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, August 31, 2009

God, cover my inadequacies.

One year ago today I was walking around my little base house, numb. Yes this date will forever bring back a whirlwind of emotions. . . .none of which are enjoyable. You see, one year ago my friend Shannon called to tell me her son had passed away. Keeghan had fought brain cancer for over two years, and at the tender age of twelve, he left this world.
Now a year has passed. My friend has moved, I've moved, life has gone on. It doesn't seem fair. I know for my friend life will never be the same again. I know this because after losing his daughter over 8 years ago, my brother still longs for the touch of his little princess. She left us way too early. It is just not the natural order of things, and leaves such tremendous holes.
As the sister, friend, aunt of those who experience loss I feel so completely inadequate. I want so badly to have the perfect gift or words that would be the soothing balm their tender hearts need. I ponder the card, the flowers, the whatever. . .and NOTHING is appropriate. NOTHING can soothe that ache. NOTHING I can do will ever be enough. I procrastinate, hoping to be hit with an inspiration of something so grand all their pain will be magically taken away. In the end I do nothing, which is even worse.
Then I remember, I can do NOTHING on my own. Today I am once again reminded that I need to rely on God to fill those holes, the huge voids my loved ones have experienced.
Which leaves me heading to the place I should always remember to begin, with prayer:
Today I especially come to You Heavenly Father, begging You to cover those hurting with Your love and grace. Guide me in my words, thoughts and actions that I might bring them joy and peace. Guard my words from being unthoughtful or hurtful. I ask this in Your Son's Name. Amen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We've been dedicated to the letter P!

You know how on Sesame Street they dedicate each day to a letter? Well, I'm dedicating this blog entry to the letter P. (Notice blogging does not begin with the coveted P? Hence, minimal blogging for me with so much P left to do!)
Since I last updated we have been busy painting, unpacking, preparing meals, and praying. Oh, did I mention the painting? It seems the fresh new walls need LOTS of paint, so we've had to go back and redo most areas. The end result is great, but the unfortunate thing is Mr. Nomad's enthusiasm is waning--he's not alone. We've finsihed the upstairs common areas, so we're hanging up the rollers for a few days.
The only thing I'll be painting today are Princess's Piggies. After Bubby duty this past week, she deserves a treat. Rightfully so, Bubby is demading some play time, which fortunately is in with the P crowd.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So this is where it all begins.

I'm sitting at the computer taking a break from boxes (okay, shirking my responsibilities), when I hear Bubby, "Umm Daddy, is my sword bigger than The General's?"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The movers were GREAT! Definitely an answer to prayer. We have minimal damage so far, which is awesome considering our stuff went into storage. I guess the government changing the policy to full replacement value on lost and broken items is a good motivator. (Previously you would just a percentage of what your things were worth new, depreciated for age.) Whatever the case, I am just so happy the day went well.
Not only did the movers do a good job, they were nice people. They won me over with the Starbuck's coffee/cocoa and donuts they brought for us. I know, they brought us the treats! (Generally we are the ones sucking up, and I bring the donuts!)
To top it off, they not only tolerated having my kiddos around, they seemed to really like them. But oh, they LOVED Bubby. (What's not to love?;) It was quite hilarious. He would evade me, and I'd find him following the guys around. When I would try to get him out of the house and scold for getting in the way, he would say, "But Mommy, this is my friend. He is special to me." They moved the seat on the big wheel for him, and let him help put together his bed and table. At lunch he took his plate over and sat down in their circle announcing, "I'm eating with my friends." Yep, he was living the happy life. Interestingly enough, I think they enjoyed the experience as much as Bubby.
We've made a pretty good dent in the unpacking and setting up, we had every one's beds set up by bedtime. Mr. Nomad hooked up my washer and dryer (oh, I love that man!) so I was able to get fresh sheets and blankets for everyone. The kiddos were so excited to sleep in their own rooms, in their own beds (I'm not the only one in the family affected by the nomadic stint. The children are also appreciative of the small stuff.)
Okay, I can procrastinate no longer. I've got a date with A LOT of boxes. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Look's like we made it.

We are here in Washington. Our travels were uneventful on Thursday, just the way I like it. The kiddos are enjoying the space in our new house, and Mr. Nomad and I are still pinching ourselves thinking, "Is this really our house?"
The house turned out beautifully, so now we are busy making it our own. We've painted a Tinker Bell Green room for Princess. A pretty, oh I mean manly, blue for Bubby's room, and Mr. Nomad is putting the finishing touches on the Green Tea music room/den. We are still searching for the perfect tan for the rest of the house. We've been to Home Depot no less than 5 times in 4 days, and we have 6 paint colors on the wall. Still no luck. Our new neighbor has a promising lead. A friend recently painted the color I'm describing, and it turned out well. Say a prayer, I'm getting tired of looking at paint samples. (I know, I know, I didn't think it was possible!)
I promise I will get pictures posted to share, but right now we are just trying to get settled. Tomorrow our household goods arrive, so I may be gone unpacking for a few days. Oh the happiness I will be experiencing when I can cook. These long nomadic stints do that to me. Make me all domestic, appreciating the basics like good quality cookware and my kitchen gadgets.
I hope this finds you all doing well. Thanks for checking in on us, and more importantly for your prayers and words of encouragement. Your love and support are what make it easy for us to do these crazy military moves.
Well, I'm off to put Bubby to bed and seal the granite counter tops. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I just can't wait to get on the road again. . .

Seriously, I can't. . .because we are only a little over 300 miles from our new home. After two 500+ days, this is going to be a breeze (I hope I don't jinx us. . .but then again, I don't believe in that stuff so I guess we'll be okay. :)
The drive has gone pretty smoothly. With only a few hiccups along the way. Bubby met his first bee that didn't like him, poor little guy. Fortunately he is not allergic (nothing like looking up ER's in a strange city, just in case you need to get there. . . FAST!) And, Princess picked up the crud the cadets were hacking up at the Air Force Academy on Sunday. (I guess hand sanitizer immediately after mass wasn't enough.) She has had a sore throat and low grade fever. I was worried she might have strep, but yesterday she started with a runny nose. So I think it is just a cold. Which is another great motivator to get to our new home base. I do not like messing around with strep.
Other than that, our trip has gone very smoothly. We were able to check out the Great Salt Lake (stay tuned for this post when we get settled), and today we are driving along the Colombia River in Oregon. I've never been this way, so I'm looking forward to experiencing something new. I am actually quite amazed that we aren't going crazy after this many miles. It is surprisingly enjoyable to see our country, to take in the beauty, and ponder what the people that live there are like.
The shower stopped. It's my turn. Gotta run, I need to get this party started. . .because the next time I post, I'll be in Washington!!!!! Sleeping in my own house (so we won't have our things for a few days) camping out.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the painting. We are hoping to paint as much as possible before the movers come with our stuff on Monday. We're starting off with Tinker Bell Green in Princess's room. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Packed up and heading out. . .AGAIN!

Colorado has been so much fun. First to have a long weekend with our friends from DC, followed up by a few days in Denver with Mr. Nomad's brother. Oh, it just doesn't get much better than this. I am so grateful we've had these stops to look forward to. It makes it so much easier for all of us to psych ourselves up for yet another long day of travel. Which yesterday Bubby announced, "I told you guys, I'm done with traveling. No more stopping. I just want to be in Washington!"

I think it's time to get him to a home. Mr. Nomads is in the shower as I type. I'll get the big kiddos up in a minute, then it is breakfast and we'll hit the road. Our destination today is Utah. We're excited, as tomorrow morning we are going to check out The Great Salt Lake.

Thank you for all of your prayers, we feel them. God continues to bless us with safe and relatively fun traveling days (hey, after roughly 6,000 miles it can be a stretch). If I could just bother you for a few more days of them. . . we are almost there. We expect to arrive in Washington sometime on Thursday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Enjoying Colorado

We've made it as far as Colorado, and are having a great visit with our friends. This is my favorite part of military life. The part when you travel around, and most cities you travel through have a friend from one of your previous assignments.

This time it is our good friends, neighbors, fellow church members. . .from Bolling AFB. The General has been waiting for this stop since we drove away from DC back in April. To be back with his buddies, Princess with one of her best friends and Bubby with his little pal. Oh, yes we are all having a grand time.

I'll write more and share pictures later. I've got catching up, and decorating planning to do. Lorri and I are having so much fun with all of our plans for our new homes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fare thee well Oklahoma.

Our time here has ended. Mr. Nomad successfully completed his training, and we are almost all packed up and ready to go. While we are over the moon excited to get up to Washington. To our new house, to start the next chapter in this Air Force life. We are all a bit sad to go.
So we just want to say THANK YOU OKLAHOMA! You have been a beautiful refuge of family time over the years. We've made many, many memories here. Most fond, while others we wear as badges. . .the trials you endure for the right to be called a military family. Yes, we have earned our title and are very proud to be an Air Force Family.
Thank you for reminding us to slow down and enjoy one another. For remembering to find the joy in the small things, and make the best out of every situation. For your beautiful rugged country, and your kind and generous people.
The Nomads probably won't be back for more training, we are coming to the end of this military career. But Oklahoma will always hold a special spot in our hearts.
Until we meet again. (You quickly learn to NEVER say NEVER in the Air Force.) Anyway, good-bye is just too sad.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You can take the Nomads out of MN, but you can't take MN out of the Nomads.

One of our favorite spots here in Oklahoma has been Quartz Mountain. It is just a 20 minute drive north of the base, and it is a little slice of heaven here on earth. When we feel a little caged in and restless, a trip to the lake is just the answer.

Our first trip up to Quartz Mountain was with my friend, Di. We hiked an easy trail with the kiddos, and I learned some new trees. (I'm a bit of a tree hugger at heart. I get it from my dad.) Did you know the leaves of a Walnut look very much like that of the Hickory? You have to look closely, and then it is the bark that can help you solve the mystery. Walnut's have smoother bark,and the Hickory is quite rough. Oh, that was so much fun.Bubby, of course, preferred climbing all over the rocks. Normally that is good, but I have to admit to being a bit anxious here at Quartz Mountain. There are tons of rattlesnakes in these here parts, so I found myself constantly scanning the area. To my delight, and the children's disappointment, we did not encounter any vipers on this day.Although he likes climbing mountains, in the Oklahoma heat, Bubby's favorite place by far is Lake Altus at Quartz Mountain. Which is where the title of this entry was born. Where ever we go, where ever we roam, we Nomads always feel most at home near the water. (You know, Minnesota being the land of 10,000 lakes and all.) The Five Nomads love lakes. We like riding in boats on lakes. We like being pulled around on lakes.

Or just swimming in them, to keep us cool on a hot summer day. Yes, having a lake this summer made it feel a little bit like home. (Only it was nice and warm here. So even whimpy cold girl-Tami could swim.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where's the Beef? In Meers, OK, of course!

It is our tradition to visit Meers, OK each time we come to Altus, OK for training. This was our fourth trip, with our maiden voyage being way back in 1997 when The General was just a babe. I vividly remember taking turns with Mr. Nomad, walking the floor with the fussy newborn. While I loved my babies, I have to admit it was much better this time when the only fussing we heard was from the kiddos deciding on what to have for dessert. (More on that later.) Yep, this is it Meers, OK. It is pretty much a fork in the road. I'm not even sure what the population is. I doubt it is more than 5. So why would we make it a point to drive 45 minutes for this dumpy looking restaurant at a simple fork in the road? The famous Meers Burger, of course. (The burgers are huge, see Bubby and I were sharing.)When I say famous, I'm serious. Since our last visit back in 2002 the Food Network, and New York Times have been out to visit. The little burger joint in the Wichitas is now famous. I loved the quote from the owner, "the only way I thought a guy from Meers, OK could make the New York Times was to be on the FBI's most wanted list, not by making burgers!"

Yes, the burgers are that good. What makes them so yummy? They claim it is the fresh beef that sets them apart. They raise their own Texas Longhorns, so the beef is as fresh and lean as it gets. No hormones or antibiotics. While I cannot attest to their organic claims, I can tell you the burgers are delicious!

Do you see the side order of fried green tomatoes in the picture. Oh, takes me back to my childhood. My dad and grandma made the best fried green tomatoes. The ones are Meers were good.

Now them big city food critics may have listed the Meers Burger as one of the top 8 burgers across the nation, but what they forgot to mention was the fabulous desserts. I'm talking fresh peach cobbler, topped with creamy homemade ice cream. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Be sure to bring your appetite. The cobbler servings are as generous as the burgers. Four out of five of us shared the cobbler, and we weren't able to finish it off.

I would have to say, in my not so humble opinion, this is another one they should put on The Discovery Trail: Where West Meets Wild.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Medincine Park, OK

Now this little town isn't on The Discovery Trail, but it should be. The residents of Medicine Park are passionate about their little village. In fact they have breathed new life into what would have surely been a ghost town. Although they are still working, their progress is impressive.These are little artist shops along the main street. Now you have to get your mind ready for this, and remember this is a little town in Oklahoma. The first time we visited 7 years ago, I was less than impressed. We had heard about a little cobblestone village, I mistakenly anticipated something a little more European. As you can see, not so European, but none the less a quaint little village to stop for an afternoon of exploring.Here are my kiddos out front of the restaurant. This place was just an empty shell when we last visited. I love how they have preserved the cobblestone with so many of the structures. The Old Plantation serves burgers and salads. The food wasn't bad, but is wasn't fabulous either. Since there are not a lot of restaurants in town, this place is generally very busy. This translates to: WAIT.
On our second visit, we opted for a picnic lunch and dined down by the water. After our swimming adventure, we stopped by the ice cream shop for a little treat on our way out of town. . .YUMMY! It wasn't just any old ice cream, it was home made--with lots of flavors to choose from. We got monster cones for something ridiculously cheap, like $2 a cone. What a deal.Here are Mr. Nomad and the kiddos over by the riverfront area. Look closely and you can see the river in the background. I'm so bummed. On our first trip I didn't take lots of pictures because I knew we were coming back another day to swim. Then on our big swimming day, I forgot the camera.
Our friends brought their camera, but they just don't have an appreciation for the shots I need for my blog. So here is my one and only picture from the day we swam. I'm the dorky one with the white hat and sunglasses. I'm being swarmed by my kiddos.
What you don't see in this picture is the cute little bridge that goes over to a little island. There is also a waterfall you can sit on. It is like an old fashioned swimming hole, where there are some man-made elements to make the natural river more of a "bath", so to speak. There were also some huge fish kids were feeding out of their hands. (The General thought it was so cool, it gave me the heeby jeebies!) Now remember, this isn't over the top. It is a small little town in Oklahoma. If you keep that in mind it is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Oh, I forgot to mention the cost for swimming is $2 per person. Be on the look out for the native Medicine Park resident. He is generally driving the golf cart around, making sure everyone has their wristband on. He is a wealth of information. He's lived here for a long time, and told us all about the town's recent redevelopment. He is also the one who told us about that yummy ice cream shop. Ya gotta love a man with a good ice cream source.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Discovery Trail: The Great Plains Museum

This one was right next to the Comanche Cultural Center. I wrote about that a few days ago, here. So we were able to walk right on over (blowing the whistles the nice ladies gave the kiddos the whole way. . .wasn't that a swell trinket?--typed with clinched teeth) to the museum. This one wasn't free, but it was affordable.Here are the kiddos in front of the steam engine. There were two portions to the museum, one outside and the other indoors. There is typically a guide outside to answer questions and give a tour. Unfortunately he was at lunch when we stopped by.

That was okay though. The kiddos had a great time exploring the trading post, black smith shop, and the rest of the fort. We've studied history pretty extensively, so for them they weren't so interested in stories. They were happy to pose for pictures and just explore on their own.
Since it was a little toasty outside, we decided to head into the comfort of air conditioning. Now this is where the kiddos had a blast. They spent over an hour playing dress up. The Civil War Soldier Uniforms kept it fun for The General, while Princess and Bubby were happy to be pioneers. Doesn't Bubby look like the little boy from those "Been Farmin' Long" posters that were popular back in the 70's or 80's?Every wagon train needs a to stop for supper. The General was such a trooper to play along. I'm so proud of him when he does this stuff. Most preteens are "too cool" for this kind of fun. I'm soaking it up, and appreciating this stage and his personality.
My friend's girls at the bank. Along with the wagon, there was a main street.

While dress up and pretend were by far the favorite activity, we also enjoyed looking at the Dust Bowl photos display. Since we have been studying The Great Depression in history, it was a nice surprise on the field trip. We came home and promptly watched "The Grapes of Wrath." Oh, how I love it when curriculum and real life field trips come together so nicely.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ghetto Ritas

My friend Jodi introduced Mr. Nomad and me to the Ghetto Rita this summer. We chuckled, as we just moved from the Ghetto. (That's what everyone calls the neighborhood we lived in on base.) Oh, it would have been the perfect drink to sip on hot summer DC nights. So this recipe is for all of our friends from the hood. (Others may feel free to partake as well.) Mix yourselves a picture, and make a toast to wonderful memories and our time at Bolling. Here's Mr. Nomad helping our friend Katy brew beer. Katy always made her brews a party. The photo gives you a feel of the ghetto. I can't say that I miss sharing a carport living, but the fun our family had will remain some of our most cherished memories.

Without further adieu, I bring you. . .

Ghetto Ritas

1 can (6 oz.) Margarita mix-frozen
2 cans Sprite
2 Coronas
3/4 can of tequila

Blend together and serve over crushed ice.
Enjoy in moderation. These are very smooth, and could easily sneak up on you. I'm a 1-2 drink gal, so I can't attest to the effects of anything more than that. ;)

Here Mr. Nomad and I are enjoying Ghetto Ritas with some friends here in Oklahoma.