Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday, Monday....It always seems to come around...

Monday again. This one was found to be a little slow. Which is good, of course. We need those kinds of days.  Today I was able to talk to a potential piano teacher for the kids.  We'll meet her tomorrow.   I'm very excited - the kids? Not so much.  After talking to all three, we came to the conclusion that Melissa and William enjoy playing a piece well, but not so much into the practice that comes with that.  Normal kids, though.

Benjamin on the other had really doesn't want to play the  piano nor take lessons. At. All.  Oh. Well. He. Will! At least for now.

Drew and I feel that music education is important.  We'll see how it goes with this new teacher.

Tonight also is the start of soccer practice for Benjamin.  It seems that Drew and I have found ourselves to be the coaches....well really, just Drew. I'm there for moral support.  The team is through Upwards which is sponsored by the church we are attending. It's run a little different here than what we had in the past, so it'll be interesting to see how the season goes. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Big Event

Tuesday night was the Big Event around here. Drew's boss was in town (who's a full colonel) as well as the boss' boss (who's a one star general). As I said earlier, Monday was cleaning and cooking. Tuesday involved finishing up the cleaning and cooking.  But it was all worth it - the dinner went really well.  I think everyone had a great time  - if the lack of left-overs was any indication.

Wednesday brought another Big Event.  Benjamin and Melissa went in for allergy testing. (William goes in tomorrow.)  Both had the scratch test four years ago, but when we  saw the new doctor here, he suggested  we see an allergist because of the food allergist.  So. We went.

We did not tell them exactly what would happen at the doctor's visit. I didn't want to deal with the drama. Ben handled well - of course, by the time he figured out needles were involved his shirt was already off and the nurse was already starting.  Of course, he had to fuss at times. But he did find.  And of course, he's allergic to many things.  He was very sad to have it confirmed that he was allergic to dogs and cats.

Then there was Melissa.  She was so not happy when she realized that  needles would be in her presence and actually used on her body.  When she had the testing four year, they only did the scratch test on her arms. She was very confused about why she had to take off her shirt and cami. I explained about the back instead of the arms - okay..she said.  In the end  testing was also pretty much what I expected.  Both had blood test and we'll find out those results in a week or so

But the best part of the afternoon was when I had to explain about the paper gown.  I shown her the paper gown and said, "Welcome to womanhood - this is what we wear  when we are at the doctor's."

And her response?

"But..but...that's ugly!"

Yeah.  I know.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


At Sunday school this week the teacher (who is also the pastor and also our next door neighbor) shared how his wife hate hearing people use words that describe God apply to other things.  His example was "holy cow!" Every time she hears that phrase, she says, "There's nothing holy about a cow!"

And  she's right. I had never given this any thought before. As Drew and I were discussing it at dinner last night, he said the same thought had cross his mind as well. 

Some definitions of holy from  Merriam-webster are

1: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness

2: divine

3: devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity

4a : having a divine quality b : venerated as or as if sacred
She's right. There's nothing holy about a cow!  Makes me think about how I use words.   It also brings to mind Ephesians 4:29: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying (encouraging), that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
I need to remember it's not just people who are listening to what I'm saying, but also the Lord.  Words that describe Him should be used with the same reverence we feel towards Him.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Cleaning

Busy day....tomorrow night I'm help Drew host a dinner party for the office that will included his boss (a full colonel) and his boss' boss (a one-star general). Today was the day to clean the house and start the cooking. I made the red beans and also creole today along with a few batches of cookies. In the morning after a quick run to the commissary I will make a salad, bread and a second dessert.

The house looks good...I really should take a few pictures and post them. Several friends have asked to see the house - via the Internet.  Hopefully, I will remember where I've placed my camera.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Spoon Anyone? Noodles?

One thing we noticed when we got our furniture out of storage, is how much our living room furniture squeaks.  You could not sit down without all the springs announcing your actions.  Eventually we would like to replace the set with a leather set. But the purchases we have made since returning to the States, we'll have to wait for a new set.  But we can not live with the squeaks. They got to go!

Today Drew flipped the couches over and remove the covering to reveal the springs in order to lube them up with some WD-40 (a great invention, if you ask me!). As he was removing the bottom covering, the couch revealed more than just old rusted springs.  We also found two dice, one spoon, one pair of scissors, one hot wheel car, three playing cards, one piece of plastic play food (an egg), and interestingly enough two pieces of dried up lasagna noodles.

I don't even want to think about how they got there.

While this set has been in storage for three years, we really didn't use it a whole lot for the six years before that. But when we lived in CA it was our every day furniture...with three toddlers.

Who apparently liked to hide a few things....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Days Just Keep Going

Our days here just keep moving along - nice, don't ya think?  All the kids are enjoying school for the most part.  I am concerned about Melissa and William's backs. There's no lockers at the middle school so everything has to stay in their backpacks and come home everyday.  Which is nice in the sense that they will never forget a notebook they need, but it makes for a full and heavy backpack.  So full and heavy that lunch boxes don't fit it or or even a notebook. 

The kids have had a few "culture shock" moments.  Last weekend I told the kids to get ready for bed. Knowing that Monday morning would come VERY early, I had them to bed closer to 8:30 Saturday night as well as Sunday night. Saturday night William gave me a funny look and said, "Bed? Mom's it's still light outside!" "Yes, but look at the time!!"  He was confused.  You see in Guam we had 12 hours of sunlight all year long.  None of this sunset at 9 p.m. business.  None of this going to bed while the sun is still up.  Just wait until the time changes here - they will be at a totally lost!

Also, Melissa has noticed that all the girls here have long hair, worn in a pony-tails with a BIG bow or long ribbons. We cut her hair VERY short just before  school started. So glad I did! I'm not sure she would have agreed after seeing everyone else's.  Her hair is still baby-fine and just doesn't look good long.  It'll be interesting to see what she wants when it grows blend in with all the other girls or do what looks good for her...
(not the best picture of the new 'do, but will try to work on that)

Ben is settling down in his class. At first he said his teacher wasn't as nice in class as she was at Open House. I think he's warming up to her. Although I will say, with the wonderful and fantastic teachers Ben has in Guam, she has a lot to live up to!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Frist Day of School

Wednesday was the first day of school!! YEAH!!  We were all ready! The kids had been without kids  for most of the summer - since we've left Guam.  They needed to be around kids their own age and they needed time apart from each other.

Even though we knew that most of the other kids in the neighborhood were driven to school, ours would be riding the bus.  While both schools are only ten minutes away from the house, they are in opposite directions.  Besides, I have driven them to school and picked them up for the last three years - it's time for the bus!!

The older two got off okay - even if the bus was about fifteen minutes late.  (We found out later the bus driver forgot someone and had to turn around to get him.)  As we were waiting for Ben's bus, Drew found Melissa's schedule on the kitchen table.

Oooo. Not good. I had visions of her falling apart. Several prayers were said during the day for her.

As they got off the bus at three, she looked at me and said, "That was the best first day EVER!"  Oh, the deep relief I felt.   William was happy with his first day as well. When I asked Melissa about her schedule and how did she deal with it, she said, "I didn't cry! I'm in sixth grade now!"

Well, okay then.

She said she realized pretty quickly after she got on the bus. During class changes the administration stood in the hallway for anyone that needed help - she just went to one of them and asked for a new schedule.  So proud of her. 

William was very impressed with his geometry teacher.  While most students don't take geometry until ninth or tenth grade, William and one other eight grader walk across the parking lot to the high school for this one class.  This teacher gives everyone an electronic "clicker" like the audience would have in a game show such as "Who Wants to be a Millionaire". At the beginning of the class, the teacher puts a problem on the board. The students pressed the correct answer. I also find this very cool!

When Ben came home, he had he had just a "so-so"  day. He said he thought his teacher was nicer on Monday night then during school. But that's Ben. He doesn't get too excited about much. But also, this teacher has some hard acts to follow. Ben had some amazing teachers in Guam! He's spoiled!

I've enjoyed the days of no kids. I've been able to get errands done without anyone asking "How much longer?" or chores around the house without having to settle an argument. 

Oh,  yes.  We are so ready for school to start!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Start of School

Our week started with "Meet Your Teacher" for Ben and Melissa (William's was on  Tuesday night). Over all it was very overwhelming...maybe if we had only done one school instead of two.

Ben's school is just a few years old and looking quite nice and shiney. His teacher seems nice - she's actually turned out to be our back door neighbor.  But something at the school seemed so different....I just couldn't put my finger on it.

I will say that part of the problem was just us being new.  Being new is like walking into a movie at the half way point.  It's hard trying to figure out what are the questions I need to ask....sometimes I know I'm not asking the right ones.   It's hard to figure out what I don't know!

Afterwards we dropped Ben oft at the house and picked up Melissa.   If I was a little overwhemled at Ben's school, then I was WAY overwhelmed at the middle school.  Oh. my.

First there was just so many people. We started off in the gym for the princpal and th 6th grade lead teacher to talk. Once again, something was so different...and I still couldn't figure out what it was.  The cheerleaders also preformed a few cheers for us. Wow. They all were so perky. And looked alike with the cute outfits  - they all had their hair in a pony-tail with a BIG bow. Oh, yeah, baby. We're back in the South now.

As we were standing in line for Melissa schedule, I was looking around and it hit me what was so different. A few families behind me was an Asian family and that's what was so different here  - most people - the teachers, the students, the parents - most were white. Not much diversity at all.

This is so different from the way we have lived. And not just in Guam, but in all the places we lived.  We have had friends from all races. In all the kids' school classes I don't think they ever were in the majority. The races were pretty evenly divided.  Makes me wonder how this will efffect them.

Another reason Monday was overwhelming was dealing with the middle school colors and mascot. Purple and gold - the tigers. Oh, my. This Ole  Miss Rebel just doesn't like those colors together and I have no use for tigers.

Middle school just may be a long time for me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A New Start

We made it through last week. While Melissa and Benjamin were upset and disappointed, they survived.  I'm not sure if they will try out next year or not, but I hope so.  William has already said he would. He did a great job as an urchin. (That would be a street urchin not a sea urchin.....which makes so much more sense....)

Tomorrow we get to meet Benjamin and Melissa's teachers - Tuesday we get to meet William's.  We are very excited. (okay - I'm very excited....I'm sure the kids would like summer to last a little longer.) School starts Wednesday, but the Melissa and William have already started. Here honor students have summer homework.  Not sure how feel about summer homework.... I do see the value of keeping the  mind going. I also think though the average student should be challenged as well.

Both have to read two books and do two project for each.  Melissa has read both of her books and has started on one project each.  I think William has read one....not sure....but tomorrow morning we'll be having mandatory study time.  Yeah...they'll gonna love that!  I'm hoping they will get at least some of it done in the next week or so.  By then they will have normal homework to do as well.

So...what will I do with the kids in school all day?? (Besides jump for joy???)  I still have a few boxes that were in storage for the last three years that I want to go through. Then I will work on my photo albums.   I'm at least a year behind on the family album.   I'm hoping to get caught up before I start getting involved in a things (or before my husband makes me go back to work!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A New Plan

This week requires a new plan. The original plan was to drop all the kids off at drama camp with the Missoula Theater people,and enjoy some kid-free time. But that did not work out as we had thought it would.  In Guam all who showed up got a part. Here? More kids than part equals to lots of tears and heart break.

While I knew the camp only had so many costumes (typically 40), I never dreamed that 91 kids would show up!! Of course, it didn't help that the Youth Center (that host the camp) sends all their day care kids to try out.

Benjamin was not too hip in going in the first place, but after he got there he got into the fun...only to be "crushed" (his words). Apparently at one point he fell doing a head-stand, got embarrassed and cried for a part of the two hours. (If you know Benjamin at all , you know this is normal behavior for him - he cried whenever he is embarrssed or told that he did wrong...he cries alot....) But that aside - by the end he was hoping for a part. Tears on his part and he now calls them "evil people".

Melissa has been looking forward to this week for about six months - that's when I got on the Missoula web site and saw they were coming to Barksdale at the perfect time for us. Oh, the best laid plans....  All the way home from the base she cried, "I can be funny! I can be loud! This was to be the best week of my life. Now it's the worse." I even heard, "I have a headache from crying so much."

Oh....what's a mamma's heart to do? It took everything I had not to sit down and cry with them.

Then there's William. Who got a part. So. Lots of talk about grace and gentleness and understanding in the house. 

My week now consist of movie marathon here at the house today. First up was Firehouse Dog - if you have not seen it - check it out! Very cute!. Now playing is the Sword and the Stone - with popcorn and pickles no less (sorry - no fired pickles, today...maybe tomorrow).  Later today we will be showing Elf.  Tomorrow B&M will be going to see another movie...not sure which one....maybe Ramona and Beezus and lunch out. Thursday will the science/discovery center. And ending Friday with a day at the swimming pool.

Then they have to live through seeing William preform....yeah....hopefully, they will deal with that well.

Rejection is hard. Especially since we did not anticipate this. I wish I had thought about the number of costumes or asked how many kids came last  year (which I now know they cut 50 kids as well)....warned the kids....had them practice.  It is a good lesson is not getting everything you want....but wow. It just breaks my heart to see my kids hurt so.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Book Filled Summer

This has been a book filled summer. I have been able to read, read, and get even more reading in. And I have loved every minute- and page - of it!   If you  look on my Book/Author page, you 'll see a list of books that I've read - not all this summer...but most of them.

I really should have counted them...

But! I am almost ready for  break.  I have three more books out from the library here that I plan to read then I'll be taking a break.

A few books I read I ended up just scanning instead of reading word-for-word.  Both were Barbara Delinksy books. One - The Women Next Door - begins with a young widow becoming pregnant way after her husband passes. All the other wives in the cud-de-sac suspect their husbands.

Really?  All of them? That just hit me wrong. A group of women from all walks of life and all of them think their husband cheated on them?? So, I just scanned the book one day while I waited for Mom when she had her physical therapy. 

The other one of Babara Delinksy that hit me wrong was called Facets.  In it was a much older that had control issues. I just couldn't get past how anyone could be that evil and controlling - and still in charge of so much.  Maybe I'm being naive, but I didn't want to waste my time reading about that kind of person.  I do enjoy the Christian fiction that is out now. A lot of it is 'fluff' as some of my friends call it, but at least I know good will out win the bad by the last page. I like happy endings.

I am in love with the library here. I'm not sure when it was built, but I would say within the last ten years. So many great books! And most of them look new. I hate using a library where all the books seem old - so old that no one has read most of them in a number of years. And I have gotten to the point that I do want to read new books - books that show the technology that we live with now - cell phones, email, etc. And the kids seem impress with the library as well - a big bonus.  It seems a lot of the books they offer in the kids' sections seem to be new - hot-off-the-press as well. I see the library a lot in our life here.

One reason I need a break from reading is my 'to-do' list. It's getting long.  Nothing earth shattering  - but I want to get caught up on my scrap-booking and finish getting the house in order.  Things that will be easier to work on when the kids are in school and I have some quiet time. 

School here starts Aug 11 - just a week from Wednesday! Crazy! But good...oh, so, good.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

This and That

It's been a good weekend. Mom and Dad came Friday in time for lunch and stayed through Saturday  morning. Mom and I only got one scrabble game in, but we did get in two shopping trips. Both of us got a few things we really liked.   They will come back next weekend along with Drew's parents in order to see the kids in a play.

Tomorrow all three of the kids will attend  camp Missoula Children's Theater.  William and Melissa attended last year in Guam. The play was The Jungle Book. This year they will be preforming Pinocchio. Drew and I are being mean parents and forcing Benjamin to attend as well.  He's not overly thrilled, but oh well. He will live. And how knows! He just might learn something or even joy himself!

Here the show will be dinner theater style. We are all very excited about it (okay - maybe not Ben!). Should be a good time - and we are especially thrilled that all the grandparents will be here as well to watch our budding  thespians.

And I have lots planned for my kid-free time as well....I see a Starbucks in my future, errands, and shopping - all without any short person complaining!