Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sabbath Moments - finding the peace within

"Sabbath Moments are those moments or hours or days that we take to honor God, to rest in God, and to put God first on our list. No agenda needed. A time to Just Be."

I thank the host of the Sabbath moments, Colleen, for sharing her moments and giving me some perspective on life. Live in the moment, right Colleen? :-) Visit Colleen and join in the moment.

The last few weeks since we received orders that will move us from Virginia to Cuba, life has been stressful, hectic, crazy to say the least. In my last update I gave you a quick synopsis of where we stand but what most people don't realize is how much needs to be done in order for this move to take place. The behind the scene work no one is prepared to do while still living a normal life and keeping the peace in the family. All that takes great effort, a lot of energy, and patience.

In the midst of all the craziness around here I have found several Sabbath moments and I have to say that those moments, even in small doses, are my salvation. Sometimes, like today, I just get up early in the morning and reflect on the previous day, check off that to-do list because it gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I also look at my life and realize how blessed I am to have such a fantastic family who loves me and is always there for me, beautiful friends who are willing to hear me complain and then stick around for the laughter and of course my kids, they light up my life.

These quiet moments I manage to find also throughout the day. Yesterday I took out the trash and realized how loud things were in the house when I stepped outside and closed the door I heard nothing. So I decided to take my time or as my husband says "take the scenic route back home from the trash can"-- which is funny because the trash can is just outside but it helps to walk around the house before re-entering. Those quick minutes were all I needed to re-energize and regroup my thoughts. It really is a great feeling to just BE sometimes.

It is during these quiet times of reflection that I take the time to give thanks to GOD for giving me all that I have inside and out, for my family and friends AND even for this time, the time to be with him. Even when I'm in the moment I'm never really all alone and that's just fine with me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What's happening here?

I woke up this morning thinking I had to be somewhere or I had to wake someone up or something, I don't know, very strange. It must be the stress of the week. It seems I have so many thing scheduled that I'm afraid I'll forget something.

Some updates on what's happening now:

We are definitely moving to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by end of September. For anyone curious, this means I'll be posting a lot of pictures about our new home. Should be interesting.


U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Our house is still on the market, had a few close calls with contracts but nothing we could live with so we'll try again, hopefully soon.


My son is really leaving...oh my GOD I though I was ready for this. We drop him off next week at his new school where he will begin a new stage in life. He is so talented, loves music and makes the best cinnamon rolls, I told him he needs to teach his sister his skills in the kitchen. It's so much fun having someone around who WANTS to try a new recipe with me or cook something completely different. I will miss that about him.

My teen daughter is finally OK with moving to Cuba. She actually wants to and can't wait. Something clicked and she's now ready. Thank you LORD!! She has returned to her old self of constantly switching between making us laugh and being mad at something that didn't go her way.

us being silly :-)

School is back in session....well not yet but real soon they will be back in school here in the states but only for a few weeks then we move. Go figure!

Enjoy the Summer because it's going by quickly!

Then it will be me and my little man again - my little sweetie.

Dad will be on a 30 day leave prior to moving so I have a feeling he'll want to do something fun, like fishing. I don't personally enjoy fishing but I guess I could do that for him, maybe this once.

Finally, I have spent countless hours just getting ready for the move, so much paperwork, little details, it's just a jungle but today I plan to take some time to just not thing about any of this and have some fun with my friends.

It's party time!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blue Monday- Beach Days of Fun

It's time for Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally and I have a few blues I want to share with everyone. Visit Sally to see what other are sharing.

Blue Monday Instructions.jpg

Enjoy the shades of blue :-)

A little German Riesling for the moms - not too bad.

Walking up the sand dunes in the OBX, North Carolina - it was hot, but it was beautiful.

A fun blue slide for the little one.

Blue toes - interesting color, like ink.

And of course, the's amazing, it's beautiful, I could have watched for ever.

So much to share but I'll save some for another monday. Everyone, have a fantastic day today and everyday!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beach Trip Gone ... well it's raining here :-(

Going to the beach in the summer is something we all look forward to at one point or another. Even if we don't really enjoy the sand stuck in places we'd rather not reveal, we love going to the beach during the summer months. This year I agreed to join three other moms and their children in a house in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. There were 15 of us total and here's the breakdown: 4 moms, Boys: 1-18, 1-16, 1-15, 2-12, 1-3; Girls: 4-15, 1-7 years old.

Day one, driving day. Took three hours to get there, no traffic, no issues in the car, no whining kids, I mean the perfect ride on a beautiful day. We unloaded the vehicles and headed for the waters right away. After an afternoon/evening getting sandy we all came back jumped in the pool, ate dinner, played some games and went to bed.

Day two, another perfect day, super hot but beautiful. We spend a good 30 minutes applying sun screen on everyone before hitting the sand again. We found out that our beach has a valet service. Never had that before but was glad they had one. There were college students everywhere driving little golf carts to the beach and dropping your stuff exactly where you want them. That was fantastic. Then we rented umbrellas and they set those up for us and take them down every day...again, fantastic. Couldn't be better.

Day three, better weather, a little cooler, the water was warmer, it was the best.

Day four, things went down hill fast. The weather went from sunny to raining, thunder storms, torrential rain at times and flood warnings in the area. If you've never seen the Outer Banks on the map, go take a look. It's a strip of land with one way in and one way out with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the sound on the other. A flood is not something I care to experience here.

However, here we are, no flood, still raining and us moms sit here trying to figure out what else we could do to entertain 11 well behaved children. I think walking in the rain is not such a bad thing. All in all, it's great to be here with friends, having fun and enjoying each other's company.

Pictures coming soon! Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Foodie Friday: Easy BBQ Baby Back Ribs & Red Zinfandel

Foodie Friday!!!

Hello again everyone. I have so missed participating in Foodie Friday but now I'm back with a very tasty, summer recipe and some wine to go with it. You just might find yourself baking or grilling these babies real soon. Enjoy! Please visit Designs by Gollum for more tasty recipes.

Serves 4 (or 2 depending how hungry you are)

2 racks of Baby Back Ribs
2 TBSP oil (olive or canola works fine)
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup water or better yet - vegetable broth
1 bottle of original BBQ Sauce

You may want to cut the rib racks in half to make it easier to fit in a large pan.

Wash the ribs, pat dry with paper towel. Rub them with oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder - just a little; salt and pepper. Slice up onion and place in a shallow pan, top with ribs. It's OK if they overlap :-)

Add broth or water to the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Cook at 350 for about 1.5 hour. Check for doneness. Meat should be tender and pull apart easily.

When done, remove foil, drain excess water from the pan. Brush ribs with BBQ sauce. Lots of BBQ sauce. I love it sticky, gooey, yummy. OK sorry.

Return to the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Check it often so it doesn't burn. Keep adding BBQ sauce, and cook another 5 minutes longer. Oh yummy. This is a deliciously messy meal.

I serve this with Potato Salad, Garden Salad, Corn Bread, and of course a nice glass of Red Zinfandel.

Speaking of Zinfandel - here's Neil from On The Grapevine once again with a little background on the Zinfandel family of wines. Enjoy!

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Photo from

Zinfandel is a very popular wine grape variety in the USA with 21,000 ha (52,500 acres) under vine in California alone. It is third only to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the red grape growing stakes there. It is not popular in Australia where only 140ha (350 acres) are grown. In fact Australia exports most of this variety to the USA. It tends to be a little fickle from a viticulture point of view, demonstrating uneven ripening, rain damage and bunch rot as well as not coping well with mechanical harvesting.

DNA testing revealed that it was genetically matched to the Croatian variety Crijenak Kasrelanski (where it originated) and the Italian variety Primitivo. All three however have developed distinctive clonal differences in their country of cultivation over several hundred years. It is thought that the variety arrived in the USA into Boston via Austria around 1830 and made its way to California in 1850.

Wines made from this grape come in many different styles. In the USA, these range from rose¢s and light reds through to big alcoholic reds and fortifieds as well as late harvest dessert wines. White Zinfandel is a semi sweet blush ie. pale pink, wine that has picked up some colour from its short contact with the red skins of the grape during vinification. It could also be called a Rose¢ but this term is usually used for pink wines that are dry.

In the USA sales of White Zinfandel are six times that of the red wine.

White Zinfandel goes with pasta dishes (especially those with creamy sauces), fish, pork, lamb, hams, mild cheeses, antipasto, egg dishes, Asian and Indian food and most desserts.

Red Zinfandel wines can have an alcoholic content of 15% or more and many can be ‘hot’, big, full bodied and even jammy. But on average, with good wine making techniques, Red Zinfandel can have good fruit, with blackberry, raspberry, plum and cherry aromas and flavours. They can also have hints of earthiness, chocolate, leather and spice, but are not usually considered too complex. The tannins are usually moderate, generally balanced with good acidity and a pleasant mouth-feel.

Foods that go well with Red Zinfandel include sausage, beef, lamb, pork and venison, all either braised, grilled or roasted. Because of its lower tannin content, this wine can take some heat from chillies. Ribs with a spicy barbecue sauce are considered almost a classic match. Zinfandel friendly cheese include aged Parmesan, Dry Monterey Jack and Manchego. Zinfandel also goes well in recipes that include tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms and olives.

Visit Neil at On The Grapevine to read more about wine, grapes, and travel adventures.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Outdoor and Watery Wednesday - Watery Fun

Susan from A Southern Day Dreamer hosts outdoor Wednesday which is fantastic because it brings me back from crazy land into blog-o-land. Go visit Susan. The other posts are just amazing. Thanks Susan!!


So we finally received our orders to ship out to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Great!! There's no fun in waiting. I like having 'orders' telling me to pack my stuff and move, like NOW! OK so maybe not now but in 8-10 weeks. Sure, because government offices are that efficient right. Not trying to insult anyone out there who might be a government employee doing a great job. There are quite a few of you who do and I, for one, am thankful for your service.

My beef is with the others who feel I owe them and should be blessed that they are even helping me. Just tell me what you need from me so we can move along and I will do it. It's pretty simple. No. We will wait until you have been in our waiting room with your screaming kid running up and down the corridor before we tell you that you are either in the wrong room or have the wrong information or are missing a piece of vital importance. We like it like that!!

Well that was me venting briefly because since we got our orders and realized we need to sell our house, be screened for overseas travel with the military, transfer school records and get new government issued passports, I have been stressing...that is until I realized, again, that there is no point in stressing over the things I can't control so I will put my focus on what I can do and you know what, things are improving. Amazing what a little attitude adjustment can do for you.

So now I will ask lots of questions and get all my ducks in a row before going to see any government agent. Even if they think I'm an idiot for asking "dumb" questions. In my recent experience, there are no dumb questions. I will follow instruction, be patient, exercise, eat well, rest and most important.... here, this is most important:

We will have a great summer.....we will get soakin' wet.... we will live and be happy.
We will smile, laugh, enjoy life and leave stress out of the picture.

In the end, Daddy has to leave by end of September, the rest of us can join him as soon as our paperwork is completed. No Big Deal!!

Have a fantastic Summer everyone, and thanks for visiting my blog.

PS: I have an awesome recipe and wine combo coming on Friday for Foodie Friday so come again soon.

I realized this fits right in with Watery Wednesday. Great blog and great watery posts there as well. Go check them out.