Friday, October 31, 2008


We had a great day here at May's house!

First, we had a black and orange party in both classes at school (I spent most of the time running up and down the hall so that I could be at both class parties and no child was without a Mommy.

When we got home, we had a very fun Halloween Treasure Hunt. I had picture clues hidden all over the house that led to a hidden (not well, just beneath some leaves) box of little Halloween goodies that Momma and I had bought over the past month or so. It was so much fun and a huge hit!

No one was much in the mood for a nap. Many people would say their excitement and reluctance to nap was based on an increase in their daily sugar intake, a notion that I reject. They were just excited about it being HALLOWEEN! So after they rested (using that term VERY loosely), we got up and started getting fired up for the night's festivities.
They wanted to be "Daddy" for Halloween. . . A nice tribute, I think!

We trick or treated at our usual houses (one is an old friend who we have visited every Halloween since Jessa was born!). We then headed for the "Trunk R Treat" sponsored by the church where their preschool is. It was lots of fun! We saw many people from school - the kids LOVE that. It is always exciting to see "school" people not in school, right?

Jessa was brave on the big slide. Twice.

Spencer was not interested in the bouncy things at all after a moment of panic the first time he tried it. He loved the games, and after he knocked over a squirrel hinged on a fence with a bean bag, he beamed at me and said, "Momma, I knew I could do that." Bless his sweet heart!

We shut the carnival part down (no pictures - it was already dark). Literally, they would finish a game, and it would be packed up. So it was getting cold. In the car on the way home, Jessa got to coughing - mainly because she was running around in the cool night air. As we were driving home, the drama was in full force. She could not stop coughing and her nose was running. We were all hungry, cold, and tired. She started to cry and said, "I am cold and I am hungry and I am tired and I am miserable!" I love when she uses big words!!

All in all, we had a great time. Although I sincerely missed David, having 2 mini-Ds to keep me company was fun!

P.S. I also had to carve pumpkins. I have never done that before; it is always David's job or Daddy's. There were tense moments as Jessa kept saying I was not doing it right, and she kept saying "I just wish Daddy was here." I did, too! But I was trying, so I told her to be patient with me. I think I did OK, though. What do you think?!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Out of the mouths. . .

I have decided to create a special series of posts called "Out of the Mouths. . ." So whenever you see that title, you will know that I want to share things that they have recently said recorded before I forget.
I was planning to make brownies (cakes and cupcakes are not allowed) to take to Jessa's class for her birthday. We did not get back from Ft. Stewart until late on Sunday. We were so tired and had so much to do. I tried to make brownies from a recipe that I have made lots of times. At 11:15, I realized that they did not turn out well at all. While I was contemplating heading to Wal-Mart, Mom said, "Drop the kids off in the morning and go to Dunkin Donuts." So I did! When I walked into Jessa's class with 2 dozen assorted donuts, everyone was glad to see me. And Miss Penny said, "Jessa's mom brought a special snack." Jessa was beaming and I said "Jessa, why don't you tell the class why I brought a special snack?" I was fishing for her to announce that it was her birthday. But instead, she said, "You brought donuts because the brownies you made did not turn out good." Thanks, Jess!
And today, Jessa had some trouble on the playground. At her age, you know that each day they have a new best friend. They are always changing who they like and who is their favorite. So today, her BFF told her that she was not her BFF anymore. This was upsetting to Jessa. So when the teacher asked her what was wrong, Jessa told her about the little spat. The teacher tried to make her feel better and said something reassuring about friends having bad days or something. So Jessa said, "Well, in Proverbs 17 it says that a friend loves at all times." I guess she has been paying attention in Bible class, huh??
And it is true, but maybe not when you are 5. . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Things I learned. . .

I have been trying to form this post in my head to tell the story of our crazy few days at Ft. Stewart, but I have had some trouble. A LOT happened, but I do not want to have a really long post. (You know how long winded I can be. . .) So I decided to try and list things to make it easier. I will include pictures where applicable.

Things I learned during this move:
1. Unloading is hard when it POURS down rain ALL day when movers bring your things.

2. Unloading in the rain means all of the boxes, furniture, carpets, floors, dogs, people get soaked.
3. Boxes are not sturdy when they are wet. Sometimes they cave in, break, and fall apart.
4. David's brand new HD TV is lost. Not broken or wet or damaged, it is GONE.
5. Wal-Mart particle board bookcases are good for storing toys, but disintegrate when wet.
6. it is hard to fit 15,000 lbs worth of household goods in a house that is designed for 10,000 lbs.

7. Dunken and Cooper are the sweetest, most patient dogs in the world.

8. Jessa and Spencer are also patient and precious most of the time.

9. Wall to wall boxes make it hard to walk.

10. I miss my big house and garage.
11. A 10x5x8 storage area is not as big as I thought.

12. Drinking a few beers with your mom after a long, wet, stressful day makes things seem better.
13. It is hard to find curtain rods longer than 120" long.

14. I am lucky to have such a great mom who will help me when David is gone.
15. I cannot install a modem and wireless router without a lot of detailed help.
16. Fences are expensive, but priceless when you do not have time to wait on a doggy to go potty.

17. Houses built in the 50's are different and smaller.

18. Kitchen cabinets are a necessity, why did the builder of my house not know that?

19. A good way to find a new muscle is to pull it. I have sore muscles where I did not even know I had muscles! My hair is even sore. . .
20. Jessa and Spencer think hotels are really really FUN.

Most importantly, I learned that things are never so bad that they could not be worse. Momma raised me and Lucas with that as our mantra. And it is true. Is the house too small? Yes, but at least I have a house. Did I want to rent a storage unit and haul a ton of stuff? No, but at least I have a van to load and I can afford the rent. Was unloading in the rain miserable? Yes, but at least I had things to unload. Did I miss having David around to handle all of the paperwork and running around? Yes, but I was able to figure it out and I had all the proper paperwork and powers of attorney to get everything taken care of. Was it extra tiring and stressful for the kids and the doggies and us? Yes, but we all made it and we did have a good time. And I am so glad that I had them all with me!! They are troopers and so adaptable. Moving is extra stressful on babies, but they go with the flow most of the time. And I would not want them to be anywhere but with ME! When we moved in at Ft. Polk, lots of things went wrong, but now that move seems easy. It is all about perspective, right?

I now have a house at Ft. Stewart. I have received (most of) my household goods and they are all unloaded. The kids (and mom and mimi and poppy and lucas and daddy and anyone else I can rope into helping) and I will make trips down on the weekends to get things all settled. Our goal, of course is to get as much as possible unpacked, organized, and fixed up before my David comes home in January.

I do have to share one appalling story with you. We were wet and cold and tired, but we were doing ok. I was so frustrated with not knowing where to put things since this house is literally half the size of the last one (I went from about 2700 sq. ft. to about 1400 sq. ft.). The unpackers were really nice and they were doing an admirable job considering the awful rain. It was so windy that it was raining sideways. Then they came across something that the packers on the other end had done that upset them so much. It also REALLY upset me and Momma (and everyone we have told since). These darn packers, who were packing a US Army family, had trouble figuring out how to keep David's rakes and post-hole-diggers in place to put them on the truck. So they had the nerve to wrap the lawn tools up in MY AMERICAN FLAG and then put several layers of tape on MY AMERICAN FLAG to move it. It is the very flag that is displayed prominently on this blog!! Can you believe the utter stupidity and lack of respect that these people showed by this thoughtless packing strategy?? Icing on the cake of a crappy move! I swear, I was more bothered about that than I was about them making off with David's TV that cost more than $1,000!! A TV can (and will) be replaced. The flag and what it represents is pretty much the meaning of our lives. Hello!? We are moving from one military installation to another while my husband is serving in Iraq! Nice.

Really, people!

Monday, October 27, 2008

FIVE years ago today. . .

at 3:02 PM, a 7 lb. 11 oz. beautiful baby girl was born and her name is Jessa Lynn Key! She was a blessing from the moment she entered our lives. Our Jessa, so anxious to arrive that a nurse delivered her because the doctor (2 doors down) could not make it in time! And she has been in a hurry ever since. . . David and I feel so lucky to have such a special sweet girl.
Jessa Lynn Key

Our first few moments together -

Her first birthday - my sweet baby -

Turning 2, her last birthday as an only child-

3rd birthday and not a baby anymore -

My 4 year old little lady -

Now she is 5 - in the "birthday chair" at school this morning.
Although being "big and 5" makes her sad, so this morning, she begged me to say she is still 4.
I am OK with that. . .

She is a beautiful, smart, headstrong, loving, stubborn, dramatic, spirited, precious, funny, creative, hard-headed, independent, loud, crazy, obnoxious, snuggly, imaginative, one-of-a-kind, fashion forward girl. And I am so happy to have had the privilege to watch her grow and change and mature. I am so proud of the person that she is becoming.

Happy Birthday, Jessa Lynn!!

P.S. I am well aware that this post borders on nauseating, and I do know that I am biased. BUT this is a special day, so please forgive me!

P.S.S. I am working on a post that will do justice to the past 5 day and our trip to Hinesville and Ft. Stewart. Stay tuned!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Headed to Hinesville

For those of you who might worry about me if you did not see a post for a few days (Michelle!), I wanted to let you know that momma, the kiddos, and the puppies and I are leaving for Hinesville this (Wednesday) afternoon. I will go to the housing office first thing Thursday morning to sign the lease for our new on-post housing. Yay!!

Jess is thrilled to be staying in a hotel for 2 whole nights. She already planned where everyone should sleep! And we have stayed at this hotel before (one of the only dog friendly ones in Hinesville), so we know it meets her basic hotel requirement - it has a fridge. And Spencer cannot wait to visit the ice machine. They are not too hard to please, are they??

We will spend Thursday hanging curtains (that I now have them thanks to my awesome friend Laura), putting contact paper in all the cabinets, and getting things ready. And then Friday morning, bright and early the movers will come and bring all of our possessions. Spencer will be thrilled to be able to stop saying "It's already packed" about everything that he wants. We will spend a few days unloading and doing some organizing, and then head back this way. Even though the house will be ours, we are still going to hang at Momma's until Christmas. We will unpack slowly on the weekends here and there, but I want the kids to be in school here until Christmas break (they are already rehearsing their Christmas Program -yay!). We all love it so much and there is no sense in hurrying down to Stewart without David, right?

Wish us luck with our new adventure!!