Our two child things (5 and 2) are currently in Hawaii, but we are a military family, and we live where the Army tells us. This blog is designed to keep us in touch with our family and the friends we have made along the way, to offer insight into our turbulent military lifestyle, and to share our experiences as we try out "homing school." So glad you stopped by!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Remembering the Haunted Indian Village

It's only August, but we are already starting the debates on what we want to be for Halloween this year. You have to start early if you want to get your favorite costume, as we learned last year. We haven't come to any firm decisions yet, but it got me thinking about my Halloweens as a kid.

One year my cousins and I decided we would put together a Halloween party. Though I grew up in Houston, we spent a lot of weekends in the country. My grandparents have a little farm in East Texas, and me, my sisters and our cousins spent hours playing in the gully and woods in the horse pasture. The animals had created paths through the woods, and we created and named our own landmarks, like the Indian Village, where we constructed a circle of lean-tos (thanks to the newly-gleaned knowledge of my boyscout cousin) around a "campfire." The girls named things like "The Friendship Tree," and "The Peaceful Meadow," while the boys came up with "Blood Hill" and etc. Ha!

Anyway, we knew this wood so well, we decided we wanted to spook our parents by taking them on a tour of "The Haunted Wood" on Halloween night. One person would act as a tour guide, leading all the grown-ups along the paths, where ghosts of the Indians who once inhabited the wood would jump out at them and dead bodies would dangle out of trees above the trails. We had maps, schedules, even recorded sound effects, and were ready to scare the socks off our guests. The grand finale was to be at the Indian Village, where we would communicate with the Great Indian Spirits, and they wouldn't be too happy that we were there.

We rehearsed our plot, and it went off without a hitch. But, uh...doing it in the dark was another thing. Especially when one cousin (who shall remain unnamed because it was me) suggested that the cousins who were going to be the spooks should not carry flashlights because then the grownups would where they were going and wouldn't be surprised when someone jumped out at them. The Unnamed Cousin acted as tour guide, so luckily for her, she did get a flashlight.

There she was, leading a line of soon-to-be-terrified grown-ups into the woods. She stopped at the first designated scary spot and instructed her guests to listen to the ghosts of Indians. The ghosts were supposed to issue a foreboding warning about what was to come, but instead heard something like "mwaaa mwaaaaa mwa mwaaaaaaaaaaa mwa." Amazingly, the cousin who had been assigned the leave the tape recorder at that spot had made it in the dark without a flashlight, but not before tripping several times over tree roots and etc. and dropping the tape recorder hard. It never worked again.

Along the path the group traipsed, with several spooks jumping out at the right time, even eliciting one startled scream out of an Aunt. Then the guide began to lead them uphill towards the Indian Village, where they would all soon be screaming in terror (insert evil laugh here). However, the tour guide, even with her flashlight, soon lost her way in the dark woods. After several minutes of searching for the haunted Indian Village, the tour guide stopped and called into the darkness, "Oh, Great Indian Spirits, call to us so that we can find your village."

The Great Indian Spirits heard her and answered back, "We can't find it, either!"

Eventually, the tour guide and her group of grown-ups did make it to the Indian Village, but by that time they were laughing more than screaming. Ahhh well, it was a good try. So, the tour guide and the spooks all made it back alive to the farmhouse, where the younger cousins (who said no-way no-how were they going into the woods on Halloween after dark), had set out a lovely spread of Halloween refreshments.

That was a fun day...such happy memories of times spent with my family. Somehow, I don't think the memory would have been quite as pleasant if the trek through the Haunted Wood had gone as planned.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to the Real World

Sigh...Tomorrow is when we must go back to the real world. Scott has been on Block Leave for the past month, but tomorrow it's back to work for him, and so it's back to work for me. We have definitely enjoyed this month, just hanging out together as a family, and it would kinda be nice if it could last forever.

But then how would we pay for our nice little beach house? I guess we'll have to wait till we're retirement age. :P

I guess the good side of it is that life will finally be back to normal. We have been riding a roller coaster since last June when Scott deployed, and now things will be settling into a routine and we'll finally start to feel normal again.

We are also starting Kindergarten homeschool tomorrow. I've got everything ready to go. Except I was really tempted to buy Child Thing #1 a back-to-school outfit and a cute little backpack for her first day of "homing school." You know, for that back-to-school picture snapped by the front door that every Mom has to have. I resisted the urge, though, because I'm trying to be more non-consumerist.

So, Real World, here we come!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Seven Ways I Spend my Free Time

It's time for Seven on the Seventh again. This month, we are writing about seven things you do in your free time, so here goes. :)

1. Messing Around on the Computer- I spend more time than I should on the computer. Facebook, blogs, research, news, etc.
2. Scrapbooking-Though I am terribly behind (I haven't even started this year's scrapbook), I love making them. It's a record of each year's memories. It's fun to put them together, and it's fun to browse through old ones, too.
3. Quilting-This is something I was introduced to a few year's ago, and although I'm not great at it, I really enjoy making something with my own hands that is unique and useful. These are long term projects, though. I usually spend months making one quilt. Right now I am soooo close to finishing a quilt for Child Thing #2, and after that I am going to start a baby quilt for a friend who's expecting. Probably won't get it finished in time for the baby, but...oh well.
4. Reading- I love reading, especially a good novel. Unfortunately I don't read those that much these days. I read a lot with my kids (About to start the Laura Ingalls Wilder series with Child Thing #1!!), and I seem to read a lot of informative books lately.
5. Sitting on the Back Porch-I love my back porch. Luckily for me, I live in Hawai'i, so the weather is always perfectly nice in the evenings, so I can sit back there while the sun goes down, feel the ocean breeze, smell the plumeria blossoms and relax while the kids play.
6. Beach- I like to swim, I like to snorkel, I like to bodysurf with Child Thing #1, and I think I could just sit on the sand all day long. I predict we will go to the beach at least a couple times a week while we are living here in the house so close to the ocean.
7. Gardening- We haven't started a garden here at our new house yet, but we do enjoy growing our own food, and so do the kids, so I bet it won't be long before we get something going here.

If you are interested in participating in Seven on the Seventh, just let me know and I'll add you to the e-mail list. :)

Our House

I have written a Hawaiian-sized (read: BIG) rent check three times now, and I haven't blogged at all about our new house. We took a risk and signed a lease without ever really seeing the house, and although there were a few surprises, we are really liking it here so far.

The house consists of one big room, which is the living room, dining room and kitchen all in one. Beyond that is an enclosed lanai, which was one of the surprises I mentioned before. This is what was supposed to be the third bedroom. But with big sliding glass doors and no closet, we chose to make it an office/toy room/homeschool area instead. That means there are two remaining bedrooms, so the child things are sharing a room for now. The room is a decent size and they don't seem to mind sharing, so it's working out.

The house is nice, but small. The big plus is that it's only about a block to the beach. It's so nice being able to walk down there without having to worry about packing a ton of stuff. We can stay for as long as we like, and when we start to get tired, just walk back home. Pretty cool. My favorite part of the house is the back porch. it's got a pretty big porch and yard that's pretty big by Hawaiian standards. I love to sit out there in the evenings and enjoy the cool breezes and the mountain scenery. Have I mentioned lately how blessed we are to get to live here?