Friday, May 28, 2010

Halfway there

I envisioned that as we crossed each state line, that we would stop and take pictures.  That never happened.  We managed to leave only 40 minutes after our scheduled departure time, because we had to return to the house twice.  We forgot Andrew's shoes, and Em forgot clothes to go to church with my mom.

When we arrived, we checked into our hotel.  Apparently there is a dog agility test or contest here tomorrow, and it seems like everyone and their expensive dogs are staying here.  I heard about a poodle getting IVF.  Seriously?  All the dogs are beautifully groomed, and there is my Sammy, in need of a haircut and still sporting a pink head.  They all told me how cute he was and were sizing him up for competition.  They probably wondered if the contest was going to hell in a handbasket allowing pink headed dogs in.

Speaking of pink headed dogs.....the homeopathic stuff for upset stomachs works wonderfully, and Sammy did not get car sick.  Whew.

When we arrived, I wanted to go to Palo Duro Canyon to go hiking.  Gunner reluctantly agreed.  Junior was game, and Em offered to stay in the hotel room and guard out stuff.

We ALL went anyway.  I about died when I saw the temperature.  I was ready to put on a sweatshirt in CO this morning.

After going through the interpretive center, we went hiking.
We saw a snake.  What kind is it?  Em thought we should capture it and her suggestion was for her dad to get the snake by its mouth so it wouldn't bite.  Maybe next time.
Junior wanted to lead the way and kept consulting his "map".  He never got tired, and even though he was up early this morning, he is still awake.  I need him to sleep!

The pool was cold, so we bypassed swimming and will head out early tomorrow for my mom's house.  We have dinner plans, then Sunday I have to drop my bike, pick up my packet, and Monday is race day!  I'll definitely need luck on this one!
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Time Flies...and Abs

You'll be happy to know that the Thunderbirds performed for AFA graduation yesterday, so I will stop posting pictures of them.  Funny thing is that all my neighbors came out each time too, so I wasn't alone.  They kept flying right over my house yesterday, but of course I didn't take my camera out till they were almost done.

After 4 days of Thunderbirds, Junior preferred playing in the dirt.
I love the Thunderbirds.

Yesterday, I took Junior to a speech evaluation.  He qualifies.  Basically because he was a late talker, his tongue thrust is not strong, so he can't make certain sounds.  (I'm sure there is a more technical way to explain this)  This problem would not have improved with age, so at least I did the right thing.  It's a relatively easy fix compared to most, so we have some home exercises, and then when we return to CO after our summer travels, he'll start speech therapy.  They said it should only take 8-12 weeks to get him up to speed.  On the bright side, they were amazed at his vocabulary.  

While I was taking care of Junior, Gunner had to take Abs to the airport so that she could fly to her Grandma.  As with all things Abs, it wasn't easy.  First, Gunner had to drag her away from the tv because Abs wanted to stay and watch the "100th Anniversary of the Bra" on the Today show.  When he finally convinced her that she wouldn't be missing much, they hit the road.  

They arrived at the airport in time to go through security and do all that fun stuff.  Gunner wanted to feed her before she flew, so he stopped off at a restaurant inside the terminal to order lunch.  He placed his order for the two of them, got out his wallet to pay, and the manager handed him a receipt and told him their meal was on him, and thanked him for his service.  

He got lots of handshakes, pats on the back, and nice comments from the other people in the terminal.  A nice change from the protesters that were outside of the Academy to demonstrate for the graduation exercises that morning.

While they were waiting, the sirens sounded, and a tornado watch went into effect.  They evacuated everyone to the hallways and stairwells for over an hour, while they watched the swirling clouds and waited.

Abs went into her stressed out mode.  She started telling everyone that she was on her way to her Grandma's, and she was worried her Grandma would not be waiting on her.  Gunner assured her that Grandma would not leave her at the airport, but she still hunkered down.  
After my mom ventured to the airport, returned home, and then returned to the airport, she was finally met with a super-excited Abs who had made friends with everyone sitting around her, got promised a million dollars from the flight attendant if he won the lottery, and saved her airplane snacks for her Grandma, just like Grandma does for her.

She settled in, and apparently slept all night.  Not fair!

Tomorrow we leave for Texas, but I have 24 million things to do in the next 24 hours.  First stop, the gym.

Don't forget Camp Purple forms are due soon!
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Views from Our House

I love the location of our house.  

Junior and I spent the afternoon outside because the Thunderbirds were practicing.  He dressed himself today, who really cares if its backwards.  

A view of Pikes Peak from our yard.
Thunderbirds over our roof.
Another Thunderbirds practice run.  They have been practicing since Sunday, and perform tomorrow for the Academy's graduation.
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Deployment Question #23--Inlaws

It's Monday, and I am finally watching Army Wives.

Who really calls is maneuvers?

Anyway, the part about Jeremy telling his mother that he wants to reenlist, but he won't do it unless his mother says it's okay...

Does your MIL have anything to do with your husband reenlisting?

Mine doesn't, plain and simple.  She would never even offer her advice, but that's a whole other long story...

Does yours?  Did she when he was single?

Does the war make your inlaws want their son home all the time?  Every leave or R&R?  It also brings up the question of reenlistment ceremonies.  I think I was involved in Germany, once, but other than that, I don't think I ever attended.

One thing I was surprised of when I was in Germany, was the number of people that sent money home to their family to live.  I guess I was too sheltered, but I never even imagined that was a possibility.  Did I mention my parents kept me sheltered?

Anyway, back to my question(s).  How much interaction do you have with the outlaws when your Soldier is gone?  Are they in on the homecoming and the departure?

I have a strange relationship with my outlaws.  They did something totally unimaginable a few years ago.  It was horrible.  They have been forgiven, but it has not been forgotten.

When they moved to Killeen, I tried to be open-minded.  They did step up to the plate and went above and beyond in helping me while Gunner was gone.  My MIL arranged her schedule around my teaching schedule so that she could pick up the kids if they were sick.  When Junior cracked his head open, they were there.  If the kids were sick, they would deliver groceries.  Right after Junior was born, they asked for my grocery list every Sunday and would deliver groceries.  I was reluctant at first, but finally realized with three kids, I needed help.

I did notice that my inlaws supply me with a lot of wine when we see them.... coincidence?

I have found that it is best for us to communicate via text messages.  I'm not one to ask for help, but a quick text message when I am stressed out resulted in inlaws at my door within an hour taking my kids bowling, feeding them, and returning them home exhausted (the kids too).

This deployment will be different because my inlaws aren't here, and they haven't texted me but maybe once about 6 months ago.  I wonder if it is out of sight-out of mind?  Guess we will find out!

Let me know how you deal with the outlaws while your Soldier is gone, I will probably need the advice!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I've been cooking...

Hard to believe, I know!

First Em had a friend over for dinner and instead of running out for dinner, I made this.  (Mrs. Hub's pizza dough)

The kids LOVED it.  I used the breadmaker so I didn't have to mess with anything more than throwing it together.  The dough came out perfectly.  Maybe grilled pizza is next?

After throwing in another batch of pizza dough, I made this vegan pizza.  I loved it!  Gunner, he had a hard time getting over the fact that there was no cheese on the pizza.  I bought pine nuts to add, but I forgot about them.

For breakfast yesterday I made Mrs. Hub's Morning Glory Muffins.  She said that they were moist and incredible.  She wasn't kidding.  My kids DEVOURED them.  I made 18, and Abs finished off the last 3 this morning!  If Abs gives her seal of approval, then you know they must be good.  I did substitute flax seed and water for the eggs--my new favorite substitute so that Junior can lick the batter since he's my sidekick.

Yesterday I got Abs packed for camp.  No easy feat if you had seen her room.  Em told me that she had all the clothes she needed, so I asked her to lay them out, and she has 5 pairs of shorts that fit.  I'm so glad that we leave in just a few days and will now have to run around like a crazy person trying to get her stuff to pack.

We live in housing, and while I love the house, our kitchen is the smallest tiniest that we have ever had.  There is no pantry, but there are two cabinets that are deep, that I suppose we are supposed to use.  The problem is that once something is in there, it gets pushed to the back and never found again.

I finally broke down and sent Gunner to Target (so I didn't shop there for hours) and he bought two pantries to put up.

The difference is amazing.  I can see my food duplicates of everything that I have bought over the last 10 months.

There's a deployment fair up at Gunner's work today, so Junior and I will head out there later this morning. They are supposed to have great resources.  I'm looking for one titled "How to keep your sanity on your 5th deployment with three kids, one of which is Abs, one who is a tween, and one who refuses to poop on the potty".

When you give a mom a magic eraser...

I received this not too long ago.  

I finally had a chance to break it out when Junior colored all over himself....and his wall.

(Well, the magic eraser was not for Junior, but if you can see what he looks like, you can imagine what his wall looked like.)

I ran off to get my magic eraser, and scrubbed his wall.  Super easy, get it wet, wring it out, and scrub.  All the marker came off the wall.  I cannot say the thing about Junior.

Of course after I had opened the package, I was a mom on a mission.

I stopped off in the bathroom and removed the lipstick lines that Abs had drawn.  This led to me scrubbing the tub after bathing dirty kids that night.  (Have you read the book If you give a mouse a cookie?)

The dirty tub led to me checking out the baseboards, which reminded me that I needed to get the backdoor where Sammy had put his muddy paws on the door frame when he was a mess.

While doing the back door, I noticed that Gunner had not cleaned up dinner (homemade pizza, yum!), so I ran over there and scrubbed down the stove with the magic eraser.

By this time, my magic eraser is half gone.  I decide to use it on the front door, a couple of wall spots, and then I was tired and done cleaning.

My complaint about the magic eraser?  (Cause there has to be one!)  I don't like all the little pieces of the eraser that come off the product, that I then have to clean up.  

I was also sent disinfecting bathroom cleaner, which when used with the magic eraser took off all the mud left behind after this fiasco.  

It came in a lavender scent, which is the new scent that I try to be in everything.  (Did you know lavender relaxes you?  They have me bathe Abs in lavender essential oils, so maybe I am secretly hoping that she will sleep longer if I clean with lavender scents?  Hey, I have not slept well in 9 years, I am willing to try anything!)

Another product that I was sent, was Mr. Clean with febreze (citrus & light).  Did I mention I am germaphobic?  I use this to clean the trashcan since it makes it smell good, also because Junior thinks that it is necessary to put his hands all over the trashcan and I get grossed out.  Is it a boy thing?

MS&L provided these products to me free of charge, for review, and would now like to send you a set of magic erasers.  Seriously, these things are the bomb.  I am hoping it keeps me (and now you!) off this website!  

So, just leave a comment and tell me about your messiest of messes if you want!  (Trust me, I'll understand!)

The winner will be chosen Wednesday, before I head out to Texas!