Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Leaving on a jetplane...

Tomorrow's the big day! Sophia and I will be heading to the airport and flying our way to the west coast!

The boys are pretty bummed, because their plans for a fun-filled weekend with Daddy, Meme & Papa, and Uncle Tim have been thwarted by Daddy's boss. She revoked the hubby's leave, so alas, the boys will have to go to school. (Don't get me started on this!). Is it bad that I'm a little happy that the hubby will have to get the boys to bed on time and up and ready for school in the morning, and not have the luxury of sleeping in and letting his parents help with the boys? Probably. But nonetheless, there's a little voice in my head saying "Hahaha! Now you'll know what it's like to be a single parent!" in a sing-songy voice.

Anyway, my girls in Cali have ALOT planned for me, and I absolutely cannot wait! Sophia's going to have LOADS of fun with Keegan and Hadley, and I will forever be grateful to Brandon for keeping the three of them while the momma's head out for a much needed "Girl's Night Out".

Nat, Brandon & Keegan...see you tomorrow night!
Kara & Hadley...see you Thursday!
All off the girls coming out with us...I'll see YOU on Friday night!!
Everyone else...I'll be back on Sunday. Try not to miss me too much ;)

California, HERE WE COME!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Who says tailgating is just for football?

The hubby is a coach for a 13 & 14 yr old travel hockey team (Bantam level for those who know hockey). This weekend we had a team in from Atlanta for 3 games- two yesterday and one this morning. Yesterday in between games, we had a big 'ol tailgating party in the ice rink parking lot. We even had the grill in the back of a pickup. Yessiree! It was so much fun!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In-car Entertainment.

This is how my 15 month old entertains herself on a long car ride. Gotta love it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mmmmm Mmmmm Monday: Lowcountry Boil

While my parents were here last week, we all went to dinner at a fabulous place on Shem Creek called Red's Icehouse. If you're ever in Charleston be sure and go eat there!!

Anyway, I had the most scrumptious meal. I decided that since I love everything southern, I'd try a local dish called the Lowcountry Boil. Oh. My. Gosh. It was heavenly. The story behind it is that it was created by a National Guardsman who had to feed 100 soldiers. He learned the recipe from his momma, and knew it fed alot of hungry bellies. Maybe that's another reason I love it so much...military AND local history! As soon as we got home I Googled the recipe, and just had to share it with ya'll!

Lowcountry Boil

4 pounds small red potatoes
5 quarts water
1 (3oz) bag of crab boil seasoning
4 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
2 pounds kielbasa or hot smoked link sausage, cut into 1 and 1/2 inch peices
6 ears of corn, halved
4 pounds large fresh shrimp (peeled & deveined optional)

Add potatoes to a large pot, thend add 5 quarts water and the seasonings.
Cover pot and heat to a rolling boil; cook 5 minutes. Add sausage and corn, and return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add shrimp to pot; cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain.

Serves 12.

*Serve with a side of hushpuppies and some cocktail sauce for dipping, and you have a good 'ol South Carolina meal!*

So sorry...

I have to apologize for the lack of posts from me recently. My mom & dad came up to visit for a week, and they kept me busy! We went shopping (ALOT!!), visited Ft. Sumter, and went up to Charlotte, NC for a night.

So I'm sorry that I have been boring and MIA for the last week. But I'm back now and better than ever (thanks to a few new clothes my mommy bought me :) ).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Garlic Chicken with Rice

Ok I know it's a day late, but deal with it! :) I made this the other night for my family and my parents who are in town this week, and everyone LOVED it...my kids included!

Garlic Chicken with Rice (Crockpot/slowcooker meal)
prep: 10 minutes cook time:6 hours

1 package (6oz) original-flavor long grain wiled rice & mix
1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons olive/vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
3 and 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken peices, skin removed

Stir together rice, contents of seasoning packet, onion, bell pepper, oil, garlic and broth in 3 to 4 quart slow cooker. Arrange chicken on top.

Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours.

Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I will never forget...

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the terrosit attacks on our country on 11 September 2001. With each year that passes, this date hits me harder. Maybe it is the fact that I am getting older, but most likely it is the fact that I am a military wife, and because of this horrible day seven years ago, my life was forever changed.

When hubby & I got married in March 2001, I had absolutely no reservations about Bobby getting ready to leave for the military. As one of my best friends had pointed out, it was peacetime. I knew that yes, there would be seperations, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the scale of what was to come.

We were living in Wichita Falls, TX in September of that year. We had rented a tiny apartment with another couple, Julie & Justin, and their 2 year old daughter, while Bobby and Justin were in tech school at Sheppard AFB. The guys were in night classes and didn't come home until about 4am, so on the morning of September 11th, they were sleeping. I was up and rushing around the apartment to get to my breastfeeding class at the base hospital on time, as I was 8 months pregnant with Noah. Julie's daughter was watching a movie in the living room, because we only had 2 channels on our tv-NBC and CBS. I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom when Julie stuck her head in and said "Hey. Your mom's on the phone and sounds really upset. She needs to talk to you". I was exasperrated, because I was running behind, and my mom tends to be dramatic. And I couldn't figure out what was so important that she'd be calling me on a weekday morning (she is a school teacher). I said hello, and she said "You need to sit down." I replied in a snarky voice, that I didn't have time to sit down, because I was running late and just tell me what she needed to say. She asked me to turn on the tv and watch...she didn't have the words to explain. I went out in to the living room and told Julie that my mom said something big was going on and I needed to turn on the news. Julie's daughter was anything but thrilled with me that I shut off "Bambi", but I assured her I'd turn it right back on. As soon as the tv switched over to NBC, we saw the second plane hit the second tower, and we couldn't believe it. We ran down the hallway to the bedrooms where Bobby & Justin slept, and made them come watch with us. We were in a haze for a few minutes, everyone trying to wrap their heads around what we just witnessed. I left to try to make it to my appointment on time, just to be turned away at the gate becuase the base had all but shut down. I came back home and we just sat around watching tv most of the day. I remember there were lots of phone calls from worried family members wondering if Bobby and Justin would be going to the desert and how it affected their training. In the afternoon, when it was time for the guys to head to class, they walked from our apartment to the gate, because the line of cars was clear out to the highway. It was mission-essential personnel only, so a few minutes later they were back at the apartment becuase classes had been cancelled.

Now, this is going to make me sound alot older than my 26 years, but I remember when we first were in Texas, that I could drive onto the base without so much as slowing down when I went through the gate. As long as you had your base pass on your windsheild, or your visitor's pass on your dashboard, you didn't even have to roll your window down when you got to the gate. Immediately after the attack, every single car was searched before it was granted admission to the base. We lived immediately outside the gates, and if we drove on the base to get groceries, we would have to leave literally an hour before we wanted or needed to be somewhere, so that we could give us enough time to wait in the line and get searched. By the time we got to our base assignment in Missouri a few months later, they were only searching every few cars. And now of course it's not as tight, but you still have to show your ID. It sure felt weird to me the first time that they only asked to see the driver's ID card. And I can't even imagine that the day will ever come again where it will be as simple as it was in the days before Setpember 11.

We were also living in England at the time of the London Underground Bombings, and all of the feelings that I felt on September 11 came rushing back to me. The fear was on a whole new level, because we were not in our home country. We were on foreign soil, and the British news shows were blaming the Americans for getting their Prime Minister Tony Blair to agree and send forces to Iraq along with the US military. They said that if it weren't for the US talking Blair into being allies, they never would have had their subways and buses bombed. We lived on the base in England, and we were about an hour or so from London, but the base was still on heightened security, and we were forbidden from travelling to London for almost a week. And the entire 3 years we lived in England, I remeber that almost every weekend there were scheduled protests of the British civilians picketing at the main gates of our base. So when the tube & buses were bombed, I was scared to leave the base for months. And the scaries thing of all, was that we were supposed to be down in London that day. My family had decided to come and visit us for a month and do the tourist thing. They were originally coming mid-June and leaving mid-July, and that was the day we had planned to spend the day down in London, no doubt getting on the tube & the double decker buses. But God had other plans for us, and my family ended up getting a better deal on flights if they came on Memorial day and left the end of June. That fact still haunts me to this day.

I will always have tears and heartache on this day, no matter how many years pass. I still pray for the families who were directly affected by deaths of loved ones, and those like me, who are military families and have been affected by extended deployments because of these horrendous acts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Just wanted to share the fact that MY HUBBY IS HOME!! He got in on Monday night, and I was a little 'preoccupied' yesterday. *wink wink*. He's back at work today but it's so wonderful not to be a single parent anymore!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Chicken Pockets`

These are a favorite in our house! So easy to make, and oh so tasty!

Chicken Pockets
2pkgs refridgerated crescent rolls (like Pillsbury)
3oz. cream cheese
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 cups diced chicken
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons milk
Crushed croutons
*we add other seasonings too (like Italian and Oregano) for added flavor).

Mix cream cheese, butter, chicken, salt & pepper. Add milk. Use 2 crescent rolls to make a square. Put chicken mix in center. Bring up the corners and pinch together to make a pocket. Brush with butter and sprinkle croutons over the top. Continue filling rolls until all are used up. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes. Makes 8 pockets.

I STILL hate Bank of America.

So here's an update on the Bank of America drama.

I went in last week to pull money from my bank account so that I could buy hurricane supplies, and have cash on hand if I had to leave town. While I was in the branch, I asked if they could look up the date that I requested a new card. They pulled it up and said that it was ordered on the 19th of August. But guess where the idiots mailed it? Yep...ARIZONA. Again. WTH?! I almost broke down in tears. The woman at the bank cancelled that card and ordered yet another one (this makes 3) and had it 2-day mailed to their branch, so that someone could sign for it. They were going to call me when it came in, and they said it would be Thursday at the very latest. No call. They were closed on Friday like the rest of the base was for the storm, and I didn't know their operating hours on Saturday, so I waited until today to call. And, big shocker, they STILL have not recieved my card. I am going on three weeks with no debit card. Words cannot express how frusterated I am. The tellers all know me by name because I'm in so often to take money out. I wouldn't be surprised if they have my account number memorized at this point. I can't use the ATM, because they only issue temporary ATM cards to regular bank account holders. We have Military banking.

So here I sit, fuming and contemplating changing banks. What a way to spend an already long day. Thankfully hubby will be home sometime tonight so at least we'll have his debit card. But it still makes my blood boil!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

We are moms, hear us roar!

After weathering the "storm" last night (seriously...I've seen worse rain & wind than that in your run-of-the-mill thunderstorm), my girlfriends and I went to cash in our free lunch invites at the new Chili's. (We were given them to help train the new employees before opening. All we had to pay was the tip! SCORE!). But if you're thinking to yourself "Oh, how nice! Girls Afternoon Out! Sounds like fun!" , please, stop right there and continue reading.

It was not just the three of us. OH NO. Between us, there are 9 (yes, I said NINE) kids. I have my three monkeys, Carinna has two boys (5 and 8) and Caroline has four kiddos (twin 7 yr olds, a 6 yr old and an almost 5 yr old). We. Had. Them. All. And no daddy's were around...my hubby is still in Alabama until Monday night, Caroline's hubby is in the desert for 4 months, and Carinna's hubby just had knee surgery and is living on their bed for the next month. You should have seen the looks of pure terror on the faces of every single Chili's employee as we walked in together in a sea of children. Classic.

They had to push 3 tables together so that we could all sit near each other (they originally wanted to split us up between two tables...clear across the room from each other. Um...NO.), and they had two servers taking our orders. Of course all the boys (there were 7 of them) had to go to the bathroom at once. I walked them all over and kept sticking my head in the door of the men's room to tell them to stop goofing around and hurry up. I almost died laughing when I heard almost-5-yr-old Austin saying "Jonah! Come pee next to me, Pal! They have the stand up potties!"

At times during our lunch I felt like a freak-show. Three moms and nine children, who are by no means quiet-even my 15 month old daughter was making noise!!-trying to have a nice lunch. Puh-leez! I was feeling frazzled and trying to hurry my kids up so that I didn't ruin anyone else's lunch (that's the worry-wart/people pleaser in me). But apparently the three of us were doing something right, because both servers, and the family next to us (they had small twin boys) all said how they gave us so much credit for taking them all out and handling all the kids without the stern voices of the dads helping out. And when you're a military wife who has to do the single-parent act alot, it's nice to know that people are somewhat impressed with your momma skills.

If you can survive kids, you can survive anything.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Riding it out...

Well, since it's just going to be a tropical storm, and Charleston is not projected to take a direct hit anymore, the base has decided not to evacuate. Well, at least that's what I'm assuming, since no one was informed of an actual decision being made. Off and on last night there were cars that had backseats packed to the roof heading off base. But since it's not mandatory, I am riding it out. The military would reimburse us for travel and expenses if they made us leave, but since they're not, we would be out all that cash. And since they're talking about Ike being on almost the exact same path as Hanna, I'd prefer to save my small amount of evacuation money for a storm that really would do some damage.

Hanna is forecasted to make landfall farther up the South Carolina coast, and not until about 2am. So the worst weather will occur while the munchkins are sleeping. I, of course, will attempt to sleep, but can assure you that I will not be successful in that endeavor.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


The last couple of days have been more stressful than ever in our house! Here I am, 5 days left until hubby gets home, and I'm facing a possible hurricane hitting the city where we live. So much for Charleston never getting hurricanes.

We're day by day on whether or not we evacuate. I read the base's evacuation handbook, and it clearly states that we are NOT AUTHORIZED to board up or tape our windows in base housing. So to me that reads that they will evacuate us, since they will not let us take the proper precautions. But I can't leave until it's announced because if we go before an official evacuation, we will not be reimbursed for our travel expenses. So I'm stuck between a rock & a hard place. I don't want to stay here and weather the storm with my kids by myself, but I don't have the money it would cost us to evacuate.

I am NOT a patient person, so this 'hurry up and wait' attitude of the military is getting old. One would think after 7 years of military life that I'd be used to it, but I'm not. Especially not when it deals with the safety of my family. They will not authorize Bobby to test out early from 7-level school, becuase they are not going to willingly let him go into a hurricane. So their solution is for me and the kids to go to him in a safe area.

As of right now, the boys still have school tomorrow, and the base commander is supposed to make his decision regarding evacuation by 6am. So who knows...this time tomorrow I could be sitting in the house helping Noah with his homework, or I could be almost to our final destination of Maxwell AFB, Alabama, where the hubby is at his school. Your guess is as good as mine!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Taco Casserole

So I decided that Mondays will be a day that I share a favorite recipe from our house. So here's the first Mmmm Mmmm Monday entry!

Taco Casserole
Prep time: 20 min Total time: 50 min
Makes 4 servings

1 pound lean ground beef
1 can (16 oz) chili beans in sauce, undrained
1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons taco sauce, picante sauce or salsa
2-4 Teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups coarsly broken tortilla chips
8 medium green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 cup shredded cheddar, monterey jack, or Mexican blend cheese (4oz)

*Heat oven to 350. Cook beef in 10 inch skillet over medium-high heat 5-8 minutes until brown (stir occasionally). Drain. Reduce heat to medium. Return beef to skillet and stir in beans, tomato sauce, taco sauce, chili powder and garlic powder. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

*Place tortilla chips in ungreased 1 and 1/2 quart casserole dish. Top with beef mixture. Sprinkle with green onions, tomato and cheese.

*Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Arrange additional tortilla chips around edge of casserole.

*Serve and enjoy!