Monday, March 26, 2007


I had two jobs to take care of FIRST today - figure out the invoices etc for Shop Natural co-op tonight and pay bills. Mike had one job to do first - file our AK PFD's. I was ready to run the mortgage to the bank, checked the clock and it was 4:55 - had to meet the truck at 5:15. Mike is still working on PFD's, as the website isn't working so we can't file online. He had to go buy paper so he can print out forms....THAT'S the way the day has gone.

Co-op is pretty much over, except for 10lbs of dates that have no home, I need to put food away and then um....who KNOWS.

I planned on spending the afternoon packing. I think I'll have to do that first thing tomorrow a.m. I need to figure out some budget things before a PAC meeting tomorrow a.m. Jamin planned menus and made lists etc for food for the trip. What a help - I'm supposed to find time to double check everything...we'll see if it happens.

We'll be out of touch for a few days - don't worry about us.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


We have had a lazy day. We went to lunch at Cheddars....where they tried to sit 9 of us at a table that would comfortably sit 6. Then we went to a graduation meeting for Josiah. Next was bringing the trailer home to get ready for our next outing. I helped Mike finish unpacking. Mostly, I've been reading Jamin's book. I'm really enjoying it. In fact, we are probably going to make it our next family read aloud. We'll see. We've had fun discussions about some of the characters and such in the book. We tried to guess who of our friends and family show up in the book. ::snort::

Burka Babe

What would you do with a man who brought home something like this to YOU? No offense to anyone - but I think I preferred the Korean robe. ::snort:: The boys were VERY close to daring me to wear this to chapel....but they refrained.....probably afraid that I would.

Accessories - Mike informed me that you don't accessorize a burka

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Highlights of Saturday

Mandy called this a.m. to remind us about an event going on at the local university today. Our local congressman and representatives from all of the military academies were holding a seminar. This is Jared's dream - and I tell them to dream big - so I'm committed. ::snort:: I'm a bit unsure of how a relaxed homeschooler will pull this one off...but hey...he's doing amazingly well this year. In fact since HE wants to do this I guess I can still be a fun schooler! ::snort:: What's fun to him is not fun to me. Mike took Jared to the meeting. I was still not feeling like seeing people - and it was a great chance for father/son bonding. Off they went. Guess WHAT? It's a two pronged attack. You have to apply and be accepted by the Academy of choice and you must be nominated by a congressman or senator. Here's the GREAT news. Dependents of active duty military receive presidential nominations to their academy of choice and don't have to worry with the whole congressman/senator thing.....they still have to meet all the requirements and be accepted by the academy. Mike asked about homeschoolers. As we thought, since the boys have opted for NARHS they will have a diploma from an accredited private school. Mike was told that 10 years ago they would have said, "We're sorry but there is nothing we can do for you." Now, however, they look for homeschoolers. They try to have some in each year's group for the "mix". They find that homeschoolers excel in academics and struggle with sports. THERE is going to be our challenge. YOU MUST LETTER IN A SPORT to be accepted. Not sure how we'll do that. Mike told me to start researching states that allow homeschoolers to play sports and letter. Then we'll start putting those states on his dream sheet. Thanks, Mandy, for being sure we knew about the meeting today. We appreciate it.

I felt well enough this evening to cook!!! I made potato/cauliflower soup (recipe below), a big salad, Jamin made biscuits in the slow cooker, and a fruit salad with DRESSING (recipe below). Everyone but Arielle, Nolan and Zander liked it all.

I got to talk to my dear Sister Friend - Beth. I can't believe we've known each other for 25 years this fall. Mike had been wanting to talk to Don, Beth's husband, and they finally made the connection tonight. I'm dreaming of another vacation with my two sister friends. We spent a glorious weekend in Seattle a few years back. Our families have done two summer camping trips together...before we all got so busy that we can't make the connections any longer...well...yeah...we entered the military and now live zillions of miles away from them in ID. LOL

The last highlight of the day? We went for a FAMILY WALK (minus the 3 older young adults) and it was nice.
Nolan keeps me supplied with flowers - tonight he also gave Stacia & Arielle flowers... What a nice, young gentleman.

Heather/Urban homemaker/De'Etta's Potato Cauliflower Soup ::snort::

Yep - I printed off 4 pages of really yummy looking soup recipes at Urban Homemaker today. I meshed Marilyn's recipe, with Heather's (that I posted a couple of weeks ago), with my additions....yumm. Mike said "you can leave out the cloves next time".... I did blend it all tonight hoping to entice the younger ones to eat it. ::sigh:: BTW - now that spring is here I will put my winter plates and snowmen away...maybe tomorrow.
4 medium potatoes
2 onions, diced
leeks - whatever I have
1 head cauliflower (4 cups)
1 carrot, chopped
2 c Chicken broth
2 C milk or broth (I used 4 Cups of broth)
1 T spike (didn't use at all)
1 8 oz cream cheese, diced
1/4 - 1/2 C butter (I left out)
1/4 tsp pepper, salt
1/2 tsp thyme, cloves
pinch of nutmeg
2 T parsley
1 T olive oil
Saute onions and leeks. Add veggies and broth. Boil and simmer. When veggies are tender add cream cheese (and milk if you are going to use them). Heat through but don't boil again.

Fruit Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing

I LOVE this dressing. I think I'll make some up and keep it in the fridge so those who like dressed up fruit can have it that way and those that like naked fruit can have it that way. Jared thinks it would be good to throw in his smoothies (really he already uses yogurt so it would be adding the cinnamon). I don't make this dressing every night, usually I just toss the fruit and we like it raw and natural. It is nice to do once in awhile and I served this tonight. I found this recipe at urban homemaker, I don't think I've EVER used the exact fruit they list....use what you have and like. What I used tonight are in (). I do use lots of fruit or the fruit drowns in the dressing - it never looks like much but it covers well.

3 bananas (2)
2 fresh apples (1 granny, 1 empire)
2 fresh pears, cored and chunked (strawberries & pineapple)
1/2 C seedless golen raisins (red seedless grapes, cantaloupe)
1/2 C broken pecan pieces

Dressing: mix together
1/2 C yogurt (used Brown Cow)
2 T honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt (I never use)
naked fruit

dressed up fruit


From reading Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman:

I've been thinking quite a bit about this as I snort salt water. Yes, I'll admit I have had days and seasons where I felt like this author. Seasons where I felt like I would go crazy in a house with children and that *I* needed more.

The solution has never been to run outside of my home to find something "worthwhile" to do. Running outside of my home - I've done that - I've led Women's Groups, led Bible Studies, led county-wide homeschool support groups, joined homeschooling co-ops, spoke at retreats, organized retreats etc....Note these are GOOD things...but they kept us running so much that we had no TIME for homeschooling in the way we like to homeschool. We also had no time for the relationships that are so very important to us in our family. I want our family to look like the Waltons not The Bundys. I became stressed and irritable with my children. I do a few of these things now....but each opportunity is agreed to after prayer, fasting, and family discussion. I don't commit to most things that come our way these days. I've learned that more outside activity is not the answer to my sometimes feelings of cabin fever and/or dissatisfaction with being a stay at home mom.

The solution has been prayer. Surrendering again to the path God has called me to. Changing MY outlook....instead of saying, "ugh, another day of homeschool", I say "thank you, God, for blessing me with these children and the opportunity to educate them". Instead of, "I'm not this family's servant", I say "Thank you God for allowing me to minister to you today through the ministry I provide to my family". Instead of saying, "Where is MY time", I say "Thank you God for this family. If you think I could use some time out - please send it this way QUICKLY"..... really it's about changing our attitude our outlook towards our children....

It's deliberately taking our thoughts captive to the Lordship of Christ, and cultivating a heart of gratitude instead of a selfish "me" attitude.
*Nursery Crimes* by Ayelet Waldman

This series was recommended on SHS. I have ordered several books from the series from PaperBack Swap (link in side bar - somewhere!).
From the back cover: "A public defender turned stay-at-home mom, Juliet Applebaum is bored with play dates and trips to the park - so near the end of her second pregnancy, she gets off the mommy track to track down a murderer." That about sums up the gist of the book and probably series.
What I liked about the book: It is a quick read. Parts of it were undeniably funny. I like mysteries and guessing endings. It did spur me to consider how I truly feel about being a stay-at-home mom - read comments above.
What I didn't like about this book: Ayelet, herself is a public defender, now stay-at-home mom. So far, so good. One would think her book would portray the importance of being around for the early years of your child's life, as this is the choice she has personally made. This book, however, left me with the impression that the author believes it is impossible to be fulfilled as stay-at-home mom unless you have something you are doing for someone other than your family. Her husband tells her he's o.k. with her turning PI because it "isn't enough for you to do things for us - you seem happier doing for others". Honestly, what normal husband is going to think it's o.k. for an 8 month pregnant wife to follow suspects with a 2 yo in the car? ::snort::
While I've read critiques that praise Ms. Waldman for taking a "fresh, raw, realistic" look at the stay-at-home mom....I felt that she gave a negative view of the life of a stay-at-home mom. Well....hmmm....she does have those heart warming moments when she melts at comments of a 2 yo. But the mania about pre-school, the need to "do more"etc....just not an accurate portrayal of stay-at-home moms I know. How many of us go solve a murder because we are bored with "play dates"? The underlying message of "you've got to do something outside your family or you'll go crazy" irritated me. I found the author's blog "bad-mother" and what I read there makes me even more sure that her view of motherhood is vastly different from mine.....
BUT I will read another book in the series. I did enjoy the plot line. I did enjoy the funny moments of mothering. I did enjoy reading about someone who was HEAVY with child - when I wasn't. ::snort:: It is a quick and easy read. CBS is looking to turn the series into a mysteries series. Maybe they already have. Has anyone seen it? I'm guessing it would sort of undermine the value of being ONLY a stay-at-home Mom - but I'd love to be proved wrong on this one.


We've simply been busy "being" the last few days. Being a family, being sick, being back....

I spent most of Thursday in bed....taking decongestants, tea tree oil steams, vit C, and snorting salt water. Friday, I felt better than Wed and Thursday and there are things I NEED to do on Fridays.....SOoooooo....I took Nolan to speech, picked up produce and then took a nap for a bit, Mike and I went and picked up Arielle and Nolan from Camp Broadway, and then I came home and slept some more. I added Ibuprofen to my lineup yesterday and it seemed to help some. I think I may be even better today...but my teeth, face and head still hurt. I plan to rest as much as needed - basically when the pain reaches a point where I want to cry; I go take a nap. ::snort::

Mike has spent much of the last few days doing this:
all but my computer are now up and running. He even got the old, old computer in the younger boys' room working. This computer is the ONLY one that will run the school software and games that we bought back in the 90's. I thought we could put my old computer in there and upgrade mine...but my computer is running on Windows 2008 (or7) and is to NEW to run those programs but to OLD to run the new ones....What to do, to do, to do????

We've heard from both the girls quite a bit the past couple of days. Poor Krista was playing catch at an MC BBQ and got hit square on the eye with a baseball. She said the first thing she did was just drop to the ground, put her hand to her eye and assess if she still had an eye. Her reaction...silence and stillness freaked out the others....Yesterday, she said she has a nice black eye and the shape of her glasses frames are nicely imprinted around her eye as well. AND she reports that Nick, the young man who accidentally hit her has brought her lots of candy. I think I raised my girls right - lots of chocolate and they'll survive most anything. ::snort:: She's called the doctor and they told her what to watch for.

The older boys conned Mike into a Risk marathon (I don't think it took much arm twisting).
I'm including the photo below because it reminded me that I've not shared how we tracked Mike on his journey home. We got out the RISK board, found the general Desert Gulf area, then found Germany when we heard he was there, and guessed at Baltimore.....Yeah, I really should buy a globe...Mike tells us the RISK board isn't totally accurate. ::snort::
We had pizza baked on the grill last night. YEP - two weeks and they've still not got our oven working. Mike called them yesterday....maybe that will hurry them up. We watched a Jerry Lewis movie last night (something about a bride and the navy), Mork and Mindy episode and Hogan's Heroes. I finished season one of Walton's. I really like that show - have I said that before? I want to find the books that Earl Hamner wrote about his family and check them out.

Cy works today.

Mike will probably work on my computer today.
I'll probably make some cauliflower soup (my goal of 1200 - 1400 calories has gone out the window this week as it HURTS to eat anything - I've basically been eating chocolate when my stomach growls - it can melt in your mouth you know!).

I've been reading Jamin's book and it is GOOD and I'm not even a fan of the fantasy genre. He really fixed up the punctuation since the last time I attempted to read it. I don't feel like I'm working now when I read it and so I'm enjoying it much more. Now I just find things like "spelling" and "don't think locomotives were invented in ancient days" and "modern slang, better invent some ancient slang"....

Really not sure what else we'll do today. I'm the "let's go do something" one in the family and so when I don't feel like going, we mostly just do the "being" thing. I'm resting lots now because 1. I was really exhausted from the past 6 1/2 months and 2. I want to feel wonderful when we go camping next week.
BTW - using a blue sucky monster (those things they give you when you have a baby) works really well for shooting salt water up your nose, just in case you ever want to try it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I am hardly ever sick. I had the flu - which morphed into a runny nose - and now I'm simply congested...sinus infection type congested on one side of my face. Mike and I were going to go camping last night - alone. Instead, I spent about 14 hours in bed. I'm doing tea tree oil steams, taking a decongestant....Mike thinks I need to snort salt. I think that may make me gag - but I'm going to try it.

We plan on camping again next week. I'm open for suggestions for favorite camping meals....My head hurts too much to think......NOTHING sounds good to me right now. LOL

Cy got a package in the mail today......Oh, he also was told that Chick Fil A is sending him to Atlanta for a big manager seminar....he's pretty excited.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Taking Camp Apart...

We all have our jobs when taking a site down....this a.m. we simply weren't sure what those jobs would be....we'd never taken this sort of camp site down before....

I took photos.

Jared & Arielle checked the site for trash.

Cy did various things and here he mans the wheel at the van.

MIKE did sewer...have you ever wondered where the sewer lines are STORED - the bumper - shew! I was about to gross out big time.

Jamin handled jacks.

Arielle watched Stacia.

Stacia plays with her brothers light saber - it makes a better microphone in her estimation.

Zander raises the trailer.

Nolan attaches the sway bar and reefs on some bar ::grin::


T-Poisoning Illustrated

It's not often that you get to catch t-poisoning on camera...but here you go. Mike was at the office and we were looking for this cache.

We found it....Can you spot it?

Find the "V" in the tree and look up the right branch. NOW - how were we going to get to it and how would we put it back up there????? *I* began to think this out. I've noted that there are quite a few "older" cachers in our area, and I doubted that anyone would place a cache in a spot where the only way to get it down was to CLIMB....since it was listed as a 2.5 in difficulty.

While I thought, the boys sprang into action.

First, Jared climbed on to Cy's shoulders....wasn't tall enough....

Then Cy climbed on Jamin's shoulders....grabbed the tree at the highest point he could reach...and climbed.....He grabbed the cache and realized it wasn't giving....

A ha!!! - A green rope runs from the Cache to a nearby tree...

Josiah holds the rope as he and Jamin prepare to replace the cache....
I'm convinced the girls and I would have thought this one through...but the boys were up that tree and down as quickly as we would have found the rope. We laughed long and hard when Cy found the rope and the boys realized the cache was on a pulley system. Great fun. We were going to have Mike go back and see how he would initially respond....but we couldn't keep from telling him the story. We'll never know for sure....


Nolan uncovers a find!
Our 50th find... This was themed cache - zoo animals....unfortunatley, we had no animals in our caching bag, but we'll go back again and leave some and take some...the younger set loved playing with all the animals.


I came home early this a.m. to put in a produce order. Ran back to the lake and Mike had breakfast ready. It's been VERY windy and we all decided to pack up and come home.

We're home from the lake. Mike had to run to base to register for a week-long trip he is taking in April. I'm still not sure if I'm going. He'd like me too...but I need to figure out if I CAN leave the children for that long. ::snort::

The children and I unpacked, ran some laundry and re-packed.
Here are some photos...and I'll upload more as I have time.

Setting up Camp for the first time with the trailer:

Stacia knows how to set up a camp....
Mike wrestles with the water line while Cy hams it up with the sewer line...
After being assured the tanks were empty, I uncapped the sewer...this gave me QUITE a moment of ALARM...

I felt better when Mike had the same trouble...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


gives Michael a copy of his book, I still need to call you Becky and get your copy off to you....

Saturday - The day was spent checking out all the systems on the trailer, loading the trailer etc.

Sunday - We left for the local lake. This is not to be a "camping" trip per se....but a chance for us to try out all the systems on the trailer before we leave. It also gets ALL of us away from home, so that no one knows where we are and we can reconnect. Josiah ran into town for a graduation meeting.

Monday - More fun at the lake....geocaching, basketball, tennis, playgrounds, crochet, boccie (photos will follow when the camera is here). Mike had to go to base to begin in-processing.

Tuesday - Mike had to go to base early this a.m. to finish in-processing. The orderly room told him that he has two weeks off starting WEDNESDAY (tomorrow). Because of other obligations we have decided not to leave and go camping until the 27th. This may give us time to work on that Honey Do list before we hit the trail.

Mike wants to spend another night at the lake tonight...we will. We're home now. I'm making produce co-op calls (letting everyone know we are not doing produce NEXT Fri. as I'll be camping), doing a bit of laundry, grabbing food and clothes for another night at the lake. Mike has gone to the RV dealer to buy other little things he's discovered we need on this quick "camping" trip.

We're having a blast. We'll be in contact when we get home.....more photos tomorrow....I knew I should have grabbed the camera when we left to come back to the house.

Friday, March 16, 2007


 (only way it could have been better would be to have the girls here)

I had shown a bit of foresight and cancelled speech today. There was no drama or weight management class for me.

Jared, Arielle, Nolan and I hung banners, put up balloons, and bows this a.m. I'll show pictures later - I'll need to blur names on uniforms and signs before posting.

Heather and Kelli came over and helped sort produce today! What a BLESSING! They stayed and passed out produce, put away tables and such. There was a bit of a mix up today...seems we have two new women today Sandra and Sandy....and I really mixed it up...but all were understanding and it worked out fine.

We ran out of house with 20 minutes to get to the airport. It's just a few minutes down the road. Josiah looked over and said, "Are you a bit excited, Mom?" YIKES I was going 65 mph and I wasn't near a freeway. I slowed down to 40 mph. I simply can't think of WORDS to describe my feelings and such...maybe tomorrow. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words - so I'll post some photos below.
Mike got to talk to the girls. I missed them terribly today. Krista had called last night with orders for me NOT to climb on top of the RV....goodness that girl knows me. She said the boys were younger and would bounce better. ::snort:: We compromised with a ladder and Jared held it. I'll show the photos of the decked out RV tomorrow or so....

Initial Michael Sighting

Cy had the camera and snapped I wrote earlier home for me is wherever this man is....
Stacia, however, is not so sure of Michael right off the bat. He is GOOD - he had a stuffed pig for her in his carry on.

A Man and His Dog...

Mike removes the last link in our homecoming chain and is home at last!

We were milling around outside, hooking up the battery and about to check out the RV, when Margie came by. What great timing. She welcomed Mike home and took a family photo for us.
We gave Mike the tour of his gift...Zander opened the control panel (right at child level as you enter) and said, "ta DAH!" Then he showed Mike the "master suite" and said, "See - we got you a bed. You can sleep here instead of in the house!" ::snort::
Mike was making phone calls to family and fell asleep. Stacia peeks over the footboard...she seemed to wonder why I was allowing this man to get into "our" bed...but she's warming up...she curious now. LOL

Mike is still on Middle Eastern time. He fell asleep while calling family....I think this means he'll finally get up early with me tomorrow morning! ::snort:: We are starting to figure out what we want to do with the next two weeks. The Air Force gives us 2 weeks of "recon" time. The first week seems to be full with briefings....but I think we are going to get away for a bit the second week. Darshia, Jamin and Mike got those AK plates installed right away on the RV. LOL

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Did I say I loved irony? My printer quit working again's that for irony? The appliances are going to continue the revolt until the bitter end.


I got a call this a.m. from Ch. S in Ramstein AB, Germany. He let me know that Mike had been through there and was on his way to the States.

We got home from the park and Jamin had talked to Mike. He is in America. I believe he is in Baltimore. He'll be in tomorrow at 11:25 a.m. Any local folks that want to be at the airport are welcome to be there. Kelli and Heather have volunteered to come at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow and help sort produce. They may end up sorting it all so that I can make sure children are properly attired and out the door. They'll also handle pick up time for me and lock up the house.

YIPPEE!!!! This is too good to communicate via email..... Below are the posts I've not been publishing all week because Mike's return was classified until he landed in America.


We're waiting for a call from Mike to say that he is back in America and to tell us when he is coming home for sure. There is simply no way the little ones are going to be able to focus on the Civil Rights Movement today. I set them the task of cleaning their rooms. I'm not fretting my to do list any longer, it really is not going to matter to Mike if I have the garage, the yard and the van clean. He's not going to be terribly upset if the cheesecake doesn't arrive until next week. He won't be upset that I didn't get all the fix it jobs done - he'll know he's needed...dreadfully...around here.

In the midst of cleaning I found Arielle crying in her room. She was feeling what I was feeling, "The girls should be here." It was one of those "ahhhh" moments when Stacia wandered in and gave Arielle a big hug. Of course, by the time I got the camera she was done patting and was brining the hug thing to a close. LOL
Our plan is to work until lunch. Have lunch and then go spend an hour in the park with Tricia and her girls. We need a diversion.