Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Love Story, Part 5...Obedience of a Stranger...

This is a continuation of a Story I started a few weeks ago. It's about Capt. Mike and I, our lives before Christ, how we came to know Him, and then (coming soon), how we met and married.

If you'd like to catch up with the rest of the class, start here...Love Story Part 1

Capt. Mike survived Basic Training, and after a few months of training school was assigned to be stationed in Germany. Now for this 18 year old young man who had NEVER even been on an airplane before, this was a scary thought. But, since he had no choice, he hopped on the plane and headed off for his new life...3 years in Germany as a brand new Military Police Officer.

Although Mike missed the familiar things of home and family, he quickly realized the great opportunity he had been afforded by being placed in Europe at this stage of his life. He bought a car and a video camera, and began to take every opportunity for travel and adventure that he could. During those three years he saw the Eiffell Tower, toured Greece, climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa, skiied in the Alps, visited cathedrals, and toured numerous castles and gardens.

One of my favorite stories is when he drove his car to the base of the mountain where the "Disney Castle" ~ Neuschwanstein ~ sits. He slept in his car all night and woke up in the early morning fog. He fed crackers to the swans in the lake at the base of the hill until the fog cleared and the castle tours began. What a fun memory!
His life in Germany included German beer, travel, weightlifting, German beer, sight seeing, work, German beer, biking, driving as fast as possible on the Audobon, and German beer (but he never mixed those two!). Without Christ to fill our empty spots, it's easy for us to become consumed with our own selves. He spent many hours in the gym working on perfecting the outside of his body, while his soul kept asking him..."What about me?".
After he returned to the U.S., he was thrilled to be stationed at a sought after base, right on the beach and only 30 minutes from his hometown! He was now a "twenty something" young man with a great career plan laid out; 2 terms in the military, during which he was a reserve Deputy, which allowed him to drop right into that job as soon as he got out of the service. He was good lookin', fit, fun, had a pretty girlfriend, lived near the beach, and he had his Camero...what more could he want from life?

It wasn't long before his relationship became difficult. His girlfriend like to party, drinking and smoking pot were a regular part of her lifestyle, and her faithfulness was questionable. He liked to have fun, but her lifestyle took that to the extreme and thus began the on-again/off-again frustrating relationship. His answer to the troubles was to be become consumed with his job and his car. He would spend almost every waking hour working on his car, it was his life. Apartment living doesn't leave much room for mechanics, so he rented a storage unit to use as his "garage". It was a place where he could go each day and do what he enjoyed. His life just went along at this pace, until something happened that changed his life forever.

He was working on his car when the storage unit manager came over to talk to him. He had noticed how much time Mike spent working on his car, and noticed how it had seemed to consume his life. The manager turned their conversation to spiritual things, and shared about his own salvation. Realizing that Mike was pretty busy, he asked him to stop by the office on his way out if he wanted to talk more. The wheels in his head were turning, he had been brought up in the Catholic church, but he had never heard about salvation through Christ before, he definitely wanted to hear more. He stopped by the office and after talking for a while and asking more than a few questions, Mike's eyes were opened and his heart became soft like clay. He heard something he had never heard before. No one had ever told him that he was a sinner in need of a Savior, no one had ever laid it out so clearly. So, he bowed his head in that office and asked Jesus to take over his life. No formalities, no big show, no isle to walk down, just plain and simple salvation. I am so thankful that this man, whose name we don't even know, was obedient to our Lord, he shook off all those fears we sometimes have and opened up his mouth to share the gospel. Because of that, I am blessed.

Now, just so ya'll don't think I'm exagerating about the car...

Whoever told you that coming to Christ would make your life easier? That's not what the Bible says...part 6 coming soon! :)

Awards and Away... :)

I am seriously feeling the love right now. Several ladies have been gracious enough to think of lil' ole me and hand some awards to me. :) I am honored and thankful for them.

My sweet friend Loren from TheMagoosNews has given me this award. That's an extra special treat since she's had surgery, and is recovering right now. I can't believe she's bloggin' away! :) Thank you Loren, you are so sweet, and I hope we get to meet one day!

I agree with Loren that rules are sometimes a drag to follow, but since it came with the Award, here goes...

1. You can use only one word! (this is a tough one for me, but I did it!)
2. Pass this along to 6 other bloggers! (I'm gonna have to say I love you all, consider yourself awarded if you are reading my blog!)
3. Alert them that you have given them this award! (You are now alerted)
4. Have fun! (I'm always having fun, but go ahead, call me a rebel for breaking some rules!)

1. Where is your cell phone? Plugged
2. Your hair? Ponytail
3. Your mother? Desert
4. Your father? Biker
5. Your favorite food? Cake
6. Your dream last night? Dunno
7. Your favorite drink? Virgils
8. Your dream/goal? Firm
9. What room are you in? Multi
10. Your hobby? Gardening
11. Your fear? Disease
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Grammy!
13. Where were you last night? Here
14. Something that you aren't? Mean
15. Muffins? Yum
16. Wish list item? Sofa
17. Where did you grow up? Texas
18. Last thing you did? Type
19. What are you wearing? Shorts
20. Your TV? Big
21. Your pets? Boxer
22. Friends? Laughter
23. Your life? Beautiful!
24. Your mood? Joyful
25. Missing someone? Cris
26. Vehicle? Truck
27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes
28. Your favorite store? JoAnns
29. Your favorite color? Pink
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Week?
32. Your best friend? Faithful
33. One place that I go to over and over? Gym
34. One person who emails me regularly? Kim
35. Favorite place to eat? Carrabbas

Also, my adorable friend Rocio has passed along to me this award!
I am to tell 10 things about me and pass it along to 10 lovely other bloggers. BUT, since I'm feeling like a rebel, I would like to direct you to my left side-bar, down there at the bottom are the blogs I TRY to read daily. I love all these women and I'm passin' on the awards to them! :)

My 10 things about me:

1. I wanted to be a Stage Actress when I graduated from High School.

2. I joined the Air Force instead of becoming a Stage Actress, LOL

3. I am a gardener at heart and I love to get my hands in the dirt almost every day

4. I make wedding cakes, on occassion

5. I'm part Mexican Indian

6. I still have my first pair of Toe Shoes

7. I'm really afraid of sharks

8. Jesus Loves Me is the best thing I ever learned in my life!

9. I homeschooled my son

10. I don't like mushrooms

Well, that's more than enough information, ain't it? :)

On top of all this sweet lovin' award givin' stuff,...JoAnne over at Blessed, has listed me as one of the 7 "Blessed Blogs" for the months. That was a real surprise, and made my week! :) Thank you JoAnne! Please hop over there and check her left side-bar for all 7 blogs, it's a great way to make new bloggy friends.

I am going to be away for a few days, not sure if I'll be doing any blog reading or posting (I'll have to check the internet access situation). Soooooo, if you don't see or hear from me, know that I'll be thinkin' about you all while I lay out by the pool, hee hee hee.

Have a beautiful, Jesus filled weekend!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What I learned this Week...

I'm linking up with my friend Jo-Lynne over at Musings Of A Housewife to find out what everyone has learned in the past week.
This week I learned...
*That name brand isn't always better. I've been making my Chocolate Cream Cheese icing for YEARS, using the "store brand" 1/3 less fat cream cheese. This past weekend for a special cake, I decided to use the "popular" brand of the same style cheese. It left little white bits in the icing, and I wasn't real happy with the smoothness and texture. It tasted just as good, and I'm probably the only one who knows about the "white bits", that's a good thing!
I'm sure I learned plenty more this past week, but for the sake of time, I'm gonna leave it there! :)
Have a beautiful day my friends!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Sky Speaks!

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.

Its rising from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them,
And there is nothing hidden from its heat."

Psalm 19:1-6

Friday, September 25, 2009

Love Story part 4...Into the Darkness...

When we try to live our lives without the light of Christ to guide is, we are living in the Dark. The "Darkness" is different for everyone. For some it is a frightening place, full of downward spirals and fear. For others, life seems good, but there is an emptiness that they just can't fill.

My Darkness was a downward spiral.

I survived Basic Training and in the Spring of 1986, was stationed in Austin, TX. That "28 yr old manager", "G", was now living in San Antonio, only an hour away. I had clung to him, he was older, interested in me, made me feel wanted, I thought that was love. Our relationship developed, and I eventually moved in with him. One Friday, when I was 19, we went downtown, got married and headed back to the apartment. No engagement ring or bended knee, no parties, gifts or satin dresses, and no parents blessings or honeymoon, no counseling, no pastor. Just a piece of paper that said we were married. A few days later on my lunch hour, I bought myself a ring (it was an engagement ring, but I wanted a diamond so that's what I bought). So there we were, two people who had no idea what they were doing together, but "decided" to enjoy the ride while it lasted.

In my attempt to keep this short, I am going to have to try to condense the next 6 years...

We had big problems going into this relationship. Neither of us had a clue about marriage, relationships, selflessness, or committment. Our age differences and work hours allowed for very different lifestyles. Mine included my Air Force friends, dancing and drinking filled my weekends. "G" had his friends, golf, "Gentlemens Clubs", and getting high. The inside of our home was filled with ugly secrets: His pornography addiction and the rejecting pain that it created, and my feelings of being unwanted and unloved, which led me on an ugly whirlwind of unfaithfulness in search of "love", or at least attention.

Two years into our marriage, we found out we were going to be parents. We were both thrilled, and I wondered if this would make things "better", a bond to bring us closer. In June of 1989, I gave birth to my beautiful, perfectly healthy little boy, and I was elated to be a Mom.
However, neither "G" nor I changed our selfish behaviors, and 5 years into our marriage we began a year long "process" of divorce - we "decided" the ride was over...When a divorce involves children, it's never "over".

My life began to crawl into a deeper ugly darkness that I hesitate to even share, but if you're still reading this "story", I owe it you. So, for the sake of truth, I'll throw my heart on the operating table and let you see the ugly inside.
I was young and free to do whatever I wanted,...and that's exactly what I did. Between working at a fitness center and taking college classes, I was struggling to make ends meet. A girlfriend suggested I get a job at the "club" where she worked. It was "easy" money, lots of it, and I was perfect for the job...young, pretty, fit, and friendly,...not to mention, desperate. I told friends and family that I was "waiting tables", but never told them where. At first I felt powerful and beautiful, desired, wanted, and in control. Within a years time I felt disgusted, tired, dirty and ugly. The seediness and filth of this "job" that took men away from their wives and destroyed families began to eat away at my very soul until I realized this wasn't something I could continue to do. Satan laughs at our destruction.
I look back now, and I see God's hand of protection on my life. Even though I had put myself into dangerous situations, He sheltered me. Most of the girls I worked with were alcoholics, drug addicts, in abusive relationships, or worse. I am blessed that God kept me from all of that. I worked this job, and went home each night to be Mommy to a little boy who had no clue.

At this time, I'd been talking with a "friend" about becoming a live-in Nanny. His wife had recently died of cancer and he needed someone to take care of his house and children. I had met him at the club. He was a well-to-do lawyer with a good reputation, and for some reason I trusted him. My little man and I moved into his house, into the "Nanny's room". I cooked, cleaned, did yard work, took care of the kids, the homework, the shopping, the dogs, the errands, the appointments,... you name it, I did it. It was a bit like being a paid housewife...only a bit too much. This "friend" was a powerful man at work, and that power seeped into his home as well...the boundaries of my "room" were violated on many drunken nights, after arguments with his girlfriend. Once again, I felt used, lost, hurt and confused. I was still searching for love and not understanding at all what it was supposed to feel like.

After another job (this time I really was waiting tables) and yet another dead-end relationship (or two), I needed a change. I wanted to get out of the town I felt "stuck" in, I thought that would make things better. I had a sister living in Florida who owned a Deli, so I packed up what little I had and hopped on a plane with my 5 year old boy to make sandwiches in the Deli (remember this part) and start a new life.

The thing is, Florida didn't change my life. My heart was still ugly and lost. I met a guy...yes, another dead-end relationship, only this time it involved something I had never experienced before. This guy was an alcoholic, violent angry and destructive. Several times I came home to my belongings broken and tossed off the balcony, holes in walls and doors, and a drunk passed out on the couch. Only on one occassion did that violence turn to me... I look back now, and I KNOW that the hand of God intervened, there was no reason why the fist that had been pulled back, ready to release it's anger on my face never came forward, it just didn't. I could see the look in his eyes, his intentions were to cause pain, but the fist never came. I believe God was protecting me, even before I would give myself to Him. I find it hard even today to forgive myself for putting my child through that, but I was a fool and fools do foolish things.

I began to see light at the end of the dark tunnel I lived in, and soon I would step out from the Darkness and begin walking in the Light of Christ!

...Meanwhile in Germany Capt. Mike was making his way through his own dark tunnel...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sweet Awards!

I popped online to check mail and found out that my new (and very sweet) friend Loren over at The Magoos News has given me an Award, how neat is that??!!?
Now I have the honor of handing it over to 6 other people...(drum roll please....)

Larie at My Heart Speaks ~ I have so much enjoyed "meeting" Larie and getting to know her, she's kind and funny and has a great writing style.

Lisa at Stop And Smell The Chocolates ~ Does the name say it all? She loves chocolate, so we are like sisters, LOL. Lisa is cute, funny and does great Vlogging!

Alicia at More Than Words ~ I have really enjoyed getting to know Alicia, and want to go and join her family as they dance around the living room. She has a full house, and a beautiful smile!

Jo-Lynne at Musings Of A Housewife ~ Smart, pretty and a great writer! I have enjoyed "chatting" with Jo-Lynne about healthful eating, she's got a lot of wisdom and I love that she takes the time to type it all out!

Madeleine at I Wish I Was More Like Jesus ~ Madeleine is one of my newest blog friends and she has got the sweetest personality, we kid about wishing we lived down the street from eachother, but it would really be such a treat to sit and chat with her over a cup of coffeee. She's sweet and kind, and I'm proud to call her my friend.

Tiffany at Tea With Tiffany ~ Last, but most definitely not least is Tiffany! I was blessed to be able to meet Tiffany face to face by a chance of fate. We immediately hit it off and she wasn't the least bit offended when Kim and I began feeding her chocolate (yes, FEEDING it to her), LOL. She's beautiful inside and out and I have really enjoyed getting to know her!

"For those receiving this award it is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Thank you ladies for brightening my days with your witty and kind comments, it's nice to know someone is reading some of the silly stuff I actually write on here! :)

Have a beautiful day my friends!


My new friend over at Moms The Word posted this quiz today, so I decided to be a copy-cat., except these are MY answers, not hers, LOL.

The phone rings. Who will it be?If it rings right now, Kim or my Son. If it rings after noon, Hubby gets thrown in the mix.

When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?At Publix usually yes, at Walmart usually no.

In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?I'm definitely more of a listener unless I am asked my opinion,...or unless I'm with Kim, we just talk at the same time, LOL.

Do you take compliments well?
I've been working on this since High School. I was told it made me look snobby if I just smiled when I was complimented, but I was too shy to do anything else, so I'm still learning to say "thank you". I'm also trying to stop saying "Oh, thanks,...I got it at a thrift store!" (they didn't ask!!!!)

Do you play Sudoku?No, I know it's a game or something, but I have no clue what it even looks like.

If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I could survive. I might be a girly girl on the outside, but I've got some pretty good survival skills buried in there, :).

Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
Yes. I cried all the way home on the bus because I didn't think I had "enough" fun to warrant my Mom saving up all that money. Silly kid.

What was your favorite game as a kid?Livvy and Sue. What? You've never heard of it? My sister and I played a game ALL the time where we were two married adult women named Oliva (Livvy- that was me because I wanted to be Olivia Newton John) and Susan (Sue - that was my sister). We basically just ran our households, mostly going to the Dr. to get medicine for our sick children (i.e., candy at the shop on the corner).
Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
I'm married, so I'm not exactly on the "open market", LOL...

Do you like to pursue or be pursued?
I love it when my Hubby pursues me, LOL. :) BUT, there's also fun in the pursuit, so I guess it's 50-50, maybe 60-40...

Use three words to describe yourself?
Cake Baker, Gardener, Seamstress

Do any songs make you cry?Yes, too many to list, lol - I'm an easy crier, can't go anywhere without mascara dots on my eyelids, lol.

Are you continuing your education?Fer Wut? No. I learned so much when I was homeschooling my son and getting my hubby through college that I should have gotten the diploma and degree myself! LOL ~ on a serious note, it would be fun to got to Culinary School just for the joy of cooking!

Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?Yes, with my son when he was 4 years old. :)

How often do you read books?
All the time, now ask me if I finish all of them????

Do you think more about the past, present or future?
? Not sure. I guess a little of both past and future, maybe more future...?

What is your favorite children’s book?I LOVE YOU FOREVER! Oh my, I STILL can't read this book without choking on my tears. Ugh.

What color are your eyes?Green. But sometimes they appear blue depending on my clothing.

Where is your dream house located?Dream house? Hmmm....On the edge of the woods in an open field of wildflowers, near a babbling brook, somewhere near the mountains that are by the sea.... :)

If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed?
My man! My baby girl (dog)! My Bible! My photos!

When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?I'm thinking maybe 3 months ago?
Where was the furthest place you traveled today?
The Kitchen
Do you like mustard?Yes, I love mustard - something about the tang! :)

Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
Don't we kinda require both of these? I never thought of it as a preference????

Do you look like your mom or dad?I'd say my Mom...

How long does it take you in the shower?I'm a bit of a dawdler, so probably 10-12 minutes... What? I have to shave and condition my hair!!!

Can you do the splits?
Yes. I've always been very flexible.

What movie do you want to see right now?
I don't even know what's showing, LOL.

What did you do for New Year’s?Slept.

Do you think The Grudge was scary?And that is?????????

Do you own a camera phone?
Yeah, but it takes me so long to figure out how to use it, that whatever I wanted to take a photo of is us gone by the time I'm ready.
What’s the last letter of your middle name?
e - but why do you want to know?

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Probably about 7

Do you like Care Bears?No, actually I really don't now that I've finally been asked by someone who apparantly cares. They irritate me,...sorry, maybe it was because I raised a boy, not sure, but I don't like them. There, I said it!

What do you buy at the movies?Depends. Ticket (for sure), coffee, use to get "Good n Plenty" but they don't have them anymore (sad), popcorn sometimes...
Do you know how to play poker?

Do you wear your seat belt?Yes, always.

How many meals do you eat a day?
Three, usually (unless I forget to eat lunch), but that doesn't include snacks!

Do you like funny or serious people better?
There is always a time for seriousness, but I LOVE to laugh, so I'm gonna have to lean toward funny.

Ever been to L.A.?
Yes, briefly

Did you eat a cookie today?Not yet.

Do you hate chocolate?
Hello????? WHAT? What kind of freaky, strange, odd-ball questions is that????? I refuse to even answer this question...who writes these things? I mean I thought the Care Bear question was a little odd, but let's not even go there with Chocolate....???????

Are you a gullible person?I use to be when I was younger, but not so much anymore.

Are you easy to get along with?Yes, I believe so.
Ok, there you have it. Do you feel like you know something really important about me now? Feel free to join this little party and tell me all this stuff about you too! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Love Story...part Day and Night...

(Since we celebrated our 10th Anniversary this year, I've decided to share about how we came to know Christ, met and read the first 2 posts of this story, click here...Part 1; Part 2.)
..."'Settling' in El Paso meant that in the next 7 years we would move 10 times within the same town... ". Despite many similarities within our families, Capt. Mike and I had 2 completely different "lifestyles" growing different as day and night.

Capt. Mike...

Mike's parents moved to Titusville, Fl while their family was still very small, 2 or 3 children in tow. They moved into a cute little house in a nice average neighborhood and their family grew and grew. As the 8th child, he was brought home from the hospital to that same little house, where his Mom still lives today.

Each time we visit I am reminded that he made memories in that house; he hid in the bushes that grow along the wall in the backyard,...he got that scar on his eye from the shelf in the back room,...that's the kitchen where his Mom cooked Chicken n' Dumplings,... that's the street where he tore up the tires on his motorcycle,...

...and the yard where he played with his boxer dogs...To someone like me, someone who doesn't have one "home" that I grew up in, those are all such precious memories to have, and I love to soak them all in.

With that many kids in the house, his home was loud and full of activity. The above ground pool filled with sun-tanned bodies, hungry boys in and out of the fridge, teenagers hanging out in the driveway,... and I'm quite certain there was much Drama about who was taking too long in the bathroom (7 kids, 1 hall bath - whadya think?). His Dad bought a pop-up camper, and the family went on trips every year to various places, from the FL Keys to the TN Mountains.

Growing up, one of his and his brothers' favorite pastimes was dirtbiking. When they weren't at school, work or out getting wild with their friends, they were out there tearin' it up. Mike began working on his own bikes, motorcycles and cars at a young age; he's a self taught mechanic, and over the years, he has taken apart and rebuilt SEVERAL vehicles ~ including this Camaro which he "inherited" from his Mom...

During High School, he was involved with the Wrestling and Weight Lifting Teams, (winning 6th place in the State for his weight class I might add!). Even though he loved to hang out and party with his friends, he was also a hard worker, mowing lawns, washing dishes and cleaning fish at a local Restaurant and stocking shelves at the grocery store.

Through all the years growing up, there is one thing that Mike knew for certain, from a very young age, probably around 9 or 10, he knew EXACTLY what he wanted to do when he grew up. He wanted to be a Police Officer, or more specifically, a Sheriff.

Regardless of all the typical teen fun of growing up, he had this goal in the back of his mind. Right after graduating high school, he realized that he had to make a decision. His friends were heading down a path that led nowhere. If he stayed where he was, he might not reach his goal, or worse. He knew he needed to separate himself, to get away and start fresh. Without any money to just up and move, he began to think about the something good for his country, something different than any of his friends had chosen to to do, get an education, get out of town. So, at the tender age of 18, in May of 1987, (after his Mom had signed him over to the U.S. Air Force a few months earlier), he got on a bus and headed off for Basic Training...

Making Your Home Sing Monday - Fall!

Making your home sing Mondays
This is my first time joining Moms The Word for her Monday Meme. It's a time to share what we are doing to bring a little somethin' extra special to our homes. If you'd like to read more posts or link one up yourself, pop on over.
Here are 2 things I did to make my home sing...
Well, I felt it,...I finally felt it! I felt Fall, I know, I know, there's still 1 more day until "It" appears, but I am just certain I felt it. It first hit me while I was in JoAnn Fabrics, yup, I was walking through the floral department and these deep reds, oranges and yellows called out to me..."Fall is here, take us home to your table!". :) So, I did (it was a buy one/get one sale!) is the centerpiece I've put together for my "Fall Table"...

I had to take a close up of the little photo on there...that's my hubby and our son about 11 years ago! Cute! :)

Another reason I know Fall has arrived is that I was working out in my vegetable garden yesterday evening...AND I could breathe!!! I was out there a good 3 hours, hauling and spreading bags of compost and mulch, digging up weeds and turning old bean plants, loosening up packed soil, and I could humidity!!!! I was happy to get the garden ready for planting... :)

How did you make your Home Sing today?
"Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16
Have a beautiful praise filled day!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Love Story...part a nomad...

Since we celebrated our 10th Anniversary this year, I've decided to share how we met and read the first part of this story, click here...Love Story Part 1.

...Capt. Mike and I lived in different States and didn't know anything about what our futures had in store...but at the young age of 17, we both made the decision to join the U.S. Air Force...

Miss Kathy...
Growing up in a military family, I really had no idea what it meant to have a "home"...a stable place that you lived in for more than 2 years. The first memory I have of moving is when I was 4 years old and we were preparing to leave our apartment in Waco, TX for England. Over the next 5 years, our family of 8 moved 3 times.

We started out in Banbury, England. It was a "city house" with no front yard; the front door opened up to the sidewalk. It was narrow and tall with a cement "backyard" and hardly any rooms, but it was home. There was a candy shop on the corner and I remember the distinct smell of the nearby tar factory.

Next we moved to the place of my favorite memories, the little town of Helmdon into the 3 story, 500 year old stone cottage with the cold floors and big windows. The memories are too much to list, the big yard, they hay barn down the lane, the horse across the street, the chicken lady who sold us eggs, the milk-man, the little brick's like a dream, and every child should live there, :).

For the last 2 years before we returned to the U.S., we lived in a "normal neighborhood". An average house with yards and neighborhood BBQ's, where me and my 2 girlfriends would scout that neighborhood as Charlies Angels on our bikes - we were so cool!

We moved to El Paso, TX when I was 10, Dad was retiring and we would finally "settle" in one place, or wuold we? Dad finished up his last year of service by commuting each weekend from New Mexico. "Settling" in El Paso meant that in the next 7 years we would move 10 times within the same town... By the time I was 12 and my sister and I were the only 2 kids left at home, my parents chose to divorce...that's when Tina and I began the back and forth living arrangements. We moved between parents, apartments, houses, and sometimes we stayed in the house and our parents changed places... it was confusing to say the least.

At one point, we both decided we wanted to live with Dad. We lived in a one bedroom apartment. I remember that place well...

...Our living room was decorated with a fold out couch, a single bed, a dresser which also served as a TV stand, Dad's "lazy-boy" chair and, a coffee table, and then there was that GREEN and WHITE wallpaper ~ oh my! This is where we lived when my Dad met Edye, who later became my stepmom.

After Tina graduated and joined the Army, Edye moved in with us ~ we moved again, and then one more time just for fun (?)... at least this time I actually had my own bedroom...the first time in my life that I ever had a room to myself!!! Wow!

2 months after I had my 17th birthday I graduated High School and did what was expected; I got a job. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. For the last 5 years I had taken dance classes but never mastered the art, acted in more plays and acting competitions than I can remember, tossed a flag up in the air while marching with the band, but no plans for my future were made. I had goals of course,...I wanted to move to New York and become a stage actress, or maybe I'd just "become" an artist and live on the beach in a cute little cottage. I had no clue about reality.
Dad and Edye were pretty busy living their own lives, and weren't too concerned that I was now dating the 27 year old man that hired me at the pizza place...they never even asked to meet him. Come to think of it, they never asked his name or age. They were just ready for me to get on with my life, after all I was done with High School, it was pretty much time for me to move on.
After a couple of months I began to realize that I wasn't going to be able to support myself by serving pizza, college was not an option, but the military and it's fantastic opportunies were brought up OFTEN. Life's choices were looking slim, so at the tender age of 17, in December of 1985, my Daddy signed me over to the U.S. Air Force, I got on a bus and headed off for Basic Training...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Funnies...

I'm joining with my best friend Kim today in her Meme that makes us all giggle.

Here are a couple of things I think are funny (not sure if you will, LOL)...

TO WHAT...???????? Even if there was something in the store, why would the window be the main entrance? I'm confused.

This gives eating on the run a whole new feeling....we wanted to save time for shopping and save room in our tummies for coffee and punkin' we shared a sandwich in her car with the A/C running, LOL. It was yummy too, from Panera (fat free bacon, fat free, turkey, fat free cheese, fat free oil....LOLOLOLOL - we have ourselves convinced!)

Someone asked me if Kim and I take our cameras, pretty much. I took this photo of Kim taking a photo (and punkin' bread)

To laugh some more go on over and visit Kim!
Have a laughter filled day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Where did I get the cups?...and Restaurant Review...

Today's post is a jumble of a little bit of this and little bit of that....

First off, in case you just NEEDED to buy those adorable measuring cups that you didn't win in my is where I got them - so run over to Pier One and hunt those bad boys down!
Of course, Kim won't have to hunt them down because I bought her a set, but I told her she couldn't have them until Christmas (here she is trying to get them from me, LOL)...And of course that was the day we had coffee together...oh what a rare thing...????...yeah, you got me...NOT RARE at a matter of fact we have some very important shopping to do today and we MIGHT have to get "fueled" up at some point... :)

Capt. Mike and I just took a 2 day mini-getaway (still part of our 10th Anniversary celebration).

We hopped over to Orlando for 2 days and did the "tourist" thing. Wet N Wild waterpark and Universal Studios/Adventure Islands, fun! After 4 roller coaster rides and 2 flume rides I'm sure I'm due for a visit to the Chiropractor! LOL

Restaurant Review...Maggianos Little Italy
For dinner we visited Maggianos Little Italy, on International Drive. If you like Italian (it's my favorite), the food is FANTASTIC - service is EXCELLENT - atmosphere is BEAUTIFUL ~ fancy, but with a relaxed feel so you don't feel out of place in shorts and a nice top.
We sat in a booth for coziness and a fun view of the busyness of the place....On the far right is our waitress, Heidi - she was great!
This was the hallway to the bathrooms, which were so pretty that you wouldn't mind hanging out in them for a while...
Did I mention the food was FANTASTIC??? I kept tasting my hubby's meal even though my chicken was delicious...The bread and dipping sauce is served to each table and it's so yummy! Even though the appetizers are delicious, I recommend you skip them ~ bread and your meal will be PLENTY!

The servings are ENORMOUS, and the prices are really reasonable. The good news is they have half-servings which I highly recommend. We had a large salad earlier in the day so we didn't feel pressured to get a "veggie" - there was no way we were gonna eat that too! I got half order of Chicken Francese, it literally melted in my mouth. Hubby got a half order of an "off the menu special" of pasta, shrimp and chicken in a garlic cream sauce with asiago cheese, roasted garlic and red bell peppers...OH YUM!
I wanted so badly to get dessert (I've had their Tiramisu before and it's the BEST), but I didn't want that stuffed feeling, soooo we waited and had ice cream on I-drive later in the evening...but not before I rode this....The Human Slingshot! I finally did it - and it was FUN!
"A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22
Let your heart be filled with joy today, a beautiful gift from our gracious God who will give it just for the asking...