Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today I will.....

Photo by: Lisa's Lounge

....take some time to regroup and get my home, school work, and head back on track.  

We get so busy sometimes that we forget to prioritize the really important things in life and then before you know, everything is out of control and we are overwhelmed and thinking only "how will I ever catch up."  OK maybe it's just me? No, I don't think so. It's real and it happens to many of us.

The one thing I do to keep me straight is I keep up with my online calendar and try to keep my paper calendar up to date as well.  However, just because it's written on my calendar or even my occasional to-do list does not mean I will get to it.  

I looked at the calendar this past Tuesday and realized that both my kids are busy practicing for a school musical (gone from 6:30 am to 9 pm), Mr. Mike (that's my husband) traveling with work leaves early and comes home "tired", and the two little peeps needing more of me than I can sometimes give.  I've put off writing my paper, doing my homework, and other chores not so much because I didn't have time, I just didn't have energy so I did the next best thing.  I procrastinated.  You know, why waste today doing something I could easily do tomorrow!

Procrastinating has finally caught up to me.  So today I will get my house clean...and it's not dirty, it's just messy because the people in my house have trouble putting things back or away. Mr. Mike cut the grass last night and me and my little peeps spread the mulch on the garden so that's a huge check off my list.  Once my house is back in order I will work on school work until it's all done.  

While procrastinating can give me a sense of power over what I do and when, it catches up to me later and Ouch...the bite stings.  On my to-do list... stop procrastinating, tomorrow! 

Thanks to Mama's Losin' it!! for prompting me to think! 
Visit her site to read more of her prompts and what others are saying.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Unite for Hunger and Hope

I can’t even begin to imagine my child having nothing to eat, even for one meal, yet around the world or maybe even just down the street there are children who go days without a bite to eat.  I feel guilty when I have to throw away food that was not eaten, I feel sad when I realize how we can so easily take for granted all that we have.  Hunger is a pain no child should have to experience.  It is a pain no one should have to endure.  Parents should not have to wonder where the next meal is coming from. 

Unfortunately, it is a fact that millions of people go hungry every day.  It is a fact that millions of children under the age of 5 are malnourished and many die as a result of hunger.  There are over 50 countries that do not produce enough food to feed their population but not all hunger is an effect of food production.  Consider those in the eye of the storm, literally, natural disasters, conflict, poverty and of course poor agriculture all contribute to the problem.

We can’t turn our backs on this issue.  The United Nations developed goals for the 21st century and one of them was to cut the proportion of hunger in people around the world in half. 

BlogCatalog members and Heifer International are partnering to call for the end of world hunger and start of hope on April 29. All we ask is that you join thousands of other bloggers and write a post about world hunger on April 29. You can make a difference.  Start by joinning this event and add a badge to your blog TODAY!

Other links that provide information and/or ways to help:

The World Hunger Problem: Facts, Figures and Statistics

The Human Face of Climate Change

WHY? Finding answers for hunger and poverty


Help end world hunger

Cheese Tostellini, Red Sauce and a Toddler=a mess

Can I just say how cute he is! Okay so I am the mommy and what else would a mommy say about her little bear but come one, look at that face all smeared with pasta sauce, you have to admit, he's trying to stay out of troube by flapping his eye lashes at me.

So we were having chicken parmesan with a pesto tortellini pasta two nights ago and it was, oh my, delicious. I honestly did not expect my kids to eat the pasta because of the cheese and basic mix wrapped inside them. I was almost tempted to make a batch of just plain pasta for them but I just decided not to and just didn't bother to mention what was inside the tortellini. Funny thing is, my two youngest ate every bit and then some, they ate more then everyone else.

Since my little bear here was still eating without making a huge mess I decided to start on the dishes, and that's when he decided to do this:

He was even kind enough to point it out to me, he didn't want me to miss a bit of his big mess. Such a sweetheart! Just before this mess they were outside getting wet in the sprinkler which was great because they were clean--obviouly not for long.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Morning Reflections

Photo by Jim Hunter

I must have been really tired last night because I layed down on the couch to watch TV with my husband who was watching  at 1968 movie called "Funny Girl" with Barbara Streisand.  I was rather enjoying the show, I love musicals and I love old movies, well movies that are at least as old as me or older.  Anyway, within minutes I was asleep.  The rule is that if I'm so exausted that I fall asleep on the couch no one should wake me, just let me sleep.  So they did.  This morning I woke up early but I felt fully rested.  I felt great.

I grabbed some green tea and took a walk in my back yard, reflecting on my little flowers that were beginning to bloom, watching the little birds eating from the bird house, the sun wasn't even fully out yet but it was light out and the air felt so good--a little cool but with clear signs that it would not be for long.  

The I started thinking about my kids, each one with his or her own personality, funny moments, smiles, the sloppy kisses, the hugs.  Even though we know those frustrating angry moments exist, I could not bring myself to think of them, only the love and affection they always gave me and Daddy.

Something about this morning just made me reflect on my life, how lucky I am to have such healthy kids, how lucky I am to have a man who has stood by be and married me twice in the last 20 years, how lucky I am to have what I have, and how I thank GOD for giving me the frienships, the love, and the gift of life to share with everyone in my life.

I have to say that early morning peace is most therapeutic for me.  Me and my green tea will have to do this more often.  I feel great!  Have a great Sunday everyone.

By the way, I want you all to visit Lance at The Jungle of Life because his last post has a fantastic message.  Enjoy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Looking at the sky on Friday--magnificent

Sometimes we need a nudge to notice the beauty around us.  This one comes from Stay at Home Mom, Sue who reminded that I had taken the following pictures and I enjoyed them so much that I often go back and look at them.  Visit Sue to see more.

This was taken from the car on the way back from North Carolina.  We were on Highway 64 E at the time.  As you can see, the sunset looks amazing and the sky is fantastic.

Then I turned to look forward in the direction we were driving and here's what I saw:

Isn't it amazing that I had the sunset on my back and the moon, nice and full just ahead.  I loved these shots, favorite sky moments for me.

This is a close up of the moon when we arrived at home.  I can't believe I was able to get such a clear picture..although it's a little fuzzy, I feel I was able to capture a nice view of the moon.

Enjoy and remember, visit Sue to see what others had to share.

Foodie Friday: Egg White Pizza

Hosted by Gollum, foodie friday is a fun way to experience food from a different perspective.  I love sharing my recipes and reading what others have posted as well.  Stop by Designs by Gollum to see more.

My foodie:

Egg white pizza 

Is it a pizza if it doesn't have dough? Is it a frittatta if it doesn't have cream? You decide.

Basically, this is  breakfast or lunch I make on days I feel I need to increase my protein and whenever I need a little change with my veggies.  I love this dish, any time of day.  I hope you will too.


Cooking Spray or a tsp of olive oil
1/2 cup egg white
4-5 stalks of asparagus
1/2 plum tomato
1/2 cup uncooked baby spinach leaves
2 TBSP of cheese - any kind you like
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Coat the bottom of a pan with cooking spray or olive oil and heat on Medium to High.
  2. Gently pour in egg white, sprink with salt and pepper and let it cook for about a minute. 
  3. Cup up asparagus and add to the egg white, let cook another minute.
  4. The eggs should be looking almost done at this point if not give it a little more time.
  5. Add the plum tomato, then baby spinach leaves, and sprinkle the cheese on top.
  6. Cover and let it cook until the cheese melts and the spinach leaves are a little wilted.

My coffee and my breakfast were done about the same time--it's a quick and easy meal to make.

Slide off the pan and onto a plate, eat and enjoy!! It's filling, healthy, and delicious!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I found my long lost friend

MCRD San Diego, 1/2 mile Walk Way Photo by Bob Perry

Recently I decided that I would go and find my friend, The Queen B.  For anyone out there who has ever lost touch with a loved one and then was able to know exactly where I'm coming from.  

We met while serving in the US Marines stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. We were roommates and quickly became more like sisters...or maybe not because we didn't fight over our clothes.  It was a great combination.  We did not fit in each others clothes or shoes and had completely different taste in men so dating and partying was never an issue.  The saying "opposites attract" comes to mind.  It was a relationship between two friends made in heaven.

Over time we went through a lot in love and work.  The military, our superiors, preparing for inspections or getting ready for a date was always a partnership.  We would cry, laugh, vent, love and hate, but at the end of the day, our friendship endured.  We managed to keeping an eye out for each other and never even thought about the future, which as an adult we know it means "we're only here for two years or three years" then we get orders and we go our separate ways.  We were young adults (18-21) with a paid room, paid food, uniforms, a set schedule and set expectations for our jobs.  It's not rocket science nor was it hard, except maybe the part when higher ranking people would tell us what to do, when and where and for how long.  But that was part of the job and were both good at what we did.

The time eventually came and although we tried hard to stay in touch, get our kids together to play, etc. With no electronic communication and each of us moving our families every few years, we lost all communication and now 16 years later we found each other again.  Over the last few days we have spent endless hours catching up on and planning a reunion.  We found out that we once lived only six hours apart and now we are 23 hours apart--ouch!  Well, that's why we have airplanes, no big deal. 

I'm excited to see my long lost friend and spend some quality time catching up and relieving some of our adventures as female Marines--we'll be sitting in a quiet place where no one can hear us because we keep reminding each other of things that we probably forgot for good reason. 

My advice to anyone out there just thinking about finding that lost loved one, don't wait like I did.  Life is too short to waste it just thinking about doing something we know we ought to do.  

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Show and tell -- this is my kid!

He is singing Il Mio Tesoro from Mozart's "Don Giovanni"

Yes I'm very proud of him!  

He will fulfill his dream of becoming a music educator, a super vocalist, and a choral conductor.  With his tenacity, there's not doubt about it!

Enjoy the show!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A nice day ruined by weed killers and pesticides

Photo by Gribley

The crap ought to be illegal!  

So you saw my last comment on starting the day off right.  It really was just perfect out today.  

After my class at the gym I stopped by our local farmer's market.  A little place but I love it there, plus it's all home grown stuff and/or locally grown.  Anyway, I bought petunias, Tomato, gerber daisies, and some other pretty flowers I can't recall the name but my plan was to spend part of the afternoon putting these beuties in my garden and the other part playing with the kids and eventually settle out back to relax after a hard day working and playing.

Doesn't that sound like a nice plan? I thought so too!  

That is until my neighbor decided to turn up his his outside speakers.  At first I was a bit irritated but he was playing pleasant Gospel music and if I wasn't going to do something about it then I should just deal with it.  Then I saw him come around the house with a big black tank and spraying hose.  I knew what was about to happen.  He came over to warn me to keep the kids and pets off his lawn for the next three hours because he was going to spray a mixture of weed killers that were made to kill off every weed in his yard, plus, he added "your stuff is starting to creep into mine and I'm not crazy about that."

I have Bermuda grass which turns an even shade of brown in the winter while it's dormant but comes back with a vengance in the spring, summer and fall.  

That's not here nor there.  He has a kid too. There are other animals landing on his grass like birds, rabbits and cats.  Besides, it all gets washed into the ground and into our waters.  I just don't get it.  He started spraying this crap and my throat started to hurt, my other neighbors asked me about that aweful smell and just about anyone who was outside at 3:30 PM went back in the house to avoid the  poison.

I was still working in the garden and just before I went in the house he decided to share with me that he found these chemicals that kill anything that flies and he was planning to use it in the summer to kill off mosquitoes and flies.  I asked him if he was planning to have a party and he said no, "just doing it for my own benefit."  I said, "well hopefully whatever you decide to use wont kill the butterflies, the birds and the bees, after all they have wings too."  His answer.. "oh well!"

How ignorant and frustrating. 

It's been 4 hours since he sprayed and it still smells bad outside.  He ruined a great day!  Now I can't wait to move!

Ugh!  Sorry...the destruction of the natural world puts me in a bad mood!

Here's some information I found online about weed killers from fellow blogger Starre

" Every time you use a chemical in your yard or garden, it eventually washes away and joins the myriad other environmental toxins already present in our air, water, and soil. On top of the possible individual health impacts of each of those compounds, very few chemicals have been tested for how they interact with one another, meaning we’re running a big science experiment on the planet and ourselves. Avoiding chemical products is a sensible precaution."

...and to kill the weeds, here are some tips from Hanna

"here are The 7 Deadly Homemade Weed Killers, guaranteed to help you eradicate the weeds you find in your garden."

Beautiful Day!

I woke up this morning to the sound of birds chirping and my little bear calling me "Hon" from his room.  It was early for him to be up but I think he just wanted to take advantage of the day.  It is beautiful out today.  Some of the seeds I planted have started to sprout, my grapevine is growing some pretty purple leaves, everything is starting to show the signs of the season. 

I'm taking my little bear out to play in the yard.  

Everyone, get out there and enjoy the early morning sun!!

I think I'm going to pick up some pretty flowers to fill up my front garden box today.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Living between nap time and bed time

Lately, I feel like like I am living between the baby's nap time and bed time.  Some times I just can't wait for his nap time and then his bed time so I can get back to catching up with all my to-do's.  Things just pile up and no fly lady or well organized program seems to be enough to get things done.  

Did somebody add water to my laundry? It has grown since I last switched it! Anyway, I was feeling proud of myself for keeping up with my laundry but in reality I wasn't keeping up, I was just washing an drying but not folding and storing.  Crazy how that happens. 

I have a list, well I do now.  I have my online planner and my paper planner that needs to be updated so I don't forget anything.  How do I get myself into these situations?  Well, it only takes me not following my routine for a couple of days and then I end up with an avalanche of stuff to do.  With two teens, a six and 2.5 year old in the house, plus the husband, one would think we have enough people here to keep things clean and organized. Time for me to put my foot down...yet again, and get everyone working again.

Thank God I am still able to get a workout, sleep, dinner on the table every night, hugs and sloppy kisses from the little ones and every now and then hugs and kisses from the big kids too.

As I sit here writing I hear my email chime so I leave this and go there onlyh to find this email (apparently voted best email of the year) from a close friend:  

If you think you are unhappy, look at them

If you think your salary is low, how about her?

If you think you don't have many friends...

When you feel like giving up, think of this man

If you think you suffer in life, do you suffer as much as he does?

If you complain about your transport system, how about them?

If your society is unfair to you, how about her?
Enjoy life how it is and as it comes 
There are many things in your life that will catch your eye
but only a few will catch your heart....pursue those...

This is about when I stopped feeling pity and I remembered how lucky I am to have these kids to clean up after, to have a home, a job, a health life.  Digg also had a post of this list with a few other, more depressing, photos.  Someone made a comment about it being depressing and why someone would waste their time putting this together, etc. I don't know about  you, it really did touch my heart.  I'm sorry it's depressing, it's also real.  These things do happen to real people.  

I give thanks for having the things I sometimes call stressful, a problem, or troublesome, for those are thing things that make me happiest. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A beautiful Easter afternoon

Today we attended the service at our local military chapel.  Our priest gave a nice sermon, what little I could hear in between keeping the little man quiet and taking him outside to be a kid every now and again.  After we had a brunch with our parishioners where we met new military families and said goodbye to some that were leaving.  We also had a chance to reconnect with others we don't get to see often enough.  
I admit, I don't like early services.  I'm more of the 10 or 11 am type person this way I have time to get the kids ready, fed and out the door.  But this is what we have to work with so we make it happen.  Once we're there, we are generally glad we made the effort because of the great people we have a chance to meet and reconnect.  They were a solid foundation for me and my kids when my husband was sent to Iraq 2 years ago.  We are lucky to have them in our lives.
The long awaited Easter Egg Hunt is here....
.... it was a great day and we (hubby, me, and the kids) had a great time.  
Why is it so difficult sometimes to take the time to just play and be a kid.  
I let it all go today and played outdoors.  It hasn't been too long since I just gave in to the child in me but I miss it anyway.  What was I thinking choosing chores over this.
I think I'll do it again tomorrow!

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Fitness on the go...a little contest anyone?

This is my first contest ever but I'm hosting it on my Family In Shape blog.  I would like to invite all my blog friends to join in the fun.  Please visit Family In Shape and read all about it!

Have a happy Easter...can't wait to post pictures of the kids and their Easter Egg hunt- they're so cute and so much fun.
Have a great Sunday Everyone.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mini-Vacation to see the Biltmore Estates

We went on a little trip (6.5 hour drive) to Ashville, North Carolina to visit the Biltmore Estates. It was fantastic, amazing house, I can't imagine there were ever children and dogs running through the house. The woodwork and craftmanship was impressive and so far ahead of their time in so many ways.

It was nice for us two to get away and just walk around the grounds, the garden, talk without being interrupted by kids (not that mine would ever do that..ha!) and ordering adult meals for two with no extra napkins please.

I think we need to do this more often. We had a great time!

Notice the picture of the moon and sunset. They were taken at exactly the same time on our way home. That was really cool to see as well.

Take care everyone!
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

The birthday party....success!

Well, I'm happy to say that I pulled it off tonight.  My first born girl had her birthday party, she was super surprised and they all had a great time and everyone behaved.  Some kids went home earlier but the doors were closed at 10:00 pm for those who were staying over night.  Yeah, I know, I'm nuts.  At first only four girls were staying and that was cool but then a few others begged to stay and since we are moving and it's unlikely we'll see these kids ever again, I said yes but with rules.  

My goal was to surprise my daughter and make sure she had a great day..that was a success!  Here are some photos from the party.  I left out the other kids to protect their privacy but I had about 16 kids in the house around the age of 15....ouch, never have a I seen so many cell phones going on at the same time.

Thanks for the well wishes, enjoy the pictures.

A napkin.

A cloth bag with candy and pink bubbles, a blue pen, a guest notebook.

A Strawberry Mouse-filled white cake with creamy frosting.

A very happy birthday girl.

"15" that is quite the number!

We still got the tiara in the mix and she wore the entire night  :-)

Pink and White long-stem roses from Daddy and Mommy.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Falling behind --just rambling

It seems that there's never enough time to do all the thing we want to do but I am determined to change that because I value my health and my time with my family.  Sometimes we get in this rut of doing the same thing everyday and getting busy with chores, homework, work, etc. that we end up not doing anything just for fun...ugh.  

In my country (Dominican Republic) the 15th birthday is like the 16th here in the U.S.  They are called QuinceaƱera (kin-se-a-ngiera), best I can do with the pronouciation.  Generally the party is more like a wedding then a birthday.  There are nicely dressed ushers and girls that look like brides maids and the birthday girl is dressed in a beautiful white dress with a tiara on her head.  They usually have a ceremony at a church or the priest comes to the house where the young girl and the family is blessed.  It's like a right of passage.  After all that the party begins and it's like a prom.  They spend a lot of money on the girl and her event.  We're not doing all that.  

This weekend is my daughter's 15th birthday and we are hosting a surprise birthday party for her on Saturday.  Somehow I have managed to keep it a secret with some close calls.  I haven't ordered the balloons or the cake; I want to have something to give her guests as they leave and I haven't bought her present yet. I found out that they have a 1/2 day at school today which might make things easier since I can leave without the younger kids and get more done in two hours than I have all week, so this could be a good thing.  While she may not have a "quinceanera" like party, I know she will have a great time with her friends.

The there's my reading time.  I have to read early in the morning because the day is full of kids, work, chores, noise, and by night time I'm done.  Last night I read 1 page three times then I decided it was time to call it quits.  I am making progress with my first book and I think I'll pick up momentum once my new habit of reading early in the morning kicks in.

Next week, hubby and I are going on a mini vacation to visit the Biltmore Estates.  We rarely do anything together without the kids anymore.  The initial plan was for all of us to go but my teen boy has to work, my teen girl would rather spend that time with her friends, and traveling with little kids to go see a house is just no fun.  My teen son suggested we go alone.  WOW, what a concept!  So I made reservations at a hotel that offers a sweet package deal - we get the hotel, breakfast, lunch at the estates, a pass to visit all day the first day and the next day, and some other cool amenities.  I'm excited!!  Hey if you've been there, besides the estates, is there anything in particular we should see, do or a good place to eat, let me know :-)

Well, I'm done rambling for today.  I might participate in some foodie Friday fun if I can remember to take pictures later.  I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!