Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review

I have one last end-of-year post to make before the ball drops tonight. Before I get into that I do have a good piece of Caulfield trivia for you: exactly 5 years ago tonight Ryan came home from his second deployment to Iraq. We were stationed in GA but I moved back to TN since I was getting ready to have Hannah.  I drove all night to be there when those awesome white buses finally came pulling into Cottrell Field at Fort Stewart. :) It was awesome!

Moving on...just a some tidbits of our life happenings for each month.  It's pretty crazy all that can happen within a year.

January - We just moved back to Clarksville after Ryan's medical retirement.  After submitting several applications and resumes, he finds a part-time job working at Lowe's.  Hannah starts PreK at St. B Nursery School.  She is thrilled to be back in school!

February - The kids and I begins our library routine of going at least every two weeks, checking out at least 20 books at a time. The ladies behind the circulation desk eventually come to know us and always inquire with Hannah about what earrings she is wearing. :)

March - I throw Ryan a Transformers birthday party, which he secretly loved but would never admit it. ;) Thanks to PreK, Hannah goes around the house constantly singing the various tunes she learned.  I got a good number of videos of her little performances. Her favorite song was about monkeys swinging in a tree and getting caught by an alligator. Not as morbid as it sounds.

April - Hannah turns 5, and we kick off her being a half decade old with a panda themed birthday party.  We make the official decision to homeschool our kids, and we wonder what took us so long to decide. :)

May - Hannah graduates from PreK, and I don't think many high school graduates make out as well as she did--complete with balloons and a graduation bear (which is currently in her bed).  I take Autumn to the doctor because we suspect she may have to get tubes in her ears, but come to find out she's perfectly fine. 

June - Summer gets into full swing with taking Hannah to vacation Bible school.  She has a blast and is beyond adorable singing with her class in church.  Ryan quits Lowe's to try out a sales job, working with a roofing and siding company.  Lots of door to door stuff.  We had a rather short hail storm that did a lot damage to roofs in the area, so signs for various contractors started popping up in front yards everywhere, including our house. Long story short, that job was eventually a bust.  :(

July - Hannah had been working on various worksheets we got from her prek class and from a workbook I already had.  It was such a great way for us to prepare for school! She also went to the summer reading program at the library.  Autumn was not so much into the toddler program since all she wants to do is just climb all over the seats. Ryan "gets back at me" by throwing me a Titanic-themed birthday and decorating the house with printing pics from the movie. Hannah has her dental check up and everything is sheer perfection (wish I could say the same for myself :-/)

August - We officially start homeschooling!! Even after the first couple weeks, I know it is going to such a blessing! We started going to Wednesday night church where Hannah went to Team Kid, Autumn to the play room, and I went to the homeschool support group (which I miss dearly!). We also go on a field trip to the fire station with other homeschoolers.

September - Autumn turns 2! Along with turning two she starts sitting in a booster instead of a high chair and sleeping in a big girl bed (well, it was just taking the side off her crib). Such a big girl!  My oldest friend, Jamie, and her husband and three boys came down from Indiana to visit us for Labor Day weekend.  We hadn't seen each other in five years! Our kids all really got along, which is always good. :) We all went to the Nashville Zoo.  I guess none of us really thought about how crowded it would be on a holiday weekend, but it was still fun.

October - Ryan and I celebrate 8 years of marriage! Ryan also accepted a job with Lockheed Martin, working with the Dept of the Navy, which meant we would be moving to Millington. Ryan left in the middle of the month and we would move with him closer to the Christmas once he found a place to live. The kids were both bears for Halloween (the most inexpensive costumes ever thanks to their Grendy! :-D).

November - I participate in what will my fifth Nanowrimo--writing a novel in a month. Great fun. I should also mention that I "won" which means I wrote the require 50,000 words. Both kids had their annual check ups (both late...ooops), and all is well.  We also get their flu shots which was fairly painless.  Ryan was able to come visit us every weekend from Millington, but in the mean time the kids and I are able to keep busy in his absense.

December - The kids and I move a little earlier than we expected, but it was definitely for the best since we were able to get used to the area and our new place before Christmas.  The kids constantly amazed me with how resilient they are.  We made it back to Clarksville for Christmas unscathed and all was well.

What a year. I guess I can say that about any year.  I'm definitely ready for a new one. I'm not going to go into a laundry list of resolutions, but I just hope that I can continue to better myself as a wife and mother following the Lord. 

Here's to an awesome 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Ten Posts of 2010

I saw another blogger do this so I checked my stats since I was naturally intrigued. :)

1.First Day!
Aug 9, 2010             46 Pageviews

2.What SHOULD have been on the Target registry... 
Jul 19, 2010,                              19 Pageviews

3. Minus the Locker Room Drama 
Aug 28, 2010                  17 Pageviews

4. It's All Good in the 'Hood 
Aug 30, 2010             17 Pageviews

5. Day 12/33 (road trip!) 
Oct 30, 2010              17 Pageviews

6. First Post! 
Oct 1, 2009              15 Pageviews

7. Happy 4th! 
Jul 4, 2010              14 Pageviews

8. Missing Out? 
Sep 9, 2010,          14 Pageviews

9. Week in Review #5 
Sep 24, 2010,           14 Pageviews

10. A Titanic Birthday 
Jul 16, 2010        13 Pageviews

So there ya have it--our first day of homeschool was the most viewed post this year. It was definitely a very special day, and the first step to a way of life I have not regretted! :-D

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas and officially moved out!

I suppose I should do a mandatory Christmas post. :) We were out the door at 4 AM to make the drive to Clarksville.  When we got there, the younger two (Autumn and Emma) were excited to play with the new Power Wheels Beetles from Grendy and Papaw! Hannah really enjoyed it, too, so I have a somewhat not so great feeling she might get one for her birthday. :-p I suppose it's better than the two of them fighting over the thing. Every year we open presents starting with the youngest first...we don't rush to the tree like a bunch of psycho maniacs.  I like having Christmas morning be civilized. :)  Our Christmas meal was awesome as well which we grazed on throughout the weekend. Gotta love pumpkin pie for dinner!

Two days after Christmas we finally had our move out inspection for our house in Clarksville and I am just thrilled to have it done and over with. We're getting a good chunk of our deposit aside from what they automatically take out for carpet cleaning.  After going down to Clarksville the last three weekends, it certainly will be nice to just stick around here this week.

I took these pics from my brother's Facebook.  Surprisingly I took very little of my own pics.  These are in no particular order.

Water bottles are awesome!

Save some room for lunch, Autumn!


A bit excited over macaroni and cheese (it was homemade after all)

Pow-pow-power wheels!

I do not have a clue what I was doing or talking about!

This is Janie, my aunt's foster daughter.  She and Hannah
have become fast friends! :)

Bumblebee pillow pet!

Monkey pillow pet!

Unicorn and panda pillow pets!!

Don't let the sweet face fool you!

White Christmas...what a concept

Nighttime Chats

Sometimes if Hannah seems a bit bothered I will ask her if there's anything she wants to talk about.  If she's pretty adamant that there's nothing I just try to reiterate that if there's something wrong she can come to me or her daddy. Lately most nights when she's getting ready to go to bed she says she wants to talk.  Her topics of conversation are not what adults would consider serious.  The last thing she wanted to talk about was how she needs to go to the dentist next month and that she needs to be a big girl.  Obviously we talk about what ever is on her mind whether it's going to the dentist or "pandies". :)  These moments in the evening are so important to me, since I really want her to be able to come to us as she gets older and the "big" issues of life are plaguing her.  The key is to not be dismissive or else she will stop asking to talk. I am certainly doing nothing important enough to forgo a chance to talk to my daughter. Autumn is currently not interested in chating as she is asking for "joof" (juice) or her "bi-yet" (Violet, her favorite toy), but it won't be long!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

We had ourselves a little family Christmas this morning since we are making the 4-hour trip to Clarksville at dark thirty tomorrow.  It was so lovely. The first Christmas we were able to open presents at our own house around our own tree. Pretty crazy. The kids loved all their gifts and I am happy to say that what they got keeps them occupied for a hot minute. :) I think we all are big fans of the magnadoodle...we should go out and get three more! Hannah loves her puzzles and spirograph (I had one when I was little!). Between us and the grandparents, Autumn will be totally decked out in Dora!

When I was around high school-ish age, my mom would get my dad stuff like underwear and socks for Christmas and I found that almost appalling.  Now that I'm married I totally understand since that's what Ryan got for Christmas! Along with new pj pants and a super big to-go coffee cup.

Ryan was a good husband and got me what I asked for--Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson and Mad Men on DVD.  Just season one, but I'm sure I will shortly be collecting the rest.  need my Jon Hamm fix until season five begins. ;) I also got some candles and one of those many toiletry gift sets you see in every store.

We are very blessed indeed, but please remember the Reason for the season! :-D

Merry CHRISTmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Only Santa Knows!"

 Uploading these were like pulling teeth! Ugh. I actually have to find something else to do to wait for them to finish so I wouldn't go insane with impatience.  These are just a few from the past couple weeks.

We actually did get them some green and red ones we found 2 for $1 at the dollar store.

Redecorating the tree

The new homeschool space

Handprint wreaths! :D

On our way to Clarksville

She is a nut.
We completed another trip to Clarksville this past weekend and I am so glad to get that other house out of our hair! We were able to go to church which I was beyond thankful for.  With all the craziness we hadn't gone to church in a couple weeks because of traveling and such. The girls' Sunday school teachers were so happy to see them. Hannah's class had a birthday cake for Jesus.  Too sweet! Autumn's class made photo frame magnets which I love! I should do one of Hannah. I love how above and beyond the children's ministry goes for the kids and helping them create gifts for their parents! :)

Obviously this weekend is Christmas! We will open presents together on Friday and then leave super early Saturday for Clarksville. (I feel like I'm being very redundant so you will have to excuse me.)  Ryan and the girls went shopping for me this morning.  They were gone for almost 4 hours during which I took a nap and went to the gym (which I would definitely consider that a gift! ;-D).  When they got back Ryan told me to ask Hannah what they got me and when I asked she said "Only Santa knows!" before having a giggling fit. Daddy has instructed her well. :) I guess I should take the girls out to shop for their daddy even though I already got him a little something. I also still need to shop for the other men in my family-dad, brothers, and brother-in-law. Stickers and candy for everyone! (inside family joke) 

If I don't post again for a hot minute, I hope everyone has a Merry CHRISTmas! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Computer Crashes = Uncool

Pictures from October and November have been wiped out due to my little laptop somehow obtaining a good number of viruses (despite having virus protection..NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT BUY MCAFEE EVER AGAIN! We had Kapersky before and never had any problems, but it's a bit expensive).  I am currently on the "big" laptop which is working just fine *knock wood*  I guess posting pics of the new house have fallen down on the priority list. :-p

Yesterday we went to Clarksville to get another load of our stuff from the house and do some cleaning. I am pleased to say we got a lot done, but we couldn't fit everything on to the little trailer we're borrowing.  Anything to save a buck! :) The girls were just bouncing off the walls! You would think they hadn't seen their gradnparents in months rather than a mere five days! We got back to Millington this afternoon and the house is pretty well a wreck from more stuff. It never fails to surprise me at the amount of stuff we accumulate.  We ended up with so much trash and stuff for Goodwill!

We will be back in Clarksville on Saturday to clean and get the last of everything and stay until Monday.  Then we will come back the following weekend for Christmas.  Somewhere in there we'll get some schooling done and finish getting the house together. Whew! Is this month over yet? :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

What a week!

We got our internet hooked up barely a half hour ago and here I am! LOL The kids are laying down so there's no better time! :-D

As I said in my previous post, the girls and I officially moved to Millington as of Monday, two weeks before we were originally planning to.  Now that we're here I'm really glad we didn't wait. I'm really enjoying our new house.  The kitchen has more cabinet space and we have hardwood floors!!! Only the bedrooms have carpets...that I can deal with! Ryan didn't have to go to work until Wednesday so we were able to take a couple days to explore and become familiar with the area.  Millington is a lot like Clarksville with a Navy base. :) Our house is a bit in the country so there are a lot of roads and turns to make before we hit a main road, but as of today I think I've got a pretty good handle on it.  GPS is my friend!

The kids have adjusted pretty well.  Hannah always seems excited for a new adventure, but she was none too thrilled when she realized her grandparents are more than 20 minutes away. At least we're only 3-4 hours away so we are all able to visit more often than when we lived in GA or KS.  Autumn is just going with the flow.  Thanksfully we've managed to get back into school with no problem.  Things felt so crazy for a few days that we took an unexpected break even though we just had a break for Thanksgiving!  The past two days Hannah has done a ton of math and geography so I don't think getting behind will be an issue.

This weekend we will be in Clarksville Sunday and Monday to pack up the very last of our stuff and get everything cleaned for our move out inspection, which isn't until December 27th.

I'll post pics later of the new house and a few of the kids from the week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Okay, so I lied

It looks like we will not have a set in stone date saying "This is the exact day and time we are moving to Millington" because we find we just haveto go with the flow.  Ryan suggested just this afternoon that the kids and I should just come with him tomorrow since in retrospect there's no reason to stay here since half the house is empty anyway.

By the time we leave tomorrow afternoon, there will be very few things left in the house, and we will be back next week to pick up any last minute items and get the house ready for move out inspection. Whew. I keep praising God Millington is only 3 hours away!

We won't have internet at our new house until Friday-ish, so hold on to your hats for some pictures! ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Emptier and Emptier

I dragged our mattress to the living room
so I could watch TV since Ryan took the
TV from our bedroom. The kids love it!
Since signing the lease to our new house Ryan has taken a truck load of stuff back with him each time he comes to visit for the weekend.  He's taken everything off the walls, the bookcase, entertainment center, our head and foot board, all but two pieces of the sectional, three kitchen chairs, the grill, and probably a lot more other things that I'm forgetting. :) He also setting up the house with what he has to so once the kids and I actually get down there there will be very little for us left to do. Hopefully I will like where Ryan put everything. :-p I think considering how hard he works I'll keep any criticisms to a bare minimum.

We are officially moving in about two weeks!  Originally we weren't planning on going until after Christmas but our move out inspection is the 27th.  Our whole marriage we've never had a Christmas morning at our own house! It's pretty crazy we'll have a chance to do it this year and at a new house no less.  So....we're going to have Christmas just the four of us in Millington, and then we'll drive back to Clarksville to be with our families.  We're also going to get a hotel since we need to stick around for the move out inspection. We just hope and pray with all this effort we get a good chunk of our security deposit back.  Fortunately Ryan is willing to fight to the death over it. LOL

Friday, December 3, 2010


Aren't our kids' milestones amazing? You read a list of specific characteristics and you are pleased to check them off, one by one. They can be amazing, but also a bit intimidating if there is one or two on the list that have not yet come to pass.  I am happy to say that the girls are pretty well on target for their ages, and anything that is lacking will simply come within time. :)

2-year old

Point to an object that you name.

Recognize the names of familiar people, objects, and body parts.

Use short phrases and two- to four-word sentences. (one of her favorites is saying "in a bowl" when she wants a snack.  She also asks "what's that?" about everything!)

Follow simple instructions. (since she is 2 she is starting to become a little defiant and one my key instructions is "go play in the living room" especially if I'm doing something in the kitchen)

Repeat words she overhears.

Find an object even if you hide it under two or three blankets.

Sort objects by shape or color.

Play make-believe. (loves to pretend to feed and give her stuffed animals a drink from her sippy)

5-year old

Uses past, present, and future tenses accurately (needs occasional correction)

Recalls and can repeat a sentence of at least eight words

Talks in complex sentences that often run together

Shows more interest in peers and adults outside of the family (she is not shy at all, but we have had the stranger danger talk on more than one occasion.  I was telling the UPS man he had the wrong house and she said, "mama, you were talking to a stranger!")

Tests the limits of her independence — sometimes to the point of being rude (her mind has not totally developed a filter as to what is rude and what's not so there is a lot of discussion about what we can say aloud and what would hurt people's feelings)

Ties shoelaces

May show interest in taking a bath on her own

Makes her bed

The last three have just happened within the last few months.

Milestone lists courtesy of Baby Center


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