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.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Knitting Project Updates

Here I am with my bag prior to felting, and with my hair prior to the big cut.

Just waiting for the bag to dry so I can attach the handles. (It took about 4-5 days. For the bag to completely dry, not sew on the handles. I mean I'm pokey sometimes, but really!)This would be the after shot. I'm sporting my new do and my felted bag. Isn't it amazing how much the bag shrinks when you felt it?
Last but not least are the socks that were giving me trouble. Thanks to my friend Lorri, I was able to learn all the tricks to making a sock. (She is a very good teacher.) In fact the second one only took a few days, so now I have my very own hand knitted socks. I'm wearing them as I type!
Now if I could just get settled and find some time, I would love to finish the little sweater I'm working on. Until then, I'd better get some sleep.

Promising Connections

Monday night I was invited, or maybe I just crashed, a mom's night out with the Catholic Homeschool group I found on the web. The members are from several different parishes here in the South Sound, but they meet at our church.

It was an enjoyable evening. The ladies were very welcoming, and full of information about homeschooling here in Washington State. There were no other military families, which is a plus and a minus. Plus, they don't move all the time. These ladies have grown up here, so they really know the area. They are a wealth of information. Minus, sometimes non-military people don't "get" our life.

More than that, sometimes they don't like to invest in friendships with us. I hope these families like us, mostly for my children. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have friends. Right now though I'm more concerned about The General and Princess. Not having friends is hard for little people used to walking out the door to a neighborhood filled with children.

The really funny thing is this. When I am out with my children, yes the whopping three of them, I get comments about how many children I have. It seems anything over two is crazy these days. Well, we are by far the smallest family in this new group. Most of the families had around 8 children, with one having 14! Almost all of them had kiddos The General, Princess & Bubby's age. If they like us, we are going to have a really good time! Oh, I hope they like us. . .

Maybe a better phrase would be, "I hope we have enough in common to become great friends." I'm finding the longer we do this moving thing, the less I am enjoying making friends. It's not that I don't enjoy getting to know people. It is just that I am not done with my old friends yet. I long to spend more time with them. I miss the history I have with people we've been stationed with. You know the ones who watch your children, while you are in the hospital? The ones that you cling to in times of crisis? Yes, I miss those people.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The long promised photos

Okay, remember when I said I would post pictures of our traveling across country? I know it has been a few weeks, please keep in mind The Nomads are in transit. Without further adieu, here are the pictures.
Here is the flooded Interstate in North Dakota. It was a little strange to drive through all the water. Notice how it is flat as far as you can see? It is on this trip I realized I am a mountain lover. I know there is beauty in the flat plains, and if I were a farmer I would think I had died and gone to heaven. Fertile soil as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately, though I come from a long line of farmers, I'm more of a gardener. Driving through Eastern North Dakota is so boring and depressing to me. (I think it is a throw back from the time we were stationed at Grand Forks AFB. We were newly weds and I commuted 80 miles one way to work each day. The fertile fields grew old by the second week.)Ahh, we've made it to Western North Dakota. Aren't the Badlands beautiful? It was a great lesson for the kiddos on rock formations. Yes, I am really a crazy homeschool mom who can make a lesson out of anything. When I was bored in ND, we discussed how many different shades of brown we would need to paint a landscape.Can you believe the day before we hit this it was sunny and 70 degrees? From the time we left DC we had overcast skies and dreary brown scenery. Then we hit Montana, and at first we saw green . . .then WHITE! The trees in the mountains looked like a Christmas picture. (Sorry no photos of that, I was busy driving.) I so enjoy driving through Montana, Idaho and Washington State. The mountains are captivating. I keep thinking. . .hmmm. . .what could we do to make a living here???
At last we made it to Washington State. The kiddos were making a run for the park. After two weeks on the road, they were more than happy to trade in seat belts for monkey bars. This is one of the many parks in our new neighborhood. While they really miss their friends, they too love the beauty and nature here in Washington State.
Speaking of that homeschool mom thing. . .I'd better stop blogging and get back to schooling.
Next time I'll take you along on a hike. Oh, it is good to be back in the Pacific Northwest.

Monday, April 20, 2009

God is with us.

Do you ever have those experiences, where you are completely out of your "groove", but you know the Holy Spirit is working in your life? You know God has a plan for you, and if you are patient it will be revealed? Of course it will be just what you needed, not what you planned or wanted, but what you needed.

Our time in Washington DC was a lot like that for me. I would never have chosen to have my husband stuck at the Pentagon for 4 long years, but the growth our family experienced was amazing. Living on base with a ton of other homeschoolers, we were able to provide an environment for our children that was close to perfect. The General and Princess were able to have some autonomy, yet I knew they were safe. They were also able to have lots of friends to play with, without me having to drive to play dates. This was crucial given the fact that traffic in DC can be a nightmare, and we had a baby/toddler.

Well Sunday we went to mass, back at the parish we belonged to last time we were stationed here. We weren't certain we were going back, not because we didn't like it, but because there may be a parish that is closer to our new home. Let's just say, I'm having that feeling again. The one where I'm not sure what the plan is, but God has big plans for us here in Washington State.

Here's what happened. We walked into church and were barely in the building when we ran into two of The General's former classmates. (We sent The General to catholic school here for K & 1st grade.) We exchanged pleasantries, but we needed to get into mass. As we were walking into the sanctuary, I see The General's best buddy from before. They had lost touch, neither of them are big writers (like most little boys, they'd rather play than write letters). During mass I kept recognizing faces, children that had been in The General's class sitting with their families. It was amazing how they had grown up so much, yet were so much the same. After mass I went up to The General's buddy's parents. They were thrilled to learn we were back in town, apparently his buddy had missed The General just as much as The General had missed him.

I won't bore you with the rest of the play by play, but I can tell you this: we ran into more people we knew Sunday than we used to see when we were regular parishioners! The General reconnected with his buddy, and even attended the junior high youth group (yes, they have a group for junior high and one for high school!). He had a blast, and wants to go every week. I even met a home school mom that belongs to the parish homeschool group. Yes, God is at work. Although I'm out of my groove right now, I know I need to be patient and rest in the peace that He alone has the perfect plan for my family.

Again thank you for all of your prayers. See, He is answering them!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quick Update

I thought keeping you up to date while we traveled cross country was going to be easier. We've been able to get Internet access at most of our hotels, but what they don't have is extra helpers or time. It seems as soon as we check in we get everyone in their suits, big kiddos not so much work. Bubby insisting he can, "DO IT MYSELF!" takes a little longer. We swim, quick shower, find a restaurant, feed the kiddos and by the time we are back at the hotel we are getting everyone into bed. Not so much time for blogging :(

We have successfully made it to Idaho! Fortunately the flooding wasn't too bad on the interstate in ND. So we were able to see my sister and her family, a very nice treat indeed. I'll post the pictures of the water across the road soon.

Yesterday and today my driving experience was vastly improved as I was soaking in the beautiful sights of the mountains. I love the mountain views, with the beautiful evergreens. Today there was a special treat. Although the calendar says mid April the mountains looked like a Christmas postcard, with the evergreens covered with a fresh coat of snow.

If all continues to go smoothly we arrive at our final stop tomorrow afternoon. I think we will take the kiddos by our new house. Of course it doesn't look like much now, but at least it gives us all hope of the future this next assignment holds for our family.

Stay tuned for photos updates sometime this weekend.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wish us luck and a canoe.

Tomorrow we resume traveling west. The plan is to stop in Central ND to stay with my other sister and her family. Have you heard the news that ND is having serious flooding problems? Well, when we checked it out tonight the news wasn't so good. The major interstate is flooded, with travel on secondary roads discouraged.

Unfortunately I forgot to pack the canoes as something crucial I might need in the next five months! So wish us luck and say a little prayer that we are able to make it to my sister's house. If the flood waters are too high, we'll just have to go across SD to Montana. Unfortunately we don't have the time to wait for the roads to open. The rivers are not even supposed to crest until later in the week. AGH!

Where's Noah when you need a lift?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

MN: Land of 10,000 Lakes, and even more visits :)

Just kidding, about the visits, but there really are that many lakes. Our days have been full of time spent celebrating the love of Our Lord, as well as cherished moments with our family and friends. It is a bit crazy to try and pack so much into a short time on our drive through Minnesota. However, it is always so nice to reconnect, even if only on a small level with those we love, but do not get to see often.
Some highlights:
*Watching the ice on the lake, and wondering when it will "go out" this year.
*An afternoon with my neices the Chicks and Chicklets (remember them from my prayer request a few months ago?) Whenever I see them and hold them, I'm nearly moved to tears. I am amazed at their progress, and so grateful for the Chicklets lives.
*A visit to my Grandma, she is 92. I'm certain her love and prayers are what brought me many of the blessings I've enjoyed in my life.
*Watching my children play with their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful family that love and support us. It is what gives this military family our roots, our grounding. Even though we float about the country, there is always a place we can call home.
*Princess saying, "But we don't have a home?" when asked about her house.
*Attending a Sung Tenebrae service with my in-laws. I was without children, and able to really prayfully engage in the service without any distractions. It was quite moving.

Tomorrow we are off to see more family. It is our last day here in MN. We head out for ND on Tuesday, one last family stop with my other sister. I can't wait. I haven't seen her since last summer. Bubby and her youngest are partners in crime, it should be a riot!

I'll post photos and more about our excursions when I have time & computer capabilities.

Again I want to thank you all for the prayers for safe travel and a smooth moving transition. My family is doing well, and I know God is keeping us in the palm of His hand.

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A visit with my sister. . .

We made it to Wisconsin. We are now staying with my sister Jody, a good time is being had by all. She has fed us delicious food, and yes Randi we missed you this morning when we had the yummy blueberry muffins your mom makes every time we come. Princess has been crafting with Auntie, The General is out jamming on the drums with his cousins, and Bubby doesn't know what to do with all of the loving he is getting. He can boss everyone around, and they think he is adorable.
Well, I've gotta run. I don't get to see my sister very often. I need to make the most of our visit.

A visit with the Lincoln family

The visit to Abraham Lincoln's Presidential Museum was definitely worth the little detour on our move. Here we are with the manikins of the Lincoln family. We spent two days driving, and we were right back at the White House! HA HA! (From left to right: Me, Bubby in red, Tad in blue, Robert, Mary Todd Lincoln, Princess holding her Bitty Baby, Willie in blue, and The General. Abe and my honey are standing in the back.) They are so life like it is amazing. Left: The General and Princess pose with young Abe. They have the museum set up in two "journeys". One is of Lincoln's younger years, up to the White House Years. The second journey is from the time he was elected until he laid in state at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield. Throughout those "journeys" they have the life-like manikins depicting significant scenes. They did a fabulous job of telling his story, and also teaching history. I know the thing I found most surprising when The General, Princess and I were studying Lincoln this year is how controversial he was as a president.
Today, we love Lincoln and herald him as one of the greatest presidents ever. However, in his day he was not well liked. He and poor Mary Todd Lincoln had to put up with A LOT of criticism. The other thing that really moved me is the tragedy and loss the Lincolns experienced. Imagine Mary, she lost 3 of her 4 children and had her husband assassinated. What a burden of grief she must have endured.
Along with the "journey" displays, there were two very well done theatre experiences. One was called the Ghosts of Lincoln. It explained the importance of the Presidential Museum, and how we are still learning about the past. This show was amazing, with unbelievable special effects. There is only one actor and a chair on the stage, but it looks like a full library, and then a battle field. The big kiddos went twice just to figure it out. Incredible!
The other show is called Lincoln's Eyes. This was also a first class presentation. They did a great job of explaining Lincoln, his life and the difficulties he had to overcome. Whenever I see pictures of Lincoln at the end of his life, I cannot believe how much he aged during the Civil War. He goes from being a middle aged man, to a very worn out looking man. I wonder if I would ever give that much of my family and myself to this country that I love.

Now, a very cool part of this fabulous museum was Mrs. Lincoln's Attic. It was a hand's on play area for children. Bubby had a ball here. In fact he spent most of the day here, which worked out beautifully. We took turns supervising the toddler, while the other adult took the big kiddos out exploring and learning in the rest of the museum. They thought of everything here!
Unfortunately it was cold and windy, and we didn't pack for winter. Therefore we stayed inside the museum, without a lot of walking around the city checking out everything Lincoln. If you visit, they have tours of his home, his grave, his law office, the state capitol and the train station. For us, the museum was enough. We have studied Lincoln pretty thoroughly, and seen many exhibits in DC. I figured we could skip freezing to death, and leave with a good feeling. :o) I can be pretty relentless when it comes to field trips, but I'm not heartless!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Third Day Rocks

I forgot to mention, we hit a Third Day concert before leaving DC. It was awesome!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hit the road Jack!

Well, we've hit the road and are on our way across country to our next duty station, McChord AFB, WA.

First of all thank you for all of the prayers and acts of kindness. Our last week in DC went smoothly. We were blessed with great packers, movers and our check out of base housing went well. It was another reminder God takes care of us, even in the little things. On loading day the skies were overcast all day, as the last boxes went on the truck the rain came down. Perfect timing.

Of course none of this would have gone so nicely if we did not have our wonderful neighbors. It was such a blessing to just let the big kiddos take Bubby off to the park to play, then one of them would come back alone. I'd ask, "Where is your little brother?" The reply would be, "Oh, he's playing with friends!" Yes, all the neighborhood moms & dads joined together to help watch our children, feed us delicious meals, and over all share their love. It really made a stressful week doable. I will be forever grateful to our Military Family. So to all of my ghetto fabulous neighbors, we love you and thank you more than words can say! God was so good to bless us with you the past few years.

On to our travels. . . we had a nice send off from DC with the cherry blossoms being at their peak. The Tidal Basin was beautiful as we drove by on our way out of town. The kiddos added a couple of states to their list yesterday, as we made our way through the mountains of West Virginia and into Ohio. Despite the howling winds yesterday, we have made good time. They have done a great job traveling, and we've made it to Springfield, IL. We plan to do some touring tomorrow. It will be nice to have a break from the driving for a day, and you know what a sucker I am for a good home schooling field trip!

Oh, one little downside. While fueling up in the backwoods of West Virginia, a faulty gas pump spewed gas all over my pants and shoes. Anyone have any tips for getting gas out of cotton cloth and leather shoes--while traveling without a covered open space to air them out? Jody, you may be getting me with stinky clothes. . . sorry. My kids are cute though, that should make up so some of it!

Until next time,