Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who Doesn't Like Apples



Even though Dwayne and I have been together for over 12 years, I am still always finding out something new about him. So, imagine how shocked I was when he told me yesterday he doesn't like apples or pears. Seriously, I've never heard of someone not liking apples.

He made a comment about how I put a pear in his lunch bag yesterday. Yes, I pack his lunch for work every single day. I told y'all he's spoiled.

The reason I didn't know about this particular dislike is because he eats food that he doesn't like simply because he knows it's healthy. So, let me run down a list of the things I can think of right now that he doesn't like. Let me know if you think it's a bit weird.

apples
pears
peaches
raspberries
blackberries
blueberries
papaya
cabbage
yellow squash
zucchini
okra
asparagus
tofu

Okay, that's all I can think of off the top of my head. But, he'll actually eat most of these things and just have a nasty face at the end. Weirdo!

I don't like cooked spinach and mango. I love raw spinach in a salad though. Seriously, that's all I can think of.

Can you believe he gets mad when the kids don't like a certain food? I have to remind him that they have his picky genes running all through them. They're not old enough to determine that they will eat it anyway because it's healthy.

So, I have concluded that my husband is crazy. The end.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Unemployed

A few days ago, I got my letter in the mail verifying that as of January 2, 2009 I will no longer be employed. Although I haven't actually worked in almost 2 years, there was a sort of peace in knowing I still had a job to go to. But, they can't keep you on a leave of absence forever, you know.

This will be my first time being unemployed since I was 14 years old. I've been working more than half my life. Crazy! The only scary part is that there is no fallback plan for us. If Dwayne were to lose his job, we would have to hustle something up quickly. We have planned well and know we would be okay financially for at least a year though. So really there's nothing to worry about, I guess.

More than that, we know God will take care of us and that's really all the assurance we need.

In all of my 17 years of working though, no job has been as demanding yet fulfilling as my current one of being a MOTHER. I feel so blessed to have been able to stay home with my children. I love that I get to spend so much time with them and learn about them. I love that we share memories together that I would've missed out on at work. I love being their first teacher. And most of all, I love that we don't spend each morning rushing around getting ready to leave for the day and then rushing around each evening preparing dinner and getting ready for the next day. Even Dwayne says his life is less stressful now that I'm home. I think he's just getting spoiled though.

The only downside is that it never ends. I work 24 hours a day! But, before I know it, my kids will be in school and then teenagers and then out of my house. I know I'll treasure these brief moments forever.

So, I welcome my unemployment status at a time when most people dread hearing that word. If everything goes according to plan, I'll be unemployed for a few more years to come. We don't plan to enroll our children in school until kindergarten at the earliest; it may be a little later than that. We'll just have to see.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Social Butterfly and Other Stuff

My daughter is a social butterfly when she wants to be. But, she's more likely to speak to strangers than people she knows really well. I find that a little weird. And, she remembers everyone.

So, every sabbath after church she says she wants some friends to come over. She always wants company but doesn't realize we live on the other side of the world. We're thinking about having a kids holiday party at our house. Now, I have to figure out when. Dwayne and I told her our idea and she was excited except she doesn't want to call it a party for some reason.

The only food she wants is cupcakes. If we actually do this, I'll bake them and let the kids decorate them. I don't know yet what else we'll do though.

***

Brayden is sick now and Dwayne feels something coming on. Danae wants to be sick so she can take medicine. Brayden acts like such a baby when he's sick. He has to be all up under me and whines a lot.

***

Do you all have fun plans for Christmas? We have no real plans right now except eating. My aunt is going to be in town visiting her son so I'm sure we'll spend some time with them. Dwayne wants to go on a road trip the week after Christmas but we'll see about all that. He has suggested Baton Rouge (to visit his cousins), Atlanta (to visit too many relatives and friends), or Dallas (to visit friends). I won't be surprised if we stay right here though.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Random again

I just got off the phone with my dad. Is it bad that I hate talking to him on the phone? He repeats himself a lot and will tell me stories I've heard 25 times already. I want to say that but I know it will come out rude and I don't want to hurt his feelings. He'll be here on Friday to spend a week with us.

My brother-in-law and his family aren't coming anymore and I'm so sad about it. The bad economy is hitting them pretty hard so they don't want to spend anymore than they have to. They have 4 children (and one on the way) to provide for so I understand. His wife and I keep sending sad texts to each other though.

Why did Brayden come in my room this morning to tell me he peed in his bed. Then he said, can I get in your bed with you because my bed is all wet. Um, no, don't you still have pee on you?

Besides my kids, I have bought no other Christmas presents. I need to get on that this week. Let me know if any of you have found good things for dads, husbands, stepmothers, and little people.

I also promised my 16 year old cousin I would teach her how to drive. So, I'll be spending a lot of time with her over Christmas break. Her parents don't have the patience for it. I hope I don't regret this.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Sick

I have managed to get some kind of upper respiratory infection and now have to take antibiotics so I don't keel over. Really, my doctor is trying to get it under control ASAP before I get even further along in this pregnancy.

Speaking of that, at my appointment my doctor said the size of the baby and how I've developed makes him feel my initial due date is incorrect. So, he adjusted it up a week to Feb 17th. Didn't I tell y'all my baby would be born around that date? Only time will tell.

Because of my procrastinating ways, I have a lot of work to complete by Sunday so I've been staying up late at night this week. My husband complained yesterday about going to bed alone for the past few days. I told him I'll see him on Sabbath.

We still have not made any moves towards getting a new vehicle. Supposedly, it will happen before the end of the year so we can get a good deal. We just can't decide on what we want. Well, only Dwayne is putting forth any effort. I really could care less as long as it rides safely and has A/C and heat. I know, I'm a simpleton sometimes.

And, it snowed at my house yesterday. It wasn't a lot but it made the kids happy and they sat at the window watching it. Neither of them wanted to go outside because it was too cold.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Random Thoughts

I was so tired last night that I crashed on the sofa and fell into a deep sleep. So deep, in fact, that I didn't even hear my kids running around, playing, and screaming right in front of my face. It was so deep that I didn't hear them trying to wake me up for our nightly worship. Dwayne said he told them to leave me alone because I was obviously very tired. I guess I really needed that because I feel great today.

I was reading an article today about Obama and his smoking habit. That is really not attractive. Even though I have family members who smoke, it's the one thing that is a complete turnoff for me.

The closer I get to the end of my pregnancy, the more anxious I feel. Why? Labor pains. That's something you can never get ready for. The good thing is that I feel this one will be very fast. Danae came in 4 1/2 hours, Brayden came in 2 hours, this one should come in about 30 minutes or less. At least that's what I'm hoping. I'm still going without the epidural though. Delivering Brayden hurt very badly; I thought I would be paralyzed at the end. As long as the pain is not worse than that, I can deal.

My doctor is really trying to persuade me to rethink getting a tubal ligation. I don't think so. 3 is a good number!

I have done almost NO christmas shopping. Only Danae and Brayden's stuff has been bought and stored away. I don't even know what I'm getting for Dwayne and I still have to buy for my nieces, nephews, godsons, and other friends.

I just realized I only have godsons, no goddaughters.

I am so grateful for uneventful pregnancies so far. The only issue I ever had was low blood pressure. But, no morning sickness, no bed rest, no preeclampsia, no anything else. With the first two, I worked until they were born. My last day at work was Thursday and they were both born on Friday mornings. That's something to be thankful for.

I wonder if this baby will be born on a Friday too. I hope so. I expect her to come on February 14 or 16 even though she's due Feb 24th. Wanna know why? Okay, no problem. A family that we're kind of close to has 3 kids also: two girls and a boy. Their son's birthday is Jan 20th and Danae's is Jan 21st. Their daughter's birthday is Sept 16th and Brayden's is Sept 15th. Their other daughter's birthday is Feb 15th which has given my my daughter's expected date of arrival.

Alright, I got stuff to do. Toodles!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Conversation with a 2 Year Old

Brayden: Mommy, can I call you Bridgette? (sounds more like Bijjit)

Me: No, you can call me mommy.

Brayden: Can I call you Bridgette [insert last name]?

Me: No, you can call me mommy.

Brayden: But, I want to call you Bridgette.

Me: Brayden, everyone calls me Bridgette but you and Danae have a special name for me that I like way better than Bridgette. So, you can call me mommy.

Brayden: Yay! Danae, we can call her mommy!!!

If only it could always be so simple.

Bad Kids

One of my pet peeves is truly bad kids. I don't mean very active, bundles of energy that can't sit down. I don't mean kids who get into stuff they shouldn't. I'm talking about actually disobedient children. Otherwise, I wouldn't like my own kids because Brayden is the poster child for too much energy and Danae is the one who will say stuff that you really rather she keep inside.

I also know it's not really the child's fault. We all come into this world as a blank slate. Whatever is put in, usually comes right back out. So, maybe I should say my pet peeve is bad parenting. Let me get to the story.

Our next door neighbors fit this bill. They (especially the mom) are what would be considered white trash kind of people. But, she's really nice. These are the people who live in this home. The parents, a 20-ish daughter and her boyfriend, and the 5 year old son. They have another son around 18 but I'm not sure he lives here anymore. The first time I met them, when we moved here, the father and then 13 year old son were in the middle of the street having a very loud argument, complete with all manner of profanity. At about 7:00 in the morning. Crazy!

My focus today is on the 5 year old. He doesn't go to school. He just turned 5 within the last month or so and his mom doesn't want him in an actual school until kindergarten. I have no problem with that because I plan to do the same with my kids. But, here's the thing. She spends no time with him during the day. He is out of the house very early in the morning. As a matter of fact, he walks to the bus stop with the other kids every day to see them off to school. He is usually shirtless and shoeless, even in this cooler weather. When it's too cold, he will wear a shirt and shoes but I've never seen him in a jacket. He plays outside almost all day and is usually out before his mom wakes up for the day.

He likes to come to our house to play when my kids are outside. It's usually not a problem. At first, he would be over here cussing but I told him it's not acceptable here so that stopped. Once, he tried to push Brayden off Danae's trike, but both Danae and I stepped to him. Danae was about to knock him down! She can kill her brother if necessary but nobody else better not even think about touching him. Sibling love at its finest! So now he knows that he can come here to play but there are rules. And he abides by them for the most part. He once asked me what would happen if my kids cussed at me or hit me, I told him they would get a spanking. And I told him the same goes for him. Shock and awe!

So, on Monday (I think) we were outside because it was such a nice day. Neighbor kid came over to play too. His mom needed to leave to go to the store and came to get him. He straight up cussed her out and told her no. She then said "You don't have to speak so rudely. I said come on." He said "She (meaning me) will watch me." I countered by telling them we would be going in soon. Then he said "I'll go but only if you promise to buy me a toy." Do I really need to tell you who won this argument?

Who's the parent here?

I actually feel sorry for him. When he's out early, he hasn't eaten so I've let him eat breakfast with us sometimes. I've fixed him sandwiches.

I also worry about him. He's still very young and wanders around alone a lot. He's a prime candidate for a kidnapper or sexual predator or something like that. I also worry about how he'll be as he grows up. With no discipline and structure now, what will he do as a teen and adult?

Our nickname for him in our house is Huck Finn, by the way. Sometimes, Dwayne and I talk about him in his face but he doesn't even know it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

99 Things I've Done

Someone sent this to me so I thought I would do it. You have to highlight the things you've done out of this list of 99. I haven't been to Europe so that automatically axes off a bunch of stuff. But, the thing is, just when I begin to think my life is a little boring and mundane, I realize, I've done a LOT of this stuff!

1. Started your own blog (obviously)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii (I've only been in a Hawaii because of a layover)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
(Mt. Diablo in California, although I didn't make it to the top)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (I don't recommend it)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort (I've never even seen real snow and have absolutely no desire to do so)
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (I would like to one day)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (I don't even know where my ancestors are from)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (you could always have more but you could have less too)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
(and ate more than I sold)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (working on this one right now)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Grass Ain't Always Greener

So, I was talking to one of my longtime friends recently. We've known each other since elementary school. Our conversation centered around wanting what you don't have vs. being satisfied with what you do have.

Anyway, this girl (let's call her A) was always THE girl. She was (and still is) one of the most beautiful women I know, both inside and out. She always encouraged her friends to be better and do better. She can make a Walmart outfit look like it came from Saks. When we were younger, A always had a boyfriend or several guys trying to be her boyfriend. Guys were always clamoring for her attention.

Currently, A is not married and has no kids. During our recent convo, she lamented about how she really thought she would have a husband and children by now. She feels like she'll never marry. As a matter of fact, a few years ago she sent me an email saying the same thing. I told her I'm going to keep it to read during my toast at her wedding.

A really wants a husband. But, her last few guy friends have been losers...excuse me...I meant LOSERS! One was dating her although he had a girlfriend and children in another apartment. Yes, this fool had two apartments. She fell for him hard and he broke her heart. There have been other losers too and I suggested that there must be something in them that she's attracting or subconsciously looking for. But now she has a new guy who seems to be wonderful. They've been dating for a very short time and she says it's hard for her to not want to rush things. She is, after all, on the brink of turning 32 and she says she can hear that biological clock tick, tick, ticking away.

She said she was thinking about how long I've been married and how I have (almost) 3 kids and our lives seem so far apart. However, when she talks about her life and travels and career accomplishments, I sometimes think about her the same way. You know, wondering how it would be to experience her life for a minute. This in no way means I don't treasure that which I have.

The whole point of this is that it can be so easy to look at someone else's life and wonder why yours didn't turn out the same way. Or, wonder if something is wrong with you. Or, wonder if you'll ever have that elusive all-American life. I think the best we can do is enjoy what we have to the fullest. The truth is there will always be someone wealthier, prettier, thinner, younger, more successful, etc. However, none of these things can truly make you happy because we'll always see someone with something that we might want.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Worries

Remember how I was trying to figure out what I would feed my vegan in-laws. Well, all was in vain, because they are NOT vegan at all. They do limit certain foods but we're eating chicken, fish, dairy, etc.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Random Thoughts

  • I had the best sleep ever last night. I am so happy about this.
  • I never did go to choir rehearsal and here's why. On Friday nights, I'm tired and I just realized that. And, I have to be at church early on Saturday because I've been teaching the babies Sabbath school class. I guess the choir thing will have to wait.
  • I really like Dwayne's car. I drove it quite a bit while he was away because I didn't feel like putting gas in my car. It's pretty nice!
  • On the way to HEB camp, one of the cars we were following broke down. So, we ended up squeezing them (7 people) in 3 other cars. I had 3 kids in car seats in my back seat. I was overjoyed to find out that I can fit 3 car seats in my car. That means 2 car seats and a booster should work just fine. So, my quest for a new car is seriously on the back burner right now. I'm not saying I won't get one but it's not that serious.
  • My in-laws will be here tomorrow. And they're vegan. I don't know what they're going to eat while here. Any suggestions?
  • A stranger told me the other day that my belly looked small to be almost 6 months. I almost kissed her!
  • Brayden gets way too much attention when we're out and about. The other day a lady told him "You're such a handsome little boy." This player replied, "You're a very cute lady. You're so pretty." and proceeded to talk, smile, hold her hand. She was smitten. I have to pray really hard for that one because he seriously eats up that kind of stuff.
  • I have a lot to do today so I guess I need to get on it.

Later!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Sunshine on a Cloudy Day


Dwayne will be back in town tomorrow afternoon and we are very happy about that. I'm a little upset that I didn't go too. That was our plan, initially. But we would've had to get the kids down to Florida to either set of the grands. Or, we would've taken them with us. Sometimes, I don't even feel like packing them up to go to Walmart so I wasn't extremely interested in crossing the pond with them in tow. It just felt like too much of a hassle so I opted out of the trip. The cold weather there added to that decision.

Dwayne and I were talking before he left. We both love to travel and want to visit so many places. What better way to go than on the company's dime. They really treat you well. Dwayne has proven to be a good employee for them so he's gotten opportunities he never even dreamed of getting. His former boss is still trying to get him to Angola simply because of his work ethic. That's impressive.

I didn't really start writing this post to brag about him or anything. But as I type, I think of the man he has become. We met and started dating when I was 19 and he was 20. We are very different people now. I love the fact that we started dating so young because we were able to grow up together and build our lives together. And, trust me I needed to settle my little wild behind down. There was no need for a prenup because neither of us had anything. No separate bank accounts to keep my money away from his. Everything that we own belongs to us.

The thing I'm most proud of though is his unwavering belief in God. When he started working at his current job he was told he wouldn't go far because he went to a black college and he doesn't work on Sabbath. His answer was that his God is bigger than everyone in the company. If God determines that he should advance, he will. His job has allowed him to visit three continents for free. He has worked on many different projects giving him a lot of exposure both within and without his company. I think the reason is because he is not afraid or ashamed to share God's love with those around him.

After one of the kids was born, I went to his office so he could show his baby off. You should have heard the things the people said. They talked about how he is so calm and how he is a true Christian. I had to make sure we were talking about the same person with that calm comment. In the Philippines, he was always having spiritual conversations with the people there. The country is over 95% devout Catholics. His coworkers talked about how much they respected him. I asked him if he was going around preaching or something. He said he has just been given a lot of opportunities to talk about his faith. When an event happens during the Sabbath, he is asked why he won't be there. When they go out to business dinners or other outings and he's the only one who doesn't drink, they ask him why. When he chooses not to eat certain foods, he gets to explain that his body is a temple of the Holy Ghost and he doesn't just put anything in there.

What a great testimony he has become. He has truly become a man that I hope and pray my son emulates as an adult. I want Brayden to grow up to be hardworking, loving, outgoing, and someone who will stand for his beliefs even if everyone around him falls. And I want Danae and "Delicious" to marry someone like their daddy.

I love being married to him. Our marriage is better today than ever before. We had to cross some horrible roads to get here and sometimes we weren't sure we would make it through. But, it seriously couldn't be better. We know our love can stand the test of time. We now know how to avoid learning lessons the hard way. We know how to communicate and love each other.

I really hope you all recognized the title. My daddy used to sing that song to me all the time when I was a little girl. It's from "My Girl" by the Temptations.

Kid Talk

First of all, the whining has stopped!!!

One of the most amusing things is having a conversation with the little ones or listening to them talk to each other. They say some crazy stuff. Every night before bed, we have family worship. The kids look forward to it and won't let us forget it even when we're dog tired. So, even though it's just been the three of us this week, daddy is still very much a part of worship because the kids pray for him every night...especially Brayden.

Brayden's prayer has been going something like this: "Dear Jesus. Thank you for keeping me safe. Help me to be obedient. Please help daddy to visit the queen (he's in London) and to get back on the airplane. Amen." Why is this boy so worried about his dad visiting the queen? I think it's hilarious that he wants that to happen.

When Danae is upset it always shows up in her prayers. She'll say "Please help mommy and daddy to stop being so bad to me." Or, please help mommy to say yes when I ask her for some cookies." I usually laugh about it but I told her she can tell God anything she wants to and she usually takes me up on that offer.

On another note, the kids are very excited about their sister. They put their mouths close to my stomach and talk to her every day. They also kiss my stomach. Danae prayed for a sister so she is so happy because God answered her prayer. She has made so many plans for the baby (she calls her Delicious). She says she's going to buy her a bib and a dress. She's going to help feed her and change her diaper. She's going to pick her up when she cries. She's going to let her sleep in her bed whenever she wants to. We have to talk about this every day. It's really nice to see her so excited about this new baby girl.

By the way, if anyone has any name suggestions, let me know. It needs to start with a D and not sound like a stripper name (i.e. Diamond or Delicious). Thanks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Fear Factor

Every time I go to the doctor for my prenatal visits, my doctor reminds me of something. He is very nervous that I won't make it to the hospital in time for the delivery. So, my instructions are to get in the car as soon as I feel the first contraction. The fact that he says that at EVERY visit is starting to make me feel nervous. I have had pretty quick deliveries so far. Danae was born 4 1/2 hours after getting to the hospital. Brayden came in 2 hours. I had also dilated quite a bit by the time I arrived both times. The doc is convinced that I'll be on the news because my baby was delivered on the roadside somewhere.

I'm also beginning to feel a little nervous about going through childbirth. I'm not ready for that experience again. My neighbor says I shouldn't be bothered because I know what to expect. But, it's precisely because I know what to expect that I'm getting a little scared.

I'm still not getting an epidural though. I made it through twice so I know I can make it without one.

On the other hand, I can't wait to see this girl!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Annoying Side of Parenting

Brayden is sick with a cold. When he's sick, he's extremely annoying because he whines a lot. I HATE WHINING!!! Unfortunately, Dwayne is not here to rescue me (or him) and won't be back until Thursday. Brayden better be well by then.

Danae is trying to be a good big sister to him. But, he wants my attention and gets mad when she tries to comfort him. This, of course, leads to more whining. Danae decided to leave that nut alone after a while. She said "Mom, I tried to help Brayden but now I'm going to my room." I thanked her and let her go.

Danae cried this morning because she misses her daddy. She's such a daddy's girl. They both pray for him every night. I think we'll all be happy when he comes home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mid Week Fun

This is who I hung out with last night...




And this is where we went..........to the Disney on Ice show.




Fun times!

I almost had a great night of sleep too until I was awakened around 4:30 this morning with a leg cramp that had me in tears. That sucka would not ease up. Dwayne rubbed and stretched. I rubbed and stretched. Eventually, I just got up and started walking around, afraid every minute that I would hit the ground. It left and I went to sleep again to be wakened by Brayden declaring his hunger.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bad Night's Sleep

For those of you who have experienced pregnancy, you know that a comfortable night's sleep gets more rare as the pregnancy progresses. Now, add to that a thunderstorm, a 2 year old boy, and a 3 year old girl, and tell me how you think my night was.

I got beat up so bad I thought I was in a real fight. Danae slept next to me because normally she's the better one of the two. Um, last night she was going through some thangs. That chick kicked and punched me so much. She even kicked me in my stomach so I had to turn around and shield my unborn from the crazy duo. Dwayne said he woke up and noticed that I was on the very edge of the bed. He tried to rescue me but they just came right back. Brayden was right up under Danae who was right up under me. So, today, I am sore and sleepy.

Dwayne said he even heard me moaning during the night. I almost got up to go to the sofa but I didn't have the energy to move.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day!

There are a few vets in my family. Quite honestly, not one of them who served during war times came back anywhere near the way they were when they left. I think our nation has done a huge disservice to those who sign up to put their lives on the line for our freedom and safety.

One of my cousins fought in Vietnam. He REFUSES to discuss what happened there. Of course, I don't know how he was before he left. But, even the pictures before war looked different. He had a more pleasant disposition. When he came back, he had major struggles. Eventually, he ended up being an alcoholic and crack head. After years of being addicted to drugs, he went through a rehab program and has been sober for close to 20 years now. However, he still has to deal with the consequences. His girlfriend gave birth to a child who was addicted to drugs and still doesn't have the ability to make sound decisions. My cousin's body was ravaged. He still drinks heavily.

He will tell you that he started drinking and doing drugs because it helped him forget and to make it through another day.

I've had other cousins involved in this Iraq mess. One of them went totally crazy because of the things his job required of him. Then, he was dishonorably discharged. Before being discharged he requested a mental health evaluation and was denied. Another never made it home alive. Another is still in the military preparing for her third deployment in Iraq. She's a little nuts too.

Is this really how we should honor those who lay their lives on the line? My older cousin doesn't even acknowledge veterans day simply because he thinks it's a joke. He says you can't pick one day to honor those who have lost limbs, suffered unimaginable pain, and are in horrible mental health on one day with a lousy parade. I agree.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Camping With My Girl

We had a very nice weekend at HEB Camp. The weather was really nice, much better than when we went previously in February and it was miserably cold. The food was delicious and, most of all, I got to spend a lot of time with my Danae.



Check out these beautiful fall colors.






Danae got to spend a lot of time with friends.









I told you I would have some funny stories.

For those of you who have never been, you have to ride through a very low part of the Frio River to get to the campsite. It's about 4 inches deep. When Danae saw the water, she said "Mommy, do you know we're not in a boat?" I told her yes. Then she reminded me that cars can't swim in the water. The way she said it was funny because I think she was genuinely concerned that I didn't know cars don't belong in water.

We also had another lady and her baby ride down with us. This lady did not bring any snacks, juice, or water for her child. So, I told her she could share some of my food. Inwardly, I was thinking what kind of mother doesn't bring food for her baby on a 4 1/2 hour drive. Anyway, I had fixed Danae her own snack bag. I knew I would be driving and wouldn't have the freedom to go digging around for stuff. So, she had a sandwich, grapes, strawberries, and juice in her bag. When she was eating her strawberries, the other child (2 yr old boy) asked for one. She gave him a strawberry. Then, he asked for another one. Danae said "No, my mommy said these are my snacks." I told her to share another one. Then, she started stuffing her mouth with strawberries so there would be none left to share. The baby asks for more and she refuses. Then, the other mother asked her to share. Danae said "Why didn't you bring snacks for your baby? Aren't you his mommy? My mommy brought snacks." I was rolling...on the inside. But, seriously, she was absolutely right. I told the lady again she was welcome to the snacks in my bag. I didn't have any strawberries though. She started complaining about the snacks I BROUGHT IN MY OWN BAG. I told her she could close the bag and eat nothing. Then, when we stopped for gas, there was a Subway inside. She said she forgot to cash her check and asked me to buy her a sandwich. I told her that I had bread, peanut butter, and jelly in the car but I was not spending any money to buy her a sandwich. She left it alone. The nerve!

I really enjoyed spending the weekend with Danae. It's been a long time since I've been alone with her and no Brayden. She is so easy going and sweet. She told me I was her favorite mommy because I took her camping. She was really obedient. I think we bonded a little more over the weekend and I look forward to more mommy/daughter outings together.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Separation

So, Dwayne and I have decided to separate...but only for the weekend. He's going to Florida for his cousin's funeral and he's taking Brayden with him. I'm going camping with some people from church and taking Danae. This is our first time separating the kids for a weekend and I'm sure they'll go through some withdrawal. Or, maybe not. Brayden will get to spend time with his cousins. Danae will get to hang with her favorite girl friends.

Then, on Sunday, Danae and I are going to hang out in San Antonio for a few hours and do whatever she wants to do. It should be fun. We rarely get to spend time alone.

I'm sure I'll have some crazy stories to share after this one.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

YAY!!!

I am so excited about this election since Obama is the declared winner. Unfortunately, Dwayne is knocked out in the bed so I'm celebrating by myself.

McCain's concession speech was really nice. He bowed out with dignity and grace.

President Obama's speech was great! I love how he talks about his wife. I was moved when I saw Jesse Jackson in tears because I know this is truly remarkable for someone who fought so hard for our civil rights.

The best thing about this is that he has broken the ultimate glass ceiling. My children will have a different outlook on their opportunities and dreams and goals. My kids celebrated before they went to bed. They were running around the house screaming "Obama". In the morning, I can tell them he really is going to be our President.

I just pray that God continues to protect him and his family. And, that God will guide him in this most difficult task.

I am so HAPPY!!! Tonight...I cried.

Mr. President

I can't wait for tonight just so this whole thing will be over. It's too much!

One thing I can't understand is why anyone would actually want this job right now. Our country is a mess! There is no way I would go through all of this campaigning and invasion of privacy and crap to be President. Not after Bush has messed us up so badly.

I really hope Obama wins!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween

When I was little, my favorite holiday was Halloween. We used to have so much fun! We rarely bought costumes, we would just make them instead. Remember, my family was not the richest in the world. So, usually the weekend before Halloween, my cousins and I would descend on my aunt's house and come up with our costumes for the year. She lived in the projects so everyone had made-up costumes. Good times, indeed!

One year, we dressed our "uncle" (translation: my aunt's boyfriend) up as a woman, complete with boobs. It was a hot mess! But, he was always a good sport with us and would go along even if he looked crazy. I supplied most of the pieces of our costumes from my dance recital attire. Or, we would use old clothes or whatever.

Anyway, the people in the hood would always give the best candy. There would usually be a couple of parties that we would crash and it was the one day we could eat as much candy as we wanted.

Now, we don't celebrate Halloween and sometimes I get a little nostalgic. I know it's a fun time my kids won't experience. Coincidentally, my family in Pensacola doesn't celebrate it any more either. I enjoy looking out at the little trick or treaters in the neighborhood to see what they're wearing. I sometimes imagine how I would dress my kids and how cute they would look. But, I guess it's not that serious and my kids are scared of Halloween anyway. I made a mistake and took them in Party City where they saw the life sized monsters and it did not end well.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Life after Death

No, this isn't about anything spiritual although I noticed the title seems like it will be.

Dwayne has a cousin, probably in her mid to late forties who has been battling cancer for a few years now. A couple of nights ago, we got a call that she probably wouldn't make it through the night. This morning, we got a call that she died. I feel so bad her husband and daughter because even when it's expected it's still very hard.

This afternoon, I got a call from one of my sisters-in-law. She called to let us know she just found out she's pregnant. They have been trying for probably about 6 months now. I'm so excited for them. So, Dwayne and both of his brothers are living with pregnant wives. I think this is so cool! His parents are going to get 3 new grandchildren in the span of about 4 months. Dwayne's leading the pack, then his younger brother, and then the older brother. This will bring the grandchildren total in his family to 7.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Although I don't want to

I think I can handle almost anything. I'm not really scared of the economy crashing. I can deal with losing every material possession I own. I will pick up and move anywhere in the world if necessary. I just don't fear a whole lot of the bad things that can happen to me.

But, my one fear is something happening to any of my children. If my child was found slumped over in a SUV because of a fatal bullet wound, it would be very hard for me to get past that one. This is why I pray all day and every day for the safety of my babies. There are some things I just can't handle and hope I never have to try.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

But Where Is God?

Yesterday evening, we had a thunderstorm in our area. If you ever get to experience this with my children, you will see how different they really are. Brayden ran from window to window looking at the rain and lightning. Danae almost made me fall by holding onto my dress and following my every step.

She is TERRIFIED of the sound of thunder. Actually, she's afraid of quite a few things. A while ago, we adopted the practice of talking about the fear, reassuring her that everything will be okay, and praying about it. So, she came to me and asked me to sit on the sofa with her so we could wrap ourselves in the blanket during the storm. I reminded her that I was still cooking so I couldn't do that. But, I told her she could stay in the kitchen with me. She did, while holding onto my dress the entire time. Brayden came to pat her on the back a couple of times but he was too excited by the noise so he didn't stay long.

I asked Danae what made her afraid of thunder. She said it was loud. I told her she likes other loud things and told her noise can't hurt you. She said it sounds like it's going to break something. So, I told her we don't have to be afraid because God is there to protect us. She said she knows that but she doesn't know where he is because she's never seen him. Then, she asked me "Where is God?" I told her he's everywhere all the time. She said "but I really need to see him today." I said he lives inside us so we can't see him just like we can't see our hearts or stomachs. She then said "Okay, but I have to be good so I can see him in heaven." So, we prayed that God will make her feel safe and not so afraid. It worked.

It's hard to explain some things to children. Luckily, they accept what we say but these discussions really make you think. How do you explain God to someone who doesn't know him?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kid Stuff

I don't have time to blog about what I wanted to but I wanted to share a couple of things.

Danae said the sweetest thing to me yesterday. We always talk about what she wants to be when she grows up. She is seriously all over the place. She wants to be a pilot, model, beautician, teacher, drawer (as in person who draws), or work in an office like daddy. But yesterday, she added "I also want to be a mommy because you're a good mommy and I love you." Is that sweet or what? She also wants to have a baby in her belly too. Brayden then told me "Yep, you're absolutely fantastic." He's into trying out big words now.

Then, last night Danae made us all join her for a tea party. During the party she got a pretend call from her friend. His name is Mark and he's 20. He lives in Hoorah! Dwayne was going off about how she doesn't need 20 year old boy friends. She said but he's cute too! I was rolling. The only reason she thought up an age and location is because Dwayne started grilling her. She makes up extra friends quite often during her pretend play and I just let her roll with it. Dwayne has to get all extra about stuff. She also thinks Chris Brown is really cute. She knows about him because he's been on Sesame Street a couple of times.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I could've been a thug Mrs.

Can you imagine it? Me either. Let's get to the story.

My first love was this sweet, cute boy named Michael. We met when we were about 15 in the choir I wrote about yesterday. He was a lot of fun to hang with and my entire family loved him. So, after hanging out a bit, he asked me to be his girlfriend. We dated for the rest of our high school years.

He was really a good guy. He was super smart, went to church every Sunday, and was very respectful. But, he came from a crazy family. His parents divorced when he was younger which really affected the four kids. He had an older brother, a twin sister, and a younger sister. His mom and dad didn't get along at all and often put the kids in the middle of their disagreements. His mom was rumored to be gay. I don't know if that was true but she did have a "friend" who lived with them. His dad remarried a very nice lady and moved on with his life. His grandma lived next door where she was raising her twin grandsons because their dad killed their mom and then himself. So, yeah, there were issues in that family.

Anyway, we dated during high school although we attended different schools. We went to prom together and everyone thought we were such a cute couple. But, things changed. As smart as he was, he had no hope for a different future. He was always told he would never be anything or do anything. And, he started to believe it. He spent almost every waking moment with me and my family...which was sometimes very annoying. But, he just needed to get away and I understood that.

Eventually, he became a different person. When we met, he was on the football team and physically fit. He became fat over time and that was not attractive to me. He lost interest in school. During our senior year, he started hanging with the wrong crowd and started selling drugs. That was also not attractive to me. He used to give me money and I would just give it back. He didn't understand that I was not to be bought. I loved the fresh 15 year old version of him, not the trappings of his new lifestyle. He did graduate from high school and I tried to encourage him to go to school or learn a trade or something. It was too late.

We ended up breaking up but he really held a special place in my heart at the time. I had so much hope that he would turn his life around and make better decisions. He was arrested but had very little dope on him so was only charged with a misdemeanor. I thought that would be the straw that broke the camel's back. At the time, I had moved to Tallahassee for school but we still kept in touch. I visited him a lot and we had one of those on again/off again relationships. Until, one weekend while I was at home. I think we were supposed to go out to eat or something. I was at my aunt's house and he lived nearby so I decided to drive to the restaurant. He got in my car, looking very tired, and then took something out of his pocket and put it in my console. Y'all, it was crack rocks! I almost lost it. At that moment, I realized everything we thought we had was gone. He didn't really love me anymore because if he did, he wouldn't have brought that in my car. I immediately threw it out of my car. I cursed him completely out and made him get out of my car. He had a long walk home that night but I was finally free of him and his problems. The boy I loved had become a man I despised. We talked a couple of times after that and he apologized. I accepted it but never let him back into my life. Of course, different people would tell me what he was up to from time to time and I found out he never got out of that lifestyle. He is currently in a federal penitentiary serving a life sentence because of Florida's three strikes law.

I saw his mom a few years ago and she told me she always thought we would get back together. When I left him alone, she was actually mad because she felt like I was giving up on him when he needed me. His twin sister and I keep in touch sometimes.

I often think about how my life could have turned out so drastically different. I'm glad I had the wisdom to kick him out of my car and my life. I have no desire to be visiting any man behind bars or explaining the situation to my children. He actually has a daughter in Pensacola by a girl who I went to high school. She liked him while we dated and was very flirtatious with him. She eventually got the prize and made sure all my friends told me about it. She didn't realize he wasn't a prize anymore, just a little cheap toy in the bottom of some Cracker Jacks. Even though she was trifling, I feel sorry for her because she truly is a single mom and her daughter will never have a father. I can't imagine.

The fool actually asked me to marry him at one point; he even had a ring for me. I knew it was neither the right time or man and told him so. Thank God for insight!

Monday, October 20, 2008

What should I write?

Well, I sat down to post something today and couldn't think of a thing to write to start this week. So, I looked at a previous post to get ideas and saw this.

I sing: to my children every day

Then, I thought of something that none of you know about me.

I used to sing a lot in church but that really changed in March 1994. Let me tell you a little about it.

When I was a little girl, my family (extended family included) was really into music. I have a cousin who is a very seriously good musician. His specialty is the trumpet but he can play almost every instrument there is. Well, on second thought, I don't think he can play string instruments. This fool lives in Houston too and one day I'm going to get him to play at our church. Anyway, we frequently had talent shows in my aunt's backyard with at least 50 people in attendance. We coordinated dance routines, sang songs, and had so much fun together.

One of my older cousins decided to form a group with us younger ones. So, we formed a quartet and would sing church songs. Sometimes, we had a fifth member as well. We got pretty serious with this and eventually were invited to sing at a lot of different churches. From my memory, we sounded pretty good too. A funny thing about this though is my cousin named our group. I can't remember what it was though. But, almost every time we would go sing, she had changed the name of the group so we never knew when it was our time until she would start hitting us to get up.

This really sparked an interest in music and I went on to join a wonderful community youth choir in Pensacola. The director was absolutely amazing, although a little nuts sometimes. We had about 150 members and everyone loved singing with this choir. It was in this choir that I learned I have a range from 2nd soprano to 2nd tenor...because he made us all sing individually to find this out. Some of our songs had parts divided into 1st soprano, 2nd soprano, 1st alto, 2nd alto, 1st tenor, 2nd tenor, baritone, bass, and whatever I might have left out.

Eventually, as with most things, this choir fizzled. The problem was the director got an amazing job opportunity in another city and moved away. No one could fill his shoes.

Of course, I also sang at my church. Believe it or not, I sang solos too. The last time I led a song was March 1994. I don't remember the title, but one line was "the anointing makes a difference in my life". I sang it the last time my mom attended church. That week, she went in the hospital and never left. I have never sang a solo since and now that I write this I'm convinced it's related to her death.

I actually miss singing. I'm going to choir practice this week, for real. However, my rule still stands. I'm not singing into anyone's mic. I'm too scared for all that.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Garden



Did I tell you all that we have a garden in our backyard. It was supposed to be a project for me and the kids but Mr. Perfectionist got involved and has us checking the pH level of our soil and all kinds of stuff. Anyway, we planted some planned stuff and we also have a compost section. The compost part is where you just throw whatever in the dirt and see what comes up.

We have carrots, scallions, canteloupe, bell pepper, and eggplant plants that are doing well. Here's some pictures:

The canteloupes are so gangster. They are singlehandedly taking over our garden.





Scallions


Carrots



Eggplant (I think)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Let's Get Personal

So, Trini and I were talking yesterday about revealing personal stuff on our blogs. Some people treat their blogs like they're on a reality show. They reveal very personal triumphs and tragedies. It's probably very cathartic but also very scary. They really put themselves out there to perfect strangers. Anyway, I decided to try this out. Next week, every post is going to be some sort of a personal revelation. I don't know yet just how deep I'll go but I'm curious about how it makes me feel and the comments I'll receive.

So, if there's anything you have ever wondered about me, ask. Or, give me topic ideas. I already have some things in mind. If there's absolutely nothing you're curious about, just sit back and enjoy the ride. You'll definitely learn something new about me.

*****

Danae's new phrase is "I'm frustrated". She's been saying it for a couple of days but Dwayne just heard it last night for the first time. He had to do a double take. She uses it appropriately too. I've been introducing new words to her vocabulary because she had been saying "I'm mad" all the time. We discussed her feelings and I now realize she would say she was mad but really meant frustrated or sad or confused.

*****

I have to get a new car and I don't want to. Because I worked in insurance, I hate the thought of getting another depreciable asset that I have to actually spend money on. But, I need something to fit my growing family. I'm not even going to seriously look until January though. It will be an SUV of some sort and I really don't like trucks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Going Crazy!

I have been very hormonal this week. Yesterday, I was seriously pissed off with Dwayne about something really inconsequential. I recognize it as being a hormonally induced rage. The night before I got mad with him about something else. I can't explain it but things that normally wouldn't even caused a raised eyebrow are driving me nuts. Dwayne thinks I'm losing my mind. Yesterday, he told me he loves me about 20 times. I think he's scared I might snap and go postal or something. I'm blaming the baby girl! And, the fact that this week is particularly stressful for me because of school and my habit of procrastination.

In my other pregnancies, I don't remember snapping about stuff. With Danae, there was a Donnie McClurkin song that would have me in tears every day. I can't remember which song it was but I had to listen to it every single day and would then be an emotional wreck. This was during my drive to and from work every day. With Brayden, I was too tired to be emotionally charged. This time, it's on.

Danae asked me if I was crazy or something. I asked her if I looked crazy. She said yes. I forgot that I can't ask her questions if I don't want her honest answer. She also told me the baby must be getting very big because my stomach won't stop growing. Isn't she the most comforting child ever?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Introducing my newest godson!!!


Isn't he the cutest??? I think babies are at their cutest when sleeping. He was supposed to be born today but he came a little early on October 1st. Danae said she loves him. Brayden thinks it's Danae's baby picture. I'm not putting his name on here because I didn't even get permission from his mommy to post his picture. I just couldn't resist! I can't wait to see him in person.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Need Help!

I have a serious condition and I need one of you to help me find a cure.

My name is Bridgette and I'm a procrastinator.

Because of this, I will be extremely busy this week doing things I could've done a month ago.

*****

Danae got mad with me last week. We were in a store looking at baby clothes. I picked up some baby girl clothes and she asked if it was for her sister. I told her it's for another baby. She told me I don't need to buy clothes for another baby because she has a sister who needs clothes. I reminded her that her sister won't be here for a few months. That girl is nothing if not loyal to her siblings. She can beat Brayden down but will kill someone else for messing with him. Crazy!

*****

Brayden now has the habit of getting in his sister's bed to sleep with her at night. The problem is he sleeps so wild that he ends up kicking her out of her own bed. And, she won't sleep in his bed because she still sees it as a crib even though it's been converted to the toddler bed. So, she comes to my room whining about Brayden. Of course, his response is that he loves Danae. How can you be mad with that one? But, we still make him get out. She needs her beauty sleep, you know.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The 3rd Child

In case you didn't know, I am absolutely thrilled that my third child is another girl. Danae and I prayed for a girl and God granted our request. I wouldn't have been disappointed if the baby was a boy but I am happy with the outcome. I don't really know why though. While we were getting the ultrasound, Dwayne and the tech both laughed at me. Why? Because I was just as excited as if it were my first baby. I oohed when she waved her little hand and smiled the entire way through. The tech said most moms aren't as excited after the first baby. But for me, it's as if she's my first. Although I have been a mom for a few years now, I've never been HER mom. Even though I have experience with a daughter, this is a different child who will have a different personality. I can't wait to meet her. I love children in general and have a deeper love for my own babies. Now, I look forward to seeing her and holding her and smelling her. I love that newborn baby smell. I look forward to the sleepless nights and horribly sore boobs. I look forward to getting to know her likes and dislikes, to teaching and loving her, to introducing her to this world, and to prepare her for heaven. In short, I can't wait.

If only I didn't have to go through the delivery part. A lot of moms say you don't remember the pain of childbirth. And, that's true to some extent. I can't really remember what it felt like but I do remember it hurt although obviously not enough for me to get an epidural. I also remember that it was a very different feeling each child and I only hope this is a little easier for me. I'm sure it'll be quicker. Danae was born 4 1/2 hours after we got to the hospital, Brayden came in 2 hours. My doctor told me this time I should head to the hospital after my first contraction to avoid a delivery on the freeway. The good thing about this type of pain is that the prize at the end is the best thing you can ever hope for.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The other part of yesterday's post

I fail: when it comes to disciplining my children
I dream: crazy but very realistic dreams when I sleep. I almost always have to figure out if was real or not the next morning.
I sleep: with 3 pillows
I wonder: if Brayden is going to try to kill the new baby

I want: Apple pie and ice cream
I worry: about the world I'm bringing children into
I have: a better life than I thought I would

I give: more to others than to myself
I fight: the urge to eat chocolate every single day

I am: tired of being pregnant because I haven't had a good night's rest in months.
I can’t: cook rice and peas to save my life
I stay: home all day every single Monday.

I will: get my tubes tied as soon as this baby is out
I can: cook but I don't enjoy it
I would:
love to visit Italy
I might: go crazy if Danae tells me one more time that she wants another Barbie doll

I like: to be around family and friends
I love: God

I smile: when my children tell me they love me
I frown: when Dwayne wakes me up early in the morning
I read: my Bible every night before I go to bed no matter how tired I may be

I work: more as a stay at home mom than I did at my actual job

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

More About Me

I don't really have much to talk about so I'm going to do a little something I saw on someone else's blog. You may learn something new about me or you may not.

I am not: someone who will walk on egg shells around anyone. I can't handle overly sensitive people
I hear: Diego singing about a humpback whale
I regret: not finishing college when I went the first time
I care: more about people's feelings than most people think

I always: think optimistically about everything
I long to: have a flat stomach again
I feel alone: never because there's always someone in my face
I hide: and eat chocolate sometimes since Dwayne doesn't want me to while I'm pregnant.
I drive: very safely although Dwayne and Danae tell me I drive too fast sometimes

I sing: to my children every day
I dance: with Brayden almost every day
I write: on my blog when I feel like it

I breathe: because God has not stopped me from living yet
I play: basketball with the kids every day
I miss:
my mother and my cousin Javares
I search: on Google almost daily
I say:
"I love you" to my husband and kids every day
I feel: extremely blessed to have the life I have

I succeed: by letting God direct my path

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thanks for the memories

Last year at this time, we were trying to adjust to life in the Philippines. We were severely plagued with jet lag. We slept all day and stayed up all night for at least a week. We were excited about the opportunity of living in a foreign country. We were still in awe and looking forward to the possibilities.

Right now, I miss living in the Philippines. It was exciting and different and made us see life from a different perspective. It made us value the people we love in the USA. It made us value our country. Even though we complain about our government and so many things here, I still feel that America is a truly great country. We have opportunities others only dream about. Freedoms (for now anyway) that some can't even imagine. I was reading an article the other day about the billions of pounds of food that is wasted yearly in our country. In the Philippines, they were rationing staple food because there just wasn't enough. Children were left to beg on the streets. The elderly and handicapped had to fend for themselves in a country that doesn't provide for their special needs. There aren't nursing homes there or homes for special needs or rehab centers like we have here. If your family can't support you, then you have to just find a way to make it day by day.

Truthfully, I sincerely hope we are given another chance to live abroad. I would go without hesitation unless it's the Middle East or Nigeria. I would go to Dubai though. Really, Dwayne wouldn't even have to discuss it much with me. Just let me know when to pack. I love to travel. Living in Asia allowed us to visit many areas in the Philippines and Hong Kong. We probably would've never gone to those places if we never left.

Dwayne has already informed the higher ups at his job that he wants another expat assignment. Actually, he told them that before we came back to Houston. The only drawback is leaving our family and friends here. We really missed y'all...even the ones we don't see very often.

Every expat woman I met while away told me living in a foreign country is addictive. None of them were itching to get back home. One lady had been an expat so long she felt like she no longer had a home. She was originally from Virgina but had lived in Rome, Cairo, Poland, Manila, and maybe somewhere else. Believe it or not, she said Rome was the worst assignment. Her three children were all born abroad and don't really consider themselves Americans. They're what's called "third culture children". They have no country that truly feels like home. The earth is their home.

Anyway, we are open to whatever God throws our way. If we need to stay here, then so be it. But, if he sees fit for us to hit the friendly skies and get away, we'll see you all later. And, you can all visit.