Pete gets a promotion!

As usual, time is running short right now but I wanted to get this in because it is a pivotal moment in Pete's career.  He was promoted to Major this week!

While it is true that virtually all Air Force dentists get promoted to major (right now they do, anyway), it is not something he or I ever take for granted.  We have several friends who don't get the same luxury, and work just as hard (if not harder) than he does.  They deploy often, work horribly obnoxious hours and have to face a board of military mugs to determine whether they get to wear the gold leaf.   Doesn't seem fair, but I guess they have it balanced to keep retention where they want it.  I don't know.

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that some in the dental community may take the promotion with a smug grain of salt, but we do not.  We are thankful to have it handed over and very grateful to be provided this luxury because we understand how sought after a promotion like this is.

We have been in for 6 years now , we could get out in 2 if we decide that would be a better fit.  After 2 more years we would need to be ready to swear in again for another 4...or say goodbye. It's always a choice, but never an easy one for anyone to make considering all of the 'what ifs' involved in any military family life.  What if...yadda yadda yadda.... what if...deployment  what if....cut in more benefits  what if...war....

Here we are, 6 years ago.  The first time I saw my man in uniform.  We were newly engaged and had no idea what was in store for us. 

So, anyway, here are photos from his promotion ceremony.  He gave an exceptionally touching speech, well it was in my eyes anyway.  He wanted Sabrina to remove his Captains bars like we had practiced at home but she got really bashful and shy when she was up there and all she wanted to do was bury her sweet little face in daddy's blues.  We helped her out with the removal and I, along with one of Peter's favorite mentors and superiors placed his new rank on.

He thanked both Sabrina and Kai for being such wonderful military kids and presented each of them with a toy, and thanked me for everything (in a nutshell) and presented me with a huge bouquet of lilies.  It was very sweet! 

Then he called up his assistants and coined each of them.  He gave his old captains bars from his hat to his assistant who is aspiring to be a dentist.  He told him that when he is faced with adversity and doubts whether he can make his dreams come true, to just look at those bars and know that someone believes in him....or it was something along those lines.  It was really touching. 

So here are a few photos!

The packers come this TUESDAY...which means today and Monday are our last big days to get ready for it.  Sabrina has a big dance recital tomorrow and she is in two dances for that, so that will take up most of Fathers Day.  Some of the things that will be packed include our refrigerator, washer & dryer and our beds.  It's good the baby is still in my tummy because could you imagine living out of two coolers and a laudry mat with 4 kids 4 and younger?  hahaha!!!! oh man.  

Still house hunting at our next base.  Still no prospects and day by day I'm letting go of stress and handing it over to God.  I'm not in charge of anything other than wardrobes these days, it would seem :) 


really yummy cookies

With so much on my mind, it was good to just blow it all off and make a huge mess in the kitchen making spritz cookies.

There were a few time outs between all of the licking everything and grabby hands, but for the most part we had a great time!  Sabrina is finally at the age where we can do activities like that without there being much frustration over following direction and focus.  Kai on the other hand, he is a little more of a test of patients.  At least now I know that they DO grow up.  Sometimes when you are in the midst of raising a toddler it can be easy to forget that. 

And boy oh boy, Kai sure is more work as a toddler than Sabrina ever was!  Boys are so rough and tumble, aren't they?  At least it is letting up a little bit as he gets closer to approaching three years old and that prefrontal cortex develops a little more.

Anyway, we just received a call that they will be showing the house right smack in the middle of dinner time.  The house already smells of bacon (BLTs for dinner) and we need to scamper once again to get this place in shape and figure out somewhere to go while strangers waltz through the place.  Someone sign the lease already!!  Maybe the bacon smell will do them in :)

sweeping the porch

The property managers have been showing our house every day this week.

I read once that keeping a house ready for showing is like an Olympic sport.  It is SO true.   It's putting me on edge because I can't relax, having to keep everything neat and tidy with three kids four and under is really stressful!
I feel like my temper is so much shorter over the dumbest things, like Sabrina just innocently picking out her outfit for the day, but in the process she spews clothes across the floor, and meanwhile the 2 year old carries his purple blackberry smoothie up the stairs, holding the cup clumsily in one hand and licking the straw haphazardly in the other.....TAKE THAT DOWNSTAIRS!!!!  I yell....WHY on Earth does he suddenly think he can take food upstairs???  Anyway, disaster avoided.  I hope somebody signs the lease soon because I don't want to carry on like this!

In the meantime, I'm still house hunting and obsessive compulsively checking AHRN.com for new rental listings at Vandenberg so that we can stay in hotels when we get there as little as possible.  Ideally, wouldn't it be fantastic to have a door to door moving experience?  Please pray something decent pops up!  It will only be for 9 months - a year for the wait to live on base, so we don't need anything spectacular, but still comfortable enough that I can "nest" for the baby on the way.  What a curve ball this little man is throwing into the equation!  :)  A happy curve ball, of course.

I'm sweeping my porch every morning and evening because I read some fung shui advice that it opens you up to luck in the Universe.  Is it okay to believe in Jesus and also believe in fung shui?  things that make you go hmmm...


It's a......

We had such a great time finding out the gender of this baby.   Saturdays are always busy for us between ballet class, life with three little kids in general, and Peter having to go into the office to work on things for his residency.  Even though there are only 39 calendar days left of his program, there is still SO MUCH work he needs to do.

So, I went to the ultrasound appointment with just Kai.  I wore a blindfold while they determined the gender and my dear friend Julee (who is an amazing home baker) was so kind and whipped up a gender reveal cake to us to enjoy as a family together later in the evening.  We took a video since we couldn't have family around for the fun.

I know it is always way more fun for the parents than anyone else to find out baby genders, but I always wanted to do one of those reveal cakes and I'm glad we had one last opportunity to.

Waiting to find out with Nora was AMAZING, but because we are moving I just have an overwhelming need to plan as much as I can.  And now I can finally part with all of those bins of girl clothes that I hung onto!!!

Anyway, I'm rambling, it's late....here are the photos!

This was right after I got the secret envelope!  It was so hard not to take a little peek inside!!!

The Spaghetti Face Study

One night while eating dinner Peter and I were talking about how the older the kid gets, the less of a giant huge red circle the kids get while eating spaghetti.  I just had to document.

Four year old spaghetti face

Two year old spaghetti face

11 month old spaghetti face

And my sweet little mothers day note.  She *almost* got my age right.  I'll be turning 32 this year, but the teachers said she was the only one in the class that was even close!  Everyone else said their mom was about 4 or 14!  hahaha She really pays attention and asks really smart questions! And it's true, ramen is her favorite thing I make her.  She was born in Japan, what do you expect!?? :) Just a little ramen tip, it's super tasty if you add soft boiled egg and some ham to the instant stuff.


Vandy Wagon

We got a new family gift to ourselves.... a new custom Radio Flyer wagon!

We decided our kids are so wonderful and sweet and deserving of such an awesome mode of transportation.  The wagon arrived yesterday to our doorstep and we had fun putting it all together after a delicious dinner of sloppy joes and buttery vegetables.  Sloppy Joes are always a hit around here!

Kai was such a natural at using the tools and finding all of the pieces for the dad to assemble.  He gets so super excited and focused about the building process.  It's adorable for a proud mother to watch!

Sabrina and Nora were not as much into the wagon assembly as they were into wrestling and loving on each other.  Nora is very mobile these days and loves to crawl on top of people to get some snuggling in.  She is so incredibly precious.  Our little Princess Peach.  Sabrina is SUCH an amazing big sister.  She really wants ANOTHER baby to love on.  :)

After we put it together, we took the Vandy Wagon for a stroll around the neighborhood, thirty minutes past bedtime.  They probably all could have fallen asleep in that wagon they were all so sleepy.  Twas' fun!  I'm so thankful for this family we have.  Sometimes it doesn't even seem real.  How did I get so lucky, I ask myself this at least once a week.

Here are the photos to be remembered forever.  We DO plan to keep this awesome wagon for pulling the grandkids around the retirement community.  It's fun to look far into the future like that and picture this with signs of wear and tear from lots of love and filling it with more love spots.


We Got Our Assignment!

I'm so excited about our next assignment, Vandenberg, AFB!!  It's located about an hour north of Santa Barbara and about 40 minutes south of Pismo Beach.  Peter and I just might have to take up golfing because some of the best golfing is in this area along with tons of wineries (woohoo!!!!!).  It's no secret that I LOVE wine!

The day we found out our assignment was so intense I never want to forget it.  I mean, it wasn't super crazy or anything but just the way we found out was very atypical for an Air Force dentist.  Typically they give these guys lists to rank, like a dream sheet.  Not this time though, they didn't mention anything at all about what was even open, other than that MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA was open.  Umm...no thanks!

Anyway, so the Friday before Easter weekend, the commander mentioned to Pete that they were going to talk about assignments later that day.  I was so excited about this news because I was going CRAZY not having any ideas at all what bases were even open other than MINOT.

Suddenly Pete texts me later that afternoon that people are beginning to get called into the office.  First was Drew, who was told they were going to Tuscon (we would have loved that assignment so I was sad it was taken), second was Matt who was told they were going to Cannon, New Mexico and then I was happy that was off the table. Next Peter stopped texting me updates so I KNEW he was in the office and it felt like eternity waiting for him to finally respond!!!! I was shaky in the knees just knowing that he had no say in where they put us, and wherever they sent us would determine a HUGE chapter of our life!    It's such a weird and bazaar feeling having the government decide where we will live and having absolutely no say in the decision.  I don't think it will ever be that way again, I think in the future we will have "illusion of choice", but at the end of this residency we most certainly don't.

We were hoping and praying they would take our pleas to be stationed closer to my mom and his dad in California because they often make big efforts to come help and visit the kids, and the children simply adore them.  We really wanted them to see them more often than just the two or three times a year we currently do.  So....I was shaky thinking we would be sent to Minot, where it would be so hard for them to fly out to visit because it is such a remote and far assignment.   My fingers, toes, intestines and eyes were crossed....

And then I got the text....and it had that sweaty worried emoji face icon on it!!! SO I WAS PANICKING!!!!  I'm like...uh oh!!  It was this one below!!  Geez, babe!! Freak me out more! haha

Apparently Peter thought I would absolutely hate being stationed at Vandenberg!  He was so scared to tell me!! True that I am not crazy about the earthquakes California has a reputation for....but all I can think of is that FINALLY my mommy will be within a days drive!  WOOHOOO!!  I was stoked! And I still am :)

I called my mom right away, still shaking from all of the emotion, and she totally thought I was pranking her!!!!  It must have taken me 10 minutes for her to finally believe me that we will be that close!  She was thrilled once she finally believed me.  She immediately started planning out all of our adventures and all of the fun things she can do with the kids.

And then I get a call from Peters dad because Peter had told him, and he was just going on and on about how excited he was and all of the plans he was making to be able to see the kids more and teach them how to boogie board (grandpa was raised in San Diego and used to be a surfer dude, lol)  It was just so great to hear them both so excited!

We have BIG reason to be stationed close to family in the next four years...so....thankful the command took that into consideration.   A few weeks ago we had mentioned to them that it was important to us to be close for various reasons.  :) I'm so thrilled the kids will get to have even more of a relationship with their grandparents.  There really isn't much in life more important than family.

Anyway, I just had to document this for posterity.  One day I will print this blog into a book for each of the kids to keep forever. :)

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