Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008 in Review

We had a large time in South Carolina for the Christmas Holidays. We packed as much as we could in to six days. I didn't anticipate getting a twenty-four hour stomach bug that knocked me completely out. That kept me from seeing my Mama and Grandma for two days. They truly can't afford to be sick and I wasn't going to take what I had around them. At least the virus waited until after Christmas to do it's thang.

I got to see a few friends and that was so nice. Michelle was a sight for sore eyes. We were able to visit with her and her family a little bit. You know how it goes. The men sit in the living room with football going while the women gravitate to the kitchen so we can chat and catch up. She keeps telling me she's going to get down this way and I'm holding her to it. They are wide open fixing their properties at the beach, and I can't wait to see the pictures showing awesome results! I got to hang out with Lu just a little bit. She contracted that nasty bug, too, so we mostly were miserable on the phone together. The girls were able to go visit on their bio-dad's side where they had a great time. They were able to see their grandparents and spend some time with their favorite Aunt and Uncle on that side. I missed them, but was glad they had a good time.

I felt like the visit went too fast until I remember my Grandma's bed. I'm not kidding you, Internets, that bed is like sleeping on a board. That woman is all about a *firm* mattress. The Man and I are not. We were like two old goonies in the nursing home every morning when we got up. We were so sore and stiff that it took at least two cups of coffee and an hour of moving just to function. I am grateful that we can stay in my Grandma's house. She's not there anymore as she is bedridden and stays with my Aunt next door. I still get paranoid when we go to leave and I clean. She is like the world's most immaculate housekeeper and even though I know she won't see her house, I want it to be like she would like it when I leave. Six days has a way of messing up a place if you know what I mean.

The ride home was loooonnngggg. I told The Man as we puttered down I-95 that it seemed like everyone on the East Coast was either going home or to Disney World. It caused a lot of muttering to happen from the driver's seat when certain drivers acted as if where they were going was much more important than the other few thousand around them. We finally made it home to our beds and it's taken a day or two to fully recover. I do believe I am getting on the older side. All that long travel makes for a very tired Miss Hope. God Bless the person who decided to put a DVD player in vehicles. The Boy was able to be entertained (which is a feat in itself when the medication wears off) and even got to play his new plug-in game (Power Rangers, of course).

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite pictures from the season with you.

This was taken before church the Sunday morning before we left. I love the fact that my son refused to smile, yet still ended up being cute. He was right thrilled to see the green vest I had for him to wear. My sweet Makenna. Girlfriend can pose, can't she?

Christmas Eve before heading to Nana and Papa's house. Some times the middle kid gets lost in the shuffle. Not this middle kid. She had the shirt to prove it! The star ornament on the tree is one she made in class with her picture in the center. It was a gift she brought with her so we had some personal touch on our tree there.

This is what happens when you tell the five grankids to sit in one place so you can get a picture. I finally gave up trying to get them to cooperate and let them be. I think I like this picture better than any other Christmas Eve picture I've taken. It's just full of personality. My Dad is sitting in the chair to the right just shaking his head.

Santa was good and fulfilled dreams and wishes. Now my baby can save the world properly and with extra gusto!

In case you're wondering, this is the Happy Dance. Who knew a Nintendo DS could cause such happiness. I'm not allowed to post pictures of Paige in her pajamas with no makeup on. Even though the pajamas were adorable and I didn't think she looked bad. I guess I need to respect.

This is my favorite of all the pictures that were taken. This is my Grandma. We all went to my Aunt's house to spend some time with them on Christmas Eve. Even though she is bedridden, she still made sure all her grandchildren had a present from her. Even though each child got the same gift (a little piece of money), they each took a turn sitting on the stool beside her bed so she could see them open their card. It was such a sweet moment and I was close to tears quite a few times. I love my Grandma and I treasure each moment I am able to have with her. (Pay no attention that man who is my brother on the other side of her. He would get all poothead on me if he knew I put his picture on here but I wasn't able to cut him out. I won't tell if you won't!)

That should wrap up Christmas 2008. I have been visiting some of your blogs and have really enjoyed being able to peek in and share in your holidays, too. No plans as of now for New Year's. That's okay. I'm perfectly content to share it with my family right here at The Edge.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Feel the Love

You need be feeling some serious love here, Internets. I have been waiting on Mama's dial-up connection to get to this page for about ten minutes now. Lawd, I do NOT miss the dial-up connection at all. I knew it was going to be slow. I've been here before. Yet, I still sat down and tried to clickety click click my way along. The connection said to me, "HA! Surely, you jest!" I guess I did.

Christmas has been good to us. We've got to spend time with our family, both in person and with The Man's via the phone. I think he's a little bit more homesick this year than normal. Both our parents have had health problems this year and he's really missing his (and his siblings) this year. Must be his age talking, huh? I know how he feels and I just sit back and understand.

The kids totally scored, but not overly so. The girls left this afternoon to go spend time at their bio-dad's house. I begged them both to go and have a wonderful time and just enjoy being together. We'll see how it turns out. We won't see them again until Saturday. While I know that's not along at all...when you're used to them being around, it makes me miss them more than I can say.

I've taken so many pictures and would love to share them with you, but it'll have to wait until my return to Georgia. My trusty laptop knows me and understands me. I promise I got some good ones!

I just wanted to check in and say "Hello". I'm going to go try and visit some of you, but I can't make any promises. Waiting 10+ minutes for a page to load will do a number on your nerves. No wonder Mama only visits The Edge once or twice a week. I bet she has to wait a good 30 minutes when I do a picture post! Whew.

Oh, one cute tidbit to leave you with. My Aunt's husband (long story) had his leg amputated about six months ago from the knee down(diabetes related). Last visit home, he had one leg. The Boy took note of this, but didn't say much about it. We walked in to see them Monday evening upon our arrival and there sat Uncle H. with his new prosthetic. The Boy looked...looked again...turned to his Dad and said, "Look, Dad! He growed his leg back! He got 'nother one!" See, kids DO pay attention! We got a good laugh off of that.

Take care, Internets, and know that I'll be "seeing" you soon!

Monday, December 22, 2008

This is what I say

We at The Edge want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas 2008. The interstate is beckoning us and we must heed it's call. My side of the family is waiting about 4-5 hours down the road. While we wish we could have both sides together and under one roof, it just isn't feasible. The Man is looking forward to getting up tomorrow morning before daylight (!!!) in order to cook outside (again, !!!!) with my brother and Daddy. I get to see my magician...err...stylist tomorrow afternoon after I decorate my Grandma's house (where we stay) and make it festive (small scale style). The girls will be with us until Christmas Day, where they will then make their way to their bio-dad's side of the family to spend time with them. My son will run until his legs give out on The Plantation (that's what we call my Mama and Daddy's property) with his cousin. They will get dirty and have red cheeks and life will so very good for him.

I plan on seeing girlfriends that I miss. I plan on being exhausted by the time we head back to Georgia. That's all good stuff, Internets!

While we enjoy being festive and spending time with our family and friends, we will not overlook or forget that it is Jesus' Birthday. He is the reason for the season. I look forward to hearing my Daddy talk about it Christmas Eve with his grandchildren sitting at his feet. (makes me teary now picturing it)

We send prayers for safe travels for those of you brave enough to hit the road and air. We send prayers that families will bond together and become even closer.

See you all next Sunday! If I'm too tired? It'll most probably be Monday.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

What She Got!

I received a call from the Elementary school Friday morning before school even started. I caught my breath as I wondered what on earth could have happened to my child since she had been dropped off 40 minutes before.

The voice on the other end of the line assured me all was fine. It was more than fine, actually. The school had been having some sort of giveaway deals going on. Each day had new drawings for gifts. Thursday it was for two bikes. They literally pulled the names out of a hat and my baby's name was pulled Friday morning!

Miss Voice went on to tell me that we might need to come and get it as it was too big for her to handle. HUH? What is in this thing? She really didn't know, but we could help? I assured we could. I called The Man at work and told him about Makenna's good fortune. At noon he swung by to get the goods.

Holy Cow. Not one piece of candy to be found. It was a bunch of...stuff. That requires batteries!

I used to think she was tall. I'm not so sure anymore. The Man says we need to get her to pick out lottery numbers for us. I'm thinking he might be right.

Lots of stuff. The coin sorting bank was cool. The microphone that goes through a radio is rocking. She is sharing her good fortune with her siblings without prompting which makes me proud. Can you see her expression when I commented that Santa doesn't need to come visit now that she's scored? It was priceless. No, not everything has been opened. I'm thinking I'm going to see if I can appeal to her good side about donating some of them to a good cause.

Now, I'm going to try and show you some more pictures from the other day when blogger flaked out on me and wouldn't let me do anymore uploading. I am digging this way of decorating where my name is used on a regular basis. I've found all kinds of cool things with my name in the past year. This is a neat one I've found. See how it's located near the Vikings ornament? Wonder who that one belongs to??

Ladies and Gentlemen? This is THE ornament. Meet Snoopy With Antlers on Skis. I remember this ornament being on my tree since I was really young. Mama gave it to me when I moved out or when I got married- not clear on that. I know it has a place of honor on our tree and I'm very particular about it. I love Snoopy.

We're cleaning and being right busy as we prepare to head to South Carolina Monday. I'm busting butt to see if I can get as much done as possible. I really really don't want to come back to a house that will need cleaning immediately. Methinks after six days of going, I'm going to need a break.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Little Bit of Edge Hodge Podge

I've been talking about my tree topper that I concocted on my own. I'm not saying it's professional or anything of that nature. I really didn't go all out this year for some reason. It's kind of hard when you know you're not going to be in your home to celebrate the holiday. Don't get me wrong, we are so excited to be heading to South Carolina next week. It's been two and a half months since we've seen our people. My baby left out the house this morning singing, "Woo Hoo! No school ta-morrow. I go'in on vacation!" He talks and talks of seeing his cousin Cayden (who is 6) and he knows he'll be outside every minute possible. He believes Cayden to be his friend, the concept of a cousin hasn't registered with him yet.

Our packages have made it to The Man's family out TEXAS and Kansas way so I can breathe easier with that done. I really wish I could see my nieces and nephew. Because of this thing called life, we have yet to meet our nephew and niece. Makes me sad I never got to hold them as babies and cuddle them and smell their baby scent. My sister in law has been talking about heading this way next summer. Maybe we can make it happen. The Man is "banking" his leave now. When you retire from the military, if you have leave built up, you can take what's called "terminal leave". That basically means if he has, say 60 days, he can retire in May, but get paid by the military for two more months while we move and get our new lives started. This is commonly done by retiring military members and we're going to be no exception. It'll make our long weekends further between, but it'll be worth it in the end. Right now the job market looks good where we want to go. BIG prayers it'll keep looking good when he starts headhunting next summer.

I took a couple of pictures last night to show you what I did do around here decoration-wise. My only gripe is that it's hard to take a picture the way I want. I wanted this soft focus pictures with the lights glowing prettily. Yeah, that didn't happen so well in most of them. I know. I know. The camera is probably capable....the user just isn't.

Honestly? I'm a silver kind of gal. I have yet to figure out why I use gold so much in my home. I have gold in my curtains, my pillows and some decorations. The frou-frou stuff I picked up at Michael's back before Thanksgiving. The gold poinsettias are another story. My mother used to use them on her tree. One year she brought them to me and said she was going with something different. I love them. I decorate the entire tree and then use them as fillers where there's a hole and it just looks so festive and almost elegant. This year, I used them to make the topper. I was totally standing on a chair about to bust my butt to get this angle.

This gives a slight idea of how it looks lit up. Like I said, I love it and find myself looking at it as I sit in my chair. The Man keeps waiting for me to get up and tweak it a little bit more, but I'm not. If it's not right by now? It's not going to be.

This has GOT to be one of my favorite things. I found these plates at Cracker Barrel last week for 40% off. If I'm not mistaken, I got them both for under 10 bucks. They are just the coolest looking thing and everyone comments on them. Mama gave me this plate rack when we moved to Georgia and I've had a great time finding plates to put in it. I've put expensive ones (but only once because Paige knocked them off and broke them), plastic ones, seasonal ones, you name it. I love how you can make one thing work with a theme, season, or holiday easy as 1-2-3. I might leave them up a little past Christmas and justify it by saying you eat mints year round.
I've been fighting blogger for 30 minutes now trying to get one last picture up. Suffice it to say, blogger won. I have an ornament I want to show you and I may come back later and see what I can do to edit this thing. For those of you who have shared your decorations and such? Thank you! I enjoy seeing your homes all festive and might even steal an idea or two next year!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Birthday Shout Out!!!

I have to give a birthday shout out to a very special person. I've never met her face to face, but do count her as a friend. We've known each other a year or so and have traded many many emails and a few phone calls. She's been a rock of support while we travel down the ADHD road with our son and I treasure her friendship tremendously. I am pretty positive that we shall meet in person one day so she and The Man can discuss politics and we can hit a shop or two doing girly stuff.


All the best wishes for a wonderful blessed day to you from The Edge!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

That Girl is Random

Tonight, Paige and I were in the kitchen preparing the evening meal and chatting a bit. There was a debate on which vegetable to fix. My choices are really limited because my kids will mostly only eat green beans, peas, and corn. We're not a cooked carrot kind of family here. Paige told me she didn't really care which veggie was fixed as she had eaten a really good salad for lunch today piled high with spinach. (My kids are HUGE salad eaters and my girl eats one every single day for lunch.)

She then went off on this tangent about ranch dressing and how it is just the bestest stuff in the whole wide world.

She concluded her tangent with the thought that we could end world hunger with ranch dressing as it can take the nastiest food and make it taste good.

See? She's going to grow up, join the military, and save the world.

With ranch dressing.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter Ball 2008

You guys are scoring bigtime. This will be the third picture post in a row! What can I say? Too much going on and not enough time to really get it all done.

I have to give a HUGE shout out to Melinda, Emily, and Carla. Without these three, I don't think the whole outfit ensemble would have been pulled together. Melinda is a fellow Navy Sub Wife waayyy over on the West Coast who was so kind and gracious to send Paige a formal gown back at the end of the school year when she thought she was going to the 8th grade dance. When she decided not to go, Melinda told her to keep the dress for when she would need it. NJROTC Winter Ball 2008 turned out to be the time. After searching for cute shoes last week, we came up empty handed. Emily, yet another fellow Navy Sub Wife, went in her closet and brought the perfect pair that finished off the whole look. Add in Carla who did a few alterations on the dress (with Melinda's permission) to make it just perfect and my baby was ready for action.

I scored big brownie points by getting Paige out of school early Friday in order to decorate the ball room they used on base. It took up the whole afternoon and we were tired when it was done! It really looked great and I'm so proud of Paige and Neighbor Brittani (head of ball committee) for all their hard work. Even if the butthead retired Master Chief in charge of NJROTC took full credit for it. My Internets will know who did all the work and that he showed up around 2:30 p.m. with his entourage, stayed all of 15 minutes and left. This is the same guy who made the kids stand outside in the pouring rain in formation with the winds blowing (we were under a tornado watch at that time) for their inspections Thursday morning. The kids were chattering and turning blue because the weather dropped about 15 degrees in less than an hour with the storm moving in. The winds were so strong some smaller kids were falling. Most were locking knees to stand upright and if you've ever stood with knees locked? You know you'll fall down.

Did I just go off on a tangent? Well, just pardon me. I have a few issues with this man and am biding my time and waiting for the chance to confront him about it.

Let's take it down a notch with some really nice pictures, shall we?

I did her hair and makeup. Why? Because I love doing that stuff and why pay someone else to do it when I'm perfectly capable (if only in my own mind)? Look at all those curls!

I like the tree in the background with it being Winter Ball and all, you know. I had some eyeshadow that matched the dress. Not a color you'd wear everyday since it's all shimmery and such, but perfect for a formal occasion!
Is this not a gorgeous color? I love the modest cut of the dress and how it falls just right.
I really didn't ask Christian if I could put his picture on my blog. The boy will come to the realization soon enough that if he going to be a regular around The Edge...he'll be on the blog. He was right handsome in his uniform and was thinking my girl was looking good. Yeah, we're keeping an eye on him.
Both the kids were good sports because standing next to me was Christian's Mom. She was snapping pictures just as quick as I was. She was the limo driver to the ball and The Man did duty driver responsibilities at the end of the night.
Cinderella had a great time at her first formal dance. It wasn't as hard letting her go as I thought. I think that's because her boyfriend can't drive yet. When she gets to that point? I'm going to seriously need nerve pills.
Feel free to tell my baby girl how pretty she was. I know I did at least a few dozen times!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Backlogged with Thoughts and Pictures!

I can NOT believe how fast this week has gone. Santa comes in eleven days! Holy smokes.

Okay. Moment of panic is over.

Paige had her NJROTC Winter Ball last night. Of course, I took loads of pictures for you to enjoy. Alas, I can't do that post until I catch up on some other stuff that's been going on.

Last Saturday, we went downtown for a family day in the park. The community had donated lots of goodies, games, prizes, and food for every one to come out and enjoy. Our goal and aim was to get there early enough to get in line to see Santa. I had tshirts from last year that matched and, by golly, they still fit. Paige was a good sport and wore hers, too. All the festivities started at noon and we got there around 11:20 and jumped into the Santa line as fast as we could.

I love this town we live in. What a wonderful afternoon we had with memories made and recorded in pictures!

Ready for Show and Tell?
The Boy had to get a better perch so he could look for Santa to arrive. This is when he first saw him.

I have two of these. The other one is better and I've tweaked and modified it for family and a few friends. I didn't want to put it up on here because I put our town name and such on it. Look at my babies! With the matching shirts.

There was a sleigh there and I told Makenna to go sit and let me take a picture. Strike a pose, Baby Girl! (the ribbon in her hair has Christmas lights on it like her shirt-how much more anal can I get?) This girl here is growing so fast. I blink and she's another inch taller. I tell everyone who asks where she gets it from, that her Uncle on her bio-father's side is about 8 ft tall (not really, he just looks like compared to my 5'6" self) and she's just like him.

Okay...follow my thought here. We were standing and talking to some friends when I noticed Paige and The Boy were missing. The Man said they were on the pier walking. This is so HUGE because we could never do that before with our son. He didn't have to wear the harness this time. It was a trial run to see if the medication could truly curb his strong impulses. I looked at the pier and thought I saw them at the end (I can't see that far without my glasses) and used the zoom on the camera to see if it was.

I admit I caught my breath when I saw this, but then I realized something. 1. He was standing there just enjoying the moment, and 2. Paige would die before she'd let anything happen to him and she can swim like a fish and has even taken classes towards getting her lifeguard certification. They stayed out there for about 15 minutes and I am so thrilled he was able to enjoy a few minutes with his Sissy.

This is Paige on the way there in the truck. She loves this vest I found for her last year and it's her new favorite article of clothing.

This is totally unrelated to Saturday. Sunday morning, The Boy informed Dad he wanted to wear a tie like he does. So, I let him. It's just gravy that the tie is GREEN, too. I had to take a picture because my boy is just too sharp for his own good and it took all I had to refrain from eating him up.

This is a quick catch-up for the day. I promise I'll be posting some Ball pictures next. Now, be careful if you're out there shopping and whatnot. People are crazier this time of year!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Game Playing is Hazardous

I am busier than a one legged man in a butt-kicking contest this morning, but I wanted to leave you with a little something.

This is what happens when you play Mario Olympics on the Wii with the numchucks (is that how you spell it? Cuz spellcheck went crazy on it).

My baby gave himself a black eye. But, he won the race.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Here you go!

I have received some interesting emails and such wondering where the heck I am. Dang, People, you got a busy woman here! Every time I try to sit down and formulate some thoughts, some one else has a brighter idea and other things for me to do. It's either that or I'm rocking me some Yahtzee on my favorite game site. I can't help but get some twisted thrill when I roll those five alike and the big word flashes on the screen like I'm some Yahtzee Goddess or something similar. Takes me back to my younger days (warning: child hood memory ahead) when my family would sit around the table playing for hours. We played that game so much our dice had hairline cracks in them from hitting the table. That's some hard core playing, Internets. I was raised in a Christian home and in the church every single Sunday. Imagine my surprise when later in life, I realized I knew how to play poker a little bit...because of Yahtzee. I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but....you know......that seems on the odd side if you think hard enough.

We did a nice Family Day this past Saturday. I'm so proud of Paige. She really didn't want to go, but she didn't argue and got dressed to go participate. We got to see SANTA!!! I am so excited about this Christmas. The magic is alive and flowing throughout The Edge in anticipation of the 24th and 25th. I was able to get some good pictures I'll be sharing with you in another post. I discovered my photo program on the laptop here can do some nifty things and I pushed my tiny bit of knowledge to the limits playing around with it.

The Man and I went for The Boy's progress report Monday at noon. Good report was given by Miss K. He's got a few areas to work on and Miss Rose and the parental units are on the case. I was excited to hear what was said because I know he's come so far in just the past month. I was right! Parents of ADHD kids kept telling me that when the right drug hit his system, a whole new world would open up. They weren't kidding. I'm hoping and praying and begging God to let this medication work for a very long time. Our quality of life has improved all the way around.

I went and did some volunteering at Makenna's school yesterday morning. I know! I was shocked I did that, too. They have the Gift Shop open for kids to buy presents for family members and parents volunteer to help run the shop during school hours. I spent a few hours helping and chatting (mostly chatting) with other moms. Some were military wives and we were able to do a little (ok, alot) of griping about some aspects of military life. Another mom was a fellow coupon freak like me. I've discovered the coupon world and I am ON FIRE. (More about that later) I took it upon myself to sneak around the corner and totally disrupt Makenna's class. She ran to the door and I got a few hugs and kisses before sending her back in to get educated. Her teacher was smooth. He didn't even blink...just let her walk on outside and speak to me. I really don't think he's capable of being rowdy. Man is not friendly in public at all.

Now I'm gonna do a little shout out. I went out to lunch with some fellow galfriends after all that volunteering. While we were sitting there, some of our town cops came in for a good meal. Some were in standard uniform and some others were in green jump suits with heat strapped from the waist down. I gotta tell ya, when a man has more than one weapon and one is strapped to his thigh? You just have to look twice. Jordy was playing some hooky from work to spend time with us and when she saw him, she had to look twice. Jordy and her hubby are doing some geo-batchelor'ing right now. That would mean, in military speak, that she and the kids are here and her husband is located at another base for the time being. The Man and I did 18 months (was supposed to be six..yeah, right) of this torture before we moved here. So, her man is up in Norfolk while she keeps the home fires burning. She was all a flustered and we got so tickled because the red started on her neck and was up to her eyeballs in no time. She asked us if she was red and we responded, "Oh, nooooo." It's like the quote I heard today: Just because you're on a diet, doesn't mean you can't look at the food. Won't be long (that's loosely speaking since the Navy usually says one thing and does another) before he's back home for a longer period of time. Appreciate your service and sacrifice, Chuck! We're keeping Jordy on the straight and narrow.

Today found me going to another meeting for our upcoming Dolphin Auction in March of 2009. These functions don't happen magically, Internets. Lots of planning and preparing go into it. I got roped into helping because that's how I roll. While there, I met another fellow military wife and we discovered we're both blogging addicts! I'll be sure to let you know when I add her into my blog list so you can go visit and tell her hello. Since we met in a coffee shop, I do believe I overdid the caffeine. Hello! When coffee is named "Jingle Bells" and it has all that you like in it? What's a gal supposed to do? (Kahlua flavor, caramel, and I forget the rest- I was hooked at the Kahlua) The meeting was deemed successful, but I was a jittery mess by the time I got home.

Then I turn around to take The Boy to see Miss Rose. He went in by himself today for the first time. He informed us last week that she and I talked too much and he didn't get any play time in. Today was totally dedicated to him and he has been thoroughly counseled and is a happy camper as I type.

See how busy a couple of days can be? I should be addicted to some soap opera or something and can't find time to even watch one even if I DVR'd it. I'll just stick to HGTV when I have a few spare minutes. I'm sure Victor Newman can keep marrying beautiful women without me to cheer him on. Reva and Josh will end up back together eventually...if they haven't already.

I'll be posting a right decent picture post for the week in the next day or two. I broke out the REAL camera for the park pictures. Yes, sir, I went ALL swanky for you.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

That's how it goes

We all know my daughter has herself a gentleman caller. All is going well there as far as I know. He seems to be treating her well, and I'm not going to argue with that.

A few days ago, she told me she wanted to go "chill" at his house this weekend. I thought about that thing. Mulled it over really well. I finally talked with her. Simply talked. There was no hollering and carrying on and I have to admit, I was prepared for it. I told her that we really don't know this boy that well. Until we get to know him and his parents a little better, then we prefer for him to come to our house to visit. I know I was earnest and sincere and needed her to see where I was coming from as a Mother. I also told her that the two of them needed to sit with us for a little bit. Let us have a conversation with Christian. I looked her in the eye and said, "How can I entrust you in his care at his home if I don't even know him?"

I got not one argument. The lawyer in her didn't come out for battle. She said, "Yes, ma'am." and that was that. Christian came to our home last night to hang out with Paige. They both sat with us for about an hour and he wasn't overly chatty, but he carried on a conversation and had no problem with it. Nice.

I walked outside later on in the evening and was checking out our outside decorations. Christian's mom drove up to get him and we started chatting. She's so nice and when I explained why I wasn't letting Paige go to her house, she was completely understanding. I'm sure I'll be letting Paige go eventually, because Miss S. has good rules for her kid. She's already raised two sons who are serving in the military, and I can find no fault with that. It was nice to get to know another Mom. I consider it a bonus that it's Christian's mom.

The kids have Winter Ball next weekend. Tomorrow is shoe shopping! Cinderella needs some shoes to go with her beautiful gown she's wearing. Miss S. and I made arrangements that she would take the kids to the ball so she can get pictures and see them. We're going to pick them up and take them home afterwards to keep things fair and give her a break. You know I'll have some pictures for your viewing enjoyment.

A little update on The Boy. This medication is reacting wonderfully with him! It truly has been a good experience. His ability to focus has increased a hundredfold. He has his impulses solidly(=normally) under control. Now, don't get me wrong here. He still has the occasional meltdown and gets very excited. I personally feel like he acting like he's four. Which is fine with me. The only glitch (and isn't there always one?) is that he's lost some weight. It was a lot at first- almost five pounds. That's not good at all. Five pounds is a HUGE amount for someone who only weighed 48 lbs. to begin with. The Man and I have started making sure he eats more. I've bought some high calorie healthy snacks (cheese, peanut butter, puddings) that he has access to. He's not a great eater during the day, but night time is his time. The Man is even going so far as to put a cup of milk in the fridge at night with a cheese stick on top of it. That's because The Boy has woken up at 3:00 a.m. to come tell Dad he's hungry. A little snack does a body good. Especially one that has some serious medication going on.

This morning we weighed The Boy (because we're keeping that close of an eye on his weight) and he was up by 2 lbs! YaY, Baby! About 30 minutes later he pooted and I told The Man he might better go weigh him again because I believe he was holding 2 lbs. of air pressure in his butt. We decided not to because he ate a go-gurt, a peanut butter/jelly sandwich, string cheese, 3 mini muffins, and a cup of milk for breakfast. He probably won't eat good again until this evening, but I'm thinking it'll be because he's out of room! (We encourage eating before taking medication)

He's doing so well, Internets. He's earning stickers left and right at school on his personal behaviour chart. Miss Rose said she can tell he's doing much better with his communication and next week she's going to see if he'll go in with her on his own without me. There's still lots of work to be done so he can better learn how to use his words and not his hands, but we're getting there. He's had four years to let ADHD take control of his body and mind, and getting control back won't happen over night. It's going to be a life long process. I'm just so tickled we seem to be on the right track at the moment.

Example of a being a four year old: At school yesterday he made a bad choice. At nap time he put his blanket on his head and was walking around. Of course, he fell and bumped his noggin.

This Monday, we have a parent-teacher conference with The Boy's teacher. This is a standard meeting to discuss progress since the beginning of the year. We get one now and another one at the end of the year. I'm excited to see what Miss K has to say.

Today promises to be a busy one if I let it. I hope you all have a good weekend and I'll catch you tomorrow or Monday.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Treat

This treat involved two special people in my life. The Man and our gal Makenna.

A few weeks ago, The Man forwarded an email he had received from work from the USO. We're big fans of the USO because they support our troops at home and abroad like you would not believe. In the email, it was stated that they had some discount tickets available for an upcoming Jacksonville Jaguars game. This would be something I would normally scan over and keep going. I had to pause this time and look again. They were playing the Minnesota Vikings. The Man's most favorite team in the whole wide world. He is die hard and he is loyal to this team.

I called The Man at work and told him he might want to check out the prices and see if it would be reasonable for him to be able to go. He called me back to say the tickets were $10.00 a piece and he could only get two. I told him to go for it. He was worried about who would go with him. I told him to give Paige first dibs but my money was on Makenna going.

I was right. Paige graciously declined going and Makenna jumped at it. Makenna is The Man's partner in crime. They golf together and watch NASCAR together. When he asked her to go, she said, "Well, it's not NASCAR, but that's okay." Plans were made for them to leave early (Sunday, November 23, 2008) so they would be sure to get there in time and find their way.

I received many text messages and picture messages that afternoon while they were gone. The Vikings beat the Jags soundly and it was considered a very good time.

Are you ready for some football?

Getting ready to walk out the door and head to Jacksonville. Check out the VERY old jersey Makenna got to wear. She has the purple fleece on underneath to show her team support.

These are the stairs that my child complained about. Over and over again. She could not understand why escalators weren't an option. She seriously called me when she got there and these stairs were the first thing she talked about.

This was their view from their seats. Not the closest to the field but acceptable for ten bucks.

This is The Man on the phone with me. So, I guess I was there in a way?

The half-time snack. The Man was thrilled she chose "football fare". There were many tasty choices from the food vendors, but my girl wanted the good stuff.

I love this picture. Aren't those two happy campers? I see she scammed his hat for some shade for a little while. I made her take shades to wear because I'm a fanatic about wearing shades to protect the eyes. Everyone has a pair in the family and are required to wear them. (No, they don't always listen to me.)

This was a great day for two very special people. There was football, hot dogs, a big win, and bonding time. Can't beat that, can you?

I wish to add here that if you are looking for a charity or organization to donate to? Please consider the USO. They really do look out for our troops at home and abroad. We are so thankful for what they do and all the volunteers that make many things possible. Quoted from their web page: "The USO is the way the American public supports the troops. "

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Right Thrilled

I am just tickled at those of you who took the time to respond/vent/talk about your feelings and views on my post. I can tell you put some thought into your response and I truly appreciate it.

Miss Krys? I love reading about your and Mr. Jack's marriage. You are just a tad bit ahead of The Man and myself and I admire the team work you two show and share. I'm learning how to communicate before I come to the tears and you made it sound so simple...which it is! You don't hold it in and let it fester and grow. You simply TALK about it. "Teamwork. You work together. You do for each other. You appreciate each other. You say thank you and you mean it. And others notice." Well said, my friend. Well said.

"Marriage is a partnership" says Andrea. You're so right! I believe that's where couples can go astray and quickly when that one statement is forgotten. "Everyone should contribute.". I love that statement. It doesn't say the women should do this and the men should do that. Everyone covers every single person in the home and I couldn't agree more. I know you don't have children yet, but I know you have adorable puppies and a certain behaviour is expected of them and they know it. I feel you're going to make a wonderful mother one day and I can't wait to see it happen!

Another wonderful blogger, Andrea, states "My kids are learning, even the tiny one, how to be self sufficient and contribute to the family." My mother didn't let me leave her house without being secure that I could reasonably take care of myself. My husband deals with young sailors day in and day out that left a home where they did nothing but live. No contribution whatsoever. The real world is hard. Add in being in the military and you're going to sink or swim quick. I believe that teaching kids to "serve" the home and contribute to its success is vital for their futures.

I have observed the dynamics at Neighbor Debbie's first hand. Every kid has jobs all the way down to the youngest. I admire her ability to teach her kids and have threatened to send my own over to her for boot camp. Neighbor Debbie lost her Mama while in her teens and it just makes me sad that this happened. Yet, I can admire a lady I never met because, even though she was taken tragically and early, she had still taught Debbie and her sister to take care of themselves. Farm living isn't easy and gender biased roles get blurred quickly when "a body" is needed to help with chores. This household runs smooth and I have certainly been taking notes. She sums it up best with "I think that the way Greg and I are show the kids that they should do for their spouse or children as they would want to be treated." Amen, Sister.

I'd like to welcome Bonita to The Edge. She's a new friend I met a few months ago. She's so sweet and was a participant in the Crafts and Conversations program. She's younger than most of the responses and I'm so glad she piped in. I love the perspective from the generation coming behind mine. "So when I do things for my husband I make sure he can do it w/out me in case something ever happened.", says Bonita. That really struck a chord with me. It really did. Why? Because I'm so scared of what my Daddy would do if something happened to my Mama. I know he would "survive", but it would like learning a whole new world. Take for instance, the finances. I don't know if he's gotten more involved in that since Mama's stroke (and it's really none of my business), but I hope he has. I really do. Bonita, you really drove a point home to me with that statement. I might even have to change my mission to make sure my people can keep going if I'm not here.

"Sometimes it seems like women are *so* determined not to be a servant that they go too far the other way and lose some of their softness. " YES!!! Denise? You put an amazing thought into words. Women are soft. Women smooth rough edges. Are we so afraid of appearing weak that we can no longer be soft? I'm all girl. I love makeup and perfume and pretty pretty jewelry. I wrinkle my nose at offensive smells and avoid dirt and grease (car stuff) with all my might. I think the new generations are so afraid of being stereotyped, the softness might soon be a thing of the past. "Service is a good thing, and not at all degrading when its done willingly and with a loving heart." Perfectly said, Denise. I do what I do with love in my heart and actions. I could not have said this any better. In fact, I thank you for arranging my thoughts (because I sure couldn't find the wording my own self.)!

Here comes Girlfriend. Oh, how I adore Girlfriend. She is a friend of mine I wish I spent more time with. She's going to be gone soon and I'm just going sit down and be sad about it. Every single time we see each other it's "Hey Girl!" and we start talking like nobody's business. I had to gently encourage her to stop emailing me and just post a durn comment. (I laugh so hard over her emails sometimes concerning a blog post. She's also been with us every step of the way with The Boy. She never fails to send me an encouraging word.) Girlfriend says, "It is simple~ We are in a different time now than we were way back when we were little. And times are changing every day. I think the whole “serving a man” is going out the door. More and more people are waiting longer to marry, more independent than they were way back then…." This is true, but what I'm worried about is this.....I need to teach both my daughters AND my son how to give and take in a relationship because I do want grankids one day so they'll need to get along with someone eventually. You and I both agree that being appreciative and showing simple basic manners ("Thank You" and "Please") doesn't demean a person, but shows simple courtesy and acknowledgment. I don't hesitate to tell my four year old thank you when he does something for me. I will happily say please to my 9 year old if I want her to get me a soda. Courtesy is just too important to ignore.

Now we have Dani. I am just humbled that she took the time to respond with such a great comment. I'm going to step out a second and tell you all something. Dani is serving our country in the Navy on a surface ship while her husband is serving in the Navy on a submarine. These two have busy careers with loads of responsibility, yet they take the time to be married and they work at it. I am so proud of both of them and I just get chill bumps that our country is so fortunate to have people of this caliber defending our freedom. Dani says, "In our house, it needs to be a partnership with both of us working outside the home with crazy schedules. It's a lot more fun when you are working together." I believe that work is work but it doesn't have be drudgery. Right? Working together can give you more time to talk and just be in each other's company. The Man comes in the kitchen with me while I cook so we can just talk. He helps some and putters around, but he's there with me and we have those few moments to bond over our day. I look so forward to those moments. To know that Dani and her husband already get that? Amazing. Yeah, work needs to be done, but make it quality work. Thank you, Dani, and know that you and your husband are in our prayers.

Missy chimed in about her Mother and how she thought with, "She said, more than likely you both will work and have children and there will be times of struggle." This is so true, Girl. Marriage is a job, but when you add in the kids? It's a job you are never fully prepared for but you work like crazy to do it. The comment she said with, "We have set things we do but we aren't defined into those roles. " is a really good point. We have set things we do here at The Edge, but it doesn't define us. Sometimes someone else will have to kick in and help do what someone else normally does. I do the evening meals, but if I'm feeling bad or need a break? Paige can jump right in and pinch hit with no problem. It soothes me to no end that my child could pull together a meal if need be. The Man has even been known to rescue suppertime. I always amazed at Missy and her husband being full time students and working. Oh, don't forget raising a child, too. Whew. Wears me out just thinking about it. Good job, Missy!

I was almost afraid Stef wasn't going to come give her two cents. I knew she'd come through and share her thoughts with us. I won't doubt you again, Stef! This is a luxury here at my house, too: "Everyday like clock work he will call to say " I am leaving the base, do you need me to bring you home anything?" ... thats what I am talking about " . I never knew how much I would come to depend on someone being thoughtful enough to call and ask me if I need anything. Milk and bread are abundant in our home because of The Man's consideration. Food for thought here with: "My hope is that we will be demonstrating a way that works for our children and that they will be able to bring their best possible self to the table." I think this is truly what we wish for all our children. While I may not always be the best I can possibly be....I surely want my children to be able to. We simply have to show by example. Parents who ignore their children and don't take the time to look them in the eye and make human contact ...oh, the sadness that thought puts in my mind. I believe that when we teach children (not just our own...but ALL of them...) through demonstration? We are teaching ourselves.

"I always ask if he wants something while I am up because it is the polite thing to do and he does the same back." says CCMommy. EXACTLY!!! I'll say it again..it's just being courteous and in being so...you're showing love. That seems to be a recurring theme through the responses and it just thrills me that so many people feel the same way. "I think that all kids need to learn the basics of taking care of themselves." Yes! I just can't agree more with this statement than I already have.

Boymom? Tell me how you really feel! Seriously, your comment just touched me deeply. I could see your frustration from here. One thing kept standing out, though, and that is that you love him. Love is a powerful thing. I have always said it has the power to make or break a person. Please, let it make you. Let it make your marriage work. The Man and I have started counseling to help with parenting skills, but we can't parent to our best ability until we can be married to our best ability. Trust me, a good Daddy is a hard thing to come by in today's world and if you got one for your children? You are blessed. I don't mind you venting not one little bit. Heck, you can even email me and I'll email right on back and talk you to death if need be. "I think that our world has changed and so much more is required of us from the world than was required of our grandmothers. We are a much busier society and live so differently, it is hard to not have both parents working at making our lives successful, financially and at home." Times are changing and it seems like the requirements for 'happily ever after' keep changing, too. You hang in there and know that even if you are so very upset? You love the guy and that is worth fighting for.

Hung was gracious enough to give us some feedback. The only male brave enough to get into this discussion. I think he deserves a round of applause, don't you? Hung is a rare breed. Never have I seen a man work like he does and keep a house while raising a kid (who is too stinking adorable for his own good). Yeah, he has a wife, but the roles are really wild over at Casa de Hung (sorry if I got that wrong, man). You are a good man, Hung, and on behalf of the women of the world? You are going above and beyond and I, for one, think that is very very cool.

I didn't mean for this post to end up being so long. I just thought each comment was worth so much and needed to be acknowledged. This is just my way of saying I appreciate each of you who came forward and shared your thoughts.

We'll lighten things up tomorrow with some pictures I think you'll enjoy.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday Discussion

Let's take a moment to have a little discussion, shall we? I know you're out there and that you visit The Edge on a regular basis. This is a GROUP discussion that I'd like as many that can participate. This is not to call you out, but to really get some feedback...insight....understanding.

We're going to talking about serving others.

Of course, I'll go first. I want to explain where I'm coming from and kind of where I'm going.

I grew up in a wonderful home. The parental roles were very cut and dried. Daddy worked hard day in and day out to provide for us. My Mama worked long days, came home and fixed the evening meal, and took care of everything else that needed tending to. Many many times I've watched her wait on my Dad. She'd fix his plate and tea. Why, he wouldn't have to lift a finger. As I got older, it was expected of me to do the same for him. Sure, I did it, but it grated my nerves to do so. I finally got to the point where I would stand in front of him after delivering a drink and he would literally look around me to see the television. He and I came to an understanding and he would say "Thank You". Then, I would move. Oh, how I swore I would never wait on a man like that.

That's how they were raised. That's what women of that generation do/ did. My Mama seems/ed happy to serve him. She seems/ed okay with getting up at 5:00 a.m. to start his coffee and fix him a hot breakfast and cook him a meal to take for lunch (she still does this as best she can after having the stroke). Daddy gets up at around 5:30 a.m. to get dressed, eat his meal, and head off for his work day. He arrives home at approximately 6:22 p.m. (I kid you not....within a minute or two each way for over 20 something years) and for the most part? His supper is waiting on him when he walks in.

The tables have been turned somewhat with Mama's stroke. Now, Daddy has to sweep and mop and do many more things he didn't have to before. They have a good system working and I admire them for it. You can see that they love each other and have for going on 40 years.

I don't roll that way. I guess growing up made me more determined NOT to be some man's maid/servant.(My Mama hasn't looked at it this way...this is purely me observing) I know there are those of you out there who are Baptist like me and will be quick to remind me that I am to be a submissive wife. I'm a strong personality, okay? I had a weak first husband and if I didn't run the boat? We would have sunk. Habits are hard to break. The Man does a fabulous job of "heading" our household, but Miss Hope has her moments of input often and loudly. If he's set on a decision? We go with it. BUT.....he's not adverse to listening to my side and if I'm right? We go with it. Never have we worked together so beautifully than in the past few months concerning our son and his issues.

Every single morning my husband gets up and makes coffee. Very rarely do I have to make a pot of coffee. Before he leaves out to take children to school, he puts a hot fresh cup beside my chair. If it's not there when I go to get it, I look around in confusion wondering what's wrong. Do I believe he's "serving" me? No, not at all. I believe it's a small but significant way of showing me he loves me and that he realizes I am NOT a morning person. He also goes for milk when we are out or any small errand that needs to be done. (I LOVE shore duty because I don't miss doing that at all!)

By the same token, when I prepare our supper and put it on the table, I usually end up fixing everyone's plate while sitting at the table. Some times, I fix The Man's plate because he's busy cutting The Boy's meat and getting him settled. Do I look at this as serving him? Nope. I look at it as us working together as a team to get everyone fed. I am glad to grab him a drink if I'm up and he's in need. If I am thirsty and don't feel like getting up? I am famous for looking at him and saying, "Hey, Man. I'll give you a dollar to get me a diet coke." He laughs and gets one. (This is if there are no kids available to get it for me.)

I told Paige the other night that it upsets me when I tell her to bring me her dirty clothes so I can wash them and she "forgets". The way I explained it to her was that I look at doing laundry as a service to my family. They are gone all day doing school and work and while I'm not home every day, I am in the home more than they are and they do need clean clothes to wear. I don't feel like the maid in that particular area because I know if I do the laundry, it'll get done right and I won't be spazzing over something being put in the dryer that shouldn't have been. See? It all works out. Paige knows how to do laundry because I've taught her. She is capable and does help out in the evenings if I'm not done. She takes care of her uniform all on her own and I will not worry when she leaves my home when it comes to doing her laundry. I hope to be able to say this about all three of my children.

I think some of this post borders from past experiences. I've seen and participated in days where before a big family dinner or even a get together it always seemed one sided. The women are responsible for planning the menu. They are responsible for purchasing the ingredients for the meals. They then spend the time in the kitchen preparing the food for everyone involved. Everyone sits and enjoys the meal. The men then get up and head to the couch and chairs to lean back and feel the goodness of a full meal coursing through their veins. The women THEN have to clean up the table and wash dishes and clean the kitchen where all this was done. It BURNS me up. I'm sorry, I just can't help it. I don't think it's fair that the men get to just....enjoy....while our work truly never ends. I believe that if the women do all that? Then the men can surely clean up some dishes and let US sit down a while. Some women will be quick to say they don't want a man handling their dishes or in their kitchen. Shoot. Soap and a dishrag can work no matter who's hands are holding them. Every time I mention this, I get looks of horror because it's such a taboo subject. Argh. Way I see it? If I can gestate for 9 months? Then give birth to something that has no business having a head THAT big come through a small space? Then, by golly, you can wash a dish. If I can plan meals day in and day out and make sure the stuff is here to prepare them, then cook them up? Well, let's just say I feel strongly about this. Oh, and I also get the "Well, he works hard and blah blah blah." I made milk that sustained my children. Beat that.

Paige does our dishes here at night. That is her job so that she can maintain cell phone service. She knows this and may not like it at times, but for now, it's her job. Our children have chores they must do because that's how a family works. I can promise my boy will do the same things when he is old enough. Even at age four, he is responsible for sorting recyclables and putting them in the proper place. The Man was shocked when I gave him a bag of trash and told him to take it out to the trash cans under the carport. By golly, he did it, too. Normally, I ask Makenna to do that but the kid was standing in front of me and it had to be done. The Boy has to pick up his room and put things where they go. He has to help me sort laundry and even bring me the baskets full of them. I'm not partial. No gender specific jobs here at The Edge. You do what needs to be done. Paige has to clean the truck from time to time. Being a girl doesn't exempt you from that.

This has made me wonder how it is for those of you out there.

1. If you are married, do you women wait on your man? Men, are you waited on by your woman? I do things for my husband because I WANT to. I don't *feel* like it's my job to wait on him. I love him and I do little things because I want to make him happy.

2. How was it in your home growing up? Did the women wait on the men? See above for how things rolled for Miss Hope growing up.

3. How do you think times changing have affected our younger generation and how their relationships will suffer or flourish? I believe I show my children by example how to treat your spouse. I don't do things for him grudgingly and both The Man and I are always quick to say "Thank You" to the other when something is done to show our appreciation. I believe this shows my girls that it's okay to fix a plate occasionally or bring a drink, but that I don't HAVE to do it. It's not expected of me. It's appreciated when it happens. There's no resentment filtering through on either side because acts of service are performed against someone's will. In that, I believe it's showing them how to make their own future relationships flourish.

What a way to deviate from the usual Edge happenings, huh? I am truly interested in what you have to say, Internets. I don't believe anyone is wrong...or right. It's all in how you feel.