Winter Months

It looks like the blog site has updated and changed a bunch of options, but I’m figuring it out. Not sure how different it’s going to look on the site itself.

Nothing terribly exciting has happened since Christmas. I applied for a special duty position in Minot, ND, but it was denied. I didn’t know at the time I applied that the Career Field Manager just isn’t releasing anyone from my career field due to low manning and retention issues. Such a let down. I’m still looking into options, but it’s not looking good.

Experimenting with the perler beads
Damien is scoping out my laughing/crying “frog” while making Pikachu wearing a hat.
The final products!
Damien LOVES the various dig kits so he wanted to do it right away.
At least he’s old enough to do most of the digging himself.
This particular kit came with a little figure to assemble and hidden treasure. It was pretty neat.
After New Year’s I had some time off of work so Scott and I got haircuts and mani/pedis together.
Apparently Damien still fits in his Pikachu pajamas from a couple years ago.
Getting some fresh air and exercise at Huntington Park
Scott and I needed some exercise too so we brought a Frisbee and soccer ball.
Nice throw!
Scott was able to score us tickets to see How to Train Your Dragon 3 in theater three whole weeks before release. Damien is a big fan of the series.
My attempt at meal prepping my lunches for the week. So I cooked up everything on a Sunday and added lettuce and salsa later. It felt like a lot of work, but it’s an option I guess.
Damien received all As and Bs for the second quarter of the school year! He also passed both CSAs (96% on the Math one) and had perfect attendance. He’s doing so well!
Scott moved around furniture in the living room the other day and apparently that ignited something in Katrina. She was so playful and energetic. I wish I got a video.
Damien’s first pair of slippers. He’s busy watching TV…

Merry Christmas!!!

We had a very nice Christmas this year. Scott got an electric beard trimmer and I got a little TV for the bedroom. I’d been fighting it for the last 13 years saying it would interfere with my sleep at night, but I also needed a quiet place to shut the door and watch some TV once in a while. We opted not to record Damien opening his Christmas presents this year, but I took pictures.

On Christmas Eve, Damien with his new Christmas pillow

Trying out Damien’s new board game, Splendor. It was pretty fun!

All the presents under the tree ready for Christmas morning

Damien opening a gem dig kit

Maybe he’ll find gold!

A watch that also tracks steps/movement

Let’s Go Pikachu video game for the Switch

Opening up a NERF gun

He got TWO NERF guns! Now Scott and Damien can shot each other

Opening a gold squishy ball kit

A Pikachu carrying case for his Switch

Getting more gifts!

So wild!

The new Mario Party for the Switch

Perler beads. I’m excited to use this gift! Damien is sticking tape to his face…

A decorative screen protector for the Switch. Definitely needs this!

A sparkly gold bath bomb

A graphic novel

Monopoly chocolates

A strategy guide for the Let’s Go Pikachu game

A Kinex roller coaster construction set

All the presents from Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. If it wasn’t posted above, it’s because the picture was too blurry.

Here’s the breakdown for gifts:

  • From Grandpa and Grandma Hanks: Light-up snowman pillow and Splendor board game
  • From Great Grandma and Tom: Activity watch, gold squishy ball kit and gold bath bomb (as of this post he’s used the bath bomb and loved it!)
  • From Grandpa Whitehill: Kinex roller coaster set, NERF guns and ammo, Mario Party game
  • From Great Grampy and Great Grammy Whitehill: Perler beads, Switch carry case, Switch screen protector, and Monopoly chocolates
  • From Mom and Dad: Headphones, graphic novel, gem dig kit, Let’s Go Pikachu game with pokeball and strategy guide

Thank you so much for everyone who sent gifts/money for Christmas this year. Not only were we able to get Damien and ourselves some very nice items, but we also went to Christmas Town (which turns out is not free entry for military like it is during the summer). So thank you!

For Christmas dinner, we made a couple of casseroles and went over to the Millikens’ house who provided an excellent meal. They prepared one of their backyard-raised turkeys with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, two types of pies…EVERYTHING was so good! It was nice to spend time with family and catch up.

From Uncle Robbie and Aunt Naomi: a drone and gift card to the Nintendo eShop–thanks!

I can’t remember the last time we actually had a family photo taken so I figured it was time.

Scott and I doing test shots. I like this one!

The whole family 😀 (well minus Katrina)

A very rare sight–Katrina is actually sitting on Damien’s lap! So cute 🙂

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Town

The Friday before Christmas, we made it out to Busch Garden’s Christmas Town. A lot of the rides are closed for the season, but they decorate and open for both Halloween and Christmas. I love the Christmas vibe so I’m so happy we were able to make it out this year. We couldn’t have picked a better time too because the weather was a wonderful low 60s/high 50s and it wasn’t terribly crowded. We ate some BBQ, had some delicious peppermint hot chocolate, visited Santa, and rode the train around the park.

Damien and I with Frosty the Snowman

Moving through England

Entering France

The Gingerbread house in Germany

Outside Santa’a Workshop

Lots to look at while we wait to see Santa

Damien writing down what he wants from Santa. He wrote down “water gun”.

Damien and Santa 🙂 Or as Damien would put it “not the REAL Santa”.

Playing some carnival games. No prizes were won.

An attempt to get a pic together

Scott eating his apple pie a la mode funnel cake

Damien and I shared a hot fudge sundae funnel cake

On the train–choo choo!

Riding around the park

One of the closed water rides decked out in lights

The lighted tunnels made for the coolest pics

Selfie time on the Express Train

Time to head home

Damien said he didn’t have a good time. I don’t know why because the only thing that wasn’t great was the long wait in line for the train. Otherwise, I don’t know what he has to complain about! I loved it. If we ever go again, I’d like to see one of the Christmas shows.

Texas Trip and First Lady Visit

It was an eventful week. I flew to Texas for a week-long work conference. My room was nice and served a free breakfast AND dinner. I got to try Puerto Rican food and In-and-Out for the first time. Overall it turned out to be a productive trip.

I stayed in a suite. Here is the kitchen and living room.

This was the bedroom. Yes, there were two TVs.

In-and-Out burger, fries, and shake. I have to say that it wasn’t anything special. Not anything I would go out of my way to eat.

Scott and Damien decorated the house while I was gone 🙂 Damien did the tree by himself and I think he did an excellent job!

While I was in Texas, the military children from Damien’s school got to meet the First Lady, Melania Trump!

At one of the Langley hangers. Damien is on the far right.

First Lady Melania Trump

A screen shot from the video below of the First Lady greeting the school children (Damien appears about 1 minute, 23 seconds into the video).

Awards Ceremony, Thanksgiving, and Scott’s New Haircut

Damien made us proud at the school year’s first awards ceremony. He’s on the B Honor Roll with Perfect Attendance AND he passed the two Critical Assessments that the students start taking in Third Grade.

First quarter awards ceremony recipient–woot!

Scott let his hair grow out for about five months before it was time for a haircut. It did NOT look good. In fact, it kind of reminded me of wig hair lol. So instead of cutting it all off like when he was in the military, he went for a fashionable style instead and I think it looks SOOOO much better.

What an improvement!

Thanksgiving this year was low-key. We spent the day at home. Scott was sick so I made all the food: ham, scalloped potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and green bean casserole. Oh, and I made pumpkin pies too!

Ready for Christmas! Damien showing off his dance moves with the Dab!

Happy Halloween 2018

We had a nice Halloween this year. The weather was absolutely PERFECT. Every year there seems to be less and less residents handing out candy in our immediate area so this year we decided to venture out to the Officer Housing instead. It was a success! Damien picked Freddy from Five Nights at Freddy’s for his costume. I don’t know a lot about it personally, but the characters are these scary animatronics that jump scare you. Damien LOOOOOVES a good jump scare…when it’s not him, of course.

Trying on his Freddy costume

Scary, haha

A better look at Freddy’s face

We had issues in previous years with the paint flaking off the pumpkins so we used a primer this year. It worked much better!

Damien painting the Creeper face using his Creeper as a reference

Damien’s Creeper pumpkin is complete 🙂

Our cute pumpkins! I painted the ‘love’ emoji face and Scott did the watermelon one…with my help.

Katrina is modeling my Halloween decorations so nicely. I even got a new Fall wreath this year. Exciting, right?!

The grocery store’s weekly ad had these cute Halloween foods in them and I was motivated to try it myself. And then I remembered that it’s a lot more work. Who has the time?

Freddy is ready for Trick-or-Treating!

Picking out some tasty treats

This house had a pretty neat display, although you can’t really see the dummy trapped underneath the car in this pic. 

Damien rewarding himself with some candy while Katrina strikes her signature pose

And lastly, ever since we’ve returned from the evacuation, Damien has been very affectionate towards Katrina. They used to ignore each other, but now Damien feeds her and pets her. He’ll even get up from his games to pet her in between matches. Sometimes she loiters around his computer to get some extra attention.

Katrina knows how to get extra pettins’ haha

Hurricane Season

Back in mid-September, we were under a mandatory evacuation order due to Hurricane Florence. The Millikens were kind enough to allow the whole family to stay at their house to ride out the storm since they don’t live in an evacuation zone. We were expected to experience major flooding, but it didn’t even really rain lol. It was a little scary at the time, but everything worked out. Interestingly enough, this area experienced damaging winds/power outages from Hurricane Michael on Thursday night. You just never know what’s going to happen!

Damien taking a break from his cousin, Sarah. Our air mattress had a leak, but Damien didn’t mind.

Katrina came with us too! She was actually pretty content in the guest room for the three nights we were there.

Damien petting JR 🙂 He’s usually terrified of dogs, but they got along great.

JR and Lucy waiting patiently to see if Damien drops any ice cream sandwich.

Getting some exercise after being inside for a couple of days. He played hard!

And in other news, Scott officially became my dependent on 28 September with a new ID card and everything. Also, Damien has been doing really well in the Third Grade. On his progress report, he received As in Math, Science, and Social Studies, a B+ in Writing, and a C+ in Reading. AND THAT’S NOT ALL! He’s also reading at grade level 🙂 I’m so very proud of him. Also, he’s not complaining about his teacher so I know they’re working well together. Couldn’t be happier 🙂

About 6 weeks into terminal leave. He ended up shaving the beard because his skin underneath became too irritated. Too bad because we liked it!

She doesn’t do this all the time, but when she does it’s SOOOOO cute!

What is it with cats and laying on everything? This time it was Damien’s homework.

Damien’s world famous hugs!!! Lured in by the ghost blanket, haha

First Week of Third Grade

Damien started Third Grade on Tuesday! Since Scott will be home now, Damien is now a bus rider to AND from school. Damien loves this because it gives him more time at home to play games, plus he wasn’t very happy the last couple weeks at the Youth Center Summer Camp because there was a girl named Sophia who kept bothering him. I’m also happy to report that I absolutely love Damien’s teacher this year so I think it’s going to be a great year. So far, so good!

First day of school 😀

Damien’s 8th Birthday!

Damien’s Jurassic World birthday party on Sunday was a success! We again kept it low key this year and had the Millikens over for pizza, cake, and ice cream. Damien had a great day 🙂

House is cleaned and decorated and ready for guests!

Scott made the cake and I decorated it…which turned out to be way harder than I thought. It looked way better in my head, haha. Damien liked it so that’s all that matters.

Damien’s all shy when we’re singing Happy Birthday to him 🙂 Of course we have our number 8 candle!

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and vanilla ice cream

Time to open the presents!

Lots of great stuff this year!

The complete haul

  • Nintendo Switch and game from us
  • Jurassic World dinosaurs from the Millikens
  • Emoji stickers, Dog Man 5 book, a Roblox Robux card, underwear, and a Freddie plush from Great Grandma and Tom
  • Cash from Grandma and Grandpa Hanks and Great Grammy and Grampy Whitehill (probably going towards more video games…)

Trying out the Switch

Damien the 8 year old gamer 🙂

Thank you everyone for the birthday gifts. I think it was the best birthday party to date!

Summer is almost over…

Everything is winding down for school to start on Tuesday after Labor Day. The summer went by so quickly. We all went and met Damien’s Third Grade teacher last week and we really liked her. Such a relief! So far, so good.

Scott is still easing into his new role. I don’t think he realized how busy he was going to be. He also started streaming where people can watch him play video games online. He even set up a green screen and lighting to make it look more professional. There are professional streamers out there who make tons of money in donations for it, but Scott’s just doing it for fun right now.

Look how much the Milliken’s chickens and turkeys have grown!

Scott’s new green screen. It attaches to the back of his chair.