"So Frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."
***President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign May 1994)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Virginia Living Museum

We went to the Virginia Living Museum today.

They have lots of fish and animals to see. All of them are native to Virginia, so that's fun to see the different animals and fish from this area. Virginia is divided into 5 different regions and this museum shows what kind of animals and fish there are in the different regions. Noah loved the fish!

We all had a good time and we learned some things, too!

I love watching my children learn especially the little ones. They get so excited and you can tell they feel so smart about it, too.

I also love that Myshel and Vance are getting older and I can joke and have fun with them in a different way. It's fun to see them learn new things, too. Sometimes with Vance it's like I can see him processing it all in his mind. He loves animals and science, so this was the perfect place for him. I love having opportunities like this. This is one of the many things that makes being a mom a lot of fun!

Noah and McKaylie

A Cinderella Story.................

It's sad, but true.........their father's gone ...........their mean mother makes them scrub the floors on their hands and knees.................she just works their little fingers to the bone..............and all they can do is wait for their prince/princess "charming" to come and rescue them.......................it's almost heartbreaking, really.......................

Aren't they cute. I asked them to wash the kitchen floor with ammonia and water and this is what I found a few minutes later...............they said it was because of the smell.

The Big "E" at Sea

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Souda Bay

Souda Bay, Greece
Chad sent me this picture from when they were in Greece in May. I wanted to share it since it was so beautiful.
***you can click on any of the pictures in my blog and see them bigger

3 Schools

Vance applied to the same school that Myshel goes to, The school of International Studies at Meadowbrook. That's quite a title, huh. It's a lot like a magnet school. It concentrates on international and military studies. It's much smaller than all of the other public middle schools out here and we've loved having Myshel there. It's acceptance is on a lottery system. They basically take all the qualified applicants and "draw" 100 names and they're the lucky ones that get to go there. We've been hoping and praying that Vance would be one of those names "drawn". Unfortunately, he wasn't. We found out this week that he won't be going to Meadowbrook with Myshel. We're very disappointed. The school he'll be going to isn't a bad school, I just wanted something a little better for him. I also didn't want to have 3 kids in 3 different schools. That means, 3 different PTA's, 3 different activities that fall on the same nights, 3 different start times. Yep, that's right, schools have staggered start times out here, so Myshel will start school at 7:30AM, Vance will start school at 8:15AM and McKaylie will start at 9AM. That could prove to be interesting. Vance's school is also the furthest away, which I also don't like. There are some benefits to him going there. In many ways it could prove to be great; so, I guess we'll try and concentrate on the positive things.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Summer quilts

As a kind of summer project, the kids and I decided to make quilts for their beds. Each one gets to pick out their own material and Myshel and Vance got to "design" the look of theirs. Myshel and Vance are getting better at sewing, so with a little help they'll be able to make their quilts pretty much on their own. They both even know how to tie a quilt! Obviously, this is McKaylie's quilt. She was the lucky one to get hers done first. I did most of the work on this one, but McKaylie was sure to supervise every chance she got. I really like the way it turned out and so does McKaylie. We even had enough material left over to make a matching pillowcase. (We actually have lots of homemade pillowcases at our house, because that was the first thing that Myshel and Vance learned to sew!) The kids are having fun designing and sewing the quilts and they're not only learning about sewing and quilting, but they're learning some math skills, too! Sneaky, aren't I?!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Virginia Aquarium

Last night we went to the Virginia Aquarium. Our housing had it reserved for just it's residents.(Whoever said that privately owned military housing was a bad idea is nuts, Lincoln Housing has been awesome for us so far!!) Again, they had all kinds of crafts and fun things for the kids to do, in addition to seeing the aquarium for free! We could have even seen an IMAX movie free, but it wouldn't have
left us much time to see the aquarium, so we decided to skip that part. We all had a good time seeing the all the exhibits and the sharks, sea turtles, fish, crabs.................the list goes on and on. The kids got to be silly at times and they love that. And, of course, we got to touch the sting rays. The only part we didn't get to see was the trail outside and the south part of the museum with the river otters. I guess we'll catch them another time. It was fun to be there at night and to be there when it wasn't so crowded.


Some of these victims don't look all that worried!?!?

It must have already swallowed the two little ones!

Touching the Rays..............

My kid's favorite part of the Virginia Aquarium is the Ray Tank. They love touching/petting the sting rays. Last night when we went to see the rays, the first time, we were the only ones in the room. It was really neat to be seeing them swim and touching them without out all the noise and commotion of other people around. They seemed to really like Myshel. They would swim over to where she was and swim high enough in the water so that she could touch them. I think this is probably my favorite part of the aquarium, too.

You can't see it too well in this picture, but Vance is actually touching a ray here.

Myshel showing off her magical "touch"

McKaylie and Noah watching the rays underwater through a little window in the side of the tank.

Me and McKaylie trying to get them to come and see us. (In truth, McKaylie wouldn't touch them even if they did come by her)

Friday, July 21, 2006

I feel so sheepish................

Blushy 2I embarrassed myself the other day, but I'll share it here because I was told that it was a blog worthy story. I went to the commissary on Monday. I got all the way there and parked on the left side of the parking lot by the exit. Before I went in I realized that I didn't have my ID and had to drive all the way home to get it. As I was driving back I decided to go to the exchange, too. (It's right next to the commissary) So, I parked on the far right side of the parking lot at the commissary. I finished all my shopping and was walking out to the parking lot with the guy who was carrying out my groceries. I led him to the left side of the parking lot, where I parked the first time. I got about half way to where my car had been parked and remember that I'd parked on the other side. Oooops! So, being very embarrassed, I tried to explain to the carry-out that we needed to walk to the other side of the parking lot and why. I still got that "yeah, sure lady, whatever" look and the "I can't believe she doesn't even know where she parked" look so I just stopped talking, walked straight across the parking lot to my car, gave him his tip and laughed at myself on the way home.


I have had so much trouble posting pictures lately! It's making me very grumpy! I did finally get some to post this morning, though! It had me completely frustrated, though, and what a waste of time!


The kids just want to go-go-go. I just want to stay-stay-stay! I hate Virginia summers! They are just not for me! Too hot, too humid, too yucky! Yesterday all I heard about all day was lets go to the BBQ. (The housing had a community cookout) They had spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon out in the pool and still just wanted to go some more! So we went. The food was fair and there wasn't much of it. They did have some neat carnival games, but none of my kids would play them. They even had a small mechanical bull for the kids to ride and I couldn't get any of them on it. So we sat out in the hot sun while the two little ones played at the playground. We could have done that at the house! I wondered why we even went. I had the camera with me, so I got some good pictures, though. We were there with Miss Candy and her daughter Erin.

Today we went to the park. There's one that's right by the zoo and that's the one they chose to go to. It was fine, hot, but fine, at least there was shade for me to sit in. We'd been there all of about 5 minutes when McKaylie announces that she has to use the bathroom! Right now! Well, there's no bathrooms at that playground, so we loaded everybody up, and went to the zoo.

The kids played in the fountains for awhile, after she used the bathroom, of course. Then we went to see the monkeys, but you have to walk throught the reptile house to get to the monkeys. We also saw the praire dogs. They really are cute, even though I know my in-laws and parents would just laugh at that.......................I know they're a menace out west, but here in the east they're a cute zoo attraction! We also walked around a little at the zoo while we drank a soda, which Noah was chugging, literally! So now that we're very hot and sweaty (you have to mention sweaty or you don't get the full effect) the kids want to go back to the playground that we started at. So off we go.....................this time we were there about 15 minutes and Noah decides that he doesn't like it there, which was all I needed to say, "let's go, guys"! There was a lot of grumbling in the back seat, and then some snoring. So we're good!


I also convinced Noah to let me cut his hair this morning. This is a real chore, the convincing him, not the actual haircut! For whatever reason he is very attached to his hair and doesn't part with it easily. I had only planned on giving him a trim, but he was being so good that I decided to just cut it all short and that way I wouldn't have to worry about it for that much longer. It's not a perfect cut, but it never is. It's not hanging in his eyes or over his ears, so I'm happy with that. While I was cutting his hair I told him he has hair like his dad's and he said, "yeah, just like dad's". Noah loves-loves-loves his daddy! Then I asked him if he was going to be my buddy when daddy came home and he said, "I'm daddy's buddy!" I whimpered and cried, "but who will be my buddy?", so he decided to throw me a bone, "ok, I'll be your buddy, too". There's just no justice to that, there's not!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

90 Degrees + High Humidity = Uuuuggggggg!

Sweaty It has been HOT and HUMID and it's making me nuts. This morning while I was driving to church I read the weather bill board. It was 8:45AM and 80 degrees with 90% humidty. It's just intolerable. I hate it. The day hadn't even started yet, really. But I have been verturing out in it here and there. Yesterday I think I hit my breaking point, though.

I started my day with my walk. Since it was Saturday there isn't as much traffic so I decided to go a different way and since it was Saturday and Myshel didn't have to leave for JU, I decided to walk a little longer. By the time I was done, I wasn't too sure those were such great choices. It was extremebly hot at 6:30AM, but it was very very humid, so for the first hour it wasn't too bad, but the last 45 minutes the sun was out and it got hot and miserable. I came home, face super red and dripping sweat (you can ask anyone who knows me, I do not like to sweat like that at all, I think it's nasty) The first thing I did was take a shower, I couldn't think of anything else, yuck, yuck yuck. My day was going to get worse though.

The kids and I did our usual Saturday cleaning, which was actually nice, because we were inside. The housing was having a festival for all their residents after lunch and the kids all wanted to go, so they were doing a good job cleaning. I, on the other hand, knew that it was going to be unbelievably hot and miserable there and was dragging my feet. I finally decided that I owed it to the kids and we went. We had to park about 3-4 blocks away and by the time we got there, the kids were thinking twice about it.

It was an amazing festival, though. They had tons and tons of crafts for the kids to do, free popcorn, snowcones, lemonade, cotton candy and water. There was a bungee thing for the kids, a train to ride, a climbing wall, music, dancers and free giveaways and the list goes on and on. All the crafts were under a tent, so we decided to stick with the shade for awhile. My kids did spin art, made candles, sand art, colored tote bags, made wax hands, mined for jewels, got their faces painted and ate tons of snowcones. Aside from the miserable heat, it was fun. They had a great time and if it hadn't been so hot, we probably would have stayed even longer, but the heat just sucked the energy right out of us. We were there for about 2 hours. Noah's hair was completely wet from sweating and everyone's clothes were just sticking to them. I looked around at one point and there wasn't a person around that didn't have sweat marks on their clothes or red faces. It was unbelievable. I've never seen so many sweaty people in one place in my life.

So we left and we decided that if we hurried we could run home, change, grab some snacks at the store and make it to the dollar movie at 4. We made, just barely. When we got to the theatre there was a line to get in. So we waited..........outside. It was nice to get inside though with the AC, kick back and watch the movie. We saw Over the Hedge. It was very cute. Noah fell asleep in his seat, poor guy.

The theme for the day seemed to be hot and uncomfortable, but it was worth going out in. We had a good day and now we'll have something to look back on and laugh. I guess.Sweating 2

Friday, July 14, 2006

That would be Miss Fix-it, that you very much!

Handyman I always joke around with Chad that I fix more things in our house than he does, but it's only half joking really.....................

My kids broke the arm on our sectional. They climb on it and jump over/on it and in the process broke it. It was really loose and the cushions wouldn't fit very well and I was very upset about it. It made me even more angry because we've only have the sectional for about a year and a half. For several weeks, I'd look at it and try and decide how I was going to fix it, but I just wasn't sure if I could do it and have it turn out ok, so I kept putting it off. I thought of people I could call to come and help me, but being the stubborn independent person that I am (those are Chad's words, not mine) I decided that I'd at least try and fix it myself. So, I finally got the drill and screws and went in to look at it some more and see what I could do. As I was looking at it, the whole arm came off! I turned around and looked at my kids and they all ran upstairs before I could say anything to them. Those guilty little cowards! It's just as well, I didn't have anything nice to say to them anyway! So, I set to work trying to figure out how to fix it and make it sturdy, thinking in the back of my head how stupid it was that I was having to do this instead of my husband! But, after a lot of grumping and growling and a few almost curse words (see how I said almost????) I fixed it! And, if I do say so myself, I did a good job! (it will probably fall off again tomorrow now that I said that) It's sturdy and looks good and I did it myself! And, my children have been sufficiently threatened! All in a days work, right?...................

Half Way Around the World

Earth Chad just told me that he is now 13 hours ahead of us time wise. That puts his ship somewhere around Hong Kong, which is where I knew they were headed. When he told me that, it made me a little uneasy though. Chad is literally half way around the world from us. If you took a globe and found Virginia and Hong Kong they are almost exactly opposite of each other. You would think that it wouldn't make a difference where he's at when he's gone. I mean, if he's not here with me, does it really matter if he's in California, the Mediteranean, or Hong Kong? It shouldn't, should it? But it does, at least a little. It bothers me to think he's so far away right now. I didn't think it would really matter to me where he went while he was gone, but it kind of does.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Anchors Away...........

Last year, Vance talked his Grandpa into building him a sailboat. Being the wonderful grandpa that he is, he built one for each of the kids.

This morning I found they were out sailing in the pool and they had passengers!

There was little people and little animals. When one fell out they'd yell, "man overboard" and rescue him.

Apparently, Noah was the navigator.

There was also some celebrities onboard the cruise today, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Blue from Blues Clues, to name just a few!

The kids have loved having this little pool in the backyard,

even more than I ever thought they would.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

First things first

I haven't done very good lately about writing on my blog. I'll have to do better. The first thing today will have to be for Debbie"

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

Birthday Song

Botanical Gardens

We went to the Botanical Gardens yesterday, Vance, McKaylie, Noah and I. Myshel was at Junior University and then hung at with her friends. I was a little hesitant about taking the kids, especially Vance. I was kind of thinking that he would have the attitude that he'd outgrown stuff like this, plus looking at plants and flowers might seem like a "girl" thing. I was wrong. He loved it, they all did. We were actually there longer than I thought we would be. We had a fun day. There was lots to see and we saw almost every area of the gardens. There's also a tram to ride and we rode it twice because the kids thought it was so fun. It was the perfect day to go weather wise, too. It wasn't very hot, there was a nice breeze. It was very great. The gardens also had a theme this summer, "Around the World in 80 Days". So they had added play areas for the kids along that theme. We've already decided that we'll go back in October when the roses are in full bloom again and the new kid's garden area is open.
This was in the Japanese Garden. Noah made we very nervous around all the water. He would get right up to the edge and lean way over trying to see. I was just waiting for the big "splash"

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