Friday, July 29, 2011

To Men of All Ages

Take note most women(ok so hopefully I'ts not just me that is like this)like things put in certain places. Plates on a certain shelf, toys in order, etc. We don't like things all scaddywompus. If you see something out on the countertop, don't just put it in the nearest drawer or shelf that you happen to come across, put it where it usually goes. If you are unsure, ask your wife. Don't just go sticking the diaper rash ointment in the drawer where the toothpaste, floss, and toothbrushes go. Chances are she might just accidently use it as me...yesterday morning. Yep, still trying to get that taste out of my mouth.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vacation Month

This last month has felt like such a vacation. We were gone for the first week and a half of July visiting my family in Idaho(post still pending), and then we just got back very late last night, or should I say very early this morning from another one. We just went down to Southern California to go to a Taylor family reunion. It was so much fun and really quick, we flew down on Friday. Friday night we spent the night at my sister Mindy's house and she had a little surprise birthday party waiting for James, who turned two on Saturday. Here are some pictures

We put two candles on some mini brownies with blue frosting, sang Happy Birthday, and tried to get him in close to blow out the candles, but he started freaking out. I don't know if it was the candles or everyone singing to him, or the lights being out, I think it was the candles because you can see him trying to push away from them in that last picture.
While at their house he came across this, and it was love at first sight. I guess I know what I'm getting James for Christmas. Some Toy Story action figures, and probably Toy Story 3.

The next day we went down to the beach in Encinitas for the big Taylor family reunion. It was a lot of fun, it reminded me of how much I totally miss the beach. The good thing about the beach is that it's free and everyone loves it. Well we did, and James had a blast.

Here's a Where's Waldo for ya, try and find Uncle Stephen and Aunt Tracy...

On Sunday we went down to Balboa Park to here some professional Organist and then we walked around a bit.

And on Monday we went to Knott's Berry Farm, unfortunatly we couldn't stay too long because we had to catch a flight. I'm one of those people that could spend all day at an amusement park and not get bored.

Some funny things that happened Monday, funny now that everything turned out ok, not so funny in the moment. When Linda tried to check us in on Monday she couldn't, or at least Jet Blue didn't let her because according to the information we gave them when we bought our plane tickets James was to old to sit on our laps on the returning flight because he turned two during our trip, which made me super angry at the time because when we bought the tickets they didn't say then that we needed to get him a ticket for the returning flight. So we started freaking out, especially because 1. our flight coming out was full and what if there were no empty spots, and 2. we couldn't come out on a later flight because Stephen had to take the ASVAB test the next day as part of his application process to get into the army. Jeff tried talking to some people online but they were unreasonable, so we decided to just go and if they wouldn't let us on the plane then we would get him a ticket. Well, we used the kiosk to check in and get our tickets, and we were able to get them just fine without having to get James a seat. Phew. Although I think maybe they didn't make us buy him one because that flight was full and it would be easier to make him sit on our lap then have to bump someone. They are lame. But at least now we know. Second drama that happened at the airport, I'm going through the scanner and the guy said I had to go through again because the alarm went off, realizing I had left my belt on I took it off thinking then there would be no problem, but the alarm went off again. Then I thought, ok, they will take one of their hand held metal detectors and see that I'm good. Actually they swipped my hands and James' with some kind of wet wipe and then put it through the scanner. It started flashing warning explosive chemical detected. They called over security personel and I'm thinking come on, I'm just a mommy with a two year old. They went through all of my stuff and then had Stephen watch it while they pat me down. It wasn't as bad as I had imagined, but it was just embarrassing feeling like everyone was looking at me like I was some kind of threat. (Although actually they didn't because they seemed confused when they saw me and my son, and I think that they were thinking that it was just some kind of mistake) After they pat me down one asked me if I had been using some kind of lotion or sunblock. I said sunblock, and she said sometimes that can set it off. Sounds like great equipment that they have, right? Plus, it didn't help that Stephen was wearing his Front Sight hat while he was with me, they started asking us all sorts of questions. The minute they were done checking me they started boarding our plane. second phew of that day. Note to self, wash hands thoroughly after applying sunblock and before flying.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Early Birthday Presies!

I know James' birthday technically is like...what, 8 days away? But next week we're going out of town so I have to show you now some of the cool things he got for his birthday. First he got this sweet little outfit from Grandma Taylor (minus the hat). My favorite part are the shoes. They are so cute!

BTW, he's crying because I won't let him have the camera.
Secondly is this outfit from Grandma Brinton. Actually I kind of picked it out. I came across it at a used children's store in Coeur D'Alene Idaho whilst visiting my family last week (pictures of vacation pending). The kids store is called "Babies and Beyond". When I saw it I knew I had to get it, and asked my mom if she wanted to get it for James as his birthday present.

It's used, so we got it for a pretty good price, but it looks brand new. A four piece suit! He's gonna be the most snazzy looking toddler at church. Watch out ladies! Actually it doesn't quite fit him yet, but it will in about 4-6 months. The bottoms look like shorts in the picture but they are pants.
And the following two are from Stephen and myself. We also got these at the same used kid store.

Unfortunatly James is taller than I thought so this church outfit won't fit him for very long. Maybe 2 months...hopefully.
And for the grand finale, the piece de resistance...TA DA!!!

Isn't it awesome. We got it for $9.98 and it retails on Amazon for $241.99! I don't think they make them anymore. Can you believe it? It comes with a retractable anchor, canons below deck, a plank, sails, and a pirate. I added the rest of the crew from James toy stash. The funny thing about that used kids place was that there were a lot of used toys that were in really great condition at really low cost, but a lot of the used clothes, not all but it seemed like most, weren't really that great of a bargain used. A lot of the stuff seemed like it would be the same price, possibly even cheaper brand new, but on clearance. Anyways, he got some sweet stuff. Originally I wanted to get him these for his birthday from Ikea to decorate his room and make it look more jungle-y.

The net comes in green, too. I'll have to get them for Christmas instead.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dear Family and Friends

Not too long ago I put up a post about how Stephen and I were deciding what future would be best for us. It came down to two things that Stephen wanted to do. (I say Stephen because as long as what he does is enough to support us financially and makes him happy, I'll support him.) The choices were either to join a police force or join the military. We have since made the decision to join the military. I think I need to specify to anyone reading that this is a choice we made. This wasn't made out of desperation of not knowing what to do, or that we didn't have any other choice so we chose this one. Stephen has actually wanted to do this for a very long time. But, in the past when he had mentioned the idea he was met with opposition. I admit when he first told me I was strongly opposed to the idea as well. If he wanted to join a police force, despite his lack of CA or Washington state license (which were the two states we were leaning towards), we could have made it happen. It might have taken some work but we could have made it happen. My sister just moved into a rather large house with an apartment downstairs in Washington and has offered the downstairs to us temporarily if we needed it. Hypothetically we could have moved in, soon after got a WA license and started applying to police departments up there. Or we could have done the same thing in CA because we have family there, one has already offered to let us stay with them as well for awhile if needs be. We looked at those options, and I asked Stephen "Do you want to do that, and work as a police officer? Or do you want to join the military?" He said he wanted to join the military. He had a few options and he chose that one. As I mentioned earlier, when he first told me about how he was interested in joining the military I was strongly opposed to the idea. The idea of him going to war and my becoming possibly a young widow with a child was not appealing. But the more I thought about it, all those feelings of anxiety have gone away, and I don't feel scared anymore. (And anyone who really knows me knows that is not normal Melinda behavior, and I'm actually a rather paranoid person.) We've thought about it, and have prayed about it, and we feel good about it. We feel a pull that that's where we are supposed to be. If we like it, then we'll stay, if we don't then after 8 years we'll leave. But, as for now we both feel strongly that that's where we're supposed to be. We are telling people that is our decision and I'm begging people to respect it. Please please please don't try and talk us out of it, and if you have anything negative to say, please keep it to yourself. We are adults now, and we have our own family, and we are making our own decisions. When we decide something we council with each other and the Lord. Three's company four is a crowd. So, please be supportive, and keep us in your prayers that everything will go well, and if Stephen ever does get deployed that he will be safe and protected and come back home to the family and friends waiting for him. And please, don't give us some big spiel about how you heard about a guy in the military that went A-wall and killed some innocent Arab woman and her child, because honestly there are psychos and corrupt people in every occupation and it's a little insulting to the thousands of good people there are that serve or who have served our country in the military. It's unfortunate that a lot of them get a bad rep just because of a few nut jobs. Besides that, Stephen would never do something like that. We know the risk, and we know what we're getting ourselves into. So, don't be surprised if you tell me why we shouldn't join the army and I bite your head off 'cause... I will. I'm sure we have all known people that were in the military and hated it. My dad was one of them, but that kind of life wasn't his thing. Plus, he was drafted. Anyone who knows Stephen can see how this is something that he was meant to do. He loves war movies, (i.e. Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, The Patriot, Independence Day, etc) and not because of the violence. Because he likes to see good conquering evil. He has always idolized war heroes, and could spend hours, and has, talking to war veterans. Hearing the good and the bad. He likes the idea of fighting for freedom and for something you believe in. He likes honor, freedom, and he loves America.

On Monday we went and talked to a recruiter about Stephen becoming an officer, and we are currently getting together all the necessary paperwork to turn in as soon as possible. They give them a practice test to take just to give them an idea on how they would do on the real test. Stephen scored an 82 on the practice test, which the recruiter said was very good. There were 4 sections, 2 were math related and 2 were more literary type stuff. On the 2 literary sections Stephen got 100%, it was just the math that he has to brush up on. We checked out the ASVAB (The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) book from the library to help prepare him for the real test. I think once he's practiced he could score really high on the real test. The recruiter said that people that practice with the book before the real test usually improve their score anywhere from 5-50 points. The highest score is 99, which means he'd need to improve by 17 points to get 100%. So, that's what we're in the middle of doing right now, and I hope you all can keep us in your prayers that everything will go alright. Thanks!