Saturday, October 19, 2013

Im a Dirty Girl

 I have always wanted to be able to run (for a sport) yeah, I know..... that's a shocker.
I'm not big on exercises. I want to be, but its hard for me. 
My husband did the Tough Mudder mud run with my son and few other guys.
After that, I saw this. A mud run for girls and it raises money for Breast Cancer!!
So, I decided I was going to do it. It was a stretch for me to do anything like this. Its not a race, but a run. Its about finishing, not finishing first. It includes about 12 obstacles and that was going to be challenge for me as well. My girls wanted to do this with me and I was never so happy to have them around me. We did this last March in honor of a friend who is a survivor.
 It was very cold that day. (look at our lovely team below) 
At one point it started to sleet! Due to the weather, they didn't add water to a lot of the obstacles.
We still got wet and muddy but not as much as we will this year!
 Honestly, I walked most of the run. I stayed back with a fellow team mate who I was so very proud of for doing this!!! My daughter, (below) stayed with me when she could have gone on! 
I was concerned also over the uneven ground as I have a tendency to twist my ankle and fall.
 I finished this dirty mud run. I was wet and freezing but I did all of the obstacles (only one was difficult for me and that was due to my being afraid of heights!)
 My wonderful husband was my cheerleader. He wore his tough mudder shirt and afterwards he took me to McDonalds where I drank two HOT mochas!
This year even my baby girl can do the run with me! 
We all signed up and will start training. It gives me more of a reason to work on losing weight and gaining endurance. In May 2014 we will race in memory of my Granny, Irene Hill.

Please check it out and see if the Dirty Girl Mud Run is near you! 
It gives you a sense of accomplishment, its so much fun (we laughed the whole time) and it raised money and awareness. Many wear costumes, and my team is discussing if we want to do that this year. No matter what, Ill be getting down and dirty, completing the obstacles and hopefully running more of the run this time. Please join me!

 If I can do this, YOU CAN! (above you can see me climbing at the top left)
Below, is part of our team at the top of this "blow up" obstacle. They look a little "sissified" but they are a little bit harder than they look!

Friday, October 18, 2013

I get lost in the descriptive and brightly illustrated treasures

I love children's books. They are descriptive, simple, brightly illustrated and most often appeal to something in our childhood. As a child, in elementary school my favorite part of school was going to the Media Center. I attended a school in an old building with creaky floors and hot radiators in various places. My teachers would line us up and we walked quietly to the Media Center and sat on a carpet and waited impatiently for our story. I cherished the few moments where I escaped into the book as I looked at brightly colored illustrations and soaked in the descriptive words. Afterwards, we were released to find THE book we wanted to read that week and it was always such a hard choice. The card catalog was an amazing thing to flip through and physically see each book and their special code. How fun it was to write down those codes and follow the map to where I would find my treasure for the week! 

As an adult, I love books but honestly Id rather read a child's book. It has been a long time goal of mine to write children's books and have them published. It is a goal that Ive placed somewhere on the back burner and forgotten about. Recently an artist (someone very close to me) asked me if I would like to partner with her and write a book that she could illustrate for me. That has gotten my creative juices flowing! I have so many ideas if I could just find the time to organize it all in my mind! 

While thinking about this project I started reading blogs about children's books. I spent last weekend watching adults read children's books and I felt like I was eight years old again in the Media Center at Bethesda Elementary School! I loved these books and each one I listened to were very different.
I have worked with children for so long, I know many many books that are available but I found one I had not heard of and was curious. Listening to it on YouTube was so fun (for me) but sadly my children think I'm weird for being so excited for finding this children's book. 

First off, I'm a fan of Edgar Allen Poe and have visited the EA Poe Museum in Richmond Virginia several times. My girls really enjoyed that trip also. When I saw a children's book about three boys named Edgar, Allen & Poe I was so curious. I'm glad I was curious enough to listen to this book as it has inspired me! I purchased my own copy and now I hope you will listen to the book and tell me what you think of it! 

I would also love for you to comment and tell me the title of your favorite children's book and why its your favorite.

Please take seven small minutes and watch this.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Scotch Eggs

I recently read about Scotch Eggs HERE
It seemed like such a different way to cook eggs, I had to try it! 
Here are the pictures of the way mine turned out.
 Boil the eggs, remove the shell and roll in flour. Take sausage and wrap around the egg fully.
Dip that in a beaten egg and roll in Panko Bread Crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
 I read that you serve them as appetizers or as a breakfast food. Serve with vinegar based sauces like mustard. Its pretty good! Pinterest has many ways to make Scotch eggs.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Butterfly Theory

Butterflies are beautiful insects created by God. There are various types of butterflies but each go through four stages to have a complete metamorphosis. The four stages are as follows: The egg, Larva, Chrysalis and finally the adult butterfly.  Each state is critical to the final development of a beautiful butterfly.

As a teacher, I have enjoyed sharing with children the metamorphosis of the butterfly. We read books (my favorite is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle but of course there are more detailed and more educational books as well) We view charts but most importantly we watch them develop from Larva to butterfly. 

I purchased my caterpillars online and they were shipped  with food included. We added the caterpillar to a box covered in netting and we observe them eating, spinning their cocoon and finally we watch them emerge. They hang upside down and move their wings while they dry and then they are ready to be released. 

Here is the most important thing Ive learned from that experience. No matter how much they seem to struggle, never help them escape their cocoon. You see, every part of the process is helping them develop. Once, a friend of mine was teaching her children about the complete metamorphosis of the butterfly and one of them seemed to struggle more than the others. She helped the little butterfly and this proved disastrous! The little butterfly's wings dried too early which ultimately left it deformed and unable to live on its on outside of its protective netting home. 

This was such a revelation to me! The more I thought about this poor butterfly the more I realized that we, as humans are much like the butterfly. We often dont understand why we must endure pain and hardships. We often shake our fists at God and ask why? We dont understand why he wont just help us get through these struggles we face on Earth with ease or why he allows this pain in the first place. The answer is simple. The struggles we face prepare us for the life ahead. If he did it for us  then we would not be equipped  face this life  just as the butterfly my friend assisted, was not able to live out its future unassisted. 

The struggles we face prepare us for the future. The struggles we face are also a witness to those around us. People who face similar things will look at us and know that if we were able to get through it, then surely they can too. We can and should use what we have learned through our struggles to educate and support those around us. Surely we are not alone, God is with us all the way but he cannot shelter us from these struggles and hardships.

No matter what, always remember my Butterfly Theory. God cannot reach down and remove our struggles and hardships because we will not be strong enough to face our future if he did. These hardships and pain we face are all for a greater purpose, and many times we may never see that purpose but its always there.

Mamas and Marines

When you see stories about our military we usually think of how their wives and children are dealing with deployment. The mothers of these same Marines/soldiers suffer in their own way.
We raised these Marines. We cared for them while they were sick, when they had injuries and when they splashed in the bath. We have loved them unconditionally and now we cannot protect them as they enter into dangerous territory.

No matter their job, its difficult for us to handle. Even if their job keeps them far away from enemy lines. Mothers of Marine infantry men know what their sons face and we only wish that our sons were far behind the danger zone. Sometimes I think about my sons job and I want to tell other Marine moms that they are lucky their son isnt an infantry man. The truth is we are all mothers and love our boys - we all worry and it hurts us all (no matter their job) when they are deployed and when we cannot hear from them.

Deployment is difficult for all involved.

Please continue to pray for our family during this difficult deployment.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


 It was just a few days after we sent our son over seas. (Well, we didnt send him, in fact had it been up to us he would still be here. The Marines sent him and we said our goodbyes) 
We tried relaxing, and dealing with his deployment but we were drained. 
We went to church. Not just any church, the church we grew up in, the church we were married in, the church all of my children have attended at one time. It was nice seeing old friends but best of all it was a blessing to have them pray over our family, pray for our sons safety and pray that we all feel comfort during this time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thoughts on deployment

Let me begin by saying I hope this post doesn't offend anyone.
Deployment brings many emotions to all involved. It affects each person differently.
Its never easy no matter how many times you endure it. 

For some reason, this time its harder on me. It seems harder on my family. Its more emotional.
Its very hard to explain to anyone. I've cried a river of tears for weeks now. 
We feel sad, heartbroken, angry and sometimes it seems we laugh and cry at the same time and for no reason at all.

I understand that many want to help when they say things like, "My cousin is over seas so I know how you feel" I want to scream! It makes me angry!  Why? 
 It makes me angry because he is my son. I carried him for 9 months, I stayed up nights to feed him, I cared for him during sickness and accidents. He isn't a cousin he is my child, my only son.

That may sound selfish to some  and his deployments are not all about me. 
If I were to make an educated guess, I would dare say that deployment is hardest on the soldier/Marine. They must leave behind family, friends, and live without all the daily comforts of home like TV, caffeinated drinks and your own bed.  Next, I think its hardest on the wife/girlfriends, children and the parents and siblings.

Deployment affects everyone in different ways.
I know it affects grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins but I think it affects them in different ways. Unless you have said goodbye to your spouse or child as he travel to a foreign country with a gun on his back you cannot understand.I also think it depends on their job. Just because your child had deployed to Afghanistan doesn't mean he is in the "Danger zone" I guess there are always dangers when being stationed in a place like that but to know that your child is a Marine Infantryman seem way worse than another other. They are the first in when there is trouble.

We are all saddened and scared and will hold our breath for 8 months. I know it affects us all, but sometimes I think people forget about the military moms out there.