Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm still alive!

I have no great story as to why I fell off the face of the earth, other than using this guy as my excuse:

Having Gunner home has been such a huge help.  After 96 hours off, he was exhausted from trying to keep up with my schedule of crossfit, carting children around, doctor's appointments, and all the other normal day to day stuff to maintain a family of 5.

Our laundry load increased exponentially.  The amount of food we have to cook is increased as well.  I wouldn't change a thing though.

We've been working on finding jobs, and let me tell you, the Army is not helpful in this area AT ALL.  That's a whole dozen other posts that I need to write as well.

We've also balanced out the work with fun.  Gunner took the girls on a moonlight wolf tour where they got to meet wolves up close.  The girls LOVED it.

We went to the Western Museum of Mining and Industry to pan for gold.

The panning was free, and you got to keep what you collected.  There was some gold involved, and that was all my kids needed to hear before they were hooked.

Junior had more fun splashing water and mud all over himself.

They had an area where you could dress up like a miner.

Notice the wet tshirt?

Don't let the folded hands fool you! Emily found a new boyfriend too.
Junior really wanted a hat, and with a dad who recently returned home, we know that sometimes they have such guilt, they just can't say no.

On the way home we stopped off and took pictures in front of Pikes Peak.
Plus we have done a lot of this.....
Notice the new furniture?  Thankfully we have a dog that doesn't shed!  We also had to break down and buy a new car.  If you want a great car (ranked #2--A Ford is first, but don't hate, I won't buy one.  We actually went to get a Nissan Sentra because we know that they are reliable and they were ranked #31!)

Meet our new little Honda Fit.
It seems small, but has a ton of storage, and actually the whole family can ride in here, but I would not recommend it for long trips with three kids in the back!  (I'd actually recommend a limo, where you can close the barrier and not hear them, but that's out of my price range too.)

It's a great little car and gets about 34 miles per gallon around town, and 37+ on the freeway.  It also has voice activated stuff, which is kind of neat, but luckily the button you have to press before it works is on the steering wheel, as the kids heard voice activated and started all saying "Radio 92.9" or whatever their favorite station is, all at once.

So we are settling into being a family again, with a lot of big changes coming up in the future, that I am excited about.  I also have a lot to blog about too, so stay tuned!

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway for a free digital camera, here!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Great Flood & Giveaway

Remember the flood?  I think of it every time when I sit down to watch tv on an old 19" tv with no HDTV, and I am either on the floor or sitting in a lawn chair.  (On the bright side my lawn chairs are comfortable!)

My kitchen as they started sucking up the water and I could get in there.  Apparently my house is lopsided and the water ran into the kitchen.  It couldn't possible run into the bathroom located on the other side of the house where the hot water heater was located and a drain!

Imagine all the little paint pockets you see below, filled up with water and squirting all over your stuff.  There were hundreds of them, which just made the whole thing worse, because with the squirting streams of water, it was able to destroy even more.  Plus, this is one section.....the whole living room was covered and the water was about 4" deep.  A mess I tell you!  The water was gushing out the front and back doors, leading to a sheet of ice at both places.

I have to give housing kudos for putting us up at The Hampton Inn (whose beds and pillows I love), and for getting our house done in just under two weeks.  While I loved the Hampton, even with two adjoining rooms, it was tight quarters for the 4 of us.  Every day after carting children around, I would go check on progress and document it....just in case.

I was contacted by the someone related to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, to check out their new FREE iPhone app related to creating a home inventory.  Something I SHOULD have done before I ever had a flood occur.  Unfortunately mother nature doesn't follow my time schedule.

I did have to download this on to Gunner's phone since my software wasn't upgraded, and I just have the 3G.  It's super easy to use, take pictures, and you can even email it to yourself and have it backed up on your computer.  During the claim process, they wanted before pictures of the furniture and electronics, which I didn't have unless they were in use.  They got a picture of Junior jamming on the wii guitar, a random picture Abs took of the tv, and a picture of me sleeping on the couch.  I was not thrilled about sending any of them!

The NAIC also has instructions on how to create a home inventory.

To help you create a home inventory, the NAIC is offering a FREE Kodak Easyshare digital camera (retail value $49) for one lucky reader!  (It takes amazing pictures as you can see below!)  All you need to do is leave a comment telling me what is the most loved item in your home is, that you would capture first on your home inventory!

I will draw a random winner on Monday April 25th!

Sammy the dog after he was rescued, kept by a friend for a while, and finally groomed.  

Disclaimer--I was provided a digital camera to use for my review, but all opinions are my own, with no outside influence from the three little kids that live here.