Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Life's about to get crazy.

Well, the time has come.
The hubby is getting deployed next year.
We knew it was coming, so we were pretty prepared for it. We've been so blessed that this will only be his third deployment (in 11 years) and that he hasn't had to be deployed since 05/06. So. Blessed.
What I wasn't prepared for, however, was all the pre-deployment training he'd have to do beforehand (thanks to the new job) and the moving-up of the deployment date. We say our first goodbyes in about a week and a half.
He will miss so much of 2012...the entirety of Noah's school volleyball season and most likely all of baseball season for the three kids as well. He'll miss all three kids birthdays, Valentine's Day, my birthday, Memorial Day, 4th of July, my sister's wedding in July (which all three of my kids and myself with be in), Noah's first day of middle school, Jonah's first day of 3rd grade, Sophia's first day of Kindergarten, Halloween, and possibly Thanksgiving and Christmas. We do know he'll be home for Easter and his birthday, but aside from that we're not guaranteed.
It's going to be tough, I'm sure, and it'll definitely be hard on the kids because the boys don't really remember hubby's last deployment, and he's never been gone for more than a couple of weeks since Sophia was born. And she is definitely a Daddy's Girl. I'm keeping my head up and pressing on.
Because honestly, what else can you do when you're a military wife?
I REFUSE to be a pouty, crybaby wife. Yes, I'm frusterated about the timing because now I have to get myself, the dog and the kids to Florida this summer alone, and I'm not quite sure how that will work out. And I'm frusterated for the kids that he'll miss so many things that are big for them. But I have to remember that we've been a damn fortunate military family and I need to be thankful for that.

But if you want to send up a prayer or two for us over the next year, that would be good too. Because I'm sure we'll need it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Gingerbread Softies

My newest obsession for finding recipes is on Pinterest. There is so much cool stuff on there besides recipes! Be warned though...it is super addicting!

Anyway, when I was wandering around over there a couple weeks ago I came across this recipe from Dana Made It and it was the perfect Christmas baking recipe to try out. I love gingerbread cookies but don't like hard, crunchy cookies so right off the bat the name intrigued me.

I made a batch of the dough and baked them up...HEAVEN. The recipe says to make 1" round balls but I used my Pampered Chef medium scoop for the balls and it yielded 4.5 dozen cookies!! Imagine if how many you'd get with 1" balls! A TON!!

Here's what you need:
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups shortening
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp giner
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Cream together suger & shortening. Add eggs and beat until thick. Add molasses and stir until combined.
Sift together flour baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just blended. (If the dough is very soft, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 min).
Shape dough into 1" balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake at 350* for 7-10 minutes or until just set, but not browned. Cool on a wire rack.

**I use my PC stoneware bar pan for baking cookies, and I needed to bake for about 11-12 minutes. Ten minutes on the stoneware made the cookies just a bit too soft.**

Thursday, December 8, 2011

True Christmas Spirit.

Today I took Sophia to the Dollar Store to get some Christmas gifts for her brothers. She always accumulates quarters and dimes and nickels and puts them in her piggy bank, and she informed me last night that she wanted to use her own money to buy presents. She only had $3.50 so I figured the Dollar Store was our best bet. She found gifts that she is sure her brothers will love, and she took out her own wallet and I helped her count out her change. I'm sure we annoyed the stuffing out of everyone in line (and there was a LONG line) but I didn't rush her becuase it was a huge teaching moment.

After the Dollar Store we hit up Hobby Lobby so I could grab a few things and out front there was a bell ringer for The Salvation Army. Sophia asked me on the way in what they were ringing the bell for and I told her that they collect money in the red bucket for kids and families that don't have alot. On the way out of the store she asked for her wallet and had me help her count out fifty cents that she had left over from present buying. She walked herself right up to the man ringing the bell and said she wanted to put her money in the bucket. I let her do it all by herself and stood off to the side. He smiled at her and wished her a Merry Christmas and she said "You too! And I hope the families who don't have money have a good Christmas too!"

I told her how proud I was of her for buying presents for her brothers with her own money, and especially for giving some of her money to people in need. She looked at me and said "Well, momma, you can help whether you're small or big. Everyone needs to make sure that kids with no money have a good Christmas too. We can't just do nothing."

She has no idea how much she touched my heart, and even that measly 50 cents will mean so much to someone. THIS is the true spirit of Christmas. And I'm so proud of my 4 yr old that she realizes this already.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Update time.

So it's been awhile!
Our last few weeks have been pretty busy. We planned a surprise trip to Charlotte, NC for Thanksgiving to be with family. My parents and one of my sisters recently moved up there from Florida, and my other sister, my neice and my sister's boyfriend were making the drive up from West Palm Beach, so we wanted to go to and have the whole family together. We had a good time and left with memories, early Christmas gifts, and a new family member...my sister's boyfriend proposed to her on Thanksgiving night!
Since we've been back we've been staying busy with Noah's school basketball (two games a night every Tuesday and Thursday) and the hubby's hockey team. We also found out that the hubby will be going to training for 6 weeks starting in January, so we're trying to re-plan our first few months of 2012. He'll miss Jonah's 8th birthday so we're trying to figure out a way to make it extra special when the hubby comes back into town.
We're trying to slow down and enjoy the holidays because we probably won't be a full family next year (hubby's due to deploy sometime in the summer/fall), but it's so hard with the hustle and bustle. There's presents to be bought, food and goodies to prepare and pass out to friends and coworkers, and all those Christmas cards to mail.
But most importantly we're trying to keep the TRUE Christmas spirit alive.