Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tom is home

Tom returned home on Sunday night after traveling for almost a week. He was welcomed with a heros welcome by the Patriot Guard of New Mexico. It has been a joyful reunion and we are looking forward to spending some time together as a family. Thank you for the support from our friends and family during the last many months.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm in love with a little Taiko drummer

I have my own little Taiko drummer. Aaron started taking taiko about 8 weeks ago. He was apprehensive at first and said the drum sticks hurt his hands to hold. Now, he can't wait for Wed. to roll around so he can go to class. He has caught on amazingly fast and concentrates so hard when he plays. I loved watching his performance on Saturday. I wish I would have thought to video tape it for Tom.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A night of tricks and treats

Halloween this year was a busy event. We had kids everywhere. We spent several weeks leading up to the big night trying to figure out what Aaron would be. For the last couple of weeks, we have been studying Japan and the history of Japan. Aaron read quite a lot on Samurai's and wanted to know if he had Samurai blood in him. A phone call was placed to a reliable source and Aaron was thrilled to find out he couldn't be more Samurai if he tried. That confirmed for him that he could "officially" wear a Samurai costume with pride and know he fit the character. We found the clothing, I spent a week making a helmet (he wanted to wear the real one he was given when he was a baby, but the 25 pounds of it quickly changed his mind. Miranda was his Korean/Japanese princess (I know these are two completely different things, but the kimono she has doesn't fit her anymore and the Korean costume her dad got her fit perfectly. They did not have Samurais in Korea so she improvised).

I set out a fire pit and while the kids stormed the neighborhood, I enjoyed the nice warm fire and conversation with friends. Later in the evening, the fire truck arrived and put on quite a little show about putting out my "out of control" fire. All in all, a great night was had by all without any spooks or goblins to destroy the evening. I think the best costume this year was a kid as a hot air balloon. I asked him if he was full of hot air...his dad laughed, the kid did not!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Balloon Fiesta was here the first week in October. It was another great year for the event and although there was a tragedy of a balloon catching fire, the rest of the week provided some spectacular pictures. We had some friends join us the first weekend and had a wonderful time.

The leaves are changing quickly here in New Mexico. This weeks temperatures have been about 20 degrees cooler than last week. I decided to get up this morning and take the kids to a park and then out to lunch. Actually, the lunch was all about Aaron's kick-back for wearing clothes that matched his sister. Someday he will be a lawyer or politician with the way he can negotiate things.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Jedi Training

One of the most exciting parts of the last day at Disney was the Jedi Training Academy. Aaron had the opportunity to be one of about 25 kids picked from the audience to participate in the training. He doned a cape and chose a lifesaver to complete his gear. The kids received training from "trained professionals" and then had the opportunity to put their training to use. Each child had their moment to shine with one on one combat against the leader of the dark side; Darth Vader himself. I think Aaron was thrilled that he was able to "show Darth Vader a real fight" and strutted off the stage as an accomplished Jedi Knight.

All Traveled out

As you can tell from our blog, our summer was spent passing through multiple airports and racking up those miles on Tom's car. We finished off our traveling with a trip to Colorado and California the first part of Sept. Miranda and Aaron joined about 400 other home schooled kids in the southwest region for 3 days at Disneyland taking classes that Disney coordinates. Of course, we had to get there first...

Tom and I decided somewhat at the last moment for me to travel to Colorado to try to narrow down areas of Colorado Springs we might want to live in. I had researched several schools and really wanted to try to narrow down the ones I am most interested in. The kids and I drove to CS where we spent about a day and a half driving around the north end and trying to get a feel for the area. We visited a few home builders and just drove around mostly. My mom and dad took Aaron and I out to celebrate our Birthdays as we both turned another year older.

On Friday, we drove to Denver and caught a flight to LAX. We rented a car and started our long, precarious drive out of LA, right at rush hour on a Friday night. If I can drive in LA at rush hour, I can drive anywhere. It did not help the situation that the site of the commuter train crash was right close to the area we drove through so traffic was a little more hectic. We finally made our way out of LA and out to the desert. We arrived in time for dinner (Ggma and Ggpa had to wait a little later than anticipated.) Grandma sure hasn't lost her touch with cooking and it was nice to sit down to such a great meal after the frazzled nerves. Saturday was spent relaxing and the kids taking a spin in the golf cart. Ggpa really put his life on the line with Aaron at the wheel. Thank goodness we have several more years before Aaron driving becomes a reality. Miranda was quick to exit the cart before Aaron took his turn at the wheel. The kids had a blast playing mexican train dominos and Gma and Gpa were surprised at how they have improved. Our visit seemed to fly by and it was time for us to leave before we knew it. We enjoy our trips to the desert where things move a little slower but it provides good rest time to reflect on things.

We drove back into LA Sunday afternoon where we picked up a friend at the airport. I really know my way around LAX and Aaron started asking lots of questions about the questionable people hanging around close to the airport. We picked up Angie, who had a agreed to spend the week with us, and we manuevered our way to our airport a short distance away. We spent a few hours that evening in Downtown Disney where Aaron visited his beloved LEGO store (I am so proud of Aaron for coming to his senses and deciding to make his grand LEGO purchases for when we returned home. I love when he figures out good choices on his own; with very little convincing from me.)

Our Disney classes started Monday morning with both kids enjoying an animation class. Angie headed out to some of the "little" activities with her 4-year old, and I found myself, husbandless, kidless and lonely in Disneyland. Who would have thought! Sort of an odd feeling to be in the "happiest place on earth" but feeling sort of sad and lonely. By midday when the classes ended, I was eager to collect my kids and enjoy some time with them together. We ended the day with a dinner hosted by the home schooling community and a talent show, where by far, the best talent was that of the Thomas children (Miranda's best friend) playing piano.

Tuesday was spent in California History classes for Aaron and a physics class for Miranda. I chaparoned the physics class and learned a thing or two about how the roller coasters really work. Miranda conquered one fear of speed and heights and although she did not ride the "big" roller coaster, she road a smaller one and even managed to smile afterward.

Wednesday we were on our own and so we rode as many rides as possible the whole day. It was great that we had so many friends with us. I find that riding a loop roller coaster multiple times in a row just does not appeal to me anymore, so having multiple kids ride with Aaron makes life a little easier.

Of course, our whole trip we really missed Tom. We decided to make a sign and take several pictures with it to let him know how much we missed him. Although the trip was fun and the time spent with Angie and Claire made it even better, we still felt the missing part of our family and are anxious for him to join us on our next adventure.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Brotherly Love

Since we are leaving for Colorado tomorrow, we decided to let Aaron open up a couple gifts early. He was so excited after just ripping off a corner of the wrapping paper, that he grabbed his sister and swung her around. She is his best friend and they are inseparable. He knew it was her doing that made it possible for me to pick the RIGHT Lego set to add to his collection.

Kayaking adventures

As I mentioned, Miranda's Girl Scout troop is very active and does all sorts of fun things. Last week, the girls put their kayaking skills to the test in the indoor pool here on base. They learned how to get in a kayak and exit one safely. I don't know if they are ready for a river run, but it was good experience none the less.

Baseball Rain-out

Miranda has had a busy couple of weeks with a multitude of activities. She has the most organized, energetic Girl Scout leader that anyone could ever ask for. A couple of weeks ago we attended what was suppose to be a sleepover at the baseball stadium for the professional league they have here. The girls had a great time eating popcorn, pizza and anything else they could find. Around the 5th ending, a torrential downpour started that cancelled all hopes of sleeping out on the field. We stood under the bleachers and waited out the storm before ending our fun night.

Never a dull moment

So, as usual, we have been keeping ourselves very busy. The summer flew by without us hardly noticing. We have started back to school and are trying to get into the swing of things, if only we could slow down long enough to do so. The next several months will be filled with dance rehearsals, LOTS of them, classes and one more trip without dad. We are heading to Colorado and California tomorrow for a week. We will start house shopping in Colorado for our much anticipated move to Colorado.

A highlight every year is Miranda cutting her hair for charity. This year we let it get a little longer than usual and today, Miranda said goodbye to 8 inches to a better cause. I am so proud of her for always putting others first. She is my amazing, most caring, young lady and she always manages to surprise me with the way she reaches out to others.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Life isn't life until you have been to a Demolision Derby

On our way home from the park, we drove by what we thought to be a stock car race. I remember when I was growing up, going to the races on Friday nights was a hit. Who wouldn't want to re-live that experience. So, we did a u-turn and went to the races. It ended up being a demolision derby, even better, although more safety precautions are taken nowdays. The kids thought it was hysterical to see these old cars bash into each other and witnessing what constitutes fun on a Friday night, in a small town, was something they won't soon forget.