Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Education of Me

My oldest son starts 4th grade today.
He's excited!  I'm nervous.

There are so many reasons why I don't think it is a good idea.
He will probably prove all of them wrong.
He's such a smart kid.  Way smarter than me.
I'm happy about this, but I don't look forward to the day he realizes it.
For now, he's happy to learn from me.
Though I'm sure I learn way more from him.
I am constantly amazed by him.

I took this video of him when he was exactly three and a half years old.
I had given him a set of post-it notes that have words written on them.  He made a sentence out of them.  While I was taking the video, he changed his mind and added a word below to rewrite his sentence.

How can a three year old read and "write"?

I know he's not a genius.
I mean, come on,  he may be smarter than me, but he did come from me.
He must take after my husband.
That's what my mom said when I told her about him reading this book just after he turned four.
Thanks, Mom. :)

The book starts out with simple sentences, but if you stick with it, you'll see the sentences and concepts getting harder.  He asks for help with only a couple of words and also asks a few questions about the concepts.

I posted this video on the internet for my husband to see while he was away at a 6 month training.  The author of the book happened to come across it and contacted me.  She was delighted to see a little boy enjoying her work.  I could not have been more proud.

This is the picture I took with my camera
at the school Meet and Greet this past Friday.
This is the picture I saw in my head.
My little kindergartener.
He's so much taller now, but he looks just the same doesn't he?

I'm so nervous that the teacher will not remember that he is still only 7.
I'm so nervous that the other 4th grade boys will remember that he is.
I'm so nervous he will be frustrated that the teacher will always be reminding him to be still.
I'm so nervous that he won't be able to sit still because he has so much excess energy.  (I obviously have it too, don't I.)
I'm also nervous that putting him back into school after homeschooling the last two years might be the wrong choice because he's super smart, but he's still only 7.

I'm nervous.  But he's excited.
And today I will probably learn that all my reasons to be nervous are just excuses, and that he is bigger and stronger than I already thought he was.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Moving On (Part 1 of 3)

Out of 16 moves in our married life, 7 of those were to various suburbs of the Dallas/Ft Worth area before we even joined the military.

I say 'we' because when one member of the family joins the military, everyone is in.
The military is not a job, its a life...
and life as a military family necessarily includes moving...
and moving...(which we clearly already had a knack for)
and moving again.

Even still, our story of military moving is unique.

I'll start at the beginning.

After my husband finished 3 months of Officer's Training School in Montgomery, Alabama, we received orders to our first station.  Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.  This was for about 8 months of specialized training.  Scratch that.  Clerical error stretched that into 12 months and a detour to a different specialized training.

Once that training was completed, we were off to our second station.  Cavalier Air Force Station, North Dakota.  Cavalier is a town of roughly 1,000 people up by the Canadian border.  It is otherwise known as 'The Official Middle of Nowhere.'  In fact, the nearest McDonald's is in Canada.  The winters are -40 and pretty much anything you ever need is 2 hours away.  We had such a fantastic time there!  Seriously, my husband talked about retiring there.  I'll be honest though, I was never convinced.

But here's where the real beginning of our military moving story started.  The ten houses on the station were under renovation and we were told ours would be ready in a month.  So we rented a house in town with an open ended lease.  Good thing too, because that month stretched on and on into a year.  My husband often worked night shift and the trek from our rental in town, to the station about 20 minutes away, was pretty dangerous at night, especially in winter.  So when the newly renovated house was finally ready, we jumped on it (Even though this time we had to do the moving ourselves.)

That's 3 moves in 3 years.  You with me so far?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Things they say

My children are three fantastic bundles of pure energy.
They get it from me of course.
And I mean that literally...they suck the energy right out if me like little leaches...

But they are nothing if not entertaining.  I watch in amazement as their bodies grow and their minds expand.  I watch and listen.  Sometimes what I hear just makes me smile, sometimes it makes me laugh outright.  Sometimes it just makes me go, "What?"  You can decide for yourself which ones are which.

Top ten things heard at my house recently...

Ethan (3 years)
Ethan: I almost getting my dressed on.
Ethan: I'm winning last!
Me: Do you want me to put you down?  Ethan: No.  I'm still picking you up.

Asha (5 years)
Asha: Mom, Ethan is peeing on the towels in the bathroom!
Asha: I can't hear you cause my eyes are locked.
Asha: Mom, What will you name me when I grow up?
Asha: Daddy, when Daniel and Ethan grow up, will they have no hair like you?

Daniel (7)
Daniel: Mom! Asha and Ethan got blueberry juice on the ceiling!
Daniel: I was playing and my legs are so tired because I didn't have any other mode of transportation.
Me: Daniel, did you forget I'm on video chat and Grandma can see you dancing around naked in front of the mirror?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Moving Sickness

 Moving Sickness: When you are disoriented and overwhelmed by moving.

There are boxes everywhere!
You'd think after moving 16 times in 16 years that I would be good at moving.  I'm not.
I love the new experiences, but the process itself is painful and highlights everything I'm bad at.

To start with, I don't like people touching my stuff.  By the time we are packed up though, the movers have laid hands on every item I own and are intimately familiar will all of it.  This also makes me feel exposed, which I really don't like.

When the movers come, it takes about two full days for them to pack up all of our stuff.  Its a crazy two days.  And very stressful.  I run around like a mad woman giving instructions, answering questions, and cringing every time I see them touching something I love (Please don't break it!)

There are boxes everywhere.

On day three they start putting it all on the truck. This part is actually pretty quick, and as they pull away, there is a sense of relief.  Its done.  I don't have to think about it until we get to our new house.

When we get to the new house, it only takes a few hours for the movers to unload all the boxes.  Then the real stress starts.

There are boxes everywhere!

But where is anything?  The pillows and blankets?  Where are the shower curtains and towels?  Where are the shower curtain rings?!?  There are labels on the boxes, but I cannot read most of them and experience tells me that it wouldn't matter if I could.  The contents are an odd mix of any thing, from any room, that would fit, and a random label that describes something that was somewhere in our house.  Its anyone's guess where anything is.

Enter the mindless unpacking of box after box after box.  Some of it is stuff I didn't even remember I had, but more of it is stuff that I should have gotten rid of a long time ago.  All of it is stuff that I don't know where to put.  Now there are boxes AND stuff everywhere.  And this is the part that I'm really bad at.

There will be boxes everywhere and stuff everywhere for months.

I will feel disoriented and overwhelmed for months.  I am not good at setting up house. I don't know where to put stuff.  It will feel discouraging to watch neighbors move in after me and get set up before me.  And even more discouraging to know that when I finally do get all the boxes unpacked and all the stuff put away, it will still look like I just moved in because I don't know how to decorate.  I don't really know how to arrange stuff to make it look like a comfortable home.  And by the time I think I might, its time to move again.

And once again, there will be boxes everywhere.