Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What we like to do on a Tuesday night...


Eat cheesecake and watch The Biggest Loser!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Vote!!


Today we have a guest post from my lovely hubbie. Above is a picture of him voting for the first time (in 2000 something got messed up with his registration, in 2004 he was in Iraq and their ballots didn't make it in time). He is voting absentee so he sent in his ballot today.

If you don't know how to register, check out this site with state by state voting information.



Subj: OUR MORAL OBLIGATION TO VOTE


1. America is a special place. Though many individuals throughout history have proclaimed the values of freedom and liberty, it was not until our Declaration of Independence and establishment of the Constitution that a nation was founded on those core values.

2. Though some would argue otherwise, I believe the definition of America is not a land mass between Canada and Mexico, but the coming together of people from all faiths, cultures, races, and ethnicities under a common belief that human life is precious and that every life must be lived in freedom.

3. Throughout our nation’s history there have been Americans who have made terrible sacrifices when people’s freedoms were in jeopardy. In such instances, men and women have given their lives to defend our freedom. In doing so, our troops force their families to make the ultimate sacrifice; giving the one you love for your country. Though it is a terrible price, they pay it with the hope that every American will fulfill the promise of our nation, and carry on lives with purpose and passion.

4. It is in this spirit that we must realize that no Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine has ever died in vain, because we (Americans) are the legacy of their sacrifice. We can validate and honor their gifts to us in how we live our lives and contribute to our nation.

5. No matter what our beliefs are, no matter how strongly we feel about the issues, Americans cannot contribute if they do not speak. This November, every American can continue to take ownership of this country, ensuring that it belongs to us, the Americans, and have our voices heard.

6. In doing so, we make ourselves worthy of the sacrifices made by our troops and the families that have supported them. It is a shameful display when someone, who has a bumper sticker that reads “SUPPORT THE TROOPS,” fails to vote. An American’s failure to vote is a coward’s way of desecrating the graves of our comrades and a passive way of spitting in the face of their loved ones.

7. I hope these words force you to realize that our troops did not just die for their country, they died for us, because we are our country. We are the keepers of their legacy and it is important, regardless of how we vote, that we do vote. The price that was spent for our precious right to express ourselves in such a way has been too costly for us to ignore. VOTE! It is a moral obligation.

Respectfully Submitted,



D. W. KATOLIN, CAPTAIN

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our Father

Last week at church, the minister mentioned looking at the Our Father prayer a little differently. Throughout the prayer, there is an implied "you" but by adding the "you" the prayer has a whole new meaning. Instead of asking for God's protection we are confirming that God does protect. It looks like this:

Our Father, who art in Heaven.
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done,
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
You give us this day our daily bread
and you forgive us our trespasses as
we forgive those who trespass against us.
You lead us not into temptation and
You deliver us from evil.

Amen.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thankful Friday

1. Wal-Mart early in the morning. Instead of waiting in line for 20 minutes, there was no one there!!

2. The Meet-Up group that I have found. It is a great group of women and Elyse and I have both had a lot of fun getting to know everyone. It is so nice to have some things to look forward to during the week.

3. This video:


4. A good excuse not to go running this morning (rain).

5. Fall

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thai Chicken Pasta


This is one of my new favorite dinners. It is easy to make, tastes great and includes peanut butter one of my favorite ingredients.

You'll notice in the picture that it is over rice and not pasta because we had a bit of an accident with all the pasta going down the drain (don't you just hate that!) but it still tasted great over rice.

1 lb boneless, skinnless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Szechuan seasoning (you can find this in the Asian section of the grocery store)
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1/2 c soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 package fresh stir-fry vegetables (I actually just used a frozen pack and cooked the veggies a little longer)
12 onces linguine, cooked according to package directions

Place chicken in reclosable plastic bag. In 1-quart better bowl, combine peanut butter, brown sugar and seasoning. Microwave for one minute; gradually whisk in broth and soy sauce. Pour 1/4 cup sauce over chicken; seal bag and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Reserve remaining sauce. Heat wok or large skillet over meadium-high heat. Add oil and chicken with marinade; stir-fry until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from wok. Combine vegetables, cooked pasta and reserved sauce in wok. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken during last minute of cooking. Serve immediately.

YUM, YUM!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Works for Me!

One of my favorite blogs, Rocks in My Dryer has a blog carnival every Wednesday with bloggers sharing their favorite tips. I decided to join in this week. Click on the link to find solutions to other problems from bloggers across the web!




About a month ago, I started noticing teeth marks on Elyse's crib. You see, she has turned into a little woodchuck and decided to gnaw on her crib. I figured this probably wasn't part of a healthy diet for my little one but didn't know what to do.

I remembered I had some extra fabric and decided to use it to cover up the sides of the crib. It was really easy. I just cut fringe on the edges of the fabric on both sides and tied the fringe together. They I trimmed out the extra pieces. Now, even if she tries to chew the crib the fabric is in the way. It took less than ten minutes.

Change of Plans...

We decided not to go check out the Today Show this morning so don't worry about looking for us! Sorry!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tomorrow on Today...

Andrea and Elyse! Well, I hope so anyway. The Today show is coming to broadcast from Williamsburg tomorrow and Elyse and I are going to go check it out. We'll be standing in the crowd so make sure you look for us!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Guidance

This was my favorite Daily Word over the past few weeks and then someone read it again in church today so I knew I had to share:

GUIDANCE

God is my guiding light. I follow the path of peace and fulfillment.

I am an expression of God's light in the world, and because I am, I follow the path of peace and fulfillment.

In prayer, I prepare my self for each day's journey. Sitting in a comfortable position, I close my eyes, relax and imagine myself bathed in God's light. Going deeper into meditation, I ask, What is mine to do?

My answer may come as a flash of insight during prayer or after I return my attention to my daily life. A sudden "aha" moment may come while I'm driving, or a gentle realization may appear later. Whatever is mine to accomplish, I know that I will through divine guidance, for God is my guiding light.

"By the tender mercy of our God, the down from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." -Luke 1:78-79.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sale!!

I like the idea of getting used clothes and toys for Elyse. It's greener and a lot less expensive. I used to think that I could only find this used stuff at garage sales but I've recently discovered that different organizations put on huge children's clothing sales throughout the year. Elyse and I got up early this morning and went to a sale for used clothes and toys put on by the local "Moms of Multiples" club. The sale started at 9 but we got there by 7:30 and it was a good thing we did. There were so many people there by the time the sale started but we were able to get in with the first group. We did have to wait in the beginning but I would much rather wait then have to wait at the end of the line and watch people file out with all the stuff I want!!

We got all this stuff in the picture with Elyse for only $60.


We found out about this one through my moms club but it was listed on Craig's list too. What a deal!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thankful Friday

1. I've been working on "Spring Cleaning" my house with this e-book from Simple Mom. Today I worked on the kitchen. Check out the picture of the pantry. In reality, we have a super small pantry and it doesn't look that different but trust me...it's much more organized.


2. My silly husband. He makes me laugh on a daily basis. Here he is rolled up in the rug.


3. Beautiful weather. We have the windows open and the breeze coming through can't be beat!

4. The mom's club I found on MeetUp. I'm meeting some great moms. Elyse and I had a great time at an inflatable play place yesterday.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Almost One





In just over two weeks, Elyse will be one! I can't believe it. Here are some pictures from our attempted photo session.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Biggest Loser

My favorite show the Biggest Loser starts tonight!! I'm so excited. Dennis and I both just love watching people lose a ton of weight (even while I sit on the couch eating cookies!)

Check it out on NBC 8/7 c!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simplify September

I've designated the September, "Simplify September." I've felt like things are just a little bit out of control around the house and it is time to clean out and create some new systems (and really clean). It's the perfect month to do this for two reasons:
1. I only have one section of my class this month so work should be easy.
2. Our neighborhood is throwing a garage sale at the end of the month. I've wanted to have one for awhile and I like the idea of not needing to put an ad in the paper or any of that stuff.

So this has been the plan for a few weeks so I was so excited when I found this new e-book on one of my new favorite blogs, Simple Mom. It's a 10 day plan to spring cleaning the house. I followed the plan for day one and it only took me about an hour. Each day tackles a different room and is really very manageable. Tomorrow, it's the living room. I'm excited to give it a shot.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thankful Friday

1. Photoshop Elements finally works on our computer!!! This means I can make pictures like this:



2. This print I bought from Thumbtack Press. It was a little more money than I usually spend on stuff like this, but I think it's a great reminder, especially for us military wives. Since we aren't going to be anywhere for more than a few years, it is easy to just want to wait for things to be easier at the next place.
3. Blizzards are buy one get one for 23 cents at Dairy Queen and they put a lot of extra cookie dough in mine.

4. Tomorrow, I'm going to go see Paula Deen! And the tickets were only $10 from the USO!!

5. Elyse makes me laugh (a lot!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mirror


Now that we all have these babies with more unusual names, it is hard to find things with their names on them (if you ever see one of those license plate key chains with "Elyse" on it, let me know!)

My friend Lindsey just had a baby girl she named Ellie. Ellie has an older sister named Haven born just about a week after Elyse (yes, Lindsey has two babies under age one!) I made one of these mirrors for both Haven and Elyse and I decided that baby Ellie needed one too.

It's super easy. Here are the steps.
1. But all the supplies at Michael's. You will need the wooden mirror, the wooden letters, paint and ribbon.
2. Paint the letters and mirror the colors of your choice.
3. Attach the ribbon to the back of the mirror. I used a staple gun but you could probably use some really strong glue.
4. Glue the letters to the mirror. I used elmer's school glue but Lindsey said the letters fell off in the mail so it would probably be better to use wood glue or hot glue.

It is super easy way to personalize a kid's room. I promise anyone can do this one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's for breakfast???

Doesn't this look delicious?! You'll like it even better once I tell you what it is. We call it Super Porridge and here is a list of the ingredients:
Brown rice, white beans, butternut squash, spinach, vitamin drops and a little bit of applesauce (for flavor, of course).

Believe it or not, Elyse eats this stuff up! I found the ingredients for this in a great book called Super Baby Food that my friend Laurie recommended. Pretty soon, Elyse won't be nursing anymore and I was worried that she won't get all the nutrition she needs. I found this book and feel much more relaxed about it. A lot of the books I found contained recipes, but not a real plan. This book has everything you need to know to feed a baby! It lists foods that should be introduced each month and clearly outlines how much and what foods baby should eat for a healthy diet. There are recipes too (even one for yogurt...looks to complicated to me, I'll stick to Dannon).

Check it out!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Eating

I like to eat spaghetti...


And smell my banana...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Organization Board

The past few weeks, I've been taking time on Sunday to plan out our week. It's something I learned when I did Seven Habits of Highly Effective People training. It has been a great help. I love seeing everything written out. It has helped me a lot with my work! I teach for an online university and all the assignments are due on Sundays. As a result, I started feeling very overwhelmed on Mondays, like I had a TON of work to do. Then I started planning it out over the week and felt much less overwhelmed. As long as I finished a certain amount each day, I knew I would get everything done.

And, since I love to see everything planned out and since I love markers of all colors, I decided to move my planning sheet to a huge dry erase board we had out in the garage. Here it is:
I'm not sure if you can see or not, but I have places for each day of the week, to-do lists for each day in different colors for work and home. I've also included the list of dinners because I am really working on meal planning, a place for notes, a place to write what we are thankful for, people to pray for and a shopping list. I'm sure this will be a changing system as I will learn what works and what doesn't.

I had to get the dry erase marker package with 20 different colors. They fit perfectly in an old check box.
Now I just have to figure out a way to attach it to the door (it's just sitting on the doorknob right now). I think I'll try those sticky removable hook things. What do you think?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Joy

This affirmation was in a recent Daily Word I read. I liked it a lot.

I express the joy of living in what I think, say and do.

Each day I set and fulfill my intention to express the joy of living in my thoughts, words and actions. I am conscious of God's presence in every situation and each person I meet. I recognize and honor the good in all.

By choosing to show up for the day with an expectation of joy, I experience happiness and satisfaction. I bring joy to others by allowing it to flow unimpeded from God's love within my heart. With each experience of sharing, I bring joy to others and myself.

"For you shall go out in joy, and be lead back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song." -Isaiah 55:12

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thankful Friday

1. I am finished grading final papers from two classes. Boy, they were tough!

2. We have SUPER FAST internet!!!

3. Elyse can make animal sounds. Check out the video! And I know that's not exactly what a horse sounds like but can you do much better?


4. Hanna's coming to visit tomorrow. No, that's not a good thing but it gives us an excuse to stay home and make cookies. Who can complain about that???


5. This headline on Yahoo!: Even Paris Hilton has fallen prey to this hacker's scheme to steal passwords. Oh no! They fooled Paris!! We don't have a chance.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

100 Things About Me, Part 2

A few months ago, I started my 100 things about me list. It sounded easy at the time but I really struggled to think of that many things. So, here is the second half of my list. Sorry it only goes up to 83 but I guess I can add one...I'm not a perfectionist! :)

51. I love to plan.
52. I would bake something every night if I wasn't worried about my waistline.
53. Sometimes I giggle at very inappropriate times.
54. I eat desserts REALLY slow and don't like sharing them because I'm worried about getting my fair share.
55. I have my own bowling ball but I'm not a very good bowler. In fact, one of my goals when Dennis deployed the second time was to score over 100!
56. I talk in my sleep.
57. If you say you are going to be ready to leave at seven, I expect you to be ready to leave at seven.
58. I do not believe anything good ever comes from stepping on a scale.
59. I love almost any kind of cheese. And, anything with multiple cheeses is even better!
60. I only buy cheap sunglasses because I usually end up breaking them or losing them.
61. My favorite color is aqua.
62. My favorite wine is merlot.
63. I can use chopsticks.
64. I notice number patterns. I liked our house number in 29 Palms, 3417 because 3+4x1=7.
65. I think talking on the cell phone while driving should be illegal.
66. I never balance our checkbook but look at our checking account balance everyday.
67. I fall asleep within minutes of hitting the pillow.
68. I have no problems sleeping in a bed but can almost never fall asleep in a car or on a plane.
69. I was saluditorian of my HS class. Obviously, they didn't know what they were doing because I can't spell saluditorian.
70. I didn't start walking until I was almost 16 months. But then after I started I rarely fell.
71. Carving pumpkins grosses me out.
72. I believe in God.
73. I watch Oprah.
74. I make a wish every time I drive under a yellow light.
75. I don't plan to ever get a tattoo or pierce any weird body parts but you never know.
76. I really want to be fluent in American Sign Language. I'm learning with Elyse so I now know "more" "food" and "milk." Hey, it's a start!
77. I drink too much Diet Dr. Pepper.
78. My plan is to start lifting more weights.
79. I pay off the balance on my credit card every month.
80. I love watching Project Runway, Top Chef and Shear Genius.
81. I would like to travel to every continent except for Antarctica.
82. I am a terrible speller. I had to spell check "Antarctica."
83. I am a pear (versus an apple).
84. I can only think about 83 things about myself.

My brain is fried! Maybe I'll finish the list soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Blazing Fast...


Just today, we finally switched from DSL to cable internet! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am. With my job online, having fast internet makes me happy!

See this picture from the lake I uploaded? It only took a matter of seconds! Yesterday, it would have taken a few minutes.

The plan is to finally upload some newer pictures to the Shutterfly website. It took so long before that it wasn't even worth it!

Did I tell you how excited I am???

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Talk About Tuesday

I discovered a new blog, The Lazy Organizer. Reading the title, I like her already. She has something called Talk About Tuesday, kind of like show and tell. I always liked show and tell so I decided to join in!

Our bedroom has very tall ceilings and so for awhile, we've been looking for something to fill in the wall space and go over our bed.

I thought a mirror would look nice over the bed (on the wall behind the bed of course, don't get any crazy ideas). We found a beautiful mirror and ordered it online. I was super excited because I had been looking for along time. When the UPS man came, we became a little worried. He looked a little strained as he brought it up to the door. I picked it up and it weighed a lot. Maybe like 50 lbs. After all my hard work I was determined to hang it but Dennis (being the smart man he is) decided that our safety is much more important than my interior decorating. You see, I don't have the best track record for hanging things on the wall. A small bump to the wall in the middle of the night would have decapitated us both and left Elyse orphaned.

Still wanting to hang something on the wall, I remembered this company called "Uppercase Living." They create great stick on, peel off decor for the walls. We put one over Elyse's bed. It was super easy to put up and comes right off when we are ready to move (although we won't be able to use it again).

Here is the design I picked. I wish it was a little bigger but it was the biggest size they had.



We also custom ordered this one with the last line of our vows. How romantic.

The company does "Tupperware" like parties but I was just able to contact the closest rep and order it without the part.

Another company that sells this is Wallwords. There was another one too but I can't think of it. Mom, do you remember????

Back in the Saddle Again!

I've been so spoiled. Elyse and I haven't been on our own in a month and a half!!

First we went to STL for three weeks in July.

When we got back, Dennis decided to take a bunch of leave to work on his project.

Then we went on vacation for about a week.

It has been a GREAT month and a half. I'm very thankful for all the time with the fam. But, I do have to say I'm excited to get back in the routine. Today we'll be back in the gym for the first time in awhile. I'm back to healthy eating again. Do you ever just feel kind of yucky after vacation? We're back to the regular nap routine and work schedule.

Here's a picture of Dennis and Elyse playing before he left for work this morning...I almost don't even recognize him in the uniform!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

Over at Rocks in My Dryer, the moms are telling labor stories. I only have one story to tell so far but I thought I'd share my answers to the questions on my labor with Elyse.


How long were your labors?

Kid #1, From the time my water broke until they pulled her out was about 18 hours.

How did you know you were in labor?

Kid #1, I got up to go to the bathroom at about 5 am. When I climbed back into bed I heard a "pop"! I literally heard my water break.

Where did you deliver?

At Portsmouth Naval Medical Center.

Drugs?

Yes! I probably had them too early. I felt some menstrual like cramps and decided I had enough of that.

C-section?

Yup. Elyse just wasn't moving into place. I was dilated but she just stayed put. I did have some back pain and the nurse who I could tell knew what she was talking about suggested that it might be back labor in addition to her not moving. I was nervous about pushing and quickly agreed to the C-section.

Who delivered?

Doctors, and some students too I guess. By that time I was too out of it to really know what was going on.