Ritchie Crew

Ritchie Crew

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Little Reader

Caroline loves to read...just like her Mommy. She would not share her book with me today, so I decided to take a few pictures. She decided that she wanted to play peek-a-boo with her book today. We also had four witnesses today as she said, "Papaw." We thought this was a fling...and then she did it again!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

We have a friend's brother who is going to be on American Idol this season, so we were listening to his video and Caroline stopped what she was doing and was mesmerized! She loved his voice. I think we may contact him to sing our bedtime songs!

It has been snowing like crazy this weekend, so we got to enjoy a classic game of Chicken Scratch. It is my all time favorite childhood game! Usually on Fridays I go grocery shopping and run around town, but this Friday was a little different. The weather was moving in, and the road conditions were worsening, so we stayed inside. We got to sip on hot chocolate and apple cider.

Vienna Sausage?

So I decided to have a Bachelor party with some of my friends. Little did I know that we would have laughter the entire night! If you do not understand the title of this post, then you may want to watch the Bachelor this Monday night and get a few laughs yourself! Sorry I did not get a picture of everyone...

Each year the United Methodist Women in our church donate money to missions. In turn, they donate the money in honor of the new babies at our church. This year we had twelve new babies! Kristi and I sat in the back with the our two girls. Aubrey is two weeks older than Caroline and we hope they are big buds when they get older.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Biggest Loser

I am the biggest, Biggest Loser Fan! I have watched every season so far, except for the current season. When you have a four month old little miss priss, it is hard not to play with her all night instead. I have all the episodes recorded thus far, and plan to watch them one weekend. While watching the Biggest Loser, I usually sit on the couch and munch and munch and munch on who only knows what... This year after having Caroline I decided that I would make my first New Years Resolution to take the pounds off and lose weight. I had a few friends and family members that said they wanted to do it together. Well, they have jumped off the wagon and I was left trying to lose weight by myself. I am sure that Matt gets tired of me saying all the time, "I wish I was twenty pounds lighter." So...I decided this morning that I would post a blog about it, and that way all my family and friends know that I am trying to shed the pounds. That way next time you see me try to go back for seconds, you can remind me that I do not want to be, "The fat lady that sings."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"The Shack"

I am addicted to two things at the current time: blogging and reading. I read serveral blogs that have weekly book reviews, but I am not able to keep up with the weekly reviews because I am only able to read one or two chapters a night. When you have a four month old little girl, she needs most of your attention! I have decided that I will do a monthly book review for all of those slow readers, and post my view and rating of the book.

Two ladies that I work with having been after me about reading "The Shack." So after listening to their enjoyment about the book, I began to read. I was hooked from the moment I finished the first chapter. "The Shack" is a fictional book written by William Young about a man named Mack. Mack's daugher, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence is found that she may have been murdered in a shack in the wilderness. Years later, Mack gets a note in the mail inviting him to the shack...what he finds there will change his world forever.

I spoke with my pastor about this book this morning, and he reminded me that the most important thing to remember about this book is that it is fictional. I give this book the rate of an A+.

My next book I will be reading will be "Wicked." I will let you know next month about my opinion and rating.

Project Runway Junior

Bykidsonly.com allows children to design their own tees. You can then place an order and choose a charity and donate a portion of the proceeds to that organization. Caroline and I got to vote on other kid's tees. It would be such a great idea for an older sibling to design a tee and give as a gift to a younger sibling.

Beep Beep

Yum! Yum! Holly and John came down this weekend and treated us to Crazy Habachi. Holly and John were naturals. They have three of their own...two cats and one dog. Caroline asked me when we got home, "When are they going to have a baby?"Just teasing! Holly is my college roomie and one of my best friends. She brought us all Christmas gifts. We got a gift card to Lazzari's... my favorite place.

This weekend, Caroline woke up to a pink convertable. Nenaw and Pe had placed an order from Santa for Christmas, but his elfs said it would be a little while before they could ship it because Santa's sleigh was full. She loved looking in the side mirrors.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


So far in the new year, I have seen and read about many families starting a Daily "Do." Moms and Dads are giving their family a daily challenge of some sort. I was reading this week about a mom who tested out crock pot meals for an entire year- www.crockpot365.blogspot.com. Find a passion of yours and get your kids involved. Take ten minutes out of your day for fun and learning with the kids. You can visit www.givingchallenge.ning.com for twenty nine days full of giving. Our family's challenge for the new year is to read a new book every night. We do not buy a new book for each night, but check them out at the library. It gives us quiet time to relate and relax with Caroline.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fun Fruit

Caroline and I are attending a Birthday party soon and will be picking out a toy today for the Birthday girl, but we also have a Birthday party that we are not going to be able to attend. Since we not going to be able to come, we are going to send an Edible Arrangement. Most people have seen or tasted of an edible arrangement before, but they now carry arrangements for children. You can purchase Disney, Dora, SpongeBob, Sesme Street, Thomas, Turtles, or Kello Kitty. A gift that even Moms will love!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shopping in Your Pajamas

Everyone loves a bargain...and shopping out of their home. I love when I can do something from the house and not have to get Caroline out and about. Diapers.com has a current advertisement for first time customers. You can save five dollars on any set of diapers or wipes, save ten dollars of your first order, and ten percent on everything else. That is one great deal! The catch- you must buy in bulk. If your household is anything like ours, I bet your baby can go through the diapers. Best of all...free two days shipping. They will also match any price that you find online! So save a trip to the store!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just a Spoon full of Sugar helps the Medicine go Down in the Most Delightful Way

Target is one of my favorite places to shop. What mom does not like to shop at Target? Great prices, less people than Wal-Mart, and very adorable baby clothes. The tip of the day is for mothers with older children that can take medication. There may be other stores that have this same luxury, but I thought this was a great addition to Target Pharmacy. When I was a child medication came in three flavors, which were orange, grape, and cherry. Now Target can add a flavor to almost any liquid medication. It does not matter if the medication is prescription or over the counter! Your child can choose from nineteen different flavors, and best of all it is free. Next time your child needs Amoxicillin, instead of Cherry try banana split with a little chocoate on top!

Amish Bread

Tanya, a hygienist I work with, gave me a recipe for Amish Bread. It was my first time to make it, so I was excited every night when I got to come home and "mush the bag." Who knew it could be so much fun to mush a bag every night? After about two weeks I have the final product...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend Update

We had a first this weekend...Caroline rolled over. She is a pro now! She got to show off for her Daddy all weekend!

We also had another first... Caroline got to open her first fortune cookie, and all she wanted to do was play with the wrapper. She did not get to eat the fortune cookie, so we do not know if her fortune will come true. Little Miss Caroline before we went out to eat with NeNaw and P to eat at the Steak House in Jasper. Caroline is supporting her outfit from Sutton.

Caroline and Daddy watching TV Sunday morning before we left the hotel.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Amazing Labels

When we go out of town on the weekends, it always gives me a chance to relax and play catch up on all my readings. Last April, Matt introduced me to this thing called a Blog. At first I thought that was not a way in the world that we would have time for something like that. We were already meeting on the weekends and both driving at least to Birmingham. He started making about one post a week and I would love reading what he had to say about our life and sharing it with family. Just this last October, I finally made my first post, and even added pictures. It took me forever and I thought to myself that I would never make another post. It is now January and I am addicted to blogging. I could look at other people's blogs all day long if I had enough time. It started off with me checking out our friend's blogs and being able to catch up with their families. Now, I review other blogs about motherhood, styles, cooking, etc. I do not even know some of the people, but love to hear and take their advice. I have decided that I would like to start sharing some of the items and advice that I have found over the past few months in my mother books, magazines, and experience. I always love to absorb advice from mothers that have went through the same milestones.

My first items to share is from amazinglabels.com. I placed an order this weekend of return address labels. This website has all sorts of items you can personalize with your family's cartoon pictures, such as note pads, return address labels, luggage tags, birth announcements, moving cards, and more. Such a great idea for shower gifts at an affordable price.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Caroline's shirt says it ALL! She has been the happiest girl this week. Why? Because, we are going to see our Daddy today. Caroline is one big traveler these days!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How cold is it outside?

Caroline was fascinated with the backyard this morning. It did not matter which way she was facing, she would turn to take a peak at the back yard. It was a beautiful site, so I decided to take a picture. A few weeks back, this part of our yard was flooded from all the rain. I told her it will probably be a couple months before it warms up and we can go play outside. We cannot wait!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Flying Helicopters...sorta

So finally, almost 5 years after entering the Army to learn to fly, 2.5 years after commissioning, and 7.5 months after reporting to Fort Rucker, AL...I started flying this past week.

I started on Wednesday in a simulator, and then Thursday we were in the air. My instructor pilot, Mr. Probert, is a great guy, and I am so thankful for that (many have a reputation for not being so nice). The first two days of being in the air (Thursday and Friday) were what he called "Gee-Whiz" days, in that we just flew around and didn't concentrate on anything in particular and just got a feel for the controls.

We fly a TH-67, which is a basic helicopter...this is not me...just a picture off the internet.

Now, for those who have never flown a helicopter, it is the easiest thing in the world. For those who have (I will loosely put myself in that group, only for this point), it is near-impossible. For well over 2 hours, I tried killing myself and everyone on board. Thanks to Mr. Probert, I am able to talk about the experience. In fact, he told me and my "stick buddy" (guy who flies with me) that his job is to "keep us from killing ourselves and him until we learn how to fly."

The first day was so frustrating that I started to wonder if I had made the wrong decision by coming here, and feared that I would never be able to do it. Hovering requires the coordinated movement of both arms and feet (each doing something different in relation to what the helicopter does) to very sensitive controls, connected to a helicopter that wants to go totally out of control and to the ground. You would not believe how much I struggled with staying stationary, and how crazy and drastic my movements were. It will be a wonderful day when I figure it out. Friday was much better...I relaxed, and focused on having fun with it and felt much better during and after the flight. That isn't to say that I did much better, though.

We practiced on basic things: takeoffs, approaches, landing, turning, taxiing, and as I mentioned, hovering. We practiced numerous engine failures at altitude (900 feet), where the instructor simulates the failure by closing the throttle to idle (where the helicopter can't fly and falls like a rock). There are certain adjustments to the flight controls that are made that allows it to descend in a controllable manner, which is called autorotation. We did 3 autorotation landings, where the helicopter lands like an airplane and slides down the runway on its skids. So imagine, the engine is not working at almost 1,000 feet in the air, and taking it all the way to the ground...scary stuff, but REALLY cool.

Days are long. This past week, I had to catch a bus at 4:30 am to go to the flightline. We left there at 11:30 and got back to my car at noon, then had class in the afternoon for several hours (from 1:00-4:00 OR 2:30-5:30). I studied at the library for 2-3 hours at night, and then got in bed about 9:00 at night to do it again the next day. The schedule alternates every week between morning and afternoon flightline, so next week I will have class in the morning (7:30-11:00), catch a bus at 11:30 and leave the flightline at 5:30. My hours of studying at night will only increase as time goes on. We have to know certain things for the flightline daily, and we have a test every Friday in academics (classroom). It is challenging, and will get harder and harder over the next year, but it is a great opportunity and I consider myself so very blessed to have it.

Good Times with Good Friends

My friend Tara and her family came down to visit. She and her husband, Cameron, have a little boy named Sutton. Sutton is the CUTEST little boy ever! He had to check out Caroline at first, but then he wanted to lay his head beside her on the mat. So sweet of them to drive down to visit with us. They brought us a Tyler candle, Christmas gifts, bows, and clothes for Caroline. We love bows...

Contestant #39

Addison was in a pageant today in East End, so Caroline and I started the Saturday off to an early start. Caroline stayed with her Mimi, and I headed off to support Addison. She had evening gown, New Year's, and optional wear outfits. She is so good at blowing those kisses!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Just Relaxing

Today we had a relaxing and fun Sunday. Caroline slept in this morning, but was all smiles when she finally woke up. I am loving the bumbo seat, because she can travel around the house with me while I clean. She is supporting her first pair of jeans today, with a red bow on her loops with her initial. We are overly excited because a new season of Desperate Housewives starts tonight!

Can you see me?

We got home Saturday night, and had some family over for the Razorback game. We obviously were not interested in the game, so we decided we would play with little miss Caroline. We all thought we were not going to be able to stop laughing after we took this picture. She loves her MiMi's glasses.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bringing in the New Year

Over the past two weeks, Caroline has started loving the television. She would watch an entire football game with her Daddy if we let her!

We went down to Fordyce today for the Totty Christmas gathering. Caroline made friends with Bailey, and got to see new family members. She loaded up with diapers, wipes, toys, formula, and more from Nanaw and P. They sure do know what Caroline likes!
Kevin, Jen, Bailey, and Caroline

Kevin and Caroline

Jason and Caroline

Gary and Caroline
I had to post this picture, because Gary said he has not held a baby in years. Too funny!

P, Addison, and Caroline

Today was Caroline's first time to sit in her bumbo seat. She loved it! She mostly likes to sit up like a big girl these days.

We have had lots of visitors this past week. We got to catch up with Brad, Nancy, and Everett this Thursday. We are so excited they have moved back to Arkansas. Everett was such a cutie! He is a grinning machine. Then, Brittany and Joey came to visit. Matt and Joey got to catch up on Razorback talk, while Brittany and I got ready for New Years Eve. Jessica, Lindsey, Jaycee, and A.J. came over Friday night. Caroline is so excited because Jessica is going to make her some orange bows. We love bows!