Friday, July 25, 2008

Laugh Your Head Off

Okay, I don't know what's gotten into me, but I'm obviously feeling very comfortable with myself in order to show the following picture to all of you! Yikes. But, really, this is one of the most hilarious things ever. You must try it! Simply stretch a knee high nylon sock over your head and laugh your head off. For our reunion talent show, Ryan, Emma, Maddie, and I popped up from behind a blanket singing a song and bobbing our heads back and forth. It was a total hit. Your kids will love you for it.

Guess who?

I felt bad about my picture until I saw this one:)

and this one... isn't Grandpa Stobbe such a good sport?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Beach Bliss

This picture almost had me crying I was laughing so hard. This kid cracks me up. I seriously think this picture could win a Kodak contest.

Hatteras Island

We found a dead sting ray on the beach. It was so beautiful and big and a great science lesson for the kids!

Hatteras Island Lighthouse

The grassy hills by the beach were so peaceful.

Our beach house was perfect. It's so nice to have everyone in the same house because you can really spend a lot of time together. We did puzzles, movies, games, hot tubbing, crafting, napping, eating, eating, and more eating.

Grandpa Stobbe brought kites, beach balls, and ping pong ball games for the kids.

After a long day at the beach, we were all caravaning and trying to find a restaurant that could take 15 people right away (every place had a long wait). We were all mad and crabby at that point and found the perfect restaurant, "The Mad Crabber." We all felt much better after some great seafood.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nothing is better than cousins

We've had a house full of family for the past three weeks and we have loved it. The kids are in heaven playing with cousins everyday. It has been busy and full and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It was so good to see everyone. We all missed Jen and her family, and of course I especially missed Shan. I'm way behind on posting pictures, so I'll be posting a little each day until I get caught up!

The dressup queens. Surprisingly this game never gets old. Emma has been dressing up for 4 years and never tires of it.

I have to thank Jessica for these next pictures. My digital camera was lost the entire time she was here, so she snapped a bunch for me. (Ironically, the first day of school, we pulled out Emma's pink backpack and found my camera! I knew right away that Miss Maddie had put it in there and toted it around during dressups sometime because she absolutely loves cameras and bags. Little stinker.)

Preston was so much fun to have around. He loved the backyard baby swing and laughed his head off until he finally fell asleep in it.

Kids at the lake by our house.

I love this one. Thanks Jessica!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This One's for Shan

We spent the last week out at the beach with my whole family and had a blast. I'm behind on posting our pictures from the trip, but Shan needs a picture to tide him over until I can get to it. This one's for you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Day of School

I need a medal for getting my kids to school by 7:45 every day. Why an elementary school has to start that early is beyond me.

Thank you Ms. Walters

So today was the first day of school for Ryan and Emma. (We have chosen to do year round school here, which gives us 9 weeks in school, and then a 3 week break repeated throughout the year, with a 6 week summer break between grades.) Not only was it the first day of school, but it was Emma's first day of Kindergarten. We were sitting in the doctor's office a few days ago and when the nurse asked her how old she was, I was completely schocked when she said "five" and realized it was true. I don't know where the time has gone. But let me tell ya, Emma is 5 going on 25. She was too ready for school. She's been talking about and planning her first day of Kindergarten for at least two years now.

It was me who was a wreck. It's honestly excruciating to turn over my most precious goods to someone else and then turn around and walk away. Emma's teacher is the same kindergarten teacher Ryan had, so we know her very well. She's a wonderful teacher, but still, does she know how wonderful my child is? She handed me this poem this morning and told me to have a great day. Once I got in my car, I could barely read it through the tears.

The First Day

I gave you a wink and a smile
As you entered my room today.
For I know how hard it is to leave
And know your child must stay.
You've been with her for five years now
And have been a loving guide,
But now, alas, the time has come
To leave her at my side.
Just know that as you drive away
And tears down your cheeks may flow
I'll love her as I would my own
And help her learn and grow.
For as a parent, I too know
How quickly the years do pass
And that one day it was my turn
To take my child to class.
So please put your mind at ease
And cry your tears no more
For I will love her and take her in
When you leave her at my door.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Freedom Is Not Free

I've been terrible at posting lately because I LOST my camera! I am so sad about it, but I will try to get another one soon. I don't have a picture for this post, but I wanted to share my gratitude for this great country today.

It is so bittersweet to be celebrating our independence while Shan has been gone for over a year now. Sometimes I feel like sacrificing my husband for 15 months is just too much to ask, but then I see all the good things he is doing and the progress that is happening for the Iraqi people, and I know that the hard times are not in vain. Sometimes when I meet people and they find out my husband is in Iraq, they give me a glance of pity and apologize that he has to be gone. Some are surprised to find out that I wholeheartedly support the war effort as well as our troops and their families.

When I feel sorry for myself, I think about my friend Casey, who lost her husband Josh about one year ago. He was a chinook helicopter pilot and was shot down in Afghanistan. I saw her last week and she related to me the events and how heroic the other soldiers were to secure the area and keep coming in with more troops, even though they knew they were under fire. If the other helicopters would have left, the troops who were already on the ground would have been outnumbered. So they kept coming, and tried to save the crew from the helicopter that was already down. Unfortunately, there were no survivors. Josh was going to college when 9-11 happened and he dropped out of school to join the ARMY and fly helicopters. He was a patriot- a modern day hero. There are so many others like him and I salute every single one.

Today, I will see Casey, and many other friends who are military wives missing their husbands while we celebrate our freedom. And while I'm eating watermelon and carmel popcorn, I will remember them. I am so grateful.