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, March 30, 2009

Somebody's Knockin'. . .

That would be the packers. Yes, the day has arrived. . . and yes, it still doesn't seem real. I don't know if it is because we've been here so long. . .or I thought the Air Force would never let my husband out of the Pentagon . . . or what it is that makes this move so surreal. I knew it was coming. I went out to Washington State and bought a new house, I've now been to several farewells, but it is not registering with my brain. Maybe after the packers have our house torn apart today??

Notice how I skimmed over the farewells? It's a little coping technique I've mastered through our many moves over the years. I don't let myself "feel" the goodbyes until we're gone. Crying and blubbering all over the place is so embarrassing. I mean really, who looks good in the ugly cry? So I wait until I'm safely down the road to fall apart in the privacy of my family. Oh, gotta run. Hitting too close to home. Might cry, must go.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reunited With an Old Friend

Well the non-temporary storage was delivered today.

Our base house is really small. When we moved here 3 years ago we had to put some of our things into storage. Whenever I thought of our stuff in storage, I only remembered my favorite living room furniture. It's dated, but oh so comfortable. I spent 2 months on bed rest during my first preganancy, so the couch and I have history. I was so excited to see it in good condition when they unwrapped it today. It does have a bit of a funky plastic smell from being wrapped up for 3 years, but I'm sure a good cleaning and airing out will solve the problem.

Now the strangest thing happened. They brought in the couch, then the love seat, next the chair, and then they just kept bringing boxes off the truck. I swear it must have multiplied over the years. Are storage boxes like rabbits?? I honestly did not remember putting that many things in storage. Then again I was only a few weeks post-partum when they packed us out last time.

So now we have plenty of seating in our living room. No room to walk around, but plenty of seating. I may even have to take a quick nap on the couch before the packers show up on Monday. It wouldn't be that I was lazy, or shirking my moving responsiblities. It would be for old times sake. I'd hate my good friend the comfy couch to feel slighted.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Hair Style???

I'm going in for a hair cut and color on Friday. I've had pretty much the same look now for over a year. Which is really a long time for me. I like to change things up. The main problem is I have really thin, fine hair, so I am limited in my options. My mother-in-law suggested I try this look. What do you think? Other suggestions?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Next stop. . .National Portrait Gallery

Doesn't The General look thrilled to be on another field trip? Since this was a repeat visit, he initially wasn't too happy. It is such a beautiful building, and last time we barely scratched the surface of this gem. I had to come back one last time.

JFK's portrait is unlike any other. As the story goes, he sat for the artist on seven different occasions. This was what she came up with. As president he was a very busy man, and didn't take time for events like this often. It was because this artist was so quick that he allowed her to do his portrait. (At least that's what the docent tour lady told me :) I found this photo of Johnson's swearing in on Air Force One very moving. The look on Jackie's face is haunting. In person, you can see the dark spots of blood still on her jacket.

These are the latest Portraits to arrive at the gallery. It is interesting that George W. looks so casual. The rest of the Presidents have their portraits done with them in either a suit or a military uniform. I love the way Laura is reading a book, it really captures the things that are important to her.

We brought along sketch pads for the kiddos. Princess had a great time sketching this statue of Eve in the Garden of Eden. Bubby also enjoying drawing in his notepad. It really was a great help keeping him occupied while the rest of us explored. This was in the special Lincoln area. The General was checking out the various photos and displays while Princess and I practiced the Waltz steps they had on the floor. Did you know that Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Ball was held in this building?

These photos were taken on the fourth floor. Can you believe the beauty in the architecture? From the Corinthian Pillars to the mosaics on the floor, it is simply breathtaking. Standing there I could picture women in big beautiful dresses twirling round and round.

This city has so many fabulous sites, I cannot imagine trying to squeeze it all into a vacation. I feel so incredibly blessed that we have had the past 4 years to take it all in.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Goodbye Kennedy Center, Thanks for the Memories

As we are quickly approaching our move date, we find ourselves saying goodbye to some of our favorite places. Last week we attended our last performance at the Kennedy Center. While I won't miss the DC traffic, this is definitely one of the DC perks I will long for when I find myself on the other side of the country. Over the past 3 1/2 years we have been fortunate to experience some amazing cultural performances. Watching Richard Thomas (John Boy from the Waltons) perform in the reading of The Trumpeter Swan last December was probably my all time favorite. The Kennedy Center has such wonderful programs for children. The talent is top notch, with great sets and costumes. Many times the themes are historical or educational. With affordable tickets, you cannot top their programs for children and the arts. Princess, The General, two of our neighbors, and the famous Kennedy bust. Since this was our last visit, I made the kiddos pose and do the whole tourist thing.
Left: Bubby, a friend, and Princess in front of wedding gowns from different cultures.
Right: Princess and her friend having fun with the photo shoot. This is on the top floor of the Kennedy Center. As you can see, the architecture is more contemporary than most DC sites. It is beautiful, but with more sleek lines and a modern feel.

The gang out on the terrace of The Kennedy Center. You can walk all the way around, with views of most major landmarks. It was a nice sunny day, so you'll have to look closely in the backgrounds. Above you can see the Jefferson Memorial on the left, with the Lincoln Memorial on the right.

Over The General's head is The National Cathedral. On the far right of the picture is the very edge of the Water Gate Hotel.
The General and Bubby are in a life size kaleidoscope. It was part of a special artist series they had on display. Can you see why I am going to miss this place so much??? Thanks for the memories Kennedy Center. I only hope these treasures will be locked away in my children's hearts forever.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Three is a Magic Number

Happy Birthday Bubby!! Cake, it is always the best part. His was my interpretation of Radiator Springs. I went on-line for inspiration, but all they had were examples from crazy mothers who use fondant. What happened to those down to earth mommies that use regular old stuff you get at the commissary? I went over to Shannon's Cake School, but she hadn't unpacked yet. . . Alas, I pulled out every Cars book in the house. Princess and I scoured the pages for Radiator Springs inspiration. It turned out pretty cute.
This was Bubby's 3rd Birthday, he is our 3rd child. Generally 3 is an odd number, and doesn't really fit. In this case, it is the perfect number. Bubby is the completion to our family. There are 6 years between Princess and Bubby, many of those years were spent in deep prayer. I kept saying, "Oh we have two beautiful, healthy children. This is manageable. We need to be done." However, God had placed this little boy on my heart. Each time I was certain we were finished with babies, I would feel this tugging at my heart. For some reason I kept feeling like there was one more baby for us. I'm so glad I finally listened to God's calling. Bubby does give me a run for my money, but oh is that boy sweet.
Here he is with a couple of his best friends, the little neighbors. They were playing pin the tire on Doc Hudson. It was a Cars party. This was Bubby's first party with his own little friends. Do you like the decorations? He did the coloring himself. He and his friends had such a great time. Princess came up with a few fun games, but mostly they just enjoyed playing together. It was a fun day. Yes, three is a magic number.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bubby's 1st Trip to the Dentist

Here he is with his trusty old bear, Corduroy. For some strange reason Bubby was terrified about going to the dentist. It was very odd, as we've only had great experiences. He has accompanied us to all of the big kiddos appointments, so it wasn't some big unknown. In fact, Princess and The General love going to the dentist. They get excited about the visit to the treasure chest, the new toothbrush with the cute little tube of toothpaste. . .and if it is a really good dentist, they even have FLOSS!

In preparation we read Little Bill's Visit to the Dentist, which was quite helpful. He liked the part in the story when Little Bill helps a little girl who is scared by pretending to be a bear dentist. So we packed up Corduroy and headed out for Dr. Nelson's office. (Yes, I am giving him advertising. He is the greatest dentist we've ever had. With all of our moving we have seen quite a few.) At the office the dental assistants were fabulous, and as you can see by the photo to the right, Bubby was a fantastic patient. It was another no cavity visit, YIPPEE! I am hoping they have inherited their father's great teeth, so far so good.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another day, another field trip.

This time we hit the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum (the one on the Mall downtown).

Bubby, J., The General, Princess & V. at the Imax where we watched The Sun 3-D. The kiddos thought the movie was good, the moms were less than impressed. We had been studying Astronomy together last semester, so we were hoping it would be a nice completion to our studies. It did have some cool graphics that showed the concepts of solar wind, as well as the effects of space weather on the earth. I guess I was hoping for more facts about the sun. Another bummer, 2 year-olds do not get in free. I'm really hoping Bubby got something out of his $7 Imax experience.
The General, Bubby, V., and Princess pose with an astronaut suit.

Left: The kiddos watch themselves on the heat sensor screen. Right: J. & The General playing with some of the hands on experiments. See the floating ball? Well, the clever boys figured out they could combine the two experiments: floating ball vs. vacuum hose. . .boy did they have fun!

Princess, V. & J. takes turns flyinig the plane. The wing flaps are all working, so they can actually see how the plane operates.

V. & Princess are checking out more of the exhibits. This hands on area is lots of fun, and the various physics concepts are nicely explained.

This museum is always a favorite for kiddos and adults alike. There are so many fun things to see and do, it takes a day to get through all portions of the museum. There are some historical airplanes and space items here, but if you really want to see the big planes up close you need to head out to the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly (Near Dulles Airport). It is also a Smithsonsian Air & Space Museum, they just ran out of room for the big planes downtown. I personally prefer the hands on more science stuff downtown, but my husband and other airplane lovers really enjoy going out to Chantilly.

A highlight of the Air & Space on the Mall is they have food options. You can go with McDonald's, Boston Market or Donatos Pizzeria. I voted for the pizza. . .it was YUMMY!

Monday, March 16, 2009

American History Museum-Something for Everyone

Another stop on the touring circuit was the Smithsonian's American History Museum. There was so much to see, we had to make it a two trip visit. The first day we did more of the pop culture and American wars sections. The history of our country's wars is done very well, with great interactive exhibits that even kept Bubby happy. The pop culture was just fun. It takes you down memory lane, and you have a lot of "remember when" moments. The gang in front of a Civil War era ambulance. Ones like these were used by the Red Cross, which Clara Barton started.

Even toddlers can have those "remember when" moments. Here Bubby is recalling the fun he and I had on the Dumbo ride at Disney World.

The General is all about Star Wars, so this was a treat.

My niece loves the Wizard of Oz, so she was quite pleased to set her eyes on Dorothy's ruby red slippers.

On the next visit we checked out the following areas: Presidential, Science & Technology, and of course Old Glory-The Star Spangled Banner. The very flag that was flown over Fort McHenry in the Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812. This is definitely worth a stop for the flag alone. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed. The flag is too fragile, the exhibit is dimly lit to help in the preservation.

To the left Princess is standing next to a chess set used by one of the first families in the White House. To the right The General is watching one of the video clips, which is one of his favorite learning mediums. It is quite insightful to observe how each child takes in the different exhibits.

Princess tries out the Presidential podium. These interactive stations are a life saver for active boys like Bubby. It keeps him occupied while The General, Princess and I explore and learn.

Here Bubby is playing in the hands on portion of the museum. This is a new section of technology and science. They had experiments for the big kiddos and this play area for toddlers. I think they all had a great time.

Tips for touring: As always, I recommend visiting DC in the fall (nice weather, less people). Summer is too hot, and starting in the spring all of the schools start their field trips. . .again TOO CROWDED! If you must come during peak periods, get there first thing in the morning.
There are little restaurants in the museums, but they can be pricey. Most allow you to bring in a bag lunch, which can save you money.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

He thirsts. . .

Today Bubby was so incredibly precious during mass. The gospel reading was about Jesus asking the Samaritan woman for a drink of water. Well, Bubby thought that drink sounded awfully good, and kept asking us for some of that water. He wanted to go right out and get some water from that "can".
On the surface it is a very adorable toddler story, however, it reminds me how much he hears and takes in. Yes, his interpretation is quite literal now. . . I hope when he is older he will still be influenced by the word of God, and thirst for the living water Christ offers us.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scenes from Jefferson's Memorial

This is one of my favorite of the monuments and memorials sprinkled about Washington, D.C. It is not directly on the mall, so many times it isn't as crowded as the others. It overlooks the tidal basin, and during cherry blossom season, it is breath taking. (This is a photo we took last year.)

Make sure to stop by the visitor center in the basement. It has some interesting displays and videos playing. Always seek out the park rangers, they are a wealth of information. They are thrilled to find people who are interested in learning about history, not simply there for a photo (they especially love children who ask good history questions, and reward said children with FREE stuff :). You can obtain a little National Park Visitor booklet from them, and each time you visit a different site they will stamp that site into your booklet. This can be fun for the kiddos. . .now if only I could remember those booklets when we go touring!

The General, Princess and their cousin while she was visiting us a few weeks ago.

Bubby & I at the foot of the monument. That is the tidal basin, with the Washington Monument (AKA the white crayon-at least that's what the neighborhood kiddos call it :) in the background.

A favorite quote that is engraved on the wall. The irony is Jefferson never freed his slaves.
Bubby & I walking around the statue of Jefferson. I was trying to keep him quiet, as he was not happy to be in the stroller--punishment for running off. Sometimes it is hard to be a little boy. Sometimes it is even harder to be the mommy of a little boy touring :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Guess what I am???

Here are the pieces to one of my latest projects (prior to felting and being assembled ). Do you know what it is???

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Keeghan. . .we miss you.

To remember Keeghan on what would be his 13th Birthday, I asked his mom to write something for my blog.

Keeghan Barry was a 12-year-old boy who wanted nothing more than to grow up and find a cure for cancer. Keeghan was taken from this life on August 31, 2008 by brain cancer. In an effort to continue his dream, his parents are trying to raise money for cancer research, as well as to help other families still on this journey with pediatric cancer, through Keeghan’s Cell by Cell Fund.

Donations to the Fund can be made in two ways. First, by mailing donations directly to Keeghan’s Cell by Cell Fund, c/o Bank of America, 185 Chappie James Blvd., Bldg 4570, Bolling AFB, DC 20032. Second, through the purchase of jewelry made by Keeghan’s mom, Shannon, at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5036403. In memory of Keeghan on what would have been his 13th birthday, 100% of all jewelry sales in the month of March will go to the Fund.

Please feel free to copy and post Keeghan's story on your own blog, or link back to this site. If you would like to know more about Keeghan and his family you can visit them at http://www.skeleigh.com/ .

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Off the beaten path, but worth the visit!

A visit to The Basilica of The National Shrine of The Immaculate Conception.

My sister-in-law and niece were here a few weeks ago for a visit. We visited the National Shrine for Sunday Mass, what a treat. I love this place, it is so incredibly beautiful. All of the church history depicted in the mosaics are wonderful lessons for the big kiddos, and they really keep Bubby busy during mass.

The creation story with Adam and Eve are his favorite. I know it is a little hard to see, but if you look closely you can see the animals all around them. He enjoys finding the giraffe, the fish, and the snake is always a favorite.
Below are just some random shots of the various mosaics. Aren't they amazing?

The depiction of Pentecost was the final mosaic in a series that portrayed the various stages of the Passion of Christ.

There are many small chapels throughout the shrine, this one was donated by the Hope family in memory of their daughter. The art work for this chapel is completely different. It is like pieces of sculpture that are floating. Very beautiful.

Left: Princess taking a moment for prayer.

Right: Princess and her cousin standing next to the statue of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. (She is a Native American saint. Google her, her story is very interesting)

The National Shrine is located in the NE portion of Washington, DC, and is a little off the beaten path. Most of the tourist head to the National Cathedral when they are visiting DC, which is also very beautiful. However, I would highly recommend a visit to the Shrine.