Friday, December 31, 2010

Carb Loading

Tony took the two big kids to a basketball game (our brother-in-law coaches for Louisiana Tech and they are playing in Moscow, Idaho tonight) so it is just me and the little man. I'm doing some serious carb loading and major hydrating for a big challenge tomorrow that I have been training for for the last 10 weeks. Excited and a little nervous. More to come with pictures tomorrow. All I can say is it will be an awesome way to start 2011!

My friend Jeni came up with her word that encapsulates what her goal is for the New Year. I'm still thinking of mine. It has caused some major reflection on the past year. Some parts were terrific and some parts sucked pretty bad. But both ends of the spectrum have really helped me to learn to take a step back. To breathe. To calm myself. So I'm trying to come up with a word that fits. Me. And my plan for 2011.

Be safe and have fun tonight!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mass Casualties

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Our Christmas day was awesome. AWESOME. The next few days?? Not so much. But we are about 98% moved over and I have a week to give our old house (across the street) a cursory cleaning and be done with it.

But back to the post. Tony talked me into getting the kids fish for Christmas. And as a Type A personality, I find every chance to worry about everything. For example, killing my kids' fish. Plus I get attached. Anyway, the fish were staying at our old house until it gets a little warmer and we can move them to our new house. So being the dutiful, careful (and already attached to the fishes) mommy that I am, I have been going over twice a day to feed the fish and to turn the light on and off in their tank. But, alas, this morning, we had mass casualties. ALL THREE fish died last night. What the...? I was totally traumatized. I call Tony and he tells me to flush them. What the...? I was already attached to the darn things! The kids will take it well. We warned them Christmas morning that fish don't live every long and we'll get new ones if the old ones die.

Too bad I didn't get that memo.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Celebrating Christmas + Moving = @#$%^&*

The privatized company that rents and maintains all the homes on our base has started renovations on certain neighborhoods all over the base. When we signed our lease, they let us know that they would be starting the renovations on our side of our street sometime in the Spring. Well, we knew that we would possibly be moving in early summer and they assured us that they would never make us move for just a few months...we'd work something out. If we didn't PCS, we would move into a brand spankin' new house on the other side of the base. As people started moving out on our side of the street last month, we started to get a little nervous. But TWICE the company assured us that they would work something out with us to avoid a move.

Until 3 weeks ago. They informed us they had changed their minds and we had to move. By January 5th. Into a house...I kid you not...across the street and down a house. This is our new house from our current front porch. It still has 4 bedrooms, but is a completely different floor plan. In order to avoid complete packing and unpacking by a moving company the week after Christmas (only to be completely repacked and moved by another moving company in about 4 months), we decided to move ourselves and make a little money. But in order for them to know how much to pay us, we have to weigh each truckload of belongings at a scale out by the airport. Only to come all the way back to base and move into a house I can spit and hit from here.

It has put a serious damper on my Christmas spirit. After we open presents, have ham dinner and play, Christmas goes back into it's bins tomorrow night once the kids are asleep. Add to that, it's the first Christmas without my dad and his 60th birthday would have been on the 28th. Uck.

I'm going to try and put on my happy Santa hat (and take off my grinch hat) find the joy and miracle of the Christmas season, soak up the good, and appreciate my wonderful family and friends. We do have such wonderful family and friends. And being around these three yahoos? It's pretty hard not to be merry and bright.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! May the blessings of the Season be showered on you and the ones you love.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Handbag ADD

I interrupt holiday posting with this important confession. I really do have handbag ADD. I am constantly rotating through about 3 or 4 favorites, but rarely use one for more than a month solid. Until I found my Betty Rose Harvey's Seatbelt bag at the Fireworks gallery in Seattle last year. I.Fell.In.Love. I get more compliments on this bag and I've used it pretty consistently since then. But 'ole Betty Rose might be in for a little competition starting today. Look what the FedEx guy brought...

A Steve Madden rose tote.

Merry Christmas to ME!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teacher Christmas Gifts

While we were in Alaska this Fall, my sisters and I took my mom out shopping one afternoon and we went to this great fabric store...where I found the cutest apple print fabric that screamed teacher apron at me. So I bought enough for two aprons (Josh's teachers got something else that I'll blog about later) for the big kids' teachers. I had the pattern from our summer trip to Utah and a shopping trip with Lena and it just took a couple afternoons to make these cute things.

I hope they enjoy them!

And on a completely different note, tomorrow is the last day of school for my kids. Actually for all FOUR of my "kids" because Tony has next week off, too. We have a whole list of fun things to do and are hoping for a little snow for some sledding. But only if it melts after we're done...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nativity Winner!

The winner of the Nativity is:

KarenOjai said...

What a cute idea! For a light and silly mood I'm lik'en "Santa Baby". I'd LOVE to have one of these to add to my Nativity collection.

DECEMBER 9, 2010 9:58 AM

Congratulations, Karen!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Boal's Annual Christmas Party

**If you still want to get in on the Nativity Block giveaway, go here to enter before December 15th!**

Our friends Phil and Nicole Boal have an annual couples Christmas Party at their house. Last year, I couldn't go because my "couple" was still deployed. So we were both super excited to get to attend this year. And to spice things up a bit, they decided to make it an "ugly Christmas sweater" party. So Josh and I spend an afternoon scouring Goodwill and Value Village looking for ugly Christmas sweaters. Which were remarkably hard to find...I guess ugly sweater parties are more popular than I had imagined. Anyway, we showed up with our appetizer, ate, laughed and visited. Then we played The Newlywed Game which Tony and I co-won the booby prize for. After 15 years together, you'd think we'd have gotten more questions right. I was just a little disappointed when the booby prize didn't consist of actual "boobies". Sigh.

After the sad loss in The Newlywed Game, Tony did us proud by winning the ugly sweater contest. It was actually a woman's vest that I had maybe planned on wearing that Tony acquisitioned to wear instead. I'm not sure if it was just the ugly part or the skin-tight part, but we won a $1,000,000,000 candy bar prize. Hence the Austin Powers pose.
Thanks for the great time, Nicole and Phil!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Operation Cookie Drop" 2010

**If you still want to get in on the Nativity Block giveaway, go here to enter before December 15th!**

Each year, the Officer and Enlisted Spouses' Clubs join up to execute "Operation Cookie Drop". It is easy to forget that a lot of these airmen are very young, living in the dorms, and often spending lots of time at work during the Holiday season. Most won't be able to go home. So we gather dozens of cookies from the base community, meet early in the morning, put together bags and bags and bags of cookies and then deliver them to the dorms. This year was extremely successful...we put together enough for both the regular base dorms and the SERE (survival school) dorms, at least a dozen boxes of cookies to go over on deploying aircraft for our troops overseas, and still had enough cookies left over to deliver to troops in shops running 24 hours a day. Josh and I got tasked with delivering a box of cookies to the base fire station out by the flight-line and those guys were excited to see us! They even took Josh on a little up close and personal tour of a fire engine and gave him a fire hat! Then we met up with the ladies at the dorms and we delivered hundreds of cookie bags, one outside each door at the dorms. Even Josh got in on the action.

I love being a part of this group of ladies. In the olden days, the Officers' Spouses' Club was a little stuffy. Now it is just a group of ladies (and the occasional husband) who want to do good things for the base community. And to have a little fun while doing it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's A Wrap!

**If you still want to get in on the Nativity Block giveaway, go here to enter before December 15th!**

I LOVE to wrap presents the old fashioned way with paper and lots of curl ribbon or tulle or string. LOVE it. But sometimes, the thing you have to wrap doesn't particularly WANT to be wrapped in paper and ribbon. Like the ornaments I bought this year for all the ornament exchanges goin' on. So I came up with this idea instead of paying $4 each for some ugly little gift bags. I found these felt bags in the Target $1 bin and bought enough for all the ornaments. I wrapped each ornament in a sheet of tissue paper, put them in the felt bags, topped them with a little silver shred, and tied the handles together with some white ribbon. Cute. Easy. And it was a hit at the OSC ornament exchange last night!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


**If you still want to get in on the Nativity Block giveaway, go here to enter before December 15th!**

Tony has a really wonderful office. And because we live so close to where he works, I get to go visit every little bit to say hello and check up on things. And to fill Tony's candy dish. A few of the paralegals and attorneys also go to the same spin class that I go to in the mornings and let me tell you, you form a bond with people that have seen you with bed-head and sweating profusely. So this year, I made up some goodies for the legal office. I used these leftover 3" square acetate boxes and the the red and white baker's twine I used for s'more kits in September. I used a green stamp pad and stamped this cute vintage greeting on self-stick paper, cut them out and added them to the top of the boxes.

I made the truffles in batches because they freeze so well. I used a basic truffle recipe for rolled in chopped pecans and one rolled in coconut. I also used a mint truffle recipe for one and my sister Megan's recipe here for Cookie Dough Truffles. Have mercy.

Easy Chocolate Truffles

18 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chips with milk. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Chill for two hours. Shape into 1" balls (I used my smallest Pampered Chef scoop) and roll into desired coating. Chill for at least one hour or freeze.

Mint Truffles

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped Andes mint pieces
powdered sugar

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chips with milk. Add mint pieces as you remove from heat and stir until melted. Chill for two hours. Form into 1" balls and roll in powdered sugar. Chill or freeze.

I'll let you know how they go over at the office.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Nativity Visiting Teaching Gift

Back in July before my dad got too sick to travel, my parents came to our house for a visit. My mom and I went to Michaels to look for some paper for our family's Christmas cards and we came across a scrapbook paper with the most darling Nativity scene across the bottom. I know y'alls must think I'm nuts, but I bought a bunch then and squirreled it away to do something with for Christmas gifts for our visiting teaching sisters. This past week, I bought a board at the wood shop here on base that was about 6 inches wide and an inch thick. The nicest man in our ward manages the wood shop and he cut the board down to 12 1/2" pieces and then routed the edges for me. I painted, sanded and stained each board and then cut down the scrapbook paper to size. A little Mod Podge and a little patience and this is how they turned out.

I was just at Michaels last night and they still had this paper available in the store. I also found it online here. If this is something you'd like to do (and you don't have access to a fabulous wood shop manager like I do) Home Depot and Lowe's will often cut wood for you for $1 a cut as long as it is over 12 inches long. So you still have time to whip a few of these together for your sisters.

But because I've gotten such wonderful support for my visiting teaching ideas on my silly little blog this year, I am going to do a little giveaway to say thank you. Leave a comment between now and December 15th telling me what your favorite Christmas song is and you can win one of these nativities for your Christmas decoration collection. You probably won't get it until after Christmas, but it will be all ready for next year. If you don't have a blog or your blog is private, please include an email address.

Have a wonderful December!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Okay, so this might look like a rather spartan and typical hotel room. Not so.

Because when your husband comes home with a couple days off and with keys to a room at the base inn and you get to go, by yourself, and read, stitch, take a bath, sleep in, and (because we're a one TV family) actually WATCH TV IN BED, well. That, my friends, is heaven.

Heaven, I tell you.