Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blue and Gold Banquet

The cub scouts had their Blue and Gold Banquet this week. Noah has such great scouting leaders that do such a great job with the boys.


Noah was called up to get an award and he knew that I was trying to take his picture so he laid on the floor. I couldn't believe he did that! I was so embarrassed.


I got his picture anyway, the little stinker!


Each of the boys was asked to make a cake and bring it to the banquet. The cakes were used as centerpieces on each of the tables. It was an activity they were supposed to do with their mother or another adults help.


This is Noah's dirt cake. I made the cake while Noah was in school and that's all I did. He decorated the entire cake himself. It was hard for me not to try and help him, but he let me know that it was his project and he could do it all by himself. And, I think he did an excellent job. The little sign on top says "reserved for cub scout troop 637."


All of the boys did a wonderful job. It was fun to see what each of the boys came up with...







Good Times at Play Group

Some Mom's from our ward get together weekly for playgroup. I don't go all of the time because it meets when Lily is in preschool and on those days I try to run errands since I only have Miss Katy in tow. But, this week's activity was extra special because they had cookies for the kids to decorate and an Easter Egg hunt.


The cookies were shaped like Easter eggs and they had white frosting and sprinkles for the kids to decorate with.


Kids just love sprinkles!


Here are Katy and Teagan hunting Easter eggs.


Each child got to find 12 eggs. Katy probably found 30 eggs and I was going behind her taking them out as fast as she was putting them in the basket. She had lots of fun.


I'm ready to go now!


Happy Spring!

It is beautiful right now with the coming of Spring. The flowers and trees blooming and we have been taking lots of walks with the dog taking it all in. It certainly is a welcome change after the long cold winter we just endured. And, with the beauty comes the pollen and allergies but, that's just life I guess.


Katy wanted me to bring the stroller so she could ride in it, but that didn't last long before she wanted to get out and push her care bear in it.
.

Lily is such a girly girl wearing a hello kitty tiara and pink pearls.


Sweet sisters.


Lily loves to pick flowers and it's hard to keep her from wanting to pick all the neighbors flowers. So, I told her she could pick up as many flowers as she wanted to that have fallen off of the trees on the ground. She liked that idea, so she brought her bucket, but it's not the same as picking the big pretty purple and yellow ones the neighbors have. She still snuck in a few of those here and there!


We have been singing the Popcorn Popping song a lot lately!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Lily!

Lily just turned 4 this week and she wanted to have her birthday party at Monkey Joe's. We have been talking about and planning this for weeks and finally the big day came....


Here's the birthday girl hugging little sister before we left for the party.

I was having technical difficulties with my camera and missed so many cute pictures. All of them were blurry...It was so aggravating!!


Here is Lily and Jesse at the bottom of the slide.


Lily Bug and Katy Rose


Here's Nana and her Katy. Mom couldn't get over how Katy was walking around the place like she owned it and sliding down the big slides like the older kids.


Aunt Tonia is trying to get Katy to smile.


We're so glad Aunt Tonia and Molly could come and share in the fun.


I spent 8 hours the day before the party making and decorating cupcakes. These weren't exactly what I envisioned, but I was happy with the way they turned out. And, they were a big hit!


I really enjoyed the whole process of making the cupcakes, making the different colors of icing, and then the actual decorating was a blast. Except for not having the right size bags and not knowing how quirky frosting can be, it wasn't too difficult to do.


It was pretty time consuming and Travis reminded me I only had to neglect the family for a whole day to do it. But, it was a labor of love and I hope that counts for something.


I think my next cupcake project will be for Easter. I love Easter! Those should be fun and I'm sure the kids will love them.


The birthday girl lounging in the big monkey chair!


Lily's friends Meg and Sarah gave her this cute monkey.


17 of Lily's friends came to her party! We were so excited to have such a large crowd. Here the kids are enjoying pizza and juice.


Lily had friends from her preschool class, primary class, the gym, and even one of her cousins come to celebrate with her. I think everyone had a good time.


Here's Katy sitting between Brynn and Sarah.


Happy Birthday to you sweet Lily! We love you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ta- Da!!

I love my new blog design! Lauren from Designer Blogs did an excellent job and she was so nice to work with. I highly recommend using them if you would like to start a blog or get a new look for your current blog. They do custom designs and they have pre-made designs. Check them out!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Merediths Musings will be getting a facelift!

I am excited that my blog will be getting an updated look soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

DOD Resumes MyCAA Program

This is great news for military spouses!!!

DOD Resumes Military Career Spouse Program

The Department of Defense announced today the resumption of the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account – MyCAA – program. Beginning March 13 at 12 p.m. EST, the 136,583 military spouses who are currently enrolled in the program will once again be able to receive tuition assistance.

“We made a commitment to our military spouses when they established a career advancement account and we will be true to our promises,” said Tommy Thomas, deputy under secretary of defense, military community and family policy.

The first phase of the reinstated program will enable the department to continue to pay up to $6,000 in tuition assistance for spouses currently enrolled. The department is working hard to adjust and meet the demands of the program and develop a long-term solution for spouses not yet enrolled who would like to establish an account.

The program was launched March 2, 2009, to assist military spouses in attaining portable careers in high-demand, high-growth occupations. An unexpected spike in enrollment prompted the Defense Department to pause the program on Feb. 16. A thorough review began immediately to assure the program was accomplishing its intended goals.

“When we determined that an operational pause in the program was critically needed, we failed to notify our spouses in a timely and appropriate manner,” said Thomas. “As a result of our failure, we know we will have to work hard to restore their faith in us. We are committed to earning that trust through improved communication and by delivering services.”

The Defense Department is currently developing options for the long-term management of the program and expect to be able to announce the details soon. Until new accounts can be created, Military OneSource Spouse Education and Career Consultants will continue to be available to provide education and training, career exploration, assessment, employment readiness and career search assistance.

http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=13367

The Military Wife Can Handle....

A fellow military spouse posted this and it really spoke to me as we are getting ready to make our next move in a few months. This will be our 8th move in 13 years and this time it's to a remote base in the WV mountains. There are mixed emotions with this move as there are with every move. There will be lots of adjustments and of course there will be challenges, but we look forward to the new adventures each move brings. I know it's hard for those not in the military to understand this, but that's the way of life in a military family.

The military wife can handle...

Lots of moving...
Moving...
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...
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:
Decorating,
Leadership,
Volunteering,
Career alternatives,
Churches,
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
TDY
PCS
OPR
SOS
ACC
BDU
ACU
BAR
CIB
TAD
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.

Why?
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

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And, the winner is....

Jenny Opperman!!!

Congratulations Jenny! A representative from MikaRose will contact you with information about your $60 gift certificate.

For those of you who didn't win, but would still like to order something from their website, you can enjoy a 15% off discount by using this coupon code meremusi15

Thank you to everyone who participated in my first giveaway. It was fun and I hope to do more giveaways in the future.

*************************************************************************************

Just in case you're wondering.... In picking a winner so that it would be totally fair, I asked Travis to do it for me. And, I asked him to explain how he did it.....

Here’s how I generated the “winner”

I used my favorite random number generator at http://www.random.org

The population group was defined as the number of entries. Each comment was considered an entry, whereas a participant could have more than one entry. There were 9 participants, and 14 entries. The breakdown revealed 3 participants to have multiple entries.

The entries were arranged chronologically by their time stamp, and each was then numbered sequentially starting with 1.

The random number generator then chose entry #6.

Congratulations to entry # 6.

Because computers cannot exactly choose “randomly” because it only does what it’s programmed to do. Randomness cannot be programmed. So the program uses atmospheric noise to generate integers that are statistically independent of the last. This is highly scientific (actually mathematic) - and entirely unbiased. The results are aperiodic and non deterministic when selected this way. You should check out www.random.org/randomness for more info.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

MikaRose Dress Give Away



I'm really excited to be doing my first give away!!! I was approached by a clothing company called MikaRose that has classic, modern, and modest dresses and separates. We all know how hard it is to find clothes that are modest and still look hip these days and I like the idea of a company that specializes in that.

The giveaway is for a gift certificate worth $60 which would allow the winner to chose a dress including shipping. In order to qualify all you have to do is check out their website at http://mikarose.com/ then come back to my blog and leave me a comment of what your favorite dress or outfit was and why or what you like about what you see on MikaRose. Also, they would love for you to become a fan of theirs on Facebook too. http://www.facebook.com/pages/MIKAROSE/295184875112?ref=ts

Comments will be taken through midnight EST on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010. I will review all the comments and announce a winner on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010.

Unfortunately, there can only be one winner, however MikaRose has offered a 15% off coupon to anyone who places an order through this giveaway.

Good luck everyone and please tell all of your friends!


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Family Home Evening: Food Storage

We have been focused on food storage around here lately and Travis is in full hoard mode. He has been researching the best methods for storing and the most economical way to do it. We have always had some food storage but we never really focused on it, and now it feels like we are making some progress towards having a real food storage. I'm really happy that this has become a new hobby for Travis because he doesn't do anything half way.

So, that's what our FHE was on last night and it seemed to be a lot of fun for the kids. It went better than they usually do and we didn't have to yell at them once! Travis asked the kids if they remembered the movie Joseph King of Dreams and how Joseph had a dream about 7 fat cows and 7 skinny cows. The 7 fat cows meant 7 years of abundance and the 7 skinny cows meant 7 years of famine. And, Travis explained how the people were able to prepare when there was abundance by putting food away for the times when there would be famine. Then he talked about what food storage is and how we have been instructed by the prophet to put food away to be prepared for the hard times. So, for our activity we had the kids help pack up some pasta to add to our food storage.


Katy is pouring pasta into a mylar bag. They got to pour 3 boxes into a bag to make a 3lb bag of pasta.


Here they are sealing the bag.


Now it's Lily's turn to pour the pasta.


This is so much fun!


Lily helping to seal the bag.


Noah was a big help with figuring out how to get the bags to fit into a plastic bucket just right.


Noah is putting oxygen absorbers in the bucket.


And last but not least it's time to label the bucket. We were able to put 11 lbs of pasta in this one.


We're number 1!