Sunday, October 15, 2017

Olive Garden....The Kiss of Death

Day 69.

Today was a wonderful day.

Our church has found a candidate for lead pastor and he spoke today (he's spoken a few other times, but we didn't know he was a candidate at the time). He's been approved unanimously by the elder board and the pastor search committee and now all that's left is for the congregation to vote in a couple of weeks. I, personally, think he's a great fit and on top of that his sermon was on point today and really challenged me.

Anyway, after church, the kids and I had lunch and then ran a few errands. We had a lot of fun and found some items for Alex's first Christmas box. My plan is to send it in about 2-3 weeks so that he gets it right around Thanksgiving, so that they can start decorating when we normally would. :) Love sending him some extra love, especially at the holidays.

After our errands, we came back home and the kids played....Madison watercolored and Hudson played a few different games including Simon Swipe. While they played, I finished some laundry we'd started earlier in the day and tended to a few other chores and odds and ends that needed to get taken care of.

My parents came over around 3:00 and the plan was to head to Olive Garden (we had some gift cards) and then to come back to our house and watch the Dodger game. THE DODGERS WON.....it as an amazing game and an amazing game winner hit by Turner.

A little back story, Alex use to work at Olive Garden, but ever since he quit (which was in college) he's had a love hate relationship with the restaurant. It never fails, that after we've gone to Olive Garden Alex gets terribly sick....like food poisoning sick. Well, today, we all ate. We all enjoyed our food, but as soon as we got home, Hudson started complaining about his tummy. We did a few things to help him and they seemed to help, but about two hours ago (as I was winding down for the night and getting ready to go to bed), Hudson came out of his room crying and told me he'd just gotten sick. Now I know this isn't the tummy bug because as soon as he was done, he was completely better and of course, it came shortly after having had Olive Garden. Like Father, Like Son. Hudson got in the shower and took his second shower of the day, while I stripped his bed (which don't forget had fresh sheets on them because I'd just finished doing the laundry a couple hours prior). For the first time every, I have a sink next to my washer and I was so thankful. I was able to rinse the sheets off prior to putting them in the washing machine. I threw everything in the washer including my Thieves Laundry Soap, a couple capfuls of Thieves Cleaner and some baking soda. I put the washer on the heaviest setting and on the disinfectant soak. I'm praying that his two favorite stuffed animals survive the wash (his new shark from Sea World and the Camel that Alex sent him).

In the meantime, I have scrubbed the floors. I have disinfected the sink by the washer. I have torn my Kirby apart trying to get the carpet shampooer to work (I've never used this feature before, just the spot shampooer) to no avail. So, I just finished dousing my son's room with Baking Soda that has been turned into a Carpet Refresher with my Purification and Thieves Oils and plan to vacuum it in the morning and hopefully by then either someone will leave me a comment explaining what I might be doing wrong with my Kirby attachment OR I will have found a video to help walk me through it and I will try again tomorrow. Whatever I did, I couldn't even get it to turn on, so something didn't get connected correctly.

Anyway, I'm off to go check on the laundry as I have to wait for it to finish before I can go to bed because if it needs to go through another cycle, I don't want it just sitting there like that over night, but hopeful I can just transfer it all to the dryer.



Saturday, October 14, 2017

"He Climbed a Tree, and Scraped His Knee...."

Day 68.

Happy Saturday!!!!

This morning the kids and I went to the park. They scootered and I ran, and then we played. There was a group of people playing volleyball at the sand court too. I almost asked to join in, but then I decided against it because I was at the park to play with the kids, but it was fun to watch some volleyball. In between our playing and running I was able to snap a few pictures of the kids. Hudson tried and successfully climbed his first tree today. He was so proud. The kids love that this park has good climbing trees.

      

Madison really enjoyed the jungle gym. She always comes up with some sort of obstacle for herself. I was able to get her to slow down for a minute for a quick picture.


And then the kids made themselves sick spinning non-stop in these little bucket seats. I had to help them stop so that they could get out because once those things get going, they don't stop very easily. 


After the park, we came back to the house and attempted to make pumpkin pancakes with almond flour. Two things happened that caused it to be unsuccessful:

1. My electric griddle died. I had to throw it away, so now I'm in the market to go find another one :)

2. I have made pumpkin pancakes A LOT, but never with almond flour and I think I decided that almond flour is not a great flour for pumpkin pancakes. They just stay too gooey for me. I even tried throwing the batter in a cake pan and putting it in the oven, but it just stayed too mushy for me. Anyone ever successfully made pumpkin pancakes with almond flour? 

Anyway, after that fiasco it ended up being time for lunch, so I made the kids lunch and they played for a little bit before we were able to talk to Alex. It was sooo good to talk to him. He's doing really well and staying super busy. 

Then, this afternoon was my company's rally and the release of all our new products and our holiday catalog....it's beautiful. 

Here is the catalog:


The kids and I had our movie night. We watched Dolphin Tale. It was so fun because Hudson didn't remember having watched it before and Madison loves this movie so we all enjoyed the movie and had a GREAT bedtime routine afterwards. 

Hope you're having a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy FriYAY!!!

Day 67.

Happy Friday everyone!!!!

This week both went super quick and also seemed to drag, either way, I'm excited that it's Friday.

Today I was able to spend some time with my friend Erika as she gave me a fresh trim and reshaped my hair. It feels so much healthier now. I really love Erika and am so thankful that we met her. She cuts all of our hair and we just adore her.

After my hair cut, I came home and worked...TOMORROW is a HUGE day for my business. If you are wanting to get an early jump on some holiday shopping, follow along because our HOLIDAY CATALOG will be released tomorrow, along with some new items. I am so excited, I can't hardly stand it. I'm a big fan of supporting small businesses. I always try to shop small first when I am making any type of gift purchase. I would much rather support friends and family or a friend of my friends and family than a big name because I know firsthand that when I support a small business I am helping someone directly impact the quality of their life. So, if you have a business, please feel free to leave your link in the comments to this post. I'd love to see what you do and for my friends and family to see what you do so that they can have a chance to support the people I know and love and likewise, if I can ever help you take steps towards wellness, it would be my honor to walk alongside you on this journey, plus it's an exciting time and I just know the catalog is going to be absolutely stunning and the products fabulous!!!

I had a chance to talk to Alex for a little bit today, which was wonderful since we haven't really been able to connect on the phone much this week. He received his most recent care packages today too, which is always fun to hear how he and his roommates like the goodies we send.

I'm pretty sure Hudson will be starting Tennis in the next week or so. He's so excited. I just have to call and see which week they would like him to come. He's really looking forward to having a couple fun things to do during the week now that he's finally decided he would like to try a few sports. He is still starting golf a little later this month and then he's decided he'd like to try baseball in the Spring. :)

Hudson and I stayed at gymnastics today because Madison asked if we'd stay and watch. I took a video of what will be her bar routine for this season (unless of course, they change it, which is always in the realm of possibilities). I posted this video on FB tonight instead of on this thread.

I hope that everyone has a lovely evening and a marvelous weekend!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

It's Fire Safety Week

Day 66.

Happy Thursday Everyone!!!

There are a lot of exciting things happening over here.

First of all, it's fire safety week (very appropriate for all of the fires happening, please keep them all in your prayers). Hudson and his class had been waiting for today to get here because a bunch of firemen came and brought their trucks and did some fun demonstrations for the kids, answered their questions and let the kids have turns using some of their fancy equipment. Hudson was so giddy all day.  Thankfully, I volunteer at the school today, so I was able to see all of the fun and snap some pictures.

        

The second big thing happening over here, is that Madison is becoming quite the artist and on Thursdays when she has a day off from gymnastics, she's been working on her creativity (whether it's through art or story writing...which I must say is simply fantastic....I'm still working on her letting me type up her latest story to share). Today she drew an Oasis out of her imagination. Here is her latest drawing using colored pencils as her medium.


Finally, I have a couple big things going on too! I've already shared with you about my new gym and working out, but I'm loving all of the yummy food and feeling good about continuing to make good choices even when it's hard. I'm just taking one day at a time and sometimes it's one hour at a time to make sure I'm getting my water intake, steps, nutrition, etc.....However, I'm already starting to see it pay off. I've been good and haven't deviated from any of it and I'm seeing a lot of positive results after my first complete week. 

I've also been working hard and prepping for our holiday catalogue to come out this Saturday. We keep getting little sneak peaks and they are all fantastic. Here is one sneak peak that was shared with us. I can't wait.....it will be available starting Saturday at 3 MST. I'm so very excited...last year I waited too long and the items I wanted sold out, so this year I'm ready. I've been planning and saving for it. So many amazing gifts and I might treat myself to a thing to two, as well.

 

Hope everyone is having a fantastic day. 

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Day 65.

Today, when I dropped the kids off at school, Hudson wanted me to take a picture of the spider he made, that is hanging in his classroom. He wanted daddy to see it. Clearly pointing and smiling were too hard to do. ;)


After drop off, I did a quick 30 minute walk/jog and then headed to my training. It was a great day and we really focused a lot on legs. My legs were smoked by the time I left the gym. I really am loving this gym and the program. If you haven't found what works for you yet, search the gyms in your area that get your excited. I love to work out, but this time around I wanted to work out with other people, some more focused time with a trainer/coach, and in person accountability for my nutrition and workout routine....I kept searching until I found it and I'm so thankful that I did. There are so many styles of gyms out there, including several programs you can do at home. Most of the time I love all of that, but I just needed to change some things up right now because it was too easy not to take that "me" time when I was trying to work out only at home and I just didn't like the feel of the other gyms. Anyway, all that to say, find something you love, get excited about it, and go for it. The only thing standing in your way is yourself. 

After the gym, I headed to Trader Joe's to shop for all of the ingredients for some new recipes I'm trying that all fall within my meal plan, but that I think the kids will really like too...this is key because I'm working on teaching them to make healthy choices too. 

I picked the kids up after school and we walked back home. Once home, the kids did homework and I worked on dinner. We then headed off to gymnastics and then Hudson and I came home to play, read and have dinner. 

I don't have any new videos just yet, but Madison said her and her coach changed a couple of things in her beam and floor routine, not a lot, but a few things to add a bit more finesse and pizzazz. I love seeing Madison so excited about these routines. 

I worked for awhile tonight, which is why I'm posting so late, and now I'm off to watch last night's episode of This is Us and go to bed. 


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Another NEW Smile

Day 64.

It's my dad's birthday :) Happy birthday daddy! Love you!

This morning as the kids were getting ready, Hudson lost ANOTHER tooth. He was so excited.

Here's his cute new grin.


After the craziness of the lost tooth, we headed off to school. I helped the kiddos read and then I ran off to my workout. My workout killed me today. It hurt so good. When I finished my legs were so shaky that it felt funny to walk....that's how you know you had a good workout.

We ended up having a quiet evening here at home after I picked up the kids from school. Madison came home with a not so fun tummy ache that had started last night and apparently didn't really go away all day. She came home, did her homework, read and then was dozing on and off, so we stayed here instead of going to gymnastics. 

After dinner, which was a huge hit (it was a combo of zoodles, quinoa spaghetti, garlic and chicken), we all read for a bit, the kids brushed their teeth and they went to bed a little on the early side. They must have both been tired because they both fell asleep rather quickly. 

I worked for a couple of hours after the kids went to bed...had to finish up a few things I was working on earlier. Then, while I was doing laundry, I continued on with the next episode of Gilmore Girls. 

Please pray for everyone in Orange County. The fires are still going strong and I have a lot of friends and family there, including my brother-in-law.

Monday, October 09, 2017

A Quarter

Day 63.

So, today, day 63, while that may seem like a random number to you, to us it means ALEX IS A QUARTER OF THE WAY DONE WITH HIS DEPLOYMENT!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!!!

Anyway, so today was a GREAT day, but as a result of being so wonderful, I forgot to take pictures...womp womp.

This morning I had another training session and the kids came with me. They were so wonderful and patiently waited while I had my session and then we headed home to go to lunch with my parents. My dad's birthday is tomorrow, but since the kids had school off today for "staff inservice day," (but we all know it was for Columbus Day), we decided to go to lunch to celebrate him. He chose to go to Grill-A-Burger. Everyone loved their food. I had a fantastic salad with cucumbers, grilled chicken, red onion, a little bleu cheese, and balsamic. Hudson surprised us all and ordered Fish N Chips....he loved them!

After lunch, my parents came back to the house and we gave my dad his present (which would have been the perfect time to take pictures, but alas I forgot). Then we introduced my parents to UNO Attack! We had a lot of fun. Once Hudson was over it, we switched to Five Crowns. We love that game and we finished it literally as we had to race out the door to get Madison to gymnastics.

Once we dropped Madison off, Hudson and I ran to Target and to Costco. After dinner and Hudson's shower, we played and then headed back to gymnastics to pick up Madison.

After the kids went to bed, I spent a few hours catching up on work that had piled up from the day and got busy. Some days my best work is spent in the later hours of the evening. Now, I'm off to bed to let my body recover before it's thrashed tomorrow ;)


Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Farmhouse

Day 62.

There are some days you just know are going to be amazing.

Today was one of them.

I had the amazing privilege of going through a Blended Teacher Education Program at Cal State, Fullerton. In addition to receiving an amazing education and my credential, I graduated with a group of ladies that had become like family. We have seen each other through everything. We use to get together once a month. Then it was every other month. As time has gone on and we've all grown our families (and had moves here and there) we make time to get together for special occasion and we still always try to have a Christmas get together. Now, due to being a military family, we are not always here for every gathering, but these girls have stuck by my side through it all. At the end of this school year, we will have been friends for over 19 years. We've been through a lot with each other.

Anyway, today was one of those special occasions when we were able to get together and celebrate our sweet friend Julia as she prepares to have a baby. Julia's story is amazing, but it's her story to tell. I will say this. When I think about her amazing story and the fact that they are getting ready to bring home their third child, tears fill my eyes...they are happy tears. I am so excited for her and this amazing journey she's been on. I'm also super excited to find out what she is having in a few weeks. She's been so strong and hasn't found out what she is having. Love you Jules!

I just love each and everyone of these girls. A huge part of who I am today has to do with the fact that I had their love and support during college and we were all there for each other in so many different ways. What I've loved about our story is that no matter what we always find a way to connect and get together. It's important to us. Our kids (whether they remember it or not) have all been huge parts of each of our lives and our kids all have so much fun together.

Today, my sweet friend Kara, who has been the biggest blessing during this deployment, invited my kids over to play with her kids while we went to the shower. Her amazing mom came over and watched them for us so that we could go have some girl time with our friends. Kara and I have been on an amazing journey together the last few months and it's so sweet to see how God is intertwining our stories and has grown us so much closer. We have some sort of communication almost every day and that means the world to me because with Alex being gone, there are some days where I don't have any interaction with anyone other than the kids. Don't get me wrong. I adore my children, but sometimes you just crave relationship with someone who is older than 6 or 10. Kara has been that constant. She has been faithful to check in on me, to pray for me, to listen to me, and to take time out of her schedule to meet up with me. So, all this to say, we met at Kara's house and then left the kids with her mom and drove together to a beautiful restaurant called The Farmhouse for lunch to celebrate Julia. We arrived a little bit early so we had fun looking around and snapped a quick selfie.


Once everyone arrived, it was like no time had passed since we'd all been together. It's pretty amazing actually. These girls all work for SageOak (if you're in SoCal and homeschool, check them out), but because of the nature of their jobs, they don't see each other as often as one would think they would. However, I still think it's pretty fantastic that they all get to work "together" and that they all get to work from home while loving on their families. 

We had such a blast. Each of us gave updates on everything that is going on in life right now. We shared for memories. We talked about our hopes and dreams. We did was we do best, we shared life with each other and soaked up every minute we could, knowing that at some point they would have to come to an end. We could seriously have stayed their through the evening, but after a little over three hours and funny looks from the waiters we ended up having to get up and say our good-byes. We are all hoping to get together for a Christmas something or other though. So hopefully we'll be seeing each other again soon. 


As we parted ways, Kara and I headed back to her house to relieve her mom and we found that our kids were having so much fun together. They were begging for another playdate and so we are so excited to set something up. Another thing we learned today is that we only live about an hour and 15 minutes from each other. We'd always met in the middle or somewhere else, so we didn't know the door to door time from her house to our new home in La Quinta. We were both pleasantly surprised at how short a distance it is. So, we're working on planning something for our kids to get together soon...and of course us. 

After the kids and I got home, they went to bed and I caught up on some work that had happened while I was out and then I watched another episode of Gilmore Girls and got to talk to Alex briefly before he had to head into work for the day. 

It was a great day and I'm excited to head into my next training session tomorrow. 

Pretty Quiet Day

Day 61.

Today we had to cancel our plans to go to the Palm Springs Air Museum because we had to wait for the AC guy to arrive. We had the fun window of 10-2 and he showed up about noon and then was here for about an hour or so. By the time he left we didn't have time to go to the Air Museum and get back in time to make our homemade pizza and have our movie night, so the kids decided they'd rather go on a different day when we'd have more time.

It was a pretty quiet day around our home. We took a day to relax and just be at home with each other. We made our homemade pizza and watched Soul Surfer. Then we read some stories and the kids went to bed.

After the kids went to bed, I worked for a bit and then I took some time relax. I watched a little bit of Gilmore Girls and went to bed. I was so sore from my workout yesterday, that I just wanted to go to bed.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Today I said "Yes" to me!

Day 60.

Today I started an intense fitness program. I am so excited about it. I have always wanted to do something like this and I decided now was the time. I've always worked out and focused on making healthy food, but I wanted stronger accountability and someone to tailor workouts to my needs and goals, as well as to make sure I have the correct form and that I'm pushing myself. I am excited to say that I found that in this gym. I spent about three weeks researching gyms because Alex gave me a gym membership of my choice for my birthday. I wanted to make sure I found a good fit and boy did I ever! I had my very first training session today and I LOVED every minute of it. I was pushed. I was able to let my competitive side come out. I was able to try new things I've never tried (like rope pulls and cardio rope circuits....I think I'm in love with the rope). I felt amazing after the workout and can't wait to go back. I've been extremely good with my food and making good choices. Knowing someone is going to ask to see your food log and hold you accountable is incredibly motivating, plus I'm spending the money to have this accountability so I want to honor it and not waste it.

The kids had a GREAT day at school and Madison and a great day at gymnastics. Hudson and I went to the recycling center because the kids are recycling cans, plastic bottles, and glass to save up money for when Alex comes home. They know that we want to take them on a fun trip when he gets back, but they don't know where, so they are saving money to have spending money on our trip. Alex and I are still deciding what we're going to do for our trip. We thought we'd nailed it down before he left, but then something was discovered that has us contemplating another destination instead of our original idea. We still plan to do our original idea, but during a different summer, if we end up choosing this new destination. :)

Happy Friday everyone. I am going to go relax in bed and maybe watch a movie. I just finished doing a post-workout soak in the tub with homemade bath salts. I used Eucalyptus, Cool Azul and PanAway to help soothe muscles that I know will be sore and to just wind down from the day. A good bath is always so pleasant.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. We have some fun plans, but first the AC company is coming out in the morning to run a diagnostic test on the AC unit since it's slowly dying again. Please pray their "sniffer" test works because if it doesn't they have to do a test that will cause us to be without AC for up to 3 weeks. :/

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Park Date

Day 59.

I had a wonderful time volunteering at school today. Not only did I get to help students, as well as the teachers, but I was able to have a real conversation with one of the mom's I've been volunteering with. We've been getting to know each other over the last few weeks and we had a really great conversation today and it always amazes me how God so evidently brings people into our lives with very specific purpose.

After I left school, I was able to talk to another sweet friend that I've been playing phone tag with for quite literally WEEKS. Well, we finally connected and I was so excited to learn that God had shown up and answered prayers in BIG ways! While I was on the phone with her Alex called, so I hopped off the phone with my friend so that I could catch up with Alex. It was so great to see his handsome face. Oh how I miss that man!

Once I was off the phone, I made my lunch and got busy with work. I taught a class tonight that I was going over earlier and putting final touches on and organizing the pictures. It was a class on Oils and Exercise, which is appropriate given that I have my first personal training session tomorrow. I'm excited for this chapter to start. We had a yummy dinner and our meals are back on track. Tonight we ate baked chicken, salad and sweet potato...I also had some mushrooms on top of my chicken.

Anyway, back to earlier in the day. Madison is participating in an event at school called Battle of the Books. It's a competition and she along with 10 other kids will represent their school in the spring. They have to read 10 books and then they get questions asked about them (I think...this is my first experience with this competition). Anyway, practice was after school from 3-4, so I picked Hudson up and we went to the park for about 40 minutes and then headed back to pick up Madison.


Once we were home, the kids worked on their homework and reading and I made dinner. Then, after dinner we read stories and played games. Tonight we played UNO Attack and Trouble.

Then it was bedtime and once the kids were in bed I taught my Oils and Exercise Class on my Facebook Page: fb.com/oilytipsbystephanie.

Once that was finished I worked a little more and now I'm definitely ready for bed.

Looking forward to tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

I Did It!

Day 58.

I am so excited. After I dropped the kids off at school today, I came back and went for a run. Then, I quickly got ready and headed to the gym a mentioned a few posts ago to have a consultation and check it out. I LOVED IT!!! I loved the trainer I spoke with. I loved the facility. I loved the heart of the gym. I loved the support I know I'll receive. It was seriously amazing. I signed up for the 21 day trial. I start on Friday! I am seriously beside myself excited. With this gym, I will have a personal trainer, meal plans and get the type of workouts that I just can't get at home with someone pushing me every step of the way while I'm in the middle of working out. There are TRX bands, punching bags, jump boxes, and so many other fun pieces of workout equipment. I am so excited and pumped to be starting on Friday. We also did all of my body composition numbers and came up with my goal and the trainer told me she didn't see any reason that I couldn't meet my goal before Alex comes home and forces me exceeding it if I stay committed!


Anyway, aside from that fun part of my day, the rest of my day was business as usual. I worked,  picked the kids up from school, made dinner, kids did homework, kids ate dinner, took Madison to gymnastics, ran errands with Hudson, came home with Hudson, played games and read books with Hudson, took a silly video of Hudson playing Bop-It (made my night), and then picked Madison up. We then came home and everyone got ready for bed and then I worked for a little bit getting the final touches on my pictures for my oils and exercise class I'm hosting tomorrow on Facebook.

Here is the video of Hudson....hope you enjoy...I can't stop cracking up. This sweet boy always puts a smile on my face!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Picture Day

Day 57.

Picture Day was a SUCCESS!!!!!

Well, I mean we haven't seen the pictures yet....LOL However the morning went smoothly. Pictures went off without a hitch.

Here are the kids before their pictures:


We also were able to grab a picture of Madison and her BFF...it was perfect timing!!!


These two right here just make me smile. I love how God started their friendship last year through play rehearsal during music class, shortly after we moved. Then, it grew as they bonded over the trials they were both facing and began praying for each other. Madison had just moved homes and changed schools, as well as learned about Alex's upcoming deployment and Mackenzie had just learned her mom was going to be starting her battle against breast cancer (to which she has conquered and won the battle). These two quickly bonded as they began their friendship with very deep conversations and of course Harry Potter! Then this summer they continued to stay in touch and then to top it off, they are in the same class this year. So, thankful that Madison has such a sweet friend and that I've been blessed by my friendship with her mom. They have been such a blessing during this deployment and their friendship means the world. 

After school pictures were done, I was in Hudson's classroom helping. Before I began listening to the kids read, I snapped a quick picture of Hudson. He is calendar helper this week! He's been so excited about it. 


So....something exciting happened today. Now, I can't get too excited because it's only day 3 of a 90 day contest, but today I was listed as number 9 out of all of the USA Young Living team....what does this mean? Well, nothing yet, but the top 250 win a trip to Hawaii. How cool is that? There are several other prizes too, but Hawaii....pretty fantastic!

Anyway, I have been having so much fun with work and have had so many amazing conversations. I'm loving all of the emails I am receiving about how to make little changes to get toxins out people's homes, how to be proactive about the upcoming fall/winter season, how to help support their kids as they do their homework and study for tests, etc. I can't even tell you what a blessing it is to lesson plan and teach classes. I also taught myself a new program for my newsletter, so I have a fun newsletter that I poured hours into as I learned to format and edit it. If you'd like to see a copy of it, I'd be happy to share it with you and if you have any suggestions, I'm welcome to those too! :) 

Oh and I forgot to mention that on Saturday, we received Alex's next edition of United Through Reading. He sent them each a book and another DVD along with including 3 stickers for us of their unit's logo. 

Today was a good day. Looking forward to tomorrow!

Monday, October 02, 2017

He Grabbed My Hand and Melted My Heart

Day 56.

The first Monday of October was a success!!! The kids had great days. Madison had a wonderful night at gymnastics. Hudson and I completed his reading homework, played games, and read more books.

This morning, Hudson was extra lovey. On the way to school he held my hand the whole way. I took a picture to document it because usually he wants to beat Madison to every corner....LOL.


I'm soaking up all of his snuggles and love because I know that the years are short. Madison has been extra sweet too. I will take it. They may be at each other's throats, but I'm loving where I am with each of them and I am going to choose to soak it in because I know that tomorrow is a new day and picture day of all days. My kids are so excited about picture day. Madison asked if she could wear her 4th of July shirt because it has a soft flag in the background, and she wants to support her dad. I love her heart! Hudson will be wearing a shirt he picked out himself when we were shopping for his jeans at Target. 

Hope y'all had a lovely Monday, despite of the heaviness of the day. Praying for Vegas. I am saddened, but filled with hope by all of the people who are stepping up and helping. 

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Lincoln Brewster...WHAT?!?!

Day 55.

Oh my goodness....church was AMAZING this morning. Lincoln Brewster, the former lead guitarist of Journey and new solo musician/pastor spoke at our church this morning. He shared his story and holy cow was it powerful. He has a story of Redemption and so he shared about redemption and wove it all throughout his story. I was truly blessed by everything he shared this morning and was left touched and inspired.

It won't have quite the same effect as hearing it woven throughout his story, but here were his bullet points:

Redemption happens when:

1. I Surrender (Say yes to God and Let go of the steering wheel)...Psalm 51:10
2. I Persever (respond well to difficult times)....James 1:2-4
3. I follow God's Lead...tied it back to opening verse John 12:47
4. I take a Leap of Faith....Proverbs 3:5-6
5. It doesn't look like Redemption is happening (God is always working behind the scenes on our behalf)....Romans 8:28

He left us with a few thoughts to ponder:

1. God wants me to do my part. Am I doing it?
2. Am I fostering LOVE in my home? What can I do better?
3. God pursues us always - it's up to me to respond.
4. Sometimes the teacher is silent during the test.
5. Am I allowing God to use me?


After church, we were able to talk with Alex a little bit, but he's been crazy busy, so we just said hi and briefly caught up, so that he could go to bed because it was late for him and he'd had a long day.

The kids and I had lunch and then they played a few games, while I worked. The 1st of the month is always a crazy time with my job, plus I was teaching myself a new program and I was in the final stages of it, but was stuck on the last step. The kids were sweet to be patient with me. I felt very successful when all was said and done thought because I had taught myself how to use a new program for my newsletter and how to merge my contacts into the right place to send it to my team.

The kids then went to their quiet time to read and just spend some time apart from each other....they needed it. Everyone was a tad "too helpful" and emotions were flying during their "fun" games. While they were in their quiet times, I finished up some more items for work and posted a video about one of our supplements in our product group.

Then, the kids cleaned up and we hung out for a bit, had dinner, played some more games, read some stories and then they went to bed.

I have been finishing up some final details for work, listening to some inspiring videos and getting organized for the week. I will be doing a little reading soon and then

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fresh New Looks

Day 54.

Today was another interesting day, but today it was an interesting day in the life of a tenant. We woke up to a stuffy house, so I turned the fans on. It hadn't dawned on me yet that something might be off. Then at about 9:00 or so, I was sweating just sitting eating breakfast with the kids and I went to check the AC and it was 81 in the house (even though the thermostat was set to 78), which has always been my first indicator when the AC has died at this house. So, I quickly went outside and the AC unit was dead....it wasn't doing anything. So, I called our emergency line and started the process of getting it taken care of. This is now the third time our AC has died this month. Anyway, the technician finally showed up and he was able to temporarily fix the problem, but said that they will need to come back out to replace the two parts that are leaking refrigerant.

While all of that was being taken care of, the kids and I watch a GREAT movie on Netflix called Walt Before Mickey. I highly recommend it. It was such a great story and there was a lot that I didn't know about Walt Disney before created Mickey Mouse. This movie was based on Walt's autobiography. It was truly inspiring.

After the AC was fixed, it was time to head to the kids' hair appointments (they have school pictures on Monday and this was the only time they were both free to go get their hair cut). Hudson had his cut first. Here are his before and after pictures. I always think he looks so much older after he gets his hair cut.

     

Then it was Madison's turn. However, I don't have an "after" picture for her because as we were finishing up, Alex called on FaceTime and so the kids quickly stole the phone from me to talk to him and then by the time we were off the phone, we'd been sitting in the parking lot for a little bit and I forgot that I hadn't taken an "after" picture. I'll see if I can snap one tomorrow before church. She only had an inch cut off. She really didn't even want to get her hair cut, but it needed a trim and so she begrudgingly obliged. So, here is her before picture.


We stopped at Target so that Hudson could look for something with his money from the Tooth Fairy and so that I could look for some pants for Madison because she discovered today that her pants are too short for her, also. Even though I asked her last weekend, when we did the big shopping spree for pants (because they were on sale), and she said that she didn't need any because they all fit. Madison was also excited because  shirt she had wanted was available in her size now, so I told her we could get it. We are still on the hunt though for what she will wear for pictures. It's a much bigger feat this year. 

Anyway, Hudson chose to get UNO Attack with her money. I told him I'd pay for the part that was more than what he had since it would be something played by the whole family. On the way home from Target, Hudson did something he hasn't done in a long time. He fell asleep. When we pulled in the driveway, I snapped a picture because he just looked so cute. 


We set up UNO Attack as soon as we were home and played a couple of rounds. It sure is a lot of fun! It keeps it interesting. Then after the game, we watched a move for movie night. We took a chance on a movie we'd never heard of, but I recognized some of the actors and actresses in it and it was really good. In fact, Madison asked me to look and see if there was a book, but I wasn't able to find one. It was called: The Enchanted Stallion. We enjoyed it. There was one intense scene at the beginning that Hudson was unsure about, but after that, he was good. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

"Mr. Grumpy Gills"

Day 53.

Today was interesting.

Today, I'd say I definitely had a rollercoaster of emotions.

Today, didn't really go how I'd planned.

I'm thankful that today is coming to an end and that tomorrow will be a fresh day.

Today, started out like any other school day. I got the kids off to school and they were both ready for their Friday spelling tests and excited to spend the day with their friends and classmates.

Once I was home, I went for a fast paced walk around a 2 mile loop in my neighborhood. I walked the loop twice. During this walk I worked and then the for last half I was able to catch up with a sweet friend that has proven faithful over the years. She always takes time out of her week to set up a phone date with me. She's even talked about possibly coming out to visit while Alex is on his deployment. She's one of a kind and I'm so thankful she didn't write us off because we are a military family that only lived near her family for 10 months and by the time we actually met we probably only knew each other 8 months. Anyway, it's always nice catching up with her.

After I was back home, I did my weekly cleaning of the house and then headed off to go turn in our rent check and request that our fireplace be serviced before that season comes because with our luck in this house, I wasn't willing to turn the fireplace on, not knowing the last time it was on.

Once I was back home, I was able to briefly talk with Alex. He's had some crazy days lately, so communication has been unpredictable at best.

After I was off the phone with Alex, our bug guy same. He's the best. He really is so amazing at his job and he's incredibly kind. Anyway, I had called him earlier because I unfortunately found rat dropping in our garage and asked him what I should do. He popped over and inspected and noticed right away that the house isn't properly sealed. He was kind enough to set traps for me until the management company can get their guys out to take care of the issue.

I think this is when it started....the rollercoaster of the day. It was yet another thing that I'm having to deal with at this house and I'm just sort of tired of it. So, then I got a bit grouchy, not on purpose...it just happened and I had trouble shaking it.

I tried eating lunch....nothing.

I tried reading....nothing.

I tried focusing more on work....nothing.

I tried watching a little Gilmore Girls...nothing.

I just had a bad case of "Mr. Grumpy Gills." Then it was time for me to get the kids and I tried to fake it and then I'd get even more frustrated with myself because sometimes silly and a non-issue (you know one of those things that seems like an issue, but when you stop and think about it is really a non-issue) would cause me to be short with the kids and then I'd feel badly and apologize, but then two seconds later the cycle started over. Then, the kicker, so I take Madison to gymnastics and while Hudson and I were in the car I said, "Bubba, I'm sorry that I've been grumpy." His response...complete grace, "Mom, it's okay. I love you and you're perfect." While this was just the sweetest thing he could have said (albeit so far from the truth), in that moment then utter and complete guilt washed over me because I know I can do better.

Today was a day that was hard to not have my other half here to just hug and be held in his arms. I know tomorrow will be better and I know we'll be just fine because God is faithful and He's always there.

However, today really made me wish that a virtual hug was truly possible to feel. I love you babe and miss you more than ever!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hudson Had A Very Special Day

Day 52.

Today was a wonderful day!

Here's my little monkey on the way to school....he was so excited about the assembly today!


It started out with me volunteering at the school in both classes today. I seriously had so much fun. I just loved watching these little first graders grow and getter better from day to day with their reading. Hudson has been taking AR tests all week and getting 100% on all of them. He's blowing my mind with how well he's doing in school, not because I didn't think he could do it, it's just that when he started school last year, there were so many other concerns I was addressing that I just didn't truly see what a GREAT student he is. I can't even believe how much he's grown in his confidence and abilities. He's beginning to excel in math too!

After helping in 1st grade, I headed over to 5th and was able to do some clerical type work to help Madison's teacher get prepped for next week. Then, I had a lot of fun. I was able to help one of the student's in Madison's class, who is learning to read braille, practice reading. I was able to learn a few of the letters and just really enjoyed getting to work with this amazing student. I look forward to getting to work with this student again.

Once I was finished at the school, I walked home and worked....I have just a few days left and I'm so close to my first huge goal I want to accomplish while Alex is away. I'm just giddy with excitement.

While I was working, Alex called, which was wonderful because we actually were able to talk for a little bit, instead of having a rushed conversation. I just love that man and love our conversations.

Once we were off the phone I zipped over to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to grab a warm tea latte and then head to school for the awards assembly.

Here are some pictures from the assembly and then below that is the video:

       



After school, the kids and I came home and they worked on their homework and reading and then I surprised Hudson with dinner to one of his favorite places. We haven't been there in a very long time, Red Robin. As we were walking into the front door of the restaurant, Hudson lost another tooth. It just popped out (looking at the picture it's his bottom left tooth). School pictures are Tuesday...they are going to be quite memorable. :) 


After dinner, I let the kids share a milk shake. They chose a cookies and cream milk shake. The catch was that they had to let me take some fun pictures before they chowed down. They obliged! 

      

It was an extra special day and we really had a great time! I'm looking forward to tomorrow! 



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Day 51.

Today I was given the blessing of going to brunch with a dear friend God has brought into my life to CELEBRATE that she is done with her radiation treatments and beginning the next chapter in her journey with Breast Cancer. She is doing so well and has been so brave and strong throughout the whole process, from start to finish and I'm just so blessed by her friendship and how God brought the two of us together just as her journey was starting last school year. It was a GREAT day of CELEBRATION!!!! Ladies, make sure you get your yearly mammograms because you just never know and my sweet friend was able to celebrate today because of that choice she made and how early they caught everything!

While Madison was at gymnastics, Hudson and I were reading books and dancing to some music on Pandora.....when all of a sudden one of Hudson's favorite songs came on: Cha Cha Slide (I think that is the name). I quickly grabbed my phone and recorded him dancing to this song. It's cute and sure to put a smile on your face.

And now, for your viewing pleasure:





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Chinese Acrobats

Day 50.

Today was Hudson's first Field Trip! He had so much fun. He loved everything about it: the anticipation, the waiting to get on the bus, the getting on the bus, the riding on the bus, the getting off the bus, the getting seated and waiting for the show to begin and best of all, the Chinese Acrobats.

We weren't allowed to take any video or pictures inside the theater once the show started, but I did manage to snap a picture on the bus and when we arrived at our seats. The show was amazing!!!

     

Once the show was over, we made our way back to the bus and headed back to school. The kids arrived back at lunch time and I headed home for a little bit before having to come back and pick the kids up for early release day. 

After school, the kids finished their homework and reading and then we headed to gymnastics to take Madison to practice. Hudson and I headed to SoupPlantation for dinner to support our school fundraiser...it's not my favorite place to eat, but I always try to support the schools when I can. My parents were kind enough to meet us there and also help support the school. 

When we had finished dinner, we picked up Madison from the gym and came home and had a fairly smooth bedtime routine, which was nice because our indecisive weather had me with an unfriendly headache. Once the kids were in bed, I had some work to do since I'd been gone a chunk of the morning and I also began reading a new book I received in the mail today. Once I decide if I like it or not, I'll post about it. I bought two different parenting books (one for girls and one for boys). I just want to be sure I agree with them before I share them because we all know there are plenty of crazy parenting books out there, but a friend of mine recommended them, I just wasn't able to find a lot about these books before buying them. So, anyway, I'll share them later on if I feel they'd be beneficial.

I busted my tail to work really hard so that I could watch the first episode of season 2 for This Is Us, but I was unable to find it to no avail. I couldn't only find the last episode of season 1. Totally bummed, but I guess I'll try another day. I don't watch much TV, but really wanted to see this. 


Monday, September 25, 2017

Explorer of the Month

Day 49.

This morning went incredibly smooth. I really enjoyed my bible study this morning. The kids each were up on their own. They got dressed and ready for school. They each made their beds and put their laundry away. They each had time to read this morning and we had breakfast. We don't get mornings like this very often, but I'll take it! I was able to sit and enjoy a nice hot cup of tea this morning because everyone was on task and doing what needed to be done! So, I'd say our morning started off wonderfully.

I spend a lot of today working and catching up on a few thing around the house. I also took a little break during lunch and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls...sure do miss that show :)

I picked up the kids from school and Madison didn't have any written homework (she always has reading) since they had a test in math and language arts today, so that was a nice break. Once again, we didn't have to rush. We just took our time getting ready for gymnastics. Hudson worked on the math portion of his homework and then finished it once we were at gymnastics, as well as part of his spelling. He'll finish the rest tomorrow...it's not due until Friday, but we try to finish by Tuesday so that we can enjoy the rest of our week.

We received notice today that Hudson has been picked as Explorer of the Month for his class and will awarded it on Thursday. So excited for him. He also told me today that he can't wait for T-ball in the spring...this is huge for him because lately he'd been saying he only wanted to swim. However, he LOVES baseball and knows more about than most kids his age, but something about the team aspect was making him nervous...well tonight, he decided he wants to play and he talked about it the whole way home from gymnastics.

My friend Sarah came and watched the last hour of Madison's practice. Her husband is also deployed and so we're deployment buddies. It was so nice to get to catch up with her and so thoughtful of her to want to come and support Madison by watching her practice. She was so excited to get to show some of her floor routing to Sarah.

Kids came home and did everything they needed to and bedtime went off without a hitch. It was glorious.

Hudson has a field trip tomorrow and he's beyond excited, so hopefully I'll be able to get a lot of pictures from it to share, as I'm getting to go as one of the parent volunteers.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Let's Get This Party Started

Day 48.

We had a GREAT day!

Church this morning was on point. They haven't posted the video from the sermon yet, but when they do I am going to post the link, if for no other reason, than I know that Alex would have LOVED today's message.

After church, the kids and I went to Old Navy and Target because my kids needed clothes. I didn't realize how badly they needed clothes until last weekend when we went to Sea World.  I discovered Hudson didn't have any pants that fit and Madison had very few shirts that fit...I thought she was just continuing to wear her gymnastics shirts since they are her favorite, and while that was part of the reason, I learned it's also because when we went through her closet this summer and she gave me all of her shirts that no longer fit, she didn't mention to me that she only had a couple shirts left that did. She puts away all of her own laundry, so I haven't peeked through her closest in a long time apparently. So, anyway, we found some shirts for Madison (we still need to do some more shopping, but it was a start). We also found 5 pairs of pants for Hudson and 2 shirts that he picked out. On top of that, I found a pair of jeans and shirt.....this is miracle. :)  So, I felt accomplished.

After shopping we came home and the kids did their reading and I worked for a little bit and also was able to talk to my friend for a bit both for fun and a little work related.

My parents called and told us they were going to my favorite Mexican Restaurant and asked if we wanted to join them for dinner, so we gladly accepted and met them at Pueblo Viejo.

Once we were home, the kids and I watched a new Winnie the Pooh movie (it was Hudson's pick, but turned out to be pretty cute). After the movie the kids showered and got ready for bed. Hudson went to bed a little earlier than Madison tonight. He had made some poor choices earlier that bumped up his bed time, but he clearly needed it because he fell asleep almost instantly. However, it was so nice to have that extra time with Madison. We talked and used her muscle roller to roll out each other's backs, legs and arms. I always love those sweet, candid moments with her when we just talk without an agenda. During the week, we talk all of the time, but sometimes there are days when it's more rushed than others because of schoolwork and gymnastics, but I savor and cherish these moments, for I know that even though the days can be long the years are short. I feel pretty blessed to have been given the chance to raise these two amazing kiddos and that they call me MOM :)

Alex will be traveling a lot this week and with space communication, so it was nice that I was able to briefly chat with him tonight, since we don't know when he'll be able to reach out next. Love my man and miss him terribly, but always love how God works in and through our deployments.

This week I'm going to research and go check out another gym that seems pretty amazing and then I'll make my final decision between the two gyms I've been looking at and then get this party started for real. Who else is working hard towards a fitness and nutrition goal? I'm working towards a lifestyle shift and not just a temporary fix, which is why I'm taking so much time to research and figure out what gym I'm going to join. I'm really interested in Next Level Fitness.....anyone have experience with them?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Tree Climbing, Scooter Riding, Monkey Swinging Kind of Day

Day 47.

Saturdays....what a welcomed break from the hustle and bustle of the week.

When we first got up this morning, we put on some Christmas Music...I know, I know...it's early, but it makes me happy! :) Then I discovered that I can play my Fireplace App at the same time I'm playing Pandora, so it was super cozy in our house this morning. Perfect way to celebrate the second day of Fall.

After we finished breakfast,  we were able to talk to Alex for an extra long time this morning, so that was nice! We were able to enjoy our conversation and everyone had a turn. It was glorious.

After we finished talking with Alex, the kids and I ran to Costco real quick and then came home and dropped everything off at the house and headed to the park. The kids rode their scooters and I ran behind them.

     

We had such a fun morning/afternoon at the park. Madison was loving climbing some of the trees.

     

Hudson did a little bit of everything, but I was able to capture him swinging because he was in one location for enough time for the camera to catch him and not just a blur. :) 

    

Once we were done at the park, the kids rode their scooters back home and I jogged behind them. We all showered and then my parents came over to hang out with us for pizza and movie night. Tonight we watched Peter Pan. I always forget how much I enjoy that movie! 

Once the kids went to bed, my parents and I watch the Dodger Game and talked. After my parents went home, I finished a few chores around the house, talked to a friend and got to say a brief hello to Alex before he started his day. Now, I'm off to bed. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

It Felt Like Fall....

Day 46.

Okay....now officially, "Happy Fall!" What a beautiful day it was! We walked to school in weather that was in the high 60's. It was such a treat. We enjoyed it thoroughly, especially because the forecast is calling for weather close to 100 in a few days, so today....we enjoyed fall weather for the desert.

Today was a day of accomplishment.

I went for a long walk today and enjoyed the weather a bit longer, after the kids were dropped off at school. In total today, I walked just shy of 22,000 steps. I just really enjoyed the beautiful weather.

I also cleaned the whole house (I do this weekly, but it always feels like an accomplishment ;) ).

I had a fun day at work and was given some great encouragement.

I talked to a few friends that I haven't been able to catch up with in a little while.

I talked to Alex...always the highlight of my day when we are able to chat.

I felt like I was able to have a good mom/daughter talk with Madison. Time is moving so quickly and I always enjoy when we get to take the time to really connect and have deeper conversations.

Madison had a big night at gymnastics. She was just so excited about how her two events went.

Hudson played tennis against our Apple TV and won the championship.

I was able to get Hudson's Talkie working again....it had been down for about a week, so he was unable to get and receive messages from Alex, but now it is fixed and he's been listening to the messages he'd missed and sending Alex new ones.

We are another day closer to having Alex back home.

I'm off to bed.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Blew It!

Day 45.

Okay, so apparently I was mistaken yesterday. I always thought that September 21st was the First Day of Fall. Well, apparently it's tomorrow, but I realized that after we were already at school. This is important because I went out of my way last night to decorate the house and make it look like Fall for this morning, I got up earlier than I normally do, so that I could make homemade pumpkin pancakes from scratch and well....I blew it. It wasn't even Fall yet. Whoops!

Well, on the positive side, the kids LOVED  the pancakes and scarfed them down. I haven't made my pumpkin pancakes since last year, so I was pleasantly surprised when they turned out pretty darn tasty, if I do say so myself. :)


Today is Thursday, which means it was my long day of volunteering at the school because I go into both classrooms. Oh how I love it.  I get to help first graders work on their reading (for those of you that either didn't know or don't remember...I use to teach first grade). Then, I get to go help Madison's teacher organize, collate and prep and I LOVE it....I just love the curriculum in 5th grade and I miss lesson planning and watching the lightbulb turn on when a student who has always thought they'd never understand, finally gets it and I can cheer them on. One of my favorite memories from teaching 5th grade was how I taught grammar. We always had so much fun. Every morning, I'd come in and write a paragraph on the board with a bunch of mistakes. The kids always were so eager to point them out and it sort of turned into a fun game each day, little did they know how much learning was actually taking place. :) 

After I was done at the school, I came home and worked. I am still working on a few of my scripts for some classes I'm teaching next week, but they are getting there. I seriously love this time of year with my job. Similarly to when I'd watch students' eye open up as they understood a math concept for the first time or improved their reading ability, I LOVE watching friends and family have that aha moment when they realize how much junk is in their home and that we are being exposed to every day. I love being able to come alongside them and help them to make positive changes, whether it's in baby steps or in one giant swoop. The relationship that comes with getting to know the WHY behind why someone wants to make the change, is priceless. I can't even begin to tell you how many beautiful friendships have blossomed as a result of my job. I count it such a blessing and honor to get to work from home, to get to educate friends and family, and to get to watch dreams come true for those that have joined my team and are also pursuing this as a job. 

Once I was finished working, I ate a quick lunch and journaled for a little bit. Then I went and picked up the kids. Thursdays are our slow day since there is nowhere we have to be after school. We came home, kids did homework and read. I worked on dinner, which was another InstantPot recipe and it was a HUGE success. Kids loved it and so did I. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pixie Dust Everywhere

Day 44.

It's the LAST DAY OF SUMMER!!!! Another milestone.....we're moving into another season!!!! Yay!

Today has just been a GREAT day all around.

The morning started off with the kids each waking up to their surprises from their toothfaries. Hudson's tooth fairy left him a note, some pixie dust, and a Cars 3 Lightening MacQueen Car. Madison's left her a note, some pixie dust and a trail of clues (per her request) and at the end of the treasure hunt, Madison found a book she's been wanting to read. They were both pretty happy (and up WAY TOO EARLY).  We had a lovely morning. It was calm and not rushed since they were both up. We were able to briefly say hi and bye to Alex before heading off to school for the day. As we were walking to school, I noticed Madison had put her "pixie dust" in her hair...it was everywhere....she was quite shiny and glittery.

Once I dropped the kids off at school, I walked back home and then got ready to leave to go to lunch with my dear friend Kara! We found the perfect meeting place that is almost exactly half way between us. We went to Ruby's at the Cabazon Outlets. We both arrived about 10:30 and then were able to take our time and chat and catch up in person (we talk almost daily, but we hadn't seen each other in well over a year). What a blessing it is to have her to do life with, we're going on almost 20 years of friendship.


It finally came time for us  to part so that we could each go pick up our kiddos from school. 

Once I had the kids, we came home and the kids read their books (neither one of them had any written homework because they had already finished it...woo hoo). While they ready, I prepared dinner...they both requested burritos tonight, so I chose to be flexible ;) and say "sure." I'll just save my dinner that was for tonight until tomorrow. 

We dropped Madison off at gymnastics and then Hudson and I ran to Trader Joe's....they received a HUGE shipment of their pumpkin items in. Oh how I love all of their yummy Fall food. Once we arrived back home, we decorated for Fall since tomorrow is the official start of the season. Hudson had so much fun because this also meant that I pulled out all of the Fall and Halloween books. So, he sat and read books from our book box and I finished decorating. I think I might need to find a few more things :) 

I'm off to bed now and am looking forward to tomorrow! :) 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I Can't Believe It!!!

Day 43.

We had quite the day around here!

I woke up feeling refreshed from yesterday and just knew today was going to be a GREAT day. I got up at 5:15 to do my quiet time and then I did some quick abs and pushups. I was able to shower and get ready. I peaked my head out of my room and still didn't hear anyone, so I did my make up and made everyone's lunches. I still didn't hear anyone, so I did a little bit of work while I enjoyed my hot tea. Finally, at 7:00am I decided I better wake these kiddos up because they needed to start getting ready if we were going to leave on time.  As we were heading out the door, Alex called and was able to tell the kids he loved them and that he hoped they had a great day.

Today is one of my usual volunteer days for Hudson's class, so I helped in there for a little over an hour and then headed home. When I arrived home, I worked for a little bit and then was able to talk to Alex just before he went to bed.

After I picked the kids up from school, they came home and did their homework. I read and worked a little and then made them dinner. They had requested sandwiches, so I gladly obliged. Hudson came running to find me shortly after I sat his food at his place. On his first bite, his tooth popped out. He was so excited because that tooth had been bugging him, but he's not like Madison. He does not like to wiggle or force his teeth out. However, he does love the tooth fairy and immediately wrote a letter to him. Hudson has named his tooth fairy Baymax!


Once everyone calmed down from the excitement and finished their dinner, we headed off to gymnastics. Madison had a great day at the gym. I didn't get any video because there was too much glare off of the windows, but Madison conquered her STANDING BACK TUCK. This is the one skill that still was mentally causing her trouble, but tonight she did it! She was determined and stopped letting fear (in case you forgot, this skill is what she injured her ankle on about a year ago) hold her back. She took a deep breath and did it! Then she did it again, and again, and again. She was jumping up and down and just so excited!

As soon as we arrived home from gym, the kids took their showers and got ready for bed. Hudson is always much quicker, so he was showered, teeth brushed, and in bed before Madison was even out of the shower. So, we said prayers, sang a song, put his oils on, turned his diffuser on and I tucked him in. He's such a good little sleeper, he was completely out before Madison had her pajamas on. 

Then, the next thing I know, I hear Madison scrambling in the bathroom and I'm not sure what is going on and then she races past me, not speaking. I finally figured out what was going on. She was getting salt, to make a salt water gargle because she, too, had lost a tooth. I can't believe it. I don't think I ever really thought both of my kids would lose a tooth on the SAME DAY!!! 


Well, Madison's tooth fairy, Serafina, did something fun a few teeth ago and now every time Madison loses a tooth, she asks for the same thing. Serafina had given her clues as to where to find her special prize for losing a tooth. So, of course, Madison wrote a quick note asking for clues again tonight AND for pixie dust. 

I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow when the kiddos wake up. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Case of the Mondays

Day 42.

Today was an off day.

I helped in Hudson's class for a little bit and then I came home and just didn't have a whole lot of energy. I didn't end up going to the gym, which of course, I'm kicking myself for now because I always love how I feel after the gym. Then, because I hadn't started off with my healthy routine, my day sort of snowballed and my eating wasn't where I'd like it to be either. So, it was just an off day.

I gave myself a little break this morning/afternoon and just relaxed a little and then I worked this evening. I taught a class and had a few emails that I needed to respond to and some product education I had to work on.

While Madison was at gymnastics, Hudson and I worked on his math homework, read some books and played games (Trouble and UNO).

Tonight, I am going to bed earlier than normal because I think my body just needs it.

Oh hey, has anyone read the Aviator's Wife? Is it any good? Someone gave me a copy of it and I was wondering if anyone had any reviews for me about it?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Game Day!!!

Day 41.

Today was a great day. I really enjoyed church. Not only was it a fantastic service, but I was able to talk to my sweet new friend for a little bit and catch up on how things were going. I am really loving getting to know her and so thankful that God crossed our paths. Her family is just amazing.

After church, the kids and I came home and ate lunch and watched a little bit of America Ninja Warrior. We were still trying to catch up, but watched part one of the finals. Then, after lunch we had the chance to talk to my mother-in-law on FaceTime since today is her birthday. We caught her just before she was headed out the door to go to lunch. The kids and I were able to talk to her and then we also had a quick hello with our Aunt Anna and my father-in-law.

A little later, my parents came over for a game night (well, really game day). Shortly after my parents arrived, Alex was able to call us, so we delayed the start of our game day to talk with him for a bit. We didn't talk too long, though because it was well after midnight his time and we didn't want him to lose too much sleep. Once we said good-night, we played Dominoes, Uno and Clue. While we played clue, Hudson played Tennis on our Apple TV....he's so fun to watch playing that. We then had dinner and finished watching the rest of the episode we were watching from America Ninja Warrior. Afterwards, the kids got ready for bed.

I was able to hang out and chat with my parents for a little bit after the kids went to bed. Once they went home, I worked for a little bit and then talked to a very sweet friend that God just continues blessing me with. She has been a constant during this deployment and we were able to schedule lunch together on Wednesday, so I'm super excited about getting to see her because I haven't seen her in a little over a year.

I did a few chores around the house and now I'm getting ready to go to bed. I'm excited for what this week will bring and can't believe that at the end of this week it will officially be Fall. I'll be decorating this week.....on the hunt for a few more things to add to my collection.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

It Was A Big Day...So, We Celebrated

Day 40......can you believe it? We have completed 40 days of deployment!

Because this is a big deal (at least I think it is) I planned a FUN DAY!!! I surprised the kids with a trip to Sea World and then we went and drove by the Mission Beach Boardwalk (I had intended for us to get out and play for a bit, but I literally circled the parking lot for 40 minutes and didn't find a spot, so we continued on to our surprise dinner. We went to Burger Lounge in Temecula and ate there. The kids gobbled it up and said they wished we had one closer to us, I agreed! Then we did "movie night" in the car on the way home.

Here are pictures from  our day in order:


Sea World had already started setting up for Halloween, so there were these cute little pumpkin fish all over the park and the kids wanted to take a picture with one. 

      

The kids love the petting tanks when you first walk in the park, so we stopped there for a little while. Madison had quite the challenge keeping her every growing hair out of the water, but she did her best. 


Before we got too far into our day and ended up forgetting, we took a picture with the three of us, just to document that I was there too. LOL 


My sweet girl always wants to get her face painted, so before we even left, I'd decided I wanted to let her do this today too (and Hudson too, but he had no interest). Madison was over the moon! She had so much fun picking out which design she wanted and even customized her colors. We don't typically  do the face painting because it's too hot wherever we are, but the weather was perfect today and it lasted (as you'll see in the rest of the pictures). 

           

Next up was the Sea Lion area. We bought two trays of sardines and the birds only managed to eat 3...LOL

    

Next up was the Shark Encounter! This was the favorite exhibit of the day for both of the kids. It was completely decked out with pumpkins and the sharks were extra active today. 

    
After the Sharks, we went to the Turtle Reef, since it was just around the corner. The kids were fascinated by them and it was at this point that Hudson turned to me and told me that he really missed his buddy Cy and Ms. Brittney and the rest of the family....the last time we went to Sea World was the day before they all moved to Japan. It was funny to me that this exhibit was the one that made him make this comment, but then everywhere we went after that, he talked about how he can't wait to see them and kept asking when we were going to their house. 


After the Turtles, we headed towards the dolphins and on the way we stopped to look at the Flamingos. There are so many more of them than at the San Diego Zoo. 



The dolphin show wasn't going today, so this was the best we could do for seeing the dolphins, but the kids were just excited to see them because we had been told this exhibit was suppose to be closed today too. 




Since the last time we had been to Sea World a whole new "land" had opened up: Ocean Explorer. The kids had so much fun here. There were a bunch of rides that they were able to go on and some really neat things for them to look at, including an awesome tank that had an Octopus in it. 


Next, we headed over the the penguins, but not before stopping to grab some Banana Split Dippin' Dots!!!


The kids had a blast watching the penguins. They also had a blast coming up with silly poses for what they would look like hatching out of an egg...LOL 


After the Penguins, we headed over the the Wild Arctic Ride...which I don't think I'd ever been on before. It was pretty fun and the kids really enjoyed it.

     

The kids had fun looking at the Beluga Whales, the Seals, and the Walrus, but were a tad bummed that the Polar Bears were on vacation (I was told they are hoping for a new polar bear cub soon...LOL). 

  

We finished our time at Sea World with the famous Orcas!!!! We spent a decent amount of time watching them and being mesmerized. 


After searching through the Gift Shop at the front of the park, we decided to head back over to the one by the Shark Encounter and Turtle Reef because both of the kids had found things they enjoyed over there.  Hudson chose a stuffed Maco Shark and Madison chose a Mood Turtle Necklace. :) So then, of course as we were leaving, the kids wanted a picture in the boat.


As we were leaving the park, there actually wasn't a line at this photo spot, so I snuck in a quick picture. We tried to find someone to take a picture of all three of us, but there just wasn't anyone around. 


Here is a picture of the kids at Burger Lounge, so excited about their food and ready to dive in, but being kind and letting me stop them to take a picture. :) 

We had a great day, but we sure did miss you babe! It was definitely different without you being there, but we know we'll get to go again as a complete family after you get home! Muah!