15 October 2008

im late...im late....for a very important date!!

ever feel like you are the silly white rabbit from alice in wonderland.....you know running around always looking at your watch feeling like you are late, but never actually getting to where you need to be........well that is kinda how life is for me now.....

we are constantly on the go.......everyone is super busy all the time and i seem to always be at work, even though changing jobs over to the school was supposed to mean less working hours......it didnt turn out that way....honestly, i dont have anyone to blame but me.....i have a very hard time telling people no and so i managed to become a co-leader/assistant for elizabeth's girl scout troop.....i also kinda got conned into bagging groceries at the commissary because they were hurting sooooo badly.....it was supposed to be for two days only and now it seems that i am there everyday......then the px is still working me into their schedule at the same time.....and all the while we still have dance and soccer in the mix somewhere too.....not to mention regular household work and dinners.......

even right now, i feel guilty for sitting here on the computer because we are having a welcome home dinner for a friend of ours husband who just got home from iraq (here thats a big deal, last year only four kids at school had a deployed parent)and as i should be straightening up the house and starting diner i find myself wanting to sit here in the quite of the moment, staring into our beautiful back yard in which all the trees are changing colors and leaves have fallen to the ground making it look like a soft golden carpet.......warm and inviting......

but as life of a supermom as my kids call me, i cant stay any longer.....i need to go and make enchilladas and rice.......i also need to work on the house a bit so that when they are in the oven, i can come back online and try to finish up with all the holiday shopping(internet shopping in the states was a matter of choice, here it is a matter of life)......

anyways, everyone here is good, just busy, but good.....we are still having some computer problems(stephen broke the usb ports) so we cannot use the magic jack till we buy a new computer and we also had to get new cell phones so if anyone needs the numbers, let me know and i will email them to you.......

we love and miss everyone!!!!!!!

a pic of me since i am tired of being fussed at!!
my backyard distractions!!!
yeah i know its sideways...sorry!!!

24 September 2008

fall is here

i have no funny or cute stories about fall to tell you today, but i can say that i am super excited that fall is finally here....

the trees are starting to change their colors.....the leaves are beginning to fall slightly.....the days are no longer hot and the nights are cool and cozy.....well for the most part that is, some nights its just down right cold.....

fall has always been my favorite time of the year......soups and stews......cookies and spices fill the house as i bake and cook.......sweaters and boots get to come out of the closet.......

walks through the park can now be enjoyed rather than dreaded.....we can collect different leaves and pinecones for fun fall crafts......i enjoy pinics much more in the fall......

and sports....soccer is in full swing here....twice a week we/i get to go out and sit in the middle of a huge field and watch as she runs, chases and kicks the ball all over the place......

plus, halloween is coming and it is also one of my favorite times of the year....not really for the candy, but for the dress up.....i love make believe and fantasy......and for once a year i can put on a costume and play with kids without looking a little on the crazy side......oh and i cant leave out the pumpkin carving!!!!!

04 September 2008

love is in the air....or something like that

you know, its funny.....i read leah's blog today and it was about reagan kissing a little boy in her play group......today i was planning on writing about keegan and her new 'best friend/boyfriend"

she has been going to daycare for a couple of months now and absolutely loves it......her attitude is improving.....her social skills are much better.....not that she was all the dependant on me before, because she wasnt, but now she doesnt think that she needs me or her daddy for anything......and unlike most kids that cry when they get left there, she cries when she cant go and will say all weekend long that "i go to MY daycare on monday"......

anyways, back to my story......she has this new little best friend.....he is one of stephens company comanders kids.....i cant remember the poor kids name.....but he is cute as a button......he has curly blonde, super blonde hair and bright blue eyes......he is older than she is and has moved from her daycare room to kindergarden........

everyday at lunch, he always says to me in this sad little voice, "tell keekee i said hi and that i miss her".......then i hear from her daycare teacher, that everyday since school started, keegan will go to his old cubby looking for his stuff asking where he is at.......when she is told that he is now in kindergarden, she will say "i go kindergarden too"...next she is told that she has to be five to go to kindergarden, which is then followed by "i five".......five is her new age if anyone asks her.......

so sad it is when first "love" happens at such a young age......poor kids.......

28 August 2008

computer is down

just wanted to get on here real quick and let everyone know that we are having computer problems at home.....we think that we are going to have to buy a new computer.....so for now we will have no computer or phone at home.......we will both still have access to the internet through work, and will do our best to keep everyone updated through emails......sorry, hopefully we will be able to fix it soon and will be up and running again....until then, know that we love and miss everyone!!!

27 August 2008

new job...again

well, i took a temporary job demotion so that i could have better hours and a future promotion......i still work for aafes, but i am no longer in the px, but rather, i am now at the school.....i work in the school lunch room.....yes, i know, i have turned into the old, saggy apron hair net wearin lunch lady.......

its a cool job because i am off work at 3 by the latest.......i work with some great people, i see the kids everyday....i dont work when they are out of school and i have the summers off.......its also cool because, i have been there for three days and they are already beginning to train me for the supervisor/manager position......with that comes extra responsibility but a big pay raise also......that is projected to happen sometime around nov......

the only down side of this job is that because i am still an aafes employee, they are trying to figure out a way to have me working both the px and the school......i wouldnt mind working at the px stocking, but i DO NOT want to go back to customer service again, because then i will be working every weekend again and that is not something that i want.......

the kids are doing great, boo is loving school......she has a male teacher this year....she came home shocked saying, "mom.....my teacher is a Boy"....it was as if she thought that teachers could only be women or something......keegan is still doing really well in her daycare.......i have never met a child that loves daycare as much as she does.......her social skills are growing tremendously and she doesnt seem to be such a hand full anymore.....she still has attitude, but maybe just maybe being around other kids and the group environment has helped her to control it some.....stephen, he is doing good.....still having hard time of adjusting at times.....but he is fine......

24 August 2008

feeling homesick

todays post will probably be sad and sappy because i am feeling kinda homesick right about now.......

i miss soooo many people and so many things that it unreal.....i feel like i am losing touch with people and i dont really have any new friends here.....the few people that i met that were cool, have already moved to some new place.....

i know that jeremiah is coming soon and that my parents will be coming over for christmas, but it doesnt seem to help the mood im in now.....

i miss wal-mart, i miss shopping on sundays (not that we did it that much, but could have if we wanted to)....i miss waffle house.....i miss my family....i miss my friends, i miss my job.....i miss a normal functioning military post......i miss getting mail.....

i know that this will pass and that i shouldnt complain because italy is a beautiful country and we were really blessed to be stationed here for many reasons, but i cant help but to be home sick......i think the one thing that i miss the most is my mama's bisquits and gravy!!!!

15 August 2008

argggg matey

a pirate, a pirate, a pirate's life for me me me me....(in sing song of course)....

thursday night, after a LONG day of work, elizabeth reminds me that she is having pirate's day....and of course it was the VERY next day....i couldnt let her be the only kid not dressed up as a pirate.....so i went through my mental checklist of everything that a pirate should wear and everything that a pirate should have......after that, i went on a semi-mad race through the house and the craft boxes to see what all i had that could be used to make her a pirate.......

needless to say that at about 11:30 or so, when we were way worn out and tired, i finally finished.....i thought that she was the cutest little pirate girl that i have ever seen and just had to share this with you......




my little pirate, with bird on shoulder to boot!!!



her mean pirate face....

so here is what we did and a list of stuff needed for any other parents that are faced with coming up with a very last min pirate costume.....

old white shirt borrowed from daddy
old red shirt borrowed from mommy
black slip, reluctantly given by mommy
black and white polka dot short given by sister (yes i know it is sad that my 7 yr old can wear my 3 yr old's clothes)
black felt
red yarn
scissors
safety pins (cause i cant sew)
magic markers
stuffed toy bird
colored beads
white nail polish
tin foil
tape
borrowed necklaces and bracelets from mom's jewelry box

1. we cut the neck, arm, and bottom hem out of both shirts.
2. we draped the white shirt over her shoulder, then cut it down the back just long enough for us to have something to tie the thing on her.
3. we cut the red shirt in half, measured how much would be needed to fit around her waist, pinned it in place, then cut "jagged" edges all around it to allow the white to show through.
4. we cut the bottom of my slip, about 4 inches wide and used that to tie the belt.
5. the remaining red shirt was cut and used to tie a scarf on her head.
6. cut the bottom hem out of her sisters capris
7. used black felt and red yarn to make an eye patch.
8. used nail polish to "paint" the skull and cross bones on it.
9. magic marker-ed a "mom" tattoo on her arm.
10. safety pinned the toy bird on her shoulder.
11. braided a few strands of her hair, put beads on them and tied them with left over red yarn.
12. made a make shift pirate's hook out of tin foil and tape.
13. topped her off with some jewelry and arggg arggg arggg matey she was a pirate!!!

im proud to say that she brought home the "perfect pirate" award

11 August 2008

battle of the babies

ok, so its not really a battle, rather just a constant topic of discussion.....it seems that everywhere i turn, everywhere i look someone is either having a baby or just had a baby.....i turn on the tv and there are babies......even this morning when i logged into blogger, there were babies pasted all over my dashboard......

stephen doesnt help the situation either.....he will make comments like, " lets have a baby" and then in the same breath, say "im sorry, im just having a moment".....we have four kids already.....would it be nice to have a baby with my husband, yeah, but im not trying to be the brady bunch.....

so here is the real battle.....i think about, actually, i think about it alot.....but i am sure that for me, it is just that biological clock ticking away.....well, it more like pounds away, and with every passing second it seems to be screaming to me that my time is running, you arent getting any younger and you need to have babies.....and then sometimes i feel as though my ovaries are yelling about how they want to be used up before all their eggs dry up into little hard crusty raisins......

is it just because i am getting older....because next year i will be 30 and i see all these other women having babies and being happy about being pregnant at 35 or even 40.......or is it just that i really want another baby but am just simply to afraid to do it again.........

the battle of buldge was easier than this battle of the babies!!!!

07 August 2008

here goes....

ok, so leah tagged me to do this meme......i dont really know 6 other bloggers, so that is one of the rules that i will be breaking (sorry)....but here goes anyways,

Here are the rules.

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
Let your tagger know when your blog entry is up

1. i love to bake, and do it all the time (when the weather is not soooooo hot)....things like cakes, cookies, breads, muffins, pies....whatever, you name it, i bake it....BUT, the crazy thing is that i rarely ever eat any of it...

2. i love having a yard full of flowers and plants, but i kill them....they never look good for very long after i get them in the planters......i have taken the advice from all the neighbors that have beautiful yards, but mine still looks like nc in the middle of a drought.

3. i secretly enjoy reading raunchy romance novels....

4. i have been in italy for five months now, but sometimes, as i drive by the leaning tower to get back and forth to work, i look at it and cant believe that i am really here.....

5. i have a bathroom drawer full of wigs that i will wear sometimes when i am in between hairstyles, like i am currently(havent gotten to the wig wearin point yet though)

6. i wake up everyday to a loving husband, beautiful children, an overall great family and can do nothing more than thank God for all of it because i know that without Him i am not special enough or deserving enough to have any of it......

03 August 2008

our happenings

i havent posted in awhile, because we have been busy......the kids got sick so with that, missing work, and getting ready for stephen to go tdy, i havent had much time to post.......

there's not much new to tell, but we are all doing good now....no more being sick and i am back at work....stephen is gone for a week......we are burning up though......it has been record breaking hot over here this summer and it is definately something that takes getting used to......i promised the kids that we will have ac next summer......i will put them on layaway way before it gets hot that way we will be good when it does......

i do have a few days off this week and i have a few projects that i want to be able to get done.....hopefully i can being that the girls will still be going to daycare/camp......

i bought this old bedroom suit for 75 bucks.....there is nothing majorly wrong with it, the family was pcsing and were over their weight allowance so they needed to get rid of it fast......the only thing that is wrong with it is that it didnt all fit in their bedroom so they had it on a balcony.....it is not water damaged, but the sun did fade the color.....so i am going to sand it down and re-do it in a smooth black and give it new knobs......ill try to post a pic when i am done.......

thats about it for now.....im off to pay bills....love, peace, and happiness

25 July 2008

first week of work

it feels like i have been away forever.....i know it has only been about a week since i last posted, but my work schedule has been absolutely insane......i made through the first week.....today i had a half day and i am off tomorrow......but then it starts all over on sunday......i work from 9:30-6:30 and though that doesnt seem bad, it makes normal life crazy.......

we all get up at 6 or 6:30, get dressed, eat and leave by 7:30.....we drop stephen off at 8 and then i drop off the girls at their daycare centers.....im done with that around 8:15.....to begin with i was going to the gym for an hour, showering and then going to work at 10, which was great......now, i dont get the time to go to the gym.....tony, my boss, decided that i will open in the morning so i have to be there at 9:30...no more gym for me, so now i normally eat my breakfast and read for those 45 mins......

stephen comes and picks up the car on his lunch so that when he gets off at 4:30, he can go pick up the kids......they go to the park for awhile then they come over and get me at 6:30.....it takes us atleast 30 mins to get home.....once there, we cook diner, eat, clean the kitchen and everyone starts getting showers and reay for bed.....by 10 i am soooo ready to pass out......

so needless to say, i have not had the time to clean my house properly or wash all the laundry and it piles up quick.....so my first day off is going to be spent, for the most part, cleaning the house.....yippie

im not complaining tooo much though.....i like my job.....i like the people that i work with and it gets me out of the house and some extra money too......

20 July 2008



being that we had a "family" tragedy this week, combined with my starting to work....meals this week will be interesting.....my lovely hubby will end up being the one that is solely responsible for the shopping and the majority of the cooking.....he's not a bad cook, but a horrid shopper....so i am going to make it as easy as possible for him by using the things that are left in the freezer, that way he only has to buy a very minimal amount of stuff.....

MONDAY: spaghetti in "pomodore"(italian for tomato)sauce with sauteed mushrooms and peppers, garlic bread and left over salad from last night

TUESDAY: bbq pork shoulder(pulled) for sandwiches, mac-n-cheese and corn on the cob or fruit salad

WEDNESDAY: baked raviolis, steamed broccoli, and garlic bread

THURSDAY: strawberry pancakes, bacon, eggs and toast, with some fruit on the side

FRIDAY: again, we will do what the kids want to do for "friday night diner"

SATURDAY: grilled chops, mashed garlic potatoes, fresh grilled green beans

SUNDAY: stephen makes this grilled sausage and onion thats mixed with mac-n-cheese and then baked thing that is really good, so that and mixed veggies

BREAKFASTS: cereal, muffins, oatmeal
LUNCH: kids will eat a daycare/camp so stephen and i will probably try to finish up the last of the deli meats with sandwiches and of course some left overs
SNACKS: snacks, who has time for snacks this week....

17 July 2008

when the army messes up, sometimes they fix it

just a small piece of information that i thought i would share about carl.....after i finally got to talk to his wife and everyone else back in the states to get all the details of what was happening and what went on that night, i found out that carl was suffering badly from ptsd......post traumatic stress disorder, for anyone who doesnt know.......carl had to deal with some pretty awful things on both of tours to iraq and was having a hard time adjusting to normal life again......the time that it takes a soldier to re-integrate can range from 6 month to 18 months......they have been home for roughly 7......

carl and his wife were having a few problems and were in counseling.....he knew that he had a problem himself and went to seek help for it.....on thursday july 11th, he went to the medical professionals to get some help dealing with it......instead of being treated, he was sent away......the doctor had his own family emergency......carl shot himself the next day.......being that we are an army that is trying publicly to encourage our soldiers to seek the help they need to get through ptsd without it leaving any "marks" on their records, that is what he tried to do......

i am not blaming the doctor, we all have families and all have our own emergencies, but, the hospital could have referred carl out to some other doctor.....that is why tricare(our insurance) has a whole network of civilian doctors.....carl was given no other options, just simply told that the doctor could not see him, and to schedule another appointment......

the army, realizing their error, is giving him a full military honors funeral and have decided to promote him to e5 posthumously(he was supposed to be getting promoted soon).......though this may be something that alot of people dont agree with,i do and i am glad that they arent taking it away from him.......he was a good soldier.....he fought for our country twice, gave it his all and came home messed up.....he couldnt help that......

16 July 2008

lost in life....lost in death

grey skies fill my sunny day today.....this morning was supposed to be the beginning of a good thing, i started work today, but instead it has quickly turned into a very sad day for me....and my family......and the family of so many others......

we received news this morning that a very dear friend of ours has died......he was a good kid, i say kid cause i loved like a little brother, but he was a young man....he was a ball of energy and at times had a love for life so strong that it was contagious.....dont get me wrong, he had his issues and demons just like the rest of us.....the only difference is that he wasnt always able to stop them from controlling his life.....when they would take over, he would become a person that i did not know....he would be full of anger, hate and rage.......

he was raised to believe in certain things but in "growing up" he had began to leave some of that behind him and look to believing in God.....he wasnt all the way there yet, but he was working on it......he was lost somewhere in the middle of what he knew and where he knew he needed to be......

he was a very loved friend.....i feed him, was at his side through many loves and heartbreaks.....by his side while he found his true love.....he came to our house for an escape cause he knew it was always there......he was like family......the kids loved him and he loved them......

when they left for iraq, i made him promise me to take care of stephen, and he did.....the night before we left fayetteville, he hugged me tight and kissed the top of my head.....he told me thank you for always being there for him and for everything that i had done for him.....then he made me promise to take care of his "brother".....as we said our goodbyes, i PROMISED him that i would always be there for him and that i would stay in touch.......

right now i have this overwhelming feeling of pain and quilt.....maybe if i would have made better efforts to stay in touch, maybe just maybe this tragedy would not have had to happen.......i feel that i let him down and that i did not fulfill my promise to him......that is something that i will have to deal with for the rest of my life.....

he was also a loving and dedicated daddy....he fought for his son with everything that he had in him......was still in the fight up till the time he died......he leaves behind a loving wife of only a few short months and a baby that he didnt even know that he had......his wife/widow just found out that she is pregnant.....

it is a shame that he was taken before his time......he could have been great in this world once he finally got "all the way" there......i say that it was not his time because unfortunately, he took his own life on the 12th of july......my prayers now will be that his soul will be able to find some kind of peace outside of heaven.....i pray that his wife will be able to continue to be strong and raise their baby by herself and that she will one day be able to forgive him for leaving them sooooo early so that when their baby grows up, she can tell them all the good things that there were to know about their daddy.......i pray that as she is now solely responsible for the cost of his burial(suicide is not covered by the army)that she will be blessed and that God will make a way for her.....

today, i must say goodbye to a close friend, to a brother........Carl Benjamin Lennis McCoy, you will be deeply and truly missed.....today i promise you that i will do my absolute best to keep up with your family and make sure that they are ok for you........i will always love you kid

14 July 2008

menu plan monday



ok, so i have never taken part in menu plan monday, but my best friend leah does and it seems like it might be fun, and also a way to share some really good recipes.....so here goes...

MONDAY: burgers, sweet potato fries, corn on the cob (all grilled, of course, its too hot to cook in the house!!!)

TUESDAY: chicken wraps on spinach tortillas

WEDNESDAY: grilled prosciutto and cheese on ciaccino bread (awesome italian bread) with a side of fresh fruit salad

THURSDAY: cheese raviolis with sauteed fresh veggies in a light sauce made from olive oil and fresh herbs(my one splurge at the commissary sometimes)and of course some garlic bread

FRIDAY: we have a tradition of having "friday night dinner"(goes all the way back to me growing up) and that will be the one night that we let the kids pick were we go out to eat at, so most likely it will be some kind of pasta

SATURDAY: grilled lemon chicken salad in efforts to use up all the rest of the fresh veggies before they all go bad

SUNDAY: smoked sausage and peppers kabobs with rice and grilled Green beans

BREAKFASTS: breakfasts are normally oatmeal or cereal, till the weekends(thats when stephen does his cooking) then we will have pancakes

LUNCHES: are light, normally sandwiches or leftovers if stephen doesnt take them all for his lunch

SNACKS: snacks in our house have and will always be things like crackers and cheese, animal cookies, fresh fruit, salt free pretzel sticks, sugar free pudding

13 July 2008

insomnia is back!!!!!

yes, unfortunately, insomnia is back for me tonight.....as i sit here and write this tonight at almost one in the morning, i am wondering why now????

it has been a REALLY long time since i have not been able to sleep.....and its not because i am stressed out or anything.....i have nothing on my mind......because, in fact, i have great news.....jeremiah has been cleared through efmp for his asthma and can now come to live with us.....so within the next few months he will be here, of course after we take that 12 hour trip back to get him and then the 12 hours back here.....so i have no stress......im super happy......i cant wait till he is here.....i have had his room waiting for him almost since we got here.....alex's too for that matter.....and i am sure that he is going to love it here.....our neighborhood is full of little kids his age that he can run and play with.....the only thing that he is not going like is that there is no karate here, but im sure that he will find something else to take part in....

i also have a great chance at getting a job soon....which that is a major task in its self here.....very few jobs as is, and none paying all that great....plus, once people get jobs here, they normally dont leave them till they pcs.....so when the px said they were hiring, i applied for all the positions that they had.....i have been called for one so far and am supposed to be getting a call from the store manager this week.....its not going to be a great paying job, but it will be something for me to do being that we do not have our own dentist that i could assist for!!!

the one and only thing that i can even think of that might(and that is a very tiny might)be keeping me from sleeping is that i do have to make the trip to germany to face david for the first time in over three years......im not really worried about it, because i believe that this is going to be a good trip.....the adoption paperwork will be getting signed and the girls will be taking stephens name soon.....david and i have been able to have decent conversations lately, so im not worried.....i guess that the only thing about this trip that is worrying me(and possibly hiding out in my subconscious) is what am i going to do or how am i going to feel if he really does want to see the kids and spend time with them......

and the kids are doing great.....boo just bought her own bike with her very own money.....we would have bought it for her but she told us, so matter of factly, that a bike cost alot of money and that she wanted to earn it herself.....so she did small jobs around the house and yard to earn 45 dollars......it only took her a little over a month to get it all.....she makes me sooo proud sometimes......

kee is still a little rotten monster......but she is doing good.....she is turning out to be a very good little helper(in her own ways).....everyday at lunch, she helps me get stuff from the frig and the cabinets.....she thinks that we have to have pb&j sandwiches everyday......she likes to help, or tries to help wash dishes.....that normally leads to having to mop the floor, but she tries.....and she loves to put away her clothes.....which is good being that she also loves to play dress up and will change her clothes about 100 times a day......her new favorite thing to tell everyone is that "i good helper" or "i do it all byyyyy myself"....

well, this was just supposed to be a short post to mention that i have started, or seem to have started the path back to insomnia, but it has turned into an update of the fam......we love and miss all of you......i will be emailing some new photos soon, so keep a look out......

love, peace and blessings to all!!

10 July 2008

weirdness surrounds me

ok, seriously.....everything and everyone around me today has been acting completely nuts, including the kids, which says alot in its self cause they are nuts all the time......

it started with weird dreams last of baby boys and what i am calling the david monster....i mean in this dream i was/had a little boy--shocker there, everyone knows that all i had was girls till i got re-married.....and then somehow david came into the dream all nice and normal, but started morphing into this funky demonic like man that ATE, i repeat, ate my son......what was that all about?????

then weirdness with the kids throughout the day like the apple pie leftovers being eaten and thrown in the trash before anyone was awake(kee did it, though she said she didnt) mixed with weird phone calls that i really didnt need/want to have, but that all ended well....

weird little odd ball fees on my bank account that dont even equal a dollar for some kind of international fee, we live in italy for the love of God, alot of transactions are international(most ask the bank tomorrow)!!!!!!!

very weird dinner conversations, not the normal "how was your day" stuff but rather a very slow motioned version....weird crap on the t.v, this cartoon had a jellyfish looking thing growing out of his head and it wasnt sponge bob!!!.......

weirdness with the t.v. itself such as, if i take the t.v. from the living room to any one of the other rooms in the house, the channels are all different, if they come in at all.....

i am hoping that tomorrow brings about some kind of a normal day, otherwise i might just pull my hair out!!

09 July 2008

20 dollar car

yes, that right i did say a 20 dollar car......when we first got here, a captain in stephen's unit had three cars and was trying to get rid of one of them.....he was trying desperately to give it away for free, but because it needed a new windshield nobody would take it......until of course, we came a long......for 20 bucks we bought what i think was once a very nice and shiny blue 1988 honda civic.....it is currently a dull grayish color......that 20 year old car had no radio, the heat barely worked(good thing it is summer), the air stoped working probably 10 years ago, the back passenger side door would get stuck and you would have to bump it to make it open......the power windows still worked, at their own pace, of course and screamed out this painful whinny noise in the process......the seat covers are so thin at this point that it doesnt take much to tear them......the power mirrors need alittle bit of help to get into place and the rearview mirror will never stay where you put it.....but it had over 300,000 miles on it and mechanically it was still fighting the good fight......everyone likes to laugh at our 20 dollar car and joking says that they are going to call X from mtv to Pimp My Ride, especially when they see me at the commissary and i have to use a prop stick to keep the trunk open.......we have been driving it since april now and unfortunately,we now must get rid of it......yesterday, everything electrical went out.....no brake lightss, no turn signals, dashboard readings, even the headlights dont come on anymore........stephen said that it is not worth the cost to repair the electrical stuff so we have found it a new home in a junk yard.....it is sad, but i have to admit that i am going to miss the 20 dollar hooptie, and so today i say goodbye.....

p.s. you have to admit though, that hondas really are built to last, being that everything under the hood still ran perfect.....the poor car just couldnt hold up any longer!!!

06 July 2008

how we spent the fourth!

ok, so what makes the fourth the fourth???

backyard cookouts
family
friends
cakes and goodies
kids laughing
games being played
fireworks
apple pie
fun

we learned that it doesnt take all that to celebrate the fourth.....not cause we didnt want to have all that, in fact, we had planned on attending a huge 4th of july beach blowout that would end with fireworks......the only thing that would have been missing was the family......but come to find out the fireworks were cancelled.....at first i felt like it wasnt even worth going for because there was going to be no fireworks, but after a conversation with elizabeth, i changed my mind.....

she thought, at first, that the fourth was just a day that the army got off work.....poor kid didnt realize that it was the birthday of our country.....and i guess as her mama thats my fault because it never dawned on me that she didnt know, it was the biggest birthday party of the year......so, anyways, we explained it to her and decided that we would go out to the beach for the rest of the day to hang out and say happy birthday USA!!!


keegan stops playing longing enough for a quick pic



no time to look at you mammy, im having too much fun



elizabeth takes a break from sand digging



back to digging and playing



sunset over the american beach in tirrenia

04 July 2008

happy of july!!!!

zwani.com myspace graphic comments
4th of July Graphic Comments

happy birthday usa!!!

everyone else, i hopw that you have a great, wonderful, and safe fourth of july......i am not real sure what we are doing today.....this will be our first holiday away from family and friends.....so i will post tomorrow with all the details of what/how we spent the fourth.......in the meantime, i hope you all enjoy yours.....love, peace, and blessings!!

29 June 2008

"it really does lean"

ok, so i know that i said i would post more once my computer was all setup and that i would have new pics for everyone to see, but, dude.....i have been way busy.......jennifer, trellis, and elienai, my sister, niece and nephew came to visit and we have been busy....but i thought i would take a few mins to share a funny story with you....>

jennifer, love her dearly, but she's a nut job too, wanted to see the leaning tower......she said that if she went to the tower, florence and had some gelato while she was here she would be happy......i explained to her that she would be seeing the tower on the drive to our house and everyday there after as went to post.......she took a ton of pics from the road.....i asked if she thought that i wasnt going to actually take her down there........her reply, " no, but i want to capture every part of this trip".......ok, i understand that so i let it go.......



within the next few days, i took her down to the tower.....we park the car, get out and start to walk toward the tower.....her excitement begins to build.....as we get closer, she can see the top of the other two buildings, but not the tower quit yet because there is a huge brick wall built all the way around it..........so as we turn the corner and enter into the wall, actually in the plaza now, her excitement over comes her as she smacks my arm repeatedly and pointing aimlessly........after a few gasps, she manages to say, "wow, it really does lean".........


so here is a brief history of the tower:

The Tower of Pisa is the bell tower of the Cathedral. Its construction began in the august of 1173 and continued (with two long interruptions) for about two hundred years, in full fidelity to the original project, whose architect is still uncertain.
In the past it was widely believed that the inclination of the Tower was part of the project ever since its beginning, but now we know that it is not so. The Tower was designed to be "vertical" (and even if it did not lean it would still be one of the most remarkable bell towers in Europe), and started to incline during its construction.
Both because of its inclination, and its beauty, from 1173 up to the present the Tower has been the object of very special attention. During its construction efforts were made to halt the incipient inclination through the use of special construction devices; later columns and other damaged parts were substituted in more than one occasion; today, interventions are being carried out within the sub-soil in order to significantly reduce the inclination and to make sure that Tower will have a long life.
In all this story it is possible to find a meaningful constant, the "genetic code" of the Tower: its continual interaction with the soil on which it was built. Today's (1999) works for the safeguard and the conservation of the Tower with very advanced methodologies are designed to fully respect this constant.

hope you all enjoyed my short story for today.....i will be posting again soon....love, peace and blessings to everyone

16 June 2008

meme time

I was tagged by my IRL friend leah to participate in this meme! Here are the rules:


1. Link your tagger and list the rules on the blog.
2. Share 7 facts about your kiddos on your blog…random, weird, funny…whatever you want!
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post
4. Don’t forget to let the tagged people know!

seven things about my kids....wow....where to start....

1. keegan, my crazy, attitude filled three year old who once was potty trained for a long time, has now decided to stop using the potty and pees on herself all the time.....dont know how to make this stop.....have been told it is because of the move to itlay, but we have been here for about three months now, shouldnt be time for her to start using the potty again....

2. boo, who used to think that she was supossed to be a boy, has now decided to be a "girl" and has joined the girl scouts.....

3. boo learned to ride a bike and didnt even crash once in the process...way to go girl...

4. kee loves to swim, with or without her swimmies, she is in the water.....without she kinda sinks though which you would think would stop her from jumping in without them....

5. alex starts her highschool/college fast track program on the 6th of aug.....not much of a summer break there....

6. jeremiah, is ten and wants a summer job so he can go to the pool everyday.......

7. all of my kids are crazy and their favorite new thing to say to each other is to call themselves "nut jobs"....

well i dont know anyone in the blogging world except for leah....hoping to change that soon......so i cant really tag anyone else.......if anyone comes across me in their search, i hope you enjoy my little tid bits on my kids and join the fun!!!

12 June 2008

hello hello hello

hey everyone, or leah (being that she is really the only one that reads this)....we FINALLY have the computer and phone hooked up.....let me just say that it was very interesting and probably very funny to watch, as it took four hours to set this crap up......picture it.....me, the computer, the italian modem, phone stuff, two screaming kids, a major headache, and an italian to english dictionary......all in the middle of the floor.....simplicity....it is sooooooo much something that i seriously miss from being back home in the good ole USA......

anyways, i am up and running now.....i will hopefully be adding some new pics of the house, the kids and some of the places we have been in a few days.....

we love and miss everyone very much......

leah, i hope you got my message and that you had a good b-day......oh and by the way, according to my kids we only have one more year before we are considered old......thought that you might get a kick out of that one too......

10 April 2008

we are here

hi everyone.....sorry it has been so long since i have posted.....but the good news is, is that we are here in italy and safe.....we got here last week thursday......we have been running ever since with a welcome to italy class.......the kids are doing good and the weather is just beautiful........we are loving it and are looking forward to being able to do some traveling while we are here.....

leah....im soooooo sorry that i wasnt able to call you before we left, but twc came out and turned us off early......and i ran out of time on my cell with talking to mama and daddy before we left......but i have an address and phone number that i am going to try and call you tonight so that i can give them to you.......i miss you and love you and hope that you forgive me!!!

p.s. im using the post computers so i will be able to blog more often, but i wont be able to be back to S&T just yet.....cant download pics in here......

20 March 2008

last post for now

today is my last post till i am in italy and can find a computer.....the movers will be here next thursday and/or next friday....we had to give them two days....for some reason they want to come and look at what they will be packing before they actually pack it or something like that.....we will then be spending saturday cleaning the carpet and doing any touch up painting that may need to be done so that we can turn in the house keys......i am not sure if we will be in a hotel or if we are going to stay with stephens parents for the next two days or so, mostly likely we will stay in a hotel because we are flying out of fayetteville and they live in goldsboro....so anyways....we fly out on the 2nd at i believe 3 or 4pm and arrive in italy sometime around 10pm on the 3rd.....we have two stops....we are going to charlotte from here, where we will have a two hour delay and from charlotte we fly to london.....we get to london at 8 in the morning and dont leave till 6 at night.....way way long layover, but it gives us the opportunity to sight see london for free....well, almost free...we would need to take a train to victoria station which is like 40 dollars for all of us....the train takes 30 mins and i am hoping that as long as everyone is not too tired from the flight that we will be able to walk around london for a few hours to see some things.....i think it will be good for several reasons.....

i think that if we can muster up the strength to go out and see london in that time rather than to just sit at the airport, it will help us with the jet lag.....i believe this because we will be on a night flight over there and hopefully everyone will be able to sleep....we can spend the day in london(not sleeping in the terminal)and then make the hour and 45 min trip to pisa, landing there at 10, check into our hotel and go straight to bed....

i also think that it would good for us to see london while we have the time and it only cost 40 dollars because we may not get the opportunity to see london again.....it is on our wish list of places to go, but that list is HUGE.....we want to see and do so many things that london might not happen in the time that we are there.....so i say seize the opportunity while it is available......

until i "see" you all again, take care and God bless!!

16 March 2008

author unknown

before i begin, let me just say that i in no way, ever intend to offend or upset anyone with my posts.....

military pride runs deep in my family.....my pawpaw fought in war....my great grandfather fought in war....my daddy retired from the army.....my brother is a marine stationed in japan......his wife was in the air force.....my father in law is retired air force......i have an uncle and a cousin that were both in the air force....i have a cousin right now that is hopefully going to be on his way home from his 3rd or 4th tour in iraq soon.....my daughters father(the x-husband) was in the army and my husband now is in the army....he has served in bosnia, did his tour in korea and been to iraq twice......

i am a very proud and patriotic american.....have been since birth.....it runs in my blood and is a huge part of my heritage, making me who i am today.....it did not take a catastrophic event like sept 11 to make me fly a flag or tie a yellow ribbon....or a horrid war to make me say thanks to the military.....so with all that being said, i will now tell you what this is all about....

im a writing today in reference to a comment left anonymously on my S&T for this past friday.....i deleted the comment in a moment of frustration that now i wish i had not....next time, i will leave it for all to read and see....

the comment was not about my S&T itself, but rather about the move update i did at the very beginning of the post.....obviously they had also read my post for that thursday as well and felt that i was being a whinny baby and asking for thanks and a pat on the back that did not belong to me, but to my husband.....because it was he who was in the military and not me (not quoted, but the gist of it)....and all that was followed by the infamous "YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE GETTING INTO BY MARRYING A MILITARY MAN!!!"

first off those are words that should be considered a sin unless you yourself are a military spouse....we say that amongst ourselves as one spouse to another,as a way to keep up our own strength.....if you are not a military spouse, you dont know what it is that we do or do not do to even be able to say that.....

secondly, i am not sure if i came off as being a whinny baby or not....if so, i am sorry.....all i can say is that i am only human and the flesh is weak at times....i read over both posts to see where i might have come off as whining.....the only thing i see is that i made a comment about us really wanting to make this move together, therefore it would suck if stephen had to go before us.....i guess i forget that not everyone knows me that well and would know that i was making reference to the fact that we have been married for almost a year, with only three of those months spent together as a family.....and before i go any further, yes, we are truly blessed that stephen did return home safely to us and we thank GOD every day for that.....

and thirdly, i say this....to the unknown author, do me a favor and take a look at your life.....inventory all the things that you have been blessed with.....all the liberties and experiences that have been so freely given to you(leaving comments like that)...once you have done so, find someone in the military, no matter the branch....no matter if they are active, retired, reserves, or national guard....shake their hand....tell them thanks....find their spouse and kids, tell them thank you...because it is because of all of them, from the founding of our country to the end of life as we will know it, that you have, and will continue to have what you have.....it is their sacrifices and hardships that make this THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE.....

to my fellow bloggers, thank you for your kind words and prayers....they are much appreciated.....much needed and much loved by our family.....we will continue to pray for you as well.....and to those of you in my shoes or that have ever been in my shoes....thank you for the sacrifice that you and your family made for me and mine....we love you for that....

in closing,(i know this has gotten really long)i would like to send out a personal thank you to ALL of the military members and their families.....thank you for what you did, what you do, and what you will continue to do for me and my family.....we will continue to pray for strength and courage for each and everyone one of you.....GOD BLESS YOU AND GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

14 March 2008

Show and Tell

sorry that my post is soooo late, but i have had a super busy day.....ill tell you about that real quick.....if you read yesterday's post you know that the army decided to change some things on us and it was going to push our move back.....well this morning, things changed AGAIN.....stephen has his orders and the kids and i still have to wait.....we have spent the day trying to do anything and everything to rush them......chances are that he will leave before us.....no biggie, just sucks a little because he has only been home for four months and we really wanted to make this move together......

today's post may end up being my last for a several months......while my stuff is floating on a boat over to italy.....i will try my best to get to a computer and at least still look at all the great show and tells till i am up and running again.....so anyways, thats the update as of today......on to my s&t.....


i would like to introduce you to sarah, the dashing redhead, and annabell, the beautiful Blondie.....im not a huge collector of dolls, but these two are special to me and i love them dearly.......they were both given to me by my mawmaw.....

annabell is 28 years old.....she was given to me when i was born......she has made many a moves with me over the years and has the wear to prove it.......her dress is very simple and white with light blue flowers and ribbon embroidered on it....she has white lace up boots and frilly panties......her hair is a major mess but i am too afraid to mess with it.....her face has faded some, but still has bright baby blues and Rosy red lips........

now sarah, on the other hand, i have only owned now for the last two or three years.....she belonged to my great grandmother.......im not sure where the name sarah came from, but it stuck......she is wearing a lovely light pink cotton dress with a lace overlay on the skirt, neckline, and cuffs....she also wears lace up boots.....her undies are more traditional to the times, as they go from neck to toes.....her face is white as white can be and she has small coral colored lips.....unlike annabell,who only has one painted nail left, sarah has all her nails panted.....mawmaw used to say that she looked she was getting ready to be "courted".....

13 March 2008

moving update

ok, so i know that i already told everyone that we will be leaving sometime next week, well.....thats not quit right....if you know anything about the army,you know that things can change at the last minute.....

we are still going to italy, but not until sometime around the 15th of april....reason being is that stephen was denied going because jeremiah cannot go.....the army, or rather efmp(exceptional family member program)said that the place that we were going in italy was not equipped to treat or handle his asthma.....after finding this out, stephen began to see if we could to germany or even somewhere else stateside that jeremiah could go.......that turned out to be a big NOTHING, except of course for two options.....

stephen was told that he could still go italy just that jeremiah couldnt.....and if he did not take the assignment to italy he would be sent to korea for a year by himself (option1)...then he was told that if he did not take korea, he would have to stay here at fort bragg and that by staying here he would be deploying again in december(option2)......so as you can see, he didnt have many choices.....and i was honestly no help at all in this one because i did not, couldnt not, and would not be the one to make the decision to go to italy and not take jeremiah......

he weighed his options and choose to go to italy.....and so now we are having to start the whole moving process over again with all of the physicals and efmp screenings and everything......so our new projected date to leave is around the 15th of april........

10 March 2008

I've been tagged for Crazy Eights

My IRL friend Leah tagged me to participate in a meme. So, here are several things in groups of 8, that tell you a little about me!

8 things I want to do before I die

1. Encourage my children continue to be Christians and live a saved life.
2. Grow old with Stephen.
3. Be an inspiration to my children.
4. Have a house full of grands and great grands to love and spoil.
5. Learn to quilt.
6. Become the best person that i can, the one that God wants me to be.
7. Teach my children to appreciate life in a way that I am just discovering(borrowed from Leah cause it's just too good not to).
8. Re-build some old family bonds, not just for me but for all of my family.

8 things I say often

1. No.
2. Stop.
3. Not nice.
4. Good job.
5. I'm proud of you!
6. I love you.
7. Not so loud.
8. Thank you Lord!(for every blessing we get and every day that i am allowed to wake)

8 songs I sing over and over again

1. Sally the camel
2. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
3. Mary had a little lamb.
4. Clean clean up (from barney)
5. Abc's
6. If you're happy and you know it
7. Jesus loves me
8. And i can't forget the dora theme song.

8 things I’m passionate about
1. My God.
2. Stephen.
3. My kids.
4. My family.
5. Friends (the few that i still have)
6. Cooking.
7. Reading.
8. Building a STRONG christian family.

8 books I’ve read recently
1. The cat in the hat.
2. Goodnight moon.
3. Are you my mother.
4. The foot book.
5. Thank you God for all the animals.Dancing with Degas
6. Peek-a-Boo.
7. Mr. brown can moo. can you?
8. Not his type(romance about a plus size woman getting the hot guy)

8 things that attract me to my best friends
1. Loyalty.
2. Trust.
3. Honesty.
4. Similar interests/passions
5. Similar beliefs
6. Shared experiences.
7. Not just a friend to me, but to my family as well.
8. They accept me and love me for who I am.

8 people I think should do Crazy Eights, ok I don't know 8 blogging people, sorry pretty new to this.

07 March 2008

Show and Tell

for todays show and tell i am showing off some of the things i whipped up for my son's birthday party.....his party was originally going to a superman theme, but he changed his mind on TUESDAY....he wanted a party for some dude naruto......knowing nothing about him, i spent a lot of time on the internet......

here's what i found out...naruto is a japanese anime....the story line is a ninja love story, i believe.....his toys couldnt be found in the toy stores here and i didnt have time to order anything off the internet....and i found no party supplies for him....

so i made a decorated a store bought cake (i couldnt find mt stuff to bake it myself) with a naruto decal that i made using contact paper and a print out of him.....i bought some really cool looking blue and green plates and napkins....and then headed to the local asian market to pick up some chopsticks.....i actually found some candy chop sticks....printed off some coloring pages for the treat bags and painted what is supposed to be the symbol for friendship on the front of the clear bags.....i know that they are not 100% correct because i did it myself and all the characters are supposed to be beside each other and mine are not, i couldnt get them to fit( if anyone is of japanese heritage, i apologize, i was not trying to make a mockery of your beautiful language/symbols, just trying to satisfy a ten year old kid....and then i came up with this great idea for rice crispy sushi.....

they have to be my favorite.....they are not perfect, but cute......the "sushi' with the green center is not so hot cause all the green marshmallows melted too quickly and kinda blended in with the rest of the treat.....and the "sushi" with the pink center, well those marshmallows didnt want to melt at all, so they are a bit thicker.....either way, i think that they turned out cute and the kids love them.....

we will also be having the regular chips and dip along with some healthier snack choices.....there will also be popcorn and a huge bowl of steaming ramen noodles.....according to the cartoon, naruto loves ramen......

sorry my table wasnt big enough to hold everything


i tried to put a napkin behind the writing so it be seen better

05 March 2008

hump day is here

as today is wednesday and it has always been called humped day, or atleast as far back as i can remember, i thought it would be a fitting title for todays post....

wednesday is the middle of the week and often times breaks a crazy week in half....however, for me, today is simply the beginning of a busy next few days......jeremiah is having his birthday party saturday......i have been enlisted to make his cake and put together the treat bags and arange the decorations......that is normally not a problem, especially being that i like to do things like that, but there are two problems with this birthday party.....actually more like obstacles than problems, but they are as follows.....

1.) i am planning the party with his mama at their house in goldsboro.....thats no biggie, but it does kinda leave some things to the imagination in regards to the amount of treat bags and the like....or the amount of decorations that she has to go along with what i have.......so my plan for that is to just save all the receipts for everything and if there ends up being unopened items, i will return them later.....

2.) jeremiah had originally wanted a sonic the hedge hog party......i hunted high and low and couldnt find all much in sonic....so he changed his mind to having a superman party....that seemed cool to me because i knew that superman stuff was everywhere.....but two days ago, i was told that he wanted to have a naruto party........this has turned into a challenge.....

first, i had no idea who or what a naruto even was......second, every store i went to did not have anything naruto......third, i could buy some stuff online, but 99.99999999% of it was coming from japan or china and wouldnt have been here in time for the party........

so here is what i have come up with.....i found a site that i could print off coloring pages of naruto(i printed like 40)those along with several other little party favors and even a few pieces of candy will be put into regular ole clear favor bags.......i will be decorating the outside of the bags with window paint(found at hobby lobby)....i printed off some of the japanese writing that is in the comic books(not sure what they are saying, but hey i thought it would be cool), and that will be on the sides of the bags.....i will also be using some of the same writings on regular dark blue napkins....and the plates will be the same dark blue......

since i could only find naruto shaped balloons at some chinese website that i wasnt even sure how to order from, his balloons will be basic primary colors......the girls and i are going to make him a birthday banner that we will be pasting a huge blown up picture of naruto and his friends on both ends of it......

and his cake, i am actually cheating there this year, i am not making it from scratch, not because i dont want to, but i cant seem to find my frosting tips anywhere and i dont want to buy new ones when i know i have some somewhere.....so i am getting a plain white cake with a red top and bottom border from walmart......once i get it home, i will be placing a naruto decal(that i have made myself)in the middle of the cake and adding on the candles.....i will also be "dusting" the cake with some sprinkles that i found that kinda look like the different word bubbles from comic books........

and all this starts tomorrow morning, so as you can see, my hump day is the beginning of a busy rest of the week.......wish me luck

p.s. i will post some pics later on this weekend or next week

04 March 2008

trading in for a poodle dog

again, i come to you at the wee early hour of 1:30am, with sign of sleepiness in sight......and as i sit here, i realize that i have not posted in a few days.....not because there is nothing to talk about, but because i have come to a point where i am drawing a blank......

reason being is, i am almost 100% sure, that everyone is tired of hearing about us getting ready to move to italy.....i say this because i am getting tired of talking about it......it not that i am not super excited, but rather just ready for it to finally happen......too many delays happening right now, which is slowing us down a bit.....and it seems anytime that i talk to anyone in my family, that is all that care about.....i was the same way right before i got married.....seriously, i was sooo tired of talking about it and ready for it to happen that i simply stopped talking about it.......

so anyways, on to something else......i cannot wait....i repeat CANNOT WAIT till kee is three.....three is going to be a great day for me, i mean us.....she will be two years closer to being in school(YES!), i can finally go back to work full time, without the cost of all day daycare.....she will hopefully no longer be in the terrible two's anymore......although i have been told by my parents that she is just like me and it wont be any easier at three than it is at two....but i am thinking that anything is better than this......for example....

first off, kee is a very sweet, loving little girl....when she wants to be, but here lately she has just lost her mind or something......my last few days have been spent not patching and painting nail holes like i had planned, but rather scrubbing markers, pencils, and crayons off every single wall in the house....even when i put them up, she manages to find them.....i have been cleaning up paint peelings where she has managed to peel and pull paint off her bedroom wall.....refolding laundry like three times before a load can all be put away.....and remaking beds all day long.....

and to top it off, she has learned a new, not so very nice phrase......haha.....yeah it seems harmless, but with the devilish mind of a terrible two kid, its not so funny......last night, we had a very simple dinner of cornbread, grilled chicken and lima beans.....she loves the beans and cornbread, not so much the chicken(neither of the girls really like to eat meat).....she ate her beans and cornbread and some of her chicken....she wanted more cornbread but was told to finish her chicken first.....she gets up from the table walks straight into the kitchen and throws her plate in the floor, chicken scattered everywhere and says so very proudly, "HAHA, cornbread peas".....or when she got mad at me the other afternoon after lunch when i wouldnt let her have any more to drink because she was going to take a nap and i didnt want her to pee in the bed, she stood in the kitchen and peed in her panties, followed by the now infamous "HAHA".....she hasnt had an accident in forever.....and here i am left thinking to myself......"i want to laugh, but im too mad.....do i pop her hand or just leave her be.......no i'll trade her in on a poodle dog...yeah a poodle dog thats it"

01 March 2008

recipes for the insomniac

it is now almost 2 in the morning, and as it is so very normal for me, i am wide awake.....though these dark and very quite hours are often boring, and probably going to kill me one day, i can normally find something constructive, yet not to noisy to occupy my time......sometimes i catch up on reading a book that has no pictures....sometimes i will watch a sappy lifetime movie....sometimes i work on a project or just spend time with God.....and many times, more than not, i will bake....so as i sit here tonight with nothing to bake, watch, read, or do, i thought that i might share my last night owl "baking party" recipe with you....

i grew up all over the world cause my daddy was in the army, but when it was time for him to retire, he took us right back home to his roots so to say.....we moved to opelika, alabama.....where i first remember having apple butter.....this is a recipe that i got from my mama a long time ago.....i recently made it and it tastes just as good as if she had made it herself......the recipe doesnt tell you how much it makes, but normally it will fill a medium size canning jar(somewhere between 3-5 cups)


Mama’s Oven Apple Butter


What you will need:
-8 granny smith apples. Peeled and diced
-1 cup apple juice
-1 cup sugar
-2 tablespoons cinnamon

What you will do:
-Cook diced apples and juice in a dutch oven over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until tender. Once tender, stir until the apples are mashed.
-Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Pour into a lightly greased 11x7 inch baking dish.
-Bake at 275 degrees for 4 to 41/2 hours, stir every hour.
-Cover and chill, or can.

Tips:
-If it does not turn out to be the spreading consistency you like, run a mixer through it for a few minutes.
-If you prefer to use a sugar substitute, add just a squeeze or two of lemon juice.



apples courtesy of http://www.bearhaus.com/main.html

29 February 2008

Show and Tell

ok bare with me, i love the idea of show and tell, but i am not real sure how this works....i believe that i am following all the directions and rules.....if i have it wrong PLEASE let me know and i will change it.....

my show and tell comes from my kitchen today.....i love kitchens, they offer soo much warmth, love, life lessons, and of course good sweet smells.....anyways, my kitchen is and has been done in americana for several years now......its not just your typical stars and stripes and hearts, but a mixture of alot of different things.....and today i am showing a set of six wrought iron figures.....my aunt donna found them at a yard sale and gave them to me......i love them and they fit so very well with everything else......

there is a colonial style woman, a colonial man, a cannon with a pile of cannon balls, what i presume to be a door knocker, and soaring above them all is a proud eagle.....they hang over the doorway into my dinning room.....i dont know very much about them except that they were made by a company named sexton....there is a 24 stamped in the back of all them and an old man at a resale/antique shop told me they were very old and highly collectible.......and that mine were still in very good condition......

the pictures that i have to share with you are not the best because i was afraid to take off the wall.....the hook on the back is getting very weak, so once i have them in place i DO NOT move them......the red they were once painted has faded to a dull brownish color, the blues are still brilliant and the cream color is yellowish in tint now.....colors would probably be better if i would actually wash them, but i am terrified they will rust or all the color will wash off.....they do get a regular dusting......




27 February 2008

queen of crafts.....

ok ok, maybe im not the queen of crafts, but im working on it......lol...no seriously, i have come a long way, very very long way from my first "real" crafting project.......back then i thought i wasnt very good and felt it was a waste of time.....now i live to craft and craft to live......

about 7 years ago, leah and i thought it would be good for us to take up crafting.....actually i think it was more her idea than mine.....she used to have a super hectic life and i think that she thought that crafting could take her away from it all for little while.....anyways, we bought little terra cotta flower pots, some paint, some brushes, hot glue guns, ribbons and fake flowers......

so with a glass of wine,(we thought we were SOOOOO the stuff back then)and all of our supplies we sat in the middle of my living room floor and commenced to make our own flower arrangements......by the end of the night we had concocted these things that were white....but just barely, you could still see the terra cotta color peeping through, there was hot glue strings everywhere holding bunched up ribbons in place, flowers or what was supposed to be flowers painted all around the sides of the pots.....and i dont think that we ever made it to the actual flower arrangements themselves.......needles to say, they were not the prettiest of crafts, or at least mine definitely wasnt as i remember.....

thinking back on that day, i remember that we used my best towels for our drop clothes....they were a really soft light blue fluffy towel (i worked at sears at the time and got them for a great price).....by the end of our crafting night my towels were covered in paint stains and piles of dried up hot glue......

in preparing to make our move to italy, i was cleaning out my HUGE overflowing craft box, which is more like a three drawer dresser now, because they wont ship liquids and i have several paints that will need to be used or given to boo's classroom....anyways, back on track here, i found one of those stupid blue towels......it still has all of its original stains of purple and white along with the hot glue piles, plus the tons more stains that my kids and i have added to it......its almost a work of art by itself.....

like i said, it made me think of leah and that very first project all those years ago....if she had not made me do it then, i might not be where i am now.....and i love to craft and all things that i have made for my kids, for my family, friends, all the stuff for the house, and not to mention all the awesome flower arrangements that i am able to make, not just for me, but for several different weddings......i love it and its just yet another reason that i love leah.....

p.s. maybe one day i might get around to posting some of my projects!!

26 February 2008

black history month project

as we all know feb is black history month.....in our family, being that half of us are white and half of us are black, that always brings up a ton questions and long talks.....one of the best things that my kids and stephen and i have all come to agree on, is that black history is a good thing to learn and to understand, but that black people are no different than any other race, that we were all created equal and that all heritage months should be taken away, or at least until (as my son said) "they find a way to give white people a month too since we are the only ones that dont have a month"......i am very proud of my children for the thoughts that they have and their ability to express them in ways that are respectful.....im also very proud of them for being able to look past a persons skin color to see who they really are inside......


anyways onto the subject at hand......jeremiah was given a project to do for black history month.....they were supposed to use the library, internet and books/mags. to come up with a paper and display......the paper could be on any one person that the student wanted to use and the display had to be at least a poster board, creatively done to represent the person that they chose......


in talking to jeremiah, we found out that almost all the kids in his class were going to be using martin luther king jr, harriett tubman, george washington carver, or booker t washington.......i told him that i felt that he should find someone else to do his project on......he could not think of anyone else to use....which is truly a shame because there are sooooo many more great black people that helped to make the world what it is today, but yet all that is taught in our schools are the ones listed above.......after being frustrated at this, i asked him if he knew who the tuskegee airmen were......of course he didnt, shocker there......so guess what, they are who he then did his project on......


i took him over to tuskegee university while we were still in alabama so that he could learn first hand for himself who they were and what they were about...... after a few hours there, we found out that the first black pilots in all of the military do not have an actual museum of there own.....the first one, which wasnt much better than the make shift trailor being used at present, was burned to the ground.......we gathered as much information and took as many pictures that we could.....we also were given the chance to see and touch the original one and only plane that was used to train every single one of the airmen....i also had jeremiah spend some time on the internet to find out some more stuff that he could use for his project........


we worked on his paper and his display which consisted of two poster boards(with props on the back so they would stand up), a map of alabama with tuskegee highlighted for it all to sit on, several different pamphlets that we got at the airmen site and a book......he was nervous about taking it to school because we had not followed the "rules" and had used more than one person for the project......i told him not to worry, that if he got in trouble or got a bad grade i would go and talk to the teacher........however, i am very happy to report that he got the highest grade and his project is on display for the whole school to see.....


it is honestly sad that in honoring black history, especially being that it is the month that is the most promoted throughout the media, movies, tv programs, schools and the like, that our children dont get the opportunity to learn about some of the other great black people that have changed the world too......


i have included a few pics that we took....



25 February 2008

sounds of spring are in the air

so as i was awakened to the noises of lawn mowers and leaf blowers, my mind instantly thought....wow, they feel need to cut grass, that must mean that spring is on its way.......

although they are sounds that during the spring, are not welcomed at the crack of dawn, they were much longed for today......this winter season has been a crazy one.....cold then hot....then cold and snowy.....just to go back to hot......then to go right back to freezing.......so i am patiently waiting the days that i can walk outside first thing in the morning and enjoy a cup of coffee while i watch boo get on the school bus.....instead of the days of now, where we bundle her up, send her out at the last min and i watch from the kitchen window (to prevent keegan from being out in the cold that early in the morning) just to hop on the couch and bundle in a warm blanket.........

i miss spring.....spring and early fall are my favorite times of the year.....the weather is just perfect......no jackets, no huge piles of clothes......we can play outside instead of being pretty much limited to the house.......to run and play in fields of flowers....to lay down in tall grass....to be barefoot........Lord please make spring hurry

24 February 2008

once were six on the move, but now we are five

as it were, all six of us were supposed to be moving to italy....stephen and me and all four of the kids.....well at least all four for the first year....but as it turns out, alex told us this weekend that she is no longer going to be going with us, that as long as she has free time in the summer she wants to visit, but she cant go for the year.....major shocker there.....we were all so excited about going and were counting down the weeks till we left, so this came as a huge surprise......

she has decided that she wants to stay with her mom.....she has been thinking about it for awhile and finally decided that it was time for her to tell us......it was a hard thing for her to do.....she was worried that we would be mad at her or that we might want to blame her mom.......she also thought that we might love her less or something like that (like that could or would ever happen).......its been a really long time since i was 13, i guess i forgot how their minds work........

after the initial shock of it, we found out that her reasons are really good and very mature ones to make for her age.....here in north carolina, they are starting a new program in high schools......starting the beginning of freshman year, which is next year for her, if a student passes an acceptance test and is approved, they can begin taking college classes at no charge (yes, i just said free college) ......doing this program will allow students to graduate at the end of their junior year with a two year degree.......so far she has passed the acceptance test and is waiting the approval......

i am not real sure just how this program works, so that will be my "homework" for the week, but i am extremely proud of her for having the motivation to start her college career this early......she is an incredibly smart young lady and if this is really something that she wants to do, she will be successful.......my only fear is that she is going to miss a lot of what high school is really about because from what i understand now, there will not be a lot of free time for her....her schedules are going to be picked for her...her normal school hours will be different and when the bell rings, her day is not over.....she will have night classes to head out to, and depending on the term, she may have some super early morning classes as well......

my prayer for her now will be that she continues to keep herself motivated and doesnt give up when it gets tough, as i am sure it will......not that she is the type of person to give up easily, but in the past, she has allowed friends, comments of teachers directed toward her "laziness" when she is bored with a task that doesnt challenge her, and the thoughts of other people to stand in the way of her success.......i pray that she will find her own strength in this process and come out on top, proving to herself what i already know.......that she can do anything that she sets her mind to.......

20 February 2008

sweet home alabama




well its more like sad home alabama this time around....sorry that i havent posted in a few days, but we took a few days and headed home to spend some time with the family and to tell them goodbye...or rather, to say our "see ya laters"....this was the last trip that we will be bale to make down there before we head on over to italy......it was hard to leave, but its all a part of the life that we chose.....it did make it easier this time around because i know that my parents are already saving the money to come and see me.....and even though i will not be able to make a trip up north to visit leah before we leave i know that she will come to see us too....in fact while i was in germany she was the only one that made that trip.......

it was a good trip though...we had alot of fun hanging out and playing games with the family............i kicked some major booty in electronic monopoly and we played a few hours of uno attack......we visited our church and went out to eat at one of our favorite places named country's......great little bbq place with the best fried pickles ever.......hopefully i will be able to post some of the pics soon......

after the dreaded drive home, all the fun and games was over, well atleast for now......we had to pick up were we left off, and start trying to get everything finished so that we can leave on time......yesterday was more doc appointments and tomorrow will be all about the passports......wish me luck with that.......cause i will definately be needing it.....all the paperwork that is required for passports for underage children is just madening.......i already a whole folder full......we praying though that we will get them back in time......they have to be rushed.......

anyways, i think that is enough for now......i hope that this finds everyone is good health and spirits and that you are as blessed as we are.......peace, love and blessings

13 February 2008

transport from 360

well i am not new to blogging, but i am new here.....i have been blogging on 360 for sometime now but have decided it is time for a change......i am still figuring out this whole blogspot, so bare with me....in the mean time i have posted a few of my blogs from 360 here to get me started, none of them are in type of order sorry.....i am not a mean or spiteful person, but i am who i am and i believe strongly about certain things.....i will never say sorry for the things that i post.......i hope to meet some new and interesting people here......hope you enjoy.......love and blessings
Prayers of a child
sometime last week elizabeth came to me and said that she didnt know how to pray.....i asked her why because she has been saying her prayers for a long time now.....she explained to me that she didnt want to pray the little kids prayer.....you see we have taught her the basic kids prayer of now i lay me down to sleep.....she has this book of childrens prayers, and we have read it several times....so she has now began to associate her prayers to the childrens prayers in that book....which there was nothing wrong with that, but she feels that it is for a baby....and plans on teaching it to keegan when she can really talk.....
so we began talking about why we pray and how we should pray.....we worked on a new big girl prayer for her to start saying.....that lasted till tonight.....after dinner and playing and brushing teeth and all that normal nightly bedtime jazz, i reminded her to do her prayers before she went to bed......she said ok and left......a while later she came back out and said that she wasnt praying right and wanted my help.....so i went in the room and sat with her and asked her what she meant......she told me that she wanted God to really hear her prayers and wanted to pray like mommy and daddy do.......
not knowing what exactly she meant i asked her what she meant......she told me and my heart filled with this pride and joy that i cannot explain......she is only five and already understands the true power of prayer.....she wanted to kneel and pray rather than sitting in her bed.....so we began to talk about what it is that she should say......i told her that the first thing that she should do when praying to God is to humble herself by kneeling and then begin by praising God for all that he has done for her....then she could then ask a special blessing over anything or anyone that she wanted to......and then she could ask God to help her to reach her personal goals for the week........and that then she should always tell God how much we love him and his son Jesus Christ our personal Lord and savior......so this was her prayer.....
Dear God,
my name is elizabeth kay martin.......you have made me special because i have a mommy, a daddy, a big sister, a little brother and a baby sister......you have also given me a dad......God will you please make my daddy and all his friends safe in iraq cause mommy says that they have the most important job in the world and their job is not over yet.......God will you please make my graw stronger and better so that i can go and see her again soon......will please make my sister not be so mean to me when we play.....can you make my mommy be strong for my daddy and be the boss when he is gone......and God can you tell my dad that i love him too.....because i love all of them and want them all to be safe.....God thank you for making us all healthy and happy and safe.......God can you help me to be a good girl this week, my goals are to be good in school, help mommy with the dishes and listen to what she says....to be nice to keegan and ms. janell......i love you God and Jesus, and tell Jesus thank you for breaking the bread small to feed like 25 people(her lesson at church today was about Jesus feeding 5000)......AMEN
i was sooooo proud of her for the simple prayer that she said and realized more today than any other that our children really do learn from our example......i guess i didnt know that she paid that much attention to me or stephen when we prayed.......but now i know......
baby, i hope that when you read this that you will see what a true impact you have had on this family......and just how much you are loved and missed.......we love you and miss you very much, and as you can see we are all praying for you and everyone else over there......i missed talking to you today and hope that you will get the chance to call tomorrow......i love you and miss you more than words can say.....
attack of the suckers
kids are some of the most amazing things that God could have ever created......they are sooo filled with energy and the things that will come out of their mouths will sometimes shock us.....but the craziest of the crazies when it comes to kids is the things they do to each other at times......
after church today, i told the girls that we had a few errands to run (both of them have been growing like little weeds, all the clothes that we got them for Christmas, are all getting tooo small already!).....so we go to kmart first, elizabeth needed to get some new pants.....we looked for what seemed like hours just to bring home clothes that dont fit.......yes, i know that i should have tried them all on her, but that is a difficult thing all by its self.....let me tell you why......i cant take the buggy into the dressing room, keegan wont stop screaming at the top of her lungs when elizabeth goes in by herself.....i guess she thinks that we were going to leave her......so we tried on one pair that did not fit and so i figured that if i got the next size up it would fit.......guess i was wrong there.....
anyways, we leave....and on the way to walmart, elizabeth asks if they can spend their money on suckers when we get there.....i said sure......did not think that buying suckers would cause any problems.......guess what, wrong again was i.....well the suckers themselves were not the problem.....the deveil child holding them was......keegan decides that it will be cool to throw the suckers into the buggy.....that normally would not be a problem for me cause atlaeast then she isnt throwing them all over the store.....but this time boo was "riding" on the back on the buggy and one of those big ole stupid suckers bounced right out of the buggy and popped boo in the eye.......i will be suprised if she wakes up without a blackeye......
of course she starts yelling and crying and everyone looks at me like i have just tried to kill her in the middle of the store or something.......so i have to take her and keegan to the bathroom so i can look at her eye.....while in there we all tried to go potty......thats when elizabeth decides it will be nice to leave keegan in the stall by herself......of course i am there the whole time so she wouldnt have gotten left......
it just amazes me, the things that the two of them will do to each other...but then in the same breath, if they think that someone is going to hurt their sister, they will be ready to fight.....
i hope that they will always stay that way for the rest of their lives.....cause i know for me, it really sucked growing up with an older sister that never loved me enough to fight for me, just with me.........
p.s....i forgot to tell my baby that i love him and miss him and i cant wait till you get to come home on r&r........huggs and kisses