Sunday, December 31, 2006

Murder Mystery Party

Tonight my husband and I are going to a Murder Mystery Party. You've probably heard of the murder mystery dinner theaters right? I've been a couple of times but that was before I was married. So tonight we actually get to play parts...I'm Sophie Tomatoes and my husband is Festus Marlow. I'm cracking up just reading the bio's on the different parts. The couple hosting this party are our friends and neighbors (they live within walking distance, woohoo). I'm bringing my camera and I plan on getting some fun pictures tonight! I hope to also get pictures of Lucien and I together as well!

This will be the first time in YEARS that Lucien and I have gone out on New Years Eve. Usually we stay at home with the kids. I hate being out on the road, drunk drivers scare the heck out of us and it's enough to make us stay at home with our children. So since this party is being held by our friends and neighbors we said Yes to walking there. Since we live on base, we're pretty sure that we won't be hit by a drunk driver, not so sure about not being run over by the herd of deer that live on base though. They seem to be everywhere!

I better start getting ready....I have to bring a tomato as a prop and my hubby's character needs a fish, LOL!

Happy New Year!

It's on the wall

I've had to make room in my little cupboard where I keep my baking pans because I have MORE of them on their way here! I received gift cards to Williams-Sonoma for Christmas (my favorite kitchen store in New England). Well I ordered some really cool Nordic-ware Bundt pans and they're a little bulky. SO I knew that these holes on the ends of the pans were meant to hang them I got some nails and a hammer and made my own art. The two muffin pans to the left are vintage. They were my mother's pans and she gave them to me years ago, I never want to part with them. They will always be one of my "little treasures".

Lets Scrap!

Oh my word have I ever been scrapping up a storm! I've done forty that's 40 12x12 layouts in the past 2 days! I'm on the computer now to finish up the journaling for these layouts. Granted the hard part of all of this IS the journaling...the wording, type size the font...oh the possibilities are endless!

Today is the day that I'm going to finish up my month long scrapbooking project. WOW that was some project too! I liked it so much that I've decided to take it on as a year long project in 2007! Anyone on board with that idea? I'm going to talk to my scrapbooking group about taking on a month long project or maybe a month in review project for the entire year (I like the sound of that one too).

Tonight my husband and I are attending a New Years Eve party but wait....this one is a Murder Mystery Party. Our friends Heidi and Patrick are throwing this little bash and with those two in charge, it's bound to be a total laugh riot! Lucien and I have our characters and our list of props to bring, I'm cracking up just thinking about how much tonight is going to be! Oh yeah, I'm bringing my camera...I wouldn't miss this photo opportunity for nothing! I've even bought some New Years Eve embellishments for my layout :)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's a scrappy kind of weekend!

I've been scrapbooking since 5:50 am! I'm dead serious about getting things done in these OSC albums. I had the layouts sketched, the background done, all it needed was to have the pictures cropped, mounted and put in place. Well when you are working on 4 OSC 12x12 albums and then one of your own (if I'm doing 4 might as well do one more for myself since I did take all of the pictures). That one heap of pictures to crop and mount! October layouts are almost done just need to finish the journaling. November's prototype is in the works, all of the pages are done, just need to order photo's from Walgreen's, December...this is the one that almost killed me this morning. Cropping and mounting 75 pictures (that's for 5 albums) into 3½x3½ squares. I'm going to need to get more adhesive (lots more), some post extenders a new cutting blade from my trimmer and a new cutting bar too.
Alright, now for me to get over to the Walgreen's site and place a picture order.

Friday, December 29, 2006

what snow storm?

Okay there's not very much snow outside, not nearly the amount that was forecast for our area. The last snow storm just passed us right on by and now we get a dusting of snow. No snow forts or snowmen being built here today folks :(

Yesterday was a house cleaning kind of day. The kids cleaned their rooms and we had a "no computer day" as well. We had to find other things to entertain us rather than staring at the computer screen. I loved having my children upstairs doing things....Hannah starting putting together her 3-d wooden puzzle (it'll be an owl once she's finished) and Andrew is building a Star Wars Lego kit (don't ask me what it is, I'm not sure). It was nice having the kids hanging out upstairs, just being kids. So what was I doing? Get ready...I was reading! That's right, I was able to read a book. I was actually reading a cook book and it was great! I got to read the commentary and the little things that were in there and not just whiz through looking at recipes.

Our Christmas Tree is down and now out in the garage. Now to get these ornaments put away. Granted the Charlie Brown tree is still up and decorated...then again it is a very skinny tree, LOL! Today I think that Hannah will put together her train set together and now we have room in the dining room for her to do that very thing!

We are supposed to get more snow throughout the day, as to how much actually falls remains to be seen. I have plans for meals that will warm my husband and children from head to toe. On today's menu... lunch is chili dogs (a kids favorite) and dinner...Manicotti (stuffed tube noodles). I gave my family a voting choice on dinner... manicotti (stuffed with ground chicken) , lasagna or stuffed shells (with cheese). I was surprised that our daughter voted for meat...she's usually all about the veggies and cheese. So I need to get a start on it now. I want to have some of that so called "free time" later on today. I've got things to be doing!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My new lamp

Ever since I first found out about Ott Lights, I knew that I wanted one. But what was keeping me back from buying one? First off there's the price but the other thing was the style...they were not all that pretty to look at. SO when my DH and I went out shopping, I showed him the Ott Lamp and they were on sale for 50% off...and they have never ever been on sale for that much off before! We were given a rain check...and when I went to check if the lamps were back in stock they had ONE. Oh yeah I grabbed that pup and ran with it to the check out line! It looks great in my living room and even my DH is impressed with the light it emits. Since rearranging the living room, I had made a little book nook. Now the nook has my recliner and a nice lamp. Now to find a small book base and I'm in there! Or maybe I'll set up a small decorator table with a nice table cloth and call it good. Hmmm, now I've got more ideas bubbling through my head...great, LOL!

Christmas Clearance sale

Sometimes I wonder about people... after Christmas every store has a huge Christmas clearance sale. I went to Hobby Lobby to see of my rain check item was in stock yet (I'll tell you about that later). So I buzzed by the Christmas isles to see if there was anything worth buying. Well I lucked out...I got these really nice Wilton candy boxes at 50% off, red ones that I can use for Valentines Day. I didn't do too shabby if I say so myself! I saw ladies there with 2 and 3 carts each! Just loading them up with "stuff" like there was no tomorrow. I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder....but some of that stuff was just plain weird looking! Christmas cards and wrapping paper are things that I do NOT stock up on. The cards just becomes outdated and the wrapping paper becomes brittle from being in storage for nearly a year (the harsh conditions of the attic or storage shed are too much for it). I bought a roll of wrapping paper from Hobby Lobby earlier this month that was on sale for 50% was garbage! I could not make a crease on a corner without the paper ripping. To me, that's when a bargain is not a bargain. I'm only buying things that I have an immediate use for, okay so Valentines Day isn't next month but it will be here soon! I can stamp little hearts all over the boxes and fill them up with little candies or even home made fudge.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Lets talk Turkey

Oh my gosh I have to tell you all that McCormick's Turkey Rub rocks! Oh my gosh I made the most savory and moist turkey ever! This is what I did...I cut up a large yellow onion and put it in the cavity of the bird (like I always do) but this time I added celery too. I coasted the turkey with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and rubbed the turkey rub all over the bird plus I sprinkled some on the inside as well.

I'm always interested in trying new things so when I saw this jar at our commissary, well it looked like it was worth trying. WOW! Hello! I need to get myself some more of this stuff, that's for sure! Okay you caught me, I also bought myself a new roasting pan to cook this monster bird's by T-Fal, it has one of those fancy shmancy racks, the pan its self is non-stick. Oh my gosh it cleaned up in a snap! This was so worth the price I paid for it too! I'm not sure if I'm going to keep my old enameled's so darn hard to clean up. I really like my professional type roaster and rack set it. I can't get over how easy it was to clean.

Life is too short to spend it scrubbing pots and pans!

picture a day

After printing out pictures and writing (and printing) out the journaling....I am up to date on my picture a day album! Yeah for me! It's been a challenge trying to decide on what to focus on each day, but a good kind of challenge. I hope to continue this project in the future for other months. Now for me to stick it all down and get the pages into the album.

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Day and if you celebrate...what's under your tree? We've had all kinds of wonderful surprises. I think that the best one for Hannah was the robo-rapter, oh yeah! Heck I like that toy too! For me it was getting kitchen gadgets, scrapbooking stuff and a little i-pod shuffle, oh I love Christmas surprises! Andrew loves those computer games and cd's of his favorite movies. My darling husband loves his new shiatsu chair er :) Yup I knew that would be a huge hit! I think that everyone has sat on it with the exception of myself. So while the rest of the family is getting ready for church (I'm already dressed) heh heh heh. I'll have to post some pictures soon.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

update on Hannah

Hannah is doing well. She did have some minor bleeding occur from the incisions on both ears yesterday afternoon. It wasn't anything like the other night and I was able to get the bleeding to stop without any problems. I chalk it up (the bleeding) to her feeling so much better and playing with the cat too much. She has not needed any pain medication which is amazing since she had a pretty intense surgery on her head just the other day. The bruising and swelling of her ears is typical, the incisions look good (never mind the intermittent bleeding). Now getting the bandages to stay on while she is sleeping has been a bit of a challenge. The night before I was awakened every couple of hours (no joke) and I had a tough time tying to get Hannah's bandages on her noggin to stay in place. Last night I handed over the reins to my husband...I checked in on them an hour ago and amazingly enough Hannah's bandages are ON :) Now I wonder how much sleep he was able to get. I am very appreciative of the break and feel pretty good, regardless that I woke up to our cat crawling all over me at the crack of dawn, LOL!

Holiday News Letters

I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoy reading Holiday News Letters from family and friends. They are filled in with tidbits of information that you would other wise not hear about. Which reminds me...I have got to sit down today and write ours, eek!

Barbara (my best friend from childhood) actually wrote and sent me a month by month account of her past year. I kind of giggle at this because years ago she was a bit affronted with the fact that I had sent her one, as it seemed a bit impersonal. So along with the newsletter from my dear friend, it also brings a smile to my face.

My friend Liz has gotten smart and just e-mails her newsletters. I love the graphics that she has added to them! I enjoy reading Liz's newsletters as she and her family have such a zest for life! They are so adventurous, I love it! She has a heart of gold and I don't think that anyone I know has as many pets as they do, many of them have been rescued animals.

My dear friend Darcy (I met her in high school) sent me a news letter. I love to hear what she, her husband and their 3 daughters have going on. It's amazing to see how much those girls have grown!

Now for the unexpected was from my cousin Susie I haven't heard from Susie in ages! Susie's son is 25 years old now (WOW!) and her daughters are in high school and junior high (like my children).It's newsletters like hers that fill in the gaps of what's been going on over time.

My old boss (from my very first job after high school) Joyce even wrote and sent me a newsletter, I loved it! Filling me in on the little bits and pieces that have made their year.

All of these items go into my scrapbooks. They are all special and I will cherish them for years to come.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Her Royal Itchiness

This past evening Hannah had an attack of the itchies, it was something awful!I've never saw a more miserable child in all my life. Between the after effects of the anesthesia (it always made me itch something fierce), the gauze wrapped around her head and then a polartec head band on top of it all...well I think that my head would be sweating too! Being a sympathetic Mom, I unwrapped her for a little while and rubbed the outside of her ears. I do have compassion for this poor child of mine and I was able to get her to stop crying. I know what it's like to be so itchy and unable to scratch, it must have been something awful to make her cry the way she did. Hannah and I have a new little joke between us, her latest nick name is Her Royal Itchiness, she seemed to get a kick out of it and it even made her smile (after all the tears were gone). And I have to let you all know that no amount of chocolate or ice cream can make the itchies go away...Hannah told me this.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Friends and Angels

I know that I'd be able to get through stuff like this (Hannah's surgery and recovery) on my own, but it sure is a heck of a lot easier when friends are there for you. A very good friend brought dinner by for my entire family, of which I am truly thankful. I do believe that good deeds are returned and not necessarily by the same person that I had helped. Rather it's more like a circle that never ends. I believe that we all have Angels watching over us...miracles both great and small happen every day and all we have to do is open our hearts to see them. Let today be the day that YOU are an something unexpectedly thoughtful for someone. The person will be more appreciative than you will ever truly know.

The Surgery...and the things that happened afterwards

The surgery took about 2½ hours (just like the doctor said it would). We got to be with Hannah in the recovery room. That girl of ours slept for 3 hours there...WOW! I've got some before and after pictures of Hannah, she even asked for close ups of her ears so she can see them later. Lucien and I were quite surprised at the fact that her eyelids were stitched shut during the surgery. Yes we were a bit taken back with that and not sure that we would have gone along with it if the doctor had mentioned it before surgery. My baby has swollen and bruised eyes. She's a trooper though!

Now I meant to post this stuff yesterday, but since then I've been rather busy. Here's the skinny on what we've gone through since coming home...

During the night her left ear started bleeding, I tell ya It was scary! It soaked through the head wrap and was all over her neck. I called the emergency number in the middle of the night and spoke with the doctor. He told me what to do to get the bleeding to stop (and it worked...for a while) and that we were to come in first thing in the morning. I thought that I was going to pass out when I saw all that blood on my daughters head and neck (yes it really was that bad). I don't get squeamish with blood but I am a sympathetic vomit-er. So of course this morning she's got to start vomiting. I never drove so fast in my life, all to get her to that doctors office and have him make sure that she's alright. Now if I was the wife of a civilian, I'd most likely have my husband with me but alas my husband is career military and had to be at work at the crack of dawn. So here I am doing all of this by myself. The women I know that can do this sort of thing of thing or have been been through such an event...all of them are military wives. I've been asked where does my strength come from my answer is that it comes from God...he's gotten me through many a hard time. And as it always seems, I have never had my husband with me when these kinds of "events" occur (go figure). He's always been away with work (usually in a different part of the world). We've survived this little bump and Hannah will be feeling better in a few days.

So in a nutshell... Hannah has new bandages, the doctor got the bleeding to stop. I have a virtual ton of gauze pads, wraps and the alike. I can have my own little hospital ward here in my house now. I'm in desperate need of some Chai Tea right now and possibly a hot soak in the bathtub! Hannah is resting peacfully on the couch in the living room and my son and husband are oblivious to everything Hannah and I have been through since 2 am.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Surgery Day

It's here, the long awaited day of Hannah's surgery. Please keep her in your prayers as she has this surgery. I'll post later on this afternoon on how it all went.


I love quotes and this one is an exceptionally good one…

You must give some time to your fellow men. Even

if it's a little thing, do something for others - something

for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it."

~Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Are you a blogger?

It's been 6 months (plus a few days) since I have been blogging here at blogger. I owe it all to my dear friend Susan who had been on me for months to start a blog. I love it here, and the fact that I can e-mail in my posts makes it all that more easy to maintain.

I enjoy reading blogs by others. Seeing what is going on in the world, going on with friends and so forth. So happy anniversary to me with keeping this blog going for 6 months now!

Warm Fuzzies

My husband is off to work, kids off to school...funny thing with the kids though...they're still on the bus riding around the base, LOL!

So here I am at my computer, I check my e-mails and I am overcome with Warm Fuzzies. The girlfriend I told you all about last night sent me the most endearing thank you note. My heart feels like it's grown 10 times it's normal size, just from knowing that I could touch someone in such a manner. I've read the letter 3 times now and each time it has brought tears of joy to my eyes.

Okay now for me to get with the tasks of the day...I've got to print out my pictures and journaling for my picture a day/layout a day. I've got quite a few backed up and in the holding pattern so to speak.

Then there's laundry...a day without laundry is almost unheard of here. My word my kids sure can go though the clothes! Wash wash wash, that's what I seem to do a lot of these days.

I do feel overwhelming blessed today, I have a roof over my head, food in our pantry, a car to drive, a husband who loves me for me (and he supports my scrapbooking habit too) and children who fill my days with laughter. I feel blessed by God each and every day for the many blessing he has so loving bestowed upon me. I am filled with the joy of the season and what it really means to give from the heart.

Monday, December 18, 2006

little acts of kindness

It's been a busy day for me, running here and there. On one of my many stops today I was at the hospital pharmacy getting prescriptions filled in preparation of Hannah's surgery. While there I happened to bump into a girlfriend. One of her children was sick, her husband is currently on a deployment and she's supposed to go to Colorado on Thursday. But with one of her children being pretty darn ill she didn't know if she was going to be able to get to take the trip home to see her family. I've been thinking about my friend all day long (I really have). So once I was done with my volunteer commitments this evening I brought her a little surprise, I didn't call to let her know that I was coming over...I just popped up with a little cheesecake just for her. The look on her face was all the thanks I needed :-) Just knowing that my little act of kindness made the world a nicer place for my dear friend who was having a hard day is all I needed. So maybe just maybe you have a friend that's had or is having a bad day...bring her a little surprise, maybe it's tea for two or a fresh baked muffin. Trust me, your friend will be delighted to to know that you've been thinking about her.

To work or not to work...

Earlier this year I was introduced to the world of working for Tax Season by a good friend. It was fun and enjoyable when I got to work with her. I found myself looking forward to going to work and the time passed by very quickly when I got to work with her. But when I had to work with others it was almost unbearable and time passed ever so slowly. The scoop is... I've been asked to come back for another season in the world of tax preparation. Because of so many different reasons I've decided not to return. I have so much on my plate, with Hannah and her surgery, Andrew and all of the extra curricular activities he has going on, my volunteering with many different spouses groups (of which I enjoy greatly) and being a Girl Scout leader. Then there's my Mom, she's having hip replacement surgery in January and I might have to go out there and help her out. And of course my friend Liz isn't there any more (she and her family now live in Ohio, since her husbands retirement from the Air Force). And then on top of that, the local office is not going to be opened this year...and that's where I wanted to work. It was close to my home and to the kids schools. If there was an emergency I could get there quickly. So I will just have to turn them down and tell that that I have too much going on in my life at this time to be able to fully dedicate myself to working outside of the home.

Weekends are too short

Weekends go by all too quickly don't they? I've been pretty busy around here this weekend...with baking 15 cheesecakes, wrapping presents, shopping for little presents and of course no weekend during the month of December would be complete without attending a couple of holiday parties. Both parties we attended over the week had themes, one was Christmas and we had to wear some sort of Christmas attire and the other was a Hawaiian Luau theme. Each was fun in their own special way. I cracked up at seeing people wearing the coconut bras and grass skirts, others had on sandals, swimwear and sarongs. It's freezing outside but yet these folks were in the holiday to love it!

I also managed to rearrange our living room. Dragging furniture around and putting it in a different configuration. I've now got a reading nook, the birds are all in one cage. Hopefully the parakeet will not be a bully and beat up on the finches. He's been in a cage suspended above them for over a 18 months now. I just wanted to condense the birds and have only one cage to service.

Today is also another busy day...with Girl Scouts being right after school and it's their Christmas Party. Then immediately after school I have to get over to the BX and hang out at the Christmas Gift Wrap booth with my husband for the next 3 hours. Little to my knowledge he signed up up for the last 3 hour shift. My life is never dull, that's for certain!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Change of Command Ceremony-OSS

Today I will be attending a change of command ceremony for the OSS (operational support group). I truly do like attending things like this. This is where you get to see the heart and soul of our military community. Friends and family for the exiting and entering squadron commanders attend these events. I like to watch their faces (of family members) as it one of the once in a life time events that the civilian sector get to see the military sector in a touching moment. Husbands give recognition to their families for their support and especially to their wives for being the rock that holds everything in place...during deployments that lasts months on end and in every day life. These events always bring tears to my eyes, but the good kind you know:) This is where the military members tells his people what an honor and a privilege it was to serve with them, and you really get the feeling that he or she means it too. It's all heart felt and no one is left out in this person's list of who he or she has appreciated along the way.

So now for me to pick out what I'm going to this IS NOT a jeans and t-shirt kind of event.

Christmas Party Photo

Here we husband and I at our first Christmas party of the season. I borrowed this green velvet dress from my friend Theresa. Although my hair is not red, it sure does look like it in this picture. Must be the refraction of light from the professional lighting that the photographer had set up. So much for golden blonde hair eh? Oh well I can live with it, LOL! Now for me to think of how I'm going to do a layout with this picture. I'll print it out in a 5x7 and work with it at that size.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Oops ...the party is at 11 am Honey

I have to laugh when I think bout the miscommunication issues I have with my husband and all of these Christmas party dates times and places. There's a holiday party today...I thought that it was to be held down town at the Civic Center this evening at 5 or 6 pm. But wait, it's at 11am in the building where he works. We have so much going on this month that it's just plan hard to keep it all straight. I'm laughing because I ordered 2 roasted chickens for today and so did my husband. Four roasted chickens...we're going to have roast chicken coming out of our ears! Oh my gosh how seriously funny! Good thing that they aren't expensive, LOL!

So here I am looking for something to wear that isn't too overly holiday-ish looking. I've decided upon muted earth tones. I'm wearing something that won't look like I'm trying to show up anyone else who has decided to dress in holiday fashions. I want an understated yet classic look. As it is, this will be the first time for most of these folks to meet me since my husband took over this position last month.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How are your observation skills?

For some more's another test, these always make me laugh!

Your Observation Skills Get A B+

Your senses are pretty sharp (okay, most of the time)
And it takes something big to distract you!

more right brain left brain stuff

You Are 45% Left Brained, 55% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

The search continues...and other things

Okay I've been hunting my my daughter's night retainer with no success for 3 days now. Yesterday I took apart her room and it was no where to be found. Hannah lucked out because I ended up cleaning her entire room...dusting and everything, LOL! Next was Andrew's bedroom...he didn't fare so well as I left his room in total chaos. I moved on to our bedroom...oh my gosh I HATE having stuff under the beds! Growing up our house was small and we always had the underneath of our beds crammed with boxes of "stuff" that was being stored there by our mother. This is the first time since our 16+ years of marriage that we've had things under any of our beds. It's driving me bonkers! I've not found the OG appliance (aka night retainer) but I have found lots of things that either need to go into storage or be tossed to the curb. I found magazines that were 2 years old, needless to say they found their way to the recycling bin rather quickly.

So today I will continue my mission of looking for Hannah's retainer, finish my ornaments and make some Christmas cards. Heck I might break down and buy some at Hobby Lobby today and be done with it. I also need to take time out and write my family Christmas Newsletter-ugh! Did I mention I'm starting my Holiday baking today as well? It's cheesecake city today! I'll be baking 3 of those pups today to give as gifts. So where do I get the energy? Plain and simple...COFFEE! Yup, I love the stuff! Especially Millstone's Swiss Chocolate's my all time FAVORITE! You can check out their site here it's got all sorts of cool stuff on it:)

So I'll grab another mug of my ever so yummy coffee and get on with making some more ornament toppers and think about making 40 to 50 some odd Christmas Cards...buying them is looking better and better, LOL!

Right Brain Left Brain

Did you know that there really are differences in right brain thought and left brain thought? Check out this site and see for yourself. It's pretty interesting stuff. So why am I bringing this up today? Well I do a lot of things with both hands that normal left handed or right handed people would do with their dominant hand. Growing up I thought that everyone could write with both hands and do things with both hands. As I got older I found out that that is not the case. Apparently not all right handed people can write with their left hand and visa versa. I liken it to my having an eye for color. I can look at colors and match them up without any hesitation. I've understood color theory my entire life and never understood why my sister couldn't match her clothes to save her soul from the devil. The right brain left brain thing really puts it into a perspective that I can share with others. So are you a left brain thinker or a right brain thinker? Check it out and let me's interesting reading!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yea it's Tuesday!

I'm so glad that it's Tuesday, it just seems to be an easier day of the week than Monday.

I've got 1001 things I want to get working on today...most of them being scrapbook related projects. Of course I want to whip up something for dinner that I know the kids will love, so I think I'll make quesadillas (everyone here loves those). Those go quickly and it won't take away too much time from my scrapbooking today.

Christmas parties- yes we have MORE of those to attend this week. I also want to get working on layouts from the pictures we took while at some of the parties we've recently been at.

There's the OSC's come to mind that I have never shared those layouts. Well I've got to get some more work down on those albums (there are 4 of them plus my own). I want to get them finished up and then post the layouts to my webshots page.

My mind is always working on it scrapbooking, cooking up a new recipe, sewing, counted cross stitching or thinking about a new book that I started to read. Never mind that restless leg syndrome, I have restless mind syndrome, LOL! I've always got something going on.

No Tuesday the 12th picture as of yet for my picture a day. Then again it is quite early yet.

Monday, December 11, 2006

a Picture a Day progress report

So here I am on day # 11...believe it or not, I AM up to date on my Picture a day/ Layout a day December project. Journaling, picture and layout out together along with my embellishment attached to the page! Not only has this been a challenge but in a way a growing experience too. To have a peek into the little things that make me "Me". I've been thinking about taking this into being a year long project. Granted I'm still on the fence about it because that right there would be taking on quite the project. Think about it, 365 pictures, 365 new topics to write about. Not that I've ever been at a stand still on finding topics to talk or write about. But this would go into my own scrapbook. Doing a project like this would be a huge undertaking and take some serious dedication to complete. I need to photograph my layouts and give you all a peek as to what I have done so far on this project. The background paper is Bazzill Black, I think that this project needed a strong neutral color of sorts and black was it for me. I choose to use a Bazzill card stock (not sure which green it is) for my circle and a brick red (not sure what brand it is) for the other ascent circle. The brick red flowers are by Prima and the brand center is from Hobby Lobby. I added Tulip brand Pearl dimensional fabric paint in Snow White to the silver brands to have them looking like pearls. The acrylic stamp is from Limited Editions the Danelle Johnson Art Warehouse collection.

It's Monday Monday Monday, need I say more?

Monday, the kick off day of my week. I only have a 1001 things to do this week (or so it seems). I had a good nights slumber and feel ready to kick some butt on Monday. Just the word "Monday" seems to be not as scary to me today as it did yesterday. Sometimes it feels as if it's looming over me with some sort of black cloud filled with dread. But today it's pretty cool...more like a steamy mug of hot cocoa filled with white fluffy marshmallows.

I've got kids in both bathrooms getting showered and ready. Hannah's crabby (so what's new, LOL). Andrew has a bunch of big stuff to drag to school, canned food for the food drive in his math class, Angel Tree gift for his JRROTC class, then of course there's his gym bag, back pack filled with 18 pounds of school books and he has to be dressed in his ROTC uniform today. Whew, that's a lot of a 14 year old to deal with on a Monday.

Hannah has her pre-op appointment this afternoon. Surgery is a little over a week away. Today I'm doing the count down down. Hannah's so ready for this surgery to be done and over with. She's been waiting for what seems to be an eternity to have this done. I don't know if my own mother would have gone through the roller coaster of events that I have to make this surgery a reality for my daughter. I'm still unsure of how much we're going to have to pay for all of this, but when it comes right down to it, that's why we have insurance, to reduce the burden.

As I look at my day planner and see my week spread out in front of's going to be another busy one. I attended 6 holiday parties over the weekend...WOW! That's got to be some sort of record for myself, of that I am certain! This week will be busy too! I'm still struggling to get all of the acronyms down for the different squadrons that make up the Mission Support Group. It was so easy when it was just a single squadron and it was a number and not some crazy mixed up set on initials.

Alright, I need some coffee in my system if I'm to get anything done today.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday's parties

Yesterday brought another assortment of holiday parties. The first one I attended was a Holiday Tea at the base commanders house. It was held for those involved in the Key Spouse Program. A lovely woman (both inside and out) named Rohini organizes and runs this volunteer program. She herself puts in at least 40 or more hours each week, she too is a volunteer. It was a lovely afternoon spent with a terrific group of ladies. Our commander's wife is an exceptional hostess and made her home open to all of us during the holiday season. It was a beautiful and welcoming place to have our Holiday Tea.

The next party on our agenda was held at the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City. Oh my word it was so elegant! The ballroom was newly refurbished and it was breath taking! I don't know about the food because we were there fr cocktails and then of to the next party but the room certainly looked fabulous!

Off we go again, this time it was to the VFW in down town Rapid City. The place was not as elegant as the other parties we have been to, but this party was very family oriented. There were activities for the children and a children's dining table as well. They also had a real chef preparing their holiday meal. This party had a warmth to it and a true family atmosphere.

So after all of this we come home and kick off our shoes and relax. It truly was nice to get out and meet other spouses and to be able to chat with them. All in all t was another enjoyable evening. My feet are still aching from wearing high heels for 2 days in a row. Today calls for something a little more casual, my Veggie clogs will be on my feet all day long!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas parties galore!

Last night was amazing! My husband and I along with another couple attended 3 Holiday Parties. The first one was at the Holiday Inn (for cocktail hour), the 2nd one was at the Hotel Alex Johnson (for Dinner) and the 3rd one was on base at Dakota's (a combined officer/enlisted club). It was a total blast! Tonight we have 2 different parties to attend, on at the VFW and another at the Grand Gateway Hotel. Then of course there's the Christmas Tea I am attending this afternoon.

It's such fun to dress up for these events or at least I think it is, LOL! I enjoy meeting the people that work for my husband and their spouses. It's nice to be able to put a name and a face together.

My picture a day is coming along well. I've yet to get yesterday's picture printed but I do have the journaling done. I've yet to work on today's topic. Such is life for the Christmas party hoppin' gal that I've become this season :D

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas is in the air

Last night I attended my 3rd holiday party and I loved every minute of it! The program director (Angela) of our group (OSC- Officer Spouses Club) has done such a marvelous job in selecting programs, menus and entertainment. The club will be missing her when she and her family PCS (military term for move). The young lady that played the Harp was out of this world! One of my personal favorite instruments is the Harp. A hush came over the crowd and I swear I've never heard us (as a group) be so silent for so long. So here I am (on the left) with one of the ladies who attended the function. It's not that I'm very short, it's that my friend is VERY tall, LOL!

Last night I brought in a New York Cheesecake for our raffle at the end of the meeting/function. Oh my gosh, I was very flattered at the response it received. Many ladies brought items for the raffle table (it's another way for our groups to make some extra $$). Although I didn't win anything from the raffle table, I was very happy for those that did. As for who won the cheesecake, the dear sweet lady who heads up of Key Spouse program here at Ellsworth. I do not think that there could have been a more appreciative winner. She was so happy to be bringing home a cheesecake to her husband...his favorite dessert in the entire world!

I'm baking more cheesecakes today plus am going out to get a couple more 8 inch spring-form pans. I have no idea where mine have gotten off to. I could have sworn that I had more that just the one, same goes for the 9 inch spring form pan. Oh well...I'm off this morning to get some more and a few more baking supplies (I need need more graham cracker crumbs).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

did someone say Cheesecake?

I'm baking my little heart out today; cheesecake #2 is currently in the oven as I type. These cheesecakes are for the deployed spouses brunch that is being given on Saturday. They need to be thoroughly chilled before eating. Tomorrow I'll be baking yet another one...that one will be for my husband :) as he dearly loves cheesecake.

I have different recipes for different sized cheesecake pans. Since I have 3 different sized spring-form cheesecake pans (8, 9 and 10 inch), I have at least a dozen different recipes for my husbands favorite...New York Cheesecake. Then of course there are the other kinds...Raspberry, Blueberry, Zebra and many more.

If you've never made a cheesecake before, do not be afraid! They are fun to make and even more fun to share with friends! The trick is letting your ingredients get to room temperature, beat them until they are very smooth and creamy. Philadelphia brand cream cheese works best. Trust me I've tried a couple of other brands and it just isn't the same. Those other brands are just too dry, they aren't creamy and they make a dreadfully dry cheesecake that cracks all over the place. I do place the big cake pan filled of boiling hot water on the lower rack in the oven with my cheesecakes to keep the air moist...and it did not matter with those "other" brands of cream cheese. So I stick to the brands that work best for me.

White Fluffy Snow

White fluffy snow, it's everywhere this morning! The air is cool and crisp and the snow seems to add this sense of calm to everything. It's might be beautiful now but in a few short hours it will mostly likely be melted away from the sun. It's a light fluffy kind of snow. not at all the kind that is needed in the way of making a snowman.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What's YOUR hot must have Christmas item?

What do you perceive to be the HOT Must Have Christmas item? Is it different that what the advertisements are saying? How about the marketing firms? Are they right in their predictions? Or is it all a bunch of hype? Being someone with a background in marketing I can see through the smoke screen of hype.

I bought my husband the Homedics Shiatsu massaging cushion...but trust me I'll be using that gift! I've only seen one commercial for it (so far) but dang if it isn't blasted all over on local radio stations (especially in the morning hours). Did I fall prey to commercial hype? No, this was something that I've been looking at for a while and waited to buy when I saw it at an irresistible price. I enjoy shopping around for the best deal. I'll check the Internet as well when it comes to looking for good prices, but beware of those shipping costs! I saw a good price on something on line then I checked out the shipping costs- OUCH! I might as well buy it local, I'd come out ahead. All of the so called "savings" are shot when you add in the shipping and handling. And those so called handling fees can add up to as much as the shipping costs. So pay close attention to the "final costs" when shopping on line.

So what's on my list this year? I'd like to have an Ott Light lamp, but I haven't told anyone about it. So chances are that it won't be under the tree for me. It's just not the thing I'd ask for for Christmas, LOL! I like being surprised, my husband and children are good for surprises too!

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Husband the Miracle worker

I'm amazed at what my husband can do. He got some of those plastic straps (green ones too) and some wire and had got the tree back together, as he said to me it's good for one last hurrah (meaning the tree). So we're back in business!

Hannah being our child how loves to decorate put up the "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree that I bought last year. I wanted a skinny tree to have in another room, I just didnt think that she would want to put it up this year as she had such a fit about it being so skinny last year. I've never done a themed tree before but I'm going to give it a go this year. Our Charlie Brown tree will be done up with snowmen and snowflake ornaments. This should be fun to do since I collect snowmen and snowflakes.

Time to get my chickens ready to leave the roost. Have to drag Hannah off for her blood work (needs to get done today) and Andrew needs to catch the bus today.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

the Tree

I've got 2 days of pages done on my 31 days of December. Pictures, journaling and it's even in a page protector. I'm working my angle on day 3. I've got it in the works but I'm almost embarrassed to get it down on a page. It's about our sorry excuse of a tree, LOL! It used to be a very good tree until our cat attacked it and tore 3 branches off of it. Of course we've wired them back on and all but it's just not the same. Parts of the pre-lit tree no longer light up and well after spending terribly hot summers and very cold winters out in a storage shed or in an attic...well our tree is on it's last leg (so to speak).

Holiday Decorating

I'm still working on the picture a day, I've got a couple of pictures that I want to work with and will be printing them up later (since everyone is still asleep with the exception of myself). Once I get them done Which means complete with journaling, I'll post them here and on my web shots page.

I hope to be able to get some holiday decorating done today. My house feels ready to get into the Holiday spirit, and I'm feeling it too! I'll need to rearrange some furniture here in the dining room to accommodate the tree. I look forward to taking pictures of my husband and daughter fighting with the tree, trying to make it cooperate with them. It's always good for a laugh! This event will call for some hot apple cider and some goofy Christmas music :)

Holiday Cheer

You know it's December because? All of the holiday parties. We have several more to attend this year than in previous years. I don't mind, it's actually rather fun to get dressed up and mingle with friends, new and old.

Friday night's party was held at the Holiday Inn in Rapid City. They did a wonderful job at everything! There were over 460 people in attendance, that's a record number for this event. Since seating was limited the coordinators for the event had to actually turn people away because the event was sold out, how extraordinary! All of the tables were packed, our table hosted 12 people! I loved the people that we were sitting with, it was a great group!

So I have to tell you that the best part of the evening was seeing my girlfriends all dressed up for the event. Everyone looked so beautiful in their long gowns, and they were all smiling for the camera (I was able to get quite a few pictures).

Last night's Holiday party was held at Mount Rushmore. They do a fantastic job up there. The food was delightful, and it's not your usual holiday fare (which for some odd reason always seems to consist of turkey). There was dancing and a raffle ticket drawing for prizes...of which my husband and I won one :) A $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant, The Corn Exchange. Our table was the lucky table, of the 4 couples at the table 3 won prizes. Okay so one guy got a gag gift...that was a laugh riot! Mount Rushmore was lit and it was breath taking! The thoughtful part of all this was the bus...the squadron always hires a bus (it's a small one) to shuttle it's folks to and from the event. The bus came to our door on base and dropped us off in front of the doors of the event, then it took us back home again, very nice! We were able to skip the hassle of finding a parking space, the long walk from the parking lot to the building where the event was being held (and it was VERY cold last night too), no worrying about driving on the icy roads. Not to mention we could have cocktails at this party and not worry about having a designated driver, LOL!

Friday, December 01, 2006

My Scrapbook Nook

In this little base house there is a little room that I lovingly call My Scrapbook Nook. That little scrapbook nook hosts a constant source of inspiration in my ability to create cards and scrapbook layouts. The energy I get from being in that room is amazing! The bright colors that keep the senses alive is the best part. I love color, especially when it's arranged in the rainbow manner. My spools of ribbon that hang over head is just once source of energy, then there's how I have my card stock arranged, again in the roy-g-biv manner (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet).

I actually look forward to our next move because it gives me hope that I will have a larger space that I can call My Scrapbook Nook. I do realize that I've been blessed with my little space. Since moving here I have downsized the materials that I don't use or are no longer interested in using. I've donated them to a good cause. My space is limited and I need to go through what I have in there from time to time and just "cull the heard" so to speak. Have you done this lately to your scrapbooking stash? Look at donating those unwanted items to a local girls and boys club or the children's ward at your local hospital, they will greatly appreciate your donations!

Day 1 of picture a day

So here it is, the first day of my picture a day scrapbooking adventure. I look forward to doing this project and will be in search of the everyday life angle. I reread the article and the person who did this project printed her pictures at the end of the month and put it all together in one evening. I'm not sure if this is how I will be going about this project. Today is the kick off so I better hurry up and figure out what I wan to be doing...procrastination is not my strong suit, LOL!

Tonight we have the Bomb Wing Christmas party to attend. The dress is Holiday casual (no jeans), I love the fact that we can get all dressed up events like these, if we so want to. Me? You bet I'm getting dressed up! My friend Theresa must have a closet full of gowns, because every time I need one, she'll pop up and say "Sandie, have I got the dress for you" and she comes over with a different one for me to wear (and they are all lovely). I don't know if she realizes it, but she has saved me a small fortune! Tonight's dress is a long sleeved scoop necked emerald green velvet gown, the color and design are fabulous! I wore a lavender colored gown of hers back in May for a military dining out ceremony. I could not get over the amount of compliments that I received on it. I made sure to thank Theresa and to let her know that her gown had a very good time and how everyone admired it:-)

I'm bringing my camera tonight and I hope to get more pictures (and better pictures) than I did last year. Maybe this year I'll get someone to take a picture of my husband and I together...someone with a steady hand that is, LOL!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pasta Milano

The Scrapbook crop was fantastic! We all had such a good time. I truly enjoy spending time with this group of ladies. The page kits were a total hit! Talk about having a great time, we laughed the entire time.

The page kit was for an 8½x11 recipe page, fairly simple in structure but it looks great! The color and design were very pleasing to the eye and the ladies were very happy with it. They also couldn't wait to try the recipe on their own.

Here's a picture of the finished page...I love it!

The joys of Scrapbooking

It can be a little frightening designing a scrapbook layout kit. Will people like it? Will they smile and pretend to like it? All that has been running through my head for the last couple of days. Well I'm going to take the plunge and just go for it. Not everyone has the same style or taste when it comes to scrapbooking or for that matter Pizza.

I'm going to have them trying new things today. I'm pretty sure that most of the ladies have never inked the edges of paper or card stock. For the ones still working in the simple get it done CM way, this is going to rock their world! The others I know are a little more advanced and this should be a lot of fun for them in general. I might even have them stamping on chip board and cutting out and all kinds of fun stuff. I'll fill you in later on it all!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Is it Wednesday already?

Can you believe that it's already Wednesday? This week is going by fast. I've got to get Hannah in for her blood work up some time this week, it needs to be done before her pre-op appointment on the 11th of December. We received good news in the mail yesterday... our insurance has approved Hannah's surgery (thank you Lord for listening to and answering our prayers). I'm not sure how much ($ wise) is going to be covered by the insurance and what part we're going to have to pay, but I'm willing to hope for the best.

I'm not one to have kids spend the night on a school night but I made an exception. My son Andrew asked if his best friend Drew could sleep over. Sure what the heck, they're 14 years old and a bit more responsible than say a pack of 10 year old girls. Oh my gosh what a delightful evening. No screaming, no slamming doors and I absolutely did not hear "Mom" being screamed once (whew). I had help cleaning up after dinner and they were quietly playing downstairs, alright so they were playing video games...but they were having fun and that's what matters. They even got all of their homework done:) I like it when I don't have to hound my children to do their homework. It was a great evening for all of us!

I picked up my Stampin Up order and all I have to say is WOW these little ATC albums are adorable!!!! The new mini winter catalog, well lets just say that I'm glad that I can shop from it for 3 months. Tons of great stamp sets and just as many great project ideas to go along with them.

Now to gear up for the day...I need to check out my calendar and see what is going on. I've got a feeling that I've got some serious baking to be getting done and some recipes to be writing up.

The weather is a bit warmer today than it was yesterday, currently it's 5 above zero versus yesterday of feeling like minus 8.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

You Know...

It's days like these that have me shaking my head and wondering. Wondering about what you ask? Here it is...I drove my kids to school today (yes again) because of 2 reasons
1- being that Andrew had to wear his JR ROTC uniform again (apparently when you miss a Monday you have to make it up). With it being so darn cold, there was no way I was sending him out wearing it and not having on a heavy winter jacket, hat and gloves. I can drop him off near the front entrance of the school and the boy just walks 20 feet to the door.
And 2- Hannah had to be at school early today for some project she's working on at school.

So where am I going with this right? I absolutely cringed when I saw a boy walking (not sure if he's in high school or middle school) from the apartment complex that's about a half mile from the high school wearing only a hooded pullover sweatshirt. No hat on his head (not even the hood to his sweatshirt), no gloves, obviously he didn't have a coat on and this boys face was bright red from the cold. Now, from the 30 seconds that I was outside to warm up the kid mobile, I was without a hat on my head my ears were bright red and burning from the cold by the time I returned to the house. Oh yeah you can be certain that when I came inside I immediately grabbed a hat and put it head! Now, do the parents of these children not realize that frost bite can set in rather quickly when the weather is this raw? Are they ignorant or what? Then I drive a little further only to see some kids walking from the trailer park that's near the Vandenberg school (that's 4th and 5th grade) again no gloves or mittens, no hats on any of them and one had on what looked to be a thin wind breaker and it wasn't even zipped up. It breaks my heart to see this kind of thing going on. I'm all choked up just thinking about it. I want to beat some common sense into the heads of the parents of these children. Talk to your children about winter weather, the signs of frost bite and show/teach them how to dress warmly.

So now you're probably saying...what if they can't afford coats, hats or gloves? There are programs out there to get their children FREE winter wear. Trust me it's available, I know this because my son just finished collecting coats for a Coats for Kids drive through his high school JR ROTC program. Hundreds of clean ready to be worn coats were collected. Our church is currently collecting hats, gloves, mittens and scarves, again for those in need of such items all FREE of charge. Are you too proud to wait in line to get your children FREE winter wear? Then by all means go to a thrift shop, Good Will or Salvation Army store and purchase one. But for heaven sake, don't send your children off to school in this kind of weather without proper clothing! To me, sending your children out in this bitter weather wearing a hooded sweatshirt or a wind breaker is a form of child abuse. Obviously I can't save the world, but I can try to make difference in my little corner of it.

It's a blustery Tuesday

So here it is, O'dark thirty and BLINK! I wake up just after 3am and no matter how hard I tried I was not getting sleepy. So I figure the best thing to do is to get out of bed and I did so right around 4 am.

The wind is just howling outside, it sounds like a freight train roaring on past my house (no, it's not a tornado). It's a steady 38-40 mph wind from the North (it's the cold from the North coming down to say hello). Yup it's cold out there with the wind chill it's a whopping -8 outside. This is going to be a good day for the marinated beef stew I've got planned for us for dinner. With cold weather like this, we're going to need something to warm us up from the inside out!

As I look at all of the stuff I have going on this week, I have this overwhelming sense of peace about it . I've got things planned out, meals 3/4's prepared and ready to go into the oven, outfits to wear and so forth. I'm not going to get my hair done at the salon this time around, I'm just going to wear it down. No need to stress myself out over nothing in particular. From worrying about getting an appointment before the kids get home from school and being ready before 5 pm, to having something good for the kids to eat before we leave for the Holiday Formal. Too much undo stress there, so I'm opting out of getting my hairs done up.

On to scrapbooking...I've got an idea of how I'm going to approach my picture a day scrapbook layout. This project can actually be a lot of fun once you get over certain obstacles in your mind (this is where my creative side has to give way to the practical side). I'm going to keep it simple with clean lines, using the same fonts, colors of card stock and embellishments through out every page. For me, this will be quite a challenge since (as you all know) I love every color of the rainbow and all sorts of embellishments. I'm hoping that others will do this project with me and let me know how they are coming along with it. I look forward to making these pages for my Book of Me. Pushing myself to scrap about something every single day in the month of December, it'll be interesting to say the least.

My Kitchen Wish List

We all have these little wish lists in our heads about certain things we would like to have I'm just writing mine and putting it out for all to see.

For my Future Kitchen
  • 6 burner gas range or stove top
  • double ovens- one being a convection oven
  • refrigerator with water tap on the inside and pull out freezer drawer
  • stainless steel lined dishwasher
  • chest freezer
  • one handle faucet/sprayer
  • under mount sink


  • potato ricer
  • kitchen scale
  • tall pepper mill
  • sil-pat (2)

Pots and Pans

  • the 2 burner Calphalon grill pan
  • Calphalon roaster pans with lift out rack
  • 8 quart Calphalon dutch oven
  • pumpkin shaped cake pan
  • snowman shaped cake pan

Small Appliances

  • Kitchen-aid hand held mixer-pink
  • 10 cup Kitchen-aid coffee pot-red
  • wide mouth 12 cup Kitchen-aid Food Processor-red


  • Soup Tureen
  • Fiestaware Sauce Boat-shamrock

Have you laughed today?

I don't know about you, but I certainly love a good laugh. I really got a good one from those "quizzes" yesterday. From the Broccoli Casserole Soda to my being 90% Thankful to being very honest at the same time having a B+ personality. Then there was being the "stuffing" of the Thanksgiving dinner. I was laughing myself silly with the answers.

Now take the plunge and go have some fun, go ahead take a know you want to (heh heh heh).You're going to laugh your socks off!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Do you have a Type A personality?

You Have A Type B+ Personality

You're a pro at going with the flow
You love to kick back and take in everything life has to offer
A total joy to be around, people crave your stability.

While you're totally laid back, you can have bouts of hyperactivity.
Get into a project you love, and you won't stop until it's done
You're passionate - just selective about your passions

How honest are you?

You Are Very Honest

You tell it like it is, no matter what.
Even if the truth hurts, you'll dish it out.
And while some may get hurt by your honesty...
At least everyone knows where you stand!

How Thankful are you?

You Are 90% Thankful

You're an incredibly thankful person, and everyone around you feels very appreciated.
You inspire people to be more optimistic, forgiving, and grateful.

What part of Thanksgiving are you?

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

What Jones holiday soda are you?

You Are Broccoli Casserole Soda

Vegetarians taste better!

It's Monday!

So it's Monday...I've already got the meals planned out for the week which takes a huge load off my mind. There's nothing worse than realizing that it's 6 pm and you have nothing planned in the way of dinner for your family. I find that the hubby and kids get a little cranky when you try to give them cheese and crackers for dinner...2 nights in a row.

I finally downloaded the pictures from my camera from our Turkey Day vacation. Yup, just as I thought...nothing but pictures of squirrels. It could be worse, could be that I took no pictures at all. Don't you find that rather funny of me, especially when I was pushing "taking pictures" during the holiday? I knew what I wanted to do, I had a layout in mind, certain types of photo's that I wanted to take and lets just say that no one was with me on the idea. Before I knew it, the turkey was hacked up and spread pictures of the golden turkey on a platter. The squash pie (as my m-i-l calls it) was burnt and someone was trying to put the blame on me, LOL! Yeah right, I wasn't even in the kitchen! Heck I wasn't even allowed to help out! The kids were all over the place and there was no way I'd be able to get a half way decent picture of anyone. So there it is, no Thanksgiving Day photographs. It's was raining and just dreary all day long. I'm looking at the pictures I did take and am thinking about the possibility of doing a layout on the squirrels.

The remainder of Mount Washmore is calling my name, it's all that delicate line dry stuff. I need to drag the suit cases out of the living room and toss them to the garage. I hope to get going on some scrapbooking today too!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I've got one busy week ahead of me!

As I look at my calendar I see that I'm about to start another terribly busy week...with 2 back to back holiday formals to attend, 4 cheesecakes to bake, plus getting Hannah's blood work done for her surgery on the 20th, there's also a couple of dental appointments this week. Did I mention that I'm having a crop on Thursday and I'm teaching a cooking class this week too? Yes I dare say that I've got one busy week ahead of myself! But hey what's a vacation for but to recharge your batteries and get you ready to jump back into things?

I went grocery shopping this afternoon and I felt this overwhelming urge to cook. I've got 3 different meats marinating, all for 3 different meals this week. Teriyaki tri-tips steaks, pork roast marinated with fresh herbs and garlic and of course Parker's Roast Beef Stew marinating in a lovely Cabernet Sauvignon. Want to know where I got my recipes? Check out my network is awesome! I also made a pot of my vegetarian chili and a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I dare say that being on vacation and not cooking for a week got me feeling a little lonely for my kitchen. Yes it's safe to say that I'm back in the groove!

We're back from Boston

and glad to be sleeping in our own beds! As much as I like to spend time visiting friends and family, it always feels good to be back home surrounded by ones' own things.

Our trip was very successful in many ways!

1-My wonderful husband helped his mother to find and buy a new to her car. He did the home work and found quite a few of the one she was interested in, this particular car was found at a dealership in New Hampshire and lets just say that my m-i-l is VERY happy with her purchase. It's a cute silver gray Subaru Forrester.

2-We were successful in having our Christmas shopping done and gifts wrapped before we left to come back to South Dakota. In fact we were done BEFORE Thanksgiving! Oh my gosh the stores and their sales...who needs black Friday when there are sales like what we came across. I'm serious, the sales we came across were spectacular to say the least!

3- My husband was able to meet up with some of his old friends. Although the circumstances in which this occurred was not the best. The older sister to one of my husbands close friends had passed away and there was a wake being held for her. I stayed with the kids while I sent him off to pay his respects to the family. It really brings the sense of Thanksgiving home, to be giving thanks for what you have and the people that you have in your life. Being able to pay tribute to a wonderful woman, wife and mother who died before her time is only part of being thankful for all of the blessings we are given.

4- Turkey Day was great. My mother-in-law always has a huge enough to feed the entire neighborhood in case they were to stop by and say Hi. Pies...can that woman make a pie! Delicious is the only way to describe them! Did I take any pictures...yes and no. I have pictures of squirrels playing and that's it. The day I had planned to take pictures (I even packed the tripod for this trip) it was gray and raining all day long. Every day we were out and about shopping and it was too dark to take a decent picture inside of the house.

Did we do anything touristy? No, not on this trip. It's not as if we won't ever be going back there, so the kids and I didn't mind. I think that the kids really got into the shopping aspect of it all too. Andrew was able to find the video games he wanted at a price that he found to be really great. Hannah got to have another experience at the Build-a-bear Workshop. She had the time of her life building and dressing her newest addition...Anna the Frog. Anna is adorable and has a wardrobe that she will be sharing with her sister Evelyn the Bear. Who would have thought that there would be a Junior Girl Scout outfit available as bear wear? Who ever thought of this place (Build-a-bear Workshop) is rolling in the $$$ that's for sure! Every mother and daughter that came in left with a bear or different animal friend :)

Coming home was a little rough as our plane was 3 hours late leaving Boston. So instead of leaving at 6 pm we left at 9 pm. We got into Minneapolis and were booked into a hotel for the suit cases. So there we are, in a hotel room, no shampoo, no toothbrushes or combs, uh huh. Thank goodness the hotel does supply some amenities, ones in which we were able to get from the desk clerk, or we could have been one scary looking foursome at the airport, LOL!

I brought back a couple of thank you types gifts for my friend Kim (ssssh it's a secret) who graciously accepted my bribe of making her family a cheesecake in payment of watching all of our pets. Yes I still intend on making that cheesecake but I will also surprise her with some other goodies as well. And as you all know, it's always nice to let your friends know that you appreciate them.

Mount Washmore has once again reared it's ugly head and I have yet another mountain of laundry to get through and the worst part of it is that I've run out of detergent. So I have to wait until the commissary opens at 11am in order to start the process all over again, ugh!

I'll say it again...I'm glad to be back and sleeping in my own bed! And yes I am very thankful for the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon my family.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

We're leaving in a hour

It's an hour until we leave and all I need to do is to put on my make up. Yes you got it, I got up a hour before the alarm (nothing new there). I'm excited about this trip. Our bags are packed, liquid things are in a quart sized zip lock baggie, books packed and I'm drinking my coffee.

We've decided not to bring the lap top because of Internet connection issues so it's highly unlikely that I will not be adding to my blog while we're gone. But then again you can never tell where I might find Internet access. I'll be keeping a trip journal and when I come back I'll be sure to update you all on where we've been and what we've done.

I hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving! I'll be back home next Friday the 24th...stay tuned!

Friday, November 17, 2006

One Day to go...

Until we leave for Boston. Am I ready? Not even! I've still got a few more things to wash and then there's every ones clothes to sort and pack. I'll have everything together by this afternoon.

The plan is to do all of our Christmas Shopping for the family while in Boston. I'm going to save myself time and money by getting everything out there. No waiting in line at the UPS counter or at the Post Office for me this year! Can you tell that I'm excited about that? :)

Of course I have a lot to get done today, my friend Kim is going to pet sit for us, pick up mail and so I need to meet with her today. My friend Theresa is going to drop by with a couple of gowns for me to look at (she's got oodles of the things) for the 2 Christmas parties that I'm going to attend (they're formal too).

Then there's the Luncheon for my husband, he's leaving one job to go to a different one here on the base. Picking up my son's best friend and bringing him here to hang out and play video games for a few hours. And of course there's that Mom thing of making sure that the house stays tidy...ugh! it's time to drag out the vacuum and get on with that laundry (it's a never ending cycle of dirty clothes around here).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lets do Lunch

I love that phrase don't you? But I'm probably the only person I know that says it and means it. I get such great enjoyment from having friends over to dine be it lunch or dinner. Being able to sit around a table, to enjoy one another's company and to just have fun.

So with lunch in mind I've got to design a recipe page scrapbook style :) I've got a couple of ideas, but nothing really that grabs my attention at the moment. It'll come to me and when it does I'll be grabbing a pencil and getting my ideas down on paper.

Today is our OSC Spa Luncheon. I'll be bringing my camera of course (to take some pictures of this event). I'll be able to tell you all more after I get back from it.

Tomorrow is another luncheon, this one is being held in honor of my husband getting a different job here on the base and is leaving his old one (after 18 months). So, I suppose that cancelling my dental appointment for tomorrow is in order since it's at the same time as the luncheon.

I'm off to make some phone calls and to get dressed for lunch!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

the fine line between Love and Hate

Okay, so my "Word" program is making me bonkers right now, LOL! Computer journaling...if my own hand writing were better and more like calligraphers rather than my own chicken scratch I'd do it more often. But alas, beautiful hand writing was not one of those gifts bestowed upon me. Last night as my daughter Hannah was checking out my latest layouts (I was so proud that I had completed them, journaled and everything). She noticed some out of place words. I looked at what she was pointing to and the word "aaauuuggghhhh" came out. So this morning I've gone back and have fixed them in my word program and have printed out the boo boos and am ready to lift off the journaling areas and put in the new improved ones. There are days and then there are days, if you know what I mean. There are words like "so" instead of "do" "though" instead of "thought" and "that" instead of "the". Hannah's favorite (she found this on a different layout was the phrase "Needles to say", it just cracks her up to no end and she says it to me when ever she finds the occasion. The needles misspelling I am going to leave alone, I'll let it stay as a testimony that only 1 being in this world is perfect and needles to's not me, LOL!

a Note from The Scrapbook Nook

Scrapbooking is gaining more popularity every day. Even though many of my closest friends and family members do not scrapbook, they do enjoy looking at the ones I have made for them over the years. Don't let this holiday season get away from you. Bring out that camera, great shots are right around the corner! You might not scrapbook but I'm almost certain that someone in the family does...and they would dearly LOVE to get copies of those wonderful holiday pictures!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Things that make me laugh

I can't begin to tell you how hard I laughed when I put this layout together. I looked at the pictures that I had and suddenly it all came together. I knew what I was going to put in there for journaling. Yup it came right down to a She said/He said kind of thing. This really fits my children too!

It's Cold Today!

Okay it's not just cold, it's freaking cold! I'm ready to put on a jacket I'm so cold, did I mention that I have on 2 sweaters? And I'm in the house! I've had my little portable heater on (full blast) in my scrapbook nook all day long and usually it starts feeling rather warm and toasty in there after about 15 minutes but not today. That wind is howling something awful today. Old man winter is here and he is letting us know that he's going nowhere any time soon!

My husband came home for lunch and dang was he ever cold! He was chilled right down to his bones. He had the coldest hands ever! It wasn't until I had him a mug of hot cider that he was actually starting to warm up. Personally speaking, I think holding a hot mug had something more to do with it rather than him drinking the hot cider.

I checked the weather channel today and we're supposed to have wind gusts up to 40 mph, trust me when I say that they ARE here! And of course it's snowing side ways (the wet kind of snow usually comes sideways). The kids will be happy to see more snow, they were in the middle of building a snow fort when the weather started to warm up a bit. It's gray and dreary but here inside our little cottage on the prairie I've got the tea kettle on the stove, a fresh pot of tea is about to get brewed and I'm ready to have a little break from my scrap-fest.

My Canon CP-200 photo printer has been getting a little workout today. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed this little printer of mine. On cold wintry days like this, I enjoy printing pictures from warmer days gone by. I'm working on finishing up a few of when I got my Honda minivan (pictures from last January), kids back to school photo's (those are also from 2005), there's our Hannah fishing here at the base (also 2005). I've got a Halloween 2006 layout done and I've got a 2005 layout in the works. I am just all over the calendar year today when it comes to layouts!

I just noticed the time...I need to get upstairs and make sure the door is unlocked for the kids. They should be home soon and I know that they are going to be COLD!

Sleep or the lack of it...

It's hard to imagine that I've been up since 4 am, why my body continues to do that to me is unknown...I'll just roll with it since there's nothing else I can do about it. I've tried going to be later and trust me it doesn't work. So last night I took a long hot relaxing soak in the tub, put on the Ole flannel pj's and watched some TV in bed. I was blissfully sleeping by 9pm. So I guess that 7 hours of sound undisturbed sleep is good isn't it? I think that our daughter Hannah has my sleep genes, she goes to bed around the same time I do and gets up early just about every day. This past weekend she was up before I was...and on the computer no less :) That part made me laugh!

My husband and son can sleep like no one knows! I am amazed at how long they are able to stay asleep. Last Friday (no school or work on that day) they both slept well past noon. The only way I could ever do that is if I were sick, and even then that's rather iffy.

Oh well, at lest I have the laptop upstairs and I can read the news on line, check on the weather (see my latest link to the weather channel), and visit with friends at various sites on the web.

My Girl Scout Troop

Girls are funny little creatures. Take my Girl Scout troop for instance. Yesterday as we held our meeting we covered the topic of the importance of having a clean kitchen. I talked about the TV show that Hannah and I watched. Then I showed the girls what to use for a safe alternative to clean counter tops with versus using a powdered abrasive cleaner. How the bleach, diluted with water will kill the germs and is residue free. Two of my girls were in total amazement, I could see it in their facial expressions. One wanted me to write it all down so she could show her Dad.

We talked about recycling...the whole reduce, reuse, recycle story. My troop is small and to my amazement I found out that 50% do not so any type of recycling in their homes. I showed the girls some glass jars, ones that once held a Yankee Candle, spaghetti sauce and sun dried tomatoes. I let them know that the energy from recycling just one of them could power the family television for 3 hours. Needless to say, I was able to grab their attention with that! I went on about how my family recycles and I showed them my big bins for recycling which in fact aren't even bins...I have a large Rubber-Maid Clothes Hamper (we used to use it for clothes until I switched us over to pop up hampers a few years ago)and a large Rubber-Maid Trash Container (we used to keep our garden hoses curled up in it for the winter). I use one container just for paper product recycling. I must have at least 2 to 3 bags of that going out each week. The other container is for plastic, glass, aluminium and steel cans. The girls asked me how much garbage do we produce in a week, I let them know that we put out 1 bag of garbage each week. I can tell from the look on their faces that they were amazed. One little girl went on about how much trash their family produces and how they are going to need to have 2 trash cans very soon. I asked if they recycle and she said "no, my Mom doesn't have time for that". I have to say that I was a bit taken back with her answer. But then again if you don't grow up with this sort of thing, it's hard to get involved in doing it. Another girl admitted that they did not recycle at her house but she did want to know about it and how to get started. She was eager to tell her Dad how much "stuff" my family recycles each week, she couldn't get over how we put out 1 bag of trash each week. I don't think that any household here on this street could go for a month without trash pick up with the exception of ourselves. Now having us go without recycle pick up is another story...

When we moved into our house in Virginia, we were the only family on our cul-de-sac that recycled. Within a month, our good friends and neighbors across the street started recycling too, it was great! Then within a year I'd say, I had every house in the cul-de-sac and down the street recycling. I felt good about being a positive role model in that respect. It was the same way when we moved here. We live on the corner, sometimes I refer to our house as being fish bowl (where everyone can see our goings on). Right from the start I recycled. Actually I was very excited about the curb side pick up every week :) And from the very beginning we would put out the recyclables. One day when I was outside during recycle pick up, the gentleman that does the recycling pick up told me that I have set the pace for the rest of the neighborhood. That before we moved here that no-one on this street did recycling. I was really shocked with that bit of information. He said that sometimes people just need someone to set the pace and then before you know it, everyone is doing it!

I hope to be a positive role model for my girl scout troop in that same respect. We will be doing trash pick-up for Earth Day, and I plan to take them to a recycling center and even teach them a bit about composting.