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.

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!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Why were they saints?

Years ago (wow, I can say that. . .I must be getting old!) when The General was in Catholic School, the principal had this saying on the bottom of a parent newsletter. I read it, and promptly cut it out and placed it on my refrigerator. It has had a prominent home there ever since. It needed to be placed in a spot that I easily see, and so can remind myself of how I SHOULD behave.

Why were they saints?
Because they were cheerful when it was difficult to be cheerful;
Patient when it was difficult to be patient;
Because they pushed on when they wanted to stand still;
Kept silent when they wanted to talk;
And were agreeable when they wanted to be disagreeable.
That was all.
It was quite simple and always will be.
(Mary Costello)

So this is my hope, to live up to these wise words. I'm telling you, it isn't easy. . .especially the keeping silent part! ;)

Do you have a saying, a special verse, or words of wisdom that are motivating? If so, please share, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would benefit.