Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Day to Remember

This post deserves a picture. When I tried to take one the batteries had been removed from the camera and we were already running late. This was our first
"real" day in our new lives here in New Mexico. The move went smoothly and was a lot of really hard work. Last week was spent unpacking and getting settled. Today was my husband's first day at his new assignment and Peanut's first day of pre-school. Big day.

Let me back up. When we visited here in November a good friend of mine told me about a newly opened Catholic school that has a pre-K class for three year olds. I had been wanting to put Peanut in a mother's day out program in Oklahoma but was refused because he is not fully vaccinated. Surely the Catholics would understand me not using vaccines with aborted fetal cell tissue. So we looked into it, visited the classroom and fell in love with it all. Our intention is still to home school when our children get older, but this seemed like a good way for Peanut to socialize and learn how to behave in a structured environment. A bonus is that we love his teacher.

So anyways, today was his first day. He was so cute with his little backpack all ready to go. The only problem was Miss Belle thought she was going with him. This entire week, every time the word "school" is mentioned she yells, "ME!!!!" and points to her chest. This morning she got her back pack all ready, because anything Peanut does, she follows. When we dropped him off at school he exclaimed, "I want to stay here at school!" so Miss Belle and I said our goodbyes and ventured back to the car. She was not happy at all. She must have really thought all the "ME!!!"s were going to land her a place in pre-school next to her brother. She cried the whole way home. It was really the first time my children have done something apart from each other that I can remember.

I haven't heard an update on my how my husband's first day is going, but I assume it's going well. Life is starting to feel "normal" here as we settle into a routine. Thank you to everyone who prayed for a safe move and smooth transition.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oklahoma: The Things I Don't Want to Forget

I will admit first hand that for many of you this post will be boring and possibly not worth reading. It is mostly for myself as I come closer and closer to leaving this place I call home.

The Bad:

Lawn Mowing Mondays: Pretty self explanatory. While it's great that other people mow our front lawn for us every week, it ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS happens right at nap time. Change naps time you say? Tried that. It doesn't matter when I put them down for naps. Whether it's twelve or two, the mow men come to our yard at that time. And in case you don't know, for a three year old boy, riding lawn mowers are about the most exciting thing ever. Riding lawn mowers can also make the worst come out of mommy when they come at nap time. I would be embarrassed to tell you the many horrid things I have thought of doing to those mowers when they wake my sleeping children...

The Obesity: This is good and bad. Never in my life have I seen so many obese people as I have in Oklahoma. About a year after living here I figured out why there seems to be an obesity epidemic here...it's because they have awesome fried chicken and the weather always sucks so bad you can't go outside to exercise. The upside is, I'm ten pounds overweight and I look like an anorexic compared to most around here.

The Weather: Sometimes exciting, but mostly sucky. Nothing like locking yourself in a closet while tornado sirens sound and the creepy computer weather voice keeps telling you to take shelter. By the way, a closet does not make you feel safe in the midst of a tornado. It's ridiculously hot and humid in the summer (and I'm from the desert, so I know hot) and the winter is filled with a strong wind so cold it literally takes your breath away. Ice storms knock out power for days, and as mentioned before, the spring brings tornadoes. When speaking of the weather in Oklahoma, my husband always says, "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change".

The Good:

The Drive to The Farm: About once every two weeks the kids and I take a drive out to a local farm and buy fresh milk straight from the cow. No pasteurization or homogenization, just real whole milk. This milk was my life saver about a year ago, when Peanut was still showing signs of a dairy intolerance and wasn't gaining weight. After almost two years of worrying about his size and calorie intake, this farm came into our lives and relieved so much stress. It's a drive I always look forward to, knowing that I am going to get my children real, healthy and nutritious food from people who work very hard at what they do. A bonus blessing is that the drive itself is beautiful. Tree lined country paved roads all the way, with friendly people who always wave. It's the kind of lifestyle you see in movies but didn't think existed anymore; it does in Oklahoma. This is probably the number one thing I will miss about Oklahoma (besides the people).

The Grounding Tree: There is tree in my backyard, just beyond the fence. It is large and gorgeous and changes with the seasons. When looking out my dining room window, my eyes are automatically drawn to this tree. I can't tell you exactly why, but no matter how bad of a day I am having, looking at this tree always makes it better. It grounds me in a way. I guess in some way it reminds me that life is a long process and it takes many hard years to grow such beautiful branches with fruitful leaves. The flowers are fleeting and die with a simple freeze, but this tree always stands firm.

Living on an Air Force base: As much as I hated the idea almost four years ago, I have come to absolutely love the security and fellowship that comes with living on a military base.

The 5 O'Clock National Anthem: Not many people know this, but every day and 5pm on every military base across the U.S., the National Anthem is played. For the few minutes it is playing, life stops on base. Runners stop running, kids stop playing at the park and cars stop at green lights. Military men and women stand at an attentive salutes and civilians are found with their hands patriotically placed on their hearts. The sight can still bring tears to my eyes. It's a sight that reminds you that maybe their is hope for this country, and maybe there are people out their who love the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The General Conservative Mindset: Never in my life have I seen so many pro-life generally conservative bumper stickers as in Oklahoma. In New Mexico your car is sure to get egged once or twice if you place a conservative bumper sticker on your car. It is so refreshing to see people united in keeping America from becoming socialist and knowing that these people genuinely love this nation. Plus, it keeps mommies road rage waaaay down when I don't have to get angry about a ridiculous Obama "change" bumper sticker in front of me. Oklahoma may seriously be "the reddest state on the map" as they claim.

When we first learned we were moving to Oklahoma neither of us were thrilled. It was not on our "wish list". But, through the months and years we have come to love this place and will genuinely miss it when we leave. I'm sure there is much more I will miss but there is packing to do and no more time to write.