Thursday, August 31, 2006

ready for Fall

We have had some interesting weather the past 2 days thanks to the hurricanes. I am loving it. It is getting me in the mood for fall! I hope the weather never gets hot again. Do I think that will actually happen? Unfortunatley no, but it is definitley a nice break from the heat! Fall is my favorite season. I love the colors. Yum, they are the, orange, yellows, browns and greens. Back to school (less than a week to go!) sharp pencils and crayons. New starts. A new school year. The smells. Candles burning. Chunky sweaters and jeans. Cuddling under blankets. My favorite holiday. Thanksgiving. The sounds...leaves crunching, rain falling. Mmm I love it. I just wish it were actually here!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I realized that I haven't blogged for a while. I don't really have anything profound to say. The kids haven't really said anything funny, and no mean people to speak of. Life goes on as it always does. Last night, Ben and I started reading some blogs/websites of some people that we know. Some of it was about drugs, escapades while drunk, sleeping around and other "wonderful" things. Now if you are reading this, you should know me well enough to know that well...I don't do any of those things. Never have. And it hit me last night, my life is boring. It's predictable. I wake up and go to sleep in the same bed every night. I wake up to the same man every morning. ( Unless deployed!) I wake up and go downstairs to see my babies. They know I am there every day for them. They do wake up earlier than I do sometimes, but they know I didn't leave them alone. I go to church on Sundays, and do my errands on Sat. after we clean house. My life doesn't change that much. And you know what? I am soooo GRATEFUL! I am glad my kids can count on me to be there and that my husband is home every night. I am glad that I have food in my fridge and laundry that needs to be done. That I belong to a church that I know is true. I am glad that I can count on my friends and family. Never wondering who my true "loved ones" are. I am just grateful for my life. Boring and predictable to some. But it works for me.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

long awaited...

I switched from film to digital back in Feb. Don't tell Eric, but I have actually loved having a digital camera! So once I bought it, I sent my old one to Ben so he could take some pictures. When we went to go and pick him up from the airport, I realized that I forgot my camera. I was too far to go back and get it but luckily he had the old one in his backpack. We took some pictures and sat around. I never use that camera. Anyway I finally decided to finish off the film. So if I can get them to are the pics!

mean people suck

When Ben returned home, he had an idea to collect school supplies for the children in Afghanistan. So I talked to the RS pres. and she thought that this would be a great idea. I announced it to the RS one Sunday and had a lot of good response. Well there was one woman who told me she would give me a call because she has tons of stuff to donate. I told her great. She called this week and I was just not in the mood to talk to her. She is one of those types of people you have to be in the mood to talk too. We had a ward activity last night so I just figured I would talk to her about it there. When it was over, I went up to her and got totally yelled at. Just because I didn't return her call. She literally chewed me for a good 5 min. or so. Ben was helping put chairs away. I just told her I would get her address on Sun. and pick up the school supplies on Mon. Then I never plan on talking to her again. EVER. I held it together while at the church but I brought the kids out to the car and started crying. I was so mad. Ben got in the car and was like what is the matter? He didn't understand why I let someone like her get to me but...I don't get yelled at. I am ( for the most part) a pretty nice person. I get along well with almost everyone. It just made me mad because why treat people like that? She didn't have to do that. She did because she could. She was mean and nasty over a SERVICE project. Well excuse me but I was not raised to treat people like that. Grr...soo mad. Why treat people like crap for being imperfect? just totally hurt. I guess from now on I will return every phone call I get!

Friday, August 25, 2006

deep thoughts...

I love quotes. I just found this one and love it....

" It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows protesters to burn the flag."
Author unknown

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


OK, so today we head to the gym. It has been since Friday. I know...terrible. But we have been busy! Anyway... I was kind of concerned with how long I could go considering it has been 4 days between runs. So I have my headphones on, totally ignoring Dr. Phil which is what I usually listen to, and zone out. After about 15 minutes I am feeling tired. Then what happens? This woman who frankly was very large, got on a treadmill in front of me. Now call me a bad, horrible person but I was like well at least I am not that BAD. I know I am terrible. But I was trying to boost myself up some how! So I finish my run and go get on the exercise bike. After about a good 5 min. I am red faced, dripping sweat, disgusting. And oh the irony...a woman gets on next to me. She is maybe a size zero, soaking wet, and gets on and totally kicks tail. Yeah I am feeling like the biggest person in the room next to her. Then of course I felt bad because how mean was I to judge that other lady. Although she did tick me off later but that is a whole other story....So long story short, I felt good about myself because I wasn't as big as another lady, and then felt terrible because I was an elephant compared to the other. Now this is a trait that I DO NOT want to pass onto Harm. This lack of self-esteem. It is a mood killer let me tell you. I think that is why I only have one girl...

Then Harm and Vale are watching High School Musical (again!) although they totally have me loving the music now! The very last song on the movie is their favorite and even Ethan gets up to dance. When Harmony declares, " I will just watch from the couch because I can't sing as well as they can." Seriously almost started bawling. She is my girl, she can do whatever the heck she wants too. I told her, it doesn't matter how she sounds as long as she enjoys it. Eventually she got up but it seriously broke my heart. Because I want her to have self esteem. Life is so unfair sometimes. I want her to just be glowing with self confidence but how do I teach her that when I don't have it. Yeah seriously unfair. Now of course I want the boys to be confident but for some reason I don't think it effects boys like it does girls. Maybe that is because I am a girl and I don't know. Anyway...heart broken. :(

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

impromptu family night

As of about 7:00 last night, we still had absolutely nothing planned for family night. We are horrible, I know. But all the different ideas just didn't sound good last night. All of the kids wanted to go somewhere and eat. However, Ben doesn't like using going out to eat as an activity. He likes it to be actually doing something together-besides eating. I wasn't in the mood to go swimming. We kind of had decided to just go do something on Friday. The pool or something. But then I remembered we have a ward activity on Friday. Back to the drawing board. After dinner, Ben took Vale out to catch a football with him. The next thing I knew, Harmony and Connor were out there too. So I dragged Ethan away from the playstation and grabbed Ivan. We just played catch and ran around together outside. Ben walked with Harmony while she rode her scooter. It was a great time spent outside. And it wasn't too hot like it usually is around here. It was nice. Ethan did get hit in the back with the football, but came back outside after awhile. Even though it wasn't perfectly planned it was nice to spend some time together!

firsts & lasts

Ben is at a luncheon right now. Really exciting right? kind of is. The luncheon is with the detailer. In Navy language, that word translates to "the person who decides where you go next." A luncheon today with a meeting on Thursday. It is hard to believe that our time here is almost up. So many firsts have happened here. First steps, both Connor and Ivan, 1st deployments, 1st birth outside of Oregon, first days of school, first birthday's, first teeth falling out, first new car, first trip to DC, and many many more. And as I think about all the firsts, I start thinking about all of the "lasts". Next year at this time we will be either moved or in the process. Thus this year marks the last ward chili cookoff, last school programs at pre-schoo, last year of Ingleside, last year of driving these roads and going to the same stores, last time paying dumb Va licensing fees, last days of work, last days in this apartment. Last moments with friends....I don't think it is any big shocker that I don't really like Norfolk. But I love my friends.I have made some of the greatest friends I have ever known here. When we found out we were coming to Norfolk first, I told Ben that I would try to make the best of it. But I wasn't that excited. Then I came and found a new friend. And then another, and another and so on. I love hanging out with my friends. Wether at church, school, Cheesecake factory, or around Deborah's dining room table those are the times I will miss. BUT, we are ready to move on. Yep, we are ready to leave what has become our new comfort area and try something else. I guess this is the perfect place to let people know (sorry Mom!) but our first request is going to be Guam. Yep, that's right. You read it right. Guam. After that I believe the choices are all CA but Guam. We want to do something new and that would fall into that category I think! Nothing in the Navy is guaranteed though. I don't even know how long it will take us to find out. With school coming up soon ( thank heaven!!) I just started thinking about all the lasts that are going to be happening. But I also know that there are a lot of firsts also. I promised Ben that I would follow him anywhere. And I will. Wether it's Guam, or somewhere in CA, or Great Lakes. Wherever he and the kids are that is my home. "Home is where the Navy sends you." So here is to new adventures. And all the firsts and lasts that we will experience. I can't wait....

Monday, August 21, 2006

the jar...

Awhile back I was getting really tired of the kids asking for something every time we went to the store. It gets so annoying! It seemed like every time we were there it would be "Can we get a snack? Can we have a movie? Look at this toy Mommy, maybe we should get it. Oooh, we should get new books to read. Etc. Etc. So I decided to try and do something about it. I told the kids that every time we chose not to eat out, and to just eat dinner at home, or chose to not buy a movie, toy, snack etc. we would put the money into a jar. Whatever we would have spent would go in it. They decided that the money they saved would be for a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. We used an empty animal cracker container and labeled it. Now we have had a lot of money in there. But they also like to use it for small things. Like concessions at the movies and things like that. We decided to count it out today and the kids ( with a little bit of help from Ben& I) have managed to save $48! I am pretty impressed with them. They wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese tonight for family night but we are trying to convince them to save a little more. It is hard to see the bigger picture when you are little. Ok, for me too sometimes. Anyway...I am off to play football for family night. Fun times!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Eternal friendships...

Ben and Ivan are outside in the yard. Ethan and Connor are playing in a tub full of bubbles. Vale and Harmony are playing some game in the living room. All is well. Everyone is content. Life is good.

I wish I was in Mesa though. So much for contentment huh? My wonderful, beautiful friend Beth is getting her endowments out tonight. Tomorrow she will be getting sealed to her hubby and 2 beautiful boys. I wish so much that I could be there with her. I mean, I could have had free room and board ( right Susan?) It just didn't happen. And I realized that I sent her card to the wrong address. I am so hoping it gets to you chica!

Beth and I met on our first day of classes at Ricks. There were 4 of us who all clicked and hung out during the summer. Me, Beth, Lisa and Afton. We had a total blast that summer. The fall & winter terms were just not the same as that first summer. Lisa and I kept in touch for awhile and then lost contact. She made an adorable dress for Harmony and I still have it. But, Beth and I? Seriously, we were meant to be friends!! We were there 9 years ago (has it been that long?!) and would have been on our Utah trip. We have kept in contact, sometimes in better contact than others but...never lost touch.

So many things have happened to us in those 9 years. Moves, jobs, kids, lean financial times and more. And yet our friendship has never wavered. When I went to AZ last Dec, we got together. It felt like no time had passed at all. We even have the exact same van! We just laughed and talked for I don't know how many hours.

So here is to eternal friendships. Beth, I am seriously so happy for you. I know there are people who read my blog that don't know Beth. But I also know, that they know how important it is to be sealed to your family. And even though they don't know you I am sure they are happy for you today. You guys made the right decision and I know that there were some hard times in there. At 8:30 my time you will be in my thoughts.

My congratulations to Travis, Beth, Austin and Collin. I so wish I could be there with you...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Well, here I am once again, tooting my own horn. But I am VERY excited. I know, about socks. I am VERY excited about...socks. But these are not just socks. These are socks I EARNED! Yes, earned. At the Y, you can arrange a meeting with a personal trainer and then they get you programed on what is called FitQuest. You enter all of your cardio workouts & weight lifting and you recieve points for every one. Then, for every 15,000 workout points you earn a prize. Last night, as I was dripping sweat from my 2.5 mile run ( go me!) I plugged in my run and up pops " Congratulations you made it to the white level." I made it to the first prize. I earned a pair of socks with all of my workouts. I am so excited. I would take a picture to share but really they are just socks. And besides...Ben has my camera today.

Speaking of Ben, he had to go to Washington DC for business. So I had to break it to Connor that he was going to be gone over night. Ever since Ben has come home, Connor worries about wether or not he is coming home. Ben had told him at one point that unless he goes with me to drive him to the airport, he would be home every night. However, that backfired. They are driving. Anyway...Connor just said, " that's ok Mommy, 'cause I can go with him to Washington DC because I haven't been there for a long time." Unfortunatley, that couldn't happen. Ben is going to be staying at a very posh hotel while there. So thank you tax payers. They are also going to go to a Washington Nationals game. Me? I am going to babysit and then scrapbook night!

And last but certainly not least, my friend Barbara won a prize package on the radio. Part of it is 4 tickets to go see the premier of How to Eat Fried Worms this Sat. But...they are going to be out of town. So she is giving the tickets to us. Vale and Harmony were excited but Ethan said, " I don't want to see that movie it looks sooooo yucky. Eating worms? Gross!" I am going to take a friend of Harmony's instead. So that is my exciting post. No just have to take it as is.

This morning I am headed back to the Y so I can start earning 15,000 more points so I can earn a towel. However, I am going to do it faster this time! :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

prof. photographer needed...

My kids have been attending Larchmont preschool since the first Sept. that we lived here. Harmony, obviously was the first one to go. One of the boys in her class, has a brother that is Connor's age. So his Mom, Jen, and I are just some of the "veteran" Moms at the preschool. Last year, her husband returned from Kabul shortly before Ben left. They don't know each other, it just kind of happened that way. So she was a good person to get advice from. This story does have a point-I promise! So finally the long awaited day came when her husband was coming home. She brought her sons to the airport, and the youngest kept acting up while waiting for his Dad. She finally took him into one of the stores at the airport to find something to occupy him. while in there, she said " Don't worry, your Daddy will be here soon." Well someone overheard her and asked where he was. She told him and the man absolutely insisted on paying for her purchases. Then he said, "I am a reporter for the Virginia Pilot ( our newspaper) would you mind if I took some pictures for you?" ?She said sure. So he just kind of stayed in the background as she and her boys welcomed their Dad home. Well...a week later he sent her an envelope full of prof. pictures of their first moments together. Their first kiss, hugging his boys etc. etc. She said "those were pictures I never would have had because I was into the moment." And a light bulb went off for me. I just need a prof. photographer to follow me around. I take tons of pictures but I am not in 3/4 of them. I really do the things that our whole family does. I really am there. There are just so many moments that we miss that I would love to have on film. A picture of us all jumping waves last night, moments where we are cuddling, those little moments that I would love to have pictures of. So anyway, if anyone wants to follow my family around and just take pictures that would be great. There is no pay or anything. Just the joy you will get from helping me out. With that here are some pictures of FHE last night...

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Sheer madness. Yesterday was sheer madness. OK, Ok it wasn't that bad. All in all it went very well. I went in the morning and picked up the cake. Harmony chose a cake that was pink with a pink stationery set on it. But she had also chosen chocolate frosting. So when the lady was making it she just made it with brown frosting but didn't charge me for the cake set. Nice. So she got a cute cake for a great price. Came back and started putting up decorations and getting the crafts ready. The kids that were here, the girls who had spent the night, just kind of played around. We had a few last minute "not gonna make it's" but I know Harm is kind of used to that being that she has a summer birthday. We did crafts, lunch, ice cream & cake, pinata and presents. Then a little bit more playing and it was done. I headed upstairs for a nap and slept until 5! Phew! The sleepover girls stayed up until midnight! So I am sure all of them were tired too! Then I took Harm, Vale and Connor to Target to pick out a movie. They bought a new Veggie Tales one and we had a nice quiet family movie night. She had a great birthday and was spoiled rotten. She is anxious to spend her $$ that Grandma Harmon sent her. Too much fun. My little girl is 7. Next year I will be preparing a baptism. I can't believe it.....Here are some pics of the wild time!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

math equation

4 girls + a trip to see Barnyard + lots of popcorn & lemonade + 4 sleeping bags +4 stuffed animals + 3 excited ( and ready to entertain!) boys + very little sleep + sugar cereal = a very tired Mom! I will give more updates later. After the party, after a diet coke and after a NAP!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Darth Vader

Since there are no "games" being played the kids have to use their...imaginations. Shocking isn't it? So they decided to make a Star Wars episode 7 with the whole house being the ship. And guess who was Darth Vader. yep...little man. He is too cute to be scary though! Sorry you can't actually see his cape very well...but trust me...way cute!

video game free

Annoyed with children! Ugh! This morning did me in! I took them to the store with me yesterday ( yes all 5.. I thought I was getting the hang of it!) and they did awesome. Followed directions, stayed with me, weren't talking too loudly...they were awesome. Today I had to do last-minute-Harmony-birthday-stuff and they were terrible. Terrible. I warned them before they left that if they misbehaved they would get in trouble. Now it was actually Vale who thougt of the punishment. No video games for 2 days. I thought that was pretty good except I included playstation, game boys and computer games. But the catch was..if one misbehaved they all lost it. I thought that would help them encourage each other to behave. Nope. They were terrible. Now it is time to fulfill the threat. I got a lot of tears on the way home but I was like you guys were warned several times. Boy this parenting stuff is not fun. But like Dr. Phil says I am not in this for a popularity contest. If I me I just lost!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Harmony

I can't believe it. My oldest just turned seven. Now technically she is not 7 yet. She was born at 10 pm on the west coast. But that is my eyes she is 7. She is growing up to fast. She is beautiful. She is sweet. She is funny. She is a girl who knows what she likes and what she wants. She loves music. She loves dancing. She looks cute in her glasses. She still keeps her bunny somewhat close by. She will start 2nd grade. She is my girl. My only girl and I am grateful I have her. As cute as she was when she was a baby...I wouldn't go back if I could. I can't wait to see the woman that she turns into. The singer, vet, Mom...whoever it is that she wants to be. I can't wait to see that Harmony. She's my girl. While she was blowing out the candle on her cupcake ( don't worry she gets a real cake on Sat. ..the boys were very concerned about this!) I just kept thinking of Aug 9th seven years ago. It was a long day. I went into the hospital at noon and she didn't make her grand entrance until 10. But in true Harmony form...she didn't give me any trouble. No pains, no contractions. Not until I was dialated to an 8. It was drugs for me after that. But I remember after I had held her for a little bit, they took her over by the sink and Ben got to give her her first bath and get her cleaned up. I was doing " other things" and I heard someone say, "what is that?" Everyone, including Ben, was looking at my little bundle. In my mind all I could think was " what is wrong? I haven't had her very long and I have already messed her up." No one knew what "that thing in her mouth" was. Everyone left and it was just Ben and I. He slept on a couch with Harm for a lot of the night. I kept waking up and seeing him staring at her. All I could think was, what is the matter with her? The nurses and I, all tried to get her to latch on and she just couldn't. We kept trying and she just wouldn't nurse. The next day, they told us we couldn't leave until she had been seen by an ear, nose and throat specialist. He came in and in about 2 min. eliminated my fears. "No wonder she can't latch on, she has a cyst in her mouth. Give that kid a bottle." She was happy again. About 3 mo. later she had it surgically removed but for the moment I remember feeling happy. We took her home. To our house. We had only been married a little over a year. We were nervous about taking care of her. But I hadn't ruined my first child. She may argue with that now but...This is a lot of rambling but I just...I love my little girl. My dream was to one day become a Mother and she made that dream come true. She was literally my dream come true. And today on her birthday, I hope that all of her dreams come true...
whatever they may be.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

peanut butter

Poor Harmony. Poor,poor Harmony. I doubt she will ever look at peanut butter the same way. Some people know and some don't that Harmony has a spacer in her mouth. Because of this she is not allowed to have gum. A fact that she hates. Ecspecially when the boys are chomping away. No fair. I told her when she gets it out I will buy her a pack of gum all for herself. She can't have fruit snacks either so that is on her list also. day Connor was telling me that his Daddy gave him a piece of gum. Great. I asked him where he put it when he was all done and he said he didn't know...he lost it. Totally mad I figured I would find it on the floor eventually. I was wrong though. I found it Harmony's nice long hair. I thought her hair looked really matted! She was not happy when I told her that the way to get it out was pb. She gave me " that look". I told her it was either that or cut it. She went for the pb. She played game boy during the whole ordeal until the end when I was brushing it out. It hurt, I know it did. It had to have! She told me, " this is not fair. I don't even get gum and now it is in MY hair!" Poor thing. She is up in the bathtub washing all the pb out. She really was a good sport...considering! And of course, like the mean mother that I am...I took pictures. At least she got to eat some of the pb out of the jar!


A discussion between Ethan and Vale:

E- "Ivan is such a cute little baby."
V-"Well actually, he isn't a baby anymore because he can walk."
E-" Yeah just like a human."
Me- " He is a human. Babies are human!"
E- " I know Mommy. but he is just a baby human."

Well that "baby human" weighed in at 27.6! He is a chunk! He was 75th percentile for height, 95th for weight and head circumfrence was 75th. He is taking after Ethan!

Monday, August 07, 2006

boring life...

Nothing blog worthy going on. Really. I am taking a teeny, tiny break from housework. I hae so much more to do. Weekends are like a hurricane at our house and I spend Mondays trying to do repair. It doesn't help that my sweet little Ivan, has figured out how to turn the dishwasher off. So all morning long I have to keep coming in and restarting it. Grrr! He is tired and cranky today and he is making me tired and cranky. He has a check up at 4 today. I am very curious as to how much my chunk-a-monk- is weighing these days. Who stayed in nursery by himself all 2 hours yesterday! Woo-hoo!

We are kind of gearing up for a busy week. Harmony wanted to go eat at a restaraunt called Bennigans for her birthday dinner. Well techinically her birthday is Wed. BUT since kids eat free on Tues. nights we are going tomorrow instead. Plus that just happens to be after my weigh ins. Works out well. I will miss Enrichment but that is ok. I know I will be missed though! :)

Anyway, Harm has a sleepover on Friday with friends and then her party on Sat. (BTW-Cindy did Harm give an invitation to McKaylie? I know she was going to but not sure if she did. It's at my house 11-1) It is going to be a very casual party compared to the boys. That is a good thing. Well my teeny tiny break is over and I have lots to do.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

friends & cheescake

My good friend sent me this picture yesterday. One night after Enrichment a few of us went out for cheesecake. It is always so much fun to just be Marie. Not Mommy. To sit and talk and laugh and talk and eat and talk. Just good times. These women in the picture are so inspirational to me. Two of them have 4 kids and have been through several deployment, one her husband has been out of a job for awhile, one is always supporting me in my calling. One is dealing with a 2nd pregnancy when she knows her husband will be out to sea during the delivery and she has another small one at home. These women are happy, spiritual, good friends and truly inspiring. I am glad that someone had the good idea to suggest dessert! (Who was that again?) I know I didn't make it home until almost midnight but I am glad I did it. Always a good time hangin' out with these guys!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


While driving in the car, Vale was doing some weird "boy thing".
"Vale why are 9 year old boys so wierd?"
"Maybe because I am going through puberty."
"Not at my house your not. Wait until you get home so your Mom can deal with it."

Such a good aunt..I know!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Aquarium visit

I took the boys to the Aquarium on Sat. Our kids are a little tired of going since they have gone so much. Vale loved it though. So here are just a few pictures...

Happy 100th post

This is my 100th post on my blog. Wow. I have a lot to say! Anyway, Ethan learned a new trick. It's a good one. Or not... He is very proud but I told him he could never do it again. "But Mom, I just learned to get it up all by itself." Sorry buddy! He really is cute about it though isn't he? I had to catch it for posterity reasons only. :)