Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just a few things...

Dave Update: He is in VA now, awaiting their departure. Everything is still up in the air. They don't have any confirmed times and they still don't know where they will land first. It will definitely NOT be a direct flight. He does not know what he will need or want until he gets there! I will be posting a "wish list" periodically for him and his buddies. Dave is always well taken care of (thanks to family and friends) but sometimes his buddies get nothing. If you feel the desire to send items, you can send them to the address below and Dave will gladly disperse the goods!
He really likes sharing with the guys who never get anything. They always appreciate home baked goods and hot sauce!! I will let you know more details as I get them!!

SSgt David Adkins
APP AE 09355

HORRIBLE picture (took it with the phone and the lighting was not working for me)---BUT, I got my ring back!! We dropped it off with a family jeweler in Bend this summer and I am finally getting to wear it again!! We had the band on the bottom added and sautered to the 1918, Great Gramma Phillips' original. We also had them rebuild the band on the side to strengthen the original ring. You can't see it but I am SURE it was quite a task!! He did a good job!!

Baby Nhem is HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome to the world, Hazel Grace Chi Nhem!!!!!!!

Born Friday, January 28th @ 2:38pm...
7 pounds, 15 ounces...
18.5 inches long!!
Proud Grandma!!
10 fingers, 10 toes :-)
These pics were taken at the hospital--first day!! She is now home. I KNOW mom and dad are happy to not be driven crazy by a wonderful nursing staff. Julie is doing GREAT!!! Jasper is loving his new baby sister too...he is so curious, it is funny to see him discover her :-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I will be an aunt (again!), to beautiful baby girl (again!!), tomorrow by about 2pm!!! Julie is scheduled to have her c-section around 1:30 (say some prayers). Therefore, baby Hazel Grace Chi Nhem will FINALLY grace us with her presence :-)
P.S. Get ready for some serious baby pictures!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011



I LOVE this little girl. My sweet niece, Austyn Raine, discovering real bananas for the first time. I know some of you can relate to these "firsts" with your own sweet angel. I do not have one of my own yet so I will live through my sister. Expect to see a lot of pictures of this cutie pie!! I am biased but she IS the cutest baby alive :-)

Trying to figure the new taste/texture out.....hmmmmmm, not so sure???!! more in my mouth, I am ready for more!!!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dave Update

Dave will be in training in FL until this Friday when they will then be bussed (yes, I said BUSSED!) to Virginia! RIDICULOUS!! By the way, I did the research and the plane tickets right now would only cost $149!! Gurantee they are paying more for their bus tickets than that. Thanks USAF!

Once they get to VA they will wait around until their plane is ready to depart, which they are anticipating will be Wednesday?! I am not sure where he will fly to first, they usually take them to Germany, but he should be on his base in Kandahar around the first week of February. From there, we are not sure. We will find out soon enough. Here begins the need for prayers.

Also...Julie is ready to deliver the goods...we are READY for Hazel Grace...I am working on getting all my school plans ready so I can be in the right place and the right time!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oranges and a potential crazy lady...

The number of oranges that these trees produce are ridiculous! I am amazed every time I drive by, so on my way home from work today I stopped. This one is my favorite! There are SO many more.
This measly guy is will be big one day. I haven't been able to taste the oranges yet and I cannot wait. There are only five...

You can't see the oranges on this one but there are a ton!

This house is so cute...the color of the house is the same color as the oranges on their tree. Again, this iPhone picture does not do the amount of oranges justice. The tree is covered!

I wonder what happens to all the excess oranges? They are starting to fall off and I want to be the crazy lady to go pick them that stealing? Probably so, darn!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recent Pictures...

Friday, January 14, 2011

The 3/50 Project...pass it on!

Wanted to point you all in the direction of this blog post!! Join in the 3/50 Project!!


You probably can't tell very well but I did get a cut and color. I am thinking this will have to do for the #1 on my list. I am not very brave when it comes to hair. As I was spilling my guts to my hairdresser (why do we do this?) I calculated that I have not had highlights since 2001---wow, 10 years!! I am not sure that I will be able to financially keep up with this color so that is why I went subtle. I think I like it though so I may use some of this "separation pay" that the military gives us to spoil myself for a little while?!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sully Dog

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Shakerweight in ACTION!!

This is my AWESOME brother-in-law working the Shakerweight!!

Thanks, Julie for sending this ;-)

Thank You's...

I just completed writing 12 "Thank You" notes for the gifts I received before the Christmas break. I do not open my gifts in class, in front of other students, I wait and open them at home where I can really relish in the loving hearts of these kids. Some of these gifts were given by those who have so much, some were scraped together or handmade, some have even given me something of their own. As a teacher we all get lots of random gifts. Every year, it never fails, I get at least two coffee mugs. I have a huge collection of coffee mugs!! I was blessed with lots of Starbucks this year, which I LOVE!! I also got two pairs of fuzzy socks, three coffee mugs, hand soap, coffee, body scrub, sticky notes, a shawl, Christmas candles, a journal, books to add to my school library, note pads, bubble bath and a beautiful fish ornament! It was a good year ;-)

My favorite gift I got this year was, believe it or not, another coffee mug!! It was a little beat up but it did have a Christmas theme! I loved this particular mug because it was given to me by a student who has excelled this year but has a lot on their plate at home. I know this was a gift from the heart and I know that the family probably did not take the child to go get this. I think that it may have been a hand-me-down, which I love! This particular child has been through some stuff that I am not sure I am fully aware of. As teachers, you have a sixth sense about these kiddos. You can just tell that there is something more to some of them. This child has a HUGE heart and I love her for it. I hope that the other kids can realize this and can learn from it....I know, I have :-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm a dummy!!

Ok, so I just realized that I had to give "permission" for your comments to appear!! So, with tears in my eyes, I just published them and thank you for all of your kind words :-) I appreciate some of you sticking with me for so long and I hope to keep you entertained with our lives!!

Secondly, I just biked 6.5 miles for 126 calories. So I burned off a couple (ahem...a handful) of
Recees...maybe?! I am thinking that I need to get some arm workout during this biking action. Have any of you purchased the Shakerweight? I am debating. I am biking for about 30 minutes each time and I think that I could work in a little shakerweight while I am doing that.

Dave update: He has been working late each day to train with his team. His daily schedule starts around 4:30 with PT, then classes and training until 7ish, they eat dinner at the base and then typically go on a run after, shower, and bed---then start all over again. They have also been working on Saturday! I say, the more the better!! Dave was not too excited about it but he knows that the better they can understand their robots (see below) and the more he can learn about his teammates the better off everyone will be if/when they have to face the scary stuff. Prayers!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Back to school....

I know a lot of you have already gone back but tomorrow is our first day back from Christmas/New Year Vacation--yes we were spoiled!! So spoiled that I am a bit nervous to get back...yikes!! I actually think it is more of the excite nervous. I have re-arranged my room, made new class schedules, created a different work plan for the grade levels, and have a fool-proof (ya right) seating chart!!!

We recently finished reading Number the Stars, which was an eye-opener to some of my kiddos. We learned a lot about differences and how to be accepting of other even if they are really different. One of the teacher at my school is Jewish and she came and spoke to the kids which really made them realize that even if we look the same we also have a lot of differences and that is o.k. and kind of neat. We can learn from each other! When we go back, I am going to show them the movie Paperclips. If you have not seen it, it is really touching. Basically, it is about a group of students who decided to collect 6 million paperclips to represent the approximate number of Jews who lost their lives during WWII. At their last count, they were at 30 million paperclips!

I am also on a search for great, FREE character building programs. If you know of a fantastic one, please share. My most favorite was from the Tiger Woods Foundation...not so great for character building now :-/ Please leave a comment on any programs that you loved or hated. I would appreciate a program that has writing activities and/or a book that supports it. I would also be really interested to see if any of you know of a program that is based around a sports team or sports "hero". THANKS!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Black Bean Dip (EASY!)

I made a homemade dip for a party tonight. Normally, I would just go out and buy something because I really need to be doing about a million other things. However, we are low on the dough so I am attempting to take something that we already have here. I found some sourdough bread that was going to have to be tossed next week if not eaten and I got, from my stockpile....a can of black beans! I did a quick google search for "easy black bean dip" and found this!
I put a little extra cayenne, we didn't have onion powder for some reason, and I added about a 1/4 c. of sour cream (which made it MUCH better). I have it bagged up and ready for Melanie's Going Away Party tonight. It will be displayed in the beautiful dish below. Do you think they'll know who's it is ;-)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

6.3 miles, 127 calories

Again...better than nothing, right?!

I am not loving the bike but maybe it will grow on me. We'll see....

I talked to Dave tonight and they have been working with their new team member who is from a different base. They get to practice with their robots and he said they have been doing really well as a new team. There are three guys on each team and they will get their FOB tomorrow. FYI: a FOB is a Forward Operating Base--to visualize this, think of the Kandahar base as the capital of the bases and the FOBs are like the little cities. They live/work/etc in the FOBs and return to the main base when they are on their "off" time. Hope that made some sense?!

Hopefully, he will get a developed FOB so they have decent beds, food, etc. Some of the FOBs are literally tents with cots. However, if he gets one of those he will likely be able to return to the main base more often. So, we will see?!! They still do not have a set date for arrival in Afghanistan. I will keep you all posted.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Yep, that's right...we've got rats!! Not in the house (thank God)....just in my car!!! I dropped off my lovely Armada this morning for a simple check-up and when I picked it up found out that not only was the cost of the 90,000 mile check up a pretty penny BUT that apparently my car has been a home to a rat family. Now, just so you know we LOVE his car and we have had no major issues or problems for the 5ish years that we have owned it. We will buy another one when mine dies. I guess some momma rat loved it SO much too that she brought her family in---GROOOSSSSSSS!!

(Ok, so this guy is kind of cute....)

Now, the crappy part about this (besides the fact that there are rats in my car) is that I have to leave it for another couple of days so that Nissan can totally excavate the thing and repair all of the damage that they caused. We know for a fact that it will be no less than a $700 repair--damn rats! I could have bought the rats a very nice home for MUCH less!! We are hoping that there is not more damage that we cannot see at this point. To top it off, we will have to invest a little more into the after market alarm system that the rats found so delicious. Nissan will not touch these wires but they are clearly destroyed.

I guess I am glad to have kept a rat family warm and cozy for some time----
HECK no, what am I saying. I am seriously NOT o.k. with this....
find another home...
I paid for mine...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

5.8 miles, 109 calories

Sure felt like I should have burned a whole lot more than that!! So, before Dave left he set up this bike in our living room. Yes, I think it is tacky but it was in the garage and there is not a t.v. in the garage to help me pass the time away while we moved it. This is the first time I have tried it out. I only biked for 30 minutes and I am not really sweaty so I don't think it was really worth it. BUT it was more than I would have done if it was in the garage!

I also went back to school today to get things organized. My kids come back on Monday! My friends, Guadalupe and Melissa, helped me rearrange my entire room and I am really liking it. I have more floor space now and I got a projector that I am excited to hook up in the middle of the room!! For those of you who do not know, I have an interesting mix of kiddos this year. I am teaching in a public, Montessori, charter school. YES--that is a mouthful!! I teach 11-5th graders, 12-6th graders, and 1-8th grader. Yes, please say it....HOLY CRAP!!! I LOVE teaching but I am having to retrain this year. I am a middle school math teacher (that is what I claim) but I am teaching elementary ALL subjects!!! I have SO much respect for elementary school teachers.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ants Suck!

Ok, so we have ants galore...not sure how and where they are all coming from. I have heard from multiple people that Dixon was built on an ant hill which does not excite me one bit. I am disgusted by these tiny crawling creatures because they come by the thousands. I find them in the bathrooms, the closets, the floors, the kitchen counters, and MY BED!! Not cool guys....SO not cool!

The bug guy comes tomorrow and I cleaned up for him so he didn't have to walk through the extra dog that appears daily from Sully's shedding. I sucked up tons of dead ants--glad they are dead but come on!! The sad thing is that I know for a fact there are more taking there place as we speak. GROSS!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Half my heart...

I will start with letting you all know that I was able to cross off one item on my list already (fist pump...yesssss)!! We had a wonderful New Year's Eve with Julie (Hazel) and Peter. We went to Old Sac, watched some fireworks, and ate some decent Cajun food. We have all been to New Orleans and know what the real thing is so we were disappointed a tad bit and the service was indeed slow (reviews did not lie). I will have to say that the highlight of the night was when we returned home to watch the "dog video". Before we left Peter thought it would be interesting to see what the dogs did when no humans were around soooooo we taped them!! Yes, we actually recorded their every move. Now seriously, you would be lying if you said that you have never wanted to tape your furry friends. We were anticipating all sorts of cool things and exciting adventures they might have had while we were gone. He was able to record over two hours of footage!! Guess what we saw..........NOTHING COOL :-/ Needless to say, we were slightly disappointed. However, this was the first time Jasper stayed at home alone without going into his kennel and he did great. We have deemed Sully a great dog sitter!! I will loan him out for a small fee.

On a more serious note, I just dropped Dave off at the base so he could begin another adventure. This is our second deployment and just one of many times I have had to say bye to him as he left to go to work. These are some of my hardest moments and I do my best to be OK because I know it makes him sad to see me cry. I also have to realize that where he is going is far worse than what I have to endure while he is gone. Sully doesn't get it but he will realize soon that his daddy will not sleep in the big bed (which actually means that he gets to take his place). I haven't let Sully in on the secret yet but in due time he will be snuggling with me. I will actually have to change the comforter to allow this to happen because we just got a new bed set and I am not about to let it get Sull-i-fied!!

For those of you who know me, you know that I am fairly independent and enjoy working/teaching and keeping busy. I am not one of those military wives who depressingly counts the days down until she can be reunited to her one and only true love. I am a wife who continues to live her life, supports her husbands choices, and knows how hard he has worked to get to this place in his life. I also desperately try to understand his need to fulfill something in his heart to serve his country. I understand what it feels like to have found your passion and I understand that to be truly happy in life you must follow this passion. Mine is teaching, his is serving his country.

I am so very proud to be married to someone who has such drive and so proud to be the wife waiting at home patiently for his safe return. I am supportive of his journey but I am scared shitless. I know a lot of you are with me on this so let us all pray for him and his team and ask God to keep them safe and protected at all times, to give them steady hands, please ask that our countries leaders are supportive and informed and that they are returned quickly to their families. Thankfully, he will be state-side for another month and will hopefully get to see pictures and maybe some video of his new niece, as soon as she blesses us with her presence. But I am serious when I ask for prayers and if you do not pray to God but have other means of communication please express our concerns. Please tell your church families and friends to do the same. His job is not a walk in the park and we are very concerned for his safety this time around. I will keep you all posted to the best of my ability! Thank you always for your love and support!