Friday, December 30, 2011

Shaggedy Shag

The floors in our house are cold. I don't know if it's inferior insulation, or what. On the rare occasion that we eat dinner at the coffee table, the girls always have to pull out a blanket to sit on. (No food on the couches!) Pair that, with the fact that playing the Kinect that my grandparents got us for Christmas on said hard floor is hard on the ol' joints and Viola..... time to go rug shopping.

I had seen a rug I really like at Home Depot when we first moved here, but we decided not to buy it since our living room was carpeted. Since that was three years ago, of course they didn't have it any more. It was a nice rich chocolate brown with tan, cream, and robin's egg blue woven into the shag. LOVED IT!

After trips to every store we could think of that had rugs, in the rain, with disgruntled girlies (How dare we drag them around rug shopping on their vacation?) we decided to try the Lowes in Hampton. We had already been to the one in Newport News and didn't find squat. I looked at every rug and remnant they had and... nothing. Then, I pulled back one of the sliders that the special order rugs hang on and, like a ray from Heaven, the light fell on the color swatches for one of the rugs. There it was.... My rug from three years ago. I had skimmed past it because the display rug was beige. After doing a little dance of joy, I drug Den and the salesman over and ordered it! PLUS they were running a 20% off special order rugs deal AND we got a 10% off military discount. Oh, and it ships directly to our door for free.

This is the rug we ordered. You can't really see the other colors woven into the shag,
but I promise when it gets here I will take a close-up. It's made by Shaw Living and is the Shaggedy Shag 8x10 area rug in Cocoa Multi.
Since, my new brown, blue, and cream rug no longer matches the red window valances in my great room, I guess I'll be needing new ones :). Oh, and a new kitchen rug since it's all one big room. And maybe some new dish towels......

We took all the Christmas decorations down yesterday and now I can't remember what I had on the mantle, so I will be looking for ideas over the next few days. That's another post for another day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


After months of telling the girls that they were getting too old for Disney World, we surprised them for Christmas with a Spring Break trip with our awesome travel buddies, the Lindlers.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas Surprise

About a month ago, Dennis told me not to make plans for December 17th, that he had plans for us and that we would need to dress up. I said OK and didn't think anything else about it. Little did I know that he had one of the most amazing evenings we've had in a long time up his sleeve.

The original plan was that we would all just wear our Christmas dresses to his surprise. Unfortunately, as with most things involving Christmas this year, it got put on the back burner and promptly forgotten about. Thanks to my Grandmother, who sent this dress for Paige in the mail earlier in the week and having a dress or two left over from cotillion last year that would fit Summer, we still able to get all dolled up for our big night out.

I made Paige take a picture of me since when I was putting together the calendars that I make for our grandparents every year I noticed that there are very few pictures of me. New Year's resolution number 57 I guess.

The first half of our surprise - dinner at The Melting Pot, which really was a surprise, because, like all men, Dennis always says that there is no way he is paying that much money to cook his own food.

The second half of our surprise just about had me in tears. I have been wanting to take the girls to a performance of The Nutcracker since they were born. It was a Bucket List item for me. So when we pulled into the Ferguson Center, I was SO excited. It was everything I hoped it would be. The dancers were superb and both girls sat completely enraptured for the entire 2 hour performance. Afterwards, they both pirouetted there way to the car and danced all around the house. They still are this morning. Happy momma!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thirty Days of Thankful - Day 2

You HAD to know this one was coming....

Day 2 - My Flyboy
This is my current favorite picture of Den, that I took at the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago. I have been in love with my husband since I was 19 years old and today I am so, so thankful that God put him in my path. I could not ask for a better husband and father for my girlies. His pride and devotion to his country and his brothers and sisters in arms inspires me. His steadfast, overwhelming love for his daughters takes my breath away. And for some strange reason or another, he puts up with me too. Hee Hee. Seriously, though, he is everything I never knew that I always wanted and I will give thanks for him every day that I draw breath.

Thirty Days of Thankful - Day 1

The Thirty Days of Thankful Challenge is rampant on Facebook right now, but I don't feel like it's quite enough just to say, "Today I am thankful for...." without explaining why you are thankful for it. I want there to be more of a back story. I realize that I may be a tad behind since it is already November 7th, so I will be doubling up this week. In theory, I will get two "Thankful" posts a day up here. So... here we go.

Day 1 - Phillippians 4:19-20
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen."

Most of you who know me know that I am not flagrant about my faith. My walk with God is a deeply personal journey and I prefer to keep it that way. Like my walk, this verse is particularly personal to me. The song based off of this verse, Jehovah Jirah, has always been a favorite of mine. My Nanny used to sing it sometimes as she was puttering around the house. Quite recently I have realized that this song, and this verse, have more significance to me that just a happy childhood memory. I will tell you the story of the night that I came to that realization.

Two years ago, and a month after relocating here to Virginia, Dennis was a few days out from heading to Iraq for an Exec tour. I have never really worried about Den when he is deployed. I know that sounds bizarre, but I haven't. This time was different though. I knew he was going to be on the ground. I knew he was probably going to be in convoys. I knew he would probably be going into places that put him at risk. And to be honest, it just freaked me the hell out. One night, after everyone had gone to bed, I pretty much just laid out the couch and very quietly went to pieces. After an hour or so, I went to my bible in search of comfort - anything that would let me know that everything was going to be fine. I prayed that God would give me the words I needed to find peace, and then set my bible down on the table, let it fall open, and closed my eyes and pointed. When I opened my eyes and laid eyes on those words, so familiar to me, it brought on a whole new wave of hysteria. But this one was tinged with relief. Words can not express the comfort I found that night. I KNEW everything was going to be fine.

There have been times since that night where I have gone to bed troubled, praying for God's guidance and woken up in the morning at peace with that song running through my head.

That story having been told, today I am thankful that God has given me reassurance, that He has his own special way of reminding me that He's looking out for me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New project - Week in Pictures

Weekends are the craziest around here between cheer, soccer, and trying to cram as much family time as we can in around the girls' social calendars. As I mentoined in my previous post, there is frequently a back story to the pictures that I post that goes untold. Thus, my new project. Every Sunday night (in theory), I will sit down at the computer and pick out my pics from the week that DO have a back story and share them here. Some weeks I take TONS of pictures, and some (rare) weeks I don't take any. Regardless, there is so much more of our lives that can be shared with the people that we love that are often so far away. Since I can't talk to you all on the phone like I would like to, I feel like this is the best way to close the distance between us.

The Craziness That is Fall

Fall is here and with it comes a whole new level of insanity. This is the first time that I have even thought about the blog since school started. I am hoping to make this more of a priority in the next few weeks. I rely entirely too much on Facebook these days, and it is convenient for getting pics and life in general out to family and friends, but so often, there is a back story that just doesn't make its way to the posts. So... here I am recommitting to the blog for the umpteen-jillionth time. Maybe this time I really will be better about it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The National Zoo

Den had a meeting at the Pentagon first thing Monday morning, so we all took advantage of the free hotel room and drove up Sunday morning. The girls have been dying to go to the National Zoo, so we took the Metro on over.

This pretty much sums up our day at the zoo. A huge line of angry red radar blobs spent the majority of the afternoon marching its way through Washington DC.

We managed to squeeze in a few of the outdoor habitats before the rain started. This is a statue of the Sloth Bear that was being, well, sloth-like and I couldn't get a good picture.

This is a Fisher Cat. I had never ever heard of a fisher cat before, but the name IS pretty self-explanatory. They are cats... who fish. Check them out in action here.At this point the panda bears were nowhere to be seen, so we had to settle for this one.

We never did find an actual anteater

Shortly after the tasty snowcones above, the heavens opened up and we very quickly sought shelter in the Ape, Small Mammal, Reptile, and Invertebrate Houses.
Hee hee. Gorilla Yoga

This is an anaconda. If you think he is big, you should have seen his pond mate. I am pretty sure that it must have eaten the anteater and that's why we couldn't find it.
Hands down the fattest iguana I have ever seen
I seem to have a strange fascination with Komodo Dragons. To me they are the great big poisonous labrador retrievers of the reptile kingdom.

Excuse me madam, but your squishy parts are showing.Who doesn't love a good giant octopus?
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new camera!

We finally got a break in the rain and decided that we had better start the hike back to the metro station. We ran across this photo op along the way.

As we were heading back through the park, we ran across a small hidden sign that said Indoor Panda Viewing and low and behold, look who we found! One last shot before we headed for the train
This is not actually from the Zoo. It is from a random rest stop between here and there. Don't you just LOVE it?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beach Day

Sad but true, the summer is winding down. In a couple of weeks, it will be back to the books - in MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! By some miracle, Paige and her buddies all had a free day, so off to the beach we all went. The girls wore themselve out in the water and we moms got a chance to catch up after a summer full of travels, and baseball, and this, and that. If summer has to end, this was a good way to do it.

Emma, Paige, Lexi, Christy, and Kaylie. This one may be a framer.

And... here it is in color. See what a beautiful day it was? It was 85 degrees and the offshore breeze was wonderful.
They did take breaks from their boogie boards to dig a massive pit in the sand.

Paige and Kaylie

It's a whole pile of trouble!

The waves started picking up after lunch, so they abandoned their boogie boards and jumped around in the waves for about an hour.

And here's their good sides - Paige, Emma, Lexi, Christy. and Kaylie


While Paige was wielding a paintbrush, Summer tied on her cheer shoes and went to cheer camp at a nearby Competition Cheer gym with her besties, Ashlyn and Madison. She had a BLAST!!!

Audrey, Madison, Ashlyn, and Summer

I am not real sure what she was doing here, but I liked the way the picture came out.
All week they worked on a dance routine for the parents.

They worked on stunting some.

Getting ready to tumble

Art Classes

For the last 2 weeks, Paige has been taking some art classes through Poquoson Parks and Rec. She really had a great time, and, although I may be a little biased, I think she may be showing some takent. These were the first formal art classes of any kind that she has taken.

My budding artist - please ignore the bruise on her shoulder - she got it boogie boarding.

The first week, she took a Beginner's Watercolor class. The kids learned how to mix the paints and how the different brushes work. This was her painting from the first day. It's a coral reef.
This class was on color washing, I think.

This is one of my favorites!

This one I am getting matted and framed for my office. The background was done with a water gun!

In this class, the instructor showed them what would happen if they sprinkled salt on their paint while it was still wet. I think it makes kind of a neat effect.

The peacock is still a work in progress. I will have to post about it again when it is finished.

The second week was a Superhero drawing class. The kids were taught about drawing facial expressions and things like that in the first two classes.

Paige's super heroes. Not sure what she is calling them.

I think she was trying her hand at a Japanimation here.

I know that she is planning on adding more details to these drawings and coloring them in. I guess I will blog those along with the peacock.