July 17, 2009

Hawaii Vacation

To make good use of my "missing Dan" time today, I thought I would be productive and post pictures of our vacation trip from 2 months ago!!! I'm nothing if not completely behind on everything in life!
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A Little Navy Vocabulary

You should understand the following Navy terms by the end of this blog post:
  1. Leave
  2. Duty
  3. Stand Down
  4. Turn Over Day
Please ask questions if I haven't made it clear!

The Navy is generous about giving the service member time off upon return from deployment. It's actually an interesting part of Navy life, so I thought I would educate! There is a 4 week "stand down period" during which half of the ship gets to take vacation leave during the 1st 2 weeks and then the other half takes leave the 2nd 2 weeks. We decided this time that Dan would take vacation time during the 1st 2 weeks, so he has been home with us every day. Taking leave is just like putting in for vacation time at a civilian job.

But here's the nice perk! During the 2 weeks that he is NOT on vacation, he only has to go to the ship every 4th day for a 24-hour period. This is called his "duty" day. Normally, he serves it every 8th day (while also working normal daily hours), but during stand down time they "collapse" the duty sections so that they don't have to work at all the other 3 days. It's awesome, and my vote is that it should be the schedule all the time! [Dan is going to seriously crack up at that suggestion-obviously, no one cares about my opinion.]

Today is "turn over day". This is the day in between the 2 leave periods where the responsibilities are handed over from one half of the ship to the other half of the ship. On this day, everyone ("all hands") are required to show up to work whether they have duty or not. So alas, that's where Dan is today, and it's like a little twinge of reality starting to settle back in. The nice thing is that his duty day (the 24-hr shift) also happens to fall on today, so at least he kills two birds with one stone. Usually with our luck, he has to go to turn over day, and then go back the very next day for duty.

Okay, so did I explain those words in enough detail?

July 16, 2009

Everyone's Hero

Yesterday we saw Everyone's Hero as part of Regal Theaters free summer movies. It was our first time to see it, and it was so cute! Here's what I liked...
  1. Heartwarming & inspiring story (more like a non-animated film)
  2. Fantastic cast-practically every voice was a famous person
  3. Humor-the baseball (voice by Rob Reiner) had a great sarcastic wit, and the physical comedy had the kids throughout the theater roaring with laughter
  4. Perseverance was encouraged-the main character didn't want to play baseball anymore because he wasn't good, but his Dad taught him that the only way to get good is to "Keep on Swinging". This is a continuing concept we try to teach Timothy, and we have already used this phrase a few times since the movie!
Here's the trailer:

I highly recommend it! And just in case you don't know about the summer movie programs in your area, here's the information. Just click on the theater name:

Regal Cinema Free Family Film Festival

This theater offers 2 movies every Tues & Wed at 10am. Both play each day, and at the theater we go to they played each movie on 2 screens. The one drawback of this theater (to me) is that Samantha's weight can't hold the chair down. She has to either sit on the very edge of the seat or in my lap. The obvious plus side is that these movies are completely free!

AMC Summer Movie Camp
This theater offers 1 movie on Wed at 10am. There is a $1 admission fee that goes to charity. Both theaters are playing generally the same movies, just in a different sequence. As I've stated already, I think the AMC theater is more conducive to a preschooler. Not only do the seats stay down, but the chairs have high backs which allows less fiddling with other people.

We've had great experiences at both, and the most important thing is that it's the cheapest way to ever see a movie!

July 15, 2009

Hearts at Home University

Motherhood is a valid profession.

It is that belief that inspired Jill Savage and a group of women to plan the first Hearts at Home conference 16 years ago. Today these conferences are a place where moms can go to find the encouragement and education they need to do this mothering thing right!

The problem is, not everyone can attend a Hearts at Home conference, so Hearts at Home University was created!

Hearts at Home University is a new resource designed to encourage and equip you in your journey as a parent! These live web casts, affordably priced at $15 each, allow you to tap into continuing education as a mom on a regular basis right from the comfort of your own computer.

The topics that will be covered over the Summer Semester include:

“Redefining Romance” with Mark and Jill Savage
“Keeping Your Ducks in a Relative Row” with Karen Ehman

For information on dates and times, or to register go here.

WW & SEW: The Head Tilt

Samantha's new "pose" for the camera includes this adorable head tilt, along with her standard "CHEESE!" This was taken on July 3rd. The bear in her lap was given to her by Russ & Sherry, CF parents in Hawaii, whom Dan met while he was there. Sherry is the Great Strides coordinator in HI and gave Dan this bear to pass on to Samantha.

This was taken today at the beach. Samantha was totally stoked about her new "kitty" goggles. If you look closely you can see the catlike skin.

For more Wordless Wednesday (WW), visit 5 Minutes for Mom.
For more Special Exposure Wednesday (SEW), visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

July 14, 2009

Children's Classics: Beach Destination

Title: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell
Author: Lucille Colandro
Illustrator: Jared Lee

Publisher: Scholastic

Do you know the Children's classic, "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly"? I grew up knowing the story and an accompanying melody. In this modern day twist, the "Old lady" swallows common objects and creatures you would find at a beach. The reader is puzzled (and tickled) by her choices, and then at the end of the story when she burps it all up...SPOILER ALERT....she "builds a sand castle". The same author has written other versions as well, even a "snow" version for those of you in colder climates! This is an enjoyable book that always gets us in the mood to go to the beach (not that we need much motivation!)

For more Children's Classic books that have inspired trips, head on over to 5 Minutes for Books.

July 13, 2009

Magic Marker Monday: Great-Grandpa's B-day

Dan's grandfather just turned 86. It's always easy to remember because Timothy was a newborn at the 80th b-day party. Dan's aunt coordinated a group of memoirs to give him this year, and Timothy was actually excited when I told him what he was drawing! He said he wanted to color all the things of a b-day party, and if you look really closely you can see the balloons, the cake, and the presents!

The Bible says, "Perfect love casts out fear", and I see this over and over again in Timothy. When he cares enough about someone or something, he can even get over his fears of drawing!

Dan's Home from Deployment!

So isn't that the oldest news in the world? Yes, that happened on July 2nd....eleven days ago! What a happy, happy day it was, and we continue to celebrate. Both kids trying to be still for a picture....

That's Dan's ship coming around the corner...

The kids had been standing on this table to try to see Daddy, so when he appeared right in front of them, they were scrambling off to get to him...

In this post of the day Dan left, you will see this Kansas Jayhawk hat. Dan told Timothy to take care of it for him, which is why he is wearing it the day Dan returned. "Dad, I took care of your hat"...

A little interesting deployment info. The Navy gives anyone on the ship the opportunity to order flowers to give to their loved one the day they return. They are purchased at our exchange here in San Diego and sent by tugboat over to the ship the morning of! Because of this fantastic tradition, I received these...

But what Dan added this time was Samantha's 1st rose of "Sixty-five" that we plan on giving her throughout her lifetime. Samantha didn't know what to do with it, and immediately handed it to me when Dan gave it to her...

Then we went on the ship to get Dan's stuff and wait for "liberty call", and the kids were just too happy for words. We have all kinds of problems getting nice pictures of Samantha, but this day we got these 2...

Welcome Home, honey!

July 1, 2009

There is so much I want to write about Timothy turning 6, but there is much partying to be had so I will have to save it for later! Thank you Grandpa & Grandma Massey for the awesome birthday presents! Timothy's day started off SO happy!

We're off to see Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs!!!!!!!!!