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The Lily Pad

Updated: 2018-03-05T10:36:57.121-05:00


GPS SchmeePS


Last year I had my navigational skills questioned by my three year old.  Since that time I have not used my GPS during our trips from VA to NC because, you know, I got this.

On our most recent trip home, I called my Dad to let him know we were on our way and we had the following conversation:

Dad "What time does the GPS say you'll be here?"
Me "I don't know, I'm not using it.  I know my way home."
Dad "OK..."

Two and a half hours later I had the following conversation with my Grandmother-in-law:

Me: "We're making great time!  Madelyn's sleeping and we're near *some town that starts with W."
Nanny: "Thats great!  Be safe."

Forty five minutes later I call Nanny back...

Me: "Um...we're in West Virginia."
Nanny: "..."
Me: "Yeah.  I didn't need the GPS."

I call Chris

Me: "Um...we're in West Virginia"
Chris: "Where's the GPS?"
Me: "I didn't need it..."
Chris: "Obviously."

*Wytheville is the "W" town that we drive through each trip, there was a different "W" town at about the same point on 81N and my brain just made them be the same. 

Spot removal


I wrote this almost a year ago and forgot but I just now found it and since I'm lazy I'll post it instead of writing something new.

Sometime earlier this year I developed a lovely clogged pore that didn't seem to want to go away, and then it got a friend right beside it and another and then together they dug a pool.  So after enough waiting for them to move out of the neighborhood on their own I went to the dermatologist for a zit removal but was surprised with a biopsy and got an undeniably clear result of inconclusive squamous cells.  So it was reccommended that I have it removed.

In preparation for having my face cut off, I asked Chris to try to be there in case a crazy criminal breaks in and tries to switch their face with mine.  Granted I wasn't under anesthesia and the only thing numbed was about an inch of my lower jaw, but I prefer to be safe, plus since I knew the Dr. wasn't going to give me anything to relax while I have my my face cut off I thought I might have to get drunk and then drunk me wouldn't even realize that my face had been switched, I would just think I had on "beer goggles", unless there's a beard involved and then I'd just thought I  fell asleep in some mud.  So obviously it's better that he was there. 

I don't think Chris was paying enough attention during the procedure because I'm pretty sure that part of my face did get switched.  This little part down here where my original pool partying zits were is feeling a little evil.  I think it's part serial killer so if I start walking towards you with the side of my face leading you should probably back away or slap me, one of those might work. Its only a small part of my face so I think you're safe as long as you don't give my face a knife or a gun.  I think, mostly.  I mean I don't think it can really do much without a weapon, right?

Added just now, almost a year later, I'm pleased to announce that my face only tried to kill me once immediately after the stitches were removed and I had a raw spot  from the bandages and in a stroke of brilliance thought I'd spray neosporin on it in the commissary.  Madelyn still giggles about me doubling over and trying not to chuck cans of pumpkin at the nearest wall.

Wherein my womanhood and independence are questioned


This past weekend Madelyn and I took an impromptu trip to surprise my parents for their 30th Anniversary.  I used the GPS to keep me updated on my time of arrival so that I knew where I needed to go for maximum surprising impact.  After exiting for the fourth potty break, and being yelled at by the woman in the box to make a U-turn.  Madelyn asked the following:

"Momma, how come you can drive all the way from California without that thing but you can't find Nanna and Da-Daddy's?"

Yep.  The GPS landed in the floor and I did NOT use it on the way home.

Their Story is our story


Today marks my Mom and Dads 30th wedding anniversary. Their story is our story, our family and our love.Mom caught dads eye with her beauty and grace.taken at Niagra Falls and the first picture Dad ever had of MomDad swept her off her feet by wearing tuxedos to drag races you wish you could look this sexy They dated and Dad set the standard for perms in the relationship.  It took Mom a few years to catch up, but when she did, she did it big.Mom instantly had a ready made family.  I personally think she got a pretty awesome deal.  I mean, look at that cuteness in her lap.  Not everybody gets so lucky as to marry a guy and get such an awesome daughter too!  This is the stuff of fairytales.  I was a perfect angel and never ever peed on her lap in the drivethrough.She also had the pleasure of spending time with my older sister, and although Brea's story is different from my own, the love and devotion from our Dad and Becky are not.For some reason our little family had to grow, so we grew larger with the addition of these two turds. While their story started resembling a little bit of normalcy - married, owning a house, and living with 2.5 children (I won't tell you who the .5 is)  I know that things still weren't easy.  They both worked hard long hours, and us silly kids had things we wanted to do like dance, band, T-ball, and eat dinner.  Plus they were raising us in the 80's.  It was a very scary time.  Even in church portraits.I know that they survived with lots of this:and even more of this:Now, after thirty years they have kids who aren't entirely embarrased by them and a granddaughter who is pretty certain they hung the moon.Everybody pictures their life story long before they start living life.  We grow up reading fairy-tales and dreaming of our happily ever after.  Mom and Dads story didn't start out like a fairy tale.  Some people have baggage as they enter into new relationships.  Dad had a steamer trunk.  I was part of that steamer trunk.  Mom could have turned around and ran. Dad could have dropped that trunk and run away with Mom, but they didn't.  They carried the trunk together and did what they felt was best and right for the two girls riding that trunk.Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!  We love you![...]

Lily Pad Preschool Day 1


We may not have gotten out of bed as early as I wanted in order to start our day and then we may have taken an hour longer at the commissary than I wanted to but we did manage to make it through everything I had planned for the day.
We worked this afternoon for a little longer than I think either one of our tolerance levels could handle.  In case I was unsure about that fact, when we started our handwriting exercise, Madelyn was thrilled that I was a "teacher mommy", by the end of it she informed me that maybe she just needed a different teacher. 

I think I was fired by my 3 year old.

Thats when we pulled out the crayons and stopped trying to make letters.

While I finished up dinner she played a hopscotch game using the apple floor tiles from Confessions of a Homeschooler and then played in her kitchen after making it to 7 and losing interest. 

Speaking of dinner, can I just say that I kind of want to make out with the inventor of the crock pot liners?  Is that inappropriate?

All in all I would say it was a good start.  I've already tweaked this weeks lessons to more readily help with what were sticking points today. 

Hopefully I can make it through day 2 without being fired.

What I am doing


So many of you have asked (OK, maybe none) what my plans are to teach Madelyn.  I'm going pretty basic and simple and we'll add more as is dictated by boredom and learning curve.  Every day will have a handwriting and phonics exercise as well as new material and new focus.  For example, we are still working on lower case letters so one day in the second week is intensive lower case work.  As in we're pulling out the house diagram and talking about who has what in the attic and in the basement.  Intense I tell ya.    Each week will have it's own theme.  We will use that theme for part of our handwriting and phonics skills, as well as a themed craft, books (fiction and non fiction), and as many related activities we can while maintaining my sanity.  Our first week is Ballet because she will be starting dance class the following week, so this will serve dual purpose of getting her excited and having a fun week 1 theme.

My "gold*" friends will want to place their hand firmly under their jaw for this next part.

I have a notebook with lists, each days plans and what prepwork beyond worksheets I need to do.  The back of each page is where I will list what we actually do so that when I plan weeks 4+ I kind of know what's working.  On the inside cover is our schedule that will hopefully keep us running smoothly.  For the actual work, I have 5 different colored folders, one for each day, that has that days work placed in pockets so that each morning I can grab that folder and go, even if my coffee hasn't yet kicked in.

As for that inside cover schedule, "school" will be scattered throughout the day so that neither one of us gets frustrated or tired.  In my little dream bubble our days will flow seamlessly and smoothly and I will end the day rejuvenated and feeling accomplished.  Then I will poop sunshine.

*Gold refers to a personality color based on the Four Lenses, I am not a gold, I am an orange, also known as the anti-gold.  My notebook and folders are, however, very "gold".

Back to School


Can it really be called "back" when she's never really been?  How about if she isn't even technically "going" this year?  I don't know the deep philosophical answers to those questions, what I do know is that I have 3 weeks worth of lessen plans and materials for our very own Lily Pad Preschool!  Oh wow!  I really like the sound of that.  Maybe I'll have a sign made, or add it to our arts and crafts, or sew something, or talk about it a lot and never actually get it done.

Madelyn is almost 4 and is in constant need of intellectual stimulation, so I devised a battle plan to help us through the long cold (to us who haven't lived winter in 11 years) VA winter.  My battle plan is preschool.   My sword is a pencil, my shield a piece of paper, this sentence a huge hunk of cheese.

For those of you in know about me, you know that schedules aren't really my thing, but I'm doing it.  I'm setting an alarm clock without having a specific place to go and we will start our days at the same time each day.  This is going to be a feat in and of itself as little miss M is not a morning person, and frankly, neither am I.  I can already see mornings of coffee and chocolate milk as we sit over the table tracing letters and working phonics.

I'll be updating here regularly with pictures and letting you know what did and didn't work.  I'm sure there will be plenty of funny somewhere, after all, I am a scatterbrain choosing to teach her child.

edited to add: I know that I wrote about this whole preschool thing earlier, but now I have a plan! and materials! and it's real! not just a thought in my head and on this blog.

A very valid point


Conversation between Madelyn and Strawberry Shortcake after I told her she (Strawberry Shortcake) could ride in the car but not go in to story time.

"Momma says you can't go in, so you'll sit in the car and not go to story time.  Ok?"
"But you want to go to story time?  No, you will stay in the car because you will have friends in there."
"It will be OK, you won't cry.  You don't need to go in because you're not real."
"No, you're not."

I almost spit out my water hearing this very real one sided argument with a strawberry scented doll, who currently has no less than 5 bandaids on her arms.  I'm a little scared to ask what kind of argument caused those.



Madelyn's birthday falls at a very unfortunate time for starting school, at least here in VA it does.  She misses being able to start kindergarten by 24 days.  I am hoping to be able to have her test and start school at 4 because she (like everybody else's child) is advanced.  No really.  She learns so quickly and picks up things that I am afraid that if she doesn't start school until she is almost 6 that she will be bored in class and have behavior issues.

I really have three choices in this matter.  1.  Sit back and let what happens happen.  2.  Work with her on preschool curriculum and pray that there is a program to test her into kindergarten (should probably research this).  3.  Just straight up homeschool her.  The problem with full time homeschooling is that I never planned to do that, I always thought I'd be back at work when she started school or in school myself.  I don't know how qualified I am to teach her and for how long.  I've done a fair amount of research so I'm not actually worried about her getting socialization, or extra curricular activities, I'm just worried about her and I bumping heads so much that we lose the benefit of learning.

So this is where I tell you my choice.  In mid-August we will be starting a full on preschool curriculum and have "school" in our house.  I can't sit back and just let what happens happen with my childs education.  After we complete preschool, we will see what and where our options lie.

Of course I will be documenting it here as we go and letting you all know how it goes.  I'm really excited about it but making myself wait to start until I have all the materials and resources I need to actually get going for a full time program.  So here we go.

The three resources I have and will be working primarily from are:
Confessions of a Homeschoolers K4 curriculum
The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading
Slow and Steady Get me Ready

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Out of touch


I recently read an excellent article about the differences between civilian and military life and it got my poor little rusty gears turning about my own experiences with ignorant people.

I think ignorance a rampant handicap that is preventable and treatable.  We all too often forget to put ourselves in that other person's shoes before asking a rude question.  There are no dumb questions if you truly want to understand my life, it is rude to ask questions that are nosy or judgmental.  I am also guilty of forgetting that our life style is appealing and interesting to civilians who don't have the "luxuries" we do.  I was complaining to my hairdresser before this most recent move about how tired of it I was and how I just didn't want to move.  Her reply "I've lived here my whole life, I'd love the adventure."  In that moment I was just as insensitive as the civilians mentioned in the article.  The truth is that we will not and cannot hope understand another persons life unless we engage in sincere conversation, something that has become lost in the land of Facebook, texting, and email.

A friend commented that she didn't know what it was like to be married to a doctor, lawyer, or accountant and I don't know either.  I think the big difference in the professions and that of a military person is I don't ask if their husband has been defrauding the insurance companies, or if he coaches his clients to lie under oath, or just how padded are the books that he keeps.  All of these questions are the counterpart to the lovely question "Has he killed anyone?"  I think that because our military occupies so much of the media's attention that people start lumping us in with whatever opinion they have formed about whatever military related story made national news that day.  I get it.  I get that to some people we are an enigma, we are this rare breed that sends our spouses off to kill people while we live life as a single person. 

What?  That's not what we are?  We are people?  With feelings, and thoughts, and opinions, and stresses? What The Heck?  That's craziness.  What is even crazier is that there are the same stereotypes within our own community.  Other spouses that think certain things are true because of the rank or job of somebody elses husband.  The fact is that we all have a different experience, different feelings, and different issues to face on a day to day basis regardless of our husbands rank or job and unless you sit down and talk to me about it, you won't know what I'm experiencing, you're assuming.

I like to think that as our generation ages and we start to realize how out of touch we are with people, true people, not acquaintances on facebook, that we will start to reconnect, to start caring about one another with genuine interest and pass that along to our children.  That is my hope for Madelyn and her generation, that they are able to connect to one another on a level that far surpasses our own understanding and acceptance.

Linking up to
 Shell for Pour Your Heart Out

Baby Bumblebee


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1.  We moved.  This is a whole post on it's own, but I'm not in a good enough place yet to blog it.  We are settling in and will be happy here, it's just gonna take a minute.  Or three.

2.  Marshmallow is a boy.  I discovered his "accessories" about a week ago and promptly started calling vets to have them removed.  I'm not interested in dealing with little boy bunnies marking my couch as their territory.  How immasculating is it that I refer to my rabbit's testicles as accessories?  Anyway, we started calling him a him and were being corrected by Madelyn.  Chris asked if we were going to tell her and I asked if he wanted to be the one to show her why he isn't a girl.  Therefore, despite having accessories, Marshmallow is a girl.

3.  I called the vet to confirm Marshmallow's pre-surgery appointment and had the following conversation while distracted trying to put away laundry:
Vet Tech: Unintelligible, May I help you?
Me: Yes, I need to confirm an appointment for Marshmallow for today.
Vet Tech: Are you having a party?
Me: I'm not sure that's very nice, but if you think it'll help we most certainly could.  I just need to double check the time we're coming in today for his appointment before we have him neutered.
Vet Tech: Wait, what!?
Me: Having my male rabbit neutered.  Wait, who is this?
Not a Vet Tech: Pizza Hut.

4.  Went to story time today at the base library and it's a Fathers Day theme and they read a story about Dad being a Hero, and the particular Dad in this story was in the Army.  The librarian made it two pages in and said something about isn't your dad a hero and Madelyn says "Yeah, but my Daddy is a Marine not Army."

5.  I forgot how hard it is to settle in and make new friends.  Why are we all so guarded and quiet?  Guess it's time to just shove out my hand and say "Hi!  I'm Katrina, I'm crazy but I promise you'll laugh."

Hiding under the covers


If you know me in real life, or on facebook, then you know that the Marine Corps has decided to rip me away from my beautiful, wonderful, even tempered climate of Southern California.  I knew it was coming, but and we had a little advance warning, but when budget stuff started getting crazy and Chris was nominated for a new job here in CA, I allowed myself to believe that it wasn't going to happen.  I made plans, I had high hopes for this summer - a summer not filled with work-ups or deployment - I just knew we were gonna be here one more summer.  My bubble was burst less than 30 days ago and today, there are movers at my house packing my stuff.  Yeah.  So not only did I lose my summer of plans, I lost any amount of time to do anything other than hide under the covers.

This is weird for me, I am usually ready for a move, ready for an adventure, ready for whatever the Marine Corps throws at us.  This time, I want to throw it back and pick again.  It's not that I don't want to move...eventually, I just don't want to do it right now.  Give me 4 more months and I'll be good.  Move me to VA in the middle of fall and I will be so excited the movers wouldn't be able to pack fast enough.

I have so much I want to say to those that we are leaving whom I love so dearly but I can't.  Not right now, not yet, not today.

So that's where I've been, hiding under the covers and I think some random guy is about to pack them in a box so I should probably find a new hiding spot now.

All Dressed Up


Linking up to Lady for this weeks dress-up installation.

On Friday, Denise and I got together for a super fun girls night with some new to me friends.  Of course since we were in something other than comfy pants and flip flops we had to do an impromptu photo shoot which may or may not have been interrupted twice by a hubby trying to sneak out for cigars. Ahem.

Silk shirt and gray shirt - New York and Co Clearance
Jeans - levis
Necklace - ?
Earrings - gift from my man
shoes (not shown but I promise they were cute) - Payless

Boobs - God, Madelyn, and Victoria's Secret

Excuses Excuses


Why do we always feel a need to make excuses for why our children don't act like stuffy adults?

I admit that sometimes I get embarrassed by Madelyn's behavior in public and I start telling perfect strangers "It's naptime." or "She's hungry." or "It's been a long day." and a few months ago it was "She misses Daddy."  First of all, its none of their business.  Second, there is no excuse for bad behavior, but most importantly, we all have bad days and my 3 year old is not going to be on perfect behavior all of the time.  Wow.  What an epiphany right?

Parents aren't the only ones who do it.  Teachers do it trying to ease our poor exhausted parenting hearts.  Reassuring us that it's nothing we're doing wrong, it's just that Dad is deployed, or that all the kids were acting up, or she seemed really tired.  How about she's 3 and cannot be expected to behave like an adult.  Yes, there is room to teach and correct bad behaviors but expectations have to be realistic.  If she misbehaved, she misbehaved and there is no excuse.  I'm not going to take her home and punish her, but we are going to talk about it.

Sometimes there is an obvious reason for a behavior and it isn't just an excuse, sometimes our toddlers act the way we want to.  I'll admit there are days where I would love to walk through the grocery store and throw stuff on the floor just because it's a bad day.  It's our job as parents to teach that it is OK to feel that way, just not OK to do it.

Lately I've been looking deep in my pea picking parenting soul and seeing where I can do better, how I can improve so that Madelyn's life is improved.  What I've found is that I need to stop excusing us both.

Linking up to Shell over at Things I Can't Say for:

I'm running for military families!


On April 2nd, I will be running a 5K in support of ACT Today for Military Families.  OK, OK, I use the term "running" loosely, it's more of a jog, but those of you who know me in real life know that I'm not so much for the running.  As in, not at all.  I feel that if the families I am running for can live this marathon life of dealing with Autism, I can run a measely 3.1 miles.  My 3.1 miles are nothing compared to what these children are living on a daily basis. 

1 in 88 military children has a diagnosis in the autism spectrum.*  This amazes me.  Fortunately autism is treatable, but those treatments can be expensive, extensive, and beyond the realm of our standard Tricare coverage.  That is where ACT Today for Military Families comes into play.  This organization helps military families defray the out of pocket costs for specialized treatments, allowing families to obtain the best care for their children.

If you haven't guessed by now, this is the part where I'm gonna ask for money.  Or if you're local, register and come run with us.  It's gonna be a gorgeous route down at Mission Bay.  If each of my followers gives $5, I will meet my goal.  If each gives just $1, I will be happy to have brought in a little extra support for this great cause.  So if you'd be kind enough to click that link there, I would greatly appreciate it!

Of course, I appreciate you even if you don't click the link. 

*ACT Today website

Book #2 - The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender


Image courtesy Google Images
OhMyGosh guys.  When I told you that I really honestly truly love to read, it is because of books like this.  I started this book Monday morning, and finished it Tuesday morning. I couldn't put it down, it was so intriguing and well written.  I cannot wait to read her other books.  Like I am having to keep myself away from the library because I have a house to clean, groceries to purchase, and a family to care for. 

So if anyone is keeping track - that's two books in less than a week.

All Dressed Up - No pinching!


I'm linking up to No Model Lady for:This week I'm feeling a little luck of the Irish.I LOVE dressing for a theme.  Unfortunately my day to day to life doesn't really call for much of this.Dress: JCrew clearanceShoes: Dillards clearanceSweater: giftedEarrings: Kohls[...]

Pen to the Paper #1


As I posted on Saturday, I've decided to share some lines from my handwritten journal here on the blog.

I realize that I am opening myself up to a lot by doing this, but please bear in mind that all of the lines shared here are random and you don't know the before, the after, or the context.  So they are random lines from a random place that I like the phrasing of or that just touches me.

I think they maybe took a wrong turn or two while I was in a completely different state.

This is as much a part of my journal as she is of me.  A little splash of mayhem. (written just below one of Madelyn's doodles)

Full belly + stinky breath + wine drowsiness = Fabulous Night!

Are you inclined to share bits from your journal?  Do so in the comments, or link to your own blog in the comments.

Book #1 - The List by Tara Ison


Image courtesy of google images
This was a pretty quick read and fairly engaging. 
 The story is about a couple who are toxic to one another but addicted to each other as well.  It's not your typical love story and just when you think you're figuring out the end, you realize you really had no clue. 
It didn't have a profound impact on my life, but I enjoyed the book and was easily lost in it.

Book 1 of 24 towards being able to rationalize getting an electronic book reader.

Next up: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Pen to the Paper


I started a blog so that I could express myself but all I really find myself doing is censoring what I put out there.  Thinking "nobody wants to read that" or "who cares?" so I've decided to take the pen to the paper and start journaling again, handwriting style.  It's cathartic and I don't have to censor myself.  What I'll be doing is pulling a few lines from the weeks journaling and sharing here.

The lines I choose will probably just be things that I liked the wording of, or recurring thoughts, or epiphanies of the week and there won't be any context to accompany them.  Just take and enjoy them for what they are - random lines from a random place.

If anybody wants to join, shout out and link up in the comments section and if there are enough, I'll start a linky party.  I think it'll be fun to see a slightly unedited side of us all.

I'll post the first on Monday.

Library visit - day 1 - Success!


So I went to the library this morning sans child and of course failed to make a list of any of the authors or book names I've seen on other peoples blogs (Candace...ahem).  As is my usual routine I was initially overwhelmed but I kept walking the aisles.  Our library has a "What's Hot" section and it's an "express" checkout so you only keep the book 7 days.   Everything on those shelves that I wanted to read seemed a little long for me to be able to commit to such a short time frame.  Remember, I'm just jumping back on this bicycle.

So, I know you're dying to know what I got.  First, here's what I didn't get.  Anything that started with "After ending her relationship of blahdy blah blah blah, Susie whositwhatsit goes on a journey to find herself and finds love where she least expects it".  Yeah.  I really have to be in just the right mood to read the same story written in a different city, voice, etc.

What I did get:
This looks to be a fun little read about a relationship gone awry.  I picked it because when I opened it, the page I opened to had an amusing argument on it.  So we'll see if the rest of the book reads this way.

The second book I got is one that I remember coming so close to buying that I actually thought I owned it several times but could never find it.  I really enjoy historical fiction especially WWII Germany or anything surrounding that era.

Stay tuned....

On reading


I LOVE to read.  I LOVE novels, fiction, non-fiction, whatever.  I truly enjoy immersing myself in a book but for some reason I have gotten away from it.  I don't know why.  The last book I purchased I read cover to cover in a matter of hours during a layover and flight with a two year old, so I know it's not something I've "outgrown", I just don't know where to start, or what book I want to read.  I get overwhelmed in a bookstore because the covers are so pretty and flashy and I can't make up my mind.  I'm underwhelmed in a library because it's just titles and authors showing, so unless I know what I want, I can't settle on something and be happy.  Something about my personality and always wondering if I'm choosing the BEST book for my time.  Yeah, I know...weirdo.

I'm not a rereader of books either, some classics I can, or if it's been YEARS since I read it but I get bored because I know what's going to happen next.

I want a Kindle (or nook) because all the cool kids have them but I can't justify getting one if I read one or two books a year.  So, I'm going to set a goal and I need book recommendations.  If I read an average of two books a month for the next 12 months I'm going to ask for a Kindle (or nook) for my birthday.

I'll be browsing Candace's book club choices but what do YOU recommend?

Way Back - All Dressed Up style


OK, so this isn't really all that way back, but it was October and I never did blog it so I'm linking up with

I LOVE dressing up for Halloween, and for the second time ever I talked Chris into a couple's costume. 
Kind of fitting for an MP huh?  :)

As an aside, does anybody else get ridiculously frustrated with Halloween costumes and the fact that they are either way trashy or way frumpy?  Where is the middle ground?  This "shirt" was actually a dress, but because my rear-end hangs low and wobbles to and fro I put on some pants, cause nobody needed to be that kind of scared on Halloween.

MilSpouse Weekly Roundup


Welcome Friends!Do you L-O-V-E somebody in the military?  Then this is totally the place for you.Please, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and make yourself comfortable. Hi!  I am Katrina aka Froggy Lady. I like frogs.  No really.  I do.The Lily Pad is my little space on the internet that I like to call home.  It's a place where I take off my shoes, relax and get a little crazy sometimes.I also like to visit Four Ribbons  and get my craft on.This is my Marine, he fights for freedom. That is HOT.  This is Madelyn.  She is three and keeps me on my toes and sometimes renders me speechless. So now that you know a little more about me, please link up so we all can get to know you!Oh and since we are all linked to the military somehow, you know there are rules.  Don't worry, they're super easy and fun!Link-up your favorite post from this past week with the little linky guy below.Yep that's it.Now, please, go, mingle, and leave some bloggy love for our fellow military spouse bloggers.Don't forget to check out next weeks host, the lovely Denise who has not one, not two, but Three Hands Full...[...]