Saturday, January 30, 2010

Got snow?

We do!

Harvey is amazed by all the fluffy whiteness (not unlike himself), but this is as close as he gets to it:

I've started feeding birds on my back porch, which is great because I get to see them up close. What I didn't count on was that it would make it twice as hard to keep Harvey off the counter:

The snow scuttled plans for the swim team's final meet before Regionals. Instead, they met at the pool for an extra practice and some frosty fun:

The snow also postponed Annabelle's play rehearsal until tomorrow, which meant that suddenly today became the only day that we could go dress-shopping for the JROTC military ball. She wants long, and I am telling you that EVERYTHING-BUT-EVERYTHING out there is short. We still managed to come home with 2 contenders, and now you get to vote! Will it be Dress 1:

or Dress 2:

(Keep in mind that either dress will need some alterations.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Excellent Eagles

Annabelle was one of 32 students nominated for recognition this month as Eagles of Excellence. The paper this week had a photo of some of these awesome students (Annabelle is all the way to the right in the front row):

Final winners were drawn at random from the slate of possibilities, but as they say at the Oscars, it's an honor just to be nominated!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The big picture

Mike is doing an internship at the video production studio here on post. He gets school credit for it and is having a wonderful time with it. Today he got to the studio and discovered that his co-workers had made a giant poster of his epic newspaper pic from last week:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Books, books, books

I just realized that I had forgotten to post my collage of books I read last year. 2009 was really a reading slump for me: 24 books in all, compared with 45 in 2008:

I'm trying to get back in the habit, however, and here's the tally so far for January:

Belated resolution: more reading, less Bejeweled Blitz!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Picture, perfect

I just got back this afternoon from a few days in south Florida. I flew down to visit my cousin Julie, and we had a fabulous time! Shortly before I left for the airport on Thursday, I got a call from a friend whose daughter is on the swim team with Mike. She asked if I had seen this week's Turret (post newspaper) yet. I said no, but that I had it in my bag to read on the plane. She wouldn't tell me what it was but just laughed and said to make sure I checked out the front-page of the sports section. This got my curiosity going, so when I got through security and was enjoying my hot chocolate at the airport Starbucks, I pulled out the paper and saw this photo, which was taken last week at senior night:

Isn't it perfect? I laughed my head off and showed the photo to a couple total strangers sitting near me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I might not be blogging much for the next couple of days, so here are some things to entertain you while I am away. First, of course, there is always Lily the bear. She might have cubs any day now!

If bears aren't your thing and it happens to be daylight in California, check out the hummingbird cam. A mother hummingbird is taking care of 2 brand new babies:

Broadcasting Live with Ustream.TV

And finally, we have puppy cam, a new litter of Shiba Inu puppies:

Live TV by Ustream

These 3 webcams have eaten up an embarrassingly large chunk of my time in the past week.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Senior, citizen

Tonight was the last regular home meet of swim season, and it was the night when all the teams honored their seniors. We had a little bit of drama during the meet when the 200-yard freestyle relay came around. Another team got mixed up and wound up in the lane that Fort Knox should have been in, and Knox got cut out of the race entirely. This was a big deal because this relay team has just gotten consistently better and better all season long, and they have high hopes for Regionals. Losing an opportunity to swim it was just unthinkable. At the end of the meet, the officials allowed Knox to swim just for a time, and they blew it out of the water: 1:42.43, a new school record!

Mike's friend Mark was at the meet taking pictures with his amazing new camera, so I hope to have some photos to share. I took this one of Mike after the meet with the shadow box that was his senior gift from the team:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Closet Edition



Now if I could just generalize the concept to my whole house.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All growed up

I spent today cleaning our upstairs hallway, which had become a dumping ground of sorts in recent weeks. Once I got all the Goodwill stuff cleared out, I moved Harvey's climbing tower in front of the window. He immediately hopped up on it and seemed pleased with the new location:

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I wasn't able to attend the swim meet in Louisville today, as Annabelle had theater obligations down in E'town. It went great though--the boys' team finished first and the girls' time fifth (last year 3rd and 5th respectively), and Mike got 3 first-place finishes and one second-place finish. They also won the cork-screw relay, which is a fun race where the swimmers alternate freestyle and backstroke with each stroke. Mike is babysitting the trophies for the weekend:

Hard to believe that swim season is almost over!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pay attention, fellow military spouses!

You know how some things sound way too good to be true? I was suspicious when I first heard about the MyCAA program, which supposedly offers eligible military spouses up to $6,000 in financial aid to train for portable careers. Then in October I learned that a friend of mine was using the money to pay for her graduate school tuition, so I thought I would give it a shot. The application process is easy but not what I would call intuitive. Still, it didn't take long before my master's degree in library science was approved as qualifying under the program. Even once I was approved though, I couldn't quite figure out how to get the money from the Department of Defense to FSU. My friend suggested that I call the financial aid office and ask about "third-party payers." Sure enough, that was the magic language, and within minutes I was connected to a woman who gave me her email address and asked me to fill out a short form and send that along with my approval documentation to her.

I just checked my account, and sometime within the past 24 hours, my balance for 6 graduate credits dropped from $2,307.24 to $45.24, which is basically the technology fee and a slight increase in tuition from the numbers I used in filling out my application. How awesome is that?!

There are a few technicalities to be aware of. Timing is everything, as classes have to be within 90 days of starting at the time of the application in order to qualify. Also, they won't reimburse you for courses you've already paid for, so I will only get to use about $4,500 of my $6,000 allotment in covering my last 4 classes. I'm cool with that though and just wanted to spread the word that yes, this program does indeed work!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bear with me

I have a new Internet obsession. Lily is a 3-year-old black bear, who is "denning" (fancy bear talk for "hibernating "?) in Minnesota. There is a webcam in her den, and you can watch every thrilling moment here. Often all you can make out is a large, fuzzy presence but no discernible parts, but occasionally she shifts position and then you can look her in the eye (or ear). She is due to give birth to cubs very soon, which should be interesting. Check it out!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christmas, the extended version

Shortly after Thanksgiving, I sent 2 boxes of presents to Fred in Afghanistan. One showed up the day after Christmas, but the other was MIA. When the kids and I got home from Florida though, it was here at Knox waiting for us. (I had put the wrong address on the box, but it was the same wrong address I have put on every other box I have ever sent him.) I slapped the new address on the box and sent it back on its way, and it finally arrived late last week. So last night we gathered around the computer to watch Fred (FINALLY) open his Christmas presents, which was nice.

Yesterday, Fred also emailed me the pictures of him serving Christmas dinner in his dress blues:


I love a man in uniform (and a Santa hat)!

Friday, January 08, 2010

It's Captain America!

Mike, dressed for sledding in Fred's ski clothes:

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Snoopy snow dance

Several items of business:
  • I still haven't ordered a senior pic. I need to tally up the votes and get Mike's opinion. I'll let you know when I get that resolved.

  • It snowed today, and all the county schools around us closed, but not Fort Knox. I understand why it was a bummer for the kids--they had to go to school in the snow. But I was seriously disappointed as well, even though I still had a quiet, relaxing day. I just love having the kids home unexpectedly, and snow days are magical. Mike and Annabelle should have been here, piling on the layers to go play outside and then coming home looking like this:

    Sigh . . . memories of Germany . . . weren't the kids little back then? They seemed so big.

    Anyway, tonight I just happened to check the webpage for the installation, never expecting that they would have made a decision for tomorrow yet, and was pleasantly surprised to see that: "Fort Knox schools will be closed on Friday 8 January." Shortly after that, we got the recorded phone call from the school, so it's official. Snow day tomorrow!

  • My mom took a 1000-piece puzzle to the beach house over Christmas. We were working on it almost up to the very moment that we had to check out, mostly to prove a point to Jeff that yes-we-would-too-finish-it!!! Here it is:


    That puzzle haunts my dreams.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Help me choose?

I need to order Mike's senior pictures, and every time I look at the proofs, I just can't decide. I think there are just 2 basic images (1 and 2 are one shot and 3, 4, and 5 are another), but then I also have to choose color, sepia, or black and white. Help?

The final photos will have his head injury edited out. The night before senior pics, he looked through the scope of an unloaded air rifle and pulled the trigger and whacked himself in the head with the scope:

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Lawn art, Army style

You might think that living on a military installation is dull and rather . . . um, uniform (pardon the pun), but I have seen the most interesting things in my neighborhood. I've had neighbors who were Jordanian royalty, for example, and I've watched Canadians and Marines battle each other armed only with pink flamingos and garden gnomes. Today I was setting out for Louisville when I noticed that the people a few doors down from me had something rather unexpected in their front yard. I hurried home for my camera, because I wouldn't want you to miss out on seeing this:

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Ah, now that's more like it!

Here you go--a family photo that you don't need a jeweler's loupe to see! Courtesy of Teresa:

Friday, January 01, 2010

These happy golden years

Last night was the party for Don and Mary's fiftieth anniversary, and it turned out quite nice. We went to an Italian restaurant in Auburn where we were able to have a private room for our party. We were even able to have Fred join us for the toast through the wonders of Skype! Here is the world's smallest family photo of our crowd after dinner (I had my camera set on video--duh!--so I will need to get a better picture from somebody else's camera):

My sister-in-law Teresa collected photos from everybody and assembled a wonderful album that we gave Don and Mary as a gift. We also ran out to the church and took a picture of all the cousins together yesterday morning and gave them this photo in a frame:

The kids and I drove home today. It's c-c-cold up here (19 degrees now, with a high of 24 for tomorrow). I have a million things to get done this weekend, but tonight is all about killing time on the computer.

Happy New Year!