Saturday, October 22, 2011

Life with a deployed hubby

Unless you've been through one, you really can't understand what it's really like. I have been contemplating this a couple of days now as things have been tough...but good. Just the other day I had one of THOSE days that makes you almost want to give up and just quit, but I've been trying really hard all week to turn over a new leaf and just be super positive about everything. So far so good. I even laughed myself silly the other night when I finally got to go to bed at 1:30 in the morning. Let me tell you how that day went.....
I get up at about 6:20 and start getting kids ready for school. Got everyone ready and dropped off perfectly and got ready to go on my walk with my neighbor. We went on our walk and I came home and started my extra exercise on the treadmill. It was about 9 at this point and I was half way through when the phone rings, it's the school. I need to go pick up Ana because she has lice...yep lice! I was shocked!!!! I grabbed Abe and headed to the school. I took all the kids out for the day so we could just get it all done and I could check them all and do what I needed to do. She comes home and wants a shower so while she does that we start tearing apart beds and bagging stuffed animals.....WOW! I run to the store with the little ones to get the shampoo and we get that done as soon as I get home. I check everyone and it's just Ana, not even little Sariah who shares a bed with her.....not sure how we got lucky, but I'll take it. Ana has a TON of hair and so it took a long time to comb through to get everything and by this time it's almost 3. I get a phone call again from the school, I forgot to pick up the boys that come home with me tues and's thurs....AAAAGGGGHHHHHH! I jump in the car to get them and come home to do some haircuts, felt like a good time since the boys all needed them and the two little girls wanted them. 5 kids later it's now 5 and some friends come over to check on my car to see why the check engine light came on again. They leave and it's about 6 so I hurry and shampoo the rest of the kids just to be safe. We fold and put away the laundry so it's not all over the place anymore. Well....Abe falls and hits the back of his head while getting out of the shower, Beka falls in the tub when she's getting out and hits her back on the spout....and it left a mark!!!! She screams and the poor thing cried for hours, it looked painful. At this point poor little Jarom comes in in tears because this day just can't get any worse. I burst out in laughter because as right as he was, I realize he was totally wrong at the same time. Life is good. Ana was so nervous and scared about her problem that she didn't fall asleep til 1 in the morning. What a day!!!!! crazy as just this one day was, it really wasn't bad because I have SOOO much to be grateful for. I really feel the blessings and love of my Heavenly Father each and every day through these hard times of James being gone. It's hard to hear other people getting their husbands home for r&r when James doesn't get to come home. It's hard to hear people complain that their husband comes home too late at night and they just wish they had a maid or a nanny to help. It's hard to hear our President tell the world that the troops are coming home and should be home for the holidays this year, because they won't. As hard as all of this is, I really am so blessed and so happy to have such a wonderful husband who works so hard for our family. I love my 6 beautiful children that help keep me going each and every day. I have made some of the most amazing friends here who help me with it all. I really couldn't ask for anything is too good!

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's high time!!!

As most of you know my wonderful hubby is gone. I figured since tomorrow marks our 13th anniversary and Sunday is Father's Day, it was only right to pay tribute to the most awesome man in my life! James left last month and will be gone for a whole year, we will see him sometime next May. Of course it's hard to have him gone b/c we love and miss him terribly, but I can't say it's not bearable. The Lord is ever mindful of our family and our needs and I feel that we have been watched over and taken care of and I am so blessed!!!!

The kids and I have been trying to stay busy with some of the most amazing people around here and I think we've done a pretty good job of it so far. We have been to the pools, museums, played baseball, swam in our own backyard and lots of other fun things. We are looking forward to a nice trip up to San Diego and then over to Utah for a few weeks. So exciting it is!!!!

Anyways....I wanted to tell of some of the wonderful things I love about James...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

50 things I'm thankful for

James has been after me for a while to do a list of 50 things I'm thankful for so I'm finally getting around to it, even though I have a million other posts I'm behind all the way back to Halloween! Hahaha!!!!

1. My husband-always willing to work hard and provide for our family! The best father in the world who is loved greatly by our kids. He's my best friend and I don't know what I would do without him. It's hard to remember my life without him!
2. Teancum-his mind is always going 100 miles a minute and I love it! He is always thinking and being creative. He is so helpful and works so hard!
3. Ana-she is so smart and always helping her siblings with learning. She loves to help little Abraham and he loves her! She is finally coming out of her shell and has lots of friends.
4. Jarom-he is the most competitive kid I know and it's awesome. He always has a ball or something in his hand and wants to be running all the time. I love his energy!!!
5. Rebekah-such a sweetheart who has one of the biggest hearts in the world! She always says hi to everyone at school and is always helping her teacher and classmates. She just has a way of singing and dancing around the house that can't help but put a smile on my face.
6. Sariah-she is my little mom. She is such a tender hearted little gal who just wants to please everyone. She loves to make me breakfast and lunch while I'm taking care of Abraham and is always so sweet about it. Her smile just melts my heart!!!
7. Abraham-what can I say, he was meant to be in this family and I don't think a person in the world doesn't love that little face of his! He has a way of calming us all and bringing lots of love and peace to our home.
8. My Savior-without his atoning sacrifice and love for us, we wouldn't be here and I am eternally grateful for the chance I have to be here on this earth at this time!
9. The gospel-I can't imagine where I would be without the knowledge it gives me.
10. My calling-I love children and it is so fun to be a part of a wonderful presidency that gets to spend so much time with some of the most awesome people in our ward!
11. My hubby's job-it may take him away from us more often than we would like, and it's not even a fun job, but it's such a blessing to have a job at this time and to have a way to provide for our family.
12. Our home-it's not the nicest house in the world and it's old and a little run down, but it's our home and it keeps us safe and warm and it's where we get to be together and do the things the Lord would have us do as a family!
13. My mom-she's always been such a good example to me and taught me so much by both her words and actions. She has helped me to be the woman that I am today and I will always be grateful to her for that.
14. My sister Kristi-I don't even know what to say! Not only is she one of the best friends I could ever ask for, she's been there for me since as long as I can remember. For being the "little" sister, she's always been the biggest example and help to me!
15. My big brother Craig-although we didn't always get a long, he was always there behind the scenes helping to take care of me and stand up for me. I'm sure he did so much more than I could even imagine!!!
16. My little brother Erik-such a good example to me. He was much better than me in music and I always admired his talent. I'll always remember the good times we had with krispy kreme runs, eating ben and jerry's together, and the little lessons he taught my kids.
17. My daddy-always there to help me out. Always encouraged me to do better and try a little harder. I always knew he would be there for me when I needed him and always knew the things I needed to hear!
18. President Monson-I always loved him growing up and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful prophet leading and guiding us today.
19. Joseph Smith-a true prophet who restored the gospel to the earth. I'm forever grateful for all that he endured in his lifetime to ensure that we had the gospel and the book of mormon today.
20. San Diego Temple-it's the place where I was sealed to my best friend for time and all eternity!
21. Music-I love music, whether I'm playing it or listening to it!
22. Singing-I LOVE to sing. I may not be good at it but it's so fun to do and I love how I feel when I do it.
23. Dancing-it's so fun to just let loose a little and dance around the house with the kids.
24. Movies-I love being able to watch good movies with the kids for a movie night or a little date with the hubby.
25. Exercise-I may still be a chubby gal but I enjoy being able to exercise. I love a nice walk or a good sweaty workout when the kids allow it.
26. School-the kids enjoy it and I enjoy the learning they do, the friends they make, and the activities they get to do.
27. Being a stay at home mom!
28. A nice washer and dryer.
29. The most comfortable bed in the world.
30. A car that runs-not only can I get to where I need to go around here, but I can travel in the summer when James is gone!
31. Good neighbors-I've been blessed with lots of good neighbors in the past and now is no different.
32. Awesome friends-I have some of the most awesome friends but feel guilty for not being the best friend all the time.
33. Coloring books and crayons-it's so relaxing and fun to do.
34. Christmas trees-the live ones of course...they smell so darn good and look so beautiful with all the decorations!
35. Parks-it's so fun to go out and swing on a swing and act like a little kid again.
36. Swimming pools-there's nothing like a nice dip in the pool on a super hot Texas summer day!!!
37. Ice Cream-it's so yummy in the summer time or with a yummy little piece of cake on your birthday.
38. Pictures-I love looking at pictures and reminiscing the good old days. It's nice having something tangible to help with the memories.
39. My computer-what, oh what would I do without you? Not this...that's for sure.
40. My shower-I LOVE getting into a nice warm shower after a long day or first thing in the morning when I need a little pick me up!
41. Making dinner with the kids.
42. Making dinner for someone to come over.
43. Giving things to others without them knowing it's me.
44. Helping people with things like watching their kids, making them dinner, or whatever else.
45. Winter days-I really don't like being hot and the weather outside right at this moment is just too perfect!
46. San Diego-is there a better place in the world?
47. Abraham's crib-I love when he sleeps in his bed to give me time to get things done.
48. Make-up-it's always nice to cover my face with stuff so I don't scare the neighbors....hahaha!
49. Hugs and kisses-my kids are the best at making me feel loved with their hugs and kisses.
50. Date nights with my man! They don't come very often but I love them when they do....even if it's just a movie when the kids go to bed.

Whew!!!!! Life is pretty darn good!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Best Friend!

I've been missing my best friend and so I wanted to write about him. James and I have been married for 12 years now and some days it feels like just yesterday we were newly weds and others, it feels like an eternity already. Like all married couples we've had our ups and downs but I think lately the ups have definitely outnumbered the downs. When James joined the Army full time and left last April it was really tough since I was 2 weeks away from my due date with baby number 6. It was really hard having James gone at that time since he's the one person in the world I have always shared that special time with and the one person I rely so heavily on for my strength and support. Since moving to Texas he has been gone a lot doing field training exercises preparing for deployment in April. It really stinks having him gone not just because I become a lone parent with 6 kids but because I love him so much and he does SO much for our family. Things just aren't the same when he's gone. I have taken for granted too often all the things he does when he's home and so I have tried really hard to make all the times that he is home right now something special. I have noticed that I enjoy his company even more than I did before and I love the times we just sit and talk and laugh hysterically at the goofy things we do. I love how I get butterflies in my tummy whenever he sends me a text message from work or out in the field. I love how he always tells me how much he misses me and loves me when he's out in the field, it sends chills down my spine. I always thought people were so cheesy and dorky when they would say things like "absence makes the heart grow fonder" or "love gets better with time" or referring to their spouse as their best friend. I don't laugh anymore because I guess I've "matured" a little...and I do mean little when it comes to these things. I really love James with all my heart and I love being able to see him when we get to and I love all that he does for us. He is the most amazing dad in the world and I love how much our kids love and adore him! I don't think I could have asked for a better man than the one I've got!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do siblings have to be Rivals?

I wanted to throw a little spot light here about sibling rivalry and cooperations. I had a thought today as I was watching little Abraham being tickled by Jarom. First I have to explain, Abraham has been the most unusual about laughing, its not that he doesn't laugh but it is like he has a limited reservoir of laughter. It is not easy to reach that little reservoir but when you do he will laugh whole heartedly. The kids are always trying to find it and often they do. Here Jarom was holding the little turtle upside-down and had found that special spot by giving him the biggest 'bizerbert' Jarom could muster. Abe would curl his little body around Jarom's head and laugh.
So, as I was watching this I thought of all the times I had been mean to my own siblings when I was shorter. I also remembered all the present times when my own children are unkind to one another. I regret those times when I was not nice, especially when I knew what I was doing was hurting their feelings. I see the kids hurting each other both with hits and with words. This picture is a time, that does happen every so often, when a couple of my kids are having a great time. It is wonderful, I cherish these moments.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thanks Grandma!

What a lifesaver, I wanted to thank Grandma for passing on this little foam couch-hide-a-way-bed. We used this to train Sariah to want to sleep in her own room first and thus enable us to not only not sleep in my bed but in her own room so both Erin and I could sleep better with out a small person kicking us all night. Now once again we are employing the usefulness of this small piece of children's furniture. Little Abraham has been snuggling with Erin since birth and so he has not been keen on the idea of sleeping in the bed we have set up for him in the toy room. These past few days I have taken the time to help him get to sleep and then tried to ever so gently place him in the bed I use to be able to put him in just a month ago. Both nights he would stay asleep just till I would make contact with the bed. I would take him back into our bed and he would not have any problem sleeping. The thought came that he likes the softer bed so I put him in the bat-man bed and he has slept the past two days until 5 am, all by himself in the little bed. Thank you Grandma for the two nights of sleep for both Erin and I. We are forever grateful for your generous and caring nature.

A Proud Father!

I just wanted to slip in a small moment of excitement that gave me a small glimpse of the eternal joy that a father has in watching a child demonstrate abilities that will give that child success in the future. Tank is working on his first Boy Scout merit badge. The troop he belongs to has taken on the task of working on the Rifle Merit badge as a group. They meet at a ward members house and take turns in rounds shooting five rounds. Knowing that Tank has shot both long rifles and pistols before I have high expectations of his performance. When we show up together I try to take somewhat of a back seat to be able to watch him interact and work with those who are his leaders and the other boys. He seems to be ready to work with the unusual nature of his name as one leader asked him how he pronounces his name, he quickly responded, "You can call me 'Tank'." During the remainder of the three hour activity, Teancum demonstrated the usual performance of an emerging deacon by taking the opportunity, after eating a sandwich on the way to the meeting, to eat another three hot dogs. What really made me excited was his eagerness and steadfastness to work with the leaders and a little bit from me to work on his ability to shoot well. After an initial round of shooting, he was all over the target. I gave him a basic military class on marksmanship, trying to use words and pictures that he would understand. Then we watched a leader together and I pointed out the fundamentals that were visible. From this point I sat back and let Teancum do what he wanted to observe what he would do. Teancum was the first scout each and every round to take his turn to shoot; as the other boys would find other distractions either dealing with the activity or ones that were brought from home. Tank would follow all instructions from the range safety's and after each time he shot he would look for a leader to discuss his performance. I was afraid he would do too much talking but he was respectful and would listen well to each coaching. He stayed focused on the task at hand, taking the given breaks between rounds of shooting to grab a hot dog, drink some of the beverage we brought or talk to me about his shooting. In the end he was able to place two out of five three round groups with in the required quarter size grouping needed to pass off the merit badge. He is excited about continuing to practice, apply the coaching that was given and finish earning the badge. His ability to stay focused, respect his leaders and take control of his own actions make me a happy and pleased father and make me excited for all the success he will have in the future!

Hungry, why wait?

Our little guy thinks he needs solid food. We are trying to slowly introduce the better foods that will help teach him the benefits of healthy foods. Now this dream of a pure healthy diet does not always come true, with our own diets not perfect and with other siblings that love to share some of the sweeter things in life, he gets his hands on less than healthy foods. Now this picture here depicts the sweet child as he was sitting on his mothers lap and at first he grabbed at the plate and moved it around. Before the meal was half over he had moved the plate close enough to grab one of the bread sticks. Once he had his hands on the bread stick it was all over. At first attempt to eat the Bread stick he jabbed it into his right eye. This did not deter him in the least, next he seemed to want to ensure that his mother would not take it back. He placed the bread stick at its half way point next to his hands and licked the full length of the bread making it unappealing to anyone else. From this point he made an operation of the bread. I have seen Grandpa clean a fish and I have seen the fillet process, my youngest son first filleted the bread stick before shoving the bread into his mouth, losing only a few small pieces of bread. He thinks he's getting big!

The next Mower man!

Tank is such a great little worker. There is a trick to get him started at times and once in a while he gets a little distracted but as a general rule, he is one of the little people that I know I can count on to help when I have to leave on a field problem or have to stay overnight for a CQ shift. He has been working on his lawn mowing skills and I can share with gladness in my heart that he is learning and getting better.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Our man vs. food adventure!

We had a wonderful adventure going to Round Rock, Texas to visit the same donut shop the Man vs Food guy visited on his trip to Austin, Texas. When we pulled up to the shop crazy Tank, with his eyes wide open, he all but screams, "I am at the same place Adam Richmand ate at!" We all got a laugh, we took pictures of the 'Texas' size donut that was the same size of Abraham who enjoyed his fair share of the donut as he is eating solid foods now himself! So after the huge donut we made our way over to the 'Salt Lick' an above average bbq joint that, although it is a little expensive, we all ate our fill and enjoyed some of the fun of Texas.