Thanks to all who have made me laugh, talked me off the ledge on some days, and just plain made this year go by....
Happy New Year!
We are in OH visiting Husband's parents for the week.....I'll try to blog because I have some great stories!!
Monday, December 31, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
What would you change about your living room? Not much. I don't really like the fireplace. But it was already bricked in when we made an offer on the house.
Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? The dishwasher is running, so they are getting clean.
What is in your refrigerator? Not much....
White or wheat bread? Nature's Own sugar free wheat
What is on top of your refrigerator? This tray from Southern Living at Home.....there is also a flower pot centerpiece thingy.
What design is on your shower curtain? I have glass doors.
How many plants are in your home? Seven, mostly cactus in the bathroom. The jacuzzi is in a corner...so to create a 'spa atmosphere' these are along the window sills. There is a cover on all of them now. When the kids and I made these last January, Livi had broken one of the sconces.
Comet or Soft Scrub? Neither...409
Is your closet organized? One word....duh!
Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? Glass. I don’t like drinking out of plastic.
Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? Though I am southern born and bred, I don't....
Curtains or blinds? Depends on the room....some both, some just blinds
How many pillows do you sleep with? I have 7 on my bed but I sleep with just one.
Do you sleep with any lights on at night? Not a chance. The lights on the refrigerator have even driven me to cover them with a potholder!!
How often do you vacuum? At least three times a week....I have two preschoolers!
Standard toothbrush or electric? electric
Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? Yes, I have one at both the front and back doors.
What is in your oven right now? pizza stone
Is there anything under your bed? No, it is bad feng shui
Chore you hate doing the most? Hands down, it is dusting!
What retro items are in your home? Not really retro...
Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? Yes I do and I love it. It is also the kid's art center as well....kind of a combo room.
How many mirrors are in your home? Five
What color are your walls? Main living area: Nacho chip, Entry area wall and one wall in the kitchen and office: Cornelian Red.....Kids rooms: Pesto
Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home? A gun? yes
What does your home smell like right now? Candle burning called Red Hot Mama...kind of a cinnamon scent
Favorite candle scent? spicy
What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? garlic dill
What color is your favorite Bible? The cover is black
Ever been on your roof? NO!
Do you have a stereo? Just got Husband the Bose soundock for his birthday....does that count?
How many TVs do you have? Two
How many house phones? Three, but really two...I think I threw one away or packed it in a box I put in the attic!!
Do you have a housekeeper? Myself
What style do you decorate in? comfortable for kids, but not 'childish' looking....I love PB
Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? furniture in solids....accent pillows in patterns
Is there a smoke detector in your house? Many, as well as CO2 detectors.
In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you’d grab if you could make only one trip? Family, dog, one blue folder keeper which is our main files. camera, laptop...
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
We had a great Christmas.....how about you? The kids got us up way before the sun came up. I had a "make ahead" breakfast casserole in the fridge....so I just popped it in the oven. They had a great time finding stuff in their stockings. I don't think that they even realized there was stuff under the tree. It is in the office, so we had to go to another room!
We just kind of vegged around all day. We even all took naps!
For dinner Husband grilled the steaks . He was kind of worried since he hadn't used it the last year. I like my steaks medium with a teeny tiny thin line of pink. He likes his just barely thrown on the grill. He did have to take them back out for a bit! But overall, there were awesome.
We had this wine that Husband's parents brought back from their tour of Europe this summer. It is a vintage of Husband's birth. We were going to save it for out 10th anniversary and his birthday....but he was still gone. So we thought Christmas was a better time to have it. I have not ever had a wine this old. It was really good with much 'deeper' taste than my normal $10-20 bottles!
Have you started packing up the Christmas decorations yet? I have at least gotten all the wrapping stuff put away!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Here are my Weekly Winners:
2. Livi could not quit smiling!
6. a bag in front of me I saw while we were waiting for Husband to get there.
Merry Christmas all!
Friday, December 21, 2007
2. I'm looking forward to learning to be 'us' with Husband.
3. Sleeping in is the best thing ever!
4. One of my favorite old tv shows is The Brady Bunch
5. I'm done with this deployment!!!!!!
6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is vegging with friends and family .
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to husband cooking dinner, tomorrow my plans include finishing laundry and Sunday, I want to sleep in.....do you think it will happen??
Yesterday the kids had Caroling in the Courtyard at their preschool. They sang songs in both English and German. Then we got to have lunch with the kids. We made the faux-turtles. They were a huge hit! "Hey, what you lookin' at?" ........Will thinks if his jacket has a hood on it, you should be wearing it. Even if it is over 70 degrees and sunny.....silly boy!
Best wishes to all traveling this weekend.....Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
1. Welcome to the ceremony....find a seat in the bleachers.....We told Husband we would be in te upper right (his right). With over 200 soldiers coming in in today's ceremony, we didn't want to get lost in the crowd.
5. They shut down the street so they guys can get from the plane to the parade field as quickly as possible. Here is where I got weapy eyed. Five white buses pull in on the opposite side of the field......just waiting because you know your man is back there!
8. They march across the field, and retire the unit's colors (the battle flags). After a very short speech, they are released.
13. A chef's hat made from ACUs (Army Combat Uniform).....she looks so cute!
Well, hope you enjoyed the ceremony....every one is home and settled in.....Happy Thursday
**Click on the Flickr badge to see more....***
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
just a wee little update for all you crazies......oops, I meant LOYAL readiers waking up in the middle of the night....
ALL I have left to clean is to mop the floor and wipe down the stainless steel appliances.....yeah, I know LIKE he will even notice.......BUT STILL, it will make ME feel better! You know it is on my list of things to do!
Okay, it is almost midnight and I still can't sleep.....i have even tried the 'warming up my Minkie' trick.....Since I have to wash my hair in the morning, I have to get up at least at 6:15AM, so I really need to try to start count some sheep!
ALL I have left to clean is to mop the floor and wipe down the stainless steel appliances.....yeah, I know LIKE he will even notice.......BUT STILL, it will make ME feel better! You know it is on my list of things to do!
The bunting is hung by the front door with care....There are no freaking yellow ribbon or bows in this town...so we had to go for red. Oh well...what's a girl to do?
I just finished prepping the coffee pot for the last time for just a half a pot. I wonder if I will remember how to make a full pot.
Here is the final installment of my "I wonder how life will be after tomorrow afternoon":
I wonder if he will even notice how much I have cleaned? Probably not since I am so OCD about how our home is cleaned anyway.
I wonder how he will fit into our routine. We HAVE survived these last 15 months without him. But without a doubt, I am ready to pass some of these responsibilities on to him. His job is to give the kids a bath and brush their teeth while I get the clothes ready for the next day. I turn down the beds. We each have our THING with the kids. I am so used to the cushy little life of lunches with the girls and a mani/pedi. This being on duty 24/7 is for the birds! I have planned time so precisely as a defense against the emotional effects of his absence. I can only hopes he takes a step back and watches us in action. We have changed, I hope he can see this and fit into our new routine.
The first week he will be back, the kids will be on Christmas break.....is this good or bad?
Good, we will have some great family time..
Bad, is being together every waking moment good after being apart for the last 450+days?
We decided to spend our Christmas with just us. We really need to just start being us. He has training and other stuff on post until the 23rd anyway. A two day drive to OH is out of the question until late December. I am really trying to not over-schedule him these first few days he is home. I am sure he will be glad to not have constant responsibilities of being an active duty soldier in a war zone.
Now for some early resolutions:
I will try to be open to talk about his experience if he wants to talk.
I will watch the budget, as we will be making less than when he was deployed.
I will be patient with him and kids as we ease into the new 'us'.
We will survive......because I am MUCH better with him, than without...
Now to everyone who reads my blog:
Many thanks to all of you who have wished us well over these last 15 months. I can't believe it is finally over! I know some days I was ready to throw in the towel. I have made many friends thru this little medium. I will definitely continue to blog. The first time someone commented on some writing by little ol' me, I was hooked. Then lisagh from Grosgrain Garage/ reached out and I "met" a whole group of other bloggers. Thank you all for your daily encouragement.....now this is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech!
I will post some pics tomorrow....I promise! The ceremony should only be an hour....so we will be home in time for dinner. So check back tomorrow around this time and you see a pic of our hero!
Monday, December 17, 2007
I have stocked the fridge with his favorites: beer, brats, steaks, snacks, any of his favorites. He has his birthday presents on his nightstand. I have charged his toothbrush and fitted it with a new head. Stocked his razors, shaving cream, face cleaning soap, shampoo.....all those things that make us civilized.
My body has been colored (my roots), waxed, plucked, mani'd and pedi'd.....outfits are picked out. Since he has lost so much weight, I have bought him new jeans and BVDs.
But no matter what, if things don't pan out like I have planned in my little head, (I have dreamed of how this day will go for weeks), I will be understanding. I know that we can get through one more thing the military lifestyle has thrown our way.
I know he will be tired. When he was home on R&R he slept for almost three days. The kids are in bed asleep by 7:30....he was right there with them. If anything it will give me a chance to blog! ha
The kids have changed so much ....when he left they were 2 and 3....now at 3 and 4 "and a half" <---far be it I forget the half. ....Both are potty-trained and in preschool half days, every day. Both have grown almost 4 inches. Livi was wearing 18month clothes when he left. Though she is still tiny compared to her peers, she will be the first to tell you she is a big girl.
We have thrown muffins under the bus this month....Instead we are focusing on sweet treats. These 'faux turtles' are so easy. Pretzels, rolos, (heat until soft), smooch pecan on it. (Did you say pea-can?)
Very easy to make for a crowd!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Without a doubt I am looking forward to Husband's return. We can finally start to get back to our normal. I wonder if it will be happy, stressful, strained, difficult. I really do want to make this transition as easy as possible.
I think first and foremost, I am thankful he will be back safe and sound. (I stopped reading the paper early on because every single day the front page was filled with the story of some soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Tear-swollen eyes are not the best way to greet the day. ) I know Husband is ready to have the normal day to day creature comforts.
One of the hardest things about these last 15 months was about in month 5.....Husband had already come home on his R&R. We thought we were almost half way done. Then all of a sudden I felt like I had the air knocked out of me.....we found out we weren't half way done, his 12 month deployment was EXTENDED to 15 months. So, from the time he came home in late february, early March.....it would be ten months before we saw him again. Oh well, what can you do?
This deployment has definitely shown me I am much better WITH him than I am without him. We celebrated (or didn't celebrate) our 10 year anniversary while he was gone. (actually it was the 9th and 10th) . I feel like we are in that early dating stage all over again. I have totally forgotten all those annoying little things that he does. I am in the honeymoon faze of life.
there is never one thing you can prepare for and that is fear. no on can explain it....but all we can do is trust that men and women like my Husband are doing their jobs. all we can do to stop the fear is to live, to go on with our day to day lives and live our lives. When the guys at the front gate select my little cute Volvo wagon to do the 'super-inspection', I shouldn't get all pi$$ed off. I just pull over and let them run their mirrors over and under my car.
Our first challenge will be the time of his arrival....right smack dab in the middle of nap/quiet time. But don't think for one minute that I am not going to have the kids there. We are 'suggested' to be there an hour before arrival. Okay, reality check, do you know how hard it is to keep a 3 and 4 year old entertained while in a mongo tent (if it's cold) or blechers (is that even spelled right0 if it is warm? yeah, right,that is what I thought. I better take some bribes.....oops, I mean snacks!
Remember this pic from our last VTC.....
this is where we will be on Wednesday or thursday.....
Hosted by Sarcastic Mom....( with the new and improved updated link) The basic idea is that every Sunday bloggers post their best/favorite photos from the previous week. Here are my Weekly Winners:
Is it a flute or a candlestick?
part of the greenery on the mantle
Friday was red and green day at the kids' preschool. Livi won for the girls! She got some book. She has been sleeping with it every night!
We are just busy getting ready for Husband. In his last email he said he was leaving for Kuwait that evening. So hopefully he will be on his way soon. This puts getting back here on Wednesday OR Thursday. I was really disappointed it was being shoved back a day. But like he said, what is one day compared to the last 15 months?
Happy Sunday, y'all.
Friday, December 14, 2007
1. Away in a manger, no room for an electric blanket.
2. Dashing through the snow, in an outhouse on skis. **I have been to Outhouse races in Alaska, quite the sight to see.**
3. Hark! The herald angels give me peace.
4. It's coming on Christmas and I am so excited.
5. When I was small I believed in Santa Claus, though I knew he was really scary.
6. That Christmas magic's brought this tale to be able to bring Husband home before the holidays.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the FINAL pizza night with the neighbors (we are getting a garlic chicken one), tomorrow my plans include finishing up laundry and cleaning and Sunday, I want to just veg and put my feet up....though not in these pointy witch boots!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Usually I'm a gift bag type of gift-giver... EXCEPT at Christmas. I am attempting something new this year: Will's stuff is wrapped in green, Livi in red, and us in white. We'll see how it goes.
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. Allergies.....and totally stealing this next part from my old co-worker, David: "if you really need that "Pine Fresh" smell, I'd suggest cleaning your toilets."
3. When do you put up the tree? Our tradition is to always put it up the day after Thanksgiving. This year it is up but not decorated. We are waiting until Husband gets back.
4. When do you take the tree down? Between the 26th and New Year's.
5. Do you like egg nog? Is there bourbon involved?
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I don't really remember.....which makes me wonder if my kids will remember anything they ever get!
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Just the Little People one the kids play with
8. Hardest person to buy for? Usually it's my father-in-law, because he never really needs anything.
9. Easiest person to buy for? the kids
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? socks from my great aunt Ruth....actually it wasn't the worst, probably the funniest....she also used to give us chocolate covered cherries.
11. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? I am totally playing the "deployment" card this year....I might mail them out in January....call them New Year's cards.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The last few years I have done the hardcore combat-day-after-Thanksgiving shopping with my sister. But I buy stuff year round and keep it in a 'gift closet'.....you know I do!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I think I like recycled better than re-gifted.....but yes, I have done this with smelly things that make my nose itch.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? divinity
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear white lights. simple and classic
17. Favorite Christmas song? I know I blogged about this: TSO Carol of the Bells
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We are staying home since he has a little bit of work stuff until the 23rd.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Yes, there's Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. and the most wonderful reindeer of all, Rudolph, **way too many Christmas movies on these days***
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I think it is a star...how sad that I can't even remember
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We do both. One on Christmas eve....usually the jammies, and the rest Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? People rushing around three degrees of pi$$ed off.....I am like, stop and enjoy the season.
23. What I love most about Christmas? vegging in pjs with the family all day
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Taking the easy way out for this week since I have two kids with ear infections.
1. Name someone you love. = Husband
2. Name someone you secretly admire. = Any wife who has done this deployment thing TWICE!!!
3. Name someone you are annoyed by. = telemarketers who call during and after bedtime for the kids!!
4. Name someone you think is funny. = love William Sledd...(you tube him if you don't know who he is!)
5. Name someone you love to look at. = my kids....when they are sleeping
6. Name someone you are inspired by. = Flickr photographers
7. Name someone you are saddened by. = that is too deep for my fluff post
8. Name someone who gives you hope. The little boy who posts the daily updates of soldiers arriving on Husband's Division website! (Our day is listed: Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 2;45PM)
9. Name someone you frequently think well wishes for. My mom
10. Name someone you hope to never see again. I can think of only one person...okay, maybe two!
11. Name someone you would love to reunite with. isn't that one a given....Husband.....after him, it would be friends we have moved away from
12. Name someone you look up to. =Fellow wives with husbands deployed
13. Name someone you would like to be for a day. Anyone who has done one of those day of pampering at a spa
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
My big project was this room that had become a dumping ground.
The cabinets on the right are where I consolidated all my scrapbook stuff. Stuff was just randomly thrown in there on the shelves. Things were getting lost. Last week those boxes were on sale half off at Hobby Lobby. Now things are in properly labeled containers with like things. It does drive me a bit crazy that the long blue boxes don't match the black ones. But PBK is the only place that made boxes to fit that long narrow shelf. The black ones are just cheapo ones from HL. But once those doors are closed you can't see the black, so I can deal with it!
Just because we all love a little brotherly love, I leave you with this....Happy Tuesday, y'all
Monday, December 10, 2007
For the holidays, are you a last-minute shopper or do you shop well ahead of time?
Ahead of time...and a little Tommie-tip: If you find the perfect gift in August and hide it somewhere....most likely you will forget where you hid it....So, make a note on your calendar on Dec 1 of where it is hidden. Come time for the holidays, you will remember, "Oh yeah, it is on the top shelf under the blankets in the linen closet."
If you had to pick a new first name for yourself, what name would you choose?
I do like my name, I have only met a handful of girl-Tommies in my life. I went through a phase in junior high that I spelled it 'Tomi' ....I also, wanted to change my name to Connie around the same time. What is funny is the other day I heard Livi playing in her with her imaginary friends....one is named Connie! We don't even know anyone named Connie either.
What’s worse, having expectations that are too high, or having no expectations at all?
We ventured out of muffin territory and made fudge this afternoon for Muffin Monday. This is my aunt RoseMary's recipe. The recipe calls for Milnot. The first time made it, I had to call my mom from the grocery store to see what Milnot was. Who knew it was a brand of evaporated milk? I sure didn't. They didn't have that brand, but it turned out well.
This really is a super easy recipe. I would even say that it is a tried and true, not grainy fudge. You don't even have to use a candy thermometer. She even has on the recipe card, "For a delightful change, use butterscotch chips."
Here is the recipe if you want to try it. It would be great for a cookie exchange because you can easily double the recipe.
3 c. sugar
1 c. Milnot (evaporated milk)
3/4 stick margarine *I use butter*
1 7oz. jar of marshmallow cream
1 12 oz package of chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts (pecans)
I give you this wonderful recipe, but only if you promise to pronounce the word "pecan....like this: pea-can...Pinky swear...okay!
Mix sugar, evaporated milk, and margarine in a huge pot. Boil for five minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat, stir in marshmallow cream and chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Stir in PEA-CANS...(Did you say pecans or pea-cans?
Pour into a buttered 9x9 pan. Makes 2.5 pounds.
Note: do not try to make this when there is 90% humidity....it takes forever to set.