Friday, December 21, 2007
We went to the picture place early to see if they could get us in. I was afraid that we would have no luck. They got us in but all Olivia wanted to do was play. Sitting still on a pillow for a head shot was not happening. Her picture looks like someone pinched her :(. Mine turned out good on the other hand.
This morning we got the passport paperwork turned in. One more step down.
We are going to take Olivia to get pictures taken with Santa today after Justin gets off work. She met him a few weeks ago and in general does well with other people so we should get a good shot for this photo. In the mean time here is a picture that Devan took last time we were home,
Yep she is standing! She is trying to do it on her own now too. Only a few more weeks until she walks. I caught her the other day trying to climb the gate in front of the Christmas tree, I'm always on my toes.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Last night I made a wonderful dinner and wanted to share with everyone. We had Chicken Tikka Masala, Lentil and Rice Pilaf, Naan Bread, and Poached Pears. I took some pictures and will include those. This meal is a lot of work so make it when you have an afternoon to prepare it. Also many times I will make a very large batch of the chicken so that we can have this several times with out having to block out a day to cook. I will give directions for each dish one at a time but all of these dishes are cooking at the same time at one point or another in order to get them out on the table at the same temperature.
First the chicken. My recipe is based on this one from allrecipies.com. I took out the jalapeno pepper and cut back on the cayenne because other wise it is a very hot dish, we are talking take a bite and call the fire department. But if you can handle spice go ahead and try it with the extra pepper.
Cut three chicken breast into bite size pieces.
In a bowl combine:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I juice one half of a lemon)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of cayenne pepper (for us a little goes a long way)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon salt
Stir the chicken into this mixture and allow to marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
Heat a skillet (I use cast Iron as I find it gets the best heat) and lightly oil. drain off extra marinade, place chicken in skillet, cook until liquid has cooked off. Set Cooked chicken aside.
In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Saute 1 clove of garlic for one minute. Season with 2 teaspoons each cumin and paprika, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir in 8 oz of tomato sauce and 1 cup whipping cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add cooked chicken and simmer for 10 minutes more.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
We have a couple of very small projects to do and the house will be put up for sale, hopefully by the first of December.
I spent three weeks and three visits to vets trying to get our pets started on the import process into the UK. It's a complicated six month process that has to be done right or the go into a six month quarantine when we get there. We wound up driving two hours to Fort Leavenworth Kansas and the Army vet up there because the military vets are the only ones that have micro-chip readers that read European chips which two of our animals have. The processes is started now and they should be able to enter the country about the same time we fly over there. They may have a week or so of quarantine to Finnish up there but we will also have to find a house so that works for us.
In the mean time, I'm doing little bits of packing here and there in hopes that we sell our house right away and will move into a temp house. I have also gotten a creative streak, the stress has settled a bit. I cut 10 baby jumpers the other day, I'm going to give five of them away and keep the other five for our baby clothes stash. I also bought 20 some yards of fabric at Wal-Mart off the $1 rack. most of it will be pajama pants and dresses for Olivia. Some will be a shirt I have wanted to make for myself for a while and then I will have some for my fabric stash that I have a goal of building along with my pattern stash. Pictures will be coming soon.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
My business is going to be on the very back burner for an indefinite period of time. The reason being that I need to focus on getting our home ready to put up for sale and then packing and moving. Yes we will be moving in the very near future, within the next six months.
Being a military family we have become accustom to this and welcome the change. We have been in the house we currently call home for just over three years now. That is about six months longer than we have lived in any house in the eight years we have been married. This move is not yet set in stone, nothing is with the military until you are at your destination really but we feel that this is God timing. My husband filed for an extension so that we could have more time to sell our house and we are waiting to see if they approve it or cancel the orders all together. So where are you moving to? you ask, Well we are going to be moving back to England. We are so excited about this. We loved our time in England and there were many things we did not get to do before we left.
I ask for prayers for us. While we are ready for the transition and even anticipate it they are always difficult. In particular we need to get our house sold and in a timely manner at a decent selling price. If it sells quickly we have a couple of options, one being to rent a place until we move. This is not always easy as landlords around here like to have leases for one year though our orders would get us out of a lease we would hate to do that to a landlord. In addition many times the rent is more than what we are paid for housing cost, one of the reasons we bought in the first place, so it would cost us a lot of money to rent a house even for a few months especially with animals. Another less desirable option is for myself, the baby, and our pets to move home with my parents and for my husband to stay with some friends who have already said it would not be a problem, and then putting all of our belongings into storage until we move (or with any luck having orders cut and getting our goods shipped ahead of us). This would save us a lot of money even with helping people with utilities and food but our family would be separated by 5 hours for a few months and I would have little access to a vehicle to come visit. We are prepared for either situation.
I am in the process of attempting to do a fairly complete inventory of our house. Especially the items that will be going into long term storage. This is a daunting tasks to say the least but in the end will make the move that much smoother. I am also evaluating much of what we have and making very tough decisions about weather it is an item that we can live without for the next few years or not. Some things are a given, but somethings you just can't be sure about and since I know that we have almost no choice but to down size this move and will want to buy some more antiques while we are there I just have to make the choices.
Well the baby is awake and I'm off to do some more work.
When we were stationed at RAF Alconbury in England I had a friend who just raved about Dysons but would not pay 240 GBP for it just to move back to the states in a few years. I had not heard much about them, dh and I were relatively isolated from the British culture we lived on base and did not have British television. Well then I began to see ads for them on TV at friends houses and wanted one myself. Fast forward to moving back stateside. Y'all have no idea how much things change in three years unless you are not around fro those three years. Among those changes were Dyson vacuums in the states. I don't have one yet, right now we don't need one since our floors are mostly hard, but it would be awesome to win one.
Head on over to enter for yourself. DH uses one at work and says its the best vacuum ever.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
We have news here but I'm holding off on telling. Some may already know but there are some people you have to tell face to face before blogging about it. Hopefully we will have final details in the next week and be able to let everyone know what is going on. Anyway because of this my free time is occupied with preparations.
I really do need to find some time to make Olivia some dresses though. I got out her 6-9 mo clothes and she only has one dress in the whole lot, if you don't count the Christmas dresses she has. There is a lot of girly stuff but I like to put her in dresses for church so I will have to carve some time somewhere for that. Hopefully things will settle a bit in the next couple of weeks. This is my life. Get used to one normal and another comes up.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I sat down and worked on my Home Organization Journal this weekend. I have had them in the past and they have worked but never quite gotten past the basic daily chores and a weekly deep clean. For one reason or another I have not been able to find a way to get the more irregular task done. This weekend I devised a plan that I think will work for me. When I get things put together I will do a post about it.
I have not done any sewing in the last couple of weeks, mainly because I have decided that I need to get my home in order. So this month is organize the house and set good habits month. in October I hope to start making Christmas presents for our Friends and family.
I am also going to add a volunteer endeavor to my agenda and saw a need for people to help at the Airman's Attic on base so when I am doing my running tomorrow I will go by the Airman and Family Readiness Center and see what I need to do to help with that.
Now to work on my Homemakers Journal. I hope to share it soon.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Anyway since I got Olivia and I back into our routine this week and was able to keep up on my task, I was able to do some deep cleaning while DH went and got the materials and painted them up. Tomorrow I will have the shelves installed and have room to store my extra food and supplies!!!!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
After the last three weeks of DH being on leave in anticipation for a deployment that now is not happening, visiting family and spending time together here at home starting tomorrow I will be spending the better part of next week setting up a new routine and cleaning up this house. If I spend an hour in each area of the house everyday we should be golden by the weekend. I did not get anything done last week due to the work that DH was doing on the house but it was so worth it to get the projects that have been sitting done with.
I also have to sit down and finalize our budget. Since we will not be getting the extra pay and tax benefits we thought we would we are doing some major cutting back for a couple of months to see where we can get as far as financial goals. We would love to buy a piece of land and or a house near our parents to stay in when we go home to visit but we have a few other things to square away first, along with hoping to get orders overseas and needing to make sure we can afford to take our pets with us. We sat down the week and made a plan I just have to make the arrangements to finalize it, and take the time to write it out so that if DH has to take care of things he knows what to do.
I also want to start my household notebook this week. I have had one before but it got very outdated and/or complicated. It's time to get back in the groove.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I have not been able to do much around the house the past couple of days as DH has it turned inside out putting all of our moldings on the walls. I am so glad this is getting done and will be glad when it is done. I was hoping to get some sewing done but since I cannot pull out my cutting table I cannot cut the larger projects I had hoped to do. I have a few smaller projects that I hope to do Thursday or Friday after I buy some supplies tomorrow, that is if I can unburymy sewing machine :). Someday I hope to have a sewing studio like this, for now I share a small room off the kitchen with the pantry and our "office". It used to be a mud room, was the laundry room when we moved in, and would be very well suited to a half bath if it were not for the expense of putting pluming into a slab foundation. This however is much better than sharing with the dining table or having no space at all so I will take what I can get, I may very well be sewing on the floor in our next home :).
One of the projects I have going right now are some craft accessory holders (knitting needles, rulers, seam rippers, etc.) A few of them are going to be denim on the outside and I think instead of regular top stitching I will put decorative stitching around the edges for a little something extra.
Monday, August 20, 2007
The last few days have been spent recovering from our trip back home to visit family. My supervisor at my last job made a comment once on how we still call our hometowns back home, even after being gone for nearly ten years now and having lived around the world. I think it's because of being in the military. You never really put down roots and as soon as you do your uprooted and transplanted to a new home again. Home is where the heart is, but it's also where Grandma still insist on making you breakfast every morrining and you can go out on a date with your husband with no problem because there are about a million people that are biting at the bit to babysit your daughter.
Anyway, it was a very nice visit. We went back because my brother is deploying to Iraq and DH was to deploy to Afghanistan also (more on that later). We spent a few days with DH's family and then went to my family and spent the rest of the time there. We had a great time with everyone just hanging out and having all the siblings and spouses together at one time. I am the oldest of three with two younger brothers so I love having sisters-in-law. I made this bag for one SIL who lives in North Carolina with my brother who is a marine
So being a marine wife really has nothing to do with this bag....it has more to do with why she lives where she lives. The bag is a messenger type bag for a computer. Made of denim so that hopefully it is very durable. What is so special about it is that the lining is this great hippy themed fabric that I found on the clearance rack at Joann's. She loved the bag. I have another project in mind for her that involves old uniforms but that is all I'm going to say for now as she may read this blog some day.
My other SIL who lives in Illinois and is married to my youngest brother who farms is a wonderful photographer and getting into business for herself. She took pictures of Olivia for us. She has done all of Olivia's pictures but these are much better because they aren't at Seares in the studio but outside on my parents property. It was really hot thought so Olivia got tired of it really quick and we tried to get pictures of her next to the chicken coop. That did not go over well, my mom gave the birds some cucumbers to get them to gather close and a goose hissed at Olivia and that was the end of the chicken coop. Here are some pics...
You can see more of her work here.
Our trip was a very relaxed one with no real commitments or things we had to do which is unusual, but then we are normally back for only a few days not almost two weeks and it's normally an holiday so we are obligated to go to every relatives dinner (or so most people think even if we only get five minutes notice). This was very nice because we just kind of hung out for a few days here and there.
We got back and spent a couple of days just kind of winding down then DH went to go to a pre-deployment briefing only to find out that he is not deploying. We do not expect people to understand this but we were not happy when we found out. DH volunteered to deploy to help us out financially. I am very happy to have my husband home for the holidays and to spend time with him, I did not want for him to go. However at the same time we had made the mutual decision that if the opportunity presented itself the best thing for the family would be for him to go. We had spent three months preparing for deployment emotionally and made plans for me to go home to our family over the holidays. We also made financial goals based on him getting extra pay for the next four months and having less taxable income next year. The news took us from behind and made us reevaluate everything that we have on the table at the moment, time for a fresh look.
DH still has one more week of leave left so he is finishing up the inside remodel of our house that has been going on for three plus years. It won't be quite done but the base boarding and door molding will be on the walls rather than sitting in the garage :) and there will only be a few small things to do and a couple of maintenance issues and we will be ready to move :) If the Air Force will be that kind to us.
I have many projects that I will be getting to soon, and I may just get to posting more often also.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
So for next week................I'm hoping to keep up on the house pretty well, I'm having company Friday night and really don't want to spend all day Friday cleaning. I'm still working on being routine enough that my house is pretty much always clean. I was there at one time, before we moved three years ago, I just have to get settled with my new life again and learn to balance all my task. I need to get the bag done for my sis-in-law as we are going to be seeing them in the next couple of weeks, and in all fairness I should come up with something for my other sis-in-law but I haven't gotten to know her well enough to know what she would love. I'm also hoping to at least get some christening dresses started to sell. I have allot of extra lace from the one I did for Olivia as well as extra fabric I figured I would give them a shot.
I have also done a couple of projects that will be listed in my store. Last night I did this purse
It's a hippy themed fabric that I found on the remnant table at Joann's. Go on over to my store and take a look if you are interested.
I have also put together a couple of baby slings. They are reversible pouch style slings with denim on one side for durability and then a fun print on the other for style. Each sling is custom made for the person who it is intended to be worn by. I made several of these slings before Olivia was born and I LOVE them. I do not use them as much now as she would rather sit in her exersauser (AKA her Command Center) where she can supervise all that goes on in the house, but when she was tiny and always wanting to be held it was a life saver. I still use it when I go to the store because she does not like to sit in her car seat while I shop and I can't say that I blame her.
I hope to get these Items listed by the end of the day so come on over if you like.
Have a wonderful day.
Friday, July 20, 2007
This video is so touching if you have had any experience with infertility or long for a child at all.
My husband and I often tell people that Olivia is our miracle baby or that she was a long time coming. Often times people do not really understand what we are saying. We started trying to conceive in December 1999, two years later I finally became pregnant. We were twenty at the time we started it was very frustrating to be told to be patient when our Friends were on birth control and getting pregnant. We were so happy to get the news that we were having a baby. Unfortunately at 19 weeks into the pregnancy I went to the bathroom to discover that I had bulging bag of waters. We rushed to the nearest hospital and found out that there was nothing that could be done the pregnancy was over. Our first baby girl Desiray was still-born 15 hours later.
It took 18 months for us to conceive again. In that time there had been no confirmation as to what had caused my first pregnancy to end and I had about seven different doctors in that time frame (you gotta love the military). I was diagnosed with PCOS which is a condition where you do not ovulate on a regular basis. I was just about to start taking Clomid to help me ovulate when we found out I was pregnant for a second time. Since we had no idea what had gone wrong with the first pregnancy we were very scared about this one. I put my self on a modified bed rest and everything was going very well. I was sent to a high risk Dr who stated that losing a pregnancy at 19 wks was a one in a million chance and it would not happen again. That was at 14 wks, according to every Dr I have spoken to since my chances of wining the lottery are better. Seven weeks later at 21 wks I was in the hospital in pre-term labor. When the Dr checked me I was 75% effaced and 3-4 cm dilated. At that point there is still a chance if the Dr does the right stuff....my Dr did not. I was left sitting up in a hospital bed all night, the next morning our second daughter, Madilyn Rose, was born. She was with us for a while, I don't even know how long I just know that I cherish every minute that I held her in my arms. It was at this time that I was diagnosed as having a possible incompetent cervix. My cervix cannot hold the weight of a baby and carry it to term so it opens up early and without medical intervention I cannot carry a baby full term.
Eight weeks after Madilyn was born we moved from England back to the US. When we got settled in we applied to be foster parents because adoption is something that is really on our heart and we felt that going through foster care was the best way to do it. While adoption is still something we feel lead to do we have put it aside for now.
We also started doing fertility treatments. Metformin for treating PCOS and Clomid to help me ovulate. I lost count of how many cycles I did but we were at the end of the rope on that rout and insurance does not pay for any more that that so we had some decisions to makes. We were pretty sure my body just had its own timing for ovulating and I would be pregnant in Dec 05 Jan 06 but then my husband got orders to deploy to leave in Jan 06 and I did not get pregnant in Dec 05 so I was pretty sure I would not see a baby for years to come.
While my husband was deployed it was a healing time for both of us. All of the years of trying to have a baby and losing babies had really put a lot of stress on us and the time apart really did us some good. And DH was in a war zone so it put life into perspective for him as there were a couple of times he was not sure if he was coming home or not. He was suppose to be gone until Aug 06 but got sent home in May instead. When he returned we just enjoyed each other for a few weeks and then I went to the Dr to get a referral to the infertility Dr again so that we could start trying for our baby again. While I was there I asked her if she could do a pregnancy test on the off chance that I could be pregnant because there was no point in me making an appointment if I was just going to have to cancel it. She ran the test and the next morning she called me to tell me it was positive. I couldn't believe it, I wasn't even late yet for that cycle. We were thrilled and understandably very scared at the same time. We put our baby in Gods hands because it was by the grace of God that we were even having one considering that my husband was still suppose to be half way around the world at the time. I had a cerclage placed at 14 wks and had really an ideal pregnancy until about 30 wks when I started having some symptoms of pre-term labor. At that time I started working half days and went on modified bed rest (no house work, no extended shopping trips, no heavy lifting, ect.) and I had very little signs of per-term labor after that. At 38 wks my cerclage was removed and a week later I delivered our third baby girl Olivia Faith (bringer of peace and the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen) a healthy 7 lbs 1 oz and 19 inches long with no complications during the delivery.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
When I became pregnant with Olivia I began to research cloth diapers more and fell in love with the idea of all-in-one diapers. I didn't buy any however because I was unsure how big of a baby I would have so I settled for using disposables at first and then buy cloth diapers after we got settled a bit.
When it came time to by the cloth diapers I could not justify the cost of all-in-ones even if I made them myself because we were only spending about $20 a month on diapers (buying military storebrand diapers) so I went the "old fashiond" route pre-folds, pins, and plastic pants. The problem was that my huband who is wonderfull about helping with all of the aspects of parenting was not comfortable with the pins, I was talking to my Mom one day about it and she was like don't they make diapers with velcro? I said yes but they are expensive and more than I want to pay for diapers right now.
So today while driving home from my personal time shopping trip I came up with this idea.
I took a pre-fold diaper and folded it to the size Olivia is right now
I then put a piece of loop just below the line where the diaper folds over. I left the fold loose so that the diaper can grow with her. When she gets bigger I will put more loop at the bigger sizes and if God blesses us with another baby I will put loop at the smaller size also to make a one size fits all diaper.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I have a tendency to crash and burn. I'm gun-ho about a diet, exercise plan, or housekeeping schedule, follow it for a while and then something happens. I get out of the groove, I don't loose weight, I would rather sleep than do anything else (this is how I feel this week). And yet I know if I do the basics all will be OK.
I must take baby steps. Bring things together one thing at a time, and prioritize. I have so many goals both for our family and myself, I need to write them down discuss them with DH and prioritize them then make a plan to get them done.
I'm inspired now, I'm going to do a couple of task and then work on the list.