My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

It’s Done!! May 11, 2013








Yes – that house… is officially done!

Ok, one small detail, but other than a change of a hall carpeting…

it’s done!


New Image 105

Through tears, heartache, headaches, complaints, (possibly some yelling), cage rattling on my part and finally….. some sweat and hard work on the part of our contractor to get us to the end.  It’s been exhausting and it’s been infuriating.  6 months of hair pulling, listening to lies, excuses and being given the run around – and then being handed paper work, so the process can start over again.


New Image 101

With the help of our former renters, contractor and some great people keeping us going through all of the process, we’ve got a beautiful house we’ll admit we own.

New Image 100


New Image 99

Is it nice enough to make us move back?  Heck no!

But for once we’re proud to own it!

New Image 83

New Image 911352513518849

New Image 106


Anyone want a house?


Homecoming day April 25, 2013

Filed under: Boys,Family,Hubby,Military,Navy — blankenmom @ 8:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,









Two years…. we’ve been stationed here two years and after two years, he’s finally home.  I’ve seen him a total of a month and a half, but not all at once.  But he’s home now.  *sigh of relief*


The funnier part of that – “that house” will be done next week.  He missed all the fun!


He flew home earlier than the ship to make room for what’s called “The Tiger Cruise”, where they take civilians on board (no spouses for obvious reasons) to show them what their sailor’s life has been like.  So my husbands bunk is now occupied by some grandmother… we’re having a great time picturing her trying to climb into his top bunk!








Since the oldest is 18 now, we left the 3 younger’s in his care while I headed off to the base almost 3 hours away.  First time… I was sweating it a bit.  (No deaths to report however)


My attempt to reach my husband, on the most beautiful week we’ve seen in literally 6 months, was quite the adventure.  An hour and a half through beautiful farms next to the water, over long bridges, narrow country roads with trees overhead just to get to the ferry that I almost missed in spite of leaving early.  I was the last car on….. nearly hanging off.   If I had to of waited for the next one, I would have been an hour and a half late to pick him up – Not cool.  I was so happy to have made it, tears were coming to my eyes!








The ferry ride made for a good time to finish up soccer plans for the evening (not mine, but my teams) and contractor talk and then politely telling them I won’t be answering the phone for two days…. so you can try to call, but I’m not answering!  A nice forty-five minute ride across and I was delivered to the island where the base is located.








I managed to hit school release.  *sigh* Darn public schoolers!


Finally I made it to the base.  I was so excited to have made it, I had forgotten to ask the guards for map at the gate which left me up to my own, directionally challenged self, to find where his plane was landing…. on an air base…. which means planes are everywhere you look.  I am now very well acquainted with this base.  Finally seeing a building where women were all decked out in their finest AND hauling babies in strollers, I figured that must be the spot!


I parked myself in the terminal the furthest from the crowd I could get and began reading while waiting,  in an attempt to not hear everyone’s conversations about their sexy new skivvies, how they made their outfit, their babies outfit and decked out the house for homecoming all from Pinterest, or how they’re going to mount their man in the parking lot…. ok, maybe the reading wasn’t working so well?  Anyway, I figured he’d be one of the last guys off, so I wasn’t going to stand at the door.  The next thing I know the woman in front of me who had been nervously chatting up the woman next to her for 30 minutes stopped, looked at me in sheer disgust, hands to her side in “Jazz hands” style and a grunt in her throat as my husband poked me to get my attention.


“Oh – hey!”  *Picture my grin from ear-to-ear*

Her face of “That’s it?” as we turned to the doors and walked out, was left behind.

“C’mon, let’s get out of here!!”


We headed to the base hotel that we booked for the night just the two of us.  Dinner, a little t.v., pictures of his adventures and some alone time.  He was finally home.


What an amazing day!






Hey there, sailor man! April 5, 2013

Filed under: Hubby,Navy,Navy,What's happening — blankenmom @ 8:53 pm
Tags: , ,







I’m glad to say that my sailor man’s ship is on its way home.  Don’t worry OPSEC Nazi’s, I didn’t say the date, time, where they were at or anything that wasn’t already on FB – BREATH!


While I’m still holding my breath with all the N. Korea craziness, I think they’ll actually come home to stay this time.  This last cruise wasn’t planned, but that’s part and parcel when you sign up!


What makes me laugh is all the posts on the several different pages I belong to.  You can always tell when things are getting closer.  Every cruise you read things like “OMG’sh – does anyone have this workout video, I need to get back into shape before the ship pulls in!”  Oh honey – you’re not going to lose those 20 lbs and 6 inches you put on in the two weeks before they get here.  But thanks for the entertainment!


I know – that’s harsh….


We all do it in various ways.  Getting our hair done, tanned up, nails done, some new clothes.  You may recall my post from the last cruise on this subject?  I’m sure there are more ways to get “purdy-fied” than I can… or want to even imagine.


After 3,6,9 or 12 months, can anyone blame us for wanting to look good?  Granted, our husbands and boyfriends (girlfriends and wives), will just be happy to finally see us again, but after that long, memories may have changed.  “Is that a new wrinkle – DANG-IT!”  It’s bad enough when you live with them and they see the changes on a daily basis, but when they come home and a long, harsh deployment has left you with some new “wisdom lines” and “silver” hairs or as above, a few extra inches; this can be a bit shocking when they pull back in and expect the person they left behind.


Let’s be honest, all the work that was just put in, those few extra lines, grey’s, inches, pounds and pasty white legs, don’t really matter when they step off that boat and see their loved ones again, we all know what’s really on everyone’s mind!



devil grin


Our bit of a miracle February 19, 2013





Our first-born turns 18 this week.  It’s a shock for us – let’s face it, we’re not old enough to have a kid that age.  HA!

Ok, let’s be honest, my first-born was a high school graduation “surprise” (as though we really didn’t know how it happened).  Not everyone likes surprises as much as others apparently?


All I could think of that first day we found out was my career counselor in high school telling me loudly “With grades like this, you might as well just start having babies.  You’ll never be able to do anything worth while.”  As though being a mom was the worst thing you could be?






Over the objections of a lot of people, my boyfriend of two years and I decided that this little one wasn’t a choice.  I offered to let him head for the hills and not tell anyone who the baby belonged to, but not a chance, he was in it for the long hall.

After we let people know, a lot of friends walked away, and even my church asked me to stop coming.  I was ignored, talked about, told off and called names.  Boxes filled with very used baby items with notes attached telling me that “this is what you get when you have a baby before you’re married” arrived, even though I worked and could afford to buy them myself.

We had people offer our baby to others without our permission, handing us couples numbers telling us that “they would really love a baby and they’ve already talked with them.”  I had the nurse who was supposed to give me information on how to take care of myself while pregnant attempt to threaten me into an appointment to “get rid of it”.

Rude comments, whispers and dirty looks from strangers, co-workers, checkers, nurses and anyone else who felt the need to chime in, as though their opinion mattered, came rolling in to “encourage” us.


My boyfriend and I visited almost every weekend while he was up north working on his first year of college.  You’d be amazed how caring and protective frat boys can be when it comes to one of their “brothers” baby’s!  Leaving me in the care of our wonderful midwife who protected and encouraged me and a few friends who were amazing to me, while I stayed behind to finish up work.  

9 months later, he came down for a surprise visit that must have been a little too exciting for me – that Sunday, our first-born arrived on his exact due date.  7 lbs 14 oz – 19 inches.  5:03 am.



Picture 374



We got married 6 months later right before he left for basic training and we’re still happily married today!


This “thing” that was supposed to ruin our lives and should never be born has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to us.  He was supposed to keep us from succeeding, from having a life and from doing anything important.  Instead – he was a reason to work harder, be better and to love him, and each other that much more.  I wish everyone could have someone to work that hard for!

Not only has my husband become dentist, but has worked his way up from enlisted to an officer in both the Air Force and the Navy.

I have opened my own business that allows me to have full control over my work and how I take care of my family.


What you view as “having a life” depends on what you think having a life is.  A party every weekend or waking up next to a husband and cookie breathed baby IS a life – it’s an excellent, wonderful, crazy life that would have been robbed from me if I had listened to all the people who told me – that this isn’t a life.

And what makes a job important?  Is teaching a child his ABC’s important, or being there to scare the monsters away?  Is teaching your sons that girls are to be honored, something to be proud of?  If it weren’t for people who give up their lives for others…. if it weren’t for parents, people who do “something important” wouldn’t exist.  THIS…. is important!


Honestly – it wasn’t easy.  My guess is that’s why God said to do it the other way around!  But please, can someone show me something in life, that is worth while, that is easy?


Didn’t think so!


He is graduating from high school and college with honors.  He’ll have a 2 year degree when he walks out of our house in a few months.  He’s already run his own baking business, traveled several states, helped me with his brothers while his dad is serving his country, shown amazing leadership skills at home, work, school and church.  He has shown us that he’ll be an amazing man, husband, father and Christian.  He’s been one of my best friends and biggest challenges from the first day I learned about him.  I can’t imagine our life or the world without him.






I am so glad we didn’t believe anyone when they told us that he was the worst choice we could make or didn’t believe that he was something to “take care of”.  We didn’t believe that he was a cause for sadness.  He was ours, from the first moment we knew about him!


It did take a while for the reality to set in though….


I say to all of you –

– who profess to say you are “pro-life” and then give the stink eye of shame to the 16-year-old who keeps her baby – you are hypocrites!  Instead encourage her, walk beside her – trust me, she already knows all the things she’s done wrong and doesn’t need your help to feel any worse.  She needs your encouragement and loving guidance.  God doesn’t make mistakes, even if we can’t see the reason.


I say to all of you –

– who say you are “pro-choice” and then chastise the girl for keeping her baby, telling her that her life is over, she’s ruining everything you or she’s got planned for life – this is her *choice*!  Back her up, help her.  Don’t tell her that her life is over and all she can do is nothing and welfare is her only option.  She is an amazing person, with an amazing person in the making.


Better yet – tell her AND the father!


Thank you to everyone who believed in us, backed us up, helped us, talked with us, stayed with us and didn’t remind us.  You helped us make an amazing man.  I hope to be able to pass this gift on someday.


I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him!


HAPPY HOLIDAYS (or some such thing) November 23, 2012

Filed under: Family,Random thoughts,What's happening — blankenmom @ 6:47 pm
Tags: , , , ,


It’s that time of year again!


No, not the time to be jolly, merry or loving towards neighbors, but instead to sue, yell, scream and threaten one another because they dare believe something different.


Already we’re having Nativity scenes taken down in the public square by people who believe it’s the governments way of pushing a religion, even though they have multiple holiday depictions of varying types in the same square.





I once had a Jewish woman get angry with me for offering her a candy cane during this time, while I worked as a cashier.  It’s candy – I’m not passing out the New Testament!





While people of the Christian faith get their tighty-whitey’s all in a bunch because someone at the store dare call it “Holidays” and not Christmas.





This country was founded on freedom *OF* religion, not from religion.  Which goes all ways.  Just because someone may not believe, even if it is the foundation of the country, doesn’t mean everyone has too.  That was the whole purpose of this country!  (Well, that and gold, but that’s another blog.)

As a people who don’t have a faith – is looking at the Nativity scene a requirement by law?  Why doesn’t the Menorah bother people as much?  If all the religions, or lack there of are represented, why the big hissy-fit?  If it’s public grounds, shouldn’t we all have access to it, even if it is those blasted, crazy religious people, or is that just a right given to those who choose to believe in nothing?

As a person of faith, why in the world would someone be bothered by a loving, caring gesture by someone from another faith?  Do you get upset when someone says they’ll pray for someone?  Or wishes someone luck?  No, but hand out a piece of candy or wish  a good time of the year in the wrong way and the troops are rallied to boycott!  Getting upset over people who don’t believe, foisting their beliefs or lack-there-of on others and then turning around and doing the same thing makes is just plain silly?





If you believe this time of year is nothing different, then allow the rest of us to enjoy the beauty and love of the season.  I personally promise you don’t have to enjoy any of it.


If you believe it’s just a good time to love your family and friends and that’s it.  Lovely!  Please allow the rest of us to enjoy the same season in our own way without being sued because of the injustice of a bell-ringer at the grocery store doors said “Merry Christmas”.


If you believe that this is the solstice, this should be the time to renew and to let go of the old ways.  This should be a time to gather loved ones near and appreciate the old year and the new year to come.  Not a time to shout out that this holiday was hijacked by those darn “people of faith”.


If you are Jewish, this is a time to be thankful for what God has done in this last year and in past times for your people.   And though those of us buzzing around may not share the faith, but believe in the same loving God that protects His people, we can share Him – I promise!  And candy isn’t going to ruin that protection.


Christians, which I am – Man, sometimes we all can be so uptight!  Yes, He is the reason for our season and yes, as a country founded on mostly Christian beliefs it would be nice to have that acknowledged everywhere, but just as God has given us freedom, our country gives everyone the right to believe or not believe and yelling “JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THIS SEASON!!” at the 16-year-old stock girl at Walmart who just wished you a “Happy Holidays”, isn’t exactly spreading the faith.  Besides, if we really are THAT upset over it being the “holidays” in the first place, we wouldn’t be at Walmart on Thanksgiving evening buying everything on sale – we’d be at home, with the people who matter and remembering that Christmas isn’t about the gifts from the store, but instead about the gift given to us so long ago.



Now go out and have a ginormously good Christmas, Holiday, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, or what ever else you choose or choose not to celebrate.  I for one am going to love the freaking crap out of my fellow revelers (or non-revelers)  whether they like it or not!




17th September 1, 2012

Filed under: Hubby,Navy,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 12:08 am
Tags: , , ,


Before my dentist man left we managed to fit our anniversary in.  It was our 17th this year.  Not monumental, but since we missed last years this one was special, for us at least.


We did the usual, dinner and a movie.  We even dressed up!  (Don’t tell anyone, but I even wore a skirt!)


Our usual dates consist of sneaking off to the nearest fast food joint for 30 minutes and discussing the latest matters while little ears aren’t prying.


We went out to a fancy restaurant.  I don’t think we’ve ever been to one so nice actually?  Wine was brought to the table as soon as we were sat.  Everything was infused with something.  Most of the menu we couldn’t pronounce.  And once we pointed to what we wanted to order for the waitress, we just sat….

… a few words here and there.  Something about the day that made us laugh.


After a great dinner that ended with bacon infused gelato….. mmmm -bacon!   We headed off to the movies….

… only a few words here and there.  Laughing about the directions “Garmin” gives us.


I don’t do girly movies – we watched The Expendables 2.  My kind of movie!  My dentist man surprised me with those new special seats that “rumble” with the action.  Very entertaining! 

After our laughter on the way out at the tacky lines, the great action and the three guys behind us that would laugh so hard at all the gruesome parts, we got into the car and it was so quiet all the way home….

… just a few words.  A look, a smile.  So quiet.


Maybe it was the upcoming deployment or the excitement of the day.  But I think it had more to do with our growing years together.  We started dating when we were 17 and now 19 years later…. It’s not boring to not talk anymore, we already know most of what each other is thinking.  It’s so nice to just sit and be comfortable and to know the person next to you is thinking the same things, has the same concerns, laughs at the same jokes and wants the same things….

… I guess love really only needs a few words.







A little of this July 7, 2012


…. a little of that.





With so much going on, I was having a hard time getting my thoughts straight on what exactly I wanted to talk about.

I could always fill you in on the 101 things I’ve got to get done before tomorrow or the world will end as we know it, but instead I’ll just throw out a few of the high points.


As my dentist man was sailing off into the sea, the first-born had made it back safely from his mission trip.  In spite of wild fires, power and water outages, and extreme heat, they managed to get the houses painted and fixed up for the folks on the indian reservation.  In between meeting new people (read: girls), seeing a section of the country he actually hasn’t seen yet (that he remembers) and a day off at a hotel to wait out an evacuation order – hearts were changed. 

He came back with some great stories of new friendships, teenage drama’s and maybe a few new followers. 


He also came back bearing gifts for us all!  Tea for his tea loving dental dad, a new pocket knife for his brother who can’t eat anything and chocolate “bear and deer poop” for his two youngest brothers. 


And what does he get his mother while on a mission trip?




No worries; This was paid for, stored, transported and delivered by an adult.  The son just thought of me when he saw it and shelled out the money – HA!


He cracks me up!


While he’s been catching up on his sleep and attempting to remove paint from his hair, I’ve been working on a costume for VBS.  It’s a robot – can’t you tell?




For the wrists and neckline.












I was given the skirt and shirt that were bought from Goodwill to make into a “Rosie” type costume from the Jetsons.  (I wish I would have taken before shots.)  It will be worn over one of these creepy things –







Can’t wait to get photos!


And topping that off; the youngest is nursing his manly wound from our celebrations on the fourth.  Our neighbors across the street have an awesome Independence Day show.  You know – nothing says Independence from tyranny like drinking heavily, eating too much and lighting things on fire!!   While we have a few big ones, they have ones that make your hair blow back!  This year they had a few rounds of beer pong to get lit-up before they lit things up. 

After several odd rounds going into trees, under cars and one even blowing up before it launched.  What ended it all was one of the mortars getting kicked over while the lighter attempted to stumble away before it had time to launch into the air.  It shot straight at our house, with all of us in the driveway.  Not only did it end up in our garage, under our cars, in our grass and on us, but it caught the youngest on slightly on fire!  After ripping his shirt off of him, this is his manly “war wound”.   (While I don’t think the situation itself was funny, we did at least walk away relatively unharmed and he’ll have a great story to tell!)

His oldest brother and I are teaching him the manly art of “embellishment”.  By the time dad comes home he’ll have been “Totally on fire!  Having saved the whole family from total destruction, he’ll have put the house fire out completely alone – and all he got were these measly… little… scars!”  He’s showing them off to everyone and I can’t get the shirt with the hole in it away from him.  HAHAHA!





He says he can hardly wait for next year!




Since that is over and done with I can move on to the other 98 things that have to be done before tomorrow.  I don’t want to ruin everyone’s day by ending the world after all!