Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

"We who are left how shall we look again happily on the sun or feel the rain without remembering how they who went ungrudgingly and spent their lives for us loved, too, the sun and rain?"
-Wilfred Wilson Gibson


I'm thankful to have my husband home with me this Memorial Day, thinking of those who cannot be home, and remembering with reverence those who will never be home again.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beautiful Days

Park trips

...with a view only military brats can fully appreciate. Even my 11 month old doesn't so much as flinch when those engines start and it gets LOUD.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Kitty Show

It's amazing what kids can come with when they have a well stocked arts and crafts cabinet. I save little bits of everything for them.



Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer - Week 1

This is it - all my chickadees have returned to the nest! They are getting an extra long summer too (13 weeks) due to our upcoming move from Mississippi to Washington DC. School lets out early here in the South, but starts back about a month later up North. It is HOT here, and I'm sure it will only be getting hotter. I am impressed that the heat and humidity have had no impact what so ever on the energy level of my children. I have to force them to drink water, and to come inside during the hottest part of the day. As for me? I could use a nap. Preferably in a hammock with a cold glass of lemonade. I won't lie - it has been a trying few days. Back when I was homeschooling, it always baffled me when other homeschooling moms would talk about their friends with kids in the dreaded public schools. They'd make fun of them for griping about excessive amounts of snow days, or the long days at home in the summer. They'd finish by saying how sorry they felt for the children...whose mothers obviously didn't want them around. I feel like that is so unfair! I love my children and enjoy my time with I hope most mothers do. You just get used to whatever your "normal" is. When your usual schedule is having your older kids out of the house for part of the day, then that becomes very comfortable. The same was true when I had all four kids home full-time. I grew very used to the freedom we had in our days. I don't think one option has been easier than the other either. Just different. Then of course any sudden change in the routine takes some getting used to.

For me the biggest change so far is having four kids in the backseat every single place I go. My radio is also broken, so I get to listen to all their conversations. We live thirty minutes outside of town, and they tell me *knock knock* jokes the entire time to and from the store. They are also not quite old enough to know how *knock knock* jokes work. That either makes them more hilarious or more mind numbing depending on my mood - which typically is directly correlated to the amount of sleep I got the night before.

In other news, there are now four kittens living in my closet. This is in addition to the two adult male cats we already have- a surly 21 pound old man and a playful (and crazy) one year old tuxedo. We had five kittens, but one has already been adopted. If you live in South Mississippi (or Alabama!) and want a sweet new baby kitty let me know. I do not have the mama. I am just fostering them and hoping to find them homes. We are going to keep the last one who is left for our own family. My kids of course are over the moon. They require no other activities or's just kittens, kittens, kittens from the time they get up to the time they go to bed.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Beth "graduated" from kindergarten yesterday. I can't believe what a big girl she has become. Matt and Carrie are also done with their morning preschool program, and the gang is all home again.

We are looking forward to a fun and busy summer. There is just nothing like summer vacation through the eyes of a child....except maybe Christmas!

Beth and Matt are taking swim lessons next month. The locals pools and splash pad are also opening up Memorial Weekend, and we can't wait! I'm sure we will plan many swimming trips this summer. Here in Mississippi it is pretty much too hot for any other outdoor activities.

We also have a few weeks of Vacation Bible School coming up for Beth, Matt, and Carrie. This Sunday is their last week of AWANA's, so I'm sure they will be ready for some fun church activities by the time VBS rolls around. This is the first year Carrie has been old enough to go (3) and she is over the moon with excitement. For so long she has tagged along to all Beth and Matt's activities, and finally she is getting old enough to do some things herself. When September rolls around again and AWANA's picks back up she will be a Cubbie, complete with her own vest and book.

The library of course will be doing the usual summer reading program, and we will be there each week. It sounds like they have lots of fun activities planned! We love the library. I feel like I keep them in business with all the late fees we accumulate. I don't know how some of you super organized moms pull it off. Before each "return trip" the kids and I spend a good hour searching the house for books - and we still usually forget a few. Or return the correct number, and then get a call a few hours later that some of the books actually belonged to the library on the AF base.

Matt isn't going to be able to get any vacation days this summer, and I don't quite feel up to traveling alone with the kids, so we'll be sticking close to home this year. I think in one more year, when Katy is two, I'll be ready to tackle a solo road trip. We do hope to do some camping as sort of a family mini vacation. We are in the market for a new tent, and as soon as we get one we will be ready to go!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sleeping Arrangements

I feel like my life has become a game of musical beds. Wait...that sounds terrible! I mean musical beds for the children only, lol.

We have three girls - ages six, three, and almost one. We also have one boy - age five. Right now we have the baby in her own room, the boy in his own room, and the two older girls sharing. Beth is in a twin bed, Matt is in a twin bed, Carrie is in a toddler firetruck bed, and Katy is in a crib.

As we prepare for our move to Washington DC, I am realizing that our new house is likely to be much smaller than our current house. I looked at the floor plans, and it appears that none of the bedrooms are really going to hold two beds and two dressers. The obvious solution is bunk beds. Luckily for us, the twin beds that Beth and Matt have do in fact convert into bunks. They are the beds that my Dad and his younger brother slept on in the 50's and 60's, and then my brother slept on in the 80's and 90's. They're still in perfect condition too - I don't think make furniture like they used to. At least not in our price range!

I would like to put Matt and Beth together, but when we tried that before those two partied all night. It was really ridiculous how late they stayed up, and it made for one cranky mama. Once we switched to have Carrie and Beth together things went much more smoothly. Plus Matt is getting older, and as the only boy I think it makes sense for him to have his own space.

That means Carrie and Beth will likely end up with the bunk beds. At 6 1/2 I will comfortable having Beth on the top bunk. I worry about Carrie crawling up after her though. Of course she could do that even in those beds were not in her room. That is why we have never bunked the beds before. The other issue is that the only available bed for Matt will then be the firetruck toddler bed. I'm trying to play up the coolness of the firetruck, but he knows very well that it is a toddler bed and is not too eager to move in. He is kind of big for it anyway, but I think he could still stretch out comfortably for another year or so. My older three were all out of the crib by two, so once Katy graduates from that she will move into the firetruck. At that point we may redo the rooms - again.

Anyway you look at it I think we will be bed shopping within the year. It's so hard buying furniture and household items that last, when we really don't know what kind of military housing we will have from year to year. Not to mention we have had terrible luck with things being damaged in transit by the movers. As for the things that do make it to our home unscathed...the kids and pets make quick work of those things. Matt and I have agreed that we will just get all new stuff once he retires. Only twenty more years to go! And then our grandchildren can come visit....better hang onto those bunk beds!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Matt and Carrie's city is a constant work in progress. I told them that they might have better luck if they waited until Katy Ann's morning nap. In the meantime, she joyfully thunders over to them every few minutes to join in the fun.