Monthly Archives: July 2013

The July trip to NYC

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I always love visiting NYC, I love the atmosphere and I love the company.  This time it was all about the things my Daddy wanted to experience since he was along for the trip.

Day 1 we decided on Coney Island since he had not been there before. I am never quite sure why he wants to visit beaches since he doesn’t actually go in the water, but I never question it because well I want to go to the beach anyway 🙂

I was able to get a few cool shots of the rocks and seagulls, total added bonus 🙂
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Day 2 we went to Times Square to the Toys R Us, the munchkins each got to pick a toy from PAPA and C was really excited because it was the first time we got the My little pony car on the wheel.
pony ride
Then we headed over to Rockefeller Center and went to the Lego Store
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The munchkins loved filling up their buckets with hand picked legos

After that we stopped by the NBC Experience Store and A was delighted that they had the chair from The Voice
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When we got back that night we had A’s Ninjago Surprise Party

My dad and I left the next day and the munchkins stayed with Grandpa and Grandma, It was rough leaving them because I barely do it, but I know they are having a great time, and I am just looking forward to picking them up and spending another week in the city with family

He’s home!! We are apart again and I am not liking the unknown

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On a very good note: He’s home!!!!
hes home

Seeing him for the first time in 9 months was absolutely wonderful, it is that feeling that always keeps me going. The first kiss, the first time I get to hold his hand, his arms around me for the first time at night again.  It’s almost surreal when it is happening.

I enjoyed every second of my time with my husband in El paso, among other things we cuddled, and watched movies, went out to dinner and talked, and it was almost like dating having no kids staying in a hotel.

“So dawn goes down to day, Nothing gold can stay”  ~Robert Frost

Saying goodbye AGAIN was hard, I didn’t want to leave him there, and my heart hurt, not that I couldn’t handle it but more of I am sick of handling it, I am sick of saying goodbye and I am sick of having little control over our lives together.
I am currently in freak out mode, this is mostly because I am an intense planner and a self admitted control freak, I want need to be in control, and when I am not in control I stress, that is why being an Army wife is so difficult for me.  I do not handle sitting back and waiting well and if you have any experience with the Army you know that is exactly what it is, hurry up and wait and write everything in pencil.  At the moment I have no idea when or where I am moving to, or when I will get to be with my husband again.  There are 3 factors and each one has different results:

1. He is putting in a request to be released which means hopefully we would be able to leave really soon, this is the option that we are praying for, the one that would make me a very happy girl

2. If they declined his paperwork to leave early he will put in for 60 days leave, basically making him able to leave in early December, not the best because I would still stay here and we would be apart for 4 more months, I know it is crazy to opt to stay separate, but we have reasons, such as the schooling there being a year behind schooling in the north, we do not want our children to be set back again, as A had a very hard time catching up this year, medically my daughter and I do not do well with the air in El paso, and financially it is the smarter option.  If this is the case we will probably fly him here a couple times to visit

3.  The worst case…they deny both and he can’t move to Washington until February, if this happens then we will move back to El paso because I refuse to give up that much time with my husband, which you can probably guess is just going to be a mess

The thing is I just want to know one way or the other.

I am curious to know if any of you have ever opted to stay in separate states before?  I know some do  because as I kissed my husband goodbye before boarding the plane in El paso, I watched another girl do the exact same thing and get on the plane with me.

I must admit though I am feeling a little alone on this and a little like I have no idea what the best decision is and if we are making it, or not.

A Ninjago Surprise Party

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On our trip to NYC A got another birthday party, it was a surprise party that his Grandpa, Grandma, and Titi did for him.  And did I mention they did a great job.  Titi’s crafty skills are on point 😉 The theme was ninjago which he was happy about because it is one of his favorite shows.
NINJAGO  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BANNER

I helped cut the triangles out, and glued them to ribbon, Titi found the lettering and bought the eyes to print on etsy

NINJAGO1The favor bags, and food complete with mini ninja’s

She put eyes on the party bags and the plates 🙂

NINJAGO2She even put eyes on the balloons

NINHAGO4The pinata
his Titi hand made this out of a print out, cereal box and tissue paper….don’t we all wish our Aunts were this awesome 🙂

NINJAGO 3The Birthday boy complete with ninja headband and ninja cake

This went wondefully 🙂 Thank you so much to those who helped create the party and those who attended it!

We grew Vegetables and I didn’t kill them it’s a miracle

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I have probably talked about how much I hate gardening, and how much my daughter loves it before.  Well I gave it a shot again this year in hopes she would actually get to pick some vegetables that she helped grow, and to my surprise, It’s working!
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She was so happy to be able to pick and eat these tomatoes and green beans, and I was thrilled to see that all of the plants are still alive and thriving.  It’s a miracle, I swear I even killed a cactus once.  We have 3 teeny tiny cucumbers growing, lots of beans and tomatoes, and while there are no actual vegetables on the Acorn Squash, Zuchinni, and Cantaloupe, there are tons of flowers so I am taking that as a great sign.  Now if they could all just hurry up before we have to move away.

Fat Girl Fairy Boy book review

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When I first seen the name of the book, I wasn’t sure it would be anything I liked, but after reading the description, I changed my mind:

“Frieda Kunkelheimer knew she wasn’t welcome in the world from her earliest stirrings. She also knew she was big and ugly, as proclaimed by her grandmother on the day of her birth. Though Frieda Kunkelheimer later blossoms into a beautiful and successful Hollywood film star, it had been determined, even before birth, that she was unwanted and unloved.

En route to a film shoot, the embittered, aging actress known as Frie, and Robin, her fearful, phobic gay makeup artist, survive a plane crash in the jungles of Central America only to be held hostage by El Salvadoran guerrillas. Their self-absorbed lives take a backseat to the events of their capture as a bizarre set of circumstances unfold and kindle courage, compassion, and forgiveness they never thought possible.

‘Fat Girl Fairy Boy’ is a darkly humorous tale of family, friendship, and personal discovery. Written in masterful prose, and filled with rich characters, McConkie mixes irony, humor, and pathos while weaving multifaceted storylines into a wildly entertaining adventure. Few experienced novelists fare as well as McConkie in this debut literary event.”

Fat Girl Fairy boy is written by Carol McConkie  and is available here

The back story of the main characters was relatable, and I love that! I think many can identify with eating for comfort and how much that can control your life, and being bullied growing up,  Reading the transformation of both characters was not only fun, but inspiring.  In this book you genuinely dislike the villains and love the heroes.

I do wish that it grabbed my attention a tad earlier in the story as I have a hard time continuing to read when it doesn’t, however I am glad I finished it because it got much better.

Bonus is it is actually 2 books in one, and who doesn’t love more?

Overall I recommend this book, if you read it be sure to let me know what you think

I was given a free book in return for my review, however this does not alter how I reviewed the book, I always give my honest opinions

We are together and together we are perfect!

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It just occurred to me that the last time I seen my husband I was not a blogger. I was 15lbs heavier.  I had lighter hair. I had not  been to college, let alone succeeded and finished college. I had no idea what it felt like to see one of my babies wheeled away into the operating room, or to break my ankle.   I had 3 less tattoos and 2 less piercings, and I was still able to have a baby.

So much has happened in 8 1/2 months, it is almost surreal.

I have to wonder how much I have changed in that amount of time, I mean I obviously have, all of those things can’t happen and leave you exactly as you were, and if I changed how much has he changed? What is different about him?

I guess it really doesn’t matter, because while I have changed I am still me, and while he may have changed he is still him, and for the moment no matter how brief we are together, and we are perfect!

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Operation Create Your Own Path

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I am so excited to be participating in Operation Create Your Own Path: 30 days, 30 small business owners, 30 ways to Create Your Own Path

Having a job in the economy today can be a struggle, add to that moving every couple years which is common for a Military Spouse, and it can spell real trouble.  Being a Military Spouse with a career is not easy, but it can be done!

Each day a new Military Spouse Business Owner will be interviewed by a blogger, Today I am that blogger and Melanie of  Treasures By Melanie is the Military Spouse Business Owner.

1. Can you tell us a little about your business : Started a little over 5 years ago, “For Every Home” features soy/coconut blend candles and cubes and a patented OAM (odor absorbing molecule) spray and gel. These items are made from natural ingredients and scented with essential oils, making them biodegradable and much safer to use around pets and children. In fact, nothing really compares to our OAM line because it has been manufactured to get rid of the scent of a skunk but be safe enough to ingest. (Don’t recommend it, the stuff tastes like crap).  Just recently, the company added a new division that I’m really excited about, they call it “For Every Style”. Consisting of high quality costume jewelry, all of the designs are exclusive to “For Every Style”.
 
I gave you the info about corporate so you would know a little about the products that I sell. I am in a “home party plan” business but it is also so much more to me. The products to me are the way of the future. As a whole, we need to decrease our reliance on those things that are damaging our environment and the natural aspects of all of the products that I sell are very important to me. I have seen these products make a difference in the lives of those that have not been able to enjoy them (items of this nature) before, and that to me is “what it is all about”.

2. How long have you been working for yourself? I left the corporate grind in late 2010 and found that I didn’t miss it one bit even though I missed associating with people. It helped that I was in the process of moving at that time, but I have discovered that I really need “people”.  I’ve tried a couple of other things, but when I stumbled across my current products, I realized the passion that I had not had with the other products and my new vocation was born!3. Did you begin working for yourself before or after becoming a military spouse? I guess that you could say that I was married to my husband and he was married to “The Corps”. I am now and have always been a wife and mother first and foremost, until it was finally time for me to become an individual.4. Did you work outside of the home previously? I have worked outside the home before and really enjoyed what I was doing because I’m a “people person” and find that I really need the interaction with others in order to thrive. I was successful with what I was doing, but there does come that time when you need to make a change for any number of reasons, and that (change) was what led me to where I am now.5. What made you decide to start working for yourself? When I moved to my current location, the job market was really slow (almost non-existent) and even though I didn’t need to work, I wanted to have something to do. That’s when I started down the path that I’m on now.

6. There are a lot of work at home and small business ideas, what made you decide on this particular business? I’ve always said that I didn’t choose the company, the company chose me because the products made the decision for me! I love candles but I do not like burning paraffin (even the so called food grade) candles. They emit a black smokey residue that is dangerous to breathe and leaves sticky smokey gunk on surfaces. You do not have that problem with soy or soy/coconut candles. I also wanted products that are eco-friendly because 

the area that I live in is environmentally fragile.

7. Being a military spouse myself I know there are a lot of obstacles being a military spouse that works outside of the home, Would you say working for yourself alleviates any of those issues?  If so which ones? Working for someone means you don’t have the flexibility in scheduling that you have when you work for yourself. That alone has the possibility of being the best benefit. When you become a parent, it is even more important that you are able to be flexible and working for yourself allows that also.

8. Is there obstacles to working for yourself due to being a military spouse? Whether you work for yourself or work for others, there are always obstacles. I think that working for yourself allows for more flexibility with what you do and how you do it. And then you get orders…..working for someone else means quitting and hoping that you can find another job at your new duty station, and if you are in a profession that requires credentials of some type, then you often find yourself “jumping through hoops” before you can start working again. Seniority? Forget about that since you will often find yourself back at the bottom starting over. 

 

Working for yourself, you pack your products/samples in the car and change the stickers on your catalogs when you have your new address. If you are fortunate to be with a company that is as “military friendly” as For Every Home is, then you just notify corporate as to where to send your next commission check. The fact that I have no territorial boundaries that I must abide by means that I can recruit and sell all over the US, and that is just what I do! I currently have a front/downline that reaches coast to coast and I’m enjoying helping them to grow their own businesses.

9. Was it difficult to begin working for yourself? What went into becoming a small business owner? Starting to work for yourself isn’t hard in the beginning because you have the desire and haven’t hit the “slowing period” yet. Where you find the discouragement is when you hit the slow times and it becomes necessary to start “thinking outside the box” to get back on track. This is the stage where you discover the real passion for what you are doing. If you make it through, then you will keep going and thriving. If you feel like you are a failure, then it is time to (if you truly believe in yourself and your products) find yourself that “thing” that will help you to discover other ways of getting past the roadblocks that will always crop up when you least expect them. That “thing” could be a book, an inspirational quote, a mentor, a friend or a group of friends, or a stranger that you meet and talk with. You never know what it is that is going to help you and that is why it is important to remain focused and not give up the battle.10. Does your spouse have any part in your business? Do you plan on them having a part in it  if they were to separate from service? My spouse is older and has now retired. He will help me sometimes, but this is my business and I need to be able to make it on my own. It is also vital to me (after the last year of my corporate experience) that I be able to say “This is my business”!

11. Would you continue to work for yourself if your spouse was no longer in the military? I think that it is vital that I continue even though he has retired. Just because he has retired doesn’t mean that I must retire also. 

12. What would you say is the most difficult aspect of working for yourself? Daily motivation…..there are always going to be those days that you just don’t want to work or you don’t feel good. You might call in sick if you are working for someone else, but when you work for yourself, you can’t do that! You also need to have a “cheerleader attitude” at all times, because there are going to be those moments when you question yourself, and then you have to grab your own boot strings and pull yourself up. You don’t have someone looking over your shoulder all the time telling you if you are making a mistake or doing good, so you have to be strong enough to carry on without that feedback.

And of course what most of us want to know

12. What is it that you love about being a military spouse that works for yourself? Benefits? When you are married to a military man, you become known as “wife of” and of course, there will always be the ever present reference to rank. When you are married to a military man and work, especially for yourself, you have more to offer that “new person” that you are talking with. You’re also not as intimidating to “LCpl Smith and his/her new young spouse” when your husband is several grades higher in rank. Your “business owner” attitude serves you well because you have something else besides the military to talk about and opening up that avenue of communication can make it much easier in the long run for everyone.

 
Owning your own business also give you an additional focus that can become the lifeline needed in case of deployment (or worse), adding stability at a time when everything is in turmoil.
13. What advice could you give other Military Spouses looking to begin working for themselves? Do what you love and love what you do but be ready to work harder and smarter than you ever did in a “9 to 5 job”. More important, remember two things…..
 
1) It takes money to make money….and the more “money” (translated as smart/consistent time) that you spend, the more “money” (translated as cash$$$$$) you are going to be able to reap.  
 

But most important of all is 2) Just because it didn’t work today doesn’t mean that it won’t work, it just means that today wasn’t the right day for it to work!!!!

Thanks so much Melanie! You were a pleasure to interview and gave some great advice.

Tomorrow head over to:

I run this mother to see the next interview in Operation Create Your Own Path

Pizza Bake Recipe

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This is one of our go to meals when I am busy.  It is quick, easy and tasty!

pizza bake

What you need:
Bisquick baking mix
milk
Pizza sauce
Pizza toppings of your choice(I have found that vegetables have a tendency to make it a little watery)
Mozzarella Cheese
square or rectangle baking dish

Preheat oven to 375
Prepare biscuits dough according to Baking mix instructions
Drop by teaspoon full on the bottom of your pan (They do not need to be touching since they will expand)
Layer sauce over the dough(as little or as much as you want, although keep in mind some will absorb into the dough, I am a light sauce kind of person and needed to add about 1/4 cup more than normal because of this)
*Yea if you haven’t noticed by now this recipe is definitely not technical*
Now layer on some toppings
Then some cheese
Then more biscuit dough, sauce, toppings and cheese

Cook at 375 for about 35 minutes or until dough is fully cooked 🙂

And enjoy as always!

Jello Ocean Sensory Bin

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We love the Ocean around here, so we make a lot of Ocean theme bins and crafts.  This by far was one of our favorites!

jello ocean bin

I used Blue Raspberry Jello for the water.

This bin has 2 regular size packages and was prepared according to package directions

When the jello set I just added some of the shells from vacation and some of the sea life stuff we had

This was a huge hit with both munchkins, which doesn’t happen often, considering they are 7 years apart.

Jello Ocean Bin 1

This little guy was hiding from the shark

Jello Ocean Bin 2
Cue the shark lol

Jello Ocean Bin 3
We also explored the texture, feel, and smell of the “water”

Jello Ocean Bin 4

After the jello started to warm up we again reviewed the texture, feel, and smell of our “water”

Mommy does the 12 year old interview

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So I had A answer these Questions in honor of him turning 12, and he asked me to answer the same ones, so here goes:

1. So far what has been the best age? Why?

18 I HAD GRADUATED SCHOOL, BUT STILL HAD VERY LITTLE RESPONSIBILITY OTHER THAN MY JOB, I WAS FULL OF ENERGY AND STILL MEDICALLY IN GREAT CONDITION

2. What age are you looking forward to the most? Why?

I AM DONE LOOKING FORWARD TO AGES, ALTHOUGH I GUESS I’LL SAY 100 BECAUSE I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO LIVING THAT LONG

3. What is your favorite color?

BLUE

4.What do you want to be when you grow up?

I AM WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP BUT IF I WASN’T A MOM I WANTED TO BE AN ACTRESS OR A PASTRY CHEF

5. If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?

IT IS HARD TO CHOOSE ONE THING, I GUESS I WOULD HAVE TO SAY INCURABLE ILLNESSES SUCH AS CANCER, I WOULD MAKE THEM DISAPPEAR

6. If you could have any super power which one would you pick?

TIME TRAVEL

7. What is your favorite movie?

DIRTY DANCING

8. What is your least favorite and favorite school subjects?
Least Favorite: SCIENCE                         Favorite: MATH

9. Do you plan on having children when you get older?

NO I CAN’T HAVE ANY MORE CHILDREN

10. Why?

WELL I ALREADY HAVE 2 AND I HAD TO HAVE A HYSTERECTOMY SO NO MORE BABIES

11. If you could live anywhere where would it be?

ANYWHERE ON A BEACH, MAYBE GALVESTON TX?

12. Favorite memory?

OH GEESH I CAN’T PICK 1, BUT MY 2 FAVORITE MEMORIES ARE THE BIRTH OF MY CHILDREN AND SINCE THAT MAY SOUND BORING BECAUSE IT’S ALMOST ALWAYS THE SAME THINGS WITH MOTHERS, I WILL SAY CAMPING AS A CHILD WE DID IT OFTEN AND I ALWAYS LOVED IT

13. Least Favorite memory?

MY MOTHERS DEATH AND NOT BEING ABLE TO BE THERE

14. Something that makes you sad?

MISSING MY MOM

15. Something that makes you happy?

SPENDING TIME WITH MY FAMILY

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16. If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?

BUY A HOUSE, BUY A CAR(I WANT TO WALK INTO AN EXPENSIVE DEALERSHIP DRESSED IN SWEATS AND WAIT FOR THEM TO TREAT ME LIKE CRAP, THEN PULL OUT 200,000 IN CASH AND WALK OUT, I’LL BUY THE CAR FROM THE NEXT DEALERSHIP), BUY MY IMMEDIATE FAMILY HOUSES, OPEN AN APARTMENT COMPLEX FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE WITH A PROGRAM TO HELP THEM FIND JOBS, GO TO AT LEAST ONE STORE AND TELL THEM I WILL TAKE ONE OF EVERYTHING(I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO THAT LOL), HIRE A MAID, GO ON VACATIONS