Monday, September 28, 2009

She's lying, NO WAY!!!

WOW, what a busy life we Haskins live. The past week has been filled with lots and lots of memory making.

First, I am going to have to break this up into a couple separate blogs.

I am hearing from lots of you on todays happenings, so I thought I would start with this one first.

Wanna know what I did today?

Do ya?

Do Ya?

I never thought you'd ask.

Today was a day I knew of several years ago but just kept to myself until it finally happened. You know that whole knock on wood phrase, you look forward to it and then it never happens. Yea, so I did not speak of this often.

My husband has a very interesting job. I will not go into all the detail because of OPSEC, for you non military folk that means Operational Security. He works in a high profile military unit attached to WHMO or White House Military Office. You can google that and find a little info but most is kept very quiet for the safety of our military members.

Being a member of this unit you are allowed many perks along with many negatives. I have written of all the travel Zeus does along the way but I have not touched on these few and extremely impressive perks.

Today was a gorgeous fall day in D.C. and Zeus and Twinkle were invited to meet Mr. Barack Obama in the Oval office as part of the goodbye/Thank you to Zeus' service to WHMO. It was so amazing. We did not get to stay very long as this is not done very often. So we shared with 29 other couples, which was perfectly fine with me. The fact that we walked in the gardens of the White House, strolled through the colonnade into the coveted West Wing of the White House was just unimaginable to me. We went through lots of security, like you would imagine. We saw behind the scenes walkways and partitions. We walked through interesting but not so fancy hallways.

We were spoken to with great respect from all White House employees and treated very well. It was like a dream. To see the inner workings of something kept so secret and quiet yet so important.

I am no stranger to the White House. I have been there my fair share of times. And have appreciated every. single. visit. I love it there. I wish I could go there everyday. It is just a beautiful place. Gorgeous Presidential paintings, White walls, Beautiful carpets, amazing unique chandeliers, candid photos of the First family, fancy furniture, lots of security, tons of suits, everyone moving at a fast pace, beautiful fresh trees and mums, huge open windows and long hallways of history. The gardens are just so green and blooming with seasonal flowers. I can not even begin to express the sense of beauty of this magical place. As you walk past the room of Native American paintings you begin to get chills knowing where this country started and where we are today. The 8x10 or larger digital picture frames flashing memorable Obama moments and candid ones bring you back down to earth. The bronze statues gleam with beauty. Then you walk into the famous Oval Office. The wood floor is super, slippery and extremely shiny. The Historical rug that lays over that floor is so dull and muted to the rest of the room. And then there was the DESK. It was absolutely gorgeous. I kept the burning desire to touch it under wraps. The room was not as big as I had expected but absolutely as gorgeous as everyone who has described it. I couldn't look it long enough. I could've stood in there examining every detail for hours. We were introduced by the Military Aide to the President. He stood there in front of his desk with his arm outstretched to me and my Zeus. We shook hands and he thanked us for our service. I stood beside him, touching him no less, with Zeus on the other side of me for a brief photo op and a few short words and much appreciation from him to us and we would be on our way. No we were not in there very long but we WERE in there and he knew our names and talked to us and made time for us. That was the most special thing of all.

He is so tall, so thin and so wonderfully cordial to all of us. We were not allowed to take anything other than our IDs with us so I have no photos of my own YET. The White House had an official photographer and will print us a few pictures and one will be signed by Mr President himself, we should have them in about 6 weeks. And yes, I will share them with you all when they arrive.

What a great day. What a once in a lifetime moment. How special I felt to be treated to such fanfare. I am so grateful to have had a handsome man by side to enjoy it with and share my life with. This will go down in history as one of my favorite moments in life. If you ever are given the opportunity to meet a sitting President whether it is in the White House or at a speaking event, I encourage you to do so. This will be my second Presidential meeting after having met George. W. Bush a little over 1 year ago with my dear Best friend, Hilda.

I am thankful for the President taking time out of his day to meet with us military spouses and members. It does give us the will and desire to continue on our military journey knowing we are appreciated just a little. The days will come and go but this memory will stay close to my heart.

I hope in the future that I will have the opportunity to introduce my own children to the President so until then I leave you with these vivid memories.

I hope you enjoyed today, September 28, 2009 because I sure did meeting the most powerful man in America.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Its that time again.

Yes, Yes, and Yes. September is one lovely little month. So many fun things happen. One of those things we love the most is the good ole' soccer season.

My family is all soccer. What I mean by that is everyone of us gets completely involved in the sport. This year, like last year we have 3 soccer players on 2 different teams. Last year Omega and Zulu played together leaving Zero to play by herself. I coached the little boys and Zeus coached the Princess.

This year Zero and Omega are on the same team and Mister Zulu is on his own team.

Once again Zeus and I jumped at the opportunity to coach our sweet children. Our view is this, if we are going to take them to practice and sit there the whole time we might as well be on the field with them. So here we are once again me coaching Zulu and Zeus coaching Omega and Zero.

Coaching is something all competitive parents should do at least once. I believe coaching is where you can really teach kids something in life, no only the sport but imperative social skills they may not get anywhere else. I am honored and deeply humbled to step on that field, court or gym with those kids. To see them start that very first day of practice having never seen or really touched a soccer ball and then fast forward to that last game where they actually understand the difference between offense and defense and can run an actual play is so amazing. Thank goodness I do not cry easily or I would cry alot. Zeus and I are both very competitive people in all aspects of life. We want the best for our family. We want to do everything we can. Each of us loves sports, all sports. He chooses to love basketball the most and I choose to love Volleyball the most but in the end we will play just about anything. This being said we feel it is important to get involved in our kids social lives. So here we are coaching yet another season of soccer. The love of a parent will move mountains.

After Photos on Saturday I was pulled aside by our Youth Center Sports Director. Zeus and I have a very good relationship with this man, which I will call R. R bends over backwards for this base and all the kids on it and we are very thankful to him. Anyways, R says he wants to inform me of something. A little nervous at this point I step back and listen. He says Coach Haskins, I just wanted to let you know that you were nominated for National Youth Sports Coach of the Year.


WOW was my first thought. Then he said but you did not win. Well, geez just being nominated means so much. Who cares about winning. Ok so it would be really cool to win but in all seriousness I was extremely honored by this nomination, A National nomination at that. Simply because I do not do what I do for any awards, I do it for the kids. That's what all this is about, sending a positive, fun and controlled message to these kids. Teaching them that you can come together as a team no matter what color, shape, size or background you are. This will follow them throughout their life. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity and I hope that along the way I can continue to coach my children and many other children through sports.

So if you don't hear from me much you can just say to yourself she is on the soccer field. We spend 2 nights a week and most Saturday morning out there with these kids. What a blessing this is and oh how blessed we are to have someone like R to set this up and keep it going. Blessings to all and happy Soccer season.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bye Bye lazy days

WOW, can you believe this is our final week of Summer. It seems like yesterday that Spring finally arrived. I am extremely sad because this is our final Summer here in D.C and the east Coast. It is bittersweet for our family. We are ready to move on and leave this place and all negativity and bring on the positive new life that will include much more family. The ending of summer is significant with one special day, Labor Day. Parties, cookouts, boating and lots of people having fun.

So what did you do on Labor Day? Our Labor Day was very cloudy and we were missing one member of our family. Zeus, who had to be on a business trip. Being military has its perks and Labor Day is one of them. Not only do most members get the day off we also get to attend fun parties. This year it was just the kids and me and it was a little on the chilly side. We still know how to party.

We had a cookout with American hotdogs and hamburgers. What a lunch huh?

Then we swam in the pool. Well, the babies swam in the pool while I played Mommyguard or pretended to so I did not have to get into that COLD water. Nevertheless these munchkins loved every inch of that pool.

They jumped in the bounce house and enjoyed wonderful hangout time with their friends.

We also entered many tickets into a drawing in hopes of winning just one of many prizes. Didn't have much luck there but still enjoyed it.

What a great day! What a great way to end our precious lazy days of summer and what better send off for us to the WEST coast. Bring on the Fall!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Tools of Life

Hey guys, how was everyones' weekend. Ours was totally fantastic other than Twinkle, Me, not feeling well on one of the days. Anyways there is 2 somethings that I would like to discuss with you guys and please tell me what you think about this.

First is Friendship! What does the term friend mean to you?

The term friend means to me someone that you enjoy to be around, someone that you care about and help, someone that cares for you and wants to enjoy you and someone that checks up on you. It also means someone you can talk with about issues but understand and still love each other even if you do not agree with or about something. I think friendship will have criticism but as long as it is approached carefully can be a good thing and should be part of a friendship. Recently events have taken place that make me wonder what other people believe or view as a friendship. I would love to hear yours. I personally love to talk to people about their views on life issues and see where we differ and how we agree. And what I can learn or take from them. I think that is how we grow. I think acceptance is what God trys to teach us. I am learning that loving some people can be very difficult but it can be done even if they do not love you back. I will continue to love.

Another issue I think is important is our parenting as a nation. I think that our parenting over the years has gotten very lax and become watered down. I try very hard to teach my children between right and wrong but I also know that it is MY job to arm them with as many tools as possible so that they can climb the treacherous mountain of LIFE. I think the reason we have events such as Columbine and Virginia Tech is a failure to provide these children the tools they needed to deal with tough situations. Life is not easy, we all know this. But do our children? It can also be very confusing too. That is our jobs as parents/adults to walk these children through situations and give them advice and guidance to get them through the deep darkness and extreme harness of others. If you are facing the worst obstacle course of your life and have no idea how to get through it but understand you either jump and give up your life or complete the course. Most would put one foot in front of the other and attempt to complete the course, probably asking for help along the way. That is the way we should approach our children. They are going to grow up. There is no question about that. So we need to help them understand that there are rules/laws/regulations that we adults abide by everyday and they will be expected to abide by them too. If we can teach them about friendships and the dynamics involved with other people I think we hold a very valuable tool. It is important that our children learn that not all people love, not all people are nice, not all people don't stop just for YOU, and that not all people will accept you. If we can give them these wonderful pieces of advice I think we can avoid that hole they feel like they were backed into and the only way out is to kill others. As a parent you are responsible for your childs actions and for teaching them the social issues. It is not there school teachers job. Although those teachers try very hard they are not ultimately responsible. My children have learned the hard lessons of losing a friend to death, Losing a friend for silly(stupid) reasons, temporary loss of a parent for short lengths of time, moving away from family, moving away from friends, how to deal with nonacceptance, how to accept someone with a handicap, how to love all colors whether they are caramel, Chocolate or vanilla or on a sliding scale. My children I feel are heavily armed already but there is much more arming I need to do and I understand that. The heartache will come but they need to be prepared for it and they need to understand it happens to all of us and will eventually happen to them. My children also understand that life does not revolve around them. Basically what I am saying is selfishness. They will know that acting that way will not get them very far. They have to practice love in all ways and understand that hard work will be rewarded in time. We as parents have really given ourselves and our children the false sense of entitlement. That is not how life works works. Just because you were born to rich parents or a wealthy family does not mean you have the easy way. Just because you live in a certain place does not mean it should be an easier for you. Nope, you have to strive to work hard, you have to complete your education and you must be kind and loving. Being a mom of 4 children I get to see 4 different points of view on many situations. I am grateful that I have been given this educational opportunity to share with my youngsters.

There will be sticky situations that will come up along the way that my children will not handle properly, case in point a small incident this weekend. My daughter ran into something difficult and someone got hurt. Well the hurt couldn't understand what and why it happened. She was not given those tools, I hope now, after the fact that the tools will be provided but that is not something I can do or help with. I can just help my child to understand why the hurt acted the way she did and that she should apologize for hurting someone elses feelings. Allowing her to discuss this with me is a great life lesson and just another tool that she can use if a similar situation ever occurs again, she is only 9 you know. Being that young she still needs guidance and can not be expected to know what to do with tough situations. I am very proud of her honesty. I am very proud of her concern for the feelings of others afterwards and mostly proud of her for being able to apologize to the hurt and accepting her mistake. Good for you Zero, Mommy loves you.

Have your children made any tough mistakes? How did you deal with them? Did you help them understand it and how to avoid it next time? Did they own up to those mistakes? Has your child ever been hurt by someone else? What did you tell them? Did you get mad and threaten to kick someones butt or did you show them that things happen beyond our control and practice self control.

Anger happens, sadness happens, happiness happens. These things are unavoidable. I will not promise something that I can not keep or is not logical or practical. We as parents can not protect our children from all harm. We try are darnedest to avoid it but ultimately they are gonna suffer some heartache along the way. I would love to hear from that one mother that's child has NEVER suffered pain or heartache. Are you out there? I'm waiting.

Anyways, what I am trying to say is that we can not promise to protect our children because we can not always be there to protect them we just have to help them deal with it when it comes. I call that Precaution or preventive action. I despise of reaction instead of preventive action. Have a plan, prepare a plan and follow through with the plan. Just like we do with natural disasters

I hope you all continue to prepare your own children for sticky situations and I hope that when they arise you calmly and maturely bring them to attention and allow the learning to begin. Please take this as a friendly mother discussing important life issues and not as a personal attack. I may take some heat for this, like God says, but I feel as a Godly woman we must speak out about important issues and this is one I know something about and feel strongly about.
Blessings to all and good luck with your own situations.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Last hurrah of Summer

On a whim a couple of friends and I decided to take a drive out to the Beach, Rehoboth beach in Delaware. The dads had plans so the moms took 10, count them 10 kids to the beach. We started real early so oh course StarBucks came in handy and lucky for us it is 100 feet from my back door.

The waves were really kicking due to the Hurricane churning just a few hundred miles off shore. There was a rough undertow which made me a paranoid wreck. One of the 3 of us was always at the waterline with eyes on the rug rats.

Those sweet babies had a great time.

They were building castles.

They covered each other in sand.

They attempted to boogie board.

They relaxed in the sun.

I was so glad we went and what better way than to go with friends. The only thing was the drive home, we drove almost the entire way in pouring down rain. Yeah, a few prayers allowed the rain to lighten up so we could pass the Bay bridge and within seconds of crossing we were back to hydroplaning rain. All in all it was an awesome day. The kids were wore out and I was super happy to have had a Mother/child day. Thanks Ladies for the idea and wonderful company.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Closing and Opening of doors

Over at MckMama's blog she recently posted a blog on Doors and Windows. I was struck by this because my family too has been experiencing a little of the sort. As we walk through the year of 2009 we have been blessed by God and amazed by his hand in our lives. I know I question his decision or choice of path for us but I ultimately trust him. I have placed our lives in his hands to care for us when we really are not aware of his plans.

We too have had openings and closings that none of us could begin to imagine. The biggest Opening is Zeus' acceptance into the highly sought after Air Force OTS program. This however brings us to a closing in which we leave the comfort of our home here in D.C. and head 3000 miles to a new home. Scary, absolutely!! It allows us to open a new window of family time which we have not experienced since the birth of our family. The window is wide open and we accept it with open hearts. Throughout this journey we understand that comes with it more and more openings and closings.

One of the toughest things I have experienced is the loss/Closing of a dear friendship. This was a door slammed shut right in my face. I never imagined nor dreamed anything could pierce this relationship but God ultimately had other plans for me. True sadness has enveloped me for months now but I keep my head up as a few other relationships have been allowed to blossom as the last withered away. I am extremely pleased and humbled by the timing of the loss and gain of these relationships. I too am scared at what comes next but trust his judgement for me and my family. We can not ever enjoy the happiness or even appreciate the Great things without suffering true sadness. This is God's way of making us grateful. And I am so grateful to him.

Earlier this year, actually New Year's day my family also started a very new chapter in our lives as well. If you have followed for awhile you remember my story of shock/despair last September. You can read it here. I was given a huge gift of MORE parents and family. That includes more grandparents, parents, aunts and even 2 more little brothers. January came and brought our first family meeting. It was awesome and truly amazing. I was so scared and anxious for the whole ordeal but what a blessing it has brought to us and me. The door opening did not bring any closings until May/June when a dear family member made a very hurtful decision that still haunts me today. I accept and trust God that he will resolve it in his time.

So as we endure the many openings and closings that are happening in our lives we hope that as the season changes it brings pure Joy to all of you and brings hope to your openings and closings as well. What is closing with you? Is anything opening?

School, it's time for School

Hip Hip Hooray! Its that time again, school starting. This year we had an unbelievably busy summer so I am really excited to send them back to school.

What are the changes that come with school starting again?

Definitely a new bed time
A change in the outside temperature
Exciting new field trips
A chance to make new friends
A break for Mommy

This year all 3 big kids are going to the same school. They are are in the 4th, 3rd and 1st grades. It is really funny to hear the kids come home and talk about the teachers and administration mixing up the little boys. I laugh because I, the mother, even mix them up so I can completely understand the Lunch lady denying a child lunch because he already had lunch earlier. Or a Counselor having to do a double take because he didn't respond to the name she called him but he looked just"like" that kid.

The kids were so excited to get to go back to school and so was I. Our grocery bill grew by 50% over the summer. Yes, my 1 man and 3 boys really know how to eat. But we seemed to manage because I knew they eventually would be going back. It was a little sad because Mr. Ziggy was unable to get a spot in the 3 YO program. He desperately wanted to go to school and have his own class. We did buy him a new back pack and lunchbox so when we go visit the big kids he can take it and feel a part of the group. He is definitely missing them as I do too but it is great to see them flourish and enjoy being at a public school with AMAZING teachers.

Thank you September!