Friday, February 26, 2010

Greetings from Afghanistan!

As you all know, my hubby has just made his way to Afghanistan to serve with the 1st Medical Battalion after about a month and a half of training in California. So far the adjustment for him has been as good as can be. He was able to meet up with a good friend of ours, Perry (my Friend Erin's husband) who has been over there going on a year now. Perry is due to come home VERY soon!


I actually have been VERY lucky in the fact that Jon has been able to communicate with me fairly often since he left. Pretty much every night we've been able to web cam via Skype. The kids get to see their Daddy and I have found it really helps keep the loneliness away (well, as much as having a husband deployed can). Sometimes we can only get a few words in before the internet drops and it's usually always a bit choppy, but I will take that gladly over not hearing from him.  Of course, it's only been a few days and I'm sure once he actually starts work (he's 'training' right now), then things will change a bit. But for now, I'll gladly take what I can get.

He has posted some pictures on his FaceBook of his travels, so I thought I'd give you all a little look see into what things look like from over there.

The flight over on a C-17.....




Random pictures of his first few days over in ASSghanistan.....









Apparently it's 'the thing' to get your head shaved bald and grow an Afgan-a-stash while over there. He's currently working on the 'stash'......





Finally, this is 'Flint - their Hooch Mascot". I really don't know what that means......



Also, I just want to put this out there that I do have Jon's mailing address now so if anyone would like to send him a letter, card, care package, just email me and let me know. I know he would love to get things like that from everyone and it'll help the time pass, I'm sure.

Stay safe babe! We're all waiting for you back home!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You like me...you really, really like me!

I have to admit. I'm a little proud here. A little. Let me tell you why. I don't have a lot of followers yet on my blog and really, it's not something I aspire to. I'm just doing this to keep my far away family and friends updated on my AWESOME life!  But today, after many hours of putting off laundry and scrubbing toilets, I decided to mess around on my blog.
I head on over to the 'edit blog' portion of the program and notice that someone left me a comment. It was from Cyndi, (who has a blog of her own: 'Our 6 Ring Circus')  a friend of mine that I have kept in contact with since High School. (BTW, I was going to write 'One of my oldest friends" but I didn't want to offend her by making it sound as if she was OLD!) She told me that I was awarded this:

 

THE BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD!

Wow. ***tear***  What an honor!  Apparently only the cool bloggers get this and now, I am officially, wait for it.........





Cool.

As I accept this award, I would really love to thank the 4 followers that I do have. Of course, my friend Cyndi who nominated me. Thank you!
Erin, Jill and Ann....what can I say?  Because of you, I am less of a loser than I would be if I had NO followers. So thank you as well.

Now according to the rules, I must reveal seven facts about myself and then pass the award on to seven other bloggers. When I read that I thought, "Seven things about myself?" and then, "Do I know seven bloggers?"  I have to tell you, I'm feeling pretty darn special about myself right now. But I am going to attempt to accomplish goal number 1 - Seven things about myself (I'm sure you all mostly know this but please play along. It isn't fair to the other contestants if you don't.)

1. I have secretly wanted to dye my hair a HOT RED color ever since I started playing Guitar Hero.Oh and I want to rock a 'Faux Hawk" something fierce!

2. On the same theme of GH, I have had dreams where I am up on stage rocking out. And whenever someone mentions the word, 'Karaoke", I secretly giggle and hope they're not kidding.

3. My husband and I enable each other. It's bad. But I like pretty things and he likes me to have pretty things so it works out in the end. (Usually with me owning said pretty things.)

4. If I knew then what I know now about having kids, I would of liked to have started LATER. I have come to realize that Mom really was right about some things in life. Go figure.

5.  I have random nightmares I'm back in Marching Band and I forget my music or drill. I usually wake when I hear, "I can teach dogs to go on paper, why is it so hard to teach you?!" Thanks Scott Heister.

6. I stole something once. Yup. I've got the 'sticky fingers'! Cuff me and throw me in the clinker. I was 7 (maybe) and I went with my Dad to some hardware store. I stole 2 wood plugs-type thingies and shoved them in my dolls clothes. Aren't you proud Mom and Dad? I felt so horrible after that I never did it again. But then again, how bad could I of really of felt if this is the first time I'm telling my parents about it? Just don't ground me!

7. Finally, the last fact that you need to know about me is that I consider myself REALLY blessed. Things happen for a reason, you meet the people you're supposed to and you make the most of what you have. I am LUCKY to have my wonderful husband and kids. I am LUCKY to have such a great supporting family in my parents and siblings and I am LUCKY to have such wonderful friends around the world. There are days when the pep isn't peppy, but silly me, I try to look on the bright side.

 
 
 Okay as far as the seven bloggers I know, well I really have to give FULL kuddo's to my friend Jill. She is the one that started me on blogging. Came over to my house to help me start up my blog and taught me how to upload the pictures to it. She is really the reason I blog. So Jill - You are the Wind Beneath My Wings.  And I pass on to you...'The Beautiful Blogger Award.' Love ya hooker!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shark Team Winter Olympics

This week, the boys classes at school covered the Winter Olympics and decided to hold one of their own, complete with opening ceremony and games!

Here's the classes on Tuesday, for the opening ceremonies.
Jason's class represented China.....


Jack's class represented France....


After the ceremony, the kids headed back to class to get back to the regularly scheduled program until the games start tomorrow.



On Wednesday, it was time to start the games!

Jason with his team:


Jack with his:


First up - Speed Skating!



Jason lost a ski!



Then, the biathlon...

The kids had to 'ski' to the cone, then drop to the floor and throw a disk into a hoop.





Alpine Skiing....




The Luge....








Ski Jumping...







Bobsled...

Jason pushing the sled....



Now it's his turn to ride...

The kids all placed and won medals! They brought home the GOLD!
YAY TEAM HAMMIE!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm a dancing machine!

On Sunday, my sister invited the kids and I over to her house for some dinner, good times and DANCING! Her BIL Nick and SIL Brooke were also there.
When we got there, she fired up 'Just Dance'. A Wii game where you follow the dancer on the screen and learn new moves and dances to some awesome songs. So you KNOW I had to take some video of that!

So, sit back. Relax and enjoy the classic dance inspired by Elvis.


PS - might want to pause my music player before you start....Just say'n.


WANTED: Dead or Alive!

Recently, Cassie had to complete a 'Wanted' posted for her Language Arts class. The poster was supposed to based off a book assessment the kids had to read. Cassie's book was titled, 'Down the Rabbit Hole'. Here's a synopsis of her book:
"Welcome to Echo Falls. Home of a thousand secrets, where Ingrid Levin-Hill, super sleuth, never knows what will happen next.
Ingrid is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or at least her shoes are. Getting them back means getting involved in a murder investigation rivaling those solved by her idol, Sherlock Holmes, and Ingrid has enough on her plate with club soccer, school, and the plum role of Alice in the Echo Falls production of Alice in Wonderland. But much as in Alice's adventures down the rabbit hole, things in Ingrid's small town keep getting curiouser and curiouser. Her favorite director has a serious accident onstage (but is it an accident?), and the police chief is on Ingrid's tail, grilling her about everything from bike-helmet law to the color of her cleats. Echo Falls has turned into a nightmare, and Ingrid is determined to wake up. Edgar Award–nominated novelist Peter Abrahams builds suspense as a smart young girl finds that her small town isn't nearly as safe as it seems."


Cassie's poster had to be about a character from her book. It needed to list a description of the character, what he's wanted for and what he did, along with a few other details.

She hand drew the picture and with the help of Mom, we stained the poster board and singed the edges to give it that 'old time' look.

I think she did a pretty fantastic job. I'm told it was one of the best ones. Go Cassie!

 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

This year, Jason's class had a Valentine's Day Pajama party. They passed out their Valentine's to their classmates and then they did arts and crafts, while a Valentine's movie played in the background. I was asked to come and help that day and I ended up making all the kids heart shaped pancakes.














All this Valentine's Day fun inspired me to make my kids some Valentine's Day pancakes for breakfast for Vday. So the night before, I laid out the gifts I got for the kids. The boys each got their very own ZuZu pet (kill me now) and a heart shaped box of candy and Cassie got her very own heart mug with a Hello Kitty key chain and a heart shaped box of chocolate. I wrote them all little love notes and then I put a note on the table that said 'Don't eat you're candy when you wake up. Come get Mommy'. I should say here that the boys get up at the butt crack of dawn. It doesn't matter if it's a school day or not. So on the weekends, I'll usually get to sleep in for just a little bit. But on Valentine's Day, I didn't want them to dive into their candy first thing. I wanted to make them breakfast.
Of course, they didn't read the note and I woke up probably a half hour after they did to find that Jack had already cracked into his box of candy and Jason was rummaging through the pantry, looking for food.
At this point, I figured, "What the hell? They're already hopped up on sugar from their candy, might as well give 'em more". I then proceeded to make them their pancakes. Here's how they turned out:

 
Pretty darn cute, eh?


The rest of the day was an easy day. But I had a hot date that night! Yes, my husband is off serving his country (thanks country!) so me and Erin (who is also husband-less right now) decided to celebrate in style!
Earlier I had bought steaks and the fixn's for a yummy Espresso Chocolate cake. Erin provided the all the sides.
When Erin came over she surprised me with a bouquet of flowers and her girls had picked me out a box of chocolate! So sweet!!!

Oh, let me interject at this point that Jon did actually think ahead this year and ordered me this extravagant arrangement of flowers. But I got a call the day before from FTD explaining to me that there wasn't a florist in the area able to complete the order and that they wanted me to know that Jon did in fact remember it to be Valentine's Day and that they also wanted me to know that he was thinking of me and missing me. They read me the note that he wanted to send with the flowers and it was very sweet. Again, another reason why I just LOVE Jacksonville, NC. The options here are endless!

Back to the Valentine's Day dinner.... So Erin, feeling sad that my flowers ended up a 'no show' bought me a sweet bouquet of my very own. Then I proceed to feel like a dirt bag because I was so wrapped up in everything else that I didn't think to get her anything. I'm hoping I made it up to her with an AWESOME dinner and this:

 

Notice the empty bottle of wine. Yeah...we had a GREAT night with GREAT food. The kids all played and pretty much left us alone and Erin and I had a fun night eating our steaks, drinking our wine and gorging ourselves on Espresso Chocolate cake!

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's SNOWING!!!

If you know me, you know how much I MISS the snow!  What cracks me up about living down here in the south is that anytime there is even the mention of snow, people start FREAKING out! The grocery stores start running out of milk and bread. The news channels start calling it, 'The Winter Storm of the Year!". It's all very dramatic.

The last time there was a threat of snow (about a month ago), the county did a preemptive strike and delayed school for the next day and shut down the base until 10am. Can you guess how horrible our storm was? No...let me tell you.

All it did was RAIN.

Yup, the city and base went into mad chaos over the 'possibility' of snow.

So you can imagine my surprise that when I heard there was another potential 'Winter Storm of Year' brewing, that we might actually GET snow.  I was a bit skeptical. Not going to lie. I have learned not to get my hopes up here too much. But Friday night, as Erin and I were hanging out in her kitchen, while the kiddo's played (so typical, btw), the next thing I know is that the rain is strangly looking like little hard balls. Then, slowly it began to SNOW.




Granted, it's about 10 o'clock at night but the kids were ecstatic! They wanted to go out right that minute and start playing in it. How could we say no? We bundled them up the best we could with Carolina Cold Weather Gear (i.e. plenty of socks with shoes, warm coat and sorry excuses for mittens to keep them warm).

But they had a BLAST! And because the snow had a little rain mix in it, they could actually build a snowman!




The boys even made snowballs to eat! Yum!

 

We let the kids play outside for a good hour. But seeing as it was getting pretty late, I bundled them up, headed home and put them to bed.




The next morning, we woke up to this:

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lizzie didn't really like it all that much.....


 

 

Of course we (meaning the kids) were up as soon as the sun, and they wanted to go right back out there and get back in to it. But being the good, responsible Mom that I am (don't laugh), I made them eat their healthy, energy sustaining breakfast of poptarts and chocolate milk before sending them on their way.

Being a Midwest Girl, I couldn't stay away either and had to go put my layers on so I could go outside and be a big kid.

Once outside, Jack and I started building a snowman and making snow angels.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I even went over to Erin's house, knocked on her door and asked her if she wanted to play. Unfortunately, she's a SoCal girl, (I try not to hold it against her) so she's not equipped to handle whatever this 'white stuff' is.

The day ended with homemade vegetable soup, and hot chocolate, with LOTS of marshmallows. Can't get any better than that.


Oh and the snow? It was gone by Monday.