Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Popping out for a min ...

I know I have been absent for a while, but don't worry - I shall soon return to the blogging world.

The reason for this post is that a few months ago I had signed up with a website and pretty much forgot about it until a recent email which said ...
Hey Momma!
You are now on the front page of TopMomma.com!!!! Time is of the essence, so make sure that you tell all your friends and readers ASAP to get the most clicks possible. Your referral url is: http://www.topmomma.com/mommas/referal/2126 So spread the word- and good luck!

There is no need to sign up or anything, but if you could click that way once it'd be great! (FYI - Currently my picture is on the front page but not sure how long it will stay up there)

I'm a Top Mommma!

I hope everyone has had a good holiday season!

See you next year!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Break

Sorry for my absence ... things have risen up that must be taken care of.

I will be on a break for a while yet.

Friday, October 24, 2008

He's Back!!!

After almost 7 months, Brian is now back. He returned yesterday at noon, and we have been enjoying some wonderful family time since. We are off to go take care of somet things, and I will post more pictures later.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Creepy Crawlies

Children seem to be attracted to them. Or it could be the other way around. I don't remember being as interested in little creatures so much when I was younger - then again, my memory isn't always the greatest.

Last Saturday I was at my friend's house doing some planning for our girl scout troop. When we left, her neighbor was finishing up a yard sale. I was able to pick up "The Incredibles" for Gamecube for only $3, and while I did that Karah managed to pick up a little gecko. It was bright green, and it seemed to like her. Now, the kids know that bugs or similarly small creatures do not get to come in the vehicle with us, so imagine my surprise when I find out while I'm driving that it's in the truck with us. Thankfully, we only live a few blocks away, but it still made me nervous. When we got home and it got out, I took a picture of Karah holding it.


I love this picture!

Of course, once we got home and took the pictures, I told her she had to let it go. I was done with little creatures for the day - or so I thought. While they were out back playing, Vincent caught this little guy. He came to show it to me and I screamed when it jumped towards me. A sure sign of getting old, I think. Anyways, it was this teeny little frog, smaller than a quarter. And no, it's not dead in the first picture, though I wonder if it was trying to play that way so Vincent would leave it alone :-) Eventually it did hop into the grass and I told the kids to leave it alone. Finally, I was done with little critters for the day!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Cowabunga!

That's the word the kids were debating over earlier today as they played TMNT on their Gamecube. Vincent said it was "Calibunga" while Karah argued that it was "Califunga". After getting a few laughs out of it and sharing it with Brian via Yahoo messenger, I informed them of the correct way to say the word.



This past week was spent working on schoolwork in the morning and housework in the afternoon. The day is fast approaching when Brian will return home and we are so excited! We want everything to be perfect for his return. Though I've found that there's a lot involved to achieve perfect - *sigh* Good thing he's worth it :-)

As for my previous post about Karah, I think it was just a fluke. She never had anything after that day, and I think she was imagining it. *WHEW!* Still ended up having some of the talk with her, so when it really happens it shouldn't be so much of a shock.

Here are a couple pictures from this past week.



Karah & Vincent at Books-A-Million looking at an "I Spy" book

Vincent on Sunday selling popcorn for cub scouts.

Karah helping out at the popcorn table

Oh, for those that were wondering how many skittles really did fit into the little water bottle ...

the total is - 895

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

But she's only 9!

Today, my little girl told me that she had seen a little blood when she was in the bathroom. She said it was teeny, so I told her to let me know if it was still there the next time she went. Yes, it was and there was more of it. It seems like only yesterday she was this teeny little thing, and now she's growing up so fast! I hadn't planned on trying to explain these kinds of things to her for a couple more years yet. I didn't expound too much on it, just barely skimmed. For those of you that have had the talk with your daughter, got any advice?

Karah on the phone with daddy yesterday morning, sitting in her new chair.
She bought it last week with her allowance at the thrift store on base for only $5!


Vincent took a self-portrait when playing with the camera.
He's always had blue eyes, but they seem especially blue in this picture (at least to me).

How Many?

Yesterday I put this little goody together for my girl scout troop. It's a guess-the-number thing, and it will be one of the activities towards the Math Whiz badge. I decided to use a water bottle instead of just a jar, in hopes that it could actually get some use after the candy was enjoyed. Each badge has 10 activites, and they have to complete any 6 of the activities to earn the badge. This year, I decided to implement badge work in the start up activity. Since math whiz is a lot of activities, it will cover the start up activities for the next six meetings, and then I think we'll go to puzzles! :-)
So, how many skittles can you fit in the water bottle?

I'll give the answer in a later post! :=)

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's all about Him


Ps19.1, originally uploaded by musicalgem79.

Due to some physical ailments, I was unable to go to church today. I very much missed it, so the kids and I read some from the Bible and sang some songs. Not a replacement, I know, but I didn't want them to think we were just "skipping" church.

While I was sitting here (unable to do much else) I played around with my photo editing software. I took this picture a few weeks ago on the way to church one evening. (I was actually driving at the time, so I'm glad it turned out pretty good!) The verse just jumped out at me, so I took the time to put them together. I hope you enjoy the beauty that God gave us!

Flickr

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fun Run

Well, I didn't run, but I did walk a mile with the kids & Penny today. They had a Dog Day at the Park for a few hours this morning, starting with a fun run/walk. I thought it'd be good to get Penny out and around some other dogs. She did very well for being her first time. On the walk the kids took turns taking pictures (which I will post later because my laptop doesn't like to read the memory card) and overall had a good time. Vincent was sad that we didn't get any medal, as they had some for the top three finishers in the classes of women, men, & children 16 and under. I reminded him about who was being pokey because they were throwing a fit (it was him). After the walk they had some water bowls for the dogs to get a drink and there I found out that I have a picky pet. Penny sniffed at practically every bowl (about 2 dozen) and wouldn't take so much as a lick out of any of them.

After looking around for a bit longer we decided to go home. When we got to the truck I got out the travel water bowl I had brought with and put it down and she took a nice, long drink. Go figure! ~lol~ Anyways, we had a good time with her today. She did well on the ride and around the other dogs. AND - I didn't have to clean up any messes! :-D

I should mention that I have noticed that at places where animals can roam free (like Petsmart, or today's dog day at the park), the kids are more excited than being in the toy aisle at a store! They see a dog, and they just run up to pet it, especially Vincent. I tell them they need to ask first because it's not their pet, and some pets aren't so friendly. They do pretty well, but reminders kept coming out a lot today :-) They enjoyed seeing all the different kinds of dogs, and Karah informed me that she wants to save $100 so she can buy a little dog and all it's supplies. She wants her own to run with next time. We'll have to wait and see on that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Art Class

Personally, I find the title pretty funny as I don't consider myself very artsy. Anyways, the other day for art class they decorated some steno notebooks for use at church. I helped a little and kept it from getting too cluttered, but they did most of it themselves. They really liked them as you can see from the pictures. I think they did a really good job. Karah chose some great sayings for hers, and I absolutely adore the tie on Vincent's. Stay tuned for further art class projects (for better or worse!)




The inside front cover


In a crafty mood

I bought the kids a new Bible each a few weeks ago since their old ones were in pretty rough shape. Karah wanted a Bible cover, but the ones they sell are so expensive it seems. So, I thought I'd make one. I measured the Bible, cut out a pattern 1/2" larger on each side, used some quilt batting in the middle, and some ribbon on the edges. It turned out okay, for the first time - especially considering as I'd never made a pattern before! Since there was enough material left, I was able to make her a dress to match, and a scrunchie too! She was thrilled! (Aren't all girls happy when they get new clothes?)






Class is in session

On September 8, 2008, we started our first day of homeschooling. This was an answer to prayer and something I have looked forward to doing for some time now. Both Karah and Vincent were also excited about the prospect as well. We went with a fairly easy (to me) , curriculum since it was new to everyone but me. So far, we are about 2 1/2 weeks into it and are enjoying it. Sure, Vincent isn't always happy when I actually make him do his work, but I have seen such an improvement in him - in just the first week alone - that it is so worth it. He is reading and writing better, and was SO happy when on his first test he got a 100% :-) Karah is also doing well, although she had a rough start. All her work required cursive writing, and she had only learned a few letters last year so on the first day, it was a crash course in cursive writing. She has since improved as well, and is doing much better (and I only have to correct a letter every once in a while, as opposed to a letter per page). All in all, it is going very well so far, and I am looking forward to the rest of the school year. I so enjoy spending time with them and watching them learn and grow.


Karah & Vincent on the first day of school
(still gotta have a first day pic!)
Vincent took it upon himself to look up the verse in his Bible when reading through his goals.
Karah reading how to sit in order to write properly before tackling cursive writing.
Vincent picked this cute little flower for me at recess.
(It didn't last too long, but it was a sweet gesture and I got a picture!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just playin' around

While trying to walk my sister through how to make a slideshow / video, I was doing it myself so I could tell her right. Here is the result. I ended up using the pictures from when Brian left and I think it turned out alright. I know with some tweaking it could be better. Still - enjoy!


video

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Too Precious

This evening it was my turn to sing special music before the service, and I had narrowed it down to this song. I've been practicing it for a little while now, but something happened when I got up there and started to sing. It was as if the Lord opened my eyes - really opened them -to the words, the message, for the first time. This sense of overwhelming came over me, and it took quite an effort to not bawl right then and there. (That happened later) As it was, my eyes got a little watery (but not to where I coudln't see the music) and I was able to sing with a real conviction.


The song is "Too Precious" with the music written by Dan Whittemore and the words based on Psalm 49. In between the two verses, I read some verses from Psalm 49. Please enjoy these words (written how I sang/said it) and I pray they touch your heart.




TOO PRECIOUS

Verse 1
All my life I dreamed of good fortune,
And there were times I sought to be honored by men;
Yet, if I owned the richest of kingdoms,
Still I could not save myself from my sin.
Chorus
Too precious, by far, to be sold
Or ransomed for mere earthly gold.
If wealth were the way,
All earth could not pay
The price that could save a man's soul.

Psalm 49:6-15
They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.
Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in hte grave from their dwelling.
But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah

Verse 2
Tho' I speak of life everlasting,
I know my life is only as long as the day;
For it is only the love of my Savior
That redeems me from my sin and its grave.
Chorus
Too precious, by far, to be sold
Or ransomed for mere earthly gold.
If wealth were the way,
All earth could not pay
The price that could save a man's soul

Tag
If wealth were the way,
All earth could not pay
The price that could save a man's soul.



Monday, August 11, 2008

A little update

Just a quick update on how things are going on around here. After my sister left I was a bit down again, but I was able to keep busy which helped. Last week we had VBS at our church, and I was in charge of crafts for our class. It was a fun time and also a blessing seeing the visitors join the others and really get involved in memorizing verses and answering questions.

Later this morning, I will begin the journey to get the kids. After looking into prices for planes, trains, bus, and gas (driving), Greyhound was the winner. With military discounts, the total came to $417.60. Had I driven, it would have been about $800-$900 for gas alone. This way I don't have to drive and I save money, but the downfall is it's a 2 day trip there and a 2 day trip back. But I am just happy to be getting the kids back. It's been way too quiet and lonely around here.

So I am off to get a nap before this long trip. When I return, I'm sure I'll be worn out but extremely happy!

Sisters Getting Along

As I write this I realize that it's been almost a month since I last posted. Although nothing really much happened around here until my sister came out for a visit. She was here from July 23-30.

From the beginning it was bound to be interesting. Her flight in Atlanta got delayed, so instead of going to pick her up after church, I went home to eat and kill time for a couple hours. Being a bit sore, I stretched out on the couch for a minute, or at least that was my intent. Next thing I know, my phone is ringing and she is wondering where I am at. Uh oh! I live about 30-45 minutes away from the airport so I shoot out the door and input the airport into the GPS while on the way. Now she came into a small airport that is not open 24/7, they usually close at 11pm, and at this point it is midnight. I rush out there as fast as possible and pick her up. After the hugs and hellos, she mentions as we're driving home that she thought it was mom driving at first. I still don't know how to take that one, so I "just smile and wave".

I took the scenic route home (if you can call city lights scenic) and then we talked for a bit before finally settling in for the night. The next day I showed her around base and we did a little shopping. We didn't really do a whole lot, just spent a lot of time together. It was good for both of us as it was a bit lonely out here by myself, and she needed a break from work and a chance to rest. On Saturday we went to the beach for a little bit and walked along the water's edge, but we hadn't brought our bathing suits. We still got wet though! We went again on Tuesday ready for some water fun. Note to self: *bring and use sunblock next time!*

I had some but forgot when we went, and we both got baked pretty good. I don't usually burn too much, maybe get a little pink, and then I tan afterwards, but I got really red this time. Ella got even redder than I did and we were both groaning and "ow"ing the rest of the night and the next day (which is when she had to travel back). Even though, we still had a good time and it ended all too soon. And amazingly enough, we were still on talking terms with each other! (Growing up we were known for our constant fighting/bickering with each other and even in past adult get togethers, we still couldn't be around each other for more than a few days). We've really grown closer over the past few years, and I couldn't be happier!

So please enjoy these pictures of me and my little sis (who is 6 inches taller than me!)

These are the shoes I talked Ella into getting. Aren't they cute?


Ella at the beach





Us sisters at the beach


We had a mini Mary Kay makeover on Monday. It was fun!








The two of us going out to dinner after the afternoon at the beach
(see all the red?)

Monday, July 14, 2008

The half-way point

Well, it is now half-way through the deployment, based on 210 days. Of course that could change a bit, but not by much. It's hard to believe he's been gone for 3 1/2 months already!

Things were going by pretty fast when the kids were here, but they've been gone for 3 weeks now. It's been awfully quiet and boring around here so I got myself a puppy :-) The kids and I went to visit her before they left (needed to make sure she'd be good with the kids) and we liked her, so I picked her up the Friday after the kids left. Her name is Penny, she's about 6 months old, was already house broken, came with food, bed & a kennel, and - she was free! (Pictures down below!) I found her on Lejeune Yard Sales, which I have become a little almost addicted to. Luckily for my bank account, I just mostly look!

Also, today, after some talking and debating with Brian (which, as he's deployed, has taken longer than I anticipated), we have finally come to a decision to home school the children this year. This is such an answer to prayer for me, as it's something I have thought about since I got out of the Marine Corps, but have felt especially drawn to do within the past year. We will be using the ACE cirriculum - I thought it best to break Brian in gently :-)

So far this summer, since the kids have been gone, I have found myself not doing as much as I had planned on. It's a little hard to get myself motivated with no one around to see. (I usually do better under pressure, anyways). Over the next couple of weeks I plan on really delving into the garage. The goal is to have a massive garage sale to get rid of stuff so I can actually use the garage to park the truck in. What a concept! :-)


Also, my sister will be here from July 23-30, and that will be fun. It's been a couple of years since I've seen her, and she gets to visit a new place, too. We are both looking forward to the visit!



Just a few pics to share ....



Here are the kids at Books-A-Million, where we had gone for Vincent's birthday(June 21). We also later that day went to a Toys R Us grand opening, and walmart, where the boys got to spend their birthday money. This is the last day they were all together. Left to right, oldest to youngest, Karah - 9, Brian Lee - 8, and Vincent - 7. They grow up way too quick!






Here are Karah & Vincent having some fun when we were at the airport in Raleigh. We had gotten there in plenty of time, and then a plane blew a tire when it was landing, causing the airport to shut down for a bit. Originally we were to have an almost 2 hr layover in San Antonio, but because of the delays our would be plane took off just minutes after we landed. Thankfully, we were able to make the next flight a couple of hours later.


Karah & Vincent playing "I spy" at the airport


Here's Penny! She's a shepherd/lab mix and very loveable!

I just love this picture of her!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

After spending most of the day at RDU & IAH yesterday due to delays, I am finally on the return journey. I can't wait to get home!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I know it's been sooo long...

But things have been crazy busy around here lately. Last week was a mostly relaxing week except for the two birthdays. Brian Lee turned 8 on the 19th, and Vincent turned 7 on the 21st. My baby is 7 already! This week will be emotional as tomorrow I fly the kids to Texas for the summer, which means it's going to be a very long summer for me!
I hope this update helps some. I will post more when I'm not trying to pack 2 suitcases & 3 carry-ons. :-)
Here is Karah with a large size waffle cone from Ben & Jerry's - she bought it with her first allowance!
Vincent with his huge waffle cone - June 2, 2008

June 6, 2008 - Here are the kids at the Cherry Point Air Show. We went to the night showing - missed the Blue Angels, but got to see fireworks and had a lot of fun. Will post more pics of it later.

June 19, 2008 - Brian Lee got his first webkinz on his 8th birthday. It's the elephant, the pet of the month, and he named it "Squirt". How appropriate!
June 20, 2008 - The kids on webcam with daddy (I'm holding the webcam so he could see all 3 of them). I am so thankful for technology. Brian now has internet in his room so we're able to chat online. :-D
June 21, 2008 - Vincent opened his birthday presents at Books-A-Million, and then proceeded to spend some birthday money on another webkinz. As you can see, here he is with his Lil' Kinz Black Lab (Black-E) and the rest of his presents. Can you believe he's 7 years old?

June 21, 2008 - One last pic of the children together for a couple of months. Brian Lee - 8, Vincent - 7, Karah - 9

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Has it been 9 years already?

It seems like just yesterday she was this tiny little thing ... a mere 6lbs 6oz with her black hair & black eyes. It's amazing to look back and see how she has grown into a beautiful, young girl. She's a perfectionist, very loving, sings well, and wants to learn how to play some instruments. She also is not a big fan of mommy doing her hair :( unless it's for something special. She takes pride in what she does and loves to spend time with her family. That's my wonderful daughter, Karah!

Karah on her birth day - May 22, 1999 - Okinawa, Japan
Karah approx 1 yr - Fallbrook, CA
Karah at 2 - Fallbrook, CA
Look at me, I'm 3! - Fallbrook, CA
Dora was her thing at 4 - Twentynine Palms, CA
All her presents at 5 - Twentynine Palms, CA
Rising star at 6! - Twentynine Palms, CA
Pretty girl at 7 - Twentynine Palms, CA
Lovely at 8, almost 9 - Camp Lejeune, NC (will update when I can download my pics)