Sunday, January 30, 2011

{Between the Pages: "The Future Homemakers of America"}

The Future Homemakers of America by Laurie Graham tells the tale of five Air Force pilots' wives and a chance-meeting local friend they happen on while stationed in England in the 1950s.  The novel follows these tightly-connected women on life's journey with the military, their husbands, children, and careers in a changing world that brings them right into the new millennium.  While fiction, the story gives a raw depiction of the adversities the women faced and the friendship that tied them and their varying paths together.

I found the book hard to get into.  Several of the ladies were from Texas, and the dialog and text were written as they speak; needless-to-say, the lack of grammatical integrity was difficult for me to navigate.  In addition, the author throws a lot of names at you: the main characters, their children, acquaintances.... I paused often to gather the who's who of the moment.

Although the book is slow to start, I'm glad I stuck with it.  As a former Air Force wife, I could relate to these women and enjoyed examining our parallels and the contrasts brought by our generation gap.

What captivated me most of all was how quickly life moves on, and the retrospective opportunities the book provides on how and why life takes us on our designated paths.  It is funny, raw, scandalis, and in one section I was so overwhelmed with tears I had to set it down to dry my face, but couldn't wait to get back to its pages.

I recommend this book to women who enjoy the special connection a group of women can posses, and especially to young military wives.  A great you're-in-good-company read!

[GiVe AwaY: Now that I'm finished with the book it's up for grabs.... The first interested reader to comment for inquiry, say the word and it's yours.] AnD tHe BooK gOeS to SuSiE!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Party On, Abby

It's Abby's first birthday celebration with friends.  I can only imagine how big the crowd would have been if we could have included our entire collection of family and friends from around the country.... Oh the fun!

Abby had a nice mix of school friends from kindergarten and preschool, and some friends from the neighborhood.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and I know quite a few happy parents whose children will sleep well tonight!

{Life's the Pits}

{♫Happy Birthday♫}

{Party Crowd}


{Everybody In}

{Twist and Shout}

{Ring Master}


Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday

The face I could kiss forever....

Summer 2009
{Lauren on our first trip to Washington}

Thank You Thursdayish

Yikes! I have been a posting procrastinator....

1. I'm thankful I got to teach kindergarten yesterday. Of course I missed my partners in crime in the toddler room, but it felt great to be back in the classroom.

2. The freshly fallen snow is a beautiful winter treat!  I can't help but be thankful for the scenic treat.

3. I'm thankful for another fun stamping party last night.  Got some new goodies to put to use.  I love to be inspired.

4. I'm grateful Abby had a good day yesterday. The previous was less than pleasant.

5. I'm thankful for coffee.  This morning I will need it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesdayish

1. I cannot remember any winter in my 33 year experience that I've been so blahed out by winter. Maybe it's the broken toe that's holding me back. Whatever it is, I wish I was enjoying it. Instead I find myself sleeping it away.

2. Humpty Dumpty was written about King Richard III of England. That and other glorious Mother Goose tidbits of knowledge courtesy of today's story time record. I love records, and semi-useless facts!

3. "Snowmen don't have legs.  Just like that girl."--Lauren on our way to school, remembering the woman she met yesterday at my orthopedist's office who didn't have her legs.

4. Even with the best of intentions, I didn't make it to the president's State of the Union Address last night.  In fact, I didn't even make it through story time.  Abby's heavy lids got the best of her first, and once Lauren's hands clasp in prayer position she can't help but give in.  I followed suit.  Sorry, President Obama.

5. According to the doctor my foot is healing.  Yippee!  And while I tried to make it with a matching set of shoes today, I miss the security of my wooden velcro number.  I probably should be wearing it for the next two weeks.  We'll see.

6. On Monday night I attended a workshop put on by one of Fairborn's first grade teachers.  I love it when I walk away feeling empowered as a teacher AND a parent.  Of course, as Abby has thrown herself into a fit of misbehavior, I feel as though I should be spending my evening reviewing my notes and perhaps booking a personal consultation. {}

7. Another Mother Goose tidbit: Rock-a-Bye Baby was said to be written by a Pilgrim boy who came over on the Mayflower.  He was inspired by how the Indians built cradles out of birch bark, then hung them from tree branches for the breeze to rock.  I never put much thought to it until Abby was a newborn.  I remember listening to it and thinking how cruel it was to put a child's cradle in the tree and I believe I even started to cry at the thought of a baby tumbling from the tree.  Obviously I was still emotional from childbirth.

8. I find myself wishing for that time back.  The weeks at Hanscom after Abby was born.  I had no other responsibilities but to take care of that tiny little baby.  I also didn't have a lot of other stresses that now plague my life.  I miss those days.

9. Someday I may also miss Abby's current state of tantrums.  On and on she is rambling about all of the things that she does not like.  I'm really not sure why she is angry, but she is not happy with me for some reason.  Some day we'll be best friends.  Until that far away someday comes, I know there are going to be plenty of days she hates me.  I thank my grandma and aunt for teaching me first hand that this too shall pass.

10. I just discovered Thirty-One bags {}. It is almost as if it exploded around me. It is just feeding my love of super-cute bags!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

For the Birds

A skein of yarn, some Cheerios, cranberries, a needle, and a few little hands yields a snow day project for the birds....

And the cardinals enjoy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flashback Friday

Oh how I miss the days with the naked little chubby bodies roaming around!

Summer, 2007

{Lauren in Her Rain Hat}

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. Thank you snow. You came and made this day beautiful.

2. I'm thankful for a super-fun pajama day at school.

3. I'm thankful all of Abby's birthday invites are out. Should be a fun party!

4. I'm thankful I finally kicked this illness.  Almost kicked it.  But the aches are pretty well gone, the violent cough is gone and I have enough energy to make it through the day; I'm calling it good.

5. I'm thankful for last night. Abby and I lay in bed reading Junie B. as she finally dozed off to sleep. For hours she stayed in my bed as I continued to read. I love just looking at her pretty little face.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I've just developed a special relationship with the dark Hershey's Kisses.

2. In my own nine years and seven months unscientific study, I've concluded dogs are easier to train than husbands. Now if I can just get the dog to remove my husband's underwear from his worn pants we're in business!

3. I read that the average woman spends eight years of her life shopping.  I'm curious how many of those years are spent shopping for herself.

4. If I were a dog I'd have been put out of my misery days ago.  I hobble with my bum foot.  I have the flu and ache, slowing me down to a crawl, but I don't actually crawl because I tried that and it hurts worse than walking. Add to that the runny nose that has made the center of my face raw, and the cough that is so aggressive my internal organs are beginning to bruise.  Someone just make it stop!

5. It was by accident that I found my beloved Key Lime juice at Kroger; the stuff I fell in love with in Florida. Key Lime Pie Time!

6. I've been so sick that I'm all caught up on my shows hogging up space on the DVR.  It's pretty bad when I sit around on Sunday night waiting for my shows to come on so I have something to do.

7. Lauren is destined for fashion greatness.  Inspired by a picture of her messy hair after swimming, she insists I curl her hair in a flip each morning. She calls it her flower hair-do.

8. It is my experience that Jim Beam isn't nearly as effective as brandy in subsiding a cough.  Jägermeister is also not a suitable substitute.

9. Geoff was my personal (okay, I shared him with the lovelies) chief last night.  Two thumbs up on the pork fajita salad, G!

10. When talking about the new fishing pole Abby got for her birthday she sobbed, "I never got to go fishing with Great Grandpa."  Talk about tugging at my heart strings.  I bet Papa will take her in Great Grandpa's boat. And I'm sure my grandpa will be there, too. Grandpa, if you can just plant her line near the mouth of a good-eating Walleye we're in business!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Random Ramblings

  • Lauren decided she wanted eggs for breakfast this morning.  But not the ones like Papa makes, she wanted them swirled around.
  • When looking at a picture of my grandpa fishing Up North, Abby asked, "How did Great Grandpa get his rocking chair in the boat?"  Classic.

    {Grandpa Blue Gill Fishing: June, 2007}
  • It's official: Abby's favorite shape is the rectangle.
  • Obviously we have spent a little too much time watching the news.  On Friday Abby asked me, "Why do they keep showing his picture (Jared Laughner) over and over again?" I wonder what else she is picking up on!
  • Abby has been reflecting on death a lot in the past few months. She talks about the people she knows who have died.  She talks about dying herself.  I don't completely dismiss it, but consider it typical for her age to fixate on things she doesn't quite comprehend.
  • Abby doesn't believe in Rudolph because he has a red nose.
  • At Christmas Abby talked a great deal about Santa, asking once, "Mom, why does Santa look different in every picture?"
  • Now that Christmas and her birthday have passed, Abby's main focus is losing her first tooth, to which she wondered, "How does the Tooth Fairy know you loosed a tooth?  Maybe if Santa knows then the Tooth Fairy knows.  I'm wondering if the Tooth Fairy gets anything for Christmas."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday

I contemplated what I was going to post.  The most obvious choice seemed a picture of the girls when they were sick a couple of years ago; the one with the puke buckets on their heads is classic.

But the computer with that picture is currently out of service, so when I was browsing though some of the scanned pictures on our laptop I came across this.  It made me laugh.  Today, I needed that.  Life before the lovelies....

October 31, 2002
Our First Halloween at Hanscom AFB, MA

{The Viking, the Prom Date From Hell
and the Fire Chief}

Thank You Thursdayish

Sick on Thursday. Sicker on Friday. But I'm upright long enough to get it in....

1. I'm thankful Geoff graciously offered to let me sleep with Abby Wednesday night.  He looked like an overstuffed pig in a blanket on her little bed, but I slept better with her in close proximity. The poor little lady was burning up!

2. I'm thankful I have an understanding boss.

3. I'm thankful I got an appointment for the girls this morning at the doctor's office.  I'll be even more thankful when we get through whatever is ailing us.

4. I'm thankful for sleep. Though I've done little else in the last 18 hours, it certainly has to have helped.

5. I'm thankful the roads are cleared.  It is hard enough for me just to walk these days, the last thing I need is to feel this crummy and try to be driving through inclimate conditions with my hobble foot.  Now coffee, kick in so I can stay upright long enough to get medical attention.  I need a nanny.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

❄Snow Day❄

A productive snow day....

❄I quickly compiled a grocery list for Geoff❄
[I'm learning to delegate.]

❄Played barista❄
[mmmmm, hot chocolate!]

❄Baked pumpkin bread❄

❄Played referee❄
[sorry, no pics!]

❄Relaxed with my final DVRed Private Practice

❄Took a nap❄

❄Honoured the Brits with afternoon tea❄

❄Watched the snow fall❄

❄Caught up on making my cards❄

❄Did I mention I love snow days?!❄

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Eleven on Tuesday

Hello first eleventh day of two thousand eleven!

1. Until I broke my toe it never occurred to me that I shave my right leg first, but apply moisturizer first to my left leg.  Hmmmmm.

2. I'm always there for others when they need someone.  But when I need help....

3. I love my Lauren, but I've learned to watch her like a hawk when she gets ticked off.  Sunday she peed all over the stool in my shower; she wasn't even in there showering. In the past she's dumped out my make-up and toner.  Naughty little girl.

4. He knew. {smile}

5. Not properly sealing a Ziploc bag negates the entire purpose of using one.  How can people truly not know how to close a stinking bag properly?!

6. I watch Abby as if I'm having an out-of-body experience.  I could never have imagined another person could exist in my likeness.

7. I've concluded that January is dull for a reason: parents need serious down time to recover from Christmas.

8. I'm not perfect, but I'm a good person.  I work hard and get paid very little for the collective work I do.  My reward?  It isn't appreciation.  Is this the tale of every mother and wife?!

9. How do I always get behind the car going significantly less than the speed limit on my way to work?  Grrrrrrrrrr.

10. It only makes sense for a clerk to take your money and give you your change BEFORE giving you your ice cream cone.  Why to people not get this?

11. ❄I love a snow storm. I especially love it when it brings snow days.  Who cares if we have to make up days in the spring.  I love being all bundled up on a winter day watching it snow!!!❄

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flashback Friday

In honor of Abby's birthdays past....

January 7, 2005
One Day Old

January 6, 2006
One Year Old

January 6, 2007
Two Years Old

January 6, 2008
Three Years Old

January 6, 2009
Four Years Old

January 6, 2010
Five Years Old

January 6, 2011
Six Years Old

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful Abby enjoyed her birthday. She woke up this morning to the house decorated with streamers, balloons, and her stuffed animal friends donning party hats. She ate it up! I ate that up!!

2. I'm thankful my daughter has such a wonderful grandma.  Gail, you flew here and made this a birthday to remember.  Thank you for all you do for her; for us!!!

3. I'm thankful it snowed today.  It looked just like the gray afternoon Geoff and I left Hanscom Air Force Base six years ago to meet our first baby.  Snow on Abby's birthday.... perfect!

4. I'm thankful for my boss for allowing me to leave school early today to be at Abby's school for Grandma's experiment.  And thank you, Lisa, for covering for me so I could go.

5. The best part of my day was capping it off as I do every year on Abby's birthday.... reading On the Day You Were Born and paging through her baby pictures in her scrapbook.  She loves to hear the stories and I love to tell them.  I love my girl!

My Golden Girl

Abigail's golden birthday.  A big day for our little girl.  She woke up to find the house decorated in her honor.  She went to school today where she was blessed with a visit from her Grandma, Professor B, a science specialist in Washington who shared an experiment with Abby's kindergarten class.  After school we came home opened gifts, had Grandma's famous chili soup and birthday cake.  As if all of that wasn't enough it was onto gymnastics for two hours.  Ahhhh, busy day.

It was a golden birthday....

{Abby's Drawing From School Today:
Grandma Phillips, Abby, Mom and Dad}

{Happy Birthday, Abby!}

{Assisting Grandma}

{Professor B Makes Elephant Toothpaste}

{Mommy and Abigail}

{Love of Learning, With Love From Aunt Heidi and Uncle Kevin}

{Rod and Reel.... Thanks Grandma and Papa}

{Garnet and Diamond Necklace.... Thank You Grandma Phillips}

{Grandma's Love.... The Best Gift of All}

{Happy Birthday To You!}

{Hitting the Bars}

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

L is for Lauren

Grandma Phillips is in town.  It is a special treat to have Grandma visiting, so she and Daddy picked Lauren up when preschool officially ended, leaving me at school for two and a half hours without my Lauren.

While we are only together for a brief period during lunch, I missed having her smiling face around, and I certainly missed leaving school together.

When I picked her school work out of her mailbox I couldn't help but hold it close to my heart.  Not having her there made me treasure her even more.

This week she is working on the letter L.  L is for Lauren, ladybug and lion.  And L is for love, because I love all of her little creations!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Today's vanity license plate asked "Why Not". Why?  What do they even mean?!

2. Grandmas are special people.

{Grandma Phillips Tells Abby About How Much Snow They Have in Spokane}

3. Today must be apron day.  This cute little creation by my clever friend, Susie:, and a late Christmas gift from my sister-in-law; I got my very own pretty little thing. I love them both!

4. I wonder if my grandpa knew.

5. On Friday night Geoff drove us home in blinding snow.  It's hard to believe we currently have none.  Now that I said that will there be a massive blizzard?  [I hope so!]

6. You had me at altered cheese box:  I love creative people!

7. Putting my feet up, enjoying good conversation with the ones I love.  It's the best drug I know!

8. Have I mentioned I love a clever idea?!  What super-fun clock!!!

9. I want a sewing machine. For many reasons, but I'm dying to put it to use in my cards and other clever projects.  I'm obviously starved to get myself into a new project.  Either that or I'm avoiding decluttering this house!

10. Possibly the cutest Santa anything:  But that's not all, this blogger has a bounty of creative goodies:  Blog-hopping.  That's what I've been doing tonight.  For the life of me I couldn't come up with ten randoms (crazy, I know) so I went shopping for thoughts.  Creativity galore out there!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ten Lessons From a Broken Toe

1. I have a new appreciation for the Dutch.

2. Cleaning out your car wearing a wooden shoe in January can certainly numb your toes; I don't think that is what they meant when they told me to ice my foot.

3. The importance of your toes is highly underrated.

5. Proof I am becoming more important to my children financially and less in mother ways: they continue to function at full capacity now even when I don't.

6. Five hours at work brought far more sympathy for my broken toe than more than five days at home.... with the exception of my grandmas, of course.

7. Anyone who underestimates the severity of a broken toe either has never broken one, hasn't broken one in over a decade therefore forgetting the degree to which is sucks, is cold-hearted, or is a down right mean person and should be avoided.

8. Move all stools out of harms way.  The humidifier that rests on the stool that damaged my poor little piggy has now PCSed as they say in the Air Force: It's found a Permanent Change of Station.

9. It appears my children have left half their body weight in crumbs throughout the back seat of my car.  While this really has nothing to do with my broken toe, it will be nice when they can clean up the car themselves so I can rest my ailing digit.

10. For some reason I keep thinking about a resident I had in college. In a drunken stumble she broke off her two front teeth in the shower.  My toe will heal and I still have my teeth.  For that I am grateful.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Changing of the Guard

Out with the old, in with the new. I hate New Years for that reason. An end of the good, a venture into the unknown. Something about it I find very depressing. The mental anxiety has eased over the years, but nonetheless we're changing the guard....

Good-bye 2010
  • Abby turned five.
  • I made Grandpa a Sunshine Cake for his 80th (and his last) birthday just like his mom made him as a child.
  • Lauren turned four.
  • The girls completed their first year of gymnastics and were selected for preteam.
  • We took a vacation to Washington again this summer, and explored Spokane and Idaho, too!
  • I took in a Twins game at the new Target Field. Awesome!
  • Our summer trip to the cabin with Shawn was highlighted by a visit from a bear.
  • I started my new job at preschool.
  • Lauren started preschool.
  • Abby started kindergarten.
  • Our family lost my grandpa.
  • I broke my toe seven hours before we were supposed to leave for Minnesota for Christmas.
Hello 2011
  • Abby celebrates her golden birthday and Grandma Phillips comes to celebrate!
  • I vow to put less on my plate.... take on less and finish what I start.
  • I vow to finish the projects I start.
  • I vow to clean house. Pear down the junk. Eliminate the clutter.
  • When I come home this summer I am going to clean up my room, my collection of untouched hodge podge from high school, college, babies.... it is time.
  • Of course I would also like to reclaim a hot body, but did I ever have one?  Hmmmm. Probably not. I'd love to get back in shape, so I'm also adding that to my list.
  • I want a new vehicle. Need one. Badly. Can't wait to see what 2011 brings me.  Not just my vehicle, but all of it.  I vow to make it the best year I can!

Flashback Friday

After our drive back to Owatonna in blinding snow following this evening's hockey game, it is with a fond smile that I remember moments of warmth gone by....

Summer 2007

{July--Lauren Swimming at the Cabin}

{August--Abby Playing with Grandpa's Squirrel Food at the Cabin}



{Blog Archive}

{About Me}

My photo
Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.