Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It's Time for a Vacation

Well, I've come to realize that it's time for a much needed vacation. We kind of need something short and sweet - but on the other hand, we also need a vacation that we would need a vacation from. Looking to possibly go between the end of December to February. I was thinking a short 3 or 4 night cruise. We have cruised before... and thoroughly enjoyed it. Seeing that I used to work for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity - it is nothing new to us. My second thought was to take him to a resort at Disney (you know - actually stay on the property and enjoy Disney to it's fullest). Though we've been to Disney half a dozen times together (and I've been more times than I'd like to count), we've never stayed at the resorts on the property. Trying to narrow it down... I started comparing the above ideas. If we go on a cruise: we can see more that one city in the same vacation, the food is unbelievable, and we can lay around and do nothing if we so choose. If we go to Disney: I could get a massage while Matthew orders room service (ha ha ha), and we would pretty much have each day planned because we would want to get in as much 'park hopping' as possible. Decisions, decisions....

Any one have any suggestions or ideas?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Thought I'd say a quick hello and wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

For the first time, I made Thanksgiving lunch/dinner. It was my first time doing it from start to finish... all by myself (well - I had a little help from Matthew).

We got up around 09:00 and started with the turkey (even before breakfast). Matthew's job was to rub the turkey with butter/oil, take the bag out of the center, and assist with the cutting of the mashed potatoes.

I, on the other hand, had everything else to do. Turkey went in the oven at 09:30. I started out using the butter and oil recommended by the Butterball Company. But then decided to throw in my own ingredients. (LOL) - you could only imagine, right? It wasn't that bad... I used a Wish Bone salad dressing: Southern Country Italian to baste the turkey. It made the turkey happy. However, no matter what I did to this turkey, I couldn't get it to brown - like in the commercials. I wanted a really crispy skin. It was a task I just couldn't seem to accomplish. On the other hand, when I went to 'carve' the turkey, we then realized that there was more than one bag of turkey parts in the center of the bird. Needless to say we were grossed out and laughing at the same time. The meat was tender - fell right off the bone. I don't know if that was due to the fact that it was a Butterball, or if it was due to the salad dressing I used, or because we left turkey parts in the center. Whatever the reason - it was a very tasty bird. Matthew complained that the mashed potatoes were too 'soft'. How it's possible for mashed potatoes to be too 'soft', I'll never know.

All in all - it was a good afternoon. Our Christmas tree is already up and decorated - we will do the outside lights over the weekend. I have to work tonight and tomorrow.... so I'd better get going.

We wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.
* Amanda & Matthew *

Monday, November 21, 2005

Just A Short Hello To Everyone...

It seems as though every time I sign on to this site, they have added new fonts. Maybe it's just me... or maybe I don't sign on that often to figure out what updates are going on??? I'm thinking the latter of the two, unfortunately.

Sean - I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to talk with you earlier online. I was on the phone with Tracy (John's wife) and she was updating me with things that are going on with her and Tyler out in California and things that are going on with John while he is TDY.

Aunt Paulette and Adrienne, thank you for posting. I'm glad to see that our family members are reading, and adding to these posts. I'm sorry that I haven't posted much lately. Our power had gone out again (only for about 24 hours), but I hesitate turning the computer on only to have it continually shut down on me.

Yikes, it's 4:05 - I have to go pick Matthew up from Chess Club by 4:15. With T.S. Gamma out of the way.... lets hope the power stays on and our horrific hurricane season is over.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Back Up And Running...

Today is the first day I get back online in I don't know how long. I'm very sorry for the delay with responding to you all. For my family that worried about us... we are doing fine now. Thank you for thinking about us; and keeping us in your prayers. I appreciate that you sent email to us expressing your concern. Unfortunately our power was out for a few weeks and it's kind of hard to check email with a power outage. I had to work the night the hurricane hit. They gave me the option to stay and work a double shift, or try to make it home in the middle of it all to be with my family. Of course my nurse manager discouraged the fact that I wanted to leave to be with Matthew. I'm sure many of you would agree with my manager as well. You should know though that I did get home safely. It was a difficult drive home though. Living approximately 8 miles from the hospital, I decided to leave at 6 a.m. and I started out at about 10 miles per hour. The streets were dark... with the exception of the ocassional transformer that was blown out. It's rather wierd to see the sky light up in neon greens and blues when its so dark outside. All of the power was out on the way home... there weren't any street lights or signs that were lit up. And of course, I took all back streets home. I would never trust my SUV on the highway with 100+ mile an hour winds. I eventually got up to about 30 mph. It scared me to drive at that speed because I could feel my car start to lift. So I dropped it back down to 10 / 15 mph. I could see that a lot of the traffic signals had crashed to the street, some of the light posts had fallen. We were supposed to get the worst part of the storm at around 10 a.m. To think that all this was going on before the worst part was rather scary. I had pulled my car up between our house and the neighbors house (he wasn't home - he never is during a hurricane). The houses are close enough together to protect my car from any major damage, but far enough apart that debris still managed to lodge itself under and surrounding it. In any case, I was running to get inside the house - holding on to my glasses (I'm sure I would have lost them otherwise). Just as I get to the front of the house, the tree across the street comes crashing down from the south side of the street to the north side - blocking the roadway. Thank goodness I made it home when I did! After working all night, I went inside, showered, and went to bed. I was so exhausted I slept through the major part of the storm. When I woke up - it was quiet. It was a rather eerie quiet. The thought of tip-toeing though the house just to see what happened outside crossed my mind. The neighborhood was quiet. No cars, no airplanes, no rescue, no city noise... nothing. And then I noticed the damage. No damage to the house (thank goodness!). But trees, branches, cable and power lines, pieces of roof, unidentified metal pieces... everything down. Everything - everywhere. Destruction like I've never seen it before. Later in the afternoon, clean up began. Generators started running. Chain saws started up. People were moving about - primarily to survey damage. I guess they were comparing who had it worse. We ended up with a power line down in the backyard. And we heard on the radio that power was to be restored by Nov. 22 at the latest. So we began taking each day at a time. It started out as Cheetos for breakfast, and then we just munched thoughout the day on whatever snack foods were bought. Unfortuantely, I'm not all that great with picking out hurricane food. I started bringing ice home from the hospital - and when they allowed us to, I eventually was able to bring home a hot breakfast for Matthew to eat. I would charge his DVD player at work, so at least he could get one movie in per day. Boredom and depression set in for him. He missed his friends and really wanted to get back to school. Two weeks later, the school opened, four days after that, our power was restored. We still have a power line in the back yard. My first hot shower and the first time I used my hair dryer... ah - what a relief. My hair must have thought it would never see electricity again... when I dried my hair - it stood on end. I looked like the Lion King. Amusing, yes. Fun to deal with.... ah, no. Such is life.

We hope you are all doing well.

I'm off to bed now. Good night everyone, and thank you again.