Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Pure Joy

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mother's Day Giveaway

They say a picture is worth a thousand words or a thousand dollars in this case. The ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting a Mother's Day Giveaway/Photo Contest with a gift of $1,000 thanks to Egg Beaters.
Here is my official entry but be sure to scroll down for my version of "Motherhood in Pictures," in honor of Mothers everywhere.

"Motherhood in America"
This picture really is worth a thousand words to me.

It is a picture of my husband receiving his Warrant Officer commission. I know it may not seem like a picture that reflects motherhood in the traditional sense of the word but it epitomizes motherhood to me. I am pinning my husband's new rank on his uniform, the uniform that he proudly wears to protect his family and our freedoms. We are together as a family supporting one another. The look on my husband's face as he gazes into our daughter's eyes melts my heart. Our son is the one taking the picture. I just love that it is from his perspective (he was 4 at the time.). It gives me a glimpse of life through his eyes which is a beautiful place to see life through.

Every Mom has struggles and faces adversity; military Moms are no different. Being a military Mom comes with its own challenges. My husband was deployed overseas when I found out I was pregnant the first time and he deployed again only days after finding out I was pregnant with our second child. I was very sick for the first 5 months of both pregnancies and it was hard being alone and wondering if my husband would come home to meet his child.
Being a military Mom means being strong when you are scared and feel like falling apart, forcing the tears away when you hear the stories, and helping your children and spouse feel connected despite the distance between them. Despite the difficulties that come with being a military Mom, this pictures reminds me to be thankful for the freedoms I have as a mother and to celebrate mothers everywhere; especially when I stop to think about the thousands of woman who die each year in these countries where my husband is deployed due to lack of basic care or when I think about the countless military mothers who experience childbirth alone or the Moms whose families are ripped apart by the realities of war.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful family to call my own and thank my lucky stars and stripes for every day we have together as a family. This is motherhood to me. What is motherhood to you?
"Motherhood in Pictures"
Motherhood is a journey (not a destination)...

That includes playing in the rain...

And stopping to smell the flowers...

Sometimes, the road can be a little bumpy...

Other times, it's a walk in the woods...

Somedays, all you can do is laugh...

Other days, your hair stands on end and all you want to do is scream...

Somedays, you have to bite your tongue...

And other days, you have to be silly and let it all hang out...

But everday you have to revel in the beauty and innocence of childhood...

and thank God for every moment...!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Filch It Friday- 10 Easy Ways to Save the Earth

Today's filch is compliments of Skimbaco and is a tribute to Earth Day. Her post outlines Ten Easy Ways to Save the Earth. I have been trying to live a little greener and be more aware of what kind of footprints I am leaving and what habits I am teaching my children. While I still have a long way to go, here is my list of Ten Easy Ways to Save the Earth that I am trying to incorporate into our daily lives.

1. Paper or Plastic? Neither
I have switched to reusable canvas bags for shopping (I like the ones's from Wal-Mart that have the saying above but there are sooo many cute one's to choose from these days). I have a basket in the back of the car full of reusable bags so I always have them with me. I also keep one in the baby bag which I almost always have with me for those quick in and out trips. If I do forget and end up with paper bags I save them and use them as wrapping paper for gifts and let the kids decorate them with artwork.

2. Cut Back Use of Bottled Water
The bottles for water amount to 4 billion pounds of plastic and cost $70 million to bury annually. I have stopped drinking bottled water and fill a pitcher every morning of filtered water that I drink throughout the day. Not only does this save on waste but it helps ensure that I am drinking my 8 glasses a water a day!

3. Use Less Disposable Items
We use lunch boxes and tupperware instead of zip-lock bags, use washclothes to wipe the kitchen counters instead of paper towels (I am really trying to watch my use of paper towels, I use too many!) I am going to buy washable napkins too!

4. Reuse or Recycle Packaging
I use diaper wipe containers for everything from markers, to playing cards to marbles. I also buy my wipes in bulk once I have enough containers and refill them. Flip top mayo jars also work great for storing markers and other art supplies.

5. Recycle Old Things
I have always tried to recycle our old items, like clothing. I usually donate it to a shelter of some kind or thrift shop. I also like to shop at thrift shops. I truly believe that someone's trash is someone else's treasure.

6. Change Light Bulbs
I will be installing compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) which convert most of the energy they use into light rather than heat. They consume about 75 percent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer (10,000 hours as opposed to 1,500).

7. Unplug Things That Glow
I am attempting to unplug anything that has an LED light that glows when I am done using it. continues to draw power (that you pay for). Your TV, cell phone charger, and printer are likely culprits. Not only is this a easy way to save electricity, it is an easy way to save money too.

8. Buy Local
I try to buy local produce when possible. Not only am I getting the freshest food possible, I'm saving energy too by reducing the fossil fuels needed to transport food and other items across the country and around the globe. I stop by local stands for tomatoes and other produce and pick my own berries and freeze them for later use.

9. Do Full Loads
I always do FULL loads (my husband can attest to this!). Washing just a few clothes or dishes at a time rather than waiting for a full load to accumulate, wastes water, power, and money. Combining half-loads, choosing short cycles, and using cold or warm rather than hot water in the clothes washer racks up savings. I knew there was a method to my madness!

10. Go Paperless
We pay our bills electronically, receive electronic statements, have direct deposit and transfer funds electronically. This saves paper, postage and gas with fewer trips to the bank.

And here's my bonus one...
Pass on the Pull-Ups
It will soon be time to start potty training Sprite and I have already decided to pass on the Pull-Ups and opt for training pants as disposable training pants can take up to 500 years to biodegrade in a landfill!!! I wish I could say that I don't use dispoable diapers, but I can't. I never could do the cloth diaper thing. Baby steps people, baby steps!

Bigfoot Sighting or Sandy Sentiments?

When I shot this picture and then saw the result I was feeling all sentimental and immediately thought of the poem Footprints In the Sand, but when the Hubs saw it the first that came to his mind was something about Bigfoot, also know as Sasquatch.

"Bigfoot is described as being between 7 and 10 feet tall, and covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. The head seems to sit directly on the shoulders, with no apparent neck." Wait a minute-I don't know how I feel about this! I have a neck!

So what comes to your mind when you look at this picture?

Footprints In The Sand Poem?

Bigfoot Spotted in Panama City Beach, Fl?

Something Else?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- Footprints In The Sand

I took these pictures during our recent trip to Panama City Beach, FL.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gulf World

We ended our trip to Panama City Beach with a trip to Gulf World. I LOVE Gulf World!! It is a small and more intimate marine rehabilitation center where they provide education and hands-on experiences for the kids. The kids ran around squealing in delight! Our time at Gulf World made up for our failed trip to the Georgia Aquarium ten-fold!

We wandered through the aviary and marveled at the exotic birds.
A few of them even talked to us!

Then we touched the stingrays. There was one little guy who was really friendly and kept swimming back and forth to get his fins rubbed!

(That's him)

We sat and watched two rescued dolphins play and frolic and watched a sea lion stand on his head before watching the shark and sea turtle feeding show.

During the show we learned about one turtle (Harvey) who was attacked by a shark nearly thirty years ago and washed ashore barely alive. He was not able to return to the sea due to his injuries but he has lived happily in his new home at Gulf World for the past thirty years!

(I just love this guy!)

And just before we left we watched the sea lion show where Sprout got to shake hands/fins with a giant sea lion named Duke!

We had an amazing time and Sprite was so tired by the end that she was falling asleep as I was putting her in her carseat. She was fast asleep before we even hit the main drag and slept the entire way home! Sprout was just so excited about his weekend that he was happily chattering away about everything that we did and saw and wanted to know when we could come back!

Soon- very, very soon!

Down By The Sea

I took the kids to Panama City Beach for a couple of days to enjoy a little fun in the sun at the Emerald Coast. I wanted to do something fun for Sprout's Spring Break and even though the Hubs could not join us, it was an absolutely blissful trip and I am so glad that we went. The kids were in heaven playing in the white sand and emerald green water. They played in the sand, collected sea shells, let the surf chase them and even began laying their heads on the sand as evening approached. I think they would have slept there if they could have. They were up just after dawn and we hit the beach again first thing in the morning. We were the only one's on the beach and it was so peaceful and serene.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bushels of Berries

We went strawberry picking yesterday at a local farm (Country Best Farm) with some friends and a great time was had by all.

The kids picked lots and lots of big, red, juicy strawberries and even tasted a few along the way (it's ok, they're pesticide free!). By the time they were all done we had nearly 15 pounds of fresh strawberries!!!!!

Looks like we will be having lots of strawberry shortcake, strawberry smoothies, strawberry milkshakes, spinach and strawberry salad, strawberry pancakes, strawberry jam... in the coming days! I did freeze a bunch to use in my smoothies but if you have any great recipes that include strawberries- send them my way!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- Makin Fun of Mamma!

This picture was taken after Sprout announced, "You need more weight Mamma!"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Taking On Tholocco

The weather was beautiful- clear blue skies and a slight breeze, so we packed a picnic lunch, dug out the sand toys, loaded the kayak and headed to Tholocco Lake for a fun-filled Sunday! Sprite and Sprout loved being on the water and each tried their hand at paddling! I think they would have headed out on their own if we had let them. They were both ready to take on Tholocco Lake!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Smile Through the Tears

I just love this picture. Something about the way she is smiling through her tears with chocolate on her face just tugs at my heart strings.

This one photo shows that she is surprisingly strong-willed yet irresistably charming. She is tough and tumble yet gentle and loving. She is wildly expressive yet shy and demure. It combines her vulnerability and innocence while showing her resilience-not to mention her love of saying "Cheese" for the camera- in any situation!

It reminds me of "What is a Girl? by Alan Beck:

"Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. They are born with a little bit of angel shine about them and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart. A little girl can be sweeter, and badder, oftener than anyone else in the world. ... She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she provokes you, the quietest when you want to show her off and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best
of you again. Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment and genuine delight than this combination...? Just when your patience is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you've lost again. And when your dreams tumble down and the whole world is a mess she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, "I love you best of all."

She is all of this and so much more! She is MY GIRL

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Waskly Wabbit

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday- Mini Makeover

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Before- Dark and Drab:

After- Fun and Flirty:

Mini Makeover compliments of the Hubs! He bought me a gift certificate to Rituals Day Spa for Valentine's Day and I decided to save it for a little Spring spruce up. A hot stone massage, a pedicure, a little cut, color and a few sweepy bangs and I feel like a new woman!

Thanks babe!

Oh, and no looking at the size of my skis or fingertoes- only the pretty pink polish and the tattoos if you like- they distract from the size of my feet!

Playin In The Rain

"Hi Momma!"



"Can we do it again?"

I was glad to see my kayak getting some use, even if it was in the side yard!

Monday, April 7, 2008


Lightning crashed an my iPod died! Seriously!

My iPod was still hooked up to the computer from doing my Filch It Friday post about what my iPod says about me and we had some very strong thunder storms roll through. One good lightning strike and the thing was deader than a door nail. I figured it must have been Bad Karma and wrote a really corny post saying farewell to my little nano by incorporating all of the song titles from the previous post.

I was bored, what can I say?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bad Karma

Lightning Crashes, my iPod dies!

I hope you're Burning Bright in Wide Open Spaces.

Congratulations on finding your New Soul with the Lips of an Angel.

And don't worry, for You and Me, The End Has Only Begun.

Shine On my friend.

Forever and Ever Amen!

I'm a little Numb and It's Starting to Get to Me.

I might end up Overweight (without my workout partner).

To this I say Life's A Bitch!

Wake Me Up When September Ends.

Time to Try Again

Now All I Need is a new iPod.

So I can listen to the songs that remind me of That Summer a long, long Hace Tiempo (Time Ago) when She's In Love With The Boy and not the Piano Man.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Filch It Friday- What's On Your iPod?

This filch is compliments of Fully Alive...Ready to Smile who filched it from who filched it from Christine at Manic Mommy who filched it from Phoenix Says Stuff who filched it from... I don't know the origin of this meme but I thought it was pretty cool so here goes.

The rules are simple: Hit shuffle on your iPod (I have a silver nano for those of you who were wondering) then answer each question by hitting next. NO CHEATING!!!

Q: What does next year have in store for you.
A: Congratulations by Blue October (this could be good!)

Q: What does your love life look like next year?
A: Forever and Ever Amen by 8mm (Aww)

Q: What do you say when life gets hard?
A: All I Need by Matt Kearney (good one, huh?)

Q: Song that reminds you of good times?
A: Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day

Q: What do you think when you get up in the morning?
A:Lightning Crashes by Live (I don't know what this means!)

Q: What song will you dance to at your wedding?
A: She's In Love With The Boy by Trisha Yearwood (OMG, this is so perfect. We didn't actually have a wedding so we didn't dance at a wedding but this is the song I used to sing to the hubs when we were kids and dating. He used to laugh and didn't believe me. Here we are almost 12 years later-look at us now!)

Q: Song that reminds you of your first kiss?
A: Try Again by Keane (So true! My first kiss was so sloppy and akward and no it was not with the hubs!)

Q: Your favorite saying?
A: It's Beginning To Get To Me by Snow Patrol

Q: Favorite place?
A: The End Has Only Begun by Lifehouse

Q: Most Missed Memory?
A: Hace Tiempo by Fonseca (This is cool because one of my all time favorite memories is visiting my husband in Colombia South America where we listened to and danced to this song)

Q: What song describes your best friend?
A: Shine On by Mercy Me (she does shine on too!)

Q: What song describes your ex?
A: That Summer by Garth Brooks (hmmm)

Q: Where would you go on a first date?
A: Piano Man by Billy Joel (a piano bar maybe?)

Q: Drug of choice?
A: Life's A Bitch by Shooter

Q: What song describes yourself?
A: Overweight by Blue October (ok, this is NOT even funny!!!! Great for my self esteem! Excuse me while I go for a run and make myself vomit- kidding! Proof that I'm not cheating right here!)

Q: What is the thing you like doing most?
A: You and Me by Lifehouse (yeah, this works!)

Q: The song that best describes the president?
A: Numb by Linkin Park (could it be more fitting?)

Q: Where will you be in 10 years?
A: New Soul by Yeal Naim (this is a little scary!)

Q: Your love life right now?
A: Wide Open Spaces by Dixie Chicks (I am not even going to go there!)

Q: What is your state of mind like at the moment?
A: Burning Bright by Shinedown (thanks to my large cup o Joe!)

Q: How will you die?
A: Lips of an Angel by Hinder (not a bad way to go!)

This was very cool and a little bit eery at the same time. What does Your ipod say about you?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Grumpy Toes and Chiles

Yesterday we went to the park for a little afternoon fun in the sun with the munchkins. We brought Sprout's bike and kite and a ball for Sprite. Sprout wanted nothing to do with his bike and finally decided to fly his kite with Daddy once Daddy got it high in the sky. Sprite and I kicked the ball around for a while and stopped to pick flowers whenever we saw a patch. Sounds lovely, right? It was, except for the constant whining that ensued. "It's hot, I need a drink, there's a lot of bugs, I want to go home... and a few shrieks from Sprite when ever her brother came near her ball." The hubs and I laughed and said "well, we tried, maybe we should throw in the towel and just take these grumpy toes home!" This comment led to a very interesting conversation.

"Grumpy Toes- what the heck are you talking about?!"

The Hubs shook his head and laughed at this. "Grumpitos, get it?"

I looked at him with a confused look on my face and said "I have no idea what you are talking about."

With a look of complete disbelief, he said "Nevermind."

"No, explain it to me because I am so confused and have no idea what you are talking about."

He went into some explanation about how "ito" is used to mean "little" in Spanish, therefore Grumpitos roughly translates into Little Grumps.

"Oh, I said, now I get it but if you say Grumpitos and you have no reference it sounds like Grumpy Toes!"

We had a good laugh about this and refered to the munchkins as Grumpy Toes for the rest of the night.

This reminded me of some of the other terms/nicknames/expressions that we have made up and use in the family. We have quite a few nicknames for the kids, especially when they are being grumpy.

Grumpy Guts -this is what we called Sprout when he was a baby and was being grumpy.

Grumbelina or Crabby Miss Crabby Patty -these are Sprite's nicknames when she is being grumpy or crabby.

We also often combine Spanish and English words to create our own goofy names as demonstarted above. This stems from my husband's use of the language and frequent deployments to South America. Here are a few of the others:

Chiles/Chilitos (see, there's that -itos again)- we use this to refer to the kids sometimes. Chiles or Little Chiles. It combines children and chiles because our children are spicy/sassy like Chiles. ex. "How were the chiles today?"

Mujer- my husband sometimes refers to me as "woman" (this is done in a joking manner and I do not take offense to it) but if the kids are around he calls me "mujer" which is Spanish for Woman, so Sprout doesn't start calling me "woman."

Jose Willis- this is one of Sprout's nicknames. I think it is a way of making "Whatch you talkin bout Willis?" sound Spanish. I frequently use this infamous phrase from Different Strokes in the perfect Gary Coleman voice when Sprout says something crazy and this was my husband's way of making fun of me and creating a nickname for Sprout at the same time.

Chimichanga Chewibacca- this is a nickname for our dog. He is an extremly hairy mongral and we think he looks like Chewbacca from Star Wars. He has also gained weight over the years so now we think he looks like a hairy burrito. I know this is completely crazy and I can't even believe I am sharing this but these are the things my husband and laugh about in bed at night.

Ok- enough with Spanglish creations here. Please do not take offense to these. We are not making fun of the Spanish language, we simply incorporated this beutiful language into our daily lives when it was a big part of my husband's life and some of the nicknames just stuck.

We do have a few other interesting expressions that have no reference to the Spanish language.

Boy- This is how we often refer to Sprout. ex. "Where's boy?"

Baby- This is also how we refer to Sprite. ex. "What's baby doing?"

I don't even know how these started but it has become a habit. We do it so frequently that when other people hear it they look at us funny. I think they think our children don't have names. You'll be glad to know that we do not use these when talking to directly to the children/chiles/chilitos as in " Boy, come here!" Just when the hubs and I are talking.

Munchkins- You've probably heard me use this one before. I often refer to the chiles as munchkins. This started when we moved to Kansas and visited the Wizard of Oz museum. I started using a lot of Wizard of Oz references when we lived in and moved away from Kansas. This is a term of endearment as I think the Munchkins are magical little creatures! And when we moved to AL, I used to say, "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."

This last one is not a nickname but something that Sprout came up with that I just love.

Tickle Pet- Sprout loves to have his feet rubbed when he is relaxing before bed. He gets a foot rubbing every night but it is not just any foot rubbing. He is very particular about his foot rubbings and has termed this nightly ritual "Tickle Pet" because it is part tickling and part petting, if you will. He likes me to use my fingernails in a tickly way while petting/rubbing the tops of his feet. ex. "mommy will you tickle pet my feet?" And Mommy is the tickle petting champion by the way. Daddy just can't do it right. Probably because he doen't have fingernails.

Anyway I just think this is so darn cute I can't resist giving the chile/chilito/munckin/jose willis/boy a nice tickle pet before bed! Now whenever Sprout is being a Grumpy Toe I know I can just start tickle petting his toes and all his grumps will disappear!

What are some of your family nicknames or expressions? Please tell me we are not the only ones with crazy nicknames!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- He Can Count By Twos and Tie His Shoes