Sunday, 28 September 2008

catch up

Sorry for the delay in blogging.

Thursday after lunch we went for a drive. In a search for a tripod, Bob looked up camera stores and we picked one to check out, in the town of Halesworth. They didn't have ball-head mounts, so we went to the toy store across the street and bought the boys plastic swords. Then we walked down the street to the parish church, which was very nice. It's listed in the Doomsday book, and has a sundial over the door (my "English Country Churches" book tells me some churches had "mass clocks" that were used to tell service times, and that complete ones are very rare now, but I don't know if this one is an old rare one or not). I bought 2 cookbooks and a "facts and fallacies" book off the used book table in the church.
Inside the church, Bob decided he'd rather have a good monopod than nothing, so we went back to the camera shop and got one. I also spotted a basket of interesting wall calanders outside a shop, so stopped there and got one for 75p.

Seeing that Halesworth is not far from the sea, we went a little farther East to the town of Southwold. They have a pier with shops and entertainments on it, but the first order of business (well, after the toilet stop) was the beach. The tide was coming in and everyone got excited about the "big" waves. Bob took pictures and the children threw rocks into the waves. There was a nice sandcastle on the beach, and as soon as the boys saw it they ran up and started kicking it down. We stopped them quickly, and later we saw it fall to the tide.
By the time we were all quite cold and hungry we went up onto the pier and looked around. There was a clock/water fountain with a sign that said it gave a show every hour on the hour. Noting we had 15 minutes til 6, we walked on down to the end of the pier and checked out the telescope. We got back to the clock right at 6, and the 'show' began - two metal men figures dropped their metal pants and squirted water into the central bucket. So we headed back toward town to find some dinner.
We found a parking spot between a fish 'n' chips place and a pub. The fish 'n' chips was cheaper, so we went in, but the boys needed a toilet, which they wouldn't provide, and then I saw a sign about 'cash only' and we were done. Bob had 14GBP, but that would get us two plates and leave us very hungry. So we went to the pub. After 20 minutes in the toilets we got a table and went to study the menu. The people were nice, but slow. I had lasagne, Bob had plaice, Taryn had a burger, Riah had fried scampi, and the others shared a pizza. It was quite late by the time we were done, and the children all napped on the way home.

Friday was the homeschool field day, and that was fun. I didn't have time to make anything for the potluck lunch afterwards, so we went to the BXtra to eat, and then toured 'toyland.' Bob got hiccups at lunch and was nearly sick by the time we finished at the store, so we decided to go home and save the grocery shopping. The babies napped and I made dinner. (The hiccups stopped when a horse truck nearly ran us off the road.)

Saturday we went to the "holiday bazaar" on Lakenheath. We bought some potpouri and a used book. We also had lunch there, but right as we were finished I remembered the commissary was giving away hot dogs. Oh, well. So then Bob dropped me and 3 children off at the commissary for the case lot sale. I bought cases of laundry detergent, body wash, cereal, soup, canned tomatoes, green beans, and corn, toilet paper, baby wipes, and water. I also got a few things from the regular store. $260. The checkout is set up so the customer has to load the groceries onto the belt, so I was busy working and not able to keep my eyes on the cashier. When I got home and looked at my reciept I found that I'd been cheated out of more than $5. It's irritating, and I have resolved to get over it, but it's slow going.
So we got home about 3, and the boys went to play outside and the babies took naps.

And now it's Sunday morning and the children are eating and Bob is sleeping in (he didn't sleep well last night). I guess I should have breakfast, too.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


Bob arrived home safely about 11:30 this morning. With no sleep the night before, he had a good homemade lunch and went to take a nap. :-) He bought me an Icelandic silver ring, to replace a pewter ring I'd bought myself there back in the day, and a bottle of water. He got Azariah a viking hat for his birthday, and both boys a teddy bear with an Icelandic flag shirt on, and each of the girls an Icelandic pony on a key ring. Very cute.

He has off from work until Monday, but will go in Friday for paperwork. We also have the homeschool group field day on Friday.

So that's that.


Recently a friend confided in me that her husband was "difficult." :-) I got to thinking about the term, and I wonder how many women would say the men in their lives are difficult men. Husband, father, brother(s), son(s). I think I would answer, "yes, difficult," to every one of my men. How about you?
So I wonder if really we are quite normal and so are the men. ?? An old friend used to say that we each have our difficult times, and that we are each suited to deal with the difficulties in our particular man; she couldn't put up with my man, and no way I could put up with hers.

Yesterday I read this blog, and it reminded me of these thoughts. If you read it (it's a little long), can you see the connection?

That life in general is hard, and there's no reason to go around thinking we have things more hard than everyone else. I know this is easy for me to say (in regards to men) because my husband has been away for 4 weeks, but really, is it true? It's so easy to get into a negative mindset and think our own particular lot in life is unbearable. But so many have borne so much more. And maybe, just maybe, if we'd look up more often (and maybe even if we look to the humanity of others) instead of looking in at our own feelings and 'needs' then we'd realize things aren't really as difficult as they appear.

(Disclaimer: this rambling of thought is directed mostly at myself. I have no intention of making light of others' situations or even 'preaching' or imposing guilt trips. And of course, there are many exceptions and situations that REALLY are out of the ordinary with pain and hard times, and I'm not talking about that.)

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Yes, I survived another one - not mine, but Riah's.

I had planned a couple of lovely blog posts, including one just about the cake, but I just don't have time. Bob is supposed to be home tomorrow, so I have some cleaning up to do. Maybe after he's home a day or two the children will calm down and I'll be able to blog regularly again.
It's not so much about whether people even read it. I need to have things written down because I'm unable to retain the memory otherwise. If I write it down, my brain dumps it even more, but then I can go back and see what I said about a thing.
Frustrating, because in a month or a year I will wonder what I did for Riah's 5th, and all I'll know is that I was so tired and frazzled the next day!

maybe I can sneak in a few words? He had a good day being completely lazy. The cake passed inspection, and he got some presents he liked - books from a friend, money and stickers from my parents, and from me his binoculars repaired, a robin hood Playmobil toy, a Robin Hood puzzle, a Robin Hood costume (don't tell, but when Disney made it they thought it was Peter Pan. hehe), and wooden puzzle shape blocks things (Oh, they 're called pattern blocks).
Our friends the Harris family came over for dinner of Sloppy Joshes, fruit salad, and corn and green beans, and stayed for cake and presents.

I'd been up til 1:30 the night before, chatting with Bob on Yahoo IM. Oik!

He also had balloons, purple streamers, and a big banner.

I have some pictures on my Flickr site. to see them, click on the highlighted words.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

all to myself

I didn't want to post prematurely, but it seems that William has been weaned. It's been 4 days since he last nursed.
This means that, for the first time in 7 years I am neither nursing nor pregnant. My body is mine! Wow, what a deal. :-)

Today we went to Lakenheath for a Flea Market, and got a few boys' clothes and a few toys, then ate lunch, went to the playground (sunny again!!), then the commissary. After coming home and unpacking the car I made Riah's birthday cake, heated frozen pizza for supper, and got the children to bed. For the last 1 1/2 hours I have been chatting with Bob on Yahoo Messenger and looking at chocolate cake recipes online. I need 2 cakes for this birthday (he wants a big castle), so I cheated and made one with a mix. The other, I picked from a Hershey cookbook, and it fell on cooling, so I need to do again. It may be the fault of the recipe or the baking (I guess it was undercooked), but the batter wasn't awesome so I am looking for another recipe. So many recipes call for 3 9" pans, and I only want 2; this is to be layered and decorated so I want it not too crumbly, but moist and fluffy and good and chocolaty. If I made a choc cake every week I'd have a standard by now. My new favorite cake is a 3 layer, so I can't use it.

Tomorrow I guess we will go to a boot sale and then to a "Gala Day" at an animal health place just down the road. Don't tell, but they are having a "fancy dress" competition and I might take the boys' costumes. There is supposed to be a dog show as well. And then there's the cake decorating and the house cleaning, as Riah wants it clean for his borthday on Monday.
If I was my mother, I'd be up all night baking, but as it is, I'm headed for bed.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

this is cool!

So, recently I blogged about Scotland and a cool giveaway over at In a Shoe. Guess what. I won!! I know she uses a random number generator, so it wasn't my eloquent angst than won her over, but it was my second entry, for blogging, that got picked. I'm so excited I guess I'll forgive Vision Forum for not inviting me to go with them on the trip in the first place. :-) It will be fun to hear all the info, and it will be inspiration for us to go see the places ourselves. Cool!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The B-I-B-L-E

I think Ella is going overboard with learning her body parts. When I change her diaper she pats her belly and sings "The belly, belly, belly, Yes that's the Book for me, I stand upon the Word of God, the belly, belly, belly!"

Who's Racist?

I will tackle this sensitive subject with my usual bull-in-the-china-shop approach, so be warned.

I saw this article on Yahoo, which started me thinking.
Just a sample quote in case you don't want to read the whole thing.

White people:
Burges Burrows, a self-described conservative Christian, hadn't been able to summon much enthusiasm for McCain. The choice of Palin, however, made him an instant supporter -- even though he'd never heard of her before McCain picked her. ``It's her beliefs as a Christian and the choices she has had to make,'' said Burrows, 47.

Pastor Mark Harris's members are energized by the choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate precisely because she so strongly opposes abortion. ``Republicans were waiting for something to get excited for, and Sarah Palin is it,'' he said.

Black people:
``I was already motivated to vote from the moment I registered 20 years ago,'' said Sandra Norman, 45, the director of a Virginia state agency.

Said Jones, ``How can we as Christians be part of their base when you look at the Republican National Convention and you see no blacks, no Asians on the floor. I don't know who that Christian base is, but it's certainly not us.''

Article conclusion:
In Charlotte [at a white church], views weren't framed in racial terms, but in terms of Christian conservatism.

``There's some number of people who if Jesus said to do it, they still wouldn't vote for a black person,'' said Green [a black man].

Both groups interviewed for the article claim to look at a candidates political positions and the whole Bible. But when it came down to it, the black church members are voting by "race" and the white church members are voting by party.

Maybe I'm naive, but I think white evangelical republicans would be just as excited if McCain had picked a black conservative such as Alan Keyes. And it seems to me that a lot of black folks would be willing to vote for a conservative if he was black. So don't tell me white people are racist and black people aren't. There is a racial divide of some extent in the USA, but it is about a LOT more than blacks being discriminated against.

Personally, I believe that there is one race - the Human race - and that physical characteristics such as skin color are nothing more or less than adaptation to climate and culture. The church we attend is about 1/2 black and 1/2 white, with a few Asians. The only friends we've made here so far are black. We aren't their friends because we needed a feather in our affirmative action hat, but because we have similar lifestyles and beliefs.

Anyway, sorry if I'm out of line, but it stirred me up a bit.

For the record, Jesus told us to give to the poor out of our own money, not rob from the general populace through high taxes and have some agency redistribute to the poor. History shows that the higher taxes are, the less people give to charity. So don't give me that "social gospel" stuff that says Democrats are more Christian because they want to tax and spend on social programs (which don't work anyway).

I guess that'll do for now... >running to hide for awhile<

Sunday, 14 September 2008


I wonder why I have been blogging less since Bob has been gone. You'd think I'd want more connection to other people, not less. anyway.

William is starting to let go when standing. I think he will be my oldest baby to start walking, as he's already 11 months.

We went on base today and bought Taryn a "used" bicycle - brand new, really, for $60. The previous owners are moving to Nebraska. Since we were there, they gave us a box full of groceries that they didn't pack up to take with them. It was probably worth $60 by itself (though a few things I won't use, like Hamburger Helper), so I think I got a good deal on the bike. Yes, I lifted it over my head and tied it to the top of the van to bring home.
As it was a nice day again, we went to a playground for an hour or so, and then did a quick stop at the commissary for a few things that I forgot/talked myself out of last time. We went to the self checkout lane so the girls got to play cashier.

Today was our 12 year anniversary. Bob is working tonight, so I almost didn't even get to talk to him. It's a good thing I'm not as sentimental as I used to be.

My memory seems to be getting worse. I know there were things I'd thought of throughout the day that were blog worthy, but I don't know what they were. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Edited to add:
Oh, I remembered something. Coming home today, just past the FiveWays roundabout while I was still going slow, I was passed by 14 Lotus cars all in a line, plus one Jaguar and one other expensive looking car. (Maybe a Ferrari) It was interesting.

Thursday, 11 September 2008


Just to let you know (and envy), the wild blackberries are still producing here.

We had a couple of hours of sunshine yesterday so we went to the park. After playing awhile we walked through the woods and picked blackberries. I got two handfuls of the best, ripe, juicy berries. Riah said they tasted like chocolate, so you know they had to be good. :-)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Iona is the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland.
I read a novel MANY years ago about Saint Columba, or Collum Cille, who set up camp on Iona and missionaried the Scots in the mid 500's. I bought all the CDs from the band titled Iona.

Disjointed as usual... I said "on Iona" becasue it's an island - a small island off a larger island off the coast of Scotland.

I don't remember which came first for me, the love of Scotland itself or the interest in Iona and Celtic Christianity, but taken all together it has been a huge influence/interest/part of my life for many years.
I discovered Sir Walter Scot after reading the Betsy-Tacy books (which I was given the first of at a church Christmas party when I was 8, I think) and he was required reading for them but Betsy had already read and loved Scot. So I started Ivanhoe but it was a bit tough... Then one time I was staying with my Missionette leader Carol Kellner and she had CABLE (oooooo) and I got to see the old Ivanhoe movie and it inspired me to read the book again, so I did that time. And then when I was in England before, with Mom and Dad, I bought the full set of Waverly novels, and "Tales of a Grandfather." I like Robert Louis Stevenson and read David Balfour out loud to my Dad once.

And then I finally started Stephen Lawhead when I was 15 (and I know Ganeida has a bone to pick with him, but I think it's because she hasn't really read it ;-P ) and got all wrapped up in the Celticness of things, and it just goes on.

So don't misunderstand me. I describe myself as "a bit of an Anglophile" but when it comes down to it, I'd choose Scotland over England anytime. I still can't believe they beheaded Charles. And then when James VI finally took over he turned English and more or less left Scotland cold! Argh!

But to the point of this whole blather.
My virtual friend, Kim, is giving away a set of CDs from Vision Forum's trip to Scotland a few months ago. And this opened up a bit of a sore spot with me. Because I'M IN ENGLAND. I'm RIGHT HERE, and didn't get to go with the tour up to (drumroll) IONA. I'd heard a vague rumor someplace that VF was going to Scotland, but I checked the website, the blog, the calender of events several times and there was NOTHING about it. At least they could have said "Yes, we are going, but the tour is full too bad suckers" but there was not a single mention of it. Then, all of a sudden, they are reporting live from Iona. It's on the blog, on Everyday News, in the store... And it just made me sick that this is one VF event that we actually could have been a part of, but weren't. Of all the places I'd love to go, and probably will go on our own (which will be interesting enough, but lacking in the spiritual significance without the historians and preachers there to guide us), and we were already here when they came - we could have met them at the airport with fresh cookies! - and we missed it.
So, Kim, if you actually come over and read this, can you give Mr. Phillips a big old punch on the arm for me and tell him he'd better come back next year and advertise this time! Well, maybe be nice about it, but still.
So there, I blogged about it. :-) Yes, all the yelling is done tongue in cheek. And thanks, Kim, for the reminder to go check out the balladeer's music and all the other stuff I wanted to do when it was breaking news.

Monday, 8 September 2008


Sorry to have been neglecting the bloggy world.
I am trying to spend less time on the computer, and at that I've been shopping Ebay for Robin Hood stuff for Riah's birthday. Too late for anything from America, but still lots of time for British goods.

Anyway we are alive and kicking, and I'm sleepy! Have been getting 6 hrs sleep per night on a good night. Bob being gone is about as bad as Bob on night shift.

Friday we went bowling with the homeschoolers. Thanks to a very kind lady, we had a lot of fun. The staff up there was not very helpful, and I had no idea what to do, and was holding two babies, when a hs mother came over and got us all set up. The girls bowled with her family, and she paid for them, too. What a blessing!

I really can't think now, but wanted to do a bit of an update.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Riah's Song

The children have been making up songs lately, and tonight Azariah asked me to write his down so we could learn it and sing it together.
Sung more or less to the tune of Jesus Loves Me...

I Love Jesus, by Riah
Jesus loves me and I love Him
And Jesus will never be dead
While He's in Heaven He will make
Something that is our home
And we will never change a home
Because it will be Heaven
And we will not be going to Heaven right now
Because He is not coming yet
And we will be honoring God
When we get to Heaven someday

And we will not fuss about working
Because we will not fuss about dying
And we will stay for Him
Because Jesus will be died on a cross
He won't be crying
But still He will have children today
And tonight he will have children
Because He will never forget somebody

I had to cut him off at that point, or he would have gone on all night.
Naysha's was a bit simpler:

Jesus died on the cross
For us
Jesus was born in Bethleham
And He died on a cross for our sins
Jesus died on a cross

Monday, 1 September 2008

Labor day

So I was innocently reading a blog when I saw this "meme" about labor day. I thought it would be fun to try to remember all my labors.

How long were your labors?
1.7 hours
2. 6 hours
3. 6 hours (noticing a pattern?)
4.depends on how you call it... say 12
5. 2 hours
6. 4 hours

How did you know you were in labor?
1. woke up in pain, and it didn't get better after I used the bathroom
2. woke up in a wet bed
3. when they started the pitocin drip
4. woke up with a mild contraction and said, "Why not go to the hospital?"
5. woke up in active labor
6. woke up (yes, all my labors started in bed! This was the only one in the middle of the night, though; the others were in the morning) to regular contractions

Where did you deliver?
All in hospital
(Why did the answers here stay in the question font? computers are dumb)

1. something to stop the vomiting and something to "take the edge off" the pain
2.I think so; don't remember for sure
4.yes, and it was lovely. I was trying to bargain for more, but the nurse said it didn't help during the pushing stage so I only got one dose. time


Who delivered?

God! Isa 66:9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.
I had a Dr present for all but #5; Bob caught her.

another blogger
added birth weight
1. 7lbs 15oz
2. 6lbs 12oz?
3. 9lbs 4oz
4. 8lbs 14oz?
5. 8lbs 10oz?
6. 8lbs 3oz?
Yikes! I cannot remember for sure other than 1 and 3. But the guesses are pretty close, I'm sure.


The internet is cool. I knew that 11 years ago when I was able to buy Rejected of Men with an hours' search, and had not been able to find a copy in the preceding 5 years of searching.

But I know it again now, because I was able to read all about Australia's government and election system with just a few keystrokes of effort on my part.

And last night I was moved to tears by some beautiful singing on YouTube.

And yesterday I ordered groceries to be delivered today, and took tours of several resort properties all across Europe, and talked with friends I've never met...

The internet is cool.


I said once I'd let you know when re started the new school year, so here goes.

A couple of weeks ago I joined the local homeschool group, and they had a few things that sounded pretty interesting, though it doesn't look like we'll join those after all.

Taryn has pretty much drug 3rd grade out until now. Well, she'd finished Science and 2 History/Social Studies books before Christmas, whizzed through a Spelling text, and of course she reads all the time; but Math and English are still not done. So this Friday I pulled out the box of next year's books. She has new Science and History texts, a spelling book, a Grammar book, and Math. Looking in the Math I discovered that it has considerable overlap with her 3rd grade book, so we are just going to switch books at this point; she will continue the English with supplements from Grammar. So there you have it.

Today is the first day of 4th grade, and we are in Rod and Staff for the core subjects, with Wanda Phillips' Easy Grammar, and a few worksheet-type books for writing/English supplements.

I also did a little furniture arranging this morning. I guess I am bored without Bob. At least I'm doing positive things with my energy.