Monday, February 17, 2014

Kiddos Catchup

How is it that once again I've failed to update my blog in almost a month?!? Again?!?! I swear I always set out to do better with this thing but I always seem to fail. And I don't want to give up on it because I do like looking back on our lives. But despite Brandon being leave for a few weeks, life has just been crazy, busy. Between PWOC, MOPS, Speech Therapy, preschool, school drop off & pick up, park days, lunch dates, Girl Scouts and play dates, life is just getting the better of us :) And for now its good... it suits our family. So for the next few months, I might just be doing up dates on all the little and big things are family has been up to. But for now, here is a little post on the munchkins.

  • Peighton turned SEVEN a few weeks ago! Wow, how time is flown by :) She is getting so old and growing up too fast! We celebrated the day off with taking her to Peter Piper Pizza (her choice of course) for dinner that night. The kids love all the arcade games they have and the food isn't too bad either. That weekend we took the kids and P's friend Zoe to the zoo in Tucson. It was a nice day for it and the kids always love checking out the animals. After that we ate at Chick Fil A (of course!). So yummy and a perfect ending to a trip to Tucson :)

  • Scott had his first trip to the ER a week or so ago. Yep, good times here :/ We were eating lunch at Chipotle and he fell off the bar stool and gashed his head in on the backside. We took him to the ER and he had to get two staples to close it up. I was very impressed with the hospital and remained calm during the whole ordeal. Scott was super brave and did so good during the experience. He didn't even cry during the procedure... he was a champ! Thankfully, a week later the boo boo had healed and we had the staples removed. And again, he did so good!

  • Henry turned FOUR last week! My boy is growing up again way too fast and he is getting so tall! He is going to be a giant when he grows up :) Unfortunately, he had a fever on his birthday and had a very uneventful day at home. We took him to Peter Piper Pizza the next night (his choice) to celebrate and took them out for ice cream as well. He loved it! Today, we took them all out to Tombstone and made a day out of it. The kids seemed to enjoy it and the weather was perfect. 

  • For both P and Henry's birthdays, we purchased them new bikes. P got a 16" bike that is pink & white and Henry picked out a blue 12" bike. He learned to ride without training wheels and is doing so good! Him having a balance bike for a while really helped make the transition easy for him :) The weather out here has been wonderful and all the kids enjoy spending much of the day outside. 

  • I finally took Scott for his 2 YO check up a week ago and he is growing just fine. He was all up to date on his shots so we did not have to worry about that department. He is now 34.5 inches tall and weighs 29 pounds. Scott is in the 60% for his weight and 30% for his height. Thankful for a healthy, little boy :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Catch Up Randoms

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind! How is it that next weekend starts the month of February?!?! Seriously... time is just flying these days. And I see time not stopping any time soon. Life is just busy these days; and some days I love it and some days I want to freeze time. There are plenty of weeks where we have just a few activities that week and other weeks where it seems there is something scheduled every day that week. Its the circle of life when you have five people in the house all with their own schedules and activities. Nonetheless, here is what we've been up to the past few weeks.

  • We successfully moved into our new house! And its absolute bliss :) I am loving all the space... who knew 2000+ square feet is what this family needed. We have worked our fannies off the past two weeks to get everything unpacked, put in its place and settled. And it paid off.. it was worth the long nights and the days of no sitting because our house feels like home and every room is organized and done. I can't say it enough how nice it is to have room.. plenty of space to spread out. I tell Brandon all the time we finally have a "grown up" home. We have the house to entertain in and have people over. It just feels good... it feels right for us. And it will definitely make the next two years here seem so much better knowing that we have a home that is perfect for us!

  • My bible study group I am a part of known as PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) kicked off its Spring Semester last week. I am leading/teaching a bible study this semester and I am so excited! This is the second bible study that I have led and I love it. I have a great Co Teacher as my right hand lady and I am just very excited to see what God has in store for all of this semester. I truly love this organization and have loved being a part of it since we were at Fort Irwin back in 2007. Its an amazing ministry and I am so happy to be a part of a great group here in AZ. 

  • Brandon graduated the MI Captain's Career Course yesterday. What a huge accomplishment for him!!! He graduated #5 in the class and even made a perfect score on the final exam :) I knew he was a smart man! So proud of him!! Can't believe six months have flown by that fast! We are ready for a break though and he will have a few weeks off between assignments. Looking forward to the next chapter here!! 

So that about sums it up! The next few weeks are going to be equally exciting as well. P turns 7 next week and Henry's birthday is not too far off either. So many fun days ahead for this family :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

We Are Moving

Big news for this family and a great way to kick off a new year... we are moving! No, not location but houses. We are simply moving off Post to a house in town. However, we are SO excited!! I am anxious and stressed already but know it will all be worth it in the end! This will be our fourth cross town move that we've done on our own. It is especially not my favorite task but at least I know how to handle it. We made this decision in a haste as is our typical fashion. But it has all worked out in then so we know we made a good decision. We were blessed to have a house on Post but even in the beginning I never really liked it and it's never felt like a home. It did seem big when we initially moved in but of course at that point in time we had spent the past two weeks either living in a hotel room or our pop up camper. So anything felt bigger than our previous living situations! Our house on Post is a duplex and after spending four years in your own home, sharing walls and a driveway isn't ideal. And though the house had four bedrooms, they are all on top of each other and there's no space to spread out. After getting orders for staying here, we sought out housing to "upgrade" to a better house/neighborhood. At first, it seemed like an easy transition but a few months later when we checked to see how far we had moved up the list, our hopes dropped. We had gone from 5th on the list down further to number 8. There were no four bedrooms on post available and there were seven families in front of us seeking the same thing. Housing had not even received any vacancy notices for a four bedroom in over 30 days. Meaning we would be lucky to get anything, any time soon. Plus, housing considers us to have an "adequate" house so as long as there is a new family moving here they will always get the next available four bedroom. We knew we could not stay here at Mott Circle for too much longer so we began housing hunting. We found a few we liked but when we called about them they were either unavailable or would not be available for several more months. Finally we found one we loved that was still available. When we went to walk through the house, I didn't want to leave. I knew it was the one. It felt like home! Thankfully everything worked out and we move in on Friday!! Yay :) I am so excited to get into it and start moving our stuff and unpacking. We did all the paperwork last week so I simply have to stop by the rental office and pick up the keys that morning. Our house is huge... over 2000 square feet. So much more room for our family of five! And a huge bonus is that it has a three car garage so we can finally put our camper back into a garage. In our new house, we get an office space, a playroom, a family room, a living room with a fire place, and I finally get a soaking tub :) So, so happy to be moving into this house!

Our new casa here in Arizona! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

San Diego Trip 2013

We ended the year on a good note by taking a mini vacation to San Diego. It was gorgeous! The weather was fantastic our whole stay :) A few months ago, we discussed going somewhere during Christmas vacation especially since we weren't going home and knew two weeks in the desert just the five of us might be too much, ha! We decided on San Diego because it was budget friendly, not too long of a drive and knew it wouldn't be overly crowded. It was a great choice and the change of scenery & pace was definitely needed. I always love vacation because its a break from the normal... there are no meals to cook, no chores to do and new places to discover & explore. We found a Holiday Inn that was located on the bay side. It had these kid rooms that had a little alcove in the room that contained bunk beds, their own little TV and desk. It was perfect for our little family! P and Henry loved the bunk beds and took turns sleeping on the top bunk :)

Thursday morning Brandon took Gizmo to the pet hotel while I got everyone ready and then we loaded up and headed on our way. It was the most boring drive ever! There was nothing between Tucson and Yuma which is about 3 hours apart so we ate a late lunch in Yuma. We did see some pretty neat sand dunes along the way though. We arrived at our hotel by 4 that afternoon. We got settled and unpacked and unloaded the car. There was a neat pizza place within walking distance so we went there for dinner. It was delicious! We then walked up and down the docks looking at all the boats. Friday we spent the entire day at Sea World. So much fun! The kids loved it!! We saw a few shows, rode rides, played carnival games and ate :) There was so much walking that day that all five of us were fast asleep that night. It was worth it though! Saturday was our sigh seeing day. We found a little muffin shop by the hotel for breakfast then went and explore Old Town. It was a very neat place with lots of things to see and had a huge courtyard area with grass that the kids loved running around. We ate lunch at a yummy local Mexican place then went and found the Pacific Ocean. It was so beautiful! We walked the big pier and I took lots of pictures :) Next stop was the Cabrillo National Monument. That was pretty neat as well. For dinner that night, we went to the Corvette Diner. It was such a fun place. The food was yummy and the atmosphere was just fun. They had a balloon artist and all 3 kids took home one. We all share a huge banana split for dessert before heading off to the game room where we played lots of arcade games. P and Henry loved it and both ended up with a prize. Sunday was the Zoo day and Balboa park. The San Diego Zoo was fabulous! They had lots of animals and lots of walking trails. It was a huge place! We walked down to Balboa park and checked out the Model Train Museum. That was a neat place. They had so many model trains displayed and running. Henry was in love! Scott loved the little play room that had several train tables set up to play with. We even rode the little train around the park afterwards. That afternoon/evening we explored the Seaport Village area and had some yummy seafood for dinner.

Our five days there were amazing! We saw new places, had fun and made some memories. All in all, it was a success! Such a needed break :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Life is messy and ours is no exception. I tend to blog only about the good but that doesn't mean we don't have our fair share of moments, days or even weeks. We are blessed as a family not because our life is perfect but because God is good. I don't blog about the bad because I don't want to remember those times. They are not shinning examples that I want to look back on fondly years from now. But those moments still happen. Believe me, there are plenty of not so great around here. I say the wrong thing, I yell, the kids are crazy, my nerves are shot, temper tantrums ... those moments do occur. Life happens. I am not a perfect mother or wife or person but every day is a new day and I am thankful that God's grace allows me to live to His standard and not to the world's standard. This house is filled with five imperfect human beings trying to survive the day. My kids are not perfect and neither am I. But we love each other and strive to do better the next day. One of new favorite quotes is from Paul David Tripp where he states that "In all of this I tend to forget that God is not focused on the "success" of my day but the godliness of my character." This statement gives me so much hope not only as a parent but as a person. Oh, what a beautiful mess I live!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Recap

Can't believe this year is over!! Heck, this decade is almost half way over and it only just began a few years ago. Time really is flying! :) This past year was another good one for the books. It was filled with lots of highs and some lows but we made a lot of memories and embarked on some great adventures! Again, we were blessed beyond measure this year and couldn't ask for more in the upcoming year. All in all, I'd say it was a win and I truly look forward to all that is in store for us in 2014!! :) So without further a due, here are a few highlights of 2013...

  • Peighton turned 6, Henry turned 3 and Scott turned 2. We no longer have any "babies" in the house. It's been a different stage of life and I kind of like it. Our days seem much easier and although the kiddos can be a handful at time, this really is a fun age group!

  • We adopted another dog. Gizmo is a chocolate lab with a huge heart and a lot of energy. The kids love her and she puts up with Scott so I foresee her staying in our family for awhile :)

  • We put our house up for sale and watched it sit for several months with any bites. It tested my patience but in the end it all worked out and we have fantastic tenants occupying the home. 

  • We left Fort Campbell and our Rakkasan family. It was tough and I had lots of mixed emotions. That was our home for four years. We survived our first deployment there as well as both boys were born there. We grew as a family and I grew as a person. I will always have fond memories of that duty station and the wonderful, amazing people we met there. We were truly blessed by our time there!

  • We purchased a pop up camper and made the well over week journey out here to Fort Huachuca, Arizona. It was not an easy journey but we not only survived it but thrived :) We had a lot of fun along the way and saw so many parts of the country. It was an awesome adventure that I am so glad we got to experience. 

  • We moved to the desert and made a home and a life here. A few months in, we received orders to stay here for 2+ more years. We had mixed feelings about this but so fortunate that we had settled here and made this place our home. God has a plan for us here and I can't wait to see it unfold in this next year. 

  • And to close out the year, we traveled to beautiful San Diego, California for a few days. We had a great vacation and loved getting to see such a pretty city. We even saw the Pacific Ocean :) So blessed and fortunate that the army provides these types of experiences for our family to partake in. We are truly blessed by all the places we have been able to travel!

What a great year! So glad to be ringing in the new year with a family of five! May love, laughter and happiness abound in the next year! Happy New Year's indeed :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
- Luke 2:11

We had a nice, quiet Christmas this year! It was a bit different not having any family with us but were blessed to be able to talk and Face Time with them. Santa Claus was very good to the kiddos and they loved opening and checking out their new toys. I cooked a delicious cinnamon roll casserole for breakfast. We had our Christmas dinner the night before on Christmas Eve so I just made a few snacks/appetizers to add to the mix of leftovers and we enjoyed munching on those for lunch and dinner. The weather was gorgeous outside so the kids had plenty of outdoor time breaking in their new toys! I packed us all up for our impending trip to San Diego. Most of the day was spent just hanging out and taking it easy. I don't even think we changed out of our PJ's till after nap time :) All in all, it was a joyous holiday and we are once again blessed as a family.