right now

right now

Jan 3, 2013

Introducing "Practical Santa"

"Wrapping up" the Christmas related posts, I'm getting to the good stuff now. The kids are getting harder and harder to shop for the older they get.  Everything they want is video game related and costs a ton, and sadly for them they don't have the type of parents that value the same things :)

Luckily, the kids still love Legos, and they managed to get a few sets of those, and they are loving the new "more grown up" Lego Technics sets they got from the grandparents!  They got a few other cool things from extended family to include science sets and marshmallow shooters and models to build, none of them are video game related so I am very thankful that the extended family is onboard the same train as I am, haha the "old skool" train!  

It was pretty hard to top the gifts that arrived in the mail, but we got Loch this "Box O'Danger" as I call it... I wasn't planning properly though because he really needs daddy or grandpa or his uncles to help him with this one - I'm sure I will mess this up in a "shocking" way during deployment :)

The hubs got "a toy" for deployment...

I wonder how long his remote control helicopter will work before he smashes it into a bulkhead on the ship or he buzzes fellow sailors while sleeping and they decide to end his fun by throwing the thing into the Persian Gulf?

The newest tradition around here involves Santa.  The kids have figured out the whole Santa deal (I overheard them), but weren't letting on that they knew the scoop.  This is pretty smart of them since they know that means less presents, soooooo....... I dreamt up a new, more practical Santa.  This Santa only brings gifts that we need, or are useful.  Lame, huh?  Ha!

For me... a new dehydrator!

with a sweet camo cover for super-tactical fruit leather :)

Hubs was also happy with Santa this year...

The kids, not so much...I'm nothing if not a sarcastic and practical joker kind of a mom!

They got hearing protection for the whole family...

Also addressed to the boys was a 10 lb bag of chickpeas, 2 jars of powdered peanut butter, mylar bags and O2 absorbers.

They were not amused.

But we sure were!  Practical Santa is here to stay.

Their "real" present came the next day when we surprised them with their first trip to the shooting range!

They were beyond excited!  It was about time as they are the age where curiosity can be dangerous and I want them to be properly educated on firearm handling and know that if they ever want to shoot, they just need to ask their parents and we will go and do some safe target shooting together.  One of my worst fears is that my kids will be at a friend's house and either find a gun or be shown a gun in a house where they are not locked up and I don't want it to be so mysterious and intriguing that they can't help but touch it.  Now they both know they can just ask mom or dad.  We found out that Loch is a pretty good shot, and Finn needs a bit of work.  I am very proud of them since they both took it seriously and really listened to direction and followed all the rules.

If we lived out in the country I think my freezer would be stocked with squirrel right now :)


Finn & Dad
( I know hubs has probably looked forward to this ever since the kids were born!)

I had to take a photo of this little girl, she has a pink Red Ryder BB gun at a range, LOL... 

To quote Finn:  "This was the best day of my LIFE!"

The best present of all for me has to be the hubs getting home and drywalling the hole in wall in the bathroom from the leaky pipe incident!

Now that the holiday is past and all cleaned up I am really starting to look forward to delving into the seed catalog pile... I am up to 11 now!

Jan 1, 2013

My ma always said...

...if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!  That kind of sums up my approach the past few weeks.  I had yet more mini-deployment disasters occur, and then the news of Sandy Hook - well, I just couldn't find words that would suffice and not seem overly angry, frustrated or even that wouldn't be seen as offensive to some maybe, so I just. shut. up.  Take note mom, I DID learn that even if I never quite learned it in time for you to reap the benefits!

Now that I am on the back side of things I think I can tell you all about the never ending list of disasters and have a bit of gratitude as well that things DID get handled, we ARE all safe, and I am sure this will be funny someday.  Well, maybe not that last one.

Back up to a couple of days before Christmas, the boys and I are out (hubby still gone) delivering bags of goodies to some friends and we decide to stop at a shopping center to grab a bite to eat.  Traffic in the parking lot is hellish, I'm in and out of first gear (I have a stick) as I wait patiently to find a spot.  All of a sudden the car dies, smoke is POURING into the cabin through the vents, thick white stuff that smelled like burning plastic, yuck!  I get the car to start again and beeline it (it's now making screeching noises) to the far side of the lot where I'm not blocking traffic.  I yell at the kids to get away because smoke is all over the parking lot now and people are running away...  I go to raise the hood and when I prop the hood up, the stick literally buckles into a U shape, it's that hot!  It's cold, dark outside, creepy part of the parking lot, and now I have to wait with 2 kids for an hour for the tow truck to show up.  Don't get me started on the tow guy, he was a total moron - told him I had a manual and he proceeds to start winching my car up with it in 1st gear and the e-brake on, grrrrr!  Of course there was no "bite to eat" that night and the kids had a dinner of cereal at 9 pm, another great moment in parenting.

It gets better... I was without a car until after Christmas so there was then absolutely no chance of holiday travel... and it cost $1300 to fix, yikes!  My clutch was shot, I also ended up with a new axle as well.  I am floored by this one, I've had Subarus for years and never had issues like this.  I don't ride the clutch, heck my little Subaru Justy had almost 200K on it and was on the same clutch!  I hate to say this but this is the first one I've had that was assembled here in the good ol' USA, not a good feeling.  

Anyway, that's all done and the car is back.  

Now it's the day before Christmas Eve and we are looking forward to picking up the hubs as he returns from the past 2 months of being absent, my text msg lights up.... of course, he's not coming.  On to explaining that to the boys, that was loads of fun.

Then finally, the next morning I hear they are coming back that night, just in time for Christmas - I'll believe it when I see it!

I actually called the tower and asked if they had any flights coming in since I wasn't given a flight number and the guy says "I don't see any but if you want you can come on down and wait and see...", seriously.  Well, that's what we did...just waited in the parking lot in the car!

wonder of wonders, there is a jet, but is he on it?!  

Right about this time is when the other spouses started showing up to hope for a Christmas Miracle... imagine about a dozen women ready to spit nails with over-excited kids - sound fun?!

Finally!  He's here...

(I didn't know when he'd walk through, so you get to see other random homecomings too)

We really had to improvise this Christmas since all our plans for him being home in time to travel fell through and then the vehicle issues but we managed to get through it all anyway.  When friends called Christmas Eve and invited us to go skating, my initial reaction was to decline since I was going to make a small turkey breast and have some semblance of a normal holiday dinner - after thinking it through we decided to just forget tradition this year.  I actually threw that turkey breast in the Crock Pot and we went skating!  I'm so glad we did or I never would have discovered how good it is in the slow cooker, and so easy!  

I didn't even put veggies in with it, just some dried soup mix and broth, it was amazingly moist.  I did put it in the oven for about 15 minutes before serving just to brown it a bit.  Easy Peasy.

Best part?  We got to have FUN, and spend time with friends!