Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Twas a Long Time Between Blogs!

Dear Far-Flung Family and Friends, December 2009
Are you kidding me, didn’t we just put away the last box of Christmas decorations and now it’s time to get them out again? Once again another year has come to an end, and I am still wondering where it went. Seems with each passing year my mind moves slower and slower and the kids grow faster and faster. I hope that this annual Gilleo letter finds you all doing well this Christmas season. 2009 has been a year of accomplishments, struggles, changes and blessings. We are SO looking forward to what 2010 has in store for our family, with big changes for sure this summer.
I guess I will start with the youngest member of our family….our little Lukers. This little spitfire turned two in May. In so many ways it just doesn’t seem right that our baby is ‘2’. However we have come to the conclusion that this little boy did not come from his daddy and I, but rather some other planet. He is so different from his brothers and has us in awe over his behavior 99% of the time. He is just now starting to use his vocabulary that he has all along been able to understand, but refused to let it all out. Have no idea where the translation came from but he says ‘BONG’ for bread and ‘LONG’ for water. Just wonder how many times he has asked for ‘BONG’ and ‘LONG’ at church!!! He is constantly into EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING. Forget using child safety items in the house because he knows how to remove them. The plug protectors, come out with the teeth, the door knob protectors which are put on door knobs to keep him out of the rooms are simply removed and he easily gains access to rooms he shouldn’t be in, and the cabinet locks, yeah well you get the point!! I have gone so far as envisioning him in a cage just to keep him out of things just for 5 minutes. Whew if I only had a fraction of his energy this house would never have a dust bunny present. Our house is pretty bare just to keep me from having to clean this up or that up or keep him out of this or that. Since the child safety products don’t work in our household I must take my own drastic measures to keep him out of things. Duct tape works wonders! LOL Potty training has been another challenge and since my other two were fairly easy, I figured Luke would be a cinch. WRONG….he is so stubborn and it has been a hair pulling experience. I feel like a new mom potty training her first born child. UGH….the last time he number 2’d in his undies I was at my wits end and had to bite my tongue, but still express my disappointment. I said “This is friggen gross Luke” and his response was “Yes this is friggen gross!” Oh man all I could do was laugh. He is a ball of fun and I love watching him grow and continue to learn new things all the time. Except we just can’t seem to get the concept of sleep…especially sleeping thru the night. Yep he is my 2 ½ year old that still wakes sometimes several times a night. Good thing I don’t have a job I need to be rested for in the mornings. Luke’s obsession for the time being is tools…he has gotten quite attached to Handy Manny from the Disney channel. I think Luke has collected more tools than his daddy has. However, he would rather play with daddy’s REAL tools verses his toy tools any day. I had just bought him a little power drill, and we were in the drive thru at Taco Bell and the guy laughed at Luke and said “Looks like you have a little tool man back there.” I replied by saying “that is one two year old that is all work and no play!” Seriously he mows the lawn (with his toy mower of course) more than a landscaping company! Anyhow we are very blessed by having Luke in our lives, and just love his little perm-a-smile, and the love and laughter he brings to us each day.
Our little (well not so little) Mason in the middle turned 6 in June and is in the 1st grade. He is enjoying school and other than being a little chatty at times he shouldn’t be he is doing excellent in school. He picks things up quickly so reading, spelling and math have been easy concepts for him! PHEW….he likes to remind me often how much FUN preschool was and that he wishes he was still there! I do too sometimes, just to have him stay young a little longer. LOL He is the little jokester of the family and comes up with some quirky and funny things to say all the time. He enjoyed playing baseball this past spring and now is starting the basketball season off with a bang. Mason is the little artist in the family and loves to draw and color. Although his frustration sometimes gets the best of him when he sees something in his head that he wants to draw but it doesn’t come out on the paper the way he wanted it to. Bless his little heart I love everything he draws but one little line out of place or a head drawn to big will cause the paper to become a wad to be thrown in the garbage. Sometimes our kitchen table resembles an office of a writer with wads and wads of paper all over. He loves playing outside and lately all the boys on the street (7) of them have been getting together to play football with the neighbors’ dad. Between three households we almost have a football team of our own!! Mason is getting more and more into playing with his little brother now that he doesn’t just eat, sleep and poop! Mason is such a joy to us all and we are very blessed to call him our son or “Mason in the middle!”
Then there is Kaleb who is in the 4th grade and in his last year of being a single digit. He will be the big 10 in February. So hard to think of being parents of a pre-teen and a boy who is so close to entering junior high. Do we really have to grow old so fast? Kaleb knows it all and is dying to have his independence. I on the other hand am not so eager to admit to myself that he is old enough to do a lot more on his own! Clark on the other hand is counting down the years till he can kick him out on his own! Just joking of course he won’t literally KICK him out. Anyway Kaleb played baseball again this past spring and their team went undefeated! He is also now starting basketball and is enjoying his long 2 hour practices. He was on the honor roll last quarter which is wonderful after having such a hard time in 3rd grade. He has an awesome teacher, which is all around a blessing. It is so much easier for me to send them off to school each day knowing they are going to be in great hands. We have been very blessed with the school district here and will be so sad to have to leave it after this school year. Kaleb has been dying to play football but the league here has been really pricey so hopefully next fall he will be able to play on base. He goes over to the neighbors’ house and asks if the ‘DAD’ can come out and play football. It is quite comical, but he enjoys roughing up the boys and playing catch with them. When I think back to our lives 9 years ago I would never have imagined Kaleb growing up to be the young man he is today. God is good that is for sure!
Clark has had one VERY successful year not only in his job but in his education as well. He once again reached his recruiting goal several months early and was awarded several top awards again this year for his performance. I am so proud of his hard work and all that he does for his family. I am blessed that he loves to go to work each day so I can stay home with the kids. He also graduated from Wayland Baptist University in June with his Dual Bachelors in Education in Training and Construction Management. The big thing this year was Clark’s promotion to Master Sergeant. WOOHOO! In June since we had to be in San Antonio for Clark’s graduation we booked a cruise for our 10th anniversary. It was our first cruise and my first time away from all the kids! YIKES. It was a blast though and the boys were in great hands at Papa and Grandma Susan’s house, so we were able to really relax and enjoy our time away. The cruise was amazing and we really loved being “at sea.” Clark is plugging away at another year of recruiting and trying to make it another successful year. He put in for Italy this summer so we are hoping to go overseas May/June time frame. Hope to find out after the 1st of the year! Will keep you posted on that exciting news!
Finally there is me….I have been a busy mom and wife. Awe heck why should I be modest, I am after all writing this letter?! I have 3 full-time jobs and work many overtime hours all of which are pro-bono! Yep, I know that is so wrong. However the government still doesn’t see us “stay at home moms” as paycheck worthy! I am a cook and although I don’t see myself as “The Top Chef” I don’t understand why my kids don’t like my meals. I do make edible somewhat nutritious food, but yet time and time again I get my two year olds plate shoved back to me and told “I don’t like that!” I have spent more time at the doctor’s office this year than normal. I am still waiting for my own personal parking spot! Needless to say I know so much more about poison ivy, sinus infections, strep, ear infections, strained necks, that I am pleading for someone to give me a PHD already! I mean come on I must know something in order to keep 5 family members PIG FLU FREE! Oh no I probably just jinxed it. I have also become a pro at removing wads of gum out of the shag carpets, which I am wondering if I could sell my secret to Stanley Steamer for a small oh heck a large fee! If they really were to see my carpet they would probably laugh their butts off at the array of colors in it. I am growing quite fond of the splatters of color throughout the living room that I am thinking of marketing my own swatches of colorful carpet. Plus it has a nice aroma to it too from the spilt RED juice, chewed up and spit out Skittles, dog and cat barf, oh and that one spot where oh never mind TMI! I have also removed several masterpieces off of the walls, and tried so hard to encourage Luke to draw them on paper so that mommy could sell them…hey drastic times call for drastic measures, so I blame it on the economy. I was going to attempt to go back to school this winter but as you can see with all my jobs there simply isn’t any time left over. Oh well I know you all envy my fabulous lifestyle, and wish you could clean pooh out of underwear on a daily basis. Hang in there, many of you will be there soon enough. To those who have already been there and are laughing at the thought of me doing it, there is always the next generation. However if that too is in the past we always have old age to look forward to and we will be back in diapers ourselves! Oh to be the one that invented the diaper! The joys of motherhood….who would have thunk they would be so glamorous! Now if only I could get the government to pay me the $134,121.00 they owe me each year for the last nine years I would be a happy pooper cleaner outer! In all honesty I am just joking and would not trade my life for the world. I am so blessed to be able to stay home and raise my boys, and know that when I am old and gray that they will take care of me (at least they better) I have lots of blackmail pictures that they wouldn’t want me to have to use! This is where and what I was meant to do at this time in my life. Nothing beats those nice big bear hugs and wet little kisses from my boys at the end of those long days. The words “I LOVE YOU” make my heart melt every time I hear them from my boys. So no matter how much money I am worth on paper, the real payoff is the love I get from my family. There is nothing more rewarding than motherhood and more wonderful than a child’s love! So in closing all I am asking for this year for Christmas is a RIDING VACCUM! Blessings to you all this wonderful CHRISTmas season, and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!