About Me

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I am an Air Force wife and mother of three precious gifts from God. I enjoy learning at home with my children, and the many adventures this life sends our way. So stop by often to visit, and check out what the Five Nomads are up to.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Okay, I may be a little early on this one. . .

I was just looking for Tabitha's Travels. Remember, it is the third book from the Jotham's Journey Advent books? I was hoping to find it on eBay for a good deal. You know, maybe an after Advent special. Someone trying to clear out some clutter. Well, the one and only copy there was going for $50 with 4 days left on the sale. Now that is not a good deal, so I went back to my google search. It took me here. AND. . .it is being re-released in the Summer/Fall of 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe my good fortune! I am just so excited.
Now, could someone just remind me come summer to order my copy? :)

On a serious note, I would love it if you would check out these books. They have been such a blessing to our family. Not only do I hope this for other families, I would really love to see someone who inspires in such a positive way rewarded. So many books and movies in our day are such garbage, pollution to our very souls. Let's show those people in the printing and movie industry that good values and morals sells.

Do you have any great books or movies you would like to share?

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Magic of Christmas

After my highly commented post on Santa Claus, I have to say I went into this Christmas season with a little bit of anxiety. Had Mr. Nomad and I ruined the awe and wonder for our children?

Last night as we read the last scripture of the Jesse Tree and finished Bartholomew's passage, I felt such a weight off my shoulders. We've had such a meaningful Advent season. I felt like we really had prepared our children for this day. During the Children's Mass when Father Jim proclaimed the Gospel, telling of Mary laying baby Jesus in the manger, Bubby leaned over and exclaimed, "MOM! Baby Jesus is in the manger! It is Christmas now!!" For the first time in a long time, I was feeling such a sweet peace. I was able to enjoy the beauty of this season, without sweating Christmas morning. No longer was I worried about the whole Santa situation. I was feeling very liberated.

Then again, there was a tiny nag in the back of my mind. Wondering and hoping Christmas morning wouldn't be a let down for The General and Princess. I mean Santa is a pretty hard act to follow.

About 3/4 of the way through our gift opening Princess climbed into my lap and quietly whispered in my ear, "Mom, it is still magical."

Ahhh, all is right with the world.

Thank you Heavenly Father for the gift of your Son, and for the joy of sharing this sacred gift with our children.

Merry Christmas dear friends.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What do you think of Bart's Passage?

Is anyone else out there reading either Jotham's Journey or Bartholomew's Passage? I'm just curious what people are thinking of the books. Are you enjoying the story? How about the devotional questions? I'd love to hear what you think. Just curious. That's all.

UPDATE: We finished up Bartholomew's Passage on Christmas Day. It was nicely intertwined with the Jotham's Journey story. It wasn't as suspense filled as Jotham's Journey, but it did hold our attention. The devotional questions were thought provoking, which was a real help in getting our hearts ready for Christmas.
Overall, I am sticking by my thumb's up recommendation for the series. Now wish me luck in finding a copy of Tabitha's Travels for next year. . .I haven't seen this one is going back in for reprint. . .shoot.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sacrifice. . .

We are halfway through the commitment of Nutcracker. It has taken a HUGE chunk of our time. I've missed the bloggy world, I still need to finish a bit of shopping, and get to my holiday baking, but it has been worth every moment. Princess is having the time of her life.

More importantly this has been a great lesson in sacrifice, and what it really means to be part of a family. We are not 5 separate people, sharing space. We are a whole family unit, and it takes all of us working together to experience success. For The General and Bubby to know that they may have given up play time, but it helped Princess come out of her show with a beaming smile on her face. Well, that is priceless.

This thought may be counter to what our culture believes, but I think it is by these very sacrifices that our children thrive. To know they are part of something bigger than themselves, that others rely and count on them for happiness. In my humble, okay maybe not so humble, opinion, we would have a whole lot less depressed children and teens if they too really felt they were important and belonged to a loving family.

Right now this is Princess season. She is our star in the show. The Nomads are rallying for her. Come spring she will be able to return the favor when baseball season rolls around. Then our All Star will be The General. That is just how it is when you are part of the family.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Seven Quick Takes Volume 1

1. Princess is the mouse in the Nutcracker, so why am I the one who is scurry, scurry, scurrying around?

2. I'm so grateful that Bubby's chin seems to be healing up nicely. I'm praying it doesn't leave too noticeable of a scar.

3. The boys both have colds, which is a bummer. We are heading out to go caroling at a nursing home this afternoon, and I'm going to have to leave them home. Which makes me sad for two reasons. First, The General doesn't get the opportunity to serve the community. Something I think we really need to do more. Two, the residents don't get to see Bubby sing Jingle Bells. Oh, that is the tragic part. When I'm old, I hope mommas with little toddlers come to sing to me.

4. I have gotten a few gifts for Christmas, but still have a significant amount of shopping to do. I am hopeful a huge space of time will open up in the next week, or I could be screwed. (Sorry for the foul language, but I can't think of anything more descriptive of my current lack of readiness.)

5. Have I told you lately how much I adore my MIL? I talked to her today about Christmas prep, and I'm certain she is a saint. She's bringing her recipe box, and we will go grocery shopping after we pick them up at the airport next week. Food planning for the holiday--check.

6. I recently had a talk with a friend who really has a stinker for a MIL, which makes me feel even more grateful. The talk made me realize how I have come to love K. as my own mother. She is like a gift from God, a sort of replacement for the lack of nurturing my own mother was unable to provide.

7. Our Advent is going smoothly. For the first time EVER, we have stuck to the Jesse Tree. Not bad for 7 years of attempts. (Remember when I told you I was a bit slow?) We are also LOVING Bartholomew's Passage. It is the highlight of our evening. Come to think of it, it may be the reason we stay on track with the Jesse Tree. What ever the case, I am just thankful that we are having a meaningful Advent.

If you'd like to read others Quick Takes click here.

Have a wonderful weekend. I hope to be back to bloggy world soon. I know it may sound a bit corny, as I don't REALLY know you, but I am missing my blog friends. I've only had a few moments so skim your posts, with no time for comments. :( You know me, I have a big mouth--backed with lots of opinions. The pressure of no comment is building. . .

Monday, December 7, 2009

Questions and excuses, oh I mean explanations.

A few days ago Brenda asked if I ever disagree with opinions at church, and how I handle it. Well, she knows me, so really she was asking, "How do you handle it when you disagree with others at your church?" --Lorri stop snickering!

Now, I had grand ideas on how I was going to answer this question. Looking up great stuff, and tying it to links. Alas, as my Grandma B. used to say, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." I fear I am on THE road.

In my defense this mommy thing has really been busy. Mr. Nomad was gone on a trip, we had our F.A.I.T.H. class, and Princess is in the throws of Nutcracker rehearsals. Who would have thought a little mouse, scurry, scurry, scurrying about would need so much practice? So, I've been patiently waiting for this afternoon to blog away.

Enter Bubby and our first visit here to the ER. Yes, I am proud to say I made it over a year without visiting an emergency room. It may be a record for me. The Nomad Kiddos keep me on friendly terms with those nice ER people. Luckily, it wasn't anything a little Dermabond couldn't fix up. It also helps having the ER charge nurse as a good friend and neighbor.

I've never had such a quick trip in and out of the ER. Her being the charge nurse, and the fact that I had her sick child at my house. She gave them the ultimatum: Either get this little guy in and out, or I have to go home and take care of my own sick child. Interestingly enough, they had no problem with Bubby coming in, quickly being seen and booted out the door. I love efficiency.

Now here I am with another day winding down, and I still need to study for my class tomorrow. So instead of that great link filled answer, this is what I have to offer.

Brenda, yes I do sometimes disagree with people at church. However, the beauty of the Catholic Church is there are definite answers to questions. Those answers lie not only in the Bible, but also in the Catechism of the Catholic Church--based on our tradition. So when I don't necessarily see eye to eye, I call one of my smart Catholic friends and pick their brain on church doctrine. We have even been known to consult a priest (thanks Phil!) when we were stumped.

Most importantly, I have learned to try and keep my mouth shut until I get my facts straight. (Read: Tami has had numerous open mouth, insert foot moments.) Not that this is an issue for you, but it is a BIG issue for me. The saying, "God gave you two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you talk." Well, I think that one was meant just for me!

So what do I do when I disagree with church authority or doctrine? Again shut mouth, dig deeper. Most times what I have found is this: When I take the time to explore and learn more about either the situation or church doctrine, it makes sense. An example would be the church's firm stance on birth control. For many years I just ignored church doctrine on this issue, thinking it really didn't work for me. (Stop laughing at me, people. I know I'm a bit dense sometimes.) However, after developing friendships with very devout Catholic women, and learning more about why the church teaches this, I realized the beauty and perfection in this plan.

I could go on and on, I'm pretty opinionated. So there have been many areas of enlightenment for this girl. Of course this submission to my faith has not been an overnight occurrence. I converted to Catholicism before Mr. Nomad and I were married, but I cannot say that I really became Catholic until I began teaching my children about our faith. When I started dipping into the history, the tradition, and the meaning of the rituals and sacraments, it was then I was hooked. Now I cannot imagine anything else.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Feast of Saint Nicholas

Did you know that Saint Nicholas was a real man, who walked this earth? If you are interested in learning more about this great saint, you can visit this website. It tells the story of Saint Nicholas, as well as providing some great ideas for celebrating this feast day.

Now, I could have taken the time and space to share that information, but instead I'm going to share with you a little ah-ha moment I had while pondering the lives of saints. I mean really, why do Catholics spend so much time and energy thinking about dead people? Then the answer came to me. We honor the saints, and look to the example of their lives to inspire us to be more like them. More like the very people who loved "the Lord our God, with their whole heart, with their whole soul, with their whole mind and their whole strength." (Mark 12:30-31)
All of a sudden this idea of looking to those who have gone before us, made sense. Simply because their example has been set. We know definitively what that person contributed in their lifetime. Whereas, with people who are still alive today, there is always the problem of sin in the world. Think of all of the great leaders in our world, in our churches that start out with great hearts. They have wonderful intentions, but sin gets in the way, and they fail.
While a dead person isn't as easy to get all excited about. (Seriously, compare reading a book to standing in the auditorium filled with the energy of a dynamic speaker or singer.) Saints are a fabulous resource God has given me. By looking at saints, it helps me to dig deeper, and realize it is in their example I should be moved. In this day and age we are so accustomed to adrenaline and WOW, we NEED to learn to still our hearts. Be quiet and listen. It is in these quiet moments we will be able to hear God. It says in Matthew that "God will whisper His plans to us in the night."
So in this noisy season of celebration, which we have LOTS of noise here at the Nomad pad. (That noise isn't all bad either. It is lots of fun, and God is fun!) Tonight we are going to take a few moments to quiet our hearts, and listen to the message God has for us in the amazing example of Saint Nicholas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gotta school the kiddos first. . .

Yesterday, Brenda asked me another great question. The problem is. . . It will take me a bit to pull my thoughts together. AND, for some pesky reason I have these children I'm supposed to be educating. Go figure. So if I'm a good teacher, and get school work done at a reasonable time then I can blog my answer. Until then, happy math facts.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Clarifying a few misconceptions. . .

One of my readers asked a question about the Catholic faith. It is my intent to briefly answer this question in layman's terms. While I have been learning with and teaching my children for the past 5-6 years, I do not pretend to be a scholar who is the authority. The more I learn, the more I am humbled and see the need to study. This isn't just MY Catholic faith. The Catholic Church was set up by Christ himself to be universal. For everyone to worship and live together.

So in the spirit of Ask Sister Mary Martha, here we go.

Tessa commented: Catholicism as... they love Mary more then they ever pay attention to Christ and then work their heaven w/ good deeds. I would love to know more about YOUR Catholic faith!!! Because, like I said, I am always very confused about that religion.

I think the key word here is confusion. Many people see a snippet of the Catholic faith, do not understand it, or study to find the truth, and are left with misconceptions. Here is my poor attempt at clearing that up. We'll start with Mary and the saints.

We Catholics do not worship Mary, but we do place her in high esteem. For she is the mother of our Lord. When we pray to the saints and Mary it isn't that we think they are equal to God. Rather, it is a lot like calling up your mom and saying, "I'm having a hard time, could you pray for me?" We do this because we believe we are in communion with the saints, and they can hear our prayers. (Basically just because they are dead doesn't mean they can't hear us.) Being they were very godly people, they will pray for us. Very much like your most trusted Christian friend. You know, the one who just lights up the room with their spirit. Mary and the saints are always pointing us in the direction of Jesus. It is our hope as Catholics that we would follow the example of the wonderful lives they lived for Christ.

As for the good deeds, we Catholics, like most Christians, are very aware there is NOTHING we could ever do that would be good enough to get us into heaven. Jesus died on the cross, and without that gift we would all be in some serious trouble. Through Baptism we are covered by that grace.

However, as a follower of Christ we are called to action. Jesus didn't say, "just believe in me and you are good to go." He calls us to "love thy neighbor as thyself." Which is where the good deeds come in. Catholics believe we are to practice the seven corporal works of mercy.

Which are:
1. Feed the hungry
2. Give drink to the thirsty
3. Clothe the naked
4. Shelter the homeless
5. Visit the sick
6. Visit those in prison
7. Bury the dead

This tradition is based on Mt 25:34 “Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ’Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ’Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?’ And the king will answer them, ’Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me.’”

Tessa, thanks so much for asking these questions. Like you pointed out, just because someone says they are Catholic or Christian or whatever the label, doesn't necessarily mean they are practicing in the true spirit of their church. What I have found over the years is many Catholics have a poor understanding of church doctrine. They know what they are supposed to do, but don't really know the history or reasoning behind the ritual or belief. Let's cut them a little slack though. Seriously, there is over 2,000 years of history and tradition to cover.

Hey, let's be honest here. When you are talking the mysteries of Christ, well it gets heady. Which is why I love the Catholic Church. There are all of these REALLY smart people who help me to sort through it all, and figure it out. Sure it is messy. We, like every other faith out there, have some serious sinners in our midst (me being one of them). But when you get rid of the mess and sin, and study to find the true teachings of the church, you just can't go wrong. I don't have enough space on this blog to express my love of the rituals and sacraments of the church.

I think so many times we are always looking at differences instead of common ground. I often wonder what God thinks when He looks down and sees His children divided. My hope is that as Christians we can come to know the truth of Christ and one day be united. Then we would have a bit more of heaven here on earth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A WOW moment at scripture study.

This year I am treating myself to a scripture study at church. Generally all daytime activities are for my children. As you fellow homeschoolers know, there is not a lot of time for "mom" activities. What a gift this has been. Each week we meet to discuss a chapter from the book of Matthew. We read the chapter and complete questions prior to our meeting. Then our study begins with a DVD talk from a priest. After the DVD, we break into small groups to discuss the questions.

Last week, while we were going over Matthew Chapter 8, there were some fabulous insights I just have to share. In this chapter of Matthew, Jesus begins performing some of his miracles of healing people. One of the first people he heals is a leper. So began the discussion of the significance of it being a leper who is healed. Especially the symbolism tying the disease of leprosy to sin. Leprosy is a slow degeneration of body tissue, while sin is the decomposition of our souls. (Little wow moment.)

While we were mulling over this point, a very wise young woman (how did she get so stinking smart--she's only 24!?!?) brought up this point. The biggest danger of leprosy is it makes your body numb. So you may bump into something, and it may cause a sore. This in turn may get infected, and then you may die from infection. If we use that same example, tied to the concept of sin. Hmmm. . .sin numbs me to sinful ways. Which in turn causes me to sin more, and before I know it I may be slowly causing the death of my soul. (BIG WOW MOMENT!) Isn't that powerful?

We all sat there quietly letting this soak in. We were all contemplating what things have I numbed myself to with sin. Could it be a movie that was a little questionable? How about just a few gossipy words to a friend? Or was it the shortness with my husband or children? You get the idea.

I am so grateful for this time to study and learn. More than that I'm eternally grateful God sent His Son for me over 2000 years ago. Thankfully, I am covered in His grace. Although I fall short time after time, He ALWAYS loves me and forgives. Because of His deep love and devotion, I long to be more like Him. . .less of my selfish me. Which means I need to take even those little transgressions seriously. I want to feel alive in Christ, not numb in this crazy world.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Talk.

Reader Discretion. If you have a young reader looking over your shoulder, you may want to preview this post prior to sharing.

Well, it happened. Last night we sat down with The General and Princess and had "The Talk". No, not about the birds and the bees. I want to say that would be easier. But come to think of it, that was pretty anxiety provoking as well. Last night Mr. Nomad & I came clean about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and all the other magical fun of childhood.

We began with a discussion about Advent, and then asked if they thought it was suspicious there was no mention of Jolly Old St. Nick. Yes and no they answered. They know all about saints and the whole story of Saint Nicholas. As we talked it became clear that Princess was on the verge of figuring this whole Santa thing out. Apparently she had some serious plans to investigate this year. While on the other hand, The General still really believed. At least he REALLY wanted to believe. The past couple of years I could tell questions were popping up in his little mind. He just wanted it to be true so badly, he would think of a cover.

Overall the discussion went well. We were redeemed for a few years when the whole Santa gift didn't go down so well. Like the year The General asked for the most expensive gift from Santa. Yea, he was trying to save us money. Then there was the year that he asked for something that wasn't even invented yet. It existed only in his very creative mind. He knew we couldn't get that for him at the stores, so he was counting on Santa's elves to come through. You can see why some Christmas mornings haven't gone so smoothly.

Yes, there were a few tears. Not so much the children. More me. I cannot believe how fast their childhoods are racing by us. I felt like we were taking a piece of that fleeting childhood innocence. A chapter of their lives is closed, and I am a little sad about that. Yet, I realize the next chapter is exciting too. I am so proud of the young people they are becoming.

So why did we spill the beans? Why tell them at all? Why not just wait and see what happens. Because of this: What really moved Mr. Nomad and me was their complete faith in our teaching. If we said it to be true, than surely it must be true. Our children still believed in Santa, although other kid has said it wasn't possible, because they trusted Mr. Nomad and me.

WOW! I am awed and humbled by that fact. I feel like the years of honesty in our parenting have paid off. All those times it would have been just easier to "fib" our way through something, but instead we took the long road and were honest. Even when that meant longer explanations and more time and patience from us. It was worth it.

This incredible trust also shows me the tremendous responsibility we have to learn and teach them about our faith. While I want them to be successful here on earth, my lessons are really intended for THE BIG TEST. I will know we were successful in parenting when Jesus meets each of my children face to face,welcoming them in to heaven.

Now let's just hope The General and Princess are good at keeping surprises like this to themselves. Make believe is fun. We definitely do not replace Jesus with these childhood magical moments. I only hope Bubby gets every chance at the magic as The General and Princess experienced.

(Big Sigh) Being a Mom is so much more than I ever dreamed.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What do you think of my attempt at the Advent look?

Okay, so I'm trying to get the blog all ready for Advent. Unfortunately, no one out there has an Advent background. Not even a simple purple. Darn. Lucky for me Dawn at Almost Ready Blogs created the really cool Advent Wreath on my sidebar--Thanks Dawn! It was actually the inspiration for the whole look I came up with. (If you can call what I have going on "a look".)

What do you think? Is it too plain? My hope was to stick to an Advent theme, and then at Christmas do the all out holiday decorating. It is a small gesture on my part to reclaim the holiness of Christmas. Kind of a taking back of the "buy me, buy me, buy me" that Christmas in the United States has become. Hmmm. . .now I know why Dawn was Always Undecided.
**I finally figured out how to do the Boring Post thing. (This is Mary's baby. You can find her over at Hope Echoes.) I know I put my boring post together on Friday, but I'm on the West Coast. So it was technically Saturday for most of the country. That, and you are all probably done reading blogs by the time I would be up and free to post. Hope you have a great Saturday.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What am I most thankful for?

I've been pondering this question a lot. This is the season to give thanks. A time to take stock of those things we are most grateful for. A sort of inventory of our blessings, so to speak. I have so many things to thank God for, where do I even begin the list?
That is when my answer became crystal clear. I am most thankful for my faith. Without that firm foundation to stand upon, to face the trials and tribulations of this world, I would be lost. Miserable. Lonely. Without peace. Missing out on all of the love and grace that our Lord showers upon me each and everyday.
So on this Thanksgiving Day I want to take a moment and thank God for all of the people who have nourished my faith. Those who have led by quiet example. Those who have studied with me and challenged me to be better. Those who write inspiring words, and befriend me in the blog world. I pray God will continue to bless me with those who will enrich and deepen my faith. My faith in God. Yes, that is by far my greatest blessing.
What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A new title song. . .

Since I'm a good Catholic mother, I have lots of guilt. For example, the other day I was apologizing to The General for him having to move all the time. For not having a best friend down the block anymore. . .oh the list goes on. Basically I was saying how sorry I was that he is forced to be a military brat.
To which The General replied, "Oh Mom I wouldn't trade that for anything!"
"Really?" I replied, rather surprised.
"No way! You know that Johnny Cash song? The one that talks about all the places he's been?"
"Yea, I know the one," I answer. Still a bit perplexed.
"Well, that's my song!" The General reports. Rather proudly I might add.

Here is The General with the map of all the states he has visited. He only needs 3: Alaska, Hawaii and Arkansas, and then he truly can sing along with Johnny.Princess needs 5: Alaska, Hawaii, Arkansas, Nevada and Michigan. Bubby is a little behind the big kiddos. Not a bad start for a 3 year old.
As Johnny Cash sings:
See What I Mean
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I've had my share, man
I've been everywhere
The General has a point.
I find myself in yet another moment when my children impress me with their resilience and ability to see the silver lining. What a gift motherhood has been. May I always be blessed with the wisdom I gain from simply knowing my children.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Apparantly Princess had a little trouble sleeping. . .

This is what I found in Princess' journal this morning:

9:40 pm Go check out brother cutting cheese.

10:00 pm Fart.

10:01 pm Roll over to left side.

10:02 pm Roll to right.

10:03 pm Lay on back.

10:04 pm Roll to left again.

10:05 pm Turn alarm off.

10:06 pm Write friend letter.

10:34 pm Finish letter to friend.

10:36 pm Toot.

10:38 pm Yawn.

10:39 pm Edit letter.

10:41 pm Finish editing letter.

10:43 pm Go to sleep. . .I think.

So much for my sweet little girl. I guess this is what having a big brother does to a girl. Heck, who am I trying to kid. She has always been a firecracker. Here she is, Princess back in the toddler days.
You should have seen her smite me with the phrase, "Poo Poo Head!" That was when she was just 18 months old, with her blond ringlets and big brown eyes. Oh, what a little turkey she was.

Although not the most lady like, she sure makes me laugh. A LOT!

Thanks for the laughs. I love you Princess.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vicks, I love you!

Dear Procter & Gamble,

I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for last night. I smeared your VapoRub all over Bubby's chest, and he slept like a baby. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to find you, but I think you may be my new cold season best friend.

Bubby's Mommy

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Remembering the Sabbath: Part 2

Remember last week when I asked, "What do you do to keep the Sabbath holy?" Apparently I am not the only one grappling with this question. First of all I wanted to thank the brave souls who shared their ideas. I really appreciated your comments.
This past week I've pondered the topic, considering your thoughts and talking with my children. I think the main problem we are having in our household is not starting the day with mass. Going to celebrate mass first thing in the morning, with religious education directly afterward was such a great start to the Sabbath. We were in the word, in communion with God, and learning about our faith right off the bat. Now, the schedule is flip-flopped with mass in the evening and The General going off to his youth meeting afterwards.
I've come to understand, the order of our activities isn't as important as getting centered. God doesn't care if I go to mass at 9am or 5pm, He just wants me to be there at some point in the day. Since God has blessed me with the honor of raising The General, Princess and Bubby, I need to put their spiritual growth at the forefront. We have entered a new season, where it is best for our children to worship at a different time.
I need to be flexible. I need to be okay with the fact that Sunday mornings at the Nomad Pad are going to look a bit different as we find our new way. What I need to remember is this: Sunday is supposed to be a mini-Easter, a day of celebration. A day to be thankful and happy for all God has done for us. Princess suggested starting with the rosary or some other family devotion. Today we tried doing our F.A.I.T.H. (Faith Alive In The Home) study, inviting our neighbors over to join us.
I know we will find a "new normal." God has placed us here, at this point in time for a purpose. Now it is up to us to seek that purpose, and follow God's lead. For it is in doing His will that we find the peace and happiness we seek.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Do you have plans for Advent?

Okay, I will admit I do not like to get the Christmas ball rolling until after Thanksgiving. I refuse to purchase or set out any decorations until after the turkey is put away. Why in the world am I asking you about Advent, which is still a few weeks away?

I want to share with you two great books that make Advent such a special time.

First there is this one,We read this as a family two years ago. It was by far our favorite part of Advent, and the Christmas season. Arnold Ytreeide does such a great job with these books. You read a chapter each night, with the end of the book culminating on Christmas. Although these books have been around awhile, until last year they were out of print. You had to rely on eBay or Amazon, and let me tell you the old supply and demand economics was definitely at work.

You can imagine my joy when they announced the reprint. Although we had to take last year off, I just couldn't justify $100 for a book I knew I could get for less than $15 in a year. I was chomping at the bit to get our copy of Bartholomew's Passage for this season's Advent. I'm happy to announce our copy has safely made it to the Nomad Pad, and is patiently waiting for the first day of Advent to bring us great joy.

**Note to parents: The opinions about this book are mine, and mine alone. I first heard about these books on the SL-Catholic forum, where people were praising them. HOWEVER, as with everything, not everyone shares the same opinions. After I purchased the first book, I was scared stiff. One woman came out of her blog silence, and railed on and on about how terrible and awful the book was. She felt it was too dark and scary. Now when we read the first one, The General was 10 and Princess was 7 going on 8. My kiddos are pretty sensitive, and we had no problems. Please do read other reviews if you have concerns. End of warning.

Good luck planning your Advent season. If you do decide to go with Jotham's Journey, the first of the trilogy, you can find them here. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you for your service. . .

Though it is not a common greeting, I have heard these kind words from strangers. Mostly when we are moving. It is very apparent by our loaded down vehicles, we are in the middle of a PCS. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I say thank you, climbing back into my car filled with pride. You see, when I really think about those who have sacrificed so much more, I am stopped dead in my tracks. Overcome by tears. I am so incredibly grateful God has not asked that ultimate sacrifice of my family. Although we've been separated, our Daddy has come home to us. Every time. It is our prayer every night he is away, "God, please bring Daddy home, safely and quickly." A prayer He has answered so many, many times over the years.
Others have said those same prayers For some reason, we have no way of understanding, those prayers have not been answered. At least not in a way we, as mere humans would like. So today we took the kiddos to mass, to pray for those veterans and their families. Those who have died, so that I may enjoy the many freedoms too many in our country take for granted. For those who are left behind, trying to fill a hole in their hearts that only God can mend. For those who only know a photo as their parent. My heart aches for each and every one of them.
To all of them I say, "Thank you for your service. I have not forgotten you."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Remember the Sabbath, and Keep it Holy. . .

This is a question I am currently wrangling with. I am continually awed by God's power to speak to us through his word. I've known the Ten Commandments since I was a child. Though I wasn't raised Catholic, I was introduced to the laws of God at VBS so long ago. What strikes me is this, all of a sudden this portion of the word is tugging at my heart.
The kiddos and I have been studying The Two Great Commandments that Jesus gave. First: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. Second: Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself. (Found in The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism circa 1964.) Jesus didn't just throw out the old law that was given to Moses. He said we must keep those commands, IN ADDITION we are to love thy neighbor (Oh, that is a hard one. But not the one God has for me to ponder this day.)
This lesson brought about a deeper discussion of what keeping the Ten Commandments means. Which in turn began my questioning, "Am I remembering the sabbath? Am I teaching my children to keep this day holy for our Lord?" Hmmm. . . My answer came to me. We are not in a Sunday groove.
Since moving back to WA, our Sunday groove is a mess. Mr. Nomad and I have always been Sunday morning mass people. Sure, there are those times when we need to go to the Saturday evening mass, but we really don't feel like it is Sunday without starting the day with mass. Our current schedule is requiring us to attend the LifeTeen mass which is 5pm Sundays, so I'm struggling to organize our Sunday in such a way to bring glory to our Lord.
Please, help me out folks. What are some things your families do to keep the sabbath holy?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Brown Cows

No we haven't moved to the farm. No Bessies or Bossies here at the Nomad Pad. Instead I have a little family tradition to share.
It started when Mr. Nomad was a small boy. His parents used to get the kiddos in their jammies, load them into the station wagon, then drive to the local ice cream place. There they would be treated to the delicious Brown Cow.
What in the world is a Brown Cow? I'm so glad you asked. A Brown Cow is one of the yummiest shakes you could ever ask for. You take a few scoops of chocolate ice cream, pour root beer over it, and stir it all together. Yep, a root beer float with chocolate ice cream. Though not good for your waistline, or any other part of your body for that matter, they are YUM-MEE!!
The tradition of the Brown Cow is carried on with the next generation. Only now we don't load the kiddos up, Grandma & Grandpa make them at home. Here are the kiddos enjoying Brown Cows with Grandpa. I love the memories and traditions my children have with their grandparents. It is such a special relationship. Now we just need to make it until Christmas. . . Grandma & Grandpa will be back, and you can bet this Momma will have the freezer stocked.
Hopefully Bubby will learn how to smile by then. Oh this bad smile phase is so painful. I'm beginning to resort to, "No, no Bubby. You don't need to smile. Just look at Mommy-PLEASE!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A shameless plug for Foothill Reflections.

My friend Lorri is blessed with a wonderful husband, he's blessed to have her as well. During our time in DC our families spent a lot of time together, many times discussing various issues regarding our Catholic faith. Since moving last April, I've really missed those in depth talks. Which made it so wonderful when Phil began his blog.

Although I can't walk across the street and chit chat with Lorri & Phil, I can visit his blog Foothill Reflections and get a little of that in depth thought I so greatly miss. I realize you don't know Phil, but if you are interested in reading about our Catholic faith, the church's daily readings and how they relate to our lives, stop by and check it out.

End of shameless plug.

Monday, November 2, 2009


A conversation with my three year old.

Mommy: Bubby, no more wrestling with your brother! (Said with a stern voice and a pop on the hiney.)

Bubby: That's it! I quit this Nomad Family Game. I'm not playing any more. I'm going to my room. And babysitting myself. And playing by. my.self! (Said with an equally stern, frustrated voice.)

Mommy: Sorry, you don't get to quit the Nomad Family Game. (Under her breath says, I feel your pain Bub. Even you they make you crazy you don't get to quit the Nomads.)

2 hours later. . .

Mommy: Bubby, do you still want to quit the family?

Bubby: What?

Mommy: Do you still want to quit the family?

Bubby: No, I don't want to.

Mommy: Why not?

Bubby: I don't like to quit. Then I'd be sad, like when I get in trouble.

Mommy: I'm glad you changed your mind. I love you Bubby.

Bubby: Thank you.

That Bubby, he's so cute.

Resurrection. . .

Remember when my in-laws visited last month? I told you of all the projects we tackled. My sister keeps pestering me to post some pictures, so here they are Jody. This armoir has been used in The General's room since he was a baby. With the big move we have given him our furniture, so this needed a new home. Mr. Nomad & I needed a piece for my TV (I say my because he hates having a TV in the bedroom). The only problem was the color didn't jive with our new bedroom set. Then there was this cute little wash stand. I found it in an antique shop one time. I don't know why, but I just love it. Sadly though, Mr. Nomad hated it. (Notice I used hate in the past tense.)
Mr. Nomad's mom, brother and Princess went to town sanding and staining these sorry, worn pieces of furniture.
After staining, there were several coats of poly.

Then we added new hardware.
Viola, some old tired pieces have been resurrected. We now have two beautiful pieces of furniture that were relatively inexpensive. The stain and poly were left over from a previous project my mother-in-law did, and the hardware was only around $50.
Now Mr. Nomad loves my old washstand.
Thank you family for all of your hard work. I love you so much, and am so appreciative of all you do for us.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Old Mr. Schilter had a farm. . . .

And on his farm he had some. . . ponies. With a neigh, neigh here and a neigh, neigh there. Old Mr. Schilter had a farm. . . and on his farm he had some goats. . . with an oink, oink here. . . and a moo, moo there. . . . here, a meow, there a meow. . .(the meow's were the favorite) Old Mr. Schilter had a farm. . .

. . .and everyone had a great time!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An afternoon at the beach.

What's the first thing you thought of when you read the title. Sand? Sun? Swimming in the waves? Well, the beaches in Washington are very different from those beach images. The weather here is quite temperate. Not too hot, but not to cold. Which in turn causes the water to stay quite chilly. At least too cold for this momma to ever go for a dip. So a day at the beaches on Puget Sound are a little different than your traditional sand castle experience. Princess was posed and ready. She has her bag along for any pretty rocks she may want to collect. Also in the bag is a plastic container, during berry season you have to be prepared. You never know when you'll come across a good berry patch.The General mostly enjoys looking under rocks for crabs or other little critters. He has so much fun exploring. Notice the Olympic Mountains in the background. I think that is my favorite part, all the beauty that surrounds us. This time Bubby thought rock skipping was the best. The whole beach is actually lots and lots of pebbles and rocks. You find some of the best skippers. Mr. Nomad is a pro. He can get as many as 7 or 8 skips out of a good rock. I, on the other hand, sadly struggle to get mine to skip once or twice.We had so much fun checking everything out. I look forward to many more hikes down to the Sound. Notice all the islands in the background? Puget Sound on a map looks like a big open area of water. When in fact it is full of little, and sometimes not so little, islands and inlets. As you can see it is very beautiful.
We weren't the only explorers at the beach on that day. It seems this sea otter was just as curious about us. He was so funny. He slowly came over to where we were playing. Then he would bob up and down, trying to get higher in the water for a closer look at those crazy humans who kept taking pictures of him. I hope we get to see him on our next visit.

Monday, October 26, 2009

And the clock struck twelve. . .

So much for the Princess gig. It is back to reality today. A little laundry. (Dawn, do you think your sock lady would like to help me out?) A little toy pick up. A little schooling.

A lot of Bubby.
Oh, I guess reality isn't so bad after all!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sometimes I like to pretend I'm a Princess.

I am the type of girl that likes to do yard work. Dirt and mud do not scare me, as long as I have access to a shower after the experience. Here I am with The General, Princess and a couple of neighborhood girls that saw us moving rocks and wanting to join in. Go figure, kids like to work?
Notice the hat? It's because I hadn't showered and my hair cannot be displayed in public without a little coiffing. My children just don't deserve that kind of humiliation.
As much as I like yard work, hiking, and just staying in my jammies til late in the day. Sometimes it is so much fun to get all dressed for a night out with Mr. Nomad.

Which made last night such a treat. Some very kind people (we casually knew them last time we lived here) invited us to a gala event. I actually thought I was going to have to go solo, as Mr. Nomad was off on another trip. Then around noon I got a call from him, and he said he would be home in time to take me to the ball. I cried. I know that is so silly, but I was so happy.
So last night Mr. Nomad and I were blessed to have a beautiful evening out. We were able to make a few more connections in our new community, and it was a lot of fun. Poor Mr. Nomad had been up for over 24 hours, what a sport. I think I would have begged to stay home and go to bed. He's so good to me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

How embarassing!

Okay blogger friends. I know some of you may not know me well, and think that if you pointed out my errors I would be horribly embarrassed and think you were rude. That couldn't be further from the truth. I am one of those people that greatly appreciates the friend that points out the spinach stuck between my teeth. Granted, I do like the correction to be kind. Mean spirited making fun is not what I have in mind. Oh, and of course discretion is also appreciated. So now that we've got that cleared up. . .

I was just giving The General his spelling words. (I know, most 7th graders don't do spelling, but he's weird and likes it. Who am I to deny him?) Well, pseudonym was one of his words to spell today. When he asked me what it meant, I quickly googled the word to give him an exact definition. Here's what I found: pseudonym n. A fictitious name, especially a pen name.

What is the big deal? Why is that important? I just realized this whole time on my blog side bar, I had written that I'd given my children pseudo names. Very nice home school lady, it should be: I have given my children pseudonyms. Yep, I home school my children. Such a proud day for Mrs. Nomad.

On the up side. . .(the other thing you need to know about me. I'm a hopeless, or shall I say hopeful, optimist) this is exactly why I love teaching my children. I learn new things all the time, and I LOVE IT!

Okay, now I'm totally confused. As I'm spell checking this post, Lord only knows I don't want to misspell words and further my humiliation, psuedo name comes up as a correctly spelled word. So what is the story here masters of the English language? Have I been a bone head, or not?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I love a great deal!

Today I am smiling ear to ear. Apparently the landscaping company that put in all of the trees on the boulevards put in the wrong species of trees. Something about the beautiful flaming maples' roots causing problems with the sidewalks in 5-10 years, or something like that. Whatever the case, they had to replace the maples with another type of tree. The new ones are pretty too, so nothing lost on the curb appeal.

Okay, this is where my smile comes in. They took out the maples along the street, and for a fraction of what you would spend on one tree, they planted two of them in my backyard! Yep, they even staked them for me. I am so excited. TWO, count them, TWO trees! They are even good sized trees, at least 15-20 feet. I can't wait to show Mr. Nomad.

Oh yea, I forgot to mention I had to make a snap decision. I hope he is as excited as I am. Just in case he doesn't share my enthusiasm, does anyone have a dog house for me to crash for a few days?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Jody Blue

This is my sister Jody and I back in 2004. Sadly it is one of very few pictures I have of my sister and I together. Since we live so far apart, our visits are far too few. When we do finally get together we are so busy, we forget to take pictures of the two of us. Now if you could photograph the two of us on the phone. . .we'd be in business.
Today is Jody's birthday. Since I'm not as crafty with words as Jody or ABM, I've been searching the web for the perfect quote or poem to pay tribute to my sister on her special day. How do you find a poem or short quote that sums up this relationship? You see, my Jody isn't just a big sister. She is my soul mate. She is my cheerleader, my confidant. Jody is the one person in the world that knows EVERYTHING about me, and loves me just the same.

Over the years she has mentored me as a mother. Oh, my children are so lucky she was there for me. Mr. Nomad used to give me a hard time, "You didn't really call your sister and complain did you? We have ONE child, she has FIVE!" Yet my sister would listen, offer advice and help me through. Never making me feel like the idiot I was. I only hope I can mentor young mothers with as much empathy and grace as my sister mentored me.

She has provided an example of a Godly wife. Never does she jump on the "men are jerks" band wagon. Rather there is thought of how to make things better, how to examine my actions and contributions. Always, always there is prayer. My marriage has been blessed by this influence.

Most of all my sister has always prayed for my soul. When I was a young teen floundering in life, Jody came to know our Lord. Her sharing of her love and devotion to Christ made a huge impact on who I am today. She didn't just want a great relationship in this life time, she had her eye on our eternal happiness.

So Happy Birthday Jody, thank you for being the greatest big sister a girl could ask for.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A test for my readers. . .

Did you notice I decorated for Halloween? The header picture was taken last year before the Nomad Clan headed out for Trick-Or-Treating. Here's the test: Although it may not seem that we are all dressed in the same theme, we are. How do our costumes go together?

Friday, October 2, 2009

The in-laws are here, the in-laws are here!

To most people, this would ellicit screams of panic, fear, frustration. . . Not at the Nomad pad. God has blessed me with FABULOUS in-laws. Over the years they have provided a great example of a godly marriage for Mr. Nomad and I to follow. They have endlessly showered us with love, prayer, and many acts of kindness.

Acts of kindness currently under progress here: My mother-in-law has painted my bedroom, the powder room and the island in the kitchen. My father in-law and brother-in-law helped Mr. Nomad organize the garage and build a work bench. Up next is refinishing a couple pieces of furniture, repainting the island (the orange just doesn't flow with the counter top) and maybe constructing some storage racks in the garage.

So that is where I have been, and I'll probably be busy until they leave next week. It is all so exciting. When they pull out of my drive, my house will be mostly complete. No longer will I be fretting about. I can finally just sit back and enjoy. . .okay reality check. I can really get started with homeschooling, running kiddos to Scouts, ballet, piano lessons, Bible study. You know the drill.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blackberry Pickin' & Mom's Cobbler Recipe

Talk about two activities that were made for one another. Berry picking and baking. Since arriving in August, we've taken advantage of God's bounty. Ahh, the sight of those juicy berries is such a treat. Okay, we've picked the ones on the edges. . .but can't quite get the best ones in the middle. With bare legs, the thorns are a bit much.Not a problem, Mr. Nomad is a very resourceful fellow. Not much time for duck hunting these days, but those waders are great for berry picking!We are so grateful, even The Nomads can enjoy the harvest.
Now onto the baking. This is the part where Mr. Nomad takes the kiddos upstairs to supervise bath time, and I get the kitchen to myself. Cobbler is his favorite, so he has alterior motives ;)!

This is my mom's cobbler recipe. I follow recipes about as well as I follow patterns, so bear with me.

Mom's Cobbler:
Step one: I like to start off with clean fresh picked blackberries. I know, I know we can't always have fresh. Frozen works well too. Put the berries into the pan so they are about that far from the top. (Maybe 1 1/2 inches) Lightly coat them with sugar and flour. Approximately 1-2 TBSP of each. So they look like that.

Step two: Mix up the cobbler fixings.
For a 9x13 pan. . .
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter

Mix the dry ingredients first, then cut in the butter. Sprinkle the mixture around on top of the berries. The end result should look something like this.
Put into a preheated 350 degree F oven, and bake approximately 45 minutes. The top should look golden brown.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Keeping your cool. . .any tips??

With Mr. Nomad's new duties here in WA, I'm left to do more solo parenting. More than I've had to in a few years. The Pentagon might not have been our cup of tea, but it was a more "normal" life. Alas, here we are.
The other night as I was putting Bubby down for the night, tired crankiness set in--me not Bubby. Could he have been a better behaved boy. Yes. Reality check: He is a 3 year old, strong headed boy who was just as tired as his momma. As I was trying to put on the jammies, finish up brushing the teeth, etc. . . , he was wiggling around and being a pill. My anger begin to rise, and for some strange reason I began to sing. Not for Bubby, but for me!
Do you know the song that goes like this:
Be patient. Be patient.
Don't be in such a hurry.
When you get, impatient,
you'll only start to worry.
Remember, that God is patient too.
Just think of all the times,
that He must wait for you.
This is a song from one of the Children's Verses CD's we listened to ad nausium when The General was a collicky infant (children's singing voices were soothing to him).
I instantly felt a calmness wash over my body. In that moment, when I turned to God, He helped me be kind and loving.
So when this momma got herself together, instead of scolding and huffing about, I gently tucked Bubby in for the night. It was a good thing. Bubby's being a pill declined, and I was able to kiss him good night and walk away with a smile. In the past it would have been lots of frustration, maybe some yelling, followed up with a solid helping of guilt.
I share this story, not to toot my own horn. Rather, I'd like to share what worked for me on one crazy night in hopes that another momma will spare herself the tantrums I'm known for ;). I also would like to hear from you, my dear readers. Now that we are back to the real Air Force, I'm going to be doing more parenting on my own. Let's face it, I can't say, "Children be kind, follow the example of Christ." And promptly turn around and be short and curt with them when they aren't behaving. What do you do to remain calm in difficult situations? How do you "keep your cool"?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Now this is creative!

God has blessed me with a fair amount of talent, and for that I am truly grateful. I'm not so much a person who gets a vision, and can create something new and wonderful like Miss Shannon over at Goodness Gracious Abiding. . .her cakes are a work of art. As you can tell from my projects, I'm more of a copy cat. I will see something I like, and give it a whirl.

Now the biggest blessing comes in my sense of adventure. I may not have the slightest idea of how to do something, but I love to learn so I'll find a book, a person or whatever and get started. At the end I always add my own touches, I can't seem to simply stick to a pattern. Now I am happy with this level. Nothing to pout and hang my head about. . .or is there. . .

Fast forward a generation to my children. They come up with some of the most amazing things. The General's favorite craft supplies are duct tape and sharpie markers. He used to make tape jerseys of his favorite teams back when he was more into sports, less into Star Wars. . .those were the days ;) I will have more on his Star Wars talent in a couple of days. He's currently in the process of creating a diorama.

Yep, the hockey gloves were custom made out of masking tape. This was one of his starter jerseys, back in 2006. I cannot believe I didn't get pictures of some his more detailed ones. Bad Momma.

Remember how impressed some of you were with my last post? I have to admit I am quite pleased with the rag rug myself. However, I'd have to say what Princess did with the left over curtains has my rug trumped!

One morning she came waltzing into our little TLF (temporary living facility) bedroom with this dress on. Mr. Nomad and I could not believe our eyes. The dress is very pretty, and the matching vest for her favorite frog. . .this girl has talent!

Either Mr. Nomad's genes were chock full of talent, or I have some hidden treasures within me. Laying dormant waiting to be found? Hm mm. . .now there is something for me to think about.

What are your hidden talents? Favorite traits?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Labor of Love

Back in June when we first arrived in Oklahoma, I decided to spend my free time on a little project for Princess's new bedroom. I was inspired by Jody Blue's rag rugs. Step 1: We scoured the local thrift shops for old sheets, curtains and other miscellaneous fabrics. We found 2 yards of floral fabric at WalMart, a set of twin pink flannel sheets, a bunch of old yellow curtains, and a set of twin sheets that were t-shirt material. Total cost for all of the fabric was right around $20.Step 2: Take out all of life's frustrations by ripping the cloth into strips. I ripped the flannel into strips that were about 1/2-3/4 of an inch, while the t-shirt material was more like 1-1 1/2 inches. Most of the fabrics it is much easier to make a tiny cut, and then rip. However, with the t-shirt material it was cutting all the way. As my sister says, "You just have to play with it a bit to figure out the different fabrics, and feel that you are after." As for how you get all of those strips into one nice long "thread", you have two options. Jody sews her ends together. Since I didn't have my machine, I just knotted mine together. I can see that the sewing would give you a cleaner finish, but knotting worked fine. I just have to keep the knots tucked on the under side of the rug. Step 3: Lots and lots, and lots and lots of crocheting! I started with a row of 20 single crochet stitches, and then just started going around and around using a simple double crochet stitch. As I would get to the top of the ovals, I would do the increases. Sometimes I would add as many as 16 stitches, spaced out across the top. Sometimes I wouldn't add any stitches at all. (It was the same advice for the pattern as I received for the ripping. . .play with it. If you would like a longer rug, use more stitches at the beginning. If you want it square, go back and forth with your rows as opposed to round and round in circles.)
Step 4: Enjoy the rug Princess!
This was a great project for Princess and I to do together. It wasn't precise, so either of us could pick it up and work on it without "messing" up the pattern. I love that she has a beautiful rug for her room. Even better, it cost us only $20 and a lot of good memories. I've eyed rugs like this for years, but could never bring myself to spending $100-$200 on them in Pottery Barn.
Thank you Jody Blue for the great idea!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

You say its your birthday. . .

I have officially entered middle age. The other day I celebrated the big 4-0! When my sister-in-law turned 40 she and her close friends hired a band, and had a huge bash. What a great idea I thought. Turning 40 is BIG, you need to celebrate. She quickly reminded me that Mr. Nomad and I really aren't the "hire a band" kind of people. Good point. She suggested a trip. Mr. Nomad and I love to travel. Oh yeah, she was on to something. So the last couple of years Mr. Nomad and I have been looking forward to turning 40. We planned to take a BIG trip and celebrate in style.
Fast forward to August 2009. With my big birthday quickly approaching, I told Mr. Nomad, "I hate to ruin the celebration, but after being a vagabond for the past 4 1/2 months, the LAST thing I want to do is go stay in a hotel somewhere!" (That, and the fact that we just bought a house--and nearly a house full of furniture to go in it.)
So just how did I celebrate the big day. Very simply. It was actually much like any other day in my life. At first glance you could think, how sad to not have a big celebration for such a special birthday. (Well, when you are new to an area it is a bit hard to rustle up a huge party of friends to fawn over you. It comes across as a bit egocentric.) I can't say I wasn't initially a bit let down. Then as I began to ponder my day, God was able to open my eyes to my blessings.

You see, like many other days Mr. Nomad and the kiddos sent me off on a walk while they made me a big pancake breakfast. There were cards from each of them telling me how much they love me, and how glad they are I'm in their life. . .not so out of the ordinary. We are very open about telling each other how much we care. Birthday flowers decorated my table, again not so out of the ordinary. Mr. Nomad knows how much I love the fresh flowers you can get at the Olympia Farmer's Market. So when we find ourselves in the area during flower season, he always stops by and picks me up a beautiful bouquet. Throughout the day, the phone rang with calls from family and good friends, again not out of the ordinary. God has richly blessed me with family and a group of friends so devoted and kind, that I would trust any one of them with raising my children. Yes, my big day wasn't very different than any other day in my life. My 40th birthday was pretty ordinary, but how incredibly blessed that my ordinary life is filled with such love and devotion.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Painting is a lot like parenting.

Okay, you think I've gone mad. My husband does too! I was up Saturday night, or shall I say Sunday morning, until 3AM. No, no one is sick. I was finishing the painting in my kitchen area. As I was working away in the wee hours, the house was nice and quiet. I was able to do LOTS of thinking. Here's the thought that kept popping into my head: Painting is a lot like parenting.
She is nuts. . .I know that's what you're thinking. Just hear me out.
Like parenting, painting requires lots of work. You can pour over sites/books/whatever, to get short cuts and tips for the sure fire perfect outcome. Like parenting, everyone has a bit of advice to share, or a certain style that works great for them. Those tips and tools are very helpful, but what it all comes down to in the end is this: Everyone has their own unique style, and IT IS LOTS OF TIME CONSUMING HARD WORK! There is no easy button in painting or raising a family.

Yes, I did finish the kitchen. The only rooms left are the bathrooms, laundry room and our bedroom. I can see the light at the end of the never ending painting the house tunnel! Oh, does it feel good to type that!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sundays with the Nomads

A few Sundays ago when we came out of mass, the sun was shining brightly. It was a beautiful day. Now if you have lived in the Pacific Northwest for any amount of time, you know to take advantage of these moments of perfect weather. Which is exactly what the Nomads did.Mr. Nomad with our monkeys. That is the Washington State Capital in the background.

Someone at church told us we could find a bridge to watch salmon who are coming in to spawn. This brought us to the Capital Lake area for a little Sunday Stroll. I think there was a bit of a misunderstanding with the directions, we didn't find the salmon.

Which was okay. Our eyes were delighted with the sights of the boardwalk at Percival Landing. I thought this seagull had a great perch. Right up there by the flowers, with the marina in full view.

Then there was this cool statue honoring mothers. Of course I needed a photo with my munchkins. Oh, how fortunate I am to have them. Whenever I see pictures like this, I'm reminded that I am living my dream. As a little girl I always dreamed of being a mommy. Of course I also wanted to play in the NFL and be a lawyer, I'm glad this is the one that panned out. Now, not every Sunday here is bright and beautiful. This Sunday after mass we found ourselves scurrying quickly to the van, in valiant effort to stay dry. We were experiencing the rain for which this area is so well known. Sometimes you have to find beauty and happiness in other places. Last week we enjoyed the beauty of God's creation, and the wonders of man's engineering. This week, our joy came from the creativity of our little Nomads. Without further adieu, I bring to you the Nomad Children's Parade.

This is where they basically empty out their toy bins making various floats. Of course there is music, as the stuffed animals have different bands. Bubby found a broken microphone, and was the lead singer for the numbers. As you can see it was a lovely parade. I won't bore with its entirety (it lasted 1 1/2 hours), but it was a fun way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon.

I'm a little ashamed to admit throughout the parade, I kept thinking, "I cannot believe they have everything out. We just spent two solid days, sorting and organizing. . .UGH!" Fortunately the side of me that celebrates their creativity won out over the neat mommy, and the very best treat came at the end. They actually cleaned everything up, putting all of their treasures back in their respective bins, tubs, boxes and place that has been designated its home. Now that my friends is a beautiful Sunday!