Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #30: Getting ready for Back to School

Thirteen Things about getting ready to send kids back to school:

1. We have 33 days until school starts.

2. Shopping must be supplies, clothes, shoes, musical instruments.

3. Before shopping, we have to make sure there are working backpacks, clothes must be tried on, supplies must be inventoried, and lists made.

4. We have to figure out where the $$ is going to come from to pay for this.

5. We have uniform rentals to pay for, for Marching Band and Concert Band.

6. We have to get through two weeks of Band Camp.

7. The house still needs to stay clean.

8. 99 more meals must be cooked, served, consumed and cleaned up from.

9. Approximately 100 more loads of laundry must be sorted, washed, folded and put away.

10. There are teachers to three different schools, for 5 different students.

11. There are *only* 33 more days to spend playing outside with friends.

12. Library books must be returned (TODAY!!).

13. I only have 33 more days to enjoy having my chidren home with me....before my life gets overly hectic again...

***Anyone else looking forward to Back to School?

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, July 30, 2008

Bath Notes....

I received this in my email today, and thought it appropriate for this week....ENJOY!!

Bath Note...

Dear Kids,

Don't be alarmed, the world isn't coming to an end. I am simply taking a bath. It will take about thirty minutes and will involve soap and water. Yes, I know how to swim. Even if I didn't, forcing myself to drown in a half-inch of lukewarm water is more work than I've got energy for. (Which reminds me, I'm all for science projects, but the next time you want to see if Play-Doh floats, use cold water.)

Don't panic if I'm not out right on time. I've heard that people don't dissolve in water and I'd like to test the theory.

While I'm in the tub, I'd like you to remember a few things. The large slab of wood between us is called a door. Do not bang to hear my voice. I promise that even though you can't see me, I *am* on the other side. I'm not digging an escape tunnel and running for the border,no matter what I said a while ago. I didn't mean it. Honest.

There will be plenty of time later to tell me about your day."Later" means at a time when I am no longer naked, wet, and contemplating bubble gum in the blow dryer. I know you have important things to tell me. Please let one of them be that you have invented a new way to blow bubbles, not a new way to add gum to your hair.

Believe it or not, shouting, "TELEPHONE!" through the closed bathroom door will *not* make the phone stop ringing. Answer it and take a message. Since Amazing Mind-Reading Mom has the day off, you'll need to write that message down. Use paper and a pencil. Do not use your brother and the laundry marker. We can't send him to school with telephone number tattoos.

Water makes me wet, not deaf. I can still tell the difference between the sound of "nothing" and the sound of a child playing the piano with a basketball. I can also hear you tattling at the top of your lungs.I'm *choosing* NOT to answer you.

Don't call your dad at work and tell him I am unconscious in the bathroom. He didn't appreciate it last time. He won't appreciate it more this time.

Trust me.No matter how much I would like it, water does not make me forgetful. I remember who you are and why you are grounded. No, you can't go to Shelby's house to play. No, you can't go to Shelby's house to use the bathroom. If someone is in our other bathroom, you will just have to think dry thoughts and wait. Unless you have four feet and a tail, do not think of going outside to "water" the lawn. I know the dog does it. The neighbors don't feel the need to call me when the dog does it.

Unless the house catches on fire, stay inside and keep the doors locked. Do not go outside and throw rocks at the bathroom window to get my attention. I know it works in the movies. This is reality, the place where people don't like to sit in a tub while rocks and broken glass rain in on them. Do not set the house on fire.

Call me if there is an emergency.
Emergencies ARE:
1. Dad has fallen off the roof.
2. Your brother and/or sister is bleeding.
3. There's a red fire truck in front of our house.

Emergencies are NOT:
1. Dad has fallen asleep.
2. Someone on TV is bleeding.
3. There's a red pickup truck in front of our house.

One other thing: Being forced to use the last roll of toilet paper for a towel does not make me happy. It makes me sticky with little white polka dots. In the future, when the tub overflows, use a mop to clean up the water instead of every towel in the house. For my sanity's sake, let's pretend it was the tub, Okay? No, I don't want to hear the real story. Ever. Especially not while I'm standing in the pool of water you missed.

By the way, all Play-Doh experiments are hereby canceled.

Be good. Entertain yourselves. Yes, you can do both at the same time.Try coloring, playing a game, or paying that stack of bills on the coffee table.

I'll be out soon. Maybe.

Love,Your Mom

Wordless Wednesday: After the Rain

Go see more entrants at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whine, rant....

Tonight, there are extra children in my house. I usually don't mind having extra kids to spend the night, because the kids all entertain each other and I hear less of the whining, and complaining and screaming.... but this week, I am SO done with it. This is the last week for some neighbors who are moving to Florida, so of course the kids have to spend as much time together as possible before they leave town. AND, if one child has a friend to stay the night, everyone else has to, as well.

We all know that each of us parents our children differently, and most days I can make those allowances necessary when you have someone else's children in your house. Not this week. Let's just say it's a good thing they're busy entertaining each other upstairs, because I CAN NOT deal....

So, I am playing computer games. Jason is a the Men's Brew Group tonight...and I am home dealing with 8 children in the house. If everyone is still alive when he gets home, it will have been a successful night.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I seriously dislike Mondays

I enjoy taking the weekend "off" from work and blogging, but that makes getting back into the groove on Monday is DIFFICULT.

So, yesterday we had a party for the STUD team from church...those of us who get there EARLY on Sundays to set everything up, and who stay LATE afterwards to tear it all back down and stow the "stuff" away in the trailer. We had a BLAST.....

Playing in the pool...

Jumping off the diving board...

eating yummy food...
chatting with friends....

Playing chess...

So, it was a LOT of fun...and we all came home exhausted. Over the weekend we also took care of Jason's sister's dogs while she was in Indiana at the family's Cousin's Reunion...and we went swimming in her pool on Saturday night, too.
Anyone else having trouble getting back into the groove on Monday?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Very Cool Video

I saw this posted somewhere else, and thought this was one of the best I have seen in a LONG time....enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #29: Hurricane Preparedness

It is hurricaine season....something I haven't even thought much about for our last 4 years in Montana. Now, with hurricaines bearing down on us, and us living in a coastal city, I think I need to be least a little! How realistic these things are for a family of 8...I'm not sure....but at least I'm working on it! So, for your pleasure...from the NOAA weather site

Thirteen Things on the Hurricaine Bug-Out List

1. Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

***So, for a family of 8 humans and 2 cats, we're looking at....wait a sec...I can't do big numbers in my head....AT THE VERY LEAST....25 gallons of water for 3 days. Okay, logic says that's actually not too bad of a number. BUT, we live in military housing. WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO STORE THIS?!?

2. Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days

— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices

— foods for infants or the elderly

— snack foods

— non-electric can opener

— cooking tools / fuel

— paper plates / plastic utensils

***Right. Food IS a necessity. But, first, we're going to cross off the infants/elderly one...there are neither in our house. Second, we've got the can opener covered. Check. Non-perishible packaged foods. Right. For 3 to 7 days. Again, WHERE am I to store all of this? Food for all 8 of us? for 3 days? that I am supposed to keep my children from digging into when I'm not looking? And, never mind that...I don't have extra money in my food budget.... Paper plates, utinsels, etc...not a problem...dig out the camping/picnic stuff. Cooking fuel...we've been needing to buy gas for the grill...this is as good of an excuse as any.

3. Blankets / Pillows, etc.

***Easy peasy...pull 'em off the bed, and we're good.

4. Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

***First, how much? are we making sure we have suitcases packed in case we evacuate? So, how many changes of clothes per kid? 3 days? 7 days? Rain gear? I've come to the conclusion that we lived in Montana for too long...we're just not used to rain any more...

5. First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

***Note to self: BUY BANDAIDS!! The rest is in pretty good shape.

6. Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

***Again, for staying in the house if there's no power, or for evacuating? *note to self: Find out where the Navy evacuates dependents TO.

7. Flashlight / Batteries

***Flashlight, check. MUST BUY BATTERIES.

8. Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

***Radio, check. MUST BUY BATTERIES. Do we really HAVE TO have the NOAA weather radio?

9. Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

***I think we're okay on this...I just have to remember where my charger is at any given time...we have a converter in the car, so I can plug my regular, household phone charger into the car....though I don't have an extra that necessary?

10. Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards - Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods

***Granted, this sounds sensible...but do people ACTUALLY have "extra" money laying around that can be designated for this?!? NOT in our house....

11. Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

***I have my container...just need to gather everything together....

12. Vehicle fuel tanks filled

***At the moment, we're good on this....

13. Pet care items

— proper identification / immunization records / medications

— ample supply of food and water

— a carrier or cage

— muzzle and leash

***Grrr....okay, I forgot all of this when we adopted our second cat...MUST BUY another carrier, and find out if she's had all of her shots. Oh, and WHAT is proper ID for a CAT?!?

Alright, enough of me....that is just part of the list....go to the NOAA Weather site, and see for yourself....and BE PREPARED!!

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, July 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Apples of Gold

For more participants, go to 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm out for the day...

...having some tests done. Pray for me. More details after I get back!

****I'm back from having a needle EMG done. NOT a fun test, though not as bad as I had been warned. The good news is that I likely do not have carpal tunnel, which is a VERY good thing for my medical transcription job! The next step is WAITING...for a follow-up appointment and then a referral for physical therapy for the possible other diagnosis of muscle spasms. THANK YOU for your prayers!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Anyone else falling off the wagon?

No, I am NOT talking about drinking....though my kids are about to drive me THERE, too.

What I am dealing with is the determination I always make at the beginning of the summer, EVERY YEAR, to not give up our hard-fought schedule, because I *KNOW* how hard it is to get back into that routine at the end of the summer.

We tried. REALLY tried. I am actually still retaining parts of that routine. The little ones still go to bed (most nights) by around 8:00 pm. The older ones are in bed by 9:00. Most nights.

Except that the husband is enjoying having the kids to watch movies and TV shows with him, because I just don't watch TV.

And I am TRYING to get up in the mornings, and go for my walks before it is unbearably hot....and the oldest *wants* to walk with me. Until she is spending the night with her friends. And then the second oldest *wants* to walk with me...but he is practically impossible to wake up in the morning.

And then, when I need peace and quiet during the day to work, the kids are all trying to kill each other, or fussing with each other over stupid things....

"FRANCES, please find out what is going on up there!"
(yelling, screaming, and slamming of doors ensues....)
(Frances comes down the stairs, looking innocent....)
"Frances, what was going on?

Yes, having a teenager in the house has its moments. She's GREAT, sometimes, at babysitting, and supervising house cleaning, and cooking meals. SOMETIMES is the operative word. When she wants to....or when she wants something....

Speaking of second will become a teenager in April of next year. I am more than a little frightened...he already has a WAY worse attitude than his older sister...

So, I have about given up on keeping the routine. I think we have a new routine for the summer...
Dad up and out of the house by 530 am
Mom up and walking before 7:00 am
littler people wandering out of bed by about 10:00
Breakfast, house cleaning, etc., finished by noonish
Everyone playing outside all afternoon so mom can work and not kill anyone

I think I need to go dig my wine out...I am finding I need something to help me get through this afternoon!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Memories (installment 25)

So, I was pregnant. I spent those first twelve weeks the way I always do when pregnant...avoiding cooking. I get SICK cooking, or brushing my teeth, or thinking about cooking or brushing my, we ate out or ordered in quite a bit during that time.

I also had a meeting the the Commanding Officer of the ship, and his wife, during that time, since they needed to know me if I were to be his representative to the other families associated with the ship. He must have liked us...there was another wife being co-Ombudsman with me, since I already knew I'd need some time off, what with a new baby coming....because he arranged for us to attend a training class.

The Ombudsman training class was interesting. I learned a LOT. It really helped me to know a lot more about the Navy than I'd ever have learned on my own. I'm grateful for that short school that prepared me for this life we live.

I also was trying to figure out how to have my long-dreamed-of homebirth. We found a midwife. She was increadible...a practicing nurse, in school full-time, and working as a lay-midwife while finishing up her training as a Certified Nurse Midwife. I was VERY happy with her.

Oh, another small detail...the ship was preparing to deploy, too. When I realized when they were supposed to leave, I got more than a little anxious about when this baby was going to be born. See, I already had this history of REALLY long pregnancies. I did NOT want to go so long that Jason would miss the birth of his 5th child.

Sue and Julie and I finished taking the Ombudsman training class, and three things were approaching at break-neck speed...the birth of my baby, my first experiences as Ombudsman, and the ship's deployment.

The CO announced us to the ship through his newsletter, and we started planning our first meeting with wives from the ship...the last meeting before the ship left, exactly a week before the ship was supposed to deploy. It was a pot-luck, and I spent most of my day getting things ready...fixing my devilled eggs and other dish, and cleaning my house. I was uncomfortable, but figured I'd been on my feet all day, so I was bound to be uncomfortable. Another girl from our housing was riding with me, so we left, and went to the meeting.

The meeting was fun...small, few people, good food, and the CO was speaking and taking questions, so it was pretty informal. During the meeting, I kept having to run out to the restroom....I was getting more and more uncomfortable...and less and less able to concentrate on the meeting. The meeting drew to a close, and I wanted to stay and help clean up, but there was no way....I needed to get home. Fortunately I had the girl who had ridden with me....there was NO WAY I was going to be able to drive home, feeling like I did!

We arrived at the house at about 7:00 pm, and I told Jason that we needed to call the midwife, and get things ready. In the mean time, another lady from church called, and said she was coming by...she didn't know I was in labor, but she probably realized something was up by the way I talked to her on the phone.

I talked to the midwife around 7:25...she was at work at the hospital, but would be there within an hour. She also was sending another girl from the who had a homebirth not long before, and wanted to attend some births. In the mean time, the first friend from church showed up and was wonderful, rubbing my back, taking me through contractions, and getting me to walk around the apartment.

Cammie, the midwife, arrived and things went well. She and the other girl cleaned up my bedroom, made up the bed with my supplies, and basically took over, so I didn't have to worry about anything except having the baby. Jason put the kids to bed, and sat down to do his normal thing while I was laboring....watching least in our house he wasn't watching in the same room as me, annoying me!!

The time went quickly...things are somewhat of a blur to me now....walking around the house, getting in and out of the tub and shower (my two older girls came down to see me while I was in the tub, before they went to bed), and just laboring....back massages by the girls attending to me, and background noises. Sometime around 10:00 pm I went into transition, and by 10:45 wanting to push. Cammie got me on the birth chair, and we got busy....and not even 15 minutes later, my "little" girl was born....Leah Elizabeth weighed in at 8 pounds 14 ounces, born at 10:54 pm on March 25th, 2002. She was "only" 21 days later than her due date.

The people from church had anticipated the birth, and provided meals for us a week ahead of time, so we had some lasagna in the refrigerator....the ladies heated us up some dinner, cleaned up the house for us, and left us at around midnight, mom, dad and baby snuggled up in bed, exhausted.

Exactly one week later the ship deployed.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #28

Thirteen Things about Women of Faith, 2008

1. Women Of Faith in Washington, DC was this past weekend.

2. I had the chance to go to Women of Faith with about 30 ladies from our church.

3. I drove up with my friend on Thursday, and got to go out to dinner in Chinatown with the friend we were staying with...and we got to ride the Metro...

4. Friday was the Pre-Conference, called I Second That Emotion. It was a good reminder that though we are emotional as women, we need to remember that our emotions do not have brains, and we need to use or brains to make decisions, not live by our emotions.

5. The rest of our group arrived Friday afternoon, and we found our seats for the main part of the the nose bleeds...I don't do heights.

6. The program on Friday night was increadible...GREAT music with Sandi Patty, Natalie Grant and Nicole Mullen. Speakers...Patsy Clairmont, Steve Arterburn, Marilyn Meberg, Jan Silvious, Sheila Walsh. Drama...Louise DeArt, Anita Renfroe and Allison Allen.

7. The hotel we stayed at was under construction, and we were NOT impressed...we were also told that the parking would be $36...turns out they were off by $12...and breakfast was *only* $19.95 per person.

8. Friday night, before the evening session, we got to head to dinner at a great little Chinese restaurant for dinner....the food was delicious....and they were BUSY...apparently they are that busy every night, all the time.

9. Saturday morning, we checked out of the motel and moved our van to the Verizon Center parking garage...which turned out to be only $12 for the whole day of parking.

10. Saturday's sessions were good again...more increadible lessons in dependence on God and recognizing that we are not alone.

11. About some individual speakers...

Patsy Clairmont is one energetic young lady...

Nicole Mullen is MY AGE, and is in REALLY good shape...that woman can DANCE...and her nephew...the Oscar Meyer Weiner boy that was on Oprah...he can dance, too!!

Steve Arterburn...the man has lived thru a lot to bring us something as wonderful as Women of Faith!

12. Saturday we had a ton of fun with the other ladies from the church, eating lunch together, and getting pictures together.

13. The BEST part of the trip was the ride home with my friend, talking it all over and getting to know each other....Thanks, you!!

I hope you get a chance to attend a Women of Faith is a wonderful, relaxing, fun time!

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, July 16, 2008

WWWAT: July/Summer

Summer time brings GREAT opportunities for pictures. We have pictures from parades and picnics, and fireworks, trips to visit grandparents and trips to Washington, DC....what to pick, what to pick?!?

We have some patriotism (or not):

My honey:

Some time chillin' at the lake:

Watching fireworks:

The Verizon center, with 16,000 of my closest friends:

Chinese food in Chinatown:

A great pre-conference:

And a wonderful time of refreshment for all:

I had a BLAST in DC for Women of Faith! (And God really DID do something great...I lived through sitting up in the nosebleeds...and I DON'T do heights!)

Go see more WWWAT at The Adventures of an American Mum.

Also see more Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Computer Gremlins strike again...

...or my lame excuse for why I am not getting around to posting about my trip.

I'm exhausted....I took a 2 hour nap yesterday...I usually don't do that unless I'm pregnant...and NO, I am NOT pregnant, thankyouverymuch.

My internet went out on Sunday night, around midnight, and we were only just able to get it back up and functioning this morning, so I've been playing catch-up with work.
Thursday...more pictures, and things about my trip.
Friday...Memories post, maybe.

It's a plan, sort of. We'll see what happens. I'm bushed...headed to bed.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggity jog...

I am back once again...this is a busy month!

Washington D.C. was FABULOUS...lots of sites to see, and an increadible conference....WOMEN OF FAITH was AWESOME!!!

So, I'm off to church, and then home again to do some catching up....

Tomorrow, I PROMISE, there will be pictures, and loads of updates!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Memories (installment 24)

The adventure began in Texas, in a 3-bedroom, two bath townhouse.

Jason was stationed on a VERY small ship...the USS Defender. The Defender is a mine-sweeper, and is one of the last of a dying breed of wooden hulled ships. There were usually about 90 men stationed on board.

We first arrived in Portland, TX, in April. The housing we were in was nice. It was fairly new and well maintained. We had more room than we'd had for a while, and financially it worked well for us. There were playgrounds, and a pool.

We started homeschooling by planning our daily PE around trips to the pool. We also did a little bit of reading (to little siblings), some math (and science) in the form of baking, and writing letters to family and friends in South Carolina. In this manner we completed the last of the school year and headed into the summer.

I started getting to know people in the neighborhood. I learned that there are good people and bad people in every setting...even on a ship as small as the Defender.

We also were looking for a church. We had attended a Calvary Chapel in South Carolina for a short time, so thought that would be a great place to start. Calvary Chapel Coastlands was a great church home to us for about a year.

In June, I learned that I was pregnant again...due in March, 2002. I started researching having a homebirth. Jason also came home and told me that he had volunteered me for another adventure....the position of Ombudsman for the ship. Neither of us had any clue what we were in for!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Real Life: Momentous Occassions

So, this week Jessica wants us to share the Momentous Occassions of our lives.

This first picture is from our wedding, in October, 1992, outdoors in South Carolina. Our wedding took place in my Inlaws' back yard. This is one of my favorite pictures from this special day in our lives.

A little over a year after we were married, we moved up near my parents, and lived there for 6 months. This picture was taken at my parents' picnic table in their front yard.

Jason's first duty station was in Texas. In the last couple of months before we left there, we went camping for our first time ever. Our friend David (center) came out to visit for the first time, and went camping with us (just as a hurricane was threatening to blow in on us!). Oh, and I was about 4 months pregnant in this picture...

After our arrival in Montana, Jason was up for reenlistment. That year he chose to have his reenlistment at the Gates of the Mountains. He was originally sworn into the Navy by his father, and was thrilled to be able to have his father do his reenlistment as well. After the ceremony, we all went on the boat tour...which was spectacular!

While we were in Montana, Jason and I were separated for a time...and got back together just in time for the Joint Services Military Ball in October, 2006. This picture was taken then, and is one of my favorite memories of our time in Montana.

Because we are a LARGE military family, we have a LOT of MOMENTOUS OCCASSIONS...but I think today I will just stick with these...the children have ones all of their own that can be displayed at different times!

To see more It's Real Life, go to Farm Fresh.

Thursday Thirteen #27

Thirteen Things about the rest of July

1. There will be packing and unpacking.

2. There will be lots of laundry.

3. There will be days at the pool.

4. There will be time off for Mom.

5. There will be extra time for the kids with Dad.

6. There will be lots of doctors' appointments.

7. I WILL be clearing off my desk...I promise.

8. I will get to travel...some more.

9. I will get to spend time with other adult women.

10. There will be more pictures....lots more pictures.

11. There will be a visit to King's Dominion, and lots of concerts.

12. There will be visits with friends, and family.

13. There will be church, and work, and lots of time at home...and a visit for ME to Women of Faith.

What are your plans for the rest of the month?

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, July 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: To the Red, White and Blue

Go see the other entries at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy (Late) July 4th!!

I hope all of you had a great weekend! We sure did.


Thursday we drove out of town in the early afternoon, arriving at Jason's parents' home in time for a late dinner and bed. After 6 hours on the road, we were TIRED, and had to be up early in the morning.


Friday started early, with two of the kids taking off with their Papa, to go pick up the World War II era Jeep they were to ride in for the parade. The rest of us (3 adults and 4 children) hurried to get out of the house to get into town and get good spots for the parade.

On the way there, we drove by the house we built in 1998....I never had any pictures of the outside of it, so I got a few!!

(That is the only proof I have that *I* was actually there...see me the mirror?)

It is a sad, strange comfort to me that the new owners still have not done anything with the front yard...that same yard that we did nothing with in the entire two years we owned the place....and which they have now had for 7 or 8 years.....

Then, on to the parade....



....floats with airplanes....

....Boy Scouts...

....School bands...

(This is the school my oldest attended for kindergarten and part of first grade)

(The hospital where 4 of my children were born)

....old cars.... queens....

....politicians (IN old cars).... cars....

....tractors.... teams... special Jeep....with a couple of special Marines (Hi, FIL!) and two really cute kids!!

....soldiers and sailors...

....and CAMELS!!! (Oh, my!!!)

And lots of pictures of my husband, mother-in-law and cute kids!

(My favorite picture of the whole weekend...MY Wonderful Sailor!!)