Saturday, August 30, 2008

An improvement

Ok, it isn't a major overhaul, but I do feel it is a vast improvement over this. I think the little basket things on the top shelf make a huge difference, don't you?
And I think I did a great job getting rid of stuff too. I decided that most of the stuff could go!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's been a while

I know, I know! I have been woefully neglectful of my blogging duties, and for that I apologize. I have just done other things on the computer as opposed to posting anything.

Jordan started 2nd grade last Tuesday. He has been doing great, and is still quite excited about going to school. I thought that it would be hard to wake him up in the mornings, but I have only had to wake him up one day, and oddly enough, it was on the first day of school. After that, he's been waking up on his own about 6:00 am. By the time I wake up at 7:30, he is already up and dressed. Always complete with shoes, and sometimes he has already eaten. I bet that if I left things out for him, he'd fix his own lunch too! I'm sure this trend will wear off, but it has been nice this far!! Here is a picture of him on the first day.
He was very happy to be back with his friends and to be able to see them everyday again. According to this picture, I'm pretty sure we are all in trouble...



Kelton is doing great. He is completely potty trained (finally!) and only wears a pull-up at night. Honestly, he probably doesn't need it, but I'm not willing to take that chance just quite yet. He's also quite happy to be back in the swing of the school year. He is eager to kick Jordan out of the car in the morning, and elated to go get him in the afternoon.


It would seem that since I haven't updated things in a while, I would have lots to say. However, it is quite the opposite this time around. We've just been settling back into our routine. Other than that, nothing exciting!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Five

Road trips are actually my preferred method of travel. If you fly, you can't make the plane pull off its flight path to see that beautiful mountain range, or have it change course to see something else. You can, however, do that in a car. The ability to SEE where you are going is huge to me. Simply landing in Denver International Airport technically puts you IN Colorado, but it doesn't allow you to experience the Rocky Mountains or the Colorado River.

So, I am always quick to jump at the opportunity to take a road trip. The last one we took was to Florida two summers ago. Coast to coast! And my kids are phenomenal travelers! They are always eager to get in the car and go somewhere - anywhere.

I've been telling David the last couple weeks that the "Road Trip Bug" has been setting in again. So, I'm making it the focus of this week's Friday Five.

USA Road Trip:

1) Who would I take on a road trip with me?
My family of course!! But if David were deployed again, my obvious choice would be my Dad! When David was in Iraq, my Dad drove the boys and me from California to Missouri and home again two months later. The memories of that trip will stay with me for a lifetime. So as you see, if it can't be David by me in the car, it has to be my Dad! The kids are a given!!

2) What states would you visit?
I have always wanted to see Vermont in the fall. I'm not sure why Vermont specifically, but it has always been one of my "dream vacation" spots. So why not make it a road trip?! Fall is upon us, and Vermont seems like my given. Since we're "road trip"ing it, I have to see all the states between California and Vermont....and Colorado is somewhere in between the two.....and maybe a few (or all) of the New England states too, since we'd be in the neighborhood!

3) What national parks and/or monuments would you go see?
Well, I mentioned Colorado. I want David to see Ouray and Silverton, Colorado. They were on the route that I took with my Dad, and I truly think David would enjoy it. It is absolutely breathtaking! The Million Dollar Highway is well worth the trip alone. Since we'd be in that area, I want to see Mesa Verde National Park. If you don't know what that is, in short, it was the cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people for over 700 years. It is amazing to see, and I'd love to see it closer than I did passing by on the road.

Since this is my "Dream Road Trip" I'd also love to see Glacier National Park in Montana. I have this thing about seeing all 50 states. So far I have been in 34 states, and Montana is not one of them. But from all the pictures that I've seen of Glacier National Park, I'd love to view it with my own eyes.


As for Vermont - I don't have any place in particular that I want to see. I want to see it all! I want to experience the scenery, the food, all Vermont has to offer. And all I really I need is a pocket full of batteries and my camera, and my family close to me. The memories will just happen.

Since we'd be in that neck of the woods, we might as well see that whole region, all the way up to Maine. New York City, upstate New York, Boston, D.C. - the whole thing!

4) What would be required items to take with you?
Well, the obvious items such as clothes and toiletries aside, I'd have to take:
1) My camera. I have to capture everything on film.
2) My laptop. I have to download the pictures to the computer so that I can keep taking pictures! I didn't have the computer on that trip with my Dad, and I had about 400 pictures to download when I got home. And that was JUST from the drive home! In all from that entire 2 months, I had approximately 2,000 pictures. So, yeah - I'd need my computer with me. Besides, most hotels have internet……
3) My good friend, Serena Garmin. That translates to my GPS. If you don't have a GPS, I'd recommend getting one. If you have one, you know how much fun they are and understand why dear Serena would need to go with us. But I'd still have my trusty atlas too. Staring at maps is fun for me. Blame my Dad for that one!
4) The portable DVD player and the library of movies that we own. The kids love to watch movies on the road to help pass the time. It is amazing ~ we hardly ever hear "Are we there yet?"
5) My Pillow. If you know me and how I travel, you'd know that the pillow goes with me. Enough said!

5) How long would you be gone?
Ok, since I want to see Vermont in the fall, I have to go - you guessed it! - in the fall! Duh! And, since this is also my "Dream Road Trip," I'm going to choose to ignore that Jordan is in school. With that said, I'd make this at least a month trip. As of today, David has 131 days of leave on the books. Let me repeat that…131 DAYS! That translates to over FOUR MONTHS of vacation on the books!!! We always talk about how it would be nice if he could just take 2 months off and we could hit the road. I want to be able to enjoy everything the trip has to offer. So if that means shooting off the beaten path for any reason, I want the wiggle room in there to be able to do that. So I don't think I could do anything less than a month.


Where would you go??

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Works-For-Me Wednesday

I have been dreading cleaning my bathroom for one reason: I'm tired of passing out from all the chemical fumes. I'm pretty sure that they say that you shouldn't be mixing cleaning supplies. That's all fine and dandy, but I don't have one "clean-all" product. I have a fistful of "clean-one-thing" products. So, here is my product line up:

I love Clorox. I don't love it eating holes in my clothes. I also don't like having my hands in it for long periods of time. In short, I love the "clean" side of it, but getting there is way too hard for me.


Comet is a bathtub necessity. It scours away anything in the dirt family, and probably a little more.


Pine-Sol. Enough said. Nothing smells better than Pine-Sol when it comes to cleaning. (I've actually just poured it in the toilet before just so it smelled clean!)


So, mix those three powerful smelling products together in a matchbox-sized bathroom (and throw in a little Windex and 409 for good measure) and what you get is a coma-inducing cocktail. By the time I get to cleaning the floor, I've moved past the point of no return. I wake up in a puddle of drool on what was a half-clean floor with a now-dried-sponge stuck to my forehead. Truly, a horrifying image.


Now that you have that image haunting you, you can imagine my need to find something....ANYTHING to make cleaning the bathroom easier. I went to my favorite place, Target, and stood in the cleaning product isle for what seemed like an hour...it could have been two. I don't know for sure. But it was a loooooong time.


And then, in the best marketing ploy EVER.....the lights went down, spotlights came on, music started playing from above. All products where out of sight, with the exception of one. Like the moth drawn to the light, I was drawn to Method Le Scrub. I picked it up and saw these magical words: "Eucalyptus Mint."


I thought to myself, "but really, could it smell like its name? Surely not. It's a cleaning product. It must have that chemical smell to it...right?"


NO!! It doesn't! It smells...absolutely heavenly! Better yet, they have an entire line of bathroom cleaners! They have a tub & tile spray, toilet bowl cleaner and flushable bathroom cleaner wipes - - all in Eucalyptus Mint!! That means I can still have my fistful of products, but they'll all smell the same!


So I bought Le Scrub.


The next test was to see if it would really work. Can you believe it does?! I'm ready to throw out my whole cabinet of products and go back and buy everything that Method has to offer. And check out the design. It has a place to store the sponge! Brilliant I tell you. Brilliant! Give it a try!
Visit Rocks In My Dryer for more Works-For-Me Wednesday tips.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One week (and counting)

Yep, you guessed it. School starts one week from today! I'm so excited! I'm happy to be able to get back to my much-needed routine, and believe it or not, Jordan is getting excited too. He's happy to get back to seeing his friends on a daily basis. As for his teacher, we won't find out who that will be until Saturday when they post the class lists. I have my fingers crossed that the stress of last year is not repeated this year....

Guess we'll find out soon enough!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I am not....

...a computer geek...I am a Gadget Queen.

I love gadgets. I repeat - I love gadgets. I always have.

I am the kind that must immediately play with and figure out my new gadget. I can't sleep until I know everything that my new toy is capable of. For example, a cell phone must be properly set up within seconds of leaving the store. And I will be the one to set up David's phone. It is just the way it is. Lucky for him, he plays along!

Another example of my gadgets is cameras. They are my downfall. I have been teased about my love of cameras. Some buy shoes, some buy purses, lots buy clothes. I buy cameras. And apparently it has been noticed by more than a few people.

Oh my, enter........ computers!

A while back, we bought a new computer for the living room. Yes, you read correctly, the living room. We hooked it up to our 47" TV. Umm. Heaven! Imagine...a 47" monitor?! We sit on the couch with a wireless keyboard and mouse. I didn't think it could get any better than that. Then David claimed it as his own. My computer was in the office, his was in the living room. After seeing what that computer was capable of, my four year old computer in the office simply seemed archaic. Well, mainly because it was.

So, on Sunday we went out and bought a new computer for me. After getting it home and all set up, I think David secretly wished he hadn't been so quick to claim the living room computer! We made the old computer become the "server" for the sole purpose of being a hard-line for Internet, as the new computers have wireless capabilities. I have two 22" high def monitors connected to the new computer. I also have the cable feeding into the new computer. That means I can be working on the computer and watch TV on the second monitor. I get Olympics AND computer! Hello!! It's absolutely amazing!

Having a hard time imagining all this? Here is a picture to help you out.



The monitor on the left is connected to the server computer. The middle screen is my "main" monitor, and the screen on the right is my secondary/TV monitor.



Looks like fun, doesn't it?!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Updates

I've really been meaning to sit down and blog something....anything really. But my brain is fried, and I haven't been feeling very witty lately. So, instead of stunning you with my charming sense of humor, I'll just fill you in on what we've been up to.

Kelton is coming along quite nicely in the potty training department. For the most part, I'd say he is potty trained. But I won't let him leave the house in BBUs just quite yet. I'm not really into lugging around eleven changes of clothes for "just in case" moments. That is what pull-ups are for.

Jordan is starting 2nd grade in two weeks. I still can't believe it is even possible, but it's true. We got his school supplies the other day, and although he was excited to get new supplies, he's not very jazzed at the prospect of his "long summer" coming to a close. Two months have already flown by, but it hasn't been long enough for him. When you are that age, is summer vacation ever really long enough?!

David re-enlisted for the last time. I can't believe it! He's already got twenty years in, but this was the last time he's going thru the whole re-enlistment process. This contract is for six years, but he retires in approximately four years. It is still mind boggling to me that we can actually see retirement in the very near future. He has also been enjoying riding his new bike to work. He's quite glad that we got it, and so is the bank account.

I can't wait for Fall as it is my favorite season. Over the summer, I have been realizing that I'm the type of person who needs some sort of routine. I don't need a crazy schedule to keep up with, but something. The school year manages to give that to me. I'm just ready to settle in, and get back to something a little more predictable.

So there you have it. Nothing exciting. But an update. What have you been up to??

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Five

Fresh Cut Grass. I love the smell of fresh cut grass - it means summer. It means vacation, no schedule, warm weather, and so much more. However, where we live, our grass is brown all summer long, so we mow in the fall and early spring. But the images it conjures up are still all about summer. I can't wait until David retires and we go back to the Midwest where grass gets mowed in the summer, and it's green all summer, and dormant in the winter! Simple joys.


Blueberries. I enjoy getting fresh blueberries and washing them up and putting them in a bowl in the fridge. Then, when I'm standing at the fridge looking for something to eat, I snack on the blueberries! So yummy!



Eating dinner outside. Another true sign of summer, and it usually means that David bbq'd! If we eat late enough, it usually has cooled off enough (at least on the back deck) to enjoy dinner on the patio. The boys suggest it just about every night at dinner time; and if we can, we do. It just seems to me that when we eat outside, we take the time to enjoy ourselves a little more. Time seems to slow down for just a moment, and that is nice.


Card Games. Phase 10, Skip Bo, Rummy, Nerts, Spades, Canasta, Euchre...there are probably others that I enjoy, but these are the ones that come to mind right now. I grew up playing card games, and they are one of my favorite memories. My husband isn't much of a card player, so we don't play. I wish we played more. Maybe we will...maybe I'm going to make a new goal! Even though we don't play cards here at home, when I get around some of my family, the cards come out, and it's game on!


Sunsets. Their simple beauty amazes me every time. I love a good sunrise too, but I'm usually not up at that hour to see them, so sunsets it is. Funny how there are some sunsets that truly stand out in my mind. One in particular was my senior year in high school. I had gone to Florida for spring break with my best friend and her family. We had been over on Captiva Island and we all noticed the sunset. It became a mad dash to get the camera and shoot a couple pictures of all of us with the sunset as the background. By the time the last picture was taken, the sun had dipped below the water line. Crazy how fast it sets, but how gorgeous it is for that brief moment. This picture is one I took, and is another one of my favorites. It is somewhere in Kansas, by Fort Riley I think. My Dad was driving with the boys and I, back from my hiatus in Missouri while David was in Iraq. This sunset took my breath away, and I love the picture. I often find myself pulling this picture up on the computer to enjoy it.