Thursday, April 30, 2009

Photos from today and the month of April 2009

Today was a good day for Beka. She turned the big 2 years old! So we woke up and sang her the Happy Birthday song.

Rebekah bright eyed and bushytailed - if you look in the background, you can see that Lizzie is still sleeping.

Here is Elizabeth still sleepy and not willing to get up for school this morning. She did finally get up and headed off to school on her bus.
After getting Lizzie on the bus, I chatted with Sheri, who thought it would be a good idea to take the kids out for a walk. Now in her defense, she was attempting to let her husband get some sleep, because he needed it. By the time she headed down to my house, the clouds looked a little ominous, but she assured me that Noooooooo, it wasn't going to rain! LOL, the joke was on us, because we got a further from home and the thunder began to rumble. She kept assuring me, it was only little thunder, not big thunder. Okay I'm going to call it like I see it, THUNDER IS THUNDER! LOL! She is such a nut! To make a long story short, we got a mile from home and I finally convinced her that we needed to head back home, since the little thunder was getting closer together. As in, it was only a minute or so apart. And by the time we arrived at our own homes, we were wet. Of course, Damion had risen by then, and he couldn't help but tease her a bit about how it was raining.
So then Sheri and I took Beka to Olive Garden for lunch - her choice. We asked her what she wanted and she picked noodles, oh and her new favorite song, playing several times over. Beka loves the Mama Mia soundtrack and her favorite song is "Honey, Honey." She loves this song so much that even Elizabeth who can usually listen to anything repetitive without blinking is protesting when she hears the song. So that tells you how much we have listened to "Honey, Honey."
After a lovely lunch, I took her for a small drive to help her fall asleep, because she started getting cranky at the restaraunt. Of course, she finally did sleep a little bit, but then Chris text messaged me and so I hurried home so we could chat. Of course, upon hearing Daddy's voice, she sat up and started jabbering and never resumed her nap. Ironically, she stayed awake until 9:45 p.m.
Oh yes, while Chris and I were chatting the mail woman came with a certified letter from Cessna. Now if any of you are following the news, you know that Cessna had already laid off 2600 earlier this year, and had extended furloughs because of lack of work. So this letter wasn't a job offer. It was in fact, a lay off letter. However, they can't take him off the books until he comes home, so that will help us a bit.
Originally I had intended to not say anything to the girls, but I decided to explain to them, so they wouldn't get suspicious when we cut back on eating out and other things. I know we have a steady check right now, but until we are positive what Chris is going to be doing once he returns, I plan to put as much into savings whilst he is gone as I possibly can. But this is for another post.
Back to our birthday girl and her day.

Here is Beka in her stroller and a diaper, heading to Aunt Sheri's to eat birthday cake. Sheri's sister Heather Nichols works at Dillons in the bakery and decorates cakes.
She does an amazing job and I think you'll agree when you see her handy work - by the way if you live in Wichita and need a cake, she's at 31st and Seneca Dillon's.
Here is Lizzie and Grandpa Bud as they heading down to Sheri's and below are all three girls. Sarah is in her orchestra uniform, because she had her concert this evening. The last time, she's play a concert at Mayberry Middle School and for Mrs. Stone. It's a little sad, but neat as well, as she heads into a new adventure of homeschooling and playing orchestra in high school.

This is Beka's own personal cake that Heather made for her. She made a half ball and covered it in white icing, then she put red colored fondant over it so she could shape Bob's nose and eyes, etc. . . It came out very nicely, but didn't peel off very well, as you'll see in a different picture.
The picture below is what she did with the cupcakes she put together. Yes that is Bob and Larry and she did that from cupcakes. It was very tasty and the strawberry cake tasted wonderful.

The picture above is Bob turned inside out - sorry if anyone is grossed out. It was actually pretty good, but we peeled it off to make it easier for Beka to eat.
Below is Aunt Sheri giving Beka a cupcake, because she wouldn't touch the cake after we took Bob's skin off. I think it kind of messed with her a bit. That or maybe it was the lack of icing. Who knows, she also the kid that will eat french fries, but not mashed potatoes, so go figure.

Here is Grandpa enjoying the festivities. And below is Saidra and Chase Trotter, the kids enjoyed the cake a lot.
Below are (from left to right) Hunter, Jonas, Kiernan and Saidra Trotter - and Chase is in the corner almost in the photo but not completely.
Here are Elizabeth, Hunter and Jonas Trotter waiting for cupcakes.

Here is Beka with Sarah. Oh and I see I got a photo with her diaper. You see, once we arrived at Sheri and Damion's house, the birthday girl stripped off her diaper and so she was literally in her birthday suit! We all had a good laugh over that one.
Below is Beka enjoying the icing and that is Damion in the left corner. I will attempt to get a better photo of him when possible.

Below is Sarah outside, Mayberry Middle School, Fine Arts Magnet. This is just prior to the beginning of her final concert as an 8th grader. By the way, her class of 7th and 8th grade Strings kids when to Strings Festival and got all 1's, which is like getting all A's. They did an amazing job at the concert. In fact, a week prior to this past Tuesday, Mrs. Stone decided they should end the concert with William Tell's Overture and they tackled it beautifully. They should all be very proud of their hard work. Especially, Sarah who has come a long way in the last three years.

Now we'll move on to the rest of the month of April 2009.

Here is Beka, sleeping, I believe she has fallen asleep for the night before I moved her upstairs into her crib. Oh yes, April was a big month for Beka, Daddy came home April 1st and left April 5th before he finally deployed to Kuwait April 11th. She discovered how to crawl out of her crib right before he came home, so we took the siderail down and turned it into a toddler bed to keep her safe and then I transistioned her into a big girl bed. She is now the big girl sleeping on the trundle bed from the captain's beds we purchase for her and for Elizabeth (yes we attempted to purchase a bunk bed, but that's another story for another blog entry). And she turned two years old! I think she's had an eventful month to say the least.

Both of these were taken at Pizza Hut Bistro, shortly after Daddy came home for his last visit before leaving for Kuwait.

Yes, I actually found her asleep like this! It was too cute to not capture with the camera.

Sarah lounging around - and yes she was having a bad day that day. As if there was any question about it.

Here is Mom with Elizabeth at Bella Luna Cafe on April 4, 2009 the night before Chris flew back to Indiana.

Below is Sarah playing with her digital camera that she received for her birthday from her mom. She loves this gift and attempts to use it as often as she remembers.

This is Olivia and Ally Anderson from around the corner. They came over and played for a while, then watched a movie with us and had popcorn.

Last, but not least this is Kim Isherwood from Parents as Teachers with Beka reading Beka's book Mother Goose with pictures by Mary Englebreit (sp?). Parents as Teachers does in home visits for 36 months and teaches parents how to play with their children to encourage them to meet developmental milestones, they also screen children to ensure that they are not in need of special needs services, like Rainbows or Early Childhood Interventions like Elizabeth received by attending Little Early Childhood School. In fact, they help with the Screen for Success program and that is how we ended discovering that she needed further testing and it got the ball rolling for us. Anyway, Kim is great and Beka loved sitting on her lap and reading for a while . . . a very short while (like maybe a minute). She is so busy she barely sits down to read.
I hope you all have a great weekend. We go to get photos taken of Beka tomorrow for her two year photos.
Love In Christ,

It's Official

Well, the layoffs from Cessna were given out - and we received a certified letter from the company today in the mail. Chris has been layed off - however, since he is deployed, they must keep him on the books until he is back in the U.S. and his deployment is officially over.

I will post another entry tonight or tomorrow with new pictures - especially of our birthday girl, Rebekah.

So keep us in your thoughts and prayers, as we ask God, where he wants us to go from here. We've had a back up plan for a while - it was only a matter of time before Chris was layed off, so now he is going to apply for a job in Washington D.C. driving for the White House staff, and start his active duty paperwork as well, so we can see where we will go from here. I am going to finish patching up walls and finish the dining room and repaint whatever, needs to be done, to get the house ready to sell. Either way we will sell the house because we are moving. So it's either sell it now, or just wait and put it on the market. I am going to pray about this for a while and go from there.

Thank you for your love and support.
Love and Prayers,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Okay before I start, I should explain this photo. This is from July 2006 on our way home from Idaho and visiting Mary and Ted. Wow, how the girls have grown up since this was taken. As you can see from the photo above this one.
It's been a good week over all. No major disasters, I just feel like being a homebody a lot. You can't spend money if you are home, well you can but not as easily with three kids running around and taking care of Sofie.
My friend Lisa, had her baby shower on Saturday and I opted to stay home. Mainly because I didn't feel like being with a lot of people I don't know. It makes me very uncomfortable and I tend to stick my foot in my mouth when I am nervous. Hence the hesitation - and more importantly, I didn't want to leave Sarah to babysit. She is a good helper, so I try not to use her as free child care often if I can help it. And when I do run to the store, I usually take Lizzie with me, since she and Sarah don't always get along. But I heard it went well and that she enjoyed herself a good deal (I heard this from Lisa).
Which opens the other topic, how depressed is too depressed. Honestly, I think I am doing pretty good. I talk on the phone, I run errands, and I don't spend all day eating my way through this deployment. I get a good deal of sleep (okay, in comparison to what I was getting up until a few months ago, I am getting sleep). Beka is finally sleeping through the night - for the most part. This only took almost two years to happen, but finally, she tends to only wake up at 6:30 to nurse and then goes back to sleep until 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. So really I think I am doing pretty good. It helps that I have the girls here, they keep me on my toes and it's hard to be depressed with Beka consistently doing something cute and adorable.
Beka is now singing almost all of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Rain, Rain Go Away. And she loves the soundtrack to the movie, Mama Mia. especially, the song; Honey, Honey. I think I've listened to it about a gagillion times and she knows most of the words now. LOL! I think we all know most of the words now, much to Sarah's displeasure.
I hope you all have a good week. I will attempt to keep this updated more often.
Love In Christ,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Forgive the delay

Greetings Friends and Family! I am sorry for taking so long to add a new post. Things became a little crazy around here for a while.

Let's see, what has been going on? Hmmm. Well the dining room is still a glorious mess, but as happens with many things, life got in the way of us having a lot of progress.
Sarah left March 13th to visit her mom, Kate in Iowa. She seemed okay leaving, but came home sick. As where Lizzie and Beka throughout Spring Break. I felt bad, because it meant that Sarah did not enjoy her flight home. Anyway, she spent most of Spring Break throwing a pity party for herself and pulling junk with her mom she knows she can't pull here. We will deal with that shortly this summer when she goes to visit.

Beka spent all of Spring Break sick, so we had to visit with Dr. Harrington, who was on vacation - so we saw another doctor, Dr. Orth - Balmaan I think was her name. We've seen her before and she is nice just like Dr. Harrington. She put Beka on some antibiotics and told me that she had the flu bug going around that looked like allergies, but was in reality the flu and to keep a close eye on her because a lot of toddlers were ending up in the hospital with pneumonia.

So we lost most of the week of Spring Break due to illness. Then life happened, the girls went back to school, and I had errands to run and things to do, and Bud had to go on a cruise, because if he didn't Mindy wouldn't be able to spend time with her Aunt Theresa. She is very nice by the way, I am glad they were able to see her and spend time with her. Mom was able to go on the cruise with them, and she got to see the Bahamas and had a good time.

Chris returned home for a few days at the beginning of April for his 4 day pass prior to shipping out to Kuwait/Iraq. That means that whilst he is stationed in Kuwait, he travels in and out of Iraq. Anyway, we had his ticket purchased and everything and the night before he was scheduled to fly in, he surprised me by arriving early. He was due in Thursday evening April 2nd, but they released them early, so he paid the extra money and caught an earlier flight and got Sheri in on his scheme. He even gave her the stories to tell me so I wouldn't catch on. So Wednesday evening around 10:30 p.m in walks Sheri (who had asked to borrow my van to pick up her husband who was supposedly sick) with my husband instead. She'd picked him up at the airport - but not before he became impatient and rented a car. That set us back a little, between what I had planned for him, it put us over the edge.

Anyway, it was good to have him home, we spoiled him and he took care of a few things like taking the guard rail down on Beka's crib. The stinker had begun trying to climb out of her crib and kept falling. I feared she would finally crack her skull open onthe chest of drawers next to her bed. Anyway, we are going to disassemble it tomorrow and take it to the church so they can get some good use out of it. Then I am going to put her in the trundle bed so she will be a big girl AND so they have more playing space in their room.

Chris left again, on Sunday April 5th, which stunk, but was an evil necessity. They didn't fly out again until Saturday April 11th and arrived safe and sound in Kuwait midnight the next day. So now we are playing the waiting game. Waiting to hear from him again, waiting for time to go by; waiting, waiting . . . waiting for the other part of our family to return home. Wait and Wonder, and trust in God to keep Chris safe and sound.

My friend Sheri's friend Nancy explained it to her like this (Nancy is an Army wife) . . .when your spouse is deployed it's like being a widow. You are the one who takes care of everything. You are father, mother, fixer of sinks, and all the other jobs that your spouse usually helps you do. I think that is accurate to a degree, because the process is like the grief process, but with time and practice, you learn to navigate it. You learn to not think of all the terrible things that could go wrong or happen to your spouse. You learn to shake off the thoughts, of "This is what it would be like if Chris didn't come home" when they creap up on you. You learn to tell people who aren't nice where they can go, what bus to take, and exactly what to expect when they arrive at their hellish destination, because they mess with your kids. You also learn to not wait for your spouse to come home to do things. You learn to not live in limbo, but to continue with life and pray for your soldier to come home safe, in mind and in body as well as safe spiritually.

Well I hope you all have a good week. Take care and I promise I will try to update this more often since I have a functioning laptop.

In Christ,