Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shutterfly Christmas Cards

Here's some great news for all you bloggers out there! Shutterfly is offering a great deal right now! I love shutterfly. They have so many great gifts and card options.

Right now, just click here and you can get a code for 50 free cards! This is great for Christmas cards. The deadline is soon though, so hurry! We like to send out photo Christmas cards, so this is perfect for us. And the price is pretty perfect too!

There are so many great designs though, I am having a hard time choosing one. I need to hurry though, Christmas is coming soon!

Here are a few of my favorites. Now I just need to decide on ONE. That's not easy to do with all the choices that Shutterfly offers!

I like the bright colors in this one.

But this one is pretty perfect for us. What do you think?

And while we are talking about Christmas, here is a great gift! What grandparent wouldn't love one of these?!

Like I said, so many choices! And great prices. So click on over to today and order yours! It's super easy to just upload your photo. I can't wait to get mine picked out and ordered.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December Already?!

Wow, I can't believe that it is December already. How well I remember last year! It seems like just a few months ago.

I am trying very hard to get in the holiday spirit around here. I have done hardly any Christmas shopping yet, and I just barely got the tree put up. It's hard to feel like Christmas when it is still so hot and green outside. There are no Christmas song about when it's 80 outside and the palm trees are swaying... Although according to the weather people here we are having "winter" weather. Winter here means a few more clouds and rain, and some days the breeze is fairly cool. I'll take it! On the cloudy days I just look out the window, and pretend that it is as cool as it looks outside.

We will not be with family for Christmas either. While this makes me very sad, and I'm missing all the family stuff we usually do on Christmas, at the same time I am looking forward to starting our own family traditions this year! I get the opportunity to start something special that someday my girls will remember about Christmas! And that does make me a little excited. But I am still missing the big family gatherings, with all the food and fun that comes with being with extended family this time of the year.

I am so thankful for my little family. I'm thankful that Tony is here for the holidays. There are many people in his line of work that aren't able to be home for Christmas. And someday, he might be one of those too. So I am very grateful this year, because we have no guarantee on the next years. The girls are very excited for Christmas too! Especially Natalie. Her Christmas list changes everyday I think. Haha! Although there have been a few things that have stayed the same. They love the Christmas tree! They plug it in first thing every morning. When I finally got it put up, Gabbie went running to it and gave it a big hug! There aren't many ornaments on it, and the bottom half is mostly bare. The bead garland is already messed up. But between the girls and the cat, I didn't really expect much different.

We also have the added blessing of a new baby this year! I am 9 weeks pregnant with baby #3. Natalie and Gabbie are VERY excited. They both want another sister. Poor daddy. Ha ha! So far this pregnancy is exactly like the other two. I haven't been sick, just super tired! I have heard from several people that have both boys and girls that their pregnancies were different with the different genders. I have a feeling the girls will get their sister, but of course that remains to be seen! Either way we will be happy.

I better go try and do something productive with my day. Tony is working this weekend, so I am being lazy this morning. Have a blessed December, with much happiness in this special season!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I know that most of you are probably thinking that I have disappeared by now. I haven't. I have just been busy. And stressed. And had more pressing things to do than update my blog. And every time I set down at the computer I have 2 toddlers crawling all over me. Which makes updating a little hard. But here I am. To spare you the very long post of what's been going on the last 3 or so months, I will just hit the highlights for you.

Tony's mom came to visit. We had a blast. Went shopping, and did some new things on the island. She bought me a sewing machine! I love it, and have been trying to find some time to make some simple clothes for the girls. While she was here the girls got sick. Then Tony and I got sick at the end of her visit. The combination of being sick and Gramma visiting made Gabbie regress in her potty training. BAD. We were back to day 1. Aaannnd, it took us over a month to get trained again! Ugh. (That's one of the things that has been keeping me busy, and kept me from blogging)

Tony and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! Sine we were apart for our last anniversary we had a lot of fun celebrating this year. We went to a luau on the beach. It was a wonderful evening. The Air Force ball was in September. It is to celebrate the Air Force's birthday. It also happens to mark Tony's anniversary in the Air Force! He has been in for a whole year now! I can't believe it!! The time is flying! We had a lot of fun getting dressed up and going to the ball. It was nice to have a kid free night! :o) We have also hit the 6 month mark of being in Hawaii! We REALLY can't believe that one. The time has really been going by so quickly! We still love it here, and haven't even done a fraction of all there is to do on the island.

One night the smoke detector in Gabbie's room started "chirping" You know, the occasional beep like when the batteries are getting low? Only ours are wired into the no clue why it was doing this in the middle of the night. Well it scared Gabbie. BAD. She was afraid to be alone, especially in her room. Wouldn't sleep in her room. Naps and nighttime involved me sitting in her room for an hour or more until she fell asleep. Then she would wake up in the middle of the night and I would be outside of her room for 3-4 hours trying to get her back to sleep. It was AWFUL! A very long, sleep deprived month. She is mostly better now. We still have to stay outside her room for a little bit when we put her to bed at night, and she still wakes up in the middle of the night. Every night. BUT, I finally made her a pallet on the floor of our room, and so now she just wakes up and comes in our room to lay down and sleep more. So at least I'm getting sleep. We are still dealing with her separation anxiety though. Not sure if us trying a new church set it off, or if it's just one of those normal stages of life. It's annoying. She won't let us leave her in her class at church now, and she does not sit still and quiet to go to church with us. She even gets upset when I leave her with her daddy! I have to sneak out of the house so that she won't have a meltdown. It's really frustrating! I'm hoping that she will grow out of this phase soon as well.

We are still looking for a church that is "home" for us. We have found a couple that we like, but just don't feel that connection yet. Hopefully soon. We haven't been able to attend the new one very much lately because of Gabbie though. We started going to that church because it has AWANA's that starts at Cubbies. The chapels on base have AWANA's, but they don't start until kindergarten. Natalie has been going to Cubbies. She loves it and is doing very well.

We have been meeting more great people here. We are very thankful for that. I have a small group of moms (and 1 dad) that get together every week most weeks. Three of us live in the same neighborhood, so that's nice. We like to go to the beach, or the splash park, or just have a play date where the kids can play and the adults can have some time with other adults. Ha ha. I'm finding that to be very important.

Tony finally has a set schedule. He works 12 hour shifts. 3 days on, 2 days off, 2 days on, 3 days off. It's confusing, and has been hard for me to get used to! I never know what day of the week it is. I have to write everything down on a calendar. It's hard but he has about 1/2 the time off, which is nice. He works every-other weekend, which I don't like, but he has some weekdays off which is nice. We like to avoid the crowds when we do stuff around the island. He got Airman of the Quarter, which is a very good thing. It will look good when promotion time comes, and hopefully it will help him get promoted 6 months early!

We have been fighting sickness around our house! We have all taken our turns. Yes, multiple. lol The girls have had stomach bugs, and colds. Tony and I have been passing colds back and forth. I even had a fever with one of my rounds, so not sure what it was. We are starting to all get cleared up, and I hope it stays that way!

While the rest of the country is enjoying fall, things here aren't much different. I planted some new herbs and flowers the other day. I didn't think I would mind warm weather all year, but I am missing Fall! "Winter"is the rainy time of year here on the island, so we have been having a little more clouds and rain than we have been. That helps it to be a little cooler, but not much.
It's hard for me to believe that the holidays are upon us...I still think it's summer! This is strange to me for sure. All the stores have winter clothes like on the mainland though! Are you kidding me?! We don't need fleece, sweaters, coats, and boots! Even gloves and hats! I didn't know this would happen, or I would have bought the girls shoes while summer stuff was still out. It's going to be an interesting "winter".

Speaking of holidays...they are almost here! Yikes! This will be the first holidays that we won't be spending with my side of the family. That will be really hard. However, we are looking forward to starting our own traditions for our little family here. :o) Although...if nothing changes with Tony's schedule, he will be working on Thanksgiving. I'm having a hard time with that. It will be an interesting Thanksgiving...

And another thing that's been keeping me busy...I have started selling Scentsy! If you aren't familiar with the products you should get acquainted! I LOVE it! I've only been doing it a little over 2 months now, but I'm already making a profit. :o) I'm not getting rich yet... ;o) but it's nice to have a little extra spending money.

Well that's probably enough stuff to make you bored. If you are still reading hopefully you can see why it's been so long since my last post and forgive me for it. It won't be that long before my next one, hopefully!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wild at Heart book review

This is a guest post from my husband. We signed up at BookSneeze to get free books sent to us, and then we have to put a review of the book online.
Wild at Heart is the author’s attempt to define, create, and inspire a new generation of “Real Men.” At the beginning of Wild at Heart, John Eldredge declares that “in the heart of every man is a desperate desire for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” This is the central theme of this over-200 page book. I believe that almost everyone should read this book. It is definitely geared toward men, but I think women would gain an important understanding of men from it as well. Eldredge does a good job referencing movies, poetry, songs, and books to draw his portrait of an ideal man. This turns out to be the main flaw in the book. Eldredge, rightly or wrongly, seems to be projecting his personal concepts of masculinity onto God. He refers to the Scriptures, but as maybe only 40% of his examples of true masculinity. This is fine with me, as long as people are not reading Wild at Heart expecting a theological masterpiece. John Eldredge is no Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, or C.S. Lewis. This is a self-help/motivational book at its core, painted with rather broad brush strokes. Read it, learn from it, but don’t take it as the Gospel truth. I suggest also reading Eric Ludy’s “God’s Gift to Women” as a companion to Wild at Heart.

Disclaimer: I received Wild at Heart – Revised and Expanded for free from the publisher for the purposes of writing a review.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

USS Ronald Reagan

I am loving experiencing all the new things that being in the military and stationed in Hawaii has offered us so far. Yesterday we got to see the USS Ronald Reagan coming into port in Pearl Harbor. We were able to stand by the water on Hickam AFB and see it just glide by. It was very cool! It was a little over an hour late, but that's not unusual for the military! LOL

That thing is HUGE!
Just a couple of things that I think is super cool about the ship:
It can run for 20 years before needing to be refueled
It has a crew of around 3000- that's bigger than a lot of towns!
It carries 90 aircraft.
It travels 35MPH

This is definitely one of those experiences where words and pictures don't do it justice! If you click on the pictures you can see more detail. That helps a little.

Here she comes!

Getting closer!

You can see some of the planes here.

I love how the Sailors were dressed and standing at attention on every deck, around the whole boat! It looked very neat!

See the Sailors? I think that was my favorite part. :o)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's been 4 years...

Of changing diapers and pull-ups on 2 kids. Now...I have a break! Gabbie has been doing GREAT on the potty! She still hasn't mastered the pooping on the potty yet, which puzzles me. I thought that was the easier to train? Anyway, I am totally counting my victory where I have it though! She is getting better every day, and she caught on so quickly this time! She only uses 2 pull-ups a day now. One for nap and bedtime. YAY!! You know you are a mom when this is one of the most exciting things in your life! And in this mom's opinion, a tiny bottom in tiny panties is just so cute!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Different in Hawaii-Part 1

Some things that are taking me awhile to get used to, or that I find different or funny.

Hawaii loves SPAM! It's everywhere. They have a festival every year to celebrate it. You can buy it at Burger King. The local souvenir section at Target has a ton of SPAM themed items. They are also crazy about Macaroni salad! And mayonnaise! I probably don't need to tell you that the native Polynesians are a, uh...hefty group of people. :o)

The roads/highways here. First, the speed limit is so much slower than I'm used to! The main, 3-4 lane divided roads are only 35 MPH! What?! Is this how they attempt to make it feel like the island is bigger than it is? You feel like you are driving further if it takes you longer to get there? The "interstate" speed limit is 45-50 mph. And yes, it is called an interstate. Even though it doesn't connect any states. Hawaii had to do that in order to get federal funding for the roads.

Second, the condition of the roads.
I am spoiled by driving on Texas roads so much maybe, but these roads are rough! Potholes and cracks and bumps everywhere!

Third, the narrowness of the roads and the lack of big cars!
In Texas our Expedition was one of thousands. Big cars and trucks were very much the normal thing to drive. Here, there are lots of Mini Coopers and small cars. I am definitely in the minority in my big car. Parking is a lot harder in my big car and narrow spaces. It usually takes me at least 2 tries to get it parked ok.

The traffic.
It's terrible at rush hour! It can take you 30 minutes to go 5 miles. However, being from Texas, I am used to driving 30 minutes to get a lot of places I'm going. So it doesn't feel too bad to me yet. I just don't think about how far I have (or haven't) traveled.

The drivers.
Are NICE! ha ha Very laid back and if you need over in the crazy traffic, it's not hard to do! Someone will always let you in. I definitely like that! I have never heard people honking at each other or getting mad in traffic. The Aloha spirit is very much evident here.

The language here. Yes, it's English...but the Hawaiian alphabet only has 12 letters. Some of the vowels make different sounds than in our alphabet. There are only so many words that you can make with 12 letters, so some of the words get very long and strange!! I think that they are just made out of random letters because they are running out of ideas. Tony and I got so cracked up listening to a couple of our movers talking. It was English, but we couldn't understand what they were saying! The islanders have a way of talking and words that they use that really do make it sound like a foreign language.

The scenery. I am not used to flowers growing beside the highways and everywhere! It's beautiful and makes it smell good! The mountains are breathtaking as well.

The customer service. Is terrible!!(mostly talking about fast food restaurants) There isn't much service with a smile here. No one gets in a hurry to help you either. Laid back is good, but sometimes it would be nice if you could do some things quickly! I think that's why there are no Chick-Fil-A restaurants here. They couldn't find enough people that would be friendly enough to work there! ha ha.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Well, you saw the front of the house in the last post. Here is some of the inside! We are finally settled into our house! No more hotel living for us. That makes me very happy.

The Staircase. There are lots of stairs.

The view from the front door.

The Girls' bathroom. I LOVE having more than 1 bathroom!

The "great room" Living, dining, and kitchen.

Living room
Dining area


And of course the kitchen!

I am so very happy to be in a house again. Our house is big and beautiful. We are so very blessed to be able to be living in a newer house here. It was worth the wait!

We had a bit of a rough time getting the house. The washer and dryer that were supposed to be included, weren't. The housing office told us it would be another 10 days before we could get one. Uhhh, I have 2 toddlers. 10 days wasn't going to work very well! So, I stayed persistent and kept calling the office until they managed to find me one after 4 days. Then, the day we got the washer and dryer we got a call saying that our dishwasher has been recalled...and we shouldn't be using it! Are you kidding me??! What's next, are they going to come and take my refrigerator? Ha ha. I have not been using my much! I know, I know. But it's been running fine for the last 2 or so years. So I figure if it's going to start a fire, it would have already. I never leave it running when I'm not home, or overnight. I'm trying to quit, I really am. I'm just having to work up to it I guess.
I few things were damaged in the move, but nothing that can't be replaced. I'm thankful for that. The back of our leather couch got torn up, but I guess that's something that I'm just going to have to live with. We are turning all the paperwork in to be compensated, so we will see what happens. I'm not expecting much.
We have laminate flooring downstairs and high ceilings, so even with all our stuff in the house it is still very loud. It's very white too. We aren't allowed to paint or anything. So I get to buy curtains and some decor soon to soften things up a bit. I'm excited!

Almost 1 year ago, it was prophesied over me at church while Tony was away at basic training that "It's always darkest before the dawn. But the dawn is coming, and it's going to be brighter than you've imagined." Well, there have been some dark times since then. But I never imagined that I would be living in Hawaii, in a house like this! Maybe this is the Dawn that He was telling me about. :o) It kinda looks that way to me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Almost There

Today is day 57 of living in a hotel. Not good. However, the good news is that we only have 3 days left! We get to look at our house on Wednesday, sign the papers on Thursday...and have all of our stuff delivered on Friday!!!

I'm so antsy and excited I can hardly stand it! I am so ready to have a routine again! All those things that get old and the cooking and cleaning, well I can't wait to do it again! Don't get me wrong. A break from all that is nice. Eating out often and not having to cook and clean up afterward is really nice! However, I think 2 weeks or so is probably sufficient. 9 weeks is a little much, especially with 2 toddlers! I can't even tell you how nice it will be for all four of us to not have to live in 1 room! I can't wait to clean, and make out a menu and cook again. I can't wait to decorate, and plant flowers and herbs. I can't wait to get back to teaching Natalie preschool, and potty training Gabbie. I will finally be settled for awhile! For over a year now, I have just been waiting for time to pass. Living in the temporary, just waiting for what was coming. Well now it's finally here! We will be here for 3-4 years. I will finally be able to really settle in and enjoy life more! I can't wait.

Tony is working different hours this week, 2-10pm. Don't know if it's that, or the fact that we are so close...but of course these last few days are really dragging!! Come on Friday!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Another Day in (not so) Paradise...

It is hard for me to believe that in 2 days we will have been on the island for a month already! We are still living in a hotel waiting on a house. I have good days and bad days. ha ha Today is a not so good day.
  • The fire alarms went off at 7:00 this morning, waking the girls up. We hurry down the 3 flights of stairs and wait around outside for awhile. A guy from down the hall told me that it was his toaster that set it off. And he "hoped he didn't wake anybody up" Uhhh, just some children. Finally the Fire Dept comes and turns the alarm off so we can go back inside.
  • We discover that there is no hot water for showers...again. This happens frequently.
  • We discover that the money that the AF owes us is not going to be on the next paycheck like it is supposed to be. We have already paid almost $2000 out of our own pocket for lodging since we have been here. We need to pay $1000 more in Sunday. We don't have it. The AF is taking their time paying us the almost $7000 they owe us so far.
  • We are supposed to move this Sunday into different lodging as they are out of room for us here. Tony was told that we are moving somewhere other than where we were planning to Bulleted Listgo. Which is fine, except that they only have room for us for a week. After that...we move again? Not sure.
Now I want to make it clear that I'm not really complaining...more like venting. At least that is the intention of my heart. I am grateful to God for the miracle that we have been living in Hawaii for a month, paying our own hotel bills and eating out every day without the extra money that we should be getting to cover these expenses. I have NO idea how that has been possible! Only because of GOD. Now for some more good things-

  • Tony has been busy this morning trying to get stuff worked out. He has a great 1st SGT that is helping him out. It's complicated and a headache, but we are being taken care of. He is in a great shop. We will be ok.
  • We are living in Hawaii! So many people would love this opportunity. So many people in the Military try their whole careers to get stationed here and never do. So many have to do a year long remote tour away from their families in order to get here. We got it as our first station! Basically handed to us. God must have a plan for us, you think?!
  • My husband has a stable job. That's always something to be thankful for! While there are a lot of headaches involved with being in the military, it has a lot of perks too.
  • I have a housekeeper! lol I may be living in a hotel, but I haven't had to vacuum, wash towels, clean the bathroom or make a bed for over a month. I'll focus on that part, instead of the homeless part. :o)
  • EVENTUALLY...we will have a very nice house! Once we tough it out through all this, it will be worth it.
  • I have met some great wives this week! Slowly but surely we are starting to make some connections and take some steps toward making some friends.
  • I have a "girls night" planned for tomorrow night with a few of these ladies. For mother's day our hubbies are keeping the kids and letting us have some girl time to ourselves! We are excited!
  • We think that we have found a church that we like.
Thanks for listening to me ramble. I feel a little better now. :o) I hope everyone has a great weekend! Happy mother's day to all you moms out there! To all my friends that want to be mother, and God has not blessed you in that way yet- My prayers are with you. May he comfort you in your tough times and fulfill your dreams.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lanikai Beach

We wanted to find a beach that had calmer waves to take the girls to. They love the waves, but its easier for us if the waves are a little more gentle. :o) This beach was nice. You can see all the plants and coral in the water close to the shore. This broke up the waves, but it also made it hard to go very far out into the water. We saw several people snorkeling there, so we may have to try it sometime! The nice thing about Hawaii, it's a state law that every beach (except for the ones on military bases) have public access. It was pretty cloudy the day we went here so it was a little cool when we got wet. The water was nice, about 78 degrees. We about decided to call it an early day since it was chilly when some clouds blew in and we got rained on. So our trip to that beach was cut short.

Somewhere along the North Shore...

We went to Haleiwa on the North Shore. We didn't see any turtles on the beach like we were hoping, but we did see some playing in the waves on the shore.

If you look really closely you can kinda see the turtle in the water. It didn't show up on the camera very well.

My first Hawaii Shave Ice. This one was a pineapple bowl. Pineapple ice cream under the pineapple flavored shave ice. Yummy! Gabbie is all ready for the first bite!