My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Here’s to a warm Holiday! December 30, 2010

There is something to be said for 65* on Christmas – or warmer for that matter.  While I thoroughly enjoy snow, even like to shovel it and don’t mind driving in it one bit and miss it often, seems as how most places we move to don’t get it; I could seriously get used to sending my boys out to play on Christmas day.

Christmas day for us had a little rain; made it feel more Christmas-e for us, since that’s what we’re used to.  And the house up north, got nearly 2 feet the next day.  I was a smidgen jealous, until that is, I realized I get to send my boys out to play in just their shirts and sandals and I don’t have to deal with the crazy snow drivers, not to mention shoveling for 2 hours, only to have the plows dump it all back on the side-walk! 

When I got up this morning, the boys had already been playing outside for about an hour and by the time they came in, it was nearly 6 pm.  I actually got some cleaning done and a quiet house.  I’m not very used to that – still not sure if I like it?  I even opened the windows!  Hmm – I could get used to this!

As I was telling the hubby this, he mentioned “Guam would be in the 80*’s you know”.  To which I replied, “Yes, but if we were in Guam, I’d be in my swimsuit and surfing.  This is not Guam!”  I could only imagine the shipping costs of fabric, yarn and schooling supplies to Guam – Yeash!

I am making my best effort to enjoy the last few days of vacation before school starts again.  Between paying the bills, making phone calls on repairs, policies, rental shopping, *still* trying to get the fourth-borns laptop fixed, and schoolwork sent back, I’m not sure I’m accomplishing this goal.  However, I am getting in the max amount of sleeping in and not working out.  My body will be happy to be off vacation I think.

I got the fourth-borns bed done; proof, once again, that I AM a good mom!













I took the first-born out to drive yesterday and he was telling me how frustrating it was that the driver’s ed teacher had a brake pedal.  Hmm – am I the only one that thinks this is cheating?  I don’t get a brake pedal?  Where’s my brake pedal?  And for that matter – I want a gas pedal too!  When I say gun-it, I mean GUN-IT!  He is doing a great job though.  He took me out to the driver’s course and parallel parked for about 30 minutes.

He made dinner tonight on his new grill.  Burgers of course; we’ll break him into more foods soon enough.  We have some salmon in the freezer (mmmm – salmon!) that we think will cook nicely on the grill.  I’m quite sure he’ll have to watch Alton Brown several times before he decides on which recipe, method and sides he will need first.  The people at the store, were so excited about a 16-year-old wanting a grill for Christmas that they found all sorts of discounts for us.  I REALLY appreciated that!  And he’s VERY happy with his grill.

I finished my hat yesterday and of course, it looks terrible on me, but if it’s cold, I’ll still wear it.  It is warm though and very stylish.  I am almost finished with my outfit.  I have the hem and jacket sleeves to finish.  It looks a little snug on “Betty” length wise, and it’s a little snug on my belly at this time, but that’s that whole “I’m not working out during the holidays” issue.  If I ever have a place to wear it, I should look pretty good.  I might even have to break out the heels… but let’s not get to carried away yet!


A good Christmas December 26, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Broken/Repaired,Church,Family,Hubby,Military,Navy — blankenmom @ 1:34 am
Tags: , , , , ,

What defines a good Christmas, I suppose depends on what you believe in for Christmas.  Whether it’s family, Jesus’ birth, a tree, gifts or nothing, makes the day (or two) have a lot more, or less meaning.  For us, it’s very much religious and a lot of family.  Gifts are great, of course the boys are still at the age where they are still more excited about Santa, than Jesus, but that will change as they get older I imagine, and family could come or go.  They’ve been all over and have gotten rather used to either having, or not having family; which is good, since they may, or may not have family every Christmas.

This year, it was just us again.  While having family around IS very nice, having some alone years is nice also.  Spending the day in your pajamas, eating, sleeping, playing, all have a nice feeling to them compared to rushing through your gifts, then to the next house and then to the next house.  But again, I do miss our families, and that does come with getting to be with them. 

Knowing that the hubby will be gone for at least the next one, made this one feel a little nicer.  Next year will be spent with family, without him, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that yet.  No matter how I feel though, it will still happen. 

The gifts were all given, we’re all happy.  Everyone got something they really enjoy.  Myself, I got an Alfred Hitchcock series, including some silent ones from the 20’s.  I love A.H. and I love the old movies, so this should be good.  The hubby got a new Kindle and some snazzy pics of me, which sounds weird, except I don’t normally allow pics of me, so this is a good thing.  The first-born got a new grill and the three younger ones got several new movies, among other things.  They each got new down comforters with hand dyed covers.  They ALL really liked those – few, ’cause they were tough to dye because of their size.

The first-born also gave me an unintended gift of saving me money when my computer pulled a blue screen of almost death (it just flashed its blue buns at me, instead of staying blue).  We’re still attempting to recover everything though.  Not only was I very impressed that he was able to do this, but he jumped to it and got it all done in one night.  It was so nice of him!  And the hubby stayed and watched a movie with us while my stomach calmed down; I don’t need anything else to break, really, I don’t!

Speaking of broken.. I did get the fourth-borns bed fixed for him, as a gift *giggle*.  He WAS very excited as I thought he would be, and I don’t think he’ll be jumping on his bed again, at least at this house. 

This, I guess is my definition of a good Christmas (short of getting in some church).  Having my family with me all day, calm and quiet and enjoying each other.  And, thank goodness, they all remembered the real reason for Christmas last night and this morning, especially when they saw far fewer gifts under the tree than normal – made me very proud!

I hope everyone’s Christmas was just as good, if not better!


Bad mom December 23, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Broken/Repaired,Church,Family,Military — blankenmom @ 8:48 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’m a bad mom, I know.  For some reason, and yet, somehow, I can live with this fact.  This stems from many facts, but the most recent being that I really don’t enjoy baking with my boys.  I never have; I know I should; I don’t.  I love decorating with them, crafts, walks, hikes, fishing, trips to the park that sort of thing.  I’ll play board games and watch their goofy movies, but baking with them just drives me batty.  Why?  I don’t know?  I’m hoping to grow out of this before I have grandkids!

I am excited for the fact that the second-borns cookies turned out so well, I think this is the first year they’ve actually looked like real cookies and tasted good.  Plus, he had a blast.  So I’m glad I didn’t bow out and sucked it up.

In my attempt to redeem myself, I played several board games after we baked while watching the boys’ favorite Christmas movies.  I think it worked?  Today we’ll be decorating the cookies and I will enjoy that part, and the boys know it.  Although, if they ask me one more time to get the frosting ready I’m going to duct tape them to the grass outside!

Tomorrow will be spent making baby Jesus’ birthday cake, angel food of course.  And watching the two new Christmas movies I’m surprising the boys with early.  I’d love to get to church, but as for now, I don’t know any schedules.  I really loathe not going to church for Christmas, but it’s better than going to some random one and finding out they throw the bible across the church, don’t let you leave, or sacrifice small animals for their festivities.  We’ll be listening to our pastor from home, either from last year or see if they have a live one.  That’s what we’ve done in the past, and I guess we’ll be doing again.

I purposely waited until tomorrow to put the fourth-borns bed back together.  “It’s a Christmas gift!”  I know, it’s mean, but he’ll like it!

I started on a hat last night, with the left over yarn from my “ornamental” stockings.  I love the yarn, so it should be a nice hat.  And while I was working on that, I was painting my zipper pull to match my outfit.  I couldn’t find a zipper to match exactly, but it’s an invisible zipper, so I only need the pull to match.  So using Soldier Boy, grey/green, I made the zipper pull match.

The hubby worked a half day, and then the rest of the day is just for sitting around.  I think we all needed that!


Hhmmm… December 22, 2010

Filed under: Broken/Repaired,Home improvement,Hubby,Military,Moving — blankenmom @ 12:03 am
Tags: , , ,

I’m having a hard time, finding something to write about.  Not because there is a lack of something, but more so, that there is just so much swirling around, grabbing my attention, sucking the life out of me or entertaining me.

Should I vent about our squatters, stinking up our house with smoke?  Or about watching the classics with my boys?  My new love affair with Vera-ellen, from White Christmas?  Or about the nice warm days we’re having here and watching the rest of the country get the snow we want?

Hmmm – none of which are very exciting or, need to be talked about.  But yet, I feel the need to talk.  It’s just one of those weeks, that a night out with the girls would be a must, so you could get it all off your chest in one fell-swoop.  I guess I’ll be txting my fingers off tomorrow night for Knit Night.

I will say, tomorrow, I will finally be able to post pics of the fourth-borns bed, finished and completed – FINALLY!  Between, wanting to make a point to him about jumping on his bed, and the weather not cooperating, it’s been a while since I could get it done.  But all that I need to do now is put the side board on – hopefully it will fit!

I’m also excited to say, the hubby is letting me make OUR bed, once we get to the next base.  And no, I don’t mean putting the sheets on.  I get to cut, and nail, and drill.  That should keep me out of trouble…. for a little while.  So for now, I’ll be picking out the plans for it.

Just a few of the thousand and one things, floating through my head this week.


Christmas…. specials December 18, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Crocheting,Hubby,Sewing — blankenmom @ 7:00 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve all watched them.  I can, probably very safely say, anyone reading this has watched them since they were children.  And part of your tradition, as is ours, is to watch certain ones.  With a few being added, on occasion as your children are starting to get older (or you, but I didn’t say that).

Charlie Brown’s Christmas special I’m sure is on most people’s lists.  Whether or not you have the same beliefs in Christmas or not, you’ve probably watched it since you could crawl and so, making it your own tradition.  Now, as we’re all having our own children and some of them are getting to an age of having preferences, it’s amazing how they choose these same movies also.  Even or in spite of, the lack of technology used to produce it.

Today my boys sat and watched the entire show for the first time.  HULU is a great thing!  They really enjoyed it, much to my pleasure, although, I must admit, Charlie Brown has never been my favorite cartoon, this special has always been one of my favorites.  Maybe because it was one of the last ones that you could actually talk about Christ, or its simplicity, or that it was one of the good, old cartoons that the “kids” actually acted like kids.  Whatever the reason, it felt good to watch.

I have many favorites, most of them the old black and whites (that may or may not have been colorized).  I’m noticing the boys starting to enjoy those more too.  I love watching these movies, with them.  And I hope, someday, they will sit down and watch those same movies with their kiddo’s; whether for tradition, because they love the movie or just because it’s on. 

It’s just one of those moments that let you KNOW it’s Christmastime.

Now that the hubby has lovingly, satiated me with my favorite mashed potato’s, oh, and some chicken too, tonight, we’re going to sit down and watch a few more of our favorites, while I work on my outfit; having sent the hair bun covers off to their new, little owner and letting my “crochet” finger rest.  We’ve added a few new ones, that we’ll watch too, now that we’ve got the “oldies” out-of-the-way.


The little things… December 16, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Crocheting,Family,Hubby,Military,Officer — blankenmom @ 2:46 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m simple-minded.  Not a bad thing really; I’m easily entertained, don’t take much to keep happy (well, the hubby might disagree on that one), and attempt to keep things simple – I said ATTEMPT.

I can be deep when needed, really.  I understand the news, the world around me; being simple-minded doesn’t mean you’re a dunce; you just like the little stuff.

Case-in-point, today I had to pick something up on base and as usual the hubby’s sticker get’s a little salute *giggle*.  Gives me butterflies – simple, yes, but I love it.  And really, why would I want more to entertain me?  It’s free, fun, simple and if we move on base, something I could get almost everyday – BONUS!

There are other little things that make me giggle; lizards, ducks funny walks, the boys spinning until they fall, the hubby’s grin when I make him laugh.  All free and simple.

Right now I’m making crocheted hair bun covers for a friend of mine’s little girl, for ballet.  As of yesterday morning, I knew the basics of crocheting, and now that I’ve been working on these little “guys” I’ve gotten quite the crash course.  When I send them to her, I’m to address the package as “From: Mrs. Clause”  Again, one of those simple things that make me giggle.  I’m having so much fun making them just because of the idea that I would love to see her face when she see’s a package just for her from “Mrs. Clause”.  Too much fun!

Simple, is not always boring.


Waiting….. December 14, 2010

Filed under: Broken/Repaired,Family,Home improvement,Pets,Sewing — blankenmom @ 8:56 pm
Tags: , , ,

We’ve all been there, I know we have.  You hear the tell-tale, clunk-whir and maybe even a boing, of the offending, now broken and or dysfunctional appliance.  This can either send an “Oh-no”, down your spine as you envision the bill for the repairman coming out and the offending piece to be repaired, or an “Oh darn, we need to call the repairman”, if you have a warranty.  Either way, majority of us are going to have to call someone to fix it.

And here in lies the waiting…….

“Your technician will arrive somewhere between 10am and 2pm”.  WHAT!  So you wait, and wait, and wait, racking up items that need to be done outside the home, while you bide your time doing other things.  Pay bills, cleaning the dogs water bowl, sew an entire outfit, evict squatters.  Avoiding showers and bathroom trips, because you KNOW that’s when they’re going to show up. 

When 3:45 rolls around they show up, your just so over-joyed that the waiting has now ended, you don’t bark at them for not calling.  Besides, they’re fixing the appliance that you so dearly need!  You put the dog in the bedroom, strap the kiddos down, show them the panel box, and sit and wait again.  Teehee – you’re finally getting said appliance back!

10 minutes and six stinky towels after they show, they call to you “Ma’am, I’m done!” 

They leave after all the necessary paperwork is done, filled out, filled away.  And you think to yourself, “I waited nearly 6 hours, for a 10 minute repair job?”


*boing*  What was that?