Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day

There are 101 (okay, maybe 1001) different Memorial Day videos on YouTube.

Many of them have touching photos and music that stirs the soul.

I always cry when I watch them.

Even before I was a Navy wife, I was taught a love for the country of my birth.

But I choose this video to share with you....

not for the music or the photos,

but to help us remember.

It's not just an extra day off -



Asan Park, Guam - Memorial Day

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This is life....

Well, the blog has been a little low on posts lately - but things aren't really that hoppin' here.

Some of you know, I did have a birthday - it was fine.
Thank you for all the post on Facebook.

Mike took the day off and we went to breakfast after the kiddos left for school.

I had dental surgery the next day - so I spent most of my birthday making sure things were in order.

Laundry / dishes - you know the drill.

The surgery was supposed to be for a dental implant - but the bone needed to be grafted first to support the implant -  so.... I have a 4 month healing time and then we do it again in September.

Over Mother's Day weekend - I mostly took pain medicine and naps - which, actually - wasn't a bad gig.
Mike and Isaac went diving Sat. and I took the little people to see the Lorax at the base theater.
Sunday after church we went to the pool and out to dinner.   The foster girls' mom and siblings came to
church for Mother's Day.  It was very special and I was able to get some good snapshots.

The kids all made 3rd qtr. honor roll and I went to the assembly (ies) - but didn't take my camera.
They also got their results for standardized testing as well- most all scores rated above average.

Oddly enough - all three boys are in the same reading range.  I'm not sure if that's because the younger two always want to read whatever Michael is reading or just how it played out in testing this year.
I am going to do a post in a few days on the recommended summer reading list and see who has heard of / read / could recommend anything on the list - just 'cause - I can no longer keep up with PRE-reading their books for content like I did when they were younger.

A lot of military already moving / leaving the island - even though we have four weeks of school left.
It could be my imagination - but it seems like the work load (ie, homework) has decreased with the population of people.

In addition to saying good-bye - we are also starting to say hello - new neighbors behind us and a new family in the CEC (Civil Engineer Corp Wardroom)

We are also on countdown for a HOPEFUL military flight to visit family this summer.

Cross your fingers and say your prayers.

We are "on the list" for Space Available military flights going to Hawaii and then to CONUS.
We are hoping to get as close to Alabama as possible - and then rent a car, take a train or something to get us to my mom's house.

Anyone with SPACE "A" info. / tips - I'm open for any and all suggestions.

I hope everyone is enjoying their transition into summer and all the fun that summer brings!

Blessing from Guam to friends and family everywhere!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

JJ came home last week with a pink paper rolled up and tied with a ribbon.

It was an invitation printed in a fancy calligraphy font to a Mother's Day Tea at school.

She was beaming up at me -

I immediately had mixed emotions and wasn't sure what she was thinking.
(she's the quite one)

So I asked, "Do you want me to come, or do you want me to see if your mom can come?"

"I want you to come." she replied, "I'm scared for my mom to come."

"Scared? Why?"  I asked.

"I don't know" she said, "will you come?"

"Of course, I will come"  I said with more confidence as I placed the invite on the fridge.

For the next seven days, every time she opened the fridge -
"You're coming, right mom?"

"yes, I will be there"

"You will come?"

"Yes, I will come"

"Are you still coming?"

"I promise, I will be there"

What disappointments has a small child been through to be so unsure of promises made?

On the day of the event, I walked into the school cafeteria.
The children had made place mats for their moms and there was cookies and tea.

Each class had memorized a poem about moms and the entire 2nd grade learned a song in music class called, "Thanks Mom"

(*this isn't the McCool students - but it is the only video I could find of the song)

After they joined us at our seats for tea and cookies -
they had drawings and poems and all kinds of things to share.

Since the girls call their parents mom and dad and also call us mom and dad....
I am never sure when I see papers and notes that say, "I love mom" or
"I love dad" who they are directed to.

But it touched my heart that this one was meant for me.
My mom always says I love you.
My mom looks pretty when she puts on her dress.
My mom likes to cook.
My mom makes me laugh when she tickles me.
I love my mom because she adopted me.

Happy Mother's Day!
And her drawing of her family,
is the Thorntons.

God, help me - even in my own failures to show these kids just a glimpse of what it should be like to be loved unconditionally.  Please don't let me fail them in the short time they are here.  Help them to grow and be strong and confident and smart and work hard to provide for their own families one day.  Let them see me being selfless, instead of selfish where others needs are concerned.

And God - thank you for my own mother.  Who was always there.  Who came to every class party,
and every school performance and PTA meetings, and volunteered for making hundreds of cookies and painting backdrops, and selling stupid things like calendars and cheese for fund raisers and band trips.
For probably doing without something she wanted so I could have a prom dress or a class ring or during those years when times were tough - just a new pair of shoes.  I'm sorry I took those things for granted.  I naively thought all mothers did the things my mother did for me. 

Happy Mother's Day mom -
Thanks for everything - really - all of it.
I love you!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

cinco de mayo

While Americans celebrate big the 4th of July - our Independence Day,
we also celebrate for Mexico too!

Few Mexican cities celebrate this day (story link above)
and I doubt many Americans know the significance of the Battle of Puebla.  

Nonetheless,  American schools use it as a chance to teach about Mexico and it's culture
and I use it as an excuse to eat Mexican food - which is, my favorite!

Friday afternoon - TC and the other first graders had a performance at the school.
This is a child that loves attention and being in the center of it.
She was smiling non-stop and loved dancing around in the full skirt.

On Sat. there was a swim meet - so there was no time for Mexican food.

Michael and Zion both took time off their events.
50 free and 100 free for Michael.
50 free, back and breast for Zion.

Zion took 7 seconds off his 50 breast

time out at the meet for a crab in the pool - OOG!

50 back

50 free - Personal best - 28 (something) seconds.
AA time!  Good job Michael!

swim season is almost over -
It's getting hot with no breeze!
Final A/B championship
Memorial Day weekend
Zion is done - in more ways than one!

Good season boys!

Sunday was the cinco de mayo fiesta - the Cook family came down and there was good food and good friendship.  Missing the Scotts -  who are regulars at family events.  We will be accepting applications for their replacement soon.  It takes special people to hang out with us crazies!  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Academic Fair

CDR. William McCool Elementary / Middle School 2012 Academic Fair

I love that the school has a special night to come and see work from each child on display in one place (the cafeteria)   It's much easier for a mother of five than going from class to class.....

(*Just sayin')

First grade - TC's report
Zion's class - some interesting writing pieces....

Science class - water bottle rockets

Isaac's rocket (thank you Lord I'm married to an engineer)

Michael's project - using our dog Mia as a tester for dog toys

That's a sweet dog!

Isaac's report on Ancient China

Zion's class presented as a "Wax Museum"They each had to pick a historical person and memorize a first person speech about them.
You walked up to the student and pressed the button on the floor to hear
the "wax statue" tell about himself.
Honest Ab
Ben Franklin

Rosa Parks
Sir Isaac Newton

The middle school students had a "hands on" timed challenge
to use recycled items to build a rocket.

Isaac's rocket in action......(*many test flights and many modifications)
Did I already mention how thankful I am that Mike is an engineer??

A good night - Thanks McCool!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Love you Scotts!

Saying good-bye to dear friends is, by far, the hardest part of military life.

The packing / unpacking /repacking
 / purging / reorganizing,
new schools,
new dentist,
records and papers,
driving across the country,
or shipping a car across the ocean
.. .... all pales in comparison.

Knowing this guy 14 years ago as a single dude....
and then getting to see him again here in Guam,

getting to know his wife,
his daughter
and watch them add a son to their family,

Such a blessing!

Lots of love to Laurie, Anita, Ally and Tony
from the Thornton Tribe

Make your own pizza night at the Thorntons

half-time at one of Michael's soccer games

pre Seabee Ball Ultimate

Seabee Ball 2011

Perimeter Run 2011

430 am - aren't we excited!  

Little man arrives

Gym buddies - like we thought we could work out with 2 month olds??

Soccer Time!

Hail and Farewell at Bruce and Christine's 

Halloween 2011

Birthday time!

November 2011

beach fun at GabGab with the gang

HO! HO! HO!  

Christmas Caroling (attempt)

Isaac and Laurie's bowling party
(da boyz, minus Tony)
Crashing Jeff's place!

"da girls"  (minus Annie)

Monday morning play dates at Auntie Melda's 

This is classic - rainy Guam day - plan B - including beer and the statement, "I can still break dance"

Ally's Christmas Performance

Tony digging the tunes too.....

Tony and Mia