Monthly Archives: November 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

So much to catch you all up on!  I meant to do it yesterday for Miscellany Monday, but never got around to it now that I’m back at school.  It’s Tuesday and here we are, with 13 more school days before winter break.  I can do this, I can do this!
Thanksgiving break wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped it’d be.  Are you suprised?  You shouldn’t be – that’s the way things go.  I did do a number of things though:

  • oil change
  • clean living room [in preparation for Christmas decorations]
  • run Fort Carson’s Turkey Trot 10K [I even saw Kellee Lyn of I did manage to prepare my first ever Thanksgiving dinner and it was a success!  We have scads of leftovers, like everyone else, largely because I figured I’d make two boxes of Stovetop stuffing since my husband said he loved it so much.  It was just DH, DD and I.  Our riced potatoes turned out awesome, the turkey brine was a huge win.  We just did a turkey breast, so the leftovers went into dinner last night.  I got to use a ton of my Franciscan Autumn to set the table, and my “good” vintage silverware set, so I was pleased with how the table looked.  I don’t entertain too often anymore, so I love when I do have the opportunity to pull out all of the stops.  I even picked up a couple pieces for my silverware set, thanks to Google search.  Who doesn’t need a new gravy ladle and serving spoon?  🙂 

    The weather was beautiful all week, which was a pleasant surprise here in Colorado.  Too bad I spent most of the first part of the week feeling sore from the 10K, which is just a little pathetic by my standards.  It hurt to go up and down the stairs.  I did get out there and run on Thanksgiving while the turkey was roasting though!  Nothing like a 5K around the neighborhood to “earn” your dinner!

    DH and I spent a lot of quality time together this last week – lots of movies, lots of snuggle time, a couple outings, etc.  We don’t get a lot of that and during the week I’m pretty consumed, so it was a great week for bonding time.  We need that time together, and we’re both in a much better place right now because of it.

    I’m not a huge Black Friday person, largely because we haven’t had the funds in recent years and we’re not traveling/spending the holidays with anyone.  DH and I don’t really exchange gifts, and he isn’t big into holidays [so he claims, yet he’ll put up my Christmas tree to make me happy].  I still love browsing those ads though, and I’m always up for temptation by a favorite company!  When I heard that QVC was doing a TSV on the new DH and I went to an antique mall I’ve never been to before, where my FIL has a display case.  We popped in to pick up FIL’s checks and of course I had to browse.  They were doing a discount for customer appreciation and many booths were having sales on top of that.  I was checking out some of the military collectibles in one booth when I spotted it – the decorative Lackland pillow sham, which I recognized only by the letters “AND!”  I’d been wanting one of these and it was priced at $10 before the 30% off.  Score!  I have shams from Fort Leonard Wood (where DH trained), so it makes me happy that we can chronicle both of our experiences in pillow form.  I also fell in love with a new/old dinnerware pattern [notice a trend?] – Stetson Pine Cone.  My dear Aunt Trisha, whom you may remember as the beloved great Aunt I lived with out here in Colorado, has rustic, pine cone decor in her cabin (thanks to a piece of hard-to-find dinnerware from the 30’s).  I know if she were still alive I would’ve bought these for her.  Pansies remind me of my mom, pine cones remind me of my Aunt Trisha, two of the most special women in my life.  What’s cool about this pattern is that it was sold at the grocery store in the 50’s and 60’s.  I don’t believe there’s a lot of pieces in the collection, but I could see myself incorporating it as my Christmas dinnerware pattern.  My mom had Spode Christmas Tree – anyone else grow up with a special holiday dinnerware pattern?      

    This week is a busy one here at work.  I’m doing the usual morning and after school tutoring sessions (for a total of six sessions), plus detention monitoring on Wednesday after school.  It makes for a busy week when I don’t get home until late, make dinner, and then work on my CDCs.  UTA is this weekend and I need to have my CDCs done.  I’m in the middle of the longest (and last) volume, and I’ve been highlighting and taking notes in the margin, so it’s a tedious process.  We all know how difficult it is to be motivated when you have a husband who wants attention, dinner to be made, and a DVR that needs catching up on.  It’ll get done though!  It’s going to be another productive night, and I should be done tomorrow!  Thankfully the last two units are short, so after tonight it’s downhill from here.
    Thursday is the big day – er, night!  My Lady Antebellum concert, courtesy of the Air Force Reserve and the Get1Now program!  Get1Now is the program that replaced getting a cash incentive for referring friends to the local recruiter.  I’ve enjoyed it so far – you can get all sorts of prizes (mainly electronics) and there are concert opportunities in addition.  I got a new iPod Nano a few months ago and now I’ve got Lady A tickets for free!  The seats are pretty good too and I knew from following AFR FB page that they typically do a meet and greet prior to the show!  Be still my heart!  I’m going to be thisclose to Charles Kelley!  DH is supposed to go with me, but there’s a chance he may have to sit this one out.  Haley is ready, eager, and willing to take his place.
    I was fortunate recently to win a giveaway from Olivia @ Simply Sunshine and Daisies for a copy of My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software.  I’m super excited because I have a fairly detailed, albeit incomplete, scrapbook documenting DH’s time in the Army.  I’ve wanted to do something for my own military career, but I’m reluctant to invest in scrapbooking materials that are going to gather dust with the rest of my supplies.  Digital scrapbooking would be ideal for me since I’m on the computer most of the time anyway.  There’s not a whole lot of AF-specific stuff out there, but there are some resources here and there.  I’m hoping to get my download code soon so I can start scrapping, although I probably don’t need the distraction this week.
    All in all, a pretty great break – bring on round two!  Hope everyone else enjoyed the holiday!

What’s YOUR song? Thursday #39

I fee like I haven’t listened to a whole lot of music this week, because I’ve been focusing so much on my CDCs.  I haven’t gone for my “every other day” runs because of the time change, so I’m not getting a lot of music time in.  I wonder if that’s been throwing off my productivity lately, especially in the morning.  That being said, I bring you ZBB and a song for belting out in the car!  It hasn’t snowed again recently, but we all know it’s coming.

It’s OK Thursday #16

Hey, hey, it’s ok!

…to indulge in some M&M’s now, knowing that you plan to make up for your lack of exercise next week during break.

…to opt to go to bed early, rather than staying up to accomplish more.

…to take advantage of a free meal and drag the whole family out.  School/community Thanksgiving dinner in the cafeteria tonight?  Heck yes we’ll be in attendance!

…to be excited that a student has promised to bake a peanut butter pie for class tomorrow.

…to be saddened by the loss of a favorite student to a PCS.  Damn you Fort Hood!

…to be more excited about Thanksgiving break than the kids.

…to finally buy those cold weather, long length running tights because there was a 25% off sale.

…to spending working hours thinking about a Christmas card photo.  Not sure what DH and I are going to do, although we’ve talked about both being in uniform (ABUs and ACUs).  PDA-laden photos are out of the question, per regulation.  I think we’ll be left with “loving looks” and regular smiles.  🙂  I’m thinking outdoors, although I’m not sure if we want the background to be a field setting or if we should take a picture in front of the planes on base.  We’ll see!

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!

google

 

Join Michelle for Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!  Here’s a few of my standouts from the week!
Source:
Source:
Source: google.com via Erin on Pinterest



I feel like I haven’t pinned a whole lot this week. Oh that’s right, I’ve been working on CDCs at home at night, and trying to be good. I hope you enjoyed my funnies for the week! I have a slight cold, so I’m eager to get out of here ASAP after school today!

Organized Chaos

[Source]

Organized chaos is a good all-around description of how my life goes.  “Miscellany Mondays” work out great for me, because my thoughts tend to be so scattered, but alas, I missed yesterday.  You get the Tuesday catch-up!

I recently won some Shutterfly holiday cards, courtesy of Meg @ Adapting to Change!  Meg is a fellow teacher and an AF wife.  I participated in Shutterfly’s blogger promo last year, but hadn’t heard anything this year and got on board that train late.  Surprisingly, when I mentioned the win to DH, he actually suggested taking a picture of the two of us in uniform, which I’m always game for.  I’m trying to think of who would actually take our picture (we don’t have the money to throw down for a “shoot” of any variety), and where we’d do it.  I almost wish it was snowing, since the sage and foliage green [yes, those are technical colors] of our uniforms would look great against the snow.  We’ll see what happens!  Maybe New Year’s cards they shall be!

I’ve been putting in a lot of hours at work, tutoring before and after school, and supervising detention.  The extra cash will be nice, but the hours are long – I don’t get out of here until 5ish.  With the time change, it means I’m leaving in the dark.  My poor running schedule is out of whack, but I was able to get in three good days of physical fitness over Veteran’s Day weekend.  I did the Incline again, ran an informal 5k in the wind, and hit the gym on Sunday.  I’m still feeling all of that, needless to say.  I’m hoping to run more regularly next week when I’m on Thanksgiving break, since I’ll have a lot more free time during the day when it’s light and warm(er) outside.  My next PT test is in February, and I really need to start working on my strength training at home, lest I want to fail the pushups portion.  Remember when I said I have the body of a T-Rex?  I wasn’t lying.

Thanksgiving break is a sweet, sweet carrot dangling in front of me.  It’s a relatively new concept for me.  We didn’t have it in California, nor in North Carolina at the schools I attended/worked at.  Last year FIL and I spent the entire time down in Phoenix with family, which was an awesome trip, albeit pricey (we did a lot of shopping).  This year it’s just DH, DD, and I at home.  DH wants to start creating our own holiday traditions and celebrations, so he requested a small Thanksgiving dinner at home.  It’s actually going to be the first time I’ve made an entire Thanksgiving spread myself, including using my fancy All-Clad roasting pan that I’ve had now for, oh, eight years and never used!  We’re not doing a whole turkey, but just a large breast.  We’re keeping it simple – turkey, cranberries (canned), crescent rolls, corn, riced (way better than mashed!) potatoes, stuffing (Stovetop at DH’s request), gravy, and a couple pies.  Nothing from scratch, aside from my brining solution.  We’re trying to keep it simple/cheap.

I have a 10k coming up this weekend!  I hope I do well, especially considering the fact that I haven’t been faithful to my “every other day” running schedule.  DH has drill this weekend, complete with family day on Sunday.  That should be interesting.  He was actually hoping to be free and done with this company by now, but getting out of the Reserves (to transfer into the AF Reserves) has proved to be slower than expected, at no fault of our own.  You all know how the military bureaucracy works.

Speaking of DH, this is where we run into our predicament.  He needs to go back active.  We’ve hit that point.  Even he’s able to verbalize what I’ve known for a while – he never should’ve left active duty.  Whenever I read about other bloggers getting excited about getting out of AD, I cringe, because I’ve been living the other life for over a year now and it sucks.  Point blank, it sucks.  “Don’t do it!” is always going to be my recommendation.  Our quality of life was better on active duty.  Maybe your situation isn’t the same, but I would strongly caution you before thinking life is going to be so skippy dippy easy after the military.  Now that he’s been out, they make you bend over backward trying to get back in.  He went to the recruiter today and was told he could only pick from a short list of MOS possibilities, none of which were at the top of his list.  It was discouraging to say the least, and now we’re having to think creatively about how we can accomplish our goals.

“But wait, Erin, what about Colorado?  Wouldn’t you have to move?”  Yes, and I’ve already made peace with that, if it means my husband is doing something he wants to do and bringing in a second income.  I love my job here, I’d like to continue on with this unit, but we need to think about our overall quality of life and financial stability.  The military is what he does – he’s good at it.  He needs to get back to doing it.  Ideally, we were hoping he’d be reclassing to 15T (crew chief on a UH-60) and back at Bragg, where I could switch to a reserve unit at Pope or Seymour Johnson, and where I still have a valid teaching license.  I had it all worked out in my head.  Too bad it’s not working out that way.  Trinnie wouldn’t be overjoyed to see me go, but she understands.  A second income would give us the opportunity to take those girls’ trips we’ve always talked about.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we try to accomplish this difficult, trying task.  We’re having to get all sorts of creative in terms of how we can get him active again.  We need this to happen, and as soon as humanly possible.  I know I’m asking a lot, but we’ve been going for too long on too little.

That’s all I’ve got right now.  My mind is fried from CDCs, which is what I’ve been focusing on at home.  It’s been a lot of technical reading that gets old really quickly, but I’m almost done with the second volume (out of three)!  I want to have volume three done early into my Thanksgiving break so I can make notecards and look ready to go come December UTA, so there’s no doubt in my supervisor’s mind that I’m ready to test during January UTA.  Go me! 

Seriously, is it Friday yet?

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #64


Wifey’s created a special Friday Fill-In for Veteran’s Day.  Here goes nothing!

1.  Freedom is something many take for granted.  It must be fought for, it must be defended, and it’s all of our responsibility.

2.  Veterans are, by strict definition, experienced in combat.  At least, that was always my understanding.  I know that’s how the VFW operates at least.  That being said, I hesitate to call myself a “veteran” at this point, although I’ve had many friends recognize me today and I appreciate it.  I hope to one day earn the title of veteran, and I will wear it proudly.

3.  This country is one worth defending.  Like Wifey said, our nation is not perfect, our policies and practices aren’t perfect, but I wouldn’t call anywhere else my home country.

4.  Veteran’s Day means a day to publicly recognize those who have served and defended our country in battle.  It’s more than a three day weekend, as we all know.

5.  A hero is someone who puts the needs of others before themselves, regardless of the risks associated with doing so.  

What’s YOUR song? Thursday #38

First off, Happy 236th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!  For all of my Marine milspouses out there, thank you for your service as a support system for some of The Few and The Brave!  I am proud to be the wife of a [prior service] Marine.  Special shout-out to John, a good friend, awesome blogger, and exceptional Marine. 

In honor of Veteran’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d do my favorite patriotic songs for this week’s meme.  Do yourself a favor and don’t listen to these songs while you’re putting on your makeup – they always make me teary-eyed, and that’s not a good combination with eyeshadow.  😉

This last one is a Christian song, so expect heavy religious undertones. If you know me, I’m not super religious, but it’s one they used to play at church during BMT, so you couldn’t help but sing along. I’m always up for a 40’s/WWII theme anyway.

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!

google

It’s my first time participating in Michelle’s linky, although I’m not new to the time-suck that is Pinterest!  Here’s some of my faves for the week:

Source:
Source:
Source:
Source:
Source: bustedtees.com via Erin on Pinterest

Trinnie and I need this shirt, bottom line, period, end of story.

The challenge has been made!

My current Personnel functional badge.

I mentioned in my last post about that nifty TDY opportunity in my unit.  I know little about it, but it’s wishful thinking.  I got talking with a friend from BMT and tech who is also a Personnelist (and who’s also does the same work on the civilian side), and she knew about the same opportunity but says you have to be a five skill level in order to participate.

Oh really?  Hmm…

I joked about December and her initial reaction was very “jeez, yeah right!”  If that’s not a challenge for me, I don’t know what is!  I’ll even give it until January UTA, which gives me plenty of time.  This is hardly the most difficult academic/studying task I’ve ever had, and if I aim for January I’ll have all of my week-long Thanksgiving break and my winter break to study.  I can do it, I know I can.  I should be able to finish the first volume (out of three) tonight.

I’m motivated, I really am.  This would be one more thing to check off my list on the road to greatness.  The five skill level is required for me to promote to SSgt, which is still a couple years out.  The next goal after that would be my seven level CDCs, which is where it (CDCs) stops (I believe).  Better to focus on this stuff now before I look into putting in my MTI packet, and definitely before I start pursuing my next civilian degreen program.

[Are you confused?  CDCs, Career Development Courses, are bookwork that needs to be studied and then tested upon to advance in your field.  Certain levels correspond with higher ranks as well, so you have to progress in order to rank up.]

It’s OK Thursday #14

Hey, guess what?  It’s OK!  It’s okay:

  • To print out hard copies of your CDCs at work, recognizing that the online format for learning doesn’t work for you.  I’ll actually be able to take notes and highlight now!  Once I get on the computer, I’m too distracted by FB, Twitter, and Pinterest.
  • To only partially pay attention to annual online trainings about Force Protection, Information Assurance, Information Protection, and Human Relations for the Air Force.  Took out my headphones and plugged right along.  I had to do one of those trainings three times because it didn’t register on my Mac (versus DH’s PC).
  • To go out late the night before UTA.  It’s the Bellamy Brothers, do I need to explain why?  Nevermind what time I have to be in the next day, ok Trinnie?  *cough* 0630 *cough*  Plus, half of the people won’t be there this UTA because of some budget issues.
  • To research the next steps in my career.  I’ve been looking at MTI school, like I mentioned before, and therefore have been considering what would happen if I stayed on in Texas afterward and started teaching down there.  I’ve been researching licensure down there (it’d be the fourth state I’m credentialed in), and while it’s going to be expensive, it won’t be too difficult.  If I were to put in a four-year tour as an MTI, I would be able to use my G.I. Bill at no cost out of pocket, so I was looking at Ph.D. programs too.  I squealed when I saw the offerings at UTSA, including a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, which sounds much more appealing to me than Educational Leadership.
  • To look forward to 7th period, because we (the math department) are going to Macaroni Grill for a Pearson Prentice Hall event.  They provide the appetizers and give you two to-go meals (nice dinner for DH and I!), not to mention instructional freebies!  I’ll drink the Kool-Aid for all of that free swag!

Those were the biggies this week!  Overall, I’m optimistic about how things are going in my personal and in my career lives.  I have a lot of good things to look forward to – many carrots dangling in front of me!  Hope everyone else is having a great week!