Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 - In Review

So, I haven't told you about our Christmas celebration, but I'll post about that later. I have a doozie of a story for you from our trip. But, since it's the last day of the year, I thought I'd do an end of year post.

2008 has flown by. So much has changed, so much has happened. We have experienced times of absolute joy and awe and other times of terrible sadness and loss. There was a 12 month period in 1997 and 1998 that reminds me a lot of this last year. Kinda weird that it was 10 years ago.

I felt God's presence through so much of what happened this year, and the times that I didn't feel Him? Well, I know that He was there - prodding us along, carrying us through hard times, and making sure that we didn't have more than we could handle (although it didn't seem that way at the time).

We started off the year with anticipation for the birth of Lil Major and a quiet celebration at home. Little did we know what the year would hold for us. Before January ended, I made an impromptu trip to California for my step-grandfather's funeral. The sad time turned into a very enjoyable family get together as I saw family members I hadn't seen in years.

I was able to take a quick trip back to CA in March to visit friends and family before the arrival of Lil Major. It was so much fun to hang out with everyone, including my sister and nephew, and it was the last visit before my parents moved to Kansas.

April was a crazy, exciting, beautiful, happy, scary month. We weren't expecting Lil Major to arrive until the end of the month, but my body had other plans. Just 16 hours after my parents arrived in Wichita, I was sent to the hospital, and I didn't come home until I was holding a precious baby boy 5 days later.

Just a few weeks after Lil Major arrived, tragedy found our family. We lost The Colonel's brother and his wife in a tornado west of Wichita. We spent most of the summer in shock as we grieved the loss of two special people. We learned a lot through our experiences, and The Colonel and I drew closer to each other and our new little family.

When it was time to return to work after maternity leave, I chose to quit my job (that I hated anyway) and accept an offer for part time work with a local aircraft company. The best of both worlds! I got to spend 4 days a week with my son, and still make a decent living working 3 days a week.

It was hard to get "back to normal," if that's possible, but that's what I tried to do in August as I traveled back to CA again for a family wedding a longer visit with friends. The time went by quickly, but I had so much fun. And Lil Major turned into quite the traveler!

After thinking that I would be working 3 days a week for the long haul, the economy took a dive, and I found myself without a job. The sudden change caused me some anxiety, but I'm so thankful to be able to stay home with the boy. And I'm on the lookout for some work-from-home stuff that I can do.

Before we knew it, the holidays were here...and now they've almost passed us by. The year flew by! And I know that time is not going to slow down. Lil Major is growing so fast, and we are enjoying him so much.

Some things that happened in 2008 make me want to say that I can't wait to start over in 2009. But, I will never wish 2008 away -- it's the year that made me a mom, that brought my husband and I closer together, that saw my parents move closer to all 3 of us kids, that we lost loved ones - who we will see again one day. Who knows what 2009 holds for us...I guess we'll have to see where we are in 366 days.

The year is ending in just a few hours (at least in our neck of the woods), so I'm off to enjoy the final moments with my husband...if we can make it til midnight, that is! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Every year, my super talented hubby writes our Christmas letter. This year, a newer member of the family took over the honors...with a little help from his Daddy. So, I bring you our family letter for 2008. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, People,

I arrived early – three weeks early, they tell me. There was a lot of hullabaloo and apple polishing in the hospital, but I found out later it wasn’t for me. It was for the Jayhawks who had just prevailed in a big game. It seems as though I interrupted what was a spirited second half of a basketball game. I was nothing more than a post-game footnote. To make matters worse, my folks were shoddily prepared for my arrival; no car seat, no diapers, no nothin’ – another stick in the eye. I had a bit of a wobbly start, if you ask me. But my Dad tells me, “Don’t fret, son. At least you were born in a red state.”

I am relaxing in my quarters now. As I compose this from my crib, I am gazing up at camouflage netting hanging from my ceiling, camouflage walls, camouflage blankets. My room is dimly lit. Dad tells me it is like a war bunker, whatever that means. All my stuff is brown and green. Even the garb I am wearing. This is really everyone’s home like this?

Only six months old and I have traveled more than Bob Hope. SuperMom has lugged me around to seven states and one ocean. Dad usually stays at home. He is already secretly advising me, ala John Madden, about air travel. He says things like “Man was not meant to fly,” and “Watch out for those left coast loonies,” whatever that means.

Sunday afternoons at my house are jam-packed with cheap entertainment. I am learning about Chiefs football. I park myself between SuperMom and Dad and watch them hurl objects at the television while shouting things like “Tackle him! Tackle him!” and “Catch the ball, you loser!” The furry schnauzers run for cover. Outstanding! Dad usually stalks from the room before the game is over, but SuperMom and I sit ‘til the bitter end.

My birth certificate reads ‘xxxxxxx,’ but nobody calls me that. They call me ‘Little Major’ or ‘Major’ or ‘Little Buddy’ or ‘Buddy’. Dad sometimes refers to me as ‘Major Minor’ or ‘The Offspring.’ At this point I will answer to just about anything – I am one befuddled baby.

I have recently learned how to growl. Like a bear. SuperMom and Dad carry me around in the library where I randomly growl at people. Dad says I must have a sixth sense – I only growl at liberals.

Lest I forget what I look like, SuperMom and Dad have installed hundreds of photos of me throughout the house. I am photographed more than Brad Pitt. Snapshots everywhere! Oh well, it worked for the Ayatollah....

People tell me I look like my Dad. Fortunately, he is already warning me of my bleak future. “Get ready for a lifetime of mockery and harassment,” he says. But what does he know? Seven months old and I already have more of a mane than him. Besides, SuperMom is always telling me I am the cutest baby in the county.

Signing off now,

Lil Major

Friday, December 19, 2008

Free Travel!

Check out Cheap O Air for more info! You've got until Dec 22 to sign up!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Feeling

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here (is that cliche enough for all of you??). It's true! On Tuesday morning, we woke up to this beautiful sight...

And it's been so cold here all week that it's all still on the ground. I'm so thankful I haven't had to drive to work this week. There were a couple days where the roads were just terrible during the morning commute. Thankfully, The Colonel didn't have any problems. Since Lil Major has been sick, he hasn't been able to taste his first snow yet, but we've ventured out for some quick errands. This is as close as the poor boy has gotten to the snow so far...

Before the snow came, we kicked off our season by visiting our Botanical Gardens. They light up the gardens with luminaries and lots of other lights. Even though it hadn't snowed yet, it was pretty stinkin' cold, so we bundled up. Lil Major was bundled up so well, even his nose wasn't cold when I pulled him out of his stroller at the end!

Our house is all decorated for Christmas, and I have to confess that I haven't taken the time this year to just sit and admire it. I've been rushing around too much. But, as I type this, I'm listening to Christmas music, smelling the yummy cookies I just made, enjoying the lights and thanking God that my boy has been napping all afternoon. I need a hot drink, but I'm too comfy to get up.

My decorations look a lot like last year...with a few exceptions. Wish you could all stop by for some coffee and a cookie...guess this will have to do for now.

Welcome to my home! Here's what you see as you walk in the front door.

MIL's 100+ year old piano looks great in the dining-room-turned-sitting-room, and it makes the perfect place for my Nativity set.

The tree and mantle look pretty much the same as years past.

Almost all of my Christmas ornaments have special meaning to me - gifts from The Colonel from our dating days, mementos of past vacations, photos of loved ones, hand made ornaments from elementary school. There are some new ornaments this year, and they're just as special to us.

Front and center on the tree this year is this one...we miss you G&K!

And a couple other new ones...

I LOVE getting all the cards, letters and photos from family and friends. For the last few years, I've been trying to figure out a good way to display all of them. I think I finally figured it out, and my good buddy Marge was my inspiration. I got the idea from a sign she made for Lil Major at my shower.

The house is decorated, 2 batches of poor man's toffee have been made and given away, a new batch of cookies are cooling in the kitchen, and our church Christmas party is this weekend. All that remains to be done to complete our pre-Christmas traditions is to watch Christmas Vacation. If I only had a few more hours in the day...

How are your preparations coming??

The Best Prescription EVER

For 8 1/2 months, ever since Lil Major came home from the hospital, I've been having problems with my back. I first noticed as I hunched over the pack and play to change the boy or to lay him down to sleep. I just figured I was compensating for a sore belly from the c-sect. At my 6 week check, I told my OB about the pain. She said it was just tired, and not to worry about it.

Well, all this time later, it still hurts...and it's SO much worse. I get numbness and tingling down the right side of my back. The only way I can sleep is flat on my back. It's much worse after a busy day of playing with the boy, picking up the house and doing countless dishes.

After complaining for months, I finally sucked it up and went to the doctor. I'd been putting off going for lots of reasons - I didn't have a regular doctor, I didn't figure they could do anything for me since I'm still nursing and can't take most meds, and I didn't want to seem like a whiny kid complaining about aches and pains.

The doc was awesome. And I'm only slightly freaked out that she's about my age (when did I get old enough to have a doctor MY age??? That's why I refuse to think about the fact that my friend's hubby is a cardiologist...and he's YOUNGER than me!). She thinks it's something muscular since it's off to the side of my back. She told me take Aleve regularly, she signed me up for some physical therapy (which will be new to me), AND she wrote me a prescription to have a massage every 2 weeks!!

Woo hoo! Can't go against doctor's orders, right? My insurance will even cover it, after a co-pay, if I can find a "preferred provider." Sounds good to me!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mondays still suck

I haven't worked (a paying job) on a Monday in several months. And now I'm not working (a paying job) at all anymore. But, my Monday still sucked.

It actually started last night. The boy went down easily about 7:30pm. He slept GREAT...for 3 hours. As I got up from working on our Christmas letters to head to bed, I heard him...awake...crying. It took me an hour to get him settled back down and asleep in his crib. He's got a cold and an ear infection, and he's more comfortable sleeping propped up on my chest than flat in his crib. Too bad I can't sleep that way.

After that, he was up every 90 minutes! All.Night.Long! Finally, I kicked The Colonel at 5:30am and made him get up with him - I didn't care that he was working this morning...I needed to sleep!

Finally, at 7;30, I gave in to the cries coming from the nursery and dragged my butt out of bed. The morning went pretty smoothly. We ate breakfast, started some laundry, the boy took a good nap, and then we got ready to go to lunch with my old co-workers and boss. We loaded up into the car, pulled out of the garage, and I hit the button to close the garage door. And then things got crazy. The double door shut, but the single door opened. What? I didn't push that button. After punching at buttons and yelling at nothing, I pulled back into the driveway and went to investigate. I still don't know why the single door opened, but the double door had a broken opener - the chain was hanging on the ground. Great!

By the time I got all the doors properly closed, I was late to lunch. No biggie. While we waited for our food to come, I fed Lil Major his lunch (squash, mango and sweet potato). Then I let him taste a little bit of my mashed potatoes. AND THEN, the boy started coughing...and he puked his entire lunch all over himself. In true mom fashion, I caught most of the puke in my hand. What was I trying to save? I'm not exactly sure.

All of my co-workers groaned and gagged, and I swept the boy up and into the bathroom. Luckily I had a change of clothes in the diaper bag. He spent the rest of lunch cuddling with my boss, and she LOVED every minute of it. I had planned on running some errands after lunch, but due to the puking incident, we just headed home. That means that I forgot to mail the Christmas letters and bills while we were out. nice.

We came home, the boy took another nap, my Dad came over to look at the garage door, and then we had to head back out into the -9 degree windchill so the kiddo could get his flu shot.

All that to say that I wasn't in the best mood when The Colonel got home, so I didn't think it was funny when he asked me what I did all day, and why couldn't I get anything done, and why should HE get up with the kid during the night. He has to WORK all day. I know he was joking, but it was so NOT funny today. And just for that, I'll be kicking his butt out of bed every 90 minutes tonight to comfort the sicky baby.

And for listening to me rant and rave, I bring you some pictures of my super cute kid.

Oh, and I am trying to find some time to take pics of my Christmas decorations and post them. You all should do the same!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mail Call

I've been anxiously waiting for some things to arrive in the mail. Every day I check the box, check the front porch, but nothing is there. FINALLY, everything showed up TODAY. The UPS guy came to my house twice today. Not sure why they couldn't combine it into one trip, but whatever.

What was I waiting for? 3 different photo orders. I ordered a bunch of prints for our Christmas letter and of our family photo shoot. I ordered several photo gifts from Vista Print, and I've WAITING WAITING WAITING for my free Oprah book from Snapfish.

How exciting to get it all in one day. In a mess of cardboard, I ripped open all the boxes to check my goods out. Everything was there, and it all looked great. Of course, Snapfish screwed up and sent me double my order on the prints - but they only charged me once, so all is well.

But, something was weird in the Vista Print box. After I pulled all of my stuff out, there were still 7 calendars in the bottom of the box. And they weren't mine - it was some other family's stuff! I kinda freaked out b/c if it was my stuff that was sent to some random person and I never got it, and I didn't have it for Christmas...what would I do?

So, I called Vista Print (by the way, I've used them several times before and always been happy with their products) to tell them what happened. You'll never guess what this chick (who I think was answering the phone from the Philippines) said. She told me to THROW AWAY the calendars and that the customer would just call them in a few days when they didn't receive their order. Are you kidding me???

I said that I could tell her some info about the product and maybe she could figure out who's order it was so they could reprint and reship. She said NO, that's not our policy. We'll just wait til they call us.

I asked her if she'd rather hear from an irate customer or just fix the problem now. Again, she said, that's not their policy to try to fix it!

I asked for a supervisor. After 5 minutes, the supervisor came on and told me the same thing. I finally convinced her that it would be better to try to figure out who the order belonged to. She asked for the order # on the box. Duh! The order # is mine since it came to me! Oh, she said, well, I need a first and last name then.

Luckily, the family had their names on one of the calendars, so the supervisor was able to find the order, reprint it, and ship it out to them. I told her maybe they should re-examine their customer service policy for how to handle mis-shipments.

Can you believe companies operate like this??? I think it will all work out, and I will probably use them again (they DO have some great deals), but I'll be sure to keep an eye on my delivery dates and make sure I don't wait too long to call when I don't receive something.

Monday, December 08, 2008

What do you say?

I look forward to getting the mail during the Christmas season. I love to see everyone's family photos and read about their year. But, a card we got today made me cry. And since I'm so anxious to read all the cards, I was driving to the gym when I opened this wasn't my safest driving ever.

The card was from a friend who left her husband this year. The Colonel and I met this family (mom, dad, 2 kids) when we first moved to Texas right after we got married. We love them! We spent a lot of time with them over the years - holidays, vacations, backyard BBQs.

Over the summer, The Colonel got a call from the dad. He told us that he and the mom were getting a divorce. She had found someone else. Apparently, it had been going on for a while, but the parents (our friends) decided not to tell the kids until school let out for the summer. And the dad was giving the mom some time to come to her senses.

She never did. She moved out. Now, I only know half of the story, but the card we got today was from the mom. She said the kids are doing great and they have adjusted well to their "new situation." She also said the kids are "all fine."

How in the world can the kids be all fine?? She was so nonchalant about it. I don't know how to react. I don't want to abandon her, but I don't know how to react or what to say to her. I don't want the dad to think I'm siding with her, and I don't want things to be harder on their kids....what do I do??

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bargain Hunting

5 days before Thanksgiving, the conversation when something like this...

MOM: Let's push this table into the corner so that there is more room to walk around.

ME: We can't, it's broken, it will fall apart if we move it.

MOM: Well, you need a new table then.

ME: Let's check craigslist.

Four hours later, there was a new (to me) solid maple table sitting in my breakfast nook.

I'm starting to think that The Colonel is right about his "billfold getting lighter every time mom is around." hee hee

My beloved, but broken, red ceramic pedestal table, which was also a steal as I bought the floor sample from Timeless Furnishings, has been chucked to the side...

to make room for my new, albeit smaller, table...bought at the bargain price of $30!


Wow, the giveaways in bloggy land keep getting better. check out this one for $500 to Wal Mart. I could do a TON of christmas shopping and still have some left over...Hmm...maybe toward my D-SLR!! =)

Go check it out!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Fun with Daddy

I don't know how The Colonel comes up with all these super fun things to do with Lil Major. Here is the latest...the kitchen has turned into a race track, and I love it!

Thanksgiving 2008

I can't believe Thanksgiving has come and gone. Where in the world did this year go??

We had a nice peaceful family Thanksgiving this year. Just 9 of us around the huge table we set up in the family room -- The Colonel, Lil Major, me, my parents, the 'Rents, my brother, and a friend of hubby's from work. I wanted a sit down dinner instead of a buffet line because inevitably the first person through the line is finished eating before the last person sits down. We sat down, prayed, and passed the food. And then we told silly stories about our childhood, and The Colonel tried to make his mom pass out with all the crazy scary things he's done.

Our turkey was wonderful, and we have LOTS left over from the 17+ pound bird. I got so wrapped up in the preparations that I didn't take a picture of our table, but it looked GOOD. After dinner, we chatted some more, did the dishes, gorged ourselves on pie, and THEN we made homemade cinnamon rolls. That is a tradition that usually takes place the day AFTER Thanksgiving, but my punk little sister insisted we bring some to her in KC on Friday. Spoiled sis...she got what she wanted! =) (Love you, sis!)

Here are some photos I DID take of our celebration and the day after in KC.

Mema on the piano...

The grandpa's watching TV...

My bro and Lucy...

Grammy and Lil Major...

Grandpa and Lucy, who seems to think she's a cat...

The cinnamon rolls just coming out of the oven...

Papa and his boy in their matching mom's very favorite store.

The cousins...who were not allowed to get any closer than this, as Captain had pink eye.

Whoa! There are 4 babies now!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Anyone out there think they could use a $100 gift card to Wal Mart?? I sure could1

Head on over to Deal Seeking Mom and sign up for her giveaway...someone has got to win!

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Year

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Where did the year go??? This time last year, I was only anxiously anticipating the arrival of Lil Major (we didn’t even know he was a boy yet!), and I was on my way to Indy to celebrate the brand new arrival of my nephew. Captain is now a year old! And my boy is almost 8 months old! Wow!

So, here we are a year later, and quite a bit has changed…

Instead of waking up to pee every hour, I’m waking up to soothe a crying baby who refuses to sleep unless you’re holding him (uh oh, I think we’ve spoiled him). My SuperDad hubby has taken to sleeping on the floor of the nursery with the boy until he’s ready to head back to his crib. We pray that this doesn’t continue forever, we’re hoping that it is just because he’s teething and fighting a cold. And hoping my dream from last night will soon come true – that those stubborn top teeth make an appearance and give ALL of us some relief.

Instead of spending hours on the phone with my mom, I can now walk three doors down and hang out with her at her house! And instead of wondering what my little brother is doing way up in Wisconsin, I only need to look down the street to mom and dad’s house. Yes, this is new news…my bro has moved to Wichita and is (for the time being) living with my parents and looking for work.

Instead of sitting around my sister’s house fighting for turns to hold HER baby, we’ll be driving to KC on Friday to steal Sis and her family away from her ILs for a short visit. And we’ll watch our uber-cute boys crawl around and pull up and stand up and hopefully snap some cute pictures along the way.

Wow! What a year! I’m so thankful for my healthy son, my loving husband, my supportive family, my amazing friends (real life AND blogosphere) and The God who knows the plans He has for me and loves me unconditionally. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Full Time

I am about to become a full time stay-at-home-mom. 3 more days of work, and my employer will become my son...and my home.

This was not my decision, but I am excited about it...on one hand.

I've been working in the aircraft industry, and 3 of the larger aircraft companies here have announced layoffs due to the crappy economy. Over 1600 people are projected to lose their jobs in the next year. Probably more because contractors (like me) are not included in that number.

See, I was offered a full time position with my company, twice in the last year, but I only wanted to work part time. They were fine with that, but I had to go through a temp agency as a contract employee. No big deal to me. I didn't need benefits anyway.

Of course, this was all before the economy took a nose dive. When I hired on, my company was kicking butt, selling more planes than we could make, and everyone was happy. Fast forward 3 months. Orders are slowing down, some customers are canceling orders, and contractors are first on the list to go.

When we first heard about layoffs, I started thinking that I WANTED to get laid off. That way, the decision to work or not wasn't made by me, I would just go with the flow. And then my boss told me on Tuesday that my job was safe. They had ranked all the engineers in our department (over 65!), and I was nowhere near the bottom of the list. They had decided to lay off a couple full time employees and keep me. I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't be staying at home with the boy more, but also thankful that my salary would continue.

24 hours went by. I got a call from the temp agency confirming that my job was safe. Then my boss called me back into her office after lunch. Apparently, HR had yet been informed that contractors were staying while employees were being let go. Once HR was told, they vetoed...and said company employees got to stay first. I understand, in a way. They'll get more TIME out of a full-timer, but those engineers on the bottom of the list? They're probably not doing as much work as I'm doing in just 3 days.

The bad thing is that by the time my boss called me BACK in, I'd gotten used to the idea that I would keep working...only to be told that I'm out of a job. And I was just getting to the point where I felt like I was really contributing. Oh well.

The good news is that my boss loves me. And WHEN things turn around, I think she will call me to come back. And the GREAT news is that I get to spend so much more time with Lil Major. And maybe I'll even find time to do some of the projects I've been wanting to tackle. The scary news is that our income is dropping drastically. I've got some ideas on how to make our $$ go further, but I'll have to dig even deeper. And I'm looking into some other part-time, work from home, type things. That would be great!

So, 3 more days, and no more alarm clock, no more driving to work in the ice/snow, no more walking a mile in from the parking lot. My emotions are still a little wacky about all this, but I'm so excited to start this new chapter, too!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Best Rolls EVER

Ok, I'll give in and share my recipe with you. It originated with my mom's mom, but my uncle has been the primary baker at our holiday gatherings. My practice round went great, so good luck to all of you!


2 C warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 pkgs dry yeast
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C soft butter
1 egg
2 tsp salt
6 1/2 to 7 cups flour

Measure water into large warm mixing bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir until dissolved. Add sugar, butter, egg, salt and half the flour - beat until smooth. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle (I think I used just under 7 cups total). Place in greased bowl turning dough to grease top. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let dough rise to at least double in size. Punch down dough. Form rolls into 2 egg shaped pieces, place in well-greased muffin cups, allow to raise in a warm, draft-free place until baking size (at least an hour). Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes (watch them carefully - every oven is different!).

If you want to make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to let it rise and bake, then cover it and put it in the fridge as soon you've mixed it and placed it in a greased bowl. I used butter to grease my pans and my bowl. Yum yum!

I hope this makes sense. Happy baking!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, My Uncle D has made the most yummy rolls for our dinner. It's actually my Grandma's recipe, but I can only remember Uncle D making them. He makes MANY batches because they're so yummy that you could eat a dozen, easily! And, we HAVE to have enough dough left over to make cinnamon rolls the next morning.

There have been a few years where we couldn't make it to our family Thanksgiving, and Uncle D made sure to try to tempt us with homemade rolls. We begged him to save us some, to overnight mail them to us...but he said no way! You must be present to partake!

And all along I've had the recipe in my family cookbook, but I haven't attempted it...until now.

Thanksgiving is at our house this year, and I decided to make the "Uncle D" rolls. So, my mom, in her infinite wisdom, suggested that we practice before the big day. What a concept! While our boys golfed on Sunday afternoon, Mom and I broke out the cookbook and made the rolls. And guess what? They were AMAZING! They're a bit of work, but SO worth it.

And if we have rolls, then my husband will bounce them on the floor (or at least appear to), and we will all squeal in delight.

Severe Pain

I have severe pain right now. It's the holidays. I love family photos. I have a new(er) addition to my family. And this amazing girl is too far away to take our photos.

While I was in CA this summer, Lorie took pictures of Lil Major and me. And I LOVE them. See my header for one example. But, we don't have any good shots of us as a family, and I want some, NOW!

So, you Kansas readers (all 3 of you), do you have any suggestions for me? I love Lorie's style - she find the most amazing backdrops in just the most every day things. I don't want the Portrait Innov thing where you all sit in front of a blue backdrop. Oh, and I also don't want to have to choose 3 poses from 100. I want a CD of all the images. (I don't ask for much, do I?)

What do ya got for me??

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Kermit

As I'm catching up on uploading all my pictures on the camera, I had to watch this one over and over again. Don't I have the CUTEST little boy???

Now that he's figured out the crawling thing, he's a speed demon all over the house.

I'd love for my boy to enjoy eating things that I don't care for. So, I offered the kiddo some avocado. I think it's pretty obvious that he feels the same way about avocados that his Mama does!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


As I drove to work this morning, later than I’d planned, I realized that I left my cell phone at home. For a split second, I considered turning around and going back for it. But then I glanced at the clock and decided that I didn’t have time. My next thought was that I needed to call Mom to tell her I wouldn’t be answering my phone today. So, I reached for my cell phone...that I left at home...

What a great start to the day. At least it’s my Friday!

Monday, November 10, 2008

She cooked!

I took FULL advantage of the super duper sales at Dillon's (Kroger) this weekend. My bill before my discounts and coupons was $230...after all the discounts?? $130! I saved $100!! And after looking at my receipt, I see that they jipped me out of one of the $5 rewards...but I still did pretty good.

Anyway, one of my purchases was a buy one get one slab of ribs. Ribs aren't my favorite, but they are The Colonel's favorite, and my dad won't turn them down either. So, I called mom from work this morning and asked her to throw them in the crock pot using a recipe I found on one of the MANY blogs I read these days. And come to find out, it was John McCain's recipe. We liked it, but I think I would change up the spices a bit the next time - it was kinda salty. And mom insisted on basting the ribs with BBQ sauce at the end of the cooking cycle. We cooked them for 10 hours on low, and they were falling off the bone. Yum yum!

We paired the ribs with the yummiest yummiest Gouda mashed potato casserole (Jody - thank you for that!!) The recipe calls for whole milk, which I didn't have, so I used skim milk and fat free half and half. GO MAKE THIS NOW!!

And in an effort to have something without any fat in it, we had green beans as well. I had hoped for a nice family dinner together, but The Colonel got stuck at work late, and my dad had to leave early for his flying class thing, so we ate in shifts. And in between bites, I attempted to heat up squash and sweet potatoes for the boy...too bad one batch ended up all over the counter, cupboard and floor, and I melted the bowl on the next batch. Meanwhile he was screaming bloody murder b/c his little tummy was STARVING! Poor kid. We finally all got to eat, including The Colonel. I guess that was the important thing.

The boy was extra fussy today as he's still trying to get those 2 top teeth in, so he went to bed early. And instead of conquering one of the many things on my to-do list, I sat my big butt in front of the TV and caught up on The Amazing Race. I have to say - I'm SOOOOO glad those chicks, the divorcees, got kicked off. They are complete idiots. How many times did they neglect to follow the directions and get screwed up? They deserved to be gone. I hope that Kenny and Tina win it - they're the most down to earth, help others, nice people on the show.

Now, it's off to bed for me. The Colonel and I are both off tomorrow to celebrate our 8th anniversary as well as Veteran's Day. The plan is to take in the movie Fireproof and have an early dinner, sans the boy. Let's hope for better weather than we had today!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Another Loss -- football, that is...

Our annual trip to KC to watch our beloved (we've got to love 'em to stick with them through the last few years!) Chiefs was a little different this year. We had a little person tagging along.

The Colonel wanted to leave Lil Major at home, but I was intent on taking him with us. I didn't want him to feel left out. =) We only had to stop one time on our drive north, and besides me riding in the back of the car with him, there was nothing exciting in our drive. This was a MUCH better trip than our ride to Indiana back in June.

We spent Saturday eating BBQ, looking for train/hobby shops, walking and walking and walking around the Plaza, taking naps, and trying to keep a little boy from crawling on the NASTY hotel floor.

waiting for our BBQ...

playing at the fountain...

people watching...

Lil Major and I fell asleep early Sat night while The Colonel stayed up to watch Texas Tech surprise everyone. And we were hoping to be pleasantly surprised ourselves at the Chiefs game. We were hopeful for a while...and then it happened...what always happened...they threw it away, and we lost again.

We got to the stadium early and pretended to tailgate in the parking lot. I say pretended b/c we didn't have any food. We just got there early so we wouldn't sit in traffic on the freeway to get in. The boy crawled around the back of the car, and the big boy and I people watched.

The guy sitting next to us (in our totally AWESOME seats given to us by my sis's in-laws) said that Lil Major was helping the team play better. We should have listened to him b/c every time I left our seats to walk around with the boy, something bad happened -- kickoff return on the OTHER team, fumble, not good!

the view from our seats...

We still had a blast, though. Arrowhead is the best stadium to watch a game in, and the club level where we were sitting is the best place to sit. It was our second year being there near Veteran's Day (which also happens to be our anniversary), and they did great things to honor our Vets. There was a great flyby, like always, and a HUGE flag during half time (it was only half open here).

Not to mention that The Colonel and all the other Vets stood up to be recognized.

I had forgotten how loud it was, with the announcers and everything, but Lil Major still managed to get in a couple short naps. And he loved looking at everything around him. It was more work than I anticipated to have him with us, and it was frustrating that the only changing table in the stadium was in the first aid office which was a 10 minute walk away...but I'm glad we took him. Besides, he looked SO cute in his little jersey.

Since we were so tired, the boy offered to drive us home...

Halloween 2008

So, this Halloween post is WAY late, but since I already posted pics of the boy in his costume, and since I've had such a crazy week...I didn't really rush it.

We had a pretty laid back Halloween. The plan was to hand out candy for a bit, trick or treat with our neighbors for a bit, and then come home to get ready for our trip to Kansas City.

We did all of those things...but the "bit" part turned out to be VERY short.

I think we gave out a handful of candy before we headed out with our neighbors. We made it almost around one block in our neighborhood before Lil Major, aka the best looking fireman EVER, started getting really tired and fussy. I mean, who can blame him - all he did was ride around in a stroller and get NO candy. I had to beg some chocolate from Macey, our neighbor's 9 year old. =)

We did enjoy the time with our friends, who will soon be moving away, and all the costumes of our neighbors. One of the parents out with their kids had the BEST stroom trooper costume. It was so cool!

Here are the cutest boys on the block...can you believe Seth is 2 months younger than Lil Major??

I had anticipated handing out more candy after we got home, but since the kiddo was so zonked, I put him down and turned out all the lights because I didn't want the doorbell and the dogs to wake him up. We had an early morning call to head out to KC...more on that shortly...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Taste of Fall

I have fallen in love with soups the last couple years, although I am a bit of a soup snob. I prefer bisques because everything is chopped up and smooth - I don't like chunky vegetable soups. I like chowders, but nothing with fish. I'm only KINDA a picky eater.

Anyway, I made a butternut squash bisque yesterday. There are tons of recipes out there, but I wanted something easy that I could make in my crockpot and that didn't take a ton of ingredients.

This is what I tried:

2 1/4 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
sour cream (to garnish)


1 Place squash cubes, garlic, nuts, and olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
2 Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until squash is soft (about 25 minutes).
3 Place garlic, nut, and squash in a blender or food processor pulsing until pureed.
4 Transfer mixture to crock pot and add the cream, chicken broth, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and pepper.
5 Stir to combine.
6 Cook on low heat 3-5 hours.
7 Garnish with sour cream and a few remaining nuts.

Now, here's what I did differently...
1. My squash was already cooked (I cut it in half, placed it cut side up in a pan with 1/2" water in the bottom, covered it in foil, and baked it for 45 minutes on 350), and I probably used about 2/3 of a very large squash. I have no idea how you know you have 2 1/4 pounds of squash, I just eyeballed it.

2. Since the squash was already cooked, I just sauteed the garlic and nuts in oil. If I were to do it again, I'd use less oil and throw in the ginger, too.

2. I pureed my butternut squash, nut/garlic/oil mixture and chicken stock in my blender, then poured it into my crock pot. (I used the chicken stock in the blender b/c it was too thick to blend otherwise).

3. It was REALLY thick, so I dumped in a second can of chicken stock.

4. It was really creamy on its own, but I felt like I NEEDED to use some cream...but I only added 1/3 cup. It really didn't need any.

The bottom line? It's good. It tastes better today than yesterday. It's not quite as sweet as I expected, but that's ok. I'd make it again, with my modifications.

I have one more squash to use, so send me your suggestions for how I could do it differently...or ideas on what else to make with my squash. Agnes...send me your recipe!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Stupid DVR

You would think that my DVR (which I program to record a show, not for a certain time) would KNOW when the football game ran late and 60 minutes started late, and it would not start recording The Amazing Race until the show actually that I could watch the end of the show. But, NO! It's too stupid.

Thank goodness for full episodes on the internet, otherwise I wouldn't know that Kenny and Tina are still in the race. Whew!

Stay tuned for the rundown on Halloween and our exciting weekend in KC.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life is fragile.

I’ve always known that, but sometimes it hits harder than others. When The Colonel and I first got married and moved far away from everyone we knew and loved (besides each other, of course), we had to completely rely on each other for everything. It was a good way to start out a marriage – there was no running to mom or dad when we had a fight, we had to start our own holiday traditions, and we spent A LOT of time together. I clung to that time – sometimes in an unhealthy way. I had this crazy fear that I needed to spend as much time with him as possible because what if he didn’t come home one day, what if the world ended, what if??? And it went on and on. I turned down activities with new friends b/c I wanted to be at home with my new husband...even if we were fighting, even if we NEEDED time apart.

I just felt like if something bad were to happen, I wanted to know I’d spent as much time as I could with him, that I’d told him I loved him and that he KNEW I felt that way. As time passed, I relaxed and realized The Colonel DID know I loved him and that it was GOOD for us to spend time apart.

So, 7 ½ years later – enter Lil Major…and enter my fears again. But add to it that I can’t get enough of cuddling and kissing that cute little boy. AND, add to it that tragic things happen all around me. I KNOW God is in control, and that He has a plan, but I want to have the perfect little family where nothing bad happens to us. And maybe we will…only God knows. In the meantime, I will continue to fawn all over my boys – big and small, and I will continue to pray and praise God for giving them to me.

But, sad things are happening to others even though my little family is living in bliss right now.

My next door neighbor passed away this week. He was 62. He battled cancer for the last year or so, and he was finally relieved of his pain on Tuesday. He leaves behind a loving wife and 2 children and 2 grandchildren. We didn’t know him very well, but I’ve gotten to know his wife over the last couple months. She bought Lil Major a cute outfit a few months ago and called to say she was going to bring it over. Then things got hectic. She had to get hospice care for her husband, and Lil Major outgrew the outfit that he never got. So, she went out and bought him another outfit, and brought it over. She didn’t have to do that – she had enough to deal with. But, my son’s smile and giggles and hugs brought her a little joy in a scary time.

My dad is training to be a pilot. He used to fly when I was a kid, but he has to recertify since it’s been so long. What better place to do it than the air capital of the world, huh?? Anyway, he was scheduled to take a class a few weeks ago about an hour away from home, but it was postponed to last weekend in a different town about 70 miles away. But, he’s out of town visiting my sister, so he missed the class. He had been planning on riding up with the instructor. The instructor was killed in a car accident on the way to that class. My Dad could have been in that car...but he wasn’t. That gives me the chills.

A vibrant adorable sweet little boy died last week after his battle with cancer. He’s been an inspiration to many, but I can NOT imagine losing my little boy at such a young age.

I don’t know what my point is with this post, other than a reminder that LIFE IS FRAGILE. We can’t control it, we can just love others as we go through it, thank God for giving us each day, and rejoice when someone we love is called home...even though it makes us sad...for now.

In the latest Karen Kingsbury book that I'm reading right now, one of the characters was just reminded not to worry about anything, and to give everything to God. I think that God is reminding me about that right now...through this post, through things happening around me right now. Here's a passage of scripture that talks about that.

Phillipians 4:4-7
4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, Rejoice!

4:5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

4:6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

4:7 The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Monday

Whew! What a day! Lil Major and I sure accomplished a lot today. It feels good, but I'm exhausted!

Here's a rundown...we got a slow start, in part due to the fact that it stays dark til 7:30am (how weird is that??) and in part due to a teething almost 7-month old. So, it wasn't until after a short nap that we really got going. When I went in to check on the boy, I found this...him sleeping on TOP of his giraffe. Poor giraffe!

After naps, we got up, got dressed and headed out into the frigid morning (the news said wind chill was 24 this morning!!). We went to the post office and then to a discount grocery store where we ran into my hair stylist (of course, I hadn't done my hair - it was in a hat!) and a friend from church. Then we went back home for another nap...for the boy.

In between naps and giggling with my son, I made bread (in my breadmaker), made my lunch for tomorrow, cooked some chicken for salads, did some laundry and put the groceries away. By then, Lil Major needed a distraction from his sore gums, so we bundled up and went for a walk. Even though it was cool, it was gorgeous, and we had fun scaring the geese into the pond (we DID NOT have fun walking through their nasty poop!).

After Daddy got home tonight, we carved our pumpkins. Lil Major wasn't too excited about it, but he put up with us.



Unfortunately, our masterpieces don't hold a candle to Terri's family. I'll plead small-child-getting-bored syndrome, so we rushed through it. All that matters is I have seeds that I can bake now. Oh, I also cooked a butternut squash during all of this -- some I'll use for Lil Major's food, and some I'll use for a butternut squash bisque. I'm still looking for a good recipe - anyone have any ideas??

My kitchen was quite the mess after all this, and I still had laundry to fold and the boy to put down. So, here I sit at 9:18pm with a clean kitchen, one more load to fold, clean hair and an exhausted body. I think it's time for bed!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fireman of the Year

The Colonel had big plans on Saturday - work and then golf (what's new?!), so Lil Major and I made plans of our own.

We headed to a craft fair first off, where the only thing we purchased was some yummy cookies. Lins was selling her wares, so we hung out with her for a while. Then we headed over to Jayme's town to see their new place and take the kids trick-or-treating...we hadn't seen them in 2 months!

When we got to Augusta, Lil Major changed into his costume in the back of the Pilot. Have I told you that I LOVE my car??? The back of it is perfect for changing diapers, nursing babies, or in this case - changing into a Halloween costume, er, I mean The Fireman of the Year!

It was a beautiful day - a little cool to start out, but it warmed up to a wonderful fall day. We met Jayme and the girls and wandered the streets of Augusta, KS, trick-or-treating at all of the shops.

Lil Major scored some candy even though I tried to abstain (I'm serious - those shop owners insisted!). He was the perfect angel in his stroller. He just sat back and took it all in - all the kids and costumes and craziness. I didn't hear a peep out of him for over an hour! And he was awake! As soon as I pulled him out of his stroller, he broke into a huge smile and gave me a hug.

We went to see Jayme's new place after we'd collected all the candy we could. The girls had a blast playing with their cousin, and Jayme and I got to catch up a little bit.

The day was exhausting for Lil Major, and he slept the whole way home in the car and for 12+ hours last night!

And now, we don't have to go out in the cold on Friday night. =) Well, maybe just for a little while.