Sunday, July 30, 2006

boring update x's 2

OK not sure what happened there! Published that last one on accident! I fear updates because I think they are boring. However I feel the need...the need to update. So here goes...

Harm is a little traitor and left me for a girls night on Friday with her good friend. I was left with 5 boys. Yep. Alone with " Aunt Marie, this is going to be the crunchiest arm fart because I am really sweaty." Ben, " Oh I can do it better than that." Harmony left me with that. Yikes. We have finally figured out the details of her birthday. Thank heaven. Sleepover with 3 friends. Then the next day a party with her primary class and a few others. Hopefully it is not too hot. She was excited to see school supplies coming into the house. Me too!

Vale has a little shadow. That would be Ethan. He immitates everything Vale does. However, those two have such similar personalities that they can sometimes butt heads. I think they are having fun though. Ben moved a tv and playstation into the boys room and they have been in video game heaven. Although it is interesting how Ivan is always "mysteriously" waking up from his nap. Hmmm

I think Connor might be color blind. He handed me a pink popsicle and asked me what color it was. Then I asked him what a color a notebook was and he said blue when it was purple. I think he has problems with red & oranges and blues and purples. I am going to have him tested later. He can't go back to the ped. until after Sept. ( thanks Tri-Care).

Ivan was a thug on his first day of nursery. Although they didn't come get me during the 1st hour I got a report. He decided to take toys from everyone. He does what he does at home, grabs something, holds on to it for dear life, and if someone tries to take it he screams his head off. Unlike at home though, the nursery kids don't let go and just let him have their way. Then they came and got me during the last hour because they like to have parents in there for the younger ones. He was good with snack time ( of course) coloring was a no-go but music was ok. He came home and had a very good nap.

Vale has been keeping me in stitches. One day Vale and Ethan were waiting anxiously for Ivan to wake up so they could play video games. Finally their chance came and they ran upstairs. I hear a call down the stairs.." Aunt Marie the tv won't turn on!" I said ok I am coming and then down the stairs he comes, " Aunt Marie, the tv won't turn on. Did you pay your electric bill this month?" I told him to be careful that he is biting the hand that feeds him. I gave a list of "small things" that he had currently been enjoying using electricity. I went upstairs and it had been unplugged. Yeah, once again I told him to stop biting the hand. He looks at me, " I didn't bite anything!" Ethan pipes up.."Vale it's like on Madagascar. You bit the hand Marty you bit the hand." I need no further proof of the phrase " kids say the darndest things!"

Ben had softball last week and splits. Just like every week. The more things change the more they stay the same. He is working on a project to get school supplies over to the school in Mazar E Shariff. We talked to the relief society pres. about it today and it is going to be a compassionate service project. We have been looking at duty stations and praying that we get to go back to the west coast. Crossing our fingers....

Me? Well I just woke up from the best nap ever. Me and Connor...on my bed...a/c cranked. Slept for 3 hours. I deserved it. I am still having serious insomnia so that was heaven.


boring update....

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Toot, toot!

Since I am never one to toot my own horn (haha!) I just had to share my "accomplishments".

~** I get this awesome mag. called Light and Tasty. I drool over the pages but have never actually picked up a mag. and said to myself " hmm that looks really good I should try it" and then actually do it. I don't even make that many things that use recipes. Just emptying contents out of pkgs or like tacos or spaghetti. Things like that. Anyway, I found 2 recipes that looked relatively easy and good. I wrote them down, went to the store and got the things I needed AND made them. Yeah...go me. One is really good the other is still chilling so I won't know until later.

~** OK who in their right mind takes 5 kids to the grocery store? Apparently me. I did not figure out anything to make for the missionaries tonight, until around 8 this morning. Too late to go by myself. Nothing to make a really big meal in the house. Dang, have to go to the store. And may I just add, it is stinkin' hot here! 5 kids into the commissary. But what a day to go! Free samples of meatballs, punch, cakes. pb cups AND ice cream. Crazy. I got to the check out still sane and the cashier asked me, sincerely, "How do you get 5 kids to behave so well? I have women come through my line that can't control 1!" Pat on my back.

~** Last but certainly not least...I have crossed off everything on my to do list. 2 days in a row.

Impressed yet? Toot, toot!!

by the numbers

4 waffles toasted at once
4 cups of milk
10 people's blogs read
5 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away
50,000 fights broken up
2 poopy diapers changed
3 dentist appts. scheduled
1 appt. made for the pediatrician
1 call to the ymca about their birthday parties
10 seconds to say no thanks ($160!!!!)
5 pb & j's made
10 times my email was checked
3 fruits eaten
4 vegi's
6 whole grains
72. oz of water drank
2 diet cokes
4 rooms cleaned downstairs
2 messy rooms upstairs completely ignored
1 dinner for the missionaries still not figured out
2 loads of dishes washed
4 kids bathed
1 kid showered
3 wishes "granted" by the Ethan genie
1 scary show watched with Ben
2 min. the time that Ben was on the news last night!!!!!
3.5 hours of sleep (insomnia is kicking in...not fun)
My day the numbers

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

so tired

I went and exercised last night. I don't usually do that. I am more of a get up first thing in the morning and do it. I crashed last night. Ben and I sat up and talked about next possible duty stations and that was it. I was out. This morning I am still not quite awake! I thought exercise was supposed to give you energy! Maybe eating breakfast would help.

I told the kids that I would take them to the pool again today but...hmmm no one can find there swim suits that they just wore on Mon. So I think we may head to the Aquarium. The free movie for today is Yours, Mine and Ours and I am not sure if the kids would like it. Harm and Vale probably would but I don't know about the "little" boys.

Ben has softball today and so I won't see him until 8. The kids hate softball night because they get to see him only a few minutes in the morning and then he comes back when they are in bed. We usually sign up to have the missionaries on Thurs. so he usually picks them up right after work. Comes home, eats dinner and brings them home. Sometimes going on splits with them. So yet another night away. By Friday they get to spend time with him but...It is hard on them. Connor got worried when Ben went back to work on Monday.

Vale informed me that I had ants on the dining room floor. So I said thanks for the info. and I will take care of it. He looks at me and says, " You really need to mop your floor." Now I should have just laughed it off..right? But did I? No, I gave him a whole lecture on the fact that I have 7 people that I am cleaning, cooking, taking care of, doing laundry for etc. I told him if he wants to go to the pool and do all those fun things then he can help me clean. He informed me that cleaning was bad for his health. So I told him to stop complaining then. Now I am not only a mean Mom, I am a mean aunt too!

Monday, July 24, 2006


That girl! I tell yah! It is her against the boys. 4 boys. They are busy playing video games and Star Wars. The testosterone is flowing and she is just rolling with the punches...sometimes literally! I am trying to very quickly get a birthday party together for her. It feels like the summer has just flown by and all of a sudden her birthday is coming up. She has so many ideas and I just have to pick one. I have to stop procrastinating!! I was supposed to pass out her invitations on Sunday...yeah didn't happen.

I can't believe that she is almost 7. Because that means her next birthday she will be 8. She will be able to get baptized. And that makes me worry. She will be at the age of accountability. Have I taught her everything she needs to know? Am I seriously lacking and she knows nothing? I don't feel ready. I feel like I have a year to teach her everything she needs to know or it is going to be all my fault. How is that fair? I just have been thinking about this lately. I know "If you are prepared ye shall not fear" so maybe that what makes me so nervous...

Friday, July 21, 2006

glasses, Superman cereal and more....

Lesson not bring 2 little boys to the commissary unless you don't mind making unplanned purchases. Ben felt for some reason that it would be a nice idea for me to take the boys grocery shopping with me. Why I agreed to it? I don't know. They aren't too bad about groceryshopping so I did. Plus Ben was straightening up the living room...I should have known it wasn't going to go well when almost half way there I realized that my ID card was no longer in my pocket. I pulled over and looked everywhere in my purse, but to my dismay it had fallen out in the bathroom. What a waste of gas to go back and get it! Grrr! Anyway we made it and by the time I left I had corn dogs, Superman cap'n crunch, Superman fruitsnacks, Toy Story fruit snacks, a huge thing of ice cream and something else. Ah well. I still got everything on my list so it is all good.

When I got home I put the groceries away and decided to take a nap. A much needed nap may I just add! I went upstairs and had been laying down for maybe 20 min. when here comes Harmony to chit chat.I told her very nicely to go away. Then a little bit later I got a phonecall. Harmony's glasses were ready. Harm went in a while ago and the doctor felt that she should probably get some glasses. But her eyesight wasn't that bad. Well lately we have been noticing that she is squinting-A LOT. Anyway they are done. She picked them out. The thing about Harmony is that she knows what she wants. She doesn't have to look at 20 pairs. She finds the one she wants and there you go.

My disposal got a clog in it and so I called maintenance in the morning. They decided not to come until 4pm. An hour before the missionaries were supposed to be here. So they come out and fix the clog BUT they accidentally break our disposal in the process. They went to go and see if they have a new one and they didn't. Last night we were unable to use the dishwasher or sink. The a huge mess. I would have never made a good pioneer. An evening without water and a dishwasher was too much for me!

Ok this is a long post of ramblings! Vale comes tomorrow and the kids are so excited. I am excited too. We will have fun. Anyway I better go take a shower before maintenance comes. I started reading Sheri Dews book "If Life were Easy, it Wouldn't Be Hard." Yeah 'nuff said!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

stinker head

I hope that Ivan is getting teeth because if this is a new phase we are not going to get through it!!! The kid is constantly crying and whining, pushing his siblings around (ecsp. Connor). If I try to comfort him he just pushes away, never been one to cuddle, and then keeps it up. For a week it has been 4 kids to 4 adults. But Jim and Christy left today and Ben is off at softball. So it is just me. A 4:1 ratio and they are driving me nuts. Ivan has been a pill since he got up from his nap. I had finally had enough so being the mean mother that I am...I gave him a few toys, a cup and put him up in his crib. He isn't asleep but he isn't crying either. And I ate dinner without any help from him. So there. My little stinker head is finally being good and not bothering anyone. Now do I use this time to clean? Or to scrap? Hmmm....

But the good news is that my new couches finally came. Bought them on the 1st of July and couldn't be delivered until today. I had a few words about that. But here they are! Lovin' em!
The chair looks a lot bigger in our house than it did at the store and Connor tends to disappear in it! They are all watching a movie so that they don't have to deal with their crabby Mom. :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Did you miss me?

Whew, seems like I have been out of the loop for awhile. I have no idea what is going on in anyones life right now. I guess that is what vacations are for right? We had a GREAT time. It was hot, sticky, a lot of walking, some whining and more. We spent Friday in DC and these are some of the things I heard....

" Hi Ethan. My name is Ms. D and I am a preschool teacher. Your Mom told me that you are scared of escalators. Can I hold your hand on the way down?"...What would we do with out the kindness of strangers?

"Mom, I don't want to see the President today. Maybe tomorrow."-Ethan

" I wish Daddy were here to see this!" Me ( more on this in a moment!)

"Mommy, why is your Uncles name on this wall?" Harmony at the Vietnam Memorial

"I like all this stuff." Connor

"Can we get an ice cream and sit on these big stairs?"-Ethan at the Lincoln Memorial

"Can we go up the stairs again? All 58?"-Harmony

"This is the coolest restaruant I have ever eaten in." Harmony at the Hard Rock Cafe.

And there were many more. These were just some of my favorites. Ben woke up in the middle of the night Thursday throwing up. By Friday he was still sick and could barely raise his head. The only things we could do were to cancel the trip or go without him. He figured it would be a 24 hr bug so he said if he felt better he would drive up on Sat. We called him through out the day to see if he was feeling better and each call he sounded better and better. I told him he better not be hanging out with his other family today or going golfing or anything! Friday was a long day and by 8pm everyone was asleep. We were exaughsted. Sat. Ben made it to our hotel at around 8:30. We hurried downtown while the parking lots weren't as full. We walked around some more but the heat really wore us out. Poor Ethan got really sick. We had a parking spot for 3 hours and by the time it was done, Ben was having to carry a hot, sick, sweaty Ethan. I think he got some heat stroke or something like that. Next we headed to the temple and went to the visitors center. There were 3 couples getting married and it was fun to show the kids. Ethan proclaimed, " Mommy I am not going to get married in the temple."
M- Why not?
E- Because I don't want to get married.
M-Why not Ethan? I like being married.
E-Because I don't want to have to kiss. Yuck."

After the temple we went to lunch and the church book store. Bens parents took the kids home and Ben and I headed to Ikea and than to Williamsburg. We had a great time by ourselves. We are celebrating our anniversary today. 8 years. Hard to believe. We are going to go see Pirates of the Carribean for our date! Fun. Anyway, this is a long post. But I am home now. Ben's parents leave tomorrow and than Vale arrives on Friday. For those who don't know, Vale is my nephew who is going to stay with us for the rest of the summer. Good times.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

OK I don't really have time to write anything exciting or worthwhile. We are busy. I have to finish packing for Ben and I but I have to wait for the clothes in the dryer to finish. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute. Anyway, here are some pictures from today. We took Ben's parents to the Virginia Aquarium. It was hot outside but it was nice to go again. It's a fun place to look around. Anyway tomorrow we are off to DC and then for a long awaited vacation! Woohoo!

Monday, July 10, 2006


OK, I have figured out the answer to my own question-kind of. It's balance. That is what I am looking for. If I had balance in my life I wouldn't feel so crazy when things are not on schedule. So I guess that is the new question-how do you find balance? How do you find time? There is:
family time
alone time
couple time
prayer time
meal time
nap time
quiet time
church time
scripture time
cleaning house time
work out time
social time
lounging on the couch time
checking your email time
chatting on the phone time
laundry time
sleep time
getting out of the house time
errand time

How do you find time for all of that when there are only 24 hours in the day and if you start cutting into your sleeping hours...your family suffers? Hmmm

Scheduling Conflicts....

Some people don't need schedules. They don't need or want routine. I am not one of them. We are completely off any normal routine/schedule. The kids are getting up early. laying around, eating breakfast late and just being lazy. If we do go somewhere, it is a last minute decision so we are running around getting sandals on and getting Ivan's bag ready. Not fun. Ben and I have been getting the kids to bed and then staying up until midnight or so. Then of course we are sleeping in. I am doing nothing really productive at night except spending time with Ben. I watch tv or scrapbook. I haven't been cleaning up like I usually do. We used to have 2 clean ups. The kids would help me clean up the living room once and then I would re-do it because they went to bed earlier than Ivan and he likes to undo everything. Now it is just the one clean up. I don't like this. I used to have a nice schedule/routine going. I miss it. This is going to be a crazy week too. Ben isn't going to be home until late tonight because he has softball. Maybe that will get me to bed earlier...only time will tell!
Tomorrow I have a full evening of weight watchers, then Enrichment then hanging out with friends. Wed- The Turners come in the evening. Ben is going to take the big kids with him and take them to their favorite place for dinner. There is an A & W in the airport and their favorite thing is root beer floats and a hot dog. Thursday we are going to take Ben's parents to the Aquarium and that's probably it. But Friday we leave for DC and will be there until Sat. afternoon. Ben's parents are going to take the kids home and we are going to spend 2 days in Williamsburg for our anniversary. We come home Mon. and then the Turners leave on Wed. I told Ben we are going to slip in going to the Pirates of the Carribean before they leave! Then I have a couple of days to recoop and then Vale flies in that Sat. Ben heads back to work that Monday. Then maybe it will slow down? I don't know...

If anyone has any ideas of how to organize my life and schedule, I would love it. My life really is "hectic" right now. I don't mind being busy but being crazed busy is not that fun. I need to do something though before my kids run away because they are scared of their lunatic Mom!

Friday, July 07, 2006


OK, I try to be fair when it comes to my kids. My last post had 0 pictures of Connor. That made him sad. So in an effort to be a good Mom, and a fair one here are pics of Connor.

This & That

OK, this week...whew has been crazy! I love having Ben home. I do. Honest. But with him home comes a huge amount of freedom. He doesn't have to go back to work until the 24th and so it is like this...built in babysitter. I can go exercise, or to the store on a moments notice. Without dragging 4 kids behind me. When he was gone, I was very scheduled because I had to be. I needed to make the most of my time while kids were at school or with friends. But now? I just walk out the door and say "I'll be back". It's nice...except our schedule is completely off. The house is a mess. I mean a mess. But I never know if I am going to be home...or out running errands. Unfortunatley for the we are staying home. I am going to clean all day until I can feel peace again!

Tues was fun. Last year on the 4th it was so busy that we didn't even have a chance to catch our breath. We went to the beach, came home and picked up our van, went to a bbq and then headed to fireworks. A long full day. This year we headed to the Y and went swimming. Came home and took naps. I told the kids that I wasn't going to take anyone to fireworks who hadn't slept. Everyone slept! Ben bbq'd dinner for us and than we gathered stuff up to go to the fireworks. We went to the same place we did last year, Town Point Park, and had a great time watching the fireworks.

Wed. was tiring! In an effort to be a better person, I volunteered to make a dessert for a missionary zone conference being held at the stake center. Ben thought I was taking the kids to the free movie at the theater. So he made a deal with me that if I took the big kids out for the day he would straighten the house. I said ok and off we went. Dropped the dessert off, went to AC Moore ( lovin' their scrapbook section these days!), Kroger and then to the playplace at the mall. They played for awhile and then we went to McDs for happy meals. After the Disney store was having a 50% off sale that we checked out. The kids each found toys that were only 2.50! Nice. We dropped books and movies off at the library and then came home. I walked in and the only thing clean was the living room. Ben's excuse? "Marie, it's hard to get anything done with Ivan around." I did not say anything to that. I think my expression spoke for itself. Connor hadn't finished his choc. milk from McD's and Ivan found it. I made Connor share it with Ivan and then told him thank you for being a nice big brother and sharing and he glared at me and said, " But I didn't even want to share."

Thursday I got up and went and exercised first thing in the morning. That felt nice. Came home and tried to get things done. Ben had a lunch "thing" for a guy who is leaving. They were pretty good friends and now they are being transferred. But the exciting news on Thursday( and no Susan I am not pregnant!) is that I now have my own scrapbook room! No, we aren't making all the kids share or anything. We have been having to do a lot of room re-arranging because Ben bought me a lving room set. We had planned to get a couch. Singular. But we got a whole set. So now one of the couches has to be in our bedroom. Oh well. OK long story short, we have a huge walk in closet in our bedroom. All of my scrap stuff had just been in our bedroom but in order to make room for the couch, we moved everything in there. So now I have my own room. All of my stuff fits in there. I am so excited to have my own space. I don't care how small it's mine.

I have rambled on. I know. Just feels like there is so much going on lately. Ben's parents are coming in a week and the kids are excited. It is going to be a busy time, and I think they are going to need a vacation from there vacation.

I can't even begin to say how much I appreciate them watching the kids so Ben and I can go away for a couple of days. We haven't done that in 4 years. Way excited. Anyway, sorry I am a little boring today. Just random mumblings....

Monday, July 03, 2006

Land that I Love...

With tomorrow being the 4th of July, I am feeling deeply patriotic. Now I feel that I am patriotic all the time, I mean hey come on, I give my husband up for months at a time to serve this country! Isn't that patriotic? Anyhoo...I am feeling patriotic. I love this country. I love the freedoms I have. I have so much to be grateful for. I have talked to Ben about his experiences in Aghanistan and how different life is over there. I am grateful for all those who have gone before us. I am grateful for those who are still fighting today. I cry when I hear the Star Spangeled Banner and America the Beautiful. I smile when I see elderly vets at the commissary wheeling their air tanks behind them. I smile when I see jets fly over head and my boys look up. I swell with pride when I see my husband look soooo good in his uniform. I feel pride when I drive on base and see the flags. I am grateful my kids don't know deprivation. I am lucky to have anything I could possibly need within one store. Or never having to leave my home and I can have things delivered to my door. I am grateful for a country that celebrates it's Independance. I am grateful for a country where they have more than 31 flavors of ice cream. I am grateful for a country that tries it's best to help those who can't help themselves. I am grateful for a President who tries his best. I am grateful for my country. For my home. For my family. For my freedoms. Boyd K. Packer said, " Freedom is not a self perserving gift. It has to be earned and it has to be protected." I am grateful for those who are doing that today. I am also grateful for those return trips home. I have friends whose husbands are leaving, have left or are getting ready to go. I am grateful for you. For your strength and for your help. I am grateful for a husband who serves his country. God Bless the USA. (Picture taken at Camp Mike Spann, Mazar E Shariff, Afghanistan)