Monday, March 31, 2008

DD's prayer

It was DD's turn for prayer tonight and she said a thing she always said...

"Please bless those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and training."

Except tonight there was something interesting on the end of it that gave me pause so I had to ask her about it after. She said...

"Please bless those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and training even their Archenemy."

DD did you just pray for those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and training and their Archenemies?

Yes, we were taught at church that we should pray for our enemies. Alright I get that but I am not sure where the arch part come into play here. She is too sweet for words sometimes.

The praying for those in training comes from the fact that Dan was "injured" this past summer while he was in training for a deployment to Iraq. I don't complain though, that injury got him out of that deployment, just not out of this one he is on now.

Spending fast is over, where's the mall?

So I made it through my 45 days of no spending in the last week or so, well, sort of. There were a couple of slip ups but I think all of my slip ups add up to about maybe $150. There was the wireless modem, the chick flick and box of chocolates, a $2 sweater off the clearance rack, and some over spending on my weekend with my sister from my budgeted $65 (I bought clothes). Other than that the only things that I bought was a new vacuum after the old one started to smell like something burning and the new laminate floor.

All in all I think I did alright. The day after my fast though, there was a little bit of gorging so I have to watch myself on that one. The upside to ending the fast was that during that time there were two accomplishments hit. I paid off a debt during that time. So one payment gone, woo-hoo. And I timed the fast with my donut so that means we hit 20% when the fast ended. 20% of the deployment done is nothing to shake a stick at. It is the first three months down, only 12 months to go, give or take a week or so.

The next milestone is triple digit days. We will hit day 100 soon. Won't that be something? I have to admit the days are doing that speed up thing. We are getting through the days alright, I just would do anything for a little more time. I have accepted the fact that things are not going to calm down any time soon, I am this busy and this is how it is going to stay for the foreseeable future. We'll see what happens during summer, maybe then I'll get some breathing room.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rest in Peace

DD's beta fish Dorothy has passed on. She lived a good full life. A little passed the normal life span of a beta fish of 2-3 years. We got Dorothy at Christmas time 2004. The normal fish in the store is already 6 months old and then we had it three years and three months. That means this fish might have been four years. That would be like adding on 20-30 years to a humans life.

Not only did Dorothy live a long life, she lived a hard one, she was a survivor. The things we did to this fish should have killed it at least four times over. Innie's fish didn't survive the things we did to it but Dorothy did.

There was the time that we had both fish in one of those bowls that just had a divider and we left off the lid once. She actually jumped over the divider to get at Innie's fish. We found them who knows how long later both at the bottom of the bowl obviously very tired and their fins were missing quite a lot of big chunks.

Then their was the time that we left both fish in their respective jars, a la Gil in What About Bob?, as we were moving from VA to TN. We might have accidentally left them in the jars in the trailer in May as we went on vacation to Williamsburg. Dan had to go back to the post one day to out-process and he tried to get to the trailer but it was in the storage lot and to get into you had to check out the key and it wasn't the proper hours. They wouldn't give him the key no matter how Dan explained that children's pets were at stake. One week later we went to the trailer to see what became of the fish and then begin the move to TN. There were two nasty jars and one floater. Innie was a little upset. Especially since DD's fish survived and his didn't.

There was another time I left Dorothy in a jar on our book shelf for a week just two months later. We were going to my sister's house and a friend's house for the week and I put her on the shelf right by the front door so I wouldn't forget to bring her along. I did leave it right where I put it. A week later we had a fish just fine.

We have put this fish through the mill and she just kept kicking. The last few days though I knew it was coming she been swimming real slow and she has been there just sideways in the water. The day finally comes and I try to think of how to tell DD. I hide it for awhile and then finally call her to tell her. I tell her, "I'm sorry DD but your fish died." She instantly goes to see the corpse. And then she comes back to me and says real close to me, "I kind of forgot I had a fish. Are we going to get a new one?" Well, no DD we are not going to get a new one. All we have now is one big-mouth frog and once that one goes we will be a pet free home.

As I was placing Dorothy into her porcelain coffin ready for her grand burial at sea, I thought of taking a picture of it for this post but then thought maybe nobody would really want to see that so with one flick of my wrist, Dorothy was gone.

Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Living room project - Check

All the flooring in our house is going. We have done the kitchen floor, still not quite done with the finishing touches that's why still no pictures even though we started that in November, I haven't even done anything in a month or so. The carpet in the bedrooms and the living room is the wonderful light shade of beige that has picked up everything the former owners even thought of dropping on it, and has great traffic pattern marks. We didn't even have to discuss where to put the couches there was already a spot mapped out for us.

We decided we would put laminate into the living room and hallway and recarpet the stairs and bedrooms. I have been on the look out for a good price on floor for months now and all of a sudden I find it, the perfect shade, and way below our budgeted price. I ended up paying about 30% of what we had budgeted for. Yes! I know everyone loves a deal but this was so sweet. Then at the store they gave me a referral for an installer that they were on good terms with, I call him up and his price is 50% of what we had budgeted, super score. I wasn't in the mood to even attempt putting this floor in by myself.

They came over last Saturday and installed in about four hours. While they were here we talked about a couple other jobs that they will do for me in the future because I really liked their work speed, and prices. So soon, I am getting a new basement door, the thresh hold is too high and makes for one very scary first step, a custom thresh hold into the kitchen since the tile floor is so much higher than the laminate and while they are here next they are just going to nail in the quarter round that I haven't gotten around to in the kitchen and don't have a nail gun to do it anyway. If I have them painted and ready and in place they will just nail them for me, then the kitchen will be practically done. And they moved the furniture back into the living room for me in exchange for me doing the sweeping, like I haven't clean a floor. Moving a couch by myself, that one is a little more tricky.

Last thing, when the contractor walked into the kitchen and saw the tile floor he said, "Wow, this is a nice job, who did this for you?" Man, did that feel good. It felt really good to tell him that my husband and I had done it and it was our first tile floor. Just wanted to brag, now here are some pictorial brags for my new pretty floor.
Here's a good idea of the carpet, just random non-descript stains splattered all over it. Well, no more. He he he.
I had to get a picture of the wonderful entry thingy we had of those sticky vinyl squares. And then surrounded by an elegant trim of metal.
Any suggestion on the mantle, we were thinking about maybe painting it white, what do you think?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary


Daniel and I were married ten years ago today. Most people know that I am not a mushy person and to write a post completely devoted to how much I love my overly-goofy husband just isn't going to happen. He knows how I feel about him and besides he can't even read my blog right now, the government blocks a lot of websites on their computers and he didn't bring one with him so he hasn't read for months.

Ten Years of Marriage simply by the numbers

Ten years=520 weeks

116 weeks pregnant. DD was 1 week early, Innie 3 weeks early.

3 children

65 weeks apart. That does not count missile alerts. When Dan was in the AF he was a missileer and his job required him to be at an alert facility for 24 hours. He would leave in the morning and come home the next late afternoon. He did that eight times a month for 2 years.


13 Addresses/only 2 we have owned

10 wards

6 states, although we lived in 2 states twice, 7 if you count the month we lived with my sister in KY while we were homeless

3 times we have been homeless for more than 2 weeks, every time we lived with family


2 colleges

1 college degree

4 schools Innie has been to, he's in the third grade

3 schools DD has been to, she's in the first grade

(2004 )

2 weeks dating before Dan proposed

32 weeks (about) from meeting to getting married

5 cars

1 that we have bought and finished paying on

3 times we have read The Book of Mormon as a family. We started when Innie was a baby at just one column a night.

That was about all I could think of. Its kind of weird to see the last ten years of our life summed up that way. We've done and accomlished a lot in this past decade, imagine what we could do in the next one.


Monday, March 17, 2008


So one of my children just came up to me to confess of a crime spree. The boys are playing in the backyard and DD comes up to me in a panic and is saying all those will you still love me, will you still forgive me even if I did something very wrong speeches in between her tears. I am not freaking out yet because, one, she is drama, and two, I have the weird ability to completely freak out about a spilled cup at the dinner table and go completely zen when the kids break my brand new $40 vase.

DD finally gets to the meat of the confession and its not pretty, not short, and not even a little recent. And it is not even a little easy to make her make this right. Apparently she stole a crappy little toy from a cousin, sorry Jenny, she will confess this weekend when we come, and while we were cleaning earlier in the week I threw it away. She said nothing as I threw in the trash with the rest of the those weird little toys you accumulate and then periodically trash. She stole a glue stick from a friend's house at the last post and they don't even live there anymore. The last thing to come out of course was the worst. Actual shoplifting. She stole candy. But she doesn't know from where. A store where Daddy was there, and it has grey or black floors that were easy to skate/slide on and we saw her friend from school there, remember? Uh, no.

I just tried to explain to her how bad this was and how hard it is to make it right when you hold it in for so long. But other than just going to a random store and making her pay for candy, I am out of ideas. And also on the "whoa is me" front, I hate having to make these sort of decisions by myself. I have been having problems with DD taking stuff of mine and squirreling it away in her room but I thought we had gotten control of this. I makes me so crazy angry when I think about it.

As she lays there in her own bed in her own room, where she keeps all her girls toys that she doesn't have to share with anyone since she doesn't have any sisters. My kids have activities, satellite TV, nice clothes, decent parents, hot lunches at school, cold lunch when they want that, and the list goes on. They don't have an endless list of toys because we don't think the need that much, we don't buy them all the stuff they ask for, but we do sometimes. They are not beaten, they are loved, they are cared for, even if it is in my weird way. We teach them to be caring people, loving, responsible people. They have chores, they know work. They are not spoiled, they are not Oliver either. I just am not sure how to discipline this when it is something we have always taught to not do. I am frustrated and angry not to mention on my own.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Super-Awesome Weekend

I was getting ready to take DD to the Doctor to check on her ears on Thursday when I get a call from the school that Innie was in the nurse's office complaining of a sore throat but with no fever. You are not supposed to take siblings to doctor's appointments, they don't like you when you do that. So as the compassionate Mom I am I told the nurse to send Innie back to class and tell him to man up. Yes, that was the message I gave to my son who was feeling bad.

Then as I am driving to the school I got the logical brainwave that saved my weekend. If Innie has strep then he has to get on antibiotics right now or he won't be on them long enough and I won't be able to take the kids to Friday Night Out and my sister is coming and our super cool weekend will be ruined. If it is not strep then I will know and then I can definitely tell him to man up. So I called the school and said get Innie ready, I am getting him too.

And just for the record I feel no guilt that what actually got me to get my son to the doctor was the thought that it might ruin my weekend. It was strep, we got the drugs. The doctor couldn't find anything wrong with DD's ears and just told me to try earplugs in the pool from now on. But that Thursday night was so wonderful, since Innie has strep I didn't take the kids to swimming. So that was the first night in I'm not sure how long I didn't have a list of stuff to do. Innie wouldn't be going to school the next day so I pretty much cleared my schedule for Friday. I have never been more relieved to have a sick child in all my life. Thursday night we did nothing, we all watched TV, and just relaxed. I can't even watch TV anymore without doing something else, checking email, cleaning, etc. Thursday night was the exception, we just relaxed. I didn't even turn on the computer all day, it was lovely. Friday was a lot lighter also. I still managed to get Bug to school, the post office, the truck to the shop, and clean the house for my sister coming, but it felt like I had so much time. I didn't do the Y, that always takes a couple hours, and I did my clean and then do something for me thing. You know read a chapter in the book that I am reading and then clean a room, watch a TV show, then clean something else, it keeps me from getting frantic.

Then Friday Night Out came and so did my sister. It turns out that Friday Night Out is kind of a bust, I don't think I'll ever do that again. It is 6pm-10pm and it took me 30 minutes to check them in, 15 minutes to get home to meet up with my sister and then you cannot be late even 1 minute to pick them up, they will charge you $1 a minute per child, and my kids are kept in three different locations. So it takes 30 minutes to pick them up. At Bug's place they didn't even start letting us in on time. It was very frustrating. I am not try to be ungrateful its just that once I got home and put the kids in bed it was 10:30pm, way past bedtime and the kids were very wound up. I just think that for the basically 3 hours that I did get, it was a lot of work and I am not sure it was worth it. For a late Friday night out with friends or my sister it would be easier to pay a sitter then they can help me get them home. At least then kids get to bed on time and I don't have over-tired kids on my hands, all that drive time wasted, and all that stress that I can't be late.

All that aside it was way fun with my sister. Shopping, eating out, hot tub, swimming, and just taking our time on Saturday to do whatever we want. And I found a loop-hole for my spending fast to pay for it all. I got a rebate check from one of the credit cards and a reimbursement from some stuff I got for cub scouts, so I just cashed them and saved it for this weekend. I did buy one thing thought the normal way, a vacuum, as I was vacuuming on Friday it started to smell like burning machine. This vacuum is nine years old and we bought it for $80 so I think we got our money's worth. So I got a new one and then for fun went over all the areas that I had just vacuumed. The canister was so gross, it was full of dust and sand, and not a little bit of dust bunnies, it was a dust bunny colony. Ewww. But I did at least feel a little better knowing that it was up and off the floor.

Yeah clean floor and fun weekend.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Snapshot of one busy day

I jam pack my Wednesdays being that I put bug in the extended care at the preschool which that reminds me I don't think I paid for it today, oh well, I'll add it to the list. I try to save as many of my errands for Wednesday so as to not have to drag him along and because I can go so much faster without him. For some reason today seemed a little on the full side and it just got away from me no matter how hard I tried.

My day started 20 minutes earlier because Dan called, don't mind that one. I stilled laid in bed and read until the alarm went off. Our phone calls are typically only ten minutes long, when he doesn't have a phone card, which right now he doesn't. Morale calls, where he can call for free are timed calls and they are ten minutes.

7:30-8:30am get kids on bus or to school

8:45-10:30am swim and hot tub

10:45-11:00am make appt. to get truck to shop on Friday, the interior is leaking

11:00am-12:30pm shower and lunch/read book while eat

12:30pm-12:45pm while in car to post make calls to find place for boys while I take DD to doctor's tomorrow, she is having weird ear symptoms

12:45pm-1:30pm go to storage place to pay up and put new tags on trailer

1:30pm-2:15pm commissary still on the phone

2:30pm pick up Bug

2:45pm-3:30pm unload groceries, go to scout store to buy boats for regatta

3:30pm-6:00pm prepare for scouts, make dinner for missionaries, try to clean the house, feed the sisters, send them on their way

6:00pm-7:00pm took the kids to a $5 show, the car wash, Bug told the other kids all about the magical land of the car wash and they begged me to take them when I went next to wash the car.

7:00pm-9:00pm Scouts and melting crayons, putting the kids to bed

9:00pm sitting down on the couch for the first time, ahhh

I'm so tired. Thursday and Friday are just as busy, but Friday Night Out and Super Saturday are coming, yeah!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Icky Post


This post is not for the squeamish, I mean it. You've been warned. And besides it's embarrassing, but I've gone beyond that haven't I?

So I go to the Y everyday right? I don't know why but every time I get there nature calls. I am a creature of habit and I guess since I get there at the same time every day my body is very regular now. Maybe I just have a good diet right now, I'll just be grateful for that. I meant it when I said not for the squeamish. So I even go to the same stall everyday. I do my business get done and flush. Nothing doing, toilets hate me. I thought it was just my house but no the Y is in on the conspiracy now too. And no lie, I had my ipod on and the chorus of the song playing at the time was...

...thinking why does this happen to me, why does every moment have to be so hard...

So it wasn't pretty, my situation. I instantly put my feet back into forward facing position so no one will get any clue of anything amiss and weigh my options. There don't seem to be many. There are only four stalls and it's a small locker room. Do I just walk out, go get help, try to flush again and risk a flood? The bowl eventually drains completely and it looks now even more disgusting that way. I risk another flush. The bowl just fills again and I hold my breath ready to bolt and the slightest sign of overflow, it will not take me down with it. It doesn't. Feet back into position, ipod is now paused, I weigh options again.

I am now just standing in the stall listening to the locker room chatter paralyzed. Then the stall next to me is occupied and emptied and I just stand there. Next thing I know the locker room is quiet. So I did what any one of you would have done, and I defy you to contradict me.

I ran.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I have three reasons to be proud, my three kids, but lets be more specific.

Innie: Used the connective today correctly in a sentence all on his own in conversation.

DD: Sang and followed along with a Hymn today in church without my help.

Bug: I heard him singing a Ramones song to himself while playing with his toys, "Beat on the brat, beat on the brat, beat on the brat with a baseball bat, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh oh."

Now I know the first two are good little mommy reasons to be pleased with your kids but Bug singing that punk song filled me with just as much pleasure as if he had sung that Hymn with DD. I have been trying to figure out what that says about me. Besides the fact that I really dig punk and The Ramones. Is there something wrong with me enjoying listening to my four-year request the bat song when we get in the car?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snow - A Comparision

Now I don't want to be all snobby, I survive four winters in Northa Dakota so TN is whatever but these people are a little wimpy. We are on Snow Day four, people, Day five if your want to get technical. The technical part is this is a Saturday so school isn't cancelled but they cancelled Super Saturday. However, for TN this is the only day that I will conceed that they could have called...

If you remember I not only have the front steps I have steps that lead around to the side where the garage it so this is a good 4-6 inches. And it is March. Although they ended school two hours early because of one inch of snow. The rest of this stuff came during the night and the children couldn't be happier. They miss ND as much as we do. DD has been comlaining since our first winter in VA and she realized there were places that didn't get snow during the winter. She comes to me one day, Virginia is so boring they don't get snow. When they saw how much snow there was this morning, it was one bowl of cereal for them all and bring on the snow clothes woman. The screen door pushed some snow out of the way and Innie instantly said, this is just like North Dakota. I don't think I'll be seeing them much today, so I won't be too upset about SS being cancelled.

Here are some pictures of previous snow days we have had here. No I am not kidding.

Is that a big scary patch of ice or snow? No a preemptive salting for an ice storm we were going to get. The next day our street was well-prepared for the down pur of rain that wash all that salt down the gutter.

Here is the snowfall that the kids got to play in that they then tracked mud and grass into my kitchen. And it was melted by the time school would've been out.
In ND, in three and a half years we saw two snow days. Both were tail end storms. One in the beginning of October and one in April. The one in October snowed us in because of the falling trees not the snow. The leaves hadn't fallen yet so the trees couldn't take the weight. The road were impassable based off the tree limbs. The April storm was a few feet that hit us after the melt had already started so you can give us that one. I couldn't find the picture of the neighborhood with all the fallen trees, which actually we were spared. We had smart trees that always lost their leaves a few weeks before all the others, the first fall this happened we thought our trees were sick, then that storm hit and we loved our trees, all nine mature of them. But I did find the one of that April storm.

The picture on the right might require a little explanation. That is our walk and front step which was three steps. That little piece of grey you see just next to the vertical line is the front porch and the snow still went above that, that's a snow day. And the other picture shows the snow up to Dan's knee and its still snowing, he just started shoveling before it got too much for him to handle, it was only like 1o am. It kept snowing all day, he had that much to shovel the next day.

One last thing on this "storm" here. It was really just a normal snow. I have been feeling for days this undescribed anxiety. Just that slight balloon swelling in my chest every now and then for no reason. The kids are good, I am keeping on top of everything (as much as can be expected), and I hear from Dan regularly as possible. It's just a nagging in the back of the head that I've come the accept that comes with the deployment territory. For some reason over the past few days it's been a little stronger. So with the snow coming and anticipating SS being cancelled, I spent some money. I rented some movies and the kids and I had movie night last night. But after I got home from getting Bug from school and before getting the other two from school ie opening the front door, I had a wonderful calming moment. I sat on the front couch and watched the snow which was falling at a respectable rate and looked at my still neighborhood. I sat there for 45 minutes, reading a book, watching the snow. Lorelai would be proud of my awe for snow and the power it had over this Southern California girl yesterday. But today the stillness remains and I don't mind that SS is cancelled, it was my work one anyway, and the calm that snow brings has descended.

Even if it's because everyone here is too afraid to drive in it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My evil plan worked

I have been doing reading time with the kids for a while now. I have not been consistent with it though until Dan left. Now almost every evening after dinner we do reading time. 20-25 minutes of sitting on the living room couches reading books they have dragged up from the basement. We do it in the living room because in theory that is the calm adult room. No TV, not kid proof, almost always nice room. So they must sit there and just read. Sometimes I let them read to Bug as their reading time but normally I just make Bug look at books. It is the time that I mostly clean the kitchen.

Most nights I set a timer to keep the questions of Are we there yet at bay. Some nights I don't so maybe they won't notice I kept them at it for 30 minutes. Every single night the second I say alright you can be done, they get up and put their books away.

Not tonight, both Innie and DD asked if they could finish their books first. Mind you, Innie was reading a Calvin and Hobbes book but I really don't care right now, reading is reading. I really enjoy Innie reading Calvin, that boy needs a mischievous influence, he is too freaky good sometimes. DD was reading a Dr. Suess book, they have been celebrating his birthday at school and so she is all stoked to read his books. Right now Innie is still reading.

Evil genius.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Gingerbaby's Deployment Adventure

DD had a school assignment where she had to decorate a Gingerbread Baby. Then she was to mail to someone who would take it on an adventure and mail it back with pictures and a story. DD wanted to mail it to Daddy and was so excited to recieve a five page story back with a ton of pictures. Daddy made sure Gingerbaby had the best adventure a piece of paper ever had.
Dan wasn't able to take pictures at his desk where he works so he sat at someone else's desk so DD could have an idea of what he does, sit at a desk.
Dan was taking a picture here with all the deserts when someone asked him what he was doing. Once he explained, Ginger was immediately invited by that person who happened to be on a flight crew onto their next flight.
On her flight, over some famous mountain range. I am sure you've all heard of. Some guy was once thought to be hiding there for a while.
The crew that invited Ginger along, they even made up a cerificate for DD thanking her for loaning them Gingerbaby and giving them some fun. Ginger would then go onto a helicopter ride, and the nation's captitol before taking her trip back to DD's school to make her report. DD was so excited.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

All the stuff I normally wouldn't do that I did

So, not surprising I didn't get all that stuff done. However, I still did get some stuff done. I enjoyed my extra day. I watched a couple movies while I repaired blankets that badly needed repair. Finished DD's blanket and with extra fabric from the blanket, actually a quillow, I made two pillows and a scarf. She has slept with them all both nights since then. I got my bed all washed and flipped and set back up again. One of the blankets that I repaired was the extra comforter that I keep on my bed since I get much colder at night without Dan, he has a much higher body temp than me and so I can always snuggle up to him if I get cold. Without my heater in bed, I need to have an extra blanket. I am sure you all wanted to know about Dan's abnormally high body temp.

Anyway, I didn't get Innie's scout patches, I hope to before Wednesday, its Blue and Gold banquet time. And no other sewing done but I left the machine out so I'll get around to it. And I had a wonderful date with Innie. We saw The Spiderwick Chronicles, which he said didn't scare him at all and ate at Fazoli's. The younger two ended up not going to Friday Night Out, a friend called and invited DD to come play instead of going there. When it came time to take her, Bug was not excited about having to go to the Day Care while DD played at a friends and ended up wrangling himself an invitation since there is a friend his age there also. So everyone ended up with a really great night.

I hope everyone had a great extra day and enjoy my brag pictures.

Although, it's not so great when you look at my bed, it always looks so pathetic without a headboard, ten years into this thing and we still haven't got one. I will put that on the list.