Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

Before I had kids I read an article about how easily children can get lost in a crowd. Now that I have kids this is one of my biggest fears, but I have always remembered that one of the tips was to take a photo (obviously digital works best) before starting your day. That way if your child gets lost you can show what he or she looks like and what they are wearing.

And so, before we started our day I tried to remember to get a photo. At least the days that made me nervous about kids getting lost. These are an example of the first photos I took on each day of our week with Aunty Mel.

At the aquarium I forgot before we went in because it was cool and rainy, but I did take this one soon after we got in. There was not alot of people there, so I wasn't too nervous.

I completely forgot the day we went to the zoo. Probably because I had already been to this zoo twice before and knew the layout. I also knew from the large number of empty spaces that there were not alot of people there that day. It was not a nervous day for me and so I did not take one of the three of them early on, but did get this one later in the day. As you can see, we pretty much had the place to ourselves!

The next day was spent on a boat, my nervousness was not due to losing a kid in a crowd this time. Oh no - I was much more nervous about one of them falling over board. As the trip went on I began to be very thankful that it was quite a rough day on the ocean making for quite a rough ride. The kids were pretty good at staying close and being clingy. Fine with me!

Then we went to the beach. There was not another vehicle in the public access parking lot. Again, it was not a nervous day for me.

But then there was Busch Gardens. Nervous? Oh yes! I took a photo as soon as I could!

We were all very excited to be going back to the beach. Carlee asked me if we could pick more shells for Papa. I laughed at her and told her that this time we would be picking shells for Aunty Mel. The water wasn't nearly as cold this time and Sam was brave for awhile - at least until a wave landed right in his face. That was the end of playing in the surf!

The rest of the time they spent looking for shells, running up and down the dunes, and digging in the sand which included be buried in the sand. Carlee and Ben actually started that idea when Ben jumped in a hole and started to cover himself with sand. Carlee thought this was a good idea and began to help him. Of course I had to help out and buried them all, but Ben would not stay buried long enough to get a photo of all of them buried at the same time. Oh well it was a fun day anyways, complete with ice cream for supper!

One of the things that Mel wanted to do while she was here was go out on a Whale watching tour. Unfortunately the whales were not here right now, but I was able to find a place that went out to see dolphins.

It started out with three very scared kids when the huge boat engine started. I couldn't help but laugh at the looks on their faces and then Sam had such a tight hold on my hand my fingers started to turn blue!

The tour was really good and we got to see several dolphins. However,as you can see, it is nearly impossible to get a good photo of dolphins in the water. I did take a short video though and you can see a bit of what we saw. It was pretty rough out there that day so it is not a very steady video! There was a benefit to the rough ride because about half way through the ride both Sam and Carlee were lulled to sleep! Ben was too busy talking about the huge ships we could see.


My Husband Rocks!

Today I was blessed to be present at my hubby's USCG Commissioning Ceremony. He was promoted from the rank of Chief Petty Officer to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. This is a huge step for him as he moves from enlisted to a commissioned officer.
The ceremony began with a discussion from the Captain about the importance of moving into this rank. Including that he will never be able to return to the enlisted ranks and he can now move up through the officer ranks. Then they read the promotion certificate and he took the commissioning oath.

I was also very honored to be asked to place one of his new shoulder boards. I didn't know that I was going to be asked to do this and I was kicking myself that I had not drilled hubby about what would actually be occurring. I know absolutely nothing about rank pins, ensignia and all that stuff and so I was worried I was going to put it on upside down or some other major faux pas. But thankfully I was smart enough to be observant to what was happening on his other shoulder!!

Unfortunately we did not get any pictures of any of this. I had the camera with me but there was something silly rule about "being in a classified space and no recording devices allowed". So when the ceremony started I repressed the urge to bolt for my camera!

I tried to listen to the ceremony as much as possible and did manage to absorb most of it. Of course I was distracted by trying to keep some sense of control over the kids. They were having difficulty with the whole idea of "stand still and keep quiet". Although someone told hubby later that they were impressed with Carlee when she plastered Sam against the wall after he pushed her. LOL she's Daddy's girl!!

I am so very proud of him and the strides he is making in his military career and I am so blessed that he is such a wonderful husband and an incredible Daddy.

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The next day, we took Aunty Mel to the zoo. We put our annual pass to good use! And because the day was a little cool and also a Tuesday we practically had the place to ourselves. It was great! Here are some of the photos I got that day.

I asked them each "What was your favorite animal at the zoo?"

Sam said "my favorite animal was a pea-hawk"

Ben said "sharks, but sharks don't like kids. Sharks are bad" hmmm those sharks at the aquarium must have made quite an impression!

Carlee wouldn't say, she was grumpy when I asked. But I know that she enjoyed feeding the goats and watching the giraffes. While we were at the giraffes she told me "Giraffes are so Tall and they have stripes"









I liked watching the MeerKats and I love the photos I got of them! One was sunbathing while the other was standing at attention watching for danger!


I still don't have words for this - they did have fun though!





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I thought these would be good for the A Thousand Words Thursday post as well, just so I would have the excuse to include a description of that day. I was working inside on the computer and the kids were outside with Daddy and Mimi (my Mom). At one point I heard some loud screaming - the type that toddlers make when they are having too much fun! And so I mistakenly took a look out the window and too my utter astonishment say three naked children, covered in mud, one dancing joyfully, one rolling in a mud puddle, and one throwing mud. If you know my kids, you can probably figure out who was doing what.

Meanwhile Daddy was doing whatever task he was doing like nothing was wrong - not real shocking. But what did shock me was Mimi happily enjoying the entertainment of her grandchildren having the time of their lives.

And so what could I do but grab my camera. At some point I realized this was the perfect opportuntiy to get the photo I have been missing...

A couple years ago I was given some very precious photos of hubby when he was little and some of his family. One of them was of his mom when she was little with a bare butt and another one of hubby when he was little with a bare butt. He told me that his mom wanted to enlarge those photos and have them hanging in the bathroom. I thought this was a fantastic idea and some day I will do it. But to expand on her idea I wanted to have a bare butt picture of our kids as well. And so this was the time to get it! Some day in my spare time I will have all of them (and one of me when I was little standing in the toilet with my jammies on) on the walls of our bathroom!

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Last week our time with Aunty Mel started off with a trip to the aquarium.

Sam was fascinated with the map


I didn't get alot of great photos because alot of the areas were very dark and the camera flash reflected badly, but to give you an idea here are a couple of the "spooooky" sharks we saw. Also Ben & Carlee's reactions, it was priceless!





At this aquarium there is a nature walk through a marsh area. At one point there was a replica of a nest with a black egg in it. You can see the egg in the first picture - and no Ben didn't fall out, he just lost his balance a little and I happened to capture Sam's response. The funniest thing was that they all got into the nest and took turns sitting on the egg! I never told them to do it, they just knew that they should sit on the egg.



I came across this questionaire on another blog and thought it would be interesting to see how my kids would answer.

Here are Sam's responses:
1. What is something mama always says to you?
If you don’t listen you will get hot sauce in your mouth and if Daddy gives you lots... gives us lots and lots of hot sauce in your mouth then maybe you will drink your milk

2.What makes mama happy?
He mischieviously grins and says “hot sauce”
of course I laugh and say, no seriously what makes mama happy. He then says “Sam and Carlee and Ben”

3.What makes mama sad?
I don’t know

4.How does mama make you laugh?
Tickelllin and get daddy to gives us a horsey ride and we do that all the time

5. What was mama like as a child?
He responds with gibberish talk and runs away... we continue later

6. How old is mama?
quite a days

7. How tall is mama?
points to the sky and says "is that how tall daddy is, how tall is daddy?"

8. What is mamas favorite thing to do?
computer stuff

9. What does mama do when you are sleeping?
shrugs then says "I don't know. do you know? I don't know. I don't know mama. Do you know?" then points to the screen as I'm typing and says "what does that say mama?"

10.If mama becomes famous what will it be for?
shrugs then says "I don't know. Do you know?"

11. What is mama really good at?
hmmmm ummm uh mmmm oh! whisper it in my ear then I will know

12. What is mama not very good at?
ummmmm tummy ache

13. What does mama do for a job?
I dont know, sweeping the floor

14. What is mamas favorite food?
supper, bread and cereal and ronies and a burger

15. What makes you proud of mama?
I dont know. ummmm Oh! Hugs mama! Does hugs make us proud?

16. If mama was a cartoon character, who would she be?
mama

17.What do you and mama do together?
watch cartoons

18. How are you and mama the same?
Our eyes, what color are our eyes?

19.How are you and mama different?
I dont know, different clothes. Mama hey look these different color shorts and shirts match

20.How do you know mama loves you?
runs away...
later his answer is "I don't remember"


Carlee's responses
1. What is something mama always says to you?
no touchin

2.What makes mama happy?
thinks very hard... "put the lid on, if I take the lid off then you get upset"

3.What makes mama sad?
smiles sweetly and shrugs

4.How does mama make you laugh?
the bafroom make you laugh


5. What was mama like as a child?
go outside

6. How old is mama?
six and a half

7. How tall is mama?
big

8. What is mamas favorite thing to do?
work outside

9. What does mama do when you are sleeping?
close your eyes

10.If mama becomes famous what will it be for?
looks around thinking, then giggles

11. What is mama really good at?
shrugs and grins

12. What is mama not very good at?
shrugs

13. What does mama do for a job?
points outside

14. What is mamas favorite food?
your food is your lunch

15. What makes you proud of mama?
shrugs

16. If mama was a cartoon character, who would she be?
a girl

17.What do you and mama do together?
bounce the balls

18. How are you and mama the same?
girls

19.How are you and mama different?
points back and forth then says big and little

20.How do you know mama loves you?
a great big smile and then says kisses and loves


Ben's responses:
1. What is something mama always says to you?
bigeee boogoo (typical gibberish talk) then he sees a picture of a boat and says
mmmmm what does boats do. I have to show you boats. That is boat mama???

2.What makes mama happy?
boats

3.What makes mama sad?
boats

4.How does mama make you laugh?
like this, then giggles as he wiggles in the chair


5. What was mama like as a child?
castles

6. How old is mama?
boogoo ... boogoo means boop

7. How tall is mama?
what these do in water? these boats?

8. What is mamas favorite thing to do?
type

9. What does mama do when you are sleeping?
noise, get noisy, get noisy, get noise

10.If mama becomes famous what will it be for?
tiger

11. What is mama really good at?
boogoo

12. What is mama not very good at?
tigers

13. What does mama do for a job?
tiger

14. What is mamas favorite food?
supper

15. What makes you proud of mama?
boats

16. If mama was a cartoon character, who would she be?
runs away.... but soon comes back

17.What do you and mama do together?
you give somefing for me

18. How are you and mama the same?
togedder, togedder, togedder

19.How are you and mama different?
mischeiviously giggles...togedder

20.How do you know mama loves you?
giggles...togedder

of course Daddy had to know what was going on, so I asked him the same questions. Afterall he is like my fourth child!
1. What is something mama always says to you?
laughs when he says "Not now"

2.What makes mama happy?
When I listen to her when she says not now
actually I would say when the kids laugh

3.What makes mama sad?
A dirty house

4.How does mama make you laugh?
When she laughs

5. What was mama like as a child?
Like Carlee

6. How old is mama?
36 (I say OH your wrong!)
your 37?
I always count two years less than me. So that means you are more than two years younger, no less than years...Damn woman you are almost 40!

7. How tall is mama?
Officially or whats in mamas head?
Mama is 5 foot tall but she likes to bull**** people and say she is 5 foot 1
(which of course is not true! I always say I am 5 foot nothing! I just happened to be excited when they measureed me as 5 foot 1 at my first OB appointment when he was with me)

8. What is mamas favorite thing to do?
Read in bed
(then laughs and adds) with a shrimp cocktail, French fries and a bag of salt of vinegar chips with a pepsi in a freezie cup with a side of reeses peanut butter cups

9. What does mama do when you are sleeping?
At this point Ben comes into the room decides to add his comments again and “says eat grass”. They then have a conversaion about how cows eat grass and piggies play in the dirt. I ask the question again and Daddy says watch tv

10.If mama becomes famous what will it be for?
bread

11. What is mama really good at?
baking

12. What is mama not very good at?
Cooking, (laughs) just kidding
(interesting that he did not add anything further to this answer)

13. What does mama do for a job?
Mommy is a job

14. What is mamas favorite food?
I think we have already answered that...but shrimp, French fries, salt & vinegar chips, pepsi, reeses peanut butter cups, plain jane ice cream with caramel sauce, and Red Lobster cheese biscuits

15. What makes you proud of mama?
Everything she does

16. If mama was a cartoon character, who would she be?
(Thinking..thinking...still thinking) I am kinda going through all the cartoon characters
He then says to Sam "I don’t think we should say Benny the Bull or Swiper"
I don’t think you would like goofy or Donald duck
Alicia, diego’s sister

17.What do you and mama do together?
Raise a family

18. How are you and mama the same?
Love

19.How are you and mama different?
Physically or what?
Mommy likes tomatos – they are disgusting
Mommy has hair

20.How do you know mama loves you?
Through everything she does

This is backtracking a little to when my parents were here at the end of April. One beautiful morning we decided to take a drive to the beach. I took alot of pictures that day! Here are some of them...

When we finally got down to the beach the kids literally ran in circles they were so excited.


They calmed down long enough to go for a beach stroll


and even paused long enough to check out the "sea monster"


The water was super cold but Sam was brave enough to get his feet in the waves


They all picked sea shells for Papa, but Carlee was really on a mission!




Meanwhile the boys were running up and down the sand dunes


They had fun!



And then we had ice cream for supper!

This last week we were thrilled to have my cousin Mel visiting us. We had alot of fun during our very busy week. I will post more details and more pictures of each day later. But here is a summary (and also the reason why I have not posted for a few days again)

Monday we went to the aquarium
Tuesday to the zoo
Wednesday on a boat tour to see dolphins
Thursday to the beach
Friday to Busch Gardens

whew... it was a busy week. I can hardly wait until she comes back next year!!

Before she left though, I downloaded all the pictures she took onto my computer. When I looked through them I found these two among all the others. Can you tell she is single? Haha Mel you are hilarous I literally laughed out loud!!


Hmmm I must admit that I also took a second glance at this fisherman!!