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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Marine Corps Ball, Holidays, and Career

So first of all MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I am quite pleased to say everyone was home for Christmas to include my wonderful Mother. She isn't in the picture because she was not feeling well and went to bed a little earlier. I only have a second to pop in but wanted to share our family, because they are fun! and wanted to share where I've been blogging lately:

I am now an official blogger for Military OneSource. I love writing and life has been crazy and not allowed me the time to write. So I am fixing to cheat. I want to post the "official" blogs I've been writing for military lifestyle on the Military OneSource Blog Brigade, and who knows... I might just find the inspiration and time to get back Krazy Eights!!!

Military Life

When Your Service Member is Home More Than Gone

Reflecting on the Marine Corps Ball

Some Holiday Posts

Where did your joy go?

When Kids Leave

Setting Expectations for your Teens During Holidays


Juggling Career and Family

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sweet Sixteen and never.... oh well, Sweet Sixteen...

Today is my number 3 Recruits Sweet Sixteen birthday. She received her birthday in sections. Sunday we gave her a present. She, insisted, or maybe I insisted... I don't remember. Below you see her a whole year ago. She has had quite a year... But I think her birthday pictures from THIS year reflect who she is truly becoming....

Recruit 3 on her 15th birthday
Should I worry?

She had a friend over. Just one. It's a school night. 

There are no words....
 Actually, this child is quite a beauty when she isn't snarling her nose or shoving icing in her mouth...

 This morning I wished Recruit 3 happy birthday... Via Facebook. We were leaving for seminary and she was MAKING ME LATE...
and as we were leaving she said, "you didn't wish me a happy birthday!" I looked at her and said, "yes I did, I did it on facebook"....
My how they don't like it when the tables are turned.

This child has always been the enigma. When ever I say
that, she always has to look up what enigma means. You'd think she'd remember. It's an enigma to her....

I want to wish Recruit 3 a wonderful and eventful and joyous
year 16 of her life! I'm so glad she is mine!

If the Marine could move her off his truck he would have... He had already left to head back to Marine Land with the boys. Football season was starting. Recruit 3 and I had the truck! I'm totally serious. It's a whole blog worthy entry I know... 

All the sass in these purple boots are just but a small part of what's in the gal wearing them...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hurricane Preparedness with Recruits

Hurricane season often gives our family a chance to work together. Usually in the 11th hour getting ready for an impending hurricane. Or the potential for an impending hurricane. I took these last year and never took the time to post them. So, I'm sitting in the den listening to something about heavy artillery. Not by choice.

The guy just said the "the thing about heavy artillery is it's heavy..." Oh my gosh... I could have written that text... Anyway, back to hurricanes. I'm blocking out the Military Channel.

Let me walk you through my pictures. Here you see the Marine giving direction and guidance to the recruits. We have to make room in the garage for our fence. It's an awful vinyl fence that has to be taken down every hurricane. It's a pain. The reason, it's awful and vinyl and we live on a corner lot. The winds whip through here like... well like a HURRICANE!

Everyone works. The two little recruits had on their headlamps. They were ready for a power outage. At any moment. They blinded me several times. They blinded The Marine. I haven't seen their headlamps recently now that I think about it... Note to self, hurricane season is starting again, get new headlamps for recruits.

The Marine continues to guide and educate the Recruits. See the paint can in his hand. He's not holding it up for hurricane preparedness. Someone had spray painted the shelves on the other
side of the refrigerator and freezer you see in the garage there. Someone did it. No one admitted to being Someone.

What I think is hysterical, only because I was behind the camera and not helping, is the Marine asks, "WHO SPRAY PAINTED THE SHELVES". Then he is surprised No One speaks up. So now they all get the talk. I don't remember the details of the talk. But the talk usually follows the same format. 1. What the offense is; 2. what he is going to do to anyone caught committing said offense; 3. and finally what will happen to EVERYONE if it happens again, usually involving horrible and undesirable body part removal.

Recruit 2 working, you can see it's not exactly a pleasant climate out. Hurricane season is inconveniently during warm and humid weather.

Recruit 3 was helping too. I was still taking pictures. It was important for posterity.

At one point Recruit 6 is distracted. I wasn't sure what was going on, so I watched him. I thought maybe a ball or something had rolled under the bush.

He was still busy crawling around and had called Recruit 5 over. I stopped him for a picture.

Now I realize that they are actually looking AT something instead of FOR something.

Yay for mom and her headlamps. They came in really handing when checking out a bush in the dark when they were supposed to be helping prepare the yard and the house.

And what were they checking out? A disgusting Frog. They made me squat down there and take a picture of it!

Then we had to do a posed photo of them together. With their headlamps. I love hurricane preparedness. I love headlamps! I've got to go to the store...

Monday, March 7, 2011

This is a BAD DOG

I couldn't find Luke. I kept calling him, then I looked out the back door. He was a very very naughty puppy.

But he looks so handsome and regal! He usually jumps up and runs to me when he sees me.
I'm thinking he was thinking if he just stayed really still I wouldn't see him.

He only moved enough to pull his head back a little but NEVER took his eyes off me. He really should have been barbecued for this.

To make matters worse, I could recognize the toilet paper, but I have no idea what else was torn up or where the back to that office chair came from.
Sigh... Boys and puppies. There's a lot of clean up involved...

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I was looking for a picture to write about and none jumped at me today. So I decided to write about church with The Marine. He usually sits on the end with maybe ONE child between us. This leaves me with the others all to my left.

I end up missing half the talks because I am busy shoving boys off of me, snapping my fingers a the older ones, and saying SHHHHH a lot.

I have also been getting tapped a lot lately. Tap Tap Tap. In fact, this is not the first post I have written about being tapped. I really can't stand to be tapped. I even gave them options tonight at dinner instead of tapping me.

Today I was tapped by three of them almost simultaneously. Again the Marine looks at me as if I am the most intolerant woman on the planet when I exclaim in a stage whisper "STOP TAPPING ME".

In addition to being tapped out... LOL, sorry a little wrestling humor which I only know about because Recruit 6 was sitting on Recruit 5's back one day yelling "TAP OUT TAP OUT".

As I was saying. In addition to being tapped out, I was hot. Not like "ooh baby" hot, but like "oh my gosh I am going to pass out Peri-menopausal" hot. I know the Bishopric saw me fanning myself like crazy with my print out for my Sunday school lesson. I think they thought it was funny. I didn't see them smile, but the Marine was laughing at me and they are all in cahoots. I could feel it.

So what was the Marine's solution? He made me move to the end seat and put himself between me and the children.

I was moved. Not emotionally moved, but physically moved. By the Marine.

He says he was protecting me. I think he was isolating me and protecting them.

It was actually nice. The Marine had to lean over several times. AND Recruit 2 was drawing on Recruit 3's dress because she wouldn't circle the words he found looking over her shoulder at her word search. (It was a New Testament word search in case people are wondering why she was doing a word search in church).

The Marine gave Recruit 2 the eyebrow. Recruit 2 gave the Marine the "grin". I sat on the end and fanned myself trying to catch the Bishop's eye to tell him I was hot and going to pass out. The Bishop didn't see me.

The Marine did. nuts.

The Marine: "Who are you talking to???"

Kelli: "no one"

The Marine: "Yes you are."

Kelli: "nuh uh. I was singing the hymn..."

The Marine: "No you weren't you were mouthing to the Bishop you were going to pass out"

Kelli: "Well so, it doesn't matter he didn't see me anyway, and besides, I am going to pass out"

The Marine: some sort of disgusted grimace at my irreverance. Probably the lying too, but I'm not sure. I didn't bring it up again.

I did stop trying to send the Bishop a message though. Next time I'm just going to go punch the button for the controller and make it cold.

So then after sacrament I taught the 12-13 years olds for a friend of mine today. They weren't as bad as I expected. Recruit 4 is in there. He was just as bad as I expected. However he answered some of the questions and accurately.... He is an enigma.

Recruit 3 and I left before the third hour started. She got hit on the side of her face with the lacrosse ball yesterday and her jaw/ear area hasn't stopped hurting.

We got x-rays. She is just bruised/sore. But the x-ray tech, one we have never seen before amazingly enough had heard of Recruit 3, or rather the avulsion fracture she had to her occipital (occiput) bone on the back of her head in December from a fall during cheer practice doing the death dive stunt. She is famous. or rather her skull. The crack head.

I came home and took a fabulous nap. I need it. Nothing beats a Sunday nap....

Now I am ready for bed. 0500 comes early in this house and the week starts again!!!

P.S. I think the Marine was protecting me today. I've decided that's what I am going with.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Recruit 6 and Sacrament

Every Sunday we attend Sacrament meeting. Every Sacrament meeting with the exception of Stake conference or General Conference which each occurs twice a year, we have the opportunity to receive the sacrament bread and water. This is not a new or unusual event in Recruit 6's life. In fact, it's as familiar to him as any other family activity, event, or tradition we have.

So it never fails to amaze me when one of my children need additional teaching about Sacrament and why we are there. It also never fails to be DURING SACRAMENT when we have these lessons.

Recruit 6 "When are we eating?"

Kelli: "What?"

Recruit 6: "I'm hungry"

Kelli: "shh, we are not eating, you get a piece of bread and little cup of water and your supposed to be thinking about Jesus right now."

Recruit 6 slumps back, picks up his church back pack, unzips it and pulls out a giant conch shell Elder "E" gave to him last Sunday before he left on his mission. He holds it up to his ear. I ignore this. Mostly because I was touched Elder E gave it to him and because I miss Elder E too. And if it would keep him still and quiet then super.

Recruit 6: "Mom, Mom, MOM, MOM"

Kelli: "STOP IT, shhhhh, WHAT?"

Recruit 6: "Mom, um... you can hear the ocean. Do you want to hear it?"

Kelli: "no thank you."

The sacrament prayer is given and the bread is being passed. Recruit 3 passes the tray to Recruit 6 who starts to grab with his left hand. We teach our children to take the sacrament and pass the tray with their Right hand. I correct him. This throws him off. Completely.

He drops the piece of bread he had picked up, became agitated and now didn't know what piece to take. So he fishes around.

Recruit 3 is trying not to laugh. I'm having a hot flash and getting irritated.

The Marine is in prayerful, peaceful contemplation next to me completely unaware, or ignoring us.

Recruit 6 locates the piece of bread he is actually going to take and passes the tray to me and I hopefully grabbed the first piece he had put back. I can't do anything about all the other pieces he hovered over. I apologize to those behind us today. Which is most of our side of the chapel. We are in the fourth row of chairs from the front. He took a bath a few days ago. His hands were fairly clean.

We pass the tray on and Recruit 6 leans over: "I need water".

I just look at him.

Recruit 6: more insistent, "I need to get water"

Kelli: "We are fixing to bless the water. Just hush"

Recruit 6: "Well can I have a big cup? Do we get the big cups?"

Kelli: "NO" (last Sunday they ran out of the regular little sacrament cups and we had to use bigger ones and he was annoyed because he was not one of the recipients of the bigger cups that day either.

The water is blessed and passed without incident. The first speaker begins their talk.

Recruit 6: "I need water, can I go get water?"

Kelli: "No"

Recruit 6 takes out his shells, his pens, his paper, zips his back pack, pokes me a couple of times, packs everything up zips his backpack back up, sits on me, gets off of me, sits on me, pokes me.

Recruit 6: "Mom, Mom, Mom"

I really was about to lose it. Meanwhile on my right side sits the Marine oblivious to it all, or ignoring us.

Kelli: poking Recruit 6 in the chest repeatedly. "Do you like that? STOP poking me... now what?"

He giggles and says noooooo. I didn't mean for him to giggle.

Recruit 6: "If you break something, it's still something"

Kelli: "True" I turn back to the speaker.

Recruit 6 goes on. "Like a dollar bill, if you crumple a dollar bill, it's still a dollar bill."

Kelli: "True" both times I acknowledge him and return my attention to the speaker.

Tap Tap Tap "MOM"

Kelli: about to completely lose it not to mention the hot flash setting in. "What?"

Recruit 6: "Can I go get some water?"

Kelli: "NOOOOO"

Recruit 6 with big green eyes gazing up at me somewhat mystified as to my response, "But why not? It's so good for my body?"

I turned away from him. Took a deep breath and turned back and explained he could go once Sacrament meeting was over. He could get a drink then before his class.

Meanwhile the Marine is annoyed at me for all the movement and my obvious growing irritation and impatience with our precious son. The darling.

Marine: "You need to relax and just let him do his thing"

Kelli: with a hiss "You are completely unaware of what is happening here, and I am hot and he has been touching me repeatedly and zip zip unzip unzip zip zip... I cannot take much more."

Marine: "That's because I am focusing on the talks" and said with a very pointed tone of voice at me. As if I am purposely playing around. Oh that smug old man. I wanted to poke poke poke him a few times. I refrained. I was starting to sweat. He gave me that "ha, your in menopause look". I wanted to poke him harder.

Meanwhile I have now raised his awareness of the zip unzip poke poke poke and he leans over, and tells Recruit 6 in a VERY MEAN, all Marine-y voice to put it up and set his backpack down. Recruit 6 is now completely wounded and begins to cry. The Marine steps in to assist me just as the closing song is being sung. I've already endured over an hour of this. NOW he helps?

And I have to get Recruit 6 quiet by the end of the last verse so no one hears his sobs during the closing prayer. We are not in a very big chapel.

I'm sitting at the other end of our row next Sunday.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Too early

It's Saturday morning and I'm up. I didn't need to be up as early I am, but Luke thought I needed to be. He jumped on the bed, sat on Recruit 6, who sometime in the night snuck into my "pocket", and then rolled over him, stretched out next to me, and started licking. Everything.

Me, Recruit 6, himself. And not in that order.

I finally got up to let him and Scratch out, but I had to stand at the door because a panel on our fence blew down yesterday. So I was assaulted by early morning February air.

I did attempt to crawl back into bed between the Marine and Recruit 6 (if someone didn't understand this blog that whole sentence is just wrong) and I laid there for thirty minutes really wanting to fall back asleep.

I couldn't, my mind was awake and the following thoughts, all at once were running through it at a high rate of speed.

"I need to get my taxes done"
"I need to fill out the FAFSA" (or whatever those initials are)
"I need to pee"
"I need to fill out the insurance claim forms from the cars being broken into"
"My house stinks"
"Recruit 6 stinks"

It was all too much. So I got up and checked out Facebook.

Sometimes that really stresses me out. Especially if there are any potentially contentious posts. I just click through them.

So now I have to really get moving. We have a full day of Lacrosse and I need to make a to do list for Recruit 1 and 4. They are taking care of the little boys today since the girls all have a Lacrosse game in another town. The joy would be to see if they actually look at my list.

My BF is bringing her camera with us to the girl's game. I get to touch it, so maybe I'll have some pictures of our adventures today to load up later! Sigh... one can dream...

In the meantime, I have to go awaken the Marine. That is always a dicey move.

I did scare him though early early this morning. I guess I startled him awake by snoring in his ear. At least this time he just informed me I had startled him instead of going all mean and nasty forcing me to use bad words.

So I grunted and turned over to snore in Recruit 6's ear. He likes it, he snuggled into my pocket and sighed deeply as only a 6 year old can. It made me jealous.

I having nothing of value to add to this post. I am just procrastinating to avoid what I know is next. The awakening of the beasties, to include husband and sons.

Wish me luck...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thrilling Thursday

So today is not even a day I can begin to describe. Suffice it to say it was busy, challenging and filled with many little "seriously???" moments. Two of which I'll share.

First one. and I have to provide some background:

I have always been gifted with words. Writing, speaking, yelling, screaming... whatever. Rarely do words fail me. It is possible however, I could maybe, sort of, out talk a few folks. I don't know.

I've also always been very sensitive, so when my mother-in-law and sister-in-law said one day they saw the perfect t-shirt for me, I was flattered. Until they described it. It was a stick figure
( I was very thin once upon a time) with a flip top head, mouth wide open and the caption on the shirt said, "HELP! I'm talking and can't shut up!" I was sad. I really was.

And I don't remember but probably told them so in 3000 words.

So. Lately, I've been having issues with my jaw popping and cracking and it has progressively gotten worse. I mean to the point I can't chew, open my mouth, yawn, snort, giggle, or grimace without a pop or a crack.

I finally made it to the orthodontist today.

I have to get a splint.

For my jaw.

What's worse. I had to call The Marine and tell him I had to get a splint.

For my jaw.

The comments and jokes and wisecracks have only just begun to roll in.

Event number two:

I was all ready to head to Recruit 2's first Lacrosse scrimmage tonight. I had blankets, extra jackets, and the video camera. As I pull to the end of our street, Recruit 2 calls. I answer with "What did you forget, I just left the house!"

Recruit 2 said "Mom! The jeep overheated and I'm broke down on the hwy" (in the median, not on the side). The Marine told him next time he breaks down and pulls into the median instead of off to the side he was going to just run over him instead of rescue him.

I was heading to the practice fields to get Recruits 5 and 6 from their Lacrosse practice when he called me, so I told Recruit 2 to call his Dad and call me back so I would know what to get.

The Marine called, gave me instructions and said he would meet me at the jeep. Now, I'm just frazzled already at this point with the events of the day, to include the fact my face will soon be splinted.

Add to that worry and it's getting dark and my Recruit and his friend (of the female persuasion) are in the middle of the highway with an overheating jeep. It was probably on fire! It was probably on Fire and the looky-lou drivers would lose control of their vehicles and crash into my children! OR they would be kidnapped and sold as child slaves to a third world country.

As my mind races, my foot drops heavier and heavier on the gas. I finally see the blinking hazard lights in the distant and zip over and pull in behind the jeep. As I do bright blue lights of a state trooper zip over and pull in behind me.

Seriously??? Because of the recent theft, I do not have my driver's license and I have no idea how fast I was driving. My heart was in my tennis shoes. Like under the insole. I was walking on my heart.

He doesn't get out of his vehicle. Which I thought was odd, so now I was actually worried about moving around too much. I didn't want him to think I was trying to escape.

Recruit 2 obviously didn't have the same fear because he started pulling out the water, and radiator green fluid I had brought. I walk back to troopers car, slowly, with my hands showing and empty. I've seen cop shows.

and he asks if we need help. Ah... It's the only time I've had a state trooper pull over behind me and not frown at me while whipping out a ticket pad.

I was probably speeding and so I was more than happy to hear him ask if we were okay and what was going on. He was keeping us safe by sitting there with those seizure inducing lights flashing and not asking for my license, insurance and registration. It was a whole new experience for me!

I tell him what is happening and that the Marine will be there shortly. He said he would stay until we got out of the median. And he did. Blue lights flashing the whole time. I had to not look at them. I would have needed Kepra or some other anti seizure med...

The Marine arrived, took over and we discovered there was a nice size crack in the radiator. I told the Marine I would drive the jeep home and Recruit 2 could take the van and all the kids and they could all continue on their way and go to the game. I would be fine.

I knew how to pull over and pour more water in the radiator.

Yep, didn't work too well. I hadn't gone a full mile and I had to pull over. I pulled into a "fuel market" and opened the hood. Steam rose out of the jeep in a big cloud.

A helpful fellow offered me advice as I was filling the radiator up with water. He suggested I go in and ask for an egg. It would just "seal that baby right up". Or, "pepper will do the trick too, just dump a whole thing of pepper in there."

Why thank you kind stranger who must be high.

I am happy to report I did not do either. I did however call my insurance company and discovered I have towing coverage. Rock on, tow man cometh and take me home.

While waiting for the tow man, I called the Marine and told him my plan. He said if that's what I wanted to do, but sounded somewhat uneasy about having left me to handle this, at my insistence.

What he probably doesn't get is being alone outside a well lit, but somewhat sketchy, fuel market, all alone (yes I said it twice) was actually not a bad way to spend the evening. However I realized then I didn't want to ride with the tow man. What if he was a secret rapist? Or worse... I'm not sure what is worse, but what if?

So I called one of my BFs.

Kelli: "Hey BF, whatcha doin?"

BF: "Eating dinner"

Kelli: "Well how would you like to meet me at the ____ sketchy Fuel Market and wait with me while the tow man comes and picks up the jeep?"

BF: "Well alright, I'll be right there!"

And that was it! She left her dinner and came to hang out with me. As we pulled out of the parking lot of the sketchy fuel market, BF pointed down a side road and said, "see, right down there a month or two ago a man had the crap beat out of him and died."

Well BF, I am glad you waited till we were pulling out to share that tidbit with me! Otherwise I would have felt compelled to practice my Ninja moves outside your suburban like Recruit 6 does and quite frankly I was really just too tired for that.

I did get to go back to her house and eat her left over dinner though and the Marine joined us. Super nice! It was delish and the company was even better!

So now I am just finishing up a breakfast casserole to cook at 0500 tomorrow for my seminary class, winding down from the eventful day, and blogging all at the same time.

Recruit 4 and Scratch are snoring on the couch, the Marine just set the alarm on the house and retired for the evening. All the other Recruits are in their respective beds, I wasn't raped by a motorcycle gang at the sketchy fuel market, and Recruit 2 didn't break an ankle at his first scrimmage. Today is closed down and labeled a success!

I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"I love to see the Temple... I'm going there some day...."

In December, when Recruit 1 came out for Christmas, she came in time to attend the Temple on a youth Temple trip with our family. It was Recruit 4's first time to attend the Temple and it was our families first time to be in the Temple together with four of our six children. The Temple we attend is about two and a half to three hours from where we live, so it's always an adventure.

The Temple for Latter Day Saints is a holy and sacred place. It is a wonderful place to go, grow, and draw close to the Lord. As converts to the church the Marine and I look back in awe those 18 odd years ago when our family was young and small. To look at these pictures now fills me with joy and happiness.

It's appropriate that I post this tonight because the Marine and I finished up teaching the Temple Prep class for our ward. It has been wonderful to spend time with the Marine twice a week for three weeks teaching and preparing others to attend the Temple. Plus he's really cute and I love watching him teach...

The day we drove to the Temple was cold, and wet and yucky and gross. However you can tell I am tickled to be closed in with my wonderful family and making this trip. It would have been nice if the Son-in-law could have been with us, but he had not yet arrived in town. Something about a job, having to support Recruit 1, I don't know, something like that...

It was nice for the Recruits to spend time together. Craziness abounded and the close quarters brought out the best of everyone! I know these two miss each other. Gross children. What's a mom to do?

Recruit 3 plugged in, but was still participating in family fun. She is such a doll. Sometimes like a barbie, sometimes like a princess, and sometimes like Chuckie from that scary movie I've never seen. The previews freaked me out.

You can barely see Recruit 4 in the back seat too. He plugged in and ignored us. Pretty typical. He's 12.

We really had to contain him in his excitement for his first Temple trip... He seriously is just to excited for his own good.

You can tell everyone is happy to be together, all the beautiful smiles . And Recruit 4, wow, we had to really calm him down! Out of control that one.

If I remember right, we started talking to Recruit 2 about his future. He pretended to go to asleep.

And the Marine! I mean really, could he just be any jollier??? You can tell Recruit 4 takes after his father with all their out of control craziness!

Family self portrait! There's the real Marine. Recruit 4 is there, promise, we didn't throw him out on the highway. You just can't see him.

What a blessing and joy it was to have her home for this day. Wish we lived closer. sigh...

I don't remember, and I don't want to know what caused this look from Recruit 2. I'm sure it was gross.

Now this is a funny story. We are eating before going into the Temple and Recruit 1 had to call the Son-in-law because she spent money at the Book Store and needed to let him know BECAUSE (and this is insane and something we will NEVER have) every time she uses the check or credit card, he gets a text notification!!! NO WAY! The Marine would have had a heart attack if we had that set up. She was "discussing" her recent purchase outside the Wendy's with him while we all ate... and laughed at her.

Even after eating his joy is still contagious. Really, we need to calm him down. People were staring.

I don't remember, and I don't want to know what caused this expression either. I just wished he had shaved ALL the way. He's just excited he's growing facial hair that connects.

Outside the Temple. It's so beautiful and peaceful. I have no idea where Recruits 3 and 4 are. Probably already inside. It was COLD! By the way, we are not wearing white tights. Summer sun, o where art thou?

Just a little extra love. You can see Recruit 2 really loves this time with his sister and I.

On the way out. Recruit 4 AT LAST is showing an expression. Only problem is it involves his tongue. He has asked several times when we are going back. Never could have guessed that he had a great time!

Notice the choke hold? Prior to the camera snapping there were softly spoken words of love into his tiny man cub ears. At least I got one decent smile!

By the time we got out of the Temple the temp had dropped, there was snow/sleet coming down and we were all quite chilled. But wait, Recruit 4 is actively engaged in a family photo! It was such a beautiful day! It was also quite a pleasant and happy trip. Rare, and not something we can always say with this many siblings stuck in close quarters together. Such cute kids. I decided to keep them all for Christmas.

These last two pictures represents what is important to me. Of course I'm missing a few family members, but you get the point, and they were there in my heart.

P.S. Recruit 4 is not disabled. He is just being a toot and his new thing is to mess up every picture he can. I love these people!


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.