Archive for October 2010

Last night the girls helped me to carve their first pumpkin that we had picked out a couple weeks ago at their first trip to a pumpkin patch.

I know I’m a lil slow on the introductions to these things but I just didn’t see much point in doing it before when they couldn’t really participate or appreciate the fun & I’ve never been big into decorating or doing a whole lot for anything other than Christmas. This year however is different, because the girls have finally reached an age where they can get involved and really participate so I opened up the pumpkin & scooped around it it to loosen the guts a few times & just let the two of them have at cleaning it out.

They loved the slimy texture & getting all goopy. It didn’t take long before I decided to have them lose their shirts to make clean up a bit easier (they were already in their PJ’s) and we just had an overall really good time together bonding as a family. Of course it would of been 100% better if Roy had been here to share in the fun too but I did take a lot of pictures so he could share in it with us at least a little bit.

I of course carved the pumpkin myself for safety reasons then we sifted through all the guts to collect the seeds & saved them for today so I could roast them in the oven for a delicious treat!

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A few months back, shortly after Roy left for his training just prior to his deployment, I was browsing through the archives of The World According to Eggface (click for her version of the original recipe, my slightly modified version is below) & stumbled across what looked to be a good Pot Roast recipe. I decided to save it & give it a try which is how I discovered that this is truly the best Pot Roast I’ve ever tasted… Seriously!

BEST CROCKPOT POT ROAST EVER

(The pic makes the meat look a lil pink but it was slow cooked for over 11 hours & definitely done!)

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 3-4 pound boneless Chuck Roast
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 package Lipton Dry Onion Soup mix
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 whole onion sliced

Optional: Add during the last hour  or two of cooking:

  • 1 cup frozen mixed veggies
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

What To Do:

  • Place a 3 or 4 pound boneless Chuck Roast in a frying pan and brown both sides about 5 minutes a side.
  • Place the brown meat in a crockpot and add a can of cream of CHICKEN (yes chicken) over the top of the roast and spread it around just the top.
  • Then empty a package of Lipton dry Onion Soup mix over the cream soup and don’t mix it.
  • Drizzle 1/4 cup of white wine down the side of the crockpot (don’t leave this out the alcohol cooks away but is key for the awesome gravy).
  • Place onion rings on top & close the lid. That’s all there is to it!! Don’t add any additional water either.
  • Cook on low for about 7 hours (the longer the more tender & fall apart your meat will be)
  • Before adding my frozen veggies & mushrooms I like to use 2 forks & shred apart the meat, then add the veggies & mushrooms and give it all a stir before covering again & leaving it for another hour or two.

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As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve decided to take up the incredible art of “Reborning”.

A number of weeks back I ordered my first kit and spent much time researching how to paint these dolls to make them look as realistic & natural as possible. Then, over the course of the past 2 weeks, I took over our kitchen table & spent about 3 days painting, 2 days micro rooting hair & eye lashes & another evening weighting & assembling then dressing the body.

Here is the end result & I’m personally pretty impressed with this being my very first attempt at this. I think I might have a real talent that hopefully can only get better!

Obviously I still made some mistakes, painted a bit too thick in a few areas, didn’t have as much luck as I’d hoped with the micro rooting but it was all a learning experience & I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it.

As for my childhood baby doll that I sent to a reborn artist who knows what she’s doing since I didn’t want to screw up my beloved doll… Well, she finally sent me some sneak peak pictures  & I’m thrilled with how he’s coming along paint wise but not so thrilled with the amount of hair she’s rooted on him….

(Before)
(After)

I don’t know of natural newborns born with the length of hair she’s rooted in (he is clearly a newborn being that his umbilical cord is still attached & all), but it’s alright because I can hopefully modify it myself later. His soft body was supposed to come in today so she should have him on his way back home to me soon!

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The girls & I went on an evening venture to Walmart the other night for some groceries & whatnot. While wandering the toy section I came across this Disney Princess CD player toy. It’s not a real CD player & only plays these 3 plastic mini CD’s that came with it (not sure if you can buy extras separately or not), but on the 3 CD’s that came with it are 5 Disney songs & 18 All -Time Favorites. There’s no words to the music & each song has been condensed into a shorter version but still it’s pretty cute & the girls absolutely love it.


(Sorry about Samuel screaming in the background. He gets a bit excited when music is playing too.)

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Thus far I haven’t had too great of a success rate when it comes to attempting to move our family off base. Perhaps it’s because we just aren’t meant to but deep down I really don’t think that’s the case.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you probably know that back in May we attempted to rent an off base house which we loved but the whole ordeal turned ugly & went from a Rental Rollercoaster to a Rental Nightmare pretty fast. We were more or less traumatized by the whole ordeal & decided to stay on base & just wait to see if Roy made Staff Sergeant which would allow us to get onto the waiting list to move over to the “nicer” base housing.

We’re on that list now & apparently could remain on it for another 6 months to a year. Maybe more… Every time I call the housing office to attempt to get some sort of status that would give us an indication of a time frame we’re looking at they refuse to offer us any real answers besides “Oh you guys are WAY down the list. It’s going to be a while.”

Thanks….

Apparently since they are already receiving our money we are not a priority. New comers get the priority & bump us further down the list as they come & with the military people are coming… and going… all the time.

I don’t want to continue waiting indefinitely for a house that better suits are needs. So, now that it’s been close to 6 months since our earlier rental nightmare, I’ve decided to start looking again & found a wonderful house about 25 minutes from base which wasn’t ideal location wise but the house itself was excellent!

It was older but had so much space. Essentially it was listed as a 3 bedroom but was really a 4. It had a HUGE 12×24 Master Bedroom with his & hers closets PLUS a walk in closet too. Then, the *4th* bedroom was just off it & would of been an incredible nursery. It was already painted blue & being used as one. The house had a formal living room & family room, a formal dinning room which was a room of it’s own that was separated by double french doors. The front entry way had a large enclosed foyer with double french doors leading from there into the rest of the house. The kitchen left a lot to be desired but I was completely captivated by everything else the house offered. Even the back yard was amazing & private, had a large screened in patio & also included a hot tub! I was thrilled & after taking the weekend to think it over viewed it a second time this past Monday then put a deposit down for a move in date of December 1st.

Wednesday afternoon the agent called me to say the owner of the house was now having second thoughts about closing sale on the house she was supposed to be buying and moving over to & if she didn’t move out of this house obviously it wouldn’t be available for rent any longer.

My heart sunk a bit & I went back to looking at the listings to see what else was out there that we might like & came across a listing I’d passed over numerous times before. For some reason this time it stuck out to me & I noticed the square footage on it was over 2000 PLUS it had a swimming pool & is located very close to base & it wouldn’t require us to change the girls school. So, I called the agent for that house and within minutes was off to look at it.

The inside is actually not all that exciting but is quite spacious in terms of the amount of different rooms. There is a formal living room & dinning room that aren’t all that big  & are painted an ugly yellow & orange, the bedrooms are about on par with what we have now. There is a large walk in closet in the Master Bedroom however and a large closet in one of the other bedrooms which spans an entire length of the wall. The kitchen is not very attractive, has old cabinets & appliances but is large & provides much storage & counter space which I definitely do not have now. There is an eat in area as well in the kitchen which would be perfect for our small table & chairs set allowing us to use the formal dinning room for something else. Then there is a relatively small family room off the kitchen leading to the sliding patio doors that lead directly to the pool. Off the family room is another set of sliding doors to a very large “bonus room” that once used to be a patio area but has been closed in to create another room in the house & off that is another set of sliding doors that leads to the Master bedroom. The entire layout is a bit strange but all the possibilities for the space & rooms is what makes it appealing as well as the fact we’d be allowed to paint without worrying about having to put it all back after.

The major bonus of this place is the pool & the large private fenced in yard that contains beautiful plants & trees throughout. There’s even a few fruit trees too! The downside is that the pool does not have any sort of security fencing or screening around it so we’d have to install that ourselves & in the meantime would have to be on high alert that the girls wouldn’t go anywhere near it unless with an adult… preferably me…. since I’m the only one in the family who knows how to swim at this time.

Anyways, with much consideration and discussion with Roy we think the benefits outweigh the negatives of this place and decided to submit an application. The Realtor on the first place ended up giving me back my deposit Thursday afternoon because the owner still didn’t know what she wanted to do & early Friday morning I drove down to the new real estate agency & submitted our rental application asking for a move in date of November 15 or later since I haven’t yet given notice on base here & need to.

I spoke with the Realtor for the second house later Friday afternoon & she said everything looked good but that the owner (who lives out of the country) wont be here until Monday & wants to go over everything & decide. Apparently there is also another couple who are interested as well but who came after us. She believes we don’t have anything to worry about though because we were first & have excellent credit but I fear this other couple might be ready to move in immediately & become the better candidate for what the owner might be looking for. The Realtor did state however, that she felt it was safe to tell Roy we have a new house. Honestly though, I don’t think I can believe it until we have a signed lease in hand & she said it wouldn’t be ready until mid next week.

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