Weight Markers

They are just a simple pair of khakis. Ones that aren't even in style anymore. But they are my "I've reached my normal weight" pants. I know that if I can wear this pair of pants I am there, baby.

I have other markers along the way, like a pair of J Crew jeans. They are my inbetween marker. The one that tells me... you're getting closer! I tried those on the other day just to see. I have an insatiable curiosity.

They totally fit. I proceeded to do my happy dance.

I decided to press the issue. So I tried on my "thin girl" jeans. I knew they weren't going on a thin girl but I had to see how far I still needed to go.

I could button and zip them. It wasn't pretty, and they totally did that pleat thing on the back of my thighs. Uuugly!

Let's just say they didn't enhance my figure.

But, I got them on which is more than I could do a few weeks ago. And I know this because I tried them on even though I knew they wouldn't fit me. It was stupid, but apparently I like to torture myself. Does anyone else do that sort of thing?

I weighed myself today. I've lost 5 more pounds.

Can I hear a Whoo-hoo?!

So, what is the marker for you? Is it a pair of pants, like me. Or a dress, your wedding rings, a swim suit?
Because I love a great link and I needed a viable front for some more adorable Eliza photos...
Don't forget to enter your guess in my contest! You could win some homemade caramel popcorn!

Awww, Mama! More pictures?! This is bordering on obsessive. I know I'm cute and all but really...

Just kidding! You know I love sharing my overwhelming cuteness with the world. I wouldn't want to be selfish...

Alright my friends, let's continue the good practice of sharing... As Daniel says: "Sharing is caring!"

I love a good link, I really do. And I am all about finding a great new blog to follow, which I totally did a few weeks ago. Angella over at Dutch Blitz... she's a rock star. Angella is funny, sweet, real, and boy, does she take some awesome photos.

One of the very first blogs I ever read is authored by a be-A-utiful woman named Crystal. She writes at My Longest Year and is one of my all time favorites. The other day she put up a tutorial for an infant swaddle sheet; that along with her other creations makes me wish upon wish that I could sew. But I can't, so I sit here and gape at the fantastic stuff Crystal and others are able to make. Especially those booty bags by Crystal. (Imagine, a booty bag created from a cute pair of jeans accessorized with some funky ribbon...!) Those are just plain awesome! And so is she. I think I could talk with Crystal for hours ( which we nearly did!) and never come close to running out of stuff to talk about. She's smart, witty, and real, real, real.

You all already know about POW! over at McMommy's corner of the world wide web. Fun, fun! If you haven't linked up, you really should. It's super easy and what's better than window shopping in bloggy land?! Besides, you want, you need, you must have McMommy in your bloglines... she's more fun than eating an ice cream cone on a hot summer day!

Okay, I found this new blog, through POW! a couple of weeks ago. Jenny at ThE SHUTan CLan is a personal trainer, and writes a blog every week on a new exercise we mamas can do to help recover our bodies from pregnancy and childbirth.

Because our bodies are recoverable, it's just gonna take some time!

This weeks exercise sounds a wee bit painful, but without pain there is no gain... right?

Ugh! That is the lamest saying ever. I hate pain. So why exactly did I choose to have three homebirths...? I digress, Jenny totally has hooked me with her weekly exercise. I'm lovin' it!

Another great link is found over at my friend Megan's. She writes at Life Every Day, and is yet another rock star. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff she can pull off all while raising (and raising them well, I might add!) four kids under 5! I am totally digging her Money Mondays. Awesome, applicable, realistic ideas to integrate into your life.

Oh, one more thing... Join in with Jessica's Real Life posts, won't you? It's such fun. Besides, she's awesome, hilarious, and smart. And she's adding her first boy to the Farm Fresh family very soon.

Phew! I'm all linked out for tonight, though I could go on and on. The hot chocolate I made a little while ago is gone (darn!) and I have a hunky husband to hang out with. Lucky, lucky me!

But I'd love to know... any great blogs I should know about? I am ALL about adding to my already busting at the seams bloglines.
Who is the best bargain hunter?- A Contest!

Owlhaven is the originator of this contest, as far as I know. It's such a blast to play, and I even won, once! High five for me...!

I thought I would have a little fun over here, besides, I'm curious! Who of you is my bosom garage sale hunting buddy?

Here's the deal... Look at all the stuff I bought at a garage sale this morning (click on the photo to enlarge it) and give me your best guess.

*What is included is the 60+ pieces of clothing, the two bags of blocks, a bag of dolls and their accessories, and two little girl purses.

I apologize in advance for the poor photo. It was stinkin' HARD to get everything inside the frame!!

The prize... because that's the best part, right?!

Homemade caramel popcorn...made by yours truly and delivered to your door. Delivery will not be by yours truly, but by the package delivery guy.

Happy guessing! Comments will close Tuesday at midnight.

Hi Mom!
My mom and dad arrived yesterday evening for a visit. It's sure nice to see them again. We love having company but the kids love it even more. I thought maybe Eve had springs in her flip flops last night for all the jumping she was doing. But she was just REALLY! EXCITED! that MIMI! and GIGI! are HERE! TO VISIT! for THREE DAYS!!!

Not that I needed any explanation as to the reason she couldn't stop moving.

Five year olds aren't very good at hiding their feelings. Which is a characteristic that can either be really great or really bad.

I prefer the great.

We have a few small plans but nothing major, and I rather like it that way. We are all about kickin' back and enjoying our company... good food, great weather, funny kids.

Have a nice weekend, all!

I'm her "Kanga" and she's my "Roo"

Have I ever mentioned I love wearing my babies? 'Cause I do.

For another lady who like to wear her babies visit Steph over at Adventures in Babywearing
Dessert for Dinner-Take 2: Strawberry Cream Pie
Last night was dessert for dinner again... I see this as becoming a regular Thursday night deal. By this point in the week I'm tired, it's not quite Friday, and we're all in need of a boost.

Dessert was suppose to be a chocolate pudding of some sort, but we headed to base for the afternoon. Pudding just wouldn't hold up in the car until we arrived at our picnic place. It was hot out!

It ends up that we had a lightening storm so the plans for a walk, swimming, and a picnic were dashed BUT we still had Strawberry Cream pie as our dessert for dinner to look forward to.

All continued to be right in my children's world.

Back at home Daddy made a camp fire, lit the tiki torches, and I served up the pie.

And it was good.

If one bite is good, then eating five at once must be better...

A glass of pineapple wine from Okinawa to accompany...

We even had entertainment!

The neighborhood boys were playing baseball and we had front row seats!

Next week, perhaps I will make the pudding. Or something without strawberries... Maybe.

I'm joining in with Trying for a cookie/dessert swap. Head on over and check out some other really delicious desserts recipes!

Strawberry Cream Pie

6oz. cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar ( I used powdered)
1 1/2 pints of strawberries
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 pie crust*
( *I typically make a graham cracker)

Whip the heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar together until peaks form.
Place in a separate bowl. Beat cream cheese in mixing bowl until smooth. Add in whipping cream mixture and combine until creamy. Spread into pie crust and refrigerate.

Crush half of the berries in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add in cornstarch (** Mix cornstarch with a small amount of fruit juice before adding to the crushed strawberries)
Cook until a medium thickness is reached. Cool.

Place the remainder of the strawberries top side down on the top of the pie. Cover with the cooled glaze. Refrigerate until set. 1-4 hours.
Week 2 of Real Life at the Hubs...

I am joining in with Jessica over at Farm Fresh for a another glimpse into my real life. This week she asked for junk drawer, favorite jewelry, from whence I blog, and my best feature.

Real life... Let's have it!

First off my junk drawer. I don't actually have one. I swore that in this house there would be no junk drawer because the one I had in Vermont was so embarrassing. This is a drawer where I keep stationary and stamps, along with a random roll of packaging tape. It's as close to a junk drawer as I will allow myself.

If you are feeling entirely jipped I will show you our cupboard filled with random stuff. I hate random stuff...

Feel better?

From whence I blog...

Usually I blog here because it's either early, early morning or very late at night

But, if I blog during the day I do have a computer in my kitchen, which thanks to my husband is "wireless." It's also huge, and is awesome for following a recipe off of because I can turn it around to face my counter top. I just pick up my mouse and keyboard, bring it over to the other side and away I cook!

My favorite piece of jewelry...

This was simple. It's my wedding set. Every time I look at it I am reminded of Daniel's love. I couldn't imagine any thing better.
Eve wanted to help with this picture. She'll take any and every opportunity to wear my rings. She tried to talk me into letting her wear my wedding dress too... I nearly caved.

Lastly, my best feature...

I'd have to say that it's my hair. It's got the perfect amount of curl, it straightens like a dream, and of course it's flamin' red.

This wraps up another edition of Real Life hosted by Jessica. Go check other Real Life posts out, and say hi to Jessica. I wish we could be BFF's, she is my kind of girl!
And this is where I come to the startling, but not suprising, realization that Daniel and I do not breed vegetarians...
Hey Daddy, that burger looks really good...

Hand it over...

(I learned that word from my Ce-Ce! Aren't you proud?!)

Daniel grilled hamburgers and hot dogs out on the back patio last night. It was excessively windy, which makes everything more fun as far as the kids are concerned. They whoop and holler with the gusts, dancing around the backyard without a care in the world.

I felt like a model stuck inside a wind tunnel

Eliza loves it too. Though, we all agreed that last night the wind was rather aggressive.

It is so wonderful to have a patio and backyard to enjoy these warm summer nights with. Daniel bought me a fire pit, but only because I practically begged him. He now sees the wisdom in such a frivolous purchase. We love it. Love it, love it.

Tonight, as I made dinner, I watched through my kitchen window as four young boys played a pick up game of baseball in the backyard. They used a bright orange plastic bat which hurdled the ball a whopping eight feet even with the mightiest of thwacks.
I saw two blonde haired girls, definitely sisters, practically beat each other senseless over who held the leash for the dog. They were screaming, and pulling hair, hitting, and yelling. Until they saw the rest of us. Their captive audience. They hurried on down the sidewalk, but I could still hear them screaming at each other. I might have laughed. It was quite ridiculous.

All of these things, in the last two nights... the barbecue, my children dancing and running through the backyard, the boys playing baseball, and the siblings fighting.... all of this combined made me feel as though there are some things still right in the world.

The simplicity of summer nights spent in backyards.

Now, if we could just make some friends to share it all with...
A bowl of cherries...
Life isn't always a bowl of cherries! I've had a lot on my mind lately, and tons going on in my life. I have a hard time juggling a lot of balls at once, so this last week and a half has been a little bit trying. But, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel...

Yesterday we enrolled Eve in Kindergarten. Whew! That was a huge weight off of my shoulders. We've had four options to consider concerning schooling. We had public school, private school, a Montessori-type school, and homeschooling. It was a really tough decision for us. There were great, fantastic points about each. And of course, we wanted the best for our sweet girl.

But what was the best? There was the best for her, the best for our family, the best for our budget... There was a lot to consider.

And I tend to over-think, as a hobby, so my brain has been on over-drive for the last couple of weeks.

Yesterday we made our decision. We chose the private school. It isn't the best for our budget, in fact it will nearly break it with the tuition being 4000 dollars a year. But it is, what we believe, the best for Eve and our family. Daniel and I are both really, really excited for her.

I have to admit I am struggling with the thought of having her gone all day long. I love having all three of my babies right around me, I love Eve's perspectives, and her humor. I love how she enjoys life to the fullest.

It is the thought of missing her learning moments that bothers me the most. I want to see the lightbulbs go on in her head; she gets SO excited about learning, just like her Daddy. It is such a beautiful thing to watch.

Homeschooling would make sense, but I freely admit to not having the inner fortitude to teach Eve and deal with two very small children. And run a household, take care of my husband, and you know... survive. Some of you, I know, do it. And do it with excellence. I would not. And it would be miserable.

So, the school thing is settled. For Eve.

Daniel is going to take classes again, he is so close to his bachelors he can taste it. And we have plans you know. He is in the Air Force and subject to the whims and fancies thereof, but, we have a master plan in mind. Our plan includes a Masters degree within the next 5- 7 years. I think that is entirely reasonable for having a full-time job and three children, don't you?

As for me.... Daniel is going to sign me up for a couple of classes at the local college. Photography classes. And I could not be more excited. Unless it was cooking classes. In that case I would be over the moon... But, photography excites me - thrills me. It makes me feel alive! I am thrilled to have an opportunity to do something just for me. And I am thankful for a husband who sees the importance in that.

So this little post wraps up a bit of what has been swirling around in our lives for the last few weeks. There is more but the day must be tackled.

I think I'll make lemon scones today.... Want to come over?

Back to Business... Emails, Luvs, and a Half Birthday
Alright you crazy party animals, it's time to get back to business!

(**If you don't have children in diapers, just scroll on down to "an important service announcement!" Beeeeep!)

First off I have to let you mothers with children in diapers know about a pretty great deal going on with Luvs. I was asked to let you all know about a $5 coupon that is going to be available on the Luvs website tomorrow June 25th.
I looked at the price of Luvs diapers today at the Commissary - Whew! What a great deal! I have never used that brand before, I'm a Pampers buying mama, but for the price I may just switch over.

I'll let you know what I think after I try out the package I am being sent to review.

In the meantime, let me know what you think. Do you use the Luvs brand of diapers? Do you like them?

Next up... McMommy had a post about a subject I've been struggling with.

The "noreply-comment@blogger" issue.

You guys are killing me. You say the sweetest things to me, you ask me questions, you are hilarious and I want to tell you so BUT I CAN'T! I click on "reply," all ready to send you an e-mail and up pops "noreply-comment@blogger." And then I feel sad because it probably feels like I am ignoring you, or not appreciating your fantastic comments. BUT I DO!

So, visit McMommy, enjoy her awesome sense of humor, and do what she says (it's really easy!). It will be so fun to chat back and forth with you.

By the way, tell her I sent you. Oh and tell her she's super cool while you're there. 'Cause she is!


My favorite baby girl is 6 months today! Can you believe it? I can't. Nor does it make any sense. Wasn't she just born?!

This sweet baby of mine has the best smile. She has melted many a heart with her dimpled, open-mouth smile.

Her fingers have wrapped tightly around many a strangers hand. Who can help but reach out and touch her. She is so lovable.

She has an excellent eye for fine jewelry.

She makes the best motorboat noises ever. The sounds that comes out of her mouth thrill her to no end. I have been the happy and wet recipient of many a passing motorboat...

My baby, who is the precious reminder of a God who loves me. He gave me such a gift in Eliza. Happy six months, "sweet thang!"
Girls Versus the Lime
There was a lime...

And a girl with some mad muscles...

Then two girls with super mad muscles...

We totally won. The strawberry daiquiris were awesome.
Too fast....
Do you ever feel as though life is just moving too fast? It sure does to me.

It feels like my children are moving at the speed of light; they are constantly changing, growing taller, learning a new skill or word or behavior.

I woke up the other morning to a beautiful five year old girl with gangly legs. Where did that last bit of baby-ness go? I wanted to wrap her up in my arms and cry. It doesn't seem fair. I'm so busy putting out "fires" all day long that I feel as though I don't have time to observe the process of my children growing.

What I really want to do is sit on the floor and watch my children grow. I want to mark each step with delight! I don't want to turn around like I did the other day and discovered Eve's legs had grown five inches. Or all of the sudden hear Judah talking like he's a big boy. No! He's my baby boy. None of that talking in full sentences complete with reasoning skills. No! Worst of all, my sweet baby 'Liza is turning six months in a couple of days. How in the world is that even possible?

And I don't even feel like my priorities are out of whack. I do the things that need to be done. Yet I feel as though I barely have time to enjoy my children. Really enjoy them. I feel as though life is just speeding by and I missed the train.

Yesterday Eve had a lesson in how to ride a bike without training wheels. Why must we be at that point already?

I say... training wheels forever.

"No, Eve, you may not grow up. I won't allow it."

"Why, mama?"

"Because I said so, darn it!"

It's too bad I'm not in charge. Life would be so reasonable.

I think what this all boils down to is that I am scared. Scared that I will have regrets when I get to the end of life. Regrets that I didn't give my children all of me, only parts. Scared that I will have always been tired or won't have remembered the small stuff - the details that are so important to my little ones.

That little poem haunts me - you know, this one:

Song for a Fifth Child
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth, empty the dustpan,
poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue (lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due (pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo,
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up,
as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs.
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Gosh, I feel like crying every time I read that stinkin' poem. Probably because it's so true; babies don't keep. After three of them I have found that out, much to my chagrin.

But, I must go now because I have a babe to rock...

Peach Mojitos and Life....

David and I made Peach Mojitos together last night. He squeezed the limes, I pureed the peaches. I added the sugar, and he squeezed some more limes. He wiped his freshly washed, cold, wet hands on my back so I spanked him in the game Life... It all evens out in the end.

It was a fun, yummy, kind of cold ( I've only been cold one other time since I've moved here!) night. Daniel was the Life king, but only by 15,000 dollars. I nearly beat him too.

Tomorrow night... Yahtzee. Any delicious, summer drink suggestions?
Laughing 'til I cry...

I believe I failed to mention that my brother and his girlfriend are here visiting (!!!). We are all so excited and are having way too much fun. I have laughed so hard I cried, I've stayed up too late, I've eaten some really good food, and had 15,000 photos taken of me in rapid succession (my brother is mildly obsessed with my camera).

Last night we sat out on the patio and played Uno, the smoke from the fire pit made my eyes sting but I didn't care I was having such a great time. We played only two games, the second one lasting approximately 2 hours, 14 minutes and 28 seconds. It was insane. While we were out there we were viciously attacked by giant moths, I nearly tipped the table over 12 times, and laughed my butt off at my husband who, for nearly the entire second game, held half the deck in his hands. Such a good time.

We all woke up early this morning to a wild and crazy rain/wind storm. I have never, in my entire life seen wind blow so hard, nor rain beat down like it did. I was scared! I could feel my house moving. Not the greatest feeling in the world, to say the least. (Have I ever mentioned I am scared of thunder and lightening? 'Cause I am. It was doing that too.) I finally fell back to sleep and when I woke up I saw blue skies, big puffy clouds, and a slight breeze ruffling the trees. It was so weird.

Now I am off to continue to enjoy my brother's visit. I so wish we could all be stationed at the same base... That would rock my world.
Real Life at the Hubs....

I am joining in with Jessica over at Farm Fresh for a glimpse into real life. I always strive for transparency on my blog but this was taking it to a whole new level! I mean a picture of a toilet! Wow. Are you ready, 'cause here we go!

No picking up, no Photoshop, nothing...

First off here is a picture of a closet. I love this little closet, it's perfect for all the little inconsequential stuff I need to have available. And yes, it's an organized mess. I know where everything is.

Next up the fridge. I hate showing people my fridge. I don't know why, I just do. But I love you all so I'll sacrifice my pride...

The kitchen sink. I love having a window over my sink. It satisfies my nosy side, not that I have any neighbors to be nosy with!

Jessica asked us to include a picture of what our kids were doing. Judah was riding his bike all around the house. I love having an open floor plan because it allows the kids to run and ride through the whole downstairs. That means lots of 'Pop goes the Weasel,' laughter, and screaming!

The toilet. Need I say more...

This is what Eve and Eliza were doing... laughing!!

Here is my laundry room. Can I just tell you how thrilled I am with this room? Okay, I am totally thrilled! It's right next to my kitchen which means there is much ease in the laundry cleaning process. Plus, I can hear the washing machine go off which means I don't leave wet laundry in there overnight and have it get moldy. Which is totally a hypothetical situation... ahem.

My favorite pair of shoes. The least worn, but the most loved.

A self- portrait. I, for some reason just can not be serious. I mean, do you really want to see another picture of me with a smile... boooring.

Besides, I was trying to hide the fact that I was eating ice cream...

But, Jessica did say real life. So here I am in real life eating ice cream. Or should I say "ice cream?" It's actually Rice Dream which is ice cream made with rice milk. It took me like two years to get use to the taste. I love it now! It's either make the ice cream myself (Which I love to do, but seriously, I have three small children which equals zero time for that!) or eat Rice Dream. Cookies and Dream is my preferred flavor....

I know, I was suppose to include a picture of my favorite room in my house but I forgot. I'll catch you another time with it, okay?

I hope you enjoyed your little "real life" tour of our house. If you want to see more go over and visit Jessica. She's awesome!
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