Thursday, April 25, 2013

Deployment Care Package: The Spring Cleaning Version

Most of you that read this know that Steve deployed to Afghanistan in February. Since he left I have already mailed him an Easter Care Package. However I have several theme care packages in mind. This is the first of them. I am sure it won't be his favorite box ever, but I had fun putting it together. I call it the "Spring Clean" box.

I started with a medium flat rate box, and jazzed it up a tiny bit with of Scrapbook paper and a little quote/song lyric.

Then I added the cleaning elements. Some dish soap (double wrapped!) for the occasional travel mug washing, a sponge & disposable cleaning rags, Magic erasers, pre-moistened dusting wipes that are safe for electronics, a fuzzy duster, and of course multi-purpose wipes.

Then I added the "smelly stuff".  A plug in warmer & 2 refills. Steve loves a candle, so even though I know he won't be able to light it I couldn't resist putting in the tiny candle. 

 Of course I had to include a few rewards for chores well done;) I put in the most recent issue of his gaming magazine, some k-cups for his office, a DVD he requested, and an adorable pair of yellow submarine boxers.

Then I threw in some notes from the kiddos, and a recent picture of them:)

Here is the finished box, packed up, ready to tape up, and ship out:)

Hope he gets a little smile from it. 

A Military Wife Poem...Lots of Moving

This was on FB today, and I loved it so much that I wanted to both share it and have it in a place I could save it:)

A Military Wife

Lots of moving...
Moving far from home...
Moving two cars, three kids and one dog...all riding with HER of course.
Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house;
Moving curtains that won't fit;
Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours.
Moving away from friends;
Moving toward new friends;
Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.

Often waiting...
Waiting for housing.
Waiting for orders.
Waiting for deployments.
Waiting for phone calls.
Waiting for reunions.
Waiting for the new curtains to arrive.
Waiting for him to come home, For dinner...AGAIN!

They call her 'Military Dependent', but she knows better:
She is fiercely In-Dependent.

She can balance a check book;
Handle the yard work;
Fix a noisy toilet;
Bury the family pet...
She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts.
She can file the taxes;
Sell a house;
Buy a car;
Or set up a move... .....all with ONE Power of Attorney.

She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her.
She reinvents her career with every PCS;
Locates a house in the desert, The Arctic, Or the deep south.
And learns to call them all 'home'.
She MAKES them all home.

Military Wives are somewhat hasty...
They leap into:
Career alternatives,
And friendships. They don't have 15 years to get to know people.
Their roots are short but flexible.
They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other:
They connect over coffee,
Rely on the spouse network,
Accept offers of friendship and favors.
Record addresses in pencil...

Military Wives have a common bond:
The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands; his commitment is unique.
He doesn't have a 'JOB'
He has a 'MISSION' that he can't just decide to quit...
He's on-call for his country 24/7.
But for her, he's the most unreliable guy in town!
His language is foreign
And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his.
She is the long- distance link to keep them informed;
the glue that holds them together.

A Military Wife has her moments:
She wants to wring his neck;
Dye his uniform pink;
Refuse to move to Siberia;
But she pulls herself together.
Give her a few days,
A travel brochure,
A long hot bath,
A pledge to the flag,
A wedding picture,
And she goes.
She packs.
She moves.
She follows.

What for?
How come?
You may think it is because she has lost her mind.
But actually it is because she has lost her heart.
It was stolen from her by a man,
Who puts duty first,
Who longs to deploy,
Who salutes the flag,
And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband,
She will remain his military wife.
And would have it no other way
--Author Unknown

Monday, April 22, 2013

Muffin Tin Monday: Earth Day Version

I have actually done a few muffin tins here and there since Gwen has been born. But they either weren't picture/post worthy or I just didn't have the energy to document them:/ I was pretty pleased with today's though and wanted to share. 
WARNING: If you have issues with food dye (especially blue) this is not the post for you!;)

I got my inspiration for today's tin from these adorable cupcakes I had seen on Pinterest. I was super brave and even let the kiddos help me assemble & bake these! They turned out really well, and were pretty tasty without icing. However the kids insisted that some of them have "atmosphere" or "clouds", AKA as frosting;)

I rounded out the rest of the tin with the following: Reusable cup with Blue Kool-aid, A Turkey Bagel Sandwich with a homemade earth pick, an all natural blueberry & yogurt smoothie pouch, some sliced kiwi with frozen blueberries (my kids prefer them that way!), our little earth cupcakes, and a handful of steamed edamame pods. I offered the kids veggie straws instead of the edamame, but they are addicted to the popping of the soybeans:) 

Gideyon is always photo bombing my tins!;) The cupcakes look miniature because I serve my guys food in jumbo muffin tins. They are 9 & 10, so a regular muffin portion of most things doesn't cut it anymore.

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pinned It, Did It!!! Baked Tacos

I am determined to actually post something besides my adorable every growing baby! SO here is my first of what will hopefully be a series "Pinned It, Did It!"

I have had this pin on my "Just Say Yum" Board for forEVVAHHH! But I am glad I waited  because my first pin was from "One Good Thing by Jillee", however recently a new version floated across Pinterest from "Mommy I'm Hungry" and that version seemed more up my alley. This is how I made it, modified it, and what I will do different next time:

Baked Tacos
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Small Onion chopped
1 Packet Taco Seasoning
1/2 Small Can Green Enchilada Sauce
1/2 Can of Refried Beans
10-12 Hard Taco Shells
2 Cups Shredded Cheese of Choice ( I ♥ Sharp Cheddar, but you may prefer Mexican Blend)
Toppings of Your Taste: Lettuce, Tomatoes, Olives, Sour Cream, Guacamole

Directions: Brown Beef with Chopped Onions. Add your Taco Seasoning, 1/2 can of Enchilada Sauce, and Refried Beans and mix well with Beef. Stand your taco shells in a dish, and then stuff with the meat mixture. Then top each Taco with more shredded cheese than you should;) Place in oven preheated to 425* and heat for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove and serve with toppings of your choice!

They look yummy,huh? Well they were tasty, however as my daughter noted "Mom the shells are soggy":/ So next time I think I will try double heating the shells. I will cook them according to the pkg directions, then fill them and bake again.
Here is the pin link for the original recipe from "Mommy I'm Hungry" :
You will note that I chose not to make as a big of a batch as she did. I was only feeding myself and a 9 &10 year old. So 10 tacos was plenty with leftovers (Ok not that many leftovers, I may have eaten 2 and then like 2 bites of the leftover one:/) I also have this thing about not putting tomato sauce in my Mexican recipes, it seems more like a Italian cuisine thing. So instead I opted to leave the can of chilies out and use a can of Green Enchilada Sauce that had been hanging out in my pantry for much to long. I thought the end result was a wonderful filling, it had a slight heat from using Green Sauce but not so much that my kids wouldn't eat them. You could add more sauce or beans if you don't mind your filling a bit runny. Overall I am sure my modified version will be making a reappearance on our table!