Sooo. . . Whadya think?!
We are extremely happy with the new look from Dawn over at Barefoot Blogs. We hope you enjoy it too!

The lyrics come to mind :" Isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful..." Dawn did a fantastic job on our blog. She is so professional, patient, gracious, and very talented. I would highly recommend Barefoot Blog Designs if you are in the market for a blog design or anything of the sort. I had a wonderful experience!
Brotherly Love

This is mostly for the Grandparents sake, but you all enjoy too. Judah is all boy! He just loved running Eve into everything and anything! When it was Eve's turn to push she, on the other hand, went and found a "seatbelt" for him to wear. Such opposites!
Wordless Wednesday

Living room tents are always fun!

For more Wordless Wednesday photos you can go here or here
Still Alive

We weren't sure the baby bird was still alive yesterday afternoon since we couldn't find him anywhere. We had looked and looked but to no avail. This morning Daniel spied him on our bush. We were thrilled! We also found out that he can fly a little bit. He safely in our tree now, and his Momma is taking good care of him.
Our Fluffy New Friend

He's awful cute, we just wish he could fly.

Eve and "Hon" (her name for him) deep in conversation about whether he knows how to fly.
A Sad Day

I barely noticed them - the red tinges on the green leaves. I wished I hadn't as soon as I saw them. I mourn.

I grew up in western New York, moved to Alaska then to North Dakota, now I live in Vermont. You'd think Winter and I would have reached some sort of understanding, but we haven't. Especially now that I have children....I loathe it. The coats, boots, mittens, hats...on and on it goes. I wish the Air Force would get the memo and pull us from the "Cold-Weather Tour". We have family in New York and Pennsylvania, I can visit snow if I really miss it.

In other sad news... any one remember this post? Not happening. We got the news a few days ago. Apparently this new rule had just come down from the top the day we found out; the new rule that there are no opportunities for cross-training into the Ground Linguist career field unless you are already in Intel. Door closed. So, what now? God's way will always be best...wish it wasn't so hard to figure out sometimes. We're feeling a little lost, and a lot pressed for time. Eve was bitterly disappointed about not being able to live in "Castle-floor-nea" and play at the beach. It's so hard for a four year old to understand what is hard for even an adult to understand. The why's of no.

Yet, we press on.
Hot Weather Food
My "it's too stinkin' hot to cook" meal
Daniel has sixty-nine days of leave (vacation-time) right now. To put that into perspective, it totals what the military gives us as vacation time for two years and four months. This is sick. He has two weeks of leave to use before October first so, next week is mandatory vacation. And we are all very excited! We have no where to go, no one to see - I am very much looking forward to the freedom this allows. I haven't got any expectations to get blown out of the water, though I do hope Daniel can really relax . Recruiting is a hard job to dis-engage yourself from. It's very invasive. But, this week is free! I am looking forward to hanging out with my husband, eating dinners together, no late nights at work, and the kids having Daddy around to play with. We may even order pizza and have a movie night!

Sometime this week Eve and I will have a date at the bead store to make necklaces, possibly an anklet and a few pairs of earrings. And I've been eye-ing this swing from IKEA for in Judah's room. So maybe a trip up to Montreal to visit IKEA would be fun. All in all it's going to be a great week, and it starts tonight!

Just because I needed an extra smile this morning! I love it when kids are kids - don't you?
Eve has Entered the Dating Scene...
Eve went on her first bona fide date this morning....with her father. This is the beginning of what we hope is a long tradition between Daniel and Eve. They went to a local bagel shop for breakfast; she got sesame with cream cheese - half of which was still on her face when she came home. But her smile was what I noticed most.

It only was a half an hour long but the magnitude is far reaching. Eve's love language is time. She needs time, time where the attention is all on her. Who better to give her that than her father? Who better to learn from about how a woman should be treated by a man? What better way for Daniel to instill love into her little heart and create memories that will last a lifetime?

It didn't take much - half an hour and a few dollars.

I wish I could have captured the light in Eve's eyes when I told her she was going on a date with Daddy. I wish I could have captured the way her hair looked held back by a pink bow, blowing in the wind; and the way her feet fairly lifted off the ground with joy. These moments are so fleeting. I thank God for my memory.
Public Service Announcements
** Never try to catch a knife that is falling from on top of the fridge. It will always turn out badly.

** Taking a toddler and a pre-schooler to the bathroom in a very busy toy store will not ever be sanitary or fun, and most definitely will cause you to want to tear your hair out.

** Your pre-schooler will never forget anything you ever told her. Ever.

** A chicken-pox scare is very, very scary. Especially when your friend and her children are going on vacation, but have been recently playing with the child that is now covered in red bumps.

** Transmission work on a vehicle is never cheap.

** Boys throw everything. Everything.

**Toy stores do not promote selfless-ness, a desire to "scale-down", or cause children to not act greedy.

** Some people who work in the customer service arena should never be allowed to come in contact with other human beings.

** Chocolate makes everything better.

Wordless Wednesday - Foraging
Doing one of those things boys do best....looking for food!

More Wordless Wednesdays found here and here
Still Too Fresh
I was wandering through photos this afternoon, looking for a special one to use in my Wordless Wednesday post, when I came across this one

My heart felt pain just looking at it. I'm not as tough as I would like to think I am. Deployment memories hurt, even after almost a year of him being home. I had to stop looking at photos from the period of time when Daniel was gone, it must still be too fresh. Some women fly through deployments, hardly skipping a beat, but not me. I missed him with every breathe I took. I still mourn for the time that was lost. I believe in the necessity of Daniel deploying, but how I wish it didn't have to be.
A Conclusion
I concluded last night that gazing on my sleeping child is akin to gazing on perfection.
Baby Items
I was thinking ,while rocking Judah to sleep last night, about what I would like to have for this new baby. There's not a whole lot since this is number three and we have accumulated most everything we need. There are a few things I want though. The first one is a good swing. I have not had a swing that has done me a lick of good with either of the kids. Both were older styles, and had been given to me. This time I would like to have one that swings side to side and has a cushion in it...what a novel idea!The next item is a Moses basket. Judah is still in a crib and our house just doesn't have room for two cribs. This basket is an ovesize length so, hopefully, will suffice for the baby until Judah is ready for a regular bed. ( the thought of that transition makes me feel a little ill) I love that it is transportable; theoretically, I can move the baby to a different room without actually disturbing their sleep.

This Moby wrap is next. I love wearing my kids and the Moby wrap seems to fit the bill. It will grow with the baby, and washing it will be a breeze. Of course a ring sling would be wonderful too. The sling I have I period
Moby Wrap

Ring Sling

I will of course be buying another sheepskin for the baby. Judah loves his sheepskin, it is such a comfort to him. I love that anywhere we go he has the same bed to sleep on. It stays cool in the summer and keeps him warm in the winter. The only part I don't like is that it takes about 3 hours to dry in the dryer. But, the sheepskin is worth it's weight in gold to my son.
This is a kiddopotamus. A swaddler blanket, for people like me, who can't seem to swaddle their babies in a way that keeps them secure for longer than 2 minutes. I just can not do a good swaddle. I think I would really like this but am iffy. I am not iffy on whether my baby sleeps better swaddled or not, I know for a fact that it's true. And the extra effort it takes me to swaddle in the middle of the night is just way too much effort. So, that's why I think it could be a good product.

Those are the "wants" I have for this new baby. I am looking forward to tucking each item away as we buy them, all the while hoping they really are as good as I desire them to be. Feel free to leave suggestions in comments about what you have loved/couldn't live without. I am always interested in what has worked for other parents.
Little Girls
How does this happen so quickly?

Just Wondering....
As I was driving home with the kids in a huge rainstorm this afternoon, I wondered if the sound of rain hitting the van may be similar to what the baby hears when I take a shower.

Just a random thought.
Because I am so Practical
**This post will, in no way, enhance your life

I love J.Crew

I always have and I always will. I have to buy items on sale otherwise I could never afford anything. These are the items I am most wishing for now. The above shoes I would totally wear any chance I had, but because I am practical I would buy the "Roasted Pumpkin" ones below. Suede would wear longer than calf skin, I'm quite certain. I wouldn't feel quite as funky though. If I was truly practical I would buy brown or some other mundane color like that. But, thankfully, I am not.

This bag is so me. I like oversize bags with lots of pockets. Why? I don't know. As of now in my current oversize purse I have gum, my wallet, sunglasses, checkbook, a pen, hand sanitizer, fold-up scissors, my phone and lip gloss. They are all totally lost in there.

I would wear this coat at all times, but in green. The red, as much as I love it, would totally clash with my hair. And I care about these things.

"Dear Model,
Could we please exchange cheekbones? I'd be forever in your debt.
Love, Andrea"

These shoes are beautiful to me.

Practical - shmatical. I love them and that is all that matters. It's my dream.
The End.
Wordless Wednesdays
Momma's endless hug supply

For more Wordless Wednesdays you can go here or here
Unexpected Visitors Be Warned
You ever just feel "Bleh"? That's how I am feeling today. Inspirational, I know.

We had some men from church come by for a visit last night....without calling first. I am not a stickler for calling before you just show up for a visit, but the hours between 4:30 and 7:30p.m. aren't really the prettiest at my house. It's usually very loud, hence the Cinderella record that was blaring, bacon sizzling for BLTs, the kids were jumping on the couch while I was attempting to straighten up the house and vacuum. How I even knew they were at the door is still a mystery. I am pretty sure I turned bright red.

I like to be prepared for those type of visits. I'd liked to not be wearing my exercise clothes, not had a million pillows all over the living room floor; I wouldn't still have old mascara underneath my eyes, or running to the kitchen to save the diner from burning, and Eve wouldn't be asking me to turn the "Jack" song on the Cinderella record to ear-splitting levels. You know, the little things. Oh, well. They were very gracious and Daniel arrived shortly after they did to save me. He's the conversationalist, I am the one who blurts stuff out when I am uncomfortable. It gets ugly. Trust me.
A Day at the River
Mixing stones and cheese puffs...mmmmmm

Eve's personal drinking fountain

Splashing Daddy!

A rare family picture

5 hours at the river
195 pictures taken
6 dead horseflies
4 very tired happy Hubs
Tons of fun
5 months and 10 pounds later
Can we all say together: Sheesh, woman! Get a tan!

Please tell me I am not alone in this sentiment....

Gaining pregnancy weight is hard on the psyche! I know it is for a good cause, but I am having a really hard time with it. The picture above shows the main symptom - hand to mouth! I try not to snack, I eat healthful meals (just ask Tarrah - we're kind of nutty) and I exercise for an hour, six days a week. Yet, my body just packs it on. I am really hoping to look like this Tarah
but I wonder sometimes!

So.... any advice on how to stay nice and trim during pregnancy so I don't have as far to go after I have this baby? My body hates me post- pregnancy, so I am hoping to counter-act some of the hate by keeping my actual pregnancy weight gain in a happy, healthy place.

And if you're pregnant - tell me when you're due and include a link to your blog. I'd love to follow along!
Hanging out with the cool kids who actually camped

We did not camp...I chickened out. Too many hormones, too much stuff, too much work and way too little sleep. I just couldn't do it. But, we have a really nice tent and air mattress when we decide to camp in the future. Those cool friends of ours over at Blue-Eyed Babies
really did camp, and we went and hung out with them for a couple of days. It was fun! The guys did manly stuff like drink beer by the campfire, play with knives, explored way up the river, and change diapers. We all ate yummy food, ran after children, got s'mores stuck in our hair, laughed a lot, inhaled tons of fresh air, and changed more diapers. Maybe someday we'll be cool like our friends and really camp.

**I just have include a shout out to Amazon...We are in our 2nd year of being members of Amazon Prime. Membership costs us 80 bucks a year, and when we buy an item labeled Amazon Prime I can choose 2 or 3 day shipping for free, or pay 3.99 for overnight shipping. I bought our tent and air mattress on Tuesday around 4:00p.m. est and chose the overnight option - it was delivered and on my doorstep at 9:00 the next morning. I was shocked and amazed! I am so impressed with how awesome that is every time that happens!
Judah "The Bug Squisher"
Whoo-Hoo! A bug! Captured between two pudgy fingers

Checking it out... Is it a keeper? Yup! Is it sufficiently squished?

He spies Momma.... and makes a beeline to show off his conquest

Momma! Here you go!

WHAT! You don't want my fantastic squished bug? I'm so hurt.

Fine. I'll keep it for myself. It's a great bug, you know. The best I've ever caught.

Even the toughest bug squishers still need hugs from Momma, and some quality thumb sucking time.
Homebirth - Wordless Wednesday
Judah's Homebirth - November 27th 2005

Beautiful music....someday
Our girl has a piano now. I am thrilled! My quest, currently, is to find someone that teaches the Suzuki method. I heard once that 4 and a half is the perfect age to start children on an instrument. Although it, at times, seems young to me, we feel as though Eve would do really well. She seems to have the capacity for retaining musical knowledge. And as much as she loves music, the piano and singing, Judah loves it more. He's passionate about music. It will be interesting to see where this beautiful piano takes our family.

Now, just you never mind the dirty window. It's a full time job to keep it clean with the road so close. I already have a full time job so the window loses.
Camping Tips, Please

So, we're trying to go camping with Sam and Tarrah which, in my head, sounds really fun. Reality might prove to be a bit more stressful. I had dreams all last night about how awful camping was going to be and I woke up with my enthusiasm a bit tempered.

I remember how much fun camping was when I was the child. Key phrase there is 'when I was the child' which translates into: no real work, only fun. But, that won't stop us as adults now, we're crazy like that. The hard work doesn't bother me, it's the that stress of camping with really small children that does.

But still,camping lures me. It lures me with it's freedom and no housework. It's easy and delicious meals, with swimming all the time, the smell of food cooking on the campfire, going to bed when you feel tired, and never (as a child) knowing what time it really was. Oh, and s'mores. No camping experience is complete without s'mores.

So, I am sure we'll be camping at some point soon, but I'd like some practical tips. Ideas on how to make my life easier on our first camping experience with small children. Tips on camping, in general, as well.

I've just have to say I'm really glad Daniel and I are going with Sam and Tarrah, who are serious campers, 'cause I'm a little green.... and possibly very afraid of bears.
Compliment of the Day
(Daniel is putting Eve's hair in a pony tail)

Eve says to Daniel:

"Daddy - You're pits smell good!"

Sam - Our Nose Picking Friend

We had fun last night with our friends. We have some really good friends, "special" friends. Friends that like to pick their nose in public forums. If you are observant you'll notice that all the children are studiously observing Sam. If they were old enough to be taking notes, you know they would be. Good times.
Just me and my boy
More Gun Fun
Learning the intricacies of our shotgun

I am totally having way too much fun with these guns! Daniel says I shoot all dainty-like. I'm going to have to work on that. Shooting our shotgun was a bit frustrating because I am left eye dominant. My earmuff got in the way and I had to crank my head way over. Still plenty of fun, though.
We had such a nice time with our friends Sam and Tarrah, they're coming over tomorrow but, sadly, we cannot have any gun fun in town.
A Haircut for Judah
The implements of "torture"

Usually I plop the boy down in front of the computer and stick a movie in for him to watch while I shave his head. It works out pretty well, for the most part. Yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to cut Judah's hair outside, rinse him off with the hose, and then he could play in the pool with Eve. Apparently, that just wasn't going to work out for him. Miserable, torturous, screaming, and writhing would be appropriate words to describe that haircut.

But, he survived (my mom and I as well). He's now in "regs" and looking quite studly, we all think.

Wordless Wednesday: Belly Flop!

For more Wordless Wednesdays go here
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