navygreen: (HP: Harry - *gulp*)
A few weekends ago, I secretly plotted a special treat for my boys and some friends of ours. These friends were picked specially for 1) being such nice people, and 2) actually knowing things about Harry Potter. Why was that a requirement?

Because you can't truly enjoy BUTTERBEER without knowing it comes from Harry's wondrous world!

Butterbeer and Banana Crunch Muffins.
Butterbeer!


This special beverage was so rich, so creamy, and so very sweet. The deeply caramel syrup makes a frothy foam, perfect for making "mustaches" on your first sip. The homemade brown sugar whipped cream adds a distinct flair to the pretty pint, and we all enjoyed it immensely. To complete the snacktime, I served up fresh Banana Crumb Muffins and Peanut Butter Banana Bites, too.

More pictures, plus the recipe. )

It was a well-received snack/dessert, and my boys keep requesting for me to make it again (though Jack wants to try it with cream soda next time). In addition, a couple neighborhood boys who *didn't* get to try it have been begging for me to make it again, too! :-)
navygreen: (Teeny Super Guy)
When I think of after-school, I think of PBS and after-school television. Which makes me think of the "Operatic Orange" and "Teeny Little Super Guy."

It also makes me think of warm cookies. So, A.J.'s just arrived home from school, and I have the second of two fresh batches of chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven. Jack is bringing home two friends for a playdate as soon as his school lets out, and they'll all have cookies and milk for snack. For now, A.J. has spied Jack's library book, and he's cozied up on the couch reading.

I volunteered at Jack's school this morning. I took along a breakfast of pomegranate seeds and cheddar cheese while I worked. I laminated and cut 288" worth of stuff, as well as made a few hundred copies. I collated a 15-page test, and I made 50 of them. It doesn't sound like much when I write it out, but I was solidly busy the whole morning, and I was starving once it was time for lunch with "The Jack Pack." We had a nice meal, and then I continued working on the tests for another hour. By the time I left the school, I'd been there for 4.5 hours!

Oh, and speaking of cookies, I have these I want to share:

Cookies for Paula's 50th birthday party.


Friday, October 1st, will be the 50th birthday of one of Philip's distant cousins. His family is very close, however, and I was invited to the surprise birthday event (it was ladies only, I believe). Of course, I can't be in Virginia easily (since I'm in North Dakota), but I wanted to send a little something. Her family doesn't know what is coming, but I did contact her husband yesterday to tell him to watch out for a box, and to make sure that it is opened for the party. I thought this was a cute way to celebrate: she grew up near Route 50, it's her 50th birthday, and I mailed 50 cookies in her box. Oh, and these are the cookies that I had no cutter for and was hand-cutting a few days ago! :-)

A couple more pictures. )

So, what do you think? Will she be surprised? Will she like them? I can't lie - I'm kinda nervous!
navygreen: (Fall: pumpkin)
I had spent the most lovely, happy of days hanging out with my besties and their beautiful, fun children. The only thing missing in my life on that day was my special AnnieMcFranniePants and her little family.

The memories are so vivid, so wonderful, and today, so bittersweet!

Our little animals.
Lily, John, Jack, A.J., and Catherine.


Vala's Pumpkin Patch was an annual tradition during our years in Nebraska. We went to the patch each of our eight fall seasons, and it only was better and better each year. Most years, we also went on a separate trip to the smaller Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Patch as well. Still, Vala's was the big ticket.

This last year, we set out to enjoy everything "one last time," and we made every second count. Heather and her family were moving to New Mexico the next week (which is why we visited Vala's the first weekend it opened in the season), and we were headed to North Dakota two months after. Marissa brought Lily for her first real "Patch experience," and she was just the perfect age to dig in and enjoy. It was an amazing day!

There is no way I can condense this post to just a few pictures, so I'm going to put most everything behind a cut. [livejournal.com profile] katielovesmatt, this is the place your dreams are made of!

So many pictures! )

Taking a picture here one last time.
Taking a picture under the 'Pumpkin Moon' one last time, on one last year.


*sniffles*
navygreen: (Fall: pumpkin)
Friday was a whirlwind of school, running errands, and then A.J.'s parade in town for marching band. I already posted about that, but I have so much to post from the rest of the weekend!

Saturday was crazy-busy cleaning day. We all cleaned together, each of us doing certain chores. We rewarded ourselves with a lovely, planned playdate that afternoon with friends and a very special snack: Banana Crunch Muffins, Peanut Butter Banana Bites, and Harry Potter's Butterbeer!

*geeks out*

Oh, it was all so, SO good. The kids were smacking their lips, and we were all on a sugar high - fantastic! The kids continued to play together for a few hours, and then A.J. received an impromptu birthday sleepover invitation for another friend. He left for that, while Philip and Jack went shooting with one of Philip's buddies from work. Jack came home with some shells and the things he'd blown up, and there were tales of the evening. I had made a yummy roast, and we had a cozy dinner with Philip's friend staying for supper.

On Sunday, we woke bright and early and drove down to Bismarck to visit the pumpkin patch. There's a couple small patches more local, but this one was rumored to be the largest around the west side of North Dakota. We were not disappointed! It was super-cheap to get in, and we all had a good time. Even after Jack "broke his butt," we kept on having fun. (That's a story in itself!) We played in the autumn spectacles, had lunch, played some more, had a snack of cookies and cocoa, then picked our pumpkins and headed home. That night, we had a warm beef stew waiting for us from Saturday night's delicious roast - yum!

Yesterday practically continued the weekend, I swear. With the exception of the boys heading to school, it still felt like it to me! Since we had already visited the pumpkin patch, I was in the mood to get full-on decorated for fall. Philip brought in all the bins from the storage room in the garage, and I busied myself putting up my fall pretties while waiting on the maintenance man to come fix my oven. It was such a treat to unpack everything - it had been two years since I last decorated for fall and Halloween (last year, we were moving, so we didn't decorate in that last month). I baked up a batch of cookies for a special order, and by 10:30am, I was STARVING. I think I inhaled my BLT for lunch while Philip played his new birthday video game. Heehee!

When the boys came home, they were amazed to see the transformation inside and outside the house. I had hung lights and put decorations in the yard - it was all complete. It was so fun to turn on my Halloween lights last night and feel really festive. Since it wasn't a "soccer night," I took the boys into town to a beautiful park and took some fall portraits of them. I'll work on them soon. :-)

Today, I finished up the pictures from that sweet, newborn baby boy I photographed last week. His mama was overjoyed with all of them, and I couldn't be happier! I burned a Raspberry-Vanilla three-wick candle on the table most of the day, and I watched Ginny (the cat) nearly try to light herself on fire when she tried to make sense of the dancing flame! I made fried chicken for dinner, and then after the boys went to bed, I settled in and watched the season premiere of GLEE. I saved this week's episode of Parenthood to watch while Philip is off these next two nights.

We're having dinner guests tomorrow night, and I think the day will be fairly busy, too. I need to head to the commissary, as well as prep something for dessert for them. My friend Valeen's husband is deploying to Guam for six months, and we wanted to have a farewell dinner with them before he leaves. Wednesday was the best bet since Jack has another soccer game on Thursday. He's in charge of snacks this week too, so I'll finish those up tomorrow as well.

I have literally TONS of pictures that need to be posted from this weekend. I'll never catch up!
navygreen: (Cars: life is a highway)
We've actually been back for about a week now, having arrived around 9pm on Tuesday night, the 10th. However, my parents stayed for an extra few days, and they didn't leave until Saturday after lunch. Then, I set to work reclaiming and organizing my home, as well as putting away all new trip goodies and such.

I got my first speeding ticket a few hours from home. We'd been in my parents' new SUV the entire trip, and it was the first time I was driving it. Not only that, but it was in middle-of-nowhere North Dakota, and there hadn't been a posted speed limit in a long, long time (my mom and I had been looking for one). It was a two-lane road (which I hate, as it scares me to pass), and I had been stuck behind a semi-truck for miles. I would peek to the left, then scoot back to my lane when I could see a car on the horizon. Finally - finally! - I dared to pass, and I floored it as I did. (It terrifies me to pass big trucks, but even moreso when I'm on a two-lane road. In fact, I'm pretty sure this was my very first time doing so EVER.) And, BAM! A cop sitting just at the end of the horizon clocked me going 83mph. Of course, though the speed limit most places in North Dakota is 70 or 75, in this zone it was only 65mph. As the officer approached the car, I couldn't even figure out how to roll down the window! (Remember, it wasn't my vehicle.) He was a nice guy though, and he dropped the speed to 80/65, so my fine was only $45 instead of something outrageous.

He also cautioned me that, when passing, I should never have to exceed the speed limit to safely do so. Riiiiiiight.

I received a request for impromptu family portraits for a friend here on the last day of our vacation (as we were driving home, in fact), so I squeezed that in while my parents were here. I met them at a park in town and took some lovely portraits. It was a fun evening, and I hope to get back there soon with my boys. I know they would love the place!

11
(To see the rest of the photos from the Mott/Vance Family set, click HERE.)


The boys start school next week on Thursday, the 26th, and two days ago we headed into town to pick up all the school supplies, new shoes, etc. Their backpacks are set and ready-to-go, and now we just wait for the teacher lists to go up and orientation night (to drop off all the supplies). A.J.'s middle school supply list had some unexpected things on it: Silly Putty, camo pants, and a black T-Shirt, to name a few. I'm curious to see how these things are used during the year.

The morning after we arrived home, I took my parents to the commissary for a quick shop of just the three nights' worth of meals while they were here. As always, they found several goodies and deals in our commissary that they stocked up on. After they left, I was set to meal-plan and create a list for the next 18 days... and I just didn't have the *oooomph*, ya know? I was dragging and procrastinating, and I jokingly wrote on Facebook that I was too exhausted to think about dinner. The next thing I knew, my neighbor across the street showed up with a hot, fresh meatloaf for our entire family! I threw together corn, side salads, and fresh strawberries, and we were set! It was very awesome and very sweet of her to do that for our family. :-)

The boys have played nonstop with their friends since arriving back home. A.J.'s closest friend is a boy entering high school this year, and the two of them cruise the neighborhood on foot, walking and talking for hours. Jack and his best bud are scooter fanatics, and they are inseparable. Currently, in fact, I can hear Jack and his friend Riley singing the Indiana Jones theme song while they build with LEGOs in my basement. Thank you, John Williams, for an endearing classic. *wink*
navygreen: (Scrapbook)
Someone please come put away all my scrapbook stuff. Please?

My friend Jan is coming over tomorrow, and we're going to scan in her wedding pictures and see if I can work some "magic" on them. Her pictures are all very dark, and she's wanting to spiff them up before scrapbooking. Her son Payton is the same age as Jack, and they played on the same indoor soccer team, so they'll be having a playdate while we work. Normally, I'd leave scrapbooking stuff out for a fellow scrapper, but I know I won't be finishing anything else before company arrives on Thursday.

Speaking of which, Heather and the kids arrive on Thursday! I've got Wednesday planned to clean and organize everything properly for her little ones, and I hope we can have some relaxing, great "catch up" time. Then, my parents will be arriving on Monday sometime, and Heather leaves on Tuesday morning. Then the boys and I leave with my parents on Thursday, and we won't be back until August 10th.

So my scrapbook stuff needs to be put away, or else little kitties will dig through things in the three weeks while I'm gone. And although kitties love to be "helpers," when it comes to scrapbooking, they're really not that great at it. *wink*
navygreen: (PotC: Commodore - HOT!)
We're becoming so lazy here in summer vacation. Honestly, "lazy" doesn't even cover it. We're averaging bedtimes around midnight-1am, and then getting up in the neighborhood of 10-11am. Lunch is usually around 3-4pm, and then dinner is pushed as well. We've eaten around 10pm the past four nights!

I woke up this morning at 9am, and I absolutely couldn't go back to sleep despite the super-quiet household. I got up, got dressed, started some laundry, and began a list of online to-do's. I got several things squared away, my desk cleaned up, and then finally the boys woke around 11am.

I spent at least TWO HOURS trying to relocate a recipe for blondies I've been wanting to try, and with no success. I remember being astonished that the recipe called for one whole pound of brown sugar, and I picked it up when I was shopping last week. In my uber-frustration, I finally succumbed to the next baking craving on my list: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. They were very gooey and very yummy, even if not my first choice.

Jack had a friend in and out most of the afternoon. We really enjoy having Riley over - he's exactly Jack's age, and they are just two peas, you know? He's so very polite, too. He only lives four houses away, so they are constantly either in one of our houses or out on the block on scooters.

A.J. puttered around on his laptop for a while. He's been discovering the world of Weird Al Yankovic through videos on Youtube, and he's constantly giggling over the lyrics of one of the tunes. In turn, I've played several of the original songs that Weird Al parodied, and of course - A.J. likes the parodies better. *wink*

Unrelated to any of the above, I've been meaning to mention that, in a fit of boredom one night Philip was at work, I watched the first episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. It ended on a cliffhanger (oh noes! Buffy's trapped under a vampire in a coffin! How will she get to the other seven seasons?!), so I watched the second episode the next afternoon. Philip watched it with me, and once it was over, he flipped to select the third episode (Netflix, instant queue), but I stopped him. The acting is just so, so poor I couldn't imagine watching another second. I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] wendywoowho is gasping, and I know [livejournal.com profile] devi_pavarti may never speak to me again...
navygreen: (A.J.)
A.J.'s 11th birthday was in August, and this one was a quieter deal. We had huge parties for both boys the previous summer, and they only get to have parties every other year. Of course, he's eleven-and-a-half now, but here I am, just getting around to posting!

** Yes, I realize I never wrote up the story of his 10th birthday bash. However, I did load the pictures way back when, and you can figure out most of the day/night from the descriptions on them HERE. :-)

Ready for the movie.


He invited our neighbors - Drew & Natalie - to celebrate the day with us. They came over in the afternoon, and then we all traipsed off to the movie theatre to see Shorts. The kids all enjoyed the film and had a good time. Afterwards, they played for a bit before Drew and Natalie had to head home for dinner. (We had invited them along, but they had other plans going on that night.)

Then we drove out to West Omaha to A.J.'s choice of restaurant - Jimmy Buffett's chain, Cheeseburger in Paradise. We'd eaten there a handful of times, but it had been a long, long while since. The waitstaff surprised him with a song and an ice cream sundae at the end of our meal.

At home, he opened his gifts late in the evening. We'd given him a musical birthday card that played Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" (he loves that song!), and his favorite gift was a $25 gift card to Borders. It was a special gift card decorated for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and he loved that series. :-)

More pictures. )
navygreen: (Jack: swimming)
I'm probably going to be Posty McPosterson for a bit, catching up on old, old photos and things. Bear with me, or just scroll on past. *wink*

At the end of the second week, our little school celebrated "Back-to-School" with a big shindig at our local, public Lied Activity Center. We'd been to them in the past, but we were forced to join this one an hour after it had already started (soccer practice? soccer pictures? I'm not entirely sure now, but I remember racing to get there.) We had some quick ice cream sundaes before the tables closed up, and the boys both chose to swim in the remaining hour of the night. (Last year, we didn't realize swimming would be an option, so we did every other activity available in the complex. This year, we came late... but prepared!)

AJ and Adonis at the Lied Center pool. Gabe and Jack. Jack, Gabe, and Hunter.


The boys didn't yet know about the orders to Minot AFB, but of course, we did. As such, I remember this night to be a little bittersweet: watching them interact with friends they'd known for years. Happy for the close relationships, but aching over the goodbyes in their futures. :-/
navygreen: (HP: Fred & George - next-door neighbors)
Upon hooking up to the 'net in our TLF, I saw in my email that "I" had been tagged in four photos by our next-door neighbor back in Bellevue. I saw that the pics were of our old house covered in snowdrifts, and that our neighbor girl, Natalie, was at our door. I called Jack to the computer to see, and he was looking over my shoulder. We read the captions together:

1) Natalie wanted to show Nicole their old house. (of Natalie trudging through drifts in our driveway to get to the front door)

2) "I wish Jack and AJ really could come and play." (almost to the door then)

3) Ding dong. :-( (of her ringing our old doorbell)


And that's where Jack turned, and I spotted the tears in his eyes. Within minutes, he was full-on crying, saying and wishing that we didn't have to move. Philip and I both tried to console him, but his heart is a bit broken right now. Finally, I got him to come around by showing him a special, funny postcard that I had purchased *just* tonight *just* for mailing to our friends. He got a smile out of writing a special message on it, and we'll stick it in the mail tomorrow.

We miss our friends! :-(
navygreen: (HP: Fred & George - next-door neighbors)
The boys played all afternoon (in their hats!) with the next-door neighbors. As evening approached, we had Andrew and Natalie come over for a movie, dinner, and dessert. Tonight was Jack's Choice in the meal plan, so he was super-excited to share.

Mouse-In-The-House Cupcakes
Mouse-in-the-House Cupcakes.


([livejournal.com profile] butterflymama3, I'll put the recipe for the Cupcakes in the comments for you.)

Read more. )

Our boys had a great time, and Andrew and Natalie were so sweet and well-behaved. I'm sure we'll get together with them again soon! :-)
navygreen: (Jack: frustrated)
And now, Jack is worse. He's hung over the toilet a few times, but he hasn't thrown up. Truth be told, I think his tummy is upset with all the drainage he's swallowed in the past day or so. He's had lots of clear liquids today, but little else.

He's also holding his right ear and really looks to be in pain. I'm sure he's got an ear infection brewing in there - either related to the allergies/cold blockage, or even just water backed up from all the many times he falls asleep in the tub. Poor guy.

I dosed him up with some ibuprofen and some cough syrup, and he's out. He cried himself to sleep in pain while I rubbed his back for him. He's so very, very upset because we'll have to cancel on our super-fun playdate tomorrow now, and he's been requesting these friends over for ages. :-(
navygreen: (Jack: swimming)
My friend Ann totally wins the "Most Creative Party Invitation" award. We just arrived home to find a small, neon-green capsule attached to our garage door by a black cord (a lanyard, really). The capsule had a tag on it that said, "To Jack, from Ty." Inside the capsule, a 5" beach ball was crumpled. Jack pulled out the ball, blew it up, then read the party details on the side.

Cool!

And yes, it's a beach party at their house. We love their beach so much that we used their house for our family pictures in July. :-)
navygreen: (Easter Eggs)
I've been up to some Easter-themed sneakery, and I finally got everything packaged together this afternoon. I can't wait for the recipient to receive the basket!

Easter basket surprise!


More. )

Once the basket was packed and put aside, the table was clear once again. We had a playdate set with some friends for this afternoon, and Jack had been chattering away at my elbow as I prettied up the basket, asking questions about this, that, and everything in between. He was just so excited and wound up for his friend Ty to arrive! He hopped up on the table as I was taping up the last side of a box, and perched himself to look out the window in anticipation. It was just too cute, so I had to snap a few pics.

Jack watches at the window for his playmate to arrive


Once Rudi and Ty finally arrived, all the kids were straight out the door! Ann brought over fresh brownies, and the kids INHALED them, so I ended up making a batch of cinnamon rolls for everyone as well. The new neighbor kids finally came outside as well, as so the six of the big kids had a great time playing together (baby Gia stayed inside with us - she wasn't too crazy about all the wind this afternoon). It was such a nice time, and I can't wait for the weather to be consistently nice again - we miss playing outside with friends.
navygreen: (Jack: tired)
It's not even completely dark outside yet (still a hint of blue, actually), but I'm so ridiculously tired. I'm only staying up long enough for the dark load of swimsuits and towels to finish washing, and then I'll pop them in the dryer, start the light load to washing, and I'm off to dreamland.

After this morning's early episode, StalkerChick came to my work today for the first time ever. I didn't realize it was her until I turned around from popping a lid on her shake (the only thing she ordered) to hand it out the window. Of course, then the snottiness from her ordering beforehand made perfect sense. Purposely hassling someone at work? How low. Such a fake attitude, it just makes me sick. I can't be fake back, so I just spoke as little as possible and then slammed the window shut as soon as I was done. I immediately advised Brett that if someone called back to complain that I hadn't said "Thank you!" I'd know exactly who it was. Then I continued to be my cheery, chatty self with all the rest of my polite, nice customers. :-)

We had a good playdate out at the sprayground. It was very, very warm, and Wendy and I were amazed that the kids could play so easily in the hot sand rather than running through the water. Jack was in the sand almost the entire 2.5 hours we were there, with only a few quick runs through the sprays - craziness! I tatted and chatted with Wendy and her sis-in-law (who was so fun to meet!), and Wendy's kids proceeded to tell her they were STARVING every two minutes. She'd packed an entire cooler full of snacks though, so she was well-prepared. On the other hand, I came to the rescue with my handy "travel toilet tissue" pack from the first aid kit in my car, as the porta-potty on site was out of paper.

Best quip of the afternoon? Jackie (Wendy's eldest daughter), saying, "Mom! I canNOT be expected to go to the bathroom in a place that has SANDALS in the toilet!" And it was true - when I went, I noticed a lone sandal atop the pile of waste - ewwww.

We arrived back home around six o'clock, and we fed the kitties and had a bite to eat before heading off to swim lessons. We'll be there on Friday morning to sign up for the next session (though I'd much rather be sleeping in on my day off!). I can't believe it's almost July already.

On the way home from the Activity Center, I was thinking to myself about how tired I was. We'd discussed how we were all bathing/showering as soon as we got home, and then it was bedtime (the normal routine, but we still "discuss" most things before we do them). I was just barely turned onto Pease Dr. when I heard sirens and looked up to see Security Forces behind me. Since I was the only one on the road, I figured they meant me, and I pulled over. So did the cops.

*sigh*

I've never, ever been pulled over in my life. It took ages (literally, almost ten minutes) for them to walk to my car and ask me for my license, registration, insurance and military ID. In all the time we were waiting, the boys started to panic. I would have probably panicked myself, except I truly, honestly didn't have a clue what I could have done wrong. I was even driving extra slow at the time I was pulled over - going 15mph in a 20mph housing area. I was stumped, and the fact that I didn't know what to tell the boys I had done made them more anxious. A.J. started crying (he has a sensitive spot with cops, given his prior "history," but that's an entry from long, long ago), which in turn worried Jack. Finally, the police approached my vehicle, asked for my documentation, and then asked me if I knew why I'd been pulled over. I replied that I had no clue, actually. The officer in charge then told me they'd caught me ever-so-slightly rolling through the stop sign at the corner of Pease and Kennedy.

Well, I'm certain I've never done it before, but I was so exhausted that I couldn't be sure that I hadn't tonight. I figured, "they're officers - why would they make this up?" As they returned to the police vehicle to check over my paperwork, I resigned myself to the fact that I probably had done just as they said. There wasn't a car in sight as I'd made the turn, and even in my ten minutes' time of waiting, we had *still* not seen another car. It was just a very quiet evening, and maybe my foggy brain had just turned off for a moment.

Which isn't excusable, of course. I was sad that I was pulled over, sad that I'd done something wrong, and even more sad at the thought that I really couldn't even remember it. The officer returned my things to me after just a few minutes, saying, "Well, we're gonna cut you a break this time. But ma'am? Make sure you obey all traffic signs from now on." And though I tried not to let it fall, even as I thanked him and rolled my window back up, a lone tear slid down my cheek. I was so disappointed in myself. :-(

But we arrived home a minute later, unpacked the car, got baths/showers going, and I checked the mail. We received a free full-size sample of Knorr® Sides Plus Veggies today - 'Roasted Chicken Rice with Harvest Veggies' variety. I put the boys to bed after they were clothed again, and now I'm ready to drop.

Summer wears me out.

An early goodnight. I'm sure I'll be up early too, since I'm going to bed at this hour, but I can't keep my eyes open any longer.
navygreen: ('Affairs:' recap)
I dropped the boys off at VBS this morning. It's their second day, and they always love it. I was stalked on the way out of the parking lot by a nutjob who shouldn't even know my car, much less recognize it from a distance and prepare for such wacko behavior.

I came home and showered, and the drain proceeded to back up a bit towards the end. I'll have to put in a maintenance request about that, but I can't see a good time for them to get out here today, so I'll just use the boys' bathroom for now.

I ate my sample of cereal from yesterday's mail. Mmmmmm. :-)

I've guzzled two bottles of water, and I'm sure I'll need to pee ten times while I'm at work now.

After work, I'm hurrying home, taking the babysitter home, and then we're heading out to a playdate at another sprayground. We'll play there for a while, and then we'll come back home. I'm sure I'll need to take a shower myself as sun + sunscreen = sticky on my skin. Then we'll eat a quick dinner and be off to the last lesson of this session's swim lessons.

And I'm going to bed early tonight. But for now, it's time to get everything prepared for later and then get to work. :-)
navygreen: (Quote myself)
I did go grocery shopping, and I got out of there for under $90.

Josie is here now for a few hours, and we're going outside to play. I hope to tat. :-)

Edited to add: It's almost 7pm now, and the cloud cover outside has made it too cold for me to stay outside any longer now. Plus, it's dinnertime. :-)
navygreen: (Snowflake)
It was snowing this morning when I took both boys to school. Absolutely crazy, and so WRONG. It's April, for crying out loud.

Jack had a fun playdate at Caleb's house this afternoon while I was at work. He's got playdates scheduled for these two weeks while his regular caregiver is away on vacation. It's nice that folks are willing to help us out like this, too.

I need to call someone about the lawn. I intended to do that yesterday afternoon, but it was raining all day long (a nice, soft rain, but still - all day long), and it drained me of my motivation. And then the snow today. Who knows what the ground/grass is really going to be like after all this?

I had a very vivid, strange-but-good dream about [livejournal.com profile] posthaste and her baby Soph today. I was repeating the dream to myself while I took a shower this morning so that I wouldn't forget the details. I'll have to tell Jess about it - hopefully she'll get a kick out of my REMs. ;-)

I'm hungry. Oh, and it's time to go pick up A.J. from school soon. Afterwards, I'm taking both boys to the base clinic to update their immunizations. Jack is already in tears of the prospect of new shots, but it's an evil that must be done. :-/
navygreen: (Snowflake)
It was a perfect day for kids to be out of school - we had lots of nice snow to play with from yesterday! Philip had cleared the driveway and sidewalks this morning when he came home from work, so it was easy for me to get out and go to work at the usual time. I had an early-out shift today, so I brought home soup and chili for lunch for all of us. Then Philip had to go to work, and the boys and I ran a quick errand before coming home again.

Early this morning, Ann had called. We chatted for a bit, and then she said she needed to get going since her kids were ready to get out and romp in the snow. I told her that she was welcome to come play and sled over here if they could wait until I got home, and she agreed that sounded more fun. So I called her as soon as we were back home, and they came over a few minutes later, bringing freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with them.

And the kids played and played. Philip had helped Jack to build a small snow fort before he left for work, and he and Ty tried to "attack" me while I was taking pictures (good thing I stood *just* out of range - hehehe). And then there was lots of sledding. We also went to the empty house across the street to the slightly bigger hill, and they continued to sled there. Eventually, Ann couldn't feel her toes anymore, and I was having difficulty keeping my hands warm to ANY degree, so we rounded up the kids and came back inside. We stripped off all our wet items, and I tossed everything in the dryer. I swear, Rudi must've had on four layers underneath her snowsuit, and they were practically ALL wet!

I sat the kids at the table with milk for dunking cookies, and they giggled while they smeared chocolate everywhere. I made cocoa for Ann and myself, and even some buttered toast for her. (I guess it was a childhood thing of hers - she likes to dunk buttered toast into her hot chocolate. It sounded weird to me, but hey - she can have her strange cravings right now 'cuz she's pregnant.) After the kids left the table and went to "camp" in Jack's room (and we actually had four sleeping bags - one for each kid), we were able to talk in relative peace at the table for some time. That was nice.

Eventually, it rolled around to almost 7pm. At some point in time, two of the neighbor girls had knocked on my living room doors, and I'd let them come in and play with everyone as well (what's two more kids running wild when you already have four, right?). We pulled all the assorted clothing out of the dryer and redistributed it to the right kids, and then everyone headed home. It was too late to start dinner then, so the boys and I went to Burger King instead... and it's just not as good as Runza.

After dinner, warm showers, hugs and applications of much chapstick, my two were tucked into bed before 9pm. The kitties have wanted extra snuggles tonight - partly because it's cold, and partly because they didn't get a lot of attention while we had guests (but that's because they hide out in fear under our bed whenever someone comes over). Philip's in the shower now, and I think he wants to watch a movie afterwards, but I'm starting to feel pretty tired myself already. Playing in the snow makes me TIRED!

Snow pictures. )
navygreen: (Cheshire cat)
I'm very much in the mood for banana pudding. hetterrific Heather, will you share the recipe you tried recently that you thought was extra-fabulous?

We've got a full schedule this week, it seems. We had a playdate scheduled with Jack's friend Lucas on Monday, but that fell through from communication mishaps between mine and Lisa's computer (as is, her computer died, actually). So on Sunday night, I spoke with Lisa at the Parents at Home get-together, and we rescheduled for Friday with Lucas. But we were still open for Monday, so I called and invited Ty for the afternoon. As it turned out, Ann was out of town for a medical emergency with her niece, and Brad was SO relieved to have the offer. And then his mom picked Ty up yesterday afternoon, since Brad wasn't sure when he'd be able to leave work.

But then Philip had a firing appointment scheduled for all day on Thursday, and of course, I'm working that day. So I put him in charge of finding someone to watch Jack, and he did. When Ann called today to thank us for helping them out, she asked if Jack could come over sometime, and Philip asked her about Thursday. So he'll have fun playing out there that day after Parents at Home in the morning.

Though I miss being a part of many of the playdates right now, it gives me a certain sense of pride to see Philip having the kids for a while. And the other kids love Philip, as he's out there playing catch in the yard and doing all kinds of "boy" stuff with them on these playdates. He's much more rough-and-tumble than I am, that's for sure, and the kids love it.

Tomorrow night we'll have Andy and Josie over for dinner, and the boys are looking forward to showing Andy how far they've gotten in their GameBoy games. He gave them both a version of a Star Wars LEGO® game, and they play side-by-side all the time. We've also been watching a lot of Star Wars movies in this house since they opened these gifts on Christmas morning, too. Me, I'm looking forward to making fruit salad with little Josie's help. :-)

But I'm going to have to make some banana pudding sometime this week too, as I don't think this craving is going to go away!

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February 2014

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