Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Day of Rest?

This morning started bright and early...Miles off to meetings, and me working to finish up lesson prep. As I am wrapping things up in the office, I am listening to our girls talking to each other...suddenly Emma starts singing "I Am A Child of God", Maddie quickly joins in and it was an angelic duet! A marvelous start to my sabbath day...which was good because it all unraveled crazy fast!

In very typical fashion, the later it got...the more deaf the children became (anyone ever dealt with this phenomenon?) I find myself with 15 minutes before time to be on the road to church, and BOTH children are still in their pjs...having a wonderful time playing and completely oblivious to their mother's frantic attempts to get them focused on getting ready. In a very human moment, I misplaced my temper for a moment...note I didn't LOSE my temper...just misplaced it :-) and I doomed us to an inevitable late departure by issuing the ultimatum that somebody better get their rear end over to Mom for their church-going hairstyle, or their would be intense unhappiness. This of course got both girls crying, and as previously mentioned...slowed down the process of getting out the door. It also got Maddie off on the wrong foot, and by the time I was ushering her out the door she was pretty the point that she started screaming and crying that she didn't want to leave her house, "I wanna go back inside my house!" So, I dragged her down the sidewalk, and hefted her into her carseat, and buckled her in as she cried and cried and cried. I grabbed her little body in a big hug, and said a prayer. Emma, who was not happy, but was completely overshadowed by the meltdown from her sister, was quickly buckled in, and I climbed into my seat to head to church...with two crying children. I did stop, and say another prayer, then put the car in reverse and started to back out when Maddie starts screaming a whole new pitch..."NOOOOOOO! Don't leave my house! NOOOOOOO!"

By the time we arrived at church she had calmed down, and after I promised to carry her into church, she left the car, and we made it into church with little to no more incidents. I have a picture schedule for Maddie for sacrament meeting, to help her know what is going on...we try not to use it EVERY Sunday...but this was definitely a picture Sunday. Sacrament meeting went well, and off she went to Primary with her friend, Hailey Chapman. However, this is the fifth Sunday, and that means combined third hour, which means that Primary works differently to maximize the people who can attend...this was NOT the day to mess Maddie's schedule. Needless to say, one of the members of the Primary brought a sobbing Maddie into us at the very beginning of third hour...which she then spent sitting on her Daddy's lap, watching Mommy's watch tick down the seconds until it was time to go home. It was a rough church day!

However, once we got home, things settled VERY quickly, and we have had a wonderful afternoon with the girls. We had the Elders over for dinner tonight, and Maddie was quite the hostess...she wanted to know what they got for Christmas, and what they were going to be tomorrow? It was pretty cute. While Miles took the Elders back to their apartment, the girls and I danced to some rockin' Primary tunes from the group "InsideOut"...and had alot of fun!

Quick Emma story...yesterday Emma hurt her finger, a small cut...nothing life threatening, but definitely in need of a band-aid (whoever invented band-aids HAD to have been a parent...because those things work MIRACLES!). Anyway, tonight at dinner she announced she had to go potty (Emma is in the phase of potty training where she sits on the potty for less than 1 second, gets up...flushes...washes her hands, and reports back to the family that she "used" the potty. ) Apparently, during the hand washing portion of the routine, her band-aid came this is about the 3rd band-aid I have put on her in the last 2 days...I told her she could wait until AFTER dinner to get another band-aid. Being Emma, she would NOT drop the topic..."OWWWWIE, I need a band-aid. Mommy, OWWWWIE, I need a band-aid" Exasperated, I said, "You are NOT getting a band-aid until after dinner...if you want I can tie your hair ribbon around your finger until you get your new band-aid" As an adult the idiocy of this statement is a 2 year old it is pure logic! :-) She replied, "I need my pretty on my finger." Stuck, I removed her LARGE hot pink ribbon from her hair and tied it around her little finger...and through the remainder of dinner she was constantly admiring her "band-aid". Another brilliant Mom moment brought to you by me....stay tuned there are bound to be more...

Finally, tonight as the girls knelt to say their prayers, our little Maddie offered up the following, "Heavenly Father, help us to have a baby (she is VERY baby hungry...she wants Mommy and Daddy to have a baby...NOW). We will name the baby "Lay-ta" . Bless the missionaries to be home. Bless the baby we will name "Lay-ta". In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Out of the mouths of babes...:-)

We love you all! Tune in tomorrow for more Maschger zaniness! :-)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Gotta Love the Holidays

Gotta love the holidays!

It means that you spend a lot of time eating poorly, and playing with the new toys. It also means time with the family. Today was definitely a family day. Tam and I both started strong. You never would have guessed that at the beginning of the day our house was clean, and we were being productive. I don't know exactly what happened, but after the girls got up from their nap, it was play time. There was a whole lot of musical chairs, duck duck goose, and just a bunch of regular tom foolery. Maddie, Emma, and Dad had a good time. Tam, on the other hand, had a really bad headache this afternoon. So, Tam didn't have as much fun as the rest of us. Tam and I tell ourselves that someday we are gonna have to pretend to be adults, and get some real work done. However, not today.

Cute story time:

All right, I have a confession to make...Maddie and Emma both did cute things today (of course it is hard for them not too). When they did those cute things, I told myself that I had to write it down to remember it, but I never wrote it down. Now I can't remember what they did. I am a very bad dad. If I remember it later, and I write it down...I will definitely post an update.

Maddie's cute story will be here, when I remember it.

Emma's cute story will be here, when I remember it.

Our little family has been enjoying spending a lot of time together. We all definitely needed a break.

I hope everyone out there is doing well. Keep in touch.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Writing Party...

Had an absolutely wonderful day with the girls today! Miles had to go in to work this morning, and as always I had a list a mile long of things that I wanted to accomplish before he came home...then Emma got the blocks out and wanted Mommy to help her build a HIGH tower. The next thing I knew Maddie had brought ALL of the MegaBloks down, and magically the morning disappeared amongst blocks, legos, and lincoln logs! :-)

For lunch, I made what is called at our house "white" macaroni...that is ANY kind of pasta with Alfredo sauce on it. Alfredo sauce is a FAVORITE here in the Maschger home. Anyway, Emma decided that she didn't like "white" macaroni today, and when I told her she could eat or head to bed...she got down from the table, climbed the stairs, and put herself to bed. What do you do with a kid like that? Can't really call that a win....:-) Maddie was left at the table eating, so I sat down beside her and started working on a grocery list. She watched me writing for a bit...when suddenly she blurted, "that's a T!" I looked down at my paper, and sure enough there was a T. So I flipped the paper over, and started drawing letters for her to identify...she did AWESOME! She was able to recognize both "big" and "little" letters for most every letter in the alphabet. She is really confused with "K" and "R"..."X" and "T"..."M" and "W"...but other than that, she got them ALL. Then it got really fun...she asked me to write "glasses". So I complied, and as I wrote each letter, she named each one. Once the word was written, she asked me to draw a picture of glasses...ABOVE the word, and then I had to draw a box around the word and picture. This process was repeated for about 15 more words...she was really into the activity, and it was incredible! After about 45 minutes, I was starting to write yet another word, when she says, "Mom, that is enough." I said, "OK, we'll finish after this word" Exasperated she yells, "Mom, PAUSE!" :-) So, I stopped...she then went to grab a stack of paper, and a pen...and wanted to write the word "bed".

I wrote the word at the top of her page, and she set to work. However, she couldn't get passed the letter "B" because she couldn't get it to look like Mom's...and the more she tried, the more frustrated she got. I kept trying to calm her down, and talk to her...but it all ended with her crying and pouting on the floor. I pulled her into my lap, and asked her to tell me what the problem was...she says, "Now I can't go to the writing party" I asked, "A writing party? Where is there a writing party?" She replies, "At Wal-Mart. Now I can't go....and everybody will be there but me." Mom-of-the-year (me) says, "Well, I won't be there." She says, "Yes, you will be there with me, but I can't write." SIGH...:-/

Tonight, we decided to have a family date...we went to Baja Fresh Grill (which our girls call the "Quesadilla store") picked up dinner and brought it back home. We laid a blanket on the living room floor, and had a picnic while we watched our latest Netflix arrival, "Surf's Up". It was a great night!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Every Day is a Holiday

So we forgot to mention one very funny Maddie story.

We let our girls draw during sacrament meeting. This usually pacifies them enough so we can get through the meeting with minimal noise. Sometimes they ask us to draw a picture for them, and usually we comply. This day, Maddie asked me to draw a “new” mermaid (usually she asks me to draw Ariel from “The Little Mermaid”). After I drew it she then asked me what was the new mermaid's name. I first threw out the “common” name of Anastasia. However, for Maddie this would not do. She told me that “That's not right! What is her name?” I tried another relatively common name, she didn't like that one either. Then thinking I was being funny I placed a bunch of syllables together and came with a name that went something like “tataktadada”. I was expecting the usual “Dad, you're silly”; however, Maddie calmly and quickly responded “Daddy, that's a boys name!”. Apparently there is this great list of names the she is aware of and the rest of the world is not. Needless to say Tam and I almost had to take ourselves out of sacrament because we were laughing.

Now onto todays events:

Because my command was being very magnanimous, I didn't have to go to work today. It was really nice to be home. I definitely need a longer break. Tam and I are hoping to be able to take some leave within the next couple of months. However, the Navy is already planning a number of trips for me. Yeah, I just barely finished unpacking from my last trip.

Tam had a doctor appointment today, so the girls were able to go play with a couple of their friends from church. When we went to pick them up, Maddie fell apart because she didn't want to go home, and Emma (a.k.a. The Narc) began telling Tam everything that the other kids got in trouble for. As a parent, having a narc in the family is such a curse and blessing. You always want to have someone on the inside. However, you also know that nobody likes a narc. So what is a parent to do?

Other than that...nothing exciting happened today. We kept it pretty low key. Tam and I could use more of these. It was nice to spend more time with the family, before I get shipped off again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Day After...

We wanted to let you know that Santa made it onto base with apparently little difficulty, and made a generous delivery to the Maschger household! Here it is the day after and the girls spent the day playing with their favorite toys dressed in their nightgowns they got from Mrs. Claus. Maddie came down the stairs this morning, and asked if she could wear her nightgown all day today :-) We'll have to let Mrs. Claus know she did a great job picking those out!

Miles headed back to work today, after stopping off at Andrews AFB for his annual flight check-up. Can't think of anything I would rather do on the day after Christmas then go to the doctor's! On his way off base, he got stopped as the base did a lock down for an Air Force One take off...does it get any more exciting?

The girls, as mentioned, spent the day playing with their "take" from Christmas Day. Emma got a play kitchen, and Maddie got a stroller, high chair, swing, and bed for her babies (which is anything that she can hold and has a face!) All the ingredients for hours of play...if not for the fact that Emma wanted the stroller only when Maddie had it...and Maddie only wanted to "cook" when Emma was at the stove! :-) Sound familiar to anyone? The stroller actually spent most of the day in time out :-) We ended the day with the girls snuggling on the couch watching "The Wizard of Oz" for the first time. They are HUGE fans of the VeggieTales version, "The Wonderful World of Ha's" we thought they might enjoy the original. They did! :-)

So, this evening for dinner, we had leftover stew. Emma is on a new diet...she doesn't eat ANYTHING for dinner. She can pack away 2 bowls of cereal...if we let her, or a couple of pbj's at lunch...if we let her, but when it comes to dinner, she conveniently forgets how to eat. That is actually what she tells us, "I don't know how to eat." Anyway, this evening, we told her that she could either eat her stew, and then watch the movie...or she could go to bed. She places her chin in her hand, looks up to the ceiling with the deepest look of sincere contemplation...taps her chin with one finger and says, "Hmmm..let's think about this..." She ate the required three bites, and another crisis averted! :-)

Me? Well, I spent the day trying to keep the peace, finish our "Christmas" cards (they'll get in the mail tomorrow!), and working on our commissary list, as we will need to make a run SOON! The excitement...

We love you all...

The Nativity...

Our Maddie is a very spiritual being! She LOVES the baby Jesus story, and knows ALL of the main players. Besides, knowing the story...she LOVES to play "Mary" and act it all out. Here she is as Mary, with a baby Jesus...and a Joseph :-) Note the blanket and pillow on the floor next to her...that is the manger. I love the sweet smile on her face...

An Architect?

One day last week, I went in to get the girls up...."Look, Mommy! Look what I made!" She had used most every block, and I promptly sat down, and helped her use the few remaining blocks...Ta-Da!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


We are sooo excited about this piece of paper, that we wanted to share it with all of you! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Check out my Slide Show!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Happy at home...

Not much new to report from this front. Miles returned home from Utah last night, and we are happy to have him home. The girls and I met up with Aunt Paddy at Mount Vernon on Saturday, and had a wonderful time...despite the HEAT! The highlight for the girls was a toss up between the pigs, the dress-up, and seeing "Nana's house"! Aunt Paddy showed us the house the Lemmon clan inhabited during Grandpa Lemmon's tour at the Pentagon...many years ago. On the way home, Maddie asked if we were going to see other "Nana" houses. She exclaimed, "That EXCITING!" Love our Maddie! Emma really enjoyed dressing up in the clothing at Mount Vernon, and pitched a bit of a fit when she was told she couldn't wear it home! We had a great time!

We love and miss you all!

Summer Fun...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blue Butterfly...

Our Maddie, who loves music, is constantly singing. More often than not her songs are "original" works! Madelynn loves to stand on her chair at the dinner table and sing "songs" at the top of her lungs. Generally after she has favored us with a particular tune several times, she invites us to sing along with her....which is a bit challenging since we rarely are able to follow the tune, or the lyrics. :-) However, this evening we recognized the tune AND the words were priceless...and completely we thought we'd share:

"Everyday I'm a blue butterfly" words by Madelynn Maschger
(tune "Mary Had a Little Lamb)

Everyday I'm a blue butterfly
Blue butterfly
Blue butterfly
Everyday I'm a blue butterfly
I'm a new little blue butterfly

We love our Maddie!

Emma is continuing to astound and amaze us! She has put together that when we run out of a particular food item, we must go get more at the "ommisary". Yesterday I took her to the commissary to pick up a few items...I reached for a small arm basket, and Emma insisted that she would carry it! Ever our stubborn and independent child, she hefted the basket that was pretty much as big as she was from the front of the commissary to the first aisle...mind you it took a good 10 minutes to get less than 10 feet...though I offered on numerous occasions to help out, she flatly refused! However, once I started to put items in the basket she lost all interest! :-) Emma is ever searching for things she can do "by my big girl"! And she is quickly mastering everything we put in front of her! We love our Emma!

Miles thoroughly enjoyed himself at Scout Camp last week! He spent his time fishing, white water river rafting, and shooting. He discovered that teenage boys can have at least as much DRAMA as teenage girls, and that being "cool" is such a relative term! He heads to Utah next week for his sister Elena's wedding! CONGRATULATIONS Elena! :-) However, after that the girls and I are hoping to have him home for more than 10 days in a row! SIGH!

We are, as you can tell, doing very well! I have a great recording of Maddie giving her talk in Primary last week...I just have to figure out how to post stay tuned! We love you all!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Our cute girls...

Together again...

Greetings our beloved family and friends! I thought I'd let you know that we have all returned safely to our humble Maryland abode, and are very happy to be together again as a family!

Miles successfully completed all of his travels, and is looking forward to spending some time with the family before the insanity begins again. He took a week of leave and we are really loving having him around!

The girls and I have also successfully completed our travels. Madelynn and Emma are becoming quite the seasoned travelers. Emma enjoys the "faster, faster" that comes right before the "up, up, up"...however she does NOT like the "down, down,down"! Maddie loved making lots of new "best friends" and trying out every elevator, escalator, and moving sidewalk we came across. The girls did such a tremendous job handling all of the adventures inherent in air travel these days...everything from a 3 hour delay, to an hour spent on the tarmac waiting for a thunderstorm to blow over. My secret? A portable DVD player, coloring books, and lots of snacks!

Maddie and Emma also really enjoyed having an opportunity to play with their cousins...especially since last time we were in Missouri they spent most of their time sick in bed. This time we had not one single sniffle! The girls loved playing in Nana's "water park" ... which includes a small pool, an Elmo sprinkler and a slip n' slide. They also enjoyed playing in Aunt Carrie's "park". (Aunt Carrie has a swing set and a trampoline in her backyard) Aunt Kristi took us for a walk through "Aunt Kristi's park" ... the wetlands area that Kristin has been working on for the last couple of months for the Blue Springs Park and Rec ... and we saw a turtle, a butterfly, and even crossed a couple of bridges! All very exciting for our little girls! Additional highlights included swinging on the hammock with ALL their cousins, eating at Red Robin with the WHOLE family, and getting lots of attention!

One quick Maddie story ... during our stay in Missouri, I took the opportunity to take a day to get my hair and nails done, so leaving the girls with Nana, I slipped out during nap time. As nap time wound to its inevitable close, Nana went upstairs to retrieve her precious granddaughters ... as she traveled up the stairs a distinctive smell assaulted her senses, and as she followed the stench to its origins, Nana found Maddie ... Maddie had apparently neglected to make it to the potty during nap time. Nana knowing exactly what needed to be done, took Maddie to the bathroom and started running a bath. Madelynn immediately began protesting, "I not take a bath! I not take a bath! I not take a bath!" Nana proceeded to undress her, and then picked her up and placed her in the bath tub, seemingly oblivious to Madelynn's very vocal protests. Maddie, standing in the bath, turned to her Nana and said, "Are you a Mommy?" Nana replied, "Yes". Having apparently established Nana's credentials, Maddie "allowed" the bath to continue! :-)

While there is ever so much more, it is quickly approaching dinner time and my services are required by the masses downstairs! Enjoy the pictures! We love you all!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Still here...

We are still here, and as busy as ever! The temptation here is to catch you up on all the has transpired over the last few weeks...who has that kind of time? So you can forget it!

Miles is currently out and about serving his country. He left last Sunday morning for a 2 week stay in VA. He will come home LATE Friday night, and head out again Sunday morning for a week in GA. SO...not seeing much of Miles this month. What we do know is that he is working hard, and that we miss him!

Maddie had a banner Sunday last week...she gave her first talk! We were told by the Primary presidency to keep it within a 30 second time limit :-) so there wasn't a lot of doctrinal depth! However, I spent a couple of nights assembling a talk for my daughter...large pictures, few words...and I placed each page into a page protector and place that in a binder...and then we practiced and practiced and practiced. This is actually not a novel thing for our girls, they LOVE to play "sacrament meeting". They pull our trashcan out into the middle of the kitchen (it has a lid, and is a perfect "podium") and then they place a small watering can on top and "speak" into the spout! They sing songs, say prayers, and "give talks". So..the big day arrives, and I hand Maddie her binder with her talk, and she sits, clutching her talk...anxiously awaiting her turn.

FINALLY, her name is called and she literally LEAPS off her chair...I, who have been seated next to her, make the motions to get up myself...using the set of eyes in the back of her head, she spins around...holds out her hand in the universal "STOP" position and declares, for all to hear..."No Mom, you stay here." I smile, and whisper, "I am going to help you". My 3 year old declares (again for all to hear) "No, I do it myself" Would it surprise you to learn that she did it by herself...I did manage to make it up under the pretense of holding a picture...and she only needed my help once! She was AMAZING! Maddie also recited the 1st Article of Faith to her Sunbeam teacher, and has a star on the Primary's chart! :-) We are incredibly proud of our Maddie! :-)

Emma has also memorized the 1st Article of Faith (it was our FHE for the month of May), and it is pretty moving to hear you 2 year old recite the 1st Article of Faith! Emma also has FINALLY cut her last set of molars...YEAH...we are DONE with teething! It has been such an incredibly LONG time! Emma also has a new favorite place to shop...Circuit City! We have been there maybe twice in the 2 brief years of her existence here on Earth...however, it apparently made an impression...because she is always wanting to go to "Circuit City"! Her current favorite food is chocolate milk...and I do mean her favorite FOOD! :-) How we love our Emma!

We are actually headed to Missouri this parents have graciously offered to take us in for a couple of weeks, in an attempt to save what remains of my sanity. I am beginning to doubt that I have what it takes to be a Navy wife...I have a history of any deployment that is longer than a week sends me running home! How great it is to have a home to run to! :-) The girls are EXTREMELY excited to go to "Zuri", especially on an airplane! Me? I am a little leery of flying with a 2 and a 3 year old by myself...however, life is all about the bring it on!

We love you all!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Greetings from the Maschger clan! We have had another GREAT week...there is just NEVER a dull moment!

The BIG milestones for the week would be, significant success in the potty training department. Those of you who have gone through this ordeal will appreciate how marvelous ANY progress toward a diaper free child can be. After literally checking out EVERY book and video on potty training from the entire Anne Arundel County Public Library system, and countless hours of reading potty books and watching potty movies, it appears that Maddie finally caught the vision! Friday, our little girl got up from the couch and announced that she had to go to the potty. As she headed up the stairs, I asked if she needed any help from Mommy. Her reply, "No, I do it myself"...and off she went. About 20 minutes later I hear from the upstairs, "Mommy, I did it! Come look! I did it!" And sure enough she had...all by herself. After her second successful trip, she informed me, "No more diapers for Maddie" What a beautiful thing! While we realize there is a way to go till we are relatively stress free in this particular wonderful it is to know that we are at least on the path! :-)

The other BIG milestone would be Miles completion of what will be his FINAL college course. He took his final final last Saturday, and we are feeling the tremendous release of literally years of stress! Now there may be some of you who are bit confused, seeming to remember that we had mentioned that we were still a couple of years away from finally achieving the elusive bachelor's degree. Well, there was a change of plans...after some extensive research, we have found an accredited institution that will accept ALL of Miles over 160 credits, and award him a bachelor's degree with Persian/Farsi, and computer emphasis. As our plans are to either apply to Officer Candidate School, explore the myriad of jobs available in this area for someone with Miles training, or apply to law school...having the degree allows us to FINALLY start moving forward in any or all of these areas. So, stay tuned...big happenings are on the horizon!

We had a wonderful day yesterday...Cousin Katy was able to come up and spend an exciting day with the Maschger clan. We had some GREAT Indian food...Maddie and Emma LOVE naan...and Emma really LOVED the Mango Lassi :-) Then we took some time to play at the park. As we were heading home from the park, Emma informed us that she didn't want to go home, in one of my brilliant "Mom" moments, I asked, "Well, where do you want to go?" Our 2 year old Emma replied, "I go to Target!" I believe that it may be entirely possible that there is a "shopping gene", and our Emma got it! :-) As Cousin Katy had no objection to heading to Target, we went shopping at Target! While we are very happy for our Cousin Katy and her upcoming move, we are really going to miss her! :-) It has been so wonderful to have family close by...we love her!

In closing, I'd like to take a moment to wish all of you a Happy Mother's Day...I am soo grateful for my wonderful mother, who I believe with all my heart knows everything, and is perfection personified....I am also very grateful for my mother-in-law and the wonderful son that she raised, he truly blesses my life everyday! We love each and everyone of you...and miss you more than words can say!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

Out of the mouths of babes...

In the last week, during scripture time, we have had some choice moments with our girls...

Ever independent (where does that come from?) our girls balk at the notion that only Mom or Dad read the scriptures. Both Maddie and Emma often insist on "reading" their own verses. One night, Maddie resisted all attempts to "help" her read a verse (where Mom reads a bit, and Maddie repeats) most insistent on reading her own verse. So, Miles and I sat back and watched our little girl "choose" her verse. She flipped through a few pages, then "read" the following:

"Behold (here she pauses, waiting for us to repeat) I Laman (pause) to "NeHi" ... scripture power ... in my youth ... be fussy ... be angry ... be happy ... be sad ... be happy ... Behold ... The End"

Out of the mouths of babes :-) Of course, this passage obviously written during a period when Laman was "making good choices?"

Emma, not to be left out, also insisted on "reading" her own verse. Again we sat back and watched our little Emma turn page after page after page after page after page...and just as I was about to intervene...Emma exclaims "OH! There it is!" with such enthusiasm that Miles and I couldn't help but laugh out loud...and the moment was lost, because once you start laughing, Emma MUST laugh with you, and her laugh is soo contagious that you laugh even harder...and the moment slips :-)

Another GREAT Emma moment...earlier last week as Emma and I were waiting for Maddie's bus, the wind was blowing pretty hard and cold. Emma was cuddled in close to Mom seeking shelter from the cold wind. Finally, obviously at the end of her rope, she looks up and says, "Stop it, cold!" then quickly reburied her head. Unfortunately, the wind not knowing who it was dealing with, blew yet again. This time, Emma stuck her head out and yelled, "THE END, cold!"

Thank heaven for little girls!

Everything else is fairly status quo. Miles was gone most of last San Diego. He had a great trip! He has already volunteered for another trip to the man certainly knows how to pick the tough assignments! :-)

In other news, I met with Maddie's teacher a couple of weeks ago, and they have recommended that she remain in school over the summer...she has made such tremendous progress and to make sure that we don't lose any of this hard fought for ground, we'll keep her in school over the summer. She is truly making awesome progress. A couple of weeks ago, I asked her to put on her jeans, when I looked over a few moments later, she had put both feet in one leg...before I could say anything, she pipes up, "Look, I mermaid"! Can you believe that? Even better, last week Maddie said her first completely solo help...and it was a beautiful prayer. I honestly do not have words to describe! :-)

I guess that is pretty much it from the nation's capital! We love and miss each and every one of you!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mom says, "NO"! Nana says, "YES!"

A couple of nights ago as Miles and I prepared to put the girls to bed, they were being EXTREMELY cute...which usually happens right before bedtime...Miles was "quizzing" Maddie..."What does a lion say?", etc. and Maddie was responding correctly, and loving knowing the answer to each question. Miles, in an attempt to stump her, says, "What does Mommy say?" Maddie's immediate response, "NO!" :-) Miles, realizing a golden moment in the making, then asked, "What does Daddy say?" Maddie's response, said in her best attempt at a "deep male" voice, "I am a boy." Miles, pushing the game one step further asks, "What does Nana say?" Without skipping a beat, Maddie replies, "YES!" So there you have it...Mom says no, and Nana says yes! :-) Other great responses: When asked what her Sunbeam teacher, Sis Harper, says, Maddie said, "SHHHH! Sit down!" Maddie even knew what Winston says, "WOOF"! We love our Maddie!

Don't know whether I have mentioned our Emma's love of rocks? Emma has a singular affection for rocks. As we walk Maddie to and from her bus stop, we pass LOTS of rocks...very rarely does Emma pass up an opportunity to select a rock to carry with her to the bus stop and home again. I have been fairly successful at keeping the majority of her growing rock collection outside, and give it another month I'll have the best rock garden on the block! :-) The other day, as we left the house and headed to the bus stop, Emma stopped at her pile of rocks, selected a rock and placed it ever so carefully in her pocket...apparently, she was taking it for a "walk"! That's our Emma! :-)

Other than that a fairly uneventful week at the Maschger home....which is nice to occasionally have! We did convince Cousin Katy to come up Saturday...we LOVE our Cousin Katy! Katy was kind enough to play with our girls while Miles and I got out for a DATE!!! Thanks Cousin Katy! :-)

We love you all! AND...Happy Birthday Papa! :-)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Our beautiful Maddie LOVES to read! :-)

Easter Dresses!

The end of Maddie...

Thought we'd share with you Maddie's latest avoidance tactic...

Just this weekend Madelynn has decided to try a new approach to dealing with her we often get in her way!...whenever Maddie is asked to stop or desist a particular action, she immediately drops to the floor and assumes a "dead" pose...complete with "twisted" limbs, a mouth half-open, and her tongue hanging half out...and of course, a final death groan "UUUGGHH!" It is ever so difficult to discipline your children when you are laughing! In addition, when Maddie is VERY MAD at Mommy...for any number of reasons...she has resorted to "shooting" Mom. She puts her hand out, and with repeated thrusts of her fists, yells "Bang...Bang...Bang"! SIGH! :-) Again, so very hard to keep a straight face when confronted by a three-year-old "shooter"! :-) Shooting and dying aside...Maddie is doing GREAT! So much fun to have a three-year old!

Our Emma is talking up a storm, and singing and dancing to anything that remotely resembles a melody of any sort! With her performance platform expanding from clown, to singer, dancer, and speaker...she is quickly becoming the life of EVERY gathering! :-) We love our Emma! :-)

We hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Two words...

Easter dresses!

I decided that this year I would start the fine tradition of making Easter dresses for my girls. I have such fond memories of the marvelous dresses my mother created that I wanted to continue the fine tradition. Fortunately for me, my girls look adorable in whatever they are wearing! :0)

While I am trying to find "free" time to sew, everyone else is fairly status quo! Miles continues to be insanely busy at work...he has a trip scheduled for later this month, and the command is sending him to a class for the entire month of May. The nice thing about that class is that it is right here at Fort NO COMMUTE! :-) Of course, all this "out of the office" time doesn't mean less work, but in actuality just means he has considerably less time to do everything else! This makes for lots of stress and late nights. However, he is still finding time to study for school, serve the YM of our ward, and be an awesome husband and father! We sure are grateful for our Daddy! :-)

Emma continues to be the enigma that is Emma. Emma's favorite thing in the whole world is to be "silly"! The other day I had both Maddie and Emma in bed with me, Emma turns to Maddie and says, "Tickle me Maddie". Of course Maddie complied! After laughing and laughing, Emma caught her breath and said, "Tickle me again, Maddie". On and on it went. To Emma what is important is that there is laughter, and she is the center of it! :-) It is alot of fun to have another family clown! As the weather has turned nice this last week, Emma has really enjoyed playing at the park...especially since she is now big enough to climb onto everything and slide down everything! She has named the park "Emma's park" and would live there if we'd let her!

Maddie on the other hand would live in the "new car" if we'd let her! Maddie LOVES the new van! She is extremely excited for ANY opportunity to ride in the van, and pitches a FIT when that ride comes to an end! Maddie had a sad week at school last of her good "friends" Elijah left on Friday as his family is moving. Maddie spent most of the weekend walking around the house singing, "Elijah here today, Elijah here today, Everyone clap their hands Elijah here today." Fortunately her other good friend Alexis (Alex) is still in class...according to Maddie's teacher, Elijah, Maddie and Alex were the "Three Musketeers" we are mindful of this upheaval in our little girl's life. The last couple of days, for the first time since she started school she has started asking, "I stay home today? Emma go to school?" We have also noticed some tremendous improvements in her language skills in just this last week...additionally, Maddie has become our little helper in everything from taking out the trash, to loading the dishwasher, to pushing the shopping cart in the commissary! I could really get used to this! :-)

We really enjoyed Conference this weekend. Especially since we were graciously invited to Tom and Gabriela's house to watch it on their BIG, BIG, BIG screen TV with awesome surround sound...almost like being there! :-) The girls had a BLAST playing downstairs in the playroom, and Miles and I actually had the opportunity to sit and listen! SIGH! It was wonderful! :-)

OK...well, back to Easter dresses...after the dishes...

We love you!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Maddie and Emma check out the new minivan! Please note who is in the driver seat! :-)

A new era...

The Miles Maschger family has entered a new phase of life...the minivan phase. SIGH!

As one who SWORE to a minivan mom, I must now admit that I have succumbed to a tiny, little thing called "reality"! Anyway, all drama aside, after months and months of searching for the elusive "perfect" deal, we finally purchased a minivan yesterday. While Maddie and Emma are very excited, and Miles and I are very pleased with the overall vehicle, we are both a bit bewildered that we are at THIS point in our lives. I realize that there are many of you out there who would advise us to cherish every moment because it all flies so quickly...that is good to know, because from the driver seat of our new minivan I wonder "WHAT have I done?" :-)

In other weekly news, this week Miles and I had a wonderful conference with Maddie's teacher. It was extremely positive, and we are continually amazed at the miracle that is our daughter. While her overall progress has slowed significantly, she is still making critical steps in the right direction...which is miraculous. Currently, they are planning on having her return to the special ed. preschool classroom in the fall...however, if all goes well, it is entirely possible that our little girl could be moved into a mainstream preschool class by January 2008! This is a FULL year and half earlier than they had originally projected Maddie's potential mainstreaming...can you believe that? We are so grateful to each and everyone of you for your prayers and loving support!

In other Maschger adventures...we attempted potty training AGAIN this week. SIGH! I am beginning to warm up to Cousin Lyn's comment that, "You don't see too many 30-year-olds who aren't potty trained." We have tried this potty training thing at least a half dozen times in the last year...with DISASTROUS results. This time is proving to be just as disastrous, however we are telling ourselves that this time we will prevail. I'd place my bets on the girls! :-)

I think that pretty much wraps it up for this week...I mean a new car, potty training, and a parent-teacher was a FULL week. Miles took a day off on Tuesday, and he and I farmed the girls out and made a mad dash to the temple. We spent Tuesday morning working in the temple...and Tuesday afternoon cleaning the there a comment here about cleansing the inner vessel, and then the outer?

We love you all!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pictures of our girls!

A Tea Party...

Here it is Sunday evening...Miles is off at a youth fireside...the girls are in bed, "asleep"...and I am taking a moment...

I'd like to "post" once a week, at least, and Sunday evenings seem the perfect time. Every other day of the week I have to surrender the computer to Miles so that he can work on school...Sunday evenings he is either gone, or prepping a uniform...polishing shoes...or other military prep stuff he has to do before a new the computer is all mine...HA...HA...HA...:-)

Anyway, we had a fairly uneventful remainder of the week. Maddie returned to school Thursday morning, and while her teacher reported that all went well, when Maddie came off the school bus she clung to her Mommy, and refused to be put down. However, she got up Friday morning all excited about a "school bus" that is a good sign.

Last night we went to our ward's annual chili cook-off. What an adventure! To begin with, once we arrived Emma split...she just took off and joined the mass of children who were running pell mell through the cultural hall. Maddie?? Maddie found a seat, sat down and refused to move until she had some chili! :-) It never ceases to amaze me what she grabs onto and just won't let go...once she had consumed a bowl of chili, she was off with the rest of the kids! I had the wonderful opportunity to be selected, at random, to participate in the appreciate the irony I might explain to those of you who don't know that I really am not a big fan of any kid of soup, and chili is one of my least favorite of all "soups"...additionally, I really do not have the "hot food" gene...mild often leaves my eyes watering, and me reaching for another LARGE glass of water. So, here I was tasting no less than 20 different chilis all competing for "sweetest", "most unusual", "best overall" and "HOTTEST!" Needless to say after one bite of what would become the winning chili in the "HOTTEST" category, I couldn't taste anything else the rest of the mouth burns just thinking about it. Miles, who did receive the "hot food" abundance...did admit that the winning chili was "pretty warm"...SIGH!

The only other moment I wanted to share was our first Maschger Family "Tea" Party. Emma received a "tea" set for her birthday, and whereas she has had many tea parties with her sister, her friends, cousin Katy, and Mom...this was the first time we got Dad involved. This proved to be the coolest "Tea" party of all, because Dad insisted on providing cookies, and marshmallows (a favorite food of our girls). So, yesterday morning, we set up all of our tea party finery, Mom poured the milk, and Dad passed around the cookies, and the girls had a blast! Ever since...mind you that was less than 36 hours ago, both Maddie and Emma have asked for another tea party at least a dozen times each! It is the little things! :-)

Ahhh...I am off to put my little girls who are "asleep" back into bed! :-) Bring back memories anyone?

We love you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A quick Emma moment...

Emma, our budding entertainer, provided us with some dinner-time hilarity tonight!

To set the stage, after placing the dinner on the table, I had laid my oven mitt off to one side of the table...the side closest to Emma.

About halfway through dinner, Emma announces that her food is hot. Miles and I were thick into a conversation of the day's events, and prompted her to "blow" on her hot food (which I might add was anything BUT hot!) As Miles and I continued our chat, something caught Miles attention and he quickly turned to Emma...

...who had placed the oven mitt over her hand (and all the way up her tiny arm), and had miraculously managed to pick up her fork with her mitt-ed hand, and was attempting to scoop up some rice....all the while grinning from ear to ear. She had solved the problem of her "hot" food. Additionally, she had center stage as all of us...Mom, Dad, and Maddie...laughed and laughed and laughed at her attempts to eat with an oven mitt on her hand! :-)

We love our girls!

Home at last...

We have returned from what we might call, "the vacation that wasn't really a vacation"! After my last glowing post, Emma got VERY sick...quickly followed by Maddie. After several days of fever over the 102 mark, we took Emma into an Urgent Care facility and learned that she was suffering from a double ear not only was our bouncing bundle of joy cutting all 4 of her 2-year molars, she was suffering from an ear infection. You can imagine how much fun she was during this time. :-( Maddie started her fever a few days after Emma, and being the quick parents that we are, we just took her straight into the Urgent Care, and pre-empted the days and days of misery. Anyway, Miles and I spent a large portion of our vacation dealing with very sick children...not really on anyone's list of a dream vacation.

However, Friday night Mom informed Miles and I that we were to get out of the house...NOW. So, we left Maddie and Emma with Nana and Papa, and Miles and I enjoyed a children-free evening! We also had a wonderful time with Mike, Caryn and their spouses...once again, children-free. As an interesting side note, while Mom and Dad were gone, Maddie and Emma had a wonderful time playing with Nana and Papa. Maybe next time we'll just drop the kids off, and take a cruise! :-)

Anyway, here we are back at home. Maddie was soo excited when we arrived home last night...she was excited to see our "blue car", and she even pointed which way we should turn as we wove our way through our subdivision. While she ate dinner she kept saying, "I at Maddie's house", accompanied by a cute little dance! Emma? Emma took one bite of her dinner, and announced that she was ready to go to bed now...a full day of traveling was a bit much for our little Emma. Miles is back at work this morning. Another lesson learned on this trip...if possible...take a day of leave AFTER returning from vacation...he came home and had to get his uniforms prepped, and then was up and out the door EARLY this morning for the wonderful D.C. commute! Maddie was supposed to return to school today...however, she is still asleep and I am NOT going to wake her up. She has had a CRAZY couple of weeks...she can go to school tomorrow.

Overall, our girls did extremely well (minus the illnesses). Both girls traveled well, and they transitioned very well...aided by lots of cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents to entertain them. Our first few attempts at family "vacations" are legendary...the 1000 mile road trip with 3-month-old Maddie, and a dog in our tiny Honda Civic...or the trip from Augusta, GA to Colorado Springs, CO with a 2 year old and a 10-month old (no dog) but still a tiny Civic...or the flight from Atlanta to MO just one week after Miles surgery, a 14-month old, and I was 7 months pregnant with Emma...after each trip Miles and I swore to never again leave our home...NEVER. Our experiences this trip (minus the illnesses) were so positive...everything from how well the girls traveled, to how well they adapted to the new environment, to how much they enjoyed playing with their cousins...that we actually look forward to our next trip, instead of dreading it for weeks and weeks in advance!

Ahhh...I am hearing the sounds of waking children, so I must hustle off to "mommying"! We love you all!

Monday, March 5, 2007

On Vacation...

Here we are in Missouri, finally getting our "Christmas" vacation! We arrived on Thursday afternoon, after miraculously dodging several snowstorms! Both Maddie and Emma are having a TON of fun playing with their cousins...and are getting lots of attention from Nana and Papa! It is so good to be be surrounded by those we love...and to have LOTS of people willing to watch our beautiful girls. This morning Miles and I woke up when we were ready screaming children, or beeping alarm are the best! We are looking forward to spending an entire day together tomorrow...just Miles and I...while Aunt Carrie watches our girls. We also have a hot date planned for Saturday night with Mike, Caryn and their spouses. We are so grateful for our family!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Emma and Maddie

In the beginning...

Greetings family and friends!

I thought I'd give this "blogging" thing a spin. I am always searching for ways to connect with our ever expanding circle of loved ones. One of the many blessings of military get to meet LOTS of wonderful people...and then you get to leave them. Also, you are pretty much gauranteed to never be anywhere close to anyone! :-) I thought I'd put this out there and try to use this technology to a greater good!

We are all doing really well.

Miles is VERY strung out between work, and school, and church...however, being the AWESOME man that he is, he is still finding time to wind up the kids right before they head off to bed! :-) We are also enjoying having him home this month...he spent most of January gone. :-(

Maddie had minor surgery earlier this month. She had tubes placed in her ears...AGAIN and her adenoinds removed. We had a rough couple of days, but she is back to FULL steam ahead. We also received her latest progress report from school. While the rate of progress has slowed over the last few months (very typical) she is still progressing!! We have begun to notice an improvement in her speech over this last month. Probably because her ears are FINALLY free of the ubiquitos fluid! She is also becoming quite bossy, and has attempted to put Mom, Dad and even Emma into "time out" more than once!

Emma celebrated her 2nd birthday last Sunday. It is a little hard to believe that our "baby" is 2! She is ALL girl! She loves her pretties, and her babies, and especially the 3 purses she got for her birthday...each one filled with a telephone, sunglasses, and make-up! Her favorite place to go is the MALL. Emma is also very keen on being the silliest member of the family. She loves to make us laugh...especially her sister Maddie! We love our Emma!

I am busy with lots of the same old stuff...dishes, laundry, cooking, and cleaning. However, I am loving having Emma all to myself in the morning while Maddie is at school. It is soooo easy with just 1! :-) I am also enjoying the endless questions that Maddie has started to ask...mostly the "What 'dis say, Mommy?" because that often leads to another question and another and before I know it the day is over and I have done absolutely nothing! I love it! that is probably enough for now. I am not really sure how I am going to use this...whether for daily updates, or weekly, or whenever I feel like it...stay tuned! :-)