Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #4

This is going to be a little longer than the "normal" 13...because I've lived more than 13 places.

  1. Due West, South Carolina…I lived there for 18 years…my parents still live there
  2. Abbeville, South Carolina…okay, so we moved away from one farm for 5 years, and lived on a dairy farm that we sold, and then moved back to the old address (above)…(age 10-15).
  3. Due West…again….
  4. Columbia, South Carolina…I went to college in Columbia (no, not THE University), met my husband, and lived IN Columbia for a few more years.
  5. Gaston, SC…our first home after we got married…a little trailer that didn’t have heat or hot water our first morning there!
  6. Columbia, SC…apartment right off of St. Andrews Road…this is where we lived when #1 child was born
  7. Due West, SC…little cottage with more charm than comfort
  8. Columbia, SC….little shack right by the dump…literally...and no heat…that was a miserable winter.
  9. Columbia, SC….duplex over near Richland Memorial Hospital…#2 was born while living here
  10. Columbia, SC….trailer park outside of town…#3 was born during this time
  11. Gilbert, South Carolina….we built a cute little house, and lived there for 3 years…#4 born while living here, hubby was a truck driver for a while, and a Juvenile Corrections Officer during that time, too.
  12. Edgefield, South Carolina….stayed with my brother for 6 months…you ought to go check out that little town…it is so cute, and HISTORICAL…oh, my….go see One claim to fame…it is the home of Strom Thurmond.
  13. Portland, Texas….our first duty station with the Navy…I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Texas…want to go back, but hubby says no…#5 born at home in this place…we were in 2 different apartments here, because after #5 was born, we didn’t have enough space for 7 people in a 3 bedroom apartment.
  14. Helena, Montana…Jonathan Road…we were there for 6 months, and then the land-lady decided for some reason that she wanted us out of there, because she tried to raise the rent from $900/month to $1100 per month…no FREAKING way…never mind the face that the electric bill was astronomical…ELECTRIC baseboard heaters in a house with single-pane glass windows….VERY inefficient…#6 was born when we lived here
  15. Helena, Montana, Byron Road…this house we were in for 2 years, 8 months…lots of fun, but rather crowded…8 people in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath double-wide trailer pre-fabricated home. Cozy! This is also the land-lord that accused my children of leaving the doors opened, because we all know that is the ONLY way mice can get into a house!
  16. Virginia Beach, Virginia…yeah, we’ve been here for umm….a few months…

Okay, so that was a few more than 13…didn’t realize how many times we’d moved…and we’ve been married for just over 15 years….

Prisoner of War

Check out this song...I don't know the story behind it, but it sure speaks to military wives and moms!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wow, Wow, Wubzy!!

I LOVE NOGGIN. Not for me to watch. Remember...I don't watch TV. Unfortunately, my kids end up watching a lot more TV than I prefer. The least I can do is find a show that is relatively educational and doesn't violate my beliefs. So, when we got the cable hooked up, I was thrilled that we would have NOGGIN available. That is all that my littlest watches. Sometimes, though, I wonder about the people that write these shows. What ARE they smoking?

For example, Wow, Wow, Wubzy! is about a little cat, and her friends Widget (a rabbit-inventor) and Waldon (the resident brainiac) who all live in Wuzzleburg. The adventures they have are strange and involve getting themselves into trouble at every turn.

Mrs. Spider's Sunny Patch Friends is about a family of spiders and all of the other little bugs that they adopted, including a dragonfly, a bedbug, a jewel beetle, and their friends, bees, frogs, and no-see-ems.

Jack's Big Music Show is about a boy and his friend Mary, and his dog Mel, and all of the musical adventures they have in Jack's clubhouse in his back yard...all in the few minutes before he has to run off to his next activity with his mom.

Where do they come up with these ideas? Who sits down and says "I think I'll write a kid's show about bugs"?!? Or that includes a dog that plays the drums? Or that a rabbit-girl would be an inventor? Yeah, I can just see it..."Mom, Dad, I think I am going to write a children's TV show about bugs for 3 year olds." I look at some of these shows, and think that my 10 year old could right shows with better plots.

Okay, back to work...listening to NOGGIN, and typing away at my computer!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New TOYS!!

I added a new Gadget!!! Go look down there\/ Go! I dare you!!! It's fun! GO! GO! GO!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

I've been tagged

Cricket, over at Cricket's Hearth has tagged me for 6 strange things about me....

First, the rules, which are important, because they also tag — randomly — six more people to join in the fun:
  1. Link to the person that tagged you
  2. Post the rules on your blog
  3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
  4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
  5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website

Second, 6 random, strange things about me....

  1. I cannot stand any form...not the smell, the taste, texture....EXCEPT for banana chips....that's the only way I can eat them.
  2. I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up....I want to be a midwife!
  3. I have held down at least 15 jobs in the last 15 years.
  4. We have lived in 15 different houses in 15 years of marriage....or was that 16 houses?
  5. I hate watching always seems like a collossal waste of time, and there is never anything really worth watching, except maybe HGTV....and "What not to Wear."
  6. I am allergic to fabric softener. It makes my skin go numb. I can't have it in my house, and I can't use any fabrics that were previously treated with fabric softener.

Okay, now to tag six random people.....

Mylhibug at Bug Tries Again

Wendy at The Adventures of MomLady

Darcy at Life With My 3 Boybarians

Penelope Ann over at Cafe at the End of the Universe

baby~amore at My Little Drummer Boys

McTriplet Mommy at My many thoughts and frustrations

Have fun!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Memories (installment 5)

We lived on the dairy farm for 5 years. We had good times and bad times. We learned and grew. Then we moved back to the farm that my parents owned, about 5 miles away from the dairy. That other farm, the one I call "home" is 300 acres of farmland, with 2 houses, numerous barns, a few horses, some chickens, and a bunch of deer. When we moved back, Daddy had to find another job. So, for the first time in a long, long time, he went to work for someone else. For the next few years, Daddy worked as the maintenance man for the Due West Retirement Center, in Due West, SC. My brother and I were in high school, and our little brother was in school.

The next several years were rather un-eventful, in most ways. We didn't move. Financially, things were almost stable. No one in the family got into any major troubles. However, for me personally, this was one of the most painful periods of my life. Looking back, now, I can see that I was going through normal struggles, trying to be myself, figuring out what it meant to be a Christian in a very legalistic environment. I was also beginning my struggles with depression.

I dealt repeatedly with my mom's physical and emotional abuse. My mother had her own demons, and they came back often to haunt me. Deep inside, I wanted to please my parents. On the outside, it looked like I couldn't do anything to please either of them. I was stuck somewhere between my college educated parents, and my friends and church. I was unsure that anyone loved me. I wasn't Mennonite enough for my church or friends, and I was too Mennonite for my parents.

I had a couple of friends who weren't Mennonite, but who attended the Mennonite school with me. I spent a lot of time at their home. One day, I mentioned to one of them that my mother was abusive, and they passed that information on to their mother, who was a friend of my mom's. I know that their mom was trying to protect me, but instead, I ended up suffering from the decision she made to talk to my mom about it.

I threatened to run away several times. The things that came out of my mother's mouth at that time still haunt me. Names that a child should never be called by their parents. Through all of that, God protected me from so many things. I never smoked. Or drank. Or did drugs. Or was involved physically with anyone. It would have been so easy for me to get into any one of those things.

God had someting different in mind for me. For that, I am very grateful.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Am I strange?

I am finding more and more things about me that others don't understand. Even things that my wonderful husband doesn't understand, though we've been married for 15 years. Things that my parents don't understand.

First, I am basically a lazy person. I love teaching my children to do household stuff, because it means that the more I get them to do, the less I have to do. That also means that many of my passions don't last any longer than I need them to last. Breastfeeding my children is still a passion, but was much more so when I was still doing it....for the whole 12 years I did it. Oh, and that was an easy decision to make...I'm too lazy to get up during the night, fix a bottle of artificial nutrition, and feed the baby...which also led to another passion...the family bed, which ended when my daughter started sleeping in her own bed.

I am amazed at how much time I have during the average day. When I was homeschooling, I had NO time. When I was working full-time outside of the home, I had NO time. Now that the kids are in school, and I am working from home, I have more time on my hands than I know how to handle. I don't have a lot of flexibility, because I have to be here to meet the school bus at lunch time, but I usually have plenty of time in the morning to get my fill of reading blogs, and writing my own posts for the day.

I REALLY don't like change. I don't like changing plans. I need warning. The more warning, the better. I have trouble when we move, because moving defines change. Change of address. Change of phone number. Change of church, places to shop, workplace, friends, new roads, new time zone.

BUT, I love moving. I get the itch...after a couple of years, I start feeling like "it's time!" It's an exciting chance to start over somewhere new, where we don't have a history. Where we can learn to know new people, and experience new things.

I am very much a conservative person...who likes to go against the grain. I'm modest. I'm traditional. I don't like doing things in the normal, traditional way.

I am a very insecure person. I can come across as with-it, and together, and secure...but I am NOT any of those, deep inside. New places scare me. I am shy. I have learned to cover all of that very husband is a great motivator, and working at Walmart helped me be able to talk to people, even when I am shaking deep down inside my boots. Sharing all of this stuff about myself scares the willies outta me...but I want to do it.

Take it or leave it. I am a strange person....but this is me.

I hate politics

I hate that politics are so polarizing. I hate that I get to this point in any political year, and can't decide for whom I want to vote. I hate that I get to a point where I feel like it doesn't matter who gets my vote. I hate that I have to listen to posturing and mud slinging and very general speeches that promise the moon if elected... I hate the trash strewn all over yards and street corners. I hate the bashing of the current President. I hate the unsureness of the future. I hate the feeling of insecurity. I hate it that I can disagree completely with a candidate's morals, standards, and religion, and still may have to honor him/her as a President.

Back to our regularly scheduled game-playing....

My Spring is starting to look CRAZY!!!

This morning, our family went down and signed up for Spring baseball/softball. We have 4 playing this year. Two girls and two boys. Three playing baseball and one playing softball. At the staggering expense of $220 to get them in. I certainly hope that we don't have any more expenses! I know we're going to have to buy uniforms, and gloves and cleats. And try-outs are March 1st. THEN we start practices, and games start the first week of April. ACK! At least the fields are on the base, right next door to us, and all of the games will be on the same set of fields. Let me just say, though, that I am NOT looking forward to April, May and June!

Scrolling Saturday, Edition 3

Getting on this late today...too much to do this morning, and too late of a night last night...anyway, this was originally posted on my other blog on September 6, 2007...just another picture of my life.

Okay, so this WAS supposed to be a daily blog...RIGHT. Who has the time?
Technically, I SHOULD have the time, since I'm on the computer all the time, but
then, I'd have to actually remember that I have a blog, and update it from time
to time.

So, a litte update. School just started back after a long,
eventful summer. A much better summer than last summer way, by the way, for
which we are all MOST grateful. So the kids are back in school....Frances is now
in 8th grade (!), Jon is in 5th, Heather in 4th, and Justin is in 2nd grade.
We're not doing kindergarten, or Leah would be in school this year, too. So,
naturally, I had to go buy all the crap that's on those back-to-school lists
that the teachers come up with. What was I thinking?!? We don't have that much
money!?! Oh, and what were those teachers thinking...."hmmm...if I put all MY
supplies down on the kids back-to-school lists, then I won't have to buy any
this year!" Brilliant idea on some teacher's question is
this....where are all those millions in dollars that we spend on education
going, if the teachers don't get enough money to buy their classroom supplies?

We also just got back into town from our vacation to Colorado Springs.
It was a BLAST! We got to go visit our friends, Brian and Carol, and their son
Aarron, who are now stationed at Ft. Carson. Colorado Springs is BEAUTIFUL! We
got to do all kinds of things....after I spent half of our first day there in
the ER.....seems my husband rearending someone on the way there messed with my
already stiff neck....I couldn't sleep, or get comfortable, and really, reallly
needed some painkillers. So, after spending forever in a crowded military
hospital ER, I went back to our room, took drugs, and happily slept away the
rest of the day. Jason took the kids, and Brian, and they visited the Air Force
Academy (just in time for chow), and went and walked the mall....brought me back
Chick-Fil-A, and some cashew pralines...YUM! We got to visit the Cheyennne
Mountain Zoo, the Will Rogers Shrine, and Helen Hunt Falls. Beautiful....but
steep mountain roads. I would have some serious issues living there! We also got
to eat Sonic and Waffle House....oh the things we miss out on, living in Helena!
All in all, it was a good posted at

So now we're back to's started. I head back to work tomorrow night (I'm back on
overnights again). Jason's back at work. We're getting closer to moving. Our
pack-out date is October 29-30, and truck-loading will be on the 31st. I don't
know why they think they need 2 days to pack it....but, maybe they pack slower
here than they did in TX...they do everything else slower here. In the mean
time, we're waiting to hear back from the insurance adjuster about the van...I
got the estimate done on Tuesday, and it wasn't too bad....well, except for the
fact that we have to come up with the $500 deductible. ICK. Hopefully hubby's
school money comes in soon!

Oh, yeah....that's the other thing that's
going on right now....hubby's back in school...this time working on his Master's
Degree. He's still planning to put in his Officer's Package...when we get to the
new command in Virginia. For now, they've exended him here until the first of
January. We'll all go to SC in November for Thanksgiving, and hopefully at that
time, we'l be able to get into housing in Virginia. Then Jason will fly back out
here to finish out his last couple of weeks, before he reports to Little Creek
NOSC on February 20th.

Then there's all the fun medical stuff.
Two weeks before we went on vacation, Frances decided that she NEEDED to spend 2
1/2 hours in the ER...CAT Scan, mild concussion, super-glued nose, sinus
infection, can also see pictures of her scraped-up face in the
pictures referenced above. She's almost completely healed up...there's some mild
scarring on her nose, which the plastic surgeon we saw yesterday said should be
helped immensely with Oxy-10 and Vitamin E oil. I'm also working on my
headaches...I saw the physical therapist yesterday, and she wanted me to see the
Doctor again before she worked me...seems I was responding strangely to some
testing of the ligaments that she was doing, and she wanted to make sure
everything was okay from the wreck. I also picked up the oxymetry thingy
yesterday....Dr. Diane wanted to check my O2 levels overnight, to make sure that
lack of oxygen is not causing the all-day-every-day headaches. That was fun. Put
the little clippy-thing on your finger, tape down the wire, in two places, and
let it do it's little magic all night. RIGHT. I did NOT sleep well...was aware
of the stupid thing all night.....woke up with the wire completely wrapped
around my neck! At least it's DONE. I get to return it to the office today.

Okay....breakfast and coffee time...and time to start kicking kids outa
the house, so they don't miss the bus.

To see more Scrolling Saturday, go here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ummm....yeah..... says I'm an Uber Cool Light-Weight Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

How come this doesn't surprise me?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen Things I love about having a large family:

1. My kids entertain each other
2. Hand-me-down clothes
3. I can identify with a lot of different ages of parents
4. The comments (“are they all yours?” “Don’t you know what causes that?!?” etc., which also irritates me no end)
5. The kids are a LOT of FUN!
6. I love kids…the more, the merrier!
7. They bring home lots of friends, which means MORE KIDS!!
8. They do housework!
9. Ditto on laundry.
10. And cooking.
11. They take care of each other.
12. Built-in babysitters.
13. I’m gonna have a TON of grandkids!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cell Groups, Brew Groups...whatever...

Back in the dark ages, before half of the churches in the US decided that Small Groups were the wave of the future, the Bible College I attended decided that it would be a good thing to prepare The Church's future leaders for leading small groups. Every student was divided into a group, and for certain chapel times, we were all required to attend the group to which we had been assigned. For some unknown reason, I was assigned as a LEADER of a group of some 10 girls. We met in a little room over by the chapel, and the only thing I remember from that was one lone meeting, and coming away from that feeling like a complete and utter failure. I was not comfortable leading then, I was not comfortable talking to other people then. WHY I was named the leader is WAY beyond me.

I had completely forgotten about that abysmal failure...probably BECAUSE it was such a painful experience for me. Last night, in our Brew Group at church, we started talking about experiences in Bible College...two other couples in our group went to Christian colleges, so we had a lot of similar experiences. We chatted about sleeping through classes, and experiences on and off campus, and keeping and/or breaking the rules. It was fun to relive those brief five years of my life...and to start remembering some things that had been buried.

All of our chatting started me to thinking about how men and women *do* official Bible Studies. Last night, we sat around the table, and talked and had fun...while having Communion. We talked about how pastors and Christians take themselves WAY too seriously...and that made me wonder. When men *do* Bible Study, do they have fun? or is it all serious business? Is it just the women who get together in groups who are too full of it to have any fun? Is this why unbelievers see us as stuffy, and full of ourselves?

I was reminded last night that Jesus' first miracle was not healing, or feeding someone...he made water into wine, people! He made GOOD wine! Which made it a PARTY!! Jesus DID have a good time with His disciples, and with His friends and family...HE wasn't all about being all serious, all the time. Why can't we follow His example in this little thing?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

For the fun of it

You Are A Lily

You are a nurturer and all around natural therapist.

People see you as their rock. And they are able to depend on you.

You are a soothing influence. You can make people feel better with a few words.

Your caring has more of an impact than even you realize.

Mom of the Week

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Christine, over at From Dates to Diapers, and Beyond says:
I'm sure most of you would agree that work and stay at home moms do not get the attention and encouragement that they so deserve. Every Monday, beginning next week, I will choose a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works from home, who I will interview and put in the spotlight - Incredible moms who don't get much more praise and recognition than the slobbery kisses and sticky hugs from their little ones. Now, I'll be the first to say that that is certainly not a bad thing -- I love those moments of sheer adoration as much as any mom! However, these moms deserve a chance to shine beyond the dirty walls of their sticky floored home, and be encouraged by all fellow moms.In addition to the attention they will receive here by you, the featured mom will be awarded a button to proudly display on their blog or web site linking to their special time in the spotlight. How cool is that?

So, if you know a Mom you'd like to nominate for Christine's Mom of the Week, go see her over at From Dates to Diapers, and Beyond.

Monday, January 21, 2008

More things I ponder

My mother just had a heart attack in December. She's in her 60's, a bit overweight (not as much as I am, though in my defense, I think I carry it better...and I'm all of 1.5 inches taller!), and she's diabetic. All of that has made me think a LOT about my future...weight loss that I need to accomplish, the complete diet change I need to work on for our family, and the fact that I had 3 children over 9 lbs at birth...which immediately puts me at a much higher risk of developing diabetes.

The thought of having diabetes scares me. Having to give up things like chocolate, and sweetening my coffee...and having to watch everything that I put in my mouth...all that scares the crap out of me. I KNOW, I know there are those artificial sweeteners available. I REFUSE to use that crap. I will go without rather than use those aweful things. I HATE the taste of artificial sweeteners, and I despise the fact that they are marketed as the answer to diet addicted people in this country. I watched my mother-in-law begin to lose her memory drinking diet sodas, and have it come back when she quit drinking them. I will not do that to my brain.

The next thing that scares me is that I don't understand the whole diabetic exchange thing. It confuses me. I want to start adjusting my diet NOW, towards the diabetic diet, so as to work towards prevention...but I can't figure out where to start. It's overwhelming. I would like to start working with a nutritionist a preventive measure...but I'm pretty sure that Tricare won't pay for THAT until I'm already a diabetic...and there's no way we can afford to pay for it out of pocket.

So, for now, I begin by exercising at Curves 3-4 times per week. And cutting back on my serving sizes. And cutting WAY back on my sweets. And eating more fresh veggies. And worrying. I know NOT to worry (our pastor explained worry as being like a rocking chair...DOING something, but not getting anywhere)...but in order for ME not to worry, I have to be able to DO something about it....and I don't know what else I can do right now.

The heart attack issue doesn't bother me as much...I'm not sure why. I mean, it does scare me that with diabetes, the chance of a heart attack goes much higher....and I'm a wimp. I don't like pain. I can deal with pain, but I avoid it if at all possible...which is why I refuse to run any hurts too much. (For crying out loud, I had 6 children, almost all natural--1 C-sec--I can DEAL with pain) But, the thought of pain in my chest that *I* can't do something to alleviate really scares me....or maybe the thought of having to have open-heart surgery....and, the fact is, my mother is 10 years younger than her mother was when Grandma had her by-pass done.

So, some facts....

From the American Heart Association...
Diabetes mellitus — Diabetes seriously increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Even when glucose (blood sugar) levels are under control, diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, but the risks are even greater if blood sugar is not well controlled. About three-quarters of people with diabetes die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease. If you have diabetes, it's extremely important to work with your healthcare provider to manage it and control any other risk factors you can.

And from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse....

Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
  • I have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
  • My family background is Alaska Native, American Indian, African American,
    Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.
  • I have had gestational diabetes, or I gave birth to at least one baby
    weighing more than 9 pounds.
  • My blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or I have been told that I have
    high blood pressure.
  • My cholesterol levels are not normal. My HDL cholesterol—“good”
    cholesterol—is below 35 mg/dL, or my triglyceride level is above 250 mg/dL.
  • I am fairly inactive. I exercise fewer than three times a week.
  • I have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS—women only.
  • On previous testing, I had impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired
    fasting glucose (IFG).
  • I have other clinical conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as
    acanthosis nigricans.
  • I have a history of cardiovascular disease.

The more items you checked, the higher your risk.

Okay, I feel a little better. I have 2 of those risk factors. Now. In my 30's. I have time now, to lose weight, and decrease my risk factors....I don't feel quite so much like I have a gun pointed at my head...a little less, anyway....THIS is my motivation.

Memories (installment 4)

Going to go back a little bit here, because I left out things…

Life on the dairy was challenging, at best. I loved all the cows, and still miss them…which is probably why I collect cow stuff. We moved to the dairy in February, the year that I turned 10. The exact week my parents began the take-over, there was an ice storm. My parents knew next-to nothing about cows, and milking, and having 200 head to care for. There was no electricity in our county for a whole week, and only one generator….to cover something like 5 dairy farms. Those poor cows! At best, they got milked once a day during that time, and sometimes it was less than that. For cows used to being milked twice daily, it had to be painful!

During that week, my brothers and I were camped out at a neighboring farmer’s house with his teenaged daughters…it was cold there, too, but at least they had a good roaring fire going!

Like all animals, cows have personalities…some are amusing, some are irritating, some are just plain scary. When we moved to the dairy, we took our milk cow, Milkshake, with us. She was a good old cow that we had been hand milking for several years, but she really couldn’t compete with those other dairy cows. We named most of our cows, and most of the names were based on those cow-personalities. Princess, Queen, Snowball, Milkshake…I’m quickly losing all their names, as it’s been more than 20 years since we lived there.

One year, my grandparents, aunt and uncles and cousins came for Christmas, because it was difficult to travel anywhere when we had to be back to do the milking again in 8 hours. There was ice and snow (unusual for Christmas in SC!), and in the middle of cooking dinner, the power went off. Fortunately, we had a camp stove that my dad set up in the garage, and we were able to finish the cooking out there. That was the year that my older brother and I received a calf as our Christmas present. That calf was a lot of fun…we RODE her…no bit and bridle, just a halter, which made her a little difficult to control! I also had a 4-H heifer then, so I rode Clinton (my heifer), and my brother rode Snowball. I still wonder how we never broke any bones!

On injuries…so many things happened while we lived there….things that could have been disastrous. Cows kick, and step on people, and fling their heads and tails around without real good awareness of what they’re doing to their people…. My father broke a bone in his hand, trying to get a cow to get off of his foot. He also had to get a horse-serum tetanus shot because of running through a fence trying to get away from a cow that was chasing him! My hands were smashed more times than I care remember. We froze in the winter, with ice falling, and slick spots on the floors. One of our barn roofs caved in from snow on it…thankfully we were able to get all the cows and people out when we heard the trusses starting to break. My brother had a couple of run-ins with bees…LOTS of bees and/or wasps. He ended up in the emergency room the last time, getting a shot, because he had more than 20 stings! My dad had a sting that he reacted to very poorly…his poor face was so swollen people didn’t recognize him! I dealt with terrible skin problems on my hands…probably from all the chemicals used in the barn…blisters, dry, chapped, bleeding. The problems stopped when we left the dairy. The worst of the problems we dealt with were my mother’s miscarriages…she had at least 4 during the 5 years there…and her kidney infection that could have killed her. Life on the dairy was HARD, physically.

It was also hard emotionally, especially on my parents. Finances were always tight, and that always means emotionally trying times. Pair that with the long hours, heavy work, and physical problems, and our whole family came away from life on the dairy farm emotionally wrung out.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Questions and Answers

From time to time people ask me questions or say things that I want to respond to, and I've been trying to figure out how to do that, so here is my attempt at that.

Becky at Lazy Daisy Log suggested we go out for coffee when she gets into town...Becky, I'm excited! We have no friends here yet, so going out with anyone will be the news of the week!!!

Sarah, at My Life With Boys told the story of her births...I just wanted to add...I have had 6 live births, only one of which was actually "on time"....only because the doctors scheduled an early C-section for my breach #1 child. The rest were 7 days late, 10 days late, 21 days late, 24 days late, and 25 days late. They were also HUGE....well, my early one was 7#7oz....and they went up from there...2 - 8 lbers, 2 - 9 lbers, and one that was 10# 3oz. Surprisingly, the 10lb one was one the easier births!

Melanie over at Monday through Sunday asked about our Brew Groups at church. I really enjoy our Brew Group...this is the 4th church that we've been in that has a similar thing, and we really like it. It has helped us make closer friends within the church, and has been helpful to be in a group of similar-minded, similar-aged people, dealing with similar problems, but able to come at things from different perspectives. The Mama over at Our Seven Qtpies mentions sending her sister over to visit...please, send her...if she's ready to ROCK at 10:00 on Sunday morning...because this church service defines CONTEMPORARY. I know that style is not for everyone, but we enjoy it....

Oh, and an update on my "Pins and Needles" post.....hubby arrived safely in Virginia around 7:00 pm on Tuesday, after driving for 3 long days. Thank you to everyone for your prayers! They are much appreciated! We are all glad to have hubby/daddy here!

Cynthia at Life is Good asked about my transcription work. I have only just started this week doing medical transcription, working through a service. For years I have tried to get into this, but it never worked...until now....God's timing in all things, I suppose....the services always wanted 2 years of in-office experience, which I don't have. I've done legal transcription in-office, but only took a class on medical terminology, and worked doing billing, and appointment setting in a medical setting. Now, I get my chance.....

Mike, over at Gunny's Gouge is threatening to take away my Girl Scout cookies....good thing you're clear across the country, Mike! Go find some poor, unsuspecting Girl Scout where you are! Oh, and by the way, don't you DARE get my husband in on the whole "What Not to Wear" thing!! One more remind me of my FIL, a retired Marine.....THAT is why I keep coming back for more!

Sallie, Mike's wife, asked if we still homeschool. Unfortunately, no. I miss homeschooling some days....mainly, I really miss the flexibility that homeschooling allows. I had to stop homeschooling after I went back to work full-time while we were in Montana. I found that it is VERY difficult to homeschool 4 children and work full-time overnights, and remain sane....never mind trying to clean house, cook meals, go to church....or even stay awake!!

Beth, I think you missunderstand me....I LOVE being back on the East Coast. We are now 30 hours closer to family. I love being in an area known for less harsh winters, and more humidity. While it is an adjustment, so is every move.

Okay, me thinks I have covered them all....hope everyone has a GREAT Sunday! I'm off to get ready to head out to our VERY contemporary, VERY rockin' church service!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A tragic turn of events

On Sunday night, December 30th, 2007, a beautiful young mother and 5 of her children were killed in a head-on crash with a drunk driver, driving down the wrong side of the interstate in Oregon. You can read the story on the Toledo Blade website. There have also been numerous sites set up for remembrance of this family, and online auctions available to help support the father (who is still in the hospital), and the rest of the children.

Scrolling Saturday, Edition 2

Originally posted on my other blog on December 19, 2007

Nothing says "Welcome to Virginia Beach" like... having my XM radio stolen out of my van, along with my cell phone charger, and a container of CDs....which my son found in the bushes, minus *1* CD....the one positive in the whole thing...they must not like my taste in music!!!

So, I just spent a ton of time on the phone with XM, cancelling service to that radio, and reporting it stolen, and with the police, filing a report. What a pain in the rear!!!

Nothing makes me more mad (madder?) than dealing with people who steal. While working at Walmart, it was THE ONE THING that really made me mad. Grumpy people, tired people, fussy kids...none of that is too bad. People THAT really works me up. I will never understand people who think it's okay to steal from a big company, because "they'll never miss it anyway," or because it gives them some kind of adrenaline high, or something. To me, it is just WRONG. Wrong to think that way about someone else's possessions. Wrong to justify it that way. Wrong to teach your children that it's okay to steal from ANYONE.

I MUST tell this story. While I was working at Walmart, a kid (12-14 years old) was caught leaving the store with 2 bottles of $50+ weight-loss medicine. Never mind that he had no need of this....he was stealing it. He was caught. His mother was called. She came, and was overheard severely castigating her son...."I told you never to steal anything worth more than $10.00!" WHAT?!?!?!?? This mother was basically telling her son that it was okay to steal, as long as it wasn't too expensive, and/or he didn't get caught. That is one parent you really want to slap...and then throw in jail, herself.

People that stole from us at Walmart must have really thought we were stupid, or something. They think we don't notice that they're not buying anything? That they just spent an hour in electronics, for the 5th time tonight, and for the 5th time, are walking out after purchasing nothing?!? Or that we don't know where they stash all the packaging that they ditched in the bathrooms, on the rug aisle, in produce, in dairy, in the seasonal stuff....we know. We REALLY DO know.

Oh, and don't think that this stealing doesn't affect you because it's not you doing it. If you're not stealing from the stores you shop with, I applaud you. Thank you. But realize that those people that ARE stealing ARE affecting you. THEY cause prices to be raised, to compensate for the losses that the store is suffering. Oh, and those grumpy cashiers....they just had a really bad day, because of that kid stealing from the store. He just cut their bonuses in half. Give them a break!

Go see more Scrolling Saturday here.

My FIRST Award!!!

Thank you to Shannymar, over at Project Mommy for my very first blogging award, The Excellent Blog Award!

So, now I get to pass on the favor to at least 10 of my friends...I ask that you do the same!

By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people who’s blog’s you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. Thank you out there for having such great blogs and being such great friends! You deserve this! Feel free to award people who have already been awarded…

Just Call Me Jamin!

Mommy of Many

Walden's Wits

Gunny's Gouge

Slurping Life

After a cup of coffee...or two

Life with my 3 Boybarians

Call Me Grandma Dawn

It's a Wonderful Life

Our Seven QTPies

Steps In Our Journey

Snapshots of Life

Such Simple Pleasures

Bug Tries Again

Lazy Daisy Log
(Editted to include the award!)

Friday, January 18, 2008

7 Wierd things about me

One of my favorite blogs, From Dates to Diapers, and Beyond had this fun meme today, and I thought I'd try to come up with 7 wierd things of my own. So, here goes....

  1. I LOVE being is probably my favorite state-of-body...I have a good excuse for gaining weight, and eating loads of great food....and a great end reward...which also leads to...
  2. I would LOVE to have more, 6 is not enough....
  3. I like moving to new areas of the country every couple of years...wherever the Navy takes is especially fun to explore the new area, and meet new friends.
  4. I don't like change...doesn't go very well with enjoying moving, but there it is...
  5. I have a best friend who was my best friend for 10 years before I ever met her in person.
  6. I can't stand bananas...the smell, taste, texture....gag....I also am allergic to whatever it is that bananas are sprayed with, so I have a good excuse to not eat them!
  7. Fabric softeners make my skin go numb...not just the original product, but fabric softener in clothing does the same.

There you have it...a little stretch of the brain this morning. If you want to try this, let me know, so I can come see!

"What Not To Wear"

"What Not to Wear" is one of my favorite TV shows...thought I always cringe during the early part of the show, when the hosts are revealing to the hapless participant WHY their old clothes are so terrible, and why they need to take the $5,000 credit card and go shopping in New York City. I have threatened my husband with his life if he ever nominates me for that show! I don't think my ego could take the beating!

All of that said...Linda over at Christian Women Online has written a devotional merging "What Not to Wear" and Ephesians 6:14-18....a Christian Woman's "What Not to Wear"! Going over there every morning, and reading is a great way for me to start my day with a Christian world-view, having a quick quiet time in front of my computer!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #2

Thirteen Things I miss about Montana

1. Mountains
2. Beautiful scenery
3. Our church
4. Knowing where things are
5. No traffic
6. Little crime
7. No crowds
8. The mountains
9. One day drive to Yellowstone and Glacier Park
10. Big Sky
11. No air pollution
12. The mountains
13. Friends

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Memories (installment 3)

The schools that my brother and I attended were small…both were Mennonite schools, run by the two different Mennonite churches in the area. The first one, we attended until I was in 2nd grade, then our church started its own school, and that was where we attended all the way through high school.

Our teachers in the new school were the pastor of our church, his wife teaching 1st grade, and eventually 2 of their daughters. The curriculum we used was the A.C.E. curriculum, which didn’t require much in the way of teaching…which was good, because the pastor was doing algebra along with us, and was no help in answering questions. Also, my brother and I discovered problems in the science books…things which were also wrong in the answers. But, we eventually graduated…even though a lot of our friends didn’t. The Mennonite community that we grew up in is still a very rural, agricultural community, and post-secondary education is not high on the priority list. So, our graduating class (yes, my little brother and I graduated together!) was 7 people strong…4 of which were graduating a year early.

At some point during that school year, we visited a couple of colleges, trying to figure out where we were going to be going the next year. We visited Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA, and Columbia Bible College in Columbia, SC. My brother really, really wanted to attend Clemson University in Clemson, SC, but our parents were not convinced that was a good idea. September came, and we headed off to school in Columbia, SC.

Until we headed off to school, I didn’t realize how sheltered we were growing up. After all, WE were the ones more sophisticated than all of our friends…we’d graduated from high school, we didn’t wear all home-made clothes, and we were headed to college. In the big city of Columbia, SC, we were little fishies. Somehow, I also went to college thinking that I couldn’t make friends.

Because we were such oddballs in our community, I had almost no close friends growing up. The 2 friends I really had were also from a non-Mennonite background…actually, never even attended the Mennonite church, but rather, went to the Presbyterian Church in town.

College was a blast! I was free of my parents’ strictures, and though we were bound to live by the rules of the school, we had a ton of fun. People to talk to, ping pong, eating what I wanted, READING(!), friends….all these things meant that my first year at college was a real learning experience.

My first roommate was a senior. She was great for me…she kept me grounded…but, we were only roommates for the first quarter of my freshman year. My second roommate was also only for a quarter…after that, she moved off campus, and got married. For my last quarter that year, I was in a room by myself.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This and That

This is promising to be a crazy week. My transcription equipment arrived yesterday, and I ended up spending 3 hours on the phone with my brother, while he took over my computer, and cleaned off all of the "mean and nasties" off of it. Thank goodness for the ability to have someone work on it remotely!

Today, I tried to finish cleaning up the house....didn't get very far...because, it was also my first day actually working as a transcriptionist. Oh, and hubby gets here soon...he's hoping to get here by supper time. AND, the phone installation guy is here, trying to fix the MESS that the contractors made of the telephone lines. AND, the kids are doing homework. AND, they're supposed to be going to Chick-fil-A for supper, to raise money for their field trips. AND we're supposed to have our "Brew Group" tonight. I don't think we're going to make it to that one!

Hopefully things settle down a little more tomorrow!

Who are you?

I found this thru Barb, over at A Chelsea Morning, and thought I'd try my name. A lot of this stuff is right on...except that "Type A" personality...definitely NOT me!


What Laura Means

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are a very lucky person. Things just always seem to go your way.

And because you're so lucky, you don't really have a lot of worries. You just hope for the best in life.

You're sometimes a little guilty of being greedy. Spread your luck around a little to people who need it.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pins and Needles

I am always anxious when hubby's travelling. Usually, it's "just" for a day, flying wherever he needs to go. Right now, he's driving...somewhere in South Dakota....and thus has too much time on his hands. We've already talked twice....once discussing the best route for him to take, and the first time, just saying "good morning." So, I'm thinking that this is going to be a long day, as will tomorrow. Looks like he'll be staying the night tonight in Indianapolis, IN...after something like 14 hours on the road. Tomorrow looks like a 12 hour drive. Yeah, we changed the route. He WAS going to be going to TN, but that added a lot of extra hours and miles to the trip. So, again, Mapquest is my friend.

Okay, off to clean house, and fold laundry....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Girl Scout Cookies!!!

I'd forgotten that it was Cookie Time again. Without having a child in Girl Scouts this year, I lost track of when it was supposed to happen. So, a girl in the neighborhood showed up yesterday with the sale form. YIPPEE! I LOVE cookie time! The only time of year I can get my favorites....THIN MINTS!!! And hubby has to have his Tagalongs...and the Samoas for the oldest....yeah, we all have our favorites.

In other news, I just talked to hubby...he's on the road, headed this way...FINALLY! YIPPEE!!! He hopes to arrive here in Virginia on Wednesday. Please pray for his safety on the roads!

And, finally, my equipment arrives tomorrow, so I can start working from home, doing transcription work. I am excited to get started.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reposting Memories, Installment #2

I originally posted this in December, but since I just re-posted Installment 1, I thought I'd pull this one out again for the flow of the story.

My memories of school are not fun memories....though I seemed to like being at school more than being at home. I had a few friends, though I was always an oddball...I dressed differently, and had a lot different expectations of life than did the other kids with whom I went to school.

I loved to read, and being at school meant that I got to read a LOT. When I was at home, I had to do chores. When I was at school, I got to read! I also got to do some other fun stuff....softball, roller skating, volleyball, swinging....

BUT, because we were SO different, we got made fun of, a LOT. I never understood how all these people could call themselves good Christians, and treat our whole family so terribly. My mother never had any friends in that church. Whenever she pointed out something that seemed unfair (the pastors' daughters wearing the forbidden makeup, eg.), she was ostracized even more. My brothers got into lots of fights, and I got in trouble at school for defending them.

Scrolling Saturday

Memories (installment 1)
So, all the stuff that is going on with my mom has really started me thinking about how we grew up. I don't think we had a really exciting life, but it made me who I am. For that, I need to remember.
I was born in February, 1969, the first child of two college graduates. My mother majored in Spanish, and minored in Russian, and was invited to translate at the United Nations. My father graduated with a degree in Textile Engineering, and went to work for Regal Textiles, in a little bitty town in South Carolina. Right before I was born, they bought a farm, and settled down to raise their family. Daddy was just starting a new job, and Mama had quit her job as a 5th grade teacher, and was settling into life as a mother and housewife.
Thirteen months later, my brother was born, and my parents started making some major changes to the homestead. The house on the property was up very near to the road, and they didn't want to be that close to traffic with toddlers. Arrangements were made, and the house was taken off its foundation, and moved 300 yards away, to its new resting place, with a basement under it.
The night after the house was moved (I was 2 by this time, and my brother was about 11 months old), while we were sleeping in the house, it shifted on its foundation. My parents were concerned enough about the shift that we all finished the night's sleep in the car.
Sometime soon after this, my parents became dissatisfied with the direction of the Presbyterian church they were attending. I remember visiting a couple of churches...the Southern Baptist church in town, and the local Mennonite church. Before long, we found ourselves attending the Mennonite church, learning about this new way of life, and I began attending the Mennonite school.
The year that I was in first grade, another child was added to the family. My baby brother was a happy little guy, and we really enjoyed him. The family and doctors noticed something was wrong with him, and after some checking, it was determined that he had a heart defect. At 5 months of age, surgery was attempted, and my baby brother died while in surgery. That was a tough year. Daddy also lost his job that year, and they almost went bankrupt paying off the medical bills.
The next year, my other brother was born. He was healthy, and really added a lot of life to our family. When he was close to 2 years old, my parents bought a dairy farm, and we moved there in February. Our 5 years on the dairy farm were a LOT of work, a lot of growing, and financially devestating. I loved the animals...we had chickens, goats, horses, 100+ cattle, cats, dogs, and I had some pet white mice. We all worked our butts off....the shortest work days were 12 hours long. At various times, we had people working for us, helping with the milkings, and my parents sponsored 2 families of Cambodian refugees.
At the end of our time on the dairy, the whole industry was going thru some very hard times. The government instituted a buy-out program, to help small farmers get out of farms that were drowning in debt, and to slow the glut of milk on the market.
After selling the farm, we moved back to my parents' farm a couple of miles from the dairy. Daddy got a job working at a retirement home in town, as a maintenance person, and we settled back in to life, hand-milking our one cow, and caring for our chickens, goats, horses, and the cow. My brothers and I were attending the Mennonite school still, though things were not all well on that front.

Go see more Scrolling Saturday here.

Friday, January 11, 2008


It's raining outside. The cat is sitting at the back door, looking out at the rain. My hair has taken on a life of its own...more curls than usual! After 4 years of living in about 12% relative humidity, 75%-95% on a daily basis is a huge change! My skin REALLY loves this change...I'm using WAY less lotions and potions. BUT MY HAIR!!! It's's like having some kind of perpetual bad-hair-day. It's SO frustrating! Thank goodness for things like Garnier Fructis Spray really helps to tame the wild beast!

Oh, the cat...she has decided that she really likes her new home. She likes the stairs, and having new places to hide. She absolutely LOVES sitting in the window upstairs, and staring out at the squirrels...she SO wants to chase them. Poor kitty!

Other adjustments to life on the East Coast keep showing sinuses and ears are having issues. My children all are dealing with some kind of cold...I's that time of year. I am confused by the new roads, and frustrated with the schools, and just plain p.o.'d at the clinic on base. On the plus side, I AM learning to find my way around town, without having to print off directions from Mapquest every time.

I was VERY excited to be moving back to the East Coast. Now, I am starting to re-think this whole East Coast thing. There are WAY more people here, which translates to mean there is WAY more crime here (see here). It also means that the traffic problems are multiplied. And that the proliferation of iritating people is at an all-time high. I'm beginning to think that I *might* have an attitude problem...have I ever mentioned that I don't like change?!?

Time for an attitude adjustment!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What were you doing....

10 years ago? January, 1997, I was 28 years old, and living in Columbia, SC, working for an industrial construction company, and had a 3 year old, and a 9 month old.
20 years ago? January, 1987, I was 18 years old and a senior in high school, preparing to graduate in May.
30 years ago? January, 1977, I was 8 years old, and was in second grade. My brothers were 7 years, and 2 months old, respectively.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about meLaura

1. I am a 6 great kids.

2. I am married to my wonderful Sailor.

3. I graduated from Bible college, and have never done anything with my degree.

4. I am not sure what I want to do when I grow up.

5. I read voraciously.

6. I read blogs obsessively.

7. I grew up in South Carolina.

8. I have lived in 4 different states.

9. I have 2 brothers, 1 sister, and 2 sister-in-law, plus 1 nephew.

10. I have *&^% pounds to lose.

11. I just started going to Curves again.

12. I have a ton of laundry to do today.

13. I homeschooled my children for 4 years...and I miss it, sometimes.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Just in....

It's National De-Lurking Week!!

So, post a comment already! Can't wait to meet all of you!

Help! Mount Laundry is going to explode!

My laundry is taking over the house again....I HAVE to get that under control. Unfortunately, there are also a few other things that are helping contribute to the general "lived-in" look of the house. First, I got my Melaleuca order yesterday....I have boxes and cleaning supplies all over the floor in the living room. Second, there are school things all over the table in the dining room. Finally, because all this stuff is all over the place, I haven't had a chance to sweep the floor all week. Oh, and I still have things to unpack....

Just chatted with hubby...seems that our cell-phone bill is astronomical this month...we went over our HUGE amount of minutes, by more than 800 minutes. YIPES! We're going to have to make some changes, so that doesn't happen any more. I'm looking into getting a land-line, so we can have something besides the cell-phones. We can't keep doing $500+ phone bills!!

I had to send a note to school with #3 today...seems the teacher gave them a choice of books to read.... Goosebumps or Harry Potter. In our house, neither one is acceptable. Hopefully, she'll let me choose an alternative. I'm thinking, either the Chronicles of Narnia, or something by Frank Piretti.
Okay, back to laundry and house cleaning....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Random Dribbles from my Caffiene Deprived Brain

I'm only on my first cup of coffee for the day. I fear I am going to have to make a second pot, though. I woke up this morning, rather reluctantly, when my alarm went off at 6:30...My body does not want to be up. I hurt all over. At least I don't have a headache...small blessings.

Our Brew Group last night was at the church offices. The brand new church offices. With STINKY plug-ins all over the place. THAT is why I hurt all over. Why my body refuses to respond to commands from my head. I do NOT understand why people insist on having those things. They are terrible, horrible, no good, very bad....they make every joint and muscle hurt, they cause my brain to go fuzzy on me, they usually give me migraines. They also affect me for at least the next day....I am ultra-sensitive to touch, I can't wear my contacts, I can't put on purfume, my ability to tolerate noise goes WAY down (very important in a small townhouse with 6 other people!). Adding to my list of pet peeves (see here) are DOCTOR'S offices that use those things. How STUPID can you get? There is this thing called olefactory's the phenomenon that happens when you walk into a place, say, a bar with cigarette smoke, and it really bothers you, but you stay. And, say 10 to 30 minutes later, you can't even smell the cigarette smoke. THAT is olefactory fatigue. Now, back to the doctor's office with the stinkies plugged/stuck around the place. Doctors and nurses depend on their well as the rest of their tell them things about their patients. When those stinky things are in their offices, covering up other smells, how can we trust that doctor's nose to not be "fatigued"? Okay, end of rant. I can tell I am going to have to go on crusade to get rid of the stinkies in yet another church office.

I have found another business I would like to try from home. I still haven't heard anything back from the girl I had applied with to do transcription. Hopefully soon. I really want to do that! However, in the mean time, I have found a franchise opportunity that I can do from home! All I am doing is selling advertising...for a site for Moms! How exciting is that? Need more info, though....going to try calling today. In the mean time, I am still trying my hand at one other business...though I am not so sure it is something I want to keep doing....I don't like doing phone calls to people about a business's one thing to call a place of business. It's a whole 'nother ball of wax to be calling people at home. NOT something I enjoy...but I am determined to give it a good shot, anyway. I like the business....I LOVE their products. I just hate calling people.

Tonight, the oldest starts a class at our church offices. This is a class on comparing religions. Should be interesting. I'd love to take it....but 5 other children won't let me. I'm hoping to get the others into AWANA starting tonight. It's been long enough...and I need a reason to not be home at that time of night (see the above paragraph).

When I talked to hubby last night, he said that he's pretty much finished with turn-over....he'll be in the background today, if the new guy has any questions, but he's done. Tomorrow he has off. Friday is his Hail and Farewell. Saturday and Sunday are drill....unless they let him leave early...then maybe he can drive out of Montana on Sunday! Yippee!!! I am SO ready for him to be HERE!!! Before he arrives here, though, he has to drive thru the snowy mid-west. Pray for safety for him on the roads, please!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Steps in the Journey

I have been a Christian for just over 27 years. I was 11 when I said the prayer (yeah, you do the math! ). In my naive thoughts, my life was supposed to be easy. No struggles. No battling with sin. After all, I was a Christian. That meant that the path was all laid out for me, and would be easy to find, and easier to follow. Boy, was I mistaken.
As a teen, I struggled, as do most teens, with rebellion in some form or another. I also struggled with depression. I was in a very legalistic church, and struggled with obeying the many rules, and with the path my life would take. We didn't belong there...we were WAY different. My parents expected us to go to college...very few of my friends even graduated from high school.
College was good, but it was also hard. I was going to Bible College, and there were so many different people there...with different backgrounds, and different beliefs. I learned a lot. I grew a lot. I learned that there IS good Christian life without the abundance of legalism. I met my husband!
When we were dating, my struggles changed. My friends and my family didn't like my boyfriend. They didn't like him as my fiance, either. My parents liked him a LOT less as my husband, and it got worse as we had children, and our finances got tighter. I struggled with depression, and with burn-out from my time in Bible College, the stress of working full-time, and trying to make ends meet. We spent 4 long years not speaking to my parents. We dealt with job changes, moves, car accidents, a miscarriage, a run-in with DSS, and a church that just didn't quiet "get" us. Did I mention the depression? It was part of everything...just there in the background....kind of "mood music."
Then my husband had an affair. The kids and I moved in with my brother. My husband repented. I was overjoyed, and very apprehensive. This time, it was his family that wouldn't talk to us. My husband moved home. We decided that this would be a good time for him to try to go active duty in the Navy. He had been a reservist for a year, and we needed him to have a good, full-time that would support us. Oh, and the depression was getting worse.
We moved to Texas after he finished A-school in Mississippi. I learned a lot about Navy life. I homeschooled 2 of our children, and had another beautiful little girl 1 week before his ship deployed. I was the Ombudsman, so I was BUSY...too busy to think about ME. Life in a homeschooling house, with 5 children, one of whom is less than 6 months old, is CRAZY. Add in dealing with the drama that is ship-life...that summer was FULL. Finances were always a were the cars. I was still dealing with the depression, and I hadn't yet learned how to trust my husband again.
When that beautiful little girl was 18 months old, and I was 5 months pregnant with the next, we moved to Montana. That was a LONG drive! Two adults (one pregnant), 5 children, 2 cars, driving from south Texas to Montana...a 33 hour drive, according to Mapquest. We stopped off with some friends in the northern part of TX....only 14 hours into our trip. We stopped in Cheyenne, WY, for a night. We were supposed to make it all the way to our destination in MT the next day. One of the cars died in a tiny little town in Wyoming. We spent the night there, and bought a van...a 1988 conversion van...a V-8, running on 6....burning gas like there was no tomorrow. Somehow we limped into town, having spent our last $2.64 on gas. We had no money for the motel, dinner, gas. We knew no one. Fortunately, one of the guys from the reserve center where hubby was going rescued us.
Life in Montana was hard. Hubby was at a tiny command...with 8 active duty, and about 100 reservists. Very little in the way of support for the family of the active duty. We found a great church, and got involved quickly. I was still homeschooling, and jumped right into the homeschool community. The kids were involved in AWANA. I was involved in the women's ministry. Hubby ran sound at church, and was involved in the men's ministry. We went to couples' retreats. I was depressed...more than ever.
I tried counseling. I still couldn't figure out how to trust hubby. I felt like there was something terribly wrong with our relationship, and neither one of us could figure out what it was. Hubby decided it was him, and told me that he was moving out. He filed for divorce. My depression hit an all-time low.
Our pastor referred me to a Biblical counselor. That counselor was a God-send...literally. God used him to turn around our marriage. I have learned to trust again. My walk with God is back on track. We were in counseling for just over a year. During that time, we learned to enjoy each other again...dates, having fun together. We also got new orders....we were moving back to the East Coast! Yippee! And fear....what would we do without our counselor? We graduated...
...and moved to Virginia. Hubby is still in Montana for another week, or so....but things are still on track. God has been SO good! He restored our marriage. He has provided for us in ways we never expected! Oh, and He took away the depression! For the first time in 20ish years, I am NOT depressed!
I am amazed at all of the things that God has brought me though in the 27 years I've walked with Him. Each new turn is another adventure...definitely never a boring minute!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Pet Peeves

****Since this is gonna be a whiney post, take note now. If you don't *do* whining, don't read this.****
Starting off the new year right, by airing my pet peeves now, so people know where I stand.
  1. Dirty landry on the floor, when there's a perfectly good hamper to put it in...and not even full, I might add. And, if by some coincidence, your hamper is full, EMPTY IT!!!
  2. Dirty dishes left all over the house. This is our new knows. It's new to us. AND, I might point out, there is BRAND NEW carpet on the floors upstairs. We have laid down the rules...NO FOOD upstairs. Period. Not even for mom and dad. So, why am I finding glasses, cups, bowls, etc., upstairs? Obviously we need to review the rules.
  3. Toys all over the place. All. The. Time. Second house rule. Toys are to be PUT AWAY when you are finished playing with them. Immediately. Again, rule review time.
  4. Virginia drivers. They're CRAZY!! Driving home from Curves this morning, I was in the midst of coming to a stop at a RED light, when flying right by me comes this little car with a guy definitely intent on killing himself, and several other people in the process....I mean, the speed limit was 45, and the light was RED, and he ahd to be going at least 55 when he buzzed right thru that RED light. Fortunately, the people coming the other direction were paying a lot more attention that he was. We've also been cut off...more times than I care to count (and we've only been here a little over a month!)...not just from the lane directly beside us, but coming from *3* lanes over, attempting to get off on the exit directly to our left. Crazy, I tell you, CRAZY!!
  5. People who expound on things about which they know absolutely nothing. 'Nuff said.
  6. People who steal from stores, other people, their place of business, etc....I worked for 3 years at Walmart. People who steal from Walmart....okay, at least the ones I experienced...are nuts. Like we can't tell what they're doing. Or somehow they aren't being watched on the 90 million cameras that are on, all the time, all over those stores. While I was working at Walmart, a kid (12-14 years old) was caught leaving the store with 2 bottles of $50+ weight-loss medicine. Never mind that he had no need of this....he was stealing it. He was caught. His mother was called. She came, and was overheard severely castigating her son...."I told you never to steal anything worth more than $10.00!" WHAT?!?!?!?? This mother was basically telling her son that it was okay to steal, as long as it wasn't too expensive, and/or he didn't get caught. That is one parent you really want to slap...and then throw in jail, herself. Oh, and don't think that this stealing doesn't affect you because it's not you doing it. If you're not stealing from the stores you shop with, I applaud you. Thank you. But realize that those people that ARE stealing ARE affecting you. THEY cause prices to be raised, to compensate for the losses that the store is suffering. Oh, and those grumpy cashiers....they just had a really bad day, because of that kid stealing from the store. He just cut their bonuses in half. Give them a break!
  7. People who ask stupid questions, or make stupid comments. "Are they all yours?" No, I go pick kids up off of street corners, and bring them home. What do you think?!? "Don't you know where they come from?" We sure do...and we LIKE IT! If you get your parents permission, we'll let you in on it, too! "You sure have your hands full." As opposed to what? I could have 1 kid or 2 kids, and have my hands full...having 6 kids does NOT make me some kind of super-woman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I am HUMAN. I have bad days. I still love my kids, and no freaking way am I going to choose between them, to figure out which one I'd rather keep in some ficticious scenario.

Stopping there....I'm sure that's WAY more than you'd rather know about my pet peeves....

Sunday, January 6, 2008

More New things....

...starting in the morning. I have a 9:00 (I think) appointment at Curves, to get things set up for my membership with them for the next 6 months. I haven't had a chance to talk to the neighbor girl about watching Katherine while I go over there...hopefully when I go out to meet the schoolbus in the morning.

Secondly, I'm starting to have some questions about the whole work-from-home thing. I know that I haven't given it much time, but I am not sure that Jason is going to be willing to let me work on it much longer without some sort of tangible income. I have put out a bunch of money already, and not gotten anything in return, yet. I'm also still waiting to hear back on the transcription job....I emailed the lady on Friday, so I'm hoping to hear something back tomorrow, or at the latest on Tuesday.

I'm tired of being up by myself in the evenings. I want my husband home. One more week before he can leave Montana to head HOME. I MISS him!!! I miss having someone else to help out with the kids. I miss having the chance to talk to him about the day-to-day goings-on. I miss having his encouragement. I miss his dirty socks on the floor, and his stuff on the counter in the bathroom.

I have a lot of other stuff that I need to do tomorrow. I am diving into getting some more of the unpacking done. I want to finish up with the stuff in our bedroom. I also also need to work on the few boxes that are left in the living room area. I am having trouble figuring out what to do with the stuff that we had stored in the huge space that was our bedroom and walk-in closet in Montana.

I am totally lost in our bathrooms right now. There is practically no storage in these bathrooms. There are no drawers in the cabinets. How do I manage without a drawer in which to put things? What am I supposed to DO with all that stuff?

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Sir Sneeze-A-Lot! I hope your next year is a good year filled with learning and growing, and lot of love and laughter! I love you, my 4th second son!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My weekend has begun

Last night was pizza and movie night in our house. I went to the commissary and picked up two take-n-bake pizzas, and we watched Chitti-Chitti Bang-Bang. It was fun...the first movie night we've had since we moved...but half of the kids were on the floor, and by the time the movie was over it was LATE...but no one wanted to get up and head upstairs to bed. Remember, our floor is basically a cement slab with floor tiles on it. It is COLD. They WERE on the rug in the living room, but it is still cold. We had a bit of a fuss before getting them all up to bed. I HATE when that kind of thing messes up what was a fun evening!
This morning we all had a bit of a late start...which was really nice for me...I got to sleep in until sometime around 9:30!! Since then, we've done laundry, swept and "Swiffer-ed" the whole downstairs, run the dishwasher, and the oldest vacuumed her and my rooms. Now, #2 is at his cousin's house for a few hours, the 2 youngest are taking naps, and the rest of the tribe is outside playing. I am enjoying a little peace and quiet.
Tomorrow will be another quiet in the morning, and naps and play in the afternoon. Then, back to school and all our regularly scheduled activities on Monday.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

More Firsts

Today was Leah's first day in Kindergarten. It was just for less than half of the day...I had to go get some paperwork notarized before I could take her to school. She was THRILLED that she got to be one of the big kids. and riding the bus home was THE BEST thing in the world! She came home and told Katherine that she would LOVE riding the bus! I had absolutely NO problems getting Leah to bed tonight, because she's SO excited about school tomorrow.
We're one day closer to having Daddy home...only 12 days to his farewell in Helena. Tonight he's bowling one last time with his league. He was busy Katherine's birth certificate (2 copies), and spent time time aquainting his replacement with the reserve center.
I did some research today, and have an appointment with Curves on Monday morning. I am going to be able to pay for 6 months ahead of time. I also printed off directions to get to the Mall to use all of those awesome gift cards we received for Christmas. Barnes & Noble, Gap, Bath & Body Works, and Toys R we come!!!
Tomorrow....I'll probably be on the phone for most of the day. I also want to get the Christmas decorations taken down, and make a firm list of the things that I need to buy for the house.

Tragic Travesty of Justice

I just finished reading a very tragic story, of a loving mother of 5 children, falsely accused of murdering her child. Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Thank you, Wendy!

Happy New Year!!!

I hope your year is starting off well!
The kids and I had a very quiet night last night. I stayed up and watched the ball drop...the younger 4 kids were in bed by 9:30, and the older two tried to stay up....but both were asleep by 11:30. I got to talk to Jason periodically all night was lonely, but not too bad, since we got to talk.
This morning started late, again. Since I was up late, I slept in until sometime around 10:00 am. The kids have been outside for most of the day, playing, and rescuing a dog. Heather and her friend Sarah (twin to Tara) came running in while I was on the phone with Jason, and were yelling for me to call the SPCA, because there was this dog outside who was hurt. It seems that the dog had been stabbed/chopped with a meat cleaver that was found with her, and was really beat up. Animal Control came, and took her away to a vet. The kids would really like to get her, if an owner can't be found....I can't see having a Black Lab in our itty bitty townhouse. Jason doesn't want a dog inside...but we have no room outside. I don't know how it would work....but I'd love to have a dog, too....and a Lab is my favorite!
So, plans/goals/resolutions for 2008....
1. Losing weight....healthy weight loss, done with healthy change of diet...NOT dieting, but complete change of our family way of eating....and addition of exercise...I'm hoping to pay a year ahead for Curves, and be able to get in AT least 4 times per week.
2. Business...I am planning to work from home this year...doing both medical transcription and Melaleuca.
3. Menu planning....I want to be able to plan our healthier lifestyle on a weekly basis, so I can shop according to a plan.
4. Organization....I am GOING to get organized this year. Organize my business stuff, organize all the stuff that's still in the boxes in the garage (including DUMPING a bunch of it!), and organizing the rest of the house.
There's my plan for 2008....what's yours?