Archive for September, 2008

Our First Month of Homeschooling, Complete

September 30, 2008

Over the last couple of days the girls and I have been gathering their school work to organize it and turn it in. Today is the moment of truth. It’s been a challenging first month. They’ve done a good job of sitting down and working and they are always wanting to know what’s next and how to stay on task. It’s been a juggling act for me. I’m confident that we will keep plugging along and that they will both have a successful year. But, I will admit that it’s a big task. With determination and prayer, we will get it done!

Have a great day~

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Washing Machine Woes-The Final Chapter

September 29, 2008

Ah, the washing machine. Such a handy tool. Such a relied upon piece of equipment. Well, I can finally say that the adventure that me and mine went on has finally come to an end. It’s a story that involved many characters and while most washing machines and their owners take only short adventures, lasting a few days, maybe a week, me and mine got to travel together for over 3 weeks!

It started back in the first days of Sept. with my machine telling me it needed a vacation by humming loudly at me and refusing to move (at all!). I waited a day or two and tried to coax it back into the daily grind by rearranging the load that was sitting in it. I even removed the heaviest piece and put it aside, thinking I could convince the machine to finish running and get back to work if the load were only lighter. No luck! The old girl (actually pretty darn young at only 1 1/2) was having none of my coaxing. So, I shut the lid and emailed Clay to see how to find/use our warranty. After 2 days of digging through paperwork (and that load sitting silently in the full tub of water) and sitting patiently on hold for over 1/2 an hour, I had an apt. for a repairman to show up the following day. Oh joy! I rearranged my full day of running kids here and there, to accommodate the guy who would surely knock on my door by noon the next day. I went in and patted the machine and let her know that help was on the way.

After waiting the morning out and receiving no phone call from the shop, I made my call. It took me 3 times to actually speak with a live person. When I did, I was told that there was no possible way that I had an apt. and I was prompted to write this. I went into the laundry room, that had become nearly floorless at this point, looked at and smelled all the laundry and explained the situation to my machine. I turned her on, thinking she might have something to say or that maybe, just maybe, she’d give up on the idea of an extended vacation but she merely hummed loudly at me, letting me know that she, like her owner, was feeling the call of the Gypsy Wind and wanted a change of scenery and a little time to herself. “Alright Girly, I get it. I’ll leave you be until next week when your Knight With Glimmering Tools shows up”.

And show up, he did! After complaining to my warranty company about the service, or lack there of, from the first repair company I asked to be scheduled with a different company. The following Tuesday a very nice repairman showed up at my door and went in to see if he could sooth the girl and get her back in the game. She wasn’t playing! She didn’t just want a kind touch and some soft words, she was seriously demanding some time off and wasn’t going to perform again until she had some new and shiny parts. ~Sigh~ What was there to do?! So, he said he’d order the parts and that he’d call when they came in which would likely be the following Monday. I gave my machine a dirty look because she’d already been on vacation for 6 days and the laundry was out-of-control. I tried to imagine what it would be like after a full 2 weeks of no machine. Luckily, I didn’t have to find out because my girls shared our tale of woe with the housing director and a loaner machine was brought in and set up. This meant that my machine had to be unloaded (remember, there was a load in her when we started this whole adventure) and the horrible smelling water, scooped out. Hm, she may have declared herself “on vacation” but I was working harder than ever. She actually got loaded onto a dolly and moved to our back patio. I suppose that’s what she had been demanding all along…some time in the sunshine, with the fresh breezes blowing over her and a change of scenery. “Well Girly, there you go! Enjoy your time off. The burden has been unloaded and you can enjoy your days in the sun”.

Little did we know that she would be out there for 2 1/2 weeks! Even she grew weary of the outdoors!

I received no phone calls from the repair company over the following week. I did, however get a call from the warranty company wanting to know how the repairs went. ~Chuckling~ “You really want to know?”. So, poor ol’ Rex who was sitting on a phone somewhere in the deep South, got an ear full. With many a “Ma’am” he assured me that I would be hearing from “that, there” repair company and “God bless all those children”.

So, finally, after over 3 weeks of vacationing, my washer got her new and shiny parts, lovingly installed by a happy repairman (thank goodness he was chatty and happy because after all of that, a grumpy, fat guy with too much crack would have sent me over!). The housing director sent someone over to work with Repairman and together they removed the loaner machine and put mine back into place.

She’s back in the game. She knows what I need from her and she seems to be willing to put our adventures behind her and live in the memory of her time in the sun.

What more could this Mommy of Many ask for?

Have a great day~

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Let’s catch up!

September 27, 2008

So, I realize I’ve been a little bit quiet. It’s funny that in one of the busiest times of my life, I’ve turned to being quiet. Well, quiet no more! Let me catch you up on all that’s been happening in the Many Adventures of Mommy of Many;

First off, last weekend I had a very UN-Mommy of Many weekend. I got to go to the HSC Ball and be with some of my favorite people. Even though Clay is still deployed, it was a really fun time. There are several spouses who have deployed spouses, so there was a good-sized group of us and it was a good opportunity to reconnect with the squadron.

The following night, I was able to go to one of my favorite restaurants, Costa Brava, with some of my favorite ladies from the neighborhood to have dinner and celebrate my birthday. It was a great night!

This really was a great weekend and a darn-good week, because not only did I get to do that stuff (notice that there are no children in sight!), but Monday morning, my sister, Maggie, came back for a 2-day visit! Whoo Hoo! She spent May-August with me, to lend a hand during Clay’s deployment and to see how she might like San Diego. She liked it A LOT! We ended her stay with my, much talked-about, Rod Stewart concert experience. This little visit included a happy-hour visit to our favorite restaurant.

Next in the line-up of catching up, HAS to be letting you know that my washer is FINALLY fixed! It’s a whole story in itself and I’ll do it justice soon.

(check out that fancy-schmancy washer! Wish I did laundry looking like THAT, in a washer that looked like THAT!)

So, with my fabulous weekend behind me and my sister back on the plane, I got my head back in the M.O.M. game and took Gabi and Luke-Xavier to a signing story time at our local library. We have incorporated signs since they were both very little. Mariah is in her second year of ASL and I’ve used signing to one degree or another since I was in 4th grade and worked with the deaf preschool that was on our campus. LOVED it! Gabi seems to really enjoy using signs and I want to foster her interest. So, we went to this story time that was put on by an author of some baby-sign books. Gabi came away with 10 new signs. I felt like a good mom! :-)

And to cap the whole thing off, I loaded everyone up the other night and we headed to Cold Stone for their annual Make A Wish fundraising event. They offer a couple different “creations” for free-will donations and all proceeds go to benefit the Make A Wish foundation. Who could say no to that?! The kids thought I was a pretty good mom after that.

So, that’s it! We’ve been keeping busy and life just keeps rolling. There’s a ton of things for me to get done before Clay gets back. My gypsy spirit has been giving me some trouble while I try to focus on all the tasks at hand! I’m getting her under control and will get back to writing regularly. ;-)

But no matter what, you know I’m here, Doing the Dance!

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many Show #45: 6 Months of Deployment Down!

September 23, 2008

We have successfully marked 6 months of this deployment off of our calendar. We are mere weeks away from homecoming. The time has moved quickly which I think is because of the time of the year we’ve gone through. Summer took up a lot of the deployment time. Now that we’ve made it through “back to school” and adjusting to new schools and schedules, we are right at homecoming time. We’ve had a few bumps along the way, but we made it through them and I would call this a successful deployment for the Lang Clan!

Thank you for coming to the site and for listening to the show!

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The Year That’s Moving Too Quickly

September 19, 2008

Last night was our first OSC (Officer’s Spouse Club) meeting of the year. We sat with our calendars and mapped out all the events and meetings for the rest of this calendar year. I am usually really good about all the planning ahead that life takes, but lately I feel like I’m standing on the side of the road watching the cars rush by. HOW did this year go by so quickly? How is it that we have dates for our Christmas parties?! I’m trying to figure out what different frame of mind I’m in, that it’s so difficult for me to grasp the speed at which this year is flying by. I just want to sit for a moment and feel like I can grasp today without worrying about the exact dates of what’s happening for the rest of the year. I guess it just comes down to having to say that I feel rushed and overwhelmed.

Is it just me?

Have a good day~

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6 Months of Deployment, Down!

September 17, 2008

Today we cross over the 6th month of this deployment. The ship is headed back toward home and the kids’ paper chain is getting short.

Looking back on this deployment, I can’t help but feel that it went very quickly. I know that having the summer full of kiddos and activities made the time pass! I think we’ve done well. There have been a few bumps, but most of the time I was able to put life in 4-wheel drive and plow right over them. Hopefully this is an indication of how any future deployments will go. The kids have handled the whole thing pretty well. I know they miss Clay, very much, but we’ve had pictures and phone calls and we pray from him everyday. I think that the constant talking about him and including him in our regular conversations makes a huge difference for the kids.

So, here’s to a successful 6 months!

Have a great day~

P.S. I appreciate your patience with the show! A couple of factors have kept me from getting one up. It will be soon! :-)

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Getting Ready for Homecoming

September 15, 2008

We are in the home-stretch of this deployment. Everyone has done very well! Because of the timing of the deployment it’s flown by! Summer was so filled with activity that we didn’t have a lot of time to focus on the months as they were going by. This is a good thing! Yesterday the families of the Det (detachment) gathered together to make signs that will be posted in the squadron when the Det returns. It was a good chance for the families to come together and share how the deployment has gone for them. The kids really enjoyed the sign-making. Come on, they were allowed to use paint!


Det spouses


Det kiddos

Have a great day~

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Some Good Stuff From the Lang Clan

September 14, 2008

Tristan is in his second week of kayaking. JJ started while he was home this summer and Tristan became very interested in it. Luckily for him, they are able to start at 9 yrs. old. So, He just slid in with his age! It seems like it’s going to be a pretty good fit, sports-wise, for him. He’s played both soccer and baseball, but team sports just don’t seem to be the best fit for him. I’m really excited because I LOVE the water so much and am always SO happy when my kids pick a water sport. My heart is still a little sad and tender from when Kateri quit diving for the high school to be in drama. However…..she was awesome in the plays she did! Mariah teased me a little by saying that she was thinking about the school’s swim team. Then she changed her mind. But, I’m getting off track! My only point is how much I love water sports and watching my kids participate in them. So……here’s hoping that Tristan continues to enjoy kayaking!
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It’s Sunday morning and our routine got all screwed-up. But, it’s for good reason! Clay’s in port and for the first time in weeks, we were able to talk. I hung up around 1 am. I wouldn’t have had any problem getting up and going, regular time, except Luke-Xavier woke up around 3:30. Guess what?! He’s still up! So, I had to resign myself to catching bits of sleep while he was interested in a movie (for about 10 minutes at a time). Anyway, the kiddos were also able to talk to Clay, this morning. Everyone’s getting excited about homecoming. We are going to a get-together for sign-making a little later today. It’s good for the kids to start understanding that the end is near and to be excited about incorporating Dad back into their lives and routines. Before we know it, the deployment will be over and it will seem like he was never gone.

Have a great day~

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A Tale to Share

September 11, 2008

Today’s Tale started two days ago and goes something like this;

So the washing machine guy finally showed up (again we are 1 day shy of a week) and let me know (nicely enough) that it will likely be Monday before the parts are in and the labor can be done. He also let me know that my washer is the biggest POS he’s seen and would never recommend this model because he’s always working on them (where was he when I was buying it?!). I pointed to the fact that there is hardly a floor in the laundry room right now, imagine what it’ll look like come MONDAY. He chuckled and said to hit the laundromat. I chuckled back and said that pigs will fly before I pump $50 or more into a laundromat when I spent $1000 on the machine and extra for the extended warranty.

So, Gabi (being the inquisitive young lady she is) wouldn’t get out of the way while he was working and I finally had to send her to her room. Out of rebellion she peed on the desk chair so that she could come out and take a bath (stubborn but brilliant!). Great! One more load of laundry that I can’t do!

Fast forward a day and things were looking a little better;

Arianna and Maddi attended a community event at our rec center. While they were there, I happened to drive by on my way to switch the loads of laundry at our friend’s house. The director was talking with the girls and saw me drive by and asked them where I was going. This prompted them to tell the whole, dramatic washing machine story. She told them to have me come into the office the following morning.

Well, I have complained from time to time about the way our housing is managed but all I could do was sing their praises when an hour after I was in the office, I was loading laundry into the machine that they brought over, put into place and are loaning me until mine is fixed! Talk about service! I see a box of chocolates in their future!

Word to the wise; if ever your washer goes out and there’s water and a load of laundry still in it, get it out ASAP! I left mine and had to deal with it when maintenance showed up with the loaner machine. Ugh! I have never smelled anything so awful!

So, there it is, the dramatic, yet true, tale of my washing machine drama. And yes, the picture above is an actual photo of the amount of laundry waiting to be washed. Keep in mind that each bedroom is holding a full laundry basket who’s contents are waiting anxiously to join in the pile.

Have a great day~

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Look, look, look, look!

September 9, 2008

Alright, I’m fighting the urge to write about being frustrated that I STILL have a broken washing machine or a few other frustrating topics. So, I am going to focus on something that was a lot of fun and a high point in our summer. I told you about our photo shoot and what a great experience we had with the photographer. Well, here’s the finished product! Mariah (though she’s not quick to admit it) really enjoyed sharing the magazine with friends and family and her interview was insightful and heartfelt. Unfortunately I can not post her interview here, but, JJ was also interviewed and photographed and his interview is online. Click here to see his picture and read what he had to say about growing up as a Military Brat.

Thanks, once again to Deb for the great job she did!

Ok, there! I successfully kept from pouring out my frustration. Say a lil prayer that the repairman shows up or you’ll have to shoo the children away from the computer lest they be scarred by my scathing and biting words, tomorrow.

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many Goes A’Knocking

September 8, 2008

Sometimes it really does take a village. In this case it took a neighborhood of washing machines to help me get some laundry done.

Last week my washing machine stopped working. The following day I spent much time pouring over a box of papers looking for my warranty. The good news was that I found it! The next day I spent a good amount of time on hold with the warranty company. By the time I hung up, I had an apt. for repairs the following day. So, I jumped through many hoops to make sure I’d be here when they showed up. Well, the time came and went and no one showed up. 3 phone calls later, I was told that it was impossible that I would have had an apt. Hmmm…..REALLY?! So, back to the phone with the warranty company, where I was assured they would get to the root of the problem and call me back. Uh huh. No phone call ever came in. So, yesterday I spent more than a half-hour on hold waiting to get through so that I could speak, in a decidedly even tone and let them know that I needed my machine repaired! Yep, I played the “9 kids, no washer for 4 days” card. Well, I’m supposed to have an apt. tomorrow between the convenient hours of 12 and 5. However, I do 4-6 loads of laundry a day, everyday and that means that the laundry has now taken over the laundry room and there weren’t any clean towels left.

This is where the knocking comes in. I decided I better ask a neighbor if I could do a load of towels so that the kiddos could shower before school tomorrow. Once I got that load going I had the bright idea of asking other neighbors if I could do a load at their homes. Bottom line-I was able to get 4 loads done and now the kids can go to school in clean underwear AND dry off with a clean towel.

Life is good!

So, let’s hope that rearranging my schedule for, yet another day, will produce a repairman at my door! And to the various neighbors who lent their washers and dryers to the cause…..Thanks!

Good night~

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Doing the Dance of the Children

September 5, 2008

There has been some serious dancing going on this week! I’m not sure how I forgot the crazy, busy way my life goes once school starts! I think I was still vacationing in La La Land and didn’t take the time to prepare my mind and home for what was coming. But, come it did and now I’m dancing to keep up.

Here’s a sample;

5:00 Alarm clock went off
5:30 Finish emails as Luke-Xavier wanders out asking for hot chocolate
7:15 Out the door with the boys for school AND to drive Mariah since her carpool backed out for this morning
8:00 Start wondering when the repairman for the washer will arrive (supposed to be sometime before noon and the laundry is starting to take over the house).
10:30 Leave to take Anna and Maddi to a class (hoping that the repairman isn’t picking this as his arrival time!)
1:00 Go back to get Anna and Maddi
1:00 Take Anna to a bday party
1:30 Back to the school to meet with the girls’ “teacher” to pick classes and gather books
3:00 Pick the boys up from the kind-hearted neighbor who’s keeping them while I do all this afternoon stuff
4:00 Pick Anna up from party
5:00 Distribute girls to various babysitting jobs
5:30 Make dinner
7:30 Wine tasting and a little unwinding with Mr. Mike (I’m gonna need this!)

Alright, that’s an overview. Did I mention breakfast, lunch, naps, returning books to the library, keeping the washer going continually (once it’s fixed), putting together the package of forgotten items that JJ called me with………..you get the idea!

Let the Dance begin!

Have a great day~

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The First Day of School

September 4, 2008

We’ve made it through the first couple of days of school. The boys jumped into their new school with no problems. They both know kids that are in their classes and that they see on the playground. I think it’ll be a good year for them.

We are still working out some bugs with the girls’ situation. I’m sure I’ll be doing a good bit of talking about our schooling experiences as the year goes along. We are on a journey this year. Change scares the heck out of me. So, one step at a time, we’re moving forward.

I hope the school year has started off well for each of you!

Have a great day~

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Mommy of Many Show #44: Back to School

September 1, 2008

Tomorrow morning we wake up to a new school year! Where did the summer go?! Kateri, JJ and Mariah are all back at school. It’s time for routine and predictability, once again. I think I’m ready! We have some changes to where the kids will be going to school this year. I’m nervous and hopeful.

I hope you each had a wonderful summer and that you’re ready for the school year and all it brings.

Thank you for visiting the site and for listening to the show. Have a show idea? Let me know!

Click HERE to leave a review for Mommy of Many at iTunes.

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Dryer Drama

September 1, 2008

Recently, I had an issue with my clothes dryer. I went to pull a load out and it was still damp. So, I put a little more time on it and restarted it. When it finished and I went back, the clothes were, again, still damp. I checked the lint trap. I checked the hose connection for any kinks. I checked to see that it was getting warm. Once more, I put a little more time on it and turned it on. When it finished, I opened the door, full of hope that it had fixed itself, but again…..damp clothing. So, I started searching through files for the warranty. The washer and dryer were just over a year old, how could anything go wrong? After a few hours with no luck and the laundry piling up like 5pm traffic, I decided to pull the dryer out and get out my handy, long-handled, made for this type of thing, lint brush and try to fix the situation. I cleaned out every area I could find to clean. I detached the hose from the wall and shook it out. This frightened me because I knew that the hose connected to the vent on the outside of the house and what if the problem was that a little mouse had climbed inside and built a lovely and cozy home. But, shook it, I did and no mouse fell out. Whew! I was very brave! But wait! The vent on the outside of the house! I had forgotten it. Maybe it needed to be cleaned. So, brave as I am, I sent JJ out with the long-handled, just for this occasion brush and told him to clean the vent. Dutifully he went out to do it. Pretty soon he called to me, “Mom. Come here.” I did not like the sound of that! What if the mouse was living in the vent and JJ had just discovered a thriving nest? (yes, I DO have a fear of mice.) “Ok, here I come”. When I got out there, I couldn’t believe my eyes! The vent cover was smashed, completely flat against the house!!!! No wonder nothing was getting dry! JJ popped it out and we started drying clothing once again. As I thought about the whole thing and wondered what could have happened, it dawned on me that a certain bat-loving, bangs-on-everything, 5 year-old boy might just have something to do with it. You think?

Good night~

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