Monday, December 16, 2013

Grab a Snorkel

I haven't been around here much lately.  I even recently thought about deleting this little space all together.  Not really sure what I'm doing with it, if anything.  But today I just wanted to stop a minute and write some raw feelings.. because that's about all I've got right now.  It was a rough few weeks leading up to deployment.  The anxiety and anticipation was too much for me this time, it was hard.  The weight of the kids' sadness I felt squarely on my shoulders.  We had good times too.  Memories to get us through this time without a very important person in our little family.  I should share those.  

Relief came when he left.  That sounds awful.  But I could breath again.  I could focus on doing this.. getting through the day and the next and the next.  I dried tears from my precious girl.  I listened over and over as my baby said he wanted Daddy.  And I've tried to figure out what exactly my oldest needs as I don't fully recognize him right now.  I've answered with a smile that "We are doing fine and getting into a routine." I've stayed up way too late night after night trying to get done what I can't seem to ever catch up on.  I've had sick kids wake up right when I was going to bed, of course.  I've had fun (yes!) with amazing friends.. 

It has been 2 weeks.

I think the time of year is making it harder.. I honestly have a hard time enjoying this time of year anyway so this just doesn't help!  I recently said "I'm barely keeping my head above water."  then I laughed and said "Wait no.. I'm not even above.. I'm using a snorkel!"  That silly little comment has floated through my head many times.. I guess I like examples that I can picture!  And me with a snorkel is pretty funny.  But.. It means I'm doing it!!!  And that makes me want to keep going.

"I am holding on to you.  I am holding on to you. In the middle of the storm, I am holding on.  I am.

This is my resurrection song.  This is my hallelujah call.  This is why it's to You I run."

These are lyrics from a new song by David Crowder called "I Am".    … My storm.  I am holding on to the only "snorkel" that will get me through. (Did i just compare God to a snorkel??!)  I guess I did.  My anthem will ring out and I will try to keep my head above water.. or be happy to stay underneath and accept grace for all the things I can't do alone.

An equally awesome song is "Overcomer" by Mandisa.  The kids chose this song as their deployment song.  Talk about one to bust out loud!!!  And man, Addie does on her iPod with headphones on.. it's awesome! "You're an overcomer… stayin to fight to the final round.  You're not goin under.. cuz God is holding you right now. You might be down for a moment feeling like it's hopeless.. but that's when He reminds you.. You're an overcomer!"  It was so cute, we picked up a friend who's husband just left to take her out for ice cream.. and Garrett cued up this song for her!

So yeah, it's been 2 weeks of ups and downs.. but I Am saying now that we are Overcomers!!!

 Wanna hear these songs??

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Gittle Magic

Last weekend we went to see a live musical performance of "The Magic Tree House: A Good Night for Ghosts".  These books have been favorites in our family for many years now.  I started reading them to Garrett when he was about 4 and we instantly fell in love with the adventures of Jack and Annie.  When Garrett was in kindergarten he met a friend named Lucy.  He introduced Lucy and her family to the books.. and before you knew it our playset in the back yard had transformed in to .. The Magic Tree House.  Garrett and Lucy are two peas in a pod to this day..ever the adventure!  It was really special that we got to go to the play together with Lucy's family.

Griffin Adventure Seekers 

Jack and Annie.. I mean G and Lu

getting some autographs

Kemna kids, Griffin Kids, Annie, Jack,  & Dipper (aka Louis Armstrong)

Cut! End scene. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Boosterthon Fun

The kids participated in their 2nd Boosterthon Fun Run about two weeks ago.  Personally, I think this is a superb fundraiser for schools.  There is no catalogs, no guilting family and friends into buying tons of over priced wrapping paper, no tubs of cookie dough that you end up eating right before the expiration date.  It IS however, FUN for the kids!!  and it IS healthy for the kids, totally focusing on exercise, character, and healthy choices!!  My kids really enjoyed the week leading up to the run where Boosterthon People (aka Really energetic and enthusiastic young people) come into the school everyday and Pump up the kids, talk to them about good and healthy choices, being a good friend, and earning pledges for their school... oh and pass out the coveted prizes.  ** the prize Addie and G wanted so badly was the invisible pen** of course!!! Luckily, they both raised enough to get that :)

They did a great job.. running their laps!  Addison was determined to not get trampled on this year like she did out of the starting gate last year.  I'm proud to say she did this .. with a smile on her face!

ready to run!.. she wore her "running shorts"


Addie's Class

G and the Gals

Run Addie Run!

We did it!

how many laps have you done?

we rule the 3rd grade...

Boosterthon.. check!
Got those laps in! Had fun with friends! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Playing in the rain

What a good reminder to sit back and enjoy the rain.. Moment made possible by Micah's determination to "see da rain"!  He told me "sit in chair!"  So.. I did! I sat in a lounge chair on the porch and watched him enjoy life to the fullest! ... after a busy weekend.. I'm missing this time.

why not?


A boy's gotta play outside...

Counting:  "one, three, five, ten!"  ummm.. I thought he was skip counting at first.. should have stopped while ahead!

Now that was fun!

Take some time and enjoy today!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Duct tape is Awesome!

Garrett loves Duct Tape.
He has a bag full of different designs.
He makes some really cool things... especially wallets and purses.
He taught himself.
He asks if he can rent out empty stores for his business.
He is so creative and I love it!

He started making these wallets a little over a year ago when we were visiting family in Ohio.  Everyone loved them.  So what does Garrett do??  He sets off to make everyone one.  He takes orders.  He charges $3!!!  and.... he gets paid!  Plus, He takes his grandparents shopping for more Duct Tape so .. uh yeah, He doesn't pay for it.  So he's making Pure profit!  I didn't take one business class in college... but I'm pretty sure that's a very good business model!

He also likes to make these for his friends for gifts.  This is what he made for his teacher of last year.  He still stops by her room almost daily to say "Hi!" and check in.  She still encourages him and pushes him to do his best.  It's great!!

She's a Gator's fan... obviously!

purse and wallet

inside pockets of the wallet... he even makes a "id window" with clear tape!

change pocket

my little business man!... and thoughtful kid!! 
He's open for orders.... :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

School, Glorious School!

School is in!  We have been settling into our new routines and rolling with the beginning of school. 
Micah had his official "first day" last Thurs.. and though he gave me a thumbs up in the parking lot.. by the time I had to leave it was clear he wanted to change his report.   But, I left and got a text not long later from one of his two loving teachers saying he was just fine!

Thumbs up!

who's going to let go.. that's the question

Micah and Miss Judy.. we'll have to get a better one soon!
So what did I do on that first day of .. ahem.... freedom?! ......
relaxing. reading. poolside.
I had no trouble taking that morning for me...  I went to the gym (quick workout).  Then I hit up Fresh Market.. I actually could look around!  Got some yummy salmon for dinner to celebrate :)  Then I went to Starbucks to fuel up.  and I just happened to walk into a new boutique in the plaza..  so ... I bought a new dress perfect for FL in the fall (ie.. sun dress boasting fall colors)!!  And THEN I headed to the pool by myself.. with my kindle!  It was Glorious!!!
... until later when I realized because I didn't have the kiddos there to lather with sunscreen, I neglected to put it on myself.  So, the first time I relaxed by the pool... was also the first time this summer I got a sun burn.  hummmm.... the irony.

Since that first day I've been a little less self centered.. and a little more productive during those precious hours.  This Thursday I volunteered in Addie's class.. helping her teacher test the kiddos on their sight words.  I loved it.  I love that age.. my first graders were quite often my favorite groups to work with when I worked as a speech therapist.  They are so excited to learn! Addie is all about learning right now! She has gained the confidence she needed to over come the reading hurdles... we worked hard all summer and read a lot! and it showed when her teacher (whom she had last year) moved her up a level in reading.  How awesome is that!? Her teacher moved up to first grade with the majority of the class and it is Such a blessing!! The kids know her expectations.. she knows where they were and where they can go.. she knows that I may or may not return everything on time and may forget to sign something.. but she's become a friend of mine and she also knows to expect something crafty at Holiday time! 
Garrett seems to be thoroughly enjoying his new class.. where all their little gifted minds can think alike all day long! lol!  He has mentioned to me that it's so good to be in a class where there is not a lot of silliness going on and the kids respect the teacher.  Oh how he loved his teacher last year.. and it was so unnerving to him that so many of the kids would not listen to her.  Though I definitely see "teacher's pet" tendencies here.. I know his heart is in the right place and it makes me happy to see him happy about learning and being challenged.

 ... so I think we are off to a good start!

 handwriting practice

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Micah's Dolphin School

Micah went to preschool yesterday!!

He was very excited to go to school like the big kids.

Class Clown
 He was ready to go first thing in the morning when we were taking the big kids to school.  But we didn't have to be at his school quite so early since it was just meet the teacher and parent orientation.  Still, he grabbed his back pack, put on Addie's flips, got bubby... and said "Bye Mom".  oh man.
Not "Best Dressed"

Now it was really time!
When we walked into his room, I think the flurry of excitement and all the people got to the little guy... and he did not want me to leave.  (I had to go to a meeting for the mamas). It was different.  But he goes in the 2 year old room at church and at the gym... sometimes a little unwillingly as well... so I didn't have concern that he wouldn't calm down or anything like that. 

However, having my littlest grip my neck and say "No Mommy go."  and cry... was as hard as it could be.  So sweet.. big tears.. and I gave him over to two teachers I didn't yet know.  They were so sweet and supportive .. and I could tell they genuinely cared.  The one teacher asked if she could pick him up and she did.  She told me not to worry and that he would be loved.  My first thought was "oh, he's my 3rd.  I'm not worried.  I just want a break!"... and though that IS true... it wasn't at that moment.  I just nodded and said "I'll be right in the chapel."  (she probably thought duh!) 

I sat there thinking how even though yes he is my 3rd, it still is hard to let one of them go and do something for themselves.  Yes, I know this will be good for him.. he misses the big kids so much during the day.  And I am Positive this will be good for ME.  I need a break, especially as deployment nears.  I have prayed about it and I really have No guilt.. so that should tell ya... I'm good with this choice!! lol.   but..... I don't think I felt the confirmation until I picked him up and he came running to me and said "Micah dolphin school!!!"  (yes, he always talks about himself in 3rd person.  no, I do not correct it.)   "Dolphin school?" I asked, really confused as to why they would have had a lesson on dolphins.  "NO!  Micah Dolfit School!!"   ohhhhh... I got it... different school.  "Different school?  You go to a different school just for Micah?"  I asked.   "YES!!!"  and his teacher asked if he wanted to come back and again... "YES!!".............  there's that confirmation.
he's really attached to the back pack


Monday, August 19, 2013

Fist day back

Today is the first day of school!  There was excitement, a little bit of nervousness (mostly me), and smiles here this morning.  I admit, many times this summer I longed for this day... and don't get me wrong.. i'm Glad it's here!  But a little part of me was sad today when they got out of the car and looked  back at me.. long blonde hair and big smile waved excitedly! & short messy blonde hair and timid smile whispered "bye mama" to me.   And. That. Got. Me.  (as well as now typing it). 

I cried a little on the way home.  Thinking of how proud I am of them.  They are good kids.  They are excited to start a new year!  and It's going to be a good one!!  I am so glad Daddy got to see them off on their first day... He won't be home for their last day, and many days in between.  But it's not time to think of that now.  Push that out and focus on TODAY.  What TODAY IS!!

and it's the First Day of a NEW Year!
(I tend to categorize the new year as in the start of school.. and not in January.. anyone else?)

Today when I woke them both, I hugged and kissed many times to get them (ME) through the day.  I've grown so used to accepting during the day: Addie's tight hugs around my waist and Garrett's little giggle as I steal a kiss on the top of his getting too tall for me head!  I'll have to wait a few hours now.  Micah will have to wait too.  He is lost without them.  "where Addie go?  G back soon?" ....
"Yes. They will be home soon", I tell him (myself).  And I know before too long it will seem like they are home "soon"  and the days  will fly.  My time will be cut short by the buzzer of my "don't forget your kids" alarm on my phone!  .. but today might seem a little longer.

I told them both a few things this morning... and again in their lunches..
1. I love you
2. I am so proud of you
3. I am excited for you
4. I have prayed for you and your day

I hope they can hold one to that if the day seems long to them. 
3rd Grader
1st Grader

Ready To Do This!

Today is fist day back for me too!  Not that anyone is necessarily wondering where I have been.. but I took a break from recording our "Todays" for the second half of the summer.  We had a lot of fun.. and I'd like to do some catch up posting to log it for us. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Window Flower Box for my Princess

Addie has said over and over that she wants flowers outside her window.. so when she looks outside she can see the pretty flowers and look for the fairies.  *yes, this is her world and I just live in it*   Since I can barely to remember to water my flowers on my front porch... I figure remembering to take care of flowers on the side of the house probably isn't going to happen.  But.. I think I succeeded in giving this girlie a flower garden .. without the hassle of maintenance. 

Pretty proud of this little flower box.. more so because I just decided to do it and actually did it all in the same day!  Small Victories!
I used pallet wood- but this time didn't have to cut each piece slooooowly with a little hand saw.  I used this baby!  Matt's Father's Day gift :)  hehehehe

OH MY GOSH!  Why didn't I get this for "Matt" sooner!!  Zip Zip and I was done, with pretty decent cuts.  Rough, yes, but it works for what it is.   I nailed the sides together.. somewhat challenging (next "he's" getting a nail gun!)  then dusted off the saw dust and got out the spray paint!  (I did not even bother sanding it.)

I put some that green floral Styrofoam stuff at the bottom and put flowers in it for her.

I'm hoping she doesn't need to pick them.. that foam stuff crumbles and makes such a mess!  ;)

A happy little flower box.. she's happy... I'm happy.
Right?! Purple and Pink and Princess!! 
and a happy little flower box

Linking at:

See Vanessa Craft

Monday, July 15, 2013

under construction

I'm playing around with different templates and designs ... trying to change this up a little and make it new and fresh.  Not really sure what i'm doing..  lol!

any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

sorry, that's all...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Anchors Away Wreath

Here's a few festive things I got done in the nick of time for the 4th!!  You know how it is.. You think you have plenty of time and then it sneaks right up on you! Or maybe that's just me?!   That is what happened to me with our vacation thrown in there. I really wanted to make a new wreath and I have quite a few Patriotic wreaths pinned .. Such good intentions. I knew it was not going to happen if I didn't make it simple ... I remembered I had part of a plastic table cloth wreath started.. In white. Score!  Plus I bought some nautical ribbon a while back that I wanted to use. And (I know the suspense is killing you).. I found a wooden anchor from my "Americana" days.. It just needed to meet the white spray paint!  So bring on a night of wine with a friend who graciously sat with me while I tied strips of plastic table cloth to a wire wreath form while.  And a rainy afternoon during nap time where I chatted it up the phone with my BFF and caught up on "the most dramatic rose ceremony ever" to finish up the ribbon... And BOOM!  A firecracker of a wreath, done.
 The plastic tablecloth is perfect for the humid July weather in Florida! 

Seriously.. All you do is cut strips of the table cloth (about 8 inches long and an inch or so wide).  This is not for the exact science types.. Just eyeball it!   I chose to tie it on to the inner circle, the second row, and the fourth row on the wire wreath.  I think it looks full enough without having to tie every row.  But, you be the judge ;)  Click here to see some larger and fuller versions I made.
As for the ribbon.. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do.. So I played around with it till I came up with this.  I didn't cut it, I just made loops and hen secured it to the wreath form with wire.  It was sort of a variation of the ribbon wreath I made recently, but without making all the loops individually. 

Happy 4th!  

I used the extra ribbon as I typically do... To make Addie a hair bow ;) and one for her BFF. 
oops.. I saved it wrong I guess.. you get the idea ;)

Linking at

See Vanessa Craft

Friday, July 5, 2013


Hope you had a great celebration of Independance Day!  It's one of my favorite holidays.  I love that its laid back and spent with friends, good food, and weather permitting.. Outside!  I also love taking the day to remember and give thanks for our freedoms, our founders & their principles they built the country on, and of course for our military families sacrificing to protect.

As a military spouse I know firsthand what kind of sacrifices we military families make. It's not glorious and it doesn't need to be trumpeted.  We aren't asking for recognition. But respect and a nod to the efforts is greatly appreciated. It makes me smile. 

After nearly 12 years in the military way of life, I still tear up during most versions of The National Anthem. That probably will never cease to make my heart swell with PRIDE.  
It's Pride for our country. Because though flawed and often arrogant.. We still know how to come together and take care of one another when it truly counts.

Pride for the wounded and fallen soldiers.  I am thankful for their service.  I grieve for their families. 

Pride for my husband and our many friends who serve.  I am always humbled by their continued dedication to something that is so much more than a job. 

Pride for the spouses I have met ..They keep me going. These are amazing women who became life long friends & taught me that its more than ok to cry and how to still move forward and even enjoy the sisterhood formed through deployments. 

Pride for the military kids.  The kids truly have my heart. They endure moves, schools, deployments, and more goodbyes than a kid should have to know... And it's not always easy or done gracefully. But for all these hardships.. They do have something Awesome that is only understood by a fellow "brat" .. Homecoming!  I pray the kids would learn what makes our country special, learn the history, and develop a respect for those that serve and did serve. I pray they learn to show reverence to the ones that made the ultimate sacrifice on days such as July 4 and other American holidays. I pray that they are a light in their friendships with civilian kids to demonstrate patriotism even at a young age. 

I am thankful my husband was home this year, I don't take that for granted. And I found myself thinking all day on the 4th, "Next year -at this time- he will be back home.  Deployment will be over again. We just have to make it through all the stuff in between."  

Drawing on that Pride.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July Mantel

Here's my July mantel... I Really like it!! It's going to stay up there all month. 

I love the ribbon threaded through the shutter..Reminiscent of a flag, I think.  The nautical ribbon iso cute!  The stars I've had for a long time. After some spray paint.. I finally found a home for them. 

 This sounds silly... But I kept looking at this the other night, thinking, "something is not right."  But I couldn't quite pin point it. Finally it hit me... The stars on the bottle needed to pop. So white spray paint for them.. And now I like!

Oh my sweet Garrett!  This was back in 06, when Matt came home (Brunswick, Maine) from deployment.  I just love this pic.. 

Aside from the poor photo .. I am happy with it!  

Happy 4th of July!!