Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just used a whole lot of black ink

A while back, I saw a post on Be Different Act Normal, about Subway Signs. I followed the link to Room to Inspire and thought, hmmm, that's neat, but where would I get one and more importantly, where would I put one?

I have been regretting not having more of our decor items here in Korea with us. Wall art being one of the things I'm missing. Not that I have the greatest things for the wall in storage back in the states, but I find myself immersed in these blogs about decorating. I just tuck the ideas away in the back of my mind in the "Someday" file.

Then, tonight, on my exciting New Year's Eve, I started thinking about those subway signs and that led me into Photoshop where I created this:
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I searched my scrap supplies for a thick heavy cardstock. Most of my cardstock seemed like it would be too flimsy with all that black ink on it, so I settled for a piece of watercolor paper. I inserted it into the printer, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best! It printed beautifully! It might have been nicer on photo paper, but I'm all out of photo paper and the PX is disappointing me there... :(

Now, I just need to find a decent sized frame. I printed it at 8x10. I may go a size up for the frame and have some white space in the margins. I'll have to see what I can find. When I get my project officially done and hung, I'll be sure to share another pic.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Peanut Butter/Saltine Smores

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When we were growing up, one of our favorite treats was Smores. But our version of Smores didn't involve graham crackers or chocolate. It was only when I reached my teen years that I realized our Smores weren't really Smores by other standards. They are just as delicious though. And easier too since you don't need a campfire or prongs to melt your marshmallow!

Mom would spread a layer of Saltines (soda crackers) onto a pan, then spread peanut butter on each cracker. From there, she'd top the cracker with a fat marshmallow and another Saltine, then put the whole pan in the oven.
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There's no recipe or exact oven temp or cook time, just get the oven hot and watch them. When you see the marshmallow start to droop and the peanut butter start to spread, you'll know it's time to remove them from the oven. OR, if you notice the top Saltine toppling over from the marshmallow's weakness, it's time.
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Flatten the tops and smash them down a bit. Work fast because most of the time, little Smore bandits are nearby waiting to steal the goods.
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They are yummy. They are delish! They are easy. They are inexpensive. They are the perfect blend of salty, savory and sweet and gooey!
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A few of my favorite {Christmas} things

No raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens here, but I did take some time before de-Christmas-ing the house to take some photos of a few of this year's and previous year's favorite ornaments. I'm a sucker for ornaments. That's why I need more trees. Someday, I'll have more than one tree and have themed trees. For now, ours is hodge podge as I mentioned a few posts back.

These angels have been on my tree (and my parents' tree before my marriage) for a long time. They are from my girls' Sunday school class from my teen years. I love them still today!
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And then, there are my Santa ornaments that I started collecting before I got married. Some of these are old too!
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That reindeer in the middle is from last year. I saw him and had to have him!

More: The VWBug ornament is technically G-Dub's to signify his infatuation from a few years ago with V-Dubs. :) Reindeer is again a new infatuation of mine. :D And among these is my Tennessee Santa that I bought when we lived in TN. Firetruck commemorated R's love of firetrucks when he was a tot. :)
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There are snowmen and snowflakes, too. Maybe I need a snowflake and snowman tree... lol
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And then, there's my Mississippi State ornament. Man am I glad I snapped this photo. I bought this after I graduated from MSU in '92. It's been on my tree since then. Unfortunately, it won't be on my tree ever again.
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As I was un-Christmas-ing, I was juggling this ornament and its box at the same time, trying unsuccessfully to get the box open. In the midst of that chaos, I dropped the ornament. :( It smashed into a gazillion pieces on the floor. And I was mad. And moody after that. Grrr.... Thankfully, a photo is a memory. But still, I would like to have my ornament in the ornament box rather than the trash. :\

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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What a year we've had! Thankfully, we are able to end it together during the holidays! Christmas is almost over here in Korea. We've had a good day of just sitting back, playing with toys, putting Lego sets together, trying out new Wii games and DSi games, eating and just hanging out together on a low profile day.

I hope much happiness finds you this holiday and throughout the new year.

Many blessings and much love!
~Gwen

Friday, December 18, 2009

Some days, I could do blonde justice

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Do you ever have one of those days where nothing goes right? Where you spend so much time smacking yourself on the forehead that your palm may as well stay in that position? Well, I thought about that today. I made a batch of Oatmeal Crispies (Marlboro Man's favorite cookie) a few days ago. They are quite the favorite among the male members of my family as well. I made them Tuesday. All but one was gone Wednesday night. I almost ate that last lonely cookie, but I had guilt, so I let someone else do it. (Plus, I didn't want to get blamed for eating the last cookie. I saved it for G-Dub so we could blame him for eating the last one. ;) )

Today, I had cookies on my mind again. But this time, it was my Ginger Snap cookie recipe. My recipe that is in my Bell's Best Cookbook in storage somewhere in Kansas. Hmmmph was my thought. Then I thought, well, I posted it somewhere online on a board once. Ok, went and searched and found it. Good. I should have printed it off right then and there. Should have. Did I? Nope... So, tonight when I get ready to make the cookies after dinner, I come back to the computer to print off the recipe. Site won't load, my recipe post is irretrievable. Geesh... but my butter is at room temperature! So, I looked on Carole's blog because I remembered her mentioning something about them on a blog post. Read her archives, did not find the recipe. :( Hmmmph again. At that point, I decided to check my recipe box and see if by chance I'd actually copied it onto a card and tucked it away in my recipe box. I'd tucked my recipe box away into my suitcase and brought that with me. I found it, the gingersnap recipe on a card inside. And it wasn't until I was actually rolling my first batch of cookies out and placing them onto the cookie sheet that I realized it was on MY blog that I'd posted the recipe last year and Carole had commented here. DUH! Palm to the forehead! Major blonde moment of the day!

Oh well, the cookies are made and are delish thanks for various resources. And, thanks to Miss Clairol, my hair isn't blonde or even gray for that matter. Though I really do feel some days I could do blonde justice.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend trip

We went along with a group to a family retreat this past weekend. We left early Thursday morning and arrived back on post Saturday afternoon.

It was the boys' first time on the slopes. My second, G-Dub's umpteenth. The boys did great. Devon snowboarded while the rest of us skied. Reed did so great with the skis. Devon did great with the board. G-Dub performed on those skis like he had just done it last week instead of fifteen years ago. Me? Ha, I performed like usual - not so fearless and not so graceful. BUT, we had fun and weren't too sore yesterday after it all.

I posted pics on FB, but also a slideshow on photobucket. Let's see if that works.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lil Man!

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Can't believe my "baby" is eight years old.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Do you know Nienie?



Sometime last year, I stumbled across Stephanie's blog. It was right after her accident and her sister had taken over her blog updating the blogworld about Stephanie's and Christian's conditions as they recovered in the hospital. Prayers were being said all over the world for this couple and for their small children. My heart went out to the family and all that they were going through and would go through after the accident.

Then, my own life got busy. G-Dub returned home from Iraq and unfortunately, I lost track of Stephanie's progress when my blog reading time got cut. Then the events of the summer, the travels, the moves... When the first wave of movers came and took the computer, I lost the addresses to all my frequent blogs. And I lost track of Stephanie and Christian.

Recently though, I happened upon a link on Tara Whitney's blog about Stephanie. I followed the link and was amazed even more by her story. Yesterday morning, I found a link that Stephanie had posted by a writer for the Arizona Republic. It is the story of Stephanie's last year since the accident. The trials. The joys. The heartaches. I sat here for quite some time reading the story and wiping tears from my eyes. Stephanie Nielson: Plane crash survivor regains hope It's such an amazing story. Stephanie is such an amazing person. If you have some time, take it and read her story. Check out her blog. She's an inspiration to us all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The view

Ok, not the tv show though I did watch it once upon a time when it was a new show.

I'm talking about the view out of our window, off the balcony. This was taken one morning around 10am.
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We're living in family housing on post and are on the fifth floor of a "high rise" apartment building. I'm thankful that we are on the side of the building that overlooks the Korean countryside and not the posts buildings and such. At least we have a view. Or at least we'd have a view if the fog would lift. G-Dub (that's what I'm going to call DH from now on because everyone else does. :) ) said that there are mountains over in the distance beyond the rice fields and Korean houses. I couldn't believe it because since we've been here, it has been overcast and/or foggy.

A little later in the afternoon, the clouds lifted a bit, but still, I couldn't see mountains in the distance. G-Dub promised they are there though.
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(If you can see the weird pixels in the photo, they are just pixels, not mountains. ;) )

Across the common area from us is another high rise. Our building's twin.
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There are a few playground areas in between the family housing for kids to play and hang out. There are basketball goals and tennis courts just across the street. It's nice and convenient.

Then, this morning, it was snowing! Another, different view from the balcony!
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When the mountains show themselves, I'll be sure and share a photo of those with you. When they show... ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Transformation

It always amazes me that with a little bit of effort and sometimes a whole lot of time, a pile of cluttered hodge podge ornaments
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can go to this
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I'll admit to being one of those people who ALWAYS gets frustrated with Christmas lights. This particular tree has been around for ages. My mom and I bought it before I ever got married. It's needed to be replaced for a few years now. I say every time that I get it out that this will be the last year. But then, I get all the lights working and get all the ornaments on it and step back with thoughts of "what a pretty tree" circulating in my mind. :) When we bought the tree, I spent hours wrapping lights around every single branch. Over the years, I've replaced certain strands here and there. Yesterday was another one of those days. We're in a fifth floor apartment. When I couldn't get all the lights working, I had thoughts of tossing the *&^$% thing over the balcony and claiming innocence if anyone came knocking on the door. But, I walked away and forgot it for a few hours. I came back refreshed and determined. (and loaded with an armful of different lights. ;) - lights I knew worked because I'd done the plug in test on them.

One thing I like about this old tree is how there are open spaces between the branches allowing more room for a ton of ornaments. Last year, when we used a live tree, we couldn't use but half our ornaments because they just wouldn't fit. So, when I do replace this tree, I may have to replace it with more than one. ;) Maybe the boys can have their own at that point in time?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

It's December 1st and time to pull out the Christmas countdown.
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A few years ago, I got on the magnetic calender from a cookie sheet kick and made an Advent calendar for us. The boys were excited about it, so they helped with some of the markers for the days of December. I need to find another piece of ribbon to loop through the top two holes. I'm not sure what happened to what was there.
PhotobucketPhotobucketHonestly, I love this calendar and look forward to displaying it every year. Thankfully, it made the cut for things to ship to Korea, so we hung it on the fridge today.
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Only twenty four more days! I'd better get busy!