Sunday, January 31, 2010

Goodbye January!

I was happy to see this month come, and I am equally happy to see it go.  One month closer.

I am posting a link at the bottom of this blog for January.  If you're on Facebook you probably already saw most of these photos, but if not you can see the rest of them down at the bottom of the page.

Jesse is doing well, nothing new on his front.  He's just trucking along.

I've been busy working and doing stuff for my birthday this weekend.  It's been fun!  Yesterday we went to Duke's Chowder House down on the Tacoma waterfront, came home, opened gifts, and had cake with ice cream.  I rounded the night out by talking to Jesse and that was about it.

I agreed to be involved in a "Mock Dining In" taking place on post.  I think that it should be both fun and interesting, I will try and take pictures to give everyone an idea of things that take place.  I have been to a "dining out" so I'm not completely sure what goes into a dining in....Especially with my husband not being around much to be able to answer a lot of those types of questions.  He is encouraging though, wanting me to do all that I can to be involved.

Wow I miss that boy.

Have a great week everyone!

January 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • This recipe is GOOD.  Don't make them if you're on a diet because you will eat them ALL!

  • Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (6 ounce) package almond brickle chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Mix sugars, margarine and shortening until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and brickle chips.
  3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Make 9-10 minutes until lightly brown.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


So today I got up, failing to get up in enough time to both talk to the husband and help take the dog out.  Oh well, the day goes on.... I managed to get myself in gear, going out and mailing Jesse a package and a letter.  I'm still trying to keep a good rotation so that he gets something once a week or so.

I do feel like I'm at a point where I want my husband to come home already.  Now, this comes and goes, and I'm sure it will go away soon.  But, it's tough...  The easiest thing to do is obviously keep yourself busy.  For those who will be going through a deployment in the near future that is truly the best advice.

Anyway, I finally made it out to the house today.  I ran into our neighbor and her mother-in-law.  Her husband is also gone, but a little bit more recently.  I worked on a lot of dishes, set up the cat box for Spuz, and put a LOT of dishes away.  Kitchens seem to be the worst...  So much little stuff to go through and put away.  Thank goodness we have more storage space than we did in Georgia!  It makes it soooooo much easier.

Anyway, there isn't much to say about today other than that.  Tomorrow in the AM I'm going to meet the brigade HHC FRG leader to get my Afghan blanket.  SO excited!!  That will likely be on the blog tomorrow.

Have a great weekend everyone -- sometime here I will post more photos of January.

By the way, my teeth still hurt from my fillings the other day.  Dangit! :(

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

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Birthday "cake" for today.

Yes today is my birthday.  I am 26 today.  If I ever think I'm getting old....I'll just remember that Jesse turns 28 this year.  Yep, that makes me feel better.

Other than that, I had a great start to today.  I got to talk to my husband for a while, and got a delivery of flowers for my birthday:  A combination of tulips and irises.  I will take a photo of that when the buds open up a little more.

I decided to do some shopping, getting a few things to make for Jesse to send for Valentine's Day.  I went to Fred Meyer, Hallmark, and a brief stop by the mall.  I came home, ate, and then headed out to a briefing on post.  We got some great information again, which always makes me feel better.  We have another one in early February which also should be great to go to.

This may sound strange -- but I'm sort of excited for Valentine's Day.  Wierd?  I am looking forward to a day of pampering in Olympia with Kristen, a friend from Georgia.  It is for spouses/girlfriends/fiances of service members.  The events include a fashion show, spa treatments, make-overs, food, and gift bags.  There is free childcare too.  It's going to be fun!

I am going to stay up just a little while longer to see if I hear from my hubby.  Then, going to bed.  Tomorrow I'm going to the park with my dad, sending off a care package to Jesse (um, with some AMAZING cookies, stay tuned for that recipe!!!), and to do some stuff with the house.

I will update more tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Much Needed Update

Alrighty.... I have been a smidge behind on updates, I'm sorry!

I've been a bit busy lately.... Just doing things here and there.  I've been working a bit, with Valentine's day coming up and all.  This week I'm going to focus more on getting into that house -- for good.  Yes, I know what you're thinking.  I'm still not in the house?  I know, I know....

Mainly I wanted to update on Jesse.  He has been a busy kid!  Our conversations are getting shorter and shorter it seems.... He doesn't get a lot of down time.  They did come across a car accident late last week, which happened in front of their convoy (not involving them).  It was one car and one man died, a civilian and native to the country.  That was difficult, but Jesse's platoon did very well in handling the situation.  The medic that was with their convoy did an amazing job and made sure that everyone was well taken care of.

Jesse still has had time to spend some time with a buddy of his, he has also been working out, ruck marching, and stuff like that.  They also did some training in which Jesse had a tube stuck into his nose.  Nothing was wrong, it was just training!  I will get more photos up soon.

It's still early on in my day, I'm thinking that I'm going to make some cookies and send off a package for my hubby tomorrow!  I am still very excited about leave.... I have to say this (everyone is going to think I'm a total dork):  I am going to make heart shaped pancakes that are pink for the morning after he gets home.  So excited!!

Thanks to all who have sent me birthday wishes!!  Thanks for thinking of me :)

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't Listen to This Song if....

Your spouse is deployed.  This could go also for girlfriends/fiances/boyfriends, etc., or when your significant other is in a training situation or similar for some length of time.

If You're Not the One
By Daniel Bedingfield

If you're not the one then why does my soul feel glad today?
If you're not the one then why does my hand fit yours this way?
If you are not mine then why does your heart return my call?
If you are not mine would I have the strength to stand at all?

I never know what the future brings
But I know you're here with me now
We'll make it through
And I hope you are the one I share my life with

I don't wanna run away but I can't take it, I don't understand
If I'm not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am?
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?

If I don't need you then why am I crying on my bed?
If I don't need you then why does your name resound in my head?
If you're not for me then why does this distance maim my life?
If you're not for me then why do I dream of you as my wife?

I don't know why you're so far away
But I know that this much is true
We'll make it through
And I hope you are the one I share my life with
And I wish that you could be the one I die with
And I'm praying you're the one I build my home with
I hope I love you all my life

I don't wanna run away but I can't take it, I don't understand
If I'm not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?

'Cause I miss you, body and soul so strong that it takes my breath away
And I breathe you into my heart and pray for the strength to stand today
'Cause I love you, whether it's wrong or right
And though I can't be with you tonight
You know my heart is by your side

I don’t wanna run away but I can’t take it, I don’t understand
If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am
Is there any way that I can stay in your arms?

So here I am trying to cheer myself up and I listen to this song!  *sigh*
Off to find something else to


My parents discovered this today in their backyard.
My dad's reaction was that the bird makes a "cool pattern."
Then he told me how he realized Stryker had been chasing a bird out of the back yard every time he went outside.  He realized then that it was the woodpecker.
My dog is such a good bird dog!
Enjoy the photo!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Couch to 5K

In recent months, Jesse and I have discussed running a 3K or 5K.  Now of course, Jesse could probably run a 5K like it was nothing (keep in mind he could run 5 miles in less that 40 minutes).  Me on the other hand was well on the way of running a couple of miles while in Georgia, but things have sort of gotten me off track.

I heard through another blog I was reading about a "Couch to 5K" program.  Now googling "Couch to 5K" you get lots of results, so if you're interested google it.  Basically they help anyone who has no fitness level whatsoever, and have developed a plan to get on the track to be able to run a 5K in nine weeks.

You can visit this link to find out more information about their week to week running plans.

Just a little somethin' I am thinking about.  We have some great areas to run close to the new place!

Jesse, please don't get too many crazy ideas if you read this! ;)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

So today we had this dish for dinner tonight, and thought I would share.  It wasn't too shabby!  Makes 4 servings of 420 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 610 mg sodium per serving.

Herb Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Chicken (4 lb)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 Large russet potato, sliced into 1/8" rounds
  • 2 Onions, quartered
  • 4 large carrots, cut into large chunks
How to Make it:
  1. Preheat the oven to 450*F.  Mix the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, and half of the olive oil.
  2. Working on the chicken, gently separate the skin from the flesh at the bottom of the breast and spoon in half of the rosemary mixture; use your hands to spread it around as thoroughly as possible.  Spread the remaining half over the top of the chicken and then season with plenty of salt and pepper.
  3. Mix the potato, onions, carrots, remaining olive oil, and a good pinch of salt and pepper.  Arrange the vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan and place the chicken on top, breast side up.  Roast for 20-30 minutes, until skin is lightly browned
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350*F and roast for another 30 minutes or so.  The chicken is done with the juices between the breast and leg run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted deep into the thigh reads 155*F.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.  Serve with the vegetables.
We had this along with salad and some dinner bread :)

If you try it, let me know what you think!

Happy Thursday!

PS - This is another recipe from the Cook This, Not That Cookbook. I love this cookbook!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Long Beach, Ocean Park, and Illwaco Washington
Summer 2009

(click on photo to see larger)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

For the Love of Animals

Stryker at the beach in Panama City

One thing I love the most: animals.  Even though I know I talk a lot about our animals, I love animals regardless.

One news story I saw on TV the other day was both amazing and broke my heart.  This woman has a goat rescue a bit further north here in Washington State.  They were "recycling" Christmas trees by giving them to the goats at this shelter.  The news thought it was a great story, and put it on television.  With awareness of this shelter well known across the state and the US, people started dropping off goats left and right, and by the truckload.  This woman, with the income of a teacher, is taking care of many of these animals who have been left behind.

Another story I saw on a local program, Evening Magazine, covered a shelter in Idaho who rescues birds.  This shelter rescued a bald eagle, who was shot, most of it's beak came clear off.  People found the eagle, and feared the worst for its survival.  Without a beak she is not able to prune himself, sufficiently hunt for food, or even drink water.  A mechanical engineer heard of this eagle, and decided to help.  With him they created a bionic beak.  An amazing story!

The third story I have heard of recently is one of a dog from here in Puyallup.  A man was caught at a WalMart stealing women's underwear.  Yes, a bizarre story, but an employee from WalMart chased the shoplifter, and was stabbed.  The shoplifter then ran into a police officer and his German Shepherd.  The shoplifter then stabbed the dog twice.  The dog is currently recovering from his injuries.

I encourage each of you to read and watch these stories (by clicking on the links provided) and if you feel in your heart, to give to them.  It's hard to hear of what humans can do to these animals, when they are either innocent or here to protect and serve.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pretty Kitty

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Today Spuz has been unbelievably clingy to me.  Maybe he's cold, maybe he misses Jesse, maybe now he loves me (it was debatable before).  Either way he keeps coming into my room, looking at himself in the mirror, getting attention, getting the occasional nap in, among other more strange things.  Regardless, the little bugger is growing on me more than he used to.  He often times rebelled when Jesse was gone.  Jesse would go into the field for however long and Spuz would wait for me to lay down in bed and then wait calculatedly to attack me.  I would have these little pep talks with him (yes, I am serious) telling him how it wasn't my fault dad went away, that it was the Army's fault and he would be back.  I do think that this worked for some length of time.

Enough cat talk....  My day went by quickly, I had a lot to do at work today.  I've been relaxing since I got home.  Dad has off tomorrow, so he'll probably help me out with more stuff tomorrow.

I want to start taking more photos.....I will try and post some here soon.  I think I have eight of them in my January album on Facebook.  This month has been decently uneventful, I don't know if that's good our bad.  Regardless I'll try and take photos of something!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

End of the Weekend

Remember how earlier on in the week I said I wish time would pass quicker?  I felt like this morning my day was put on fast forward.  Maybe it's because I was busy doing things, maybe not.  But here we are, at the end of the day, Sunday January 17th.  So besides the fact that in 10 days it's my birthday, we have officially passed the halfway point in the month.  I am already starting to think of February....  But that's not new news.

Today I woke up at 8, spoke to my husband some time later, and then Stryker and I decided we were going to venture out to find the dog park on Ft. Lewis.  Found it!  So happy about that, yet still frustrating no one knows directions on how to get anywhere on post.  And that goes for any post.  Even people who work there.  I swear.

Stryker met about five new dogs, played "fetch" with his frisbee (he fetched it but bringing it back is the hard part), and sniffed everything possible.  I seriously believe dogs can easily get worn out just for the fact that they smell everything!

We headed back home, I had lunch, Stryker slept, and I attempted to make sure the surround sound worked (but no dice), and continued to unpack boxes.  We left in enough time to get home by dark.

Tomorrow I work, I have lots to do on my days off this week.... Hopefully my house starts looking more normal soon.  Now it just looks like a tornado hit it!

Have a great week,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The First Night

There are so many firsts....  And this is the first night I'm sleeping in the new place!  So many people say "you're going to be alone??" and I say, "I am not alone, I have my dog."  Such an amazing guard dog he his.  He hears the neighbors making noise and gets all strange about it.  Not to mention an 100 pound dog is enough to scare the socks off enough people.  Trust me, been there done that.   There was this guy who got trash once a week from the Ft. Benning dog park and would see Stryker.  He wouldn't come in unless I had ahold if him.  And you're supposed to have good mannered dogs at the dog park, let alone on post or in housing.  My dog is well mannered.  But he'll let me know if some neighbor of mine is dangling their arms over the fence and into our yard.  That yard is his yard, no one else's!  I find it adorable.

Anywho, we got a lot accomplished today.  My father helped us hang some things on the walls, my mom drank wine and tried to help do a lot of different things.  I am considering getting new dishes, but I'm not 100% on that yet.  I am debating getting something like Corelle, which you can microwave, put in the dishwasher, and practically throw without a scratch.  That would last our next ten moves!

Other than that I have talked to Jesse who is having an amazing time getting free stuff from supply.  Don't worry, all legit, and he's hooking up all of his soldier's with it too.  Speaking of stuff for Jesse, I found a stash of Power Bars and a variety of candy that Jesse bought but never really ate.  Guess what you're getting in your next care package Jesse!

Other than that it's the same ol' stuff.  I am going to go now so I can make my bed to sleep in.  I was SO happy to find our comforter today!

PS - it'll be even nicer when I can say it's OUR first night sleeping in our new place... :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Crystal Giraffe

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Look what I got from my husband today!
It has rhinestones on it so it's pretty!

For you who have e-mailed me regarding Jesse's leave date I will get back to you tomorrow!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We Have a Leave Date!

We have a leave date!  So Jesse IS getting leave and he knows WHEN!  So exciting :)  Feel free to email me or contact me and I will be able to let you know!

Today was an interesting morning, my father's car wouldn't start so he woke everyone up in the process of trying to start his car (which didn't work) then take my mom's car.  I had to move my car at six AM to let him pull out of the driveway.

Our other car, the Civic, hasn't been running since Jesse left.  Finally dad was motivated to fix the car (just in case) so we had the battery tested and found out we needed a new one.  Long story short, we got the car fixed.  I'm going to try and drive it once a week to make sure we don't have an issue again.

The CRV needs to have a visit to the dealership.  I have that headlight out and my dad decided he didn't want to try and fix it.  Soooooo it's getting a check up.  Maybe they can wash it too? :-D

Other than that I ran out to pick up some things for Jesse's care package...  I got an awesome Valentine's Day gift for him... Then I turned around and saw Stryker carrying it around in his mouth!  It's fine (Stryker often doesn't tear things up) but gave me quite the scare, haha.

I work tomorrow but Saturday Comcast is going to come by and give me my internet (YAY) and I'm going to sucker my parents into coming over for dinner and to help me fix everything else.  Well, not really suckering but I want it done so I'm sure they'll help.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our Boys

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Stryker and Spuz are sooooooooo cute!

So, a couple of things I would like to share today.  I found this article earlier on SpouseBuzz that I think is a good read for both MilSpouses and Civilians.  I think she gets the feelings out pretty well about deployments.

Second, I found this article in the Tacoma News Tribune that mention's Jesse's Battalion and the last fatality they had on Christmas Day.  They mention Lt. Col. French, who Jesse worked with some time after her got to the middle east.  Also, KOMO has this article covering the same fallen soldier at Ft. Lewis.  Cpt. Schuab is mentioned in this article, he a part of the command here at home.  I just thought you might be interested in some perspective of the people that Jesse and I come in contact with often.

Other than that I worked all day, got to come home about forty-five minutes early, and am relaxing now.  Tomorrow's a busy day, I know I have talked about it a lot already in previous blogs.  I have to get up early in the AM, so hopefully I hear from the husband before I hit the hay.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Almost halfway through....

January that is!  I have realized today I have pretty much thrown my "letter a day" thing out the window.... Go figure.  I will probably write him Thursday when I have off next.  Which reminds me -- I need to send Jesse another care package.  Crap.  Where is my time?  This one is going to have better goodies in it.... Likely a cookie of some sort.  Lucky guy!

Speaking of cookies I'm starting to slide back into a sweet food eating thing.  I wasn't bad during Christmas, but now I'm having issues.  I was thinking of getting back into spin class again since my work schedule is winding down a little bit and I am trying to live in the house this weekend.  I really feel like I need to hop on the bike after eating several turtle candies at work today.  Whoops.

So tomorrow I work and I have to call our bank to make sure they got our POA (Power of Attorney) that I faxed yesterday.  I have to fiddle around with the money, and since my name isn't on everything (and these are the reasons why I feel like I should be) I have to hassle with the POA.  I hate calling 1-800 numbers, pressing a zillion buttons, finally getting routed to a "customer service specialist" who tells me "sorry, can't tell you that."  AWESOME.  Here, let me have my husband call you from his DEPLOYMENT.  Those are the issues I go through.

Other than that I have to make a phone call to our housing office to make sure I know where to go to some Fire Saftey Briefing (yeah I was supposed to do that last month).  Thursday I have to go by the housing office to make sure that they have Jesse's LES (don't know what it means but it's basically his pay stub).  Kills me how they know he's promoted... Because they're taking his money of course.... But they can't change the rank on our house because they don't have his promotion orders.  Mmmmk!

Ah, the Army.

I have lots more to do, but I won't drag it all out right now.  That's not very fun to read!

I talked to Jesse today, and spent about a half hour telling him stories from work.  We have a lot of crazy and funny stories that we tell... Good times.  Jesse thought it was pretty humorous too, he laughed a lot.  He has been doing a lot of paperwork (oh, the life of an officer), but has also been doing a lot of leadership.  One of the guys in his platoon recently left for his leave, for his wife just had a baby.  Jesse tries his best to make sure his guys get taken care of -- and wants to make sure that I do what I do best -- to send a card.  Haha.  He's pretty cute sometimes.

That is all from me for now -- HOPEFULLY I will have photos to post soon.  If not, you will see birthday photos at the end of the month, because there will be those.  I might just share photos of my birthday-slash-Valentine's Day gift.  Let's just say it's one carat :)

Have a good rest-o'-the week!  Halfway through!

I couldn't help it!

Yeah, I changed the layout again.  Sue me.

Recently I have realized that there's going to be roughly six months until my husband is HOME.  It's really quite a strange thing... I feel like my next six months are going to be planned for me.  This month I work a decent amount, I am going to do my best to get the house situated, and then my birthday rounds out the month.  February is Valentine's Day, work will pick up around that time period.  I'm thinking my house will still not be 100% by this time.  Yes, I will try and get stuff done by the end of January... I'm not trying to discredit that fact.  March or April Jesse should be home on leave, and we spring forward.  I will probably start thinking about what to plant for spring/summer.  May I'll probably we working a lot, June my friend Ashley is thinking about coming to visit from Ohio, and sometime after that within the June/July range my husband should REALLY be home.  It is still a ways off.... But it's crazy to think of all those facts together. YES!

I worked today, not getting everything done that I would have liked in the morning hours.  I made a lot of phone calls and such, making some progress.  Tomorrow I work a mid shift; working a mid shift sort of takes up most of the day, but oh well.  I feel like I might need something to take up most of my day.

Jesse is still doing well.... Again, my conversations aren't long with him.  He's hoping to know a leave date soon still.

I haven't taken many photos this month, but I hope to take more soon.  If anything interesting comes up I will post them here.

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Update

I realized today I didn't update the blog yesterday.  I can't believe how much time got away from me!

I almost missed talking to Jesse yesterday in the morning.  He was a busy boy and couldn't talk for long - and I had my errands to run also.  I mailed Jesse's other care package and letters, and tried to get a money order from the bank, which I couldn't do (another reason why I hate Chase).  So I headed back home, got my dad, and we went to the hardware store on the way to the house.  We bought a couple of things we needed (including a new cord to the dryer) when dad realized he didn't bring drill bits to drill into our bookshelf (apparently the holes weren't deep enough).  So, we came back to my parents house, picked up what we needed (and then some) and went to the house.

We made progress - getting some projects done.  I think one of Jesse's dressers is toast - it's not fitting together since the last move.  I think if we get it together to use here, we won't be able to bring it to our next duty station because it simply won't hold up.  So we'll see how the rest of that progresses.

I did find most of my stuff for the TV along with our DVDs.  I unpacked three decent sized boxes because they were all full of pillows and blankets.  So they were pretty easy to unpack.  We still have a few things to do and a few things to buy... But as I'm sure I have mentioned we are getting internet next weekend so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to live there just fine after that!

Jesse is doing well, but like I said before he's been pretty busy.  I work a bit more this week (I'm sure I've said that already) but I don't work much the two following weeks.  One of the girls at work who is from the Philippines and is going to go visit home for a month in May.  I can't say that I'm going to mind the extra hours that month - by that time I'm sure I'll be preoccupied with thinking about Jesse coming home... And I'm sure as I get thinking about that time won't pass quick enough.  Granted I will still have quite a bit of time, but whatever.  I always think ahead!  I also have to say I'm grateful we're almost halfway through this month!  Time is passing nicely thus far.

Anyway, I was up late last night (went to my friend Kristen's house which was fun!) and was up very early this morning.  I'm going to go and veg out!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Letter a Day, Hoosier Bars, and MORE

So I think I decided that I'm going to try and write Jesse a letter a day.  Now, I know that I may have said this before, but I think I am going to.  The mail isn't very quick getting over there, but I think that is my new goal.  Maybe we can call that my New Year's Resolution?  I don't know... I told Jesse I didn't have a New Year's Resolution, that I had enough to worry about.  He didn't really like that answer!

So, going back a couple of days, Wednesday was my day off.  I went and met a friend, Kristen, who's husband went through the same training as Jesse did at Ft. Benning.  They got up here almost two months after Jesse and I, so he left about two months after Jesse (he too is in 5th Brigade).  Her and I weren't close at Ft. Benning, but since I have lived here all of my life (or most of it at least) I offered to help them if the needed anything.  It will be good to have someone close by that is going through much of the same things as me!  She and I went to Marshall's and to Panera for lunch.  We talked for a long time, and we had a good time.  I also mailed Jesse his first care package in a little over a week.  I know that Jesse likes mail so I send something to him as often as I can.

Yesterday I ran some errands, made a few phone calls, and went out to the house.  I made progress at the house, I opened 3-4 boxes, which is good.  I haven't found our sheets or our bedding as of yet, but am finding a lot of bedroom stuff.  I also found all of our silverware, plates, glasses, and mugs, so that is progress!

After all of that I went to a downrange update, and I'm glad to hear that the guys are doing good things over there!  The Battalion Commander and Sergeant  Major are going to be taking leave in the near future, and both of them will be speaking to the spouses on how everything is going over there.  Overall, it was a positive meeting, and informative.  Most of the stuff they covered was 2-1 oriented, keep in mind Jesse is "detached" from 2-1 and much of them aren't in the same area as him.  But again, things are good and they are making progress over there.

Today I went out and got Stryker's stitches taken out!  He seems happy they are gone.  He really liked the veterinarian there, LOVED that he was giving him treats.  It was very funny.  He did well getting the stitches and is going to have to take antibiotics for another week to be sure that he has rid of his infection.  In total we were at the vet maybe 20 minutes, so basically in and out.  I went out to Michael's to visit my mom at work.  They already have spring flowers, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day.  They also have a bunch of their spring candles, candleholders, etc., out so it was tempting not to walk out with everything in my cart!  I did buy some Valentine's Day stuff for Jesse along with a couple of St. Patrick's Day things....  I'm getting excited to send him the stuff!  Which brings me to my next topic.....

Hoosier Bars!  I think I'm going to make an entire batch to send to Jesse (maybe for Valentine's Day).  I know when I say that name that people give me the strangest look... But they are good.  Chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, and meringue bar cookies.  Basically Jesse really likes them and I'm pretty fond of them myself.  So, I wanted to share it with you.

Hoosier Peanut Bars
Preheat Oven to 325*

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. chopped salted peanuts
In large mixer bowl combine all ingrediens for crust.  Blend with mixer until particles are find.  Press in a greased 13x9-inch pan.

To prepare topping beat egg whites in small mixer bowl until soft mounds form.  Add brown sugar gradually and continue beating until meringue stands in stiff peaks.  Fold in chocolate pieces and 1/2 c. peanuts.  Spread over crumb crust and sprinkle with remaining peanuts.

Bake at 325* for 40 to 45 minutes.  While warm, cut into bars.

Makes 36 bars.

Please let me know how you like them if you try them!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Eat This, Not That

So I didn't have a real eventful day today, I'm tired, and the weather sucks.  So, notta lot positive on this front as of now.  No new news from the hubs, either.

I do think that I want to share with my readers my love for Eat This, Not that books.  I think by now they have about five books out, and if you haven't checked them out, do it.  It will AMAZE you the calories that are in a LOT of items you get at fast food and sit-down joints.  They give a lot of advice on how to make more educated choices with fewer calories, fat, and sodium - especially if you don't want to stop eating out and want to lose weight.  Each book is different, focusing on different areas, some mostly on fast food, others on what you should choose at the supermarket, and even what to make at home.  I think one thing that I love most about these books is all of the random facts they give you and the great nutritional value for herbs, fruits, veggies, and the like.  For instance:

  • People who eat more than two servings of vegetables a day have 40% slower rate of cognitive decline than those who eat one serving or less.
  • Cut 90 calories from your daily diet and you'll be 10 lbs lighter one year from today.
  • Drinking three glasses of red wine a week decreases your risk of colon cancer by 68%.
So, if you don't want to buy the book, at least look at it when you're in Costco or Target next.  I have the latest book, Cook this, Not that.  It has some great advice in it, and some very yummy looking recipes.  I will try some and let you know what I like.  If your focus this new year is weight loss, this book has some great advice on what you can do that is simple and easy.  I love this book!!!

Alrighty that is all for now!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hail Victory

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~Little things make me happy~

Hey all, I picked up another new tee to add to my closet.  Very excited..... The little things make me so happy!

I am doing the best I can right now not to eat my entire dark chocolate orange.  They're so GOOD.  I was thinking today, how do they make chocolate oranges?  Because when you break them apart and everything they look exactly like orange slices!  I know, I'm a dork.

Other than that I worked all day.  Next week I work a little over 35 hours.  Christmastime, what?  I know.  I feel like my stress level is getting raised once again... My dad is working 6-10's this week (six days a week, 10 hours a day) so saturday (the day I have off) he can't help work on house stuff.  Sunday I work, a short day, but still work.  So I might be able to squeeze in some bookshelf-fixing time.  But other than that I'm not sure what else is going to get done.... I really need to figure out this dryer situation.  I think I'm going to focus on that and my internet.  I can't live without that!

I'm sorry it seems like I keep saying the same things!  I did talk to Jesse today, he's doing well.  He got to see his buddy Bill again yesterday, and today he's doing some more training.  There is an artist named James Dietz ( who does color prints for military units and sells them.  He is doing one for Jesse's battalion, and making 1,000 - so they're a limited edition.  Chances are if you have been in our house, you have seen three of the many prints he has made.  One Jesse has of his old unit (3/2), the other is an Airborne print, and the third is his famous "Reflections" print which is hung in many military homes.  Again, this gentleman is doing one specifically for Jesse's unit, so it is going to be a rare print.  I know he's super excited, and I'm in the works to get that done for him!

Other than that Jesse is doing well.  They (the FRG) are having a meeting of sorts that I might go to Thursday to learn what's going on downrange.  I'm thinking I might go to that, we shall see though.

If you don't watch Oprah you may not have seen this.  I thought it was pretty cool and thought I would share.  Let me know if the link doesn't work!  It's a "mob dance"......

Sunday, January 3, 2010


So my main goal for the day was to make some progress on the house.  I am happy to say that we did make some progress.  I do hate the fact that when you get the ball rolling and in a groove....You have to stop.  I work the next two days, which make it a little more difficult to tackle the craziness in our new house.  We did get the bed, my dresser, the futon, the TV stand, the Wii tower, and most of the bookshelf together.  Plus mom and I unpacked two kitchen boxes (mostly breakables, nothing broke!) and measured some spaces.  I realized today that I don't have great access to towel bars in the bathrooms, we're missing some hardware from some of the furniture, and I still would like to paint the bedroom.  It does look as like I might be spending some nights on the futon if I decide to do that.  A plus side - lots of room.  That is pretty exciting!  In Georgia I felt like we were cramming, and we probably will our second time around there.  Until then, I'm going to enjoy our space!

Next trip we're going to try and finish the bookshelf and I'm going to arrange furniture.  Maybe take a trip to the hardware store to make sure we have everything together.  Between that stuff, there is a briefing I have yet to go to, I need to figure out some things with my washer situation (plug doesn't work with the outlet we have), and I need to figure out the cable/internet thing.  Until I get the washer and cable/internet thing figured out I'm not living there.

I do think though, it is time for me to leave my parents house.  You're probably saying "duh," and I know.  Besides, dad is working and mom is working.... I should have no reason why I shouldn't be moving forward.

Please also visit this site if you can, its SUPER easy to do, and something Xerox has put together.  The link is:  Seriously, it takes a matter of seconds.  You pick a card, put in your name/location, and pick something to say.  Xerox delivers the information in a card for our troops overseas.  Boost some morale!

Oh, and if you sent me a Christmas Card this year with a picture on it, chances are it's hanging in my husband's room right now!  I sent him everything I got, so he went through everything and loved them.  Thank you all for the Christmas cards, letters, and photos you sent!  He loves them.

Also - Hooah Mail is seeming to have some hiccups.  It is NOT getting to him faster than priority or first class mail.  he is getting it, but he got mine 3-4 weeks after I sent it.  NOT cool.  But I have to say that first class mail doesn't seem any quicker!  If you send a box priority mail (flat rate is automatically priority mail)  he is getting them in 7-10 days.  I feel like I'm not able to keep up with him getting my care packages!  I will be sending one out *hopefully* tomorrow, and then another later on in the week.

If you want to send him things, send him some healthier foods, he's not too happy with me with overloading him with cookies, chips, and candies.  Oops.  Crackers, power bars, and the like are good.  Also keep sending him photos!  He loves them.

Thanks again for reading!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Good Food

So I decided that with a new year and new blogs, I'm going to mix it up when I can.  So, I will post recipes, photos, and tidbits of information when I can.  One of my new favorite recipes are these potatoes!  If you feel like you want to eat potatoes, this is a GREAT one to try!

Roasted Balsamic New Potatoes

  • 3 Tbs of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves, crushed
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 lb small red potatoes (about 17)
  • 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher (coarse) salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 375*F
  2. In 1-cup measuring cup, mix olive oil, thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, and garlic.  Cut potatoes in half; spread on nonstick 15x10x1 inch pan.  Drizzle with olive oil mixture; toss to coat.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are golden and slightly crispy.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar; toss to coat.  Bake 5 minutes longer.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
If you try this, let me know how you like it!

In other news, my brother went back to Seattle today.  It's going to be strange here without the kid!  My hours at work continue to dwindle down, I work two days next week.  More friends of ours (with 5th Brigade) recently left to go overseas.  I did some shopping today, picking up a bunch of random things to send Jesse.  I went to the house and FINALLY found the screws that we need to put stuff together!  Very excited about that.  Dad, mom, and I will be out there tomorrow putting stuff together.  I bought a new bookshelf (the other one didn't quite survive the second move) and am very excited to set it up!

I brought Stryker to the house today, the first time he's been there since we've moved stuff into the house.  He was SO funny because he sniffed everything.  EVERYTHING.  He was very weary coming inside, keeping his head low, looking like he felt like he was going to get ambushed!  I took pictures, and will take my camera tomorrow for more photos!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year and the New Things to Come

Happy New Year!

I have to say I was very blessed this year, being able to speak to my husband on the stroke of midnight.  He was talking to me via Skype, got to see fireworks at the space needle (from the TV of course), we did an air kiss, and he got to talk to my mom, dad, and brother.  It was a good night.

Today I got confirmation that he IS getting leave!!  So ridiculously excited that I can't think about it or else I won't be able to think straight... Haha.  We don't have a date or even a month as of now, but his company commander did say he'd get it. YES!

As most of you probably noticed, I changed the blog layout, again, and don't get too attached to this one because Valentine's Day is around the corner.  And hey, I might change it for my birthday too, who knows?  I already have my spring background picked out, I was SO close to putting it up.... BUT I did decide it was too soon.  Who can blame me though when my husband is coming home to visit me in the spring?  Spring is on my brain!  Normally I don't care much for spring - between the tulips, daffodils, and pastel colors I could truly do without.... This year is going to be the exception.  SO excited!

In other news, I got up this morning (day off for me, yessssssssss) and texted my friend Stacy.  I went by her house and saw her new car, a black sporty Mazda - very nice.  We went out to do some shopping, tried on tons of jeans (walking out with only one pair a piece), to Target to try on swimsuits (yeah not so much), and to buy my new Eat This, Not That book (invest in those books!  LOVE them!).  I also picked up two Valentine's Day cards.... Because I can't pick just one ;)  Stryker has his dog food, treats, and a new Valentine's Day toy (I'm sure you'll see it in my January 2009 album, it's a pink snake).  Afterwards I went with Stacy and Alan to his parent's house to enjoy some great Asian food.  My new favorite is their egg rolls - I told Stacy she HAD to teach me!  Yum.

That was basically my New Year's Day. Spring come quickly, please!


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