Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.

7.29.2009

Welcoming the Troops Home

Today, I accompanied my mother-in-law and the kids to DFW International Airport to welcome home the troops who were landing at DFW on their way home for R&R from Iraq and Afghanistan (via Germany). It was an early morning as the flight is scheduled to land at 7:55 a.m. This meant a 6:45 a.m. departure from home for my sleepy clan.
But, when we saw the smiling and surprised faces of the troops coming home to applause, high fives and handshakes - it was all worth a little missed snoozing.
The large majority of the soldiers really seemed to appreciate the sentiment expressed by those there to welcome them home.
The kids enjoyed giving the soldiers a high five.

This soldier's knees buckled when she saw her children. I had big tears in my eyes and almost felt like an intruder into their private moment.
I like this picture a lot. The girl on the far left was there to welcome her fella back, but didn't realize when he told her he was getting on the plane yesterday that he wouldn't get here till tomorrow morning. She waited until the last soldier was getting off the flight. Finally a volunteer went to find out information for her. So, she'll be back in the morning. You can see Little Bit and my MIL in the foreground. In the center back, you can see a soldier greeting his baby. That brought tears to my eyes, too. It was incredibly sweet. His wife wore her 'catch me, eff me' heels to welcome him back, but promptly stepped out of them and went barefoot as soon as she saw him. :) He was getting hugged, kissed and photographed by other family members and I noticed him turn to look at his wife, who smiled at him and gestured for him to spend that time with his parents and other family members. I'm guessing she's planning a special welcome home later. :)
As we were leaving, I got the kids lined up with grandma for a nice picture.
And, yet another photo with the sunflower floor in the parking garage.

7.25.2009

Four for Four

Nope, I'm not stuttering. My little American karate girl won her fourth straight karate tournament (ok, one sparring match). So, she is 4 for 4 taking first place. She was quite proud of herself, too. She won 3-0.
Best part was that her Grandma got to see the victory. Yes, my mother-in-law arrived safely this morning.
Hot Rod got in on the grandma love, too.
We were missing Pickle this afternoon as he was still at his dad's house, but he is back now and will be with us for a couple of weeks. We're getting ready now for a family cookout with Army of Dad's aunt and two of his four cousins that live in the Dallas area. Two other cousins can't make it. But, it will be nice for Army of Grandma to get to see the family again. All of us. :)

7.23.2009

My stylin' new bag

I got a freebie recently and I've been waiting to review it until I had a chance to use it. This week I got my first chance to do just that. It is a Reese Li designer diaper bag. Retails for around $140. It is really pretty and very stylish. It is the kind of thing that doesn't make you too embarrassed to carry around a diaper bag. Lots of pockets and a clip for your phone or pocketbook as well as a clip with a self-contained changing pad are included. The bottom has sturdy little metal feet (for lack of a better word) to keep the bag from getting all scuffed up when you are moving it around.

Since I am past the diaper stage (thank God), I've been using the bag for my laptop (it fits perfectly). It is a really nice all-purpose bag for me. My only suggestion for the bag would be to include a shoulder strap. It has lovely handles, which are adjustable to make the bag easier to carry, but I like a shoulder strap for bags like this. *shrug* That may just be me. Either way, I really like the bag and will use it. A lot. Thanks to the folks at AllModern.com, who would like to promote their Stokke Tripp Trapp.

7.22.2009

AoM: The Mobile Billboard

I made an appointment to put Army of Dad's car in the shop to have some routine maintenance done. But, by making the appointment I could get a loaner car. Uh, yeah. The only thing they had available was the manager's truck with the Toyota wrap on it. So, I'm driving the Tundra with the advertisments all over it. It is laughable enough that I'm driving a truck. I haven't done that since 1990! But, I love how I have this dude's body and while he isn't, it looks like he's shooting the bird from far away.

Here's Hot Rod having some road rage.

And, the whole gang.

Little Bit's tiny head on the lady's body.

Again with the shrunken head thing.
Here is the whole thing on one side. It was crazy to drive it because everyone was looking at me. Sort of gave me a complex. :) But, it also reminded me of a scene from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" when Judge Reinhold's character is driving the pirate-mobile for some fast food place and some chicks are smiling at him. He thinks they're checking him out and then he realizes he is dressed like a douchebag pirate driving the pirate-mobile. :) Arr, matey. Go buy a Toyota Tundra.

Sweet Emotion

It was definitely a Sweet Emotion for Hot Rod going to his first ever concert for his very favorite band - Aerosmith. It was so awesome. They put on a great show and now I'm a giant Joe Perry fan. He was so incredible. I was disappointed that Aerosmith only played for about 80 minutes *but they rocked those 80 minutes.* Of course, it makes sense that they fit my title: The Geezers of Rock. They're getting old and it was hotter than hell for the whole show. Me and the boy had some bonding time there, too, which was the best part of it all to me.

The crowd was pretty cool even if I did have some guy standing in my personal space. We managed to share that 2x2 square without touching more than twice, so it worked out. Hot Rod stood on a chair (the crowd stood the entire concert) so he could see and it worked out that he wasn't blocking anyone. So, that was good, too.

We got to witness some really bad muffin top. *shuddering* And, an argument between some redneck and his wife. The dude had already purchased $350 in Aerosmith attire (most shirts were *gasp* $45 a piece!!!). We got the cheap shirts, just FYI. But, this guy was BACK in line to get MORE! His wife was fussing at him (not too quietly, either) that he was wasting money by buying more. She reminded him that he had ordered some shirts online, too! And he was still arguing when she finally gave up and walked away. Him and his buddy were going to buy more!

Redneck: I think I'm going to get four of that one from their first tour.
Redneck's buddy: Yeah, I think I'll get a few of that one, too, and cut off the sleeves. I want everyone to think I've been a fan since I was 16.
Redneck: Yeah, see that red shirt up there?
Redneck's buddy: Yeah.
Redneck: I got three of those. Didn't figure out till later that they're girl shirts and they're too big for my wife.
Redneck's buddy: Aw man.
Redneck: Yeah. So, I think I'll get three more of that one *pointing at something I didn't see* and then cut the sleeves off.
Redneck's buddy: That sounds good, dude. I was gonna tell you that I'd buy the shirts for you if your wife kept bitchin.

*deep sigh* Swear to God, that was the conversation. Hot Rod later recalled it and called the guy a big loser for wasting all that money on a bunch of T-shirts he could get online for $15 to $20 instead of $45 at the concert. And, I'm thinking, dude. My 10-year-old is smarter than you are!!!

7.20.2009

The Naked Housekeeper

The kids are at my parents for a couple of days and I need to do some cleaning before my MIL comes to visit.

So, the MP3 player is fired up. In between Toby Keith and Big Audio Dynamite and Fergie ... I decided to return to pre-children days where I cleaned house in the buff.

Back to it. Swept the upstairs hallway and the stairs. Keep finding more than needs to get cleaned. *sigh*

7.19.2009

Livin' On The Edge

In a few hours, I hope this will be the view I have. Hot Rod gets his belated birthday wish as he and I go to see Aerosmith. I can't wait.

Hit me, baby, one more time

Back at the Rangers game on Saturday night. We got there early enough to watch the Twins take batting practice. Star reliever Joe Nathan came over to sign autographs and both kiddos got him to sigh for them. Hot Rod got his autograph on a baseball card.
Little Bit managed to go one step farther. She got a signature on a baseball card and her Twins hat. Best thing about this Twins hat (to me) is that it made it through all three kids. I got it for Pickle when he was about 2. I got it at then McFrugal's (now Big Lots) for $2. I didn't care which team was on it, I just thought it was cute because it had a baseball Bugs Bunny and Pickle was all about the Looney Tunes as a little one (still is).
Here, the kids are patiently waiting for their turn at an autograph.
Joe Mauer gearing up pre-game.
Nick Punto warming up during batting practice.
Little Bit got Manager Ron Gardenhire's autograph on her hat. I think Hot Rod got it on a baseball card last year or the year before. So, he didn't try. Gardenhire got tossed in the ninth inning of the game Saturday for arguing a call. Joe Nathan fielded a grounder and went to tag out Nelson Cruz, who ran out of the base line to avoid the tag. Then, the toss to first wasn't in time. He was called safe, but Nathan and Gardenhire argued the run out of baseline should've earned him an out.
Morneau's fine backside while running bases. Elvis Andrus (the new Rangers SS) is quick, just by the way. They play the "Elvis has left the building" music whenever Elvis does something good. I had to explain it to my youngster of a husband. He didn't get why I was laughing when it was played.
My two favorite Rangers - Josh Hamilton and Baylor alum David Murphy (sic 'em Bears).
Doesn't she look a bit like Half Pint from Little House on the Prairie with the braids?
And, an Army of Mom and Little Bit self portrait.
Army of Dad and his happy sweaty little Twins fans. Not sure what that Hot Rod face is all about. But, it was a good night.

Take me out to the ballgame

The Twins are in town this weekend. So, we went Friday and Saturday nights. Alas, the Twins won both nights, but that makes for a happy household for everyone but me. And, I can handle it. The mixed marriage isn't so bad during baseball season. It is really bad during football season, though.
Here is Josh Hamilton before he slammed a homer and brought in him and Ian Kinsler (at 3b here).
Justin Morneau at bat.
Joe Mauer at bat. We had great seats for the Friday game.
And a great banner: Chuck Norris wears Josh Hamilton PJs. I had to explain it to the ladies next to us. They hadn't heard all the Chuck Norris jokes.
And a funnel cake was delightfully inhaled by Hot Rod and his buddy.
I just thought this was pretty.
I thought this was equally nice. Michael Young. :)
Even nicer was the handsome Joe Mauer warming up the pitcher before the game. It was really cool to shoot from right above him in the bullpen.
And, the cute boys before they demolished the funnel cake. Best part of this game was the fact that our tickets were free. Or relatively free. I bought a coupon sheet fundraiser earlier this summer for $40. There were four free tickets and then a ton of buy one, get one free coupons. So, this was our free game. We used our BOGO for Saturday night. Not going tonight because Little Bit and Army of Dad have an awards night for the soccer season. Hot Rod and I are gearing up for Aerosmith and ZZ Top.

Moving on

Well, I finally finished The Stand and it was everything I thought it would be and then some. Now I want to find a DVD of the TV miniseries to watch. I made it through without crying at all until Stu got Christmas gifts for Tom and they sang a traditional Christmas song. For whatever reason, that just broke my heart. Them, out in the snow trying to get home and celebrating Christmas. It was very sweet.

Again, I can't help but marvel at Stephen King's talents as a writer.

Now, I'm off to start drinking the Kool-Aid that is the love and adoration for Stephanie Meyer's body of work - beginning with *stop laughing at me* Twilight.

I bought the first two books in anticipation of liking them. So, I'm going to give it a try. I haven't watched the movie yet. I'm waiting till I finish the book, then I'll hit the Redbox and watch it one day while the kids and Army of Dad aren't around. (the boys - all three of them - make fun of me for wanting to see it) But, I figured I needed something lighter after The Stand. Made me think entirely too much and I had bad dreams many nights after reading it.

Plus, now I can daydream about Robert Pattinson.

7.15.2009

Its Been a Long Day

Just heard on the radio that Rob Thomas is coming to Nokia. *sigh*

When Matchbox 20 released Yourself of Something Like You, I instantly fell in love. As a newly single mom, Long Day, was sort of an anthem for me. Army of Dad's best friend scored tickets to a Matchbox 20 show in Killeen, but I had Pickle (who was 2 or 3 at the time) and I had no sitter. So, Army of Dad went with his friend. I was so disappointed. Then, Matchbox 20 was going to open at RockFest (which we all had tickets for). But, his friends goofed around too long and traffic ensued and I missed Matchbox 20 AGAIN.

*sigh*

Would really love to go to this show. But, with a cruise coming up and my business trip to San Francisco, I'm thinking it isn't in the cards yet again. If anyone scores Rob Thomas tickets and wants to donate them to me, I'll gladly take 'em. I'm not holding my breath though. LOL. StubHub's cheapest seats are $112 a piece. Laws yes. M-O-O-N spells expensive. (Yes, I'm still reading The Stand).

It's sitting by the overcoat,
The second shelf,
the note she wrote
That I can't bring myself to throw away
And also
Reach she said for no one else but you,
'cuz you won't turn away
When someone else is gone

I'm sorry 'bout the attitude
I need to give when I'm with you
But no one else will take this shit from me
And I'm so
Terrified of no one else but me
I'm here all the time
I won't go away
It's me, yeah I can't get myself to go away
It's me, and I can't get myself to go away
Oh God I shouldn't feel this way

Reach down your hand in your pocket
Pull out some hope for me
It's been a long day, always ain't that right
And no Lord your hand won't stop it
Just keep you trembling
It's been a long day, always ain't that right

Well I'm surprised that you'd believe
In anything that comes from me
I didn't hear from you or from someone else
And you're so
Set in life man, a pisser they're waiting
Too damn bad you get so far so fast
So what, so long

It's me, yeah and I can't get myself to go away
It's me, yeah and I can't get myself to go away
Oh God I shouldn't feel this way

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

That'd be my parents and Spongebob.

Reason No. 593

Reason No. 593 why I should be blonde:

Phone rang and I couldn't find where I had put my blue-tooth. Normally, I clip it on my shirt when it hurts my ear. Searching to no avail. Looking under laundry, around my car, on my desk. Nada.

Guess where I found it? Yeah, in my cleavage. *sigh*

7.14.2009

No Mistake

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday and I am so wonderfully blessed to have her in my life. I only wished we lived closer together.

This is her story written in her own words:

In the summer of 1971 an unwed 15 yr old girl, named Nancy, found herself giving birth alone. She had spent her pregnancy hidden away from her classmates and community in an unwed mother's program. When her daughter, Carrie Rose, was born she was allowed only 15 minutes with her. Nancy said she spent those 15 minutes trying to memorize every thing about her daughter. And in those 15 minutes she said hello to her, and then she said goodbye. Nancy left the hospital 2 days later after her Mother signed the adoption papers. She left with 2 grainy black and white photos as proof that she was a Mother in her heart. She was told to ask for forgiveness, never speak again of the daughter she surrenderd, move forward and forget.

Carrie Rose spent the first 15 days of her her life in foster care before she was adopted by a couple that had tried to conceive for 10 years. Carrie Rose's name was legally changed to Army of Sister-in-Law.

This is my birth story. I was Carrie Rose for 15 days.I was born when abortion was illegal, but according to my Mom and her friends, readily available. I was born when young girls disappeared from schools for 5-6 months and then suddenly reappeared. I am eternally grateful for the gift my Mom gave me when she decided to carry through her pregnancy.

I was not planned by my parents but I know that God did have a plan for me. He reminded me of my worth in a book called The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.Chapter 2 begins with 5 short but powerful words: You are not a mistake. God is able to redeem any and all situations and use them for His own good. God never does anything accidentally, and He never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Even me. God tells me, and He tells you, that His character goes into the creation of every person, whether planned or unplanned. Pslam 139:15 reads, "My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in a secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body."

21 1/2 years after Nancy said goodbye to me I was able to say hello to her. And to thank her. We were reunited in Dec. of 1993 after a short search I initiated. My life has since been blessed with a wonderful sister, brother and step-Father. Nancy and I had lived just 45 miles apart for nearly all our lives.

In Jan of 1994 I found my birth Father and have been blessed with a wonderful sister, 2 brothers and a step-Mom. Undoubtedly, my life would have been different had I not been placed for adoption. But, I cannot say it would have been better. For without the choice my Mom made I would not have met the man I married, I would not be a Mom to the 3 children I love and I may not have ever met each of you. God reassures me that my life is just what He meant it to be in 1 Thessalonsians 5:16, "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Chris Jesus."

God has blessed me more than I can ever count or imagine. I have loving parents, 4 sets of them, an amazing husband, 3 healthy children (who to my great joy are seeking the Lord) and loving friends. No matter what this world tells me I am no "mistake." Because I am His.
Thank goodness we have her in our lives. That is SIL on the far left with Little Bit and me holding my niece at a family reunion in 2007.

She makes me think of Phillippians 1:15: I thank God every time I remember you.

7.13.2009

Day-tripping

We were daytripping down to Houston on July 2-3. Well, I guess that is overnight-tripping, but you get the idea. We had some free tickets to NASA's Johnson Space Center on its George Lucas weekend. So, we went to the Star Wars day. Little Bit was so excited to get to see R2D2. He is her favorite. Look at that sweet touch. So cute. Poor Pickle almost self-destructed after we stood in line to see his favorite (Darth Vader) only to be left hanging because Darth had another obligation. More pics to come. Blogger is acting weird and we have soccer practice soon. Last one for the time being.

Obligatory soccer post

video Only one more game left for the indoor church league season for Little Bit, but she really loves playing. Here she is throwing it in and prancing around the court.

7.06.2009

Look Out Tiger Woods

video Army of PaPa put on an exhibition showing Hot Rod how to putt. I really enjoy the celebratory dance at the end.

7.05.2009

The Stand

I'm reading The Stand and wondering.

I'm wondering how I would survive if I survived something like the bug that kills all these people in the book. I'm not even to the part where the battle of good and evil has started. I'm just now to the point where entire populations are wiped out and the survivors are left trying to figure out what to do.

And, it made me wonder.

What would you need to survive? I mean, if you were going to leave the city and venture out on your own. Or even if you're going to stay in your home or squat in someone else's. What would you make sure to have in stock?

Batteries will eventually die, right? So, I mean, I guess they'll last you for a few years. Flashlights, candles and matches. Canned food and affiliated items. Firearms and ammunition. Medical supplies. For women, it could be even worse with your monthly cycle in the way. I think about my son with his birth defect requiring the replacement of chemicals his body doesn't make. If he were to even survive the germs, how would we manage to find enough medicine to keep him alive and healthy?

So, what would you need? A lot you can pilfer from stores and homes for a while, but then what?

7.04.2009

Happy Independence Day

We hope you celebrate our Independence Day and remember that our freedom is not free and how blessed we are to live in such an incredible country where we have the ability to go downtown safely and watch a parade and honor our veterans and forefathers. Little Bit loves this holiday.
Hot Rod found his friend at the parade. Tonight we're going to the FC Dallas game and we'll watch the post-game fireworks there.
My parents and Army of Dad at the parade this morning with the kids.
Anxiously awaiting the candy as the parade started.
And, the kids grabbing candy tossed during our annual parade. It has been a great start to the day. God bless the USA and each of you. Celebrate safely. Drink responsibly and have a designated driver if you drink. :) I'll toss back a hot dog or two and thank my veteran personally.