Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Amazing Traveling Pet Shops 2.0

For those if you who are not familiar with the Amazing Traveling Pet Shops, the girls sent 2 Bulldog Littlest Pet Shop toys with Dennis when he went to Afghanistan. He would take pictures of them in various places and send them to the girls. On this deployment they sent 2 lambs. Here are some of their adventures.


Here they are flying over the Alps.


Finally there! Customs at Al Udeid

Tent City
The Sands of Qatar
Time for some refresment - Diet Pepsi and chocolate milk.

Pictures!!!!!!

Dennis sent some pictures of his office and of the view from his office's balcony.


This is the Al Faw Palace

Friday, February 27, 2009

An Update From Dennis

The dust storms are here again It was so bad last night I could not see but three car lengths in front of my car. Another bad day today.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Den emailed me this pic today. I'm not too sure of the story behind it, but I asked him. More later.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The BWD-5 Combat Style

It is a running joke that Den is now flying a BWD-5 (Big Wooden Desk with 5 drawers). Paige even made him a desk with wings out of the Bendaroos that she got for Christmas. Thought I's share the combat version of his new "ride".

This picture was taken by the desk's previous occupant. Knowing how "particular" Dennis is about stuff, I'm sure there will be a lot less clutter once he gets settled in.

Resurfacing

I posted on my Facebook that today was the day I was going to stop wallowing in loneliness and rejoin the land of the living. So far so good. The house is clean, I have on actual clothing (no sweats), and I actually left the house to take Paige to the doctor and go to the grocery store. It's not just that, though. I actually feel better. I wasn't prepared to feel so blue this time. I didn't last time he left and I wasn't that worried about him leaving. It kind of caught me off guard. After talking to my girlfriend last night I realized why. Last time they were all gone. There was tons to do and everyone was in the same boat. Here, it's just him. There isn't that safety net this time. Although, of the friends I've made here, one's husband is at sea until April, one's husband left the day after Dennis, and one's husband is getting ready to leave in a couple of week, so I am definitely not alone. Here's what I think is my solution.

1. I am making a concious decision to get over it. (so far so good)
2. Although I originally planned to not get involved in stuff here like I was in Tucson, I am going to have to because there is only so much HGTV I can watch. I will just have to remember to keep myself in check.
3. I am actually going to USE this gym membership. Exercise = endorphins = happy Sarah. Plus, if I work out enough it will take care of the not sleeping issue. I will try every other alternative before getting my ambien refilled.
4. I AM going to get crackalackin' (sorry, we watched Madagascar last night) on my scrapbooks. Not because I need to get caught up on them, but because scrapbookng makes me HAPPY. Plus Den built me that great desk. It would be a crime to let it go to waste.
5. I will remember that it could be worse. If he had been picked up to go in the next rotation instead of this one he would have been gone a year.

With that, it's time to go move another load of laundry through the washer and dryer. Then maybe I'll get going on some of that scrapbooking!

Monday, February 23, 2009

An Update From Dennis

Goodnight. I have been at work for an hour already. Only about 15 more hours to go today. I guess you don't really need sleep if you're not flying a jet. This is my pay back for making you take care of the babies at night while I was flying I think.
By the way, this place looks just like Del Rio with more palm trees. I am not kidding. I was actually looking for the plastic bag flower farm.
I have not found it yet but I am sure it exists. I have to go and make some more coffee.

Finally There

Dennis made it to Iraq and has already been put to work. More later when he gets his bearings.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't Cry For Me Argentina

The sandstorm is here right now. Not your typical type of dust storm like in Tucson b/c the sand is so fine it looks like fog that tastes like silt....at least the wind is not too bad right now or it could be worse. Still no idea when I am leaving this place. I am sure Harry can't wait for me to get there..and to tell the truth I am anxious to get going as well. The Deid is just too much these days.They have a brand new BX, dorms, and Chow hall that make Korea look bad or worse. The BX actually has a Starbucks, Popeyes, Charley's, and a Chinese food place. They also have this HUGE rec room with ten pool tables, three ping-pong tables, four foos-ball tables, and a huge room with about 15 PS3 and XBOX 360's set up to pass the time. They have all of this, don't get shot at, and get combat pay....makes me sick to think about that poor Army guy out there in the elements.

Getting Her Groove On

This is my first attempt at uploading a video to this site. This probably isn't the best one to start with since it's so dark, but this is too funny not to share. Last night Paige's friend Holly spent the night and we had dinner and a movie night. We watched Madagascar 2 and when the
"Move it" song came on, Summer had to get her groove on.

video

Prayers Prayers and More Prayers

Our very good friend, George Lansberry's son Brandon is 2 years old and has cancer. He desperately needs a liver transplant. I am attaching the text of an email that I got from George this morning. Please pray that all goes well and that this liver, if it works, will save little Brandon's life.

ALL,

We got an offer this morning, but it's not guaranteed.....

The surgeons will travel to Cleveland to harvest the liver and examine it-if it passes, it will be transplanted into Brandon today! We won't know until around 6:00-8:00am but please please please please PRAY for a healthy liver! Pray for the medical staff as they get this organ. Pray for the surgery to be uneventful. Pray for Brandon.

Please pray for the family, for we do not know them but they have chosen to give the gift of life. Pray and tell God to comfort them, and let them know that their decision will save the life of a loving, sweet boy. Pray for this person, whom we'll never know..... The fight's not over, Pray for Brandon.
We love you all
George P. Lansberry

Sandy Nasty

The sandstorm that was in Iraq yesterday is supposed to be moving through Qatar today, so Dennis will not have the opportunity to leave today. He said it already looks like Tucson during a bad dust storm there and the actual sand storm isn't even there yet.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Update From Dennis

Well I am still at the Deid. We took off tonight on a four hour flight on Tyler's Bird. It was a rather uncomfortable ride for me becasue I had to ride next to the spare cases of oil for the jet and had no leg room whatsoever, and Tyler, that webbing cuts into your backside bad. We had to turn around because Baghdad shut down due to a sandstorm taking over and reducing visibility to zero. I have no idea at this point when I am going to be leaving again but I should be leaving soon. I will keep you all posted but for now I am going to get some rest....I have been awake today for about 22 hours and it is wearing on me. Hope all is well and talk to you soon.

What Is This World Coming To?

Some jerk-off ROBBED 2 girl scouts and their leader who were selling cookies outside a Walgreens in San Antonio. Who in God's name can walk up to 2 little girls and ROB them. I know times are tough, but seriously, what is wrong with people? I am so infuriated by this. Is there somewhere in the world where people are still decent and treat each other with respect? I think I'll move there. Pardon my rant, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

This Was Fun

I love all these about me things that have been cropping up lately, but this one has to be my favorite so far. All you do is google your name needs in quotations (ie. "Sarah needs") and write down the first 10 things that come up. Here's mine.

1) Sarah needs a cold shower.
2) Sarah needs to get her life back and establish herself as the person in charge.
3) Sarah needs a Wii.
4) Sarah needs some love.
5) Sarah needs batteries.
6) Sarah needs your manly vote.
7) Sarah needs more love lyrics.
8) Sarah needs to make a cake and some cookies.
9) Sarah needs to hand him one of those weapons.
10) Sarah needs to set up her experiment by finding subjects

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Surprise

This is the scrapbooking area that Dennis built me as a surprise before he left. He built the desk and the ribbon holder himelf almost entirely out of repurposed wood. I am going to put either a corkboard or a magnetic board up under the shelf and try and find a nice lamp. Eventually I am going to get another bookshelf for storing the albums and photo boxes that are underneath the desk right now. I think I have a pretty awesome hubby!

An Update And More

I got an email from Dennis this morning. He is inprocessed at Al Udeid AB, Qatar and after 15 hours of sleep, he is awaiting his ride into Iraq. He should be getting there some time Saturday.

I have been trying to get these pics up all week, but haven't been able to. They are from the last couple of days before Den left.

The girls thought Den's crisp new ABU's were great. Den, not so much


He's making a list, he's checking it twice.

Nothing like a little family bonding over video games!
On the day before he left we caught an amazing IMAX show at the Aquarium.
D-Day - please excuse the puffy eyes. It was 5:00 in the morning. I think it's so funny that the last time Den deployed there was all the fanfare and hooplah. The girls wore their Easter dresses. This time we dropped him off in the parking lot of the Security Forces building in our pajamas.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Countdown to Iraq

Countdown to Iraq - tomorrow. Life sucks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Our Four-Legged Family

Once upon a time we had a cat - and no kids. There are TONS of pictures of that cat. Then Paige came along and pictures of the cat were a thing of the past. That cat has gone on to her eternal rewards, but we have added to our furry family. I post so many pictures of the kids, I thought I would introduce you to the rest of our family.
This is Daisy. She came to our family in 2005. She is a lab-sharpei mix. She is the sweetest dog and super protective. She is always the first to warn us if the wind is blowing or if there is a fire anywhere in a 10 mile radius. She once dug a snake out of it's hole under the tree in our backyard and killed it.


This is Diesel. He also came to our family in 2005. He quite possibly is the dumbest lab ever born. However, his loveable-ness more than makes up for it. When Den is gone he is the man around the house. He is always ready with a lick or two if you aren't paying attention. He will literally eat anything you throw to him, including vegetables. In fact, last Christmas he got the midnight munchies and ate some leftovers, all the cat food, and the gingerbread people off our gingerbread house.



This is Gidget. She is a Russian Blue that we adopted from a rescue in Tucson. She is super intuitive and anytime someone in the house is sick or upset, she hovers around them to make them feel better. She is the typical house cat. When it's cold out she can be found curled up on Paige's bed. (Paige has the warmest room in the house) When the temperature is more comfortable, she can be found just about anywhere, but usually asleep.


Finally, we have Paige's hamster Peanut Butter. As fas as hamsters go she is a pretty good one. She doesn't bite and she is relatively entertaining. She thoroghly enjoys chasing the cat in her ball and LOVE dried corn more than anything. She also likes to ride around the house in Paige's pocket.




Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Green Tip of the Day - Carbon Offsetting

Since Dennis will be flying out in one short week, I thought this would be a good time for this one. The aviation industry accounts for nearly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions. There are several sites like www.carbonfund.org that allow you to make contributions to clean energy industries to offset the CO2 emissions from your flight. It is a fairly inexpensive way to reduce your carbon footprint. For instance, to offset Dennis' flight from Virginia to Iraq would cost us a mere $23.94.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

100 Days of School

Friday was Poquoson ISD's 100th Day of School. It was quite the event. In it's honor, Paige had to make a poster with 100 things on it (stickers) and Summer had to bring in 100 things (Lifesavers) AND collect 100 signatures. Considering we only know about 20 people, that proved to be a bit challenging. She worked the room at church on Wednesday night and at the Harley Davidson dealership and managed to get 93 signatures. Then she went office to office in Den's building and charmed her way into getting her last 7 signatures - and several pieces of candy. She is going to be dangerous one day.


Could you say no to this face?


If only this were real!


Friday also brought report cards! As expected, they both did very well. In fact, Paige made the A-B Honor Roll! They don't do Honor Roll in Kindergarten, but if they did Summer would have been on it too. Not bad for only 8 days of school!




Thursday, February 5, 2009

My New Toy


Since we were traveling cross country for our 10th anniversary, Valentine's Day is going to be a family affair, and Den will be gone for my birthday and Mother's Day, he decided to surprise me with and early present. He bought me the oh-so-fabulous Canon HD Vixia HG20. I can't wait to learn how to use it. Stay posted for my attemps!

Countdown to Iraq and a Green Product Plug


Countdown to Iraq - 12 days

It's no big secret that Dennis and I are closet eco-freaks. It just makes sense to do what we can to save what's left of the planet. We've been eating organic and local foods since Paige's doctor suggested switching her to an organic diet a couple of years ago to help with her asthma. We compost, recycle, etc. Having to reexamine every thing that you do and buy can be a little taxing, so when I come across a great product, I will post it here and give you some green facts about why we chose that particular product. I hope that you will take some of these to heart.

For today, we have .........

Jim's Organic Coffee

We ran across Jim's Organic Coffee at our local Food Lion (the big grocery chain out here). The commissary's organic coffee selection was limited and most of them were from mass market brands. Jim's coffee is 100% organic all the way through the roasting process (which means every bean has been certified by QAI), fair trade (bought from small farms instead of commercial plantations and the farmers are given a fair price for their product), shade grown (huge coffee plantations in South America are responsible for a lot of clear cutting in the rainforest), Kosher, and is roasted in a 100% renewable energy plant (solar, wind, and offsetting) with a staff of 12 (again helping out the little guy). For more information you can go to their website at www.jimsorganiccoffee.com.

By the way, it also tastes good! Dennis is particular to the Sweet Love dark roast blend.

Here are some more random eco-facts about coffee

- Coffee grounds are nutrient dense and are great for acid loving plants (roses, camellias, rhododendrons). You can compost themof put them directly around your plants. Let them cool first, though.

- Instead of using paper coffee filters, try a reusable metal mesh filter. Save some trees! If you are committed to paper filters, look for ones made of 100% recycled content. Also, don't throw them away. They are compostable. Just dump the whole thing, grounds and all, into your compost bin.

- This one is a money saver - unplug your coffee pot when you are finished. Keeping it on the warmer for just 2 hours wastes as much energy as brewing a fresh pot!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Iraqi Vacay

Well, now that the parents and the girls have been told, I can tell the rest of the world. Dennis has been tapped for a 180 day deployment to Iraq. He will be leaving in just a couple of weeks. I will pass on more information as I have it. Any and all visitors this summer are welcome as I would enjoy a few breaks from the insanity. LOL!!! Seriously, though, this assignment is a great opportunity for Den and, although the being away kind of sucks, he feels very fortunate to have been chosen for it. That's all I have for now. More news as it breaks.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Virginia Aquarium

Last weekend we decided to go out and explore our new home. We ended up at the Virginia Aquarium in nearby Virginia Beach. We had such a wonderful time. The girls loved it and Paige, our budding zoologist, thoroughly impressed us with her knowledge of just about every animal there.

The Virginia Aquarium
Hampton Roads native, the great horned owl.
I just love cardinals. They remind me of my childhood.
Whistling Ducks
My very favorite sea creatures - Sea Horses!
A fish-eye view of Paigie.
I'm not sure how Ryan and Sharpay figure into the whole aquarium dynamic, but Summi
couldn't resist!
People watching
Yes, that is Summer's "I'm being eaten by a shark" face.
Nurse sharks overhead.
Da dum. Da Dum. Dadumdadumdadum.
Summer got up close and personal with a Horseshoe Crab.
The Sea Turtle tank was one of our favorite places.
The workings of a wave.
Pelicans on the pond.

Finally Committed

I have been toying with the idea of moving to blogspot for a while. Is is considerably more user friendly than Spaces Live. With the move and all the traveling, I just didn't have the time. SO, today's the day. The Casa de Hargis site will be up for a few more weeks and then I will take it down. Check back here for updates on all the changes going on in the world of the Hargi!