I want to be like my Daddy...
Judah thought Daddy's protein shake smelled pretty good. So, it must taste really good right? Eve's reaction to tasting it was rather negative. Let me re-phrase that...utter disgust would be more appropriate. Too bad I don't have a picture of that. Judah on the other hand rather liked it

Sticking his hand in it-yuck!

His milk- stache

In other news- I feel sometimes that I can actually watch these Paper whites growing. They give us hope and will soon be making our house smell like spring.

3 going on 23

Eve: Daddy, my shoes are really hurting my feet

Me: Well, take them off

Eve: No, I don't think so, I really love them

A satisfied customer? Not yet..
***Update: Mark Bove came to my house this morning. Basically shoved a box of sauce and meatballs into my arms and left. Thankful? Yes, for the sauce. A little ticked off? Yup, that he didn't have the to integrity to apologize for not showing up yesterday or calling.
So, all in all, glad he came but he botched a chance to really make good. Working here: Scott Miller Salon and Spa I was taught how to do customer service right. Guess I'm spoiled.***

I was angry, very angry! I had just spent an hour and a half making a delicious looking dinner of Chicken Parmesan. I had already eaten my fair share with my eyes...what they say is true in my opinion- we are visual eaters.

I handed Daniel the jar of Bove's marinara sauce to open since he was standing next to me. He commented on how the lid came off easy; I proceeded to pour the entire contents of the jar over the chicken, red peppers, mushrooms etc. As I grabbed the top of the jar to throw away I noticed that there was a big piece of mold on it. My stomach lurched as I put it all together- moldy top that had come off easy...it was never sealed and our dinner was going in the trash. I've had food poisoning once and I never, never want to have that experience again.

I might've slammed a few cupboards as reality set in. I asked Daniel to throw it away because I just couldn't do it. Just couldn't do it. He cleaned everything up as I tried to call the company to let them know exactly how I felt; luckily for them and me no one was there. After I had calmed down I wrote an e-mail to the customer service at Bove's. I tried to keep a good balance of accepting responsibility for using a jar of sauce that was unsealed but still letting them know I was not happy.

We really love Bove's sauce; we've been buying it from Costco for quite awhile now. It is also a local company and in keeping with "the Vermont way" we support the locals when we can. But I've been known to boycott a company when they haven't righted a wrong. I really didn't want to have to do that with Bove's.

So, about 9pm. last night I get a phone call from Mark Bove. I just about died. He apologized profusely to me; he seemed very sincere. He took my address and let me know he was going to come to my house tomorrow (Monday) and bring me some sauce. His comment was that I was going to be "very content this week". I was impressed.

It is now 6:06pm with no Mark Bove bringing me sauce. I'm thinking he's not coming today and I wonder....was it all a facade? It seemed that he was trying to right a wrong. I hope to be satisfied but as of now I am still in the same position as last night: empty handed and not happy.
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. -Dnaeil
I had this 9 pound baby at home....
..with nothing to show for it. They don't look anything alike, do they?!

Remember, politeness, I know it was about 60 years ago. . .
It's called a "cold call". Recruiters have to do it, and it is not usually a terribly thrilling time. However, we must call, and no, it is not soliciting. No, we are not on the banned list. I don't care if you are on a "do not call list". That does not apply to me. I'm from the Air Force, and I want to enlist your son or daughter (or you, if you are the son or daughter) and I'm really actually okay with most people not joining the Air Force. I would probably like for one student from your school to join. That's it, one. If one student joined from every high school that I work with, my job would be all but done. All that I ask is that you are cordial, or polite (for those parents who don't know what cordial means, usually the same ones who think it's illegal for me to call them). And to the kids, at first I was really upset because you sound so happy to answer the phone (someone actually called to talk to your sorry butt) and then you find out it's a recruiter and you sound disappointed. Yes, I can hear the disappointment, and that is rude. Then I realized that this generation is so busy typing and texting that they probably honestly don't even know that other people can hear those things in their voice. That actually goes for parents as well. Getting me off the phone in under 20 seconds should not be your goal. If you treat a military recruiter like a telemarketer, then you need to walk outside, take the "support our troops" magnet off of your car and try to remember next time that it's a human on the other end of the line. -Daniel
The camera dilemma
We are in the market to replace our digital camera, we need a new one bad. We feel very frustrated with the Canon Powershot that we have; missing shots of the kids due to sluggish processing time, the omission of quality in the pictures we have taken, and the absence of options! It has been enough to drive us crazy!

For months I have been fastidiously saving any extra money to go towards a new camera; which one, though, has been the question. I emailed these amazing artist's, they are people we know from our church back home and they know their stuff. They offered their help, but we'd also like to know from you all; what do you like in your cameras, what do you hate, what are your suggestions? We know you have cameras so help us out! We have been seriously considering one of these:

Nikon's D40 and D50; although Costco has the D80 with a lens for a great price.

We are willing to spend a bunch of money if it's going to blow us away. So, inform us, give us your opinion. We are about ready to throw our camera out the window- if it wasn't so dang cold!
Global insanity
I had to visit a school today that smelled like poop. It was an hour and a half drive to get there, this place was "out there", like, that's where places that are in the sticks import their sticks from. BTW, it smelled like poop 'cause half the kids still had poop on their boots from the morning farm chores. If you grew up on a farm, no offense, just change your boots before you go to school.

Anyway, there's pretty much only AM coverage on the radio so I was listening to talk radio when I heard that an Inconvenient Truth -documentary by the inventor of the internet Al "Global Warming" Gore- was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary.

If Al Gore gets an Academy Award, then I would say you know what has just frozen over, except for the inconvenient fact that it's probably starting to warm up even more down there what with all the freon in the air. Regardless, it pretty much means that the world has flipped upside down.

The weekend in review
Yeast donuts were first

Honey and Nut Trail Mix

All came out delicious!
So. . what's the difference between "Mostly Sunny" and "Partly Cloudy"?? -Hub
Our little "Cindy-Lou-Who"
Before Christmas I bought "The Grinch" to watch as a family. We snuggled up on our bed with Eve and a big bowl of popcorn to have "special Momma and Daddy time". Truthfully, I didn't think that Eve really even liked the movie. She seemed pretty disinterested in the whole affair. The popcorn was what her attention was most fixated on. I was surprised when she asked to watch it again and again. We obliged when it was appropriate and eventually the desire for it wore off.
What was left though is a change in name. No longer do we have an "Eve" living in our house, we have a "Cindy-Lou-Who".

At first it was funny because she would correct us whenever we would use her name.

"Actually, I am Cindy-Lou-Who" she would say.


"I'm not Eve I am Cindy-Lou-Who!".

We knew it was serious when the cashier at our local Hannaford's asked Eve what her name was and she introduced herself as "Cindy-Lou-Who". Needless to say the cashier was confused.

We have had so much fun humoring her; the delight that flashes across her face when she realizes you remembered without a reminder is priceless.

The inner workings of the three-year old mind are unfathomable.
I love to watch her. Though I can't always see the reason behind some of the things she says and does, she is absolutely captivating.

She is most gracious in all her dealings, raining down "Oooh Kankyou's!" whenever you tell her you love her.

Her manners are nearly impeccable. Like a little southern belle.

There are a multitude of "No, kankyou's" and "I'd rather not." "Excuse me's " and "Yes, Please!"

She is prolific with her compliments, "Great job!" and "I am so proud of you" is heard multiple times throughout the day.

"Momma, you are the prettiest girl ever!" and Daddy is regularly told that he is the "most handsome boy".

" Momma, I love all your shirts" was whispered to me last night, while a still soft baby-ish hand stroked my arm.

At nearly every turn she calls Judah "Stud".

"Eh, eh, eh! Be careful Stud, you almost smooshed me!" was overheard yesterday.

I reflect on her and smile. She most often seems to me not like a three year old but a 26 year old. Yet, she is kind to everyone regardless of their appearance, she doesn't see color, and she loves with abandon. At times her innocence takes my breathe away.

Now, if only this 26 year old could be more like her. -Andrea

Process-note to self
It's all a process. Okay, not everything but most things are. That's what I love about working out (and hate too). It's slow, but just fast enough to see a change, a slow change granted, but, a change. And it reminds me of the rest of my life and opens my eyes to needing to be patient. In todays' society, everything is set to be instant. And it is easy to read a book, think you can apply the principles and instantly be a new person. Or start a new diet and think you can instantly shed (or gain) pounds. Change involves process, and that means time, and that demands patience. It also demands that you contribute to the process every day. Or at least pretty regularly. Working out almost everyday, applying principals of good character everyday, improving everyday. Only so much can be accomplished in a day, but accomplishing a little every day adds up. -Hub
An Optomistic View of Options
I sure do miss summer...

...playing at the playground

...or the rain

... flowers

....going to Shelburne Farms

...eating fresh picked berries

.....bare feet

...swimming or trying to anyways

...open windows

...washing the car

Winter is fun too...

... a different kind of fun

...just not quite as many options

...but still options

("Paperwhite" flower bulbs)

Our Holding Pattern
If you've been keeping up with this blog, then you know we are waiting on an assignment. I'm coming up to the end of my recruiting tour (due to be done in May) and then the Air Force will be moving us. . . we think. Problem is, that we don't know for sure, if, or where. The "if" is because the Air Force recently said they would like to save money by extending 3 year tours to 4 years. The logic is that if the Air Force spends money on moving costs less often, they will save money. So here I am nearing the end of a 3 (and now potentially 4) year tour. Normally, at this point, my assignment choices would have been released, and I would be updating my "dreamsheet" to reflect where I would most like to go. That list isn't out though, 'cause they aren't sure whether or not the people who would be looking at it (insert me) are going to be extended. Now, I doubt that I will get extended because I'm pretty close to getting an assignment, and there are a few other factors that lead me to believe we will be leaving in May (not going to discuss those in public though). We'll probably be going somewhere in the states, and hopefully we'll get an answer soon. Or at least the list of available openings. The plan is that once I get done with this tour, I'll go back to being an electrician at a regular base. *electrician on houses and power lines, not planes. I'd like to do that for a couple of years, to get some more supervisory experience and then find an Air Force school to teach at somewhere. That's what I would really like to do, teach. Of course, we'll let you know as soon as we are released from our holding pattern.
Who Needs a Gym
Daniel is in a blogging funk so I am writing tonight.

I love it when it snows because it makes my workout incredible. Our double stroller is extraordinary, the best 300 dollars I have ever spent. It blasts through the snow! That being said, the snow still provides tons of resistance and I love all the extra effort. Daniel took this picture after I had conquered a huge hill we have on one of our "routes". I have so much fun walking like this and wish our alcoholic sidewalk snow plow driver would take a hike. He rains on my parade.
Happy Birthday David!!
Miss your squeaky laugh, your hilarious perspective on everything, the way you love anything I cook... actually I just miss you all together. Almost makes me want to be stationed at Kadena, almost. If it wasn't for the spiders....!! Have a great year. We love you like crazy, let's share some air soon!

Daniel, Andie, Eve and Judah

** Yeah, he's 6'5, funny as all get out, a handsome devil, and single....! Totally gonna die for this!
Today's Get-up
Such a silly girl!

My Anti-Stomach Virus Smoothie
This is a delicious way to help ward off the stomach bug that is so prevalent this time of year.

Here is the recipe:

3/4 cup non-fat Kefir

2-3 cups milk

1/4 cup honey

2 Tablespoons flax oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

Throw some frozen fruit in there (a cup or so)

Put your kefir, milk, honey and vanilla in your blender first. Add your frozen fruit last. Blend away!

(My kids LOVE it when I add a banana and some cocoa to the mix!!)

Some of you may wonder what kefir is. I know I did. With my research I discovered great health benefits and because we all love smoothies it is so easy to incorporate into our diet. I found the above brand at our local grocery store. It was in the dairy section of the natural foods. It is worth noting that it did take me a couple of smoothies to get use to the "tangy" taste of the kefir.

One of the benefits of kefir is it contains additional, better bacteria than yogurt that go deep in your intestines. ( I still eat yogurt - of course) In doing so it helps to wards off the dreaded stomach virus. Pretty much that is what sold me on it. Drink to your health!


Kennedy vs. Freedom
This week Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is proposing that we don't add to the fight.

69 Years ago, another Kennedy (Ted's daddy) was the US Ambassador to Britian. Joseph Kennedy rejected the warnings of Winston Churchill that compromise with Nazi Germany was impossible; instead he supported Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement in order to stave off a second world war that would be a more horrible "armageddon" than the first.

Like Father Like Son. Who thinks it would have been a good idea to stay out of Germany? That the sacrifices of our soldiers weren't worth stopping Hitler?

Let's learn from the past. The last time a Kennedy wanted to shy away from foreign conflict, hindsight proved it to have been a cowardly and foolish desire. Some things are worth fighting for. Thank God that FDR didn't listen to Kennedy and joined another great man, Winston Churchill in not backing down, and in defending the weak.

Now, our President has outlined a new strategy for success. It means adding to the fight. It means defending freedom. Ours and a baby democracy. Some things are still worth fighting for. Freedom is still worth fighting for. If that means that more troops are needed, I'll bet they are willing to go. To do their duty. I am.
Rocky vs. Rambo
So, I was all for Rocky Balboa (Rocky 6). I enjoyed the movie, it had a ton of positive qualities (as previously mentioned by Andrea a few posts back).

And when all the naysayers questioned a retired boxer coming back for another shot at glory, I only had two words. George Foreman.

Now. . . I find out that Rambo IV is in the works. Hmmm.

Comments welcome, cause I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about this one.
Boys intrigued me. Especially my little boy.

I grew up with two brothers and my father was present so there was a lot of testosterone in our home.

We had GI Joe's and trucks, guns made from toast crusts, broken bones, mud, snakes in the pockets, the whole sha-bang. But, they weren't my little boys, they were my brothers, and being a girl I was way more interested in all the typical girl things. Like singing the latest Bryan Adams song into my hairbrush while sitting in front of the vanity in the room I shared with no one 'cause I was, you know, the only girl.
I think I have always appreciated the maleness of men. But especially now. I love how Daniel wears cologne on top of his axe body spray, on top of his manly deodorant, on top of his axe body wash. Somehow it isn't overwhelming, it's this smell that just sort of drifts around the house reminding me of his gender. I enjoy how he views everything through the lens of a man, what a great and interesting perspective it can be. I love to watch when he gets together with his buddies, few or many, and they play football- I am so intrigued by the interactions; the pushing and shoving, the friendly competition that comes out between them.

The "we may be friends but I'll take you out in a second to get that ball, just so we're clear" kind of interactions. I totally dig that.

One night awhile ago, Daniel told me:"I need to go get in a fight or chop down a tree or something!". It made me laugh but... I got it. He needed to do something that made him feel like the man he is. All that being said, I see that kind of maleness in my son. It's little, like those micromachines. It has all the stuff of the big cars it's just mini.
I always said growing up that I didn't want to give birth to any girls, just give me five boys and I would be thrilled. (since I have actually given birth I have rescinded the whole "five" thing) Then I had a girl....I was in love. Love.

The pink, the bows, the earrings, I just couldn't get enough.

All during my second pregnancy I was sure I was having another girl. You couldn't convince me there was even a remote possibility that a boy could very well be in my future. I laughed when people suggested it. Laughed at them, like they were the crazy one. When I looked down to see the "plumbing" that came along with this new baby I was shocked. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I believe my first words were: 'A boy! What am I going to do with a boy and what am I going to do with that! (the plumbing)" It took me all of two minutes, then I was so deeply in love with this boy that was now mine. It took Eve awhile longer. She did eventually, following many discussions, stop asking where "Grace" was. We had, after all, called the baby that name for months.
For the first nine months or so he was just a baby. A boy yes, but still just a baby. But now the maleness is really starting to come out and I love it. Last night he was so excited about his bath that as I was reaching to turn the water on he peed, then laughed.

It made me laugh and laugh. I see his male tendencies in how, even though at this point, he would rather push around Eve's baby stroller than his trucks, he slams that stroller into the door or the couch. And what is it with boys and being naked? He is happiest when he has nothing on. Getting dressed takes up way too much of his play time- he screams his head off. Don't even think about trying to wash his face or hands after dinner without a fight.

Passing gas is hilarious to him. If that doesn't bring it down to the basics of being a male...! He also instinctively knows that balls are made to be thrown and he knew how to "zoom" a car without ever being shown, complete with the sound effects. But the best thing of all about him being a boy is how he loves me.

He snuggles on me, he plays with my hair, he pats my back and now he gives me kisses. Kisses. From my baby boy. Nothing is better than that, not even chocolate. And I have a deep affinity for chocolate.
This summer I read a book by Rick Johnson called "That's my son". I needed to read that book. It helped refine the desires I have in raising my son. I now have a passion for letting him become that man he is meant to be, a manly man. Not to feminize my son. I still desire for him to be understanding, to have gentleness, and a profound respect for women among other things but all developed within the realm of being a male. I want to raise a warrior, a man with strong character and deep convictions.

Of course, first off we'll have to work on the whole "peeing when you hear running water" thing.
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