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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Holiday Vacation

Hello, from Cloudcroft New Mexico!!! We left today for our weekend trip to the Mountains! Woohoo!

Actually, it could have been better. Captain America and I got into a little tiff last night. And since we've started counseling, I'm pleased to say that they're just tiffs. We've learned a lot of skills to help us in our communication.

Anyway, we were both upset with each other, for whatever reason (yeah, don't need to air EVERYTHING, right - hehe.) I think it had something to do with packing for the trip.....

Anyway, we were upset with each other. And it kinda put a damper on packing. And planning. And the drive up there...

Captain America had to go to a 0730 formation this morning, and was home by 9am. I got up at 0730 and started on laundry. And I finally got it all washed and dried, and found the missing clothes for the suit cases. I figured out what clothes I wanted, and packed for me, and it wasn't until 930ish that I hopped into the shower.

We were ready to go by around 1030. A little later than we'd planned, but still, we were ready.

It was a LONG drive, since Captain America and I were not talking.... We stopped in Almogordo at Wendy's for lunch. And were back on the road again. We drove to Cloudcroft, and found our hotel. It's a Lodge up in the woods. SO cool!

But first, here's a few pics of the scenic drive.

And here's our lodge - isn't it COOL!
We took all the kids up to the lobby, and signed in. We were in an accessory building, with 4 units. We had 2 rooms, sleeps 8, and had a HUGE bathroom with jaccuzzi and balcony. Yeah, it's pretty NICE! And, our lodge we share with 3 other rooms has a GIANT TV in the common area, a pool table, kitchen, and everything. It's pretty sweet :)

Tom in front of the GIANT christmas tree in the lobby
The kids played checkers/tic tac toe while we registered

And then we headed to our rooms, and unpacked, and hung for about an hour before the first class started. And Captain America and I tried to talk about what had happened (I'd called a Time Out), and yeah, it wasn't getting anywhere. Sigh. So much for a fun marriage retreat, right?

So we headed up to the main lodge for the classes.

The child care people had car problems in Alamogordo, so we were about 30 minutes off schedule. So we had a little bit more free time. We checked out the gift shop, and finally, were able to drop the kids off. Eme and Joe and Jim went to play with about 30 other kids, and Jake and Tom went back to the room to watch TV and play Wii.

And it was kinda awkward for Captain America and I, since we were both groucy with each other. Being in a room with a bunch of other couples. And about 20 minutes into it, someone was asked to describe marriages, or something like that, and they said they were "long and hard", and Captain America and I almost busted up. We've been watching WAY too much Office lately, and that's all we needed to not be mad at each other anymore.

And from that moment, I had a GREAT time. We started talking and joking and having a good time. We decided to be happy with each other, and enjoy the weekend. Thank goodness!

After the first session, we broke for dinner. They fed the little kids downstairs, and we got to eat in the restaurant. It was buffet style, but they seated us in the dining room. It was pretty fancy. And Jake and Tom ate with us. After they stopped squabling, it was an enjoyable time - hehe.

We had chicken (the roast beef was out when we went through) and an asparagus/green bean mixture, and salad, and fresh fruit. Well, that's what I had. They had some pastas and potatoes and rice and crackers and cheese ball and rolls, but I didn't eat those.

We took a few pictures in front of the tree before heading back to our room.

Tom and his new wallet that he bought in the gift shop

We left Jake and Tom in the room, the little kids were doing great at the child care, and we went back to our class. At around 8:45pm, we were finished with classes, collected the kids, and headed to the room. I was having a hard time getting a connection in the room, so I went and asked at the front desk, and they fixed it for me. Thanks!!!

And here it is, only 9:40pm, and I'm gonna go hang with Captain America. Because we have our own room, and the kids are asleep :) And I'm no longer upset with him - :P

Click on the link below to go to my account to download the PNG file, and leave some love if you like my work. Thanks!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Let It Snow

Hello, hello, hello! Hope today finds everyone happy and healthy! I know yesterday was a GREAT, but super LONG day for me.

First off, though, lets start with the NEW goodies in my store!!! I have 5 new WordArt packs, one of which is an alphabet wordart bundle, and one which is a 12 month circular calendar pack. Some REALLY fun stuff! And a crossword WordArt pack. Cool, huh??!!

Click HERE to go to my store to check out my NEW products :)

Captain America had to be to work by 7am ish, so he woke up a little before 6am. And yeah, I woke up too. I really did want to go back to sleep, but I just kinda laid there and pretended to sleep. I eventually did wake up, read my scriptures, say my prayers, and help the kids get ready for school.

Eme and Tom were already ready when I went out, but Joe was still asleep. I woke the poor little thing up, and he was super sleepy. And he was taking FOREVER in the bathroom. When I asked him about it, he said he had diarrhea. Nice...

AND, he had a bad cough. You know what? If I had diarrhea and a bad cough, I sure wouldn't wanna go to a public place and hang out all day long. That's not a good combo, you know. So I gave him the option of staying home. Which he took. hehe. I gave him some cough medicine, and sent him back to bed.

Tom and Eme left for the bus after family prayer, and I sat on the couch with Jimmy and snuggled for a little while. Jake woke up and got to school, and Jim and Joe eventually put on a movie.

I got ready for my hike after a bit. Laurie and Kari and I were going hiking in the Franklin mountains again! One of my favoritest days of the week, you know! HIking day!

Here's me before leaving

Kari came to pick me up, then we got Laurie, and we headed out to the mountains. Here's me in the car. Sporting my BRAND NEW zit. Lovely, isn't it!

And I took a ton of pictures, and it was an AWESOME view, and yeah, this is the ONLY one that worked. My phone SAID that it was uploading them to Facebook, but it lied. It lied horribly.... But at least I got this one. I'm almost to the top, and I'm giving the phone a "thumbs up". hehe.

So, Kari, you lucked out, and the picture I took where you were worried that your butt was in it, it's gone - hehe. Your saved!

It was very peaceful on top of the mountain. You could see all of El Paso's West side, and a lot of the surrounding Franklin Mountains. It felt very good to be that close to nature. The mountain air was WONDERFUL! It was chilly in the shady part of the mountain, but once we got to the sunshine, it was a warm 55 degrees. I loved EVERY minute of it!

We hiked back down the mountain, and headed back to post. They dropped me off at my house JUST as it was time for Jim to go to the bus. PERFECT timing, huh? hehe.

Joe and Jake and I got lunch organized, I changed out of my sweaty workout clothes into some regular clothes, I got my lunch together, and I headed out for another appointment. Captain America and I were supposed to have a couples therapy session today, but he had to go to the range. So the therapist met with me for an individual session. We already had the time slot booked, might as well use it, right? hehe.

It was a good session. I know in the past, he's say things that I may not have agreed with right off the bat, and I'd start feeling sorry for myself, or just take whatever he said without question. But the more that I start thinking for myself, the more I'm able to explain myself and my reasons for doing certain things. Which, ultimately, is his goal, I think :) So when I "argued my point" today, I think he was proud of me. The me from a few months ago wouldn't have done that. The me today did :) And I felt pretty good about myself, too. This therapist is WONDERFUL. I really appreciate all the time and energy and prayer and care that he's put into Captain America and I. I know that because of him, my family is going to be more than just all right. They're gonna be a lot stronger and better because of him. Thanks!

As I was leaving the office, I noticed this BEAUTIFUL Christmas tree. And yeah, I'd like to say that it's MY Christmas tree in my house. But that would be a lie - hehe. Still, it's super pretty :)

My appointment was running a bit behind, so I ended up waiting for 20 minutes in the office. See my "waiting patiently" face... What? Don't you take goofy pictures of yourself when you're bored? No? OK, so maybe I'm strange...

And then I headed to the Dollar Tree. I had a few minutes before I needed to leave for home to get Jim from the bus, and Jake had eaten all of my thin whole wheat low calorie buns. Grrr... He didn't realize that they weren't for him....

Anyway, I checked out Dollar Tree, and they didn't have any. Drat! I was gonna get a few cookie sheets, but the line to pay was about 8 people long. Yeah, I didn't want them THAT bad. So I put them back and headed home.

I tried calling Andrea on the way home, but she wasn't answering. Then I tried calling my friend Tracy in Illinois, but I didn't have her phone number, just her facebook and email info. Drat!

I tried calling my mom, but she had to go back to work. I tried calling my Grandma, but she wasn't answering either. Dang, I was striking out.

And just so you know, I have a bluetooth. It's illegal to talk on the phone and drive without a hands free device in the city limits of El Paso.

Anyway, a few minutes later, my Grandma called me back, and we chatted for a few minutes. She's not much of a chatter (hehe), but I really like to talk with her :) She's awesome :)

Then I called my Aunt Sue (my mom's mom) and we chatted the rest of the way home. I really wish that she'd come out and visit me. I know that we'd have a GREAT time, us together :)

I came inside the house, and it was about time to go and get Jim from the bus. Joe wanted to walk with me, so we headed on over. I couldn't find my phone (I set it down and the newspaper was on top of it on the kitchen counter), so I headed out without it.

Maggie was at he bus stop, and instead of us all heading to her house for a playgroup, we decided to go to the park. It was almost 60 degrees, and we couldn't pass up the outside opportunity.

The boys had a TON of fun playing at the park. And, of course, Jim was the one kid that decided to jump in the puddles and get all wet. Sigh. So he ended up playing in his sweatshirt and underware for part of the time - LOL!

At 3:40pm, we headed to the school to pick up the kids from AQ. Captain America was home, so I left Jake and Jim and Joe at home, and Captain America and I headed on up. We got Tom and Eme (Bella skipped AQ today), and headed back home.

Captain America and I hung and chatted for a little bit, then I started on dinner for the kids. Chili and cornbread. Mmmmm, smelled really good :) And Captain America taught Jake how to put on a gas mask, just for fun. Here's Jake trying it out. Yeah, I don't think I'd like that ...

At 5pm, we set the kids up with food, and Captain America and I headed to El Taco Tote. Mini date night! hehe. Something they put in their Brocheta was SUPER spicy tonight! I don't know what it was, but my poor mouth was ON FIRE!

I told Captain America to pose with his drink, and setting it on his head was his idea of posing - ROFL!
We made it back on post JUST before they shut the gate by our house, picked up Joe from the house (and dropped off the El Taco Tote leftovers (rice and tortillas) for the kids) and headed to Cub Scouts. It was the pack meeting, and we needed to pay our fees for the upcoming year in Scouting :)

Here's the 3 of us, kinda blurry, but you get the general idea...
I wanted a picture of Joe and me, and the child REFUSED to smile. Hmpf!
But he was all grins when he posed with his daddy...
The boys decorated and made Christmas Cards, and got cookies and drinks for snack. It was a nice pack meeting. We paid our fee, and jetted. We had to get home to get the kids busy packing, and head to Walmart.

We drove home, and made a list on the Dry Erase board of all the clothes that the kids needed to pack for our trip, and all of the stuff they needed to get together. I assigned a couch cushion to each child to lay out their clothes on.

And Captain America and I hurried out to Walmart. He needed new razors and floss. Essentials, you know - hehe :) And we parked by the garden/Christmas section, so we picked up a few lights as we went inside. See, I'm getting OUTSIDE Christmas lights this year! Yippee!

We were home within an hour (that's SUPER good time for a Walmart trip - ha!), and helped the kids get the rest of the way packed. Well, Captain America did. I retreated to my room to do my weekly WordArt work. I'd already designed the packs, but I needed to get them loaded into the store. And I needed to blog.

And here it is, 9:32pm. I can hear Captain America out there still packing away. I don't hear any kids, so I'm assuming they were all sent to bed. I know we did family prayer shortly after we got home, so it's all good :)

I'm feeling SUPER sleepy tonight. I don't know if it's all the fresh air and exercise I got today, the fact that I went to bed close to midnight and got up before 6am this morning, or what, but I'm exhausted! I hope I sleep well tonight!

We're leaving her no later than 10am for our trip. We're going to Cloudcroft New Mexico, and staying at a nice hotel/lodge up there. Should be a GREAT trip :) The kids are looking forward to it, and I'm looking forward to spending the weekend with Captain America, and having the kids be at the on-site babysitter! We counted up the time, and Captain America leaves in about 5 weeks. Sigh. It's gonna be a LONG year without him... So I'm making the most of EVERY opportunity I have!

Here's a SUPER cool layout by my girl, Sharon!

Click on the image above to go to my account to download the PNG file, and leave some love if you like my work. Thanks! (see, I changed things up a bit - hehe - my fingers didn't know how to type that one quite as fast. I had to think about it - LOL!)

4shared (is not working at the moment..)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Around the World

First off, I wanted to ask my blog readers from Britain for some help. Tom (5th grade) was tasked with doing a project about Christmas around the world. His country he was assigned was Britain. It's a visual presentation, and it's a grade for Art, Social Studies, AND Reading.

So, here's the points that he needs to cover, relating to Christmas. Some are pretty easy to figure out, but others I thought that y'all could help him with!

*the continent it is located on
*name of celebration
*how this country says "Merry Christmas"
*what is Santa's name in this language
*why this holiday is celebrated
*their gift-giving procedure
*any other interesting facts

Also, he gets extra credit if he memorizes a song from the country and sings it for the class.

SO, anyone from Britain who wants to help, and sends some info and pictures (through email), if possible, can earn a FREE WordArt pack.

My email is bnbharty@gmail.com, and I"ll pass the info on to Tom :) THANKS, you guys!!! His project is DUE on the 15th, so the sooner the better *wink, wink*

AND, as I was messing around with Captain Americas phone tonight, I found a few pictures from the zoo that never got uploaded to Facebook! So here they are :)

Morning, girls! Hope everyone had a great day yesterday! Mine started at 6:30am, checking emails, and then I couldn't go back to sleep. I wanted to, but my brain was working too fast, and I couldn't get it to shut off. Sigh.

I finally went out to get the kids ready and on the bus, and was SO gonna go back to sleep, when Jim woke up. So I hung with Jim and Jake for a while in the morning, then hopped in the shower. I figured that if I didn't accomplish another thing today, as long as I got a shower and looked cute, all would be well. hehe. I was stressing about a few things, and was trying to "let it all go" by thinking about other things and doing the things that would make me happy :)

Showering and being pretty makes me happy - LOL!

I put on my exercise clothes, and got ready for yoga at 11am. At 9:30am, Jake and Jim and I headed out for the Dollar Tree for Bread, and Howdys for a soda. I put Jake in charge of the refillable cups, and he took a quick pic of my new workout clothes :)
He chatted with his Aunt Sue (my mom's sister) all the way to town. And once we got to Howdy's, he said that he left the cups at home. Grrr. So I decided that the kids didn't get sodas, since it was gonna be double the cost now. But they did have free popcorn with purchase. So I got myself a DDP and popcorns for both boys.

And we headed to Dollar Tree. And I made them leave their popcorn in the truck, but I totally brought in my soda. hehe.
I bumped into Emeline's Achievement day leader from church in the Dollar Tree, and we chatted for a bit. She's a very nice lady :)

I grabbed the few things that I needed, and we headed home. Here's me in the truck.

Singing to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

We headed home, and still had about 20 minutes before the bus. I got everything ready for yoga, made sure Jim was ready and lunch was packed, and he and I headed for the bus, Jake going back to school.

Erin and Maggie and I had fun chatting at the bus stop, then Kari came to pick me up, the bus left, and she and I headed to Yoga. It was a VERY good class. A lot of stretching, which I really needed. My arms were sore after swimming yesterday. And my legs too.... hehe.

After yoga, Kari dropped me off at home, and Jake and I had lunch and watched Fringe. Captain Americadidn't get to come home at lunch, so he and I spent lunch together.

No baking for me today. I did work on my store a little bit, organizing my new releases and such. And I felt my migraine starting to come back. Sigh.

I took a decongestant, hoping that it would help. Yeah, it didn't. So I finally took my migraine pill and ibprofrin and tylenol. And went to lay down when the kids got home from school. They'd canceled AQ, so everyone was home at 3:30pm.

I tried to lay down, but it wasn't really working. I did stay in the dark room for about an hour, though. I chatted with my mother in law on the phone for a while, and looked on line for a bit.

At around 5:30pm, I was feeling a bit better, and came out and directed chores to be done. My drugs were making me a little out of it, yet agitated at the same time. So directing 5 rowdy kids to do their chores was NOT the best time...

I had Eme make French toast, and it's now 6:11pm. We have to leave here at 6:45pm to get to church by 7pm. I have Tithing settlement AND a temple recommend interview tonight at 8pm. Captain America's supposed to be there, but I haven't heard from him all day. So I'm not sure if he's gonna make it in time or now. Either way, I'm getting my interview done :)

I hope I feel a lot better in the next 30 minutes.

OK, I'm back! I bet you didn't even know that I'd gone - hehe :) It's now 9:42pm, and I'm sitting in bed, blogging :) Maybe I'll watch Monday's episode of Lie To Me after I'm done... That sounds like fun :)

Anyway, I DID feel better, about 6:20pm. When Captain America walked in the door! Hallelujah! That meant that he was gonna come with us tonight, and that I didn't have to drive! hehe. Just seeing him INSTANTLY made me feel happy :) He kinda has that effect on me these days...

Anyhow, we both put on Dressy clothes, got the kids ready for their Wednesday night church activities, and warm coats, and headed out the door. We dropped Eme and Jake and Tom off at the church at 7pm, and Captain America and Joe and Jim and I headed to Taco Cabana for me to get some dinner. Everyone else had eaten, but I was stressing my headache, and didn't get around to eating. And I KNEW that I needed something :) See, I'm being VERY good :)

Captain America and I both got a Cabana bowl (taco salad, customizable), and the little boys got a big Nachos to share (since they'd already eaten dinner). They enjoyed it SO much - hehe. My salad was pretty good. It's no El Taco Tote or Carlos and Mickeys, but it'll do in a pinch...

Here's a few pics from our "dinner".

Look how long my hair is getting! Oh yeah, and this Taco Cabana has Diet Dr Pepper - ha!
I thought this was a CRAZY Joe face - LOL!
We still had some time to kill before our 8pm meeting for Tithing settlement, so we headed over to Howdy's for ..... gas! No soda, since we'd gotten them at Taco Cabana. hehe. Here's me, trying to warm up, by drinking ice cold DDP in the truck. Go figure on that one... hehe!
And then we went to the Car Wash! Yeah, the little boys had SO much fun watching and ducking (hehe) as we went through it. I don't know if they'd ever been in a car wash that they could remember before - ha!

And then we headed to the church, and got there RIGHT at 8pm. But the bishop was running a few minutes behind on meetings, so we were plenty early - hehe. The little boys went and played, and Captain America and I chatted with some other people in the ward. It was very nice :)

Then, about 20 minutes later, it was our turn. We did Tithing Settlement, where it's our chance to talk to the bishop about whether or not we pay a full tithing. We believe that we are commandmended to pay Heavenly Father 10% of our income. So Tithing Settlement is just a chance to sit down with local leaders and "declare" whether one pays a "full tithe" or not.

After Tithing Settlement, Captain America and I had our Temple Recommend interviews. Temple recommend interviews consist of a member of the bishopric meeting with an individual, and going over a set of questions that help a person reflect on the level of commitment they have to following gospel commandments. We have Temple Recommend interviews every 2 years. Once you have a temple recommend, you can go to the temple.

Captain America went first, and I chatted with Eme's Achievement day leader. We'd brought zucchini bread, and they just LOVED it. She wanted the recipe - hehe.

Next, it was my turn. It made me SO happy to be able to answer each of the questions about the conduct in my life, and to be able to report that I was doing good and living up to the standards of my church. It made me very happy indeed :)

Now, we just need to get with a member from the Stake Presidency, and get our 2nd interview, and we'll have our recommends renewed. Then we can go to the temple :)

We gathered up the kids, and headed out for home. It's always such a whirwind on Wednesday nights. Home, bedtime routine. Jake fell over something coming into the house, and when 185 lbs falls, it's not good. He had bloody knees, and a bruised shoulder. I sent him to soak in a bath, then come and get ointment and bandaids, and ice his shoulder. Poor big kid!

Captain America has to be to work tomorrow at 6:40am. Yeah, I'm SO glad that they changed PT to afternoons, so that he could be home with me in the mornings, to help with the kids..... wait, he's not.... silly army. I know they mean well...... sigh.

Click on the links below to go to my account to download the PNG file, and leave some love if you like my work. Thanks!


Layout by Sharon - isn't it COOL, all the different Santas???!!!