30 November 2012

Shoulder Time

Back when we were stationed in Alaska (I was pregnant with Finn at the time), the Bible study group I was going to did a 3 week thing on marriage.  I only made it to the first one before morning sickness really started kicking my butt, but I learned something that morning that I'm going to share here.
A local pastor and his wife came in to talk to us about marriage.  They had a lot of good things to say, but the one thing that has stuck with me 3 years later is the notion of "shoulder time".  Basically, they said how for most women (and some men) quality time is hanging out, talking, face to face, etc.  For most men (and some women) quality time is simply just being there.  For example, if Josh was sitting on the couch playing video games, he would be perfectly content if I were to sit next to him on the couch and knit.  We don't have to interact much, but sitting shoulder to shoulder (hence "shoulder time") is enough to make him happy.
Having 3 sons, I've noticed this in them as well.  Many times they've wanted me to sit on the floor with them while they play.  They do NOT want me playing too, or interfering in any way, they just want me to be right there with them.  Here's a picture I took this morning to illustrate:

Finn and I had spent a good half hour or so building castles together with our giant "LEGOs".  I got up to take the banana bread out of the oven, and when I came back Finn had moved on to something else.  As I sat down on the couch, he looked up at me from across the floor and asked me for help.  So, I got up, sat on the floor next to him to help, whereupon he promptly turned and ignored me. I tried once or twice to get up, each time resulted in him asking me for help that he didn't need.  Therefore I got my current crochet project and sat on the floor working on that while Finn sat 3 inches away playing and doing his own thing.  Shoulder time.  All of them have wanted it, all of them will continue to want it, and I am happy that I know about it, as it makes so many things make so much more sense.

29 November 2012

Trimming Trees All Over Town

That title might be a little misleading.  We weren't all over town, we were all over base.  And by "all over base" I mean we were at Josh's office "Tree Trimming and Potluck" party for lunch, then the post Tree Lighting Ceremony later in the afternoon.  Also, we didn't actually trim any trees.  At Josh's office thing, the younger 2 boys and I showed up and went immediately to the potluck portion of the festivities.
Later in the day, as soon as Zeke and Thomas got off the bus, I scooped up all 4 boys and took them over to the tree lighting ceremony on post, just like last year.  Josh met us there, and it was a nice time.  They had people in costumes this year, waving and dancing as people showed up.
The boys had a great time running around in the snow with their friends, I had a good time chatting with some of my friends, and Josh probably didn't have that good of a time continually trying to wrangle the kids.
The ceremony consisted of an adult choir that sang a few songs, then a choir made up of children from the CDC, the lighting of the tree, and Santa showing up on a fire truck.

This year, unlike last year, the boys were thrilled to see Santa and had no problem going up to him this year to get candy canes.  It could be that they're old enough this year to understand a little better.  OR it could be that before they went to school this morning I told them we'd be going and that Santa would be there, but just like how in Scooby-Doo the monster is always a person in a suit or a machine and there's no need to be afraid, this Santa is just a man in a suit and nothing to be afraid of.  Either way, it was a fun thing to do on a chilly afternoon in November.  Let the Christmas season and all its festivites begin!

28 November 2012

Just What I Needed

I woke up at 3:30 this morning feeling terrible.  My throat was on fire, and burned any time I swallowed.  My nose was stuffed up and running like a river at the same time.  I had a difficult time falling back asleep, so when 7am finally rolled around, I felt pretty crummy.  My shower helped a little, but not enough - I'm sick.
Even though I felt rotten all day long, little things happened here and there throughout the day to help me feel better and not throw a "woe is me" party, probably making it all worse (mind over matter, right?).  First, was Finn telling me, of his own accord, "I love you, Mommy" as I carried him down the stairs this morning.  Sweet boy.
Since I wasn't feeling well I decided it would be best for me to stay home this morning instead of going to PWOC (Bible study).  So I called my friend Cindy and asked if she would stop by on her way over and pick up the video and things as I wouldn't be there myself.  Not only did she pick the stuff up, but she dropped off some super delicious chicken and rice soup! (Seriously, Cindy, I want that recipe.)
Finn and I spent a really nice morning at home, just the 2 of us.  We ate yogurt, did a whole mess of puzzles, played with my phone, went and got Deacon from school (which is probably a post for another day), came home and had some lunch, then the boys went down for naps while I ate my soup and watched some TV.  After the program I dvr'd was over, I took a wee nap myself and felt a bit better after it.
Then it was time to get Zeke from the bus.  When I went downstairs to put my shoes on I saw that some packages had been dropped off.  When Zeke and I got back from the bus I opened them.  One was Josh's birthday present (better late than never) and the other was a box from Linda.  Inside the box from Linda was a big, warm, BEAUTIFUL shawl that she'd been working on for me for the past 4 or so years.  OH, it is so wonderful.  Thank you again Lin!
After opening my shawl it was business as usual.  Help the boys with their homework, make dinner, wrap Josh's presents, feed everyone dinner, bathe and shower the boys, have Josh open his presents, etc.  I was starting to feel run down again by this point, so it was really nice that Finn let me hold him while he watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  In fact, thanks to my new shawl, he sat there and snuggled with me for a solid 40 minutes before deciding he'd had enough.  It was great.
Then it was time for bed for the boys.  Zeke chose me to pray with him, so the 2 of us wrapped ourselves up in the shawl and had a sweet prayer time.  After the boys were in bed I went downstairs and made myself some of the hot chocolate my "Secret Santa Sister" got me (we're doing a Secret Santa/Sister thing at PWOC and even though I didn't get to go today my neighbor brought my gift to me after study was over, and what a sweet gift it was - hot chocolate, a new mug, candy canes, and purple gloves).
So, now that I've recapped my day of little blessings, I'm going to go and wrap myself up in my shawl, finish my hot chocolate, and watch my husband shoot up aliens (his birthday gift was HALO 4).

27 November 2012

And the Snow Came Down

Well, it snowed today, all day long.  The picture on the left is what it looked like at 8:20 in the morning.  Finn was beside himself with joy, not only at all the snow falling, but at the fact that he got to PLAY IN THE SNOW while we waited for the bus and for a few mintues after.  I was beside myself that I only had to ask him 3 times to put gloves on before he let me put them on him. I was expecting a WAY bigger fight.
Then it snowed and snowed and snowed some more.  I think it finally stopped snowing around 4:30 this afternoon.  There wasn't too much accumulation, maybe 2-3 inches, but it was enough to make some of the streets pretty sketchy.  But it was a good day for catching up on TV, doing some laundry, and cooking a big dinner.  Which is why I don't have much else to say, not much else happened.  (And I'm a little distracted by the episode of Parks and Recreation we have on at the moment.)

26 November 2012

I Said "Build Me a Church"

And he did!

Josh has been going crazy bananas with the LEGOs lately, making up his own creations. I meant to take pictures of everything and write a post about it all, but today got away from me. So, you'll just have to settle for this one shot of the cathedral he built last night and tonight, while you wait for the rest of it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

25 November 2012

I Just *Had* To Use All Three

Looking back for today's "Flashback Sunday" entry, I found these sweet pictures of Josh and the 2 older boys. Josh looks so young! That's probably because this was taken before his hair started really turning grey. Love you, Babe!

24 November 2012

Dingle Dangle!

We've been having a really nice two days after Thanksgiving, hanging out around the house playing LEGOs and watching football and just relaxing.  So, as I'm in total relax mode, I've decided that in lieu of blogging about anything I'm just going to post this video I saw today because it tickles me.  Enjoy!

23 November 2012

Every. Single. Night.

Every night when it's time to put the boys in bed, Finn gets it in his head that he does NOT want his blanket in bed with him.  It's as if either he and his blanket got into a fight 3 seconds before bed time and they are SO fighting, or that he's thinking he wants to be a big boy and sleeping with a blanket is such a baby thing to do he wants nothing to do with it.  Either way, every night he freaks out, "NO! NO BLANKET!" So, every night we put his blanket into his wardrobe, so it's out of sight.  He used to put it outside his bedroom door and then close the door but I put an end to that when he'd go to bed without it then cry 10 minutes later because he wanted it back and can't open his bedroom door by himself.  Hence, into the wardrobe with the blanket we go every night. And every night, just as I'm getting ready to close the door, he changes his mind and decides he DOES want his blanket after all.  Not only does he want his blanket, he wants it directly on top of him - not on top of the blanket he already has on top of him, but under that blanket, directly touching him so he can link his little fingers into it and snuggle down for the night.

22 November 2012

Gobble Gobble To Ya!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  We had a lovely day with my father, stepmom and extended family. The picture I'm using is probably my favorite moment of the day (not really, but it was a good laugh).  Shortly after dinner was finished my dad's dog laid down in front of the door and was all, "I'm ready to go whenever you guys are."  It was pretty funny.
Anyhoo, we had a good time seeing aunts and uncles and cousins.  We ate a bunch of good food, and the boys had a blast playing and coloring and wrestling with Grandpa Bob.  By the time we got home, we had 3 tuckered out little boys (and 1 tuckered out momma).  So, it was a great day all around. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as well.

21 November 2012

'Twas the Morning Before Thanksgiving

Just like last year, the kindergarteners put on a Thanksgiving "show" for their families.  It was 2 songs, but it was cute.  Following the show was a Thanksgiving "dinner" for the kids and then for their families (the kindergarteners were fed first, then their guests were allowed to go through the buffet line if there were leftovers).  Also like last year, the kids dressed up - half as pilgrims (which is what Zeke was), half as Native Americans:

Isn't he the cutest "Native American" ever?!  He is actually a teensy bit Native American, so I guess the costume choice was appropriate.  Maybe?  Either way, it was a fun morning and the kids did a great job singing.  Here's the shorter of the 2 songs for your listening and viewing pleasure:

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

20 November 2012

Where's the Baby?

I guess it would be more appropriate to say, "Where's the two-year-old boy?"  Most night we tuck Finn in and leave him in his bed with a book or something to occupy him until he falls asleep.  For the past however long though, when we've gone in to check on him hours later before going to bed ourselves we find him either scrunched in a small portion of his bed because the rest of it has been overrun by his toys,  or because the toys have backed him "into a corner":

 You may have also noticed his penchant for moving his pillow and using it as a sort of blanket.  I have no idea what that's about.  But I may have some idea where Finn got the idea of going to bed with as many toys in his bed as possible from:
I love that not only does Deacon have stacks of books and a puzzle in there, but he also fell asleep on with a mask that he made at school during his class' Halloween party.  His face and hair were SO sweaty under that thing, it was so gross, but so cute at the same time.  Oh, Sweet Dee Dee and Mr. Finn-tastic.  What would we ever do without you boys?
And just in case you're wondering if Zeke has any sleeping quirks, I'll tell you quickly that he really doesn't.  Except for the fact that he's usually smiling in his sleep when we check on him.  Ah, to be so happy all the time.  I love these boys!

19 November 2012


Some days I sit down to write something here and I feel uninspired.  There's nothing I feel like/want to talk about.  Now that the boys are a bit older and every day is pretty much the same here, it gets harder to find things to write about that I think would be interesting for me to write about and for you to read about.  Which I guess is why the blog has been neglected the past few months.  That, and with Josh coming and going so much, I'm either too tired to write because he's gone, or I'm "busy" (actually cooking, cleaning, etc) because he's home (not that I don't do those things when he isn't home, but you know).
Today is one of those days.  I did think about doing a week of the things I am thankful for as Thanksgiving is on Thursday, but I then I thought that might be sort of a cop-out.  Oh, I'm thankful for God (day 1), Josh (day 2), Zeke (day 3), Deacon (day 4), Finn (day 5), a post about Thanksgiving (day 6) and a flashback Thanksgiving photo on Sunday (day 7).  Then I thought about picking non-obvious things, like Amazon Prime and it's free 2 day shipping, but that felt sort of...silly.
So, now I've sat here for however long, writing this pointless blog entry about pointless blog entries.  Still not entirely inspired for tomorrow (or the rest of the month), but you never know when or where inspiration will hit.  I guess.

18 November 2012

Some Sunday Sweetness

Mister Finn fast asleep in November 2010.

17 November 2012


I'm tired.  We had a big day at my mom's today.  It was a very good day, good seeing extended family again and all that, but we are ALL on the exhausted side:

Thus, I leave you with this picture.  It was not taken tonight, it was actually taken earlier in the week during a nap time that he protested taking, stating that he was NOT tired.  Well, I am tired, so I am off to bed now.  Good night y'all.

16 November 2012

"Knock On Wood"

I hope I'm not "jinxing" anything by writing about this, but the "battle" between Finn and me over him having to wear a hat this winter was not at all as long lived as I had anticipated.
You see, when it started getting cooler, and the bigger boys started wearing hats to school in the morning, I tried to get Finn to wear a hat as well.  I didn't really care whether or not he did as it wasn't that cold yet, but I knew he wasn't going to want to so I figured if I gave him a few weeks of getting used to the idea, he'd be ready to wear one when it was actually cold out.  It got cold enough last week.
Sure enough, he fought me on it and cried and tried to take his hat off, but I held my ground, and kept his hat on his head the entire walk to the bus stop and back home.  This meant I had to carry him the entire time, but by the time we made it back home after putting the older boys on the bus, he was happy to be in his hat and hasn't given me a hard time since.  In fact, he's usually quite happy to put on his hat, which is nice, especially since he looks so cute in it:

15 November 2012

I'm a Little Out of Control

It's been a longish, busy day and I as I am just getting around to blogging now, I figured I'd just share a quick story from tonight before I go to bed (yes, it's 9:30 and I'm already ready to go to bed).
Tonight was the monthly book club meeting at the library.  I went to September's meeting and enjoyed it, last month's was cancelled because of the hurricane, and so tonight was the next one on the schedule. I didn't really enjoy the book but I wanted to hear others' takes on it, and apparently I was the only one who didn't like it.  Go figure.  Not only that, but the one character that I did like, no one else liked.  Anyhoo, that's not why I'm a little out of control. 
See, the book club meeting ended a little early, and as we were leaving, we had to walk past another room that had some people in it.  As I walked past I saw that it was a group of ladies who were knitting!  SO excited to find fellow knitters, I poked my head in, got some info (sadly, tonight was their last meeting for the year), gave my name and number, and was then invited to sit and hang out.  So I did.  For almost another hour.
What a fun group of ladies!  We chatted and ate cookies and chocolate covered pretzels.  We drank sparkling cider.  I had such a good time I almost can't wait for January to come and the group starts up again.  So basically, instead of spending an hour at the library for book club, I spent almost 2 hours at the library partying with a group of knitters. I'm so happy now Josh made it home a day early from his trip to DC so I could go.

14 November 2012

This Kid Is a Mess

When I picked up Deacon from school on Monday he spent the entire car ride telling me about his morning. He was pretty happy and bubbly until he came to the part of his morning where he went to the book fair.

You see, the book fair is at their school this week and each class gets a time slot to go down, check things out, and if the kids have money, buy something. So Deacon's class went Monday and when he got to that part of his day he said, in a pathetically sad voice, "Then my class went to the book fair, but I could not buy anyfing because I had no money for buying books." He followed that up with a big sigh.

Knowing his class was going back to the book fair today, I gave Deacon $10 to buy a book. Twice before, twice after, and once more when I put the money in his pocket I told him he had $10 in his pocket so he could buy 1 book at the book fair. That's 5 times y'all, 5 times I told him he has money, how much money he has and how many books he could get.

Therefore, you can probably imagine my surprise when, around 11:00 I got a call from the school. The ad min said Deacon's class went to the book fair and Deacon was crying because he had no money to buy a book with. What?! I told the ad min he had $10 in his pocket and she had my permission to retrieve it herself from his pocket so he could buy himself a book. Apparently there were more tears when he realized he had enough money for only 1 book, and then further disappointment when the book he wanted most sold out between his being there the first time today and his being there the second time after his money was found.

Of course, I blame myself as I did think to myself as I packed his lunch this morning, "Maybe I should write a note to his teacher and put it in his folder saying that he has $10 in his front right pocket to buy 1 book at the book fair with." But I then thought, "Surely he's excited enough by this that he'll remember." Sigh.

There is a happy ending to this tale of woe though. By the time I picked Deacon up, his money had been found, he picked out his second favorite book there and was quite the happy boy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

13 November 2012

Best Story Time Yet

Every Tuesday morning Finn and I go to the local library for "Tales and Tunes for Tots" - it's a 45 minute long story time with songs mixed in and a craft at the end.  The group we're in is made up of 2-3 year olds.  Most mornings I leave there wondering why I keep bringing him back, and wondering at the seemingly infinite level of patience the librarian who does the story time has.
See, there are these 2 boys in the group who do. not. sit down at. all.  They spend almost the entire 45 minutes running around, standing right in front of the book, running some more, leaving the room, etc, etc.  The one is there with his grandmother and for her part, she tries.  She brings things to try and get him to sit still but the other boy is with his mother who does very little to try and keep him in line.  Last week they were so out of control that at one point they literally ran right into each other.  Today however, today they weren't well behaved, but they were SO much better.  That or I've gotten good at ignoring them.
So the boys were good.  There were also fewer kids there today, so that probably helped a bit too.  But I think the best part was seeing Finn actually go up and sit by the librarian so he could see the book better.  Every other week he sits with me in the semi-circle the parents make around the room, and just listens.  Or sometimes he climbs on me like I'm a jungle gym, but at least he's quiet and not bothering anyone else. But today he went and sat with the girls (they're really the only ones who sit nicely up there). He's in the yellow shirt:
Also adding to the fun today was that the craft we did was really cute.  Usually it's a color, cut and glue sort of thing that almost immediately winds up in the trash when we get home, but today we made these cute apple turkeys:
As you can see, Finn was pretty excited by it too.  Actually, I think he was more excited about the candy he got to eat while I made the "feathers", but he actually sat at the table the entire time instead of bailing halfway through, leaving me to finish it quickly (not sure why I bother when I know where it's going to end up), gather our stuff, help him stamp his hand (he LOVES that part), and get out before he's gone without me.

But speaking of his craft and where it ends up, the very first day we went, just as I finished glueing his craft together, he took it from me and put it right into the garbage.  I fished it out and said, "That's probably where it's going to wind up, but let's wait until we get home before we do that."  The only father in the group overheard and started cracking up.  And now my stories are done and so I'm going to pull a Deacon and without any sort of "formal" wrap-up I'm just going to say, "The End."

12 November 2012

This Kid is a Riot

Oh, Deacon.  How you make us laugh.  The things this kid says/sings keep us constantly cracking up.  Much like his father, Deacon LOVES to make up songs.  Unfortunately most of his best work happens in the shower, so those are videos that I'm not going to share.  You'll just have to trust me that they are amazing.  Songs about anything from God to the Hulk, pirates to his brothers.
Deacon is also a storyteller.  "The other night at dinner he made up a story that went like this.  "Once there was these chickens on a farm and they were hungry.  So they went to the door of the house and "bawked" (you know, the sound chickens make) at the farmer until he fed them.  Then the chickens went and looked at the horse.  The end."  That was short one.  Sometimes he'll go on for 5 or so minutes.
My favorite though, are the his responses to his surroundings, or the little things he says here and there.  I'll leave you with a few examples:
Before the power went out when the hurricane swept through, the lights flickered for a quick second.  When Zeke asked, "What was that?" Deacon replied, "I think I just closed my eyes for a second."
The other night Deacon and I were chatting in his bedroom while he was waiting for Josh to come in and pray with him.  When Josh arrived he asked Deacon what he and I were talking about and Deacon answered, "Oh, you know.  Halloween costumes and all kinds of ninjas."  Deacon then proceeded to talk to Josh about Halloween costumes and all kinds of ninjas.
One day the boys were joking around asking what this color plus that color equals, and were getting really silly with it.  When Josh got home from work Zeke asked him, "Hey Daddy.  What does orange plus brown equal?" (or something like that).  Josh answered, "Gurple."  Zeke said, "What?!" and then Deacon said quite matter-of-factly, "He said 'purple' in Spanish."
And finally, the other night we were eating dinner when Josh asked Deacon something.  Deacon pointed to the middle of his forehead and said, "Let me ask the brain."  He waited a few seconds then said rather happily, "The brain says yes, because the brain can actually talk."  Then he got real serious and said, "No.  No.  The brain cannot talk."  Josh and I almost fell out of our chairs. 
Okay, it's probably not as funny reading them as it is hearing him say them and seeing the faces he makes as he says them, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  The kid is a riot.

11 November 2012

"Seems So Long Ago" Sunday

Today's "flashback foto" is from 2008.  On this day, in that year we took the boys driving around the local nature reserve and up Mount Scott (of the Witchita Mountains) in Oklahoma.  Here's Deacon standing at the top of the "mountain".
At least, I *think* it's Deacon. ;)

10 November 2012

And Now There Is One

Awhile back we got some fish.  We started with 5.  After a bit 2 of them died.  We replaced the 2 with 3 new ones, bringing our total up to 6.  One of the new ones didn't take the transition from pet store to home well, and died a few days later, bringing us back down to 5.  Five fish who tended to do this a bunch:
Yep.  They just hung out in that one corner of the tank, sucking down air bubbles.  I have no idea why, but that's where they spent most of their days.  Until 3 more of them died.  Once there were fewer fish in the tank they spent more time swimming around the tank.  They almost gave off the "alone at last" vibe.  I can't help but wonder if they murdered their tankmates just to be alone together.
Anyhoo...besides the fish dying off one by one (or two by two, whatever), the water in the tank kept getting cloudier and cloudier.  So today we went to the pet store to get a new filter, hoping that would help.  Lo and behold, we came back from the store and another fish had died, leaving us with only one.  Oddly enough, this one that's left is one of the original five.  Go Ezekeil.  Live long and keep swimming pal!

09 November 2012

Two Days of Toothy Drama

I know I tweeted about this a few weeks ago, but I figured I'd go ahead and tell the story today about when Zeke lost his first tooth.  Well, for realzies lost his first tooth.  He had a tooth pulled a few years ago by the dentist, but this one fell out on its own because it was time.  Wa-hoo!
On the 18th of October, Zeke got off the bus after school, and stopped in front of the bus (he was crossing the street) and said, "Mom! I have a wiggle tooth!" He showed me, then burst into tears! Not entirely sure what happened, I moved him out of the middle of the street and to the table at the playground.  I explained to him why we lose our teeth and how he's going to be getting a new one and it's something that happens to every single person as they grow up.  This made him feel better (this also made him ask when his first missing tooth would grow back, but I have no idea when that'll be), but the wiggling had him a bit freaked out I think because every 10 minutes he'd run back up to me and ask me if his tooth was ready to come out yet.
Try as we did all evening, Zeke's tooth just wasn't ready that Thursday to come out, and it was an emotional evening (and following day) for my sweet boy.  He cried at dinner because he was afraid it was going to come out while he was eating and hurt a lot.  He cried when I put him in bed because he was afraid it was going to fall out and he was going to swallow it while he was sleeping.  He cried the next morning because he didn't want to lose it at school.  He cried when he came home from school on Friday because he did want to lose it at school instead of at home.
Alas, coming out at school was not this tooth's destiny.  While getting the boys ready for bed Friday night, Josh tied a bit of dental floss around the wiggle tooth and POP! pulled the thing right out, easy peasy.  Josh then said, "This is probably the single greatest parenting moment I've had so far!"  He was pretty pumped to be the one to pull out the first tooth.

And now, my sweet boy has a sweet smile that looks like this:

08 November 2012


Today the boys had a delayed opening for school, due to the snow we got last night.  For Zeke, that's not a big deal as he's bused to and home from school - it just means 2 extra hours of him running around the house in the morning.  However, in regards to Deacon, it causes a bit of a conundrum for me.
Deacon is in the AM Kindergarten class at their school.  He gets on the bus with Zeke in the morning (because we're paying for him to), but we pick him up when his class is over around 11:30 (because there's no noon-time bus to bring him home).  On delayed opening days he goes in 2 hours late with Zeke on the bus, but then we have to pick him up at 1:30 instead of 11:30, and that's where the problem lies.

At 1:30, Finn is in the middle of his nap.  Therefore, the question is, do I send Deacon to school and either skip Finn's nap or put him down at 1:45 (he usually goes down around noon) and then deal with a tired, cranky, bear of a Finn all afternoon and evening long; OR do I keep Deacon home from school so Finn can take his nap like normal and be a happier, "normal terrible 2-year-old" Finn?  If I send Deacon to school, Finn's a bear for HOURS until he goes to bed.  If I give Finn his nap, Deacon misses a day of school.  It's sort of a lose-lose situation.

Today I opted to keep Deacon home.  Part of me says, "it's only Kindergarten, he'll be fine, they don't have a certain number of days they have to go to school at that grade."  Then the other part of me says, "but he's learning so much every day, and with him 'needing' the extra speech help he gets every day..."  Now, on days Josh is around and able to get him at 1:30, I'll still send him to school.  Unfortunately today was not one of those days.  But I can't help but wonder if I'm making the right choice?

07 November 2012

Back to the Table!

I think I mentioned in one of my previous posts that we carved our pumpkins a bit early this year, because we wanted to do it when Josh was actually around for a weekend in October.  Since we carved them early, they sort of molded early, and had to be thrown away before Halloween.  This made the older 2 quite sad, so I went and bought new pumpkins for the kids at the commissary and on Halloween afternoon we painted them.
(I did think about carving them again, but decided I really didn't want to do that without backup.  Plus the boys were already going crazy from "surviving the super scary storm", and from not having school the days leading up to Halloween.  Hence, we painted.  And oh, what fun we had!)
The boys, as you can see, were super into this and had a really great time.  I was happy as it kept them occupied happily for quite a bit of time.  And the mess afterwards wasn't too bad.  Certainly not nearly as bad as I had mentally prepared for beforehand anyway.  Even if the mess had been worse, it was worth it as the new pumpkins looking absolutely fabulous when we put them outside on Friday for the trick-or-treaters to see.
And thus ends our Halloween pumpkin saga of 2012, told now in 3 parts.

06 November 2012

"Surviving" Sandy

I put "surviving" in quotations in my title because we really were very lucky with that storm.  We lost power Monday evening as we were eating dinner, but had it back the next morning around 10am.  We have no real damage (a little water mark in Deacon's room that I still need to call housing about - but I'll probably wait until my neighbor's fences and things are fixed.  We are very, very lucky.  Especially considering right outside the gate to our base there are still thousands of people without power, a whole week later.  There are still people whose houses have giant holes in them from where trees landed.  And let's not even mention the Jersey shore and the utter destruction down there.  Yes, we are very lucky indeed.  For posterity, however, I'm still going to blog about those 2 days anyway.
On and off all day Sunday and Monday, I would have the news on, tracking Sandy.  Oh, first, let me say that Josh was in Arizona, and texted me on Saturday that his flight home Tuesday was canceled and he was hoping to be home on Thursday.  Awesome.  I wasn't at all surprised, but it still was sad news.  Anyway, with having the news on and off, Zeke got into watching the news (he still asks sometimes if we can put the news on).  They canceled school for Monday and Tuesday, which made sense since no one knew when and where she'd hit exactly, and it's better to be safe than sorry.
Monday I made dinner a little early since they were predicting dinner time would be power outage time, and they were right.  Of course, Deacon was still eating when the lights went out, but he powered through.  As he ate his dinner the boys asked question after question about what they could and couldn't do without power. "Can we watch TV?" "No, there's no power." Can we watch a movie?" "No. There's no power." "Can we watch something on the wii?" "No. There's no power." "Can we turn the light on for the fish so they can see better?" "No. There is no power." Once Deacon was finally finished eating, I set the boys up on the couch with "Despicable Me" on the iPad.  While they watched their movie I went around disconnecting all of the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that were beeping because their batteries were dying (again, something I should call housing about later), lighting candles (not entirely safe with the smoke detectors disconnected), and knitting (not exactly easy by candle light, but doable).
After the movie was over it was time for the boys to go to bed, and for the "night of fun" to begin.  I'll begin by saying that Finn slept through the night, in his own bed, like a champion.  Hurricane? What hurricane?  The older 2, not so much.  They started in their own beds.  Zeke was nervous and asked me to spend the evening in my bed too, so I went downstairs, got my candle, knitting, kindle and snack, then retreated to my bed.  Shortly there after I could feel the nervousness growing, so I checked on the boys and moved Deacon, along with his bed and stuff into Zeke's room:
This made them happy for about 10 minutes.  The wind really started picking up by this point, and I as I looked up from my kindle, there were 2 boys in my room, asking to sleep with me that night.  So, into my bed they hopped.  After a few trips to the bathroom each, they asked me to go get Finn, who was racked out when I went in to check on him. Which is good, because I'm pretty sure the 4 of us wouldn't have fit, nor would we have slept at all.  It was tight enough as it was:
(Sorry the pics are blurry, my phone had a smudge on the camera that I didn't notice until later.)
A wee bit after we all settled in and I decided I should stop reading and try to get some sleep, Deacon decided he wanted to sleep in his own bed in Zeke's room, so off he trotted, only to return 3 minutes later because he didn't like being alone with such a scary storm outside.  Thus began the slumber shuffle.  We started with Deacon by the window, Zeke in the middle, and me by the door.  After Deacon came back, Zeke and I shifted down so Zeke was by the window, I was in the middle, and Deacon hopped in by the door.  Not 10 minutes later Deacon decided he didn't want to be by the door, so he and Zeke switched places, which left Deacon by the window, me in the middle and Zeke by the door.  Which is how we stayed the rest of the long night.
Oh, and because the wind and the rain and the storm itself apparently weren't making enough noise, the wind blew up through a drain or something outside and made this noise in our kitchen all. night. long.  Make sure your volume is all the way up so you can get a better idea of what we were constantly listening too.
Finally, morning came however, and we had some breakfast, colored a bit, and asked more questions. "Can we cook some eggs?" "No. There's no power."  "Can I have toast for breakfast?" "No. We have no power." "Does the TV work yet?" "No. There's no power." "What are we going to have for dinner?" "That depends on if we have power by then, which we probably won't, so we'll most likely have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner." "I can't see my picture very well, can I turn the light on?" "Sure. Go ahead.  Oh, it's not working? Maybe that's because we have. no. power."  And then, some 17 hours after it went out, the power came back on and we all cheered.  Not sure if it was on for good, or just for a bit while they worked on it more, I didn't let the boys turn much on. But once lunch time rolled around and we still had power, I figured it was on for good, and it was.  To which Zeke immediately asked, "Can we turn on the news?"
  (by the playground across the street from our house)

And that was it.  School was closed the rest of the week, Josh made it home Thursday morning and didn't have to work Thursday or Friday (yay!), and Halloween on base had been rescheduled for Friday.  I seriously praise God for keeping us all safe and for providing so much for us through that time, as I continue to pray for those who are still without so much.

05 November 2012

To the Table!

The same day that we went out and picked our pumpkins, we later carved said pumpkins.  It really was a good "family day", and even though it was a bit early in the month to carve the pumpkins (they molded and had to be tossed before Halloween), we still had a great time.

First, Josh cut the pumpkins open:

Then I scooped the goop, while Deacon helped by sorting out all of the pumpkin seeds from the goop:

Then Josh carved the pumpkins per the boys' instructions:

As I later cleaned up, I also baked the pumpkin seeds (yum!):

What about Mr. Finn you might be asking? Well, he sat at the table and colored his little pumpkin (and himself) while everything else was going on:

 And it all turned out super well in the end:

All in all, a very good day.