Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All I want for Christmas

*Singing in a Chipmunk voice* Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for toys and time for cheer..."

I'll save the Alvin and the Chipmunks reunion tour for later...for now I will instead just ramble on about whatever comes flying into my brain...cause that usually how I operate...

Seriously, it is now officially Christmas time at the Hawthorne house. Now there has been long a debate in our home over the family Christmas tree. Many of you will laugh, but it is a serious conversation that comes up several times a year and usually results in one of us saying to the other "you're a retard". (In the most loving manner possible, I assure you) My husband INSISTS on having a live Christmas tree every year. He claims that an artificial tree is fake and that he will not have "fake Christmas" because then we would be required to have fake presents, fake Christmas dinner and the like. I prefer the "fake" tree because it doesn't require constant attention to ensure our house doesn't burn to the ground (and that's the way I've always done it). The argument usually includes testimonies to the benefits of each person's preferred tree as well as insults to the other person's preferred tree. Including my favorite, the artificial tree always looks good from any angle, but a real one always has a "bad side" and there have been years when the bad side has been all the way around. I'm all for lookin' good. We have, however, come to an understanding that if Mr. Smartypants is here to retrieve and help decorate the tree, we will have a real one. If he is deployed I will put up the artificial one.
This year, the argument took a new turn. We are getting to go to Texas for Christmas (yee haw!!!) and will be gone for a couple of weeks (thank you Uncle Sam for inventing Christmas Exodus at TRADOC bases all over the Armed Forces). This created a problem. Being gone so long meant that a real tree would not survive our vacation and our house might burn down while we were gone. My husband's solution? Don't put one up at all. Huh??? Can we say "Bah Humbug". A tree must go up. We argued (nicely, I promise) about the tree for several days, debating the reasons we needed a tree up even though we were gonna be gone as well as the reasons we shouldn't bother. If you look at the picture, you can tell who won. He even gave in and let me put up the artificial tree (probably because I made the point we would have to take down the real one the night before we left town). Please know that I gave him the option of having his "real" tree.
Now some of you might argue that Mr. Smartypants was right all along and we shouldn't even bother. But let me leave you with this thought:

Christmas isn't just about one day. Christmas is a season where we prepare ourselves for one day. The one day is to celebrate. Not a day of food and presents and Santa Claus, but one day to celebrate a Birthday. THE birthday. HIS birthday. The Christmas season is another word for Advent, or a time to prepare for a coming of a King. Whether you celebrate HIS birthday or celebrate a chance to feast with family and friends, each symbol of the holiday gives us that warm fuzzy that only comes this time of year. Each warm fuzzy puts us in a better spirit, and makes us want to give and share with others. This is one time of year when we, without thinking, put others before ourselves. Is this not the spirit of Christ in us, as much as the spirit of Christmas? So take time to stare at your Christmas tree for that warm fuzzy, then use the warm fuzzy to remember why we have Christmas in the first place, and then put that warm fuzzy to action by giving (your time, your money or your talents) to spread not just Christmas cheer, but Christ Himself.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I would have pictures but who wants pictures of drool...

Moose is the last planned baby for the Herd. I say planned because I'm a firm believer that if God wants you to have more children, he's gonna give 'em to ya. Ask some of my friends who were surprised to find themselves pregnant when they shouldn't have been. So, he's the last PLANNED baby, and I'm, of course, spoiling him rotten and hoping he will stay little forever.

But, alas, they must grow up. And moms must be sad about this. My sweet tiny baby Moose is no longer tiny. He's still sweet as chocolate and biscuits, but he's not tiny. Matter of fact, he's getting so big that he has already sprouted his first tooth. It broke through yesterday. I cried. My baby's growing up fast. He's packing his car for college tomorrow in case anyone wants to say goodbye.

I would have posted pictures of our new tooth, but all you would have seen was my finger in his mouth and a WHOLE LOT of drool. And no one wants to look at puddles of drool...especially from someone else's kid.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Change is good

Maybe you've noticed a little change around here. Maybe you've noticed a new catch-phrase if you will. Maybe you've noticed A NEW TITLE. Yes, you are no longer visiting The Mommy Diaries; you are now visiting the blog Stirring Up Dust. I decided it was time for a change, time for something a little more original. There are other blogs out there with "The Mommy Diaries" as a title and I really wanted a catchy title to go with my subtitle. If you have ever been witness to anything close to a stampede, you know that the dust gets stirred up quickly. I felt it was appropriate. Everywhere we go, we stir up dust. So, going forward, this place, this blog will simply be called "Stirring Up Dust". I would ask that you continue to follow the Hawthorne Herd as we go Stampeding through life. Stick around, it promises to be entertaining.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Silly Saturdays

Having four children, three of which are three and under, makes for interesting attempts at family photos. My husband and I recently took the herd off into the woods for the ever-coveted Fall foliage family picture. We were gonna use them on our Christmas cards. Let's just say I'm working on plan B. Please note that it was raining that day and we had to run between the van and the photo-op spot during periods of let-up. Here are the resulting photos. The Hawthorne Herd is entertaining at least.

This was one of the better ones.

This was me trying to figure out the timer on the camera.

Not bad, if I hadn't been off in left field by myself, and if Scratchy had smiled.

Cheesey grins and a frown, not to mention Sean was really distracted.

Itchy had put her hand up in her face and we were moaning because we just knew she had been caught in the picture....looks like we were the ones caught.

There is still candy corn in the bowl...

And if there is still candy corn in the bowl, then it must still be Halloween, right? Well, maybe not, but I thought I'd share some of our pictures from this year's trick or treat fest.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One of the most important jobs we have as parents

I recently read an article on CNN's website that truly makes me sick. The entire story is disturbing. There are other reports that the school had the nerve to blame the girl's parents. REALLY?? The criminals in this situation are sick individuals and will pay their due. The school is already receiving bad press and will ultimately pay in reputation and community anger. But what happens to the onlookers who did NOTHING for over 2 HOURS??
As parents there are many things we must teach our children. Reading, Spelling, tying shoes, brushing teeth. We teach them about Jesus, about being nice to others, but are we failing to teach them to watch out for and avoid "mob mentality"? Are we teaching them by words and examples to never stand by and watch someone be wronged? Are we teaching them that sometimes the "right way" is also the "hard way"? Have we taught them to have courage to ALWAYS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES stand up for what is right, regardless of consequences? I have found myself having the "not my problem" syndrome. My example teaches my children.
At some point we have to hope the world will look out for our children. We can not shelter them for life. As a parent, I would hope, if my child were a victim of a crime, that some other parent, somewhere had done the hard thing, the right thing and taught their kids to stand up for what is right ALWAYS. I know I'll be trying to do a better job of that myself. May God shower love and grace on this poor girl and her family.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Name that poet

Here's a little challenge for all my blog readers...

My family and I recently took a little journey. I love Missouri. There are really four real seasons here. Not like Texas where we have two...summer and notsummer. I took a few(dozen) pictures of the trees and while going through them (got my computer to work, see last post if confused) the beautiful scenery brought to mind a little tidbit from my past...

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And I, I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So, name that poem/author. I couldn't help myself. I saw this picture and those words came flooding back. I believe, although might be mistaken, Mrs. Klepper's 8th grade English class??? Leave me a comment, name that poem, name that author, name that English class. I'll brag on whoever does it first!

While you scratch your head or think about all the (good, bad or ugly) memories that have come flooding back, here are some more pictures for you to enjoy and be jealous of. These were all taken about 5 miles from my house! There are advantages to being stuck out in the middle of nowhere Missouri.

Grand intentions

I often have the grandest intentions of doing things, but for some reason can't seem to get around to following through on those. This time is different, I promise. I had grand intentions of sharing pictures from a particularly wet thing my family did recently. As I sat down only moments ago, to load the pictures from the camera to the computer, I realized my computer would not read my SD card from my camera. Now, I have done this exact thing a million times and never had a problem. My husband sat down last night and messed with it and now it doesn't work. Now, I'm not pointing fingers or laying blame or anything......but, if the shoe get it. So now I must spend time trying to figure out what is wrong with this piece of junk, I mean wonderful computer....wish me luck.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

O Brother

Brothers are special people. My brother is pretty special (and today I don't even mean special ed). Mr. Smartypants and his brother have a unique relationship. They couldn't be more different, but love each other inspite of their differences. Now, I'm not a boy, obviously, so I don't get the whole brother-brother relationship but I get that it is unique as I've been able to watch my husband and his brother. I look forward to seeing what happens in ten or twenty years with this:

Gotta love the brother bond. They were watching cartoons together.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The post with no title

I really have no title, just wanted to share this picture of the herd with everyone. Fall is arriving around here and we are beginning to dress as such. Hats are all the rage this season.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty may

indeed be

just in the eye

of the beholder

but behold this

because this is truly beautiful.

Finally...after all that waiting

Are you sick of waiting on me to get my act together yet? Well, I'm finally getting it together just for you, just because I love you all so. Really, I do....I swear. Okay, so not as much as my kids or my husband, but I still love ya bunches.....

Enough I have this exciting new surprise that has kept me busy and away from my computer...and no, it isn't another baby...those of you who thought that will be lined up and shot at will. By a really large firing squad that is really scary looking. I promise...

Okay, we go. Can you guess???

We have a new place to live!!!!!
Now this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but as Lesli and Debra can testify to, my previous digs were anything but spacious. I've seen ants with bigger houses than what we had. All six of us were crammed into a very small 3 bedroom house with no garage. We literally lived on top of our stuff. We had been on a list for larger quarters since last November. Finally we got called. What a glorious day. The new place is much newer and MUCH MUCH larger. We actually have a place for everything we own! And all our children too. Please pardon the dirty laundry and piles of randomness that appear in every picture. We were moving and hadn't quite gotten settled when these pictures were taken. We are much more settled now, although parts of my house are still a mess (like my closet, go figure). Mr. Smartypants and I are basking in the glory of space. A commodity that was hard to come by a few weeks ago.

A side note:
after looking at the pictures I just posted, I realized they in no way do our house justice in reference to the space we have. The rooms are larger than they appear. I'm a crappy photographer. What can I say?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Surprises, New and Exciting

I realize it has been some time since my last post and I apologize to all of you who have apparently been stopping by frequently to check to see if I have anything new and exciting for you. Well, I have a really good reason for the temporary abandonment of my postings. I'm still really tied up and busy with said reason, however, I will reveal to all of you in short order, what has caused my absence. I'm sure many of you will be as excited as I am (or at least close). For now however, I have some UFC Ultimate Fighter to suffer through. Apparently my husband knows one of the contestants personally. They apparently swapped sweat (that sounds almost as disgusting as my husband used to smell after those "fights") at the Mixed Martial Arts gym my husband trained at when we lived in Texas. Well, I'll get back to you soon with the exciting new surprise. For now, I must go see what the banging is coming from downstairs.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Eating socks.

Okay, just when you all thought the washing machine debacle was over, here we go again. Sort of. I ran the front-loading washing machine cleaner through my wash on Thursday and it still didn't work. Actually, it seemed to get worse. Now, we knew that my washing machine was probably really dirty, but I would have thought the cleaner would have helped. It didn't. So on Friday, I took the herd to escort Noodle to the airport and Mr. Smartypants worked on my washing machine. It was, in fact, very dirty. He compared what came out of the drain hose to toxic waste that was probably illegal in every state but Louisiana. So, yes, my machine was very dirty, but that isn't all. There is apparently a small catch basket that sits just outside the washing machine drum to catch larger debris before it goes into the drain hose. Uh, when he opened that up, he found not one, but TWO socks, clogging the little basket. Ya, two socks were causing my laundry nightmare. My washing machine was EATING MY SOCKS. So, if you think your dryer is eating your socks, think's probably your washing machine.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Do I have too many kids?

The title of this blog is not an attempt to allow you to decide for me if I have too many kids or not, but instead, a post about personal decisions and respect for those. A wildly popular blogger that I regularly read just posted this post about the Dugger family and their recent announcement that baby 19 is on the way. The post made me start thinking (I actually had time for that this morning...I only have three children today) about my own family. Now, four kids isn't really all that many kids. There are lots of families around us with 5, 6 or even 8 kids. I consider those to be big families. Not mine. Its funny, though, because I still get strange looks when I go places. I'm sure I'm quite the sight: two kids in a stroller, one strapped on my chest and another tagging behind me yelling, "mom! mom!" I took Noodle to the airport yesterday to catch a plane to go see his Grandmother in Chicago for the weekend. I got lots of comments about the red hair on the twins, loads more about having my hands full (and yes, I will agree that my hands are full) and even one question about how many were mine (I also had Noodle's 17 year-old half brother with me). Mr. Smartypants and I carefully considered and discussed the total number of children we would have after the twins were born. My nice even number of four children did not happen by accident. We decided to have a baby with the twins and were blessed by two, Moose was also very planned and agreed upon ahead of time. (I won't lie to you, we were relieved there was only one of him). We have agreed that we are most likely done (unless someone who loves us very much wins the lottery) as our resources will limit the number of children we feel we can raise and at some point I would like for all of them to go to school so I can go to the bathroom alone and it not be 3am. But everywhere I go, I get looks. Most in amusement at the circus (and I'll be the first to admit, we are a circus), some in amazement that I so successfully contain them in the afor mentioned manor. Some in disdain because I have so many small children. I got a new look yesterday in the airport: the "please God, don't let her be on my flight" look. He he he...the shock people will be in for at the gate going to Germany if Uncle Sam sends us there next! Can you imagine sitting next to us for an international flight?!? ha ha...even I wouldn't want to sit next to us. All the airport jokes aside, my family is the exact right size for US. We are blessed beyond all reason and I couldn't imagine life without any of my kids. I realize that 4 kids isn't for everyone and that we all choose to have or not have children according to our own lives.
I would beg of you to read the blog I linked to above. She says it better than I ever could. And when you see a mom with many children, even if they're acting like kids, comment to her what a beautiful family she has. If they're well behaved and you notice, say something to her. I know from experience that it will probably make her smile, and she'll feel a little bit better about having to take ALL her kids to the grocery store even when she doesn't want to. And thanks, from the bottom of my heart, for keeping the "she's crazy" and "are they ever gonna stop" comments about me in your head. I know you've had 'em. So have I.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pointing fingers

Whenever you point a finger at someone else, you always have four pointing back at yourself. I remember hearing this time after time as a kid. Don't blame someone else because chances are you're to blame, too. Man, I hate it when that turns out to be true. As previously noted, my washing machine has been on the blitz. It's been flashing error codes at me. It's not working, it has had a funny smell for a couple of months. It's all the movers' fault. Then I checked the Whirlpool website to see what the error codes meant. I'm a retard, and its okay because I can admit it. It's looking like the movers didn't break my washing machine. In fact, it may not be broken at all. It may be *gasp* dirty!!! How does a washing machine get dirty, you ask? Well, apparently it is a problem with front loading machines. Because they use so little water, the drain hoses don't get rinsed as well as their top-loading sisters' hoses. This causes all the nasty that was in you clothes to gum up in the drain hoses in your washing machine....eeewww gross....this causes your machine to not be able to drain properly...causing the computer system to kick out the appropriate error codes. Go figure...I need to wash my washing machine.
I'll be purchasing a special cleaner for front loading machines tomorrow, and Mr. Smartypants will take apart my drain hoses to make sure they're clean and kink-free. After all that, I hope that my machine will run appropriately. And if you happen to work for the moving company that moved us to the woods...I owe you an apology. I am sincerely sorry that I blamed you for my dirty washing machine.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I must be doing something right...

I've always heard that when you're on the right track and doing it right, that Satan will work his hardest to ruin it for you. Well, I must be doing something right. There's an old saying that my mother always uses: When it rains it pours. Well, it's been pouring at my house lately, and the sun is shining so we all know it ain't the wet, watery kind of pour. No, no. I would kill for the pouring to be rain. Instead it is broken things...lots of broken things. I will explain by giving a run-down of my day yesterday. I need to add a little back ground information so you understand the depth of the husband's car is on the fritz. Looks like we'll be purchasing a new vehicle soon....very soon. So I get up yesterday morning and start my normal routine. I check my email to find that I have to take snacks to PWOC....snap, no time to fix anything from scratch so that means I'll have to stop by Einstein Brothers Bagels with all three little ones...not exactly my favorite activity, but no big deal. We can do it. Then I go downstairs and my washing machine has a funny code on the digital display. I have one of those cool front loading jobs that lets you wash every garment in wal-mart all at the same time. A necessity if you have a herd of children like I do. Anyway, funny display, so I restart the washer thinking one of the herd had messed with it. Uh, no. A little while later I checked on it again and it was flashing a different error code and had lights blinking all over it...uh...not good. So I fiddle with it and soon realize that it isn't all. It's washing, and even rinsing a little, but it won't go into the spin cycle. Now if you've ever done laundry, you know this is necessary in order for you to be able to DRY your clothes. So my washer is officially not doing so hot. It will cost $130 to get Sears out here to service this. We're convinced that this has something to do with the movers that moved us to the woods. They didn't properly "lock" my washing machine and we're pretty sure it damaged it, but we couldn't prove it because there was no visible damage and the machine still worked....until now. And its too late to file a claim. Okay, snot boogers, the washing machine is busted and I still have to go get bagels. So I ignore the dripping wet wash sitting in my machine. Dress 3/4 of my herd (the other 1/4 had dressed himself and escaped for school knowing I would spontaniously combust at any moment) and herd them out the door so we can get to PWOC on time. Things run pretty smoothly, even the stop for bagels. I get to PWOC and realize that I have left my nursing cover at home. I need to feed Moose. I have no blanket, no cover, nothing. And I'm a modest girl. I was in a room full of women who would have been gracious and supportive had I chosen to "pop it out" but I can't bring myself to do that. Yay me! I have no cover. I manage to borrow one from a friend (bless her heart) and all is well again. I finish feeding Moose and we're enjoying praise and worship. Another friend with big kids picks up Moose to love on him, because who doesn't want to hold a cute chubby least until he pukes all over you....which he promptly puked all down her shirt. And it wasn't just a was a LOT. Bless her, she laughed, wiped it, and was okay. But Moose wasn't. He spent the ENTIRE day throwing up everything he ate....and I mean EVERYTHING. The reason you ask? He doesn't tolerate barbque sauce, I guess. And no, I'm not feeding my newborn barbque, I fed myself barbque, which apparently I can't eat while breast feeding. Along with Mexican food, Italian food, Chinese food, raw veggies, salad, sweet potatoes (even cooked) or dairy. He's doing a little better today, but man, yesterday was messy and gross. So my day isn't going so hot, but my attitude is hanging in there. I even manage to fix dinner for the kids before I leave for evening Bible study and a meeting at church. I manage to be late leaving the house because I was discussing the washing machine with Mr. Smartypants. I knew I was running late, so I stopped at the shopette (convience store for you non-military types) and went to grab my wallet. No wallet. Seriously. Come on now. The following is for you, Debra: I searched my (very messy) car high and low. It's nowhere. I call Mr. Smartypants, highly irritated that I've done this again, and ask if he can find it. He starts looking at go. It finally dawns on me that I had the stroller out earlier in the day...hmmm. Well, of course, there's my wallet, right where I left it in the worst place possible, under the stroller in the cargo hold. So now, I'm officially gonna be late even if I speed. No big deal, I have small children and everyone is late occassionally. I head into the shopette for a Dr. Pepper. Now all of you know how much I LOVE my Dr. Pepper. Some of you have even threatened to have it pumped into me in IV form. I go in to get a nice big icey one from the soda fountain.......(everyone, all together now) it was OUT. Now, my best friend who is reading this understands the catostrophic disaster this is. After a bad day, a Dr. Pepper is a need, not a want. When they're out of Dr. Pepper over ice it becomes hurricane Katrina level disaster. So I settled for Coke, my heart breaking with every sip, and head off to church, where I arrive 15 minutes late. They hear my story at the end of Bible study and proceed to pray for me...and my washing machine. At the end of the day, I still had my sense of humor. Satan didn't win this I must be doing something right.

Update: The toilet didn't need scrubbing today.

Just to let everyone know, the toilet at PWOC didn't need scrubbing yesterday. But my real toilet still needs scrubbing...I should probably go do that now...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Scrubbing Toilets

I received an email this morning reminding me that I had volunteered myself to help out in the child care area during my Protestant Women of the Chapel (here forward known as PWOC) Tuesday morning Bible study this coming Tuesday. I had totally forgotten, as I had put my name on the list back in June around the time this was going on. I am more than happy to help out because I have the twins in the program (Sean hangs with me right now) and I feel I should give back to the program that gives me so much (peace, quiet, and sanity). When I was younger, back before I had kids, I thought working child care/church nursery was a great thing to do and a wonderful ministry. Then I had kids...the child care/nursery became less of an awesome ministry and more of a neccessity in my eyes. And a much less desirable place to be. Hey, I'm ringmaster of my own circus 24-7, I don't want to run a circus full of other people's kids too. In spite of the fact that the nursery is the least of my favorite volunteer jobs, I understand the neccessity of it and want to bless other moms so they can have some sanity. Because let's all face it...everyone needs a break from their toddlers now and then. Apparently, I am not the only one who feels like child care is next to toilet scrubbing in the line of chores....way at the bottom of the favorites list. Our child care chairwoman has a difficult time keeping enough volunteers to keep child care going some weeks. And let me explain...we have PAID workers, but our budget only allows for a certain number and if our ratio of workers to kids gets too big we have to rely on volunteers to step up and help out. With that said, its usually not neccessary for anyone to help out, but some weeks we get a really big crowd and have to have one or two extra sets of hands. This shouldn't be so difficult, but it has been. A dear friend was in charge of this for part of the year last year and wanted to pull her hair out because she couldn't get any help. I'm struck by the fact that Christ tells us to "serve one another in love" (Galatians 5:13). Just like we scrub toilets so our families can have a healthy, clean home, so must we "scrub toilets" for our sisters in Christ. Do you have a toilet in your life that no one wants to scrub? Maybe you should just step up and scrub it. It will most definitely bless someone else and maybe they will want to give a blessing to someone else next time and step up and scrub that toilet.
All this talk about scrubbing toilets reminds me that I have real toilets of my own that really do need scrubbing....a mother's work in NEVER done. Now where did I put that bowl brush.....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Walking through Darkness

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. It's a fact of life. Two people who have devoted their lives to God and would make the world's best parents are left childless. The high school coach/Sunday school teacher gets a horrible form of cancer that is hard to beat. We know these people. They are friends, relatives, loved ones. We cry out to God and ask "Why, Lord?? Why would you let this happen?" I've often found myself saying that. More times than I care to count. I used to think it was that my faith wasn't strong enough to be able to look at a dark situation and be confident that the best would come from it. I've learned that it isn't the case, that even the most devote followers of Christ often cry those words. And it's okay. He may not answer us right away when we cry out that question, but it's okay to ask. Job cried out and asked why. He was a man of great faith but still wanted to know why God would take everything from him. So asking why isn't a problem. What we can take away from Job is the fact that Job had great faith and knew without doubt that God was still God and there was a reason why. Because of his faith, Job continued to praise God, despite of his lack of understanding why. We should follow Job's example. God has a great reason for everything. Even dragging us what feels like a million miles from where we want to be. Today, I am going to choose to be like Job, praising God even when I don't understand why.
God uses the darkness we walk through for good. Isaiah 61:2 claims there are "treasures of darkness" and He uses them so that we "may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel".
The next time darkness falls in my life, I want to choose to praise Him in spite of the darkness, know that the darkness holds riches that will form me into a better person, and a more faithful child of God.
If we can get through the darkness, God has promised us better things on the other side:

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.
-Psalm 40:1-3

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Classic beach bum (without the beach)

So I've been really bad about posting as of late. Can I help it that this gets in my way???

Life in the Hawthorne house is busy, to say the least. A newborn, potty-training twins, a second-grader getting ready for school to start and a husband who not only works but also goes to school full time keep me SUPER busy (go figure). Not to mention church choir, praise team, teaching Sunday school, the ladies ministry, Tuesday night Bible study and PWOC tuesday morning Bible study as well as the PWOC board (I'm the outreach chairwoman). Oh and of course there's this in order to make a little spending money. I have a list of excuses for not posting as often as I should. But, then again, in the words of my high school's boys' basket ball coach, Chuck Claxton, "excuses are like feet, we all got 'em and they all stink." So I will continue to try to blog, because I like it, because it helps you keep up with us, because it gives me an outlet. You people are like my very public diary (don't worry, I won't be sharing anything that secret with you). I will continue to post and try to do it as often as possible. I'm not sure when the next post will hit, but in the mean time, check out the blogs listed on the right. There are plenty of great blogs to read until I have time to give you some more of my own!

Friday, July 24, 2009

You ask, I deliver...because I'm good like that

Recently, a dear friend pointed out that I had not shared many pictures of my sweet new boy. I told her I would get on that and refrained from pointing out that she had not shared pictures of her sweet, slightly older baby boy either....not that I'm counting the days since the last picture (23 days if you're curious).

Anyway, here are some pictures of Moose for your viewing pleasure...

This is Moose at his very first baseball game...he was super interested in watching Noodle play ball.

The next two are of Moose's first bath...not so fond of it...much like Itchy and Scratchy were.

Here is another picture of all our "brats". Moose was a novelty...not so much now, the twins just think he's in the way a lot.
That's all for now...Moose is hollering for his mid-morning snack.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Our new neighbor

Life in the military has its share of ups and downs. One of them being moving all the time. We live in military housing here at good ol' Ft. Lost in the Woods so all of our neighbors are also military. Moving trucks are a common occurrence and it's no big deal to see two or more in the neighborhood on the same day. New neighbors are a given in our life, and they run the range from nosey to friendly to nasty to down right stand-offish. Our newest neighbor seems to flex between nosey (or maybe just really curious) to stand-offish. Check him (or her, we're not sure) out.

He lives in the trees behind our house and often spends his evenings perched on the powerlines that run back there. He seems very curious about us when we choose to hang out on the back patio. I think it disturbs him that Mr. Smartypants was cooking his cousin, the chicken, the other night.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wow, It's been a while

Okay, so it's been a while since I've posted anything consistently. I'm gonna try to do better (yes, I'm aware I've said that before...I'm trying, cut me some slack). I have several ideas for some upcoming posts so I have material. Before I get to the really boring pointless stuff I'll do an update on the Herd's recent activities...

Noodle is in Texas at Granny and Granddaddy's house cruising his new go-kart courtesy of Granddaddy. If I only had pictures to share with you. This of course means the twins are back from their adventures with Granny and Granddaddy and Mimi and David. So life has somewhat returned to normal around here. My living room is always a mess and I never have enough hours in my day to get all my housework done. I'm too busy yelling at the twins to quit coloring on the walls. Moose is growing like a weed. All the boy does is eat and then he'll eat some more. I'm often tied to the chair for two hours at a time. I'm curious to see what he will weigh at his 2 month check-up. He was already 9 lbs 7 oz at the two week check up. Mr. Smartypants finishes up this 8-week session of college this week with two finals so he's been busy with his nose buried in his math book for several days. I'll get my husband back on Thursday when he finishes his last final. He'll be all mine (and Uncle Sam's of course) for a week or two before the next session starts.
Moose has been quite the celebrity since deciding to show up. We've had all kinds of visitors. Of course, there was the visit by Granny and Aunt Mistie, Mimi and David also came to see him. One of the most exciting visits was a visit from my one of my college roommates and another friend. They drove all the way in from Houston to hang with us for the 4th of July weekend. Unfortunately, middle of nowhere Missouri isn't all that exciting. We did manage to get in some fireworks with Debra and Brandy and the K family (another army family with small children). The pictures are pretty crappy but I was too busy having fun to worry about the quality of my pictures.

Mr. Smartypants actually had the day off.
Noodle and the K's oldest daughter played together before the sun set while we were getting our fireworks-viewing station all set up.
Moose enjoyed his first 4th of July. He's all of a whopping 9 days old here.

The K's are a hysterically funny pair...and they love self portraits. They must, because there were 4 other able bodied adults who could have done this for them...

Debra and Brandy settle in with the rest of us crazy people to watch the 'works.