Sunday, May 30, 2010

Williamsburg Again

This weekend passes to Colonial Williamsburg were free for military again so we took advantage.

The weather was really warm so the boys didn't last long but it was nice to at least get out of the house for a while.

I'm really glad that Williamsburg takes it on themselves to offer these free days twice a year for us. The boys are definitely a bit young to understand all that this gargantuan living museum has to offer. Each time we go they get something new out of it. This time we took the Children's orientation tour and went through a garden maze that they enjoyed.

They also found out that the brickyard had opened today so they helped to make some clay bricks.

This was so much fun! You work the clay with water until it's tough enough to form into bricks and then dry it in the sun. They're later fired to be usable bricks. This was probably the boys' favorite part!

We also found the plantation on property which was really just a little colonial style farm.

This part made the whole trip worth it!

We learned a lot about farming during that time. They have corn, tobacco and cotton planted. We helped look for horn worms on the tobacco plants (I use "helped" loosely here). We learned how vegetables and herbs where used as a homeopathic medicine cabinet. Did you know potatoes have antiseptic properties? Me neither! The woman in this picture told us all about it and even gave the boys some spearmint to take with them from the garden.

Every time we visit we learn something new. It was really nice to have a long weekend to take advantage of this. I'm definitely looking forward to being able to do things like this next year when they will be official field trips.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Jeremiah decided to try and button his own shirt today.
This is not as simple as it might sound...
He did a great job, though! For a first time really trying for it, he did 3 out of his 5 buttons on his own.
And the last 2 buttons on this particular shirt are pretty tough ones.
He was so proud of himself and wanted me to take a picture to show Daddy.

Cold Beaches and Warm Friends

Today we needed to get out of the house. It was beautiful and warm outside. Where did we go? The beach. Sadly for us the weather turned on our way there and most of the time I spent with our towel wrapped around me trying to stay warm.

The boys didn't seem to care, though. Until they got cold... then we had to leave. No sympathies for cold Moms around here.

We then got to have dinner with some friends and stay out after bedtime. It was definitely worth it! Aren't those kids adorable??

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What a Day!

Yesterday there was another knock at my door. I'm starting to get used to this!
This time it was another super special delivery! I opened the door to a white styrofoam box from Omaha Steaks.

Can a girl get any more spoiled??

Jeremiah couldn't help himself. He opened it right up! We found steaks and chicken and burger and potatoes... and the crowd favorite around here: Hot dogs!!
The person who sent this amazing gift to me I have known my entire life. I miss seeing her quite a bit.
She passed along through my Mom that she had sent this to let me know that she's thinking about me and the sacrifices I am making.
Now here is where I try not to cry (even though you wouldn't see me even if I did). It's so easy to feel like you become invisible during times like this. There are a lot of organizations out there doing what they can to help families back home and that's great. For me, though, it is a whole different animal when someone I know personally recognizes the struggle we're going through as a family.
I'm not sure what else to say other than Thank you, Mary, for this amazing gift. It means so much more than just help with figuring out what's for dinner. I'll be thinking of you every time we eat something you sent... and I can't wait to start because I hear this stuff is delicious! You are amazing!
Oh and P.S.
The dry ice that came in the box was a lot of fun too!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Presents

Today I got my anniversary presents from Phil!

I was a little excited...
Can you tell Jeremiah took that picture? He was on a chair... I crouched down. We made it work. 
He had also sent me a card a while ago and they all came at once in the mail today like he had planned it that way all along. The card made me cry. He's good at doing that. I think part of him enjoys making me cry.
He sent me the nicest most comfortable sheets I've ever slept in. I think I might just stay right here in bed all week!
Oh... shoot. Boys. That's right.
Well, guess I'll have to get up in the morning anyway.
He also sent me a remote for my camera. Happy day!

Josh helped me try it out.

So did Jeremiah... though not willingly.
He had just woken up from a nap he didn't want to take in the first place. Can't really blame the poor guy for having a Mom who won't stop taking pictures of him.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mr. Hew and Storytime

This is Mr. Hew. He teaches a storytime every so often at the library we go to. He's Jeremiah's favorite. He can't wait to see him every week (even though he's pretty shy when it actually starts). Today was Jeremiah's last storytime for the year. It was bittersweet but he was glad to take a picture with Mr. Hew (even getting to wear Mr. Hew's hat!).

Saturday, May 22, 2010


The other day I was talking with Phil on the computer and feeling guilty about needing to actually take care of the things that needed to be ironed that were piling up on the couch when there was a knock at the door. "Great," I thought, "another person selling me bug repellent or all purpose cleaner." Oh the joys of being a stay-at-home Mom.

It wasn't, though! It was my good friends carrying flowers from Phil!
Now, there's a bit of a back story. The FRG did this as a fundraiser and I knew it was coming. I had even told Phil about it in passing before he happened. I never though he would sneak around my back to have the girls do it for me as well! I was so surprised! My husband rocks!

Aside from that... here's a little bonus. Pictures of the boys after their haircut this last week.
Jeremiah's sense of style leaves a little to be desired... but he's 3. He has time to improve his orange with baby blue color combination sensibilities.
Joshua and Arthur. Not sure if you can tell, but Josh's shirt is completely covered in dog hair this morning. That's just how we roll these days.

"Jingle Bells"

Jeremiah and Joshua both had a small obsession with this song at Christmas time. Jeremiah still busts out with it from time to time... in his own little version. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Where's Stanley?

The boys have been really into Look and Find Books lately. So with that in mind, Stanley decided to play a game with the boys. Your job is to find Stanley in these pictures (some will be easier than others).
Stanley says, "Drink lots of water! It's HOT!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

G.I. Joe

Yep. That's my husband. How is it he gets about 40x more attractive in uniform? I mean, I'm lucky enough to be married to a ruggedly handsome and strong silent type anyway... but then you put him in uniform and wow!
*sigh* Can anyone blame me now for wanting to follow this man all over God's green earth??
No? Didn't think so.
How about this?
God bless America!
That's all I have to say about that.
That and sorry for the guy in front who's getting in the way... and the creepy guy in the back.
This man right here needs to hurry up and come home! I have a need to make him some cookies and brownies.

Around the House

On the nice weather days the boys and I have been doing a big of work outside the house. Our space here is quite a bit smaller than the house we had in Illinois. Some days it's hard to be grateful for the space we do have. Right after we've finished some sort of project around here, though, my view of the whole place changes. Here's what I finished about a week ago:

All I did was add some stepping stones down the middle of the rocks so I don't try to break my ankle every time I walk to get the hose. It was my dads idea and I love it. Also means I can get the hose barefoot. Double bonus!
Oh the boys helped me spread some fresh mulch and pull some weeds too. So... if you see mulch in the rocks and weeds that need to be pulled I'm blaming it on them!

Before Phil left we bought a few more clay pots and they were all just full of dirt last he saw them. Well now they're adorable! That's my little baby Basil. Isn't it adorable??

Can an herb be adorable?? I don't know. If they could, this one would win.
Now I want pizza. Something about the time we spent in Italy. Every time I see fresh basil leaves I want pizza. Not the American greasy oily stuff. The delicious straight-out-of-a-brick-oven stuff.
I miss Italy.

Anyways, back to dealing with the 3 year old who no longer believes that naps exist. Maybe I'll go sniff my lavender first. That should help, right??

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Picture from the Sandbox

We got this picture from Phil just the other day in an email. Isn't modern technology wonderful?!
Boy do I ever miss this man!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Park Playdate

Believe it or not we actually know one or two people who are already homeschoolers. Yesterday we met up with one of the families that live closeby for a playdate.

 I love talking with Cheryl. She just started homeschooling last year and already has so much wisdom under her belt.

She's still figuring it out as they go, but it's exciting to have someone to throw around ideas with. The kids had a blast playing and getting slurpees.

It was so warm yesterday we all came back to our house and ran through the sprinkler for a few minutes. It was perfect!

Then last night the clouds rolled in and it's looks like we might be in for several days of clouds and rain. Glad we got out and had fun while the sun was still around!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting a Head Start

We decided a long while ago not to worry about putting the boys in preschool. We do our best to get them in social situations with other kids and I teach them the rest of what they will need to know from home.
This year we took that decision a bit further and have decided to keep Joshua home from school next year and begin homeschooling. We're not doing this because we're religious nuts or because what his school is doing is so bad. Joshua is just way ahead for his grade and isn't being challenged in a way we would like at school. He can't be tested for the gifted program offered by our district until after 1st grade which is another entire school year away. So, we're going to join the ranks of the weird ones and be homeschoolers.
We've picked up some textbooks and supplies. We're just about ready.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Arthur has finally found the place he belongs in our family. The boys have been working for days to get Arthur to lay on Jeremiah's bed. Yesterday at nap he stayed in there while they slept. Now today he thinks he owns the place and hops up there without invitation. This, of course, thrills the boys!
Joshua even took his "nap" in Jeremiah's toddler bed this afternoon so he could sleep with Arthur (there no actual napping taking place, but I got a bit of a break at least). This was only after I assured him our short legged little dog could not make it up there to sleep in his bed. I'm pretty sure this can't last much longer. Jeremiah is only going to keep getting bigger and there's really no more room on the bed!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Introducing Stanley

Before Phil left he had a genius idea to stay connected with the boys while he's gone. We made a Flat Stanley. Usually this would be something introduced later on in elementary school but it works so we're using it. We made Stanley in an outfit that will help him fit in over there. We took a picture with him and the boys before he left with Daddy. Jeremiah wanted his cars in the pictures. I don't understand but complied. Stanley left with Daddy last Saturday and this morning we were able to get some pictures of the places Stanley has been in the last week.
He spent a lot of time on a plane with Daddy's friends.
He took a break on the bed Daddy had for a few days at a place they stayed at. Drink lots of water, Stanley!

He must have been really anxious to get going... he was waiting on the door!

Finally Stanley arrived at his destination! A relatively comfortable cot in a tent.

At least he's got a little A/C and a comfy place to sleep. I wonder what Stanley might do next...