Sunday, January 31, 2010

It (finally) Happened to Me

These photos have nothing to do with today.  These are from 28 months ago.  Why are they here?  First, they make me smile.  Second, I couldn't post without images ... keep reading, you'll find out why I have none from today.  Oh, and this is our cat, Ellie.

So today the sun came out.  That GLORIOUS sunshine.  All the way home from church Richard and I talked about how beautiful it was and how we couldn't wait to get outside with the girls.  While the temperature was still mid 30's to low 40's, it didn't feel as cold as it does when it is overcast ... or maybe it just didn't matter.  It was nice to be out and be refreshed by the light.  The girls grabbed their bikes and scooters and I grabbed my camera.  I got some wonderful images of them playing (of Richard FINALLY finishing taking Christmas lights out of the trees) and of Richard pushing Olivia on the swing and down the slide.  Olivia's joy was pure and it was uncontainable.  On her face was the grin of a little girl without a care or a need. Her face was the face of a little girl at peace with both a Momma and a Daddy to love on her and spend time with her.  As I captured the images I thought about how nice it was to have them.  How nice that Richard was home and not deployed or on TDY somewhere so that he could be there to experience those moments ... however, as it has happened to so many that I know, it has now happened to me.  My camera had some sort of meltdown or something and the proof of my day was gone.  I am heartbroken to say the least!  How could this happen?! Oh well.  I am posting anyway because I want to remember the wonderful, ordinary afternoon in the sun.  How often we take these moments for granted.  If Richard would have been home the last 7 years, rather than gone, I just might have taken them for granted, too.  

As I curled up with Hanson Ellis tonight  and read out loud a chapter of Mary Poppins Comes Back, I noticed how big she's gotten.  I remember so many nights of her curling up next to me and just how tiny she was.  I remember her little voice ... Where has the time gone?  We can't stop it or slow it down.  I am thankful I still have some years left with her under my wing.  And I'm thankful for the reminder that "they grow up fast."  When I grow weary of teaching yet another one to read or how to write their name or "when you add two to an even number you get the next even number..." I can remember that one day they, too, will be too big to curl up under my arm as I read to them.  They'll be too big all too soon.  I hope I soak as much up as I can before that time comes ... with or without the images captured by my camera.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good (from start to finish)

My day today started early.  Richard woke me at five with a kiss and the words "Coffee's going, the fire's on ... I've got Officer P.T. ... I've gotta go.  Love you."  Even though it was cold outside (and while I was warm inside it was one of those days that you just know how cold it is outside), I decided to get up and enjoy listening and smelling the coffee brewing, as well as a few quiet moments by the fire praying and reading.  It always amazes me how much more refreshed I am when I am up early and am able to have a moment to gather my thoughts and just sit and think about the day God has prepared for me.  
The pleasant start of the day must have filtered upstairs, because Hanson Ellis woke up in a great mood, too!  It is my habit to call Momma each morning as I prepare the girls breakfast.  Hanson Ellis knows this well and strategically placed this note where I wouldn't miss it ...

what a sweet thought!  I am so happy to have children still young enough to leave little notes.  I hope they never grow out of this.

The rest of our day was pleasant as well.  We put off starting school until after a trip to the craft store to get some supplies for Valentine's treats.  Here is a sneak peak at what we are working on ...

more to come a little closer to the 14th!  

As for tonight ... I was pleased at being able to rent a video for a buck-o-five for the older girls to stay up and watch.  It is a treat to be able to hear them giggle with delight simultaneously! And it is also a treat to have some time at home to talk to Richard without any interruptions.  He heads up to VA in five days to meet with a senior ranking officer who read an article that he wrote and that was published in the Armed Forces Journal.  We are not sure what the outcome of the meeting will be ... a temporary duty assignment, a move ... 
I am excited for Richard.  This is a huge honor for him.  But I am praying for God to continue to direct our paths and fill our hearts with peace for the plans He has for us. 


L-O-V-E-Sweet Little Dolly

I just saw this on etsy in littlebitfunky's shop ... what a fun thing to surprise a little girl with this Valentine's Day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Sometimes just grabbing the camera helps me to remember that things are wonderful.  Thursdays are "family days" at the post to which my husband is assigned.  This simply means he's home by 4.  Very nice and very rare in the military.  It is nice to have him home in time to spend some time with the girls outside.  We definitely don't take that 30/40 minutes for granted.  
Today was just one of those days where I longed for the early days of homeschooling with just little ones.  School was fun with just one in school and others young enough to just play with baby dolls and color by my side.  And then let's not forget naps!!  How nice it was to have two sleeping and one helping me fold laundry while we discussed addition facts.  I'm not going to say that I took those days for granted. Oh, I knew how good they were and I soaked it all in, trust me!  I can remember staying up very late planning out the perfect next day of school.  I had a smaller house to clean and fewer children to keep up with.  Only one child was in after school activities and we lived on post so everything was all too convenient.  Story time was much simpler, too, for the younger ones, which allowed me the luxury of curling up with my oldest for an hour or so in her bed and read through countless books.  I still read to my oldest, who is now 11.  We always have one book that is "just ours."  We don't get to it daily, though.  Maybe that makes it sweeter ... but anyway, I yearn for those days sometimes so much.  I still haven't found the "quiet" in raising five.  I know it's there and I know memories that I'll later look back on with similar affection are there, too.  Time with Daddy outside tonight before dinner just might be one of those.  I see Kate jumping off the stairs and just thinking she has come up with "a good idea" and loving every minute of it.  I was loving every minute of it, too.  Days (things) are never the same or as good as we want, as good as we remember, or as good as we deserve, but ... they sure are wonderful.  

Sunday, January 24, 2010

57 (a year plus a couple of days)

It's been a little over a year since we moved into our home, which I affectionately refer to as "57." It really seems like we've lived here much longer.  It has been exciting living in a "real" home in a "real" neighborhood.  (But I must say, the girls and I do miss the military community greatly).  It is nice to live in a single dwelling and it is nice to not have mold.  And believe me, if you've ever lived in military housing, you'd understand about the mold.  I am thankful for our experiences up to this point.  I know God has given me a greater appreciation for 57 than I would have had otherwise.  That said, nesting has never been so hectic, tiring and seemingly endless!  Whenever I feel defeated, I just think back to where we've lived before (a THIRD at least of the living space we have here) and I remind myself that Richard's been away most of the year and between homeschooling, soccer, tennis, guitar, choir, and ballet lessons, along with trying to find my way around this area and the normal day to day of cooking, cleaning, dressing, redressing, changing diapers, potty training, teeth brushing, hand washing, laundry folding and lessons on everything from how to swing without Momma pushing to how to throw a football to how to tie your shoes ... I've not had a lot of time.  It is nice to look back to where we were and see the blessing of where we are now.  I have a friend who used to say "there is still much to be desired."  Yes, I suppose there is, but at the end of the day, I am so thankful for a roof over my head, five sleeping sweet little girls, a husband who never forgets to tell me that he loves me and a God who gives me strength to get up and "do it all again" the next day.
 here is a little history of from where we've come ... 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Beginning & Shrinky Dinks

 The past year I've been spending an increasing amount of time in the blog world.  Upon yet another suggestion by my husband, I've decided to jump in.  My husband is in the Army, therefore moves are frequent and deployments are often.  It is my hope that this blog will help keep him in the know as well as family that we've left, and friends that are scattered current and connected with our lives (and theirs as well).  It is also my hope that this blog will bring about a little therapy for a homeschooling mother of five who is somewhat continuously either engrossed or just consumed by the goings on in these four walls ... i.e. the trenches.  

To God be the Glory!
mary katharine

shrinky dinks 

Patterson got some Shrinky Dinks for Christmas.  It was another cold and gloomy day, and the two little ones were asleep, so we decided it was time to open up the box and get to work.   A lot of fun, but I will say a little stressful!  Have you ever done these??!!  They twist and curl and shrink and lay back flat all in a matter of 2-3 minutes (which actually seem like 2-3 seconds with all of the intensity and anxiousness in our kitchen!!).  Definitely  a fun activity, but one that flew by and was over before we knew it.  We'll try something that doesn't quite require us to "be on our toes" so much next!