Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reusable Lunch Stuff

What to do with some leftover fabric? How about reusable lunch bags?

I made these lunch baggies in a jiffy. The liner is waterproof and food safe (it is the lining used for making diaper covers). It has a Velcro closure so it is easy for the kids to open and close. Now I don't have to add more plastic baggies to the landfill. If you start out with an 8x8 square it will end out the exact size of a sandwich bag.

Guess what a couple of dishtowels can make? Reusable napkins for the lunch box. One dish towel makes about six 5x6 napkins. The girls love them.

Off Road Biking

Don't cry sweetie pie. (I'd cry too if I had gravel in my palm. She loves to ride her bike so I think it hurt her spirit as much as her hand.)
Not rugged.

They love exploring.


Skipping rocks.

There goes what makes up my heart.

Cool pic, huh?

Gene loves to go trail riding... it makes him happy. Now he has the girls hooked on it and they like to go on early-out Wednesdays after school.

They always come home so pumped and proud of themselves. I had to reclaim some cool points so I told them that until I had married their Dad that I had only ridden my bike on trails and gravel roads. Oops - now I had to put my money where my mouth was.

I agreed to go riding with them. It wasn't as serene as the pictures - there were a few wrecks. I walked or rode away with a few sprains and pulled muscles. But hey - it's all good. I'll try again in the spring (once I have given my body time to heal).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Swinging & Joyful

Some days I wish I could capture the feeling I had when I was swinging at the playground when I was a little girl.

Do remember what that felt like? Isn't that what we want to feel like everyday?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Veteran's Day "Your Soldier. Your love."

Veteran's Day was yesterday. Gene put on his uniform and went to the school to participate in a flag raising ceremony, hand out pencils, and enjoy the choir singing America the Beautiful. I didn't go. I joked with my friends that I didn't go because I wanted to shower and have some free time.

The truth is that I can't see a soldier, especially Gene, listen to children singing America the Beautiful. I can't watch my soldier interact with all those smiling grateful children. I can't observe Boy Scouts taking special care when handling the American flag. Being a part of the celebration would open a hole in my heart.

I would have been forced to remember all the times that he missed out on important unforgettable moments with the girls;
all the times the girls fell apart because they needed their Daddy;

all the nights I heard a creak in the house and didn't sleep while I imagined ways I would protect my little family;
all the times I wondered if I would be enough if Gene didn't make it home.

My pride and gratitude is great but some moments my pain is greater. Moments that trigger my emotions make me feel weak - even though I know God has given me strength. I would have sobbed through the morning and I chose a shower instead.

This morning my friend, who is also a military wife, posted this article on her Facebook page. The author of the article wrote a part of my heart. It is good to know that these feelings I have are not mine alone.

The first part of the article talks about deployments and is quite poignant.

When my husband was deployed, I repeatedly pictured myself at his funeral, speaking through tears to the sad assemblage in West Point's Old Cadet Chapel. I mediated the chaos of potential loss by embracing it. Fantasizing about it. Playacting it.

This next section is the mirror image of what it feels like when I look for Gene.

First there is the broad category of pride: the singular distinction of loving, and being loved by, an American soldier. Then, golden glimpses so brief, if you blink, you'll miss them, like the moment you approach a group of soldiers, knowing that your man is among them. Somewhere. You start scanning the crowd. And suddenly, within the uniform, uniformed mass, he appears. Your soldier. Your love.

As you draw closer, your blood races, each pulsing beat saying, "Mine, mine, mine," though you know he's never entirely yours, for the Army has its hold on him, too. But as you come near, he sees you right back and in that brilliant instant of recognition, the guard drops, and there he is, the he of him: the laugh, the posture, the distinguishing quirk. As your gazes hold, maybe he smiles a little, or a lot, and there is a palpable exchange - my heart for yours - made without a single word.

Enough said.

If you would like to read all of this article here it is
The Quiet Side of Being A Soldier's Other Half it's only two pages but she gets to the heart, my heart, of the matter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Gigi was a part of the Harrison Choir's presentation of Possibilities. There were ninety 4th and 5th graders willing to miss recess for two months to sing this program. It was beautiful and they all did so well.
Gigi even wore a skirt for the event. You know she is serious when she wants to dress-up!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Some days I am needed more than others.

Greta has yelled for me five times so far during her shower.


What soap do I use? (there is only one container of body wash)

I can't use that. Dad uses it and I am a woman!!!!


What do I do next? (uhmmm, have you washed your hair or your body?)


What do I wash my hair with? (shampoo? The one and only bottle of shampoo in the shower. The girl can read!)


My band aid fell off. (it would be a shame if soap and water got on that boo-boo)

COULDN'T YOU COME HERE FASTER SO I DON'T HAVE TO YELL!!! (she says this while yelling at me)

Now she is sitting beside me crying because she has to put on pajamas after her shower.

I have been thinking a lot about gratitude. Let's see, I have a clean little girl who has a good set of lungs. Thank you God. No really, I mean it... or I will as soon I peak in on her tonight while she is asleep.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where to go?

Seoul, Korea

Vicenza, Italy

Huntsville, Alabama

Honolulu, Hawaii

It is finally November!
Why do you think I am so excited about November? It's not the turkey or the pumpkin pie. It's not the falling leaves and crisp sunny days, although I really enjoy this weather. This is the month that the Army is supposed to send us our options for our next PCS.

There will be so many. I had no idea there would be so many. Gene informed me today that there will 200 or so "opportunities". Many of those jobs aren't appropriate for Gene and others are places that we don't want to live. But there will be enough to be excited about. I have zero desire to live at Ft. Bragg or Ft. Hood. Those are GIANT military posts. I want to live someplace where military people normally don't live. How about a place we would like to go for a vacation but could never afford to go... a place we haven't been... a place where we can dream. I want an adventure. We want an adventure... a safe adventure that might involve another country. But then again, Iowa has been an adventure that we have truly enjoyed.
Home is where the Army send us.

Gene has to rate all 200 or so choices and then we wait, and wait, and wait until January. Then we find out our fate. The Army may or may not consider what we rank as number one. We may end out with number 199. It is all a gamble. Either way, we will move some place new and make it an adventure. I just can't wait to see what's out there waiting for us.

Monday, November 1, 2010


The thing about Halloween costumes is that if allowed - without my input - the girls will represent themselves perfectly. They did exactly that this year.

Last year, against her will, Gigi went as a mermaid - only because I found an amazing costume at Goodwill. This year she was a viking. Nothing frilly, glittery, or poofy - just strong. It fit her to a tee.

Greta loves extravagance but she is also practical. She likes to pick a costume that she can use for the rest of year as she plays dress-up. All hail to the Majestic Queen. She wasn't just a queen but a majestic queen! I think it took her a week of practicing the pronunciation of majestic before she said it correctly.

I wonder what my costume would be if I got to choose....