Thursday, October 29, 2009


Over both blog breaks--one intentional, the other *forced*, I have managed to miss blogging about two birthdays (three, if you count Kasey's actual birth day!)....oh, the SHAME!!!! I shudder to think about how behind I am in actually getting memories hard-copied into my scrapbooks...but I know "eventually" I'll get the opportunity to catch up, right? There WILL come a day when I'm not swamped with diapers and phonics lessons and grading chemistry quizzes and laundry and dinners...all too soon, I imagine.

ANYway....our first "missed" birthday was Shelby's. Our little ham turned one back in August, just a week after her baby sister was born! We didn't have a huge party (not our style), but we did have a couple of close friends over from church to eat and celebrate and eat and play and eat some more. What is it about church-folk and eating? Seems we can't get together without food!? Oh well, Shelby didn't mind. She was a tad overwhelmed with the whole cake deal, only getting her little chubby hands slightly messy with icing. I think we finally had not too many gifts, too, because she wasn't buried in presents and she managed to enjoy every one of them! That's something we've struggled to do with each child--figure out how much is just flat-out TOO MUCH. It's not easy, because it's in our nature to just lavish the stuff on our kids, but we know in the end, it's really not good for them to just have everything heaped on them. Shelby still plays with every one of her birthday gifts (and there's a Toys 'R Us gift card we still haven't even used yet! Maybe this weekend?), so nothing got lost in the pile this time! Yay! I think we're going to stick with the limited "stuff" for Christmas and future birthdays too. It was nice to just enjoy the day!

Shelby is fourteen months old now, and she's just a little ray of sunshine in our family. I simply cannot imagine NOT having her and we are so thankful that God blessed us with this little character! She became pretty attached to Daddy during my recovery time from the c-section, but now that I'm back to "normal" she's gone right back to being very much a Mama's girl. Shelby is my second left hand--she's sitting right here "helping" me as I type, in fact. She just has to be doing whatever I'm doing, and she LOVES feeling like one of the big girls. Speaking of big, she's our largest baby, even now that she's been walking a few months and is thinning out. She's a chunker, and she's got the weight to go along with her fluff! She's also got plus-sized personality--Shelby is definitely a showgirl to the core! We can't wait to see how her little character develops as she grows and matures!
Our little glam gal...
The other birthday I missed blogging about was our three-year-old, Danica. Unfortunately, it's all too easy for one child to slip into the background, and if we weren't careful, Dani would do just that. She's a "background" kind of kid, the type who is happy to be doing something that no one else will ever see. She doesn't do well in big groups, so a family party was more than enough this year. We did have big brother Jon down from Fort Campbell for the weekend to help us celebrate, so that was an extra treat for Dani! This year, she chose to have her ears pierced for her birthday (mostly so she could be like Morgan and Jamie), and we were shocked when all she did in reaction to having been double-gunned was utter a mildly surprised "Ow!" This isn't a great pic, but you can see her little red heart earrings she's so proud of!

Dani was the first of our kids to have a store-bought cake that wasn't a Carvel ice cream cake, with the lone exception being Jonathan's first birthday, nineteen years ago! That's a LOT of cakes, y'all! Oh, and for the record, Target makes a really yummy chocolate sheet cake! I've never had such a moist store-bought cake!Our family is going to be having some major changes before our next "round" of birthdays, but we're hoping that one of the changes is having Dani figure out the whole potty thing. She CAN handle wearing panties, but most of the time she's just not interested. She doesn't seem to care about being wet (even when she's just saturated our brand new couch like this morning) and frankly, I've not got the wherewithall to get serious about potty training right now. All of our other kids have pretty much decided like overnight that they wanted to be out of diapers, so we don't have any experience truly "training" for pottying....I'm sure she'll be out of diapers by her next birthday but it sure would be nice to have just TWO in diapers, ya know?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Necessary evil?

Have you ever noticed that you never really thought you "needed" something till you had it for a while and then lost it? That's kind of how we've felt about the internet lately. For the last almost two weeks, we've had sketchy, intermittent internet access. Four tech support calls, two service calls and one new modem later, we *think* the problem is fixed. But WOW the timing couldn't have been worse!

During the last two weeks, we've really NEEDED our internet service. Going under contract on a house almost requires the use of email nowadays; our realtor has been emailing us things and we've needed to email them back to him, amended. Thank goodness Pete has reliable internet service at work!

We are going to have a very busy couple of months ahead of us, but we're used to that. I can't remember a time when we didn't have a busy couple of months ahead of us, actually! This couple of months, however, is going to be bringing with it some serious change. Pete has his first (I'm saying first, because...well, he's still got two and a half months before he can start a new job) interview this Thursday!!! We've had no doubt that right here is where God wants us--this move to Huntsville was definitely "swayed" by His hand, I'm sure. I also have no doubt in my mind that this is where He wants us to STAY. I'm not worried about the whole job thing. God has taken care of us in far more difficult trials in life than just a job change; I have every faith in His ability to take care of us now. Buying a house was really a total leap of faith, considering that Pete doesn't have a job yet. We're not "testing" God; we're trusting Him.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We did WHAT????

If you'd have asked us just two weeks ago, we would have told you we weren't in the market for a house....yet today, we put in an offer on literally the first house we've looked at. Part of me is thinking "What on EARTH are you doing????" while the other, just as logical part knows why--it's going to cost us too much to live in this government subsidized military housing after Pete retires. They are charging us $1176 a month in rent (granted, for now we pay no water, gas, or electric) to live in military housing, and although retirees are allowed to stay, our rent for a 4-bedroom, 3-bath, 1400-ish square foot two-story duplex is just way more than we want to pay for something we can't call "ours".

The good thing about having lived in so many different places over the years is that we knew EXACTLY what we were looking for...and when it popped up on the computer screen, we KNEW it was the house we wanted to buy. Three big bedrooms, a bonus room (for the girls' bedroom!), a living room and family room (so I can have a schoolroom), nice kitchen, BIG ole backyard (an ACRE!!!), and a fence, plus it isn't too far out of town (like only 7 miles)! It's an older house with no major issues but plenty of TLC needed to satisfy our unquenching thirst for projects.

Offer's on the table, loan is approved, now the clock's just ticking away....hopefully soon we'll be able to play in our very big backyard...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Warning to newbie moms...

This is what happens when you assume that your 13-month-old is quiet because she's engaged in some constructive activity behind you underneath the table as you check your email. (Notice the shirt.)
She spends five minutes taste-testing her big sister's markers. This, my friends, is why ALL markers in a house with children should be washable. And non-toxic. This is also why we keep a very good stain-remover on hand. In bulk.Note to self.....remove the mute button (aka, pacifier) next time you check your email. Laundry, anyone?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook, 10/5/2009

FOR TODAY, October 5th, 2009...
Outside my window... it is dreary and chilly. Our first true Autumn-y day.
I am thinking... that Kasey is two months old today--I really do need to schedule her well-baby checkup but I'm not thrilled that the clinic on base lumped the pediatric clinic in with the big folks. Now when I take my WELL baby in for her checkup, I'll have to sit in a waiting room with a whole bunch of grown sick people. Yuck. I'm not looking forward to that; it's precisely that type of exposure to germs that has sickened every one of the littles we've taken in for checkups. Every time. Do I HAVE to?
I am thankful for... the girls getting over this cold. It was not pleasant to sit at home yesterday. I believe I've had enough snot on my shoulder, thanksmuch!
From the learning rooms... finally we can say that this week brings just the average routine schooldays. Yay for average!
From the kitchen... I'm going to attempt to make some homemade flour tortilla chips for the girls to munch on so I'm not so worried about Shelby choking on the corn chips. She SO wants to be like the rest of us, dipping our chips into salsa!
I am wearing... my PJ's. Time to get dressed!
I am creating... scrapbook pages in my head. Now if I only had printed-out pictures, I'd be able to create them in real life!
I am going... to physical therapy in an hour. My hand is already cringing, but I'm looking forward to another electrostimulation treatment. It really does help!
I am reading... "Sheperding a Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp. Another book I wish I'd read 20 some-odd years ago.
I am hoping... to get started on some sewing projects this week; I need to get some fleece diaper covers made so I can put those expensive nighttime cloth diapers on the girls without fearing that the PUL covers won't hold overnight (and they don't).
I am hearing... the drone of the baby swing next to me. Thankfully, Kasey LOVES her swing--none of the other kids did so this is a new thing for me! It's wonderful to be able to get just fifteen minutes with both arms free to get things done!
Around the house... we have all bedrooms arranged and both girls' rooms are CLEAN! I need to hang curtains in Morgan and Jamie's room and look online for another valance to match the one I have (I need at least two!) for Dani and Shelby's room, but it's so much easier the way the rooms are arranged now and I'm LOVING the organization and the near-finished look that both rooms have!
One of my favorite things... Kasey's new blanket. Kelsey "dun-did-good" during her mall trip yesterday, finding Kasey a really NICE University of Alabama blanket made of 'minky' fleece with a satin trim. We are all so bored with pink, it's a wonderful change to have crimson on the baby! And oooooooh, so soft and fuzzy!
A few plans for the rest of the week: Pete has his sleep study this week; I have three physical therapy appointments; on Saturday, we are taking advantage of the military discount that Tate Farms is having and we're taking the girls to the pumpkin patch again! Pete didn't get to go with us last year, so the girls are excited to show Daddy the ropes!
Here is picture for thought I am sharing... I've got another bookworm on my hands--YAY!!!

A hearty thank-you to Peggy for hosting The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Twenty years ago today...

I fought the tears (why, I'm not sure...they won) as I drove away from the recruiting office after dropping off my new hubby to leave for Army basic training. His 'actual' career wouldn't begin for another day, when he finally inprocessed at Fort Dix in New Jersey, but to me, that was the monumental day--the day, just ten days after becoming a wife, that Pete made me an Army wife. It would be another two and a half months before I saw him again, and a full eleven months before we could share a home as husband and wife.

Since his enlistment, Pete and I have shared 13 addresses, five deployments, countless field exercises and I've forgotten how many different month-long separations for one reason or another. Our children have faced things that most children never have to deal with, but they've also been blessed with opportunities that we never could have afforded them if we weren't a military family.

Life (and the military) has thrown so much at us these past 20 would be easy to forget all the details, but good or bad, my memory is sharply reminiscent of just way too much! I still remember the day he left for basic training like it was yesterday--the fear of the unknown (the only knowledge I had of military life was of my uncle, whose Army career was one of those national secrets that we knew little more of than where he was stationed), the pain of knowing it would be at least two months before I could see him again--I remember vividly going to the mall with Pete's mother after we dropped him off and the song on the piped-in radio was Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting". OH MY how I had to fight to keep from falling apart!

Even though we've had some seriously hard times, the good has far outweighed the bad, and through it all, I'm so proud of this man I share my life with, and the good he's done has made me pleased to stand in the background on the rare occasion that he actually receives a pat on the back. When it comes down to it, Pete is a patriot at heart. Sometimes that scares me senseless, I'll have to admit! I've been befuddled by tears because he feels his duty in Iraq was not fulfilled and he wanted to go back, and I've sat in the van during a horrid thunderstorm as he pulled over into the median of a busy street during rush-hour traffic to restore the dignity of a fallen American flag by re-hanging it on its METAL pole with lightning flashing all around him. He may give me heart attack after heart attack, but I sure love this guy and I wouldn't trade him (or the last 20 years) for anything!

Happy Armyversary, sweetie--and HOOAH!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

What's in a name?

Some people name their children after a relative; some give their offspring names to honor a beloved friend; some carry on family names or even bestow names based on their meanings; some use Biblical characters' names to hopefully give their child some rich heritage to live up to. Us? Well, we "bless" our girls with names off of Daddy's t-shirt. Oy.At least our Kasey is cuter than her namesake! Daddy's hoping that she'll be faster around the track, too! Ironically, though...notice Kasey Kahne's number on Pete's shirt......our Kasey makes the ninth member of our family--born in '09! Our pathetic attempt at humor? No, just pathetic. Maybe one day I'll share with her the list of names MOM had for her...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

You just can't help but smile!

Knowing that Kasey is our last baby (well, at least biologically! Heehee....) has made us really make and extra effort to savor every little moment. All of those wonderful baby smells (the GOOD ones, not the, um...not-so-savory ones), the little coos, the giggles in her sleep, and the SMILES!!! Oh, the smiles, they just melt the heart!

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