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I stand because I have hope

There has been so much talk and division about whether or not to stand for our national anthem.  I've had a lot of time to think about it and decided to finally weigh in with my opinion.

As a child I learned to stand and put my right hand over my heart for the playing of the national anthem.  I didn't ever really learn why.  But, as I've grown, matured, and become a part of the armed services as a military spouse, I've heard the playing of the national anthem more times than most people - and I've learned why I stand for the anthem.

Every weekday afternoon, living on an Air Force base, I hear the playing of the Star Spangled Banner over the base's loud speaker.  If I am driving my car, I pull over and wait.  If I am outside watching my children play, we all stop, turn towards where we know the flag is flying, place our hand over our heart, and listen - not moving.  We don't do this because it's required, but because of the respect that we have for our c…
Recent posts

Getting out the tangles

There are so many great things to do with my children, but one of the simplest ways that I enjoy spending quality time with them - especially with my daughter - is by brushing and styling her hair.  I find this a bit odd seeing as I hate brushing and styling my hair.  After all, my hair never does what I want it to do, it gets frizzy, is turning grey (or "super blonde"), and it just takes a lot of time.  Even though my daughter has pretty much the same hair as me (I mean, it is the color that I tell my stylist to make mine every time that I go in for a hair appointment), it's so much more pleasant and rewarding to style my daughter's hair.

Brushing my daughter's hair isn't just about getting out the tangles.  This simple act of proper hygiene gives the two of us time to sit and chat about the day, about troubles or wishes.  It's a bonding time for us...time for the two of us to just sit and be together even when the rest of the day has been filled with sc…

Pre-K Homeschool: Day 1

I never thought I would find myself homeschooling my 4-year-old son during the first part of his Pre-K year.  But, as luck would have it, we were unable to get into a local preschool - instead being put on all the wait lists - after a military move to an installation we weren't expecting.  But, thus is the life of a military family and, as a parent who wants my child to be fully prepared for when he enters Kindergarten, I was left with little choice but attempt to teach him at home.

I know there are parents out there who absolutely love the idea of homeschooling their children.  And, the "idea" of it does sound great to me.  It's the practicality of ME teaching MY SON that frightens me.  I'm not a preschool teacher.  I had to google how to pronounce the letter "X" during my daughter's Kindergarten year (FYI, you pronounce it like at the end of fox...not the beginning of xylophone).  I taught English and Spanish to high school students where we worke…

Where has the Golden Rule gone?

You would have to be living in a cave or some extremely remote location with no access to satellite or wireless reception in order to not hear or read about American politics and the upcoming elections.  It's everywhere...and it's an all out war.  Or, at least that's what it seems like to me.  I usually try not to say too much about politics because I was taught that talking about politics in polite conversation was rude and uncivil.  Today's state of social media and 24-hour news has proven to me that this lesson is, sadly, true. 

As a parent, I am trying to instill a sense of respect in my children.  Yet, how am I to do this in a world where everyone is out to get anyone who thinks, speaks, looks, or acts differently than they do?  No, this isn't always about politics.  But, let's face it, we've politicized everything.  There has been no subject left untouched in this year's political race.  There's no topic deemed to be out of bounds.  So, where …

Tests

As my family now approaches the end of our second week of school, my daughter has come to the understanding that she hates school.  She tells me that it's too hard and there's not enough time for play.  If you talk to her for a bit longer, you may come to the same conclusion that I have...it's not school that she hates.  It is the understanding that she now has to take tests at school. 
TESTS.EVERY.WEEK.
I chuckled a bit when she told me just how hard the tests were.  After all, she's only in first grade.  When I think back to some of the tests I took during college, I cringe!  The only tests that are currently on her syllabus are spelling/sight word and addition/subtraction (to 10) tests!  But, I realize that tests must start somewhere.  At six years old, this is probably a good place to start.

As I thought about the test situation a little bit more, I began to contemplate just how many tests my daughter - or all of us - will face in our lifetimes.  Tests won't ju…

Thoughts on being a twin

As a twin, I've been told numerous times how lucky I am and how other people wish that they, too, could be a twin.  But, as a multiple, there are some things - both good and bad - that people don't understand about being a multiple.  And, as an identical twin, there are even more things that people don't understand about having someone else who looks pretty much exactly like you.

1. You share the same birthday.
CON: Yes, you share the same birthday.  This also means that you most likely share the same birthday party.  So, now you have to compromise on what you're going to do to celebrate your birthday.  And, while I never really remember this being a problem for my sister and me on our birthdays, it could be a problem.  After all, everyone wants their birthday to be special.  
PRO: You never have to worry about celebrating your birthday on your own.  Even if everyone else forgets, your twin never will.  It's also a great day to remember just how awesome your mother…

Flying J Ranch in Ruidoso, NM

I'm always on the lookout for new adventures to do with my family.  But, I have to admit that when the opportunity became available to explore New Mexico, I had to question what we would find.  Having only ever driven quickly through the state, I didn't know much about it except for the fact that there was a lot of desert.

Ruidoso, New Mexico has expanded my horizons - quite literally.  The beauty of this mountainous area almost makes me feel as though I'm driving through the Pacific Northwest.  The fact that it was 60 degrees (and an elevation of over 7,500') also blew my mind.

Only a couple hour drive from El Paso or Albuquerque, Ruidoso is a beautiful, mountain village that offers a lot of activities during any time of the year.  Because we were visiting in the summer, we opted to check out the Flying J Ranch - a replica of Western cowboy living.

Flying J Ranch is a dinner theater-type event that opens at 5:30pm when you can pick up tickets that you've ordered on…