Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Marykaysarah Auctions

I am seriously downsizing here folks. The girlies both had pretty significant growth spurts over the summer so I am ebaying their outgrown stuff - starting with shoes. Here is the link to my auctions and here is what is up for grabs.

Xhileration Size 4

Ariat Sz. 2

Justice Sz. 3

Converse Cheerleading Shoes Sz. 6 (fits like a 4)

Hanna Andersson Sz. 2-3

Gotta Flurt Sz. 3

Skechers Sz. 3.5

Merona Sz. 5.5

Adidas Sz. 3

Vans Sz. 2.5

Converse Sz. 1

Converse Sz. 3

Vans Sz. 5

Converse Sz. 2

Converse Sz. 2

And The Greatest Is Love....

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
--- John 15:13

All over social and regular media today, people are asking, "Where were you on 9/11?". Paige's homework last night was to ask Den and I that very same question. On September 11, 2001, Dennis and I, like so many others stationed at Laughlin AFB, were getting ready to go to the funeral of Capt. Drew Kajans, an instructor pilot who had tragically passed away. I was getting a then 15 month old Paige up and dressed when I got a call from a friend to turn on the news, that the World Trade Center was on fire. I called to Den and we turned on CNN just in time to see the second plane hit the towers. I remember feeling confused, as I'm sure many people were, and very, very worried for my family, who live very close to the Johnson Space Center, the ports of Houston and Galveston, and one of the largest concentrations of chemical plants and oil refineries in the United States. Funny, I never thought to worry about us. Shortly after the towers fell, we laid Capt. Kajans to rest. His story will forever be intertwined with September 11th for me. 

September 11, 2007 found Dennis in Afghanistan

September 11, 2009 found Dennis in Iraq

September 11, 2010 found Dennis working at Central Command

Now, another September 11th has rolled around and I am staring a a foot locker full of desert tan. Soon, Dennis will return again to Afghanistan. I can't help but wonder, what will he find when he gets there? How will it be different this time? Have the last 11 years of war and the toll it has taken on so many families been worth it? I have to believe that it has. 

I started this blog post speaking of love. I have run across a couple of Facebook postings today that really stand out to me.

The first, from a Poquoson friend, George Ford...

"For me the days after 9-11 was what is great about this country. We put aside politics. There were no Republicans, no Democrats but only Americans. This nation pulled together like we have done few times in our History. People were friendlier to strangers, spoke more to their neighbors. We were scared, but we were pissed. Thanks to the soldiers that brought the fight to them, and our Seal Team that put a bullet into the head of a coward that didn't have the balls to defend himself, even after convincing countless other to sacrifice their lives for such a horrific event. Let's Roll"

And the second, from John McCain

"Our shock over the enormity of the attack has long passed, as has the nation’s trauma, at least for those of us who did not lose loved ones on that terrible day. But we have not lost, and we never will, our outrage at the inconceivable cruelty, the depravity, it took to plan, organize and execute the atrocities. And let us act on our outrage, and teach our children to do the same, by not only remaining resolute in our efforts to defeat our enemies, but even more so in our efforts to remain the moral opposite of our enemies. Let us be, forever, a people whose respect for the dignity of all human life is our highest and defining value."

George's posting is very much in line with my own thinking. September 11th is one of our country's darkest hours, but it is also one of our triumphs. We truly pulled together as one people to rise from the ashes of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93. People were kinder. We looked out for one another as a product of our shared sacrifice. THAT is the legacy of 9/11 that I want to pass on to my children. That from great tragedy comes great love. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Out Of The Frying Pan....

I hate frying things. HATE it! It's messy and it makes the house smell. I also don't like cooking bacon in the microwave. It makes the microwave smell like bacon for days. I know, I know, whine much? Well folks, I have a solution. I have started cooking my bacon in the oven. This may not be the revelation to some of you, but I grew up in the south, where not only is bacon friend in bacon grease, but so is everything else, to include most green vegetables. Cooking the bacon in the oven could not be easier. Here's how it's done.

1. Lay out your bacon strips on a foil-covered baking sheet. The foil allows for a much easier clean-up.

2. Put the baking sheet in a cold oven, then turn the oven to 400*.

3. Set the timer for 18-20 minutes, depending on how you like your bacon, and walk away. When the timer goes off, you will come back to nice crispy bacon. Enjoy!

** I am still working on getting turkey bacon right. I tried cooking it longer at 400* and it still was kind of limp. Today I am trying cooking it at 425* instead of 400*. We'll see how it turns out. I'll post an update here when I figure it out.**

Monday, September 3, 2012

Menu Plan Monday and Weekly Savings

Breakfast (The Most Important Meal of the Day!) 
Fruit Smoothies and Belvita crackers (kiddos love these, they are SUPER filling, and I have a coupon)
I also keep at least one box each of healthy and junky cereals just in case.
Milk / Juice / Coffee / Tea

Lunch (What I Am Packing)
Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches
Celery and PB
Clif Bar and Dark Chocolate
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
Capri Sun (They were on sale at the Commissary last week for $1!!!!!!)

 I know that seems like a lot for a school lunch, and it is. The girlies are allowed a snack during the school day, so instead of packing some prepackaged convenience food, they can just choose something from their lunch box. I also include a cup of yogurt and an extra piece of fruit or some trail mix in Den's lunch for during-the-day snacking.

After School Snack
It's clean out the pantry week! Anything in the pantry is fair game for snacks

Dinner (It's What's For Dinner) 
Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, and Salad
Hickory Smoked Brisket, Ranch Style Beans (Den bought a case of them at Costco), and Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled Chicken, Pasta Salad, and Salad
Chicken Pot Pie (more cleaning out the pantry)
Rotisserie Chicken and Salad (this one will be for Thursday night because I have a function to attend)
Grilled Chicken, Cheddar Mac, and Salad
Leftovers (Or Pizza Hut if we don't have any leftovers)

 Any links in the menu are to the online recipe to that item. I grocery shop on Thursdays, so my menu ranges from Thursday to Wednesday, with Wednesday night always being a clean out the fridge smorgasbord.

And speaking of grocery shopping.......

I save a total of $153.53 in coupons and loyalty card specials at the grocery store this week for a total of 48% savings. It was an expensive week, because not only did I do my end-of-the-month stock-up, I have started picking up care package items here and there as well.