Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Emma Joke...

Miles overhead the following conversation:

EMMA: Why did the turkey cross the road?
MADDDIE: I don't know. Why?
EMMA: (laughing) To have a baby on the other side!
MADDIE: (in complete disbelief) It had a baby on the SIDEWALK!!!! (pause) Was it a turkey vulture?

An Emma moment: Thursdays at our house are "breakfast-for-dinner" nights. Miles has class at night, and as that is one of his least favorite meals, we girls indulge ourselves. Tonight I made whole-wheat chocolate chip pancakes (the whole-wheat makes me feel better). Emma polished off FOUR pancakes, covered in syrup. Upon completion of her meal of SUGAR, I asked her to clear her place and start her bedtime routine. Emma replied: "MOM!!! WHAT ABOUT DESSERT???" Seriously? Apparently I need to spend some time with basic nutrition! :-)

This laugh has been brought to you by the ever entertaining Maschger girls! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Maschger Musical Moment...

I have in my possession this arrangement for "Away in a Manger" that is written for an organ, a violin and a piano...all to accompany the congregation singing the hymn from the hymn book. Using our really cool digital piano, I recorded the actual hymn and saved it to disc. Then I can play the track on the piano and play the other parts along with the track...anyway, I am learning this piece, and so I am playing it VERY slowly! Maddie and Emma, being the performers they are, couldn't pass up an opportunity to improvise a concert for their Daddy (who happened to be home this morning!) Miles caught it on tape, and it is here for your viewing pleasure!

Maddie does a fine job of projecting her voice, and performs her piece with her whole soul! Emma, in a rare Emma moment, plays the timid and shy role, but her words (the few you can hear) are incredibly sweet and poignant!

Hope you enjoy!

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week 1...

So, just wanted to let you all know that the family has survived week 1 of Miles Master's program, and that we are ready to dive into week 2! :-) What have we learned through this first week of classes? We have learned that we have much to learn...

Miles did an absolutely incredible job staying at school and focusing on studying! We are not naive enough to have thought that any real studying was going to be accomplished here at home, and a brief test run Tuesday morning, proved our point...so Miles is at school ALL day long! However, he also tore himself away from his studies early a couple of night to come home and let me get some grocery shopping done, AND I even got to attend a baby shower completely kid-free! What an awesome man! He and the other members of his "track" (the group of students he'll complete the program with) have formed a study group, have divided up the reading, and have scheduled routine review groups...everyday 40 mins before class! I think that is awesome to be sooo organized this early in the game...and I know all about the power of the study group, saved me through more than one course in my degree seeking days! :-) This week we will be adding in some gym time for both him AND I, and he is going to make an effort to be home for dinner a couple of nights a week... We are giving ourselves a good month to get a feel for what he will really need to put into this program, and what I will really need at home...and we are most confident that it will all fall into place...eventually! :-)

As a humorous side story: Monday night, the first night Miles wasn't home to put the girls to bed, I had put the girls down, and was in the office working on lesson plans...when I hear mournful singing coming from our Maddie (Maddie loves to sing songs of woe...pitiful tunes that tell of the trials of her life! Many times Miles has had to "outlaw" sad songs in our little kingdom!) and as this is a common occurence, I wasn't really paying attention. However, I eventually realized that our little Maddie was singing "I'm so glad when Daddy comes home..." as she sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. Me and my breaking heart went in to comfort Maddie and let her know that Daddy would come home, and that he loved her and missed her, too. I asked her if she would like me to have Daddy come in and give her a hug and kiss...even if she was asleep. That was an acceptable solution, and Maddie quickly quieted down and drifted off to sleep. When I told Miles, he took his breaking heart over to our box of paper and crayons...quickly tore off a couple of sheets and wrote a quick note to both Maddie and Emma. Then he slipped into their room, gave them hugs and kisses, and left the notes under their pillows! OH! Much excitement the next morning...

Well, as these stories often go...the note quickly became a hot item! They requested a note each night...in fact, Miles came home early on Wednesday, and Emma threw a fit because she wanted a note...and since Dad was home to put her in bed that meant no note! Seriously...sometimes you just can't win! :-)

School with the girls is going great. We waaaay overplanned our week this week...we had lots of fun playing with friends, and had a couple of doctor's appointments and a couple of church activities...and the next thing I knew it was Saturday night, and we'd covered less than 1/2 what I had planned for the week. SOOOO...another lesson learned this week! School is the priority...just because we are home, doesn't mean we are available! Lesson learned! :-) Maddie started learning about Egypt this week in history, and has decided history is her favorite subject! :-) She also learned a bit about whales in science...her favorite things about whales...their songs (which she does an excellent imitation of!) AND killer whales! No joke! She watched several videos of YouTube of killer whales chomping on their prey, and she thought that was really cool! My Maddie has a violent streak? :-)

Emma has really stepped up over the last week, and is an incredible Mommy's helper! She LOVES to be tasked with playing with Ellie, or picking up the toys, or even cleaning the guest bathroom! :-) She is also a BIG help in the kitchen...readily available to help stir, or put an ingredient in...it is really nice to have such a dependable 4 year old! :-) She is doing really well on her math, and has enjoyed sitting in on a couple of Maddie's history lessons. She struggled a bit with reading this week, but she made it through all of her lessons, and I am really proud of her for that!

As for Ellie...she is Ellie! She is such a great baby, not fussy, unless you need her to NOT be eating paper, chewing on power cords, crawling down the stairs, etc. She must be in constant motion...even while "holding" her, she is moving...it's not so much holding Ellie, as juggling Ellie! :-) She did wake up Monday morning and decide that she was ready to eat that food out of the jar that Mom had been trying to push through her mouth for the last month or so! Now, she is plowing through at least 3 jars a day...yipee!!!! That means that Mom might be able to pass off the feeding of Ellie to someone else...OH...sweet freedom! :-) She is still cutting teeth...so she can get cranky when the teething tablets wear off, but keep them in her system and she is a gem! :-) I love this kid!

Me? Well...I am tired but content! I am amazed at how well this week played out...and while it was difficult, it was doable! I am blessed with wonderful friends and family who have been incredibly supportive, and I am truly grateful to be able to be a part of this awesome opportunity in Miles' life! It is such a blessing to be able to see your husband truly get energized by what he is doing to earn the paycheck...so I am ready to take on week #2...

Stay tuned! :-) We love and miss you all!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

No joke!

This past week was a BIG one at the Maschger house. Miles started his Master's program, and the girls and I restarted school. I spent the weekend before prepping the "school room" and the girls had new school supplies, and I was ready to roll...until Sunday night/early Monday morning! Both Maddie and Ellie were up on and off ALL night...I didn't really think much of it because Ellie is 7 mos old and Sunday's always mess up the sleep schedule...and Maddie has had a hard time sleeping since birth.

Monday morning, after less than 3 hours of sleep, I was in the school room doing last minute stuff before I got the girls up, when I hear Maddie start to whimper and cry. SIGH! In I go to see what is the DRAMA now...as I approach her, I can feel the heat radiating off of her body. Sure enough, Maddie was running a HIGH fever...what a great first day! Miles was gone at school orientation, so it was just me...at one point I had Maddie in the bathroom throwing up, and Emma in time-out and Ellie screaming in her walker in the kitchen. Welcome Back! :-)

Emma was sick Wednesday and Ellie succumbed on Thursday, and hers coincided with the cutting of three more teeth!...it was a very long week for me! However, one of the perks of homeschooling, was that I could squeeze in lessons at every chance I got. By the end of the week, we had completed all of our work for the week...just behind one math lesson...I can take that! The greatest news...Emma read her first two readers this week!!! She did soooo great...when she came up to a word she didn't know, she took the time to sound it out! It was a great moment, and she is loving being a BIG girl!!!

Miles has been wandering around the house in a state of shock. He spent his first week on campus from 7am until 7pm...it was a LONG week! However, as we poured over his syllabuses for his first quarter, we have realized that this last week was a BREEZE! By Wednesday, 9am, my husband has to read literally hundreds of pages and write a paper...by Thursday, hundreds more...the reading is insane! On top of this, there is the work on his thesis which has to begin almost immediately...

Let me sum it up this way...Miles was told in one of his meetings this week that most Master's programs require 36 hours of course work and a thesis, and give the students 18-24 months to complete...Miles will have 44 credit hours, a thesis and has been given 9 months to complete the program!!!!

We sat the girls down last night and explained that Daddy was going to be insanely busy, and that they weren't going to see him...pretty much Monday thru Saturday. Maddie innocently asked, "Can he eat Saturday breakfast with us?" Miles quickly agreed that he could head to the library a bit later on Saturdays so that he could have breakfast with the family...and then there is always Sundays...

So, that's about it from here...the girls are back in school, Miles is back in school and I am trying to keep up with it all!

We love and miss you all!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hello?

Anyone still there?

I have about 10 minutes before I need to move on to the next item on my to-do list for this crazy Sabbath morning...so here I am!

Quickly bringing you up to speed...we are pretty much settled into our new home. All the boxes are unpacked, furniture in its place, etc. Still have pictures to hang on the walls, and a garage to organize...but I figure we'll get that all in place right about the time we move! We are LOVING our new place...LOVING it! Miles and I spent Friday night getting our "school" room set up since we are starting school on Monday, and it is sooooo awesome to have a school room! We have a corner for reading, and word charts hung on the walls, and a place to display art work, etc. It is just awesome!

Ellie is growing insanely fast! She is cruising all over the place...climbing stairs...cruising along furniture, walls, etc.! She is a baby on the move! She is even starting to put her babbles together to get out "mamamamamama" and "dadadadadada" and she almost always says the right string of babbles to the right person! :-) Our frustration with her lack of interest in eating was alleviated when Nana (who visited with Papa last week) discovered that all Ellie wants is big people food! Go figure! She isn't interested in mashed up peas...she wants the real thing...and eats them just fine! :-) So, we have moved on to finger foods, completely skipping over everything else...sigh...

Emma and Maddie are gearing up for school to start, and sad that Daddy isn't going to be home to snuggle with in the morning. Miles has had the last 6 weeks off, and the girls have LOVED having Daddy home...it's going to be an adjustment for us all!

Miles starts his Master's program tomorrow. He is all excitement, stress, nervous, overwhelmed...just a ball of nerves. Deep breath...because ready or not here it comes! He ran a 10K yesterday...even though he hasn't done ANY working out for the last 6 weeks...he completed the run in 53 mins...makes me sick! :-)

I am looking forward to starting up school with the girls, settling back into a routine...I am a little concerned with how I am going to keep up with the whole "cleaning" thing...one of the nice things about our much smaller house, was that it didn't take too long to clean. With this move I easily tripled my square footage...not that I am complaining! :-)

Quick story:

In the van, on the way to Wal-Mart to pick up some needed school supplies (we are going to be building a model of the Nile River...sounds awesome, huh?!) and Miles and I are discussing politics, or the degradation of society...or is that the same thing? Anyway, from the back seat Maddie asks,

MADDIE: Mom, do aliens have brains?
MOM: Well, Maddie, as no one has ever "caught" an alien to check to see, then we really don't know whether they do or they don't.
MADDIE: Well, Gonzo doesn't have a brain, and he is an alien, so I think that aliens don't have brains.

Once you bring Muppets into a conversation, there really is no comeback! :-)

OK...I am off to pack up our church bagSSSSS, and marshall the troops for Sunday readiness!

We love and miss you all!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

SERIOUSLY...

So, I don't post for months at a time, and then in one day, I put up three...make that four...just wanted to let you know that there are several posts today...a couple of cute stories, and a "what's happening" post...

So...read on...

A bath...

OK...so having shared a Maddie moment, Miles thinks that it is only fair to share a Emma moment...

On the day of Miles surgery, we left our girls with their bestest friends EVER...the Sypherts. Jill, the Syphert mom :-), related the following incident when we returned to pick up our little angels...

Apparently, Lily, the eldest of the Syphert-Maschger clan, had decided to play "survival", and had filled a large plastic bin in the backyard full of water. Jill, being the awesome parent she is, went out to conduct a "status" check into the play going on...to her horror she finds Emma completely naked. Conducting an IMMEDIATE investigation into WHY Emma had no clothes on, Jill learns that the plastic bin was a "tub"...because when you are playing "survival" you still need to take a bath...and Emma was getting ready for her bath!

When I first found out I was pregnant with Maddie, Miles proclaimed that he wanted children with personality, because then you have GREAT stories to tell...mission accomplished! :-)

A good mom...

Totally forgot to share this little gem:

Miles surgery was at Bethesda, about 45 mins from our house. He had to return to Bethesda for a couple of follow-up appointments. Since we weren't sure about how long this would take, or traffic there and from, we brought the girl's portable DVD players (this is investment we made when we traveled all over the country last year...each girl has one...no fighting and hours of quiet!) The first day went off without a hitch, and we were sooo glad we had them because we got stuck on the inner loop of the beltway due to stupid construction! :-} However, Monday, I forgot to place the actual movies in the bag...brought the players, but NO movie...the following conversation occured:

MOM: I am sooo sorry girls, I forgot to pack the movies in the bag.
MADDIE (wailing, at the top of her lungs, for ALL to hear): But I thought you were a GOOD mom!


Guess not!

What a MONTH!!!!

Honestly, not even sure where to begin...sooooooo much has been happening in the life of our little family...

Let's take it one member at a time:

Ellie - our little 6 MONTH OLD is now "crawling" - a combination of a couple of crawl "steps" followed by a few tummy scoots then a couple of crawl "steps" then scooting, etc. until she reaches her desired destination - which is usually some power cord, or piece of paper! :-) Yesterday, I put her down for her afternoon nap...after listening to her cry and cry and cry, I decided to go and check on her (we had to remove her bumper pad because she could pull it up and away from the sides of the crib and then she'd get trapped under it, or wrapped up in it - needless to say, often we have to go in and stick various limbs back into the crib!) believing that I'd be unsticking one of her limbs, I walked in to find her STANDING up!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!!! I did NOT place an order for this! I wanted her to lay quietly on the floor for the first 6 months...take another 6 to figure out crawling, and maybe another 6 to figure out how to walk...I was giving myself a good 18 months! :-) We have caught her several times over the last 24 hours pulling herself into a standing position...needless to say we have dropped the crib mattress lower, and are trying to adjust to the idea that our days of crawling are numbered! :-) To make matters even more fun...Ellie cut her first tooth last week, and cut her second tooth this week...AND has another tooth poised to cut...probably next week! :-) JEEEEZ!!! Anyone have any suggestions on how to slow down a little one who is soooo intent on growing up?

Miles had PRK last week (7/9)! It was a blessing...and a challenge...all rolled into one! The way this works, is that you submit a request for this surgery...the Navy completely pays for everything...then you are placed on a waiting list. Miles got a call around the first of July that it was his turn! The timing could not have been better. He is between commands, and so isn't even going into work...AND he isn't in school, where there would have been no way he would have been able to take the week off for recovery. By the time he starts school, all will be healed and well. HOWEVER, I must add a comment here...having known people who had LASIK, and witnessing the PRK surgery and recovery...if you have the option...go LASIK!!!!! The PRK recovery was BRUTAL! Miles was down and in pain for several days. We spent the first few days with all the lights off in the house, and the blinds closed. For the first three days, Miles seriously questioned whether it had been worth it...considering that if he had the choice to make over he would cheerfully wear glasses the rest of his life! :-) However, over a week has passed and all is well. He has made a complete recovery, and while his vision hasn't quite stabilized yet, he is seeing 20/40 and was told that given another week or two, that number will drop to 20/20 or even 20/15...not bad! I was really jealous, until I lived with him through the recovery...now when it's my turn...I am NOT doing PRK! :-)

The girls are enjoying an extended summer vacation from classes, because.....

WE ARE MOVING!

We got a call a couple of days before Miles surgery that we had FINALLY made it up the waiting list for larger quarters, and they had a nice, newer place ready for us! For those who don't already know, our new address will be: 8573 Barkley St. We are staying in Fort Meade, so everything else stays the same...

So, in my free time, I am packing up our little house (in which we have packed a TON of stuff!) and getting us ready to move ourselves next Saturday! (We have to move ourselves, because we are electing this move! Thank goodness for good friends who are sooo willing to help us!) I have been sooo grateful that Miles has finally recovered and is back on the "clock" helping out...goes sooo much faster when there are two!

That's it...let's sum up...standing, teething, surgery, move...Living the Dream! :-)

We love and miss you all!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

These are the times...

Greetings wonderful family and friends! Here we are once again to make an incredibly lame attempt to bring everyone the very best of life in the Maschger home...

First of all, I must encourage all of you to PLEASE make sure you view the little video tidbits we have posted below! They are well worth your time...at least we think so...even if you want to skip all this boring dialogue...give the girls a chance to put a smile on your face! We have a wonderful clip of Ellie playing with her favorite new toy! A clip of our 4th of July cake...a patriotic butterfly (one of the many perks of having little girls!) AND, Madelynn showcases some original artwork with a patriotic theme...all well worth the viewing! As a side note, pay attention to Emma in the butterfly clip...that's my Emma! :-)

How are the Maschgers doing? Well, we are doing the very best we possibly can!

Miles checked out of his command this week, completing our second tour. The following day, he checked into his new command at NDIC (National Defense Intelligence College). I think that he has some mixed feelings about this new assignment...excitement to be pursuing a degree full-time in a field he is interested in...and apprehension as he contemplates the insanity of completing all that he'll need to do to receive this Master's degree in one year! However, since orientation won't start until Aug. 17th, we are just going to focus on having him home, and savoring every moment...as I am pretty sure we won't see much of him in the next year. Following my inspirational 5K run in May, Miles has registered for a half-marathon in October. Yesterday, he took off and ran 13.5 miles...just to see if he could do it...no training, nada...some people make me sick! :-) Obviously, he completed the run in 2:11...not bad for NO training! :-)

Maddie and Emma are enjoying a break from school. We are taking a couple of weeks off this month, so that Mom can get ready for our next "term"! Our last week of school we did an art show with some friends who also home school, AND our girls did their very own archaeological dig! Maddie loved the digging part, and after she had found all the stuff we'd buried for her, she turned her attention to another corner of our yard, and has been digging up screws, bolts, nails, tees...Miles is a bit anxious that one day she'll dig up some unexploded ordinance! :-) (Althought that would be a good reason to have to move!) Here are a couple of great shots...

Eva shows off her picture of a cat at the park Maddie and others enjoy the art show! Maddie and Emma being archaeologists!

That's about all I can get to tonight....the hour is getting late, and I think I'll try to catch a few winks before Ellie requires a midnight snack!

Love you all!

ENJOY!!!!

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And the answer is...

Here it is...

Emma, Ellie, and Maddie!

Good job those of you who guessed correctly, I'll be in contact with you to help me label some other pictures! :-)

Stay tuned - I have some awesome video and pics...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

How well do you know the Maschger girls?

POP QUIZ! I am posting one picture of each girl...one picture PER girl. You tell me who you think is who?

Picture #1: Maddie? Emma? Ellie?





















Picture #2: Maddie? Emma? Ellie?















Picture #3: Maddie? Emma? Ellie?

















Just wanted to share! Love you all! :-)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Hero!


Jill Syphert, the Taylor Family, and the Maschgers...all completed the 10K!!! WHOO HOO!!!...or in Army speak...HOOAH!


There he is...my hero! This past Saturday was the Hooah! run (it's an Army thing). It was advertised as a run with a 5K and 10K option. I had decided to run the 5K, and felt pretty confident that I could do so without re-injuring myself. Our triple jogging stroller had come in the mail a couple of weeks ago, and Miles was excited to enter himself with the 133lb handicap! Upon arrival, we learned that the race had been advertised incorrectly, and was in fact a 10K only. Because I don't always do the smart thing, I signed up to run. About 1 mile into the race, in almost last place, I realized that I was FAR from ready to run a 10K...Miles was itching to run something a bit faster than my shuffle walk-run...so I let him go, and I climbed into the trail vehicle. Miles took off, seemingly oblivious to the 133lbs he was pushing in front of him. I was able to catch a ride to the finish line, and be there when Miles crossed...his total time 1:02!!! Pretty amazing, considering that he spent the first 15 minutes walking along with me! :-) The girls had a BLAST! Ellie slept, and the girls apparently peppered Miles with questions about the scenery that was flying past them! :-) Needless to say, Miles is hooked...and I have decided that I am going to train with the stroller during my short runs during the week, and then I'll let Miles push it in the races...I figure I'll be pretty invincible! :-)

In other news, Miles had his Farewell party this week. There was a picnic at Andrews AFB, and the girls favorite part was seeing where the president's plane lives! :-) He begins checking out of his command on Monday, and by the 1st of July we will be done with our second tour! Miles isn't going to check into the school until the 15th of July, so we are looking forward to taking some time to hand out as a family, since once school starts there will be none of that! :-)

The girls are doing really well. Maddie stunned us all last Monday night when she read "Go, Dog, Go" to the family during FHE! We had decided to have a reading party, where each member of the family would select a book to read to the family...the rule, you had to read what you picked. Emma quickly selected the only book she can read, "Mat" from the BOB book series, and Maddie came back to the circle with "Go, Dog, Go!" In one of my weaker "Mom" moments, I pointed out that she would have to read that book, I wasn't going to read it, and maybe she should pick something she could read...truly a low moment for me! Maddie declared, "I can read this book!" Miles and I exchanged glances, and rolled our eyes, and prepared to deal with the drama that would ensue when she realized she really couldn't read the book...ahhhhh...we parents always know what is best! :-( Maddie plops down on the floor, opens the book, and read the whole thing, only needing help on a couple of words! I was completely blown away!!!! I had no idea she knew so many words, and that she had such confidence in her abilities...I knew that she was progressing, and we had just completed our "A" book in school...BUT...this completely surpassed it all! I had read the book to her before, but it was a recent library loan, and so I'd only read it a couple of times...it truly was a moving moment! :-)

Emma decided that she wanted to do school again. Since Emma just turned 4, Miles and I have decided that we aren't going to force the school issue on Emma until she is ready. About every couple of weeks, she sparks an interest, and we do a little school, and then her attention wavers, and she is off on something else. This week, she stuck with full lessons for all four days of school...I was really proud of her!

Ellie is growing like a weed...and she is incredibly mobile...which I am NOT at all excited about! I am a little miffed that I didn't get more time with the sedentary child. As a first time parent you can hardly wait for your child to reach those movement milestones...Maddie walked at 9 months, and Miles and I just KNEW that we had the smartest child of all time! :-) When Emma didn't walk until 15 months, I was soooo relieved, and would have been willing to carry her for another year more if she wanted! :-) To have my 5 month old scooting all over the place...just wearies me...I wasn't ready...that's the essence of my drama...I just wasn't ready to deal with the mobility issue...SIGH! She is most decidedly a Momma's girl, and won't have anything to do with formula, or vegetables! :-) We started her on solids a couple of weeks ago, and made the horrific mistake of making the cereal with formula...honestly, genuine gag reflex! :-) However, make the cereal with water, and she downs the bowl! Now, try throwing in some veggies with the cereal...yep...the gag reflex back! Applesauce is the only way to go! :-) She's proving that she knows what she wants, and though she may appear to be a laid back child, she has plenty of personality to make everyday an adventure! :-)

That's about it from here...

We love you all!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fishing, ticks, ice packs, and other adventures...

Am I on a roll? Three posts in one week...could we be on the way back into blog-dom? Only time will tell...

So, probably the best part of this week was the celebration of Miles' birthday on Saturday. Miles decided that what he wanted for his birthday was fishing equipment. A fairly normal male request. However, I found myself falling in love with him all over again when he also requested that his Father's Day money be spent on fishing equipment for his girls, because he wanted to take them fishing! Seriously, did I marry the best man in the entire universe, or what? :-) So, we went to Bass Pro Shop on Thursday and outfitted the family in rods and reels, bait and tackle...even included a couple of Bass Pro Shop hats for the girls to wear when they fish with their Daddy.

Saturday morning, Miles birthday, we headed out to Burba lake...which is here on base...as we were pretty certain that the thrill of fishing would wear off quickly and there are parks, etc. to occupy the girls. The girls were so excited, and were careful students as Miles instructed them how to cast their tiny Disney Princess rods. They spent several minutes practicing before Dad decided it was time to actually attach some hooks, and a....GASP...WORM! Maddie was incredibly intrigued about this part of fishing...Emma, surprisingly, could have cared less...she just wanted to catch a fish. Both girls spent a good hour casting, and reeling in...both Miles and I were amazed at how well they took to fishing, and how patient they were. Emma caught the first fish of the day, but Maddie was quick to follow. After an hour, both girls wanted to go back to practicing their casting (their rods came with a crown that you tie onto the line so that they can practice the cast...they loved it!) Miles picked up his brand-new rod, and baited it, and eagerly threw back his arm to cast, and let her rip...

What happened was irony in its finest moment...not entirely familiar with the new reel and all the intricacies of its design...his line raced out...the hook hit the water, but the line kept spinning, getting all tangled and mangled inside his reel. He had to pull the line in by hand, to discover that he had caught a HUGE clump of lake grass! :-) So, here it was his first cast with his new rod on his birthday...and we were done. We packed up, and came home... Eventually, Miles just had to cut through the tangle, and start all over again...so sad! :-)

Upon our arrival home, the girls and I decorated the house for the party while Miles drowned his disappoint over his first fishing trip in the shower. Miles had requested an ice cream cake for his birthday...so I had purchased one the night before. There it sat in our freezer...no big deal...except that we lost power Friday night at 9:30pm, and it didn't come back on until 5:00mm (one of the perks of living in the crappiest military housing of all time!). Needless to say the cake appeared to have escaped unscathed...but cutting into the cake, and subsequently trying to eat the cake proved that the cake was a tragic victim of the power outage.

So, let's recap Miles birthday sooo far...he has messed up his brand-new reel, and had to eat a most disgusting ice cream cake. It can only get better, right?

Wrong! Unfortunately for Miles, we needed to make our monthly commissary run. So, Miles spent the rest of the day at the commissary, unloading the car, and putting away all of our groceries! Poor Miles!

I took pity on him, and once the girls were in bed, I sent him back to the lake to fish until dark. By the time he got home, I had a steak dinner going, with strawberry shortcake for dessert (his favorite!)! He'll tell you that what made the day awesome, was spending the morning helping his girls catch fish, and that he can't wait to take them again! Seriously...the best man ever! :-)

Ice Packs? Summed up...over training! I stepped onto the treadmill Tuesday night to start training for the 10K in 3 weeks, and off I went. About 10 minutes in my knees started to hurt...but I kept going, figuring that I just needed to stretch out a bit. By the 15 minute mark, I was supporting all of my weight with my arms holding onto the bars of the treadmill...it hurt too much to run. Miles caught me in the act, and began interrogating me, suggesting that I should stop if it hurt that bad. NO WAY!!!!! I wasn't going to make it to the 10K if I stopped...I had to keep pushing, my body would catch up! Needless to say, by the 25 minute mark, Miles won, and I stopped the treadmill...by Wednesday I could barely bend my knees they were so swollen. Miles brought home ice and ibuprofen, and I have been recovering ever since. I am mobile now, and only need the ice at the end of the day...so I am thinking that I will be back at the training this week. However, my goal of hitting that 10K in two weeks has been modified. SIGH!

We got our jogging stroller this week, and Miles took it for a spin with all three girls. He is a little nervous about the prospect of making it through a 5K in a couple of weeks...it is ALOT of weight to push while running...a little over 120lbs! :-) Training for potential handcart trek? :-) Anyway, it looks like the Maschger family will compete in the 5K on June 13th...

By the way, my final time for my first 5K was 44:43! Less than 45!

Real quick...because Ellie is waking up. Yesterday, after our adventures at the lake, we came home and bathed all the girls...wash off bug spray, etc. Miles took the girls upstairs to the tub, and I opted to bathe Ellie downstairs. I undressed my littlest one, and as I picked her up to begin bathing I found a black speck on her back. Thinking that it was dirt, etc. I brushed my hand across it...and it didn't budge. Closer inspection revealed that it was in fact a tick! Freak me out! How does a tick get on my baby...I sprayed her down...what the heck!!!!! I race her upstairs to show Miles, who thinks I am overreacting, and that it is a piece of stubborn dirt, etc. However, his inspection comes to the same conclusion, our Ellie has a tick. What to do? Well, we did the one thing you are NOT supposed to do...I grabbed the tweezers and very gently started to tug on the tick...it came away with the minimal amount of tug, and Ellie didn't squirm or cry or give any indication of any discomfort...once removed, I couldn't even tell where it had been, there was no mark, nothing... Of course, since Miles just had a co-worker out for Lyme disease, we are watching for symptoms...because that is just who we are!

All right, love to go on...but I have some quarreling girls to deal with, an infant to save from her crib, and a family to get ready for church...I'm swamped! :-) Hopefully, there will be more later...

Love you all!

Monday, May 25, 2009

That list...

Once upon a time...a long time ago...I created one of those "lists". The list that contains all the things you want to do before you pass from this life into the next. Anyone else have one? I have added to it over time, and have even deleted a few things over time as I am continually evolving into the person I hope I am supposed to be...ANYWAY...

One of the items on that list contains "running" goals. Run a race. There have been sooo many times in my life that I have tried to muster up the will to work on that item...my major roadblock?...I HATE running! :-) I mean I genuinely HATE to run...the sweating, the pounding of feet on pavement, the gasping for breath...HATE it! Why put it on my list? Well, running is something that I "can't" do, and I like to tackle things I "can't" do and prove to myself that I can in fact do anything I want to do! It's just who I am! Besides, it is healthy, and no matter where you are in the world, you can always put on a pair of shoes and go for a run...

Last Thursday, Miles came home with a flyer he had picked up from the PX advertising the 2009 Runners Series here on Fort Meade. Every month through December there is a 5K run here on base. Miles, knowing my "list", wants to know if I am interested? If not, then he'll run them (because he is a gifted runner! seriously!), but if I want to run them, he'll stay back with the kids! The first run, May 23rd, just a little over a week away. Hmmmmmm...I'll think about it!

The next day my good friend Jill came over for our weekly sanity check (that's were our kids play together and we get some adult conversation!) and I mention the series to her. Jill got all excited...just what she had been looking for...she totally wants to do it...and we should do it together...on Saturday of next week! Let me flesh out some details for you, so that you'll appreciate the rest of the story. I delivered Ellie on Jan 9th of this year, Jill delivered her 4th daughter, Clara, just one week later. So, both in a similar boat. About 3-4 weeks ago, Jill had started going back to the gym, and was slowing working her way back to post-partum fitness :-)!!! Me? NADA!!

Jill goes home that Friday night, and pushes herself through 3.2 miles, because she is all excited because we are going to do this race! She writes me an email after completing her run, and she is a bit less excited now that she's put in the miles, and she is all sweaty.

So, here I am. I have to make good on my end...Jill's put forth the first foot, and being her friend, I need to step up and take the next step...so Saturday night (the Saturday before the race) I step onto our treadmill, take a deep breath and turn it on. That first run was BRUTAL! I would run for 1 minute and then walk for 2 minutes, and even at that easy pace I was ready to pass out after 43 minutes, and I had only gone 2.5 miles! WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!!!!!!!!!

OK...this drama has already played out waay to long. Tuesday I managed to convince myself to get back on the treadmill, and pushed my speed up a bit, still the run 1 min and walk 2 mins...but in 43 mins I had completed 2.75 miles, AND I then walked for another 15 minutes to complete the 3.2 miles. Thursday, Jill and I went and checked out the course. I did my run/walk and completed the course...the full 3.2 miles in 52 minutes! Doing the math, I realize that I am slowly shaving down my time, and Jill suggests our goal for Saturday should be to complete the race in 45 minutes. I said I'd think about it.

So, Saturday morning dawns bright and early...like 5:45 early (because I have to get up and pump breastmilk, because Ellie won't take formula, and Miles has to have something to feed her..plus I figured it might make for a more comfortable run :-)!!) I pick up Jill and we head to registration, where I tell her that I am going to try to run in 50 minutes, beating our time by two minutes...I think that trying to do it in 45 might be a bit tooo ambitous! The next thing I know I am there at the start line with a number pinned to my shirt, and the gun sounds...

Instead of starting out at with a warm-up walk, I get all caught up in everyone taking off at a run, so I start my "shuffle" :-)...before we have gone a 100 yards I am the last runner, I know that because the trail car is right behind me...I turn to Jill, who is sticking with me even though she could've taken off, because she is that best friend who sticks with you!...and say, "Let's forget it! What were we thinking? I can't do this! Let's just drop out!" I am embarrassed to say that I was completely serious...Jill, however, thought I was joking, and she laughed and kept going. So, I kept going...kept doing my run/walk thing. By the first mile the trail car wasn't right behind me anymore as we actually passed someone! :-) We just kept plodding along with our run/walk.

As we approached the final hill going UP to the finish line (who plans a race that way?) I told Jill I was going to run all the way to the finish line...I knew Miles and the girls would be waiting. So, off we went...we got to the top of the hill, which I thought was the finish line, to see that we still had a couple hundred yards to go, and I broke..."I have to stop" I gasp, and slow to a walk. I take a couple of steps, and then I see the clock...we are at 43:45...if I can get the last little bit in under a minute than we'd meet Jill's goal...and Jill had been sooo awesome nursing me through the mental battle this race had been, deserved to meet her goal...so I mustered up my will power, and started to run again. As I checked the clock, I see my two little girls running toward me! Miles had turned them loose to run with Mommy across the finish line...and of course that gave me the boost I needed! (Of course, my girls had worn their flip flops, so their run was a bit hindered, and Emma actually lost her shoes, and I just ran right by her...I had to apologize later with lots of hugs and kisses...she got rescued by another runner who'd already completed the race, and they carried her back...which she loved:-)!!!!) We completed the race in 44:something...I didn't see the exact seconds...but I know it was NOT at 45 yet! WHOOO HOOO! I look up to see my sweet husband approaching me with Ellie strapped to his chest in the snugglie, holding a dozen roses...and realize, once again, that I am married to the greatest man ever! and I am sooo blessed to be a part of his life! Seriously, not only was he there at the finish line, but he was there with all the kids AND a dozen roses! :-)

It was quite the experience, and I am amazed at what I was able to accomplish with the support of my husband and my good friend...anything is possible! In fact, we are going to take on the 10K in 3 weeks :-) Not only that, but Miles and I purchased a 3-seater jogging stroller...so on June 13th he is going to run the 10K with me! The girls are all excited about running now, and right now Miles has them out running around Burba lake...we have told the girls that if they work hard we'll buy them some running shoes (not Wal-Mart shoes!) and maybe let them run one of the 5Ks toward the end of the year, and they are soooo excited!

Here is a picture after the race...the Ft. Meade Relief Society put in quite an appearance! :-)

(For all you Lemmons out there that might actually be reading this post...that shirt I am wearing? That is the Aspen Grove shirt...because I still have mine! :-) Jealous?)

There is soo much more to report, but I'll let you get back to your lives...keep you coming back for more!

One real quick gem, last week we had ham for dinner. As Miles was serving it up, he made some pithy remark about "here's Wilbur" or "Oink, Oink" or something like that...something pig related! :-) Maddie was a bit confused by this pig reference...
MADDIE: Why did he do that?
MOM: Well, because ham comes from pigs.
MADDIE: WHAT? Ham comes from pigs!
MOM: Yep.
MADDIE: (light bulb going on over her head!)OH! So when a pig poops it is ham?

Hope that doesn't turn you off of ham for the rest of your life...but we wanted to share the laugh! :-)

OK...back to work! Love you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You ask...we deliver!

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Our budding star...

video

A few items worth mentioning:

-You might think that there is a "Guitar Hero" influence here. NOPE! Don't have Guitar Hero in our house. Perhaps too much MTV exposure? NOPE!!! This entire performance is ALL Maddie!

-The title of this song is "The Power of My Rock", a Madelynn original!

-Feel free to watch again and again and again...we sure have! :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Has it worked? I am wondering if all of our wonderful readers have given up on us, as we have all but dropped out of the "blogging" world of late. I would like to think that this marks our long awaited return, and we will from now on fill our space with update after update...however...:-)

We are all adjusting to life with Ellie quite well. Maddie and Emma LOVE their little sister, and it is a constant challenge to keep their enthusiasm within "appropriate" boundaries. We have had to establish numerous boundaries, because if Ellie is awake, she is surrounded by her adoring sisters :-) I love it! It is a whole new dimension of parenting, adding in older siblings. When our Emma came, Maddie was only 16 months old, and was completely oblivious to her younger sister. Now, I have two of the greatest helpers EVER! They love to help, and really enjoy dressing their very own live doll! :-) Ellie is growing FAST! At her two week check up she had gained a pound and a half, and grown a whole inch! At 5 weeks she is stretching out her 0-3 month outfits, and I am thinking that I'll need to bust out the 3-6 month stuff by next week! :-)

And, as Eleanor basically sleeps through the night, I have absolutely NO complaints! Miles and I tell everyone that if we'd had Eleanor first, we'd have believed parenting was a breeze! Ellie is our little miracle in more ways than one! :-)

Miles is finally back at work. He was able to take a whole month off for paternity leave (sometimes the Navy really comes through for us!) He returned to work last Monday, and we are all adjusting to not having Daddy around all the time. He left this morning for a brief two-day trip, and the girls are going through major Daddy withdrawals! This is the first time Miles has left since March of last year...it has been really nice! He is very busy saving the world one memo at a time!

In our really BIG news our little Maddie has been pulled from her Special Ed. program! What a miracle we have witnessed in this beautiful little girls life! I met with the program coordinators last Monday, and as we went through each of her skill sets, we all marveled how she has progressed from significant delays and problems...to where she is today. Our little girl is functioning at age level, and in several areas is above and beyond! We are still working with her behavioral therapist, but she is home full-time now. The plan is that I'll continue working with her on her pre-academic skills at home, and in the fall she will be enrolled in kindergarten. How awesome is that?!!!!

So, besides taking care of my beautiful 5 1/2 week old, and home schooling my 5 and almost 4 year old...I am really not doing much of anything...that's why I have LOTS of time to update the blog! :-)

OH! I know what else we've managed to do this last week...Miles and I have been doing our part to stimulate the economy by pumping most of our tax refund into various awesome purchases! Most of it went to curriculum materials for "schooling" the girls...however, we did splurge a bit and bought ourselves a new camera, and a Wii FIT! FINALLY! The best thing we did with our $$ was paid off the balance on our Honda! WHOPEE!! We own our Civic...and it is only 4 years old! I was soo excited, because our car just became an asset! :-)

So, Ellie is up, and that would mark the end of "free-time"!

Love you all!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009