Monday, December 29, 2008

The butterflies have arrived

There are now butterflies decorating the walls of EMN's room. We're not even half way done since it's slow, tedious work, but we all love the look so far. We'll probably have to do second coats on most of them but it's all well worth it! Everywhere you see little pieces of blue painter's tape will be another butterfly. The outlines are all on the wall, I just need the time to paint them all.


In other news, I have a brand new sewing machine since mine died about a month ago. I LOVE my new Bernina (Thank you Grammy!!) and took my first class on Saturday. I sewed up this little zippered bag as my first project. I've been sewing off and on for probably 20 years and this is the first zipper I've ever done (that I can remember). I'm ridiculously thrilled with this little thing and I look forward to many more projects on my new machine!

So a few videos of our Christmas day fun. First is the stockings where every gift was punctuating with exclamation - just the way you hope for! Second is EMN opening her much anticipated "dog and minivan for my dollhouse", the only thing she asked for from Santa. Good work Santa! Third is MTN opening his garbage truck and fourth is him playing with it. Enjoy!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nothing sweeter

My little boy said his nighttime prayers by himself tonight. It brought me to tears and it probably always will. Seeing his chubby hands intertwined tightly as he holds them right above his nose, eyes squeezed shut, in his raspy voice saying the standard toddler "now I lay me, down to sweep, I pray Lord, soul to keep, love with me, through the night, wake me with, morning light". He peeked his eyes open with a big grin and I gave him the tightest hug I could. He was clearly proud of himself as he should be.

The other night at dinner he wanted to pray and he started out reciting the prayer above but then sidetracked into some other stuff. Even just a snippet was enough to leave me needing a tissue. I had no idea he knew the words but Mike did and he knew I would boo-hoo when I heard it. I did the same thing when EMN recited her prayer the first time too. It reminds me that they really are listening to what I say and what an awesome responsibility I have in raising them.

Fun Glasses


Nonna sent cool glasses that make lights look like hearts and rainbows. Perfect for viewing our Christmas tree!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Resourceful

These days, MTN tends to wake up demanding food. No "Good Morning Mommy", no hugs, just "I need breakfast". Yesterday our little trooper woke up earlier than his parents did so Mike turned on the TV for him and returned to bed. I woke up soon after and found MTN at the table where he exclaimed "I did it myself!" Sure enough, he got breakfast for himself. Cold stir fry noodles. He was thrilled and all I could do was laugh. The morning before he tried to dress himself but got stuck taking his shirt off so came running into our bedroom with only his shirt on. I have pictures of that too but they're not suitable for the blog as they include little boy nudity.

Last night we had a great time at the Schluter's house. They are friends of ours from our Osan days. We saw their neighborhood Santa and introduced the kids to smores. MMMMmmmm good!!







Friday, December 19, 2008

Wrong Number

Isn't is a bit sad when the folks who used to own your phone number get more phone calls than you do?? Michelle and family are no longer at this number. No, I don't have their new one. No, Greg can't come into work today. No, I never have worked in an OR. But I always wish the mistaken caller Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Girly Girl

Over the last four years, there have been many days when I wondered if my rough and tumble girl would soften the edges and become a girly girl. It's possible we're headed in that direction. Not only does she prefer dresses these days, but she repeatedly requested a pink and purple room with butterflies. And so, to make the transition from AZ to TX a little more bearable for her, we obliged on her color choices. The butterflies will materialize eventually. Tomorrow night will be her first night sleeping in her newly painted room and I hope she just loves it. She's a great girl and we love her very much. And we kind of like the tomboy nature she has and we hope she never loses her spunk and determination.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Winter!

Snow!

I promise this is snow!
You have to really want to see it. :) But it was cold and white and fell from the sky and so I'm sticking to my story. It was the most bizarre weather day. The link above describes how we hit a high temperature record and by the end of the day there was sleet and incredible wind. I was very happy and the kids were pleased that winter was finally here. Didn't deter EMN from her wardrobe choices (shorts anyone?) but not much does deter her. Still don't think we'll have a white Christmas but at least there are chilly mornings and excuses to drink hot chocolate (or is it cocoa? - that's the endless debate between the kids).
We got our tree up and the lights are on and then our progress stalled. Could be that Mike completed his tasks but I'm behind on mine. All in due time it will be complete. In the meantime, the Santa hat is getting a lot of use! I can't believe I forgot to bring my camera with me when we went Christmas tree shopping, but EMN wore it while we debated over trees. It goes with the shorts and sundresses she favors.
And there were some requests to see my new haircut. Please excuse the bad lighting. I love the salon (The Day Spa at Folawn's) where I got my haircut - they give hand/arm massages and a cucumber eye mask while the conditioner sits on your hair. It was lovely. And my stylist did a great job of listening to me. I look forward to being a repeat customer!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tis the Season

Two Santa sightings today! One at the squadron and one at our church Christmas concert. I think EMN is starting to figure it all out. She keeps asking for a minivan and a dog and then quietly adds "for my dollhouse" - I'm not sure the Santa's hear that part. MTN asks for racecars. He was in the nursery during the concert so he missed the second sighting.




It's been a busy weekend. It's a drill weekend for Mike so he worked all weekend but we still managed to squeeze in a Rampage hockey game, a Spurs basketball game and the concert at Coker United Methodist today. Tomorrow is filled with appointments but at least Mike has the day off.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Minor Victory

Today MTN had his first haircut without tears! And it wasn't even a haircut I gave him! It was at Great Clips and I will always go back to that same stylist. Sara did an amazing job getting him to sit in the chair and wait until she was done. She made it a race between MTN and EMN and was very creative in helping him stay still. So now both kiddos have haircuts and will be ready for formal pictures tomorrow. Yay!!

And in news of the weird, my AARP card came today. Huh. Must be they think all military veterans are over the age of 50. I'm half tempted to pay the $12.50 dues and see if I get the discounts. On the other hand, I'd rather not have a retailer agree that I look over 50. So I think I'll let this offer pass.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November in a Nutshell

The kids are giggling through Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving Special so I'm going to update the blog for the second half of November. Ready?? Here goes ...

I'll start with some random scenes of daily life around here. MTN giving Mike a haircut which kept MTN entertained for quite awhile. If only he learned not only how to wield (fake) scissors, but how to sit still for a haircut. We're still battling on that one. And staying in the hairstyle vein, EMN has learned the joys of longer hair. Things like ponytails, pigtails and barrettes. Cute!


We had the pleasure of hosting our friends the Tysons for a few days in the middle of the month. Their daughter is only a few days younger than MTN so it was a lot of fun for all the kiddos to hang out together. In fact, it was such a special occasion that there was a rainbow the first morning they were here!
We also made a trek to the zoo which was our first. The kids stayed pretty busy climbing statues, brushing goats, watching ducks and hippos and exploring the aquarium. When we asked EMN what her favorite part was, she answered "the butterflies." Mine had to be the hippos because they really surprised us. We were enjoying the fish when the hippos swam into the area we were watching. We had no idea that was part of the exhibit and the kids got quite a thrill from seeing such large animals up close.
We had a wonderful visit and hope to visit them in New Mexico sometime early next year before the next little Tyson arrives!






Shortly after the Tysons departure, we furnished MTNs room. Now that his clothes are in drawers and accessible, it's been interesting seeing his clothing combinations.



The weather is cooler here now and so I've introduced the kids to hot chocolate. I make a special mostly-milk blend that is the perfect guzzling temperature. They ask for it more often than I expected they would but it's a nice way to get them to calm down a bit during their very active, rambunctious days.


So the holidays are coming up, which I'm sure you're aware of. EMN's school had a special school-wide Thanksgiving Luncheon last Friday which we attended. We had a very good meal, catered by Bill Miller Barbecue and chatted with friends and teachers. Afterwards we had a playdate at our park so the kids could run themselves ragged and tire themselves out for a good rest later.



I've been busily knitting matching stockings for our family. Two down, two to go. We have a lot of mismatched ones that will be good for decorating but I made these big enough for loot. Once EMN can decide which color she likes, I'll embroider names on them all. Wouldn't want the loot to get mixed up!! Santa's a busy guy .... and the kids don't need the Starbucks or iTunes cards I hope to receive.



And finally, this is a priceless video captured earlier this evening. MTN is going to light some dance floor on fire someday ... I can't stop giggling myself now!!!

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Baking, Festival, Picnic and a Sweater

Not a creative title but accurate!

The kids learned about the letter B this week so we baked banana bread (muffins). They loved it! Mike ate all the muffins because, in his words, they tasted awesome. We have at least 2 dozen bananas in the freezer that need to get used up so today we'll be making another dozen muffins. The kids are pretty good helpers in the kitchen as long as they share the step-stool nicely.




Today we went to the Kid n'Ewe festival in Boerne. I was interested in seeing all the yarny goodness and I was able to convince the kids it was a good idea because I promised there would be sheep and llamas there and a place for a picnic. Mike has drill this weekend so he missed out on the fun. I think the kids enjoyed themselves but they are certainly not country kids just yet. The barn was "stinky" and the animals were "scary." Never fear - they loved the spinners, weavers and knitters all over. We even saw bobbin lace being made (which reminded me of Burano Italy) and silk being processed (which reminded me of Beijing). Ok, so the kids weren't in on those trips so my little walk down memory lane bored them. They stuck with being mesmerized by the spinning wheels. They were very well behaved which made me extremely happy. They also kept me from any real shopping which the budget appreciates. And perhaps best of all, we took back roads home and the ride was gorgeous. EMN repeatedly mentioned "Mommy, it's a beautiful day" and "We're all alone out here." I explained that this is what Texas really looked like and she decided that maybe she does like it here. The Hill Country has some fantastic roads with spectacular scenery and enough dips and hills to feel like a roller coaster. A little something for everyone!








And yes, for the astute reader, those are goats. No sheep or llamas but goats and alpaca. Subtle difference to the kids' eyes.

And finally, I finished up my cardigan that I started in June and I'm beyond thrilled with it! It fits well, feels great and I'll be proud to wear it. I'm so happy it's done because the weather is starting to get chilly here in the mornings and this will be perfect to ward off the briskness. Now on to Christmas Stockings!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wurstfest

Tonight we celebrated Wurstfest in New Braunfels and it brought back many memories of our three year European Vacation. The kids loved the music and both had their first Ferris Wheel ride! The food and atmosphere were great and we look forward to making this an annual event. Next year we'll know to go on a week night if possible. EMN was fascinated by the band (until she declared them too loud). She tried dancing with daddy but wasn't able to keep her balance that well. She did learn a lot about the instruments and German oompah music though. MTN isn't feeling the best these days (allergies? 2 year old molars? Hard to tell...) so he was content to ride in the stroller, watching all the visitors in funny hats and German outfits.



Look at that - a photo with me in it!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Cookie Monster!

It's been a fun weekend here! We watched the air show at base yesterday and we all loved it. If you have never seen the F-22 demo, you should. It's stunning what that airplane can do! I was really impressed and I'm not even an aviator. I've never seen a group of pilots so quiet as when they were watching that demo.














Today we visited yet another church as we look for a church home here. We also decorated cookies because it's Cookie Monster's birthday! I know it's soon after Halloween and who really needs all that sugar, but since EMN has to reliquish most of her candy due to allergies, it all balances out for us. Plus we have a few cookie monsters living here in the house ...