Sunday, December 21, 2008

Curtain Rod or Wall Art?

You know how the kids are always bringing home artwork from school? And you know how you never know what to do with it so it always ends covering your fridge to the point that you can't even tell that there is a refrigerator underneath all of those rainbows and turkeys? Well, do I have a solution for you! My Hubs is not a big fan of paper decorated refrigerators and I was trying to find something to do with all of the Christmas artwork that has been coming home since October. Here is what I came up with...

Here is a closeup...

It is an extra curtain rod that I had hanging around (no pun intended). I added the circle clips and voila-a decorative holder for artwork that relieves the refrigerator of its paper-holding duties and allows to me to proudly display my children's artwork, the way it was meant to be displayed! It now has a wall all to itself and I can even rotate the artwork to coordinate with the seasons and/or holidays.

What do you think??

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quite Possibly the Cutest Thing I Have Ever Seen

Sprout went back to school on Wednesday after having his tonsils and adenoids removed. He was very apprehensive about going back to school and was very dramatic (not really a surprise if you know Sprout). He pulled out all of the stops...

"I'm not ready to go back to school."
"I can't be away from you for that long."
"But I'm going to missssssss you."

All through giant alligator tears and sobs, of course. What can I say, the kid knows how to pull at my heart strings!

No, I didn't let him stay home; we made it to school but were a weee bit late. When we got to the classroom the kids were all gathered in the corner on the rug for story time. When we walked in, they all gasped and shouted "SPROUT-YOU'RE BACK!!!"

It was quite a sight, Sprout turned all shades of red and a giant smile crossed his face. You would have thought that Santa Claus had just entered the room the way these kids reacted. It was so touching, I even teared up a little. I thought that this very well may be the cutest thing I had ever seen. Until I saw this later that evening...

"I hope they put you asleep when you get your tasls cut out. I hope it does not hret a lot. Love your friend Madeline. Eat lots of ice crime!!!"

All of the kids had made Sprout a card and it was so stinkin cute reading all of them. This one though, without a doubt, was my favorite!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Old Traditions/New Traditions

I love traditions and I love creating new traditions. Traditions provide stability and observed year in and year out become a means by which family members can build trust and security. Regardless of what else may happen, the traditions will not change. So much in our lives these days is temporary. Family traditions provide something for every person to hold on to and to rely upon. And as a military family, where things are constantly changing and often laced with uncertainty, traditions give us a foundation of familiarity in places and circumstances that are unfamiliar and sometimes disconcerting.

I shared our Thanksgiving tablecloth tradition and thought I would share a few of our Christmas traditions, both old and new.

Christmas is a great time to practice generosity! One of our older traditions involves gathering toys that don't receive much attention anymore and donating them to our local shelter. I have always let Sprout decide which toys he wants to donate and this year he was very generous, filling an entire box! (I'm sorry if you see something in this box that you may have given to I said, I try not to dictate what goes in the box and let him feel good about his choices to donate. ;)

Now on to new traditions... This year we started a new tradition that the kids seem to be really enjoying. We have a new advent calendar and the kids love opening the door each day to see what tiny treasure lays inside. Some days it is a gold chocolate coin, others days it may be a mini ornament or sticker (what's not to enjoy-right?)...

The twist is that this year we have a little elf who lives on the top shelf of the advent calendar. I hide him every day and before the kids can open the door to get their tiny treasure, they have to search the house, find the elf, and put him back on the shelf.

Here he is hanging from a door hinge...

And here he is sitting in a candle holder...

And here are the munchkins getting today's treasure after successfully finding the elf...

What are some of your holiday traditions?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Congrats Chief!

The Hubs got promoted to Chief Warrant Officer-2 (CW-2) Friday- Woohoo!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

They Call it Kitty Love

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work I Go

I am happy to announce that my job search since moving back to NC has come to an end. I was offered and have accepted an Executive Director position with the North Carolina Alliance for Health, an independent, statewide coalition of individuals, businesses, and organizations working together to advocate for health improvement policies before North Carolina's legislative and executive branches. Their mission is to improve the health of North Carolinians by advocating policies that promote wellness and reduce the impact of tobacco use and obesity. I am really excited about this opportunity and feel especially fortunate to have found such an opportunity at a time when so many are losing their jobs in this rapidly deteriorating economy!

I also feel fortunate that I was able to stay at home with Sprite these past two and half years. It was a challenge transitioning from career woman to stay-at-home mommy after spending 7 years with an organization that I loved and I expect that transitioning back to career woman from stay-at-home mommy will be equally, if not more, challenging but I am ready to go back to work and Sprite is thriving in preschool! Plus, this particular opportunity allows me to work from home most days. I will have a lot of meeting in the RTP area and will spend some time at the legislative building when the General Assembly is in session but the bulk of the work can be done at home which allows for more flexibility as I strive for that work-home balance. This will be especially beneficial when the Hubs is deployed.

My official start date is December 10th but I have already started digging in and look forward to joining the Alliance in their quest to make North Carolina a healthier place to live and work.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Little Lady

I was here at the computer when Sprite emerged from the bathroom looking like this...

" Look Mama, it's coral bronze..."
"Here, let me give you a kiss!"

How is it that my two year old daughter can apply lipstick without a mirror better than I can with a mirror? Seriously???

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Lot To Be Thankful For

Sprout really wanted to make a cornucopia this year so I found this one at a craft store and let him fill it. He designed it all by himself with a pumpkin, gourds, berries and leaves! He was very proud of it! It was our centerpiece and decorating it will be a new tradition for us from now on along with our tablecloth.

Every year when we have Thanksgiving dinner at our house, we ask everyone to sign their name and/or write a small thought, then my sister-in-law, Amy, graciously sews it for me (since I don't know how to sew) with a differnt color thread each year. She then uses the same color thread to write the year along the edge. This tradition was passed down from Toby's Aunt Kathy and is one that I really love. It is fun to look back over the years and see who was sitting at our table and what they wrote. There are well wishes to Toby when he was deployed, wishes to unborn children when I was pregnant, signatures from my brother's ex-girlfriends who is now married, and misspelled words from friends who had a little too much wine!! It is a great conversation piece and I look forward to pulling it out every year and remembering how much I have to be thankful for, especially these 2 munchkins...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Gobble Gobble

"Don't eat me, eat Steak instead, Gobble, Gobble!"
By Sprout

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tonsils Smonsils

We have a new pediatrician and Sprout had his first appointment a few weeks ago. Even before she looked in his throat she could tell that his tonsils were enlarged- because of the "way" he talked, she said. I politely reminded her that he receives speech therapy for articulation delays. She said, "I remember you telling me that, but this is different, he talks like he's got a potato stuck in his throat!"

So she asked him to open up and say ahhhh.

"Good Lord" she said, they are huge. The poor kid's got 2 potatoes stuck in his throat! Come look Mom." Apparently, Sprout is sprouting potatoes in his throat!

She went on to ask questions about his sleeping patterns and habits. After hearing that he snores, has frequent chapped lips and is groggy and hard to get going in the morning she was convinced that the tonsils were a big concern and recommended that we go to an ENT for an evaluation.

Today was our appointment with the ENT and he too was concerned about the size of Sprout's tonsils. He was especially concerned after talking with us that Sprout may be suffering from sleep apnea as his tonsils are so large that they most likely obstruct his airway when the tissue relaxes in the back of his throat at night. This explains why he is so groggy and hard to get moving in the morning- he is not getting restful sleep. So, Sprout is having his tonsils and adenoids removed next Thursday!!!!

The doctor asked Sprout if he had any questions. Sprout wanted to know if tonsils were muscles. Gotta love his curiosity! The Doctor explained that they were not muscles but clumps of tissue. "Like tissue paper?" Sprout asked! ;)

He will be out of school for 2 weeks and on a strict diet of ice cream, popsicles, jello, pudding and yogurt. This is the only part of the deal that had Sprout smiling today.

I have been really impressed, possibly for the first time, with Sprout's new pediatrician and pediatrician's office in general. The entire staff is warm and caring and goes above and beyond to help. I can't tell you how many doctors we have been to that not only overlooked the enlarged tonsils but overlooked everything, including their bedside manners. This doctor could tell that his tonsils were enlarged simply by the way he talked-and she has a great personality-amazing!It is a huge relief to have found a doctor that we are comfortable with. It's been a long time coming.

While I am not looking forward to the surgery or recovery, I am looking forward to the weeks after when Sprout will be able to breath, speak and sleep better. Who knew that two clumps of tissue could cause so much trouble for a little guy. I suspect his behavior and/or mood may improve a bit too once he starts sleeping better and experiences less frustration regarding his speech and the ability of people to understand him. I'm not expecting a miracle here but I'll take whatever benefits that may come from this. ;)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cowgirl Princess

Sprite is a rough and tumble little girl who can hold her own with the boys but lately she has been showing more of her girly side.

Case in point...

Yesterday she decided to play dress up and emerged from her bedroom wearing a cowgirl hat, princess shoes and carrying a pink handbag.

Later in the day she decided to experiment with a little bit of makeup and covered her face and part of the bathroom with lipstick. I wish I had a picture of this but I was a little to preoccupied with the Lipstick Jungle in my bathroom to think about the Kodak moment.

I forsee a future filled with pink and battles over clothing and makeup!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-The view from here...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

The Reading Olympics and this family project are why I have been absent from the Blogosphere this past week...

It's been a big tackle but one that we have enjoyed more than we thought we would. We are still not done but are getting close; all that is left is the swingset and a little decorating...

Reading Olympics Results

Sprout and I read a total of 594 pages for the Reading Olympics.

Sprout read 152 pages by himself!

Go Sprout!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reading Olympics

Sprout has been working really hard on his reading lately and is participating in the Reading Olympics at his school. He is in need of sponsors to help him make it through to the end of the Olympics-November 19th and would like to know if you* would consider being one of his sponsors. You can pledge a dollar amount per page or per book. If you would like to sponsor him for the Reading Olympics, please let us know! You can makes checks payable to me if you want and then I will write one check, including our sponsorship, to turn into his school.

* You refers to family and friends who know who Sprout is but if you are reading this and are not a family member or friend and feel inclined to sponsor a young boy for the "Reading Olympics, at his Elementary school" I certainly won't turn your money away. :) So to all the Joe Plumbers out there- how 'bout sponsoring Sprout the Reader?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tag- You're It

I've been tagged by Amy ...

The rules: Remove 1 question from the list below, and add your own personal question to make it a total of 20 questions. Tag 8 people, list them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged.

1. At what age do/did you (wish to) marry? 19 seein' as how that's when I got married and all. I was young and in love... 12 years and still going strong!
2. What color do you like most? Green, green and green-'nuff said!
3. If you can have a superpower, what would it be? Matter ingestion-Ability to consume any sort of matter without any ill effects on the user... so I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight! Click here for a list of superpowers.
4. If you can travel anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? Ireland, see #2.
5. Which part of you do you hate the most? It's a toss up between my gigantic feet and the dark circles under my eyes. Since I can hide my feet but can't seem to hide the dark circles under my eyes with all of the concealer in the world, I'll go with that one.
6. When you get sad, what do you do? Cry- Is this a trick question; what do other people do?
7. What book are you reading now? For One More Day by Mitch Albom
8. If you win $1 million, what would you do with the money? Donate it all to charity. Ok, not all of it. I would pay off all of my debt, travel and build my home in the mountains!
9. What did you love the most about last year (2007)? My daughter started sleeping through the night.
10. How did you get your name? I was named after a Tanya Tucker song titled, "I'm Not Lisa." Yes, I am serious. No wonder I have identity issues! :)
11. What is the moment you regret most? Getting personal now are we? Some things are better left in the past...
12. What type of person do you hate the most? Mean people. Mean people suck!
13. What is your greatest asset? My butt. Oh, you didn't mean physically, did you?
14. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? For my children's dreams to come true.
15. How did you celebrate the New Year? I don't remember-how bad is that? And no I was not intoxicated. If I spent it with you and don't remember- I am sorry!
16. What tv show do you watch that you are embarrassed to tell people about? Sometimes if I am home during the day I peak at Days of Our Lives-Gasp! I know, I know but I grew up watching it with my Mom and Gram and can watch one episode every three years and catch up.
17. It’s 2008. What are you looking forward to this year? Spending time with my husband before he deploys.
18. Anything in your life that you wish weren’t so awful? My Mom's health.
19. What’s the shallowest thing you intend to do this year? See #13.
20. Coke or Pepsi?

I'm not very good at tagging people so if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged...

Tag-you're it!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Semi-Wordless Wednesday- Our Future...

Our Future...

This is why your vote matters...

Because their future is in our hands...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Punkmans

Sprout finding the perfect punkman...Sprite claiming hers...
Trying to capture the perfect picture of the munchkins in the pumpkins in not easy...
Smile guys...
One more time...No tongues this time...

Monday, October 27, 2008

State Fair

The Hubs and I finally made it to the NC State Fair on Saturday. For some reason though, it wasn't as fun as we remembered it. It seemed that there were far less interesting exhibits, unless of course you consider seeing the world's smallest woman in a cage interesting, and far more fried food!

Deep fried Mac & Cheese anyone? How about deep fried PB&J for the little ones??

I managed to stick to my diet though...
I had vegetables- deep fried of course!!! :)

There was the usual assortment of farm animals...

There were even the furry variety. The Hubs and I stood and watched the cow show for a few minutes and then marveled at how we just spent 5 minutes staring at cow asses. How romantic!

So we tried to enjoy the fair like a couple of teenagers and decided to tempt fate with a few carnival rides. We spent $20 on tickets at $1 a piece and stood in line for the roller coaster. When we reached the front of the line and saw that the ride was 5 tickets each- that would equate to $5 each if I am doing my math right- our excitement wained. We tried, we really tried to enjoy it but all we could really muster was a laugh, mostly about how ridiculous it was that we just wasted $10 on a 30 second ride. It was much more fun as a kid when we didn't realize or care what a waste it was and could enjoy the fair in all of our carefreeness.

The Hubs and I did manage to come up with a retirement plan though. As we were watching people get in an out of the roller coaster cars, we did some figuring. 4 people fit in one car which leaves every 30 seconds. Thats $40 every 30 seconds or $4800 an hour. Figure a minimum of 12 hours a day and you're talking $57,600. The average fair runs for 2 weeks which comes to a whopping grand total of $806,400 for ONE FAIR!!!! Granted, I imagine the insurance is costly and you have to figure the cost of the equipment and manpower but still...

So, we decided that we are going to travel the world as carnies, charging $5 a person for a 30 second ride and live the good life. We don't even have to shower if we don't want to, brushing our teeth is optional and we can avoid talking to people all day long and resort to grumbling!

Ok, ok, truth be told, this is the real reason I come to the NC State Fair...

Pottery, pottery and more pottery!

Despite our best attempt, we couldn't find much to enjoy about the fair (other than the pottery) but we did enjoy a little alone time holding hands, so I guess it was worth it after all!

Fair Tickets: $14

Fried Food: $12

Ride Tickets: $20

Exhibits: $5

A little alone time with the Hubs walking hand in hand: Priceless

There are some things that money can't buy...

For everything else, there's Mastercard! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- Civic Duty

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blowin Off Steam

Don't mess with this Mama...

especially on a bad day...

I'm a good shot!