Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Today was a most productive day and I'm still up with enough energy to read a few blogs and even write a little. Because of our military life we are never in one place for more than 2 holidays and to make matters worse, we are never close enought to have the family come over to our home, instead we choose the year which we travel, usually to a central location where many of the family members gather.

This year, once again, we are going to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family in this central location.  My job was to bring apple pie and sweet potato casserol.  As always, I waited until tonight to do it all, because, you know, I'm wonder woman.  On top of that chore I had to work at the gym teaching twice today, get the kids cleaning, laundry, packing, etc.  So much to do, so little time.

My young artist (14) and the little peanut (6) helped out in the kitchen, one was peeling apples, the other mashing sweet potatos, while I was assembling and preparing the ingredients for our two awesome dishes.  These are not diet friendly, except for the fact that they both fall in the fruit and veggies category.  That should count for something right?

Meanwhile, the Tenor, about to be 18 and his little brother now 2 hung out in another room, studying , playing and doing what they do best....eating!

It was such a nice experience to have them both in the kitchen, working along side me and each other.  There was no fighting, no arguing, no hormonal imbalance.  They just followed instructions and did their jobs.  

They will both remember this night and I will personally treasure our time together.  I'm just sorry I didn't take pictures.  I guess that means I'll have to do it again soon.

When asked what I am thankful for, the answer is pretty easy and I don't think I need to spell it out.  My pride and joy, my kids.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pink Saturday!

Hot pink flowers from this past summer...oh so pretty! Thanks PlantBuddy for reminding me that I do have pink stashed somewhere.

I love this little house. It's very old.  My daughter Emm painted the house for the first time about 8 years ago when she was only 6. Well this year the little pink house got a facelift in the same colors by my youngest daughter, Peanut, and she just so happens to be 6. 

Leave your thoughts and Enjoy!
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coloradolady Christmas Contest

OK so I don't like to listen to Christmas music before December 1st, nor do I decorate the day before Thanksgiving because I think we should give Thanksgiving a chance, but I do like giveaways and Coloradolady is hosting a Christmas giveaway for the next few weeks.  So many fun ideas and really cool items in her packages.  You should go check it out and sign up, why not. Click on the picture above or on her name below to access the site. Go now!

THANK YOU Colorado lady!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I need a massage!!

I have been taking collge classes for, well, for a long time now.  It is one of my goals to get my degree so that when hubby retires and we stopped moving and the kids are in school full time, I can hopefully get a better job than without a degree -- one would hope anyway.

Going to school online, while raising a family, having babies, moving around the country, a part time job at the gym and maintaining a home...etc...etc.. it can be very, very challenging.  Online education is not easy.  You are pretty much self educating but paying the teachers to grade your work. I want that job! 

Online classes require a lot, I mean A LOT of reading and quite a bit of writing, a lot of interpretation of what you read, excellent time mangement skills and a lot of patience.  Everything is online, the library, the conference with the teacher, the socializing and sharing with other students...etc...etc... I miss live interaction.  But, since I know that is not an option I can take right now, online education is what I have to do.

The last few weeks have been particularly stressful because my ArtHistory teacher is extremely demanding, very critical and sometimes negative.  I know she wants us to really think about what we see and she wants us to be passionate about the art pieces we discuss.  I love art, I'm just not passionate about it, at least not like she is.  Her timing with our projects have been ridiculous and would be even if the class was live.  

We have about 4 weeks left and I can't wait to see the light at the end of this tunnel.  I'm exhausted, my back hurts and I would like to read something other than a text book for a change.  Right now I only have time to read about Music of the world, Art History, and Humanities--what was I thinking?

Today I'm writing an essay for music but that will be easy since I actually enjoy this class and the teacher, then I'm cleaning my house and taking a much needed break to hang with my little bear.

I'm scheduling a massage--right now, this week I will have my massage and feel better. I deserve it!

photo by philoo 14

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Birthday 2 You!!

Yesterday was my baby Bear’s 2nd birthday.
I can't believe it's been 2 years--time really does fly when you're having fun and it has been a fun ride so far.  We look forward to many more years of fun with our little Bear and his siblings.  But today is all about him.

Oh what a joy it is to see him beautifully smiling face enjoying the singing and blowing the candles. This is such a precious age and such a wonderful time to celebrate because at this age they could care less if there are any decorations, gifts, nothing, they are genuinely happy.

He’s happy with his home-made, less than perfect cake, and his unwrapped gifts.

He’s even happier to see everyone around him singing happy birthday and the best part, I think, was blowing the candles – he sort of needed a little help but he was so excited to try.

Happy Birthday little Bear!
We Love You!
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Christmas Music in November...that's just rude!

Is it Christmas already? No Wait! We ARE still in the month of November right?  By the looks of my photos below, I think I can safely say that Autumn is definitely here and from my understanding after living in this country for the last 30+ years, Thanksgiving comes before Christmas.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm willing to bet, it is still a national holiday in this country.

In case you're wondering where I'm going with this rant, here it is.  This morning I was headed to the gym to attend a Spinning Certification Training.  I was pretty excited too, about the training and about the fact that the Mr. was staying home with all FOUR kids the entire day while I get to mingle with other adult minds.

Anyway, before I get lost in that world, let me move on.  I turned on the radio, hoping to find some sing-along music or something that would energize me.  Then I heard it... Bing Crosby's "Dreaming of a white Christmas."  It's November 8th!!  

Can we possibly get through the month of November before turning on the Christmas cheers.  At this rate, by the time Christmas comes around, I will be sick of the cheery music we get to replay once a year.

Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE Christmas.  I love the feeling of the season, baking cookies with the kids, getting together with family and friends, sometimes I even enjoy torturing myself with a crazy stroll through a mall, just to say I survived.  But I would like to reserve that experience to the month of December and focus on something I equally treasure in thanks.

I see Thanksgiving as a day to give thanks for the wonderful people in our lives, give thanks for having yet another day when we wake up to enjoy our children, our family, our friends and one more day to give thanks for the beauty we are giving in nature...just look around.   

We can reflect on the material things we have, our careers, our education; but none of that matters without the love of those we hold dear.  The best thing about this holiday, besides the awesome meals and the excuse to gain a few pounds, we don't even have to think about buying gifts because it's not about gift giving and receiving

It is, in my opinion, the most honest holiday when families get together to share a meal, share life stories, watch the football game, and catch up with each other.  

I will not be hitting that radio station button on my dial until I'm ready for Christmas music.
In the mean time, lets take time to give to those who are less fortunate than us, and extend a helping hand all year long. 
A giving heart is a thankful heart! 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Apples, apples...I love apples

My mother-in-law (Mad) was visiting this weekend and I'm happy to say we had a great time.  She arrived just in time to experience Halloween and try out some of the candy the kids brought back.  The next day, Saturday, we decided to go apple picking at a farm that is located alongside a river.  What a beautiful place this is.  The colors of the leaves changing and reflecting on the water were amazing.  The kids love going there because it is so open and the quiet and of course, the have fruits for us to pick.

After our picnic, we went to apple orchards and helped ourselves to really delicious and beautiful granny smith apples.  It was so much fun and the kids loved the idea of eating a fruit that you pick right from the tree.  We plan on going back when the peaches and blueberries are ready next summer.

So, what to do with all these apples?  Bake an apple pie, of course.  To simplify matters and in the interest of time I bought two deep dish pie crusts at the store.  Leave the pie crust on the counter to defrost, place one of them on a flat surface, that will be the top of the pie.  Preheat the over to 425 degrees.

Here's an easy recipe:

9 medium apples, peeled, cored and wedged
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar

Mix this all together in a bowl, pour it into the pie crust and proceeded with the rest..

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

Cut the butter into small cubes (best to do this with butter right out of the fridge)
mix in the flour and sugar and sprinkle over the apples--I used every bit and made sure the butter was everywhere, not all clumped in one place.

Sprinkle with a bit more cinnamon and place the second pie crust on top and pinch all around the edges. Make several slits on the crust to allow the steam to escape.

Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil to keep them from burning and place the pie on a cookie sheet or aluminum foil to catch the bubbling goddies. Bake for one hour.  Let it sit about 15 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!!

We were eating pie at 10 o'clock at night...I never eat food like this so late but I most definitely enjoyed the warm delicious pie.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pulling weeds

The other day I realized I had to face reality and go clean out my "garden" before the weeds grew into a jungle.  At some point towards the end of the season life took over and my garden was the last thing on my list to worry about, plus, I thought things would start dying off soon so no big deal.  Unfortunately things didn't die off, they grew thinker and strong and the flowers were beautiful.  However, the weeds were growing right along side the flowers and for a while I just figured, hey, let the be, they deserve to be among the beauties.

Finally, this week, I decided it was time to cut them back.  Even the flowers are dying out and these weeds are persistent.  They are dry and dead but standing tall...what the hey!  I spent 2 hours putting weeds and made a clear dent in the garden.  It was a heck of a workout for my legs, arms, chest, glutes, back and arms.  What that means is, I was sore, so sore I could hardly move.  Now mind you, I workout all week so you would think there would be no soreness.

Baby was out there with me either trying to pull weeds or trying to eat them.  He found out quickly, that's not a good idea.  He took a nice long nap and I got a nice break in the day...time for me.  Great day.