Tuesday, April 30, 2013

There's Something About: Softball!

Ok, and baseball, too, I guess.

It's springtime. At least that's what the calendar says, but here in NY, it's just finally starting to feel like it.

However, since the calendar says "spring" then that means it's time for SOFTBALL! YAY!

Tink and Lightning are both playing ball this year. And because we apparently aren't busy enough, the Major and I are both assistant coaches. I don't know what we were thinking!

This past Saturday was opening day. And it turned out to be a beautiful day - the weather cooperated! There was a parade, opening ceremonies, and the first games of the season. Needless to say, it was a looooong day. I tried my best to have stuff ready the night before: cooler ready to be filled, uniforms laid out, car packed with equipment, banners to make. I made the banner for the girls and helped with the banner for the boys.







We got to the ballpark just in time! The kids always enjoy the parade. I get teary-eyed when I hear the national anthem. The first pitches are thrown in. And then it's game time!




Unfortunately, Tink and Lightning's games both started at the same time and because the Major and I are both coaching, I missed Lightning's game. Tink's game went a little longer, so the Major was able to catch the last inning of her game.




We came back to catch our nephew's game, after our BIL's birthday celebration, then we went home and took naps. The rest of the day was just as lazy as could be. And that's ok because it's going to get crazy here starting next week (cause it wasn't already crazy, duh).

Everyday has something scheduled: dance, music, games, practice, church, youth group. So, what's new, right?

I'm going to need to plan our dinners ahead a little better than I have been, but we all know I'm not great at that. If you have any ideas for healthy quick dinners, or healthy plan-ahead dinners, let me know! I'm gonna need all the help I can get in the meal department.

In the meantime, LET'S PLAY BALL!!!

~Michiko

Friday, April 26, 2013

There's Something About: My Military Kids

April is the Month of the Military Child. I was one and now I have 3 of my own. They are heros, too.




There seems to be a month or day for anything and everything nowadays. But this one is important and special to me. There are blogs and websites featuring photos from many families of their military children, but I just wanted to tell you a little about mine, 'cause that's what I know!

During our last deployment, we learned about Our Military Kids. It's an organization that helps children of the National Guard and Reserves to participate in sports, music and other extra activities that can be costly for many families, especially while a parent is deployed.

I was so happy to get this information. School had just started and with Daddy being deployed, I was determined to keep us busy to help pass the time. (Little did I know Hurricane Sandy would be keeping me plenty busy!)

Lightning was playing flag football, Tink was in cheerleading and dance, and Buzz had started his first year of high school. Music lessons seemed like a good choice.

Buzz has been playing the viola in school for almost 6 years and he was interested in learning how to play the guitar. And what big brother does, Lightning tries, too.




Tink had taken piano lessons before, but stopped when softball season had started, so she was ready to start piano again.




So, we signed them up for lessons at a local music store and they were more than generous setting up the kids for their lessons. They already offer a free guitar when you pay for 10 or more lessons up front, so that helped to set the boys up with the necessary equipment. The kids each received lessons for about 5 months.

Buzz has decided that he would like to keep playing. And as he is not involved in any other extra-curricular activity at the moment, we will most likely continue his guitar lessons.

Now that spring is here - at least that's what the calendar says - Tink and Lightning have stopped their lessons to play softball and baseball. Hopefully, in the fall, Tink will be able to take piano lessons again. Lightning, on the other hand - well, let's just say, he likes to be outside!

Thank you, again to Our Military Kids. You gave my kids something to look forward to every week.


~Michiko

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

There's Something About: My Fitness Story - Part I

I want to share my fitness story. I call it a "fitness" story, because to me, it's about fitness, not just "losing weight." I lost a solid 20-plus lbs since the beginning, but, once you lose that extra weight, it's not over. So, instead of concentrating on how much more I can lose, even though I have those pesky last 5 to 10 lbs. that I would LOVE to lose, I try to concentrate on maintaining my exercise routine and eating as healthy as possible.

After giving birth to 3 wonderful babies, and nursing each one, I had gained my share of extra weight. I had severe morning sickness with all three pregnancies, so when the pregnancies became more manageable just after halfway through, I might have taken liberty to eat what I wanted, almost. Then while nursing, the body craves more calories and again, I just might have used it as an excuse to eat more of anything I wanted.



About 7 weeks after Lightning was born; not too bad, yet.


I'm not a big person. I'm barely 5 feet tall. And I could tell from all the pictures we took that I was not in the right weight range for someone only 5 feet tall. I was in my mid-30s and getting bigger.




About one month before changing my life; Lightning was almost 2.


Then it happened. I went shopping for some new jeans, because, duh, the ones I had were too small. I grabbed a couple of pairs in a size I thought would fit and went to the fitting room. I grabbed a size I figured was about a size bigger than what I was already wearing. Yeah, not quite. Then came my "uh oh" moment. I needed to hit the double digit sizes. I put my clothes back on and walked out of the store without looking back.

Very soon after, the Major and I started having some discussions about exercise and weight. He realized he was getting bigger, too, and he must have known that doing this together was going to be sooo much easier for me! So, we came up with a plan.

Part II - coming soon...click here.

~Michiko 

Monday, April 22, 2013

There's Something About: MHO Monday Mingle #11

Hi! Decided to link up with the MHO Monday Mingle #11 and there's a theme! Sounds like fun.


mondaymingle



This week's theme: SPRING
1.  What is your favorite part of Spring?
Butterflies - I love butterflies, flowers blooming, birds singing, and my kids actually wanting to play outside. But it's all because I know that summer is right around the corner.
 

 
2.  What is your favorite holiday or date in Spring?
Easter

 
Easter 2012

 3. Is Spring your favorite Season? If not, what Season is?
No, summer is my favorite season. I grew up in southern California, so I love when it's as warm as it can get here in NY. The humidity is not great, but as long as it's over 70 degrees, I'm good!


4. Has Spring been what you've expected this year?
Uh, no. The winter lasted too long this year. It rained and snowed throughout March, and April doesn't seem to be able to make up it's mind. I think it's keeping the flowers from blooming already!

 
5. Thinking about my last question, what would be the perfect Spring for you?
The perfect spring would be summer! I can't help it. I'm just a summer girl at heart!

 
Last summer

Okay, your turn! And Happy Earth Day!

~Michiko 
 

Friday, April 19, 2013

There's Something About: The 5-Day Challenge

Blogging has opened up a whole new world of friends for me. It's amazing how many wonderful people and blogs are out there. I was looking to connect with other military family blogs and came across Deployment Diva.





Jessica is a deployment survivor and a health coach. She always has uplifting and helpful information for dealing with deployments and your health; and your health while dealing with deployments. She also provides private coaching.

So, when she sent out an invitation to participate in a 5-day challenge, I was definitely interested. But it was going to require some commitment. Daily meal plans would be available, and intense exercise of a minimum of 60 minutes each day would be required, as well as active participation on the Facebook group page.

The Major was getting ready to leave on a TDY and the kids' spring sports activities and practices were picking up steam. If you didn't notice, I was already looking for any reason why it would not be a good idea to participate. I was talking to the Major about it and saying that I didn't want to have to quit in the middle of the week because of how busy I would be. Then, he said something that pushed me up to the starting line: quitting can't be an option. And I knew he was right.




Jessica had lost 9 inches total when she had done the 5-day challenge previously and I knew I wanted in. So, I did it. I submitted my "before" photos, measurements and weight. I purchased the items on the grocery list and prepared for a week of "fun"! And you know what? It was! I enjoyed the meals, for the most part, and the kids even ate the dinners with me.


This was my favorite lunch!

Sure, it was tough making time for exercise, especially for a whole 60 minutes, but I wanted to see some results. And the support from everyone that joined the challenge was great, especially from the coaches, Jessica and Sarah. I lost 3.5 inches, with a solid inch gone from my waist!


My sparkle (sweat)!

I can't wait for the next 5-day challenge. I try my best, to eat right and exercise regularly, and this small 5-day commitment is great for giving you that extra boost and change from your normal everyday routine. Looking forward to May!

~Michiko

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

There's Something About: Our Story

Hubby was an airman stationed at Kadena AFB in Okinawa, Japan, in 1995. He was a crew chief on F15s and loved it. I was living at home in Oceanside, CA when my dad accepted a job that moved us to Okinawa. My mother is from Okinawa and her father was sick, so my dad, who already worked for the DOD, took another job that would transfer us to Okinawa so my mom could care for her sick father.

My parents met when my dad was active duty in the Marine Corps, over 41 years ago, when he was stationed in Okinawa. Little did I know I would be "following" in their footsteps.

I met my future husband in March 1995. Several weeks later we started dating and several months later he proposed on the 4th of July. We were married almost 8 months later in January 1996. We've always said, "When you know, you know!" And we knew!


It's 1996 people!

He was transferred to Langley AFB in October 1995. Then, we PCS'd to McChord AFB, in December 1997, where he was a flight engineer for the C141, and we had our first son in December 1998. In July 2000, we came back to Long Island, NY, where hubby is from, and he joined the New York Air National Guard. He was a flight engineer for the C130, but soon finished his degree, got his commission and went to pilot training. Now, he pilots the C130. And we eventually had two more kids.


Aren't we cute?!



Love this photo of us!

We've gone through at least 5 deployments (I've lost count) and during this last one I decided to start blogging about our sometimes crazy, but never dull, life. I hope our stories can put a smile on your face.

~Michiko

Sunday, April 14, 2013

There's Something About: My Washing Machine

Well, it happened again. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you would have seen my photo already.


My 6-yr old washing machine, for the second time in about 2 years, stopped working. The error code is "tE" which apparently means "bad thermistor", whatever a thermistor is. According to several websites, as well as the repairman who came out the first time, the thermistor in these machines doesn't "go bad" and it's most likely a loose wire.

So, like usual, the Major is out of town when these things seem to happen. But thankfully, I have wonderful in-laws! My FIL and BIL, just to name a few of them, are great. They removed the dryer from atop the washing machine, then got into the guts of the machine and of course found no noticeably loose wires. They double checked everything, but only found a little plastic tab that was breaking, but didn't seem to do anything important. Either way, they taped it back up, closed up the  machine and we ran a cycle. And yay!! No more error code.

It was such a crazy day and I forgot to take pictures, but FIL and BIL did a great job! We put plenty of blankets and towels down so as not to damage our hardwood floors. And my nephew and Lightning both tried to play inside the dryer. I was able to clean the floor behind the machines, as well as the top of the machines, which you are never able to reach or get to, so I had to take my chance while I could.

Everything is back to normal now - whatever "normal" is, and I've done about 5-plus loads of laundry since Saturday night. And as any mother knows, the laundry never ends...so I can't thank my in-laws enough for fixing my machine. And really, thanks to all my in-laws, because they have all been more than happy to help when these crazy things happen! Now, it's time to fold all the laundry - yuck.

~Michiko

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

There's Something About: My Hubby

Found this link-up, so I thought it would be a nice way to "introduce" my husband. I've been waiting to do this because I wanted to let you know what his blog-name is going to be and I had to wait until it was official - he got promoted!! So, I will now refer to hubby as "Major". And I guess that will last until lieutenant colonel comes up, but I could just be dreaming at this point.


Sewing on new patches!

The topic this week is anniversaries, which I don't have to follow, but it helps me think of something to write.

We have had 17 anniversaries! And they were all wonderful, even if he wasn't home for all of them. But he was home for our 15th anniversary.




About a week or so before our anniversary that 15th year, we were talking about what we wanted to do to celebrate. At first, we both seemed sort of nonchalant about it. Neither of us had anything special we wanted to do, which means we probably didn't feel like eating out and there probably weren't any good movies playing.

We realized that neither one of us seemed excited about this milestone. And we talked about that. We both kind of felt like it was just another year and knew there would be many more to come. But we also felt that we had just hit a year that many couples don't get to, you know, because of the "D" word. We still didn't feel very "special" and I honestly don't remember if we ever did anything that year.

Well, fast forward 2 years, a  5-month deployment, another missed anniversary, not to mention 3 out of 4 birthdays, plus the major holidays. So, we decided to hit it big for Valentine's Day! Who cares when you celebrate, as long as you do.

I guess I'm just saying that sometimes it doesn't matter the milestone, just the love between.


The Growing Tree


~Michiko

Saturday, April 6, 2013

There's Something About: My Hallway

So, this was my week...

I've been enjoying some Bon Jovi on SiriusXM. Yes, I'm a fan - ever since I was 15. I can't help it.


Then, on Tuesday, Lightning did this:

 
 
Felt like I had "blogger's block" - if there is such a thing, but was able to get a couple of workouts in, so that was nice.
 


Then, Friday night I decided to do something I've been wanting to do since BEFORE the hubby went on his deployment. And since he's not home right now...

I wish I had a "before" photo of my entry hallway. It's basically littered with shoes and backpacks ALL THE TIME. I found a lovely item online at least a year ago, but hubby didn't like the color (or the fact that I even wanted it) and, at the time, I couldn't see spending the money.

Then I found this little gem at The Home Depot. It's smaller, but serves the same purpose. And gives us, I mean ME, an inexpensive way to ensure we're gonna like "furniture" in the middle of the hallway.


The item I wanted had a larger/taller shelf section, drawers on top, and was a table instead of a bench. But this does the trick! Each kid has a basket for shoes and can just put their backpacks on top of the bench. I'm ok with that, for now. Not sure what to use the shelves for, but probably hats and gloves during the winter.

I assembled it myself - TA DA! And I think it looks great! Obviously, this is an "in progress" photo.

 
This little guy helped out and insisted on carrying this box all the way to the registers. We stopped a lot along the way, but he was determined!
  


And there was no assembly required on the garbage can - YAY!

~Michiko

Friday, April 5, 2013

There's Something About: Towels!

They are very good at soaking water up. (Yes, I know that's what they're made for.) Let's just say, I got to put them to really good use Tuesday night.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - everything happens when the husband is "gone", i.e. deployed, on a trip, or just flying late. And Tuesday night was no exception.

Lightning was really trying to keep my on my toes, I guess, and this is how he did it.


 


Yup, that's water all over the kids' bathroom.

The little had finished their showers and were getting their jammies on, and my OCD kicked in and I decided to clean the sink/countertop, while there were other things to be doing, of course. Then, I helped Tink clean out Gracie's cage. 'Cause just like any family pet, Mom does the cleaning. A good ten minutes or so later, Lightning was in the hallway telling me I needed to see something. But since I was in the middle of helping Tink, I asked him to tell me what it was. He just kept saying he didn't know and that I needed to see!

So, finally, I walked out of Tink's room and he pointed to the bathroom. I could see water all over the floor. I knew immediately that somehow he overflowed the bathroom sink. I put towels all over the floor and then asked him what happened. He said he was trying to help me clean. (He had been watching me wipe down the counter earlier.)

I got really upset, but then realized he felt pretty bad. I told him to use his words next time to let me know what's going on and I thanked him for trying to help me clean. Plus, it made me clean out the cabinet (and throw away all the toilet paper and tissues we weren't using).




But it's not over. This is what my kitchen ceiling looks like now. The kids' bathroom is right above this area.




Oh, and then Daddy came home after midnight. He's got great timing!

It's not terrible. It could definitely be worse. Next time - 'cause there will be a next time - maybe it won't keep me from blogging all week!

~Michiko

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

There's Something About: EASTER!

What a great weekend! He is risen. That says it all. I could end my post right now.


This was what we saw at church on Easter Sunday!


But, I won't, because we had a BUSY weekend. And who else would I tell? Plus, there's always plenty to do around here, so always lots to say.

Saturday, we went to my father-in-law's house and celebrated his and his wife's birthdays. We also colored some Easter eggs with the kids. They did a scavenger hunt and had a great time. And the weather was nice enough, they spent most of their time outside. I think Spring has finally figured out that we would all like some warmer weather!


 
 


Sunday we got up to see what the Easter bunny brought - candy and kites - and where he hid the eggs. Or is it a she? That's been the frequently asked question this past week. If you know the answer, please enlighten me.




Then all dressed up for church. Every Easter my husband sets the tripod up outside so we can take a nice family photo before we leave. It's kind of become our little tradition. And a great way to get a family pic every year!


 
 


After church, we joined one of our closest friends for an early Easter dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant. It was deee-lish! And then brought dessert back to our house. (I need to get better at taking pics of my food!)

Buzz ordered the same thing as Daddy - mussels, clams and shrimp over linguine - and finished before Daddy, too! He really loves seafood.


 


I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. Maybe next weekend I can relax, but who am I kidding?

~Michiko