When we lived in CA we would go to Lake Tahoe for Spring Break while the snow was still fresh. We would rent a cabin and go to the snow covered mountains. Theo and Tobie learned how to snowboard while I would sit by with nursing babies watching their fun. I always thought, "If we ever live near snow again I am totally going to learn how to ski." I was told when we moved here to NJ that snow never happens, then 2 winters in a row, it's snowed! The bad thing is, since it isn't a normal occurrence here they don't have any snow activities that are close by. Not even any cool hills to slide down close to us. We did get to go to Camelback and do some snow tubing which was super fun, but that's like a 3 hr drive! Not something you can pick up and do in one afternoon. So even though I got the first part of my wish, to live somewhere where it snowed; there's nothing to do, and I certainly can't learn to ski on this.
But something I've discovered about myself is that...I DO NOT like cold weather. I'm so cold, all the time! This house isn't helping any, with drafty windows and doors. Good thing we are in housing because this heating bill would be CRAZY! I'm hearing the South calling my name. I miss the flip flops, sitting in the sun...being able to walk outside without having to don long sleeves, long pants, jacket, long socks, scarf, hat, gloves, snow shoes. I'm sure once the summer heat rolls in I'll be dreaming of white winters, but until then, enough already!! Come on summer!!
We've never been tubing, but have heard a lot about it this winter. So we decided to try it out. We let the kids play hooky Wednesday and Thursday and drove a couple hours to Camelback Mountain to enjoy an afternoon of tubing.
I know I looked confused, but I'm actually trying to avoid the sun in my eyes and pose for the picture.
Hannah absolutely LOVED tubing. She was tall enough that she could go by herself, and she took advantage of the freedom. As soon as she hit the bottom, it was back on the lift to go to the top for another run. Theo and I were just saying, "Where's Hannah?" when we saw her zipping down the hill.
Theo really knows how to plan the right trip and booked us a room at a hotel with an indoor pool. After a long afternoon of snow tubing we thawed out in a warm indoor pool.
One of the enjoyable perks here in Jersey, is being so close to the Boardwalk. It's historical, scenic and very convenient to run on without having to worry about drudging through the sand. I love running by the beach, without having to run ON the beach. We finally got some sun last week after what seemed like weeks of snow and rain! Charlotte and I had a lovely stroll, and then when we were done we decided to enjoy a sweet park. That lasted about 5 minutes before Charlotte, who is newly potty trained, peed all over the playground. Well, at least some of it, most of the pee ended up in her very absorbent Ugg boots. It was my own fault, I should have had her go to the bathroom first. But that ended up cutting our play date a little short. I still got my run in, and soaked up the sun! Sometimes I think, living in New Jersey really isn't all that bad! ;)
I just recently listened to this segment of Judge Jeanine's:
Now, I'm not one of those Dooms Day Preppers, but I do believe in being prepared. And even though things like Solar flares are real and could cause havoc, I think I'm more afraid of other countries with their nukes, like North Korea or Iran. Theo and I have had discussions about what we would do if they ever were capable of firing off one of those nukes at us, but he assured me that the U.S. has deflector missiles that would destroy them before they got to U.S. land. But with this new revelation that they could just shoot it up into the atmosphere and disrupt our whole power grid has got me feeling those heebie jeebies all over again.
The church that I belong to, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has been pushing self efficiency and preparedness since the beginning of it's organization. There are lots of helpful tips and food storage calculations to help you know what your family is going to need to survive any kind of catastrophe. Even if you aren't worried about nukes, there is always some kind of weather element that could effect your life where you live (Sandy or Katrina for example) and you will have to survive on what you have laying around your home.
So this year for my New Year's Resolution I am going to be focusing on getting me and my family prepared in case of emergencies.
My first priority today was my water storage. I have a few bottles in my basement that I am adding to as I go along and I am slowly bulking up my water supply. But what I really want is this:
Until I get enough money to buy some of these babies I'll have to make due with my empty soda and juice containers.
I read on a blog that you should rotate the water out every 6 months, and that you shouldn't use juice bottles either. I did some research HERE, on the church website, but it didn't say anything about not using the juice bottles. It only said to use bottles that are made with PETE plastic and that it was used for food storage. So I went to check my bottles.
BAM!! PETE right there on the bottom of the juice bottle, and all the soda bottles as well. I was in the clear and proceeded to rotate the bottles out by pouring out the water, washing and refilling for the next 6 months. Then I got to thinking, the church website didn't say anything about rotating them out. I was almost done with all these before I came to that realization:
It does state to make sure your water is treated with chlorine, and if it isn't then to just add a few drops of clear bleach of your own. A quick check to the Atlantic County water site assured me that our water is already treated. I did swish a bottle caps worth of bleach in them after washing and before rinsing again to fill with water.
I did label them with the month and year, just to be on the safe side in case I do read that it's a must to rotate water. My stash is small, but hopefully it will multiply quickly, or even better, I'll get my drum!
Please be aware of these kinds of things. You never know when you might need something like this, whether it is a disaster, nature or man-made, or maybe you might fall on hard times in the future, it's always a good idea to be prepared. Especially if you have a family where other people depend on you. You can visit THIS site to give you all kinds of ideas, and while you're there stop in for some spiritual enlightening also!
This past Monday I got to go with my girls to a Girl Scout activity called Safety Day. I wasn't sure what it was about, but it was an activity and other than their bi-weekly meetings and cookie booths, they don't really get to hang out with the other girls. I thought it might be fun so we went. It wasn't bad, they had more girls than they planned for, so it was a bit crowded, but there were some perks.
Here are the girls with some friends from the troop. I can't even believe that Hannah is old enough to be in Girl Scouts, so much so that I didn't even sign her up until that day! She's been going to Emma's troop, but will be joining her own soon, we are both excited for that.
I just had to get a picture of this guy. This was the first station we were at and this guy is a meteorologist who actually flew through a CAT 5 hurricane! He's a rock star in my book! I wanted to get his autograph. LOL! I've always wanted to be a meteorologist, a storm chaser to be more precise. It's so weird how excited I get about weather. I'm not even kidding how serious I am about that. I remember when I was in elementary school, I think 3rd grade, I checked out a book about weather from the library and wrote a letter to the weather station that helped write the book. They sent me a reply letter and books about weather. I was so happy, you would have thought I got a letter from some famous person! That's how big a dork for weather I am, LOL! It would be a dream of mine to go back to school and actually become a meteorologist....maybe one day. This part of the presentation was all for the adults, the kids were not interested in watching hurricane patterns as I much as I was.
At this station the girls got this little pouch to use as a First Aid kit. They got to decorate it and got band aids and gloves to put in them. Although I'm pretty sure all those gloves have been turned into balloons by now.
I didn't get pictures of the traveling animal shelter, but they have
this trailer set up with kennels inside to hold animals in case you have
to go to a shelter during an emergency evacuation. It was a pretty sweet set up. The girls then went to another station where they got to make cat and dog toys to donate to the trailer. It was a good idea, in theory, but the girls are just too young to really figure out how to make them. Once the ladies called time, and they had to move on I had several meltdowns I had to make better, and I ended up making at least 2 complete toys myself in the name of the girls.
This guy was the highlight of the day. He brought out the animals, so obviously the kids absolutely loved this part. He had a box turtle, snake and a frog. And if you ask the girls what their favorite part of the day was, they will definitely tell you the animals.
The snow came and visited us yesterday. They said it was going to start snowing around 9am and snow all day. I thought the schools would close down, but they decided to just do a partial day. Well, the weeny mom that I am, I was afraid that if I sent them to school and the snow started to fall then they could get stuck at the school, so I kept them home. It didn't start to really snow until around 1 or 1:30, the same time the kids would have gotten out of school. I should have totally sent them, all they did was fight with each other, but that's just how they show their love, right? Ha...
The picture above is what we woke up to this morning. I'd say we got between 4 and 5 inches. Just enough to play in, and dangerous enough when you drive. Although I did have to drive in it today.
I got an order for a cookie cake! I was really happy that I got to do this, it was for a Coastie friend's husband. This is actually his guitar in cookie form, sort of. ;) I'm really happy about that chocolate disc in the middle. I actually hollowed a little out of the cookie and used a cookie cutter to mold the chocolate. Then when it hardened I just popped it in the cookie. I delivered it in the snow covered roads, but I have to say, for an L.A. (Lower Alabama) native, I sure do get a thrill when driving in snow. It can be scary, but it can be such a mad adrenaline rush! I know, I know...I ain't right. ;) The cookie was fun to make, and I really liked the way it turned out.
I know I'm behind in my blogging, so here is a month in a post. We started off the month with snow and a birthday!
Miss Chacha turned 3! She's still not making coherent speech, but she is improving. She is going through potty training right now, and is a total rock star! I'm so close to being diaper free after almost 12 straight years of changing them!
Her sprinkle covered birthday cake, YUM!
Then it was off to New York City to see all the lights and awesome decorations. It was a freezing cold day, and there were so many people out it was like walking through a sea of people! I've never experienced those kinds of crowds, not even at Mardi Gras!
The tree at Rockefeller Center.
Some really big balls.
The Ferris Wheel INSIDE Toys R Us!
Riding the Wheel!
The scared-y cats who wouldn't go on the Ferris Wheel...ha!
Inside Toys R Us, they had awesome toys and Lego statues throughout the place.
M&M World, green representing Lady Liberty.
Grand Central Station
I totally thought of 'Madagascar' when we were here.
This was a really beautifully decorated building.
Empire State Building feeling the holiday love.
Then it was off to Alabama for Christmas! I don't know if you can see well enough in this picture: Alabama Snow! a.k.a. Cotton fields :)
What seems wrong with this picture? Yes, it's almost Christmas and Theo and Charlotte are outside playing on the awesome fort my Dad built in shorts and short sleeves. It was really nice weather while we were there!
Time for the fun to begin! We decorated sugar cones as Christmas trees with the cousins, so much fun!
Time to open presents! How you liking that sweet background? LOL! It's a My Little Pony homey fire to help put us in the winter mood for present opening on Christmas Day.
My parents haven't had Santa visit their house in years! I was trying to convince the kids that he just might not know to come here in the attempts to get them to behave while we were there, but it barely put a dent in their behavior, ha! They were still really good, and loved being there with Mimi and Pawpaw! They were the King and Queen of Christmas this year!
It was a great visit, and then we had to leave and get back to real life. *sigh* Miss you guys!!
This pretty sums up the whole month...Charlotte passed out holding a Moon Pie. Partied hard and ate to our hearts content!
I am a SAHM of 5; Tobie, Miriam, Emma, Hannah and Charlotte. We live the military life through the Coast Guard. Semper Paratus! We love having the opportunity to explore this wonderful country of ours and make great new friends along the way.