Sunday, August 31, 2008

5 Years Old

Please, everybody, look at me! Today I'm five years old you see! And after this, I won't be four, Not ever, ever, anymore! I won't be three-or two-or one, For that was when I'd first begun. Now I'll be five a while, and then I'll soon be something else again! (Marie Louise Allen) John's Olympic Birthday party was a Gold Medal event! We competed in the long jump, the high jump, the discus, the shot-put, a sponge relay, gymnastics, a water balloon free throw, and a marathon. Sydney and her buddy Olivia were the official judges. They demonstrated the events and kept the little kids in order! I wasn't sure if the kids would enjoy it, but they were totally in to it, and wanted to do each event over and over! The most popular was the gymnastics.
Happy Birthday John!
video

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Turtles at Ali'i Beach


Last weekend (or was it the weekend before last?) Hannah and Nathan went scuba diving at The Trench.


They saw turtles.


Lots of turtles.


Here's Hannah with a turtle.


Hey, Hannah! Stop harassing that turtle - that's illegal!


The other kids and I snorkeled closer to the beach. We also saw several turtles. Two came up on the sand and sun-bathed with me.

Emily and Sydney were snorkeling together a ways out. It is really shallow for a long way, and the ocean was calm, so I let them get out a little farther than usual. They were having a good time together, until I heard screaming. And they both scrambled back to the shore, splashing and hollering all the way.

Sydney told me that they were snorkeling along, looking for fish, minding their own business, when all of the sudden a huge turtle came over to check them out. His head was right by theirs! Scary! After that they stayed closer to shore...

Yeah for turtles!

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P.S. I want to make sure it's clear that Nathan is home now. He had two weeks of leave and will head back to his regular Air Force job tomorrow (although I think he may take another 10 days off.) He's not going back to Iraq any time soon. I hope.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bowled over

Nathan's two weeks of official leave is over tomorrow. Can you believe it's been two weeks? We have been partying hard over here at the Tiki Hut. It has been so fun to have Nathan home! and I have been avoiding the computer. I just haven't wanted to waste any time! But now it's time to catch up....


Bowling with John:






John has kept a list of fun things to do with his dad, and bowling was right at the top. Each and every phone call from Nathan, John would run down his list: bowling, snorkeling, wrestling, and the water park... so far they are 3 for 4.

John's score wasn't as good this time as the last time we went bowling, but his form was awesome! Here's a funny from John: the kids and I went bowling the weekend before Nathan came home. That makes it sound like we bowl a lot. Not so. Thank goodness for the bumpers! That night John said in his prayer "...and thank you that I got one strike and two spares at bowling..."

He totally beat me...

coming soon - scuba-ing. glider rides. a jam session. and a Lost casting call.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Home Again



John and Dad


Sydney and Dad


Dad and Emily


Hannah and Dad


What a great week!

The night Nathan came home seemed rather unreal. We tidied up the house, hung the welcome home banner, and I started a movie for the kids while I headed to the airport. Nathan wasn't coming home with a big group. His group came home a few days earlier, so it was just him. No big ceremony or parade. Perfect!

There was construction at the airport, and I missed the parking garage and ended up leaving the airport and having to drive into Honolulu to turn around! I was plenty early, so I just kept calm and tried again.

At the airport I went to the USO and filled out paperwork so that I could pass through security and go to the arrival gate to meet Nathan. Then I had to hike from one end of the airport to the other (twice) in my cute red sandals. That airport is bigger than it looks.

Just after I found gate 22, an airplane pulled in. They were about a half hour early. Yipes! I saw a few other families waiting for their dads, too. I felt like I had electricity in my skin while I was standing there, waiting.

It was fun to see Nathan before he saw me. He is so cute!

We broke the "no PDA in uniform" rule! Then found his baggage, said "Hi" to his commander who had come to welcome him home, and headed home.

The kids hung a Happy Birthday banner for Nathan, and taped paper over the door for him to break through, since he missed his birthday while he was gone. That was totally fun. John thought that was great.

It is so sweet to have our family together again.

Welcome Home, Nathan!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Note From Nate

Hey Everyone!

Thanks to all of you for making Wendy's blog so much fun over the last seven months. I've been able to read it from time to time and it's really kept my spirits up. I'm at the Atlanta USO waiting for my flight! I'm on my way home...Wendy, you are completely HAWT!...and you always exceed my expectations. I love you.

Mary C., I would have loved to see you guys in Balt-more. I can't wait for your visit. See you soon!

-Nate





(Nathan just sent this comment to yesterday's post. I hope he doesn't mind if I make it today's blog post.)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Checking My List

I worked hard last week so that I wouldn't have any big projects to do if Nathan got home earlier than expected, so my to do list for tomorrow is easy-peasy:

get hannah to her first day of seminary(!)
get the kids to school
do my regular Monday Clean-o-Rama
hope for a phone call from Atlanta
wash sheets
and go to the commissary


Not bad.

I just love lists, don't you? As a special treat I have an old list to review. I thought I'd revisit my list of deployment goals/New Year's resolutions to see how I did. Here it is, copied and pasted from January 3rd - slashes added:



This year I want to:

1 Spend less $

2 Save more $$$

3 Pay off the big red 'burb

4 Stay home more

5 Write

6 Read good books

7 Take a class (hula)

8Learn to surf for reals

9 Plan and Survive (and hopefully even enjoy) Girls Camp

10 Run 5x a weekmostly

11 Do the Great Aloha Run

12 Hang curtains and pictures in my bedroom

13 Look Hawt when Nathan gets home in September





In Review:

I am most proud of #3. That was my main big goal for this deployment. And it was tough, but we did it! It was an exciting day when I got a little notice from the bank, stating me that that giant gas guzzling car taking up two parking spots at the grocery store is mine! All Mine! Which makes it easier to do more of #1 an #2!

All year I have done a great job at #10...until last week...in which I ran just once. Yikes. I hope that doesn't affect my chance at #13.

Did you notice I wrote "September" on #13. All along Nathan was saying July. I was saying September. It is better to be pleasantly surprised with an earlier return date, don't you think?

Unfortunately, I still can't surf. I will learn to surf. I will... I will... hey Mary, wanna take a surfing lesson with me when you come visit? Let's try to leave the guys at home so there won't be any more of those embarrassing photo's...

I wish I had been better at #4 so I would have had more time for #5. It seems like I got busy busy busy as soon as Hannah started rehearsals for her play, and I haven't had a chance to slow down since. I have a feeling things will change a little when there's more than one driver around here, and me with just one car.

And here's me, way back in December, working on goal #6:




That's all!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Waiting

Maybe it's a good thing Nathan didn't make it home from Iraq this weekend.


I gotsta read!





Bella: "Should I be afraid?"
Edward: "Terrified."

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Soon

Earlier this week I got a note from Nathan saying "I'm making my way home."

I spent all week trying to decipher those 5 words... what does that mean exactly? coming home when? this week? next week? I worked through the tension by cleaning out closets and getting my hair done. I finally got to talk to him this morning.

Just a few more days until he comes home!

Yippeee!




Here is some reunion advice for myself from the ghost of reunion past.

Deployment #1. John was a baby, I was a new Primary President, and I shovelled a lot of snow while Nathan was sitting easy in a tropical location. I had crazy expectations when he got home, and I was easily disappointed.

Reunion #1 lesson learned - have less expectations. and relax.


Deployment #2 The kids were a little bigger and a lot busier. I spent a lot of time with the snow shovel, again, while Nathan was (again) in a tropical location. Nathan came home at the intersection of track and soccer seasons. We also had piano lessons, preschool, and lots of Primary responsibilities and activities. I tried hard to remember deployment lesson #1. But I think I disappointed Nathan by all our busy activities. My favorite thing about that reunion is that I made arrangements for Nathan and I to escape for a night about a week after he got home.

Reunion #2 lesson learned - don't be so busy, and take the time to escape.


Deployment #3 - I'm in the tropical location this time! Ha! And already this week I've been fighting the expectation game.....but I'm working on it! What I'm really worried about is lesson #2 - don't be so busy.

The kids are getting settled into the school routine, and our calendar next week is looking full. Today I am going to call and find a replacement for myself for YW and cancel piano lessons. I'm skipping the PTO meeting and I'm also going to email the band director and let him know that I won't be able to make it to the band parent orientation meeting.

Luckily I already arranged a carpool for cross country, but but there's still the 5th grade pizza social and the Kindergarten orientation... arrrg.




I know some of you have been through bigger and badder deployments than I have, and I know you've got some great advice, so let me have it. Give me have your best reunion tip!





*I wonder if my favorite babysitter is available for a weekend later this month...