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Wednesday, December 31, 2008 1:04 pm December 31, 2008

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Just a quick update on Brock.  We haven’t heard from him yet.  We got word he may be stuck in Kuwait, and due to the possibility of enemy fire on the planes, he could be stuck there for up to five days.  They have to wait until it’s safe for the planes to take off.  This is all conjecture, we know nothing for certain.
 
So we wait.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008 December 30, 2008

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I am SO not ready for the second Christmas, and it’s proving to be troublesome to be able to get everyone together.  Since Blaine and Nicole work nights, it makes it difficult to find a time they can both be here.  We might have to do the Christmas and the Christmas dinner on different days (Which is fine by me) but I was so hoping we could do both on the same day so it would be just like Brock didn’t miss the day at all.  To top it all off, I thought I’d have a few more days to get Brock some presents at the after holiday sales.  He’s not bringing any street clothes with him – as a matter of fact, I don’t think he has anything but military uniforms with him in Afghanistan.  Dee has bought him a few pairs of jeans, and I wanted to get him a few shirts.
 
I do love the after Christmas sales to stock up on gift tags, wrapping paper, cards, etc.  I don’t need wrapping paper since I still have a huge box from previous sales, ditto on the cards, but I did need some tags.  I picked some up for 24 cents a package today.  Ahh.  I love a bargain. 
 
Tomorrow I have the day off, but I have a load of things I need to get done.  I need to go shopping for our traditional New Years Day meal (Subs) and finish wrapping the gifts I didn’t wrap for Brock yet.  I’d like to hit Kohl’s for some shirts for him.  The main problem is I have to be on “Stand-by” as we have no definite time of his arrival.  I am going to stay here while Dee and The Hub go to the airport, so I can’t venture too far from home in case I need to get home in a hurry.  Hopefully we’ll have a couple hours advance notice, but we have to be prepared for anything.  You know the military – Hurry Up and Wait.
 
Dee got her license today!  She texted me to let me know she had passed. I was so proud of her.  I think what really gave me the most warm fuzzies is that she wanted to share the info with me.  Who would have thought, after our rocky start, that she would have wanted me to be one of the first to know?!  Life is good.
 
I’m too thrilled that my boy is on his way home to sit here and type out an entry.
 
Happy happy birthday to my very best friend, MitMarie.  I can’t wait to see you again and I hope your birthday (And New Years Eve) is a wonderful celebration!  Love you!
 

Sick of Being Sick 12-29-08 December 29, 2008

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I got the best news ever today!  Brock will probably be home Wednesday.  As in day after tomorrow!  Hooray!  I know how excited I am, I can only imagine how excited Dee is! 
 
The Good Doctor put me on a stronger anti-biotic today, plus some cough perles, and some Mucinex.  Maybe I can finally get over whatever it is that’s dragging me down. 
 
When I got to work this morning I was greeted by two big piles of sopping wet mail under the mail slot.  Our office had flooded sometime between Christmas Eve and this morning.  The dental office had flooded, too.  Ours was just in front of the windows and the door, while the dentist’s office was in front of one window, the bathroom and the storage room.  Apparently it rained so hard that the breezeway flooded and it came in under our doors.  It was only a few feet into the office, not the whole office, thank goodness.
 
I’ve only got a half day of work tomorrow, but a very busy half day.  We have no plans for New Year’s Eve.  Dee was going to go out with some friends and had asked Bryce to watch the kids, but now that Brock is coming home I don’t know if they’ll still be going out.  He might be pretty tired from cross-the-world traveling.  I might spring for a bottle of cheap champagne, but other than that …. no plans.

Christmas Pictures December 28, 2008

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Piper in the knit sweater I made for her.

Piper in the knit sweater I made for her.

Nicole loved the Skull Bag I made for her
Nicole loved the Skull Bag I made for her
 ... Just like his daddy!
… Just like his daddy!
Happy with his new toy
Happy with his new toy
Morgans extra happy with HER new (Catnip containing) toy!

Morgan's extra happy with HER new (Catnip containing) toy!

Gunnar and his peanut brittle
Bryce and his peanut brittle
Pipers New Tea Set
Piper’s New Tea Set

Sunday, December 28, 2008 December 28, 2008

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Got this from my friend Kristen.

End of year meme…..Take the first sentence of the first (unfiltered) entry you made in a given month and post it in order to sum up your year.

January:  Motivation …. Or lack thereof.

February:  Those are the socks I made for my Granny Dot.
March:  It’s grocery shopping day! 
April:  Thanks for all the prayers for my Mom. 
May:  Haven’t been reading many journals, haven’t been online much to read them.
June:  Please send up a little prayer for Dot, the newest Angel in heaven, my Granny.
July:  The trial ended last week, I just needed this whole time to regain control of my brain.
August:  The boss asked me to stay home today, as I had a fever yesterday, and he can’t afford to be sick.
September:  I got up at my usual “Oh Dark Thirty” because my internal clock is too stubborn to change in it’s old age. 
October:  1 1/4 Cups “Quick” rolled oats
November:  The Hub procrastinated long enough that he couldn’t do his early voting by mail – so he went last night to stand in line with the 60 gazillion other people who had the same idea.
December:Last month my niece challenged the family to “Bitch in your Blog” and the challenge was to write an entry every day in November. 

Pictures of the Grandchildren – Christmas Eve December 27, 2008

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I love this picture of the three of them together

I love this picture of the three of them together

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Piper
Piper
Gavin
Gavin

Notice no ornaments on the tree.  I hate that!  It feels very “Half assed” to me, but I also didn’t want all my ornaments broken.  Whatcha gonna do? 

The look on Gavins face cracks me up!

The look on Gavin's face cracks me up!

Christmas Day pictures later.

Friday, December 26, 2008 December 26, 2008

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I had to have some soup tonight for dinner.  I was craving soup ever since I made that pot for Nicole’s Mom yesterday.  I guess I never told that story … Nicole’s mom was sick in bed, so I made her a pot of chicken soup.  Nicole, Blaine and Bryce ran it over to her between unwrapping presents and dinner.  It just smelled SO good – I had to make a pot of soup for us.  I used leftovers from last nights dinner and relish tray.
 
Leftover Soup
 
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
 Saute garlic and onion in olive oil until translucent, about five minutes.  The add remaining ingredients.
 
64 ounces chicken broth
4 chicken bouillon cubes, unless your broth is rich
1-2 carrots, diced small
1 cup cabbage, diced into small pieces
1 cup cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup celery leaves (Fresh)
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 cup ham, diced very small
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 handful dried green peas
pinch of thyme
Pepper to taste
 
Simmer at least 20 minutes, until veggies are tender.
 
Recipe is also posted on the recipe page for easy access.  I want another bowl, it was so good – but I’m full from the first bowl!
 
I’m starting to feel sick again, so we are not going to Doc’s Boxing Day party tonight (though last I heard it was being canceled anyway because his wife was feeling poorly.)  I wish I could just get well.  I spent most of the day on my bed with my new blanket The Hub bought for me for Christmas, watching old movies.  I was going to go get my hair cut, but didn’t even feel up to that.  I did manage to shower and wash my hair in preparation for the haircut, but that was as far as I took it.
 
Dee and the grandchildren went to her cousins for the weekend, and Nicole and Blaine stole Bryce for the weekend.  The house has been very quiet, which was much needed.   Christmas day the grandchildren were crying and screaming all day – they’re getting sick again – so they were whiney and cranky.  Piper spent the day antagonizing her brother, and when she wasn’t making him cry, she was crying herself.  She cried because she was hungry, but when we sat down to eat she cried because she didn’t want to.  She cried because “It’s MINE!” or … because it wasn’t hers.  It was a challenging day to be sure.  I don’t know how Dee kept her cool with the kids, I know she was getting exasperated with them. 
 
I did not sleep well Christmas eve – leg cramps- got about three hours of sleep, so by five o’clock I was literally zombie like.  I was hoping I would sleep soundly last night, but alas, I was up again with leg cramps.  The kind that move your feet into all kinds of oddly contorted shapes.  Ouch.  Hopefully since I’ve had a relatively calm day without hours and hours on my feet, I will forego the leg cramps tonight.
 
I don’t think there were any disappointed faces concerning presents on Christmas day.  Everyone was well pleased with everything they got from each other.  Nicole, at one point, was appalled because she thought The Hub had given me an exercise ball – but that was just the box he used to hold the present.  It was funny!  My mom sent us a generic version of “DanceDanceRevolution” so that will be interesting, though I will probably be the only one who will use that. 
 
I’m off to take a hot bath with a mug of sugar free hot chocolate!
Pictures tomorrow.

Vote for Your Favorite Cookie December 25, 2008

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The Candidates
The Candidates

 

Cookie A

Cookie A

Cookie B

Cookie B

Cookie C

Cookie C

Christmas Eve 2008 December 24, 2008

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Sssh.  Don’t tell anyone.  You know what I hate about making Santa’s cookies on Christmas Eve?  By the time it’s time to make the cookies, I’m so worn out from being in the kitchen all day, it’s the last thing I want to do.  I have to stand at the counter rolling the dough, and pumping out the cookies, while every one else gets to sit at the table and decorate all the cookies.  This year we worked in shifts, of sorts, and I got to decorate quite a few cookies.  Tomorrow I’ll post pictures of the entrants in the cookie contest.  Maybe I’ll do a poll and let y’all pick the winner. 
 
I am not done in the kitchen, either.  I still have to make the sticky buns for the morning.
 
I got a very generous Christmas bonus from Doc.  I just have no idea what I am going to spend it on.  I still have half of the bonus I got last year!
 
Santa is feeling very weary and must go wrap last minute packages.
 
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa!
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 December 23, 2008

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UGH!!!  Something is going on in my lungs, I think.  I have back pain behind my shoulder blade, but it’s not, you know … BACK pain.  It’s not muscular, either.  I so don’t want to be sick for Christmas!  Little Gavin felt feverish this evening, too, so I hope he’s not relapsing.
 
I was going to get my hair cut this afternoon, but I didn’t feel like sitting in the salon.  It looked busy.  I might try and go up Friday morning.  There’s never anyone there first thing in the morning, and Irene can play around with my hair. 
 
Hub went out Christmas shopping this afternoon after work.  Always the procrastinator.  Bryce went with him to buy me a gift.
 
I made the most awesome chicken for dinner.  I took two chicken tenders, wrapped them in ham slices, then put a piece of Swiss cheese over the top. Baked them at 375ºF for thirty five minutes.  They were so tasty!  It would work well with a chicken breast, too, but I have those reserved for another meal.  Make do with what you have.
 
Months ago I sent off for “Letters from Santa” for Piper and Gavin.  I was thinking about them a few days ago, and reckoning that they weren’t going to come at all.  They came today.  Why they had me put in “A few personal things about each child” on the request form is beyond me, because they were form letters (Both different, but still form letters.)  They were supposed to be personalized.  Uh. No.  It could have been written to any child in America that believes in Santa.  At least they were free.  the letter was “Written” in fine script handwriting, and then the child’s name was chicken scratched next to the “Dear Special Friend.”  A kindergartener must have been earning some extra pocket money.
 
Got the candy bars made today.  Now all that’s left is the cheesecake, and the homemade sticky buns (Make ahead) for Christmas morning.  I hope my dough rises!
 
Got a call from my high school friend Ellen today (MitMarie, we need to talk about the reunion – I have dates now) and we were talking about our Christmas day menus.  She said her sister called her yesterday and said “Guess what I’m doing?  Making Kathy’s truffles!”  Ellen replied “Well, guess what I’m doing?  Making Kathy’s Garbage.”  Those were recipes I gave them in high school!!  Too funny. 
 
Quote of the Day:
I hear that in many places something has happened to Christmas; that it is changing from a time of merriment and carefree gaiety to a holiday which is filled with tedium; that many people dread the day and the obligation to give Christmas presents is a nightmare to weary, bored souls; that the children of enlightened parents no longer believe in Santa Claus; that all in all, the effort to be happy and have pleasure makes many honest hearts grow dark with despair instead of beaming with good will and cheerfulness. 
        ~Julia Peterkin, A Plantation Christmas, 1934