Our 7 Qtpies

November 30, 2008

Happy pics, black mail pics

Here is a picture of Trinity enjoying every moment of the boat tour she wanted to go on. She looked at everything with joy and awe. It was a blast to watch her.

This picture is possible black mail on Sam. He is wearing my high heals and liking it. Or licking his snot. Same thing.

November 29, 2008

Keeping my eyes where they should be

When we found out about the lay-offs that were coming at Donnie's work, both of us just knew it was going to be Donnie. Could be intuition from God, or the fact that his boss has had it out for him for over a year, but we knew. But we both had extreme peace about it.
Even when he actually got laid off, we were still at peace.
When they didn't pay Donnie his last paycheck and we are not sure about getting the severance package, we started panicking. Well, I would say I was pretty much in a full blown anxiety attack on Thursday.
I put my focus back on God, and grabbed onto that peace that passes all understanding.

Really, what am I in danger of losing?

First, my electricity. Well, that wouldn't be fun. We wouldn't be able to live in the house, we'd have to move in with family. And I am sure that my dad would pay my electric before he'd have me move in with 6 kids, lol. They can't cut off gas in the winter in Minnesota, so our heat is safe is the power is on.
Second, food. How could we afford to feed us? That one doesn't worry me. God ALWAYS provides food. At least that has been my experience. We are only supposed to worry about the food for today, tomorrow can worry about itself. We have meat in the freezer. Other food will come. I have seen God work miracles in this area.
I could lose my house. That is a long way down the road, though. Again, you can't evict people in the winter in Minnesota. And foreclosure takes like 6 months, and then they can auction it, and then you get 6 more months to get it back, or something like that. (and then it will be winter again, lol) What are the odds that we won't have it worked out in a year?

Let's say we lose our house. Well, that would be a bummer financially, as that stays on the credit report for a long time. But the house? Just a thing. Even much of the "stuff" inside would not bother me to lose it. I would give a lot of it to others if I had to. And I could store things at my dad's.
We won't be living in the streets, we do have family that would take care of us. We won't starve. And we will see God bring us through some amazing trials and see huge answers to prayer. The kids may also learn some great lessons about faith and where our heart should be. We'll learn those things, too.

So, I am keeping my eyes on the Lord, and I am willing to go through what He takes me through. Will I get upset? Sure. Depressed? Probably. Lose faith? Not a chance. Have a tantrum? Oh, for sure.

So, as I sit here wondering if we will even have money to eat with, much less have Christmas, God sent me a present.

Out of the blue, I got a box in the mail. Now, that is not unusual, I get review boxes all the time. But this box is big, and I didn't know what it was.

I won a Playskool "Do You Believe In Play?" essay contest, and didn't know it! I won first prize (along with 24 other people)! I was blown away! It has 4 presents for kids in it! Nice presents. One thing that Trinity specifically asked for! Now I have a present for Trinity, Sam, my nephew Austin, and my nieces, Morgan and MacKensie! (they will share)

They are very, very nice presents, the total value is $160.

I consider it a gift from God because I know that God will allow us to be in our house through Christmas and plans to let us enjoy it. The gifts will not be the part we enjoy the most, we will be focused on God's provision. But it was hope and a light for me. I put my eyes and trust back where they belong, and God gave me a treat.
Sit! Look at your Master. Good girl!

Tackling the Beast!

Or rather, tackling Mount Pederson, as I like to call the ever-growing mountain of laundry in my basement.
Do you have any idea how much laundry passes through my washer and dryer each week? I don't, either. Not nearly enough to keep up, that I know.
Do you have any idea how quickly children stain their clothes? Of course you do, if you have children. I haven't figured out which age is actually the worst, though. The teens are getting better, but from age 12 on down, it is a constant state of disgusting something along the lines of being pigs.

Since I have to wash clothes so much, and use chemicals to get the stains out, our clothes get worn out and faded quickly. Probably quicker than average.
So, I followed the commercial with that guy in the van going around and daring big, burly construction dudes into trying out Clorox 2 on their stains. Dare to be has some videos with the van guy and how things work.

I like that Clorox2 is concentrated so I can use less, and the bottle is made from recycled materials, and is recyclable. You can use this product in HE machines, too. Not that I have one, because being efficient is not in my budget.

I like that it works great on tough stains, the kind kids love to grind into their clothes, and it whitens whites and brightens colors. It also comes in Mountain Fresh, Lavender and scent free, plus powdered.
I have 3 coupons for commenters, and as soon as I find where I put them I will pick four winners out of my comments. I don't even remember how much they are for, oops!

What is your toughest laundry dilemma? Mine would be getting it done at all, but I fight with food stains and dirt. And finding the mates to socks.

Oh, I guess I should be posting, huh?

Don't you just live off of my blogging every day? What are you doing without my blogging? I am so sorry!
I 'll just post tons of pics and the rest of the story of our visit with Drew to make it up to you all.
On Saturday Drew was allowed to leave base for most of the day. We weren't really going to get away with sitting in the hotel room doing nothing for that long, so we decided to visit the Riverwalk and the Alamo. Drew had one request, to eat at a sit down restaurant before we left. So we ate at Tony Romas. That qualified as our new place to eat for the month of November. And with the price, it made up for not eating at a new place in September and October. I kid you not. The food wasn't even that great, in my opinion. Drew loved it, though.

In the middle of the Riverwalk Mall area, there is an outdoor picnic spot. The pigeons love it, of course. The kids, do, too. Lots of interaction with birds.
Sam and Trinity were fascinated with how many birds there were. The birds were even flying up and eating out of people's hands. They were just amazed!

So I had to try it with the kids to see if they could hold a bird.

Sam didn't like it at first, but after the second attempt he let the bird sit there for a few seconds without running away and jerking his arm back.

Trinity would NOT try it for anything in the world. But she didn't mind watching.

There was one thing that Trinity asked for on the entire trip. (not including wanting to stop at every single playplace between San Antonio and Minnesota)
She wanted to go on the Riverwalk boat tour.

We checked it out, and it was actually pretty cheap, especially with Drew's military discount. So we got on a tour. The weather was much nicer on Saturday than it was for the graduation, so we didn't need coats. Short sleeves was a bit cool, and a sweatshirt would have been adequate. But I didn't have that, so I used Donnie's coat on the boat just in case it got cool. (it didn't)

As you can see, Drew's personality is not at all different. He is still cocky and a big ham.

Sam took the boat ride very well. He fell asleep before we got on board, and did not wake up until we got off the boat.
That made for a very pleasant, and SAFE, boat ride.
The driver thought we were nuts for not being dressed for a blizzard. Turns out he had FIVE layers of clothing on. And yes, he proved it. He even had sweat pants on under his jeans.

Trinity absorbed everything about the trip. The entire ride was about 30 minutes long. The driver spent 10 minutes talking about how many layers of clothing he had on and how they had snow once on Christmas, but it didn't stick to the ground.
The driver actually did do quite a bit of things to amuse us. He found a couple making out on a high balcony and had us all say "Awww" loudly to them. The guy was then cut off from his kissing, lol.

Trinity spent most of the ride looking out over the side, pointing and talking and looking and enjoying every moment of it.
I loved watching her enjoy the ride. She saw ducks, and was so excited to see little ducklings. I only once had to have Donnie pull her back a little bit, just to ease my mind.

Later we walked over to the Alamo. The mission building is pretty to see, but really, there was very little information to make you happy you went there. The most exciting part was looking at the enormous gold fish in the "moat."

This is a picture of Sam on the bus after Drew's graduation ceremony on Friday. He was extremely tuckered out! You can't see it, but his jacket front is covered in hot chocolate.
I guess all that cold sucked the energy out of him. And we were rejoicing!

Just so you know, Sam did have some fun on the trip. Mostly he wasn't happy, but he loved the playground.
The playground was huge and had 3 sections. They were divided by age. I didn't notice the first day, but on Sunday we returned and I encouraged him to go play on the one for his age. He wasn't there a minute and a half and he had bit THROUGH his lip. He did great on the play ground for 6-12 year old kids. Put him on the one for kids under 3, and big time owies.

Here is a picture of Trinity hamming it up for the camera. She enjoyed the attention being on her any time she could get it.
Mostly the attention was on Sam and keeping him out of trouble. Constantly.

Getting him to sit still in a restaurant was nearly impossible! we almost didn't care to eat most of the trip.
But here we are at our first stop to Popeye's Chicken. It truly is an amazing place to eat. Mmmmm!

And here is a picture of me pulling Sam off of some kid more than twice his age. He had him pinned to the ground.
Now, the kid laid down himself, but he sure didn't know what to do when Sam sat on his chest and tried to bury him in pebbles.
So, I rescued him.
Don't you just love the covers over the playground? I realize that they need them in Texas or the kids wouldn't have skin left most of the year. But I think we need them in Minnesota, too. The equipment gets hot here, too, at least two days a year.
Oh, and that playground wasn't age appropriate for Sam, either, but he did fine there. That was the 3-5 year old playground.

November 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen Thankfulness List

It is hard to do this today, since we are looking at not only not getting the severance package that Donnie's work was supposed to give us, but they also did not pay Donnie for his last week or two at work, and have no intention of doing so. Isn't that illegal?
So, we may have a long road ahead of us to get money due, but in the mean time......... We have no paycheck this week. I'm a little freaked out right now.

  1. I am very thankful for electricity.
  2. I am very thankful for heat in our home.
  3. I am very, very thankful I have a home.
  4. I am thankful that the kids are all healthy while we have no insurance.
  5. I am thankful that I have all my children, they are such a joy in my life.
  6. I am thankful I have a great husband.
  7. I am thankful for truly amazing friends that are always there for me.
  8. I am thankful for our extended family.
  9. I am thankful for my blog readers, whom I truly care for.
  10. I am thankful for working vehicles.
  11. I am thankful for my church family.
  12. I am thankful for my God, who will never let me go.
  13. I am thankful for the opportunity to pray like I've never prayed before, and to see the miracles that God can do. To be able to see God moving in our lives for our good, no matter what it looks like on the outside. To be able to place my security in God, instead of the reliable income that I so trusted before.

I can easily lose the first 3 in the next couple weeks, and even my blog readers when I no longer have access to the internet (or electricity, lol). But most of the other things will be there no matter what.

So, I am thankful for today, and what I have today. I will let what the economy brings hit me another day.

November 26, 2008

What's all that screaming about?

Kaytlin called me while we were on our way home from Texas and asked me if she could read something to me. I said "Sure."

"Dear Kaytlin,
This letter is to inform you that you have been accepted into Northwestern College...."
That was about as far as we got. Then the screaming started.

Kaytlin not only got into her dream college, she also got a pretty large scholarship based on her excellent grades!

Kaytlin is very excited, and we are very proud of her, and happy for her.

I am also proud of her because she is such a kind person. She was walking home from work today and a boy Drew used to PCA for was riding his bike along side her. (for what reason, I don't know) She spent time talking to him about Thanksgiving. Just being nice. Not many people are very nice to him because of whatever his disabilities are, mentally.
Later, he came by the house and asked Devon for permission to date Kaytlin. Isn't that sweet? Devon told him that Kaytlin doesn't date at all, but even he was nice about it. I think it is a testimony to how sweet she is.
Of course, she will be mad at me for blogging it, lol.

November 25, 2008

Christmas Shopping idea

I plan to do 90% of my Christmas shopping online this year. There are so many reasons why I am choosing that option.

  1. I hate the crowds.
  2. I can more easily search for the best deals.
  3. I can find online coupons.
  4. I don't have to drive in the snow and cold.
  5. No gas prices to worry about!
  6. Many places have free shipping.
  7. I don't have to drive in the snow and cold!

Even deciding to do my shopping online was a bit tricky. I want to utilize my time, money, and get the best deals.

I found recently and I plan to use them quite a bit. They have tons of stores that are partners. So I search for the item I am looking for and all the stores that carry it show up. I can then comparison shop right there. I can also look up coupon codes and sales right on's website. There are even articles on things that I may need, like How to Buy a "Green" Computer or 50 Holiday Home Gifts Under $50.

I think the best part is that many of the items can be purchased right on's site through One Cart purchase! I just load up my cart from several stores at once and check out one time. Now that is convenient! I wish more stores were on the One Cart program, but even the ones that are not have direct links right to the item you want, so it isn't very time consuming to get what you find.

I found this MarioKart Racing for the Wii at several stores on the website. This is a difficult game to find, so I was very happy! Plus, I found it with free shipping, making me so much more happy! I don't have to run all over town trying to find a Walmart or GameStop or Best Buy that actually has it in stock. And when I say "town" I mean several towns around here, because our dinky town doesn't have many stores.

I saved time, money, gas and effort! Plus, the kids are going to be so happy, all of them want this for Christmas.

Thank you Mom Central for this great website to review!

The TokBox phenomenon

Do you remember back in the day when you would put up a webcam so your family could see you while you instant message? It was fun being able to see each other when we were far away.
Webcams have come a long way, and in our future we look forward to phones that have video with them.
The future is here!
Thanks to Tokbox, we can now talk to and see each other over the net and it is FREE! No prepaid services or fees, just good old fashioned FREE. You have got to love that!
When you sign up, Tokbox finds your camera for you and sets it all up, then gives you a web address to send to people so they can connect to you. You control who can see you.

The fun thing is that you can also add Tokbox features to your websites, like facebook, and see people through the chats there! It is easy to set up and easy to use.
You can make videos to post on your website or blogs. Video conferences are now simple. You can make video cards to send to family and friends, like talking through the belly of a turkey.

This is a tool that we plan to use with Drew when he is able to have his computer and internet. He even bought us a webcam so he could keep up with the little children growing up. He wants to stay involved with them as much as he can.

A big thanks to Mom Central for letting me know about this website!

Build-a-Bear Wii Game~ Giveaway!!!!

*This giveaway is now closed and the winner is BYOC.

I think Build-a-Bear is a great company that helps families build memories. We are not likely to forget taking our kids there when they were young, it was just so much fun. And the kids love their animals.
Sam loves the bear we got in the mail to review recently.
This weekend I am taking Trinity, Hope-Anne and 2 of her friends to Build-a-Bear for their birthday party. They are all looking forward to it. (they are not babies, either, they are 11-12 year olds!)

You can now have the fun of Build-A-Bear in your own home! There is a new game for the Wii~ Build-A-Bear Workshop A Friend Fur All Seasons video game!

I am bummed that I don't get to review it personally, however, thanks to Family Review Network and The Game Factory, I DO get to give one away to you, my faithful readers! Aren't you excited!?!

Your furry friend is invited to a great party on Palace Island by Bearemy and Pawlette. In order to cross the sea and reach the party, Bearemy and Pawlette offer you the FriendShip. Explore new islands on the way and take time to meet and interact with the furry friends that live there. They love playing games too, so on each island you get to play mini games, help them out, and find the puzzle pieces needed to recreate the map that will lead you to the next island. Finally you reach Palace Island where a big party awaits you! A Friend Fur All Seasons is a highly interactive and trans-generational adventure and party game in the true Build-A-Bear spirit! Let your imagination guide you as you board the FriendShip and set out to have fun with your new virtual furry friends…
Key Features
2 different game modes! Discover and explore the 4 season-themed islands in the Adventure mode and play lots of fun mini-games in the Playground mode
20 fun mini-games to play including ice skating, build a snowman, a croquet party, a cool ride on a ladybug, throwing a Frisbee, and jumping on a jump stick. Some of the mini-games contain surprises too.
Play the mini-games as single or multi-player party games (co-op) with up to 4 players – it’s fun for the whole family!
Find the 6 secret treasure spots hidden around the islands and dig up a magic chest with a surprise just for you!
Collect bear medals, other rewards and items to use in the Build-A-Bear Workshop. Choose from more than 80 items available to buy for your furry friend!
Natural and innovative game play that take full advantage of the unique features of the Nintendo Wii.

If that is not enough, you can also get out there and buy a Build-A-Bear and video game at one of the Build-A-Bear auctions on ebay that were made by celebrities to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House!
Look at this cute bear designed by Joe Jonas!

We will be auctioning off celebrity-built Build-A-Bear Workshop bears,
along with autographed copies of the Build-A-Bear Wii game. These bears and
signed games will be on eBay's Giving Works to raise money for the Ronald
McDonald House Charities of Southern California. These one-of-a-kind bears were
built by celebrities like Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott, the Jonas
Brothers, James Gandolfini, Melissa Joan Hart, Bonnie Hunt, Mitchel Musso,
Meaghan Jette Martin and more.

I will be hosting the giveaway to those in the US.
You need to leave a comment on my blog telling me your favorite Build-A-Bear being auctioned off on ebay. Look for them here: Build-A-Bear auctions .
You can earn more entries through separate comments letting me know you subscribe to my blog or follow my blog, or by writing a blog post about this auction and give-away on your own blog.
Leave me a separate post for each entry and leave the link to your direct post in the comment.
This giveaway ends on December 2, my dd Trinity's birthday. That way you may have your game by Christmas!

Whew! We are back, in more ways than one

We are finally back from Texas!!!!
And my website is finally back up and running! I was freaking out and crying all morning over it. The domain expired while I was gone, but I thought it would renew automatically. It is NOT easy to renew through google. Google is the worst company when it comes to actually being helpful. There is no way to reach them for 90% of their services, at least without a catch.

But, I got it going, so we'll move on from here.

Texas was fun, but long. We found that the little kids need some serious training. It was like they had never stepped foot in a restaurant before. Which is strange because we eat out a LOT. But they were monsters. We had to start them in basic training, too. Booty Beating 101.

On the way home, we stopped to eat supper at Perkins. That was the best time of the whole trip with the little two. They were good, for their age, though we had to devote 150% of our attention on them, tie Sam into the high chair, and constantly talk to them. But the food was delicious, the kids both ATE for once, and Sam enjoyed talking to our waitress, Cinnamon.

Trinity did really well on the way home. I know that many people were praying for her, because she did not get sick one time! We found some generic med for car sickness, and it was 12 hour with no drowsiness. We weren't sure it would work, but it did. We preferred the drowsy formula for Sam. Not that he gets car sick, but he does need to sleep. For our sanity.

Drew is now at Keesler AFB in Mississippi. I am excited for his future!

I will catch up on our last days of visiting later this week, with more pictures, of course. But right now, I need to catch up on some blogging tours.

November 22, 2008

Secret Keeper Girl story books

We received the first book in the series by Christian author Dannah Gresh. Ms. Gresh has developed books, blogs, and seminars designed to offer support to growing girls in somewhat scary times. In Dannah’s words, a Secret Keeper Girl “values modesty, she surrounds herself with wise friends and she embraces Godly beauty. But, the most important thing for you to know is that a Secret Keeper Girl is a masterpiece created by God.” This sounded like a series I wanted my girls to read.

Danika's Totally Terrible Toss: The Legend of the Purple Flurp is the first book in the series. It explored issues of popularity and true friendship with language your tweenager will appreciate. The book itself was short, easy to read, and presented morals that I think all parents will appreciate.
The book contains a short activity at the end for Moms and daughters to share together. Secret Keeper Girl fiction is a great book series to encourage those young girls in your life while they struggle with issues so common to girls their age.

Bella Sara Trading Cards

Bella Sara is a trading card game, very similar to Pokemon cards, geared toward girls ages 5 to 12. The cards have pictures of horses on them. Girls can access the magical online land at Land of the North of North , where the horses live. Girls can feed, care for, train, and play with their horses and also play games and solve puzzles on the site.
Team Mom sent me 2 packs of sample cards of Baby Bella cards to preview. The cards have special access codes to use in the land of the North of North, to get horses, which are then put in your stable. Then, you can earn horseshoes to trade in for things to decorate your stable.
This is a fun way for girls to pursue their dreams of owning horses, without the major expense that would come with real ones! I am not into the whole magical themed things, so this isn't something we will be pursuing with our girls, but if you don't mind the magical aspect, then you will find these a great way for girls to get involved with the trading card craze.

Team Mom sent me a few books to review from The Secret Mountain . Down at the Sea Hotel, Dream Songs Night Songs from Belgium to Brazil, and A Duck in New York City are fun and engaging children's books. They all come with the story on CD along with several funny songs that will entertain children and adults, the lyrics are also in the book.

I liked the illustrations. They were like paintings, and yet had other types of art in there mixed with the painting. I loved the goofy song about loving a hippo in the book A Duck in New York City. It just was so goofy and non-sensical that I had to love it.

The book is about a duck who dreams of performing on Broadway and he encounters all sorts of situations to discourage him along the way, but he doesn't stop. It is a cute little book with a great "I can do it" message.
There are many more books with these great illustrations and funny songs on The Secret Mountain website. The bedtime books cover many songs from lots of different countries. That would be really fun to learn them all.
These would make a great gift for the art and music loving book readers on your gift list.

The Graduation

Friday morning came very early. It was dark and cold outside when we woke up. Sam did at least stay awake through breakfast. He would not eat anything, or be pleasant.
We hurried to the Reception center so we could wait for a bus. Then we hurried on the bus to get to the parade grounds so we could wait for the ceremony to start. Both kids loved the bus ride.
They hated sitting in the bleachers, way at the back (the only seats open) in the freezing cold weather. So Donnie took them down and found an area with little wind for them to play in. That meant he was not able to watch the ceremony. But the kids were much better behaved, and warmer. I, however, froze as I waited and waited for the ceremony to start. As we were all waiting on the bleachers all huddled together like we knew each other trying to stay warm, a lady spoke out "I'm praying for a hot flash." Everyone started laughing! It was great! A hot flash would have truly been welcome right then.
Finally the Airmen started marching into the parade grounds. Aren't they sharp looking?
After lots of talking and band playing, and more moms crying, they started marching around in front of all the bleachers. Our own personal parade! Made me cry. Of course. We really were unable to see our Airmen because they were so far across the field most of the time.
Eventually they all marched forward to be sworn in. I video taped it, and I'm sure you could hear me sniffing quite a bit from all the crying.
It took a LONG time to find Drew in all the masses of people. But Donnie did find him, much to Drew's relief. "We have got to find a latrine NOW!" were his first words, lol.
This is a picture of Drew and one of the 3 Stooges he is part of. We are going to try hard to get all three together for a shot some time this weekend.
Sam had fun playing during the ceremony. But afterwards he was back to his uncooperative self. We tried to get a picture of the 3 kids together, but this is how it turned out. Sam running away from Drew.
I, however, was willing to stay in the picture with Drew.
This is a picture of Drew's impeccably made bed. Why couldn't he just throw his covers across his bed all those years at home? I knew he was capable........
Again, more evidence of his capability to keep his home neat as a pin........... Minus the stroller and stuff we drug in.
Even his shoes are perfectly lined up. And tied correctly. He had honor graduate until Sunday night when he was caught with his shoes tied wrong and his bed not neat enough.
He warned me not to even bump people's shoes because they get messed up easily. I pointed out one of his bunk mates shoes all askew. Yep, like that. He had to fix them for his buddy so they don't all get in trouble.
After graduation we had to hang around and wait. They wouldn't let them leave until 2pm, even though nothing else was happening. Drew picked up his orders, he is going to Keesler AFB in Mississippi for ATC school. Can't say when, though.
When we could leave base we took Drew back to the hotel and just chilled for hours. He didn't know how to relax, lol. Dude, take off your tie and shoes and lay back a bit!
Drew was able to just get online and email everyone and facebook and IM with some friends. He has had such limited contact and it was great that he could just do that and catch up.
After we dropped Drew back off we took the little two kids to see Madagascar 2. It was funny, but I preferred the first movie.
The theater we went to was weird. It was one with waiters who took our orders and brought us food and drinks, including alcoholic drinks. However, that wasn't the weird part. It just felt evil in there. Not sure why. Was it because of the showing of Twilight, and all the Twilight junkies in there? Was there a weird presence to the building? Not sure, be we were weirded out, and even Sam was acting uncomfortable and on the defensive. I can't even describe the bathrooms adequately. Weird. Like sheet metal walls for sheds. Strange. None of the floors were carpeted or tiled or finished, all just cement.
Then we came back to the hotel and went to sleep.

November 21, 2008

Isn't everything supposed to be bigger in Texas?

Drew is NOT bigger, lol. He only lost 3lbs, but he is SKINNY. Maybe it is the fact that his uniform actually fits him, rather than baggy pants and flowing button up shirts.

Check out his tiny little waist!
There are so many things about this weekend that I want to remember. I am going to try to get them all down so I don't forget. We are getting very little sleep, so the memory is failing a bit, lol. You know the military, get up early, hurry up and wait.
The first morning we got up and got to the base about 7:15 am with the little ones all bright-eyed and bushy tailed. OK, Sam slept sitting up in the chair at the breakfast table, lol. He wasn't getting up for anything.

We got there for the looooong briefing, which I cried through, of course.
Then we all were rushed outside to get in line along the road, after being instructed in how to conduct ourselves.
"It is appropriate to cheer on the airmen as they run by, but do not go chasing your airmen down the road. You laugh, but someone always does."
Then we got to stand there and...... wait.
After 1/2 an hour Chariots of Fire started playing the the airmen started coming over the bridge in the distance. It was so corny! But I started crying anyway. I did not see Drew, but this picture is his flight.
We were able to go back to the hotel for a few hours before coming back for his coin ceremony. We were told where his flight would be standing so we could get close enough to see him. This picture of Drew off in the background, bright red in the hot Texas sun, was on super telescope to see just that little bit of him.
I lifted Trinity up and showed her where he was. When I put her down she hugged my leg and said "Mommy, I am so proud of you for showing me Drew."
Later she said she didn't like me about a dozen times. She hates being here.
This is Drew's flight marching into the coin ceremony.
After the ceremony the airmen stood still until their family came and touched them. I went after him while Donnie kept the kids out of the running, sobbing masses.
Yes, I was one of them. I cried through the entire coin ceremony until I got to hug my son. But then I was fine. Until the next ceremony, of course.
Drew was happy to see us, but was very professional, as he was trained to be.
Makes a mommy's heart so proud!

After we were finally allowed to spend time with Drew, we had to figure out what we COULD do, because we were stuck on base. Drew was not yet graduated and could not leave base.
So we took the kids to a big park. It was fun for the kids and wore their butts right out!
Drew spent time talking to all the kids as long as they wanted, except Devon, who was at swim practice.
Here is Donnie and Drew at the park.
Drew could only talk on the phone when we was not walking. He really had fun talking with everyone.
During the day Samuel developed some bowel issues and messed up his pants. I had not brought a change of clothes with me, and we soon went through all the diapers and wipes I had brought in the travel diaper bag.
Another mom at the park watched Sam walk up to the park all dressed up, minus pants, and she just laughed and laughed. She was pregnant with her sixth child, and we had a good chat. When she was leaving, she came and found me and gave me several diapers and a pack of wipes and told me to enjoy my visit with my son, and not worry about my diaper bag today. I was so blessed by her! And the wipes came in very handy with Trinity's multiple bloody noses at the park. I never want to forget her kindness.
Sam didn't really have the time of day for Drew at all. Poor Drew! He just missed Sam so much!
But when we were dropping Drew off Samuel started crying "Whyyyyyyyy? Whyyyyyy? Dew! Whyyyyyyy???" It was adorable! Then he passed out cold. He was so tired.
Now, I am going out of order here, because I want to do the graduation ceremony in a separate post. But here is an adorable picture of Trinity and Drew on the bus after his graduation ceremony.
She is happy to see Drew, but for the most part both she and Samuel just want to go home. They hate being here.
As you can see, we switched to winter coats for the second day. It was FREEZING!!! No more 80 degree weather to enjoy.

Samuel did enjoy seeing Drew's dorm and playing with his gloves and flashlight. In fact, the first day Samuel broke Drew's flashlight, so Drew had to make an emergency run to the BX to replace the bulb!
This is Sam, being an Warrior, like his brother.
All he needed here was the flashlight with it's light saber-like wand so he would be ready to fight. LOL
The picture I had in this post of Drew and I disappeared, and I do NOT want to mess with getting it back in, since I had to get out of bed at 2am in order to be able to even write this post, lol. I will do that next post. Sam is crying for mommy to come back to bed.