Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day

Our Christmas was a little unconventional. Christmas Eve night, we had dinner here with some friends. It was yummy and we had a really good time. That evening after dinner I was researching state parks. :)
So after going to Church on Christmas we took off for Bennett Springs State Park. It was me, Tedd and Joe (The Three Amigos) We were planning to do the "natural tunnel" trail. It was supposed to be 7 miles. Well it was 7 miles to get TO the tunnel. We took the shorter way back, and it ended up being like 11 miles! We did have lots of fun. It makes me soo excited for camping this summer!
AND before we took off on this hike we went to the park office. The very dedicated Ranger man was there...on Christmas Day. He told me how to get to the trailhead. Then I saw a brochure about Bears in Missouri. If you weren't aware, apparently there are black bears in Missouri.

My favorite part of the brochure is the part that says...and I quote, "If a bear should attack, fight back. Hit the bear in the nose and eyes. Kick the bear as hard as you can. Use any available objects."
Umm...am I the only one thinking this sounds a little crazy? Pretty sure you're not gonna see this girl bear fighting. LOL Luckily we didn't have to use these tactics!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Miller Cave

Those of you that know me (Jess) know that I L.O.V.E. Camping and hiking. I don't care what the weather is, I'm always ready to go. So yesterday I got off work at like 3pm. Tedd and I went with a few friends to find one of the caves on base. Its literally just a hidden cave. And yes, its actually named, "Miller Cave" You have to climb down the side of a very steep mountain. Here is one of the many, "Turn Back" signs :)

Here are the three guys; Tedd, Joe, and Montana ( I think his real name may be Sean?)

Yes this is a beautiful view out of one of the holes in the cave. What could be cooler than that? A tree growing out of it...with your friend attached LOL
I'm not even claiming to know whats going on here HAHA
Tedd on the side of a cliff. You can't really tell in the picture, but its a LONG way down!
Spelunking through the cave :)

They sent me into every cave tunnel first. Because all three of them (all grown men) were too afraid of snakes to go first!

Tedd down in some hole. It was actually dark here (you can't tell because of the flash) and he didn't really know how far down he was going to jump.
Me and long time friend Joe.
Such a beautiful view! You can't see them but there were tons of cattle down in that valley.

It was so much fun! Not to mention we never had to leave base, and it was free :). We've got big plans to go camping A LOT this spring and summer! I actually wanted to go last night, but everyone said "NO" :( Maybe soon!
I hope you all are having a Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Flea's New Obsession

This is a guest post from Flea Miller:

Hello Blog Readers. I am Flea Miller. I used to reside in Indiana. One day, a day like any other I ate a piece of cheese. My mother gave me this piece of cheese. I trusted her, and I ate it. Had I known that she had hidden a large dose of sedative inside, I may have reconsidered my breakfast that morning. Nah...actually I probably still would have eaten it.

Anyway, I felt all funny and next thing I knew I was riding on a pillow on mommy's lap for what seemed like forever. We finally got out of the car, and I came into my new kitty lair. Now we live in Missouri. I love it here! I of course still have my own bedroom. Technically I share it with Trixie rabbit my sister. Technicalities really. Anyway I have more stuff than I know what to do with. But lately I have discovered what I will introduce to you all as "the magic box". Here I am posing by it. I am suddenly enthralled by its never ending entertainment. I watch movies and tv on it. I watch while mommy types or while daddy reads things on it. But quite possibly the most fun is to smack the screen and try to catch what daddy calls "the mouse". I've even discovered that if I step on the keys, cool things usually pop up.

The best part is, no matter what I do mommy just says, "oh isn't he cute?"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

That kinda weekend...

When you are pouring yourself a nice cup of coffee before church in the morning and the top to the pot flies off and coffee splatters to every surface possible. I should also mention that I polished cabinets yesterday! ugh. Go figure. Haha.

And when you find a teeny fire pit on a craigslist like website and haggle the seller down to $20. Not only do they accept...but they deliver. Seriously? Just so we are all on the same page here: Yes, we did roast marshmallows outside tonight. Psh What you don't do that in mid December? Your loss! haha

The kind of weekend when a single piece of green quilted fabric is the coolest thing...ever. I'm not exactly sure how it started. But now he drags it around the house, hides under it, lays on it and basically basks in its awesome-ness. Who would have thought that a scrap of fabric would have brought such entertainment? haha

We also rang the bell for Salvation Army this weekend. We did it for Church and Tedd and I were both at opposite ends of Wal-mart. You may be thinking, "Aww how nice!". Well yes, it did indeed make us feel all warm and fuzzy. BUT we also got a great hour of "people watching in" LOL. As we donned our super attractive bright red Aprons and rang the never ending bell, we watched. I watched as a little girl get her finger stuck in my bucket. Tedd watched as a husband dropped his wife off at the entrance to Wal-mart. And also as said woman got out of the vehicle through the window. Straight up Dukes of Hazzard Style yo. I'm laughing out loud right now.

We decided to take a short drive. I'll never get tired of looking at the mountains. As we were driving, I saw something I never thought I could imagine. You know how normal people have these nice nets around their kid's trampolines for safety?

Well not here in SouthCentral Missouri. As Tedd was driving, my jaw dropped. Honest to goodness. There was a trampoline with rope, pvc pipe and barbed wire around it instead of a safety net. That'll teach those kids to jump in the middle! I can't even make this kind of stuff up people! HAHA

Very entertaining weekend to say the least. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What we've been doing lately.

We've been up to a lot lately. Here are some highlights:
  • We got our Christmas Tree from Trees for Troops. We decorated it and its very pretty! Trees for Troops is an awesome organization. They give out FREE live trees to military families. If you have the time, you should google them.
  • "Puss and Boots" was playing at the Theater on base for FREE. So I gathered a posse and we went. It was a really cute movie, and a lot of fun.
  • Our church Christmas program was Sunday evening. The kids and some adults did a really good play. Afterward was the Christmas dinner.
  • As crazy as it seems, a long time family friend (Joe) is in the army and stationed here as well. He and his friend (whom I previously nicknamed "Montana") came over and the four of us (Tedd included lol) had a Monopoly playing marathon. It was so much fun. I went to bed after 11pm. And Tedd said they finished around 1:30 AM. Thats a lot of Monopoly! haha.
  • I started a new job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I started last Friday. I absolutely love it! What a blessing. Its at a really nice vet clinic and I get to do my vet tech thing that I love :). Besides the fact that we need the money, I am a career person through and through. I feel sooo much better about myself all around when I am working.
  • Tedd and I are both joining Bible Studies through our church. They are both based on the new "Courageous" movie. The only difference is the men's study and one is the women's.
  • We are not coming home for Christmas this year. There are quite a few of our friends who are also staying here with no family. We are trying to find a very cheap way to do something fun to celebrate. Maybe driving around and looking at lights? We'll see.
Thanks again for all of the prayers from everyone. Things are really going well here! I know I keep saying this, but we really do love it. Its hard to believe that not even 2 months ago there was so much uncertainty in our lives. God has really blessed us! We ask for your continued prayers and we keep all of our friends and family in our prayers always! I am off to crank up the Christmas music louder to try to drown out the sound of the basic training soldiers screaming their cadences/songs! Sometimes from my kitchen it is really loud! LOL

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend Visitors

We had an awesome weekend! The pictures are way out of order so thats how I'll explain them :) My parents came to visit this weekend. Friday I showed them around here. We played board games and made supper here at home. Saturday we went to Bass Pro shops and had our Christmas with them. This is a picture of the gifts we got from Grandpa and Grandma Cormany and mom and dad. Yes... I did ask for a kitty tower for Flea. LOL
My sis and bro in law got us a lot of cute Christmas decorations. We hardly have any so it meant a lot! Thanks Bob, Janelle, Ben and Maggie!
My brother, sister-in-law and family got us games and movies. We are super excited about them! We are trying to find someone to come over soon to play Rook! Thanks Justin, Danielle, Lance, Caleb, Zach and Julia!
And mom and dad with the gifts from us.
Flea demonstrating how much he loves his new tower!
Mom and dad at Bass Pro shops!
Me creeping in a hunting blind

A real alligator!
Mom sporting Tedd's helmet LOL
Dad sporting the whole get up
We had a ton of fun! Thanks Mom and Dad for coming to visit and celebrate Christmas!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Say what?

One of the things I said when we started this journey was that I was going to try to take advantage of every opportunity that the army made available to us. The Army Community Service, or ACS, here on post offers a lot of things to the military and their family.

I have always wanted to meet with a financial planner. I never thought I would ever be able to afford it. Well today I did just that. How cool is that? I met with a financial planner for over an hour today and have another appointment next week. She was not only explaining how to determine interest rates, but also which debts (car loans, student loans etc.) to pay off first, and the best way to save.

She explained IRA's, 401 K's, and tons more. It was such a wake up call to me that we need to start planning for our retirement. It was great to have someone crunching our numbers and giving us advice.
The best part is that it is a service the army provides for free. :) I'm actually excited to go finish up next week!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Super Fabulous Day!

So I couldn't sleep last night. When I finally got into a really deep sleep about 3:00 am, Flea the super stealthy ninja kitty decided to use my stomach as a springboard. All 18 pounds of him. BAM. So much for a spleen HAHA.

I woke up this morning very nervous about what today would hold. I had appointments to drop off resumes at veterinary clinics this morning. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I ended up having interviews today and they went very well! And just when I thought the day couldn't get any more awesome?

I emailed my favorite author. I expected to get no response back. Tedd actually teased me because she is a big time author. Psh. Not only did she write be back. She loved what I wrote her. She asked for a picture of Tedd and I...and put it up on her facebook/fan page. How stinking cool is that!? I feel kinda almost, in a indirect kind of way...Famous :).

Ok so I'm not famous...but people have even commented on what I wrote to her. People I don't know! Ok...just let me believe I'm famous-ish for a few days haha.

This day has been pretty stinking awesome. :) Thankful to God for days like this.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Box of Faves

So you know how Oprah has her "favorite things" episode? Well if I had a box
with all my favorite things in it, wanna know what would be inside? I'll tell you what making me happy lately.
#1 Carolyn Haines Murder Mystery Novels. I'm on 7 out of the 11 in the series. They are to die for :) haha I crack myself up. lol.

Then there's the good old dependable "Gooseberry" 5 ingredients or less cookbook. My socks are completely rocked off by the fact that I only have to write 5 ingredients on my grocery list, put 5 ingredients in my cart, put 5 ingredients in my cabinet, and get 5 ingredients out when I'm about to make a meal.
Other things in my box:
  • Lists...lots of them
  • Pretending I'm a certified professional organizer :)
  • Dave Ramsey (Think he'd fit in a box?)
  • Trying to find a job (well I wouldn't say that my favorite...ugh)
  • Making and Mailing out Christmas Cards ( I'm in love with them)
  • Taking advantage of the services that the army provides (more on that later)
  • Having a washer and dryer
  • Getting a housewarming package from my aunt
  • Having more visitors in the past month than we've had the last 4 years combined
  • Super cute scarves
  • Good Smelling Candles and wallflowers
  • Seeing the mountains
  • Playing wii ping pong
Ok I that seems I have a really big box of faves. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A different kind of Christmas

I know I have mentioned before that we are very thankful for the church we have found here. But I just wanted to share a little story with you about how good God has been.

So Tedd and I have decided to go all Dave Ramsey Style. If you do not know who the man is, for goodness sakes google him. You will be glad you did! In doing so, we have decided to make some "sacrifices" this Christmas. Normally this time of year would be all about Christmas lists and shopping trips. Who's name you drew for which family gathering, etc etc.

This year we've decided to only get gifts for our parents. That's it. No one else. Not even each other. There will be a Christmas Tree. (more on that in a different post) We are living within our means. I have yet to acquire many Christmas decorations. Okay to be completely honest, I can literally count them on one hand.

When we decided this, I felt good about the decision. After all Christmas is not supposed to be about gifts, business, and guilt. But I knew that it was going to be different, and that perhaps it might be a little uncomfortable.

I promise...I'm getting to the point. Today at Church the Sunday School started a new 4 week lesson called "The Advent Conspiracy". You can go to the website, http://ac.wcrossing.org/
Its going to mean something different to everyone. Worshiping fully, spending less and giving more are the main focus'. Its not really that profound. Its what Christmas should be about. It never ceases to amaze me how God "plops" something into our lap just when we need it most. :)

I am really hoping that as we "de-commercialize" our Christmas, we can get back to the real meaning. I went from being a little down to very excited about the possibilities of what God may do in our lives during this time. I'll keep you updated on how things go!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Day :)

Just in case I haven't mentioned it enough on this blog. My sister rocks my socks. :) She's seriously the best. I know that I should miss everyone the same since we've moved away. But look at me breaking the rules again...I miss her most :) Whoops! She made this cute video for Tedd and I and put it to my favorite song. It makes me cry every time I watch it! It makes me SO thankful for all of my blessings.

Tedd came home from training about 6ish weeks ago and we have been here in our new home about one month. I cannot begin to explain how great it is to be living together again and to have our lives be together. This song that goes along with the video is so true to our relationship.

Besides being thankful for my wonderful husband and sister :) lol. I am also thankful to God for salvation, for his grace (because geesh...i seem to mess up a lot!) and his unconditional love. I am so thankful for our families, our friends, Tedd's job, Flea and Trixie, cars, modern conveniences etc. God is so good. I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving!

We had friends over for Thanksgiving and had a really good time! There was a lot of food! We played board games, watched a movie and talked. It was a really good time!

Now we're trying to find some new traditions to start for Christmas. Any ideas?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life in Missouri

So many things have happened! We moved into our house on base. Our furniture got delivered. And today we got our used washer and dryer! Its really feeling like a home here. Tedd and I both really like the area.

I've stayed really busy so far getting things set up. Changing everything over, setting up bank accounts here, getting license plates, switching prescriptions, switching addresses with all utilities etc etc. I never imagined all that there would be to do! This week besides job hunting, I have to get a bracket on the front of my car, get the oil changed and new brakes on the Saturn, find a vet for Flea and so on.

I haven't found a job yet but I am hoping one comes soon. The library on post is closed for renovation so I have been going to the Waynesville library since they have "Word" to do my resume.

The MWR here is great. There is so much to do! We are trying to take advantage of everything we can here.
Here are a few pics of the house!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ha Ha Tonka

Ya'll are going to get tired of me saying how beautiful it is here :). We decided to spend the day at one of MO's many state parks yesterday. Which by the way are free, score!

The park is less than an hour from FLW and it is a must see. There are castle ruins, a natural bridge, a natural spring, an island, and more. And since everything is nestled in the Ozarks, its even more magnificant. To top it all off it was 60 degrees and sunny! Pictures don't do justice but here are some!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Our new home!

We arrived here safely. We brought both cars down, FULL of stuff. It was a really fun drive actually. We both took "walkie talkies" and talked the whole way.

Tedd started inprocessing yesterday so I haven't taken many pictures yet but I wanted to share some fun facts about things so far and our new state!

P.S. For the purpose of this post, FLW will mean Fort Leonard Wood and MO will mean Missouri. :)

  • The base is HUGE and seriously beautiful. Set smack dab in the middle of the Ozark Mountains and Mark Twain National Forest. There are tons of trees and parks and outdoor activities, off and on base.

  • We are living in temporary housing right now. Its almost like living in a dorm room in college. We're making the best of it. Although I will say its slightly difficult to find meals that can be made soley on a "hot plate" haha.

  • We've been offered a house!!! Praise the Lord. The normal wait list is 2-4 months. And we get to walk through in about 10 days. We will be accepting because we can't afford not to. And because no matter what, we're not buying it so no biggie. Home is here the heart is. Well and where the moving truck drops your stuff off haha.

  • I went to the commisary yesterday. It is just like any giant grocery store except for two things. The first being the prices. Not everything is cheaper. But there are some things that are CRAZY cheap. Like, "I can't buy this because we can't make it on a hotplate but I want to buy/hoard 28 of these, cheap" Honest. The second difference is that they bag and load your groceries just like the good old days.

  • When the nice old commissary man was following me out to the car to load my groceries....I realized I did not have one single solitary clue where I'd parked. That was slightly embarassing LOL. But you know me, you know I roll that way :)

  • I somehow found my way to the post office, thrift store, movie theatre, bowling alley, Army Community Services building, and the Px all on my own yesterday! Since I am directionally challanged and can't find my way out of a three sided cardboard box, thats great for me.

  • They have a special office here at FLW that is specifically to help spouses find employment. Yay! I will be headed there after we get back from meeting the movers.

  • In a safety brief yesterday we learned that it is illegal to pass on the right in MO.

  • We also learned that you're allowed to text and drive if you're over the age of 21 in MO. (Seriously? Thats so extremely crazy. Who thought that up?)

  • There is NO using cell phones or electronic devices while driving on FLW. If you so much as check the time on your cell phone and the MPs catch you...$75 fine. Oh and since this is the MP (military police) school, they'll catch you. :)

  • The thing that I am possibly most excited about is the fact that we have armadillos here in MO. How cool is that!? My wonderful husband has so bluntly pointed out, that they are simply rats with shells. You may think that made it less exciting for me? Oh no. Not at all. In fact I am quite determined to find one and take many pictures :) I wonder if they bite?

  • I am very anxious to get all of our Household goods packed up and on a truck. But I'm more anxious to get Flea and Trixie here. But I am so excited to have everything here. And to set up our new home. To hopefully find a friend that will help me decorate. Or maybe just find a friend in general haha.

And last, but certainly not least, for your viewing pleasure......

I think its kinda cute!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If you would have told me...

Remember in elementary school and high school when your teachers would ask you where you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years etc? I do.
I remember knowing EXACTLY how my life would pan out. I was sure of it. I won't put you to sleep telling you what I had planned but what I am going to do is the following.

If you would have told me that _______________, I would have looked at you like you were C.r.A.Z.y.!!

  • I'd be living in a 900 sq. foot apartment with no yard or barn

  • I would be washing A.C.U.'s

  • I would know the meaning LES, ACU, ASU, FDS

  • I could spend months without seeing my husband

  • we are leaving tomorrow and have NO clue where we will be sleeping for the next week

  • we are leaving tomorrow and have no home set up...period.

  • I don't know where I'll be working

  • I don't know when the movers will come

  • I don't know when I'll be coming back to get my animals

  • I would have packed a bag with scissors, a skillet, a pot, a wooden spoon and a cookie sheet

  • there are sleeping bags in the pile of things we're taking with us b/c thats most likely what we'll be sleeping on

  • we may be living (wherever that is) without furniture for months

  • I would be going to the laundry mat or to my sisters to do laundry every week

  • that I would get SO excited when my husband calls

  • That my husband wouldn't know where the silverware is where I've been living for 3 months

Okay are you bored yet? I'll get to the point. FAITH. You may have it. You may think you have it. This entire year has been an enormous leap of faith for us. I have times when I worry, or stress but then I hear these words:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

The moral of this story is, it does matter what plans we have. God knows what he's doing. God knows where we'll be sleeping tomorrow night. He knows when we'll get a home to rent. He knows where I'll be working. He knows how much time Tedd and I will get to spend together before he has to leave again. Our plans do not always coincide with his.

So in the the near future my "plans" consist of lots of faith and prayer, lots of driving, and a lot of aleve for the backaches of sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor :).

I'll try to keep you updated if we have access to internet!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

He's Home :)

He's Home :) It has been wonderful being together again. We've had to endure some hard things within the last week. Its probably been one of the hardest weeks of my life as I faced a very tough loss. But I am trying to have faith and get through things one day at a time. Mostly I thank God that Tedd has been here with me to love and support me.

Within a few days our life will change drastically again. That is what our life is all about now. I'm very excited to finally start our new life together again. To move together, not alone.

Things are a little crazy right now. The futon is mounded with belongings we want to take with us, there are christmas wreaths hanging in the coat closet, a cooler in the living room, and shoes...everywhere.

We still haven't scheduled the movers, because we don't know when we'll be back. We can't take Flea and Trixie with us the first time so my lifesaver of a friend Taya is going to take care of them for a week or so until I come back. Thanks Taya! :)

My most wonderful sister, who just happens to be an amazing photographer, took some family pictures of us tonight. Isn't she just the best? I am trying to convince her to make a business out of it. Is there anything she can't do? :)