Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Mark brought home his seperation orders yesterday. That sort of makes it final that he's getting out. He's still going through an appeals process with a defense council, just in case it's not too late to change their minds.

A huge relief was finding out that we are eligible for seperation pay. I'm still a little iffy on what that entails and how much, but I know it's half of your base pay. I just don't know if it's 1 months worth, or if it's from when you got out to what your enlistment day should have been up. (which would be significantly more since his enlistment isn't done until 2013!) Either way, any little bit helps...

And the Air Force pays to move us. We can have them pack up and move everything, or we can do it ourselves and they pay us. Part up front to cover the truck and packing supplies, and part after once you get the truck weighed and know how many miles you moved. We're trying to decide that part. You can make money on a DitY move, but it's a lot harder to pack and then have to clean your whole house, and then haul everything across the state.

And we're still planning on Mark applying to BYU-I. He just has the bishop's okay part to finish and then he's done.

So I guess a lot of things are coming together, it's just scary how many things are still unknown. Like a job, who's working? Because if he gets in, he'll be going full time. Days or nights? Don't know yet.

But I should leave with a good thing. I'm wearing a pair of jeans today that a month ago I couldn't even get up my thighs. Stress works!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

digit, digit, digit

The weatherman on the news just said we may hit triple digits next week. Am I ever glad our house has air conditioning! And here I was thinking summer would never get here...

This has been a busy week, and an exhausting one. I don't know how we've accumulated so much stuff in the last 4 1/2 years, I really don't. There is a huge pile of stuff in my garage, and I'm hoping that for most if it the adage "someone's trash is another man's treasure" holds true. Yet somehow the mess in the house hasn't shrunk at all? *scratches head*

So aside from going through mountains of things in my house, I've been going through mountains of things in my head. It's been difficult, not knowing what's going to happen but proceeding as though "the worst" occurs. Mark is dealing with paperwork and appeals and I don't know what all else to try and stay in, and taking classes to prepare to find jobs as a civilian just in case. I think I know why he's been so exhausted! As for me, there are so many things that need done. I have a really hard time with having so much to do and get overwhelmed so easily. And it's frustrating that while trying to get one thing done, 5 other things fall apart on me. And if I show the stress, Mark is going to feel even worse for this mess than he already does, which won't help him focus on what needs to happen.

I think the worst part is that I have absolutely no control over what happens. Someone else decides if we stay or go. Ultimately it's Mark's decision what to do if we end up out - school? federal job? I can decide what to get rid of I suppose, but that isn't really going to have an effect on our future. Unless being able to rent a smaller storage unit counts?

I've been praying for peace, and even though it's been hard, it hasn't been unbearable. I know that if it wasn't for my Father in Heaven, and his loving support, I would be in far worse shape. So often we are told that our trials are meant to strengthen us and that He will bear us up if we do what we can, and rely on Him for the rest. He won't give me anything I can't handle, as long as I lean on Him. Does that make it any easier? No. And I don't think this is meant to be easy. But if I do my part, support my husband in his decisions, and trust in the Lord that things will happen as they need to, I'll be okay. He knows us and loves us, even if I can't immediately see the blessings that will come.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm still here...

Let's just say, it's been quite the week.

I know it's been a while since I blogged, and I have photos and everything to post up. But my feet hurt from walking all over our housing in bare feet on hot cement trying desperately to find Oren - who was in the front yard covered in dirt when I got home to get the car. So I won't be getting up to get the camera.

And I've sort of avoided posting this. Because it makes it all the more real. We're moving. Leaving the Air Force quite a bit ahead of schedule, against everyone's better judgement, and without the preparations I would have rather had in place before making a leap like this. It was rather sudden news after a meeting with Mark's commander, and I want to thank my Mom for letting me talk through things because I called her in tears. And my best friend Amanda, who dropped everything and came from town to spend the day with me and lend me her shoulder.

But we're making plans for the future. Did you know that if you have basics in your food storage, you can feed a family of 6 for around $50 a week? Less if you're careful and use all those dried beans you've been avoiding because you don't want to OD on chilli. (I'll be posting a yummy black bean tortilla casserole later! Mark couldn't believe it had absolutely no meat in it...) It's been almost liberating to go through things and mercilessly throw them in the yard sale pile. I've set aside a few special outfits for each boy that I bought specifically for them as a newborn - and all the other newborn stuff is going bye-bye. It's all winter stuff and now would be the time that babies due in the fall would show their mommies what they are. :-) Those dishes I bought 2 years ago to service 12 and only used 2 settings twice? Gone!

There is a very small chance that we could stay in. There's a lot of work involved, but the benefits to Oren would be worth it - we couldn't afford his medical on our own. We should know within the next few weeks, crossing fingers it doesn't take longer, what is decided. In the meantime we are stuffing everything we can into savings, downsizing a huge amount of stuff, and he's applying to BYU-I.

That's been my week... and at least I feel better now than I did last Monday. And I'll try to get to blogging all the other stuff, like swimming lessons, and Daniel's latest achievements. Something postive. And anything to postpone the 6 page paper I have to write to finish my piano pedagogy course.

(What a killer! I got a phone call today from a lady who got my name off a website I signed up to list my name about piano lessons for her 2 young daughters. And I'm moving! Argh! At least I could point her to the two music stores in Boise that would have lists of local teachers that have signed up with them to be on said list. But according to Mark's sister, there is a shortage of cake decorators in Rexburg so I may make some decent money between semesters when all the weddings happen. Mine taste better than Walmarts...)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Photo catchups!

It's been a busy couple weeks, so I'm playing photo catchup. Below this post you will find one for Oren's birthday, Nathan's graduation, and Janelle's wedding.

The boys (and Mark included) were playing scientist the other day after church. They got out our microscope and did "experiments". Apperantly that's what Nathan was doing. All I know is that he's lucky the microwave didn't explode when he left the spoon in the cup he was heating up!

When all else fails, use your teeth! William occupied himself with our Perler bead set.

Somebody left a flashlight were Daniel could get it, and we turned it on just for fun. He was hilarious crawling around waving it all over.

My little scientists. They were investigating a drop of blood here. If the table shook the cells would flow around. It was actually pretty cool!

And this is what happens when you think you have left the plate of paint out of a little one's reach when you go leave the room for a minute. Even his tongue had green on it! Luckily, Marie's nightstand I was painting was just fine. And the paint did come out of the carpet.
He was right pleased with himself!

Oren's Birthday

Oren turned 8 this year. Wow! My family came down from Caldwell to celebrate and have some yummy food. We were too busy eating to take pictures of everyone crowded around pans of chicken enchiladas, but take my word that it was good!

I was trying out a new cake recipe: strawberry cake from scratch - even the strawberry puree. Now, before you say "Wow, sounds delicious!" , let me assure you that I've had better. I could have done a cake mix and used the rest of the hour to do something else. At least ice cream will make any cake taste okay and the frosting was out of a can and hard to mess up. :-)

I took pictures of Oren and his cake, but realized while editing that he'd wet his pants and it was very visible, so opted not to post those. Plus, this one was funnier with Samuel sticking his head in.

What is Aunt Janelle looking some smugly happy about? With that little chuckle?

Probably the fact that she gave Daniel a cupcake... That boy knew just what to do with it too! And he made her share her ice cream too. Guess who's laughing now! She was sweet and cleaned him up afterward though.

Oren got his own set of scriptures and some Pixos from Mom and Dad, Samuel gave him his old rollerblades, and Grandma and Grandpa brought a jar of homegrown/homemade jalapeno jelly. That's Oren's favorite!

Nathan's Graduation

It seems like this year has just flown by. One day I'm taking pictures of Nathan, proud of his new backpack, on the way to his first day of kindergarten. And now he's all graduated! His teacher goes all out, very different from Oren's. They all paraded in to "Pomp and Circumstance". When their name was called they crossed over a bridge to receive a fun little diploma.

They even moved their yarn tassels over to the right afterwards. Too cute!

Their sweet teacher posed with each of them for photos. The lion is "King", the classroom mascot, and at one point had a graduation cap on as well. It fell off halfway through the kids.

The graduating class of 2010, PM. The girl in the far back row with the light pink dress is one of his best friends. She is very much like Oren and so all our kids get along great.

We're so proud of how well he's done this past year. His teacher said he is one of the best readers and has the nicest handwriting. "He's picked everything up so fast, and was a joy to work with!" Which is so nice to hear after all the drama with Oren the last few years.
Not only are we graduated from Kindergarten, but we celebrated coming to the end of speech therapy! We knew it was coming, but it was kind of bittersweet leaving the clinic for the last time. Miss Gayle has been his therapist for over 2 years now, and has been such a huge blessing in our lives. She was the one who suggested what the problem might be and pushed for Dr. Beck to take his case on even though it was a 1 in 100 shot. She worked him up to 3 times a week, was so sweet to my other boys that William would run up and give her big hugs, and sneaked everyone lollipops all the time. I can't imagine having worked with anyone else, and we'll miss seeing her every week!

Janelle's Wedding

Audrey and Daniel just looking all cute together. Much better than him kicking her in the head!

Awww... smoochies!

The cake, as promised. By far my favorite, and tasty too!

Nabbing my little guy for a dance. Soon he'll be taller than his dance partners and will be doing this at stake dances. *sniff*

What happens when you give your son the camera to keep him quiet on the way home from the reception?

This one was kind of neat.

And this one.