Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm thankful for 2008

When I look back at 2008 I have to say that I'm thankful for many things.

*I have my health. Okay okay, so minus this head cold I have going on at the moment, I'm basically in good health and am doing okay since I had the foot surgery back in May.

*I've celebrated 18 years of marriage to my wonderful husband this year who is... is a good provider, terrific dad, and supportive of my hobbies.

*I've got two pretty decent kids. They enjoy school, try their best at what ever they do and get involved in community service projects-not because they have to, it's because they want to.

*I'm thankful for the US Air Force and the many places we have lived over the years and the new opportunities and friends that await us across the Atlantic at our new assignment in England.

*I'm thankful for the time we've got to spend here in South Dakota, making friends in the local community, becoming involved in various projects, organizations and groups. This place has a warmth and charm to it and I can see why many people choose to retire here. It's got a home town feel to it that makes it tug on your heart strings.

I look forward to the new adventures that 2009 will bring with it.

Happy New Years Eve!

Although I still have a head cold, I no longer am walking around with a tissue box in my hand. Clearing the house of Christmas decorations is a long and drawn out process that seems longer than it actually is when you're trying to get over a head cold.

My husband is taking the kids snow boarding and skiing today up at Terry Peak, SD. What a wonderful New Years Eve treat! Meanwhile back at the ranch...I'll be packing up what's left of the Christmas decorations and getting started on a little quilting project- the first of the New Year!

For now I must have more coffee, I'll be back later to put a cap on the year!

Quote of the day

"For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."

~ T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dry winter weather is rough on pets too!

Dry winter weather is rough not only on our skin but on our pets skin too. Our cat is shedding like crazy, cat hair is everywhere! And to add to our kitty's issues, she's also go dandruff. I find myself putting little flannel receiving blankets around for my cat to lay on, they catch the cat hair and dander quite well. So it was time to give the cat a bath and groom her. We do this to help our kitty not get hair balls and to look as good as she most possibly can. But have you ever tried to wash a cat? Our kitty is getting more used to it since we go through this routine every 6 weeks or so. We have a special shampoo that's formulated just for cats and their skin needs. We set up the small space heater that used to be in my scrapbook nook in our base house- this gets really funny now. The cat sees the space heater and stands in front of it while it's turned on and actually let us groom her with the brush while she "blow dried" herself. Not once did she try to groom her fur herself, she let us all take turns brushing her (talk about amazing). The fur on our kitty was shimmering in the light, no more dandruff flakes, no more hairs shooting out all over, she's looking pretty and she knows it! Hannah takes on the cat washing duties and has become pretty good at it too. Our kitty doesn't seem to mind all of the extra attention. And this morning she's strutting around like a peacock with her shimmering shiny fur purring away.

Quote of the day

"Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to."
~ Bill Vaughn

Monday, December 29, 2008

warning- don't get sick!

I've sick in bed for days and I'm feeling a little better now and so I ventured past my bedroom door way to go downstairs to get some laundry done. OH MY WORD! Christmas trees might have been taken down BUT there are Christmas ornaments all over the place! They are covering the couch, the dining table and chairs. I want to pull my hair out! The downstairs has open boxes all over the place. This is a warning to all not leave your husband in charge! He will leave you with more work than you ever thought possible!

Quote of the Day

Rings and jewels are not gifts but apologies for gifts . The only true gift is a portion of yourself.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, December 28, 2008

please pass the tissues!

I'm sick or should I say that I'm still sick? I can't walk 2 feet without having to blow my nose, my eyes are watering like I've been chopping onions and all of the coffee in the world will not give me enough energy to unscrew a light bulb. I spent all of yesterday in my jammies. I hate spending the entire day in my pajamas but what else could I do? When I'm sick I have to wear loose fitting clothes. Every waste paper basket in the house has tell tale signs of me being near- they're all full of used tissues. I can't concentrate on reading a book because my eyes are watering so much, I don't want to stay in bed any longer and I can't do anything for very long. I hate feeling crappy! I know, I know, I need to rest.

Time to grab another mug of coffee and read one of my new cookbooks :-)

Quote of the Day

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

Harriet Van Horne

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Cookbook Nook: Minestrone by Michael Chiarello

My Cookbook Nook: Minestrone by Michael Chiarello
If you like a good hearty soup then this recipe is for you!

Getting crafty for the New Year

As I look at the new year I wonder what it'll bring. We already know that a new adventure is on the horizon for us. My adopted Motto of "do what you can, with what you have, where you are" (from Theodore Roosevelt) echos in my heart and in my mind. I've got my "we've moved" cards made and they're ready to have our new address placed in them with updated e-mail addresses and so forth.

Even though I'm still sick with this head cold, I've got my brain working on crafty stuff. I need to design and make some thank you cards then get them sent out. It was a lovely peaceful Christmas here at home with just the 4 of us and our kitty.

We're still playing with our presents :-) and I hope to play with my new food processor later on today (head cold permitting). I boxed up and sent my little red food processor to my mom- she was so surprised to open up the box and see it. Oh my gosh believe it or not she thought that THAT was her Christmas gift from us (a used food processor) that right there folks should tell you about how humble my mom is. She was even more surprised to see that I sent her some other goodies, things that she would never buy for herself. I'm a Kitchen Aid appliance lover and I make sure to spread the joy of having/using Kitchen Aid appliances in the kitchen to my mom and mother-in-law.

It was a cooks Christmas for me! Obviously I got a new food processor- but it's the professional one from Kitchen Aid and has all of the bells and whistles. PLUS I got 4 awesome cook books! Oh yeah, I've been pouring through them ever since I unwrapped them. I tried out a new recipe last night from one and I LOVED it! Now to get on to the new Pasta cookbook from Giada - m'm m'm!

Quote of the day

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.
~Dale Evans

Friday, December 26, 2008

how do you feel today?

It's the day after Christmas and I'm sick, I mean really sick with a horrible head cold, a barky seal cough, runny nose, body aches- the works! My nose is as red as Rudolph's nose. I'm making sure to drink plenty of fluids and to take cold medication as needed. My illness today is the result of a combination of many things all coming to a boil at once. Getting my flu mist was like lighting a match to the pile of timbers waiting to ignite. This (me getting sick) was bound to happen. I've been pushing myself too hard and something had to give way- and now here I am with a box of tissues in my hand and a sore red nose.

Did God have a hand in this? I think he did. God works in ways we don't always understand and to me, this is God speaking to me and letting me know that I have to take a break from "things" and rest. if I won't do it on my own, he'll help me to rest-hence this bad head cold.

I'm off to have some tea and to rest.

Quote of the day

Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.
~Washington Irving

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I awoke at 5 am to a song in my head that I was singing over and over again in a dream. Once I was fully awake I could no longer hear it, it's strange how that happens.

It's now just a little after 7 am and Hannah and I got the kitchen cleaned up after a session of making Monkey Bread. Actually it's rising and will need to be made into little balls rolled in butter and a sweet cinnamon sugar coating that will caramelize in the oven. Just thinking about it makes me smile! It makes me happy that our daughter is taking such an interest in the culinary arts. Will she be the baker and gourmet cook that her mother is? Only time will tell :-) I've recently learned that my nephew Stephen is taking a culinary arts course in high school- I hope that he finds cooking as challenging and enjoyable as I do. The rewards are more of a self satisfaction thing , it's something different for each person. Before you know it, there will be some complicated recipes that you can do from memory- without ever looking once at the recipe and have it turn out perfectly! I'm that way with cheesecakes :-) But then again with that comes the displacement of other knowing my kids cell phones numbers, don't ask me because I couldn't tell you what they are, LOL!

Alright it looks like I have to hunt up Hannah and have her start rolling bread dough. And maybe just maybe the guys will get up so we can start unwrapping presents!

Quote of the Day

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
~ Roy L. Smith

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store.
~Theodor Geisel

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve

It might be whopping -1 (with the wind-chill it feels like -12) but inside of our home it's warm and toasty! To think that this is our 6th Christmas in SD and our 2nd in our lovely home...and that it is also our last. Our next Christmas holiday will be celebrated in England-Wow!

Today will be spent putting the little finishing touches on things such as- putting small gifts of candies and other special treats into our stockings,having the tripod set up for those classic Christmas pictures and basically making merry around the house. It's going to be a low key kind of day as we get ready for tomorrow. I look forward to attending Mass tonight :-)

Thank You Rapid City Journal!

I have to thank the RC Journal for the tickets to last nights ice skating and gymnastics spectacular event- it was fantastic! There is nothing more special as to seeing your child's eye light up in true delight. Our seats were in the best spot ever- right in front of the gymnastics area- talk about AWESOME! The performances were top shelf and I'd say that if anyone paid the $100 to $125 price for the seats where we were at- they got their monies worth! Yes, it was that good! All of the male gymnasts were phenomenal and Johnathon Horton-made it known why he was an Olympian! His act was nothing short of being the best part of the show! The Hamm brothers floor routine was something to behold. You had to be there to witness it, everyone was applauding and stomping their feet. You too can see what we saw in January as it will air on NBC.

Quote of the Day

"I don't think Christmas is necessarily about things. It's about being good to one another, it's about the Christian ethic, it's about kindness".
~Carrie Fisher

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

my favorite holiday movie

No matter how many times I watch "It's a Wonderful Life" I always cry at the same part. Which part? It's when George realizes his brother Harry died when he fell in the frozen pond and that that meant that all of the men on the Navy transport ship died. My other most favorite part is when all of Georges friends and family coming pouring into his home to help save the Bailey Building and Loan. And of course there's the part of where Clarence wrote the comment in the book...No man is a failure who has friends. It's no wonder why I love this movie!

It's time to relax!

It's almost Christmas, I can feel it in the air! I've yet to hear Christmas music playing in any store I've been in, that to me is just plain weird. I've decided that today is my day to relax and not worry about things. Our holiday shopping is done, my house is clean, and the last of the cheesecakes is out of the oven!

I've been working pretty hard at getting this place ready for Christmas, the baking of countless cheesecakes plus the whole purge our moss thing. I feel that it's time to pamper myself with a long hot soak in the tub, I deserve it! And tonight Hannah and I get to go to the event at the Rushmore Civic Center- how seriously cool is that??? A good friend of ours told my husband yesterday that he paid $100 each for tickets to go to tonight's event and to think that Hannah and I get to go for FREE!!! :-) Life is Good!

Quote of the day

"The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung."
~ Phillips Brooks
(1835-93), American Episcopal bishop,
wrote 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'

Monday, December 22, 2008

Trivia pays!

I've been a bit stressed today because of events and situations that are out of my control. I've been trying hard not to freak out about the house in England not being ready until OCTOBER-ugh! Just when you think that life doesn't have it's little rewards, it proves you wrong. I get a call letting me know that it's this guy named Mike at the Rapid City journal letting me know that I won their trivia contest and that I won 2 VIP tickets to the Dission Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular. Here's the information on it

Disson Skating and Progressive Insurance present a Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular featuring Olympic Medalists and internationally known performers, during the month-long grand opening celebration of the new Ice Arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. All seats are reserved, and tickets range from $45.00 to $125.00.

Nastia Liukin, who dazzled American audiences with her near-flawless routines to capture the all-around gymnastics gold medal in the Beijing Olympics and her friendly rival Shawn Johnson, who captured gold on the balance beam, will headline the Progressive Skating & Gymnastics Spectacular, Dec. 23, 2008, at The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. The show, complete with live performances by actress, singer-songwriter and dancer Raven, will be broadcast nationally on January 18, 2009 on NBC.

And where are we sitting? Right up in those $125 per person VIP seats! WOW, what a special treat that is going to be for Hannah and me!

Keeping Christmas in your heart throughout the year

Have you ever given thought to that saying and what it means? It's about love, generosity, and compassion. Most people only give food the the local food banks during the holiday season but the real fact is that people are hungry all year long, not just as Christmas time. And donations of clean usable items like bedding, clothing, shoes and household items are needed at homeless shelters and women's shelters. These are people that through a tragedy are starting their lives overs and through the generosity of stranger they are able to start to put the pieces of tier shatters lives back together again.

I won't throw away something that is in good usable working order, I prefer to ask a friend if they could use it or I donate it to an organization that could use such an item.

As I've already gone through all of our holiday decorations and have donated items we have not used in ages, I'm now working on bedding. I'm currently going through our sheets, blankets, pillowcases and throw blankets. Those that are in good usable condition will be washed and donated to the women's shelter, anything else...well I should be ashamed of myself if I was to come across anything ratty looking in our linen closet! Towels are another thing, I've got this assortment of these HUGE beach towels that we haven't used in ages. I cringe when my children find them because they will use them instead of the bath sheets <(larger than a regular bath towel smaller than a beach towel). They are all washed and in a bag ready to be donated. My question for you is...Are there items in your linen closet that you could donate? For me, since we just got the new mattress and it's 14½ inches thick, we've had to replace our bedsheets. The other ones are fine so I packaged them up and donated them. Hannah decided that she doesn't want to have pink sheets and bedding plus the teddy bear themed flannel sheets that were a Christmas present a couple of years back (that she never uses) any longer so those items are also going to be packaged up and give to a place that I know will put them to good use. Come on join me and go through your linen closet and purge those items that have just been hanging out. Make some space for those sale items you're going to buy in January!

Quote of the Day

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas".
~Calvin Coolidge

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Creating a new Scrapbook Nook

One of my main main concerns with our future move is about being able to create a new scrapbook nook. The looks to be room in our future house in 2 different areas for placement of my beloved scrapbooking and paper crafting supplies. One room holds more promise than the other because I could also have my sewing table and armoire and ALL of my quilting and needlework supplies in the the same space. That right there would be my dream- to have ALL of my crafting goodies in the same room. Oh please Lord, let this be so!

Now the other task- getting the scrapbook nook ready for transport. It's not like the last move which was only 4½ miles from the last house ,this one will be a BIG move- across the Atlantic Ocean! I've got no earthly idea of how long our household items will be in storage. If it ends up being true and we aren't in the house until September, then I will be bringing my ¾ size travel sewing machine with me as a carry on item- I'm truly serious when I say that too! My suitcase will be chuck full of thread like no one has ever seen! I'm going to have to bring small projects to work on or I will go nuts from the lack of crafting. It'll be a great time to get back into working on some counted cross stitching projects and on my stitching on my dishtowels (another project that I've had on the back burner for quite a while now). I've been twitching this week at the lack of crafting and creativity as I've not done anything but bake bake bake. I keep looking at the chicken potholder pattern and visions of chickens have been dancing in my head :-) I also want to create another quilted table runner for my chest of drawers in our bedroom. And to think that I still don't have Hannah's quilt binding sewn on...there are too many things on my "to do" list.

Christmas getting to know you...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper although I prefer to use gift bags when giving gifts to friends

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial but it looks real!

3. When do you put up the tree? First weekend in December

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually in January- this year it could be Christmas Day (because we're going to be putting the house up for sale in January)

5. Do you like Eggnog? Oh yeah! And my friend Georgia makes the BEST eggnog!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? The Barbie camper- it was the COOLEST thing ever! And I think that my mom still has it too!

7. Hardest person to buy for? My husband

8. Easiest person to buy for? My daughter

9. Do you have a Nativity scene? Yes- many of them are on display through out my house

10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Snail mail!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I still remember this horrific purple outfit from my mother-in-law back in 1992

12. Favorite Christmas movie? It’s a Wonderful Life! #2 being A Christmas Story

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I do it throughout the year! Not to mention that I prefer to make things when ever possible. So planning is key!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, I figure that’s what returns are all about PLUS if it’s something that is so awful why would I give it to someone else?

15. Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Greek marinated Olives, German Gingerbread cookies, Scottish shortbread cookies and Italian Pannatone (it’s an airy Italian fruited bread like cake trust me, it’s nothing like American fruitcake)

16. Lights on the tree? Clear lights as they remind me of twinkling stars!

17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night sung in German

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home home home we stay HOME!

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? of course!

20. Angel on the tree top or star? Angel on our main tree and a snowman on my snowman themed tree

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? the commercialization and hype put on by department stores.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color- MY Charlie Brown Christmas tree that is on display in the family room is done up on a snowman, snowflake all snow related theme

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Honey ham, country mashed potatoes, country gravy, fresh green beans, buttermilk biscuits and apple pie or chocolate cake

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A new camera

Just Remember it's o.k. to say Merry Christmas!!

wrapping gifts

As my husband and I sat on floor wrapping gifts I'm looking at his and they're perfect I look at mine and it looks as if a 5 year old wrapped them. I'm telling you, I couldn't wrap a gift and make it look presentable if I wanted to. I had tape all over me, the wrapping paper was shifting as I wrapped the gifts. I gave up, I could not sit on the floor and do this...I need to be working at a table that's all there was to it. It would be like scrapbooking or stamping while sitting on the floor- it's just not going to happen! My husband was in his element...wrapping away, making each gift he wrapped look special not matter if it was socks, a book or a hoodie sweatshirt. Mine on the other hand were lopsided, lumpy and crinkled looking, my only out on this disaster is that I'm going to blame it on the cat (as if she can talk and tell the kids she had nothing to do with it).

Quote of the Day

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year".
~Charles Dickens

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Cards

I am so seriously late in sending out our yearly holiday greetings. Here I sit at 5:30 am writing on envelopes and I plan to put them in the mailbox this morning (see the word PLAN- that means I'm intending the cards to get into the mail today).

Where's my coffee? I MUST have coffee if I intend on getting anything done around here today.

Quote of the Day

"Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit".
~Kin Hubbard (1868 - 1930)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Warning- this is an ENABLER ALERT!

Sales, everyone loves them and this is no different! Head on over to
The Fat Quarter Shop and check out the goodies that are 50% off! I just set myself up for for at least a dozen more quilting projects and all at 50% off! My favorite things being the Bali Pop packs- just like a Jelly Roll only a different name and the 40 pack 2½ inch wide strips are batik fabrics! What is not to like about that? Oh yeah, life is good baby! You better hurry as the sale items change daily!

sprinkling seeds of kindness

I know that's a strange thing to say (feeling like the Easter Bunny) but for the past 2 days I've been doing nothing but handing out my special kind of treats to friends and colleagues. This is the time of year when I reach out and let people know that they are appreciated. From the Postal Employees at our local post office, to the baggers and checkers at our commissary and even a handful of clerks at our Base Exchange. I like to think of myself as an Ambassador of Kindness, sprinkling seeds of love wherever I go.

So why am I talking about this right? I hope to be a positive influence in the lives of others and to lead by example. Maybe just maybe I'll start a chain reaction- of others practicing random acts of kindness in their part of the world.

Quote of the day

Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.
Elsa Maxwell,
September 28, 1958

something to laugh about...

Here's something to make you daughter has braces and one of her rubber bands shot off and went straight into my mug of coffee...without me knowing it. As I'm drinking my coffee I suddenly feel something odd on my tongue- OMG I suddenly realize that it's one of my daughter rubber bands from her braces- EEWWW!!! I stick out my tongue and there it is.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

another round of insanity

This time of year is busy for me (you already know that) but it's also becoming increasingly stressful for me. It's compounded by feeling pressured to visit family when there isn't any time to do it in (because of our children's school schedules), getting the house on the market and of course preparing to move to another country. On top of that, I found out that the house we're going to move into might not be ready until September-ugh! It's a remodeling job not building a new house from the basement up, sheesh! I've been through the process of new construction 3 times- I say, let me be the foreman on this job and it'll be done in 2 months tops! I think that we need to get Ty Pennington and crew from Extreme Home Makeover on the case and it'll be done in a week! It's not as if the military is paying for top of the line appliances or fixtures or even some sort of exotic wood cabinetry so what's the hold up? The main thing is that I can't let myself stress out about things that I have no control over. Now with that said, I'll take care of business when I get to England!

I want to enjoy this Christmas holiday in our home here in South Dakota. I hope and pray that my husbands parents will see the light and will fly out here to visit us as our children's school schedules really do not permit them taking any additional time off from school. I'd like to fly out to CA and see my mom and dad before we move to England but alas I'll have to do it before my husband leaves for his assignment. The clock is ticking and I'm beginning to feel as if I'm in a race against time. There are so many things to balance at the moment. It's like a mobile in an art museum, if hung correctly, all pieces are in perfect balance, they're in harmony as they seemingly float on air. I want that! I think that I can achieve that, but it's going to take a lot of hard work to pull it off. Oh the power of prayer! Yes, all things are possible with God :-) I'm not a wait until the last minute kind of person (never have been). I'm glad that I've got things rolling - the cat is on her way to being ready for our move and we're starting the application process for the kids being enrolled into a new school this fall- but I still need to get some more information on how long it will take for our belongings to get to the other side, how long will we be in temporary housing or will they move us in to a different house. When do we need to ship my kid mobile and so forth. Time for me to get over to the family support center and ask the hard questions.

Quote of the day

"Be kind - Remember every one you meet is fighting a battle - everybody's lonesome".
~Marion Parker

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

can you say BUSY?

As per usual for me during this time of year I'm out the door BUSY! It started the moment that I woke up and I'm just now getting a chance to update what I've had going on today...

*Took daughter to school

*went to the crazy place I said I'd never go to only because they were they only place open at 7:30 am that sold eggs and unsalted butter (can you guess where?). And get this- I had up close parking and there were no lines at any of the checkouts!

* went to Kohl's to get that red zip up hoodie that Andrew has been hinting about- bought it and went to the next place on my list...

*went to the kitchen store after checking everywhere else for a small 4 inch spring-form pan. I have the Wilton ones and needed to get 2 more of them. Could I find the? NO, no place has them not even Hobby Lobby and they have everything! So the ones I bought at the kitchen store aren't the ones I wanted but they'll do for now.

*got home and started baking. So far today, I've made 12 four inch cheesecakes and 2 eight inch cheesecakes. Washed 2 more loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the guest bathroom, took out the trash and am now finally sitting down to rest. I'm afraid that if I close my eyes I'll fall asleep.

Now for me to mop some floors before the kids get home from school.

Quote of the day

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

High School in England

With our move to England in a few short months we are now looking at schools for our children. Our intention is to have them at the same school since they will both be in high school. Our other goal is to make sure that the high school has an accredited American Curriculum so our oldest (who will be a Senior) will graduate with an American diploma. Yesterday we spoke with a representative from Bloxham School and today we spoke with a representative to Kingham Hill School. We have one or two more schools to do a phone interview with, but at this point I'm pretty sure that we're going to be sending the kids to Kingham Hill School. They are the only school to offer an American program and from everything we heard today, they really do seem to have our children's best interests at heart. The programs they offer PLUS the fact that they are the only private school NOT to have school on Saturdays (that starts this September) is a HUGE plus for all of us. Then there's also the fact that the kids will be having a much shorter day at Kingham Hill than they would at Bloxham. There is a bus that will pick the kids up in Caversfield (we are on the border between Caversfield and Bicester) and bring them home again. Of course there are the little issues like school uniforms, but I personally see that as a plus- no more will I have to listen to teenagers saying that they have nothing to wear, :-) That should cut down greatly on what they have to have in their closets and my wallet! Ssshhh don't tell the kids I said that.

One school had the kids getting done with school by 9pm- Holy Catfish my kids would crap themselves if they had to be at school that long! Not to mention that I would miss them terribly. Dinner time is when we sit down and tell one another what has gone on in our day. We catch up with what our kids have going on at school and so forth. I would have a hard time adjusting to my kids coming home from school and immediately getting ready for bed. I like to have time with them, talk to them be with them. Oh and lets not forget about school on Saturdays getting done by 5 pm- YUCK! So with our kids attending Kingham Hill School we could do the day trip thing on the weekends- YEA!!!

Quote of the Day

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree."
~ Roy L. Smith

Monday, December 15, 2008

running like a chicken

There are days much like today when I feel as if all I do is run around trying to accomplish something. I know that I got quite a bit done but there's even more that I want to accomplish other than household chores. I feel like a chicken that's being chased by a fox, running around not knowing which way to turn next. I don't know how to tell my kids that I don't feel like making them dinner. Hmmm, time to see what's in the freezer that I can nuke for them.

It's COLD!!!!

I know that I said that I'd update if there were any changes...well there weren't! It's currently -15 degrees and I don't want to know what it is with the wind-chill. School in on a 2 hour late start and I'm letting the kids sleep in.. I've been hesitant about letting Hannah go to school today. This has got to be the only kid who insists on going to school sick because she has 3 different school projects going on at the same time. I'll be out and about getting some packages sent off and doing a couple of exchanges. You'll know me by sight- I'm the one bundled up from head to toe in various shades of blue (my clothes and my skin).

Quote of the day

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
Satchel Paige

Sunday, December 14, 2008

sleeping like royalty

Was there ever a time when you said to yourself...we NEED a new mattress? I've been talking about it ever since we moved here to South Dakota. But since this was supposed to be a 2 year assignment I thought that we could stick it out for a couple of years and purchase a new mattress when we got to our next assignment. My reasoning being less wear and tear on a new mattress from the movers. Then through the years there was always something else that trumped our buying a new mattress for ourselves. Anyone who has children knows all about how their needs are always put before your own. Hence, no mattress purchase for us.

Sounds a bit like a scene from It's A Wonder Life, eh? Lets fast forward to December 2008- We (meaning my husband and me) looked at mattresses in November the Saturday after Black Friday and we told ourselves that we're going to get ourselves a new mattress before February. The catch was that we had to find someone with a truck. That proved to be very hard and the more we thought about it, the more we didn't want to bother anyone; it felt that it was a very selfish thing to do.

Then there's husband asks me if I'd like to take a ride with him, I ask him "where?" and he says..."to get our new mattress". I couldn't lace my winter boots up quick enough! Being that my husband and I don't like to bother the neighbors/friends (especially since it's so darn cold outside), we decided to take matters into our own hands. Now here's where you're all wondering how we're going to get this queen sized mattress home. Back in 2005 when we bought my minivan, had had some "extras" with it- one being a towing package! Yes, I have a hitch on the back of my kid-mobile! So we went to outdoor recreation center and rented a flatbed trailer, bought some rope and drove off to get a mattress.

We get to Sam's Club and that parking lot is PACKED! The parking lot of Walmart is even WORSE with traffic back up onto 2 different streets waiting to get into the parking lot! Good thing we weren't going to that store (we try and avoid that place like the plague- but that's another story).

While in Sam's Club, we finish up some last minute gift buying and I proceed to to get something that I need...what else, cream cheese! After I complete my quest of the magical cheese, I go to the bedding department and there it is, the Holy Grail of mattresses...the Serta Grandis super Pillow Top mattress. Now the thing that gets me is that on the website, it's $678, which does include shipping BUT, at the store, it's $549. My word of advice...have someone help you get it home and save yourself a few (hundred) bucks! Our trailer rental was only $18 and we don't have to return it until Monday (good thing with this weather).

Now we move on to sheets...We bought sheets that day we decided to buy ourselves the new mattress. Okay, let's fast forward to yesterday. We get our new mattress home and I'm tossing a package of sheets into the washing machine/dryer...get them out and put them on bed only to discover that the sheets SHRANK in a major way! OMG I was mad; we paid $45 for those sheets-early bird sale price (regular retail price is $115) . Even the pillowcases shrank 2 inches in the width- WOW! It doesn't really help that much when the mattress is FLIPPING HUGE! It's 14 inches thick and the sheets only covered 10 inches on either side. My daughter was laughing at the fact that the mattress was so thick (Hannah: I still am. If my parents fell out of that thing, Andrew would have to rush them to the hospital to make sure they don't have a concussion). And then I freak out because I can't find the receipt. Can you say ¿Tio Pepé?

Tio Pepé. That's our word/phrase for AUGH!!!!!!! Since we've gone totally off topic I feel the need to explain why: We say Tio Pepé when we're really angry or frustrated and don't want to say profanities. This is especially handy when we have guests- they don't have a clue and just think that I'm loosing my mind, LOL! This started when we were in Spain when the bus driver dropped the 4 of us off in the middle of the Tio Pepé freeway with our backpacks (no, the freeway was not named Tio Pepé). We saw a huge billboard advertising Tio Pepé beer and after that, Tio Pepé became our word for major frustration. The end.

I find the receipt and all is once again at peace. I wash and dry another set of sheets and they fit. These are our "rich people" sheets with the 610 thread count (we decided to splurge and get the good stuff). Well apparently our bed prefers "snooty" 610 thread count or higher sheets rather than the 350 thread count middle class sheets, LOL! Moral of this story...maybe just maybe I should have gotten a thinner mattress? But I have to say the pillow top mattress does indeed rock on!

Edited by: Your loving daughter, Hannah. (Please, you should pay me for this!)

How cold is cold?

I slept like a queen last night - but more of that later...

How cold is cold? Oh my word the wind was howling all night long (and still is at this very moment. My husband got the call that the base is closed today because of the extreme temperature drop. Currently as I write it's -10 degrees and folks that without the wind-chill...with the wind-chill it's a whopping -42 degrees. This is horribly cold weather and we have all been advised not to travel, heck not to even venture out of doors.

I'll write more on this situation as the day progresses.

Quote of the day

We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves.
Francis J. Braceland,
O Magazine, April 2003

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My friends inspire me!

My friend Laurie makes me smile- you've got to check out her latest page on blog Moving to England. She's taking the ride with me as I purge unused items from my home, decide what goes into permanent storage for the next 3 years, what I will donate to charity and what I will sell off.

I wrote something on Laurie's blog (she's in my side bar- Blogs of Note) that I've not shared here on my own. You must go to Laurie's blog to read it- call it an exclusive if you will. It's another insight into how I feel about things, people, situations etcetera. I think that we need to practice charity throughout the year not just at Christmas time. Here's one part...

I feel in my heart that God does not want us to go into debt helping others, he just wants us to share what we already have.

How's your weather?

So here we are, getting ready for another blizzard. You too can go to type in my zip code 57719 and get that red flashing on your monitor. It's not that I hate winter, it's that I hate the harsh wind and the blizzard warnings. This will be my 6th winter here and let me tell you this year has been one heck of a roller coaster ride with the weather. I'm so glad that I bought that North Face parka when I did, LOL! We're expecting temperatures with the wind chill to be as low as -20-eeek!
Oh here's something else...our son will be downtown tonight for the annual JROTX ball with several other military cadets from neighboring schools. I'm glad that it's being held in a hotel. We're having our son pack a change of clothes his winter boots and a heavy winter jacket, gloves and a hat! We'll put extra money on his debit card so he can get a hotel room if need be. There's no way we're having out boy driving home in those kind of wintry conditions.

Here's the information that I pulled up from

Issued by The National Weather ServiceRapid City, SD 5:30 am MST, Sat., Dec. 13, 2008
More Information

Quote of the day

"Many people think that if they were only in some other place, or had some other job, they would be happy. Well, that is doubtful. So get as much happiness out of what you are doing as you can and don't put off being happy until some future date".
~Dale Carnegie

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yippee it's Friday!

My week has gone by pretty darn fast! I just got back from paper crafting group and what a total BLAST is was too! I must have brought home at least a million or more cookies, treat bags from the ladies and of course me made some of the most awesome paper crafting items ever! Peggy always has great items for us to make (it inspires us and has us buy more stuff too ;-) ). She made us lunch, had all kinds of nibbles and it was a lot of fun! I highly recommend getting involved in some sort of crafting group in your area. It's load of fun!

I've got to put away my goodies and finish up the laundry that I started yesterday.

Quote of the Day

"A friend is one of the nicest things you can have and one of the best things you can be".
~Douglas Pagels

Thursday, December 11, 2008

snow again?

Yesterday it was in the 50's when I went to meet form girlfriends for lunch. Now this morning there's 2 or 3 inches of snow covering everything in sight. Go figure!

I'm keeping busy today by my HUGE pile of laundry I've named Mount Washmore. I better get to it before it grows legs and runs away.

Quote of the Day

"True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents".
~Douglas Pagels

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Prayers needed

As you know, I have elderly parents. My Dad has advanced Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's and is in a care facility. He's a stubborn old Marine and likes to do his own thing...hence him falling and breaking his hip in the middle of the night. The owner of the care facility is a wonderful man, he and his family own the facility and they take excellent care of everyone there and even those that visit the facility. Viktor has been a wonderful friend to my Mom through all of this. Fighting the convalescent home where is is at to get my Dad his medications. It was Viktor who figured out that the temporary place was not giving my Dad the proper amounts of his medications. This man is and Angel from heaven sent to watch over my parents, I know it!

Please say a prayer for my Dad's recovery from surgery and that he may go back to Viktors' care. Please keep my Mom in your prayers, that she will find the strength within herself to take every day one step at a time.

Quote of the day

I saw this quote yesterday and HAD to laugh. It greatly reminds me of the holidays.

"Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space." ~ Dave Barry

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

bathroom clutter

So there I was...looking in the linen closet in the bathroom wondering how on earth did it get so messy in there. It was so unorganized, I couldn't find what I was looking for and then I did it...I pulled out EVERYTHING! I checked expiration dates and tossed quite a few almost empty bottles of lotion, hair gel, bubble bath and mouthwash. Why on earth did we have all of that in there? I found many half full bottles of body lotion and consolidated them into one bottle. I also did that with my anti frizz hair cream. I was able to clear out a lot of plastic bottles and I ended up filling up the recycle bin. I was able to get a lot done in the two full bathrooms upstairs. A lot of stuff was cleared out and I even found a few things to give away. My kids are always getting toothbrushes from the dentist- Hannah always seems to get these kiddie ones (and how she hates those kiddie toothbrushes too!) I save them and give them to the women's shelter. And all of those tiny sized tubes of tooth paste...another item to donate. I'll call first and see if they will take them, if not...then off to the trash bin they go!

So what's in your bathroom closet???

Waiting Day

What's worse than waiting for the cable guy to arrive between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm? Come on guess, LOL! It's waiting for the UPS guy. I got the most bizarre automated call yesterday from UPS- informing me that I have to be home tomorrow to sign for a package and that I will receive delivery between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm- Holy Catfish! A 12 hour waiting window? WOW! That IS worse than the time window waiting for the cable guy to come to your house!

I hope that I was able to make you laugh with that one because I'm laughing at it myself. There's always something around here to keep me occupied. Maybe I'll bake some more of my delicious mini cheesecakes today or start work on this cute chicken pot holder pattern that I bought recently- just thinking about it makes me laugh :-)

Quote of the day

"If you make it plain you like people, it's hard for them to resist liking you back".
~Lois McMaster Bujold, Diplomatic Immunity, 2002

Monday, December 08, 2008

Moss- an accumulation of unused items

Being married to someone who is career military has it's advantages. How so you wonder with all the time they spend working and being deployed right? It's the moving every few years that I look at as being a motivator, to purge that unwanted and used stuff we tend to hang on to- the stuff I like to call "moss". I'm here to tell you that "moss" can be accumulated at any time. We tend to hang onto things like books, kitchenware and of course purses/handbags and wallets we no longer use (that are taking up valuable shelf space in your closet) and why do we do this??? It's all because we can still remember how much money we spent on it! There it is that's the BIG ugly truth of the matter, we remember how much it cost us even though we bought it say for instance 12 years ago. My word of advice is to...


First and foremost be honest with yourself, you're never going to use it again so get a box (make it a big one) and write on it with a black marker in big bold letters "DONATIONS" and place the items that you haven't used in 6 months or more inside the box. Don't look inside the box once the item is in there...just let it stay in the box.

I'm going through my closet systematically and am still surprised at how much more I am willing to let go of. Make a rule for yourself... purge 2 items for every 1 item you bring home. Did you recently get a new purse/handbag? Then look in your closet and take out 2 and give them to a local charity. I was looking at my shoes yesterday and thought to myself...why am I hanging on to these? And with that very thought I was able to pull out 3 more pairs shoes, I promptly placed them in a bag and they're going to the women's shelter in the next couple of days.

It still surprises me that I'm able to purge before and after a move and even during the in-between times. So who is with me on the clear your house of clutter and unused items? Let me see a show of hands (just reply to this posting).

Quote of the day

Charity begins at home.
Terence (185 BC - 159 BC), Andria

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

I love this time of year, it really brings home the things I deem as important. My faith in God, my family and practicing charity throughout the year.

I never throw away anything usable, I always always always donate it to charity. There are many charitable organizations around if you let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages.

Just when I thought that I have gone through everything, I've found that I have MORE to give. As my husband and I are putting ornaments on the tree, I'm looking through all of the boxes of ornaments...thinking at times out loud but mostly to myself- "we can donate that". The ornaments displayed on our Christmas tree are mostly from places we have been, so the Disney Character ornaments can go, as a matter of fact the kids won't even let us put them on the tree any more. So I'm making a substantial donation of Christmas ornaments and decorations to our local women's shelter. I'm sure that the children will be delighted to see their favorite Disney characters on their Christmas tree.

The other things we participate in is Angel Tree gifts- we started that with our children. It's an awesome way to show your kids acts of kindness when they are small- it stays with them. Every year since Andrew has been 6 years old, he's come home with an Angel Tree gift tag -that boy of ours has a heart of gold! He personally picks out a gift and he spends his own money on it too!

Both of our children are involved in Food Drives. The local school district has a food drive this time of year... which reminds me, I need to pick up a few 6 packs of green beans and corn for the kids to take to school tomorrow. I love how my children become involved in programs like this- it makes me proud! It saddens me to think that there are children in our own local community that have nothing to eat.

Clothing and Coats Drives- Andrew is involved in this through the AFJROTC, last year he brought in the most clothes (with help from his mom of course). The coat drive did very well this year, past years found the program struggling. Since the end of the last clothing drive we've been saving all of the clothes that the kids have been grown out of, I like to think of it like this...I'm recycling these clothes to give them a chance to have new users. Shoes are often something that is overlooked. If they're in good usable condition, I clean them up, put new shoe laces in them and donate them.

So I've been going through my own closet and I'm looking at shoes and purses...ones that I haven't used in a while are being donated. There's no need for me to hang on to this stuff if I'm not using it. I just sent a package to my Mom who is on a tight fixed income, I made her day when she discovered that I sent her a Dooney & Bourke handbag. My thought is, if I'm not using it why not let my mom have the pleasure of using it. I have a another handbag that I'm going to send to her, I plan on doing that closer to Valentines Day.

Here's my thought of the day/week/month...

Think of the things that you have in your home that you're not using and what joy it could bring to someone else.

Start something new...Practice Random Acts of Kindness. It seems as if I'm always making up a goody box of some sort and sending it off to a friend. You can do this too!

Quote of the Day

"The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them".
~ Alfred North Whitehead

Saturday, December 06, 2008

things I need to do...

So in my excitement yesterday I forgot to mention where our next assignment will take us- we'll be moving to England! That's right, an overseas assignment!!! I'm bringing our kitty with us and have already started her on the process of taking a pet overseas. We'll have none of that 6 month quarantine stuff for my kitty!

So what does this move mean for my scrapbook nook and my quilting corner? It looks like I'll go back to another true "nook" of a space for scrapbooking and into a corner for quilting and sewing, LOL! So I'm looking at what I will keep and what I'm going to donate. There's not going to be any kind of crafting thing that I would willingly put into storage for 3 years. If it would be put into storage for that amount of time I really don't need it and if I don't need it, then I might as well sell it or donate it.

I've already purged a lot of unused items from our home and am now working on even more. It's down to the hard stuff now...the little things are always the hardest to weed through. We'll be selling our TV's as they won't work overseas and to put them in storage for 3 years is not the smartest thing to do. Even though the move in many months away it will be here before we know it. There's a lot of work to be done before the move...say with me and I'll take you on my journey.

Quote of the Day

"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort".
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Friday, December 05, 2008

I'm doing the Happy Dance!

It's the news that we've been waiting for since's official, we've got orders! We're going to be moving in about 6 months and will be having our house up for sale after the start of the New Year. If you know of anyone looking for a house for sale in the Rapid City/Ellsworth AFB area please let me know!

my crafty goodness

Look at me, I just cleaned up the formal dining room of my sewing and fabric crafting so we can decorate for Christmas I put everything away in a neat orderly fashion and now I'm ready to make something else. I want to make a sewing machine cover and an appliance cover for my food processor. I've got everything I need to make the to embark on this new adventure.

Have you noticed that I don't make clothes? I know how to make them, but why bother when you can buy the completed blouse or skirt for less than it cost for just the pattern? Those kinds of items go on major markdowns but household items don't and if/when they do then it's rare. I looked at the cost of an appliance cover and they are a minimum of $30- eeek! I was kind of griping about the cost of appliance covers and my husband said to me "well you're crafty why don't you just make one". BING! The light went on and I went through my crafting patterns...there were "2" different patterns packages that had patterns for all kinds of kitchen appliance covers. I am in crafters heaven! Now for me to choose some fabric from my stash and get to work! I've already selected the fabric for the sewing machine to decide which fabric to use for the food processor cover, chickens maybe?

Quote of the Day

"Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives".
~William James (1842 - 1910)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

there's nothing "small" about it

Why is it that any project at which I deem to be a "small" project ends up being some HUGE reorganizing ordeal? I'm here on the computer getting away from/hiding from the mess I've created in the other room.

Aspire to be

Have you ever thought of yourself as a person who inspires others? For me to hear from friends that I have inspired them in some manner is ultimate in good compliments. I prefer to have a positive outlook on situations where others would only see stress.

Here's one way that I've found that I've inspired a friend or two...I do think that I'm the only one out of all of my girlfriends who actually likes moving to a new place. Sure there are stressful parts to moving- for example having total strangers packing everything your own into boxes that are most likely mislabeled (insert laughter here) But you'll get over it. I like getting to the other end, being in that new to you place and rediscovering the treasures that have been in boxes for weeks or even months. I think that one of the best parts is discovering that you probably already have a friend waiting for you at your next duty station.

Another way to be an inspiration- sharing your stories.

Moving is a stressful time, but who makes it stressful? We do, we make it stressful upon ourselves when it really doesn't have to be. I'll tell ya right now, I really dislike driving long distances- the across country thing is not my bag what so ever! Now it's different if we're all in one car, no stress there. But if we're traveling in 2 separate cars, I'm terrified that we'll get separated. Now with all of us carrying cell phones and GPS systems for 2 cars in our hands, those have really taken the edge off of that getting separated/lost" stress factor for me. So here it is out in the open, my big fear is... getting lost and unable to find my family.

For others the fear is starting it making friends, attending a new school or starting a new job. The first thing you need to realize is that life is an adventure! Not everyone has the luxury/security of having lived in one place all of their life- heaven knows I've moved around quite a bit in my time before starting my married life. Every adventure starts by taking the first step out the door. Go out there and introduce yourself! If your thing is crafting- join a group that does the kinds of things you enjoy. Take up walking, you never know who you may meet along the way, maybe even your new best friend! Have a new neighbor move into a house on your street or around the corner? Bake something yummy and bring it over to them (chocolate opens so many doors), tuck in a "welcome to the neighborhood" card with a small introduction to who you are and where you live.

In every new to you place, there is an adventure waiting to happen!

Quote of the Day

"Determine never to be idle...It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing".
~Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Everyday there's something to be thankful for...

Indeed there is!

*Take yesterday for example, I had a major headache for most of the day then it lifted and WOW! I had a huge creative burst, cut and finished 3 pillow cases and had the pieces for the 4th one cut and ready to go for this morning. Made a yummy dinner for my family and was able to work on some little things before going to bed.

*My Internet searches on our possible next assignment proved to be very fruitful. I found out some interesting stuff... on the local area, housing and even more information on schools for the kids.

*I started my cat on her Rabies titer testing stuff so she won't have to endure a 6 month quarantine when we move. Leaving our cat behind is NOT an option, she is every bit a part of our family as our children. I like to think of her as my child with fur. Our veterinarian is the daughter of my dear friend Peggy. Dr. Kami noticed that my kitty having issues with her gums and teeth-again. It looks likes my kitty will have to have a tooth removed and her teeth cleaned. We've got that scheduled for January. I want to keep my kitty happy and healthy and our veterinarian does too!

*As of this very moment, I'm purging even MORE stuff from our house! I've decided that we'll be getting rid of some furniture , but that will be a bit closer to our actual move- unless I get anxious before hand and decide to gut the house, LOL! here's a news flash...I'm actually getting rid of (donating) some more cookbooks and ALL of my issues of cooking light magazine. I'm just going to break down and get the year review of recipes and call it good. My husband is going to be soooooooooooooo surprised when he looks and around and notices all of the things I've cleared out of our home :-)

Quote of the Day

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something".
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I wonder...

Here I am struggling to get past this bear of a headache, wondering what brought it on. I'm sure that it was stress related, I have been under quite a bit of stress these past few days. Maybe I reached my limit, hence the headache. I've gotten next to nothing done today .

can you say Migraine?

it came on suddenly as I was driving home from the veterinarian's office...I feel sick and the light really hurts- man oh man this sucks!

Quote of the day

"Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you."
~ Maori Proverb

Monday, December 01, 2008

just to make you laugh

When I saw this I burst out lughing and I knew that I HAD to share it! As a matter of fact, I'm still laughing!

If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside.
- Robert X. Cringely


So there I was looking into our children's bedrooms wondering when we started raising swine instead of humans. They've always had clothes hampers in their rooms for their dirty clothes YET clothes but rarely seem to make it into said hampers. They have dressers and closet organizer systems YET clothes are still on the floor. That was it, I let the wrath of Mom come down upon them. My husband helped me and we went through out sons room first...everything in that closet was gone over with a fine tooth comb. By the time we were done things were organized, boxes of crap tossed out, clothes neatly arranged on hangers and shelves, sheets changed and floor vacuumed!

Funny thing about making all that commotion in our sons made our daughter take notice and to our surprise, she had gone through her closet before we got there, LOL! She had all of her clothes folded and put away, dirty clothes in the hamper and a pile of unwanted items neatly stacked near the door. Way to go girl!

The family room is clean and tidy, all 3 bathrooms are clean and now for me to get some crafty stuff going on! I find it hard to concentrate on doing crafting projects while any part of my house is messy. Our beds are made, litter box is scooped, dirty dishes in the I can work.

new day/new project

It's Monday and with that comes the start of a new project. I've decided to make some pretty French Style pillow cases for my king sized pillows. I wanted something different and well it's not as if I don't have plenty of fabric to make something like that. So as it is, today I will be making something nice for my bed.

I finally got all of the bindings sewn on the Christmas table runners, whew! I've even got one binding done on my Easter themed table runners (yes I know that I'm ahead of the curve). But when you feel inspired to create something I feel that you should go with it- hence Easter table runners being made in November.

My motto- Do something creative every day!

Quote of the Day

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Helen Keller

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Eye Friday

That's what our news paper is calling it- Black Eye Friday. Apparently people are getting killed in states other than New York, at a California Toys R Us store 2 people we killed when after they started shooting at one another inside of the store. Here in the Rapid City Walmart store a man (the police are still searching for him) punched a 15 year old girl in the throat knocking her out all because she had an X Box 360 game in her hand that he wanted.Where is the sanity in that??? Sure people should keep themselves in check BUT I think that retailers are to blame for the chaos that is happening across the nation at this time of year. The retailers put a handful of items on sale at some ridiculously low price and then have the nerve to act surprised when they have 2000 or more people waiting for doors to open the doors at 4 am- come on! I could see this train wreck about to happen 10 miles away, couldn't you? I'm surprised that more people were not hurt at the New York Walmart beyond the one employee that was trampled to death- Walmart management needs to shoulder some of this blame.

Our local Kohl's department store opened at 4 am this year and in an interview in our local news paper the store manager was reported to say that he was surprised to see the line wrapping around the outside of the store before they opened. My daughter and I were there 2 years ago when they opened at 5 am there was next to no one outside while shopping inside you could roll a bowling ball down the isles and not hit anyone. Apparently this year that was not the case as people were starting to line up outside around the store at 2:30 am in the frigid temperatures to have a chance at the elusive deal, if you ask me it's NUTS! Do I dare ask...what ever happened to "Jesus IS the reason for the season"?

My husband and I went to the mall yesterday for a few hours and you could roll a bowling ball down the mall and not hit anyone. There were no lines at any check-stands. We actually went into stores that had ZERO people in them with exception of a lone sales clerk or two. Any store that we had went to and bought something, we were the only people at the register. I think that retailers are going to have a very tough time this year. I'd say look for more deep pocket sales to happen before and after Christmas.

Quote of the Day

Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
J. K. Rowling,
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Scrapbooking stores in MA to check out!

Believe it or not, I still scrapbook! And when I'm visiting family in MA I check out as many scrapbooking stores as possible for stamps and scrapping goodies that I'm unable to get where I live in SD. So when you find yourself in Massachusetts check some of these places out!

Right at Home Scrapbooking
560 Kelley Blvd.
N.Attleboro, Massachusetts 02760

Scrapbook Cupboard
516 N. Bedford
St.East Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02333

The Stamp Act
58 Main St.
Marshfield, Massachusetts 02050

A Time for Memories
78 Worchester St.
#2N. Grafton, Massachusetts 01536

Leave a Legacy
1470 New State Hwy Unit 6Route 44
Rayham, Massachusetts 02767

THe Scrap Shack
208 College Highway
Southwick, Massachusetts 01077

Scrapbook Village Inc.
930 American Legion Hwy.
West Port, Massachusetts 02970

Memory Lane
449 Washington St.
Weymouth, Massachusetts 02188

shoes anyone?

I didn't really have plans to go out shopping yesterday but I ended up going anyway,LOL! My daughter was quick to be on my heels and came along. I had the camera in my hands asking her if she wanted to to bring it and take some pictures. Her reaction was priceless" Mom do you really want to bring the camera and have pictures of yourself w/o makeup and your hair in a pony tail?" I looked at her and said "good point" and left it home (insert much laughter here).

Driving past the various shopping plazas on our way to the mall we saw parking lots packed to capacity. The new Target store along with Cabela's and Walmart had parking lots packed full of cars, Hobby Lobby and Toys R Us were a couple of other places we passed- again their parking lots were filled to capacity. We went to the mall, were blessed to find a rather close parking space and went inside. The lines in the stores were very do-able. Not long at all as a matter of fact I was the 2nd person in line while in Scheels Sporting Goods and maybe the 5th person at bath and Body Works. I was able to walk right up to be checked out while in Sears and many other stores had no lines at all or very few people in them. Could be because I was there between 6:30 and 7 am and not when the stores opened. Still, there were plenty of "good deals" to be had. Just because the parking lots are packed full doesn't mean that consumers are spending big bucks.

Now after all that, I'm going back today to return a pair of clogs that I bought, the more I look at them the more they look like they were designed to go on men's feet than on women's feet. I want something a bit more feminine looking, this androgynous look that seems to be the rage these days is not for me :-o The best part about this experience was...I got to try on shoes and they didn't hurt my feet! It's been almost 7 months since my foot surgery and there are still days when my foot aches but on the pain scale it's nothing as compared to how it was hurting before the surgery! And the best part, I can finally buy myself some new shoes! Granted I can't wear shoes from many brands because of the lack of arch support and a few other things BUT I can buy shoes! One of my new favorite brands is Söfft, talk about COMFY!!! There's also my other all time favorites such as Clarks, Merrill and Börn, oh my gosh they all feel great on my feet which for me is really saying something :-) And they're all quality shoes made to last! Treat your feet right and give them a good solid pair of well made shoes to walk around in! I still couldn't go the Ugg shoes route even though they are super cute, the $160 a pair price tag was keeping me at of these days maybe, but not today. I have a friend who swears by them, then again she discovered them while her husband was on assignment in Denmark and EVERYONE was wearing them there :-)

I'm off to enjoy my Saturday, to do a little online shopping and a little in town shopping :-)

Quote of the day

"A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug".
~Patricia Neal

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

I woke up at 3am, no I don't have any intentions of shopping at the crack of dawn this year. I'm just awake nothing to read into it. I think it was the turkey from yesterday, it always makes me sleepy. I had to nap...I napped for over 4 hours, got up for a couple of hours and then was back in bed and sleeping by 9 pm. Needless to say, I'm feeling rather rested and am now tinkering around in the house- contemplating making some pillowcases for our bed (the fabric is gorgeous).

I did some on-line shopping yesterday and can hardly wait for the items to arrive so I can wrap them up and put them under the tree, the tree that my husband will put up today (I hope).

Now to have some more coffee and contemplate going out... I do want to look at those Born brand clogs that are on sale Ü and all the crazy people should be off the road by now...

Quote of the day

"Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the blessings of Almighty God".
~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Returning Heros Home

Do you want to be a part of something really good? If so, please check this out...what a truly lovely and wonderful thing for volunteers to do... Returning Heros Home

There's so much to be thankful for...

Everywhere you look, there are things to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for my husband and the career path that he has chosen. He's dedicated to his career and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've got to live in various places in the USA, a couple have been in tourist areas which are an added bonus. I've been able to make many friends along the way-again another bonus.

I'm thankful for where we live. My son has made many friends here, learned how to drive here and has found his self here. Here, well that's the little town of Box Elder, South Dakota. It's a quiet home town kind of place. A few minutes away from Ellsworth AFB and about a 10 minute drive from Rapid City. It's a community where you can get to know your neighbors, your children make friends and a place that can feel like home even if you're not a native to this part of the country. And that comes from a displaced California girl.

I'm thankful for community involvement. I'm someone who does get involved in her community. I help the spouses of our deployed airmen get through the rough times with positive interactive programs. Things such as just getting out of the house and having lunch with a friend can be the biggest spot in a persons day-trust me I know this first hand. Being there, listening means a lot to these spouses who are far away from home and their husbands are off on a deployment to places far away- some are experiencing this for the very first time. I host get- togethers in my home for spouses to make cards and scrapbooks for their loved ones. If they have questions I do my best to answer them or find the information they need or better yet refer them to the places where they can get the information. Besides the military community I'm thankful for my local community. The Black Hills Quilters Guild is filled with wonderful ladies who do so much for our local community. This group does so much for the local and military communities, I'm VERY proud to say that I am a member of this group! There's also the local paper crafting group head up by my girlfriend Peggy. Through her I've got to meet an interesting cast of friends which have all become very dear to me. Through people like Peggy, Ellen, Donna and Sarah I get to see a more broad view of local life and the folks that make up our community. They are caring, loving and giving people, giving of themselves to all kinds of local charities and causes.

I'm thankful for the life that I lead, It's a Good Life. Sure the military life style isn't for everyone and I know that. Some become resentful because they are often left alone for many days, weeks or months out of the year. But hopefully they can overcome that part and make life long friends along the way. I know that I have and I have the Lord to thank for it.

Quote of the day

When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.
- Helen Keller

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Every day brings something new

So there I am in the waiting room at the orthodontists office and guess what...I bump into an old acquaintance. This woman was a neighbor when we lived in base housing here at Ellsworth, her husband had a new assignment and they moved away...and now they are back here for another tour. Talk about a small world! So she's asking me if we still live on base and I let her know that we bought a house and so forth. She was happy to see someone she recognized and at all places the orthodontists office. I was happy because I found out that she quilts and scrapbooks! I'm in heaven! I want to get together with her after Thanksgiving (and while our kids are still in school) just to hang out and chat and get reacquainted. Life IS good!

Hannah wasn't into having the before and after pictures with her braces and I totally understood why. But I'll see if she's up to having her picture taken this morning before she goes off to school Ü.

Quote of the day

"The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning."
~ Ivy Baker

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

sites to check out

You've got to go over and check out Pegs Blog...TONS of great crafty stuff going on over there! The woman just had knee replacement surgery and is still a crafting maniac! She makes some of the BEST paper craft items around! Need some paper crafting ideas? Then go over and check out Peggy's blog- ideas are running loose all over the place (kind of like the cattle on her ranch Ü).

What do you think of my blog tog make over? Like it? Well you better get on over to Blog Tog Makeovers and get in the SALE! That's right Cindy is having a sale, get yourself in line to get a blog makeover!
Blog Togs

Do you need a reason to be creative?

Christmas next to Easter and Halloween are times of the year when I really get into being creative. I love making things, I can't help it. It kills me when I hear ladies putting themselves down by saying "I'm not that creative" or I don't enjoy doing crafts because they make me feel stupid". I recently heard someone say that there's no reason why they should be creative. Do you really need a reason to be creative? My mom is in her 70's and I like to think that I keep her actively creating things by sending her crafting projects that she can enjoy making. I just bought her one of those cute apron panels from Hancock fabrics. I remember growing up how my mom would always wear these pretty aprons and the majority of them were those cut apart panels from a fabric store. She'll get a kick out of this next sewing project that I send and a little trip down memory lane too!

When my kids go on field trips and are required to bring a brown bag lunch, I like to decorate their lunch bags with sweet doodles. The kids always loved it when I did that, they said that their lunch bag was never lost in the ocean of 60 or more brown paper bags, LOL!

One thing the kids and I have done for years is to make paper snow flakes out of white coffee filters. This year will be no exception! Some double sided tape, a pair of scissors and we're off for some crafty fun! Paper crafting is oodles of fun no matter how old you are!

And who of us didn't make paper chains for the Christmas tree when they were growing up? My daughter Hannah still loves making them!

Go get yourself some coffee filters, tape and a pair of scissors and bring out the kid in you!

Quote of the day

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending."
~ Carl Bard

Monday, November 24, 2008

and I wonder why I'm tired, LOL!

Most of the things I had to get done have been accomplished. Now the question is I run out for the 3rd time and drop off my Americana quilt top to be professionally quilted today OR do I drop it off tomorrow while Hannah is getting her braces put on? If ever I felt as if I needed a nap, today is the day! My head is pounding and I feel exhausted! I've made up my mind, I'm going to wait until tomorrow, why drive downtown for a 3rd time when I really don't need to?

I got my packages in the mail, dropped off coat at school since Hannah was in such a rush she forgot it. Bought the things I needed at Walmart before the store was crowded, dropped off package at UPS store, stopped by Hancock fabrics and totally forgot the size of the zipper I needed, yes it really happened. Talk about having a brain fart! I had to laugh because it was pretty darn funny- the only reason I went there and I forget the zipper size? Oh geez, just call me a dork and get it over with, LOL! Getting back to Hannah...Now honestly, how could anyone forget to bring their coat when it's 25 degrees outside is beyond me but there it was at home on the cedar chest. Yup that was the 2nd trip out the door this morning. I think that it's cookies and milk time what do you think?