Saturday, September 20, 2008


Every night while Nathan was gone, I left two lights on. One little light in the kitchen, and one light in the little bathroom.

At bedtime I had this whole routine. I would turn off the lights in the front room and turn on the light in the kitchen. I would turn on all my bedroom lights and then go out and turn off the hallway lights and stair lights. I would make sure the light was on in the little bathroom and that the door was only about an inch open, then I would make my way to bed, turning off lights until my bedside lamp was the only light on (besides the kitchen light and the little bathroom light which I left on all night every night.) Then I would read until I was ready to sleep and I'd switch off the lamp by my bed.

The light from the little bathroom let me feel safe, but wasn't so bright that it interupted my dreams.

With Nathan home now, I don't leave any lights on. I feel safe. Isn't that the best?

Here's the spooky part. The other night I stayed up reading while Nathan went to bed. Everyone was asleep but me. When I was ready to go to bed I turned off all the lights, even the little one in the kitchen and the one in the little bathroom. I remember pausing to ask myself if I needed to leave that light on to light my way to bed, but then I decided I didn't need it and I turned it off and went to bed. That's not the scary part, yet.

In the morning I woke up at 5:24am, as usual, unfortunately, and got up to make a little breakfast for Hannah before seminary. I found my glasses and brushed my teeth and headed out of my room.

And then I noticed something spooky. The light in the little bathroom was on, and the door was open just so.

I know I didn't leave it on. I am 99.5 percent sure I didn't. I asked Hannah if she had come downstairs before I got up and she said no. Later in the morning I asked Sydney, Emily, and John if they had gotten up in the middle of the night and used the little downstairs bathroom. They said no. Nathan said no.

How did the light get turned on?

I'm sure I didn't leave it on.

I think.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Aloha Friday

It's Aloha Friday!

Time to eat some Mango.

Mango is my favorite new fruit. I love it. I could eat mango every day!

It is mango season in Hawaii. You can buy mango all over the place. I like to stop and buy mango from a car that parks along California Avenue in Wahiawa. I also buy local mango at the Commisary or at fruit stands along the North Shore. If you are not lucky enough to live in Hawaii, you can buy mango in your local grocery store. I hope...

I don't think I ever ate fresh mango before we moved here, and I had no idea how to cut one. Luckily, my friend Myrna is a mango expert. Her mango tree gives her way too much fruit. She freezes mango for mango smoothies and mango cake. Myrna showed me how to cut a mango to get the most out of the fruit.

You have to let mango ripen, just like peaches or pears. When you are able to press the fruit in a little, like a pear or a peach, then it is ready.

Some people are very allergic to Mango. It is usually the skin that causes the irritation. So be sure to wash your mango and peal it first thing. Myrna says to peal your mango in long strips from the top down. Don't cut too deep and waste that good fruit.

A ripe mango is slippery and juicy. I usually peal and cut mangos (mangoes?) right over the sink. Once your mango is pealed, you can start slicing off the meat in long strips.

A mango has a large furry pit. You know you have reached the pit when it gets difficult to slice. I think it feels kind of icy when I am cutting close to the seed. After you have removed all of the mango from the pit, you are ready to enjoy.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th

It must have happened 7 years ago. Emily is seven years old, now, and she was just a tiny baby that day.

We had lived in Pensacola, Florida for just over 6 months. It was our first ever military station. Nathan had just entered the Air Force and was in Pensacola for a year or so of flight training. Pensacola NAS is a beautiful base with some lovely historic buildings and homes. I loved seeing all the young sailors in their white hats waving cars onto the base. At that time we would drive up to the gate in our awesome brown Dodge Grand Caravan with the gold running boards, and the gate guards would see the stickers, snap out a salute, and we'd just coast on through without stopping. Easy peasy.

Things have changed.

On September 11, 2001, we were up stairs doing school work (I was home schooling Hannah) when Nathan showed up in the middle of the day. Very unusual. He came upstairs to find us and he couldn't even speak. He ended up writing it down. I still have that little paper telling me that two buildings had been hit...

Life on base changed immediately. Getting over the bridge and onto the base took hours while each car was searched. No more cute sailors in white. Guys in camo with big guns started doing the ID checks. One day that week, we took a little hike on the base out to look at the bayou, and as we were strolling along looking for wildlife, we saw a young marine staked out, watching for intruders. That scared me.

Today, I am typing this as soldiers are gathering for PT in the field behind our home. In a few minutes they will start shouting and counting. And in a few months 75% of the soldiers on our post will be deployed to one place or another.

We have not forgotten.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


With John starting school a month ago, and Nathan back to work, I suddenly find that I have a large chunk of time to myself. And I like it.

I haven't had "my own time" like this since I was a teenager....

Monday I cleaned cleaned cleaned, then I took Hannah to an ortho appointment, then went grocery shopping, and before I had time to put away all the groceries, it was time to pick up the kids.

Tuesday I was lazier and did a little online shopping (I hope my new Landsend overstock swimsuit fits. More importantly, I hope Hannah loves her new swimsuit. fingers crossed.), read the news, whipped up a batch of pizza dough, washed sheets, and read until school was out.

Now it's Wednesday. Wednesday is a short school day. I'm not sure why, or if I like it, but that's the way it is. I stayed at the school this morning and helped in John's class. I heart kindergarten!

And now I have 1.5 hours to get all my jobs done before the afternoon crazies. I need to go to the exchange to buy some envelopes. Then I need to go to the post office where I will use one of those envelopes to send a letter. While I'm at the post office I will send a little package to Kira! Hi Kira! Sorry it's taken me such a long time to send those photos...

After the post office I may buy myself some lunch. Or maybe I'll come home and make myself a BLT. I'm not sure. Then I'll walk back to the school and start an afternoon of fun.

sidenote: Once I saw a book at the library called No One Cares What You Had For Lunch - a book for bloggers. (or something like that) I didn't check out the book. Obviously. Maybe I should have.

Anywho. This isn't supposed to be a To Do List post. This is supposed to be me writing about how I'm not sure if it's okay for me to still be just a stay-at-home-mom now that all my kids are in school full time. I've been thinking maybe I should think about finding a little job. I don't know.

Here's why I don't think it will happen:
I don't really need a job. And, frankly, I work really hard between the hours of
5:30am-8:00am and 2:00pm-8:00pm. That is 8.5 hours of wild work, not including
any time spent on laundry or dishes or
sweeping while everyone is gone. Also, I love volunteering at the school and if
I was working (at say, the school) I wouldn't really have the time to volunteer. And don't forget blogging. Hello!
I have hardly had a chance to sit at the computer all month. If I had a job, my
blog would seriously suffer.

Here's why it could be fun:
I've never really had an actual real job. Maybe working would be a good thing.
And the school is hiring.

I don't want to start the whole working verses stay at home conversation, okay? I stay at home. Whatever. That's fine. When I was younger I felt more religiously zealous about staying home. And I'm glad I've been able to, but I don't think it's the only right or good or perfect way to be a mom. And also I think things are different as babies get older. That said, what would you do?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Real Life

Nathan has been home from Iraq now for just over a month. And it has been mostly smooth sailing so far (knock on wood). There was some initial angst, but that was due to some overachievers in the Flight Records office, not me!

We've all had to make some adjustments - Nathan was a little unprepared for the afternoon rush around here, and the laundry staged a coup. But things seem to be slipping back into real life and it feels good.

Yesterday was my day to drive Hannah and co. to seminary at 5:45am. I jogged while they were studying and it was nice to have a moment to reflect on the last few weeks. It is kind of weird to be in that place that I was waiting waiting waiting for, you know? I have spent most of the last year worrying and waiting and worrying some more and it feels great to have broken out of that cycle. But it is so easy to start taking regular life for granted. So I spent a little time thinking about me and taking stock of whether or not I'm doing all those things that I said I would do when Nathan got home.

On my way back home after dropping the kids off at the high school, I drove past our elementary school, and saw Nathan and the kids walking down the sidewalk with backpacks on and hair slicked down.

It was a beautiful morning!


Saturday, September 06, 2008

All I want for Christmas

Emily lost both of her top two teeth this week.

She lost the first one about an hour before school pictures. I cannot wait to see how cute that little snaggle tooth smile turned out! She lost the second one this morning.

She is having a hard time saying words like sister and sweet. She also says she can drink without opening her mouth!

John wishes he had a loose tooth, too.

ps - I hope the toothfairy remembers to come tonight...