Friday, June 27, 2008


(Copied & edited from family email)
Monday, Jason returns to active duty military life, working for the National Guard full time about two hours away. He will be home only three weekends a month (still has to do his one weekend a month drills). We are choosing to live apart for awhile because the world is what it is and deployment is in our near future. I don't want to move with the kids now and then be living away from family while he's deployed. Plus, the kids are in such good school situations here, we want to give them a couple more solid years before we have to move them. There is always the possibility that he'll be able to transfer somewhere closer once he gets back.

It's scary and awful, but good too. There are things the military can provide that we need and have missed. And Jason has missed being a soldier, it's the life he loves.

Jason's new job is with the headquarters of his unit. So, when he deploys, he'll be far away from the front lines. In an air conditioned building (thank goodness computers need air conditioning) somewhere with all the big wigs. We're counting every small blessing we can find.

All really is well, but we're busy making all the arrangements right now. Keeping the kids stable is priority number one. Emma seems excited that her daddy will be a soldier again (plus the thought of talking to him via web cam is just too cool for words), but the reality will be hard. And we never know how George will interpret long absences. Most likely, Jason will have a 35 pound growth attached to him every weekend!

So, you'll either find a LOT more blog posts here as I use it to share pictures with Jason, or the time between posts will be ever longer as my time on the computer dwindles. Either way, I'm grateful that technology will keep our family together, even when we're a world apart.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where did June go?

Life is busy.
Many changes happening really quickly.
Big ones, exciting ones, scary ones.
More details later.

Right now, we're busy playing.
Happy Summer!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

There's paint under my fingernails!

This morning I went and played scrapbooker with the girls. Like, real scrapbooker, with real paper and glue and such. I sat with another digital scrapbooker, my friend Becky, and we painted our albums, covered them with paper, cut our photos (did you know there's no "undo" button in paper scrapbooking?), and Mod Podged like crazy. We also had a yummy breakfast, chatted with ten other fun and creative women, used new tools, and brought home TONS of amazing products. And it was good.

I only finished a couple of pages beyond the cover, but that's pretty good for me, I think! In that picture above there are 68 photos waiting to go into this album. Don't know how many will actually make it, but I'm going to try to relax and let it flow.

I think it's pretty funny that I'm making a paper album of my trip to Vegas with my friends from Digital Scrapbook Place. Ironic, no?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Poor Boy

Guess who's jammies are in the wash.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On the brink

The last day of first grade. Totally excited, yet doing a lot of thinking this morning.

Emma and I have had some ups & downs this year. Lots of struggles, trying to find a balance of needs between (or rather, encompassing) her and her brother. Other people tell me what a delightful, polite little girl she is and I look at them, thinking, "I don't know who you see, because at home a crazed, attitude filled monster takes over." And then she comes to me for a cuddle, or to share her excitement over her plants, or giggling about some silly joke. And I see that she's just a little girl. And that I'm expecting her to be more. More responsible, less childlike. How crazy is that?

She has the double pressure of being my oldest child and the older sister of a special needs brother. And here, in this picture, I see that. The other pictures I took this morning show her jumping up and down, totally thrilled about summer vacation. But this one speaks to me more. It shows her thoughtful side. The slightly insecure posture. The little girl on the brink of growing up out of childhood. It is my goal this summer to remember that she's still a child. A beautiful, talented, smart, silly, happy, loving child.

Who, as of 11:45 today, will be a second grader. Yikes.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Every Monday afternoon I volunteer in Emma's classroom. Unbeknownst to me, today was Field Day for Kindergarten through Second graders. I just spent and hour and a half yelling at, er, cheerleading and herding about a thousand and two kiddos around a circle as they balanced cups of water on their heads. My vocal chords are not happy with me.

I also got many enthusiastic hugs from the kids that know me (and a few that just felt like hugging). So I got a bit wet. Then I handed out popsicles. So I got a bit sticky. Fun times!

I'm going to miss this class of Emma's though. They are a great bunch of kids. I never pictured myself as a room mother, but I have loved it. Can't wait to see if it works out next year!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Perfect Day for a "Hicnic"

This morning started with Emma running a fever and upchucking the last three days' worth of food, so I didn't have very high hopes. But she recovered and we have since had a wonderful day. She and I ran some errands and enjoyed some rare Mommy-daughter time. She tends to get stuck behind the needs and schedule of her brother, and when we do get to be alone, I'm usually distracted and thinking ahead to the next project for him. Getting out with no agenda or schedule was amazing. I rediscovered the bright, sweet, smart little girl I am blessed with.

Then we came home to an unexpected and delightful bar-b-que and picnic. My brother seems to think all days in Oregon are dark and dreary (and granted, lately they've been leaning further that direction than I like), but the following pictures should prove that we do get our fair share of sunshine, too.
Jason is spending much of the day working on his Jeep. Radio blaring, beer in hand, tools strewn everywhere. A perfect day.Armory and I spent some time reading and scratching and watching children play.

Play-doh, sprinklers, and swings are on the schedule for the rest of the afternoon. THEN, Jason and I head out to the movies! *falling over in disbelief* With FRIENDS! I know, I know, the planets must be aligning or something. There's no other explanation for so much good in one day.

Go Shopping!

(Click on photo for details) Great deal that expires at the end of the weekend. And heck, $75 worth of gas will buy you, what, maybe a tank full? At Shell prices, maybe not, but still, every bit counts these days.
Oh, and did I mention that I'll be taking a 1,000+ mile road trip this summer? So, you know, if you don't want to use your gas cards......

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Important Poll

So, let's talk about something other than sleep (or lack thereof), sickness/coughing, and children for a moment, okay? I have an important decision to make and I need your help.

Jason and Mom have both asked me what kind of Cake I want for my birthday this year (two weeks from Wednesday, in case you're wondering). Now for most of my life I've asked Mom to make me Chocolate Cake with chocolate frosting and cherries. Sometimes, to mix things up a bit, I ask for German Chocolate Cake, yummmmmm. (And yes, "Cake", and all it's subsidiaries, must be capitalized, it's that important.) Post marriage and children, all I ask is that I don't have to make it.

This year, I'm thinking out of the box. As much as I love Cake, there is the choice of shaking things up a bit and having a special dessert of any kind. I mean, how often do we have dessert, right? So, the options:

Chocolate Cake or German Chocolate Cake

Dump Cake - horrible name, yummy, yummy, yummy dessert (heck, with two sticks of butter, what's not to like?)

Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Cake - it doesn't get much better than this

Frozen Black Bottom Banana Pie - chocolate, bananas, pudding, AND Cool Whip? Yum!

Molten Chocolate Cake - holy moly

Chocolate, Strawberry & Cookie Parfaits - ooooh, or with raspberries....

Okay, or anything from the Chocolate Lover's page!

Your turn! Give me your vote, or add your own favorite dessert! I may have to make more than one!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Morning musings

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
~William Shakespeare, Macbeth

It's amazing to me how broken sleep can completely turn your life upside down. And conversely, sleeping just a couple hours more, without waking, makes all of life's little hardships so much easier to take.

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.
~Leo J. Burke

Friday night, Jason and I spent the hour from 2 am to 3 am soothing a coughing little boy and catching & cleaning up his regurgitated dinner. Poor little guy just couldn't catch his breath. After remaking his bed and calming him down, we went back to bed and listened to him through the wall for another hour. The next morning, I felt like death. Jason stayed home from work to help out and allow me to recover a bit.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.
~Irish Proverb

Saturday night, we all slept clear through until 7 am. I still have the cold that descended upon me yesterday, but somehow, it's not bothering me a bit. The kids and I are smiling and having a muffin picnic ("hicnic" in Georgie terminology) in the living room, and Jason rode his bike to work.

Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking.
~Clifton Fadiman

Isn't it incredible though, the thoughts you think in the dark hours of the morning? Problems that could be solved in five minutes during the daylight take at least an hour to mull over and stress about at night. Even my minimal "to do" list that I have running on a continual loop through my mind becomes a hamster wheel spinning out of control at night. Why the need to return books to the library is so stress-inducing at 3 am, I really don't know.

If people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters.
~Author unknown, attributed to Jim Davis

With our brains and bodies refreshed, I'd say today is a good day to get outside a bit, take those books back to the library, and refill the cough medicine prescription. Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


My children are playing together. Sharing a single puzzle. Not screaming. Not whining.

Might have something to do with the zombie effect of the antihistamine.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Allergies, who knew?!

Yesterday's doctor visit had surprising results. Instead of bronchitis or just a bad cold with a side of pink eye, George has seasonal allergies. Last week it looked like it was snowing all over town as the cottonwood trees did their annual shedding, so that may have started him off; or just simply the abundance of pollen flying about this time of year. Either way, the slightly runny nose was actually causing the cough as his throat was being irritated constantly by drainage. (Ewww, sorry about that visual.)

The pink eye was a side effect that has already gone away with the help of ointment, YAY! Not so great is the fact that now I have to get George to take medicine. Not an easy task for someone with George's heightened taste senses. Most medicines these days helpfully come in kid-friendly flavors. Unfortunately, those kid-friendly flavors are so sugary sweet that he can taste the medicine no matter what I try to hide it in. Case in point, I put the grape flavored liquid into his favorite grape juice. Nope, he smelled it, took one sip, and wouldn't go near the cup.

(Getting him to swallow the medicine by itself is quite literally impossible. He has super hero strength and it takes two of us to hold him down, then he locks his jaw and refuses to swallow. I always end up doing the laundry and sticking him in the shower after an attempt. Not worth the mess or stress.) So, I purchased some adult tablets that I cut up and ground down to powder I could hide in yogurt. He ate it!! I'll be asking the doctor for a prescription for adult antihistamine if it seems to be working.

No school for him today, but he'll be able to go tomorrow morning, so I can get a few last errands done (i.e. teacher gifts, eek!!) That is, if we all get to sleep past 3 am tonight.

What to do with a tired kid with newly diagnosed seasonal allergies? Take him outside and play in the grass of course!
And this picture, just 'cause she's cute!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Good Goopy Grief

Two days left of preschool, George wakes up with Pink Eye.

Bad news: Mommy just lost her last days of no-kid time and gained a cranky kid.

Good news: A doctor's appointment in an hour where we can get some antibiotics that will hopefully help not only his eyes, but also the cough that's keeping us all up at night.

Poor little dude, all he wants is a heated blanket, some muffins & juice, and Thomas. Oh, and Mommy. Coming, buddy!

Monday, June 02, 2008


Due to the sounds of George's cough coming through the walls, the cat jumping on the bed and climbing all over me, and the dog's tail (thumping because she wants to be on the bed, too), I've been awake since about 3 am. Around 4:45, I gave up and got up.

So, I thought I'd share a picture of the sunrise with you!

Have I mentioned we're bringing a new kitten home later in the week? Be ready for more sunrise photos!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

My Boys

As seen in DSP's June Newsletter: