Monday, August 26, 2013

AND...we are back!

OH!  It has been ever so very long since we have "blogged".  Throwing our crazy little family life into witty entries for our wonderful families and friends to read.  It is time to begin again...

I will NOT try to recapture the last THREE years...let me sum up, instead:
  1. The family survived the 530+days that daddy was gone doing Navy "stuff"!  Dad returned home on Father's Day, 2012.
  2. In July of 2012, we arrived in Monterey, CA!  YIPEE!!!!  Miles has been assigned here for the next three years!  Did I mention...YIPEE????? 
That is about it...

You may be wondering why we have revisited "blogdom"?  Well, there are two reasons.  One, my parents entered the MTC today to begin their two year mission to Mexico City South Mission.  We are so very, very excited for them as they embark on this new adventure, and since Nana and Papa have started up a blog to keep us informed of all that they are doing...we are returning the favor!  The second reason I have resurrected this blog has to do with my girls.  While Miles was deployed, I took the time to take ALL of the entries I had made to the blog, and compile them in a book, and send the book to him.  So that even if he were unable to access the internet, he could have a way to connect with his girls.  A couple of months ago, Maddie found this book and read through it cover to cover...and then, she read it to Ellie, and the Emma read it, and then ALL of them sat together on the couch and laughed and laughed at all the silly pictures, and the sillier stories of the things that they "used" to do when they were "little".   So, I write for my that they may have a way to always remember the things they "used" to do when they were " little"!   

What kinds of things are the Maschger's doing?  Well, we are still busy homeschooling...yep...still!  That little experiment that we started just four years ago, has become a full time obsession.  It is not only something I LOVE doing...but we are really seeing such tremendous benefits in each of our girls.  We just completed our school year, and are happy to report that 100% of the students at The Maschger Academy had 100% attendance.  AND 100% of the students made the honor roll!  Really!  We grade our girls, and they earned straight A's in all subjects.  Additionally, I can report that all of our students are at or ABOVE grade level!  Right now they are learning math, writing, grammar, handwriting, spelling, science, history, keyboarding, Spanish, and piano.  We have also enjoyed completing several art projects, and have spent this year teaching Maddie and Emma to ride a two-wheeler...and just this last Saturday they completed a 6.3 mile bike ride---which I think is pretty good for those little legs! :-)  We are looking forward to getting "our" aquarium back---we have let the tourists have it over the summer--but after Labor Day we will resume our weekly trips...because we LOVE the aquarium! :-)  We will be taking a brief two week vacation, and then we begin our new school year on September 9th! 

A quick note on each of the girls:

Maddie (9) is doing so very, very well!  To say that she is reading like CRAZY would be an understatement!  I feel as though she has read every book in the library---she checks out 5-15 every week!  AND, she reads them ALL!  She LOVES to read!  When she isn't buried in a book she is writing.  She has several FANTASTIC story starters, and her poetry is pretty awesome for a 9 year old!  Her favorite subjects continue to be history, art and science.  

Emma (8) continues to be the beautiful soul she has always been---that remarkable mix of pure charity, and competitive drive makes for some very interesting parenting challenges---she LOVES to serve and help---as long as she gets to decide how she serves and help...and if she can be the FIRST one to help and finish!  We are also moving into the 8/9 year old phase---don't know if anyone else has dealt with the phenomenon...but Maddie did the same thing---right around 8.5, there is this sudden decision that your parents are idiots, and it is your job to let them know that you--the child--know more than those parents do.   It is like a preview of the teenage years...  Maddie has moved out of this phase, and she is really so very, very pleasant and helpful and mature...  Emma is not.  Emma continues to be incredibly responsible, and is exceptionally bright---as long as she directs what she is learning and how she is helping.  She doesn't take direction well AT ALL!  Her favorite subjects are whatever Maddie doesn't like---sigh!  She likes art, and piano, and handwriting, and math...

Ellie (4) is Ellie!  That will FOREVER be what will describe Ellie!  She is Ellie.  You have to meet her to understand---she is a MASSIVE personality squished into a little person...she lives in a world of opportunity...nothing can stop her---and I do mean NOTHING!  She is REALLY bright, and she is still learning that she can use all that intelligence for good...She is a force to be reckoned with, and we LOVE that about her!  About 4 months ago, she started begging us to let her start "school"...the rule has been when you turn 5, you start school with Mom...she was so very insistent, that we started her really slow and easy, and the more we gave her, the more she wanted.  She now sits through an hour of instruction a day which includes handwriting, math, and reading.  She has about 8 books that she can read on her own, and adds a new one every week.  Often, while we are reading scriptures, she will announce that she wants to learn a new she picks a word out, and from that point on, she reads that word whenever it crops up.  She is pretty amazing!

Lizzie (2).   Lizzie will turn 3 in November, so we are well into our terrible 2's and barreling towards those terrible 3's.   She is plagued with lethal cuteness AND being the baby, and she wields those weapons with skill and precision! :-)  She has also insisted on doing "School" we do Lizzie School...and the girls LOVE to help her.  While she knows all the sounds the letters make, she still doesn't know her colors...which is fine...she is TWO!  However, it is a bit amusing to have her constantly point out letters and the sounds they make---and then tell you the bus is purple! :-)  Lizzie is by far the most social of all our children...EVERYONE is her friend!  And I do mean EVERYONE!   She says "Hi" to every single person we pass... I am pretty certain that is the Grandpa Lemmon blood in her! :-)  

Miles has been EXTREMELY busy at his new post.  He is over an entire division---which averages about 80 students.  They keep him busy with all the various needs that are inherent in a military training/ school setting.  However, as this assignment comes right after a lengthy separation, we have PERSPECTIVE!  So, those REALLY long hours he is having to put in every day,  are "OK" because he still comes home every night (except those nights when he is standing those 24 hour watches)! :-)  

Other than work and school, we are doing our best to take advantage of this most beautiful part of the country.  The girls favorite activities are hiking, and biking, and going to the beach---and when we "go to the beach", the intention is to "get our toes wet"...which NEVER happens---toes quickly become the entire body---soaking wet---so very fun! :-)  As previously mentioned, we love the aquarium, and have made that an almost weekly habit!  

Before I wrap this up, and head off to do all those "mommy" things, I wanted to leave you with a quick couple of Ellie "moments":

Mom:  When you whisk, you stir fast, like this.
Ellie:  OH!  Like a monkey who has to eat bananas.
Mom:  Ummmm...precisely...????

Ellie:  This is SOOO GOOD it will make your heart fall down!!

Mom:  Are you ready, Ellie?
Ellie:  Ready as a noodle steady!!
Mom:  ...........

Love you all!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

We're still here...sort of...

Well it has obviously been a long time since Tam and I have updated our blog. Things have been very hectic, chaotic, and stressful. Basically, everything is normal. However, a lot has happened since we last posted in June. Because nobody would want to sit through a recounting of everything that has gone on, including me, I will just give you the highlights.

On November 23, 2010, Tam gave birth to a beautiful Elizabeth Nan Maschger. She is a gem and seems to be not as demanding as our other babies were. She is growing very large very quickly. She is a joy to have in the house and her three older sisters have taken to her very well. Sometimes we have to protect Lizzie from them. Now that we are the parents of four daughters, I have officially put my man-card in a safety deposit box until such time as it is safe to pull it out, and I fear for the time when the girls start dating. After all they are already taking about marriage.

Madelynn is growing into a beautiful young woman. In fact she is convinced that she is a grown up because she is in size one women’s shoes. She LOVES to read, and will read anything she can get her hands on. She often would prefer to read over just about anything else including eating, playing, sleeping, etc. Sometimes Mom and Dad have to force her to put her books down. One book that she enjoyed a lot was a medical book that talked about the human body and sicknesses. It was created to help the reader understand various common diseases and injuries and help a patient “diagnose” common ailments. More than once Maddie would diagnosis someone with a broken bone or skull because they hit their head, or when Emma was sick with a cold Maddie would be the nurse and have Emma lay on the couch and so she could take care of Emma. (Emma ate all of this attention up.) She recently read a book about the Sun and our Galaxy and was so enthralled by it that she declared that she wanted to now become a space scientist. Of course, she also wants to become a nurse, teacher, and writer too. She is going to be busy.

Emma is also developing into a beautiful young woman. She has an incredible ability and desire to see what people need and then attempts to serve them. She also is very competitive so she will often race to help someone so she can beat her sister at it. This usually is not a problem until the tempers fly and someone gets hit or clotheslined. Emma has a special relationship with her sister Eleanor. Emma can get Ellie to stop and play (freeing up mom for other essential household activities). Emma is a very responsible girl who, even though she would rather play her own game, will help Mom by taking care of Ellie.

Eleanor is a force to be reckoned with. She never stops moving and getting into things. Tam and I are unable to leave her alone. She certainly keeps us on our toes. If we do not know where Ellie is something valuable is getting broken. There are two things that she cannot possibly leave alone, computers and bathrooms. Both present an irresistible pleasure for her, even though she gets in trouble every time. She is smart and very capable of figuring out ways to get into what she wants. It is exhausting trying to keep up with her.

Tamara is busy being the mother of four. She is homeschooling our daughters and is doing a phenomenal job. She runs a tight ship at home, and is doing an awesome job keeping it all together. (She of course would disagree) However, I as an unbiased husband, have claimed the right to say that she is rocking the family thing and making miracles happen everyday in the home.

I have finally finished my masters degree from the National Defense Intelligence College. It took a bit longer then expected but I finished my 88 page thesis and will finally get my wall art this summer. It was a long, exhausting, mentally strenuous experience but I am glad I did it. I really enjoyed the classes, most of the teachers, and the topics discussed.

Another major family event is that I got orders at the end of last year and on December 15, 2010 Tam and I moved the family to live with her parents in Blue Springs, MO. Because the Navy is sending me to the Middle East for an Unaccompanied tour. I have about six months worth of training state-side before I leave for the region and then I will be there for a year tour. Altogether, that is around 18 months away from the family. I left on January 2, 2011 for Pensacola, FL for aircrew training, because my orders will have me riding in airplanes. The schooling so far has been difficult and has caused me several times to question what I was doing, but with the faith and prayers of my wife and the blessings of the Lord, I will be graduating this Thursday, and moving on to three more schools. I do not relish being away from my family, but we are not the first military family being asked to make these sacrifices. I am to my core a family man, and miss them terribly. However, this tour will hit a lot milestones that are important for the career path that Tam and I have chosen.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Maschger Family Photos 2010

So, about 3-4 months ago, our family spent an afternoon down in Ellicott City, Maryland getting our pictures taken by our incredibly talented are the results...FINALLY!

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Last Post for the Day. I Promise, but You Are Not Going to Want to Miss This

Many of you have probably already heard, but we figured we should probably put the word out officially.

I will be getting orders soon to Bahrain for a year. Tam will go and live with her parents during that time. I am scheduled to begin training the end of November.

Now for the really really exciting news!!!

WE ARE PREGNANT!!!!! Well Tam is pregnant, my work is done. I now get to sit back and relax.

We are excited for number four. Maddie is praying that it will be a boy and Emma is praying that it will be a girl. Originally they were praying for twins. I am glad that they switched what they were praying for. Because we know that Heavenly Father definitely answers prayers. (Is it bad that I prayed that my daughters twin prayer NOT be answered? Something to ponder.)

The due date is December 5, 2010 and I am scheduled to leave the week before that. Thankfully, Tam's doctor does not want her to go past her 38th week because of Tam's health issues. So, basically this is how the delivery will go: "Breath honey. Now Push Honey! Oh look its so cute! Well I gotta go dear have fun and see you later!" In all seriousness I am grateful I will be her for the delivery, but I am saddened that I will leave so soon after.

I am also using these blog posts as a way to procrastinate writing my 5 assignments that are due this week. (Only about a combined total of 30-40 written pages and two presentations.) No biggie? Right?

I hope everyone of you is doing well. Take care. Love the Maschgers

Run Run Run Around We Run Around

On Earth Day April 22, 2010, Fort Meade held a 5K race and our whole family ran. Mom and Dad ran with the girls. We were so proud of them. Emma ran the 5k in 42:56 and Maddie ran it in 59:03. Emma ran over a mile and half before she needed to stop to walk for bit. I think it was her competitiveness that motivated her. She hates getting passed. I am so proud of both my girls for their efforts. Emma wants to run another race and Maddie, well afterward, she told us she hated running.

Here is the link to the race results. So check it out:

Maddie's become a Canadian and her facebook friend

Maddie has started to end just about every sentence with the word "eh" as in "I am going upstairs to put on my pajamas "eh'" and then Emma immediately follows by saying "b, c, d, e,..." Good Canadian times in the Maschger Household.

Maddie has also decided because one of her friends has imaginary friends that she needed to have an imaginary friend as well. So she created one, named George. They met on facebook and during nap time she took a two hour flight to Texas to met him for the first time. We had to negotiate his age with Maddie. Originally George was 17 years old. We told Maddie that Mom and Dad would not allow her to have a 17 year old friend. She then countered with a 10 year old friend. We finally settled on 7 and half years old. So now Maddie has a 7 and half year old facebook friend that lives in Texas and she talks to him incessantly on her cellphone.

Is that not a product our day? My daughter's imagery friend is on facebook. The imaginary friend is probably more active on facebook than Tam and I are.

Love the Maschgers

Gotta Love your Kids!!! No really you do!!!

So here is a simple new recipe Emma and her friends created.


1 Large Bowl
1 Full Roll of Toilet Paper
Enough water to fill said bowl
1 Bathroom sink.


Fill the bowl with water
Begin to unroll the entire roll of toilet paper into the bowl full of water ensuring that all the paper becomes thoroughly soaked and mushy.

Now taste your creation to ensure proper consistency. If it is to your liking you are done, if not add more toilet paper.

For an extra flourish make sure to spread the water to the bedroom soaking one of the dressers in the room.

After you are done then dump the entire bowl of water and toilet paper down the bathroom sink drain to clog it up.

I hope that you all enjoy this family favorite as much as we do!!!

Love the Maschgers