Saturday, November 29, 2008

Check out my photography skills

I took this picture at the Farmers Market a few days before Halloween. The kids and I had gone to get pumpkins. And I took a bunch of pictures. But I saw this on the flowers they had out, and managed to get it. I thought it was awesome.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I cannot tell you just how EXCITED I am

I really can't. Because for the first time since we left Germany, I am going to be able to decorate my house with my Christmas decorations. We'll even put up our fake tree. (we got an amazing deal on it at the PX in Germany) I will get to use Christmas tablecloths. I will be able to put up my nativities. I will be able to put my awesome Christmas ornaments on our tree. Perhaps there is more of my mother in me than I like to admit to. Because she does this decorating thing every month with a different theme. I do very little ever, but I do like to decorate at Christmas. I even have polish pottery Christmas plates. And a Christmas platter. And two Christmas bowls. I'm excited to put out my willow tree nativity. Also my olive wood nativity. And I get to hang up the nativity that I cross stitched that I finally got framed (it looks so awesome). I'm hoping to get one that the kids can play with. I just wanted to share with all of you just how excited I am. And not only do I get to decorate, I get to be in my own house. Not in a hotel. Not in my MILs house. In our house. With our stuff. Doing it how we want to do it. And we don't have to go and visit anyone or do anything that entire day if we don't want to. And no one is going to come over so we can make it as messy as we want. This is going to be exciting. I'm going to start decorating on Monday. I usually wouldn't. But I have to make up for the last two Christmases somehow. And I just might take pictures of my ornaments and tell you about them. Because that is how excited I am to use them again. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Past

In our 7 years of marriage, we have had Thanksgiving in about 7 different places.

1. San Diego with his sister
2. Utah with my family
3. Georgia at Cracker Barrel by ourselves(so yummy there)
4. Germany with our neighbors
5. Germany with our neighbors
6. Texas with one of my missionary companions and her little family
7. North Carolina with friends (this year)

Next year? Who knows where we'll be. We could stay at what will be our new home. We could travel the relatively short distance from there to CA. We could go to that same missionary companions house because she is living about an hour north of where we will be living. But it doesn't seem to matter much where it is. The food is good, our friends are good, and our little family is together. And if I'm lucky, I might be able to snag a family picture tomorrow to put in our Christmas cards. I love having my own photo printer.

edited: ok, this year is actually year 8, and sadly, i don't even remember what we did last year for thanksgiving. i know we were in texas, but it was the year after number 6. sigh. i think i'm slowly losing it.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Since this afternoon, we've heard what I tell my kids are the "big guns". The Army post we live on is larger than many cities. And the ranges, while miles away, are still close enough that whatever they are shooting, we can hear. Sometimes it's small arms (and I'm talking probably M16s or whatever is the regular military issue rifle) but a lot of times, we're talking big guns. Canon. My house is literally shaking. Windows, doors, the ground....and talk about crooked pictures on the walls. Anyway, it got me thinking. While I know that these guns we hear are soldiers learning and preparing, it is a teeny tiny bit scary, especially late at night, to hear such huge noises. Can you even imagine living in a war zone? Can you imagine it being normal to hear these guns? (well it kind of is for us, but not in that way) Can those of us at home even comprehend what it is like to fire those weapons? The power that they have? There really isn't a point to all this. It's late and I must say I'm tired of the guns going off. They seemed to have stopped. For a minute anyway. But it's just a thought about the military, war, and just, well, everything that goes right along with those things. For so many of us the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is so far away from us, it isn't even in our daily thoughts. But here where I live, when husbands and wives are constantly deploying, when they are always out in the field preparing for those deployments, it is on our minds every day. And when I hear those big guns, I remember that some day my husband will be deployed, hopefully able to save soldiers lives so that they can come home to their families. And at this time next year, he might be gone. So, I'm thankful that he's here with us this year.

You know

I love blogging. I just do. I don't know what it is about this typing something up, posting it on the Internet and having complete strangers (and sometimes people you actually know) leave you comments. I know that when I started this blog, it opened a huge door for me. I was pretty much a single mom while my husband did his classroom part of PA school. I needed these cyber connections with people as my world was very small then. It still is actually, but I can deal with it better now.

It is partly because of comments and how people will sometimes post things on their blogs just to create a pity party for themselves that I have hesitated to post a few things, and why I just might turn off the comments for this one. I'm not sure yet if I will or not. I guess, what I'm trying to say, is that I hate it when people feel sorry for me. I hate having the whole world know of my deep personal troubles and having to deal with a new person coming up to me at church or some other setting and bring up the whole painful thing. Just really not something I want. Some thrive off of that. For some it actually helps them heal. Well, I don't know if that's true, but it's possible. It just doesn't work for me. I guess my point is, I'm not posting this for the comments. I'm not posting this so you'll all feel sorry for me and leave me comments with "hugs" on it. (no offense to those that do that. normally i would be happy to receive said hugs, just not on this post)

About a month ago, in the space of about one week, I had great news, fabulous news, an argument with a sister about the great news and then devastating news. Seriously. All in one week. It was so overwhelming I had to put a hold on the blogging. (and several other things.) I just didn't feel like the whole world, (ok, so there's only four of you that actually read my blog) needed to know all my dirty laundry. And the devastating news is a pretty deep wound. A wound which will not heal for a while. If ever.

I have been very contemplative (thanks shell for the big word) these last few weeks about all of the news that I got that week, including the argument with said sister. Just trying to sort it all out, at the same time keep functioning and getting Andrew to school and getting things done at home, taking care of the Christmas shopping and card making..... Luckily, not many people are aware of the devastating news, so for me, it makes life so much easier. And while my blog is normally about everything, this is just too personal for me to share here.

So, my four readers, I ask that you forgive my sporadic postings. And perhaps obscure references to something that I won't be terribly specific about. (even though i'm not sure that this sentence makes sense, i'm leaving it because i think it sounds good.)

The songs I have now on my blog, are there for a reason. They are very calming for me. While Francis Cabrel might be to France what Barry Manilow is to us Americans, I love his music. So many of his songs are relaxing, calming. And I'm just a French freak, and everything sounds better to me in French. Even yuck words. So, these songs might stick around for a while. They help me stop and listen and think and just make me feel good.

So, my blogging friends, that is my little explanation. Why do I feel I owe this blogging world an explanation? I don't know. And I don't think it's much of an explanation. But that is as good as it's going to get.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This is cracking me up

I have a very very good friend who is living in Ireland. Her dad is Irish, mom is a Brit, and her husband is a Brit too. She went to college in Edinburgh, so she's been all over the place. Anyway, I went to visit her about two years ago, before we left Germany. I should have gone way more often. And it was so cheap!!! I LOVE Ryanair. Anyway, while I was there, and pretty much when I visit anywhere, I always want to go to the grocery stores. I love them. That is where the real country is.

I love crunchie bars. Cadbury is one of my favorite chocolates. They sell crunchie bars at our commissary, but they are $1.15 each. Kinda expensive. But in North Ireland, not expensive at all. They also have this fabulous soft toffee stuff. I don't remember who makes it but it is fabulous. When I went, I stocked up on it. Matt loves it too, so unfortunately I have to share it.

Two years ago, we did a bit of a trade. She got me my crunchie nuggets and a few Charlie and Lola books and I bought her a Vera Bradley purse and we did a little exchange. I spend about an hour online IMing her this morning (her afternoon) and asked if there was anything that I could send to her to trade her for the yummy treats she would be sending me. She said she wanted zipper bags. You know, the kind of zipper bags where it isn't a press and seal thing it has an actual plastic thing on it and you just zip it back and forth. That is what she wants. She loves them, and her cousins wife (whom I met when I went to church, found out she grew up less than 50 miles from me and her sister was in my parents stake) would bring them back for her. And since her cousin moved back to the states she has been without. She is cracking me up. So, next time I hit the commissary, I will be getting her a whole bunch of those bags. Isn't it silly the things that we miss when we can't get them anymore?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Realistic or Pessimistic?????

Got a question for all of you. I want to know what you consider a realistic point of view and what you think a pessimistic point of view is.

I think that being realistic is looking at all of the situation, not glossing over the yucky parts, and seeing the good and the bad. Pessimistic is ALWAYS looking at JUST the bad. NEVER seeing any good. No matter what the situation, or the person being discussed.

What do you think? Agree or not?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Math and Reading skills

We had to run to the commissary today. We were almost out of milk, and I've been wanting to make chocolate chip cookies, and I needed brown sugar. We also picked up a baguette (well, what passes for a baguette here) and some ice cream. Our commissary has the self check out lines, which I love, so since we had only 5 items, that is where we headed. There are four, two for 30 items or less and two for 15 items or less. We got in the 15 items or less. There was a single guy in front of me, and in front of him, checking out was a couple. Who had at least 50 things. In the 15 items or less line. Seriously, can they not look in their cart and see they have more than 15 items? Can they not read the sign? There were several people behind me, who, like me being able to read and count, had 15 items or less. I mean, this couple was ringing up two full racks of ribs, other meat, all kinds of stuff. It would be one thing if it weren't, oh, the middle of the day on Saturday when the commissary is full. If it were late at night, and no one was there, I could understand that. I had to wait at least 5 minutes until there was something open. Seriously. And this is supposed to be faster than the other lines???? I wanted to point out the sign and remind them that they had triple the amount that they should. If I worked there, I would totally be the checkout nazi crazy lady. I wouldn't let them go through the line if they had ten items over the limit. OK if you have 16 or 17. Not going to quibble about something small like that. But your whole weeks worth of groceries???? Give me a break people. And they were moving slowly. Me with my five items (and two children) was done in about two minutes. And that included paying. From now on, no more commissary trips on Saturdays. Saving the $2 instead of tipping the bagger isn't worth it. Especially if you can afford to buy racks of ribs. Sheesh.

(for non military readers, the baggers do not work at the store. they only get paid by us shoppers. they bag our stuff and then walk us out and load up the car and then we tip them. i must say, i love this service having small children. i forget that other stores don't have this whenever i do shop at a regular store.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I wanted to share

I found some cool things on Etsy, and I wanted to share with you! The first picture is a handbound journal that I bought. I LOVE it. Not only is it purple, but it is small, and it lays flat when you open it. Awesome. You can go here to see others that she has made.

The second is a print of an original painting that the artist has on Etsy. I bought this one too. But unlike my journal, she has more prints in her store!! Since there are a few other fellow France lovers that read this, I thought you guys would like it. I am very excited to frame it and hang it in my bedroom. Well, when I have a bedroom. (kind of pointless to do it here when I move in about 7 weeks)

I love etsy. I really really really really do. I have found some amazing things on there. And the artists are usually willing to make something specific for you. And yes, these are Christmas presents to myself. I'll just let Matt know.:) Oh, and have any of you heard of this website called That is where I'm getting Matt a few cool Christmas presents. Their stuff is right up his alley. Especially this. Just as long as he doesn't use it on me.

And I promise I will take a picture of my Christmas card and post it. I've made many, but I'm not finished with them yet. And for my kids, it's all about shopping on ebay and I already got Lucy this awesome dollhouse. I had a 10% off coupon too. Trying to keep things small and compact as we are moving, for the third year in a row, at Christmas time. At least this year, it will be after Christmas. At least I think it will.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Surprise for me

I went to DesignMom this afternoon and boy was I shocked to see that I had won in a giveaway!!!
I won these awesome french flashcards. These will be fun to save for a stocking stuffer for one of the kids. And OK, I just might open them and use them myself. :) And I'm going to check out to see if I can find some cool things for Christmas. Thanks and DesignMom!!!