Good times

Oh my.  What a day.

Confessions are at 11 am at the Cathedral on Saturdays, so we hauled our sooty little souls down there this morning.  I noticed the line was moving quickly, which meant our usual favorite priest wasn’t there.  The kids went first, then me.  Bill was hanging in the back with the little ones and went after the three people behind me.

A sign inside explained the short confession time:  Deaf Priest.  Do not whisper.

This would have been a good day to have mortal sins.

So, no lengthy explanations, no probing questions, no nothing.  State your sins, say you’re sorry, get forgiveness, get out.

After confession, I like to compare penances.  I got one Our Father.  Billy said he got three Hail Marys.  Goodness!  Fritz admitted he couldn’t understand what the elderly Irish priest had said, so he did the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Angel of God and St.Michael prayers.  Covered his bases.  Katie said she, too, had not understood so she did three Hail Marys.  Then Billy admitted he didn’t understand the priest either.  (Was that a lie he told right after confession?)

I asked the kids if they saw the sign that said the priest was deaf. 


They asked about the man being Irish.  Jenny, being somewhat out of the loop since she hadn’t gone to confession, asked, “Are all Irish people deaf?”

“No,” I answered, “He happens to be Irish and he happens to be deaf.  Not all Irish people are deaf.”

“Oh,” she said, “He’s deaf and he’s Irish.  All Irish people are deaf.”

“No!” my husband said.  “You’re part Irish.  Are you deaf?”

Cheekily, my 7 year old asked, “What did you say?”


Then we went to the store to buy some pants, socks, and shoes because my children keep growing despite my expressly stated order that they should mature, but not grow.  Growing can be done when they have jobs to pay for clothes.

By this time, they were starving, and we decided to feed them even though, for sure, my son would grow a half inch during the meal.  While we waited for our food, I suggested we play a game to keep everybody’s mind off the fact that we were waiting for food.  I suggested that everybody pick a new name and we would all call each other by these different names for the rest of the weekend.

“My name is Empress Maria Theresa.  You may call me Empress or Your Highness and you certainly may curtsy or bow when speaking to me.  Please speak in German or Czech.”

Bill selected Hector.  Fritz wanted to be called Bob.  Billy, Hades.  Katie, Nancy Drew.  Jenny picked some fairy name, then said she didn’t want to play.  Fine.  Foo on you.  Peter first picked Carson Palmer.  Mary is Mary.

At one point, Peter was acting like a 5 year old and Bill suggested that he act like Carson Palmer, meaning, like an adult.  Images flashed in my mind of the notorious behavior of professional athletes, so I began to protest, “Well, I don’t know if that’s such a good idea…”  Then I pointed to Billy, “He’s HADES.”

“Good point,” said Bill.

Peter changed his name to Joe Hardy.


It was a steak place, this restaurant, but the children’s menu did not have steak on it.  The adult menu had 12 oz steaks or larger (or a 6 oz filet mignon for more than the 12 oz sirloin).  There was no steak salad or steak burger or anything small and less expensive, so I told Billy he could not have steak.  Feeling bad for our carnivorous young son, my husband ordered a steak and gave him some to supplement his chicken finger lunch.

Billy, I mean Hades, when given his portion, responded, “Thank you for your offering.”

If you don’t quite get that, you obviously haven’t read the Percy Jackson books.


More errands.  Mary falls asleep.  The kids are given an option to stay in the car instead of going into Home Depot for air filters and light bulbs.  Katie and Jenny want to come, but the rest will stay.

“Fritz, sit up front and look 12,” I say.  He’s been affecting a “mature” look since he was 11 1/2 so I could run quick errands while leaving a sleeping tot in the car.

“I am twelve!”

“Oh.  Yeah.  Good.  Sit up front.” 


At Bass Pro shops, nobody wanted to stay in the car.  That’s OK.  I came prepared with a book.  I happily stayed with Mary.

Bill wants to take me out to shoot shotguns.  I know, I know.  What a lucky lucky gal I am to have a husband with such romantic ideas for dates. 

He said he needed ear protection.  He said he knows I’m sensitive to things touching me, and thought perhaps the stick-in-your-ear ear plugs might annoy me.  “It’s OK.  I’ll just go deaf,” I said.

After the errand, he showed me the stick-in-your-ear $0.99 ear plugs he bought – for him.  And he showed me the full-cover-over-your-ears, much-more-than-$0.99 ear protection he bought – for me.

This is love.


On the way home, I read him a few snippets from Rachel Balducci’s book.  The theme of these excerpts was Chuck Norris.  Chuck Norris is not well known in my home…yet.  I noticed how eerily quiet the car became when I was reading.  My cell phone rang, and I spoke for a minute to a girlfriend.  The din from the back of the van was the usual volume – loud.  But when I hung up and went back to the book: silence.


We went home and somebody said something else very funny.  I can’t remember it.  But I do know that Fritz said, “Mom, you have to put this on your blog!”  It doesn’t matter what it was, really.  His comment wasn’t at all narcissistic, self centered – somebody else was the clever one.  And he has very little clue that complete strangers read this blog.  He knows my blog is our family history.

We ran errands and took care of business.  We ate lunch and spent the day together.  We had fun.

It was just an ordinary mundane Saturday, but we want to remember it.

Anniversary Numbers

15 years of marriage
14 thousand pounds of household goods
13 ER visits
12 Cub Scout and Boy Scout advancements
11 years of chasing toddlers
10 seats behind us in the van
9 months since the deployment
8 different addresses
7 Oktoberfests
6 children
5 surgeries
4 PCS moves
3 coffee makers
2 hearts
1 life


Spending 15 minutes discussing the realist’s perspective on world affairs and how that perspective conforms or not with Catholic teaching on the nature of man and whether or not states are sentient beings and how an individual’s value system affects his country’s behavior, while very interesting, is not at all what I had in mind when I said that we really needed to carve out some time every evening to talk.

Intelligent conversation: CHECK.

Azimuth check on how we’re spending the weekend: INCOMPLETE

Talking at you

He was going to Florida on business, leaving in the morning, driving. She had an appointment that morning, but would head to her parents’ house, in a different part of Florida, that afternoon.

Things were hectic that morning. She pulled the large green duffel bag and the small wheeled suitcase from the closet and put them in the master bedroom, tossing in a few of the kids’ things she had ready. A bit later, he went up to pack. “Which bag should I take?” he called out to her as she scurried around, getting ready for her appointment.

“The wheeled one!” she shouted from several rooms away. She wasn’t sure he heard her but figured when he saw the children’s belongings in the duffel bag, he would have his answer.

She raced off to her appointment, kissing him goodbye, knowing he’d be gone when she got back.

Hours later, he called home from the road (he was not driving, just in case anyone would like to flag him for unsafe behavior). “How are you?” he asked.

She had just gotten home and was trying to get the house shut down and the family out the door. “I’m a little crazy right now,” she answered, wondering if he needed something.

“Oh.” Pause.

“You know, I’m in that frantic, trying to make sure I get everything done and don’t come home to stinky garbage left in the kitchen stage.”

“Oh.” Pause.

“You know, that ‘Why is he calling me and keeping me from getting my work done?’ insane stage of packing.”

“Oh.” Pause. “Maybe I should go.”

“Yeah…I’ll call you when I get on the road.”

Ten minutes later, she went upstairs to pack her clothes. No duffel bag. She ran downstairs and asked the kids if they had seen it. They swore it was upstairs. She ran upstairs. No duffel bag. She ran downstairs to get the phone, which should have been upstairs, but was obviously placed to ensure a good day’s exercise instead.

“Do you…wha…why…” Pause for breath and to compose herself. “Did you take the green duffel?”


“Didn’t we…what did…didn’t you…” The incoherent spluttering continued for a bit while she searched for the right words. She inhaled. “Did you ask me which suitcase to take?”


“What did you hear me say?”

“Um, I didn’t hear very clearly, but I thought you said to take the duffel bag.”

“Even though the kids’ stuff was in it?”

“Yeah, I thought maybe you changed your mind.”

“You left all the kids’ stuff here?”

“Oh, yes.”

“OK. No big deal. I meant for you to take the wheeled one.” Pause. “I just want to clarify that we completely screwed this up.”


“Maybe we need to work on our communication skills?”


Or maybe we shouldn’t run around like chickens without heads.

Or both.

Flowers and diamonds

The rose bush in the front of the house first bloomed back in May or early June. When the blooms began to fade, I thought that was it. But my husband went out and cut off all the dead heads and a few weeks later, we had more blooms. Since then, he has been fairly regular in trimming away the dead flowers and as a result, we have a fairly continuous bounty of pretty flowers greeting us as we come and go.

Some gals get roses via FTD delivered to their front door for a special occasion. I get them every day.

Yesterday, as I was saying goodbye to my husband before work, I noticed the dew on the rose bush. The petals and leaves appeared to be covered in diamonds. Gorgeous.


Sometimes, you have to do more living than blogging. Of course, those are the times you most want to blog about.

Fritz’s face looks much better than it did last Wednesday. The dentist thinks all will be fine with his adult teeth, but she’ll keep an eye on them at future visits.

Peter had a lingual frenectomy. He was so good. I was traumatized, but at least I didn’t faint or vomit.

Bill’s parents came down for a visit and we did touristy stuff. Fort Pulaski. The Owens-Thomas House (free to military during the summer!!).

Last week, I had a conversation with my husband about how many days he has gone TDY since beginning this job four months ago (more than 30). He has a whole month to go until his next trip. The office doesn’t know what they will do with him. I suggested it was time to take some leave (vacation).

“Well, I do have that long weekend coming up for the 4th of July,” he said. There was a pause, and I expected him to continue with some plan to take leave. But, no, that was the end of his statement.

“No, dear, that’s a holiday. Leave is when you don’t go into the office, but everybody else does.”

So, he took today off, which was very nice. He helped me run outside and pull the clothes off the line before the torrential downpour (this is my every afternoon). Somebody found my stash of rubber bands and he’s been teaching the kids how to best aim and fire them. They have battled all day long, and my stash is now all over the floors all over the house. He washed my car, because he’s trying very hard to conscientiously practice my love language of acts of service (isn’t he great, folks?).

Part of this is because we watched the movie P.S. I Love You. Tear-jerker. I cannot in good faith recommend it to anyone whose husband is deployed, or is deploying soon, or has a brain tumor or some other life-shortening condition, or to anyone who is pregnant or post-partum hormonal, or PMSing or menopausal, or who cries easily, or who can’t bear the thought of her husband dying. And since it’s rated PG-13 for sexual content, I can’t recommend it to anyone under the age of adulthood…so pretty much I think only men should watch this movie. And since I like having my car washed just because, I highly recommend that all husbands watch this movie very soon. If your husband will not watch a chick flick without you, be forewarned that you will need tissues.

There are 18 weeks to the Army Ten Miler. Today I started the Hal Higdon 15K Intermediate training program, which is 10 weeks long. I just plan to repeat the last 4 weeks twice to get me to race day.

And that’s my life in the last week.