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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Itsy, Bitsy, Spider

The boys and I caught up with a friend and had an afternoon together. I left Benji sleeping with her husband and we took the big boys to the park.

We ate lunch and the boys played on the playground, and then we went for a walk. The boys had a blast and even found a really big tree to climb! This tree was awesome!
 The only bad thing about this little nature walk was the spider webs. It had just rained so all the spiders were out re-making their webs. Tim walked right into one and instantly turned into a Ninja! After he recovered we were on our way.

Then Kelly did the same thing, I have to say her Ninja skills weren't quite as good as Tim's.... But we all had a scare as we looked and saw a HUGE spider in her hair!! Me, being the calm one in the group, lead the screaming and flapping of arms to what was going one. Let me tell you how great of a help I was!!! You are all thinking that you want to take me on your next hiking trip huh!!

But really.... what would you have done???

Yeah... I'm pretty sure you would have done the same thing I did.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Fall Trip

Steve worked so hard to study for boards this past quarter and we hardly saw him, so... when fall break came around we jumped on it. A friend of mine told us about a place called Randell Glen. I took a look at it online, and booked us a cabin and off we were.
Clearly, Benji is excited to go.
After 9 hours of a car ride, we made it to our home for the next week. It was a cozy cabin that was full of everything that we need.
We got our key and headed up to the cabin. We were not alone. By the time we got the bags into the house we had guest on our porch. These dogs are huge! and pretty amazing! They are Great Pyrenees and they were so good to us. When ever the boys ran off they always had at least one dog with them, keeping an eye on what they were doing.
Benji taking himself for a walk.
I thought this was a good picture of the two of them trying to fish.
Steve was the first to catch a fish. This was one of four. We ate fish the next night
All was going well and then.... James fell into the pond. It was not surprising... I was, however, surprised that it happened so soon, we were up at Randell Glen for a total of an hour. And then.... James went to cast his line out. Next thing I know my glasses are gone. He had snagged them and tossed them into the pond.
This is what my view was pretty much the whole time we were up there.
Thankfully my camera had an auto-focus!
 Benji is sharing his Cheese-it. He was sharing just one Cheese-it and the dog would only nibble what he was given and never any more. Then Benji ate the other half....
{some of our catch}
Tommy took a turn milking the cow.
Here in Florida we don't get fall. Well... not real fall. There is definitely a change in the weather, but there is no color. Look at the pretty color!!!
One of the exciting things that caught our attention was a bat. It would have been a lot less exciting if it was outside. But it wasn't it was in the house! Steve caught it and tossed it outside {my hero}
The nights were chilly so we had a fire and toasted some marshmallows. It was so nice feeling the chill in the air.
This is the house of old Johnny. Old Johnny lived here until he was 85. Do you want to know when he turned 85... in was 1995!!! this guy lived here until 1995! He was an old mountain man and lived really simply. The story goes that he bought one new pair of underwear a year and wore them all year long. He had cock fights in his little barn, and that there is gold buried somewhere up here.
 Pretty huh.
Hiking along with the dogs in tow.
James decided that he needed to have a go at milking the cow.
 I love this picture of the baby ducks following their mama. {if she would have walked 3 feet to the right she wouldn't have had to go down into the little ditch...}
When babies are around you always find creative ways of baby proofing. This got me thinking... companies should hire moms they can find unique ways to solve problems, and they can usually do it with little to no cost. 
But I don't know why we would have to baby proof... does he look like he gets into trouble??
Up on our porch again. I don't think the muffin was big enough to share with everyone, but they sure thought so.
Tim loved going out and swinging on the tire horse.
More hiking. We borrowed a backpack thing to put Benji in. Probably the best thing that we brought with us. It would have been tough lugging that child up and down the mountain with us.
 {I love his baby blues!!}
Here is the trail that we could have taken.....
Here is the way we actually went. {Steve has a hard time with the "stay on the trail" rule}
Tim made a new friend. This is Petunia. Her mom died when she was born and was a bottle baby. She hung out with the dogs when she was little and it stuck. She never wanted to be in with the other sheep, and at night sleeps with the dogs.
The boys got to try gem mining. It was actually really neat! They found a couple rubies, an emerald, a couple sapphires, and garnets. There was also a lot of quartz to be found. they spent a good couple hours here. It was really neat to see these rocks in there raw form.{oh, and that's Mark, and his sleeves fell off.}
The boys got to hunt eggs. they got to be really good at finding them.

We had such a good time. The boys were up and out the door before breakfast helping with all the farm chores. It was a great time for Steve and I just to rest. This was the first vacation that I have come back from and didn't feel like I needed a vacation from my vacation. We made some great memories, and had so much fun together!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Cocoa over at Chocolate on my Cranium has these really fun Wordful Wednesdays, this weeks topic is on Bravery...

It came unexpectedly in a very expected way. Three days after my husband completed his training and being four months pregnant with our second child, he got the call that he was going to be deployed to Iraq for one year.
When I started on this journey of being the spouse of a deployed soldier I was nervous and scared, but I soon found that I was stronger and more independent than I thought I was.
I never thought of myself as a weak person, but everything I ever thought of myself was tested the day Steve stepped on the plane to take him around the world to a war torn country. I was a few months away from having our second son. I did what most girls do, I cried. I cried at the thought of being alone, and I cried for the things he was going to miss. Crying was not going to change the situation so after I finished my carton of ice cream I got to work on the job of holding down our home front. I knew that my attitude would set the tone for his deployment, so I made sure to speak only positively of the military to others. Yes, it is hard that he is gone, yes it is sad that he is missing the birth of our son, yes I do get lonely, but this is what he, and by extension, I, signed up for. We were sacrificing so others did not have to.
It would have been easy to be sad all the time but that is just not me. I found a quote that really helped and I used it as my motto for the year that he was gone. "In times like this we question our own strength. Our ability to hang on and not crumble, it's one of the things I admire most about the army wives I've met. This capacity to press on through the obstacles, to see the mission through to completion." I am not sure where I heard this, but it is what I feel. Being an army wife has taught me to look past my own life. There is always someone else in need, and I did not need to look any farther than my feet, and the eyes of my little ones starting up at me.
I was one of the "lucky wives", my husband trusted me with the bank account and so I learned to budget money well. As a coming home present, and with Power of Attorney, I bought us a house. It was a major purchase and I did it with toddler in a stroller and a baby on my hip.
When Tommy, our second son, was born, James was only 15 months and still needed a lot of help. That did not stop me from going and doing normal family things even without a spouse. I usually got two different kinds of looks from people, the look of “how-does-she-do-it” and the look of “boy-I-feel-sorry-for-her”. At first, I felt like I had to explain myself and my situation. As time went on, the looks bothered me less. They did not know why I was always by myself, but I knew and I was proud of my husband.
There were times that I envied people whose husbands had normal jobs, who came home every night, who are there for the events in life, but when I said 'yes' to Steve deep down I knew I was in for a ride. What I learned from that year that he was gone has helped me grow into the woman I am. I am very independent, and I know that I do not ever want to live without my husband, but I can. I am not afraid of change, and I can take life as it comes and I have found joy in this journey.

Autumn Swapping fun!!

Raise your hand if you like presents???

You know I do!!

Well now you can put together a great box and get one in return!


I'm a sucker for these swaps!!!

Oh well... I'll bask in the wonderfulness of a package that is just for me

Sunday, October 2, 2011

5 years and counting!

Tim had a birthday! And he turned the ripe old age of 5!! This poor boy has kinda been jipped out of birthdays, so this year we did as he wanted. And he wanted a Dinosaur Train party. So "ALL ABOARD!!"
 Everyone passed through the "Time Tunnel"
Into the party. I saw this idea, about hanging the balloons upside down, and I thought they looked really cute. {until James, Tommy and Connor pulled them down... }
There were snacks for 'Herbivores' and 'Carnivores'.
The cupcakes were fun... they needed to have green grass for the dinosaurs to stand on.
there were a couple games that we played. I gave each pair of kids a dino-head, and they needed to hunt for the body and then put the piece together.
It was fun watching them try to find the right pieces
Then they sat on dinosaur eggs to hatch the dino babies.
We sung happy birthday and he blew out all 5 candles.... {that we had to go to the store for}
Then spiderman made an appearance! It was a good day.

Happy birthday my dear Tim! I am so happy that you came into this world. A little quicker and sooner than I would like but we made it out ok. You are a joy to our family. You are a great little brother and a great big brother. You always have a smile on your face and you make me giggle even when I try to be serious. I love snuggling with you in the morning.{except when your feet are in my face} I love you dearly my Tim!

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