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Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Momentous Moment for The Marine!

Once upon a time The Marine had a truck. He had this truck for nigh on thirteen years. Well only days after Recruit 5 was born in 2003, the dearly loved truck which might as well have been an extension of The Marine , died. Well, possibly killed itself actually.

It was in sad shape and needed to be put out of it's misery, but alas, it grew tired of waiting on us to do it. So one day after parking in his usual spot, putting on the emergency break, and leaving it in first gear, it rolled down a slight incline in the road and took out two other cars. It remains a mystery to this day how that all occurred.

Instead of buying a truck he purchased a Saturn, which I sold for $500.00 during a deployment. I bought a jeep instead of a truck, because he wasn't here and well it was a lovely deal and well, I WANTED IT!

Then we bought the van from my mom. It was a great deal, great car, but still not a truck.

Consequently this little gaggle of men here in our town banded together in their quest to help The Marine get his truck. They all drive giant, loud, noisy trucks and teased him mercilessly that it was obvious who wore the pants in our family.

The Marine gallantly responded that of course he wore the pants in the family, I just picked them out! He was gracious and good natured about the ribbing, which had he JUST bought a truck in 03 instead of the Saturn I wouldn't have had my dear KIA van vandalized with F250 signs all over it after a home football game this past fall.

However, his little heart yearned for a truck and the missing part of him that can only be filled by a v8 engine, a bed liner and bucket seats.

Today The Marine was made whole!

Here the happy new owner sits in his F250 4x4 in the fog laden parking lot of a local car dealer.

He said I couldn't drive the big bad boy for a year because the last truck we owned was involved in a collision with a static garage support pole 6 months into our ownership. I was driving at the time. I got to drive though, and seriously he knew he should give me a check ride because the moment he left to go out of town I'd be all over the road in this baby.
It also goes to show how giddy with joy The Marine is.

The front view of Big Gray. (I'm trying out different names here.) We traded my green beast in. I had a moment of grief. It is always sad to part with our vehicles. We bond with them.

Recruit 1 gets a quick drive. Here she just found out the pedals can move up to adjust to even her height!

Recruit 1 slowly taking off for a quick spin around the block.

Look how nice it is! We are once again truck owners and all is right with The Marine's world. Today was a good day.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve

I'm pooped. Just pooped. So instead of struggling to come up with witty comments, I thought I'd just share some of my favorite photos. These are from Christmas Eve dinner and the "drop".

Every year Santa has dropped a bag of presents out of his sleigh on Christmas Eve. He lets us know he is in the area and to go to bed! None of these pictures are posed, hard to believe I know...

Again, the soda cans mess up my ambiance. I give up...

Just brought in the bag. Elf number 7 has been assigned to our family for about 40 years...

Creepy creepy picture.

A giant summer sausage. Santa knows what The Marine wants. ;)

This body/bath stuff had a note that says DO NOT EAT...

These two posed themselves! They kill me. They wore their head lights to bed!

Peppermint Oreos. We forgot the milk. I'm sure the next house had milk.

We need hair cuts. It's on my to do list before the New Year. Can't let the new year start out with bad do's...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

This morning there was hot chocolate and Donut sticks hanging on our door knob from Santa! Whoever was Santa's elf, Thanks!!! The sticks were consumed instantaneously.

The girls and I went to the gym and worked out. It was a bit on the painful side and I have walked around all day like I was nine months pregnant. The Marine thinks it's funny to ask me to pick things up from off the floor. He and I went around and did last minute shopping.

After dinner tonight we had an early visit from Santa. He dropped a bag with small gifts out of his sleigh on his way over to Texas. He has surprised us every year since I was tiny and terrified of him.

After we all opened the drop presents I wanted to get a family picture in our Christmas jammies. With only us here I had to use the timer on my camera and set it up on a bar stool. The problem with this is just about EVERYTHING! You can't see what everyone else is doing (or wearing). I requested my family take this seriously. Below are the results.

First shot. They all received a lecture afterwards to please be serious. And would Recruit 2 please remove that ridiculous hat. In addition to ruining the picture, it's 77 degrees in the house. I just turned the Air Conditioner on!
So recruits 2 and 4 are being difficult. I had to run to my spot and so no matter what it looked like when I was at the camera, I had no control over what happened after I sat down.

Please note Recruit 2's weird look, Recruit 4's refusal to lean in and close the gap and my trying to pull him in. and NO ONE knows what the heck is on Recruit 6's nose. We still don't know. He told us it was "a candy cane, duh!" So The Marine again threatened the end of our Christmas holiday. Once he gets involved they usually shape up.

I give up.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ramblings on the night before the night before Christmas

Sorry gang, no pictures tonight. I actually have some great ones from the Ward Christmas party and from Caroling Sunday night. We had a great time at both and it was all quite festive and holiday-ish. However I am pooped and Christmas is TOMORROW!!!!!!

Perhaps by the number of exclamation points and all caps this would denote I'm not one hundred percent ready. Not sure what I'm missing. I'm sure something. That is what's bothering me. I'm not aware that I am missing anything but I probably am and just don't know it.

And, I started working out again really hard. I am overrun with lactic acid right now and I can't move very well. I'm not kidding.

The Marine thinks it's funny.

I just am not even thinking. I am too focused on how much it hurts to go down stairs.

Going up is fine. Down, not so much.

I did body pump and then a cardio combo class yesterday morning. The Cardio combo has aerobic and anaerobic in it. Body pump involves weights and squats and lunges. Let me repeat that SQUATS AND LUNGES. I think my muscles have separated from my bones.

The Marine thinks it's funny to sneak up and rub my legs. I am not laughing.

Today the girls and I went and did the RPM (spin) class. I was okay during the class. It's later in the day that I became miserable, especially after sitting at the computer working, or driving in the car.

Tomorrow is a yoga/pilates class and another combo. I just keep thinking pie. If I work out I can eat some pie and not have to buy new blue jeans. Well, at least not new blue jeans in the next size up. I definitely deserve to buy new blue jeans. Especially for all the laughter I've provided to The Marine today.

I plan to start a sister blog. One chronicling my fitness and nutrition. Mostly because I need motivation, but also because I have fibromyalgia and a lot of folks ask me what I do to keep from getting worse.

Plus there are these wonderful folks at the gym and I can't wait to write about them. Muuuuhaahaaaaa....

So a recap of the evening/day:
  • I died twice at the gym in the spin class
  • Right now I'm sitting in my chair looking at my tree and listening to Recruit 2 play some online military game
  • Recruit 3 is curled up in the chair next to me. Her tummy hurts so she drank some ginger ale and I made her put peppermint oil on her tummy. It seems to be working and I get to smell peppermint
  • Recruits 4, 5, and 6 just went to bed, but are not yet asleep, I'm sure I've not seen the last of them this evening
  • Recruit 1 is cleaning my room. I'll be owing her twenty-five smackers when she's done. Money well spent! It was a mess!
  • Various dogs are curled up in different locations around me and The Marine is in the office doing something
  • Outside the Green Beast sits in driveway unable to be used. The steering went out Sunday night just as we were getting ready to go Christmas Caroling, not good
  • We had a fire in the oven today. We dumped a whole box of corn starch on it before we could get it out. And when I say WE I mean me and the kids, The Marine was at work. We probably wouldn't have HAD a fire if he had been home.
  • Recruit 4 just pulled a tooth and it's pumping blood out of a huge hole. And here I am with NO cash in the house. Tooth Fairy will have to leave him an IOU.

Pretty typical day, I'm going to go crawl in whatever part of the bed Recruit 1 has gotten clean.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pre-School Program,the table cloth and a chia pet.

It was the night of the preschool program and love was in the air. Recruits 5 and 6 had goopy slicked up hair.

That's where the poem ends. They broke into some odd dance moves. Just randomly and simultaneously.

Still not sure what is happening here. I wasn't sure then either. I just kept snapping. We were about to leave to see Recruit 6's big performance. He'd been working so hard on it for days, maybe even weeks. I don't know. I never asked.

Anyone else freaked out by this picture?

So the big performance! He is riveting. Well, riveted more like it. To the spot he's standing on.

I could lie and tell you he was warming up and starting to express his inner Christmas Caroler, but he was actually yawning.

He perked up some when the bells came out of the bag.

The audience was enthralled. Look at Recruit 3's face! She can barely contain herself.

The Marine hates this shirt. Side story:

The Marine pulled out these khaki pants and a white Nautica shirt with blue and yellow stripes in it. He asked me if it was okay and I didn't pay any attention because I was telling him about my day and I said yes.

I even watched him iron it.

I kept talking. I watched him put his clothes on, while I was recanting my tales of woe.

Then I really looked at him.
I said: "You can't wear that!"

The Marine: "WHAT???"

Me: "um, heeellllloooo!!! It's December. You look like March or April"

The Marine looking menacingly at me: "I ASKED you and you said okay. You watched me iron it, you saw me put it on!"

Me: "Well, true, but I wasn't really paying attention and you really really can't wear that. It's DECEMBER!"

The Marine advances towards me and I move just in time.

He growls, he snorts, he rattles around in the closet saying words I shan't repeat here.

They were very annoyed words.

Something about he can never win, his wife is a loon, who cares, it's clothes, he should just put on old jeans and a t-shirt, yada yada yada.

He comes out of the closet with this very nice plaid shirt.
I think it looked very nice on him. I was thrilled.

He yanked it on his body glaring at me the whole time and I'm pretty sure he was having mean menacing Marine like thoughts that involved K-bars, but he just glared.

I said: "Oh that's so nice on you!"

The Marine in a disgusted voice: "I'm wearing a table cloth."

Me: "you don't like this shirt??"

The Marine: extra hard glare.

Then he marched out to the car.

So back at the preschool program, my young performer was through and the chics went wild for him! Okay, one chic and it was me, his mom, but I thought he was fabulous!

As soon as Recruit 6 got his candy cane from Santa the three of them headed for the doors. Recruit 5 would not go near Santa. So we headed home. The boys looked so nice we decided to take pictures with the dear in the yard.

See that bail of green hay. It was a bail of straw I bought before Halloween at Michael's. We left it outside after Halloween and it rained on it. The sun shone on it, and the grass grew out of it! The Marine had to rip it out of the flowerbed to move it out into the yard for our Christmas deer to pretend to eat. He calls it our Chi-A hay. I think it's totally cool!

I think these little boys are totally cool! Could they be any cleaner? I mean cuter? No I mean cleaner! How often do I have clean photos up of them slicked and shined up?

Gratuitous photo. Have no idea what he's pointing at.

The Marine was done. He was ready to take off his tablecloth and get on the computer.

Wait! Come back! I'm not done!!!
He doesn't listen very well.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

If a Christmas Tree Could Talk

Brown paper packages tied up with string... These are a few of my favorite things!

My tree every year talks to me. It whispers of Christmas past and memories of the younger seasons of my life. It keeps a history of people I love and some who I miss. It reflects the art work of my small children, some who are now growing up and will be decorating trees of their own in the blink of an eye.

I thought I would share some of my ornaments. They are really more memory triggers for me. I love to sit in a darkened room with only the glow from the lights of the tree and remember.

My kids don't know about pondering ornaments yet. I didn't appreciate the ponderability of ornaments until I started putting ornaments of my own on.

In no particular order because I loaded them all at once and it's a pain to move the pictures all around.

Recruit 4 made this. I don't remember when, but thank goodness he put his name on the bottom of it! Not all kid-made ornaments survive. This is special because he is disgusted with me every year when I can't remember who made it EVEN with the name on bottom. He is NOT the one to forget what ornament he made and yet I do, every year.

Speaking of Recruit 4. This is his baby's first Christmas ornament. He doesn't particularly care for it I think. It's not very manly. He looks for it every year to hang though. He would know if it were missing...

Island Girl sent this to me after we left Camp Pendleton. I was involved in stuff there and was a part of EWC for a couple of years. Camp Pendleton was actually a working ranch at one time and the Eagle Globe & Anchor is set in the middle of what was the brand. See, bet ya thought this was The Marine's ornament. Nope, it's mine.

This is Recruit 5 or 6. I can't tell without looking at the year. I had to buy ornaments back to back since one had a first Christmas 03 and the other 04. I just loved having babies at Christmas. Except the Christmas Recruit 4 screamed all through Christmas dinner. I spent most of it in the bedroom with him. He was a November baby so he was just being new and difficult. Now he is just difficult. Especially when I don't remember who made the penguin ornament.

This is the other one of Recruit 5 or 6. They don't know this isn't very manly yet.

This decoupage ball is one of six. We bought them our very first Christmas. Well, I bought them. The Marine was on a border op in Arizona.
I still love the old fashion style. AND the kids can't break these. The very first balls my mother had on her tree in Spain were blue and fragile. They survived many years until Recruit 3 came along. She broke one. I remember it vividly to this day. I was mortified. My mother was so kind. I hope I'm kind to my children.
I didn't know when I bought these how smart I was buying something that would stand up to grand kids one day. I remember my first married Christmas well. Others since then are blurs.

This is one from a set of 12. They were also on our first tree. This is the 5 golden rings. We received them as a gift from The Marine's Grandma. His mom's mom. We still have them minus two. They are REALLY hard to find when taking down the tree. I'm pretty sure I know the year the two MIA ornaments disappeared.

Another relic from Christmas 1989. My mom sent me this Texas Christmas ornament. We weren't going home from California for Christmas. The first time I had ever spent Christmas away from my family. I was so sad that year. We drove home right after Christmas. My parents paid for the gas. The Marine bought me a toaster for Christmas though and a leather jacket with Fringe. It made me not be quite so sad that Christmas morning.

This is one of four. My mother-in-law painted each of the four children's names on them. The other two weren't around yet. I always love hanging these little angels. Reminds me who my children really are. Especially when they aren't acting like the ornament.

Recruit 1. She's the closest to leaving. I always thought I would give each one of them their ornament for their tree. But no. I've decided they can have them when I die. They are my babies' first Christmas ornaments. Emphases on the word MY. I really bought them for me each year, even though I didn't realize it then. Sorry kids. I changed my mind. These are mine.

Ornaments show our heritage. My mother-in-law again gave us this. I love this claddagh.

This is one of the ornaments that represent my dad. He was a pilot. He passed away in 2005. He liked Christmas. He loved having my children home for Christmas.

Recruit 2 has TWO. Last year I couldn't find his baby's first Christmas and I was so upset. I didn't tell him. I went online, found it and ordered it. Probably double the cost or more of the first one. I couldn't let him know. I just knew he'd be crushed. (I was crushed) Again, it's really about me, I just project onto my children. This year we found it. He now knows. He hung them together.

The only Christmas my Dad came to my house. We lived in California. We rented one of the trailers that used to be on Del Mar beach. I believe they've built cabins since then. We put up a Christmas tree in the trailer for Mom and Dad. These sea shells Island Girl and I glittered. There are others. I remember that Christmas well. It was nice even if it was really different.

Mom gave me this a year or two ago. It's their wedding picture. I should buy six of these if I can find them. I'll give the kids a picture of The Marine and I instead of their baby ornaments for their trees. I'm sure they'll appreciate us staring at them and their spouse all through Christmas....

My Grandmother sent us envelopes that go on the tree. When I was little the envelopes on the tree were from my Great Grandmother. My tree shows the generations and the marching on of life and posterity.
It makes me sad in some ways and in other ways it is very comforting. One day I'll be the white envelopes on a tree. Posterity I've not yet met.
My children are all so diverse, talented, and unique. I can't wait to meet my grandchildren. (well I can wait, you know what I mean... I already love them but don't want them here any sooner than their future parents should bring them....)
It figures the Recruit who got left out of the Christmas shopping would be the last baby ornament. Recruit 3 hides her ornaments deep in the tree. I had to pull this out AFTER she showed me where she tucked it. Not sure why. Maybe I should explore that further, but um, no.

My newest ornament. It came in a small brown box in the mail. My sweet friend April, another Marine Wife, sent it to me! I was so tickled to get it and it's beautiful. A tree made with bells. April you're now part of my pondering!
Most importantly my tree makes me grateful. I have so much. It reminds me of all that I have. Our tree topper is the Angel Moroni. He faces the east waiting to trumpet the return of our Savior. I am grateful for that Christmas night so long ago when our Savior was born and Herald Angels sang. My tree makes me want to sing too. But, that wasn't the talent I was given, so I'll just end here saying I love my tree.


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.