Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

I don't know about y'all, but our weekends are always very busy.  Not just the weekends, but the week days too.  It's go, go, go all the time and often I find myself trying to figure out what we can let go of/not do so we can just hang around the house and take care of things here.  I chose this past weekend for doing just that...taking care of things around the house (or really the yard)  I had noticed the massive amount of leaves in our backyard that were piling up on the fence.  I had secretly hoped that big strong gusts of wind would magically take them away, but no such luck with that.  Now that the temps have been creeping close to the 80s, I started to worry about snakes making the leaf pile a cozy new home and knew I had to get those leaves outta here so we could enjoy the backyard.  Luckily, the kids were easy to convince that raking the yard would be fun!  They were so excited to help me...for about 5 minutes.  Then they just jumped in the leaves, which was fine.  They loved it!  Below are some pictures:

Jackson helping rake the leaves.

Madeline of course had to help out too.  She only used the rake a couple times, threw it down, and used her hands. ha!

Jack and Madeline getting the leaves into a big pile so they can jump into it.

Taking a break from raking, jumping in the pile.

During the raking, I had a slight scare.  I happened to glance down where the rake was and notice a little black head.  I immediately thought it was a snake just because we have had snakes in our yard/neighborhood.  I sent both kids out of the backyard and to see if any of our neighbors were home...of course they were not.  I sat there contemplating what to do at which time Madeline chimes in "Mommy, just kill it"  To which I replied, "How do I do that Madeline?"  her reply "With the rake mommy"  (as if to say, duh come on mom, you got this)  So I sucked it up and put on my brave shoes and went back to raking the area where the "snake" was.  After a few pull-backs of the rake, there was the little head again...another pull back of the rack revealed this little guy:
A slimy snake (this time)  so we set him free over the fence and I returned to raking the leaves.  3 hours later and I was worn out, the kids were bored, tired, hungry, thirsty...everything except excited to be raking leaves.  So we stopped.  3/4 of the way done, we stopped.   So we will get back out there and finish it up soon.  =) 

I also picked up some little flower seeds out of the dollar bin at one of my favorite stores and decided it would be fun for the kids to plant the seeds and watch them grow into flowers.

Jack and Madeline were excited to plant the seeds (please ignore Madeline's short shirt...she insisted on wearing it and I choose my battles these days)

So the kids got the seeds planted...notice the pink flower pot missing???  Yea, it broke so we had to use something else.  I guess 1 causality is not too bad.  I can't wait to see the flowers bloom.  I'll share pictures when they do.
Speaking of pictures, I share a lot of pictures.  I always have since I started this blog 3 years ago.  Well, today as I was uploading, I got a notice that I used up all the 1GB of free space available for posting  Of course there was an offer to buy more space...are you kidding me?  So, I looked into that (fearing it would be a ridiculous amount) but it was not, only $5.  So I bought more space cause I just can not post without pictures.  Has anyone else had this happen to them???

Hope that everyone had a great weekend!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Girl Time!

The other day, a very sweet friend, Kelly, called and asked me to lunch. Of course I said YES! Hello: adult conversation, great food, and a chance to spend time with my sweet friend and her precious baby! We decided on a local restuarant that I had not been to yet and wow, I will be going again. It. was. so. good!

Not only is Kelly a wonderful friend, she is also very talented. She made the collage below (she is doing the 365 project) and she is the photographer who took our pictures before my hubby and brother left. (Click HERE to see some of those pictures).  We had a great lunch and it was so nice to get to catch up on each other's lives.  We had quite a few laughs at our girls.  They are so funny.  As you can see, Claire (Kelly's 6 month old) likes to grab...and Madeline's hair was sure fun to grab, ha.  Madeline liked the new restuarant too...actually she loved the butter.  In the bottom picture, you can see her licking  eating the butter.  Can't say that I blame her though.  It came from a local dairy and it is probably the best butter I have ever ate.

Oh and if Madeline looks less than enthused in the picture sitting in my lap, its because she was.  It had nothing to do with Claire grabbing her hair.  She just did not want her picture taken...I might of bribbed her just a little to get her to look at the camera (gotta do, whatcha goota do)

I loved my girl time and hope that I can have more of it ;)


Monday, February 21, 2011

Show Me Your Silly Face

Soon after Jason deployed, my in-laws got the kids their very own digital camera (the kind made for kids) so they could take pictures to share with daddy.  The kids have LOVED having this camera!  They take pictures of everything...and I do mean everything.  I uploaded over 1,000 pictures yesterday (and had to delete probably 500 of them because someone took pictures of the tv shows they watched, pictures of everyone of their action figures, and pictures of mommy's closet (at least that is what I think it was, ha)

I did however have quite a chuckle at some of the pictures and thought I would share a few of those with you =)
So, this blog is brought to you courtesy of my talented photographers, Jack and Madeline. (remember the kids took all these pictures so some of them are kinda blurry)This post is called: Show me your silly face (because that is they say when they want to take our pictures)  Enjoy:

Jack showing off one of his silly faces.
And another one of Jack's silly faces.

Madeline has many silly faces herself...this is just one of them ;)

Pops and Jack...those are some silly faces!

Uncle Zach must participate in the silly faces as well.

Pops sharing with us another one of his silly faces.

Granna making a silly face.

Meme showing us one of her silly faces.

Of course, I must get in on the silly faces game.

And you better believe, even daddy has to make a silly face!  =)

Now, I hope some of these silly faces made your Monday a little brighter!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Proud Moments and Funny Moments

I wanted to share a couple pictures with you that make me so proud!  As most of you know, my hubby and my brother are both currently deployed.  They are both doing very well and we are fortunate enough to get to talk with them pretty regularly.  This morning I woke up to some pictures of my little brother taken during a ceremony where he received the Army Achievement Medal.  He looks so grown up (which makes me feel so old)  I am very proud of you little brother!  Good Job!

Of course, I must share a recent funny picture I took of the kids.  We have a pretty good routine going for us in the mornings (most of the time) but this particular morning, the kids did not want to get up and ready for school. After I woke them up, I left their rooms to pack lunches and snacks.  Noticed it was too quiet, I went to check on them only to find them asleep in my bed.  I could not help but laugh (and snap a quick picture)  

Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2011


What a roller coaster the last couple of weeks have been.  I have so much I want to share, but finding the time has not been possible.  I will though.  I am trying to "catch-up" but the more I try the further behind I seem to fall.  A positive though, being this busy has really, really made this deployment go by fast.  (Of course though there are days when I only see that large number of days still ahead of us, but I try to remember how quickly the previous days have passed)

I did want to just do a quick post to say, hello, I am still here.  ;) 

During my quiet times this week, I have been reflecting on so much.  Today marks one year since my granddaddy passed away.  I miss him so much.  I miss his great big hugs.  I miss his matter-of-factness.  I can not believe it has already been a year.  The precious few days I had with him before he passed still seem so vivid.  I hope that those memories will stay with me. (though I do have them journaled just in case)  I am thankful for the time I had with him.  But I am even more thankful that he is no longer suffering and I will see him again one day.  (reflecting on those thoughts make me smile on days like today when he is so heavily on my heart)

I have also been reflecting on some things that have occurred over the last couple weeks.  Some things have been difficult (to say the least)  I mean really someone kicked me in the gut difficult.  They have been real eye opening experiences.  I do not mean to leave you "wondering" its just that I do not have the time it would require to say what all has occurred.  Maybe I will be able to share (I don't know) I will say that it has nothing to do with J or my brother or the kids.  J and my brother are doing great.  Their spirits are good and I talk to them as often as possible.  The kids are doing good.  We are in a good routine.  They are both loving school and doing very well at school.  Jackson is reading up a storm.  I am so proud of him.  He is signed up to play ball again this year so I have been trying (key word - trying) to help him with hitting, catching, and throwing.  (Not an easy task for someone who is not athletic, for someone who is left handed trying to help someone who is right handed, oh and did I mention...not athletic at all)  ;)  Its fun though and it is great quality time for us.  Not sure I am looking forward to the busy schedule that ball season brings, but it will be good.  Madeline is just Madeline.  She cracks me up and makes me want to pull my hair out all in the same moment.  Her teacher informed me that in all her years (30 or more I think) that she has not ever had such "divas" in her class as Madeline and her friend are.  Madeline has a boyfriend who brought her a box of chocolates and a chocolate rose to school (yea, he knows how to win Madeline's heart)  She loves dance and tumbling and is preparing for recital in a few months.  (I can not wait to see that)  So I said all that to say, that my family is great (or as great as you can be in the midst of a deployment) and the events of the last few weeks have nothing at all to do with them.  I have found some closure, though the sting is still there at times.  I am just trying to keep my focus on God right now.  And He has been so faithful during this "gut-kicking" time to continue to make Himself known to me and to open doors for me that I would never ever imagine.  Those openings have made me smile and have really reminded me where to keep my focus (so those "gut kicks" don't get to me)  I can not wait to share with you my exciting new adventure. 
I am doing well.  Just busy.  I have become addicted to zumba.  Like, can not get enough of it.  It is so much fun and is my hour to just let loose.  Having fun and loosing weight all at the same time, that is a major plus in my book.  I am getting closer to my weight loss goal.  28 pounds down and 26 to go.  Yay me!  (I just remembered I have not blogged that yet...ok soon...I will do that post complete with before pics yikes)
My sweet Madi also enjoys Zumba.  She and Jack watch the class.  For show and tell last week, Madeline did Zumba moves...are you shaking your head with me???  I am also leading a bible study.  It is going great.  We have yet to have our meeting last less than 4 hours.  This has been such a great study (I could do  a whole nother post just on this study..and I will when we finish) and we are already thinking about what is next.  I have received so much encouragement from not only this bible study, but also from Wives of Faith.  If you are a military spouse or soon to be one and are not familiar with Wives of Faith, please check it out. 

I think that about catches up on us...of course I can not leave this post with out a few pictures.  =) 

This is Madeline and me at her class Valentine party. 

Jason sent us a care package that arrived on Valentines day (how perfect is that???)  We sent him 2 packages for heart day but he just got his today (oh well, glad he got it at least)  Here is Jack holding some of the comic books J sent.

Lastly, we just had our Yellow ribbon event this past weekend.  It was good and very informative.  I enjoyed getting to visit with the families from out of town that we do not see.  Below is a picture of Wendy, Kim and myself.  We are 3 of the 4 FRG officers.  (Angela, where  were you girl??? How did we not get you in the picture??)  These ladies have been with me all 3 deployments and are also in the bible study with me. 

Well, I am off to prepare for our study tonight. I hope if time allows soon that I can share more (especially the good news)  (=


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ways To Help A Military Spouse

I wanted to share a link with you to an article on Wives of Faith.  This article is not written for the military spouse, but instead it is for friends, churches, and communities who desire to help military spouses but do not know how or where to begin.  As a military spouse I can say that this article says everything I would want to say, but often times do not. 

To read the article, click HERE and go check it out. 
Military spouses, what are some ways you have been helped or some ideas that you would want to share?


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Know What Else Makes Me Smile?

It makes me smile, a lot, when I go to the mailbox and find that the kids and I each received a letter from J.  I get so excited that it seems I can not get back inside the house fast enough so that we can open them and read. 

It makes me smile to watch Jack read his letter and then write his daddy a letter in return.  I love the stuff he comes up with to tell his daddy.  In this letter, he asks his daddy to cook him a steak.  :)  How cute is that?

I have been going to zumba, a lot, lately and I really enjoy it. (what a great stress relief)  I am lucky that even though where I take from does not offer child care, the insrtuctor allows the kids to come with me.  (Otherwise I would not be able to go).  So the kids get to come and watch.  Madi has managed to pick up a few of the moves and does them quite often for us around the house.  (I have even been told that she shared a few of them for show and tell at school) ha! Now the thought of that makes me smile (and shake my head at the same time)

This picture makes me smile.  I had been on the phone with J and I came into Jack's bedroom to find him reading a story to Madi.  I love it!  He is trying to get in all his reading hours so he can get that free ticket to the theme park.  ;) 

And after the really, really long stressful week that I had last week, there is nothing like a handwritten letter from the one I love so much to bring a smile to my face. 

Now if I could just find more time in the day to catch up on blogs and get my own blog caught up I would smile. 

So what are some things that make you smile???


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Deployment: Helping Kids Prepare & Cope

Are you about to enter into deployment?  Are you currently in the midst of deployment?  Do you have children who you are trying to prepare for deployment or cope with deployment?  I recently made a 2 part video on this topic for the Wives of Faith website.  Please click HERE to go check it out.

Let me know your thoughts.  Share some tips you may have for helping kids prepare for and cope with deployment.