This year needs to be over.....

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I can't stand this little week between Christmas and New Year, it's such a waste of time for me LOL

I want my house back to normal and I want the new year to begin but we're in this limbo where you can't really sit back and relax because the impending New Year's Eve celebration is just around the corner.

What do you do? Do you go out and tackle the big crowds and the drunks and crazy drivers or do you stay home like I do?

I can't remember the last time I went out on that night, it must have been in my teens because since then I've just pretty much ignored it LOL No I'm serious, we don't go anywhere, it's just a normal day for us and lately we don't even stay up until midnight, we just go to bed and wake up in a new year. Is that wrong? Are we missing out on anything special?

Anyway, Curt is back to work this week but the kids are still home on Winter Break, though I think next week can't come fast enough for me, the bickering and fighting between them is just ridiculous.

What is it with kids and the competitive thing? I didn't know that if one picks Frosted Flakes for breakfast and the other wants it too it's apparently called "COPYING"????
Really???? Huh, I had no idea!
There are also invisible boundaries around the house known as "my place" and "my chair".

Where is the memo for all the parents, shouldn't we have something on paper to teach us these kid rules?

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I have a few things I need to get done today, like relieving the lemon tree of some of it's lemons, the poor thing is packed full and the branches are bending down with the weight LOL I think I'll spend some time in the kitchen afterwards using them for lemonade, lemon curd, lemon drizzle cake and whatever else I may think of. I'll probably pop some into the freezer to keep for another time.

There's also sweeping and mopping to be done around here, laundry to put away and menu planning for the next two weeks PLUS the grocery list for tomorrow.

I'll be making a few dishes that I haven't shared with you before, so you'll start seeing some updating on the food blog. Am also hoping that I'll get some knitting time in, I want to finish my little shrug this week so I can start on some new dishcloth patterns that I have been wanting to try.

We're also trying to plan another trip to Africa next year, but so far I'm not feeling very encouraged. To start off obviously it's a lot of money and the only reason we were able to afford it last year was because we used the tax return money plus the money we got from moving ourselves to a new house on base.....I doubt they'll let us move again just for extra cash LOL
The air tickets also seem to have gone up a bit, so right now it's a waiting game.....if we can't go to Africa then we'll be going somewhere else within our budget.

We want to do family vacations every year and there's so much to see without having to go too far from home. So we'll see, though I would LOVE to go back home again, it was great being there but it also felt rushed, we were constantly on the move and ended up not really just sitting down somewhere and chatting and catching up with everyone.

Here's where you come in. I need some ideas for inexpensive family vacations, tell me where you've been or where you suggest we go. Those places that you think everyone needs to visit at least once in their lives. Can you do that for me? Help a girl out, remember that I'm not American and so I really don't know much about the best places to visit or where they're at, just imagine I'm some foreign tourist and you're the tour guide. LOL

Alright, I need to get going on my to do list and grab myself a fresh hot cup of coffee, nothing like typing on the computer and taking a swig of cold yucky coffee. Blech!


  1. hey there Sandra...

    I am right there with you. We do not do anything. I am not even sure that I can make it until midnight this year! Lame I know but what can I say.

    For vacations.... Think about the fact you are Military. There are so many places you can visit that have Hotels on base. I know our hotel here is really nice and it is $55 or $60 a night! They have kitchens dining table and 2 beds. Perfect!

    Also, Disney WORLD (the one in Florida) has a military hotel that I have heard is nice.

    Here (as well as any Sea World or Bush Gardens place) You get in free. We have one here in San Diego and Disney Land is 45 minutes away.

    There are places to see here also (i don't think we are that far from you so you could drive if you split it with hubby. We have the cross on My. Soladad, we have the USS Midway, we have a lot

    I am not sure what you are into but there are just some ideas.

    PS we use our tax $$$ for trips to see family as well

  2. We are going to be taking advantage of the Anheuser-Busch Hero Salute for Sea World San Diego this year and then maybe hop over to Disney. Check out Outdoor Rec/Leisure Travel --they should have some good ticket/hotel deals. There is also a military hotel in Hawaii that just like other military lodging facilites goes by your rank (we have this on our list of places to go too).

  3. We don't tend to go out, although this year there is a church service and we are staying over at hub's parents to escape from our neighbour's allllll night noisy party! :)

    Hope you have a very blessed New Year.


  4. New Year's Eve is just another day of the year these days. We don't want to be out on the roads with the drunks so we stay home and make it a cozy dinner and movie night. We used to buy a special jigsaw puzzle to do on that evening when Eric was Nicholas' age - he loved it!

    I hate the week between the two also, especially when it falls in the middle of the week!

    From where you guys are now there are a couple of places to see that wouldn't be as expensive as air fare to Africa. There's the Grand Canyon, the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore in the Gold country.

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year and fun family day!

  5. We don't do anything real exciting for New Years either. The one fun thing we do is have snack night. We have cheese and crackers and finger foods along with some sparkling grape juice and that is our NY treat!!!

    As for inexpensive/cheap vacations we are true experts lol.. being in the military you have no choice. We would hit national parks and bring some food with us (like drinks and snacks, even pop tarts for breakfast). When we were stationed in California we went to the Grand Canyon and that was awesome. Also we take advantage of the free admission to Sea World/Busch Gardens.

    You are kind of far from Disney World in Florida but Shades of Green is absolutely wonderful. It is around $100 night and there is so much to do. They have a place to eat and shoppette in the hotel that are base prices!

    We went to Las Vegas and there is so much to see that is FREE and the buffets are pretty cheap. We brought our kids with us and they were not bored.

  6. We get together with friends and do fondue. We have a good time. I can't stand crowds so I have no desire to go and do the big party scene.
    We try to make it to twelve but it's getting harder every year :)

  7. This is my first time commenting. I love your blog - Can you teach me to knit?

    I will have to think about vacation ideas and let you know, but I can tell you this:

    My brother and I are three years apart and it wasn't until our teens (and the loss of our mother) that we got along. Now, at 31 and 34 we are the best of friends
    Anyhow, when the bickering got bad my mom would do one of two things.
    1 - She would have us clean, together. Dust, or sweep, fold laundry. She would say "If you are can't find something to besides fight, you are going to be productive" May sound silly, but it deterred us for sure
    2 - Usually she would tell us we needed to go somewhere quiet and list three things we loved about the other and until someone apologized we were not to even speak to each other, or anyone else. No friends, no parents, no one. It wouldn't take long before we missed each other. Once we made up, we would read the list to each other. I wish I had saved those lists.

    Love your blog - and recipes!

  8. LOL us old folks use to just go to bed and sleep the old year out but since my youngest daughter started asking us over to join in board games we've now been going there.. sometimes we stay till the new year arrives but sometimes we head on home and hit the bed.. it is a lot of fun tho.
    Now, about vacation suggestions.. this past year my daughter and I took the Amtrak train from MO to TX to spend a week with another daughter and we LOVED the trip. It's a lot cheaper then flying and safer and cleaner then a bus. They serve meals on the train and have a couple snack bars too. You can even take food and drinks on with you. You might consider taking the train from AZ to San Antonio TX.. there's a lot there to see and do.
    Also, when our kids were young we did a lot of camping.. that's definately cheap and tons of fun for the kids if you go somewhere where they can either swim or fish.

  9. Check out this site:

    Pick where you want to go and you're sure to find something in your price range. Much easier than worrying about hotels, restaurant meals, and the expenses of constantly having to go somewhere to amuse yourself.

    In the warmer months, if you're outdoorsy, central Oregon is absolutely gorgeous and chock full of natural parks, hiking trails, mountain bike paths, lakes and rivers - there is so much to do outside, it's amazing. Staying in a vacation rental, you can get up and go to bed when you like, dress casually, shop locally and have ingredients on hand for picnic lunches. Treat your family to a new board game to take along, or make a list of a few movies you'd like to watch in the evenings.

    This is our second time to enjoy a vacation rental family trip. The first was in Kettlewell, England and now Bend, Oregon. You have the experience of being in a completely new environment with lots to see and do, without necessarily incurring the traditional costs of lodging and meals.

  10. Amen! I want it be the New Year!...I'm sick of 2008..Bring on 2009!
    Happy New Year! Bunches of hugs...

  11. I love the time between Christmas and New Year ;). We enjoy having time at home to play with Christmas gifts and to socialise. On Boxing Day (December 26th) we always go to my mother's, usually my SiL and her family visit - though this year they can't make it until next Sunday - we go out for walks and just generally enjoy a mid-winter break. We always see the New Year in with an old friend and her family - they only live a couple of miles away, but we don't get together as often as we should and it is fun to catch up. We drink champagne ;). Then on New Year's Day we always go bowling with our neighbours and people from their Church. I like to think we are celebrating the twelve days of Christmas, though we don't do something everyday. We keep the Christmas tree and decorations up until Twelfth Night (January 6th). Christmas is a season, not a day ;).

    Holidays are high on our priority list too. Not sure what we will do next year, but it will definitely be within the UK as the pound has fallen so far against the Euro making too expensive to go to mainland Europe.

  12. If you have the chance, I would suggest checking out Washington State. No, not the Space Needle and Seattle (unless you really dig nasty expensive urban areas LOL) BUT places like Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium/Ft. Steilacoom historical area, Crystal Mountain (ski/hiking area), Northwest Trek (in Eatonville, WA - about a half hour from Ft. Lewis/McChord AFB)....Puget Sound (research areas that aren't right by Seattle...there are plenty - or email me if such a trip comes up and I'll give you some suggestions).

    There's also a lavender festival on the Peninsula.... Long Beach and Ilwaco out on the coast which have amazing views, several lighthouses, and trails/camps/forts from Lewis and Clark.....

    WA is full of neat history and it doesn't just revolve around Seattle like a lot of tourists are led to believe. ;-) It'd be worth your while to head up there and try for Space A Lodging on Fort Lewis.

  13. I am a bit behind here, as the "limbo week" is just about over! It is Friday the 2nd, and I am at work for one day, after having half of the 31st off, all of the 1st off. Work today, off for the weekend. I just want everything to get back to normal!
    For New Years Eve, my best friend Joe and I walk to my parents home and play cards until midnight, then after a toast of sparkling cider we walk back to my house and crash. This has been the way we have celebrated for about 5 years now.
    As for vacation ideas, WOW! There are some excellent ideas already. Here is my two cents worth. Along with Washington and Oregon, Montana offers uncompareable natural beauty. We do have Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls (with an on base Motel), and that city is just about in the center of the state-- right between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. If your family likes to camp, both parks offer some excellent campgrounds. Both offer easy short hikes (good for smaller kids) all the way up to guided hikes into the backcountry. Yellowstone does have some crowds in the summer, but they are not unmanageable. Glacier is just plain Awe Inspiring! If you plan a trip to Glacier, plan on doing some light hiking if you are able. If you choose to head north to my neck of the country, contact me and I will give you the best (read: easy to get to with optimum sights) things to do in my state.


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