Friday, November 26, 2010

Epic Thanksgiving Army Style...

Family, Friendship, togetherness, laughter to me those are the things that come to mind when I think of the perfect Thanksgiving. I will admit this years Thanksgiving Pot Luck was all of the above the only thing missing was our daughter Julianna but she will be here next year. I couldn't stop myself from inviting the people who we share our lives with some single soldiers far away from home, some married couples, some with kids, some without the guest list just grew wild I honestly have no idea how many people we actually had most likely 30...some were there start to finish, some were there in time to eat then were off to visit other friends and some came later to end the night with some laughs. According to the boys it was Epic.
Thanksgiving was boisterous and full of laughter I laughed so hard at times I swear I strained some abdominal muscles. I was asked that night if we could do it again so Christmas Eve seemed like I good chance to get together again. I can honestly say I loved every second of it there was no running around rushing to get ready, no spending all day in the kitchen cooking and since it was pot luck I wasn't burdened with a giant grocery bill.
We had 2 turkeys 20 & a 25lb one, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, baked beans , a 1000 dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, salad,  pumpkin pies, cheesecakes and yummy gooey creamy ball salad ..which is a grape salad which our friend Kelly B makes. Our friends are all different they all have interesting personalities they all bring something unique to each get together...Someone said to me the other day you and your friends are always laughing and having so much fun I think I need to be your friend too..I say if you aren't enjoying life, family and friends then take a step back and figure out what needs fixed...because life is suppose to be full of laughter and happiness.
A major reminder was given to us in November with the loss of a battle buddy, a friend, a neighbor..His unexpected death is a giant blaring billboard that says to me life is short, laugh, smile, love, skip the dishes and cuddle your family, go window shopping with the girls, have random dinners with friends, don't put off life and always tell the people you love that you love them...
As we move into preparations for EPIC Christmas Eve Pot Luck I am relaxed, excited and looking forward to spending the day with my family and friends. It will be full of laughter, good food, funny stories, Kodak Moments I will take too many photos, eggnog will be passed around, Christmas Carols will be sung off key, they will rock band, do some call of duty, maybe a little EPIC sledding, the kids will complain that Santa is taking too long and then the night will end....but for weeks we will still be talking about it and debating on what the next big holiday will be that we open our haus to an EPIC family and friend event.
So my advice to all my followers is don't be in a rush this Holiday or for that matter any day take your time the holiday should be enjoyable not a stressed out day have a potluck or make cooking the meal a family event have your kids join in...just remember to laugh and enjoy that time together those out the memories your family and friends will always remember.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Sad Fairwell............

I wasn't sure if I was going to blog about this or not but I think to not blog about it would be to deny it happened to deny Blazers impact on his family, his friends, his Co, his neighbors and his community. It was not an average day on our Post...
When Command put the word out that Sgt Blazer had died in an accident while hiking on a marriage retreat  like every one else I had instant disbelief. He was young, healthy, friendly and cute no way I just talked to him the other morning we joked about it being too cold, too early to be out with dogs joking about dog poop and our dogs that was our last conversation...but I will forever be grateful that I have that memory of him laughing and busting jokes...
The first time since the accident that I saw his wife Denise was 2 days after the accident I brought dinner over to her ..
never in my life have I stood at the commissary praying to make the right dinner decision what do you make someone for dinner who just lost their husband in such a tragedy..I stood there wondering if I make this will it upset her, does she hate this food, what does she like, will this remind her of her husband in some way the last thing I wanted to do is hurt or upset her.
I made a pot of beef stew I'll admit I high fived myself when I later heard she actually ate it and loved it..later I did a shift on the care team and what I learned in my few hours there with her was that she actually made me feel better how so you might wonder well one she told many stories of life with her husband, she laughed, joked and just made things easy.
One of my biggest things was the holidays coming up the truth is after the death of a loved one life does go on with Thanksgiving fast approaching I had guilt over the idea of her being hurt by people celebrating around her it was a wasted thought..she talked about the previous holidays and how much fun they had.
Command had a memorial service here on Post at the battalions hanger it was rough I saw many of our friends struggling to hold back tears, the video photos were wonderful but roll call crushed me as we walked up front to pay our respects I left my double interlocking heart earring on top of the dozens of name tags left by the me the one sole earring I have will be a constant reminder of their love and to live each day to the fullest, to savor moments with my husband, my girls and my friends..
Denise was able to get Blazer back to the states during the week of Thanksgiving which I know was a relief to her and the rest of his family now he is home in his final resting place.
Thanksgiving came we had a huge group about 30 people most of them guys from Blazers Co I will tell you this never in my life have I been so impressed it was a great holiday and the guys who knew Blazer shared some stories..
Christmas is right around the corner I still have the nagging guilt that celebrating will bother her but I know Denise would say thanks for the thoughts but knock it off and celebrate Christmas like you are meant too..
I am proud to call her my friend she truly has been an inspiration to me and to many of our friends. She has a strength that astounds me and I pray if I ever were in her shoes to be half as strong as her.
What I hope people take away from this is what Denise said to me right before I walked out the door..Live life, don't put things off, Love, tell people you love them, Laugh, have fun, hug.. you never know what could happen the next minute or right around the next corner...
So I say to you I love you..pass it on to the people you love....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Saturday at our post ....a night in with family & friends...

I have never been the type of person who has to go..go..go all the time I am perfectly content staying at home spending time with my family or having friends over for dinner and some laughs. Don't get me wrong we love to go out and explore but sometimes it's nice to just have a quiet stay at home weekend. The perfect example this weekend was sort of a blend of out n about and quiet night in. After finding out our good friends the BeSexys have never gone to any of the German stores I felt obligated to introduce them to the uber awesome Kauflands the produce is wonderful, the meat department well stocked, the cashiers are nice and well it's German so they have all the German food staples so it's the place to go to try new foods..So of course we loaded up the van at lunch time and made a doner run an amazing Turkish delight..We took our twins along for the ride and as you can see they LOVED the Doner :D
After eating savory Doners from the best Doner stand in Germany which is located in Bad Windsheim we
then went to Kauflands. Kauflands is like a walmart groceries and everything else it is just wunderbar we picked up the fixings for a good Jaeger Schnitzel dinner, Giant tangerine size mushrooms to make the Jaeger sauce, fresh pork which we tenderize, bread and fry to make the Schnitzel and of course my husband Pachenkos favorite Red sauerkraut which also has apple in it...the store is just awesome if you haven't gone definitely check it out..
not too surprising I forgot to get a photo of it all done and assembled ...everyone just dug in too fast maybe next time lol
One of the biggest things I try to get out there to people following my blog is that there is a lot to do here be it walking around quaint little towns, visiting concentrations camps, little German shops or having some friends over to share a meal and some good times with. None of those things have to cost a bundle of money in fact some are free, some cheap and some not that costly at all. I am already planning our next little friendly get together we might actually get to the point where we break out the board games as opposed to sitting, talking and laughing for 4 hours ..
Now to plan on what we are cooking...