Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hiking in Red Rock Canyon

Every time we leave Garden of the Gods, we always drive by this place that has a bunch of cars parked out front.  We finally went there today, and it was beautiful!

Looking across the way to Garden of the Gods.  

Important features:  1.  It's free.  2.  The trails are wide, and although not paved, you can push a jogging stroller on them  3.  Free parking  4.  Not as busy as Garden of the Gods  5.  It's beautiful  6.  You can scramble no more than 10 feet from the base of the rock formations, which allows you to get some great shots.  You can't scramble at GotG.  7.  Very peaceful  8.  We saw hikers, bikers, runners, rock climbers.  We fell under the category of parents of children obsessed with sticks.

Abs decided she wanted to be in every picture because she wants to be blogged about more.  If the girl only knew she gave me enough material for a lifetime.  

We tried to get pictures of all three of them, but that wasn't so easy.  

Yes, Em was wearing her uggs, not exactly conducive to hiking.  Maybe one day she'll listen?  

It wouldn't be an adventure without at least one unhappy camper.  Upset over.....a stick.

BTW, I have that jacket in every size because it was less than $3, so he better like it!

Em doesn't look so sure about this picture.  She insisted that we already had one picture of the two of them touching, that we didn't need a second.  Sisterly love.

My two favorite boys.

A view of Pikes Peak from the trail.

We'll definitely be back, and I think I will take Junior there sometime soon on a run so we can test how the jogging stroller works out there.  Can't wait to return!

A Happy Medium?

I've stayed home.

I've worked.

I've worked part time.

I am thankful that I always have the option because the one thing I am good at is managing my money so I can have this flexibility.

We still vacation.

We still go out and do things.

But I never seem to be able to find the happy medium with just enough challenging work and just enough time at home?  Is it possible to find that place?

I loved teaching, but it's a lot of work and with Gunner leaving this year, I don't think I can give it 110% and that wouldn't be fair to my students.  I'm the teacher that never calls in sick, that spends hours on each lesson, that puts everything she can into it.  When I had my inlaws to help me out during the week and on the weekends, it made it possible for me to do it.

Sometimes I think I can do it by myself here, and other times I realize how much I really have on my plate.

I do have a MBA, so I could go back into the business world, which wouldn't be bad, but the thought of 8-5 and not a lot of breaks or holidays means I am back away from the kids more than I like when their dad is already gone.  The plus side is that I would rarely have work to take home with me.

I have sold things on ebay and paid for our last trip to Hawaii that way, so I could always go back to doing that.  The key is to finding your niche on there.

But, part of me wants more than all of that.

If you can figure out what I should do with my life, please let me know, I am tired of stressing about it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Deployment Question #16--Bucket Deployment List

I'm trying to start my bucket deployment list before Gunner actually leaves.  

I'm also hoping that it helps change my opinion of this place.  

The kids will be adding some things too.  We want them to all learn how to swim so we can go to Hawaii next summer.  

There's a spot called The Wave, located at the Grand Canyon that I'd love to go see.  Maybe Spring Break?

My now dead from the continued snow veggie garden will be replanted, and darn it, I am going to see something grow out there!

There's a ton of stuff to see in this area, so that's on the list.  There are a lot of little things on there too, that might not seem like much, but will keep me busy while Gunner is gone.  

Do you make a bucket deployment list?

What's on it?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!  One week left!

MilSpouse Blog Hop!

Hi!  My name is ABW, and I have been married to Gunner for over 15 years.  He joined the Army before I met him, so I've been along on this ride forever.

We have three very cute, energetic, kids that give us a run for our money.  Em is 12, Abs is 9, and Junior is 3.

We survived four year long deployments--1 to Bosnia and 3 to Iraq--and Gunner is headed to Afghanistan this summer.

I'm overly educated, under-employed, and spend my days training or thinking about training for triathlons.

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day!  (At least I read somewhere that it was, but who really knows.  With an Abs up half the night, lack of sleep these last few days is making me imagine things I think,)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Yesterday was rough.

I got a ticket.  The speed limit on the street is 45, I was going 41, but I was in a construction zone with NO WORKERS, but apparently that doesn't matter in Colorado, so the speed limit was 30.

Not only did I get a ticket, I got 4 points (how many till I get in real trouble?), and I HAVE to appear in court.  I'm planning on taking toys that the kids can "share" cause we know how that will work.  We have to be there 2-3 hours too.  On FB someone suggested tambourines and I thought whistles might be a nice addition.  If I don't show up, they'll put a warrant out for my arrest.

I thought about how nice and quiet it might be in jail with no responsibilities, no laundry, dishes, dog walking, cleaning, or people yelling my name.  Very tempting...

Junior's last day at his school is Friday.  Don't ask.  We'll take the summer off and I am looking into some better places.

I had a friend come down from Denver last night and today we spent the morning touring the Air Force Academy.  I would have had pictures, but I lost my camera battery.  I told the kids we are cleaning till we find it this weekend.

Gunner's flight got screwed up because the Army is so disorganized got delayed, so he wasn't going to be able to do the triathlon.  I emailed the cadet in charge to see if I could transfer his entry over to someone, and they went ahead and canceled it and gave him a refund, but they also canceled mine.  It was probably a good thing, because nothing is worse than doing a race alone!  I'm still extremely disappointed.

Abs has gone over a week without being written up.  A new trend? We can only hope.  At least she hasn't gone missing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Deployment Question #15--Can I go too?

I secretly wish I could deploy.

After yesterday I would have been ready to go in less than 10 minutes.  

Once Gunner told me "I'll take a bad day over no day at all."  Some days that will get me through, but other days I just want a break.

How many times when they have been gone have you just wanted to runaway?

I know there's no way I am the only one.  

P.S.  I am still pissed at the Army.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Missing Kid

Maybe one day this will be funny.

Abs was in the basement playing.

It got quiet, very quiet.  Em was doing homework and Junior was playing nicely at the kitchen table.

I was enjoying the peace.

Then I noticed how long it had been quiet.  I knew Abs was up to something.

I tore downstairs to the basement to search and there was no Abs anywhere.

I ran to her room and no Abs.  I yelled for Em, and we took off searching the house.  We covered the basement again and turned off the lights.  We covered the house.  We went outside.

We searched her normal hiding places.  Panic set in.

We kept searching.

Time passed.

More panic ensued and we were all frantically searching for her.

I went in my bathroom, which is above the TA50 corner of the basement.  I hear a muffled tiny voice through the vent yelling for help.  I scream for Em to grab the phone, because I envision the 20,000 pounds of TA50 on top of my Abs.

We rush down there and still can't find her.  We start searching and then Em hears a noise from........

A tiny suitcase.

The girl had zipped herself into a little suitcase to see if she could fit and had gotten stuck.

This is my life.

Gunner's flight got moved and he will miss the triathlon.  They told him he would be back, and we are now out the money.  I'm pissed.  No, I am beyond pissed.  I hate the Army.

Junior's last day at his school is on Friday.  Don't get me started on that.  

I really, really, really, want to runaway, far, far, far away.  

Not so much

That's how much I love the Army right now.

Deployment Question #14--Packing

Things get tense around here when Gunner starts packing his stuff.  After this many deployments we know what is coming.

Can you tell a change in dynamics once those bags come out and start getting filled?

Do you help him, or just sit back and watch?  

Gunner always gets stressed when he is packing, searching for his missing items, and even though we have about 20,000 pounds of TA50, there are always at least 2 dozen items he HAS to go out and buy.  

Sometimes I wonder about some of the requirements on the list.  

Right before Gunner leaves, I tuck a letter into his bag so that he has something to read before the mail kicks in.  It usually contains pictures of the kids, drawings from the kids, and a letter from me.  

The first time he asked what I was sneaking in there, now he just smiles.  I think he would miss it if I didn't do it.

What little things do you do before they leave?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Deployment Question #13--What do you eat?

First deployment, it was just me, and I would make the same thing every week, a gigantic pot of bean soup and eat off it for a week.  Talk about a cheap grocery budget!

Second one, we had the girls, and I cooked.

Third one, I discovered cereal.

Fourth, we ate a lot of mac and cheese.

This time I am hoping someone has some cheap, easy, kid friendly recipes that I can make.

I still have cereal on the back burner.

Oh, here's my easy kid friendly recipe that my kids gobble up and it takes about 1 minute to make and is healthy!  I boil water in the tea pot, make a packet of instant oatmeal.  Then I add a small container of fat free yogurt, some wheat germ or flax seed, and thicken it up with baby cereal with added DHA, etc.  If I have time, I'll heat up some milk instead of water, but that requires me to watch it more so it doesn't burn.  The kids think it tastes like custard, and I don't feel bad feeding it to them.

I also have been known to serve yogurt with granola and wheat germ mixed in.

Junior is allergic to eggs or I might serve scrambled eggs every night.

What are your go to meals while they are deployed.  (I highly recommend the cereal!)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Read this blog!

My friend Abbey has a blog, and she cracks me up, the girl is hilarious.

Read here.

Jump on over there and check her out, I promise you'll love her.  :)

Camping & Random Thoughts

I think I want a popup camper for this little venture to UT, or maybe my inlaws will feel sorry for us and come visit us and let us borrow their RV.  I think the popup would be more fun though, and it will definitely fit more people.  Plus, they don't let you use electricity or tap into water there no matter what you have!

I woke up friday morning and checked email while still in bed (I love my phone), and saw that school was delayed two hours.  They eventually cancelled it because we got slammed with snow.  We did venture out to go to the gym of course, but after that it was home to read stories, make enchiladas, and curl up on the couch and watch a movie.

Today we were going to head out, but we got a late start, so we just hung out at home.  We hit the gym of course, and the Arc.  Abs fell in love with this desk...

Almost perfect condition, for $7!  Sorry Gunner, I tried to stay out of that store!  We also found shorts for Abs, for next to nothing--Gap, Old Navy, Osh Kosh, Gymboree, etc.  Since she is finally going to camp this summer (woohoo!) I needed to make sure she was outfitted.  Thank goodness for adjustable waists since she is 9 and wears a size 7/8 if we are lucky.

I also found a book I had been looking for forever, since I refuse to pay full price for anything.
We watched The Princess and the Frog, cleaned Ab's room (although she claims she functions better in chaos), and did laundry.  Hey, we are nothing if not exciting on a Saturday night.

Abs drew a self-portrait.
The gigantic smile is because she is so happy.  I didn't even ask where her uneven bangs were.

Gunner should be home this week.  I can't wait.  I have a pre-K program to investigate this week.  If anyone knows of any other pre-K programs in the Springs, please let me know!  I almost fell over when I heard how much Montessori was here.  Abs did amazingly well in Montessori in Texas, but it was half the cost!

Gunner and I have our triathlon this weekend, and the forecast is for snow.  Really?

Random thoughts:

Gunner has me hooked on the show Taboo.  It's got some weird stuff on that.  Don't eat while watching it.

Junior has "eye-bras" not eyebrows.

I have these plastic plates that I got for next to nothing at Target, years ago.  They are now all in the trash.  They were looking kind of worn, but tonight I was microwaving something on one, and it caught fire in the microwave.  Do they want my family to starve without a microwave?  Whew, thankfully the microwave still works.

My friend Dave came last week for a night and babysat while I went to my first FRG meeting here.  The meeting itself was interesting, more on that later.  I think Dave's night of babysitting was far more interesting.  He said he would do a "guest blogger post" for me, so he better get on it!

I think I need pho this week.

I stay up entirely too late when Gunner isn't here, and it took me no time at all before I took over the entire bed.

The fresh salsa from Sam's is better than any of the jarred stuff.

Em has decided she wants to cook more.  She can make spaghetti, grilled cheese, oatmeal, and now hamburgers.  She enjoys it, so don't think I won't teach her more in the next few months!

We had a bag of tortilla chips MIA in our house.  They were located under Ab's bed.

I love reading everyone's responses under the deployment questions.  It makes me feel not so alone as we embark on this deployment adventure....yet again.

Abs came home from school and when I saw her, she had already changed shirts.  I asked her where her other shirt was and she told me that it got caught on her desk and ripped.  I asked her to bring it to me, and it was in shreds.  I don't know why they didn't call me to bring her a new shirt, it was that bad.  It looks like an "accident" with a pair of scissors more than with her desk.  Sigh...

Don't forget to enter my giveaway here.  Good Luck!