Sunday, May 30, 2010

Phase I..success!

I'm currently in our hotel room in North Dakota. The boys have gone out to do a little birthday shopping and I'm relaxing.
Last night was "the dinner"  But wait, we didn't just have dinner. We were invited (more informed than invited) to a "pre-party" at the ex-wife's house. Drinks and appetizers. Oh Joy. I fought to win this one but didn't. It seemed to be very important to the graduate so we complied. My in-laws, however, were not so eager. We made excuses and regrets for them and showed up wearing a smile. I was greeted awkwardly at best, but managed to pull myself away from the loud obnoxious one and charm her father. Her mother actually hugged me as I left so it went well I think.
We stayed for a little more than an hour and endured a very loud woman. It occured to me that she must be very insecure to be as loud and obnoxious as she is. She definitely demands attention.
We went to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse complete with cheesy chef and hibachi grill. It was definitely interesting. We picked up the check, for 12 people. After my husband had accepted and signed the check and sent it back the ex throws her napkin across the table and hits him with it. I KNOW I showed my shock and disapproval at that point. She had made an ass of herself all night while I smiled and visited with her father seated next to me. At the napkin throwing, I probably didn't hold back. I looked over at her like.. what is wrong with you?? and she makes a writing motion with her hand, apparently that was her way of getting my husband's attention to find out about the bill. Seriously? The whole table saw him take it and pay it.
The best part of the evening was when it was over. The graduate sent a text to her dad thanking us for participating and telling us how much it meant to her. This weekend IS all about her, in spite of what her mom thinks.
Today is the big graduation. After that, we are done with this woman and her outrageous self for a while. I'm so excited to get the boy away from here and have him live with us. After seeing his mother with him and how he reacts to her, I see just how unhappy he is.
I have learned something about myself this weekend. I will share it when I wrap up in a day or two.

Friday, May 28, 2010

We have arrived!

It was a LONG flight. We left Hawaii at 5:30 PM, landed in Minneapolis at 6:00 AM their time (1:00 AM for us) and then jetted on over to the big city around 10:00. I slept maybe an hour, so I'm a little whipped. I'm hanging in there so I can get on a normal schedule tonight.
We have the kids, and my in laws here so we're having a great time.

I do want to mention something I always find annoying when traveling... Public Restrooms. I hate them! I especially hate the ones that flush automatically. You're sitting there, trying to do your business but don't move..not one little bit, because that sucker will flush and spray your backside. Anyone else know about this?
How about when you go into the stall and the seat's all wet? How does THAT happen? Seriously people, wipe it off if you can't do better.
The motion detector faucets are lovely, as are the soap dispensers. However, when I've saved myself from touching those things and have to crank out a paper towel with my hand, what's the point? Really?
Those are my observations from last night/today's flight.
Oh, and the people in North Dakota are very nice, but they talk funny.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And We're Off....

This evening we will leave this paradise of Hawaii to fly into Fargo, ND. Seriously? Who lives there? Oh, my sweet husband's ex-wife and kids. We will see the girl graduate high school (I'm still crossing fingers, I received an email this morning saying she didn't show up yesterday to pay her parking tickets...please, can you just hold it together for a couple of days??) 
I must admit, I'm DREADING this weekend. Not because of graduation. Not because of the kids, I love them and can't wait to see them. Because of the ex. I'm not a fan, and that's putting it lightly. The kid is insisting we have dinner together on Saturday night. ALL of us. Her mother is pushing this and can be heard in the background of countless phone calls, when dad is trying to explain the awkwardness saying "We can all be adults for one night"  Can we? Can you? You haven't proven that so far.
I will be a lady. I will be a classy lady. I will be fuming under the skin, but I'm from the south and dammit, we can charm you while we stick a knife in your back!
Bless her heart, she will NOT see me sweat!!!
Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend. Remember those who have made this holiday for you. Take a moment and pray for a member of the military and his/her family. Remember the ones who gave all.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Favorite Room

We live in Army quarters. It's an old house built in the old Hawaiian style. Lots of windows to allow a cross breeze, crank out windows, (which I HATE) and a huge lanai on the front of the house. The lanai is essentially a screened in porch that is open to my living room. You can close it off or keep it open to become part of the room.

As nice as that room is, with my lovely bamboo furniture, my favorite room is the kitchen.
Like I said, this is an old house. The kitchen is a far cry from gourmet. The appliances are simple and starting to rust with the humidity here in Hawaii. But, I love it because it's my refuge.
When my husband was in Iraq, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. When I'm stressed, I bake or cook. I baked a lot during those 12 months. My husband had a ton of responsibility and I had so much I was involved in, that it seemed anxiety was part of my personality. After he was injured half way through the deployment, I baked even more. I can't keep baked goods in this house because I'll eat them. So, I'd bake, and I'd take everything up to the Soldiers who were part of the rear detachment. They loved to see me come in.
I'm going to share my  humble kitchen with you here.

I love the window over the sink. I can see right out front to my herb garden, the bird bath and the street.

I absolutely HATE this refrigerator. It's too small and the shelves are so that I can't stand anything tall in it. I won't miss it when we leave here. However, I LOVE that little TV on top. I would turn it on and listen to my favorite shows as I baked, cooked or cleaned. One of my favorite memories will always be having the Thanksgiving Day parade on while my daughter helped me in the kitchen making the huge meal. When Nick was deployed, I had a few single Soldiers and a few of my fellow Army wives whose husband's where gone over for dinner.

This is the view from the kitchen sink/back door area. It shows my stand mixer, toaster oven, pantry and my cute aprons on the wall. I have used the heck out of that stand mixer.

This is my least favorite part of the kitchen. The washer and dryer in the corner. Notice the window AC above the dryer. All that baking, not to mention an occasional hot flash creates the need for this.

This is my favorite part of the kitchen. Lucky for me, it's mine and is going with me when I leave. I absolutely love this butcher block. I use it not only for chopping veggies, but as work space. I mix batter here, I knead bread, my daughter and I cut out and frosted Christmas cookies here, and it times, it's a bar when we entertain. I hope and pray there's room for the butcher block in my next kitchen.
Oh, and let's pretend my floor doesn't need to be swept. I hate sweeping, but I'm a messy cook so my floor always needs to be swept!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another one Bites the Dust.

That's it, another week behind me. One less week to get ready to move and one less week to enjoy Hawaii.
We've had a great weekend. Nick had a three day so we had an extra day to relax. Friday was his birthday and we celebrated with gifts, cake and a drive up to the North Shore to have Margaritas at Cholos. Cholos is one of the very few Mexican restaurants in Hawaii. Hawaii does a lot of things very well, Mexican food ain't one of them. They do, however, make a great margarita. We had nachos, drinks (even the kid went with us, no margaritas for her though) and walked around a bit. We had planned to go out for dinner to finish the celebration but after big breakfast, birthday cake and nachos, we decided it was enough already and we opted for a movie at home.
We rented The Edge of Darkness with Mel Gibson. I figure you can't go wrong with Mel. It was a good movie. A bit sad, but good just the same.
Saturday we drove downtown to the Hale Koa hotel. We were slugs at the pool for a few hours while I read my current book:

I'm not going to get into politics, but I will say that I have always been a fan of this First Lady. I think she is truly a lady and has shown that you don't have to be loud and obnoxious to be heard and make a difference.
The book is wonderful. I'm not very far into it yet, but it's beautifully written and I can see myself in the scenes she describes. I can't wait to finish it.
Today we finally finished a HUGE project on my list. The graduation slide show for our daughter in North Dakota. We will be traveling to ND next weekend for her high school graduation. All my other three kids had a slide show and I had to have one for her. I would post it here, but in the very off chance she sees this, I'm going to hold off. It's a beauty.. I think I made her father cry.
After a wonderful three day weekend, I'm ready to get back into another week. I have more appointments to make, more people to call and lots more purging of junk. The kitchen is next on my list.. oh help me.

Good Times

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. Birthdays around here aren't celebrated in a very elaborate way, but they are still a big deal.
When I was a single mom, my kids woke up to birthday cake for breakfast on their birthdays.
For Nick's birthday, I made a real breakfast. He requested eggs, ham, toast and hashbrowns. He's a breakfast kind of dude! After breakfast, we gave him his gifts. There was a common theme this year.

He has been asking for this gadget for a while now. I had convinced him we had no room for it (which is true) so he thought he wasn't getting it for now. I'm not sure what you call it, but it holds a little pony keg of beer and keeps it cold. Nothing like cold beer on tap!

This is a bottle opener shaped like the Starship Enterprise. He really liked both of his gifts. He said we've made drinking beer a little easier.
He loves the commercial for Baskin Robbins ice cream cake (which is annoying to me) and he is constantly singing the song. Sooo... it only made sense...

He's been singing the annoying song for two days now.
My favorite moment was this one:

This is the kid sitting with her dad to map out her next semester of college. It does my heart good to see this kid lean on him and count on him for so much. He's a wonderful man and has stepped in to be a fantastic father to my kids. I'm a blessed woman.
I just realized he has on three different shirts in these photos. No wonder I have so much laundry.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Busy Doing Nothing

It seems as if I have been very busy lately, but when I sit down to type out something, I can't think of anything exciting I've done.
This whole week has been consumed with moving preparations. It's all tedious, boring stuff.
Because we're an Army family, we change doctors, eye doctors, dentists, hair stylists, etc every few years. That is a bigger headache to me than moving to a new house and making new friends. This week I've been on the phone grabbing appointments here in Hawaii so I have them out of the way for a year. Eye doctor, dermatologist, hair, etc. I've also been making hotel and rental car reservations for Hawaii, Texas, and then Rhode Island. I'm trying to make the calendar work so I can spend quality time with my two kids in Texas and my parents in Arkansas all in a two week period.
I want to schedule social time with my friends here in Hawaii before I leave, my old friends in Texas while I'm there and extended family in Arkansas. I'm running ragged and it's all mental.
I had the movers in yesterday to do their initial walk through and have contacted housing with our move out date.
I'm losing a weekend to get things done here, because we're traveling to North Dakota to see our girl graduate high school. It's been a rough few years with her wondering if she was even going to graduate because she's decided to rebel against authority and school work. Her mother has done nothing but make excuses for her so we've literally been sweating it out this week to see that she would finish the credits needed to walk across the stage a week from this Sunday.
So, the reason I've been a little quiet on the net...I've been busy doing what seems like nothing, but it's making me tired.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This time last year I was ....

gearing up for my husband's R&R

Callie's graduation.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

New week, new menu

I haven't posted a weekly menu in a while. There just seemed to be other things to write about! I love having a plan at the beginning of the week. It helps me shop and keeps my days a little less stressful. Last week was so crazy we had to change our dinner plans a few times.
This week's menu:
Sunday: Burgers on the grill and Paula Deen's red potato salad.
Monday: A big garden salad with roasted chicken breast
Tuesday: Black-eyed peas, ham and cornbread
Wednesday: Grilled rib-eye for Nick, I'm going to be out
Thursday: Shepherd's pie and a green salad
Friday: Birthday dinner out for my husband!

My husband loves the potato salad we had last night. I like it because it's not terribly mayonnaise-y. The burgers were delicious. I do LOVE a burger made on the grill. We ate outside with rum, diet coke and our favorite Hawaiian music on my iPod speakers. It was so nice. I couldn't believe how long we sat and talked without the distraction of the TV.
Today, Callie and I cleaned out her closet. I thought my husband was a hoarder... he's NOTHING compared to this child. Every little thing she pulled out had a story. There was a lot of her bottom lip sticking out as she got rid of some of her high school momentos. I swear the kid had every purse she's owned the last four years, every wallet, and every dead cell phone. We took two HUGE garbage bags to the curb as well as a cardboard box, and one huge box is ready to go to the thrift store. I have a feeling that as I'm unpacking her stuff in RI, I'll be tossing a few more things.
My house is upside down right now and I think I'm just going to go with it. The movers will be here in three weeks and I can't see it getting straight before then.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekend activities

It's been a very busy weekend, in spite of the fact we haven't done much in two days but work at home.
Friday night was the formal ball I wrote about on Thursday. I was right, it was hot and I did sweat. I hate to sweat.
We all had a great time and even Elvis stopped in to sing to us for a little while. I knew he wasn't dead!

Yes, he stopped by my table to sing to me !
I was going through the photos we took as well as the pictures my friends posted on their facebook pages and realized I got not ONE photo of me with my husband. What does it say about me when I took photos with the girls and not with him? I guess I know how much I'm going to miss them when we leave. This was like our last hurrah before leaving the island. Here are a few photos of me with my friends.

One of me dancing with the girls:

Yes, we were doing the YMCA, and liking it.

I'm really not sure what we were doing in this one. Goofing off for the camera maybe? We had a nice dinner, listened to a speaker (yawn) and danced for two hours. I probably burned more calories that night than I did all week at the gym.

The rest of the weekend we have spent cleaning out closets, breaking down the guest room so we can use it for a storage room while we wait for the packers to get here on the 7th of June. I know it will come quickly and I do not want them to move anything I wish I had thrown out. I absolutely hate unpacking something that should have never been moved. Here is what my guest room looks like now:

And this:

And my hall closet:

On a positive note, I've accomplished a lot. I took a full load to the thrift shop and I have filled two large garbage bags for the dumpster. I can do more of that when my  husband is not around. He may be a hoarder, but he will never admit it. Bless his heart.
Tomorrow, the kid and I hit her room. She has boxes in the top of her closet that she never unpacked from our move here four years ago. Seriously.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer Reading Challenge!

As I was blog hopping just now, I found a great post on my new blogging friend Patti's blog Peppermint Ph.D. about finding a Summer Reading Challenge at Booking Mama's blog!
I love to read and find that it can truly take me away from reality. I mostly read fluff, but I love other books as well and have vowed to read more substantial stuff. I figure this summer, with a move, long airplane trips and car trips in my future I can accomplish at least the first level of this challenge.

Here's the list of books on the Summer Reading Challenge; the challenge actually began on May 1st and will end on Labor Day.

THIS BODY OF DEATH by Elizabeth George (April 20)
HALF LIFE by Roopa Farooki (April 27)
GIRL IN TRANSLATION by Jean Kwok (April 29)
THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE by Julie Orringer (May 4)
THE LAST STAND by Nathaniel Philbrick (May 4)
WAR by Sebastian Junger (May 11)
THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin (June 8)
SO COLD THE RIVER by Michael Koryta (June 9)
THE COOKBOOK COLLECTOR by Allegra Goodman (July 6)
LUCY by Laurence Gonzales (July 13)
RED HOOK ROAD by Ayelet Waldman (July 13)
I CURSE THE RIVER OF TIME by Per Pettersson (August 3)
YOU LOST ME THERE by Rosecrans Baldwin (August 12)
MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins (August 24)
You don't have to be overwhlemed by thinking you have to read them all to participate. There are several different levels you can shoot for.
1-3 Books: Polliwog
4-6 Books: Guppy
7-9 Books: Minnow
10-12 Books: Fish
13-15 Books: Flying Fish
16-18 Books: Shark
Head over to Booking Mama to get more details and sign up!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Heat is On!

For those of you not so familiar with military life, we occasionally have formal events we must attend. The ol' Army Ball is something we all endure from time to time.
Tomorrow night I will attend my first ball in two years. My husband was deployed for a year so I was able to skip the events that occured while he was away.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy dressing up once in a while and being a princess. Even more than that, I LOVE seeing my husband in his version of a tux. He's a handsome devil! BUT, in case you've missed it in previous posts, I'm less than happy with my weight right now and I feel that I just don't look good in anything, much less a dress I paid too much for. I have a closet full of ballgowns. I keep them all because when you move every few years, each dress is like new again!
So, this week, I go shopping for a new size wow-wow. Not fun. I hit Ross and the cheapie stores hoping for a bueno. In a desperate attempt, I went to David's Bridal because a friend raves about this store. I dragged my 19 year old with me and she pulled dress after dress into the dressing room while I squeezed my Spanx-clad butt into each of them.
I found this dress:

It's a lovely dress, but I don't look like that in it. I rushed right over to the shoe store, bought cute strappy silver sandals and headed home. Guess what I forgot to do? Try on the dress with the shoes, until today, the day before the ball. How bad can it be? I'm 5' can be bad. I tried it on thinking if it's brushing the floor, no big deal. It was puddling on the floor! Like..3 inches. No way could I walk through a receiving line, dance or anything else in this dress.
I fly to the on post alterations shop and beg them to hem it for me by tomorrow afternoon. No problem.. try it on and let us take a look.
It was a hot day in Hawaii, the AC was not on in the shop. I'm in a tiny room changing and then stand on a platform for the nice lady to pin up my dress. I swear I was having a hot flash. I was thinking oh my gosh, they'll have to clean the dress when I'm done, I'm going to sweat through it! Then I remembered where the ball is...OUTSIDE at a downtown hotel. If I don't sweat to death, I'll get rained on.
$40.00 and a 2:00 pick up promise later, I'm out the door to pick up handsome Soldier's pants and shirt. Take a look at this guy in his suit. Yes, that's me with him on our wedding day...about 10 pounds ago.

I will post updates and more photos over the weekend!  I see LOTS of wine in my future.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Enjoy this slide show I made of my year without my husband.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Deployment Year
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This free slideshow design personalized with Smilebox

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day Celebrations

I have read a common theme in Mother’s Day blogs the last few days. Disappointed moms, kids that didn’t quite step up and husbands that have a bad attitude!
I must admit, until this year, my own dear husband was one of those men. He never recognized me on Mother’s Day and certainly never gave me a gift. His answer was “You’re not my mother.” I would snip a little and complain but never really pushed it, until this year.
Several weeks ago, as I was doing the entire shopping, shipping, planning etc for BOTH our moms to have a special day, I hinted at things I’d like to have for my Mother’s Day. Once again, I got the “You’re not my mother” line. I finally lost it. I said ya know what buddy? You’re not my father either but I honor you on Father’s Day. He claims I only did that because the children were almost worthless when it comes to Father’s Day. I told him that besides my own father, HE is the most important father in my life. No, we don’t share children in the biological sense. He has however, been an excellent father to my three children when their own deadbeat dad fell off the face of the earth. I’m forever grateful for him taking that role. Guess what? He finally got it!
So, on the Saturday before Mother’s Day he took me to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet.

 This is a huge swap meet that sits in the parking lot of the Aloha Stadium...thus the name. There are booths upon booths of anything and everything you can imagine for Hawaii. Cheap tourist souvenirs, purses, beach towels, cheesy Tiki signs and even some lovely handmade items. I had decided I wanted to purchase some of the cheesy Hawaiian stuff, because I might like a cheesy Tiki Bar in my forever house. So, we shopped. I bought the following cheesy tiki/Hawaiian items:
Why is that sideways? I can't fix it.. turn your head.

I also purchased these lovely wooden bowls. The guy that sells these has some beautiful ones and will make a good deal for you if you buy more than one item. I wanted a large salad bowl and baby, I got it!

Another one that's sideways..sheesh.

Ok I don't know what's up with the photos and I've taken way too long to post this for me to care anymore. Sorry for the crick in your neck!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stranger than Fiction

My husband and I decided to end Mother's Day by going downtown Waikiki to Buffalo Wild Wings. We love to sit in there, drink a beer, have a snack, and play trivia. We always have a great time when we play and we can get very competitive. Unfortunately, I rarely beat him. He's a smart guy and seems to have a lot of useless information bumping around in his head. I feel like I've accomplished something when I beat him once out of a three game session.
The strange part of our evening came as we were walking the few blocks back to the parking garage from the restaurant.
It was still daylight and was a very nice evening. There are always lots of people around, but it wasn't uncomfortably crowded. As we passed a pair of benches on the sidewalk I noticed an older woman kneeling between the two benches. I recognized this woman from when we walked down the sidewalk earlier going to the restaurant. She stood out because she had on a pair of red running shorts and a red bikini top. I mentioned this is an older woman and my thought was she probably should put a shirt on.
So, the kneeling between the two benches made me curious. What is she doing? Praying? I couldn't see her legs and she had her head down. In a second, she stood up, and I could see her bare hiney. She reached down and pulled up her shorts. I know my mouth fell open. I realized at that moment she hadn't been kneeling, but squatting so she could urinate on the public sidewalk! We weren't the only ones that did a double take.
As we approached the corner and waited for the light to change so we could cross the street, I kept looking back to see what she was doing. She had a bag sitting on the bench, reached in and took out a few napkins and wiped her legs. I thought I might vomit right there. She cleaned herself and did it well. She had her back to the street and wiped her WHOLE leg even up under the leg of her shorts. It was disturbing.
My husband, being the world traveler he is, said to me "I've seen people do that squat in public before, but never in the United States"
Hawaii is a beautiful place, but it's poor. There is a huge homeless problem here. You can't pass a public park without seeing the mini tent cities all over the place. They really try to keep these people out of Waikiki and the tourist areas, but don't always succeed. I guess if you're going to be homeless, do it in Hawaii. You won't freeze to death and there are tons of fruit trees and lots of trash cans with leftovers downtown.
For your enjoyment, a couple of photos:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

In honor of Mother's Day, I'm posting a few photos of me with my mom, as well as me with my kids. I will only see one of my kids this Mother's Day..something I've grown used to. I still miss them terribly but am so proud of the young adults they've become.

From left: My daughter, my mom, me, and one of my favorite aunties. We are at a luau here in Hawaii.

This photo is all three of my kids Christmas 2008 here in Hawaii. They came out to spend Christmas with me when my husband was deployed.

This photo is of me with the two kids I didn't give birth to. They have never lived with me full time, but I love them just the same. This is an old photo too, they are almost all grown up now.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

In 1984 President Ronald Reagan declared that the Friday before Mother's day be Military Spouse Appreciation day. He recognized and honored the sacrifices that faced not only the servicemember - but the spouse and his/her family. They are the pillars of strength  this country relies on to keep the fire burning at home,...... no easy task! Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy & Coast Gaurd Spouses (Reserves too)- thank you!
What better way for me to celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day than to attend an Army wife Bunco night? The ladies in my neighborhood gather once a month to play bunco. It's really an excuse to eat, drink and visit. It also makes us feel a little bit rebellious because we are playing bunco with REAL money on a federal military base....shhhhh! We get loud too, so it's not like we're even trying to hide our gambling.
Tonight's bunco will be the last one of this season. Summer brings PCS (permanent change of station) to military communities. There will be a turnover in the neighborhood and some of us won't be here to play with this group next year. For the last three years I've been the one saying good-bye. This year, it's my turn to be farewelled. I'm not sad, I'm excited. I'm looking forward to the next chapter. I will miss my girlfriends here though. I think we, as military families, make friends fast and make our friendships very deep. We know they are for a short time so we take advantage of the time we have. It's a small Army though, you never know when you'll run into an old friend again.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Moving On

This morning I heard from the housing representative in Rhode Island that she has our name on a house. We will be living in government quarters again, but these quarters are not right on the base. They are minutes away and get this...sit on a portion of the island that is a state park. Fort Adams was an old Army fort back in the Civil War days. Our house is a hop, skip and a jump from this: Fort Adams State Park
Have I ever mentioned what a civil war buff my husband is? Did I mention that our 15 year old son who is moving with us is ALSO a huge civil war buff? Actually, that's not quite accurate, they are both HUGE history buffs. I can see that this is going to be a fun assignment for both the men in my house.
The lady at housing also told me today that if you were to put chairs in my new back yard, you can see the harbor. Now that's what I'm talking about. The men can go tromping through old forts while I have a cocktail in the backyard looking at the sailboats. I see lots of cookouts and parties in my future. But wait...I won't be in Hawaii anymore. The weather will put a definite damper on outside activities. We do have a fire pit for the backyard, maybe that's an option?
We are looking forward to the next phase in our lives for several reasons. First, the reasons mentioned above, it's a way cool place to be. Secondly, after a year of deployment to a war zone, three years of command and all the responsibilities that go with that, my husband will attend school for a year. He will be finished with his day around 1:00 PM. I think he has most Fridays off.
For me, these long weekends mean trips all over New England. I absolutely can't wait to experience fall there. I haven't lived where there is a true autumn since I left east Tennessee in the ninth grade. I LOVE fall!
These photos make leaving Hawaii a little less painful :

This is my new neighborhood, people!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I took these photos just around 30 minutes ago. This is literally from the back window in my living room. As you can see, no back yard, just brush and it goes straight up into the mountain. We've seen this critter several times this week. She must be hungry.

Our labrador, Max, would LOVE to get a piece of that pig

He HATES that there is a piece of glass between him and the pork.

Another Proud Mom Moment

It looks like I have a theme these last few days. "Proud Mom"

Last night, we attended a dinner for scholarship recipients sponsored by the Army spouse's club. My 19 year old was going to receive a scholarship.
This kid has overcome a lot. I divorced her father when she was barely in kindergarten. I was a single mom for 8 years when I met my hero. I married the Soldier and less than a year later he deployed to Iraq. The kid and I were home alone and for the first time, she was an only child. When she had just finished her freshman year of high school, we moved her to Hawaii. She had a rough transition. This kid had lived in the same small town in Texas since she was a year old. The move wasn't easy but I've watched her blossom under the care of two loving parents who were able to give her 100% of the love and attention she needed.
She graduated high school last year and started taking classes at the local community college. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA all year at this small school. She won a $2000.00 scholarship last year that covered her classes and so far this year has been awarded $250.00 plus whatever grants she will get from dad being deployed for a year. (Uncle Sam DOES help out once in a while)
Here are some photos from last night's dinner. I couldn't be more proud.

One with proud momma.

And another photo with the proud dad.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm going to be a mother (in-law!)

It's funny that I just wrote about my oldest child graduating college a few days ago. Last night he called to me he had finally asked his girlfriend to marry him. He's had a ring for her for several months now and finally thought the time was right.
I must admit that he has dated girls that I thought were sweet girls, but not who I would choose for him to marry. However, when I met this young woman last summer I loved her. I could not have hand picked a better girl to be my son's wife. As a matter of fact, I told him she may be too good for him! She's a true sweetheart, has great personality, is lots of fun, and is just beautiful inside and out. I'm so excited for both of them.
I will say that it's been a little difficult to realize that I'm not the most important woman in his life anymore. That didn't just happen last night when he proposed, it's been slowly happening the last few years.
I hope I can be a wonderful mother-in-law. I really think I can do this without interfering and being in their business.
When my kids were in high school, they called me "snoop dog" because I was always snooping and prying into their lives. I figured it was my right and my responsibility to know what was going on. I would not be one of those mothers whose child came to them pregnant or addicted to drugs and be blindsided by it.
My lovely son told me last night that I would probably still be snoop dog and I assured him I have no reason to now.
My husband tells everyone that I will be Marie Barrone from "Everybody Loves Raymond"   God help me, I hope I'm a little better than that!
Here are a few photos of the cute couple take last summer when they were visiting me in Hawaii and then one with me.