Friday, August 31, 2012

`When Uncle Sam Calls The Shots

Well we are down to our last 6 or 7 months in Hawaii!!  We have mixed feelings about this, but mostly we are excited.  Very excited.  I love so many things about Hawaii, and will be forever grateful that we got this great opportunity to be here.  But it's time to go.  The beauty of the Island doesn't make up for the fact that we go over a year without seeing our families, and my niece will be over a year old before I even meet her. Yes, it's time to Yet, even though we have only a few months left before we put all of our belongings adrift in the ocean for several weeks...we have NO idea where we are going next!  I'll tell you, not knowing where you will be living in just a few months, yet knowing that it will for certain be somewhere different than you are now...well, it's not the best feeling. However, it's something that countless other military families identify with.
The other day I got an email from Tony while he was at work.  The conversation went something like this:
"How about Nebraska?"
Hahaha! NO!
(You see, a girl from Texas would never want to move to Nebraska.)

Then we see an article about Omaha being the top place to raise families. Interesting. Then we ask some military friends that have been stationed at Offutt AFB before about it.  All positive responses.  Hmmm...We do some more research on the base and area, and suddenly....This girl from Texas WANTS to go to Offutt!  What?!?  How?!  Suddenly, we both want to go to Offutt.
So Tony applied to be sent there as our next duty station. And now we wait....and wait, and then, we will wait some more.When Uncle Sam calls all the shots, you spend a lot of time stressing waiting. If he is accepted for the position he will have to extend his enlistment in order to take the job, so that's another confusion. My poor husband has been reading through hundreds of pages of Air Force rules to try to learn how it all works.  To add to that confusion...we just discovered that the earliest that we would be leaving the island will be in my 36th week.  The latest that I am allowed to fly.  Hmmm....Back to the rule books....  Aside from the fact that a 8-12 hour plane trip will be hugely uncomfortable at 36 weeks, that would likely mean that all of our belongings will be somewhere on the ocean when I'm 40 weeks!  Not good! So now we get to see how/if we can get our move bumped up a little earlier.  This could have me making that very long airplane trip across the ocean with 3 girls, and a large belly/small bladder all by myself!  My sweet hubby said that if anyone could do it, I could.  :o)  He's so sweet.
If he isn't accepted for the job in Nebraska, then in a little over a month a list will come out that has all of the places that have openings for someone is his job and rank.  We then put that list in order of preference, and then we wait... We can put up to 5 places on our list...provided the list of options is that long.  We have some friends that recently had their list come out, and it only had 1 option!  That made it easy for them. ha ha  While we wait, we will plan for the location that is at the bottom of our list to be where we will be assigned. ;o)   Cause let's face it...Uncle Sam doesn't care too much about what anyone wants.
Honestly, I'm not too worried about where we are going.  We know that God has it totally in control, and we will end up exactly where he wants us to be!  He has guided our steps and blessed us so clearly in our military adventure, and I know he will continue to do so!  The good thing about our first assignment being overseas, is it doesn't matter where on the mainland we end up, we will feel like it's close to family! :o) However...I just want to know where that place is!!  AND, I want to have a house and a bed for the new baby.
I have lots to do to keep me busy while I am waiting I guess...I have to try to make my house look like no one has lived here the last 3 years.  I should get on that...cause once we DO find out where we are going, all kinds of crazy is going to break loose. And even though 6 months sounds like a long time...I know it can fly by!

Friday, August 10, 2012

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
yield: 10 bars
adapted from Rachael Ray

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats {not rolled oats!}
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan {about 12x8x1} and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. {If your pan isn’t small enough, pack the mixture into one side. You really want to press them down so they stick together.} Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly. Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars.

** I put a few dried Apricots into the food processor until they were  pretty small. Then mixed them with my dry ingredients   I doubled the recipe and was almost a cup short of oatmeal, so I just put that much more rice crispies.  It worked fine.  I also used more chocolate chips than called for in the recipe.  I just sprinkled them on until it looked like I wanted. **

I think I might try dried cherries next time. :o)

I'm Still Here...kinda

The girls are back in swimming lessons. 4 days a week, 2 weeks this month. The main instructor is teaching their class which is good, because he is a great teacher. He's also a really tough level 3 instructor. It is going to be a challenge for both girls, but especially for Gabbie. I'm glad that he is pushing them, but they are going to have to work HARD! :o)

AWANAs starts back up in 2 weeks! (teachers go back next week) The girls are super excited. I have mixed feelings. I'm excited for them to go back, but it takes up so much of our Sunday afternoon as a family. And we get little of that time as it is with Tony's schedule. Oh well. I have worked in the high school class for the past 2 years and was planning to be there this year as well. However there were some last minute changes to the teacher schedule and I will now be working in the Cubbies. The commander said they could use another "cat herder" ha ha. I'm used to herding I told them I would move over. I will be doing the wrap up at the end of class every week and presenting awards. Along with the "herding" of course. I'm excited. I think it will be a fun change. I enjoyed being in the high school room before since I heard cats all day long, but I really do think that this will be fun. The guy that I worked with last year was moved to another class, so getting into a smooth routine with someone else would have taken a bit of work anyway. And since we will only be there for part of the year this will be better. There are a lot more Cubbie leaders, so loosing me from that class will be easier then from a class where I am 1 of only one or two other leaders.

School is keeping me busy in the mornings. Gabbie likes doing it every day unlike last year, which is great, but makes me extra busy. And there is also a 1 year old crawling all over the place...mornings are crazy around here.

I am hoping to join one of the PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) groups here this year also. It's a ladies Bible study group that meets at military chapels all over the world. From what I've seen it's a pretty good group, and the one here has some nice retreats! Not sure If we will be here for the one this year or not. It meets on Wednesdays at 8:30. Hopefully I can get 3 kids ready and out the door that early! Our Bible study house has a women's Bible study group that meets on Monday nights...but being out late with 3 girls by myself, and then having to get 3 tired cranky girls to bed by myself is not fun! By the time I get them all to bed me going to Bible study was pointless. ;o) So even though this one is really early, I'm hoping that it will fit our schedule better. I have our school lesson plans set up for 4 days a week. It works well. they get everything done that they need to, but we have a day of flexibility also. I need that.

I guess that's all the updating I can do for now. One of the big girls left the gate open to the playroom and it sounds like Savannah is in there destroying things. And Gabbie is super tired and "Can't walk" upstairs. Sigh....see why no one ever hears from me??! LOL!

A Schedule

In order for me to kinda stay on top of-or at least not fall too far behind on my housework I have to have a daily chore chart for myself. :o) It helps me to make sure I get everything done that needs to be done, and not get too far behind, so it doesn't take very long.

Daily chore:
School (of course)
Vacuum downstairs
laundry (there is pretty much always some kind of laundry to wash!)
clean kitchen and pick up random clutter

Clean Downstairs bathroom
My sheets and room
Mop downstairs
Dust (The girls' chore)

Clean girls' room and wash their sheets (They help)

My bathroom
mop downstairs

Girls bathroom
Vacuum and dust stairs

Mop downstairs
project day (SUPPOSED to be finishing the girls' quilts....)

It is a lot harder to get my upstairs chores accomplished when I'm working around 2 people sleeping/napping during the day. :o/ I'm not 100% successful every week on sticking to my schedule like I should, but I do pretty good.Seems like someone is always sleeping around here! The list helps me fell better knowing that I have most of it covered, and it doesn't take long when I break it up like this.