navygreen: (Popcorn)
I cut my nose? cheek? last night while I was sleeping. I must've reached up and wiped the side of my nose for some reason (likely, a kitty "fluff" drifted by from the ceiling fan), and I cut the side of my nose with my fingernail.

I even remember working it into my dream. I was speaking to someone, and I said, "Excuse me, but I think the side of my nose is bleeding, and I'm afraid I just cut it with my fingernail..." And then I proceeded to sleep & dream on.

And when I woke this morning, that was the first thought I had, to check & see if it had indeed happened. I reached up, and much like sleep "crusties" for the eyes, I had red/pink "crusties" on the side of my nose. And it hurts. It almost stings like a papercut, actually. Even worse, the scab it forms is constantly being re-opened by my facial movements as I talk or eat.

And my fingernail isn't even long!
navygreen: (Eeyore)
(The scene: Me, mixing icing in the kitchen. Jack, lying on the couch with his Kindle, earbuds plugged in. A.J., upstairs in his bedroom, on his computer.)

Me: A.J., do you need to start some laundry?
A.J.: (faintly) Yeah, probably.
Me: Why don't you do that? Go ahead & change into your pajamas & then wash everything else. Don't forget to put on fresh deodorant, too.
Jack: *removes earbuds*
A.J.: Okay. *squeaks off bed*
Me: ... (*mix, mix, mix*)
Jack: ...
Me: Jack, did you put YOUR laundry away yesterday when it was finished?
Jack: No...
Me: Go do that now, please.
Jack: Man, I *knew* that was coming as soon as you asked A.J. to do his!
Me: (smiling) And yet, you weren't going to just go do it, were you?
Jack: (grinning sheepishly as he starts up the stairs) No way!

Boys. :-)
navygreen: (A.J.)
Again, just for our records, so please feel free to skip along. :-)

The List. )
navygreen: (Jack: blue)
Just for our records, so please feel free to skip along. :-)

The List. )
navygreen: ('Affairs:' recap)
We've been working all weekend, and we will continue to do so through Tuesday. The movers will be here on Wednesday!

The house stuff is falling into place, albeit slowly. Please keep your fingers crossed on that front. Our realtor is optimistic we'll be able to be in the house immediately upon our arrival (the 13th), and then closing will be about the second week of November or so. I just keep praying things go smoothly.

We've done a phenomenal job cleaning out the pantry food items. So much so, in fact, that we had to go shopping for the last six meals here, haha! I've got everything planned for quick, easy meals through Thursday. We have packed all my baking stuff and the entire kitchen ourselves, as we're bringing it with us in a U-Haul truck. (I need my cookie supplies the *second* we arrive, and I worried about all my Longaberger dishes too much to trust our movers with them.) We have a covered skillet, nylon spoon & spatula, and measuring glass kept out for now, and those will be packed at the last second. I just baked a Cheeseburger Pie half an hour ago, and that will be reheated on paper plates for dinner on Thursday night (amidst the boxes). Friday night, Jack and I are off to a Pampered Chef party at one of my closest friend's house (and Jack's best bud as well), and Philip and A.J. will use up a $10 credit at our local Pizza Hut. Saturday night, other friends have invited us for dinner, and our going-away party is set for Sunday night at J.R. Rockers here on base. I honestly think the only food we'll be passing on to our friends when we leave is a bit of lemon & lime juice, as well as 2 pounds of butter. Success!

I've got Key Lime pies and Chocolate Peanut Butter Nutella pies chilling in the fridge right now, and we'll leave in a little while to go and gift them to our favorite bagger boys at the commissary. It will be our last time to see them, and three of these guys are just the sweetest kids around. Two love peanut butter, and one is allergic to it, so I made two different desserts. (And used all new equipment for the Key Lime pie, just in case.)

It's hard to give up my meal-planning ways, and I'm already excited about the drive. A.J. is going to help me brainstorm a typical 2-3 week meal plan while we're driving, and then when I have Jack with me (Philip and I intend to switch the boys over the 4 days' drive), he will write out the shopping list items for the meals planned. When we arrive, we should be ready to go shopping! I figure it will save us money in the long-run, not heading out every day for 3-4 things. Plus, since we packed the kitchen to come with us, we can jump right into making real meals immediately, and not have to keep eating out. (I imagine we'll be kinda sick of restaurant food for a while, after the move/drive.)

Jack's headed swimming with a friend, and then a sleepover after that as well. A.J. was a huge help to me and Philip last night while we boxed up all of the pictures, scrapbooks, and craft items. Tonight, we'll sort through all the things we've pulled to get rid of, and then put some in a "sell" pile, and the rest in a "Goodwill" pile. We sold the snowblower yesterday, as well as a few brand-new pairs of snow bib overalls, but we've got lots more to put up online, and Philip is going to take care of that for me.

We leave Minot in just 8 days!
navygreen: (Button!)
Anyone here still think of me as "buttonmommy" (with or without the "1998" part, haha) in their head? It's been so long, but I remember back when I first changed it (March 2006!) that so many swore I would always be "buttonmommy." :-D
navygreen: (Sugar Cookies!)
Cookies. Well, my cookies have gotten some mega-attention in the past week. I made these "Magic Mike" cookies just for fun, and now they have traveled everywhere. Serious biz - EVERYWHERE.

First, the 'Magic Mike' Facebook fanpage posted the cookies. That page has over half a million followers, so the craziness that ensued was unreal. By the time 24 hours had passed, over 13,000 fans had "liked" the post & 2,000 people had "shared" the photo. (Thank goodness it was watermarked!) That same night, the AMC Theatres fanpage (with an audience of over 3.5 million fans!) also posted my cookies, and that resulted in another almost 12,000 "likes" and over 2,000 "shares." Wow!

And THEN, Channing Tatum Unwrapped's fanpage promoted the cookies, too! I was really impressed that someone took the time to turn all of the photos into a collage to promote them - sweet. :-)

Additionally, both 'BakeBakeBake' and Livejournal featured the cookies on their own FB fanpages. Since last Friday, I've had requests up the wazoo, and my email has exploded! And not just requests for more Magic Mike cookies - half of the requests are for other stuff from people who found me through MM. It's insanity!

Lastly, and most exciting, I was contacted by the social media rep for CHANNING TATUM, and she has asked me to make a gift set of cookies for both him & his producing partner, Steven Soderbergh.

!!!

With all of the cookies featured in the MM set, she also has me adding extra name cookies for the celebs that he will be in contact with next week, as well as all of the members of the MM press team. She even wants a special "Team Tatum" cookie, haha! I'm beginning his cookies tomorrow, and I hope to have a picture of Chan with a cookie by next week. ;-)

UNREAL, folks. Simply UNREAL.
navygreen: (Sugar Cookies!)
So there's this movie that came out this weekend. I've even heard it's based on a book or three. "The Starvation Activities," I think... right? (Synonyms provided by my boys, by the way.)

...

Nah, it's The Hunger Games!

The Hunger Games Logo Cookie.


Actually, I did read the books, after hearing about them for so long. And once I did, then I campaigned all of my closest friends to read them as well. Only some of them did, and the rest I'm "unfriending" shortly. ;-)

Soooooo, that meant that I needed to share these cookies with the world, where I could find even more "Hunger Games Diehards" like myself! And like my "Breaking Dawn" cookies, I wanted to share them with the fans at the movie theatre, too!

74th Annual Hunger Games Cookie.


I had tickets to the midnight premiere on Thursday evening/Friday morning, and it was such a great time! I love the midnight premieres for big "fandom" movies. The crowd is usually super-quiet, as every is a big fan & wants to hear every word. They laugh at all the right moments, and they cry right along with me in the sad parts, too. In my opinion, midnight shows are a MUST!

Read more. )

*sigh*

Feb. 15th, 2012 03:07 am
navygreen: (HP: Draco - yearbook)
I'm ridiculously sleep-deprived at the moment, so I sure as heck shouldn't be posting. Still, there's so much I've been wanting to say, and at the same time, I just don't have it in me.

I appreciate that some of you have been flocking back to LJ. I'm still reading at least every other day, though I need to comment oh-so-much more. With that, I say "Hello" again!

*waves*
navygreen: (A.J.)
I'm keeping A.J.'s goals the same as last year - since his books are much longer and require heavier reading, he only has to read 10 books to earn his rewards.

I'll keep updating this post for our records. Feel free to skip, or to keep coming back to check on his progress - your choice. :-)

The list. )
navygreen: (Jack: blue)
We're changing Jack's goals from last year, as he's been reading books that are even longer than A.J. sometimes! For every 10 books that Jack reads on his own, he will earn an extra $5 in his allowance.

I'll keep updating this post for our records. Feel free to skip, or to keep coming back to check on his progress - your choice. :-)

The list. )
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: (Sugar Cookies!)
When Amy contacted me at the end of spring, asking for ideas for her baby's 1st birthday, all she knew was that she wanted something "hot pink and orange!" We tossed ideas back and forth for a few months, and she finally settled on a theme: "Modern Girly Circus."

Now you tell me - is this not the cutest, most original thing you've ever seen?!

Modern Girly Circus Cookies.


Okay, maybe not THE cutest, as that award probably has to go to little Miss Ainsley herself. Look at this sweet picture her mama sent me so that I would know the special baby I was creating cookies for!

Miss A.
Little Miss Ainsley.


When the time came to make and decorate the cookies, Amy had modified her color choices to include "light pink" as well. I incorporated her three colors as much as possible, also including a bit of white here and there for distinction. She also wanted a few special lions and elephants, and I suggested some popcorn boxes to round out the collection.

Click to see lots more! )
navygreen: ('Affairs:' recap)
An update about me, eh? It seems so long ago that has happened. I received the sweetest email from [livejournal.com profile] hearts_refuge a few months back asking for just such a thing, but it still has taken me so long to get here.

The truth is, my life really is about cookies. And sweets. And even foodie recipes, from time-to-time. I've become a "food blogger" over a "life blogger," and it almost happened without my consent. After all, I dearly love blogging, and have for almost a decade now (next month!). I suppose it has happened as my interests have changed, you know? Where I once was nothing more than a stay-at-home mom and my children were young, I had tales of creative afternoons, of butterfly kisses on boo-boo'd knees, and pictures of happy boys who always took a moment to smile for the camera. Now, however, I have been a work-out-of-home mother, and my boys have become independent young men that only ask for bandaids if there's blood and kisses in a "real" emergency, and who never have time to stop for a picture.

Life has changed, I suppose.

This month brings about the end of an era for me. In just three more days, my "baby" Jack will become ten. TEN! Oh, I cried and cried on that day when A.J. turned a decade milestone. I still don't know why... it's just a number even now. But, oh - it's THAT number. And once again, I'm faced with it, but this time? This time, my "baby" is TEN. YEARS. OLD.

And to add teardrops to teardrops, in just two more weeks, A.J. will officially become a teenager. THIRTEEN! Where has the time gone? Indeed, where have the three years gone since I lamented his babyhood?! I just cannot believe the young man he is becoming before my very eyes. In fact, he's almost above my very eyes, for we are spot-on in height with one another now (I'm 5'6"), and he is but one size away from Philip's shoe size already. I daresay that he will pass his dad in height (Philip is about 5'10"), and I do not think it will be very far in the future. Friends used to mistake A.J.'s voice for mine when he answered a call, but now they exhale in wild amazement, "That was A.J. on the phone? Not Philip?!"

It all happened so very fast. I do not want to speak of the days passing, for we have already realized that, though he only will attend 8th grade this year, it still means that next year we will have a HIGH SCHOOLER in our midst. *tears*

Those of you on my Facebook know more of the in's and out's of our days, and what falls here in my journal is not much more than a recap most times. The summer is passing, and with it, the days are becoming shorter. We're not yet to the point of "cooler," but I know that it is coming. School was scheduled to begin on August 24th, but the Minot school systems lost six schools to the massive flooding, and there has been a scramble to gain and provide enough portable trailer classrooms all over the city to recreate those that were lost. Therefore, school will not officially start here until September 6th. The governor was kind enough to grant Minot a 5-day loss of teaching days, and the students will attend on two planned holidays instead (ie. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) instead, but will end the year as scheduled on the 25th of May next year.

The flooding situation affects every part of our life, I'm afraid. On the military base, we are still not connected to the main water supply in town, as the line breaks that need repair are underwater even now. When we are connected once again, I'm sure there will be a longer process than normal to flush out over six weeks' worth of muck and sludge from the lines. Despite the water all around, we still have major thunderstorms every few days or so as well. While I wish that the city would not receive even one more drop right now as they try to dry out, I'm thankful for the water here on base. Without it, our filtration systems would not be running from the creek beds, and we would be in an even poorer situation. Finally, however, the state-issued "boil order" was lifted from the base, and that has been a welcome blessing.

The devastation downtown is unmeasurable. So many parts of town are still diked, and will likely not be "unearthed" before the fall season fully arrives. Many businesses and restaurants are still closed, their black windows haunting the main strip like sad skeletons. Friends post pictures of their homes, and they are nothing more than shells, walls barely standing and held together only by various layers of mold. It is such a sad, sad affair. :-(

I hope to keep writing on real life, but I won't make promises at this point. I thank my friends that have checked in here and there, and I still read almost daily, though I comment rarely. :-)
navygreen: (Christmas: cookie cutter)
It's that time of year, folks! The time when families come together that can't get away during the school/work/winter months, and when I bring out a warm recipe just for "the holidays!"

Well, it sounds nice, right? I mean, it wasn't necessarily my plan, but it sure does SOUND like a great idea. I once visited some extended family in a gorgeous Adobe-style home, and I remember most that they were celebrating 'Christmas in July.' I'd never heard of such things at the tender age of 11, but they assured me it was the only time of year they could all get away to meet. Hey, any time I see a Christmas tree bedecked with presents, I'm willing to believe WHATEVER YOU SAY!

And so, I present you with a lovely piece of Christmas bread on this hot July day. I promise your tastebuds will thank you for the seasonal mistake. ;-)

Cheery Cherry Blueberry Christmas Bread.


(If nothing else, my pals in Australia appreciate this timely winter recipe, right?!)

After you drag your dripping self out of the pool, you sit back in a cabana chair. If you're like me, sitting still is a rarity, and instead of relaxing thoughts, you're hit with ideas at mind-whizzing speed. In one particular case, it was, "What should I make with the leftover pie filling?" ... followed by, "How should I use up the leftover sour cream?" Next up, "Hey, I wonder if I can use 'em both at the SAME TIME?"

Fast-forward to typing ingredients at AllRecipes.com, and finding this recipe among the yielded results. It sounded perfect, but I was ever-so-stumped. When/where was I to use the sour cream, egg, sugar, and almond extract? Was I supposed to combine it with the pie filling? Was I just too dumb to make this bread??

So I asked friends for advice. Almost unanimously, my friends suggested they would combine with the pie filling. I was all set to bake, yet something distracted me, and I'm forever thankful for it. In the time where I was away, my friend Miriam suggested that the recipe sounded like a German pastry she'd made several times before, and that I was to combine the sour cream, etc. and DRIZZLE it over the pie filling. She even researched further and found the same recipe (by the same baker!) on a different website here!

Hooray! The day was saved, and so was my Christmas Bread! I don't know why I didn't think to look further for the same recipe elsewhere, but I wasn't surprised in the least that it showed up at Taste of Home. Me & ToH are practically best friends, after all. We work together every night in the kitchen, and sometimes even more often! ;-)

Recipe and more pictures. )
navygreen: (Sugar Cookies!)
Nothing says 'Happy 1st Birthday' quite like a timeless icon:

Mickey Mouse Shorts Cookies for a 1st Birthday.


...

Did that help you out?! They're Mickey Mouse shorts! (I know, I know - at a first glance, they almost look like something from 'Dora,' don't they... maybe in the wrong color?)

You see, a very special little boy was celebrating his 1st birthday with a darling little girl who was also celebrating her 1st birthday, and the two mommy friends teamed to come up with a most adorable theme for their party: Mickey & Minnie! I thought it was just SUCH a clever idea, and I couldn't wait to get started on their cookies!

See lots more! )

My friend Kelley tells me that the cookies were a smashing success at the party, and my dear friend Jennie testified to their taste, as she was a guest as well. I don't make chocolate cookies often, but every time I do, I hear such wonderful praise, and I'm so glad! :-)
navygreen: (Baking)
What do you make when you're invited to a birthday BBQ in the summer?

"Hot Off the Grill Cupcakes," of course!

Hot Off the Grill Cupcakes.


I came across this idea in my latest issue (August/September) of Taste of Home magazine, and I thought it was just the cutest idea! The original decoration is shown on a brownie, rather than a cupcake, and topped with candies. However, I had some buttermilk I wanted to use up, so I opted to go with my Chocolate Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes (minus the icing and cherry buttercream) as the building block instead. I love the springy texture of this chocolate cake, and it's quickly become my go-to recipe for using up leftover buttermilk. I never have complaints when I give away cupcakes to all our neighbors and friends, either! *wink*

To make these oh-so-hot treats, you'll need the following:

  • 2 dozen cupcakes (or brownies, as the original idea suggests)

  • 1 can store-bought chocolate frosting (omit if using brownies)

  • orange icing sugar

  • 72 pieces Hot Tamales candy

  • black royal icing (piping consistency)


Click for more. )

You could jazz these up even more, too. Try some Hershey's Chocolate Drops™ to make tiny burgers, or small bits of red and yellow royal icing for ketchup/mustard accents. I can't wait to do more the next time I make these! :-D


(As an aside, I'm ridiculously proud of the photos in this posting, as every single shot is "SOOC," or "straight-out-of-camera" with no post-processing at all. *squeee*)
navygreen: (HP: Draco - banned books)
The boys really dived into the Summer Reading Program at the base library again this summer. A.J. went to the library on a Saturday with a friend, and he signed up on his own, coming home with log sheets, three new books, and a cool T-shirt (awesome, compared to last year's design!). Philip and I took Jack in the following Monday, and we signed him up as well. He checked out a bunch of books and received a different T-shirt, and I've been logging hours for both of them ever since!

They can pick up prizes when they turn in one log sheet, and both are close to being done. Jack's currently read for 27 hours (of the 32 slots on a sheet). He looks like this often:

Jack reads for his Summer Reading Program.
Jack reads for his Summer Reading Program./


He was reading A Tale Dark & Grimm in that picture, and it was a recommendation from our librarian. He loved it, and I really enjoyed the parts I read here-and-there as well - very funny! It was a new book to our library, so he read it first in his selections so that he could get it back quickly for others to read.

We'll have to return one of his books tomorrow for a different one. He visited the library with Philip a few days ago, and he brought home Fire World. Now, he's read The Fire Within before, and it's the first in the series, so he thought this next book was just a sequel. Turns out, it's the seventh in the series, so he's going to return it and get the second book instead. The books in this series are Harry Potter-huge, but he really likes them.

A.J. has read for 21 hours himself (though he read some this morning that I haven't logged - I'll have to double-check with him again), and he's currently plowing through the Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights series. He checks the storylines against things on the internet in the Star Wars universe too, so it's been very engaging for him as well.

(He won't let me snap a picture while he's reading, though. *wink*)

One of the funny things (I think) that Jack does while he's reading is put his extra hand up under his chin. He always does this, even without a book in his hands, when he's laying on his back, and I think it's so strange. I wouldn't find that comfortable at all, but he sure seems to. If nothing else, I love how it brings out his little chin dimple, too!

Summer Reading Program.
navygreen: (R+J: Romeo - devastated)
As most of you know from the constant media coverages, Minot is currently in a record-smashing flood situation. We live on base - Minot AFB - and let me stress this first: we are okay. We are fine. We are not flooding, and we have not lost anything. Our only precaution right now comes from a valley-wide water system "Boil Alert." As such, I boiled and sanitized several containers of drinking/cooking/hand-washing water yesterday, and I will simply boil more if needed later. It's nothing to fuss about, especially considering that we have friends that have lost EVERYTHING in the city.

We cannot access the city at all right now (roads are either closed or washed out), but we are self-sufficient on the air base. We had gotten in the habit of venturing into the city for movies, eats, and fun things to do, as well as other shopping, and we may go a bit stir-crazy after a while on just the base, but we are still fine. The kids have their rec center, as well as a library, an arcade, and tons of parks. We still have television and video games. We have PLENTY of food because I had just completed and shopped for a 22-day meal plan, but our commissary is also running and restocking at normal rates, though the delivery trucks are taking alternate routes to our base.

There just aren't words devastating enough to describe what I feel in the midst of the massive flooding situation. Instead, I will share pictures - the ones that tell entire stories with each glance. I do hope you'll give Minot - our town - a moment's glance and look through them.

Minot Flood 2011 - lost toybox.
A lost toy box floating through a flooded residential area.


Not one of the following photos is my own, as Minot has pleaded with folks NOT to try to get to town just to take pictures. Workers are trying desperately to build dikes, and every car that insists on being on the road slows dirt drivers from where they need to be. I'm happy to heed their words and stay home in a time like this.

A story of the Minot Flood, as told through pictures. )

The city will NOT give up the fight, but we do need your help. Even all of the images I shared above are over two days old now, and the crest of the river has only just happened. Things are so much worse than imaginable. (You can see still images from yesterday's Black Hawk tour of the city HERE, for example.) However, several agencies and groups are doing their best to support the city - to "lift up Minot," and I beg you for your help if you can give.

T-Shirts sold to raise funds for Minot.
T-shirts sold to raise funds.


You can donate directly to either Minot Red Cross or Money For Minot (a group started by our neighbors on the far side of the state in Fargo, ND).

If you'd rather contribute via your cell phone, you can make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army’s flood relief efforts by texting “MINOT” to 80888 and replying “yes” to the confirmation text. A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your phone bill.

Lastly, please PRAY for the city of Minot. Even yesterday afternoon (while in the throes of fighting the flood), we experienced severe thunderstorms with hail and a few small tornadoes. Even one more drop of water is too much. All prayers and thoughts are greatly appreciated, and I thank you for remembering what has now become "our town."

(Please feel free to link back to this post if you'd like to share the fundraising efforts. I'm hoping my words spread far to help this city I love!)
navygreen: (Apolo: tears of joy)
I've dreamt of owning Helvetica cookie cutters since first seeing this post, originally shown to me by [livejournal.com profile] grrliz about 2.5 years ago. Back then, it was just about a love of all things Helvetica. (You've seen the film, right?)

I've had that bookmark saved for all this time, I joined the mailing list to be notified when the cutters became available, etc. In all this time, the only change to come from this is that I began making sugar cookies...

I made my first sugar cookies in February 2010, just about a year after seeing that post. Weird how that works, isn't it?

However, a great baking company (Fancy Flours) has now released a set of Helvetica cookie cutters. Finally! Yay! I'm so stoked! Wheee!

Except they come with a price tag of $215. Yes, really.

*heavy sigh*

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