Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Our Ballerina

My blog observations

  • when I blog, I feel like I'm releasing all the craziness in my head.
  • when I blog, I know each story or set of pictures is now permanently published and I can always refer back and smile (or cry or laugh, or whatever).
  • when I blog, it relaxes me.
  • when I take a break from blogging (intentionally or because my crazy life trumps everything else), I find myself more focused on my family & my priorities.
  • when I take a break from blogging, it relaxes me too.
  • I have captured 1000s of memories of my family in the last 7 years.
  • I'm getting closer and closer to publishing the blog into Volume 1 of 3 books which will be appropriately named, Thomas - The 1st 5 years
  • People who read my blog tend to fall into one of three categories: 1) loyal readers who check in regularly, 2) every so often spot checkers, or 3) totally randoms who just happened upon HeckLures' Northern Adventures
  • when I don't blog regularly, like recently, I will inevitably hear about it from someone.  Usually it is a family member.
  • when I DO blog regularly, I hardly hear from people (phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook, snail mail, etc).  That also includes family members. 
  • I hate to think about the time that will eventually come when I no longer blog about my young children (who are growing bigger & older as I type) and all of our adventures.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

That little girl's smile...

Makes me laugh,
Makes me forget my worries,
Cracks me up,
Melts my heart,
Is another reminder of what love looks like!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hoppy Easter

The Easter Bunny hopped on over to our house last night.
For the first time since we have been here, we were able to move our Easter Egg Hunt outside where there are only trace signs of the winter leftovers.

Sorting all the goodies found in the eggs and trading the best candies with each other!

 Hoppy Easter, ya'll!

Stunting & Cheering with the girls

There's something to be said about just hanging out with the girls. 
Whether it is riding bikes & scooters together, playing with baby dolls or in this case practicing some stunts & cheers, Abby loves hanging out with her girls even if they are 2 & 3 years older than her.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Night Leftovers (put the lid down edition)

  • We are at 15 hours of daylight people.  Isn't that crazy?  We are moving into our 3rd summer here and it is still amazing how early the sun comes up and how late it stays up.
  • Marilyn says something every day that makes me giggle, but when she shows her appreciation & says "Whank You" it just cracks me up.
  • We've hit a new problem in our house and I'm already fed-up with it - Thomas leaving the toilet seat up.  I'm sure I don't need to explain this issue, especially given the fact that in our house girls outnumber the boys.  I sound like a broken record when I tell him to PUT THE SEAT DOWN!
  • With a certain little girl's approaching 3rd birthday, I need to lay the ground work for "Operation NUK Fairy" very soon.
  • For whatever reason, my kids love to watch Peppa Pig on NickJr.  It's a show with a British family of pigs who have daily adventures together.  Is it odd that for the last month or so, Marilyn now refers to me as "Mummie" or "Mama" and Brian as "Daudie" or "Dada"?
  • We met with Abby's school team yesterday for a final IEP eligibility review for speech services.  More to come on that. 
  • I think this is our first year up here in Alaska where we will be able to have the Easter Egg Hunt outside, instead of inside.  Much of the snow has melted and our yard is almost 100% grass.  Let the fun commence on Sunday!  Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: When you live on a military base...

Seeing children (yours included) from the kitchen window stop in their tracks as they stand at attention while the National Anthem plays at 5 o'clock each day is a common sight.

The secret truth about the end of a school year

I'm gonna speak honestly here.  Please don't judge me. Actually, you can judge me... it won't bother me because I don't care.  It's just too damn late in the school year to care.
  • As an educator, my instincts & gut tell me to continue to motivate, encourage & push forward all the students & teachers who are stuck somewhere between the Spring Fever Rut and Summer-can't-get-here-soon-enough Syndrome.
  • As an Assistant Principal, I send out dozens & dozens of inspirational quotes and quips and stories to keep my staff looking forward and to continue the focus on challenging our students until the end.
  • As an administrator, I refuse to give up on kids, despite their reckless decisions regarding their attendance, their grades, or their extra curricular activities in this final stretch of the school year.
  • On the other hand though as Mom, I haven't checked Thomas' fluency folder or listen to Abby's speech homework in weeks.  Not days. Weeks, people.  I'm most certainly not winning any Mom of the Year Awards here.
  • As Mom, I love to read with my kids, but there have been more than a hand full of nights when I just tell the kids they can either pick an extra episode of *their* TV show or a book that night.  Guess which one they most often pick?  And you know what, at that moment I don't feel guilty at all.
  • As Mom, I want to tell teachers that we need to make a deal that after April testing, we shouldn't have to do anything else. You don’t. I don’t. I don’t care if you watch movies in class five days a week and take four recesses a day.  I realize that by admitting this, I have sinned and broken the Educator Oath we took in our hearts when we first became teachers.
  • As Mom, there are so many mornings where I just want to send Thomas with a Lunchable and call it all good.  I've been so consistent & committed  all year long with making his lunch & mine each and every morning.  I'm so over it at this point.
  • There are only 36 (calendar) days left.  I feel like I'm limping, limping across the finish line.  For the love of God, can we just be done with this school year?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Moon Watcher

When a certain little boy is tasked as the "Moon Watcher" for his class over the weekend, this is what we are witness to.  Thanks to Daddy and his mack-Daddy scope, Thomas was able to see this...
And then began the artwork that he needed to create based on his scientific observations!

What an astronomer he is!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My wishes

There are so many wishes I have for my children.  Here are my top ones:
  1. They grow up happy.
  2. They find a life partner who compliments them in personality and loves them for who they are.
  3. They make a positive impact in the community they live.
  4. They always feel loved & supported.
  5. They follow their dreams.
  6. They chose a job or profession that they enjoy doing everyday.
  7. They are safe & healthy in their choices & actions.
  8. They are friends with people who are a positive influence on them & treat them like family would.
  9. They live by humility & grace.
  10. They always maintain the loving bond with one another.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Underwear rules

Let me start by saying that my kids have a ton of underwear.  Period.  Got that?  Always.  That is nonnegotiable.  There is always clean underwear in their dresser drawer.  OK, now the story.

I'm folding laundry yesterday in the middle of the family room floor.  First I do Abby's clothes and put them away.  Then I do Thomas' clothes.  There are various piles of clean clothes - PJs, shirts, pants, shorts, socks, etc - all around me.  As I stand up to then combine everything into one large pile to carry down to his room to put away, I realize that there is a missing pile from his load of laundry.

Me: Thomas, there was no underwear in this load of laundry I just did for you. 
T: Hmm. (with a shoulder shrug)
Me: Where are all of your underwear from the last 5 days?
T: (No answer... just his eyes searching left and right for some logical answer)
Me: Let me rephrase that for you - have you been changing your underwear each night before you put your PJs on and then each morning when you get dressed?
T: Well... no.
Me: (In complete and utter shock) Have you changed your underwear at all this week, Thomas Joe?
T: Once.
Me: (Looking back at Brian who has practically fallen off the couch in laughter but fighting to not show it and picking up my own mouth that has clearly dropped open and is sitting on the floor) Let me get this straight... you have only changed your underwear one time this entire week?
T: Umm, yes.
Me: Why on earth would you do that?
T: So I could be quicker getting 'jammied up at night and dressed in the morning.  I just want to be faster at doing that.
Me: So you thought if you didn't have to change your underwear, that would save you time?
T: Yep, you got it (nonchalantly, going back to working on a word puzzle).
Me: For the love of God, don't do that anymore Thomas!  Gross is an understatement right now.  Matter of fact, I can't even continue this conversation right now... go put some clean underwear on right this minute so you have a clean butt!

This is reason #4,924 that boys are indeed dirtier than girls are.
This is yet another example of why I have gray hair but also an example of why my kids are so freak'in funny each day.  Seriously... the kid thought it was OK to wear dirty underwear for days.
Underwear rule #1 - Change it at least once per day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The unknowns

It is no secret that I'm a planner & an organizer. I appreciate & thrive on order and control in my life.  I like to be in the "know" with things that pertain to my family's life.  Lately however, I feel like I'm swimming in a sea of unknowns.

I don't exactly know what to expect after Brian retires from the Air Force.  Daily life without a uniform, medical coverage for retirees, retirement pay as opposed to full pay...It just seems so foreign right now.  Unknown to be exact.  I realize that we have several different plans in place, but what is actually going to happen is still unknown.

I don't exactly know where I'm going to work next school year.  Although I indeed have several "pokers in the fire" and I know that I am wanted and that there will be positions open, it is still unsettling to know that I have essentially turned in my resignation already with nothing else lined up.  This unknown is hard to sit with.

I don't exactly know where the kids will go to school next year or who will care for them in our absence.  I do realize though, once we arrive in Florida, have a few meetings to determine which school fits best for our family & our needs, the decision will be made.  But right now, the unknown is hard to plan around.

I don't exactly know what Brian will be doing as a retiree.  Just like me, he has many pokers in the fire with many opportunities presenting themselves almost daily.  Unlike me, he is far more patient, fluid, relaxed & easy going about the unknowns at this point.  Depending on the job positions offered to him, it will drastically & ultimately change what our daily routine looks like.  Again, the unknown is driving me crazy.

I do realize that I need to be patient.  I know that time is still on our side.  I'm just having a crazy week and would so appreciate to know the unknowns and put more of our plan into place.

Monday, April 7, 2014


M: "That flower and the sun are both the color lellow."
Mommy: Do you mean "yellow"?
M: Yes, I just told you that silly.

Mommy: Please finish eating those last few carrots on your dinner plate, Marilyn.
M: (with a salute) Yes, Ma'am!
Mommy: Did you just salute me?
M: (with a salute) Yes, Ma'am I did!
Mommy: You are such a little stinker.

M: Hey, there's some big moose poopies!
Mommy: moose poopies?
M: BIG moose poopies... Bwhaaaaa!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

All Aboard!

This weekend we treated ourselves & the kids to special treat - train tickets on the Alaska Railroad's Easter Train!  For the entire time we have lived here in Alaska, I've wanted to take this trip and it certainly did not disappoint.
With the kids dressed in their Easter fancies, we boarded car B with our tickets & I'm sure it is fair to say that ALL 5 of us were absolutely excited for more adventure!

The 2.5 hour train ride included Easter candy (of course), snacks, and a coloring contest!  All three of my munchkins took this challenge very seriously and did some of their best coloring to date!
 The kids also were treated to balloon animals - their picks included a pink bunny...
 a green ladybug...
 and a bow & arrow!
 The view of Turnagain Arm was tremendous.  We were even treated to a rare glimpse of a huge pod of Beluga Whales.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any great pictures of those beautiful white beauties coming out of the water.
 Another fun treat was Don the Magician!
 Look who got picked to be his first assistant...

 As the train ride went on, our luck continued with seeing more of Alaska's wildlife.  It was precious to see the kids keep their eyes opened wide & aimed up high to the mountain tops for...

 White Dahl Sheep!
In total we saw about 10 looking out over the cliffs and down towards the train as we raced by.
But it is fair to say that there was no better surprise for the kids than to personally meet the Easter Bunny himself!  The smiles, giggles & laughs said it all to Brian and I that this was completely worth this Alaska RR trip!