Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Patch!

Is it just me or is my tummy about to pop out of that shirt?

dusty and HOT...Arizona needs more "liquid sunshine."

He LOVES halloween...check out that gigantic pumpkin he picked out.

Pregnant lady squat...that pumpkin reflects how big I feel my belly is right now.

My cutie patootie in the pumpkin patch!

Apple Annies tractor photo op...

Happy Fall Time!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Little Giggle's 1st month of 1st grade

LIttle giggle has been having some troubles in school. First, we heard through the grapevine that she'd been expelled for 2 days for throwing a fit. Then we heard that she was having some "medical tests" done on her to rule out certain things. Finally, we got word that she'd been removed from the regular first grade class and placed in a "special needs" class...

Yes...(mouths open wide)...what does that all mean?

Well, it means that Miss Maddie is still behaving erratically just like she did the past 4 years in pre-schools. Its frustrating that "people" thought she'd just all of a sudden become a behaved child once she hit public school. She's been kicked out of so many preschools for poor behavior I have to say that this didn't surprise me much...but it does make me incredibly sad and frustrated for her.

So...whats the current status... When John met with the teacher and principal they said her behavior was some of the worst they'd seen. That is was similar to children with severe emotional disabilities, but neither of them thought that was the case with her...they think she acts this way because its how she's been allowed to act.

They have whats called the "safe room" at school...a small room, painted white used for children that are throwing temper tantrums. Maddie, apparently, has spent a lot of time in the safe room during her first month of 1st grade.

Her new class only has 7 children in it and 4 teachers. Its a class for children with special needs for emotional disabilities. What a stigma to place on a 6-year old! But, I do see some good things that will come out of this.

1. Her IQ was tested and she scored a 139. So what does an IQ score of 139 mean?
According to the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, an IQ Score of 139 is classified as very superior intelligence. An IQ of 139 or higher means that you are more intelligent than approximately 98% of the rest of the world. Only two percent ( 2% ) of the population can match an iq score or higher.

2. Because of her IQ test they are now teaching her at a second grade level. Perhaps a more challenging work load will help her focus and concentrate more?

3. With 4 teachers and 7 kids there is bound to be lots of one-on-one time that is spent helping Maddie understand good behavior, appropriate reactions, and good learning habits.

4. John is now finally "in the loop" with what is happening with his daughter. There were commitments from the principal and teacher to make sure he was notified if there were issues at school.

What will happen with this little girl. She is so smart and fun and I am blown away when we hear stories of her behavior. None of that happens when she is with us...none of it. It can't just be a boundaries issue...can it?

Someday I'd like to see John have a chance to help in full-time care...which means she'd come live with us. I think she needs her dad's style of love and discipline. I think she needs the strict boundaries he places on her and the kind of structure he can provide.

Who knows if that will ever happen...I'll just continue to wish and hope that something good and smart happens for her...I can't imagine another 12 years of school with this type of start.

Portland Vacation

I thought I'd better write a bit about our fabulous yet too short vacation in Portland.

I arrived early to help out with some work commitments and Mr. C flew in on Thursday night. Poor thing arrived at the hotel I was staying at around midnight absolutely exhausted. I, on the other hand...had spent a leisurely evening shopping with my dear friend for baby stuff, , eating Japanese cuisine and watching TV waiting for John to arrive.

The next morning we headed to my in-laws house...they had so kindly set up their motorhome outside the front of the house so we could sleep in there with the kids and still have some privacy. It was the perfect arrangement.

John's grandfather was also there from Kennewick, WA so we had a pretty full house and it was wonderful to have so much family around.

We beat the kids to the house by about 10 minutes. It was pretty cute watching Mr. C peer anxiously out the window while waiting for them and sure enough...when they pulled up both little giggle and chortle when racing for their dad. **sigh** They missed him as much as he missed them.

They were also both carrying cute little bear signs that read, "Its a girl!"

The weekend was a whirlwind! We played and had a big family dinner on Friday, football game and baby shower on Saturday, Salmon Festival on sunday and back to school/home to Arizona on Monday.

We met Lexi's new squeeze...He JUST turned 20, rides motorcycles and works in a guitar store. Pretty nice guy...tried really hard to fit in and be part of the family. I thought he was a good match for our music loving almost 18-year old!

Eric played a GREAT game of football on Saturday. He looked so cute in his uniform and so SMALL compared to some of the other guys on his team. We had a full house at the game...Great grandpa, grandpa, dad, me, auntie sarah, 4 cousins, uncle mike, sissy lexi and was a fun cheering section.

Orion and Sarah came and spent most of Saturday with us. It was wonderfully fun. John took the kids to play while Sarah and I went to the baby shower that had been planned. The shower was really fun and Orion ended up spending the night in the motorhome with us. He and Eric had a great time playing together.

The Mike Larson family came over for the family dinner on friday and also on Saturday and we had so much fun just chatting and hanging out...the little guys are getting so big. Josh is still "little boy gullible" and came to hear my secret every time I told him I had one...of course it was always a tickle. Jake...much more wary of his crazy auntie Anna and I was amazed at how much Nick had grown...he's really starting to look more like his mom.

The Salmon Festival with Sarah, Greg and Orion was a big surprise. WAY more fun than I thought it would be...We drove out to Oxbow park on the East side of Portland...the festival had all kinds of kid-oriented things to do. The best was the life-cycle of the salmon bracelets they made. All three kiddos can tell you how and where a salmon is born, lives, spawns and dies. Pretty impressive for an afternoon at a festival. They also had a big Indian village complete with teepees and smoked salmon to try. We also spent a little bit of time just sitting down by the Sandy river. It was so peaceful and beautiful. I really missed Oregon at that moment...

At the end of it all...we went out for breakfast on Monday morning and let the kids play hookey from school for the morning hours. When John dropped Maddie off he met with her principal and teachers. More on Maddie in another post...

We said some sad goodbyes and then spent the next couple of hours packing and cleaning out our mess in the motorhome.

Goodbye dear Oregon! We'll miss you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

sprechen sie deutsche?


John received a request for orders (RFO) last Tuesday. What that means is he received the "precursor" to actual orders that give us a move date, time and location that is 100% for the Army...

BUT...the RFO is "nearly" as good in that it at least gives us a timeframe and a location.

Anyone want to come visit us in GERMANY next summer???

Vilseck, Germany - to be exact...

Vilseck is located in the state of Bavaria approximately 60 miles from Nuernberg, 29 miles from Weiden and 25 miles from Amberg. And its close to Austria, Czech Republic and Poland. I am so so excited!

A little history for those of you who might be interested...In 1907, Prince Luitpold,regent of Bavaria, selected the area near Grafenwoehr as the place best suited for training of the Bavarian Army. Throughout WWI, from 1914-1918, the training area was used for training andre-equipping of combat units.

In 1936, Adolf Hitler came to power and in a few years the training area became too small for the fast growing German army.

The American era began after the last German Commander of the training area surrendered to the American forces on 20 April 1945. During the first few years, only units stationed at Grafenwoehr used the training area. In 1947, the American Army reactivated the training area for unit training purposes.

Still in shock...

It all started on Saturday...a warm game playing...little Chortle in uniform and all of us there to watch when Cruella Deville came marching up to me.

And in summary...shocked the h-e-double hockeysticks out of me. She told me I was looking wonderful. She told me my baby belly was adorable. She told me how happy she was for Mr. C and I. She was incredibly friendly and to be honest...I just didn't know quite what to say.

So I introduced her to my sissy Sarah and then she left.

Afterward...this comment was made, "Wow...she practically gave you a BFF bracelet." (BFF stands for best friends forever for those of you not familiar with the acronym.)

Could it be that a new leaf is being turned? She called Mr. C yesterday and OFFERED the kids to us for Christmas... Less than a month ago her response was, "Hell no."

We're it a ploy? A trick? Is it for real? We're not used to this, but I hope its here to stay.

I'll have to come up with a new name...if this continues, Cruella Deville will no longer be appropriate!

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I did an interesting thing yesterday...I got a hair in my bonnet...literally and decided I needed a style change. I now have RED hair. heard me right. Its actually auburn red...I like it ok...still getting used to it.

Pictures to come.

What oh what will my pregnancy hormones bring on next? :)