Thursday, July 30, 2009

And the answer is...

Yes, glass doves, and yes, on mom's hutch! You can see the birds in the background there in my parent's dining room.

I took this picture when we were stranded in Wisconsin after my interview at the beginning of March of this year. We played alot of TTR that trip!

I can't wait for it possible to get sick of TTR or other board games? I am sure Loran will be glad of the other family members more interested in board games, and I will be glad of a little parental break from my babies. I love them, but I was not meant to be a single mom! Two weeks is enough :-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today Loran left Ft. Benning

As I was typing an email to Loran this evening, I decided that I wanted to share some of it here...

"...yes, it is totally okay to be a little sad. You lived in Columbus longer than you have lived anywhere else. You worked on Ft. Benning longer than you have worked anywhere else.

You, my love, are a soldier, an infantryman, and always will be. To leave Ft. Benning, the Home of the Infantry, is to leave a little piece of yourself.

Other than that day in church when I realized it was real, today after talking with you while you were leaving was the only other time I cried over leaving Georgia and that is because of all that Ft. Benning means to ME. I can't imagine how you must have felt, especially spending a little time visiting an area with soldiers present.

I am sad too, because there are a lot of memories in Georgia that I will never leave behind. I "met" you while you were in Georgia (although technically I guess you were in Virginia when you responded via eHarmony the first time). I met Julia in Georgia. I got married to the most wonderful man EVER in Georgia. The two jewels of my heart were conceived and born in Georgia. They both started talking there and walking there. I owned my first house in Georgia. The first church I was ever a member of (during adulthood) was in Georgia. My first anniversary was spent in Georgia. I made some of the best friends I could ask for while I was in Georgia.

So many fundamental firsts in my life happened while living in Georgia.

As much as I wanted to move to Wisconsin and I am glad that we did, I will miss Georgia and all that it has given me. A piece of me will be in Georgia forever (and not just my gall bladder... :-))."

I know that I was excited to leave and get started here, but the awful reality of what I left behind hits me today as I realize that we may never set foot in Columbus, Georgia again. I hope we will but...well, one never knows.

For those I left behind, know that I miss you, and as Rosie so eloquently put it, "If I don't see you again on earth, at least I'll see you in Heaven". I look forward to it!

Wisconsin is different from Georgia (part 6)

The girls and I passed the Walmart tonight and in front of the home improvement store next to the Walmart (no, I will not post the name of the store, Loran).

What I saw made me laugh. Not only was the grass in the large expanse of land in front of the store being mowed down, but it was also baled into really big bales.

You just never know...

The power of music amazes me

I love the song from the end part of the movie "Fireproof". I have it on my playlist over on the side there. John Waller "While I'm Waiting". It conjures views of the movie in my head, which is cool because I did like the movie alot.

But it, like most of the songs I really love, moves me in a way that I can't put into words. That song reminds me to pursue God at all times, especially in what seems like the "down time", the waiting we humans tend to do while we are waiting for the next big thing: graduation, marriage, children, a career move, whatever. God's timing is perfect. I need to spend more time with Him "While I'm Waiting".

Some songs are just music I listen to and sometimes I know the words, sometimes not.

Most of the songs over on that playlist have the power to move me. I am listening to Kryptonite right now and I hear and see Loran and Rock Johnson in my head. They ROCKED THIS SONG! I wish I would have recorded it. It was my favorite song they did. I felt like such a groupie every time they played it (Loran did alot of the singing..awesome sexy voice...didn't really come out in church :-), take my word for it).

How Beautiful was played by my sister, Heidi, at our wedding. It was her choice and she did an amazing job playing and singing it.

At Last was selected by Loran as "our song" and I still remember what we were both doing the moment he said "Yeah, I like this one," as a CD of songs I compiled for the occasion played. I was making our wedding cake, of sorts, (have I posted the pictures and the story of that cake?) and he was chatting with an old friend that was going to be dog sitting for us. Strong memories.

Arise My Love was a song in an Easter musical that my church at home does every year called "The Promise". I am moved to tears each and every time I see it...and I have seen it a million times. I can't wait to be able to see it again this Easter after missing it for five years. The song is one of my favorites from the earlier versions of the musical.

Just a little ramble as I sit here and wait for the morning to come...when I can finish preparations and drive to Milwaukee to pick up the man of my dreams, the love of my life, the father of my children, the guy who somehow loves me inspite of all of my flaws and faults (and there are MANY), the man that agreed to move to Wisconsin for ME. Why I am so lucky, I will never know.

"What is it?" Wednesday

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New barns going up

I don't have pictures because I was driving and the girls were sleeping and I have already yelled at Loran for taking pictures with his phone while driving, BUT I saw a neat sight today.

On the way home, I saw about twenty buggies with big yield signs on the back of them in front of the skeleton of a barn. On the skeleton of the barn were about forty men in blue shirts and black pants with black hats. The Amish were working on the third barn on a spot set back from the road a bit.

It made me wonder: what will they have there? There are already two other barns and no livestock as of yet. Do only married Amish men get their own buggies? How do you graduate from getting to drive Dad's horse and buggy to having one of your own? Marriage? maybe. How different are they really from us? I have watched the shows about the Duggers and other families that have lots of kids and other than a few differences in beliefs (admittedly very few) they seem like me. But I wonder about the Amish.

Loran does too. And one day he will find one to possibly befriend. And ask lots of questions. And then we will have some answers. Unless someone out there knows more about them than I do.

I see them almost every day. I would love to know more.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Julia and Littlest Pet Shop stuff

I decided that after I had to leave the tiger mural that I painted on Julia's wall in Columbus (although there is still time for Jonathan and Loran to cut it out and re-dry wall that area...) that I would do my paintings on canvas so I can hang them, move them, sell them, whatever. I like how Jonathan and Coralie have their house decorated in Jonathan's paintings. I am nowhere near as talented but I like to paint when I have the chance.

So I was going to paint some Littlest Pet shop critters on canvas for the big wall in Julia's wall but I found these instead. They are wall stickers that can be removed and restuck. I don't know how many times but they seem to be working well so far. Julia hasn't seen them yet but she will soon I hope. Someday I will still paint a canvas for the wall and then just use the stickers as filler on the other walls.

I also bought her some LPS curtains that I hope she likes.

And for when she deserves a "treat" we have about a million little guys in the closet waiting for the right moment. She got a Great Dane recently. I love the new farm animals.

And when she gets here in September for a weekend she will have a tiger waiting for her. I spoil that child!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The next chapter in the exciting adventures of Orion

The might hunter. Ugh. I love my cat and I am glad he has turned into such a faithful indoor/outdoor cat. He loves me and always wants to come back inside but sometimes he needs to leave what he finds outside on the OUTSIDE of the house.

Like this morning after breakfast when I was playing with the girls and I heard his bell and turned to see him come inside the door by the deck. He had deposited a brownish lump on the floor of my dining room. And it was still alive.

Ankica was excited and Lillian squealed every time it moved. I didn't even know that Lillian could say the word frog but she kept saying it over and over and over and...well, you get the idea.

I chased it outside but the cat wasn't happy about it.

I think it escaped eventually. I really don't want to know if it didn't.

What I did for about six hours on Thursday

It isn't anchored yet because I am not sure exactly where it should go but I am pretty proud of myself for putting it up. The neighborhood kids have already enjoyed it quite a bit.

Ankica's babies understand...why doesn't she?

This is how I found her baby dolls. One with a bib and ready to eat and the other on the potty chair with mismatched socks (indicating that she probably dressed herself). I hope that seeing other kids using the regular potty at the Children's Center will inspire her.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

And the answer is...

A part of an Illinois cross-stitch I did for a friend while I was there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wisconsin is different from Georgia (part 5)

At our house in Columbus, Georgia, Orion (the mighty hunter) would stalk and bring us pieces of palmetto bugs and cockroaches that were bigger than mice. They scurried EVERYWHERE!

A few weeks ago, here in Wisconsin, our mighty hunter deposited something on the carpet next to the table when we were eating. After a quick look, I asked Loran if it was what I thought it was and then requested he dispose of it. There was no head and I am pretty sure no tail, although I didn't want to look to close because Julia really wanted to know what it was (we shielded her from it). was a real mouse (our backyard butts up against a soybean field currently).

So last night, after the girls were asleep, I was typing an email to Loran when I heard a ruckus upstairs. Since the dogs were downstairs, it was either a burglar or the cat. He wears a bell on his collar and I heard him run down the stairs and do a weird jiggy maneuver on the floor, and then another, until he ran in front of Riley, who remained unconcerned (I am rarely concerned if the dogs aren't). But by then I looked up and saw Orion jumping after a mouse! He would do the typical cat thing and jump on it, then let it go, then jump on it again. It hopped around and looked really quite silly (looking back on it) and I froze. Then the mouse and the cat were gone. I heard no more for a while but then the cat came back and sniffed around at the area and cried piteously, which I took to mean that he had lost his prize. Which was actually okay with me, because the last thing that I wanted was the proud hunter to give ME part of his prize.

Needless to say, I was very careful as I walked around the house the rest of the night. I woke up with the cat sleeping on my chest and as I looked down, with my groggy-morning-no glasses eyes, I could have sworn I saw a mouse in his front paws! And then he moved and I realized it was my imagination combined with his normal fur and claws.

Sheesh. What a way to wake up!

This is what woke me up this morning

Baby Monitor Conversation
(imagine a 3 year old and an almost 2 year old talking to each other)

Lillian: Hiyo? Hiyo?
Ankica: Oh...Hi Wiwi! You wanna play?
Lillian: Yeah. Play Doya?
Ankica: I wanna play pirates
Lillian: Pirah?
Ankica: No. Pi-rates.
Lillian: Oh...pirates.
Ankica: Yeah. (in a deep voice) What your name?
Lillian: Jewya (how she says Julia)
Ankica: Oh hi name Pucah.

After that there was a lot of strange grumblings that was supposed to be pirate talk I suppose and some giggling. I love my babies!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wisconsin is different from Georgia (part 4)

Julia is in Georgia and not in Wisconsin. Ugh.

Every summer we get closer and this summer was no different. I had a hard time holding back the tears today when she left with Loran. I'll see him in two weeks but not her. Her mother refused our offer and so Julia will be going to school in Georgia this year.

I am going to miss her constant questions, her silliness, her newfound love of her bike, and how she helps with the girls. They adore her and she adores them. They play hide and seek now because she taught them. Ankica counts to thirteen consistently because she helped her get it right. The girls do play well with each other but they come to me more often for entertainment without Julia (not a bad thing!) and I was forced to be Cindarella or the mouse today in the car on the way back from Milwaukee while Ankica was the other one. A game she made up with Julia. I am a poor substitute.

We'll see her again over Labor Day weekend if all goes according to plans. I pray that things will happen the way they are supposed to.

Wisconsin is different from Georgia (part 3)

It's HOT there right now.

It's COLD here right now. No kidding. No air conditioning. No fans on. No open windows. And blankets on me and the girls. Even the dogs are huddling together.

Yup. The first snowfall will make up for this (I hope).

Wisconsin is different from Georgia (part 2)

I don't have pictures yet, but I will eventually, of what I see on the way to Platteville from Belmont.

On the way to work in Phenix City from Columbus I saw lots of houses and businesses and a big river and cows on a billboard (Chick Fil A) but here I see actual cows (dairy and beef) grazing. And horses. And sheep. And goats. And lots of corn, soybeans, and wheat. And Ankica's favorite, red barns. And my favorite thing so far...Amish folk in horse drawn carriages. We see them at Walmart and the home improvement store (Menards).

It's fun :-)

I miss Loran :-(

Loran and Julia left today and Loran is officially back in the house in Columbus. I miss him and 12 days without him is going to be difficult.

When I was thinking about it today, I realized that alot of my friends have experienced significant time away from their spouses and that time away was stressful because of the war. I don't want to diminish how difficult it was for them to be separated and the worry they must have felt.

But I am still sad and lonely. So, to my friends in Columbus, please take care of my husband! And for those already doing so...thank you SOOOO much! Words cannot express what your friendship means to me :-)

Blogging for a while now

I realized today that I have been blogging for one whole year this month...July 7th, 2008 was the official start to this adventure. It has been fun and I am totally enjoying it. I have learned to moderate my time on the computer but I faithfully check my favorite blogs daily.

I looked back at some of the posts from this time last year. Ankica and Julia and Loran look the same but both Lillian and I are bigger (good thing for Lillian, not for me). I hope to change my look some more in the next year because I wouldn't mind having more pictures of me for my girls to look back on...hopefully fondly :-)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And the answer is...

A picture of the was a weak attempt...I'll do better next week :-)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Associated Content

Hey y'all!

Come and check out the new articles I wrote. There was a massive run last week on infant articles.

I wrote twelve articles in three days and made $96! I am so happy I found this website!

"What is it?" Wednesday

Finally...lots of pictures of the house :-)

So I finally uploaded the zillion pictures I took of the house :-)

Here is a picture of the front door from the top of the stairs right outside the kitchen and "great hall".

Looking from the girls' room, down the hall to the "great hall" and dining room.

Upstairs bathroom.

The girls' room, closet and dresser (it is a big room!).

This is one of the views from the girls' room.

Looking into the girls' room from the door. After all of the work I did to their room in Columbus, I am not doing much of anything for a LONG TIME here.

The toy room. This room needs some shelves to help organize (because Mama likes things organized) but it is great to have a room to just throw their toys in. Eventually, if God blesses us with another one, and if it would be a boy, would rearrange a bit.

Julia's room. It has some elements of the jungle from Columbus but not everything. I have determined to only do canvas from now on and not paint murals that can't be taken with us! However, I was thinking that if we are having Jonathan help with some drywall work next week, then maybe we can just cut out the tiger from Julia's room and have it shipped up here :-)

From the hall, looking into the kitchen. A new dishwasher is on it's way and we have lots of ideas of how we could remodel the kitchen fairly easily :-)

A look at the kitchen from the dining room. I love the white cabinets that I bought from Sam's Club when I was a student in Illinois. They are so useful!

This is where we have had lunch almost every day that we have eaten at home (admittedly not as much as we should). It is so wonderful to have brought this patio furniture with us and have somewhere lovely to use it!

The dining area. I love eating here as a family with cable TV nowhere in sight!!!!

This is the "great hall". It is just off the dining area. It will someday have bookshelves lining it and hopefully a fireplace. I love the carpet but it attracts dog hair like crazy. For now we just have a TV and DVD player so the girls can occasionally watch "their" movies while mom cooks supper.

Looking from the family room in the basement, down the hall toward the master bedroom.

The family room in the basement. The only TV in the house with cable.

The computer desk is in the corner and we just bought a bigger desk to set behind the couch for some more workspace for class stuff I will have to do. It will be nice to be able to watch TV with everyone while still working on random things (like blogging, walking on the treadmill, and writing articles...more on that later).

View out one of the basement windows.

More empty space! Seriously, this house is almost three times the size of the house in Columbus! The plan is to put the sewing table my mom is giving me under the window. To the left of the picture, barely visible, is a huge closet that holds all of the decorations (mostly Christmas) and all of the baby and toddler clothes I am not giving up yet. Across from laundry room is ANOTHER big closet that has all of the baby furniture that might get one more use. After that, imagine all of the room!

Laundry room, down the hall from the master bedroom. It will have a folding shelf and kitty door added to it at some point in the near future.

Master bathroom. Includes the big tub (swimming pool for the little ones, right Coralie?), a toilet alcove, and a walk-in shower. There was no door so we hung our shower curtain for privacy :-)

View of the master bathroom and sink/vanity area of the master bedroom.

Our bed fits nicely :-)
A virtually unused corner of the master bedroom. We are thinking it would make a good reading corner someday (when we can afford to buy more furniture).

From the hall looking into the master bedroom at the closet. Big walk in closet with a window (weird) but it has very little hanging space. Works okay for now.

Looking up into the "great hall" from the front door area. Lots of boxes of books and Indy, resting.

View from inside the front door, through the screen apparently :-)

The steps up and down, viewed from the front door.

The front of the house, viewed from the driveway.
A view from the door in the garage.

Soybeans and corn as far as the eye can see.

Loran got the hammock set up quickly! A new swingset will go just beyond it. The neighbors own the picnic table but never use it.

A view of the owners' house (nice people) and the two apple trees that will soon be OURS!

Looking from the door in the garage up at the deck.

I have a clothesline! Wa-hoo!

The garage fits our "outside" stuff and the two vehicles quite nicely.

The cul-de-sac is awesome for the kids to play in. We are getting a sandbox for one side of the house and a swingset for the other. The girls will be able to play almost year-round and I love that! There are definitely things that aren't what I would choose but this is going to work really well for now! I hope you all enjoyed the show! Now come and visit and see the real thing!!!!

I will bake up some apple pie, have real Wisconsin cheese, and grill some brats. Is that Wisconsin enough? Oh and I am sure my brother-in-law could bring down some homemade beer if that is your thing too. :-)