Sunday, 30 November 2008

trying something

I found this video the other day and thought it was excellent. This is the song that brought William to me. Hope the video works.

This isn't Ditz, is it? Made by a teenage girl in Brisbane.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

been awhile

Sorry for the blog lapse.

I've been:

helping to plan the homeschool Christmas party

nursing Cedwryck through a cut on the head (minor)

keeping up with housework

doing regular school

reading the Bible every day

doing Christmas shopping on Ebay

getting some applications for my Facebook page

That was last week. Today I:

planned and packed for 2 nights out for Bob's 4 day Thanksgiving weekend

prepared a miniature Thanksgiving dinner

posted my oil receipt to my landlord

tried to order prints for Bob's first "real" paying customer

found out that we will move out on the 8th of January.

Were you paying attention?
So my future schedule looks like this:
Christmas party, Bob takes a PT test, Bob's birthday, Christmas, Ced's birthday, move, Bob tests for promotion, Taryn's birthday. That's at the rate of 1.5 per week. Anybody seeing a problem here?

So why are we moving? To put it at the most basic, we want a heated bathroom. Other bonuses include a short drive to work (maybe even a bicycle ride), proximity to homeschool activities, free electric and water, a bigger yard (that maybe I can dig up part of). There are drawbacks, of course, but it'll be good for us.

Time for dinner.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Praise the Lord for internet!

I thought I was done for...
Ella got one of our picture CDs (our family pictures burned to CD for safekeeping) and marked all over both sides with a permanent marker. Yes, I let her have it. Yes, I cried. Yes, I had some chocolate. And then I googled "how to remove permanent marker from CD" and the first result was a yahoo answers that linked to WikiHow. Apparently there are several methods - the one I went for was white board cleaner - and it worked. The Cd reads fine. The marks on the top will have to stay because if I cleaned it, the labels would also come off.


banner on my sidebar

I hope y'all notice my snazzy "banner" over to the right. That is the link to the book's very own webpage. Book? Some virtual friends of mine found an old book at a library sale, and did it up all new and fancy and got Vision Forum to publish it. I haven't read it yet, but I'm trying to win a copy. :-) Apparently it's a story of a Godly, feminine, 8th century princess who was brave and faithful and all those things we hope our daughters will be. So go take a look if you are interested.

As to my recent activity, maybe I'll blog later. But I'm staying busy as always.

Monday, 17 November 2008


To pick up where I left off...

Bob called about 7:30 Saturday to ask when I was coming on base to meet him. As I'd just sent Azariah to the bath tub, we agreed on 9 at the BX. So I rounded everyone up and went to meet Bob. He had to be more or less available until noon-ish, but wasn't tied to the office or anything. He wants a tripod for photography, and decided to look good and hard at the BX's offerings. So we went in, opened boxes (they had two kinds) and examined. One was too short so we were looking at the other when an employee came by. He said it was no good - if we wanted a good tripod we should go to the pro shop in Cambridge. Bob was all ears. After all, we've searched for camera shops anywhere within a hundren miles. SO he told us the name, and gave reasonable directions (but I didn't write them down because I thought we'd look it up on google maps and print it out and all). So we put the tripod back in the box and went on through the store. Didn't find anything. Decided to get some lunch (we made it all the way to 10:30) and then do the bazaar.

Ate at the food court on Mildenhall, and Burger King was broken - no beef or grilled chicken, so we ordered a pizza and a dozen tacos. Yummy, and healthy too! (not) Anyway, somewhere in there Bob got back with his drunk guy and finished that business up, so he was free. And so we decided to go to Cambridge and see about a real tripod.

We made the first 3 turns, but missed the last one, so we drove around town a bit, back out, and stopped at a gas station where Bob and the Indian attendant both had to translate to English and somehow worked out that Bob wanted the Yellow Pages. He found the store listed, got the number and address, and came back to the car to call. The number didn't work. So we went further out of town to the new Tesco, and he went in and asked someone there. They told him where it was.

So we went back into town, found the street, found the building, found a parking spot, and Bob went to see. They were closed. No information as to opening hours or phone number or anything, just the doors all locked up tight. As it's in a metal building there are no windows, so it's hard to tell if they are still in business. Grumble.

So we headed back toward home. Went through Newmarket, but couldn't think of any reason to stop. Stopped at the park here and let the children play awhile. They did the playground, and then they climbed trees. Then we came home for dinner and etc.

Sunday Bob had to go back in to watch the drunk guy get yelled at. He was there just long enough for us to miss church. :-( We'd left his car on base Saturday, so he had to take the van in Sunday. Then he came home and relaxed a few minutes before we went back in for lunch, the Bazaar, and the commissary (I didn't get WIC when I was there Thursday because this month's coupons stated Friday). Burger King was still broken, so we ate tacos. The bazaar wasn't bad. They had the hangers heated this time, and had one hanger set up for eating in (a good idea, even if we didn't use it). I bought some local specialty cheese, and Bob got his mother a Christmas present.
I went to the commissary while Bob took all the children to the BX. Woo-hoo! So WIC is a funny deal. They've recently changed things so I can get fresh fruit and veg on a voucher (up to $6 worth), and I have vouchers with milk, cereal, bread, peanut butter, juice, cheese, and eggs (less juice and eggs than before) all together on one transaction. So first I picked out the fruit and veg. The commissary sells carrots in 3 ways - bunched, with tops, bagged, and bulk. Bulk carrots are 30cents per lb. Bagged is $1 per lb. Bunched is more than that. So I picked out the bulk - KWIM?
Then I went through the shelf stuff - cereal, juice, etc. Got to the milk isle, and they are out of whole milk (which I get for the babies). Fine, I'll get 2% (reduced fat) - nope, out of that, too. So I decide to just get the one voucher's worth of skim milk, which means I have to put back the bread, juice, cereal that came with the whole milk. Bah.

So then I go to check out, and guess what. The bulk carrots won't scan on WIC. I can go get the package instead, except then I'd be over the price. So I tell her to give me back the voucher (if I got it without the carrots I'd be throwing away $1, and it's totally impractical to try to go back and get 50cents worth of some other thing while the checker stnads there and people wait in line) and she's like "I already started." So I say "cancel it," and took the voucher back to use next time. So I got the skim milk and stuff, bought a bag of halloween candy for 25cents (I had a coupon), and was out of there.

Of course this whole time Bob is sitting with the children in the food court, playing "I spy." I went back and got them, Bob got his car, and we met in the empty parking lot behind the hospital. Bob and I switched cars, and I drove his right-hand drive, stick-shift, sports car around the parking lot a few times. Seeing how easy it was to drive, I went ahead and drove it home. I tend to let off the clutch too slowly, revving the engine, but I was getting the hang of it by the time we got home. Didn't kill it. Even backed up into the parking spot at home. So now I know I can drive it, if the need arises.

Breakfast time.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

just stuff

Thursday was the homeschool group's Thanksgiving party. I took the sugar cookies to paint as a craft and snack. There were several other crafts there, including noodle necklaces, leaf rubbing, and foam stuff ordered from Oriental Trading Company. Somehow I got the idea, and it worked out really well, to have a set up for each person. So when I arrived I set a table with paper plates, and on each plate was a cookie, a paintbrush, and 4 mini-muffin liners each about half-full of different colored frosting. For about an hour I was busy setting out new plates and rinsing out paintbrushes.
In between busy times at my table, I chased William and Ella, helped Riah with a craft, and visited a few minutes with the other ladies. After the first hour we were called to the other room for a skit the teens had been working on. They were all just reading their lines, but it worked out pretty well.

After the party we went to the commissary for a "few" things that added up quickly. I got all expensive stuff - diapers, batteries, meat... At the checkout (we did self check because the children think it's fun) I saw a barrel of candy bars - Big Mo' - have you seen it?- for 5 cents each. So I got a couple, and told Bob about it later. He went back yesterday and bought 15 of them. :-) I try to not buy much because I have no will power about eating it, but he is able to just have a bite a day.

Yesterday Bob took a crock pot of chili (that I made) to work for a chili cook off and dinner to raise money for his squadron. He said it was good, but very little else. So I guess I didn't win. Can't be good at everything. :-)
It was sunny and warm yesterday! I went out in just my short sleeve shirt, but the little ones did wear a jacket. The children played in the leaf pile and I trimmed the hedges. They will be good for the rest of the season now. Naysha took the old camera outside and started snapping - when they came in and loaded the pictures up there were about 250 of them! Maybe 20 are really good.

This morning Bob and I both woke up about 5-5:30, and it's just as well. At 6 Bob got a call from work. One of his airmen got a DUI (driving under the influence) this morning. The man's supervisor was supposed to go meet with him, the "first shirt" and the commander, but when Bob called the supervisor, he was in Dover for the weekend. So guess who got to dress up and go in to work. Yay! Anyway, maybe it won't take all day and we'll still be able to go walk through the "holiday bazaar" at Mildenhall. Or something other than sit around all day.

Bob got an email from his mother last night, saying she and her hubby are planning to come over in June. He was pleased to hear it. The children will be "over the moon" (as they say around here) to see Nana.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


How do you like my new look?

Tuesday was Veteran's Day and Bob had the day off. He got on a shopping kick, and we decided to go to London to see the new mall (the largest indoor shopping center in Europe). So we got the tube stations written down and got together and drove to Epping. Except, we thought it was on the Motorway exit sign and it wasn't. So we missed our exit. The next exit was for the M25 (London ring road) and we took it, thinking it would be a giant roundabout like most highway interchanges, but it wasn't. So we ended up on the M25 heading east. It was a good 5 minutes to the next exit, which DID havce a roundabout, so we turned around, went back to the M11, back to the Epping exit, and went to the tube station there. As we arrived we noticed a sign in the parking lot entrance - "Full. Do not enter." huh. So we drove around the neighborhood, but it was all marked 'no parking' (though cars were parked there, we knew we couldn't get away with it). SO we went back into town to the town parking lot, but it was also full. In the high street there were a couple of spots, but it was marked 1 hour. So we went back to the station, where a gaurd was walking toward the sign. Could it be? He moved it to let in one car, and then put it right back.

Can you feel the frustration building here? Add to this that we started with just under a half tank and were worried about gas, plus the weather was inand out, plus the traffic, etc. Oh, and we'd stopped by Tesco for a chocolate croissant, and they were out.

So we headed back out of town, and I suggested we stop at the McDonald's on the road to the Motorway to "fall back and regroup." It was 11 anyway, so we went on in and got some lunch. Suprise, suprise! They had a playplace. So the children played while Bob and I looked at the map.
We found a "major shopping" symbol at Braintree, so we decided to go that way. No trouble finding it, easy to park (free!). It was cold and windy, but we braved it. Bob and I both need new shoes, so we went into 3 shoe stores (it was an outlet mall thing) and found nothing we liked in our size. sigh. But we did see a Cadbury factory outlet store and went in there. Yumm. They had Fry's Chocolate by the 6 pack.

Felling rather beaten (and cold), we went home from there.
I made supper while Bob and the children cleaned the house.

Yesterday (Wednesday) the children and I went down the street a little bit to a public grassy area and raked leaves. It was community service with a perk - we brought the leaves home and made a pile for them to jump in. :-) We also baked a double recipe of sugar cookies for the homeschool party today.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Help for Growing Families - line up!

One of my Fav blogs (which I don't think I've added to my sidebar yet) is doing a weekly Help For Growing Families, and I'm trying to help.

One thing I know of that we do "right" is how we go out in public. I put "right" in quotes because I'm quite sure there are several right ways to do this. But I say we've got it right because everywhere we go we get looks, smiles, comments - usually positive ones.

So, how do we do it?

We line up. Bob goes first, leading the way figuratively and literally. The children are in order from oldest to youngest in a straight line behind him, with me in the back to catch any stragglers. When we don't have the stroller, one of us will carry William and the other will hold Ella's hand. When we have the stroller, they are both in it, and I push it. This does put some distance between me and the two boys, so sometimes we'll have one of them walk at the front of the line to keep them separated.

This works because everyone knows their place. And because we aren't all bunched up, it is easier to get through narrow isles, work through crowds, etc. Sometimes people cut through the line, but this is usually only when we are straggling and there are big gaps.
Being at the back of the line, it is funny for me to watch people's reactions as they realize we are all together (and hear them counting).

It's really cool when I can tell them to "stay in line" and walk past the children to consult with Bob about something and they all stand there looking angelic but bored. :-)

Yes, there are times that they forget to line up, and we have to remind them frequently (especially the boys, who tend to climb and touch), but in general I'm happy with the system. We practice at home if anyone needs a reminder.

If I have to take the children out without Bob, I go in front and Taryn (my oldest) takes my place at the back.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Cambridge and Bury

Friday Bob got off work early to go to Staples in Cambridge to get green paper for the squadron holiday party. (They are printing play money to run a casino. Get this - Bob designed the money by scanning in real bills, and changing the faces and mottoes out with local 'celebrities,' and when he went to print them, his $5 bill - the least realistic one - only printed 1/2 way and then he got a warning about counterfeiting. I'm not sure how this was resolved.) We all went along for the ride.

Staples has a parking lot, which was pretty cool, and meant we didn't do the "park and ride" this time. I also have a project up my sleeve, as the homeschool group is having a Thanksgiving party this Thursday and I am bringing sugar cookies to paint. The only thing I needed was paintbrushes. If I'd thought of this in advance I could have had my mom send me some, but I didn't. Anyway, Bob got his paper, but they didn't have paintbrushes.

So, having seen on the map that we weren't far from a shopping center that we'd been to before, we decided to go on down to it. We found the parking garage with a little trouble, and were off. In Poundland - basically like Dollar Tree in the US - I got some toothbrushes, mini Christmas crackers, and... There was a package of long handled paintbrushes that I hesitated over for awhile and finally got two of. There are 12 brushes in the package, 6 of which will be usable, I think. We also went into a department store to look for gloves for my dad, but their sizes aren't the same as they used to be. At this point we were hungry, so we went to Chili's.

Chili's in Cambridge isn't IN the Grafton shopping center, as we'd been originally told. Go out the back door - at the bus stop - and Chili's is across the street.

The menu is pretty much the same as in the States; the tables look the same; the dining room is HUGE. This is the biggest restaurant I've seen in England. Get this - they even offer free refills on soda!! We were early for the dinner rush, so there was no trouble getting a big table, and the service was quite good. In all, it ran us $80 for the meal, but it was nice.

Saturday we went to Bury St Edmunds. (Every time we say "Bury" it makes us think of the TV show "The Last of the Summer Wine" with poor, hen-pecked Barry.) First we went to the Warehouse Clearance Superstore (which also has a parking lot!) - it's kinda like Big Lots in the US. Bob got a string of 15 battery-powered Christmas lights to put on his desk at work. Christmas lights here are very expensive. There, at the discount store, a string of 200 cost 20GBP. Last time we bought lights it was at WalMart for $3 per box, I think. We wandered around looking for paintbrushes, and finally found some that could do, in a pinch. And then we found them - MAKEUP brushes! A pack of 10, 7 of which I could use, for 1.25GBP. So all together, I think I'll have enough brushes.

Then we left the store by a different road, and found our way downtown. Since reading that Mary Tudor was burried in St Mary's church, Bury, we've wanted to go. It is right next to the Cathedral so it's easy to overlook, in spite of being one of the largest parish churches in the country. It is a really beautiful church, with lots of history and interesting things around every corner. We want to go again.

It was lunch time, so we moved to a big parking lot close to the city center (we'd been in 1 hour parking on the side of the street behind the church) and unloaded the stroller, etc. Walked down to the McDonald's for a cheap eat. We even splurged and got ice cream. Then we walked through the market, but the good cheap strawberries were not to be found. I did get some produce, and we got two shirts for Taryn and some photography magazines for Bob. Turns out the shirts aren't going to work like I thought, but maybe she can use them to layer.

Then we went home and gave the boys haircuts and baths, and had chocolate gravy and biscuits for dinner.

Friday, 7 November 2008


Thanks, Mom, for emailing me about my last post. Maybe I should have clarified a bit...

I don't think McCain winning would have been any better, and in some ways would have been worse as it would have continued the Christians' complacency. The only hope for real change in American policy would have been in a third party (which is funny that I continue with the false name "3rd party" as there are at least 5 national parties). But such is life.

On a more interesting note, (Aren't you glad I'm not egotistical?) I drove myself and the 6 children to Tesco yesterday. HA! I tried to order online, as I've done before, but when I hit the "checkout" button, half my stuff jumped out of my shopping basket.I went and got it again, and the same thing happened a second time. So I decided I'd just have to go.
I thought it would be less crowded in the morning than at dinner time, but it wasn't.

I got a wide parking spot in the "parent and child" lot behind the store, and grabbed two carts (here they are called trolleys). One baby and one boy in each cart, and away we went. It was quite an adventure, lasting over an hour, but we made it out with everything on our list (despite having left the actual list at home) except for the cheap bread, which they were out of. The bread isle is set up funny. Instead of shelves with a place for each brand, they have rolling stacked carts. So if one gets low they wheel it out and put something else in its place. As a result, the bread isle always has someone working in it, and nothing is ever in the same place (compounded by the ceiling support post on that isle) so bread is hard to find at best. But I'm quite sure they were out of the cheap whole wheat bread.

Another thing that is kinda funny, which we've been noticing since we got here but have just started to put together, is the ... selfishness of people. I don't know what else to call it. I think they think it's respecting privacy or something, but people just pretend like they don't see anyone else. When someone wants to stop and think about a purchase, they park their cart in the middle of the narrow isle and stand beside it so that no one can go around. Then, as I'm standing back, waiting for them to get done and move out of my way, another person will come up the isle, maneuver their way around me (as if it was my fault) and all but bump into the isle-blocker, thus making it more difficult for them to get out of the way (if they should ever happen to do so). They drive the same way.

Well, I can't remember if that was the caboose to my train of thought, but it has now jumped the tracks.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A Sad Day for America

Well, sometimes God has compassion on a nation and gives them better than they deserve, and sometimes he has compassion and gives them what they ask for.

Yesterday, America got what she asked for. I think this will be a case of "Marry in haste, repent at leisure." We are already practically bankrupt, and we picked a man who promises billions more in spending. We are already overrun with illegal "immigrants" and we picked a man who will lay out a welcome mat. We are already engaged in war, and we picked a man who undermines our strengths. Oy! I could go on, but what more do I need to say? Obama, who sued a bank for not giving out loans to people who couldn't afford it, who wants to leave attempted-murder victims to die, who intends to "spread around" wealth that has been earned by private citizens or companies, who is a favorite of Islamic terrorists as well as American ones.

God, have mercy!

I am at peace. My hope is in Christ my saviour.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Help for Growing Families

Mother Hen started this linky thing and I decided to join in. I don't know how to copy the banner so, anyway.

My advice for the week is to watch your attitude. (Profound, I know!)
Seriously, when I foster (or is that fester) a bad attitude then my peace gets all upset and I'm not a good mother (or wife).

I'd like to expound a bit, but circumstances remind me of another profound piece of advice:
Seriously. Reading (or writing) child-training advice while the children are awake is right up there with not being able to decide for whom to vote because "this election is so important."

Sunday, 2 November 2008


I forgot to mention.

I have been feeling domestic lately, I guess. I pulled a pile of mending out of my closet last week, and have sewn holes, mended hems, tacked down collar linings. I also have been using the Nifty Knitter that Lorella bought for me. (Not all in the last week) I've made Taryn a shawl, Naysha a poncho, Riah a hat and a scarf. I am now working on a scarf for me. Naysha made a hat for Cedwryck. She's pretty careful and methodical, and enjoys being like Mama, so it turned out pretty well.

Also, we got our new school books in, so all 4 big children are doing school work now. :-)

goings on

Sorry I am so long between updates.
Bob had off Friday and we went to Norwich. We took the park and ride, and walked to the market and over to the cathedral. After that we drove on out to Great Yarmouth and looked at the ocean and had dinner. It was a fun day with lots of walking. I'm just not feeling very talkative right now.

Saturday Bob fixed the light in the boys' bedroom (They'd pulled it out of the ceiling), the baby bed (the hinges had been bent and so the flap wouldn't stay up), and the VCR (it had a giant crayon, a paper, and a flower in it and so wouldn't play right). hmm. I guess we aren't perfect yet. :-/
Then we went to the base and did a little shopping.

Today we went to Brandon Full Gospel church again. They are a little excited about their children's programs, but if we can get past that we might have a winner. I could really feel the Spirit there today. I know that's a dumb thing to say, as God's Spirit is wherever His people are, feeling or not, but however you want to put it, I was glad to be there. :-)