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Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Recruit 1 is gone, Recruit 3 and my adopted daughter who is also a Recruit but from another platoon (ok, that's silly but it's true, another Marine family) are both at a friends house spending the night. Three girls gone cuts way down on the noise. Recruit 4 is also gone.

Left while we were picking The Marine's truck up from the shop. Again.

Recruit 2 is a teenage boy and still comatose at 0800 in the morning as is our other house guest, another Recruit from still yet a different platoon. He's a teenage boy too, so dead to the world.

And my two little fellas are amazingly still asleep, as I would be if the dogs didn't wake me up to let them out.

Quiet. I hear the refrigerator running.

Hmmm. I think I like it.

I was able to read all my email uninterrupted.

Now that's done. Still quiet.

too early to call anyone.

Yep, pretty sure there was a reason God blessed me with all these kids. He knew I needed someone to talk to and The Marine just didn't have it in him to do all by himself.

Only problem is they are all gone or sound asleep and not even my need for chatter is great enough to wake up boys before they're ready, unless of course I have garbage that needs to go out.

Oh, I know! The Marine is at work. I'll call him. He probably misses me anyway, he's been gone about an hour and a half already...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

13 June 2009 Recruit 1 Graduates!

Once upon a time, a little baby girl was born to a young Marine and his lovely wife. Then she grew up, turned 18 and got up one hot morning in June to curl her hair and get ready to graduate!

Family came to watch the big event and join in the fun!
Grandmothers, and cousins and Aunts. And me, taking pictures and making my #1 Recruit pose the entire day. She did request I stop taking pictures so she could finish getting dressed...
The Grandmother was quite willing to pose for me though! She looked extra cute that day!

We filled the stands. Here you see Recruit 2, Grammy: The Marine's mom, my sister and my mom, The Grandmother. Friends whose daughter was graduating too and who is best friends with Recruit 1 are sitting behind us. We had a combined cook out for the girls afterwards.

And there she goes! Across the stage to freedom, adulthood, and her future! The possibilities before her and the other 249 of them are endless! The possibility for heatstroke being first on the agenda.

Even thought it was very hot, of course we all stayed to take extra pictures while we slowly melted away.

Check out my cool bandage on my leg. Wasn't really the look I had originally planned. A souvenir from my Vegas trip. What happened in Vegas came home with me!
There we go. Nothing like reflective stands to really bake you.

Recruit 1 posing on the stage with Grammy.

My sister came out with her two little ones as well. First time she's been to visit since we moved way out yonder. I hope she comes back... Recruit 6 wasn't very nice to her little fella, who by the way, is BIGGER than Recruit 6. Doesn't seem to stop my tiny terrorist.

Awwww, just melts your heart. The Marine giving his first born a big juicy. How sweet. Brought a tear to my... Oh wait, never mind, as usual...

I knew it was too sappy for my crew. He is symbolically tossing her out on her diploma...

Hold on Recruit 1, it may not be so symbolic!! I'd like to see him try this in two years with Recruit 2.

This is as close to the stage as we could get him. Plus it was very very hot (did I mention that?) He was sluggish.

Leaving the football field. I tried to run ahead. It's not easy in heels on real football grass.

Gratuitous mom picture. She's just fun! We walked back out to our vehicles. Recruit 1 had decorated the jeep and my van.

The Grandmother asked if she could ride back home with Recruit 1. So I left assuming they were right behind me. Everyone else arrived back at home to change for the party and they still hadn't arrived. And time passed. I went out to the van to load stuff wondering where they were.
Suddenly, screaming around the corner, top down with country tunes blaring from the radio and The Grandmother's Pony tail flying were these two. Should I be worried turning them loose together?

Then it was off to the BBQ at our friends house. They were totally fabulous opening their home up, especially because you just never know who will show up! Great food, good folks and both our daughters are on their way off our grocery bill!

Another picture just because I can and she's mine! I'm so tickled with what I grew! I made her and her bestie put their caps and gowns back on for pictures at the house. Right when we were done, The Brown Mom also known as guard goddess or guard guru, and The Marine grab Recruit One just as she strips off her gown.

No way was I going to be part of this. Recruit One screamed repeatedly and it sounded like someone was cutting body parts off. If you have never had the opportunity to here this child scream, then you just don't know what you're missing, and your lucky.

While I wasn't willing to help toss her in the pool, fully clothes, I was certainly willing to photograph the whole event!

Still screaming...

aaaaannnnnd... she plugs her nose. Check out the faces below.

Big splash. But not too big, I can hear Recruit 1 now "Thanks Mom."

white shirt... oops...

The bestie didn't have her robe off yet and The Marine held on while she struggled to get away or at least ditch her graduation attire...

The Marine lost his grip momentarily but Recruit 1 came in from behind. The bestie was trying to bring The Marine with them.

He didn't go in, but her high heel sandals did.

As well as Recruit 1. She sacrificed herself to make sure she wasn't the only one wet and fully clothed.

And then they go for revenge on The Marine.

He fought them off as best he could.

But in the end just gave up.

Notice a theme here of The Marine trying to throw out Recruit 1! Don't worry honey, I'll make sure you have a key to house. Even when he changes the locks. He doesn't mean it.

Then it was on to GG. She needed to feel the love, the very wet soggy love, as well.

And she just took it. No way to fight in the kitchen.

So my amazing, feisty, typically teenage but extraordinary young woman graduated. Yesterday she flew away, moving out to start learning about life far away from The Marine and I and the other Recruits. I didn't fall apart, although I did manage a tear or two as The Marine drove us away from the airport. The last time I saw her, she was peeking around other passengers to look back at us as she got ready to go through security.
I would have been more sad but by the time we got home we had several squabbles to settle, an "incident" to discuss with someone (can't remember who or what) and stuff to clean. Life goes on and leaves little time to wallow. I have found I can worry and think about my oldest chick even while I am cleaning up the nose blow out or breaking up sword fights from the younger chicks still roosting at home.
The key to surviving your children moving on. Well, that and texting.

Friday, June 19, 2009

God Be With You Till We Meet Again...

I just returned from a work trip to South Carolina. It's always interesting when I leave to take note of who contacts me and what they decide is important to share with me while I am on the road.

This time I left my mom and sister and her two kids at home with The Marine and all the recruits. They had come out for Recruit 1's graduation, (pictures will be posted soon). I was sad to leave, but glad my kids were able to spend a little more time with them.

One of the days I was gone my oldest called. I took a quick break to see what was up. Everyone else had gone to the beach and she had stayed home. She's been sticking close lately.

Recruit 1: "Mom, wanta hear something?"

I was in middle of working and figured it was a joke, or worse an incident of one of the little recruits about to be recounted to me in horrible detail. Recruit 6 had been awful to our cute little cousin.

Kelli: with dread, "oh, okay, sure, but real quick."

Recruit 1: "Hold on, I'm going to set the phone down on the piano."
Seriously? I'M WORKING....

I waited for the horrible details to be described to me of whatever my little angles had said, done, broken, etc.

Then I heard her start playing the piano. A real song. With BOTH hands. She has taken lessons on and off but I've always wanted the kids to start learning to play the hymns and they never really did.

This was definitely a hymn. I listened and all my attention was now riveted on what I was hearing.

I KNEW this song. I could actually recognize it. Then it hit me what hymn she was playing.

God Be With You Till We Meet Again

The moment was not lost on me. She was leaving in a little over a week to begin a life where I would no longer be involved on a daily basis. She was flying to be over 1500 miles away from me. 25 hours to drive.

This part of having children is about really turning to Heavenly Father and digging into your faith. It takes courage. You need a lot of courage when your children get to where you have to turn them over to themselves. (I learned that from a dear sister here.)

She's been taught, I tried my best. Did she listen? I have wondering and worrying over that.

I don't want to have to dig in and have courage. I hate having courage. It means to have courage I have to face and endure something I fear or am anxious or uncertain about. Then I have to have faith to overcome my fear. I really have crazy talks with myself, be glad only a small portion is blogged...

I teared up and misted a little in the hallway outside that hotel ballroom as I listened to the halting rendition.

The last notes sounded on the piano and I said, "Wow! When did you learn that?"

Recruit 1: "This morning when everyone went to the beach. I just wanted to stay home and I sat down and just learned it."

I didn't want to give into the boohoo I knew was coming. I had to go be the perky conference lady. Doesn't look good if you boohoo before you go in and try to be perky.

I wiped a tear off and said, "Why did you pick that song?"

It's a hymn that was sung in a few wards to our family on our last Sunday before we would have to leave for a new duty station. I always dreaded it. I don't like to cry. I am super woman in case you didn't know. Super woman doesn't cry. She grins and flashes a confident thumbs up. I always cried. My thumb always wavered as I left my friends every three years to go find new ones in another place.

Recruit 1: "I don't know, it was just the one I chose."

I was pulling myself together and needed to get back to work.

Kelli: "Well I am so proud of you. All alone and you sit down to learn a hymn instead of doing drugs! You are such a good girl!"

Recruit 1: "Well thank you... no, no drugs..."

She did listen! I am grateful for the ways in which the Lord let's me know to dig in and lean on him and that all is well, all is well....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day One of Weekend down

Everyone is finally here. We had a great dinner, (Thank you Mom-in-law, I'm so glad she was here.) Then the Marine and I took the some of the recruits and the the cousins to an Eagle Scout Court of Honor. It was wonderful.

It was so rewarding to see this particular young man receive such an esteemed award and join the ranks of a special group of men.

Hopefully Recruit 2 will be having his before the year is out.

The Marine has been a bit sticky lately. Like a prickly cactus. I think the moon has been orbiting in the house of jujube. Or whatever, his bio rhythms are out of whack. I think he is stressed about his big girl swooping out of our coop later this month. It's really sweet if you can get past all the grunting, growling and general Grinch type demeanor.

Tomorrow is the big day for Recruit 1. She made it. Whew!

Update on my lost peeps.

Well, they spent the night in the Atlanta Airport. Couldn't rent a car, My sister and the little dude got stuck on a tram for twenty minutes in an obscure part of the airport, their gate changed again.

They will be ripe and tired by the time they get here. CRAZY! Glad I only had to make the recruits keep wiping the toilet down.....

Today is my Mom's birthday. Gotta get some cupcakes!!!

Recruit 1 had her practice for graduation tomorrow and she is lunching with her senior buds.

Picked up my Mom-in-law and I'm glad she's here. I need help!!!

The Graduation weekend adventure continues!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Visitors at my house

These little people were supposed to get to my house tonight. Their mom (my sister) and my mom (their Grandmother) are coming too. They are coming in for Recruit One's graduation.
Mom just called and they are in the Atlanta airport and their flight just got canceled.
I know it's got to be terrible for them at the Atlanta airport with two little folks, but what about me??? I've got to keep the house clean ALL NIGHT LONG NOW!!!
Okay, so my plight is not near as stressful. But sometimes it's worse than herding cats.
Anyway, back to my Mom. I asked her what she was doing. She said eating pizza. I said oh.
What can you do? Eat pizza and wait for a plane to show up I guess... Gotta love it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The First and The Last

Today marks a momentous one time only occasion in my life. I have an official graduate of high school and an official graduate of preschool. AND THAT IS ALL OF THEM. The last one begins his educational adventure.
My first is moving on and my last is stepping in to take his rightful place in the public school system. My prayers go with both of them!

Recruit 1 will have a post after her graduation ceremony on Saturday, but this one is dedicated to Recruit 6 to document the beginning of his journey into elementary education. I'm just too tired to get teary eyed, but I feel it. I surely do.

I was unfortunately away on a trip when he graduated. It's odd, the tables being turned and I am the one having to get second hand reports and pictures of events in my children's lives. Usually I am giving detailed descriptions to the Marine. I do a great job by the way... Lots of details.

Instead he is reporting to me while I am away on a business trip. His reports are much shorter and WAY less descriptive, but he manages to do all that needs to be done. Not an easy task. I know.

In fact, it's been interesting to see a little glimpse the other side of coin so to speak. I am usually frazzled at home, trying to be in too many places at once, dealing with the angst of childhood and teenagers as well as deal with their emotions about their Dad being gone. I just assumed I had the rougher deal.

I now know how it feels to not be there when a great event happens, or you hang up after talking to a little one and look around knowing they are all together and your there by yourself, all alone, no one to snuggle or talk to.

Okay who am I kidding? I go away for 4 or 5 days, stay in 5 star hotels and just have to knock on my co-workers door and demand to be snuggled.

So they wouldn't snuggle me, but they would give me a hug if I whined outside their door long enough.
Point is, I'm not in miserable conditions, danger, maybe, just not miserable conditions. I WAS in Vegas recently and still need to tell you about the burn on my leg, the French guy and a Harley...

I just think it's been interesting to glimpse a tiny bit of what it's like to be the one gone. The Marine does a fabulous job a week at a time and he has benefited seeing what it's like to be the keeper of all things important.
I'm sure he would do fine over longer periods of time, but I hope to never test that. I describe things much better after all.

More importantly how blessed I am to have a man who is such an active and involved Dad. Leaving for little bursts here and there gives my kids an opportunity to be with their Dad in a way that wouldn't be possible if I were standing right there. You know, my powerful and forceful nature and all...

I still don't like missing these moments. My future walks mightily in a cap and gown ready to take on Kindergarten while my other future prepares to face the world.

I'm not sure which one worries me more...
I just hope these two and all the ones in between learn that if you work hard, do what is right, and stay close to your family, there's usually good things that come your way. Like CAKE!


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.