18 October 2012

More on OPSEC

From here.  OPSEC is very important - here's a little Dr. Suess word play to help you remember the do's and don'ts and why's. Enjoy! (I didn't write it. Click on the website.)

I am Sam. Sam I am.
Do you like OPSEC and ham?
I do not get it, Sam I am.
 I do not get OPSEC and ham.
We must use it here and there.
We must use it everywhere.
You CAN share it in a car.
But you CANNOT in a bar.
You CANNOT share it in a text.
You CANNOT share it at the NEX.
You CAN say it in your house.
But should NOT tell a random spouse.
You CAN say it in the shower.
But do NOT go sharing at happy hour.
DON'T make the Ombudsman sweat.
DON'T post it on the internet.
You CANNOT share it in a tweet.
That would not be very sweet.
Beware of Facebook and Myspace too.
It's tempting to let your feelings through. 
You cannot tell it to a friend.
NOT even at the very end.
It is a privilege to know a date.
DON'T tell ANYONE or they may be late!
Oh, I get it, Sam I am! 
Now I get OPSEC and ham!
I will not tell anyone. I will keep hushed until they're done!
I will not tell him or her. I will not tell my dog with fur.
I will not tell my child's teacher. I will not tell any creature.
Thank you, THANK YOU, Sam I am.
Thank you for clearing up OPSEC and Ham!!!

16 October 2012

Balloon Fiesta!

After two years of living in Albuquerque, we finally made it Balloon Fiesta! The first year Mike, (who doesn't care about anonymity) was TDY and Little Man was still eating once or twice a night, I was so tired, I didn't want to brave getting up at 3 am with a six month old and an eighteen month old by myself and go to a huge crowd place in a new city. So we chased balloons around the city one morning, which was really neat.

Last year Mike was volunteering at the Balloon Fiesta, so he got to go both Saturdays (although he didn't see much because he was working), but he was too tired to go on Sunday and I didn't want to take a two month old, an eighteen month old and a two year old by myself (should have gone the first year, right? When I had just two children . .) So we chased balloons around the city again, which was really fun. (I thought I had written about it, but I didn't - boo on me.)

Sunrise over the Sandia Mountains
So this year, we finally went. To. Balloon. Fiesta. At the Balloon Park. Yay!! We got up at 0330, got the kids up at 0400 and headed out. The morning started out with a minor disaster - I didn't listen to my intuition and bring cash, so we had to turn around and go find an ATM to get cash. And when you are really sleep deprived, and incredibly angry at yourself because you didn't listen to yourself, it's pretty hard to think clearly. Anyway, problem was solved and we were back at the Balloon Park within 20 minutes, got a good place to park, loaded the kids up under several blankets/quilts a piece, and headed down to the field!

Little Man

Flower - she was so mad at me for waking up her, she wouldn't look at the camera. Grumpy little bebe in the morning! Thank you Sierra for the quilt! :D

We got to the field about 0545, which is when the Dawn Patrol should have started. But we were under a weather delay (we found out later) and the winds were too high for the Dawn Patrol balloons to go up. So we waited and ate our breakfast that I brought and I fed Daphne, who went back to sleep, and walked around to warm our legs, feet and toes up and waited some more.

Because of the high winds aloft, the officials were waiting for the sun to rise higher in the sky, hoping the heat of the sun would diminish the high winds. In the meantime, we spotted a squadron of storm troopers (yes, Storm Troopers) and Darth Sidious, so we followed them. That was pretty neat. We watched the sun rise and waited some more.

I tried to get a pic of me with the Storm Troopers, but Mike didn't take it fast enough.
 Sophie and Daphne started to get pretty upset, and we weren't sure if the balloons were going to go up at all, so we went back to the van to get the kids warm (we should have just waited there to begin with). It turns out Sophie had somehow gotten her pants all wet (she didn't have an accident, so I'm not sure what happened), so that explains why she was so upset - being wet in the 30 degree temps - I would cry too. Unfortunately, the only change of clothes I had for her was a summer outfit because I hadn't changed her clothes out yet for the season, so we ended up staying in the van and Mike and I took turns walking to the gate to watch the balloons go up. They launched a few dozen (it was a weekday), and it was pretty neat to see. The kids got a kick out of watching the balloons go up into the sky.

The winds were the south until a certain elevation, and they switched around to the north, so it was pretty neat to see the balloons floating first one way, and then going back as they got higher in the sky.

The kids had a great time, and Mike had as much fun as when we were chasing balloons around the city. We learned a few lessons for next year, so hopefully we'll be able to go and we'll be better prepared. All in all, it was a fun morning, and the kids really had a blast. Mike and I enjoyed it, and it's always fun to spend the morning watching hot air balloons gracefully float in the crisp, cool morning air.

Have you ever been to Balloon Fiesta? Tell me about your experience! :)

101 in 1001 update

I've been checking things off the list! Yay!

# 97 - Visit the in-laws in South Dakota - we are actually in South Dakota as I write this! Yay! It has been a wonderful visit too! More on that in another post.

# 54 - Celebrate our anniversary in a romantic way - we got to celebrate our 5 year anniversary in South Dakota! So that means we got to celebrate it together! Yay! It wasn't quite what I was thinking in romantic terms, but we were together and we weren't fighting and we got some great alone time! I'll take it! :D

#71 - Complete Butterfly's scrapbook - I didn't exactly do a scrapbook like the original plan, but I did finish her first year Shutterfly book, which is almost like a scrapbook (a lot easier, and I think less expensive). Shutterfly has embellishments, which are just like scrapbook stickers, and you can use as many as you want, and I did lots of embellishing! Now I'm working on Little Man's.

#44 - See a Mass Ascension during Balloon Fiesta - we did that this past week! It was really neat! And absolutely freezing! More on that later too. :) I did not complete #43 however, which is ride in a hot air balloon. Hopefully this spring. It's way too expensive to do that during Balloon Fiesta. Plus it's too long to be away from Flower, who is still nursing.

I'm only at 30 of the 101 goals, and my 1001 days ends next July, so I doubt I'll finish before then, but I'm trying! And next list, I won't put so many goals that involves driving all over a really large state, lol.

How are you doing on your 101 in 1001? Do you have one? If not, it's great! Definitely a real motivator. :)

04 October 2012

Musings of the Stepping Stones

Hopefully I'll get to finish this post tonight, I've been wanting to write it for quite a few days now, although the extra time only gives me more material to write about. :)

Here are some of the Musings and Actions of my children, the Stepping Stones from recently:

Scene: the bathroom at bedtime as I'm preparing Flower's iron supplement.
Butterfly: "Mommy, I need medicine. I have a bad cough."
Me: "No, you don't need medicine; you haven't coughed all day."
Butterfly: Forced cough, cough "Yes, I do, I have a bad cough."


Scene: the kids bedroom
Little Man: lying prone on the window sill, much like a cat. "Look Mommy, I see birds."


Scene: Butterfly and I had gone to the commissary two days prior and purchased a package of Oreo cookies (a rare treat) and some other things. Now I'm sitting at the dining room table browsing the internet waiting for dinner to finish. Butterfly comes up.
Butterfly: "Mommy, I need a cookie." (We're working on the different between needing and wanting).
Me: "We don't have any more cookies." I show her the empty Oreos' cookie package.
Butterfly: "We need to go to the commissary and get more cookies."

A little while later . . .
Little Man: "Mommy, please may have cookie?"
Me: "We don't have any more cookies, they are all gone."
Little Man runs away and reappears, clothes completely removed, "Please may have cookie?"
Not sure how the lack of clothing would have changed the outcome . . . but it was hilarious!


Scene: Flower has taken Butterfly's cooking apron from off the coffee table and is scooting around the living room. She keeps throwing it over her head like she's trying to put it on.
I go to the kitchen to put some dishes away and I come back and she has actually put the apron on and she has the most proud look on her face.

Flash forward a few days: Flower now takes any article of clothing she can get a hold of, pants, shirts, socks, and tries to "put them on" and proudly scoots around showing off her latest fashion. This usually results in a pants worn as a scarf or a shirt hanging on one shoulder. Very cute though!


Scene: it's Sunday morning and we're all downstairs getting ready for chapel. Little Man has brought his blankie down with him and has draped it over his head.
He's walking around with said blanket over his head and walks smack into the wall.
While Mike consoled him, I stifled my giggles into a nearby, and very handy, blanket.


Scene: I'm making dinner and I hear Little Man saying random words in the living room ("that's a house", "that's a cat", "there's the moon", etc. I peer around the corner, so as not to disturb the scene, and Little Man has Goodnight Moon open on his lap and Flower is sitting next to him. She is pointing to an object on the page, and he is telling her what it is. 


Scene: Butterfly, Little Man, Flower and I are all in the van on the way home from school one day. You must know that Butterfly loves the mountains and asks almost every day to go to the mountains. From the backseat, I hear:
Butterfly: "Go to the mountains?"
Little Man: "No go to the mountains."
Butterfly: "Go to the mountains!"
Little Man: "No go to the mountains."
Emotions heat up a bit and the dialogue gets a little more intense . . .
Butterfly: "Go to the mountains!"
Little Man: "No go to the mountains!"
Butterfly: "Go to the mountains!"
Little Man: "No go to the mountains!"
This continues, for I kid you not, ten minutes before I put an end to the argument.


Scene: The house.
Flower has discovered a favorite book! She absolutely loves Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae. Whenever she finds it, she picks it up and scoots over to me with her big blue eyes just imploring me to read it to her. So sweet!


Scene: The living room this past summer when GrandDad was visiting and Mike was TDY. Little Man is the far side of the living room on the rocking horse.
Butterfly, screaming: "Not my toes! Not my toes!"
Little Man: rocking an inch at a time, draws closer and closer to Butterfly. An inch at a time.
Butterfly, screaming shriller: "Not my toes! Not my toes!" She does not make any move away from where she is standing, instead she gets up on her tippy toes and starts to dance anxiously from one foot to the other.
Little Man: Rocks inches closer. He's more than ten feet away at this point.
Butterfly: "Not my toes! Not my toes!"
Then I just pick Butterfly up and place her on a chair, where her toes are safe and far away from Little Man's ever advancing (albeit very slowly) moves.


Scene: The living room, where I am unpacking a box of books that a wonderful friend gave me.
Flower scoots over to help out and bangs her head on the box.
In a very complacent, mild voice, "Ow".


I have to say, I really love this Mom thing!

02 October 2012

101 in 1001 thoughts

I have been trying pretty hard to work on my 101 in 1001 list and I am feeling the pressure. So I've been thinking about doing a little modification to my list.

First, when I started this list, it was kind of a "goals to complete while in New Mexico" list, hence all the road trips. We've taken a few road trips and I have come to the realization that the chances are very slim that we will complete all the road trips on the list before we leave. We just don't have the time or money. And some of them we really want to do again because they were just that good! If you look at the list, and then look at a map of New Mexico, you will see that some of the road trips are a few hundred miles away - and that's before you even start the drive!

So here is what I have been thinking: I was thinking about switching some road trips for some other travel destinations, such as the Sky Pueblo and some of the other pueblos and some of other destinations of note. I pretty much wouldn't change anything else on the list. Except for the time . . .

As I said, it was a sort of "goals to complete in New Mexico" list, and my 1001 days officially ends next July . .. but we don't leave for another 11 months after that.

What do you guys think? Should I modify my list or would that be too much breaking of the rules? What would you do? :)

Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling

Every once in a while I come across a book in which the characters become friends and the setting becomes like a new place to visit and explore. In Whispers in the Wind, by Lauraine Snelling, I felt like I was becoming friends with Cassie Lockwood, Mavis, Ransom and Lucas and the other characters. I loved seeing the South Dakota scenery through their eyes, as they lived out their lives on their ranch.

Whispers in the Wind is the second book in the Wild West Wind series, although if you haven’t read the first book, you can get along just fine. I didn’t read the first book, and Snelling caught me up on all the major details in the first few chapters of the book.  Cassie has headed to her father’s ranch in South Dakota to live out his dream of raising horses, but problems arise with some of the family members on the ranch who didn’t know that half of their ranch had been deeded out at the onset.  Mavis, the matron of the family, shows nothing but God’s kindness and love to Cassie and her traveling friends, drawing them in and leading them to Jesus Christ. I loved how she sprinkled the story with true South Dakota details – like serving beets and pickles at meals and using the expression “Uff da”.

The first few chapters of the book were a little bumpy for me, but once the book warmed up, so to speak, I had a really hard time putting it down. Snelling wove the characters and scenery together so beautifully and asked some big questions about the Lord along the way.  I thoroughly recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in fiction, Western fiction or who asked that big question: “Was this disaster part of the Lord’s will?”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany Publishing Company book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”