Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Year in Review

Thanks to all who have made me laugh, talked me off the ledge on some days, and just plain made me laugh....Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Manic Monday and a week update

Fleur-de-Lisa hosts the original Manic Monday here.

What is the biggest mistake you made in 2008 and will not make again in 2009? portion control....enough said!

Do you make New Year's resolutions? not really
Why or why not? I try to live simply every day. But it is a good reminder of a fresh start.

Who do you nominate as “Man or Woman of the Year” for 2008? any wife going through a deployment

What was your greatest accomplishment in 2008? selling a house in today's market, living with my mom for a month, living with my in-laws for a month, buying a house here and making it a home.

I know, I know....long time no blog. I left my laptop in OH.

The week flew by way too fast while we were there. The kids loved being the "big kids" of all the cousins. Grandma and Grandpa loved spoiling them. They started a tradition of decorating cookies with grandma. I think they ate as many as they decorated.
Despite no snow, the weather was nice enough to get out and play a bit.

I was able to get out and go shopping one day with the girls. I forget how fun it is to just get out without kids. Plus PH Changs was involved....oh me oh my!

Happy Monday, y'all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all, I leave you with my favorite Christmas carol.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Simply Kind Tuesday-PF Changs

Claudia at On A Limb with Claudia hosts a meme called Simply Kind Tuesdays. Her goal of Simply Kind Tuesdays is to increase awareness of the kindness that surrounds us.

This morning, my two sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law went over to Easton....also known as a great shopping mecca! I needed to get a car charger for my new phone (ps, listen to the sales girl when she tries to talk you into the car charger!) and look at the Tag watch to see if I was ready to make the plunge.
I ended up not getting the watch. Claudia, I know you have been my biggest cheerleader in this. But I was comparing two different ones. The TAG-Heuer and a Bulova. Both are stainless steel with diamonds with a deployment buckles clasp. I choose the Bulova. I am very happy with my choice!

Anyhow, it was very nice to go over and do some shopping with the girls with no kids! Even better and nicer, my mother in law treated us to lunch at PF Changs. Lettuce wraps and spicy Chang doesn't get much nicer than that!

PS for a comparison look, here is the other watch:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Only a wee little Manic Monday

Fleur-de-Lisa hosts the original Manic Monday here.

If you were at a friend’s house for a holiday dinner and you found a dead cockroach in your salad, what would you do? OMG...besides the obvious...I would not eat another bite of anything after that. I could make a good show of pushing the food around, cutting it into pieces, etc. But no more food would enter my lips. My father-in-law grows a humongous garden every year. On more than one occasion, a worm or two has been steamed with the fresh broccoli....we just kind of laughed it off.

If you could put anyone you know on Prozac, who would you choose? haa....not touching that one

How do you feel about public displays of affection? Are we talking holding hands strolling down the walk, or are we talking all out groping?? I have hollered, "get a room!" more than once.

No muffins today, we made it....over the river and through the woods to the Grandparents house we go. We let the kids open their presents from us at home, rather than haul all the stuff up here and back!
Will loved his new GeoTrax high flying airport! I thought it hooked into his train set....but it doesn't. He loved it though!

I had so much fun playing with my present. I took this pic with it...kind of impressed with its camera capabilities!

Livi was worried that Santa wouldn't find us here in OH. She thought we were going to leave our stockings there and he would be confused. So we brought them with us. Santa, we are at Grandma and Grandpa's....put that in your good book!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weekend recap-

Merry Christmas to me! I am so excited. I have been having fun playing with it all day today. Tomorrow we are heading over the river and through the woods to the grandparents house we go. I have checked my packing list at least twice. I am sure the ride will be much more entertaining with little baby!
Happy weekend, y'all!
PS, a little organizing tip from tommie: I keep a printed packing list in a page protector in each suitcase. After each trip I write anything on there that I forgot. By now, the list is pretty much complete!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Photohunt: wide open skies

Photohunt is hosted by TNchick
This past Friday we woke up to cloudy skies, rain, and melting snow and ice. So by early after noon it was kind of nice to see the bluest of skies I have ever seen. There were white fluffy clouds in the wide open skies. Very nice end to a week that even included two snow days of missed school.
Happy Saturday, y'all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fill In

Friday fill in courtesy of the talented Janet.....thinking of her and her dad

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, "Hush little baby, don't say a word...(I sing this to Will every single night as part of his bedtime routine)."

2. The first Noel, the angel did say, my oh my what a beautiful day This was my backyard this never would have known we missed two days of school on the account of snow this week!

3. All too soon we will be going, Over the hills and everywhere.

4. It came upon the midnight clear, all were sleeping peacefully in their own beds....until around 5AM or so.

5. Will and Livi, Let your heart be light.

6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing sing loudly, sing proudly...just keep singing baby girl.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to letting the kids open a present, tomorrow my plans include a movie with the kids...Bolt or The Tale of Despereaux and Sunday, I want to check and double check everything for Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photostory Friday: seasons

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I grew up in podunk Oklahoma. There are four seasons there: almost summer, summer, barely summer, and a wee little bit of winter. After thirty years of living there, I married a soldier. Oh the far away lands we would go I though. First stop: Alaska....and Fairbanks, Alaska at that!

We had four seasons as well: almost winter, winter, barely winter, and a wee little bit of summer. After three wonderful years there, we were going to move again. Oh yeah....a chance for some seasons. Where was Uncle Sam going to send us? Can you believe it, we went back to Oklahoma. Granted, I love Oklahoma. My mom lives ten minutes from where we did there. Will was born there. She was able to see him very often. But I really longed for seasons.

From Oklahoma, we moved to the east Bay of California to a picture perfect town. While the weather there is absolutely gorgeous, I still didn't have seasons. After a very short stint there, we were on the move again.

Kansas here we come.....oh, the joy of four seasons. I loved it. I loved wearing a light sweater in the evenings while at the chiminea with the neighbors! But KS was only a school for a year. We were on the move again. So many places were mentioned of where we could go....where oh where would Uncle Sam send us.

You are kidding me? Texas....It was so against my Boomer Sooner upbringing to even think good things about Texas. While I never felt like Texas was my home, I loved the house that became our home there. I made some of the best friends ever sad to say Texas does hold a special place in my heart. But just a wee little space!

When Husband returned from the deployment (which was a year ago on the 19th!!!), it was time to move again. Husband, please Husband, can we please go somewhere with seasons. I love me
some seasons. Kentucky here we come.

I got seasons. We arrived in the summer. I witnessed some gorgeous colors this past fall. Now winter is in full swing....WITH snow!

I had to take a pic of these lights .....they line the patio area. The little caps of snow are so pretty!

More snow on my little evergreen trees out front! I am loving the seasons so far.

Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday 13....favorite muffin recipes

These have been my favorite muffins we have made from Muffin Mondays:

Since I finally finished the entire ABC themed Thursday 13.......I am back to wondering to what to do every week! These are in no particular order....because if they were #6 the Chocolate Chocolate Chip muffins would TOTALLY be first! Here are thirteen favorite muffins and cookies and sweets from the last two years of doing muffin Monday.

Several people have asked how Muffin Monday came about.....Husband deployed in Oct of 2006. The kids were 2 and 3 at the time. Livi had turned two a week after he left. Will was 3 1/2. I was trying to eliminate some of the cookbook clutter I had. I told myself that if I didn't use at least five recipes out of a cookbook, I had to get rid of it. I could copy the recipe into my recipe file and get rid of some clutter.

Oh how I love me some cookbooks! I have several from vacations, some from Junior League groups around the country, and most places we have lived. So in order to kind of cheat and keep some of those cookbooks, I choose to find the simplest recipe in the cookbook. Muffins are quick and easy. I, also really needed to get into a routine to help the time pass.

Will was in preschool every day until 12:30. He didn't nap. That time in the afternoon just before dinner became so hard. I knew we needed to do something to keep busy. When Husband first deployed, we thought it was for a year. Somewhere in there, it was extended to 15 months. That is a long time to be a "pseudo single parent".

So muffin Monday was born. We would make a muffin recipe into 24 mini muffins (sometimes more)...We shared those muffins with two or three neighbors. Each family got half a dozen or so, most of the time, warm out of the oven. The kids loved delivering them...we had so much fun baking them.

Now at ages 4 and 5, both kids know muffins are basically some dry stuff (flour and sugar) and wet stuff (eggs and something else)....we mix it all together and have a little plate of happiness to share.

Enough rambling......each of these has the recipe on the link.

Happy Thursday. y'all!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Every day should be a snow day

It was indeed a snow day. After sleeting late last night and snowing through the rest of the night, school was cancelled. Both kids were up and ready to go before I even had breakfast. Finally after a warm cup of peppermint mocha cream laced coffee, I was ready to face the cold.

Kids clothes, check. Warm jackets, check. Snow pants, check. Snow boots, check. hats and mittens, check. At this point I had visions of the kid in A Christmas Story...I just knew one of them would have to go to the bathroom. We were spared an undressing of the ten thousand layers....whew hoo!

The kids just wanted to taste the snow was light and fluffy according to Livi. After a few snowballs, some snow angels, it was time for a few sled rides. I pulled them up the very slight incline....I can't even call it a hill....just once. Then they took turns pulling each other. There is one great sledding hill in the neighborhood. But I am sure some family didn't want to be greeted by two goofy kids hollering at the top of their lungs at 9 in the morning!

Once we came in we had to warm up with some hot cocoa. I lit the fire until every one's cheeks and noses weren't numb anymore!

We had fun on our first snow day here......Will was so excited to wear his shirt...."every day should be a snow day".

Happy Tuesday, y'all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Manic Monday and Reindeer candy canes

Fleur-de-Lisa hosts the original Manic Monday here.

Have you ever returned an item to a store for a refund after having used it? Only if it had a defect....I used an $$$Rowenta iron for about a week and the entire time it leaked water spots all over everything. Yep, took it back.

You are going out for the evening. If your partner objects to what you are wearing, would you change your clothing? I don't think he would say anything. But if he did, yes, I would change AND THEN NEVER WEAR THAT OUTFIT AGAIN! LOL It would be Freecycled before you know it.

What item that you don’t currently possess would you most like to have in your home? I think this home is pretty much complete. But I would like a pot rack. Because of the ceilings in the kitchen, I have to have a wall mounted one. I love this one at Crate and Barrel but I want to see it in person first.

Just a little peek at what will most likely remain in our home....We made these for the kids' Christmas party at their preschool. It is sleeting and 24 degrees....not expected to be higher than 30 degrees tomorrow.

Oh well, we can have Rudolph reindeer candy cane duals......

Because I am 99.95754 % sure we will have a snow/ice day tomorrow. Happy Monday, y'all!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sweet weekend

We made fudge this afternoon for our neighbors and the kids' preschool teachers. This is my aunt Rose Mary'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. My aunt 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
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 " 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% takes forever to set. This note was on my card from when we made these in in TX last winter.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Photohunt: favorite

Photohunt is hosted by TNchick

Combining this with a meme I have done before.....

The concept:

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.

2. Using only the first page of results, and pick one image.

3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

The questions:1. What is your first name? Tommie

2. What is your favorite food? right now? cheese

3. What high school did you go to? Cache

4. What is your favorite color? crimson

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Matt Damon

6. What is your favorite drink? Do you even have to ask?

7. What is your dream vacation? Walt Disney World

8. What is your favorite dessert?creme brule

9. What do you want to be when you grow up? peaceful

10. What do you love most in life? husband

11. What is one word that describes you? organized

12. What is your flickr name? tommiea1

I don't think I can pick an all time favorite....but I do love this one:

Happy Saturday, y'all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fill In

1. Friends are spread near and far....Alaska to Italy to across the US .

2. Take care of your health; it's going to take me to old and grey.

3. I'm ready for to make fudge for my neighbors and the kids' teachers.

4. Root candles in pumpkin spice and mulled cider is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.

5. The oldest ornament I have is a Coke machine with a little mouse climbing up it.....edited to add: I looked all over our tree and could not find it. Makes me wonder where it is. But I did find this one that I have had almost as long. Boomer Sooner! I got this in an ornament exhange when I was in school at the University of Oklahoma.

6. Take some flour, sugar, and some wet stuff, mix it all together and you have muffins.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to pizza (veggie with really not veggie...but still yummy!) , tomorrow my plans include grocery shopping and finish wrapping some presents, and Sunday, I want to sleep in and make reindeer candy canes with the kids!

Happy Friday, y'all

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Photo story Friday- Aging gracefully

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

The ABCs of Aging Gracefully-
A-avoid collagen
B-bloom late
D-dance at weddings
E-eat more chocolate
F-fall in love again
G-go grey
H-hold hands
J-jettison grudges
K-kiss like you mean it
M-mend fences
N-nurture friendships
O-open doors
P-perspire with aplomb
Q-quit whining
R-rekindle romance
S-spoil babies
T-teach someone to read
U-upset convention
V-volunteer to read
W-wear red
X-expect joy
Y-yield gracefully

This sign was on my sister-in-law's island in her kitchen. I took this this past summer during our wild and crazy transition to KY. I thought enough of it to take a picture.....I do try to follow these ABCs. Most of these come fairly easy for me.....

though I did have to look up aplomb. "Perspire with aplomb".....meaning complete and confident composure. So tomorrow when I am on the elliptical, I will make sure I am sweating confidently!

Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thursday 13, the letter Z

My final ABC Thursday 13.....the letter Z
1 zucchini- favorite bread to make into a muffin!! Will doesn't think the same!

2. zoo: From the Columbus, OH zoo: Oh yeah, I still laugh when I look at this pic ....that is truly a face only a mother could love.

3. zone clean: I zone clean ....a Flylady thing. Basically the house is divided into five zones (entrance/dining room, kitchen, bathrooms/kids' room, master bedroom, living room)....I focus on a certain zone each week. Ideally, during one month the entire house gets a thorough cleaning. The key word here is ideally. Before kids I would have stressed to the nth degree if it my house wasn't a general clean is okay. Though the dust on the baseboards still wear me out!

4. Zip code: Every time we move, it takes me forever to learn my new zip code! Forever! We have been here since the summer and I still confuse the last digit!

5. zapped: I have been zapped by a cow prod. It left a little dent in my shin bone. Lovely high school memories.
6. zeal: I like to think I have a zeal for life. I try to make the best of wherever we are, wherever we live. No sense whining for several years!
7. Fort Worth Zoo.....Fort Worth Zoo We had a great time there on spring break. We went there and to Six Flags. It was the first vacation after Husband got back from deployment.

8. zebra: In TX we went to a drive through zoo ....a zebra followed our car right at Livi's eye level. She did not like that one bit!

9. zero: tattoos on my body. I have always wanted one...but have a pain tolerance of ZERO.

10. zest: anytime we make muffins with fresh lemon or lime juice, I use the zest in the muffin batter. It makes it so much more flavorful and moist.

11. zip: I am totally not one to gripe...but people who zip through traffic (especially when the temps are hovering between 30-35) scare the bejesus out of me!

12. zodiac = cancer = crab......traits makes you wonder if the stars know something I don't!

13. Zoomboomafoo- if you know what this is, you must have kids!
This ABC Thursday 13 has been fun and challenging! I am not sure what I will do next.....any suggestions??
Happy Thursday, y'all!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Thematic Photographic-shadow

Carmi at Written Inc has a Thematic Photographic of shadow

I have a huge belief that kids need to be outside. They need to be outside at least once a day. Run around, not tethered to a TV or a Leapster or a million other little electronic devices available these days. When we lived in TX, this was fairly easy to do 11 months of the year.
Claudia of On A Limb asks, "Why do you bother with kindness?" Being outside, getting to know your neighbors is all about kindness. It is nice to let the kids play, catch up with the neighbors, have an impromptu pizza night on the driveway, and all those things that make a neighborhood great!
Here in KY, there have been the rare few days where it is getting quite chilly. I can definitely foresee some need to bundle up and still get out. Even this afternoon, Will and I put on rain boots and raincoats to take a walk in the rain. Granted it was just to the end of the street to gather his daddy's plane. (that is another story!) anyhow.....

But being outside in the harsh afternoon sun often results in some severe shadows. Here are some of my favorite shots that had a tag of shadow from my files.

This one reminds me of so many times I hollered at the boy, "Get your shoes are going to stub your toe!" But I am just glad he had clothes on....more often than not, he is in pajamas if he didn't just get home from preschool!

One of the many from our beach trip the year Husband was deployed.

I love this shot....I even had one enlarged for our wall of family photos. But that shadow on her dress has always bothered me! Finally, another shot from outside....obviously he is swinging....being outside, getting sunshine, having fun. Doing things kids need to do every day.....EVEN if I have harsh shadows!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Manic Monday and snowman cookies

Manic Monday is hosted by the talented fleur-de-lisa

What is the most expensive meal you've ever eaten? I don't think I can choose just one.....

Boulevard in downtown San Francisco near the waterfront is wonderful!

The Brasserie in OH where I had a dirty little secret

The Princess Cruise lines have an awesome restaurant in Denali National Park. I had halibut cheeks there.....oh my...heavenly to say the least.

What is the fastest speed you've ever traveled in a car? I am a wimp...maybe 80. That was definitely before kids.

What is the highest building you've ever been to the top floor of? laughing here...I think my dorm at OU. Or that big tower at Six Flags.

Skipped muffin Monday again in lieu of snowman cookies. I did this snack activity at the kids' preschool, so I had to use store-bought cookies. Using store bought cookies, the kids frosted the cookies. I had all the snowman parts in a little cupcake liner. M&M for the eyes, an orange jelly bean for the "carrot" nose, red licorice rope for the ear muff around the head and smile, and gummy lifesavers for the ear muff covers. These were way too sweet for me, but the kids loved them!

Happy Monday, y'all.....

Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday Fill In

Friday fill in courtesy of the talented Janet.....thinking of her and her dad

1. Snow is what the kids are looking forward to the most.

2. I'm looking forward to watching the laugh and play on the sled. This small hill is the first time the kids rode their cute little LL Bean sled. They were barely one and two at the time. They would go down this tiny slope time and time again! We have lugged that sled from KS to TX to here....hopefully we can use it again finally!

3. Husband is the best husband ever! He picked up Papa Murphy's on his way home from work. I love me some Papa Murphy's pizza!

4. One of my favorite old tv shows is so many come to mind: Brady Bunch, Welcome Back Kotter, Dynasty, Love Boat....should I go on??.

5. I'm done with my Christmas shopping. I do need to find some ornaments...but I have to go into Louisville to get those.

6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is being with family.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Papa Murphy's chicken and veggie pizza, tomorrow my plans include finding those ornaments (we'll probably make it a girl day) and Sunday, I want to see the kids perform the songs they have been practicing at school!