Friday, July 31, 2009

Fecal Contamination

Foul title, huh? Well, it's what this post is about and it's a much nicer way of saying, "Somebody pooped in the pool!"

It seems the base pool is closed today due to this unfortunate incident. Now they have to superchlorinate the water, which takes time and patience. I'm just grateful I found out before I went to the trouble of packing everything but the kitchen sink in preparation to spend the afternoon there, only to be told the pool is closed due to fecal contamination.

I couldn't help but think of the pool scene from Caddyshack.

Have your kids ever been the reason a pool was closed for fecal contamination? Our kids have been responsible for shutting down a couple of pools when their swim diapers leaked. We were MORTIFIED! But hey, fecal matter happens, right?

We have to look on the bright side. At least this unfortunate incident was reported. Just think about the times this happens and no one mentions it because they're embarrassed. It's always wise to keep an eye open for the family that leaves the pool in a very big rush. I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tiger who?

My boys are doing something this summer they've never done before, and it's making their father so very happy. They're taking golf lessons and are really enjoying themselves. Their father is a golf enthusiast and for years he's been looking forward to the day when the boys would show some interest in the game. I do believe the time has arrived.

Here they are at their first lesson...

M waits for golf balls to drop into his basket before heading out to the driving range.

There were several kids in the group, some of whom had been taking lessons since the beginning of the summer. Our boys knew all of them from school, so they were very comfortable.

The golf pro has his hands full, wouldn't you say?

D waits for instruction.

M takes a look at his club. I wonder what he was thinking here. He seemed to be contemplating something, but what... I don't know.

D doesn't think much about it... he just gets ready to whack the ball.

M is a little more tentative and concentrates more on the mechanics.

M receives some one on one instruction from the golf pro.

Looks like golf lessons agree with M.

While they've only had three lessons, the boys have shown great interest. My husband is so excited that he decided to get the boys some clubs of their own. He had some extras here at home for D, but he's added to those and bought a bag to put them in. M got the whole kit and caboodle. I just hope golf continues to hold some appeal. You know how fleeting some new activities can be.

And me? Well, I may just have to take up the game myself so I'll know what in the world they're talking about when I hear terms like "birdie, eagle, handicap, par and FORE!"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A blast from the past...

Yesterday the boys and I were flipping channels on TV and came across The Brady Bunch, a "new" show my boys have discovered and found quite intriguing.

The episode we watched guest starred Davy Jones. Allow me to give you a quick recap in case you didn't see, or have forgotten this episode... Marcia jumped the gun and said she could get Davy Jones to perform at her school prom, all because she was the president of his local fan club, and he'd once sent her a letter saying he'd do anything for her if he were ever in her hometown. Of course poor Marcia can't even begin to get close to Davy Jones and she's desperate to see him so she doesn't end up looking like a big loser.

In this clip, Marcia goes to the recording studio to see if she can persuade him to sing at the prom. Naturally she had no problem getting inside the studio...

My boys were laughing hysterically, especially at the groovy hairdo of Davy Jones's manager and even more at the lack of expression on the face of the guy working in the sound booth. And they couldn't believe I knew the song Davy was singing.

Marcia finally gives up ever meeting Davy Jones and she's just about to call her teacher to admit her loser status, when lo' and behold, look who shows up to save the day. This could only happen to the Brady Bunch...">

While we were watching the show, I told my youngest that I used to watch The Brady Bunch all the time when I was his age. He scrunched up his face and said, "Wow! That show is REALLY old! I wonder why they still show it."

There went my nostalgic moment!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Got cereal?

I don't know about your family, but my family likes cereal... a lot! I swear, you'd think Jerry Seinfeld lived here. At any given time we have 5-10 different boxes of cereal on the pantry shelf. The current inventory of cereal boxes taking up space in my pantry at this time sits at 7. As I said... we like cereal.

Here's the list of cereals now being served for breakfast (lunch or dinner too, for that matter) at our house...


Corn Flakes...

Cinnamon Toast Crunch...

Honey Nut Cheerios...

Apple Jacks...

Raisin Bran...

and Rice Krispies...

We frequently have other cereals on hand too, but just happen to be out of Cheerios, Life, Honey Bunches of Oats and Crispix at the moment. Sometimes we buy Fruit Loops or Captain Crunch.

Sidebar: I absolutely LOVED Captain Crunch when I was a kid, but never noticed until just a few years ago how much it hurts the roof of my mouth to eat the stuff. I practically have to let it get soggy before I can stand to eat it. I've decided it's hardly worth it anymore. What a sad realization!

So... what kind of cereal do you have on your pantry shelf?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Let the boy talk!

The boys had a couple of neighbor friends over this week. M and his buddy watched a movie in one room, complete with a "fort" (Remember forts? They're the best!), no lights and naturally popcorn.

D and his buddy hung out in the middle of the dining room floor, playing DS games. They were really in to their game and I hardly heard a peep out of them. They, too, had popcorn, and I overheard this...

Friend: "Wow, your mom makes really good popcorn!"

D: "Popcorn makes itself in the microwave."

Me: "Let the boy talk! So, what were you saying about the popcorn?"

I couldn't help myself as kid compliments are the sincerest, wouldn't you agree? Kids are brutally honest! I'll take that compliment, no matter if it was only microwave popcorn. What brand was it? Okay, I'll share...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There's been an explosion!

I never showed you this photo, did I? This is the aftermath of the Lego explosion that took place on Christmas morning.

We live for legos here at our house, and naturally our boys are of the opinion that less is NOT more... One can never have too many legos! It's simply not possible. Star Wars legos are their favorite.

These are just a few legos currently "on display" in my oldest son's room. He and his brother like to build Legos, but they never want to take them apart. I've suggested they take them apart and build them again, or make something different the next time. They look at me as if I've lost what's left of my mind. What was I thinking, right?

If it were up to my boys, they'd have every surface covered with legos. From the looks of this photo, they're well on their way to reaching their goal, wouldn't you agree? And just between you and me... this drives me crazy!

(Sidebar... Do you see the different Mountain Dew plastic bottles on the back right-hand side? D was collecting those for a while. In fact, he had those in Virginia and we allowed him to move them to Spain. I kid you not. Thankfully he's given up that short-lived obsession. I have to be grateful for the small victories around here.)

Legos seem to multiply at our house! I'm really glad my kids like to build things. I think it makes for great eye-hand coordination and the stimulation of their minds. They have to read those directions and think about what they're doing. I just wish the legos didn't have to literally take over my house.

Here's D's closet. He really does have clothes, although you wouldn't know it from this photo. Legos have made their way onto the shelves inside his closet, which is where I wish he'd keep all of them.

Do you see what I'm talking about? Are you feeling as claustrophobic as I do? At least my kids are pretty good about keeping their legos off of the floor. Have you ever stepped on one? Stepping on a lego induces the kind of pain one never forgets. Never.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bird Update

A few months ago I was whining about the birds flying in and out of our carport. I complained that these pesky critters were making quite the mess on the floor of the carport as well as my car, and we were looking for ideas of ways to scare them away.

My husband had attempted to use some cardboard to block the area where they'd been roosting. That worked for like a day, until they figured out they could peck and pull at the cardboard, eventually destroying it.

So Plan B included printing a photo of a scary owl and mounting it in the window in the carport. That, too, worked for a day, until the birds determined the owl wasn't real.

Plans C, D, E and F included hanging wind chimes, hanging an old CD with an eye drawn on it, hanging a tennis ball and mounting a rubber snake on the wall. Again, each of these suggested tips worked for a day or so, but the birds kept coming back.

Check this out... The bird is roosting on top of the wind chimes! Yep, we REALLY scared this guy, didn't we?

See the rubber snake to the right? The bird was perched next to it a couple of days ago.

I swear, I think the bird and his friends laugh at us sometimes. Show-off bird!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sinful... Evil... Divine!

Apparently these Dove ice cream miniatures have been around for a while. I just wanna know why no one told me! I bought some today in the commissary and have decided these babies are so good that they're evil. I need to avoid the freezer case for the entire next year. But, WOW! Seriously.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's happening?

That's all... what's happening?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Look what's cookin'...

...and look who's cookin' it!

While at Boy Scout camp, D learned how to bake apples and he wanted to prove it to us last night.

Here D basically semi-cores four apples. Be careful, big man! I know my son is a Boy Scout, and he's earned his "whittling chip," therefore he's allowed to use a knife, but I'll admit it still makes me a little nervous, especially when the knife is sharp.

D sprinkled sugar and cinnamon in the top of each apple and placed them in the oven. They baked at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

It's time! They're done!

D was excited to have made these all by himself.

Mmmm... the apples were divine! Good job, D! I'm definitely seeing the benefit in Boy Scout camp. Hmmm... what else did you learn to cook?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

How many times can... person watch the same movie in a week's time? I managed to see Transformers 2 three times in the last week, and before you get the idea that I'm really in to that kind of entertainment, allow me to explain.

My youngest son and I were all alone last Friday as my hubby and oldest son were both on trips. I thought the movies would be a nice surprise outing for my little man, particularly since this is a movie he really wanted to see. Done deal.

When my oldest son returned later that night (Well, technically it was just after midnight on Saturday morning), and discovered we'd gone to see the movie without him, he was highly perturbed, therefore, we loaded up and went to see it again.

My husband returned from his trip mid-week and was determined to see the movie too, and I'm sure you can guess what we did last night... we went to see the movie AGAIN, but this time we went to the drive-in. Yes, our little military base has a drive-in theater. Is that cool or what?

Don't you think I'm a great wife and mom, going to see this movie three times with my family? I think so! Don't get me wrong... I enjoyed the movie. It had some good parts. I just wish the language had been a little cleaner. And I wish I hadn't had to see it multiple times during the last week. Now... do you think I can talk the men in my life into taking in a chick flick with me sometime? Nah, me neither.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Boy goes to camp...

... and comes home with stinky laundry. Man, I never knew a kid could get his socks so filthy! Now that I think about it, why I bothered to even try to wash them is beyond me. They'll simply never be clean again. And seemingly every shirt he took with him now has a permanent stain right smack in the middle. Yep, friends, there's a whole new kinda funk that goes along with boys coming home from Boy Scout camp, and it permeated my house last weekend.

Besides the fragrant smells emanating from D's duffle bag, I'll add that he came back a very happy camper, having had a great time in England. Yes, I said England! Can you stand it? That's definitely a perk associated with living overseas... you get to go on cool trips with your Scout Troop.

I'll have to say it was a strange feeling, saying goodbye to my 12-year-old, knowing he'd be getting on a plane headed for another country, where he'd spend the next week. My prayer was that he would be safe, happy, healthy and somehow manage not to lose his passport or I.D. cards (military and Spanish).

M was probably the happiest to see D when he returned, for although he would never admit it, he was a little lost without his big brother around. Turns out my hubby had a trip scheduled right in the middle of the week, so it was just M and me for about three days. Let's just say my Wii playing skills are lacking, therefore D's return was reason for M to celebrate.

I think the big guy grew an inch or so while he was gone. He just looked way too grown up for me upon his return. I was so happy D had this phenomenal opportunity and feel so proud that he made the decision to go, had a good time and came back having advanced to another level in Scouts. My boy is growing up!

Oh, and great news... he came home with his passport and I.D. cards. WHEW!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What a catchy tune!

Have you ever had a song playing in your head for what feels like FOREVER? I've had a particular song in my head for days now, all because I heard it in the base exchange. I remember thinking I hadn't heard the song in a very long time, and now I hope I never hear it again. Since I can't seem to shake this tune, I thought I'd see if I could find it on YouTube so that I can share the madness with you. You can thank me later. Welcome to a live 70's version of Love Rollercoaster by the Ohio Players...


Monday, July 6, 2009

4th Festivities

The 4th of July has come and gone and our flag is now put away for safe keeping until next year. That makes me a little sad, but I remain grateful for the opportunity to show my patriotism for the last few days. Here are some photos taken during the last few days...

We enjoyed seeing so many red, white & blue decorations in the tents and booths.

The Air Force squadron manned a food booth selling BBQ sandwiches, hotdogs and Frito chili pies. Of course we bought our dinner from them. I have such fond memories of making and selling Frito chili pies with the squadron spouses' group in Dover, DE. I couldn't pass up a pie! They weren't prepared quite the same as ours, but they were still good and brought about some nostalgic memories.

M and I attended the base Independence Day celebration. Here M sits and watches the Andalucian horse show.

The horse, with the aid of his rider, and the woman perform a dance together.

Here's a short video clip of the performance...

This is the other horse and rider we watched. M got a little antsy during this show, so we departed the bleachers and headed to a more exciting area...

... the Land of Bounce!

Here's M enjoying the obstacle course. He's the one wearing the red hat...

This was a rather funny and unique way to raise money. People paid to have other people "jailed" for a certain period of time, and I guess the items listed on the sign were available to "detainees" for a price.

A neighbor of mine gets hauled to jail.

The two jailbirds on the right are neighbors of ours. I kept a low profile and managed to steer clear of jail.

We stayed for the fireworks display, but I didn't take any photos. I always find that photos taken of fireworks don't turn out well, not my photos anyway. I just relaxed and watched the fireworks with M and our friends.

The following photos capture my efforts in displaying a little patriotism at home...

I was really psyched to be able to fly the American flag at the house. My hubby was thoughtful enough to locate the flag and prepare it to be flown, although he was unfortunately unable to be here to see it.

I was thrilled that the "God Bless America" door topper could be used on our patio door. The patriotic scarecrow wreath was actually given to us as a wedding gift nearly 14 years ago. It definitely holds sentimental value for me.

We placed small American flags in our Spanish tile window boxes too.

The 4th festivities were full of fun and memorable moments for my son and me. I only wish the other half of our family had been here to share it with us. I hope your Independence Day was spent enjoying family and friends, making some wonderful memories and giving thanks and honor to those who so long ago fought and sacrificed in the name of freedom.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stars & Stripes Forever

It's the 4th of July and I've never been so happy to fly the American flag. Living on a Spanish military base means we're not permitted to fly our nation's flag EXCEPT for a few days during the first week in July. Funny how simple things like flying a flag can take on a whole new meaning when one's circumstances change.

I'd very much taken for granted my freedom to fly the American flag before moving to Spain. When we lived in the States, we flew the flag virtually every day, depending on the weather. It's just something we've always done. Our home isn't totally complete without the flag. The main reason behind our desire to fly the Stars and Stripes is because we're a military family. Patriotism is alive and well in our home.

Our military base held a flag raising ceremony on Thursday, 2 July. My youngest son and I attended and I'm so glad we did. The other two members of our family were in different parts of the world... one in England at Boy Scout camp and the other in the Middle East on official business. Sure wish they could have been here to watch the ceremony with us.

Officials are in place in anticipation of the raising of the American flag, our nation's symbol of freedom.

Military members were in uniform, standing in formation, waiting to see Old Glory.

I love watching the flag being unfurled. It's always, as it should be, handled with great care and reverence.

They're getting ready to raise her.

There she goes! I already had tears in my eyes at this point. How can one not be moved by the raising of the flag? I can't help but think of the courage and sacrifice of those who came before us, fighting for the freedom we enjoy today.

I felt such exhilaration to see our nation's beautiful flag waving in the breeze on foreign soil. It's a great privilege to fly her here and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to witness this event. As the Star Spangled Banner played, tears just flowed. I always get choked up hearing our national anthem, but it seemed more dramatic and meaningful to me on this day.

Thought we were finished, huh? We attended another flag raising following the official base ceremony, and this time my son participated. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts joined together for this event, thus M wore his uniform.

The boys posed with the official base flag first. The Scouts were given permission to lower this flag for a short time so they could perform their ceremony, and then it was once again raised.

Saluting the flag

The boys helped prepare their flag to be raised.

The Scouts' flag was considerably smaller than the base flag, but it's equally nice to see it flying.

After the Cub Scouts' flag was lowered, they were shown how to fold it properly.

The Boy Scouts performed their own flag raising ceremony while the Cub Scouts watched and saluted.

Check out the video...

There were six Scouts altogether, three Boy Scouts and three Cub Scouts. M is on the far right. They were a small group for sure, but lots of kids, my oldest included, were at camp, and others were traveling or had recently moved.

M and I pose together.

Happy Independence Day, everyone! Fly your flags with pride today and every day. God Bless America!