Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hey Ma! Look What I can do...

So it only took me 5 months to realize I'm way too bored in the evenings after the kids go to bed while Chris is gone. I've exhausted messing around on the computer, convincing myself that 9pm is a great time to exercise and eating all the wrong things at 10pm. So I started in search of a hobby. Saturday I went to Joann's Fabrics and got a starter set for crochet. I took a beginners class many years ago and picked it up fairly well, but never had the patience to work up any speed or real skill. After trying it again Saturday night, I discovered I don't think I have the patience to learn to crochet. Then, I remembered once when I was in middle school my Great Aunt Irene came to visit and she knitted. In fact, she knitted a sweater for me during that visit. I remember her telling me that it was much easier to knit, so Sunday we headed to Walmart to see what they had for learning to knit...Look what I can do!!!!

Admittedly, this took a lot of work for me to get this far. I took apart or threw out a few other trials, but this is the first bit that I have put together without mistakes. While I'm sure many women could knit this in just a few minutes, it took me about an hour. So far I've only taught myself to 'cast on' and this simple 'knit stitch'. I've also figured out a couple other things...I need to invest in a thimble, and when just learning to knit -- choose a lighter colored yarn so you can actually see what you're doing a little better. (I thought this yarn would make a pretty scarf for my first project!)

I have a pattern for a gorgeous cable knit afghan I hope to work up to eventually, but for now...does anyone need a coaster?...potholder, anyone?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ariel Pumpkin

So, I promised pictures of a carved pumpkin.

Sorry this pic is a little blurry -- had to turn the flash off to get the pumpkin to show up correctly.

Of course, it's an Ariel pumpkin! We're in trouble when Jonathan gets old enough to start to have an opinion about stuff. For some reason I think he'll have an issue with everything being 'princess themed' all the time :)


Friday, October 24, 2008

Stop and Listen

I'm kinda down on myself right now.
Clara's not been herself lately -- a little moody, a little withdrawn, a little bit of attitude...kinda depressed really. I kind of already knew what the probable cause was, but still it took hearing it from her to really drive it home...she wants/needs more attention from me. I feel like I REALLY screwed up. I mean if I knew that's what was wrong, why didn't I just fix it before she said something?
Tonight as I was tucking her into bed and laying with her after her prayer and song, she said, "What do you want to talk about?"
"You!", I said.
She said "What about me?"
I asked if she was sad, if she was feeling ok, if she is happy, if she knows she can talk to me, if there's anything she needed/wanted to tell me...she said, 'no, she's not sad there's nothing'. Then I asked her if I had done something wrong -- she still said no. So I asked her was there something she wished I did differently even if that means I hadn't done anything wrong...she didn't say anything, no nod of the head...nothing.
So I reminded her she could talk to me and then asked her what can I do differently -- she said, "Like play with me more."
So we had a long talk about ways we could make special time for us, how just because I'm busy doesn't mean I don't love her, how I'll try to be less busy because she's way more important, and of course, thank you for talking to me so I know what to fix. I told her if she doesn't tell me things that are wrong I can't help fix, but when she talks to me I can fix stuff. I told her I was sorry for hurting her and making her feel sad -- I told her I loved her. When I told her that just because I seem 'too busy' lately doesn't mean I don't love her or don't care -- that I always love her tons even when I'm super busy...she said, "I already know all that, I just want to play with you more."
So I screwed up. Am I really that busy lately? No, just burnt out, but look who's paying the price. So say a prayer that I remember how I felt tonight lying in bed next to my daughter who I've hurt -- that I remember that feeling of seriously screwing up next time she asks me to play something, anything with her. I mean if I'm honest I'll admit it's not as if I didn't realize I've been pushing her aside a lot lately, but I still did say a prayer that I'll do better, that I WILL fix this. There's a lot riding on it -- right now Clara still doesn't question my love due to my actions, she still is comfortable talking with me, she still wants my invovlement, and she looked excited and hopeful, even confident in my promise of being able to fix this...say a prayer that God grants me the strength, the energy, and the patience to step up to the job so that she feels loved, so that she knows she can come to me about anything, so that she knows I listen...really listen, and so that she still believes in me and my power to fix things for her.
I feel like an ass!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy, Happy Birthday Baby!!!!

Today is Chris' birthday and in the same spirit as my birthday, he turns 'a different kind of 4' than Clara's 4 years of age. Unfortunately he's not home to celebrate his birthday with us, but not to worry...the kids and I never let a little detail like that get in the way of us and cake :)

A couple months ago the kids and I staged a party for Chris so I could get pictures for a calendar square. For those of you who don't know what that is, there is a calendar up in the ready room on the ship. Each month, each member in Chris' squadron is given one 'square' or day to have decorated for them. The wives and families of the sailors decorate a square measuring about 5X7 with pictures in scrapbook fashion and we send them in to the ship together. Each month a new calendar is constructed with new squares, so that the guys (and gals) can see the smiling faces of their loved ones each day before their flights. So for October's calendar square, the kids and I celebrated Chris' birthday...and all our neighbors helped us eat his cake!

It is important to have all the proper accessories for baking a cake: apron, shoes, bracelet.

Clara cracked the eggs...

...and Jonathan poured them in!

Quality Assurance Inspector

Yum! (Notice the pinky!)

We were in full party spirit! was that good!

Clara was the one who said we should make a chocolate cake, "since Daddy likes chocolate".


Who spiked the punch?!

The kids even got to open Chris' presents for him!

I love the faces he makes when opening presents.

Surely Daddy likes Batman :)

Clara thought it was pretty funny when I told her Daddy would want his Ariel back when he got home.

Happy Birthday Chris! I wish we were together to celebrate your special day as a family, but know our thoughts are with you and we are anxiously awaiting your return.
We Love You!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

5 Weeks

I can now count the number of weeks until Chris returns on one hand!!!!!

Just 5 more weeks!

Ballet Class

Thursday, Momok and Popok got to come along to watch dance class.

Just before class, Clara showed Momok '1st Position'

Sitting on their 'Polka dots'


Momok and Popok loved watching dance class and can't wait to come back for Clara's recital in June!

'A Different Kind of 2'

Tuesday was my birthday -- I turned 'a different kind of 2', according to Clara. You see, Jonathan is 2...I am now a 'different kind of 2'! I celebrated by going to the dentist -- who, unfortunately found 2 cavities...I don't like that kind of 2.

Chris sent me these beautiful flowers!

After dinner I came into the dining room to see it had been decorated like this. Clara and Momok had gone to Walmart earlier in the day to pick up a few things. Since Momok couldn't get back on base without me, I drove them there, and picked up a couple things myself!

Clara made me this wonderful card.

At Walmart, Clara picked out my cake and told the lady in the bakery what to write on it. Funny...that seems like more than 2 candles!

When you turn 'a different kind of 2', you need a little help with blowing out all those candles!

The birthday girl cutting the cake.


See, I told you I picked up some things at Walmart as well -- Sleeping Beauty and Hotwheels!


After a long day at Yosemite, we needed something fast and easy for dinner on the way home. What would be better than Chick-fil-A?!

After dinner, the kids traded in their toys from the kids' meals for ice cream -- Yum!

When Jonathan tried to scoop out some ice cream from his bowl, it just about all stuck to his spoon...

...he did NOT see this as a problem.

Who doesn't love ice cream (and Chick-fil-A)?!

Yosemite in October

Monday we headed to Yosemite because neither Vic nor Virginia had ever been. The water was once again gone from the waterfalls, only a mist coming from Bridalveil falls. Virginia already has plans to head back up there when she comes back in June for Clara's dance recital -- the waterfalls should be in full force then!

Momok and Popok with the kids.

The 'Fat Man' and my Little Man

Clara brought along her camera this time. Here she is getting Momok to pose for a picture.

My siamese twins...for some reason this is getting to be their signature pose.

Momok and Popok in front of a Giant Sequoia

Posing with Momok and Popok

The kids and I

Acting silly

Clara and Momok hugging a tree

These are the roots of a fallen Giant Sequoia

I love the color of the bark on the Giant Sequoias

Posing at Tunnel View

Bridalveil Falls, mostly dried up.

The river bed was dry

Half Dome

Our picnic

Just after we sat down, 8 deer came to join us for lunch. They came right up to the fence near our table. One jumped to our side near us. Others jumped the fence further away and we all held our breath as they ran across the busy street leading through Yosemite. 2 stayed behind to munch on some grass.