Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nearly Santa Time Hodge Podge

Well my slacker self is back to participate in the weekly Hodge Podge.  I feel like I have been on fast forward the last few months and things are just busy and time if flying by.  One of the biggest things lately has been being room mom for my oldest son's class...it is no joke.  If someone tells you it is easy they are lying and you should run the other way - fast.  Just kidding...kinda.  It is great to be able to help but it is a lot and I wonder if part of that is because this is my first experience with it or if I just am doing too much.  Either way it is kicking my butt along with Christmas.  I seriously can't comprehend that Christmas is days away... days... I really could use about two months to prep.  Anywho enough with the rambling and on to this weeks questions.  Joyce at From This Side of The Pond has great questions each week so play along!







1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner? How many will be round your table this year? What are we having?


I actually just thought about Christmas dinner yesterday and luckily for me my husband thought of it also and went to the store on his way home and bought a ham.  I am glad there were some left.
I think I will also make mashed potatoes and green beans, salad and have some type of fruit.  It will be low key it will just be the five of us this year.


2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house?


Sugar cookies.  I would show you a picture of the ones I made but I actually ate them all so I have to make more today for my family.  I wish I was joking but I am not.


3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies-do you? What kind of milk is on tap at your house-skim, almond, soy, full fat (Gasp!)

I like milk with chocolate things..i.e: chocolate cake, brownies, etc.  We have rice, soy and 2% cow milk currently.  My son is allergic to dairy so he drinks rice but I keep soy on hand because when you are cooking with it I find that soy works better for some things than rice milk does.

4. Time magazine recently named its Person of the Year for 2011. This is the person the editors believe has had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose 'The Protester'. Your thoughts? Who would you name person of the year for 2011?


I am not sure about the whole "The Protester" being person of the year.  I will have to think more about that.  One person I read about this year that I found to be amazing is Leymah Gbowee.  She had a horrible life & she dreamed of peace and is making it happen in remarkable ways.  She is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and is amazing.  I urge you to take a few minutes to read about her and what she had done. 


5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day...when was the last time you needed a flashlight? Did you know right where to find one?


I needed a flashlight about a week ago and I did know right where to find one and even better it did have batteries in it.  
Last night though the boys made a "fort" under our dining room table with blankets and they wanted a light and so we gave them a small desk lamp.  Of course my 2 1/2 year old grabbed it and burned his finger so I was really really really wishing we had bought this toy lantern we saw over the weekend.   I kept thinking it would be great to have and yet I didn't buy it.  Lesson learned.  Buy the kid lantern and do not put lamps in easy reach of two year old.  


6. candy canes...yum or yuck?
I am not a huge fan and I am not sure why.  I love peppermint bark and other things with peppermint in it but I don't like candy canes.  Maybe I just prefer smaller doses.


7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you?


Well in the past when my husband was deployed I could NOT listen to I'll Be Home For Christmas without crying.  But I would say the two biggest songs that impact me would be "Mary Did you Know?" and "O Holy  Night"


In Mary Did You Know I think it is powerful for obvious reasons but I love the line "Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?"  That really hits me as a mom of three young boys because they did change me in the second they came into this world and for the better.


In O Holy Night I  love this part:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. 

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born; 

Okay and I found one more that is great... {I know Joyce said one but I can't pick}


Said the king to the people everywhere

Listen to what I say

Pray for peace people everywhere

Listen to what I say

The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light



8. Insert your own random thought here.


I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I hope you get to celebrate with family and lots of laughter and that you get a good start on your resolutions or goals for next year! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



Welcome to Hodge Podge Wednesday!  If you are not already participating join up here at Joyce's page.  She has great questions each week!







1. Will you be hosting any house guests between now and the end of December? Does that thought make you happy or crazy? Do you do anything special to make your house guests feel welcome? How long should a guest stay?


We do not have anyone coming for Christmas this year we are too far away and we had guests in September and over Thanksgiving {which was great}.  I like to have company so I never mind when people come sometimes I stress over getting everything done because I have this vision of how things should be but it is all worth it.  
If guest are staying for more than a day or so I like to make sure that they have a place that they can go to escape us :)  So I like to have a guest bedroom for that and I always try to make sure I have a basket of stuff in the bathroom in case they have forgotten basics that has extra toothbrushes, lotion, etc.  
I also try to have things on hand grocery wise that I know they enjoy. { Soda for soda drinkers, i.e}
How long should a guess stay?  Hmmm... I think I would be fine with up to 8 weeks and then I might need a break for a day or so.   


2. Walter Elias Disney was born this week back in (Dec 5) 1905...what's your all time favorite Disney movie? Here's a list in case you're struggling...and yes, you have to pick one.


This was tough because they have made so many great movies.  I picked National Treasure.  When I was growing up I wanted to be an archaeologist {after I gave up my dream of being a trapeze artist :) } and I am fascinated by the idea of going on a treasure hunt and finding things.


3. What's the last thing you purchased that you realized was a mistake after the fact?


A box of chocolate covered Macadamia Nut candies.  They are so good but I bought them a day before I was going to start a three day cleanse and a 9 day health revolution.  Then I felt the need to eat as many as possible before that started.  Super yummy but bad choice.


4. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?


In the past I rarely bought anything online for Christmas shopping because if I go early I like hunting around to find the right thing for someone.  Next year I would imagine I would do 90% of it online because of where we currently live.  It is easier, cheaper and more of a selection.  Also easier to send things to people back home that way.


5. Amaryllis...snowdrop...poinsettia...your favorite winter blossom?


Poinsettia.  My friend just made this 9ft tall Poinsettia tree for a Creche display at our church and I thought it was amazing.






6. What is one thing on your personal wish list this year? I think we all want peace on earth so let's make this an actual item.


Just one?  I could list a few things :)  I would really really really love to get a Silhouette machine and I would like a new winter coat.


7. If you could only use one word today what would it be?


Joy.   I am really working on finding the joy in each and everything.  Sometimes that is hard and sometimes it is easy but I want it to be more easy than hard and I more importantly want my children to seek joy.


8. Insert your own random thought here.


Today I thought there was a field trip for my oldest son and I am volunteering to tag along.  So I got all three kids up at 6am {after I went to bed at 1am and was up by 6 am}, got us all ready, dropped off the dog, dropped off oldest at school, took the other two to daycare on base where I dealt with their meltdowns due to being dropped off.  Get over to the school and as I am walking in I see the sign that says the field trip is TOMORROW.   Awesome.  But I found the joy :)  I walked back to my car and laughed and laughed until my face hurt & then I went and visited with a few friends for about 30 minutes before picking up the two from daycare.  We will try again tomorrow :)    
Further proof that I am "that kind of bear" that adventures always seem to happen to.


Thanks for stopping by!  Leave me a comment so I know you were here and so I can blog hop over to you :)  Cheers !!

Monday, December 5, 2011

9 Days to Change My Life







So awhile back I mentioned wanting to exercise, etc.  Before we had moved I knew it was past time to do something about my weight and health & I was lucky enough to have two friends who are personal trainers who gave me tips, advice and I was going to the gym half heartedly with one.  We then moved and life as we knew it came to a grinding halt and we had a few months of mostly chaos.  Now we are eight months after the move and I have been again feeling like I really need to take control of my health and I have been not feeling well.  I have been feeling worse & more frequently since September and finally the other day I made a doctor appointment and I met with an herbalist because I woke up one morning and I was done with feeling like crap and having no energy.  The same day I read on a blog about a 9 day cleanse group she was putting together and to email her if we wanted to particpate and I did.  It was such a gift to read that and have that opportunity.
I cannot do this alone and I feel like I have to do something severe to get myself going.
So I am embarking on this journey to better health and I am scared and excited all at the same time.  I know that by making a few simple changes I will lose weight and gain energy back and I am thrilled for that.  I have 30 pounds I want to lose if I am being honest but what I am most excited about is all the other amazing things I know I will get out of this.  I feel strongly that this journey is going to impact each and every aspect of my life.  A ripple affect if you will into other parts of my life all because I took control and choose health over the half life I have been living.

I am excited to have energy again and not feel drained by everyday life.
I am excited to be well rested and be in a cheerier mood.
I am looking forward to the clarity and peace this will give to my mind and soul.
I am looking forward to getting to know some great women who are on this journey as well.
I am cannot wait to be a better me so I can be a better mom and wife.  

I posted the following goals onto our Facebook group for this & I am going to blog about it here as well because I want to document this journey.  It helps keep me inline, focused and accountable but also I want to look back at this and  see where I was and where I got to be with work.  It will be hard but it will be worth it.  


Goals:
Body Goals:
Increase water consumption and cut out soda
Exercise 20 - 30 min six days a week
Make healthy food choices 
Prep food ahead of time to make it easier and less stressful and more healthy
Sleep at least 7 hrs a night

Mind:
Read 10 min a day
Journal 10 min a day
Work on my goal of getting published 15 min a day
Craft one thing per week
Get dressed everyday
Be easier on myself
Take time for myself when my kids sleep so I focus on them when they are awake

Soul:
Love myself for me, not the me I use to be or even dream of being... the now me
Pray daily
Make God a priority not an afterthought
Make family time each day and give them my undivided attention
Make time for just me and my husband

My overall goal is to return to a healthy place where I have energy, feel happy and at peace with myself in life, while I work everyday to find joy in EVERY situation, gain knowledge and laugh much more & teach my kids that truth, light, love and laughter are what it is all about.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm that kind of bear...







"Now," said Mrs. Brown, "you must tell us all about yourself.  I'm sure you must have had lots of adventures."

"I have," said Paddington earnestly.   "Things are always happening to me.  I'm that sort of a bear." 







I am that sort of bear.  The one that crazy things happen to.  Sometimes those things are not great, sometimes they are just bizarre but most of the time it is good.  It isn't always easy to see the good.  Much easier to identify the crazy.
I blame this entirely on my parents and I am sure my siblings would agree... we never had a chance it is in our DNA to be "that sort of bear".  I remember growing up and seeing things happen or hearing the stories of funny things and people saying to them, "these things always seem to happen to you"  And now my brother, sister and I are carrying on that tradition and how lucky are we?  :)  {I say this all very tongue in cheek in case you are not picking up my sarcasm in these typed words.}

The other day I had  a comedy of errors the entire day.  Anything that was suppose to work out did  not.  It was just crazy incident after crazy incident but as I get older and wiser, or at least older :)  I am starting to appreciate the humor so much more and see the joy so much easier than I ever have.
For example we have a chocolate milk mixer.  Once you are done mixing in it you simply just take off the lid and pour it out.  You do not unscrew the bottom and separate the bottom from the mixing cup.  Of course that is what I dd though when it was completely full and chocolate milk poured everywhere.  Allllll over the cupboards and inside the cupboard and the counter and the floor and ... well you get the idea.  What did I do?  I just laughed and laughed.  The old me would have thrown the contraption across the room and yelled.

So, while I am "that kind of bear" at least I have gotten better at dealing with it.  And if you need further proof I am "that kind of bear" read this post here about all the chaos that happened when we moved.   Or this one.  Really any post from June that has a Day ____.

To my fellow "that sort of bears" we are in this together and for those of you who aren't take it easy on those of us who are who just can't seem to get it all together with all the crazy orbiting us:)






Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What? December starts tomorrow? Panic attack starting in .5 seconds....

I have realized that November was slipping by at an alarming rate and today looking at the calendar and seeing it  is November 30th and I guess I have to accept that December really truly is here and get moving on some Christmas stuff.  Get out the decorations, make some cards, etc.  This year has just flown by for me and I wish I could rewind a few months and have far more accomplished by this point in time.   I feel like it snuck up on me at the same time I realized it was approaching.  How does that happen?  I had such amazing intentions for how prepared I was going to be and yet I am not.  Not at all.   Oh well there is always next year :)  Hopefully you have your act far more together than me :)  So instead of doing anything of my to do list I thought the best way to start my day was of course with Wednesday Hodge Podge!  The list will be there later, and tomorrow and the next day.  Well hopefully not the next day I need to get this crap done.
Thanks for stopping by to read my answers to the great questions Joyce has supplied for us again {you rock Joyce!} if you are not already a participant go to her page here and join in!  




1. Do you send Christmas cards? If so about how many will you send this year? How do you display the cards you receive? Or don't you? (gasp!)


I do send Christmas Cards but sometimes they end up being New Years cards :)  Last year they went out actually in April when we were moving so I could include our new address, etc.  So I am not on the ball but they will go out sometime.  Last year I think I sent about 30 and this year it will probably be around the same or a few more.
I have a Metal Wreath that I display the cards on or I stand them up around my china cabinet.

2. When do kids become adults?

When do kids become adults... hmm.. are we talking age or maturity?  Technically don't they become adults when they are 18?  Maturity wise though I have met 20yr olds who act like they are 4 and 12yr olds who act 30.  I think it varies person to person but usually once a person goes off to school and graduates or maybe even gets married and has their first child.  I think that really helps snap them into adulthood if they aren't already there.

3. Does your 'beauty regimen' change with the seasons?


Yes.  I change my hair color with the season and usually go a little lighter than my normal look in the winter, I change foundation and I find myself slathering on a lot more moisturizer and lotion. 

4. What's something you like to eat that might cause another person to turn up their nose?

I love to make sugar cookies and I have a butter cream like icing I make with them that I love.  If I have any leftover I love to dip pretzel sticks in it and eat them.  It gags my husband who likes to say, "You know you are eating flavored Crisco and sugar right?" Yes but it tastes so good.

5. Gloves or mittens?


I think Gloves.  I like to have the use of all my fingers/hand and with mittens I feel like I have little control.

6. What's the longest queue you've ever been in? Was it worth it? Queue=line but doesn't queue sound nicer?

I think one of the longest queues I stood in {besides Disneyland} was in Okinawa at the Commissary right before a typhoon and it was worth it because we were out of groceries and I didn't know when the store would re-open.  
The Disneyland lines were sometimes long when we went a few years ago but it was worth it to see my kids excited faces on their first trip there.

7. Besides Christmas, what is one thing you are looking forward to in the month of December?


I like planning my goals, etc. for the next year in December.   I love lists and plans and December is full of that to survive the Holiday Season and for the start of the New Year.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Yesterday was a rough day and the weather ended up being terrible by the afternoon and I was in no mood to go out in it yet we had to.  I was thinking though, that for the end of November, I was lucky that yesterday was one of the worst days we have had and I am grateful for really how good the weather has been and I should not complain.  Bad weather is coming and I just need to enjoy all the good days and not so great days before the real bad stuff gets here.  Hoping you are enjoying a peaceful and productive day wherever you are!

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Vacation



We had friends fly in from Germany and after we picked them up we headed South to visit Stonehenge.
Stonehenge really is so interesting & you have to love the varying views of how it came to be from aliens to thousands of slaves.
The boys were more interested in the radio guide tours they give you I think than the actual "rocks" which amazed me because they are OBSESSED with rocks.  You don't know how many times I have found them in my washing machine or the bags and buckets we had to return to their ":natural habitat" before we moved.

You are not allowed to get super close due to vandalism etc in the past but it still is very neat.  Apparently about 45 minutes away there is another set of stones in Avebury that  you can actually climb on etc.  We did not make it there this time though.

We then returned home the next day after a long drive.  We went sight seeing around Harrogate a bit where it really is just lovely.  The next day we picked up our Thanksgiving Dinner in a box.  I was so excited :)


See I am very spoiled in the fact that I have only had to cook Thanksgiving Dinner once.  Yes, you read that correctly once.  I am thirty something years old and have only done it one year with assistance from my step mom and Dad and husband.   {In the past my mom and Sister handled all that}So I am semi grateful that I have a tiny oven and could not realistically cook a turkey big enough for all of us.  I would have been really craptastic to make a dinner and then have it be terrible with company.  I believe in saving my cooking failures for my immediate family :)   I did make a fruit salad though so I did put forth some effort just in case you were thinking I was entirely too slothful.

I had a great Thanksgiving break and loved the visit with our friends.  Hoping yours was fantastic as well!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gobble Gobble Hodge Podge

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving weekend!  Go to Joyce's page here and join in on the Hodge Podge goodness.



1.  Let's start with something controversial...dressing or stuffing? What's it called at your house and what's included in your recipe...cornbread? oysters? sausage? chestnuts?

We call it stuffing and I put apples in mine.

2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

My sister maybe.  And Sandra Bullock... lol... that is a whole other funny story

3. When were you last inside an airport?

Saturday.

4. What is one side dish that absolutely must be included in a turkey dinner?

It is a tie between rolls and a fruit salad we have each year.

5. What Christmas song do you dread hearing?

Any song of the holiday Chipmunks album my husband plays.

6. If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them? Do you drop money 'in a tin cup' that belongs to a person on the street? Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round?

If someone approaches I try to give money or if I see someone with a "tin cup".  I heard about having McDonald's gift certificates on hand instead of cash to give them and that is not a bad idea.  I also saw this idea on Pinterest which I think is great.

7. Share a favorite Thanksgiving memory. If you live in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving share a favorite memory associated with food.

Favorite Thanksgiving memory is a tough one.  I just love to spend time with family and friends laughing which I usually get to do so there are too many great ones to pick from.  How lucky am I?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am not cooking this year.  Our ovens are too small so we bought a dinner but I look forward to having the extra time to spend with my kids and our company.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you !!!!




Leave me a comment please it is one of my only chances to talk to other grown ups :)



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Enough about me... let's talk about me in Vol 53 of Hodge Podge

YAY!  I actually posted in between Hodge Podge posts!  It is a miracle, particularly in this super busy time for me.  My To Do list is NUTSO this week (or month, or life) but when it is all done it will be great and I can enjoy Thanksgiving with my family.
Completely random note here, my husband changed our search engine or main page that opens when you open up the internet.  I was sooooo annoyed initially because did he expect me  to remember all the web pages I went to or what?  How can I read my daily stories and funnies and find craft stuff that must be created?  Does he not realize how many bookmarks I have?  So then he suggested something silly like, "just import them" and I thought sure right after I teleport myself to the beach.  I am NOT tech savy.  But he imported it all for me and I was grateful.  He then suggested I take the time to go through all my bookmarks and delete some.... seriously did he see how many there are?  He should know me better than that and realize it is not gonna happen anytime soon.    Alright enough about me... let's talk more about me but in Hodge Podge :)
If you have yet to participate  in one of the question sessions please go here to Joyce's page after you read my answers and join in!






1. What song reminds you of a specific time in your life and what is it about this song that makes you remember?


What is with the tough questions this week Joyce?  :)  Alright there are soooooo many songs that take me back to a moment but one that I heard very recently {which was strange} was Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm by the Crash Test Dummies.  I was in High School and we had driven to a different city to shop and we were looking at Singles in a music store and decided to buy it on a fluke.  My best friend and I thought it was hilarious and strange so we played it alot.  Then at cheer leading we would get our megaphones and sing it.  We thought we were hilarious.  We were not.  If I saw/heard a teenager doing that today I would think they were being so annoying most likely.  I would probably laugh too knowing that someday they will look back and laugh at what goofballs they are.






2. What's something you've given up on?


Having a perfect house all the time.  It is tidy but it won't be perfect and that is ok because my kids and enjoying life are the priority.  Not the dust.  It is a recent discovery so I still struggle with guilt over not having it all perfect.


3. What's something you'll never give up on?


Chocolate.  In all seriousness though, I would say my faith in God's plan...even when I don't understand or like what is happening I believe there is a reason and it will work out.  Also I will never give up on my family.


4. If you had to cook something from scratch in the next hour what would it be?


Adobo Chickeni if we are talking a meal/real food and chocolate chip cookies if I can make what I want to eat :)  


5. Have you started Christmas shopping? Decorating? Listening to Christmas music?


I've not started Christmas shopping which is unfortunate in some ways because I don't want to be running around like a loon at the last minute.  Luckily  my husband is more on the ball than me this year so he did pick up a few things when he was in the States recently.


I REFUSE to start decorating until after Thanksgiving for a few reasons.
   1) I think you should celebrate one Holiday at a time... ONE  
   2) I know my 2yr old and dog will destroy everything so why rush the destruction and 
   3) I am lazy so I don't even want to think about dragging all the totes out and trying to figure out where to put the stuff in our new place.  Talk to me December 1st about decorating.


Holiday music ... ahh another hot topic.  I use to really not like Christmas music, I know what a freak, but   I blame my anti-Christmas attitude on working retail for the holidays for a few years and hearing the same songs over and over and over and over and over again {Harry Connick Jr. & the Chipmunks} and dealing with people who get crazy.    Over the last 4 years my cold frozen Grinch like heart has started to thaw and I really enjoy Christmas music again.  But, not until after Thanksgiving is over.  December 1st people - December 1st !




6. What do you know about your parent's wedding?


I know my mom maid her wedding dress and the two bridesmaids dresses which were gorgeous and it was small and in Las Vegas.  I have a photo album of it but that is about it.  I will have to ask my Dad for more information.  Also I know they were very in love... so really what more is there to know? :)






7. I can't believe I___________________

I can't believe that I didn't go to bed until  2:30am, was back up at 6:30am,  was gone most of the day with my kids and dog and will be up really late again tonight and yet I am not totally exhausted or cranky.   Really I just can't believe I am so sleep deprived and not in a rotten mood.  No sleep = major bad mood usually.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I just found out yesterday that my niece is expecting  a baby boy {their 1st}  in April and I am soooo thrilled for her.  I have already been gathering baby shower ideas, etc and now I know what she is having  I can start shopping. I can hardly contain my excitement.  Baby stuff is all so cute I will really have to exercise some will power so I do not buy everything I see.  I am thinking of all the advice I want to give her that she may  or may not use :)  What is the best advice you have been given on children?


I would love to hear from you so leave me a comment!  It is one of my only chances to talk to other adults so come on :)


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dance, Sing and Have Fun

I have no wise words today or time to type them but I wanted to post something a bit more chipper after the last one :)  My kids are hilarious and are cracking me up this week with all their silly.  One of my favorite things to do is put on music and we all dance... after I close the curtains so the neighbors are not scared by our crazy.  So turn this up and dance and have fun today and enjoy!  I wish you a day full of fun and a to do list with all the important things checked off. Cheers !




Monday, November 14, 2011

This is not a happy funny post

So you have been warned.  This is not a feel good happy post.  It isn't a post that isn't suppose to be funny yet is.  This is a my heart is a little broken post.
Last week was a little rough for me for a variety of reasons and I really didn't talk about but this morning it weighs heavy on my mind.  Isn't this one of the purposes of my blog?  So I can write and then talk about things that are happening, that make me happy or sad?  I like the act of typing it out and working through some of these thoughts and feelings. I like the fact that no one will instantly say something in response because maybe I do not want to hear your words.  Maybe I expect everyone to feel as emotional as I do which is not a reality.  Neither right or wrong everyone feels and deals with things in their own way.  Blog comments are easier to bear sometimes you can read them at your leisure and not have to deal with the person on the other end of them looking at you.  So if this post is too heavy for you I apologize.  Skip it and move on to a happier more sarcastic normal me post.  I don't mind in the least but I have to talk about this and I choose to do that here.  I am a venter and this is the best place for me to vent.




November 10th was my moms birthday.  She passed away in 2006 while I was living in Japan.  She had been ill but I was not prepared for that phone call.  I was so angry that she was gone before I even knew what was happening and I felt robbed of saying goodbye.  I had talked to her the Saturday before but it was such a short conversation.  I told her happy news that we were expecting another baby, that we had just received orders to move to Idaho which was much closer to home.  It was not enough.
I miss her everyday.  Did we have the perfect relationship?  No.  We fought and disagreed and annoyed one another just like everyone else but we were really really close.  Things are just not the same without her and I realize that she is better off.  She was so sick & her quality of life was diminished every single day and she was miserable.  It makes it easier when I think of it that way but selfishly I want her here.  When it is 9am here and everyone else that I would call is sleeping and I want someone to talk to I get mad and sad that I can't call her because she would be up.

Also on November 10th is the day I lost one of my babies in 2007.  My husband was deployed and I had two toddlers at home.  I found out I was pregnant two days after he left.  We were surprised but so excited.  A few days later I was in the hospital calling my friend to leave work to come pick up my boys, calling my sister and asking her to drop everything and drive up because I was going to have surgery, calling my husband to tell him what had happened.  I felt like such a failure. I realize that it was completely out of my hands but in that moment I racked my brain trying to figure out what I had done to cause this.  I was devastated.  The night I got home from my hospital the boys got the stomach flu and it was a nasty one.  All I wanted to do was curl up in my bed and ignore the world but I couldn't because there were two little boys who were puking their guts out who needed mommy.  I remember thinking, "You've got to be freaking kidding me with this... how much more do I need thrown at me?  I can't do this."  
Yes I realized then and now that my life was really good, even in that bleak speck of time others had it so much worse than me but it does not mean that the pain I was feeling was not justified or that it was no hard for me.  Looking back now the boys getting sick was such a blessing even though that is not what I thought at the time.   I would have climbed into bed and not climbed out for awhile had I the choice. I could have easily let  the depression swallow me.  But that was not an option.  I had two little ones to take care of and I had to get up and do it.  Life moves on every minute whether we want it to or not.  I also see that not finding out I was pregnant sooner {which is rare for me} and losing it so fast was a blessing.  I was truly devastated and I miss that baby all the time but had it gone on longer and I become even more attached it would have been so much worse.  I can't fathom the pain that other people have felt that have had miscarriages later in pregnancy, or have delivered a stillborn or had a child die sometime in childhood.  I don't know how they survive .... but they do.  Does that mean their pain is more than mine or  mine less because my baby was only 10 - 12 weeks old rather than 9 months... no I don't think so.  Just different.

In 2008 and 2009 I am pretty sure I did my best to not talk to anyone or do much of anything but be depressed on that day.  2010 I don't remember.  This year though I decided it needed to be different.

On Thursday I got up and thought I will not wallow.  I will live because I am here and that is what I am meant to do.  I showered, I got dressed up.  I made sure I played with my kids and was in a good mood all day.  It was not easy but it was important.
 I think it is good to reflect and remember but do not wallow.  Do not let despair and grief swallow you whole because there is so much to be done here and now.  So remember but do something positive, help someone out do a good deed or just go have a really great day.  So much laughter and joy are just waiting for us in life we just have to grab it.  So go out there folks and grab life and shake all the fun and laughter you can out of it.  Forget your laundry and chores and just go seek out some joy.  You will not look back and say wow I am so happy my house was always spotless but my kids watched too much tv.  Nope.  Truly living and learning is what it is about not how little dust you have :)

The crazy a party brings to crafty mom





Well I thought I would finally blog a tiny bit about the big birthday party.  You can catch more here if you want more on the crafty side of things.

See problem number one is I am a procrastinator and reluctant to admit that.  So I one day I realized that we needed to quickly come up with a theme for this birthday party and being the good mother that I am I gave my son choices.  Looking back I see this was a mistake.  I should have just picked something and done it all to make my life easier but I couldn't.  I wanted him to be involved.  Good mommy won over bad mommy.
 So I pulled up some various ideas online and we had semi decided on an eyeball/monster theme.  Super I will order the stuff so it will be here on time so we can get crackin on this.  Because while I am sure there are lots of places that sell a fabulous variety of party supplies here I have yet to find it.  AND, even if I did find it I am not super excited to pack up the two kids and dog, go downtown, pray it is not pouring rain, pay to park and then hike the two miles to the store.  Keep track of kids in store and pray that super destructor boy does not in fact destroy store while in it.  Also pray that dog is not eating inside of car because he is "bored".Anywho enough of that rant.  So we were at a different base that has a larger selection of party stuff and my husband {whom I adore} said why don't you just get something here instead.  Sigh.  I had already crafted in my head all the stuff for the other party but what he said made sense plus my son saw Star Wars stuff so I never had a chance.  Of course they did not have enough Star Wars goody bags or plates so I had to supplement which I found annoying which is why I wanted to order in the first place.  One click shopping.
So finally we had a theme and a few supplies.
 I had rented the Pavilion which is basically a giant long building with a cement floor.  It includes a bouncy castle and a barbecue so I figured it was perfect for 7yr old boys.  Indoor which is huge here this time of year, plenty of room to run like maniacs and we could grill hot dogs which my son loves and lives on {much to my dismay}.  Was that enough?  Nope not for mom.  What would we do at this party?  We needed games, crafts, activities and a schedule.  My husband thought I was nuts.  Looking back he was right.
I logged onto Pinterest which I adore and think is the devil because of the genius ideas I find while it sucks all my time away.  I found quite a few ideas but I just couldn't decide and reading all these ideas was taking time and life was happening in the meantime.  Halloween and all the chaos surrounding that and our three trick or treating outings.  I was a busy woman and remember the whole procrastinating thing....
So we get to the day prior to the party and what did I do all day long?  I cleaned my house and did laundry.  Not ONE thing party related because that my friends would have made wayyyyy to much sense.  That night there was a party thing we went to on base.  Guy Fawkes night or something like that.... my ignorance on this subject is causing my mom to roll in her grave even as I type.  We got home about 8:30pm and by the time we got the kids in bed and I started stuff it was just after 9pm.  Not a good sign.
My husband was on light saber duty.  He cut all the tube things I had bought in half and completed one.  Then decided that the kids would rather decorate their own and he went to bed.  He is smart and right about the kids.  So it was just me and lots of ideas and little time.
So I baked the cake so it could cool, I made the pasta salad, I started getting out serving dishes trying to decide which ones I wanted to schlep all the way to base and which ones they were least likely to break.  Then I started making my food tags, then I gathered all the food that did not require refrigeration.  I typed up a schedule for myself and made a map of the food table -yes I am that ridiculous and geeky.  Gathered the Star Wars guys I was using for the cake and washed them.  Plotted my obstacle course.
At about 2 am I was thinking what am I doing this is crazy and then I remembered the goody bags.  Oh those goody bags were the bane of my existence for this party... I just had zero ideas of what to put in them.  Zero.  I made some labels and attached them with my sticker maker to sandwich baggies that said  "Endor Trail Mix" and I cut some scraps up that I had leftover from my food signs and made bookmarks and then added the words "Dream Big" to them.  I decided a bookmark, snack and light saber was good enough for treat bags.  I went to bed around 3:30am because I am sooo brilliant.
Up at 7am the next day and we left the house at 9:30....party was suppose to start at 11am.  Of course we had stops on the way.  We had to grab some more tape on the way for the light sabers, grab ice and then the stuff to make the Endor Trail Mix since the idea had not come to me until 2am the day of the party.  Oh and candles and a lighter because I had forgot those.  Got all that and got there about 10:20 to start setting up.  Hauled everything in, set up tables and chairs, set up the bouncy castle and started to set out food when people started showing up.  I was not excited.  They were on time I was running behind.  I wanted to have everything in place before people came and look like I had it under control and that I was together when clearly I am not.
I never did get the obstacle course set up, I would have liked to made a backdrop for the food table and have had things on different levels to add more visual interest but it didn't happen.  Oh well.  I wanted to make my hair look like Princess Lei's also but that didn't happen. I wanted to spray paint the water bottles gold and in my wildest dreams I had wanted to find material and sew 20 Jedi robes for the kids attending but none of it happened and it was ok.
The kids were happy to bounce, them make their light saber, then bounce and attack one another.  We ate, they bounced some more and then we played musical chairs to Star Wars music (thank you itunes!) and freeze dance.  We opened presents and had cake.  Although visually to me it was one of the worst cakes I had ever made {and Ben had actually got into it earlier when no one was looking and ate part of the "dark side" with his bare hands} it was tasty.
I learned that I need to let go of these crazy ideas sometimes.  Simple is good.  I was reminded that if I want to go crazy with all this I need to not procrastinate.  I asked my son if he was happy with it and he said yes and at the end of the day THAT is all that mattered.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hodge Podge Vol. 52... pretend like I blogged about the BDay party also.


Well I had great expectations of myself to blog about this birthday party we had but I am not motivated and have to many things happening to get that done.  My son's teacher is retiring next week due to an emergency and so we are trying to come up with several last minute things for her, trying to finish prepping my house for guests, and normal life.  When did things get so busy?  I guess always :)
 Again Joyce and Hodge Podge to the rescue so I have something to type up that requires little of me.  It is fun and I greatly appreciate it Joyce :)  After reading my answers go to her page here to link up.  Great fun !!




1. Of all the tools and gadgets you own which do you most enjoy using?

I would say in the kitchen I love my Pampered Chef food chopper and then I also love to use my Cricut to cut vinyl.  I am looking at getting a Silhouette machine though because I love the options it has.  I think that will be my favorite.


2. When (if ever) is impatience a virtue?

I am not sure.  I am not a very patient person and that generally is not a good thing.


3. What temperature do you keep your thermostat set to in winter? Do you have another way to heat your house besides a furnace of some type?


Well we are on Celsius here so it is on 25 at night which is about 77 Fahrenheit but that is a little warm so I will probably try to get it around 72.  We only have radiator heating but it works well.  And lots of blankets :)


4. Do/did you have a close relationship with any of your grandparents?


I was very close to two of my Grandmothers and one Grandfather and I miss them dearly.  I use to go fishing with my Grandpa a lot and spend the night with both of my Grandmas frequently.  My other Grandparents I really did not know.  My Dad's father passed away before I was even born and my Dad's mom I only met once.

5. When did you last have a family portrait taken?

We had one taken last fall and I will get more done in the spring.  Prior to that one though it had been a few years.


6. What does the word patriotism mean to you? 

Well the online definition of it is: love for or devotion to one's country

To me I think it is to be proud of where you come from, stand for freedom and taking care of our country and supporting the military. 

7. Do you like to play cards and if so, what's your favorite card game?

I love to play cards and my favorite is Canasta.  Most of my family plays so I love when we are all together and can have a mini tournament :)   Recently I learned how to play Hearts and that was fun as well.


8. Insert your own random thought here.

Well I was going to go on a whole rant about people protesting at military funerals since my mind is on military stuff after question 7 but I don't feel like standing on my soap box.  Instead I will tell you that I am super excited about Thanksgiving for three very different reasons:  1) we have friends visiting and they are bringing their new gorgeous baby.. yes !  2)  I don't have to cook, our oven is so small we ordered dinner from somewhere...  yes!  3) Sarah and I get to go see Breaking Dawn ...even yesser !!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ramblings

Well I did survive the party {barely} but I will do a post about that tomorrow with pics in the meantime I will share some thoughts that are rattling around my brain.

I bought soap to wash clothes with on Nov 1st.  The bottle says it has 28 washes in it... I poured out the last few drops last night into the washer.  Did I seriously wash 28 loads of laundry in 6 days?  It is possible considering I have three boys and my washer is the size of a Barbie washer but still...really?  What really kills me is the price of it.  It is usually 12 pounds a bottle which depending on the exchange rate is anywhere from $15 to  $20 dollars which is really not helping in the whole plan to reduce my grocery budget.

Yesterday I had a huge list of things to do but I didn't feel like accomplishing it so I worked on my blog.  I found a really cute background that I wanted on a site.... couldn't get it to work.  I spent like 30 to 45 min on this.  No big deal I will find another one I thought.  So I did and I liked it even better.  Couldn't get it to work.  Spend another 45 minutes at least trying to get it to work because I liked it that much.  Tried and tried and tried and read the stupid instructions a bunch of times and I was getting angrier and angrier and frustrated because I have changed this before and should I really be struggling this much with it?  Finally I gave up.  It was not what I wanted for a background but it was a nice solid color, and I had changed my fonts, rearranged my page elements etc and I could live with it.  I asked my husband if he would try for me since he is much more technologically advanced them me.  So he did and he couldn't get it to work.  I was super grateful for his help {another 45 min of time sucked away} but when he was done it was a color and template I did not like... so I changed it again to the current one which is fine but not me.  It drives me nuts.  This must be why people pay people to do this for them and if I was still working I so would.

My kids are hilarious.  I wish I was better at writing down all the funny stuff they say because I forget so much of it and it is priceless.  Yesterday my 5yr old and 7y old were playing and I was listening to them and happy that they were getting along so well.  I heard the 5yr old say, "Why are they called boobie traps anyway?  Do they look like boobies?" and then laughter erupted.   I had to go into the other room and laugh and then I wondered what does he think boobies are and was slightly panicked.  I am sure they will be super happy in the future when they read this and realize I have shared it with the world.

We stumbled upon these books in the library here:



They are pretty cute.  They are very quick to read and basic which is nice when I am reading and too tired to read a lengthy or wordy book to the boys at bedtime.  They do not use proper English so the boys like them because they sound a little silly and I think they are funny because they have Eddie Vedder and David Hasselhoff in them.  I recommend them if you have kids under 7 because you will both laugh.  Check them out at Amazon.  {Purely my opinion I do not have any contract with the author or Amazon }

I am off to finish some craft projects, upload some pictures and feed the children.  They weirdly insist on eating 5 - 6 times a day everyday.  It is nuts.  Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween & Hodge Podge

Did you survive Halloween?  We went  trick or treating three times and I forgot the kids costumes on the last one, the big one, actual Halloween.  Epic fail.  We were 20 minutes from our house with 10 minutes before the festivities began when I realized this.  There was no going back.  I was not happy, my kids were even less  happy.
So I told everyone that my kids were dressed up as "Model Well Behaved Children" which I found quite witty and my kids just looked angry.  With this outing they received the most candy that had so far.  I was excited to see so many chocolate items in my oldest sons bag; he is allergic to milk and so I get all those.
No worries he still has enough crap left to rot his brain and teeth after I take my stash.
 I don't want to buy candy for myself for a few reasons 1) it is expensive 2) it is not good for you  and 3) I am suppose to be starting a diet this week.  I rationalize though that we are getting ready to start the Halloween to Holiday Death Spiral and all the candy will help me maintain my sanity.  Weak I know.  Enough about the pros and cons of excess Halloween Candy let's get to this week's Hodge Podge session.  Join in on the fun by going to Joyce's page here.






1. Who taught you how to cook?


Well my mom some and my Grandma slightly.  My dad reminded me recently that my mom tried to teach me more but I replied, "I don't need to learn how to cook because I will marry someone rich and have a personal chef".  Aren't 16yr olds super genius in their thinking?
I will say that my friends over the last 6 years have really influenced my cooking and pushed me to be better and I am grateful to them for all their ideas and shared recipes.  My goal is to be the one who everyone wants to go eat dinner at their house because it is always sooooo good.  I think my meals now are good but not amazing.


2. Have you been told you think too much? Are too much of a perfectionist? Are too sensitive? Were they right?

I would probably say yes to all three but that does not thrill me to admit.  I do over think things to much and I spend so much time thinking that I stress myself out and miss out.
I am too much of a perfectionist but not always... usually on projects or things I am making, or at work.  So what takes someone 10 min might take me 20 because I want it to be really great not just done and okay.
Yes I am far too sensitive at times and tend to take things to personally which is a bad combo with the whole over thinking thing.

3. As a child did you have a favorite blanket or toy? Tell about it.

I don't remember having a favorite.  I remember having Strawberry Shortcake dolls that I loved and carried with me everywhere for a summer but I don't think I had a single item that I always had to have.  Two of my sons do though.


4. What 'institution' do you have the most faith in?
 Marriage & family.  If you have a strong family you send strong people out into the world.  I truly believe what we do is soooo important and make an impact on the future.


5. Chrysanthemums-pansies-burning bush-ornamental cabbage...your favorite in an autumn garden?
I think Chrysanthemums... not sure.


6. What superpower do the kids in your neighborhood seem to posses?
Since we are new here I really don't know our neighborhood kids and I am not sure there are many at all.  I think we live in an area where there are mostly older people and if there are kid they are of the teenage variety.
 
7. Are you a fan of the cranberry?
Yes.  I like to drink CranApple drinks and I am looking forward to making a cranberry pear pie for Thanksgiving.
 
8. Insert your own random thought here:

I am prepping for my son's birthday party this weekend and I am nervous about having the combination of three girls, 11 boys, light sabers and a huge building with a concrete floor to run in.  Also I feel guilty for all the work I put into this when my other son who had a birthday at the beginning of the month only had a small family party at home.  In my defense he does not go to school and we are new here so he has no friends.  My oldest though went to two weeks of school last year here and then has gone to school this year so he has people to invite.  Guilt either way though if you do it you feel bad for the other kid, if you don't you feel bad for the kid you are doing it for.  Wish me luck because I am sure it will be chaos !
 
 


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