Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This is why!

Some things just frustrate, even anger me.  Today is going to be a "Soap Box" day for me.

Not too long ago, we were gathered together with several family members.  Two of the young adults present began to rudely question my husband, who is a police officer.  In an accusing manner, they insinuated that police over step their boundaries, profile people, have no right to search and question the way that they do.  I wanted to stand up and defend my husband, but he insisted that it was a "perception" problem.  I understand.

We all perceive things differently, given the choices we've made for our lives.  I don't feel harrassed by the police.  Why?  Well, I don't speed, and I don't drive around without a license plate, or with my lights burnt out, or a cracked windshield, or a suspended license, I don't carry illegal substances, etc...  In addition, IF for some reason, I did get pulled over, I would be calm and respectful, as I am not trying to hide anything.  It is those who are feeling guilty that tend to become defensive and upset by the way law enforcement handle situtations.

My husband and I talk about his work, his day, each and every aspect of it.  I understand the caution that is needed in EVERY situation.  You may ask why an officer approaches your car so slowly when you get pulled over.  Why does he question you?  Why does he ask you to turn your car off?  Can you just do me a favor, and understand it is for his own safety and protection.  Every single thing a police officer encounters could possibly be a dangerous, even deadly, situation.  They cannot afford to relax or take any moment as "no big deal".

Five, sometimes six, days a week,  my husband puts on a bullet proof vest, a uniform, and secures a heavy gunbelt around his waist.  I have become quite use to seeing him this way, it's a normal way of life for us.  I hug him, kiss him, hand him his lunch and wave from the doorway.  I pray for him to be safe and be returned home to me.  However, I don't often think deeply of the reality of what that means.  He tells me that he is safer than most people out there, as he is armed.  However, I know that most people out there aren't always the target, and officers often are.

Just two days ago during a routine traffic stop in Tampa, two police officers were shot dead. 

A woman in her 9th month of pregnancy will never see her husband again, a child will never know his father.  Another woman is comforting her four sons, all under the age of 10, their hero will never come home again.  My heart breaks.

Why?  Why do they question?  Why are they cautious?  Why do they search?  This is why.  Because of sin.

So, to those brash, rude, young men who dared to question my husband the way they did.  It is for his safety.  I love him.  I want him to come home each day.  Why don't you straighten out your life, stop speeding, stop breaking the law, stop having a rebellious heart.  Open the pages of that dusty bible and return to what you were taught as children.  Maybe then you won't question so much.  Maybe then you will understand.

"But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."  Romans 6:17-18

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mighty To Save ~ Paul Washer

Have a beautiful weekend  my friends...

Friday Funnies ~ Lost Puppies...

I'm joining my Best Friend Kim today for her Friday Funnies...pop over there for more laughs, or to link up your own!

This is a little clip of the "Puppies" from my recital last just made me giggle... :)  They were SO cute!  One puppy was lookin' kinda angry, another one was lookin' like crazy for her parents, and keep an eye on the far right side of the screen near the end...we have a puppy that would like to crowd surf! :)  LOL

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You asked for it! :)

Ok, so here it is.  I actually have a lot to say about the many hours we were actually there that day (8), how much make-up we really had to wear (TFB Babie!), and just how sweaty my hands got before I went on stage...yeesh! 

But you won't read a big long dealie bopper today, will you?  You just wanna see me in those pants, LOLOLOL...ok, I didn't promise you anything spectacular, so don't expect much.

Let's all try to remember this ain't Broadway and I haven't taken dance in YEARS...I haven't taken Jazz since I was about 15...soooo, gimme a break, eh? :)

Um, let's also all try to remember that I am not TRYING to look like a teenager...this was the costume.  I would NEVER wear this in public.  I do NOT shop in the Juniors department, and I am not a member of the Miley Cyrus fan club... LOLOLOL...

My hubby filmed this from his seat, and he filmed both shows, so I cleverly combined them to hide my mistakes give you the best show possible. :)  Enjoy...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Six Bucks and a Handful of Rhinestones...

You know, I was doing a little math in my head the other day....not my favorite thing to do, I'd much rather read a book, but this was important at the time.  I was calculating how long it has been since I was in my last dance recital.  Hmmm, let's see, I was about 14 (I think), that would make it...borrow the 1,...that's 8...then drop down....

No, that just CAN'T be right...well, I guess it 

It's been 28 years since I was last in a dance recital.  That's a long time. 

That means that at LEAST 2 of the girls in my "Adult" Jazz class, most likely were not even born yet, it's highly likely that their parents weren't even married...gee, they might not have even met...ok, I'm feeling a bit older than I intended to feel, so let's move on...shall we? :) 

So, 28 years ago, when I was 14, I was in my last dance recital...I actually remember it quite well.

It was for my Pointe Class, and there were only 2 of us performing.  We held our recitals at the studi,o since our classes were relatively small, and there was a balcony for parents and friends to watch from.  I was so excited to show my Dad what I had learned.  We didn't do fancy costumes at this studio, so I wore my favorite pink strappy leotard with the gathered front and light pink tights, along with my pink satin pointe shoes of course.  Funny that I can remember the details of that.  Afterwards, my Dad and stepmom took me out to one of my favorite Italian restaurants, where I got spagetti sauce all over my pretty lilac top and skirt....that was the last time I "spun" spagetti in a spoon. :)

I took dance in an old building close to downtown, in El Paso.  Actually it was an old I am visiting a few years back, for my 20th High School Reunion.  This building now belongs to the nearby college.  When I was 11 years old, I lived in a house directly across the street, which has since been replaced by a parking lot.  When I was a young teen I lived quite a few blocks further up the street and would carry a large rock in my cloth dance bag since I walked home in the dark almost 5 nights a week).

I loved this old building.  I loved the gorgeous wooden floors, and tall windows that allowed the warm sunshine to splash across the floor.  If you want to know about how I formed my love of can go here.  But if you want to know about how this 42 year old wife and Mom slid herself into a pair of Miley Cyrus pants, just keep on readin'! :)

Here I am all 'made-up', and ready to head to the Recital...

Well, this past Saturday, June 19th, I was in another recital.  A bit larger (quite a bit), a bit creakier in the knees, and a bit more clumsy, but none-the-less I was excited.  Now, it may have been a long time since I've danced in front of others, but I'm not exactly stage shy.  I have been in several plays over the years both through High School and then in more recent years in church.  I really enjoy being on stage and performing.  However, the realization hit me that I wasn't going to be acting...I was going to be DANCING!  Moving my curvy body all over a stage in front of a bunch of parents. 

The only consolation I had was that (in MY mind) the costumes would be Jazzy.  I had it all figured out in MY head.  Nicely fitting dance pants that sort of flared at the base.  Form fitting top with long and flowy sleeves.  Lot's of bling, maybe some fringe...flattering, comfortable, modest enough to ease my discomfort of performing in front of others that were my age or younger.  Oh yes, I had it ALL figured out in my head.

Then it happened.

My sweet teacher, Kristen, an absolute doll, who I would adopt as my daughter at the drop of a hat, came into class one evening with a few bags.  She had been out shopping around for our costumes.  We weren't going to pay a lot for ours, so she was bargain hunting, I love that! :)  She began to pull out tops and pants from these bags and I could almost feel the sweat droplets begin to bead on my head.

Were those the same Miley Cyrus pants and tops I had seen on the clearance rack at Walmart?  The 400 pair that just wouldn't seem to sell for $3.00?????  Gulp.  Um.  Isn't Miley Cyrus stuff sold in the "Juniors" department?  Isn't she a teenager?  Isn't a large in Jr's, like a Small in Ladies????? 

Oh, but dear sweet Kristen had it figured out, she had purchased a pair of pants just for me, long, flared legs, just like I'd imagined...only the fabric wasn't shiny, and the dull grey/black polyester blend clung to my behind like mayonaisse,....oh my goodness.  4 gals in snug shiney and one "older woman" in dull grey/black flares?

I weighed my options.  I am either going to have to A)  SQUEEZE into the Miley's and hope I "blend"... or B) look like a granny and stand out like a sore thumb.  So, I got to work.

Sorry ladies, I'm sure there are many of you who can shop in the Jr's section....I am not one of you.  I do not wear a small ANYTHING.  So, I devised a "plan", and with the help of my sewing machine, and using TWO pair of the Shiny Miley's, I whipped out a suitable pair that would fit my 42 year old thighs.  As to whether this was going to make me feel at ease and comfortable in front of the audience?  Um, well, not really, but at least I wasn't gonna look like Grandma,...I hoped!

In addition to the shiny pants, Kristen had chose the all too well known Miley Bustier know, the t-shirt that looks like you're wearing a bustier.  Yup. 

I figured IF we were gonna wear that, at least it would need some I offered to bling the tops a bit with some iron-on rhinestones.  The result was pretty cute if I might say so myself. :)

Here we are with our lovely Teacher, Kristen. 
(L to R) Jessica, Lisa, Brynn, Kristen, Mom Me, Monica 

Come back on Thursday for the "Premiere" of our dance!  Yes, I have it on video....are you scared?  I am.  But I have promised far too many of you that you'd get to see it, and I just can't let ya' down.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Funnies ~ Mommy Rhapsody

I just love Friday, because, well...who doesn't LOVE to laugh?  And it's the day we get to hop around and giggle at all the Friday Funnies around blogland.  If you'd like to join in on the fun, pop over and visit my bestest friend, Kim.

Ladies, I watched this last night with my hubby and was CRACKIN' UP!  Oy!  THIS is funny! LOLOL

If you are a Mom, you will LOVE this...if you aren't you might be scared to become one! :)

If you're kids are asleep, you may need headphones and a towel to supress your laughter! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Miscellany Monday...

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

I was just going to post a few random things, then I happened upon this meme, so figured, someone new "hi Carissa, from lowercase letters", and link up! :)  If you want to join, pop over HERE.

Yesterday I was blessed to be able to host my "nephew" Jeffrey's 8th birthday party.  We always have fun with our best buds, the Wilson Family...

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you MIGHT remember this post about Dance.  Well, here we are in June, and it's recital time...yup, that's right folks "Mom" is in the recital, Saturday I get to stand in front of millions of parents and wear these! 

(or a "slightly altered" version that I doctored up on my sewing machine, but that's a whole 'nuther post all together)...Oh wow...I AM frightened...

I made some super yummy (and mighty healthy) Oatmeal Molasses Berry Muffins today and MUST share the recipe with you...go HERE. :)

I just love my husband more than I can say....

We went out on the boat yesterday...the water was gorgeous, and the sun was HOT...great combo!

I need to refinish my dining room table, and I'm thinking of doing a shabby chic white grey thing to it....thoughts????  Suggestions???? HELP!!!

So, was your week/weekend? :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Abortion Blackout

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Funnies ~ Homemade Pinata...

Today I'm joining my bestest girlfriend, Kim, for her Friday Funnies meme...because we all need a good laugh now and again. :)  If you need one, go HERE.

The title of my Friday Funny is:  Store bought Pinatas are WORTH the money! LOLOL

SOOOO, IF you know Kim, then you definitely know that her house is full of boxes right now.  Her son's 8th birthday is this Sunday and we decided to have his party at my house since we weren't highly interested in playing "who can empty the box in 10 seconds" as a party game.

I don't personally remember the details of this conversation, but we were sitting there chatting and asking the birthday boy what he would like me to make for dinner and discussing general party fun.  When somehow I mentioned a pinata, that conversation lasted about 10 seconds and we moved on.

The next day Kim mentioned that Jeffrey was pretty much expecting a pinata.  Oh.  Hmmmmm.  So, on my next trip to Wally World I perused their selection of $15 pinatas....sponge bob, some strange character with metal nails, tinkerbell....none of these were gonna work for me.  When I was growing up (in a border town), pinatas were a dime a dozen, and they didn't follow "themes" for the most part.  You could easily find a bright colorful party pinata for cheap.  Being the ever frugal gal that I am, I decided "I can JUST make one!!!"....OK????

So, 3 days before the party, (late in the day I might add), I begin researching online about how to make a pinata.  It seems they require 3 layers of paper mache over a balloon.  Each layer must dry completely before the next layer is takes 24 hrs for a layer to dry. 

I whip out the brain and do some math...

At this rate, the pinata will be ready TO DECORATE by Sunday NIGHT....the party is Sunday evening.  For some reason I GO AHEAD with my plan?????  I am certain that in Florida heat the 24 hr drying period does not apply.

The idea is to blow up a balloon, make some flour and water paste, tear strips of newspaper and layer over the balloon.  I can't find a large balloon, so I decide to make it a funky shape and use 5 (yes FIVE) little water balloons all tied together.  Don't ask, just read.

So, I blow up my 5 little tiny balloons and secure them all together at the tips, thinking somehow that wet, soggy newspaper will make them stop moving around????  I begin layering.  The balloons refuse to cooperate, and continue to squish around.  I decide perhaps FIVE is too many and I will choose the 3 largest ones to keep and get rid of the other 3.  How do you get rid of balloons that have already been covered in goopy flour and water mixture?

You pop them with a pin of course.

You just don't do it while standing in your dining room.  Near your antique hutch.  In front of your cloth covered dining chairs.  6 feet away from your freshly cleaned sliding glass doors (you would THINK 6 feet would be ok), and pretty curtains, 3 feet away from your large dining room mirror...just don't do that.

But I did. 

I couldn't take a photo, because my hands were literally COVERED in goop.  But when I pierced the balloons (oh so carefully, so as not to cause a splatter)...the goop flew in ALL directions around my dining room.  I found it on my Berkey water filter, my curtains, my hutch, my glass doors, my mirror, an extremely LARGE glop landed on my dining chair (and refuses to leave), the floor was spattered, the dining table was spattered....let's just say "It weren't purty folks".

Did I give up?  NO!  Determined to beat that Sunday night time line, I quickly cleaned up goop and proceeded to cover my two med/large balloons in paper mache.  Let me stop right here for a moment.

I don't mean to be rude, but two balloons hanging side by side just don't look "nice".  I began to fear that this pinata would be inappropriate...then I decided when it was all said and done and covered in fluffy bits of tissue paper and pointy cones (Because I have a picture in my head) would be fine...

So, here I sit 55 hrs before the party....the 1st layer has not completely dried yet.  My goop bowl from yesterday is in the garage sink, still "soaking", I won't be able to begin a second layer until after I come home from grocery shopping several hours from now....  Chances are I will spend the money and purchase a pinata....I can always rip off sponge bobs face and add a picture of a tractor...right?

I'll keep you posted. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

D.C. Trip ~ Day 6

Day 6:

Cris started his pre-deployment training this day, so Mike and I spent the day alone.  We decided to head back into D.C. to see more places that we didn't see the other day.

We managed to get through the Library of Congress, the Capital Building, the Changing of the Guards at Arlington Cemetary, plus a trolley tour of the city itself. 

I love the detailed architecture of this's really such a work of art...

I just thought this was such a cute photo!  I couldn't resist. :)
Um, is it lunch time yet?  These guys look SO bored!

This is the underground tunnel from the Capital to the Library of Congress, it saves having to go through security twice, and is full of all sorts of photographic history.
Library of Congress, another fantastic work of Architectural art!
To be inside this building, you would think you were in was ALL marble...absolutely gorgeous!
Still some truth in D.C......
Breathtaking, solid marble all around us...
I liked this overcast view as we crossed the Potomac...

 If you ever go to D.C. and want to take a trolley type tour, I highly recommend going early, parking at Arlington Cemetary and taking the TourMobile through town.  They pick up and drop off every 20 minutes and the guides are FULL of information that you can't get on a pamphlet.  However, if your guide suggest the "fantastic" food court in the Lincoln Building for lunch as the "best" place to eat downtown...pretend you didn't hear him and go somewhere else!  We went there and it was full of very busy and rushed business people, strange food choices, and we ended up eating at Subway...not a place I'm fond of, but I was hungry.

I HIGHLY recommend The Corner Bakery Cafe (which we ate at with Cris the other day.  Fantastic food choices, great atmosphere and excellent prices!  We couldn't remember where it was so we didn't eat there that day. :(

 We also went to the White House Visitors Center and went on a free walking tour with a park ranger.  Our tour guide was funny, entertaining and full of lot's of info that we didn't know about the White House, the grounds, security, etc...

Our White House walking tour...did you know the White House belongs to the National Parks?  Interesting huh?
This is a sad waste of a life in my opinion.  This woman has been protesting here...LIVING here...since 1981!!!  It is no longer legal to protest at the White House, however she was there when they passed the law, which grandfathered her long as she NEVER leaves, or has someone cover her post at all times.  She has given up living a life in order to sit here for 29 years.
Think of all the good she could have done in the world elsewhere, LIVING!
A photo of her on her board from when she began protesting...
This peaceful park is across the street from the White House visitors center.  Several business people were enjoying their lunch among the trickle of the fountains and shade of the trees.
Not sure what this was supposed to be, but there were 4 drinking fountains in the middle of it????

Our patriotism toward the military runs pretty deep, both from ourselves and for me several relatives have served in both the military, to include wartime.  Now our own son will be taking a tour in Iraq.  So, needless to say, we felt honored to attend the Changing of the Guard ceremony.  It always brings tears to my eyes to hear Taps played, and it definitely brought tears to my eyes to see these older War time Veterans getting up out of their wheelchairs to stand and salute during Taps (I didn't take photos at that time for respect reasons), most of them stood during the entire Changing of the Guard ceremony.  They were probably the only ones there who TRULY understood the deep meaning of this ceremony, they have lived through things that most of us have no clue about, memories fill their minds that we cannot fathom unless we have lived it.

With help, they all stood at the appropriate moment...

We spent a full day downtown, but no matter if we were tired, we were meeting Cris for dinner.  This is the last time we would see him in a LONG time.  

We met at Don Pablos.  We'd never been there before, so with a big name like that we expected it to be fantastic.  Let me say the fajitas were good.  That's about all I can say.  The service was extremely poor.  We looked at the menu and they had Sopapillas listed, so we ordered a plate to share.  After quite some time, our dessert showed up.  Now, I'm not hispanic or latin by any means, but I did grow up on a border town, and I know good mexican food when I see/taste it.  I KNOW what a sopapilla is, I've made them myself, and I know what they are supposed to look/taste like.  What they brought out to us looked like a large plate full of soggy, greasy, flat triangular pieces of flour tortilla, covered in some sort of goopy thick syrup.  I pinched off the corner of one, they tasted like grease.  They were NOT sopapillas, and I was sad.  :(

I was mostly sad because the evening was ending.  It was late, we couldn't mingle over dessert.  There was no place nearby that we could hang out and have coffee and chat.  This was it.  It was time to say goodbye.  My heart began to ache.

I can't explain the feeling I get in my heart when I hold my son in my arms, it is sometimes so hard to be a Mom. The feelings are almost impossible to describe. Everytime I look in his eyes, I can see so many years of our lives together in my memory; the very first moment I looked into his eyes and held him in my arms after giving birth, him gazing up at me so sweetly, hearing my voice and knowing me…his belly laughs as a chubby toddler, his wild personality jumping off of the couch with a plastic sword stuck through the side of his undies “Peterman”, or “Robin Tood”…his days of winning ribbons at school for being the fastest runner, his scissors getting loose, his beautiful toothless smile as a 2nd grader, playing cards together, making funny faces and talking in character voices, reading books on the swing out back, him not being ashamed to kiss his Mom in front of his friends or hold my hand in public, him bowing his chest when he felt someone was “checking out his Mom” in the grocery store (you haven't seen the "tough guy eye" until you've seen that), the first time I saw him in a military uniform *sigh*…ALL these things, and more, flash through my mind like a snapshot everytime I just look in his eyes.

Then I step back and he goes on to live the rest of his life. Me, knowing that so much will take place in the next 8 months…knowing that he will suffer heart aches, disappointment, fear, struggles, laughter, trials, and I can do nothing to change any of it.  I can only comfort him and pray for him. I love him forever, as long as I’m living my baby he’ll be…

Happy 21st Birthday (June 7th) to my son...I love you so very much...

The next day we drove half way home, taking a scenic route, and the long way home...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Funnies ~ Crazy Apes

Today I'm joining with my BGFF, Kim, for her Friday Funnies meme.  If you need a laugh, head on over HERE and get your fill!

Some of you may have already seen this, but for those who haven't, here is our day of fun Ziplining with GoApe in Maryland...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

D.C. Trip ~ Day 5...Mount Vernon

Day 5:

I love history. Especially early American history, and I've always wanted to visit Mount Vernon. Today was the day, and let me tell you there weren't enough hours in the day to enjoy the place. I want to go back!

Maybe you already knew this, but I didn't, and thougth I'd share the tidbit of info I learned. George Washington's formal education ended when he was just 11 years old. However, he went on to invent, design, build, formulate, plan, conquer...he was an amazing man with a genius mind.

Mount Vernon actually has a "National Treasure 2 Tour", where you can learn a bit about how they filmed on the grounds for that movie and all the ins and outs of how they did it without damanging anything or interrupting the normal run of business there. It was really quite interesting...and as to whether or not there is a "secret passage"...well, I think I'll leave you guessing on that one! LOL

I'm pretty sure I could live here....This home was originally built by Washington's father.  GW added on to it 3 or 4 times over something like 20 years to make it what it is today...
The grainery, busy grinding corn into cornmeal...
Our costumed tour guide at the Grainery explained how the stones (thus stoneground wheat/corn, etc...) worked together to grind the grain...
It doesn't matter how grow up he gets, he still looks like a little boy when he gets cheese cracker residue on his mouth edges....precious! :)

Me and George Washingtons cows...OK, maybe they aren't his ORIGINAL cows...but they live there now!
His gardens were ENORMOUS!  This was not an "eating" garden, but a seed bed...grown only for the purpose of making seed.  He believed firmly that a man should only have to buy seed the first year he starts a garden!
I don't know if you can make this out much, but it was quite a funny scene to see.  At the top of the hill is where the house sits, we are standing on the edge of the Potomac River...he had a fantastic view.  This huge turkey was go nutso and chasing this sheep around, as the sheep ran off, so did a beaver that came out of the trees, was a pretty funny sight.

On the National Treasure 2 Tour...
Yes,...I'm quite CERTAIN I could happily live!

Does this door ring a bell?  Hmmm, guess you'd have to go watch the movie again.  It is actually the door to GW's ice house.  He loved ice cream and had two ice cream makers in there as well.  The design of this ice house was so incredible that he was known to have ice well into June!
Oh how I would LOVE to be the Tender of this garden....sigh...Do you see me hiding in there?
This is what I get when I ask my hubby to pose for me in the garden...
After a stern look from the "Momma Eye"...he "posed" for me,...LOLOL...oh my...

After Mt. Vernon, we freshened up a bit and met for dinner at the Macaroni Grill.  I think at this point in our trip, I was still doing "pretty" well on the healthy eating side of things.  I ordered an appetizer (Bruschetta) and a side salad (Ceaser with the dressing on the side).  My personal opinion?  A pretty place to eat, but the bruschetta was too chunky (basically grape tomatoes cut in half), and it appeared to be served with small slices of toasted mini sandwich bread...not really what I consider "true" bruschetta.  The salad was good. :)  We were seriously jonesing for sweet tea though...we are from the South ya'll....and they just don't believe in drinking Sweet Tea up there in Maryland...ugh!  "I'll have water with lemon, thank you"...

The next day would be our last day in D.C.  Cris begins his pre-deployment training, so Mike and will head downtown on our own to do some MORE Arlington for the Changing of The Guards...