navygreen: (Default)
It's been such a nice, long, lazy Thanksgiving break. :-)

By sheer luck, Philip had off from Wednesday-Friday, and having him home all the way until Saturday night (he works midnight shifts) almost felt strange. I bet he's only been off on Thursdays for actual Thanksgiving Day maybe three times in the past almost 13 years of our military life. We celebrated with our friends and neighbors - Tanya, Adam, and Emma - as well as one of Philip's troops, Puckett, and old friends of ours Jan and Payton (while J.R. is temporarily stationed at NCO Academy).

We made enough food for an army, though. Even though there was only 10 of us, I asked everyone to bring food for 30 (explaining the reasons beforehand, of course). You see, the best part about the Thanksgiving feast is having easy-peasy leftovers afterward. We had 30 pounds of turkey, almost ten pounds of ham, two sweet potato casseroles, stuffing, cornbread dressing, candied yams, rolls, green bean casserole, corn, peas, jellied cranberry sauce, 15 pounds of mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry salad. Just like last year, it worked out beautifully: we were able to make three full meals of leftovers before we ran out of sides. I still have about 2 pounds of dark meat turkey I'm going to chop and freeze for tacos or chili later on, as well as three recipes' worth of cubed ham.

I also made two pumpkin pies, a Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake, two Chocolate French Silk Pies, a new cake (which I haven't named yet), and about 100 mini decorated cookies in my brand-new dough creation. I made tiny pumpkins with our names on them, and I made sure everyone took a few home as well.

Emma stole the show for most of the get-together. She's now 19 months old, and she's just too adorable for words. She really cuddled up to Puckett (who's a single airman living in the dorms!), and he was so sweet with her. She climbed up on the chair next to me when I was eating, and she ended up stealing away almost all of my cranberry salad - she loved it! And when Jan was scouring the Black Friday ads and writing out her shopping plan-of-attack, she sidled up next to her and pointed out the toys she was interested in. We were all in love!

Jack's friend Payton spent the night with us so that Jan could do all the midnight Black Friday shopping, and we had a large breakfast late the next morning. (They both fell asleep between 3-4am!) Philip pulled all the bins and boxes out of the storage shed in the garage for me to begin the holiday decorating, and we pretty much did that the rest of the day. Jan came to pick up Payton before dinnertime, and then we went back to decorating. The boys finished their tree entirely, and then they constructed the main tree. A.J. and I took a break and watched The Good Son together (a movie I had seen many years ago), too. After that, I felt too distracted to get back to serious decorating. ;-) I did hang the lights on our main tree while watching both Die Hard and Reindeer Games, and then Philip had to run into the squadron around 4am to clean his weapon.

On Saturday, we did more lazing about, and I finished up some more decorating. We all watched Liar Liar together, and the boys loved the class Jim Carry funnies. I made an easy pantry dinner of tuna casserole and green beans, and we finished off a few pies. Philip took a TON of desserts with him to work, and I was glad to have all the space back in my fridge!

It was 45° today (it's been warm all week), and the boys enjoyed hours of playtime outside. They probably have a few more days they can get away with it, so I encourage it! We've had a bit of snow, but it's all melted, and I'm happy for every warm day we get as a treat. Usually, it snows here in October, and we made it all the way to November 15th before our first snow, and it melted anyway. A blessing!

Last week was crazy-busy, but it was so fun! I threw a last-minute get-together with a bunch of gals for the midnight premiere of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, and I made cookies for the event. We all met at Applebee's for dinner, and then we headed to the theatre around 10:30pm to get in line. We had a great time, even despite one part of the movie that made us all snicker in our seats. ;-)

The next night, Friday, my friend Tifany hosted a Girls' Game Night while her husband was gone, and it was a blast. We played Taboo for hours, and we laughed SO HARD. She had great snacks, and I took a quick chocolate chip cheese idp and graham crackers (I had everything on hand already, and my friend Mary had suggested it while we were waiting for the movie to start the night before).

And then on Saturday night, I hosted Enchilada Night at our house! Tanya, Janelle, and I had been talking about our different enchiladas for weeks, and we decided to have them all together one night to share. Tanya made red enchiladas, Janelle made green, and I made white (the colors of the sauces, I should say). Tanya brought a big pot of Spanish rice, and we all ate together. It was a tasty night, and Jack loved it so much that he's already planning out our next "community suppers," as Tanya calls them. Samantha came over around bedtime and had some leftover enchiladas, and then we girls all watched Friends With Benefits together.

On Sunday, I was beat! Seriously, I think I napped and dozed all day to make up for three parties with three different groups of friends in three consecutive nights!

This coming week should be busy, too. I've got a bunch of cookies to make, as well as HUNDREDS I should be putting online. I need to make two "foodie" posts, and I'm hosting a huge giveaway on my website tomorrow (well, today!) to celebrate both Cyber Monday and my 1000th 'like' on Facebook. I've got two cookie swaps to mail out, and I want to make a bunch of cookies for the Airman's Cookie Drive again this year.

Oh, oh, oh! Aaaaaaand, my cookies made the Top 10 in the L.A. Times 2nd Annual Cookie Bake-Off! (Gosh, I can't believe it took me so long in this post to remember this!) I figured the "crowd favorites" as far as vote-getters would make the Top 10 even when the staff baked the Top 50, so I had been confident in my cookie so long as I remained high in votes. When the voting stopped, I had a 70+ vote lead on my closest competitor (the last time I saw it before the contest was pulled down), but then I waited for days on pins and needles for the baking and judging to take place. Finally, last Monday, the winners were announced! I was SHOCKED to find that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place vote-earners did NOT make the Top 10 at all. It was crazy, and I'm SO glad my cookie held up in the judging! I still can't believe all my friends that voted so much for me - thank you ALL!

I've been invited to Los Angeles by the L.A. Times for a publicity photoshoot and a day tour of the facilities in their test kitchens on Dec. 7th. The recipes will be published in the huge holiday edition of the paper on December 15th. There's also another article on the judging HERE. I do wish so badly that I could go, but I absolutely can't afford the travel *to* L.A., so these articles are the end of the line for me. It was still SO EXCITING, and I was calling friends and *squeeeing* when I found out!

Oh, and we received a Christmas card yesterday from [livejournal.com profile] ashen_butterfly! She's the first, as usual. I've still only got my cards addressed, but not written, nor an accompanying newsletter even started!

I'm so happy to see so many of my friends returning to LJ lately. I have been reading, and I'm trying to be better at commenting myself. I don't know how much I'll be able to post in December, but I'm glad to have checked in at least a little bit. :-)
navygreen: (Fall: pumpkin)
Befores:

- chips & salsa
- pepperoni & summer sausage
- colby jack, cheddar & mozzarella
- Ritz crackers

Durings:

- roasted turkey
- mashed potatoes & gravy
- sweet potato casserole
- stuffing
- green bean casserole
- homemade mac 'n cheese
- store-bought mac 'n cheese (Andy wanted a stand-by, "just in case")
- yeast rolls
- corn
- jellied cranberry sauce

Afters:

- mini pumpkin pies
- pumpkin pies
- pineapple upside-down cake
- spice cookies with cream cheese frosting
- white chocolate tarts

And of course, there'll be sweet tea, soda, and eleventy billion choices of hot cocoas. :-)
navygreen: (Boys: fall guys)
Philip and I both headed up to the school for lunch today, bringing with us Subway for a treat. We can't go tomorrow on our usual Wednesday routine, as the boys' school is out for Thanksgiving break, so we bumped up a day.

When I asked them last night, no one was sure of the lunch choice for today. Because of this, we opted for lunch brought in, and they collaborated and chose Subway. Fine by me - I love subs! When we walked into the lunchroom, we found the school lunch to be hotdogs, seasoned potato wedges, milk, fruit, and a chocolate chip cookie. That choice is pretty decent - bummer!

Now I am STUFFED, and we're fixin' to head out shopping for all our Thanksgiving feast supplies. We've got two folks (and a guest) from work coming over to celebrate with us, and Philip also has a troop coming over. It should be good, and we'll be sending most of the leftovers home with all of them. :-)
navygreen: (Cedric - seriously??)
Dang! I feel like I got so much done tonight, and it's only 1am! Wow, the boys going to bed almost two hours early seems to have really made a difference!

Sara brought my Creative Memories® circle and oval cutters back tonight. I'd let her borrow them on Monday evening so that she could finish up a tribute album for her parents' 50th wedding anniversary. I was finishing up the pork loin dishes, and she knocked on the entry window - scared the CRUD out of me! Of course, I didn't get any scrapbooking done tonight, because...

I've got another stack of 40 cards ready to go by the front door. Normally, I'd go ahead and walk them out to the mailbox (even knowing that there is no mail pick-up tomorrow) just because I can't stand to have them on the counter, but I've had lots of creepy feelings tonight, and I just can't muster up the courage to go out there. :-/ I've got six more cards ready to mail, but they contain large-size pictures, and I'll have to have them weighed before I can mail them. And I need addresses for two more people, but their cards are ready to go as well. Then I'm done!

I'll probably work on the Wrapping Party invitations tomorrow night, and hopefully have them go out on Friday morning as well. Those shouldn't take too long, as I'm only having a handful of people of over. After that, I plan to be done mailing stuff for at least a week or so. ;-)

I'm off to bed now (early for me!), as I figure the boys will be getting up a bit earlier than usual tomorrow morning. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Easy day.

Nov. 23rd, 2005 07:24 pm
navygreen: (Baby - posing)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROYANNADAWN!


Hope you have had a fantastic day today, [livejournal.com profile] royannadawn! :-)



Today has been very low-key. I sent out another bunch of 31 Christmas cards in the mail today, and I've been working on the rest this afternoon. The letters and cards are all signed, but these go to family members, and I have to toss in the boys' school pictures as well. They'll be ready by tomorrow, but of course, there will be no mail pick-up... so they'll go out Friday instead.

The boys and I watched the first three Harry Potter flicks today, back-to-back. It's been a good long while since I've done that. The last one just ended about fifteen minutes ago, and both boys are already now in bed and asleep. Bedtime is usually at 9pm, so this is really strange for me!

I made monkey bread as a special breakfast this morning. I remember my dad making it lots when I was growing up, but this is the first time I've ever made it - it was just one of those recipes that I forgot about for a while, I guess. A.J. liked it a lot (even had second helpings), but Jack didn't. Ah, well. Tomorrow's breakfast is pancakes and scrambled eggs, and he always loves that. ;-)

Thanksgiving hasn't been stressful for me this year, either. For the first time ever, I'm not doing the big dinner at my house; instead, we're going to hetterrific Heather's house for Thanksgiving dinner. All I'm required to bring is my sweet tea and my Apple Blackberry Crumble pies, and those are easy enough. We'll have the big meal for lunch tomorrow, and then we'll have leftovers for dinner... but I won't have done hardly any of the work - yay!

I'm feeling a bit empty today, and there's really no good way to describe it. It's sad in a way, that I am so involved in my fandom as I am. However, I find myself just wanting something... something MORE today, and I can't find it somehow. I don't know if I'm just waiting for more HP pictures to come out, more fanfic, more ?? Just SOMETHING. This is what happens when it's been over two days since I've seen the latest movie, I guess, but I just feel frumpy.

I'm off to find something to immerse myself in for the rest of tonight. Like I said, it's weird to have the boys already sleeping - I feel like I don't know what to do with myself!
navygreen: (Button!)
CHICAGO! was fantastic yesterday. Absolutely amazing! As I said before, Paige Davis played the part of 'Roxie,' and she was just so phenomenal to watch. Cute as a button, and so good at delivering her lines and songs. Tom Wopat played the male lead of Billy Flynn, and his performance was a far cry from that of his Dukes of Hazzard days - I was very impressed. It was really just an amazing show - start to finish - and it was such a good birthday present. Heather had bought GOOD seats - centered Loge seats - and it was just great! I feel like there just aren't enough good words! :-)

We ate Mexican food at Trini's in downtown Omaha before the show. It's located under the brick streets, in a kinda grotto-like place. It was good food (though my order was messed up), and the beans were fabulous... on the way in, that is. ;-) (We both suffered later.) After the show, we got banana splits at Sonic before picking up the boys.

We went to church this morning, and immediately afterwards, I met starrchld Annie, Patrick and Kage at the theater for my third viewing of Goblet of Fire. I took a fluffy blanket this time, as I was freezing during the second watching, and I was so glad to have it. Today was their first time watching the movie, and they all really enjoyed it. :-)

After the movie, I killed about an hour at home before the whole family left to attend Jan's 'Christ Clown College' graduation ceremony. It lasted over three hours, and it consisted of tons of clown skits, a diploma presentation and dinner. It was a good time. The opener for the ceremony was having all of us in the audience blow up balloons and bat them all around the room (which was the sanctuary of Messiah Lutheran Church), saying 'Alleluia!' each time we smacked the balloon. The boys had lots of fun watching the skits, and they either sat up in the front by the stage or stood in the large windows on the side of the church to see. Jan did wonderful, and she had a large crowd from the church there to support her. I was very happy for her, and I took pictures. :-)

We got home after 9pm and put the boys in bed immediately. I posted an editorial on MuggleNet, and now I'm going to start working on our holiday newsletter. The Christmas cards are all addressed, the return address labels have all been printed, but I've got to get this newsletter started and finished. I expect the cards to arrive tomorrow (hopefully!), and then I'll be ready to send them all out this week. Yay!

Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving feast for Jack's preschool class, and I've signed up to bring sweet potato casserole again. I'll go to the scrapbooking group for a little bit tomorrow morning, and then I'll have to come home to cook the casserole so that it will be hot for the feast at 11am.

I guess that's it for tonight...
navygreen: (Fall guys)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARISSA!


Wish you were here to REALLY celebrate, chick!



It's been nice and slow around here the past couple of days. We've not done a whole lot, and I've not been into a lot of socializing, really. I think all the planning and the party hubbub gave me a desire for some "me" time this week. I even canceled on the Parents at Home group this morning because I just didn't feel too chatty.

However, I feel like I'm making some real headway in my personal "to do" list in my head. For example, I bought a third tub, and now all of the Halloween decorations are stored safely in the shed for next year, while all the Thanksgiving stuff is now on display. There's quite a bit less for Turkey Day, so the house feels "cleaner" without the extra decorating clutter.

af_cop Philip was off today, so as soon as A.J. got home from school, we all headed out to Haworth Park for a few hours. We had a nice, relaxing time together and didn't leave until it started to get dark. The boys played on the merry-go-round last (I thought it was a first time for both of them, but I found out later that they'd been on one before with hetterrific Heather), and shortly after, we left. Not a good idea - although Jack had seemed perfectly fine for the last 10 minutes or so NOT on the merry-go-round, he must've gotten a touch of motion-sickness anyway. In the car on the way home, he threw up a little bit three times - just enough to make a gaggy mess of his carseat and clothes. Ick. We were stopped on the side of the road, trying to clean him up with dry tissues and to keep A.J. from barfing from the smell as well. Minutes later, of course, he was fine.

Ahhhh, our first real bout of motion-sickness. Something to write in the baby book, no? ;-)

Tonight during ER, they played Harry Nilsson's "Coconut." I love that song! Seriously, I have a CD that a friend made me, and he put that song on 5 times in a row - just for me to play in the bath! It was Jack's very favorite song as a baby, and it was the first thing he ever danced to. His first word was even "Doctor!" because of the lyrics. :-)

I've got more, but it's going to have to be in a separate entry, as I just can't push the thoughts together...

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