Thursday, November 27, 2008


This was our first official Thanksgiving together as a family, since Tommy was in Iraq last year. We spent it with some military family friends of ours. It was nice and laid back. Plenty of good food. My two favorite things were the pecan pie the Pam brought and hearing Alicia's stories of her recent trip to the US where she got to ride Air Force One and meet the President. (Seriously!) Her stories blew my freakin' mind. Whatever your opinion of the current president, I still can't fathom hanging out with him in his office on Air Force freakin' One!

Anyway, I am thankful we are nearing a complete year deployment free (the first one of our marriage!) I'm thankful for my hilariously adorable son that is getting closer to walking every day. I'm thankful for a husband who is committed to his family and is working so hard on his education. I'm thankful for all of my family back home, who I miss dearly. I'm thankful for my friends here who are a great substitute family when I miss the real ones. And I'm thankful for my friends back home (all over the US) and for the ability to keep up with them online.

Here's a shot of Jason and Paul checking on the turkey, which was delicious.

Here's a family portrait that captures Caleb going in for a post-meal snack.

And just for comparison, here's Caleb and I on Thanksgiving day last year.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Snow and Cookies

Well, we're in the midst of our first snow for the season! Snow in England is nothing like snow in Nebraska. Here, if you get an inch, you're doing good. So without the threat of serious snow and the need for a snow blower, it's actually fun when the white stuff makes an appearance!

Man, snow is an amazing thing. Even our normally abysmal backyard full of gravel and dog poo looks great under a blanket of snow!

Caleb is a little under the weather, so we bundled him up real good before taking him outside for a few minutes. He reminded me of Randy Parker in A Christmas Story.

Here is Caleb venturing out into the backyard. This isn't technically his first snow. It snowed earlier this year, and I actually took a couple of pictures of him bundled up and sitting in his Bumbo seat in the backyard, but I accidentally deleted them from the memory card before I had downloaded them off the camera.

He's still not walking, but he stands really well unsupported. He shows occasional mild interest in walking, but nothing serious yet.

Our squadron had a spouses cookie exchange yesterday, which was a lot of fun. I brought home a TON of delicious cookies, in case anyone wants to stop by! Tina, one our spouses who is the queen of all things crafty and creative, made up little recipe books for everyone to take home with the recipes of all the cookies that were brought.

Here's the table of cookies that people brought in to snack on. I made Iced Pumpkin Cookies (the ones on the middle plate), which were really freakin' good, in my humble opinion! ;) It was my first time making them, and they were so soft and yummy!

And here are the cookies people brought in to send to our troops down range. We have a few teams deployed right now and will be sending two dozen of each kind of cookie brought in to our guys to let them know we're thinking about them this holiday season. We had 16 people come, so that's nearly 400 cookies we're mailing out!

And here I am with my favorite cookie monster!

The combination of snow, Thanksgiving on the immediate horizon, and lots of Christmas cookies has put me in the holiday spirit. My husband played Christmas music this morning, and I'm seriously considering bringing out our awesome Tesco corner tree today. We'll see. The sun is out now, so I don't suspect the snow will stick around much longer. Tomorrow the squadron is hosting a Thanksgiving meal, so I better get started making my pumpkin pie for that!

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Third Dog

For a while now I've been worried that the majority of Caleb's socialization is coming from the dogs. Caleb loves Zeus and Zoey and tries to keep up with them like a younger sibling might with an older brother and sister. He thinks they are the funniest creatures and loves looking around for them if he hears them walking by.

When Caleb started digging in the trash, I asked him, "Who do you think you are? Zeus?"

Even if Caleb has a full belly and has turned down his own meal, he'll come crawling up with eager eyes for a bite of your own meal. Also very Zeus-like. I could feed Zeus a small truck's worth of dog food, and he'll always have room for what's on my plate.

Caleb recently leraned to say Zoey. He gets better and better at saying it. He announces Zoey's presence even if he's only heard her shake her collar on another floor in the house. For a few days he called me and Tommy "Zoey."

Perhaps that's why Caleb isn't interested in walking. He'd rather be on all fours with his best friends.

But when I turned around from my desk tonight to find this, I realized Caleb is truly becoming the third dog in this house.

Oh well. At least this one wears a diaper.