Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mom Quote of the Morning

"Life is a learning experience, and now you all know that it is wrong to sleep with silly putty." And so begin the kids' Christmas break.....

Sometimes I feel like I should be upset, but I have to turn my face away so the kids don't see me laughing. What else can you do? Life with little kids is just funny. Of course some things are only funny after the fact. And some things LONG after the fact.

In other news, I had to sit Katy down last night and tell her some sad news. Her last bottle melted in the dishwasher last night. She's 18 months old, so I opted not to replace it. Poor Katy! She had been down to just a bedtime bottle for months, but it was hard to drop that last one. She is just so sweet and snuggly at bedtime. She did very well though, and went to bed after having a little sippy of milk. I can't believe my little one is in a toddler bed and off the bottle. She is growing up on me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Only 3 1/2 more years...

Today is one of those days where I wish I knew where Matt's follow-up assignment was going to I could pack up and move there now. This is our fifth base, and we really liked the other four. I guess you can't get lucky every time. I particularly loved Mississippi, and I feel like that is where we should be now. The Coast Guard feels otherwise however! I guess this is it until 2015, and we really are trying to make the best of it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Year Ago

Oh what a difference a year makes! This time last year we had just had the movers pack up all of our things in Connecticut. It was bitterly cold...all of 11 degrees the day we packed up. We weren't able to get any of our Christmas decorations out, as we knew we would be on the move when the big day arrived. Christmas day was spent in a hotel room in Virginia, which was almost half-way to our new base in Misssissippi. To add to the craziness, Matt and I got the flu that week. I remember shivering under the blankets in our hotel while poor feverish Matt stayed up late putting bikes together. Thankfully no children became sick. That was Christmas miracle in itself!

Fast forward to this holiday season. We have now been in the DC area for almost four months now, and are pretty well settled in. I feel like we are getting to catch up on all the holiday traditions we ad to skip last year. Each Sunday we enjoy watching the advent candle being lit at church. We have also enjoyed our own advent calendar at home. The kids have just skipped from one holiday party to the next. There is no shortage of fun things to do here! There was a USO party, the youth center party, the library party, the chapel party, and finally Matt's unit party. Yes, six Christmas parties! Such craziness and good times. We went and cut our own tree this year, and have all of our favorite ornaments up. Most of them are homemade, most have been repaired at least once, and none of them match. I feel like our tree just screams tackiness, and I love it!

Here are my big girls enjoying some Christmas crafts.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Santa Claus is coming to town!

And MOST of the Tyson kids are very excited. Katy however is rather concerned.


Decisions, decisions

Does anyone else just hate making decisions? The little things - what to wear, what to cook for dinner, what movie to watch - don't faze me. It's the big ones that leave me confused. Especially when there are lots of options, and either all the options sound good, or none do. The first big issue I ran into this year was where to live. Should we rent, buy, or take military housing? If we lived off base, should we look in Virginia or Maryland? How long of a commute were we willing for Matt to have? And if we took on base housing, which of the four bases in the area did we want?

Eventually of course we did make a decision about housing. We are in on base housing in Maryland. Matt has only a 15 minute commute, which is crazy short for the DC area. Most of the time I think we did the right thing. Whenever we have a problem here though I can't help but think "Well maybe this other place would have been better." It is enough to make me nuts!

Big decision #2 is where to send the kids to school next year. Beth will be in second grade, Matt will be in first, and Carrie will be in pre-k. Sweet Katy will be home with me. This year I have Matt and Beth at our local public school. I am not that impressed with it. I have left them there because they both have good teachers and have made some nice friends. The administration stinks though, and the school has some major budgeting issues. Beth did just test into their gifted program, so I am tempted to leave her there and see how that plays out. Since she is identified as TAG now, I could also apply to send her to a public school for gifted children. I'm hesitant though because she would go along, and I like having the children together.

Another option is the charter school they have right here on base. We weren't able to use it this year because of the long waiting list, but I could put them in the lottery for next year. That school doesn't have a gifted program, but the level of the entire curriculum is about a year ahead of their current school. It is also well funded, and can provide things like small classes, extracurricular activities, and field trips.

And finally, I could choose to homeschool them. This base has a very active homeshooling group too, so I could get the kids into some really good co-op classes. A lot of families here homeschool, because the public school is so iffy. I encourage people to make their own decision about the public school, since it does have some good points. It is definitely not a good fit for everyone though.

I really am having a tough time making decisions this year. I just want to be positive that my choice is the right one, and that is very hard to do. In fact, I am starting to think it is impossible!