Friday, October 31, 2008

This is Halloween...

The party for playgroup went good last week. As far as I know! Everyone seemed to have a good time.
I did have a very adventurous day leading up to the party, though. A member gave me a certificate she had won for a free kids jumper/bouncy thingy. I had to drive out and get it since I'm one of the few members with a truck big enough to haul the jumper. The place renting the jumper was really a couple's house. They live waaayyyy.... out in rural podunk, so I had a difficult time finding the place. I got the directions from the man, but didn't read them carefully. After driving around awhile, I turned into a driveway that went way back in the woods. There was a sign that said it was some type of camp, but the jumper owner guy mentioned this sign in his directions, so I assumed I was supposed to turn there. Looking around, I got a creepy feeling that Jason Voorhees would jump out at any moment. Even in broad daylight. It looked like the type of camp he would have haunted. Broken swings on the playground, run-down, shabby looking cabins, very old trees that creaked in the wind... I just wanted to get my jumpy and get out of there.
I drove around to a building that had people in it, so I parked and started to walk up to it. There was a note that said "Please use front door" with an arrow pointing, well, to the front I guess. I walked back to the truck and started to open the door when I felt a hand on my shoulder. Naturally, I jumped out of my skin. Knowing with every bone in my body that Jason was standing beside me, I made the typical horror movie mistake. I turned around. Duh! Get in the truck and drive like hell, woman! Don't turn around!!! (I know I'm not the only one who yells at the screen when watching a horror flick!)
There was an old man standing there. Ok, so Jason's aged a little! I mean, his first movie came out in 1980, and he had been dead for awhile when it came out, so it's possible. The old man says "Aren't you going to come in?" I thought.... um... No! I showed him my certificate for the jumper and told him that I was here to pick up the kids jump. He had no idea what I was talking about, but asked us to come in and have lunch with them. Again... NO! He told me they were on a church retreat. Personally, I think they should ask for their money back because that camp did not look like something any church I know of would book! But whatever. After more insistence that we come have lunch, and more, "No thank you, we are really running behind for a party today", I got the heck out of there. Oh, and I was in such a hurry I backed the truck in to a fence. That was not good.
When I pulled out of the long driveway I noticed that I was only one driveway away from the correct one. That figures. The people who owned the jumper live on a farm where they raise goats and pigs and ponies, and all sorts of animals that they rent out, kind of like a traveling petting zoo. About 15 dogs ran up to my truck, so I stopped short, afraid that I might hit one. The guy put some of the smaller ones away, then asked me to back the truck up to the jumper, for easier loading. I had Louisa jump out to warn me in case I was about to hit any of the doggies left running around. The guy says, "It's okay, they'll get out of the way!"
We loaded up the jumper with no problem. I was about to take off when I realized that he never took my name or number. Here I am, renting one of his jumpers for free, and he didn't have any information from me. I could have easily kept it. Except that it was a big purple castle and I really didn't have much use for it.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. Well, besides the party. It went well, we had fun, and I stressed out for nothing! As usual.

After everyone left the party, the kids and I went for a walk along the lake, watching the sun set. Our favorite time of day. Drew said, "How come everyone else gets their daddy and I don't?" I told him there were a few other kids in playgroup whose daddy's were deployed, too. But I know that's not what he wants to hear. I can't make Daddy come home any faster. Daddy hasn't missed a Halloween with us since Drew was 1, and I know Drew doesn't remember that. It's hard to go through all these holidays without our daddy, when we see so many other kids that get to have theirs. All I can say is, he'll be home soon.

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone gets lots of candy and keeps those dentists in business ;)

And Happy Birthday to my one and only sister!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Party Planning is Not My Forte'

I'll admit it openly and freely.... I'm NOT good at planning parties. I either over-plan or under-plan. I never evenly, perfectly plan wonderful parties. I guess I just don't have the gene.

Why 'o why, then, do I take on such big party planning projects.... on a continual basis?! Am I just a glutton for punishment? Do I enjoy scrambling around to get things done, spending far too much money, and finding myself pulling my hair out because I procrastinated too long? I don't think I do. At least, my outer "being" doesn't enjoy it. Maybe my inner being gets some sick enjoyment, and that's what speaks up whenever someone says "Who wants to plan this party for us?"

Last year the playgroup had an awesome 1st Anniversary/Halloween party. The organizer planned it well (she was *much* more organized than I) and everyone had a great time. So this year I wanted to plan something just as spectacular. I wanted it in the same building, with all the same stuff. I wanted everyone to experience the fun we had last year.

Things never work out as we plan.

Talking the party over with my assistant organizers, one of them says "Let's do it at the park by the lake where we had our spring family picnic. I think that would be more fun." But... but.... then it won't be like last year! Changing venue is NOT an option! Ok, in real life, I'm not that forward, so I utter a sheepish "Um... okay... I can check into it". Feeling a bit defeated I check into having it at the park. Rental wise, building versus park, it's the same price. Set up, time, and planning-wise, the park is a better option. Slowly my stubborn side gives in and I see how much better it will be at the park instead of inside the building we had last year. More room for the kids to run and play, I don't have to worry about all the decorations, set up and take down will be much easier.... Okay, let's go for it.

Now I'm excited about the park. A little worried about the weather, but we've had picnics in the rain there before and we all survived.

A lot of people and area businesses donated fun stuff for a raffle, we'll have a costume contest, and someone donated the rental of a kid jumper for free.

My planning was still off, and I didn't get as much accomplished as I wanted to, but I do foresee a fun party.

Wonder how long it will be before I stress myself out with another one...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oh no! There goes the neighborhood!

Last night I had a Girl Scout leader meeting. It was long and boring and they went over rules and rules and more rules about all the things we *can't* do with our troops.... Drew comes running up to me and yells "LouiHuntsa'er threw up, you need to come quick!" I have no idea which name he said, it sounded like both of them glommed together.
I ran to the bathroom and, yep, Louisa was throwing up. We cleanes it up, and took our sick girl home.

Now, Louisa is the worst of the three to have sick. She drags everything out, and over dramatizes how sick she really is. But the worst part of her being sick is that she hates missing school. She hates knowing that everyone is going on without her, and that things are happening that she's not a part of. Where that comes from, I have no idea! I used to fake being sick on purpose to stay home!
So last night Louisa is walking around pouting and being sassy because she knows she'll miss school today. And worst of all is that she was *just* elected Secretary of Student Council, a step up from last year, and today was the first Student Council meeting! Oh, Mom! How could you keep her home?!

Today she was just fine, as if nothing ever happened. I can't stand when the kids do that! I get the flu and I'm literally down for the count for DAYSS!! They get the flu and they throw up once, sleep it off, and they're right as rain. How?!
She did stay home because this flu thing is ground around like wildfire right now, and there's no sense in infecting more households.
Around 11:00, when I saw she was pretty much done being sick, I told her that if she was feeling good and kept down her lunch by 1:00, I'd take her to get her very first military ID. Kids are supposed to get them when they are 10, so she's been nagging me for a year to take her to get it. My ID expires this week, so I thought I'd knock them both out. Plus, I don't have to take her out of school to do it since she's already home.

Now, you all remember what it was like to get your driver's license for the first time. Think of how amazingly awesome it would be to be 11 years old, and you just got a Military ID! Louisa is on top of the world right now. Showing it off to everyone, and look there's my Daddy's social security number, and there's the expiration date, and it says I can shop at the commissary and PX (LOL!)
Another milestone, another rite of passage. They're growing up!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Out of the ashes...

Do you ever feel like a phoenix when you're sick? I do. I feel like I'm buring, wasting away, there's no end to it in sight. But when I'm finally feeling better I feel like a new person, up out of the ashes, like a phoenix.

And one great thing about being sick.... those shorts I'm wearing in the picture? I've never been able to fit in to them!! WooHoo!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bring it on!

My motto throughout this deployment has been "Bring it on!" I can handle anything that comes my way. And for the most part, I can. I have found a few things I just can't do on my own, though. Like getting the flu. I just can't do this on my own, over and over. I've had the flu three times since Husband deployed. It's impossible to take care of the kids when I can't even stand.

Poor Hunter's trapped in the house pretty much 24/7 because I can't go outside, and I can't stand long enough to play with him. He's figured out how to put DVD's in by himself and get the movie started. That's not by my choice and it's not something I'm bragging about. Although I am bragging that he can make his own peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. He's only 3. Thursday night, when the flu was the worst and I couldn't get off the couch, he made his own jelly and sugar sandwich. Yum.

Louisa always get the short end of the stick when I'm sick because she has to help me the most. She has to help me with the boys and make food and let the dog out and feed the cats, and... I hate when she has to do stuff that goes beyond normal childhood duties and chores. She shouldn't ever have to act like the grown-up of the house and I keep that to an absolute minimum.

Those who think deployments don't affect families can come spend a day with children who've done this a few times. People often times mistake their independence and intelligence as some sort of "gifted" quality, when for them, it's survival. They need to be independent. They have to be smart. It's the only way to get through.

I'm so blessed to have the kids I have. They really come together as a family when times like this call for it. Mom gets sick, so everyone knows they have to kick it up a notch. I don't even have to ask. Louisa's right there helping out, Drew plays with Hunter and takes him outside for me, and Hunter draws me sweet pictures to make me feel better. It makes Husband feel better, too, knowing the kids will help me out.

But, if we could go the rest of this deployment , chanting our motto, "Bring it on!" without the flu or getting sick part, that would be great. We have so little left to go! Most people I know whine and cry and die when they're apart from their husbands for 4 or 5 months. I'm so excited about 4 or 5 months that I can't put it in to words! Funny how your perspective changes throughout 15 months apart. When 4 months were down, we were still in the beginning and there was such a long time to go. Now we've got 4 months left until we're done, and I'm saying Ya baby! Bring it on! (except for the flu part! ;)

Friday, October 03, 2008

More Horsie Stuff

Back in June I took the kids to my friend's house to ride her horses. We've been back several times since then, but not to ride the horses. At the time she only had one ridable horse. Now she has two ridable horses.

The other day I took Hunter, and my friend Andrea and her son Colton, to visit the horsies again. Hunter got to ride Prancer, who was sick for a long time and is now finally feeling better, and also a donkey named Smith. He had a great time and I love letting him have these opportunities to get this close to animals.