15. November 2012 · 4 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Jacob enjoyed helping me review a book for the blog last month.

This post is about Jacob. Some folks know — some folks don’t — that Jacob has been our more reluctant reader ever since he learned to read. His little brother plows through books pretty quickly, while Jacob reads more slowly and more deliberately.

Jacob had been sticking to book series that are heavier on the illustrations: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, Origami Yoda, Adventures of Tin Tin, etc. Timmy loves those books also, but had no problem reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series while in 1st grade. Having Jacob read every day for school had been a challenge. In 3rd grade he had to set reading goals and it was pretty tough working with him to meet those goals.

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13. November 2012 · Comments Off on Veteran’s Day 2012 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Like a heel, I forgot to bring our good camera, but I was able to get a bunch of nice iPhone pictures of Pack 105’s participation in the Pensacola Veteran’s Day Parade.

First I have to show off these two pictures because they melted my heart!

The Scouts took turns carrying the flags…Timmy briefly carried the Pack 105 flag during the parade. The flags are very top heavy, so mainly older Scouts did this task, Timmy didn’t last very long at all.

This reminded me of the time Jacob carried the Pack 464 flag when we were in Bellevue, NE. He was a cute little Tiger scout at the time.

Now for this year’s event. I was the coordinator for our Pack this year, taking care of registering the Pack with the Gulf Coast Veteran’s Advocacy Council, and then setting up a meeting space for the Scouts and their families.

We don’t live super-close to Pensacola, so we only have a smaller group take part, but it’s so rewarding seeing the Scouts waving at the spectators. The older Scouts were noticing all the Veterans who were standing at attention saluting our group’s American flag.

These poor Scouts had to wait…and wait…and wait…for our position in the parade to start walking. There were over 100 entries and we were #83, phew!

Jacob and his friend Seth.

When we finally started marching, the kids were definitely ready to go! They were so busy looking at the spectators, we had a couple of crashes when the group in front of us stopped and we were completely paying attention.

After the parade, one of the den leaders held a class on proper use and display of the U.S. flag.

An awesome picture of the boys who stuck around for the flag class.


13. November 2012 · Comments Off on Camping and More Camping · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Just before I took my October trip to Nebraska the family did a Cub Scout Family Camping Event near Defuniak Springs. This is our 3rd time going to a Fam Camp event, so this time around the family could be more laid back.

The Cub Scout family camp experience includes the same activities: fishing, swimming, boating, leathercrafts, archery, BB guns, model rockets and lots of hiking.  Our pack included a night hike and a game of lightstick tag after dark. The scouts can come and go as they please, and the entire family can participate, even siblings!

2 weeks later, while I was in Nebraska, Dave took the boys back to Defuniak Springs for a “Webelos Weekend”. Jacob is a Webelos-rank Cub Scout, and this weekend was designed for the scouts to earn from numerous activity pins. Jacob earned two activity pins in one day during the weekend.

Enjoy some pictures!

Our camp setup. The weather was really wonderful, so even though we just got a screen wrap-around for our shelter, we didn’t need it all weekend.

I was testing hand-cranked/solar powered emergency radios by Eton Corp. for GeekMom. This one included a cell phone charger, it’s truly a for-emergencies-only charger. We could get about 2% charge on the phone.

Fam camp isn’t complete with Patricia’s latest Dutch Oven cooking experiments. The first night’s dessert failed miserably (a peach cobbler that didn’t set). This is a chicken and rice casserole turned out really well.

The finished meal. Here’s the recipe: http://papadutch.home.comcast.net/~papadutch/dutch-oven-recipe-chickenrice.htm . Unfortunately, now that our sons eat adult-sized portions, the 10″ diameter Dutch oven is ending up too small. It might be time for a larger one. The recipe was designed for a 12″ Dutch oven and things were VERY full in the one I had.

The boys devoured it!

The Family Camp tradition is a huge bonfire on the Saturday night of the event. Everyone gathers for skits and music. The fire was ENORMOUS! The kids enjoyed the skits a lot.

This was the setup from Webelos Weekend. Dave and the boys did this with NO HELP FROM ME!

Jacob being handsome.

This is from the opening ceremony. Jacob is towards the back on the left, facing us.

12. November 2012 · Comments Off on Halloween 2012 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

It was the saddest thing, not being home for my boys’ Halloween. I did my best to decorate the house — complete with a fresh batch of tree ghosts — but was away by the time my sons had their school Halloween parties, and other Halloween events (such as Jacob’s first boy-girl birthday party with dancing, which was Halloween-themed; he dressed as an Incredibles kid for it).

Enjoy some of the pictures from Halloween. Dave took all of them, most of them were texted to me over the course of the night. Sorry I’m so late with these….

We’re now in a place where the kids have many costume choices. I love how easily Jacob could don this for a birthday party.

The boys could dress up for Halloween at school. Timmy’s costume had to be a book character, so Harry Potter was our no-brainer option. Jacob had more liberties with his costumes, but couldn’t wear a mask, nor could his costume impede with school activities. That ruled out his Incredibles outfit, and also his Pikkachu costume, since it had a stuffed midsection and he couldn’t sit at his desk with it. So he put together this baseball player’s outfit easily. Completely last minute, good job!

On Halloween night, Jacob donned a Pikachu costume that a friend had made for her son years ago.  That particular son is now in college, and she had held on to the costumes.  It fit Jacob really well. I picked up the yellow-lycra bodysuit through Amazon, but I’m afraid it made him look more like a chicken from a distance…

Jacob didn’t mind.

Jacob even had yellow shoes, ha ha!

Timmy has a headlamp on his head.

The boys were quite happy with their take this year, they covered two streets, which may not sound like much, but it’s at least one mile worth of walking.

I’m going to play catch up on some day-to-day life blog posts this week.  I’ve made two trips to Omaha in the past 2 months and that gets pretty exhausting, I put a lot aside just to keep the family caught up with groceries, Cub Scouts, piano lessons and household tasks.

So let me post a few pictures of the family and briefly catch us up on what’s been going on.

The boys had school portraits done in September. The prints were delivered in late October and just this week I was able to file them with other pictures and share them with you.

I don’t know about you, but I like these classic head shots best for school pictures. The boys are wearing polo shirts that their Grammy and Grampy brought back from a trip to Bermuda last August. Relatives, aunts and uncles, you will be getting hard copies of these prints between now and Christmas.


I think Timmy looks very pleasant here.

These days Jacob has to work very hard to not blink for pictures…it’s clear he was thinking really hard about that here 🙂

*Yes, you read that right. Every time I watched that Jamie Oliver show on ABC a couple seasons ago, or think of his subsequent dietary education campaign, I would think of the video game Dance, Dance Revolution. Sorry…it’s still what goes through my head when I think of it now….

First, allow me to say that to anyone who is dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, best of luck to you! The surreal, post-apocalyptic feeling you and your community is experiencing will hopefully only be temporary. Keep your chins up, America is behind you and know that the country has mobilized to help out in so many ways!

This makes total sense to me…in theory. In reality, I’m running for the hills…I need my pasta and cereal!

I need some inspiration and motivation, friends!

I don’t need the education, I’ve read it all!  I don’t need the resources, I plan to just get what I need at the grocery store!

(Yes, I’m YELLING this!)

I’m seeing so many of my friends and colleagues simply make the choice to stop eating carbs, stop overdoing it on dairy, and happily eat more fruits and vegetables. And the results are so impressive. Weight loss, sure, but also improved overall health, energy and focus.

I was behaving pretty well preparing for my Air Force Fitness Test last week. That test is behind me, I got a high enough score to not have to test again for another year (yay!), and I rewarded myself with a Five Guys burger with fries.

I know…I know…not good.

I always want starches: potatoes, breads, pasta. It’s like a drug.

I’m sort of venting here, sorry. I just want to know what I need to do to my brain to convince it to back off on the breads, crackers, cookies and such.  I love it all!

Speaking of cookies — well, I’m doomed.

I had to skip my cookie extravaganza altogether in 2011 due to Dave’s surgery, but this year, as soon as I get back from our Thanksgiving travels, I plan to fire up the oven, get the Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes ready, and get baking!

I’ll be writing more about our favorite family cookie recipes later this month, but for now you can browse through my November 2008 posts for 3 of our favorites.

Now to refrain from eating all the cookie factory seconds…

How do you keep inspired for more than just a couple weeks to change your eating habits for good?  Please comment here and help me!  Thanks!