Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Here are our pictures from Halloween day and parties throughout the month. Also - no costumes were allowed at school, but since it was the 50th day of school, Luke's class dressed up 50s style.
Happy Halloween!



This kid cracks me up!

Cool Patch

Doing the single parent thing, my schedule has been insane. I'm not gonna get into all the crazy details. BUT, my goal during this deployment is to make sure the kids don't miss out. Halloween decorations went up and favorite treats have been made and costumes have been created. One thing I wanted to make sure happened was a trip to the pumpkin patch. This is something I loved doing as a kid. Last year (with Matt home) pumpkins were bought from the grocery store. Not this year my friend. Would it have been ok? Yes. Would my friends look down on me for getting a pumpkin from the store instead of a patch? Heck no. They get it. BUT, I would be bummed. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are the things my parents did to make the holidays special. Traditions to make this time of year stand out and be special and different from every other day. So, after a day full of soccer games - finishing at 4pm - and the last saturday in October, we made the drive to Cool Patch Pumpkins. This place is a lot of fun. They are in the 2007? Guiness Book of World Records for having the world's largest corn maze. Matt and I went on a date to the corn maze last year. It is huge and took over an hour and a half (and a few cuts through the corn rows) to get through. Lots of fun.
You pull in and park in a huge field/parking lot, pick up a wagon near the entrance and start picking pumpkins on your way in.

Maya was so happy to finally not be too big to ride. 
I pulled the kids back to the main area of the patch. Lots of yummy treats and fun hay bales and this is where you buy tickets to the different sections of the patch (hay rides, kids zone, maze, etc) and pay for your pumpkins.

So, I bought the kids tickets to the kid zone. They have a track for big wheel tricycles and a giant straw hill and a huge corn pit. My kids played in the corn for over 30 minutes and loved every second of it. We will definitely be going back with Matt next year.

corn angel

To top it all off, on our way out they were launching pumpkins out of a canon. Awesome!

Crazy Hair Day

My kids love crazy hair day!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Keeping Crazy - I mean - Busy

Life is crazy - that is the usual for us. And that is a good thing. Being busy is good, especially right now because it will help the time to pass. I cannot wait for the end of February! I never wish the holidays away. I LOVE the holidays. I love the decorations and the yummy food and the music and the activities and I love the spirit that people seem to carry around with them this time of year. But this year I'm hoping for all of it to fly by. Because my holiday will come sometime around the middle of February when I get to pick up my husband at the airport.

But for now, I'll post lots of pictures to share with you all and let you all experience the crazy with me. Because I know you all have your crazy lives and I love reading about them and being a part of them. I've tried several times to post on this blog over the past 10 months. But I've been having trouble getting pics to upload and so I get frustrated and say I'll finish later. Later comes and I still have trouble and keep putting it off.
No more.

So the next few post may be random and out of order, but I'll be sharing some of the crazy and the funny and even the rare quiet parts of our lives that's happened.

In case I have trouble with pictures, here is a list of some of our happenings since 2013 started. (If I can remember all the way back to January.)

In January Maya participated in her school Spelling Bee again. She did a wonderful job. I'm so proud of the effort she puts into school and learning. She makes it so easy!
In February we went to Hawaii. I swear we are addicted to those islands!

In March I made a trip down to Las Vegas for a Fitness Conference and got to spend time with Justin and his family. Always a bonus if I get to see family.
In April my parents flew out for a few days for my niece's wedding. It was a beautiful day and I was so glad that it happened close enough for us to be able to attend.
We had a few nice windy spring days so the kids got to bring Grandma and Grandpa to the park down the street and fly kites.
In May we traveled to Colorado for my family reunion - to celebrate my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary. It went way to fast! I was so much fun to see everyone and play and chat. It was the best weekend and I hope that we don't wait another decade to get everyone together again.
In June Matt and I were a "Ma" and "Pa" for our stake youth trek. We are so glad we said yes. It was a great experience and I hope that I'll have an opportunity to do it again someday.
This summer was actually pretty crazy. The trek was at the end of June. Then the following week for the 4th of July we made the trip to Utah to see family. Had a great time - marshmallow fights, chickens, water parks, CafĂ© Rio. So fun! Then when we got back from Utah we had a week home and then Matt took the kids to Tahoe to see some more family and then a few days after he got back we dropped the kids off at Alan's house and we went to Europe - just me and him! Then a few days after we got back from Europe Matt headed out of town for about 3 weeks for some pre-deployment training. Whoo! Crazy summer. Here are some pics. (I will have to do a post all about Europe. It was AMAZING! even with the lost luggage)
(chickens at Grandma Wilde's house)
(view of Budapest from the citadel)

(Matias temple and the fisherman's bastion)

(View from the palace)
Soccer started in August for Maya and Luke and in September for Seth. I love watching them play soccer. Luke's strength is as a defender. He love to kick the ball hard and far away. Maya has been playing as a forward and has even scored a few goals!

Maya and Luke started school in August. Maya is in 6th grade and Luke is in 3rd grade.
Luke turned 8 in September which is a very special birthday. He chose to be baptized and it was a beautiful experience.
I'm bummed because I didn't have a single moment to get a picture of Luke and Matt in white before the baptism. He looked so happy and so bright. A moment I will hold in my heart.
After the baptism we tried to get a picture but the good mood ran out so this is the best we were able to do.
In September I completed another fitness training. I am certifying to teach Body Pump (a weight lifting group exercise class). I passed the training and now I'm preparing to record a video of me teaching a class to be assessed and complete my certification. Along with school and household errands and and soccer 4 days a week and other extracurriculars and working at the gym - we are keeping busy. We are surrounded with friends helping the kids and I while Matt is away. Some of the crazy will calm down in November when soccer ends and I complete my video. Then the holiday crazy will keep us busy.
Matt left the last weekend in September and I'm counting down the days until he is back home with us. Like I said, my holiday, where I will smile through and through, will be that day in February when I pick him up from the airport.
Until then, I'll keep sharing our usual crazy lives with you and also for Matt - so he can read up and see what we're up to while he is away.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Look Around the 'Deid

Al-Udeid Air Base, aka "The 'Deid."  Located "Somewhere in Southwest Asia" and hub for almost all war operations in the Middle East.  As you can see, well, it's not much to look at; it's bright, rocky and dry.  Compared with New England, autumn here leaves something to be desired in terms of foliage and color.

  On the bright side (so to speak) you never have to worry about getting caught in the rain, though I hear some pina-colada drinkers are into that.  Actual paved roads and brick buildings with AC and running water are such a huge step up from Afghanistan, that I have no complaints about the living situation.  It's even cooled off recently from 110 to a pleasant 90.

The running track (bright strip on the left) is as scenic as my last deployment with piles of discarded machines and rubble to enjoy while you run.  This track has a few advantages over the one in Ghazni- it's nice and long at 2.5 miles, and there even is patch of lush vegetation on the other side of those berms.  It's nice to see, when you are upwind at least; that's where the sewage is processed. 

My dorm is actually quite nice- private room, with my own sink.  Best of all, a toilet I share with only one other person, not the whole base.

View from hallway of the dorms.  Imagine a new Motel 6  in the middle of a barren spot of New Mexico desert and you've got the general feel.
Now that I'm past the jet lag, I'm feeling more settled in here.  Now I'm hoping that time will start going faster soon.

The Kids