Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Catching Up

As some of you know, in a couple weeks, we'll be leaving the beautiful beaches of Hawaii and heading to the beautiful mountains of Pennsylvania. Brian was accepted into the Active Duty Green to Gold program so he will be attending Penn State for the next two years. After that, he will be continuing on in the Army as an 2nd Lieutenant. We can't even begin to tell you all the ways that we've seen God's hand and His perfect timing in this whole process and we're really excited about this next adventure in our lives. We're sad to have our time here cut short but we know that great things are ahead... most importantly being closer (driving distance!) to you all--our family and friends!
Some of the teachers I worked with in Germany were here this week for a conference (tough place to have to go for work, huh?!) We met them for dinner downtown. Great to see them again and hear all about Bamberg.
Sandy playing Peek-a-boo with Blake
Natalie with Mary
Mary and Dickey with Blake

Back at the hotel, I also got to see Doris and Mary who were actually Kindergarten teachers with me. Who would have thought we'd all meet up in Hawaii?!

Last week, we had a Family Day down in Waikiki with Brian's Unit. We had a lot of fun and the kids loved the water. Natalie was fearless and just went right in with the "big kids"

Enjoying a chocolate cookieMmmmm!
Nice hair Blake... and you look a little worn out!
It was Carter's 2nd birthday so Natalie and I went to his party. We ran out of birthday paper so I used Christmas paper inside out and she colored on it... worked great! :)
The clown and her vase that kept refilling itself with water.
Face painting... can you tell it was a Mickey Mouse party? :)

Balloon animals
The cake...yum!
Opening Natalie's present... Blocks! We also bought these for Blake's birthday this weekend, and Michelle, these look similar to ones you guys just got. Pretty popular toy, huh? :)On the way to the party, she called him on her pretend cell phone: "Hi Carter, it's your birfday today! We're on our way to your party. I made you a pesent. Okay, see you soon!"
We had a new couple in Brian's unit over on Saturday for steaks.
Yummy popsicle! :)

We got a new stroller for Blake today so here's a video of the kids playing in it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Silly Kids and a Farewell Brunch

I'll start with the craziest pics... as you've seen before, Natalie can be quite determined about what she wants with her when she sleeps. She is also is good at trying to manipulate us, so each night, she asks for one more thing, one more hug, one more this or that. Somehow it builds up to where she needs a million things and the bedtime routine gets out of control. So we have to limit what happens at bedtime to the few set things and then leave the room. Ignoring is the only thing that will work with her... she even screams from her room, "Come here now! I need a spanking!" She doesn't care if it's positive or negative, she just wants the attention, but unfortunately, she needs the sleep. She fights it for awhile and then finally gives in. So this is what we've found the last couple days when we go in to check on her. The other day, I read her "Love you Forever" before the bed (the book where the mom sings and rocks her child "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.") Natalie was yelling from her room at me: "You're supposed to hold me and rock me and sing me, Mommy! That's how you do it! Come do it, Mommy! That's how you do it!"
On to the happy pictures: Natalie and Blake really do play well together, it's fun to watch them interact now that Blake can walk and keep up with her.
She says "Oh My!" and "That's terrible!" and Blake broke one of my Polish Pottery dishes and she patted my back saying, "It's okay honey, it'll be alright Mommy."
She can be a little bossy too: "Bakester, don't do that ever again, okay? I said ever again!" and "Bakey, don't touch TD (tv). You have obey Mommy and Daddy, okay?"
One night, we told her she had to wear a bib since we were eating something messy, and she didn't want to... finally she said, "But I don't want to obey!" without us mentioning the word. I guess she's learning. :)
After Brian took off his jacket, we realized they were matching. :)
Blake loves to carry shoes around the house. He goes to our shoe basket by the door and throws them all out on the floor until he finds two little ones (either his or Natalie's) and then walks around holding them. I don't know what this is about... but Brian really likes shoes so maybe that's where he gets it. :)
While I was out at a show, Brian fed the kids mac and cheese and hotdogs for dinner. Natalie spilled it all over the place and she said, "I spilled my pasta all over my pretend baby!" Look at that face!!Eating all the cookie dough--she really was grabbing out the biggest bites! She told me: "Mommy, take a picture of me and Minney, we're cute."

On Saturday, Jess threw a farewell brunch for me at her house. It was so lovely and fun and great to spend time with some of the wonderful friends I've made here in Hawaii. We've only been here 18 months but I will miss the people here a lot. I guess that's the good and bad thing about being in the military and moving so much... you have to leave them, but you get to keep them as friends and then you move and meet more new people. Then after many years, you have so many great people that you've gotten to know and love in the different seasons of your life. I know this is only our second assignment but I already feel that way. Can't wait to see what God has in store for us in Pennsylvania!Everything was delicious! Clockwise: Jenny, Jess, Heather, Victoria and Regan Opening gifts and cards. Wasn't expecting that...thanks girls!Me with Victoria: we both lived in Germany together too.
We were in a couples Bible Study with Jenny and Wes going through the book, Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs (great marriage book!)

And Jess... my dearest friend. When I was in Germany, I remember praying that God would give me a close girl friend that I would be able to connect with here in Hawaii. The first day we moved into our house, Jess and Jason came walking over... they were our next door neighbors with a little six month old son, Carter. We (and our kids) became instant friends (after I fainted in our kitchen and she came running over to see why Natalie was screaming... long story, I was a few months pregnant and the packers had delivered our hold baggage and Brian was at work....) Anyway, God completely answered that prayer and we've had some of the best times here in Hawaii, sharing our lives with eachother and going through all of the ups and downs of the Army and beings wives and moms and growing as Christians. I know we will be friends forever! :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Meg's Wedding and the Zoo

I went to Texas the last weekend in June to be at my friend, Meg's wedding to Craig McClain. It was beautiful and so awesome to be there and also great to see all the college girls again. We love our "cowgirl reunions" (we lived on a cowfarm our senior year :) The most interesting part is that I went all by myself, no husband and no kids. Brian stayed home with them and it made it so much easier to be there (and to fly) without two kids in tow. Thanks so much, honey. I really really appreciated the break!!

I flew in Friday and met up with everyone at a luncheon. That evening was the Rehearsal. I read Scripture in it so I had a part to practice too. :) IKacie, Kim and Alex, and Kitty(Meg's sister), Jason and Jacob at the Rehearsal Dinner. Wedding Day! A stop at Starbucks after setting up a few things at the reception site. Meg got a free coffee since she was getting married!
And because everyone needs a crazy story for their wedding day... we got a flat tire!!!! Fortunately, this nice man came and changed it for us just as we were getting ready to do it ourselves.
Lunch at Craig's Mom's house with the Bridesmaids and friends... we got ready there and the church was just a few minutes away.

Finishing touches at the church.

Reading her card from Craig--I think it was addressed "To the hot chick in the white dress" He gave a her a beautiful bracelet too.

Ready to go!

Kim, Jenny, Kacie and Me after the wedding.

Craigers and Meggers dancing at the reception.

Me and Kim

Hard to see...but she wore cowboy boots at the reception. She's definitely become a Texan! :) Kacie, Jenny and Me... we stayed at the Super 8 together... interesting memories there! :)

Kim and Alex enjoying the wedding cake. :) Posing with The Tejas Brothers Congratulations Meg and Craig! We're so happy for you!! And it was so fun to see you girls too!

While I was gone, Brian took the kids to the zoo. They had a military appreciation day so it was free admission and free lunch and entertainment. They had a great time!
Ready to go!
Checking out the turtles... watch the video. Brian said I had to post it :)

Posing with the Fire Truck
"Ja-raff-ees" as she calls them.

And she just now told me the rhino was a "dinosaur" :)
Lunch time
And icecream! Yum! Fun memories with Daddy! :) Thanks again babe! You're the best!