Monday, June 7, 2010


So, over at the Nesting Place the amazing thrifty decorator was discussing how she uses collections of items to keep her home from feeling cluttered as well as to make big impacts. I really want to copy her wall of empty frames (as seen would totally deter my kids from touching the wall and looks AMAZING! I love it!)  She invited us all to show off our own collections and here is mine...

Our only requirement for bottles to make it to the mantle is that they must be one of the following
 1. Good bottles of wine, as in ones we want to purchase again
2. Mark a special occasion (we have our tradition of having a bottle of champagne on the eve of our first home or last night at a Base
3. Have really pretty labels...because I like that sort of thing!

My mantle wraps around, and the white wall is due to cathedral cielings that I refuse to paint myself or pay someone to paint. I'm not happy with the placement of the bottles, and that burgandy candle REALLY needs to get burned down to an appropriate height...but there it collection!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Saying goodbye

We are faced with saying goodbye to our favorite guy fairly often around here, and I was just thinking today how we make the "Goodbye to the Combat Zone" as normal as the "Goodbye as Dad leaves for work".

Recently, Ryan left for a short trip and I found myself putting Kaelyn down for nap as usual knowing that Daddy would be leaving at 4. Instead of forgoing nap, we kept our day normal, held onto normal for as long as possible. I settled in quietly next to Ryan with a book while he reviewed regs and procedures for overseas flights on his laptop.  His mind was already on the mission. While I read, I would peek over the edge of my book and  see my husband's face, those peircing blue-green intensely focused on the mission at hand and feel his hand slowly rubbing my back while I ventured off into my world of fiction. I eventually gave into the desire for a nap, and Ryan joined me shortly afterwards.

 It was a normal afternoon, it was what we would do on any other weekend when he wasn't leaving while the girls napped, and it spoke volumes of how our "home" wasn't about to change just because it was missing one person. It was a silent promise to Ryan that I would keep things normal, regardless of what was missing... I would ignore the giant Ryan sized gap, the empty chair, always made up half of the bed, a toothbrush missing and a towel hanging long forgotten on his hook. I would keep "our" normal, and that he would come home and find his spot just where he left it.

Even though we'd love nothing more than running off together and soaking up a few last moments of family time in reckless abandon, we cling to our routine, our normal and by doing so we choose to relish the little things...the sight of our girls napping, the feeling of his hand on my back, a nap in each others arms. Those are the things you really miss, and perhaps that is why we hold so dearly to normal on a day that is anything but.

Saying goodbye is part of our lifestyle...we do it often, but it makes Hello so much sweeter.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Preschool Corner: Mermaids/Water Cycle

Mermaids and the water cycle....completely not related, but Kaelyn went nuts in the library about finding mermaid books (We walked away with one that discussed the history of Mermaids, one about the legend of Atlantis because Posidean looked like a mermaid, and of course...Ariel). Kaelyn has also been bugging me about who makes it rain. So to answer her questions this was what our week consisted of.

To tag along on our Mermaid/Ocean theme, we bought a lobster and talked about the different parts, that it has an Exoskeleton and how it ate. She was really excited about it! Then a night later we ate it...yummy!

Then we did some work on introducing the water cycle....and an experiement using a cotton ball and water to show how a "cloud" gets "heavy" with water vapor (by sitting in the water), and then rains the water droplets out. We are still working on the water cycle, but here are some great resources I have used!

I also am reading the Magic School Bus Wet All Over book, which I LOVE! We reviewed the concept of Buoyancy last week by reading Magic School Bus Floats...and did the experiment at the end!

Math/History: We are still working on coins here. Kaelyn can easily recognize Abraham Lincoln from our Penny work, as well as recognize pennies. We just started Quaters and George Washington! We did quarter rubs, where you place a quarter under a piece of paper and rub over the top to see the engravings better.

Reading: WE ARE FINALLY READING PEOPLE!! I have started using Hubbard's Cupboard site word curriculum and her four year old about a break through! While I was absent, Kaelyn has picked up various site words like-
the    on    we    will  I  see  at   a
As well as started sounding out more words on her own! The breakthrough came when Anna my youngest tried to start going potty and every time she went she got a treat. Kaelyn wanted a treat too, so I made her read. Who knew food was going to be the key to her reading?

For more Preschool Corner!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Where in the World is Brandie???

Oh where, oh where can she be?

She could have been found at the USO Sesame Street Performance...but she's not there anymore

Or at her house making gift buckets and this cake...but she's moved on
And if you had been at the local Chuckie Cheese on the 26th of would have seen her there

Could she be in Philly? 
Nope, she was never there, she was at home in bed sleeping!
On May 14 and 15th you could have found her at Yellowstone Park 
napping under the trees with Anna
or Celebrating her 24th Birthday with BooBoo Bear and the kiddos...all the kiddos!
and glowing with pride as both her girls caught their first fish on Princess Poles no less!

(Anna was all about fishing, until something actually came up on her line!)

(fish number two for Kaelyn, who was very tired!)

And had you been ANYWHERE near my house the night before Aunt Brittany left with Anna for California and Ryan returned from would have found me playing DD for my best friends!


All this to say, that I am at home now, with Ryan and Kaelyn. Ryan will be leaving soon...and will be gone most of the month of June, hence the reason we decided to have Aunt Brittany take sweet Anna with her to California (could you imagine me alone with two kids on the L&D ward??? I don't think so!). We have some really big things happening in June (Kaelyn's has birthday parties out her ears, followed by a baby shower, my parents coming out, Dance Recital and the end of Swim Lessons!).  

I also owe you guys some GREAT photos of all the hard work Aunt Brittany did in our home and the baby's room! So exciting! July is just around the corner, and I usually go about 4-5 weeks we might have some MAJOR announcements (like gender and a name) coming very soon! It's great to have my computer back and to finally be able to update you all! Sorry for the absence!