Sunday, June 19, 2011

Losing My Mind

The stress of moving is great. It is a big jumble of messes, necessities, confusion, and ups and downs... all in the course of a day. In the middle of all this daily life continues. Swim lessons continue. Softball games continue. Dirty laundry continues. But most importantly, I continue.

I continue to try to give my girls something fun to do every day of summer break. We continue to have play dates with those friends we will miss dearly. We eat a little bit more ice cream than we normally would. Some days Gene and I forget to touch base and schedules get messed up but for the most part we are patient with each other.

I continue to feel a little bit more anxiety each day... I can't tolerate any additional outside stress from the normal so I try to protect myself and my family. The girls are feeling the stress also... they say things that they normally wouldn't say and they wear their feelings on their sleeves. They are incredibly sensitive right now. While they are in such a vulnerable state, I am trying to be more patient and pulling the girls in close so they can avoid some of the hurts that may come their way. I am holding their hand in new or difficult situations. We are talking about the unknown and what to expect. I don't have a lot of answers for their questions. What will their new school be like? What sports will they play? Where will Gigi take piano lessons? Will they get their own rooms... for the first time?

How am I staying sane? Some may question me using the term "sane." Gene and I are going to softball games and CHEERING for Gigi and watching Greta play with her softball friends. Greta has this knack for making new friends at Gigi's games. I am working daily on getting ready for the move by sorting through all of our belongings. There is something cleansing for the soul in the act of simplifying your life. One of my favorite things to do to relax is to lose myself in a book. I am reading The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey which is a story of an elderly man who is losing his mind but finding love from his family. Ptolemy's story inspired this post. There are a lot of things to learn from books.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spring Trip to Ms. Effie's

I love Ms Effie's!
There are new re-usable sandwich bags and fun summer totes in the Summer Kitchen for sale. I should have taken some pictures of them to show you but I was lucky to remember my camera to take some springtime pics of Ms. Effie's and the girls.
The flowers aren't blooming just yet but the kitties are adorable. If Greta has any say in it, this little bundle of love will be known as Lulu.
I don't remember if the little beauty is Fuzzy or Wuzzy but I know that we were the lucky ones to name him.

"Pretty Eggs from Pretty Chickens" It is reassuring to know where my eggs come from. Plus, farm fresh eggs are delicious.
This is the way the girls like it.... watching other people work!

Military Appreciaton Night at The River Bandits

The River Bandits is a Single A farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals (GO CARDS) here in the Quad Cities. We were honored when they hosted Military Appreciation Night and gave all active duty military families the opportunity to get free tickets. It got even better when Gigi and Greta were invited to start off the game by leading the crowd with The Pledge of Allegiance.
Gigi and Greta were quite nervous to stand in front of the huge crowd but their friends who came with us, who are also military kids, got to join them. I had to laugh when the microphone was handed to Greta and she refused to take it. She accidentally says The Girl Scout Promise when she starts off saying the Pledge and she didn't want to make that mistake! The night was a hit and the girls had a fabulous time watching the game and playing in the bounce area.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Camping at Eden Valley Refuge

Here is our home away from home. It was so private and peaceful. We even got to bring Friday and didn't have to worry about other dogs.

Just a beautiful picture of Gigi.
Friday had a great time. He LOVES to play fetch with his tennis ball. When someone wasn't throwing it he would lay down and stare at with all the ball obsession a border collie can muster.
This has to be one of my favorite pics of our family... Gigi is being goofy
and Greta is doing her own thing.
Our lovely friends who are always up for a fun outing came to visit and hike with us.
We all climbed the tower and enjoyed the view. I bet this place is amazing a little later in the year when the flowers are blooming.

The girls enjoyed their adventure at Eden Valley. There are so many cool paths to hike. This one lead to a swinging bridge. This is not my thing. I would be turning green... especially since the girls liked to bounce on it.
There is something about roasting marshmallows over and open fire... they are heavenly. I guess it is even better then the marshmallows are so big that they barely fit in your mouth.

We went camping for the Memorial Day weekend at this beautiful little campground called Eden Valley Refuge (thanks Sara for the suggestion). I am not a camper... not at all; however, this place was really nice and I would be willing to go back. We had a little cabin with four beds... that folded down from the walls. It also had a small fridge, microwave, air conditioner, and heater. Notice that I didn't mention running water. That wasn't too far away. The privacy of the cabin and the beautiful surroundings made it a great get away.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fatherhood Event

Once a month the Rock Island Arsenal hosts a fatherhood event. It is a couple of hours for military Dads to spend with their kids. Gene and the girls went to Incredible Pizza. I don't know who had more fun playing the video games - Gene or the girls.
I can't tell you how special this program is and how much my girls enjoy this time. So often, a soldier's work hours are so long that he may only see his kids for a few minutes a day. He normally leaves at 5:30am and doesn't get home until after 7pm. Or, if it is a job like Gene's, he is traveling most of the time.
We have been blessed this year to have Gene around. He has taken advantage of this unusual schedule and volunteers to help with the girls' events whenever possible. He has celebrated being a Dad every day. He was Greta's Girl Scout Troop's Cookie Mom. Not many fathers can say they organized a cookie sale. He is even helping at VBS this summer. This special time in our lives will soon be over and I know we will miss him. Moving this time means more than leaving our friends... in a way we are leaving behind one of the best opportunites that came our way and one of the best times of our family's life. He won't be there to take the girls to school or help get them ready for bed. That will become my job again and I tell you... it goes so much smoother when he is around.
I hope the girls look back and remember this year instead of the years that Gene has been deployed. I also hope that he will still be able to go to special events with them like the Fatherhood Program every once in a while. They mean so much to all of us. He means so much to us.