Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Messed up Friendships

What does it mean when (all of) your friends at one point or another stop talking to you?
Granted being in the military and now as a military spouse, we move a lot so that makes it hard to meet people and keep up friendships. I get that. But somehow it seems as if I must not be a very good friend if people keep dropping me.

When we were at Scott AFB, I made a few friends in the Spouse's Group. Now, I'm rarely, if ever, in contact with any of them. When I am in contact, it's just through a Facebook note or something small like that.

The same goes for friends I made at the Pentagon. I'm "friends" with most of the other Interns on Facebook but even when one or two of them are at the same base as I am, I don't see or speak to any of them. Some of that has to do with my weight and how I feel about myself. Most of it just seems to be that no one feels the need to get together with me. Not feeling sorry for myself here, just wondering why that is?

Now, my best friend (we've known each other since 1997 and have been friends since 1998 or so...) is not speaking to me. She says she's "not 'not talking'" to me. But the last communication I got from her was over two weeks ago. I finally called her and left a message yesterday and she texted me today saying that we're "not not talking" but that she still "needs space" and isn't ready to talk to me yet. It's a long story of why she's not speaking to me but from my point of view it was all a misunderstanding. I'm guessing by her needing so much time & space that there's probably more to it, but if she won't talk to me then I have no idea what she's mad or upset about so I can't make it better or fix it.

The only other person who has ever told me not to call them is my older sister (a whole different convoluted story). I never in a million years would have guessed that my best friend would treat me in the same manner. Nor would I ever have guessed that I'd put the two of them in the same category as to how their actions/words make me feel. Which makes me wonder (as my husband has pointed out) has this friendship reached its end?

So what is it about me that seems to drive people away after a year or two (or eventually...)? What is it that keeps ending these friendships? I know its normal for people to grow apart but it seems as if I'm turning into a serial grow-aparter...

I'm sad and mad at the same time...leaving me not knowing what to do (other than not calling her since she "needs space") or how to deal with my feelings...bottom line, not real happy right now.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Missing Germany

We haven't been to Germany in over four years! Most days I'm OK with it but then something will remind me of Germany and I'll get a wave of homesickness. Germany, as I may have mentioned, is one of the few places I've ever really felt at home. I only lived there for a short time when I was very young but the memories I have are all good ones. Because of that it seems as if anything even remotely connected to Germany gives me a feeling of belonging and/or rightness. Whether it's someone speaking German, German candy or pictures of Germany, it makes me smile and want to be there again.

Recently my wonderful husband asked if I might want to go to Germany for Christmas this year. My first answer was "Of course!" But then I realized we have a lot of things planned for the next few months (assuming he actually comes home from Iraq in September). On top of that, his father's 80th birthday is shortly after Christmas. Until we figure out how the family wants to celebrate that, I don't think we should plan an overseas trip. 

Once we discussed all of that, Hubby asked if maybe we should go for Bubba's 4th birthday (in February or March)! Yes, yes, yes!! Whenever. I don't care as long as we can actually plan on really going.

The first thing I did was get on to Pinterest and start looking at pictures of Germany and trip ideas. Do we go to the usual places that we've been to before or do we try something new? I'd like to go to Dusseldorf and visit my aunt and uncle but we also have some very good friends at the Marshall Center in Garmisch. It would also be kind of nice to take Bubba to Nuremberg where I was born. So much to think of...bottom line though is I just want to go back for a visit (especially as it doesn't seem as if we're ever going to be stationed there again).

Some of the pins on Pinterest led me to some cool websites I've been perusing. has a lot of information on what to do in Germany. Another site I've looked at is the Germany travel site. They have a list of the top 100 sights and attractions in Germany. I've actually been to quite a few of them but only a few with my husband and of course Bubba has not been to Germany at all so everything would be new for him.

Have you been to Germany? What was your favorite part and/or do you have any suggestions or recommendations? 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dragons and Damsels

Bubba loves pretending to be a Knight in Shining Armour. He also has an interest in bugs though thankfully not as much as he likes dinosaurs.
The other day we went to a program called "Dragons and Damsels at the Pond." I wasn't too sure about it since it was an evening program and the Pond is a 40 minute drive. I am so glad we did it though. We both enjoyed it quite a bit so it was worth the drive and late bedtime. 

I never knew there was such a thing as a damselfly. They are smaller than dragonflies and when they land, they fold up their wings. Dragon flies keep their wings open when they land. The instructor said there are over 500 different types of dragon and damselflies around this particular pond and over 3000 varieties worldwide.

Besides Bubba and I there were only two other people, another boy and his mother. I think it was great that there were so few people because the two boys got to do a lot of hands-on "work" and personal attention. They actually caught both a damselfly and a dragonfly. They also caught some little tiny fish and a few tadpoles. Thankfully, I brought Bubba's boots so he got to wade into the lake a little bit. I'm sure if his father had been there, he'd have been able to go in further but I didn't want him to slip and fall in...

I've really been enjoying all the classes and courses we've taken at the various recreation centers in the county. I can't believe how much they offer. It's too bad we didn't find out about them sooner but I'm so glad we've had them to keep us busy while Daddy is in Iraq...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lessons From Noah's Ark

Recently I received an e-mail from my father-in-law containing pictures and ending with lessons from Noah's Ark...

While the pictures were cute, it was the lessons that really struck a chord with me. Especially number 4: "Stay Fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big." Most people usually assume that all the great things we're going to do in our lives will be done by the time we are 40. At the very least, we will be (or should be) on the right track to doing whatever it is we're going to be doing by then.

For some of us though, we may have switched tracks at some point and/or have still not found the right track. It's nice, even affirming, to hear about people who have gone on to do great things After the age of 40. One of the examples that always sticks in my mind is Winston Churchill who didn't even pick up a paintbrush until very late in life and found that not only did he love it but that he was quite good.

Another thing about Noah is that he listened when God spoke to him. How many of us sit still long enough to hear that voice? Especially if/when it's telling us to try something new, hard or even seemingly impossible? That's definitely something I need to work on...

Bottom line is that while I might not yet know what I want to be when I grow up, there's no reason to give up hope that I can and will contribute something more. In fact, I have to believe that God put me here for a specific reason. I just have to listen and act in order to figure out what it is.

Here are the "Lessons from Noah's Ark":

ONE: Don't miss the boat.
TWO: Remember that we are all in the same boat!
THREE: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark .
FOUR: Stay fit. When you're 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
FIVE: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
SIX: Build your future on high ground.
SEVEN: For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
EIGHT: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
NINE: When you're stressed, float awhile.
TEN: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
ELEVEN: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dinosaurs Galore!

Bubba LOVES dinosaurs. He's not obsessed like some kids I've seen but he sure does enjoy talking and reading about them as well as playing without large assortment of dino toys.

The last two weekends we've attended dinosaur themed events at two of the recreation centers in the area. The first one was an outside event where we learned a little about dinosaurs and then got released into the park area to make a dinosaur fossil, to dig for dinosaur fossils (they were actually marine fossils from TX) that we got to keep and to generally run around and play. We also got to look at a pond where there were hundreds of baby tadpoles.

The second event was an inside event where the kids got to play with a ton of different dinosaur figurines for a bit, then listen to three dinosaur stories, and then they got to make their own dinosaur fossils. Since Bubba had just done this the weekend before, he was an expert at fossil making and said "I can do it by myself, Mommy." What a wonderful thing to see them working on something by themselves. After we made the fossil, we went outside to dig for other fossils. Each child was given a quadrant of the dig zone and was able to find one or two fossils. When put together, they made two incomplete baby T-Rex skeletons. The instructor noted there are only about six "complete" T-Rex skeletons in the world and even those are really only 90% or so complete.

One of the interesting things I learned at these events is that the Brontosaurus that I grew up with as the main long-necked dinosaur never actually existed! It was made up of a body of one type of dinosaur and the head of another so was never a true dinosaur at all. Crazy! Looking up this information on the internet it seems as if way back in 1903 the scientists knew the Brontosaurus was actually the same thing as an Apatosaurus. Yet, somehow the brontosaurus name lived on...

Bubba had a good time. We got to explore two different recreation centers and we made lots of cool fossils. The instructor gave us a couple extra hunks of dough since we helped clean up so we made "Matthew Fossils" (hand prints) when we got home. Looking at his hand prints made me a little sad - I can't believe how big he is getting. But he's so much fun!! :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

We're Going to Disney World!

So, it looks like we're going to Disney...with my sister-in-law and her family. It started out as a family reunion & 80th birthday celebration but then various people dropped out and now it's just the two families. Of course, we're still not even sure if my husband will be back from Iraq in time...we should know something soon. I've already told him I'm not going to Disney without him.
My sister and her two kids (just turned 4 and 6) went to Disney in June so I still want to pick her brain a bit about what worked and what didn't. I'm mostly trying not to get too stressed out and just think about how much fun Bubba is going to have and how much my husband appreciates that his sister is making such an effort to renew their relationship.

I haven't been to Disney since they were first building Epcot! Talk about aging myself, huh? I think that was 30 years ago! I'm quite excited about going again. There is so much to see and do. It's hard to decide what is "not to miss" and what is "hope to see/do"...

Have you been to Disney lately? Any tips for going with a 3-year-old?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Responsibilities Flip Chart

I love Pinterest. During nap time or when I can't sleep at night, I like to look at all the awesome craft, parenting, travel, etc ideas...there is so much out there! I've actually done quite a few of my pins and most of the time even take pictures so I can blog about them. I just haven't been doing a lot of blogging lately...
One of the things I finally got around to doing was the Chore Chart. I've pretty much been obsessed with the idea ever since I saw the Pin months ago...You can find the tutorial here.

I actually modified it a bit and used colored file folders as the base. I thought that would make it easier but in the end it took me quite a bit longer than I had imagined.

You can also see the printing on the inside of the folders. I thought about trying to cover it up somehow but in the end, just wanted to get it done.

Since he is only 3 years old I figured five responsibilities per chart was enough. There are some others I could have added like "Potty" for night time, but I decided it was better to have just a few and hope we could make/keep things like going potty part of the bath time ritual. 

I chose a yellow folder for the morning (good morning, sunshine!) and a blue for the evening. Using free clip art from the internet made it pretty simple and I then added some color with color pencils (our printer is perpetually low on ink). So, when it's open you have the pictures as well as the words for each responsibility. Once that responsibility is accomplished, you "flip the flap" and see that it is "Done!" Last night, we opened all the flaps for the morning so they'd be ready to go. This morning we opened all the flaps for the evening so when we go up for bed, it's ready to go.
It was fun to see the finished product - I really like to do things that end up nice and are going to be useful. Bubba helped me figure out where we going to hang them and we used them last night and this morning. He seems pretty excited about them in general and looks forward to "flipping the flaps" as he accomplishes each responsibility.