30 March 2009

A Beautiful Moment

I got to witness, unbeknowst to those involved, a very tender and beautiful moment in church yesterday. Part way through the worship time (the time of singing) the band slowed things down with a low-key song. They had some of the elders of the church hang out across the front of the stage and invited people to go down and pray with them if there was something in their lives they wanted prayer for. They also opened up the communion table at this time for anyone wanting to partake in communion.

So, during the service, sitting in front of me was a husband and wife and their teenage daughter. I have no idea who they are, but there they were. During this song, they went up and brought their communion back to their seats, prayed as a family and took communion together. This isn't the moment I'm writing about, although there is something sweet about seeing that. No, the moment I'm writing about happened during the next song. This is just to set up the moment.

It became apparent to me that something had struck a chord in the woman sitting in front of me - some burden or hardship or saddness that hit her in that moment. As the band picked it up a bit with then next song, she held her husband's hand with one hand and wiped her tears away with the other. Seeing this, her husband leaned in a little, whispered "I love you" and kissed the hand that was holding his. It really was a beautiful moment. What made it even better is that I was not the only one who witnessed it. Their daughter, who I would guess was about 16, looked over at them at just that moment and saw it too. The smile that came across her face as she turned back to singing was priceless.

That moment made me realize so much. It made me realize how, as parents, we really are role models and examples to our children in every aspect of our lives. It made me realize that my love for my husband and his love for me affects more than the two of us, it affects our boys. If that girl's face is any indication of kids in general, parents' love for one another, expressed in visible ways for our kids to see, help our kids to feel loved, accepted, safe, and secure themselves. What an awesome responsiblility, but what an awesome gift at the same time. Lastly, it made me realize just how precious love is.

27 March 2009

Picture Me Doing This...




...as you read this post.
(And if you want, you can picture Joni instead of Will at the end.)


Now, on with the blog.

We have tickets! We all have plane tickets! Josh has tickets here and back to Alaska. The boys and I have tickets to Alaska. My mom has tickets to here, to Alaska, then back to Jersey. Wahoo! Josh gets in on Good Friday. Of course, he gets in ridiculously late, so the boys won't see him until Saturday, but that's okay. My mom gets in that Saturday too. Then we have a week to ship my car, ship our household goods, get last minute stuff taken care of, then, to quote Johnny Horton's classic, "[we're] going north to Alaska, [we're] going north, the rush is on."

To help get the boys ready, and maybe give them some sort of an idea for Daddy's return, I took down the map and put this up...

That's right, Josh's big, floating head lives on! So, every day when the boys are getting into bed, we'll put a big, black "x" through the day they just finished as a countdown until he gets here. (I am also hoping to use this as a way to teach them a little more about their numbers. We'll see how that goes.)

Also (I mentioned this before without any detail), Josh got us a house in Alaska and has moved in already. Of course, there wasn't really much for him to move in with, but it's all set up and ready for us to get there and make it a home.


Doesn't it look lovely? I'd post some of the pictures of the inside, but I'm waiting until we get all of our stuff out there and have it all set up. It has four bedrooms (that means a guest room -hint hint!), two bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, deck, fenced in backyard, garage, driveway, snow. Lots of snow at the moment. This is going to be great. I can't wait.


24 March 2009

Too Much Fun Not To Share

It's no secret that Wall-E is a favorite here. Below is a clip from the movie that I filmed with my own camera. It is, by far, Deacon's favorite part of the movie. It lasts all of 8 seconds. The second clip is Deacon's reaction every. time. we watch. the movie. Enjoy!

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23 March 2009

Say It Loud!

I'm gassy and proud!

Okay, I'm not actually gassy, but my boys are. This has actually become quite comical, for me anyway, as every single time one of them burps or toots (that's what we call farts in our house although I'm not altogether sure why) they look at me and announce it. So, all day long I get to hear some sort of gas being expelled, followed by "To-oo-ots! Excuse me." Or "I burp. Excuse me." Yes, they say "excuse me" after the burp or toot. Well, Deacon says something more along the lines of "mish-mish-ma", and he only says "toot" regardless of what end it comes out of.


Also, every single time the microwave dings, the toaster oven bings, the oven timer goes off, or whatever, I am treated to a chorus of "It's ready!" by my two little menfolk. Just in case I didn't hear it for myself, I guess. What good little helpers.

Actually, they are pretty good helpers. If I have to go to the bathroom while they are up, they usually accompany me. However, once I'm finished Deacon shuts the lid and flushes for me, while Zeke turns the faucet on and off for me while I wash my hands. Oh yeah, it's a good time. They also help clean up more, and I'm trying to get Zeke to help set the table by putting the plates on it, but he usually hands a plate to Deacon then the two of them stand there in the middle of the kitchen looking at me, wondering why there isn't food on their plates.

My favorite, somewhat recent, story of Zeke helping happened in the commissary the other week. I got the boys out of the cart so the elderly gentleman who was on cart duty could take it back to the front of the store for me (he was probably close to 70 if he wasn't already there). Well, Zeke decided, much to the delight of just about everyone else in the commissary (baggers, cashiers, and the like) to help this man walk the cart to front of the store. It really was quite funny watching the two of them push this cart, then hear the man thank Zeke, who replied with "You're welcome", then watch Zeke come bouncing back to Deacon and me.

And not to beat a dead horse or anything, but my kids like dirt. While Tia was here we took the boys to two different parks. And sure, they did slide a little, and climbed a little, and played with the wheels and tubes and things a little, but what did they play with the most?















The dirt. Or in the case of the "castle park" (right), woodchips. It's like Joni said when she got to the "airplane" park and saw the boys all the way over there in the dirt (left), "It's a good thing you came all the way here so they could play in a new patch of dirt." Yes, yes it is. This is why the wind up having baths five nights a week. This is also why I don't let them outside on days I don't want to give them baths, regardless of how nice it is out there. And this is I love my boys, because they are just that, boys.

19 March 2009

Besos, Tia!

For those unaware, my sister Katherine came out to visit us the past few days. For those wondering, the boys were very excited to wake up Sunday morning and find their aunt here...


Zeke wasted NO time warming up to Tia (we call her that because we figured Aunt Katherine would be a lot for any little mouth to say, let alone my little's boys' little mouths, and since she took Spanish in high school, and "tia" is Spanish for "aunt", she now goes by Tia. Likewise, since Kirsten took French in high school, she is now "Tante"). As soon as he saw her, he gave her a nice big hug, and just started talking, and talking, and talking. It was very sweet. Deacon, on the other hand, took a little longer. I'm not sure if he was confused as to where she came from since she got in after they were in bed, or if the fact that she looks very similar to me was throwing him off, but he just kept looking at her, making a face that I can't really describe except to say it was funny, refusing to smile, even though you could tell he really wanted to.

But we had so much fun with Tia. Sunday, after naps, I dropped off Katherine and the boys at the "airplane park" on post so I could do some quick food shopping. Jim was there with Sammie while Joni food shopped. I was glad she mentioned it to me because I think they had a good time and the weather was gorgeous.
















Zeke also wasted no time in playing the cereal thief. Here he is eating Katherine's breakfast after muscling himself onto her lap...


While Katherine was here we maily just hung around the house and did our normal stuff. We colored and blew bubbles...


















I also introduced Katherine to WoW (World of Warcraft), and I think she rather enjoyed it...



On Tuesdsay we went to the "castle park". This park is a huge wooden castle with ramps and slides and swings and such. I don't like going by myself with the boys because it's too big and I worry about losing one of them in there. It was great having Katherine around so we could go back to this park and she was fantastic and hung out with Zeke while I watched Deacon. I also packed us a little lunch to eat there so we could stay a little longer.
















Otherwise, like I said, we just hung out and enjoyed having company. It was a great few days and we were all sad to see her go this morning. And yes, Deacon did warm up to Tia, and had a great time with her as well.

Now Katherine is sitting in Dallas airport, waiting to board her flight back to New Jersey, and we miss her already. I guess now we just look forward to and focus on the big move next month! But more on that another time. For now, I will end with this: Thank you again for coming Katherine, we had a great time, and we love you!

14 March 2009

I Mean, Really?

Someone help me out here. Please tell me it isn't just my kids. I mean, there are other kids out there who just run, and run, and run around in circles for fun, right? You can tell by the extra lack of control Deacon has over himself that they've been at this for a few minutes already.

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I know I just posted about Zeke's running in circles around the house a few days ago, but I feel like he's really taken it up a notch lately. Maybe it's just that I'm starting to get worn out, or maybe it's because Josh hasn't been around to help find other outlets for his energy, or maybe he has discovered how much he really, really loves to run in circles.



During his naptime the other day, Zeke took it upon himself to move his table and chairs from in front of the window to next to his bed. When I got the boys up from their naps, and saw that he had done this, I asked him why. His answer? He started running in little circles in front of the window where the table and chairs had been, which is now the only empty piece of floor in his room as the rest of it is covered in books. Got it. He needed a running space in his room. Sure, okay.





After I busted out the bubbles the other day, they have become the latest rage here. Zeke constantly asks for bubbles. I blow bubbles, the boys dance and clap and cheer, I get light headed, we stop, Zeke then asks for a bath. Because bubble baths are also the latest rage, and if we can't have bubbles in the kitchen anymore, bubbles in the tub are just as good. This morning Zeke decided that, you guessed it, running through the bubbles would be the most. fun. thing. EVER. I wish I had his energy.




I also wish I had a little more time at the moment as there is more to share with you all, but it will have to wait. But here's a little preview of what's to come: Josh got us a house in Alaska and moved in yesterday; my sister, Katherine, is coming to visit for a few days; the boys (and by "the boys" I really mean Deacon since Zeke can already do this) have been working on drinking from open cups/regular cups/big people cups/however you want to phrase that; and more. So, stay tuned and I promise to come back as soon as I can.

09 March 2009

A-HA!!

I figured out why my cell phone battery keeps dying over night now. Six to seven minutes of this a day will do that I guess.

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And in case you're wondering, he's talking to his daddy. He dials by himself, says "hello" until Josh answers, then walks the house talking the whole time. When he's finished, he says bye, hangs up, and then hands me the phone. It's really very sweet. Definitely worth the dead battery (on nights I don't remember to charge it before going to bed).

07 March 2009

What's Better Than...?

Q: What's better than eating lunch?
A: Eating lunch with these guys:




*****


Q: What's better than waking up early so we have lots of extra time together in the morning?
A: Filling that time with bubbles!






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Q: What's better than a nice big backyard to run around in?
A: Five square feet of dirt to play in: (and yes, Zeke is pouring dirt directly onto his leg, and yes, he then proceeded to rub it in, over and over)



*****

Q: What's better than kicking the ball around the yard?
: Kicking the ball around the yard with this guy... (usually there is a bunch of squealing that accompanies the running and kicking, sorry he wouldn't properly perform for the camera)

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*****


Q: What's better than eating lasagna?
A: Getting lasagna all. over. your face...





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Q: What's better than getting new art to hang on your walls (even though you're moving in a month?)
A: Having art that your kids made to hang on the walls... (Deacon did the two on the left, Zeke did the two on the right)






*****




Q: What's better than coloring with markers?
A: Sticking the marker caps on our fingers...

















*****



Q: And finally, what's better than watching WALL-E?
A: Watching WALL-E with this guy...

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Oh, those Walter boys. They make life so much better!

04 March 2009

Just In Case You Were Wondering

This is what a typical day here in Walterland looks like. This specific activity supplies endless hours of entertainment, usually anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes at a time. Now, on a normal day, clothes are worn during this activity, but it hit 84degrees here today, so yeah.

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03 March 2009

And The Winner Is...

Whoever guessed "April sometime" for when the boys and I will be leaving Oklahoma to join Josh in Alaska. That's right, sometime in April. Why? Allow me to tell you why. Two reasons really.

First, we don't have a place to live yet. Apparently, there is some kind of issue with the housing contractor out there (or something like that) so they aren't placing people in homes on post until May/June sometime. When they do start giving homes to people, we are number 22 on the list of people needing homes. So, Josh was giving the options of waiting, just getting a place off-post, or trying to find a place off-post to rent on a month-by-month basis. SO, he is looking for a place to live now.

Second, Josh has a field exercise he has to go to at the end of this month/beginning of April, and it was highly suggested that he hang out up there for the month so that he can get caught up to speed on his new job and what all will be happening that weekend and such. I guess that makes sense.

So, the boys and I will be here in Oklahoma for at least another month. At least it's warmer here than up there. Josh just texted me that it's snowing there. It's almost 70degrees here. I'm okay with staying put a little longer. I just wish he was here too. I know Zeke really misses him.

In other news, we had some surprise visitors this past weekend! Matt and Heather are in the states, looking for jobs, and were making their way to Dallas over the weekend, and called to see if they could stop in and see us on their way. Well, of course they could! I even offered the guest room for Friday night, so we had a sleepover. It was so great seeing them again. Zeke especially had a blast with Matt. As soon as Zeke saw Matt in the morning, he pretty much attached himself to Matt's leg and the two of them played all morning long. It was pretty sweet to watch, and I am very sad now that my camera batteries died, so I have no pictures to share of their visit. You just have to take my word for it that they were here. The Starlings came by Saturday morning too to visit with Matt and Heather, and we all had lunch, and it was a fabulous visit. We are so happy they came by.

And that's about it from here. Oh! I cut the boys hair again last night. I left it a little on the long side in case I decide I really don't like the job I did and want to take them to a professional to fix it. This way the professional should have some room to work with. Deacon's hair isn't too bad to cut because it has so much body and curlyness to it, that is hides most "miscuts" pretty well. Zeke's hair, on the other hand, is so stick straight, that it is VERY unforgiving. Every "miscut" is there on display for all to see. But, they can both see again, and they don't look near as shaggy as they did, so I'm happy. I put pictures of them with their new do's over on the sidebar.

Now, I must go. I'm done typing. I am sorry there aren't any pictures in this post, BUT I did get all my pictures from February up on Flickr if you really need a fix. Just click here, and away you will go. Before you go there though, I am going to leave you with a video I found recently. This is some 1500 prisoners in the Philippines doing "The Hustle" it's fabulous.