another busy wonderful week to go

Sunday, June 24, 2012

This has been a really ridiculous week. It's been super awesome, but also kind of stressful. I had the EFMP camp, finally got the second referral to Bethesda scheduled, presented my Links for Kids section "Smooth Moves" to fellow Linksters, started taking my new prescription, finished three weeks worth of these two courses in this one week...and I still went to work 3 days this week. Our apartment is a huge mess, simply because I haven't had any time to do anything about it. I have really put so much on my plate, but it's so worth it!!

Also, look at what a cutie pie our sweet Trigger bug is!!! She loves Marshall very much and it's so sweet. I'm pretty excited I got this moment captured on my phone camera (Regular camera still isn't cooperating...) Aren't they just the cutest?!! He loves our little girl, and she's such a pretty kitty! We love our animals a whole lot :)

                       Also can't wait to get our Scruffy puppy back in September!!!!
                                                                                                 We miss her so much!

Other than what I'm up to, the big deal is what Marshall's up to. This week starting tomorrow (Monday) is their Rifle Fex (Fex II), so he will be gone doing his thing till Friday or so. This is what Marshall said that they will be doing: "platoon in the defense, platoon in the offense, and live fire range" Sounds like fun out there, though I couldn't imagine going through what they go through in the field. Those guys are real tough studs. Anyway....I'm just hoping he makes it home safe this weekend since the issues with his knee etc. Osteo Biflex has helped a lot! (If you didn't know...he hurt it last week during an obstacle course)

They are also scheduled to go on another one of these the middle of next month, at the time when my mom and granny will be in town so we can get some traveling done! I'm so excited for that week!! We're going to Hershey & Boston :) Never been to Pennsylvania or Massachussetts before!! You think I would have by now living so close to all these little states on the east coast huh? On the weekends instead we both work on homework, watch The Office or Star Wars, and just chill... Not too exciting but it's still kind of wonderful and awesome. I love being married.

Back to the school topic...I spent a couple hours typing out a course schedule/syllabus/etc of my next three classes that actually start on Monday. I'll be taking Principles of Education, Intro to Geography, and Intro to Christian Thought. SOOOOOOOO excited!!!!! Looking at the schedules, there aren't nearly as much readings as my Bible class which is kind of nice, since I won't be spending as much time on just purely reading the material...more time to study! Monday also begins the two weeks that my summer terms will overlap, so that is why I finished all the readings for Apologetics early..once again, less reading and more studying! I guess it's gonna be kind of nice not having Marshall here this week solely because I'll be keeping up with 5 online summer classes at once..where an entire month of work is squeezed into a week, essentially. Lots to do.

One more thing, I really want us to go to NYC soon, or at least sooner than we expect to. The three musicals that I absolutely have to see: The Lion King, Mamma Mia, and The Phantom of the Opera! I only thought of Mamma Mia earlier because we were listening to some ABBA along with other 70's music...and of course that musical is based around their music! I need to get my hands on that movie again...Though I have seen the Phantom on Broadway already, when Michael was in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade back in the day (2004) at Waukesha North. Anyway, we've been wanting to go to New York together since we moved up in the vicinity! I just wish we could have more than just a short weekend out there whenever we make the trip. Also, it would be nice if one of those musicals has a show whichever weekend it is. New York is something that we want to go see together so we obviously can't wait for the opportunity! So much to do out there!! And it's not all about the musicals...that's just the only thing I can think of at 2:30 in the morning :)

Well it looks like that's it for now. Time for bed, I can't believe what time it is! And I still can't believe it's nearly July!!! Maybe I can finally get around to cleaning the apartment tomorrow...and getting groceries for one since Marshall will be gone this week. I need to have my milk, you know...

a carnival & a kitty cat

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

So today we did the carnival for the kids in the gym. Sadly because of my crazy schedule yesterday (camp, work, pharmacy, school, presentations..) I couldn't stay to set this up but the rest of the LINKS girls (and the few Marines helping) did a wonderful job! The kids went bowling, fished with magnets, hula hooped, kicked a soccer goal, threw a ball to knock down cans.... carnival things. They also got cool prizes at the end, depending on how many tickets they won from the games! You can see the wonderful pictures here:

It was a super fun day, they really kept us busy! There was a group of really sweet girls, and as they were leaving one of them asked for a hug and wouldn't let me go. I didn't want her to go either! I'll have to be sure to find her at the ceremony/last day festivites tomorrow at the park. There were so any different things to do at once for our stations and the kids didn't want to leave! All the games were adaptable, and you could tell the kids were having a blast. They have their own way of telling you things, and it's so cool to learn from them and to see them having fun. This was truly the most rewarding day so far. It tells me that this is something I want to do! EFMP is a wonderful program, and I hope other military bases start having this summer camp so I can volunteer there too! So far, Quantico is the only one with this kind of a camp. Today there were also firemen and horses, that would have been so cool to see the interactions! There was also a clown in the morning, which I avoided..... I ate breakfast in the break room at that time. No clowns for me, sorry, nope, never!

This week went by so fast! I can't believe tomorrow is already the last day of this camp. It sure will be fun, I can't wait to see the USMC band! (And of course have bbq!) Then right after camp tomorrow I have to head back to the apartment for work... It's going to be a crazy day, again. I've lost so much sleep with camp, working on my presentation, schoolwork, housework, actual work, running errands...It's been an exhausting week and I can't wait for the weekend. This is the most I've done at once for a long time (and definitely since we moved.)

Something exciting about this weekend: Disney Pixar's BRAVE is in theatres Friday!!! I cannot wait, I'm going to make sure we go this weekend :)) Another new Disney princess has arrived! Her name is Merida, which is so unique and awesome. Oh, and she's into archery which is something also super awesome. We grew up (sort of) with a bow and arrow once Michael got it for Christmas, and that's all we did for days at my Granny's farm in Canton, as well as our backyard when we lived in Wisconsin 4-6 years ago. It's just such a cool twist from the regular Disney princess you'd think of. I LOVE Disney, especially Disney princesses! Patiently waiting for the weekend right now :))

Right now my parents are in the process of moving up to Ft. Bragg, NC. Things got postponed a day or so cause of complications with the moving truck, but they will be up here in the vicinity shortly! They will be only 6 hours from us, so we'll surely find time this summer to go visit or meet halfway...I'm so excited! I'm also relieved they will be close because now I have to go to Bethesda (Maryland) for my Cardio, and I'm going to have my mom come with me because that's just what we've always done..and I have to cross a state line for the doctor! It seems crazy, but it's only the other side of DC. It's really like an hour to two at the most, from what I hear..But I also want someone with me (Marshall can only come if it's a Saturday, so I might do that too) because that's where the Naval Academy is, and there's some cool stuff to see out there! I don't want to go sightseeing by myself you know! It's also one of the Presidential like if the Pres. is having medical problems he will either be helicoptered to Bethesda or 3 other big/major military hospitals in the area. Literally one of the best hospitals in the nation. That makes me feel pretty good about medical stuff! (I still have to wait for the phone call/referral to go through and schedule it though...)

One more thing: today a year ago we found our sweet little Trigger as a stray and took her in! She was living under the house I stayed in for the summer in College Station, and Marshall heard her/caught her late one night, since we left food and water out on the back porch. He had her cornered! She'd have to eat some time, you know...she was so terrified, but so precious and adorable! She was itty bitty... And very fuzzy too :) We (and the vet) guessed she was probably just a month old when we found her. For a week we also thought she was a bobcat, if you can see in her kitten pictures her ears, you'd understand... Good thing we caught her, who knows what would have happened! This is why we will never get a pet from a breeder, always a stray or one that was rescued (Like Trigger-bug!). There's always going to be a needy animal out there, it's better to adopt/look for one who will appreciate you rather than settle on one that's bred purely so that the owner gains a bit of moolah.

 Here's my little photo dedication/from the past year to the cuteness that is Trigger! :


Hmmm.. Let's see what else...the only other thing that I can think of is that next week Marshall will be gone for a Rifle Fex, and it's also the first week of my Summer II - D term! This weekend I'm going to try to get all of Summer B work done so that I can solely concentrate on my next 3 classes. And Marshall has also been exhausted this week, they had to write orders and weren't given the instructions etc. until 2 in the morning, when they were due at some ridiculous time that morning, so Marshall spent a ridiculous amount of time frustrated lately because of that. I don't know if I mentioned this before or not... But thank goodness it's almost the weekend, it is very much needed & earned! W'e're going to relax, clean, get groceries, relax, and sleep (And hopefully go see Brave!)... Pretty lazy, huh? Im also scheduled to Skype with miss Tatyanna on Saturday and Im super excited :)

Well I guess that's it for now! Time to go take a super duper nap and hibernate for a month, or at least until Marshall gets home....!

A Sweet Morning :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This morning with the LINKS girls we went to Georgetown Cupcake, home of TLC's DC Cupcakes!!! This was the entire purpose of our trip to DC! And the traffic wasn't even that bad (Though I wasn't the one driving) It was so cool to go back there and I really enjoyed it. There's just something about cupcakes...

I got chocolate ganache & lavender cupcakes :) And ice cold milk.. of course. I'm saving the chocolate ganache for later and had the lavender while we were there, and it's such a unique taste. I've never had lavendar anything before so it was kind of unusual for me. It tasted kind of like medicine to me... It has this wierd chalky undertone and reminded me of flowers the whole time I was eating it. ('s lavender!)

I also looked at their FB page this morning and ordered their free not on menu cupcake of the day - Chocolate Mint Crunch! I ended up saving that one for later...maybe Marshall can have it tonight if it's not gone by then! I had part of someone else's so that's how I was able to save this one and let me tell you - it was AMAZING. All of their cupcakes are amazing. I wish I could work there. Or live there!

Here's a really cool picture they had on the walls - I'd really like one just like this! It's crazy how that one picture/style/artform of Andy Warhol's was transformed into so many things... and how that design can be made into anything, including cupcakes. If you don't get what I'm talking about, just Google "Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe (or Campbell's)" and you'll see. Isn't this such a cute picture though? I just love cupcakeries. Even famous ones! Now I just need to keep up with the show on TLC; I missed their new episode last Friday, bummer...

I went with Marie, Christine, Megan, Cassandra, Amber, Summer-Rain and her kids. It was really cool getting to know the LINKS girls a little better, and I sure look foward to more fun outing like this! I know it's a bummer I don't have any pictures of everyone, or anyone! I'm telling you - it's this silly camera - I need a new one! I'm actually looking at refurbished Nikon's on their website..maybe I can talk Marshall into us getting me one for my birthday... My next camera is going to be a super nice one..and hopefully pink :)

We also went to Qdoba for lunch and I had some awesome tortilla soup! That was a nice chance to be in a relaxed place just talking with the girls, and I also confirmed with Amber info about my appointment Thursday. Once again, I am SO blessed to have a friend like her! I think on the way home from Belvoir I'm going to treat her to lunch at some cute cafe we find. I've missed just having chill time like this with some good friends. I am so looking foward to more outings! Maybe I can talk everyone into going to the National Zoo.... :) (Though that's something I'm planning on doing in July with Holliday, another new friend I met at the first LINKS session I went to!)

It looks like I'll see the LINKS girls more this week: tomorrow morning there is new mentor training then right after that we're going over to Ashurst to set up the EFMP summer camp. Tomorrow is going to be awesome! And I'll be sure to take my camera again... if it cooperates!

Well, that's how my morning went! Once again, I'm going to study and clean the afternoon away until my stud comes home tonight :) I hope his knee wasn't hurting him too bad at the O-course today... but I know he'll get through it and do his best. Such a stud!

Until next time...!

School & Life Update!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Super awesome news! I just finished week 4 for both of my online courses, and I have a 91% in each - Apol 104 & Bibl 104! This is a huge feat for me since these are my first religion courses (there is only one more that Im taking in the next summer term...9 religion hours are required at Liberty for any degree). So far I've gotten A's on every quiz except one (there's a quiz at the end of each week), and turns out I just aced my quiz for Biblical Literature! Woohoo! This marks the halfway point with my summer B term - and a good one at that :) This whole distance learning thing seems to be more my style. I am so blessed to have found this school - and so relieved that even with a semester off I can still finish my degree on time because of the multipule terms during semesters.

I know I probably shouldn't be up this late, but I can't help it. I took an awesome nap earlier, and Marshall was sleeping most of the day...and still is sleeping! I can't believe he slept through Food Network Star... That is our new favorite show! I love the combination of mentors - Giada DeLaurentis, Alton Brown, and Bobby Flay. They are seriously my 3 favorite people on Food Network (except for Candace Nelson, the founder of Sprinkles...and a judge on Cupcake Wars!) I grew up on Mythbusters, Bill Nye, and Good Eats on the weekends with my dad and anytime I can see any of those guys on TV - Adam & Jamie from Mythbusters, Bill Nye the Science Guy, or Alton Brown from Good Eats - it's been a good day. We could both seriously live on the Food Network and Discovery Channel. Though we both really don't like the decision the judges made today on the show....Seriously, we both agree that Martie should have gone home, not Judson (both from Alton's team). It's so disappointing! At any point, it's not fun to see Alton Brown's team at the bottom, he is my favorite Food Network personality! I could watch his show, Good Eats, all day.

Something else that's super exciting... we are now owners of the original unaltered Star Wars trilogy on VHS! Okay, so Marshall is the one all giddy about this - he's been bugging me for so long to snag it on ebay - and we finally found one that's the ticket. It's still all wrapped up too, awesome! Because it's, you know, on VHS, we had to also get a DVD/VHS combo...since you can't get video players by themselves anymore, which is a bummer. I actually went all the way to the exchange on base to look for one's kind of nonexistent, which seems so bizzare to me. We both grew up on this stuff! All you can get now at the store is a DVD/ Blu-Ray combo, and we're never going to need that. So my friend eBay helped us out again and soon enough we'll have a video/dvd combo in the mail as well :) Now I just need to find a splitter to have that and the wii hooked up at the same time...I fell it would make life so much easier.

Don't worry.. it was more like $15 :)

Now to think about this's really going to be a crazy week. A fun and exciting one, but I'm still a little nervous :) Well, first of all, the only thing I know about Marshall's week is that Tuesday there's a final for the O-course, and we're both nervous about that. His knee is still hurting him from an exercise last week, and he can really feel it whenever he does..anything. He basically slept the entire weekend, and I iced it whenever I had the chance, but it doesn't look like that's enough. Hopefully it's just something he can kind of "walk off." We'll see.

Other than work and school this week, I'm personally going to be quite a busy body. Like I mentioned before, Tuesday I'm meeting up with the LINKS girls and we're all going to DC to visit Georgetown Cupcake....I am so excited!!! I need to be sure to look on their FB page early that morning to see what the free not-on-menu cupcake of the day is. I'm sure someone will have their smart phone out so we can all get a free cupcake. I love cupcakes. Aren't they beautiful?

Wednesday is also going to be quite exciting..I mentioned earlier that I'll be attending some new mentor training for LINKS (pretty pumped!) Next I will meet the EFMP team & we will head over to Ashurst Elementary on base to set up the camp that's going on next week, June 18-20th. I am seriously beyond excited for this!!! I can't wait to see what kind of events we will be doing with the kiddos. Here's the logo:

Thursday, though, is going to be the stressful day of the bunch. I've been waiting for this day for nearly a year, and it's finally here after many fights with Tricare, two different primary doctors, and a missed appointment. I'm sure not going to sleep through this one because I'll have Amber with me for company! (Thank you Amber!!!!) Bright and early we're going to head to Ft. Belvoir for my long-awaited Cardiology appointment (3 and a half months I waited, to be exact). We're going to leave at like 630, cause I sure don't want to be late to it this time. Basically, this cardio is the only one at the brand-spankin' new facilities at Belvoir, and it's a guy. SO wierd, since all my life I've only had female cardios. I guess we'll see how this goes...if I didn't take this referral I'd have to wait another month at least for another to go through, and it can get more difficult going to a non-military doctor, so...I have to take my pile of all of records and names/address/numbers of my past cardios so that he can have those records/my medical history. Oh and I need new prescriptions, so even after the appointment Im still going to have to wait at most an hour to get those refilled, because of the number system they have at the pharmacy. It's going to be quite a day.

I really wish that Marshall could get the day off to come with me...I know he doesn't like the "waiting game" at doctor's offices, but since we're married now he'd be allowed in the room. And this is stuff he needs to hear and understand. It's kind of stuck with us. This is the reason why I'm nervous...I want - need - to know what exactly is all this stuff that's been going on, affecting my breathing and heart rate. I want to know what this means, why my medicine isn't helping, and when something needs to be done. I know they try to postpone operation until absolutely necessary, no-other-way-around-the-problem, and I want to know how far away I am from that point. I kind of want that to happen sooner than later, so that Marshall can understand better what I go through...and what my parents have had to go through (And so that it can be covered under Tricare before he gets is the world's best health insurance, after all). I don't feel he quite understands the whole situation yet, because he hasn't exactly experienced it yet.

After I recovered from my last one in 8th grade, I felt (health-wise) literally the best I ever have. I could breathe, so deeply, so honestly. I was never able to do that before. I want that back, without the worry (Even now I can't ride roller coasters without feeling uncomfortable). I had so much energy, once I recovered - I was in marching band and soccer, and I was even allowed to run the mile (Something I could never do growing up...Gym class was always a chore and I should have been exempt, though I always had my choice on what activites to participate in). So after this happens, whenever it may be, we can actually go running together, a quality Marshall always wanted in a spouse, being the marathon-runner that he is. I feel that no matter what the cardio says, I'm still going to be a little stressed about it. It's been bothering me so much lately. Probably because Marshall won't be there. I guess that's what I get for marrying a man in the military (duh!). I'm going to make sure Amber gets a reward of some kind for being the one to come with me Thursday!! (I think I'll buy her cupcake in DC to thank her in advance, then maybe we can do chinese when the guys are gone the next week.) It's going to make it so much easier on me, being the first time I go without either my mom or dad. They always knew what to say and the history of it, so from that point, Marshall's got some big shoes to fill (but I know he will...once he get's the hang of it!)

It looks like this was more of a venting post :) I guess a blog is a more "sophisticated"/tech savvy version of a diary. Anyway, thanks for reading! Basically our life in a nutshell (mostly). I know it's long, get used to it.

On a different note...
Meet Dr. House & Arthur Weasley...the robbers from 101 Dalmatians.

I had NO idea.

White Chocolate Coconut Pancakes... Mmm

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I've been in a big pancake kind of mood lately, so I thought I'd try a classic with a little something different. The result: white chocolate & coconut shreds in a pancake! Here's how to make them:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Vanilla extract
(to taste... I never measure my vanilla...who says you can ever have too much of a good thing? )

1/2 cup white chocolate morsels, melted
(I melted them in a bowl over a pot of boiling water...but you can also just stir them in straight from the package, it's really your preference. Personally I think you can taste the white chocolate a million times better if it's melted first.)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
(You can toast the shreds if you want an extra crunch, but I didn't this time)

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter; mix until smooth. Fold in coconut and white chocolate (I didn't measure those either...I just added enough until it looked about right).

Then all you do is..well, make the pancakes! They come out really fluffy and rich in taste. It's really something else. I think this will be on my breakfast list from now on, rather than Jiffy (fake) blueberry pancake mix. Obviously I play my ingredients a little more by eye than by measuring spoons when baking...if you try to make cupcakes with me you'll understand. This makes about 12 pancakes, depending on the size you pour them. Enjoy!

It's the perfect combination of sweet, salty, fluffy, and crunchy in a pancake. Seriously, it's really something.

Let's hope Marshall gets home soon before they're all gone! He's out (finally) getting Dale a new tire right now! Oh, and milk(!!!!). And of course a haircut, just like every other weekend.
Fresh pancakes are AMAZING with a cold glass of milk, so he needs to get home soon! Does the body good, right mom?

Here's a picture of the end result! Sorry about the quality/lighting.. it's from the camera on my phone. I need a new actual camera! I didn't use the one I have because it doesn't believe in brightness, so every picture is ridiculously dark...bummer. Look at the pictures I took Memorial Weekend and you'll see. Oh, and this stovetop (and oven) always cook kind of unevenly.. it's kind of a mess, so that's why the pancakes look somewhat uneven. They were all cooked exactly the same but... the burners had another idea. I don't mean for them to look nasty in this picture, they're seriously honestly super wonderful.

Marshall just approved. (Except that they were cold by the time he got back from everything... Not my fault!)

Happy eating!

After this, it's time to take some quizzes and start on week 5....and clean.

What a Week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's been a really crazy week, thank goodness it's the weekend!! I have been working at the pool every day this week except Monday..sitting in the sun can be exhausting! Especially when I was there for 10 hours Wednesday. Oh, and don't forget the flat tire that almost made Marshall late to work the other day..he had to take Chip (my car) the rest of this week while I called USAA Roadside to get Dale (his truck) a new tire.. Though this weekend we're going to have to go to Sears to get him a larger tire - the mechanic said that he can't drive over 50 miles on it because of the size difference. At least it was raining so I didn't have to be at work for those few hours it got fixed! Thank goodness we have USAA too. Also, it's a good thing I work at the pool at our apartment - so convenient :)

Anyway, right now I am at about week 4 (out of 8) of my summer B term online at Liberty University. I am loving it! I am taking an Apologetics course, as well as a survey course covering Biblical Literature. It's really awesome how much the readings for both courses overlap, so it doesn't seem as much as it normally would be! I am learning a whole lot about Scripture and I'm so excited/blessed about finding this school! With military discounts and the Federal Pell grant, it's making school SO affordable for us (since we are paying out of pocket). 15 hours this summer is actually cheaper than rent for a month in Virginia - can you believe it?!?!? I can't wait for the summer D term because I'm also going to be getting in to my Education classes! I get to make a teacher portfolio and everything. Also, classes are completely online, and each semester is split up into like 5 different sub terms, so despite the moving I'll be able to find classes that fit into our personal schedule. I can't wait to register for the fall - I'll  start taking classes for my Special Ed. minor to add to my Elementary Ed. major :)

I also just started volunteering with LINKS on base at Quantico, and there's some really cool stuff coming up.. Next week we're taking a group into DC so we can visit Georgetown Cupcake (the home of TLC's DC Cupcakes!) I can't wait; I went out there by myself soon after we moved here, and I've been dying to go back. There's also some new mentor training coming up, as well as the EFMP Summer Camp :) This is what I'm really pumped about! Spelled out, it's the Exceptional Family Member Program...Basically, any children of the military are obligated to enroll in this program if they need extra medical attention, more-so than usual. This includes learning disabilities, diabetes, or basically anyone who needs to see a specialist regularly, outside of a normal family doctor. This is really near and dear to me because (until recently) I was enrolled in this program under my father - though I need to wait for my cardio next week to re-enroll under Marshall. I am just so excited to share my experiences with other children, and I might just find another heart baby out there that needs some encouragement to get through the day :) There aren't going to be too many children there, but I'll be sure to take my camera because it's basically going to be like a field day! I don't know everything that's going on yet because there's a meeting next week where we are also going to be setting up the camp. I'll share more info on that later :)

Right now I'm waiting for Marshall to come home and studying (though I took a break to start this blog). I'm really excited, because as much as Marshall says we don't need a blog, I've been wanting to make one! It'll be nice to be able to keep in easier touch with friends and family and be able to "talk" about our day to the computer screen (Like I wasn't already talking to Trigger...). With this whole moving business going on, a blog seems like a good idea to me :) It's going to be so busy - working, volunteering, and school (and blogging) the entire summer! I'm SO ready.

Here's a picture of the view by the pool yesterday afternoon..I just think it's super awesome how you can see the clouds in the water!!

Sorry for the super long first post everyone :)
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