Last week I was talking to my brother over Facebook when I nonchalantly said, "I'm not even going to bother getting it fixed, I move to Korea in less than three months." As I typed those 4 words, LESS. THAN. THREE. MONTHS I had an internal freak out. Are you kidding me? LESS. THAN. THREE. MONTHS. That part isn't the real kicker, the kicker is all the thing I have to do BEFORE we move that have nothing to do with the move itself. Not to mention that we don't have family orders yet. Hubby has them for himself, but we are waiting for our family command sponsorship to come through, and if you think I'm sending him away for two years without our family, think again! HEY KOREA, USFK, anyone out there listening?!?! I would REALLY like to have our family orders IN HAND so I can finish up what needs to be done on this end!! Fort Hood sent the request over a month ago!! I've got work to do over here and my time is dwindling. Did I mention that I'm a planner? (Yes, I do realize I should just be happy that I know this far out where we are moving to next.)
I need orders in hand to: book travel, book moving companies (we will have 3 different pack outs), get Boy 1's drivers license since we have to report to Korea 6 Days before his 16th birthday....they tell me that if I have ORDERS WITH HIS NAME on them he should be able to get his driver's license BEFORE he turns 16, but I'm still waiting for those orders. Hello people in high places in Korea... I know I can wait for Hubby to get some of this done, but I would really like to get it done before he gets back (because I am good wife - stop laughing! :) so we can spend the last 6 weeks of our time here at Hood doing all the things that need to be done as a commander is changing out of command Not to mention that he will have just come back from a war zone and will need a tiny bit of a break before he moves overseas again...
Let me break it down for you:
4 weeks till Hubby comes home
9 weeks till Hubby's Change of Command
11 weeks till we clear Fort Hood
13 weeks till we are in South Korea
And SO MANY THINGS in between. Breathe. Just breathe.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, all things that are happening are good it is just that my head is just swirling!
(And yes, I do realize we will not be IN Korea in less than 3 months, but our household goods will be packed and shipped in less than 3 months.)
Today I unexpectantly found myself in a waiting room sitting by a super cute little old lady, we were making small talk when I noticed this:
Of course I flipped out over it, I mean who wouldn't? It's a freaking BEDAZZLED cane! With her initials bedazzled on it, and the periods are hearts (as she proudly pointed out to me) AND did you see the hand sanitizer hanging from the handle?!?! OMG! I love everything about it! I ask her where you buy a cane like this because I want one even though I don't need it! She told me she when was visiting her granddaughter in California her granddaughter ask her if she could 'borrow' her cane for a couple of days because she wanted to 'jazz it up' a little. When the little old lady got her cane back this is she did to it! I ask her how old her granddaughter was and she told me in her 30's. This is when I told the little old lady that her granddaughter should go into the cane bedazzling business! Then the little old lady told me 'that's what everyone says when I tell them my granddaughter made this, but then I always say to them - ' I don't think you would want my granddaughter to quit her job. My granddaughters name is Jennifer Love Hewitt". I laughed and said "really", in somewhat disbelief. The little old lady grinning ear to ear said yes - to with which I responded "THE Jennifer Love Hewitt?" The little old lady was beaming with pride and said "Yes, THE Jennifer Love Hewitt!" We exchanged more pleasantries and I told her that she (the little old lady) was now my claim to fame!
How fun is that? I could have sat and listened to her all day; her hubby joined the army during WWII and served our country for over 40 years! We sat and talked for about 30 minutes - what a sweet blessing she was to me today.
When I am 85 years old and I need a cane I hope to God that my famous granddaughter bedazzles my cane for me.
Today Fort Hood kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month and Month of the Military Child and three of our kids were not only in attendance, they also participated in the program. When we got the call a month ago asking if one of our kids would introduce the General of Fort Hood at the kickoff I wasn't sure they could/would do it. When I ask them they said yes, but only if the three of them could do it together - none of them wanted to be on stage alone.
Today we showed up in true 'Cav' spirit sporting black and yellow and wearing our "Until They All Come Home" wristbands. The kids seemed excited and were ready to do this, I on the other hand was a nervous wreck for them! (Girl and Boy 2 are pretty shy.) However when the time came, they NAILED it! They spoke loud and clear! They were applauded several times and Boy 2 brought many laughs when he check his hand when it came to the word "proclamation"!
This is what they said when they introduced General Campbell:
They each introduced themselves:
And then all together they said: We are proud military kids! (Lots of applause...)
They waited for the applause to die down and then they all said "Our Dad is a soldier in the 1st Cavalry Division"
Boy 2 said "and he is also deployed to Afghanistan" (more applause!)
Girl Said, "We would like to thank General Campbell for dedicating this day to kick off a month of honoring and celebrating Military children."
Boy 2, "Thank you for taking the time to sign the (look at hand) proclamation and for supporting Military children like us."
Boy 3 ended it by saying, "Please welcome General Campbell."
After General Campbell spoke briefly he invited all the children up while he signed the proclamation.
And then we went for ice cream. :o)
It is that time of year again when Mom's all over Texas dress their kids up and take them to bluer pastures. That's right, it is Bluebonnet season across the state of Texas! The highways are linned as far as the eye can see with those glorious little flowers that only show up for a few weeks in the spring.
Today the conversation in our house went something like this:
Me (upbeat with a smile): Today we are taking pictures in the bluebonnets!
THEM (grumpilly): Do we have to? I don't want to take pictures....
Me (with a bigger smile): Yes, you have to. This will probably be the last picture I get of all my children together in the bluebonnets. Now go get your clothes on. I picked out what I want you to wear.
The grumbling starts in one room and I hear it travel thoughout house.....I can feel the fights about to start breaking out.... from Girl's room I hear: I don't want to wear this! From Boy 2: I don't have any clothes that fit me. Boy 3 comes out with his shirt on backwards. Boy 1 knows better than to complain.
I call them into the kitchen and tell them (with an even BIGGER smile and as much sweetness as I can muster in my voice) : LOOK, this isn't about you. This is about me. This is probably going to be the last time I get pictures of the four of you in the bluebonnets all together. (Boy 1 is silently cheering!) You WILL put the clothes on that I picked out for you and you WILL be happy about it. When we get to the bluebonnets you WILL get out of the car, you WILL sit or stand where I tell you to and you WILL be happy. If you are not internally happy you will pretend to be happy so that when I am old and gray and my memory is failing me I will forget that you were really grumpy in these pictures. Understand?
Them: Yes Ma'am.
Me (still smiling and I said this as sweet as possible): If ANY one of you complains about doing this you will be grounded for three days and you will become my house slave. Do you understand?
Them: Yes Ma'am.
Me: Now go get dressed and come back out with a smile...Love you guys!
The Texas sun was VERY bright today!
This one cracks me up because they were smiling even though their eyes were closed!
My handsome boys!
I got the pictures. :o)
The Fort Worth Nature Center is a bit off the beaten path and is a jewel of a find! There are 3,621 acres of awesome wildernes with over 20 miles of hiking trails where buffalo and praire dogs run free! (Just checking to see if you are paying attention, the buffalo are actually inside a fence.)
The cost is $5 for adults, $2 for kids AND they offer a military discount ~ $1 off everyone in the car.
As our hiking adventure begins everyone is super stoaked and ready to go!
I had to take a picture of this because as the children read this sign and tried to figure out which way to go they decided to go in the direction of the "POOP". Seriously, check it out, the poop is the 2nd picture to the bottom. I mean what else could it be? (I'm serious, we NEVER figured it out - tell us if you know what it is!)
This is when the "B" family started questioning why I made Boy 3 the leader of this hiking adventure!
And then we came upon this bird lookout and all was forgiven. Granted we didn't see any birds, but we did hear them!
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Does anyone know what this is? It is the only one we found growing on the trees. I think the 2nd picture is after it opens. What do you think?
Yes, that's my girl looking for creatures....
As always, at the end of each hike we show what we found and then vote on the 'coolest' item. From left to right starting with the big rock.
1. Heart shaped rock
2. Cool shell
3. Groovy green thing from tree
4. Hairy thing that we think might be POOP from an animal
5. Pretty pink rock
6. Spotted black bark
Vote on your favorite now.
A few of the coolest kids I have ever met!
I got so close to him I could have touched him. The kids opted to stay in the car. :o)
If you ever find yourself looking for something inexpensive and fun to do, pack a lunch and head out to the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. There is so much to do from bird watching, kayaking, classes at the Hardwicke Interpretive Center (however get there a little early, we arrived at start time and the class was full - boo.), to hiking the multitude of trails! Just make sure you pack a lunch and take plenty of water as there are no services of this type at the Nature Center!
Giddy up partner, throw on your boots and saddled up your horse, it's time to head out to the Fort Worth Stock Yards where cattle roam free and children respect their elders. Ha....or something like that.
The arrival of the railroad in 1876 helped to make the stockyards what they are today. The Fort Worth Union Stockyards opened in 1890 and by 1907 the stockyards were selling 1 million cattle per year! The stockyards remained an important part of the cattle industry until 1950. Now the stockyards are in National Register listed as a historical district and a tourist trap! (OK, maybe not listed as a tourist trap in the National Register, but definitely a historical district!)
As you know the Fort Worth Stock Yards have seen their fair share of cattle roaming through these parts so why stop now? Every day at 11:30AM and 4:30PM a herd of longhorns travel through the stock yards giving the tourist a glimpse of history! Just make sure you stay on the curb and don't squat down while taking pictures or one of the ranch hands will kindly tell you to get back in line.
A few of our young'uns waiting to see the Longhorns travel through town.
I was a little nervous this might turn into the "Running of the Bulls
" .... so glad it didn't! Can you imagine what those horns could do to a person?
I love the brick road!
There were so many cute stores along the way, but as luck would have it the kids only wanted to go into one store - The Candy Barrel! I mean who wouldn't? Barrels and barrels of candy! This is a kid's paradise!
The kids had a great time in the "Cowtown Cattlepin Maze" and it only took them about 15 minutes to find their way out!
Our Gang hanging out in the old stables (turned stores) where the track runs through! This train is an actual running train however instead of carrying cattle it now carries people from Fort Worth to Grapevine and back.
I didn't get to spend nearly as much time at the Fort Worth Stock Yards as I would have liked to and that is why I
was taking notes on this trip! I had a great time with the kiddos BUT I can totally see the potential for a FABULOUS date night here with Hubby when he returns from Afghanistan!
Happy Trails Y'all - till next time!
Six Flags Over Texas. When I was a kid these four words would send me into totally excitement for days on end! Back in the day I was lucky to get to go to Six Flags once a year (10 kids = poor family) and when that day came I took FULL advantage of it! We would get there at opening and stay till it closed! Every year it was the same, the night before Six Flags I could NOT sleep! (Six Flags was better than Christmas to me!) I was way too excited! I would map the trip out in my head and try to figure out which ride I wanted to ride first! The 1 hour drive to Arlington felt like an 8 hour drive - I'm sure I drove the driver of the car CRAZY asking "are we there yet". Upon arriving we would line up at the entrance and as soon as they opened the gates we would RUN in trying to be the first in line for that new roller coaster! Ahhhh to be young again!
Times have changed. I wanted my kids to have that same level excitement. It didn't happen. Boy 1 grumpily ask "Do I HAVE to go to Six Flags?" Boy 2, well just check out the picture below of him. Girl and Boy 3 were the most excited - at least two out of four were excited. That's pretty good right?
I think this is the only pictures I have with Boy 1 on Spring Break. After this picture I never saw him again. He and his friend, the tall one beside him disappeared and didn't return to us for days. They played endless hours of Xbox, saw some TV show being filmed live in Dallas, went to a Mav's game, stumbled across the "Cheater's" van and they tell us they collected more girls phone numbers than they could count. Nice. And this is just the beginning. OH, and they left Six Flags EARLY! Can you believe that? Early. What the…..?
Once we entered the park all (except one) was excited to see the first ride, the tea-cups!
Boy 2 was SO NOT excited about the tea-cups. About 5 years ago (when he was 4) we went to an amusement park in Wichita, Kansas where he went on a 'spinning' ride. Once he got off he was sick as a dog. I remember we sat on a bench for at least 45 minutes waiting for him to feel better. He never did, not that day anyway. From that moment on he vowed to NEVER ride a spinning ride again, and he hasn't. I mean look at the poor fellow, he looks miserable just thinking about riding the tea-cups! He couldn't even turn around and watch his siblings & friends!
Now he is happy! The Conquistador!
We got onto the first two rides in no time. However this did not hold true for the rest of the day. Next we hopped in line for a rollercoaster. Where we waited and waited until I finally went and bought lollipops for the kids....
And then we waited and waited and waited some more. This picture was taken after being in line for about an 45 minutes. Don't they look excited?!?
And this is about an hour and 15 minutes in the line. Lollipop more than 1/2 way gone....
2 hours and 10 minutes later we got on the ride. I don't even remember what it was called.
After waiting so long the kids were hungry and thirsty. This cost small fortune. Turkey Legs at Six Flags are $8.95 each (but OH SO GOOD!). Drinks are $4.99 each. I had to take out a small loan for this day!
One of the things I enjoyed most about Six Flags this time was people watching. Back in the day you could smoke ANYWHERE in the park. In line, walking around, in the food areas and so on. Now the smokers are limited to the "Blue Line" areas. Sorry to you smokers, but I think it is funny. They look like caged animals!
I know it is sad that there is a baby in the smokers area, I'm hoping her mom was just resting there and didn't know it was a 'smoker's cage".
While waiting for HOURS in line for that other roller coaster ( you know - the I don't know the name of) Kim and I started reminiscing about Six Flags and when we were kids. We talked about how excited we were when the Shockwave came out! It was so cool and we couldn't wait to ride it! An upside down roller coaster - who would have thought! We were so excited! I remember I was in 4th Grade when I rode the Shockwave for the first time. I went with a group of girls from school (and yes in 4th grade we were allowed to run all over Six Flags BY OURSELVES - I couldn't imagine letting Girl run off with friends at Six Flags today). We were SO NERVOUS to ride; waiting in the line was almost as thrilling as the ride itself! By the time we got to the front of the line one of our friends was freaking out. She couldn't do it. She was terrified. We totally peer pressured her into riding. To this day I'm not sure she has forgiven us for that. As we were telling stories Kim and I were trying to remember the year the Shockwave came out and then we saw this.......
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THE SHOCKWAVE IS A HISTORICAL ROLLER COASTER?!?!?!
I thought maybe I shouldn't let them ride, it is HISTORICAL! It might derail or something crazy because it is so freaking old. :o)
Anyway, moving on..... A few things I learn today.
- Sugar doesn't cure the long line blues
- I will NEVER take the kids to Six Flags during Spring Break again
- Boy 2 really doesn't like amusement parks
- Boy 3 is more fearless than before
-Girl continues to be happy no matter what
- Smokers belong behind the blue line
- We LOVE hanging out with the B family (we already knew this though)
- Making memories is what it is all about
and the number one thing I learn today is that:
- I am freaking "historical"
Joe T. Garcia's
. Yeah, I've heard of it. I've always wanted to go. People RAVE about this place so when Kim ask if we would like to go I was totally game.
We were seated outside at the only table with a purple table cloth. We thought this must mean something special...you know like only royalty was seated here. Come to find out it is the forgotten table as our waiter was super slow... As we were seated I was surprised we were not given menus. I shrugged it off thinking they would bring them back. Little did I know the menu consist of two choices, fajitas or enchiladas. Well that makes things easy enough! Fajitas and enchiladas it is! I ordered beef fajitas and told the kids what I thought they would like (Chicken fajitas for 2 of them and enchiladas for one of them...you see this way I get to try everything! I'm such a mastermind!)
The best part about Joe's was the ambiance and the awesome company! We sat outside, there were water fountains and everything was so green and lush. I'm sorry I didn't get pictures of the grounds.
Two of the prettiest girls I know.
We all LOVED the nachos! Why haven't I ever thought to make nachos like this? So simple, yet so delicious.
All in all Joe's was a great way to kick off spring break! We had a great time catching up with friends, the weather was perfect for sitting outside and the food wasn't bad. Just remember if you are going to eat at Joe's arrive early, bring cash (they don't take credit cards), and a big appetite as their portions are HUGE!
This was the line at 6:45PM as we were leaving!
It's that time of year again! That pesky little leprechaun runs all over our house in search of gold! Little does he know there is NO GOLD in this house! He always leaves a little mess behind, but since I caught him a few years back and told him to STOP making a mess or I will OFF him, he has obliged! Now he only turns things green in our house leaving only the slightest of hints that he has been here! Some of the things he turns green around here are: the toilet bowl water, milk, water, my EYELASHES, mashed potatoes, eggs, and our pancakes!
St. Patty's Day CAKE Pancakes
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup white cake mix
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Heat griddle to 400 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined well. Turn your back for 2 seconds to get a drink of coffee, turn back and the Leprechaun will have turned your batter green. It is the craziest thing!
Just like any other pancake cook until tiny bubbles start to pop, then flip! Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute more AND....
Heaven on an English muffin! Can't you just feel your arteries clogging? This is (another) one of our favorite breakfast meals! Toasted English muffin, fried bacon, egg fried in bacon grease, and a slice of cheese. What more could you ask for?