Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I mean... Really?

I cant believe this was a good idea, I mean it wasnt a bad one, it was a funny one! This is Tad's new hat from Uncle John and you can see Nona clearly had a cold head. She never minds wearing hats, we have several good pictures of Nona in a hat.


Yes, I am a little late posting. We had Frank on Skype Saturday morning so I didn't pay as much attention to photo taking as I should have. I was busy looking at him! The kids are opening their big presents here, they get 1 big thing each from us and then 2 things to share. This is a big barn (Nathalie) and a snap circuit kit (Tad).

Nathalie is sporting some new jewelry, she got some necklaces from cousins Briley and Brooke and also my brother. My brother sent the little panda and lady bug that she has in her hands, each one opens and had a necklace inside.
Tad is sporting new blue jeans and jacket from mom, and hand knit warm knee socks from mama Nikki.

Frank is looking confused here, I dont remember what gift he was looking at, but it was sideways or odd. Dont know, but thats the look he is giving.

This one makes me feel a little sad... I so wish he was here with us.

This one also, now I am crying again... Oh dear. We had a wonderful Christmas, we really did. And we were grateful that Skype worked as its titchy, sometimes it doesnt. We had prayed that Skype would work long enough to open gifts and it worked exactly that long and then cut out.

A shared gift from us to them, they have wanted this lego set for 3 years now but there was always something else they wanted more. We also bought a wheel set, just a box full of different sized lego wheels and axels as there is never enough of either. Especially when we get friends over!

Tad is showing Frank a knife, he got this from Uncle Jacob along with several other survival things. He got a compass, some dehydrated food, this knife, shovel and new flint and steal. He has started several fires... not all in a fireplace! From Uncle John he got a new trapping book which he has thoroughly enjoyed so far. He will be trapping and gutting rabbits any day now!
Nathalie showing daddy her new necklaces/cases. And she is sporting a new scarf that her best friend Faith knitted for her, Faith is 10!

My dad sent lego bins to both of them, I think it must be obvious that we like legos! The kids get some each time they have a birthday or Christmas, any event basically.
So thats it for now, a few of our Christmas pictures. We had a great day, but will be glad when Frank is home for the next one...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Diaper

Just a pretty diaper, this was a custom order and I loved this fabric for a little girl baby. I need to get some things made for my store, I want to make pull ups out of this fabric.


I was looking for some good pictures I took of the truck a few months ago, we are listing it for sale for a variety of reasons, and I came across these. I miss our old cat! He was a sweet kitty and we loved him, he was killed by something on our property and we were quite sad. He was Frank's kitty, he loved Frank from the moment he met him at my moms, she found him under a bush as a baby. Frank enjoyed him too, Half-Cat liked to wrestle but didn't put his claws out, he was just a fun kitty. His favorite perch was on Frank's chest at night.

Frank is looking at him sideways, its such a cute picture. Half-Cat was sleepy a lot of the time, and when he was awake his eyes were often halfway asleep anyways. I miss Frank too. I miss him a lot around the holidays, though we have had a very good holiday. We had him on Skype yesterday morning for gift opening, which is what the children and I had prayed for so we thanked God yesterday for such a blessing.

Then I found this picture, wow my son had a real haircut! The punk on his lap is a friend's baby, one of those whose face we don't blog but he enjoys Tad. Tad enjoys him as well, they were playing on the computer. This picture is nearly 1 yr old, how fast time goes! Tad is 10 now and this baby talks, big sentences and words. He still says Tad a lot, and he has done that for a long time. I love that my baby is growing up so big and strong, but I love that I have the memories and pictures to look back on.

I will post our present opening later, the camera is being used by my children right now so I don't have the card. It was a wonderful, relaxed Christmas with great presents, a fun morning using them and an afternoon spent with some local friends for dinner. All in all, a good Christmas. Having Skype is nice, deployments are easier with ways to contact.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just Throwin that out there...

So you know what this is like, right, because I dont want to be all alone here.
You know how, when you make a new shirt and its soft and wonderful and you love
it and then you set it down and turn off the machine, and then want to put on
the new shirt and its gone? I mean.. everybody experiences that SOMETIME

Now just in case you havent, I will tell you what to do in the event that ever
happens. Go ahead and cut out 3 more assuming the fabric can support that number
because you loved the first one so much, how the sleeves were too long in such a
perfect way and the sides were tight enough and the neckline was perfect.. then
use the scraps to cut out some much needed unmentionables...

Then just as you have given up all hope on the aforementioned finished shirt,
you go ahead and make a 2nd one as the top of you is slightly chilled. Then you
find it (the shirt), finished, neatly folded (you know you didnt do that
right?) on the sewing table and you think, did I really put that there, I mean
REALLY??? And missed it? Well... maybe you needed some extra shirts anyways. And
plus, dont feel too bad, there were 9 yards of cream and/or white fabric ON the
table... somehow it got sconched up under that. It isnt your fault at all. You
are not losing your marbles, you are losing your shirts!

I am just throwin that out there...


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Decorating Christmas

I was supposed to post this some days ago, but for a few reasons I didn't. One, Christmas is hard for me without Frank. Two, I had better pictures to post. These didn't come out great, poor lighting and mama not feeling like taking pictures. This one is just our (leaning) tree. It does lean. We tried to fix this but gave up when it at least quit falling over on the floor completely, which was frustrating.

The kids did most of the work, I bought the tree and Tad brought it in and helped me set it up, or I helped him. What happened??? How did he get so old and big that I am now the helper! The kids also brought up the decorations, such as they are. We spent 9 years buying decorations that were lost in the tornado, it will take us a few years of a few here and there to make our collection us again.

Yes, that's a flat rate priority mail box that our decorations are in... Most of them put away in a tangled mess which Nathalie had to unwind and fix.

This is a decoration that our best friends little one made for us last year, she was 3 and we treasure her little clay piece with shiny bits. Its one of Nathalie's favorites.
You see the knife sticking out of Tad's pocket? That knife goes almost everywhere with him. He loves it and we all get a lot of use out of it, though I think we only needed it one time during decorating. (an issue with some yarn... no need to explain here!) His Uncle John gave him this knife the last time Frank deployed and he hasn't been without it often since. It was Uncle John's, when he was a boy growing up in Sweden.

Our tinsel is a bit wonky right? I left it all up to them though.

Once again the knife... Interestingly, our white under tree fabric was an old upholstery cover left here by the previous owner, it does a great job! And no, to my family who my ask, Nathalie's outfit wasn't my choice! The pj pants are warm and wooly and the tunic is simply soft from wearing it the 3rd winter.

Without the flash and sorta sideways, kinda neat. Yes we checked the lights before we strung them, I learned this the hard way.
Our St Nick, the kids miss the old one. The old one was holding a sledge hammer and some other tool. We used to have tool ornaments, and a little engine ornament...

So that was it, we got this done a few days after thanksgiving and now there are presents under it. The pile has grown day by day as presents came in the mail from grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends. The kids are looking forward to being on Skype with Frank Christmas morning and say they wont start without him... Here's praying it works!

Monday, December 20, 2010


"So I started to illustrate a new comic strip. About chickens." Tad tells me after reading tonight while he positions his new hat on my head.

"Yeah? How is that going?" I am truly interested in this.

"Well, it became to gruesome. I will spare you the details." He fastens the hat up by its snaps on one side roughly against my head.

"Oh, well. Thanks I think." He nods his head with raised eyebrows. I guess thanks is in order.

My sister and husband bought a hat for him for a birthday present, Uncle John calls it an ice road trucker hat, Tad calls it a bomber hat and I personally think it looks Russian. I told him this and he said should he have a staff as kings have staffs, and I said no Russia doesn't have kings. Oh he was saddened...

"What is a bomber anyways?" He asks

"Someone who flies planes that drops bombs on people and towns."

"Oh! That isn't very polite." This is the same boy who was illustrating/writing gruesome comics according to him.

"Well its a hazard of the job." They both laugh at this answer of mine.

We read and play games most nights, I say most because some nights I am exhausted and we don't make the games. If this occurs I try to play extra the next morning, even if it is something as simple as Go Fish. My kids really look forward to games, we play a lot of them when Frank is home but even more when he is gone. Evenings are especially difficult for both of them, more acutely Nathalie. She has a hard time with memories, they are all about everything being better with daddy home which is true, but some of her memories or thoughts are that we "played tons more games" or "went out to eat more." Technically, we play even more games when he is gone and we don't go out to eat often when he is home OR gone.

I do not mind these "memories," as she is eight and I know she is suffering. So rather than correct her we just try to make a lot of fun memories for now and I often mention old memories that are good, or bring up funny conversations they had with him on the phone if she is feeling bad.

Okay so that went beyond a simple conversation! My children have come out of their room (room time nightly from around 8 pm-10pm) and they are running about, "having a go" with mamas ankle brace. My ankle is having a rest which means its best for me to hop about instead of walk... They are very loud and I think bedtime is in order!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Now, I am seriously finished blogging. Just one last picture in which Tad says he looks crazy. It was a surprise photo by Alex.

Blog day

Its just blog day I guess... I seem to have a lot of photos to post. Not a lot of info though. Alex and I have been trying to figure out, with a free editing program that came with the computer, how to make a photo black and white and leave the eye color. We just about have it. I did this with color adjustments, his lips still have color but mostly its black and white with just those ocean blue eyes. His eyes are quite nice! Admittedly if this was a picture of me, I wouldn't love it so much and he is correct, he looks like me. Still, those eyes!

Today is a lonely sort of day. Its warm out so the children have played outside, but we had a friends 5 children yesterday morning thru late this morning, as well as Alex since Thursday night so it feels a little lonely and quiet. We are missing Frank, Nathalie has watered about the eyes twice today wanting daddy and Tad has quietly visited the shop for no good reason 3 times. I have looked at old photos, and blog posts that have him in them.

I have plenty of sewing to do but my machines are a little broken and need servicing. I guess that's my job this evening. Chores are done and Tad made supper so I don't have an excuse to not sew!

Teenager and Nathalie

I know I cannot say, this is my teenager. But we are fond of this punk, she is a hardworker and great with kids. She is smart, has great morals, cares about her own future. Basically the 16 yr old girl any family would be proud to have. She is funny and kind, caring and friendly. Absolutely WONDERFUL with children. I cropped this photo and lowered the saturation, brightened it and and very slightly adjusted the exposure. I didnt do much other than take its color, the other edits were very slight. Tad took this picture, she is reading to a visiting baby. Alex is usually the one with the camera so I am glad Tad got a few good ones, the rest have the visiting kids IN the photos and I dont post the friend's children per request. When I take pictures of Alex, she is silly... but she didnt know Tad was taking her picture here!

Now this picture, I took. Of Nathalie and the visiting baby. She was teaching him to play uno. I made 2 extra copies of the same photo, 1 I kept the same with both of them, and the other 2 are of Nathalie (here) and the baby. Her snow pants and striped shirt do not match, but I love her laugh. She was tickled by something another child did at her side and broke out laughing and I snapped. The baby is looking right at me laughing, and its a great photo of him as well. Once again, this photo is edited. Alex taught me how to edit without destroying the integrity of the photo, you can be decent at photography and great at editing, or you can be a good photographer and use editing as an aid. The 2nd is the way to go obviously because I would rather be naturally good at it, or learn to be, than use just an editing program. However, I dont understand lighting and aperature well yet so some exposure editing is nice.

A post about a boy

Now this is a post about a boy. I have pictures of him playing his guitar, and also... not to be a broken record his teacher has told me that he is "wicked" on guitar! His teacher is wicked good himself, one of the most amazing guitarists I have heard. My father, biological, whom I didnt know was very good at playing guitar and chess. These two things are my sons favorite things, he has a few others on that list but he is gifted at music. Even sings well... Its sort of like knowing my father, only backwards.
Alex took these pictures, the 2nd one Tad says he doesnt like because "no offense mama but I look like you and its nice on a girl but not so great for me." Now the rest of you may agree but I dont, I like it so very much. Plus how can he look like a girl in the punisher shirt??? I cant pick a favorite among these 3, he likes the first one and I like all of them. He is growing his hair long, no more mowhawk and he wants to dye it bright purple and I said sure. Yes, thats odd. But he is homeschooled, it will be fun, it will wash out and plus it will be super punk. Which I like!

A post about a girl

Thats my girl. Her violin teacher has told me, multiple times, that she is very gifted at music. She reads music quicker and better than most and he was surprised at the short amount of lessons she has had. We wont tell her all of this, one wouldnt want a big head on such a cute girl! Alex took these pictures, and next up, we have a post-about a boy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I learned

I hadnt posted any good Nathalie pictures lately so here are a few. This feature is, math time. I dont know how the three stools are comfortable... Nearly all of the pictures I have of her are in overalls.

But here, she stepped out of the ordinary into a homemade tube top and "hula" skirt (she made this herself) and most of the day wore her belly dancing scarf on top of it. Oh and a doll baby nightgown that was her nightgown when she was 2.

Amazing, her upper body still fits a size 2? I mean yes it was a nightgown but wow! So all they do is get taller? She got the belly dancing scarf and some videos from her mama Nikki on her birthday and she has worn it many ways of Sunday and tried to learn some dancing skills.

Somehow, if you knew mama nikki you would agree, this outfit looks like something nikki would wear! And she, like Nathalie, can totally pull it off.

And this picture... A tired girl ready for bed sitting next to her daddy. She is watching a movie I think, I cant remember. This was probably 4 days before he left.

Okay so now after the photos, here are a few things I have learned, or knew, or am sharing.

1. I like wearing headphones even when I am not listening to anything.

2. I miss my husband.

3. I dont like Christmas as much without him and neither do the kids. Nathalie is ready to rebel though is old enough to realize it would do no good.

4. The sound of his voice on the phone does the same thing to me that him walking in the door does. My heart skips a beat and then races. I love that this is true.

5. I most especially like it when he is wearing his I am tired voice, it sounds so soft and slow... there went that skipped beat!

6. I hate asking for help, and so I wish my ankle didnt hurt. The man who loaded my Christmas tree today wasnt kind to me and I cried about this.

7. I hate trying to set a tree up and ours leans really far to the right. Or is it the left...

8. My husband really is superman. The things that are problems for me, that I have to find solutions to, wouldnt even be problems for him. He wouldnt think, how do I fix this. It just would happen, it would work.

9. I bought a superman t shirt for $7 because I thought it might work that way for me. All it did was spurn an argument between myself and mama on who is better, superman or pretty boy I have my own money for superpowers Bruce Wayne AKA the batman. I won the argument. Oh wait, did I? No, she brought out the bat mobile and it was a good point.

10. I am wearing my superman t shirt just in case.

11. I still miss my husband. And I miss my mama. I like her. She makes me laugh, every time I talk to her and I like her voice too. Its deep and southern and has a safe sound, like everything is gonna be okay now that she on the line.

Goodnight and Merry Christmas!

PS I listen to the same song over and over and over on repeat until I find a song I like better then the previous one is suddenly dull and annoying.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My baby is 10

My baby is 10. Double digits. He is grown. My job here is done. I am going to cry for the rest of my life and also forever. Wait, then I would miss the next however many years that he may be willing to put up with me! Here he is with some of his presents, from us a 20 gauge shotgun and from Nana (my mama), a ghillie suit. Yes he asked for this and she is just that type of a nana. His birthday was the 5th but the suit came late, so I waited to post.

Now these pictures... he will deny in years to come that these were him. He had his sister tattoo his stomach, "You are as boring as this box." Also the large T, um because he is Tad? Guessing here. And the pose, I am unsure of that too.

I think its a superhero stance of some sort but who knows. I mean I got confused on the roles yellow sun and kryptonite play for superman and I am wearing a superman t shirt, on purpose. Because I like superman. But... I digress. This is my 10 yr old posing as someone wearing worn out dress up pants from some halloween costume, with one of his best friends standing behind him. See her little arm? This is a local 4 yr old homeschool girl, she and Tad and her 2 yr old brother get along very well. Her mom prefers them not to be blogged, so the punk obliged when I said, "Hide behind the superhero for me punk."
Same day, in the rest of the costume. He is planning to roast these animals here for the fun of the little visitors. A snake, lizard and a frog. Visiting 2 yr old found it hugely hilarious and pretended to eat the frog afterwards, even making loud help dont eat me noises from the frog. This was a birthday celebration day with friends, their older boy turned 6 the day after Tad turned 10.
So happy birthday, my wonderful boy. My favorite boy in the world, I have watched him turn into a little man from a tiny boy, from a tiny perfect little ball of wonder. I have so many wonderful memories, and it seems like it was yesterday that they all happened. He is too big too fast, too smart. Not just at school, he is wise, he is an old soul. I love him, I love him more than I ever thought I could love one small boy.