Sunday, July 27, 2008

Almost time!!

We are getting down to it. Our alone time begins around noon tomorrow. I am so very, very excited. Right now we are busy...

**doing laundry
**packing all the bags for the kids
** writing out emergency phone numbers
**getting flight info written down
** preparing a to do list for the morning

And that is just so the kids can get off! Ben and I have not even started packing yet. Actually...Ben has to unpack so he can pack again. But we are so anxious and excited to be going. This is the first time I have been gone from the kids this long. We have been able to have a few trips alone, but it was usually just 2 days or so. This time it is a lot longer...and not with family.

Anyway if I don't blog for is because I am on vacation! :) I am bringing my laptop so I will still have email, if anyone needs to get a hold of us. And my memory card has been cleared so expect a ton of pictures. I can't wait! Wal mart...oops I mean Hawaii here I come! Aloha!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Primary PARTAY

The week leading up to Ben's return was a busy one. Which is good because the times goes by that much faster. One of the things the kids did was go to the primary party.It was so hot and humid that day. However, I don't really think the kids noticed! They had a ton of fun playing games, making puppets,going down the slide and playing in bounce houses, bobbing for apples and getting their faces painted. There was lots of food and it was fun to sit around and talk with the other ladies in our branch/who are in primary. Good times. By the end of the day, they were all covered in mud and exaughsted. They ate dinner and were in bed shortly after. It was fun. Hot but fun! Apparently I didn't take too many photos of Ethan though!

**For all who have asked, Ben is home safe and sound. Trying to get used to driving on the right side of the road!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today has been a little emotional for me. I am so anxious for Ben to come home (bright and early in the morning). But while I am here, my heart is at home. At my parents house. With my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and everyone else who has gathered. Yep, a family reunion without me. I wish I would have been able to go. But things didn't work out the way that I expected.

I started thinking about, what home is. There is a saying that goes, "home is where the Navy sends you". And although they are talking about your station...I think there may be a little bit more meaning to it. Let me take you back to the year 2002...

I was sitting in my parents basement watching JAG ( it was the one when Bud lost his leg) and I got a phone call from Ben. "Well Marie, I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that I got my orders. The bad is that we are not going to any of the places we picked. They are sending us to Norfolk."

I was kind of in shock. But I told him that as long as we were together, any place was home.

So we moved to Norfolk. We made new friends. We found new schools. We found new stores to go too. We found a new ward. We started all over again. And then in what seems like the blink of an eye, 4 years had passed. Our time was up and it was time to move on. We were anxious to go somewhere new, but part of our hearts stayed in Norfolk.

We moved here to Guam. We made new friends. We found new schools. We found new stores to go too. We found a new branch. And now a year has flown by. We have said some goodbyes ( miss you Tiff),we have had new experiences, we have lived our life.

While Ben was in Afghanistan, I got one call from a member of his wardroom, asking if I needed anything. Just one. This time,Ben has been gone for a little over a month. I have had 4-5 phone calls, countless emails, my neighbor has stepped up numerous times to help me. Our branch at church, has totally stepped in and supported me. It has been amazing.

I don't have family here. But in a feels like I do. So am I home? Is Guam home? My kids consider Norfolk to be home. I consider White Salmon to be home. And Ben...The Dalles.

I don't know where I am going with all this. I have just been thinking about home and family. And I think whoever said, " Home is where your heart is" was right. So part of my heart is in White Salmon and part is here on Guam.

So while everyone is having fun laughing, talking,eating, teasing Darla, playing with kids, having a talent show, working on crafts and all that...don't forget about the Turner family. We miss you all and can't wait until we can see you again!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy 700th post...and Denny's

Can you believe this is my 700th post? This blog started out as a way to keep Ben up to date while he was gone and is still that but a lot more. It is a great way to keep a record of our everyday lives.

My boys. I tell you they have some pretty high ambitions. Ethan has decided he would like to be a "chef" (not a line cook) at Denny's. And so he has turned our kitchen into a Denny's. He offers such delicacies as cold cereal, eggo's, and sandwiches. When someone else makes something, he just comes over and says bon apetit ( because you know how often they speak French at Denny's). The other day I found this list of rules on the chalkboard. It was just too cute so I had to share...

1. No toys ( also Mommy's rule...coincidence?) foob fihts
3. No going in the kitchen unless you are the chef
4. NO Books
5. No leeving the table unless you are done
6. No taking with your moth full! ( talking with your mouth full...also one of Mommy's rules)

So if you want to stop by and eat you have to make sure to follow the rules! Bon Apetit!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Liberation Day...or

"What I wouldn't do for my daughter day". Harmony's Girl Scout troop participated in the Liberation Day parade that was held yesterday. ( Instead of celebrating the 4th, Guam celebrates Liberation Day when the US liberated them from the Japanese occupation). We knew that it was going to be hot. We knew we would have to wake up early. We knew we would have to sit on the sidewalk. (Mom can't haul chairs and a stroller...)All the kids were fine with it and wanted to go anyway. Except for Ivan who still wants to go and see fireworks.

Now if you are not local, this might not mean anything but...Harmony's troop was supposed to meet at a Mobil station ( across from the Govenors mansion) at 8:30. Then after the parade, we would pick them up from the Taco Bell in Agana shopping mall. When we drove down, the line up near the gas station was loooong. So Mom had the bright idea to park at Taco Bell, and walk down.

I didn't not think about how far that walk actually is. Someone told me over 2 miles. So we are walking as fast as we can to get down to the Mobil station. The kids are complaining the whole way, and I am trying to keep a smile on my face. I finally asked someone what time it was, and it was already 9. Harmony starts bawling. "We missed it and it's all your fault!" So I told her she had a choice, we could keep going and see if we could find them or we could turn around and go home. So she chose to go on. Well we get to Mobil (almost 9:15) and there is no one there. She is bawling again but I noticed all the floats lining up down the main highway. We saw someone I knew, so I left the kids, and headed down Marine Corp highway, to see if I could find it. I made it all the way down to Harley Davidson, before I finally turned around.I was hot, sweaty, sunburned (despite using sunscreen) and a little dehydrated.

We decided to sit near the governors mansion, and hope that she could hop on the float if we saw it. Since this was the beginning of the parade, I figured we had a pretty good chance. Well after an hour of watching the parade, the boys were ready to go home. They were hot and sweaty and wanted snow cones. Finally we look back into the mansion, and we see Girl Scout balloons. I had gone all the way down to HD only for them to be across the street! I ran her down and she hopped on. She smiled the whole way, and blew me lots of kisses.

After they had passed, the boys and I headed back down to the car. This time we took it nice and slow. Stopping for cotton candy and snow cones. We hit the drive thru and ended up waiting over an hour for Harm to get there. The boys didn't seem to mind and just sat in the a/c watching Justice League.

It was a loooong morning. I hope someday Harmony looks back and remembers all that I did to get her on that dang float. She probably won't though. She will probably remember it as the day that her Mom made her walk when it was really hot and she almost missed the parade!

On a different note...A long time ago Connor decided that he would like to join the Navy when he grows up. So his favorites were watching the different branches of the military walk by. He told me, "Now I really want to be in the Navy, so I can throw candy in a parade!" so much ambition....

Friday, July 18, 2008

which one....

is not like the other?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I still do

Tomorrow will be a decade. 10 years spent together. We have been through

*4 labors
*lean financial times
*deaths in the family
*church callings
*firsts with the children
*3 kids in diapers, 2 using bottles, at the same time
*late nights
*early mornings
I am sad that I can't be with Ben on our anniversary, but I just want him, and everyone else to know, that if I had the chance to do it again...I would. Without hesitation. I wouldn't change a thing. And after all this time...yeah babe, I do. I still do.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

club grounded

Last night, the boys asked me if they could take Astro for a walk. I was trying to get Ivan bathed and to bed so I told them sure. They were going to walk him down to the park that is a little ways beyond our house. So I start an organizing project while Ivan is in the bath. And I realize that, the boys are still gone. I get Ivan out, all jammied and smelling like watermelon, reading his books and put him to bed.

Hmmm...boys are still missing. I wait a little longer but it is getting really dark outside. The curfew in base housing is 6 and it is around 7:15. So I am starting to think maybe the guards picked them up or something. Harmony volunteered to go and find them. So I sent her out since Ivan wasn't alseep yet. Well she didn't come back,and she didn't come back. I figured that Ivan was asleep so I went out to find them.

Here was Harmony marching the boys down the street, yelling at them! She really got onto them. And so did I. The first rule in our house is that you can't go anywhere unless you have asked. However, last night they decided to take Astro for a walk and then just go play at the park. Connor kept crying," but Ethan made me!"

So they are grounded from just about everything. Harmony was loving having video games, the lap top all to herself. Rubbing it in their cute little faces that SHE wasn't grounded.

This afternoon, she asked if she could go to the park. I said sure. And being the amazing chef that I am, once the pizza was delivered, Connor went to the park to get her. He came home and said, " I can't find her." So I walk around the housing looking for her. I finally found her and she was coming to TELL me where she was. Wrong answer chica. You don't tell me, you ask. So I lectured her about exactly what happened last night. So now, Harmony is grounded also. They asked when they would be un-grounded and I said when they turn 18!

*I tried to get pictures of them frowing but Harm kept bursting into giggles...

Monday, July 14, 2008

A birthday wish

Happy Birthday to you!!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Mom and Aunt Joan
Happy Birthday to you!

Hope your birthday is wonderful!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

name change

So I have been thinking about changing the name of my blog. To something along the lines of "kids say the darndest things" or "the funny things my kids say", something along those lines. Harmony dropped a total doozy on me today...the James saga continues....

We are at the commissary and I asked Ethan to go and get some Gala apples. Harmony pipes up with, "Mom you have to get the green apples!" I asked her why and she said, "because those are James' favorites!" I looked at her and so she quickly added"...well I like them too, it's not just for James." Then of course she got embarrased and went off to grab the apples.

Do I dare ask what will come next?


I feel like I have neglected Ethan and Connor. I haven't done too much blogging about them lately. But I had some cute conversations with them, the other day...

Ethan: "Mom, there is something that I have always been wondering..."
M: " what is that Ethan?"
E:" When you eat a cinnamon roll, how did the cinnamon get in there?"

Connor: "Mom I just can't wait until I am a Dad."
M: "Really how come?"
C: " So that I can finally drink diet coke and than I can buy rated T games!"

Cute little boys. Even though I haven't blogged about them, they really do light up my days!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

last chance..

Come check out my scrapbook blog, so that you can be entered to win a June stamp of the month set from Close to my Heart!

Thanks for playing!

Friday, July 11, 2008

walking zombie

Whenever Ben is gone, the kids see his side of the bed, as fair game. I tell them that as much as I love them, I don't want to sleep with them. We all have our own beds and I want to keep it that way.

However, Ivan has decided that he doesn't want to listen to this. Every night I put him to bed and he falls promptly to sleep. Then nice and early in the morning (around 2 or 3) he comes and sneaks in to my room. Honestly he is seriously quiet about it. Probably sleep walking!! Then he gets in and rolls around, steals blankets, kicks me in the back etc. etc. It has made for some serious lack of sleep!

I was thinking about locking my door, but I really don't want him sitting outside my door screaming or something. I don't want to be awoken that early and I certainly don't want the other kids too also.

I have to get him to stop this before Ben comes home! Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

First crush...

I have been absolutely dying to tell this story. But I have to be careful. Harmony will not be very happy if she knows that I posted this! She still has not forgiven me for telling people that she got in trouble when she was in 1st grade! But it is too cute and I just HAVE to share....

When my friend and I were arranging the babysitting schedule for this summer, my only concern was Harmony and James. They were in the same school class and the same church class. There was a lot of flirting going on and I knew she had a crush on him. She denied it but you can just tell.

So the first few days were fine. They all played together and there was some flirting but not too much.

A couple of days ago, Harmony and James were on the couch each playing a Nintendo DS. He leans over and tells her that he has a crush on her. He then asks if she likes him. She replied, "no". So he asked her who she does like, and she told him no one. He asked her, "well why can't you like me then?" She just said well I have my reasons.

A little later they all head out to the park. I came out later with Ivan and Ethan and Sydney (James' lil sis who is Harm's age also) are all upset. I asked them what the matter was, and they said Harmony and James wouldn't play with them. They kept running off together. Sydney was not happy so she started teasing them. Harmony went over to talk to him and they spent about 10 min on a bench sitting and talking. They spent the rest of the afternoon back on the couch.

The next morning, Harmony told me what happened between her and James. As the curious Mom that I am, I asked her what her reasons were. She just looked and me and said "Mom!" iwth an exasperated voice. I asked her once more and she said,
" I was just too embarrased to tell him yes!" I was surprised and she just said, "forget it, this conversation is closed."

So the past few days, if Harmony leaves the room, James wants to know where she is and what she is doing. If Harm and Sydney are whispering he wants to know what is going on. Oh so much drama. I can't believe this kind of thing is starting already!

I tried to get a picture of them, but James doesn't like having his picture taken. He has a radar if the camera comes out. So I am posting the pic anyway, even though it isn't very good and Ethan's head is in the way.

I am so not ready for this kind of thing! She actually asked if he could spend the night!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Two weeks ago...

It was exactly two weeks ago that I was piling all the kids in the car, to head out to Ivan's appt. To be honest...I still don't think I have quite come to terms with everything. The word autism is like a ticker that just keeps running through my mind. My child...with autism? No, no it can't be.

I have cried a lot of tears, I have read a lot of books, I have read a lot of websites. I have prayed. I have been researching. I keep saying the word over and over. I have told almost all my friends, as if saying the diagnosis out loud will finally make it feel real.

There is so much info out there that it is overwhelming. And there are times that I look at Ivan, and think no my child is normal. There is nothing wrong with him. And I will be brought back to reality. My reality. Every day with a completely different day. One day he will be fine with the transition from breakfast to getting dressed to running an errand. The next he will be in the corner, with his hands over his face, breathing heavy and avoiding everyone. One day, he will be fine with the McQueen cup the next day he won't. One day, he will respond to his name. The next he won't.

I feel like there is so much work left to be done.

I have had so many people ask me if there is anything they can do. The far not really. You can let me talk, and not get frustrated if I cry, you can let me vent. If you find a good gluten free product, you can send it to us. ( I would be happy to reimburse). If you find a great book or article or story or video on autism you can send it to me. But most of all, what we really need is love, support and understanding. And we have already been given those three in abundance. And I am grateful for all of our family and friends who have stood by us. We love you!

**I realize that this probably doesn't make very much sense. Sorry, just getting my thoughts out!**

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I have a giveaway going on over at my scrapbook blog! Go check it out! Leaving My Mark

Monday, July 07, 2008


I was so frustrated with Astro this morning. Maybe some of you noticed. I was all prepared to hand him over to the next person who walked through our door. What I wasn't prepared for was Harmony. She started bawling. She wouldn't let go of Astro. She begged. She pleaded. She cried and cried. I took her upstairs so I could talk to her away from Astro, and she cried in my arms. "He is my best friend. He makes me happy. He makes me laugh. When I am sad he makes me feel better. I will clean up all his messes. If he chews up anything else,I will pay for it out of my allowance." I was prepared to give her every reason in the book to get rid of him, and than she pulled out the big guns..."Mom, when we bought him they asked you how long you were going to keep him and you said forever. Besides remember what they say on Lilo and Stitch? Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind." How can you argue with that? I mean honestly. I made her clean up all the throw up. I made her wash out his kennel of the diahrea he had in there. She did it willingly as long as she could just keep him. She saved him. He still has a home. But every time he looks at me, I get this feeling that he is thinking "sucker!"

My biggest mistake

So it turns out, that no matter how much of a dog person my daughter is, I am just not. The past few days, I have been dealing with a lot. This deployment as I may have mentioned, a couple hundred times, has not been easy. To add to this, I have a dog who I am just not ready to handle. Does that make sense? I am not at a place in my life where I can devote a whole bunch of time and attention to a dog. So I am giving him away. I know. I am a harsh, mean, horrible Mom. But a girl can only take so much before she pulls all her hair out. So if you are local and you are interested in a dog, let me know. He comes with a kennel, leash, bed, toys, food, and has all his shots. If you don't want one, but know someone who does, give them my number. Thanks.

This is not a joke. I am not just being funny. Seriously call me.

I'm it

I have been tagged. I think we all know the rules...wait and see if I tagged you at the end! bwah ha ha!

3 Joys:(besides the obvious Ben, the kids)
1)long hot bubble baths with a good book/magazine
2) snuggling in our bed and watching a movie with Ben
3)when things are cheaper than I thought they would be

3 Fears
1. Mice (seriously thanks a lot Darla) car breaking down somewhere with the kids in the car, and a dead cell phone
3. failure in the home

3 Goals:
1. to research autism so I can make informed decisions on Ivan's behalf
2. get organized
3. trying new recipes and get out of the same food rut

3 Obsessions:
1)Harry Potter(seriously I didn't even want to read them and now I can't get enough!)
2)Close to my Heart
3)taking photos of my gorgeous husband and cute kids

3 Random Facts:
My life is an open book. Hence the blog. But I will try...
1. I don't wear my wedding ring ( I am allergic to the gold and we just haven't bought a new one yet)
2.I love the look of a freshly vacumed house
3.I like to have breakfast foods for dinner, and non breakfast foods for breakfast. Make sense?

OK I have to tag 5 people...
Janice (that's what you get for giving out your blog address!)
Darla (since she's bored without Vale)
Christy ( so she will update!)
Becky ( 'cause I am having so much fun reconnecting with you!)


My scrapbook blog is updated. You can visit at

Saturday, July 05, 2008

sunshine through the clouds

I have a little secret. Only some people actually know about it. There was one little glitch that I was worried about...but it worked out fine. Ben comes home on the 25th of July...and on the 29th we are getting on a plane and going to Hawaii!!!

This isn't the trip that I was trying to win. I am not sure when/if I will find out about that trip.

As most people know, I am babysitting my friend's children while she goes to nursing school during the day. Well, the "payment for my services" is she is going to watch all the kids (and Astro) so that we can go. We will be attending a conference for junior officers & their spouses. So our flight, hotel and a lot of our food is already paid for. I am so excited. I can't wait to go and reconnect with Ben. It just also happens to be our 10th anniversary this month. So what a fun way to celebrate.

I am so looking forward to going to Wal Mart, the Polynesian Culture Center, Wal Mart, Cheesecake factory, Pearl Harbor & the Arizona, Wal Mart, Diamond Head, Old Navy...

So, so excited. The spouses only have to be at the conference until noon, so I am planning to try to get a lot of my shopping done while Ben is still in the conference. I am just really looking forward to this trip.

Julie & Wendy- if you know of any health food stores where I can find gluten free products would you let me know? Thanks

Friday, July 04, 2008

Freedom Rocks

Can I tell you how much I really do love this land? I love the freedoms that I enjoy, simply because I was born in the US. I love spending the 4th of July surrounded my members of the military. Laying their life on the line every day, to preserve those freedoms. Doing what they do because of a sense of patriotism and duty.My thoughts drifted to my soldier. Far away from us. Far away from the main land. Trying to help a country that is in desperate need of our help. And he goes. Because of a sense of duty and country. Because he wants those children to have the same kind of life that his kids have. Even though our country is suffering with the economy, with natural disasters and more, I am proud. I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be a Navy wife. I am proud to be numbered with the military community. Happy Fourth of July everyone!

one for the record books...

Sometime soon, I am going to wake up from the nightmare that has been this deployment. I am, I know it. I am going to wake up and my old vacum will be running fine. I will have not had power outtages and water outtages. My son will not have autism. Life will go back to normal. I just need to be pinched.

I was having a pity party before, and now I would like to inform you on the latest of deployment problems. Our tv has gone the way of the dodo. It started out with a big black box covering the bottom of the screen. Now it has moved onto none of the buttons working. We can't turn it off or on, turn it up or down, or change the channel except through the cable box. We have to unplug it to turn it off. So I get to go and pick out a new tv today. And hope that my neighbor will be willing to set it up for me...and carry it in the house...

And speaking of neighbors, a different one is going to come and jump my battery. As we were headed out to the fireworks last night...the van wouldn't start. For the second time in just a couple of weeks. So I will probably be going to get a new battery also. Someone shoot me now. Seriously.

This is going down as the worst deployment yet.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I did it!

I decided to get a scrapbook blog up and going. There isn't too much there yet, except I have a guest post from a cute little scrapper! :)
So come by and check it out at...

the hardest part

The hardest part of a deployment for me is the lonely nights. Right now it is 9:21 on Thursday night. If Ben were here, this would be the time for talking, eating snacks we don't want to share with the kids, cuddling, and just being together. But here I sit. All alone. Nothing to keep me company but my laptop. I am seriously missing him tonight. Unfortunatley, I haven't been able to talk to him for 2 days. I know, I know it doesn't seem like that long. But it feels long.

Only 21 more days to go...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008



My friend Beth had this on her blog and I liked it, so I stole it!

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

So leave your memories people!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

We have a winner!!

I want to thank everyone for all the orders that were placed this month! It was so wonderful. I appreciate all your help. I am not sure when I will hear whether I won or not, but I of course will keep you posted!

Because I had such a great response, I wanted to give away a couple of extra prizes. I have 2 extra Stamp of the Month kit's from June. So I had my helper ( please ignore her gross hair that needs to be washed desperatley) pick out three people. So here goes...

winner of the album: Sylvia C
2nd prize- Mom
3rd prize- JoAnn L

Thanks so much for making this such a fun and successful month for me.

While I love my CTMH site, I am exploring the idea of starting...yet another blog ( I plan to get rid of my weight loss one since that has been put on the back burner) devoted to scrapbooking.My layouts, contests, journaling ideas and all that fun stuff. That way it isn't always on this blog. I will keep you posted on that also!)


Why do I order a pan crust, when all I end up with is this?