We Lift Up Our Friends

I would like to ask for our readers to join with us in prayer for our dear friends that we co-homeschooled with in Colorado. I will call them "The A Family." They have two boys, 9 and 7. Mr. A was having trouble with his leg and in the process of trying to figure out what was wrong the doctors decided to do an MRI. Praise God they did. They found a "brain mass" that is "almost certainly at least a low grade tumor, level 2." Mr. A will be having surgery late October or Early November. We will know more then. They are feeling drained, but are doing well overall. Please pray for healing for Mr. A and peace for The A Family. I will post an update when I have new information for you. Thanks.


It is the simple things...

I took a shower without shoes. By myself. Now that I have been staying in a house for a few days with my children spread all over the place, I realize there really aren't many things I miss. But this was my first shower alone in a few months. And I didn't need to wear shower shoes. It was wonderful.


Look out Milton, here we come!

Well, Mr. Pilot left yesterday to go out to sea. He is such a sailor, it is like the boat calls his name. By the way, I think there is a rule that you can only call it a boat if you are actually in the Navy, because it's a ship. Today he'll get to ride in a C-2 (plane) and trap on a carrier that is out in the ocean somewhere. In 7 days he'll get to take off from the carrier to come home.

Trap: (The (future) pilot's wife definition) The pilot of the plane has to land on a boat by catching a wire with a hook at the bottom of the plane to stop them from crashing in the ocean. If he misses the runway, he crashes into the boat. If he misses the boat, he crashes into the ocean. If he misses the wire, he crashes into the ocean.

Carrier Take-off: (The (future) pilot's wife definition) The boat isn't long enough for the plane to gain enough speed to take-off and it would just drop off the end of the boat into the ocean if it tried, so the plane is flung off the boat like a rock in a high speed sling shot. If the pilot pulls up too quickly, he crashes into the ocean. If he doesn't pull up fast enough, he crashes into the ocean.

Do you notice the crashing into the ocean theme here?

While this is all very awesome and exciting for Mr. Pilot, it is not so much for me. So, in true Navy Wife fashion, I am going out of town while he is gone. It helps the time pass.
We are going to visit the "Culburrito's" and the rest of our wonderful friends we left behind in Florida. We are staying with the Culburrito's and their 7 children. We are prepared to have a blast. I am going to visit my Help Meets group, go to our old Church, and our homeschool co-op. We are also going to Target and the Waterfront Mission. There isn't a Target with-in an hour drive from us here, and even though I am not going to buy anything, I just want to go inside and remember... The Mission is where we got all of our clothes for $2.99 and I am in need of a few items. I haven't been able to buy them here because I couldn't allow myself to pay $19.99 for something when I know I can get it for $2.99

We are all very excited. For the last week or so, every time I mention the trip the children sing the Doxology. It is quite funny. They have been asking since 6am if it is time to go yet. We are going to MOPS first, and that doesn't even start for 2 more hours. Then we have to come back home and pick up our pets and then drive 4 hours to Florida. It might be a long day.

I am glad my husband gets to do what he loves to do. Seeing that sparkle in his eyes is totally worth it. I am glad that we are able to take this trip. I am glad that we have friends that are willing to put up with us, er, I mean, put us up for the week.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow...


Change your attitude with a snap!

You know those days when everything seems to be going wrong? You pour the water into the back of the coffee pot and hear a funny noise. Trying to figure out what it is with a still sleeping brain and see in the dim kitchen through crusty eyes you discover there was already water in the coffee pot and you have effectively poured water all over the kitchen counter. You knock over another cup of water someone so thoughtfully left on the counter while trying to clean up the mess. This wakes the baby up. Now you are trying to hush baby with one arm so he doesn't wake up the other children and clean up the flooded kitchen with the other arm. Your arms are full, but your baby's arms aren't so he grabs the bowl of cereal you just poured for your husband and throws it to the floor before you can stop him. This wakes the other children up. With cereal on the floor and awake children at 6 am, you have a choice to make about how the rest of your day is going to look. It could be ruined. Or you could have joy.

I have learned a little trick to help me keep things in perspective and have joy in times of trial. In moments like this early morning kitchen disaster, I pull out my joy-theft prevention weapon. It is also called a camera. The time it takes me to find my camera and snap a picture allows me to find a chuckle, keep things in perspective, and make light of a situation. I don't want to cry over spilled milk. Or spilled coffee water and cereal. How you react in the small trials is a good indication of how you will react in the big trials, and there will be trials.

Before I learned this trick I might yell, I might get huffy, and I might let this mess ruin my day. I still might yell or get huffy on occasion, but I press on to learn this spirit of joy in all circumstances.

Besides, looking back at the pictures makes it all worth it. I didn't take a picture of this morning's kitchen disaster because it didn't even phase me. But I did catch this "disaster" two days ago...

My little two year old ruined my favorite make-up and the counter has permanent glitter, but look at her smile! No, she didn't get away with this mess and my children know that mom pulling out her camera is not a "get out of jail free" card. She had to clean it up herself, and she won't do it again. Well, we are talking about Butter, so I hope she won't do it again, lol. But I could have stolen that smile off her face and stolen the joy from the entire day by my attitude. Instead, I took a picture, we cleaned up the mess, brushed it off, learned a lesson, and kept going. And we have this adorable picture to laugh about.

Next time things start going downhill, I challenge you to take out the camera and make a memory out of it!

Peas Please!

I never imagined I'd hear "more peas please" from any of my children let alone all of my children. Dinner was so delicious that my eldest son said "mom, you have got to write that down so my wife can make it for me!" Now that is pretty incredible.

So what was this meal that we devoured? Peas. Purple Hull Peas. We didn't even know what they were when our neighbor asked us if we would like to buy a bushel from the farmer. We probably should have asked what a bushel was before we said yes.

We shelled peas for 6 hours. It was quite fun, actually. We had a pea shelling race, who could shuck five peas the fastest. We had to add rules to the game, who could shuck five peas the fastest without shooting any across the table. There were peas all over the floor. We filled the freezer with these curious green and purple peas of which I had no idea what to do.

I am not one to follow recipes. I may read a recipe to get an idea, but I don't have time to run to the store for exact ingredients or to find a measuring cup to measure out exact ingredients. I rarely use a measuring cup. But since I didn't have any guess as to how to cook these peas, I read some recipes online for ideas. Then I made us some dinner.

I took my electric skillet outside because I wasn't about to cook inside with the air conditioner not working. I browned up some bacon and onions, added the peas and water to cover and cooked them for about 2 hours. I threw some thin pork chops on top and cooked until done. I used the broth from that to make gravy and served it all over mashed potatoes. YUM. A real southern style dish. We are calling it my "Mississippi Specialty." It will be a rare treat since we don't normally eat anything heavy like that, but it was so good I will definitely make it again.


Open the windows please!

It is hot in Mississippi. Really, sticky, stifling hot. I have lived in a lot of different places in America and the people from each place have a different definition of hot. I can say that it is HOT here. San Diego isn’t hot, it is really warm. Virginia is just nice. Colorado’s temperature can rise above 100, but with no humidity you can still play outside. Chicago’s temperatures can get up there, but there is always a breeze. Iowa gets pretty muggy and almost hot. Florida gets disgustingly hot with humidity but you can jump in the ocean. Mississippi is really, really muggy. I’d have to say worse than Florida.

Our air conditioner is broken.

I just keep reminding myself that people made it through before there were air conditioners. Maybe I'll shed a few pounds by sweating while I sleep tonight. If I sleep tonight.

Thankfully, we know (think we know) what is wrong with it, and will (hopefully) fix it tomorrow after Mr. Pilot comes home from work.

Good thing we are all drinking tons of water!


Happy Birthday to Mr. Pilot's Mother

My Mom

Mom, you're a wonderful mother,
So patient and so strong.
The many ways you show you care
Always make me feel I belong.

You're patient when I'm foolish;
You give guidance when I ask;
It seems you can do most anything;
You're fitted for every task.

You're a dependable source of comfort;
You're a cushion when I fall.
You help in times of trouble;
You support me whenever I call.

I love you more than you know;
You have my total respect.
If I had my choice of mothers,
You'd be the one I'd select!

Happy Birthday Mom! I hope it’s a great one, I wish we could be there.

-Your Son

Could I be thirstier?

(Dad dictates mom’s blogging thoughts literally)
Mom: Day 1 down. Surprisingly, it didn’t really seem like all that much water. How many ounces are in a gallon?
Dad: 128.
Mom: And I drank? Yeah, 80.
Mom: I drank half a gallon of water today, and I’m…thirsty. Maybe I normally drink the appropriate amount of water or something, because I feel no different. I’m considering bumping up my intake over the recommended amount.
Dad: Isn’t that just cuz you’re looking for some sort of major difference?
Mom: Like I said, I want to enjoy changing the cat box.
Dad: (Perplexed) Ok, so….
Mom: Although I’ve never measured the amount of water I drank before, I don’t feel like I drank any more than normal today. However, I must admit I’ve never paid attention to the amount of water my children are drinking, so they might be the true test.
Dad: Yeah, but I drank my water this morning and was sweating like a dog while working outside.
Mom: Ok, then for you, but you don’t really drink that much water normally. But I DO drink that much water, and at least 3 cups when I wake up to pee in the middle of the night.
Mom: Then type Dad says, “At work today in the hanger he was sweating like a dog.”
Dad: Um, hmmm.
Mom: I don’t know you say whatever you say you thought.
Dad: No, you go ahead this is working well. (hehehe)

It's official, he walks!

He's showing off now, by walking all over the place. We have the proof right here...


Catechism what?

During a van ride we listened to the conversation taking place in the back:

Boy to Butter - Who made you?
Butter to Boy - Dod made me (God made me)
Boy to Butter - What else did God make?
Butter to Boy - Dod made all fings (God made all things)
Boy to Butter - Why did God make you?
Butter to Boy - For His own dory (For His own glory!)

We looked at each other and smiled.

Then the conversation continued:

Butter to Boy - Bruder, Who made you? (Brother, Who made you)
Boy to Butter - God made me.
Butter to Boy - Good job, Bruder! (Good job, Brother)

Now we chuckled a bit, this is heart warming.

Just a few months ago we had never heard the word Catechism. My friend Marty mentioned something about it but I pridefully didn't bother to ask what it was. I thought it was some weird pastor's wife thing. I mentioned it to Dad and we both agreed that we thought it sounded catholic or something, and we brushed it off.
Well, fast forward to Meridian where we are learning all sorts of things about family reformation and having a biblical worldview and we are hearing that Catechism word all over the place.
We finally checked it out, and we think it is really great. We should have checked it out a long time ago.
It is so many things, but I am trying to make this blog post short. One of the reasons we are choosing to Catechize our children is to arm them with answers when people, or life, questions their faith. Most young adults leave the faith of their parents by college age because they have a "Veggie Tales" view of cartoonish stories, rather than biblical truth, and once they outgrow cartoons, they outgrow their faith too. We aren't teaching some watered down cartoon stories here. We are teaching the foundations of life. We want to raise children who aren't afraid to stand up for what they believe in, and we are equipping them to do so.

If you are interested in Catechizing yourself or your children, we recommend using TAG as a family. We are all really enjoying it, even our 2 year old.

Water Challenge

We are going to take the water challenge. Starting tomorrow, for one week, each one of us will be drinking half our weight in ounces of water. We know that water is good for us, that is easy. But are there really benefits of drinking half my weight in ounces? Maybe it will make my thyroid not be hypo. Or maybe I will suddenly want to run up the hill to the bath house five times a day. Maybe we will feel no difference at all. I am hoping it will make me enjoy scooping the cat box. Oh, wait, I don't think those are related. Oh well, it is worth the try. Either way, we will let you know how it goes.


Pops is 10.5 months

He is walking about like crazy now, all over the trailer. He is my earliest walker! It is so wonderful to see his little personality showing more and more. He is such a snuggle bum and he loves to give out kisses. Pops also loves to give very loud raspberries, especially when someone is praying and he is supposed to be quiet. He likes to squeal when Butter wrestles him to the ground, he claps when he hears If You're Happy and You Know It and when he wants me to pick him up he claps once and raises his arms. He doesn't have many words yet, but he loves to point and growl at his daddy. It is boy talk, you know.

He is a beloved son!

Random Pictures

Silly Sleepers ~ Take II

I have been blessed with children who will sleep anywhere, and everywhere. They will even sleep with their eyes open (just like their dad.) I imagine I am the only person that keeps her camera handy so I can snap pictures of my children when I stumble to the bathroom (or to the candy bar) in the middle of the night. ;~)

you can see some more of my silly sleeping children here.


I want to chuck my computer out the window...

To Mac, or not to Mac: that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of PC-dom,
Or to take arms against a sea of viruses and corrupted batch files,
And by opposing end them?

To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache or multiple reboots or un-useful updates
That PC is inerrant to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.

If you Mac, please share your, “I’ll never PC again” story.

-Mr. Pilot

A great day.

We started the day off like any other, Bible, prayer, breakfast, chores, and a Beautiful Feet lesson. We are absolutely loving Beautiful Feet, by the way. Half-way through our lesson I realized it was September 11th. Instantly regretting that I had not planned out some lesson of remembrance for this day, I decided to wing it. I stopped reading King of the Wind despite the protest of my children. I googled some pictures of the Twin Towers and described to them what I remembered from that fateful day. We talked about the heroes, then talked about the families that were left behind. We talked about what it means to be a martyr. We talked about that email that went around about the guy who was saved because he stopped to buy a band aid on his way to work at the towers and then we talked about what providential means. We talked about daddy and the military and what their role is in defending our freedom. Right as I was running out of ideas Dad called from work and told us to get in the car, they were having a special lunch at the galley for September 11th. Perfect! So we went and enjoyed King crab legs, ribs and bbq chicken, and more teaching of what happened on this day 8 years ago.

We were the last ones to leave the galley and my curious children were amazed by the conveyor belt thingy that carries away dirty dishes in a galley. By now I am ready to head to the door. Everyone is staring at us, as they always do, it looks like 10 people just had a food fight at the table we ate at. These people are waiting for us to leave so they can close up and here we are making a scene around the dirty dishes. My husband is awesome, he adds to my embarrassment by picking the children up to let them stick their head inside and get a better look at the thingy that is taking our dishes, one by one, into some curious unknown abyss. It was all I could do to keep them from climbing into it (including my husband). I feel like the workers are staring at us, and I am thinking enough is enough, lets go. But no, my husband asks if we can go inside the kitchen to have a better look. Yes, they are definitely staring at us. I am secretly agreeing with what I imagine is going through their minds, they must be crazy. One lady finally nods. Not waiting for any other answer Mr. Pilot busts through the door of the scullery and gives us a grand tour of all of the machines. He is an expert after all, since he had to crank (that means he had to take a turn working the galley for 3 months when he was on the ship). No one said a word to us as we enjoyed our impromptu field trip.

Next, we ran over to the commissary to pick up a few odds and ends. We did our math lesson while deciding which was the better deal, the baby carrots or the regular carrots and other practical problems. Then, in the check out line, we had our lesson in character training. There was a little old lady in front of us at the checkout struggling as she unloaded her cart onto the conveyor belt. Dad nudged Boy to help her empty out her cart. Boy didn't even think twice, he just did as he was told. The lady sang him praises and was so grateful, it made Boy's dimples show. When we were about to leave the manager of the store came to us and asked if she could borrow Boy. She took him off to the side and told him how she had seen what he had done and how impressed she was. What a reward. Then she slipped him $2. Now his dimples were blushing. He rushed over and was just beaming from ear to ear as he said "thanks for telling me to do that, dad." How fitting for our current memory verse, Ephesians 6:1

When we got home the children were eager to finish up our Beautiful Feet lesson, so we did. Then Boy brought me a dead fish and asked why it smelled funny. Then we learned how to build a trebuchet just because we felt like it.

The day carried on just like that, unrestricted by mounds of laundry or dishes, not limited to pages in a workbook restrained by a clock on a wall.
Sometimes the old way of thinking creeps in and I wonder if I am "doing it right". I am far from perfect and sometimes we have bad days. But I have my feet set upon a Rock and I know, my God is Sovereign. We are teaching our children when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up. His grace is sufficient.
Yes, this was a good day.


that is how much sleep I feel like I got last night. Pops decided he wanted to play. All night long. You know what I am talking about? Right about the moment I would get comfortable and drift into twilight, he'd start screaming. It sort of felt like a cheese grater on my forehead. It would have been fine if he just wanted to snuggle up and sleep with me and Dad, but no, he wanted to play. I am too old to play at 2 am.
I thought maybe he would sleep in and I'd get to catch up on my long lost z's. Nope. He greeted me with a big fat grin bright and early this morning. The kind of grin that makes me want to eat his cheeks. I could just gobble him up. What a shnooker.

There will be a nap time today. I can't wait.


On the lighter side--

I just heard a funny joke:

Socialism: You have two cows, the government takes one cow and gives it to your neighbor.

Communism: You have two cows, the government takes both and gives you part of the milk.

Fascism: You have two cows, the government takes both, and sells you the milk.

Nazism: You have two cows, the government takes both and shoots you.

Bureaucracy: You have two cows, the governement takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain.

Capitalism: (Of course we understand this one) you have two cows, you sell one and buy a bull!


Fishing ~ Mr. Pilot Style

I mentioned before that my hubby didn't grow up fishing like I did. I guess he wants to make up for lost time! While fishing with the children one day we noticed there was something much larger than the little Blue Gill they had been catching. Mr. Pilot set out to find out what it was.He caught a little Blue Gill and it seemed like something tried to eat it. Like Jaws.

Sure enough, he was on to something! Yes, the Blue Gill was bait for a much larger fish!

So he caught a couple of pretty big fish and decided we needed to eat them. I must admit, I was not entirely thrilled with this idea...
Lucky for him, his father-in-law was here to show him how to clean it with the neighbor's super dull fillet knife. Also lucky for him, his mother-in-law was here to show his wife how to cook it.
Much to my horror, everyone loved it. All of my children just gobbled it up and asked for more. They paid no attention to the look of "trying not to vomit" on my face. Maybe I'll discover a recipe that makes fish taste good. I guess it is fun, and it is free food for my family. I will give it an honest try. But my husband has to clean the fish all by himself.

Stairs for the Girls

Boy, with his big heart, decided to provide some stairs for the little girls to get down the slope to the lake easier. Isn't he sweet and thoughtful, er, uhm, manly and brave?

Who you calling Butter?

Butter doesn't like her nickname. She told me so. She said, "I not Budder, I Drazy."

Why the nicknames? First, we love nicknames. When we choose names for our babies, having a good nickname is one of the first qualifications. Second, we chose to use only nicknames on this blog for our own safety. Since our Head-of-the-House has to leave often and there are a bunch of crazy people out there, we don't want to open ourselves up for any danger. You can understand.

I have in our profile a little key to help you out with who is who, but I figured I would post it here too, just for clarification.

Dad, Hubby, Head-of-the-House, or Mr. Pilot- is the daddy. He is an Ensign in the US Navy was prior enlisted (he has been in the Navy for 11+ years and took the long road to get where he is) and is now in Flight School for Jets

I am just Mom. I don't really call myself any nicknames, that would be silly. But I am a Help Meet, Mother, Homeschool Teacher, Photographer, Cook, you get the idea...

Guys is 9. She is a tomboy and she loves horses, catching lizards and bugs, reading, and helping out with her younger brothers and sisters. She got her nickname because when I yell "Guys, come here" she is the first child who comes. Naturally, Butter thought her name was Guys.

Boy is 8. He has a big heart and loves all things boy. He is eager to help and is a wonderful big brother. He was the only boy for a long time, so we called him Boy. Plus, he asked me not to use his other nickname on here (it's Bugger.)

Sis, Sissy, or Peanut is 5 and she is super sweet and full of sass. She is always smiling and is our family fashion advisor, a very girly-girl. She is a Peanut because she is super small, just the way God made her.

Butter is 2, she's a full blown daddy's girl. She loves to help with the baby, to sing and she talks non-stop, and is the strong-willed type. Butter showed her strong-willedness right from the womb, she got her butt stuck and forcing me to have a c-section. We thought the nickname Butt was too short and Buttercup too long, so she got Butter. She goes nicely with Peanut. Guess I better be on the lookout for a new nickname for her. She said I could call her Drazy which is her pronounciation of a version of her middle name. It sort of rhymes with Crazy. Sort of. Did I mention she is 2?

Pops or Lil Bird is the current baby. He'll be 1 at the end of October and is already climbing on the table and walking around a bit. He is a very happy baby and is going to be so tough with all his big sisters that love to play mommy with him. Pops is not a grandpa, Butter just started calling him that one day. We are not sure where she got it from. If you know his real name, you know why Lil Bird is fitting.

It is funny because our friends that just visited were calling our children by their "blog names" since we hadn't seen them in so long and they had been reading all of our posts.

I hope that clears up any confusion. Oh, and there will be a quiz later...

An Invitation

We would like to invite you to come visit us. If you have any desire to check out the travel trailer life, come try it out for yourself and stay in the trailer right across from us. Even if you don't care about the travel trailer life, just come spend time with us.

It is actually like a hotel room with bunk beds and a kitchen. It has a full bathroom, and private master with a queen size bed. Linens are provided, too.

It is really inexpensive and loads of fun.

No excuses, you can do it.

We'd love to have you!


Unsocialized Homeschooling with the Culburritos

So what do 12 well behaved, unsocialized, modest, nerdy, weirdo children do with themselves?
Why, they learn, of course!

Dermatology and Emergency Medical Technician Training


Earth Science

The Secret Art of Fishing

Thermodynamics for the Dads

and we musn't forget, Kumbaya My Lord around the campfire


and so much more!


Time with Papa and Grandma

Papa and Grandma came down on their motorcycle from north of Chicago for a short, but very sweet visit.  We really enjoyed simply hanging out and spending time with them.  It is sort of becoming a tradition. Wherever the Navy sends us, they come.  Nothing fancy.  Doesn't need to be.  It is wonderful.

Yes, I cried.

Isn't my husband so sweet?!  I did not even know about his post to me until he read it to me over dessert.  We had a wonderful 10th anniversary.  We spent the morning with my parents and the evening with friends.  Then we had appitizers and dessert alone as we exchanged rings and remembered the years past.  10 years seems so long, yet short at the same time.  I wish I had written something beautiful too.  I couldn't find the words.  According to the world we should never have made it, we did everything completely backwards. Yet here we are, and not just surviving, but thriving.  God is good, His grace is sufficent, and I am blessed.


Happy Anniversary Mom!

Ten Years Old

He brought us together,
not so long ago.
We started this journey,
with love still unknown.

Still He bonded us as one,
A covenant we spoke.
I was still just a boy,
when our love almost broke.

With pain in our hearts,
He took us in His arms.
Fashioning His Spirit within us,
His truth became ours.

Separately He mended,
for our sins were all paid.
Bringing us back to His plan,
showing the family He'd made.

Our lives came into focus,
and a path He had lit.
Slowly we understood,
what all of it meant.

As we've grown from place to place,
I find I love you more and more.
Funny how the better we follow,
so much more He has in store.

So with my quiver increased,
I'm glad I've got you.
Looking for new joys to come,
Oh, the blessings poured out,
since saying:
"I do."


Sorry, there won't be many posts this week.

But there will be a ton next week to make up for it because this week is jam packed with excitement.

First, my parents are in town.  They came to spoil us and love on us and we are just soaking it all up.  Time with grandparents is so precious for my children.  As a military family we have to take advantage of every opportunity we have to spend time with loved ones.

Second, Thursday is a most special day.  We will be celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary.  I cannot tell you how excited and blessed I am!

Last, also on Thursday, the coolest family on the planet (besides us, of course) is coming to spend the rest of this week with us.  It is going to be crazy!  They have 7 amazing children and we are going to take over the trailer park with their 7 and our 5, well behaved, unsocialized, modest, & weirdo children.  Look out bugs, frogs, fish, and lizards, here we come!

It is going to be an awesome week!