A Group Of Stahrs

Our Family Life…All Together

Ten On Tuesday

1.  I bought a new scale last week.  The one we replaced was the old-fashioned kind where it would bounce back and forth until landing on the weight.  The new scale is digital and apparently pretty accurate.  It told me I was 14 pounds heavier than my old scale did.  I checked it with 3 other scales.  The new one is right, unfortunately.  So more motivation, right?

2.  I’ve been working out with a group of ladies for about 3 weeks.  They are teaching me how to use the machines at the gym and what weights to use and what exercises to do.  It’s been fun.  Excruciatingly painful, but fun! 😉

3.  Jacob had a field trip to McDonald’s today.  They were given lunch and a tour of the place.  The point was for the kids to see the finance part of a restaurant and see how money works in a place like that.  He said his favorite thing about the trip was playing at the play place.  He did tell me all about the kitchen, fridge, and freezer and was excited about watching them make french fries.  So there’s hope that he got something out of it that was beneficial.

4.  Jamie had a field trip to Snow Basin on Friday.  She was given a choice to snowboard or ski.  She chose snowboarding.  When she came home, she announced that snowboarding is a spectator sport for her and then pulled up her bangs to show me why.  The side of her forehead decided to try to break up a bit of snow.  The snow won.  She still has a bit of a brush-burn-type bruise but otherwise is just fine.

5.  Speaking of field trips, Jeremiah is going to Snow Basin on Friday…to snowboard for the first time.  He’s been skiing a few times but never snowboarding.  Hopefully he will come home with no broken pieces.

6.  Mazie has a HighMarket day on Thursday.  The junior high kids get into groups and make a product.  Then they set up a table and sell their goods.  Kind of like a craft fair.  Her group made bracelets and things out of duct tape.  She’s really excited about it.  It should be fun to see what the other groups are doing and how it all works out.

7.  Tonight after supper, Jamie and Jacob were riding bikes in the sun.  Then it started to snow.  Just a quick squall that didn’t amount to anything but they were bummed since they had to come inside.

8.  Jacob turns 7 one week from tomorrow.  Time is going way too fast for this Mama.

9.  Jamie came home from school yesterday in tears.  Big crocodile tears streaming down her face.  It took me a good 10 minutes to calm her down enough to tell me what was wrong.  Her teacher is no longer her teacher for personal reasons.  I am sure it was an extremely tough decision for her to make.  She is a great teacher and Jamie adores her.  So yesterday was rough for Jamie (as I’m sure for her teacher and other students).  This made me think of all the great teachers we have had up to this point.  My kids have been blessed with some spectacular teachers in their lives.  This means that we’ve been blessed as parents because these terrific teachers have made learning fun and interesting for my kids.  So thank you to all the great teachers out there who care enough to make learning awesome!

10.  I love my husband.  This is not new news.  Just something I wanted to share.

On that note, Happy Tuesday!

Ten On Tuesday

1.  Jacob woke up on Saturday and stated that it was one of his very favorite days of the year.  The rest of his very favorite days of the year are March 2-31, with March 26 being his absolute favorite.  So the whole month of March is his very favorite!

2.  Since his 7th anniversary of his birth is coming up on his absolute favorite day of the year, I would like to share some of what is on his birthday list.  Besides the obvious cars and trucks and other boy things, he has asked for a baby brother and a baby sister.  I tried to tell him that regardless of the fact that we can not medically add humans to our family anymore there just isn’t enough time to grow a baby.  He decided to keep them both on his list.

3.  Jacob said he wants to see the Mr. Peabody movie and go for wings for our annual date.  It’s our first with something other than just eating supper.  He seems excited to go this year which makes me happy!

4.  If you heard squeaking today (like an old hinge needing to be oiled), it may have been my lower body.  I may have overdone my workout just a bit on Monday and then added to it today.  I can barely walk without wincing (or crying) but I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s workout.  May as well get the rest of my body sore while I’m at it!  After nearly 7 years of not exercising with weights, I’d say I’m doing pretty well.  At least I can move, not well, but I’m still moving.

5.  Speaking of tomorrow, there is a scheduled power outage for the housing area on base.  From 8am to 4pm.  Six whole hours of no power.  Good thing the kids are in school most of that time.  For those of you who have lived in base housing, is this a normal thing?  This is the second time for a scheduled power outage.  The last one was scheduled for 4 hours but didn’t take that long.  I’m hoping tomorrow’s doesn’t last all day.

6.  The kids are taking a little vacation this summer…without the parents.  All three of them are going to Pennsylvania for almost 2 whole weeks.  Plane tickets have been purchased so there is no turning back.  Pop Pop has graciously invited them to stay with him while Jeremiah and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.  It will be the longest time I have spent away from any of the kids since birthing them.  The longest up until now has been 4 whole days when Mazie was 18 months.  God, help me!

7.  What are Jeremiah and I going to be doing?  We are taking a trip to a Sandals resort in Negril, Jamaica.  Aside from being away from the kids for that long, I simply can.not.wait.  It’s going to be fun!

8.  It’s going to get busy around here pretty quickly.  The Stahrs have lots going on in the next few months…Jacob’s birthday, Jamie’s birthday, there’s a promotion to Lt Col in there, a wedding in California, just to name a few.

9.  It’s been raining here.  A lot.  While I realize that rain is better than snow (for those of you East of us, sorry for the whining), it’s just so gloomy.  I guess it’s just going to take some getting used to…all this doom and gloom…I miss the 300 days of sun in colorful Colorado.  At least the grass is turning green.  There’s a plus!

10.  Since I’ve been such a great blogger lately, I may have forgotten to update about Jacob and Jeremiah’s Man Day a few weeks ago.  Jeremiah surprised Jacob with tickets to the Monster Truck Jam in Salt Lake City.  Jacob tried his hardest to guess the surprise for days with things like getting gas or running errands.  He had no clue it was for them to see monster trucks.  When they got home, I asked how it went.  Jacob ran up to me and said, “It was incredible”.  He didn’t even know where to start, he was so excited about what they saw.  Huge points for Dad!  I can’t wait for my surprise Girls Day.

Happy Tuesday!

10 on Tuesday on Wednesday

This was supposed to be a 10 on Tuesday but now it’s Wednesday and we’ll just go with it.  Ok?  Great!

1.  The girls had a mini cheer camp a few weeks ago.  They practice short dance routines and a cheer or two and then performed at one of the boys basketball games.  It was quite fun to watch.  Jamie surprised me most by being able to do a Herkie jump.  Trust me, she jumps a little like her mama so I wasn’t really expecting her to get off the ground but she did it and was so pleased.  This isn’t a great picture but you can see her doing it nonetheless.

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2.  Mazie was a natural.  I mean, really, did you think otherwise.  Big mouth, lots of energy, bouncy…

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Seriously, the girls had fun and Mazie has decided that she wants to try out for the cheerleading squad in the Spring.  I guess the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. 😉

3.  I cleaned out my way of eating one month ago by following the Paleo or Caveman way of eating.  Basically, if the cavemen didn’t eat it, I don’t either.   I am sugar, dairy, and grain free and feel great!  I eat lots of veggies, fruits, and meats.  I have never had this much energy, ever.  Quite frankly, I was tired of being so tired all the time.  So it’s been great and I look forward to finding more recipes to enjoy!

4.  Since I started that by the way, I have lost 6 pounds and 12 inches total off of my body.  Four inches just off my hips…yep, the saddle bags are leaving…because I have had so much energy, I’ve been able to make it through insanity workout and running as well.  Jeremiah has been meeting me at the gym to run on the track when it’s too cold or rainy outside.

5.  Jeremiah had an office olympics at work today.  I really wish I could have seen some of those uniformed officers competing with the hula hoop.  Jeremiah’s group, known as the misfits, won 3 gold medals and a bronze medal.  I’m not really sure that constitutes work these days but it was a nice break from their normal routine.

6.  Mazie and I registered her for her 8th grade classes yesterday.  I had to go into one of her classes to help her fill out her form.  The counselor seriously has no clue how to be a counselor in my opinion.  Mazie had clearly marked her electives by number (#1, #2, #3, etc) and the counselor asked her which was her first choice.  I was ready to smack her since I wasn’t her biggest fan after dealing with her about the whole band situation (if you follow me on facebook you will understand where I’m coming from).  Mazie simply said, “I already marked them in the order I would like them to be.” The counselor mumbled under her breath that the choices that were on the paper were going to be picked first and not her write ins.  Mama Bear may have appeared out a little and snapped that she already couldn’t choose Band I or II (which was already on the form and not a write in) because the school isn’t offering Band II and she wrote what she wants instead.  I swear I said it as calmly as I could and the counselor proceeded to make a note on the form to make sure Mazie would get what she asked for.   I gave Mazie a hug and kiss and left her to the rest of her class.  I really don’t like when Mama Bear has to come out.  It doesn’t happen often and it typically involves someone being stupid.  I really hated out flippant the counselor seemed to be about the whole situation.

7.  Jamie and Jacob both have Valentine’s parties on Friday.  They worked really hard on their Valentines cards to their friends.  Jeremiah and I are going out on Saturday since we have a really cool (read FREE) live in babysitter! Thanks Mazie.  On Sunday, Jeremiah and Jacob are having a Man Day and going to the city to see the Monster Truck Jam.  Meanwhile the girls are going to Target to spend money. 🙂

8.  Jacob fell yesterday.  It was quite funny actually.  He just tripped over his own two feet and landed flat on his face.  No bruises or anything to complain about but the kid would not stop crying.  His pride was wounded way too much since he did it in front of his pretty little sisters.  Dad and I happened to be there too.  So I snuggled with him for a good 10 minutes on the big chair.  Just him and me.  It was so nice even if he was upset.  Hey Jacob, you can fall anytime you want to…I’ll be here.

9.  So we’ve been watching the olympics.  They’ve been entertaining.  Jacob is seriously irritated with the “backwards” commercials.  You know, the commercials that start with the olympic athlete and go back to when they were barely walking and on skates or skis.  Every time one comes one he sighs and says, “Ugh, another backwards commercial!”

10.  I am impatiently waiting on a FedEx delivery.  It is going to up my Cool Mom status a lot so naturally I can not wait!  I’m just going to say that my “Mother of the Year” plaque would be cool if it was red and ready to hang…I’d fill you in but Mazie and Jamie read the blog.

On that cliff hanger, I’m out.  Happy Tuesday!

Ten On Tuesday

1.  Jeremiah’s birthday was fun.  We took him out to eat at his favorite restaurant, Olive Garden.  Then we came home and almost burned down the house with all the candles…

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2.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to blow out all 37 candles but he sure did…without taking an extra breath and without needing oxygen!  IMG_0005

3.  I am very well aware that I am 5 weeks older than he is but if I don’t pick on him, who will? I love you, Jeremiah!

4.  Mazie’s was a bit more eventful.  Aren’t all the kids’ birthdays?  She decided to open her gifts in the afternoon…

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5.  She insisted on her very favorite strawberry cake and ordered up a big one too.  She wanted it to be for all her friends here on base.  She invited them over and she made all the arrangements and I let her.  It was the least I could do since I didn’t want to face the fact that she was turning 12 ;-)!

6.  So when the neighbors arrived, we all sang Happy Birthday (Jacob was a little lively with his version) and she blew out all 12 candles in one big breath.

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Then we cut the big cake (you can read the details here) and enjoyed some homemade vanilla bean ice cream with it.

7.  She requested homemade spaghetti noodles with meatballs for her birthday feast.  We were finishing up when the clock struck 5.39pm…

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8.  Not sure how she is 12 already when I haven’t aged a day since I had her at age 25…

9.  Her annual birthday date with dad was this past weekend.  They went to see a movie (The Nut Job) and out to eat at Olive Garden.

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10.  That’s all I have for today.  Happy Tuesday!

Christmas & New Years Wrap Up

There are a few big celebrations coming up in the next few days so I figured it’s time to close out last year and get on with the new year.  Just before Christmas we had a Winter Wonderland here on base.  It was simply breathtaking and I couldn’t resist grabbing my camera after taking the kids to school to drive around and take a few pictures…

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IMG_0006 If you follow me on instagram or facebook, you’ve seen a few things our Elf was up to over the Christmas season.  While we do not use him for behavior purposes, it was fun to see the kids’ expressions when he up to something.  Here is one of his last “stunts”.  He was having tea with Snowboarding Barbie…

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Christmas Eve was fun.  Jacob and I started (what I hope to be a new tradition) dancing by the Christmas tree.  Maybe someday he will actually be able to dip his dance partner without throwing them on the floor…

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IMG_0027 I’m pretty sure Dad wouldn’t mind it becoming a tradition either.  The dogs probably could do without it 😉IMG_0021

IMG_0032We set out the carrots (shredded this year because someone may have forgotten about the baby carrots for the deer), reindeer food, milk and cookies…IMG_0039The kiddos went to bed and we went to work setting out all the gifts for the morning craziness.  They actually slept in!  It was at least 8:30 before we really got started.  I couldn’t believe it!  We took our time and opened everything completely before moving onto the next thing with breaks for cinnamon rolls.

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We spent the rest of the vacation playing with our new gifts.  We also went on a few outings over the break.  We went to the planetarium in Salt Lake City.  We went to the movies to see Frozen.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it.  It is one of the best Disney movies we’ve seen in a long time!

New Years Eve was fun.  We broke out Monopoly (the M&M version) and introduced the kids to the wonderful world of investments and managing their money!  Jacob was a little too young to fully understand but with help had fun with deals and such.

I made a new family favorite.  Tater Tot Bacon Bombs…

IMG_0001Seriously, it’s the first new thing in a while that we have all agreed on!  That’s saying something.  I mean, really, how can you go wrong…bacon, tater tots, cheese.  Did I mention bacon?

We had our traditional fondue…

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Thanks to Pinterest, the kids were able to pretend to be older for the night.  Milk shots!

IMG_0004The kids got a kick out of the cute drinks.  We also had some sparkling grape apple juice to toast in the New Year when the ball dropped on the East Coast at 10pm our time! (there’s a benefit to the time zones).  Mom and Dad had the champagne.

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We had our traditional good luck meal of pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day.  The kids started back to school and Jeremiah went back to work and life got back to normal.  That’s our end to 2013 and beginning of 2014.  Happy New Year!

Ten On Tuesday

1.  I sent out all my Christmas card yesterday.  Actually, all three kids took a small stack each to the mailbox and forced them into the outgoing mail slot.  It was fun to watch!

2.  I mailed all the packages we sent to people all over the country last week.  So if you get a package from us normally, it should arrive soon!

3.  Yesterday I finally finished all the Christmas shopping.  I was so late this year.  I blame moving.  Everything went so fast after we moved in.  But everything is wrapped and ready to place under the tree.

4.  My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night.  It always has been.  What’s your favorite?

5.  At the end of the school day on Friday, the school had a Christmas concert.  The choir, the guitar class, and orchestra performed a song each.  The band of 10 students performed 3 songs and then the whole group played 3 more songs where the elementary students could sing along.  I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling at the kids singing.  I’m pretty sure they were having a great time singing while the big kids were playing.

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6.  I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite!

7.  I made some chocolate fudge today.  For the first time.  Not sure if it turned out but I’m pretty sure the kids will eat it anyway.  I mean, it’s chocolate after all.  I also made pretzel bark and peppermint bark for us to eat here (as in not to be mailed or given away).  I have also been asked to make cornflake wreathes, peanut butter temptations, mint truffles, and sugar cookies.  I’m thinking we will space them out and they will be holiday season cookies instead of just Christmas cookies.

8.  The kids have off starting after school Friday until January 2.  They go back to school for Thursday and Friday (with an early release on Friday since that’s how Fridays are here).  Does anyone else go back that early or do you have off the rest of the week and go back on Monday?

9.  We always have cheese fondue (and then chocolate fondue for dessert) on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.  Then we have a brisket dinner for Christmas and Pork and Sauerkraut dinner for New Years for good luck.  What are your traditions?

10.  There are a lot of questions for you to answer.  Let’s see how many will share your answers!

Happy Tuesday!

Ten on Tuesday

1.  After Thanksgiving, time didn’t slow for the Stahrs.  We spent the weekend gearing up for our Pop Pop Christmas.   It’s an actual holiday around here.  It’s not on a set day like Christmas but is dependent on when Pop Pop is available to be here and celebrate with us.  So we decorate the house and got our tree (on November 30 which has never happened in our house before since I’m usually a stickler for not doing anything Christmasy until December)

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but it was done and it was fabulous.  After all a skirt is a skirt, right?

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2.  The kids were pretty excited about Pop Pop Christmas this year.  I mean, who wouldn’t be?

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They tore into their gifts and it was way too much but they loved it.  They are thoroughly enjoying all their new things and it’s been just grand.

3.  We also celebrated Pop Pop’s big birthday.  So with my new toys from Pop Pop, I made homemade spaghetti noodles (for the first time) with homemade sauce.  Then we had lemon drop cake with vanilla bean icing.

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4.  Do you remember the last post about all those Thanksgiving treats for our little dessert party?  Yeah, I’m not gonna lie about purposely ignoring the scale the last week…

5.  So my birthday happens to be the day after my dad’s.  Jeremiah took the day off and worked very hard on my angel food cake.  He opted to go with the boxed version to make sure it would turn out this year.  He hasn’t been very successful with this cake the last few years.  In his defense it is a difficult cake to make and he has the altitude against him.  The cake turned out great and was very tasty with our chocolate fondue!

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And although I can’t believe my actual number, 37 feels way better than I was expecting.  The kids are keeping me young and old at the same time! 😉

6.  On Pinterest, I found these Elf Warnings.  I downloaded and printed one for fun, thinking I would not really use it or maybe use it as a joke for the kids.  Jacob decided to see what would happen if he bit Max.  She did absolutely nothing but I felt he needed a lesson.  So Twinkle the Elf left a warning for him stating he saw the whole thing and that Jacob was not on warning to possibly not get any gifts from Santa.  Would you believe it actually made the boy cry?  He pinned the warning on his chore chart as a reminder to be nice to the dogs.  I can’t say that I’m sorry it worked.

7.  Today I made homemade fettuccine noodles with my pasta attachments.  They turned out so much better than the spaghetti did.  The kids even said it was better than the boxed noodles.  It was Jamie’s turn to help with supper and she had a blast helping me with them.  I love cooking with my kids.

8.  So 37 doesn’t make you more graceful.  You can still slip on the wet hard floor of your kitchen when you are rushing around trying to get errands done before picking kids up from school.  Turns out the desserts from the last few weeks actually didn’t add enough padding on my lovely saddlebags to not hurt when I hit the floor.  Ouch!

9.  I have mailed all of our Christmas packages out today!  I wish I could get the cards out too.  I’m only half way on those.  I still have to get things for Christmas here too.  Somehow Christmas kind of snuck up on me this year.  Does anyone else feel that way?

10.  I haven’t made any cookies yet.  I have made and packaged 3 batches of peppermint bark but I have made nothing for the kids yet.  I think I’m going to dial it down this year and only make a few things.  What are your favorites at this time of the year?  My favorite are sugar cookies, hands down.  They don’t even need to be decorated!

Happy Tuesday!

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving went off without a hitch this year.  Starting with the turkey (named John by Jacob)…

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all the way to the feast…

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Our feast this year included John the turkey (cooked, of course), mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, brown sugar carrots, corn, and homemade sweet potato knots.  It, of course, was way too much food as usual and we will be eating leftover until Christmas but it was so yummy.

We then cleaned up from our feast to have a dessert party with our neighbors.  It was so much fun and, again way too much food.

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Desserts consisted of Shoo Fly Cake, Pumpkin bundt cake with streusel filling and dark chocolate ganache, pear crisp, spice cupcakes with maple buttercream, pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie, and pumpkin dip with nillas and gingersnaps.  Whew that’s a lot!

Anyone want to come over for leftovers?

Monday Mash

So I’ve been a little lazy with the blog.  It’s gonna happen more than not since the holidays are coming and I want to get a few things up here before we really dive into them.

1.  Mazie’s concert went off without a hitch on Veteran’s Day.  We weren’t sure what to expect since the band teacher isn’t too particular about things like getting a concert together but it was great.  The orchestra, the guitar class, the choir, and the band all had mini concerts.  Mazie (being one of two flutes) played her little heart out and I couldn’t have been more proud of her.  This was the first year the school even had a band and most of the 10 player band had since August to learn the music and their instrument.  So it was pretty impressive that the band sounded as good as they did.

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2.  Jacob and I have been playing a little game.  I tell him how much I love him and he tries to one up me by saying he loves me more.  I decided to take it to a new level and write something on his dry erase board.  After a few times of erasing and starting again, I finally got a picture before erasing this time…

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I’m not sure how to top dinos.  If you know my son, there isn’t much better than dinos.  Maybe I will have to go back to food or maybe something about space.  His last comment (written after I took the picture) was that he loved me more than dinos and…dad.  That’s a big one to top!

3.  Pop Pop is arriving today!  We are all a bit excited about that one.

4.  We are having a little dessert party on Thanksgiving.  A Dessert of Friends, if you will (instead of our Feast of Friends).  The girls informed me that I haven’t made enough of our Fall treats this season and they were missing some since we are heading full force into the Christmas treat season.  So they helped make a list of what I haven’t made and I quickly decided that the neighbors who are sticking around for this holiday need to help eat all of these treats.  So if you are around, come join us.  It should be fun!

Happy Monday!

Halloween and such

I finished up the 5 week course I was teaching to Jamie’s 4th grade class for Junior Achievement.  It really was so much fun.  The kids were always joining in the conversation and really understanding what I was trying to teach them.  I was so nervous about teaching 27 9/10 year olds, having their undivided attention, trying to keep them engaged, etc.  The students were so awesome.  I totally underestimated them.  These kids were so smart.  They had answers to questions that I wouldn’t have been able to come up with and they had such great ideas about how to fix financial problems.  I was completely amazed by these students.  So for the last class I got them these pencils from etsy with the phrase Mistakes = Learning because that was one of the key points of my session.  I also made a little treat of cupcakes to hand out.  The class surprised me with a packet of homemade thank you cards and a gift card to Cold Stone.

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When I sat to read these thank yous, I was laughing and crying at what the kids wrote.  It filled my heart that they thought I did such a great job with them.  It was truly a great experience!

On to Halloween parties at school…The elementary part of the school had a little parade for the parents and then went on to parties in their class rooms.  During the parade, neither Jamie or Jacob would look at my camera knowing I was waiting to snap away.  So I just took some of them doing their party activities instead…

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Then we went home, ate our traditional supper for Halloween…Bones and Guts (aka: spaghetti squash and bread sticks), and then went trick or treating with the neighbor kids.  Trick or Treating on base is a crazy experience.  People come from everywhere because they know it’s safer than just out in a normal neighborhood.  My sad little bucket of Tootsie Pops were gone within minutes, I’m sure.  But the kids had a grand time and it was fun to walk around our little neighborhood.

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IMG_0037And remember the office party a few weeks ago?  Here is the picture of all of us from that party…

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Timmy the Tripod assisted Cam the Camera in taking our family pictures this past weekend.  The kids *mostly* cooperated for 45 minutes to get quite a few pictures.  Maybe I will get to the editing process to share them here.  Who knows on that one?

Tonight Mazie has a band concert.  She is one of 2 flutes in the band of 10 or so students.  It should be interested!  More to come on that.

And one last note…I want to say Thank You to all of those who have served, are currently serving, and will serve in the future, in the military.  Because of you, we can have things like blogs and opinions.  I am very proud of my military family from all over the country and world.  Happy Veterans Day!

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