Thursday, May 29, 2014

A tiny peek

Roses in front yard

First, I want to thank you all for the kind comments on my last post.  I appreciate them so very much :)

It's been so busy around here, we've slowly started moving things in and as I bring them to the new house, I immediately put them where they're going.  It does make moving that much easier when you can go at your own pace and organize and clean as you go, as opposed to moving in with a gazillion boxes laying around and then having to unpack every single one of them.

Slowly, the new house is starting to take shape.

I wanted to come in and give you all a tiny little peek at the progress so far.  One thing is for sure, I'm so ready to get in there permanently and start making it our own.

Living room

I am still smitten with the green wall color. For a girl who has spent the past 17 years with bland colored walls, on base housing, this is like a whole new world for me.

Makes me wonder how I ever survived with no color. I am thinking that is not going to happen again.

Living room shelf

Like I said above, as things get moved in, they are placed where they belong. I love it because I can slowly start to see my house come together, and it provides a sense of home, a sense of accomplishment, and a very big temptation to just get in there and get settled.

Remember the pantry that I'm so excited about? I'm sure you won't be surprised to know that it was one of the very first areas I tackled the past few days.

I've never had a pantry, we don't have them in military housing, and this house we're currently in doesn't have one either, so it's something I've wanted for a long time.


Oh the joy it brings me just looking at it. Pretty baskets all ready to be filled in.

The top shelf is going to hold my cookbooks, or as many as I can fit up there because, trust me, I can not fit them all on that shelf. I may possibly, maybe, have a tiny obsession with cookbooks.

Organizing the pantry

The rest of the shelves will hold baking supplies, snacks, canned goods etc. I can't wait to get everything in it's basket. I'm not sure that it will remain exactly as seen on these pictures, because once I move the food items in, I may have to switch things around here and there.

I will take more pictures afterwards and show you how it all turns out.

In my kitchen, there is this tiny little corner shelf which I am not quite sure what I'll do with. For now, it holds my Cath Kidston cups and glasses.

Kitchen Corner

Looks quite cute as is.

So, the dining room window already has lace curtains up and my two plants have already found a home on it's window sill.

I am going to put up some shelf and drawer liners in the kitchen drawers and cabinets, before moving things in. If I have any leftover, I may use it in the pantry too, not sure yet.

The living room already has the DVD shelves up, with the DVD's inside. They're not organized, but that is something I will get to once we're in there.

My laundry room is out in the garage, I haven't taken a photo of that one yet, but I'll do it this morning when we take more things in. The good thing is that I noticed it had a tension rod just above the opening to the washer and dryer, so I've already put up some curtain panels that I had in my linen closet. Best thing about it, is that I didn't have to go and buy curtains, I just used some that I have had forever, but were just sitting in the closet.

I believe that is the best way to decorate, make use of things you already have around the house.

Roses in front yard

A tiny little peek at the moving process.

Oh and don't you just love my roses? They are all blooming in the front yard, and look not only beautiful, but the scent is amazing.

Right, now I am going to go visit all of you who left me a message on my last post, and then I need to get things ready to move to the house.

Have a wonderful Thursday my friends, and as always, thank you for taking the time to come by and leave me a sweet note, it touches my heart.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

New place!


Oh my friends, I'm so excited.  Guess what?  We have our new house ready to move into.  YAY!!

Yesterday afternoon we went to check out a house that was for rent.  I honestly didn't think that I would be returning home an hour later, with keys in my hand.

But it was just one of those where you walk in, and it feels like home.  That and the fact that the homes around here are going so fast right now, being PCS season and all.


It had everything we wanted, and more, and we decided to just lock it in and be done with it, instead of waiting to see another and risking losing this one.  We ARE just 3 weeks away from the day we want to move out of this one.

The Lord as usual came through in a big way, providing us with a beautiful home, a quiet wonderful neighborhood and even a spot for me to garden in. 

This area hasn't really been used at all, the previous tenants used to throw their compost in there, so with some cleaning up and tidying, I think I may just have a gorgeous veggie garden :)

New House

Now THAT I'm so excited about....and I got my bigger kitchen with loads of storage, my dishwasher and my pantry.  What more could I ask for?

New House

I will be organizing that pantry with storage bins and mason jars etc.  Can't wait to get in there.

New House

But yes, what more could I ask for????  Oh, well, maybe a hot tub?  Uh huh, I said it, a hot tub.  Wow!

It's not running at the moment and if we want to get it running it will be at our own cost, but we would like to eventually get it working.  Only problem is that we have no idea whatsoever how to even go about doing that.  If you have one, or have any tips or advice, I would really appreciate it.

New House

I'm already envisioning some beautiful fairy lights strung all around the fence, and some gorgeous greenery in there too.

And speaking of greenery, I am in love with the green walls in the living room and the stairway.

New House

Just beautiful.

Oh but let me quickly show you the backyard, it's pretty big and has a nice deck which will be perfect for summer barbecues.


New house

New house

Of course the front of the house is beautiful too, I have rose bushes along the front walls and all around.


We're slowly getting everything moved in, which if you're a military family you understand that it's something we don't do at all.  All our moves have always been very fast and done in the matter of a day or two.

It feels good to know that I can take my time and go at a slower pace.  Last time we moved, my husband and I moved everything alone and it took us two full days and well into the night of moving and pushing and pulling and carrying.  It almost killed us and I was sore for a week after.

Will be happy not to have to do that again.

But there you have it, I wanted to come in and share the news with you.  As we continue with the move, I'll take you along with us, and then of course I will show you the house once everything is in.  How exciting!!!

Hope you're are all having a wonderful Saturday and enjoying your long weekend.  We are not doing anything in particular, just staying home and relaxing, but we may do a picnic at the lake on Monday, we'll see, nothing is decided yet.

Anyway, I'm going to watch a little TV and pray for this crazy wind to go away so that I may stop suffering with these wretched allergies. 

God Bless,

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday's Letters!

Good morning my friends.  It's Friday and that means more Friday letters.  I realize that last week I missed this feature on my blog, I don't even know why or what I was doing.

Anyway, let's get on with it......

Friday's Letters

Dear body....I can tell that you're feeling better since I've started really focusing on you. I'm glad we're reconnecting and doing this together.

Dear've started up since I began drinking just water and watching what I eat, I'm assuming you're a side effect of this so called detox of the yucky stuff. I'll deal with you with a smile on my face, because I know it's for a good cause and won't last long.

Dear live on my tree that hangs over my driveway.  I have no problem with that, what I DO have problem with is the paintball sessions that you deliver all over my car.  Gross!!!

Dear Jasmine and Tiffany....I know you are both tired, and stressed, and worried about finishing up school for the year.  I am here for you and I will continue to help you as much as I can, together we will get this finished.

Dear dust....if someone kept removing me from a spot, over and over again, I would get the message that I was unwanted.  You on the other hand, just don't get it.  Oh well, off to wipe again.

Dear sun....I've missed you and I'm really enjoying the warm temperatures, can't wait until I have a little more time to get outside and really soak you in.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hello :)

How is everyone doing?

I thought that I would come in and chat a little, say hi, let you all know that I am still here even if I seem to have once again disappeared.

Oh friends, you don't even understand the craziness that has been going on around here, there is so much going on and so many things happening at once.

But let's sit down and have a little chat shall we?

First and foremost, it is my husband's birthday today, he turned 41.  I am so incredibly blessed to have him as a husband and a father to my children.  I am one lucky girl, for sure.

We haven't done anything special, his request, I think at this point he feels like I do whenever our birthdays come's just a day like any other.  Long gone are the feelings that we had as little children, that excitement and the countdown to the actual day, the anticipation of the presents we would get and the cake, and the candles and all the fun in between.

As we get older we tend to just take those days as any other.

However, this year, I just have to tell you about a present I got him.  Sometimes he is quite hard to shop for, and I didn't want to buy the same things I tend to get him every year, I wanted something different.

That is where Man Crates comes in.  Oh boy, if you have a husband/boyfriend at home and are not sure what to buy them for their birthday or father's day or that special occasion?  You have to check these out.

My guy is a gamer, he has always enjoyed games and still does to this day.  Then again, I think it must be a guy thing because no matter how old they get, they still enjoy playing their games don't they?


Here is the crate I ordered, and this exactly how it arrives.....along with a little crowbar for them to pry it open.


Here he is prying it open.  I don't know what it is about guys, but they love tools and stuff and this was one of the reasons I thought this Man Crate would be fun for him.


How neat is that?  Tons of candy, a retro gaming system and two games.  He was definitely surprised and excited with his gift.  I'm just glad he liked it, I've never given him anything of this sort and was worried about his reaction.

I also made him a Chocolate Cake with some Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.  Can't wait to dig into that one....and yes I'm still watching my weight, and proud to announce that since I started watching my calories and portion control, I have lost 6 pounds.  Yay!!!

It hasn't been easy at all, there are some days that are easier than others, and then there's moments where I just want to cry, because I want a piece of chocolate or some chips or some random bad thing that I know I shouldn't eat.  I've stuck with it though and I've done my Zumba every day and I'm doing great :)


On the house hunting front, we have 6 houses to check out the next few days, and then some more next week.  I am just hoping to walk into a place and KNOW that is my house, at least for the next year or two.

I'm excited, I'm looking forward to checking out the houses.  I think that's the fun part of this all....well that and then moving in and making it my own.

There's still a lot of packing going on, we've got the garage and the laundry room pretty much ready to move, as well as a lot of things around the house.  If it's not being used, it's been packed.

What else has been going on????

Well school is coming to an end, the two boys are done, but the poor girls are still struggling to get it all finished by next week Friday.

Is it just me or does it seem that school nowadays is so much harder than when we were attending?  The work they do in high school is sometimes things that you wouldn't even see before college, and even the 5th graders have work that I don't ever recall doing until high school.

And let's not talk about the amount of work, it's just absolutely nuts.  But we'll get it done, matter of fact my niece is sleeping over tomorrow night and the girls are having a "finish school" slumber party.  Should be fun.

I realize I have now blabbed on and I'm hoping that at least one of you made it all the way to the this point, without nodding off to sleep.  HA!

I just want to show you my corner to corner blanket real quick, I've already started the decreasing and it's going pretty fast.  It should be done by this weekend.

Corner to Corner Afghan

Now I am going to get the dinner dishes done, my family is coming over shortly for some cake and coffee. I am looking forward to it, but also hoping for an early night to watch some movies with my husband.

Anyway, like I said, I just wanted to say hi and chat a little and let you all know that I haven't forgotten about you, just been busy.

Have a wonderful night and I'll see you tomorrow for Friday's Letters.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

So hard to eat healthy!

Oh I love food, I really love food, I just can't imagine not enjoying delicious meals and yummy snacks, and indulging in decadent desserts.

I've always been a lover of food, and I think it's the reason I've had this battle with my weight for as long as I can remember.  It's gotten to the point where I'm not overweight but I'm feeling unwell, like I need a good cleanse and I could stand to lose the 16 pounds until I'm at my desired weight.

About 3 weeks ago I switched to just water and it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  Oh my word, isn't it crazy how difficult it is to drink the 8 glasses of water you're supposed to every day?

I will be honest, the first few days I actually had to force myself to drink that water, but it's a necessity and a must and now that I've been doing it for a few weeks, I feel so much better already.

I'm trying to make a lifestyle change, which means I am not going to quit eating the foods I love, but I AM going to control my portions, count my calories, and get in my daily Zumba workout which I have missed dearly.

I last did the Zumba back in Arizona, and I was doing so well but then the move set in and everything went haywire.....and I know what you're thinking with my upcoming move, but this time it's just in the same town and not across States, which is a lot easier.

So what am I doing???

I've gone back to my trusty Sparkpeople.  It has been helping me since I first joined in 2008.  I've been on and off the site over the past few years but everytime I have used it correctly, I have lost weight.

I'm logging my calories, I'm eating delicious filling meals from and I'm doing my Zumba every morning.

My daily calorie intake is between 1200 and 1550 calories and I've been really good so far, and most importantly, I'm not starving myself.

Here's what my breakfast consisted of....scrambled eggs with tomato and scallions and a piece of toast. 235 calories

Scrambled eggs with tomato and green onion

For lunch, I had an Egg, Tomato and Scallion sandwich, guess I was in the mood for eggs and tomatoes and scallions. HA!!! - 233 calories

Egg, tomato and green onion sandwich

I feel wonderful, lighter, healthier and I'm even enjoying my water and not only drinking my 64 oz a day but way more than that.

So here's to new beginnings, and to a new healthier me.

Any of you starting a weight loss challenge or trying to make a lifestyle change to a healthier you?  Feel free to share any tips you may have to keep me motivated :)

Monday - 729 calories
Breakfast (Coffee, baked oatmeal) Lunch (Tuna Cheese Melt) Dinner (Pepperoni Pizza Pasta)
Water - 10 glasses
30 minutes of Zumba - 464 calories burned

Tuesday - 891 calories
Breakfast (Coffee, Scrambled Eggs with tomato and scallions, piece of toast)
Lunch (Egg, tomato and scallion sandwich)
Snack  (Cup of coffee)
Dinner (Pork Chop, Basmati Rice, Salad)
Water - 13 glasses
30 minutes of Zumba - 430 calories burned

Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - 05/19/2014

Happy Monday and welcome to my little corner of the world.

Can you believe that a whole week has come and gone, the weekend whizzed right by and here we are again?  Goodness.

I want to apologize for my disappearance last week, I've been very busy packing and looking for houses and just getting things done around here.  I haven't been online very much, and it's honestly been wonderful to disconnect and recharge, so to speak.

But, I'm back and so happy to be here.  Let's jump right in to our Happy Homemaker Monday, shall we?

As I look outside my window:::
I thought that I would start actually showing you what I see when I look out my windows.  Instead of just describing it, you can get a real sense of what I'm seeing, and this morning it looks beautiful out there.  The fields are getting watered, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, it's a gorgeous spring day.

May 19, 2014

Right now I am:::
Enjoying the breeze coming in through the window, writing this post up and drinking my coffee. 

Thinking and pondering:::
On my new healthy lifestyle.  I have decided to get back on the wagon, eat healthier, cut out the junk food, control my portions, watch my calories, drink my 64 oz of water each day and also do my Zumba.  I've neglected myself since we moved back to Idaho and I'm not feeling very well, so it's time to get back to being healthy. 

On my bedside table:::
My Bible, TV control, glass of water

On my tv this week:::
Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil
The Little Couple
19 Kids and counting

Dr. Phil
Catch up day (clear the DVR)
Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil 
Ghost Adventures
Long Island Medium
Granite Flats

Listening to:::
K-Love.  I wish they were here in Idaho on the radio, but unfortunately I can only listen online.  That's ok though, at least I can still listen to it right?   Right now it's playing Hello my name is by Matthew West.

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - Hubby has a business dinner with his boss, the kids and I will eat something easy
Tuesday - Pepperoni Pizza Pasta
Wednesday - Creamy Mustard Pork Chops with Rice
Thursday - Curt's Birthday - out to dinner
Friday - Creamy Oven Chicken with Mashed Potatoes
Saturday - Smothered Burgers and Fries
Sunday -  Lazy Sunday Crockpot Chili
On my to do list:::

Laundry - put it all away.  Got everything washed, ironed and folded yesterday, just needs to be put away. 
Homeschooling with the girls
Run errands with hubby this morning (UPS to return all the school materials, Pharmacy to find Iodine for the girl's Biology project)

Happening this week:::
Monday - UPS Store to ship boxes, Pharmacy, Homeschooling, Tae Kwon Do
Tuesday - Mow front and back yards, outside work, Homeschooling
Wednesday - Packing, moving stuff to storage, Homeschooling, Tae Kwon Do
Thursday -  Housework, more packing
Friday - Trip to base (library, thrift store etc)

What I am creating:::

Have started the decreasing on he corner to corner blanket.  It's going to be a small blanket, I didn't want to make something huge right now, just something that I could work on when I get a chance here and there but not big enough to bored me.
Finished the water bottle cover but am not happy with it, need to change it a bit.

My simple pleasure:::
Watching BBC documentaries.  

Homemaking tips:::
Give yourself time to work on all the things you enjoy.  I used to think that my routine and schedule should only include the usual housework and things that I considered to be of utmost importance, and my hobbies were just extra.  WRONG!!!
I've now changed my routine to include time for everything.....and I don't know about you guys, but I enjoy crocheting, reading, watching TV shows etc, and usually I just do whatever on any day.  I've decided that if I organize myself better and assign a day to certain things, I actually get more accomplished.
Monday - Crochet
Tuesday - Reading
Wednesday - Sewing
Thursday - Catching up on my shows
Friday - Free day to do whatever comes up
Saturday - Blog Reviews
Sunday - Time with God, devotionals, reading the Bible etc

Looking around the house:::
Needs a little tidying up, as usual after a weekend of relaxing with the family.  The living room windows are open,  and the sun is shining through. 

From the camera:::
Spring is the time of birth and growth and I've just been loving watching all the little birds in my yard.

Prayer List:::
I'm praying for myself, to stay motivated with my new lifestyle and to not give up.  To get closer to God, to really take in His word.
My friends who are needing prayer at the moment. 

Bible verse, Devotional:::
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Psalm 42:2

PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Old Idaho Penitentiary!!!

Idaho State Penitentiary

Oh do I have some fun photos to show you.

I have certain things on my bucket list, places I want to visit, things I want to try, some things are totally attainable, others are a little harder and fit into my "only in my wildest dreams."

One such place that I have always wanted to visit, is the Old Idaho Penitentiary. I had heard about it when we were stationed here in Idaho, and then I had watched multiple documentaries and shows on the place, including Ghost Adventures which I love watching. I was so fascinated by their time spent at the Penitentiary, that I kept telling my family that if we were ever in Idaho again, we just had to go.

Yesterday for Mother's Day, that dream came true. My family surprised me with a trip to the Penitentiary and boy was I excited. If you've never heard of it, it's quite fascinating and sad too.

Guard Tower

The Penitentiary itself is situated in the Old Historic area of Boise, and driving up we saw the most gorgeous Victorian style houses. I should have taken photos but didn't even think of it.

The Old Idaho Penitentiary was a functioning prison for 101 years. It was built in 1870, and the first prisoners arrived in 1872. The four and a half-acre site was selected because of its proximity to the growing agricultural center in Boise and to sandstone, the material used in the construction of the penitentiary’s walls, Administration Building, and cell houses. The buildings on the site were built by inmate laborers.


In 1872, the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary officially opened. The Old Idaho Penitentiary grew from a single cell house into a complex of several buildings holding Idaho's most notorious criminals. The "Old Pen" received over 13,000 inmates with a maximum population of over 600 inmates. There were 222 female inmates, including repeat offenders.


The federal government operated the site until statehood in 1890. The “Old Pen”, as it is affectionately referred to by locals, officially closed in December 1973.


I think for me, one of the worst areas to be in, were the solitary confinement.  Oh my goodness, the conditions were horrible and I felt so uncomfortable and so claustrophobic in there.


Stepping into one of the tiny cells, they were closed by the huge really heavy metal doors.  The insides were barren of anything, just cement rooms with this tiny little hole in ceiling for light.


Being that I'm claustrophobic, this was quite hard for me to do, but I wanted to really see what they felt like in there and it was the most oppressive, sad feeling ever. Although built for solitary confinement, each cell contained 4-6 men.


My son and husband are braver than I, they actually went into the dark cell and asked my brother to close the door while I took a picture.  It gave me the shivers.....

My boys in solitary

Four floors high.  I could not imagine spending my time locked in these cells.  These were the older ones where plumbing was not even available.


Right behind where my son is standing, is a small hole on the wall, and behind there were old buckets that the inmates would use as toilets. Yuck!



The walls are so old, the paint is peeling off.


In this building is where I felt like I couldn't breathe. It felt like my chest was tight, and I wasn't the only one complaining of this feeling, quite a few people in there were experiencing similar emotions. So creepy!


The Women's Ward (1905-1906), it was very small and the building itself was circled by stone walls and separate from the men's.  Apparently the inmates would grow flowers and garden on the grounds. It also housed the infamous Lyda Southard aka Lady Bluebeard who was known for killing several of her husbands to collect upon their life insurance.


One of the inmates, just 17 years old.


Old Penitentiary Courtyard.

One of the famous inmates was Harry Orchard who assassinated former Governor Frank Steunenberg in 1905.  He served 46 years, the longest any inmate served in the Penitentiary


You can see the charred beam from what used to be the Dining Hall (1898). It was designed by George Hamilton (an inmate at the time) and burned down in the 1973 riot.


Where the Dining Hall used to be, most of is completely gone now.


The Laundry Room.


The prison showers.....the sight of a gruesome murder, where one inmate was beaten and gang raped to death.  Apparently it's a very haunted spot.


The courtyard outside the Maximum Security building.


Inside Maximum Security which also housed Death Row and the Gallows.


Idaho's own Jack the Ripper AKA Raymond Snowden was kept in this building, and also hung at the gallows upstairs.  Apparently he didn't quite die right away, it took him 20 minutes to die.  What a horrible death.


Prison officials say that Snowden was one of the most evil men to ever set foot in there.





The Rose Garden, used to be the site where the executions by hanging, were performed. Locals would take picnics up into those hills outside the prison walls and watch the executions take place. I can't even imagine doing that, I would take no pleasure seeing anyone executed, no matter who they were or what they did.


We really enjoyed the tour and we are eager to get back again, because we feel we didn't get to see everything and take our time.  There were quite a few people there so it made it hard to go slow and read everything, felt a little rushed.

So much fun though and a huge part of Idaho's History.  If you are ever in the area I would recommend a visit to the Old Idaho Penitentiary.

If you want to see more photos, check out my album here.