Monday, May 31, 2010

A Moment of Silence

22 October 1984 - 6 October 2005

This is Jeremiah. We grew up together in church... his funeral was my first Military Funeral for a friend. I hope it is the last.

The tears from his family... especially his mother. His fiancee... I cannot fathom those emotions. I hope I never will.

He followed his father's footsteps in the Army, his two younger brothers now serve in the Marine Corps and Navy. His family is amazing- Christian, American. Everything this country should resemble.

My prayers are with you all - everyone who has lost someone to war. Please know we have not forgotten their (and your) sacrifice. God Bless.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Happy" Memorial Day

This letter has been floating around the internet for the past couple of days. That being said, you may or may not have read it... It was written by a Gold Star Wife, Deb Patty. I don't think I will ever utter "Happy Memorial Day" again. Feel free to pass it on.

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"Every year at this time I fight with the idea that people tell me “Happy Memorial Day”. People that know me, know what I've gone through… still say it to me. Family still says it. For the rest who say it, do you think that there is anything “happy” at all about remembering all those who have died for this country? I blog about this every year and I don’t think there will ever be a year that I don’t. When I hear those three words my skin crawls.

“Happy Memorial Day”…it seems to just flow of the tongues of those around us. As though Memorial Day is just any other “holiday” to be celebrated with joy and happiness. When someone says “Hey Happy Memorial Day” what exactly are they so “happy” about? Maybe its the extra 20% or 30% they will get off beach towels at Macys, or maybe its the fact that they are off work, cooking out and not paying any attention to why they are really off work. Do these “happy” people take any time during their day off to share a moment thinking of those who paid the ultimate price for them to be off work and cooking out, or shopping “the big sale”??

Do people take the time to teach and show their children the importance of Memorial Day? Do they take them to a National Cemetery and show them all the lives that have been lost, tell them what that means for those who are still alive? Do they educate their children to show respect to those who have fallen for all the freedoms we take for granted every damn day? Do they just take a moment, a simple moment in their day to show that they care, or understand what the day is about?

My first Memorial Day I was not willing to admit that it had anything to do with Chris. We had always gone and placed flags at grave sites on this day. My first Memorial Day I did the same thing with Oliver and Owen in tow. But on that first one, there were more deaths. A CPT Alex Funkhouser was killed while in the line of duty not only to his country but to US reporters in Iraq. I knew that all that I had been feeling since January 5, his wife would now feel too. My heart broke for I knew every Memorial Day she would have a double heart wrenching reminder of her husband’s death. I knew that she would face Memorial Day and the 29th of May, double days for her. Little did I know that this wife, now a new widow like me would become one of my best friends. Little did I know that she had two girls close to my two boy’s age. Little did I know that our lives ran in such a parallel manner.

My second Memorial Day I took the boys and we went to Virginia to see Chris’ mom. I wanted to spend this Memorial Day with Chris at Arlington. I wanted the boys to see that they were not only, not alone; but that they could still be near their father. As that day went on there were more cameras taking pictures of them by the Chris’ grave.(One made it to the front page of the Washington Post the next day) There were families that just stood there, paying their respects and as the tears flowed down their cheeks they watched Oliver fix a flag by Chris’ grave. They watched Owen pluck the heads of the flowers there and they watched a mother with tears in her eyes as she realized this was her reality, this was her life. Watching her two boys “play” with or by their father…the only way they ever would be able to.

As I looked around and saw their faces, their tears and their heads shaking back and forth; I realized that yes there are those out there that don’t say “Happy Memorial Day”, they come to Arlington to pay their respects to OUR fallen. They come to be with those who have paid the ultimate and spend time with their families. There was a father there, in uniform and beside him was his little son in BDUs. They stood at attention as TAPS played. I was so taken by this that I asked him why he does this with his son and he said “death is a part of life, death for your country is going beyond what life can offer” “I want my son to realize what this day is for. Not just a day off school or work, I want him to understand and respect the magnitude of what and who and why we have set this day aside to honor and remember those who have died in combat”. I burst into tears, gave him a big hug and as I let go of him he and his son saluted the boys and I and then went to salute Chris. (Gosh I have tears running down my face typing this) I have never seen the true meaning in any one person’s eyes of what Memorial Day means to them then that of those eyes that day.

So I ask that if you don’t know anyone who has been affected by a war death, to please at least teach your children what Memorial Day is for. Take them to a National Cemetery and place a few flags, go on and Google Memorial Day, teach them about what this day means. This is just a small thing to do, teach your kids what this country is about, teach them why we need to stand up for it, love it, and protect it. That is the BEST way to honor our fallen, those who fought and died for what they believed in. For those families that struggle everyday without their loved one, this is a small gesture for them too. It tells us that our loved one, did not die in vein. If you do know someone who has lost someone to a war, this one or any previous, please take the time to just tell them you are thinking about them, you are grateful and love them. But please don’t say “Happy Memorial Day” to them…for us there is nothing “happy” about it.

To all my widsters that might read this, know that on Memorial Day, your Anniversaries and every day of the year, I think of OUR HEROES! I think about your families, your pain, your hearts your children and your happiness. For those who have lost a family member to previous wars, my heart and my thoughts are always with you too. Thank you for your loved ones service to our great nation, I am forever in their debt for their sacrifice.

May this Memorial Day bring you comfort in knowing that our Great Nation acknowledges and says “Thank You” for the sacrifice OURS and THEIR HEROES have made for us and them!

May we raise a glass to OUR HEROES! WE love you…We miss you…We are proud of you….We are forever YOURS!"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cupcake Toppers (Memorial Day)

Michelle at {So Wonderful, So Marvelous} has a great idea for Memorial Day Cupcakes, check them out:

Want to download these babies? CLICK HERE.


I hope you will all be enjoying the Memorial Day 96! I know hubs & I will!
Be it a BBQ, Day-trip, Pool Party, Beach Day, or just enjoying the time off...relaxing.


And. Obviously, remembering those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pecan Balls: Recipe Blog Hop



These have been a long-standing tradition on my side of the family (I have continued them with my now family, of the hubs & I). My grandma would make these EVERY Christmas without fail and she would make them by the hundreds! They produce the most wonderful smell in the kitchen (or entire house in my case because it's so small).

Without further ado...


Pecan Balls (aka: Mexican Wedding Cookies)


Preheat Oven to 325*

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (+more for rolling)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped or ground pecans
In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup powdered sugar, butter, and extracts until light and fluffy. Stir in flour, salt, and pecans. Mix until dough forms. Shape into 1 inch balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Watch closely until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet, cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar. Let cool completely and roll again.

ENJOY!

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My husband is a rice krispie addict, if you were to ask him his FAVORITE treat that would be his answer... but after I made these, he said it was a VERY CLOSE second. He couldn't get over how they just melted in your mouth.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fireproofing (no not my kitchen, hehe!)


So I am super excited, hubs and I finally found a "place to call our own." (so to say) We've been steadily attending our church for 3.5mo now, but we never found a Sunday School or Small Group we felt was the correct fit for us. Until this week. We saw an advertisement in the church bulletin for a new Journey group called AC\BC (after colllege, before children)... which would be going through the study "Fireproof Your Marriage." So we said, let's try it! I, for one, am glad we did and I think hubs is happy about it too.

The entire group is made up of military/government couples, it was fun meeting everyone and hearing their stories. We're excited to get to know everyone better and get into the study.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who's behind Skinnie Piggie?

I never really did an "about me" post... for three reasons.
  1. This was originally a design/inspiration/baking/etc place for me to link things I liked.
  2. It was an anonymous thing- I have a personal blog for my real-life family/friends.
  3. I have an about page in the upper navigation bar. (not sure if anyone looks at those links)
However, I feel as though I should get a bit more personal... not too personal though! I'm still a marine wife living in ______ who's husband does ______ and our names well.... yeah. ;-p

Here we go:
I am living the military life and let me make this clear... I did not choose it. I chose a man who is proudly serving his country, whom I am madly in love with. We dated long distance our ENTIRE relationship. The closest we ever lived to each other was a 3hr drive, insanely enough that's how we met. Even that only lasted 4mo and he was re-stationed 2,300+ mi away! Yet, the 4mo of our weekend dates must have been pretty special because we decided to make things work. The longest we've gone without seeing each other is 10mo, man does it suck. We've spent thousands (literally) of dollars on cross-country plane tickets, more $ on postal services to mail gifts, etc. Even with being married for almost 7mo now, we've spent more time apart than we have together!

One of the weirdest question I hear is- "how/why do you do this?" How on earth can you ask me or any military wife that question...seriously. How? Why? I married him for crying out loud, and I wasn't given an instruction manual, that would have made a nice little gift. I don't ask you how you live married to a lawyer or an accountant. I don't ask you why you complain about your husband's week long business trip when I have to deal with months at a time. I think people who ask that are silly and petty, and with my whole heart I think they need to remember why they married their husband. =/ I hope it was for love.

If we must be labeled (stupid) my husband and I are Christians. We profess that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. This was an interesting topic early in our dating, as he was semi-raised Catholic, yet didn't attend services. He did attend the protestant services on base and was beginning to find his way in faith when we met. Later in our dating we did devotionals and book studies together via phone. [Daily Bread & The Relationship Principles of Jesus] Once we were engaged we managed to get our then pastors to work together to counsel us separately, while we discussed the topics of our book "Preparing for Marriage God's Way" during our phone conversations. It was intense, I had to learn the true meaning of a wife being submissive (not a slave!) and he had to realize it was his duty to lead and protect this family the same way Christ leads and ultimately sacrificed for us (intense!).

This life isn't easy. It isn't anything I imagined I would be doing. But, I love him and know his duty to our country is important. I don't have a job, not for lack of trying or education, I have my Bachelor's of Science... but moving around has made having a career tough. I am also selective about the hours I will work, I believe my husband and I need/deserve time together. He is gone for work in the vicinity of 10-12hrs a day, PT included. Meaning if I were to work late afternoons/evenings or weekends, well we would never see each other. In my mind- not acceptable. My marriage is much more important to me than some job will ever be. Do not mistake or confuse this for me being completely dependent on him, not true. I hang out with other wives, fiancees, and girlfriends, I do volunteer events, I am a consultant for a Candle/Military Gear company, I craft, attend Bible study, and do many other things for myself. My identity is not tied solely to my husband, though I love him dearly and have taken his last name ;-p



So I am a...

Child of God.
Daughter.
Grand daughter.
Sister.
Cousin.
"Aunt."
Friend.
USMC Wife♥
&
Lover.
Fighter.
Dreamer.

Who are you?


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

They caught my house on fire. But fixed the pipes.

NOPE. I'm not kidding.
The maintenance guys literally lit part of my kitchen on fire!

The beginning... moving things around and opening the wall above the cabinets.

So first... they moved the fridge out and then the washer/dryer. After that they ripped open the area above the washer/dryer to get to the pipes and the space above the cabinets, the vent for dryer lint also runs along the pipe-line, so they cut it open to pull it out of the way. Evidently the hot water pipe was the one leaking, so they ran the upstairs and downstairs hot water in order to drain the pipes then turned the water off. This is where things got interesting, he used a saw to get the old pipe out, besides the insane noise (banging, clanging, sawing) nothing bad. But then when he grabbed the new piece of pipe and the blowtorch to solder... well... he lit the lint vent on fire!

I didn't see it. All I heard was oh Sh......, Da....., Ahhhh!! Then, the guinea pigs started squeaking the loudest I've ever heard, as the smoke billowed from the kitchen (luckily towards the open window), and the maintenance guy bolted to his truck and grabbed the fire extinguisher.

The fire occurred up there...

Thankfully he put it out before it hit the kitchen cabinets or the drywall... just burned lint and some of the vent tube. He replaced the tube at the end of the day. Upstairs it stank all freakin' day long! (The air return is in the kitchen for the whole house unit). It was raining and 45* outside but I opened every window in the house, I couldn't handle the smell. (I'm so glad hubby is a non-smoking Marine, on of the few).

It was a pretty intense day.
Funny moment- he came out of the kitchen and asked if I had gotten the smoke detector to turn off. It never went off because of the open window venting the smoke out... what he heard was the guinea pigs!

(as for the A/C.... not that we need it at the moment thanks to this random cold & rain front we've got going on! They recharged the frion, said it was empty. We'll see if that's the case, if not they get to hear from me or hubs, AGAIN.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Military Wedding Week Contest -WINNERS!

Hello ladies! I just want to say thank you to all of the participants of my contest! I loved seeing your photos and reading your stories. If you didn't check out all of the entries, you are missing out! [see them here]


I figured it wouldn't be a true Skinnie Piggie contest if these two little buggers weren't involved:

If you haven't already... meet Beans & Twix!


Without further ado... press play to find out the winner(s)!
Sorry for the background noise, I left the floor fan running...

video








~*CONGRATULATIONS*~

1st Place= JENNA from Rank & File Wifey (see her entry)
2nd Place= ERICA from Hellcat Betty (see her entry)


Ladies you will receive an e-mail from me shortly with the details about your prize.

So here's what I did...
  • labeled pieces of paper 1-11
  • put names of the entrants in order of their entries (M-F)
  • lined them up on a piece of wood
  • added a carrot slice by each
  • opened the gate, and let their hungry tummies decide!
...and just in case you were wondering... YES, they ate ALL 11 carrots slices. Pigs.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quick Update

Alrighty...
So, here's the dirt. Or should I say water?
Ugh. Friday evening we invited friends over for dinner, I went to open the fridge to start preparing the salad and I found myself standing in a huge puddle of water! I turned on all the lights in/near the kitchen to figure out what the heck was leaking. Well, eventually I called Q to come down and help. Our refrigerator ended up in the middle of the kitchen blocking the sink/dishwasher/cabinets and the washer and dryer got pulled out blocking the entrance. He originally thought the washing machines pipes were leaking but soon discovered it was actually pipes further up in the wall (oh great!).

Right about then the timer beeped and I fought my way to the oven and pulled out the homemade pizza and not 2sec later our friends knocked on the door and I fought my way out of the kitchen... we called the emergency maintenance line and a guy showed up halfway through dinner. Awesome night to have dinner guests-no? His solution- placing a drip pan under the leak and saying he and another guy would be there Monday to fix the pipes in the walls. However it would be a major construction so we need to clear out the kitchen area.

The good thing about renting= they have to fix everything.
The bad thing about renting= they have to fix everything.

Oh and to top it off... the A/C will run, but no air comes out of the vents! Gahhhhhhhh!

I don't want to sound like a whiner, but come on now =/

In more upbeat news...

The Mrs. from Trying Our Best had me design a button for her upcoming blog hop, which (I may be biased) I think you should all join! It benefits everyone, because we will all learn new recipes and find cool new blogs to follow. She's even making the deal a little sweeter by offering a giveaway that you're automatically entered to win just by linking up.

Check out all the details HERE.


I'm also trying to think up a fun way to show you how I picked the winner of the Military Wedding Week Contest, so stay tuned tomorrow (if I can get online, things might be crazy here... lets hope for no rushing water falls coming from the walls!! yikes.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Military Wedding Week Contest! [CLOSED]

Hello lovely ladies! Remember how I said I wanted to throw a wedding themed contest? Well here it is!

Everyone loves their wedding day (I hope!)... the time spent planning, the color scheme, the flowers, the venue, photographer, the cake, and on... so much for one day. One beautiful day! The day when you and your groom become one, the day you get a new last name, a new family.

I figured why not let everyone share a glimpse of their wedding day?! [traditional ceremony, beach ceremony, justice of the peace... I don't care, please share!]

Entries will be accepted from 9am Monday May 10th through 9pm Friday May 14th, 2010 (EST). Then I will randomly pick a winner (no way I'm scrutinizing someone's special day) to be announced Monday May 17th, 2010!

Rules:
  1. You must be a follower of my blog
  2. Create a blog entry about your wedding, you may include 10-20 photos and only 10-20 photos!
  3. Make sure your entry has the "Skinnie Piggie's Military Wedding Week" button.




  4. Fill out the form below.
  5. I will post a running list of entries *HERE* as the forms come in... please please comment on at lease 3 other people's wedding entries, remember this is for fun! To show off that special day.


Prize:
  1. A fun button for your blog saying you were the winner of "Skinnie Piggie's Military Wedding Week!"
  2. A small homemade gift from yours truly. [baked goods and/or felt hair accessories-your choice!]










If you don't win, have no fear... depending on the participation level... I am thinking about holding this contest again!

May 10th-May 14th Wedding Week Entries

Please remember to comment on at least 3 other entries, this is for fun ladies!
Sharing our wedding is a personal thing and common courtesy is expected!



Monday Entries
  • No entries... sad day!

Tuesday Entries

Wednesday Entries

Thursday Entries

Friday Entries

Have you entered yet? If not get all the details HERE!

Happy Mother's Day =)

I am very blessed to have the mom I do!
She has done so much for me it's unbelievable.
There's so much more I could/should say...
But it wouldn't do her any justice.
I thank God for her everyday.


I got this in an e-mail...
I really like that the majority of their make-up is only $1.00 per item! So basically until the 15th you can get five of the $1.00 items for the cost of shipping ($6.95).

Anyway, just thought I'd pass this along.















I also wanted to share this picture:


Remember... BIG things are happening around here beginning tomorrow! Hope you've got some wedding photos in mind, it is going to be a fun week here on Skinnie Piggie =)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Operation Shower

Okay ladies this is awesome! Please watch this video!



Want to learn more? OperationShower.org
You won't regret it.

[From Amy at stem]

Enjoy OUR day!

[Click on image to view full size. Source: Delta Bravo Sierra]

If you haven't checked out my previous post on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, you might give it a shot. There could still be events, freebies, and giveaways going on in your area!

I think hubs and a group of our friends are going to see Iron Man 2 this evening, the weather has been perfect lately so I'm hoping for some outdoor activities along with grilling and using our new patio set this weekend.

I hope all of you have a great weekend... BIG things coming on MONDAY.

*Hint- start picking out your favorite wedding photos...



Thursday, May 6, 2010

Piggie Playpen *ahem* Condo

Look what my husband did, seriously just look:We have got to have the most spoiled guinea pigs...
Okay, okay... maybe not THE most spoiled (no crazy purses, they don't go to the store with me, they don't get free-reign of the house, etc.) but they are crazy spoiled. They get floor time, which involves running around the family room and dining room floor. They also get to run up the stairs at night to go to their "bedrooms" - small private areas they sleep in. Along with chilling on the couch with us while we watch TV or movies. Plus they eat almost any type of fruit or veggie we are munching on, little buggers.

Okay, so back to what he did. This is the before picture (complete with my little Beans being a turd, he pulled up the fleece and started munching away...gahhh):It's so flippin' huge now. Two-story complete with ramp and hammock on the lower level. The piglets LOVE it, obviously more room to run, search for the food we hide, and well, poop. Haha. But, who cleans the dang thing every morning? ME. It was work enough before, now it's tricky with the two-story shenanigan. Whatever makes the piggies happy, right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Consultant - Military Handbags, Wallets, Clothing, & Candles

Hey everyone...
I've had this link in my sidebar for a couple of weeks now but I had planned on waiting until I purchased my consultant website (unfortunately I just don't have the funds at the moment) before I shared this news with you!

However, I just couldn't wait any longer!
I am an All Fired Up Candle Co. & Jane Wayne Gear Consultant.

Please check out my permanent link here:
http://skinniepiggie.blogspot.com/p/candles-military-gear.html

Here are just some of the great items I sell...
Please make sure to follow the instructions on my info page!
Thanks ladies... I seriously appreciate you all.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday: Pick-Me-Up

Can you believe Mother's Day is this coming Sunday? It's so weird being far from home and having to mail gifts, just something I'll get used to I guess. I do have to say, I love checking the mail and opening surprises though! (bills, not so much...).

Anyway, Stephanie Lynn from Under The Table and Dreaming is one crazy talented woman! She has the most amazing ideas and DIY projects, you can quite literally get lost in her blog for hours. She featured the cutest Rose Petal Votive and I couldn't resist sharing it with you:


Please go to the original entry on her blog for all the details and instructions!

I think when I am feeling better (I slept 12.5hrs last night, yesterday I was dizzy-had major sinus pressure-shaky-exhausted-etc) I might just make one of these for myself... I mailed mom's gift on Friday. On that note, my head is starting to hurt again... I'm going to go lay down. I hope you all had a great weekend and if not, (like me) you have a better week!