Friday, January 31, 2014

7 Quick Takes - #13

Thank you for all the kind words and excitement (here and on Facebook) after Sunday's post.  You guys are the best!
My new favorite thing to eat lately is pretzels dipped in yellow mustard.  I am positive this has nothing to do with little human growing in my body.  It has everything to do with still not going to the grocery store.  I have picked up things here and there, but I haven't gone grocery shopping in weeks.  Thank goodness for reduced meat in our deep freezer.  And $5 Hot and Ready Pizzas at Little Ceasers.  I should be ashamed of the change collecting I have done in the couch just to avoid making dinner with the random assortment of ingredients we have in our pantry...but I'm not.  Dinner for $10.30...yes please. Go ahead, judge me...and judge hard!
                                                                 --- 3 ---
Simon is completely refusing his nap during the day.  I am pretty sure I mentioned it last week, but he is still on strike.  As I type this up he is screeching from the cell that is his crib.  I have a real internal battle between cry it out and the attached parenting route.  I think my parenting style lands somewhere in the middle.  Simon's constant need for may attention is uncharted territory for me.  When I'm not able to figure out what he wants/needs I become impatient and angry.  Misery loves company even at 15 months I suppose.
It's a balmy 30 degrees and feels like 18...Where are my shorts, y'all!  It's a heat wave!!!!  I have nothing else to report on that.
We finally passed out books at CWOC (Catholic Women of the Chapel).  We are starting Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Mathew Kelly.  Chapter 1 is due by Wednesday.  Feel free to read along with us if you want.  You can get the kindle version here.  I haven't read this book yet, but I'm sure the discussions will be exciting and I will leave every Wednesday wanting to make changes in my life.  We will see.  I will try to let you know how it all goes.
I got a call yesterday that labs say I'm in fact pregnant.  So in two weeks I have to be seen by my physician so they can write a referal to be seen at the OBGYN.  This will be the third baby I will have here in NY and this process has been different than the last two.  Just seems like some wasted time, but whatever.  I will jump through your hoops...I will jump through your hoops.  *yawn*  Sorry these takes are painful.  I probably wouldn't even bother writing them this week if it wasn't for take 7.  I'm curious.
We are torn whether to find out the sex of the baby or not.  Actually, I'm torn.  Chris has an opinion but has said that he would go with whatever I choose.  I recently read some opinions on post in a Facebook group I'm in.  Some people shared experiences of finding out with one pregnancy and not finding out with another.  Many had a preference on way or another, but there were a few that didn't have a preference.  The last three we have found out what we were having.  Considering not finding out with this one.  Like I said, Chris does have an opinion, but willing to do whatever I would like to do this round.  I'm completely on the fence. Then if we don't find out should be do a baby pool?  A little bit of gambling to celebrate a new life!  Gambling and whiskey (or tequila, or rum, or milk...whatever your poison). So do you have an experience to share?  I would really like to hear it!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

School part 2

A few months ago I wrote a post giving reason why we are considering to homeschool our children next year.  My plan had been to do a follow up with reasons we wouldn't homeschool.  Always the procrastinator....even when I don't mean to be.  And though we are pretty sure we have made a decision things can change.  We don't know what the future holds.  So here we go...

First and foremost, it is A LOT of work.  I'm sure rewarding.  But a lot of work.  I feel like I have tons to do now as it is.  And I try to dodge that when I can.  The kids education can't be dodged.  So why not let a professional handle the work of initially teaching the concepts.  Let me be clear, it's not all on the teachers.  We wouldn't be disengaged.  We would follow up on homework, communicate with the teacher if we have a problem, and seek tutors if one of the kids needs extra help.  If we have a problem with a specific teacher that isn't being resolved to will touch base with the administration.  We aren't ones to just assume the teacher is the problem...we would likely give the benefit of the doubt several times before feeling the need to take extra measures. Seriously, we love teachers!

Cost.  Nothing is free.  Public schools are bending over backwards to get money from their state and the federal government.  The curricula we are looking at for our kids is going to cost some money.  With that said, homeschooling is much cheaper than sending them to a private school, but public school would not come directly out of our pockets.  I know taxes and such, we will have to pay that anyway but nothing more.  We are living on an extremely tight budget.  With homeschooling, we would likely spend more money on food too.  My kids like to snack and snack and snack.

Quiet.  I love my children.  And even when they are loud and full of energy, I'm not too bothered.  I love being around my kids.  I realize there are people who truly need a break to recharge so they can be an effective parent for the rest of the day.  I am NOT saying that those people do not love their kids or they don't love being around their kids, but I don't need that recharge quite like others do.  However, I do have days like this!!!   Not to mention, one or two of my kids have been in preschool five days a week for the past two years.  So I might need a daily recharge, and I'm not aware of it.  But I can appreciate my house when it's quiet.  I don't love it for too long, but every so often when I have that rare day that Simon takes his nap while the other two are in school...It is nice.  And I don't feel guilty that I enjoy it.  So sending the kids to school would keep the volume down in the house most of the day.  Big Plus!

Productive.  Let's beat the dead horse a little more, shall we?  I am not a good housekeeper.  When the kids are at school I will have more opportunities to try and keep the house tidy.  I know my kids are in school now, but there is lots of driving involved.  By the time we are home and fed it's time to start putting coat on again.  So attending school there will be no driving because they would ride the bus, and  they have longer days.  Which means more time the kids are out of the house and not destroying it.

Teachers.  I like I said earlier we love teachers.  I have several friends that are teachers.  I believe that most teachers genuinely care for their students and want every last one of them to succeed.  They passionately want to help mold the future generations to be better than our current.  Even with their hands tied, many teachers have adapted and are very creative to try to make a fun learning environment for their students.  The experience we have had so far with the kids' teachers have been wonderful.  Communication has remained open to help sort out any issues that kid needs to over come.  They have been able to help reinforce (emotional management, specifically) within a different environment.  The teachers have been able to recognize behavior that might not arise at home.  They have helped Chris and I to hold the kids accountable for their actions.

Schools have more resources than I do in my home.  Materials could be supplemented, but some might be a little more difficult to have readily available in our home.

Confidence.  I worry about my ability to run a homeschool.  My bad habits will affect the quality of our school if I don't fix them quickly.  I'm afraid the lack of organization and my ability to procrastinate EVERYTHING is pushing pro level and will bite me in the arse causing the kids' education to suffer.  Also, figuring out my teaching style, my kids' learning style, and how to make the two work well together.  I'm not even sure where to begin to determine either one of those things. And how will I know if I'm right?

So far the kids really like school.  So why mess with good thing?

It's a little sad to think of some of the thing I loved that they will miss out on.  Pageants, assemblies, riding a bus, yearbooks, pep rallies, fundraisers, proms, homecoming, band competitions.  Homeschools have supplemented many of these things in some way.  And often you can work with the public school to participate in some extra curricular activities.  But it will be different than what I experienced.

So there are a few reasons we have considered to not homeschool.  For us it isn't homeschool vs. public school vs. private school.  Meaning we can't say one is better than the other.  We have to follow our calling.  We all have different vocations, and we are called to do different things, even in the way we parent and the choices we make as parents.  Kendra is on point! (saying it waaaay better than I ever could!)  Discerning and following God's plan (even if it isn't the plan you want to follow) is what should be done.  It's not always an easy to follow God's plan, but in my 30 years of existence I can say fighting against His plan has wreaked havoc on our lives.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Little Bit About Nothing.

Like the last three times we have had a positive pregnancy test, I am in this surreal haze.  You know, I don't really feel any different than I did before I took the test Saturday morning.  But the knowledge of a little human growing inside my body is pretty cool!  I'm carrying two souls, y' awesome is that!?!

I know this is kind of a long clip...but work the watch.  A woman's body is awesome!!!!

I love Jim Gaffifan!  "Ah, four kids.  Well that's one way to live your life."  HAHA.  Cracks me up!  The whole show is on Netflix instant stream.

I will try not to make every post be about joys and woes of pregnancy.  Maybe I will just keep in the 7 Quick Takes each week.  Or maybe I will end up being a completely liar.  The effort will be real; the execution of said efforts will likely fail.  

Well, school was just dismissed.    I wish Chris would get released.  He was released early yesterday, because of the white out conditions...and then it they stopped.  I know they don't want to do the same thing today, but It would be great if he was off by 2 so he could swing in and pick up Amelia so I don't have to leave the house again.

It's still rather cold here, but I feel it's worth it if snow is falling.  My weather app has been all over the place trying to predict snow accumulations this year.  Over estimating and under estimating.  I hope it's under estimating.  I love being snowed in.  Of course I sincerely home that their are pockets surrounding my friends homes with deployed husbands so they don't have to shovel...I sincerely mean that!!!  I really have conflicting emotions when it comes to this snowfall when I know so many people with husbands away.

To add to all of Simon's wonderful and terrible babyhood, he has started to refuse naps.  My other two did the same thing around 20 months.  Simon is only 15.  Come on dude!!!  I could even handle the napless days if he were at least somewhat pleasant.  By 4:00 he's a mess if he's missed his nap.  Once the other two started skipping nap they were able to keep it together most of the time.

Ok, will end this.  If you battled through this boring post, bless you!  Here are some pictures of the kids making a winter craft two nights ago so it wasn't a complete waste of your time.

My kids are trend setters, just like their mom! ;)

Winter hat, plastic crown, dog purse, cowboy boots

Sunday, January 26, 2014

PSA: Designer Sweats and a Slideshow

I have tried to start this post in a number of different ways.  A little bit of humor...then I was all...Ohhhh, no one will think this if funny...then I was trying to be creative....and then I was all....Ohhhh, this is lame and NOT what I have envisioned.  And then I thought I would be blunt and that was no fun....So I'm not sure how I want to do this...Maybe I will share all three.  You'll have wasted two minutes of your time that you will not get back.  You will be told the same thing three times.  I will still be lame.  And life will go on. Maybe.  Shall we begin?  Yes? Good.

I will begin with the funny story.  I suppose.

All I wanted for Christmas was sweat pants.  Yep, that's right, sweats.  Five pairs so I could wear them throughout the week while running kids around if I want.  He said that he did not want to encourage dressing like a slob all week.  I'm pretty sure those were his exact words too.  My response to that was that I would like "designer sweats".  He said there is no such thing as "designer sweats".

I tried to explain to him that I see lots of moms who will occasionally wear some sweat pants and hoodie while picking their son or daughter from school, and they don't look like slobs.  They usually have their hair brushed and maybe a little make up.  Maybe it's that "general maintenance" rather that these "designer sweats" I think they I'm loving the quotations!

I just want to be comfy and warm.  Let me complain a little more about how cold it has been here.  I don't feel like I can get warm!  Again, I love cold weather.  And I love snow.  But this to the bone cold has been something else.  When summer hits and we are in the high 80s have no fear, I will be here to complain about that too.  Nicole hates being hot, y'all.

Anyway, not only do jeans not fit me very well, but I don't feel like they keep me very warm.  Days that I really don't care and go out in my old, worn grey sweat pants to drop kids off I'm not as cold.  Maybe it's me trying to create logical reasons to wear sweat on the reg...maybe.

Like most things I'm not really sure where I'm heading with this post.  Maybe I want you guys to take my side on this "designer sweat" debate.  Or talk me down form the edge of a slippery slope that is hard to come back from.  Because now Chris is saying I can go and buy myself some sweats since I'm pregnant and all. :)

Now here is my little slide show!

And finally if you didn't get the message.  I am bluntly stating that I am pregnant :)

I took a test yesterday.  Positive.  We have told the parental units and our siblings. I have not had it confirmed by the doctor.  Maybe we should wait for confirmation, but that's not how we do things 'round here.  Plus, we have already told the kids, and Owen cannot wait to tell his friends :)  By my personal calculations I am due Oct 2...I know another October baby.  I guess we have nothing else better to do after the new year.

Friday, January 24, 2014

7 Quick Takes - #12

I should totally be cleaning my house.  Seriously, wow!  But I've become an expert at putting off until another day.  I'm here another day.  Sitting here under a blanket while occasionally sipping on some tea is much more appealing than dealing with the tornado that is "kid area" of our living room or vacuuming up the cracker crumbs that have been lingering for a couple of day.  I'll get to it after I type this up for you wonderful people...maybe.
I'm making chili tonight.  It has been really, really cold.  Apparently Watertown made national new for being the coldest town in the U.S. or something.  Plus, Chris asks for it often, and I never make it.  Mainly because I'm not very good a making chili.  I am trying to use those dry beans and I never get them prepped all the way or something.  If I use cans it becomes mushy...and don't bet me started on the over all taste.  I think I'm an okay cook.  Not horrible, not wonderful.  I just go through phase where meal after meal is a disappointment.  I'm in one of those phases now.  If you have a chili recipe, please share.  I am trolling the interwebs to find one.
My kids are all in super fun stages right now *insert sarcasm*.  Well Owen's isn't new, but it's hit a new level of annoying.  Whining.  Must we use the whining voice whenever you speak to me?  Why does this seem like the logical way to get what you want?  I know kids are far from logical, but if anything whining makes me what to dig my heals into the ground and not give in...I might need to do some parental evaluation, because maybe I'm giving in more than I realize, and that is why he continues to whine.  I don't know.

Amelia had taken on the new task of changing her clothes a bajillion times a day.  I don't care too much except I'm not fully aware she is changing her clothes until she walks out in the living room or where ever I may be.  And she makes a pretty big mess during the wardrobe changes.  And I'm laxing on making her put away her last outfit since it's not dirty.  My fault, but she should realize that is what I want from her right?

And Simon...Oh Simon.  When he isn't screaming or clinging to my leg, then he is determine to piss his siblings off by changing the input on the television.  Owen now knows how to change it back, but as soon as it is changed back Simon waddles his way to change it yet again.  Which then begins the whining that was mentioned two paragraphs up.

It is taking me forever to do these takes...If I'm lucky I will have them up sometime today...Time will tell.  Anyway, Chris was given a half a day because he reenlisted today!  We are excited to see what the next three years hold.  I'm hopeful anyway.
I wish I could write the commentary between Amelia and...well with anyone.  Her delivery is priceless.  But I'll try anyway.

While driving home from school.
Brent (the kids' friend):  I want that. (points at Taco Bell)
Amelia: What?
Brent: I want that.  (still pointing at Taco Bell)
Amelia: Huh?
Brent: That. (Taco Bell)
Amelia:  I don't know what your problem is.

Driving up to the gate.
Soldier wearing neck gaiter:  Welcome to Fort Drum.
Chris: Thanks.
Soldier: Have a good evening.
Chris: You too.
Amelia: He looks like a "inja".

Talking about her "friend" from Carolina. (not sure who the friend is).
Amelia: Hers in bed.
Me: She's in bed.
Amelia: Right, hers in bed.
Me: Not her, she.
Amelia: Her-she's in bed.
Me: Yes, she.
Amelia: Hers in bed.
Me:  .......
Pronouns are hard.
And it is much, much later in the day.  I didn't make that chili, but I would still like a recipe if you have one.  I will probably make it on Saturday or Sunday.

Now I'm just searching for things to share.  I posted more this week than usual.  Or maybe I'm trying to finish up to watch Season 1 Disc 5 of Game of Thrones.
I finished these takes before midnight!  BOOM!!!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Flight Packet Number 2

I mentioned in Friday's 7QT that Chris is resubmitting a flight packet. There really isn't too much to tell just beg and then beg some more for your prayers. So far everything is running rather smoothly. 

Once Chris decided to resubmit he looked at the website. There was a notice that certain MOSs (job titles) didn't have enough applicants. They were extending the packet deadline for the January board and selection is likely to be very high. Though we had missed that deadline we are hopeful that it will be a similar trend for the next board in May (packet deadline is March 14th). Last time it took a while, but meeting that deadline is doable.

OK Chris becoming a pilot has been our entire marriage. And we were very....disappointed (ok i was crushed) when things didn't go our way 2 years ago.  I'm neurotic and crazy and want to know every detail of how the process is going.  I know that can drive Chris a bit crazy, and he has been great at accepting my....quirks.

Well, he needs 3 letters of recommendation (LOR). Last time we waited on these for a while. They were redeploying.  So block leave/the holidays slowed him down, and the commander at the time waited for her computer. But the LORs were very good.

This time he has already had two interviews for the LORs with his new commander and squadron commander (SCO). The SCO seemed to be a little surprised that Chris was passed up last time, and has offered to look at his resume to make sure it sounds "Army". Chris is a really good writer (way better than the mess I have you guys read here) but "Army" writing doesn't come naturally. The SCO has had some practice at this, so I am sure anything he has to add will be helpful.  He still needs to interview a senior warrant officer. The one in his squadron just returned from Afghanistan so Chris isn't sure when a good time would be to knock on his door.

He has to update his DA Photo. That appointment is set for February 26.

He needs a flight physical. He has to do some labs first.

A PT test. He is going to the gym regularly during lunch and on the weekends. He has never failed a test...or even close to failing, but he isn't a PT rock star either. We will be very happy with a 260 PT score.

The last thing is the SIFT test. It replaced the AFAST. It is my personal opinion that this is what hurt him last time. He passed with a decent score, but some applicants we blowing the test out of the water because there was so much material out there. Chris also took the test while deployed which I think hurt his focus.  But this is all my speculation. He will be taking the SIFT test on February 20th. We are studying and praying for a 55 or better.

So if he gets all this done by March 14 then his packet will be review May birthday week. This the same week two years ago when his packet was reviewed.

Now I have to keep my "what ifs" and "I hopes" and "if this works out then" in check.  I do think not getting selected was humbling. And there has been lots of growth for both of us since.  My kids have been asking in their night time prayers for Dad to fly helicopter....well that and a new baby and birthday cake prayer time gets a little off course sometimes.

This is "the dream" for us Lockharts, but we know it may not be His will.  I just really want it to be His will. I have gotten to fly once with Chris in a little Cesena, and I will not forget how happy he was to be in the air. Not being able to make it happen for him is where my crazy...quirks...get even crazier. I want to know every detail and exhaust every option.  I know what I need to remain docile and open to His will.  That's the struggle.

The day we flew to Danville, VA in 2007. He looks a little different now :)
So, if you see me and I can't seem to shut up about this damn packet.  And you have had enough, feel free to smack me.  I'm sure you would like more that a one sided conversation. I want to be a better friend than that. Though I may fail miserably. 

Done for now interwebs!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Some Cheese with this Whine, Please.

I think we are all aware of my low standards, so it shouldn't surprise you that we often remain in our jammies for a good deal of the day.  Simon has sported the same sleeper for a couple of days...even in public.  I justify that he is warmer and I don't have to worry about him kicking off shoes and removing his socks.  Here in Northern New York we have been blasted with some really cold temperatures.  The today the low is -30 and the high is -2!  It hurts.  I love cold weather.  I love the snow.  But this is new territory.

Last night I had the pleasure to attend a welcome home ceremony for 10th CAB.  Chris was suppose to go on this deployment except at the last minute they decided only send a small group of the Kiowas (the helicopter Chris works on).  So, that left Chris here while a few of our close friends left.  Welcome home 10th CAB especially our Delta Troop military fam!

Owen's buddy waiting for his dad!

The BEST part.  The hangar was full tearful cheers!

Welcome Home!!!

Anyway, the ceremony was at 12:30am with -30 temperatures. Of course I do not dress properly.  I had my black zip up fleece (it's thick, but not thick enough) and that was all.  I wore some jean and some cheap, slip on, $5 Payless shoes.  I could feel the cold of the parking lot come up through the soles of my shoes.  My toes still hurt when I woke up this morning.  

We got home around 1:20am and at 3:30am I was finally warm enough to fall asleep.  Oh my bones...they were cold too. This morning Owen's school was cancelled because it was just too cold.  Amelia stayed home, because it was freezing, but mostly because I was tired from not being able to sleep.  I had planned on attending mass today to pray for March for Life.  I got us loaded up and my van reluctantly started.  Once we arrived mass had also been cancelled because of Father's truck would not start.  The kids and I drove around a bit because I wanted the battery to have some charge so we could make it to Owen's speech appointment. 

Well we didn't drive around enough.  The van was dead in the garage for the third time this month.  Yes, it might be time for a new battery.  Committed to procrastination...or just bitterly cold your choice. A neighbor helped me out.  Her car was reluctant to start as well.  I'm going with bitterly cold. 

I was outside to jump the van in the same fleece jacket but some fake Ugg like boots. I would say I was outside for at most 4 minutes.  My appendages were screaming "WHAT THE BLOODY HELL!?!?!"  We got jumped headed to speech.  I stayed in the van because Amelia and Simon were sleeping and to be honest I was afraid to turn off the van. 

Owen's speech office is at the bottom of a fairly steep hill.  It took me four attempts to get out of the parking lot because I couldn't get traction.  I was so afraid I would get traction and fly into the ditch across the street.  Thankfully, it was not that dramatic.  

We are now home since dance was cancelled also.  My fingers and toes still hurt, but I will live... I think.  

I started this post to tell you about Amelia's brand new, super fun stage of changing her clothes 4 billion times a day, but was side tracked by the misery of my screaming limbs and their phalanges.  

Side note: all you grammar/spelling nerds...serious it cancelled....or canceled?  Or is this just another one of those debatable things in the English language?  Unlike math, I feel like grammar is negotiable.  I just make up where punctuation should go...(<---those dot dot dots are a fine example).  And my spelling is atrocious.  I can't believe I spelled that correctly on the first try.  Spell check and Google, yo.  But they don't always save me because the good ol' sound it out doesn't always work, and they can't always guess at what I am trying to say.  

Ok. I'm done.  For now. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Um, did you know I veil?

Some of you may or may not know that I started veiling while at Mass nearly two years ago.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, some ladies cover their heads while in Mass and when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.  Often times it is lace, but I have used my infinity scarf (mainly because it stays no my head easier). 

Anyway, before I started veiling I really had no idea why some women did.  Honestly, I didn't give it much thought, until I did.  I'm not really sure when I thought about it, but I eventually did and quickly pushed it to the side.  For a long time (well over a year at least) the thought of veiling would come and go, but that was it.

Then the thought didn't pass so quickly, and the thoughts came more regularly.  Eventually I was at a Spanish Mass with on of my aunts; a lady came in wearing her mantilla veil with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Several of the ladies wore veils, but that one definitely caught my attention.  I had never seen a veil so long and with so many colors, and I asked my aunt if she knew why some ladies wore a veil.  She said something along the lines of showing reverence.

Veiling was revealing itself more and more.  Some friends would mention it from time to time and it caught my attention.  I noticed a parishioner that I didn't know at the time, but later she became a good friend veiled.  Occasionally a Facebook post would be in my feed.  My mom and sister and I had some conversations about it.  I would make comments about being insecure or self-conscious about wearing a veil.  And eventually my sister started veiling.  I was CLEARLY ignoring a call.

I began to do some research and found a small blog post containing reasons she veils.  I can't find that post now.  I also asked the only friend I knew who veiled why she did.  Ultimately, most were feeling called.  I wasn't able find anything that said women must veil, but lots of supporting reasons why they should.  There is scripture supporting this tradition in First Corinthians.  My friend told me she wanted to connect with the woman of Jesus' era.  Also, form of reverence or reminder of the sacrifice that is happening on the alter during mass.

For lent in 2012 decided I would get over my own vanity and begin veiling.  I was insecure about it.  Actually, I still have moments of self-consciousness (which if I think about is a little arrogant, people are at church for God why would they care what's on my head?).  I chose respond to this call rather than personal conviction. Does that make sense?  During my "research"  I couldn't find any reason not to veil so I began veiling.  Jen at Conversion Diary is much more eloquent about veiling.

Recently a friend posted THIS about wearing a mantilla at church.  It is worth the read!!!  It brought to light some things I haven't considered.  (It's extremely humbling that sacred things are covered.)

I'm not really sure what my point was for this post.  I love authentic feminism.  I love the Church.  I love big T and little t traditions.  My love for these things grow everyday.

Friday, January 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes - #11

I got with the program and started blogging again.  It's been fun this week.  As always, I make no promises to keep on the reg...but for now I'm enjoying the outlet.  I am not sure if blogging is working with or against my word of the year...or maybe it doesn't matter one way or the other.  For now, it doesn't seem to excessive. I also received an anonymous comment on my 7QT #10 that was shocking and made my stomach flip-flop.  I was shocked that someone even took the time to read my nonsense, not to mention...they kinda liked it.   I know some family and friends read it to keep tabs on us Lockharts, but beyond that I never really thought about anonymous commenters.  Self-conscientiously, I wanted to recoil, but I am going to fight against my natural instincts and keep doing what I have always done...posting when I feel like it so my family and friends can keep tabs.
And I'm sure you saw my post about my awesome husband and his accomplishments since joining the Army 5 years ago.  If not, check it out.  He's a pretty stellar guy in my opinion. 
CWOC (Catholic Women of the Chapel) started back this week since breaking for Christmas, and it was great.  Actually, I couldn't shut up.  I don't know what my problem was.  Some of the ladies must have been like "dammmmmn girl...let someone else speak".  Only, a lot more charitable, because they are much more awesome than yours truly. But really, it was great to wrap up Sex, Style and Substance (Jen, who runs this link up was one of the writers in the book actually!).  We will begin 4 Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly next.  I have heard he's great so I'm excited to get into that book. 
Sex, Style, and Substance

4 Signs of a Dyanmic Catholic

Owen's class had a "Parents' Day".  I had not  planned on staying because it is Simon's nap time, and it was Wednesday which are hectic with pick ups and drop offs, CWOC, speech, and dance.  We aren't home until 6:20 on Wednesdays.  His sweet plea for me to stay swayed me to stick it out.  He really wanted me to see him in action as "Snack Helper".  Sadly, they had a snack that he couldn't really help with so I never got to see his awesome skills.  He didn't seem too bothered.  Even though I didn't get to see him be "Snack Helper" I was so excited to watch him and help make three snowmen crafts and write his name.  Side note: Owen also attends occupational therapy to help his fine motor skills.  In the past he has never been too interested in crafting or writing, and he would quit before you'd even gotten all the materials out.  I was so proud to watch him make his wonky snowmen. :)  He was so glad to have me there.  It was worth Simon missing his nap completely that day.  I must say, Simon held it together okay considering. 
I really like Amelia's preschool.  Definitely her teachers. But they have moved some programs around, and it has made the parking situation really difficult.  I might start dropping her off late and picking her up early.  There isn't much parking at this building and two classes start and end at the same time.  Not to mention that the MPA (Multi Purpose Auditorium) is used for functions that would sometimes cause parking issues.  The first time that happens it's going to be a real mess, and I just might drive us all back home than try to deal with that. 
If you need any prayers please let me know!  Seriously and sincerely.  I want to pray for you.  We need to be prayer warriors, helping each other to get to Heaven, y'all.  Fo sho!  And if you have a minute offer up take #7...
Chris is submitting another flight packet.  I will elaborate on how that is taking shape (and how I'm trying to keep it cool but can't because I am completely neurotic, obsessive, and bat-shit crazy) soon.   I hope you had a great week!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Five years ago.

Again with the posting!!!  I guess I have a lot to bore you with, buuuuut today marks five years in the Army for Chris.  For me it has gone by very quickly.  I think Chris would have a different opinion.

Family Day at Ft Jackson after basic training. March 25, 2010

It's crazy to think about five years ago when he was swearing in at MEPS (I don't know what this acronym means).  He graduated AIT as distinguished honor grad, has been in charge of the arms room since arriving at Fort Drum, attended WLC (leadership course) and made commandant's list, one deployment, has been promoted from E3 to E6 in four in a half years (that is pretty quick), completed the Master Mountain Gunner course, and ran two ranges from beginning to end without major hiccups.  These are just a few of the big highlights.

E6 promotion ceremony June 2013

I didn't check with Chris about posting some of his accomplishments, and maybe I should have.  I really wanted to share.  I know he just does and then moves to the next thing without much thought, if that makes sense.  He's very humble.  Sometimes I think a little too humble...if that is even possible.  I'm just extremely proud of what he has accomplished.  I know all of his hard work has been for us, not for himself.  I believe that sincerely.  I wanted to share with my family and friends what he has been doing for the last five years. 

He began the paperwork for reenlistment last week.  Next month he will begin the online portion of ALC (another leadership course), and he will wait to get slotted for the portion that is held at Fort Eustis.  He will finish his bachelor's by January 2015.   He continues to work on his physical training.  All while being a rock star husband and father. 

Workin' hard.

I unsuccessfully try not to be that wife that complains the Army.  We knew what we were getting into.  I do have moments of weakness and indulge, but all in all the Army has been good to us.  I am proud of Chris' service (my brother's and our friends' service too for that matter).  Who knows what is in store for the next three years, but anything is possible (even with horrible cut backs).  I just want to say, Chris thank you for all that you do! The five years in the Army have been great, and the last eight years of marriage too!

Update:  I feel that a big thank you should be given to Tim and Melodie Lockhart for being the reason for his existence and his character. 

December 2013
 Photo props to Heartfelt Photography

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm shocked too!

What is this...two posts in less than a week!?!  I know I'm shocked too!

You may have read my last post about my word of the year being PURGE.  Well, I am happy to announce that I did manage to take a bag of cloths, a couple boxes of toys, and a tote of random kitchen things to the thrift store.  I have to start somewhere.  And if you're wondering, yes my house looks the exact same.  Yes, I have lots of crap.  Yes, it was painful.  Full disclosure: I changed my mind at the last minute about one of the kids' toys and brought it back home.  Guys, I have a real problem!!!

I am not going into this "word of the year" all gung ho and full of zeal!  The idea of ridding my life of all of its excess is a bit daunting.  I feel it is going to take some level of organization that I just don't have.  Chris does.  We have been put together to help each other get to Heaven...maybe that is his part?  Or maybe I'm just making sh*t up!  Or maybe both.  Either way, I think that this year is going to be a trying year for our family like every other year. 

The other four members of the Lockhart clan will have their own crosses to bear because Momma is not ready to get rid of the awesome clearance item she bought last year...has never fact the red tags are still on said item...because she "she might need it one day".  Or because Momma will have to walk away from the 75% off $1 bin item (making it only $0.25) because we have no purpose for it.  Or because she must get rid of the five year old *insert item* because *so-n-so* gave it to her, and she doesn't want to offend. The thought of all of this gives me some anxiety.  Nothing a prayer and glass of wine can't fix.  I hope. 

So yea, I didn't really have much to say other than "wahhhh....I'm committing myself to self improvement and discipleship".  Or at least I'm going to try. I don't mind if you hold me accountable.  If Lent rolls around and I am talking about my newest thrift store find feel free to comment/message me and say "Eh hemmm...yea, weren't you suppose to get rid of stuff for Lent."  Or if we are in June and July and I haven't updated you on how the word purge is weaving its way through my life just say "So Nicole, how purging working out for ya?".  I won't be offended.  After my "How very dare you.  I find you impertinent, how very garish.  How very dare you," (Catherine Tate show reference...on Neflix...go watch then I will be grateful that your love helped regain my focus.  Seriously!

Well thanks for listening/reading/listening....I'm going with listening because I wanna!  Anyway, your consolation prize is pictures of my kids in their jammies before bed.  You know they're cute.'re welcome. 

My little ham bone!  He was saying "cheeee"!

My wild, silly girl!

"Ok, enough of again, woman!"



"Ok Mom, you can take a picture of me."

Photo props go to Amelia Lockhart!

Photo props go to Owen Lockhart!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy New Year: 10...11 days late.

Oh my goodness, it is 2014!  How did we get here?  I went nearly two months since my last post.  Nothing new around here.  We all know my posts come in waves.  But I am feeling the need to blog.  It's cathartic.

In general, nothing new has been going around these parts.  And since my entire blog audience is Facebook family and friends I'm sure you have an idea of what has been going down here in the Land of Lockhart.  I'll provide a small list of highlights anyway.

Here we go, 2013 round up:
  • We went to NC for Thanksgiving.
  • Simon and Duncan were baptized. 
  • Simon is officially a walker.
  • Disney on Ice.
  • Caught a cold
  • We survived an ice storm.
  • Christmas was wonderful and over too quickly as it is every year.
  •  2014 arrived.
Really there are some wonderful detail that happened the last month and a half of 2013, but really I can't remember now that I'm trying to document them. Sorry.

But here we are 2014, a year of possibilities. The past several years I always have this overly optimistic idea that "this year is going to be 'Our year'".  You know that life altering year that will put us exactly where we are meant to be.  The year that is going to make every other crap-tastic year worth it.  I don't have that feeling this year, and it is probably for the better.  I am sure we are where we are suppose to be, all the crap and all the joys included.

I like New Year's though.  I like the idea of starting fresh.  I recently discovered people like to chose a word of the year as opposed to a resolution.  That idea is appealing to me.  Some of the blogs I follow have chosen a word and how that word will inspire them to make changes over the next 12 months. 

For me there are so many things I wish I wasn't and or was.  I sometimes wish I was someone else.  There are lots of things that I desperately want to change about myself.  (And to be completely honest, it's to the point of sinfulness.  I'm sure I am disregarding gifts that God has given me.)  I think choosing a word is a broader approach to the new year than a list of resolutions.  With resolutions I am likely to become extremely self-deprecating. So after several weeks of thinking and praying, my word is:


The most obvious thing is ridding my life of stuff.  YES, that will be taking place over the 12 months.  In the shower on Christmas I was hit over the head by the Holy Spirit.  Seriously, I have never experience anything like that.  It had to be Divine. I was completely overwhelmed with what I must sacrifice for Lent.  I know we had JUST finished Advent, but I was being told anyway.  Over the 40 days of lent I will be removing 10 things from my home every day.  I will not buy anything.  I will keep my grocery shopping to a minimum, but that is all I will buy.  Every Saturday I will take my 60 items to the Salvation Army or give them to someone who wants or needs them.  I have hoarder tendencies...seriously.  This is going to be very, VERY hard.  I am sure that shower was my first hint as to what my word for this year should be.  Even though I didn't even know I was going to be choosing a word.

But I have other things too purge as well.  I'm obsessive. I have got to let things go and let them just be.  I have lots of mental baggage that I need to get rid of so that I can be a more authentic version of myself.  I am sure frequenting the confessional more than my yearly obligation is necessary.  Purging sin is probably a good start.  Comparisons, doubt, and ideas of what I should be need to go.  So I have the ability to embrace my talents and gifts, so I can be the woman that God created me to be.  I can't do this alone.  I have to ask for God's graces, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit wouldn't hurt either...along with the Blessed Mother and the saints interceding on my behalf. 

To tell you guys the truth, I am not thrilled with the word, but I do think this word was given to me.  And in 12 months I hope that my life is lighter and more simplistic because of it.  I am sure that 2014 is going to be crap-tastic like every other year, because life is full of crap y'all.  But that is ok.  I can accept the crap I'm given, let it go, and let God do the rest.

Here are a few pictures for the end of the year.

Simon's baptizim on Dec 1st

Trying to get a Christmas picture.
All five cousins and Muma!

Making Santa cookies.

After Mass on Christmas Eve.

Opening gifts.  Notice the Happy Birthday sign!?!

Still opening.