Thursday, December 31, 2009

Birthday Party


For my birthday...  Harry asked me what I wanted to do...?....

I decided to have a ladies night out.  I have been craving Mexican and Chinese food.  And I do not know of any Mexican food joints on the island... so we went with the Chinese / Thai combo at Suki Yaki.

And we had a blast:


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Kristie

Happy Birthday Kristie

You are getting old

Happy 32

Love You,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Dream home


I have found the house I WANT. 

It's not really my DREAM home, but it's the house I found online and want.  Then the next morning I woke up dreaming about it.  I think it's a sign.  At least that's what I told Harry.
Unfortunately... no one shares my desires for this 1898 fixer upper.  It has serious problems... with its foundation.  Something about a slope throughout the center of the house. 

All I hear is blah blah blah.  All this negativity that I told myself was against my New Year's resolutions.

All Harry keeps saying is: Money pit. 

I guess only I can see the beauty of a house with such character (even if it's sagging a little through the middle... aren't we all?).

Still house hunting,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Now what?


Christmas has come and gone.... what to do now?

What on earth will I ever complain about now?

Well for starters:

We must prepare for our upcoming departure from here.

And our arrival at our next duty station. 

Let the emotional roller coaster of games begin.... (did I ever mention my affinity for change?)  Just checking?

Blessings to upcoming changes,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Over?


It's finally over?

All that hustle and bustle over?

But I have not even acquired all our Christmas presents in the mail yet? My family has not received all their gifts from us yet?

By the time I fly home... all the Christmas decorations will no longer adorn the walls of every shopping center.

All this hype and it's gone?

I might be a little dissappointed... and not just because Harry did not get me anything!  Maybe he's waiting on the mail too?  Wonder if it will make by my birthday in a few days?  Wonder if he bought me anything for my birthday?


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas joy


Here's a shot from our Christmas opening gifts ceremony. 

Notice there is only one picture.  Kayne had the family mail his gifts in plenty of time.  And I bought him a nice set of stainless steal pots and pans for his new home.  (Just what every 20 year-old wants for Christmas... right?)

As for Harry and I... well I bought him a few things from the NEX (base exchange):  2 pairs of designer jeans (kindof), socks, undies, new smell good smell, pair of designer sunglasses (kindof), and Crocs that actually arrived in the mail. 

As for me:  Harry gave me a gift card... and said the rest is in the mail.  Doesn't that only work for bills?  Or does it now extend to gifts?  I anxiously await the mail!

Christmas blessings,

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in Greece


After last night... the Chapel thingy.... we are all in the Christmas spirit. (and a little tired)

It's finally here.... Christmas. My very first Christmas without my family (well my mom and dad).

And I survived. Barely.

Today consisted of Christmas breakfast with our neighbor and one of our ‘bestest’ friends. Now considered family member. Followed by serving Christmas meal for sailors at Souda Bay Galley from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m..

And finally a few geo-bachelors / single sailors over for Christmas dinner.

I made a ham. Seriously... I did.

I have never in my life bought a ham.... so when Harry signed me up for a major component of the Christmas meal.... I was a little perturbed. I googled recipes and called competent cooks from home.

My dad instructed the way in which to cook the ham: 17 minutes per pound. Cool... but did not really want to spend the multiple hours needed to tend to this huge ham thingy in my kitchen oven.

I decided on a Christmas cranberry chutney for the glaze....

And it turned out wonderfully. Absolutely divine. I rocked that ham. There was not a single piece left. Juicy. Succulent. Tender. Tangy with cranberry and pineapples. Delicious to the last bite.

We finished the evening with Christmas movie classics and had a very enjoyable time.

Blessings to those away from home,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chapel Christmas Eve


It's Christmas at Souda Bay Chapel.  On Christmas Eve traditionally Harry will have a candle light service.  Followed by our Christmas meal. 

Then walk off all the food with a base wide caroling session. 

With a nice spread of food and a good crowd.... we were packed in there like sardines...

After the meal... we bundled up to begin our caroling hike. 

The various sailors at work on Christmas Eve (poor guys and gals) were blessed with Christmas song, a warm cup of hot chocolate, and some yummilous homemade desserts and candies.

Even the kids were little toppers huffing it around to the different departments.  (they faired better than me)


Everyone was in such festive spirits.... giving of their time (and comfort) to spread a little Christmas cheer to those standing post during the holidays.

Complete with hugs...

Not only did they receive something warm to drink and a little nourishment.... the hugs were mandatory as well.

Thanks Souda Bay Chapel community..... for taking the time out of your busy Christmas to extend a little Christian love to our fellow sailors.

Harry and I are proud to be a part of such a wonderfully amazing group of folks,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Online house shopping


I thought there was NOTHING worse than online shopping....

that is until I tried online house shopping. 

Now THAT is the absolutely most frustrating thing in the world. 

There are never enough photos to suit me.  The angle and the shots are frustrating.  And most of the time I just wind up staring at their decorating tastes instead of the structure of the room or the quality of walls and floors. My favorite housing advertisement are the ads with video footage.  It's like vritually going through someones house.  But you kindof get turned around.  Now that totally confuses me.

The biggest problem we are having right now....

A house I like does not fit into Harry's budget... and houses Harry's likes are not to my liking.

Where oh where is that perfect house that the two of us will both agree on? I want to post several pictures of a few of  the homes that tickle my fancy.... but they are not my pictures.... because I AM IN GEECE TRYING TO BUY A HOUSE IN NORFOLK VIRGINIA!

Which is frustrating as all get out.

Blessings to those able to view open houses,


Monday, December 21, 2009

Going Postal


Ugh.... only one gift has arrived (so much for buying two rolls of wrapping paper one would have sufficed). 

The larger problem is the excessively late Christmas cards.  By now our Christmas cards need to be in the mail on their way back to our friends and family stateside.  Unfortunately, we have yet to see any sign of them. 

I had to send out a pathetic apology and plea for addresses:

A Very Late Request

Hey guys,

I know it's late... very late, but we ordered personalized cards that have yet to arrive. So at the last minute (as if Harry and I have any other time frame) we decided to go ahead and send some out!

And I am trying to update our very outdated list...

if you would be so kind as to send me your current address so the Hansen's can bless you with a store bought unpersonalized card!




Sunday, December 20, 2009

Time to decorate


It's only five days till Christmas.... I guess it's time for the tree to actually look like a Christmas tree.

Harry and our neighbors,  Todd and Gip came over to help.   Todd and Harry strung the lights while Gip helped me bake a few more treats... then clean up the horrendous mess.

Here's Todd untangling the balled up lights from last year.  This might take a while... it might have been easier to just buy a new set of lights. 

And presto... let the tree trimming games begin.

Except we hit a little snag.... I was so busy dipping out chocolate that I did not realize Harry and Todd were stringing the light without the lights lit. 

All proud for their accomplishment.... I stared deer-in-head-lights when they plug them in to the electrical outlet.  When Harry turned off the lights... I cringed inside.  All the lights worked.  The worked but, they were all out of whack. 
Not evenly distributed throughout the tree.  Not equal distance from the previous row of lights. 

But I have grown this year!

I did not say a word of negativity.  Not a word.  Not one single, "ah, Harry you know you should string the light while lit."  Not a single iota of criticism.  Not one. 

I just waited til Todd left and Harry went to bed ..... to take down the lights to re-string at a later time!

Blessings to those with control issues,


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Still baking


The Christmas candies are overtaking the house.

There is candy everywhere.  In the kitchen.  On the countertops.  Scattered along the table.  Drips of chocolate on the floor.  I even found chocolate on the light switch.

But, oh, it is so good. 

Scrumptious goodies adorn the half the house.  And I love it.



Friday, December 18, 2009

Trees up


Well... the trees up.  Now what?

I guess I need to trim the tree in some festive holiday decorations.....

it's just not in me just yet.  Still praying for a better mood!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wrap it up


Well, I broke down and bought wrapping paper today.  At $4.99 a roll you would have a hard time too.

A one of Harry's gifts finally arrived... so I went ahead and forked out the cash to wrap up a gif he probably already knows what it is.  I cannot buy anything without Harry knowing.  I think he has an innate sense about when funds come out of the account.

Now I just need to take the time to sit down and wrap it up.... I think I am waiting until this whole Christmas thingy is wrapped up!

Trying to get into the Christmas spirit blessings,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dog Gone friends


Meet Miss Peabody's new boyfriend best friend, Vince. 

They spend all day frolicking around the yard. 

They run to and fro around the driveway. 

They dig and burrow into the clay fields next to the house.

They rule the trash bins together.

They furiously bark at the alley cats around the trash bin.

Unfortunately, we are not allowed another pet.  We are maxed out.  So we have been in search of finding a loving home for Vinnie. 

So Vinnie packed up and headed over to Wyly's, Harry's assistant, to try out his new living situation. 

Vinnie took to Wyly with ease.  Curled up at his feet at night and hangs out about the house during the day. It seemed a nice fit.

That is until Wyly went to work.   Once Wyly headed down the drive .... Vinnie headed out as well.

Vinnie took a 5 mile hike.

A hike that led him back to Miss P. 

Harry would load Vinnie in the back of the car and take him back to Wyly's.  Only to have our visitor back when Wyly went out to work again. 

This has happened about 10 times now. 

Blessings to good friends,


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten til Christmas & still Scrooging


I have attempted to hang the first Christmas stocking....

I feel a little bad because neither Oliver nor Miss Peabody will receive anything for Christmas this year.  On my return trip back to the states (for Christmas shopping and supplies) I would have purchased their gifts, but seeings how I DID NOT make either flight... the babies will suffer. 

Not really, Peabody is getting a travel carrier to take her back to the States and Oliver, well just does not care too much about Christmas.  He is like one of those kids that like to play in the box, or bat around the wrapping paper, or chew on the decorative strings... more than a gift. 

And we are delighted with our very first Christmas card this year:

It's from Thailand. Well, it was not mailed from Thailand, but our neighbor is Thai and she brought it back from Thailand a few weeks ago and hand delivered it yesterday. 

It's beautiful and perfect for our first Christmas card of the season.  Our cards have yet to arrive... so much for personalized cards from the Hansen's.

Slowly this Christmas thing might make it into the Hansen abode.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Candy


It's Christmas candy time....

Every year.... The Hansen's (just me though) bake a little Christmas yumminess for our friends and family.  This year I am making loads of sugary treats for the sailors on base. 

There will be peppermint fudge, peanut butter balls, chocolate truffles, peppermint bark, caramel turtles, chocolate covered cranberry delights, pistachios and cranberry truffles, peanut brittle, peanut clusters, oreo truffles, and so many little nuggets of diabetic coma delights.

I am gaining weight just blogging about it.

Thank you my lovely husband for cleaning up ALL the dishes. 

So I guess he did help out a little.

Sugar Plum Blessings,


Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's a start


Trying to grasp the holiday spirit... maybe a little ray of Christmas cheer will filter in with the sunlight this morning... I started with the tree stand.

And that's as far as I got....



Saturday, December 12, 2009



Last year I was in the Christmas spirit full swing.  I have reread some of my December 2008 posts in hopes of breaking me out of this Scroogey mentality. 

There was the Little town of Bethlehem.

And the Santa or Bungee with Kadence.

Harry and I along with the neighbors watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation... and it helped a little.  Then we watched A Christmas Story the next night... helped a little more. 

Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian!

So little by little this mood is lifting.  Christmas in the form of comedy will do that to you.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beatitudes or just a better Attitude


Matthew 5

The Beatitudes

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

The Sermon on the Mount is believed to be the greatest sermon Jesus ever preached. The Lord's Prayer, The Beatitudes, and the Golden Rule are all contained within this sermon on instruction.

I found these pictures while sorting through old disks. More pictures of our trip to Israel.

We visited the place where Jesus preached The Sermon on the Mount.  And I thought it appropriate given my current attitude with Christmas this holiday season.

A view from the top of the Mount

And here's the Church at the top...

There's Harry and Jerry orating from the see if it actually echoes where masses of people would have heard..

And it worked... we heard them perfectly.

I had to concentrate of this part...

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Webster defines meek as enduring injury with patience and without resentment, deficient in spirit and courage, and humble submissive.  So I am working  on changing my attitude from Scroogey to meek. 
I am going to endure my Christmas shoppinglessness injury with patience and (this may be pushing it) without resentment. 
Beatitudes Blessings,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another missed 1st


Meet Karter Lawson... my only nephew. 

And today I missed his 1st birthday.

Hopefully, he will not remember my absence....

I really hate I missed the cake too.

Birthday Blessings,
Auntie K

Not happy at all


Still  not happy about Christmas this year...

Still moping and pouting on a regular basis.

Still receiving encouraging words from everyone.

Still wishing I were in American where any red-blooded shopper wants to spend the best time of year. 

Seriously, I hope this funk ends soon... I do not want my mood to become infectious!



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Magic Key


Did you ever wonder how Santa delivers gifts to homes without a chimney?

Well, he uses his magic key to deliver Christmas to homes that do not have fireplaces.  It's called Santa's magic key. 

And it looks like this...

Santa's Magic Key

Dear Santa, we have no chimney
as you can plainly see,
And I was terribly worried
that you would pass over me.

We hung this very special key
right by the door.
Then Mom told me to jump into bed;
and not to worry anymore.

Your magic will make this key fit,
to open our door.
So you can come in tonight
and tip-toe across the floor.

My darling spoiled niece calls me to inform me of her newest item in the mail.  Enthusiastically as she cannot contain herself... she yells through the phone, "Annie K guess what I got in the mail!"

"I don't know Madie, what?" I reply.

"No, you have to guess!" says the anxious 5 year-old.

"No clue Madie, what did you get?"

"No", more emphatically this time... "you have to guess what it is".

After several minutes like this she finally tells me about the magic key..

"It's because I don't have a chimm me knee!" she stutters out.

"A what?" I question.

"You know... a chimm me KNEE!" she exclaims exhaustedly and then gives the phone to her mother.

I guess she was tired of explaining all things Christmas to her 30+ year-old aunt. 

So if you are thinking of a cutesy gift for the kiddos this year... this one will work.  It did for Kadence. 
Just make sure they have it before Christmas Eve so they can leave it outside the door for Santa. 

Chimm me KNEE Blessings,


Monday, December 7, 2009

Online shopping


This post picks up from the last one...

I am not happy, but for an entirely new set of reasons.  Well, the biggy is still no presents under the tree!

Since I am no longer even attempting to travel home... I have begun the tiresome task of trying to shop online.  And I have something to add to my "loath" list.

Shopping online.

There is no thrill in shopping online.  It's kindof like playing with Monopoly money... it's not real.  You can buy houses on Boardwalk... but you can never go inside that house.  I am buying items I will never touch to purchase or wrap.  And I find it very disturbing!

I love to shop.  I could do it everyday if Harry had the bank account for it.  The entire ritual of going to the stores, finding a parking spot, bustling through the stores, in search of the perfect gift, checking out, taking all your loot home, and wrapping the newfound treasures.        

Virtual target looks like this....

and this.....

But I want this....

My very own real shopping cart.  Not some virtual cart that may or may not have the item once you press checkout.  If my item went missing from my real cart.... I would go aisle to aisle in search of my goodies... and take them back.  I have no clue who took my virtual item out of my virtual cart.

I want this....

And I love Macy's during Christmastime.  Virtual Macy's looks crappy.  It does not even have Christmas music playing in the background.

There is nothing like the feeling of walking into this....

And the coup de grĂ¢ce....

Neiman Marcus. 

It's my favorite place in the world everyday of the year.  And on Christmastime... it's like my World Series.  My SuperBowl.  My Stanely Cup.

And this year... I have nothing. 
A virtual Christmas Book.  Blah.

I want this....

and the look, feel, and smell of this.

I want counters and counters of holiday cheer.  Not a computer that might or might not freeze up while I am trying to type in the numerous lines of needed information just to checkout.

I want the real thing.  This virtual shopping world is crap.

Blessings to all those shopping for real,



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