Sunday, December 21, 2008

May He Rest In Peace

A sad thing has happened at our home. It has been snowing for days and is freezing outside. Yesterday when I looked out our kitchen door I realized that there was a figure laying in the snow. Someone tried to get in, but the door must have been locked and he couldn't get in.

Poor Grover. May he rest in peace.

Now Dan has sat him up and it looks like he needs a big cup of hot cocoa!

Like Reese has said, we have found Narnia. This weather has been absolutely crazy here. It has been snowing for days and it look as if it will continue snowing for several more. I personally hate it, but the kids are having fun. Living out in the country has given them ample opportunity to play in the snow and sled.

The highlight of my day has been spending time holding McKenzie!

post signature

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fill--In

Fill in the lyrics...with the correct ones or ones of your own :-) Have fun with this, don't worry if you don't know 'em...just make up something silly or do a silly one and a serious one! The most important part is to have fun with it.

Here we go!

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, am I making you cold?
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, was somewhere far, far away.
3. SNOW!, Over the hills and everywhere.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, another few inches of snow.
5. Heather, Let your heart be light!
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing while still in your bathrobe.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finally seeing Heather and her family (I hope!), tomorrow my plans include dinner with Grandpa-in-law and Sunday, I want to have a car/truck/van to drive myself around in!

For more Friday Fill-Ins, click here.

And on a side note, apparently I found Narnia and it isn't at the back of a wardrobe. It's at the other end of a nine-hour plane ride from East England to the Northwestern America! As I write this, the snow is still coming down heavy and thick. If it wasn't keeping me stranded three miles out of town, it would easily be one of the loveliest sights imaginable.

(These were taken yesterday.)

post signature

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Good News...And, The Bad News

The good news: Reese and family are here!
The bad news: Reese, Zach and Ian are very sick and we haven't been able to see each other yet.

The other good news: We ran into Kristine and Sean in the store tonight! That was awesome! They were wandering around with Grandma & Grandpa.

Here's a little funny story. Holly was in the store tonight too. Amanda ran into Holly and Holly let Amanda know that she had seen Kristine and Sean. Amanda got so excited and asked where they were. Holly let her know to go look in the produce section. Soon Amanda ran back to Holly and says "I went to produce and can't find them anywhere, where should I look?" Holly said "Well, they were at the vegetables when I saw them a few minutes ago." Amanda's response "oh, shoot, I thought that produce was milk...I'll go look at the vegetables". And, off she ran. Thankfully, she did eventually find them.

LOL! I guess that goes to show that I haven't talked with my kids much about vegetables! Oops!

Thanks for checking in on us. I'm sorry neither of us have posted much. It's amazing how when life comes at you fast and hard that time seems to be a precious thing and not everything you love to do can be fit in. I'm really sorry, and we promise that when life calms down we will be back to some regular posts.

A small update on McKenzie: She graduated from a car bed to a car seat. She had to sit in the seat for an hour at the hospital to make sure she could handle it, and she can. She's also taking more bottles instead of the feeding tube! She loves to suck! Thanks for your prayers for her.

post signature

Sunday, December 14, 2008

By Jove, We've Done It!

The family and I are firmly on American soil! We were blessed to get the first flight we tried for, to an Air Force base in Washington state. The flight was the absolute coldest flight we've ever experienced: our drinks, candy bars and Nutrigrain Bars actually froze in the cardboard lunchboxes they were in on the floor of the plane. Thankfully, this plane didn't have room for us to lie on the floor, so we avoided frostbite! LOL!

It was about a 9 hour flight, straight from England to Washington. Now we 're waiting for Tim to get here with our rental, them we'll begin the 4 hour drive to our hometown. We're almost home! I'm so excited!

On the down side, The Boys are feverish and I'm starting to feel it too. Ugh. Who needs this while on vacation, right?! Also, the roads are crazy with a storm that has blown in, so I'm nervous about the drive. But I trust God, who didn't bring us this far to leave us.

Cheers all!

post signature

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm a Sugar Cookie!

You are undoubtedly
Sugar Cookie.

"You are simple and sweet, but can be jazzed up with some extra attention."

What kind of cookie are you?

post signature


Getting a large family ready for a three week holiday in America is challenging. It takes a lot of planning and even more hard work. Somehow I'm not finding the mental, emotional or physical energy this week. That explains why I'm sitting in the computer room typing this rather than doing laundry, cleaning and packing bags.

When we went to Maryland in October my unbending rule was "PACK LIGHT!!!", which might be easy for four people on a week-long trip to an unfamiliar location but is significantly harder for six people (especially my perfectionist, always-prepared-for-anything hubby) going on a three week trip back to friends and family for Christmas. There are five hundred things we'd like to take back with us- including the large collection of gifts from unsent boxed throughout the year.

I'm just about ready to pack all my stuff into a cardboard box and send it to my in-law's house; then all I need would be waiting for me (or more likely arrive a few days after I do) without me hauling it halfway across the world. The other option is fitting all I need into a backpack and living with three pairs of clothes while I'm there and forgoing makeup.

Another snag in the travel plans involves one of the biggest blessings of military life: we're traveling "Space Available", which means we hop on any military plane that's going in our generally desired direction whenever we're allowed. This has saved us massive amounts of money over the years, but makes for uncertain travel plans and the need to prepare for a likely less-than-comfortable journey. We usually end up on cargo planes, sometimes with huge military vehicles within arm's reach. It's nice to be able to stretch out on the floor and sleep for much of the 9-13 hour travel time (yes, even with massive trucks and the like bouncing scarily above us), but it gets very, very cold and that requires that we dress in layers and carry blankets and pillows galore with us. Some people travel with entire sleeping bag/air mattress setups, but that isn't practical for a family this size. We usual carry one full bag devoted to blankets and pillows, which, of course, means one more bag we have to haul around.

I'm looking forward to the glorious time when my oldest son graduates from college, goes into a prestigious science career and invents the transporter with the ability to "beam" a person from one place to another. I'd be all over that technology.

post signature

Thursday, December 11, 2008

French Press

I had coffee brewed in a French press for the first time while Tim was in Maryland. I had a romantic notion that it would brew better coffee- sort of like thinking that bread made expertly by hand would taste better than bread made in a bread machine. The press has a classy, minimalist look to it; I'm all in favor of classiness and minimalism so when I came across one for half price at the store down the street, I bought it.

It makes
gorgeous coffee. I wasn't even a fan of coffee until very recently, yet this is how much I love coffee brewed in the French press: after a Starbucks Milky Way coffee on base yesterday, I went home and made a cup of coffee and liked it more that the Starbucks coffee! I made half a pot but only had time for one cup before I had to leave the house, and I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking wistfully about the coffee cold and untouched back at home.

I've thought of starting an all-out campaign to convert Heather to coffee fanaticism, but I'm not sure I am willing to be responsible for the consequences of fostering an addiction. I may try, at least once while I'm home, but I doubt she'll put down her Pepsi in favor of coffee.

Anyone picky about the kind of coffee they drink? Mine has to be Starbucks Sumatra, at least at home (which could also explain why I liked my home brew better than the one from the coffee shop). Nothing satisfies quite like it.

post signature

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If it seems Heather and I have dropped off the face of the earth, it isn't true! With both stress and holiday travel plans taking over our lives it feels like we have very little time or drive for posts. If you think of us, please ask God for peace for us all in this stressful season and a time of refreshing as we get to spend some time together this Christmas! Seeing all my friends and family back home, including Heather, is a highlight of my year.

Bless you all.

post signature

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Is there a silly little thing from a movie/book/friend's experience that you wish could happen to you? Nothing big and noteworthy like seeing the Eiffel Tower or writing a book, but something insignificant like arraigning to meet someone you don't know and them recognizing you by the red rose and copy of Pride and Prejudice on the cafe table? Maybe jumping into a cab in NYC and knowing the exact address to rattle off to the driver- and actually having a reason to go there.

A few days ago I was walking to the boys' school and a big gust of wind caught my umbrella, turning it inside out. Maybe this should have upset me but instead a huge grin spread across my face! It wouldn't have been half as satisfying had I turned the umbrella purposefully into the wind and orchestrated it; no, it needed to be an accident. Not that my umbrella turning the wrong way was anything I consciously thought needed to happen to me, but when it happened I knew it was one of the things that I needed to happen before I die.

Is this a quirk of mine, or can someone else out there sympathize with me?

post signature

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Introducing McKenzie, Finally

I have to finally introduce you girls to our darling new addition. I'm sorry it's taken me so long. I didn't have the heart to show her off yet due to some comments that have been made to my family - along the lines that we shouldn't show her off because she doesn't look "normal" and some people just "don't want to see that". Well, I don't care anymore. I'm going to show her off.

Can I just tell you how madly in love I am with this sweet little wonder? She is doing so good. I look back on this post and I am in awe at how far we have come. We are so very blessed. My sister is amazing and I love watching her be a mom to this sweet girl.

McKenzie is doing awesome. She is taking most of her food from a feeding tube. Last night I was able to watch her drink from a bottle. It's amazing all the little things you take for granted. I was thrilled to see her drink from a bottle when that would be a "normal" thing for any other child. Her swelling is going down. She acts like any other newborn. She squirms, grunts, coos, smiles, holds your finger, startles and gets ticked just like the rest of them.

We still don't have any answers as far as her health goes. I'm not worried. I do know that God is in control, He's brought us this far, he can take us much further. She will have her first mouth surgery in April.

Thank you all for your prayers. Thank you for understanding my absence from the blog. I hope to be back more regularly soon. Things have been very overwhelming. We found out that poor Amanda actually had shingles. She was in terrible pain for about two weeks and had this terrible rash on her elbow. I finally took her in and it was shingles. Our family doctor said that he strongly believes shingles is due to stress. After he said that he calmly said to Amanda "Have you been under a lot of stress lately?". He did not know what kind of question that was! LOL! She's doing good now, but it was just one more thing we had to worry about.

post signature

A Post For All My Friends and Dotcomrades:

Isn't it neat how language is always changing? Check out these brand-new words as compiled by Cramer-Krasselt, a Chicago-based ad/PR agency. It's a list I can relate to pretty well, as just today I did some info snacking, I "blacked out" when I took Zach to school because I left my cell phone at home (intentionally!), and I love all my dotcomrades.

1.Luxcession: v. - As the economy continues to hit consumers' wallets affecting their purchasing choices, many mass-class luxury items are also taking a hit.

2.Dotcomrade: n. - A friend or acquaintance that you met online but have never met in person.

3.Greenwashing: n. - The practice of bogus environmental marketing.

4. Info Snacking: v. - Wasting time at work by surfing the Web.

5. Blacking Out: v. - To turn off any device that people can reach you with (cell phone, two-way, computer, home phone, morse code, etc.) in order to avoid someone.

6. Compunicate: v. - To chat with someone when you are in the same room, each on separate computers, and you talk via Instant Messenger instead of speaking to them out loud, in person.

7. Defriend: v. - To remove somebody from your established list of contacts, considered the ultimate snub on social network.

8. Generica: n. - Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where you go such as strip malls and fast food places.

9. Mouse Potato: n. - The online generation's answer to the couch potato.

10. Googleganger: n. - Another individual with the same name as you whose records and/or stories are mixed in with your own when you Google yourself.

post signature

Monday, December 1, 2008

Illness, My Tim, and Reading Total for 2008

I thought I'd do something really off the wall this morning and post here on the blog! I've been lolling about in no-man's land, having finally reached the end of the energy I'd stored for use in Tim's absence. Just as I was sputtering to the end of my drive to continue, at least one of the viruses going around here overtook me and I spent the better part of last week sick to my stomach. Even today I'm a little queasy, but so much better than, say, Thanksgiving Day, on which I couldn't get out of bed for more than a few minutes at a time.

In the midst of the worst sick-day of last week, my Tim came home! I'd spent nearly four months imagining and planning the day he would be home: the kids and I in a neat little row at the bus stop, my hair done and makeup applied, possibly even a couple of pounds lighter than when I had seen him last. We would go home to a nice meal in his honor and end the day with a whole lot of special Tim-and-Reese-locked-behind-closed-doors time. The reality wasn't so perfect: after spending the night sick, I was dehydrated, dirty, exhausted and completely undone. Our friend R agreed to pick Tim up from base. I stumbled down the stairs to collapse on the couch next to Tim. I chatted lethargically, then crawled back up to my bed.

I am so relieved that he's home. What a wonderful Thanksgiving gift, even if I wasn't enjoying it at the moment. He's already relieved my burdens, helping with the kids, running to the store for me, agreeing to pick a few things up on the way home. It' always an adjustment having him back; I've been used to doing things my way with no need to compromise, and so has he. But the benefits of being together outweigh the benefits of being apart.

I've just finished Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, which was a beautifully written novel. Beautifully written novels tend to ruin me for reading for a time. In one sense, it restores my faith in superb authors- those who go beyond simply telling a story to weaving magic with words- but since I know the authors who have the ability to move me are few, I can't bring myself to pick up another book till every last glint of magic has left my senses. It's like eating a gloriously prepared meal at a 4 star restaurant, then following it up with a can of Vienna sausages from the 7 Eleven. So I'm left at having read 37 books this year rather than the 50 I was shooting for. I'm not complaining. It's more than I've read in a year before (except maybe when I was in middle school). I'll just start over on January 1st and try again.

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving weekend. I may follow Kayren's lead and start a countdown to Christmas. I'm feeling the holiday spirit come on strong!!!


UPDATE: Either the magic wore off sooner than I had anticipated or I just don't know what to do without a book to reach for when I get a free minute throughout the day: I've picked up another book!

post signature