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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.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Discovery Trail: The Comache National Museum & Cultural Center

Next stop on the trail was the Comanche National Museum & Cultural Center. Our friend's daughter loves horses, so she was thrilled to see this right outside the center.
The Comanche people are descendants of the Native People of the Pacific Northwest. Native Americans came across the Bering Strait (think Russia to Alaska), and continued to migrate south down the North American Continent. Horses were introduced by the Spanish explorers, and the Comanche people took horse riding to a whole new level. Horses became invaluable in their culture of following the buffalo for their livelihood. Above the gang is posed in front of a little tee pee. The Comanche, like other plains people, used for shelter. The kiddos had a great time playing in and around the tee pee. They had little hidden tools for them to discover and play with.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by this little museum in Lawton, OK. Not to be a snob, but we have just relocated from Washington DC. DC, home of some of the best museums in the world. We have been utterly and completely spoiled the past few years. (If you are interested in seeing some of those sights, feel free to browse through my older posts under tourism. I have several from our DC field trips.)

Now this was a small museum, but what it lacked in size it made up in taste and thoughtfulness of the displays. (I'm sorry I don't have more photos. Since most of the exhibits were Comanche art, they didn't allow any photos other than in front of the tee pee.) I think my favorite part was the emphasis on how Comanche people have played an important part in our American history. They had lots of photos and displays of uniforms from soldiers and sailors.

One highlight was the Code Talkers. During WWII our success was in part to these Code Talkers. They would use their native tongue to send messages. The Germans and the Japanese were never able to break the code, so many strategic plans were able to get through to the different fronts.

Another area that touched my heart, was the artwork. Not only was it absolutely beautiful, but the content was very thought provoking. Not all, but a few of the pieces depicted a meshing of traditional native and Christian values. In one beautiful headdress, there was a Rosary wound into the feathers. I often wonder if things could have been so much different, so much better if more of the early missionaries had taken the time to learn the native traditions.

I know hindsight is 20/20, and I don't mean to judge harshly, but I love the story of Juan Diego. If you are unfamiliar with this Saint, click here to learn more. Juan realized the truth. You don't have to abandon your native ways to serve Christ.

So if you find yourself in Lawton, OK stop by and check it out. It doesn't take long, it's FREE, and the staff were very friendly. In fact the kiddos were over the moon at this stop. The little ladies not only stamped their cards, they round up several little trinkets for the kiddos to take home.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Proud to be a Pear?

Okay, I was wasting time tonight (said with head hung low, cheeks blushing). Mr. Nomad is off at work, and the kiddos were outside playing. The perfect time to surf the web, and follow all of those interesting bloggy trails.

As I was clicking away, I found myself here at the Cardigan Empire. Someone along my mad clicking spree was raving about the help she received from the Empress herself, Reachel Bagley. Being the somewhat vain woman that I am, I thought to myself, "Hey, this could be an interesting rabbit trail to follow."

So I click on over to Cardigan Empire. Under the heading "The Body Types" I find cute little fruit and vegetable icons on the side bar, with sub-headings like;"soft delicious center" over an amazing apple, "Proud to be a Pear" over a very cute and yellow pear--you get the idea. I scroll down and find, "mythical Curves" over an hourglass.

Now, I don't want to sound full of myself. But I've kinda always thought of myself as the hour glass. (I'm curvy) Of course hind sight is 20/20, just stick with me here. So I click on the hour glass. Here it asks me to take my measurements. Oh, this is too easy. I have my measurements down already. (I've been working out this summer, and instead of using a scale, I've always used my measurements to gauge my success or failures. . .whatever the case may be.) They start talking about the body ratios, and it quickly becomes very clear, an hourglass I am not.

Back to the list. Hmm. . . I know I'm not the apple, I definitely have a waist. No to the lean celery-like I said, I'm a curvy girl. I guess . . I'll try. . . the pear?

I click the pear, and began reading. WHAT? I AM A PEAR? How can this be? I've always thought pears had a prominent bottom? (No offense to prominently bottomed girls.) As I read on, and began to digest this new found label, it all becomes very clear. I am indeed a pear. I should have realized this, I am a hippy girl--with a small bossum--after all.

I know you may say, "Yeah, what hips?" I have a confession. Being fully aware of my hippy issues, I am careful not to highlight that area. In fact Mr. Nomad is well versed in the, "do these jeans make my butt look big?" question. If pants make me look too wide, I don't buy them. I may miss out on the latest trends, but I don't want to advertise my weakest point.

Which is the whole point of Ms. Bagley's body types in the first place. In a nutshell, she wisely points out that we need to dress the body we are given. Not the body we dream of, or want to work for. But the one that is looking back at you in the mirror today.

So instead of lamenting over the fact that I will never look good in those adorable skirts with the fun patterns, and all those pleats. You know the ones, you wear them with a fitted shirt. Well, I need to accentuate the positive. Let the pattern be on my upper body instead of my hiney.

So after a quick morale call to my sister, Jody Blue and the last hour or so typing away. I think I am finally okay with my new found label. I am a Pear, and I'm okay with that.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ahh, the followers are back.

No, I'm not a complete narcissist. However, I do enjoy the little box of people "Along for the Adventure." I'm not sure why y'all were missing the past few days. Whenever I checked my blog, the followers box was empty. You see, I'm also along for your adventures. When my followers box was missing, I wasn't able to simply click on your pictures to check out life in your blog world. So, welcome back. I sure did miss you.


Okay, it has been awhile since I've shared Bubby's funny/sweet words. I know, I know, not everyone may love to hear me gush about my boy. But then again, it is my blog. So you'll just have to play along. ;)

First and foremost, he's been cracking us up with his southern drawl. He likes to stay in "hoe-tells" and if he agrees he says, "yea-as". It appears he has lost the ability to simply stick to one syllable, everything needs at least two. We're not quite sure how this has happened. You see, we live on the Air Force Base. The friends we've spent the most time with are from Wisconsin and Puerto Rico, yet I sense no cheese head or Spanish coming. Can you get an accent just from over hearing conversations at WalMart? Maybe it is inherit, he was conceived in the South.

Bubby Funny #2: Whenever the big kiddos get frustrated with Bubby, I tell them to remember he is only 3. So when I'm getting frustrated, he'll look at me with those little eyes and say, "but I'm 3." He's been doing this number since he was 2, so it has lost a bit of it's charm. The other day though, he upped the ante. When Mr. Nomad was scolding him, Bubby looked at his daddy and declared, "but Daddy, you prayed for me for sooo long."

Bubby Sweet: The other day I kissed his forehead as he was running out the door to ride his bike. He stopped at the door, smiled, and as he wildly rubbed his head, he declared, "I'm rubbing it in, right into my heart."

This was his first year attending Story Time at the Library. Here he is with Gerald the Giraffe. We've had so much fun going off to his little classes. Just Mommy & Bubby. We listen to the stories, enjoy crafting, and then look at the books. I think he is finally getting the concept of "borrowing" the books. It wasn't so pretty the first night we started bedtime stories and his new favorite was back on the shelves at the library.

Which takes me to Bubby Funny #3: At our last library class, it was all about music. They had a lady there playing the violin. Bubby leans over and says, "Hey, do I get to bring that violin home with me?" I mean why wouldn't they give it to him? Each time he visits he hears a story, and then they send him off with some fun treasure. He got to keep Gerald, didn't he?

As I'm quietly explaining that he DOES NOT get the violin, the lady starts asking for requests. The sweet preschool set ask for, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Michael Row Your Boat Ashore. This is when Bubby leans over and whispers in my ear, "Mommy, can she do the Big Rock Song?" In this moment it is abundantly clear that Bubby is my third child. He is a little brother to a preteen. Instead of Jesus Loves Me, he rocks it with Toby Mac and the likes.

Oh, that Bubby, he's so funny.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Discovery Trail: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

The Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce have a fun little program this summer. They call it Discovery Trail: Where West Meets Wild! They have six stops, and you get a free souvenir at each location. Talk about a motivator for my kiddos.
Over the course of the past two months, we've enjoyed visiting the sites, so over the next few days I will be blogging about our Oklahoma Adventures.Our first stop on the Discovery Trail: The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Here the kiddos are out in front of the Visitor's Center. After my time in DC, I find I have more of an appreciation for the wide open range. Isn't it beautiful?
The gang's all here, checking out the bison. They have an informational video about the founding of the refuge, which is home to bison, elk, Texas Longhorns, and many, many other interesting creatures.
Princess & Bubby pointing out the bison/elk/longhorn mosaic mural. I thought it was very cool.
Bubby in front of a very cool pond habitat. Look closely and you can see a fish and beaver in the water. Isn't it great how they have all the different animals? I love how they point out the interconnected nature of habitats. The center was well done, and lots of fun. You know how I love a good field trip, and this was definitely one of them. (I'm also very fond of nature, so it was a perfect fit.)
Our next stop was Scott Mountain, which was the kiddos favorite stop. Bubby loved climbing all over the rocks and Princess and The General were chasing a lizard.
Isn't it cute? The General is pretty quick, but the lizard won out in the end. They must have stalked that poor lizard for half an hour. Just when they would grab it, the lizard would scramble over their fingers and out of reach again. (No lizards were harmed in this outing.)
Then it was onto Prairie Dog Town, which turned out to be a rather frustrating event. All over the refuge they have signs asking people to please not feed the wild life. At Prairie Dog Town they were very detailed about the risks of feeding the animals (most of which were harmful to the animals.) So I was a little put out to see nearly all the park visitors feeding the prairie dogs nasty white bread. Maybe they are just too stupid, and they couldn't read the gazillion signs which said: DO NOT FEED THE PRAIRIE DOGS! It was especially fun explaining to Bubby the importance of following the rules, even if EVERYONE else is breaking them.
As you can see, this is a pet peeve of mine. Time and time again Mr. Nomad and I are saddened to see trash and rude people at our nation's National Parks. We wonder, what happened to common sense and good manners? Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest. . .back to the refuge.
We saw a herd of bison. The seed stock from this herd came from the New York City Zoo. At the Visitor Center they had the time sheets from the gentleman who escorted the bison from New York City to Cache, OK. They shipped them in on a train in the early 1900's.
Here are the Texas Longhorns. This is probably one of the few herds with pure longhorn bloodlines. At the refuge they try to preserve different species on the open range. They have had great success with the bison, elk and longhorns. We've been over there at least three times now, and we have yet to spot an elk. . . bummer. I'll just have to be satisfied with the ones we saw at the Grand Canyon.
Mr. Nomad and Bubby checking out all the exploring we have left to do.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The County Fair (Nomad Version)

While we were in Iowa, the Mills County Fair was going on. My sister, Jody Blue, was blogging away about her visits to her county fair. Doesn't it look so educational, and like so much fun. Yea, I thought so too. So I asked my kiddos if they would like to go. Bubby asked, "will there be lions and tigers there?"

At that moment I realized my children have seen more zoo animals than those of the domestic type, which is really weird for me. I was raised in a small town. Although my dad wasn't a farmer, all of my uncles and aunts lived on farms. As a child a favorite activity for my cousin and I was walking through the cow poo and mud up to our knees. Then we would put lime (you know that white chalky stuff) over it, and wow did we look great with our go-go boots. Hey, don't laugh. They were all the rage in the 70's. I digressed.

Anywho, I decided it would be a great idea to take my children to the county fair. We started with the rabbits and chickens. Things seemed to be going well, and we then we hit the pig barn. I knew then this was not the grand experience I had dreamed about. You see, we arrived just as they were tattooing the pigs. You know, so they can identify them when they go off to market. Yea, this is where The General (who is quite a tender hearted animal lover) stopped having fun. I'm not sure how he found out that the piggies don't go home, but he was not happy. For a moment I thought we were going to have a Free Willy moment, only with all the county fair pigs.
You know me, I wasn't going to let that get us down. I explained to The General our need for protein, and also pointed out his only option was to become a vegetarian (the only vegetable the boy eats are raw carrots, under duress). He came back with, "well, I'll just be a clemetinarian." Sure, that sounds healthy.

Okay, we're hungry we'll just break for lunch. We can regroup, refocus and get back to having fun. Right? Yea, right! With The General pouting behind, I arrived at the food area. This is where Bubby decided to loose his mind. I want this, no, not that. Basically he found that place deep inside that says, "whatever the lady suggests, I'm doing the opposite. AND, even IF she gives me exactly what I want. . .I'm changing my mind!" You know this special place, all of us mothers have been there.

Next up on the fair fun docket, my only child niece decides to give her momma a little taste of the fun Auntie Tami was experiencing. What, majority rules?? Screw that, I want to do what I want to do. . .NOW!

We did manage to get through the cattle without any further problems. (The General did not realize the beef cattle were in the same boat as the pigs.) Then we quickly checked out the 4-H non-animal projects. Bubby was quite put out when a little old lady scolded him for trying out the artsy fishing rod. By this time he was ready for a nap (which he generally doesn't take) and so was I. We headed home, and did just that.

How pathetic. I can tackle the metro, tour all over DC with my children. I did Philly when Bubby was 6 weeks old, stopping every couple hours to nurse, without Mr. Nomad. Yet the Mills County Fair kicked my butt.

Sorry I have no pictures to capture this memorable day. I forgot the camera in Oklahoma. Maybe that is for the best.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We had a lovely time turns into ponderings of military life.

Oh, what a nice time we had in Iowa with our family. The trip was everything we hoped for, and more. The kiddos swam and played til their hearts were content (what we had hoped for), and I was able to get out for some furniture shopping (and more). I will write more about the kiddos activities tomorrow.

Remember how I said my sister-in-law spoils the children? Well this time she spoiled me! She lined up a babysitter, and took me into Omaha. First we had a delicious lunch at Jam's (YUMMY!!), then it was on to The Nebraska Furniture Mart (WOW!). This furniture store is the biggest one in the nation, it is like Costco on steroids. Were we successful? Let's just say we may have single handedly pulled the country out of the recession (HA HA!). At least that's how my poor money saver husband is feeling.

After our first trip there, I was feeling very greedy and doubting my need for so much "stuff". Then I really started to think about the whole thing. Hmm, what can I cut out? Am I being excessive? Well, the bed. . .yep we need that. Oh yea, we do need a chair for Bubby. He's a huge 3 year-old, and the high chair is just not going to cut it much longer. As I continued on the list, feeling the need to justify spending money. It hit me. The light bulb went off. I realized that finally after 5 years of "temporary" living, the time has come.

You see, since we left Washington State 5 years ago, we've been in transit. First we moved 3 times in two years, then for 3 years we were jammed in a little base house in DC. So for the past five years, I've been saying, "when we move we can buy that." I've felt a little like a visitor in my own home since then.

I find this is the dance of military living. You are always trying to juggle the "oh it can wait until the next assignment" with "this is our life, we need to enjoy it." As I write this, it is hitting me again. We are arriving back at a spot that will hopefully feel like home. The saving and waiting period are coming to a close. I'm so excited to think we are going "home". Not to just any old place, this will be our home.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And. . .we're OFF!

What do you do when the temperatures are well over 100 degrees for days on end, with no relief in sight? Travel north, of course. Today the kiddos and I are heading north to visit with Mr. Nomad's sister in Iowa.

The trip couldn't come at a better time. Like I said, it has been HOT here. We've pretty much been holed up in the TLF (temporary living facility) except for a few trips to the pool. Bubby is getting restless, so a change of venue will be good for both he and his mommy. The other major factor: our friends are all out of town. . .GASP. Can you believe the audacity to leave us here in Altus, ALONE!

Seriously though, we are all excited to spend a week at Auntie's house. She spoils the kiddos, and is lots of fun. Princess LOVES visiting, as she and her cousin are like sisters. They get to match their outfits and do all sorts of girly stuff.

I'm excited because we are going to do some shopping for our new house. This is the sister-in-law who traveled with me to WA to pick out the decor for our house. She is fabulous at decorating, so I can't wait to get out there and see what our options are. Now, let's just hope it isn't all way over my budget!

Please pray for safe travel, and I'll keep you posted on our journey. . .if I have Internet access that is.

Have a great week everyone. I hope this finds you all enjoying your summer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mountains in Oklahoma??

Surprise, surprise there are mountains in Oklahoma. The Wichita Mountains are actually the oldest range in the United States. Princess and I on top of Mount Scott. The other thing Oklahoma has is plenty of wind, as you can see by the swirling hair.Here my kiddos are in the middle of our friends' daughters. On this day we hiked a trail in the Wichita's National Wildlife Refuge.

Now these mountains are not the steep, shear cliffs of the Rockies. You can see how over time the erosion has worn the rocks down. After seeing the dramatic effects of erosion at the Grand Canyon, it is interesting to think how long these mountains have been here. In the Grand Canyon and Zion the rocks are sandstone, which isn't very hard. Here in the Wichita's the rocks are quartz and granite, by far the harder stone.

I think this has been my favorite thing this summer. Exposing my children (and myself) to the vastness of our country. Discussing the differences of the geography, and how people live. It is so neat to be able to point out lessons we've learned along the way.

Just a little Cliffy post for you today.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm sorry, I've been holding out on you.

It is a slow morning here, and I have a few moments. So I ask myself, what should I post today? Hmmm, I'll check out my photos and see if there is anything good. I start to scroll down the column. . .WHAT??!! How could I have missed this. It is the pictures we took of an air drop training our friend was flying back in Washington State. I owe you an apology, I'm sorry I didn't share sooner. It was really cool.

Without further delay, the air drop photos.

There it is: The mighty C-17.

When Bubby first saw the parachutes he said, "Oh, I want to see those lollipops again!" I was trying to figure out what he was talking about, when I realized the parachute looks like the candy and the soldier the stick of the lollipop.
They didn't disappoint him. Over the course of the exercise, they dropped over 100 soldiers.
What a treat to see our friend flying. For the kiddos to see paratroopers, almost up close and personal. With The General's interest in military operations, it was a highlight for him. These are the times military life is really cool.

Monday, July 6, 2009

WOW, where did that come from.

How was your fourth of July everyone? We had a nice time. We ate all American food, enjoyed a little time with friends here, and the kiddos watched lots of TV. The General is a history buff, so he was thrilled to watch the piece The History Channel had on the Revolutionary War. He learned a few new things, and gained some insight into the fact that the world is not black and white. . .gasp, there is GRAY. Then of course there was the cute show on Animal Planet highlighting White House dogs. Who can pass that up?

Why so much TV? Well, it was HOT during the main part of the day. We had been out and about the day before, and let's face it: I am in the middle of rural OK. Not so much to do around here. So we let the kiddos set up a movie theater in our little room and have their friends over. I was actually pretty proud of their ability to make "lemonade". You know, life hands you lemons (AKA a boring July 4th) you make lemonade (AKA theater experience, with concession stand).

We had planned to attend the July 4th festivities, but a storm blew in right about the time we were to set out. With the local fireworks rained out, we thought we'd just catch the PBS fireworks on TV. (I guess we hadn't had enough TV at that point-ha ha!) Well, that is when I had my "WOW, where did that come from experience?"

It turns out the fireworks show was the one from DC. The very show we had the pleasure of enjoying the past 3 years. As they began to show shots from different angles/places, we were all recognizing the land marks. Oh, look it's the white crayon (Washington Monument), hey it's the Lincoln Memorial. . .oh, I hope they show the Jefferson, that one is my favorite. . . Just think right down that way, our friends are on the banks of the Potomac watching this right now.

That is when it happened. The tears started. All at once my "lemonade" cracked. I was in a dumpy two bedroom apartment, alone without my peeps, with no "real" celebration, and no fireworks. I missed Washington, D.C. Which is kind of weird. I really never thought I would cry over that place.

So as I was having my little boo hoo, out of the blue there was a "beep, beep" from my cell phone. A text message from my dear friend, Katy. She was thinking of me, and missing me too. I was no longer "alone" in my little sadness. God had provided me a little gift. He is so good like that. Even in my moments, He holds me tight and reminds me I am loved and cared for. He will always be with me, wherever I roam. He will provide me with all I need. I just need to continue to trust in Him, and be ever so grateful for my abundant blessings.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America

Today is July 4th. Another Fourth of July Celebration. While we enjoy the food and festivities, we also try to set aside a moment to give thanks and explain to our children how blessed and lucky they are to be born into this great country. Some years we are fortunate enough to be able to travel back to Minnesota, and spend the holiday with family.

Mr. Nomad with his brother and our big kiddos back in 2003. Here I am with The General and Princess in 2004. Mr. Nomad's parents live on a lake, so we were part of the neighborhood boat parade that year.
Other years we haven't been able to go "home", but none the less we celebrate with family, our military family. Above the General, Princess and Bubby as we celebrated the 4th on the banks of the Potomac in Washington, D.C. 2007.

If you look closely you can pick out Princess and Bubby. Princess is 4th from the right, bending down close to Bubby. The rest of the crew are just a few of our military family members from the D.C. celebration of 2008.
This military life we have chosen comes at the cost of being hundreds, many times thousands of miles from home and the friends we have made along the way. Sometimes non-military folks will ask, "Isn't it hard moving all the time?" I like to think of it more as a challenge, a challenge and an adventure. For that is one of the blessings of being an American, the blessing of free-will. I can live this nomadic life. I can raise my children the way I want, and I can worship God freely. Just as God intended it to be.
So today we will again celebrate our country's birth of freedom. We will try in some small way to honor our forefathers by remembering our history. All the sacrifices so many Americans have made for our country, both past and present. We will also be thinking back on the good times we've shared with family and friends. Most of all we will be giving thanks to God. Thanking him for our great country, for our friends and family, and for always providing us with a "home" whenever the Air Force sends us.
May God bless you all today, and always,