Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Having Fun With Pictures

Ok...so I had way too much time on my hands while the kids were napping. I mean I am sure there were more productive things I could have been doing, but nothing could have made me laugh this hard. I played on yearbookyourself.com today...

Jason, Jack, me, Madeline, and mom were all in the band in 1954

Bet you did not know that Jason and I were cheerleaders in 1958

My brother Jeremy and Jason in science lab in 1960

Jason and Jeremy played on the basketball team in 1968

Jeremy, Jack, Madeline, me, and Jason with the ball. Football team 1972

Photography club 1974...Me, Jason, Jeremy, Jack, my mom, and Madeline

Chess club 1976...Jason, Jack, Me and my brother Jeremy

Homecoming King Jason and Queen Me 1978

Jason and me in the 1980 parade. That would be Jack driving us.

Date night 1982

My mom, Madeline and me cheer team 1984.

Jack rockin out on the guitar 1986

My brother Jeremy rockin out

My mom's senior portrait 2000

Jeremy, class picture 2000

Jack, class picture 1986

Madeline class picture 1986

Jason, class picture 1996

and me...class picture 1962

Hope you enjoy ! =)


Monday, July 27, 2009

A Much Needed Day Away

Life has been pretty overwhelming at times lately. It just seems that between all the day in and day out of things that have to be done not to mention all the things that sneak up on us...there is not ever any down time. I think my family noticed it and decided that we needed to just stop and take a break. Of course I came up with a million reasons why it would not work, but they would not take no for an answer...and now I am glad that they would not.

Our day started off so great. We all slept in...that never happens! I mean truly I could not have made that happen if I wanted to. Jason, being the wonderful hubby that he is, was up first and took care of the cleaning that I had not been able to finish from the day before. It was so nice to have that done =) Then we got our swimsuits on and headed to the lake.

Madeline enjoys riding on the boat, but she loves trying to drive it even more (=

Jackson loves riding on the boat.

Jason tried his best to wake board...after 5 failed attempts, he just decided to ski.

Jason skiing. This is much easier than the board...I think he is regretting trying the board...by the time we got home, he could barely walk. Gotta love how we are not as young as we once were

Madeline, Jack, and me swimming in the lake.

Jack, Jaida, and Madeline. Jack and Madi love playing with Jaida. They jumped off the boat and swam in the lake all day.

Just me floating around in the lake...ok this did not last long. Most of the time the kids were jumping to me or on me =) It really was great fun!

Madeline, Jack, and me riding on the inter tube. This was fun...for about 30 seconds...then Madeline decided she wanted to get off, so Jack and I rode for a little while on it.

My brother Jeremy had to show Jason how to ride the wake board. Of course he was able to get up on the 1st try. (=

Jason and I rode the inter tube together. It really was so much fun! Jason and I have been together over 15 years and have been to the lake numerous times, but this is the 1st time he and I have ever done this. We laughed so hard that my sides hurt! Of course my brother was driving the boat and I am convinced that he was trying to find the largest waves for us to go over...lol...It made us laugh and scream louder, so he found bigger ones. Of course we could not let him win out so we just held on titer....and now my arms are so sore! I mean like can barely raise them sore...again...we are not as young as we once were (=

After all the swimming, skiing, jumping in the water, and riding on the inter tube...Jason and I got a chance to actually sit together and ride in the boat. It was great. Jason and I never get a chance to just sit and we certainly do not ever get a chance to just sit together. (= It was great...we rode on the boat and admired the beautiful views.
You may be wondering what the kiddos were doing while we were able to just sit...

They were on the front of the boat with my mom...asleep! Yep, all that swimming, jumping, and playing wore them out!

We had such a wonderful time on the lake! It was a day we all truly needed. Of course I wish it could have lasted longer than a day, but I am glad that we were able to enjoy at least a day. I have found that laughter truly is what I needed..and lots of laughter is what I got! ;)


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Recipe Blog Hop

It's Tuesday, which means it is time for the Mcklinky Blog Hop...this weeks theme is favorite recipe. I chose an old standby that I make a lot for brunches.

Grits with a Twist
1 cup uncooked quick cooking grits
4 cups water
1 (11 oz) can mexican whole kernal corn with red and green peppers-drained
1 (9 oz) pkg frozen spinach, thawed
1 (1.25 oz) pkg taco seasoning mix
2 Tbsp chopped onion
2 Tbsp butter
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350
cook grits in water as directed on pkg
In ungreased 13x9 baking dish, combine cooked grits and all remaining ingredients except half of the shredded cheese. Mix well. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 for 22-27 minutes or until edges are bubbly and cheese is melted.
Makes 8 servings.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Do you like this dress????

Head over to Aimee and Jami's blog (link on the right) They are selling this yellow and white polka dot dress with brown bows and monogramming to help raise money for their mission trip to the Ukraine. But HURRY...there is only limited amount of fabric so be sure to get your order in SOON!

**Yes, this is Madeline modeling the dress and no we did not change her intials..she is just modeling one that is completed for another lucky little girl** (=


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Blog Hopping We Will Go....

A few of the blogs I like to check in on a daily basis are participating in a "blog hop" The idea is to share a favorite photo and a caption about the photo. I love this idea! It allows us to peek in on other blogs that we may have otherwise not seen before. I know that it says to share 1 photo...but I could not choose just 1 so I did manage to narrow it down to 2 ;)

This photo says a thousand words to me...It was back in March on the day my hubby returned home from a 14 month deployment for Operation Iraq Freedom. Jackson is standing in the road with his flag watching for us to drive up the hill. The smile on his face is priceless! When Jack saw us driving up the road he took off in full sprint (as fast as his little legs would let him go) By the time the car was parked Jack was opening the door and leaping into his daddy's arms!

This is Jack and Madeline on July 4th this year. I had these t-shirts made for them while their daddy was deployed. They do love their daddy so much and are so proud of him!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

The 4th of July has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Survive 2 deployments and I promise that the 4th would take on a whole new meaning to you too. I get a lump in my throat when I hear patriotic music or see a soldier in uniform. I have never been more proud of my country and the soldiers who defend it...especially my hubby and my brother. These selfless men and women sacrifice their lives, time with their spouses, and watching their children grow up so that we may enjoy FREEDOM. However, the One who is the ultimate provider of freedom is Jesus Christ. Thinking on the
4th and that we are celebrating freedom, I decided to read what the bible says to us about freedom.

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has annointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners"...Isaiah 61:1

"that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God." Romans 8:21

"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galatians 5:13

"Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God." 1Peter 2:16

"and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:32

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

So thankful for the ultimate provider of freedom!

I received the following in an email not to long ago...It is from an article in a newspaper (I believe) and I wanted to share it on the blog. It is a great article and I can identify with so much of what this lady is describing.
"The day was a much needed one for me to go shopping….or so I thought. While on a recent trip to our local Wal-Mart, I was totally stunned by what I encountered! While there, I was hoping to pick up some decorations to start planning for my husband’s homecoming from Iraq. Even though he will not be home for three months, the anticipation is running high, and it makes me feel good to know the time is coming soon.

While looking over some flags and banners, I overheard a conversation between a group of middle-aged women, which totally shocked me. They were talking about how sick and tired they were of seeing all the stuff in stores that references supporting our troops. They wished that the TV and the newspapers would just stop talking about this war. They were so sick of hearing it and expressed discontent on how much money is wasted on support things as is wasted on the war. They do not believe that it is doing any good to have anyone there, and really how hard it would be to have a “year off” from your husband…with laughs that followed.

What they did not know was that a military wife was standing among them and was totally disgusted because they have no idea the sacrifice that we, as wives and husbands make for our spouses….The Soldier.

Please allow me to fill these woman and all that agree with them,in on what it is like to be a military wife, or husband as applicable…. My husband is a Soldier in the Vermont National Guard. He, along with his unit, was called to duty to fight a war that so many have mixed feelings about. This is a war that some say is nonsense, while others say it is making a difference.

Personally, I don’t know what to think of it all. What I do know is that many other wives and I were left behind at home, while our husbands were taken from us to go and fight and defend our country. Many were left home with young children to carry on our “everyday” lives and sustain the routine that was normally a shared responsibility.

I have to wonder if others actually know just how tough it is to do that job and what a daily ritual entails. It is not easy to watch your spouse walk away into the unknown, while you shed tears. You have to watch your children cry as you try to muster the internal strength to console them. Meanwhile, you wonder day in and day out if your spouse is okay. There is a constant anxiety of always waiting for that special call that says, “I Love you and miss you.” You try so hard to avoid the TV, newspapers, and other media outlets that dutifully carry the worst in the news. However, no matter how hard you try to avoid those things; it is like you are drawn to them, so that you can stay caught up on it all.

There are calendars posted all over the house enabling you to mark the days off. Every day is a day closer, and when a whole month goes by… it is almost like a celebration. It is such an accomplishment! There is always so much to do…the house needs cleaning, the kids have games and school, doctors appointments and wants, the yard work is behind, the bills are calling you, and it goes on and on. You are left wondering, “How can I do this alone?”

You constantly feel the envy when you see a man and a woman walking hand in hand anywhere. It can actually bring tears to your eyes and a wanting ache to your heart to see them. You would do anything to be able to hold your spouse’s hand right now. The bed is so empty and cold at night and you are awakened to their pillow staring at you. You think back to when you sat on the couch with them and just reached over to give them a kiss. You now think “wow”, something so simple is now my biggest wish. You know in your heart that your spouse is doing the right thing, but you want to be selfish and say, “Let someone else do it and let my soldier come home.”

Please don’t get me wrong, I am so proud and honored to say that I am a military wife and that my husband is an American soldier; it is just a long tough road to travel. Now that my husband is deployed, I find that I have so much more feeling when I see the American Flag or hear the National Anthem sung. I go to a parade now and clap ‘til my hands hurt as the soldiers walk by me. I watch with such pride as my children do the same. I cry when a song comes on about the war or a soldier. I wear pins on my coat and magnets on my car that reference supporting our troops. A simple yellow ribbon is like gold to me.

I notice everything to do with the war. When I see a man in uniform, my heart skips a beat, as I long for my husband. I yearn just to be able to wash and press that uniform again for him. My heart breaks for the soldier who is taken from this world even though I know nothing of him or his family.

This war has changed our soldiers so much…but it has also changed us spouses here at home too. We have learned to live alone and become very strong independent people who stand 100 percent behind our soldiers. We have learned that there are things that they will not or can not share with us. We have learned that their moods are as different as day and night and that we just have to go along with it. We have learned that these soldiers that we vowed to love forever are now soldiers who are heroes in this world!

Through conversation, I know that most of us feel the same way. There is the old adage, “in time it gets easier” and honestly dealing with it does a bit, but the missing and loneliness never gets easier. The fear of never seeing them again is always there. No matter how positive we try to stay, that fear is so real. I make sure to tell my husband everyday that I love him, either in an email or an instant message…or just in my own mind. I do my best to not let him see or sense my tears. In my unit’s case, our spouses have been gone from our families for a year and we still have months before they are home again. Just imagine not being held by your husband/wife for that long.

I heard one of the aforementioned ladies joke about having a “year off” without her husband and expressing, “How hard could that be?” Well, allow me to be the one to say to you that it is a lot harder than you will ever know.

Imagine how much our children will change before they see daddy again. I have seen and become close with brand new wives who said, “I do”, in the church and then watched their new husband walk away; leaving them to face the honeymoon stage of marriage apart. I have watched as first time parents have had a baby and the father had to watch on a computer screen and listen through speakers to his daughter’s first cries.

Children go to school and complete a whole year that one parent will never be a part of. There are holidays and birthdays with no daddy or mommy. There is the fear in their eyes when they hear bad news from Iraq, while you, as the sole parent, have to be the strong one. You have to tell them all is okay and will remain so.

The day my husband and his unit comes home will be one of the happiest days of our lives. We will know that the one I love, my partner, my life, my husband, is home and safe. There is the security to know that “daddy” is here now when the kids call out for him.

So to all out there who think that it so easy to be a military family think about what I said and how you would feel to be made to live that life. There is no amount of money that is wasted on supporting those who defend your country. Yes, it is our choice to be part of the military, but we do so with pride so that others can have their freedom.

In closing to you all, I say this….”Sleep well tonight and be thankful for what the American soldier does for you and your family. Always think before you speak, as there could be one among you. On this Fourth of July holiday, between the barbecues and the fireworks…please think of the military family…and the soldiers.”

Last 4th of July, I was in a pretty dark place...it is incredibly hard to be the one at family functions without your whole family. To be the one at church alone. To see a couple holding hands when all you long for more than anything in the world is to just be able to feel, to touch your spouse. To wake up alone again. To comfort your child again when they are missing daddy. Thankfully my deployment is over but we are still adjusting to life after deployment. However, there are so many who are without a family member today because they are deployed. Please take the time today between all your celebrations and festivities to say a prayer for those serving and the families that they have left behind.

So in closing....blog readers...What does the 4th of July mean to you???


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Show Us Where You Live ~ Master Bedroom

Well, I am very late getting my pictures up for Show Us Where You Live...I guess better late than never right????

I took an old frame and "framed" the cross in it...I thought it gave a little extra than just the cross hanging on its own.

Nightstand with my little girls picture hanging above it...She was 3 months in the picture and she is 2 1/2 now...so time to update huh???

Antique table that I use as my nightstand. My little boy's picture is hanging above it. He is 18 months old in the picture and will be 5 in Aug...again so time to update. ;)

Looking at the bed from the doorway. Just realized how "bare" the window looks...funny what you do not see until a picture is taken. Any ideas what I could do here????

Just the dresser with more pictures.

Thank you for stopping by!