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2 Girls, 2 Boys and a whole lot of noise.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

'Twas the day before Christmas
and all through this home
Three creatures were stirring
Oh how they roamed.

The mother was baking
rolls and hams
For her friends
and their fams

The oldest child,
well, she was not so well
She didn't want to listen
Making her mom yell.

All the day
did this mom yell
at this defiant child
What the he**??!!

Mom called the dad
In tears she did plead.
"Make this child listen,
or I might do an unspeakable deed."

She casually listened
As Dad talked to this child.
He asked her to be kind
But her eyes became wild.

"No! I will not help you out!"
This difficult child said.
What was I to do
Other than send her to bed?

But oh, she would not go
So mom had to dig deeper
I have an idea.
I think this is a keeper.

"I will take away two of your gifts"
Mom said with a grin.
"You will have to earn them back."
Oh, you would have thought it a sin.

That child,
she cried and she cried.
You would have thought
that somebody died.

Then what to mom's wondering
eyes should appear,
A submissive child I beheld.
What a 'good' little dear.

"Perhaps blackmail isn't so bad,"
Mom did say.
"I think that child has lots to learn,
But I will save that for another day."

Then the clever mom
She did smile.
She did smile as she added
more chores to the pile.

This petite little punk
She took her lists
And, oh, that child did work
for those 2 little gifts.

This did not cure the disease
but mom knew for sure
this child needs a boot camp
She doesn't know what's waiting for her.

So ends moms day
Exhausted and tired
But tomorrow is Christmas
And those kids will be wired!

This was a long day
and I'm done with my rhyme.
But that child's story isn't over.
I'll save it for another time.


Saturday, December 22, 2012


I wanted to post about our Christmas preparations. Due to the extreme poverty right outside our protective fencing, there are people who have so little, not-to-mention, have nothing for Christmas. Because we oversee some families in that situation, Aspen and I thought about what each family could use or might like and went and purchased things for them. I have written about Lovely many times but here is a picture of she and her kids and a friend. We gave them a cooler so that if we buy food for her in the future that needs to be kept cool, we will have somewhere to put it. We gave each of her kids a gift as well...a soccer ball and a Frisbee for her 12 year old son, Elijah. A nail filing set and nail polish for her 10 year old daughter, Abigail. And a barbie and doll house for her 6 year old daughter, Arwen. We also gave Lovely a new skirt. They have no Christmas tree and I don't know if the kids have ever gotten a Christmas present before so they were so excited that they already opened them. Her family has some needs that we weren't aware of when we bought them gifts so next week Aspen and I are going to take them to the mall (they haven't been there before) and buy them the shoes and things that they need. I'm kind of excited about it.
Aspen and I getting gifts for our Visiting Teaching families:

Here is a picture of Lovely's family:
We also go and visit a lady named Rosie. This is her house. She wasn't home after the second time of trying to deliver this to her so we had to leave it. She has a "guard dog" that is more afraid of us, surprisingly, since Aspen and I are afraid of dogs. But we got her some rice and a picture block of the temple and some sewing things because she is a seamstress.
I can't imagine living in the conditions that they all live in. At least they have an establishment to come home to, I guess, but the road to get to their houses are filled with litter, dead animals, and children of all ages who just run loose because they have nowhere else to go. There was a 2 year old alone on the side of the road today as I went to pick up Lovely's family for the ward Christmas Party!
I know that this is a way of life for people but it is so hard coming from the experiences that being near civilization brings you.
And separately, here are some pictures of my kids seeing Santa today and at the cupcake walk. (They obviously won):

And that is all.

The week before Christmas

Holy Cow this week has been unbelievable! About 2 months ago I decided to volunteer to be the contact for the annual Cookie Drive they have on the Air Force Base for all the single airmen here. (Some are deployed to here and some are just young, single airmen who live in the dorms). We give them a dozen homemade cookies each to show that we care about them especially as they are so far from their families for Christmas.
The way you do this is you Advertise, Advertise, Advertise and then you beg your friends to make 100's of cookies.
So we set a date of December 18th for the drive but also provided a drop-off date of Monday night on the 17th. Then I had to figure out how many airmen we had to provide for....775 airmen. Then we were notified that we had Marines deployed to the Air Force Base as well and were asked if we were going to provide for them as well. After some research, we decided that we would give them all the leftover cookies but we couldn't provide individual sacks for all those Marines. They will be home for Christmas anyways.
Anyway...775 airmen (and some Navy and Army soldiers in those numbers). So the 17th came and we began receiving donations at 6pm. I wasn't expecting this to be a big night for donations. It was just a convenience thing for some people but by 8PM we had 360 dozen cookies! I had some amazing helpers to help me deal with this, of course. So we wrapped them all up tightly and went home.
The next morning at 5:45AM, we came back to start the real Cookie Drive day.
                                             We had many tables with cookies on them.
 These are the individual bags that we give the airmen. The kids at the school decorate them (and the homeschool group took a bunch). Some of them were so funny. They just add to the fun-ness of getting a dozen cookies.
                                       We bagged and packaged and bagged and packaged.
 Here are the leftover cookies. The tables were full of cookies. It was overwhelming to see the number of people who came to drop off cookies!
              After we had already bagged 800 dozen cookies, these 2 cars took all these cookies to the Marines.

Then the "First Shirts" (the people in charge of all the airmen in a squadron) came and picked up the cookies. These guys were there to pick up 250 dozen for the EAMXS group. They said their airmen were so excited to get them.

So in the end, I had 100 dozen leftover and we gave them out to anyone who would take them. We took them to the USO and the fire department too. It was very successful and I had some awesome volunteers who came to help and all my friends made cookies because I asked them to.
In the end, I spoke with Chaplain Boyd on base and told her about how successful it was. She was very impressed with our hard work and she thanked me for organizing it...so she "Coined me". (This is a military tradition to award someone when they do something great. They physically give you a coin that they designed through a handshake. The coins are beautiful. This is the 3rd coin I have earned. (At our last base my team and I raised $25,500 to give away in scholarships over a year as I served as President of the Officers' Spouses' Club. I got to hand each of the 15 scholarship winners their certificate at a ceremony and at the end the General "coined" me for my hard work. I also earned one for being a "key spouse" which is kind of like a Relief Society President over your squadron.) Some perspective...Jeremy has 6 coins and he actually works for the Air Force. I am pretty proud of my 3!
So as part of the drive this year we decided to make it a squadron competition in hopes of bringing in more cookies. In the end the Medical Group brought in 189.5 dozen. I had a trophy made and was able to present it to their commander. Here is the picture of that:
So that was the beginning of the week. I was still trying to catch up on Thursday after being consumed but then we had our squadron Christmas Party on Thursday night. That was a lot of fun.
Friday night was the CRG (the group that we are a part of) kids' party and Saturday I was in charge of coordinating the Ward Christmas Party. There are a lot of pictures taken of that but I don't have any. I have to say, though, that it was awesome. Everyone did their part and followed through with what they were assigned and we had a huge dance party at the end and it was fantastic.

Now I am looking forward to spending some time reading or playing with my kids. I am currently not signed up for anything crazy and I am going to enjoy the next 3 weeks! Merry Christmas to all and peace out!

Cody's Christmas Program

This is another post for Grandparents and Daddy. Preschoolers are awesome though.
                                                           "It's Christmas on Guam"
                                                               "Jingle Bell Rock"
                                                             "My Favorite Things"
                                                "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"
                                                            "The Christmas Dance"
This one is my favorite. As you can tell, my kids aren't excited about performing in front of others but this becomes even more obvious when they are next to kids who are.
                                                    "Jingle Bells" I love this one too.
                                                           "Frosty the Snowman"

                                                           Preschoolers are the best!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Katy's Christmas Program

Here is the camera footage of Kaitlynn's Christmas Program. (This post is mostly for Daddy and Grandparents). She is in the front row but sometimes it is hard to see her.
This is a song that the kids did with these tubes. Can you guess what it is?
This one is called "Go in Peace". It might also be the only words to the song.
"Christmas on Guam"
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a Gecko was stirring, not even a mouse!
All the Green Bags were hung by the Windows with care
Knowing for sure that St. Nicolas would be there.
We knew he would transfer from sleigh to carabou cart
As he traveled through snow
and through rain
With a stop at K-Mart
We were all so excited, we just couldn't sleep...til mom gave us chamomile tea
which got us snoozing like sheep
When suddenly we were awakened by such a commotion...
It sounded like it was coming straight from the Ocean!
We jumped out of our beds and looked out our windows,
Heard a crash on our roof
"Help! Help! Someone screamed
then a thump and a bump!
Ai Adai, what a scene!
It was a short, plumpy guy who was looking so grumpy:
Where are the chimneys on this island? Are there not any?
Then his companion, the carabao, politely snorted:
"Sir, we only have BBQ pits."
To which Santa retorted:
"Then I guess we'll just have to leave these outside their door"
He left a short note:
"When you build a chimney, let me know I'll bring more!"
He grabbed the foil-wrapped plate of red rice, BBQ, and kelaguen,
which was left on the porch by all of us children.
He looked quite contented as he left our place, with a smile and a wave and red rice on his face!
Wowee! Yum-Yum! Merry Christmas, Guam! I'll come back for more...
Just make me BBQ, I just might bring the whole KMART store!
Have a Yummy-Yummy Merry Christmas, Guam!
"We wish you a Merry Christmas!"
"Dreidel Spin"
"Feliz Navidad"
"Oh Kwanzaa"
"Merry, Merry, Joy, Joy"
And I have no idea what this one is.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Katy and Cody

I feel the need to post a few things about my kids.
Cody is 4 and he is a little celebrity among all our friends' kids. Whenever they see him they yell his name and tell him hi. One of Cody's friends even tackled another of Cody's friends when he thought that Cody was being attacked by the friend. I think the reason for this is that Cody is so sweet. He is passive and kind to others, he will also play well with all types of kids. So it was no surprise when the other day I split a piece of gum in half and gave it to both my kids and Katy, of course, immediately threw a fit and said "his piece is bigger than mine!" To which Cody says, "Here. You can trade me." Maybe some moms would be proud of this but I was not. I thought, "I think I need to teach you what it means to be the little brother, Cody. When your older sister is a jerk, you punch her in the face and run and tell mom that she hurt you."
I know this because I had little brothers.
Not that I was a jerk...and I would never complain that I got the smaller piece because as the older sister you should already be aware that the short end of the stick is your lot in life.
No one has told Katy this.
So back to Cody. He happily trades with her. Later I ask him what he wants for Christmas. He thinks about it for a long time and finally says, "a motorcycle....for Daddy." And seriously, that is what he asked Santa for. He has asked for nothing else.
Tonight we had a friend invite us over for a Christmas party and they arranged for Santa to come and bring a present for each child. Cody received some matchbox cars that he liked a lot but later he said to me, "Santa didn't bring daddy a motorcycle." He is so sweet. Too bad that Santa will definitely not be delivering a motorcycle to this house on Christmas, no matter how sweet my little boy is.

So Katy has been asking for My Little Pony figures all through November and December...until we get up to Santa's lap last night when suddenly she asks for a remote control Barbie car.
Yes, I admit that I wanted to kill her. She did this to me last year...ask for something all November and 3 weeks into December and then asks for something completely different when she sees Santa. And the icing on the cake is that she had one of those cars and we agreed together that she didn't use it and we got rid of it. Katy might be learning the truth about Santa this year because there is no way that I can get a remote control barbie car here by next week and there are none in the 2 stores here. We are practicing gratitude as well so this might be a great time to learn about how to handle disappointment and still be grateful for what you have. I pretty much stink at this myself so I am glad I bought a video camera. This is going to be a Christmas to remember.

I need to complain about the mail service for a second here. We have a tiny post office on base where they decided to house all our mail rather than delivering it to our houses. Then they staff the post office with one person and are only open from 9-3. There is actually signs all over the post office that say "Please check your box 2-3 times a day if you are expecting packages." Who has that kind of time?
When you have a large package (and who doesn't this time of year?) you get a yellow note in your small PO Box. Those yellow notes are comparable to getting sick, you get one and your whole day is ruined. You have to take the yellow ticket to the one person working and pick up your package...but that means getting in the mile long line and waiting. And if you are lucky enough to be there between the hours of 11 and 1, you get to let all the military members in uniform go ahead of you even if they arrived after you. You also get to watch every person be humiliated by the postal workers as they tell you that your address on the box isn't correct or the item you are shipping has the wrong customs form, or watch people repackage their entire box while they are in line just to that it will qualify for the postal service judge and jury behind the counter. Now it is the holiday season and the lines are unreal so when I got up to the front I asked if I could volunteer there. They obviously need help and I could organize boxes and mail by their respective numbers. I could dress up like an elf and sort packages. It would be awesome. The lady told me that she asks the main post office for help everyday before she comes in to work and they always tell her no. She said that they can't accept volunteers either because they are unionized.
I just would like to know...when are we going to get to use logic in the USA again? Has that been outlawed? Am I off base here? I mean seriously. There is no other mail service to use especially on Guam so you have a monopoly that you have bankrupted and then you have people willing to volunteer but you can't because the union that bankrupted you won't allow it?

Okay, now I can get on with my story...so I went to the post office today and I actually had some mail (they haven't been able to get mail out over the last few days because there is only one person and they are attending to "the line.")
My mail today was actually quite special...there was a letter from Jeremy's sister and her family and it had a big #1 on it. Inside it said that they are doing the 12 days of Christmas for us...very creatively. She and her family are mailing a letter to us for all 12 days.
If I could just see through these happy tears... I feel so special by their outpouring of love and forethought into this task. This is the first year that Jeremy will not be with us and we are so far from family that it kind of makes me "seasick" to think about it but someone who hasn't seen us for many months is taking the time to make us feel special. I just hope they know the gratitude I feel for their efforts.
Also in my mailbox was a letter from a friend who told me about some difficult situation that they are dealing with at our last base and how the Lord reminded her to be grateful for the things that she does have. I also got some Christmas cards which made me happy because this year my Christmas Card tree is very empty. So despite the extreme disdain for the post office it was quite generous to me today. Especially when I went back for my second daily visit and had some packages that my mom sent.

I have a "Katy Christmas program" to post but I will have to get to it when I get my life back after Tuesday. I volunteered to coordinate a cookie drive for all the airmen here living in the dorms without their families during the holidays. We advertise all over base and hope that we get people to contribute enough cookies to deliver a dozen cookies to each of the 800 airmen here who are alone. (yes, that is 800 dozen cookies and thanks to Jen Nekl, who calculated for me that we need 9600 cookies.) I have over 1000 cookies in my freezer right now so if there are just 9 other people out there who have 1000 cookies too then we've got this! However, the chances of that are likely slim. So I am hoping that 145 people will bring at least 5 dozen. Any leftover cookies go to the 750 Marines that are living here in tents for some sort of training.

I also signed up for a fitness challenge 10 weeks ago and it ends in 2 weeks. At the beginning of this week I was 15 hours (of working out) away from my goal. I am proud to say that I am now only 8 hours away from my goal. So basically all I have been doing is baking cookies and working out. I guess those two things can work hand in hand but I am certain that there is a better life out there...it is just going to occur after Tuesday.

I am sure you are all wondering why you read this today. Who wants to hear about some spoiled girl gripe about these things? Well, I don't know but I guess it is too late for you to go back. :)

Monday, December 10, 2012


Some moms and I were talking about our children's shoes the other day (and where the best place to put them is) and it occurred to me that I spend a significant amount of my day talking about the kids' dumb shoes. If I spent half as much time talking about science or math my kids would be so smart. Here is an average week's worth of shoe quotes:
Where are your shoes?
I don't know where your other shoe is.
Put your shoes on.
Take your shoes off.
Your shoes are dirty.
Pick up your shoes.
Those shoes don't match.
Why are your shoes all over the floor?
I just tripped on your shoes!
Those aren't the right kind of shoes for what we are doing.
Why did you take your shoes off?
Please learn to tie your shoes so I don't have to do this.
Can you try to untie your shoes?
What did you do to these shoes?
Your shoes stink.
Don't get your shoes wet.
Put your shoes in the basket.
Church shoes go in your room, not the basket.
I'm sorry your shoes broke.
Why do you need new shoes already?
Don't get your new shoes dirty.
Your shoes have mud on them.
Where did you last see your shoes?
Why are you wearing my shoes?
Put my shoes back where you got them.
I don't know where those shoes are.
Pick up all your shoes.
Get those shoes out of your mouth.
Fine. Don't wear any shoes. I don't care.
And my mom's favorite excuse..."I can't take you anywhere. I just took my shoes off."

Why are these 2 small plastic/cloth items taking up so much of my brain space? I am considering not even mentioning their shoes for a week. Will the house fall apart?
Both those pictures were taken right now while I sit in this chair. My kids are asleep in their beds. What the heck?
 Please feel free to post your own shoe annoyances or any quotes you say that I have forgotten.
And that ends my rant about shoes.