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Monday, September 29, 2008

Recruit 2 and His Buddy: Girls just wanna have fun....

So, Recruit 1 and her friend took Recruit 2 and his friend, who happens to be the brother of Recruit 1's friend, to a church dance a week or so ago. Here's a little clip from their car ride. I think they were heading home. Recruit 2 isn't as visible in this video, but those of you who know these two boys will find this entertaining. I found it quite amusing. Here they are, two knuckleheads performing, very poorly, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Once upon a windy day.... 18 years arrived just like THAT!

We were stationed on the West Coast. The Marine was in RECON and it was 1990. There are several dates that stick out in my mind. August 2, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Recruit 1 arrived the following month, and 9 weeks later she and I said goodbye to The Marine for almost 11 months during Desert Storm.

She was a bright spot in an otherwise uncertain and frightening time. I say frightening because there were a few moments I was really afraid it would only be her and I, that the Marine would not come home. However I had great support from my parents and I did what any young wife and mother would do. I taught Recruit 1 how to shop! She learned very very well... Can't wait for her to get a job...

(She was trying to get Recruit 6's shoes on when I started the impromptu photo shoot...She is a fabulous big sister!)

She was a real doll:

One time in a grocery store not long after The Marine Deployed I had her dressed in a little snow suit. It was December and she looked just like a little Doll.

I had her sitting in the front of the shopping basket. The little quilted suit had her sitting straight up with her arms held out at her sides. I kept the hood up because her big blue eyes looked so cute popping out from the middle of the fur trim...

I walked through the produce section chatting with her as we shopped.

Soon I noticed a woman sort of eyeballing me as I shopped.

I assumed it was because my baby was so fabulous and who wouldn't eyeball a fabulous baby. Plus I was such a good mommy, talking to my child and including her in my discussion about fruit.

The woman moved closer, presumably to gaze upon the beauty of my child. Why else would she be staring?

Recruit 1 chose at that moment to squeak and move her stiff little body sideways to look at me out of the hood of the snow suit. The woman about jumped out of her pants.

Startled I looked at the woman and she defensively and rather gruffly said she thought that it was a baby doll I had stuck in the basket and was talking to it.

I looked at her and said, rather strongly, "NO! She's a real baby"... and then quickly walked away. I realized then, the woman had been FOLLOWING me around the store thinking I was crazy.

If I ever go crazy rest assured, I will do something more fun than chat about produce to a baby doll.... in fact, I guarantee I would come up with something way cooler than that.

Ever since then Recruit 1 has continued to bring all kinds of attention to herself and our family! She is Bright, Bold, and Beautiful. She's kind of bouncy too... (okay I threw that in to see how long she takes to check the blog...)

Did I mention she has great hair too? Even blowing all in her face... I'll know she has checked the blog when I hear her yell from upstairs "MOOOOTHERRRRR!"

I really really love her. I learn more and more every day what my father was trying to say when he would say things like "it doesn't last long". "Tomorrow she'll be grown and gone", etc. I used to wish he would quit being the voice of doom and just let me enjoy the moment. Not ruin it with predictions of moments lost, never to be recaptured. It really annoyed me and was so doomsday-ish.

Now I realize, it wasn't the voice of doom, it was the voice of experience.

Did he regret not holding more tightly to the moments my sister and I were little? Or did he enjoy me better as a little baby than as an adult? Hard to say... Come to think of it he always talked about how sweet I was when I couldn't talk...

It was also the voice of warning.

He was warning me to pay attention, not take for granted my time with my babies and tiny toddlers, and ENJOY the moments that would become only memories all too soon. He was also warning me it wasn't as much fun at times when they got bigger. Hmmm, was I THAT painful to raise?

Dang it, he was right. "TOO SOON TOO SOON!" I wanted to scream when she woke up and was 18. EIGHTEEN! Seriously, I don't feel like the mom of an EIGHTEEN year old. (here's where you post comments about how I don't LOOK like the mom of an eighteen year old...)

Recruit 1 had to be tough. She is my first pancake. She had to endure my learning how to pin cloth diapers. I practiced my parenting skills and decisions on her first. She was the first to get her ears pierced, wear make up, DATE, and now get her driver's license. We are growing up together. (*Note to male children... you are expected to skip the pierced ears and make up...)

Heavenly Father gave me a bright, bold and beautiful spirit to be my first pancake because he knew she was the best fit for the job. I won't call her a sweet spirit... Um, yes I will. She IS a sweet, strong, loving daughter of Heavenly Father that has been loaned to me for a little while to love and cherish. I'm honored to be her mother, if not a little in awe at times.... I love you Big Girl!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What Exactly Did I Expect?

There's a cool kitchen tool developed by Reynolds and special baggies to go with the tool. It's really neat and fun to use. Yes, I said Neat... It is neat, neato-keeno in fact. I look for stuff to call neat. and there's nothing wrong with it.

It vacuum packs food. It's perfect for lunches, freezing stuff, smooshing PB & J sandwiches down to a very thin layer. That last one was weird, but we did it.
See the suction cup? You place that right on the little hole in the baggie and it just sucks all the air out. A mini version of those storage bags but stronger and for food.

Check out these chicken legs Recruit 1 is going to take for lunch tomorrow. It really is perfect on food. Oh and if you have boys, well they also have some ideas on how handy this little jewel is.

Wow! Look at that would ya? I thought it was lipstick last night. It didn't wash off even after I slobbered on him for a good 2 minutes. Then I recognized the shape.
Seriously???? Recruit 4 apparently was testing out the spsqi. on Recruit 6(suction per square inch). And if that wasn't bad enough when the little darling got home from school he stuck it up there HIMSELF and made it even worse! Apparently he was a willing party in the experiment. Need a closer look?

I almost entitled this "My first hickey, by Reynolds, INC." but thought that might get some weird hits off google... And people wonder why I sometimes just stare off into space.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Love Story in Pictures: He really likes it when I bug him at work...

I just love him. He wasn't this old or gray when I met him. My grandmother says he is a hottie. She also says that he has just gotten better with age. She's 82.
My great great Aunt, my grandmother's younger sister thinks he is too. She's well, younger than my grandmother.
My other great great great Aunt REALLY liked him in his dress blues before she passed away. The Marine has a way with older women... That bodes well for me since I'm heading that direction.

He looks at me a lot like this. Slanted, out of the corner of his eyes. Not sure whether he should laugh or shake the tar out of me. I was pretending to be papparazzi. I pretended he was a Master Gunnery Sergeant. Besides I like snapping the camera really fast...

You may not realize it, but I'm in real danger here. Totally put myself in the path of danger for the sake of my craft. That grin... it's not a jovial one. It's an "I'm going to Sean Penn you're camera and pretzel you" grin.

See how the grin is still tight lipped and coming closer. I was VERY BRAVE today. I also knew he couldn't do too much in his cammies in front of the headquarters building... But yet... I was a little nervous... Actually giggly nervous as I rapid fired questions at him. "Master Guns! Master Guns! How do you feel about green eggs and ham for dinner?"

"Master Guns! Master Guns! Wait! Don't forget you paid for this camera!"

Darn it. OPSEC enforced. Shut down. Don't worry, the pretzling will appropriatly happen later. See the grin between his fingers? I just love him!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What I Heard and Chose to Ignore

Cast of Characters:
  • Recruit 4
  • Recruit 5
  • Recruit 6

The situation: The lads were all in the family room. A disagreement or annoyance between some of them occured.

What I saw: Recruit 6 running at full steam, screaming straight towards me as I sat at the dining room table, swerving just in time to get behind my chair and go into the entry way hallway.

Recruit 5 stopped in the kitchen glaring. He then moved to intercept Recruit 6 in entry hallway from other direction.

What I heard:

Recruit 6: With a terrible growl "EAT THE JELLY BEAN"

Recruit 5: with irriation and annoyance "Oh just shut it!"

My solution: Everyone is currently eating orange jello in fancy cups. I have no idea what happened, why the jelly bean was significant, but Recruit 5 and 6 are happily discussing a dead fly the found at the other end of the dining room table. Recruit 4 surprisingly was NOT involved. Weird, I know....

How We Prepared for Hurricane Hanna

We've been fortunate that where we live has been fairly mild when it comes to hurricanes. Everyone out here is starting to say, you know... It's going to be our turn soon. Our family who live in the path of IKE, didn't fair as well. They got bumped pretty hard. They are in the process of recovering and are more fortunate than some.

That being said, this is a fun post and I am in no way making light of the terrible destruction and suffering brought on by IKE. I am just grateful our family was unharmed in IKE and that the death toll in 1900 in Galveston was not repeated last week.

Our prayers and any help we can give go out to those who lost so much.

One more disclaimer: Hurricane preparedness is not a joke and we are prepared as best we can be out here. Okay, maybe we could improve in some areas... Always there's that. However we have a plan. Hopefully we'll never have to really see if it actually works. In the mean time, enjoy hurricane preparations for what ended up being a non-event for us.

So to Hanna. We weren't sure what Hanna was going to end up doing when she headed our way, so we did all the usual.

There is a sense of excitement when a hurricane is nearing. Sick I know, but I think in my defense it's all the negative and positive ions colliding into each other. That's what they do you know - bump into each other and if you're in the way I think you get caught in the cross fire; that's what makes your adrenaline pump.

(If you're looking for serious preparedness lists, this is not the post...) I'll try to do one of those just for Jen so she can actually legitimately post me on her Homemaking blog... I don't usually get highlighted there... Not sure why....

So What does one do? Well, I can only share what we did. And I'm thinking we could do it differently next time. A few things anyway.

First: Go grocery shopping. I mean SHOP! Take out the third seat in your SUV and fill it up with food, water, and propane tanks. I was clutching the check writing counter area with white knuckles as the scanner beeped fast and furious almost as if laughing manically at me as my checking account rapidly dwindled. The scanner beep is the negative cha-ching sound.

Make sure you buy flowers. This is VERY crucial to survival if you get into a situation like Hurricane Ophelia in 2005 that sits on you for HOURS and HOURS. A little bit of un-destroyed beauty is nice to glance over at while winds whirl around you.

Now make sure you have a friend. This is one of my last ones here, not sure where they all keep disappearing to. I'm trying to think of something nice to do for her so she'll play hurricane day with me again. I accidentally made her get really really really wet. Leaving the grocery store it began to rain. It started 4 hours earlier than my predictions. Not sure where I went wrong.

Kelli: "Um, hey, good friend who will refrain from stabbing me."

Good Friend: "What." (she doesn't even get a question mark, and you'd understand if you heard how she says what to me.)

Kelli: "The jeep top is down. The Marine will kill me" The Marine was driving in from 1500 miles away arriving in like 4 hours.

Good Friend: "Okay, well let's go straight to your house but first stop at the dollar store so I can get some carpet cleaner for your giant dirty SUV"

Kelli: "Uh, oooo-kay"

The good friend had started cleaning the inside of my Yukon with baby wipes while she was waiting for me to come out of the grocery store with my groceries. Her bill was only half of mine, she got out quicker.

Once started, she was on a mission. Part of it was because she is a cleaning machine when she gets going, it's in her DNA, the other part is because she was in AWE -literally of these baby wipes. I was fearful for her son's t-hiney skin when I saw how well they were cleaning. I forbid her to EVER wipe her beautiful child's butt with those caustic cleaning wipes again! I doubt she heard me. She was almost euphoric as she kept exclaiming OH MY GOSH!!! I can't believe how clean this is getting your disgusting vehicle!!!

I was quite happy with her now single minded mission, except the rain was coming down harder. And the top on the jeep was still down. AND THERE WAS A HURRICANE COMING!!

So I'll skip over the part about making us re-do the jeep top twice because the rain was pelting down so hard I couldn't see (I didn't have a cool baseball cap on) and there was already a pool I could have back stroked in that used to be the passenger floor board. This darling woman glared and said bad words to me, but she was there! Her clothes were wet, like large sloshy saggy diaper wet. She was glaring at me and I actually almost feared for my life. But we got the top up and she went back to her mission. My carpets.

Um, Hey... Shouldn't we be doing some other stuff?
Yoohoo... I mean hurricane... it's raining....
"These Wipes are SO COOL!! "

Okay, so finally she'd done all she could until the carpets dried AND we used the last of the toxic dollar store baby wipes. I have to say, The Marine was driving back that day with the van we bought from my mom and he will be driving the green beast, so she actually probably saved my marriage, it was just weird timing, you know, what with the HURRICANE and all approaching.

So after you shop, and detail your vehicle,- clean up your yard. I mean everything. No projectile missiles from our house!

Then take down your fence. Especially if you buy the awful vinyl kind because it "looks pretty". Yeah, NEVER again. I wish I could wake up one morning and have the ugly wood fence. Every big storm we have to take the panels down. If you're short like me, it's not easy. AND I got made fun of by the good friend AND she made up a song about how I'm always making her do hard labor and dirty work and something about I hate Kelli or something like that, because now she'd been drowned and was getting a work out lifting and carrying and stacking the horrible horrible fence panels.

Turn your trampoline upside down. The kids thought this was cool. Why? I have no idea.

Make sure your kids and their friends come straight home from school and make room in the garage for the fence panels. And your rocking chair. And your teacup planter.

Finally, once you've done all you can do, kick back and take a nap! We were lucky, Hanna didn't turn out to be scary, just wet. And my friend is still talking to me. I really only hang out with her because she is freakishly strong and look at that baby. Who wouldn't hang around just to snuggle him?

Guess Who Became a Teen?

It's Recruit 3 That's Who!
Welcome to your teens you beautiful girl! This "tough lady" turned the big 13 just this month. Her mom is a little slow at getting posts up lately, so for that I apologize!

This krazy child is growing up and turning into a wonderful young woman. She helps make Recruit 5's lunch every morning. And look she can dance while she does it!

When she smiles it makes me happy. Too bad everyone can't start their day with a happy thirteen year old. (Okay, so not every morning is zip-a-dee do dah day. I did mention she was THIRTEEN, but I'm giving postive reinforcement here hoping, just hoping...)

So back to THE DAY it happened. You know, the day she became a WOMAN, oh wait, that's years from now. No, THE DAY she left tween-hood and became a teenager. Good Grief, I have three of them now... Hold on, I have to go bend over and breath, I think I'm going to hyperventilate.

Okay, I'm back.

Check out her fabulous cake! My friend did a wonderful job on this retro two tier birthday cake. It was too pretty to put candles on, so we just sang REALLY loud!

We had a few folks over to help us celebrate and to help us try out the fondant covered confection. It was very good. You can't eat a huge piece of fondant. It's way to rich, and the cake was de-lish. My friend Jessica made it.

Happy Birthday To You! Happy Birthday To You! Happy Birthday Dear Recruit THRRRREEEEEE, Happy Birthday To You!!!!!!!!!!!

Recruit 3 Story:

When she was a little bitty girl, about three years old, The Marine and I were walking in a store with our little angel. The Marine told her she was his little lady. She showed us her muscles and turned to face us. With both arms bent up on either side of her head she said "I a tough lady Daddy!"

Good luck tough lady, your now a tough TEEN lady! Slow down, will ya?

Love Mom

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Madness

This morning two of the recruits woke up wining about going to church. Recruit 4 said his face was too sunburned and recruit 6 was just nasty. However I've started something to get the two little guys dressed. It's become a contest. I had a little surprise toy hidden I'd bought on sale and I told them there would be a price for whomever was dressed first. The boys team up with one of the girls and two weeks ago, Recruit 6 won. The next week the contest began again, this time without my knowledge, yet I had to provide the prize.

So today I said NO CONTEST. Recruit 6 won anyway, much to the dismay of Recruit 5. We realized the competition was underway when the sturdy little man jumped through our bedroom door, held both arms over his head and yelled "I winned!"

Then I heard Recruit 6 say later to Recruit 5 "Well we both winned!"

Fortunately no one requested a prize.

Be careful what you start. Some things just take on a life of their own!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Teach 'em to be Tough!

There's a lot I should write about. Hurricane Hanna. The prep for it, my friend who had to help me put the jeep top up in the POURING rain that was the precursor to Hanna. I found out I could stay quite focused with pouring rain stinging my eyeballs and a half Irish- half Filipino Guard instructor calling me all kinds of names. Well~ focused might be too strong of a word, I did make us re-do the top twice and would have a third time except I caught my very wet friend's death glare through the rain. I figured it would have to do and let it go.

I also could write in detail the adventures of Recruit 1, but she still hasn't given me permission to release details...

So I thought I would write about raising tough children.

I want my children to have sweet gushy insides and tough outsides.

They need to be able to know who they are and press forward even when others around them are intimidated by them, or misunderstand them.

I also want them to be able to take responsibility for their mistakes, their beliefs, and their choices. I don't want them to EVER apologize for who they are.

I like, I mean really LIKE who each one them is in the very center of their beings. WHO they are, are good, sweet, kind people. Every last one of 'em.

They just don't always reflect that in every given instance. Isn't that what growing up is all about? It's kind of messy and you have to be TOUGH.

Growing up isn't for sissy these days ya know...

Come with me as Recruits 5 and 6 demonstrate a few of my desires for my posterity.

So I want them to be tough as a pine knot on the outside and warm and mushy on the inside like a toasted marshmallow.

It's not that I want them stepping on toes... I want them to be able to have their toes stepped on and withstand the pain, and hopefully the urge to strike back.

I want them to know they can do whatever they need to do, even when it's hard. Like make tough decisions that go against popular opinion, or be tough when they need to stand their ground. Or speak up when they need too, but speak with the spirit. Not always easy now is it?

I want them to be daring, not dangerous. Unless it's against the wicked things of the world, in that case, I want the darkness to flee as they approach.

I want to teach them to face this incredible life head on and with energy and gusto and stare down those who say you can't!

I want them to learn there's a time to put on your top hat and tails. Why have it if you never use it? There are good and beautiful things in life we should seek after. Culture and refinement.

And a time to hang out and have fun. Everyone needs to just sing for a while.

I want them to learn to be tough alright, tough where and when it counts so they can find the joy and happiness Heavenly Father has in store for them. I've already found my greatest joy.

Well~ my SIX greatest joys.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What I haven't had in YEARS!

What haven't I had in years? All of my children in school! Today marks a mile stone for me. Recruit 6 went to his very first day of preschool. Did I cry? Well first of all it's only three days a week and it's half days. I would feel like a complete loser if I cried. Plus how can you cry when your boy slaps on his back pack, gives you a kiss and heads for the leggo table without a backward glance?

People say "What will you do with all your time?" What time? I now can actually work and know the little fella is safe. Before I constantly yelled for him so I could hear where he was AND had to be on guard all the time because of his adventurous outlook on life and the lack of fear that accompanies most people. He seems to have been in the bathroom when natural fear was handed out.

This morning started early. Typically we all meet in the family room at 0600 for scripture and prayer. The two little boys had a rough time this morning. The first two weeks of this new routine is catching up to all of us.
Everyone leaves for school and FINALLY, it's Recruit 6's turn! He was so very happy today!

Actually he WAS happy, but the sun was very bright. Recruit 2 has this same outfit, only the shirt shrunk and he wouldn't wear it the same time as Recruit 6. It made me sad. I think they would have been cute.

Could he be any cuter??? I LOVE this kid! checkout the mustache. It's my smoothie. I washed his face when we got inside the school. Somehow missed that on the body check out the door.
And here the little man is, sound asleep holding my swifter around 1330 in the afternoon... Don't worry, he recovered and is currently, (at 2245 at night), in the den singing a song about "Nephi, being a missionary, Heavenly Father and Jesus are all nice and someone snapped a finger with a sword".... Did I mention how much I love him? The little toot! My last year of pre-school. I'm almost giddy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Recruit 1 and the Coast Guard

I had to call the Coast Guard on my child. Recruit 1 had a fabulous day jumping off a yacht while the boat they had traveled out on was being worked on because it broke down. My darling darling child didn't call me. The darling darling child with her, her partner in crime, didn't call her Mama. All we knew was they were broken down somewhere. AAACK!!!! For about 4 hours I was very very sad, okay, upset, no- more like borderline hysterical. I never totally freaked out, but I seriously wanted to.

The Coast Guard sent their 47 foot boat (ship Recruit 1 said) out for them as it got dark and we still had not heard from them. Just as the kids were coming in the Coast Guard pulls along side and says "Is there a Recruit 1 aboard?" She was amazingly enough NOT surprised. She still wasn't sure why I had freaked out at this point, but later realized why and felt very very bad. She also said the Coast Guard guys were all VERY VERY cute.... to be 17 again...

This all happened the day The Marine left for a trip. All I kept thinking was, "He's not even been gone 24 hours and I've lost a kid at sea!!!!"

I can't give you all the details here because Recruit 1 and her partner in crime would kill me. Ask me though...


What follows on these posts is true to the best of my knowledge, except what isn't. I only change names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.