether it's by my friend saying we'll work through this or something God wrote thousands of years ago for me to find.

So I'm off to clean my room, hoping that having a clean relaxing place to go will help. And trying not to live four months from now when school's over and I have to figure out what to do then but still have to consider the fact that ClaireBeth goes to a year-round school in Cali where school starts later than other places and so attendance is touchy and find an area with Tricare. So we'll just worry about the laundry on the floor and how to get the furniture down the stairs.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hey!

So I've had a lot of new stuff happen. I just haven't had a chance to write about it. I'm packing to move on the 27th. I'll write more soon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Time For VeggieTales!

Eric forgot Vee's toothbrush when they went to Ohio, so he had to buy her another one. I was going through her bag and found it (and of course the accompanying Tinker Bell toothpaste). It's VeggieTales. That was cute enough, until I noticed a button. It plays VeggieTale songs. It's awesome! I wish I had a toothbrush like that!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Breakfast

I love my girls. I really do. I miss Vee quite a bit, though it is a lot easier with her gone. I miss her sweet hugs and her little acts of kindness. Also how she keeps us neat since if you leave anything out she yells at you!

So as to breakfast. The girls got downstairs before I did and were discussing the merits of different foods for breakfast (meaning they were yelling at each other). So they decide to each have their own breakfast. Fair enough. When I get downstairs Ziggy is making a pbj for me and ClaireBeth has a biscuit with butter and honey waiting for me. I love 3 and 6 year-old presents! The biscuits were from last night when we had some great friends over for dinner. So they were cold. The butter was soft, but ClaireBeth really likes butter so there was tons. The pbj had a bit of peanut butter on it and a dab of jelly. And so while the breakfast was good though not fantastic, it was the thought that really got me. Ziggy made my sandwich first-something that we've been working on, putting others first. After she made hers she was determined to make one for Vee for when she got home. It took a little persuading to convince her it would taste better if she made it when Vee got home. ClaireBeth made me a biscuit out of love even when I'm not always loving towards her. She keeps telling me she loves me even when I hurt her feelings. Being Mama I can be selfish or unfair sometimes. So I just feel really blessed today. Breakfast also reminded me that it's not me that matters, it's others and God. And He gave me these beautiful girls to raise, both as a reminder of how I should live (child-like faith and love is the ideal but all too soon we become hard and jaded) and what I should be showing the world as an example. So while I don't know what will come next, my behavior should reflect the love, hope, faith, grace and mercy I've been given, not the fear and worry that want to take over.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Vee Free

Vee went with Eric to Ohio. They left early Wednesday morning (so early that ClaireBeth fell asleep on the 15 minute drive to church that evening) and come back late Wednesday night. So I get 8 Vee free days. I think other people are more upset than I am. A friend came over for bible study and she's all "I miss Vee!" Which I do too, but I'll live. I even have a Laelia free two days on Tuesday and Wednesday. Yea!

So Eric and Vee made it out okay, despite his worries of what to do with her if he had to use the restroom while on the plane. I'd plugged the DVD player in the day before, but forgot to turn it off so it would charge. Thank goodness TV is free on the plane and Nickelodeon played lots of Diego (Vee's favorite-she even calls Dora Diego, or Daydoe). And now she's sick. Ziggy was sick last week, she threw up once and then had, well, gastrointestinal issues for four days. So I don't know if this is the same thing, since it's a bit longer than you would think it would take to set in. So Vee's sick, Eric has to deal with it and while I feel bad for both of them, I'm glad I don't have to clean it up.

Friday, December 5, 2008

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

So I bought a tree for the girls today. I shouldn't have, but they've really been wanting one. Except now they're trying to decorate it without me! I was trying to set up Christmas with my family (Eric's won't start planning for at least another week) and the girls got the Christmas bucket out of the garage and brought it inside. It's scary how resourceful they can be when they're determined. So right now they're having to take everything off the tree so I can put lights on and pick colors. And I don't think they'll be purple, blue and Simpsons. The girls have yet to learn about complimentary colors.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

*A Primer For Accordion Beginners*

Get an accordion. The cheaper the better because they all sound the same.

Do not tell anyone what you have done. It will only cause them to worry.

They will find out soon enough.

Take the accordion out of the case and strap it on. It is better if the accordion rests on your chest instead of your back but, for the first few weeks, it doesn't really make that much difference.

For sounds to be produced, three things must happen. The third is the most important:

1. The bellows must be moving in or out.
2. One or more of the keys or buttons must be pressed.
3. All potential weapons within a one mile radius must be collected and secured.

The buttons on the left side are chord buttons. The "C" button has a dimple or nipple so you can find it without looking. This is a safety feature. Before it was invented, thousands of accordion players suffered painful and sometimes disabling injuries, much to the delight of the general public.

Never use more than three buttons. "Professional" accordionists appear to be using lots of buttons but they are actually just desperately trying to find the stupid "C".

By the way, "Professional" means they have learned to smile while they do it.

Play the black and white keys. The high notes are at the bottom and the low notes are at the top. That arrangement isn't supposed to make any sense. Accept it.

Note: If you find the high notes at the top and the low notes at the bottom, you have either put the accordion on upside down or you have tried to repair it yourself. If the former, turn the accordion over. If the latter, pack your accordion up with hundreds of dollars and mail it far away for a long, long time.

Continue playing until someone begs you to stop or threatens your life, whichever comes first.

Put the accordion back in its case, order an accordion t-shirt and wear it to your state's Accordion Fest.

Crosswalk: You Make Me Laugh

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mad

At this point, I am. I'm mad that Eric left. That I have no job and no schooling. That someone else is going to have to raise my daughters so that I can feed them. That my oldest is crying for someone that won't come. That I'm the only one to take care of the girls. That I don't know what to do. That I didn't know what to do before and that's why we ended up here. That San Diego's so expensive. That I don't live in either of the cities I could move to and so don't know where to start looking for a job. That Eric isn't willing to work it out. That God isn't fixing it right away. That God might not fix it so that I can grow. That the house is a mess all the time because I'm exhausted trying to keep up with three girls all day. That I spend more time cleaning than playing with the girls because the house is always a mess. That no matter what I do Eric isn't reconsidering. That I ever got into this mess in the first place. That I feel like my prayers are bouncing off the sky. That I'm mad at God-or at least frustrated because I don't know what's next.

So this is edited quite a bit. I posted the unabridged version but came back and took out some parts. Even if I'm upset and mad and hurt, Eric is still my husband and I should respect him, even if I don't agree with his choices. But I am normal, don't worry, I am quite irritated with him.

We Stayed Home.

So we didn't go to family camp. Ziggy has a bad tummy and I didn't want to infect the whole camp. I was already not wanting to go, but this was a good reason not too.

Friday, November 28, 2008

So What Now?

To be honest, I'm a little lost. I always figured when I went back to school that Eric would be there to take care of the girls and I would go slowly. So I never really stressed on what I would study because it wasn't time yet. I've had ideas along the way: aesthetician with thoughts of opening a pregnancy spa with exercise classes eventually; nurse-labor and delivery of course; anything with languages, especially Russian and sign-neither of which I've studied.

And now I have to figure out how to go to school to learn something (anything), find work and I still don't want someone else raising my children. It's not impossible, I just don't know where to start. If anyone has a clue will you let me know?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Is It Winter Already?

No, but I'll be at my father-in-law's tomorrow, family camp Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then back to work and school on Monday, so I thought I'd change it now. And hey, I didn't put it up before Halloween like the stores!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Where I'm At

I don't really know. As to Eric and I, I still don't want this to happen. He's sad and he's hurt and he can't see past that. I can understand, I just don't like it. I also don't like that I've hurt him like that, even if inadvertently. I'm still praying that God will soften Eric's heart and allow Eric to forgive me and let us work it out. But that's what I want. Does God tolerate divorce? Well, he allows for it in a few situations. As a believer, I am told to let the non-believer leave if they want to. Does that mean that I shouldn't fight? I don't know. God may have great opportunities for me that I can't have if I stay with Eric. Would God choose to have us divorce? I don't think so, but I'm not Him. He allows us to make our own choices, even our own bad choices, of which I too have made plenty. So that's what I think this is, is a bad choice. Will it hurt people? Yes, definitely. Is it what God would want to happen? No. Can something good come out of it if we do divorce? Of course, it's just hard to see right now.

So I go about trying to decide what to do. I can move to another state if I need/want to. It's what Eric thinks is best for us girls. But I wouldn't be able to go to school until I set up residency. It's at least $10,000 a year for non-residents. But California is expensive. I'd have to work and go to school (at least it would help to have a better career) while raising three girls. It's possible, but I don't like the thought of someone else raising them. I've put off praying about what to do specifically because I keep hoping Eric will at least be willing to talk. Am I in denial? Umm, probably. I am starting to do a little bit, looking for places to live in the areas I've considered moving, looking at schools. Is anyone hiring right now? It doesn't sound like it. I've started trying to sell some of the girls' extra toys and stuff. I'm just not sure how much to sell yet. I also told Laelia's mom. I hated doing it. I'd love to keep her, but I had to give them fair warning. So now I might be out of a job here, too. Joy. And since she'll be here soon I'd better go.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let's Get Cooking

In case you haven't noticed, there's a fairly new section on the right. It's a weekly (hopefully) recipe. Check it out. If you'd like to submit a recipe, let me know in the comments.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So What's New

Well, I might as well let everyone know since the situation doesn't seem to be getting any better. Eric has asked for a divorce. The girls will stay with me (one of the disadvantages to being active duty military from his point). One good thing is that they will continue to go to church and learn about God and grow in their relationships with Him. Other than that I don't see any upsides to this right now. I'm not positive where I will go with three little girls who should be close to their daddy. I was offered one opportunity (I spell this word wrong every time) but will have to pray about it. It's a big scary step, but just about everything is at this point.

So basically I'm heart broken. A lot of the problems were my fault (not loving Eric as Christ loves us, putting too many of my expectations on him, getting upset when he was always at work when he was always at work to make a better life for us, being critical), and he is past the point of trying to work things out. And while I'm not the only one that messed up, I knew better due to God's teaching. The worst part is that I've learned so much since we started having major problems and I'm wondering why I learned it if I can't use it to work on the problem. I would still like to try to work through our problems but he is refusing. And now the girls will be affected beyond belief. So right now I reaffirm that their daddy loves them very much and I pray about the situation. He just finished a cycle and they are off for the week, so maybe he'll see them more-I hope.

And this throws everything up into the air-at least from my perspective. Where the girls and I will live. How I will earn a living for us. How I will get though this. I know God has a plan, I just hate being the last to know! Eric told the girls this morning. They were already upset because they hadn't seen him much in the last few weeks, and their behavior took another dip after he told them. So here I go at being an officially single mom. I'm thinking things are going to get even harder than they were with him just being at work all the time.

Praise The Lord, O My Soul

Psalm 103:1a

So it's still dark and I feel like I can't keep my head above water anymore. I started reading the Psalms this morning (while waiting for my cinnamon roll dough to rise, which it decided not to do). I'd honestly never liked them before. It mainly sounded like David was whining about all of his enemies and trying to be self-righteous. But this morning they clicked. I didn't read all of them (there are quite a few). My bible has a chart that tells what some of them about, so I read the ones that were listed that seemed helpful. In doing this I remembered things that are sometimes easy to forget.

God loves me (and you:))
God has a plan for every person.
God will not leave me, but sometimes I walk away from Him.
God will forgive me.
God always hears my prayers, but He knows what's best. We may not get what we want but we will grow in our faith.
God will take care of me.
God is perfect and I never will be. Therefore I can't think that I know better than God.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nehemiah!

My nephew (actually 2nd cousin but they let me be Auntie) Nehemiah accepted Christ tonight, asking him to be his Savior and his Lord. Giving God control of your life and accepting His unconditional love as a child can be an awesome thing, especially with parents like Nehemiah has; parents who relinquish control of their lives and how they raise their children to God. This must be an awesome day in their household, and certainly in heaven.

Luke 15:10 (the applicable part) ". . . I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

So the angels are partying because of my nephew. What a fantastic picture!

Looking For Love, by Greg Laurie

I get daily devotionals but had kind of stopped reading this one. I'm glad I read it, sometimes we need a reminder. Even if you don't believe in God or don't like the church please read it. It will only take a moment and it might be just what you needed.

Some years ago, I came across the obituary of a woman named Doris Duke, a tobacco heiress and philanthropist. She was a woman of immeasurable wealth, worth some $1 billion at the time of her death at age 80.She once told a friend that she never knew when a man really loved her, because, after all, she was worth a billion dollars. She said, "I would go out with a man a couple of times, and the next thing I knew, he would be saying, 'I love you.' I could never really know if he really meant it. How could I be sure?"That is a good question.

How can we be sure of real love? We use the word love so often that it has almost become a cliché. We have only one word for love in the English language. We use it in a variety of ways, ranging from "I love my job" to "I love my car" to "I love my dog" to "I love my wife."But what is love? One dictionary defines it as "a profoundly tender, passionate affection, a feeling of warm personal attachment, sexual desire or its gratification."I think that is a poor definition of love, but sadly, many wouldn't even aspire to something that high.

Love is more than an emotion; it's a commitment.In contrast to English, the Greek language uses many words for love. Some of them are used in the Bible, including the words erōs, phileō, storgē, and agapē. Erōs, from which we get our English word erotic, is primarily love on the physical level. Phileō, from which the name Philadelphia originates, means "brotherly love." It is the love that two friends have, a friendship love. Then there is storgē, which refers to family love, such as the love of a child for a parent or a parent for a child.

Finally, there is a unique word for love that is used so often in the New Testament: agapē. When we read the word love in Scripture, it is usually agapē. This is God's love, a supernatural love that also can be known and practiced by us.

That is not to say that physical attraction, friendship love, and family love are unimportant. They each have their place. For example, if erōs is satisfied in the marriage relationship, it can be wonderful. But you don't want to build a marriage on physical attraction alone. If you build a marriage solely on erōs, it is destined for failure.You need to take the time to get to know a person and allow friendship love to develop as you grow closer to one another. But you also need that supernatural love to really sustain, strengthen, and cause your relationship to flourish.When you have built your relationship on the right foundation, you will look forward to the years ahead, instead of dreading the aging process together. You will grow to appreciate your husband or wife more and more. It is not just a matter of falling in love. It is also a matter of growing in love.

While the right relationship built on the right foundation can be wonderful, there is a far greater love available to us. The Bible tells us about it in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (NKJV). This same God wants to come into your life and show you real love.Each of us was born with a hole in our heart that cannot be filled with anyone or anything. We can try to fill it with relationships. We can try to fill it with possessions or career or success or a myriad of other things. But nothing will fill that void because we were created to know God.

Many of us confuse loneliness for God with something else, when, in reality, we are lonely to have a relationship with the God whom we are separated from.Are you tired of the cheap imitations for love that this world offers—people who say they love you, and then use you or take advantage of you? God will never use you. He will never take advantage of you. But what He will do is show you what real love is all about.He loves you with the best kind of love: agapē. Now that is true love.

Greg Laurie

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ziggy Is In The Building.

This is Ziggy in her sunglasses from my mother-in-law. Right now Ziggy is a rock star; usually (but thankfully not currently) this is accompanied by her singing repeatedly the words Hannah Montana, which she has seen less than five times her entire life. She has also been a super spy, Harry Potter, a doctor and a pilot in these glasses. Apparently I should take back all of her Christmas presents; she obviously doesn't need them.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Will Praise You In This Storm

So I'm in the middle of a tempest right now. More like a hurricane or tsunami actually. So, sorry I haven't written, I just haven't had the energy or motivation. But I am finding things to praise God for in the middle of this storm. I'm also learning things left and right about and concerning the problems I'm having. We're all alive, just laying low for a while.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Girls


I'm not sure what she is, but she's cute no matter what.


Gorgemous Princess Ariel


Love the flippers!


Those curls took 45 minutes.


Isn't Princess Aurora pretty?

Halloween

Well, it's Halloween. We were supposed to go to Neewollah, but I just don't feel good today. I made it through work and that's the extent of my being with people ability today. I told the girls I'd take them around the block, but I don't even have candy to pass out because I was planning on being gone. So we'll come back, turn off all the lights, watch Dora and eat popcorn until we take Eric his dinner. Then it's off to bed. Tomorrow's cleaning day. Yea. I'll post pictures once I feel like it.

Side note: We've been getting away from ghost and witches and stuff like that lately. So what does Ziggy come home from school with this week? A dress-up witch's hat, a bat, a picture with a skull on it (I think it's a sponge print) and ghost-y stuff. Oh well, it could be worse, she could stay home all day and have to deal with me.

Here's a pic of them all together. Our Little Princesses.

Thankful 2

I'm a dork. On Thankful, I forgot to write about Eric. I am definitely thankful for him, I just spaced. So I'm very thankful for my husband. Not only is he a great dad, he loves me enough to put up with me for the last eight years! I don't write about him a lot mainly because he's not home. But I know that he's not home because he's trying to make the best life he can for all of us. It's hard to deal with sometimes (mostly because I'm exhausted and miss him but don't tell him the right way) but it's just a season, and it too shall pass. God shows us that real love is a choice and not a feeling, and it's a choice I made eight years ago. Now I just pray for the strength to go on till he gets to a point where he can slow down and rest.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is That Supposed To Be White?

I don't know who did the buying for these houses, but they had no clue what they were doing. I'm thinking it was a middle aged man who never had any kids or at least didn't raise them because he was never home. Who on earth makes textured white bath tubs and cabinets? If I had back all the time I've spent trying to scrub them clean (and usually not succeeding) I probably could have gotten my associates degree. I don't know what I would have gotten it in, but I would be half way finished with something! Whatever it is it's not getting the stains out of these tubs.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thankful

As I sit here at my computer that just decided to work again (I think someone from AT&T read my last blog, realized I hadn't had it fixed and started messing with it again), and think about the day to come, it's very easy to start focusing on the irritations. When I think about yesterdays it's even easier to think about those frustrations (mascara, a 20-month-old and a sister who opens doors for her do NOT mix!!!). But I realized my thinking is totally off.

At bible study one of the gals, Mayra who unfortunately is leaving for Okinawa soon, loved a quote recently. It was "Praise Him through the lice." It's about two Christ-following women in a concentration camp who are positively infested with lice, so bad that they were on their arm hair. One can't stand it anymore, and the other says to just hold on and praise God. So they start talking to the other women in their house and start spreading the Word. They start having mini bible studies. All because of the lice. The guards wouldn't come in because they didn't want to be infested. And while nothing in our life is that bad, minor irritations and your response can really bring you farther from God.

So I'm thankful. Thankful that Eric and I both have jobs. We don't really see the turn to the economy like other people do. Eric won't get fired. We see prices going up and quality going down, not that that hasn't been happening for a while. But we know that his job is secure. I started working this month. I'm very thankful for that. First, I get to watch Laelia, who is fantastic! I can tithe! This also gives us a chance to do some of the big stuff sooner. My mom-mobile needs new shoes. Us girls and our shoes. Eric's car needs brakes (I love him enough to want his car to stop, so I guess we'll replace those). We can start paying stuff off. A lot of people can't say that right now.

I have three gorgeous, healthy girls who still like me, though I won't take any bets when they realize they can't have phones or wear makeup. I irritate them and they irritate me. It's easy to just go through the motions without stopping and focusing on them, but God really blessed me with these three girls. I can't find the verse I want, but will look for it some more. Hah, found it. It was on the wall like 10 feet from me. Go figure. Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord.

And I have a God who loves me no matter what I do. A God who forgives everything and still uses me. Don't get me wrong. God doesn't just love you and say "Okay, go about your life without Me, doing what you want. I love you and will make everything perfect for you, even when you don't love Me or acknowledge Me or believe in Me." To experience God's grace you have to tell him that you are not perfect. That you can't come to Him because of how dirty and putrid your best attempts at life are compared to Him. You need the payment that Jesus made (His death on the cross) for your sins. And that you need Him, you can't live life on your own. And then once you do that, you have to give your life to Him, complete and utter control of it. As someone that has struggled with that for over 20 years (that sounds funny, since I'm only 24), that is the hardest part of a relationship with God. Not being able to do it my way. Having to put some effort into it. Hence why most marriages fail. So I am thankful that God made a way to be a part of His family (Jesus' love sacrifice) and that He does forgive me, and that He helps me lean on Him every day. And when I don't He sends a gale, or sometimes a tempest to encourage me to lean.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

*Elementary Motherhood*

Following are answers given by elementary school-age children to the given questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the Scotch Tape is.
2. Think about it. It was the best way to get more people.
3. Mostly to clean the house.
4. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic, plus super powers, and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We are related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string. I think.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

How did your mom meet your dad?
1. Mom was working in a store and dad was shoplifting.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

What makes a real woman?
1. It means you have to be really bossy without looking bossy.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because Dad is such a goofball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than Dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home, and dads just work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them. 3
. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power because that's who you have to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't have spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What's the difference between moms and grandmas?
1. About 30 years.
2. You can always count on grandmothers for candy. Sometimes moms don't even have bread on them.

Describe the world's greatest mom?
1. She would be able to make broccoli taste like ice cream.
2. The greatest mom in the world wouldn't make me kiss my fat aunts.
3. She'd always be smiling and keep her opinions to herself.

Is anything about your mom perfect?
1. Her teeth are perfect, but she bought them from the dentist.
2. Her casserole recipes. But we hate them.
3. Just her children.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd dye it, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter -- then she would know my sister did it and not me.

From You Make Me Laugh at Crosswalk.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's All A Scam

A few weeks ago I was sick but still had to clean up for the AT&T lady. Out internet had been going out for hours, close to days, at a time and we had a red light on our modem. So she said we needed a $35 part and it would be $60 to install it. So I said we would wait (after talking to Eric) and if it still did it we'd call back. So we waited a week, since if you call back within 10 days it looks bad on the worker, and what happens? It stops doing it. I've only had it out once, for less than a two minutes. So I'm convinced that there's a button at AT&T that they try to use just to get money out of you. We also considered cancelling our land line and upping our cell minutes, but found out that with the dual service discount (phone and internet) we were only paying $7 for phone. That doesn't buy a whole lot of cell minutes, so I don't have to change all of our paperwork and take our house number off of everything. One good thing, at least.

What On Earth!

The girls and I were talking about fingernails, so I looked for some online. The Yahoo! search was clean, but I was looking for the really grody disgusting nails that touch the floor. So I went to google. One of the first images that pops up is not what I really wanted to see. Then I tried a kid-oriented search. Unfortunately same kind of thing. Apparently the SafeSearch got turned off, though I don't know how; thankfully I found it. I can't believe parents just let their kids use the internet without monitoring them, even at ClaireBeth's age. Unfortunately Auntie Julie's "ERASE, ERASE, ERASE!!!" usually doesn't work, no matter how hard you try or how much you want it to.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Just Had A BAD Weekend

It was so bad that I cried three times. Twice on the phone to the people and once at church. Laelia was fussy Thursday from missing her morning nap. I learned to rearrange everything instead of doing that again. But that night her dad called and asked if anything happened during the day because she was inconsolable. So the girls and I prayed for her and asked for prayer for them at biblestudy. Mom was out of town, so Dad thought it was mostly that. Then he calls Friday morning and says that Laelia is still crying and hates to be moved because her hip or knee is hurting a lot. So to the doctor they go. Then to x-rays, with a possible trip to the orthopedic specialist if necessary. To me, that's huge, though this family knows them all by first name, kids and belt size. At this point I'm horrified and sick to the thought that I might have accidentally hurt her, or that they would think that I had done something, that they didn't want me to watch her and if I did do something, how expensive are x-rays and specialists? Dad called back Friday evening and said that nothing was broken or dislocated. Cue crying jag number one. I don't hear anything else all weekend. Sunday I go in to church and am leading the kindergartners. Before I get any kids I start crying again, just from being so worried. I called Mom earlier today but got no answer and no one called me back, so I got up the nerve to call again. Mom says everything's fine, Laelia just has crying pain spells sometimes and she's coming back tomorrow like planned. Cue crying jag three. Today they had already planned to keep Laelia home before any of this started. But I'll probably at least look into getting licensed so that I can get insured, and I could take on more kids (before and after school only) if I needed to.

Eric came home Sunday night and is home until tomorrow afternoon, which is nice for me, but he's been having to deal with me being a basket case. But mainly I'm most relieved that she's okay. Still in a bit of pain, but okay.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fundraising Is Not Fun!

Someone sent out invites to participate in her children's fundraising. That I have no problem with. I guess it's fundraising in general. So I told her that we don't do it. Which I lied about. I forgot we did do one where someone could do a donation instead of buying 2 ounces of chocolate for $8.00. This one you could also use at some normal stores online. I don't know how much of a percentage the school got from the online shopping part. But in general we try to avoid them. She brought up the very valid argument that the money helps in the art and P.E. and other departments and for field trips. And I'm sure part of it does. I just don't think we need to have the kids sell 12 square feet of wrapping paper. Don't get me wrong, ClaireBeth's school sent the packet home the second or third week of school. I looked through it in case there was anything great and fantastic, almost wanting to find something to buy. But alas, nothing new, fantastic or wonderful. And a donation for $10 is even better than buying something and less than half actually going to the schools. I'm also rather selfish. I know we won't be here in two years, so I'd rather help get something for ClaireBeth's classroom that the teacher can use in the years to come than do a fundraiser for something she'll never see.

Our school does do a jog-a-thon and a cake walk to also help with some of the art and P.E. and field trip stuff. We have sucker and flower sales around the appropriate holidays and other odds and ends here and there (have you ever tried to carry three things of cotton candy and push a double stroller?). I think those are good ideas and often will actually do some of the sales or supporting or physical part as well as financial. They get the parents more involved than taking a paper to work with stuff that people only buy to help out. But this makes more clutter in our houses. I still have lotions that don't smell good from when Eric was at Camp Pendleton. Most of the families we know all go to the same school and so we're all trying to get each other to buy stuff out of the same magazine or our families don't need the stuff. So if you'd like to donate to ClaireBeth's school or are just waiting on the edge of your seat for the next fundraiser to come along, let me know (don't worry, I'm kidding:)). Otherwise I just wish they'd stop wasting all the paper for the catalogues. And if you disagree, please, feel free to leave a comment as well.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not Another One

Vee is 20 months old today. I had her at 1829, so about an hour ago. I look at her and could NOT imagine having another baby today. I did start watching Laelia yesterday, though, so I did do myself in timing-wise. I've taken her to the library and store and have already gotten the "Are they both yours?" thing. It's even worse when Ziggy's with us. But no, no more babies, please. I was excited to make it to today with no more babies. We've taken measures to make sure it doesn't happen, but I've learned to not always trust doctors, military or civilian.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I about scared myself silly.

I started watching Laelia today. It went really well. We took the big girls to school. We played. We went to the store. We ate. We slept. We picked the big girls up. Then her mama came and we did her stretches. She only fussed once when she was hungry. She's a mellow baby who's a lot of fun to be around. I was just at kind of a loss as to what to do with her. She doesn't move a lot. Her arms can move up and down somewhat and she can kind of grab things. But her elbows don't bend. It will take some getting used to. Her mama and I were talking about discipline. While we were talking I realized how much hope she still has that Laelia will be mobile. I wondered when I stopped thinking like that. After Laelia was born we were all told so that we could pray for her. But eventually requests get pushed to the end of the list or dropped or you're just praying them out of habit. Or at least I do. But tomorrow God could say "Okay my precious child. Get up and walk." I guess I figured if she did walk it would be a while before then and it wouldn't be through an instantaneous miraculous healing. It would be a miracle, but take a lot of work too. Oh me of little faith. God is far beyond our understanding. And it may be His plan for her to be like this. No matter what, He does have a plan.

So as to scaring myself. I am getting paid to watch Laelia. I actually feel a bit crummy about it, especially since I knew them before I started watching her. But last night I started thinking about stuff that goes along with regular pay. Like taxes (I know, very scary!). And what if we no longer qualify for preschool? WIC I can live without, though it does save us a good bit of money. I still don't know if we'll make too much. But preschool is entirely different! I have to have preschool!!! Really I could get along without it, I'd just rather not. So I called and we're okay, we still qualify. I still don't know what's up with taxes, but we'll figure that out. I prayed that God would tell me what to do about tithing (Eric refuses to even consider thinking about the thought of it) and I got Laelia (I hate calling it a job when really it's a sweet little girl). I just never thought about all the other stuff. I just wanted to show God how much I appreciate all that He's given us and acknowledge that He's the one taking care of us, but "Then give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matt 22:21) and "Thou shall not steal." (Exodus 20:15) and "These six things does the LORD hate: yes, seven are an abomination to him: . . . a lying tongue, . . . " (Prov 6:16&17) kept popping into my head, even though I wasn't planning on lying or stealing. Sometimes it's hard doing the right thing, especially if it hadn't occurred to you until it was too late. Unfortunately I was rambling about this to Laelia's mama, so now she probably thinks I'm an insane tax evader/preschool cheater!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Laelia Sky


I get Laelia on Thursday! So what is Laelia? Technically it's a genus of orchid (see above). But the Laelia I'll have is a one-year-old (as of Oct 3rd-Happy Birthday!) from church. I get to watch her during the week for around 5 hrs a day. Now some of you might be shocked considering how I usually feel about kids (sometimes including my own). But God gave her one of the best dispositions I've ever seen in anyone. She is extremely sweet and smiley. But God made her different in other ways too.
Laelia was born without some major muscles in her arms and legs. I'm not sure about her hands and feet. She was also born with limb joints that don't have a normal range of motion due to a lot of tissue around them. So I'll help with her stretches. I know my explanation sounds uninformed, and it is. I really just started looking the conditions up very recently and I don't know how to put it so that people that aren't knowledgeable about the conditions can understand. I can throw out words like contractures and the alphabet soup that comes with any condition or disease or military branch, but if you're like me you'll have to look them up, and that still hasn't been the biggest help because they just use big words to explain the big words.
I have told Eric, but no one else except for a friend at church. He knew I went to an interview on Saturday, but never asked what it was about or how it went. I was a little hurt and thought about not telling him and just letting him come home to another girl in the house (as if four weren't enough!). But I was too excited not to tell someone. My friend didn't even know that I went for the interview since I didn't tell anyone that Laelia's parents and I were talking in case God had someone else to watch Laelia.
So I'm off. I haven't decided if I'm off to bed or off to clean. Maybe I'll flip a coin. Heads-go to bed. Tails-go to bed. If it lands on the edge standing up then I'll clean.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Nope, not a typo. It's another Sarah's birthday today, so Happy Birthday! And I just don't have a picture of her.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Is anyone out there?

I'm going nuts. I'm waiting to hear about an opportunity, namely a meeting this weekend. If I'm given this opportunity I need to buy supplies. So I've been looking for supplies, but no one's written me back about that either. I would like to talk to someone else about something inconsequential, but it's still there. I don't know certain things and I need to prep for them. I'm going nuts waiting to hear about stuff or getting a chance to talk to people. Obviously I hate waiting. It's like I ceased to exist in anyone's email or phone list. Patience is not one of the fruits I've been patient with God working on. I think I'm starting to see a trend here. Okay, so what do you do when you're at the end of your abilities? Go to the one being who can do anything, even when He's trying to use me to do it. Even though I should have gone to Him first since you really can't get much done in life apart from Him. Existence is possible, but entirely different.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Sarah!

So it was my cousin's birthday a few days ago. I was looking for this excellent picture of her and JoJo from Mother's Day and can't find it. That's why this is posted late. Sorry Sarah! Or is it Sara:)'?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Mia!

So I sent her an email with Happy Birthday in Spanish (I prefer Russian but don't remember as much of it since I didn't study it as long and with Spanish you can at least read the letters), then in German since that's what Mia knows. Apparently she really liked it. To see how it actually sounded I went to YouTube. Did you know Kermit the Frog knows German. He does. I was surprised! I tried to see what other languages Kermit speaks, but you can find some very disturbing and scary images on YouTube so I decided it wasn't worth it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Leave My Straw Alone!

Does anyone have a straw biter? I have several, and one in particular. I also have a brand new water bottle with teeth marks after letting said straw annihilator share on the way home from bible study since there wasn't a water bottle in the car for her. I also hate chewed stuff, especially my previously smooth and unblemished straw that's attached to the bottle. This is why I don't like to share. There should be rules that Mama doesn't have to follow.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Miss Skinny Pants

So you've got above average height children who are way below average weight and a husband who is very particular about pant length. What do you do? You realize how amazing and versatile grosgrain ribbon is.

What's Up?

the front

how it should sit


the whole thing that
my wonderful neighbour
Kim modeled for me.

the back with pocket

Well, ClaireBeth went to her first non-family sleep over. Vee started counting down on me. Zoe's decided she wants to be a trumpet playing skater, Eric bought his birthday present seven weeks early and I can't find ANYTHING in this house.

ClaireBeth went to a birthday party for a friend from church. Riah turned six and has a really fun mom and two really fun older sisters. So we dropped her off (ran Ziggy back in to use the potty) and left our baby at someone else's house. It felt a little odd to me, but I survived. Then Eric missed the exit. He turned around and there was no on-ramp for 94 W, so we went to the next exit, same thing. Thankfully it was Market and we were able to take it all the way down, and thankfully we'd been to enough games at Petco that we knew how to get home from there. Except Eric got on the wrong freeway because no one from work will leave him alone. He's got two people under him who are learning a lot and can answer most questions. Just no one ever calls them. So we ended up by church! Eventually we got home, but it was hilarious to see Eric do this stuff because it's what I always do. I went to pick her up this morning and she's got blue and pink nail polish with jewels and glitter makeup everywhere! I meant to take a picture. For parties right now it's okay, but my poor mother-in-law thinks I'm nuts because I didn't want the girls to have make-up when we went to her house. We compromised. The girls got the lip gloss and the other stuff went to a niece. We also only do pale pink or clear nail polish (I have horrible memories of me with green and black and blue nail polish), so this was a real treat for ClaireBeth.
We take Eric dinner when he has duty. Every so often we're there to hear the music signaling that it's time to take down the flag. Ziggy heard it and wanted to know if it was a trumpet. Sure, trumpet bugle, same principle. So she decided that she wanted me to buy her a trumpet right then and there. She got mad that we didn't go to the store and buy her one. Add this to her wanting to be a skater girl (I even showed her girls skateboarding on YouTube, which she thought was really cool), she's going to be the most well-rounded or the most ostracized teenager who actually does activities ever.

Then there's Vee. We count backwards from three instead of forwards. It just seems more defined. So I told Vee "Three". To which she promptly responds "Two". So now she's trying to get me in trouble and she can only count backwards. Great. Well the backwards thing I can blame on the microwave at least.

On to Eric. Mr iPod. That was his birthday gift this year. I was going to get him a Wii sports pack with the ping-pong paddle and pool cue and all that and the Play game that uses all that stuff, but he decided this is what he wanted. Oh well, at least I don't have to wrap anything.

Then on to me. I finally finished a nursing cover. I have three more slings to make and I still haven't made the diaper bag or recovered my chair. But the nursing cover came out well. It's bigger than the two "commercial" ones I've seen, but they seem skimpy, so it's okay. I did it in Winnie the Pooh (not my pick) and it is rather cute. But before I got it done, I had to search for the ribbon. While I was looking for the ribbon I lost the boning (for the sophomoric type, that's the plastic piece that gives the neck it's shape). Then I almost went nuts trying to sew it. But it's finished. Whew! On to my next project.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I was wrong

Now I feel awful again. Why can't colds just come in, work and leave, why do they have to linger and make you think you're getting better?

Thanks!

I feel a good bit better. Thanks for the prayers from those who did. No thanks to the internet woman. For some reason, whenever I get sick I end up having to clean the house because something breaks. So yesterday it was for AT&T. But the downstairs is clean-minus the bathroom and laundry room, oh, and the coat closet. Ugh. Stupid shoes. Upstairs I still have laundry from at least a month ago that needs to be hung up and put away. My wonderful husband is one of those that will put it on the bed hoping I'll do something with it. When he goes to bed before I do (which is always) he puts it on the floor. I've cleaned around the pile at least three times, I just never cleaned up the pile. Then the bathrooms upstairs. What's with bathrooms. If I hired a maid, it would be to clean the bathrooms, scrub the kitchen floor and wash the walls (I can't stand dirty walls, which with three kids I have tons of). Oh well, at least soon all the girls will be able to help. Five years is soon, right?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Woe is me

I hate colds. They're really not that bad compared to other things, but how often do you get bird flu or dengue fever compared to a cold? ClaireBeth is over hers, Ziggy doesn't seem to have it and Vee had a runny nose but is now fine. So why do I get it so bad? My head hurts, I feel fuzzy (light-headed and dizzy), I'm all stuffed up and dripping, my teeth itch and my muscles ache. Why do the girls never get it like this? Probably because they eat and drink a lot healthier than I do and don't weigh more than they should. Ugh, I'm either going to get a vanilla coke and go back to bed or I'm just going back to bed. Either way it includes getting up from the computer and I don't think I have the energy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Vocabulary of Vee

daydu-thank you
uma-come on
ooo-shoe
peed-please
tay?-are you okay (usually after she hurts you somehow)
tupit-stop it
eeeee-eat
wawa-water
cwacwa-cracker
papo-popcorn
apu-apple
mol-milk
boble-buckle (meaning carseat, stroller or shopping cart)
boo-book
nana-banana
boppy-potty
no-yes
wewee-movie
There are more, I just can't get her to say them right now.

ClaireBeth still says aminal and Ziggy's just hilarious with how grown up she is already.

Daily Verse-Replaced, Revised and Driving Me Nuts!

'Kay, it's working now. Yea! And it gives a different verse every time. I've actually found a few I didn't know that are very useful today.

And now I'll have to change it again. The verse it gave out is "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.", which is John 1:18. Luke 19:10 is "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” A good verse, but still. It helps to have the reference match the verse. So I may be out of luck.

Now it's white. The blue one was too big and you had to scroll over. Way too much of a pain so no one would have read it, which rather defeats the purpose of having it here in the first place.

Okay, can anyone see the daily verse? All I see is computer talk. I don't know if it's 'cause it's my page or what. I had a poll that I took off simply because it was all computer junk. My friend has the daily verse on hers and I can read it. So let me know in the comments if you can read it, whether or not you actually want to read it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Miss Vee


So here's Miss Vee with her baby sling. This is the first time she's put it on, but already she's a pro. Eric made ClaireBeth and Ziggy one each last year (he sews better than I do) and as you can see Vee's already making off with their stuff. I can't wait until I have three teenage girls that all wear the same size in one house.

The simple things



So the house is destroyed, the girls are cranky and if I hear anymore crying I'm going to scream. But my cornbread came out very well. Eric's grandpa let me have the cast iron skillet since he had bought two for his daughter and she didn't want both. He picked them up at an auction. So I put it in my suitcase and it flew from Ohio to California. This is the first time I've used it. The bread was moist, the bottom nice and smooth and it came very easily out of the pan. I need to work on my recipe, but that's because my grandmother told me what she usually puts in hers and I've been playing around with it. She didn't even tell me a temperature or time! Thank goodness for the internet. For some reason my paper said shortening, so I put it in the batch for my friend to whom I took dinner. Apparently I need to cross that out. I made a batch without it and it came out a lot better. But I also didn't make hers in the cast iron because I didn't know how it would go. So sorry Sarah! I always look at that and try to remember if I'm supposed to put it in there. Now I know and hopefully I'll remember! I also always forget to use buttermilk instead of milk. I'll try to remember that.

But oh, the simple things in life. They're usually far better than the supposedly super-important or super-special. If indoor plumbing and air conditioning had been invented, I think it would have been nice to live a long time ago. To have what you do matter, a woman was allowed to be a woman without being told she should not nurse and she should work. Children were expected to do chores and people didn't look at you like you were the worst mother because your kids had work to do. Kids were politer because society hadn't embraced a "ME FIRST" attitude and passed it down the line. There was no road rage or traffic (we'll ignore the highway men-this is a list of good things back then). There was less junk in our lives so the house was easier to keep clean. There were also more people to help keep it that way because you could have more kids without worrying about over-population, college costs and cars being big enough. So here's to the old days. Maybe I'll try to convince Eric to move to the boonies and we can go back to pioneer times, with a few modifications, of course.

Friday, September 12, 2008

They're getting so big!

It's getting colder in the mornings, pretty much the whole time Ziggy's in school, so it's time to pull out the pants and long-sleeved shirts. The kind of clothing where length and fit actually matter. So what do Vee's pants do? Go up at least an inch abover her shoe. Ziggy still has 2T long-sleeved shirts because it's been that long since we've needed them. If I weed those out she has like three shirts left. So I pulled out the buckets; in the process I cleaned up all the clothes I've just been throwing in the garage and Eric's been yelling at me about. So Ziggy's in 4T/4 and Vee's getting into 18 months. Some things are still a little big, but it's one more baby step to growing up. The firsts of life are so fun, but the lasts of life are so sad.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It finally happened!

Ziggy woke herself up to go potty!!! Hopefully it'll happen again.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Chef ClaireBeth-update

She's making macaroni and cheese for lunch for us today. I realized she was six and couldn't cook anything besides chicken nuggets. We'll see how it goes.

So it was pretty good. Actually it tasted better than usual, maybe because I didn't have to cook it. I was doing pot roasts and easy stuff like that when I was her age. I wonder what she's ready for next.

Yes ma'am

For some reason people have a problem with ma'am and sir. I don't get this. It's like in this world where disrespect is now the norm, any appropriate titles are considered rude. With men, if they say "I'm not my father, don't call me sir.", sometimes I'll ask if they like ma'am better, since sir was acknowledging that they were male. I know, rather rude of me, but still. Once I had an older woman almost yelling at me because prostitutes used to be called madams and ma'am is a shortened word for madam. Personally I thought it was better than "Sorry, old lady."

Ma'am is simply a term to use if you are married. Miss if you're not. Ms. in front of a name for divorcees. Sir is good at all times. So I just look when people call their four-year-old daughters ma'am. But it's not something to get upset about. I usually try to not call them that if a person asks me not to, but get over it. You could be called a lot worse.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Big Girl Time

My friend Amanda and I met at my old church. We were the only people our age with kids their age. For a while we were the only people our age and we had the only kids those ages. So we moved down here and she moved the next week to Florida for her husband to go to blow-em-up school. She moved back a while ago, and we get together every so often.

So today she came down and we went to Ikea. Good grief. It was rather crowded. We'd never eaten there so we got lunch. We took the kids to the play area, which we had never done before either, and it was full. So we took five kids around Ikea's showroom and marketplace. We came back and talked husband stuff and Marine stuff and girl stuff. The kids played fairly well together. The house isn't that big a mess. But mainly we had adult conversations and the kids pretty much occupied themselves. It was nice. I wish I had someone close to my age and the kids all clicked that lived close. Oh well, that would mean that I'd have to talk to people and be normal around them so they'd like me before I was myself. We all know that doesn't work!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Last Sunday's Disastrous Potluck

Usually we have a potluck the Sunday after pick-up. It's a chance to see our husbands, meet their team and make sure that they have food. So this cycle, we hadn't heard anything. The guys finished one cycle on the 22nd and got more kids on the 29th, so the other KV and I though they were just behind schedule. Then she got a call from a wife asking what she was supposed to bring. Well, to keep a long story short and because this is a public site and we should try to be polite, there was a mix up of communication and decision making. I asked Eric and he asked if there was a potluck and he was told that there was. As far as I know, most of the wives probably didn't know about it. So I made 5 pounds of chicken. We left church even though I had a meeting, I fed the girls and Eric calls me a little upset asking where the potluck is. That's never a good sign. I get on base, go to one spot it might be and no one is there. I get ahold of Eric again finally. They cancelled it. One other wife came, and I have no clue where she was from (some of us live an hour to an hour and a half away) or what she brought. Eric was sweet and took the chicken. Apparently it wasn't all that great. I'd thrown it in the crock pot with a bottle of marinade because I didn't know what else to do since it's always right after church. But now I know that doesn't work! And we only have one or two more cycles left hopefully!

What a week

So obviously ClaireBeth and Ziggy started school this week. ClaireBeth is a normal, low maintenance kid, especially when it comes to school. She loves it. Ziggy, on the other hand, is something else. She didn't want to go Tuesday, I wasn't surprised. Wednesday we get in the car and she tells me she can't go. I ask her why. She says "Because Miss Tami told me I couldn't come back." Thursday it's because Daddy told her she couldn't go anymore. Before school even started she was telling me that Miss Tami was mean. She hadn't even met the woman!

Vee and I have had a good week. Nothing too big, just nice and calm for a few hours.

I finally walked to pick Ziggy up. I plan on doing it most of the time, but it hadn't worked out yet this week. And I absolutely have to leave on time. 5 minutes makes a big difference when you're walking 1.5 miles to pick someone up at an appointed time. It felt good, though. I just wish I was one of those women that look cute when they exercise. I look like Bob the Tomato after a bath; red, puffy and wet.

Eric came home last night for the first time since pick up. Of course the house was a mess. It was clean earlier today, but I watched kids, so there went that. He also gets to come home tomorrow night.

My friend's husband (he's my friend too, but that's just usually how I type it) leaves for a year tomorrow morning. It's their first real deployment with kids. Oh well, such is military life.

That's it so far. My friend Amanda is coming down tomorrow. We haven't decided what we're doing yet. I'm sure we'll have fun though. 2 women and 5 kids. What doesn't sound fun about that?

Mi Abuela

In other words, my Grandmother. Okay, don't worry, Spanish lesson's over. My girls call her that because my mom took over Grandmother and I used to call my Grandmother that when I was younger and we were learning Spanish.

My Grandmother is pretty cool. She's in her 3rd quarter century of life and still going. She does the normal granny stuff, like knit and crochet, though she doesn't sew anymore. But she's also still learning and expanding herself. This semester at adult education she's taking a course in Excel. A few years ago she took all the digital camera classes she could find. She loves drawing and painting. She's tried learning the piano and guitar, but she's, what would you call it? Oh! Going at her own pace. Not only this, but she is a very strong follower of God and still attends bible studies and fellowships. Today she's going to Vegas for a Beth Moore/Kay Arthur/ Phyllis Shirrer(?) event. Very exciting!

So what brings this up do you ask? She cut me off from anymore requested completed craft items. Meaning she won't make me anymore afghans or the like if I ask for it. She told me I was old enough to learn how to do it on my own. So she's more than three times my age, she's also been doing this for about 60 years. But nope, I've been abandoned. So she, Vee and I went to the store yesterday to pick out yarn and needles. While we were there I picked up other stuff, so we talked about that. We talked about kid's pajamas. She's great.

When we moved back down here, I was helping her in her yard once a week. But ClaireBeth, my main babysitter, went to school. Vee was growing out of and getting irritated with her travel swing. After almost losing Ziggy to a bunch of cars because she escaped, the whole yard work thing wasn't working. Then Grandmother got sick, so we completely stopped. So it's a year later. Grandmother's better, her yard is now primarily fake grass and I have two kids in school. I also need to learn to knit. So to Grandmother's house we go.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Vee's doctor appointment

Vee went in for her 18 month appointment, and she turns 19 months in a week. We're almost a month behind and it drives me nuts! But they decided to put in a 2 year check up instead of waiting to 2 1/2, so I can catch up then.

She weighed 21 lbs, 6 ounces (10th %) and was 31 inches (a little under 50%). While we were in the waiting room she was fine. But when we started walking through the hallways to get to the room she started freaking out. When we actually got to the room she was full out crying. She especially didn't like being on the table, no matter what position she was in. She didn't even want Dr. Shiau to touch her. So she's starting to remember occasional events from months ago, not just days. Some places she knows very well because we're there all the time, like church and the library. I just wasn't expecting the doctor issues this early. Then she was so mad she cried the whole way home, which took twice as long because they closed the 8 ramps at that exit and I had to find a place to turn around and go back to the next one. Because it makes perfect sense to shut down exits in both directions in the middle of the day right next to a huge university. Good job CalTrans!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

DI family

SSGT Eric
(rank shown is SGT from before he was promoted)

Okay, for the most part I don't complain about Eric being in the military. It's a job and a lifestyle. I don't really like special attention for it. I don't mind the discounts most of the time:), but the attention drives me nuts. Janitor's families aren't applauded. Garbage men's families aren't thanked.

But tonight I'm going nuts. Part of it is the person or people in charge this cycle (one whole set of recruits that lasts 12 weeks). The grouping of DIs weren't evenly dispersed, so some teams have only 1 or 2 people that know what they're doing, like Eric's. A man may be a great DI, but he still needs experience. Eric came home to drop off laundry and get civilian clothes so he could go get his team something to eat. Then he left. He was home less than 20 minutes. The beginning of the cycle is usually like this, but that's how it will be the whole cycle. The girls are in bed and I'm looking at another lonely night of doing all the clean-up by myself, watching a movie by myself and falling asleep with the light on because there's no one to ask me to put the book down or at least put out the light. Deployments I can handle, I guess because he's not 1/4 of a mile away. I also know he'd be healthier, more rested and better fed if he were overseas. Right now he's sick, exhausted and since he hasn't had me bring food he's had pizza and cheeseburgers. Yea. And two years of this is getting to be a bit much.

The girls are okay, but only because they're used to it. The longest he's been home since we've been married is 14 months, and ClaireBeth was barely three and Ziggy had just been born when he left after that. I honestly don't know what I'd do if he were home that long again. Vee has never known anything else.

So we wait for this to all be over, only knowing that something else will pop up. I'll appreciate the chance to watch movies I like and not having to watch the ones I don't. I'll try new recipes. And I'll talk to and read with God. Even if Eric isn't here to talk to, He always is.

Whew!!


Let's go!

I had more pictures but forgot to turn them rightside up, so I might post them later, if I get around to it.

So the first day of school is over, or at least the school part. Ziggy was rather reluctant to go, but I pretty much made her. ClaireBeth had no problems of course, and the only thing I didn't like was that I couldn't wait with her and go to her classroom. They all line up on numbers outside and the teacher comes and gets them when the bell rings. But for some reason ClaireBeth and Ziggy's classes start at exactly the same time. So off I went to drop Ziggy off.

Ziggy had a good day with Miss Tami and consented to return tomorrow. She's ready for teenager-hood I think, or at least tweenager-hood. When I asked her what she did she couldn't remember. Same with ClaireBeth. Apparently you leave your brain in the classroom. I know my mom had the same problems with me though. She actually had the teacher talk to me.

What did Vee and I do? We went to the library then shopping. We came home and she played and I started a book. She ate, then we went and got Ziggy. I drove today. Ziggy came home and ate because the food delivery got messed up so they didn't eat at school today. Then they took a nap and I read more of my book. We went and got ClaireBeth and came home and made milkshakes. Eric, who hasn't been home since Friday morning and we haven't seen since Sunday's disastrous non-potluck, called and talked to the girls. Then I finished my book and the girls are downstairs watching Dora on the travel DVD player, we don't have a TV downstairs, or emptying the dishwasher. We'll eat dinner, go for a bike ride then go to bed. I'll clean up and maybe, big maybe, fold the four loads of laundry on my bed. I've slept on a foot wide section of bed the last few night because I hate folding laundry. You'd think I would have gotten over it by now. Then tomorrow we start all over again.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

She doesn't actually read my blog, but the thought is there. She's 49 today and almost exactly 24 1/2 years older than me, my half birthday being August 28 and her birthday being September 1st. I didn't realize that until the other day. Which makes her almost exactly twice my age. Pretty cool. So thanks mom for reminding me that I have less than 6 months left as a 24-year-old. It's one thing to be in your mid-twenties (24-26), it's another thing to be halfway through your twenties. UGH. I'm getting down just thinking about it. They're coming over in a little bit to celebrate. I made key lime bites (meaning I couldn't find my other pie pan and Eric has my favorite one) and I'll make cookies when they get here. Her husband Roger bought her a keyboard and we're chipping in for car repair. Fun! I'll let you know if I kill anyone or anything fun like that.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pics-finally!

The graduate! One of many ceremonies to come.

Hamming it up as only ClaireBeth can do.

ClaireBeth and one of the best teachers ever, Marcia Toyama

ClaireBeth turns six!

At Gee's house with her build-a-leopard from Uncle John and Aunt Julie

Three Gorgeous Girls!

WWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So Vee's in bed early tonight. I know it won't teach her anything, but it keeps her from being beat or marinated for tomorrow's dinner (almost entirely kidding, she wouldn't fit in the crock pot). She is definitely no longer a baby, no matter how hard I try to ignore the fact. Right now she is having a full blown temper tantrum that no baby would be able to pull off. The fact that I can understand some of the words she's yelling doesn't help. I'm also pretty glad I can't understand some of the others.

So listening to her is making me miss my babies. While I'm not planning on having anymore, I do wish my little ones could go back. I got to hold 2 1/2-week-old Miss JaneAnne (actually she was tossed to me so Mama Sarah could check the sling and keep the yellow off of her white shirt) and change her diaper, which included all of her clothes after a wipee bath. Mama Sarah's not a big fan of diapers, and I don't mind them so I didn't mind giving her a break. But JaneAnne was so sweet and little and calm, at least until she got hungry. Even my littlest hits and screams and thinks she has to have her own way. I guess this is just the way it goes and it's hitting me so hard because I kind of missed it with Ziggy and Vee's the last one. And anything that comes after this is just going to be more of a challenge!

Jess the critic

Okay, so I broke down and went to Blockbuster. I'm trying this month to not spend anything more than necessary. We're still working on it. I don't rent movies that often, but we do borrow them from the library, except lately there's nothing new that I would like to watch or is in watchable condition. So off we went to Blockbuster. I got Penelope and Nim's Island and the girls got My Little Pony (like from when I was little) and Dora.

Penelope is adorable. A large part of the problem with watching movies is being a Christian. If I didn't follow God, I could watch whatever I wanted. Not so much if you are a Christian. So for Penelope, there is magic. She's under a curse. Concerning sex there are no scenes or allusions to it concerning the main characters. I don't know if they got married at the end but they are obviously a couple in a non-PDA sort of way. Two side characters we are told do have pre-marital or extra-marital affairs. One is somewhat necessary to the plot and the other is unnecessary. There are two innuendos, one very blatant and you just wonder where it came from. The other isn't as obvious and while you know what it means, you just wonder why. Penelope is trying to guess what instrument Max plays while her parents watch. Her mother asks what they're doing and the father replies "She's trying to find his instrument." to which her mother asks isn't the man supposed to do that. The is a good bit of beer drinking but no drunen acts of stupidity. There is also a glossed over suicide/feticide that prompts the curse. Of course, it being a secular movie, the Lord's name is used inappropriately a few times and there are a small handful of damns and hells, probably like 4 or 5. There is a scary drawing. But over all it is a really cute adult movie (though I did let the girls watch it knowing that right now it will go over their heads and that they had missed a good bit of it, though if I buy it I won't generally let them; mainly I was watching it and didn't want to turn it off). Unfortunately this is what movies include and this is a pretty clean movie. There just aren't that many really good, cute Christian films. I'm a little tired of 1800 West stories. It can be a little off pace at times, a little jumpy. But I probably will buy it. That plus, I hate to admit it, James McAvoy is pretty cool and I've liked the roles he's done that I've seen. And Christina Ricci is a nostalgia piece to me. I remember watching Addams Family when I was little (I have no clue what my parents where thinking).

As to Nim's Island, it was okay. It is a child's movie, but that's usually what I end up watching since they're usually cleaner than adult movies. Nim is a bit disrespectful to her father, but it's more like she's used to being equal with him. I have kind of been there and so can understand. It's not acceptable, but it is better than her being openly rude and defiant. At one point Jack says thank you to Mother Nature. There are misuses of the Lord's name and again a few cuss words. I just think it's odd that two movies with the same rating (they're both PG) can have such a varied content. Penelope I would have put as PG13 with the infidelity/pregnancy implications, but I also don't want my 13-year-old to think that situations like that are acceptable, even if they are now normal.

My Little Pony wasn't that good, and Dora was Dora. I f you see the movies or have seen them let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

ClaireBeth


Somedays she totally amazes me.
Today it was a lego tennis court!
The creator and her art!

Aerial view. The bleachers are on the right, the
parking lot is on the left with two red cars. The
players are blue and the scoreboard is by the bleachers.


Side view. The green things over the players
are telling them who's winning (I have no clue).



Friday, August 29, 2008

In reality

Okay, so I was going to watch a movie Eric didn't like and clean my room. In reality I played Wii Playground. I'm horrible at video games.

Later today

When Michelle and Cecil came to pick up their girls, I was a little frustrated. Lacy cried almost the whole time, no matter what I did. I got nothing done and the big girls were tired of being stuck in one room. Lunch was late and a little skimpy. So instead of cleaning, I went and laid down and read a book. Then it was time to go to parent orientation for Ziggy's school. We saw her teacher. We didn't really meet her since she stood in front and talked but didn't mingle. I had another 30 pages of paperwork to fill out (most of which I had already done) and of course my girls were the loudest and most ill-behaved. Of course, why wouldn't they be? They are Eric's after all.

After that we went school shopping, where Ziggy and ClaireBeth each got a new dress for the first day of school. ClaireBeth had no shoes to go with it, so we got to go shoe shopping too! Yea! Lucky me! Somehow the girls picked the same dress. So we're walking through Ross and Target (of course we have to take the dresses with us to make sure our new shoes match!) and everyone's like "Oh how cute, you're dressing them alike for school!" I'm very quick to reassure them that this was in no way my doing.

Home we come to make Eric and his team some dinner. The first few nights of the cycle I take dinner to the whole team. It started out five cycles ago we were supposed to trade off, the other wives and myself. Somehow between then and three cycles ago I ended up doing it. Which I don't get since I can't cook. Go figure. I can do a few things good enough for Eric, one of which is calzones which has become his customary first night dinner. I can bake though, so the guys always get a good dessert. Tonight was brownies, a new recipe that turned out very well. Tomorrow is pot roast and Eric's apple pie. It has a cheddar cheese crust. I also have two parties and a potluck. So for the whole weekend I have brownies, one apple pie, one cake (boxed but that's what the person wanted-I'll never understand), one batch of cookies, one key lime pie and two batches of cake balls not including dinner for the guys and whatever I take to the potluck. And of course I ran out of sugar.

Well, I've rambled enough. I have more to vent about, like Eric's work's get-togethers and laundry, but I'm sure I've bored you enough already. It's officially chick flick night since he's not here to complain about the English accents in Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility! Have a great night, I know I will.