Monday, September 28, 2009

Going Green

We are once again spending our Saturday mornings watching the best sports teams in the country.  That would be the Green Light Sabers: the force is with us and the Green Giants.  They are led by two up and comers in the sport:  Mary and Cory. 

This is Mary's 3rd season of soccer, and she seems to really have a good time every time she's on the field.  And while she loves to play offense (she scored two goals in last Saturday's game, even though we're not keeping score yet), she is proving herself to be a defensive player too.  In this picture she and her best friend are jockeying for position with the ball. 

Cory is having a great time, and thinks his coach is totally wicked.  Cory chases after the ball hard and has managed to score a goal too! 

Go Green!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The End of an Era

Lucy's final pacifier broke...She's almost 3 so we figured if they didn't break we were going to have to remove them soon anyway. She just forced the issue a couple of months earlier by chewing on it so much. The first attempt at a nap after that didn't go very well. Adding to the trauma was not 5 minutes earlier a bee stung her.

Naptime did not happen the next day. Nor the next, or the one after that, nor any other day, really, save the few catnaps she gets if she's in a car for more than 20 minutes anytime after 3 p.m. And even then, don't dream of transferring her into bed upon arrival home --nope, she's sufficiently rested. Apparently, we're not only done with "pa-pa," but also with nap. *sigh* At least she still has "B."

and Mare.

On the same vein, Cory has, on his own, given up sucking his thumb. (that, my friend, is accompanied by a chorus of angels).

Good job, buddy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Today was race day. The New Hampshire Motor Speedway generously donated free tickets to active duty military and families. I sent in a request and - badda-bing - Cory and I had a free seat in the grandstand.

We left early to attempt and get ahead of the traffic. The last 9 miles still took an hour. We navigated the crowds, parking and throngs of people to enjoy the Sylvania 300. After the national anthem and an F-15 flyby we were able to enjoy some amazing race cars from our seats in Turn 4. We were just 5 rows from the fence. All the big names were there. Cory and I rooted for Jeff Gordon although he had a disappointing 15th place finish, he had some trouble on a pit stop or two and never got back into the lead pack.

This was the first of the Chase races (the last 10 races that decide the final overall champion for the year in NASCAR world). There was plenty of excitement and drama with crashes and blown engines. Cory tried to take it all in, but honestly it was a little much for him. Keeping up with the "leader" in this constant string of cars, the overwhelming noise (and if you know Cory you know he is annoyed by loud noises - so I had two kinds of ear protection to help him cope), and the always moving crowds never let him relax. I do think he had a good time, but it drained him.

I enjoyed listening to the drivers and crews talk on the radio (thanks to a Sprint headset-handheld TV combo). Although I will admit it's kind of like being at the County Fair - but with less security (Liz will get that joke). Enjoy the large bare-backed man in this photo.
We left early to get home for a Sunday dinner with the girls. I bought Cory a Jeff Gordon car and a #43 Air Force/McDonalds car T-shirt. I also bought a New Hampshire Motor Speedway shirt - their motto is my favorite - Live Free & Race!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I've determined that I spend a lot of time spinning. Mind you, it's not the sort of spinning that turns wool into yarn or straw into gold. It's not even the kind of spinning that gets your heart racing as you burn calories away.

This is my sort of spinning:
child: I don't want a banana with my lunch
me (having already opened the banana): Are you sure? It will be great! You already have macaroni and cheese, and with this banana it will be a yellow meal! I can even give you some goldfish if you'd like. It's yellow day! How cool is that?
child: awesome! I'm having an all yellow lunch! Ha ha ha little sister, you're not!

And so I begin spinning for the next child.

I think parents do a lot of this sort of spinning. Just yesterday we were having a massive paper mache pumpkin making extravaganza in the middle of our circle. Everyone was dripping with the homemade glue as we helped the kids get newspaper strips circled around their balloons.

One little girl's soggy balloon fell as she was transporting it to the line to dry, and you wouldn't believe how we all quickly found a way to spin this tragedy to triumph. We commented that it would make a fantastic texture on her pumpkin, oohing and ahhing over it--before long we had her convinced that we should roll the entire balloon in the dirt (kind of like a donut in cinnamon sugar, but not nearly as yummy).


Monday, September 14, 2009

If You Give a Gatlin a Buttermilk Pancake...

She'll want some jam to go with it.

Preferrably raspberry jam

The kids and I took a field trip on our second day of school to a local farm. We picked peaches and raspberries. Riley was especially motivated to pick raspberries because she loves them. Once home, Riley (with only a small amount of help from me) made the most delicious raspberry jam with some of our berries. (the rest Lucy and she ate)

We are love, love, loving it spread atop Ted's weekend morning buttermilk pancakes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Flashback Friday

Riley--almost 2 years old
2001 Eglin AFB, FL

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Road Trip of a Different Sort

On Monday we took a family bike ride along the Minuteman Bikeway. We left the base with 5 bikers and one lucky girl sitting in a bike seat. We rode to Lexington, which was about 4 miles away--one of those miles on a busy road before we even got to the trail, hence a long discussion about safety before we left the driveway. Once in Lexington we enjoyed some Dunkin' Donuts to reward our hard work--somehow Lucy got one, too, and she didn't have to do anything!
We putzed around Lexington Green for a few minutes talking about what happened when the Redcoats came to stop the Patriots--Cory can't get enough of this story, eager to know if interpreter walking around the Green to talk with folks was a Patriot.

The biggest thrill was stopping at Candy Castle--Riley's only been begging me to go there for months!

Before gearing up for the return trip, we checked the handy-dandy geocaching app on our iphone and discovered there was a kid-friendly cache not far off the bike path. So, after a quick stop into CVS to get some trading swag, we started back.
This time the trail was much busier with bikers, walkers and rollerbladers going in both directions. Some of the busy-ness must have distracted Cory a bit because one minute we're happily pedaling along and the next one he's on the ground. I couldn't quite make out what happened--it just seemed that his bike fell out from under him. I was the caboose, but with Lucy in her seat on my bike, I wasn't much help to the fallen boy. After that Ted brought up the rear to ensure someone would be able to clean up after any more tumbles.
As exciting and fun as it was, our little 8 mile trip is nothing compared to my brother's plans for this upcoming weekend. He's gearing up for the 150 mile Bike MS: Petit Jean Pedal to the Peak this Saturday and Sunday to support my mother in her struggles with multiple sclerosis. Brad has designated monies raised through his page to go solely towards programs and services for people diagnosed with MS. Have a great ride, Brad! We look forward to pictures.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We'll Miss Him

We're preparing to say good-bye to Ted for 4-6 months again. It will be different here--nothing will seem the same.

I'm talking, of course, about losing him to football. It happens every year from sometime in August until February.
When we were first married I used to wonder why he would be so preoccupied on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when I would want to go shop for new household items--furniture pieces, for example, that I needed his help selecting. And then I noticed him slow down as we passed the electronics dept--you know, where they have TVs lining the walls--to watch the "game" that was being played. And then he'd offer to go with me as long as we could be back at a certain time (most often the time of the Razorback or Titan game). It was most problematic when we lived in Las Vegas and the games that started at 1:00 east coast time were starting at 10:00 in Vegas--it's a good thing there was an early church service we could attend, but forget about going out for lunch after church!

Things aren't so bad, really. He's committed to watching certain games, but because of DVR (the best money we've ever spent) he can record the game and watch it later (and faster!).

That serves us as well as it does him, because try as he might to ignore us during the game, those four kids of his are pretty persistent when they want something.

Go Titans, Razorbacks and Falcons!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Keeper

I meant to put this picture with yesterday's post. It's Cory's first day of kindergarten self-portrait

This will either be kept safely in a folder or proudly displayed in a frame on our walls. Whichever, it's a keeper for sure.

Out of the mouths of babes:
My niece asked her dad for catfish when they're were dining out recently. Then she quickly added she wanted one without the whiskers.
Cory asked me at dinner tonight--Mom, what's all this facebook stuff? (I'm not that much of a facebooker, but I guess enough to intrigue the kids)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to School

School started for us yesterday. We took some obligatory pictures outside--but there are no backpacks to fill and no lunches to prepare since we're starting our homeschooling journey. Among other things, we've made a self-portrait

worked on some phonics

done some silent reading (and, no, the picture is not upside down, Riley is)
and found the gum drawer while Mom was otherwise occupied