Archive - September 2009

End of an Era
Disneyland Never Gets Old
More Colorado Fun
Really Didn’t See This Coming
I Think I’ll Wash Them Anyway

End of an Era

It would surely be some type of crime if I did not tell you that today, right now as I type (Sept 30), is Philip’s very last day in the Army.

I was there with him from the beginning, on the day he was commissioned.  I kept the homefires burning and the post office busy during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  We moved 10 times, to 8 different states (we hit some of them twice) and one foreign country.

He was a tank platoon leader, basic training company commander, intelligence officer, mentor and friend.

He jumped out of airplanes, presided over a court martial, worked on the Crisis Action Team at the Pentagon after 9-11, and brought to life a global satellite communications network.

He earned his spurs, the Order of St. George, a Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit.

It’s been quite a ride.

Disneyland Never Gets Old

Our impromptu trip to Disneyland was success.  We were able to pull it off because of the military appreciation tickets that Disney was offering, by staying at the Disneyland Hotel for free with our vacation club points and getting good air fare.  It all just came together like it was meant to be.

We were able to spend a whole day with my grandparents and nuclear-extended family (as opposed to the whole, entire clan). Pumpkin Girl just loves my grandparents house – she says she feels cozy there.  The boys love it, too.  It’s hard not to have fun when you are surrounded by love! The next day, my cousin April and her son joined us at Disneyland, which was a nice treat for all the kids.

I won’t bore you with all the details, since we seem to have a Disney trip every year.  But here are some of the highlights:

Boo rode on the Haunted Mansion, with his eyes open this time.

I went on the Matterhorn for the first time in years.  I’ve been pregnant during almost every trip, except the last one and that time the Matterhorn was closed.

In an attempt to curb the souvenir buying frenzy this year, we limited the children to 2 souvenirs each.  We suggested that they keep lists during the week of the things they saw and we’d come back later to buy their top 2 selections.  This worked wonderfully for Pumpkin Girl who divided her list into three parts, ranked by how much she wanted each one.  The plan totally backfired on me when I told Bip to put the stuffed Eve (from Wall E) on his list, and when he talked about it constantly and was very, very sure that that was something he wanted, returned to buy it…and it was sold out.  As in, the whole darn park was out.  I spent 3 days looking in every darn store, asking  cast members, all in vain.  We were successful in finding her before we left, so a catastrophe was averted.

Boo coolly turned down Jedi Training Academy again this year, stating matter of factly that he was already a trained Jedi.  Pumpkin Girl, however, wanted to attend.  When the Jedi master began choosing Padawans, I told her to jump up and down and wave both her arms and make lots of noise.  She was chosen, trained and then battled  Darth Vader. He found her lack of pants faith disturbing.  She defeated him anyway.  She’s fierce.
We happened to be at the right place at the right time when the Monorail arrived and asked to ride in the rear compartment.  These private compartments are bigger now, so our whole family fit and we got an amazing view on our way into the park.

Hopefully, this trip will give us our Disney fix for a while.  Though I hear another cruise is in the plans…

More Colorado Fun

So…life in Colorado continues to be interesting.  On the night we returned from Disneyland, I woke up in the middle of the night to a strange sound.  In my overtired and overly tanned but not quite sunburnt state, I was dreaming that I was hearing the astroblaster from the Buzz Lightyear ride that we’d ridden about two or three times a day for the last 5 days.  When I woke, I heard the sound again and then again.  And then I realized it was that sort of horn sound from a police car.  I was wondering vaguely what might be going on when I fell back to sleep.

Later I learned that two houses down from us, a neighbor had left their garage door open and called the police…not because of a burgular but because a ginormous papa bear had gotten into their garage, opened their freezer and had pulled out and eaten their stash of deer meat, buffalo steaks and ribs.

The lesson here – put your freezer in the basement.

Did I ever mention the three bears we saw walking across the street one day while on our way home from the library?  Philip saw those same bears, a mama and her two cubs, going through another neighbor’s trashcan on trash day.

And then tonight, as I was sitting through an hour and 15 minutes briefing for the parents of Religious Ed students, I learned what the security procedure  is if they have to lock down the campus because of bears or mountain lions.  Apparently, both have been known to cruise around and a mountain lion was once spotted sitting in the tree right outside the church.

And to top it all off, it snowed all day on Monday.  Yes, this past Monday, which just happened to be the last day of summer.   I’m just glad that we have enough room in the children’s closets to store out of season clothes so we were able to get cold weather clothes out without much fuss.

I gotta tell you, I really like it here!


Five years ago today, our sweet baby Rebecca entered our Lord’s Heavenly Kingdom.

I’d like to say that it has gotten easier, but it hasn’t.  You don’t really recover completely from the death of a child.  It’s not the natural order of things.  It’s just not right.

The pain does dull over time.  It’s like a scar – it’s always there, a constant reminder.  Sometimes it hurts so badly it feels like you’ll never be able to stand up.  But as time goes by, it doesn’t hurt as sharply.  But it never goes away.

Our family not only survives each day without Rebecca, but we are managing to thrive.  Not because of some great inner strength, but because of faith.  Our God has promised us that we will see Rebecca again and be with her for all eternity.  We know that she is basking in His glory right now.

I’m happy for her.  I really am.  She was wonderfully and perfectly made and she is now free from all human trappings.  She is the lucky one.

But I miss her. I miss her fat legs and soft cheeks.  I miss the way I’d stroke her head while she nursed and she’d grab my hand.  I miss her turning my cheek to kiss me.  I miss the mischief in her eyes.

When an adult dies, we mourn for what used to be.  When a child dies, we mourn for what should have been.

Really Didn’t See This Coming

So…Thursday night our conversation turned to Disneyland and Philip said, “We should go!”

Friday morning we booked the hotel, flights and picked up the military appreciation tickets at the local Army base.

And as I type it is Saturday night and I’m in the Disneyland Hotel, ready to start enjoy our impromtu vacation.

We’re probably crazy, but we’re enjoying ourselves.  I’ll see you when we get back home…

I Think I’ll Wash Them Anyway

“Mama,”  Bip said to me during lunch.  “I have someting to tell you, but I didn’t want to get in trouble.”

“Okaaay…,” says I, wondering what sort of mess I was about to be cleaning up.

“I had a little accident in my underwear and pants.”

“Oh, Ok, well, that happens.  Did you change your underwear?” I asked.


Of course he didn’t. But at least this was minor and well within the scope of my parenting abilities.  “Well, you need to get clean underwear when you have an accident.”

“No, no, no, mama!  Listen – you just leave them alone and leave them alone and leave them alone.  And then…you have…”

“Clean underwear.”

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