Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Crazy and weird to feel all of that with him sitting right there beside me. It was almost as if my brain couldn't wrap itself around the situation ... all this stress and nervous energy ... but he's right here! Something does not compute ...
Anyway, odd and random post, but what was going through my head this morning. Oh, and the photo is a random one of the last deployment, too, as we went through hundreds last night!
Monday, March 29, 2010
For the past several summers, all of the cousins on my husband's side of the family have gotten together for a fun-filled "Cousin Camp." Eight kids ranging in age from four to ten, all in one house for one week of super-crazy, mega-messy fun! Hubby's sister teaches private swimming lessons so once we have all the kiddos signed up in their lesson slots, we start planning the fun!
The last time we were all together we planned "Messy Week" ... five days of the craziest, messiest fun we could think of. Here are some highlights:
Color Me Happy
At a cousin's baseball game, we let those in the audience draw on themselves -- and others -- with colored ink pens. They had a blast drawing pictures, writing notes, and copying tattoos!
Creating fun tattoos!
Fun Dipper Dinner
Dinner was on-the-go this day so we planned portable fun dippers for all. The menu included:
Homemade chicken nuggets
Yummy Dipper Dinner!
Summer Snowball Fight!
Later, the kids enjoyed a summer 'snowball' fight. We cut ladies' stockings into sections, tied a knot at one end, filled it with flour, then tied a knot on top. The kids had a blast tossing these at each other and watching the 'poofs' of 'summer snow' as they went. ** One note: the household dog, a labrador retriever, loved to eat these! We had to keep her away from them as she would gobble them up. So if you think you might give this a try, you might want to put the pets up first.
Fun Summer Snowball Fight
This represents only one day of fun, so I'll post more later, but I hope you enjoyed it. The kids had a blast and there was no moping about being 'bored' for us! Happy Summer-to-Come!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
We'll gather around the television again tomorrow afternoon as the Baylor Bears take on the Blue Devils of Duke University. If you're currently unaffiliated, please feel free to cheer on my Bears!
For a quick run-down of how the season has gone for Baylor, here is a short article from the "Baylor Proud" website:
2010 Men’s hoops reaches Elite Eight
Last year this time, we were writing about the Baylor men’s basketball team reaching the NIT Final Four and the excitement of playing at Madison Square Garden. Fast forward 12 months, and the Bears are one game away from punching their tickets for the NCAA tournament’s Final Four.
Head coach Scott Drew’s squad rode a strong first half to a surprisingly easy 72-49 win Friday night over Saint Mary’s in the program’s first-ever Sweet 16 appearance. Now the Bears move on to their first Elite Eight appearance since 1950; Baylor will face the three-time national champion Duke on Sunday at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. CT on CBS.
In the meantime, enjoy these photos from BaylorBears.com. As you’ll see, the game drew quite a crowd — upwards of 45,000, including such famous Baylor alumni as Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd, Regent Emeritus Drayton McLane and prominent Houston lawyer John Eddie Williams, as well as new Baylor President Ken Starr.
Because we’re so excited, how about an extra Elite Eight bonus link? Take a minute to compare what you hopefully saw in person or on TV Friday with this video footage from the Bears’ last deep NCAA tournament run — 1948, when Baylor advanced to the NCAA finals. And don’t forget — the Lady Bears moved on to the Elite Eight themselves when they beat Tennessee on Saturday.
Sic ’em, Baylor basketball!
Friday, March 26, 2010
There is no such thing as a "Compact" parking spot.
Every place you go you can see people wearing shirts or caps for Texas A&M or the University of Texas.
The Mexican food is gooood. The BBQ is gooood. Shoot, all the food is gooood.
The best ice cream in the nation, Blue Bell, is sold for $3.44 for a 1/2 gallon.
Bluegrass music bands can be found playing in your favorite BBQ joints.
You fill up with gasoline every three days just going to work (aka Texas is big).
Restaurant servers say "Yes ma'am" and "No sir."
Sweet brewed iced tea is available at any restaurant.
When you order gravy with potatoes, it's cream gravy, not brown.
A good "night out" is going country western dancing.
1/3 the FM radio stations are country music.
80% of the AM stations are in Spanish.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
As a Mom, I've tried all the tricks to encourage my kids to choose healthy foods. A couple of things that I've discovered in the process are:
ONE: They are more enthusiastic when they take part in the planning and/or preparing process.
TWO: A little creativity goes a long way in making food fun to eat!Here are a couple of fun and easy breakfast ideas that my kids really enjoy.
SMILEY FACE BREAKFAST
This super-simple breakfast is a slice of turkey bacon as the smile, two small crescent rolls as eyes, and two gummy vitamins as pupils in the eyes.
Variations in our house include a boiled egg or strawberry nose, blueberry 'pupils,' and shredded cheddar hair.
GREEN EGGS AND HAM
This super-fun breakfast was inspired by Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham." This could be a simple way to introduce the book or, as we did, a really fun St. Patrick's Day breakfast!
The breakfast consists of a slice of ham and scrambled eggs (both tinted green with food coloring) and a shamrock biscuit (shaped with crescent rolls ans sprinkled with green sprinkles). The boys even had green milk to drink, although you can't see it in the photo. Don't forget the Irish creamer for your own coffee on St. Patrick's Day morn!
Another easy way to bring fun to the table is stocking up on inexpensive party plates, napkins, and cups. Dollar Stores and Sale Items are great places to look and nothing says 'festive' like paper party-ware!
Here are some other great breakfast ideas for you to try, too:
Okay, somewhere in the blogosphere there is a post about a husband who always made colored pancakes in various shapes. He used mustard/ketchup containers filled with pancake batter to get the shapes and use different colors. The photos were of some beautiful leaf-shaped and turkey-shaped pancakes. I loved the idea (and even bought the condiment containers at a Dollar Store) but cannot find it anywhere now. I searched Google Reader for all the blogs I follow and searched online, too. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, I'd love to link that post here and give this fun family credit for a great breakfast idea! =)
Enjoy ... and please share your ideas, too!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Spring has sprung in central Texas! We're seeing bluebonnets sprout up all over our area and are enjoying the warmer weather ... biking, playing outside, walking with the puppies, and enjoying some fun nature crafts. I wanted to share this fun activity we enjoy when the weather is nice outside. We've taken this to the neighborhood park, on an outdoor hike, and to trips to the lake.
thick paper plates (we use Chinet)
white school glue (we use Elmer's)
We tell the kids they are making a "Nature Plate" to show off all of the wonderful parts of nature. The only rules? You have to gather and place one item at a time and you can only fill one plate. Easy, right?
We start by setting out their plates and filling it with white school glue. Then the kids take off in to the great outdoors to collect the items they want to place on their Nature Plate.
Because they can only choose one item at a time, they tend to use a little more discretion in determining what is 'worth' the trip back to their plate (as opposed to grabbing handfuls of dirt and grass then calling it a day). It also adds some fun physical activity as they must travel back and forth (usually running and giggling) from outside back into the room with the plates. As parents, we generally help with more glue when needed and encourage the kids' progress and their plate fills up.
Here, my son places a rock next to a stick and flower on his plate.
My sweet twin nieces add their treasures to their plates.
All of the cousins show off their newly created Nature Plates.
After a good drying time, we punched a hole into the top of the paper plate and added a ribbon to hang their plates in their bedrooms. They love their souvenir of a very fun time.
Please share your ideas, too! We're always looking for fun stuff to do!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I just found a new friend, Jessica, at "Me, Him, and The Army" who introduced me to the concept of a blog party! I'm always up for a party and am loving the blogging world so this seems like a perfect fit for me. This blog party is for moms -- and with two boys, ages ten and six -- I certainly have mom stories to tell! Here is the link for the blog party; complete with explanations and codes for linking the blog party on your site.
If you're on Twitter, use the hashtag #ubp10 to help promote the party (... and you're welcome to follow me at @MyArmyLife, too!).
It doesn't start until April so you have time to get ready now ... and every good party hostess knows that preparation is the key to success! Hope to see you at the Blog Party!
Monday, March 22, 2010
We spent the last part of Spring Break in the Hill Country and enjoyed our time there so much! We saw our first Texas bluebonnets of the season and were lucky enough to see a family of four bald eagles before they left their nest for the year.
While visiting this beautiful part of Texas, we came across several great Texas quotes and quizzes and I wanted to share some of them with you here.
You can only claim to be Texan if you can pass the following test!
- You can properly pronounce Amarillo, Bexar, Buda, Corsicana, Decatur, Ennis, Lancaster (the town), Lancaster(the street), Mexia, Palestine, Pflugerville, Waco, and Waxahachie.
- A tornado warning siren is your signal to go out in the yard and look for a funnel.
- You’ve ever had to switch from “heat” to “cool” in the same day.
- You know that the true value of a parking space is by the availability of shade, not the distance to the door.
- You measure distance in minutes and/or hours.
- You listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit.
- Someone you know has used a football schedule to plan their wedding date.
- You have known someone who has a belt buckle bigger than your fist.
- You aren’t surprised to find movie rental, ammunition, and bait all in the same store.
- A Mercedes Benz is not a status symbol; a Chevy 3500 4×4 is.
- You know everything goes better with Ranch dressing.
- You actually get these jokes and are “fixin’ ” to send them to your friends.
- Finally, you are 100% Texan if you have ever found yourself having this conversation:
Hope you enjoyed this one!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
My ten-year-old adores scouting and we were so proud when he earned his Webelos badge at our pack's recent "Blue and Gold" ceremony.
I was the Blue and Gold representative for our den so I had the parents help me organize a den meeting to make decorations for the table. We printed out a history of scouting (since this is the 100th Anniversary of Boy Scouts of America) and made a table-runner timeline. The boys did a great job of organizing the events into order by decade and adding lots of great photos, quotes, and stickers. The completed laminated copy looked great on their table. You can see a little of it here:
We added some bowls of snacks (pretzels, goldfish, mini-marshmallows) along with some fun pass-the-time activities (History of Scouting sticker book provided by the pack and homemade play-doh ~ a surprising hit with all ages!).
Hubby was here to stand by him when he received his rank and to receive the parent pin as well.
I loved taking this photo with my little guy in the photo area!
He won two trophies for his cake ... one best in rank and the other was "Scout's Favorite" where the scouts voted. He loved this one the most.
One of our pack leaders had to explain that because my son and another scout had tied for 3rd place in "Scout's Favorite" that one would not receive a trophy at this time, but would get a trophy when another one was ordered. My sweet boy insisted that the other scout take home the trophy and that he would wait for the new one to arrive in the mail. Love this kid!
Here is the prize-winning cake:
Monday, March 15, 2010
One of my favorite things about Army life is that I always have a ready-made group of peers and friends at every installation. People who speak the language, get the jokes, and live the life right alongside me. Now that we're working on year sixteen in the Army, it's becoming more and more evident to me how very SMALL the Army can be. You'd think with over half-a-million active-duty Soldiers in the Army today that you wouldn't ever see anyone you knew, ever. You'd be wrong. It seems like every time I turn around, I'm seeing someone from a previous duty station or, even more common, someone who knows someone we once knew.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No tellin' tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
(5) Put nothin' before God.
(6) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.
(7) No killin'.
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.
** Cowboy's Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas.