Sunday, December 20, 2009

busy holiday

   Santa came to visit us on Saturday. Santa dropped by and left Barnaby our Elf on a Shelf and a note for Skylar when she wakes up along with William and her Christmas Build a Bears...


A note from Santa about Barnaby our Elf on the Shelf.


Barnaby and his story... (also has a work book)


Frosty the Snowman build a Bear


This is Curly Chris the Family Santa Build A Bear


This is Snow Bell. She has a part time job as Santa's elf off season she's an ice skater.

This is Skylar's BAB. She actually picked this exact bear out but it was too busy to build her that day.


Juneau William's first Christmas polar bear BAB. Off season he's an astronaut to match William's room.

Saturday we had Operation Christmas Bear. Operation Christmas Bear is a thing put on by several groups to support our troops and those who have husbands deployed as a civilian or in the military


Operation Christmas Bear Pictures [x here x]

We've been to the Galaxy of Lights put on by the Huntsville Botanical Gardens.

Its a drive through light displays


Galaxy of Lights Pictures [x here x]

We've had breakfast with Santa

DSCN1298 DSCN1303

Breakfast With Santa Pictures [x here x]

We went to the Christmas Tree Lighting at Bridge Street


Pictures are [x here x]

We had a snow day and it might snow again on Saturday wow two weekends in a row lol


Snow Day Pictures [x here x]

Oh and if you want to see my tree's and the rest of my decorations :) The Pictures are [x here x]

If you want to know how I make ornaments the blog is [x here x]

We have his, hers and ours tree's LOL. I married Rick almost 3 years ago so some of the stuff we brought into the marriage. He has his Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. I have my old 7 foot tree I used to decorate when I was younger and I begged and fought for (actually I did LOL)

Last year with the Hero's at Home program sponsered by Sears we got to purchase new tree because mine is showing signs of wear finally. Missing about two branches & sheds like mad which isn't good for a baby or our cats.


The one in the living room is my Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Smörgåsbord of ornaments. Old Ornaments, Hand me decorations from all the kids except William (his is coming), We paint balls every year, we also each get a special ornament that represents us that particular year, I am always looking for Army type ornaments and a yellow ribbon, plain balls, fancy balls, some things I got when I had nothing which are going to be paying it forward next year, and white lights with an old angel on top which is going with the ornaments that I am giving away)

 Have a tree the same size in my large loft is a mixture of Santa Ornaments and painted balls etc.

Dscn1330Santatree 09

The Santa tree. 15 feet in the air (I climbed the ladder), The loft is 14 feet long x 4 feet wide. You can see the wreath above the door & the molding. lol

USAtree 09


Then I have a small Charlie brown USA Tree in the small loft.

I have a 1 ft tree with tiny ornaments and lights on it someone sent me when I had nothing and I sent it to Iraq while he was deployed

My daughter has a pink Princess tree in her room.


Don't mind the short curtains. My cat was being naughty when they were all the way down.

bye bye now!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


See my Personality Profile

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Trait 0255075100 Raw Percentage

Openness 75%

Conscientiousness 63%

Extraversion 63%

Agreeableness 75%

Neuroticism 56%

Last updated: 13 December 2009 (Update Now)

Answered 20/336 questions (Answer More) (Answer Comprehensive Test)

Trait Explanations

In order to interpret your raw trait scores, they were compared to the first 350,000 people to complete the full MyPersonality Big Five questionnaire. This allows the way that you described yourself to be put in the context of how other people respond to the questionnaire. You should remember that there are no fundamentally good or bad personalities, as each trait description has potential advantages and disadvantages. To help you reflect on these, you have also been given some questions which ask you to consider the implications of your trait descriptions. Other people viewing your personality profile will not be able to see these.


This trait refers to the extent to which you prefer novelty versus convention. Approximately 58% of respondents have a lower openness raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who is aware of their feelings but doesn't get carried away with their imagination either. You might say that you embrace change when it is necessary while still resisting it when you think it is not, and that beauty is important to you, but it's not everything.

Reflective question: When do you think that tradition is important, and when is it time for change?


This trait refers to the extent to which you prefer an organised, or a flexible, approach in life. Approximately 54% of respondents have a lower conscientiousness raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who is random and fun to be around but that you can plan and persist when life requires it. From your responses it appears that depending on the situation, you can make quick decisions or deliberate for longer if necessary.

Reflective question: How do you go about organising your workload?


This trait refers to the extent to which you enjoy company, and seek excitement and stimulation. Approximately 50% of respondents have a lower extraversion raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who enjoys and actively seeks out social occasions, but would say that they're not everything. You might say that sometimes it is nice to step back for a while and have a quiet night in.

Reflective question: What role do you tend to play in a team? (at work or in social activities)


This trait refers to the way you express your opinions and manage relationships. Approximately 75.8% of respondents have a lower agreeableness raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who people get along with easily. Your responses suggest that you would say you are considerate and friendly, and think that other people are generally honest and decent.

Reflective question: Is your co-operative preference ever taken advantage of by others?

Neuroticism (Emotional stability)

This trait refers to the way you cope with, and respond to, life's demands. Approximately 78.8% of respondents have a lower neuroticism raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who is generally calm. Based on your responses, you come across as someone who can feel emotional or stressed out by some experiences, however your feelings tend to be warranted by the situation.

Reflective question: Which situations make you feel under pressure and which situations do not

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Ornaments Homemade

Every year I buy several boxes of different types of clear ornaments from Hobby Lobby. We paint them together as a family and its fairly simple even the youngest member can do it or at least help.

You need a clear glass ornament box, acrylic paint, and rubbing alcohol.
Rinse the inside of the ornaments with rubbing alcohol. Let dry for at least a day upside down. The opening facing down. I would let dry longer our paint didn't stick real well last year for some reason.

Then your going to take a few different colors of the paint and drip down different colors down the side making sure that they don't really mix unless you want them to. Cover the mouth of the ball with a paper towel. Shake REAL hard and swirl hard as well. Making the paint swirl around the inside of the globe.

Again let dry mouth facing down so the paint can drip out. Clean off the top and replace the cap and hook, once its dry. I may repeat steps if the paint runs again this year. How do you make homemade ornaments? Do you have any traditions?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thoughts of a Dysfunctional Veterans Wife

We saw this on a patch once and we joked whether it meant I was dysfunctional or was he the dysfunctional one. I decided to leave it up to the reader of the patch.

Watching my husband march a few weeks back in the Veterans Day Parade I got a little emotional. Emotional for the pride that I have. I am so so proud of him and Alex too. Both of them are so brave and don't even realize it. Emotional over the times I had to say goodbye as he went to Iraq. Alex going to Afghanistan. Feelings and emotions that an Army Wife can't explain to anyone else. Feelings and emotions she should HAVE to feel. At hte same time I am glad I did. I am thankful for what my love for him has taught me surviving and thriving during his deployment. I learned the true meaning of inner and emotional strength. I learned survival and tough love like no one could ever teach me only I could teach myself.

I had a fabulous time at New Moon with my dear friend and old neighbor Danielle. There was a preview for a movie coming out called Dear John. Again seeing a Soldier deploying and doing what he was taught to do brought me to tears. Duty, Honor, Country... Words I still don't grasp, But I know they are everything to Rick. Sacrafice. If I were to ask you what have you sacraficed this month? Does your answer seem so petty compared to a soldier who says my life for your freedom. I can betcha that alot of Soldiers can say they sacraficed hearing their child's first cries, first words or first steps. I betcha a lot marriages that would have lasted decades broke apart due to a Soldiers Duty. Do we even want to pretend to understand how it feels for them to not comfort us wives and our children during one of the hardest trials of our lives?

I think back on my short time as an Army Wife. I look at Army Wives who've stuck by their husbands through decades of service, 4 or more deployments, countless times where they didn't come home to tuck in their children. Countless times the wives kept watch over their child who is sick in the hospital... alone. Although compared to me I have never had to PCS and move to a different city except this once. I never had to drive days just to get to him. I never gave birth without him by my side. Those are the true Army Wives. The true Military Wives. While the average person complains that her husband can't come home for dinner, or he didn't take out the garbage, or remembered their birthday... at least he was there. I am selfish too... my husband had CQ Duty twice this week and I complained (not too much I knew I had to suck it up, but it sucked none the less) at least my husband came home from his deployment, he came home from Korea the two years before that. He comes home to me every night that he's not pulling duty for the Army. At least he comes home. So many families won't ever have a Holiday with their loved one again. I just missed one Thanksgiving, One Christmas, One birthday... just one. So I try to remember how selfish I am and calm down and just suck it up. I miss him much but he will always come home to me and that should be enough. Shouldn't it?

If you really think about it. The emotions over come you. They do with me and I lived it.

Be Thankful that your husband comes home most nights. If he's gone working be thankful he has a job and is willing to support your family. He works hard and he is always thinking its just not enough. Be thankful this Thanksgiving your husband is there to watch football with his buddies LOUDLY. Some wives would give anything for that sound. Be Thankful you have a wonderful family some of us Military Wives haven't seen our families in years.

Please be sure to remember what you should be Thankful for our freedom to celebrate Thanksgiving a soldier gave us that right. Be thankful for the chaos of Black Friday and be gracious to each other. Pray for our troops serving over seas and their families who are worried about them.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


thought I would share something I wrote about the simple fact that this deployment is almost over...I hope you like it and please leave a comment....


Awaiting in the crowd
I listen to the roar
It’s finally time
Our heroes are home
Watch them march in
Looking for that one face
So many in uniform
To many to find that one single face
Dismissed is yelled
Over the roaring crowd
All hell breaks loose
Like a dam breaking down
A flood of people rush pass
I’m all in tears
Holding hands of the little ones
We’re waiting to alleviate our fears
We watch people hug and kiss
We keep looking for ours
Standing still in the mist of ciaos
We watch as the sea of people part
We first hear the familiar footsteps
Then we look and see
There’s our hero
Our soldier
A husband
A dad
A head long rush into his arms
We’re all crying tears of joy
Our hero is finally home
Home safe and sound
Standing proudly with us
In the mist of other heroes
Who safely made it home

Written by Heather Floyd

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fun Halloween Recipes

Dead Grasshoppers

In a medium saucepan, melt 1-6 ounce package butterscotch chips over low heat, stirring constantly. [To microwave, place pieces in a micro-wave safe dish and cook on medium-low heat for about 1 minute. Stir well. If necessary, continue to heat chips, 20 seconds at a time, until they are melted. Be sure to stir chips each time you heat them.] Remove chips from the heat and stir in 1 cup salted peanuts and 3 cups chow mein noodles. Drop by teaspoons onto waxed paper and cool.
Makes: 30-40 grasshoppers

Hidden Treasures
2/3 cup Golden Crisco Shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
48 Maraschino cherries, well drained

White Dipping Chocolate:
1 cup white melting chocolate, cut in small pieces
2 tbsp Golden Crisco Shortening

Dark Dipping Chocolate:
1 cup semi-sweet Hershey's Chipets
2 tbsp Golden Crisco Shortening
Finely chopped pecans
Shaved white chocolate
2/3 cup Golden Crisco Shortening
Pre Heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Cream Golden Crisco Shortening, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla in large bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Beat into creamed mixture at low speed.
4. Press dough in very thin layer around well-drained cherries. Place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on ungreased baking sheet.
5. Bake at 350° F (180°C) for 10 minutes. Cool one minute on baking sheet. Remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
6. For dipping chocolate, melt chocolate of choice and Golden Crisco Shortening on very low heat or 50% (Medium) power in microwave. Stir until smooth.
7. Transfer chocolate to glass measuring cup. Drop one cookie at a time into chocolate. Use fork to turn. Cover completely with chocolate.* Lift cookie out of chocolate on fork. Allow all excess to drip off. Place on wax paper-lined baking sheet.
8. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of white chocolate cookies. Sprinkle white chocolate on dark chocolate cookies while chocolate is wet.
9. Chill in refrigerator to set chocolate.

Hint: Dip pretzels or potato chips in any leftover melted chocolate for a special treat

Magic Center Cupcakes

Preheat oven to temperature called for on 1-18 1/4 ounce package chocolate cake mix. In a small bowl, combine 8 ounces cream cheese (softened), 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg and a dash of salt. Stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts and 1-6 ounce package chocolate chips. Set aside. Mix cake according to directions on the package. Place paper liners in muffin pan. Fill each liner half full of cake batter. Drop a heaping teaspoons of the cream cheese mixture into each batter-filled cup. Bake according to package directions. Let cupcakes cool to room temperature before frosting. Decorate with candy spiders or worms.

Caterpillar Sandwich

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons parsley, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder. Stir well and set aside. Cut 1 loaf Italian bread into 10 slices without cutting all the way through the loaf. Spread mayonnaise mixture between every other slice. Fold luncheon meat in half and tuck a slice of cheese in between. Insert folded meat and cheese into every other slot that has the mayonnaise mixture in it. Wrap the loaf in foil and bake for 25 minutes. Use thin sliced celery stalks for antenna. Use olive slices with pimento in center on toothpicks for caterpillar eyes. To serve, cut the loaf in slices at the cuts you didn't fill.
Cheese Fingers

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove crusts from 3 slices of white bread and discard crusts. With your hands, break bread into small pieces and drop into a medium bowl. Add 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons milk. Mis well with hands, kneading the bread into the cheese, until dough will hold the shape of a ball. Roll heaping teaspoonfuls of mixture into 15 fingers and arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fingers begin to turn brown.

Goblin Goodies
3/4 cup Golden Crisco Shortening
1-1/4 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp finely-chopped orange rind
1/2 tsp orange extract
3 cups quick oats, uncooked
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup coarsely-chopped walnuts
1 cup orange and brown chocolate-covered candies

1. Heat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease baking sheets with shortening. Place sheets of foil on countertop for cooling cookies.
2. Combine shortening, brown sugar, egg, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Stir in orange rind and extract.
3. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix into creamed mixture at low speed just until blended. Stir in raisins, nuts and chocolate candies.
4. Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls of dough 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake one baking sheet at a time at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to foil to cool completely.
Makes: About 2-1/2 dozen cookies

Candied Apples Halloween 

2 C granulated sugar
2 C corn syrup
1/3C cinnamon candy
1C water
3/4 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp vanilla
1/4 Tsp cloves
3/4 Tsp red food coloring
6-7 Med apples

Remove stems from apples, wash, and pat dry. Insert a wooden skewer
In each apple, running through the apple from stem end to base without
Protruding all the way through the bottom end. Combine sugar, corn
Syrup, cinnamon candies, and water in medium-sized saucepan. Cook
Until candies dissolve, stirring constantly. Be careful not to boil.
Add cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, and food coloring. Mix thoroughly.
Boil mixture to 300 degrees using a candy thermometer without
Stirring. While mixture is boiling, generously prepare a baking sheet
With cooking spray so it's ready ahead of time. As soon as mixture
Reaches 300 degrees, remove it from heat and quickly dip each
Apple-one by one-into the mixture until it is thoroughly coated. Set
Coated apples, standing on their bottoms with skewer pointing up, on
Baking sheet until mixture hardens.
Let apples reach room temperature before eating.
Serving Size: 6

Blackberry Blackheads

1/2 pound Butter -- at room temperature
1 tablespoon Butter -- at room temperature
2/3 cup Sugar
2 Egg whites
4 cups Flour
Blackberry jam -- with seeds
Pastry brush
Cookie sheet
Wire cooling rack
Small Spoon
With an adult's help, preheat oven to 325F.

Beat 1/2 pound butter until creamy., Add sugar, a little at a time, until all the sugar has been used.

Add the egg whites and flour to the butter and sugar.
Beat until the dough is well blended.

Dip a pastry brush into the tablespoon of butter and lightly brush a very thin layer onto the cookie sheet.

With clean hands, roll the dough into golf ball sized balls. Flatten the balls slightly, and using your thumb,
Press a dime size dent into the middle of each
One. Place cookies, dent size up, about 1" apart on cookie sheet. Bake aobut 12 minutes or until
Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack with a spatula. When the cookies are completely cooled, use a small spoon to fill the dent in each one with jam.
Makes: About 3 1/2 dozen blackheads.

Black Cat Cupcakes

1 1/4c Reduced Fat Oreo® cookie crumbs
18 1/4 ozs reduced fat chocolate cake mix
24 pcs Halloween Oreo® cookies
16 ozs reduced fat milk chocolate frosting
Black string licorice
Jelly beans
Semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 24-2 1/2" muffin cups with cooking spray and flour; set aside.
Prepare cake mix according to package directions;
Stir in cookie crumbs.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.
Make cat faces on each of the
Remaining 24 cookies:
Using some frosting, attach 4-1 1/2" licorice strings
For whiskers, 2 jelly bean halves for eyes and 2 chocolate chips for ears.
Let set at least 30 minutes. Frost cupcakes with remaining frosting.
Stand cat faces on edge on each cupcake.
Place 3" piece licorice string on back
Half of each cupcake for tail.
Serving Size: 24
Beef In Costume For Halloween


1 (4 lb.) pumpkin
1 Pound lean ground beef
1 Cup chopped onion
Cooking oil
1/3 Cup chopped red pepper
1/3 Cup chopped green pepper
1 Clove minced garlic
1 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon thyme
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1 (7 1/2 Oz.) pitted ripe olives
1 (8 Oz.) Can tomato sauce
2 beaten eggs

Cut top from pumpkin; scrape out seeds and fibers.
Simmer in salted water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until almost tender. Drain. Brown beef and onion.
Add peppers and garlic.
Cook one minute.
Remove from heat,
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Spoon into pumpkin. Place "lid" on top.
Brush pumpkin with oil.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Cut into edges to serve.
Serving Size : 1

Black Widow Snack Cakes

1 package Devil's food cake mix
Vegetable cooking spray

4 cups Powdered sugar -- sifted
5 tablespoonsMilk -- to 7 tbls
1cup Powdered sugar -- sifted
1/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons Milk
Plastic spiders
Prepare cake as directed on package. Pour into 2, 8" square aluminum foil pans coated with cooking spray;
Bake at 350~ for 30-35 minutes or until tested done.  Cool in pans on wire racks.  Combine 4 cups powdered sugar and 5-7 tbls milk in a Large bowl; spread a thin layer evenly over each cake. Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa and 2 tbls milk; spoon into a small zip-lock bag. Close bag securely and snip a tiny hole in bottom corner of bag. Carefully pipe concentric circles onto each cake. Pipe straight lines at intervals from the inner circle through the outside circle, forming a web design. Garnish with plastic spiders.



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lightening and her reflection


My dear sweet Lightening passed away on Saturday. I only spent a small portion of her life with her, just a quarter. But she had become my cat over any other human in the house and she showed her loyalty and I swear to you she knew how much I loved her so for she was willing to do anything to please.

I am at peace with her passing but I miss her so. She lived a full life and was lucky enough to have more than nine lives. She had grown older gracefully, to a certain point she had calmed down from her rambunctious ways.

People were amazed at how spoiled I had become and how spoiled she was as well. She was the hunter of the family. You heard right she would hunt all the small toys or anything she felt like carrying upstairs to my bedroom door and called to me for acknowledgement. This interesting behavior started when I got pregnant with William. She had taken a liking to beef jerky and Rick's ice cream bowl later in her years. She would know when Rick had ice cream and beg for a taste which she almost always got. Even the Veterinarians okay'd giving her beef jerky if that's what she craved. She would often sit in a chair beside me at our dining room table and wait patiently to be served. She knew she couldn't touch the table if she wanted human food. She gotten spoiled by drinking out of faucets and has a water fountain for a water bowl that both cats like.

But I wanted to share one of the more recent stories about Lightening. When we moved into the new house here. We bought a floor length mirror and it was leaned for a short time up against a wall in the foyer till it could be placed where it belonged. Lightening was quite intrigued by this new thing in her world. YES its HER world. We just live in it! She saw the cat in the mirror silly thing didn't know it was her own reflection. She peeked around the side of the mirror because that mysterious cat in the mirror MUST be behind the mirror. Nope that cat wasn't there. She was confused so she tried looking behind the mirror on the other side. That cat was avoiding being caught! That MUST be it! The hunt for this mysterious reflection continued. Rick and I just chuckled at Lightening's discovery or lack of knowing what her reflection was as if she'd never seen her own reflection before.

On Monday we had Lightening cremated and put into her final resting place in a nice oak box with an engraving and her picture on it. I had rick place her collar on it and when its unpacked Lightening's very own boonie cap that she loved to lay on, on top of the shrunk until she got too sore to jump up that high and even more apprehensive to jump down. Now she can return to enjoy her perch above the living room on her comfy boonie cap. I found myself today reciting Skylar's spelling words today while touching the box in which Lightening's ashes lay. It felt so natural, as if I was touching her.

I believe the best way to memorialize someone is by sharing fond memories and I have been meaning to blog about Lightening's experience with her reflection but a busy kid life has taken its toll on my blogging.

I love Lightening and I am glad she is home again after being away for a few days. She will always be with me.

Pets are Angels walking around without wings...




Country Garden Chicken and Cheesy Grits

I think most publix grocery stores have a little place where they actually show you how to cook and prepare a meal. Its super yummy. I pick up all kinds of recipes from there and I particularly love this one. Even if your not a fan of grits they don't resemble grits and the chicken is too yummy to pass up.

3 tablespoons of canola oil
½ cup of chicken breading mix
1 lb of boneless chicken cutlets
1 tablespoon + 1 cup of water, divided
¼ cup pre diced fresh tomatoes
¼ cup of pre diced red onion
2 teaspoons vegetable seasoning blend
1 (1.32 oz) packet of country gravy mix

1. Place oil in large saute' pan and heat on medium high 2-3 minutes. Place breading mix in shallow bowl. Moisten chicken with 1 tablespoon of water. Coat chicken, one piece at a time, by pressing into breading mix with fingertips; turn and coat other side. (For thicker breading coat twice.) About half of the sodium in the chicken recipe comes from the breading mix. You can reduce the sodium if you choose to only lightly coat the chicken before cooking.

2. Place chicken in a hot oil (wash hands); cook 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, or until crisp and golden. Remove chicken from pan; cover to keep warm.

3. Stir tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and vegetable seasoning, into pan with drippings. Cook on medium high 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent.

4. Stir in gravy mix and gradually add remaining 1 cup water, stirring continually, or until sace is smooth. Reduuce heat to low; cook 2-3 minutes, stiring often, or until thoroughly heated. Serve sauce over chicken.

Cheesy Grits

2½ cups of water
2 cups of instant grits
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Combine all ingredients in microwave safe bowl.
2. Cover and microwave on HIGH 6 minutes stirring once, or until water is absorbed. Serve

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Prayers for Melanie -- update

The Good news although there is still some prayer concerns. The first doctor who performed the surgery said there was no cancer in the lymph nodes! The second doctor said it was late stage 2 cancer and things chemo will be good. She is bleeding from the surgery and had to have a blood tranfusion. That was the update yesterday.

Also from yesterday Melanie did some walking, laughed at a silly TV show, was in pain but it was intermentant. The bleeding was light but she has continued to bleed and is in tremendous pain so say a prayer for the bleeding and pain to stop and that she might be able to avoid Chemo...

The last update from 11 hours ago says she is still bleeding its lighter but hasn't stopped yet and she is still in pain. There are signs her colon is working so Praise God for that! She's not getting much rest due to the flurry of activity of the goings on in a hospital. She's not accepting vistors or phone calls. I sure hope someone is feeding her daughters who stay with her so they can avoid the cost etc of the hospital food.

Blanket training pt 2

By the way I wanted to tell everyone I have ZERO intentions of blanket training my child lol.. It was just a discussion topic. I in no way codone or agree with using a switch or the fear of God in an infant or young child.

Where were you

Post your thoughts on the day. Your "I remember when". Did this impact you directly or indirectly, and how. What did you do then? And what will you do now?

I was living with my sister at the time. I woke up and turned on the TV. Of course it was the first thing I saw was the aftermath of the first plane hitting the WTC. I saw the second plane crash before the anchor did. I do believe it was Peter Jennings or Charlie Gibson. First person I called is my "adopted" mom Helene. She was hysterical and crying watching the poor people jumping out of the building. I watched the buildings fall and news reports coming in about the plane over Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. We were all in shock. I was hurt, violated, ready to fight for my country... I missed my son... I called Adam pleading to see him and Adam refused. My boyfriend also broke up with me that day. I just laid on the floor and cried for that piece of me I didn't think anyone could touch. The world proved us wrong and proved we were vulnerable. The days afterward we became the super power because we bonded together! We should all remember the aftermath and remember that 9/11 -- 8 years later is still claiming lives from cancer due to the Asbestos.

Remember the Victims, Remember the Families, Remember all the countries (not just ours) that was effected, Remember the survivors, Remember how you felt and how your life changed.

*NEVER FORGOTTEN!* Don't forget about the Troops that have been fighting for the past 8 years for the cause!**

Friday, September 11, 2009

Duggars are expecting #19

In a mommy group we were discussing how the Duggar's are expecting their 19th child. I have thought a lot of things about them were honorable... So a bit different than me but this is the first I've heard of them using a practice called Blanket Training. What are your thoughts?
This is what was posted
"Blanket training" has been one of the most helpful tools for me! I only wish that I had heard about it before my 7th child came along!! The sweet lady who explained blanket training to me called it her "playpen in a purse"! This concept involves placing your baby or toddler on his/her favorite blanket, explaining to the best of their understanding that they must stay on their blanket, and then demonstrating the consequences of getting off the blanket with a small rod or switch. Simply switch the floor or carpet all around the outside edges of the blanket and firmly but sweetly say, "No, No! Don't touch!" Give your child few favorite toys to keep his attention, and switch the toys out every little bit, and that child will learn to stay on his blanket for quite a long period of time. Begin with just 3 - 5 minutes with very young children, and after practicing every day for several weeks, he will build up his time to play happily on that blanket until he can stay there for an hour or more! What a joy and a help this was to me when I had the older 6 children in school and needed to spend time with them! The joy of this training is that you can fold that blanket up, put it in the diaper bag, and take it easily to a friend's house, or visiting new church members, and your child will sit quietly without disrupting the visit! One of my pet peeves is when folks come to visit and just "unleash" their children to invade every room of your home! What chaos! This blanket training is easily converted to "church training" when you begin taking your young child into the services. Simply fold the blanket and put it on the pew and your child will already understand the limitations and rules!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Prayers for Melanie

Melanie's week didn't start out a good one. I spoke and saw Melanie on Friday. By Monday she hit hard times. Today she had surgery and things are looking better.

Updates from her daughter. I am so grateful for them.


Posted Sep 6, 2009 11:06pm

Today was not a good day for Mom. She started experiencing pain in her upper left arm and weakness on her left side around 8 am this morning. She didn't tell me about it until about 9:30. We headed to the emergency room at 10:30. Her condition detoriated over the course of the day. She eventually was not able to smile or lift her left arm or leg. The doctors ordered a CT scan and an MRI. The MRI indicated that she was not having an acute stroke. It did find a benign growth on the covering of her brain. They told me it was not causing pressure on her brain.
Eventually, at about 9:30 pm Central Time, they admitted her to the hospital and placed her in a private room on the stroke unit. They will be giving her Heparin as a blood thinner and medication for hypertension because her blood pressure has been elevated.
She is in room --- at ------ Hospital. I'm sure she appreciates all your prayers and well wishes, but please do not visit her unless you call me first. My cell phone number is (---) -------- I am limiting her visitors. She is unable to get up from the bed, so she must use a bedpan to use the bathroom. She is exhausted. I would prefer that she rest and focus on getting better, rather than visiting with folks. I hope you all understand that my main concern is her well-being.


Posted 2 days ago

The neurologist has called in a vascular surgeon for consultation. The vascular surgeon has ordered more tests of her carotid artery. He has stated that he feels that the cancer tumor has caused some of the plaque to break off from the artery, and that caused the incident yesterday - which they are now categorizing as a mild stroke.
The vascular surgeon will review the test results and advise us tomorrow as to whether or not she can have the surgery on her colon, or if she must first have surgery on her carotid artery to remove the plaque. So, we are once again in a holding pattern. Once we receive more information tomorrow, I will add an update to let all of you know if she will have surgery on Wednesday.

Surgery time

Posted 1 day ago

Mom's surgery is scheduled for 8:30 AM Central time at Huntsville Hospital. I have been told that we will be in the 1st floor surgical waiting room.
She will be taken back for preparation at 7 AM. Please do not try to visit her before this time, as she may not be able to see people due to the preparations she must go through this evening.
She does feel the love that everyone is expressing for her. She continues to appreciate all your prayers, good thoughts, and well wishes!


Posted 2 hours ago

The surgery went really well today!!!!
Mom came through the surgery with flying colors and no complications. She is now in a private room and has even been able to eat some soup and jello.
The surgeon believes he has removed all of the cancer tumor. We do not yet know the stage of the cancer. That cannot be determined until the pathology results are received (which should be in 2 or 3 days).
The surgeon removed 1 to 1.5 feet of lower intestine. He was happy about the incision because it was smaller than he expected it to be.
Mom will be on aspirin to help remove the plaque in her arteries. Once she recovers from the surgery, she will also be placed on Plavix.
She is currently resting and on pain medication. I would like to renew my request that she not have any visitors - at least for a few days. Once she is feeling up to seeing people, I will let all of you know!
Thank you so much for your prayers. We really felt God's healing power today, and hope that he continues to bless her as she proceeds with her recovery.

William Update

babywilliamsiggysmaller RDscn0903 RDscn0741 RDscn0747

William had an appointment today.

His first well baby appointment.

He is one month and 6 days old. He weighs 10 lbs even and is 22 inches in length.

He started smiling on September 2, 2009. He's been holding his head up really strong just not as steady yet.

He's been obviously doing pretty good with nursing I guess like all things we just hit rough patches.

A Nurturing Moment Calendar

Monday, September 7, 2009

Please Pray


This is our Therapist, our friend, Melanie.
We have been seeing her for over a year. I always have liked the idea of seeing a therapist or psychologist. I have been going to one off and on most of my life.
I wanted to take on some problems head on before they came out like my concerns for Rick coming home with PTSD, my concerns for James regressing which in some ways he did very much, I also wanted proper treatment and diagnosis for James which again I was right. Over the course of a year she has shown care and special attention and gone out of her way for us many times. James looked forward to going every week as did the rest of us.
    On the way back from Kentucky on Tuesday I got a call from Melanie and she told me the bad news that she had Colon Cancer and she would have to refer us to another therapist. On Friday we met with her and she seemed in good spirits. Her daughter who lives in Florida was there packing her office and taking care of her. James and I were both having a rough week so the news hit all of us pretty hard. Last night Melanie wasn't doing so well and was admitted into the hospital. She's due to have surgery on Wednesday. So if we could all pray or keep in our thoughts that the fine line between faith and science become one and guide the surgeons hands that will be operating and the doctors hands that are treating her. I pray that the doctors have the wisdom to give her full recovery and a long lasting life.
Please send your prayers and thoughts to her family and grand children as well who will be providing caring touch to help her through this time. She is always welcomed back in Huntsville by my family as well as others.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I have a friend and an acquaintance that seem to be your typical "fair weathered friend." They are only around when they choose to be. I don't even hear from the acquaintance but on occasion, I'd say every few months or when she wants to cry and she can't call anyone else. Neither of them have come to my kids parties, the birth of my son or my baby shower. Its always one excuse or another. The acquaintance seems to be all about the drama and calls to whine about something or other or when she needs a sitter for her 9 year old son. I have gotten to the point where I just don't answer her calls. Now I've moved close to her a few streets away and I am afraid she's just going to drop by. After months of not answering her calls and Instant messages etc. You would think she would get the hint but she hasn't. My therapist tells me to just tell her I don't have time for her drama but as bluntly honest as I am I can't bring myself to that point. What do you do when your friend or acquaintance has too much drama or is a fair weathered friend type?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Interview with Skylar

Skylar@ 6½

1. What is something mom always says to you?

2. What makes mom happy?
give me presents and everything I like

3. What makes mom sad?

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
tickle me too much

5. What did your mom like to do as a child?

6. How old is your mom?
I don't know

7. How tall is your mom?
I don't know

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV?

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Go shopping

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
*silly look on her face* I don't know... a star? after a long pause

11. What is your mom really good at?
baby scrapbook stuff

12. What is your mom not very good at?
being a teacher

13. What does your mom do for her job?
work lol

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
I don't know

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
When you play with me and you are happy. And you love me and i love you.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Snow White

17. What do you and your mom do together?
scrapbooking because we both like to scrapbook

18. How are you and your mom the same?
our eyes

19. How are you and your mom different?
we don't do the same things.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
she gives me hugs and kisses

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
he loves you

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Victoria Secrets (ahaha)

Interview one for your kids :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

William's Birth Story and More

My month was jam packed planned filled for the month. Not a lot of time to do nothing. We were house shopping, We were working on Rick's retirement orders, We had to juggle the kids, a possible trip back home, TDY trips to Kentucky every time we breathed. Of course preparing for William. The doctor said my best bet was to lay low and keep cool at 36 weeks Gestational due to Skylar arriving early. So basically I had all my time lines that I had control over to be done by 36 weeks gestation. We ended up being surprised by this new house on the market we literally put an offer on it the day after it was listed. We pushed for his retirement orders to be approved and that all happened within a few weeks. We also had to move all of our stuff. Of course the Army pays for your "Retirement move" but again I couldn't do nearly anything to help out. We closed on the house in 21st of July. We moved James in and some of our own stuff the 22nd and 23rd of July. The packers from Covan started packing us on the 24th of July. I started feeling every night that I might be having contractions I wasn't sure what was going on just sharp pains in my cervix and slight cramping. I had a doctors appointment and he just said basically that we would go ahead with our scheduled C-section that I wanted because I was afraid to go natural due to not having exact records of Skylar's c-section. I really wanted a VBAC but since I did have major complications during Skylar's c-section with her low low apgars, my own scar tissue being a problem. While Covan packed our house on Monday and Tuesday I kept my feet up and just directed traffic sorta speak. On Wednesday I came out to the new house and started working here a bit. Friday was household goods delivery. The pain was still like clock work every night at 9 PM or so it was almost unbearable but I could just breathe through it and rest. By the Weekend it was getting hard for me to hide it from Skylar though.
Sunday at the spur of the moment I was feeling very insecure about leaving Skylar for the first time in years (only other time she was left over night was when she was 6 months old with my adopted mother and biological sister) So I decided it would make ME feel better to know and show James and Rick where everything is in the hospital so they wouldn't have to ask. I know they won't lol. We took a tour of L&D and they explained to James each different step (as well to us) I told him I would give him lots of dollars for vending and he could go down to the cafeteria once my ball got rolling around lunch time to eat lunch with Skylar. I wanted him to feel that I prepared him the best I could.

Monday I went into the hospital to go ahead with the c-section. On August 3rd. They got me started in L&D Triage. My nurse was Amanda and she was pretty cool and off the beaten path which I like in professionals because I know they won't be so professional lol. She made us feel super comfortable. I was having contractions all along but they weren't consistent. They were 5 minutes to 8 minutes apart. I said hey Dr Conrad why not just check me to make sure that I am not in active labor? He said no he didn't want to mess with my cervix and he would tell it to stop lol.. He said we needed to do a Vaginal ByPass. I called him a party pooper. Noon came to quickly. They brought me in the OR where I met the anesthesiologist team. At this point I was very nervous about the Spinal Epidural. The one I had with Skylar didn't work and they ended up having to give me General. I have never taken an Epidural when I wasn't already in pain. I was contracting but it really felt like hard movements from William nothing painful just uncomfortable.I let them prep me and I was getting upset and crying because I was scared of it. They offered to give me General. I said no I had to get a grip and do this because it was best for William. I hyperventilated a bit and they were about to get the OB on the phone when I let them try. I had gotten three local anesthesia shots to numb the area where the Spinal went and they hurt bad but I didn't ever feel the spinal. I felt the C-section over all but it was no pain what so ever. They brought Rick in while I was getting worked on and he watched the whole thing. I kept asking him what he saw and he didn't say much except well your water just broke and wow that's a funny smell LOL ( I guess they burn stuff while they are in there lol) Then my big boy William came into the world and he came out screaming of course. Rick followed him to observation where they would clean him up and they brought him back to me to kiss a couple of times. He weighed 8 lbs 2 ounces and was 18 inches long. His Apgars were 8 and 9. Everything looked good on him. I had too many blood clots and kept passing them. They had to work on me about another 30 minutes. Dr Conrad had to come back and he literally touched me and they stopped lol. I went to recovery for a little while then to my room for the kids to meet their brother who was and is thriving!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mommy Knows Everything! See I told you!

Skylar walks into my door way with her Dora blanket covering the front of her body. She says Mommy I love you. I love you too baby I reply. I said what's wrong? She says nothing. I ask her again. She repeats herself. Then the cat follows her in and cries. So she makes a quick escape (Skylar does) a few minutes later I said Skylar! She comes in again with the same look and the Dora Blanket. I said come give mommy a kiss. I move the blanket and see marker on her clothes. I said Skylar you colored on yourself! She's like yup!. I was like see Mommy knew something was wrong.Mommy's know everything! She says I know that! I said why did you try and hide it then? She says I tried washing it off! I said well hop your butt into the bath lol.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

For those who have a loved one in the Military

In my Mommy Group there was a discussion raised what does freedom mean to you? I had a hard time answering this question actually.
Then a member told me her sister is diligent in thanking service women and men. She asked if Rick gets thanked a lot and how does it make him feel.

So I ask you does your spouse get thanked a lot? Do people say anything to you? How does your husband react to the appreciation?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The newest house we are looking at.

Skylar's room

James room

Small plant ledge


Large plant ledge


Front of the house


Living room

Dining area from the living room

Master Bedroom

Another view of the breakfast room and kitchen