30 March 2009

so so so excited...

...not nearly as excited as I will be in June, but still. Excited nonetheless.

My cousins, Lindsay and Ari, are coming to visit for a quick trip! They will be here Friday. What fun! I have to finish some sewing projects so I can make room in the office for the pull-out sofa.

We are feeling the fatigue from this deployment. All of us in different ways. I asked the ladies in my bible study group to please, please, please pray for me because I am tired. One of the ladies said as she was praying, "Lord, please just give her something to brighten her days..." I thought that was so sweet. Then Sunday night, my Aunt Lyla called to work out some details. I think we are all pretty excited...(except for maybe Lindsay's husband, Marvin!) This is definitely a day-brightener!

The other day when we were walking home from the bus stop, Wilson said, "I wish one of my grandparents or great-grandparents were here so we could have some company." That boy sure can grip a heart! I reminded him that Yaya is coming in May, but that still seemed far off to him, I think. Now he keeps telling me the countdown on how many days until Ari comes... and we've only known for two days.

Sometimes I feel so spoiled!

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On the way in to the commissary today, I was carrying Walker and I whispered in his ear, "I sure do love you Walker!" And I am pretty sure he said, "I love you too, Momma."

A few seconds went by and he added, "But Miss Barbie is my girl." I asked him, "Miss Barbie is your girl?"

Walker replies, "Yes, and Miss Barbie is Wilson's girl too."

29 March 2009

march madness...

...in this case, I am actually talking about the absolutely CRAZY weather we have been having! So, I told you we had a tornado warning on Monday right? Well, I don't remember what the weather was like Tuesday (because that was like 6 days ago...) and Wednesday it was beautiful - so beautiful that I grilled a Flank Steak. And it turned out! But there were lots of leftovers, so Thursday I decided to make Philly Cheesesteaks... Walker liked 'em alright...

Wilson...not so much... I liked them too much and may or may not have eaten a little more than a serving...

On Friday, oh, it was crazy. We had a WINTER STORM WARNING! FOR REAL! I know; me neither. But its true...

Our PWOC Spring Retreat was supposed to be Friday evening and all day Saturday. The boys were going to have a weekend'o'fun at the Clements' house. But it all got cancelled. Here is a picture of the boys braving the snow as it came down Friday evening...
Sadly, none of the snowflakes showed up in the picture. We did get a dusting of snow Saturday morning and it was C-H-I-L-L-Y. The boys and I adjusted our plans (some had a harder time with that than others... p.s. the Clements would've totally taken the boys anyway, but I just wanted to hunker down with them and wait for the snow to come...or something).


One drawback to my strict meal-planning-policy-followed-by-grocery-list-making, is that when there is a WINTER STORM WARNING on a weekend when I thought I would be eating elsewhere and so would the boys... there are not many options on hand. For some reason I had a crazy craving for KFC Friday night, so we rushed out before the snow came and got dinner there... but Saturday we stuck with our pizza plans, we made Grands' work for our crust...
the boys had fun making them... and for some reason, them in the kitchen (helping, not begging for snacks...) is actually really soothing for me. We had to really skimp on the mozzarella, because I didn't buy a new bag and someone snacks on cheese most days...

On a basketball note - Brad and I got to watch the 2nd half of both State games together this weekend. It was such fun! Of course, I was 5 seconds behind him because of our satellite, but it was fun nonetheless. Wilson also got into the games. Sadly we have not recovered his windbreaker that was left behind on the bus Monday... and now that MSU is headed to the Final Four, we might never get it back.... Oh the drama! I am hoping that MSU playing in the Final Four in Detroit will turn Michigan around. I told Brad this has the makings for a movie...

Maybe I will post more frequently this week. Maybe not.

25 March 2009

swingin' & cheesin'

The boys like to do things together. I love that about them. Especially when they find something to do together that doesn't involve screaming. Tonight they chose swinging.
to-geth-er.
Wilson hooked his swing's rope into Walker's swing buckle... Cuties.


Here are a couple March Photo Of the Month rejects... (Yes, I still do that for the greats, I have totally abandoned Artwork of the Month for the grands... I haven't received any complaints, so I think we are all OK with that... or the grands are at least understanding about it!)

I guess the gangs are infiltrating the LPS. Not sure which gang these signs belong to... Maybe the ABC's-123's gang?

Guess who's birthday I forgot this year?

I don't think she knows yet. She REALLY needs a new frisbee... but it will have to wait until next week... We have a few busy days ahead and frisbee-shopping is at the bottom of my list. Shhh... don't tell her.

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The other night when we had the storms coming, Wilson asked me, "Why did God make golf-ball-size hail? What good comes out of that?"

"You know, Wilson, I think that would be a great thing to ask Daddy when he gets home!"

23 March 2009

shopping with Walker...

...all day. Ok, not really, but it seems like it when you don't shop very often. He was a super trooper, while I searched high and low for the perfect prizes for our PWOC game night this week. Two things stood out to me in my search...
  1. Our Big Lots had "Meijer" stickers on one of the shelves in one of the aisles. For a second I thought I was in Flintown. Oh I kid, I would never actually go to a Flint Meijer, but maybe the one in Clio...
  2. I discovered a new product that I had NO IDEA existed... stick-on toenails. For real. No, I did not purchase a pack for one of the prizes... Who knew?

Wilson had a good morning getting back in the groove of school. He forgot his lunch, but when he is Kindergarten, I am pretty sure that is at least as much my fault as it is his... Also, he left his Michigan State windbreaker on the bus on the way home. He was pretty bummed about it... surely he will get it back tomorrow... To top it off, we had severe weather come to town this evening, and of course, Wilson went to bed late... Thankfully things turned out to be not-so-severe here. Hopefully his sleep multiplies a little and his second day back will go smoothly!

20 March 2009

the BIG top came to town...

We walked down to the field this morning to watch the circus set up their tent. I made the mistake of bringing the big girl with us. Not a good choice to bring a dog - that is semi-aggressive to men - to watch a bunch of men set up a tent... Wilson thought it was cool, Walker was 'ready to go home now' every five minutes or so... We met up with Nicole & Aaron & Gavin and some of their friends at the show... Walker didn't want me to take his picture, and apparently neither did Mr. Aaron...
I am a sucker for cotton candy. And rather than buy some for myself, I buy it for my kids (maybe even before they ask me to...) Walker was unsure at first. This is his 2nd bite, and yes, that is fear in his eyes. I thought I had certainly scored my own bag of cotton candy, but I guess he liked the after-taste because a minute or two later he started asking for more. I knew he'd come around.
Wilson was pleased with his cotton candy. He sort of ate it like it was an apple... which makes for a messy face. He ate it sparingly, and still has a bit left for tomorrow... and no, I didn't eat the rest of it after he went to bed. I am growing in so many ways!
Sorry, no pictures of the show. It started with the big cats (a lion and two tigers) they reminded me of Muskoka (they seemed a little sleepy). It was a good show, the boys loved it - well, Walker did say at intermission that he was 'ready to go home now.' But overall, I think he had a good time. Wilson was impressed with the tightrope and the trapeze. It was a good-old-fashioned circus, and I thought it was quite fun. (Plus they had cotton candy....)
***For inquiring minds - there was no dog in an elephant costume =)

19 March 2009

spring breakalicious round two

yesterday we had a bit of a down-day after all-the-fun-of-the-big-city (aka momma was a little tired out). so we hung around the homestead... the weather was way too beautiful to stay inside. so we played some games in the driveway, Walker was into the hula hoop (for a few seconds anyway...)
Wilson used his hula-hoop to help draw a target with chalk...

{oh he is a doll face}
...then they took aim with the big guns...
...what a wonderful way to spend spring break!

Later that same day... Walker got himself tangled up with Wilson's fishing pole. I had to take a picture of Wilson's 'catch' - you might be able to tell that Walker wasn't too happy with me for making him wait for the picture before I untangled him...Today we met Gavin and Nicole (and Aaron!) (and the little girl that she is babysitting) at the bowling alley for some more spring break fun... they were offering a spring break BOWLOPOLIS deal. Ummm, it turned out to be a bit of a scam, but shh, the kids didn't notice.

You can see he is very patient...... and crazy...Walker didn't get into the bowling too much. He was more interested in the computer for the lane next to us... And wearing the shoes... that were two sizes too big - but part of the "deal." Maybe next year...our bowling average right now is once a year...in march.

18 March 2009

spring breakalicious

The boys and I, along with my friend, Katie, and her son, Caleb, - headed north to the Big City on Monday to kick off Spring Break. We decided to do an over-night in OKC so the drive wouldn't be too far, and we could all ride together. We stopped by the OKC Memorial Monday evening. The boys are sitting in the Children's Area. You can see tiles that kids had painted shortly after the bombing. There were also some chalk areas for the kids to draw on... Walker was drawn to the reflecting pool. I had mixed feelings about him sticking his little fingers in there. Its a memorial, and it seems like its not a place to play - but at the same time, some of the victims were little just like him... its hard to explain...
Here are the guys at the hotel before we pulled out Tuesday morning. We (well, not me) really hoped to swim at the hotel but they had shocked it the day we arrived. Thankfully they discounted our rooms 20%.
We roamed the mall for a bit and got some lunch... then we headed over to the Oklahoma Science Museum. My friend, Jenn, and family have season passes, so they met us there. Also, as season pass holders, they had two guest passes, so Katie and I got in free and Walker was also free because of his age... So it was a bargain! The little guys had a play area just for them... here they are in the firehouse...

Wilson liked the jet cock-pit...


And Walker liked the engine... or whatever this is called...

This place had lots to do... we went to a live show, with explosions! Then the boys built some stuff...
There was a weather section, and Wilson and Brendan are in the tornado where there were some strong winds a'blowin... Wil was a little nervous at first, but then thought it wasn't such a big deal after all...
Wilson LOVED the train display. I think Walker liked it too...

We were treated to dinner at Jenn's house. Since our big {spoiled} puppy was over there. My neighbor Nicole was going to let Mussy out for us, and feed her while we were gone. But Wilson hated that idea... and was quite upset about it too... Jenn heard me discussing this with Wil (while I was on the phone with her gathering OKC details), and volunteered to watch her for us. So when we picked Mussy up Jenn fed us so we wouldn't have to stop and eat out again.

We had a good trip. The boys loved it, but wow, was it tiring! We all slept in this morning!

14 March 2009

the ides of march...

so, yesterday marked one year since this... ...and tomorrow marks 5 months since this...


I do not normally record, or even mention, the markers of how-long-it-has-been. I do sometimes mention how-long-until... But even that I try to keep to a minimum so I can focus on the present. We had a good day today. Walker's friend had a birthday party so we got to hang out there and then came home for pizza & a movie... Madagascar 2. So of course, we got to dance to "Move It, Move It" a few times...


But still. My heart noticed. My empty hands noticed. And besides, its the blasted Ides of March and everyone knows that is a date to "beware."


You know the song, "Come Thou Fount"? Its an old hymn, and currently there is a version with an updated chorus with it. I have liked that hymn for a long time, it began sometime late in college when I started appreciating the lyrics of hymns. And recently this verse has been on repeat in my head:


O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be! Let Thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above


Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. I do not have any idea what the songwriter was thinking of when he wrote this line. But I do know that throughout this deployment, the "prone to wander" is most evident when I have a complaining spirit. Its as if beginning down that path - heading in the direction of wallowing - is wandering away from the peace He promises. I don't want to wander, Lord.


When I was in Michigan in May, God dealt directly with my heart about complaining... In my routine study through this verse;


Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when He heard them His anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. Numbers 11:1


Not exactly an encouraging verse if you are in the habit of complaining, which I had been. And yet, at the time that He gave this verse to me, I knew it was a gift. Ok, let me rephrase that, I knew it was personal for me. And I thanked Him for challenging my heart even during a difficult time. Probably with different words... and some laughter.


I bring my sorrow to Him. I lament to Him even. Tonight He and I will discuss this milestone. We will chat about His faithfulness and He will comfort me. I do not want to wander. I do not want to complain. I have been blessed through this hardship, in more ways than I can list here (although many have been previously mentioned). I want to continue to welcome His blessings rather than turn from them - toward my complaints. By the power of Jesus Christ who lived and breathed and walked this earth for me, I want to honor Him. In this. In everything. Always.

12 March 2009

family silhouettes

I finished a project I started when Brad was home... I saw the idea in a Martha Stewart magazine at the Dentist's office, so I took Brad's picture, and made him take mine. I took the boys' pics last night; cut them out; painted them black and viola! (Oh, I won the frame at the Deployed Spouses Support Group a week ago - which gave me the chance to finally finish it up!) I woke up last night around 3:30am with a migraine. I took my Imitrex and went back to sleep. When I woke up this morning the headache was still there... I started wondering who I could get to take Wilson to school... I took some medicine, drank some coffee, talked to my husband, and when I got off the couch it was going away. At least enough to drive Wilson to school. When Walker and I got home, I turned on a show for him and went to sleep. For a long time. He woke me up a couple times for snacks and once to tell me something about Little Einsteins... When I finally got up and turned on the computer, he left me a hint in my bedroom...
...guess he was thirsty!

10 March 2009

more pictures...

really... the piggies are irresistible in my book. new meaning to the term: dogfight.


hey batta batta, suh-wing batta...


I think he has forgotten that his buddy broke his arm in this backyard... I cautioned him not to do it (it is tricky to know the line between turning him into a sissy and protecting his bones...)

as you can see, he untangled just fine...
there is always something silly happening in this backyard...
...well, at least until a cold front comes blowing in from the north. Which it did this evening... And still is... brr!

Also, in case you were privy to my rant about the dinner I made being too soggy... I figured out what the problem was... Momma can't read labels too well sometimes. I accidentally used TWICE as many tomatoes as the recipe called for... I'll have to try it again in a few weeks... Here is the link if you are interested... Bruschetta Chicken Bake

09 March 2009

115...

...pictures. Today. I think I just snap more pictures when we are outside. Today was the debut of after-dinner 'ice cream' outside. It is supposed to be 79 tomorrow and 47 Thursday, I forget Wednesday's forecast, but I know it was too early to really kick-off this ritual... But it was fun anyway... Walker's freezer pop had some sort of leak that kept getting a lot of attention...
Wilson added some insights...
...and assistance.
Afterwards they practiced walking backwards on the sidewalk. Natch. (short for naturally, surely you all knew that...)


The boys started throwing these little seeds/pods across the street but I suggested that driver's frown upon boys throwing objects into the street. So we began a contest of sorts rolling the pods down the sidewalk and seeing if we could make it to the last square before touching the grass. This game was a hit...
Don't you want to come play with us sometime?

I might post more of the 115 pictures tomorrow... I might not. You know how finicky I can be.

On a side note - I got a good chuckle tonight. The kind that you close your eyes and remember the moment and instantly start giggling again - and if you think about it enough, you eventually have tears in your eyes because you are laughing SO hard about the silly thing. I have to tell you. Those moments are rare with Brad gone. But tonight, I got a good one.

You see, I put the camera on the buffet inside the front door after the pictures of the boys walking backwards. Then we began our game, and it was so cute that I said, "Hold on, I gotta get a picture of this for Daddy." (which by the way, is a very common phrase around here). So I turn and walk in, to grab the camera. Approximately five steps in the door, if that.

The boys were laying down when I walked in, then I heard this blood-curdling screaming. Non-stop screaming.

And Wilson came running toward the door with a look of terror. Complete fear in his eyes as he screamed.

Honestly, I couldn't imagine what could've possibly occurred in the seconds that I had stepped inside...

As I reached for the door, I yelled to him, "What is wrong, Wilson?"

He gasps, "there is a cat in our yard."

Even right now I have to stop typing so I can hang my head in my hands and laugh. I think all of our talk about the vile nature of cats may have been a little too extreme!

(I know this can't possibly be as funny written as it was when it happened, but retelling it might help me keep it my memory bank a little longer!)

07 March 2009

everybody was kung-fu fighting...

Spring is in the air, and on the branches!

Walker got a hold of the camera the other day, I thought he had just moved it, until I uploaded the pictures this morning. There were about 7 like this one. Guess he knows which button to push and how to turn it on... (made me think of you, Destini)

The other night after bathtime, Walker's hair was standing up, so I thought I would take some pictures. These two are so bad about pasting on fake smiles that I refused to take a picture... I finally told them to act like they were tough guys, instead of trying to get a regular smile...

it was pretty silly...

but WAY better than those cheesy smiles they were flashing me!

Walker LOVES his new bucket hat. And I think he is quite adorable in it as well. He was wearing both of them on his head for awhile, but I wouldn't let him leave the house like that, we do have some standards!