Thursday, August 22, 2013

Seventeen and counting!

So Joey had a birthday this month! His feet are planted firmly in the forties for several more years, and he's handling it beautifully - from the bottom of his feet to the top of his slightly graying hairline!

His birthday was also our anniversary. Seventeen years already!
Wonderful years that seem to have flown by . . .

Joey and I had dinner at our fav spot in the Springs - Marigold's!

Filet Mignon

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

Then the girls gave us our gifts!
They had been working on them, in secret of course, for quit a while.

Shelby presented us with artwork!
She had Super Heroes for dad -

It's a bird, It's a plane . . .

And what's a hero without a villain?!

Then she dreamed up her own version of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" for me!


Madison decided to try her hand at writing poetry . . .


"My dad likes a lot of things,
He likes the roar of the ocean, and hot wings.
He likes American history, and when birds sing.
He likes Florida heat, and wet sand under his feet.
He likes video games, and bragging he can't be beat.
And something I found out about my dad, 
don't tell anyone, but he can be really sweet!

He plays with his best friend Buddy.
And when he talks to him, it's really funny.
He likes to grill outside when it gets sunny.
He likes 80's music, and butter mixed with honey.
He loves my mom, when she sits by his side,
on the beach where they watch the ocean's tide.

But before it gets too late,
Here are some things that he kind of hates.
Loud people acting crazy, especially teenagers.
And when people are troublemakers.
Coming home to dirty houses,
or having to check his boots for mouses.
Cold, wet snow and ice on the car,
having to walk very, very far.

Then there are things he can't live without!
Here are some that I've figured out.
Coffee, for one, with lots of creamer.
The dog - he's funny 'cause he's a dreamer.
My sister Shelby, and being able to tease her.
My mom. I know because he's always trying to please her.
His mom and sisters and family,
And that leaves just one - that would be me!
I wrote this poem that I'm reading to you,
To say, dad, that we all love you too!"

The funniest part of the poem? Maddie had actually written a note to herself at the bottom of the page saying,
"Wait for tears of joy to stop, then make the traditional crack about him getting old!"

Love it!

Love those girls!

Love my husband!

Love my life!!!

I pray God blesses us with many more years of laughing and learning and growing together.

(Just a little disclaimer - Joey only has to check for critters in his boots when he's deployed!
My housekeeping isn't that bad!)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Move over Martha!

Yep, it's been a while.

Nope, we're not in Germany yet.

Yep, we're still going.

Nope, don't know when.

I learned a long time ago that all experienced military wives plan their lives in pencil!
Constant changes are the norm, flexibility is key.

Because of Obama budget cuts this, and fiscal year changes that, our Europe report date has changed about four times.

No biggie. Colorado Springs is a great place to "wait".

However, me being ... well, me... I sometimes have trouble controlling all this pent up nervous energy!

We were all set to go. Had already started packing up boxes for storage, donated several car loads to the thrift store, sold Moby (that would be our white yukon), and were already buying the appropriate cold weather gear for the snowy Alps! (Woohoo!)

Then we had to put on the brakes!
I'm in full-tilt Let's Roll mode, and Uncle Sam all of a sudden want's to give it another couple of months!

We've known about the move since Christmas. The excitement level has been through the roof.
You can't just flip a switch on that!

What to do?

I started looking around and realized, all those "get to it someday" projects had better get got to!
It dawned on me that I'm going to be four years without a Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, or Hancocks in sight!
(sniffle, sniffle)

Sooo, here's what I've been doing the last few months;

Made shoulder bags for Maddie ...
and Shelby using a few of Joe's old uniforms.
Made a throw for Joey using a couple of old sweaters.
Our old dining table had seen many, many, better days, so
we picked this up at the thrift store for 20 bucks!
A little help from my worker elves...

we painted and recovered our old chairs to match.
We love it!

The movers pretty much destroyed our filing cabinet.

So I turned it into a reading bench for Maddie! All her
books, so far, fit in the drawer underneath.

Can't blame this one on the movers. Had a
big scratch in the finish, so found a
poster to cover.

Don't have a before shot. It was a moss green
5 drawer chest. 2 drawers broken.
Shelby likes it better as a sweater cubby!

She can't wait to see Paris!

She had a nice wall poster...

that we decided to turn into a "window"!
Joey's words to live by, with a little flair!
It was fun to paint again.

Since the old file cabinet had a new life, we found this
one at the thrift store.

Refinished, it looks great with the desk!
Gave my nightstand a penthouse!
Maybe I'll tackle a headboard next!
Found a hideously ugly, but oh so comfy, chair
at the thrift store for Bo. Fabric left over from
the dining room chairs, and voile!

I've had these in the closet for 8 years!
Pitiful, I know. But we finally framed them!
The girls first finger paintings!
They were 4 and 6 at the time.
Frames are another great thrift find! So cheap - and easy to refinish or re-size.

I've mentioned the thrift store several times.
That's another thing you learn in the military - Never buy new furniture!
You will move. It will be damaged. Save yourself the heartache.


We should have a definite move date soon. We know we'll be there for the new year, but that leaves a big window!
Thank God that until then I've got plenty to keep me busy!

Martha Stewart's got nothing on an Army wife with power tools and time on her hands!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

This, that, and the other . . .

March has been wonderfully quirky.

Full of out-of-the-norm activities and exciting new projects!

Most of you know by now, we're moving to Germany in about 4 months!
We'll be stationed in Bavaria -
400 miles to Venice,
500 miles to Paris,
600 miles to Rome.
Those distances will fly by with Europe's high speed trains.
Oh yeah, I've checked!!!
We have three years left in this mans army, and we intend to make the most of it!

Then retirement, right?
Right around the time we're ending our first career, we'll have two girls heading for college and two more car payments to make.
Time for career number two.
But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

In the mean time, we've been prepping for the move.
We attended a briefing and received our information packet.

(Is a 90 minute brief funny to anyone else, or is it just me?)
We've started our language studies, and have started dividing up the household goods into three main categories;
1)Take with us
2)Put in storage
3)If this battered piece of furniture sees one more moving van, it will give up on principle and disintegrate on the spot.
(That would be the 'put it out of it's misery' category.)

And we need to apply for passports,
Rent storage units,
Finalize plans for the pooch,
Memorize a 50 page manual for German drivers licences,
Ship the car over,
Change to overseas phone plan,
Research home school requirements,
blah,blah,blah . . .

Another year of AWANA is coming to a close.
Both girls are working on their Timothy awards - no small feat considering they've had to spread the work over six churches in as many states.
We're very proud of them, of course!

We have a wonderful church here, but it comes with a few little glitches.
When it was started, it was in a welcoming residential area.
Skip ahead about 45 yrs, and now that area is the old part of town, while the new has pushed north.
It's not the first church we've attended that has employed undercover security.
But it is the first in which that security has actually been put to the test.
Because of several close calls in the last few months, we have now started using off duty CSPD officers during all services.
Land has been purchased across town for a new facility. Hopefully building will start in early 2014.
Anywho, there's that little bit of excitement.

With all the crazy going on, we have tried to hold on to some of the normal in our lives!
The last week of March is when we celebrate the girls' "New Birth" day.
Each year we have a nice dinner and a quiet evening as a family.
Love, love, love this special time!
Gave the girls "Not of This World" bracelets.

We're also keeping up our theme nights. Last week was Phantom of The Opera!

Candlelit evening with beautiful music!

Please keep us in your prayers. Lots to do before we leave.
We're so thankful for the time we've had in Colorado!
God has been good.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stewing. I'm just sayin' ...

Usually I'm a pretty happy person.
Traffic doesn't really bother me.
I've learned to handle crowds.
I try to take 'rude' with a grain of salt because I don't know what kind of day people have had.
And hey, this is the city.

But sometimes, just sometimes, things stick in my craw and I can't seem to shake them!
I stew for days over what I should have said wanted to say.
Darn that "turn the other cheek" business!

Anyway, sometimes I have to let off a little steam.
Relieve the pressure.
Talk to myself like a crazy person!

So here goes. About six months worth of,
"Why I oughta!" . . .

*To the woman driving the minivan while simultaneously trying to wolf down one of those mega sized pixie stix - My bad! I never should have stepped off that curb while you were recklessly trying to blow through that stop light!

*To the guy in a hurry at Lowes who didn't want to wait his turn, and was apparently under the impression that I made my purchases for the sole purpose of ruining his day - "Same to you, Buddy!!!"

*To the kid who was disrespectful to the elderly cashier, cursing at her and causing quite a scene, then stomped out and tripped over the curb - BAHAHAHAHA!!!!

*To the salesmen knocking on my door at least three times a week - I do not want roofing, siding, lawn aeration, carpet cleaning, upgrades to my Internet, or a deeper understanding of Joseph Smith!

*To the guy walking the beautiful husky - Seriously?! How would you like it if I followed you home and let our dog take his evening sit-down in your yard?!

*To the cashier who was obviously having a bad day when my daughter asked the price of a stuffed animal - You snap at my little girl again, there will be no 'comment card' or speaking with a manager.
I will simply mess.you.up.

OK. No more of the negative.
There were also a few times an act of kindness slipped by without an opportunity to say thanks!

*To whichever of my kind neighbors chased down my Christmas wreaths in 60 mph winds and returned them safely to my porch - Thank You!!!

*To the could-be-an-NBA-star at the grocery - Thanks for helping this vertically challenged housewife with the top shelf!

*To Mr. T, Mrs. S, and Ms. C in AWANA - you have been an incredible blessing to the girls - Thank you!

*To the elderly gentleman in the wheelchair - Thank you for your kind words about the girls. They were happy to help!

*To whomever put these signs on all the cars up and down the block -

Well done! There's nothing like a smile and word of encouragement to start the day!

So that's it.
All things considered, it's not such a bad list.
And once again my craw is clean! For a while.

I am human after all.

And humans stew.

I'm just sayin' . . .

Monday, March 4, 2013

I love the 80's - in small doses!

After the theme night overload we had in December, we decided to take a month off.
January was wonderfully slow. No party planning, no blogging, and - let's be honest - a less than daily school schedule!
Then came February, and we were back in full swing.
Joey gave us the idea for our latest theme.
He and the girls have developed their own version of "pick it or kick it!"
After dinner, he'll grab the laptop and start playing the pop/rock hits of the 80's. Stuff that we listened to when we were in high school.
The girls are, of course, horrified.
"Kick it!"
"Hate it!"
"People actually liked this stuff?!"
Anyway, the music led to the fashions, the fashions led to the fads, and it all led to a blast of an 80's party!

Fortune tellers and Boom boxes, oh yeah!

Pac-man was the bomb
Oi! The eyeshadow!
Ditto the sweat bands!
"Ok mom, so basically if it's hideous now then it was
cool in the 80's?"
Yes. Yes it was.
Joe preppy - doing his best 'Blue Steel' pose!
Ok. So the tart isn't necessarily exclusive to the 80's,
but it's the most colorful dessert you can find!

Classic burgers and fries, bottled Coca Cola,
pop rocks, and 80's movie trivia.

And the night's feature film?


It was a great night!