Friday, January 29, 2010

A home for dirt and puzzles

'Member me saying that I didn't feel like doing much of anything after Mike left?

That I was feeling blah and had lost motivation?

It's back

in the form of gardening.

But no gardening can be done without first preparing the soil.

And no soil prep can be done until you prepare the site. In this case the site is a box made out of old fence posts.

Hannah and I worked and worked. Dustin came over and posed for this shot.

Hannah with a drill. See the focus on her face?

Dustin begged us to let him use the staple gun... ok, ok...

and then he begged us to let him drill the holes for drainage.

I don't know how Dustin got in so many pictures. It's like he built the thing.... hmm.
Becca checking out the workmanship. I approve.
In fact, I'm ecstatic. Now to paint it and put the dirt in.

After our success with the garden box we were inspired to build a bookshelf that we badly need downstairs. It will hold puzzles and art supplies. The idea is to build something that can one day be moved up to a boys room and used as anything from toy storage to a TV stand... Jack, Dad and I haven't discussed whether or not you will ever have a TV in your room, so don't think this is set in stone. It could always be used as an encyclopedia stand.
So far we've borrowed a really cool saw, bought wood and screws and come up with a blueprint.
Hannah couldn't let our blueprint just be blue so she whipped this up on photo shop.
We'll see in a week or so how things really turn out.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Household 2010

My Fellow Americans,

I'm happy to bring you a good report on the state of the Ellis household.

The husband is overseas fearlessly supplying aid to the soldiers on the ground. He is spending lots of time in the gym and little time at the desert bar. Mike's "hard" body is going to give those rocky [can't name the country] mountains a run for their money.

The wife is no where near the gym and her body is rapidly heading in the other direction. 18 pounds to date. I'm happy to tell you that her mental state is much improved. She is now settling into the cycle of the deployment and is becoming quite "fat and happy" as a result of our new housemate.

Jack is turning into quite the helper. He is always asking for jobs to do. Today he helped me make pumpkin muffins. He's getting tall and articulate.

Ty is potty training and is doing (cross fingers, hold breath) exceptionally well. He learned in a matter of a couple days how to "hold it" till we get to the potty. He even told his teacher at MDO yesterday that he needed to go #2 in the potty. Wow. I can't believe it. If this turns out to be successful then I'm sure we will have a relapse when new baby arrives. It's ridiculously easy right now.

My secret?

A gumball machine filled with peanut M&M's (cause they aren't as messy nor bad for your teeth as gumballs)

This might also have something to do with Jack's vigor for work.

Hannah is (and this is me speaking for her), loving every minute of her time here. She jumps up out of bed in the morning and comes and hangs out with us. Coffee, eggs, tomato, spinach and toast is a common breakfast at the house. She has her own room and constantly fights the dogs over the territory. She has a part time job at MDO with the boys.

As for the dogs, Mamie is shaved and wearing a sweater. Ike looks like a fur ball and will get his hair cut soon.

My fellow Americans, we will continue to work together to make this country a place where children happily build train sets and work puzzles, where dogs are treated as dogs, and where grown ups drink lots of coffee and share food with their neighbors.

Thank you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Secret Agent Girl...

We went to a special office to get Hannah a pass good for the duration of her stay.

She came home with more security clearance than Obama.

Her new title is: AGENT (and you must say it in all caps) Hannah Boshart.

And it expires in 11.

We're not sure if that's 2011 or 2111... we figure we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

So if anyone needs anything done militarily, she's the one to see.

Ahh Dang, she just ran out of the house... mumbled something about Bauer and nukes on US soil... something like that.

I hope she's back in time to get supper ready...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Potty Training will wear you out

Ty at naptime today. Yes, he's asleep.

See the below video if you are interested in Ty's excitment over his new "Handy Manny" underware.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Needing a Wash

I've got a list of things I want to get cleaned during this special, once-in-a-lifetime chapter of my life where I have a nanny/cook/errand girl/maid also known as Hannah.

I want the pantry organized, I want my maternity clothes dealt with, I want the boys clothes gone through and I want the van detailed.

I've been itching to get outside and work. I'm just like my mother. The sunshine and fresh air is therapeutic. I needed to do something to help get over this little "funk" I'm in since Mike left. I've been feeling unmotivated and blah.

Being pregnant with two toddlers and driving a trashed out minivan can put you in a funk all by itself --without Dad having to leave.

The only thing I can fix about that is the trashed out part of the minivan.

So Hannah and I set to work. She worked the inside widows while I (and my little "helpers") did the outside.

I'm scrubbing away on the passenger side door having already directed the boys to stay away from the hose and to not spill the bucket of soapy water.

I glance up to see Jack standing about 5 feet away with the spray nozzle aiming right at me. He's looking up at me with a look I've never seen from him before. It was serious. As if he'd just been transferred to the front lines in a battle. I was the enemy and he was the hero. I put my hand up toward him to signal "stop" or "don't do that". Never dreaming that he would spray me. --I really had no idea he would pull the trigger.

But his little mind was in the zone. The war zone. No amount of pleading for mercy from me was going to affect his determination to carry out his duty. He had to.

He did.

He shot me square in the heart. The nozzel was set on "shower" so he also managed to wet my face and entire torso.

Anger welled up in me as I quickly tried to process what happened, figure out how to express my displeasure and decide how to punish.

"Ahh... Jack!!! Stop that!! You got me all wet!!! ... Go sit on the porch!!!"

That's what I came up with.

It was as if you could see Jack being transported back to Montana Street --instantly.

His eyes changed from the "soldier" look to an "oh my gosh what have I done" look.

He put down the hose and walked over to the porch.

He didn't say anything.

Ty hearing the tone in my voice decided it would be the safest for him to comply with whatever instructions I'd just given Jack, so he went over and squatted beside Jack.

You know what he says right after Hannah took these pictures?
I think he'd been sitting there on the porch trying to come up with an explanation for when I asked him, "Why did you do that?"
He couldn't tell me about the war he'd been fighting. I'd never buy it.
He couldn't tell me, "I'm just a boy, this is what we do," cause he doesn't yet know it.
So he just blurts out:
"I thought you needed a wash."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ty's 2nd Birthday Party


I am hoping you will be able to see all these pictures soon. I know you can't watch video and I wasn't sure if a slideshow would work, so I just posted the best 16 or so. I have more on facebook if you want to see others. We miss you, but the guys had fun anyway. Jim came with his family and he played with Ty a lot! It was great to see the boys get to wrestle. Dad's here so they are getting plenty of rough-housing in. Can't wait to talk to you on the phone!

Jack wanted a piece of cake SO bad! I think he is smiling for the camera cause he knows the cooperating will get him one step closer to cake.

Ty being all shy when he realized everyone was watching him.

He started blowing even before the candles were lit.

He huffed and he puffed and finally got them blown out.

Pointing to the piece he wants.

The kids loved the cake... that is before they tasted it. The icing didn't taste very good at all. But it wasn't supposed to really.

Playing with one of the constructions trucks from Mema and Big Dad.

Making Ty's cake

I'm going to show ya'll pictures of all the steps involved in making Ty's birthday cake.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sweet boys

I'm getting beat up.

From the inside.

My sweet little boy is running around in my tummy.

I can't wait to hold him!

My oldest two have been such a joy to me today. I ALWAYS love my boys and I most always enjoy them, but they just warmed my heart today. That (warming of the heart) isn't supposed to happen until you have grandchildren...

Maybe it was because it was a Thursday and we spend a decent time away from eachother on Thursdays. Or maybe cause they remind me of Mike and I really miss him. Or maybe because I subconciously knew to be thankful that I don't have to spend months away from not only my spouse but also my children.

Or maybe I just like the kids and need to stop trying to figure everything out.

Today is Ty's birthday.

I officially have a two-year-old and a three-year-old and really bad heartburn. ouch.

Ty's teacher at MDO told me he had been especially sweet today.

At naptime as he lie in the bed he kept looking at her and saying, "Hi Debbie, [Hi Ty]... Hi Debbie, [Hi Ty]... Hi Debbie [Hi Ty] ... I love you!"

Tonight at bed time Ty kept asking me to hold him in the chair, while pointing to a rocking chair.
He loves being loved and he loves loving.

I wonder what God has in store for this little boy.

Ty, I love you so and am so glad you are my little boy.

Happy Birthday buddy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Deployment #4


I wasn't expecting this.

This goodbye was much like the first one.

We are getting so good at "goodbyes" that I was expecting a smooth transition --internally.

Not so.

And I think I know why this one has been as rough as the first, both took place during pregnancies.

I've got a lump in my throat and tears trying hard to burst forth.

I don't even know why... I mean, I do know why, but I usually don't react this way.

The last two days have been exhausting. One might think that the last 48 before your love leaves would be wonderful and special. You stay up as late as possible, anything to not let it end. You know, like on the movies (Pearl Harbor comes to mind.) Not so.

The last couple days you fake it. You act like everything is happy and fun. You force a laugh at even the lamest of jokes. You are positive. You are brave. You are carefree.

But you really aren't.

You've got a deployment staring you in the face. A dangerous mission. Questions about the future that haven't even come up. You just know they are there. How will this one go? The start of every deployment is the abrupt end of one chapter of life and the forced start of another.

Yet you have to be happy.

I don't like being a fake. It's so tiring. I think I may have made myself sick. My stomach has been really weird for about 6 days now. I haven't eaten much cause almost every time I do eat I regret it.

So here I am, recouping.

Lying in bed.

I haven't done a thing today.

A dear friend came and spent the day with me. What a blessing. Hannah, my sis, got here at noon. She will be spending some or all of the deployment here with me. I can't even tell you how much this will help me. She's so good with the boys and like all of my siblings, she is a hard worker. I'm so blessed that my parents have taught all of us how to work. I can always look forward to and enjoy when they come to visit because I know none of them will be a burden.

But I'm still down today. It's irritating. I want to jump in with both feet and get moving on this new chapter. I think I'll title it: "The Deployment I had a wife."

I want to be joyful and strong and brave and all those other good things. I want them to characterize me, even in tough times.

I don't see any advantage to sitting around being glum. But I'm not sure if I need to let myself mourn or force myself to jump right up and get to doing things. Then there's the whole pregnancy factor, how does that or even does that change anything?

I'm hoping that very soon, maybe even tomorrow, I will feel ready to go. Ready to live life. I can't just sit out till this one's over, other wise I will spend half my life of the bench.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Things My Parents have Taught Me

I'm starting a new column. It will be called: things my parents have taught me.

Fairly often I will be doing something around the house and hear my parents' voice in my ears.

Sometimes it's an admonishing tone as in:
"Don't leave those children in the bathtub unattended."

Most of the time it is simple advice or instruction that I have heard them say over and over and over --because it took that many times for me and my siblings to get it.

Here is one of my favorites:

"Always leave a room cleaner than when you entered it."

Let that sink in for a second.

If everyone adheres to that "rule" then your house will always be clean. Not everyone adheres to it at my house. In fact, I don't think I've ever told anyone at my house about it... yet!

One way I have applied that is when I walk into a room to put something away, I look around and grab something else out of the room that doesn't belong in it.

Talk about saving steps!

It's brilliant.

Mom did you come up with this on your own???

It also trains you to be: observant, intentional, slow enough paced in life that you have time to be tidy, considerate of others living with you.

Thanks Mom, thanks for saying it a million times. Thanks for training us to pick up our junk.

Kids dressing themselves #4

"Jack, go upstairs and get a pair of your underware." --he's becoming increasingly helpful lately.

"Look Mommy, it's on my head" :-)

Later that day, he comes down the stairs and I quote:

"My feet are in your shoes, that will make them warm and toasty." :-)
(see below)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's a ...

From a literary sense it couldn't be any better --I don't have to come up with a new title for my blog.

From a traveling standpoint it's great. There is still no point in our foreseeable future where we will need to stop at a restroom for one of the kids to relieve themselves.

As far as logistics, this should be a smooth transition.

Materials? We are covered. We've got trains, cars and shirts with puppy dogs on them --enough to suit a dozen boys.

Looks like I am going to get more use out of those expensive shoes I like to buy.

The negatives, however, include the food budget. I hear teenage boys eat a lot --as do their friends.

Another would be date nights in 17 years. The guys can't ALL borrow the car.

This poor little one is going to have to wear clothes that are so faded you won't be able to see the logo on them. But maybe that will be the style.

If this family is anything like the older generation of Ellises, this guy might one day find himself tied to a tree.

And my biggest concern:

Who will I talk to when all these boys move out of the house?!?! Will these guys ever call me? And do I want my sons to turn into a man who calls his mama every other day?

I hope my sisters still like me at that point... I'll need someone to talk to.

Really though, I knew this one was another boy.... And I'm thrilled!

If you are wondering what his name will be, just ask Jack. He'll tell you:

"Daddy and Mama are going to come up with a plan."

-and we'll tell everyone as soon as he arrives