About Me

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Like all of you, I'm a number of things to a number of people...Navy wife, homeschooling mama, educated woman and aspiring writer. Read my thoughts on all of it here. Please feel free to leave your thoughts on all of it too!

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Do any of you remember the Dinosaurs? It was a TV show back in the day, I'm not really sure what day...but when I was younger and lived with my parents, probably a decade and a half ago. "Not the Mama!" Remember? Anyway, whether or not you remember it, the dinosaurs had small brains and would sit around the table and think. I can't remember what they were mulling over, but I do remember that Mom mentioned one time that our family was similar, in that way, to the Dinosaurs. I think she meant the comtemplating. We think a lot. Maybe too much. Who really knows. But, it's what we do.

Anyway, I think I passed this thoughtful gene to my kids. Here are some things we've pondered recently:
  • I've considered how and when to get my hair done...maybe this week.
  • Jace wondered if clicking his heels together would get him back to snow...sadly, it doesn't work.
  • Tyler just doesn't understand why I keep covering my boobs up...he's just going to come back.
  • Gracie questioned what would happen if she bit into her apple and the wall cracked....

What do you sit and think about?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Career Choices

My kids are always discussing what they might be when they grow up. I don't know why they're so focused on it, but it makes for great entertainment for me!

Jace, now 5 years old, has remained pretty steady in his desire to be a community helper. I think that's a term he got from school, but it covers his dream jobs: fire fighter, policeman, tow truck driver, or teacher. Scott and I aren't discounting prophet (if that counts as a job) because he talks to God quite often and tells stories with his hands. We call his hands paws and they command your attention. We'll see where life takes him.

Gracie wants to do everything. Last night she said, "I want to do all the jobs! I'll be a mama, ..." I don't know what she said after that. I was so excited that she considers being a mama a job! I hear that message from others, but hearing it from my child's mouth make me feel special and like we're doing something right. Even though I tuned out for the rest of her list last night, I'm sure it includes her stand-bys: dentist, princess fire fighter, having 62 car transporter and dump trucks. The girl's got goals!

Tyler may be telling us his dreams, but we don't understand anything but mama and dada yet. So he could be anything, well, almost anything. We have two rules regarding career choices in our house: If you want to be a gansta, rapper, or anything else that normally requires your pants hanging off your butt you have to make enough to support us in old age before you indulge in that sad look. Wear a belt, bust a rhyme, then you can let it all hang out! Secondly, no car sales, please. We're just not fond of them. (No offense intended.) Time will tell with them all.

In fact, Scott and I really don't know what we'll do when we grow up either. We're still exploring possibilities. The only thing we know for sure...we're keeping our jobs as parents. If only they came with income.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rhyme With Tar

Apparently it's not politically correct to give Kindergartener's home work. Jace has fun work, which is fun for him. He looks forward to it and frequently will do extra.

Tonight's fun work was to make a list of words that rhyme with "tar." I immediately thought of car, bar, far. Jace asked how to spell guitar. Then he asked how to spell bizarre! Then he thought of park and said, "No, that won't work because it ends with a k. But it's stuck in my brain. Move on, brain!" He eventually thought of the lowly 3-letter words I'd come up with and made his list.

Next time you get stuck trying to think of something...just cheer yourself on...you'll get it! And if you do it out loud, you can entertain the rest of us in the process.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Why beat around the bush? We all do it. Fart. Pass gas. Pfoot. I've heard it called many things but there's no denying it happens. Interestingly, I didn't know much about flatulence until I got to college. We didn't talk about gas in our house growing up. If someone let something slip it was completely ignored, smelly or not. I honestly don't remember letting anything slip until my college roommate opened my eyes to the world of passing gas. She laughed at me when I told her I didn't do that. I was mildly hurt at the time, but thinking about how much I "do that" now...it's absolutely hilarious to think I didn't fart in my first 18 years! Of course, maybe that's why there's so much now...

Anyway, enough about me. This is actually about Gracie. My sweet little girl knows nothing of etiquette yet. She absolutely loves dresses and purses but wants to wear them while she drives her jeep and wrestles with her big brother. So, when it comes to passing gas she doesn't say "excuse me" discreetly after. Instead she usually announces, "That was me!" She'll tell us what it smells like, usually a skunk. She'll tell us what it sounded like, maybe like a trumpet.

Last night, my poor little girl was full of gas. She stopped eating her snack because her tummy was so bloated it hurt her. When she finally started farting, and feeling better, she'd run from wherever she was to celebrate her accomplishment! My favorite one was when she ran through the house cheerfully yelling, "I sounded like a horse! My fart went fffsshllsfff!" Now I attempted to spell that...but know that I was not at all successful. That vowel-less fake word is meant to sound something like a horse snorting, you know...when they blow air between their lips and it vibrates and they shake their heads...that noise. Gracie ran through the house to tell me she sounded like a horse's snort. It was very funny, especially since she was relieving that abdominal pressure that made her tummy hurt. I was quite proud of her.

Next time you relieve a little pressure yourself, take a page from Gracie's book, and revel in your toots instead of blaming the dog.

Friday, January 23, 2009


It's that season...colds are rampant. Before the holidays the kids all went through some variation of the sniffles or congestion or runny/crusty eyes. That wasn't so fun. Now no one really has a cold, but there seem to be boogers in everyone's noses.

Jace is starting to catch his finger wandering to his nose and go for a tissue instead. That'll make a mommy proud.

Gracie isn't quite there yet. The other day at the store she was chewing on something and I told her not to pick food up off the floor. (Yes, that was my first thought...we're still working on that as well as nose-picking.) She explained that it wasn't off the floor, it was a booger. Is that better or worse?

And Tyler. I don't know why, but he likes to chew on the booger-sucker. I think it's actually called something else, but at our house that little bulb thing you get from the hospital when you have a baby is called by it's function: booger-sucker. He, like most babies, I think, is not a fan of having his boogers sucked and I usually have to hold him down with one of my arms over his chest and my elbow on the side of his head. That sounds so much worse than I hope it really is.

Boogers, snot, nose mucous...whatever you call it...colds are in the air. And allergy season will be starting soon here in Georgia. I have to go blow my nose.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Casserole Updated

You may have heard that the definition of casserole is "all the things your children like in one dish and won't eat." I don't know who said that, but it's brilliant. I wish it weren't so true, though, since casseroles are easy to make, to bake, and to freeze. They're everything busy mom's look for in a meal. I've got good news, though. I've stumbled on three other options that my kids will actually eat: the soup, the salad, and the quesadilla.

My mom used to make leftover soup, and to this day it's one of my favorite comfort foods. I made it one night with little hope that the kids would eat it. They've become quite picky in their food choices. I was looking forward to this childhood favorite though. And, lo and behold, they enjoyed their soup and asked for more! After that I discovered they'll eat things that they normally like even after I put them in broth. Occasionally I puree a little something to add extra umph, like sweet potatoes or butternut squash, and as long as they never see it, they don't notice.

When we were first married, Scott had a mental block to meat on salad. To him salad was a side dish and even if there was an entire chicken breast on the salad he scoured the cupboards after dinner for something to fill him up. He's now logged enough hours at the table to realize he's really not hungry after a meal of Chicken Cesear Salad. Our kids have the opposite problem. If I put steak next to the salad they taste it, make yucky faces, and spit it out. If I chunk up that same meat and put it on top of the lettuce with sugar snap peas, carrots and dressing they gobble it up. Gracie enjoys a little cucumber on hers from time to time as well.

Lastly, the quesadilla has become a dumping ground for meats and veggies of all sorts. We've tried pepperoni, chicken, sausage, ham, turkey, broccoli, corn, mushrooms, and spinach. Don't overfill them...if the insides fall out and the kids can tell they're eating something green you might be done for. Also, I suggest adding cheese (it helps hold everything in, and it's yummy) and having the appropriate dipping sauce. My children enjoy ranch, blue cheese, spaghetti or pizza sauce, and guacamole.

Hopefully you too can find comfort in leftover soup or some other throw-it-all-in meal if your kids are like mine and can't even be bribed to eat a casserole.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I love hugs. Tyler is just getting to that stage where he comes to me out of the blue and hugs me. And he's not just giving quick little hugs. He lays his head on my shoulder and puts his arms around me and squeezes. Sometimes he even pats my back a little. It's so sweet.

I don't just love to get Tyler's hugs, though. I love watching him hug Daddy. Tyler's breastfed by his stay at home mother. He probably has less than 24 hours away from me in his one year of life. So, snuggling with Daddy is new...and wonderful to see. Precious is probably the best description.

There are other wonderful huggers in my life too. Jace and Gracie still hug me before bed and after naps. Sometimes they even sit still long enough that we can have a good cuddle, like Titi Monkeys. I just learned about them. They spend a lot of time hugging, with even their tails curled together. That just seems like a positive and wonderful thing to me.

Scott also hugs me, or lets me hug him. I'm not really sure which, and don't care either way. I love hugs and like to share a good embrace with anyone in my wonderful family. So go wrap your arms around someone you love and feel the warmth it brings...love me a good snuggle!

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Life on Canvas

I was wondering what painting might represent my life right now. If I were talented with a brush, what colors might I layer on canvas? Would I go for realistic or abstract forms? Would I want people to look at the painting of me and catch their breath with awe, furrow their brows while pondering the meaning? What is my life?

The pictures that came to my mind were perfectly strong, joyful, and uplifting. Just thinking about it makes me smile. I wish I did have some ability to sketch, draw, something...so that I could show you all what I see my life as. Since I'm not, I'll try to paint a masterpiece in words.

I was flying. I was me, covered in colorful, warm robes. They felt comfortable. I was looking forward, not up to the incredible sky above me or down to the patchwork of earth below. I was looking ahead, to my future. My hair was flowing wildly in the wind. I was smiling, not a practiced, picture perfect smile, but one that someone might catch on a teenagers face while she was daydreaming of her young love.

The sky around my was bright, but not blinding. The sun was above, and it's warmth all around, but the direct glare was hidden by one of many clouds scattered higher than my path. There were shadows behind me, in my past, but even they felt calm. Nothing spooky lingered anywhere in the frame.

Under me was a quilt of scenery. There were lush meadows of simple flowers, and water flowing in rivers, over falls, and resting in ponds. Snow capped mountains grew up next to small cities of silver buildings. Neighborhoods of homes with fenced green yards settled near great forests with tall trees. All of this was tiny, small, difficult to focus on. It seemed unimportant, but was so detailed it obviously was.

Noticeable from the ground were thin ribbons, that looked like light breaking through the clouds, but when followed, instead came from me. These ribbons were less like ties that held me down and more like tethers that lifted me like a kite, but grounded me firmly to my life.

Ahead of me, almost beyond my view, the colors lightened. They became so pale they faded to blank canvas, to a future not yet painted.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Who needs a gym?

Free weights? Kickboxing? Who needs it? Try grocery shopping with kids. It's a wonderful wholistic work out.

You think I'm kidding, don't you? I'm not.

Let's start in the parking lot with some stretching. First, I get my wrap out and hold Tyler, my 1-year-old son, against my chest while putting the wrap around him, under his arms and over my shoulders. Then I lean back a little and to each side to reach the straps that are hanging behind me and pull them around me to make an "X" on my back, hoping my shirt is semi-smooth and not showing rolls of...well, blubber that I use to stay warm in the cooler months. I have to hold Tyler with one hand and, using the other hand, feed the straps between his legs, through some loops, and back behind me to tie in a tight bow. Whew!

After that warm up, I gather the older two kids, Jace and Gracie, who are 5-years-old and 3-years-old respectively. I carry the diaper bag and eco-friendly canvas bags and hold Gracie's hand. Jace usually leads the way across the parking lot and to the store.

Thankfully the store has those space ship carts, or buggies, as they say in the South. I don't know what mama's did back in the day when all the kids had to walk! I don't want to think about it. Jace gets my heart pumping for the aerobic portion of my workout by climbing into the space ship himself. Then I pick Gracie up and set her in there too. Did I mention that Gracie is almost 40 pounds and 41 inches tall? For those of you not familiar with 3-year-olds, she's tall...just about as tall as the average 5-year-old. Jace is tall, too, but luckily I don't have to lift him that often.

Now that everyone's settled in their places its off through the store. First stop - the deli, then the produce section...usually by the time we get to the condiments, somebody has to go pee. I must admit that sometimes it's even me. Now, a trip to the bathroom involves hauling the kids out of the space ship, and out of the space ship is one of those unlucky times I lift Jace too. Then we walk the two or three aisles to the restrooms, then back to the cart. Breathe deep while Jace climbs in. Lift Gracie on the count of three. Back to the grocery list!

In order to get about 25-40% of my list (no, I didn't actually do the math...I'm just guesstimating) I need to squat down to the bottom shelf, get the goods, and get back up. That's with an over 20 pound child chest to chest with me. That'll really get the heart pumping.

In the middle of the store I do a slow sprint. Those are the aisles the health experts tell you to avoid, but I still go up and down each one. I move quickly, but slow enough that I can stop for Diet Mt. Dew or Sun Chips if they catch my eye. Usually during this phase of my workout I notice that Tyler's sleeping peacefully. That discovery fills me with a mixture of jealousy and adoring love. Who knew grocery shopping was so emotional?

Towards the end of the store I find that the cart getting very full. That's the only downfall I've found of the space ship cart...the cart part isn't as large as a regular one. Nothing is perfect. With this lack of space for things like diapers and cereal I now have to bend down, with a sleeping 20-something pound weight strapped to me, to start loading the rack underneath the basket. It's usually around now that the older kids have reached their limit and start working my patience out too. That leads to exercising my creativity in silly children's games. I told you this work out was wholistic.

After we think the shopping is over, I check my list and naturally we have to go back to the first half of the store for something. After that lap we wait in line for the cashier and I rock Tyler to keep him cozy. Then begins the final push: unloading the cart, that's a few dozen twists, turns, and deep knee bends. All this without waking Tyler while keeping Jace and Gracie content and quiet, as quiet as kids can be after over an hour in a store.

Our grocery store has very helpful baggers that take my groceries out and load them into the car for me. Bless them.

My trip to the gym, er...grocery store is capped off with a quiet ride home. Everybody else gets to rest. I usually cool down with some good music and a piece of chocolate that I snuck onto the conveyer when the kids weren't looking. What? Doesn't everyone reward a good work out with a tasty treat?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Parental Pride

Tonight I had a parent/teacher conference. Jace is doing great! I'm so excited for him. He loves school, loves to read, loves to write stories and draw pictures. He likes patterns, learning about coins, telling the weather and the time. His teacher truly enjoys him.

I'm just thrilled and hope his excitement continues throughout the next twelve years or so. That's not too much to ask, right?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Man Down

Poor Tyler. He's the youngest and gets all the hand-me-downs. Plus he was born in December, not in the spring like his big brother and sister, so nothing fits quite right. Of course, the fact that he is 1 year old with legs too short for 9 month infant clothes, a torso too long for 12 month shirts, and a head too large for 18 month neck holes leaves him with some very weird outfit options!

Anyway, here he is moments after we stood him in the snow for the first time. Luckily he had fun in the sled and loved going fast, despite the possibility of whiplash the way his brother yanked on the rope! There's nothing better than watching your children play together, in the snow or sun, and hearing their giggles.


Tyler really is a little monkey. We have a bow flex in the living room. At this point its more of a conversation piece than a workout tool for me, but Scott still uses it. And Tyler is apparently ready to get started. It's a new year, after all!

A few days ago, Scott walked into the room and found him standing on it bouncing. Today he climbed up on it several times and fell off three times that I saw. He's just so good at climbing now, and quick. I can't get to him before he tries to get down and run away...so he ends up knocking his noggin on something. Good thing he's got a check up with the doctor tomorrow.