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, November 30, 2009

The Talk.

Reader Discretion. If you have a young reader looking over your shoulder, you may want to preview this post prior to sharing.

Well, it happened. Last night we sat down with The General and Princess and had "The Talk". No, not about the birds and the bees. I want to say that would be easier. But come to think of it, that was pretty anxiety provoking as well. Last night Mr. Nomad & I came clean about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and all the other magical fun of childhood.

We began with a discussion about Advent, and then asked if they thought it was suspicious there was no mention of Jolly Old St. Nick. Yes and no they answered. They know all about saints and the whole story of Saint Nicholas. As we talked it became clear that Princess was on the verge of figuring this whole Santa thing out. Apparently she had some serious plans to investigate this year. While on the other hand, The General still really believed. At least he REALLY wanted to believe. The past couple of years I could tell questions were popping up in his little mind. He just wanted it to be true so badly, he would think of a cover.

Overall the discussion went well. We were redeemed for a few years when the whole Santa gift didn't go down so well. Like the year The General asked for the most expensive gift from Santa. Yea, he was trying to save us money. Then there was the year that he asked for something that wasn't even invented yet. It existed only in his very creative mind. He knew we couldn't get that for him at the stores, so he was counting on Santa's elves to come through. You can see why some Christmas mornings haven't gone so smoothly.

Yes, there were a few tears. Not so much the children. More me. I cannot believe how fast their childhoods are racing by us. I felt like we were taking a piece of that fleeting childhood innocence. A chapter of their lives is closed, and I am a little sad about that. Yet, I realize the next chapter is exciting too. I am so proud of the young people they are becoming.

So why did we spill the beans? Why tell them at all? Why not just wait and see what happens. Because of this: What really moved Mr. Nomad and me was their complete faith in our teaching. If we said it to be true, than surely it must be true. Our children still believed in Santa, although other kid has said it wasn't possible, because they trusted Mr. Nomad and me.

WOW! I am awed and humbled by that fact. I feel like the years of honesty in our parenting have paid off. All those times it would have been just easier to "fib" our way through something, but instead we took the long road and were honest. Even when that meant longer explanations and more time and patience from us. It was worth it.

This incredible trust also shows me the tremendous responsibility we have to learn and teach them about our faith. While I want them to be successful here on earth, my lessons are really intended for THE BIG TEST. I will know we were successful in parenting when Jesus meets each of my children face to face,welcoming them in to heaven.

Now let's just hope The General and Princess are good at keeping surprises like this to themselves. Make believe is fun. We definitely do not replace Jesus with these childhood magical moments. I only hope Bubby gets every chance at the magic as The General and Princess experienced.

(Big Sigh) Being a Mom is so much more than I ever dreamed.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What do you think of my attempt at the Advent look?

Okay, so I'm trying to get the blog all ready for Advent. Unfortunately, no one out there has an Advent background. Not even a simple purple. Darn. Lucky for me Dawn at Almost Ready Blogs created the really cool Advent Wreath on my sidebar--Thanks Dawn! It was actually the inspiration for the whole look I came up with. (If you can call what I have going on "a look".)

What do you think? Is it too plain? My hope was to stick to an Advent theme, and then at Christmas do the all out holiday decorating. It is a small gesture on my part to reclaim the holiness of Christmas. Kind of a taking back of the "buy me, buy me, buy me" that Christmas in the United States has become. Hmmm. . .now I know why Dawn was Always Undecided.
**I finally figured out how to do the Boring Post thing. (This is Mary's baby. You can find her over at Hope Echoes.) I know I put my boring post together on Friday, but I'm on the West Coast. So it was technically Saturday for most of the country. That, and you are all probably done reading blogs by the time I would be up and free to post. Hope you have a great Saturday.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What am I most thankful for?

I've been pondering this question a lot. This is the season to give thanks. A time to take stock of those things we are most grateful for. A sort of inventory of our blessings, so to speak. I have so many things to thank God for, where do I even begin the list?
That is when my answer became crystal clear. I am most thankful for my faith. Without that firm foundation to stand upon, to face the trials and tribulations of this world, I would be lost. Miserable. Lonely. Without peace. Missing out on all of the love and grace that our Lord showers upon me each and everyday.
So on this Thanksgiving Day I want to take a moment and thank God for all of the people who have nourished my faith. Those who have led by quiet example. Those who have studied with me and challenged me to be better. Those who write inspiring words, and befriend me in the blog world. I pray God will continue to bless me with those who will enrich and deepen my faith. My faith in God. Yes, that is by far my greatest blessing.
What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A new title song. . .

Since I'm a good Catholic mother, I have lots of guilt. For example, the other day I was apologizing to The General for him having to move all the time. For not having a best friend down the block anymore. . .oh the list goes on. Basically I was saying how sorry I was that he is forced to be a military brat.
To which The General replied, "Oh Mom I wouldn't trade that for anything!"
"Really?" I replied, rather surprised.
"No way! You know that Johnny Cash song? The one that talks about all the places he's been?"
"Yea, I know the one," I answer. Still a bit perplexed.
"Well, that's my song!" The General reports. Rather proudly I might add.

Here is The General with the map of all the states he has visited. He only needs 3: Alaska, Hawaii and Arkansas, and then he truly can sing along with Johnny.Princess needs 5: Alaska, Hawaii, Arkansas, Nevada and Michigan. Bubby is a little behind the big kiddos. Not a bad start for a 3 year old.
As Johnny Cash sings:
See What I Mean
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I've had my share, man
I've been everywhere
The General has a point.
I find myself in yet another moment when my children impress me with their resilience and ability to see the silver lining. What a gift motherhood has been. May I always be blessed with the wisdom I gain from simply knowing my children.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Apparantly Princess had a little trouble sleeping. . .

This is what I found in Princess' journal this morning:

9:40 pm Go check out brother cutting cheese.

10:00 pm Fart.

10:01 pm Roll over to left side.

10:02 pm Roll to right.

10:03 pm Lay on back.

10:04 pm Roll to left again.

10:05 pm Turn alarm off.

10:06 pm Write friend letter.

10:34 pm Finish letter to friend.

10:36 pm Toot.

10:38 pm Yawn.

10:39 pm Edit letter.

10:41 pm Finish editing letter.

10:43 pm Go to sleep. . .I think.

So much for my sweet little girl. I guess this is what having a big brother does to a girl. Heck, who am I trying to kid. She has always been a firecracker. Here she is, Princess back in the toddler days.
You should have seen her smite me with the phrase, "Poo Poo Head!" That was when she was just 18 months old, with her blond ringlets and big brown eyes. Oh, what a little turkey she was.

Although not the most lady like, she sure makes me laugh. A LOT!

Thanks for the laughs. I love you Princess.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vicks, I love you!

Dear Procter & Gamble,

I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for last night. I smeared your VapoRub all over Bubby's chest, and he slept like a baby. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to find you, but I think you may be my new cold season best friend.

Bubby's Mommy

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Remembering the Sabbath: Part 2

Remember last week when I asked, "What do you do to keep the Sabbath holy?" Apparently I am not the only one grappling with this question. First of all I wanted to thank the brave souls who shared their ideas. I really appreciated your comments.
This past week I've pondered the topic, considering your thoughts and talking with my children. I think the main problem we are having in our household is not starting the day with mass. Going to celebrate mass first thing in the morning, with religious education directly afterward was such a great start to the Sabbath. We were in the word, in communion with God, and learning about our faith right off the bat. Now, the schedule is flip-flopped with mass in the evening and The General going off to his youth meeting afterwards.
I've come to understand, the order of our activities isn't as important as getting centered. God doesn't care if I go to mass at 9am or 5pm, He just wants me to be there at some point in the day. Since God has blessed me with the honor of raising The General, Princess and Bubby, I need to put their spiritual growth at the forefront. We have entered a new season, where it is best for our children to worship at a different time.
I need to be flexible. I need to be okay with the fact that Sunday mornings at the Nomad Pad are going to look a bit different as we find our new way. What I need to remember is this: Sunday is supposed to be a mini-Easter, a day of celebration. A day to be thankful and happy for all God has done for us. Princess suggested starting with the rosary or some other family devotion. Today we tried doing our F.A.I.T.H. (Faith Alive In The Home) study, inviting our neighbors over to join us.
I know we will find a "new normal." God has placed us here, at this point in time for a purpose. Now it is up to us to seek that purpose, and follow God's lead. For it is in doing His will that we find the peace and happiness we seek.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Do you have plans for Advent?

Okay, I will admit I do not like to get the Christmas ball rolling until after Thanksgiving. I refuse to purchase or set out any decorations until after the turkey is put away. Why in the world am I asking you about Advent, which is still a few weeks away?

I want to share with you two great books that make Advent such a special time.

First there is this one,We read this as a family two years ago. It was by far our favorite part of Advent, and the Christmas season. Arnold Ytreeide does such a great job with these books. You read a chapter each night, with the end of the book culminating on Christmas. Although these books have been around awhile, until last year they were out of print. You had to rely on eBay or Amazon, and let me tell you the old supply and demand economics was definitely at work.

You can imagine my joy when they announced the reprint. Although we had to take last year off, I just couldn't justify $100 for a book I knew I could get for less than $15 in a year. I was chomping at the bit to get our copy of Bartholomew's Passage for this season's Advent. I'm happy to announce our copy has safely made it to the Nomad Pad, and is patiently waiting for the first day of Advent to bring us great joy.

**Note to parents: The opinions about this book are mine, and mine alone. I first heard about these books on the SL-Catholic forum, where people were praising them. HOWEVER, as with everything, not everyone shares the same opinions. After I purchased the first book, I was scared stiff. One woman came out of her blog silence, and railed on and on about how terrible and awful the book was. She felt it was too dark and scary. Now when we read the first one, The General was 10 and Princess was 7 going on 8. My kiddos are pretty sensitive, and we had no problems. Please do read other reviews if you have concerns. End of warning.

Good luck planning your Advent season. If you do decide to go with Jotham's Journey, the first of the trilogy, you can find them here. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you for your service. . .

Though it is not a common greeting, I have heard these kind words from strangers. Mostly when we are moving. It is very apparent by our loaded down vehicles, we are in the middle of a PCS. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I say thank you, climbing back into my car filled with pride. You see, when I really think about those who have sacrificed so much more, I am stopped dead in my tracks. Overcome by tears. I am so incredibly grateful God has not asked that ultimate sacrifice of my family. Although we've been separated, our Daddy has come home to us. Every time. It is our prayer every night he is away, "God, please bring Daddy home, safely and quickly." A prayer He has answered so many, many times over the years.
Others have said those same prayers For some reason, we have no way of understanding, those prayers have not been answered. At least not in a way we, as mere humans would like. So today we took the kiddos to mass, to pray for those veterans and their families. Those who have died, so that I may enjoy the many freedoms too many in our country take for granted. For those who are left behind, trying to fill a hole in their hearts that only God can mend. For those who only know a photo as their parent. My heart aches for each and every one of them.
To all of them I say, "Thank you for your service. I have not forgotten you."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Remember the Sabbath, and Keep it Holy. . .

This is a question I am currently wrangling with. I am continually awed by God's power to speak to us through his word. I've known the Ten Commandments since I was a child. Though I wasn't raised Catholic, I was introduced to the laws of God at VBS so long ago. What strikes me is this, all of a sudden this portion of the word is tugging at my heart.
The kiddos and I have been studying The Two Great Commandments that Jesus gave. First: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. Second: Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself. (Found in The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism circa 1964.) Jesus didn't just throw out the old law that was given to Moses. He said we must keep those commands, IN ADDITION we are to love thy neighbor (Oh, that is a hard one. But not the one God has for me to ponder this day.)
This lesson brought about a deeper discussion of what keeping the Ten Commandments means. Which in turn began my questioning, "Am I remembering the sabbath? Am I teaching my children to keep this day holy for our Lord?" Hmmm. . . My answer came to me. We are not in a Sunday groove.
Since moving back to WA, our Sunday groove is a mess. Mr. Nomad and I have always been Sunday morning mass people. Sure, there are those times when we need to go to the Saturday evening mass, but we really don't feel like it is Sunday without starting the day with mass. Our current schedule is requiring us to attend the LifeTeen mass which is 5pm Sundays, so I'm struggling to organize our Sunday in such a way to bring glory to our Lord.
Please, help me out folks. What are some things your families do to keep the sabbath holy?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Brown Cows

No we haven't moved to the farm. No Bessies or Bossies here at the Nomad Pad. Instead I have a little family tradition to share.
It started when Mr. Nomad was a small boy. His parents used to get the kiddos in their jammies, load them into the station wagon, then drive to the local ice cream place. There they would be treated to the delicious Brown Cow.
What in the world is a Brown Cow? I'm so glad you asked. A Brown Cow is one of the yummiest shakes you could ever ask for. You take a few scoops of chocolate ice cream, pour root beer over it, and stir it all together. Yep, a root beer float with chocolate ice cream. Though not good for your waistline, or any other part of your body for that matter, they are YUM-MEE!!
The tradition of the Brown Cow is carried on with the next generation. Only now we don't load the kiddos up, Grandma & Grandpa make them at home. Here are the kiddos enjoying Brown Cows with Grandpa. I love the memories and traditions my children have with their grandparents. It is such a special relationship. Now we just need to make it until Christmas. . . Grandma & Grandpa will be back, and you can bet this Momma will have the freezer stocked.
Hopefully Bubby will learn how to smile by then. Oh this bad smile phase is so painful. I'm beginning to resort to, "No, no Bubby. You don't need to smile. Just look at Mommy-PLEASE!"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A shameless plug for Foothill Reflections.

My friend Lorri is blessed with a wonderful husband, he's blessed to have her as well. During our time in DC our families spent a lot of time together, many times discussing various issues regarding our Catholic faith. Since moving last April, I've really missed those in depth talks. Which made it so wonderful when Phil began his blog.

Although I can't walk across the street and chit chat with Lorri & Phil, I can visit his blog Foothill Reflections and get a little of that in depth thought I so greatly miss. I realize you don't know Phil, but if you are interested in reading about our Catholic faith, the church's daily readings and how they relate to our lives, stop by and check it out.

End of shameless plug.

Monday, November 2, 2009


A conversation with my three year old.

Mommy: Bubby, no more wrestling with your brother! (Said with a stern voice and a pop on the hiney.)

Bubby: That's it! I quit this Nomad Family Game. I'm not playing any more. I'm going to my room. And babysitting myself. And playing by. my.self! (Said with an equally stern, frustrated voice.)

Mommy: Sorry, you don't get to quit the Nomad Family Game. (Under her breath says, I feel your pain Bub. Even you they make you crazy you don't get to quit the Nomads.)

2 hours later. . .

Mommy: Bubby, do you still want to quit the family?

Bubby: What?

Mommy: Do you still want to quit the family?

Bubby: No, I don't want to.

Mommy: Why not?

Bubby: I don't like to quit. Then I'd be sad, like when I get in trouble.

Mommy: I'm glad you changed your mind. I love you Bubby.

Bubby: Thank you.

That Bubby, he's so cute.

Resurrection. . .

Remember when my in-laws visited last month? I told you of all the projects we tackled. My sister keeps pestering me to post some pictures, so here they are Jody. This armoir has been used in The General's room since he was a baby. With the big move we have given him our furniture, so this needed a new home. Mr. Nomad & I needed a piece for my TV (I say my because he hates having a TV in the bedroom). The only problem was the color didn't jive with our new bedroom set. Then there was this cute little wash stand. I found it in an antique shop one time. I don't know why, but I just love it. Sadly though, Mr. Nomad hated it. (Notice I used hate in the past tense.)
Mr. Nomad's mom, brother and Princess went to town sanding and staining these sorry, worn pieces of furniture.
After staining, there were several coats of poly.

Then we added new hardware.
Viola, some old tired pieces have been resurrected. We now have two beautiful pieces of furniture that were relatively inexpensive. The stain and poly were left over from a previous project my mother-in-law did, and the hardware was only around $50.
Now Mr. Nomad loves my old washstand.
Thank you family for all of your hard work. I love you so much, and am so appreciative of all you do for us.