Monday, March 31, 2008

Home of the Brave!

I can't tell you enough how this movie touched me and affected me in ways that I never thought possible.

Look, I'm a military wife, I live on a military base and I'm immersed in this way of life daily, I see the comings and goings, the deployments, the hard truths of what it does to the family left behind and the troops going overseas....but for some reason, when you actually SEE what the war in Iraq does to the soldiers when they return affects you and it opens your eyes to a lot.

Home of the Brave is the story of 4 army soldiers in Iraq and right off the bat you are thrown into the middle of an ambush on a convoy. I don't know, or actually I DO know that they're highly trained for things like this, but to sit there and watch it happen it broke my heart, it made me cry and it made me want to grab them all and bring them to me, to a safe place. I honestly don't know how I would ever react if I was in that moment.

So you watch the ambush and you watch the repercussions of it, deaths and injuries and then you watch them return home and try to go back to a normal life, to a life that is not constantly watching over your shoulders to make sure there's no sniper hiding in the shadows, or a young child with a weapon in his hand trying to kill you, or the noises and the screams.

This movie was so well done and it has HUGE names attached to it......Samuel L. Jackson being one, Jessica Biel, Brian Presley, Curtis Jackson, Chad Michael Murray and even Christina Ricci.

I can't begin to tell you how affected I am by this movie, I mean I've told you already but there just no words to describe it, I'm stuck between anger and repulsion for what goes on over there and heart wrenching pain for our soldiers.

One thing this movie showed me is that most of the American public does NOT know what it's like for the soldiers once they return home. Like I said, I'm a military wife and I know some of it but not to the extent of how bad it is, how hard it is for them, it's certainly educational and it's made me aware of what they may be thinking, feeling or wanting.

I urge you to please please watch Home of the Brave if you haven't already.

According to an Army report, one soldier out of three returning from Iraq suffers from mental problems. The proportion of personnel affected is the highest of all recent conflicts, from Bosnia to Afghanistan. "In Iraq, there's no front line," explains Colonel Charles Hoge in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Eighty to eight-five percent of personnel have been witnesses or participants in a traumatizing act: enemy combat, death of an adversary, IED attacks.

"In Vietnam, there were secure zones where people could recuperate," indicates Steve Robinson, director of an association that advocates for veterans in an interview with the Washington Post. "That doesn't happen in Iraq; every place is a war zone."

Do you want to see what I wake up to every morning?

I can count on there being at least one lemon on the ground, just sitting there waiting for the little hands in this house to run out barefoot, scoop it up and rush it back inside, yelling with excited voices "another one fell".

I don't think the kids EVER get tired of seeing the lemons on the ground, they still get so excited over it.

I guess we'll have a lot more of these happy days ahead, look at all those beauties still hanging on the branches? And then there's tons of tiny green ones growing already. Just love it.

This morning we have a bit of a cloudy sky, not that it matters, the temperatures have been in the upper 80's for the past two weeks. In this place we have seasons........Hot or Hot as Heck! Pick one LOL

Now I want to tell you about something really exciting. You know Karon Phillips Goodman right? I mean, if you don't you SHOULD by now, I talk about her books all the time, remember this one?

Well she's starting a new project on her blog and it's something she's really excited about and I think that a lot of us will be too. Go on over and take a look and tell her that I sent you....let me know what you think ok?

She's got a great post today on Grace to Laugh. Her description of her husband looking for the camera he couldn't find was hilarious and made me think of my own husband.

Perfect was 11pm one night and I was already fast asleep. He was up late and comes walking into the room, asks where his PT uniform is because he had to be up at 4am for mandatory military exercise.

I lay there and think "seriously, why didn't you look for this before?". So I quietly answer that I have no clue where his shorts are, I did all the laundry and they were NOT in the hamper. He starts stomping around and throwing out the usual "what did YOU do with it, YOU lost them and I need them" (Yes, because I had nothing better to do so I went out in HIS shorts and did some exercise LOL). I stay in bed a little longer and finally get up to help him search for HIS shorts which I know for a fact I did not see or touch or misplace.
After about 30 minutes I give up and tell him that obviously he must have left them in his backpack....he quickly tells me that is not true, he wouldn't do that.

Would you believe that they were INDEED in there? LOL

Anyway, I urge you to go on over to Karon's blog and join in on her new project, she's such an amazing Christian writer and I would love for her blog to have as many visitors as some of ours do.

If you're looking for ideas for your weekly menus, check out Laura's blog "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

My menu is also on there and there's yummy new recipes I'm trying this week, like....Lemon Linguine Shrimp Salad, Deli Monte Cristos, Garlic Chicken and Gravy. I'm already hungry.

With that I'm out of here, I have laundry to do and floors to mop. Hope you're all having a wonderful Monday.

God Bless,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Portuguese Rice Pudding!

Go make it RIGHT NOW.........I mean it, I'm not joking, just get up off the computer and go make it right this second. You won't regret it, I promise.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm so glad it's friday!

Ever have one of those weeks where everything drags and when Friday finally comes around you feel this immense joy????? That's how I'm feeling today....I just want this week OVER.

I hope you're all having a great friday.

I've been so busy here lately, I haven't had much time for the blog or visiting yours either, but I'm hoping to change that. My bloglines keep spitting out totals like 430 unread items and it makes me cringe, there's NO way I can get through all of them and I also don't want to just mark it all read but I may just have to do that and start fresh from tomorrow.
So this past week, we've been running around....we got Jasmine's immunization shots done (she was due for the hep and tetanus), we bought our tickets to South Africa. YES YES YES, it's official we are heading home in may and I can not be any happier, I mean I could try but I would probably explode LOL
But I'll be taking a laptop with me because we're actually going through Amsterdam and I want to take some photos and share them with everywhere I go in South Africa, you'll get updates and photos too :)

We also got the kids passports taken care of, someone to come and stay at our house and watch the doggies for us and Kruger National Park booked for when we're there.

In between all this we've had the usual work/school craziness routine.

We were able to find really inexpensive tickets and I say that lightly because if you've priced flights overseas for 4 people you will know that it's bound to give you heartburn. But anyway, we had budgeted a certain amount and actually got them for $600 less SO we got the kids a Wii, their birthdays are both in April and they've been wanting one for ever.

Don't be fooled though, this is not a KIDS toy, this is a FAMILY toy and Curt and I are thrilled, we could not have found a better gaming system for us all. The past 4 days we have spent every night together as a family playing tennis, Mario Party and bowling. What really gets me with this gaming console is that it's not one of those lazy sit on the couch and hold the remote in your hand, kinda games. You have to GET up and actually do something.

I've gotten quite the workout playing tennis LOL My arm and neck are killing me today, but's worth it to have all of us having fun and laughing together :)

BUT there's another plus to it......because this game is so physical, there have actually been people who have lost weight LOL I kid you not, I tell you after playing tennis I was sweating up a storm and can feel it in my whole body.

Apparently Mickey DeLorenzo, a 25-year-old living in Philadelphia, began a "Wii Sports Experiment" in early December last year, pledging to spend 30 minutes a day over six weeks playing Wii sports. He also intended to keep his other activities and eating habits constant.

On Monday this week when the six weeks were over DeLorenzo, updated his website,, with a detailed analysis of his experiment, which was positive and surprising. Apparently he dropped around lbs (4kgs and around 2% of his starting body weight of 82lbs) and went from being in the 'acceptable' category to being in the 'fitness' category".

Hey, I might as well give it a try, so here's my next gosh I'll be dancing with the stars. LOL

But enough of games. I've been collecting lemons. Why are you laughing at me???? *snicker*
My tree has taken to dumping down 2 or 3 at a time every day, so most of them are in the freezer, thank you to the lady who left that idea on my blog. It really does help with the overflow of lemons in this house.......problem is that they get so rock hard, I went to open the freezer last night and one fell on my foot and let out this ear piercing shriek.......which I found out was actually from ME, but nonetheless......OUCH! LOL

So now I need you ladies to send me your best lemony recipes, I don't care WHAT it is....breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, beverages, whatever....please just send me what you have so I can start using these babies up.....otherwise you'll start finding lemons in your mail boxes. I'll just start shipping these LOL

My neck pain is still here but I think I've figured out that it's not really my neck's my right shoulder and arm, it feels really tense, it hurts and I can't even lay on it cause it goes kinda numb and tingly. Definitely feels like a pinched nerve.....and what's even worse is that if I move it up and down or back and forth you hear the shoulder blades snapping and popping LOL
Wow, I'm completely falling apart aren't I???? I think by monday if this is still going on, I'll go and see the doctor, or a chiropractor, or a massage therapist, or a looney bin, I don't know whatever.....just someone LOL

I just finished massaging it with some Tiger Balm and boy is it strong, it smells something fierce but the coolness and tingly sensation feels good AND I can turn my neck without it hurting. Thank you to the lady who suggested the Castor Oil, I'm going to get some this weekend, I tried at the BX and the Commissary today and they had none AND no one knew what I was talking about.
One of the ladies at the BX took me to the Motor Oil section and pointed it out.....I nicely told her that she was very sweet but I really wasn't up for rubbing vehicle engine oil all over myself, as sexy as that may sound LOL

Alright ladies, I'm heading out for now, I have a bowling game to attend tonight in my living room and I believe I was also challenged to some Billiards.....better stock up on the snacks, we'll all be up WAY late today.

Here's one of my favorite songs at the moment, it's David Cook's version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". Just AMAZING.......he has now become my favorite.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday!

All my slow cooking recipes are now online and starting today, I will add all the recipes shared weekly to my online site too. So if you're wanting to find ALL the slow cooked recipes that have been shared since the first SLOW COOKING THURSDAY, here is the link for you.

Don't forget to add your name to Mr Linky and a link back to your SCT post so others can come by and see your recipe too.

Cheesy Italian Tortellini


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated or fresh cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Crumble the ground beef and Italian sausage into a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain.
  2. Combine the ground meats, marinara sauce, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on LOW heat for 7 to 8 hours.
  3. Stir in the tortellini, and sprinkle the mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the top. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes on LOW, or until the tortellini is tender.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lemon Bars!

I LOVE lemon bars, it's one of those desserts that I could eat constantly, so here's the recipe I use to make mine.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What a pain in the neck...........

Well it's been a while, I have been away since last week

See life is crazy and life is busy and then there's stuff bugging me and hurting me so I tend to not get a chance to be on the computer.

About 3 weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and pulled a muscle on my you know I've always had issues with the right side, my shoulder and arm hurt a lot when I try to sleep on it and then once a year I'll be doing good ol' normal stuff, like cleaning or mopping or something and I will pull a certain muscle and not be able to move for a week or so.

Well this time, I pulled the muscle on my right side of the neck and it hurt for a week, then the move came up and it was just Curt and I doing everything so I think I just made it worse and THEN we took the kids to the carnival on base and I went on 3 rides with them. One of the rides was this ship kinda thing that pulls you to the right side and spins you......the whole time this ride is going your neck is strained trying to stay straight.

So now it's been about 3 weeks and I wake up every morning really stiff and sore on the right side of my neck and upper back, it goes away during the day but it does if I try to look over my shoulders.

I think it also doesn't help that our mattress is 10 years old and my pillow is old too, it's pretty much non existant, it's so flat and so uncomfortable that I throw on a smaller pillow and sleep on that. ALL of this together has made it impossible for my poor neck and back to recover....needless to say I haven't been in the greatest of moods and haven't felt like doing much or being on the computer.

I went out and bought one of those therapeutic pillows for the neck and spine and I've slathered on Tiger Balm about an hour ago and it really does seem to be helping.

Please say a little prayer that this neck strain goes away once and for all, I'm literally SICK of it.

My lemon tree is thriving and almost every single day we have another lemon on the ground, I'm quickly filling up my refrigerator with I realized, it's time to put them to good use.

I just finished making some Lemon Bars and I'll have the recipe up on the food blog later.

Jasmine had a sleepover this past friday, the girls have a lot of fun together but boy is there bickering at times. One minute they're all playing well and the next someone is yelling or fighting or crying LOL

But they did have fun putting on a fashion show and playing Scene It.


Put away laundry


Mexican Chicken Soup courtesy of MJPuzzlemom. It smells SO good, I can't wait to try it.


American Idol
Dancing with the Stars Results Show
Primetime: What would you do?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grab a Broom Lord!

One of my favorite Christian authors is Karon Phillips Goodman. I have most of her books, not only because she makes me laugh while teaching me valuable lessons....but she's also written these books in a way that I don't need to worry about starting it and then having to stop and loosing focus.

The chapters are small so that you can quickly read through an entire one before having to set it down to do dishes, or help the kids or fix dinner.

I got this one last year before we left Idaho and since then life has been crazy busy, I haven't had a chance for much and then lately with my obsession with King Henry and all that history it hasn't helped either.
But while cleaning out my bookshelf today I found it again and I breathed a sigh of relief, I want to read it and I need to read it right now. I don't know why, but I feel that at times the Lord will give us a little nudge in a certain direction for our own good.

So right off the bat I read this:

I've done it, though, and I bet you have, too- tried to "get better" before going to God. I'll just clean up this one mess and then I won't be so unpresentable, we think. And God says "Huh?" The sooner she come to Me, the sooner I can help her." We have it all backward! It's not about getting better to go to God; it's about going to God to get better.

WOW! Ain't that the truth???? These words just hit me like a ton of bricks, how many times have I used the excuse that I can't really devote myself completely to the bible or to the church or to God himself because I don't feel like I'm as spiritually connected as some are?

What a waste of time, to sit here and let precious moments with the Lord go by because I was too busy worrying that I wasn't perfect, that I had to somehow fix my life and my problems before approaching the Lord. Fearing that He would turn away or think less of me for not being as together and organized as some. Problem is that we forget that we are who He wants us to be.

"We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works" - Ephesians 2:20 NIV
Let's face it, He wants to help, He wants to be there waiting for us to ask for comfort or guidance, He doesn't expect us to be perfect or self sufficient.....He has no limits, He has no set amount of forgiveness or a allotment of blessings we're allowed. Boy does it feel good to remember that, it truly opens your mind and your heart to so much more.

I'm sure you've noticed the template is different yet again. I really enjoyed my beach one but for some reason Mr Linky was just not working with it and I feel awful having to tell my readers to get another browser just to participate in the Slow Cooking Thursday.

This one will have to stay for a while, I don't have the time right now to be constantly changing it.....hope it's ok with you all.

Life is busy, there's just so much going on right now, I sometimes wonder if the roller coaster will ever stop so that I can get out and at the very least take a breather.

I know I've been neglecting my blog visits but I'm hoping to catch up on all of them tonight, the minute I start seeing my bloglines unread posts over 100, I literally want to run for cover or just mark all as read. But I don' could you stop writing for a while? Just until I catch up? No???? Oh well, it was worth a try :)

I'm getting ready to go pick up Jasmine at school so this one has to be cut short. So Happy Spring everyone and here you go, this is something I saw at one of my favorite blogs "Cherry Hill Cottage". Tell me this is not the cutest thing ever???

Slow Cooking Thursday!

All my slow cooking recipes are now online and starting today, I will add all the recipes shared weekly to my online site too. So if you're wanting to find ALL the slow cooked recipes that have been shared since the first SLOW COOKING THURSDAY, here is the link for you.

Don't forget to add your name to Mr Linky and a link back to your SCT post so others can come by and see your recipe too.

I guess there are still problems with Mr Linky so I've switched to this template for now to make it easier.



2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 6-8 lb cured, bone-in ham
fresh or canned pineapple slices, optional

Make-Ahead Preparation:

Spread about three-fourths of the brown sugar on the bottom of your crockpot. Place the ham flat side down into the crockpot on top of the brown sugar. (You might have to trim it a little to make it fit.)

Using your hands, rub the remaining brown sugar onto the ham. If desired, cover with pineapples slices.

Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.


2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
8 med. potatoes (2 lbs) scrubbed and sliced
8 oz. cream cheese (cut in 1 in. cubes)
4 scallions finely chopped

In one small bowl combine scallions and garlic. In another small bowl combine salt and pepper.

In greased crock, layer 1/4 potatoes.

Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and top with 1/3 cream cheese, then 1/3 scallion/garlic mix.

Make a second layer of 1/4 potatoes, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Top with 1/2 remaining cheese and scallion/garlic mix. Repeat with third layer of potatoes, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper, top with remaining cheese and scallion/garlic mix. Make final layer of potatoes and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.

Cover, cook on high for 3 hrs. Stir to distribute melted cheese, cover and cook for about an hour longer. Stir well to mash slightly and serve.

Cowboy Beans - School in 'R Home
Apricot and Pear Glazed Pork - MJPuzzlemom
Sweet and Spicy Salmon - Crockpot Lady
Green Bean Casserole - My Little Corner of the World

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sidebar HTML Tutorial!

One of the things a lot of you asked about was my sidebar, how did I get the different color block around the menus etc.

It's really simple and once you see how easy it is I'm sure you will all start experimenting too.

Remember the template I gave you the other day?

Scroll down to the code that looks like this:

.side {
padding: 5px;
margin: 5px;
font-size: x-small;
BACKGROUND-color: #ffffff; border: solid 2px #b8707b;
color: #54556c;
text-align: justify;
line-height: 140%;

See the code that is highlighted???? The first part is going to be the background color of your block, in this case #ffffff which is white. The next line is the border around it, that will determine the color of that.
The following line color: is what color the text will be in that box. Go ahead and experiment with that to get the colors you want.

One other thing you can do is the heading for the sidebar menus.

.sideheader {
padding: 3px;
margin-top: 4px;
margin-bottom: 4px;
font-family: Mariah;
font-weight: bold;
font-size: large;
color: #b8707b;
text-align: center;
line-height: 140%;

See how the heading is in a different font now??? All you need to do is download the fonts you like, there's tons of free fonts out there. Here's some to get you started, 1001 Free Fonts, SimplytheBest and DaFont. Download the font you like, install it into your Windows/Fonts folder and then you can use it.

All you need to do is insert the name of the font in the code font-family: Mariah; I changed mine to Anglican Text above and you can see the difference.

If you want to add a graphic, first find the one you like, make sure you have the URL for it, then go down to your sidebar links and above each menu you enter the image's an example:

Click on the image to make it bigger.........the code is highlighted for you.

And there's how it looks, I used a graphic from Country Clipart.

Hope this helped a bit, like I said already, I'm no expert but what I've learned I did on my own through trial and error :) Can't wait to see what you guys come up with.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Absolutely Incredible Kids!

The sweet Mari over at "My Little Corner of the World" is having a really cute meme today.

She wants us to show our incredible kids, you've seen mine so many times but I never get tired of showing them off :)

Here are my sweeties.

Jasmine is about to turn 9 next month, she's smart and funny and can be the most lovable child you'll ever meet. She also has a bad temper, to match that fiery red hair of hers LOL

Nicholas is our miracle baby, after 2 miscarriages he came along and has since then been the light of mommy and daddy's eyes and big sister too. He's a very smart little boy and he's turning 5 next month and starting kindergarten this year.

Sunny Tuesday!

It's such a nice day out, it's sunny with just a little breeze.

Come on in and sit with me for a bit, let me tell you what's been going on here.

Last night I watched a bit of The Bachelor premiere....why? Why do I even bother trying to watch it, it's just disgusting to me what some of the girls will do for attention, I caught about 10 minutes of it and as luck would have it, it was at the point where one of the girls slips her underwear to the Bachelor. How disgusting and how gross is that???? No shame at all!

I did enjoy the Dancing with the Stars premiere, the guys were pretty good, I'm already loving Jason and Mario and I can't wait to see the ladies in action today.

Speaking of tv and shows, this weekend I bought August Rush. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is my all time favorite actor so I knew I would enjoy this movie. It was so sweet and Curt caught about half of it with me and loved it too.

And speaking of JRM, the new season of The Tudors premieres on Showtime this March 30th, but guess what???? If you go online to this link, you can watch the first episode and OH.MY.GOODNESS is it ever good, I am so excited for the new season.

I'm glad some of you enjoyed the small tips I shared yesterday about templates, I'll share more soon. Jill asked me if there is a place I go to get the color codes, I use my graphics program to get the color I like and the code BUT if you go here, you can find all the ones you want, there's actually a couple of places online for it, I like using this one too, it has so many great colors.

I'm sure some of you have noticed that I've been sharing a lot of recipes lately, I hope you're not getting annoyed with the constant recipes posted, I just love cooking and I love having an archive of everything I make online. I'll share another today for the Mushroom Beef Stroganoff I made last night....YUM and then tonight I'm making Shepherds pie and everyone knows how to make that so I don't think you need my recipe.

You know I still have some of those Breakfast Delights and I think I'm going to just give them away or dump them or whatever, they are so good but such a temptation ..... definitely a recipe to make back in South Africa where there's lots of us to eat LOL

On to something more serious and sad, I'm sure by now a lot of you have watched the news and heard about the pilot we lost this weekend.

Lt. David J. Mitchell, 26 years old, was out on a training mission with his instructor when his F-16 went down over the mountains. This happened friday at noon and we didn't know if he was ok or not, the search teams were only able to get to the area early saturday and that's when they found his body. It's such a sad thing, he had just gotten to this base back in November and was going through his 8 month training to become a pilot.

Being in the military you have this huge sense of community and solidarity and when something like this happens on a base, everyone feels it, not just the airmen but the families too.

My heart goes out to his family and to his friends and to everyone here at Luke AFB. Please say a prayer for this young man.

I don't know what's going on in bloggy land, I've sort of been out of the loop while doing taxes and getting tickets and all this crazy stuff to go home.

I'll be coming by to visit you all later today, just hope you have some coffee and a snack maybe, a little slice of cake or a cookie?

Have a great day everyone, God Bless,