Point A to Point Z

Just trying to make my way…

Where are they now… part 2 September 9, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 5:33 pm

I know it’s been awhile… Again… But I figured I would be writing about where we are – our physical location. And it’s hard to reflect on a move when you’re in the midst of it.

So. We are in Washington State.

IMG_7263 (First dinner in our new house)

This cross country trip was totally different than last time.



Heading west, we are a different family. Not a party of 4 anymore. We’ve added 2 dogs and of course our little bun in the oven.  Traveling cross country is different when you’re pregnant. I lost some of my adventurous spirit, my preferences leaning more toward sleep and comfort. Husband was the excited one. He suggested we CAMP at Yellowstone as we planned to stop and explore there for a few days anyway. I was a good sport I think.


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(I almost died right after this picture. No joke, a bison almost charged me.)

We are a different family. It’s amazing what a year can do… What a new duty station brings… What a new season of life brings. 

A few highlights from the past year in NC…

J learned new skills – riding a two-wheeled bike… roller skating… painting…

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and B and I did a painting/decoupage class too…


The boys had the attention span for longer chapter books – Little Pilgrims Progress, the Magic Treehouse series, Stuart Little, Pinnochio, and The Chronicles of Narnia just to name a few…

We went on family outings like taking the kids fishing and to the movies and to restaurants and camping!

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We didn’t have the BBQs and parties like we had in Hawaii but we did make some close friends – and amazingly enough they’ve ended up in Washington too!

I ended up having a social circle OUTSIDE of the Army – joined a local MoPs group and made friends. We met for play dates, but we also left the kids and went out for coffee, partied with 31 and Jamberry, played Bunco, opened up about our struggles and shared our faith.

I took time for me and my interests… I played around with painting…

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As we enter into this new season in this new duty station, here are some of the things we’ve done and look forward to:

We found a house that we love with a fireplace, yard space, room for a small man cave and a nursery…

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Washington has lots more yummy comfort food to offer this local girl (compared to NC)…


And we got here at a great time of year to roam around a few water ways…

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We’ve made the decision to put J in public school but keep B home for another year or so… We’ve found a church we look forward to participating with in MoPs and AWANA… and Husband has already experienced some awesome training while in this new unit.

As I write this post, the evidence of our being amidst transition is… loud and in the background. Haha… Pray for us!  B misses his brother while he’s in school so he is on his back (sometimes literally) every second from the time he steps off the bus until bed.  J’s mood swings back and forth – he thinks he wants to be home with me all day yet he comes home each day saying school was awesome and then is easily upset by dinner time.  He also probably has to sit still for too long so he bounces everywhere. 

I am just a few days away from my due date so I guess you can expect my next post to take awhile.  But just wanted to reflect a bit and share.  Thanks for being a part of our adventure! 


Where are they now… Part 1 May 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 6:33 pm

Yeah, it’s been awhile since I’ve “blogged.” I’m not a huge fan of putting myself out there. I started to think that maybe blogging isn’t for me. Yet, it turns out that sometimes ya just need a space to share that can hold more than your average Facebook status. So here I am again.

The first part of the “where we are now” story that I want to share is:
We are growing our family!
Yeah I totally put it on FB… and I put it out there so soon that I made everyone wait as long as I did to find out the baby’s sex. But what I haven’t put out there is the backstory. So here goes.

I was pretty sure we were done having kids. I mean, our boys are basically elementary age, the parent-kid ratio is 1:1, we got dogs to help round out our family… Why on earth would we need to add a baby into this mix anymore? We were at that blissful no diapers, no strollers, no constant supervision, no feeding, no baby stage! I joined a MOPS group and literally looked around at the babies and toddlers and said “thank goodness we’re done with that!”

Can you believe this baby was planned?!

So I was browsing Facebook as I usually do and saw some adorable pictures of kids. An older brother dancing with his baby sister… A 3-generation family photo with so many siblings and grand babies… And I could not get the thought out of my head of how beautiful these slightly larger families were. So I called out to Husband that we should have another baby. Of course I was expecting the “yeah right” type response.

Turns out he actually thought about it and ended up saying yes.

(Pregnancy announcement found on Pinterest…)



And not ready. And all of a sudden incredibly aware of what that would mean for our current comfortable life. And then J and B’s baby years flashed in front of me – the sleep deprivation, the poop, the crying, the screaming, the…

That husband has NO idea what he is talking about! He was barely around for those baby years!

So I RAN to my Bible and journal and cried. Maybe not outwardly but definitely in my soul.

“Why now?!?!”

I pleaded with God and explained my doubts.
And with a still calm voice He spoke to my heart.

“Why now? Because now is the time.”
“Don’t be worried because I am going to be doing something with you and Husband during this time.”
“Don’t blame the pictures on Facebook… I used those pictures on Facebook.”

So yeah.
There you have it. That’s basically it because that’s where I left it. In His hands. It’s not what I would’ve necessarily chosen for myself but I absolutely believe that God works for the GOOD of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

I started telling people right away that we were planning to get pregnant and when we were pregnant. I wanted people to “Come and see what God has done…” (Psalm 66:5 NIV)


This isn’t to say I expect everything to be easy and perfect. I’m too much of a seasoned mom to think that. But when God says he is doing something, I can trust that. I’ll look for that. And I hope you’ll be able to see His handiworks too.


Our simple, flexible, homeschool for now October 7, 2013

Filed under: Homeschool — Dee @ 10:50 am
Tags: , , , ,

I have been wanting to post a blog for a while now explaining how we do school at home, but to be honest it has changed A LOT over the last couple of years so… here’s what we’ve finally figured out works for us. For now.

A VERY general schedule allows us to be, as husband says, “Semper Gumby”

It’s simple enough for the boys to know there is a time to work, a time to play, and a time to be quiet.

We plan outings a few times a week.  But it’s usually like “We should go to the park tomorrow” or “Oh shoot! Our library books are due today” or “I don’t feel like cooking, wanna go to Sonic?” Hahaha!


I found these punch cards (here) – I chose the blank ones but there are some already titled…

(I love the blank ones because I’ve already changed my mind about what I wanted on them about 3 times now.)



And we have rewards for doing work.

(The link for the punch cards also has a reward chart but we made our own)


We use curriculum, but at my kids’ age, I’m not strict about it.

I have on my shelf: Abeka Math, Lang. Arts, and History; BJU Science, and Bible

We also have oodles of other workbooks and art books, puzzles, and online printable things, and our old Awana books.

I go so far as planning one big thing I want to work with them each day and I let them choose the rest of what they’d like to do.  Sometimes math is running flash cards, handwriting is copying a note to grandma, and language is making their book!

At the beginning of the year, I listed some goals that I had for the boys such as “Introduce James to Science & History texts” and “Help Brendan learn his alphabet.”

At the end of the year I’ll use a standardized test to see what else we need to work on.

I love our system because it allows my boys to

  • Have choices
  • Be rewarded for their work
  • Have LOTS of play time



The Gateway Arch March 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 2:35 pm

St. Louis, MO marked the starting point for many pioneers who headed west. That land held the promise of a future and a place to call home.


On our visit to St. Louis, we stopped to see the arch AND the Museum of Westward Expansion which is located under it.


As you can see in the picture below, our road trip covered a lot of the same territory as those westward explorers.  (Don’t mind J’s face… he was “hangry”)


I wish I had a picture of it, but the walls were covered with pictures of the different terrain that spans our beautiful country along with descriptions from Lewis & Clark’s journals.  Oh wait… I guess we do have pictures of it… all the pictures from our road trip!  Cuz we were THERE! 🙂


J: “If I had to travel in this, I would just sit on the box in there.”


B really wanted a picture with this sod house


Can you imagine someone just saying “Go! Explore! Go find out about this stuff, come back, and tell us about it!”  My heart races when I think about it!  Yeah, I want to know what’s over there too!  Let’s go find out!

One of my favorite things about this whole trip has been seeing the little known sites and odd names. Husband & I wondered: What’s the story behind Emigrants Gulch?  What’s the Vore Buffalo Jump? What’s the difference between a basin and a watershed?  Why was this named the French Broad River? (Our initial thought was “who was the french female?” Lol…) Are those rocks flint or slate?  With our smart phones in hand, husband and I took our friends Google and Wikipedia and we explored!  SO MUCH information, just at our fingertips!  We also grabbed books along the way that explained the geological formations that we saw in Utah and a copy of Lewis & Clark’s journals.  We found out about stuff!

You know those people who we learned about in school?  That’s what they did!  They wondered, they explored, they found out about stuff and they told others.  I don’t want to just teach my kids about these people… I want my kids to BE those people.

The best way I can think of to help our kids be those people is to show them… to keep learning and exploring.


St. Louis marked a starting point for us too as this was our last sight-seeing stop before our next duty station, Ft. Bragg.  True, we were stationed at Bragg before, but just the fact that the boys are older will make it such a different experience.

And I am SO excited!


Please enjoy these very touristy photos of our family at the arch.

Here are the kids doing some much-needed  jumping and running before the rest of our drive.

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Husband & I (Photo by J)


Husband laughing at me trying to take a picture of us and the arch…


Aloha for now!


I want to go back to Coe again… March 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 2:46 am


The other day, Husband and I took the boys to our alma mater.  I’d been back since a bunch of changes were made, but Husband hadn’t.  It was fun to see his face.  We didn’t have such cool lounge areas and wi-fi across the campus


Holy moly.  I walked around and saw these college students…I can’t possibly look 9-13 years older than them can I?!?!  One of our college friends works in the Admissions office… as a counselor… We have kids now.  “Weren’t we JUST hanging out in the dorms together?”

I found this cute post on Pinterest today: What It’s Like To Be In College (as told by our favorite Disney characters)

I have NO idea how I didn’t get pictures taken with any of the PEOPLE we went to visit, but here are our pictures… in case some fellow Kohawks want to see a few campus updates.

This is upper Gage….

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We had lunch with Chaplain Kristin in The Pub… it has booths and couches and such…


We visited Prof. Nordman & Prof. Buckaloo in Hickock.  No changes here unless you count the new faculty.


And Nassif House holds the Admissions Office.  Husband & I were campus tour guides back in the day.  A couple staff members knew us from the time we started dating.


And of course, I stopped in the bookstore to grab some new gear.


(They have some cute new women’s shirts… I didn’t find as much for the guys tho.)

For my fellow Kohawks: I want to go back to Coe again, the college of the west, back to Voorhees hall once more, the chapel, and the old bookstore; I want to go back to Coe again, the college of the west; I wanna go back, I’ve gotta go back to Coe again. At old Coe College in Cedar Rapids, we sling-a-da-ink and push-da-pen along… At old Coe College in Cedar Rapids, we sling-a-da-ink and push-da-pen aloooooong!

And now it’s stuck in your head.  You’re welcome.


A few of our favorite things March 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 4:37 am

Baby cousins:
There’s something special about a sibling’s kids. You know your sibling like noone else does. And here are little copies of them running around being all cute… Plus they help me get my baby fix.





We traded in the old one for an 8 speed transmission, upgraded features, more interior space for the second leg of our trip…
And, to quote a friend, “Mmmmmmm… Hemi.”




Husband went to a gun show and I went to the malls. He bought his dream rifle and a sweet scope while I scored some awesome accessories for mainland spring weather.



St. Patrick’s day:
Husband and I got engaged 9 years ago today! No, he didn’t know it was St. Patrick’s day, but it works–makes it hard to forget the date!


Thanks for reading and following along in our adventures!

Now this mama is gonna try get over this cold and go back to bed. Have a beautiful Sunday!


Guns March 16, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 10:51 pm



My kids play with (pretend) guns.
I allow it, I encourage it…
Because I’m not afraid of it.

Husband has grown up hunting, he’s in the army, and he plays video games… So not much chance of hiding the existence of guns in this household. But the main thing is, husband KNOWS guns and continues to research guns. He taught me about guns and I feel safe and confident in his ability to teach our kids.

So yeah. Our kids play with guns. And they shoot things in their pretend play. Deer, moose, bears, and bad guys.

Part of teaching our kids about guns is helping them realize that there is a bad and evil, ugly and dirty, nasty-ness out there. And when it comes after you or someone you love, you fight against it.

Part of teaching our kids about the icky-ness of the world is trying to teach them ways to not be a part of it:
use words first.
its ok to be mad, but we don’t hurt someone just because we’re angry.
love anyway.

I suppose if everyone taught/believed these things we wouldn’t need guns. But too many people have learned to use actions first, to hurt because they’ve been hurt, to hold grudges, and that hatred is ok.

There are so many related points I could try to make about society or life or whatever, but here’s my summary for today:

My kids playing with guns aren’t trying to offend you.
Not everyone can/should handle a gun.
Guns aren’t the enemy. (And in general, people aren’t either.)