Monday, January 26, 2009

Life In A Nutshell

A pretty good snapshot of the current state of affairs at our house was reflected this evening in the kitchen. I was making a blueberry pie for Family Home Evening and the kids were reading books on the floor. We heard the garage door opening (which can only mean daddy is home) and the kids went running out to greet Shan from work.

Ryan: "Dad! I didn't move my bee at school! And I saved my video game minutes to play Lego Star Wars with you!"
Emma: "Dad, I have a new library book and look at this picture I drew for you!"
Madeline: "Dad! Mom has sparkly lip gloss and she put some on my lips!"

Life is good.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Because America hasn't been attacked since September 11, 2001

Has anyone else heard the media literally gushing all over themselves in the last few days? We are all supposed to be grateful President Bush is finally gone, as if he were an embarrassment. I know it isn't popular, but I happen to think President George W. Bush is a person with strong moral character and a steel resolve. Though he led in times of crisis for America, he defended freedom, went after terrorism, and inspired Americans everywhere to get involved in service to country. For Fred Barnes' take on Bushes Achievements: 10 Things The President Got Right, click here.

Senator Orrin Hatch recently gave an excellent Bush farewell address to the Senate and ended by quoting something that was originally spoken by President Roosevelt in 1910:
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

One of the problems today is that we all want more than what we have, without any thought of how bad it could be.

This picture was ironically taken on September 11, 2001. Ryan was about three months old and I had an enormous amount of high hopes for our family's future....

And this picture was taken last Sunday on a walk to the lake. In the last seven years, I have moved freely from state to state, had two more children, received good medical care, voted, made lifelong friends, had good schools for my children to attend, sent my husband off to war, and worshipped freely. It hasn't been without some hard times, but I'd say I have a lot to be grateful for. Thanks, President Bush.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day

We were so happy to wake up and find snow on the ground! The kids had been begging me for it all winter, and I just couldn't deliver on my own. So thanks, Mother Nature. It was so, so pretty this morning. We had some cardinals in our yard in the trees and it was seriously postcard perfect.

Being a Utah girl, I think it's hilarious how everything shuts down here when it snows... the kids didn't have school and we got to play the day away.

We left all our snow gear in Utah, so we improvised and made plastic bag boots to stay dry.
Evidence of a fun day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Military "Mandatory Fun"

The good thing was that I had a hot date.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"You Lost Your Chance"

Often, when my children are making a wrong choice, I give them a chance to do the right thing. If they choose not to correct their behavior, then I've been known to say, "You lost your chance; now you have to sit in time out," or something along those lines.

So the other day, Shan called me from his office mid-morning and asked me to check the van's registration in the glove box. Sure enough, it had just expired, so he renewed it online and printed out the temporary certificate.

Later that day, Shan's dad flew into Pope Air Force Base and Shan was supposed to pick him up. What do you know, but he was tied up in a meeting, so I hopped in the van with all of the kids and headed out to post. On my way, I realized that I didn't have my military ID because Shan took it the day before so he could pick up a prescription for me at the Ft. Bragg pharmacy. (For all you non-military readers, you cannot get on post without a military ID, or a search of your vehicle.) No problem, I thought, I'll just let them search my car and off we'll go.

Not so fast, missy.

We arrive to the check point and the security guard instructs me to open the hood, the trunk, and all the doors, and hand over my driver's license and registration (something I've never been asked for before, even when they've had to search the car.) Nice. So I explained to him that my registration expired a few days ago, but that we just renewed it online and my husband has the certificate at his office on post. He slowly looks me over like he knows I'm lying and calls it in over the radio to see if I'm telling the truth. Inexplicably, the voice on the other end reported that indeed, my registration had expired. (I later learned it takes 24 hours for the system to update...) Then, I get the "I knew it" look and the now smug security guard orders me to pull over to the side of the road and calls the military police. So there I sit, the outlaw. Waiting for the MPs to show up. By this time, my kids are asking questions and getting restless. I call Shan, who had just gotten out of his meeting and is on his way to get his dad. So the plan was for him to pick Doug up, go back to his office and get the registration, and meet me at the check point, which would take him at least an hour or more.

Lovely... sitting in the car with three kids for an hour an a half, and we had forgotten all the movies and had nothing to do other than sit and stew. So I was frustrated that any of this had happened, Emma's furious because "This is boring!," and she just wants "to see Papa!" and Ryan is terrified. He is my rule follower, and hates to be in trouble. He keeps telling me over and over, "We're in trouble, huh mom?" (No son, everything will be fine. Daddy's on his way.) "Where is the policeman?" (He's coming. He'll be here in a few minutes.) "Remeber when that other policeman pulled you over for speeding?" (How could I forget THAT.) "What if this policeman is the same policeman that pulled you over for speeding?" (Highly unlikely, son.) "Will you go to jail, mom?" And our conversation continues like this for quite a long time. Ryan's scared, Emma's ticked off, and I've had it, so I tell everyone to be quiet, that I don't want another word.

So it's silent for about 2 minutes, and then from the back, three year-old Madeline pipes up: "Mom, you lost your chance."

Yes I did. And that pretty much sums up my day.