Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Love Being "Mommy"

There have been many memorable moments in my short experience as being a Mommy. I take my job seriously and pray always that I would be found a faithful, godly wife and Mommy. Proverbs 31 talks about what it means to be a virtuous woman and verse 31 says, "give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." As parents, particularly Mommies there are so many sometimes tedious daily tasks that never get 'noticed' specifically from our children. Sometimes this may make us feel discouraged, but as Christian Mommies we can know that our "works" are not in vain and that we do all things for God's glory and not our own. Many things that we do will never be 'noticed' this side of heaven and the rewards & accolades will never be presented to us and we can be okay with that. We shouldn't be doing these works for personal praise anyway. There are moments however when are little precious gifts from God extent their hearts to ours in ways that we burst with pride, joy and only a love that can be given from our own loving Father in Heaven. Today I experienced such a 'tiny' piece of this love and I wanted to share it with you...
After church this morning I went to pick up David from his Sunday school class-Jim stayed behind in the sanctuary to talk with our pastor. David met me with an excited, "Mommy!" and hug as he always does and we proceeded to head towards the exit of the Children's area when he said, "Mommy where is my flower?" I did not know what he was talking about, but asked him if possibly he left it in his class. He said, "yes!" so we walked back and he said to his teacher, "I 'porgot" (forgot) my flower." The teacher smiled and handed him a tissue paper flower that he had made during class. Then he turned towards me and said, with the voice of an angel , "Here Mommy, this is for you." He gently handed me the flower, that he was obviously very proud of, and then gave me the biggest "David-sized" hug ever. Talk about melting a Mommy's heart.
I know there are many times as parents that we think perhaps are 'duties' go unnoticed, but take heart God sees all and our reward is in heaven. I take joy in all the little things in my Mommy life and I am eternally grateful for today's...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic

Living here so close to DC has been great for experiencing all kinds of fun adventures. Ever since our visit to Walt Disney World last February I have been counting down to when we may be able to go again. I love Disney World! Well, Disney ended up coming to us!
The Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic came to the Verizon Center in Washington DC and we were so excited that we bought tickets for the VIP section. Later we found out that that meant 2nd row seats!! Well the week of the event was the same week as our blizzard causing all kinds of cancellations, delays, reschedules, among a number of transportation issues. Friday, the 12th was the date we had purchased tickets for. That day was the first day Jim went back to work after a 2 hour delay. Our plan was to head to the farthest southern Metro stop and park our car there and head north on the Metro. Things were going fine until we sat in our seats at the stop and then waited there for almost 30 minutes until finally headed out. What usually would take a total of 20 minutes on the Metro took us 2 hours!! We ended up not arriving at the Verizon Center until 8:30 with a show time of 7:30. You can imagine the disappointment we were feeling. Thankfully we called them while we were waiting for a Metro change and they basically said that we could physically come to the box office and exchange our tickets for another night. When we arrived we did just that! We were not the only ones who had trouble, tons of other families shared their terrible transportation issues while we waited in line. We were grateful to receive comparable tickets for Monday show instead. PHEW all that being said. We drove ourselves to DC Monday, leaving LOTS of extra time and got there with time to pick up some hot chocolate and donuts before heading in. We also were able to check out the outrageously priced Disney on Ice souvenirs before the crowd came in. David picked out himself a very nice "Prince's sword" that he now uses to slay all kinds of dragons in our home and on occasion Goliath : )
We took our seats and David waited ever so patiently for his "surprise" as we called it. He was SO excited when we told him who was going to be there-all his Disney friends! He did great. He recognized most of them and waved to say hi as they passed by. Some of our personal favorites were: Aladdin, Nemo of course, Mulan, Pinocchio, Toy Story, Incredibles, & MICKEY MOUSE!!
We are so glad we were able to make it to see the show. Hooray for many Friedlein Family Fun & adventures!
Pretty castle scenery
David posing with his new sword before the snow begins

Mommy & David are very excited for it to begin

Daddy & David with his sword-super excited

Obeying Mommy for a quick picture with his Mickey Mouse ears

NOW we're having fun wearing them!

SO MANY Genies!

Final Genie pose


Marlin & Dory

" 'ello the name's Bruce!'

Bruce & 'bopped' nose Dory

The castle with Mickey & Minnie Mouse

The candlestick

All the friends from Beauty & The Beast

Mr. Green "Marine"

Mommy & David playing swords and sporting the Micky ears crown

Pinocchio & the blue whale

Timon & Pumba have a serious discussion

Micky Mouse gives us a wave "good-bye!"

The Toy Story "Marines" as David calls them

It's a small world after all!

Mulan- Learning to "be a man"

Mulan's "little friend the dragon"

The Incredibles

The Lion King

The Grand Finale...and there were "fireworks"

Blizzard of 2010 Take Two

Our "Snow Vacation" came to a close last Thursday, the 11th of February. Jim had been home with us for an entire week and we enjoyed every moment of it. Cabin Fever didn't really set in too much, and thankfully Jim found his "release" in the constant necessity of snow shovelling. Tuesday was when we received "Round 2" of the blizzard and we got about an additional 5-8 inches of snow. It didn't start as early as it was suppose to, but when it did the flakes were huge! We had decided to take the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood and while we were out it starting coming down-we got home just in time. To bring our fun to a close a bunch of us headed back to the Haines' backyard sledding hill. Everyone took at least a couple of turns down and we had lots of laughs! There are a bunch of short video clips that I just had to include, because each was so funny. I heard that 49 of our 50 states got snow this season! Crazy! I hope you are all enjoying your Winter and I'm sure like us we are NOW ready for Spring! : )
Mr Russell didn't mind snuggling inside while the snow came down :) SO spoiled!

Blizzard Round 2 (Our back porch)

It just keeps on coming!

Shane & David checking out the Haines' family Igloo

David and I had a little snow ball fight

Mr. Pat & Carson come flying down the hill. (This is their backyard). I LOVE Carson's face in this picture.

Mommy & David zoom down together.

This is Brandt our friends' 1 year old little man. He was not too thrilled to be all bundled up, but we all thought he was adorable and so tolerate of the Mommies and our giggles at him. Such a sweet boy!

Ella & David. LOVE Ella's expression. Fun was had by all!

David on the bigger sled

Brandt being plopped in a saucer. He's thinking, "Come on, enough already!"

David and some of his friends: Shane, Ella, Joey, & Caroline

Jim (and David, yes he IS in there somewhere)

Ella still having a fantastic time!

Parker's turn!

These are the Daddies minus one. It is Keith's turn to go down and Sean, Jim, & Matt are having way too much fun!

Shane & Joey!! More fun facial expressions

David & Mommy's turn down the hill

David coming down the hill

Shane & Caroline

Shane & David sledding together

Daddy & David- ouch!

Sean takes his turn - ouch again

Jim - these Daddies are seriously silly

Keith - way too much fun!

Brandt- so tolerant of us Mommies

Ella & David hip hip hooray

Keith and Brandt - ALMOST crash

Brandt sledding all by himself like a big boy.

Keith & Jim go together- Yay for our fun "Snow Week"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowy Birthday Parties

Our neighbor friends' Caroline & Carson had their birthday party on Sunday afternoon. Originally it was going to be at a farm near by, but due to the CRAZY snow storm it was moved to their home. All the fun farm food was delicious, and the cake was so cool, especially the pretzel fence!
After cake & presents the kids & parents got all bundled up and headed out in the backyard where Mr. Pat had created the best igloo & sledding hills we had ever seen! We were told that he spent almost 4 hours preparing everything and boy was it fun!
All the kids had a BLAST flying down the hills and climbing in and out of the igloo. It was a fantastic time. The sun even came out taking to bite out of the cold.
Mrs. Keri bringing out the farm cake-adorable!
All the kids are ready to sing Happy Birthday!

Caroline & Carson blow out their candles

Here comes David down the hill

David & Daddy sled down the hill together

Oh no look out Daddy!

Little snowman having "snow" much fun!

Coming down the hill!

David had so much fun flying down the hill.

The smile never left his face, maybe because it was frozen on there!

The Blizzard of 2010 hits Quantico

Today is Tuesday, February 9th and we are still SNOWED IN! The snow started last Friday morning and increased in intensity that evening, finishing off Saturday NIGHT around 10pm! We've accumulated close to 30 inches of snow over the past few days. This is something none of us in this household has ever seen, and we were raised in Michigan! The base has been code red ever since, meaning EVERYTHING is cancelled & closed. To sum it up in just a few words: WE LOVE IT! Jim has been home from work, we've had power the whole time, plenty of food in the fridge (after an insane trip to the Commissary Thursday morning), and with the assistance of our neighborhood shovels we've dug ourselves out, built snowmen, snow igloos, castles, mountains, and had TONS of fun sledding in our friends' backyard. We are so grateful to God for His protection and provision during this last week and so thankful for the family time. This has turned into quite the unexpected vacation for us.

As an update for today, the base was Code Blue-Jim was suppose to be going in to work at 10am, but then shortly after that is was changed to Code Red again. Starting this morning we were suppose to get an additional 5-20" of snow!!!!!!! It's the snow that never ends here, I'm telling you! So far though the snow has not started up again and it is 3:15 in the afternoon. Tonight was suppose to be the worst of it, adding in some serious winds, so we shall see what the night holds. Please keep those who do not have power, or shelter, or food in your prayers, we are very fortunate to be in our specific situation and we are making the most of it, but there are some who are not in such a good state. People are even having their roofs cave in due to the shear weight of the snow that has now turned to massive ice chunks. The roads are slick in a lot of areas and some roads haven't even been able to be cleared. Those that have, there is limited places to actually put the snow and the snow banks are HUGE!

So far cabin fever has not been able to get the best of us though. Living on base has been such a huge blessing to us in so many ways. Not only are all our friends right here in our neighborhood, but when we've got no where else to go, we can all meet outside and enjoy the snow days together!

Our neighbors the Roys invited us over to Sugar on Snow & donuts which were DELICIOUS!

We attended a birthday party just across the street and the kids had a blast sledding down the hill in their back yard!

Thank you Lord for keeping us safe and allowing us this special momentous time!

A glimpse of our backyard when we decided to shovel for the 2nd time on Saturday afternoon

This is our and our next door neighbors front yards. Mr Ben, Anna, & David begin their snow castle building.

Daddy & David stop to pose while they continue their HUGE snow shoveling adventure.

David is very helpful. The snow was so wet & heavy!!

Helping clear one of our neighbors' walkways

I took our dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. This is one of the parks and our mailboxes buried in snow.

The trees were so beautiful! The snow was so wet that everything it fell on it immediately attached to, the bad thing was how heavy it was, causing many trees to come crashing down.

Trying out the snow castle

The finished product had a tunnel and an indoor slide out the front!

David enjoying "Sugar on Snow" Fresh Maple Syrup from our neighbors' family farm melted and drizzled on fresh snow, then scooped up with a fork and devoured! YUM YUM!

Helpful David James shoveling & being silly of course