Sunday, July 31, 2011


Amazingly, I got to church about ten minutes before service started.  This was amazing because I had spent most of my "getting ready for church" time having a "good morning" conversation on the phone with my mom.  I had rushed myself and rushed the girls and rushed to church.

I sat in a row close to the front.  It was completely empty.  People chatted as they started to fill in the seats.  I just sat there, with no one else in my row.  I stared off toward the stage and a very unwelcomed thought entered my head.  

I am alone.  This is how it is.  This is how it will be.  I am alone.

I knew a friend would be coming soon to sit with me, but the thought lingered, and tried to bring me down.  Church hadn't even started yet, and I was being pulled away.

Realizing this, I suddenly had the will to fight back. 

I am not alone. God is here.  He is always here.  He is always with me. Always.  I will never be alone.  I will never, ever be alone.

I was filled with peace and I sat there letting that realization sink in to the depths of my soul.  And then, a few minutes later, my friend showed up, exactly when she was meant to.

I haven't written about it, but to make a long story short, my husband had an affair on deployment, and is choosing to leave our family for her.  This has been my deepest valley, and my biggest spiritual battle ever.  And it's not over... it won't be for a very, very long time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

Good friends of mine invited the three of us over for dinner:  normal 4th of July fare - hot dogs and such.  I took our veggie dogs and vegan buns, some potato salad that I whipped up, and chips.  As we were leaving, it was starting to thunder.  Miss Dainty immediately started getting upset, not due to fear, but due to disappointment when I told her the fireworks might be canceled if it stormed.  It rained throughout dinner and then tapered off. 

We waited until the last possible minute before heading to the nearby town that we were going to see the fireworks in.  It was still raining somewhat, and I think all of us adults seriously doubted there would be a show.  But the kids crossed their fingers, and sure enough after waiting a while and after watching lots of people leave, the fireworks did indeed start.  Miss Dainty was ecstatic.  It was a great show, too.  There were several times when we were certain the finale was going, and started to cheer and holler, only to have fireworks start going off again!  I think we ended up with 6 "finales!"  It was quite funny.  The kids loved it.  We had a great time.  =)

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Sometimes, I miss home.  A lot.  But not just home, not just my family, but simply, how it used to be.  When this hits... I make tortillas.  And of course, my tortillas don't come out nearly as round as my grandma's, but the girls don't mind.  They love making their own, too, the way I used to when I was a kid.

The best part is for about an hour while I work on dinner, I can picture my grandma's hands kneading the tortilla dough; I can smell my great grandma's kitchen; I can hear my mom's and my sister's laughs as we all chatted at the table; I feel connected.  Just for a little while.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer Learning

I can't tell you how many people have asked me, "So are you done with school this year?" (curriculum wise.)
hehe I never know what to say...
We unschool.
My children never stop learning.  Miss Dainty honestly doesn't realize that there is a time for no "school."  She is constantly asking for it.

We've done so much this summer already.  I'll try to do some posts soon, but today was fun... (well, after a rough, emotional start for me, but.. ah, well... at least it ended good!) And we didn't even go anywhere, really.

After the rough start, I took some quiet time devoted to prayer, and came back downstairs to restart our day.  We ended up painting our nails, watching a few cartoons, painting during Baby D's nap, bike riding, and playing with playdough! 

With the playdough, I sneaked in some learning, introducing Baby D to AB patterns and Miss Dainty to alliteration:  Playdough Penguins Parading Past Paisley Print.  This launched "The Alliteration Game."  We gave each other consonants, and we had to make sentences using that letter.  Quite challenging for a 6 year old's vocabulary, but she did great, and we had a ton of fun. 

I love days like today!  Thankfully, God is helping me hold it together for my girls.  =)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eviction Notice

Recently, I have realized that I have merely been renting this current life, and apparently, my lease is almost up.  Perhaps, it's always been month to month, and I was just clueless... 
As the day draws nearer, I wonder what direction my life will take next. 

And I wonder how grueling the eviction process will be.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Heartfelt Thanks

Thank you, my friends, for all the support through comments, emails, and prayers.  You have no idea how much they truly mean to me.

I wrote this in an email today:
"ha, nothing scares me anymore."

It felt amazing to write that.  I won't go into all the details of what's been going on, although a few of you do know, but I will say that I've recently discovered how much my self-worth was tied up in certain people and past experiences that were undeserving of defining me.  

I am truly beginning to experience my God given freedom in Jesus.  The emotional release is simply amazing.  His burden truly is light.  I have nothing and no one to fear.  And I have an unconditional forever love waiting for the taking.  God is so good.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I haven't blogged in a while. Lots of stuff has happened. Not good stuff. =(

Thursday, April 21, 2011

my wish list

  • answers
  • solutions
  • a mental vacation
  • a magic pill to fix the hurt
  • complete faith

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bubbles and Wishes

Today, the temperature was in the mid eighties!  I had thought about taking the girls to the beach for a fun afternoon, but when Miss Dainty woke up in the middle of last night with a sore throat... well, I figured the trip wasn't meant to be.  I decided I had a lot to do to get ready for our upcoming trip to Texas anyhow.  So we stayed home.  At the end of the day, I had gotten a little bit done, but not nearly as much as I should have...  Miss Dainty somehow convinced me to head outside:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Making Homes

This morning we were up early for a servant evangelism project that went really well.  It was chilly though, so we came home right after.  Baby D took a very early nap, which I expected since she woke up at 6 AM this morning.  After nap and lunch, Miss Dainty had the idea of building a home for her bear, and of course Baby D wanted to join in on the fun.  It was such an easy and simple project.  I was tempted to break out the scrapbooking paper and scrap fabric to really decorate them, but knew that would be a little too much for them.  So, we just used markers to draw what they wanted: a bed, tv, couch, and fridge in Baby D's house (apparently that's what she deems most important.) 

It was so cute to watch them play with the makeshift houses.  I cannot wait to give Miss Dainty her birthday present.  I have a dollhouse that I had bought for Christmas, but ended up not giving it to her due to her very last minute letter to Santa asking for a skateboard.  So, I ended up saving the dollhouse.  And now I think her birthday will be the perfect time to give it to her, not just that she will enjoy it more, but also that Baby D understands enough to be able to play with her, I think.  It's amazing how much difference a half a year can make. 

Miss Dainty's birthday party will be delayed anyhow, by her choice.  She told me, "I wish my birthday wasn't in May, I wish it was later."  And when I asked her why, she said, "So Daddy could come to my party."  *my heart broke!*  So we talked about postponing her party until Daddy would be home, and she very excitedly agreed to the plan.  I promised to take her to dinner and make cupcakes for her actual birthday, though.  =)  She's such a sweetheart.

I can't wait to decorate the dollhouse with her, though.  But... guess I'll have to. =)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Stamping Cards

Last night, I stamped a few cards to send in Mr. Hubs' next care package for him to write in and send back to the girls.  This was the first time I've brought out any stamps at all in... I don't know how long.  When I was going to bed (late!) I decided I'd leave the stamps out for the girls to play around with in the morning.  Of course, they were so excited when they saw everything out when they came downstairs.  Baby D kept trying to stamp on the paper without ink and was getting so frustrated that she wasn't leaving a mark!  It was so hard not to laugh when I was trying to tell her to be patient.  They could barely wait until after breakfast.  After I managed to get them to eat, I let them have at it.  Miss Dainty chose to make several cards for her penpals and already wrote notes in them. (I was quite impressed with her enthusiasm about writing!)  They both really enjoyed stamping.  I should bring all this stuff out more often.  =)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Baby D came down with a head cold Saturday, although I didn't figure it out until I started feeling symptoms myself on Sunday night.  Until then, I thought she had just had allergies.  So, we've been trying to get over it since then. 

Today, I'm feeling better except for a headache that comes and goes from the sinus pressure.  Apparently, in my house, "Please be quieter, I have a headache," really means: "Yes, I want to hear all of our loudest toys at once!  Please play them!"

Needless to say, I sent them upstairs to play.  At least Baby D is feeling better.  =)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My First Rav Swap - What I sent

This is what I sent my swap partner about a month ago.  The theme was books, comics, and graphic novels.  I read my swapee's  favorite book:  The Dispossessed, and tried to base the swap off of it.  The orange washcloths represent an orange blanket that the main character had.  I had quotes from the book on all the bookmarks to correspond with the handmades, also.  The e-book cover was fun to make.  I had to adjust the pattern because it was originally for a kindle, and my partner had a sony e-reader smaller in size.  It was a challenge at first, being my first attempt at a lace pattern.  I really like how it came out though.  I want to make one for my kindle, too.  The stitch markers were my very first attempt at making stitch markers!  It was a lot of fun.  Working with the polymer clay was a little challenging for me, too, since I rarely ever do it.  I love how the little books came out.  (Of course I made a few extra for myself!)  I found some yarn in her favorite colors:  Panda Cotton for socks, and some Sugar'n Cream for washcloths.  I had a lot of fun putting this swap together.  =)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Visit to the Pond

This morning we took a much needed trip to the library.  It's one of our favorite places to go.  I love that the kids love it as much as I do.  After story hour and stocking up on books, we headed home for lunch.

Later, the sun beckoned us outside.  There was still a slight cool breeze outside, but the sun was warm, so we took a walk down to the pond.  We fed the duck.  (We were hoping there would be more, but alas only one was around, and he turned out to not be too hungry.)  We saw our first redwinged blackbird!  What's so neat is that Miss Dainty recognized the call before we even sighted the bird.  She couldn't recall which bird it was, but knew the call from her bird book.  How cool is that?  We walked along the bank and watched some turtles sunbathing before accidentally startling them into the water.  Then we tried to feed them, too, but they also weren't hungry.  So we sat and pretended to be turtles soaking up the warm sun.  The girls loved it.  Eventually, we headed over to the playground. 

Such a great way to start the day.  Notice their shawls?  =)  We received a box in the mail yesterday from Mr Hubs.  The shawls were made in Turkey.  They've been wearing them nonstop.  They were so excited to get something from him. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Baby D's Eloise

I finished Baby D's cardigan!  Last week, actually, but I still need to add a button to the top.  Not that she minds.  She's even had the chance to wear it this week since it got freakishly cold again.  I'm happy that I made it a size up so she can have it for next year.  This pattern (Eloise Eyelet Cardi on Ravelry) was a super easy introduction to sweaters.  I learned the mattress stitch finally!  The only part I had problems with was seaming the armpits.  Wasn't quite sure how to do it and make it look nice, but for the most part you can't tell when it's on.  =)  Loved this pattern.  I'm thinking my nieces might be getting one for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Something good.

This afternoon, I needed to focus on something good, and just be in the present moment with my girls.  So, I helped them each make a new batch of playdough.  They loved being allowed to "cook" the playdough (they did the mixing before I heated it in the pot.)  They loved picking the color.  And of course, playing with new playdough is awesome.
They loved it, and so did I.


Thanks to all my friends and family who responded to my last post or who are praying for my family back home.  I truly appreciate everything.  After a very long conversation with my mom the other night, I'm dealing much better with it all.  Although, it is still a very sad and horrible situation, my heart and prayers go out to my family back home.  I miss them very much.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

sad, sad world

I got horrible news today concerning family back home...
and my heart is heavy...
I've had moments this evening when sadness feels like it might take over
and I have to think of something else
because I do not have the option of allowing it to.

Apple Shirt

This was a shirt I bought in Sicily a few years ago. I loved the apple fabric, but the shirt was too small.
Today, I pulled it out of my fabric stash, and (finally) turned it into something else (which I've been meaning to do for years.)  I used a simple pattern and made a 3T tank top.  Unfortunately, 3T is still too big for Baby D.  Oh well.  She'll have it when she grows into it.
Here she was counting the apples. =)

I'm so excited to have made something, even though I made a few mistakes.  One of my goals (for the past decade,) has been to learn to sew more than a square.  I sewed Baby D's diapers when we were cloth diapering, but that was about as far as I took my sewing skills.  I want to get better... I do.  So, hopefully, I'll gradually challenge myself with some clothes for the girls.  Miss Dainty is already asking for a dress.  =D

Monday, March 14, 2011

Keeping Busy

Miss Dainty has decided on a tea party for her upcoming birthday. So, we've been practicing...
I drove up to my grandparents' house to pick up my grandma.  I needed to borrow her for a few days... =)  Miss Dainty had a trip to Colonial Williamsburg for Girl Scouts, and I knew I wanted my grandma to come.  We enjoyed it.  We didn't stay all day since Miss Dainty was still feeling a little under the weather, getting over her cold, but we had fun with what we did get to see and do.  (We are so dressing up next time!!)
While my grandma was here I got to work on some unfinished projects.  I completed the "Daddy Pillows" as we call them.  The girls love them.  I also worked a lot on Baby D's sweater.  I'm just about done.  I have only the seaming and finishing left to do.  My grandparents also surprised me with 4 new vegan cookbooks!  Sweet!  I can't wait to start trying meals out of them.

Today, I worked on the backyard a bit.  I finished raking up the pine needles...  ended up with 8 huge yard bags full.  My love/hate relationship with our pine tree was leaning a little more towards hate after that, but in the end it looked really good.  And the area around it is just begging for flowers.  Miss Dainty picked some out today, so hopefully we'll get the seeds planted soon.  We also picked up a bag of wildflower seed mix that is supposed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Miss Dainty wants a butterfly garden.  I'm hoping it will be flowering in time for her birthday party.  It should, but you never know with me gardening...  =)

And that's what I've been up to...  the temperatures are getting warmer and warmer.  We're so excited for spring!  Hope everyone is enjoying themselves as well.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Girls' Room Do-Over: Goals 2 & 3 Progress

Remember what Miss Dainty's room looked like before?  Well, we got a lot accomplished today!
The closet system is still working great!  Today, I took a huge pile of toys out of the room, although I haven't officially gotten rid of any yet.  I need to do it while the kids are sleeping, otherwise, they will all end up back in the room.  I bought a toybox at Target, today, and I'm thinking it will hold the baby doll stuff, and go in front of the window.  There's another tall shelf that I want to get for that right corner, and then I think that's where the table and chairs will go, also.  Along that right wall, I'm thinking will be the kitchen stuff.  Finally, once I get Baby D's bed in there instead of Miss Dainty's, it will free up more space on that side of the room.  =)  I'm hoping to be done weeding through everything by next week, because my grandma will be visiting, and I can hopefully use that time to get some painting done.  Excited!

Progress on Goals:
  1. Organize and put up clothes.
  2. Reduce amount of toys. (In progress)
  3. Organize and put away toys. (In progress)
  4. Paint walls.
  5. Decorate!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring is on its way

We had a very warm, beautiful day yesterday.  While the girls had a blast playing, I did some yard work raking up dead pine needles.  There is so much of the stuff!  The flowers are popping up in the front yard, kudos to the previous owners... heh.  I have a brown thumb, but Miss Dainty really wants to try some gardening this year.  I'm going to clear out the space around the pine tree and plant a butterfly garden, and then hopefully try growing some edible plants in containers.  I hesitate to put the effort into growing stuff in the ground since we won't know what our new orders will be for a little while still.  First priority, though, is putting down grass seed in the back.  The frontyard looks much better, but the backyard needs a lot of attention.  This past summer was harsh on the grass.

I can't wait for it to stay warm, though.  Today, the temps were back in the low 40s.  =(

Monday, February 28, 2011

Crafting... and goodbyes...

Now that my knitting swap projects are done, I've been focusing on a few other projects.  Miss Dainty is still up and down with emotions dealing with the deployment, which is expected, of course.  I've been at a loss as to what to do to help her feel better about the situation.  "Normal" deployment activities that I've heard of just won't work for us, such as a deployment count down.  I know her (and myself.)  It would not help us to see that we still have ### days left before Daddy comes home.  I think that would be even more depressing.

So far, we've been dealing by just staying in the present.  We talk about him every day, as if he would be coming home at normal time after dinner, not that we're expecting him to, and Miss Dainty does understand that it's going to be a long time, but we're just not dwelling on just how long it's going to be.  And of course, we're staying busy.  The weeks are flying by, and suddenly it's Sunday again, when it was just Sunday yesterday, it seems.  This is definitely not a bad thing.

Anyhow, after talking to a friend of mine, whose husband is also deployed, I decided to try making a few things for the girls.  The first is going to be a little pillow with a picture of them with Daddy.  I found some iron on transfer paper in my craft stash and was happy to finally use it... (it's a few years old, at least, which is probably why it yellowed a little bit, but they won't care.)  I'm going to let them pick what fabric they want to go on the back.  The sheet was a freebie from a friend who just moved today.  She gave me a ton of stuff, and I can't wait to put it to use.  =)  We're also going to make a scrapbook soon or a picture board.  I haven't decided which, just yet.  I will also be making some note cards to send to Mr Hubs that are ready to be written in and sent back.
I'm also getting back to Baby D's sweater... and look what I thought to do today. I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier.  I mean really, I already put all of our public domain book pdf files on my Kindle, why didn't I think about my knitting patterns?!  Sweet.
And last but not least, we said goodbye to our friends who moved today.  *tear*  Miss Dainty loves this little girl, and will miss her.  And I'm going to miss her and her mom, too.  But it's a good move for them, and we will definitely have to visit.  =)
Tomorrow, I am mailing my swap package (again.) Today's trip to the post office did not fare well. Hopefully, tomorrow's trip will be better!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


How much harder can I wish for an email?  a call?  an update right now?
I can't...
Communication has been cut off for a while now.
Thanks to an ombudsman update, I know he is safe, but still...
I hate it.

Update:  Saturday, 2/26
I finally got a text from him very, very early this morning.  When I woke up for good, I thought I had dreamed the whole text conversation, heh.  So glad communication is back up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My First Rav Swap - What I got

I received this package in the mail the other day:
A coffee cozy, sock weight yarn (but it's wool, so it will be finding a new home,) a couple of fun comics, a pretty spring colored cotton washcloth, and hand made soap.  I made sure to put on all my questionnaires and lists that I was vegan, and what that meant in regards to this swap, (what to send me and not send me,) but I guess I should have made it even more clear...  Although, I'm really not sure how I could have.  Oh well.  It was fun to get a surprise in the mail regardless.  I'm just about done with my swap package, and I can't wait for my spoilee to get it!  =)  I'll post about it as soon as she does.

Girls' Rooms Do-over: Goal 1

I've been meaning to decorate the girls' rooms since we first moved in... almost two years ago.  Miss Dainty had been so excited to paint her room and have it just the way she wanted.  I feel terrible that I haven't made it a priority.  After seeing how a friend of mine decorated her daughter's room, I felt so inspired, and decided to rededicate some time and energy into finally starting and finishing the girls' rooms the way I envision them.  **Hopefully we will get stationed here again!**

Miss Dainty's room is currently the one with the bigger closet, while Baby D's room is really nothing more than a catch all room with a crib smack dab in the middle.  There's Mr Hubs' drumset, a desk, an extra crib mattress, and containers in the closet in that room.  Such a great baby room, eh?  Miss Dainty's room is a constant disaster.  The girls share the closet, and I hadn't figured out a system that Miss Dainty could use in helping me maintain order when it came to the clothes.  There were clothes just about everywhere... clothes and toys.  The toys were in containers in a 9 cube shelf, which I thought would work great, but apparently they just have way too many toys.  So my first goal was to reorganize the closet and to put away all of their clothes.

The top right photo is the room's before picture, and is what Miss Dainty's room looks like "normally."  There was just no child friendly organization for clothes or toys.   Bottom right is the closet's before picture.  Ack!  No wonder I hated putting clothes away, I didn't want to face that!
So, for the closet I moved the 9 cubbie shelf inside, and put the folded clothes into it.  Purple will be Miss Dainty's and the red will be Baby D's.  That middle bar is just a shower curtain rod.  I decided against something more permanent because 1) I'm horrible at hanging shelves and such up, and 2) I know that not long from now they will more than likely need their own closets.  So, I just decided to stick with this for now.  I need a few more containers for the cubbies, but for the most part all the clothes are put up, and I'm pretty sure Miss Dainty can handle putting things into the boxes more easily.

My goals are:
  1. Organize and put up clothes.
  2. Reduce amount of toys.
  3. Organize and put away toys.
  4. Paint walls.
  5. Decorate!
So, eventually (hopefully sooner than later!) this room will actually become Baby D's room and their playroom.  The crib/toddler bed will take up much less room, giving them more space to play in.  I want a reading area by the window, and a table for tea parties.  I'm hoping to have a little section for pretend play (baby doll stuff, kitchen, cleaning, etc.)  I want most of the other toys (hopefully fewer in number!) to be in containers that will fit under the toddler bed.

And then, Baby D's current room will become Miss Dainty's/guest room.  She's been asking for a bigger bed, anyway.  She doesn't like how narrow her twin size bed is.   This bed was what we originally wanted to get for Miss Dainty's room, oh two years ago.  It's a single bed which turns into a double and has drawers for storage underneath.  Pretty awesome.  I might still go with that one, or I might just get her a full.  I think the Ikea one would be best though, so that she has the option of having more space if/when she needs it.

I'm really looking forward to working on their rooms!  Thanks for the inspiration Emy!

Friday, February 18, 2011


My little Miss Dainty is growing up.  Wanting to skateboard and making new friends.  Friends that are boys...  Of course it was completely innocent.  They talked about skateboarding and bike tricks and played a fun game of tag.  I couldn't help thinking that this was a glimpse into the future, though...  sigh... 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Celebrating Valentine's Day

Oh, it turned out to be a wonderful day!  So glad I decided to make the most of it.  =)

I told the girls I had a few Valentine's Day surprises for them, so they were so excited all morning (well mainly Miss Dainty.)  First, after breakfast I had them get ready while I prepared a pack lunch.  Miss Dainty kept trying to guess where we were going.  She never guessed right.

The first surprise was:  the park!  Now, I know this probably doesn't seem too special, but ever since winter started, we have not been able to go.  It has just been way too cold.  Today, however, was gorgeous!  It was 65ish degrees with beautiful sunny skies.  It was a bit windy, but awesome weather regardless.  They played and played and played.  We needed this today.  We needed the sun's warmth and brightness, we needed to just be out.  It was great.  Once the kids got hungry we sat down with friends of ours for a picnic.  My girls loved what I created for their lunch.  Absolutely loved it.  And their reaction made me so happy.
Some photo explanations:

Apparently, Baby D doesn't like wind.  She decided she wanted to wear her sweater and her sister's hat the entire time.  On the other hand, Miss Dainty didn't even seemed bothered by the slight chill the wind brought, which is obvious by her very summery attire.

In the top left photo, Baby D is sitting on her potty.  She decided last night, out of nowhere to begin potty training!!!  Flat out refused to put a diaper on.  Oh the things we moms have to do.... heh.

The "Love" photo is their lunch.  I used letter and little heart cookie cutters to cut the PB&J sandwiches.

The bottom right photo is Miss Dainty while we were crafting paper hearts to decorate the house with.  She loved the one on one time while Baby D napped.  We finished just as Baby D woke up, so they each got to place some hearts wherever they wanted.

After getting Baby D into a good mood (waking up is always a shock apparently,) we headed out for the next surprise:  Dinner at our favorite sushi place!
Miso soup, yakisoba noodles, sweet potato rolls, and avocado/cucumber rolls!  We haven't been in a while... since a few days before Mr Hubs left, so the girls were in heaven!  An older couple complimented me on the girls, and said how nice it was I was taking pictures to keep the family updated.  I told them it was for their dad who was deployed.  The husband answered, "That's what I figured.  Tell him to keep safe."  I thought that was really nice.

After dinner, we ran by a nearby grocery store and picked up some Tofutti ice cream sandwiches for dessert. It's the girls' favorite, but I rarely buy it because they're so expensive!  (But that keeps them extra special at the same time...)  Then, we picked up a movie at a redbox outside.  Miss Dainty picked out Alpha and Omega.  We came home, ate our ice cream, and watched the movie together.  It was a perfect way to end the day.  The only thing that would have made today better was if Mr Hubs had been right there with us, but he kind of was.  We talked about him the entire day. 

I kept noticing this on my fridge today:
Mr Hubs wrote that right before he left for bootcamp.  I was still in high school.  He hid it in a cd case in my bedroom.  I love that note, and I must have read it a million times today.  I really don't know why I was even slightly upset about Valentine's Day.  Even with him gone, I know he loves me every day.  I don't need a holiday to remind me of that. 

And then, this really put everything into perspective.  A friend of mine posted this on facebook:

"Remember that you are loved by a love that is deeper and richer than any other love, by the One who loved creating you exactly they way you are.  You are His prize, His favorite and His desire and He wants you to know that.  God loves you today, and forever."

I love that.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Randomness and Valentines Day

My intention was to keep better track of what we've been doing, and especially to take more photos, in hopes of having something to show to Mr Hubs a half year from now and say, "Look, this is what we were up to while you were gone..."  However, I realize I've been slacking.  I hope to remedy this, starting tomorrow.

Lately, we've just been keeping busy.  I'm organizing another small group Bible study.  So excited about it!  We'll be studying Elizabeth George's A Woman After God's Own Heart.  The only hiccup so far is that our babysitter fell through recently, so I've been scrambling trying to find another.  A fellow navy wife suggested the site and told me military gets membership for free (!!!) so I joined, and posted a job listing.  About five minutes ago, I received an application that looks like the winner, so here's hoping!

The other day we had yet another snowy day.  I'm so thankful that it was not terrible here like it was in other states.  Yay for snow.... (not.)  I'm definitely not a snow person.   My girls on the other hand, love to be out there.  Usually, at snowy, freezing cold times such as this, Mr Hubs is the one who takes them outside and they all have a blast.  But since he is currently away enjoying warmer weather I assume, I was left to tackle the task.  Miss Dainty kept saying, "I wish Daddy was here.  He would love this.  We could have built a snowman."  She was disappointed that I did not know how.
This is what they ended up building... some sort of snow... creature.  This picture cracks me up, not just because of the snow thing, but also because of Miss Dainty's fashion statement.  She seems to have lost her mittens and scarf, so she borrowed mine which were huge on her.  And then there's Baby D and her mismatched glove and mitten.  Oh dear, my poor kids....  Sorry girls, Mommy is clueless, apparently.  Good thing they don't care much.  =)

This week, Miss Dainty also had her Girl Scout meeting.  She is still loving it.  I wish we could meet up more often though.  I really think she could form some closer friendships and bonds in that group.  They had a valentine card swap at the end of the meeting.  Miss Dainty picked out Disney princess cards that came with a bookmark.  This one was my favorite out of the cards she recieved:
Is that not just too adorable?!  I love it!  I've been feeling a little down about Valentine's Day.  Mr Hubs and I never really cared about Valentine's.  In all of the 11 years we've been together, I think our very first valentine's while dating was the only one we ever celebrated.  We just kind of realized how commercial and forced the whole ordeal is.  But presently, I'm mad about the holiday because it's not our choice to not celebrate it this time since he's not here.  Does that even make sense?  Probably not.  So, I've decided to make the best of it, and celebrate (for the first time in a while,) with the girls.  I have a few surprises up my sleeve for them on Valentine's day. 

We did receive valentine's cards in the mail from my grandma, though, and that brightened our day.  The girls' card had $4 tucked inside, $2 for each.  So, today, I took them down to The Book Owl (that little local bookstore I've been addicted to lately.)  They were having a $1 sale on "thousands" of books.  I thought he had been kidding, but no, there were boxes and boxes of books in an empty store lot.  No electricity and no heat, but I managed to look for about an hour and a half before the girls were tired of chasing each other and of the cold.

My favorite find?
Blueberries for Sal for $1!!  Score!  (You gotta love the mismatched socks.  This time it was not my fault, she insisted on wearing those, I promise!)  I also found a couple of other children's classics, and about 10 books for me including a nostalgic find:  California Blue by David Klass.  I remember reading and loving it in either in middle school or junior high, when I did nothing else except read.

Oh, those were the days...

Tonight, I am volunteering at church.  We have 400 balloons to blow up.....  should be fun.  =)

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Great Weekend

Friday morning, a good friend of mine offered to watch the girls so that I could have a few hours to myself.  It had already been three weeks with no time to myself, so I didn't know what to do with it at first.  I ended up going to a nearby used bookstore and spent the entire two hours browsing... and buying.  Buying too much, probably.  Is there such a thing as buying too many books?
I found some great history books, writing books, and a children's dictionary for Miss Dainty, and a few novels for me (like I need my TBR pile to grow any higher!)

Friday also brought awesome mail!  Yummy spring colored sock yarn I had recently ordered and a care package from my grandma (with more books!)  She's so sweet.
I really, really, really want to try to knit a pair of socks.  I still need to finish my swap package though. 

Saturday was rainy, so we stayed inside and relaxed.  I taught Miss Dainty how to play checkers.  (I'm thinking she is going to want to play everyday now.)  She's wearing one of her daddy's shirts in this picture... she's such a sweetheart.
And Sunday... wow.  Sunday I was blown away by my church.  The sermon was on the church's vision.  They covered where they had come from and where they are going.  It was amazing to see everything Believers church has done up to this point, and so exciting to see what they have planed for the very near future.  I'm hoping to be able to serve more now that Baby D is older and not so much a baby anymore.  Once they post the video, I'll link to it so everyone can check them out.  =)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Comic Challenge

Another 2011 challenge?  Sure.  Why not?  =)

The Comic Challenge hosted by Dutchie at BA Reading Challenges.

I'm really trying to broaden my reading horizons this year, especially since I have extra time to read now.  The graphic genre is new to me.  I never grew up reading comics, although Mr Hubs did (and he loved them.)  I often wonder if I missed out on something great.  So, I'm looking forward to seeing if I enjoy this genre.

The Comic Challenge

I'll be joining in at the Pow! level (5 comics read.)  Although, I'm secretly hoping to get to the next level. 
Comics & Graphic Novels read:
  1.  Bleach Vol. 1: Strawberry and the Soul Reapers by Tite Kubo. 2/5/11.  4 stars
  2. The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman.  2/23/11.  4 stars 
  3. The Color of the Earth by Kim Dong Hwa.  3/21/11.  5 stars. 
  4. The Color of Water by Kim Dong Hwa.  5/17/11.  5 stars.
  5. The Color of Heaven by Kim Dong Hwa. 6/16/11. 5 stars.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What's my age again?

I love sharing things Miss Dainty says with family and friends on facebook, hopefully giving them a chuckle.  I realized today, though, that I can't remember some of the things she's said in the past, and I want to put them in a more permanent place.  So, I've decided to post them here as well.  Here's the first.  I'll hopefully remember some things from the past and add them, too.
I made a simple dinner of tomato soup and grilled "cheese" sandwiches, and I told the girls, "I used to love when Grandma would make this for me."  Miss Dainty said, "When you were a kid?! ...  How do you remember so long ago?"


Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1)Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first time reading steampunk, and I really liked it. I loved the world and the characters Priest created, although I do wish the characterization had been a bit more in depth from the get go. I can understand that having to focus so much on creating the world might have prevented more in depth characterization, otherwise the book would have been a lot longer. I found myself assuming things in the beginning concerning the two main characters' personalities and their relationship. In the very end though, there was more character development, so that made me happy, but like I said I wish it could have been dispersed through the whole book, not just placed in the end. My favorite character, though, was Lucy, who wasn't even a main character. And I wish we could have known what happened to Swakhammer! Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to checking out Priest's other books.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Good Start to February

Our first stop today was the grocery store to pick up a few last minute additions to Mr. Hubs and his friend's care packages, and then we were off to the post office:
Then during Baby D's nap, we did a bit of schoolwork.  Later, because it was a beautiful afternoon, we headed back outside for a nature study and some play:
Don't mind the dead grass...  I'm really not looking forward to all the work it's going to need in a few months!

This was Miss Dainty's first official entry into her nature journal.  I've been meaning to start doing this with her for forever, it seems, and just hadn't gotten around to it.  Well, remember that undone to-do list I mentioned in my last post?  Well, the  motivation is returning.  I suppose I just needed a few weeks to feel all "blah" about the deployment and to just sulk around the house.  But now that's done, and we can get back to doing what we need to do.

We studied our backyard's pine tree today.  Miss Dainty drew her own picture of it, although the perspective was really hard since we were basically under it.  But it was so neat to watch her draw how she saw the tree and her pine cone.  I joined her in this activity and drew on my own paper.  I'm not good at drawing at all, but I think it will be fun to do this alongside her.

These are Miss Dainty's two drawings:
I find her pine tree so amusing, it makes me smile.  From where she was sitting, that probably is exactly what she saw the most: the main trunk and the lowest branches.  The objects to the bottom right are the bird house and bird bath.  Apparently, she thought they needed more color than what they actually have.

Back to the photo:  the flock of birds was hilarious to Miss Dainty.  They were noisily squawking the entire time we were outside and they made her laugh.  The rabbit was an unexpected guest.  Miss Dainty startled it while she was running around, and he shot across the yard.  He was pretty big!  and gorgeous.  We put out some lettuce for him, and Miss Dainty sat by the backdoor eating her snack after we came inside, patiently waiting for him to come back.  (He hasn't yet.)

It was a great afternoon.  I love days like today, they are very uplifting.  And I'm so glad to be done with the "blahs."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Over Thinking

This morning after sleeping soundly (but unfortunately for not long enough,) I heard the baby yelling for me.  My eyes did not want to open.  I stayed up too late last night finishing a book, and yet, even if I hadn't finished it, I would have laid there awake regardless.

I wondered what day it was.  Is that sad?  I lose track of days when my schedule is not packed.  I remembered that it was Friday.  Nothing to do on Friday.  Good.  That's how I wanted it.  We did something yesterday anyway, and we have something planned for Saturday. 

I thought a day of nothing would be good.  But I forgot one important thing:  I can never do nothing.  Even when I try, my brain is constantly going.  And I over think things.

I think of things forgotten.  Of disregarded goals.  Of undone to-do lists.  Of the future and its many possibilities.  Of ideas that never came to fruition.  Of things that should be but aren't and may never be. 

And I miss the one with whom I would normally share these over thought thoughts of mine.

Motivation, my dear, you are encouraged to return at your earliest convenience.  Doing nothing is not good for me.

Maybe I just need another cup of coffee...  =)

Get Steampunked!

Okay, it's nearing the end of January, and with 6 books read (including chapter readalouds) I think I am well on my way to accomplishing all my 2011 reading challenges (assuming I stay on the same pace.)  So, I've decided to take on one more challenge:

Get Steampunked!

I'm going to start at the lowest level:  Geared (5 books.)  This is a brand new genre for me, and I'm hoping I like it.  Can't wait to get started!

Steampunk books read:
  1.  Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. 2/2/11.  4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We survived...

Well, we've officially survived the first week.  I think I'm still a bit in denial (which seems to be helping the kids cope, anyway.)  I've been somewhat treating this week as a really long duty day, instead of what it actually is.

Mr. Hubs is deployed.  yuck.  There, I said it.  I suppose that being used to this past year's workups has made it easier on us.  We are used to him having to leave.  In a way that is a little sad, but ah, well, what can you do?  I think it will start to sink in more as we get further into the deployment.  We've already had some ups and downs, but overall we're holding it together.

Baby D doesn't understand, of course.  She sees Daddy's car outside and asks, "Daddy home?"  I have to tell her repeatedly, "No, Daddy's on the boat."  She'll look at me and say, "Oh, Daddy boat."  A lump will catch in my throat for a second or two, and after a few deep breaths, it's gone, but the whole time, she is fine.

Miss Dainty is strong.  She amazes me.  I can only hope that I can continue to be enough for her while Mr. Hubs is away.  She misses him very much.  We all do, of course.  Evenings are hardest for me, they are too quiet.  I've been filling them with knitting and season 1 of Doctor Who, or reading mostly.  And sleep doesn't come quickly, but the morning does.  Coffee is my friend.  During the day we try to stay busy.  It will be better when the weather gets nicer.  We've been stuck in the house lately due to cold rainy days.

Today was a nice break from that.  It was bordering on warm and the sun was out.  After Baby D's nap, I surprised them with a trip to the nearby playground.  (They thought we were going straight to the craft store.) They had fun running and sliding and jumping around.  It was good for them to get their energy out.  It was a nice chance for me to sit and knit. I was also pleasantly surprised by a single bird singing just for me (at least, that's what it felt like.)  That little bird's song as the soundtrack to my kids' playing and the yarn moving through my hands, made me happy.  That half hour was really, really enjoyable.  Then it got too chilly, and we had to leave.
This is what I've been working on:
My first sweater.  Well, it's for Baby D.  I figured I should start small.  It's a really easy pattern:  the pieces are seed stitch border and stockinette stitch with just a tad of shaping.  When I join them for the yoke portion, there will be some eyelets involved, so hopefully it won't be too hard for me.  It's an adorable sweater.  I can't wait to finish it.

However, I might have to put it aside for a while.  I've signed up for my very first ever swap on ravelry.  I'm so excited.  I've decided on what I want to make for my spoilee, I just need to get started.  I'm looking forward to shopping for her, too.  This is what I bought tonight to get started on the first two projects:
The yarn in this picture and the sweater look almost the same, but that's the lighting's fault.  The sweater is magenta.  This new yarn is a rich dark red.

I will definitely post about the completed projects, after my spoilee receives her package.  I think I'll do one more night of mindless stockinette and tv tonight, though.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Choice

The ChoiceThe Choice by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was the first Nicholas Sparks book I've ever read. A friend recommended it to me. Perhaps I started with the wrong book, or perhaps this just isn't my genre. This was just an okay read for me. The first half did not hold my interest, it took me longer than it should have to read. It started to pick up somewhat, yet I was still indifferent as to what happened to the characters, and, really, I hated feeling that way. Overall, I wasn't too impressed. Then again, I think this style of writing and type of book just isn't my thing.

My short review on goodreads.  =)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1)Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"I read this out loud to my 5 year old. She enjoyed it, and at times couldn't believe how the characters lived. It read like a collection of short stories instead of one main story, which I didn't care for too much (I personally love a very defined plot in a book.) But it was perfect for my daughter. However, I absolutely loved the very last chapter. I definitely will be revisiting this book with her later when we actually study this time period."

That was my short review on Goodreads.  I just learned I could easily post my review here!  Pretty nifty.  Another thing I wanted to mention about this book is that a lot of my friends have told me they didn't get past chapter 1 in this book with their kids due to the "gruesome" descriptions of the father slaughtering and cleaning the animals that they ate.   I personally decided not to shelter my daughter from this.  I don't understand why we disconnect our kids from their "food."

We discussed how in the time this story took place, they had to eat what was available to them.  We talked about how they didn't have stores with vegetables year round like we do now.  And the reason I loved the very last chapter, "The Deer in the Wood," was because it showed that even though they had to eat animals to survive, there was still an appreciation for them.  In that chapter, the father (while hunting) didn't shoot a single animal because he was awestruck at their beauty and serenity in the woods.  I loved it.

Overall, Miss Dainty really enjoyed this book.  It helped that each chapter was it's own short story.  It was perfect for bedtime reading.  I can't wait to really study this time period of our country with her.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Contribution

Mr Hubs' 10ish days off of work were awesome.  It was nice to just be together, doing nothing much really, but enjoying each other's company.  He's been back to work for a few days now, and it's back to getting ready.  The checklist is pretty much taken care of.  I think we are ready.  We'll see. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Activity Box #1: Color Sort

This is something I've been meaning to do for a while:  getting activities together for Baby D to use while I homeschool Miss Dainty.  When Miss Dainty was around 2 and 3 I did a lot of Montessori type activities with her, and I need to do it again for the little one.  I entered a blog give away for one of the activity sets from Time for Tots, but I didn't win.  Those activity sets seem very well planned out and very well stocked. 

My home made ones will be more on the simple side (I'm super cheap...) but I don't think Baby D will mind.  I am thinking about getting the alphabet set though because $20 is really worth it to not have to hunt down 26 mini-somethings to match with letters.  It's a great activity.  I did something similar with Miss Dainty around 3 1/2.

This has been on my to do list, because lately, it's been a challenge to homeschool Miss Dainty.  We used to do her schoolwork during Baby D's nap, but lately her naps are getting shorter and it seemed like we were cramming too much into a short hour (or hour and a half if we were lucky!)  And because we were doing all the book type stuff during nap time, there was no opportunity to do Miss Dainty's favorite arts & crafts type activities because if the baby was up, she basically just wouldn't let us.

So, arts & crafts will be during Baby D's nap, and I need to figure  out a way to do schoolwork while the baby is up.  I'm putting together activity boxes that she will only be able to play with during school time, so that hopefully they will seem special enough to keep her interest.

I put a color sort activity set together yesterday:
What did I spend?
Paint samples: free.
Container: free. (Repurposed take out container)
Items: free. They were just stuff we had around the house and buried at the bottom of the toy box.  The marker lids came off of dried out markers (we definitely have enough of them.)
Rice: pennies?  I only used 1.5 cups.  And really, you don't even have to put it in there, but I did because Baby D is all about texture.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Miss Dainty's Meteor Shower

The other day, Mr Hubs was downstairs with the girls and somehow he got on the topic of constellations and planets and such, and so began an impromptu science lesson for Miss Dainty.  When I came downstairs, I could hear Baby D yelling about something or other, and Mr Hubs looked at me and said, "I have no idea how you teach Miss Dainty anything..."  I smiled knowingly.  Yeah... it's a challenge.  One that I need to figure out in the next few weeks, but that's another blog post.

I took the baby and entertained her while Mr Hubs continued showing Miss Dainty videos and pictures online which fascinated her.  They ran across a chapter in her book of constellations about a yearly meteor shower, and both were so excited to read that it would be happening this week.  Miss Dainty jumped up and down about her daddy's promise of waking her in the middle of the night and the possibility of seeing a meteor shower.

After researching a bit, we knew it might be tough to see this particular meteor shower.  The peak was supposed to take place between 3 PM Monday and sometime this morning (now I've forgotten.)  Regardless, it was a pretty big time frame, with basically no guarantee we would catch it.

So, last night, we went out around 8 pm to check and see if we could see anything.  Turns out, the area was not viewable from our house.  Miss Dainty was disappointed, but we promised her we'd check in the morning and wake her if we saw something.

This morning, around 5:30 am, Mr Hubs' alarm went off and he asked me if I was going to go outside.  "Yeah, if you see anything," I answered.  He laughed and went out.

In about two minutes he ran back inside,  "I saw two already, come on!"  He went and grabbed Miss Dainty while I got out of bed.  I hope we see something, I thought, because this is crazy.  It's freezing outside and it's 5:30 AM!!! 

We stood out in our side yard probably looking a bit ridiculous with our robes and blankets and scarves, staring up at the sky.  "We're that family," Mr Hubs said.

"Yep," was my answer, but I laughed because that thought made me happy.  We stared and stared and tried to hush Miss Dainty who was talking too loud.  We looked and looked and waited and waited.  And then we saw it.  A star suddenly appeared and dashed for a distance leaving it's long trail, only to disappear.  In that short time frame, I pointed and we all said something about it simultaneously, all of us so excited to see one.  Miss Dainty was excited the most.  It was, after all, her very first "shooting star." 

We waited some more, hoping to see another one or two, but clouds were moving in and the cold was getting to us.  "A few more minutes," Mr Hubs told Miss Dainty.  Then the clouds completely covered where we were supposed to be looking and so we went back inside.  I put Miss Dainty back to bed, and she was so happy even to see just one meteor.

In the end, the best part was that Mr Hubs was able to experience a homeschooling journey that was all his and Miss Dainty's alone: from Miss Dainty's spark of interest about stars to them reading books and watching videos online together, to discovering the meteor shower, and putting the effort into viewing it, and finally seeing a meteor. 

It was so neat and rewarding.  I think we will gladly be that family as often as necessary to have more experiences like that one.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Matched (Matched #1)Matched by Ally Condie

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was just an ok read for me. I went into it with high expectations due to some glowing blogger reviews, but I was disappointed. I love dystopia, but this just didn't do it for me. The characters and setting seemed flat, and I just couldn't envision the world very well. The ending picked up for me a tad, but my opinion was already set. I don't know if I'll read the next one or not.

My review from Goodreads.