Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I survived Halloween! Woo-hoo! Okay, I'll admit to being a Halloween grinch, particularly this year. I was dreading it with every fiber. But it turned out okay. The girls each had a little pumpkin that they got to decorate (with colored Sharpies because that's all I had on hand). Big Sis went with a character that she later named.

L'il Sis started off with a face but then kept drawing more and more people: family members, friends, even my sister's pets. Eventually, hers was just a big Jackson Pollack-type creation. The funny part was that as she drew, she was telling a story about each person she was drawing.

Big Sis helped me with the pumpkin scooping and carving. As in years past, she designed the pumpkin's face. She also did a great job helping to get it ready for carving.

Big Sis had been saying that she didn't want to trick or treat this year. She just wanted to hand out candy, like she did last year. A few days ago, she changed her mind. She has a set of books about Weather Fairies. She jacket has snowflake buttons and snowflakes embroidered on it. She's meant to be the Snow Fairy. She put her costume together all by herself. And she doesn't take suggestions well. *sigh* Have I mentioned that she just turned 7?

Like last year, L'il Sis LOVED LOVED LOVED trick-or-treating. She had one scare from a neighbor's teenager handing out candy but once he showed her his face under his mask she was fine.
We have a French neighbor who was getting a huge kick out of the trick-or-treaters. She took pictures of the kids before giving them their treats.
Trick or treating this year involved a lot of candy bowls left on doorsteps with notes to help yourself to a piece or two. Why? Because in our neighborhood, most of the daddies are deployed or just not here for one reason or another. This left the moms with the dilemma of what to do with kiddos too little to let loose on their own and vast amounts of candy to be loosed on the population at large. So... lots of bowls on doorsteps... Some of the kids really liked this because it cut out the middleman. I thought it was kind of sad. Part of the fun has always been to see all the kids in their various costumes and to make a big deal over them. Maybe next year...

Monday, October 29, 2007


It's cooled off and it actually feels like Fall around here. About time, too.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Paper chains or...Dr. Pepper?

Some families make paper chains as a way to count down the days until Daddy or Mommy returns. I noticed TripleE had a "donut of misery." (Now, if that won't put you off donuts, I don't know what will!) Leave it to Hubs to come up with his own caffienated version.

Hubs had been in the habit of returning from the chow hall with one or two cans of Dr. Pepper to see him through his shift. During his R&R, his coworkers continued the tradition and filled his office space with Dr. Peppers. He said they covered his desk and a lot of other surfaces. Well, I guess so, since he counted well over 100. Actually, I think he said it was more than 120! He did some calculating and decided he had enough to have one each day before redeploying back home, plus quite a few extras. Due to his extreme love of caffiene, all of the "extras" are long gone. But his count-down stacks of Dr. Pepper are still in place and woe to anyone who tries to take one, messing up the count-down.

Monday, October 22, 2007

First weekend

Thanks to the Salute to Heroes program, the girls and I spent our first weekend without Hubs in Virginia. We took advantage of the free park admission and went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg Saturday afternoon. My sister suggested the trip some time ago. I knew she was bringing her family and the girls were SO excited to see their aunt, uncle and cousins. Additionally, good friends live in the area and we were able to stay with them. The girls loved getting to play with Mr. M and their dog. Plus, Miss T even gave up her day and went to the park with us. Thank God she did, too! I'm not sure how I would have handled a 7 year old and a 3 year old (sans nap) without her. It was much more crowded than we'd expected, but the girls seemed to have a good time. And honestly, that's all I wanted from this first weekend without Daddy: for them to have a good weekend with plenty of diversions.

I was torn about this weekend. I'd started planning it just before Hubs left. I was trying to finalize plans the day after he left when I learned that his great-uncle had passed away. I still don't know if I did the right thing or not. I sent flowers but opted not to take the girls to the funeral, and followed the original plan for the weekend. While I felt an obligation to be there for Hubs' family, I felt an even deeper obligation to the girls. What would you have done?

Ben Stein

Ben Stein has a new book out called The Real Stars. Some of you may remember that he wrote an essay with the same title some years ago. The book is the current read for the SpouseBuzz Book Club. I'll buy the book as soon as I find it. What makes this book even more attractive? The fact that all the proceeds benefit T.A.P.S.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back from R&R...

He came.
He played.
He read bedtime stories.
He gave hugs and kisses.
Now, he's gone again.
And the waiting and the missing starts again.