Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I have a problem.

It really stinks.

I got caught in a flash-flood, monsoon-style rain storm on Saturday. My running shoes got soaked. Not just soaked, water-logged. squishy. squashy. wet.

I left them outside to dry.

overnight. for two nights. I don't run on Sunday, so they sat right there, by the front door, until Monday morning.

On monday I got up at 6am, put in my contacts, brushed my teeth, and stepped out the front door to put on my shoes. When I picked them up, the smell made my eyes water.



A stray cat had sprayed my favorite (and only) pair of running shoes.

So I went back to bed.

This is not something Febreeze can fix. There is no hope for my shoes. I can't even save them as a spare pair. They are done. Finished. fired.

Stinkin' cats.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Emily!

Make a Wish!

Emily wanted to celebrate her birthday at the Polynesian Cultural Center. She invited a friend and we all had a great time!

...I think...

Silly little monkeys!

Look who came all the way from Colorado to wish Emily a Happy Birthday!
Annie looks taller than me, but don't let the photos fool you. She is wearing 4 inch wedges. Annie is just as adorable in real life as she is on her blog. And she has great hair.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Phone Call

I just got a phone call from Miss Annie, of Anniethology.

Hi Annie!

She is in Hawaii!

We've synchronized our watches and hopefully we'll be able to compare tattoo's tomorrow at the Polynesian Cultural Center!

I think this is my first actual blogger meet-up! How exciting!

(5 exclaimation points = super exciting! that makes 6! 7 seven exclamation points - said in my best count voice...)


In other news, I am sending off a package to Nathan. I was going for a movie night theme. Here's what's in it:

CD's of Conference (that's the movie. Maybe I should buy another movie, too?)

Microwave popcorn

Boxes of candy: Hot Tamales. Mike and Ikes. What are those chocolate minty ones? etc.


Hot Cheetos. Sydney's favorite.

That's where the movie stuff ends, but I am sending a few other things:

A plastic shark.

A picture of a mermaid, from Emily.

Two glider planes and a launcher.

There's still a little room in the box, so I may pick up another bag of chips, and a base paper to fill up the space.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

John is wondering:

Shark vs. Croc

Who would win the fight?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dear Me

Dear Calendar,

Where did the week go? Is it Sunday already? Crazy.


Dear Mommy,

If you got in a crash, that would be bad because no one would fix food for us.


Dear Blogger,

Sorry we haven't been hanging out together as much lately. I want to be here more often. I think about you when I'm running. What great blog posts pop into my head at about the 2 mile marker. But I just can't seem to get to the computer. Don't take it personally.

Best Regards,

Dear Duplex,

I am not in love with sharing a bedroom wall with our next door neighbors. No offense, but it is kind of creepy. and awkward. In the future I am going with a single family dwelling, K?

tenant A

Dear Base Dudes,

Thanks for finally clearing out those abandoned vehicles from the parking lot next to our house. That Trans Am without a door was getting on my nerves. Your new barracks are really looking nice. I hope you put in a hedge between us before you move in.


Dear Taco Bell,

I'm sure you noticed I didn't come around this week. It was tough to be apart, but this separation is for the best. I miss your warm tortillas.


Dear Kitchen Stove,

It's been nice to get to know you again. Thanks for the great chicken alfredo and home made pizza. Emily said your pizza was better than Pizza Hut. I'm not sure about that, but it has been nice to see you pulling your weight around here for once.


Monday, April 14, 2008

3 Little Monkeys

I made Sydney's bed on Saturday.

I really made it. Not just the sheets and blanket, but I put it all together.

Our neighborhood had a big garage sale on Saturday. We had other plans, so I didn't plan to do any shopping, but on our way home from dance class, I found a bed for Sydney.

When I brought it home, it was just a big pile of metal tubing, nuts, screws and a few fake wood boards. Nathan would probably cringe at the fake wood-ness, but he's not here, and this bed it totally cool - I think he'll like it.

All my big helpers were out for the day, so Emily and John helped me carry all the pieces upstairs to Sydney's room. Then we started balancing pieces and trying out hex? screwdriver thing-a-ma-jigs. I had no directions and lots of pieces. It was amazing how it all worked out. And no left over bits!

After a little trial and error, the loft bed was complete and the desk underneath was all assembled, including the sliding keyboard drawer. The most dangerous part of the adventure was getting the mattress all the way up over the rails. I almost broke out the bedroom window, and my neck make a scary creaky sound, but somehow I managed to teeter-totter it up over my head onto the bed. Whew!

The bed is about the height of the top bunk of a regular bunkbed, but instead of a bed underneath, there is a desk and some storage. Kind of like this. The perfect place to do some homework or build a fort. Sydney (and John) loves it!


Dinner goal update - You guys are the best! Thanks for all the great ideas and motivation. I made a list today and went to the commisary, something I've been avoiding for a while, but better today than tomorrow (payday.)

At 4pm I got up off the couch where I was enjoying reading A Cure for Dreams (thank you for the book ideas, too) and started some rice in the rice cooker and some chicken breasts in the oven. Just before 5pm I stir-fried some veggies with some olive oil and Shoyu (thank you Heather). I bought a bottle of garlic ginger sauce (thank you Nikko) and added a tablespoon or so in with the veggies. It turned out really yummy. I kept the chicken separate from the veggies for my picky ones, but mixed it all together for me and Hannah.

It was a good dinner. It felt good to have a plan and follow through. on to tomorrow...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

One Little Goal

I like the idea of one week goals. Just one thing to work on, one week at a time.

I'm setting a little goal to fix dinner every single day this week. (I should mention for the record that I do feed my children dinner. I do mostly fix real food, I'm just not doing as good of a job as I could.)

Dinners have been hard for me lately for a couple reasons:

My kids are picky eaters and it is a bummer when I fix a nice dinner and they don't eat it.

Nathan is deployed. With 4 kids to feed that shouldn't really matter, but it does. I have a hard time wanting to cook when he's gone.

Hannah is in the last couple weeks of play rehearsal so I am driving back and forth to the next town (15 minutes away) to take her and pick her up. The pick up time right at dinner time.

I heart Taco Bell

I am extraordinarily tired between 3pm and 6pm every day. I feel like I am swimming through molasses.

But I am going to fix dinner every single day this week. I can do it. I know I can.

I am going to think about dinner before 5:30pm. PB & Jelly and/or cereal does not count as fixing dinner. Mac and Cheese may count on Tuesday night because of mutual, but only on Tuesday.

I just need to remind myself that, yes, dinner-time really does come each and every day and the kids are going to be hungry. Be the mom! Make a plan. Just do it! rah rah rah....

I'm asking for your help here. What are some of your easy dinner tips? Do you start fixing dinner after you wash the breakfast dishes? Do you have a calendar full of menus? Do you eat Waffles on Wednesdays and Marinated Mushrooms on Mondays?

Motivate me!

Inspire Me!

Make me feel like I'm not the only one who has a little difficulty fixing dinner some days...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I need a book to read

I've been on a military-wife book kick. I read one about PTSD, one about dealing with deployment, one about life after deployment, and one about women soldiers. I tried to read this book but it made me cry.

Here's my book list with links.

Down Range: To Iraq and Back

Separated by duty, united in love : a guide to long-distance relationships for military couples

Life after deployment : military families share reunion stories and advice

Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq

I'm ready for something new. Tomorrow is library day and I need some suggestions. I'll probably pick up another war related read, though I'd like to focus more on Iraq history. I also need something lighter. Happier. Not scary.

Any ideas?

Have you read anything good lately?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Can I withstand the siren call of the candy bar?

I have a small bag of snack size Snickers Bars in my kitchen. Leftover from tonight's YM/YW activity. I'm not sure how I ended up with them, but there they are. Taunting me.

For the record I already ate one. The wrapper is sitting here on the desk.

I really want to go have another.

But I know I shouldn't.

Then again, Nathan won't be home for another 4+ months, so I have time to pig out for a while before I have to get skinny before he comes home.

But I don't want to get fat.

I ran this morning, so maybe I can write off the extra calories.

But I ran this morning and I want it to count.

I'm not going to eat it.


And then I'm going to send all the extras to school with the kids tomorrow.


Today I totally and completely forgot a PTA meeting at the middle school. I'm like the president of the middle school PTA. Technically I'm the VP, but there is no P. And I forgot the meeting.

I was even at the middle school at the right time, but I was picking up Hannah from track practice and thinking about picking up Emily from Hula and getting to the Commissary before heading to the church, and the PTA didn't even cross my mind.

Whoops! I am losing it.

Maybe I should take those extra candy bars over to the ladies at the Middle School as a peace offering.


On the topic of my morning run... (see if I keep writing about my run, I am less likely to get up and eat each and every last one of those chocolate bars) this morning I saw my shadow for the first time. Not for the first time ever, but for the first time this spring during my run.

Most days I run early.

Back in January, when school started back up and I got back to my early morning run, it was completely dark. The stars were bright in the sky and I would watch the moon phases. Some days I would wonder if I really ran that morning or if it was a dream.

In about February it started to lighten up by the end of my run. Then it started to be lighter during my whole run, but the sun was still hiding behind the mountains.

Today, for the first time right at the end of my run, the sun was up above the eastern mountains (The Koolau Mountains?) and I saw my shadow for just a minute. The shadow that I love, with the reeeeeealllllly long legs.


I did not eat another Snickers. or is it Snicker in the singular? Either way, I'm not eating 'em. and I mean it.

Monday, April 07, 2008


A conversation with John:

"Ice," John Yelled.

"Ice, mom, ice!," John yelled again.

"Huh?" I said, "why do you need ice? Want a popsicle?" I asked as I continued to washed the dishes.

"No, mom, ICE!" he hollered.

I looked up and noticed a red gun-shaped toy pointed at me, and then I realized John meant, FREEZE. As in, put your hands up and Freeze!


That little John cracks me up!


Tag, I'm it!

Thanks (Army) Wife and Jrzy Army Wife for tagging me.

5 (or so) things we were doing 10 years ago

1 - We lived in a cute little house on a quiet little cul-de-sac. We had great neighbors - Kim and Mo. I spent a lot of time hanging out with Dana and Heather.
2 - Hannah was 3 years old and Sydney was 2 months old. Sydney was extremely colicky and I think I had a bit of PPD. I was a mess of hormones and milk. Unfortunately I decided a haircut was just the thing to make me feel better. That was the worst haircut of my life and I've pretty much had long hair ever since it grew out.
3 - I wore glasses.
4 - I had a gas route. Gas prices were at a high of $1.33.
5 - I had a fun garden with carrots and lettuce and sunflowers.

5 things on my to do list for tomorrow
1 - run
2 - chart out youth talent show
3 - buy popcorn and licorice for talent show
4 - Emily to Hula, Hannah to play practice, Sydney to Activity Days, Hannah to talent show, late bedtime
5 - hope Nathan calls

5 snacks I love
1 - 94% fat free popcorn
2 - grape cherries sliced in half and sprinkled with salt
3 - mango
4 - wheat thins
5 - warm homemade chocolate chip cookies

5 of my bad habits
1 - I don't floss
2 - I don't fold laundry right out of the dryer
3 - I get choked up and stumble on words when talking to strangers
4 - I love new shoes
5 - I eat by the computer

5 places I've lived
1 - Modesto, CA
2 - Hood River, OR
3 - Pensacola FL
4 - Abilene, TX
5 - Rapid City, SD
6 - Paradise

There were more questions but I don't feel like answering them, and now I'm supposed to tag 5 people, but I don't feel like doing that either. I also break chain letters. I live on the edge.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Extra, extra! Read all about it!

Look who's in the paper!

Last week we attended a dinner for families of deployed airmen. While Emily and John were doing a craft (and I was just hoping that gooey paint would not get on my favorite new shirt,) they took our picture. Fun!

PS - when I say "read all about it" I don't actually mean read. The newspaper articles on the page above are not actual about us, just the photo. sorry!

Friday, April 04, 2008

102 solo days

Nathan has been gone for just over 100 days.

We are nearing the halfway mark of his 7.5 month deployment. Yippee! For me, seven and a half months is terribly long. Longer than his previous deployments. But compared to my friends whose husbands will be gone for 15 months or more, 7 is easy. And I'm grateful.

Most days are fine and dandy. Some days are lonely. I'm sleeping really well, but sometimes I can't sleep and have to jump up and sneak around the house checking for bad guys.

Nathan is able to call almost daily, which is excellent. But I am easily swayed by his mood. He is a generally happy guy, but his first month over there must have been very stressful, and he was grouchy on the phone. That made me really tense. He seems happier now, which makes me feel more confident and peaceful.

Keeping things normal at home is one way I cope with Nathan being gone. I think that is good for the kids, too. Same dinner chore chart. Regular bed times. Friday movie night. Stories before lights out. Weekly trips to the library. Family Home Evenings complete with drumming along to "Book of Mormon Stories" and playing zoom-zoom-errk. All little traditions in our home that keep us going.

And time is going. Faster than I thought possible back in December. Next thing you know school will be out...

We miss you, Nathan! Stay safe!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I went to beach today. All alone.

I had a few hours free and wanted to go swimming. So I grabbed some goggles, and a towel and headed up the road.

Waimea Bay was beautiful. The water was clear and the waves were mild.

It was really wierd to be at the beach and not "on duty". No big kids going too far out to holler at. No little kids getting knocked down by the waves. Weird. And fun!

Swimming was a nice change of pace from my usual daily run. I swam for about 20 minutes, then floated for a while, just watching the clouds.

I wanted some pictures for my blog, so I brought along our underwater camera, but I didn't see any fish while I was swimming. And without my kids to photograph I wasn't sure what to do. Then I decided to take pictures of my feet for you.


If feet scare you do not scroll down.

Even if you are not freaked out by feet I should tell you that unfortunately I do NOT have cute feet.

They are rather Fred-Flintstone-like.

Sandy Feet

Underwater Feet

Floating Feet

For Nathan - quotes from Moby Dick:

"Yea, foolish mortals, Noah's flood is not yet subsided; two thirds of the fair world it yet covers."

"These are the times of dreamy quietude, when beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mission Accomplished

One dozen and a half dozen burgers assembled, wrapped and delivered.

We took a bag of fake burgers over to our new neighbors. I introduced myself and we discovered that her daughter is Emily's same age. Then I handed her the bag of burgers and said, "Here's a silly little snack! Hope you like it!"

And I left.

I was worried that she may have chucked them, but she later thanked us for our cute treat. Whew! Mission Accomplished!

We delivered burgers to the girls' teachers and to a few other neighbors. I had the preschool boys here today so they assembled burgers for their moms. And we also gave w few to the missionaries. I signed up to feed the missionaries tonight, but since Nathan isn't home we can't actually feed them here, so we sent a bag of shamburgers along with a lasagna - to go!

That is not all! Oh no that is not all!

I brought everything from my pantry to the church tonight for Young Women's and we whipped up another batch of sugar cookies and green "lettuce" so that the each girl could make her own burger.

That's my smooth lead-in to discussing my YW job:

I'm new to this whole teenage girl scene. I've spent most of my grown up life working in Primary with the under 12 crowd, and I love it there. I'm very comfortable with the little kids and I feel confident teaching them. This whole YW thang is tough.

The girls are touchy. And a little moody. And great. I'm still not feeling totally confident teaching them. But I am getting to know them better and I am feeling like they are happy to see me. My main problem is I don't have the timing down for our week night activities. I seem to either go too short or too long. More often too short.

Tonight went surprisingly well. I had a good activity. A good message. And I had a couple other things that filled in the extra time. One girl had hurt feelings but she recovered before the night was over. Our usual quiet-grouchy girl was happy. And our youngest Beehive really participated, instead of just holding back and watching, for the first time. All in all I think it went okay. Maybe because we had just half our usual girls.

I'm learning.