Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Before you get started, go ahead and preheat the oven to 250. I found it easiest to use cookie sheets covered with aluminum foil to avoid a big mess of pans to clean up (you'll have enough of a mess with the flour on the other side, I promise!)
Proportions: 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and add cold water until a play dough-type consistency.
Mix everything together in a bowl. If you don't want to use your hands (baby! ;-P), use a wooden spoon or something similar. The dough shouldn't be sticky (unless your hands...or paws...are warm), so keep adding flour and water until you've got it just right. Next, craft away! For my keepsake ornaments I took small balls of dough, rolled them into a sphere, flattened them out slightly, and then floured paws (such a mess...surprisingly Diezel was the only one who cooperated!) Be sure to remember to use a toothpick or a straw to create a hole some place in your ornament so that you are able to hang it on the tree later. Here's how ours turned out:
Daww, under the Christmas tree! :)
Grizzly's paw print :)
He's less than thrilled about his Christmas collar...scrooge kitty! And why yes, yes I did set up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving while Hubby was sleeping... :) I just couldn't wait any longer! I had to summon every ounce of will power to not decorate the entire house. This compromising stuff is overrated, I tell ya what!
And after approximately 2 hours of baking time:
Can you tell which one Hubby made? Bahahahahaaaa! ;-P He's just too cute sometimes!
While we did paw prints for the furkids, we decided to do our thumb prints...it didn't turn out as cute as I had hoped, but obviously our complete hands by one another was a bit out of the question. I think I may try ginger bread men next weekend!
Share pictures if you decide to try this out--I'd love to see your ornaments! :)
Monday, November 25, 2013
I can remember all of the stress I went through with trying to plan out our first move...mostly because things kept on changing, and the movers contracted by the military were the same story--rescheduling, showing up late, and they certainly did not make things any easier on us (namely yours truly!) Looking back now at all of the options available during PCSing, I wish we would have considered doing a DITY move a little more seriously. Granted, we were moving literally across the country so trying something new wasn't exactly our first inclination, but lately I've been doing some investigating (especially with a close friend's husband enlisting and their getting ready to first-time PCS), and I've stumbled upon some fabulous resources that I thought I would share with you all in regard to the benefits of an assisted DITY move.
UShip has been my one-stop shop for everything DITY when trying to help our friends choose the most efficient moving method for military families. In addition to having tons of useful information on their site about their services (including free quotes!), they also have resources available specifically for military families--moving checklists, discounts, and even an E-Book on easing stress during military moves.
A DITY move allows you more time, flexibility, and more control when it comes to your move (something that military families don't get too much of unfortunately). With assistance from a military friendly moving company like UShip , you don't even have to do any work--use your extra time to take a well-earned vacation on the drive to your new home! Additionally, major moving companies like UShip can actually put money into your pocket from the move with their military discounts; this means an even more enjoyable vacation or maybe even something special for your new home once you arrive! It's certainly worth checking out if you are approaching a future PCS; done correctly, you can actually make money off of your move and be in control without all of the hard work rather than simply choosing the "easy" traditional route of military movers like Hubby and I did, forking over all of our allowance from the get go!
Have you done a DITY move with assistance? How did it work out for you? How does it compare with military movers or moving on your own?
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
School. Is. Almost. Over! Well, this semester and hellish A&P+L anyhow (and Psych, but that class is kind of a joke--no offense intended.) I still have A's in A&P lecture and Pysch...however, my lab grade has sunk to a B. Whereas the lecture portion of Anatomy and Psych are both worth 3 credit hours (heavier weight GPA-wise), lab is only worth 1, so I am hoping that this B won't mess with my GPA too severely! I just can't seem to memorize all of these details...it's so much work! I study every single morning, 8-11 and sometimes 12ish with Mondays being my only Psych day and the rest devoted completely to A&P, yet I still feel like I'm failing! Let me play out a snippet of every Sunday for you (well, at least when I score less than what I want to on a quiz/test). We have weekly quizzes in Anatomy lecture, always due on Sunday. I sit down to take them, finish, receive my score immediately, and typically stroll (or slump) out to the living room, where Hubbers is awaiting (usually watching Modern Family as this is his latest obsession...random, right!?) "Whelp, how'd you do?" "95...*bummed face or grumpy face." "Good grief *facepalm*. You know when IIIIIIIIII was in school...(insert lecture about how even a D is still considered passing and cue my dozing off while studying under the table and pretending to still be listening." Or I will get a 100, in which case I come barreling out of the office and pounce, be it on the bed (if Husband is sleeping...too exciting not to share, am I right!?!?!) or on the couch. Finals for each of my classes are the first week in December. A&P+L are proctored, Psych is open-book (of course...how does that make you feel??) :)
Since I will need to take a few general classes to complete my associates degree (assuming I am accepted into the RN program and make it out alive), I've figured out that between next semester and the summer semester I can get all of these knocked out...hip hip hooray for College Algebra! I was keeping my fingers crossed that I would test into Mathematics for Liberal Arts, but no such luck unfortunately. Applications for next fall's RN program open up on April 1st, and you can bet your bottom I will be turning in my application! All that's in my way as of right now are finals and taking the TEAS (which I have been studying for since I first began school...even before, so hopefully I can land a decent score!)
Now, onto other business! Hubby can successfully check off "first TDY" on his bucket list now. It ended up being only for a few days, which was nice for me (something creeps me out about knowing he is altogether gone, not just at work) and sort of like a vacation for both of us :) Although I cannot say the location, I was certainly jealous. It was a nice little break for him--things have been pretty hectic for him as well after getting a second job. We have both been working like crazy, and we only need ONE more part for him to begin rebuilding his car (woot woot, sweet freedom!)
I accepted a different job due to some rather unfortunate circumstances with the small company I was with before. It was a very sad deal in which I wound up having to cut my losses and just try to recover as much as I could as quickly as I could. We faced quite a rough time financially because of it, but I am happy to say that I landed an absolutely incredible job not even a week after leaving the other company. I'm making the most I ever have as an MT, and I love my accounts--they are from rehabilitation hospitals, so they are almost all extremely encouraging (I get to hear of the patient's progress, and it melts my heart!), and the language is very repetitive, which makes for nice production boosts!
With the upcoming spring semester, unfortunately I will be using the last of my MyCAA funds--how awesome though, I've completed all of my prerequisite courses on top of already receiving my MT training at only the cost of books thanks to MyCAA! I've been looking into military spouse scholarships a lot and have uncovered some real gems, so I hope to share some of my newly acquired info on these with you soon!
Hope you all are doing well--can't believe we are already over halfway through November! Bring on Christmas! :)
Also as a side note, head over to Bravo Zulu Sisterhood and check out my Military Spouse Blogger Interview!
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Military wives: It's a love-hate relationship...at least for me it has been. Well, actually--that's a lie. It's mostly been the latter in that I have no interest in petty gossip and also don't have any children (typically making me the very awkward duck in any and all conversations I attempt to hold with fellow spouses). I have to admit, though, that I do believe my view has changed (or is changing) on this. While, yes, the majority of the conversations are either related to babies, the military, or both, I'm beginning to realize just how important these types of relationships are--even just in an informal setting.
Allow me to better explain myself. As military spouses, I'm sure we've all experienced (or may even battle with) the dejection phase of milsohood when the realization that no one really understands how we feel starts to settle in. It's LONELY! And it SUCKS!! Pretty sure I don't need to tell you that because we've all been there and all know just how miserable it is. What seemed to contribute most to my downward spiral was the fact that I felt like my own husband couldn't even console me because he just didn't know how it felt. When you're in that place, the absolute last situation you want to mosey into is one surrounded by vulturous wives with fake smiles and their imaginative ranks and better-than-you's, but are all spouses really like that? And is it really worth the risk of finding out?
Over the past month or so Hubby and I have hosted and gone to a couple of get-togethers...ones where spouses were involved. I would be lying if I said that I didn't down a beer or 2 in preparation for the gossip and suffocation by the perfect-life facades I was in for prior to the festivities. So I'm sure you can imagine my shock when these ladies turned out to be absolutely sweeter than pie and extremely down to earth. I found that even the wives with children were extremely relatable--something I definitely was not expecting (you are still able to participate in non-baby talk even after you have a child? Who knew, right?? ;-P) We talked about everything from military life to PCSing to where we are from and where our families are at, and it was so wonderful. Although there were no deep conversations or big emotional unveilings or come-to-Jesus moments, it felt so liberating to talk with women in the same circumstances as me--away from their families, struggling with military pay, struggling with the same obstacles of military relationships as Hubby and I have, and even trying to work their way through school while balancing home life, just like me. And even with the wives who I felt I didn't have a whole lot of common with, I was able to carry on great conversations with them, and I felt like we understood each other so well. These ladies understand what it's like to have a husband on mid shift. They get how crappy it feels to be miles away from your hometown and family. They completely understand the fear of other spouses! The best part: No talk about fishing, cars, food, or airplanes (no offense, Hubster!)
I guess my point is if you are like me and try to avoid spouse get-togethers like the plague, consider giving them a chance--go to just one shindig and judge for yourself. You will always run into personality conflicts regardless of where you go, but I would strongly encourage you not to completely write off spouse gatherings simply because of what you've heard or what you've assumed they would be like. I can only imagine how much easier my transition from being home in South Dakota to moving down here and taking on the military lifestyle would have been if I had even one fellow spouse as an outlet. I can't speak for all spouse meetings, but I can tell you that I was pleasantly surprised by ours and will be making it a point to hang out with these ladies a lot more often in the future (hip-hip hooray for being social!)
What were your experiences like at spouse gatherings--positive? Negative? Do you feel that fellow spouses are easier to relate with than your civilian friends even if you don't have much else outside of the military life in common?
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Lots and lots of e-mails, Fbook messages, comments, etc. pouring in. Due to this, I'm implementing a new rule! While yes, I love to help you all and love to provide you with what information I can, I wasn't just blessed with this information the day Hubster shipped off to Lackland, nor did it just occur to me one day as I was sitting under an apple tree pondering life. I Google'd it--almost ALL of it! Prior to leaving a comment or writing a message about something, do a search of my blog for a key word, term, or phrase. If you can't find it, your next option is Google! While I'd love to answer each and every one of your questions, it does get really time consuming for me to respond to each e-mail asking the same question. Please try to save e-mails for more personal questions, post suggestions, comments, etc.
Thanks so much for your understanding and cooperation!
PS: I have midterms this week...AHHH! Wish me luck!