Cammo Style Love: July 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer's almost over...have you gone to the museum yet?!



Summer is well under way.  Time for family vacations, weekend getaways and days with no school where mom is endlessly searching for ways to fill the time.  I can assure that is me, sitting at my computer, finding ways to frugally shake things up on the very hottest of days.  thankfully the Blue Star Museum's program is around this summer!  In May I attended the event launch for this wonderful program for military families, which is available to all Military families - Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve - available from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  I especially appreciate that the folks at the National Endowment for the Arts have gone out of their way to include ALL military families!!!  This warms my heart.  Blue Star Musuems is a made possible through a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, Joining Forces, MetLife Foundation and all the wonderful museums that are participating in this great program.  The program has tripled in size, which means so many more experiences for families all over!  

me and fellow Millie, Jen, who is our Social Media Manager (Blue Star Families)


 Listening to Commander Leslie Hull-Ryde inspire our young guests!
Blue Star Musueums provides the opportunity for many military families to experience things they might not be able to.  Experiencing the arts can be expensive, and I know for me personally that has been the reason why we have put off visiting these types of places at all, or as frequently as I might like.  While many of the museums in my area are free, they have still made it a point to be a part of this initiative to spread the arts to military families, by providing special programs and assistance to them.  The Smithsonian in particular has created an educational program that video conferences to children stationed at military installations all over the world.  They have also created a reintegration program for Wounded Warriors.  Tours and outings to art programs and events are provided to get them out in public settings that are safe and relaxing.

Read more about the launch (and see another picture of me!!  LOL) on the Blue Star Museum's Blog.

I challenge you to check out this program and make it a part of your summer vacation.  It is invaluable experience for the whole family.  While this program is geared towards families, the hubby and I have been known to visit museums on date night once or twice.  This program is for everyone.  

Visit the National Endowment of the Arts' website and click on your state for a list of museums in your area, and enjoy your summer with the arts!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bounce Back and the New Social Media Powerhouse

The blogging community is a pretty cool one, although I may be biased.  Some of the most amazing people I know I met through the blogging and volunteering work, and sometimes both.  It is a source of friendship building and discovery.  The things that I've learned about from my fellow blogging pals, from blogs in general, as well as the information I've gone to blogs to find, is crazy.  The power that blogs can wield is astounding at times.  You might have seen me blog, tweet and facebook about the upcoming Indie project The Bounce Back.  (My first blog post can be read here


I was so completely thrilled to be a part of this campaign from the very beginning.  First of all I jumped on board because my awesome friend Erica was heading it up, she's a fellow milspouse.  But secondly, ummm hello..its Shemar Moore.  I'm a huge fan, mostly from his Criminal Minds acting....I'm a complete Crime Show nerd.  So this post is part introduction and part update.  As of today, right now, we have well exceeded our originial goal of $500,000.  We are at $605,810!!  How incredible is that?!  There was a part of me that was just wondering how this was going to be accomplished.  I remember hearing about the Veronica Mars thing and just being blown over.  I mean, these are just regular every day people who have a passion about something like a tv show.  It can seem silly when you just say it like that, but people know what they want.  How many movies and tv shows get made and you're thinking, "What, really?!"  This was the chance to get something made because people wanted it to be made!!  We've set some records people!!  The Bounce Back is the #1 funded movie on indegogo and look at these stats for crowdfunded projects:




1. Veronica Mars Film - Kickstarter - $5.7M - campaign ended 91,585 funders

2. Wish I Were Here - Zach Braff - Kickstarter $3.1 M - campaign ended - 46,520 funders

3. Road Hard – Adam Corrolla – FundAnything $837,5K (campaign still running) – 8,571 funders

4. The Bounce Back Film – Indiegogo - $551.2K (campaign still running) - over 3000 funders

Fourth of all time?!  What?!!  The power of the people my friend, the power of the people.  So, today I wanted to share with you that this power is going to be taken to a whole new level, with the creation of the Entertainment New Media Network.   Blessed, isn't really the word for it, but to be a part of something new like this is exciting!  My new boss said it best:

 There truly is power in numbers, and in Hollywood numbers are power. Entertainment New Media Network is where the two meet.  -Erica I. Pena-Vest

 
I get to be a part of a new network of bloggers that are working on entertainment-related campaigns; proving that there are power in numbers and that this power lies with regular people who have grabbed hold of a vision and gone for a ride!!! 

If you're just hearing about this campaign...welcome..check it out and see if you want to be involved, contribute, whatever.  Ask me questions!!  I'd love to answer them.  And let me know what you think about the project.  Have you watched the video about it?  Are you a Shemar fan?  What do you think about the power of social media?

follow along with the crazy on facebook and twitter, as well as The Bounce Back Blog
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Military Support Series - Military Spouse JD Network #MilitaryMonday #MilitarySupportSeries

Welcome to another Military Support Series post and Military Monday!!  I love being able to share some of these great resources with you all.  Hopefully these are things you might not normally have heard of and this is helping someone out there.  Please make sure to click the "military resources" tab up top and spread the word.  If you're stopping by for the first time please let me know so I can return the favor; and as always my mailbox is always, always open if you have any questions.

What is Military Spouse J.D. Network?

The Military Spouse JD Network (MSJDN) was formed in Summer 2011 by two military spouses frustrated with the challenges of maintaining a legal career that seemed incompatible with the military lifestyle. They formed MSJDN to advocate for licensing accommodations for military spouses, including bar membership without additional examination, as well as network with other military spouses with JDs. Since 2011, the membership of MSJDN has swelled to over 750 members and supporters.  In February 2012, with the support of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the ABA House of Delegates adopted a resolution supporting changes in state licensing rules for military spouses with law degrees. MSJDN supports such a rule change in each jurisdiction.



Their Communications Director, Lori Volkman, happens to be a great bloggy friend of mine.  We both share a heart for advocating for military families.  She is pretty much totally awesome and I was lucky enough to spend some time with her in D.C.  I know that she's been working her rear off as a mom, a Naval Reserve spouse, and a Deputy Prosecutor in the State of Washington.  She is how I came to hear about the J.D. Network and all they do.  Jobs and Education, as it relates to the Military Spouse is such a huge topic of conversation these days, especially with Joining Forces making it a priority.  Making it easier for spouses to maintain any credentials they need when moving between states would do a lot to ease the amount of stress that just comes with the territory as a military spouse.  MSJDN is doing its part to accomplish this.

Because of the tireless work of the Spouses at MSJDN, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina and Texas have passed resolutions for admission of military spouse attorneys without examination.  States considering these changes include: California, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Maryland.  The purpose of this resolution is to aid military spouse in attorneys in a seamless transition when they are forced to move to a new state because of military orders.  *make sure to visit the MSJDN website to read more about what they are doing and about the resolution itself.*

How can you get involved?

If you are a military spouse with a law degree I definitely 100% encourage you to join the Military Spouse JD Network.  It will provide you a network of fellow spouses experiencing the same things you are, and you can help make a difference for spouses in your career field.  If you simply want to help, or find out more, and get involved, please visit their membership page.

 That's me and Lori, hanging out at the Pentagon
I miss that girl!

Check them out on social media:


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rhe's Bookshelf : The Christian Mama's Guide to the School-Age Years



Summary:
Prepares moms for the time when their school-aged kids take their first few steps into the world and away from mama's nest.
Sending a child off to school is a whole lot more than stocking up on school supplies and packing a (somewhat) healthy lunch. This helpful guidebook walks Christian moms through:
  • discovering a long-term vision for the person that Christ has purposed for your child to become
  • instilling a sense of "who I am and where I came from" in your child
  • choosing a school for your kids
  • helping your kids to develop key attributes—courage, kindness, perseverance—that lead to success in school
  • dealing with teachers, sports, and lessons
  • navigating those difficult conversations that will come sooner rather than later
  • a special feature includes sidebars "From the Principal's Office" with insights from a 35-year elementary school principal and educator
Moms will learn how to cover their children in prayer so that their launch into the world, and away from her control, is done with grace and wisdom—helping them grow into the men and women God intended them to be.

What I thought:

So, here's the deal.  I'm trying to look at this book with fresh eyes so to speak.  I think it may have done more good before my son actually started school.  I think it would have given me encouragement and a "hug" as I was preparing for my oldest to start Kindergarten.  It was a little scary for me, especially since I wasn't sold on the whole public school thing in the first place.  But I'm very blessed to be able to stay at home with my children, therefore getting involved in the school, as a room mom, and being there as much as possible.  And despite my confidence in general sending my baby off to school was hard.  I prayed about, and talked about it, and hoped with all my might that I had prepared my little guy, in the six short years he's been on earth, to handle all that he would soon encounter.  Did I make the right decision in not sending him to pre-school, would be be ready for all day preschool?!  I wasn't sure.  The book contains some great advice and encouragement, but I think it's be served for someone with children not yet at this stage of life.  I wasn't a fan of the writing style, it was sort of conversational, but at times seemed scattered.  The "notes from the principal" were a cool idea.  It's fairly quick and easy read.

2 1/2 - 3 stars (Lol, depending on how you look at it).



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Sunday Social, Week 60

Welcome to another week of Sunday Social, with Ashley Lately and A Complete Waste of Make-Up, one of my most favorite times of week.  This is my final kick-off before "Family Vacation"!  I'll still be around, but may not reply to comments as fast.  See ya in about two weeks!!


Sunday Social

This weeks is all about food - however I was totally bummed to have missed out on last weeks "All About TV" questions.  Darn it.  But I love food, so it's not all bad now is it.

1. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

oh man, I've been asked this question before and I always have a hard time.  I think if I could have a dinner plate from The Cracker Barrel I would be one happy lady...however I don't know that that would be the healthiest option, but hey...

2. What is your guilty pleasure/comfort food?

I feel like I should just say, ie: see above.  LOL!  I love some good 'ole home-cooked meals.   I'm a Southern Girl at heart.

3. What's the weirdest/craziest thing you've eaten?

Definitely calamari!  I'm not a super adventurous eater.  No frog legs or cow's tongue or anything like that.  But I did eat friend calamari...take note of the word "fried", LOL.  I don't think I actually tasted the calamari part.

4.  What foods to you avoid at all costs?

chunks...chunks of tomato, onion, pickles...and the like.  I am, however, an awesome picker-outer of the chunks.

5. What meal reminds you of your childhood?

Strangely enough you would think it would be one of those homecooked meals you hear about.  But actually the thing that reminds me most of my childhood is my dad's homemade pizza.  It's basically famous and he made it all the time.  He would make it for parties, for guests, I would request it for my birthday.  It's good stuff man.  You haven't lived until you've had my dad's homemade pizza.  Yummy!!  Love you daddy.

6. Share one of your favorite recipes and the story behind it.

Well, that's another hard question...I think I might have to share with you one of the recipes from the good 'ole Better Homes and Garden, red and white cookbook.  I have my grandmother's and my mom has been cooking out of it for forever.  I'm not sure any of our mom's didn't get one when they got married.  And they probably remember their moms using one as well.  If you ever get a chance to pick one up, it is so awesome, in all of it's old fashioned glory!!!  This recipe is one my mom is practically an ace at.  She doesn't even read the recipe anymore.  This pie has garnered some notoriety, and everyone always requests it from her.

Perfect Apple Pie
Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook
1980 copy


6-8 tart apples (pared, cored and thinly slice (approx. 6 cups) *side note - Granny Smith are the best! 
3/4 to 1 cup of sugar *we always max out on this approximate stuff
2 TBLspns all-purpose flour
1/2 to 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg (be generous)
Pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie
2 TBLspns butter

If apples lack tartness, sprinkle with about 1 tablesoppon of lemon juice.  combine sugar, flour, spiecs and dash salt; mix with apples.  line 9-inch plate with pastry.  fill with apple mixture; dot with butter.  adjust top crust, cuttle slits for escape of steam; seal.  sprinkle with sugar.  bake at 400degrees for 50 min, or until done.

I tried to find a picture, but I couldn't track one down!!!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Preparing for a Little One - Introducing Solids

Today I'm trying to play catch up with the Preparing For a Little One link-up, hosted by Wifesessionals.  I got a little bit behind on the discussions here but I just love this link-up so much.  It's such a great idea and it has hit upon all the topics that I get asked about a lot, or just come up in conversations with mommy friends of mine.  Make sure to check out the rest of PFALO posts here on Cammo Style Love and over at Wifesessionals.


Preparing For A Little One



A couple of topics ago, Buying vs. Making Baby Food was the subject of the day.  I wasn't going to write up a full post on that, but I just wanted to share a couple tidbits before we moved on to this week's topic.  I made baby food/fed them our food for my second/third one.  Apparently its a thing we've actually labeled now, called Baby Led Weaning.  I think its kind of hysterical that we label it, but there you go.  Making pureed baby food is 10x easier than I thought it would be.  I had a night a week or two weeks I did it with the hubby.  we put on a movie and did it together.  Then I got Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, and the world of pureed food opened up wide for me!!!  I used extra puree's in my every day food, which was kind of cool.  Definitely look that up and get it.

If you don't feel like actually committing to all your baby food, and feeding your kid table food kind freaks you out (which is okay), here's some other money saving options!!  Don't buy baby food bananas man, or really any other fruit.  just throw that stuff in a blender (bananas, pears, peaches).  Also, Mott's plain applesauce...buy that in bulk, its just like the baby food stuff and 10x cheaper!!!


Okay, now on to this week's topic, which kind of goes along with what I mentioned up there.  Apparently "Baby Led Weaning" is for-real a thing.  I had no idea.  I think I'm old or something.  If you're like me and didn't know it was a thing, definitely read up on it.  With my first one I just did the normal baby food thing.  I also had a really awesome pediatrician who wasn't telling me at exactly such and such time to start feeding them, such and such food.  He was very much of the idea that baby should show an interest in the food.  This is an idea that I have carried on through each of my kids.  What I have fed them has changed.  I remember thinking to myself, why am I spending all my money on this baby food in jars.  I have half of this stuff in my pantry, or buy it for myself. 

eating what brother eats!!


Here's some bullet points for the whole feeding thing.

  • Don't be afraid - don't be afraid of the whole chocking thing.  Just be smart.  They will gum on stuff, suck it, and try to bite it.  Just watch them explore the food.
  • I like to still use baby rice cereal, oatmeal and some canned or home-made foods and let them play and learn how to use utensils with it.  It's easier for them to manage that way.  The result for me has been having a one year old that can use a fork and spoon.  I like that!!  and when I say play, I mean, I let them squish it around in their high chair while we eat.
  • start putting your child in a high chair at the table with you as soon as possible.  I love my The First Year's high chair.  It actually sits on a regular chair (yay space saver!) and it has three different tilt positions.  So I would bring my little ones to the table when we ate even before they could sit up.
  • variety! Introducing and feeding your kids variety from the beginning can only be beneficial.  I have three very, very different kids.  Some of them are more picky then others, but generally speaking my kids eat some crazy things.  And not crazy, as in, weird, but I've frequently gotten comments on the fact that my kids eat things like zucchini, salad, spicy food and complex flavors, which kids usually don't go for.  Introducing to these foods to your kids at an early age is really important I think.  

and one of these because who can resist an adorable baby pic!
Phillip @ 9 days old

Going with your gut is important in parenting.  Listening to your mommy voice is key.  I think too many people read too many books, and do too much research; which only shoves that mommy voice down until you can't hear it very well any more.  I find, talking to my mommy friends who have like parenting styles is when I get the most help.  

Lastly, have fun!  Have fun cooking and exposing your baby to the foods you make.  I always thought it was great watching them test things out for the first time, the sweetness of pears or the sourness of a pickle.  Who knows, you might wind up with a kid like mine that enjoys sucking on limes and licking pepper of her hands!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rewind 365 - A Year Ago Today

Most weeks I like to squeeze a "year ago today" post.  I had originally had a blog hop, but you know how those things go.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.  I personally love it, and it was one of my favorite weekly posts.  If you feel like joining in this is where you'll find me on most thursdays!  Grab the button and hop on board!



So where was I a year ago today?




Look at my little man in his cute little fluffy rump!!  He wasn't quite a year old, he wasn't walking but seriously adorable.  Now I can't keep him in one place for very long.  Where does time go?

what were you doing a year ago?


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Military Support Series: Military One Click

Hi all!!  Well the week is underway and I'm getting excited because its almost vacation time for me!  You'll still be getting some good posts, perhaps some guest posts and maybe a giveaway or two.  But today I am happy to pick up the Military Support Series again.  You can see the other groups I've highlighted in the "Military Resources" tab up top.  All of my resources will be getting an overhaul soon and I'm so excited to share everything with you.  Thanks for stopping by and spread the word about some of these great resources.


Today's spotlight is MilitaryOneClick.  I've had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time with MilitaryOneClick's founder, Jennifer Pilcher, and I'm proud to call her my friend. Jennifer was one of the first awarded for the Women Veterans Entrepreneurs Business Pitch Competition.


What is MilitaryOneClick:

MilitaryOneClick is a premier virtual resource for military families.  Our dynamic, user-friendly website provides visitors with direct access to thousands of valuable resources including career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more!  The site is free and does not require users to register or login.
~ MilitaryOneClick  
 
What does MilitaryOneClick do?        

You can find just about anything you might be searching for on there.  Say you're getting ready to PCS, just stop by MilitaryOneClick and find their relocation page.  From there you are one-click away from all the information you might need, from temporary lodging, buying or selling your home and military-friendly rental sites.

One of my favorite sections is the Education and Scholarship sections.  You can find links to military schools of learning, leadership programs like the Civil Air Patrol and the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, as well as resources for scholarships for any member of a military-connected family.


MilitaryOneClick is the premier virtual resource for military families. Our dynamic, user-friendly website provides visitors with direct access to thousands of valuable resources including career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more! The site is free and does not require users to register or login. - See more at: http://militaryoneclick.com/about/#co
MilitaryOneClick is the premier virtual resource for military families. Our dynamic, user-friendly website provides visitors with direct access to thousands of valuable resources including career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more! The site is free and does not require users to register or login. - See more at: http://militaryoneclick.com/about/#co
MilitaryOneClick is the premier virtual resource for military families. Our dynamic, user-friendly website provides visitors with direct access to thousands of valuable resources including career tools, hiring fairs, educational scholarships, PTSD help, health insurance, buying or renting a home, financial assistance, and more! The site is free and does not require users to register or login. - See more at: http://militaryoneclick.com/about/#co
MilitaryOneClick is a wonderful resource for someone living the military life.  I think it is perfectly set-up for a newbie.  Entering into this life can be really overwhelming, and if you have no prior experience, aren't near any installations or have no friends with military experience the task can seem daunting for sure.  All you'd have to come across is MilitaryOneSource and it would make the experience get off on the right foot.

Thanks MilitaryOneClick!!  Make sure to check out there site and follow them on their social media platforms!

Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Pinterest
Instagram



Monday, July 22, 2013

The Bounce Back #TheBounceBack Huge Giveaway!!


Welcome to our giveaway. We are in the home stretch of this campaign.  We are so thankful for all the support and feedback so far. The Bounce Back film officially became the most funded film on Indiegogo and that is all thanks to you, the fans! To celebrate we have an amazing giveaway for you all. One lucky winner will receive two tickets to the movie premier and after party in LA! Good luck and thank you for helping us make this dream of our's come true.

Read why I became a part of the campaign here!  Thanks for stopping by and good luck.  Make sure to check out my own giveaway for the movie.  You will have a chance to win an exclusive t-shirt.


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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Win a t-shirt from The Bounce Back #TheBounceBack !!

 
Hi all!!  Hopefully by now you've heard a little bit about The Bounce Back.  If you've been following me on twitter, facebook or pinterest you might have seen me mention it a couple times (okay, maybe a lot of times!).  We are in the last couple days of this project, which is now the most funded film on Indiegogo, which is pretty darn cool.  I feel like this is another child.  I've been on this project for awhile now and its just truly amazing to see how it's grown.  The people over at the film have kindly put together a huge giveaway, which you can check out here.

On my little 'ole blog however you have the chance to win an exclusive t-shirt from the project!  Now you can show everyone that you were in on it from the beginning as well.  You still have some time to help this project meet it's goal and take advantage of some of the "perks" there as well.  There are some pretty cool ones to snatch up, so head on over to the Indiegogo site.


disclaimer: I am being provided this opportunity in partnership with New Entertainment Media Network, and The Bounce Back film.  I am not being compensated in any way for this giveaway.  Any and all opinions expressed are my own and no one else's.  Please seem Terms and Conditions for more information.

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Here's some more chances to win!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Goodreads Book Challenge, Books 20-38

It was only maybe two years ago that my reading really started picking up.  I have always been a huge reader, from childhood and on.  There have definitely been seasons of reading in my life, where I have read more or less then other times.  College was a time of less for fun reading.  Who has time for that when you're studying and attending classes.  I will say that I loved college, and I loved most of my classes, so a lot of that reading was semi-for fun.  Probably close to three years ago I started using Goodreads to keep track of my books, what I've read and what I wanted to read.  Goodreads also does a book challenge and every year I've totally failed.  Getting really sick with Phillip, having him, surgery, moving, adjusting, deployment....yeah, the last two years were just terrible in the reading department.  This year I'm well ahead of schedule and I shouldn't have low-balled my challenge number but I did.  So right now I just finished book number 38 of 50, and I don't see myself slowing down anytime soon.  Make sure you check out my previous post for the first 19 books on my list.

Navy Baby (Navy #5)  Truth Be Told  Navy Woman (Navy #4)  The Winnowing Season (Amish Vines and Orchards, #2)  Grace's Pictures  Jimmy (Red, Hot & Blue, #3)
16 Lighthouse Road (Cedar Cove, #1)  Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War  Murder in the Smithsonian (Capital Crimes, #4)  Navy Husband (Navy #6) (Silhouette Special Edition #1693)  The Christian Mama's Guide to the Grade School Years: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Sending Your Kid Off Into the Big, Wide World  Take a Chance on Me (Christiansen Family, #1)

The Soldier's Newfound Family (Texas Twins, #5)  Jimmy (Red, Hot & Blue, #3) Jack (Red, Hot & Blue, #2)  A Man For The Summer  Mission: Motherhood Hidden Under Her Heart (Chance For Love #2)

A Season for Tending (Amish Vines and Orchids #1)Hugo The Happy Starfish: The Last Bully

There have been some good books in this group here and most of them I have reviewed here on the blog.  You can find the review for one of my top five of this grouping, The Soldier's Newfound Family, on group blog and online community, Fancy Little Things.  You can also find some of the books from this year's challenge on my summer reading list picks over at The Homefront United.  Make sure to check those out if you're looking  for some good books to read or add to your ever growing list.  If you don't use Goodreads I'm telling you that you are missing out.  It changed my life...well, as far as my reading life goes.  But seriously, it changed my life.  And, as always, you can check out my bookshelf  tab up top or find me on facebook and ask me anything!!

What are you reading right now?  Do you have a reading challenge you participate in?  Do you have a favorite summer reading book, or books?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wednesday Walkabout - A Patriotic Day



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Happy Hump Day Ya'll (have you seen that Geico commercial?  Oh man, I laugh so hard EVERY time I see it).  Its been two weeks since the 4th of July but I never got to share with all of you how we spent our day.  The Fourth is a difficult holiday to be so far away from my family.  It sounds silly, because I know that holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving should be hard too.  They are, don't get me wrong, but the Fourth is really, really hard.  We are such a "tradition is important" family and we do the same things every year - parade, eat, some of us go to a movie, camp out at the fireworks viewing area way early and talk, play cards, eat dessert.  Its so much fun and I miss my parents, my sister and my Aunt and Uncle.


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What I am thankful for is the new family we have found here.  It is so vital to the life of a military family (or a family that happens to move to a new location without family or a prior support group).  Last year we went to a parade in one of the nearby towns and had a BBQ and very awesome "never allowed in California or Nevada" fireworks.  Our neighbors/adopted family have taken care of us since we moved here practically and I can't even tell you how grateful I have been for that.  This move has been way more difficult then I ever imagined it would be and without them it would have been much harder.

So, how did we spend our very Patriotic Day this year?

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Walking down Constitution Avenue in DC!  Yep, you read that right!  My two oldest joined me with my awesome Blue Star Families friend while we marched down the middle of DC with the MilKidz Club.  It was such a strange and crazy experience.  I really hope that I never lose the awe-factor when it comes to living here.  Everything I do and experience almost leaves me breathless.  Visit Blue Star Families, MilKidz Club page and look for a chapter in your area.  It's great for kids!  The organization of the parade was really good, but I thought we were there far too early, especially with small children.  I was really glad I had decided to leave Phillip home with Mr. Air Force.  They had lots of doctors and EMTs at the end of the parade with misting tents (that weren't misting enough) and warm water and gatorade (not good).  Some local fireman also were spraying water with a huge fan that actually was so much better then the misting tents.  It really sucked that we had to walk so far to get to a metro, but other than that it went really well and I was super proud of my kids.

After that Daddy came and rescued us with Chick-Fil-A and cold water and lemonade.  We went home and rested and got ready for our friends to come over.  It still is crazy to me that we ended up living across the country with someone I've known since I was a Senior in High School; and my sister and his brother were very good friends.  It's pretty crazy.  His wife is amazing and we are besties.  My neighbor and her little boy came over as well.  Then we ventured out for Fire Works this year at a local high school.  It was incredible!!!


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No pics of the actual fireworks (who seriously hasn't seen a firework), because I was actually enjoying them.  It really cracks me up to look around and see everyone with their Phones and IPads taking pictures and videos of the fireworks instead of actually watching them.  It's a sickness seriously.

Are you a tradition person?  How was your 4th of July?!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Social, week 58

So last week I totally sucked at wandering around to other posts from the link-up.  I'm still catching up on new blogs from that.  sigh.  It's been a busy couple weeks since hubby came home (Homecoming pictures to come!) so I'm blaming him, LOL!  But I will definitely be doing better this week.  Thanks for taking time to stop by.


Sunday Social


1. What is your all-time favorite song?

I'm at a loss right now at how I'm supposed to actually come up with one all-time favorite song.  I mean, I don't even know where to begin.  Music is such a huge deal for me, and my family.  Most everything that happens in our life can be coupled with a song.  Its just how we are.  So, that being said I think I'll have to pick a least a couple.

1. Faithfully - Journey
2. The Dance - Garth Brooks
3. Whenever You Call - Mariah Carey and Brian McKnight
4. That Way - Backstreet Boys (yeah, I said it, you wanna fight?! LOL)

2. Your favorite singer/band?

Just bought tickets to go see Backstreet Boys.....AGAIN!! Yes, seriously again and I'm so excited I could pee my pants.  I'm also an All American Rejects and you will frequently find bands and singers like Def Leppard, Maroon 5, Pink, Sarah Brightman, Dolly Parton, and so many others I wouldn't even know where to start.  I love so much!

3. What Songs Remind You of Your Childhood

Definitely relates to the above question.  I can't tell you how much of my childhood that is tied to music.  So, if we're talking like my young childhood...songs like these always bring me back.



If we're talking like my jr high and high school school years.....





oh man...I could watch these videos all day.  I'm in trouble if you all are posting videos! LOL!

4. What songs put you in a good mood?

I always want to get up and dance when I hear -

Last Song - All American Rejects
Vogue - Madonna
Having a Party - Shaina Twain and Billy (oh billy, he's so cute)

As you can see, I'm an eclectic kinda gal

5. What is your music to rock out to in your car?

It's almost like asking me about my gym mix.  Its usually different music then I would just pick up and dance to ordinarily.  Its that music that has a special beat to it that you can't help but move to...you know what I mean.

so Michael Jackson, Christina Aguliera, Brittney Spears, Taylor Swift, some Lady GaGa...stuff like that.

6. What is the most embarrassing album you own?

Gosh, I own a lot of Backstreet Boys, some Spice Girls, N SYNC...gosh, what's embarrassing?  LOL, I think I'm pretty awesome ;) 

Thanks for stopping by!  I really really really can't wait to see what other people have said.  Have a great week.

Rhe's Bookshelf - The Winnowing Season, by Cindy Woodsmall

The Winnowing Season (Amish Vines and Orchards, #2)

On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.

Jacob King won’t be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her in Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his own—one he’ll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally.

What I thought:

The Winnowing Season is book 2 in the Amish Vines and Orchard Series, and my second Amish book ever.  If you read my review of book 1 you'll know that I was kind of surprised to really like it.  There were portions of this book that were slower than I normally like.  However, I should be truthful and say that most of the books I normally read are of a much faster variety.  A lot of the stuff that has to do with Amish tradition still got me and sort of broke up the story for me.  I found that it sort of distracted me because I spent so much time being annoyed with that.  It was almost like it got in the way of the story and it didn't make sense to me.  Some things are so Amish, and then other parts of the story just didn't follow that same vein.  I still am committed to continuing on with the series because I just want to know what happens next.  So, to that end Ms. Woodsmall has done her job!  The hardest part for me was the Jacob storyline.  It became really frustrating, but I just don't want to give away too much of the story to elaborate on that.  All I will say is that it is quite emotionally taxing.  The characters are developed well and you learn so much about the Amish culture, which I find extremely fascinating.

Rating:

3 out of 5 Stars

Disclaimer:

I received this book in partnership with WaterBrook/Multnomah Publishing and Blogging for Books.  I was not compensated in any other way.  And, as always, my views and opinions are my own.  Take them or leave them.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Social - Week 57



Sunday Social

Happy Sunday peeps...its been a little while since I linked up with Ashley and Neely for Sunday Social, so why not jump back in and start off the week right.  I'm also excited to say I just made #34 on Circle of Mom's Top Military Mom Blogs.  Didn't make the Top 25 this year, but the competition was pretty amazing.  Some wonderful military mom blogs made the list.  You should go check out out.


Okay, now on to the fun stuff!!!

1. What is the best trip you've ever been on? 

Gosh that is tough.  The hubby and I have had the opportunity to go on a couple really amazing trips, including our cross-country move.  I think two of my favorite trips we've taken was to (Ashley's stomping ground!!) Oklahoma City and also to Savannah, GA.  We went for some military conferences and we got to go without the kids.  It was pretty amazing.  Two places that I never would have thought I would go and probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to otherwise.

 
OKC baseball

leaving a note at the OKC bombing memorial

of course, had to go to Toby Keith's
 
2. what is your best idea for a girl's weekend trip?

I think going to Las Vegas would be pretty awesome with just girls, or a night on the town in San Francisco.  I've never been on a girl's trip before, so I think I would be super thrilled about any trip!  LOL!

3. what is your best idea for a couple's trip? 

Well, for me, any trip with just the hubby is pretty awesome.  Like I mentioned before we have had the opportunity to take some trips by ourselves.  Our honeymoon to Hawaii was pretty awesome as well.  I think anything at the beach is the perfect couple's trip.  Just something low-key and simple.  No TV, no phones, no computers.  That's what I love.

4. what is the best vacation on the cheap

Okay, so this week's questions are great!  The absolute best idea for a vacation on the cheap is a staycation.  Get yourself a no frills hotel in town and experience where you live.  Hubby just recently returned from some time away (more on that later) and we are blessed with some pretty amazing friends who told us to get a room (LOL) and stayed at our house with our kids for a night.   We stayed in the heart of DC and hung out.  We were like tourists in our own city and I loved it.  We just were with each other, hung out, walked, went to dinner, had breakfast in bed. It was truly lovely.

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Hanging out with Kermit and The Wicked Witch at the Smithsonian American History Museum

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WWII Memorial, Washington, DC

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Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC

5. What is the place you most want to visit
I really really really want to go to Europe.....very badly.  Hubby has already been (cuz I'm an amazing wife) and I really want to go.  Just to experience everything.  It seems like a dream....and I'm totally doing the whole rose colored glasses/Sabrina thing.  But I really can't help myself.  I think about it all the time.  silly girl.

can't wait to read what everyone else has to say.  And if you're a new follower make sure to let me know!!!!

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