Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Abby's Speech Update

  • new words all the time!!
  • working on words up to 3 syllables {ie: tomato, potato, Idaho}
  • still focusing on getting those ending consonants like /t/, /d/, /n/, and /p/.
  • When asking for something, sentences start with "I need or I want..."
  • knows & can tell you her letters in her name {Abby}
  • loves to count but is not fond of #6 and #7 (because of the /s/ sound)
  • the /w/ sound in one & wipe are difficult but not in water & why.  It has everything to do with processing sounds that follow the /w/.  Interesting.
  • most of the time she uses 3rd person (Abby go, Abby eat, Abby's turn, etc)
  • If Thomas {or anyone else} interrupts her while she is talking, she quickly responds with "No, Abby talk!"  Apparently she means business.
  • On that same note, some days it feels like Abby doesn't stop talking.  But I'm not complaining - just say'in.
  • in the last month, as she has socialized & played much more with our new young neighbors, we think this has added to her increased vocab & the desire to express herself even more.
  • still attends speech therapy 3x/week
  • every one of our summer visitors commented on Abby's awesome speech progression.
  • At the end of August, Abby is scheduled for a speech evaluation by the school district to determine if she qualifies for the state funded Pre-K part day program where she could receive additional speech services in a school setting this year.  Anxious to find out.
  • Although we haven't broke the news to Abby yet, her beloved Ms. Amy {speech therapist} is moving at the end August.  I can only hope that the transition with her replacement will go as smooth as it did when Abby was first introduced to Ms. Amy last fall.

Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 Arctic Thunder Air Show

This past weekend was GORGEOUS & perfect to attend the Arctic Thunder Air Show (despite Daddy having to work throughout the weekend at it).  Our morning started out with a special trip to McDonald's for breakfast (this has almost never happened so the kids were beside themselves) where we fueled up & got ready to see some action!

The Thunderbirds 

A C-5 aircraft
(just like the one we flew home on from CA earlier in the spring)

 This time though it wasn't in the middle of the night & everyone was much more awake!

 I think this by far was Thomas' favorite...
the acrobatic planes that dove from the sky, twisted in the air & left trails of tail smoke behind!

 Abby especially enjoyed seeing the parachuters jump & glide through the sky.

 It was pretty cool to see this Coast Guard rescue helicopter which came over from Kodiak Island (Fun Fact: Kodiak CG station has the largest fleet in the entire Coast Guard)
 Who would have thought we would see a race car here at the Air Show?
The kids thought this was pretty cool.

I can assure you that after this weekend of perfect weather (low 70s & sunny), I never want to attend another air show where it is hot, humid and down right unbearable.  No thank you.
I will take a summer Alaskan one anytime.


Saturday, July 28, 2012


You would have thought that this is something we would have tried in Florida, but with the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches & the convenient pools we had access to, we just never got around to trying out the Slip-N-Slide... that is until yesterday.
Thomas & Abby have been begging me to hook up the hose & let them have at it.
There were no surprises at all {with the exception of how long he continued to play in the frigid water} that Thomas LOVED it, Abby didn't want any part of getting wet & Marilyn was all about the sprinkler!
 Thomas was determined to slide down the entire length of the slip-n-slide despite the frigid water temperature.  Each time he went down, he made it further & further!
 Abby, on the other hand, thought it was going to be fun... but was all talk & no action.  Wanted nothing to do with slip'in & slid'in!  I think secretly she just wanted her bathing suit on & to run around bare footed in the sun. 
Marilyn loves the water but I'm happy to report that she stayed clear of the sliding & just enjoyed the water spouts... and ice cream pops, of course.

Trying to stay warm

Local Alaskan

Video Clip - We finally got to see a black bear up close {from the safety of our car, of course} last night as we were returning from Thomas' soccer game.  He is most definitely a true Alaskan.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Car Party

Video Clip - This is the perfect example of my family motto, "Life is Loud!"

Friday Night Leftovers (AirShow, bear & rental edition)

Hi Friday.  No offense, but I need Sunday evening to get here.  It's just been that kind of week & probably will be that kind of weekend.
  • I shouldn't say that because the Alaskan weather is superb!  Sunny & low-70s is wonderful.
  • I also shouldn't say that because the 2012 Arctic Thunder Air Show is this weekend here on JBER and the entire Anchorage Bowl Area will be visiting the base to enjoy the aircraft, demonstration & displays all weekend long.  Have I mentioned how loud it has been this week with everyone practicing high up us in the sky?
  • Last night on the way home from Thomas' soccer game, we saw this local strolling along the road.
  • It's the end of July and despite the highs being in the upper-60s & low-70s... there is still just a touch of snow left on the mountain tops.  It's a reminder of the record breaking snow fall we had this past winter AND that winter time is not too far off.  Needless to say, we are enjoying every moment of our short Alaskan summer now.
  • My car has been in the shop since Wednesday morning for some brake work.  My loaner car from the dealership was much smaller than my MamaVan.  Here is my gaggle of geese in their temporary seats.  Notice the rose between two thorns in the back seat?  Just kidding.
  • But on the same note, when the kids are so used to traveling in their own {separate} seat in my minivan, when you put them in a really small car, practically on top of each other, moods change quickly.  One minute everyone is laughing, slapping hands, & singing... and then the wind changes... and then the next minute, the kids are in each others' personal bubble, on "someone else's side," and irritated with their each other to the Nth degree.  I was *this close* to turning around and using the infamous line, "Don't Make Me Pull This Car Over!"
  • Finally, the reason I want this weekend to be over... maybe my hubby will have a break from the seriously long days (upwards of 15 hours a day) & stress that he has been under dealing with this preparation for this up coming Air Show.  I guess all for the greater good of the AF.
Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

20 years ago

My high school graduation.

That seems so long ago.
Well, heck... it was.  Not even 18 years old & I was finishing, what many people consider to be the first big milestone in a young person's life, my first round of education.
This weekend, my dear old friends from WSHS will be celebrating with our 20 year reunion.
They will gather for good company, good food & drinks.
Some friends they have kept up with over the years; others it has been two decades since they spoke.
They will introduce their families to old friends & old friends to their families.
Surely they will share stories of the past 20 years & enjoy a lot of laughs.
Some will look the same, others will be transformed by the years.
Some will not attend the reunion {like myself} but will be there in spirit.
Others will be remembered because they have already passed away.
I'm reminded of who I used to be back then, 20 years ago -
Soccer-player, lifeguard, good student, good friend, military brat.  Influential & easily influenced.  Idealist & naive at the same time.
In some ways I'm the same young girl {at heart}, in other ways I'm a very different person.
I have no regrets through my life, but like many folks, I have to say there were some moments I'm not proud of from my youth. 
I am also reminded that every experience I have had {good or bad} has made me the person I am today -
Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, educator, and athlete.
20 years has gone by fast, but 20 years has also been a long time.

1992 - High school graduation
1992 - Torn ACL playing college ball - knee surgery
1996 - College graduation
1997 - Started teaching & coaching career
2002 - Diagnosed with ACM - brain surgery
2002 - Became first time home owner
2003 - Met the love of my life
2004 - Married Brian
2004 - Moved overseas to the Azores
2006 - Finished 1st Masters Degree
2006 - Returned back to the US/Florida
2007 - Birth of our son, Thomas
2008 - 1st 8-month deployment as a Mommy
2009 - Awarded Teacher of the Year at CHS
2009 - Birth of our daughter, Abbigail
2010 - 2nd 8-month deployment as a Mommy
2011 - Birth of our daughter, Marilyn
2011 - Moved to Alaska
2012 - Candidate for my M.Ed
2012/13 - Contemplating our family retiring from Air Force or taking another assignment??

I do wonder what my next 20 years will hold?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fashion Show

If you know Abby well, you know she is not really a girlie girl.
Well, except for her new recently love of painted nails & cute barrettes.
Other than that... nothing girlie.  And that includes dresses.
So you can probably imagine my surprise today when she wanted to try on lots of her dresses.
Needless to say... I seized the moment & we had ourselves a fashion show!