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!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Can We All Get Along?

Lately I've been wondering if people should hang out with like minded people or surround themselves with a variety of opinions and beliefs.

There's one argument that I'm bouncing around that says our acquaintances should be those with similar values. It's handy to have our views supported and reinforced. But every time I think that I immediately counter it with the thought that if we're only around those who think like us then there's no growth.

I guess a balance could be the goal.

I asked Scott about it and his comment was, "Similar goals with different strategies works best." I think he's on to something for getting things done, but what about socially, when there aren't any goals except having a good time and enjoying each other's company?

Should Christians only hang with Christians? Can liberals and conservatives share a meal without arguing? Should they?

Maybe as long as there's respect among friends it's not only acceptable but desirable to have different viewpoints. I think so, at least. It probably also depends on what your hot-button issues are. Maybe disagreeing on that issue won't be so healthy for a connection.

Maybe there really is no formula and I'm just pondering to ponder. What do you think?

I don't know if there's a good answer or even if there's only one answer, but it's just something that's been on my mind.

Ever Wonder on a Wednesday?

I have. I wonder just about every day of the week! I'm very curious. Apparently so are my children. They ask the most intriguing questions. Do you have any answers?

What if there were hand fairies and we lost our hands? What would the hand fairy leave us?

Should you use your turn signal in a turn only lane?

If the whale shark is really a fish, why do they call it a whale shark?

Why do I have to go to bed early?

Why can't I go to bed early?

Why don't people take better care of themselves?

How do people get to be so selfish?

These are just a few of the questions that have wandered around our house this last week. What do you wonder about?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Setting Me Straight

Jace is smart. He's got bright blue eyes that shine with glee every time he proves that to me. Sadly, he leaves me standing there with no comeback all too often.

One of the first times this happened was several months ago when I was making dinner and he was ready for it long before it was ready for him. He sat out in the dining room and cried that he was hungry and begging me to hurry up. He wasn't being very nice about it either. I told him it was his choice to sit there are cry and whine and wait, so he needed to be quiet. He corrected me, saying, "No, it wasn't my choice to wait." Luckily I was in the kitchen with my back turned so he didn't see any of the many reactions that crossed my astonished and amused face!

Today he got me again. Earlier when I went into the garage I found a brink in there, on one of their toys. I figured Jace was the culprit. When we got home from the bus stop this afternoon I asked him about it. He admitted it, but didn't see the problem.

"What makes you think you can dig up bricks out of the backyard and play with them anyway?" I asked.

He nonchalantly responded, "It's only one brick."

Again...so true. What do I say back. "You know what I mean," isn't going to cut it with this kid.

"They'll carry your kids away!"

When we found out we were moving to Georgia several people told us that the bugs here were big enough to fly away with our kids. That didn't sound fun, but I haven't really experienced that...until today.

Don't get me wrong, there are bugs here...lots of them. There are crawling things of every shape and size that antagonized me for the first several months, until I figured out the importance of having a bug control company come in every few months. I've never had to do that before. Then there are the millions of annoying little gnats that don't bite, but pester like no other. And we can't forget the sand gnats that do bite...there are millions of those too. Love bugs fascinate me during their brief stint as the most populous in the spring, I think it is. And I did see a giant horse fly a year or so ago. It was easily the size of a quarter. Giant. But there was just one...he wouldn't have gotten too far with any of our kids...they're big too!

But, today...this morning at the bus stop, the mosquitoes were out in force. They were so big. They didn't even bother landing on your skin...they went right through your clothes to bite you. Jace and Gracie watched Tyler and I (I was holding Tyler and covering him as much as possible) and I watched them. We were constantly swatting at the quick little buggers. They were everywhere and, did I mention, they were big. One landed on me and I could see his little eyes smirk at me before I squashed him and got bug guts all over my shirt. Gracie had one land in between the straps of her sandal so we couldn't get to it easily...big and good at their bloody sucking jobs! And poor Jace went to school itching his legs, which now have blood mixed with mosquito bits and pieces smeared across them.

We made it, though. We have bites and smears, yes, but Jace got safely on the bus and Tyler, Gracie and I made it back home. No one got carried away. Whew! But it was close ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

There's always an excuse...

When I was in high school I used my parents as an excuse when I didn't want to do something. A few times I even said to someone on the phone, "That sounds like fun. Hold on while I ask. (Pause) Man, I'm sorry. Mom says I can't go. Yeah I don't know why...but I can't. Sorry." Whew...got out of that!

In college I used my sister's history and extended family as an excuse. The story is that Jody, my older sister, and her best friend decided to spend the night at a hotel a few hours away from home when they were seniors in high school. As far as everyone knows they didn't misbehave in any other way than they weren't where they said they'd be. As it happens there was a sign in log at the hotel and the next person to sign in recognized the name and asked my uncle what his niece was doing there. I went to college only an hour from home, so if I really didn't want to do something I'd rationalize that someone in my family (there are a total of 16 aunts and uncles, not counting spouses) could very easily know someone who would see me out and about.

Growing up, having family to lean on as a way to get out of things I didn't want to do was probably healthy...until I could simply say no on my own.

Now, though, I'm using my kids as an excuse. "I can't walk as much as I want because Gracie gets tired and Tyler wants to eat and Jace wants to ride his bike and..." Blah. Blah. Blah.

I like walking. I should be walking. Ask any doctor. Whether that doctor knows me or not, he or she will tell you I should be walking. So, today we went for a walk. It wasn't an hour long, peaceful, thought-provoking stroll for me...the kind I like. But it was a walk. The kids weren't happy. One was thirsty, one was hungry, one was just plain miserable (read tired and fighting it) but I enjoyed myself. I really did. Perhaps not as much as if I'd been on my own and I didn't get as much of a workout as I could have speed-walking by myself...but it was good.

So, no more excuses. I'm a big girl (who's trying to get smaller). The kids can blame me to get out of things, but I won't blame them any more.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tooth Tales

Jace is growing up. You probably could have figured that out on your own, especially considering the amount he's been eating. Yesterday he said, "I wish I could eat all the time. I could just live at the store and eat the food. If it was frozen pizza I wouldn't even cook it. I'd eat it cold and then eat something warm after it so I wasn't cold." He's thought this through! Anyway, that's not even why I say he's growing up, today. Today it's because he's lost his first two teeth!

Two days ago we didn't know teeth fell out at this age. Jace calmly told me his teeth were wiggly and I hopped on www.ask.com to find out if they should be. Sure enough, he's the perfect age. Once he found out it was okay, he wiggled them with his tongue, his fingers, his food...anything he could. Yesterday he got tired of waiting and pulled them out! I think (I hope) they were ready, but he was so excited! Got $1.25 from the tooth fairy too! He plans to purchase some candy with it sometime soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Growing Boy

I've heard that teenage boys will eat you out of house and home...no one warned me about almost 6 year old boys! Jace's birthday is next month and I'm convinced that he's going to eat until he gets all his new birthday clothes and then shoot up right out of them!

He's been asking his sister if he can finish whatever she doesn't want. I've caught him eating food that Tyler has thrown on the floor around his high chair. Not more than five minutes after we finish a meal, he's hungry again. It's been going this way for over a week, but it's starting to get really crazy!

Right now he's eating more than I am! The funny thing is that Scott and I are keeping track of our points on the Weight Watchers program, so Jace asks how many points everything he eats is worth! At least he wants to eat me out of house and home in a healthy manner!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Planners Caught Off Gaurd

Scott and I are planners. We have ideas and goals for next month, next year, and ten years down the road. When there's nothing else to talk about we go over something again. As soon as we find out something is a possibility we start researching options. I like options.

Even planners can't think of everything, though.

We're headed to Disney in November. We've known this was our goal for a few months and I've been talking to people, checking out the website, comparing prices and deals. My focus, though, was our trip to Atlanta last weekend.

Today I called a representative from Disney to ask a few questions and found out that plan A, staying at the campground, was already off the table! I figured six months out would be plenty of time...that's what I read. Come to find out, though, you can book up to a year ahead for holidays, like Thanksgiving. Luckily, the friendly and helpful woman on the other end of the line had another idea and it looks like we'll be staying in connecting rooms! What a brilliant plan. I'm glad I called her!

So, moral of the story is...planning is great. Rolling with the changes is essential to any good plan.

November is on...watch out Disney World...here we come!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mini Vaca

We are a military family that doesn't live near the extended branches of either side. So, when it comes time for vacation its usually back home to New York to visit with all three sets of parents and however many grandparents, siblings, aunt, uncles and cousins we can fit into a week or two. We usually cram a few high school and college friends into the high impact workout too. We like to keep it interesting!

This weekend, though, we took a little three day getaway. It's the second time we've done so. We went to Sea World almost two years ago. We enjoyed the trip, but haven't had a chance to repeat it since. Now that we hear we're likely going back to Washington State in a year we want to fit in as much as we can see before we leave the area.

Our mini vacation took us to Atlanta this time. Its a 5-hour drive, easily broken up with lunch on the way. Of course the kids love eating out and consider that part of the trip. I love that they're so easy at this age! We stayed at a hotel near Centennial Park, which was wonderful to walk through and play in. But the focus of our trip was the Georgia Aquarium. And it was great!

Jace got a book about sharks last year and reads it often. He tells me little facts every so often, but I learned a lot as soon as her saw the whale shark...his favorite! He might work at this or some other aquarium some day...or in the ocean! He "can't wait to get his hands on a whale shark!" I don't doubt that he might.

Gracie loved the beluga whales...and they were pretty cool. They danced to the music playing and came right up to the glass the kids were standing at. It was really neat to see them up close and personal! Tyler loved being able to run around and point at whatever was behind the glass and grunt! That's his thing...pointing and grunting.

We did find a fish, though, that reminded us of Tyler. I'm not sure what it's actually called, but our family fondly calls it the Tyler Fish. Tyler has been known to bump his head...at least weekly. He falls off tables, couches, and chairs. He stands up and hits his head on dressers. He slips while running or just falls over. He's a wreck. But he's a cute wreck! He's had a bruised bump on his forehead for what seems like months now, which is why this fish is named after him.

At the end of the day, we really enjoyed the aquarium, the park, the hotel, and dinner at Ted's Montana Grill! The trip was a success and a well-deserved break from day to day life. Hopefully we'll be off on another adventure sooner rather than later!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fun monkey stuff...

This week my children have provided me with lots to laugh at. Here's a list:

Earlier this week we were at the mall and Gracie (3) annouced that she really liked this one outfit because "It's so chic!"

Jace (5) and I make dinner together on Thursday nights. Last night Gracie said, "You guys did a good job on the toast and eggs but I thought the cheese was a little liquidy. You should use real cheese next time." (The recipe we'd made used canned cheddar cheese soup.) Jace responded, "why does she always critique us?"

Tyler (15 months) was playing chase with his brother. While running and looking back over his shoulder laughing, he ran fully into a wall. It may not sound funny...but I saw it. It was!

Gracie asked a question. I answered. She said, "Oh...I gotcha. I gotcha."

I'm sure there are other little jewels too, but there's laundry to do...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hopping Holidays

I just remembered how much I love Easter.

Spring is my favorite season, with the fresh smell of rain, mud, and grass being mowed. I grew up in Western New York and haven't forgotten (I currently live in Georgia) the way everything begins to awaken this time of year...pretty little buds on trees and sprouts popping out of the ground. It's a rejuvenating time of year.

In the midst of all this wonderful springtime renewal is Easter. We didn't decorate the house for Easter this year. I have enough on my hands getting it show ready with three kids. I figured holiday decorations would complicate things. And we're not even going to be here for the actual holiday. We're taking a quick family vacation to the Georgia Aquarium. So excited! Today I just got our baskets out to take with us...and I remembered.

I love Easter! The bright colors, the cute little bunnies and chicks...even the pesky grass that gets everywhere but is way better than pine needles! And, of course, there are the childhood memories of Easter.

Grandma always decorated an Easter Tree in the front yard, hanging pastel eggs all over it. She had a basket of hard boiled eggs on the table for our family gathering. Those eggs she colored with onion skins and they were the warmest shades of tan and brown. Outside she sat a big blow up rabbit in one of her many gardens with a nest of eggs.

My cousins and I would dress in our Easter best and giggle through dinner at the kids' table. Afterwards we'd change into play clothes and run outside. One year we ran out and found some of the eggs in the blow up bunny's nest had hatched and there were furry little baby bunnies to pet. We sat out there and cooed and petted until my mom came out and was very upset to find us playing with dead rabbits!

It turns out that Grandpa had found the little dead bunnies on the front step that morning, presumably left by one of the barn cats. He put them in the nest to see if anyone would notice. He found the whole situation much more hilarious than Mom and Grandma.

How can you not love a holiday with such hopping good fun!?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Detail Oriented

For my parents' 60th birthdays I've decided to make a photo book of the kids. I'll include not only pictures of their smiling faces, but also of the number 60 represented different ways. We started the product yesterday with puzzle pieces, polly pockets, bear faces, and hot wheels all set out as a six and a zero. Gracie and I put the first three together while Jace was working with his cars. After we'd completed three 60's I went to see how far he'd gotten.

He was almost done, according to his directions. He's sat down with paper and pencil first and had drawn out little cars on the paper so he'd have a pattern to follow. He explained, "I didn't know how to do it on the floor so I drew some directions first." I was partially surprised, partially proud and completely entertained! He's pays such attention sometimes and wanted to get it right!

The project continues...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Seriously, Why?

Why can't we all just get along?

You've heard it said a million times. I know I've said it several thousand times myself. In regards to just about everything. Lately, though, I've been expressing this to my kids. They're 5, 3, and 15 months...so the answer is obvious, I know. But, still...why? Just for an hour, even a few minutes.

Okay, to be fair, they do get along for a few minutes every now and then, but the loud arguing stands out in my mind much more brilliantly. I mean, we pick Jace up at the bus stop and before he even has his seat belt on he and Gracie have found something to argue about.

During the day when it's only the younger two you'd think it be easy. Tyler doesn't even talk yet...how much can he really antagonize his sister? It usually starts with Gracie wanting to do something by herself in the middle of the living room. Several times a day I remind her that Tyler can get to anything she has if she has it out here, but if she plays in her room she can shut the door and keep him at bay. And several times a day I hear, "Tyler! No, Tyler!" And I tell her again.

In all honesty, I have been blessed with three pretty well-behaved children. Lately, though, it seems like they're discovering new ways to be just a little pesky to each other and just a lot frustrating to me!

And not only are they...well, little imps sometimes, they're also smarty-pants! When the thought is spoken and I question, "Why can't you just get along?" they're ready with answers.

"Because Tyler won't leave me alone."

"Because Gracie took that from me and I had it first."

"Because Jace isn't sharing."

At least they know why.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Teething has never been horrible for us. If Jace hadn't gotten super high fevers (like 104 or higher!) than we probably wouldn't have even known his teeth were coming in. Well, once he bit us we'd have figured it out. And, Gracie was always covered in snot and drool, but that's about it. There's something cute about drool covered toddlers, though. Isn't there?

Now, Tyler...poor little guy. On an average day he's more cuddly and snuggly than his brother and sister. Right now, though, he's got two teeth breaking through and they're kicking his butt...or maybe it's mine! The longest he hasn't been touching me today is maybe a half hour. He must me hugging my leg, sitting on my lap with his hand down my shirt, nursing, nursing with his foot in my face...something!

Dada's home...

Tyler can go teeth in his lap for a while!