Monday, October 25, 2010

My 100th Post!

It's the 100th Post!

I know you have all just been waiting for this. I kind of wish I was better at HTML and have balloons and confetti to decorate my blog just for this special occasion!

It has been fun keeping this blog up... and I will be continuing. At first this was just the updates to family to keep up on our daily lives since we do not live near them, but over time I have discovered a great blogging community that provides uplifting stories, sympathy, entertainment and support.

So in celebration of my 100th post I am having a giveaway.

Anybody a fan of Vintage Pearl? Their jewelry is lovely! I will be giving away a $35 Gift Certificate to their shop.

To enter, leave a comment as to what you would possibly purchase with the gift certificate. To enter a second time, post on facebook about this giveaway with a link back to my blog ( and then post a comment again telling me that it was posted.

When it comes to Vintage Pearl I personally like THIS, and THIS, and of course THIS too.

Best of luck to you all!

I will be picking a winner in 1 week! Monday, November 1st around 10 a.m.

Friday, October 22, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

I'm planning a giveaway for my 100th Post.
This one makes 99...
Check back soon for your chance to win!

It's that time again! My answers to WifeOfASailor.
If you want to play along, check out her page, answer the questions and then link up on Mr. Linky at the bottom of her post!
This week:
1. Are you a night owl or an early bird?
    • Totally a night owl and I believe I always have been. I am usually up until midnight or 1... cleaning or doing whatever on the computer. It’s really the best time to get stuff done since everybody is in bed. Thankfully right now my kids sleep until 8 so I’m not dragging in the morning. Though I do remember a time when I had to be to work by 4:30 or 5 in the morning but got to bed around 10 or 11 even as late as 1. Was I crazy?
2. What makes you jealous?
    • Hmmm... sometimes I’m jealous of people who have no student loans or got their school paid for. It sucks repaying this stuff back over the years. Also, I hear people taking awesome trips or buying houses and I swear the little green-eyed monster makes an appearance for a bit. I want to buy a house! Maybe at our next base.
3. Have you started Christmas/holiday shopping yet? When will you finish? (There’s only 63 days left!)
    • Nope! I have told family members it’s time to make lists and get them sent out... already working on ours. Once I have Christmas Lists I start shopping (early November) and usually finish about 2 days before Christmas now that we’re living in the U.S. again. Living in Japan was a different story ‘cause presents had to be mailed out around the 1st week of December!
4. What would you have a personal chef make you tonight?
    • Hmmm... some fancy, super yummy pasta dish with garlic bread or even a perfectly seasoned steak with twice baked potatoes. Dessert would be a rich chocolate cake with ice cream.
5. Where was your first kiss?
    • Ahhh... good times. It was in High School with a good friend (who I never did date) backstage during a theatre performance. Then I had to go back and fix my makeup again before going on stage after my costume change! Oddly enough I actually don’t remember the “kiss” part, like what it was like.... is that strange?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A little this, a little that...

This is my 98th post and I'm planning a give-away for my 100th post.
Keep checking back!

It's been a few days so I figured I should write something.

There's a post I really want to write about, but I don't think I'm ready yet. It's pretty controversial and I want to be sure I have all my thoughts in place before posting it... if I ever do get around to posting it. Basically it has to do with THIS and I actually have much to say on the topic.

Anyway, moving on.

Life isn't too crazy right now. I'm still working on Will's Halloween costume (catch that? STILL). Overall it is a very easy pattern but there are several very simple steps that are annoying and repetitive. I'm down to the finishing touches, but they require loud hammering (for the rivets) and finding time to do that when the kids aren't sleeping has been hard to come by. For Alanna's costume I just need to go in the garage and find it in the labeled bins and then find a ribbon and put a bow on it.

In other news, I have nearly finished the kids' bedroom. I put the shelf together and got bins for the toys so everything is in its place. There was a bit or re-arranging but it looks pretty good. Now all I have left is finding some pretty things to put on the walls. I'm thinking of finding (or ordering) the verse from Jeremiah and putting that all the wall... and there's also the idea of getting Alanna's name all pretty and hanging it up... or whatever... I'm really not sure what I'm going to do yet.

Today was Alanna's 6-month checkup. She is over 14 pounds and nearly 26 inches long. She's right around the 50%-75% for everything! Doc said she's doing extremely well, hitting all her milestones.

Did I tell you that my baby is crawling?! She's been doing it for awhile and really is on the go. Will really seems to enjoy his little sister being mobile, at least right now. He still has issues sharing his toys so I know that when she is actually able to steal them he won't be thrilled.

She's already beginning to try pulling up. Yesterday she was trying in her crib but couldn't do it. So I stood her up and she held on to the side of her crib and loved just being there, standing, looking at everything.

Will is continuing his improvement. He still needs prompting in order to try saying words --- spontaneous speech will come later. He is increasing his different syllable sounds, yet it is still only one syllable at a time. He hasn't put two different syllables together yet, at least not really. It's hard to explain, but I can say that we see a marked increase in his speech though it doesn't really sound like much to most people.

What else...

OH! I was cast in the church Christmas play. It's set in 1941 beginning at Thanksgiving and then through December 7. I'm playing "Norma" a leading character. Let's hope I can pull it off. It's not only acting but singing and it's been awhile since I've sung solos. Something I am looking forward to is the costuming! I have 5 costumes though 1 is a robe, but I'll probably make at least 1 costume for myself if not 2. The other's I'll find pieces at Goodwill or St. Vinny's or something like that.

So that's what's happening here. Ryan's been working late nights so I've mostly been busy with the kids and running errands. Ahhh... the life of a stay-at-home mom!

Friday, October 15, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

It's that time again!

My answers to WifeOfASailor.

This week:

1. What are some things on your bucket list? (from New Girl on Post)
    • Travel to Europe for sure. Other than that I’m not completely sure. I’m doing the 101 in 1001 so I’m trying to really accomplish that. When it’s finished I might do it again! You can find the original post about it here but it needs updated now.
2. How long have you been a MilSpouse and where have you been stationed so far? (from Raising Roscoe)
    • About 5 ½ years now. I’ve been military my whole life (previously a Navy Brat and now and AF Wife). Just from marriage we have been in Ellensburg, WA, Yokota Japan and Albuquerque, NM. Growing up I was at Mare Island, CA, San Diego, CA, and Bremerton, WA... that I can remember...
3. What is a list of songs that sums up your life so far? (from Confessions of a Sailor’s Wife)
    • Had a difficult time with this question. Not sure what songs I can identify with my life. “Time of Your Life” by Greenday I think is fitting for a young wife of a military man. Sometimes I feel that “Is There Life Out There” by Reba McIntire is very fitting as well.
4. What is your favorite kind of pizza?
    • I’m boring. I basically just like cheese and pepperoni... almost from anyplace. Though being in NM I’ve discovered Dion’s Pizza and am in LOVE!
5. What are three good things in your life right now?
    • 1.) My beautiful children 2.) making some wonderful friends here and 3.) finding more things in the area that I enjoy. It also helps that fall is my favorite season and there’s a lot to do in preparation and for the holidays!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Daniel Study

(Image from

I am LOVING my Bible Study at the base PWOC on the book of Daniel by Beth Moore. This is actually my first Beth Moore study and I can't wait to do more by her as well because they are just THAT good.

We are now halfway through and I'm amazed at how much there really is in that book of the Bible! I mean, I've read Daniel a number of times (it's not very long) but what I have learned at what has been discovered... oh... it's so rich!

The comparisons to the lives of the Babylonians compared to the lifestyles of luxury today can nail you hard sometimes and makes you really think about where our culture of "all about me" is taking us.

This past week we were in the 6th chapter where the famous story of Daniel in the Lion's Den takes place. Did you realize Daniel was in his 80's when this happened? Can you imagine an 80-year-old man being thrown into a pit full of HUNGRY, (get that? hungry!) lions. If you've ever seen "Ghost and the Darkness" with Michael Douglas & Val Kilmer or read the book the movie was based on "Man Eaters of Tsavo"... imagine those lions, plus more, in the presence of Daniel.

These weren't no kitty-cats!

And Daniel was spared. He trusted in God and the angel shut the mouths of the lions... not a scratch was found on Daniel when he came out.

I don't want to get into everything that goes with this study because there really is just SO much. There's a lot of history as well and Beth does a wonderful job in the video sessions bringing past history of the Bible as well as other sources together with Daniel as well as Revelation (now that we're starting the prophecy and eschatology part of the study). It is exciting.

I'll be honest. I haven't kept up with all my homework, but I'm determined to keep up for the next 6 weeks. It is addicting!

If you haven't done this study yet, look into it. Coming first-hand from me -- it is awesome!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Balloon Fiesta 2010

We have lived in Albuquerque just over a year now. Last year we attempted going to the famous Balloon Fiesta on the final Glodeo night to see the fireworks. It was a complete bust! We sat in traffic over 2 hours and when we finally got to the turn for parking the police had blocked it off because it was full. We did not see the balloons last year.

This year we tried a number of times before we were successful. First we went on Monday... which happened to be a day that the balloons were on a flying competition and not present. That sucked. Then we tried to go on Friday mid-morning and discover that there still are no balloons unless it is early in the morning or in the evening. That was a wash! So we decide to come back that evening for the Glodeo.

I wanted to leave by 5:00 but Ryan didn't get home until after 6:00 from work and then with traffic and barely getting parking we arrived at the Fiesta about quarter after 7 pm. Many of the balloons were already deflated but we got to see a few glowing. As we would get to one they would begin deflating it. Then we walked to another and it would also go down. This continued until we found one that we just stayed next to and sat down to watch the fireworks, which began shortly thereafter.

Both the kids seemed to enjoy the fireworks! And Will even got a glowing sword that he is still in love with.

Then on Sunday morning we got up early enough (5 am) and left 30 minutes later to head back to the Balloon Fiesta for the Mass Ascension. We showed up close to 7 am and were able to see a few balloons already inflated and glowing before sunrise.

We watched a few balloons unload and others air up and they began to take to the air. It was neat to watch and it was interesting... but now that I've seen it, to me it is not worth getting up that early to see it all up close. I thought all the balloons would be inflated and waiting and then slowly let off one by one, but instead they seem to go in waves and some are off and floating while others still aren't unrolled on the ground. Will enjoyed watching them take off and float away while Alanna only seemed interested when the pilots were firing them up ('cause it's loud).

After we watched many of them float away we headed back to the car (still watching them) and drove off to iHop for breakfast. It is cool to see all these majestic balloons flying over the city, so peaceful.
Anyway, we went to the early church service and then home for naps. I'm glad we finally went to the Balloon Fiesta and I think we'll try to actually attend a whole Glodeo next year!

Friday, October 8 - Glodeo

Sunday, October 10 - Mass Ascension

Video of Ballon taking Flight

Friday, October 8, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

*REMINDER* My 100th Post is coming up and I plan to have a giveaway to celebrate. Keep checking back!

My answers to WifeOfASailor

This Week:

1. What is the longest road trip you’ve ever taken?
That would probably be when I was maybe 2 and my parents took a LONG trip with us kids down to the Grand Canyon and stuff. I don’t remember it. So I guess the trip I do remember was this year and it was driving from New Mexico to Washington and then back down to New Mexico through California and Arizona. 2 days to WA and 3 days back to NM.

2. Do you collect anything? Tell us a bit about it.
A number of things. I love dolphins and have a large collection of dolphin stuff, but I’m not totally into that anymore. I have my old porcelain dolls from growing up. I also enjoy getting magnets or key chains from places that I visit. Recently I have been collecting sewing supplies and fabric. It is something I enjoy doing when I have the time and wish I could do it more often -- and that fabric was cheaper!

3. What is your favorite part about being an adult?)
I really don’t know! Perhaps making my own life, my own schedule and deciding what I want to do when I want to do it (within reason). Then again, you are responsible for your own choices.

4. What song brings a tear to your eye?
“Audry’s Song” by Selah also known by “I Will Carry You”. OMG! If you haven’t heard (or read) the story about Audrey Caroline by Angie Smith you should go on over to her
blog and start from the beginning. Her husband is one of the singers in Selah and they wrote a song about Audrey and it just brings me to tears. YouTube video here:

5. Describe your first plane ride (how old you were, where you were heading, etc).
I was a baby, not even a year old. My parents to a MAC (now AMC) flight up to Alaska to visit family. Again, I don’t remember it. The first plane ride I do remember is when I was about 12 and we flew commercial up to Alaska for a cousin’s wedding and Uncle/Aunt 25th Wedding Anniversary. My family usually drove everywhere we went to plane travel was uncommon for us.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sweet Chili

*QUICK NOTE* Stayed tuned. I'm coming up on my 100th post and there may be a give-away to celebrate!

I am not a fan of hot and spicy food. Not to say I never will, but for now, I like things mild.

While in Japan, my wonderful English friend, Jayne, introduced me to a number of recipes I'm trying to steal from her. Recently I got her Sweet Chili recipe and made it for dinner last night.

LOVE IT! I actually served it on some waaay tough ciabatta bread but I decided I like it better on white rice. Either way, it still tastes yummy! And it makes a good amount to fully feed a family or at least give a small household plenty of leftovers.

  • 1 onion
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. yellow mustard
  • 2-3 cups tomato juice
  • 1 can kidney beans rinsed

Sautee onion in oil

add ground beef and cook until brown

Add chili powder, brown sugar and yellow mustard - stir well. Simmer for 1 minute.

Add tomato juice and rinsed kidney beans. Bring to a boil and simmer until cooked through.

Serve with rice, crusty bread or tortillas and cheese!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bad Planning

After a long few weeks at work (you know, end of the fiscal year), my husband took Monday off.

We decided we would go to the Balloon Fiesta since we didn't go last year and really want to experience it. We get up and everybody ready, load up the van and head on over. When we pulled into PARKING we figured we must be wrong about something because there weren't many cars and there was nobody to collect our money... so we asked a ticket attendant. No parking fees today.

And you want to know WHY?

There were NO BALLOONS that day. All of them were off on a flying competition so it was free parking, but you could still pay to get inside the park and check out concessions and shop around and stuff. We decided to leave and come back later in the week.

Ug, that was a little disheartening.

So we headed on over to UNM and see if we could purchase our Broadway Season Tickets at the ticket booth.

They were closed!

So we just looked around in the bookstore and I was tempted to buy Alanna a little LOBOs cheerleader outfit because she doesn't have any college wear. William had something from Fresno State and University of Oregon when he was a baby. I know, Alanna could wear the same ones, but it's different. LOL

From there we headed over to Costco to purchase some Memberships and then shop a bit. We didn't really need anything but it was good to walk around... though the store seems smaller than the one in Silverdale.

And then we were back in time for lunch.

With some of the extra time sice hubby stayed home all weekend I've been decorating our house exterior for Halloween. So fun! Will is loving it!

My brother and I used to love decorating for Halloween when we were younger and even made a scarecrow every year. We used to have a family of Jehovah's Witnesses next door and their little kids would tell us we were going to Hell. LOL. We don't take that evil spirituality seriously... in fact my decorations are "happy" looking and I was never allowed to dress as anything evil (c'mon I was a hobo, clown, big bird, ballarina, army person, fish, panda bear) and my kids won't be anything evil either.

To me Halloween is a time to put on fun costumes and make-up then go around the neighborhood and get free candy. That's all!

What was your favorite Halloween costume as a little kid?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What have your kids been learning?

A brother and sister dynamic.
Alanna eating rice cereal for the first time.

Trying to shave with Daddy's razor

Playing with and grabbing lots of toys

Eating baby hands

Preparing to Crawl (and how she got rugburn on the back of her head!)

Will learning to feed his baby sister

Trying to crawl

Getting around

Friday, October 1, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

My answers to WifeOfASailor.

This Week:

1. What is the silliest get-up you have ever worn outside of a Halloween party? (from To The Nth)
Hmmm... I’m guessing theatre costumes are out as well. Well, there was a time I wore a vest my aunt gave me that she wore in the 60’s. It is suede/leather with LONG fringe on it. My gay friends loved it, but not everybody was a fan.

2. What is something that you gave up in order to live the military lifestyle? (from Pennies from Heaven)
My College and Degree. Since I was still in school and my husband got orders to go overseas I was unable to complete the degree I really wanted at a college I loved. I did get a different degree from a great online college, but I still miss the whole brick & mortar college experience.

3. If money wasn’t a factor and you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why? (from Life and Times of a Displaced Jersey Girl)
I’ve always been a fan of traveling. I really want to tour around the world and visit every country. Without that, I’d love to see the 7 Wonders of the World. Or at least just go to Europe... and probably back to Australia.

4. If you were going to join the military, what branch would you join? Or which MOS/rating would you choose? (from And You Never Did Think)
Easy question! I’d be in the Air Force. I was already headed that route by doing ROTC in college which is actually where I met my husband.

5. What is your favorite thing to make for dinner? (from Armendinger Party of 4)
Always enjoy spaghetti. It’s easy, filling and yummy. Other than that I like my crunchy parmesan chicken or crock pot roast.