Saturday, November 29, 2008

O' Christmas Tree!

I have been meaning to post about putting up our tree since we did it earlier than normal this year. Usually we wait for the typical "after Thanksgiving weekend" to begin that chapter. But, since we were entertaining a few families and kids this year and it wasn't too big of a crowd, I thought everyone would enjoy getting into the Xmas spirit. I was right. The kids stared at the tree and the ambiance was festive enough to warrant a Holiday movie after supper. The only things we have left to do are the lawn decorations, which as we all know is a man job. Now if only I can keep Poquito from ripping off with the snowflakes and tree skirt. Here are the pics...

The finale...
They had fun and spent the rest of the night admiring their work.

In conjunction with the whole Xmas vibe, we ventured out for Black Friday and it was madness I tell ya. Not fun and remind not to go there when they decide to drop laptop prices by $200. In spite of it all, my mission was successful. So I guess that's all that matters.

Besides that, I am still not 100% from George and I going out Wed for the LTs' promotion party. The karaoke and adult beverages took me over and I was told that I wouldn't let go of the mic. I don't believe that's so not me :o) !! Overall we had a blast, plus...I sang Material Girl, what's better than that? Congrats to 1LT Pleuss and Brady!! Fine...George told me to add some pics...He loves to clown me!

Here we are...the last people to leave!

Yes, I am drinking beer and not wine!

Ready to walk to Karaoke!

Love Shack Baby!!

This is where it starts to get real fun...

Amanda puts us all to shame...

They were all singing...oh yeah I forget!!

I think Tawnya was just as protective of the mic as I was.

It was nice. I don't go out often but when I do...I like to have fun as you all know. If they would have played New Kids on the Block though, I think I'd still be there!! Hope everyone's holiday weekend is going fabulous. I think I'll be staying away from the stores as much as I can.
Love ya!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 08

Well, I am officially STUFFED!! We ate at about three and I am way too content for my own good right now. Seriously, it was a nice affair. Not too big, not too small. JD said grace and it was way cute. Teage fell asleep an hour before we ate so he had to wait for his turkey a little longer. And the best part was all the food was split up amongst the three families. Khimmy made the turkey and pie, April made the mashed taters, yams, corn, and cheese ball. And I made the green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, and the gravy. I think I got off easier then them cooking, BUT now that everyone has disbanded for the traditional turkey nap....all the kids are still here!! What the heck!! Having a Wii can sometimes be a downfall. Well, I want to make sure I wish everyone a Happy and Joyous Thanksgiving from our family to yours. I'm missing my familia during days like this...but hopefully this time next year we can make up for that. Look how handsome my Teagie looked...he dressed for the occasion.

Ok, well I'm off to curl up and watch something on the tube (I missed that reunion of the Housewives of Atlanta so hopefully it will come on and really end this day with a bang). Besides, I need to get to bed early...Early Bird Sale in the mornin'!!! Woo Hoo!!! I'll be posting again real soon. I got some pics from putting up the tree and last night's karaoke fun, what I remember of it anyway. ;o)

Love ya!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Forgotten Photos

I forgot to add some new photos from the past week or so. Here they are...

My Teagie so peaceful when he sleeps...AHHHH!

We went to the PX last weekend and they had Teage's favorite nightime cartoon fix...

We also went to a pirate expose last weekend and JD was all over it...Teage not so much...Saige was peeved I made her get it the pic. LOL!

JD was on the Honor Roll first quarter, Woo Hoo!!

And lastly, the Single Soldier Thanksgiving had us all pooped!!
Love ya!!!

What is FRG?

So...many of the people I know outside my military world, don't really have the exact idea of what I mean when I talk about the FRG. The Family Readiness Group is a "team" of people that provide support and assistance and communication among its Family members, Command, and Community. It consists of the Command, a Soldier Liaison, an FRG Leader and his/her Committee Chairs and of course all the Soldiers and Family members. My role as an FRG Leader has given me internal pride not only because it just feels good to give back, but because of the Families I have helped to become resilient. When I think about how many Spouses have come out of their shell and actually "experienced" a military life because of the FRG, I realize it is all worth it. I don't do it for the glory and it's definitely not for the pay...I do it because its MY contribution to the Army. I live a pretty fabulous life of travelling, proud patriotism, and a secured income all because of the Army. What better way to show my appreciation than to help other Spouses become self-reliant, especially during deployment times. BUT, there is the occasion that you can run into that "Army Wife" know, the one that likes to talk all about her husband's rank and job and is always trying to get the scoop about people's personal business. These ones need the FRG the most (at least what I'm passing down). Being demeaning, snooty and self-centered will get you no where when it comes to being a successful Military Spouse. Besides, I will just dismiss you if you persist on making it awful for the rest of us. My job is to squash that nonsense and create a "team" who looks out for one another. I have absolutely met my share of crazies and know-it-alls and I take it with a grain of salt. I remember that I am doing something they will never do....I am making my life even fuller than it already is. When the time comes that I am no longer an FRG Leader, I will always volunteer somewhere for the Military because it allows me to truly visualize the potential my heart can give. Thanks for bearing with me as I sat firm on my soapbox for the last few minutes. Here are a few tips I go by to successfully make things happen for my team (my creed if you will):

Remember spouses have no rank
Get involved!
Encourage all-ranks activities
Meet regularly
Keep updated Rosters
Keep information flowing in both directions
Get to know the other spouses
Ask questions, offer suggestions, volunteer!
Be yourself and have fun!

Would you believe that this is even necessary to say? You would think it was a given. Unfortunately it's NOT. I love my fellow fab five and the fact they do know this! This goes out to my FRG girls...thanks for what you do!!

Miss you Sheila...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cooking for Soldiers

This evening the FRG hosted its annual Single Soldier Thanksgiving meal. I was in charge of mass-producing the desserts (my Pumpkin Roll rocked, I'm just sayin'). When I looked upon all the guys...and gals of course...standing in line to get their much anticipated home-cooked meal, I realized that I had never had a Thanksgiving alone. Sure George had been gone before during the Holidays, but I always cooked, spent it with extended family, or went to a close friend's. I could never imagine being ALONE with no kitchen, no family, NO ONE on Thanksgiving (well maybe except that dude you are forced to share a floor with that reeks and plays WOW all the time LOL). These Soldiers work just as hard as the next and yet they don't have that pat on the back to go home to like married Soldiers do. The most enjoyable part of the night for me was when they all stopped one by one to say thank you for cooking for them. Something the hubby here fails to do almost regularly (subconsciously of course). :o) I know these Soldiers really meant it. They truly were thankful and I was thankful for them. I felt like I could have gone into "mom mode" asking them what they were going to get into tonight and that they better be safe, but they probably would have thought I was weird, which I am. Ultimately what I mean is, I would cook for them any day if it meant taking care of these unsung heroes. If you get the chance I highly suggest that you cook for a Soldier, too. And if they don't say thank you all the time, don't hold it against them!!

Here's a clip my friend Tanja sent me that really sums it up!!! Remember, give thanks....

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Early Bird

I have long heard the phrase "early bird"...mostly when it referred to what my parents would say when they wanted to wake us up at 6am to do yardwork. It's the old:

But...what you may not know is the early bird is busier than we all could ever imagine! Who knew it had so many meanings? Let's see...there's the British comedy film,

the Early Birds of Aviation dedicated to historic pilots,

the EarthWatch, Inc observation satellite - Early Bird 1,

and the other well-known usage called the early bird dinner, maybe at an Early Bird Cafe if you will.

BUT, what peaks my interest in the early bird world is one that will be saving us all kinds of moolah during this economical chaos and piggybacks off the previous early bird definition. This, my friends is what we call the Early Bird Sale aka the Doorbuster! And I don't mean this kind...

I mean this....

I am not usually a Black Friday shopper. There are so many choices in the states and there is no way I could pick just one place to spend my first hour of discount heaven. So I wave my white flag and wait to hear all the stories from other family members of friends that decided to wake up at 3am to be at BestBuy by 4am. And then I hang up and say "Whew, I'm glad I didn't jump on THAT bandwagon". And of course here we are another Christmas approaching FAST and my desperation has changed all that. I am officially taking turns driving that damn wagon. Now, before you think that I caved must know my reasoning, and by reasoning I mean excuse!! Living thousands of miles away from any English speaking Walmarts or Targets, one would think that online ordering is the way to go during the Holidays. They can be. I mean go ahead and risk backordering that brand new Wii game that was the only item on your child's wishlist. Who doesn't like explaining to their doe-eyed precious baby that Santa had to send their gifts through the mail because we live too far away from Gamestop? Not to mention, going to the post office here is an hour long errand during the holidays as you can imagine. I need easy options...

Sooooo All hail the Post Exchange!!

The PX is the military's best effort at keeping us on the shopping curve as most of you know. They offer your standard toy store complete with layaway along with the usual departments found in what we wish were a Walmart or Target. In order to appeal to the people on this island who probably frequent the PX more than twice a week, they host the...dun dun dun...Early Bird Sale!! George and I embarked on our first early bird sale last holiday season. And to be honest, the deals were FABULOUS! Just to name a few...*gazebo reg. price $199, ours $50 *camera printer combo reg. price $170, ours $60 *chaise lounge chair pads reg. price $38 ea, ours $7 ea. The list goes on. Now I know you are saying...gazebo as a Xmas present? Ok no...but the deal was too good to pass up, plus there were others I did not mention since my kids are in the room and lurking behind me as I type. Needless to say George and I are addicted to the Early Bird and his worm. So much so that we are waking up at 6am tomorrow to get a headstart before Black Friday just in case we miss something. The rule here in Oki is if you see it, you better buy it cause somebody's just waiting for you to put it back on the shelf. It's the price we have to pay living in another country, going against our grain. So, when you are thinking about deciding between the 8 different stores you want to hit up for Xmas, just could be stuck with only one, one that everyone else uses, too.

Long Live the I mean the Early Bird!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Abe for Pres?...and such!!

So I am not going to go on and on and mimic what positivity everyone has already expressed about the election. All I will say is GOBAMA!! For all the McCain supporters, give it a chance before you reveal how you feel our country is doomed. Actions speak louder than let's see people!!! In correalation with the National election, JD's class held a Presidential wax museum if you will. The class got to all pick a US President or First Lady and prepare a speech about them. On Election day, they lined up in the library with a "push button" to activate their live speech. JD picked Abraham Lincoln as his President. Perfect!!! He even used the low voice to channel his inner Abe. I think the beard was a nice touch...thx dad!!

Here he is with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln!!

They even went into their makeshift voting booths to choose their candidate. JD wouldn't tell me who he voted for...I taught him well!!

Amongst all the election hype, it was also 58th week for George's Battalion. It's basically a week long of sports/competitions and ends with Organizational Day complete with BBQ and all. So I'm sure this goes without saying that George played in every dang event. I'm talking anything from Bowling to Track to Soccer to Basketball to Volleyball to Dodgeball to Football. He has no self-control when it comes to sports. Anyway, the only thing he couldn't compete in was the Drill and Cermonies portion. (Mainly because he was in charge of this event). But it didn't stop him from getting in on some of the action. Here he is giving the 'go ahead' to some Soldiers in his Company to start the cermonies...

And honing his soccer skills...

At the Org Day, they decided to put all the First Sergeants in the dunk tank for a little fundraising action. George was not all that thrilled, but he went in reluctantly...

JD dunked all but his dad...he knows where his loyalty lies. Another tidbit about JD, he has been growing his hair out since school has started. He wants to "be like a rockstar". Not until it started raining and he began to sculpt his hair did I realize how far he's coming to achieve that goal...

I also hosted my Pampered Chef party this week (I'm all about the stoneware and it's been a long time). We played this Amazing Race game where the guests in two teams had to cook a recipe Nascar style. It was fricking hilarious. Nothing screams comedy like women racing to cook...

There's my girls...

And the winners were...

Thanks to all of you that came.

One more thing, who doesn't love a pair of cutie boys working the 3D glasses??

P.S. I love Fall!! Love ya...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat 08

Well, the last week of October has come and gone. I'm glad it's over actually, it was a trying one...

I have been trying to finish up my last week of school this term, prepare for finals next week, help the kids finish up their final projects for the quarter, put on a Halloween event for FRG, AND take AFTB I said, I'm kinda glad it's over. I enjoy being busy like the next person, but as I was reminded in my leadership class Thursday, there is such a thing as being stretched too thin. I think I went there this past week. Of course the hubby and kids have no idea how thin of a stretch it was because all they know is everything at home is still normal. I guess that means I'm doing my job. :o) Anyway, my post is mostly about the highlights from the Halloween party and trick or treating last night. This is how I walked around all day Friday...

I didn't really want to dress up, but I knew the kids would give me flack if I didn't. The FRG party was during the day and so the big kids could go (since they were out of school), but I decided to still take Teage to preschool. They were having a party, too and besides, I would have spent the whole time chasing him through the commander's halls. When I dropped him off, I had all the toddlers line up for a group shot...Teage always has to be in the middle of everything!!

And I'm sorry, but I had to post this baby's pic. He is in the 1 yr old group and is the chubbiest, cutest, and happiest baby ever...and the costume was perfect for him!!

So, off I went to finalize the last minute things needed to make the party a success. We had all the parents and kids meet up at the flagpole and we proceeded to trick or treat through all the different sections within the Battalion. Each section had the option of decorating their area, and at the end the kids would vote for the best one. George gave all the Soldiers an incentive of granting the winners with a 3-day pass (free day off). The Soldier's in George's building won...they must have really wanted the day off because they went all out. They called the HHD building the "Haunted House Detachment", and made a mini haunted hall. The kids were all over it!! George was there before entering to give them a block of instruction on what was going to take place...I guess he thought he would try to be scary in his gas mask...

At the end of the trick or treating portion, we all gathered to hand out treat bags and to announce the names of the costume winners. JD won the spookiest (I had no influence on that I swear)....he got that all on his own!!!! See.......?

All the kids looked so cute and I remembered why I loved Halloween so much...

The rest of the time was spent eating lunch, trading candy, and having time to chat up the other Spouses. It was fun and a success. Our friend Farrah was there to support and helped with clean-up (thanks girl), but we were all too short to reach the spider on the ceiling, so I honed into my old cheerleading skills and taught Saige was it meant to be the "butterfly"...and I learned what it was to be the "base" LOL....Farrah thought she'd be a photographer all of a sudden :o)

Once we got home, all I wanted to do was crash out, BUT that isn't an option for us moms, especially not on trick or treating night. So I proceeded to figure out what I would feed my brood before inhaling pounds of candy and he walked downstairs...the full moon repairman!

I think he was delirious too. After we ate, we all gathered up for a night of neighborhood candy hunts. Here are Saige and Jd ready to get the goods...

Teage was getting the special treatment riding in that wagon. I think after the first ten houses, I wanted to get in that thing...

Seriously, I was so proud of him. He needed no help going up to the door and receiving his "treats". He was going up to the door saying either "Trick or Treat" or "Happy 'Ween". The only thing that was stumping him was getting his bag open at every house. He would hold it in one hand and couldn't figure out how to get it apart again. It was so cute. Some of the candy givers had more of a disguise than he would have liked, but he still braved the door to candy heaven...

Overall, the kids had fun...Saige got to walk with her friends about 20 feet behind us, JD was just happy to be checking out every other kid's costume and naming them off as they walked by, and Teage took charge as ultimate candy collector. What a big boy!!!

Can you belive it is already November?? Bring on the dang Turkey people....Love ya!!!