Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas....

Had a Jolly Christmas, as jolly as it can be without Mr.Claus home.We decided to go with a very economical, and responsible Christmas(as usual) but especially this year.Because we have so many many why did I say it like THAT.Because we have more than one to buy for, I am accustomed to buying things early.My favorite is Wally World when they have the discount toy isle.There is where I get started.I buy here and there.So the bulk of the toys that were gonna be bought were already bought.The funny thing is buying them while the children are present.This usually involves the aid of the older children.Grabbing the item, paying for the item, and dashing to the truck.

So what were we gonna do this year for Christmas?Our children have or has had every electronic known to man.If they don;t have it, they don't need it.So I got the brainy idea to do room makeovers this year.It was time.Some people needed beds, they all could use matching comforters, painted walls and the like.We could not see ourselves spending like nuts knowing that some people are homeless and hungry , more so than ever this year.

So operation room make over without them knowing began.The hardest part was getting them to CLEAN THEIR ROOMS.Fred Sanford junior, was the worst.I have never seen a pack rat as young as he.The object was to get them to clan, declutter, so all I had to do was decorate and paint.Simple plan.Well sure enough, the girls was done.It was a bit hairy at times having Gemini depart from her 16 years of hall passes, emo journals, and God knows what else.She thanked me later, stating she would have never decluttered without my help.I mean the child had ONE glove...where was the match?Empty or darn near empty lotion, soap, you name it...

Then there was Allyn.The guy that sat around looking like he was doing the same, only to find out, he stuffed everything in his closet OR made up an excuse as to why he needed the EMPTY fish tank in his room.Or the stereo that does not work, yet he wants to take it apart.

OHHH come on people, don't you know what I am trying to do here..for

Well after shopping, sorting, wrapping etc...Christmas eve got the best of them.They all turned 2 all of a sudden.You know the old adage, if you go to sleep early, Christmas will come.

So you have Gemini freakin out caus she can;t sleep in her bed.Calling the larger of the two couches in the basement.Allyn stokied cause he doesn't have to sleep in his room, and have it be discovered , until its too late that he has not cleaned it.Cerah so excited, sh can't sleep, yet she wants to.Peanut was out first, and the babies....I don't know how they go them to sleep.Although the boy was up pretty late.He ended up holding them hostage with Cailou.

The makeovers were welcomed and best of all, when asked for a list of things they wanted,, Cerah wanted a room make over, and Gemini concurred on her list.Along with a lap top, ANOTHER coach purse, Christian Dior glasses, a laptop, clothes, purses,jewelry, ipod touch, Rant phone, .....the list was massive......yet remains so small and insignificant in her brain...
The makeover is complete(walls need to be finished)Whose idea was it to paint circles on half the wall anyway?I willpost pictures as soon as we are done.
Daddy, we missed you , and as you know the day was NOT the same without you here.Tinkering with training wheels, and eating play food, and loading music, and playing with drum sets, and radios, and turn tables, sitting next to me on the coach chillin as we enjoy them playing with their toys, making the holiday calls, and enjoying the holiday meals.The kids enjoyed everything, especially the makeovers.We love you and miss you, and see another holiday's passing as one day closer to you being home...."See" you New Years!
New Years
Winter Break
Spring????*fingers crossed*
My Birthday...heaaaaaay
Mother's Day...You KNOW what I want and where I go to get it...yep there...
End of School Year...."Schoolz out for Summer!"
Fourth of July
First Day of School
Our Anniversary
And you should be home riiiight about

As The Donut Change

So I broke down and got the donut!Not the kind one can consume in about two bites.But the one that it takes at least 12 months to get the case of deployment.You see , me and the donut(most people for that matter) have a love hate relationship with the donut.He tells you like it is at the onset of deployment.Usually it is not welcoming.As time goes by, he raises your level of expectancy, and excitement to the point where you begin to adore him.Ahhhh the donut!

The most memorable thing about him, is his uncouth and sometime blunt way of telling you,"you have a long, long, way to go".....This is what you don't want to see.Soo, what you usually do is check it monthly, and if you belong to a message board, or forum for other donut post your donut status as of the last day of the month.Those rounding the tail end of deployment are usually first to post, in all caps, and neon colors.And not to mention, the cute saying at the bottom......"Leaving on a jet plane"....Arrrh....I ...musn't hate on the person posting their joys of and ending deployment.THEN you have the people that post,"I HATE the donut...Ughhhh when will it change..." is torture, and yet another thing to help us get through a year, or six month, and even fifteen months of separation from loved ones.

What is the donut?

The donut is an excel program created by military members that helped them track their deployment over seas.Along with tracking the time you left, and the "tentative " date to return, the excel program also calculates and gives a pie chart as well as the percentage of time past as well time to go.All this while having whitty sayings at every stage.

Well I happen to be at " Still have a long, long, long time"

Really?Thanks, didn't know that.Rest assured the saying get funnier, and promising as time goes by.As stated before, the one most people like to read it "leaving on a jet plane", and something to the effect of boots on ground.

So while I am hating on the donut right now, I will be cherishing it in a few months.Waiting for the 50% milestone, the saying to change , then RR(I need to get another one for RR specifically)

So tune in to the next time to As The Donut Change...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

As my World Turns With All My Children

So as one can imagine...I am a pretty busy woman.(exhibit A...i wrote this awhile ago,,,why isn't it posted?)One question still remains unanswered concerning our children is, Who is the quiet on?Ok really every family has a quiet one.You know that one where when you are making introductions you might say, "and this is (insert name).....she's our quiet one."....well in our household....we got jipped.We had our sights on Radiant, because when she was a baby she NEVER cried and when she did it was soooo soft, you had to lower the volume on everything and listen intently to see if it were her.So I knew , I hit the jackpot with that one.Her older brother was not even in the running.That boy began talking at an early age and has not stopped since.He may PRETEND to be the quiet one....but I have Eddie Haskell's number...Don't let him fool ya.Then along came Cerah, she always was the first girl, and when her Daddy came home from Korea, he made up for the year he missed of her life.And so that was that.I have been asking this question for a long time.Then we have I really knew she was the quiet one....ROTFLOL......ok, when we brought her home she was a whoppin 6 lbs.I remember having to pad her car seat.She hardly cried, and was always serious...until she saw one of her siblings or her Daddy.But she was not a loud baby.So I had my hopes on her being the quiet one in the household of dramatics...actors and actresses...So yeah...that was until she decided to talk....We thought Shantelle has a speech delay, and when we got her evaluated the lady may as well had said, " you idiots, aint nothing wrong with this girl, she is the baby of the family and yall are saying and doing everything for her, so why else does she need to talk...she can point like she is doing!"But she was sooo nice about it.She observed her, and heard her talk and watched how she interacted with the family, and she said, you know I think she is ok speech wise, maybe you all should wait another year.Maybe you should encourage her to talk and ask for things before one of you get it....well that ended THAT....she has been talking, mothering, and fussing ever since.
Sooo no quiet one....
So the 9 year old has taken up the smart mouth's is the actress of the bunch, and I think she channels one of the characters she sees on Disney, and in turn has to get in trouble for the smart mouth stuff she says.She had a good fit the other she could not take a ride.Well , ok...I understand disappointment, but when I got home, my mother was standing guard over her, and told her to apologize etc....well come to find out Radiant must have thought she was auditioning for the best actress role in a melodrama....maybe it would be called,"Suicidal Rage"...My mother said for minutes this chick rolled on the floor, yelled, screamed all kinds of crazy stuff, and rolled some more, she went there with the I hate yous and all.So much to the point she scared the little...and you know NOTHING scares them...well most things.Needless to say, I didn't have much to do but accept her apology for something I was not aware of happening, but its good for her nerves anyway....And then after ALL that, she settled down and guessed started humming and sucking her fingers...what the world?!

I swear Man man and Mouse think they are teenagers.They want to stay up with them, eat with them, speak like them, etc.I must admit, to be so young , they can hold their own.For the most part.

23 to Life.....................

Ahhhh I bet you think I am talking about a sentence someone got for a crime am talking about I am 23 lbs away from my first weight loss goal! I am giving time to get these final 23 lbs off...and I am living now, and will continue to have life and have it more abundantly. There is NOTHING like setting a goal and achieving it.When I started this journey, I was 205 lbs....I was still reppin the big girls, lookin cute and maintainin' my sexy, but um....I was not healthy...I felt it.fatigue, shortness of breath, and fueling my body with empty carbs and sugar....and just as sedentary as I wanted to When I started this journey, it was a dare...I always get to a certain point and quit.Whether it is a dress size( I surpassed it), or a poundage on the scale(surpassed it)...but this time, I told myself I HAD to do it...and finish it...for me....for my health.I take care of sooo many people, and am there for many more...and I need to be a better , healthier person for me, and others will reap the benefit for it as well. I remember preparing for a message on day, and I was struck by a thought, I am encouraging others to get over their fears, and inhabitions, and overcome through discipline lifestyles and things that besets them from achieving what they want in life.And as clear as day I heard," but you don't do it yourself...."I thought, how am I gonna say that, and I don't want to tackle this FAT demon....oh what a you, it may be lieing, or stealing, or procrastination, but for me, it was the snackin on junk, sugar is my friend, fried foods oh my,I ain't exercising let alone liking it so leave me alone...FAT DEMON!So I challenged myself to set a goal(the same one I have had for years...and meet it....regardless...) So now I am months later, a smaller portion eating, sensible snacker, exercising daily...and loving it....HEALTH It has become a part of who I am now.When I don't workout, I miss it.When I miss a day, I actually make it up, and or work harder the next in the world...Its all good though. I have not concentrated on the scale...because I can become obsessed.I have not obsessed on dress sizes, because I know that size is up to to the interpretation of the designer....So I focus on how healthy I feel.The energy I have, and the power to endure. Right now I am mad at the treadmill because I have upped my workout, and my legs are aching a good ache know?Its telling me....I'm are working and making a difference... So I encourage ANYONE reading this blog....don't give up on any goal.Start small...challenge yourself, and keep on keepin on. So yeah I have sentenced myself to 23 to Life....Life as I knew it before has changed.23lbs to a met goal.23 lbs to even more confidence in knowing I can do what I set my mind to.23lbs farther away from horrible diseases...23lbs lighter in order to LIVE*LAUGH*LOVE.

Let It Snow...Let It Snow....Let It Snow....

Sooooo it seems that the snow will not end.The Farmer's Almanac has predicted that this was gonna be a snowy winter.Winter has not even gotten here yet, and it has been ALOT of snow!It all started about a week ....well no the week of Halloween...and has not stopped since.
I had family coming in for Thanksgiving,with great anticipation of snow, they were excited to come and visit Northern New York.They are from Miami, the place where snow is not an issue.People in Miami buy boots, for fashion.I remember growing up and having boots on with jeans and a shirt, in the middle of 80 degree weather.The winters there are VERY mild, and usually, a day where it gets down to 50, calls for long johns and a coat.Not a thick coat though, we don't have them down there.
That reminds me of when we first arrived here, and I was preparing my children for the "harsh" winter months.I very proudly went out and bought the light, fashion boots that I was accustomed to in Miami, and one pair of fleece gloves.I was set.They had a coat...( I knew to get a thick one) and their fashion boots...and A PAIR...of fleece gloves.Well my neighbors and friends that had been in snow, and experience specifically the snow here in NNY...laughed at me for weeks, days, and we still laugh about it.First of all, the fashion boots do no good for their feet in sub zero weather.I was so proud though.But naww we had to save them for the milder winder days.Then it was the issue of the gloves pair per child...including the infants...My friend had to school on the fact that gloves go to the same place socks go to....and never return.And as a result of that it is always wise to have a few pairs of hats and gloves for the children.
How quickly I learned that one has to be more than prepared in this winter.I am usually armed with a shovel, brush, and de-icer for my vehicle, and I have several cubbies and closets full of hats, coats and mittens.Mainly for the younger children.
Something has to be said about the teen-agers and their need to be fashionable over warm.It is very common to see these kids walking around here with no gloves and sometimes no hat.All for fashion...HA....I don't think so!
.........................So yeah ...back to my family.....they actually prayed for snow and a white Thanksgiving...they got it....alot..even up to the day they left.SNOW!...Now my issue with this has not stopped snowing since.I made a call to my people, and told really can stop praying for snow now....we got it...we have ALOT of it here, and it looks as if it will not end.AND it is not officially winter yet????
Two hour delay today, and a winter warning tonight, and another one til Saturday night.This has been the pattern.We may have had one day off, but it remain steady..whether light or lake effect, it has been coming down.
Well somewhere in the cycle of life some farmer, animal, someone somewhere is happy, because the snow is helping them and their way of the Bible talks about seasons and times, I am reminded that this is a season in the four season rotation.We live in a climate that has all four seasons...which I love....and as things are dying, and hibernating,and hunkering day , they snow will melt, the sun will shine BRIGHTLY, and we will hear the birds begin to chirp,and the signs of Spring will appear.So as much as I would love to join in the complaining brigade..I choose to enjoy the snow.I have learned to enjoy the silence of the falling snow on a cold winter's night(it is a very eerie sound to hear...when you look out your door, and see snow for days, but hear no sound),I pause for the little bunnies, and what nots that I see in the back yard, and I am still amazed at the sight of the Northern Lights that sometimes are displayed here....awesome!
So just as sure as my name is Melissa, and as the Earth remains, the seasons will come and go, some longer than others, some milder than others, but in the end it will accomplish what it was suppose to.When you complain about it, it seems longer and harsher, when you embrace it and ride it out, Life doesn't seem so bad!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thank God it's Friday!

This week has been an emotionally draining week.Not in a bad way, or emotionally Debbie Downer way, just a week where I REALLY had to think, and reason, and day this week, I didn't get to sleep til about three, only to have to wake up at five.For no apparent reason, just surfing the net, playing games, then watching tv.I am the type that once I pass the 1:00 hr. I can stay up all night.Yeah, so it's FRIDAY!!! I get to sleep in tomorrow...if I choose.I know I am gonna go work out, but not sure what else after that.Same thing for tonight.

VanTelle had a bout of the poops and sore throats this week, so they did not go to school twice this week.They are home today.It is amazing how quickly they and you as well can adjust to a new schedule.
Those two are still as comical as ever...and busy as ever.The newest thing with Vannell is upon bedtime, naptime, or anything related to sleep....he is hungry.He could have just eaten something....don't matter.He wants a snack, a bar, a cookie...and my favorite...milk....but not the white one, the red one...(Kool Aid).So lastnight, I layed them down, and told them good night etc....and he was off..the whining, and crying, and I had an idea...ok...are you hungry, go get carrots...NOOOOOOOO! was like well get some cheese, or salad....Nooooo! was his that didn't take long to difuse..But then he took on a new form of expressing displeasure....yelling to the top of his lungs.Great!Iyts Thursday, and I am tired, sore from working out, and just somply annoyed....and now he wants to start.Did I mention all this took place while in MY bed....again.So needless to say, he was kicked out and put in his room, in a matter of seconds.

Wow...right now they are taking delight and joy in smellng eachother's under arms as well as Radiant'"I smell goooood!".....I washed up all by myself" says Shantelle.Now the voice of reason, for once...Radiant just said," ok guys we dont have to annouce it.

So yeah this week we had sore throats,diarhea, and a teething baby....yaaaaaay!

Did I mention the snow???????
Oh my family came in for Thanksgiving and they REALLY wanted it to snow.Well it did, and they go to play in the snow...and it snowed the next day, and the next, and even the next.All the way until the day they left(the Monday after Thanksgiving)Well a week later, I had to call them and have to retract their request to God for snow.It has not stopped snowing since they left.We get a break ...minor, but a small break here or there....but for the most part daily, even if its a dusting, we got that makes for sloshy treks to school and back.Shoveling,and just plain ole...ugh....why?I really am wondering who it was that thought it was funny and or acceptable to assign us to Fort Drum after Hawaii....not funny.I must admit though, I am past the complaining part and have adapted to the snow, the cold, and the deployments.It is what it is, complaining does nothing but make all of the above drag on, and appear worse than they really are.

So yeah...its Friday, and I intend to enjoy the rest of my day, as I have the begining of my day!
Looking forward to my workout, and coming back home and chillin out.It's gonna be one of them pepsi,a good movie or book, warm pj's and a sensible snack.....Nothing more, and nothing less.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Soooo, you may be wondering what kept me from updating my blog.I started off posting daily with stories, updates and things that were useless, but funny.Well all I can say s life.While I intended on posting daily,and having a funny daily, I knew in the back of my head that it was not gonna happen.So now that reality has kicked in I will start where I last left off.

One thing I do want to say in recognition of the laughter post is is that we need it, and need to do it often.Laughter makes things better, and ok.I loved the quotes about laughter, and life.What would life be without laughter....?????I do it often, sometimes at others, I crack myself up the most though!

Well my household is coo coo as ever.The babies have rested their argument for bringing their book bags home daily.Now it's a slight shrug of the shoulders, and ,"no...I want to leave my book bag here." Well isn't it funny how when you don't make a big deal out of something, the matter doesn't matter anymore.Don't get tooo happy, because now the argument is about snow boots, mittens and whether a sweater matches an outfit....what the world?(you are 3 years soon to be 4)Daily I have a discussion with Man Man about why he cannot wear those snow boots (that double as astronaut in training boots) with his regular outfits.I cannot allow this dude to be decked out to the nines and then down to the feet, THE MOON WALKER BOOTS....awww come on.....You know how the story ends .....he ends up wearing them to school, and not changing into his regular
Well today, I got him to wear his shoes and carry his MOON WALKER BOOTS.We will see what tomorrow it is promising buckets of snow!
*****Shantelle is still the mother of the .The funniest thing happened the other day, well funny to me.And if you knew Ms.Thang you would lol as well.As you may know she is known for fussin and correcting all the other children in our family, and those that are not a part of the Berrien immediate family.Well during one of her funny moments of telling others how much they don't "run things"/......her little body let out the loudest , air bubble, poot, fart as we call it.It was hilarious because first of all, she does not do that out loud(little lady) , and she was sooo busy getting on them, she was interrupted with the very thing that caused her little self embarrassment.She paused....and looked up, through those bangs(that needed to be cut) ....and tried to hold it in....but with the laughter of others int he room ...she burst out in the most heartiest laugh.It was sooo funny....cute ....and funny.
*****Gemini, is Gemini , not a thing has changed with her.She comes home, eats , sleeps, maybe calls her sisters, eats, does a little homework, naps and snacks, then pretty much sums her day up.UNLESS she has a moment to expound her vast knowledge ooooooof makes it a point to point out a fact about anything we may be discussing as a latest thing was when Cerah was rehearsing the classification...methods I called them...Well Ms.Gemini, HAD to not only give the definition of a method, but submit unto us that, genius, order, etc, etc...was something other than the methods of
*****Cerah is excited about being 12....a pre-teen.She continues to be smitten by this lil cool kid...who shall remain she turned 12 a couple of days before Thanksgiving.I remember giving birth the day before Thanksgiving, during a Texas ice storm, while my husband was deployed to Korea....yeah I have some stories for ya...She is growing up to be such the little lady.We still have to work on some grace.I think when she grows into that body of hers she will be fine...heck she is fine now...she's mine...
She is stoked about trying out for the chorus, and she has a concert soon.She actually made chorus, and auditioned for a solo.The kid has guts...more than I ever had at her age.She is the one that tries everything, and does not care if she fails.....tries again.She is the one that teaches herself to ride a bike, swim, read, and write in cursive....a real go getter!
*****Radiant.....all I have to say is where id Disney NY...really...she needs a show, a stage, lights , camera, action...really...I am
*****Allyn, Eddie Haskell is making his parents proud right now, he is making excellent grades and is behaving in school.Well he has always behaved, but ya know....there is always something...
He is looking forward to something...ohh Christmas....which I am not discussing right now.I need to get that tree up....maybe tomorrow!

Vannell is doing well in Iraq.We have the Internet and web cam, and phone calls, so I will not. we shall not complain....My update pictures are motivating him to loose weight.He has actually.he looks good. He had the chunky persuasion going on for a

I have been hittin the gym hard....harder than ever!I added strength training, and walking longer at a swifter pace.I average 2.5 40 min...I don't know or care if that is "good or not, but it good for someone who was not and did not like to workout.I am loving the energy, the weight loss, and the way I am able to clear my head on that treadmill.I can get on there tired, mad, aggravated etc...but after a good workout, a warm shower....its all good....I love it.It is helping get though the stress , strain, whatevers and what-nots of daily life, and deployment.Emotionally sound....i didn't say I am ok...sometimes it does get hard...when things coming at you all at once, but i know that GOD IS IN CONTROL...and like one of my favorite songs says...His eye is on the i know he is watching over me.If God takes care of the birds,fish, I know he will do the same for us!
So this is a mini recap until tomorrow.I have to update on Thanksgiving, my family coming in, the there if definitely more to come!

Remember:With everything going on in the world today.Breeding fear, hate, uncertainty, we have to find a solid ground to stand on.Solid principles, solid moral convictions, and a solid base for family.People are loosing their minds it seems.Doing things out of fear, and hate and straight up impulse.I thank God for my faith.I always say it...and will continue.It is faith to believe in a God we cannot see, It is faith...I got it...I believe....I see the evidence.But what I will say and continue to say is that , i'd rather believe in God, and his love than anything else.Where is the LOVE today?Where is the PEACE today.I pray daily for peace and that I see God's love daily.It is not easy always.I was QUICKLY humbled today as I had been thinking about having to pay this, and give here, and buy that.....and was quickly reminded how blessed i am.Blessed to have a husband that was alive.Money to be able to pay bills.Cabinets of food, transportation, healthy children etc.Leaving the kids school today, I noticed that a father , whom I thought had deployed to Iraq with Vannell was back.After speaking about the deployment, and he dropped a bomb like....bam...(we were speaking to the teachers about Man Man's attachment issues at home, and how he was ok, at school...etc...) well the Dad went on to say, "well at least your husband is not home for the reason I am home....he went on to say noone should be home for that reason....Well since he had a band aide on his forehead, I assumed he was injured and concurred, he was like...i was not injured...I'll never forget getting that knock on the I assumed the worst, a IEd, a blast whatever...well something just as bad happened...his home on post burned down....nothing was humbled immediately.All I could do is ask him what I could do to help.forgetting about what I need, and want, I had to ask there anything I could do for him....his reply..I am thankful that I have my family....we can't complain..we will take whatever.....And I have the nerve to be in a tizzy about Christmas, and a Winter Ball and the fact that my husband is alive and well.....but in Iraq......NADDA....

ohh Shoot Maam..I always forget about Maam.She would probably say right now...that's ok...just put the old lady in the corner and forget about I do...sometimes.Maam is busy with work etc.Nothing new and or indifferent.With the characters I have here, it is soo easy to forget about her....they offer the comedy relief

Untile we "meet" again!