Wednesday, January 17, 2018

O'ahu Adventures Day 12: Our last day.

Alas, our vacation had finally reached it's ending.  Boo!  I spent the morning finishing up our packing.  We then went down to the drink machine one last time to get an iced tea and to return Parker's bracelet to the Aunty's Beach House Kids Club.  Sadly, I had totally forgot that we were supposed to keep the receipt that we got when we made our deposit for the bracelet that they use to check kids in, so Parker got to take his home.  He seemed pretty excited about it (although he hasn't wore it once since we've been back home!)  Greg and I made ourselves feel better joked by saying that probably half the parents forget to bring the stupid receipt back and that it's all just another way that the resort can gouge their guests for more money!

Afterward's we stopped by the towel rental cabana so that Parker could get his last and final arm band.  Granted, we had no plans to go swimming that day, and the arm bands are mainly just so the employees know who is allowed in the pools or not.  He had been collecting them each day, with the exception of maybe skipping a day or two.  He was quite proud of his arm bands, meanwhile, I just knew that when we were out in public that they absolutely made us look like tourists.  I never really worry that taking pictures while out and about will make me look like a tourist, especially in this world of social media that we live in.  But, I am always paranoid while on vacation that if I look like a tourist, that then I'm an easy target for something (like theft or a mugging).  Luckily, I never really felt unsafe in Hawaii!

We finally checked out of the resort and made our way towards our last Hawaiian activity:  exploring Pearl Harbor.  We only had a few hours before we knew we needed to be at the airport, so we chose to only visit and tour the U.S.S. Missouri, otherwise known as the Mighty Mo.  The Mighty Mo is a battleship that is now retired and used as a tourist destination.  While at Pearl Harbor one can also visit and tour a submarine (The U.S.S. Bowfin, I think is the name), the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and an airplane museum.  Each activity costs admission, but the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is free to go to.  We were advised that we would probably enjoy touring the Mighty Mo the most and since we were concerned about the possibility of missing our flight, we took the advice and did not visit the memorial (we could see it from The Mighty Mo though).  While aboard The Mighty Mo we went on a brief tour with a tour guide and after he was finished we were free to roam the ship.  It was so cool to see!  I especially liked the inside, which was basically like it's own city.  I usually pride myself with having a super good sense of direction, but once we were actually inside the boat, it was very easy to wonder if the sailors ever got confused about where to go!  Thankfully there were arrows leading visitors, or we probably would have made a few circles!!!  I was amazed by all the kitchens and Parker was surprised to see how little the bunks were.  There was even a post office inside!!!

One has to take a bus from the Pearl Harbor visitors center over to Ford Island to tour The Mighty Mo.  On the bus ride back, Parker excitedly said, "Look Mom!  A rainbow!!".  Earlier that day (and for probably several days before that) I began complaining about not seeing very many rainbows.  Do you ever just totally build something up in your head?  I do it ALL THE TIME!  So, in my mind, I just expected Hawaii to have a ton of rainbows!  On our way over to Ford Island it had begun pouring down rain and the sky was dark gray.  I began grumbling that I would definitely not be seeing any rainbows on my last day in Hawaii.  My wise little boy had a profound response to that though.  He said (in a cocky seven-year-old way), "Well, Mom, how often have you seen three rainbows within twelve days?  HUH???!!!)  Touche, son, touche!  Needless to say, he was more excited about getting to point the rainbow out to me than for the actual rainbow itself!  And yes, I was very pleased to get to see one last and final Hawaiian rainbow (even though it was only a small portion of a rainbow.  But hey, beggars can't be choosers, right?).

We got back in our car around 3:30.  Our plane didn't leave until 6:45, but we didn't want to chance missing it, so off to the air port to return our rental car we went.  Earlier that morning I had a slight panic about something.  I had purposely taken a Ziploc bag with us to Waikiki Beach so that I could put sand in it.  I have seen so many cute travel souvenir crafts that use the sand from beaches that one visits.  My sister and her family's flight left way earlier that day and she had texted me and said that all of our bags would have to go through an agricultural inspection.  This made me panic about the sand, shells, rocks and coral that we had collected during our trip.  After doing a  quick google search I finally decided that it would be best to not bring the sand.  I was so sad!  I was still going to take a chance on the shells and rocks, and I put a few pinches of sand in the Ziploc bag that contained these items.  Low and behold, once we did reach the agricultural inspection at the airport, they had a big sign that had a list of all the items that one CAN take with them, after it goes through the agricultural inspection (which works just like the carry-on inspection, it's like a big X-ray machine) and guess what one of the items was:  sand from a beach.  Ugh!!!!  So, if anyone plans on visiting Waikiki or the North Shore any time soon, can you bring me back just a little bit of sand?  Please!

Speaking of sand, the sand on O'ahu has huge granules!  They seemed to be slightly larger than table salt.  I am obviously spoiled by the sugar sand that is on my beloved Lake Texoma beaches.  It feels really gritty on your bare feet.

We had arrived at the airport with enough time to enjoy an over-priced meal at a restaurant to kill time before our flight.  We arrived at our gate and within less than two minutes we were on the airplane that would take us back home.  We purposely booked a one-way evening flight back to DFW with hopes of sleeping the entire way.  No can do.  I was surprised to see that at least 95% of the passengers were awake the whole time.  I will say that I was very impressed with all of our flights with American Airlines.  I hadn't been on a plane in a few years, but we each had our own TV with literally tons of movies or TV shows or games to play, all for free!!!!  So that was pretty cool.  We had a safe and un-eventful flight (Thank God!) back to Dallas.  Once we landed though we were exhausted!!!  We had planned on going back home to Little Axe, but our tired minds and bodies told us to go to our lake house, which was closer, instead.  We called one of our awesome neighbor friends and he went over and turned our heat on for us.  We arrived there around 9:00 in the morning and then we all went back to bed until around noon.  It took us several days to get over being jet lagged, but I would say it was totally worth it!!!  We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the island of O'ahu and are so thankful that my sister and brother-in-law invited us and provided us with free lodging at Aulani!  Ma halo!

Daily Rainbow Count:  1 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's been awhile.... has been so crazy that it's been awhile since my last post.   Like, over a year type of awhile!  Let's not dwell on that!  In the past year I've been getting in touch with my crafty and creative side.  Thank goodness for pinterest!   Here is a little something I painted yesterday.

A friend of mine sent me a similar flag painted pallet that she saw on pinterest.   Since I live at the lake I have been making and buying coastal decor.  I love this twist on the American flag!  The pin my friend sent me had only one starfish,  but that resembled the Texas flag a little bit and since I live in Oklahoma I couldn't chance that!

Stay tuned,   I hope to start posting more of my fun projects!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Projects with Parker

If you'll remember, one of my goals for this year is to do a fun monthly project with Parker.  So far, I've managed to keep this up!  In February I was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest.  I had visions of making one for us, as well as the four grandparents.  However, three failed attempts before we finally made this one, I said, "Forget it!"  However, I love the end result (pun intended), so much that it is still hanging on the inside of my front door.

This month as I was loading up on Easter basket goodies at The Dollar Tree (my new fave store...everything really is only a dollar!) I spied this little Easter door hanger kit.  I knew Parker would have fun with it!  The only downfall is that the foam wasn't peel and stick, so I had to get the glue out.  Which meant Parker wanted to hold the glue most of the time, but this mommy is a little bit of a control freak and doesn't really like messes, so I won most of those battles!  ;)  Overall, Parker had a lot of fun, which is all that really matters!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Parker's Prayer

Right around Christmas time I  began teaching Parker how to say his bedtime prayers.  I know that there are several pre-existing written prayers that I can probably teach him, but since I was raised Catholic, the only prayers I ever really knew were the ones you recite.  I had a very hard time when I grew up learning how and feeling comfortable about just praying.  So, I'm choosing to "teach" Parker about prayer without the use of those types of prayers (not that there's anything wrong with them). 

The very first time we prayed, I asked him what he wanted to pray about and his response was, "Candy".  So, that night, we prayed about candy.  And by we, I mean I prayed out loud while he listened.  I showed Parker how to put his hands together and when I was finished praying I told him to say, "Amen!".  The next night I asked him what he wanted to pray about and his response was, "Candy".  So, yet again, I prayed about candy!  After a few nights, I suggested that we pray for something other than candy.  He thought this over and said, " Candy Canes".  That night, rather than praying about candy in general, I thanked God for candy canes.

About a week later one of my best friends was able to adopt her foster daughter (Hopefully a blog post about this will come soon!)!  That night I suggested to Parker that we pray for her and her mom.  That was the first time we prayed for actual people.  After that, it was game on!  I would ask Parker who or what he wanted to pray for and he would say someones name.  He has pretty much quit praying about things, which is fine.  I try to make this more about what Parker wants to pray for.  His prayer list typically includes:  Parker, mommy, daddy, Shady, Grams, Braxton, Shannon, Randy, Misty, or Tori. 

After Parker tells me who or what he wants to pray for, we will put our hands together and I pray out loud for those people or things.  When I am finished I say, "Amen!" and then Parker says, "Amen!"

A few nights ago, after he told me who he wanted to pray for, I said, "OK, Parker, you can pray.  I will let you say it."  This is what Parker's first out-loud prayer was:
"Thank you for this day, God.  Bless Parker, Shady, Daddy, Parker, Mommy, Shady, Parker, and Daddy.  Amen!"

It pretty much melted my heart.

Last night I asked him what he wanted to pray about and I got the usual response.  After he told me he wanted to pray for mommy, daddy, and Parker, I said, "OK, you do it."  This is the second out-loud prayer Parker said:

"Thank you God for Mickey Mouse, (as soon as he said this, I'm pretty sure I snorted with laughter because it was so unexpected), Jesus, hair brushes, comb (at this point I am shaking with laughter and covering my mouth so he doesn't hear me and stop), Shady, and the Grammys (can you guess what we had just been watching?).  Amen!"  I quickly composed myself and said, "Good job Parker!  God loves to hear you pray!"

It absolutely topped the charts of the cutest thing I have ever heard him say and I can't wait to hear what he prays about tonight!  Has any one published a book about adorable things children say while praying?  Hmmm....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cotton Ball Bashing

Although I did so horrible with achieving my 2012 goals, I feel like I have hit the ground running for 2013!  I've already worked out three times in the past six days, I have gone through half of my filing cabinet and burned all kinds of paper-work (tax forms from 1996?  Really?!), and, best of all, I did a fun craft project with Parker on Monday!

I had pinned something called "Cotton Ball Bashing" a long time ago, and while browsing through my "Playing With Parker" board the other day for some pinspiration (get it?  Ha, ha!), I saw it and figured we would give it a try.

If you want to do some cotton ball bashing for yourself, it's pretty simple:

  • cotton balls
  • equal parts of water and flour (I did 1 cup of each) mixed together
  • food coloring (optional)

Coat the cotton balls in the water/flour mixture and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

Stirring the flour and water.

I asked Parker if he wanted the cotton balls to be a color and his answer was, "Orange!"  That is his favorite color so I was not surprised.

Coating the cotton balls.

"Mama, my hands are dirty."
 Apparently my son takes after me in the I-don't-like-to-get-my-hands-dirty department.  About half way through he began complaining that his hands were dirty and I had to coat the last few cotton balls myself.  Oh well!  After I had all of the cotton balls coated and on the baking sheets, I baked them in the oven.  
After I took them out of the oven I let them cool for a few minutes.
Have you ever seen an orange cotton ball?
Now, this is where the fun part really begins!
Parker was ecstatic when I told handed him his hammer and told him to bang on them!
At least, that's what I thought.  I had expected the cotton balls to kind of shatter.  They did not.  Instead, they sort of bounced back into their shape.  (Wouldn't they do that even if we hadn't done anything to them?)  At first I was letting Parker bash them on the pan, then I decided to see if they would be more fun to bash if I took them off.  Warning:  Do not try to use a spatula.  Just tear them off with your fingers.  It's easier! 
And....they don't do anything!
Since "bashing" the cotton balls wasn't working out so well, I gave him some other tools and told him to go to work!
Once they were off of the pan they were a little bit more fun to play with!
The highlight was when one bounced off the island and landed right in Parker's shoe!  He thought that was awesome!
That smile is the reason I'm looking forward to doing these fun projects with him every month!
While I considered the project to be some what of a bust, it did keep Parker entertained for about three minutes.  Then, he was over it and I had weird looking orange balls all over my kitchen island.  While he was napping I threw them away.  When Parker woke up, he came into the kitchen, looked around, and said, "Mom, where are my meatballs?"  That explains why he tried to eat one of them...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh, How Pinteresting!

Since it's Wednesday,  I thought I'd link up for:

These are a few of my favorite recent pins:

Source: via Felicia on Pinterest

Source: via Felicia on Pinterest

Happy Pinning, Y'all!

Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 Goals!

Here's my shiny-new goals for 2013! 
1.       Do a fun craft with Parker every month.  I'm not much of a "crafter" but there are so many fun toddler crafts I see on pinterest.  Parker is a very hands-on type of kid (as I'm sure most are), so I know he would really enjoy doing a neat project every month. 

2.      Take a daily multi-vitamin.  This really shouldn't have to be a goal, but I have a bottle of Vitamin Code vitamins in my pantry that expired in November.  That's how long I've had them.  I'm horrible at remembering to take vitamins, but considering the fact that I'm a mommy, I really should try to take better care of myself.

3.      Wear a bikini this summer.  Don't get me wrong; I've wore a bikini every summer ever since my parents finally allowed me to do so.  Even while I was pregnant (because being pregnant doesn't equal being fat)!  However, I wore a bikini last summer, and really, someone should have stopped me.  Holy cow!  Literally!  So, while I'm not technically saying I'm going to "diet" I do have several plans to help bring my weight down before I hit my all-time high, which, sadly, I'm very close to hitting.  How will I do this?
A.  Do not eat seconds.  (This was so hard to do last night when I made meatloaf and broccoli, cheese and rice casserole).
B.  Do not finish Parker's meal.  (This was so hard to do when he was sick and didn't eat all of his home made lasagna).
C.  Do not drink soda.  I was in denial by telling myself that I only drink one or two Coke's at home.  However, every time we go out to eat (and if you read my last blog post, you can tell we tend to eat out a lot), I order a soda.  No more!  I am now the queen of water or iced tea.
D.  Work out on my wii.  ( I haven't done much of this, but I LOVE doing the Just Dance game and last weekend I bought a Jillian Michaels cardio workout.  )
E.  Have a friendly little weight loss competition with Greg.  (We started keeping track and weighing in right after Christmas...which was dumb considering we always have a big NYE party and then a week later we were going on vacation)  However, I'm proud to say that today is weigh-in day and I'm already down 4 pounds!  Woot!
F.  Eat more fruit.  (Yesterday the box of brownie mix in my pantry was practically screaming my name.  I ignored it and ate a kiwi instead.  Small victories, people!)

4.      Paint all the doors in my house and bunk house.  Sometimes when you do so much remodeling you tend to just say, "eh...screw it!" when it comes to detail items.  But, it's been a year now, and there are several doors in my house that need a coat (probably two) of paint:  my master bedroom door, Greg's closet door, our back door, and if we install a new door for our hall bathroom, that will need to be painted as well.  Also, there are three doors in our bunk house, none of which have been painted. 

5.      Plant sod in my court yard.  Last spring we rocked most of our front yard, but made a "court yard" in the middle with rail road ties.  The idea was to sod it, but we never did, so instead it's a big octagon of weeds and dirt.  It's pretty ugly.  I'm ready to have a nice pretty patch of green!

6.      Read a piece of classic American literature.  Don't ask me why, but I just want too.  And, if I don't accomplish this measly little goal, then someone needs to slap me.  Why?  Because while at a library book sale a few months ago I bought two classics:  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.  I read The Catcher in the Rye in high school, and while I remember enjoying it (mainly because it had a lot of curse words, which made me feel like a little bit of a rebel), I don't remember any of the plot.

7.      Go on a Valentine’s date with my husband.  *ahem*  Since VD (the term we lovingly referred to Valentine's Day as when I worked at a florist) is on a Thursday, I would even settle for a day-after date instead.  Anyone want to baby sit?  Mom?

8.      Re-decorate Parker’s room.  Now that Parker is approaching three, I want to give him a proper little boy room.  His nursery has a star theme, and now I'm going to upgrade it to a rock-star theme!  I'm so excited!  In fact, today I even bought some pictures for the walls!  I have visions in my mind of re-doing his entire room on his birthday while he is at day care, so he has a surprise.  We'll see what happens!

9.      Refurbish our living room furniture.  Our coffee table and two end tables are all pieces of furniture Greg had when I met him.  For several years now we have wanted to refurbish them.  However, now that we are trying to make our house look like a beach house, the idea I had pictured for them has changed.  I'd like to paint the two end tables an antique white and then on the drawer and doors, paint a crackle paint with turquoise blue showing in the cracks.  Then, I'd like to paint the coffee table turquoise and distress it. 

10.   Clean out my file cabinet.  This is a task that probably needed to be done a few years ago, but it's one of those "out of sight; out of mind" type of things.  However, with both me and Greg being self-employed, with another business on the horizon (opps, did I just say that?), I think it's time to be a lot more organized, and we need extra filing space!

11.   Organize my kitchen pantry.  It's a little embarrassing right now.  I'm hoping to get some pinspiration real soon!

12.   Become a public notary.  Not only will it be another service I can provide as a Realtor, there are other ways I could use being a notary to make some additional income.  I've toyed with this idea for a few years now and think now is as good a time as ever to become one!

13.   Make a scarf.  Years ago my sister went to some foreign country and bought me some fabric that is a burberry knock off, so I could make a scarf.  However, the scarf has never been made.  I think its been long enough (I can almost see my sister nodding her head!).

14.   Make a facebook page for Texoma Remodeling.  I've been trying (and usually failing) to take before and after pictures of different projects that TR has done.  Now it's time I put those pictures to use! 

15.   Clean my car out at least once a month.  Being a responsible 31 year old woman, I really shouldn't have a car that is always so cluttered.  So, this is my attempt at change (my husband is cheering!).

16.   Have family photos taken by Art and Soul Photography.  I have several amazing talented friends who are photographers.  But there is just something about Art and Soul Photography that I absolutely love, and I have followed her blog for about three or four years now!  I think it's simply that the pictures are always so vibrant and colorful!  I would be proud to hang a family photo on my wall and say it was taken by the amazing Angel Porch.

17.  Yell at Parker less.  I know what you're thinking; HUH?  Before  becoming a mom I knew a mom who constantly yelled at her kids.  I always thought, "I am not going to sound like her when I have a kid".  Now, guess who I sound like?  I feel like since becoming a parent I have lost all patience.  I need to remind myself that the first time I say, "No", I don't have to scream it.  I know that a "no" that is spoken, can still be effective.  I also need to remind myself that I didn't like being yelled at when I was younger, and yelling needs to be reserved for when it's really important or life threatening.

18.  Go to a play.  I have really been having the itch lately to be on stage.  But, since I know that's not going to happen any time soon, this would be the next best thing!
19.  You know.  And although I hate to admit it, this sucker is going to stay on the list every single year until it's done!  I will not give up!