Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone.  The mummy and I will be going out for a haunting good time tonight.  PB is going camping with her girl scout troop and they will be having a costume contest and many other fun activities, but no trick or treating for her this year.  That makes it a little difficult for me to post a picture of her in full vampire gear, but perhaps I'll make her put it all on one day next week so I can get a picture for posterity.

I'll leave you with my mummy...isn't he just too stinkin cute for words?

Thursday, October 30, 2008


It has been a world wind week here.  Costumes and goodies to complete, unpleasant meetings, tons of work, plus all the day to day requirements have left me wishing for a lot more hours in each day.  I'm looking forward to a ton of sleep this coming weekend...we even gain an hour on Sat night/Sun Morning.  I need it.  Let's hope I don't stay up thinking...ah it's only 10, not really

The kids had their harvest festivals today at school.  I think it's crazy that they are so afraid of offending people that they have harvest festivals on the 30th.  Harvest festivals filled with a costume parade, halloween candy, etc.  I don't understand how moving it by one day and renaming it makes it okay for those people opposed to their children celebrating halloween.   It's not that I don't respect their right to hold that belief, more that I don't understand how it changes things.

Here's a picture of the favors we made for PB's and Monster's classes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the story of the munchkin

When Bug was 3, I met her father.  2 weeks before her 4th birthday, we were married and I became her mama.  Truth be told, she had me before he did, and he knows it.  I fell in love with the sweet little girl she was.  At this time, the custody agreement was in place for her to spend 6 months straight with each parent. 

When Bug was almost 5, we agreed to let her move in with her mother for the school year so that she could start school.  It was a difficult decision, but we did our best to make it work.  PB was born while Bug was with her mother, so they didn't meet for the first time until Thanksgiving.  I believe it could be considered love at first sight.  We worked very hard to make sure that Bug knew how much we loved and missed her.  We set aside time devoted to her when she visited, but made sure she still had rules and limits.

After a year and a half, she decided she wanted to come live with us.  We told her she had to finish out her first grade year with her mom, and we would discuss it over the summer.  We mde sure she understood that if she said she wanted to come live with us, she had to be sure.  Once the wheels were turning, there would be no mind changing.  She was adamant.  At the end of the summer, DDS informed Bug's mom that she wouldn't be returning to her for the school year.  She arrived on our doorstep 12 hours later afer driving all night.  She went to court and filed for Emergency Custody.  In our state, as soon as a custody petition is filed, the child is required to stay in this state unless both parties agree otherwise, or a judge rules differently.  Several months later, they met for mediation, which failed.  In January, we went to court, and after listening to both parents and speaking with Bug, the judge decided that she was best served living with us.  Bug's mom did not act very mature about this decision, and Bug ended up with a lot of anger and anomisity towards her mother after this time.

Bug has lived with us ever since, with regular visits to her mother. I have been her mother.  I have taken care of her when she is sick, driven her to her many activities, helped her with homework, planned her birthday parties, spent hours at airports with her.  I'm the one that schedules the necessary doctor and dental appointments, who gets her up in the morning and helps tuck her in at night.  She has always been treated just like the other two in this house. 

Usually, we've found that 8 weeks is when it all starts to fall apart while at her mom's.  It will be interesting to see how long she lasts living there full time and going to school.  Her decision to go live with her mother hurt me and made me angry.  I'm still working through these feelings, trying to be adult about the situation. 

I'm afraid of the damage she has done to her relationships with the family members here.  Not just myself, or even her brother and sister, but her aunt and grandmothers.  I'm also worried about what it's done to her academic future.  The schools where she transferred to don't have the same level of classes as this school here does. 

I love her, and I wish her the best.  I'm hoping that somehow we are all proven wrong with this experiment.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Noodle Net...safeguarding your computer from the real threats!

Looking for a nice piece of software to help you manage your kids computer?  I've found and fell in love with Noodle Net. It's $40.00 for a year subscription, but you can get a 30 day trial for free. You log into it, and it locks your children out of everything except those sites and programs you approve. No more of them messing around on the desktop and diconnecting your wireless, or changing the font. You approve programs and websites and that's what they have access to.  There's also a timer feature that locks them out after a certain time limit is reached.  You just have to remember your password. My 5 year old loves it, because he doesn't need any help getting to the sites he's allowed to be on. It comes loaded with some kid friendly sites already, and it's very easy to add more to it.  You can have several accounts, and you assign each child a symbol as well as there name, so it's easy for the younger ones to use. 

This is not a paid review.  This is just a product that I found and liked.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A haunting good time

Tonight, we carved our pumpkins.  Well, PB and Monster carved their pumpkins (with a little help from mom, of course.)  Usually, I manage to get a few pictures of the process, but being the only pair of adult hands makes that a little difficult.  I did get pictures of the after.  I'm pretty proud of both of them.

Monster and I drew his jack'o'lantern face on a piece of paper before drawing it on the pumpkin.  There was a little confusion with the mouth.  Apparently we weren't speaking the same language there, but a visual helped us work through that.  We have those special tools, so we pulled them out and he was able to do a lot of it himself, with just a little bit of help from mom.  When he was complete, he named him "Jack", and his nickname (or second name as Monster refers to it) is Little Jackie.  Monster loves him.

PB picked a stencil of a ghost. With a little direction and very little help from me, she was able to handle this on her own.  Watching her reminded me how big she is getting.  And I was able to catch a glimpse of her father in her...that tongue as working hard during the carving process.

When we returned home from soccer practice, we placed the electric tea lights in and oohed and ahhed.

Jack aka Little Jackie by Monster
The Ghost by Princess Bear
Mama's pumpkin.  Not carved.  So pretty, huh?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Busy Busy Sunday

Wow!  What a productive day it's been.  I straightened up the garage, the shed, the back yard, and worked on the treats for the kids classes.  My mom came over and helped, which was great.  PB was at her quilting class...she ended up in a one on one class, and she had a blast.  She'll go back Thursday night to finish up the quilt top, then we have to show her how to back it and have it quilted.  It looks very cute, and very her.  I'll have pictures later this week of both the treats and the quilt!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthdy Bug

My Bug turned 15 today.  I missed her.  I received a text and sent her one, and we had mailed her package out in plenty of time for her to receive it, but it wasn't the same.  So many changes this fall.  We're all adjusting, doing fine.  But sometimes, I'm reminded that it sucks.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Off to the pumpkin patch

There's a local farm market that we usually go to in the fall.  They have a whole little festival thing going on, with two corn mazes, pumpking painting, and other activities.  We usually go out to their pumpkin patch and pick up a pumpkin as well.
This year, it seems like they are truly in it just for the money.  It no longer felt like the quaint farm market.  And then we noticed the pumpkin patch.  I've seen Easter Egg hunts that were harder than the pumpkins in this patch.  It wasn't much better than going to some store and picking one out of a bin.  That wouldn't do at all.
So, this afernoon, my SIL and I took PB and Monster to another patch a few minutes away.  This one has pumpkins and gourds in the you pick area, and still isn't too "commercial."  Of course, my battery died on my camera.  I always forget to charge the stupid thing.  But I was able to click off these two.
We all liked these gourds.  The orange one is as big as a pumpkin.
A good time was had by all.  When we were done, my SIL and I were purusing the little store.  They have lots of neat things, and lots of breakables.  We set our pumpkins on a table while we strolled.  Whenit was time to leave, PB picked hers up before I could get Monster and mine picked up, and the table tilted.  One of the pumpkins went rolling off the table, onto a very nice platter, which went flying onto the floor.  I'm still not sure how neither the pumpkin or the plae didn't break.  We put the plate back, picked up the pumpkins, and got the heck out of dodge.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Not even the lesser of two evils

I'm not very vocal about my politics. In general, I believe that sometimes the government needs to govern, but that we need to protect our right to choose. I'm actually a pretty tolerant person. Just because your views of life, your lifestyle, your choices are different than mine, that doesn't make them wrong. As long as you are not harming anyone, you should be free to go about your business.

I am a registered Independent. This means that I can not vote in any of the primary elections. My children often ask me who I'm going to vote for, and my answer continues to be I don't know. I don't know who I'm going to vote for in the Presidential election, our State Governor's election, the Senate, the House. I don't know. Its not because I'm not listening, reading, thinking. It's because no one impresses me that strongly. I just don't know.

There is so much hinging on this election, and I just don't feel a strong sense that either of these candidates can effectively, completely lead us going forward.

What also scares me is how fanatic some people have become about their candidate. People are judging people solely based on who they are supporting. Nasty comments, demeaning words, and I'm not just talking about the campaign commercials. It causes me to worry that this election will cause a divide so deep, it might not ever be fixed. And that scares me more than the thought of either of these candidates leading us into the future.

My choice this election? Can I have a do over?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Drama really is over-rated

I'm always very careful about what I write about here. While I try to maintain some level of anonymity on this blog, some one could figure out who I am and who I am talking about with very little brain power. And while no one in my family reads this site but my husband, I know the day may come when they discover it, so I try hard to be fair to all parties, and keep my fingers closed on some subjects.

But I'm mad. And annoyed. Not with my family (well, not any more than usual anyways), but with a group that I've agreed to hold a leadership position in. And I keep trying to write a post aboout it, vent about it, and I know that someday I will have to answer to that post. So it doesn't come. So I guess a general gripe will have to do.

There are people that agreed to serve in a leadership capacity that haven't stepped up and done anything. There are people who want to complain about when the meetings are, and yet when we reschedule, they can't attend. There are people that just want to complain about everything and never provide input.

But there are also people who believe in what we're doing. People who come to the meetings, no matter what. People who stop and tell me what a difference we're making in other people's lives. They show me that all this drama, all this frustration, it has meaning. And so, for a little while longer, I'll serve. But one day, there is going to be an ugly post up here if things don't get better.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fun Monday

I need to get back into the Fun Monday group. I miss those posts, miss reading other people's view of a topic. And I need some blog fodder. Everything I want to post about takes time, and lately that has been in very short supply.

Can you believe Christmas is TWO months from Saturday? Where does the time go?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What a load of clothes!

We handled the switching of clothes today.  Wow, PB as a lot of clothes.  Most of them are hand me downs from Bug, but goodness there is a ton.  My mom came over and helped us sort through the winter and summer and pass along the ones that no longer fit, store the ones for warm weather, and straighten a bit in her room.  I've worked through the Monsters clothes (his don't take nearly as long) and will be doing mine shortly.  I'm tired, but it's sort of fun having a whole new wardrobe available.  It's also nice having it all organized, at least for a bit.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I have lots to say but no motivation and time to put the words down.  Maybe soon it will come.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh what a night

My game night was last night, and while it wasn't anything out of the ordinary and I didn't win any prizes, it was a good time. I needed the break from all of the responsibilities in my life, and I felt exhausted but recharged once it was done. I'm so thankful for the ladies in this group. They take the time to check on me, but don't dwell. They tell me great stories, and keep me entertained. And occassionaly they make me laugh so hard I almost wet myself. Pretty much, it's perfect.

And I came home to clean children sleeping soundly. Beautiful.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Love is being bossy

Today is "National Boss Day." I didn't know this earlier today. When I was in with my boss earlier today, I noticed a very nicely wrapped package of candy on his desk, and I thought that I should go check the calendar. And then he gave me a list of a few things to get done before our 1pm meeting and I forgot all about it.

I went into my 10:30 meeting, and when I came out there was a lovely bouquet of flowers on my desk. The lovely ladies who work for me, who are all good employees anyway, had purchased them for me, along with two cards. They all wrote sweet things in the cards and they moved me to a few tears.

I was touched to know that what I strive to be (a caring boss that feels we are all on the same team) is how they see me as well. I really needed that today. It made my Love Thursday lovely.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas already

Today begins the sign up for the Color Me Happy Swaparooni's Ornament Swap over on flickr. This is a great group, but it's by referral only. So if you want to join, someone in the group has to know you and refer you. Do I haunt your blog? Have you commented here? I could probably sponsor you then :)

CMHS November-December 2008 Ornament Swap by Oh My Stinkin' Heck!

In addition to this, we're working on Christmas ornaments for the unit. Guess it's going to get me in the mood.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I need to overhaul my blog

I seriously have to find some time to sit down, open the tutorials I have, and fix the layout of this blog. I know I can do it, but can't seem to find the time. I'm sick of the colors, and now that I've added the blogher ad network, things are all unbalanced. Perhaps I'll get some time this weekend...hahahahaha!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A holiday, but not a day off

So, today was a state and federal holiday, which means I didn't have to go to my job. However, the kids still had school, and the Youth Center was closed (it's a federal program). So, I got to take PB to school this morning, and then take Monster this afternoon. I was supposed to stay and help out in his room, but his teacher went home sick and didn't leave any directions. So I went home and did some chores. Then back to the school to pick up PB for a counselling appt, and then home to get more chores done. It was a busy day, and I think it would have been less so if I had gone to work!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Princess had a busy day planned for us today. This morning she had to be in church to play handbells before late service, and then I had to drive like a maniac (a safe maniac though) to get her to a town 25 minutes away to show her sheep. We got there, and then proceeded to wait over 6 hours until her time to show. Not the fault of anyone we were there with, but oh my, that was a long day. We finally returned home at 8 and had to get ready for the next day. McDonald's on the way home was dinner...yuck.

They went to Sunday School for the first time this year this morning. They've had two other weeks of it, but the first weekend was Bug's spa sleepover, and then last weekend we said goodbye to daddy in the wee hours of the morning. Monster was so excited to go...such a difference from last year. He is doing so well, I am so proud of him.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To my best friend

I can't believe we've been together almost 12 years, and married for 11 years today. When I said forever, I meant it. We've been through a lot in these past 12 years. We've definitely been through the sickness, poor and worse times. But we've always gotten through them together.

I know there are times I drive you crazy, just as there are times you drive me crazy. But we work well together. No matter what, I know you support me, even if you don't agree with me.

We've built a very good life together. We have three beautiful children, a nice house and cars, good jobs, and a fulfilling life. I am thankful every day that I said yes, that I've stuck through those bad times, poor times.

I really do feel lost without you here. I know that I can do it without you, but I prefer to do it with you. I know that in a few weeks, the routine will be set and most days won't be such a suck. But right now, today? It sucked. All I want for my anniversary is to hold my husbands hand, curl up in his arms, and have him tell me it will all be alright.

Next year, we will be spending our anniversary somewhere where I can just sit and do that. Preferably with someone to wait on us hand and foot.

I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Stay safe and come home to me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Isn't it supposed to get better every year?

So Monster is the only child enrolled in soccer this year.  PB's age group didn't have enough for a team, and by the time they told us, it was too late to enroll her elsewhere.  Most of the teams starting practicing weeks ago, and the first games were last weekend.  Monster's first practice was last Thurs.  His coach didn't show up, some other person showed up to "help him out."  My mom had taken him since we were off getting our new military ID cards.  It was chaos.  Someone handed out tshirts, and said someone will call you with further info.  No one called.  I asked about it yesterday afternoon, and was told they had finally found  a coach, and that he would have practice tonight at 5 and a game Thurs night at 5:30.  We showed up coach.  Several of the moms stepped up to help out, but it was still chaos.  I can't wait for the month of soccer to be over already.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Working through it.

I promise this isn't going to become a mopy blog about deployment, but I'm not promising I won't be mopy about it sometimes.

Do you know when it's the hardest?  When you're crawling into bed and when you are first waking up.  The crawling into bed wasn't so bad last night, as I was exhausted.  But the waking up?  That was almost impossible this morning.  Which is why I was late for work and PB was almost late for school.  (Almost, but I pulled it out.)  Thank goodness I have understanding people at work.

It's also hard when everyone wants to know how you are doing.  I know they mean well, but usually I'm working along, not even thinking about it, and then someone asks.  I'm not saying they shouldn't ask.  I appreciate that they are thinking about us. 

Tonight will be the first night of the new routine.  I'm anxious to see how it goes.  I have so many little things I need to do, but I bet all I manage tonight is time with the kidlins and dinner.  And I'm okay with that.

I think I want to put a graphic up to tell me how long I have left.  Maybe I'll search for one later.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I've just returned home from sending my husband off to war.  I've sent him off before, but never to war.  I've known this was coming, I've been preparing for it for a very long time.  But that doesn't mean it was easy.  The tears I hate came, and I tried my best to smile through them.  I hope I told him enough that I love him.  I hope he knows how much we will miss him.  I pray I am strong enough to do the right things for my children as they cope with the missing their father and their sister.  I pray that this year flies by.  I haven't allowed myself to think about a year.  I've looked at little pieces.  Tonight, driving home with my babies asleep in the back seat, I let myself consider it.  It isn't a pretty picture.  No more of that.

I know he misses us, too.  I know he's scared and excited and worried.  The most important thing for me to tell him now is that we love him very much, and we want him home safe as soon as possible.

I'm off to cuddle those babies in my bed.  Kiss your husbands for me, and tell them how much you love them.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Timing is everything

(I have to put a little prelude in here to bring you all up to speed with my life.  Bug is my stepdaughter, and while her father is deployed, she is going to live with her mother in a northern mid-western state.  She will be leaving Saturday, he will be leaving Sunday.  This was sprung on us in the last week, and I have lots more I could say, but I won't (at least right now).  PB and Monster have only known since Sunday.)

It's that final week of life PD (Pre-deployment).  I don't think it matters if you have a year to prepare, or only three weeks, this week is one of the hardest.  Things are packed, boxes are loaded on trucks and sent on their way, duffels are stored fully loaded, decisions have been made, and all those last minute details you forgot about are popping up.  And you are waiting.  You spend every day with a sense of anticipation and dread.  You avoid looking at the calendar, you stop keeping track of the days.  Mornings come way too soon, and bedtimes stretch way too late.  You gather up all those things you know you are going to miss, trying to store away a few moments to pull out in the coming year.  Those minutes just after waking in the morning, when the bed is warm and you are so comfortable and happy to just snuggle.  When you are sitting at the table and the kids are so hungry you let them say one of the cheesy graces just so you can eat.  Everyone piling on the bed to make some decision...what to get for dinner, when to go to the movies, etc.  You realize that this could be the last time you are able to do this for the next year.  And you do your best to push away the thoughts, the sadness, and remember to enjoy and live in that moment.  You spend every waking hour on the verge of strong emotions...tears, anger, frustration, elation.  People comment on how well you are taking this separation.  What do they want me to do?  Wail and scream and cry?  What will that do?  All I see in that path is the chance to be even more miserable for the next year.

People comment often that they couldn't do this.  They couldn't be married to the military.  And I do believe that it takes a certain group of traits to be a military spouse.  You cannot be an overly needy person, and you have to maintain a strong self-reliance.  You have to like yourself and be confident in your ability.  That doesn't mean that you don't need the other person.  My husband makes my life better.  It isn't always easier, but it is better.  That doesn't mean that it isn't good without him, though. 

We've known for over a year, ad we've worked towards being prepared.  We've had discussions, made agreements and arrangements.  We thought we were prepared.  But the last few days reminded me what I had forgotten.  You are never really prepared.

Yesterday, that fact was slammed into me several times.  Work is crazy busy and very frustrating at the moment. Our personal life is crazy and frustrating at the moment.  By the time I got home last night, I just wanted to crawl into bed and hide.  But dinner had to be made, projects had to be completed, showers needed supervised.  I worked through the chores with a strong sense that one more thing was going to hurtle me over the abyss, down into the craziness.  I felt brittle and stiff, sad and frustrated.  I worked very hard at maintaining my composure, but it was hard.

There were two bright spots in my night.  I came home to find a wonderful box of goodies from my Swapangel.  Unfortunately, my swap partner in the last swap did not fulfill her duties, but a very nice member stepped up and really outdid herself.  And it came at the perfect moment.  I was also able to carve out some time to spend in my sewing room.  A good hour and half of (mostly) uninterrupted sewing really soothed my soul.

Tomorrow is the ceremony.  I see wide scale chaos, and rivers of tears being shed.  At this point, I'm just living minute by minute.